Sunday, May 20, 2007

Regina Cæli

Pope Benedict XVI waves to faithfuls during his Angelus prayer at the Vatican May 20, 2007. REUTERS/Dario Pignatelli (VATICAN)

~from Papa Ratzinger Forum

Dear brothers and sisters:

I wish above all to renew my thanks to the Lord for the Apostolic Voyage to Brazil which I made on May 9-14, and at the same time, I thank all who accompanied me with their prayers.

The reason for that pastoral visit, as you know, was the inauguration of the fifth General Conference of Latin American and Caribbean bishops. But before that great event, I had the chance to meet with the Catholic community of Brazil. Many faithful gathered in Sao Paulo for the canonization of Brazil's first native-born saint, Fra=. Antonio di Sant’Anna Galvão.

I hope to speak more at length about this trip next Wednesday during the general audience. Meanwhile, I invite you all to continue to pray for the Conference going on in Aparecida and for the people of God who live in Latin America.

Another reason for reflection and prayer is given us today by the annual observance of the World Day for Social Communications on the theme "Children and communications media: a challenge for education."

The educational challenges in today's world are often linked to the influence of the mass media, which compete with the school, the Church and the family itself. In this context, adequate formation in the correct use of the mass media is essential.

Parents, teachers and the church community are called on to work together to educate children and the youth to be selective and to develop a critical attitude by cultivating a taste for what is esthetically and morally valid.

But even the media should contribute to this educational commitment, by promoting the dignity of the human being, matrimony and family, along with the positive conquests and achievements of civilization.

Programs that inculcate violence and anti-social behavior or which vulgarize human sexuality are unacceptable, especially if aimed at minors.

Therefore I renew my appeal to responsible persons in the media industry and to those who work in social communications to safeguard the common good, respect truth and protect the dignity of the individual and the family.

Dear brothers and sisters, the solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, which the liturgy commemorated last Thursday, is celebrated today in some countries.

The Risen Jesus returns to the Father, thus opening for us the way to eternal life and making possible the gift of the Holy Spirit. Like the Apostles then, we today, after Ascension, gather ourselves in prayer to invoke the effusion of the Spirit, in spiritual union with the Virgin Mary (cfr Acts 1,12-14). May her intercession obtain for all the Church a new Pentecost.

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