Pope arrives in Brazil

 Pope Benedict arrived on Thursday at Sao Paulo, for the start of his apostolic visit. He was welcomed by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, accompanied by the civil, military and religious authorities. In his opening address, he said the fact that Catholics represent a majority in Brazil, "means that they must make a particular contribution to the common good of the nation. The word solidarity will acquire its full meaning when the living forces of society, each in its own sphere, commit themselves seriously to building a future of peace and hope for all." "I am well aware that the soul of this people, as of all Latin America, safeguards values that are radically Christian, which will never be eradicated. I am certain that at Aparecida, during the bishops' general conference, this identity will be reinforced through the promotion of respect for life from the moment of conception until natural death as an integral requirement of human nature. It will also make the promotion of the human person the axis of solidarity, especially towards the poor and abandoned. "The Church seeks only to stress the moral values present in each situation and to form the conscience of citizens so that they may make informed and free decisions. She will not fail to insist on the need to take action to ensure that the family, the basic cell of society, is strengthened, and likewise young people, whose formation is a decisive factor for the future of any nation. Last but not least, she will defend and promote the values present at every level of society, especially among indigenous peoples." The welcome ceremony over, the Pope travelled by helicopter to the "Campo de Marte" airport in Sao Paulo where he was received by the local authorities. He then went by popemobile to the monastery of Sao Bento where, following a moment of prayer in the chapel, he appeared at the balcony to greet and bless the faithful awaiting him below. Source: VIS

Share this story