Quotes from Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to Washington in April 2008 – Catholic Standard

Welcome ceremony at the White House

April 16, 2008

“I come as a friend, a preacher of the Gospel and great respect for this vast pluralistic society.”

“Historically, not only Catholics, but all believers have found here the freedom to worship God according to the dictates of their conscience, while being accepted as part of a community in which each individual and group can have a voice. his voice. … The preservation of freedom requires the cultivation of virtue, self-discipline, sacrifice for the common good and a sense of responsibility towards the least favored. It also requires the courage to engage in civic life and bring one’s deepest beliefs and values ​​into reasoned public debate.”

Celebration of Vespers and meeting with US bishops. at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

April 16, 2008

“Brother Bishops, I want to encourage you and your communities to continue to welcome the immigrants who join your ranks today, share their joys and hopes, support them in their trials and trials, and help them prosper in their new home. ”

“They (Americans) are also known for their generosity. After the attack on the Twin Towers in September 2001, and again after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Americans showed their willingness to come to the aid of their brothers and sisters in need. Internationally, the contribution made by the American people to relief and rescue operations after the December 2004 tsunami is yet another illustration of this compassion.”

“Let me express my particular appreciation for the many forms of humanitarian assistance provided by American Catholics through Catholic Charities and other agencies. Your generosity has borne fruit in the care shown to the poor and needy, and in the energy that has been invested in building the national network of Catholic parishes, hospitals, schools and universities.”

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“Any tendency to treat religion as a private matter must be resisted. Only when their faith permeates all aspects of their lives are Christians truly open to the transforming power of the Gospel.”

“The goal of all our pastoral and catechetical work, the object of our preaching, and the focus of our sacramental ministry must be to help people establish and nurture that living relationship with ‘Christ Jesus, our hope.’”

Papal Mass in the National Park

April 17, 2008

“The fidelity and courage with which the Church in this country will respond to the challenges posed by an increasingly secular and materialistic culture will depend in large part on your own fidelity in passing on the treasure of our Catholic faith. It is necessary to help young people to discern the path that leads to true freedom: the path of a sincere and generous imitation of Christ, the path of commitment to justice and peace”.

“It is in the context of this hope born of God’s love and faithfulness that I recognize the pain that the Church in America has experienced due to the sexual abuse of minors. No words of mine could describe the pain and damage inflicted by such abuse. It is important that those who have suffered receive loving pastoral care. Nor can I adequately describe the damage that has occurred within the Church community.

“Great efforts have already been made to deal honestly and fairly with this tragic situation and to ensure that children, whom our Lord loves so deeply and who are our greatest treasure, can grow up in a safe environment. These efforts to protect children must continue. Yesterday I spoke with your bishops about this. Today I encourage each of you to do what you can to foster healing and reconciliation, and help those who have been hurt. I also ask you to love your priests, and to affirm them in the excellent work they do. And above all, pray that the Holy Spirit pour out his gifts on the Church, the gifts that lead to conversion, forgiveness and growth in holiness”.

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“Those who have hope must live different lives! That with your prayer, with the testimony of your faith, with the fruitfulness of your charity, you point the way towards that vast horizon of hope that God is opening right now to his Church, and even more so to all humanity: the vision of a world reconciled and renewed in Christ Jesus our Savior. To him be all honor and glory, now and always. Amen!”

Meeting with Catholic educators at the Catholic University of America

April 17, 2008

“Education is an integral part of the Church’s mission to announce the Good News. First, every Catholic educational institution is a place to meet the living God who in Jesus Christ reveals his transforming love and truth.

“It (Catholic education) is an outstanding apostolate of hope, which seeks to meet the material, intellectual and spiritual needs of more than three million children and students. It also provides a highly commendable opportunity for the entire Catholic community to contribute generously to the financial needs of our institutions. Its long-term sustainability must be ensured. In fact, everything possible must be done, in cooperation with the community at large, to ensure that they are accessible to people from all social and economic strata. No child should be denied their right to an education in the faith, which in turn nurtures the soul of a nation.”

“Teachers and administrators, whether in colleges or schools, have the duty and privilege to ensure that students receive instruction in Catholic doctrine and practice. This requires that public witness to the way of Christ, as found in the Gospel and upheld by the Church’s Magisterium, shape all aspects of an institution’s life, both inside and outside the classroom. Divergence from this vision weakens Catholic identity and, far from promoting freedom, inevitably leads to confusion, be it moral, intellectual or spiritual.

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Meeting with representatives of other religions at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center, Washington

April 17, 2008

“Interfaith prayer services during the Thanksgiving holiday, joint initiatives in charitable activities, a shared voice on important public issues: these are some of the ways that members of different faiths come together to enhance mutual understanding and promote the common good”.

“As we grow in understanding of others, we see that we share an esteem for ethical values, perceptible by human reason, which are revered by all peoples of good will. The world calls for a common witness to these values. Therefore, I invite all religious people to see dialogue not only as a means to improve mutual understanding, but also as a way to serve society in general. By bearing witness to those moral truths shared by all men and women of good will, religious groups will exert a positive influence on the broader culture and inspire neighbors, co-workers, and fellow citizens to unite in the effort to strengthen the bonds of solidarity.”

“Dear friends, may our sincere dialogue and cooperation inspire all people to reflect on the deepest questions of their origin and destiny. May followers of all religions unite to defend and promote religious life and religious freedom everywhere. By giving ourselves generously to this sacred task, through dialogue and countless small acts of love, understanding and compassion, we can be instruments of peace for the entire human family.