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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Debate: ESTC v.President, Vatican Life Expert, Professor Thiel to Eurofora: Fraternity+BioEthics

CoE Debate: ESTC v.President, Vatican Life Expert, Professor Thiel to Eurofora: Fraternity+BioEthics

Parašė ACM
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
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*Strasbourg/Council of Europe/Angelo Marcopolo/- Speaking to "Eurofora" just after having Chaired an International Conference opened by CoE's deputy Secretary General, (the experienced Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni), Vatican's Pontifical Academy for LIfe new member, University Professor on BioEthics and European Society of Catholic Theologians' vice-President, Marie-Jo Thiel, explained Why "Fraternity" became a so Topical Issue that it was at the Focus of Unexpectedly "Hot" Debates in a 4 Days-Long Conference which started in the CoE with Speeches from ECHR and CoE Social Charter Senior Officers (See Infra), while also Highighting Current Problems on BioEthics and Genetics :

 

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 - There are several Important, Hard and Topical Issues in Nowadays Society, that Theologians too have to address and discuss with scientists, politicians and others. 


 - But, according to the Bible's First Chapter on "Genesis", the 1st Question that God Asked to Cain, was : - "What have you done of your Brother ?", Professor Thiel stressed, in substance.


  She was Replying to an "Eurofora"s Question on the reasons for which "Fraternity", alias "Brotherhood", (or "Adelfosini" in Greek) had been chosen as the Heading of this exceptional 2017 International Conference of Theologians and other University Experts on Human and Moral Sciences, debating at the CoE with an ECHR Judge and CoE's Social Charter's deputy Director, (See Infra).


 - Thiel had Evoked, Earlier Today at the CoE a Pope Francis' explicit Reference to the Value of "Fraternity", made particularly on they 30rd of May 2017, and "Eurofora" remembers that, already, in a landmark Speech to EU Parliament durng his Visist to European Institutions in Strasbourg back on 2014, He had already stressed that "Truth" is "Vital" for "a Society .. truly Free, Human, and Fraternal".


 - And even if, perhaps,"Fraternity" might not have been exactly, in History, a "Founder" Principle on Human Rights' Values, (as, f.ex., "Human Dignity", and/or "Solidarity", etc), nevertheless, it is, at least, a "Founding" Principle, (i.e. able to help complete the foundations also of new, positive developments on Values nowadays), reminded to "Eurofora" Voluntaristically Professor Thiel, pointing to a Dialogue that she had Earlier Today at the University of Strasbourg with Young Candidates to Doctoral PhD Thesis on that matter.


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+ Moreover, even if "Human Dignity" is widely considered as the Basic Moral Foundation of All Human Rights, (a Credo among Christian theorists, but also in EU's Fundamental Rights' book), which can be Distinguished in 3 Main Categories : (A) those stemming from the idea of "Liberty", (B) those related to "Equality", (f.ex. Socio-Economic Rights, etc), and (C) those concerning mostly "Solidarity" or "Fraternity", etc, (alias : "3rd Generation" Rights), however, the Latter is a Different Concept, able to Advance well Beyond, observed, in Conclusion of all Debates, ECHR's Euro-Judge from Portugal, Paulo Pinto Albuquerque.

 

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Resuming Different Opinions which were expressed during relevant Debates at the CoE by Participants from various European and Other Countries, and several Scientific Horizons, ECHR's EuroJudge, who has also a Long Experience as University Professor in Law at Lisbon, Shanghai (China), and Illinois (USA), as well as former Expert of CoE's Anti-Corruption Watchdog "GRECO", (etc), Agreed that "Solidarity" may refer to a kind of "Help" given by "Privileged" Groups/Entities to "Vulnerable" People, (i.e. with a Sense of "Verticality" : i.e. a State vis a vis Poor/Disadvantaged Citizens, etc), while, on the Contrary, "Fraternity" or "Brotherhood" referred more to something ("Horizontal", i.e. as a Common Interest, etc), that many Persons have all Together, between them, as one Group of People or Community, as Members of the same Society, (f.ex. Right to a Healthy Environment, Cultural identity Rights, including of Religious Communities, etc), based on the idea of a Collective Dimension of Rights, which ask for a "Positive" Action from State actors, (f.ex. concerning all "Humanity" or "Humankind", as "Eurofora" points Infra, on the occasion of BioEthics and Genetics).


At any case, the "Essence of Human Rights", even "Civic - Political Rights", "canNot be Guaranteed, withOut Any Guarantee of (key) Social and Cultural Rights  : F.ex. it has No Sense to speak about he Right to Democratic and Fair "Elections", "If" there is Not Any Guarantee, if it's Ruled Out, any Social Right to, at least, an Elementary "Dignified Living", the EuroJudge pointed out. In this regard, the ECHR's case-law inspires itself from UNO's Historic 1949 "Universal Declaration on Human Rights", according also to the "Theological Foundations" of the "Christian Traditions of Europe", he concluded, widely Applauded.


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+ AnOther Topical Issue, concerning "Hot" Stakes in BioEthics :  that of controversial "Genetic Manipulations on Human Embryos", was Raised, afterwards, by a 2nd "Eurofora"s Question to Professor Thiel, pointing, more particularly, to her New Task as Member of Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Life, where she has Recently been appointed by Pope Francis, on June 2017, for a Period of 5 Years, (2017-2022).


- Thiel, (who holds an Initial Experience in pure Medical Science with a 1st PhD Thesis on real, technical Medical Issues, Before studying Theology and presenting there a 2nd PhD Thesis, by an Interesting Coincidence, related also to a Question about "a Status for Human Embryo"), reacted, at First, by Warning that this has become, particularly Nowadays, a "Difficult" Issue :


- In this regard, she pointed at the "current Hopes" of several Medical Researchers to "Advance in Discoveries of efficient ways to "Heal" People from certain Serious Illnesses.


- But Thiel Acknowledged also the Fact that, as "Eurofora" observed, Despite Many Years of Similar Claims by a lot of Controversial Technocrats, and Nonobstant the Long and substantial Spending of Millions and Millions $, nevethertheless, No Cure had been discovered at all, for any illness, by Genetic Manipulations, during the Last Decades... (On the Contrary, Cancer was Spreading as Never before in the History of Humankind, and Other "Strange" illnesses had Emerge : such as "AID" - SIDA-, or "Black Sheep" for Mamal Animals, once found as a result of emanations from a Virus Research Labo in Scotland ; "SARS" reportedly spread from another Labo around Hong Kong ; New, "Mutant" Flu Virus Epidemics attacking Animals from 2004-2005 and Humans on 2009-2010, reportedly Started around a California Research Facility near the Mexican Border, etc)...


- Nevertheless, she estimated that, apparently, Discoveries of New Drugs against some Traditional illnesses might be Now "within Reach", eventualy Ready to be Discovered, particularly through a Recently popularized Technic of controversial Manipulations on Human Genome, called "CRISPR/Cas9", (which, notoriously, is a "Genome Editing Technology ...that allows Permanent Modification of Genes within organisms", including on Humans, according f.ex. to "Wikipedia", a.o.).

 

However, Fears for Dangerous permanent Genetic Alterations on Human beings, able to provoke f.ex. a Genetic "Appart-Heid", Artificially Fabricate Different "Races" or "Categories" of Humans, with "Eugenistic" "Selection", etc.,(Against which, World-Famous Writers as Aldus Huxley, Yevgeny Zamyatin and HG.Wells, etc., already Warned as Early as since the 1920-1930ies !), and/or be Abused as vectors of "Bio-Weapons" in "Bio-Warfare" or "Bio-Terrorism", (i.e. by Provoking various types of "New" or "Classic" illness, Deformations, etc), have already Started to Stimulate various kinds of Reactions, even among specialized Scientists, some of whom asked, at least, for a Global "Moratorium", others for a "Ban", some pushing to Distinguish between Genetic Modifications on "an Individual Person" or also to Next Generations' "Germ-Line" - absolutely Prohibited by CoE's PanEuropean "Oviedo" Convention on BioEthics (1998), etc.

 

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>>> Pope Francis, in a landmark Speech to EU Parliament in Strasbourg on 2014 (See "Eurofora"s NewsReport from the spot, then : ...), had Denounced the "Dismay" with which "we see Technical ...Questions Dominating Political Debate, to the Detriment of genuine Concern for Human Beings", where "Men and Women Risk being Reduced to mere Cogs in a Machine". And he Warned MEPs aainst "the Great Mistake made <<when Technology is Allowed to Take Over>>", as he stressed, making a Timely Reference to his Predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict's unforgettable Text "Caritas in Veritate", published as an Encyclic on 29/6/2009 :


 - "A particularly Crucial Battleground in Today's cultural struggle between the Supremacy of Technology, and Human Moral Responsibility is the field of BioEthics", had clearly Denounced Benedict then. "In this most delicate and Critical area", "Scientific Discoveries ...and the possibilities of Technological intervention seem so Advanced as to Force a choice",  "Faced with ...Dramatic Questions" : "Today" it "has become a Radically Anthropological Question, in the sense that it concerns not just how Life is conceived, but also how it is Manipulated, as Bio-Technology places it increasingly under man's control. In Vitro Fertilization, Embryo Research, the possibility of manufacturing Clones and human Hybrids: all this is now Emerging" . "Here we see the clearest expression of Technology's Supremacy". "We must Not Underestimate the Disturbing Scenarios that Threaten our Future, or the Powerful New Instruments that the “culture of Death” has at its disposal". "...We may well have to add in the Future — indeed it is Already Surrepticiously present — the systematic Eugenic Programming of Births", Benedict had Warned. "These Scenarios ... Deny Human Dignity" and show  "Indifference ...towards what is, and is not, Human", with "the Risk ...of a Conscience that can No longer Distinguish what is Human", he had Denounced.

 

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Curiously, Benedict had his Right Hand Broken, by an UnPrecedented "Fall" on July 2009, shortly After Speaking about that Text with former US President Barack Hussein Obama, who had just taken a Controversial Decision to Authorize Federal Funding of Genetic Manipulations on Human Embryo on March 2009, (Cancelling a "Ban" decided, previously, by his precedessor, former US President GWBush on Mid-August 2001, i.e. at the Eve of 9/11 UnPrecedented Massive Deadly Terrorist Attacks on New York and Washington DC, which Killed about 3.000 innocent People and Provoked a Radical Change in Worldwide Politics). And only 1 Month Later, at the End of that Summer 2009, Benedict also Faced then, even ... a 2nd Brutal Attack against his Broken Right Hand, when an allegedly "Mentaly Deranged" Person from Switzerland astonishingly crossed all Security Barriers totally Unhindered and Fell on Him, Throwing the Pope Down to the Floor ! Miraculously, he was Saved, but anOther Old Religious Dignitary, who stood at his Side, had his Leg Broken by that Violent Attack, and underwent a Chirurgical Operation, being closed in a Hospital for more than a Month... Just a Few Months Later, from 2010, a Systematic Massive Media-Campaign Accusing and Slandering the Catholic Church for alleged crimes reportedly committed by some individual Priests a Long Time Ago in the Past : Even 20 or 40 Years in the Past (sic !), suddenly broke out and Persisted as Never Before. On 2012 started Alarming Rumours about various alleged Attempts or "Plots" to Brutaly Eliminate Benedict himself, and at the Beginning of 2013 he notoriously Surprized all the World by Resigning, (a move Never made Before by a Pope, except only once, in very Exceptional circumstances, More than 6 Centuries ago !).


Almost Similarly, mutatis-mutandis, new Pope Francis, Immediately after making a Highly Symbolic and Mediatic Visit to the "Cemetery of UnBorn Childs" (i.e. Human Embryos), on August 2014, learned, on his Flight back to Rome, that his closest Nephew's Family had just been Brutaly Decimated, at his Home-Country of Argentina, when a Heavy Lorry suddenly Fell on his Car, Crashing and Killing his Wife and Children and Wounding him Seriously. By another Coincidence, that Deadly Lorry transported Seeds from a Region where USA's Controversial "MONSANTO" Multinational Company exerted Pressure to Impose an UnPopular "Geneticaly Modified" Crop Against which, the Local Population was Fighting a Hard Struggle, Denouncing serious Dangers on Human Health, including even on Pregnant Womens' Embryos, etc.


All these Facts might, eventually, be a Series of mere Coincidences. It's also True that Pope Francis had already made in Rome a Crystal-clear reference to the Moral need to Protect Human Life from the Inception, up to Natural Death, (i.e. including Human Embryos), in Harmony with his Personal choice to refer to Saint Francis of Assisi, well known also for his Love of Nature and Protection even of Animals, nowadays Notoriously affected by gross Genetic Manipulations, (f.ex. in Latin America, Saudi Arabia, as Horses, etc). But he did Not face Any known Problem, then. However, the above-mentioned Facts, are also Undeniable and Strange, deserving to be Noted, Instead of being Hidden.

 

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=> As far as Human Rights are concerned, ECHR's EuroJudge Paulo Pinto de Albuquerque's previously mentioned reference to a New, "3rd Generation" Category of Rights, and particularly those who Protect Collective Interests and Values, which are Shared by Many and Belong to Groups of People, entire Communities, Nations, Countries or whole Societies, (Comp. Supra), could, Obviously, find here a Fertile Ground for possible Development in the foreseable Future, since they concern, now, the whole Humanity, given that eventual Genetic Manipulations as those evoked above, can Affect all Humankind.  


Thus, "Fraternity" could become also a BioEthical idea !...

 

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("DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora" Subscribers/Donors, earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version might be published asap). 

 

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Benedict's "Source" to revitalize Europe : - "The World needs Hope", Pope says, calling to relaunch E.U. via Human Rights !

Paris - Lourdes - Strasbourg : 12 - 17 September 2008.

The vital need to re-launch Europe can be succesfully met by defending fundamental Human Rights of the People, said Pope Benedict XVI in his 1st speech in France, at his meeting with President Nicolas Sarkozy, who currently chairs the EU.

Sarkozy replied by welcoming Christian and other religions' contribution to indispensable Public Debates on crucial issues which affect Human Dignity, Europe, even Humankind, as BioGenetics.

- "When Europeans will see and personally experience that the inalienable Rights of the Human Person .., those of their free Education, their Family life, their Work, ..their Religious Rights, ..are respected and promoted, then, these Europeans will fully understand the greatness of the European construction and will be actively involved in it", Benedict XVI stressed.

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- "It's important that during France's EU Presidency, there is, indeed, a desire for the Church to contribute to protect Human Person's integrity, and I think that there is also a growing Conscience, beyond any polemics, to defend Human Rights, and, thus, contribute to ensure respect for Human Dignity", added to "EuroFora" the Pope's Spokesman, Vatican's Press Director Federico Lombardi.

- "Nobody really told us here that Lisbon Treaty was good for this or that reason to the People. They only told us that we "had" to ratify it, and tried to scare us, but failed", said 2 Irish pilgrims to "EuroFora", after 2 Majority Abstentions in 1999 and 2004 EU Elections and 3 "NO" to Referenda in France and the Netherlands in 2005, followed by the Irish "No" in 2008, during a Decade of EU Crisis since the controversial Turkey EU- bid (1999-2008).

More than .."224 cases of Murders, Torture, "Disappearancies" or Destructions" by "agents of Turkish Security forces", where all those responsible for so heavy Crimes still remain scandalously unpunished, despite regular condemnations of Ankara by Strasbourg''s European Court of Human Rights from 1996 to 2008, were examined the same week by CoE's Ministers, who decided to launch a fresh call "urging" the Turkish Authorities to end this dangerous "virtual Impunity" of criminals, without comparison to European countries.

- "Why not Ukraine, instead of Turkey ?", asked EuroFora a Journalist from "Kiev : the city where it's enough to cross the streets in order to realize that it's a European town", as Sarkozy recently said, before solemnly declaring this week, together with Ukranian President Jushenko and EU Commission's chair Baroso, EU's "recognition that Ukraine is a fully European Country, linked to Europe by culture and History".

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Europe's "Christian roots" and Values, with "openess and mutual respect" to other cultures and beliefs, were highlighted by Sarkozy in harmony with Benedict XVI.

The Human person should be protected "from his inception until his natural death", added the Pope, faithful to BioEthic principles defended by his predecessor and collaborator, John Paul II, of topical importance in France, Europe and the World today, as Sarkozy announced :

- "Fast and important progres in Genetic Science and procreation raise delicate BioEthical Questions to our Democracies", which "involve our view of Humans and Life, and can lead to Social Mutations. That's why they cannot remain only a business of experts", hestressed.

- "It's Politician's responsibility to set a proper framework for such Public Debates", as "France will do on BioEthics in 2009". "Religious and Philosophic traditions must take part, with their ideas and centuries' long experience : A positive Laicity is an open invitation to Dialogue", he said.

- "France engaged in Europe at another Debate on how to make Financial Capitalism more moral", and the "Social doctrine of the Church fits well what is at stake in modern Globalized Economy"

- "But, a "Real Dialogue is not for an elite of a Globalized world : It penetrates deep into the People : That's why Churches should actively participate : .. It's bringing New Oxygen to Public Debates", stressed Sarkozy.

- "Democracy must not be cut off Reason", which is "compatible with Faith", thanks to "the meeting between Christianism and Greek philosophy ", he added, referring to Pope's views. "It means to advance with logic arguments, search what's best and respect common principles of thinking :... It's an everyday need for Public Administration and the Political Debate", he added.
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Pope Benedict's 1st visit to France looked like the start of a brillant, manifold demonstration that this was well-founded and could become true in the lives of the People : After its Theoretical foundations unfolded at a "speech to the world of Culture", inaugurating Bernadins' cultural centre, and its dogmatic instrument shaped at an address to the Clergy in the Historic Notre Dame' Cathedral, he started to resolutely reach out to the People :

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The move went upwards like Bach's music : Begining with a call to more than fifteen thousand enthousiastic Youngsters gathered at Notre Dame's parvis with overnight celebrations, it gained strength in an impressive open-air Mass at Paris'central Invalides'area facing Alexander III's bridge, attended by more than 150.000 people, French Prime Minister Fillon, many Ministers, Foreign Ambassadors, etc, and culminated in a series of pan-European Mega-meetings at Lourdes 150th anniversary, together with all French Bishops, EU Commission's vice-Chairman Barrot, and some 200.000 enthousiastic People from all over Europe and beyond : After a Sea of Lights astonishingly braved Saturday Night's rain, an open-air mass at riverside fields among Pyrenees' Mountains Sunday Morning, was followed on Monday by a Sea of "Compassion" to those facing Health or Life threats, surrounded by an endless gathering of People, whose gigantic dimensions obviously surprised the organisers..

Meanwhile, Benedict had the occasion to speak to the French Priests at Notre Dame of Paris, and with the Bishops at Lourdes, where they prepare a crucial November plenary meeting, due to take important decisions on imminent EU debates and choices about Europe's identity, BioEthics, etc.
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- "A new way of thinking about Laicity has become necessary", agreed the Pope with President Sarkozy at Elysee. While keeping the "distinction between Politics and Religion, to guarantee Citizens' Liberty", "religion is important for shaping Consciousness and contributing, together with others, to create a basic Ethical Consensus in society".

- "Searching Essential realities", (as "God" for christians), needs "Speech : "Logos" in greek, i.e. Reason", "able to shape a Community","with creative work transforming Human History". But "Dialogue" is instrumental for "Reason", because it's the way to "search" for Truth", in "Liberty", according to Greek Platonic Philosophy, with Socrates' dialectics. "Reason" implies "Spirit and Liberty", hence the polyphonic "Music" of "Dialogue", in a responsible, "well balanced" way, to avoid "destruction".

Starting with a "Dialogue between christians and intellectual or artistic movements" highlighted at Bernardins' Cultural Center. with former Presidents Chirac and Giscard d'Estain, UNESCO's chair Anastassopoulos, etc., as well as representatives of Muslim Communities, (including a separate Turkish), after contacts with Jews at Vatican's Embassy, the Pope turned towards the People :

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To French Priests : "Church built on the rock" !
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- Speaking to thousands of French Priests at Notre Dame's Cathedral, Benedict highlighted a solid "Church built on the Rock" of conscious and active persons, transmitting "a lively, energetic and sharp" "God's Speech, actively working on Human History".

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"Praying together" with "representatives of Christian Churches and ecclesiastic communities", (as Orthodoxes, Armenians, Protestants, etc), he called "to reinforce the Unity of the church", against "any form of Division", around Holy Spirit', "the Word","Christ's Justice", and "Love" to fellow- humans : Essentials which "resume all holy scripts", as he said.

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To Young People : "New Horizons"
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To some 15.000 enthousiastic Young People at Notre Dame's parvis, along Seine's river, Benedict spoke about "the Energy of the Holy Spirit" and "the Mystery of the Cross" : - "The Holy Spirit opens New Horizons to Human Intelligence .. and makes it conscious of the real greatness of Christ's sacrifice, dying and resurecting for World's life".

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Some "may slander you as crazy, laugh at you, or even persecute you. But, "the Holy Cross is a symbol of God's love", and "givesmoral strength" : "Witness of People's pains, it's at the same time, a precious, unique expression of their Hopes", he told them at Paris' dawn.

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Invalides' plateau : "People chosen to become God's friends"
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At the 1st open-air Mass in Paris' center area of Invalides, facing the Grand Palais, along the river Seine, during an impressive gathering of more than 150.000, French Prime Minister Fillon, Ministers Alliot-Marie, Bachelot, Dati, Jouyet, Assembly's President Accoyer, Senate's Chair Poncelet, former 1st Lady Bernadette Chirac, former Prime Minister Raffarin, many foreign Ambassadors, and other political personalities were present. (While earlier, from the Socialist opposition, Paris' Mayor Delanoye, artist Robert Hussein a.o. assisted at the Elysee meeting).

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But the "Entry Song" focused on the "People chosen to become God's Friends". The September 11 mass was Dedicated to "Saint Chrysostomus, that great priest of Constantinople", with his "wonderful eloquence and great courage to face challenges", who "made out of despaired and godless people, a people of brothers", opening a possibility to "become all one complete entity", as Pope Benedict reminded.

- "Reason never enters in real contradiction with Faith", stressed Pope Benedict, who prepared his speeches for France during a short Summer rest at Brixen/Bressanone's Seminar, whose Library honors both "Faith and Science".. - "We must use not only our Reason, but also our Faith" : "Get away from Idolatry", "cupidity", "avidity for money, power or even knowledge deviating from essential aims", and other "falses appearances". and "build your Home on the Rock", "with the force that Holy Spirit gives to those who let it act in them", he said to the People of Paris.

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Benedict at Lourdes : - "Become Light (even) in the Dark !"
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- "Our World needs Hope", stressed Pope Benedict, addressing an impressive TorchLight procession at Lourdes' sanctuaries, where a Sea of Lights held by Hundreds of Thousands of People gathered at Pyrenee's Mountains from all over Europe astonishingly kept their flames despite a heavy Rain at a windy Dark Night...

- "150 years earlier (1858 - 2008), ..here, in the cave, ... a simple young girl, Bernadette .. saw a Light". "The everyday life of her Family was, however, made of Misery, Sadness, Sickness, Misunderstandings, Rejection and Poverty... It was hard to live in Jail". Today, "we think to all Human Beings who suffer : The innocent Victims who face Violence, War, Terrorism, Hunger, Injustices, Catastrophes, Hate and Oppression, Violations of Human Dignity and of their fundamental Rights, of their Liberty to act and think. We also think to those who face Familial problems, sufferings from Unemployment, Sickness, Infirmity, Isolation, or their situation as Immigrants, without forgetting those who suffer and die for the name of Christ", he said.

- "But the Shadows of the Earth, did not hinder Sky's Light to shine : <<The Light shines in the Dark>>" ..."A Way full of Light opens in Human History even in its Darkest moments" : ..."As Night falls, Christ tels us : <<- Keep your Lamps alight !>>."Hold a Light while walking in the Night .. sums up our condition as Christians on their way : "We need light, and we are called to become Light !", Benedict stressed to People setting in motion Lights, Flags and Songs with enthousiasm.

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"<<- She looked at me as a Person, who speaks to another Person>>, the poor girl had noted."Light emerges from such a Dialogue", stressed the Pope : "A small Flame called Hope, Compassion and Tenderness dwells inside those who return after being moved by Lourdes' experience". "Christ .. entrusts us with the Mission to let the Light of Charity shine : To make of our Prayers an Act of Love to our brothers and to Fraternal Charity", he concluded.

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