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Haupt arrow newsitems arrow Day after 9/11 EUROCORPS head General Bavinchove to EuroFora: Afganistan ISAF Chief of staff 2012-13

Day after 9/11 EUROCORPS head General Bavinchove to EuroFora: Afganistan ISAF Chief of staff 2012-13

Geschrieben von ACM
Monday, 12 September 2011

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It's the Day after the 10th Anniversary of the greatest Mass Massacre of innocent People by Terrorists in Modern History, September 12, 2011, and just before he takes over a huge Responsibility as "Chief of staff" of the International Force ISAF at Afghanistan.  that the new Head of EUROCORPS, EU core's Military staff Commander, General Olivier de Bavinchov, organized his first meeting with Strasbourg's Journalists, including "EuroFora", in the city where the Headquarters of the 5 Founder EU Nations and Senior Officers' Commanding corps is located,

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The New EUROCORPS' Commander took over from his predecessor, German General Hans-Lothar Domroese (Comp. General Domrose's Statements to "EuroFora" at the CoE, in previous NewsReports) for the Two Next Years starting from the 1st of July 2011, but was particularly busy during this Summer, moving around Europe and visiting several participating Countries in order to better prepare his new duties as ISAF's Chief of Staff.

- "Right now I'm so Focused on Afghanistan, that I don't think at anything else !", General Bavichov acknowledged to "EuroFora".

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+ Because "we are are leaving for Afghanistan soon", probably "from October" 2011, to prepare on the ground the Official take-over n January 2012.


- And "we shall not  start  returning back before  the beginning of 2013 : Ie. this time it will be .. the Double duration from the previous one : We shall stay there for more than a Year", General Bavinchov added.


Indeed, it's the 1st time that EUROCORPS will take over so important Responsibilities in the ISAF at Afghanistan, and for a so Long period of Time, Despite an earlier involvement, he also observed. EUROCORPS had initially been used in Afghanistan just for Half a Year, between August 2004 and February 2005.


- At the Top of ISAF's Military Hierarchy, World-wide reknowed "Generals McChrystal and Petraus were (successively) No 1 Commanders, as is now General Allen, (from the beginning of September 2011, i.e. almost at the same time as general Bavinshov). "There is also a No 2, an alternate (Deputy) Commander'".


 - "I will be Chief of Staff ("Chef d' Etat Major), for the entire ISAF", he clarified, speaking of the International Coalition force composed of more than a Hundred Thousands of Soldiers from many Countries around the World: Mainly from the USA and Canada, but also from  Europe, such as UK, Germany, France, Italy, Poland,  Spain, Romania, Denmark, Sweden,  Georgia, Slovakia, Finland, Norway, Portugal, Greece, Montenegro, Slovenia, etc.; from Asia : Turkey, Mongolia, Korea, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, etc; and from the Pacific : Australia, New Zeland, etc.            

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- This includes wide areas of action, such as "Intelligence, Information, Operations Logistics, etc, i.e.  it's about commanding the entire ISAF's "Etat Major", explained to "EuroFora" the 55 Years old, fit and energetic looking French General, who will take together with him a Team of some 275 Officers from various European Countries, representing almost 25% of Strasbourg's EUROCORPS.


EUROCORPS' enhanced role inside the International body will be "Crucial" because it's during General Bavinchove's term as Chief of staff of ISAF that Afhanistan's Future will be practicaly decided, according to "unpredictable" yet developments on the spot  : It's, indeed, too early, yet today, in order to predict if, and how exactly, the "Afghanisation" of the country's Security could succeed at the Horizon of 2014.


The overall Strategy able to lead to that result is due to be discussed and decided during a forthcoming Summit in Berlin (Germany) on December 2011, i.e. at the eve of General Bavinchove's official take-over of the Direction of ISAF's Etat-Major from January 2012.
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But General Bavinchove brings in a unique, valuable and "fresh" Experience, (in addition to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chad, Central Africa or New Caledonia), as former Head of the UNO-sponsored and EU-led International Peace Force for Libanon, UNIFIL , in 2008 and 2009, which gave him a rare Knowledge on how to deal f.ex. with both Israel and islamist Hamas... Moreover, the 55 years old, energetic Military Senior Officer comes from France, the country whose President, Nicolas Sarkozy, has notoriously started recently to support, as a matter of  General Principle,- as it was seen with the G8 Summit at Deauville (May 2011 : See "EuroFora"'s NewsReports from the spot), as well as with the succesful Airborn operation to help Libyan Dissident People, etc. -  Popular movements aspiring to Democracy, Freedom and Prosperity when they face Brutal Aggressions, Harassment and Threats by any kind oF Oppresive regime.


Observers have just revealed, even a former Islamic militant, jailed during Past Gaddafi - CIA deals, but who is now among the leaders of NTC's People who liberated Tripoli from Colonel Gaddafi's Army, and, after a recent meeting at Doha with European , American and other officiials, is now full of eloges for Sarkozy's Help...  As for the French President himself, he was recently quick to claim, right from the start of a well attended Press Conference at the conclusion of a 63 Heads of State/Government and International/Regional Organizations' Summit in support of "New Libya", earlier this Month in Paris, (See "EuroFora"s NewsReports from the spot), that "the Clash of Civilisation" has ended, since its place has been now taken over by a joint  "Struggle for Democracy" which brings together People from various political, social, national, religious and/or cultural backgrounds, all focused at a common aim..


In practice, Libyan NTC Prime Minister Jibril's reply to questions raissed on this crucial point by a journalist (see "EuroFora"s previous NewxsReport from the September 1st event at Elysee Palace), boiled down into claiming that several such "Revolutionaries" would be, in fact, integrated inside Libya's New Army, Police and/or State Administratqion to be set up by New Libya. And, more generally, concerning also many other "Young People with Arms", after the Popular Revolt against Gaddafi's regime, a Senior EU Official, such as EAAS Crisis response and Operations coordination Director, Agostino Miozzo, (See his statements to "EuroFora" and in EU Parliament's Foreign Policy Committee), concluded that they should be integrated and given "an Alternative", such as, f.ex; "a job" inside a "New Libya", Democratic State structure. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
=> Thus, it might soon become possible to conclude that recent Developments on Coalitions to fight for Democracy, as f.ex. on 2011 in Libya, could definitively throw to the waste-basket of History, as completely out-dated "oldies", any so-called "Civilisations' Clash", as that which had been cooked up in Afghanistan in the Past, etc. (Comp. a relevant, earlier "EuroFora"s NewsReport from the latest Paris' International Summit on "New Libya", dated 1/9/2011)...


This seems to fit also at least a part of the Logic behind French President Nicolas Sarkozy's most recent observations on Afghanistan itself, as he spoke to the 2011 Annual Conference of Ambassadors from all over the World, on August 31, at the Elysée palace, (Comp. other "EuroFora"s NewsReports from the event) :

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    - Concerning particularly France's involvement, Sarkozy reminded that, "recent progress on the spot" allowed to start Programing a Transfert of Security Ressponsibilities and to schedule the Withdrawal of 25% of our contingent "in the forthcoming Months", in the framework of an overall Plan for "Afghan Forces to take over the Country's Security before the end of 2014", as he confirmed.

     - It's after "a decision taken (back on 2001) by Mr Jospin (former "Socialist" Prime Minister) and Mr. Chirac (former, long-time President); 10 Years ago", that France had started to be present in Afghanistan; Sarkozy reminded. => - Thus, Today, "we cannot just go away and leave behind us a Chaos !", he observed.


     - On the contrary, "there is a Timetable", (decided for the entire ISAF), and "we are Transfering our Responsibilities on Security to Afghan Military and Police Forces, according to a fixed Calendar, decided, and committed".I.e. "we are working, we are going to reduce the presence or our forces during the coming weeks, (and) we'll pass over to the Adfgans the Security of the Afghani Territory, according to the Scheduled Timetable";

     - This is being done because we are "Conscious of the fact that (Talibans) canNot have, any more, any Military Win on the spot" : - Indeed, "Talibans abuse, more and more often, of Terrorist, Coward and Criminal Acts, because they don't have, no more, the means for Military acts : They strike against anything, indiscriminately (blindly), and they hope to make us renounce.. : It's about Suicide Attacks, People who blow themselves up in explosions, ..that's the weapon of Cowards, the arm of Terrorists !" , he denounced.

Indeed, they are even attacking brutally against simple People that we had helped to develop Peaceful Social activities : F.ex. against a School-Teacher that we had helped to set up a School serving young boys and girls, etc., gave as one among many concrete examples to "EuroFora", EUROCORPS' Press Service's New Director, Colonel Louisfert, who has already visited Afganistan twice. Many local People want to cooperate with the International Community to create useful socio-economic activities, better organize their villages, etc., but they are often "afraid" of what might happen to them f.ex. overnight, when we (ISAF) won't be there to protect them from risks to be aggressed : "Not even innocent Children aren't spared by such Terrorist Violence", he denounced, (while several recent examples, reportedly revealed at least some cases of that kind, which obviously indiquate a Weakness in any Movement which would progressivly become Unable to motivate the People, otherwise but by merely attempting to provoke fear)..

     - "But we won't renounce !", Sarkozy stressed. Currently, there are "48 Countries in the (International) Coalition - and who can imagine that only France, alone, might abandon its 47 Partners ? Who can imagine that France might suddenly go away; just ike that ?", he wondered.


    >>> However, "this Transition is going to mark deep Changes in the Form of our commitment to the Afghan People, that we are Preparing" now. That's what will be at stake at the Bonn's meeting on December. That's the meaning of the Franco-Afgan Treaty that we agreed with President Karzai, and which has already been negociated by (Foreign Minister Alain) Juppé... And we'll be able to Support the (currently growing) Efforts of National Reconciliation", Sarkozy highlighted.

    Indeed, a great part of ISAF''s work is also to fight against Corruption and/or Drugs traffic, help develop Socially useful Economic Activities and basic services, Education and social Integration, etc. confirmed EUROCORPS' Press Director Lousifert to "EuroFora".

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    + But, "Neighbouring Countries must respect the Sovereignity and Security of Afghanistan for its National Reconciliation with the Rebels to succeed", he observed. But, "Al Quaida, even weakened, remains present", and "this is true mainly in Pakistan, where developments provoque concern", he noted, after several (even Strategic) similarly Critical observations vis a vis at least some sectors of Pakistan by various American Top Politicians, and while Afghan President Kharzai himself recently urged to be more active in the areas Bordering Pakistan, (from where stems the supposed ring-leader of the 9/11 Hijackers, Atta, an Hambourg resident; who reportedly had some direct links with Pakistan Secret Services' senior Officials).


    9/11 was notoriously exploited also by the Turkish Government (traditionaly close to Pakistani networks), in order to immediately Cover-up the Unprecedented Scandal of a Blunt Refusal by the Turkish side of an Official Invitation by the then UNO Secretary General, Koffi Annan, to come to New York to start discussing a Solution on Cyprus' issue "on the basis of UN SC Resolutions" on September 12, (i.e. scheduler precisely for the Day After 9/11 !) : A base that the Turkish side (and particularly the then Leader of the Turkish Cypriots living in the Occupied Territories of Cyprus controlled by Ankara's Army since the 1974 Foreign Military Invasion, supported by Ankara's Government), had warned that he would Not accept; and, therefore, openly and repeatedly declared in Public that it Refused to even come at New York ! Then Cyprus' President Clerides, on the contrary, accepted UN SG's Invitation and boarded an Airplane flying towards New York, but was obliged to Stop and Land elsewhere, his Plane Hindered to arrive at UNO's Headquarters because the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks (which occured at the Same Time that he was entering USA Airspace) had provoked a Non-Fly Order throughout all USA. UNO's Secretariat itself exceptionally Closed its Offices for many Days, and all Meetings were Cancelled. Thus, 9/11's Timing allowed Turkey to escape from, otherwise unavoidable, Political Sanctions for its Refusals of an official UN Secretary General's Invitation to start Peace Talks, at a particularly Crucial moment for its EU bid, since Ankara had just been declared "Candidate" Months earlier by the December 1999 Helsinki Summit (notoriously after many Pressure from the "Socialist"/DP US President Clinton or Gore, who had even Phoned the rotating Finnish EU Chair to push in this sense), and while Ankara was badly needing EU Funds to start being Spended in Turkey, after many years of Blockades because of the Turkish Government's refusal of EU Parliament's conditions on Human Rights and Democracy, Cyprus and Aegean Sea, Armenian and Kurdish issues, etc, in order to Urgently Help Ankara which was then affected by a Big Economic and Financial Crisis.


    Nevertheless, Turkey was given on 2005 even a rotating Commander job at ISAF, where it still keeps a few Thousands of Soldiers, even if it's reportedly hesitating recentlly to engage in active Military operations, after it practicaly marked its entry in Afghanistan, by a coincidence, with of a notorious period of Worsening of the Security situation since 2005, (as it was revealed even by many ..."Wikileaks" classified documents' releases, which, by another coincidence, also start from 2005 until now).. However, in 2011, Turkey reportedly was given the Responsibility to lead Security control in the area surrounding Afghanistan's Capital, Kabul, (where ISAF's Headquarters are located), near the Pakistani border.

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+ Meanwhile, concerning even more Urgent issues, as f.ex. that of Syria, where People are reportedly been Killed, jailed and/or Tortured, muzzled and intimidated each week, almost evey day, obviously, observers can't avoid to note that EUROCORPS and adequately experienced Senior Officials such as General Olivier de Bavinchove (Comp. supra), could become natural, or even ideal Bridges,  together with the UNO, etc, able to overcome  the current Difference between important Western Countries (as f.ex. European France and the UK, as well as USA/Canada, etc), and certain Key Global player Countries such as (UN SC Permanent Members) Russia and China, etc : Indeed, Russia's main reluctance on Syria notoriously is vis a vis NATO, while, on the contrary, it should, eventually, be able to find some interesting perspectives in an eventual EUROCORPS-led International Coalition (mutatis-mutandis as in Lebanon, etc), which could include also f.ex. the UK, USA, and various other Countries from all over the World, open to possible participation also of Russia itself, in some adequate ways, placed under a  UN SC Resolution Mandate : - "I'm working very well with Russians too in Sudan, f.ex. on Helicopters", said, inter alia, earliear to "EuroFora" UNO's under-Secretary General for Peace-Keeping Operations Alain Le Roy (See previous "EuroFora"s NewsReport).


    => Questioned by "EuroFora" whether he thinks that EUROCORPS' Etat Major could become soon able to lead  in real practice various combinations of  such International Coalitions     in "Autonomous" Operations, or not, General Bavinchov replied Positively, considering also that the forthcoming Afghan experience could enhance its capacities : - "EUROCORPS could certainly become able to do so", he said, speaking from a strictly Mlitary point of view.


 - In order to develop further EUROCORPS' capacities for such purposes, there is currently a wish to Strengthen particularly its Naval and Air-space aspects, in order to have a complete and fully-fledged Multi-Modal Army Headquarters' team of experienced Senior Officers. At the same time, the founder States have almost developed, recently, nearly all Technological capacities required for eventually "autonomous" operations, EUROCORPS' New Press service Director, Colonel Bruno Louisfert added to "EuroFora", from a practical point of view.


Taken in itself, EUROCORPS is currently composed by 5 founder, "framework" States : France, Germany, Spain, Belgium and Luxembourg, who may soon be joined by a recently Growing Participation also from Poland, and eventually Italy, who have both sent in Strasbourg various Liaison Officers. Other interested Countries who have simply "associated" themselves with just 1, 2 or 3 "Liason Officers" here, are Austria, Greece and even Turkey, (particulary for the NATO-related aspects), etc. But any eventual "Enlargement" of EUROCORPS" Full Membership requires an Unanimous Decision by all its 5 (may be soon 6 : Comp. supra) "Framework Nations", which have several Hundreds of Military Staff and Etat-Major Equipments at its Strasbourg Headquarters.

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(NDLR : "DraftNews", as already sent earlier to "EuroFora"s Subscribers/Donors. Watch out for a Complete and more Accurate Final Version 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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(../..)

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