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Home arrow newsitems arrow French JHA Minister Collomb to "EF": Ecumenic Religious Dialogue can help Build Europe + Humanity

French JHA Minister Collomb to "EF": Ecumenic Religious Dialogue can help Build Europe + Humanity

Written by ACM
Friday, 27 October 2017
 
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- It's by Continuous Dialogue also in Ecumenic, Religious aspects, that People can help Build a Strong European Society and even the Future of Humanity, nowadays, stressed in Reply to an "Eurofora" Question the experienced  French Top Minister of the Interior, responsible also for Religious affairs, Gerard Collomb, one of the closest supporters of new French President Emmanuel Macron,  (See also Infra).

 

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Gerard Collomb said that inside the CoE, just After a Joint appearance here, Together with the German President of the Bundestag (National Parliament), Wolfgang Schäuble, for the official Opening of a 3 Days-long Public Gathering of Protestants from all over France in Strasbourg, (as also in the Past : Comp., f.ex.: ...), giving such a reply to our relevant question, raised during an official Press-point.

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      Meanwhile, Collomb and Schäuble had been Welcomed here by former CoE Assembly's President, Luxembourg's MEP Anne Brasseur, and Strasbourg City's Mayor Ries, as well as EU Parliament's Anti-Terrorism Committee President, MEP Nathalie Griesberk, from nearby Lorraine, for a Ceremony which included playing the European Anthem.

 

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 - "Eurofora" had pointed at a Collomb's reference to Ecumenism, earlier Today at his formal Speech, and asked him about the Role that be believes it might play, Nowadays, particularly in Europe's Future edification.  

 

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 - "Yes, certainly, it (Ecumenism) is Important !", for that too, he Positively Replied immediately to "Eurofora"s Question, from the outset.


 - Especially "for the People to manage to have a Dialogue between them through their various Religions" too, Collomb specified.


- F.ex., personally, "I come from a City (Lyon, near Geneva) with a Strong Ecumenism, and where a Dialogue exists between (not only Christian) Catholics and Protestants, (but also) Jewish and Muslims", he reminded.


Gerard Collomb has been, indeed, the Long-Time Mayor of nearby Lyon City, located close to the Franco-Swiss Borders, (near International UNO's PanEuropean Headquarters at Geneva), almost as Strasbourg is located near the Franco-German Borders, which Both facilitate a greater proximity and even interaction between Catholic and Protestant Christians, and well beyond, while CoE's PanEuropean Headquarters, here, obviously evoke also Orthodox Christians (from Russia, Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, a.o. up to Finland, etc), added to Jewish (Historically spread almost Everywhere), and even Muslim people (f.ex. in Albania, part of Bosnia, extended to Turkey), recently also Budhist, etc.


 - "And I think that this is very Good, because that helps Build a Society, and strenghen its Foundations", he Replied, at least as far as "Eurofora"s initial Question on Europe was concerned as such.


+ But, moreover, "it's in such a Continuous Dialogue" that we can also help into "Building the Future of Humanity", Collomb went on to add furthermore, with an interesting and timely conclusion, towards a Wider and even more Fundamental Horizon

 

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>>> By his Last, Key Observation, indeed, Gerard Collomb obviously went well Beyond Europe alone, viewing it Today right at the Center of a World-wide Debate on the Present and the Future of all Humankind...  I.e. a Topical Viewpoint of Fundamental Importance Nowadays, when even Basic Human Values face, almost Simultaneously, he Different but Parallel big Challenges of Deadly Islamist Terrorism brutally targetting innocent Civilian People, from one side, and Fastly Growing New Bio-Technologies, bringing Both Hopes and UnPrecedented Dangers for all Humankind, including Genetics up to Brain, etc., from another side, (Comp. f.ex.: ...).


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    - Noting, Earlier at his official Speech in COE's Hemicycle, the "Major Upheavals" that "European Societies" Face Today, inter alia also by "Terrorist threats, Economic Crisis' remnants, Mass Migration", Political/Mediatic "Manipulations", Radicalisation trends, etc, he, had already Pointed Towards the "Educated Citizen" with a "Critical Mindset" and "Freedom of Conscience," of "the Enlightnment" era, "Inspired" also by the Historic Movement of Original "Protestantism", but also its more Recent contribution towards "promoting a profound Ecumenism at a European level", as he said.


    - Thus, Pleading, Nowadays, for "a Secularism of Freedom", "able to Recognize the Contribution of Various Spiritual Movements in Building our Civilisation", the French JHA Minister Welcomed also "a Tradition of opening to Ecumenism and Inter-Religious Dialogue", "which could  make Precious" contributions Today, (Comp. Supra).


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A Similar View, about a possible and nowadays more necessary than ever, Contribution of Inter-Religious Dialogue for the eventual construction of a Basic set of common Ethical Values, is shared also (as he had personally confirmed to "Eurofora" earlier : See ...) by EU Parliament's new President Antonio Tajani, who has notoriously Invited New French President Emmanuel Macron to visit and Debate with MEPs asap. in Strasbourg, where he is now expected to make an Important speech Next Week, precisely at the European Court of Human Rights.

 

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SCHÄUBLE :
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    - Meanwhile, New President of the German Parliament, Wolfgang Schäuble, the Longest serving elected MP, Many times Top Minister of Interior, Finances, etc.,

who had just Succeeded, Earlier this Week in Berlin, to make the 709 Members-Wide Assembly, (that has just started, after the September 2017 Election, with the Most Diverse Political Composition and the Biggest Contradictions in Modern Germany's History, since the Adenauer's era during the 1950ies, Spreading from "Linke'"s Leftists to "AfD"'s Rightists, etc), astonishingly Applaud him several Times quasi-Unanimously, particularly when he spoke about the "Necessary "Diversity", "Respect" due to each other's Opinions, "Pluralism" and even "Controversy", as well as "Co-Existence", "Basic Consensus", and "Majority" rule, in a "Democracy" with a "Rule of Law" providing for "Human Rights" and other "Checks and Balances", inside a "United Europe",

didn't shy away from finding a Similar Inspiration also on the occasion of "Protestantism"'s most useful Values Today :

 

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    - Indeed, Schäuble stressed, in his Official Speech (in French) at CoE's Hemicycle, Today, that "within a Unified Europe", we need Both a "Pluralism in Civil Society", as well as to "Negotiate" Political "Compromises" in order to "Find Just European Solutions", as he said.

 
    => Therefore, Reminding Martin Bucer's Theological work in the History of Strasbourg, "from where was "launched the 1st Ecumenic impulse", Schäuble added that we also "Need actively Committed (EU) Citizens Nowadays" on 2017, as the original "Commitment of Protestants" Christian People, 500 Years ago, Concluding among laud applause.


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    + It's also a Fact that, Luther, notoriously, had not really intended to establish a Separate Church, initially, but rather to Change, Reform the then existing Church, (comp. "Reform" denomination, etc), by Protesting against what he strongly felt to be Deviations, then, (many among which were, indeed, criticized and droped, afterwards, even inside the Catholic Church, through its own History's further developments). => This is a reason more for Christian Ecumenism Nowadays.


         ++ Moreover, by a Coincidence, almost at the Same Time, also here at the CoE, in Strasbourg, at least two separate, but successive, Public Events, raised Similar Topical Issues :

 
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- The Sudden Death of the experienced Ambassador of San Marino to the CoE, Guido Bellatti Ceccoli, mourned at two successive Ceremonies by almost All CoE's Leadership, earlier this Week in Strasbourg, timely Reminded that the Sympathetic Multilateral Diplomat, who had served Both at the CoE in Strasbourg, and at the UNO at nearby Geneva, had consistently pursued also an Agenda of Inter-Religious Dialogue, during almost a Decade (2008-2017). This gave an Opportunity to informally discuss, with certain participants, also "Eurofora"s suggestion, Last Year, to eventually Search to Find at least some Basic Elements for a kind of Elementary "common Human Ethical Values", supported by almost All main Religions, (that some compared, mutatis-mutandis, also with a notorious Attempt by Controversial but Interesting Philosopher/Theologian Kuhn, etc).


    - "Eurofora", who had Met Guido Ceccoli just 2 Weeks Ago, during CoE's Parliamentary Assembly's (PACE) Plenary Autumn Session, had Discussed with him about a Topical issue on Russia, (instead of Human Rights, etc., as in the Past), because of an Exceptional PACE - CoE's Committee of Ministers' meeting, which had Tried to Start Searching a Solution on the Problems raised by Moscow's Refusal to Pay its full Financial Contribution to the CoE, as long as Russian MEPs would be still Threatened to be Deprived from their Elementary Voting and Participation Rights, as a "Sanction" for the Controversial Ukranian conflict. Both for Legal and Practical Reasons, an eventual Deal had to be brokered before the 22th of January 2018, so that Time was Short...


      - Already, several Years Ago, at Italy's Brixen-Bressanone (South Tyrol), Pope Emeritus Benedict had Launched a Dramatic Appeal to EU Leadership, Calling them to Urgently Act in order to Stop a Violent Clash between the attacking Tbilisi's National Army and South Ossetia, a Georgian pro-Autonomy Region which had asked help from neighbouring Russia, back on August 2008, to the point that "tragic events"  had "caused many innocent victims and obliged a great number of civilians to leave their homes", so that, in order to "Avoid to cause more, and Worse Sufferings to the Population", "Military actions" should "Immediately Stop",  and "Initiatives" for a "peaceful and sustainable solution" should "resolutely take, the road of negotiation and dialogue", "in the name of the common Christian Heritage" of "All Christians", as he had stressed, (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/irish/benepeace.html ). This was, Immediately done, in a Few Hours, thanks to a Fast-Track Diplomacy by then EU Chair, French President Sarkozy, who visited Both Moscow and Tbilisi, brokering a Peace Deal between the Russian and Georgian Presidents, Later that Same Day.


    ++ A Similar Appeal was Later Launched also by the current Pope Francis, on Summer 2014, Urging to Stop Deadly Clashes in Ukraine, between Kiev's New Government and Donetsk-Luhansk pro-Autonomy Regions, which were mainly Killing a lot of Civilian People at the latter area : He called for "Dialogue" and "Reconciliation" among "all parties involved", and this was, at least Partly, done, after a Ministerial meeting on September 2014 and a Heads of State Summit, between French, German, Ukranian and Russian Leaders, in liaison with the Autonomist Regions, on February 2015, (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/christiansonukraineviacoe.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/fulltextsofallukraineagreements.html ).


    +++ Mutatis-Mutandis, in a Less Tragic Context, an Artistic Exhibition organized by Moldova, earlier this week at the CoE in Strasbourg, pointed Well Beyond a simple "Inter-Cultural Dialogue", towards "Universal Emotional Feelings", as CoE's Deputy Secretary General, Gabriela Battaini-Dragoni observed at her Speech in the Inauguration of that Event, officially Named "Cultural Connexions"...


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    - Last, but not least, Later Today, President of French Protestants' Federation, Pastor Clavairoly, speaking to "Eurofora", stressed that, indeed, by Inviting Both Gerard Collomb and Wolfgang Schäuble, "we Wanted to underline the European Dimension, and Not Only French, of the Reform's 500th Anniversary" (1517-2017).

 

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    - For that purpose, "the presence of the French JHA Minister and the German Parliament's President (Comp. Supra), illustrates, indeed, the significance of the (Protestant) Reform, Both from the European and Political, as well as Civilisation's points of view", President Clavairoly told us. This includes "Protestantism's Commitments on receiving Refugees, on Ecology, Democracy, Citizens' involvement, etc", he highlighted in concreto, (Comp. Supra).

 

(../..)


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***


(NDLR : Fast Translation from the Original in French)

+


("DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora"s 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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(../..)

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