Mexican Bishops Exhorted to Tend the Neediest

Papal Advice During Their Visit to Rome

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VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 29, 2005 ( Benedict XVI encouraged a group of Mexican bishops to pay special attention to the poor and most vulnerable, when he met the prelates in audience.

The Pope also called on those lay people who are better off to share their resources with an evangelical spirit.

The Holy Father made his comments today to the fourth and last group of bishops from Mexico to carry out their «ad limina» visits to Rome. Most of today’s visitors were from the south of Mexico.

In an address delivered in Spanish, Benedict XVI reminded the prelates that «the episcopal function to teach consists in the transmission of the Gospel of Christ, with its moral and religious values, considering the diverse realities and aspirations that arise in contemporary society, with which the pastors must be very familiar.»

In that context, Benedict XVI said that the pastors of the Church in Mexico «must pay special attention, as was done in the early Christian communities, to the most vulnerable groups and to the poor.»

«They continue to be a broad sector of the national population, victims at times of insufficient and unacceptable structures,» he said.

More equitable

«The appropriate response deriving from the Gospel is to promote solidarity and peace, which will really make justice possible,» the Pope explained. «That is why the Church tries to collaborate effectively to eradicate every form of marginalization, orienting Christians to practice justice and love.»

In addressing the bishops of a country where a small percentage of the population holds most of the wealth, the Holy Father called for the encouragement of «those who dispose of more resources to share them, as Christ himself exhorts us, with the neediest brothers.»

«It is necessary not only to relieve the gravest needs but to go to their roots, proposing measures that will give social, political and economic structures a more equitable and solidaristic configuration,» said Benedict XVI.

In this way, he added, «charity will be at the service of culture, politics, the economy and the family, becoming the foundation of genuine human and community development.»

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