Papal Address to Charitable Groups

«By Combating Poverty We Give Greater Possibility to Peace»

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 27, 2009 ( Here is a translation of Benedict XVI’s address today to members of the «Pro Petri Sede» and «Etrennes Pontificales» charitable associations. The groups hail from Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

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Dear Friends,
I am especially pleased to receive you on the occasion of the pilgrimage that you undertake every other year to the tomb of the apostles, to ask the Lord to strengthen your faith and bless your efforts to give generous witness of his love.
The Pauline year offers us the occasion, through meditation on the word of the Apostles to the Gentiles, to be acutely conscious that the Church is a Body, through which the very life of Jesus circulates — hence the fact that every member of the ecclesial body is united in a very profound way to all the others, and cannot ignore their needs. Nourished by the same Eucharistic Bread, the baptized cannot be indifferent when bread is lacking on men’s tables. Again this year you have accepted the call to enlarge your hearts to the needs of the disinherited, so that the members of the Body of Christ affected by poverty are alleviated and thus become more alive and free to give witness of the Good News.
By entrusting the fruit of your collection to the Successor of Peter, you enable him to exercise concrete and active charity, which is the sign of his solicitude for all the Churches, for all the baptized, and for all men. I sincerely thank you on behalf of all those persons who will be sustained by your generosity in the struggle against the evils that threaten their dignity. By combating poverty we give greater possibility to peace so that it will enter and take root in hearts.
Entrusting you and your loved ones to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy, I impart to you from my heart the apostolic blessing, as well as to the members of your associations and their families.

[Translation by ZENIT]
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