VATICAN CITY, MAY 5, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The Church is by her very nature a missionary Church, Benedict XVI said today upon receiving in audience members of the Philadelphia-based Papal Foundation who are in Rome for their annual pilgrimage.
The Papal Foundation was established in 1988 by Cardinal John Krol of Philadelphia, and is dedicated to supporting the charitable interests of the Pope, who uses the funds collected by the Papal Foundation to aid areas of extreme poverty.
The delegation was led by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, D.C., who was recently elected as the chairman of the Papal Foundation for a five-year term. This year, the foundation presented Benedict XVI with more than $8.57 million that will go toward some 110 projects in 40 countries.
In his address, the Pope thanked the foundation for its “important contribution” in the promotion of “charities close to the heart of the Pope.”
“I am most grateful for your involvement in projects aimed at integral human development, your encouragement of the apostolic activities of dioceses and religious congregations throughout the world, your concern for the education of the Church’s future leaders and your support for the activities of the Holy See,” he said.
The Holy Father noted that the Papal Foundation “was born as a means of demonstrating practical solidarity” with the Pope in caring for the well-being of the entire Church, and he called the values of the foundation a “privileged expression of your Christian engagement in the Church and before the world.”
“In this way,” he added, quoting “Verbum Domini,” “you will testify that the Church is missionary by her very nature; for ‘it is our responsibility to pass on what, by God’s grace, we ourselves have received.'”
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