Vian: Pope Calls for Christian Voice in Modernity

L’Osservatore Director Reflects on Papal Trip to Aquileia

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 12, 2011 ( Benedict XVI is urging the faithful, especially youth, to once again propose Christianity to the modern world, says the director of L’Osservatore Romano.

In an article published Wednesday in the English edition of the semi-official Vatican newspaper, Giovanni Maria Vian reflected on the Pope’s visit to Aquileia and Venice last weekend.

He noted that «the words which the Bishop of Rome chooses to pronounce» go «well beyond the confines of a particular visit.»

The visit to Aquileia in particular, Vian said, «allowed Benedict XVI to extend his gaze to all of northeastern Italy and even further, to the great region of Europe which, in communion with the Roman See,» historically depended on that city.

Some 1,000 years ago, ancient Aquileia was the see of parts of modern-day Italy, Germany, Austria, Croatia and Slovenia.

Vian reflected on the Pontiff’s words to the people of that region: «It is only from Christ, in fact, that humanity can receive hope and a future,» in an encounter with the only Savior of the world that must be personal, reasoned and daily.

These words, he added, were directed «to whoever wants to hear them; repeated by the Pope with full awareness of history and modernity, in a radically changed world.»

Vian continued, «It is in fact within modernity — at which the Pope looks lucidly and serenely because it is the context given today by Providence — that the Christian way needs to be proposed again.

«Faced with the crises of the family and the challenges brought by materialism and relativism, the Gospel of Christ should be brought with gentle pride and great joy, with trust and kindness.»

«The new evangelization needs this,» observed the newspaper director, «young Christians called to a new commitment in the social and political arenas.»

«Christians need to give witness to it in every context,» he urged.

Vian stated, «Just like those who in the last few hours rescued shipwrecked immigrants from the sea off Lampedusa, giving a touchingly Christian witness,» so should we «bring out from the waters of this world the salvation brought by Christ.»

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