Holy Father Affirms Church's Role in Social Progress

Encourages Equatorial Guineans in Eradicating Poverty

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 10, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is affirming the Church’s closeness to the citizens of Equatorial Guinea as the country continues to work toward its social and moral development, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope stated this on Thursday upon receiving the credential letters of Narciso Ntugu Abeso Oyana, the country’s new ambassador to the Holy See.

In a letter the Holy Father presented to the envoy, the Pontiff stated that the «encouraging presence of the Church is not absent to the sons and daughters of Equatorial Guinea» as they seek to implement «new structures» to alleviate poverty.

The Church, the Pontiff added, instills «the light of faith in Christ, who manifests to man his authentic vocation and helps him to work without faltering for all that which dignifies and exalts.»

«Strengthened by this same faith,» the Holy Father stated, Equatorial Guineans «will not vacillate in their resolutions to participate actively and wisely in the building of a serene and harmonious coexistence.»

He continued: «In that climate, the human person will be able to realize himself fully in keeping with his lofty dignity and fundamental rights and the essential values of protection of life, health care, the development of education and solidarity, as well as the safeguarding of the environment and the equitable distribution of wealth will germinate copiously.

«All this is the indispensable condition to intensify real social progress, which reaches all, but especially the poorest and neediest, and to which all can contribute with their appropriate, free and responsible, contribution.»

Benedict XVI also made note of «the efforts carried out to recuperate and restructure many places of worship, as well as the business initiatives for improving living conditions of the citizens, especially those who experience great difficulty living in a dignified way.»

He encouraged all to «continue following this path with enthusiasm, remedying the existing social, economic and cultural needs,» but in a special way urged the Christian community to continue to work «with renewed and generous commitment.»

In particular, the Pope urged Christians to work in the «promotion of marriage and the family, health care, the formation of new generations and the exercise of charity and beneficence.»

«It could not be otherwise,» he added, «as the Church does not ignore that all that fosters concord and fraternity, the eradication of poverty, the increase of justice and dialogue, as well as the fostering of mutual understanding, opens luminous horizons for the future and exalts the human being, whom it must never be forgotten is image of God.»

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On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full text: www.zenit.org/article-32818?l=english

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