Pontiff Reports That Africa Has a Freshness of Hope

Dedicates General Audience to Benin Trip

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 23, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI dedicated today’s general audience to a review of his weekend trip to Benin, reporting that he found in Africa a «freshness of hope.»

As is customary after an apostolic journey, the Pope used his audience address to highlight some of the main elements of the Nov. 18-20 trip to Benin. 

The main point of his visit was to entrust the postsynodal apostolic exhortation «Africae Munus» to the Church.

The Holy Father spoke of Africa as being a protagonist in «a new season of hope,» with its «commitment to the service of the Gospel and with the courageous witness of effective solidarity.»

«In Africa, I saw a freshness in the ‘yes’ to life, a freshness in religious sensibilities and a freshness of hope, as well as a sense of reality in its totality, with God — and not reduced to a positivism that, in the end, extinguishes hope,» he said. 

The Pontiff reflected that this «tells us that the continent contains reserves of life and vitality for the future upon which we can rely, upon which the Church can rely.»

Every effort

«My journey was a great appeal to Africa to direct every effort to announcing the Gospel to those who as yet do not know it,» the Holy Father explained. «This involves a renewed commitment to evangelization — to which each of the baptized is called — by promoting reconciliation, justice and peace.»

Citing «Africae Munus,» the Bishop of Rome said he commends Africa to Our Lady.

He said, «May the maternal intercession of Mary ‘whose heart is always inclined to God’s will, sustain every effort at conversion; may she consolidate every initiative of reconciliation and strengthen every endeavour for peace in a world which hungers and thirsts for justice’ (Africae munus, 175).»

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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-33885?l=english

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