Pope Reviews Mexico-Cuba Trip

And Gives Advice for Living Sacred Triduum

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 4, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI dedicated his remarks during this morning’s general audience to his recent trip to Mexico and Cuba by which, he said «I sought to embrace the entire continent, inviting everyone to live together in hope in concrete commitment to united progress towards a better future.»

The Pope noted how his visit had been characterised by «the extraordinary, festive and vivacious welcome» of Mexicans, a sign of «the warm embrace of an entire people». He noted how he «underscored the need to recognise and protect fundamental human rights, among which religious freedom is particularly important», and gave guarantees of his «closeness to those who suffer social ills such as conflicts, old and new, corruption and violence». 

Regarding the Cuban leg of his journey. «I went there», he said, «to support the mission of the Catholic Church, which is committed to the joyful announcement of the Gospel, notwithstanding limited means and despite the difficulties which still have to be overcome before religion can offer its spiritual and educational services in the public arena». 

«I also gave assurances that the Pope carries the concerns and aspirations of all Cubans in his heart, especially those suffering due to restrictions on freedom,» he said.

During Mass on Sunday morning, the Pontiff recalled, «I reminded everyone that Cuba and the world need change. This will only come about if everyone opens to the integral truth about man (an indispensable premise in order to achieve freedom) and decides to spread reconciliation and fraternity. … I also underlined the fact that the Church does not seek privileges, but asks to be able to proclaim and celebrate the faith, also in public, bringing the Gospel’s message of hope and peace to all sectors of society». In this context, Benedict XVI expressed his appreciation for the progress made by the authorities in Cuba and highlighted the need to continue this process until achieving complete religious freedom.

The Holy Father concluded the general audience with a mention of the Easter Triduum, the culmination of the liturgical year which begins tomorrow with the Mass of the Last Supper. «Each of us», he told the faithful, «was loved by Jesus ‘unto the end’; that is, unto the giving of Himself on the cross, when He cried: ‘It is finished’. Let us allows ourselves to be touched by this love, let us allow ourselves to be transformed, so that the resurrection can truly be achieved in each one of us».

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Full text: http://www.zenit.org/article-34572?l=english

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