Cardinal Bertone's Letter to Participants of the Pastoral Care of the Road Meeting in Tanzania

«The Church’s Concern for the Development of Every Person and the Whole Person is at the Heart of Her Mission of Evangelization in Africa»

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VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 11, 2012 ( Here is the letter sent by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, to Cardinal Polycarp Pengo, Archbishop of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania on the occasion of the First Integrated Meeting for the Pastoral Care of the Road for the Continent of Africa and Madagascar.

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From the Vatican, 20 August 2012

Your Eminence,

The Holy Father was pleased to be informed that from 11 to 15 September 2012 the First Integrated Meeting for the Pastoral Care of the Road for the Continent of Africa and Madagascar will take place in Dar-es-Salaam, under the auspices of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, and the relative Episcopal Commission of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference. He asks you kindly to convey his greetings and prayerful good wishes to all in attendance.

The theme of the Meeting, «Jesus Himself Came Up and Walked by Their Side» (Lk 24:15), evokes the consoling presence of the Risen Lord as he accompanied the disciples along the way to Emmaus. Today too the Saviour continues to accompany his Church, and through her, all mankind on the paths of life and history, opening minds and hearts to the saving truth of the Gospel and offering encouragement and peace to all who find themselves bewildered, lost or hurt in the midst of their earthly journey. As the Synod Fathers at the two Special Assemblies for Africa of the Synod of Bishops prophetically acknowledged, the Church’s concern for the development of every person and the whole person, especially of the poorest and most neglected, is at the heart of her mission of evangelization in Africa (cf. Ecclesia in Africa, 68).

His Holiness trusts that the present Meeting will lead to greater cooperation and coordinated efforts among the particular Churches for the sake of safeguarding every life at risk on African streets and roads. He asks that special attention be paid to the pastoral needs of those women and children who find themselves on the streets, whether as a result of concrete social, economic and political factors, or as victims of organized national and international exploiters. He is likewise confident that the Meeting will address situations affecting the lives of those who travel in their work and, not least, the road insecurity which threatens the lives of millions on African soil.

With these sentiments, the Holy Father offers fervent prayers that the Meeting will confirm the Church in Africa and Madagascarin its witness to the Gospel and its contribution to the building up of civil society and to the forging of a new Africa(cf. Africae Munus, 30). Commending all assembled to the maternal intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, he cordially imparts his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of joy and peace in Jesus her divine Son.

Yours sincerely in Christ,

Tarcisio Bertone

Secretary of State

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