Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Renew Europe: Pope tells Czechs

Pope Benedict told some 120,000 gathered to meet him in the Czech city of Brno that spiritual renewal and an acknowledgement of the region’s Christian heritage is needed to meet modern and cultural challenges.

“History has demonstrated the absurdities to which man descends when he excludes God from the horizon of his choices and actions,” Benedict was cited saying by Javno.com.

“Here, as elsewhere, many people suffered in past centuries for remaining faithful to the Gospel, and they did not lose hope,” he said, referring to the country’s former communist rule.

“Man needs to be liberated from material oppressions, but more profoundly, he must be saved from the evils that afflict the spirit,” he was reported as saying by The Canadian Press.

In talks with leaders of other branches of Christianity later, Benedict broadened his message to all of Europe, the news agency reported.

“As Europe listens to the story of Christianity, she hears her own,” the pope said during the meeting at Prague’s medieval Hradcany Castle. “Her notions of justice, freedom and social responsibility, together with the cultural and legal institutions established to preserve these ideas and hand them on to future generations, are shaped by her Christian inheritance.”

Europe’s religious roots, he said, “supply the continent with the spiritual and moral sustenance that allows her to enter into meaningful dialogue with people from other cultures and religions.”
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