APOSTOLIC VOYAGE TO POLAND

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TERESA BENEDETTA
00Thursday, May 25, 2006 5:26 AM
During the next 4 days, keep a window open on
www.itvp.pl/pielgrzymka2006/
for 24/24-hour coverage of the Pope's trip to Poland.

Please post all items and pictures about the Poland trip here so members and visitors have one place to check out for information about this historic event, and so that our Forum will have good online archive of it. Too bad we didn't have the opportunity to build such an archive for Papa's trip to Cologne last year.

One reason this Forum in all its sections, starting with the principal Italian forum, uses entire articles is for archive and full documentation purposes. Links to news items and photos are usually transient, so imagine going back to your "record" a few weeks later to find out that most of the links don't work anymore.

Another reason is that one can highlight parts one wishes to call attention to, and highlighting something which is seen in its full context, is certainly more helpful than simply lifting the highlighted passages and citing them in isolation.

By the way,you may double-post appropriate items and pictures in other existing threads if you wish - use your best judgment. I am sure, for instance, that some pictures will find their way to the picture threads right away.

The PAPAL TRAVELS thread will continue to be used for anything that pertains to future trips.


This was the front-page photo in Avvenire (newspaper of the Italian bishops conference)
today, 5/24/06. The headline was "Poland opens its arms wide to the Pope".


Also from Avvenire, a TV channel advertises
its coverage of the Pope's trip to Poland,
"BENEDICT XVI IN THE LAND OF JOHN PAUL II"

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 25/05/2006 15.16]

TERESA BENEDETTA
00Thursday, May 25, 2006 12:53 PM
1 IN 10 POLES EXPECT TO SEE THE POPE
WARSAW, Poland, MAY 24, 2006 (Zenit.org).- One out of every 10 Poles will attend meetings with Benedict XVI when he visits their country this Thursday to Sunday, a survey predicts.

Fully 80% of the Poles expect to follow the events on television. The figures were reflected in a survey of the GFK Polish center of studies, published in the newspaper Rzeczpospolita.

About 11% of the 968 adults who took part in the survey said they will attend at least one papal event.

The survey, carried out May 12-14, had a margin of error of 3.5%.

--------------------------------------------------------------
The Pope's trip to Poland takes him to Warsaw
and then south to the Cracow area for the visit
to sites associated with John Paul-II's life and
ministry in Poland, as well as Auschwitz-Birkenau
.



[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 25/05/2006 14.37]

TERESA BENEDETTA
00Thursday, May 25, 2006 12:59 PM
PROGRAM TODAY 5/25/06
Warsaw

11 a.m. Arrival at the International Airport of Okecie (Warsaw). Welcome ceremony. Address by the Holy Father

11:45 a.m. Transfer by car from the International Airport of Okecie (Warsaw) to the Cathedral of St. John in Warsaw

12:30 p.m. Meeting with the clergy in the Cathedral of St. John in Warsaw. Address by the Holy Father

1:30 p.m. Transfer by car from the Cathedral of St. John in Warsaw to the House of Archbishops of Miodowa in Warsaw

1:45 p.m. Arrival at the House of Archbishops of Miodowa in Warsaw

2:45 p.m. Transfer by car from the House of Archbishops of Miodowa in Warsaw to the apostolic nunciature of Warsaw

5:30 p.m. Transfer by car from apostolic nunciature to the Presidential Palace of Warsaw

5:45 p.m. Courtesy visit to the president of the republic in the Presidential Palace of Warsaw

6:45 p.m. Transfer by car from the Presidential Palace of Warsaw to the Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity in Warsaw

7 p.m. Ecumenical meeting in the Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity in Warsaw. Greeting of the Holy Father

7:45 p.m. Transfer by car from the Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity in Warsaw to the apostolic nunciature of Warsaw

8 p.m. Arrival to the apostolic nunciature of Warsaw
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Thursday, May 25, 2006 1:44 PM
BENEDICT ARRIVES IN WARSAW
WARSAW, May 25, 2006 (AP) -Poland gave German-born Pope Benedict XVI an enthusiastic welcome Thursday as he started a four-day visit aimed at honoring predecessor John Paul II and furthering German-Polish reconciliation from the wounds of World War II.

Benedict beamed broadly and waved as he descended from the plane, and managed to keep his skullcap from flying off in a brisk breeze _ unlike his arrival on his first foreign trip in Germany last year.

A choir sang "The Barge," John Paul's favorite song _ just one sign of how the late pope remains a strong presence in Poland more than a year after his death.

Some of the frenzied anticipation that characterized native son John Paul's visits, when thousands jammed the streets before dawn, was lacking, with fewer people turning out to hold yellow and white Vatican flags and watch the pope pass by.

Benedict tried some Polish with his formal hello to the honor guard: "Greetings, soldiers," but stumbled a bit over the words.

He drew a roar of applause, however, as he launched into his welcoming speech _ in Polish, later switching to Italian.

"I have very much wanted to make this visit to the native land and people of my beloved predecessor, the servant of God John Paul II," Benedict said. "I have come to follow in the footsteps of his life."

Benedict is delivering speeches in Italian _ which he speaks well _ and Polish, which he doesn't, but not in German, presumably out of regard for the feelings of the wartime generation in Poland, which suffered enormously at the hands of the Nazi invaders.

But Poles like Benedict's emphasis on continuing John Paul's legacy, and don't seem to mind that he is German despite the memory of the war _ which left Warsaw in ruins.

High points on Benedict's schedule will include a Mass on Friday in central Warsaw where John Paul inspired the Solidarity movement with a landmark appearance in 1979 during communist rule. Then he heads for the late pope's hometown of Wadowice, and for Krakow, where John Paul served as archbishop.

On Sunday Benedict visits the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, where Nazi German occupiers killed some 1.5 million people, most of them Jews. The visit by a German-born pope who was enrolled in the Hitler Youth and later deserted the German army as the war ended in 1945 is fraught with significance for Catholic-Jewish relations, a favorite cause of John Paul, who also visited Auschwitz on his 1979 trip to Poland.

Asked by journalists on the plane how he felt about visiting Auschwitz as a German, Benedict said, "I am above all a Catholic. I must say that this is the most important point."

"It's not the same as with our pope," said 75-year-old Wanda Nowicka, who was waiting on a downtown street to watch Benedict pass by on his way to his first stop at Warsaw's Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.

"Our pope said this is my country. He knew what our problems were, he understood them, he cared. I was in Warsaw during World War II and the Warsaw Uprising, you can't imagine what we suffered from the Germans. But when I think of Benedict, this does not matter, I don't think of him as German.

Retired teacher Elzbieta Schmidt, 60, said she arrived two hours early to get a good place but had no trouble finding a bench. "I'm shocked and ashamed that so few people are here," she said. "Maybe this is because people are working now, because I'm sure the interest and enthusiasm must be great and I hope the crowd will get bigger later."

The 1944 uprising _ by Polish guerrillas against the occupying Germans _ was met with terrible retaliation by German dictator Adolf Hitler that left the capital a heap of rubble.

Jadwiga Gasiar, 69, stood holding a papal flag. "I don't have the same feelings as I used to when John Paul was coming," she said. "This is a different feeling now. I came to welcome him warmly but it's not the same. And it does not matter that he is a German."

Shortly after his election last year, Benedict said he saw a "providential design" in the fact that a Polish pope was succeeded by a German one.

"Both popes in their youth _ both on different sides and in different situations _ were forced to experience the barbarity of the Second World War," Benedict said.







Music of Lorien
00Thursday, May 25, 2006 1:45 PM
Polish TV coverage
Thank you a million times, Sue, for the link to the Polish TV coverage (see Papal Events on TV and link below).


IT IS WONDERFUL

[SM=x40799] [SM=x40800]

www.itvp.pl/pielgrzymka2006/


Music of Lorien
00Thursday, May 25, 2006 1:49 PM
Polish TV
JUST CLICK ON THE LARGE RED OVAL THINGIE FLASHING ON THE RIGHT FOR THE LIVE TRANSMISSION.
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Thursday, May 25, 2006 2:05 PM
THE POPE'S ARRIVAL STATEMENT

First photos (thanks to Gerald Augustinus)


The Holy Father was welcomed at the international airport of Warszaw/Okecie by the President of Poland, Lech Kaczynski, and my numerous political and civil authorities, as well as religious leaders, including Cardinal Józef Glemp, Archbishop of Warsaw and Primate of Poland; Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, Archbishop of Kraków; Archbishop Józef Michalik, President of the Polish bishops conference; Archbishop Józef Kowalczyk, Apostolic Nuncio to Poland; Bishop Piotr Libera, Secreytary-General of the Polish Episcopal Conference; and Mons. Paolo Rudelli, Secretary of the Apostolic Nunciature.


The second photo shows the Pope talking to journalists during the flight to Warsaw (from Michael Dubruiel]

After the welcome address by President Kaczynski, the Pope delivered the following address in Polish. Here is the official translation from the Vatican Press Office:



Mr President,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
My Brother Cardinals and Bishops,
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I am happy to stand in your midst today on the soil of the Republic of Poland. I have very much wanted to make this visit to the native land and people of my beloved Predecessor, the Servant of God John Paul II.

I have come to follow in the footsteps of his life, from his boyhood until his departure for the memorable conclave of 1978. Along this journey I would like to meet and come to know the generations of believers who offered him to the service of God and the Church, as well as those who were born and matured for the Lord under his pastoral guidance as priest, Bishop and Pope.

Our journey together will be inspired by the motto: "Stand firm in your faith". I mention this from the outset, in order to stress that this is no mere sentimental journey, although it is certainly that too, but rather a journey of faith, a part of the mission entrusted to me by the Lord in the person of the Apostle Peter, who was called to confirm his brothers and sisters in the faith (cf. Lk 22:32).

I too wish to draw from the abundant fountain of your faith, which has flowed continuously for over a millennium.

I greet His Excellency the President, and I thank him heartily for his words of welcome on behalf of the Authorities of the Republic and the Nation. I greet my Brother Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops.

I also greet His Excellency the Prime Minister and the members of the Government, the representatives of the Diet and the Senate, the members of the Diplomatic Corps with their Dean, the Apostolic Nuncio in Poland. I am pleased that the Regional Authorities are present, along with the Mayor of Warsaw.

I also wish to greet the representatives of the Orthodox Church, the Augsburg Evangelical Church and the other Churches and Ecclesial Communities. My greeting likewise goes to the members of the Jewish community and the followers of Islam.

Lastly I offer a heartfelt greeting to the whole Church in Poland: to the priests, the consecrated persons, the seminarians and all the faithful, especially the sick, the young and the little children. I ask you to accompany me in your thoughts and prayers, so that this journey will prove fruitful for all of us, leading us to a deeper and stronger faith.

I said that in this visit to Poland my route would be inspired by the life and pastoral ministry of Karol Wojtyla and by his own itinerary as a pilgrim Pope in this, his native land. Consequently, I have chosen to stay mainly in two cities dear to John Paul II: Warsaw, the capital of Poland, and Kraków, his archiepiscopal see. In Warsaw I shall meet the priests, the different non-Catholic Churches and Ecclesial Communities, and the State Authorities.

I trust that these meetings will bear abundant fruit for our shared faith in Christ and for the social and political life of today’s men and women. A brief visit to Czestochowa is planned, as well as a meeting with representatives of men and women religious, seminarians and members of ecclesial movements. The loving gaze of Mary will accompany us as we join in seeking a deep and faithful relationship with Christ her Son.

Then I shall travel to Kraków, and from there to Wadowice, Kalwaria, Lagiewniki and Wawel Cathedral. I am very much aware that these are the places that John Paul II most loved, for they were associated with his growth in faith and his pastoral ministry.

There will also be a meeting with the sick and the suffering in what is perhaps the most fitting place for such an event - the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Lagiewniki. I shall certainly be present when the young people assemble for the prayer vigil. I shall gladly join them and I look forward to rejoicing in their witness of a young and lively faith.

On Sunday we will gather at Blonie Park to celebrate a Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving for the Pontificate of my Predecessor and for the faith in which he always confirmed us by his words and by the example of his life.

Finally, I shall go to Auschwitz. There I hope especially to meet the survivors of the Nazi terror who come from different countries, all of whom suffered under that tragic tyranny. Together we will pray that the wounds of the past century will heal, thanks to the remedy that God in his goodness has prescribed for us by calling us to forgive one another, and which he offers to us in the mystery of his mercy.

"Stand firm in your faith" - this is the motto of my Apostolic Visit. I would hope that these days will serve to strengthen all of us in faith - the members of the Church in Poland and myself as well.

And for those who do not have the gift of faith, but whose hearts are full of good will, may my visit be a time of fraternity, goodness and hope.

May these enduring values of humanity lay a firm foundation for building a better world, one in which everyone can enjoy material prosperity and spiritual joy. This is my prayer for all the Polish people.

Once again I thank His Excellency the President and the Bishops of Poland for their invitation. I cordially embrace Polish people everywhere and I ask them to accompany me in prayer along this journey of faith.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 25/05/2006 15.45]

Tomasso Gaetano
00Thursday, May 25, 2006 4:04 PM
VIVAT PAPA!!! [SM=x40799] [SM=x40799] [SM=x40799]
His Preach in the Warsaw St John Archikatedra was BEAUTIFUL!!!
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Thursday, May 25, 2006 6:43 PM
ADDRESS TO POLISH CLERGY, 5/25/06
Here is the Vatican's official translation of the
ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER
MEETING WITH THE CLERGY

Warszawa-Cathedral, 25 May 2006



"First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you ... For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine" (Rom 1:8-12).

Dear priests, I address to you these words of the Apostle Paul, because they perfectly reflect my feelings and thoughts today, my wishes and my prayers.

I greet in particular Cardinal Józef Glemp, Archbishop of Warsaw and Primate of Poland, to whom I extend my most cordial congratulations on his fiftieth anniversary of priestly ordination this very day.

I have come to Poland, the beloved homeland of my great Predecessor Pope John Paul II, in order to inhale, as he used to do, this atmosphere of faith in which you live, and to "convey to you some spiritual gift so that you may be strengthened by it." I am confident that my pilgrimage during these days will "encourage the faith that we share, both yours and mine."

I am meeting you today in the great Cathedral of Warsaw, every stone of which speaks of the tragic history of your capital and your country. How many trials you have endured in the recent past! We call to mind heroic witnesses to the faith, who gave their lives to God and to their fellow human beings, both canonized saints and ordinary people who persevered in rectitude, authenticity and goodness, never giving way to despair.

In this Cathedral I recall particularly the Servant of God Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, whom you call "the Primate of the Millennium." Abandoning himself to Christ and to his Mother, he knew how to serve the Church faithfully, despite the tragic and prolonged trials that surrounded him.

Let us remember with appreciation and gratitude those who did not let themselves be overwhelmed by the forces of darkness, and let us learn from them the courage to be consistent and constant in our adherence to the Gospel of Christ.

Today I am meeting you, priests called by Christ to serve him in the new millennium. You have been chosen from among the people, appointed to act in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.

Believe in the power of your priesthood! By virtue of the sacrament, you have received all that you are. When you utter the words "I" and "my" ("I absolve you ... This is my body ..."), you do it not in your own name, but in the name of Christ, "in persona Christi", who wants to use your lips and your hands, your spirit of sacrifice and your talent.

At the moment of your ordination, through the liturgical sign of the imposition of hands, Christ took you under his special protection; you are concealed under his hands and in his Heart. Immerse yourselves in his love, and give him your love! When your hands were anointed with oil, the sign of the Holy Spirit, they were destined to serve the Lord as his own hands in today’s world. They can no longer serve selfish purposes, but must continue in the world the witness of his love.

The greatness of Christ’s priesthood can make us tremble. We can be tempted to cry out with Peter: "Lord, depart from me, for I am a sinful man" (Lk 5:8), because we find it hard to believe that Christ called us specifically. Could he not have chosen someone else, more capable, more holy? But Jesus has looked lovingly upon each one of us, and in this gaze of his we may have confidence.

Let us not be consumed with haste, as if time dedicated to Christ in silent prayer were time wasted. On the contrary, it is precisely then that the most wonderful fruits of pastoral service come to birth. There is no need to be discouraged on account of the fact that prayer requires effort, or because of the impression that Jesus remains silent. He is indeed silent, but He is at work.

In this regard, I am pleased to recall my experience last year in Cologne. I witnessed then a deep, unforgettable silence of a million young people at the moment of the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament! That prayerful silence united us, it gave us great consolation. In a world where there is so much noise, so much bewilderment, there is a need for silent adoration of Jesus concealed in the Host. Be assiduous in the prayer of adoration and teach it to the faithful. It is a source of comfort and light particularly to those who are suffering.

The faithful expect only one thing from priests: that they be specialists in promoting the encounter between man and God. The priest is not asked to be an expert in economics, construction or politics. He is expected to be an expert in the spiritual life.

With this end in view, when a young priest takes his first steps, he needs to be able to refer to an experienced teacher who will help him not to lose his way among the many ideas put forward by the culture of the moment. In the face of the temptations of relativism or the permissive society, there is absolutely no need for the priest to know all the latest, changing currents of thought; what the faithful expect from him is that he be a witness to the eternal wisdom contained in the revealed word.

Solicitude for the quality of personal prayer and for good theological formation bear fruit in life. Living under the influence of totalitarianism may have given rise to an unconscious tendency to hide under an external mask, and in consequence to become somewhat hypocritical. Clearly this does not promote authentic fraternal relations and may lead to an exaggerated concentration on oneself.

In reality, we grow in affective maturity when our hearts adhere to God. Christ needs priests who are mature, virile, capable of cultivating an authentic spiritual paternity. For this to happen, priests need to be honest with themselves, open with their spiritual director and trusting in divine mercy.

On the occasion of the Great Jubilee, Pope John Paul II frequently exhorted Christians to do penance for infidelities of the past. We believe that the Church is holy, but that there are sinners among her members. We need to reject the desire to identify only with those who are sinless. How could the Church have excluded sinners from her ranks? It is for their salvation that Jesus took flesh, died and rose again.

We must therefore learn to live Christian penance with sincerity. By practising it, we confess individual sins in union with others, before them and before God.

Yet we must guard against the arrogant claim of setting ourselves up to judge earlier generations, who lived in different times and different circumstances. Humble sincerity is needed in order not to deny the sins of the past, and at the same time not to indulge in facile accusations in the absence of real evidence or without regard for the different preconceptions of the time.

Moreover, the confessio peccati, to use an expression of Saint Augustine, must always be accompanied by the confessio laudis – the confession of praise. As we ask pardon for the wrong that was done in the past, we must also remember the good accomplished with the help of divine grace which, even if contained in earthenware vessels, has borne fruit that is often excellent.

Today the Church in Poland faces an enormous pastoral challenge: how to care for the faithful who have left the country. The scourge of unemployment obliges many people to go abroad. It is a widespread and large-scale phenomenon. When families are divided in this way, when social links are broken, the Church cannot remain indifferent.

Those who leave must be cared for by priests who, in partnership with the local Churches, take on a pastoral ministry among the emigrants.

The Church in Poland has already given many priests and religious sisters who serve not only the Polish diaspora but also, and sometimes in extremely difficult circumstances, the missions in Africa, Asia, Latin America and other regions. Do not forget these missionaries, my dear priests.

The gift of many vocations, with which God has blessed your Church, must be received in a truly Catholic perspective. Polish priests, do not be afraid to leave your secure and familiar world, to go and serve in places where priests are lacking and where your generosity can bear abundant fruit.

Stand firm in your faith! To you too I entrust this motto of my pilgrimage. Be authentic in your life and your ministry. Gazing upon Christ, live a modest life, in solidarity with the faithful to whom you have been sent.

Serve everyone; be accessible in the parishes and in the confessionals, accompany the new movements and associations, support families, do not forget the link with young people, remember the poor and the abandoned.

If you live by faith, the Holy Spirit will suggest to you what you must say and how you must serve. You will always be able to count on the help of her who goes before the Church in faith. I exhort you to call upon her always in words that you know well: "We are close to you, we remember you, we watch."

My Blessing upon all of you!

maryjos
00Thursday, May 25, 2006 7:03 PM
Viva Papa - Viva Poland!!!
Great idea to have a separate thread for the visit to Poland! I saw Papa's arrival this morning and the welcoming ceremony [I have it for ever on video, too!]. He seemed to be in top form and very happy. I look forward to the events of the next few days.
Liebe und Freude, Mary x [SM=g27811]
[SM=g27823] [SM=g27823] [SM=g27823] [SM=g27823] [SM=g27823] [SM=g27823] [SM=g27823] [SM=g27823]
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Thursday, May 25, 2006 7:59 PM
MORE FIRST PHOTOS
From Emma in the main forum-

Departure from Rome:
The new Italian Prime Minister, Romano Prodi, led officials and
dignitaries who saw the Pope off this morning at Leonardo da Vinci airport.



Arrival in Warsaw: Papa keeps his cap on despite the wind.
Polish President Kacynzki led the welcomers.



TERESA BENEDETTA
00Thursday, May 25, 2006 10:41 PM
WARSAW WELCOMES THE POPE
This is a translation of an article published online this afternoon which will appear in the 5/26/06 issue of the Geerman newspaper DIE WELT.

Pope brings Poland
to an internal "state of exception
"
By Gerhard Gnauck

Warsaw – This time it is not the “Papiez-Polak”, the Polish Pope, who is visiting Poland. This time, it is
a “Papiez-Niemiec,” a foreign Pope, a phrase that many Polish ears are still not accustomed to.

Yesterday, around 11 a.m., the German Pope Benedict XVI landed at Warsaw airport. And right away, he spoke – as he usually does during his audiences at the Vatican – a couple of sentences in John Paul’s mother language, to the delight of some 3,000 persons who were present for the welcome ceremonies.
"Bene detto in polacco", (Well said in Polish), as the Romans would have said. The Holy Father continued the rest of his address in Italian.

It was the start to Benedict XVI’s first ‘regular’ apostolic trip, not counting his attendance at World Youth Day in Cologne last August. In the Polish capital, he carried out a number of meetings within a few hours on the first day of his visit
(This included a meeting with the Polish clergy in Warsaw Cathedral, a call on the Polish President, and a meeting with ecumenical leaders at Warsaw's Lutheran cathedral.)

Today he will celebrate an open-air Mass at Warsaw’s Pilsudski Square, after which he will fly south to the Cracow area where he will spend the rest of his visit.

Saturday will be devoted to visiting places associated with John Paul II, starting in Wadowice, his birthplace near Cracow. In the evening he meets with young people at Cracow’s Blonia Square, where he will also say Mass the following day, Sunday.

He will end his Polish trip with a visit to the former concentration camps in Auschwitz-Birkenau. This is considered by many to be the high point of this trip.

The welcome prepared for the Pope, who arrived in Warsaw on a sunny day, was most heartfelt. All the big newspapers (except the post-Communist Trybuna) and weekly magazines featured Benedict in the headlines or the cover. Schoolchildren were given a holiday, many offices were closed for the day, and most private companies allowed their employees the day off so they could participate in welcome ceremonies for the Pope.

But the buzz was a bit less than it was in 2002, at the last visit made by an already quite ill John Paul II. At that time, two million people gathered in a Cracow meadow - the largest assembly in Poland’s history - for the single opportunity to see “their” Pope in what many knew would be the last time.

These days, one can hear remarks like “I am not going to Warsaw – after all, the Pope is no longer one of us.”

Benedict, of course, has not experienced what millions of Poles had to undergo in the past decades under Communism. Neither is he the born showman who knows, like his predecessor did, how to use gestures and jokes to sway a crowd. Hardly anyone wants to predict how many crowds Benedict will attract altogether on this trip.

Nevertheless, pilgrim groups from America to Russia, including several hundred of the Pope’s own countrymen, as well as bishops from 19 countries and a representative of the Patriarchate of Moscow are in Poland for the event.

Benedict met last week with the Metropolitan Kyril, a high-ranking representative from the Russian Orthodox Church, whose criticisms of the Roman Catholic Church the Slavic Pope John Paul II could not overcome.

A recent survey showed that 80 percent of Poles did not think Benedict’s German origin was significant at all, while 17% considered it positive (versus 65% among Germans who are asked the same question). 74% of Poles and 64% of Germans surveyed believe that the visit will seal German-Polish reconciliation, and 56% of Poles think the visit will benefit them domestically.

Yesterday, at noontime, there were thin ranks of welcomers along the route that the Popemobile took through the inner city to get to the Warsaw Cathedral from the airport. The Mercedes Popemobile passed through the Memorial for those who had died as victims of the Soviets, the Memorial to the Warsaw Ghetto, and the Memorial to the Warsaw Resistance.

President Lech Kaczynski welcomed the Pope at the airport, stammering a few times from the excitement. As though responding to criticism of the ruling national-conservative plurality, he cited John Paul II, saying that Poland stands “for plurality and pluralism, not for narrowness and exclusion.” He also acknowledged the importance of the European Union and of European values but warned that democracy was only possible “if conscience works.”

The Pope said his voyage to retrace the personal and spiritual itinerary of his predecessor was “not just a sentimental journey, althought that certainly plays a role, but a pilgrimage of faith.” He referred to his visit to Auschwitz, where he will meet “survivors of the Nazi terror representing many different peoples” and where he will pray “to heal the wounds of the past century.”

Many Poles also await “healing and enlightenment” from this visit, those especially who, as in the time of John Paul II, this visit has placed in an “internal state of exception”.

“Stand firm in the faith” is the motto of the Pop’e apostolic voyage.


TERESA BENEDETTA
00Thursday, May 25, 2006 10:51 PM
DAY-1 AT A GLANCE
Montages prepared in a most timely manner by our ever-reliable Sylvie:


Photos: www.catholicpressphoto.com/servizi/2006-05-25-viaggio-polonia/def...

At Warsaw Cathedral and meeting with Polish clergy

Photos: www.catholicpressphoto.com/servizi/2006-05-25-viaggio-polonia/def...
Maklara
00Thursday, May 25, 2006 11:08 PM
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Thursday, May 25, 2006 11:09 PM
POPE EXHORTS POLISH PRIESTS
Warsaw (AsiaNews) – The one thing the faithful want from priests is that they ought to be “specialists in promoting man’s encounter with God,” that they should be “mature, virile, [and] capable of cultivating an authentic spiritual paternity,” said Benedict XVI in his first meeting with the local clergy after arriving at Warsaw airport.

Here, in John Paul II’s native land, he introduced the visit he begins today as a journey “to follow in the footsteps of his life, from his boyhood until his departure for the memorable conclave of 1978.”

The Holy Father’s visit, in his own words, “is no mere sentimental journey, although it is certainly that too, but rather a journey of faith, a part of the mission entrusted to me by the Lord in the person of the Apostle Peter, who was called to confirm his brothers and sisters in the faith”.

And it is for that reason the Pontiff met Poland’s clergy in Warsaw’s St John’s Cathedral after an 11-kilometre drive from the airport, a welcoming crowd on both sides of the road.

In a country still blessed by a strong clergy and numerous vocations but now affected by the rise of consumerism and secularism out of the void left by a bygone Communism, the Pope said that priests are “not asked to be expert in economics, construction or politics” but should be experts in “spiritual life”.

“In the face of the temptations of relativism or the permissive society, there is absolutely no need for [a] priest to know all the latest, changing currents of thought; what the faithful expect from him is that he be a witness to the eternal wisdom contained in the revealed word. Solicitude for the quality of personal prayer and for good theological formation bears fruit in life.”

Speaking in the cathedral Benedict XVI mentioned, as he did on his arrival, the years when Poland was under Nazi and Communist rule.

“How many trials have you endured in the recent past!” he said, urging everyone to remember the “heroic witnesses to the faith, who gave their lives to God and to their fellow human beings, both [those who were] canonised saints and the ordinary people who persevered in [the right path], authenticity and goodness, never giving in to despair.”

The Pope pointed out that “[l]iving under the influence of totalitarianism may have given rise to an unconscious tendency to hide under an external mask, and in consequence to become somewhat hypocritical. Clearly this does not promote authentic fraternal relations and may lead to an exaggerated concentration on oneself. In reality, we grow in [emotional] maturity when our hearts adhere to God.”

“Christ,” he explained, “needs priests who are mature, virile, capable of cultivating an authentic spiritual paternity. For this to happen, priests need to be honest with themselves, open with their spiritual director and trusting in divine mercy”.

“The greatness of Christ’s priesthood,” he added, “can make us tremble. We can be tempted to cry out with Peter—‘Lord, depart from me, for I am a sinful man’ (Lk, 5:8)—because we find it hard to believe that Christ specifically called us. Could he not have chosen someone else, more capable, more holy?”

“But Jesus has looked lovingly upon each one of us, and in this gaze of his we may have confidence. Let us not be consumed with haste, as if time dedicated to Christ in silent prayer were time wasted. On the contrary, it is precisely then that the most wonderful fruits of pastoral service come to birth.” (FP)

---------------------------------------------------------------

It feels strange to have been able to post the full text of the Pope's address before posting a report about it. If only the Vatican Press Office were as diligent in providing simultaneous translations (well, not quite simultaneous - it's been at least 6 hours now since the last Papal event of the day, the ecumenical meeting, and only the Italian text is out yet) for Papal texts even when the Pope is not travelling!

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 25/05/2006 23.22]

Maklara
00Thursday, May 25, 2006 11:45 PM
video reportage from presidental palace
see this video
http://ww6.tvp.pl/video/2006/05/25/74440/film.asf

very cute is part with taking of photo with family of polish president, with Papa is staring little 3-years granddaughter of president [SM=x40799]

[Modificato da Maklara 26/05/2006 0.01]

benefan
00Thursday, May 25, 2006 11:59 PM
Pope, in Poland, says faith, thanks, remembrance to guide trip

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Poland saying faith, thanksgiving and remembrance would be the guiding themes of his four-day trip.

Evoking the memory of the Polish-born Pope John Paul II, "my beloved predecessor," Pope Benedict said he was making the May 25-28 trip "to follow in the footsteps of his life from his boyhood until his departure for the memorable conclave" that elected him pope in 1978.

But even before his plane took off from Rome, the pope also highlighted the importance of the visit he planned to make May 28 to the site of the Nazis' Auschwitz-Birkenau camps.

The German-born pope said he would be remembering the millions who were killed by the Nazis, but also hoped his visit would remind the world "how man can truly lose his dignity by trampling on others."

The lesson of Auschwitz, he said, should "give birth to a new sense of humanism and humanity," underlining how essential it is for people to recognize that each person is created in the image of God in order to ensure that nothing similar can happen again.

Asked by journalists on the plane how he felt as a German about to visit Auschwitz, he said, "I am going as a Catholic most of all. I think this is the point we must learn: We are Catholic and so our nationalities are relative. They fit in to the great whole that is the Catholic Church."

Arriving at the Warsaw airport May 25, the pope began his address by reading the first three sentences in Polish. While he read some parts of the speech in Italian, an aide read most of it for him in Polish.

In the text, the pope called the Holocaust a result of the "tragic tyranny" of Nazism.

He said that at Auschwitz he hoped to pray with survivors "that the wounds of the past century will heal," particularly through efforts to request and grant forgiveness.

While Pope John Paul's memory would be present at almost every stop on the itinerary, Pope Benedict said his trip is not simply a "sentimental journey, although it is certainly that, too."

The pope said he wanted to make a "journey of faith," helping Poles solidify their commitment to living the faith and being strengthened in turn by the expressions of faith Poles would share with him.

In his address, Polish President Lech Kaczynski said that "as a president and as a Catholic" he was pleased to welcome the pope, adding that Poles were awaiting his words as they had awaited those of Pope John Paul in the past.

"Papal pilgrimages have always been a kind of national meditation for Poles -- we become better during these pilgrimages, and I trust we will also open our hearts this time. We want to stay strong in faith, and we ask your pastoral support in this effort," the president added.

"We count on your leading us in the paths set out by John Paul II," Kaczynski said.

After leaving the airport, the pope went by popemobile to Warsaw's Cathedral of St. John, driving along streets lined with cheering and waving crowds.

The popemobile slowed as it went by a monument to those who fought and died in the 1943 Warsaw ghetto uprising and past a monument to the more than 1 million Poles who were deported to Siberia by the Soviet government.

At the cathedral, the pope met with close to 1,000 representatives of the Polish clergy and emphasized that the task of strengthening the faith of Polish Catholics rested largely on their shoulders.

"Believe in the power of your priesthood," he told them.

The pope paid tribute to the often-heroic endurance of Polish priests and Poles in general during the Nazi occupation and under communism.

"Let us remember with appreciation and gratitude those who did not let themselves be overwhelmed by the forces of darkness, and let us learn from them the courage to be consistent and constant in our adherence to the Gospel of Christ," he said.

Pope Benedict said it is natural for priests to ask if God might have been able to find better instruments for bringing his love and truth to others, but they must be confident that he wants to use their mouths and their hands to reach the world.

The faithful, he said, want and need priests who are experts in the spiritual life and witnesses to eternal truths.

"In the face of the temptations of relativism or the permissive society, there is absolutely no need for the priest to know all the latest, changing currents of thought," he said.

The pope also said the temptation to hide one's faith, which was understandable under communism, is not an acceptable attitude for priests in the new Poland.

Instead, he said, they must cultivate a true spiritual brotherhood among priests, supporting one another and sharing each other's burdens.

"Christ needs priests who are mature, virile, capable of cultivating an authentic spiritual paternity," he said.

"Gazing upon Christ," the pope told them, "live a modest life in solidarity with the faithful to whom you have been sent."

benefan
00Friday, May 26, 2006 12:00 AM
Poles praise pope for addressing them in Polish during papal trip

By Jonathan Luxmoore
Catholic News Service

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- Polish Catholics have praised Pope Benedict XVI for addressing them in their native tongue at the start of his four-day visit to Poland.

"The pope studied hard before this pilgrimage -- besides language lessons, he spent a lot of time privately reading and repeating Polish texts," said Father Tadeusz Cieslak, a Polish Vatican Radio commentator, in a May 25 report in Dziennik, a daily newspaper.

The pope made several remarks in Polish during his arrival speech at the Warsaw airport and in an address to Polish clergy at the Cathedral of St. John. Afterward, his main texts were read in Italian.

Dziennik reported that the pope had hoped to "say as much as possible" in Polish, but had trouble "overcoming the phonetic barrier" with his native German.

However, Jan Miodek, a language professor at Warsaw University, said Pope Benedict had made "fantastic progress."

"Benedict XVI is a polyglot, who already knows many languages," Miodek said. "But we must also forgive him if there are certain Polish sounds which he will never quite say properly."

The pope, who accompanied Pope John Paul II on his 1979 homecoming and has made several previous visits to Poland, regularly addresses Rome's Polish pilgrims in their native language.

In a May 25 interview with Dziennik, the Polish head of the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education, Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, said the pope was aware of the expectations surrounding his pilgrimage and had shown "great reverence" for his predecessor by trying to communicate in Polish.

However, he added that Pope Benedict's inability to converse freely would create "a certain distance" in contacts with large crowds.

"The language barrier will, unfortunately, be difficult to overcome -- a text read by someone else isn't the same as a spontaneous remark," the cardinal told the newspaper. "John Paul II had this spontaneity and often departed from his written texts, sometimes branching into Polish affairs -- we shouldn't expect this on this occasion."

Cardinal Grocholewski said he believed the pope was "too conscious of his mission" to be nervous while addressing Polish crowds -- expected to reach 1 million during the May 28 open-air Mass in Krakow -- and already had extensive experience addressing different audiences.

"Of course, it won't be the same -- the contact will have a different quality," the cardinal said. "Poles should be very pleased that he has spoken Polish during his first visit -- we know how hard it is for a German to say even a few words in a Slavic language."

In a May 25 survey in Poland's Gazeta Wyborcza daily, 85 percent of Poles said they hoped the pope would "say a lot" in Polish during the pilgrimage and make "frequent references to John Paul II."

A Warsaw University student, Ewa Dryjanska, said Catholics would welcome the pope's "gesture in entering into their experiences."

"Polish is a hard language, so this is really appreciated," Dryjanska told Catholic News Service May 25. "It's important for Poles, after losing their Polish-speaking pope, to know he's made this effort."

Poland's main state TV news reported May 24 that Pope Benedict had also received coaching in Polish hand gestures in preparation for his May 25-28 visit to Poland.

In a separate May 24 Gazeta Wyborcza survey, 75 percent of Poles said Pope Benedict had a "good media presence," compared to 96 percent who said the same about Pope John Paul.

Compared to the 98 percent who thought Pope John Paul had a sense of humor, 54 percent believed the new pontiff had a sense of humor.

sylvie.france
00Friday, May 26, 2006 12:00 AM
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

video reportage from presidental palace

see this video
ww6.tvp.pl/video/2006/05/25/74440/film.asf

very cute is part with taking of photo with family of polish president, with Papa is staring little 3-years granddaughter of president

MERCI MERCI MERCI [SM=x40800]
it was wonderful, i saw that at the french TV (KT0) [SM=x40790] [SM=x40790] [SM=x40790] [SM=x40790]

IL Papa e i bambini !!!!!!!!! [SM=x40791] [SM=x40799]

[Modificato da sylvie.france 26/05/2006 0.01]

TERESA BENEDETTA
00Friday, May 26, 2006 1:28 AM
OH PAPA!
I am posting here most of the pictures from the newspaper site Maklara
indicated above for pictures taken at the Pope's visit to the Polish
President earlier today. Papa looks so joyous and relaxed, and as the
photos are from a newspaper site, they are likely to disappear after
a time, maybe soon! Every single one is a GOOD MORNING pic!










Has anyone seen this pectoral cross before?



Maklara posted this earlier in GOOD MORNING, and Shouts in the Piazza
made up a hilarious caption for it.

"Yeah, um kinda the Pope here...waiting outside the Presidential Palace...
in the rain...but that's O.K.! I'm just the Vicar of Christ and God's representative
here on Earth, but, hey, y'know that's how it goes. I'll just wait here. No bigee."
(Thanks to Fr. Guy Selvester
)






[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 26/05/2006 1.33]

Music of Lorien
00Friday, May 26, 2006 2:06 AM
PRICELESS PAPA AT THE PRESIDENTIAL PALACE
Maklara, Sylvie - that is just adorable.
What a wonderful family.

Maklara, THANK YOU for the pic, for the video. [SM=x40799]

What a gorgeous child. I wonder if she will remember that when she grows up.

Thank you for all the fantastic photos, Teresa.

[Modificato da Music of Lorien 26/05/2006 2.08]

[Modificato da Music of Lorien 26/05/2006 2.09]

benefan
00Friday, May 26, 2006 2:38 AM
Benedict sets about reawakening Europe's Christian roots
Poland trip motto is 'Stand firm in your faith!'

By John L. Allen Jr.
National Catholic Reporter
Warsaw, Poland

Pope Benedict XVI launched what might be dubbed his "Take Back Europe" 2006 summer tour today, opening a four-day swing through a traditional Catholic stronghold that he hopes will build momentum for reawakening the Christian roots of the Old Continent.

The motto of the visit to Poland is a pointed reminder of the message: "Stand firm in your faith!"

"I have come to Poland, the beloved homeland of my great predecessor Pope John Paul II, in order to inhale, as he used to do, this atmosphere of faith in which you live," Benedict said in a meeting with Polish clergy in the Warsaw cathedral.

Recalling Poland's tragic history, Benedict urged Poles to "remember with appreciation and gratitude those who did not let themselves be overwhelmed by the forces of darkness, and let us learn from them the courage to be consistent and constant in our adherence to the Gospel of Christ."

After Poland, which last fall elected a church-friendly, center-right government led by the Law and Order Party, Benedict will head in July to Spain, where the Socialist government led by Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodríguez Zapatero has challenged the church on almost every conceivable issue, from abortion to gay rights to money for Catholic schools.

Symbolically, Poland represents Benedict's hope for a European future rooted in Christian values; Spain illustrates instead a runaway version of the "dictatorship of relativism."

Local media noted that the "European vocation" of Poland is almost literally written in Polish DNA. American scientist Spencer Wells, head of the International Geographic Project, a project to map the genetic heritage of Europeans, said that Poles are a remarkable genetic mix of both East and West. Lech Walesa, for example, the founder of the Solidarity movement, has ancestors from Croatia, Lithuania and Latvia, but also Portugal and Great Britain.

Benedict's vision, like that of John Paul, is that the Christian nations of the East will bring that heritage into the construction of the new Europe.

While there is undeniably a sentimental dimension to Benedict's Polish visit as a final tribute to Pope John Paul II, the stakes for political and cultural debate throughout Europe are also high.

To grasp the depth of the challenge facing him, all Benedict had to do was to pick up a copy of Corriere della Sera, Italy's main daily, on his Alitalia flight to Warsaw this morning. The paper noted that three ministers of the country's new center-left government have indicated "openness" on civil registration of de facto couples, as well as RU-486 the so-called "morning after" abortion pill, both social experiments bitterly opposed by John Paul II and now Benedict XVI as assaults on a "culture of life."

One disgruntled member of the new government was quoted by Corriere della Sera as saying, "All we're missing now is a declaration of war on the Vatican."

If Benedict is to enjoy any European momentum heading into his July 8-9 trip to Spain, many observers believe it needs to happen here and now.

At the same time, however, Benedict along with the Polish bishops is also concerned that the Polish church not be seen as a lobby on behalf of the country's new government.

"The priest is not asked to be an expert in economics, construction or politics," the pope said to the Polish clergy. "He is expected to be an expert in the spiritual life."

It was an especially pointed remark in light of continuing controversy over Radio Maria, a popular Catholic radio service seen by some as tightly linked to the new Polish ruling coalition.

On the plane to Warsaw, Benedict also looked ahead to his Sunday visit to Auschwitz.

"I am above all Catholic, and I would say that this point is important," he said. "We must always learn that we are Catholic, and thus that one's nationality is inserted, relativized, and also carefully located in the great unity of the Catholic communion."

Benedict said he anticipated the visit "thinking of so many dead, also learning how man can really fall from his dignity, trampling upon others. From here, we hope, will be born a new sense of humanism and of humanity, and also a vision of man as the image of God, so as to prevent similar things in the future."

Another subtext to the trip may be emerging on day one, which is promoting spiritual recovery from several decades of Soviet rule.

"Living under the influence of totalitarianism may have given rise to an unconscious tendency to hide under an external mask," Benedict warned the priests in Warsaw, "and in consequence to become somewhat hypocritical."

One roiling controversy in Poland concerns assigning blame for collaboration during the Soviet era. The church has not been untouched; recently a priest of the Wawel Cathedral in Krakow, for example, was accused by Solidarity activists of having collaborated with the Communist authorities, including providing information on John Paul's visits in 1979 and 1987. He has denied the charges.

Other priests face similar charges, including a priest of the Fatima Sanctuary accused of having provided information on Walensa.

Benedict warned against a cycle of recrimination.

"We must guard against the arrogant claim of setting ourselves up to judge earlier generations, who lived in different times and different circumstances," he said. "Humble sincerity is needed in order not to deny the sins of the past, and at the same time not to indulge in facile accusations in the absence of real evidence or without regard for the different preconceptions of the time."
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Friday, May 26, 2006 3:41 AM
See Paparaxvi's series of videocaps - amounting to portrait studies, really, of the Pope - starting from his departure from Rome this morning to the meeting with the Polish clergy. Having someone as skillful and diligent as Monica is in doing what she does really amounts to having an in-house photo service!

freeforumzone.leonardo.it/viewmessaggi.aspx?f=65482&idd=14&t=1148610876000&p=...

I have suggested she open up a separate photo thread on the Poland trip.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 26/05/2006 3.41]

TERESA BENEDETTA
00Friday, May 26, 2006 6:37 AM
WARSAW'S WELCOME IS WARM BUT NOT RAPTUROUS
Here is AP's wrap-up story of the first day of Pope Benedict XVI's apostolic voyage to Poland.

WARSAW, Poland(AP) Poles gave Pope Benedict XVI a warm greeting Thursday _ if not the rapturous reception reserved for native son Pope John Paul II _ as the German-born pontiff pledged to strive to heal painful wounds from the "tragic tyranny" of the Nazis.

Benedict made clear his trip was "no mere sentimental journey" but was intended to keep alive the goals of his friend and mentor, John Paul _ German-Polish reconciliation, strengthening relations with Jews and keeping Poland a beacon of Catholicism in secular Europe.

He drew a roar of applause at the airport as he launched into his welcoming speech _ in Polish, later switching to Italian.

"I have very much wanted to make this visit to the native land and people of my beloved predecessor, the servant of God, John Paul II," Benedict said. "I have come to follow in the footsteps of his life."

Poles like Benedict's emphasis on continuing John Paul's legacy, and don't seem to mind that he is German despite the memory of the war _ which left Warsaw in ruins. But many still miss John Paul.

"It's not the same as with our pope," said 75-year-old Wanda Nowicka, who was waiting on a downtown street to watch Benedict pass by on his way to his first stop at Warsaw's Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.

"I don't mind if he is German. He is very friendly and he's learning Polish and he was a friend of John Paul," said 72-year-old Aniela Kalisz, who carried a small Vatican flag bearing Benedict's photo.

Thousands of people lined the motorcade route from the airport to downtown Warsaw _ a large crowd by European standards for a visit by the Roman Catholic leader, but small compared to the hundreds of thousands who turned out when John Paul flew into Warsaw in 1979 for the first time since assuming the papacy.

Benedict beamed broadly and waved as he descended from the plane to begin his four-day visit, and managed to keep his skullcap from flying off in a brisk breeze _ unlike his arrival on his first foreign trip in Germany last year.

This tour will touch on some of the most painful memories of Europe's past, and will include a visit Sunday to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, where the Nazis killed 1.5 million people, mostly Jews.

"There I hope especially to meet the survivors of Nazi terror who come from different countries, all of whom suffered under that tragic tyranny," Benedict said at the airport.

"Together we will pray that the wounds of the past century will heal, thanks to the remedy that God in his mercy has prescribed for us by calling us to forgive each other."

Asked by journalists on the plane how he felt about visiting Auschwitz as a German, the 79-year-old Benedict said, "I am above all a Catholic. I must say that this is the most important point."

At the airport, a choir sang "The Barge," John Paul's favorite song _ one sign of how the late pope remains a strong presence in Poland more than a year after his death.

Benedict's remarks were delivered in Italian or Polish, presumably out of regard for the feelings of the wartime generation in Poland, which suffered enormously at the hands of the Nazi invaders.

In a meeting with Catholic clergy, Benedict noted that John Paul often exhorted the faithful to ask pardon for sins by Catholics through the centuries.

Benedict endorsed this, but added a note of caution, saying "we must guard against the arrogant claim of setting ourselves up to judge earlier generations who lived in different times and in different circumstances."

"Humble sincerity is needed in order not to deny the sins of the past, and at the same time not to indulge in facile accusations in absence of real evidence, or without regard for the different preconceptions of the time."

The remarks won applause from the audience. Some Catholic priests have been accused of collaborating with the communists who ruled Poland after the war.

Benedict faced difficult situations himself, and described in his memoirs being enrolled in the Hitler Youth against his will, then risking execution by deserting the army as a draftee days before the war ended.

His first day included a meeting with Polish President Lech Kaczynski, whose gifts to the pontiff included a photo album of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising against the Nazis.

He also addressed a prayer service at a Lutheran church, declaring that efforts to achieve unity among Christian denominations were a "priority" of his papacy.

Other high points on Benedict's schedule include a Mass Friday in Warsaw, where John Paul inspired the Solidarity movement with his landmark appearance in 1979 during communist rule. Then he heads for John Paul's hometown of Wadowice, and for Krakow, where the late pope served as archbishop.

Benedict's trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau is fraught with significance for Catholic-Jewish relations, a favorite cause of John Paul, who also visited there in 1979.

___

Associated Press reporters Dave McHugh Ryan Lucas and Monika Scislowska contributed to this report from Warsaw.

----------------------------------------------------------------
Not to be petty, but I take exception to this statement made in the story:

to keep alive the goals of his friend and mentor, John Paul


I don't think anyone has ever refered to their intellectual relationship as being "mentor and mentee" for the simple reason that, from all accounts, they dealt with each other as intellectual equals, and if anything, it was the cardinal whose counsel and judgment were sought on theological questions relating to Papal pronouncements.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 26/05/2006 6.51]

TERESA BENEDETTA
00Friday, May 26, 2006 6:57 AM
P.S. FROM CARDINAL DZIWISZ
25-05-2006 18:59

An Italian news agency reported tonight that the Archbishop of Cracow, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, who was John Paul II's personal secretary for some 40 years, underscored to journalists the great affection that the Polish people have for Pope Benedict XVI.

During the Pope's courtesy call on President Lech Kaczynski, Dziwisz told reporters that "the welcome for the Pope here in Poland is even better than the welcome he had in Germany."

"You can see," he added, "that here in Poland, there is true love for this Pope."
---------------------------------------------------------------

Check out Nessuna's enlargements of pictures from Day-1 in Poland at
freeforumzone.leonardo.it/viewmessaggi.aspx?f=65482&idd=566&p=17&t=1148641422...


[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 26/05/2006 12.08]

TERESA BENEDETTA
00Friday, May 26, 2006 11:57 AM
ADDRESS AT ECUMENICAL ENCOUNTER IN WARSAW, 5/25/06
Here is the official Vatican translation of the address delivered by the Holy Father at the Ecumenical Encounter and Prayer Meeting held 5/25/06 at the Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity in Warsaw.



Montage by Sylvie.
Photos: www.catholicpressphoto.com/servizi/2006-05-25-viaggio-polonia-ortodossi/def...


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

"Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the first-born of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth" (Rev 1:4-5).

In these words with which Saint John greets the seven Churches of Asia in the Book of the Apocalypse, I wish to address my own warm greetings to all who are present here, especially to the representatives of the Churches and Ecclesial Communities affiliated to the Polish Council for Ecumenism.

I thank Archbishop Jeremiasz of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church for his greetings and his words of spiritual union addressed to me just now. And I greet Archbishop Alfons Nossol, President of the Ecumenical Office of the Polish Bishops’ Conference.

What unites us here today is our desire to meet one another, and to give glory and honour to our Lord Jesus Christ in our common prayer: "to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father" (Rev 1:5-6).

We are grateful to our Lord, because he gathers us together, he grants us his Spirit and he enables us – over and above what still separates us – to cry out "Abba, Father". We are convinced that it is he himself who intercedes unceasingly in our favour, pleading for us: "May they become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me" (Jn 17:23).

Together with you I give thanks for the gift of this encounter of common prayer. I see it as a stage in the implementation of the firm purpose that I made at the beginning of my Pontificate, to consider a priority in my ministry the restoration of full visible unity among Christians.

My beloved Predecessor, the Servant of God John Paul II, stated clearly when he visited this Church of the Most Holy Trinity in 1991: "However much we dedicate ourselves to work for unity, it always remains a gift of the Holy Spirit. We will be available to receive this gift to the extent that we open our minds and hearts to him through the Christian life and above all through prayer."

In fact, it is impossible for us to "make" unity through our own powers alone. As I recalled during last year’s ecumenical encounter in Cologne: "We can only obtain unity as a gift of the Holy Spirit." For this reason, our ecumenical aspirations must be steeped in prayer, in mutual forgiveness and in the holiness of life of each of us. I express my satisfaction at the fact that here in Poland, the Polish Council for Ecumenism and the Roman Catholic Church have launched numerous initiatives in this area.

"Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him" (Rev 1:7). The words of the Apocalypse remind us that we are all on a journey towards the definitive encounter with Christ, when he will reveal before our eyes the meaning of human history, whose centre is the Cross of his saving sacrifice.

As a community of disciples, we are directed towards that encounter, filled with hope and trust that it will be for us the day of salvation, the day when all our longings are fulfilled, thanks to our readiness to let ourselves be guided by the mutual charity which his Spirit calls forth within us.

Let us build this trust not on our own merits, but on the prayer with which Christ reveals the meaning of his coming on earth and of his redeeming death: "Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory which you have given me in your love for me before the foundation of the world" (Jn 17:24).

On our journey towards the encounter with Christ who "is coming with the clouds", through our lives we announce his death, we proclaim his resurrection, as we wait for him to come again.

We feel the weight of the responsibility which all this entails; the message of Christ, in fact, must reach everyone on earth, thanks to the commitment of those who believe in him and who are called to bear witness that he is truly sent by the Father (cf. Jn 17:23).

As we proclaim the Gospel, then, we must be moved by the aspiration to cultivate mutual relations of sincere charity, in such a way that, in the light of these, all may know that the Father sent the Son and that he loves the Church and each one of us just as he loved the Son (cf. Jn 17:23). The task of Christ’s disciples, the task of each of us, is therefore to tend towards that unity, in such a way that we become, as Christians, the visible sign of his saving message, addressed to every human being.

Allow me to recall once more the ecumenical encounter that took place in this church with the participation of your great compatriot John Paul II, and his address, in which he outlined as follows his vision of the efforts directed towards the full unity of Christians:

"The challenge that we face is to overcome the obstacles step by step ... and to grow together in that unity of Christ which is one only, the unity with which he endowed the Church from the beginning.

"The seriousness of the task prohibits all haste or impatience, but the duty to respond to Christ’s will demands that we remain firm on the path towards peace and unity among all Christians.

"We know very well that it is not we who will heal the wounds of division and re-establish unity; we are simple instruments that God will be able to employ. Unity among Christians will be a gift of God, in his time of grace. Let us humbly tend towards that day, growing in love, in mutual forgiveness and in mutual trust."

Since that encounter, much has changed. God has granted us to take many steps towards mutual understanding and rapprochement. Allow me to recall to your attention some ecumenical events which have taken place in the world during that time:
- the publication of the Encyclical Letter Ut Unum Sint;
- the Christological agreements with the pre-Chalcedonian Churches;
- the signing at Augsburg of the "Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification";
- the meeting on the occasion of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 and the ecumenical memorial of twentieth-century witnesses of faith;
- the resumption of Catholic-Orthodox dialogue at world level; and
- the funeral of Pope John Paul II with the participation of almost all Churches and Ecclesial Communities.


I am aware of the fact that here too, in Poland, this fraternal aspiration towards unity can boast concrete successes. I would like to mention at this time:
- the signing in the year 2000 in this very church, on the part of the Roman Catholic Church and the Churches affiliated to the Polish Council for Ecumenism, of the declaration of the mutual recognition of the validity of Baptism;
- the institution of the Commission for Dialogue of the Polish Episcopal Conference and the Polish Council for Ecumenism, to which the Catholic Bishops and the heads of other Churches belong;
-
- the institution of the bilateral commissions for theological dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox, Lutherans, members of the Polish National Church, Mariavites and Adventists;
- the publication of the ecumenical translation of the New Testament and the Book of Psalms;
- the initiative called "Aid for Children at Christmas", in which the charitable organizations of the Churches work together: Catholic, Orthodox, and Evangelical.

We note much progress in the field of ecumenism and yet we always await something more. Allow me to draw attention to two questions for today, in somewhat greater detail.

The first concerns the charitable service of the Churches. There are many brothers and sisters who expect from us the gift of love, of trust, of witness, of spiritual and concrete material help. I referred to this problem in my first Encyclical Deus Caritas Est, in which I said: "Love of neighbour, grounded in the love of God, is first and foremost a responsibility for each individual member of the faithful, but it is also a responsibility for the entire ecclesial community at every level: from the local community to the particular Church and to the Church universal in its entirety. As a community, the Church must practise love" (no. 20).

We cannot forget the essential idea that from the outset constituted the very firm foundation for the disciples’ unity: "within the community of believers there can never be room for a poverty that denies anyone what is needed for a dignified life" (ibid.). This idea is always current, even if in the course of the centuries the forms of fraternal aid have changed; accepting contemporary charitable challenges depends in large measure on our mutual co-operation.

I rejoice that this problem finds a vast resonance in the world in the form of numerous ecumenical initiatives. I note with appreciation that in the community of the Catholic Church and in other Churches and Ecclesial Communities, various new forms of charitable activity have spread and old ones have reappeared with renewed vigour. They are forms which often combine evangelization and works of charity (cf. ibid., 30b).

It seems that, despite all the differences that need to be overcome in the sphere of interdenominational dialogue, it is legitimate to attribute charitable engagement to the ecumenical community of Christ’s disciples in search of full unity. We can all enter into co-operation in favour of the needy, exploiting this network of reciprocal relations, the fruit of dialogue between ourselves and of joint action.

In the spirit of the gospel commandment we must assume this devoted solicitude towards those in need, whoever they may be. In this regard, I wrote in my Encyclical that: "the building of a better world requires Christians to speak with a united voice in working to inculcate ‘respect for the rights and needs of everyone, especially the poor, the lowly and the defenceless’" (no. 30b).

To all those who are taking part in our encounter today I express the wish that the practice of fraternal caritas will bring us ever closer to one another and will render our witness in favour of Christ more credible before the world.

The second question to which I want to refer concerns married life and family life. We know that among Christian communities, called to witness to love, the family occupies a special place.

In today’s world, in which international and intercultural relations are multiplying, it happens increasingly often that young people from different traditions, different religions, or different Christian denominations, decide to start a family.

For the young people themselves and for those dear to them, it is often a difficult decision that brings with it various dangers concerning both perseverance in the faith and the future structuring of the family, the creation of an atmosphere of unity in the family and of suitable conditions for the spiritual growth of the children.

Nevertheless, thanks to the spread of ecumenical dialogue on a larger scale, the decision can lead to the formation of a practical laboratory of unity. For this to happen there is a need for mutual good will, understanding and maturity in faith of both parties, and also of the communities from which they come.

I would like to express my appreciation for the Bilateral Commission of the Council for Ecumenical Issues of the Polish Episcopal Conference and of the Polish Council for Ecumenism, which have begun to draft a document presenting common Christian teaching on marriage and family life and establishing principles acceptable to all for contracting interdenominational marriages, indicating a common programme of pastoral care for such marriages.

To all of you I express the wish that in this delicate area reciprocal trust and co-operation between the Churches may grow, fully respecting the rights and responsibility of the spouses for the faith formation of their own family and the education of their children.

"I made known to them your name, and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and I in them" (Jn 17:26). Brothers and Sisters, placing all our trust in Christ, who makes his name known to us, let us walk every day towards the fulness of fraternal reconciliation. May his prayer cause the community of his disciples on earth, in its mystery and in its visible unity, to become ever more a community of love reflecting the unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 27/05/2006 0.04]

TERESA BENEDETTA
00Friday, May 26, 2006 11:59 AM
PROGRAM FOR FRIDAY, 5/26/06

Warsaw
8.45 Transfer by car from the Nunziatura Apostolica to Pilsudski Square in Warsaw
9.15 Arrival to the Sacristy set up in Pilsudski Square in Warsaw
9.30 Holy Mass in Pilsudski Square in Warsaw Omelia del Santo Padre
11.45 Return to the Sacristyset up in Pilsudski Square in Warsaw
12.00 Transfer by car from Pilsudski Square to the Nunziatura Apostolica in Warsaw
12.15 Arrival to the Nunziatura Apostolica in Warsaw
15.15 Departure from the Nunziatura Apostolica in Warsaw
15.30 Transfer by car from the Nunziatura Apostolica to the Warsaw Airport /Okecie
15.45 Arrival to the Warsaw Airport/Okecie
16.00 Departure by helicopter from the Warsaw Airport /Okecie for Czestochowa

Czestochowa
17.15 Arrival to the heliport of Czestochowa .
Transfer by car from the heliport of Czestochowa to the Convent of Jasna Góra.
17.30 Visit to the Sanctuary of Jasna Góra
Meeting with the Men and Women Religious, seminarians and representatives of Movements of consecrated life at the Sanctuary of Jasna Góra Address of the Holy Father
19.00 Transfer by car from the Convent of Jasna Góra to the heliport of Czestochowa
19.15 Departure in helicopter from the heliport of Czestochowa to Krakow

Krakow
20.00 Arrival to the heliport of Krakow
Transfer by car from the heliport to the House of the Archbishop in Krakow
20.30 Arrival to the House of the Archbishop in Krakow
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Friday, May 26, 2006 12:02 PM
270,000 ATTEND WARSAW MASS IN THE RAIN
WARSAW, Poland, May 26. 2006 (AP) - About 270,000 people attended a Mass by Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday in the same Warsaw square where his predecessor, John Paul II, inspired Poland's Solidarity movement against communist rule.

Spectators filled the rain-drenched Pilsudski Square, standing resolutely in ponchos and under umbrellas. They were determined to see Benedict pay tribute to his friend and mentor _ a main theme of his trip to Poland.

Church bells pealed as the pope was driven to the square through streets lined with waving, cheering people. An aide held an umbrella as Benedict ascended a high Mass platform topped by a 82-foot metal cross.

Aneta Owczarek, 18, dripping wet without a raincoat, said she wouldn't consider going inside.

"No way," she said. "This is one of the most important events that could ever happen in Poland and we don't know if we'll ever see the pope here again."

Boy Scouts distributed tarpaulins to shield people against the rain, and people climbed on fences and sang along with the choir. Police spokesman Pawel Biedziak estimated the crowd at about 270,000.

That was less than in 1979, when some 300,000 people jammed the square, with some 750,000 in the surrounding streets, to see John Paul on his first trip to his native land as pope.

During that historic visit to what was then called Victory Square, John Paul challenged the atheist communist authorities, urging his people to "renew the face of this land."

Solidarity founder Lech Walesa would later credit the pope with energizing the emerging trade union resistance to Soviet-backed communist rule, which collapsed in 1989-90.

White and yellow Vatican flags festooned lampposts, and Benedict's picture stood in apartment windows; one window on Mazowiecka Street had pictures of both Benedict and John Paul.

"John Paul II was dearer to us, because he was our brother," said Barbara Kamela, 60, a retired bookkeeper who attended the 1979 Mass.

"This pope is visibly trying to be close to us, we have a strong impression from him and I came to this Mass to be near him."

The Mass is the highlight of the second day of a four-day trip that will include Benedict's trip to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, a visit heavy with significance for Catholic-Jewish relations, a favorite cause of both Benedict and John Paul.

Here is the Reuters account of the Mass.

Keep the faith burning,
Pope tells Poles

By Philip Pullella and Natalia Reiter
Reuters
Friday, May 26, 2006; 5:31 AM

WARSAW (Reuters) - Pope Benedict, speaking from the spot in Poland where his predecessor John Paul first inspired his countrymen to defy communism 27 years ago, urged Poles on Friday not to let modern prosperity erode their faith.

The 79-year-old German Pope presided at an open air mass for more than 300,000 people -- less than the 1 million expected -- in a rainy Warsaw square as he began the second day of a trip in the footsteps of John Paul.

As the crowd huddled under umbrellas, Benedict recalled that it was there in Pilsudski Square that John Paul read a fiery speech that would later go down in Polish history as a spark that ushered in a bloodless revolution.

At his 1979 mass, the late Polish pontiff quoted a psalm asking the Holy Spirit "to renew the face of the earth ..." and then improvised, adding "the face of this land."

Poles saw it as a battle cry to fight oppression. Backed by John Paul, the Solidarity trade union was born the following year. After a decade of social tensions that included two years of martial law, Poland in 1989 shook off communism, beginning a domino effect that spread to the rest of the Soviet bloc.

Benedict, who succeeded John Paul in April, 2005, spoke from the base of a massive aluminum cross 25 meters (80 feet) high.

Thrilling his listeners by reading some of his sermon in Polish, he reminded them of the massive significance of the five additional words uttered by John Paul in 1979 and said:

"How can we not thank God today for all that was accomplished in your native land and in the whole world during the Pontificate of John Paul II?"

"Before our eyes, changes occurred in entire political, economic and social systems. People in various countries regained their freedom and their sense of dignity," he said, delivering his homily in Italian and Polish.

Today Poland is a thriving democracy, a member of the European Union and NATO. But Benedict has expressed concern that the towering faith that inspired Poles in difficult times was weakening under the onslaught of secularism and consumerism.

"I ask you now, cultivate this rich heritage of faith transmitted to you by earlier generations ... stand firm in your faith, hand it down to your children, bear witness to the grace which you have experienced so abundantly through the Holy Spirit in the course of your history," he said in his homily.

Deferring to sensitivities over the Nazi occupation of Poland in World War Two, when German forces killed vast numbers of Poles and Jews, Benedict will avoid speaking his native language for nearly all of the trip.

"Of course there is a big difference to me," said Eugenia, a 75-year-old pensioner waiting in the rain-drenched crowd.

"John Paul was my countryman so it was natural. He understood what I felt. He understood my everyday problems. The pain after his death is still deep and will stay in my heart forever but Benedict is also my Pope now," she said.

After the mass, Benedict was flying to southern Poland, where John Paul served as a priest, bishop and cardinal until he was elected pope in 1978.

The most poignant stop comes on Sunday when Benedict visits the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz, where 1.5 million people, many of them Jews, were killed during World War Two.

It is the only place where Benedict, who was involuntarily enrolled in the Hitler Youth when he was a boy, is expected to speak German in public.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 26/05/2006 12.27]

SimplyMe
00Friday, May 26, 2006 12:32 PM
Re: 270,000 ATTEND WARSAW MASS IN THE RAIN

Scritto da: TERESA BENEDETTA 26/05/2006 12.02
WARSAW, Poland, May 26. 2006 (AP) - About 270,000 people



Just as I had feared, the estimated 1 million Poles were all not there - only 270000 attended.

In fact, I've always believed and still do, that the Poles do not and will not consider BXVI as their pope.

The Polish reception for the past 2 days of the visit, seems to me to be rather 'lukewarm' in spite of what the Polish officials and cardinals were saying.

It's so obvious from watching the television...


TERESA BENEDETTA
00Friday, May 26, 2006 1:57 PM
HOMILY AT WARSAW MASS
The Holy Father presided at a Eucharistic Celebration on Pilsudski Square in Warsaw this morning. Concelebrating were the Polish cardinals and bishops as well as visiting cardinals and bishops, and many priests. The President of Poland and other ranking civil authorites were present.

Before the Mass,the Archbishop of Warsaw and Primate of Poland, Cardinal Josef Glemp, said a few words to welcome the Pope.



Montage by Sylvie.
Photos: www.catholicpressphoto.com/servizi/2006-05-26-messa-varsavia/def...


Here is the official Vatican translation of the homily delivered by the Pope in Polish and Italian:



Praised be Jesus Christ!

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ our Lord,

"Together with you I wish to sing a hymn of praise to divine Providence, which enables me to be here as a pilgrim." Twenty-seven years ago, my beloved predecessor Pope John Paul II began his homily in Warsaw with these words. I make them my own, and I thank the Lord who has enabled me to come here today to this historic Square.

Here, on the eve of Pentecost, Pope John Paul II uttered the significant words of the prayer "Let your Spirit descend, and renew the face of the earth." And he added: "The face of this land." This very place witnessed the solemn funeral ceremony of the great Primate of Poland, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, whose twenty-fifth anniversary occurs during these days.

God united these two men not only through the same faith, hope and love, but also through the same human vicissitudes, which linked each of them so strongly to the history of this people and of the Church that lives in their midst.

At the beginning of his Pontificate, Pope John Paul II wrote to Cardinal Wyszynski: "This Polish Pope would not be on the Chair of Peter today, beginning a new Pontificate, full of the fear of God, but also full of trust, had it not been for your faith, which did not bend in the face of imprisonment and suffering, your heroic hope, your trusting to the end in the Mother of the Church; had it not been for Jasna Góra and this whole period of the history of the Church in our homeland, linked to your service as Bishop and Primate" (Letter of Pope John Paul II to the Polish People, 23 October 1978).

How can we not thank God today for all that was accomplished in your native land and in the whole world during the Pontificate of John Paul II? Before our eyes, changes occurred in entire political, economic and social systems. People in various countries regained their freedom and their sense of dignity. "Let us not forget the great works of God" (cf. Ps 78:7).

I thank you too for your presence and for your prayer. I thank the Cardinal Primate for the words that he addressed to me. I greet all the Bishops here present. I am glad that the President and the Authorities of national and local government could be here. I embrace with my heart all the Polish people both at home and abroad. "Stand firm in your faith!"

We have just heard the words of Jesus: "If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor, to be with you for ever, the Spirit of truth" (Jn 14:15-17a). With these words Jesus reveals the profound link between faith and the profession of Divine Truth, between faith and dedication to Jesus Christ in love, between faith and the practice of a life inspired by the commandments.

All three dimensions of faith are the fruit of the action of the Holy Spirit. This action is manifested as an inner force that harmonizes the hearts of the disciples with the Heart of Christ and makes them capable of loving as he loved them. Hence faith is a gift, but at the same time it is a task.

"He will give you another Counsellor – the Spirit of truth." Faith, as knowledge and profession of the truth about God and about man, "comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ", as Saint Paul says (Rom 10:17).

Throughout the history of the Church, the Apostles preached the word of Christ, taking care to hand it on intact to their successors, who in their turn transmitted it to subsequent generations until our own day. Many preachers of the Gospel gave their lives specifically because of their faithfulness to the truth of the word of Christ. And so solicitude for the truth gave birth to the Church’s Tradition.

As in past centuries, so also today there are people or groups who obscure this centuries-old Tradition, seeking to falsify the Word of Christ and to remove from the Gospel those truths which in their view are too uncomfortable for modern man. They try to give the impression that everything is relative: even the truths of faith would depend on the historical situation and on human evaluation.

Yet the Church cannot silence the Spirit of Truth. The successors of the Apostles, together with the Pope, are responsible for the truth of the Gospel, and all Christians are called to share in this responsibility, accepting its authoritative indications.

Every Christian is bound to confront his own convictions continually with the teachings of the Gospel and of the Church’s Tradition in the effort to remain faithful to the word of Christ, even when it is demanding and, humanly speaking, hard to understand. We must not yield to the temptation of relativism or of a subjectivist and selective interpretation of Sacred Scripture. Only the whole truth can open us to adherence to Christ, dead and risen for our salvation.

Christ says: "If you love me ... " Faith does not just mean accepting a certain number of abstract truths about the mysteries of God, of man, of life and death, of future realities. Faith consists in an intimate relationship with Christ, a relationship based on love of him who loved us first (cf. 1 Jn 4:11), even to the total offering of himself.

"God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us" (Rom 5:8). What other response can we give to a love so great, if not that of a heart that is open and ready to love?

But what does it mean to love Christ? It means trusting him even in times of trial, following him faithfully even on the Via Crucis, in the hope that soon the morning of the Resurrection will come. Entrusting ourselves to Christ, we lose nothing, we gain everything. In his hands our life acquires its true meaning.

Love for Christ expresses itself in the will to harmonize our own life with the thoughts and sentiments of his Heart. This is achieved through interior union based on the grace of the Sacraments, strengthened by continuous prayer, praise, thanksgiving and penance.

We have to listen attentively to the inspirations that he evokes through his Word, through the people we meet, through the situations of daily life. To love him is to remain in dialogue with him, in order to know his will and to put it into effect promptly.

Yet living one’s personal faith as a love-relationship with Christ also means being ready to renounce everything that constitutes a denial of his love. That is why Jesus said to the Apostles: "If you love me, you will keep my commandments."

But what are Christ’s commandments? When the Lord Jesus was teaching the crowds, he did not fail to confirm the law which the Creator had inscribed on men’s hearts and had then formulated on the tablets of the Decalogue. "Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished" (Mt 5:17-18).

But Jesus showed us with a new clarity the unifying centre of the divine laws revealed on Sinai, namely love of God and love of neighbour: "To love [God] with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbour as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices" (Mk 12:33).

Indeed, in his life and in his Paschal Mystery Jesus brought the entire law to completion. Uniting himself with us through the gift of the Holy Spirit, he carries with us and in us the "yoke" of the law, which thereby becomes a "light burden" (Mt 11:30).

In this spirit, Jesus formulated his list of the inner qualities of those who seek to live their faith deeply: Blessed are the poor in spirit, those who weep, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for justice, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake ... (cf. Mt 5:3-12).

Dear brothers and sisters, faith as adherence to Christ is revealed as love that prompts us to promote the good inscribed by the Creator into the nature of every man and woman among us, into the personality of every other human being and into everything that exists in the world. Whoever believes and loves in this way becomes a builder of the true "civilization of love", of which Christ is the centre.

Twenty-seven years ago, in this place, Pope John Paul II said: "Poland has become nowadays the land of a particularly responsible witness" (Warsaw, 2 June 1979).

I ask you now, cultivate this rich heritage of faith transmitted to you by earlier generations, the heritage of the thought and the service of that great Pole who was Pope John Paul II. Stand firm in your faith, hand it down to your children, bear witness to the grace which you have experienced so abundantly through the Holy Spirit in the course of your history.

May Mary, Queen of Poland, show you the way to her Son, and may she accompany you on your journey towards a happy, peace-filled future. May your hearts never be wanting in love for Christ and for his Church. Amen!
---------------------------------------------------------------

Don't forget to check out Beatrice's slide show on this Mass on
beatrice.france.ifrance.com/flash/messe_26Mai/SlideShow.swf

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 27/05/2006 0.52]

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