Thursday, June 12, 2008

Archbishop Sambi: Benedict's U.S. visit "still bearing fruit in local church"

Archbishop Pietro Sambi, representative of the Pope to the United States, has explained in an interview that Benedict XVI’s successful visit is bearing fruit in the local Church and in has opened the eyes of the secular world ( June 12, 2008):

In an interview with Gianluca Biccini, that will be published in Wednesday's edition of L'Osservatore Romano, Archbishop Sambi said that during the April 15-20 papal trip, the theme of the visit, “Christ Our Hope,” permeated all the addresses of Pope Benedict XVI.

Hope filled more than the Pope’s speeches, the archbishop said as he recalled a brief message that Benedict gave to New York Catholic Radio. Speaking to the radio audience the Holy Father said “he had come ‘to confirm you in the faith, but in truth it has also been you who have confirmed me, with your response, your enthusiasm and affection’.”

The Nuncio said that the Pope was impressed by the fact that Americans “always in difficult moments, have always turned to their churches and temples, finding in the presence of God faith, unity and courage. This people has never been separated from the Word of God: the Bible remains the book that mostly accompanies the American citizen... which continues to illuminate the most significant moments of the personal, family and national life.”

“Therefore, speaking on hope, the Pope has touched an issue deeply rooted in the history and the culture of this people, and has stricken a particularly sensitive cord in these times,” the Nuncio added.

The Archbishop also highlighted the issue of evangelization, telling L'Osservatore that, “The United States, as every country in the world, is in need of a new evangelization. It must begin at home, that is to say, at the core of the Church itself, so that Christians may rediscover the joy and the strength of being Christians.”

“The Pope,” Sambi said, “has opened the way, has given the launch signal in his speeches to the bishops, the priests and religious, the educators, the lay people, the youth: all the sectors of the Church have been called to this commitment, to be instruments of the Spirit to a new Pentecost.” ... (Read More)