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Pope tells Brazil to protect family in struggle against poverty

Pope John Paul has urged Brazil to continue in its efforts to combat poverty and hunger while mindful of the need to preserve the dignity and integrity of the family unit.

Receiving the credentials of Basilia's new ambassador to the Holy See, the Pope referred to the "convergence of principles" involved in "attending to the needs of the less privileged".

Last week, the Brazilian bishops' conference spoke out against the Senate's approval of the Law on Bio-security, which allows research on frozen embryonic stem cells. The bishops noted that such research is an attack on life.

John Paul II asked Brazilians to "continue fomenting and proclaiming the values of the faith, especially when it is a question of recognising explicitly the holiness of family life and the safeguarding of the unborn, from the moment of conception."

The Pope expressed great satisfaction that the government has the dignity of the poor as an objective, and hoped that the "best efforts and resources" will be dedicated to it. In particular, the Holy Father applauded Brazil's initiative to cancel the external debt of some countries, as "one can perceive a concrete demonstration of solidarity and stimulus for the peoples who live apart from world development."

"Such an initiative demonstrates that all the nations involved in this enterprise must be aware that only courageous action ready to sacrifice for the common good of all will be able to contribute to the redemption of those poorer countries," he said.

The Pope guaranteed to the Brazilian government "the determined will of the Church to collaborate, within its own mission, with all the initiatives in the service of the whole man and of all men."

John Paul II Urges Brazil to Defend the Family (Zenit 11/10/04)

Holiness and Mission Are 2 Aspects of Following Christ, Says Pope (Zenit 11/10/04)
Eucharist and Evangelization Go Together, Pope Tells Young People (Zenit 11/10/04)
Pope's Apostolic Letter for the Year of the Eucharist now available in English (Catholic News Agency 12/10/04)

13 Oct 2004