Pope gives support to Zimbabwe bishops

Pope Benedict XVI has expressed public support to the bishops of Zimbabwe in their work to promote reconciliation and justice in their country.

Zenit reports that the Holy Father addressed the situation of Church in Zimbabwe when he received the bishops on Saturday, at the end of their five-yearly visit to the Vatican.

"The recent elections in Zimbabwe have laid the basis for what I trust will be a new beginning in the process of national reconciliation and the moral rebuilding of society," said the Pope.

"I appreciate the significant contribution to the electoral process which you offered to the Catholic faithful and to all your fellow citizens in your Joint Pastoral Statement published last year," he added.

"As you rightly noted in that statement, responsibility for the common good demands that all members of the body politic work together in laying firm moral and spiritual foundations for the future of the nation," explained Benedict XVI.

The bishops called on the government to uphold freedom of the press while the media were asked to be watchdogs of the human rights that are enshrined in the national constitution, and to be fair and truthful in their reporting.

The Pope also supported the recent pastoral letter "The Cry of the Poor," published by the bishops of Zimbabwe.

In the document, the Bishops' Conference decried a government program that has led to the demolition of shantytowns, and left innumerable families homeless.

Benedict XVI Encourages Zimbabwe's Bishops (Zenit 3/7/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
The Cry of the Poor (Pastoral letter of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference, June 2005 - CAFOD website)

Zimbabwean Bishops: Catechesis, priestly formation (Vatican Information Service 2/7/05)
Pope hopes G8 will promote African development (Vatican Information Service 4/7/05)
Pope: Rich countries should help the world's poor (AsiaNews.it 4/7/05)
Pope calls on G8 leaders to 'eradicate poverty, promote authentic development' in Africa (Catholic News Agency 4/7/05)
Pope tells Zimbabwe Bishops to build up seminarians, laity and be voices of peace, justice, reconciliation (Catholic News Agency 4/7/05)
Pope hopes for new Catechism Compendium to help all Christians become 'catechists and evangelizers' (Catholic News Agency 4/7/05)
Pope presses G8 on aid to Africa (Catholic World News 4/7/05)
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Pope supports Zimbabwe bishops (Catholic World News 4/7/05)
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On the Compendium of the Catechism (Zenit 3/7/05)
Pope's Address to Bishops of Zimbabwe (Zenit 3/7/05)

5 Jul 2005