Home   |  About Us   |  Contacts   |  Products    
 News Items
 Top Stories
 News Briefs
 Vatican
 Origins
 Africa
 Headlines
 Also Featuring
 Movie Reviews
 Sunday Scripture
 CNS Blog
 Links to Clients
 Major Events
 2008 papal visit
 World Youth Day
 John Paul II
 For Clients
 Client Login
 CNS Insider
 We're also on ...
 Facebook
 Twitter
 RSS Feeds
 Top Stories
 Vatican
 Movie Reviews
 CNS Blog
.
 For More Info

 If you would like
 more information
 about Catholic
 News Service,
 please contact
 CNS at one of
 the following:
 cns@
 catholicnews.com
 or
 (202) 541-3250

.
 Copyright

 This material
 may not
 be published,
 broadcast,
 rewritten or
 otherwise
 distributed,
 except by
 linking to
 a page on
 this site.

.
 CNS Story:

POPE-AUDIENCE Aug-29-2012 (420 words) With photos. xxxi

Pope, at audience, says Christians must not compromise Christ's truth


A Swiss Guard stands at attention as Pope Benedict XVI greets the crowd during his general audience. (CNS/Paul Haring)

By Catholic News Service

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS) -- Marking the feast of the martyrdom of St. John the Baptist, Pope Benedict XVI said Christians must not bow to the pressure of the powerful who demand a denial of Christ or of the truth he taught.

"The truth is the truth and there is no compromise," the pope said at his weekly general audience Aug. 29, the day the church remembers St. John the Baptist's beheading.

An estimated 2,500 people gathered in the town square just outside the papal summer villa in Castel Gandolfo for the main part of the pope's audience.

Walking with a cane, the pope then held a second, mini-audience in the courtyard of the papal villa with 2,600 French altar servers -- boys and girls -- who were on a pilgrimage to Rome.

Pope Benedict told the young people they were blessed to be "particularly close to Christ Jesus in the Eucharist. You have the enormous privilege of being close to the altar, close to the Lord."

The pope prayed that being an altar server would help the young people deepen their friendship with Christ and enthusiastically share God's love with their friends and families.

"And, if one day you feel called to follow the path to the priesthood or religious life, respond generously," he told the youngsters.

In his main audience talk, the pope said St. John the Baptist, "out of love for the truth, would not compromise with the powerful" who wanted him to deny Christ.

Celebrating the martyrdom of St. John the Baptist is a reminder that "we cannot accept compromises about the love of Christ, his word, his truth," he said.

Pope Benedict said St. John's strength to preach conversion, to lead people to Jesus and to face martyrdom flowed from prayer and a total reliance on God.

The periods St. John spent in the desert were part of his preparation. The desert is a place "where man experiences his own poverty because, deprived of support and material security, he understands that the only solid point of reference remaining is God," the pope said.

The Baptist's example of prayer, he said, teaches believers that "prayer isn't time wasted, it does not steal time away from work -- even apostolic work."

Rather, he said, St. John the Baptist's life is a reminder that "only if we have a faithful, constant, trusting prayer life, God himself will give us the ability and strength to live happily and serenely, to overcome difficulty and witness to him courageously."

- - -

Editor's Note: The text of the pope's audience remarks in English will be posted online at www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/audiences/2012/documents/hf_ben-xvi_aud_20120829_en.html.

The text of the pope's audience remarks in Spanish will be posted online at www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/audiences/2012/documents/hf_ben-xvi_aud_20120829_sp.html.

END


Copyright (c) 2012 Catholic News Service/USCCB. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed.
CNS · 3211 Fourth St NE · Washington DC 20017 · 202.541.3250