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Reaffirm the Resurrection, Pope urges faithful May 01, 2006

Faithful Christians should always vigorously reaffirm the truth of the Resurrection, Pope Benedict XVI told a public audience on April 30.

The Pope warned that every age is tempted to question the reality of the Resurrection or to "turn it into a merely spiritual event." The literal truth of the Resurrection is at the center of Christian belief, the Holy Father said, citing the words of St. Paul (1 Cor 15:14) that "if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain."

Speaking to a large crowd attending the weekly Regina Caeli audience in St. Peter's Square, the Pontiff noted that the month of May-- traditionally dedicated to the Virgin Mary-- would begin the next day. He prayed that the Mother of God will watch over the Church "at a time marked by many shadows."

In mentioning the questions that are raised about the physical reality of the Resurrection, the Pope was referring directly to the day's Gospel ( Lk 24:35-48), which retold Christ's appearance to the apostles after He rose. But Pope Benedict seemed also to be alluding indirectly to the popular success of works like The Da Vinci Code and the "Gospel of Judas."

Vatican officials have recently issued several stern warnings about what Father Raniero Cantalamessa, the preacher of the pontifical household, described as "pseudo-histories" of Christ and the Church. At a conference in Rome last week the secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Angelo Amato, specifically called for a boycott of the film version of The Da Vinci Code, which will debut later this month; he said the movie is "full of calumnies, offenses, and historical and theological errors."

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