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In visit to Rome parish, Pope speaks on evangelizing new arrivals

CWN - December 13, 2010

Visiting a parish on the outskirts of Rome on December 13, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the joyful message of the Incarnation, which brings “light amidst so much darkness and so much daily fatigue.”

Celebrating Mass at the parish of St. Maximillian Kolbe on the 3rd Sunday of Advent, the Holy Father commented on the day’s Gospel, which recounted the question of St. John the Baptist as to whether Jesus was the promised Messiah.

The Pope said that “many prophets, ideologues, and dictators” have come into the world, promising radical change. “And they created their empires, their dictatorships, their totalitarian regimes which were meant to change the world. And they did change it, but destructively.” In sharp contrast, the Pope continued, Jesus came into the world quietly, and used no earthly force, but “lit many lights which together form a great path of light over the millennia.”

The Pope addressed a special message to the people of the parish, which was founded in 2009 and includes many recent arrivals from Eastern Europe. Such a parish, the Pope remarked, offers a great opportunity for new evangelization. "Here, as in all parishes", he said, "it is necessary to begin with those 'close by' then reach those 'far away.’”

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