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30 Novembre 2011

Pope Benedict XVI: support for efforts to eliminate death penalty

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Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday offered his support to a major international meeting underway this week through the sponsorship of the Sant’Egidio Community aimed at eliminating capital punishment.

I greet the distinguished delegations from various countries taking part in the meeting promoted by the Community of Sant’Egidio on the theme: No Justice without Life. I express my hope that your deliberations will encourage the political and legislative initiatives being promoted in a growing number of countries to eliminate the death penalty and to continue the substantive progress made in conforming penal law both to the human dignity of prisoners and the effective maintenance of public order.

The Holy Father’s appeal came at the end of his weekly General Audience, during which he continued his series of catecheses on Christian prayer.

The Pope on Wednesday focused on how Christ, Himself, prays, saying that Christ’s example most fully reveals the mystery of Christian prayer.

A significant moment in this regard is Jesus’ prayer following his Baptism, which expresses his both his deepest identity as the Son of God and his solidarity with the sinful humanity whom he came to save. Jesus’ prayer reflects his complete, filial obedience to the Father’s will, an obedience which would lead him to death on the Cross for the redemption of our sins.

“With his human heart,” said Pope Benedict, “Jesus learned to pray from his Mother and from the Jewish tradition, yet the source of his prayer is his eternal communion with the Father.”

As the incarnate Son, he shows us perfectly how to pray as children of the heavenly Father. Jesus’ example of fidelity to prayer challenges us to examine the time and effort we devote to our own prayer. While prayer is a gift of God, it is also an art learned through constant practice.

Pope Benedict concluded, saying, “Jesus teaches us to pray constantly, but also to bear witness before others of the beauty of prayer, self-surrender and complete openness to God.”Listen

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