Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of December 17, 2007
Pope condemns child abusers, the sex trade
Benedict decries how the sacred human body has been turned into an object of consumption
By CAROL GLATZ
"Adolescents, young people, even young children are easy victims of the corruption of love."
- Pope Benedict
Later that afternoon, Pope Benedict continued the feast day celebrations by making an afternoon visit to a Marian monument in the center of Rome.
The pope blessed a large basket of roses set at the foot of a column topped by a statue of Mary. The statue commemorates Pope Pius IX's proclamation in 1854 that Mary, by special divine favour, was without sin from the moment she was conceived.
He told the rain-soaked crowd of 10,000 people to be inspired by Mary's "fearless faith, unshakable hope, and humble and boundless love" as she followed in the footsteps of her son Jesus.
Mary invites every Christian to avoid evil and respect God's will, to not lose heart "when suffering and death knock on our doors," to look toward the future with hope, and to love one another as brothers and sisters, "united in the task of building a more just, supportive and peaceful world," he said.
Mary, the mother of God, is also the mother of all humanity, he said. Because she is a symbol of the triumph of good over evil, Mary can act as a beacon of hope for all people, he said.
Pope Benedict said Mary points the way to God, who is the only answer to the world's ills.
Without God, "or worse, against him, we can never find the path that leads to love, we can never overcome the power of hate and violence, we can never build a stable peace," he said.
On the second Sunday of Advent, during his Dec. 9 Angelus in St. Peter's Square, the pope warned against losing the true meaning of Christmas to "a materialist mentality."
The world today is experiencing desertlike conditions where people's lives and inner beings "are thirsting for the life-giving water that is Christ."
He said St. John the Baptist's call for conversion still is urgently needed today.
How a person lives life today determines his or her eternal fate, he said, warning that God will judge according to a person's "concrete behaviour" here on earth.
"We will be judged on the basis of our similarity" to Jesus who is "the standard God gave humanity to live by," he said.
Our mission: To serve our readers by bringing the Gospel to bear on current issues in the Church and in secular culture through accurate news coverage and reflective commentary.