.- The vice president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, Archbishop Octavo Ruiz Arenas, said that during his upcoming trip to the Unites States, Pope Benedict XVI will bring a message of hope to the faithful to encourage them to proclaim the Gospel of Christ with love and enthusiasm.
Speaking to Vatican Radio, the archbishop stressed the importance of the Pope’s eighth trip outside Italy, which is taking place “at a difficult time for the entire Church, in which we have to rescue again the values that flow from the Gospel in order that human rights may be respected” and so that the proclamation of the Gospel will be done “with love and hope.”
He also said that Pope Benedict hopes the trip will bring healing over the clergy sex abuse scandal, “to remind people that as ministers we are certainly fragile but that the strength of the Lord is what should animate the entire Church.”
Regarding the Pope’s visit to the United Nations, Archbishop Ruiz Arenas noted that it comes as the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is observed.
“The Church, in this field, has a strong message to proclaim. She wants to again stress what human dignity is, which is not based on acquired rights or on rights that we seek out somewhere, but rather on the very essence of our being. We are children of God, we are all brothers and sisters,” he said.
Archbishop Ruiz encouraged Catholics to seek out equality so that we can all live out our dignity as human beings “with pride, respecting one another.”
He also noted the affection Latinos have for the Holy Father, for whom “we pray to the Lord to give him the strength to continue this work he is carrying out with profound apostolic sentiment.”