.- Earlier today, Pope Benedict XVI spoke with pilgrims from the archdiocese of Madrid, Spain, accompanied by their archbishop, Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, and his auxiliaries, telling them that the Church in Madrid must spread the message of the Gospel to all areas of society.
The group had been in Rome for the third diocesan synod, the theme of which was: "The transmission of faith, lived and practiced in communion with the Church."
Pope Benedict noted that during the synod assembly "the ecclesial community became conscious of being a 'family in faith'," and a "symbol of unity for all society. It is a Catholic community, and Catholic means precisely that it is an open gathering, repository of a universal message destined for all human beings.”
“This Catholic community today”, he said, “makes its pilgrimage to Rome as a sign of communion with Peter's Successor and, consequently, with the Universal Church."
The Pope told the pilgrims that, "In a society thirsting for true human values and suffering so many divisions and fractures, the community of believers must become bearers of the light of the Gospel, in the certainty that charity is, in the first instance, the communication of truth."
“To this end,” he continued, “the Church in Madrid wishes to be present in all areas of daily life, ... because the Spirit impels us to bring to all men and women the love that God the Father showed us in Jesus Christ. ... We must go to the confines of society in order to bring to everyone the light of Christ's message on the meaning of life, of family and of society, reaching those people who live in the desert of abandonment and poverty and loving them with the love of the Risen Christ."
The Holy Father concluded his audience telling them to "seek to nourish yourselves spiritually with prayer and with an intense sacramental life; deepen your personal knowledge of Christ and walk with all your strength towards sanctity, 'the highest level of Christian life' as the beloved John Paul II used to say."