Cardinal Bertone Calls Faithful to Welcome Risen Christ's Peace

Celebrates Mass in Southern Italy After Receiving Honorary Doctorate

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By Eugenio Fizzotti

ROME, APRIL 24, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI's secretary of state is encouraging the faithful to receive the peace of the Risen Christ, who began his Easter appearances with the greeting "Peace be with you" -- an expression that is the gift of his very Self.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said this last Sunday at the Cathedral of Catanzaro, Italy, as he celebrated Mass with the local archbishop, Vincenzo Bertolone. He was in the city after having been granted an honorary doctorate the night before.

The Risen One “conquered the duel between death and life and, hence, sealed the ecclesial community definitively with the word 'peace,' which encloses all the Commandments and reassumes every personal and community good," the Pope's secretary of state said.

This means that all those who follow him with consistency and fidelity and who are united to the Pastor of the particular Church in perfect union with the Apostolic See, are called to “be courageous witnesses, heralds and agents of that peace that only Jesus Christ can give to hearts, to families, to society, to the world," he added.

After the many processes of modernization, of unfulfilled development partially distorted, as well as of profound socio-cultural transformation, paschal faith calls for a New Evangelization of the lands of southern Italy, the cardinal said, "of ways of living and of thinking, so that Christ, our peace and our justice, can reign ever more in your midst and renew everything according to God’s design and the real good of men.”

And commenting with a particularly convincing style the passages read in the Liturgy of the Word, Cardinal Bertone solicited the need, grace and authenticity of faith in God, of “transforming evil into good, and of carrying out the inscrutable design of the Father, which is a design of conversion and change, of profound renewal, of resurrection to the life itself of Christ, in God.”

This means that it is all the more urgent, in addition to indispensable, “to change the perspective radically, to transform one’s existence profoundly, to abhor sins committed, not to sin anymore, to no longer fear to speak of the Spirit of truth to the people of Calabria.” And, addressing the priests specifically, he invited them to never tire of “transmitting in every environment -- in appropriate ways , and always with gentle firmness – the Word that generates true life, the good life of the Gospel and gives the strength of truth, so as not to suffer the intimidations of organized crime, of illegality, of the conspiratorial silence of one who sees and does not act.”

He reminded the faithful that with their testimony they contribute “to spread Christ’s friendship among the persons they meet in human relations and in their pastoral ministry and express systematically their being always and everywhere living signs of the Resurrection.”