Pope Benedict Sends Message to Plenary Assembly of European Bishops

Emphasizes Importance of "Perennial Task of Evangelization"

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By Junno Arocho

VATICAN CITY, SEPT, 28, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Pope Benedict XVI, through his secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, sent a message to the bishops meeting in St. Gallen, Switzerland for Plenary Assembly of the Council of European Bishops Conferences (CCEE). The message was sent to Cardinal Peter Erdo, president of the CCEE, who read the statement from the Holy Father to the participating bishops at the conference.

Cardinal Bertone expressed the Pope's best wishes and happiness on the occasion of the meeting, stressing the importance of the "perennial task of evangelization and its present renewed urgency." Reflecting on the life of St. Gallo, the namesake of the city where the bishops conference, the Italian prelate said that the saintly abbots life became a "propelling center" for further missions around the world.

"Saint Gallo’s experience, like that of so many other protagonists of evangelization in European lands and in the whole world, teaches that the Christian message is sown and takes root effectively where it is lived authentically and eloquently by a community, so that preaching is sustained by the testimony of fraternal charity and animated by common prayer," the statement read.

Reminding the participating bishop of the upcoming Synod of Bishops in October, which will reflect on the New Evangelization, the cardinal conveyed the Holy Father's hope that the mission of St. Gallo would stimulate the Plenary Assembly to look with faith and hope at the upcoming Synod.

Concluding the statement, Cardinal Bertone invoked the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the assembly and imparted Pope Benedict XVI's apostolic blessing. "I also add my personal good wishes for a serene and profitable session and I take advantage of the circumstance to confirm my distinct deference," the statement concluded.