Pope: Mission Leaves No Room for Laziness, Cowardice

Offers Example of President of Family Council

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 23, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI called on the example of Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo to urge the faithful to never be lazy or cowardly in the mission.



In his homily today at the funeral liturgy for the Colombian cardinal who was the president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, the Pope spoke about the prelate's courage and dedication to the cause of life and the defense of marriage. Cardinal López Trujillo died Saturday at age 72.

The Holy Father traced the history of Cardinal López Trujillo's service to the Church, noting that he was the youngest cardinal when he was elevated in the 1983 consistory. He was named the president of the family council in 1990.

"How could we fail to note […] the zeal and the passion with which he worked during these almost 18 years, carrying forward tireless activity in protecting and promoting the family and Christian matrimony," the Pontiff said. "How could we fail to thank him for the courage with which he defended the non-negotiable values of human life. All of us have admired his tireless activity.

"We cannot fail to be thankful for the tenacious battle that he waged in defense of the 'truth' of family love and the spreading of the 'Gospel of the family.'"

A reflection

Benedict XVI affirmed that "the late cardinal drew his love for the truth about mankind and for the Gospel of the family from the belief that each human being and each family reflects the mystery of God who is love."

He mentioned the Synod of 1997 during which Cardinal López Trujillo gave an address that the Holy Father characterized as a "true hymn to life."

The cardinal there "proposed a highly effective form of spirituality for those committed to realizing the divine plan for the family; and he highlighted the fact that if science does not dedicate itself to understanding life and to educating for life, it will lose the most important battles in the fascinating and mysterious field of genetic engineering," the Bishop of Rome recalled.

The Pontiff noted the cardinal's motto, "Veritas in caritate," saying, "If Cardinal López Trujillo made of the defense and love of the family the characteristic commitment of his service in the pontifical council over which he presided, it is to the affirmation of the truth that he dedicated his entire existence."

Benedict XVI recalled one of Cardinal López Trujillo's writings in which he prayed, "I very much believe in the value of this decisive fight for the Church and for humanity and I ask the Lord to give me strength so that I am neither lazy nor cowardly."

"To fulfill the mission that Jesus has given us, we mustn't be either lazy or cowardly," the Pope continued. "May the generosity of the cardinal we mourn, multiplied in many works of charity especially benefiting children in various parts of the world, nourish us in spending all of our physical and spiritual resources for the cause of the Gospel; may it move us to act in defense of human life; may it help us to constantly keep our eyes fixed on the goal of our earthly pilgrimage."