Resurrection Is Key of Christianity, Says Pope

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 30, 2006 ( To deny Christ's resurrection is to empty Christianity of its meaning, says Benedict XVI.

Before praying the Regina Caeli today with those gathered in St. Peter's Square, the Pope meditated on the Gospel passage of the day's liturgy: Jesus' appearance to the disciples in Jerusalem.

"Christ's resurrection is the central event of Christianity, a fundamental truth that must be reaffirmed with vigor at all times," said the Holy Father.

"To deny it in different ways, as has been attempted and continues to be attempted, or to transform it into a merely spiritual event, is to make our faith vain," the Pontiff added.

Recalling an expression of St. Paul, Benedict XVI said: "If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain."

The Pope added: We "are called to be witnesses of this extraordinary event."