Pauline Year


“Witnesses to the faith to follow the example of the Apostle Paul”


“Witnesses to the faith to follow the example of the Apostle Paul,” Card Kitbunchu says by Weena Kowitwanij

During the opening celebrations for the Pauline Year, the archbishop of Bangkok emphasises Saint Paul’s missionary role, reminding people of Pope Benedict XVI’s call for the unity of the faithful. Every Christian is called to proclaim the “Word of God.”

Bangkok (A.N.) – In response to Pope Benedict XVI’s call for “Christian unity”, the Thai Church has given the go-ahead to the celebrations of the Pauline Year. A solemn Eucharistic celebration was held on 29 June in Bangkok’s Assumption Cathedral, Archbishop of Bangkok Card Michael Michai Kitbunchu presiding. Mgr Salvatore Pennacchio, apostolic nuncio to Thailand, and nine local bishops took part in the ceremony.
“The Thai Church joins in spirit and unity with the Universal Church on the occasion of the opening the year of St. Paul,” said Cardinal Kitbunchu. “As the Pope said if we follow the example of the Apostle and meditate on his writings we can give renewed vigour to the proclamation of faith. Paul represents a key spiritual figure and thanks to his work of evangelisation the Word of God spread among the first Christian communities.”
The cardinal also read a statement by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Thailand that reiterates the connection between Pauline Year celebrations and the Lumen Gentium adopted by the Second Vatican Council.
The bishops said that it was incumbent on each faithful to take on the missionary task for they are called to “bear witness to the Good News. Further, they invited Thailand’s Catholics “to create always tighter ties within the community of faithful.”
Mgr Salvatore Pennacchio, nuncio to Thailand, also said that Pope Benedict XVI’s pontificate is a constant call for moral principles that must guide Christians’ lives, by emphasising the value of “human dignity” and promoting world peace.
On the occasion of the Pauline Year the bishops are urging the faithful to meditate on God’s Word, organising collective readings open to other Christian denominations.
The agenda also includes initiatives designed to spread the faith in Thai society in addition to pilgrimages to churches dedicated to St Paul in Thailand and to places connected to the Apostle in the Holy Land, Syria, Turkey, Greece and Rome.


Let us turn to Saint Paul to “learn the faith, learn Christ,”

Benedict XVI announces a series of reflections on the figure of the Apostle to the Gentiles in this year dedicated to him. The Pope today moves to Castel Gandolfo from where he will travel to Sydney to celebrate World Youth Day.

Pope Benedict Begins Catechesis on St. Paulhttp://www.radiovaticana.org/../img_common/x.gif

(02 July 08 - RV) Pope Benedict said on Wednesday that during the Pauline Year, he will dedicate his weekly General Audiences to the Apostle of the Gentiles. We have this report... http://www.radiovaticana.org/en1/img/listen.gif 
Greeting Pilgrims in the Paul VI Audience hall, Pope Benedict announced a new series of talks for his Weekly General Audiences, in honour of the Pauline year.

Listen to the Holy Father: http://www.radiovaticana.org/en1/img/listen.gif

“Last Sunday, the Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul, marked the beginning of a Year dedicated to the figure and teaching of the Apostle Paul. Today’s audience begins a new series of catecheses aimed at understanding more deeply the thought of Saint Paul and its continuing relevance. Paul, as we know, was a Jew, and consequently a member of a distinct cultural minority in the Roman Empire. At the same time, he spoke Greek, the language of the wider Hellenistic culture, and was a Roman citizen”. 

“Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles, was therefore uniquely situated for his mission of preaching the gospel to all peoples, all over the world”.

“Paul’s proclamation of the Risen Christ, while grounded in Judaism, was marked by a universalist vision and it was facilitated by his familiarity with three cultures. He was thus able to draw from the spiritual richness of contemporary philosophy, and Stoicism in particular, in his preaching of the Gospel. The crisis of traditional Greco-Roman religion in Paul’s time had also fostered a greater concern for a personal experience of God. As we see from his sermon before the Areopagus in Athens (cf. Acts 17:22ff.), Paul was able to appeal to these currents of thought in his presentation of the Good News. Against this broad cultural background, Paul developed his teaching, which we will explore in the catecheses of this Pauline Year”.

"I offer a warm welcome to all the English-speaking visitors present today, including the Pallottine Missionary Sisters, the Columban Missionaries and the Soweto Catholic Church Choir. I also greet the various groups coming from England, Ireland, Norway, The Bahamas, Canada and the United States. May your visit to Rome be a time of deep spiritual renewal. Upon all of you I invoke God’s blessings of joy and peace."

The Holy Father said this we have much to learn from Saint Paul today, with his emphasis on distinguishing how Christianity was different from the prevailing culture. Pope Benedict will be staying in Castel Gandolfo after Wednesday, and his catechesis will continue when Weekly General Audiences resume on August 13th.



















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