VATICAN-ASIA Catholics in Asia pray for Pope Benedict

Vatican spokesman: “He is lucid and alert, his condition, although it remains serious, is stable.” Cardinal Bo, Archbishop of Rangoon and President of the FABC: “His witness to him continues to bless the Church.” They also pray for the Pope Emeritus in India and in the Catholic communities in China.

Milan () – Numerous Catholic communities throughout Asia have accepted Pope Francis’ invitation yesterday to offer a “special prayer” for Benedict XVI, whose state of health worsened precisely during the celebration of Christmas. In the early hours of the afternoon today, the director of the Vatican press room Matteo Bruni, in dialogue with journalists, gave an update on the conditions of the pope emeritus: “He was able to rest well last night – he said – he is completely lucid and alert and today, although his condition remains serious, his condition is stable for the moment. Pope Francis renews his invitation to pray for him and accompany him in these difficult times.”

From Myanmar the Archbishop of Rangoon, Card. Charles Bo, president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, invited all the faithful to “pray for this holy man, whose witness continues to bless the Church today. His contribution to the Second Vatican Council – continues Card. His strong support for John Paul II’s mission and his intellectual acumen are memorable contributions to the Church. He remained faithful to the tradition and teachings of the Church. May the protection of the Virgin Mary continue to console and bless you with the gift of health.”

Chinese Catholic communities also pray for Benedict XVI, remembering with gratitude his 2007 Letter to Chinese Catholics. One of the first to reproduce Pope Francis’ invitation yesterday was Card. Joseph Zen on his twitter profile, but also many faithful shared it on Weibo, the Chinese social network. On – the website that is an important point of reference for Catholic communities in mainland China – appears an image of Pope Benedict with the prayer released yesterday by VaticanNews.

In India, Cardinal Anthony Poola, Archbishop of Hyderabad, published a message to the faithful inviting them to pray for the pope emeritus. “I admire him -he said- for three reasons: 1) his synthesis of scholar and pastor. As a theologian, his work on Jesus of Nazareth is wonderful. But he also has a shepherd’s heart. 2) his love for the Church: he never compromised on values. 3) his courage in leaving the pontificate. He with great humility had the firmness to say ‘no’ when this task had become too heavy to carry out. Yesterday and today I affectionately remembered the Pope Emeritus in the Eucharistic celebration and I prayed for him so that the Lord consoles and supports him”.

(with the collaboration of Nirmala Carvalho)

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Written by Editor TLN

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