Rorate Caeli

Mission: it is our duty to offer everyone
the possibility of attaining eternal life

At this moment I would like to go back in thought five centuries, to the years following 1506, when, in these lands, then visited by the Portuguese, the first sub-Saharan Christian kingdom was established, thanks to the faith and determination of the king, Dom Alphonsus I Mbemba-a-Nzinga, who reigned from 1506 until his death in 1543. 

The kingdom remained officially Catholic from the sixteenth century until the eighteenth, with its own ambassador in Rome. You see how two quite different ethnic groups – the Bantu and the Portuguese – were able to find in the Christian religion common ground for understanding, and committed themselves to ensuring that this understanding would be long-lasting, and that differences – which undoubtedly existed, and great ones at that – would not divide the two kingdoms! For Baptism enables all believers to be one in Christ.

Today it is up to you, brothers and sisters, following in the footsteps of those heroic and holy heralds of God, to offer the Risen Christ to your fellow citizens. So many of them are living in fear of spirits, of malign and threatening powers. In their bewilderment they end up even condemning street children and the elderly as alleged sorcerers. 

Who can go to them to proclaim that Christ has triumphed over death and all those occult powers (cf. Eph 1:19-23; 6:10-12)? Someone may object: “Why not leave them in peace? They have their truth, and we have ours. Let us all try to live in peace, leaving everyone as they are, so they can best be themselves.” But if we are convinced and have come to experience that without Christ life lacks something, that something real – indeed, the most real thing of all – is missing, we must also be convinced that we do no injustice to anyone if we present Christ to them and thus grant them the opportunity of finding their truest and most authentic selves, the joy of finding life. Indeed, we must do this. It is our duty to offer everyone this possibility of attaining eternal life.
Benedict XVI
Mass with religious of Angola and São Tomé
Luanda, Angola
March 21, 2009


  1. Anonymous11:43 AM

    Pray for the Pope ! I can see another media firestorm coming over his remarks about pagan religions of fear. Hold you ground, dear Pope Benedict ! Corageo, Santo Padre!

    Fr. Paul McDonald

  2. Anonymous11:53 AM

    This is beautiful!

    Vivat Pastor Bonus!

  3. Yes, I can see this being taken entirely the wrong way by many in other religions. May Almighty God send His Angels to protect him.

  4. Newspapers in Portugal are already headlining: "WAS THIS MASS IN ROME OR IN LUANDA?", accusing the Pope of being 'eurocentric' and complaining about the use of latin, and also people are complaining because "the Pope thinks his religion is the best".

    I have never seen such an attack against a Pope as in the last days. Many mainstream media calling the Pope "criminal", etc.

    This must be a very very good sign.


  5. Is Christ's triump over 'occult powers' perhaps a reference to non-Christian religions? Am I reading it correctly? Can we expect lots of sensationalist headlines over the next few days excoriating the Pope for demonizing other creeds as of the 'occult'? The London Times will have a field day.

  6. Anonymous3:44 PM

    What a beautiful speech. I think that it is time for those traditionalists who are critical of him to put aside their differences and rally around the Holy Father. He faces a firestorm from the servants of Hell and is being stabbed in the back by the heretics within the Church; he shouldn't have to worry about traditionalists as well. We should be his most vocal supporters against these madmen who criticize him for upholding the Gospel.

  7. Anonymous5:36 PM

    I thought it was beautiful too.


  8. Anonymous6:14 PM

    Now all His Holiness needs do is follow the request of Our Lady of Fatima, and consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart. Don

  9. Well, Delphina, I guess this is one of those days where we get to rejoice over the resplendent fidelity, courage, and orthodoxy of Peter's Successor :-)

    He seems to me to be getting stronger in the face of the firestorm of hatred from the demons of hell.

    Always praying for you, Holy Father.

  10. Anonymous9:43 PM

    "Now all His Holiness needs do is follow the request of Our Lady of Fatima, and consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart. Don"

    Don Didn't Pope John Paul II do this already?

    I also read somewhere that Pope Pius XII consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart.
    This would beg the question: why would a later pontiff do it again?

  11. Anonymous9:49 PM

    The Holy Father is to consecrate Russia, specifically by name, and in union with the world's bishops. This has not yet been done. When JPII made his attempt, most of the bishops ignored him. Furthermore, he did not specifically mention Russia by name.

  12. Anonymous9:59 PM

    "It is our duty to offer everyone this possibility of attaining eternal life," but the modernist ecumaniac "subsisting in" the Chair of Peter enters synagogues, but does not exhort conversion, instead submits to Jewish fables (Titus 1:14).

  13. Anonymous10:04 PM

    Anonymous, how many nanoseconds will it take this blogs self-appointed Inquisitors to delete that plain truth?

    Yes, the Holy Father says one thing, but hypocritically does the opposite. How are non-Catholics supposed to attain eternal life if even the Pope fails to evangelize those who need it?

    Hypocrisy is the ninth sacrament of Novus Ordo Neo-Phariseeism ("dialog" is their eight).

  14. Anonymous12:44 AM

    Is he saying you have to be Catholic to have the possibility of eternal salvation, or merely Christian?

  15. Anonymous3:43 AM

    These are not the words of an anti-pope! Gerry and Thomas, are you listening?

  16. Anonymous4:24 AM

    Alas! No one here seems to have read the whole speech. Benedict's words about the Mohammedans certainly are the words of... Benedict XVI.


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