ON BEHALF OF POPE BENEDICT XVI
TO ARCHBISHOP GIANFRANCO RAVASI
ON THE OCCASION OF THE MEETING TAKING PLACE IN TANZANIA
ON THE "PASTORAL PROSPECTS FOR THE NEW EVANGELIZATION AND ITS EFFECTS ON AFRICAN CULTURES"
PROMOTED BY THE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR CULTURE
The Holy Father was pleased to learn of the meeting organized by the Pontifical Council for Culture taking place in Bagamoyo, Tanzania, from 22 to 26 July, and he sends his warm best wishes to all those present for this important gathering.
His Holiness will accompany you in his prayers as you reflect on the Pastoral Prospects for the New Evangelization in the Context of Globalization and its Effects on African Cultures. This broad area of study is especially important as it includes the two-fold task of evangelization of culture and inculturation of the Gospel.
This mission "is ancient yet ever new, a task which has its origin in the mystery of the incarnation itself and its motivation in the innate ability of the Gospel to take root in every culture" (Pastores Gregis, n. 30).
The Holy Father prays that your deliberations will assist the Church in Africa to find new and effective ways of presenting the unchanging truth of the Gospel and especially the values of the joy of life, respect for the unborn child, the important role of the family, and a deep sense of communion and solidarity which are present in African cultures (cf. Ecclesia in Africa, n. 43).
Commending your work to the intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church, His Holiness cordially imparts his Apostolic Blessing.
From the Vatican, 3 July 2008