Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Vatican's top 10 stories of 2011

It was a year full of emotions, challenges and excitement. Now, ROME REPORTS is reviewing the Vatican's top ten stories of 2011, to fully understand the year and also to welcome the next.

Ranking in at number ten, is the pope's first tweet, sent from an iPad. This year, the pope asked Catholics to learn how to speak with God, by using different mediums. Here, he led by example.

Story number nine deals with the world economic crisis. The Vatican released a document stating that there should be different rules for investment and commercial banks. The text was released by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Among other things, it said the economic crisis is caused by an ethical crisis.

In eighth place, is the pope's second trip to Africa. In mid November, Benedict XVI visited Benin. During his visit he asked the Church to help promote reconciliation, justice and peace in the continent.

The seventh story of 2011 deals with the violent death of several Coptic Christians in Egypt. It happened back in October, when a group took to the streets to speak out against the recent burning of a church. A conflict began between the group and the military. In the end 26 people died, hundreds were injured.

Benedict XVI
October 12th, 2011
“I feel the sorrow of the victim's families and all the Egyptian people.”

The sixth story is the pope's call for a “Year of Faith,” which will run from October 11, 2012 to November 24, 2013. The initiative is meant to promote the “New Evangelization” in the Western world.

In fifth place is the publication of the pope's book, “Jesus of Nazareth.” This second volume focuses on the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ. The book highlights the historical life of Jesus, emphasizing that the Jesus referred to in the Gospels truly existed and was indeed God.

Coming in at number four is the inter-religious meeting in Assisi. Along with the pope, other Christians, Muslims, Buddhist and even agnostics from all over the world, vowed to build peace in the world.

Benedict XVI
“In the name of the Lord, may every religion bring to Earth justice, peace, forgiveness, life and love.”

This year's number three story is World Youth Day in Madrid. During those four days, roughly 1.5 million youths gathered in Madrid to hear the pope speak. He called on them to take their faith seriously and with enthusiasm. But there was also an unexpected enemy: a heavy storm that fell during one of the pope's ceremonies.

In second place is the pope's trip to Germany. In just four days he gave 17 speeches, while visiting Berlin, Freiburg and Erfurt Among them, was a speech he gave to Germany's parliament in which he challenged politicians to do what's right and not only what's popular.

Benedict XVI
“For most of the matters that need to be regulated by law, the support of the majority can serve as a sufficient criterion. Yet it is evident that for the fundamental issues of law, in which the dignity of man and of humanity is at stake, the majority principle is not enough.”

Ranking in at number one is the beatification of John Paul II. Six years after passing away, Benedict XVI raised John Paul II to the altars, making him the most popular blessed. His powerful message in which he called on people to “Not be afraid, and open the doors of the world to Christ,” came alive once again, in St. Peter's Square.

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