‘Darkness threatens mankind’: Pope Benedict leads one billion Catholics as he ushers in Easter with candlelit vigil but warns of struggle between good and evil

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2126720/Pope-Benedict-XVI-ushers-Easter-candle-lit-vigil.html

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 19:48 EST, 7 April 2012 | UPDATED: 21:05 EST, 7 April 2012

Pope Benedict XVI, carrying a tall, lit candle, ushered in Christianity’s most joyous celebration with an Easter vigil service Saturday night, but voiced fears that mankind is groping in darkness, unable to distinguish good from evil.

Easter for Christians commemorates Christ’s triumph over death with his resurrection following his crucifixion.

‘Life is stronger than death. Good is stronger than evil. Love is stronger than hate. Truth is stronger than lies,’ Benedict, wearing white robes in a symbol of new life, told the faithful in a packed St. Peter’s Basilica.

Ceremony: Hours before the Easter morning, Pope Benedict XVI, presided over an evening Easter vigil in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Saturday that began in total darknessCeremony: Hours before the Easter morning, Pope Benedict XVI, presided over an evening Easter vigil in St. Peter’s Basilica, at the Vatican, Saturday that began in total darkness

 

 

Sparkling: Prior to the Pope's arrival, the room was only lit by candles and the occasional burst of camera flashesSparkling: Prior to the Pope’s arrival, the room was only lit by candles and the occasional burst of camera flashes

Celebration: The ceremony came hours before the Christian church will celebrate Easter, Christ's triumph over death with his resurrection following his crucifixionCelebration: The ceremony came hours before the Christian church will celebrate Easter, Christ’s triumph over death with his resurrection following his crucifixion

 

Still, Benedict worried in his homily: ‘The darkness that poses a real threat to mankind, after all, is the fact that he can see and investigate tangible material things, but cannot see where the world is going or whence it comes, where our own life is going, what is good and what is evil.’

‘The darkness enshrouding God and obscuring values is the real threat to our existence and to the world in general,’ the pope said.

Message: As part of his message, the Pope warned that the world was losing how to differentiate between good and evil, losing sight of directionMessage: As part of his message, the Pope warned that the world was losing how to differentiate between good and evil, losing sight of direction

Strengths: With the Pope's message of warning, he also said that life is stronger than death, good stronger than evil, love stronger than hate and truth stronger than liesStrengths: With the Pope’s message of warning, he also said that life is stronger than death, good stronger than evil, love stronger than hate and truth stronger than lies

 

Faithful: Nearly all in attendance held a candle with Cardinals seen following along with the ceremonyFaithful: Nearly all in attendance held a candle with Cardinals seen following along with the ceremony

‘If God and moral values, the difference between good and evil, remain in darkness, then all other ‘lights,’ that put such incredible technical feats within our reach, are not only progress but also dangers that put us and the world at risk,’ Benedict added.

The service began dramatically.

Except for the twinkle of camera flashes, the basilica was almost pitch-black as the thousands of faithful in pews awaited Benedict’s arrival through the rear entrance. After aides lit the candle, Benedict climbed aboard a raised platform that was wheeled up the long main aisle to the central altar. The wheeled device is used to save wear and tear on the pontiff, who turns 85 on April 16.

Activism: Another message the Pope delivered featured environmental conservation, noting urban pollution's dimming view of the starsActivism: Another message the Pope delivered featured environmental conservation, noting urban pollution’s dimming view of the stars

 

Misguide: He called light pollution a growing majority's own version of enlightenment that is misguidedMisguide: He called light pollution a growing majority’s own version of enlightenment that is misguided

 

Benedict, who has made protection of the environment a theme of his papacy, made a reference to urban pollution in his homily.

‘Today we can illuminate our cities so brightly that the stars in the sky are no longer visible,’ he said. ‘Is this not an image of the problems caused by our version of enlightenment?’

‘With regard to material things, our knowledge and our technical accomplishments are legion, but what reaches beyond, the things of God and the question of good, we can no longer identify,’ Benedict added, saying that faith was the ‘true enlightenment.’

Baptisms: Benedict welcomed eight adult converts to the church, including Daniela Venner from Germany, pouring water over their bowed heads in baptismBaptisms: Benedict welcomed eight adult converts to the church, including Daniela Venner from Germany, pouring water over their bowed heads in baptism

Bathed: Benedict baptizes Jason Neal Emerick, from the USA, pouring water from a silver clam shell Bathed: Benedict baptizes Jason Neal Emerick, from the USA, pouring water from a silver clam shell

During the vigil ceremony, Benedict welcomed eight adult converts to the church, pouring water over their bowed heads in baptism.

On Sunday morning, Benedict will lead Easter Mass in St. Peter’s Square, then deliver a speech from the central balcony of the basilica, at the end of stamina-testing Holy Week appearances.

Aging: Turning 85-years-old this April, the Pope was brought in on a moving platform to help save his energyAging: Turning 85-years-old this April, the Pope was brought in on a moving platform to help save his energy

Easter rituals: Sunday morning Benedict will lead Easter Mass in St. Peter's Square before delivering a speech from the central balcony of the basilicaEaster rituals: Sunday morning Benedict will lead Easter Mass in St. Peter’s Square before delivering a speech from the central balcony of the basilica

 

Grandeur: The numerous ceremonies make up a stamina-testing Holy Week of appearances for the PopeGrandeur: The numerous ceremonies make up a stamina-testing Holy Week of appearances for the Pope

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Posted on April 7, 2012, in Religion / Faith and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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