2. We were joyfully gathered together with the Successor of Peter, Head of the College of Bishops. His Holiness Benedict XVI has confirmed us in the primacy of faith in God, in his truth and love, for the good of individuals and peoples. We are grateful for all his teachings, especially in his Inaugural Address, which were light and sure guidance for our work. The grateful memory of recent popes, and especially their rich magisterium, which has been very present in our work, merits special remembrance and gratitude.
3. We have felt accompanied by the prayer of our believing Catholic people, visibly represented by the presence of the Shepherd and the faithful for the Church of God in Aparecida, and by the multitude of pilgrims to the shrine from all of Brazil and other countries of the Americas, who edified and evangelized us. In the communion of saints, we were mindful of all those who have preceded us as disciples and missionaries in the Lord’s vineyard, and especially our Latin American saints, including Saint Toribio de Mogrovejo, patron of the Latin American episcopacy.
In paragraphs 2 and 3, the bishops express their gratitude, first of all, to Pope Benedict XVI who opened the general conference with a strong talk that, among other themes, reaffirmed the option for the poor and placed it in a Christological context:
Faith releases us from the isolation of the “I”, because it leads us to communion: the encounter with God is, in itself and as such, an encounter with our brothers and sisters, an act of convocation, of unification, of responsibility towards the other and towards others. In this sense, the preferential option for the poor is implicit in the Christological faith in the God who became poor for us, so as to enrich us with his poverty (cf. 2 Cor 8:9).
The bishops also thank the faithful for their prayers, recalling the pilgrims to the shrine “who edified and evangelized us.” It is important to note that the bishops celebrated the Eucharist with the pilgrims, not in a Mass only for themselves and the delegates to the conference.
Access it online: the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.