Friday, April 22, 2005

Pope to Cardinals: May Your Support For Me Never Fail

This morning, the Pope received the cardinals currently in Rome, telling them that "to the intense emotions I experienced on the occasion of the death of my venerated predecessor John Paul II and then during the conclave, especially its outcome, can be added an intimate desire for silence and two complementary feelings: a deep and heartfelt gratitude and a sense of human impotence in the face of the exalted task that awaits me."

"In the first place," he affirmed, "I feel the need to give thanks to God Who, despite my human frailty, elected me as Successor to the Apostle Peter and entrusted me with the task of supporting and guiding the Church, that in the world she may become a sacrament of unity for the entire human race."

Benedict XVI emphasized how "truly emotional" the first meeting with the faithful two days ago in St Peter's Square had been. "May my most heartfelt thanks reach everyone: bishops, priests, male and female religious, young and old alike, for their spiritual solidarity."

The Pope thanked all members of the College of Cardinals, especially Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano and the camerlengo Cardinal Eduardo Martinez Somalo, for "the active collaboration they gave to running the Church during the period of vacant see. With special affection, I would like to greet those cardinals who, for reasons of age or ill health, did not participate in the conclave."

The Pope extended his personal thanks to the cardinals "for the trust you have placed in me by electing me as bishop of Rome and pastor of the Universal Church. It was an act of faith that constitutes an encouragement to undertake this new mission with greater serenity, because I am convinced that I can count on both the indispensable help of God and your generous collaboration. I pray that your support for me may never fail!"

The Holy Father recalled his predecessors, Blessed John XXIII, Servants of God Paul VI and John Paul I, and especially John Paul II, "whose witness over the last days supported us more than ever, and whose ever-living presence we continue to feel." He went on: "The light and the strength of the Risen Christ radiated in the Church by that kind of 'last Mass' that (John Paul II) celebrated in his agony, culminating in the 'Amen' of a life entirely offered, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for the salvation of the world."

"For me, your spiritual closeness, your enlightened counsel and your effective cooperation will be a gift for which I will be ever grateful and a stimulus to carry out the mandate entrusted to me with total faithfulness and dedication." -V.I.S.


ZanniPolo said...

There has been a lot of talk in the media and by commenters on this blog about the various merits of His Holiness Benedict XVI. Is it not our duty as Catholics to accept him now and to give him a chance to prove himself in the role of Holy Father? Let us all give him a chance. As many Cardinals have pointed out, just as his election has surprised many so will the way in which he comports himself during his Pontificate. At Mass yesterday I found the Gospel reading particularly informative and appropriate. I have posted the reading and a commentary of how I think this relates to Benedict XVI here.

John said...

For your edification, an article from Salon re the new Pope and his "Kulturkampf".

Katrina said...


Your thoughts about giving Benedict XVI a chance seem very wise to me. I'm starting to grow tired of all this speculation with the media and particular websites selecting whatever they want from Ratizinger's writings or announcements to argue a particular standpoint. The man is starting to sound schizophrenic - I've seen him described by some as an 'arch-conservative' and others as a 'modernist'. People are so quick to judge. Like you said we should just accept him now and I think also we should pray.
I liked the Gospel reading along with your commentary, probably one of the most sensible things I've read about the papal election.

Joel said...

No one is born with the skills to be pope. In fact the first pope was neither intellectual nor charismatic. He was a fisherman.

Joseph Ratzinger was a defender of the faith. It was his mission to esure the integrity of the basic tennets of orthodoxy and orthopraxis.

Benedict is the shepherd of the faithful. It is his mission to be pastor to the universal church.

Though they are essentially the same man, that man is learning centers not on the faith but on the faithful . The paschal mystery is after all the mystery of creation, redemption and santification.

The media has been most unkind to the Pope. The faithful need to appreciate that Benedict is not called to complete John Paul's mission because John Paul's mission is complete. Benedict is called to a new mission one that he will discover as his papacy goes forward.
The lapsed faithful need to realize that the Catholic Church is not a democracy where goverment is by the consent of the governed. It is a response to a call and it is the job of the Pope to shepherd the faithful as they respond to the call not to railroad the call to suit the faithful.

God bless Pope Benedict and his Pastoral service of the Universal Church.