Monday, April 25, 2005

Pope Highlights Ecumenism, Dialogue With Non-Christians

At 11 this morning in the Clementine Hall, Pope Benedict XVI welcomed members of Christian Churches and ecclesial communities, as well as those of non-Christian religions who had come to Rome for the Mass yesterday to inaugurate his pontificate.

In greeting the delegates of the Orthodox Churches, the Eastern Orthodox Churches and the ecclesial communities of the West, he noted how "welcome" their presence was both yesterday in St. Peter's and in the days of mourning for and the funeral of Pope John Paul II. He told them their tribute at that time "went well beyond a simple act of ecclesial courtesy. ... Your participation in the mourning of the Catholic Church for his death showed how true and how great is the common passion for unity."

"In greeting you, I would like to thank the Lord," said the Pope, "Who has blessed us with His mercy and has infused in us a sincere disposition to make His prayer - 'ut unum sint' - our prayer."

Speaking French, Benedict XVI called this morning's meeting "significant as it permits the new bishop of Rome, pastor of the Catholic Church, to repeat to you, with simplicity, 'Duc in altum' (Put out into the deep)." He added that he wished to "reaffirm the irreversible commitment" undertaken at Vatican Council II, and since then, to stay "on the path towards full unity desired by Jesus for His disciples. ... Your presence, dear brothers in Christ, beyond what divides us and throws shadows over our full and visible communion, is a sign of sharing and support for the bishop of Rome, who can count on your support to follow" this path.

"I turn now to you, dear friends from different religious traditions," said the Holy Father in English, "and I thank you sincerely for your presence at the solemn inauguration of my pontificate. ... I am particularly grateful for the presence in our midst of members of the Muslim community, and I express my appreciation for the growth of dialogue between Muslims and Christians, both at the local and international level. I assure you that the Church wants to continue building bridges of friendship with the followers of all religions, in order to seek the true good of every person and of society as a whole.

"The world in which we live is often marked by conflicts, violence and war, but it earnestly longs for peace, peace which is above all a gift from God, peace for which we must pray without ceasing. Yet peace is also a duty to which all peoples must be committed, especially those who profess to belong to religious traditions. Our efforts to come together and foster dialogue are a valuable contribution to building peace on solid foundations."

Benedict XVI concluded by inviting all present "to become together artisans of peace, of a reciprocal commitment to understanding, respect and love." -V.I.S.


Anonymous said...

Joseph Ratzinger has done a brilliant job of moving gracefully into the role of Pope Benedict XVI. So far he has not put a foot wrong. He has been diffident and gentle and has shown himself to be a real master of language in his homilies and public statements. Clearly he is continuing to reach out to other faiths as John Paul did. By emphasising his debt and appreciation for the adored Karol Wojtyla he has helped people to begin to accept another man as Pope. He certainly looks the part, and he has his own unique, endearing and expressive gestures. He comes across as kind, loveable and rather vulnerable, with his snowy hair blowing in the breeze, and yet he has a quiet strength and dignity. His undoubted intellectual firepower is carried with grace and humility.

Ratzinger is the right man to follow Wojtyla. The transition, after such a long and remarkable papacy, could easily have been a disaster. With any luck he will stay strong and healthy long enough to make a real mark on a global scale. People should give him their wholehearted support. The church has enough detractors from without. Internal strife is completely counter productive.

Anonymous said...

As we in the Church are giving great thanks to God for the gift of this magnificent new pope, now appears an annoying tendency to denigrate John Paul II in comparison to his more "Old School" successor. How inane. Such a habit of thought ignores the fact that John Paul and Benedict are two sides of one coin-- completely united personally and professionally during the former's lifetime, and as Benedict himself has stated several times, just as completely united in prayer and petition since John Paul's death.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the Pope blog! Awesome idea.

Do you know where to find full transcripts of Pope Benedict's speeches? I've been searching for transcripts of his remarks today to the other religious leaders and to the German pilgrims, but to no avail. There are lots of quotes, but they usually don't do justice to his speeches in their entirety, which are magnificent.


John said...

They're not on the Vatican website (which has really not come through very well at all, IMHO...).

I would expect to wait another month, probably.

ZanniPolo said...

They are on the Vatican website. What you need to do is to go the the Press Office section and download the Daily Bulletins. These contain all the text of every speech and homily that HH has made so far. You can also find the speeches he made during the interregnum. Not all of them have been translated out of the original languages, but hey, if you were brought up a proper catholic, you should be able to read at least Latin (grin). Here is a link to the daily bulletins.

John said...

Zanni: No, CCD never taught Latin (I was born in 1983, so Latin was thoroughly dead by the time I reached kindergarten, even).

I did, however, take a few years in school. Your average suburban public school.

Unfortunately, I don't remember enough to work with.

Anonymous said...

I was looking at the Guiness book of World Records® and I noticed that this website of record has missed a major milestone.

Benedict XVI is no longer the shortest-reigning pope!

On the 22nd of this month, Benedict XVI passed Steven (II) as the shortest reigning pope. Steven reigned three days after his election before dying of the heart attack he had when he learned of his election.

he will pass:
1.Urban VII on May 2nd
2.Boniface VI (April, 896): on May 5
3.Celestine IV (October 25 - November 10, 1241): on May 6
4.Sisinnius (January 15 - February 4, 708): on May 10
5.Theodore II (December, 897): on May 11
6.Marcellus II (April 10 - May 1, 1555): on May 11
7.Damasus II (July 17 - August 9, 1048): on May 13
8.Pius III (September 22 - October 18, 1503): on May 16
9.Leo XI (April 1 - April 27, 1605): on May 16
10. Benedict V (May 22 – June 23, 964): on May 26

and John Paul I on May 26th as well.

Pope Benedict will become the longest reigning pope in the year 2036 at the age of 109.

Anonymous said...

Silly pope.