Cardinal Cañizares Reflects on John Paul II's Legacy

Says it Can Be Summarized in Christ Alone

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AREQUIPA, Peru, JULY 22, 2011 (Zenit.org).- "Christ alone will save us" were the five words Cardinal Antonio Cañizares expressed to summarize the spiritual legacy left by John Paul II.

With this message, the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments closed the pastoral theological conference "John Paul II, Witness of Hope," organized by the Archdiocese of Arequipa. 

Cardinal Cañizares said that the challenges John Paul II faced continue to be the ones the Church faces today and they were articulated in his last book: "Rise, Let Us Be on Our Way," (2004). 

"He told all of us, with his sight fixed on Christ, sustained by the hope that does not disappoint, let us walk together on the paths of the new millennium," explained the Spanish cardinal. 

"I think this is the great challenge," he added, "the great challenge for the Church and for humanity. Let's not look for other paths, as we will walk on mistaken paths."

That is why, given the great and grave problems with which the second millennium closed and the new one opened, which still persist, John Paul II proclaimed with all certainty and conviction: 'We are certainly not satisfied with the naive conviction that there is a magic formula for the great challenges. No, it won't be a formula that will save us, but yes a person and the certainty that he infuses in us: I am with you.'" 

Cardinal Cañizares exhorted his listeners to accept John Paul II's call to holiness, which he himself embodied and posed as pastoral priority. "Only with saints will the Gospel be credible, visible and followed," he stressed. 

Quoting John Paul II, he exhorted: "Let us not be afraid to be saints. Let us follow him who is source of liberty, life and love. Let us open to the Lord so that he will illumine all our steps. Let us open ourselves to the gifts of grace. Only grace and its means will sanctify us. Let us take part in the means and paths that lead us to holiness."