Papal Address to 24 New Cardinals
"I Encourage You to Continue in Your Spiritual and Apostolic Mission"
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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 22, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI delivered today upon receiving in audience in Paul VI Hall the 24 new cardinals who were created Saturday, as well as their friends and family.
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Dear Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Presbyterate
Still alive in our minds and hearts are the feelings and emotions that we experienced yesterday and the day before, on the occasion of the creation of 24 new cardinals. They were moments of fervent prayer and profound communion, which today we would like to prolong with our spirits filled with gratitude to the Lord, who gave us the joy of living a new page in the history of the Church. Therefore, I am also happy to receive you today in this simple and family meeting, and to address by cordial greeting to the new cardinals, as well as to their relatives, friends and all those accompanying them in this very solemn and important circumstance.
I greet in the first place the dear Italian cardinals! I greet you Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes; I greet you, Cardinal Francesco Monterisi, archpriest of the Papal Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls; I greet you, Cardinal Fortunato Baldelli, major penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary; I greet you, Cardinal Paolo Sardi, vice chamberlain of Apostolic Chamber; I greet you, Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy; I greet you, Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See; I greet you, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture; I greet you, Cardinal Paolo Romeo of Palermo, Italy; I greet you, Cardinal Elio Sgreccia, former president of the Pontifical Academy for Life; I greet you, Cardinal Domenico Bartolucci, former director of the Pontifical Choir.
Dear and Venerable Brothers, through you, the Church that is in Italy has enriched the College of Cardinals with further pastoral wisdom and apostolic enthusiasm. I willingly extend my cordial greeting to all those who share with you the joy of this moment and exhort them to ensure the support of their prayer, so that you will be able to persevere faithfully in your respective tasks to the advantage of the Gospel and of the whole Christian people.
I address my cordial greeting to the new French-speaking cardinals: the Patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts, Egypt Cardinal Antonios Naguib; the president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, Cardinal Robert Sarah; the archbishop of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya. I also greet with joy those near to you and all the persons that accompany you in these days of celebration that we have just experienced.
Dear friends, these celebrations call us to extend our look to the dimensions of the universal Church. I invite you to pray for the new cardinals so that in communion with the Successor of Peter they may work effectively for the unity and sanctity of the whole People of God. And you, yourselves, be ardent witnesses of the Gospel to give the world the hope of which it is in need and to contribute to the establishment of peace and fraternity everywhere.
I extend a cordial greeting to the English-speaking prelates whom I had the joy of raising to the dignity of cardinal in last Saturday's Consistory, Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature; Cardinal Medardo Joseph Mazombwe, archbishop emeritus of Lusaka (Zambia); Cardinal Donald William Wuerl, archbishop of Washington (USA) and Cardinal Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don, archbishop of Colombo (Sri Lanka).
I also welcome their family members and friends, and all the faithful who have accompanied them to Rome.
The College of Cardinals, whose origin is linked to the ancient clergy of the Roman Church, is charged with electing the Successor of Peter and advising him in matters of greater importance. Whether in the offices of the Roman Curia or in their ministry in the local Churches throughout the world, the cardinals are called to share in a special way in the Pope's solicitude for the universal Church. The vivid color of their robes has traditionally been seen as a sign of their commitment to defending Christ's flock even in the shedding of their blood. As the new cardinals accept the burden of his office, I am confident that they will be supported by your constant prayers and your cooperation in their efforts to build up the body of Christ in unity, holiness and peace.
I address a particular greeting to the new German-speaking cardinals. I begin with Cardinal Kurt Koch, whom I greet cordially together with his relatives, his friends and his guests from Switzerland, above all the representatives of the Diocese of Basle in which he has worked as bishop for many years, as well as the representatives of the Federal Council and of the Cantons. Unite yourselves to him in prayer and support him in his important task for the universal Church and as collaborator of the Pope at the service of Christian unity.
With joy I also extend my welcome to Cardinal Reinhard Marx and to his family, his guests and pilgrims of the Archdiocese of Munich und Freising, to the bishops, the collaborators in the different episcopal institutions, to the representatives of politics and public life and to believers of the Diocese of Trier and of his native Diocese of Paderborn.
Finally, I cordially greet Dardinal Walter Brandmuller, his relatives and friends of Rome, Augusta and Bamberg. Dear friends, the cardinals participate in a particular way in the solicitude of the Successor of Peter for the universal Church. The sign of this is the luminous red of the purple, which evidences the fact that they must be the ones that protect and defend the flock of Christ to the extreme consequences, to the gift of their own blood.
Support them in carrying out their task with your prayer and your commitment to the Church.
I greet affectionately the Spanish-speaking cardinals, accompanied by their relatives and so many bishops, priests, religious and laity who have come especially from Ecuador and Spain. The Church in Ecuador is rejoicing for Cardinal Raúl Eduardo Vela Chiriboga, retired archbishop of Quito, Ecuador, who with exemplary zeal and dedication has also carried out his episcopal ministry in Guayaquil, Azogues, and as Ordinary Military bishop.
The Church of Spain also congratulates Cardinal José Manuel Estepa Llaurens, retired archbishop of Spain's military, who rendered valuable service participating in the writing of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I invite you all to support the new members of the College of Cardinals with your prayer and spiritual closeness so that, moved by intense love of Christ and united in close communion with the Successor of Peter, they may continue to serve the Church with fidelity.
I greet Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis, surrounded here by friendly persons, congratulating him for seeing his person more intimately associated with the Pope's ministry. Your presence reminds me of the hours of profound joy and great ecclesial hope lived in Aparecida, during my unforgettable visit to Brazil that, above all in that day, was extended to the whole Latin American Continent and the Caribbean, as your episcopate was meeting there in communion of faith, hope and love, under the maternal gaze of Mary, around the Successor of Peter.
Today with you I reiterate my affectionate trust to the cardinal archbishop of Aparecida and I pray to Our Lady to protect and assist you all, illuminating your way with hope, in union as your Pastor and friend, to establish all things in Christ.
I address expressions of greeting to Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz and to his guests. The appointment of cardinal now obliges to solicitude not only for the local Church, but for the fortunes of the universal Church, as well as close collaboration with the Pope in carrying out the Petrine office. Because of this I implore for him all the necessary graces, and ask you all for constant prayer for the light and strength of the Holy Spirit -- Spirit of wisdom and counsel. May God bless you!
Dear and venerable brothers who have become part of the College of Cardinals! I renew to each one of you my cordial best wishes. Your ministry is enriched by a further commitment in supporting the Successor of Peter, in his universal service to the Church. I count so much on you, on your prayer and on your valuable help. With fraternal esteem, I encourage you to continue in your spiritual and apostolic mission, which has experienced a very important stage. Keep your look fixed on Christ, attributing to him every grace and spiritual comfort, on the luminous example of Holy cardinals, intrepid servants of the Church who in the course of the centuries have rendered glory to God with heroic exercise of the virtues and tenacious fidelity to the Gospel.
I invoke on you and on those present the maternal protection of the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, and of martyr St. Cecilia, whose memorial we celebrate today. May the patroness of music and bel canto accompany and support you in your commitment to be in the Church attentive listeners of the different voices, to render more profound the unity of hearts. With such sentiments I impart with affection to you and to all those present a special apostolic blessing.
[Translation by ZENIT]