ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS
Paul VI Audience Hall
Our meeting today extends the atmosphere of prayer and communion we have lived in these days of festivity for the creation of 23 new Cardinals. The Consistory and yesterday's Eucharistic Celebration on the Solemnity of Christ the King have afforded us a special opportunity to experience the Church's catholicity, well represented by the variegated provenance of the members of the College of Cardinals gathered round the Successor of Peter in close communion. I am thus glad once again to address my cordial greeting to these new Cardinals and with them, I greet all of you, relatives and friends, who have come to gather round them at such an important moment in their lives.
I greet you first, dear Italian Cardinals. I greet you, Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, President of the Pontifical Commission and of the Governorate of Vatican City State; I greet you, Cardinal Angelo Comastri, Archpriest of the Vatican Basilica, my Vicar General for Vatican City State and President of the Fabric of St Peter; I greet you, Cardinal Raffaele Farina, Archivist and Librarian of Holy Roman Church; I greet you, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, Metropolitan Archbishop of Genoa and President of the Italian Bishops' Conference; I greet you, Cardinal Giovanni Coppa, former Apostolic Nuncio in the Czech Republic; I greet you, Cardinal Umberto Betti, former Rector of the Pontifical Lateran University. Venerable and dear Brothers, so many persons and friends, bound to you in various ways, are beside you on this occasion, which is at the same time both solemn and intimate. I urge each one of them never to let you lack friendship, esteem and prayers, thereby helping you to continue to serve the Church faithfully, and in the various tasks and ministries that Providence entrusts to you, to bear an ever more generous witness of love for Christ.
I am pleased to greet the new members of the College of Cardinals. Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris; Cardinal Théodore-Adrien Sarr, Archbishop of Dakar, as well as their loved ones and members of their Dioceses who have wished to accompany them on this happy occasion. May the ceremonies we have been able to experience in the past two days strengthen your faith and your love of Christ and the Church. I also ask you to support your Pastors and accompany them with your prayers, so that they may always guide the people entrusted to them with care. Let us also not forget to ask Christ for young people to be willing to accept a commitment to the priesthood.
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 John Patrick Foley, Grand Master of the Knights of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem; Cardinal Seán Baptist Brady, Archbishop of Armagh, Ireland; Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, India; Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston (U.S.A.); Cardinal John Njue, Archbishop of Nairobi (Kenya); Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, Patriarch of Babylon for Chaldeans. I am also pleased to have this opportunity to 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 colour of their robes has traditionally been seen as a sign of their commitment to defending Christ's flock even to the shedding of their blood. As the new Cardinals accept the burden of this 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 offer a warm welcome to Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, to his family, his friends and his guests who have come from Germany, as well as the faithful from his Archdiocese of Paderborn, of which he was also Bishop. Together with you, I thank our new Cardinal for the precious service to the Successor of Peter that he has carried out for many years as President of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum". Continue to accompany him with your prayers and support him in his important task of practical solicitude for the Pope's loving service to the poor and needy. May the Lord give his grace to you all!
I warmly greet the new Spanish-speaking Cardinals, accompanied by their relatives and numerous Bishops, priests, Religious and lay people from Argentina, Spain and Mexico. Argentina rejoices for Cardinal Leonardo Sandri who, after serving the Holy See as Substitute of the Secretariat of State, is now in charge of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, and also for Cardinal Estanislao Esteban Karlic, Archbishop emeritus of Paraná, who has served that Ecclesial Community for so many years with affection and self-denial. The Church in Spain rejoices for Cardinal Agustín García-Gasco Vicente, Archbishop of Valencia, a city I visited last year for the World Day of the Family; for Cardinal Lluís Martínez Sistach, Archbishop of Barcelona, who formerly carried out a fruitful ministry in Tortosa and Tarragona; and also for Cardinal Urbano Navarrete, former Rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University, who devoted his life to studying and teaching Canon Law. The pilgrim Church in Mexico congratulates Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega, Archbishop of Monterrey, whose constant pastoral dedication was also manifest in Toluca. Let us turn our minds to the Virgin Mary, to whom your peoples are so devoted, and ask her to intercede for these Cardinals with her divine Son in order to enrich their service to the Church with an abundance of fruit.
I greet Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer and the Bishops who have desired to accompany him together with his family, friends and guests. I find this a favourable opportunity to recall the days of my Pastoral Visit to São Paulo this year and to renew my gratitude for the welcome I received in his Archdiocese. I express the wish that his appointment as Cardinal may help deepen his love for the Church and strengthen the faith of his faithful in Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord!
I greet Cardinal Stanisław Ryłko and his guests. I thank him for all that he does for the participation of lay people in the life of the Church and I wish him abundant graces. I commend you all to the love of God and I cordially bless you.
Lastly, I renew my brotherly greeting to you, venerable and dear new Cardinals, and as I assure you of my prayers, I ask you to accompany me always with your appreciated human and pastoral experience. I set great store by your invaluable support to enable me to carry out as well as possible my ministry at the service of the entire People of God. I am in need of this support. And to you, dear brothers and sisters who gather round them with affection, once again, thank you for your participation in the various rites and moments of the Consistory. Continue to pray for them and also for me that the communion of the Pastors with the Pope may always be firm, so as to offer the whole world the witness of a Church faithful to Christ and ready to respond with prophetic courage to the spiritual expectations and needs of the people of our time. On your return to your various Dioceses, I ask you to convey to everyone my greeting and the assurance of my constant remembrance with the Lord. I invoke upon you, dear new Cardinals, and upon all of you who are present here, the protection of the Heavenly Mother of God and of the Holy Apostles, Peter and Paul. With these sentiments, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing to you all.
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