ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS
Paul VI Hall
The feelings and emotions we experienced yesterday and the day before, on the occasion of the creation of 24 new Cardinals are still alive in our minds and hearts. They were moments of fervent prayer and profound communion, that we wish to extend today with our hearts filled with gratitude to the Lord who has granted us the joy to live a new page of the history of the Church. Therefore I am pleased to welcome you all today to this simple and family meeting and to address a cordial greeting to the new Cardinals, as well as to their relatives, friends and all those who have accompanied them on this solemn and momentous occasion
In Italian: I first greet you dear Italian Cardinals! I greet you, Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints; 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; I greet you, Cardinal Paolo Sardi, Vice-Camerlengo of Holy Roman Church; I greet you, Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy; I greet you, Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, President of the Prefecture for 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, Archbishop of Palermo; I greet you, Cardinal Elio Sgreccia, formerly President of the Pontifical Academy for Life; I greet you Cardinal Domenico Bartolucci, formerly Choir Master of the Sistine Chapel Choir.
Dear and Venerable Brothers, through you the Church in Italy is further enriching the College of Cardinals with pastoral wisdom and Apostolic enthusiasm. I gladly extend my cordial greeting to all those who share with you in the joy of this moment and I urge them to assure the support of their prayer, so that you may faithfully persevere in your respective duties for the benefit of the Gospel and of all Christian people.
In French: I address my cordial greeting to the new French-speaking Cardinals: Cardinal Antonios Naguib, Patriarch of Alexandria for Copts; Cardinal Robert Sarah, President of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”; Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, Archbishop of Kinshasa. I also greet joyfully their loved ones and all the people who have accompanied them during these days of celebration we have just experienced.
Dear friends, these celebrations call us to broaden our gaze 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 holiness of the entire People of God. And, may you yourselves be ardent witnesses of the Gospel to restore to the world the hope it needs and to contribute to re-establishing peace and brotherhood everywhere.
In English: 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 Signatura; 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 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.
In German: I address a special greeting in particular to the new German-speaking Cardinals. Beginning with Cardinal Kurt Koch, I cordially greet you, with all your relatives, friends and guests from Switzerland. I greet in particular the representatives of the Diocese of Basel, where Cardinal Koch worked as Bishop for many years, as well as the representatives of the Swiss Federal Council and of the Cantons. Join with him in prayer and sustain 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 welcome Cardinal Reinhard Marx and his family, his guests and the pilgrims from the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising. I also greet the Bishops, their collaborators in the various episcopal institutions, the representatives of political and public life and to all believers in the Diocese of Trier and his home diocese of Paderborn. Lastly, I cordially greet Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, his relatives and his friends from Rome, Augusburg and Bamberg. Dear friends, the Cardinals participate in a particular way in the concern of the Successor of Peter for the universal Church. The bright red of the Cardinals’ vestments is a sign, which highlights their duty to protect and defend Christ even to the most extreme consequences, including the gift of their blood.
Accompany them in the fulfillment of their duty with your prayers and your work for the Church.
In Spanish: I greet with affection the new Spanish-speaking Cardinals, accompanied by their relatives and by numerous Bishops, priests, religious and lay people who have come especially from Ecuador and Spain. The Church in Ecuador is rejoicing with Cardinal Raúl Eduardo Vela Chiriboga, Archbishop emeritus of Quito, who with zeal and exemplary dedication also carried out his episcopal ministry in Guayaquil, Azogues, and as Military Ordinary. The pilgrim Church in Spain also congratulates Cardinal José Manuel Estepa Llaurens, Military Ordinary emeritus, Spain, whose service to drafting the Catechism of the Catholic Church was invaluable. I ask all of you to accompany with your prayers and spiritual closeness the new members of the College of Cardinals so that, motivated by intense love for Christ and united in close communion with the Successor of Peter, they may continue to serve the Church faithfully.
In Portuguese: I greet Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis, surrounded by his friends who rejoice in seeing him more intimately associated with the Pope’s ministry. Your presence today reminds me of the times of deep joy and great ecclesial hope experienced in Aparecida, during my unforgettable Visit to Brazil, which, especially that day extended to the whole Continent of Latin America and of the Caribbean, reunited with its episcopate gathered there in communion of trust, hope and love, under the maternal gaze of Mary, and around to the Successor of Peter. Today with you, I reiterate my affectionate faith to the Cardinal, Archbishop of Aparecida, and I ask Our Lady to protect and assist you all, illuminating your path with hope, in union with your Pastor and friend to establish all things in Christ.
In Polish: I address greetings to Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz and to his guests. The cardinalitial appointment obliges the care of not only the local Church, but also of the fate of the universal Church, as well as to the close collaboration with the Pope in the execution of the Petrine office. Thus I implore all the graces necessary for him and I ask all of you to pray ceaselessly for the light and the strength of the Holy Spirit — spirit of wisdom and counsel. God bless you all!
Dear and Venerable Brothers who have joined the College of Cardinals. I renew to
each one of you my most cordial good wishes. Your ministry is enriched by a
further commitment to supporting the Successor of Peter in his universal service
to the Church. I put great trust in your prayers and in your precious help. With
brotherly admiration, I encourage you all to continue on your spiritual and
Apostolic mission which has experienced a very important step. Keep your gaze
fixed on Christ, drawing on him for every grace and spiritual comfort; on the
shining example of the holy Cardinals, intrepid servants of the Church who
through in the course of the centuries has given glory to God with heroic
practice of virtue and tenacious fidelity to the Gospel. I invoke upon you and
upon all those present the maternal protection of the Virgin Mary, Mother of the
Church, and of the martyr St Cecilia, whose Memorial we celebrate today. May the
Patroness of music and bel canto accompany you and sustain your commitment to
be attentive listeners to the various voices to deepen the unity of hearts.
With these sentiments, I impart with affection to you and to all those present a special Apostolic Blessing.
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