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ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II
TO THE NEW CARDINAL ANTHONY JOSEPH BEVILACQUA, ARCHBISHOP OF PHILADELPHIA

Hall of Benediction

Monday, 1 July 1991

 

Dear Cardinal Bevilacqua,

It gives me great joy to share this moment with you, and with Cardinal Krol and your family and friends who have come from the United States to be with you on this happy occasion. Above all, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, where you exercise your episcopal ministry, is well represented, as also the Diocese of Pittsburgh, and the diocese of Brooklyn, where you were born and which you served for so many years of your priestly life.

In becoming a Cardinal you are even more closely bound to the service of the Church and to the See of Peter "in the daily care of the universal Church" (Code of Canon Law, can. 349). Together with the dignity, you will also be burdened with new and demanding responsibilities. I am sure that you will continue to give of yourself with the same competence and love, of which you have given proof on so many occasions. It must be a source of encouragement to you to know that you can count on the support and prayers of all those who rejoice with you during these days.

It is particularly fitting that your titular Church in Rome is the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer and Saint Alphonsus on the Via Merulana, in the care of the Redemptorist fathers. It brings to mind the life and example of the great Saint John Neumann, the first Redemptorist to be professed in America, who was one of your predecessors as Bishop of Philadelphia. To all of you I express a heartfelt wish that these spiritual bonds with Rome will increase your faith and bring you an ever growing awareness of sharing responsibility for the life of the Church, the Body of Christ.

May God abundantly bless you and your families. May his light guide you along the path of life towards the kingdom of his beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Please take my greeting to your loved ones, to your Dioceses and parishes, and especially to the sick and the poor. I gladly pray for you all to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church.

 

Copyright 1991 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

 

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