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Thursday, 30 June 2005


Dear and Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate,

After yesterday's liturgical celebration on the Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul, it gives me great joy to meet you again this morning, together with your relatives and the faithful from your dioceses who have accompanied you on your pilgrimage to the tomb of the Prince of the Apostles to receive the Pallium. This ancient tradition, which dates back to the 11th century, is a significant confirmation of the communion of the Metropolitan Bishops with the Pastor of the Church in Rome. Indeed, you come from different nations and continents and are called to serve the one Church of Christ: I offer each of you my fraternal and cordial greeting.

In the first place, I address Cardinal Angelo Sodano, on whom the Pallium has been conferred because he is the Dean of the College of Cardinals, and as I thank him for the many years he has collaborated with the Successor of Peter, my thoughts go to all the members of the College of Cardinals, with gratitude for their support and the prayers with which they accompany my service as Pastor of the universal Church.

I greet Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti-Vasto, Archbishop Salvatore Nunnari of Cosenza, Archbishop Paolo Mario Atzei of Sassari. I also greet Archbishop Rrok Mirdita of Tiranë, Albania, and Archbishop Ruggero Franceschini of Izmir, Turkey.

Dear Brothers, always take good care of Christ's flock that is entrusted to you. Be good and reliable guides for all by your example and your words. And you, dear friends who accompany them, may you follow their teachings with docility, cooperating with them generously in the realization of the Kingdom of God.

I am happy to greet Archbishop André Vingt-Trois of Paris, Archbishop Bernard Nicolas Aubertin of Tours, Archbishop Joseph Ngô Quang Kiêt of Hanoi, Archbishop Marcel Honorat Léon Agboton of Cotonou, upon whom I conferred the Pallium yesterday as a special sign of communion with the Apostolic See. May the example of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, who served communion to the point of giving themselves, guide your own pastoral activity in the service of the People of God that has been entrusted to you! I also greet the members of your families and the diocesan groups that have accompanied you to Rome. To you all, I wholeheartedly impart a special Apostolic Blessing.

Dear friends in Christ, I extend a cordial greeting to the English-speaking Metropolitan Archbishops upon whom I conferred the Pallium yesterday: Archbishop Bernard Blasius Moras of Bangalore, Archbishop Malayappan Chinnappa of Madras and Mylapore, India, Archbishop Ernesto Antolin Salgado of Nueva Segovia, the Philippines, Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta, Archbishop José Horacio Gómez of San Antonio, Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza of Galveston-Houston, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, U.S.A., Archbishop Daniel Bohan of Regina, Canada, Archbishop Liborius Ndumbukuti Nashenda of Windhoek, Namibia, Archbishop Boniface Lele of Mombasa, Kenya, Archbishop Gabriel Charles Palmer-Buckle of Accra, Ghana, and Archbishop John Atcherley Dew of Wellington, New Zealand.

I also welcome their family members and friends, and the faithful from their Archdioceses who have accompanied them to Rome. Dear friends: may your pilgrimage to the tombs of Sts Peter and Paul confirm you in the Catholic faith which comes from the Apostles. To all of you I affectionately impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of joy and peace in the Lord.

I affectionately greet the Spanish-speaking Archbishops and all those who have accompanied them to this significant ceremony of the conferral of the Pallium. I refer to Archbishops Jaume Pujol Balcells of Tarragona, Octavio Ruiz Arenas of Villavicencio, Santiago García Aracil of Mérida-Badajoz, Pedro Ricardo Barreto Jimeno of Huancayo, Pablo Lizama Riquelme of Antofagasta, Leopoldo José Brenes Solórzano of Managua and Manuel Ureña Pastor of Zaragoza.

Various countries of this broad language group can rely on their new Metropolitan Pastors, whose special mission is to foster close ties of communion with the Successor of Peter and with their suffragan Dioceses. I ask all of you who have accompanied them to stay close to them in prayer and generous collaboration, to increase hope in youth and love and fidelity in families, fostering a spirit of friendly social coexistence.

I ask the Virgin Mary, who is so widely venerated in your countries - Chile, Colombia, Spain, Nicaragua and Peru - to encourage the Archbishops in their ministry and to accompany with tenderness the priests, the Religious communities and the faithful of their Archdioceses. Please convey my affectionate greeting and my Apostolic Blessing to them all.

Today the Church of Brazil is rejoicing because the Archiepiscopal Sees of Maringá, Belém do Pará and Sorocaba are celebrating the conferral of the Pallium on its new Archbishops who are, respectively: Archbishop Anuar Battisti, Archbishop Orani João Tempesta and Archbishop Eduardo Benes de Sales Rodrigues, who are accompanied today by their relatives and by the priests and faithful of their Archdioceses.

I would also like to greet with affection your Particular Churches, offering them my best wishes that this important celebration will contribute to strengthening unity and communion with the Apostolic See and will encourage the generous pastoral dedication of their Bishops for the growth of the Church and the salvation of souls.

I greet Archbishop Stanisław Dziwisz and his guests. I thank him for all he has done for John Paul II and for me personally. I invoke God's help on his new mission. God bless all who are present here.

Venerable and dear Brothers, I thank you once again for this pleasant visit and for the apostolic work that you carry out. While you are preparing to return to your respective Archdioceses, I would like to assure you that I remain united to you with affection and prayer; at the same time, I ask you to continue to walk together, united by the same sentiments of harmony and love for Christ and his Church.

With these sentiments I willingly impart my Apostolic Blessing to you who are present here and to your diocesan Communities, and I invoke upon each one the protection of the heavenly Mother of the Lord and the constant assistance of the Apostles Peter and Paul.


© Copyright 2005 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


Copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione - Libreria Editrice Vaticana