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Hall of the Swiss, Papal Summer Residence of Castel Gandolfo
Thursday, 29 July 2010


Your Eminence,
Your Excellencies,
Dear Prof. Fuchs,
Dear Mr Mandlik,
Dear Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,

At this moment I can only say "thank you" to the Bavarian Radio for this extraordinary spiritual journey that has enabled us to relive and review decisive and culminating moments in these past five years of my Petrine Service and of the life of the Church.

It was very moving to me personally to see certain moments, especially the moment when the Lord laid the Petrine Service upon my shoulders. This is a burden that no one could bear on his own, with his own strength alone, and which he is only able to carry because the Lord carries us and carries me. It seems to me that in this film we saw the riches of the Church's life, the multiplicity of cultures, of charisms, of the various gifts that are alive in the Church and that the same one Church always lives in this great multiplicity and diversity. And the Petrine Primacy has this mandate to make unity visible and concrete in the historical, concrete multiplicity, in the unity of present, past, future and eternity.

We have seen that the Church today also suffers deeply, as we know, yet the Church is a joyful Church, not an aging Church; we have seen that the Church is young and that faith creates joy.
I therefore found that it was very interesting, a beautiful idea, to fit the film as a whole into the setting of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, the Hymn to Joy, which expresses as it were that behind the whole of history lies the joy of our redemption. I also liked the fact that the film ends with the visit to the Mother of God who teaches us the humility, obedience and joy of having God with us.

The Holy Father then said in German:

A cordial Vergelt's Gott [may God reward you], dear Prof. Fuchs, dear Mr Mandlik and all of you, their collaborators, for this magnificent moment you have given us!


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