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Thursday, 3 February 1983


You have come to Rome, dear brothers and sisters, from Chicago, from Cincinnati and from other cities, to be present for the elevation to the College of Cardinals of your Ordinary or former Pastor, your esteemed friend, Archbishop Joseph Bernardin. I welcome all of you today in the charity and peace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

The mystery that we are celebrating during these days is a deep one: it is the mystery of the unity of the Catholic Church expressing itself in a dynamic spiritual and visible communion of local Churches with the See of Peter; it is the mystery of that unity willed by Christ and so beautifully exemplified in the apostolic Church where “the community of believers were of one heart and one mind” and were “with power the apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great respect was paid to them all”. 

During the Consistory yesterday I already spoke directly to the new Cardinals, reminding them of the “grave responsibility” that rests on each of them. In particular I told them: “The People of God look to you as secure points of reference. From you the faithful and also the Pastors of the particular Churches round the world seek light and guidelines in order to live more fully their communion with the See of Rome”.

And today I would like to enlist the wholehearted support of all of you, my brother Bishops, beloved priests, sisters and laity, in promoting the great cause of the Church’s unity. Working together, professing the Catholic faith in unity and charity, we shall all be able to bear a powerful witness to the Risen Lord and to give authentic Christian service in his name. Today the Church in Chicago is linked ever more closely to the Apostle Peter in his Successor and through him, to the one “Chief Shepherd”,  our Lord Jesus Christ.

May he, the Chief Shepherd, the Good Shepherd, ever care for the Church in Chicago and throughout the United States.


© Copyright 1983 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


© Copyright - Libreria Editrice Vaticana