Vatican City, 21 March 2013 (VIS) – Today was made public the message that Benedict XVI wrote this past 4 February to the Most Reverend Justin Welby on the occasion of his election as Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Pope wrote that the archbishop was taking up his office “at a time when the Christian faith is being called into question in many parts of the Western world by those who claim that religion is a private matter, with no contribution to offer to public debate. Ministers of the Gospel today have to respond to a widespread deafness to the music of faith, and a general weariness that shuns the demands of discipleship. Yet the hunger for God, even if unrecognised, is ever-present in our society, and the preacher's task, as a messenger of hope, is to speak the truth with love, shedding the light of Christ into the darkness of people's lives. May your apostolate yield a rich harvest and may it open the eyes and ears of many to the life-giving message of the Gospel.”
Benedict XVI concluded with the prayer that “the Lord grant you strength and wisdom” in whatever challenges the new archbishop may encounter and asking that “the Holy Spirit guide you in all that you undertake in his name.”