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Monday, February 23, 2009


VATICAN CITY, 22 FEB 2009 (VIS) - At midday today Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered below in St. Peter's Square.

  The Holy Father commented on the passage from the Gospel of St. Mark which relates how Jesus healed a paralysed man and forgave his sins. This, said the Pope, shows that Christ "had the power not only to heal the sick body, but also to forgive sins; indeed, physical recovery is a sign of the spiritual healing which His forgiveness produces. In fact, sin is a sort of paralysis of the spirit from which only the power of God's merciful love can free us, enabling us to stand up and resume our journey along the path of goodness.

  "This Sunday also marks the Feast of the Cathedra of St. Peter", he added, "an important liturgical solemnity highlighting the ministry of the Successor of the Prince of the Apostles. The Cathedra of Peter symbolises the authority of the Bishop of Rome, who is called to offer his particular form of service to the entire People of God. Immediately after the martyrdom of Sts. Peter and Paul the Church of Rome was recognised as possessing the prime role in the whole Catholic community, as testified by St. Ignatius of Antioch in the second century. ... This unique and specific ministry of the Bishop of Rome was reiterated by Vatican Council II".

  The Holy Father completed his reflections by calling upon the faithful to pray for him, that he may "faithfully realise the exalted task that divine Providence has entrusted to me as the Successor of the Apostle Peter". Finally, he recalled that Lent begins this Wednesday, 25 February, with the rite of the imposition of the ashes.
ANG/SIN PETER'S CATHEDRA/...                VIS 20090223 (310)

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