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Monday, November 26, 2012


Vatican City,  (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall the Holy Father received the new cardinals created in the consistory of Saturday 24 November, and their families.

The Pope noted how the consistory had been characterised by "moments of intense prayer and deep communion, experienced in the awareness that it was an event concerning the entire universal Church, called upon to be a sign of hope for all peoples".

Then, speaking in English, he stated that "whether in the offices of the Roman Curia or in their ministry in the local Churches throughout the world, cardinals are called to share in a special way the Pope's solicitude for the universal Church".

He then addressed the new cardinal, Bechara Boutros Rai, patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, expressing his wish to encourage "the life and the presence of Christians in the Middle East, where they should be able to live their faith freely", and he made a fresh appeal for peace in the region. "The Church encourages every effort to promote peace in the world and in the Middle East - peace that will be effective only if it is based on authentic respect for others", he said.

He then spoke in Spanish to Colombian faithful and the new cardinal, Ruben Salazar Gomez, archbishop of Bogota, encouraging them to "move forward in peace and harmony along the paths of justice, reconciliation and solidarity".

Finally, in Italian, he invited the cardinals to pursue their "spiritual and apostolic mission, looking always to Christ", and to strengthen their "love for the Church. We can learn this love from the saints, who are the truest fulfilment of the Church: they loved her and, allowing themselves to be modelled by Christ, dedicated their lives fully to ensuring that all mankind be illuminated by the light of Christ that shines from the face of the Church".


Vatican City, 25 November 2012 (VIS) - At 9.30 a.m. today in St. Peter's Basilica, Benedict XVI presided at the concelebration of the Eucharist with the six new cardinals created in yesterday's consistory. At the beginning of Mass, Cardinal James Michael Harvey, archpriest of the papal Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls, greeted the Pope on behalf of all the new cardinals.

Following are some extracts from the homily given by Holy Father:

"In this final Sunday of the liturgical year, the Church invites us to celebrate the Lord Jesus as King of the Universe. She calls us to look to the future, or more properly into the depths, to the ultimate goal of history, which will be the definitive and eternal kingdom of Christ. ... In the Gospel passage which we have just heard … Pilate asks Jesus, 'Are you the King of the Jews?' In reply to this question, Jesus clarifies the nature of His kingship and His Messiahship itself, which is not worldly power but a love which serves".

"Jesus clearly had no political ambitions. After the multiplication of the loaves, the people, enthralled by the miracle, wanted to take Him away and make Him their king, in order to overthrow the power of Rome and thus establish a new political kingdom which would be considered the long-awaited kingdom of God. But Jesus knows that God’s kingdom is of a completely different kind; it is not built on arms and violence. The multiplication of the loaves itself becomes both the sign that He is the Messiah and a watershed in His activity: henceforth the path to the Cross becomes ever clearer; there, in the supreme act of love, the promised kingdom, the kingdom of God, will shine forth. … Jesus … does not wish to be defended by arms, but ... to establish His kingdom not by armed conflict, but by the apparent weakness of life-giving love. The kingdom of God is a kingdom utterly different from earthly kingdoms.

"That is why, faced with a defenceless, weak and humiliated man, as Jesus was, a man of power like Pilate is taken aback. ... So he asks an apparently odd question: 'So you are a king?' ... But Jesus answers in the affirmative: 'You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice'. Jesus speaks of kings and kingship, yet He is not referring to power but to truth. … Jesus came to reveal and bring a new kingship, that of God; He came to bear witness to the truth of a God Who is love, Who wants to establish a kingdom of justice, love and peace. Whoever is open to love hears this testimony and accepts it with faith, to enter the kingdom of God.

"We find this same perspective in the first reading we heard. The prophet Daniel foretells the power of a mysterious personage set between heaven and earth. … This vision of the prophet, a messianic vision, is made clear and brought to fulfilment in Christ: the power of the true Messiah, the power which will never pass away or be destroyed, is not the power of the kingdoms of the earth which rise and fall, but the power of truth and love".

"In the second reading, the author of the Book of Revelation states that we too share in Christ’s kingship. … Here too it is clear that we are speaking of a kingdom based on a relationship with God, with truth, and not a political kingdom. By His sacrifice, Jesus has opened for us the path to a profound relationship with God: in Him we have become true adopted children and thus sharers in His kingship over the world. To be disciples of Jesus, then, means not letting ourselves be allured by the worldly logic of power, but bringing into the world the light of truth and God’s love. ... It is a pressing invitation addressed to each and all: to be converted ever anew to the kingdom of God, to the lordship of God, of Truth".

"To you, dear and venerable Brother Cardinals - I think in particular of those created yesterday - is entrusted this demanding responsibility: to bear witness to the kingdom of God, to the truth. This means working to bring out ever more clearly the priority of God and His will over the interests of the world and its powers. Become imitators of Jesus, who, before Pilate, in the humiliating scene described by the Gospel, manifested His glory: that of loving to the utmost, giving His own life for those whom He loves. This is the revelation of the kingdom of Jesus".


Vatican City, 25 November 2012 (VIS) - At midday today, following his concelebration of the Eucharist with the new cardinals, the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study to recite the Angelus with faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square. The Pope began by recalling that the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, which closes the liturgical year, "summarises the mystery of Jesus, 'first born from the dead and the ruler of all the powers of the earth'".

"The entire mission of Jesus and the content of His message consists in proclaiming the Kingdom of God and establishing it among men through signs and wonders", the Pope said. "But, as Vatican Council II observes, 'the Kingdom is first manifested in the very person of Christ', a kingdom He founded through His death on the cross and resurrection, by which He is revealed as the eternal Lord, Messiah and Priest. This Kingdom of Christ has been entrusted to the Church, which is the 'seed' and 'beginning' and has the task of proclaiming it and spreading it among all the nations with the power of the Holy Spirit. At the end of the determined time the Lord will hand over the Kingdom to God the Father and present to Him all those who have lived according to the commandment of love. ... We are all called to extend the salvific work of God, converting to the Gospel and committing ourselves to serving the King Who came not to be served but to serve and give testimony to the truth".

Benedict XVI then invited those present to pray for the six new cardinals, created yesterday, so that "the Holy Spirit may strengthen them in faith and in charity and fill them with His gifts in order that they live their new responsibility as a further commitment to Christ and His Kingdom".

"May the Virgin help all of us to live this present time awaiting the Lord’s return, imploring God, 'Thy Kingdom come', and fulfilling those works of light that bring us ever closer to heaven, aware that, through the troubling vicissitudes of history, God continues to build His Kingdom of love", the Pope concluded.

Following the Marian prayer, Benedict XVI mentioned the fact that Maria Troncatti was beatified yesterday in Macas, Ecuador. The new blessed was a religious of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, and born in Val Camonica, Italy; she served as a nurse during the World War I, after which she went to Ecuador where she "dedicated herself fully to the service of the people of the forest, evangelisation and human development".


Vatican City,  (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience thirteen prelates of the Episcopal Conference of France, on their "ad limina" visit:

- Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, archbishop of Lyon, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Jean Pierre Batut and Patrick Le Gal.

- Bishop Yves Boivineau of Annecy.

- Archbishop Philippe Ballot of Chambery, Saint-Jean-de Maurienne et Tarantaise.

- Bishop Jean-Christophe Lagleize of Valence.

- Bishop Francois Blondel of Viviers.

- Archbishop Pierre-Marie Carre of Montpellier, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Claude-Joseph Azema.

- Bishop Alain Planet of Carcassonne et Narbonne.

- Bishop Francois Jacolin of Mende.

- Bishop Robert Wattebled of Nimes.

- Bishop Andre Marceau of Perpignan-Elne.

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