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Benedict says papacy serves Christian unity


During a ceremony to confer the pallium on 32 archbishops on Wednesday's Feast of Sts Peter and Paul, Pope Benedict XVI said that the role of the Roman Pontiff is to preserve the unity of the Church.

The 32 archbishops - including New Zealand's Archbishop John Atcherly Dew of Wellington - were all appointed during the past year. Catholic World News reports that the pallium, a while woollen liturgical vestment worn by metropolitan archbishops (pictured), symbolises their union with the Holy See.

The Pope also welcomed a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, and reminded the Orthodox prelates of his commitment to promoting full unity among Christians.

About 500 bishops took part in the Eucharistic liturgy, held in the morning in St. Peter's Basilica. After the reading of the Gospel in Latin, and a long homily by Pope Benedict, Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, the prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, told the Pope that the 32 new archbishops that they "humbly ask Your Holiness to grant them the pallium," as a sign of their "communion with the Church of Rome."

In his long homily, which he delivered in Italian, Pope Benedict said that the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, and the ceremony of conferring the pallium, emphasise the catholicity of the Church.

"Catholicity signifies universality - a multiplicity that becomes unity, a unity that remains despite the multiplicity," he said.

The gathering of archbishops testifies to the life of the Church as "a family spread throughout the earth," in which the peoples of different continents and cultures "recognise each other as brothers". This unity, the Pope continued, is possible because Christians share "the faith that the apostles transmitted to us about Christ." He also emphasized the apostolic nature of the Church, which binds together believers and guards them against "false autonomies."

SOURCE
Papacy serves Christian unity, Pope Benedict says (Catholic World News 29/6/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Pallim (Wikipedia)

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31 Jul 2005