First General audience

Source: FSSPX News


On Wednesday April 27, in front of more than 15,000 pilgrims, the pope explained his choice of name, referring to St. Benedict, patron of Europe who, he said, “represented a fundamental landmark for the unity of Europe and a strong reminder of the Christian roots of its culture and civilization.” His predecessor John Paul II regularly emphasized the Christian values of Europe, and under his pontificate, the Vatican had officially “regretted” the absence of any mention of “Christian roots” in the new European Constitution, expressing his “bitterness” following this decision. He criticized the text of the new European Constitution for its explicit absence of reference to Europe’s Christian roots, stating during the Angelus that “these roots,” which are our origins, “could not be cut off.”

 Benedict XVI also said: “I have chosen the name Benedict XVI, in reference to Benedict XV who guided the Church during the difficult period of the Second World War,” calling him a “courageous and genuine prophet of peace.”

 The new pope announced that he would be taking up the cycle of catecheses of John Paul II. After his lengthy speech in Italian, he resumed his address in French, English, German and Spanish.