June 29 at St Peter’s Rome

Source: FSSPX News


In his sermon, Benedict XVI described the feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul as “a solemn confession in favor of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church” and “it is first and foremost a feast of catholicity.”

“Catholicity means universality - a multiplicity that becomes unity; a unity that nevertheless remains multiplicity,” manifested by the presence “of bishops from all parts of the world.” “Our liturgical assembly” gathering together “from all parts of the world, people of many cultures and nations, is an image of the family of the Church distributed throughout the earth. (…) Crossing every border, we recognize one another as brothers and sisters.”

Recalling the words of the 2nd century Saint Irenæus of Lyons, “the founder of Catholic theology,” the pope stated that the “the Church spread across the world diligently safeguards this doctrine and this faith, forming as it were one family.” “Languages abound according to the region but the power of our tradition is one and the same”; everywhere the same faith is proclaimed “with one mind and one heart, the same preaching, teaching and tradition.”

“The Church is apostolic, because she confesses the faith of the Apostles and attempts to live it”. The Pallium given to the metropolitan bishops appointed during the year is “the expression of our Apostolic mission.” “It is an expression of our communion whose visible guarantee is the Petrine ministry.” The latter “bound with unity as with apostolicity”, “visibly unites the Church of all places and all times.” In such a way that “it prevents each one of us from slipping into the kind of false autonomy that all too easily becomes particularization of the Church and might consequently jeopardize her independence.”

The Orthodox delegation of Constantinople, present at the Mass, brought together the metropolitan of Pergamum Zizioulas Ioannis, the metropolitan of Sassime, Limouris Gennadios, and the archimandrate Bartholomew, under secretary of the Holy Synod of the ecumenical patriarchate.

“Even though we may not yet agree on the issue of the interpretation and importance of the Petrine Ministry, we are nonetheless together in the apostolic succession, we are deeply united with one another through episcopal ministry and through the sacrament of priesthood, and together profess the faith of the Apostles as it is given to us in Scripture and as it was interpreted at the great Councils,” said Benedict XVI.

Adding that at “this time in a world full of skepticism and doubt but also rich in the desire for God, let us recognize anew our common mission to witness to Christ the Lord together, and on the basis of that unity which has already been given to us, to help the world in order that it may believe.” “Let us implore the Lord with all our hearts to guide us to full unity so that the splendor of the truth, which alone can create unity, may once again become visible in the world.”

After his homily, the pope presented the pallium to the 32 metropolitan archbishops appointed during the year.