2009-02-23 15:25:04

Pontiff requests prayer for fulfilment of mission

(February 23, 2009) Pope Benedict XVI has asked for prayers for a successful fulfilment of his mission as the Bishop of Rome. The Pope made the request on Sunday, the feast of the Chair of Peter. Addressing those gathered in St. Peter's Square to recite the traditional midday ‘Angelus’ prayer with him, the Holy Father affirmed that the "chair of Peter symbolizes the authority of the Bishop of Rome, who is called to perform a special service for the whole People of God." He noted that the "primacy of the Church of Rome in the Catholic community was recognized" immediately after the martyrdom of St. Peter and St. Paul. He underlined the fact that within the Church, "particular Churches hold a rightful place" and "retain their own traditions, without in any way opposing the primacy of the Chair of Peter, which presides over the whole assembly of charity." He asked for the prayers of the Church in order to be able to "faithfully carry out this great task, entrusted [...] by Providence, as successor to the Apostle Peter."
Earlier, Pope Benedict took time to reflect on Sunday’s Gospel account of Jesus healing the paralytic. He affirmed the story's proof that "Jesus has the power not only to heal the sick body but also to forgive sins." The Pope added: "The physical healing is a sign of the spiritual healing that his forgiveness produces. "In effect, sin is a kind of paralysis of the spirit, from which only the power of the merciful love of God can liberate us, allowing us to pick ourselves up and set out again along the path of goodness."
Pope Benedict also spoke in English after reciting the ‘Angelus’. Listen: RealAudioMP3
I am pleased to greet all the English-speaking pilgrims gathered for this Angelus. In today’s liturgy, we witness Jesus healing the paralytic lowered to him through the roof because of a large crowd. This passage reminds us that the Lord has power to forgive sins, and that nothing stands in the way of his mercy when we seek him with pure and contrite hearts! Let us never hesitate to ask his pardon – especially through the Sacrament of Reconciliation – so that we may become better instruments of his love for others. God bless you all!

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