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Paul VI Hall
Saturday, 30 June 2012


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I am glad to address my cordial welcome to all of you who have accompanied to the Tombs of the Apostles in Rome the Metropolitan Archbishops upon whom I had the joy of conferring the Pallium yesterday at a solemn celebration in the Vatican Basilica at which we commemorated the Holy Apostles, Peter and Paul. At our meeting let us, as it were, prolong the atmosphere of profound ecclesial communion which we experienced yesterday. Indeed, the presence of the Metropolitan Archbishops who come from different parts of the world visibly demonstrates the universality of the Church, called to make Christ known and to proclaim the Gospel on all the continents and in the various languages.

I greet each one of you with affection, venerable and esteemed Brother Metropolitans, and together with you I greet your relatives, your friends and the faithful entrusted to your pastoral care who have gathered round you during these most important days. I also extend a cordial greeting to the dioceses you come from.

I address my thoughts first of all to you, dear Pastors of the Church in Italy! I greet you, Archbishop Francesco Moraglia, Patriarch of Venice; I greet you, Archbishop Filippo Santoro of Taranto — as can be seen you have a large family of friends — and you, Archbishop Arrigo Miglio of Cagliari. I assure you of my constant prayers that you may carry out your episcopal ministry joyfully and faithfully, to build your diocesan communities in charity, sustaining them in the witness of faith and helping them to make more and more evident their renewed enthusiasm in the encounter with the Person of Christ.

I am happy to greet the French-speaking pilgrims who have come with the new Metropolitan Archbishops on whom I have had the joy of conferring the Pallium. I most cordially greet Archbishop Luc Cyr of Sherbrooke, Archbishop Paul-André Durocher of Gatineau, Archbishop Pascal Wintzer of Poitiers and Archbishop Christian Lépine of Montreal. The Pallium is the symbol of the unity that binds the Pastors of the particular Churches to the Successor of Peter, Bishop of Rome.

I also remind the Pastors of their responsibility to be exemplary and zealous, full of love for everyone, in order to guide the People of God entrusted to their pastoral care. I warmly impart the Apostolic Blessing to all the priests and faithful of your archdiocese, as a pledge of peace and joy in the Lord!

I extend warm greetings to the English-speaking Metropolitan Archbishops upon whom I conferred the Pallium yesterday. From the United States of America: Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, Archbishop William Skurla of Pittsburgh, Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver. From Papua New Guinea: Archbishop Francesco Panfilo of Rabaul. From the Philippines: Archbishop Luis Tagle of Manila, Archbishop Jose Advincula of Capiz, Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao, Archbishop John Du of Palo. From Bangladesh: Archbishop Patrick D’Rozario of Dhaka. From the Antilles: Archbishop Joseph Harris of Port of Spain. From Zambia: Archbishop Ignatius Chama of Kasama. From India: Archbishop John Moolachira of Guwahati, Archbishop Thomas D’Souza of Calcutta. From Pakistan: Archbishop Joseph Coutts of Karachi. From Australia: Archbishop Timothy Costelloe of Perth and Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane. From Korea: Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo Jung of Seoul. From Nigeria: Archbishop Alfred Martins of Lagos. I also welcome their family members, their relatives, friends and the faithful of their respective Archdioceses who have come to Rome to pray with them and to share their joy.

I joyfully greet the delegation and guests from Berlin, as well as all the pilgrims from Germany who have accompanied Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki to Rome in order for him to receive the Pallium. Welcome to you all! The Pallium makes visible in a special way the strong union of the metropolitan bishops and their Ecclesiastical Provinces with the Pope and with the See of Peter. At the same time it recalls the mission to follow the lost sheep — like Christ — to carry it on one’s shoulders, to bring it back to the fold and to care for it. In this sense the Pallium is a sign of the caring and responsibility of Pastors for their flock. Precisely because of this common responsibility we are bound to develop and to preserve unity. May you too make your contribution through your prayers in order to encourage and reinforce union in the Church. I cordially impart my blessing to you all.

On the occasion of the conferral of the Pallium I cordially greet Cardinal Francsico Robles Ortega, Archbishop of Guadalajara; Archbishop Alfredo Horacio Zecca of Tucumán; Archbishop Mario Alberto Molina Palma, of Los Altos, Quetzaltenango-Totonicapán; Archbishop Salvador Piñeiro García-Calderón of Ayacucho o Huamanga; Archbishop Ulises Antonio Gutiérrez Reyes of Ciudad Bolívar, Archbishop Jesús Carlos Cabrero Romero of San Luis Potosí, as well as all those who support them with their prayers and affection on this important occasion. I entrust everyone to the faithful custody of St Peter and St Paul, so that the spiritual closeness and bonds of communion of your particular Churches with the Apostolic See may increase among you and so that Gospel proclamation may be intensified. God bless you!

I greet with joy the Brazilian Archbishops: Archbishop Wilson Jönck of Florianópolis; Archbishop José Francisco Dias of Niterói; Archbishop Esmeraldo de Farias of Porto Velho; Archbishop Jaime Rocha, of Natal; Archbishop Airton dos Santos of Campinas; Archbishop Jacinto de Brito Sobrinho of Teresina; Archbishop Paulo Peixoto of Uberaba; and Archbishop Benedito Roberto of Malanje, Angola, who received the Pallium yesterday as a sign of special communion with the Successor of Peter. Dear Archbishops, may you be for your people a sign of Christ the Good Shepherd who guides his flock. I also welcome the priests, the religious and the faithful who have accompanied you and ask them to pray for their Archbishops so that they will not lack strength in fulfilling their mission. In addition, as a pledge of joy and peace in the Lord, I impart my Apostolic Blessing to you who are present here and to your archdiocesan communities.

I cordially greet the Metropolitan Archbishops of Poland who received the Pallium yesterday: Archbishop Stanisław Budzik of Lublin, Archbishop Wiktor Skworc of Katowice and Archbishop Wacław Depo of Częstochowa.

With them I greet the faithful who share in their joy, especially the representatives of their metropolitan sees, all their loved ones and all those who support them with prayers. The Pallium is a sign of special unity with Christ and of communion with the Successor of Peter. May this communion also permeate the hearts of the faithful of every metropolis. I entrust this hope to God in my prayers and I wholeheartedly bless you all. Praised be Jesus Christ!

Dear brothers and sisters, take back to your communities the experience of intense spirituality and of authentic Gospel unity of these days, so that it may move believers’ hearts and reverberate throughout society, leaving traces of goodness. May the intercession of the heavenly Mother of God and of the Apostles Peter and Paul obtain for the Christian people the ability to make the word of truth which the Lord Jesus bequeathed to us as a gift shine out in the world through the tenacious and clear witness of individuals. With these sentiments I warmly impart to you the Apostolic Blessing.


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