Audiences 2005-2013 31007

Wednesday, 3 October 2007 - Saint Cyril of Alexandria

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today too, continuing our journey following the traces left by the Fathers of the Church, we meet an important figure: St Cyril of Alexandria. Linked to the Christological controversy which led to the Council of Ephesus in 431 and the last important representative of the Alexandrian tradition in the Greek Orient, Cyril was later defined as "the guardian of exactitude" - to be understood as guardian of the true faith - and even the "seal of the Fathers". These ancient descriptions express clearly a characteristic feature of Cyril: the Bishop of Alexandria's constant reference to earlier ecclesiastical authors (including, in particular, Athanasius), for the purpose of showing the continuity with tradition of theology itself. He deliberately, explicitly inserted himself into the Church's tradition, which he recognized as guaranteeing continuity with the Apostles and with Christ himself. Venerated as a Saint in both East and West, in 1882 St Cyril was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope Leo XIII, who at the same time also attributed this title to another important exponent of Greek Patristics, St Cyril of Jerusalem. Thus are revealed the attention and love for the Eastern Christian traditions of this Pope, who later also chose to proclaim St John Damascene a Doctor of the Church, thereby showing that both the Eastern and Western traditions express the doctrine of Christ's one Church.

We have almost no information on Cyril's life prior to his election to the important See of Alexandria. He was a nephew of Theophilus, who had governed the Diocese of Alexandria as Bishop since 385 A.D. with a prestigious and iron hand. It is likely that Cyril was born in this Egyptian metropolis between 370 and 380 A.D., was initiated into ecclesiastical life while he was still very young and received a good education, both culturally and theologically. In 403, he went to Constantinople in the retinue of his powerful uncle. It was here that he took part in the so-called "Synod of the Oak" which deposed the Bishop of the city, John (later known as "Chrysostom"), and thereby marked the triumph of the Alexandrian See over its traditional rival, the See of Constantinople, where the Emperor resided. Upon his uncle Theophilus' death, the still young Cyril was elected in 412 as Bishop of the influential Church of Alexandria, which he governed energetically for 32 years, always seeking to affirm her primacy throughout the East, strong also because of her traditional bonds with Rome.

Two or three years later, in 417 or 418, the Bishop of Alexandria showed himself to be realistic in mending the broken communion with Constantinople, which had lasted by then since 406 as a consequence of Chrysostom's deposition. But the old conflict with the Constantinople See flared up again about 10 years later, when in 428 Nestorius was elected, a severe and authoritarian monk trained in Antioch. The new Bishop of Constantinople, in fact, soon provoked opposition because he preferred to use as Mary's title in his preaching "Mother of Christ" (Christotòkos) instead of "Mother of God" (Theotòkos), already very dear to popular devotion. One reason for Bishop Nestorius' decision was his adherence to the Antiochean type of Christology, which, to safeguard the importance of Christ's humanity, ended by affirming the division of the Divinity. Hence, the union between God and man in Christ could no longer be true, so naturally it was no longer possible to speak of the "Mother of God".

The reaction of Cyril - at that time the greatest exponent of Alexandrian Christology, who intended on the other hand to stress the unity of Christ's person - was almost immediate, and from 429 he left no stone unturned, even addressing several letters to Nestorius himself. In the second of Cyril's letters to Nestorius (PG 77, 44-49), written in February 430, we read a clear affirmation of the duty of Pastors to preserve the faith of the People of God. This was his criterion, moreover, still valid today: the faith of the People of God is an expression of tradition, it is a guarantee of sound doctrine. This is what he wrote to Nestorius: "It is essential to explain the teaching and interpretation of the faith to the people in the most irreproachable way, and to remember that those who cause scandal even to only one of the little ones who believe in Christ will be subjected to an unbearable punishment".

In the same letter to Nestorius - a letter which later, in 451, was to be approved by the Council of Chalcedon, the Fourth Ecumenical Council - Cyril described his Christological faith clearly: "Thus, we affirm that the natures are different that are united in one true unity, but from both has come only one Christ and Son; not because, due to their unity, the difference in their natures has been eliminated, but rather, because divinity and humanity, reunited in an ineffable and indescribable union, have produced for us one Lord and Christ and Son". And this is important: true humanity and true divinity are really united in only one Person, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, the Bishop of Alexandria continued: "We will profess only one Christ and Lord, not in the sense that we worship the man together with the Logos, in order not to suggest the idea of separation by saying "together', but in the sense that we worship only one and the same, because he is not extraneous to the Logos, his body, with which he also sits at his Father's side, not as if "two sons" are sitting beside him but only one, united with his own flesh".

And soon the Bishop of Alexandria, thanks to shrewd alliances, obtained the repeated condemnation of Nestorius: by the See of Rome, consequently with a series of 12 anathemas which he himself composed, and finally, by the Council held in Ephesus in 431, the Third Ecumenical Council. The assembly which went on with alternating and turbulent events, ended with the first great triumph of devotion to Mary and with the exile of the Bishop of Constantinople, who had been reluctant to recognize the Blessed Virgin's right to the title of "Mother of God" because of an erroneous Christology that brought division to Christ himself. After thus prevailing against his rival and his doctrine, by 433 Cyril was nevertheless already able to achieve a theological formula of compromise and reconciliation with the Antiocheans. This is also significant: on the one hand is the clarity of the doctrine of faith, but in addition, on the other, the intense search for unity and reconciliation. In the following years he devoted himself in every possible way to defending and explaining his theological stance, until his death on 27 June 444.

Cyril's writings - truly numerous and already widely disseminated in various Latin and Eastern translations in his own lifetime, attested to by their instant success - are of the utmost importance for the history of Christianity. His commentaries on many of the New and Old Testament Books are important, including those on the entire Pentateuch, Isaiah, the Psalms and the Gospels of John and Luke. Also important are his many doctrinal works, in which the defence of the Trinitarian faith against the Arian and Nestorian theses recurs. The basis of Cyril's teaching is the ecclesiastical tradition and in particular, as I mentioned, the writings of Athanasius, his great Predecessor in the See of Alexandria. Among Cyril's other writings, the books Against Julian deserve mention. They were the last great response to the anti-Christian controversies, probably dictated by the Bishop of Alexandria in the last years of his life to respond to the work Against the Galileans, composed many years earlier in 363 by the Emperor known as the "Apostate" for having abandoned the Christianity in which he was raised.

The Christian faith is first and foremost the encounter with Jesus, "a Person, which gives life a new horizon" (Deus Caritas est ). St Cyril of Alexandria was an unflagging, staunch witness of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word of God, emphasizing above all his unity, as he repeats in 433 in his first letter (PG 77, 228-237) to Bishop Succensus: "Only one is the Son, only one the Lord Jesus Christ, both before the Incarnation and after the Incarnation. Indeed, the Logos born of God the Father was not one Son and the one born of the Blessed Virgin another; but we believe that the very One who was born before the ages was also born according to the flesh and of a woman". Over and above its doctrinal meaning, this assertion shows that faith in Jesus the Logos born of the Father is firmly rooted in history because, as St Cyril affirms, this same Jesus came in time with his birth from Mary, the Theotò-kos, and in accordance with his promise will always be with us. And this is important: God is eternal, he is born of a woman, and he stays with us every day. In this trust we live, in this trust we find the way for our life.

I am pleased to welcome the English-speaking pilgrims present at this Audience, especially those from Australia, Denmark, Scotland and the United States. In a special way I greet the Maryknoll Missionaries, the priests from the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, the students from the Pontifical Beda College and Deacon Candidates from the Pontifical North American College. May God continue to strengthen you as you strive to serve his people. Upon all of you I invoke God’s abundant blessings of joy and peace.

Saint Peter's Square

Wednesday, 10 October 2007 - Saint Hilary of Poitiers

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today, I would like to talk about a great Father of the Church of the West, St Hilary of Poitiers, one of the important Episcopal figures of the fourth century. In the controversy with the Arians, who considered Jesus the Son of God to be an excellent human creature but only human, Hilary devoted his whole life to defending faith in the divinity of Jesus Christ, Son of God and God as the Father who generated him from eternity.

We have no reliable information on most of Hilary's life. Ancient sources say that he was born in Poitiers, probably in about the year 310 A.D. From a wealthy family, he received a solid literary education, which is clearly recognizable in his writings. It does not seem that he grew up in a Christian environment. He himself tells us of a quest for the truth which led him little by little to recognize God the Creator and the incarnate God who died to give us eternal life. Baptized in about 345, he was elected Bishop of his native city around 353-354. In the years that followed, Hilary wrote his first work, Commentary on St Matthew's Gospel. It is the oldest extant commentary in Latin on this Gospel. In 356, Hilary took part as a Bishop in the Synod of Béziers in the South of France, the "synod of false apostles", as he himself called it since the assembly was in the control of Philo-Arian Bishops who denied the divinity of Jesus Christ. "These false apostles" asked the Emperor Constantius to have the Bishop of Poitiers sentenced to exile. Thus, in the summer of 356, Hilary was forced to leave Gaul.

Banished to Phrygia in present-day Turkey, Hilary found himself in contact with a religious context totally dominated by Arianism. Here too, his concern as a Pastor impelled him to work strenuously to re-establish the unity of the Church on the basis of right faith as formulated by the Council of Nicea. To this end he began to draft his own best-known and most important dogmatic work: De Trinitate (On the Trinity). Hilary explained in it his personal journey towards knowledge of God and took pains to show that not only in the New Testament but also in many Old Testament passages, in which Christ's mystery already appears, Scripture clearly testifies to the divinity of the Son and his equality with the Father. To the Arians he insisted on the truth of the names of Father and Son, and developed his entire Trinitarian theology based on the formula of Baptism given to us by the Lord himself: "In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit".

The Father and the Son are of the same nature. And although several passages in the New Testament might make one think that the Son was inferior to the Father, Hilary offers precise rules to avoid misleading interpretations: some Scriptural texts speak of Jesus as God, others highlight instead his humanity. Some refer to him in his pre-existence with the Father; others take into consideration his state of emptying of self (kenosis), his descent to death; others, finally, contemplate him in the glory of the Resurrection. In the years of his exile, Hilary also wrote the Book of Synods in which, for his brother Bishops of Gaul, he reproduced confessions of faith and commented on them and on other documents of synods which met in the East in about the middle of the fourth century. Ever adamant in opposing the radical Arians, St Hilary showed a conciliatory spirit to those who agreed to confess that the Son was essentially similar to the Father, seeking of course to lead them to the true faith, according to which there is not only a likeness but a true equality of the Father and of the Son in divinity. This too seems to me to be characteristic: the spirit of reconciliation that seeks to understand those who have not yet arrived and helps them with great theological intelligence to reach full faith in the true divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In 360 or 361, Hilary was finally able to return home from exile and immediately resumed pastoral activity in his Church, but the influence of his magisterium extended in fact far beyond its boundaries. A synod celebrated in Paris in 360 or 361 borrows the language of the Council of Nicea. Several ancient authors believe that this anti-Arian turning point of the Gaul episcopate was largely due to the fortitude and docility of the Bishop of Poitiers. This was precisely his gift: to combine strength in the faith and docility in interpersonal relations. In the last years of his life he also composed the Treatises on the Psalms, a commentary on 58 Psalms interpreted according to the principle highlighted in the introduction to the work: "There is no doubt that all the things that are said in the Psalms should be understood in accordance with Gospel proclamation, so that, whatever the voice with which the prophetic spirit has spoken, all may be referred nevertheless to the knowledge of the coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Incarnation, Passion and Kingdom, and to the power and glory of our resurrection" (Instructio Psalmorum, 5). He saw in all the Psalms this transparency of the mystery of Christ and of his Body which is the Church. Hilary met St Martin on various occasions: the future Bishop of Tours founded a monastery right by Poitiers, which still exists today. Hilary died in 367. His liturgical Memorial is celebrated on 13 January. In 1851 Blessed Pius IX proclaimed him a Doctor of the universal Church.

To sum up the essentials of his doctrine, I would like to say that Hilary found the starting point for his theological reflection in baptismal faith. In De Trinitate, Hilary writes: Jesus "has commanded us to baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (cf.
Mt 28,19), that is, in the confession of the Author, of the Only-Begotten One and of the Gift. The Author of all things is one alone, for one alone is God the Father, from whom all things proceed. And one alone is Our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom all things exist (cf. 1Co 8,6), and one alone is the Spirit (cf. Ep 4,4), a gift in all.... In nothing can be found to be lacking so great a fullness, in which the immensity in the Eternal One, the revelation in the Image, joy in the Gift, converge in the Father, in the Son and in the Holy Spirit" (De Trinitate 2, 1). God the Father, being wholly love, is able to communicate his divinity to his Son in its fullness. I find particularly beautiful the following formula of St Hilary: "God knows not how to be anything other than love, he knows not how to be anyone other than the Father. Those who love are not envious and the one who is the Father is so in his totality. This name admits no compromise, as if God were father in some aspects and not in others" (ibid., 9, 61).

For this reason the Son is fully God without any gaps or diminishment. "The One who comes from the perfect is perfect because he has all, he has given all" (ibid., 2, 8). Humanity finds salvation in Christ alone, Son of God and Son of man. In assuming our human nature, he has united himself with every man, "he has become the flesh of us all" (Tractatus super Psalmos 54, 9); "he took on himself the nature of all flesh and through it became true life, he has in himself the root of every vine shoot" (ibid., 51, 16). For this very reason the way to Christ is open to all - because he has drawn all into his being as a man -, even if personal conversion is always required: "Through the relationship with his flesh, access to Christ is open to all, on condition that they divest themselves of their former self (cf. Ep 4,22), nailing it to the Cross (cf. Col Col 2,14); provided we give up our former way of life and convert in order to be buried with him in his baptism, in view of life (cf. Col 1,12 Rm 6,4)" (ibid., 91, 9).

Fidelity to God is a gift of his grace. Therefore, St Hilary asks, at the end of his Treatise on the Trinity, to be able to remain ever faithful to the baptismal faith. It is a feature of this book: reflection is transformed into prayer and prayer returns to reflection. The whole book is a dialogue with God.
I would like to end today's Catechesis with one of these prayers, which thus becomes our prayer:
"Obtain, O Lord", St Hilary recites with inspiration, "that I may keep ever faithful to what I have professed in the symbol of my regeneration, when I was baptized in the Father, in the Son and in the Holy Spirit. That I may worship you, our Father, and with you, your Son; that I may deserve your Holy Spirit, who proceeds from you through your Only Begotten Son... Amen" (De Trinitate 12, 57).
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I welcome all the English-speaking visitors present today, including members of the Congregation of Holy Cross, participants in the Nato Defense College Senior Course, and the student groups from Scotland and Denmark. May your time in Rome be one of spiritual renewal. Upon all of you I invoke God's abundant Blessings of joy and peace.

Lastly, I greet the young people, the sick and the newly-weds. Tomorrow will be the liturgical Memorial of Bl. John XXIII. May his unforgettable Gospel testimony sustain you, dear young people, in your commitment of daily fidelity to Christ; may it encourage you, dear sick people, especially you, dear little friends of the Institute for the treatment of tumours in Milan, to follow Jesus patiently on the journey of trials and suffering; may it help you, dear newly-weds, to make your family the place of constant encounter with the Love of God and of the brethren.


The 20th Plenary Meeting of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church (as a whole) is taking place in Ravenna in these days. It is addressing a theological theme of special ecumenical interest: "Ecclesiological and canonical consequences of the sacramental nature of the Church - Ecclesial Communion, conciliarity and authority". I ask you to join in my prayers that this important meeting may help the progress towards full communion between Catholics and Orthodox, and that it will soon be possible to share the same Cup of the Lord.

Saint Peter's Square

Wednesday, 17 October 2007 - Saint Eusebius of Vercelli

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This morning I invite you to reflect on St Eusebius of Vercelli, the first Bishop of Northern Italy of whom we have reliable information. Born in Sardinia at the beginning of the fourth century, he moved to Rome with his family at a tender age. Later, he was instituted lector: he thus came to belong to the clergy of the city at a time when the Church was seriously troubled by the Arian heresy. The high esteem that developed around Eusebius explains his election in 345 A.D. to the Episcopal See of Vercelli. The new Bishop immediately began an intense process of evangelization in a region that was still largely pagan, especially in rural areas. Inspired by St Athanasius - who had written the Life of St Anthony, the father of monasticism in the East - he founded a priestly community in Vercelli that resembled a monastic community. This coenobium impressed upon the clergy of Northern Italy a significant hallmark of apostolic holiness and inspired important episcopal figures such as Limenius and Honoratus, successors of Eusebius in Vercelli, Gaudentius in Novara, Exuperantius in Tortona, Eustasius in Aosta, Eulogius in Ivrea and Maximus in Turin, all venerated by the Church as saints.

With his sound formation in the Nicene faith, Eusebius did his utmost to defend the full divinity of Jesus Christ, defined by the Nicene Creed as "of one being with the Father". To this end, he allied himself with the great Fathers of the fourth century - especially St Athanasius, the standard bearer of Nicene orthodoxy - against the philo-Arian policies of the Emperor. For the Emperor, the simpler Arian faith appeared politically more useful as the ideology of the Empire. For him it was not truth that counted but rather political opportunism: he wanted to exploit religion as the bond of unity for the Empire. But these great Fathers resisted him, defending the truth against political expediency.
Eusebius was consequently condemned to exile, as were so many other Bishops of the East and West: such as Athanasius himself, Hilary of Poitiers - of whom we spoke last time - and Hosius of Cordoba. In Scythopolis, Palestine, to which he was exiled between 355 and 360, Eusebius wrote a marvellous account of his life. Here too, he founded a monastic community with a small group of disciples. It was also from here that he attended to his correspondence with his faithful in Piedmont, as can be seen in the second of the three Letters of Eusebius recognized as authentic. Later, after 360, Eusebius was exiled to Cappadocia and the Thebaid, where he suffered serious physical ill-treatment. After his death in 361, Constantius II was succeeded by the Emperor Julian, known as "the Apostate", who was not interested in making Christianity the religion of the Empire but merely wished to restore paganism. He rescinded the banishment of these Bishops and thereby also enabled Eusebius to be reinstated in his See. In 362 he was invited by Anastasius to take part in the Council of Alexandria, which decided to pardon the Arian Bishops as long as they returned to the secular state. Eusebius was able to exercise his episcopal ministry for another 10 years, until he died, creating an exemplary relationship with his city which did not fail to inspire the pastoral service of other Bishops of Northern Italy, whom we shall reflect upon in future Catecheses, such as St Ambrose of Milan and St Maximus of Turin.

The Bishop of Vercelli's relationship with his city is illustrated in particular by two testimonies in his correspondence. The first is found in the Letter cited above, which Eusebius wrote from his exile in Scythopolis "to the beloved brothers and priests missed so much, as well as to the holy people with a firm faith of Vercelli, Novara, Ivrea and Tortona" (Second Letter, CCL 9, p. 104). These first words, which demonstrate the deep emotion of the good Pastor when he thought of his flock, are amply confirmed at the end of the Letter in his very warm fatherly greetings to each and every one of his children in Vercelli, with expressions overflowing with affection and love. One should note first of all the explicit relationship that bound the Bishop to the sanctae plebes, not only of Vercellae/Vercelli - the first and subsequently for some years the only Diocese in the Piedmont - but also of Novaria/ Novara, Eporedia/Ivrea and Dertona/ Tortona, that is, of the Christian communities in the same Diocese which had become quite numerous and acquired a certain consistency and autonomy. Another interesting element is provided by the farewell with which the Letter concludes. Eusebius asked his sons and daughters to give his greeting "also to those who are outside the Church, yet deign to nourish feelings of love for us: etiam hos, qui foris sunt et nos dignantur diligere". This is an obvious proof that the Bishop's relationship with his city was not limited to the Christian population but also extended to those who - outside the Church - recognized in some way his spiritual authority and loved this exemplary man.

The second testimony of the Bishop's special relationship with his city comes from the Letter St Ambrose of Milan wrote to the Vercellians in about 394, more than 20 years after Eusebius' death (Ep. extra collecitonem 14: Maur. 63). The Church of Vercelli was going through a difficult period: she was divided and lacked a Bishop. Ambrose frankly declared that he hesitated to recognize these Vercellians as descending from "the lineage of the holy fathers who approved of Eusebius as soon as they saw him, without ever having known him previously and even forgetting their own fellow citizens". In the same Letter, the Bishop of Milan attested to his esteem for Eusebius in the clearest possible way: "Such a great man", he wrote in peremptory tones, "well deserves to be elected by the whole of the Church". Ambrose's admiration for Eusebius was based above all on the fact that the Bishop of Vercelli governed his Diocese with the witness of his life: "With the austerity of fasting he governed his Church". Indeed, Ambrose was also fascinated, as he himself admits, by the monastic ideal of the contemplation of God which, in the footsteps of the Prophet Elijah, Eusebius had pursued. First of all, Ambrose commented, the Bishop of Vercelli gathered his clergy in vita communis and educated its members in "the observance of the monastic rule, although they lived in the midst of the city". The Bishop and his clergy were to share the problems of their fellow citizens and did so credibly, precisely by cultivating at the same time a different citizenship, that of Heaven (cf.
He 13,14). And thus, they really built true citizenship and true solidarity among all the citizens of Vercelli.

While Eusebius was adopting the cause of the sancta plebs of Vercelli, he lived a monk's life in the heart of the city, opening the city to God. This trait, though, in no way diminished his exemplary pastoral dynamism. It seems among other things that he set up parishes in Vercelli for an orderly and stable ecclesial service and promoted Marian shrines for the conversion of the pagan populations in the countryside. This "monastic feature", however, conferred a special dimension on the Bishop's relationship with his hometown. Just like the Apostles, for whom Jesus prayed at his Last Supper, the Pastors and faithful of the Church "are of the world" (Jn 17,11), but not "in the world". Therefore, Pastors, Eusebius said, must urge the faithful not to consider the cities of the world as their permanent dwelling place but to seek the future city, the definitive heavenly Jerusalem. This "eschatological reserve" enables Pastors and faithful to preserve the proper scale of values without ever submitting to the fashions of the moment and the unjust claims of the current political power. The authentic scale of values - Eusebius' whole life seems to say - does not come from emperors of the past or of today but from Jesus Christ, the perfect Man, equal to the Father in divinity, yet a man like us. In referring to this scale of values, Eusebius never tired of "warmly recommending" his faithful "to jealously guard the faith, to preserve harmony, to be assiduous in prayer" (Second Letter, op. cit.).

Dear friends, I too warmly recommend these perennial values to you as I greet and bless you, using the very words with which the holy Bishop Eusebius concluded his Second Letter: "I address you all, my holy brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, faithful of both sexes and of every age group, so that you may... bring our greeting also to those who are outside the Church, yet deign to nourish sentiments of love for us" (ibid.).


Today, the World Day for the Elimination of Poverty is being celebrated, recognized by the United Nations with the title of the World Day for the Eradication of Poverty. How many people still live in conditions of extreme poverty! The disparity between rich and poor has become increasingly obvious and disturbing, even in the more prosperous nations. This distressing situation must be recognized by humanity, because the conditions in which a large number of people live are such as to offend the dignity of the human being and consequently to jeopardize the authentic and harmonious progress of the world community. I therefore recommend that efforts be redoubled to uproot the causes of poverty and the tragic consequences that derive from them.

To special groups

I warmly greet the Immaculate Heart Sisters from Nigeria who celebrate the 70th anniversary of their foundation. I likewise greet the members of the national pilgrimage of Tanzania. My welcome also goes to the Lutheran pilgrims from Norway and to the members of Serra International. Upon all the English-speaking visitors, including those from England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Japan, the Philippines and the United States, I invoke God's abundant Blessings.

Lastly, I turn my thoughts to the sick, newly-weds and young people, especially the children from the Diocese of Faenza-Modigliana who have received Confirmation and the pupils of the Sacred Heart Foundation in Cesena. Dear friends, the month of October invites us to renew our active cooperation in the Church's mission. Therefore, place at the service of the Gospel, you young people, the fresh energies of youth, you sick people, the power of prayer and suffering, and you newly-weds, the potential of married life, in order to give practical support to the missionaries who bear the Christian message on the front lines of evangelization.


I now have the joy of announcing that this 24 November, eve of the Solemnity of Christ the King, I will hold a Consistory at which, departing by one from the number established by Pope Paul VI, confirmed by my venerable Predecessor John Paul II in the Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis (cf. n. 33), I will name 18 Cardinals. Here are their names.

1. Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches;

2. Archbishop John Patrick Foley, Pro-Grand Master of the Knights of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem;

3. Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, President of the Pontifical Commission and of the Governorate of Vatican City State;

4. Archbishop Paul Joseph Cordes, President of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum";

5. Archbishop Angelo Comastri, Archpriest of the Vatican Basilica, Vicar General for Vatican City State and President of the Fabric of St Peter;

6. Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity;

7. Archbishop Raffaele Farina, S.D.B., Archivist and Librarian of Holy Roman Church;

8. Archbishop Agustín Garcia-Gasco Vicente of Valencia, Spain;

9. Archbishop Sean Baptist Brady of Armagh, Ireland;

10. Archbishop Lluís Martínez Sistach of Barcelona, Spain;

11. Archbishop André Vingt-Trois of Paris, France;

12. Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa, Italy;

13. Archbishop Théodore-Adrien Sarr of Dakar, Senegal;

14. Archbishop Oswald Gracias of Bombay, India;

15. Archbishop Francisco Robles Ortega of Monterrey, Mexico;

16. Archbishop Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, U.S.A.;

17. Archbishop Odilo Pedro Scherer of São Paulo, Brazil;

18. Archbishop John Njue of Nairobi, Kenya.

I also wish to raise to the dignity of Cardinal three venerable Prelates and two well-deserving ecclesiastics, particularly praiseworthy for their commitment to the service of the Church:

1. H.B. Emmanuel III Delly, Patriarch of Babylon for Chaldeans;

2. Archbishop Giovanni Coppa, Apostolic Nuncio;

3. Archbishop emeritus Estanislao Esteban Karlic of Paraná, Argentina;

4. Fr Urbano Navarrete, S.J., former Rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University; and

5. Fr Umberto Betti, O.F.M., former Rector of the Pontifical Lateran University.
* * *

Among the latter I had also wanted to raise to the dignity of Cardinal the elderly Bishop Ignacy Jez of Koszalin-Kolobrzeg, Poland, who died suddenly yesterday. Let us offer our prayers of suffrage for him.
* * *

The new Cardinals come from various parts of the world. This group clearly reflects the universality of the Church with the multiplicity of her ministries: besides Prelates praiseworthy for the service they have rendered to the Holy See, there are Pastors who expend their energy in direct contact with the faithful.

There would have been other people, very dear to me, who because of their dedication to serving the Church would certainly deserve to be raised to the dignity of Cardinal. I hope to have the opportunity in the future to testify to my esteem and affection to them and the Countries to which they belong.

Let us entrust the newly elected to the protection of Mary Most Holy, asking her to help them in their respective offices so that they may be able to witness with courage in every circumstance to their love for Christ and the Church.

Saint Peter's Square

Wednesday, 24 October 2007 - Saint Ambrose of Milan

Audiences 2005-2013 31007