Speeches 2005-13 32010
Dear Young People and Families of Sicily,
I greet you with great affection and great joy! Thank you for your joy and for your faith! This encounter with you is the last meeting of my Visit to Palermo today but in a certain sense it is the central one. In fact, it is this occasion that prompted you to invite me: your Regional Meeting of Young People and Families. So today I must begin here, with this event; and I do so first of all by thanking Bishop Mario Russotto of Caltanissetta, who is the Delegate for the pastoral care of youth and the family at the regional level, and then, also, the two young people, Giorgia and David. Dear friends, yours was more than a greeting, it was a sharing of faith and hope. I warmly thank you. The Bishop of Rome goes everywhere to strengthen Christians in the faith, but he then goes home strengthened by your faith, by your joy and by your hope!
Therefore, young people and families, we must take seriously this gathering, this get-together, which cannot be solely an occasional or functional event. It has a meaning, a human, Christian and ecclesial value. And I do not want to start with a discussion but with a testimonial, a true and very timely life story. I believe you know that last Saturday, 25 September, a young Italian girl, called Chiara, Chiara Badano, was declared Blessed in Rome. I invite you to become acquainted with her. Her life was a short one but it is a wonderful message. Chiara was born in 1971 and died in 1990 from an incurable disease. Nineteen years full of life, love and faith. Her last two years were also full of pain, yet always of love and light, a light that shone around her, that came from within: from her heart filled with God! How was this possible? How could a 17 or 18-year-old girl live her suffering in this way, humanly without hope, spreading love, serenity, peace and faith? This was obviously a grace of God, but this grace was prepared and accompanied by human collaboration as well: the collaboration of Chiara herself, of course, but also of her parents and friends.
In the first place her parents, her family. Today I want to emphasize this in a special way. Bl. Chiara Badano's parents are alive, they were in Rome for the Beatification I myself met them and they are witnesses of the fundamental fact that explains everything: their daughter was overflowing with God's light! And this light, which comes from faith and love, was first lit by them: father and mother kindled that little flame of faith in their daughter's soul and helped Chiara to keep it constantly alight, even in the difficult times of growing up and above all during her great and long trial of suffering, as was the case for Venerable Maria Carmelina Leone, who died at the age of 17. This, dear friends, is the first message that I would like to leave you: the relationship between parents and children as you know is fundamental; but not only due to a just tradition I know that this is keenly felt by Sicilians. It is something more, which Jesus himself taught us: it is the torch of faith that is passed on from one generation to the next; that flame which is also present in the rite of Baptism, when the priest says: "Receive the light of Christ... [a sign of Easter]... this light is entrusted to you to be kept burning brightly".
The family is fundamental because that is where the first awareness of the meaning of life germinates in the human soul. It germinates in the relationship with the mother and with the father, who are not the masters of their children's lives but are God's primary collaborators in the transmission of life and faith. This happened in an exemplary and extraordinary way in Bl. Chiara Badano's family; but it also happens in many families. In Sicily too there are splendid examples of young people who have grown up like beautiful, vigorous plants, after germinating in the family with the Lord's grace and human collaboration. I am referring to Bl. Pina Suriano, Venerable Maria Carmelina Leone and Maria Magno Magro, a great teacher; to the Servants of God Rosario Livatino, Mario Giuseppe Restivo and to many young people whom you know! Often their activities do not make the headlines because evil is more newsworthy, but they are the strength and future of Sicily! The image of a tree is very significant for representing the human person. The Bible uses it, for example, in the Psalms. Psalm 1 says blessed is the man who meditates on the law of the Lord: "He is like a tree planted by streams of water, / that yields its fruit in its season" (v. 3). These "streams of water" could be the "river" of tradition, the "river" of the faith from which to draw the vital sap. Dear young people of Sicily, be trees that sink their roots in the "river" of good! Do not be afraid of opposing evil! Together you will be like a forest that grows, silent perhaps, but capable of yielding fruit, of bringing life and of deeply renewing your land! Do not give in to the suggestions of the Mafia, which is a path to death incompatible with the Gospel, as our Bishops have so often said and say!
The Apostle Paul takes up this image in his Letter to the Colossians, where he urges Christians to be "rooted and built up in him [Christ] and established in the faith" (cf. Col Col 2,7). You young people know that these words are the theme of my Message for next year's World Youth Day in Madrid. The image of the tree tells us that each one of us needs fertile ground in which to sink our own roots, a ground rich with nutritious substances that make a person grow: these are values, but above all they are love and faith, the knowledge of God's true face, the awareness that he loves us infinitely, faithfully, patiently, to the point of giving his life for us. In this sense the family is a "Church in miniature" because it transmits God, it transmits Christ's love, by virtue of the sacrament of Matrimony. Divine love, which unites a man and a woman and makes them become parents, is capable of generating in the hearts of their children the seed of faith, that is, the light of the deep meaning of life.
And here we come to the next important passage, which I can only outline: the family, to be this "Church in miniature", must be properly inserted in the "great Church", that is, in the family of God that Christ came to form. Bl. Chiara Badano also witnessed to this, as did all the other young Saints and Blesseds; that together with the family they were born into, the great family of the Church is fundamental, encountered and experienced in the parish community and in the diocese. For Bl. Pina Suriano it was Catholic Action widespread in this region for Bl. Chiara Badano, the Focolare Movement. In fact, ecclesial movements and associations do not serve themselves but Christ and the Church.
Dear Friends, I know your difficulties in today's social context. They are the difficulties of the young people and families of today, particularly in the south of Italy. And I also know the commitment with which you seek to react to and face these problems, supported by your priests who are authentic fathers and brothers in the faith to you, as was Fr Pino Puglisi. I thank God for having met you, because wherever there are young people and families who choose the path of the Gospel there is hope. And you are a sign of hope, not only for Sicily but also for all Italy. I have brought you a testimony of holiness and you offer me your own: the faces of the many young people of this land who have loved Christ with Gospel radicalism; your own faces resemble a mosaic! This is the greatest gift we have received: to be Church, to be in Christ a sign and instrument of unity, of peace, of true freedom. No one can take this joy from us! No one can take this power from us! Courage, dear young people and families of Sicily! Be holy! At the school of Mary, our Mother, make yourselves fully available to God. Let yourselves be moulded by his Word and his Spirit and you will be even more, and increasingly, the salt and light of this beloved land of yours. Thank you!
Dear Brothers in the Episcopate,
I welcome you with great pleasure, the Bishops of the North 1 and North East Regions of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil on the occasion of your ad limina Apostolorum visit.
I express gratitude to Bishop Moacyr Grechi for his kind words and for the sentiments he has expressed on your behalf, while I assure you of my daily remembrance in prayer, asking Heaven to support your efforts very often without the adequate means to take the Good News of Jesus to all the corners of the Amazon forest and to make them fruitful, in the awareness that "God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1Tm 2,4).
God can bring about this salvation in extraordinary ways that he alone knows. However, if his Son came, it was precisely to reveal the ordinary paths of salvation to us through his words and through his life. He then sent us, with his authority, to pass on this revelation to others. Therefore we cannot help thinking: even if we do not proclaim the Gospel to them, people can be saved in other ways, thanks to God's mercy; but will I be saved if through negligence, fear or shame or by following false ideas I fail to proclaim it? At times people make this objection to us: to impose a truth, even a Gospel truth, to impose a way, even salvation, can only offend religious freedom. I would like here to repeat Pope Paul VI's relevant and illuminating answer: "It would certainly be an error to impose something on the consciences of our brethren. But to propose to their consciences the truth of the Gospel and salvation in Jesus Christ, with complete clarity and with a total respect for the free options which it presents "without coercion, or dishonourable or unworthy pressure far from being an attack on religious liberty is fully to respect that liberty, which is offered the choice of a way that even non-believers consider noble and uplifting... The respectful presentation of Christ and his Kingdom is more than the evangelizer's right; it is his duty. It is likewise the right of his fellow men to receive from him the proclamation of the Good News of salvation" (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi EN 80).
"Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!" (1Co 9,16), the Apostle exclaimed to the Gentiles. The desire to proclaim the Gospel is born from a heart in love with Jesus who ardently desires that many may receive an invitation to take part in the marriage feast of the Son of God (cf. Mt 22,8-10). In fact, mission means spreading the flame of love that burns in the hearts of human beings. By opening themselves to the truth of the Gospel and letting themselves be transformed by it, they can move on to living their lives, as St Paul said: "by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" (Ga 2,20). The call to the mission is consequently not something intended exclusively for a small group of the Church's members; on the contrary it is an imperative addressed to every baptized person, an essential element of his or her vocation. As the Second Vatican Council stated: the "The Christian vocation is, of its nature, a vocation to the apostolate" (Decree on the Apostolate of Lay People, Apostolicam Actuositatem AA 2). In this regard one of the main commitments of the Fifth General Conference of the Latin American and Caribbean Bishops' Conferences, which I had the joy of inaugurating in Aparecida in 2007, was to revive in Christians the awareness of being disciples and missionaries; it thus redeemed the missionary dimension of the Church by convoking a "Continental Mission".
In thinking of the challenges that this proposal of renewal involves for you Brazilian Prelates, the figure of Bl. José de Anchieta springs to mind. Indeed, his tireless and very generous apostolic activity, not exempt from grave dangers and which guaranteed the dissemination of the Word of God among both the Indios and the Portuguese which is why, from the moment of his death, he was called the "Apostle of Brazil" can serve as a model to help your Particular Churches find ways to form missionary disciples in the spirit of the Conference of Aparecida (cf. Document of Aparecida, n. 275).
Yet the challenges of the present time could lead to a reductive vision of the concept of mission. Mission cannot be limited to the mere search for new techniques and forms that make the Church more attractive and capable of overcoming the rivalry of other religious groups or relativist ideologies. The Church does not work for herself: she is at the service of Jesus Christ; she exists to ensure that the Good News is accessible to all. The Church is Catholic precisely because she invites every human being to experience a new existence in Christ. The mission, therefore, is no more than the natural consequence of the Church's very essence, a service of the ministry of union that Christ wished to bring about in his crucified Body.
This must lead us to reflect on the fact that the weakening of the missionary spirit is perhaps due to having forgotten that the mission must draw nourishment from a deeper nucleus than to limitations and deficiencies in the external forms of traditional missionary action. This deeper nucleus is the Eucharist. The latter, like the presence of the human and divine love of Jesus Christ, continuously presupposes Jesus' coming to the men and women who were to be his members, who would themselves be Eucharist. To sum up, if it is to be truly effective the Continental Mission must start from the Eucharist and lead to the Eucharist.
Beloved Brothers, when you have returned to your dioceses and prelatures, I ask you to pass on to your priests, men and women religious, seminarians, catechists and faithful the affectionate greeting of the Pope, who thinks of all and prays for all with deep affection and steadfast hope. I entrust you, your intentions and your pastoral resolutions to Bl. José of Anchieta, who found in the tabernacle the secret of his apostolic effectiveness, so that in the heart and on the lips of every Brazilian Christ's name may be ever present. With these sentiments, may my prayers and my Apostolic Blessing accompany you.
I am pleased to receive you, Your Excellency, at this solemn ceremony in which you present to me the Letters accrediting you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Chile to the Holy See. I wish to express to you my most cordial welcome. At the same time I thank you for the words of greeting from H.E. Dr Sebastián Piñera Echenique, President of the Republic, and from his Government.
Your presence at the Holy See, Your Excellency, vividly reminds me of a country which although it is geographically far from here, is very close to my heart, especially since the recent devastating earthquake.
From the very first moment I wanted to express my closeness to the Chilean people and, through Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone's visit, my Secretary of State, I conveyed my comfort and hope to the victims, to their families and to the many injured, whom I keep very present in my prayers. Nor do I forget the miners of the Atacama region and their loved ones, for whom I pray fervently.
In this regard I would like to emphasize the importance of the unity of the Chilean people in the face of disaster, of their most generous and supportive response when suffering worsens and, likewise, for the immense effort that the Catholic Church in Chile many of whose communities have also been sorely tried by the earthquake is making to help those who are most in need.
Your Excellency, you are beginning your mission to the Holy See in the very year in which Chile is celebrating the Bicentenary of it's Independence.
This affords me the opportunity to point out once again the role of the Church in your country's most important events, as well as in the consolidation of a national identity of its own, deeply marked by Catholic sentiment.
The fruits that the Gospel has yielded in this blessed land are very numerous; abundant fruits of holiness, charity, human advancement, of the constant search for peace and peaceful coexistence. In this regard I wish to recall the celebration last year of the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship with the sister Nation of Argentina which, with Papal mediation, put an end to the southern disagreement. This historic Accord will remain for the generations to come as a shining example of the immense good that peace brings, as well as the importance of safeguarding and fostering those moral and religious values that constitute the deepest fabric of a people's soul.
One cannot claim to explain the triumph of this longing for peace, harmony and understanding, if one fails to realize how deeply inscribed in Chilean hearts is the seed of the Gospel.
In this regard, it is important especially in the present circumstances in which so many challenges that threaten cultural identity must be faced to encourage especially among young people, a healthy pride, a renewed appreciation and re-evaluation of their faith, their history, their culture, their traditions and artistic wealth, and of all that constitute Chile's greatest and richest spiritual and human patrimony.
In this context I would like to emphasize that although the Church and the State are autonomous and independent of each other in their own fields, nevertheless, both are called to collaborate in a loyal and respectful way to serve the personal and social vocation of people themselves (cf. Gaudium et Spes GS 76).
In the fulfilment of her specific mission to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Church seeks to respond to the expectations and questions of men and women, relying on the fundamental values and anthropological principles and ethics that are rooted in the nature of the human being.
When the Church raises her voice in the face of today's great challenges and problems, such as war, hunger, the extreme poverty of so many human beings, the safeguard of human life from its conception to its natural end, and the promotion of the family founded on marriage between a man and a woman and primarily responsible for the education of the children, she is not acting in her own interest or on behalf of principles that can only be perceived by those who profess a specific religious creed.
She does so respecting the rules of democratic coexistence, she does so for the good of the whole of society and on behalf of values that every upright person can share (Address to the President of Italy, 20 November 2006).
In this regard the Chilean people know well that the Church in this nation collaborates sincerely and effectively and wishes to continue doing so in all that contributes to the promotion of the common good, just progress and the peaceful and harmonious coexistence of all who live in this beautiful country.
Mr Ambassador, before concluding this Meeting, I express my best wishes to you for the fulfilment of your lofty mission, while I assure you of the cordial welcome and availability of my collaborators.
With these sentiments, I cordially invoke upon you, Your Excellency, upon your family and upon the other members of this diplomatic mission, as well as upon the whole beloved Chilean People and its leaders, through the intercession of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, an abundance of divine Blessings.
Dear Brothers in the Episcopate,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
I welcome you with joy at the end of the four days of intense work dedicated to the Catholic press, organized by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. I cordially greet all of you who come from 85 countries and work in daily newspapers, weeklies and other periodicals, and on Internet sites. I greet Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, President of the Dicastery, and thank him for expressing the sentiments of all. I also greet the Secretaries, the Undersecretary, all the Officials and the Personnel. I am pleased to be able to address to you a word of encouragement to persevere with renewed motivation, in your important and qualified task.
The world of the media is pervaded by a profound transformation, also within itself. The development of new technologies and, in particular, the widespread use of multimedia, seem to call into question the role of the more traditional and consolidated means of communication. Your Congress is appropriately taking the time to consider the particular role of the Catholic press. In fact, attentive reflection on this aspect brings two specific aspects to the forefront: on the one hand the specificity of the means, the press, and therefore the written word and its timeliness and efficacy, in a society that has seen the multiplication of antennae, parabolic aerials and satellites that have become, as it were, the emblems of a new way of communicating in the era of globalization. On the other hand there is the connotation of "Catholic", with the responsibility that derives from it of being explicitly and essentially faithful, through the daily commitment to taking the highway of the truth.
The quest for the truth must be pursued by Catholic journalists with passionate minds and hearts, but also with the professionalism of competent operators, equipped with adequate and efficient means. This is even more important in our period of history which asks the journalist, as mediator of the flow of information, to put into practice profound change. Today, for example, with the development of new technologies, the world of images has an ever greater influence. However, if on the one hand all this involves aspects that are undoubtedly positive, on the other hand, true image can also become independent of reality. It can give life to a virtual world with various consequences; the first of these is the risk of indifference to the true. In fact, the new technologies, together with the progress they bring, can make the true and the false interchangeable and can lead people to confusing the real with the virtual. Furthermore, the coverage of an event, joyful or sad, can be consumed as a spectacle rather than as an opportunity for reflection. The search for authentic ways to promote the human being is then relegated to the background because the main reason for presenting the event is to evoke emotion. These aspects sound like an alarm: they are an invitation to think about the risk that the virtual may distance people from reality rather than serving as an incentive in the search for the true, for truth.
In this context the Catholic press is called in a new way to express its full potential and, day after day, to account for its indispensable mission. The Church has at hand a facilitating element, given that the Christian faith has a fundamental structure in common with communications: the fact that the means and the message coincide; indeed the Son of God, the Incarnate Word, is at the same time both a message of salvation and the means through which salvation is brought about. And this is no mere concept but a reality accessible to all and also to those who, in spite of living as protagonists in the complexity of the world, are able to preserve the intellectual honesty of the "little ones" of the Gospel. Moreover the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, in our time present everywhere, nourishes the capacity for more fraternal and human relations, representing both a place of communion among believers and a sign and an instrument of the vocation to communion of all. The Church's power is Christ, and in his name she "follows" human beings on the highways of the world to save them from the mysterium iniquitatis, treacherously active within it. In comparison with any other means of communication, the press evokes more directly the value of the written word. The Word of God came to men and women and was also passed on to us through a book, the Bible. Words remain the fundamental, and in a certain sense, constitutive means of communication: today they are used in various ways and have kept their value intact, even in the so-called "civilization of the image".
On the basis of these brief reflections it seems evident that the challenge of communications is very demanding, both for the Church and for those who share in her mission. Christians cannot ignore the crisis of faith that has arrived in society nor can they simply trust that the patrimony of values passed down past centuries will continue to inspire and shape the future of the human family. The idea of living "as though God did not exist" has proved harmful: rather, the world needs to live "as though God existed", even if no effort to believe is made, otherwise it results in nothing but an "inhuman humanism".
Dear brothers and sisters, anyone who works in the means of communication, if he does not wish to be merely "a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal" (1Co 13,1) as St Paul would say must have within him a strong basic option that enables him to deal with the things of the world always placing God at the top of the scale of values. The times in which we live, although they have a strong positive charge because the threads of history are in God's hands and his eternal plan is increasingly revealed, are also still darkened by shadows. Your task, dear members of the Catholic press, is to help contemporary men and women turn to Christ, the one Saviour, and to keep the torch of hope alight in the world, in order to live a dignified life today and to build the future adequately. For this reason I urge you constantly to renew your personal option for Christ, drawing from those spiritual resources underrated by the worldly mindset whereas they are invaluable, and indeed, indispensable. Dear friends, I encourage you to continue in your task that is far from easy and I accompany you with my prayers, so that the Holy Spirit will always make it fruitful. I intend my Blessing, full of affection and gratitude which I willingly impart, to embrace you who are present here and all who work in the Catholic press throughout the world.
SPONSORED BY THE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR LEGISLATIVE TEXTS
Venerable Patriarchs, Major Archbishops,
Dear Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood,
Distinguished Representatives of other churches and Ecclesial Communities,
Dear Functionaries of Eastern Canon Law,
I welcome you with great joy at the end of the Study Congress that has appropriately wished to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the promulgation of the Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium. I greet you all cordially, starting with Archbishop Francesco Coccopalmerio, whom I thank for his words on behalf of those present. I extend a grateful thought to the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and to the Pontifical Oriental Institute, which collaborated with the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts in organizing this Congress. I would like to express my warm appreciation to the Relators for their competent scientific contribution to this ecclesial event.
Twenty years after the promulgation of the Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, we wish to pay homage to the insight of Venerable John Paul II who, in his concern that the Eastern Catholic Churches "flourish and fulfil with new apostolic strength the task entrusted to them" (Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Decree on the Catholic Eastern Churches, Orientalium Ecclesiarum OE 1), wished to endow these venerable Churches with a complete Code, common to them all and adapted to the times. So it was that "the constant desire of the Roman Pontiffs to promulgate two Codes, one for the Latin Church and the other for the Eastern Catholic Churches" (Apostolic Constitution Sacri Canones) became reality. At the same time, the "very clear, constant and firm intention of the supreme legislator of the Church with regard to the faithful preservation and diligent observance of all the rites" was reaffirmed (ibid.).
The Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientaliu was followed by two other important documents of John Paul II's Magisterium: the Encyclical Ut Unum Sint (1995) and the Apostolic Letter Orientale Lumen (1995). Nor can we forget the Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism, published by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (1993) and the Instruction of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches for Applying the Liturgical Prescriptions of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches (1996). In these authoritative documents of the Magisterium various canons of the Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, such as the Codex Iuris Canonici are almost all cited in the text, commented on and applied to the Church's life.
This 20th anniversary is not only a celebrative event to preserve its memory but indeed is also a providential opportunity for verification, to which are called in the first place the Eastern Catholic Churches sui iuris and their institutions, especially the Hierarchies. In this regard, the Apostolic Constitution Sacri Canones already specified the contexts for verification. It is a question of ascertaining to what extent the Code has effectively had the force of law for all Eastern Catholic Churches sui iuris, and how the Code is expressed in the daily work of the Eastern Catholic Churches; it is also necessary to check on how far the legislative power of each Church sui iuris has provided for the promulgation of its own particular law, taking into account the traditions of this Church's own rite, as well as the provisions of the Second Vatican Council.
The themes of your Congress, divided into three units: history, particular legislation, ecumenical perspectives, indicate an especially significant course to follow in this verification. It must start with the awareness that for the Eastern Catholic faithful the new Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium has created a disciplinary situation which is partly new. It has become an effective means of safeguarding and promoting their own rite, understood as the "liturgical, theological, spiritual and disciplinary patrimony, culture and circumstances of history of a distinct people, by which its own manner of living the faith is manifested in each Church sui iuris" (Can. 28 1).
Concerning this the sacri canones of the ancient Church which inspire the Eastern Code currently in force encourage all the Eastern Churches to preserve their own identity, which is at the same time both Eastern and Catholic. By preserving the Catholic communion, the Eastern Catholic Churches in no way intend to deny fidelity to their tradition. As has been reasserted on many occasions, the full union of the Eastern Catholic Churches with the Church of Rome, already achieved, must not entail a dwindling awareness of their authenticity and originality. The task of all the Eastern Catholic Churches is therefore to preserve their common disciplinary patrimony and to foster their own traditions which constitute a wealth for the whole Church.
The sacri canones of the earliest centuries of the Church constitute more or less the same fundamental patrimony of canonical discipline that regulates the Orthodox Churches. The Eastern Catholic Churches can therefore make a special and relevant contribution to the ecumenical process. I am pleased that during your symposium you have borne in mind this particular aspect. I encourage you, for your part, to make it the object of further study, thereby cooperating in the common commitment to abide by Lord's prayer: "That they may all be one... so that the world may believe..." (Jn 17,21).
Dear friends, in the context of the Church's commitment today to a new evangelization, canon law, as a specific and indispensable ordering of the ecclesial structure, will not fail to make an effective contribution to the life and mission of the Church in the world if all the members of the People of God can interpret it wisely and apply it faithfully. As did Venerable John Paul II, I therefore urge all the beloved sons and daughters of the Eastern Churches "to observe the precepts indicated with a sincere soul and a humble will, with never the slightest doubt that the Eastern Churches will provide in the best possible way for the good of the souls of the Christian faithful with a renewed discipline, and that they will always flourish and carry out the duty entrusted to them under the protection of the glorious and Blessed ever Virgin Mary who, with full truth, is called Theotókos and is resplendent as the sublime Mother of the universal Church" (Apostolic Constitution Sacri Canones)
I accompany this hope with the Apostolic Blessing, which I impart to you and to all who make their contributions in the various areas connected with Eastern Canon Law.
Speeches 2005-13 32010