“The power that Christ conferred upon Peter and his Successors is, in an absolute sense, a mandate to serve. The power of teaching in the Church involves a commitment to the service of obedience to the faith. The Pope is not an absolute monarch whose thoughts and desires are law. On the contrary: the Pope’s ministry is a guarantee of obedience to Christ and to his Word. He must not proclaim his own ideas, but rather constantly bind himself and the Church to obedience to God’s Word, in the face of every attempt to adapt it or water it down, and every form of opportunism.

The Pope knows that in his important decisions, he is bound to the great community of faith of all times, to the binding interpretations that have developed throughout the Church’s pilgrimage. Thus, his power is not being above, but at the service of, the Word of God. It is incumbent upon him to ensure that this Word continues to be present in its greatness and to resound in its purity, so that it is not torn to pieces by continuous changes in usage.”

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Pope Benedict XVI

MASS OF POSSESSION OF THE CHAIR
OF THE BISHOP OF ROME

HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI

Basilica of St John Lateran
Saturday, 7 May 2005

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1 Response

  1. Avatar Christopher Lake says:

    This man has served Christ and the Church so wonderfully, so faithfully, in his lifetime. I love him. (I also love his successor, no matter how much some people try to inaccurately pit them against each other!)

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