Benedict XVI's Agenda: God's Will

At Inauguration, New Pope Says He Plans to Listen

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 24, 2005 ( Benedict XVI says the priorities for his pontificate are those of the will of God, not his own ideas.

During a Mass today in St. Peter’s Square to inaugurate his pontificate, the new Pope received the pallium and the Fisherman’s Ring, symbols of his Petrine ministry.

«At this moment there is no need for me to present a program of governance,» the German-born Pontiff said in his homily to an audience of 400,000 people. «I was able to give an indication of what I see as my task in my message of Wednesday, April 20, and there will be other opportunities to do so.»

The message the Holy Father referred to was one he delivered to cardinals in the Sistine Chapel after the Mass he celebrated the day following his election as Pope.

In that message, he committed himself to promote unity in the Church, unity with other Christian confessions, and unity within the human family, following the guidelines outlined by the Second Vatican Council.

«My real program of governance is not to do my own will, not to pursue my own ideas, but to listen, together with the whole Church, to the word and will of the Lord, to be guided by him, so that he himself will lead the Church at this hour of our history,» Benedict XVI said in the homily at his inaugural Mass.

«Instead of putting forward a program, I should simply like to comment on the two liturgical symbols which represent the inauguration of the Petrine ministry; both these symbols, moreover, reflect clearly what we heard proclaimed in today’s readings,» noted the Pope.

The Holy Father’s homily was interrupted by applause 39 times.

«And now, at this moment, weak servant of God that I am, I must assume this enormous task, which truly exceeds all human capacity. How can I do this? How will I be able to do it?» he asked.

«I do not have to carry alone what in truth I could never carry alone. All the saints of God are there to protect me, to sustain me and carry me. And your prayers, my dear friends, your indulgence, your love, your faith and your hope accompany me,» the 78-year-old Pope said.

«Yes, the Church is alive,» he said in reference to the past days, from the sickness and death of Pope John Paul II to the holding of the conclave and the papal election.

«And the Church is young,» stated the German Pontiff. «She holds within herself the future of the world and therefore shows each of us the way towards the future.»

«The Church is alive and we are seeing it: We are experiencing the joy that the Risen Lord promised his followers. The Church is alive — she is alive because Christ is alive, because he is truly risen,» he added.

One of the words Benedict XVI most repeated was «joy.» The «servant of the servants of God,» as he acknowledged himself to be, recalled the words at the beginning of his predecessor’s pontificate, when he exclaimed: «Do not be afraid! Open wide the doors for Christ!»

«The Pope was addressing the mighty, the powerful of this world, who feared that Christ might take away something of their power if they were to let him in, if they were to allow the faith to be free,» Benedict XVI continued.

«Yes, he would certainly have taken something away from them: the dominion of corruption, the manipulation of law and the freedom to do as they pleased. But he would not have taken away anything that pertains to human freedom or dignity, or to the building of a just society,» the Pope said.

«If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great,» he added. «No! Only in this friendship are the doors of life opened wide. Only in this friendship do we experience beauty and liberation.»

Benedict XVI ended by appealing to the «dear young people»: «Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything. When we give ourselves to him, we receive a hundredfold in return. Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ — and you will find true life.»

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation