Carmelite Among 12 Representing Church at Inaugural Mass

Swore Obedience on Behalf of Those in Consecrated Life

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ROME, APRIL 29, 2005 ( Among the 12 people who represented the universal Church in swearing obedience to Benedict XVI at his inaugural Mass was Father Jesús Castellano Cervera.

«It was one of the novelties introduced in the new rite approved by the Pope and celebrated for the first time,» explained the Discalced Carmelite and consultor for the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, regarding the Mass last Sunday.

«On other occasions, the rite of obedience was celebrated by all the cardinals present,» he told ZENIT. «This time, given that the cardinals had already professed their obedience in the Sistine Chapel, after the election, the ritual provided that it be carried out by a representation of 12 people, belonging to all the vocations, natives of several countries and continents.»

«I personally expressed to the Pope the affection, obedience and collaboration of all consecrated life in its ministry, including that of my religious family, the Carmel, with my brothers and sisters, the Discalced Carmelites,» the priest added.

Father Castellano, professor of sacramental theology and spirituality at the Teresianum school of theology in Rome, highlighted Benedict XVI’s «particular finesse in personal relations, always characterized by courtesy and care for the other, by confidence, and by interest in what one wants to say.»

«From the spiritual point of view, I have always admired his inwardness which reminds me of his love of St. Augustine and St. Bonaventure, the two authors on which he wrote his two theses,» said the priest.

He added that he believes relativism will be one of the great challenges that Benedict XVI will have to address.

«I have the certainty,» he said, «that the Holy Father, as he has already expressed on several occasions, is concerned with finding the most appropriate language, with words and gestures, so that the truth and life of Christ are understood and accepted by the men and women to today.»

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