Pontiff Requests Prayer for Fulfillment of Mission

Says Rome’s Primacy Protects Unity and Diversity in Church

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 22, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is asking for prayers, on this feast of the Chair of Peter, for a successful fulfillment of his mission as the Bishop of Rome.

The Pope made this request today in an address to those gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Angelus.

He affirmed that the «chair of Peter symbolizes the authority of the Bishop of Rome, who is called to perform a special service for the whole People of God.»

The Pontiff noted that the «primacy of the Church of Rome in the Catholic community was recognized» immediately after the martyrdom of St. Peter and St. Paul.

He underlined the fact that within the Church, «particular Churches hold a rightful place» and «retain their own traditions, without in any way opposing the primacy of the Chair of Peter, which presides over the whole assembly of charity.»

This Chair, the Holy Father added, «protects legitimate differences, while at the same time assuring that such differences do not hinder unity but rather contribute toward it.»

He asked for the prayers of the Church in order to be able to «faithfully carry out this great task, entrusted […] by Providence, as successor to the Apostle Peter.»

Spiritual healing

Benedict XVI also dedicated some words to reflect on the Gospel account of Jesus’ healing of the paralytic.

He affirmed the story’s proof that «Jesus has the power not only to heal the sick body but also to forgive sins.»

The Pope added: «The physical healing is a sign of the spiritual healing that his forgiveness produces.

«In effect, sin is a kind of paralysis of the spirit, from which only the power of the merciful love of God can liberate us, allowing us to pick ourselves up and set out again along the path of goodness.»

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Full text: http://www.zenit.org/article-25169?l=english

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