Help Your Priests, Pope Urges Archbishops

Exhorts Those Who Received Pallium to Be Diligent Pastors

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 30, 2009 ( Benedict XVI asked the metropolitan archbishops who received the pallium Monday to be exemplary pastors so as to guide and support their priests.

The Pope made this exhortation when he received the 34 prelates, their families, and representatives of their respective archdioceses in Paul VI Hall today.

«In this Year for Priests, just begun, carry your priests deep within your hearts; they hope to receive from you kind treatment, as fathers and brothers who welcome them, listen to them and worry about them,» the Holy Father affirmed. «Concern yourselves with being exemplary pastors, diligent and full of love for the Lord and your communities.

«In this way you can guide and firmly support the priests, your first collaborators in pastoral ministry, and effectively cooperate in spreading the Kingdom of God.»

The Pope gave special thanks to Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki of the Latin Archdiocese of Lviv, Ukraine, for «the service he has given the Church, as a collaborator of mine and, prior to that, of my venerated predecessor John Paul II.»

He then greeted the archbishops by language groups, exhorting them to be signs of unity.

To the 12 English-speakers, he said, «The pallium is received from the hands of the Successor of Peter and worn by the archbishops as a sign of communion in faith and love and in the governance of God’s people. It also recalls to pastors their responsibilities as shepherds after the heart of Jesus. To all of you I affectionately impart my apostolic blessing as a pledge of peace and joy in the Lord.»

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On ZENIT’s Web page:

List of archbishops who received the pallium:

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