VATICAN CITY, APRIL 19, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The past five years of Benedict XVI’s pontificate have served to make the light of Christ shine, said the Vatican spokesman. Today marks the anniversary of the Pontiff’s 2005 election.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, made this observation on the latest edition of “Octava Dies.”
“The time has passed rapidly and the events have been intense in the five completed years of this pontificate,” he said.
The priest noted that in order to interpret these events correctly “one must necessarily return in thought to the Sistine Chapel, the morning after the election, when the new Pope received the spiritual legacy of his great predecessor and indicated the priorities that were to guide his service ‘in the vineyard of the Lord.'”
In that message, addressed to the cardinal electors at the end of the Eucharistic concelebration (April 20, 2005), are summarized the objectives of this pontificate, Father Lombardi noted in his editorial.
Among these objectives, he highlighted among the Holy Father’s desire to serve “man’s relationship with God, revealed by Jesus Christ, found particularly in the Eucharist, in the worship of the Church,” as well as “the commitment — without sparing any energies — to rebuild the full and visible unity of all the followers of Christ.”
On the first day of his pontificate Benedict XVI also expressed his desire to respond to the “appeals for help on the part of today’s humanity that, disturbed by uncertainties and fears, wonders about its future,” the spokesman noted.
Likewise, he committed himself to open a sincere dialogue with the followers of other religions or with those who simply seek answers to the fundamental questions of existence, “for the pursuit of the true good of man and society,” the priest affirmed.
Courage amid obstacles
He continued: “There is no doubt that these have been the priorities of the pontificate, pursued with consistency and courage in a context often full of tensions and obstacles.
“However, Benedict XVI said that he did not want to shine, rather to only make the light of Christ shine.”
This, the spokesman said, explains the trips that characterize this pontificate: to Auschwitz, Istanbul, New York, Sydney, Paris, Africa and Jerusalem.
As well, he added, it explains the Pontiff’s presence in synagogues and mosques, and his encyclicals on charity, hope, and ethics in development, the economy and respect for the environment.
Father Lombardi concluded by describing the pontificate as “a rich and full balance of service to God and to humanity” and “a path to be followed with a sure direction.”
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On ZENIT’s Web page:
Benedict XVI’s address to cardinals: http://zenit.org/article-12802?l=english