VATICAN CITY, APRIL 19, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI told a gathering of cardinals that he doesn’t feel alone in the midst of the difficulties and attacks that he and the Church have received in recent weeks.
The Pope said this today at a celebratory luncheon in the Apostolic Palace, attended by 46 cardinals.
“At this moment the Pope feels very intensely that he is not alone, he feels he has around him the College of Cardinals and shares with it his tribulations and consolations,” reported L’Osservatore Romano.
“The Pope wished to thank the College of Cardinals for the help he receives everyday,” the newspaper continued. “Above all, at the moment when St. Augustine of Hippo’ s words, quoted by Vatican Council II, seem to be confirmed, according to which the Church journeys between ‘the persecutions of the world and the consolation of God.'”
The semi-official Vatican newspaper said that the Holy Father “mentioned the sins of the Church, reminding that the latter, wounded and sinful, experiences even more the consolations of God.”
“In particular, the College of Cardinals is of great consolation to the Pope,” it added.
According to the newspaper, the bishop of Rome acknowledged that in “the Church there are two principles: one personal and one of communion. The Pope has a personal responsibility, which he cannot delegate; but the bishop is surrounded by his presbyters.
“And the Pope is surrounded by the College of Cardinals which could be called, according to Eastern terms, almost his ‘synod,’ his permanent company which helps him, supports him in his work.”
Seated with Benedict XVI around the table were cardinals Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of state; Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals; Roger Etchegaray, retired president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace; Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops; Jose Saraiva Martins, retired prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes; and Jozef Tomko, retired prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
Benedict XVI returned Sunday from a two-day apostolic trip to Malta.