Pope Benedict's Address to the General Assembly of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Charles Borromeo

“I thank the Lord for this Gift of your Fraternity”

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At the end of the General Audience yesterday, the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience in Paul VI Hall the participants to the General Assembly of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Charles Borromeo which elected a new Superior General, Fr. Paolo Sottopietra. Here is the translation of the Holy Father’s address.

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Dear Brothers,

It gives me great joy to be with you. I remember well my visits to Palazzo Borromeo, next to St. Mary’s Major Basilica, where I personally met Fr. Giussani; I have known his faith, his joy, his strength and the richness of his ideas, the creativity of his faith. A true friendship developed between us; and so, through him I got to know even better the community of Communion and Liberation.

And I am glad that his successor is with us, who continues this great work and inspires so many people, so many lay people, men and women, priests and laity, to collaborate in spreading the Gospel and the growth of the Kingdom of God. And among you I have also had the opportunity to get to know Massimo Camisasca; we have talked about different things; I have gotten to know his creativity in art, his ability to see, to interpret the signs of the times, his great gift as a teacher, a priest. I once even had the honor to ordain some priests in Porto Santa Rufina, and it was nice to know that here a new Priestly Fraternity is arising in the spirit of St. Charles Borromeo, who always remains the great model of a Pastor who is truly stimulated by the love of Christ, who seeks out the small, who loves them and so truly creates faith and builds up the Church.

Now your Fraternity is large, and it is a sign that there are vocations. But there is also a need to be open to finding, accompanying, guiding and helping vocations mature. This is the thing for which I thank Don Camisasca, who has been a great educator. And today, education is always important to the growth of the truth, for us to grow in our status as children of God and brothers of Jesus Christ.

Now, thanks be to God, I have also known for a long time your new Superior General, who has also been in touch somewhat with my theology. So, I am glad that I can be spiritually and intellectually with you and that we can offer fruitful help to each other through our work.

May the Lord bless you all. I thank the Lord for this gift of your Fraternity: may it grow and deepen always, even more in the love of Christ, in the love of men for Christ. The Lord accompanies you.

I give you my Blessing, sure that you pray for me, that you accompany me with your prayers. Thank you all!

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