Feast of the Chair of St. Peter the Apostle
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Jesus said to his disciples, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church…”
There’s been a lot of good things said about Pope Francis. There’s been a lot of bad things said about Benedict XVI. But, as Victor Hugo once wrote in his famous novel, Les Miserables: “Little by little in the lapse of time all opposition ceases. At first there had been, as always happens with those who rise by their own efforts, slanders and calumnies. Soon it was reduced to satire. Then only to wit. Then it vanished entirely. Respect becomes complete, unanimous, and cordial.”
Hell is freezing over with regards to His Holiness Benedict XVI. Yes, the fires of hell have been raging uncontrollably for the last eight years with regards to Benedict’s papacy. Although his harshest critics will continue to be unjust to him, today most fair and balanced reporters will acknowledge that Pope Benedict is truly a man of his word. No longer are there any doubts of him remaining “hidden to the world.” The concerns regarding Benedict’s residence at the Vatican and the hysterical voices predicting fractions, frictions or divisions among members of the Roman Curia have nearly all disappeared.
In fact, on the one year anniversary of Benedict’s resignation, Pope Francis tweeted a beautiful message of solidarity with his predecessor: “Today I ask you to join me in prayer for His Holiness Benedict XVI, a man of great courage and humility.”
Wow! Now if only a President of the United States could be so gracious to his predecessor, or maybe they have to wait until they’re dead.
It takes a lot of humility to resign, especially when you’re at the very top and no one is really urging you to do it, except God. Let’s not forget, Benedict resigned after much time in reflection and prayer.
As reported in many newspapers this morning, Pope Francis invited Benedict to come out of his cloistered monastery and witness the induction of nineteen new Cardinals. Out of obedience, His Holiness agreed.
Benedict, 86, who was using a cane, came in through a side entrance and sat quietly wearing a long white overcoat in the front row with cardinals. When he reached the front of the basilica to start the ceremony, Pope Francis greeted Benedict, who took off his white skull cap in a sign of respect and obedience.
Even though the crowd had been asked to refrain from applause during the ceremony, they clapped when Benedict walked in and again when his name was mentioned in an address by one of the new cardinals.
Someone once wrote that the Vatican was built upon the ashes of the Roman Empire. They do not know their history. It was built on the bones of St. Peter. “I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Let us keep in our prayers this day His Holiness Benedict XVI and our Holy Father Pope Francis. Viva il Papa! (0)
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