Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pope Post No. 4: FULL TEXT - Pope Benedict XVI's Last General Audience

Photo: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters


Pope says he is not abandoning us, he is not "returning to private life", and he is not leaving the Cross; he is remaining at the foot of the Cross, in prayer.

Here is a link to full text at Vatican Radio: http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/02/27/pope:_final_general_audience_(full_text)/en1-668724

Here is a video link to CTV at the Vatican's website where you should be able to watch the video on demand later.  http://www.vatican.va/video/index.html

I'll offer a few of my favorite lines:


I have felt like St. Peter with the Apostles in the boat on the Sea of ​​Galilee: the Lord has given us many days of sunshine and gentle breeze, days in which the catch has been abundant; [then] there have been times when the seas were rough and the wind against us, as in the whole history of the Church it has ever been - and the Lord seemed to sleep. Nevertheless, I always knew that the Lord is in the barque, that the barque of the Church is not mine, not ours, but His - and He shall not let her sink. It is He, who steers her: to be sure, he does so also through men of His choosing, for He desired that it be so. This was and is a certainty that nothing can tarnish. It is for this reason, that today my heart is filled with gratitude to God, for never did He leave me or the Church without His consolation, His light, His love.


And this:


Here allow me to return once again to April 19, 2005. The gravity of the decision was precisely in the fact that from that moment on I was committed always and forever by the Lord. Always – he, who assumes the Petrine ministry no longer has any privacy. He belongs always and totally to everyone, to the whole Church. His life is, so to speak, totally deprived of the private sphere. I have felt, and I feel even in this very moment, that one receives one’s life precisely when he offers it as a gift. I said before that many people who love the Lord also love the Successor of Saint Peter and are fond of him, that the Pope has truly brothers and sisters, sons and daughters all over the world, and that he feels safe in the embrace of their communion, because he no longer belongs to himself, but he belongs to all and all are truly his own. 

The “always” is also a “forever” - there is no returning to private life. My decision to forgo the exercise of active ministry, does not revoke this. I do not return to private life, to a life of travel, meetings, receptions, conferences and so on. I do not abandon the cross, but remain in a new way near to the Crucified Lord. I no longer wield the power of the office for the government of the Church, but in the service of prayer I remain, so to speak, within St. Peter’s bounds. St. Benedict, whose name I bear as Pope, shall be a great example in this for me. He showed us the way to a life which, active or passive, belongs wholly to the work of God
 

I thank each and every one of you for the respect and understanding with which you have welcomed this important decision. I continue to accompany the Church on her way through prayer and reflection, with the dedication to the Lord and to His Bride, which I have hitherto tried to live daily and that I would live forever. I ask you to remember me before God, and above all to pray for the Cardinals, who are called to so important a task, and for the new Successor of Peter, that the Lord might accompany him with the light and the power of His Spirit.
Photo: Max Rossi/Reuters
All along the route the popemobile stopped and Archbishop Georg Ganswein
would hand a baby to Pope Benedict XVI as seen here. 


I was very disappointed with AP.  They sent out two tweets over roughly 20 minutes during the General Audience.  Of all the great things Pope Benedict said, this is likely the headline you will see in secular headlines across the US. 





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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church;
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