Lombardi: The Pope's Eighth Year

2012-04-21 Vatican Radio

Celebrations for Pope Benedict’s 85th birthday and the 7th anniversary of his election to the papacy have now come to their end. The people of Bavaria will continue their celebrations, as many were not able to come to Rome. As the eighth year of the Pope’s pontificate begins, we believe it proper to wish the Pope all the best.

We share his hope that the dialogue with the Saint Pius X Fraternity will come to a resolution that bridges the gap without creating any new ones. We wish him well as he delivers a message of love and hope for families around the world during his visit to Milan. It is our hope that dissenting groups will hear his invitation to be in communion with the Church and receive this invitation with respect and attention, and with an understanding of its significance. We hope also that the journey towards renewal of the Church in Ireland, following an apostolic visitation to that country, will continue and intensify after the Eucharistic Congress in Dublin; and that, following the sexual abuse crisis, the Church may offer a genuine service for all society in the protection of children, with the commitment of the various Episcopal conferences, through healing, purification, and prevention. We also hope that Pope Benedict’s journey to Lebanon may give him a chance to spread a message of peace amid the tragic conflicts in that region, and offer encouragement to the ecclesial communities who are being tried there. Another wish is that the anniversary of the Second Vatican Council might be an occasion to promote the proper and objective understanding of the Council as a “compass for the Church of our time.” We hope that the Synod of the new evangelisation will enrich the Church in its mission with creativity and impetus. It is our hope that the Year of Faith will not only be filled with exemplary initiatives and beautiful celebrations, but that it will also promote a sense of renewal in the profound relationship between God, his Son Jesus Christ, and believers, against the ever decreasing awareness of the religious dimension of human life and mankind’s journey through history. We also look forward to receiving the final instalment of Pope Benedict’s work about Jesus.

Finally, the people of Brazil are busy in their preparations for the pope’s visit to World Youth Day in Rio De Janeiro, which will take place during the ninth year of his pontificate.