DAILY CATHOLIC    WEDNESDAY     December 22, 1999     vol. 10, no. 243

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Curia Benefits from his Reflections on Petrine Ministry

        VATICAN CITY, DEC 21 (ZENIT).- In addressing his collaborators in the Curia this morning, John Paul II concentrated on the ministry and service of the vocation of Peter's successor. Commenting on Christ's words to Peter: "Confirm your brothers," the Pope stressed the dramatic context of this phrase. He spent some time reflecting on it in order to absorb the full meaning of Peter's vocation in the Church. Thanks to the strength of Christ, Peter can confirm his brothers in spite of his personal frailty.

        The Holy Father embraced the memory of all the Popes of this millennium and all those who collaborated with them. "May this, today's meditation, cross the threshold of the third millennium and be accepted by those who will come after us, who will take up after us, as Peter's successors and collaborators, the Petrine ministry, and exercise it according to Christ's will. This is the wish I articulate to all my dear brothers and sisters of the great community we belong to, constantly giving thanks to each and every one for their support, help, and the generous collaboration they give me."

        The Pope made a quick evaluation of the plan of preparation for the Great Jubilee, thanking the Holy Trinity, whose glory we will sing during the coming Holy Year. He referred to the innumerable preparations being made in local Churches and, at the universal level, through the continental Synods. Highlights of the year that is ending were ecumenical undertakings and his trips to Rumania and Georgia, as well as progress in relations with members of the Lutheran tradition, with the signing of the joint document on justification. The Holy Father also referred to last October's meeting with representatives of the different world religions, organized by the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue.

        "In face of great world problems, this year the Apostolic See has also been concerned in order that the evangelical leaven not be lacking. The road of the People of God has been supported in its local pastoral situations, which in a thousand ways have taken charge of human needs and service to the neediest." The Holy Father emphasized "the promotion of a 'culture of charity,' capable of making relations among men mature in solidarity, to do away with prejudices and predispose spirits to the humility of meeting and dialogue."

        Various dicasteries of the Roman Curia are very meritorious in this respect, "especially those most involved in this area. A few days ago, I offered some lines for reflection in the annual message for the World Day of Peace," the Pope continued.

        "We must quicken the pace toward the Jubilee, an extraordinary year of grace, expressed especially in the gift of the indulgence. Far from being a discount for the Christian's change of life, it exacts even greater efforts from him. The spiritual commitment that up to now has been profuse, and that we must continue to develop, even in the realms of competence of the respective dicasteries and, especially, in the realm of the Committee for the Holy Year, attempts to help all believers to be aware of the real meaning of the Jubilee event. 'Be converted and believe in the Gospel.' This is the message that must vibrate with growing intensity in the course of the next months," stressed the Holy Father.

        John Paul II concluded his Christmas greetings to the Curia by wishing the Cardinals and all his collaborators that "they may feel Emmanuel's presence, God with us, in the joy of having been chosen to work closely with the ministry of Peter's successor, as heralds of his Kingdom of love and peace. I bless you all affectionately. Merry Christmas! Fruitful Holy Year!" ZE99122107

Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

December 22, 1999       volume 10, no. 243


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