ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II
TO THE METROPOLITAN ARCHBISHOPS
Saturday, 30 June 2001
Dear Metropolitan Archbishops,
1. After yesterday evening's solemn celebration during which I conferred the sacred pallium upon you, I have the joy of meeting you again this morning, to renew my fraternal embrace.
I am delighted to welcome with you your relatives, friends and the faithful of the respective communities who have wanted to gather round you at this moment of special ecclesial importance.
First of all I greet you, venerable Brothers who belong to the beloved Church which is in Italy: Archbishop Pietro Brollo of Udine, Archbishop Carmelo Ferraro of Agrigento, Archbishop Agostino Superbo of Potenza Muro Lucano-Marsico Nuovo, Archbishop Antonio Cantisani of Catanzaro-Squillace, Archbishop Giuseppe Agostino of Cosenza-Bisignao, Archbishop Ennio Antonelli of Firenze, and Archbishop Antonio Buoncristiani of Siena-Colle di Val d''lsa-Montalcino. May the Lord generously bestow his graces upon each one of you and upon the pastoral ministry he has entrusted to you. On your part, dear friends, serve him with all your heart and all your strength, after the example of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.
2. I cordially greet the new Metropolitan Archbishops who have come to receive the pallium, Archbishop Arthé Guimond of Grouard-McLennan, Canada, Archbishop Laurent Ulrich of Chambéry, France, Archbishop Pierre-Marie Carré of Albi, France, Archbishop Anselme Titianma Sanon of Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, Archbishop Séraphim Rouamba of Koupéla, Burkina Faso, Archbishop François Garnier of Cambrai, France, Archbishop Anatole Milandou of Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo, and Archbishop Charles Kambale Mbogha of Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo. May the liturgy of the feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul sustain you in your episcopal ministry! I extend my greetings to your families, your friends and the priests and faithful who have accompanied you. The pallium is an appeal to everyone to take an ever more active part in the Church's mission in communion with their Bishops. With my Apostolic Blessing.
3. I am pleased to greet the English-speaking Metropolitans who yesterday received the pallium: Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick of Washington (United States of America), Archbishop Roger Lawrence Schweitz of Anchorage, United States of America, Archbishop Vincent Michaael Concessao of Delhi, India, Archbishop Oswald Gracias of Agra, India, Archbishop George Pell of Sydney, Australia, Archbishop Denis James Hart of Melbourne, Australia, Archbishop Brendan Michael O'Brien of Saint John's, Newfoundland, Canada, and Archbishop Edward Joseph Gilbert of Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. I welcome their family members and friends, and the faithful of their Archdioceses who have accompanied them to Rome.
The pallium is a symbol of the special bond of communion uniting you with the See of Peter and an expression of the universality of the one Church of Christ, founded on the "rock" of the Apostolic faith. May your witness to this faith be steadfast and untiring, so that you may effectively guide your communities in the ways of truth, life and love. When you return to your local Churches, I ask you to take to your people my affectionate greeting in the Lord, who is "the same yesterday and today and for ever" (Heb 13,8).
4. I am pleased to receive Archbishops Ubaldo Ramon Santana of Maracaibo, Venezuela, Cristian Caro Cordero of Puerto Montt, Chile, Felipe Aguirre Franco of Acapulco, Mexico, Luis Abilo Sebastiani of Ayacucho, Peru and Rodolfo Quezada of Guatemala, accompanied by your relatives, priests and faithful, as well as by the authorities who were present yesterday at the conferral of the pallium. This ancient ecclesiastical symbol expresses a close bond that links the Metropolitan Archbishop with the Apostolic See, and a special responsibility to maintain and to foster communion with the suffragen dioceses.
I entrust this new ecclesial commitment to the motherly intercession of the Virgin Mary, so devoutly invoked among the Latin American peoples. I am sure that in your pastoral ministry you will not lack the prayers, closeness and generous collaboration of all your faithful. I ask you to take back to your respective ecclesiastical Provinces the cordial greeting of the Pope who wholeheartedly imparts his Apostolic Blessing to you.
5. I greet you with affection, the new Pastor of Luanda, Angola, Archbishop Damião António Franklin and you, Archbishop Tomé Makhweliha of Nampula, Mozambique; I also greet the new Archbishops of Brazil: Archbishop Celso José Pinto da Silva of Porto Alegre, and Archbishop Geraldo Majela de Castro of Montes Claros. With my congratulations for this day, I hope that on your return to your Archdiocese, wearing the pallium, the sign of a special bond of communion with the See of Peter, you will dedicate yourselves with renewed zeal to fostering this community and to the unity of the Church to whose cause you must feel committed.
6. I cordially greet you, dear Metropolitan Archbishop Ivan Devcic of Rijeka in Croatia, with words of welcome to the large group that has come with you to reinforce the bonds of charity that unite the Church of Rijeka with the Apostolic See.
I greet you, dear Metropolitan Archbishop Stanislav Hocevar of Belgrade in Yugoslavia, your priests and faithful, particularly those who have accompanied you on this occasion of the conferral of the sacred pallium, a sign of unity and an attestation of communion with the Successor of Peter.
I gladly impart my Apostolic Blessing to you all.
7. I cordially greet Archbishop Wojciech Ziemba of Bia³ystok, his relatives and the pilgrims from the Archdiocese, who have come to Rome and have taken part in the solemnity of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul and in the conferral of the pallium upon the Archbishop. May this pallium be a sign of the union of the Archdiocese of Bia³ystok with the People of God throughout the world.
I entrust Archbishop Wojciech and all of you who are present here to the protection of the Blessed Virgin Maria of Ostra Brama, Patroness of the Archdiocese, and I warmly bless you.
8. Venerable Brothers, in returning to your particular Churches, you will be taking with you the pallium which you received from my hands yesterday. May you be able to express in consistent pastoral choices the meaning of this traditional liturgical symbol, that is, faithful and effective communion with the Apostolic See. May the Apostolic Letter Novo Millenio ineunte, which you are studying with the various members of your communities, help you in this process.
Our unity must always be first of all enlivened and nourished by prayer. If, together, we keep our gaze on Christ, we will cooperate effectively in order to guide the People of God on the paths of the Lord. May we be sustained in this commitment by the intercession of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul and by the maternal and tender intercession of Blessed Mary, Mother of the Church.
I wholeheartedly renew my Apostolic Blessing to each of you, venerable Brothers, to your loved ones and to all the faithful who are entrusted to your care.
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