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Papal Address to Recipients of Pallium

Symbol of Catholicity, Unity

VATICAN CITY, JULY 14, 2006 (Zenit) - Here is the full text of Benedict XVI's address on June 30 to the metropolitan archbishops on whom he bestowed the pallium the previous day, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul.

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Paul VI Hall
Friday, June 30, 2006

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today's meeting is like an echo of the solemn celebration that took place yesterday in the Vatican Basilica, during which I had the joy of conferring the pallium upon the metropolitan archbishop here with their relatives, friends and a numerous representation of their diocesan communities.

The different places they come from illustrate the catholic character of the Church: the faithful of the various particular Churches who have arrived from every part of the earth feel united with the See of Peter by a special bond of communion that is also clearly expressed by the liturgical symbol of the pallium worn by their metropolitans.

I greet each one of you with affection, venerable and dear brothers, and together with you I greet the members of your faithful who have come on pilgrimage to the tomb of the apostles.

An affectionate greeting to you in the first place, venerable and dear pastors of the Church in Italy!

I greet you, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, who is now called, after various years of direct service to the Holy See, to be pastor of the distinguished Archdiocese of Naples; to you, Archbishop Tommaso Valentinetti of Pescara-Penne; to you, Archbishop Luigi Conti of Fermo; to you, Archbishop Ignazio Sanna of Oristano; to you, Archbishop Andrea Mugione of Benevento.

May the Lord Jesus, the one who chose you as pastors of his flock, sustain you in your daily service and with the power of the Holy Spirit make you faithful heralds of the Gospel.

I warmly greet the pilgrims who have come from France and Africa to accompany the new metropolitan archbishops upon whom I have had the joy of conferring the pallium, a sign of very special communion with the See of Peter.

My greetings go to Archbishop Odon Razanakolona of Antananarivo, Madagascar, to Archbishop Cornelius Esua of Bamenda, Cameroon, to Archbishop Francois Xavier Maroy Rusengo of Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo, to Archbishop Jean-Pierre Kutwa of Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, and to Archbishop Georges Pontier of Marseilles, France.

Through you I carry in prayer all the faithful of your dioceses and your countries.

Since I feel very specially close to Africa at this time, I ask the Lord to help the countries there to advance on the path of peace and the road of development of individuals and peoples. May you each day become ever better witnesses of Christ, concerned to proclaim the Gospel to your brethren and to help them to love our Father in heaven more and more.

I extend a cordial greeting to the English-speaking metropolitan archbishops upon whom I conferred the pallium yesterday: Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco, U.S.A.; Archbishop Daniel Di Nardo of Galveston-Houston, U.S.A.; Archbishop José Serofia Palma of Palo, the Philippines; Archbishop Antonio Javellana Ledesma of Cagayan de Oro, the Philippines; Archbishop Sylvain Lavoie of Keewatin-Le Pas, Canada; and Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, U.S.A.

I also welcome their family members and friends, and the faithful from their archdioceses who have accompanied them to Rome.

The pallium is worn by archbishops as a symbol of their hierarchical communion with the Successor of Peter in the governance of God's people.

It is made of sheep's wool as a symbol of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world and the Good Shepherd who keeps vigilant watch over his beloved flock. This vestment reminds bishops, as vicars of Christ in their local Churches, that they are called to be shepherds after the Heart of Jesus.

To all of you I affectionately impart my apostolic blessing as a pledge of joy and peace in the Lord.

I greet with affection the Spanish-speaking archbishops and those who have accompanied them at the important ceremony of the imposition of the pallium, which distinguishes them and demonstrates their role as metropolitans. I am referring to Archbishops Jorge Liberato Urosa Savino of Caracas; Jorge Enrique Jiménez Carvajal of Cartagena; Fabriciano Sigampa of Resistencia and José Luis Mollaghan of Rosario.

Dear members of the faithful who have accompanied them, I ask you to continue to be close to them with prayer and generous collaboration, constant and loyal, so that they may carry out their mission in accordance with God's plans.

I ask the Most Holy Virgin Mary, so deeply venerated in your countries -- Venezuela, Colombia and Argentina -- to inspire the archbishops' ministry and to ...

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