2 September, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 03/05/2008
VATICAN
Pope: Roman primacy is "necessary" in the Church, today as in the past
Illustrating at the general audience the figure of St Leo the Great, Benedict XVI again asserts the purpose of the primacy of the bishop of Rome and recalls how at the time of the undivided Church he was also recognised by the Eastern bishops.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The Roman primacy in the Church is "necessary", today as in the past it is "at the service of truth and charity" and "serves communion" in the one Church of Christ.  Benedict XVI made the remarks during the illustration of the figure of St Leo the Great, to whom he dedicated today's address for the general audience, to again assert the purpose of Petrine primacy and to recall its existence since the time of the undivided Church.  The affirmation comes on the eve of a visit from ecumenical patriarch Bartholomew I to the Vatican, and shortly after the Catholic-Orthodox meeting in Ravenna, which acknowledged the principle of the primacy of the bishop of Rome, leaving open the question of its concrete exercise in relation to the role of the synod.

At today's general audience, which  was again divided into two segments because of the great number of the faithful who were split between the basilica of Saint Peter and the Paul VI hall, the pope continued his reflection on the Fathers of the Church, speaking of St. Leo the Great, "one of the greatest pontiffs ever to have honoured the Roman see", "the first pope whose preaching has come down to our time".

His pontificate began in 440, "undoubtedly one of the most important [pontificates] in the history of the Church", in "very difficult" times.  The repeated assaults of the barbarian invasions, the weakening of the authority of the empire, and a grave social crisis, in the words of the pope, "had forced" the bishop of Rome to take on a role in the civil sphere as well, which increased the prestige of the Roman see.  Benedict XVI recalled the best-known episode in the life of Leo the Great, when in 452 he went to Mantua and convinced Attila, leader of the Huns, not to continue with his invasion.  "It was a memorable sign of the peacemaking activity conducted by the pontiff".  But he did not have similar success with his attempt, in the spring of 455, to prevent the invasion and sacking of Rome on the part of the Vandals.  "The gesture of the pope, who went unarmed to meet the invader, at least prevented Rome from being burned" and allowed the basilicas of St Peter, St Paul, and St John to be spared, "in which part of the terrorised population took refuge".

He was "a theologian and pastor, at the service of communion and a tireless promoter of Roman primacy, showing himself an authentic heir of the apostle Peter, and the Eastern bishops also showed in their awareness of this".  So it was in 451, when the Council of Chalcedon addressed the "Christological controversy", affirming the union in the one person of Christ, without confusion and without separation, of his two natures as true God and true man.  The principle was affirmed by Leo in an important doctrinal text that was read at Chalcedon and "welcomed with significant acclamation". 

The primacy of the pope is, therefore, a "primacy of communion", "at the service of truth and charity" and "also at the service of communion among the different Churches".  Citing Leo, the pope finally repeated: "what was communicated to all the apostles was entrusted to only one of them".

Photo courtesy of CPP


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
04/09/2008 VATICAN
Pope: the humanism of Saint Benedict, antidote to the culture of the ego
10/29/2008 VATICAN
Pope: the cross overturns the logic of power: folly for men, love for God
02/27/2008 VATICAN
Pope: Saint Augustine, model of a conversion "that lasts a lifetime"
06/04/2008 VATICAN
Pope: true greatness is in service of others
06/11/2008 VATICAN
Pope: Colombanus, example of "detachment from earthly goods", rejection of compromise

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.