Pope Benedict XVI: 'Against my expectation, divine providence has called me'

From a speech given to the cardinals of the Catholic Church in the Vatican's Sistine Chapel

Share

On one hand I have a sense of inadequacy and human turmoil at the responsibility entrusted to me. On the other hand, I feel living in me a deep gratitude to God who does not abandon his flock but guides them always.

On one hand I have a sense of inadequacy and human turmoil at the responsibility entrusted to me. On the other hand, I feel living in me a deep gratitude to God who does not abandon his flock but guides them always.

I seem to feel [John Paul II's] strong hand holding mine, I seem to see his smiling eyes and hear him speaking to me at this moment, saying: "Don't be afraid."

Against my every expectation, divine providence has called me to succeed this great Pope. By choosing me, the Lord has called me to be a "rock" on which everybody can stand with confidence.

I intend to continue along this path [of evangelisation] started by my venerable predecessors, concerned solely with proclaiming the living presence of Christ to the entire world.

I too want to strongly reaffirm my determination to continue the commitment to carrying out [the decisions of] the Second Vatican Council.

I am willing to do everything in my power to promote the fundamental cause of ecumenism and am fully determined to accept every initiative that seems opportune to promote contact and understanding among representatives of the various churches and ecclesiastical communities. I take this opportunity to send all of them my most cordial greetings in Christ, the only Lord of all.

I welcome everybody with simplicity and love to assure them that the Church wants to continue in open and sincere dialogue with them, in search of the true good of man and society.

I declare the willingness of all Catholics to co-operate to achieve authentic social development which respects the dignity of every human being. I will spare no effort and commitment to continue the promising dialogue with other civilisations that was started by my venerable predecessors.

My thoughts are particularly with the young. To them, who had a privileged relationship with Pope John Paul II, I send my affectionate embrace as I wait, God willing, to meet them in Cologne for the next World Day of Youth. I will continue to talk with you, dear young people.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketing Controller (Financial Services)

£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letter from the Deputy Editor: i’s Review of the Year

Andrew Webster
RIP Voicemail?  

Voicemail has got me out of some tight corners, so let's not abandon it

Simon Kelner
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all