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

Energy Markets Analyst

£400000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy Markets An...

Junior Web Analyst – West Sussex – Up to £35k DOE

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

Nursery Manager

£22000 - £23000 per annum: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recrui...

Web Analyst – Permanent – Up to £40k - London

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letter from the Personal Finance Editor: Cutting out the middle man could spell disaster for employees and consumers alike

Simon Read
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch  

Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes tell you what to think. Don't let them

Memphis Barker
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week