From the Encyclical Letter Ecclesiam Dei by Pope Pius XI He gave his life for the unity of the Church

From the Encyclical Letter Ecclesiam Dei by Pope Pius XI
He gave his life for the unity of the Church

In designing his Church God worked with such skill that in the fullness of time it would resemble a single great family embracing all men. It can be identified, as we know, by certain distinctive characteristics, notably its universality and unity. Christ the Lord passed on to his apostles the task he had received from the Father: I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations. He wanted the apostles as a body to be intimately bound together, first by the inner tie of the same faith and love which flows into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, and, second, by the external tie of authority exercised by one apostle over the others. For this he assigned the primacy to Peter, the source and visible basis of their unity for all time. So that the unity and agreement among them would endure, God wisely stamped them, one might say, with the mark of holiness and martyrdom.

Both these distinctions fell to Josaphat, archbishop of Polock of the Slavonic rite of the Eastern Church. He is rightly looked upon as the great glory and strength of the Eastern Rite Slavs. Few have brought them greater honor or contributed more to their spiritual welfare than Josaphat, their pastor and apostle, especially when he gave his life as a martyr for the unity of the Church. He felt, in fact, that God had inspired him to restore world-wide unity to the Church and he realized that his greatest chance of success lay in preserving the Slavonic rite and Saint Basil’s rule of monastic life within the one universal Church.

Concerned mainly with seeing his own people reunited to the See of Peter, he sought out every available argument which would foster and maintain Church unity. His best arguments were drawn from liturgical books, sanctioned by the Fathers of the Church, which were in common use among Eastern Christians, including the dissidents. Thus thoroughly prepared, he set out to restore the unity of the Church. A forceful man of fine sensibilities, he met with such success that his opponents dubbed him “the thief of souls.”

A Reluctant Sinner: God bless our Pope! The Holy Father revives an ancient tradition

God bless our Pope! The Holy Father revives an ancient tradition soon after his election to the See of Peter.

It seems that Pope Francis revived an ancient tradition at the end of the Conclave that elected him to the Papacy.

After accepting the Petrine Ministry, the Holy Father placed his old cardinal’s zucchetto on Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri’s head. Archbishop Baldisseri is the Secretary to the College of Cardinals, and therefore, by virtue of his office, served as Secretary to the Conclave. This act means that Archbishop Baldisseri will be formally created a cardinal at the next consistory.

Until recent times, it was common for a newly elected Pope to elevate the (non-cardinal) Secretary of the Conclave to the ranks of the cardinalate upon his own election to the Papacy. He would do this by giving the Secretary his own cardinal’s zucchetto, as he himself was given the white one reserved for the Pope.

The last Pope to do this was Blessed John XXIII, who, immediately after being elected to the See of Peter in 1958, gave his old red skullcap to the then Secretary of the Conclave, Alberto di Jorio. The tradition, until last week, seemed to have come to an end with the election of Paul VI in 1963.

According to a friend, some commentators had noticed that Archbishop Baldisseri was wearing a cardinal’s zucchetto when he appeared in public during Pope Francis’s greeting from the Loggia of St Peter’s on the night of his election. The story has since been confirmed by Vatican Radio’s Portuguese language news section.

Many congratulations to Archbishop Baldisseri! It is also good to note that Pope Francis decided to revive this beautiful and ancient custom.

God bless our Pope!

via A Reluctant Sinner: God bless our Pope! The Holy Father revives an ancient tradition soon after his election to the See of Peter.

Feast of the Chair of Peter

Christ provided authority as a gift to His Church. The Church recognized the authority of Peter as remaining with the Church from age to age.

From a sermon by Saint Leo the Great, pope
(Sermo 4 de natali ipsius, 2-3: PL 54, 149-151)
The Church of Christ rises on the firm foundation of Peter€™s faith

Out of the whole world one man, Peter, is chosen to preside at the calling of all nations, and to be set over all the apostles and all the fathers of the Church. Though there are in God€™s people many shepherds, Peter is thus appointed to rule in his own person those whom Christ also rules as the original ruler. Beloved, how great and wonderful is this sharing of his power that God in his goodness has given to this man. Whatever Christ has willed to be shared in common by Peter and the other leaders of the Church, it is only through Peter that he has given to others what he has not refused to bestow on them.

The Lord now asks the apostles as a whole what men think of him. As long as they are recounting the uncertainty born of human ignorance, their reply is always the same.

But when he presses the disciples to say what they think themselves, the first to confess his faith in the Lord is the one who is first in rank among the apostles.

Peter says: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus replies: Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona, for flesh and blood has not revealed it to you, but my Father who is in heaven. You are blessed, he means, because my Father has taught you. You have not been deceived by earthly opinion, but have been enlightened by inspiration from heaven. It was not flesh and blood that pointed me out to you, but the one whose only-begotten Son I am.

He continues: And I say to you. In other words, as my Father has revealed to you my godhead, so I in my turn make known to you your pre-eminence. You are Peter: though I am the inviolable rock, the cornerstone that makes both one, the foundation apart from which no one can lay any other, yet you also are a rock, for you are given solidity by my strength, so that which is my very own because of my power is common between us through your participation. And upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. On this strong foundation, he says, I will build an everlasting temple. The great height of my Church, which is to penetrate the heavens, shall rise on the firm foundation of this faith.

The gates of hell shall not silence this confession of faith; the chains of death shall not bind it. Its words are the words of life. As they lift up to heaven those who profess them, so they send down to hell those who contradict them.

Blessed Peter is therefore told: To you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever youi bind on earth is also bound in heaven. Whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed also in heaven.

The authority vested in this power passed also to the other apostles, and the institution established by this decree has been continued in all the leaders of the Church. But it is not without good reason that what is bestowed on all is entrusted to one. For Peter received it separately in trust because he is the prototype set before all the rulers of the Church.

Gone Fishin’

Today’s Gospel:  John 21: 1-14

Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias.
He revealed himself in this way.
Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus,
Nathanael from Cana in Galilee,
Zebedee’s sons, and two others of his disciples.
Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.”
They said to him, “We also will come with you.”
So they went out and got into the boat,
but that night they caught nothing.
When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore;
but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?”
They answered him, “No.”
So he said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat
and you will find something.”
So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in
because of the number of fish.
So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.”
When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord,
he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad,
and jumped into the sea.
The other disciples came in the boat,
for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards,
dragging the net with the fish.
When they climbed out on shore,
they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread.
Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.”
So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore
full of one hundred fifty-three large fish.
Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.
Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.”
And none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?”
because they realized it was the Lord.
Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them,
and in like manner the fish.
This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples
after being raised from the dead.

Gone fishin’!  Peter needed a break.  Getting back to the familiar seemed the thing to do.  The other disciples followed the leader.  It wasn’t really what they wanted.  They wanted the Lord as evidenced by Peter being so besides himself at the realization that the man on shore was Jesus that He dressed for the occasion, putting clothes on to jump into the water.

I love this Gospel.  Once more we see the humanity of Peter and the boys.  This was the third time Jesus had to call on them to assure, reassure and otherwise comfort them.  I can relate!