«As a true witness of the Messiah of history, on 11 February 2013», Benedict XVI «had the courage and humility to step back, to step aside, to then pass the baton to Pope Francis. An act of total trust in the Lord Jesus who makes history fruitful with his Easter, who continues to lead his Church even in the anguish and complexity of our time; who continues to raise up his servants and faithful witnesses”. The archbishop of Palermo, Corrado Lorefice, said so in his homily yesterday in the cathedral, in the suffrage Mass for the Pope Emeritus.
Already on hearing the news of his death on 31 December last, Don Corrado had invited the entire diocesan community to raise a fervent prayer to the Lord in suffrage for his soul: «In memory of the words offered on the occasion of the Apostolic Visit to Palermo the 3 October 2010 “Put yourselves at God’s full disposal, let yourselves be molded by his Word and by his Spirit, and you will still be, and always more, the salt and light of this beloved land of yours”, we give thanks to the Lord for the gift of his ministry Petrine, for his testimony of service to the Church, for his teaching and for his exemplary humility”.
During his homily, the bishop of Palermo also underlined Ratzinger’s act of “total trust” “in the Lord Jesus who makes history fruitful with his Easter, who continues to lead his Church even in the anguish and complexity of our time; who continues to raise up his servants and faithful witnesses”. Benedict XVI dedicated his whole life “in theological research, in the episcopal ministry, in service to the Holy See, in the Petrine ministry in prayer, in the prayerful retreat to the knowledge of the mystery of Christ and of his Church. To support the faith of Christians. To agree with everyone – with a gentlemanly trait and great capacity for dialogue. With passion, bringing into his intellectual labor the drama of Europe’s estrangement from Christianity, of the alleged emancipation of postmodern man from God”.
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