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Pope speaks on Sts. Peter and Paul, inseparable pillars of Church in Rome

Catholic World News - June 29, 2012

On the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, Pope Benedict XVI remarked that the strong ties between the two saints illustrate “a new way of being brothers, lived according to the Gospel.”

Sts. Peter and Paul were very different personalities, the Pope observed. Yet they are now inseparably connected in the minds of the Christian faithful. Especially in Rome, the Pope said, referring to the statues the two saints overlooking St. Peter’s Square, the two are seen as co-founders of the local Church, “a kind of counterbalance to the mythical Romulus and Remus, the two brothers held to be the founders of Rome.”

The feast is traditionally a day for celebrating the Chair of Peter and the unity of the universal Church with the Holy See. Pope Benedict offered some reflections on the unifying role of the Roman Pontiff, saying that “the papacy constitutes the foundation of the Church during its pilgrimage through history; on the other hand, across the centuries, human weakness is also evident, which can only be transformed through openness to God’s action." The Pope also called attention to the ecumenical role of the pontificate. He appreciatively noted the presence of a delegation from the Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople, and the performance of the Westminster Abbey schola, which joined in the Sistine Chapel Choir in providing music for the liturgical ceremony.

Later, as his Angelus audience, the Pope spoke to the crowd in St. Peter’s Square about the day’s ceremony, in which he had conferred the pallium on new archbishops. That gesture, he said, “highlights the intimate communion of pastors with the Successor of Peter and the deep bond that binds us to the apostolic tradition.”

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