Catholic Culture Solidarity
Catholic Culture Solidarity

Fidelity to Christ's Desire for Unity

by Pope Saint John Paul II


The Holy Father's Address of June 30, 2000, as he greeted the Metropolitan Archbishops who had received the pallium on the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.

Larger Work

L'Osservatore Romano



Publisher & Date

The Vatican, July 12, 2000

1. After yesterday evening's solemn liturgical celebration in St Peter's Square, it is a great joy for me to meet you this morning, dear Metropolitan Archbishops. I affectionately embrace each of you here and extend a special greeing to those who were unable to come in person to receive the pallium.

Along with you I cordially greet your relatives, friends and the faithful of your respective Christian communities who have accompanied you on this Jubilee pilgrimage to the tombs of the Apostles.

First of all I address each of you, venerable Brothers, who belong to the beloved Church in Italy: Archbishop Dino De' Antoni of Gorizia, Archbishop Francesco Cacucci of Bari-Bitonto, Archbishop Giuseppe Verucchi of Ravenna-Cervia and Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco of Pesaro. May the Lord who has chosen you make you always faithful to the apostolic task entrusted to you. Therefore, as I reminded you yesterday, be attentive and far-sighted guides of the flock for which Christ the Good Shepherd will ask you to account.

2. I am pleased to greet the new French-speaking Metropolitan Archbishops: Archbishop Roger Pirenne of Bertoua, Archbishop Nestor Assogba of Cotonou, Archbishop Fidèle Agbatchi of Parakou and Archbishop Hubert Barbier of Bourges, as well as all the faithful who have accompanied them. The pallium ceremony is a continual call for everyone to bear witness to the risen Christ throughout the world and to work for the unity of the Church around the Successor of Peter. My Apostolic Blessing to all.

3. I am happy to greet the English-speaking Metropolitans who have come to Rome to receive the pallium: Archbishop Lawrence Burke of Nassau, Archbishop Dominic Jala of Shillong, Archbishop Marampudi Joji of Hyderabad, Archbishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor of Westminister, Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Birmingham, Archbishop Angel Lagdameo of Jaro, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos and Archbishop Edward Egan of New York. I also welcome the faithful who have come with them to Rome, and I ask the Metropolitans to take back to their local Churches my affectionate greeting in the Lord.

4. Six of you Archbishops have come from Latin America to receive the palium on the Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul: from Bolivia, Archbishop Tito Solari; from Peru, Archbishop Héctor Cabrejos; and from Argentina, the Pastors of the Metropolitan Churches of Tucumán, Salta, San Juan de Cuyo and La Plata. I affectionately greet you and the priests and faithful who have accompanied you on this significant occasion. When you return to your Archdioceses wearing this vestment, the sign of a special bond of communion with the See of Peter, work with renewed zeal to foster this communion and the unity of the Church so desired by Christ, to whose cause you should always feel committed.

5. May the Spirit of the Lord also be upon Archbishop Aloysio Leal Penna. May God enlighten and protect him in this new way of service to the Church in Brazil. With my Blessing, which I gladly extend to all his relatives and to the faithful of the Archdiocese of Botucatu.

6. I greet you with affection and words of welcome, the new Metropolitan Archbishop of Split-Makarska, dear Archbishop Marin Barisic, your priests and your faithful. I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing to you and to those accompanying you, to your retired predecessors, Archbishops Ante Juric and Frane Franic, and to the whole beloved Church of Split-Makarska.

7. Yesterday the conferral of the pallium renewed an ancient and evocative rite that seals the unity of each of your communities with the Apostolic See and the Successor of Peter. Together we form the one Church of Christ, called to proclaim the one Gospel for the salvation of every person in every corner of the world. Venerable Brothers, take care to safeguard in every possible way this special fidelity to the command of the divine Teacher: fidelity to his Word and fidelity to his desire for the full unity of the Christian people, redeemed by his blood on the Cross.

To achieve this union, let us look to Christ who, as we are reminded by today's feast of the Sacred Heart, says again to us: "Learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart" (Mt 11:29).

May Mary, Mother of the Church, support us on this journey. I cordially impart a special Apostolic Blessing to you all and to those belonging to your ecclesial communities.

© L'Osservatore Romano, Editorial and Management Offices, Via del Pellegrino, 00120, Vatican City, Europe, Telephone 39/6/698.99.390.

This item 2897 digitally provided courtesy of