Thursday, June 28, 2007

Pope’s Day

IN the Catholic church, the papacy refers to the position conferred by Jesus Christ on Peter as recounted in three New Testament texts, namely: John 1:42, John 21:15, and Matthew 16:18.

Vatican Councils affirmed the Petrine primacy, declaring that Jesus Christ Himself constituted Saint Peter as prince of the apostles and visible head of the church, possessed of a primacy of jurisdiction that was to pass down in perpetuity to his papal successors, along with the authority to pronounce infallibly on matters of faith or morals.

Today, under the Petrine Ministry of Pope Benedict XVI, the task of evangelization continues. His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, one of the best-known Catholic theologians since the 1950s and a prolific author, has emphasized in his ministry the importance of returning to fundamental Christian values in response to increasing deChristianization and secularization in many developed and developing countries.

Early in his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI identified relativism’s denial of objective truth – and more particularly, the denial of moral truths – as the central problem of the 21st century. He has taught about the importance for the Catholic Church and for humanity of contemplating God’s salvific love and has reaffirmed the "importance of prayer in the face of the activism and the growing secularism of many Christians engaged in charitable work."

As we observe Pope’s Day today, we not only commit to contribute to the continuing work of evangelization led by Pope Benedict XVI, but also celebrate the blessing that our nation has had in person of the Pope’s representative to our country, Archbishop Fernando Filoni.

Appointed to the position of Papal Nuncio to the Philippines on February 25, 2006, Archbishop Filoni was recently named as Substitute for the General Affairs of the Secretariat of State, the third most important position at the Vatican.

Upon learning of his appointment, Archbishop Filoni expressed gratitude and appreciation to the Filipino people and authorities, who had "everywhere welcomed me with joy and warmth." He asked the Philippine Church to support him with prayers in his new assignment, which he said he accepted "not without trepidation, but with the same willingness as in the past."

On the occasion of Pope’s Day, we join in the prayers for the Almighty to continually bestow Pope Benedict XVI and Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Fernando Filoni, the strength to lead the faithful towards recognizing the absolute truth about His salvific plan.

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