Nobody could lead the Church without the assistance of God, said Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday. After seeing a film highlighting important moments in his ministry and the life of the Church from the last five years, the Pope observed that the Church is young and full of variety and that the role of the Successor of Peter is making the unity within it concrete and visible.
The Holy Father watched the movie "Five Years: Pope Benedict XVI," produced by the Bavarian public broadcasting company Bayerischer Rundfunk, on Thursday evening at Castel Gandolfo. On Friday morning, the Vatican released his commentary made immediately after the screening.
Having taken in the images from the first five years of his pontificate, Benedict XVI expressed his appreciation to all who were involved in making the film, which was an "extraordinary spiritual journey" that affords the possibility of "reliving and seeing again" the most important moments in the Church and his ministry since his election.
"For me personally, it was very moving to see some moments, especially those in which the Lord put the Petrine service on my shoulders, a weight that no one could carry by himself with solely his own strength, but can carry only because the Lord carries us and carries me," said the Pope.
He went on to point out that the movie sheds light on the "richness of the life of the Church, the multiplicity of cultures, of charisms, of different gifts that live in the Church and how, in this multiplicity and great diversity, the same, one Church always lives ... "
Through the film, he continued, one can see the mandate of the Successor of Peter "to express the unity of this historical diversity, and make it visible, concrete."
"We've seen," Pope Benedict said, "that the Church also today, even though it suffers so much, as we know, is still a joyful Church, it is not an aged Church, but ... young and that (in it) the faith creates joy."
For this reason, he said, he found the inclusion of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in the soundtrack "a beautiful idea," because the Ode to Joy "expresses how, behind all of history, we are already redeemed."
Of the final frames of the film which highlight his devotion to Mary, he said that it is she who can "teach us humility, obedience and the joy that God is with us."