God Wants Me To Stay On: Pope

.- John Paul II told tens of thousands of people gathered in St. Peter's Square for his 25th-anniversary mass that God wanted him to continue as the spiritual leader of the Roman Catholic Church despite his poor health.

One of the longest-serving pontiffs celebrated a special outdoor mass yesterday almost 25 years, to the minute, after his election.

"He, while knowing my human fragility, encourages me to respond with faith . and He invites me to assume the responsibilities that He himself has entrusted to me," the pope said.

John Paul, looking weak and having trouble speaking, became emotional as he recalled the moment when cardinals chose him as pontiff in 1978.

"How could I, humanly speaking, not tremble? How could such a huge responsibility not weigh on me?" he said.

"Today, dear brothers and sisters, I am happy to share with you an experience which has been going on for a quarter of a century."

The ceremony began at about 6 p.m. local time (noon ET). As the sun set, the sounds of tolling bells and choirs echoed through the crowded square.

One of the pope's senior aides, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, expressed gratitude on behalf of hundreds of millions around the world: "Holy Father, today the
entire Church thanks you for the service you have given in 25 years.

"Even non-Catholic brothers and sisters, men of good will of other religions and convictions thank you."

Before the mass, the pope issued a 192-page document that reiterated many of his views on the Church, including the need for priests to remain celibate.

Referring to sex-abuse scandals, he called on bishops to act quickly to deal with "grave lapses" in the moral behavior of clergy.

The pope said the world is becoming increasingly divided between the powerful and the poor, and that more must be done to help those in need.

He also said the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks against the United States have created "grave new situations of uncertainty and fear, both for human civilization and
the peaceful coexistence of nations."

The pope has been plagued by health problems, including Parkinson's disease. John Paul had an intestinal tumor removed in 1992. He also suffers from
the effects of being shot in an assassination attempt in 1981.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 24, 2014

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:35-48


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 3:11-26
Gospel:: Lk 24:35-48

Saint of the Day

Easter Sunday »


Homily of the Day

Lk 24:35-48


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: