Pope praises St. Ambrose at meeting with Italian regulators
By David Kerr

.- During a meeting today with Italy’s provincial regulators, Pope Benedict XVI held up the 4th-century governor-turned-bishop, St. Ambrose of Milan, as a model of a just administrator.

“This holy Bishop and Doctor of the Church, animated by so great a love and respect for state institutions as for those ecclesial, is an extraordinary example of rectitude, especially his loyalty to the law and firmness against injustice and oppression,” Pope Benedict said in his Oct. 14 address to the 110 prefects of Italy.

The Pope held the special audience with at the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican to mark the 150th anniversary of Italian unification.

Prefects are representatives of the country’s central government within lower-level regional and municipal governments. Their primary function is as regulators, but they also enforce the law when public safety is at risk.

“Always be ready to deal with questions submitted to you with a great sense of duty and prudence,” the Pope told them, “never failing in your duty to the truth and the courage to defend the highest goods.”

Thinking about such matters, he said, naturally led him to think about “the shining figure of St. Ambrose, your heavenly patron, who was suddenly called to the episcopate, having to abandon a brilliant career as a senior civil servant.”

St. Ambrose was a promising young lawyer who quickly rose through the administrative ranks of the 4th-century Roman Empire. By his early 30s he was appointed Consular Prefect of the region of Liguria and Emilia in northern Italy, with his headquarters in Milan. His reputation for fairness was so great that he was acclaimed Bishop of Milan by the city’s population. Not being trained in theology – or even baptized – St. Ambrose initially fled but the demand for him was so strong that he quickly relented. Within a week St. Ambrose was baptized, ordained and duly consecrated bishop of Milan.

The Pope reminded the prefects that St. Ambrose used to say “the establishment of the civil power comes from God as well, so that he who exercises it is, he also is a minister of God.”

From this, said Pope Benedict, we can say that “the exercise of civil authority is so important as to have an almost ‘sacred’ character.” This means that “it must be exercised with great dignity and a lively sense of responsibility.”

This is especially true of a prefect, said the Pope, noting that they have a key role in upholding “social cohesion and civil rights,” especially of the most vulnerable in society.

The Pope finished his remarks by encouraging all those present to follow the example of St. Ambrose, “so that your work may always serve justice, peace, freedom and the common good.” If they do this, God will support their efforts, “rewarding them with abundant fruits to spread the civilisation of love.”

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 19, 2014

Holy Saturday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:1-10


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Gen 1:1-2:2
Gospel:: Mt 28:1-10

Saint of the Day

Blessed James Oldo »


Homily of the Day

Mt 28:1-10


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: