.- Yesterday, a 20-minute late Pope Benedict greeted some 40,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peterâs Square for the noontime Regina Coeli prayer, beaming about his ordination of 21 new priests immediately before, and discussed the profound relationship between the Spirit and institution of the Church. The Holy Father asked the crowd "to please excuse me for the great delay. I had the grace to ordain 21 priests and such a harvest for God lasts quite a bit of time, therefore, thank you for your understanding."
He said that the ordination Mass "marks a moment of important growth for our community. It receives life, in fact, from these ordained ministers, above all through the service of the Word of God and the Sacraments.â
âThis therefore is a festive day for the Church of Romeâ, he said. âAnd for the new priests this is in a special way their Pentecost: I repeat my greetings to them and pray that the Holy Spirit will always accompany their ministry."
Pope Benedict discussed "the happy coincidence between Pentecost and the priestly ordinations [which] invites me to underscore the indissoluble tie that exists, in the Church, between the Spirit and the institution.â
âI referred to this last Saturday when I took possession of the chair of the bishop of Rome at St. John Lateran. The chair and the Spirit are intimately linked in reality, as are the charism and the ordained ministry. Without the Holy Spirit the Church would be reduced to a merely human organization, weighed down by her very structures.â
âBut in turn, in the plans of God,â he said, âthe Spirit habitually uses human mediation to act in history. Precisely for this reason, Christ, Who constituted His Church on the foundation of the Apostles gathered around Peter, also enriched her with the gift of His Spirit so that, over the centuries. He could comfort her and lead her to the full truth.â
In closing, the Pope asked that the ecclesial community would "remain always open and docile to the action of the Holy Spirit in order to be among men a credible sign and effective instrument of God's action!"