.- In the midst of difficulties, the Holy Father continues to pursue the priorities of his pontificate with âconsistency and courage,â stated Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi on his weekly television program this past Saturday. He briefly reviewed the milestones of Pope Benedictâs tenure, noting the ârich and full balanceâ the Pope has struck âbetween serving God and humanity.â
Reflecting on the fifth anniversary of Pope Benedict XVIâs pontificate on his weekly television Vatican Television show, âOctava Dies,â Fr. Lombardi observed that to gain a proper perspective on the period, âwe must return to the Sistine Chapel.â From this venue on the morning following his election, the Holy Father spoke of the spiritual legacy of Pope John Paul II and indicated the priorities that would be the focus of his pontificate, recalled the Vatican spokesman.
On April 20, 2005, the Holy Father directed his first address to the College of Cardinals in the Sistine Chapel, clearly stating his wish to renew his "unconditional promise of fidelity" to the Lord and his intention "to serve him alone," dedicating himself completely to the service of his Church.
Among the priorities the Pope spoke of on that day, Fr. Lombardi listed âmanâs relationship with Godâ as revealed by Christ and found in the Eucharist and Church worship, a tireless commitment to âfull and visibleâ Christian unity and a response to the âcall for helpâ from a fearful and uncertain modern humanity for answers regarding its future.
Fr. Lombardi noted another priority for Pope Benedict is to work for an âopen and sincere dialogueâ on the ecumenical and inter-religious fronts.
âThere is no doubt,â he related, âthat these have been the real priorities of the pontificate, pursued with consistency and courage in a context often not without tensions and obstacles.â
Reviewing the major journeys the Pope has taken and his substantial contributions to society through his writings, Fr. Lombardi commented that it was not his own light that the Pope declared he would shine on that day, âbut that of Christ.â
The Vatican spokesman finished his weekly editorial by saying, âThe pontificate thus far has seen a rich and full balance between serving God and humanity.
It is, he said, âA path to continue with a sure course.â