Vatican City, Jun 29, 2010 / 09:11 am America/Denver (CNA).
During his address for today's feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, the Holy Father asserted that the “greatest danger” to the Church is not external persecution, but the “negative attitudes” of the world that can pollute and “infect the Christian community” from within.
The Pope made his remarks on Tuesday morning at Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, where he concelebrated with 38 metropolitan archbishops whom he bestowed the pallium upon after delivering his homily.
The pallium is a white stole made of wool from lambs blessed and presented to the Pope each year on the feast of St. Agnes. It is reserved for use by the Pope and all metropolitan archbishops and expresses communion with the Bishop of Rome.
In his homily, Pope Benedict first reflected on the theme of freedom for the Church, emphasizing that Sts. Peter and Paul demonstrate that “God is close to his faithful servants and frees them from all evil, and frees the Church from negative powers.”
Speaking on Christ's promise in the Gospel that the “powers of hell shall not prevail” on the Church, the Pontiff explained that this not only “includes the historical experience of persecution suffered by Peter and Paul and other witnesses of the Gospel,” but “it goes further, wanting to protect especially against threats of a spiritual order.”