Pope Benedict on Saints Peter and Paul

Pope Benedict delivers homily on SS Peter and Paul

I am in Rome for a conference on Blessed John Paul II and St Thomas Aquinas, sponsored by the Pontifical Academy of St Thomas. Some of us went to the Mass for the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. The pallium was presented to many Archbishops today, including Archbishops Chaput (Philadelphia), Lori (Baltimore) and Aquila (Denver). During his homily the Holy Father spoke about an “immense flood of mercy, which cleanses the whole of humanity in its healing waters.” After communion the “flood of mercy” upon the congregation was palpable.The congregation is noisy when the Pope comes in of course and this being a pallium mass there were cheers for the each bishop from their group of supporters; but after communion there was a reverent silence and a sense of gratitude for the many blessings of God through the Church and successor of St Peter and the disciple of St Paul. I distinctly sensed the flood of mercy upon us, sinners all. See the passage I excerpt below.

Pope Benedict XVI said the following during his homily (found in its entirety here) —

“The authority
of loosing and binding consists in the power to remit sins. And this
grace, which defuses the powers of chaos and evil, is at the heart of
the Church’s ministry. The Church is not a community of the perfect,
but a community of sinners, obliged to recognize their need for God’s
love, their need to be purified through the Cross of Jesus Christ.
Jesus’ sayings concerning the authority of Peter and the Apostles make
it clear that God’s power is love, the love that shines forth from
Calvary. Hence we can also understand why, in the Gospel account,
Peter’s confession of faith is immediately followed by the first
prediction of the Passion: through his death, Jesus conquered the powers
of the underworld, with his blood he poured out over the world an
immense flood of mercy, which cleanses the whole of humanity in its
healing waters.”

il Papa, the holy father
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