Cardinal Ratzinger’s homily

Cardinal Ratzinger’s homily

This is the homily that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, dean of the College of Cardinals, gave at Pope John Paul’s funeral today:

“‘Follow me.’ The Risen Lord says these words to Peter. They are his last words to this disciple, chosen to shepherd his flock. ‘Follow me’ – this lapidary saying of Christ can be taken as the key to understanding the message which comes to us from the life of our late beloved Pope John Paul II. Today we bury his remains in the earth as a seed of immortality – our hearts are full of sadness, yet at the same time of joyful hope and profound gratitude.

“These are the sentiments that inspire us, Brothers and Sisters in Christ, present here in Saint Peter’s Square, in neighboring streets and in various other locations within the city of Rome, where an immense crowd, silently praying, has gathered over the last few days. I greet all of you from my heart. In the name of the College of Cardinals, I also wish to express my respects to Heads of State, Heads of Government and the delegations from various countries. I greet the Authorities and official representatives of other Churches and Christian Communities, and likewise those of different religions. Next I greet the Archbishops, Bishops, priests, religious men and women and the faithful who have come here from every Continent; especially the young, whom John Paul II liked to call the future and the hope of the Church. My greeting is extended, moreover, to all those throughout the world who are united with us through radio and television in this solemn celebration of our beloved Holy Father’s funeral.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
1 comment
  • I watched the Mass alone in the silence of a sleeping house.  And saw an initially hesitant and seemingly nervous Cardinal Ratzinger grow as he celebrated the Mass.  The pages of his written homily were blown in his hands by the wind.  His face gradually became less severe until he became a gentle priest.
    By the time that he was nearing the end of his homily, it was apparent that he was also suffering the loss here on earth of his beloved friend, mentor and Pope.
    He and the Fox television camera focused in on the windows of the Papal apartment and it seemed as if the Pope might just reappear.
    With his reputation as a fierce defender of Catholic doctrine, the newsmen on Fox seemed taken aback by this 77 year-old priest, possible Pope, and gentle man.  And were touched, I think, by the simple eloquence of his homily there in St. Peter’s Square on a windy Friday.

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