Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Pope Benedict XVI First "General Audience"

Summary of the Pope’s Speech in His First "General Audience"

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
It is with great joy that I welcome you and also greet those following this audience through radio and television. After the holy death of my beloved predecessor, Pope John Paul II, I come before you today for my first General Audience. Filled with sentiments of awe and thanksgiving, I wish to speak of why I chose the name Benedict. Firstly, I remember Pope Benedict XV, that courageous prophet of peace, who guided the Church through turbulent times of war. In his footsteps I place my ministry in the service of reconciliation and harmony between peoples. Additionally, I recall Saint Benedict of Norcia, co-patron of Europe, whose life evokes the Christian roots of Europe. I ask him to help us all to hold firm to the centrality of Christ in our Christian life: May Christ always take first place in our thoughts and actions!
I extend a special welcome to the English-speaking pilgrims here today, including groups from England, Wales, Ireland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Australia, Vietnam, India, Pakistan, Singapore and the United States of America. Thank you for the affection with which you have greeted me. Upon all of you, I invoke the peace and joy of Jesus Christ our Lord!