Pope Francis greets Cardinals: Full text.

This morning, Pope Francis met with the Cardinals in the Sala Clementina. 

Below please find Vatican Radio’s translation of the full text of the Holy Father’s address to the Cardinals:

Brother Cardinals,

This period of the Conclave has been filled with meaning not just for the College of Cardinals but also for all the faithful. During these days we have felt almost palpably the affection and solidarity of the universal Church, as well as the attention of many people who, even if not sharing our faith, look upon the Church and the Holy See with respect and admiration.

From every corner of the earth a heart-felt chorus of prayer was raised by Christian peoples for the new Pope, and my first encounter with the crowds filling St. Peter’s Square was an emotional one. With that eloquent image of a praying and joyful populace still fixed in my mind, I would like to manifest my sincere gratitude to the Bishops, priests, consecrated persons, young people, families, and to the aged for their spiritual closeness which is so touching and sincere.

I feel the need to express my deepest gratitude to all of you, venerable and dear Brother Cardinals, for your collaboration in running the Church during the Sede Vacante. I greet, to begin with, the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Angelo Sodano, who I thank with expressions of devotion for the kind wishes he extended to me in your name. With him I thank Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, for his fine work during this delicate transition phase, and also Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, who led us in the Conclave. Many thanks! I think with particular affection of the venerable Cardinals who, because of age or illness, assured us of their participation and love for the Church by offering their suffering and prayers. And I would like to inform them that, the day before yesterday, Cardinal Mejia had a heart attack and is in hospital. I believe he is in stable condition and he has sent us his greetings.

I cannot forget to thank all those, who in so many ways, worked to prepare and conduct the Conclave, ensuring the safety and tranquillity of the Cardinals during this very important time in the life of the Church.

I extend an especially affectionate thought, filled with gratitude, to my venerable predecessor, Benedict XVI, who, during the years of his pontificate enriched and invigorated the Church with his teaching, his goodness, guidance, faith, humility, and his meekness, which will remain the spiritual patrimony of all. The Petrine ministry, lived with total dedication, found in him a wise and humble interpreter with his gaze always fixed on Christ, the Risen Christ, present and alive in the Eucharist. Our fervent prayer will always accompany him, our eternal memory, and affectionate gratitude. We feel that Benedict XVI lit a flame in the depth of our hearts, a flame that continues to burn because it will be fanned by his prayers that will continue to sustain the Church on its spiritual and missionary journey.

Dear Brother Cardinals, this meeting of ours is meant to be the continuation of that intense ecclesial communion we experienced during this period. Animated by a profound sense of responsibility and sustained by a great love for Christ and for the Church, we prayed together, fraternally sharing our feelings, our experiences and reflections. In this very cordial atmosphere our reciprocal knowledge of one another and mutual openness to one another, grew. And this is good because we are brothers. As someone told me: the Cardinals are the Holy Father’s priests. But we are that community, that friendship, that closeness, that will do good for every one of us. That mutual knowledge and openness to one another helped us to be open to the action of Holy Spirit. He, the Paraclete, is the supreme protagonist of every initiative and manifestation of faith. It’s interesting and it makes me think. The Paraclete creates all the differences in the Church and seems like an apostle of Babel. On the other hand, the Paraclete unifies all these differences – not making them equal – but in harmony with one another. I remember a Church father who described it like this: “Ipse harmonia est.” The Paraclete gives each one of us a different charism, and unites us in this community of the Church that adores the Father, the Son, and Him – the Holy Spirit.

Starting from the authentic collegial affection that united the College of Cardinals, I express my desire to serve the Gospel with renewed love, helping the Church to become ever more in Christ and with Christ, the fruitful life of the Lord. Stimulated by the Year of Faith, all together, pastors and faithful, we will make an effort to respond faithfully to the eternal mission: to bring Jesus Christ to humanity, and to lead humanity to an encounter with Jesus Christ: the Way, the Truth and the Life, truly present in the Church and, at the same time, in every person. This encounter makes us become new men in the mystery of Grace, provoking in our hearts the Christian joy that is a hundredfold that given us by Christ to those who welcome Him into their lives.

As Pope Benedict XVI reminded us so many times in his teachings and, finally, with that courageous and humble gesture, it is Christ who guides the Church through His Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church, with His life-giving and unifying strength. Of many He makes a single body – the mystical Body of Christ. Let us never give in to pessimism, to that bitterness that the devil tempts us with every day. Let us not give into pessimism and let us not be discouraged. We have the certainty that the Holy Spirit gives His Church, with His powerful breath, the courage to persevere, the courage to persevere and to search for new ways to evangelise, to bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Christian truth is attractive and convincing because it responds to the deep need of human existence, announcing in a convincing way that Christ is the one Saviour of the whole of man and of all men. This announcement is as valid today as it was at the beginning of Christianity when the Church worked for the great missionary expansion of the Gospel.

Dear Brothers, have courage! Half of us are old: I like to think of old age as the seat of wisdom in life. Old people have wisdom because they know they have journeyed through life – like the aged Simeon and Anna in the Temple. It was that wisdom that allowed them to recognise Jesus. We must give this wisdom to young people: like good wine that improves with age, let us give young people this life’s wisdom. I’m reminded of what a German poet said about aging: “Es ist ruhig, das Alter, und fromm” – “age is the time of peace and prayer”. We need to give young people this wisdom.

You are returning to your respective Sees to continue your ministry, enriched by these days so filled with faith and ecclesial communion. This unique and incomparable experience has allowed us to capture all the beauty of the ecclesial reality, which is a refection of the light of the Risen Christ: one day we shall gaze upon the beautiful face of that Risen Christ.

I commit my ministry, and your ministry, to the powerful intercession of Mary, our Mother, Mother of the Church. Beneath her maternal gaze, may each one of us walk and listen to the voice of her divine Son, strengthening unity, persevering together in prayer and giving witness to the true faith in the continual presence of the Lord. With these sentiments, sincere sentiments, I impart my Apostolic Blessing, which I extend to your collaborators and to the people under your pastoral care.

About Gertrude

Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium.
This entry was posted in Vatican Radio and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

45 Responses to Pope Francis greets Cardinals: Full text.

  1. Frere Rabit says:

    The sudden resignation of the Pope and the election that has characterised this 2013 season of Lent has thrown many into confusion. The enormous media analysis of Pope Francis in the last days has created divisions within Catholic traditional circles. The Devil loves confusion and division.

    I have reflected for a while on the timing. In the end I have come to the conclusion that Benedict XVI resigned at the beginning of Lent as an act of penitence, but he also imposed upon the Church a similar act of penitence – a need to reflect on what kind of Church we want to see, a Church ruled by God or a Church ruled by man?

    In all our clever discussions, and the flattering presence of the world media in Rome, for a forty-eight hour headline grabbing period, we fail to see how the world is no longer bothered. I saw this in my own work.

    1. Not one pupil in my Year 10 tutor group knew there had been a papal election.
    2. On further discussion it emerged that only three out of thirteen knew what “the Pope” was.
    3. I teach in a school which is a Catholic foundation (the founders were Opus Dei)

    I think I will just go and groom the donkeys now. And the kids can go back to their Playstations. We have lost tomorrow, whether or not Pope Francis instituted the TLM in Buenos Aires. Most young people do not even know who the Virgin Mary was, let alone care about the subtleties of our liturgical angst.



  2. planechant2 says:

    Thank you for this revealing and encouraging post. May God bless and Our Lady protect our Holy Father, Pope Francis.


  3. johnhenrycn says:

    “We have lost tomorrow” is balderdash, unless by tomorrow you mean that we are losing in the short term, as I think you do. We have been losing battles for two thousand years, and we will continue losing them until the Second Coming. The admonition (supra) of Pope Francis that we should “never give in to pessimism” is salutary. Like you, FR, I’m no cock-eyed optimist, and indeed, pessimism is a healthy default position in life; but I never give into it or let it morph into defeatism. I oft-times have trouble getting out of bed, thinking of the troubles and woes (mostly of my own making) which beset me, but carry on in the sure faith that all is well.
    “They will see. We’ll fight until eternity,
    Come with me,we’ll stand and fight together,
    Through our strength, we’ll make a better day,
    Tomorrow we shall never surrender.”


  4. Frere Rabit says:

    “We have lost tomorrow” refers to our situation here in the circumstances I described, so do not expand my thoughts into a global pessimism which I am not suggesting, thank you johnhenry. Since we are unlikely to agree on anything, prolly best not to respond to my posts, fellow.


  5. johnhenrycn says:

    Never “agree on anything”?? So sorry! There you go again, FR, bringing your angst from another blog to this one. I shall respond to comments as I see fit. Don’t expect a free ride – a respectful one (here at least), but not a free one. My comment above was quite in keeping with the best traditions of the Oxford Union.


  6. johnhenrycn says:

    March 17th is my birthday, FR. Please wish me a happy one. Ta, and God bless.


  7. johnkonnor72 says:

    …its apt that the church was called to choose a new pope during this lent…lent is a time in which we search the desert of our hearts for the ministrations of the holy spirit…and so the conclave representative of the church’s heart was called to recollect and listen and from the will appointa face to represent the spirit of that call…


  8. Toad says:

    1: If what Rabit says about his students is true – and I’m in no doubt that it is – things don’t look very bright for the future of Cristiianity in the West. I spent some time about 10 years ago at a Catholic based univeristy in Pennsylvania and was astounded and appalled at the general ignorance and uninterest of the students there, not only in religion, but in everything. That’s what he meant by “tomorrow is lost.” Is he right? I don’t know. In a way. Maybe. To paraphrase Big Porky Gil Chesterton, “Is it better to stuff a child’s head with nonsense, or not to stuff it anything at all?” Personally, I’d opt for the nonsense. Worked with me (after a rough fashion.) Gives you something to chew on. And Gilbert won’t mind being paraphrased. He’s dead.

    2: Happy Birthday on the day of my saint, JH. The day I tend not to go to the tavern, but stand aside and leave it to the amatuers.
    Don’t drink any green beer. Not today. Not ever.


  9. Toad says:

    Toad clearly didn’t learn much himself at the universistry. Not even how to spell it.


  10. Giovanni A. Cattaneo says:

    I do not think the picture is a somber as Mr. Rabbit seems to put it. We have lost today and yesterday but the Lord is making a new day for the Church even if Pope Francis turns out to be the Pope I fear he may be, and the winter of Vatican II remains and modernism continues to be pushed by every prelate, tomorrow still God’s.

    To put in to perspective the Church has survived Medici Popes, Borgia Popes, and the trial of a corpse as Pope. I think it will make it though Pope Francis.


  11. JabbaPapa says:

    My experience trudging through hundreds of rural communities in France and Italy (can’t really compare with Spain — there it was on the Camino proper) was quite opposite ; whereas there was virtually no presence of the Church in *many* rural communities in many parts of France, quite the opposite was true in Italy, and the complete absence of the Church was the exception, not the rule.

    It’s important not to let one’s parochial concerns and local realities colour one’s vision of the overall realities of our Church and of the Catholic presence worldwide.


  12. Gertrude says:

    I am not sure( and probably no- one else is) why the Holy Father Emeritus resigned, though it was ostensibly on the grounds of ill health. It has been speculated (at least here) that his courageous act was, yes, for reasons of health, but also to protect Holy Mother Church. The temporal problems abound and a strong leader is required. It is understandable that Benedict felt inadequate not by intellect but by frailness.

    Whether Pope Francis will be the pontif to deal with these problems only time will tell, but I cannot share the pessimism for the future of our Church. Benedict once said that we might find we have a smaller Church, and if that be so – then so be it, but please remember the words to Peter; that the gates of hell shall not prevail.

    Whatever our feelings regarding liturgy are utterly irrelevant. The Extraordinary Form is here to stay, and the present liturgy can be equally spiritual when properly said by the priest, and with the parts in Latin said in accordance with,( what too many have come to be see as a ‘bogey-man’) the instructions from Vatican ll. It should not be an entertainment spectacle, and was never intended thus. If Holy Mass has become a spectacle in some parts, then the clergy need to examine their consciences regarding the way the Sacrifice is celebrated. Holy Mass is too sacred.


  13. JabbaPapa says:

    If HH Benedict XVI says that he renounced the Papacy for reasons of poor health, then there is literally no reason whatsoever to think otherwise.

    It is prurient and IMO both sinful and illogical to explore any other hypotheses !!!


  14. toad says:


    What are we, robots?

    But then, I suppose it’s some kind of sin to think anything at all, after the Ex-Pope has spoken, ,except to agree.


  15. johnkonnor72 says:

    …Indeed the pope is a man therefore he could have made an error in judgement..God bless him all the same…domo arigato catholic roboto…. 🙂


  16. JabbaPapa says:


    Must one REALLY needs explain ?

    Because of the inherent assumption that some kind of lie or manipulation must be involved, to support any contrary interpretation ? Just for starters ?

    Still, I doubt that such understandings prevail in the editorial techniques of the average gossip rag …


  17. toad says:

    Even holier than thou, than usual today, aren’t we, Jabba?
    Casting a few stones.
    Sinless yourself, no doubt.


  18. Gertrude says:

    Thank you for your comment Jabba. On this occasion though I find your remark offensive. It is neither sinful, prurient or illogical that people will have opinions. And – mercy me, they will also speculate on those opinions.
    I truly am sorry you felt obliged to answer in such an offensive tone; but God Bless you anyway.


  19. JabbaPapa says:

    Dear Gertrude, I cannot find it in myself that any vain speculations concerning the renunciation of HH Benedict XVI should be seriously entertained.

    There is, I’m well aware, only a sliver separating “offensive” and “offended”, so that I must apologise anyway for any unintentional side effects …


  20. johnhenrycn says:

    Thank you for your birthday greetings, Toad. Am glad we finally share something in common. Still waiting for the Thomas Merton Look-a-Like on this blog to extend to me his best wishes. I really thought he’d give them. Noblesse oblige and all that. I guess they’re on hold until I agree to be his Little Sir Echo:
    Little Sir Echo, how do you do?
    Hello! (Hello!) Hello! (Hello!),
    Little Sir Echo, we’ll answer you,
    Hello! (Hello!) Hello! (Hello!),
    Hello! (Hello!) Hello! (Hello!)

    …[et passim]…
    V. boring, no?
    But, in honour of your Saint, I offer you this…

    …which will be sung later this morning (your time) by the St Michael’s School Alumni Choir at St Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto, the diocese next to mine, where I went to confession this morning (my time), which is where I always go to confession, because I’m such a coward. Our other friend from the Spanish hinterlands talks about how ignorant his children are of our Catholic Faith. Must be a local thing, and indeed, he suggests as much. I thought of his sorrow this morning, walking by the St Michael’s Choir School, next door to St Michael’s Cathedral (should be St Michael Cathedral, in my opinion; but I will not go there, for fear of another lecture from Professor Jabba about the “genitive” or the “gerundive” or the “ablative” or whatever…). There’s a sign above one of the entranceways to the school – set in stone: “Boys Entrance”.There is no “Girls Entrance”. Presumably the other one is for adults of either sex. Just an anecdote, I know, but there are some parts of the world where our Catholic Faith and our Catholic traditions are still taken very seriously.


  21. johnhenrycn says:

    Sorry for that YouTube screen shot of Frank Patterson above. The video is a good one, but that initial screen shot is not good and may have put people off.
    Note to self: Be very careful about when you click on a link.

    But, I can’t leave here tonight without linking another Irish ballad very, very close to my heart:


  22. toad says:

    What a Sunday morning musical treat, JH! Thank you. And Salud y pesetas (whatever they are.)

    And here’s a birt’day joke fer youse:

    A man having a sociable drink in a bar, suddenly slaps his head, and says to his companions, “Damn! I must dash over to my car. I just remembered I’ve left my accordion on the back seat in plain view.”
    So, off he goes. But, as he feared, it’s too late.
    The car rear window is smashed and there are five more accordions on the back seat.

    Note to CP&S team: Spell check facility is a help. Thank you, too.


  23. johnhenrycn says:

    I really do love that,Toad! I happen to have (sniff, sniff) a Grade 6 Royal Conservatory (Toronto) accordion qualification, which means I can play Swanee River with only two mistakes. Linda, the girl I was stuck on back then, when I was 12 years old, married our accordion teacher when she became an adult. If only I’d perservered, she might have married me instead…
    coming dear!!!


  24. golden chersonnese says:

    Night-owling again, johnhenry, and on your birthday too? Well, forgivable on such an occasion, I suppose. We’ll be toasting you and St Patrick at dinner-time, just a few hours hence where I am (yes, and you too, Toad)..

    Hope you don’t see any Irish-type flashmobs.


  25. toad says:

    A jazz musician friend of mine, during a “gig,” was once asked if he could play ‘Surrey With The Moon On Top.’?
    “No, but I can play ‘How High The Fringe’, ” he offered.


  26. toad says:

    What a wonderful video, Golden. Splendid start to a very wet Sunday, all this!
    I might just break the habit of a lifetime and go for a drink on Saint Patrick’s day. And it will not be the green beer, nor even The Porter in a Tin Glass, or A Pint of The Heavy, but a simple, Christian, Gin and Tonic.(With ice and limon.)


  27. golden chersonnese says:

    Oh I get it, Toad.

    Try “Surrey with the fringe on top” and “how high the moon”, right?.


  28. golden chersonnese says:

    Yes, johnhenry, lovely to see the Irish hanging on in Australia in these youngsters with their lovely fair skins And the real littl’uns probably brought in from the parish school. Of course, the Irish and their descendants seem to be everywhere in Australia, together with the many many churches, schools, hospitals and charitable facilities they built.


  29. toad says:

    Nothing to do with anything, really, expect that it’s teeming down here.
    Listen to how he sings the last three words…
    Now dogs walked (they don’t care) and off to church.


  30. Gertrude says:

    Not too good at posting video clips Toad, and maybe you’re spoilt for choice above – but I join all in wishing you a happy and peaceful St. Patrick’s day, and hope you have a tot of Bush-mills out there on the hacienda!

    John Henry – a very happy birthday to you too. May your day be filled with abundant blessings.

    Jabba: Thank you.


  31. johnhenrycn says:

    Actually, Blue Skies is a great jazz favourite of mine. Brubeck version. Not sure how Catholic it (or Sinatra) was. But Brubeck was a convert – like me – and I’ve linked an absolutely fabulous Mass by him before. Shall continue this comment later, because I would like to reply to GC.


  32. johnhenrycn says:

    Yes, Toad, I know that’s Sinatra – not Brubeck – but Brubeck’s instrumental version of <i<Blue Skies is more memorable.
    Where was I? Right. Golden, you posted a “flash mob” link, and it was good. Do you remember this one that I posted a few years ago…

    I was so happy when ladymoneypenny ( on the other blog) expressed her delight at it.


  33. kathleen says:

    Top of the morning to you John Henry, and a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY ! 🙂

    And a Happy St. Patrick’s day to everyone with a drop of Irish blood in their veins….. and all those called Patrick or Patricia, Happy feast day! (That will include my wonderful mother-in-law who we will be celebrating with today.)
    And if you don’t fall into any of those categories, but at least have ‘a bit of the Irish’ in your heart, may St. Patrick bless you abundantly.

    Great videos – thanks everyone – especially Golden‘s Riverdance…..( I’m crazy on Riverdance!)


  34. johnhenrycn says:

    And Golden, this one is the one that made us blog friends:


  35. golden chersonnese says:

    Apologies, Toad, my response up there ^ above your Sinatra should have been to you.

    I’ll just have a Guinness, thanks (which the Chinese here call a “black dog”– no prize for guessing why).

    johnhenry, no I don’t remember it, but ladymoneypenny was right, it’s a goody.


  36. golden chersonnese says:

    Yes, johnhenry, I remember that one well. It’s now one of my youtube treasures. I can even recall you linked it on the “other” blog in a kind attempt to soothe one of the atheists who had “eaten something wrong”, as the Chinese also say..


  37. toad says:

    Veryvogueishto be called Frank these days. I’ve always had a soft spot for Dino Paul Crocetti (AKA Dean Martin) ever since he told an audience, “I was so drunk last night, I went into a supermarket and bought my own hand. Thought it was a bunch of bananas.”

    That’s enough Rat Pack for St. Pat’s day.


  38. johnhenrycn says:

    Gosh, your memory is superb, Golden!

    I read your comment – wondered for a sec or two what you meant – and then remembered how Pholas/Micky Ross once complained about an intenstinal malfunction, which is when I linked that video (08:02) for peole who might be suffering from the “trots”. I am not a nice person. Go bless.


  39. johnhenrycn says:

    God bless, I meant 🙂


  40. golden chersonnese says:

    Exactly, johnhenry, it was hilarious, and I am sure it improved the patient’s humour.

    We’ll be drinking your health and Toad’s shortly here, as well as that of my aunt Patricia, who is soon to be 90 years old. Again, please to enjoy your birthday as much as you can.


  41. teresa says:

    Happy Birthday Johnhenry!


  42. mmvc says:

    Hope you’re having a great day, JH.
    God bless you and yours!


  43. mmvc says:

    Oh and here’s a birthday greeting for you in Polish style 😉
    (Sto lat = wish you a 100 years of life):


  44. golden chersonnese says:

    Very voguish to be called Frank these days. together with Toad’s allusion to Sinatra’s three last words, from now on.

    Toad, the penny has finally dropped, and I think you are right for once. Gulp.


  45. johnhenrycn says:

    “Thanks for the flowers, everyone”, as Mundabor always used to say. That last video from mmvc was painful. Reminds me of me at that age. The accordion, in the hands of an amateur, is a lethal weapon.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s