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April 25, 2005


Cardinal Justin Rigali asked that the following letter be read at all of the 275 parishes of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia this past weekend. Media are welcome to reprint the letter in its entirety or quote from it.

Dear brother Priests, dear People of God,

On this Sunday, April 24, 2005, Pope Benedict XVI solemnly begins his ministry as Bishop of Rome, Successor of Peter and Vicar of Christ for the Universal Church.

Together with every parish and Catholic community throughout the world we will be praying with him and for him. His name will be mentioned in every Mass celebrated throughout the world.

It is important for us to realize that our union in faith and love with our new Holy Father is part of God's plan for His Church. It is important for us to join Pope Benedict XVI in repeating to Jesus Saint Peter's profession of faith: " You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." At the same time we reflect on Jesus' words to Peter: "You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church."

As we rejoice in the election of our new Pope and pray for him, we are called to express our confidence and trust in Jesus Christ the supreme and eternal Pastor of the Church, who is with us until the end of time.

We entrust the ministry of Pope Benedict XVI to Mary, Queen of Apostles and Mother of the Church.

In the love of Christ Jesus,

+Justin Cardinal Rigali

Cardinal Justin Rigali
Archbishop of Philadelphia

Note: Cardinal Rigali will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving for Pope Benedict XVI at 12:05 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. All are welcome.

Donna Farrell
Director of Communications

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