20 APRIL 2005
STATEMENT OF THE BISHOP OF RAPHOE DR PHILIP BOYCE
ON THE ELECTION OF POPE BENEDICT XVI
Joy and gratitude fill our hearts at the election of the new Pope. We
had been spiritually orphaned for the past few weeks. Now we have a
Holy Father again – Pope Benedict XVI.
He is an outstanding theologian of exceptional ability and skill. His
voice will give a clear message to the faithful and to all who are
searching with sincerity for the truth.
He will rely not on his own power but on the grace of Christ who chose
him and on the prayers of the whole Church. In fact, one of his first
words as he appeared at the Central Loggia of St Peter’s Basilica, for
the first time as Pope, was a request for prayers.
Therefore, I ask all people in the Diocese to offer fervent prayers for
him as he takes up his new ministry as Chief Shepherd of the Church. I
shall celebrate a special Mass in St Eunan’s Cathedral, Letterkenny, at
7.30pm on Friday, 22 April, for Pope Benedict and in gratitude for his
election. I also ask every parish to have a special Mass for him on a
His task is superhuman, but he has Christ at his side. He is asked ‘to
strengthen his brethren’ in the faith, to be a voice of truth in the
midst of error and uncertainties, to love his Master as St Benedict
said “preferring nothing whatsoever to Christ” and to lay down his
life in the service of the Church. His duty is to preach Christ’s
message of salvation to the world, and to lead all to holiness through
the preaching of the word of God and the dignified liturgical celebrations
of the Sacraments. May God bless our Pope, Benedict XVI.
Rome: Martin Long Director of Communications (086 172 7678)
Ireland: Brenda Drumm Communications Officer (087 233 7797)