The papacy is “one of Christ’s great gifts to the Church”, Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli told a packed cathedral crowd on April 22.
The papacy has provided “outstanding leadership and has maintained the faith of the Apostles for the last two millennia”, he said at the Mass to celebrate the seventh anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s pontificate.
Archbishop Nicholas Chia and several priests also concelebrated the Mass held at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd.
The pope took office on April 19, 2005.
Praising Pope Benedict XVI’s leadership of the Catholic Church, Archbishiop Girelli said he was “glad to point this exemplary figure out to the Church of Singapore, particularly because the circumstances in which he exercises his ministry are not always favourable”.
The nuncio noted in his homily that the papacy has provided good guidance for the world across the ages.
“Some of the prophetic stances made by the popes contained important messages for the people of today,” he said.
“For instance, which other authority in the world witnesses so well to the values of marriage and family life?” he asked.
“Which other authority in the world stands up to defend the sanctity of life, the dignity of the human person, the supreme values of justice and peace, the respect of human rights, the voice of the poor and oppressed, with the same intensity, perseverance and consistency as popes did and are still doing?”
Archbishop Girelli added, “We see then that the role of Peter and now of his successor, Benedict XVI, has shown itself to be a guiding light for all Catholics and also non-Catholics.”
He noted that “in the modern world, even non-believers or people away from Catholicism have to acknowledge that the teaching and witnessing of Pope Benedict XVI is something that has proven to be one of the most important guides”.
“We should be proud of the papacy and recognise that it is one of Christ’s great gifts to the Church,” he concluded.