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FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15, 1961 THE OBSERVER PAGE 7 The Prerogative of Magisterium of St. Peter and His Successors But the Holy Pontiff does not forget the other essential bond of the visibile unity of the Church, that is, the supreme and infallible magisterium reserved by the Lord to Peter personally and to his successors: "The Lord took care of Peter in a special way; He prayed for the faith of Peter in particular, almost as though the Perseverance of the others would have been better guaranteed if the soul of their chief would not be overcome. In Peter, therefore, the strength of all is protected, and the assistance of divine grace follows this order: the strength which was given to Peter through Christ, is conferred on the other apostles through Peter." Whatever St. Leo says with such clarity and insistence about St. Peter, he says also about himself. He does not do so through the stimulus of human ambition, but through the deep persuasion that he is, no less than the Prince of the Apostles, the Vicar of Jesus Christ Himself, as can be understood from this excerpt of one of his sermons: "While being filled with grattitude to God for His gift, we find no reason for pride in sol- emnly celebrating the anniversary of our priesthood, for we confess with all-sincerity that all the good which we may have ac- complished in our ministry is the work of Christ and not ours. We can do nothing with. out Him, and therefore we glory in Him, from whom derives all the efficacy of our work." In saying this, it is far from St. Leo's mind that St. Peter ever be a stranger to the gov- ernment of the Church. On the contrary, he wants to associate his trust in the constant as- sistance of its Divine Founder with his trust in the protection of St. peter, whose heir and suc- cessor he professes to be, and "in whose stead all is done." He attributes to the merits of the Apostle Peter more than to his own the fruits of his universal ministry. This is clearly indi- cated, among other things, in the following expression: "If, therefore, we accomplish or see any good, if we obtain anything from the mercy of God with our daily prayers, it is due to his [Peter's] works and merits, whose power perdures in his See and whose authority commands it." In reality, St. Leo teaches nothing new. Like " his predecessors, St. Innocent I and St. Boni. face I, and in perfect harmony with the well- known Gospel texts upon which he comments (Matt. 16, 17; Luke 22, 31-32; John 21, 15-17), he is convinced of having received from Christ Himself the mandate of the supreme pastoral ministry. He declares: "The care that we must have for all the Churches has its origin prin- cipally in the divine mandate." "- The Spiritual Greatness of Rome No one should marvel, therefore, if St. Leo associates the City of Rome with the exalta- tion of the Prince of the Apostles. This is how he expresses this association in his sermon in honor of SS. Peter and Paul: "These, truly, are the heroes, through whose labors, 0 Rome, the Gospel of Christ shines for ]ou It is these who raised you to this glory of being a holy city, a chosen people, a priestly and a royal city. This is done in such manner that, having become truly the head of the world in virtue of the Holy See of Blessed Peter, you might extend your empire more with the divine religion than it was extended with human domination. Although, become powerful through many vic- tories, you did indeed affirm your right of em- pire over land and sea, yet that which the la- bors of War subjected to you is less than that which Christian peace gave you." Reminding his listeners, then, of the splen- did testimony rendered by St. Paul to the faith of the first Chrlstlans of Rome, the great Pontiff urged them with this exhortation to preserve their Catholic Faith free from any stain of error: "You, beloved of God and made worthy of the apostolic approval, to whom the blessed Apostle Paul and doctor of the gentiles said: "Your faith is proclaimed all over the world" (ROm. 1, 8), preserve, therefore, in yourselves that which you know he, who exalted you so authoritatively, thought of you. May none of you make yourselves unworthy of this praise, so that not even the impiety of Eutychius may contaminate these who, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, have never known any heres7 for so many centuries." Chalcedon Recognizes Citadel of Peter The truly outstanding work performed by St. Leo for the safeguarding of the authority of the Church of Rome was not in vain. Due to the prestige of his Person, in fact," the "citadel of the Apostle Peter" was praised and venerated not only by the Bishops of the West present at the councils in Rome, but also by more than 500 members of the Oriental Episcopate gathered at Chalcedon and by the emperors of Constantinople. Even before the famous council, Tbeodoret, Bishop of Cyrus, attributed in 449 to the Bishop of Rome and his privileged flock these high praises: / "Because of the prerogatives: which honor your See, yours is the first place of all. Other cities glory in the fact that they are either large or have a great number of inhabitants The Giver of every good has poured out it is the greatest and most illustrious of all His bounty on your city in superabundancel for it is the greatest and most illustrious of all cities, because it rules the wbrld and is rich in population Furthermore, you posses the tombs of Peter and Paul, common fathers and masters of truth, who illumine the souls of the faithful. The two most holy luminaries, indeed, had their origin in the Orient and cast their rays everywhere, but by their own choice they suffered death in the West and from there now illuminate the world. These enabled your See greatly; in this is the culmi- nation of your goods. But their God even now makes their See illustrious, while from your sanctity He brings forth in it the rays of the true Faith." The illustrious praises which the representa- tives of the Church of the Orient attributed to Leo did not diminish with his death. The By- zantine liturgy, on the feast of February 18 which is dedicated to him, exalts him as "lead- er of orthodoxy, doctor enhanced with piety and majesty, star of the universe, adornment of the orthodox, harp of the Holy Spirit." Equally significant are the praises attributed to the great Pontiff by Menologlus Gelasianus: "Our father Leo, admirable for his many vir- tues, continence and purity, consecrated Bishop of the great Rome, did many other things worthy of his virtues: but his work shone above all in that which concerns the honest Faith." Wishes for the Return of the Separated Brothers We wish to repeat, Venerable Brothers, that the chorus of praises singing the sanctity of theSupreme Pontiff St. Leo the Great was in ancient times agreed upon both in the East and the West. Oh, may he once more receive the plaudits of all the representatives of the ec- cleasiastical learning of the Churches who are not in communion with Rome. With the painful differences of opinion about the doctrine and pastoral action of the im- mortal Pontiff thus overcome, the doctrine which they also profess to believe will shine one Mediator between God and men, Himself with greater brilliance: "There is one God and man, Christ Jesus." We, having succeeded St. Leo in the episco- pal See of St. Peter, as We profess with him faith in the divine origin of the mandate of universal evangelization and salvation en- trusted by Jesus Christ to the Apostles and to their successors, so We likewise cherish the great desire to see all peoples enter on the way of truth, charity and peace. Council To Aid Church Mission of Unity And it is precisely for the purpose of rend- ering the Church more capable of accomplish- ing in our times this great mission that We decided to convene the Second Vatican Ecu- menical Council. We did so, confident that the impressive gathering of the Catholic hier- archy would not only strengthen the bonds of unity in faith, worship and government, which are the prerogatives of the true Church, but would also attract the attention of numberless believers in Christ and would invite them to gather about "the great pastor of the sheep," who entrusted their perennial custody to Peter and his successors. Our warm appeal for unity is intended to be, therefore, the echo of that which was made many times by St. Leo in the fifth cen- tury, and which was reminiscent of that ad- dressed to the faithful of all the Churches by St. Ireneus, whom Divine Providence called from Asia to govern the See of Lyons and to confirm it with his martyrdom. After having recognized the uninterrupted succession of the Bishops of Rome, heirs of the very power of the two Princes of the Apostles, he [Ireneus] concluded, exhorting: "Because of its pre- eminent superiority, it is with this Church that every Church, that is, all the faithful in the universe, must agree; and it is through com- munion with it that all these faithful (or, all the heads of the Churches) have preserved apostolic tradition." That All May Be One But Our appeal for unity is intended to be, above all, an echo of the prayer which Our Saviour addressed to His Divine Father at the Last Supper:" "That all may be one, even as Thou, Father, in Me and I in Thee; that they also may be one in Us." There is no doubt about the fulfillment of this prayer, just as the cruel Sacrifice of Golgotha was fulfilled. Did the Lord not say that His Father always hears Him? We then believe tl~at the Church for which He prayed and for which He sacrificed Himself on the cross, and to which He promised His abiding presence, has always been and remains one, holy, catholic and apostolic, just as it was instituted: Unfortunately, as in the past, We must record with sorrow that also in these times the unity of the Church does not really correspond to the communion of all believers in one single profession of faith and in the same practice of worship and of obedience. However, it is a cause of comfort and of gentle hope to Us to see those generous and growing efforts done in various parts of the world for the purpose of reconstructing even the visible unity of all Christians, which responds worthily to the in- tentions, commands and wishes of the Divine Saviour. One Fold One Shepherd Realizing that unity, which is the wish of the Holy Spirit in so many souls of good will, can- not be fully and soundly realized unless it is in conformity with the prophecy of Jesus Christ that "there shall be one fold and one shepherd," We pray Our Mediator and Ad- vocate with the Father that He may give to all Christians the grace to recognize the marks of His true Church that they may be- come its devout children. Oh, may the Lord grant that the blessed day of universal reconciliation may soon dawn, when an immense chorus of jubilant love will rise fi'om the one and only family of the redeemed and when they, praising the d~ vine mercy, will sing with the Psalmist: "Be- hold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity." The peaceful embrace of the children of the same heavenly Father, equally coheirs of the same reign of glory, will mark the celebra- t.ion of the triumph of the Mystical Body of Christ. Similar Sorrows Then and Now Venerable Brothers, the 15th centenary of the death of St. Leo the Great finds the Catho- lic Church in sorrowful conditions which are similar in part to those which it knew in the fifth century. How many sufferings truly af- flict the Church in these times and resound in Our paternal heart, as the Divine Redeemer clearly predicted! We see that in many regions the "faith of the Gospel" is in danger, and that there are not wanting attempts--which, thank God, for the most part are doomed to failure--to separate bishops, priests and faithful from the center of Catholic unity, that is, the Ro- man See. Patronage of St. Leo The Great Therefore, to check these grave dangers, We confidently invoke upon the Church militant the patronage of the holy Pontiff who wrote, suffered and did so much for the cause of Catholic unity. And to those who patiently cry after truth and justice, We address the com- forting words which St. Leo spoke to the clergy, to the authorities and to the people of Constantinople: "Persevere, therefore, in the spirit of Catholic truth, and through Us re- ceive the apostolic exhortation 'For you have given the favor on Christ's behalf--not only to believe in Him but also to suffer for Him' " (Phil. 1, 29), For all those, finally, who live in the Calho- lic Faith, We who, though unworthily, hold the place of the Divine Saviour on earth, make Ours the prayer which He made for His be- loved disciples and for all those who would have believed in Him "Holy Father I pray that they may be perfected in unity." We, therefore, ask for all the sons of the Church the perfection of unity, that perfection which only charity, "the bond of perfection," can give. It is from a burning love for God and the ever ready, cheerful and gcucrous practice of all the works of mercy toward one's neighbor that the Church, "temple of the living God," is clothed in each and all of its children with supernatural beauty. All Constitute One Temple of God Therefore, with St. Leo We exhort you "Since, therefore, all the faithful together and separately constitute the one and the same temple of God, it is necessary that it be per- fect in each one as it must be perfect in the whole; because, even if the beauty is not equal in all the members, nor the merits equal in such a great diversity of parts, the bond of charity produces the communion in beauty. Those whom a holy love unites, even though they do not share the same gifts af grace, enjoy their benefits mutually, however, and that which they love together cannot be foreign to them, for to find joy in the pro- gress of others increases their own riches." Resist Evil With Obedience At the end of this Apostolic Letter of Ours, may We be permitted to renew the ardent wish that came forth from the mind of St. Leo, that is, to see all those redeemed by the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ, reunited in the same Church militant, to see them resist, united and fearless, the powers of evil which continue to threaten the Christian faith from so many parts. Because "the people of God become very powerful when, in the union of holy obedience, the hearts of all the faithful are in agreemeut, when in the camps of the Christian legions the preparation is the same in all parts and the defenses are the same everywhere." The prince of darkness shall not prevail as long as love reigns in the Church of Christ: 'For the works of tbe demon will be destroyed with greater power when the hearts of men are burning with love for God and for neigh- hor." May the apostolic benediction which We heartily impart to all of you, Venerable Broth- ers, and to the flock entrusted to each of you, be the comfort of Our hopes and token of di- vine graces. Given at Rome, at St. Peter's, November 11, 1961, the fourth year of Our pontificate. POPE JOHN XXIII (Continued from Page I) lieve in Him, but also to suffer for Him." The encyclical briefly traced St. Leo's life. He was born in the Tuscany region of Italy and reared in Rome where he entered the ranks of the clergy: While a deacon, he distinguished himself in the service of the Church and after the death of Pope Sixtus III succeeded to the papacy. He died in November, 461, and was buried in St. Peter's basilica, where his remains still lie. The encyclical discusses St. Leo "as a faithful servant of the Apostolic See, as Vicar of Christ on earth and as a Doctor of the Universal Church." Pope Leo's Defense of Orthodoxy Pope Lco's great defense of orthodoxy came in his defense of the two natures of Christ against the Nestorian heresy, which de- nied this doctrine. Then came his defense of the primacy of Rome against the declarations of the Council of Chalcedon. In a part of the encyclical en- titled "The Leonine Centenary and the Second Vatican Ecumeni- cal Council," the Pope restated "the high idea which St. Leo had tl~ tmi~ of the Church." Pope John said pointedly: "There can be no perfect union of the faith- ful with Christ, the Head, nor per- fect union of the faithful among themselves as members of the same living and visible organism, if to the spiritual links of virtue, worship and the Sacraments there is not added the external profession of the same Faith." The Pope cited the words of St. Leo: "The integral and true Faith is a great bulwark to which noth- ing can be added or taken from by anyone. If the Faith is not single, it does not exist at all." Pope's Primacy Demonstrated To demonstrate the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, Pope John again quotes St. Leo: "In all the world only Peter is placed over the evangelization of all people, over all Apostles and over all the Fathers of the Church so that, although there are many pastors and priests in the midst of God's people, all are governed properly by Peter, as all are governed principally by Christ . . . The Lord deigned to make this man partaker of His power." After insisting that the prim- acy of the Pope is the same as the primacy of Peter, the ency- clical also insisted upon the "the supreme and infallible teaching authority reserved by the Lord to.Peter personally and to his suc- cessors." It recalled how Christ prayed for Peter's perseverance in Faith "as though the per- severance of the others would have been better guaranteed if the soul of the chief would not be overcome." What St. Leo said of St. Peter, the encyclical declared, he also said of himself. Pope John con- tinued the application to himself as heir of Peter and Vicar of Christ. Pope Receives Mandate From Christ He continued: "In reality, St. Leo teaches nothing new. Like his predecessors, St. Innocent and St. Boniface, and in perfect har- mony with the well known Gospel texts upon which he comments, he is convinced of having received from Christ Himself the mandate of the supreme pastoral ministry." In his invitation to unity, Pope John said: "The chorus of praises singing the sanctity of the Su- preme Pontiff St. Leo the Great was in ancient times in agreement both in the East and the West. O, may he once more receive the plaudits of all the representatives of ecclesiastical learning of the churches which are not in com- munion with Rome! "With the painful differences of opinion about the doctrine and pastoral action of the immortal pontiff thus overcome, the doc- trine which they also profess to believe will shine with greater brilliance . . . Ecumenical Council Called for Unity "We likewise cherish the great desire to see all peoples enter on the way of truth, charity and peace. And it is precisely for the purpose of rendering the Church more capable of accomplishing in Our times this great mission that We decided to convene the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council." The Pope said that his "warm appeal for unity" is primarily in- tended as "an echo of the prayer which Our Saviour adctressed to His Divine Father at the Last Supper: 'That all may be one, even as Thou, Father, in Me and I in Thee; that they also may be one in Us.' " Pope Believes Unity Will Come Pope John said he has no doubt whatsoever that Christ's prayer will be answered, for "did the Lord not. say that His Father always hears Him?" The Pontiff added: "Unfortunately, as in the past, We must record with sorrow that also in these times the unity of the Church does not really cor- respond to the communion of all believers in one single profession of faith and in the same practice of worship and obedience. "However, it is a course of com- fort and gentle hope to Us to see those generous and growing ef- forts made in various parts of the world for the purpose of recon- structing even the visible unity of all Christians, which responds worthily to the intentions, com- mands and wishes of the Divine Saviour. 'One Fold, One Shepherd' "Aware that this unity, which is the wish of the Holy Spirit and so many souls of good will, cannot be fully and soundly realized un- less it is in conformity with the prophecy of Jesus Christ that 'there shall be o~e fold and one shepherd,' We pray Our Mediator and Advocate with the Father that He may give to all Christians the grace to recognize the marks of His true Church so that they may become its devout children. "O, may the Lord grant that the blessed day of universal reconciliation may soon dawn, when an immense chorus of jubi- lant love will rise from the one and only family of the redeemed and when they, praising the Di- vine Mercy, will sing with the psalmist: 'Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in Unity.' "The peaceful embrace of the children Of the same Heavenly Father, equally the heirs of the same reign of glory, will mark the celebration of the triumph of the Mystical Body of Christ." PRAY THAT ALL MAY BE ONE . . . Shown above is the official poster for the Chair of Unity Octave, Jan. 18-25, released by the Graymoor Friars of the Society of the Atonement, Garrison, N.Y. The Unity Octave is a prayer crusade for religious unity begun by Father Paul James Fran- cis, S.A in 1908 when he was still an Episcopal churchman. In 1909, he led his community, the Society of the Atonement, into the Fold of Peter. The unity apostolate seeks to enlist the prayers of the faithful for the cause of reunion, so prominent in the world today.