Happy Papist Weekend

The next two days will see the Papal See and one of the greatest men to occupy that See honored in a special way liturgically.

Contrary to popular belief, the Pope's Cathedral as Bishop of Rome is not St.Peter's but the Lateran Basilica, a church I had the privilege of visiting seven years ago. The feastday celebrating its Dedication falls on Friday.

And this Saturday we celebrate Pope St. Leo the Great. The website Catholic Culture invites us to read the Encyclical on St. Leo promulgated by Blessed John XXIII, the subtitle of which reads, "The See of Peter as Center of Christian Unity" :

St. Leo, therefore, maintained that the Bishop of Rome, as Peter's successor and Christ's Vicar on earth, is the focal center of the entire visible unity of the Catholic Church. And St. Leo's opinion is clearly supported by the evidence of the Gospels and by ancient Catholic tradition, as these words show: 'Out of the whole world one man is chosen, Peter. He is set before all the elect of every nation, before all the apostles and all the Fathers of the Church; so that although there are among God's people many priests and many pastors, Peter governs by personal commission all whom Christ rules by His supreme authority. Great and wonderful, beloved, is the share in its own power which the Divine Condescension assigned to this man.'

Good Pope John then closes his encyclical as follows:

We cannot end this Encyclical, Venerable Brethren, without referring once more to Our own and St. Leo's most ardent longing: to see the whole company of the redeemed in Jesus Christ's precious blood reunited around the single standard of the militant Church. Then let the battle commence in earnest, as we strive with might and main to resist the adversary's assaults who in so many parts of the world is threatening to annihiliate our Christian faith.
"Then are God's people strongest," said St. Leo, "when the hearts of all the faithful unite in one common act of holy obedience; when in the camp of the Christian army the same preparation is made on all sides for the fight and for defence."
For in the Church of Christ, if love is queen, no prince of darkness can prevail. "The devil's works are then most effectually destroyed when men's hearts are reunited in the love of God and the love of one another." In furtherance of this expectation, Venerable Brethren, We lovingly impart to each and every one of you, and to the flocks committed to your watchful care, that earnest of the blessings of heaven, Our Apostolic Benediction.

Let us pray that whole company of the redeemed will unite around Papa Benny who, like the great men who preceded him, actively seeks dialogue with the Eastern Churches and our separated brethren in the various ecclesial communities of the West and friendship with all the Children of God~

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