Monday, September 04, 2006

Catholic World News : Imitate St. Gregory, Pope urges Church and public officials

Sep. 04 ( - At his Sunday Angelus audience on September 3, Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) devoted his remarks to St. Gregory the Great, whose feast falls on that date. The great Pope Gregory, he said, sets an example that should be studied and followed by both Church leaders and public officials today.

First as Rome's top civil official and then as Sovereign Pontiff from 590 to 604, Gregory I showed a deep insight into the needs of the people, the Pope said: "With prophetic vision, Gregory understood that a new civilization was being born from the encounter between the Roman heritage and the so-called 'barbarian' peoples, thanks to the cohesive power and moral stature of Christianity."

Himself a Benedictine, Pope Gregory developed the "pastoral rule" for all clergy, the Pope recalled, emphasizing that "a pastor of souls must be a "balanced blend of contemplation and action, animated by the love that touches the highest peaks when it stoops mercifully over the profound iniquity of others."

While he is rightly remembered for encouraging the spread of the liturgical chant now known as "Gregorian," Pope Benedict argued that his greater contribution was his largely successful effort to extend the wisdom of Benedictine spirituality to ordinary parish and secular life. The Pope concluded that Gregory I showed "monasticism to be an asset not only for the Church but for the whole of society."

Several hundred people attended the Pope's Sunday audience, which was held in the courtyard of the apostolic palace in Castel Gandolfo.

Original: Catholic World News : Imitate St. Gregory, Pope urges Church and public officials

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