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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Pope Thanks Sediari Pontifici For Their Work

Vatican Information Service

Benedict XVI today received the sediari pontifici or pontifical seat bearers, the body of men once charged with the duty of bearing the Pope's sedia gestatoria, and who now carry out functions of protocol in the Pontifical Household.

"Yours is an ancient task," the Pope told them, "which over the course of the centuries has evolved in different ways depending upon the customs and needs of the times," but has always remained "linked with the See of Peter."

"Your work, then, is part of a context wherein everything must speak to the whole world of the Church of Christ, and must do so coherently, imitating Him Who 'came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.' It is in this light that the recent reforms put into effect by my predecessors must be seen, particularly by Pope Paul VI to whom it fell to implement the new requisites of the Council. Ceremonies were simplified, bringing them back to a greater sobriety more in keeping with the Christian message and the needs of the times."

The Pope thanked the sediari for their contribution to the smooth functioning of pontifical audiences and celebrations, adding that "diligence, courtesy and discretion must be the characteristics that distinguish you in your work."

"My wish, dear friends," he concluded, "is that you may always be — both in the Vatican and at home, in the parish and in all situations — helpful and attentive to others. This is a precious lesson for your children and grandchildren, who will learn from your example how service to the Holy See means, above all, a Christian mentality and lifestyle."

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