To confirm in unity. Here I would like to reflect for a moment on the rite which we have carried out. The pallium is a symbol of communion with the Successor of Peter, “the lasting and visible source and foundation of the unity both of faith and of communion” (Lumen Gentium, 18). And your presence today, dear brothers, is the sign that the Church’s communion does not mean uniformity. The Second Vatican Council, in speaking of the hierarchical structure of the Church, states that the Lord “established the apostles as college or permanent assembly, at the head of which he placed Peter, chosen from their number” (ibid., 19). Confirming in unity: the Synod of Bishops, in harmony with the primacy. We must walk on this path of synodality, grow in harmony with the service of the primacy. And it continues, the Council: “this college, in so far as it is composed of many members, is the expression of the variety and universality of the people of God” (ibid., 22). In the Church, variety, which is itself a great treasure, is always grounded in the harmony of unity, like a great mosaic in which every small piece joins with others as part of God’s one great plan. And this should inspire us to work always to overcome every conflict which wounds the body of the Church. United in our differences: there is no other Catholic way to unite us. This is the Catholic spirit: unite in the differences. This is the way of Jesus! The pallium, while being a sign of communion with the Bishop of Rome, with the universal church, with the Synod of Bishops, also commits each of you to being a servant of communion.
June 29, 2013