ROME (CNS): The Pope’s power is not absolute, but must be used to defend Church doctrine against attempts to water it down, Pope Benedict XVI said as he took possession of his cathedral as the Bishop of Rome.
“The Pope is not an absolute sovereign whose thoughts and will are law,” he said.
“He must not proclaim his own ideas but instead, in the face of all attempts to adapt or water it down, and of every opportunism, he constantly must bind himself and the Church in obedience to the word of God.”
On May 7 Pope Benedict took possession of Rome’s Basilica of St John Lateran, the diocesan cathedral, as thousands of Romans gathered outside to welcome him.
During the liturgy inside the basilica, he stood at the foot of the bishop’s throne listening to Cardinal Camillo Ruini, his vicar for Rome, reminding him that the Pope must be “the servant of the servants of God”.
More than 100 priests and bishops, including 40 cardinals, concelebrated the Mass, the last in the series of installation liturgies that began on April 24 with his inauguration in St Peter’s Basilica.