February 23, 2013. (Romereports.com)
The Pope entered the final phase of his pontificate
. Now that the spiritual exercises ended, he has only five more days as Pope
. In addition to thanking Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi for leading the exercises, he also thanked all the Curia members there for their assistance. BENEDICT XVI
“I would like to thank all of you and not only for this week, but for these past eight years that you have carried with me—with great skill, affection, love and faith—the weight of the Petrine ministry. This gratitude remains with me and, even if this 'exterior', 'visible' communion.”
The Pope, perhaps thinking of the recent criticism that has taken a hold of the Church, claimed that the unity within the Church is deep, in prayer.
“Our spiritual closeness remains, the deep communion in prayer. We go forward with this certainty, certain of God's victory, certain of the truth of beauty and love.”
The Pope reviewed several themes that were addressed in the spiritual exercises, and explained how the beauty within all creation and the search for truth can be found in God.
As the exercises drew to a close, he thanked Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi and also issued him a thank you letter.