The following is the thanks expressed by Sebastian Gomes to Cardinal Donald Wuerl on behalf of Salt + Light Television and Assumption University for his talk, which made up part of the Faith and Culture series presented by Assumption University.
Thank you very much Your Eminence…
By way of conclusion, I have the privilege of thanking the Cardinal for his wonderfully insightful lecture.
On the night of February 28th (when Pope Benedict officially stepped down from office) I had the opportunity to interview Cardinal Wuerl, who was one of the few Cardinals who made himself available to the media for comment that night.
The mood was incredibly heavy. People were walking slowly through St. Peter’s Square and looking up at the Apostolic Palace where the Pope’s study and bedroom are. Typically the lights are on until about 10 o’clock. But, of course, the they were off that night and the apartment was empty. Everyone in Rome felt empty, and uncertain about the future. We didn’t know what was going to happen, but we knew things were going to be different.
I asked Cardinal Wuerl, “How do you feel, having witnessed all of this, knowing Pope Benedict, and now turning to the daunting task of electing his successor?”
To my surprise, he looked at me and smiled and said, “Sebastian, I have so much hope at this moment!” I was taken aback! I said to myself, “really?! I wasn’t expecting to hear that.”
He continued, “What Pope Benedict has taught us through this incredibly humble gesture, is that we can and should do things differently. That we don’t have to be afraid, because the Lord is with us.”
Through the whole process of the papal transition, that for me, was one of the most profound lessons in ecclesiology. Even in that sad, empty moment, when nothing was certain, you taught us that a deep faith is always hopeful, always forward looking, always focused.
Again tonight you’ve shared your deep wisdom and faith with us:
- The need to renew our faith, especially in our day-to-day activities
- The importance of content: that there is a profound substance in the Revelation that is carried forward through history in the Apostolic Tradition
- For reminding us that we are very concretely connected to Jesus
Recognizing simplicity, clarity, confidence, humility and joy in knowing God loves each of us and every person in this world is a good place to start when it comes to the New Evangelization.
So, on behalf of Assumption University and Salt and Light Television, I thank you for your brief but wonderful visit; for your tireless work for the Gospel and for the Church; for being a shepherd of the New Evangelization. Thank you!