In his reflection at today's midday Angelus, the Pope said that Jesus' words in today's Gospel reading (Matt. 16:13-20) are addressed to us as Christians and, at the same time, to all of humanity. The mission of St. Peter and his successors, he said, is serve the unity of the one Church with a diversity of cultures, "to make present among all men - marked by innumerable divisions and differences - the peace of God and the renewing power of his love."
He mentioned "the enormous responsibility of this task" of "service to the Church and to the world that the Lord has entrusted to me," and specifically requested prayer for this task:
"Therefore, I ask you, dear brothers and sisters, to sustain me with your prayers, in order that, faithful to Christ, we may together announce and bear witness to his presence in our time."
After the Angelus, he spoke specifically of current international tensions and the need to avoid a return to "nationalistic counter-positions," an apparent reference to the risk of return to the Cold War of the past.