Posts Tagged ‘Benedict XVI’
This morning B16 said that the greatest danger for the Church does not come from the outside but from the inside.
Alluding to the crisis of clerical abuse and to the persecution the Church has faced during its history, Benedict said (NB this is my very rough translation from Italian): “If we think of the two millenia of the history of the Church, we can see that, as the Lord Jesus had foreseen, there were not missing for the Christians the tests which in some periods and places took on the character of real and actual persecution.
“This, however, despite the suffering which provoke us, does not constitute the most grave danger for the Church. The greatest damage in fact, it suffers from those who pollute the faith and the Christian life of its members and community, attacking the integrity of the mystical Body, harming it in its capacity of prophecy and testimony and dulling the beauty of its face.”
The Vatican Information Service has just released an unusually detailed communique relating to a meeting between Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn and Cardinal Angelo Sodano in which the Austrian cardinal was made to explain public criticism he had levelled against Sodano.
After Cardinal Sodano made a surprise speech at Easter criticising the media’s reports about abuse as “idle gossip”, Cardinal Schoenborn publicly accused the former Secretary of State of having deliberately obstructed an investigation into accusations of child abuse against Cardinal Herman Groer of Vienna. In today’s meeting, Pope Benedict seems to have done several things: he has reminded Cardinal Schoenborn that the disciplining of members of the hierarchy is the responsibility of the Pope, he has clarified Sodano’s controversial comments about “idle gossip” and has brought the two men together. Interesting.
Pope Benedict XVI will visit the Birmingham Oratory during his trip to Britain, it emerged today. While he is there he will visit Cardinal John Henry Newman’s rooms.
There had been some doubt about whether the Pope would visit the Oratory because of controversies within the Birmingham Oratory community, but it is an obvious stop for the Pontiff because Newman lived there in his final years. It holds his library as well as the relics that were found when grave was opened in 2008.
A spokesman for the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales said that the visit’s organisers had asked Birmingham City Council for the use of Cofton Park for Newman’s beatification on September 19. He said that, while the details still had to be worked out with the City of Birmingham, they hoped that at least 80,000 people would be able to attend. The site is near Rednal, where Newman’s Oratorians had a house and where the Fathers of the Oratory were later buried. Cardinal Newman’s grave is there.
The spokesman said: “Cofton Park will have more historical resonance, because it is next to Rednal. The Oratorians used to take their recreation in Cofton Park. What is important is that it enables a visit to the Birmingham Oratory. If it all works out, the Pope will make a private visit to Newman’s rooms.
At the Waterfront, in a ceremony that was similar to the boat-a-cade in Sydney for World Youth Day 2008, Pope Benedict was brought by boat through the harbour to meet the young people of Malta and Gozo. Bishop Mario Grech of Gozo spoke about the changing country, saying that Malta’s young people had questions to address to the Pope. Using the parable of the rich young man, Bishop Grech echoed his question “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Some of the young people he said needed more support and encouragement than others because:
like the rich young man of the Gospel, some may have built a false sense of security in their rigid observance of the law and ritual norms and refuse a loving commitment to God and neighbour, even at a high personal cost. In such cases there is the hazard that belief turns into an empty religiosity, a matter of culture and tradition rather than a choice of life;
like the rich young man of the Gospel, compelled by the materialistic culture and the pressures of our modern economic system, some are finding it taxing to make choices which would guarantee them a treasure in Heaven;
like the rich young man, since human nature is proud and nourishes illusions of self-sufficiency and autonomy, some do not easily understand that they should allow God to infuse their life with His love by surrendering themselves to Him in complete trust and like St. Paul declare that the love of God compels them on.
A group of young people then addressed their questions and concerns to the Pope. I am going to put up the first one because I think it is worth reading in full: Read the rest of this entry »
The Twelve “Evilest Pope Pictures” is the one of the most shared memes on Buzzfeed at the moment, bearing out ED Kain’s theory that the Holy Father “has aged in such a way as to make him look less the cuddly grandpa and more the evil villain; he bears an uncanny resemblance to Emperor Palpatine”.
Pictures can really change the way we read stories. Personally I’ve never thought of B16 as particularly creepy looking–I’ve always had him in the cute, cuddly, but slightly shy and diffident grandpa category, a bit embarrassed by all the attention that has suddenly been lavished on him. In the spirit of light relief, we’ve compiled a few of the sweetest pictures of Pope Benedict for the 12 Sweetest Pope Pictures meme.
Amidst the darkness of the sexual abuse scandal (which continued to escalate over the Triduum despite the Vatican moratorium on commenting during Holy Week) tens of thousands of pilgrims flocked to Rome to spend Easter in the Eternal City.
The pouring rain during Urbi et Orbi didn’t deter the faithful from coming to St Peter’s Square to receive the Papal blessing. According to the presenter on the Bayerische Rundfunk which was showing it live yesterday, there were far more pilgrims than expected in Rome this Easter.
Other places report a surge in people taking part in Triduum/Easter celebrations.
In Austria, the Stefansdom, the main Cathedral in Vienna saw a surge in Mass attendance ove Holy Week and Easter as well as did parishes in Vienna, despite a general decline in Mass attendance and growing numbers of active defections from the Church.
Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that several London churches also saw larger numbers of faithful come for Holy Week celebrations and Easter than have in past years. Read the rest of this entry »
There’s a flourishing discussion about papalotry, or the inordinate and uncritical adulation of popes, going on between the blogs of America Magazine and Commonweal. I’ll leave papalotry to my betters (Gregory Wolfe offers some good thoughts) and focus on its origins. Catalyst for the debate was Commonweal editor Paul Baumann’s critical post about a speech that Pope Benedict made a few weeks ago when he was made an honorary citizen of the town of Freising, a suburb of Munich where the Pontiff spent his seminary years.
It is perhaps fitting that Mr Baumann’s post is entitled “Confusing Images” because both its focus and intentions were confusing. Ostensibly Mr Baumann is reacting to another Commonweal blogger, Fr Robert Imbelli, who had simply posted up the Pope’s speech entitled “Images of Gratitude”, uncritically. Mr Baumann professes himself surprised by “the adulation the Pope’s remarks elicited”. He describes the speech as “unexceptional and thereby perfectly suited to the blandness of this particular civic ritual” but then proceeds to give to give it a meticulous going over.
He writes: “His appreciative recollections concerned family, neighbours, Catholic feast days, walks in the countryside, the numinous aura of Freising’s medieval cathedral, and cherished memories of his ordination. ‘At the seminary we were one family,’ the pope recalls, and Freising ‘became a real homeland to us, and as a homeland it lives on in my heart.’ The war and the crimes of Nazi Germany are mentioned, but seem vague and distant shadows in Benedict’s telling of the hardships and joys, the cold dormitories, study halls, ‘and so forth’ of his seminary training. Tellingly, he concludes by praising the ‘real Bavarian culture’ of his youth.” Read the rest of this entry »