Anna Arco's Diary

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Posts Tagged ‘Malta

People came “not for the singer, but for the song”

The Pope’s visit drew more people than anticipated, the bishops of Malta and Gozo said in a press conference reviewing the visit today.

Archbishop Paul Cremona OP of Malta said the main protagonists in the story of the Papal visit had been the Maltese people who had come out to greet him in such large numbers. He said the Pope’s visit was a call to the faithful to give witness to their faith and evangelise by incarnating what they believe in “then give it to society at large and that does not depend on the Church as an institution”.

He said: “The Church has to give guidance but it depends, and this is what the Pope said, on every person who accepts this as the Good News. We have to give it from person to person.”

Meanwhile the Bishop of Gozo Mario Grech said God had spoken on Sunday because of all the people who had come out to welcome the Pope. Bishop Grech was surprised by the size of the turnout, which he said showed that there was an inner call to each person. Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by annaarco

April 19, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Called to a vocation of love and service

Pope Benedict on Valletta's waterfront (thanks to Attila Koncz for the photo )

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 »

Written by annaarco

April 18, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Pope Benedict meets Maltese abuse victims

Pope Benedict XVI today met eight of the victims of abuse for twenty minutes after the Papal Mass in Floriana at the chapel at the Nunicature in Rabat where he is staying. After silent prayer, the Holy Father met with the alleged victims of clerical abuse individually. The bishops of Malta and Gozo were also present. The Vatican’s Spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi said that the atmosphere was intense but serene. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by annaarco

April 18, 2010 at 1:23 pm

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Malta diary: Awaiting Pope Benedict

Last year Lady Gaga – a pop singer with a penchant for outrageous outfits and bizarre expressions – drew some 40,000 people to the Granaries in Floriana, a town outside Valetta. This year, Pope Benedict – on his first Papal visit since reports of clerical child abuse began to surface in January – is expected to draw only 30,000 people in Europe’s most Catholic country. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by annaarco

April 17, 2010 at 6:39 am

“People do not love God, because they do not know God”

Malta’s most recent saint — canonised under Benedict XVI in 2007 and beatified by JPII in May 2001 — is Saint George Preca who “anticipated the Second Vatican Council by 60 years” by founding a society to teach lay people about doctrine and Scripture. His remains lie in the chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in Hamrun under a wax effigy made at Madame Tussaud’s in London.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by annaarco

April 16, 2010 at 3:39 pm