Monday, September 15, 2008

Apostolic Journey to France on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Lourdes

Spoken Words / Addresses by Pope Benedict XVI

Coverage by John Allen, Jr.

  • 9-10-08: Cardinal Tauran on the pope's trip to France
    On September 10, L’Avvenire, the official newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference, published an interview with Tauran by noted journalist Gianni Cardinale. Among other topics, Tauran discussed the upcoming visit of Pope Benedict XVI to France. The following is an NCR translation of that interview.
  • 9-10-08: Extracts from Sarkozy on church/state relations in France
    On Dec. 20, 2007, French President Nicolas Sarkozy was inducted as an Honorary Canon of the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome, a traditional privilege of the French head of state since the era of Henry IV in the 16th century. During the ceremony, Sarkozy delivered an address on church/state relations in the famous Hall of Conciliation at St. John Lateran, the room in which Benito Mussolini and Cardinal Pietro Gasparri signed the Lateran Pacts in 1929 healing the rift between the Vatican and the Italian state. Sarkozy’s speech has been cited as a turning point in French attitudes towards the public role of religion.
  • 9-12-08: The case for 'healthy secularism'
    Pressing the case for what he called a “healthy” form of laïcité, Benedict XVI today said the time has come to reopen the debate over the relationship between church and state in France. (The concept of laïcité is usually rendered in English as “secularism.”)
  • 9-12-08: No reference to Muslims, but a call to resist 'disaster for humanity'
    Despite the symbolic resonance of both the date and the place, Benedict made no reference in tonight’s address [at the Collège des Bernardins in Paris] to Regensburg or, more generally, to Christian-Muslim relations. Instead, the pope focused on a topic that, at first blush, might seem of merely intra-Christian interest: the legacy of monasticism.
  • 9-13-08: Pope tells shrunken church, 'Don't be afraid'
    If yesterday Pope Benedict XVI addressed the broader culture of both France and Europe, today he spoke directly to the French Catholic church – a church which, by all accounts, embodies the famous prediction of the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger that the future of Christianity in the West is as a “creative minority.”
  • 9-13-08: Explaining Benedict's discretion on Islam
    Pope Benedict XVI is anything but a careless thinker, and even his omissions are usually significant. In that light, as the pope winds up the Paris leg of his first trip to France, one cannot help but wonder about his basic silence on the subject of Islam.
  • 9-13-08: Nothing says 'Catholic' like the Virgin Mary
    A papal visit to Lourdes, arguably the premier Marian shrine and healing center in the Christian world, inevitably beckons reflection on two topics: the Virgin Mary and the theology of suffering. This evening, Benedict XVI delivered vintage versions of both.
  • 9-14-08: Pope in France: Traditionalists deserve 'a place in the church'
    Catholicism is legendarily keen on tradition, which means there’s a traditionalist wing of the church pretty much everywhere. Nowhere else, however, are traditionalists so visible, and, at times, so fractious, as in France, making it all but inevitable that Pope Benedict XVI would address their signature issue while here – the old Latin Mass.
  • 9-14-08: Eucharist is Jesus 'past, present and future'
    Pope Benedict XVI offered a prayerful mediation on the Eucharist this evening in Lourdes, calling the consecrated host “the eternal presence of the savior of mankind to his church.”
  • 9-15-08: Pope in France: A lesson in 'Marian cool'
    As an orator, Pope Benedict XVI generally does not, unlike his predecessor John Paul II, mine his own biography. For John Paul, the dramatic events of his life were staples of his public rhetoric. Not so with Benedict, who prefers to emphasize the song rather than the singer.

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