Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pope Benedict Roundup!

  • From the Catholic Herald, the news that Pope Benedict will waive his own rules so he can preside in person over the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman during a papal visit to Britain next year:
    Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster refused to either confirm or deny the report: "The details of the Pope's visit are far from clear," he said. "What is clear is that the Holy Father has a great and long-standing devotion to Cardinal Newman and the beatification of Cardinal Newman is due."

    Fr Ian Ker, author of the definitive biography of Cardinal Newman, said: "By breaking his own rules Pope Benedict clearly shows he regards Newman as a completely exceptional case, one of the great theologians of the Catholic Church. Many of the popes have been anxious to canonise Newman. They look to him as a man who welcomed modernisation but in fidelity to Church authority and in continuity with the traditions of the Church."

  • The Homilies of Benedict XVI: A Model for a Confused Church, by Sandro Magister:
    On the eve of Advent, a book has been released in Italy that collects the homilies by Benedict XVI in the liturgical year that just ended. ...

    The homilies have become a distinguishing feature of the pontificate of Benedict XVI. They may be the least known and understood feature, but they are certainly the most revealing. He writes many of them himself, and improvises them at times; they are the most genuine manifestation of his mind. He is dedicating himself to them to a great and growing extent.

  • The leader of a billion Roman Catholics meets the leader of 80 million Anglicans at a moment of historic crisis between the two Communions and they spend all of TWENTY MINUTES together. Muses Damien Thompson of the Telegraph: "They know it's over.":
    Pope Benedict has given up on the Church of England, in the nicest possible way. As even Dr Williams admits, he’s not interested in “poaching” Anglicans, but in making special arrangements for those who are quite determined to leave. And +Rowan, by rubbing the Vatican’s nose in the women priests issue earlier this week, showed that he has given up on the Catholics – again, in the nicest possible way.

    Last year, Cardinal Kasper warned the Lambeth Conference that it had to decide whether it was Catholic or Protestant. Now we know the answer. Though some of us always did.

  • Speaking at the recent meeting of the Pontifical Council of Social Communication, Benedict XVI commended the work of Catholics on the Internet (Via Deal Hudson @ InsideCatholic):
    A genuine revolution is taking place in the realm of social communications of which the Church is ever more responsibly conscious. . . . . These technologies make speech and penetrating communications possible, with a capacity to share ideas and opinions; to facilitate acquiring information and news in a personal way that is accessible to all.
  • Inside Catholic reveals the influence of Pope Benedict XVI on the Catholic conversion of Newt Gingerich:
    The moment came when Pope Benedict XVI visited the United States in April 2008. Gingrich was seated in the basilica, where his wife's choir was to sing vespers for the Holy Father, when he was suddenly able to see the pope up close. He recalled, "It was clear he [the pope] was having the time of his life, and the joy in his eyes belied his reputation as an austere German. As he walked past me, I knew I wanted to become a Catholic."

    "I knew that I belonged here," he went on. "No -- as a Catholic, I should put it: Here is where I belong." As Gingrich parsed his sentence, his eyes teared up, and he excused himself for getting emotional. He changed the subject, but the emotion remained in his voice as he talked about Benedict's visit to New York City.

    "It was extraordinary," he told me; "we were so blessed." As he and Callista tried to get close to the pope's entourage driving up Fifth Avenue, they ended up on the steps of St. Patrick's Cathedral and were invited to stand at the back for the Mass. Then they were told that the pope would pass by their spot near the rope and bless a young boy in the wheelchair sitting next to them. They were overwhelmed when "Benedict XVI blessed the boy directly in front of us!"

  • "Diaz and the Pope" - Mollie Wilson O'Reilly (Commonweal) draws our attention to the official exchange between Miguel Diaz, the U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, and Pope Benedict XVI, on such topics as the Pope's latest encyclical to "respect for the inalienable right to life from the moment of conception to natural death, as well as the protection of the right to conscientious objection on the part of health care workers." Reuters' Faithworld has more on the encounter between the "theologian envoy and the theologian pope" and John Allen, Jr. interviews ambassador Diaz on "being uprooted into a life of service".