- The Vatican has published the calendar of liturgies over which Benedict XVI will preside from February through April, including the agenda of Lent and Holy Week celebrations and a mention of his trip to Malta.
- On January 15th, Pope Benedict addressed the annual plenary assembly of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, along with their president, Cardinal William Joseph Levada. The pope emphasized the Congregation's participation in "the ministry of unity":
"Unity", he added, "is first and foremost unity of faith, upheld by the sacred tradition of which Peter's Successor is the primary custodian and defender. ... This is an indispensable service upon which depends the effectiveness of the Church's evangelising activity unto the end of time.(Here's the full text of the Pope's address to the Congregation).
"The Bishop of Rome", the Pope explained, "must constantly proclaim that ... Jesus is Lord". The Roman Pontiff's "potestas docendi" requires "obedience to the faith, so that the Truth that is Christ may continue to shine forth in all its grandeur, ... and that there may be a single flock gathered around a single Shepherd".
The goal of a shared witness of faith among all Christians "represents, then, a priority for the Church in all periods of history. ... In this spirit, I trust particularly in your dicastery's commitment to overcoming the doctrinal problems that still persist in achieving the full communion of the Society of St. Pius X with the Church".
Benedict XVI then went on to thank the members of the congregation for their efforts towards "the full integration of groups and individuals of former Anglican faithful into the life of the Catholic Church, in accordance with the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution 'Anglicanorum coetibus'. The faithful adherence of these groups to the truth received from Christ and presented in the Magisterium of the Church is in no way contrary to the ecumenical movement", he said, "rather, it reveals the ultimate aim thereof, which is the realisation of the full and visible communion of the disciples of the Lord".
- On January 13, after his general audience, Pope Benedict met briefly in private with the woman who assaulted him and broke Card. Etchegaray’s leg at the Christmas Eve Mass. David Schütz (Sentire Cum Ecclesia) has more on on the canonical significance of Pope Benedict's forgiveness of his "assaulter".
- "Ecology of nature but above all of man, positive secularity, freedom of religion" - Sandro Magister distills the salient points of Pope Benedict's address to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See. (Complete text from the Vatican).
- "Now our Holy Father has been several years in the job, it has been interesting to see how Rome has adjusted." - The blogger Valle Adurni reports on the tangible local results of Pope Benedict's pontificate:
... More altars than not have some form of the 'Benedictine Arrangement', meaning that there was a crucifix centrally placed on the altar, with candles arranged to either side. Sometimes there were two candles, sometimes fork handles (as at St John Lateran), occasionally six.On a related note, from Zenit -- an interview with Father Mauro Gagliardi, consultor to the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, on the "subtle changes in papal liturgies during the five years of Benedict XVI's pontificate".
Almost all churches were open for prayer, and there were usually people praying inside. This is entirely new: I am used to a lot of Roman churches being firmly locked. I got inside all sorts of buildings I had never seen before.
'Tat Alley' (aka Via dei Cestari), a street of ecclesiastical suppliers near the Pantheon, now has all sorts of traditional vestments and impedimenta on sale. The time was when you could only buy these things from the charmingly obsequious staff of Gammarelli's ('Splenditatis Vendor') or the grumpy assistants (no, assistants is not the word; they do not assist, but glare) at Serpone. Arte Sacra was the only place you could buy reliquaries, now they are on sale everywhere. The proprietor said to a colleague that the sixties and seventies nearly put him out of business, but that now trade was very good indeed. ...
- Catholic Light relays a report from the Italian website Petrus that Pope Benedict did not welcome the end-of-year visit to Medjugorje by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna and his former student at university:
Benedict XVI has personally communicated with the Austrian cardinal, receiving him in audience a few days after the arguments sparked by the journey of the prominent prelate to the small village in Bosnia-Herzegovina in which six alleged seers have claimed to see the Madonna since the 1980s. The Bishop of Mostar (the diocese in which Medjugorje is located), Monsignor Ratko Peric -- steadily convinced, like his predecessor, that the Virgin is absolutely not appearing in the village -- lamented in an official note that he had not been warned by Schönborn in advance of his arrival.From the blog Te Deum laudamus!, news that Cardinal Schönborn has conveyed a note of apology: "I regret if you have the impression that my pilgrimage to Medjugorje did a disservice to peace. Rest assured that this was not my intention."
- From Zenit, parents Luca Grilone and Samantha Barreca, on the double blessing" of having their newborn baptized by Pope Benedict himself.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Labels: Pope Benedict Roundup