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11/7/2010 1:33 AM
 
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Oh..haahaa
My computer neglected to inform me of that then :O Yes I can post the random stuff that I have xD

We are indeed old friends through the wonders of FB lol

I agree that of course being wierd is much more fun then being normal. Im sure everyone will discover my slight...hyper active insanity soon enough xD

[SM=g27828] [SM=g27828] [SM=g27828]
11/7/2010 6:05 AM
 
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Greetings, Peazy.

Welcome to the forum. Glad you managed to overcome the registration and computer problems. Please feel free to post frequently. Any admirer of our Pope is more than welcome among us.



9/27/2011 12:36 AM
 
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Papa's state visit to Germany in 2011, a summary
I’ll try to give a small report how I was able to watch Papa on TV.
Because I couldn’t see him in reality I took 2 days off from work and watched EVERYTHING that was televised in German TV. (my eyes still are rectangular shaped).
The German TV stations did a good job imo, except the fact that they are often babbling too much, especially during Mass, after Papa’s sermons, in a minute of silence the reporter always started babbling. The media can’t even stand a minute of silence.
I didn’t want to watch only summaries maybe in the news or as a special that is already edited and commented, I wanted to get my own opinion so far as possible.
I am posting a few notes I have made during the days of Papa’s visit, like a little diary.

Day 1
I am of course watching TV, the lunch time is over and soon Papa will hold his so contentious speech in the German Bundestag.
After a so goofy reporting before Papa arrived the welcome ceremony went very well. Germany did everything to honor Papa on the highest level a state can do and our Bundespraesident Wulff, his wife and of course Angela Merkel wished him a warm welcome.

The reporting around it all is mostly negative, Regensburg speech, Pius brotherhood, sexual abuse. Nobody talks about the good things since Papa became the Pope.
The TV station enjoys to show the really disgusting gay protests, I am only glad Papa won't see it in reality.
The speech begins soon.....

A lot of empty seats in our Bundestag! What a shame. Lots of members boycott his speech. Shame on them. I am so sad.

The speech was wonderful, it seems that Papa managed it again to conquer the hearts of the ones who listen to him and also of the ones made of stone.
The next step is the big Mass at the Olympia stadium.
I enjoy it so much to watch it all on TV but now I wish I would be in Berlin in the stadium to feel the spirit and to meet probably some of the forum girls.

It is wonderful to listen to a Mass all in German. What a delight.
It all goes well, the mood is great, the pitiful amount of demonstrators are far away and don't play a roll.
I am very glad how well Papa's first day goes.

Day 2
This is day 2 of Papa's visit and in my opinion maybe the most important one. He went to Erfurt to visit the cathedral to pray and to meet representatives of our Lutheran church at the Augustiner Monastery where Martin Luther 500 years ago became a priest and lived there as a monk before he started his reformation against the catholic church.
Papa's visit is really a historical and very important event.
Also the area Thueringen and especially the eastern part of Germany has only a very small group of catholics and Lutherans because the GDR regime erased very successfully most of the Christian faith. Because both, catholics and Lutherans are a small minority they have to stand together and are trying to practice ecumenical life more than somewhere else.
So it was very important of Papa to support them with his visit even though he didn't change his mind and so for example married couples which are catholic and lutheran still can't have communion together.

After the ecumenical meeting which took longer than expected and which was private was an ecumenical service at the monastery's church.
It was interesting that the Lutheran lady Katrin Goering-Eckardt who gave the speech called Papa "Brother Pope Benedikt" and of course not Holy Father or Your Holiness.
Already yesterday I noticed that Papa spoke to the people "Dear sisters and brothers". Usually he mentions the brothers first.

Photobucket

First it seems to me that the Praeses Schneider of the Lutheran’s recognized the importance of the historical meaning and felt pretty satisfied how it went but maybe later some of his co-workers had told him better to continue complaining.

Erfurt is a really interesting place and worth to be visited also without having Papa there.
Now Papa is eating lunch and I don't know if he has time for a rest but around 5 or 6 pm he'll go by helicopter to the pilgrimage chapel of Etzelsbach.

The reporting of yesterday was more positive on TV than I would have expected. Lots of people who went to Mass at the Olympia stadium in Berlin mentioned how great it was and how moved the had been and how surprised about the spirit.
Could it be that the "Bendedict miracle" will happen again in the so atheistic Germany?

I am really glad I can watch it all on TV.
The vesper in Etzelsbach is so wonderful, you can see only happy faces incl. Papa's. It is a home game for Papa.
The Eichsfeld with one of its pilgrimage places Etzelsbach is a small landscape in the middle of Germany. It stayed always mostly catholic, also during the nazi terror and the GDR regime. It is like a part of Bavaria in the middle of our country, surrounded by atheism.
It was Papa's wish to visit the place and when he told it to the people the crowd wouldn't stop yelling.
Lots of young excited people were there and one group had t-shirts on where "Benedict, we see each other twice" was written on. The group was in Madrid before and now they met Papa in their homeland and when they gave a t-shirt to Papa he laughed heartily.
What a beautiful vesper, what a success.

Photobucket

Btw, Papa was wearing a beautiful robe.

Day 3
One highlight after the other also on day 3. It seems that heaven likes Papa's visit, our weather is gorgeous all over.
Mass in Erfurt was wonderful, again I have to admit that I enjoy it very much that it is all in German except the necessary liturgic parts in Latin.
Papa seemed to be tired this morning, he didn't smile so much and after Mass was over and he left Erfurt he climbed up to the airplane with a bit difficulties and very slowly and all alone.
But I guess he had a rest, then now, at the arrival in Freiburg he was very relaxed. He went to the Freiburg Muenster, prayed in the adoration chapel and spoke a few words to the crowd with a little joke. All people were so delighted.
Lil' G btw can't stop smiling. He's grinning always all over his face, I bet he is extremely proud to bring his employer to his homeland.

Btw, the media as usual are making a big deal of the fact that somebody in Erfurt did shoot with an air gun 4 times to a security person, but it happened at 8am before Mass and 1 kilometer away from the cathedral square and nobody got hurt but the police has arrested somebody. Of course the whole day the headlines were like "gunfire at Papal Mass" or so. Bah, it wasn't more like blowing a fart (sorry).
Papa also met abuse victims yesterday still in Erfurt. An abuse victim got interviewed today and mainly he was insulted that he wasn't invited to the meeting even though one had promised it to him and as usual, it is never enough what Papa does. The guy insisted that more than 300 pedophile priests are still on duty in Germany and he wants them all to be kicked out. If he is right, church must do something to keep them away from the youth.
Another victim complained that the meetings are always non-public and the victims in his opinion were treated like grubby urchins. It is awful what happened to the victims and nobody can undo the terrible things they are still suffering from but what do they want? Do they want to tell all awful sexual details to the public? It would match the way how the media are dealing nowadays with problems like that. Do they want Papa to crawl in the dirt?

But the vigil was another highlight of the day. I like that special form of service very much, to listen to the young people who are involved in caritative business and to see them so excited gives me hope. Also when the lights were given from one to the other is very moving.
Now Papa is in bed, I hope he's sleeping peacefully (quite the opposite to me). Today they showed the seminary in Freiburg and one of the very modest rooms which is supposed to be similar to his room.

Day 4
Mass at the airport area was a terrific highlight again and a dignified end of Papa's visit.
Weather was gorgeous, what else, the musical accompaniment was like being in a concert, very good singers, also the diacons had great voices when singing the gospel.
The situation on the airfield was better as I thought. Of course the weather but also that everybody had seats. They had decided to have wooden banks for the pilgrims and one can buy one of those later. Too bad I don't have a garden anymore.
I felt a little sad when I think that I had a hotelroom and tickets but was afraid to go. Maybe Horst and I would have been able to manage it too.

Papa will eat lunch with the bishops of the Deutsche Bischofskonferenz and later will meet the judges of our highest court, the Bundesverfassungsgericht.
At 4:45 he will give his last speech to Catholics in charge in the Freiburg Konzerthaus before he heads home. I guess he will feel very relieved.

After a short time of excitement and joy the German media are back in their constant complaining.
In their opinion the visit was only “nice” to see, the Catholic church celebrates itself, but Papa is still the hardliner they always think he was and is. They all are disappointed that he didn’t give them what they wanted. They can’t recognize the beauty and satisfaction of faith, they can’t recognize that Papa has to overlook the big picture, that the German catholics are only a small amount in the big world church and our Lutherans a very special but small group.

Papa is in charge for the whole world church and this is such a unbelievable heavy burden on his weak shoulders he only can take with God’s help and our prayers.

I loved watching him during the 4 days in Germany and imho his visit was a historical, successful and gorgeous event.

Of course I have to reread Papa's speeches and sermons again and again and try to understand it better.

This pitiful remarks are only my very humble opinion.
[Edited by Simone55 9/27/2011 12:53 AM]
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Wer glaubt, ist nie allein, im Leben nicht und auch im Sterben nicht.
(PREDIGT DES HEILIGEN VATERS BENEDIKT XVI. ZUR AMTSEINFÜHRUNG 24. April 2005)
9/27/2011 11:06 AM
 
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Thank you so much for this report. It is really interesting. I was away for the week end so I was able to see only the first two days. I'll try to watch the videos on KTO.
9/27/2011 2:38 PM
 
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Thank you, Simone, for this original "insider's" report on Papa's visit to Germany. I watched it all on EWTN and the highlights for me were the Mass at Erfurt Domplatz and the Vespers at Etzelsbach. Both seemed to give me the impression that the area was almost as Catholic as Bavaria, although, sadly, we know that is not so.

I shall treasure the memory of those four days for ever. Nearly as wonderful as the UK visit last year was for me.

9/28/2011 2:50 PM
 
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I have to say Papa´s speech in the Bundestag, the German parliament, was very intellectual, about legal philosophie. He told the delegates not to make personal success to the guideline of their decisions and praised the ecologian movement in Germany in the 70´s and pointed out that there is also an ecology of the human being!



It was very funny that Papa overlooked the small desk, prepared for Him and walked straight towards the box of the president of the Bundestag, Mr. Lammert. Mr. Lammert got up immediately and rushed towards Papa, turned Him around and showed Him the desk where Monsgr. Gaenswein already put His papers. The delegates were chuckling.



Doing so Mr. Lammert accidentially stepped on Papa´s soutane and He turned around and pulled His soutane back. Very cute.



[SM=g27821] [SM=g27836]

Before and after the speech in the Konzerthaus in Freiburg I was very mad, entering the stage through the backstage entrance Papa stumpled upstairs.



During the speech he asked for anti-secularization for the church. The church should go back to their roots.
When he got up and stepped away from His seat he stumpled again. Here you see the steps:



HELLO???? He is 84 years old!!!!
Can anybody please be with Him and take care of steps while He is walking on and off stage?????

[SM=g27826]





[Edited by Giselle 1 9/28/2011 3:11 PM]
9/28/2011 11:35 PM
 
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Giselle 1, 28.09.2011 14:50:

When he got up and stepped away from His seat he stumpled again



Yes, I saw it too and my heart stood still for a moment. I wish, they wouldn't prepare the stages like an obstacle course for Papa.

Giselle, thanks for your comments and for posting the photos.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wer glaubt, ist nie allein, im Leben nicht und auch im Sterben nicht.
(PREDIGT DES HEILIGEN VATERS BENEDIKT XVI. ZUR AMTSEINFÜHRUNG 24. April 2005)
9/29/2011 12:51 PM
 
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Re:
Here are two pics where you can see how the president of the German Bundestag stepped on Papa´s soutane..... [SM=g27829]







[SM=g27819]
9/29/2011 11:12 PM
 
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Many thanks Simone for your wonderful and honest reportage of what you saw and experienced on German Fernsehen during the Holy Father's visit.

I have also watched as much as possible, but on Deutsche Welle -TV (only available in my country until 13h00) and the rest on Vatican Player. I had very much the same reactions as you had. You do have a very soft spot for Benedict XVI ; and, am I right that you are a Lutheran? Perhaps I am wrong. I very much understand your admiration for this Pope because I was raised a Protestant, a Reformed Protestant, not Lutheran. Perhaps you also realised that Benedict XVI is very well educated and informed about the good and positive things that came from the Reformation. (Although a lot of negative things were set in motion by that revolt, I now realise.) Still, the positive aspect which Luther brought was his renewed focus on the utter gratuitousness of our salvation in and through Jesus Christ.

One gets the impression that Pope Benedict also believes this with his whole heart, as of course the Christian Church always believed; although this did become very much veiled in the late-Medieval period. Still, Luther was not the first person who stumbled onto this truth!

Simone, as an ex-Protestant, I cannot really understand why the German Protestants would like the Pope to screech "Hosanna! Long live the Reformation!" I have read that they actually expected him to announce in Erfurt that the Catholic Church will, in 2017, celebrate with full joyfulness Luther's reformation and acknowledge the Lutheran and other Protestant churches as PARALLEL to the RCC???
HUH?? Is that possible? How can we all celebrate the schisms in the Body of Christ?? Please tell me this is not true? Did the Lutherans really expect the Pope to declare this in that short visit to Erfurt?
Do they realise that c. 1 billion Catholics would ask him to abdicate, had he done that? Perhaps the newspapers who wrote this were lying? I hope so.

Unfortunately the past 500 years of Protestant propaganda created a wrong impression about the Catholic Church, even if we must admit that things weren't exactly always "kosher" in the 15th and early 16th century!

But, you know, I still think Luther should not have kicked out the baby with the bathwater. Today Protestant researchers and scholars realise that Luther interpreted the letters to the Romans and Galatians from a 16th century point of view, NOT in the way St Paul intended it at all! But even the Catholic Church's view on "righteousness through faith", in that historic period, was not completely correct.

Now, 500 years later, we are still not one Western Church! What a tragedy.

PS: After 6 years of constant study of this matter and of Church History, I have converted to the Catholic Church. Of course, Christianity will not be able to truly withstand the "rottenness" that took over Western civilization (even if not everything is bad!) before the entire Church becomes one again, as our Lord Jesus Christ wished it from the very beginning. And this includes the Orthodox "lung" of Christianity.Unfortunately I don't have much hope that this will happen in my lifetime! I am 67 years young (haha!). But, we should all PRAY for this!

My Protestant background does surface in one respect: anyone who studies the history of the Church will see one thing very clearly: ALL the schisms, every single one of them, were the work of MEN. Males. I sometimes wonder if this historic phenomenon was, and is, due to testosterone! They have been fighting and splitting hairs over some very minute things, let me tell you.
Other points of contention were more fundamental, but, good gracious me, the unity of the Church - every single time! - was split apart by the male species in the Body of Christ.

Even the Pope should acknowledge this.

Perhaps this historical fact is something to be considered with some humility by all the leaders of the fractured Body of Christ?

No, I am not shouting for female priests.

Giselle - thank you so much for your pictures!! Yes, perhaps we should remember that 84 is not exactly 34 anymore! I am glad the Holy Father could keep his balance. Interesting to see Cardinal Bertone's face! He also had a sudden scare, it seems.

Long live Benedict XVI!
[Edited by Crotchet 9/29/2011 11:24 PM]
9/30/2011 11:31 AM
 
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Re:
Crotchet, 29.09.2011 23:12:

am I right that you are a Lutheran?



Yes, you are right, I am a Lutheran and I think I will be always. My husband is Lutheran too and so was and is my whole family.
Of course, under the influence of the "first love" [SM=g27816] towards Papa I was thinking about conversion but it needs much more than what you call a "very soft spot" [SM=g27823] for Papa.

Crotchet, 29.09.2011 23:12:


Simone, as an ex-Protestant, I cannot really understand why the German Protestants would like the Pope to screech "Hosanna! Long live the Reformation!" I have read that they actually expected him to announce in Erfurt that the Catholic Church will, in 2017, celebrate with full joyfulness Luther's reformation and acknowledge the Lutheran and other Protestant churches as PARALLEL to the RCC???
HUH?? Is that possible? How can we all celebrate the schisms in the Body of Christ?? Please tell me this is not true? Did the Lutherans really expect the Pope to declare this in that short visit to Erfurt?
Do they realise that c. 1 billion Catholics would ask him to abdicate, had he done that? Perhaps the newspapers who wrote this were lying? I hope so.



I am afraid you are right, it was what some of the German protestants had expected or probably what the media tell us they would.
I think, the more reasonable ones have recognized the meaning of Papa's visit at this very special place for the Lutherans.
The mills of God grind slowly and Rome wasn't built in a day.
Btw, not only the German protestants but also the German catholics often think they are the center of the universe. In fact they are only a small group of Christians compared to the rest of the world and they should better listen to Papa and stand together in faith and trust in God.







-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wer glaubt, ist nie allein, im Leben nicht und auch im Sterben nicht.
(PREDIGT DES HEILIGEN VATERS BENEDIKT XVI. ZUR AMTSEINFÜHRUNG 24. April 2005)
9/30/2011 8:06 PM
 
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lutheran
Simone: thank you for you honest and nice report!

As en ex German Lutheran, I can say that the Catholic Church is treated in a very condescending way in Germany. There is lots of pride involved. Luther was German. Germans have a deep natioanl pride (even if it's not politically correct) and when a German reforms an institution, it clearly MUST be better.
There is also lots of defiance and a lack of interest to even get to understand the positions of the Church.
Ecumenism is basically regarded as a one way street: the Catholic Church is being pushed into watering down its message, into watering down its sacraments and into practically proclaiming that the catholic ways are the ways of the dark age; while the protestant church is more and more turning into a political and social organisation - it's very hard to determine the difference between their 'program' and the program of a liberal leaning political party.

I live in an area dominated by protestants - Luther actually spent some time in my home town'n fortress, translating parts of the bible.
Whenever I dare to proudly announce that I'm catholic, people look at me with this sort of look: 'Jee, the poor darling, she belongs to a club full of lunatics'.
When I informed my friends that I would convert - people seriously asked me if i had a mental problem or was suffering from some sort of stress syndrom.
Many relationships have cooled off considerably since then.


I must say: I'm a woman myself. I find it much easier to relate to men and to negotiate with them - in business and in private. Men are open and up front. There might be some rash and sometimes even agressive reactions in certain situations, but at least its on the table.

Women are very good at scheming and stringing things along. They're great at being two faced and have no scruples using their female assests (me included).
Most women in powerful positions are many times tougher and a lot moe merciless than men.
9/30/2011 11:36 PM
 
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Re: Re:
Simone55, 30.09.2011 11:31:



I am afraid you are right, it was what some of the German protestants had expected or probably what the media tell us they would.
I think, the more reasonable ones have recognized the meaning of Papa's visit at this very special place for the Lutherans.
The mills of God grind slowly and Rome wasn't built in a day.
Btw, not only the German protestants but also the German catholics often think they are the center of the universe. In fact they are only a small group of Christians compared to the rest of the world and they should better listen to Papa and stand together in faith and trust in God.



Actually I think all Germans believe they are the center of the universe......


9/30/2011 11:39 PM
 
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Re: lutheran
cowgirl2, 30.09.2011 20:06:

Simone: thank you for you honest and nice report!

As en ex German Lutheran, I can say that the Catholic Church is treated in a very condescending way in Germany. There is lots of pride involved. Luther was German. Germans have a deep natioanl pride (even if it's not politically correct) and when a German reforms an institution, it clearly MUST be better.
There is also lots of defiance and a lack of interest to even get to understand the positions of the Church.
Ecumenism is basically regarded as a one way street: the Catholic Church is being pushed into watering down its message, into watering down its sacraments and into practically proclaiming that the catholic ways are the ways of the dark age; while the protestant church is more and more turning into a political and social organisation - it's very hard to determine the difference between their 'program' and the program of a liberal leaning political party.

I live in an area dominated by protestants - Luther actually spent some time in my home town'n fortress, translating parts of the bible.
Whenever I dare to proudly announce that I'm catholic, people look at me with this sort of look: 'Jee, the poor darling, she belongs to a club full of lunatics'.
When I informed my friends that I would convert - people seriously asked me if i had a mental problem or was suffering from some sort of stress syndrom.
Many relationships have cooled off considerably since then.


I must say: I'm a woman myself. I find it much easier to relate to men and to negotiate with them - in business and in private. Men are open and up front. There might be some rash and sometimes even agressive reactions in certain situations, but at least its on the table.

Women are very good at scheming and stringing things along. They're great at being two faced and have no scruples using their female assests (me included).
Most women in powerful positions are many times tougher and a lot moe merciless than men.




I hear you! I live in a protestant area and even though catholics and protestants are friends, many protestants think the RCC is a black and evil oppressing archconservative society.
To change from protestant to catholic is unheardof in my area. People would think that there would be a bad catholic influence on you or a curse......
Actually I have the feeling that the protestants feel sorry for the few poor catholics who are cought in the spiderweb of the vatican.

[SM=g27829]

[SM=g27820]

10/1/2011 12:04 AM
 
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Re: lutheran
cowgirl2, 30.09.2011 20:06:

Whenever I dare to proudly announce that I'm catholic, people look at me with this sort of look: 'Jee, the poor darling, she belongs to a club full of lunatics'.



Hehehe, at least you have a great sense of humor. [SM=g27835]

cowgirl2, 30.09.2011 20:06:


Most women in powerful positions are many times tougher and a lot moe merciless than men.



Unfortunately women often must be that way, otherwise they can't survive in a men's world.




-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wer glaubt, ist nie allein, im Leben nicht und auch im Sterben nicht.
(PREDIGT DES HEILIGEN VATERS BENEDIKT XVI. ZUR AMTSEINFÜHRUNG 24. April 2005)
10/1/2011 12:43 AM
 
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I found this nice cartoon in the newest German magazine Focus (39/11).
It is part of a very good article called "Viva Benedetto!", written by a guy called Michael Klonovsky, who calls himself a profane no-christ who has started to admire the Catholic church.
Unfortunately I can't find it online yet but I couldn't resist to post the cartoon.
In Germany nobody dares to critizes the Islam but mostly the Catholic church and especially Papa.

Photobucket

He: I am going to write a book about the religion of horror
She: Are you insane....?
He: I mean Catholicism
She: I see







-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wer glaubt, ist nie allein, im Leben nicht und auch im Sterben nicht.
(PREDIGT DES HEILIGEN VATERS BENEDIKT XVI. ZUR AMTSEINFÜHRUNG 24. April 2005)
10/1/2011 7:12 PM
 
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convert
... and then people in your Catholic Parish look at you in a strange way, because you're embracing all those things they have been told to reject by years of liberal indoctrination.
Another reason for me to travel to Rome at least once a year (I'm lucky enough to go to Italy on business at least twice a year - and I always soak up the beauty of the Churches and the fact that Catholicism is a natural thing there).

It’s going to take decades to turn the German Church around.
But! Our wonderful Holy Father has clearly laid the foundation to what our Church will look like in the future.
I’m very optimistic about that!!

[SM=g27811] [SM=g27811]
10/2/2011 10:31 PM
 
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www.papstbank.de/

the Freiburg diocese has started shipping and selling of the
5,000 wooden benches exclusive produced for Papa's Mass on
the Freiburg airfield. Look at the link. [SM=g27823]










-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wer glaubt, ist nie allein, im Leben nicht und auch im Sterben nicht.
(PREDIGT DES HEILIGEN VATERS BENEDIKT XVI. ZUR AMTSEINFÜHRUNG 24. April 2005)
10/6/2011 8:36 PM
 
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Lefebrians Meeting to Vote?
I saw on a video from Rome Reports
www.romereports.com/palio/index.php?newlang=english
that the Lefebrians are meeting to vote on whether to reconcile with Rome in light of the latest offer. Can't seem to find any articles on that yet, though. However, I wouldn't hold our breath. On the video it said that the group in France is offering 1,000 masses in reparation for those who vote for reconciliation!
10/7/2011 9:08 AM
 
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Re: Lefebrians Meeting to Vote?
PapaBear84, 06.10.2011 20:36:

I saw on a video from Rome Reports
www.romereports.com/palio/index.php?newlang=english
that the Lefebrians are meeting to vote on whether to reconcile with Rome in light of the latest offer. Can't seem to find any articles on that yet, though. However, I wouldn't hold our breath. On the video it said that the group in France is offering 1,000 masses in reparation for those who vote for reconciliation!



Wow, let´s hope that they will act sane.
Papa did so much for them and disappointed so many others by reaching out for these people who are (imho an unimportant) minority that it is time for them to make a decision and end this quarrel so that Papa can concentrate on important matters.

[SM=g27829]

[Edited by Giselle 1 10/7/2011 9:25 AM]
10/17/2011 3:47 PM
 
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Post: 2,938
Registered in: 11/27/2005
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MASS HYSTERIA
So far I have ignored the fact that Papa glided into Saint Peter's on what appeared to be the contraption that Douglas Bader used when learning to walk on his tin legs. THAT THING was not the most important aspect of yesterday's Mass by any means. But I've read other blogs and forums and the almost hysterical reaction is ridiculous: crying uncontrollably, giving cyber hugs as consolation, speculating that Papa may have a hip problem and burbling on about modern "medicine" [it would be modern surgery in that case] are simply ridiculous. And some of this has come from people who criticised us for writing "Stunc!" after seeing particularly beautiful photos of Papa or for falling to the floor in ecstasy over his amazingly wavy white hair [we still do it!]. Someone even stated that Papa has used a walking stick in private for some time - how can she POSSIBLY know this? We saw one photo of him using a walking stick.

When we get older we all need a little help with walking. Why should he tire himself out BEFORE he starts Mass? Heaven knows, I am a mere 67 years old, but I now take a walking stick to Rome with me and USE it, as those cobbled streets are murder and I find the stone steps leading up to Saint Peter's ALMOST defeat me, but not quite.....not yet!!!!!!

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