POPE-POURRI: 'Light' news items, anecdotes about Pope Benedict now

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00Wednesday, March 22, 2006 10:59 AM
pope grooving with his new ipod....scanned from the NY Post


00Wednesday, March 22, 2006 1:18 PM
Maklara - How ever did you get the Post in Prague? Anyway, for the unwary, this is the excellent composite photo
I was referring to two weeks ago - so "real" I had to look at the fine photo-credit line to make sure it was a composite!

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 22/03/2006 14.52]

00Wednesday, March 22, 2006 2:26 PM
oh,thats a nice story about Papa and Mick Jagger..see,Papa is uber cool! [SM=g27811]

nice photo of papa with his ipod(even though it isnt real photo) [SM=x40799]
00Wednesday, March 22, 2006 2:45 PM
I have no access to New York Post in Prague, I was just surfing through public photos on Flickr site and found it. So we have to thank to some anonymous Papa fan. [SM=g27823]

I have remembered your post about that issue so I knew it is not real photo. But this composite is perfect.
00Wednesday, March 22, 2006 3:26 PM
Nice story about Mick Jagger met our dear Papa back in 1982. I've just read it and I've never heard about it. It's lovely.
No, I can't believe that Papa don't likes rock music. He loves classical music of course but why should he not like this or that rock music song ? Cool, he likes Bob Dylan ! [SM=x40799]
00Thursday, March 23, 2006 10:50 PM

Electronic cards available for free to mark pope's 79th birthday

By Catholic News Service

NEW YORK (CNS) -- A New York-based publisher of educational and catechetical materials is offering free electronic birthday cards to celebrate Pope Benedict XVI's 79th birthday April 16.

Through its Web site at www.webelieveweb.com, William H. Sadlier Inc. allows people to choose from four electronic cards with slogans such as "All God's children love you, Holy Father" and "The whole world is happy on the birthday of our pope." Each card may be personalized and sent in English or Spanish.

William Sadlier Dinger, president of William H. Sadlier, said he and his brother, board chairman Frank Sadlier Dinger, "see this as an opportunity for millions of people from all over the world to tell the pope how much they love him."

"We hope children and their families will send e-mail greetings to the pope," he added.

The company said the project received encouragement from the National Catholic Educational Association and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership.
00Sunday, March 26, 2006 5:20 PM
The Boston Globe's Michael Paulson, in his consistory blog from Rome,
www.boston.com/news/globe/city_region/paulson/blog/2006/03/bl... -
tells us all about the rings given by the Pope to the new cardinals yesterday, with photographs by
Globe staffer David Ryan):

Boston's Cardinal O'Malley, back in his Capuchin robes, shows off the ring to reporters.
Paulson says:

"Turns out that these rings are sort of designed by the pope, in the sense that the pope
gets to choose the image on the outside, which in this case is a modern depiction of the
crucifixion of Jesus, with Mary and John at his sides. The ring also includes the papal seal
on the inside.

"O'Malley said he was not asked his ring size in advance, but that the ring was open in the back,
and could be resized at home.
"By the way, as you can sort of see in the first photo, the habit is back. O'Malley, having
already had enough of the red robes, showed up in his brown hooded Capuchin habit, with
knotted white rope belt, dangling rosary, sandals and dark socks. Aside from the ring,
the only sign of his new status was atop his head, where he wore the scarlet zucchetto
of a prince of the church."
I repeat an observation I made elsewhere on the forum yesterday. No one is giving
Cardinal Levada the coverage he deserves on his big day. How can the American media continue
to ignore or give so little importance to the highest-ranking American ever to be in the
Catholic hierarchy, prefect of the CDF no less, of the most important of the Curial dicasteries!

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 26/03/2006 19.34]

00Sunday, March 26, 2006 7:21 PM
“Blowing in the Wind.”
Wow... just trying to catch up on everything I missed while away. Ok, I can accept that Papa doesn't hate rock music. But why on Earth would anyone want to hear Bob Dylan sing?!?!?! I ask forgiveness from all Dylan fans out there!!! The man is a brilliant song writer - genius in fact. Love the songs he's written. But... he can't sing. Maybe I'm just a perfectionist... ok... cut the maybe! Hearing him sing is like someone scratching the chalk board! Anyway... I think it's very cool that Cardinal Ratzinger met Mick Jager. And Papa with an iPod nano. I know I love mine... kept me sane while crossing the Atlantic. Listen to a little Taize, a little opera, a little Celine Dion... oh life is good!
00Sunday, March 26, 2006 8:40 PM

Nan, I agree. I can't see Papa wanting to hear Bob Dylan "sing". I think Papa prefers highly trained voices.

I also can't see him hugging Mick Jagger. Maybe talking to him but not hugging him. Papa, especially in those days, was supposedly a reserved, shy professor. I can imagine him feeling an obligation to speak to Jagger about Jagger's responsibility as a role model but I can't see Papa being so forward as to hug Jagger. I think Jagger might be embelishing a bit for the publicity and for whatever good he can gain from an encounter with a future pope.

00Monday, March 27, 2006 12:51 AM
Papa and Mick J.
Oh boy, hehehehehhehe. Papa was even a wee bit shy with John Paul II in the little video on the French forum. Nothing "forward" there at all. Can't see him hugging mr. Jagger. Afraid I agree with Benefan. [SM=x40791]
00Tuesday, March 28, 2006 6:59 PM
An audience with the Pope for DFG delegation

Holy Father remains a scientist at heart

Professor Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker, President of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation, DFG), was deeply impressed after a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI in Rome last week. The Pope has remained a scientist at heart, said Winnacker. "I was also moved to see how Benedict XVI addressed each member of the delegation individually."

The occasion for the 30-minute private audience at the Vatican was the presentation of the first seven volumes of the research project entitled 'Roman Inquisition and Index Congregation,' conducted by church historian and Leibniz Prize winner Professor Hubert Wolf at the University of Münster. Since 1999 the DFG has been funding this project, which aims to publish a total of 24 volumes on the 400-year-plus history of Roman book censorship, taking a scientific point of view for the first time. The funding for the project is expected to continue until at least 2014. Pope Benedict XVI is very familiar with the subject, as he is a former Prefect of the Sacred Congregation, in whose buildings the archives are stored.

The Pope studied the volumes with great interest, identified various names and agreed to the further opening of the archives. The DFG brought the Holy Father a special gift: copies of the letter of appointment of Professor Joseph Ratzinger as a DFG peer reviewer on the subject of systematic theology in 1971, and as the deputy chairman of the review committee in 1976. The Holy Father was also evidently pleased to receive the paper showing the votes of the review election, in which Joseph Ratzinger received the highest number of votes, 61, ahead of the current Cardinal of the Curia, Walter Kasper, who obtained 53.

Among the sixteen delegates were six representatives of the DFG, including Vice President Professor Helmut Schwarz from Berlin. Other delegates included Professor Hubert Wolf and some of his colleagues, representatives of the Diocese and the University of Münster, and representatives of the Schöningh Verlag, the publisher of the volumes.

00Tuesday, March 28, 2006 9:25 PM
Thank you Benefan
I love reading anything about Papa, but especially reports about his excellence. What a brain box Joseph Ratzinger is. And then he is also such a lovable and human person. One doesn't always find this combination. God must love him in a special way.
00Wednesday, March 29, 2006 12:03 AM

I agree with you Mag6 about Papa's qualities. The incredible intelligence and learning is rare enough but add to that his amazing humility and sweetness, plus several dozen other outstanding characteristics, and you get such an extraordinary person that it is hard to believe he was born on this earth.

00Wednesday, March 29, 2006 8:00 AM
I am always thrilled to the bone whenever I read any appreciation of Papa as a thinker and intellect.

One cannot, of course, think of Joseph Ratzinger and not be in awe of the mind that informs and animates his extraordinary personality - even before factoring in the incalculable and inestimable grace infused into that native intellect by the Holy Spirit!

The Popes of the 20th century, as far as we know, were all intellectuals in their own right. (Indeed, the intellectual caliber and range of many cardinals and bishops of the Catholic Church, from whom an eventual Pope emerges, is exceptional). But Joseph Ratzinger distinguished himself from all the others by being a public intellectual - actively engaged in the open market of contemporary ideas throughout his career - to a degree not previously seen in any leading religious figure of whatever persuasion in our day.

Last autumn, I came across an article written after WYD in Cologne for a Spanish newspaper by Rafael Navarro-Valls, professor of constitutional law at the Universidad Complutense of Madrid, which prompted me to open a thread in the RFC on 'B16
AS A LEADING INTELLECT'. This was part of my opening post:

Loosely translated (and with some paraphrasing), here are some great points made by Navarro-Valls:

Benedict XVI, at the time of his election, was already considered one of the 4 or 5 leading intellectuals in the world - and not simply by virtue of being a theologian - who had shown himself exceptionally capable of diagnosing modernity (i.e., our times) in all of its aspects.

Which explains, he says, why the #1 philosopher of our day, Juergen Habermas, held a long colloquy with then Cardinal Ratzinger (January 2004 in Munich, on the pre-political and moral bases for free states), recently published in book form, which Navarro-Valls called "a masterwork of post-modernism, a true intellectual delight."

As Pope, B16 must now pass from the "diagnostic" to the "operative and treatment" phase - a transition which he, B16, will do in his own way, namely, more through reasoning ("argumentacion") than through imposition.

Referring to the Pope's "extraordinary creativity," he says that not the least of this Pope's goals is to (help) liberate humanity from the slavery of ideology. This post-ideological Pope, he says, is ever aware that we are all part of "a family as large as the world itself, encompassing heaven and earth, past, present and future."

How serendipitous! I had intended my first post in this forum to, among other things, call attention to Joseph Ratzinger's personal stature as an intellectual.

When I learned that in 1992 the venerable Institut de France elected him to take the seat vacated by the death of the eminent Soviet physicist and human rights activist Andrei Sakharov, I thought to myself: What other man of the cloth, of whatever persuasion, could have merited such recognition and acceptance in the closed and rarefied universe of the intellectual elite?

The French intellectuals have always shown greater regard and esteem for Joseph Ratzinger than most of his German compatriots were prepared to do. In November 1999, when the Sorbonne organized a 4-day colloquy on 2000 years of Christianity, Cardinal Ratzinger was the only Catholic theologian among the 18 French and foreign speakers invited to the debate.

In one of the many French articles published immediately after April 19, one analyst remarks that when Ratzinger first came to France to speak on anything (I cannot remember the occasion, unfortunately), he impressed everyone with his command of the French language, and I think he told an interviewer that from early on, he chose French to be the second European language to master after German.

Then, when the Pope met with journalist-author Oriana Fallaci last summer, Bishop Rino Fisichella, rector of the Pontical Lateran University in Rome, told Corriere della Sera that the meeting with Fallacci was along the lines of previous encounters the Pope had as a Cardinal with intellectuals, and which he will continue to have as Pope - whether in public debates such as those he had with (the German leftist philosopher) Juergen Habermas and (the Italian philosopher and magazine editor) Paolo Flores d'Arcais; in co-authoring books, such as he did with (Italian philosopher and university professor) Marcello Pera, current president of the Italian Senate; or in private meetings that are unpublicized, as this should have been."

Quite a man, quite a mind - our Joseph, blessed Benedict, angel of God.

00Wednesday, March 29, 2006 8:07 AM
And what should I find in Ratzigirl's newspages but a sports metaphor employed for the Pope by his friend and former righthand man at the CDF, Cardinal Tarciso Bertone? Here is a translation:

Benedict XVI like Franz Beckenbauer. The daring analogy was made by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone in an interview which will be aired on Telepace soon.

The cardinal, who has annotated soccer games for radio, made the comparison when his interviewer, journalist Piero Schiavazzi, said “John Paul II was a center-forward in terms of breakthrough and imagination.”

Bertone replied that when thinking of Joseph Ratzinger, what comes to mind is the methodical center, the playmaster who quietly devises interdictions and inventive plays. The Central European teams, and Bavaria in particular, have many such star centers.

“I like this image of him as a methodical center,” Bertone said, “because to me, that has always been his role, to give security… It is a beautiful metaphor and truly appropriate to the man, the cardinal and the Pope as he is now. The Church has found its Beckenbauer in a sense. The great Pope Benedict XVI [he uses the term’ il grande Papa Benedetto XVI”] gives us the certainties of the Faith, the reasons for our Faith, and propels us forward with his passes, involves the entire team that is the Church, the entire grand team of the Church. He has already invited the Cardinals – whom we might say are his true teammates – to press ahead, not to be afraid to aim towards the new evangelization.”

Pursuing the sports-religion metaphor, the interviewer noted that “deep passes require one’s teammates to run and to keep their eyes on the ball so that they do not miss the passes – we have seen this happen often, even with our favorite team or with the national team, when they miss or fumble obvious passes. In this sense, Ratzinger knows how to choose the right person for the right spot. He knows how to value his co-workers according to their temperaments and their gifts – and that is a characteristic of the playmaster, the team center.”

“Therefore, a laid-back playmaster, a center who provides support and security, and who propels the team forward. But we should also listen to the opinion of a great football trainer of Central European teams, Giovanni Trappatoni, who was a friend of Ratzinger, who has sent him many of his books with a personal dedication. Cardinal Ratzinger himself told me about their meetings and their conversations, even describing Trappatoni’s picturesque German…”

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 29/03/2006 8.09]

00Wednesday, March 29, 2006 12:33 PM
Thanks Teresa
for these posts. Bertone's image makes sense.

I'm now reading Papa's book Principles of Catholic Anthology: Building Stones for a Fundamental Theology (1982). I must first mention that it is not the first work on this theme that I've tackled and I can, to a certain (amateur)extent, perhaps make comparisons. So: he is totally brilliant compared to what I've read before. It certainly isn't bed time reading. At times I need to ponder and re-read - perhaps as a result of terminological lacunae in my arsenal of pre-knowledge. But what impresses again and again is his thorough Scriptural knowledge combined with a truly staggering grasp on diverse other intellectual disciplines. All of these held and handled deftly in the overall "cupola" of his insight in human and Church history. Amazing, this man.

Germany will still learn to fully appreciate him, even if a prophet isn't always honoured in his own country.
00Wednesday, March 29, 2006 6:16 PM

I am posting this here to remind me that a Figaro article reviewing this book was posted by Beatrice a few weeks back and I had always meant to translate it but did not get around to it.

This book contains the transcript of a 2000 debate between Cardinal Ratzinger and the Italian philosopher Paolo Flores d'Arcais, a self-proclaimed atheist, on the existence of God, truth, faith and atheism, as well as a lecture given by the Cardinal at the Sorbonne on "Truth and Christianity."

I will post the translation of the article in BOOKS BY AND ABOUT BENEDICT. Although the release and/or availability of books written in other languages may not be of direct use to English speakers, I think that knowing what is being published elsewhere by and about our Pope is always useful.
00Wednesday, March 29, 2006 10:31 PM
Encyclical Deus Caritas Est released on CD
From CathNews

The Archdiocese of Melbourne has released a double CD narration of Pope Benedict XVI's first encyclical, which was launched three months ago in Rome.

The CD, which was produced by Catholic Communications, went on sale this week. It features narration from Peter Byrne, longtime commercial radio breakfast presenter who now presents Catholic radio programs for the Archdiocese. The CDs were recorded, edited and mixed, with musical backing, by Fraynework Multimedia.

It has been produced with the backing of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and the Vatican.

The encyclical was highly acclaimed for its penetrating and accessible analysis of Catholic teaching on love.

"Eros, this gift of love between a man and a woman, comes from the same source of the goodness of the Creator as does the possibility of a love which renounces the self in favour of the other," said Pope Benedict XVI

Sample of CD: cathnews.com/news/603/doc/01%20deuscaritasest_sample.mp3

[Modificato da benefan 29/03/2006 22.34]

00Thursday, March 30, 2006 1:02 AM
A belated report on last Sunday's parochial visit to Tor Tre Teste -

ROME, MARCH 28, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI delivered last Sunday, after Mass, in the parish hall of the Church of God the Merciful Father, in Rome's Tor Tre Teste neighborhood. The Pope delivered the address without referring to notes.

Dear Parish Priest,
Dear friends:

I see that you are really a living parish, where all collaborate, where one bears the burden of the other -- as St. Paul says -- and in this way you foster the growth of the living edifice of the Lord, which is the Church. The latter was not made of material stones, but of living stones, of baptized people, who feel all the faith's responsibility for others, all the joy of being baptized and of knowing God in the face of Jesus. For this reason, you commit yourselves so that this parish may really grow.

We are nearing Easter and two aspects of Christian life are presented to us: One is a climb, an ascent, which can even be somewhat difficult; the other is always constituted by the light of God, the light of our Lord.

I would simply like to thank you for your commitment. To see so many active persons in a parish, who visit the sick, help those in difficulty, collaborate with the parish priest, ensure a good celebration of the liturgy, is a joy for the Bishop of Rome, which I am, though the concrete activity is carried out by the cardinal vicar.

However, I feel this responsibility and I am really happy to see that Rome, the "old Rome," is a "young Rome" and really lives in lively parishes.

The faith must be promoted because outside of Italy it is thought that in Rome there are only ceremonies and ecclesiastical bureaucracy, but that there is no great ecclesial life. The latter, however, can be seen precisely on the outskirts of Rome. Rome is young, the Church is always young again.

For me it is lovely to see this participation and I can only say thank you and encourage you to continue, under the guidance of your parish priest.

And already now, I wish you all a happy Easter!
00Thursday, March 30, 2006 5:41 PM
From the Traunsteiner Tagblatt, in translation:

Marquartsein, March 29 - The mail from Rome brought Mons. Franz Riegl a special joy on his 80th birthday today. He received a personal letter from Pope Benedict XVI, his longtime friend and colleague from student days, to greet him on his 80th birthday.

Although he is older than the Pope, Mons. Riegel became a priest three years after Joseph Ratzinger did, and Fr. Ratzinger preached the homily at Fr. Riegel’s first Mass in his hometown of Berchtesgaden.

Mons. Riegel subsequently established a name as the “Folk Music Parish Priest of Unterwoessen”. As parish priest there for over 30 years (1963-1997), he championed resurrecting a rich tradition of church folk music pertaining to the entire liturgical year and encouraged their performances.

00Thursday, March 30, 2006 8:58 PM
'They would have killed me,' Afghan says

Associated Press
ROME - An Afghan man who had faced the death penalty in his homeland for converting from Islam to Christianity said Thursday he was certain he would have been killed if he had remained in Kabul and thanked Pope Benedict XVI for intervening on his behalf.

"In Kabul they would have killed me, I'm sure of it." Abdul Rahman, who is under protection after being spirited out of Afghanistan to a secret location in Italy earlier in the week, told Italian journalists. "If you are not a Muslim in an Islamic country like mine they kill you, there are no doubts." He said he was worried for his family still in Afghanistan.

00Friday, March 31, 2006 9:36 PM
Catholic foundation buys Benedict XVI birthplace

31 March 2006

MUNICH - The small-town house in Germany where Pope Benedict XVI was born has been purchased by a Catholic foundation, the dioceses of Munich and Passau said in a statement Friday.

An agreement to purchase was disclosed in December, but the transaction was not completed until now. The two-storey, Alpine-style house dating back to 1745 is in the small riverside town of Marktl- am-Inn, close to the Austrian border.

The purchaser was the Pope Benedict XVI Birthplace Foundation. The foundation's stated purpose is to portray Joseph Ratzinger's life and spiritual development, the two dioceses said.

The vendor, Claudia Dandl, said last year she had decided to sell because she

was fed up with hundreds of tourists milling around on her front doorstep every weekend. She said she and her children could no longer enjoy small-town life and were being accosted by visitors.

Her real-estate agent reported bids from as far away as the Gulf for the stucco-plaster building, which is on the main square and was originally used as a customs house and then a police station. The purchase price has not been disclosed.

Ratzinger's father was a policeman who had an upstairs flat in the building in 1927. The family soon after moved away to a larger town, Traunstein, where Ratzinger grew up and went to school.

The initiative to purchase the house on behalf of the church was taken by rich relations of a former German cardinal, Josef Frings, and they also provided some funding, as did Bavarian dioceses.

Ratzinger was the main theological aide to Cologne archbishop Frings (1887-1978) during the Second Vatican Council, an historic Catholic conference in Rome in the first half of the 1960s.

The future pope is credited with drafting some of the documents that ushered in a new Catholic era, though he was later to be a conservative Vatican overseer of Catholic doctrine.

Bishop Wilhelm Schraml of Passau has said that a visit by the pope to the birthplace is not yet firmly scheduled, although Benedict's programme for a September 9-14 visit to Bavaria will include a pilgrimage site only 12 kilometres away. Marktl is in Passau diocese.

Friday's statement said a concept for the future use of the building was still being drawn up, but it was intended to make it a place of "encounter". It was too early to say when the opening date would be.

Marktl has attracted visitors from around the world since the pope's April 2005 election. The baptismal font where he and other Marktl citizens were christened has been rescued from a garden, where it had become a birdbath, and is now in the town museum.

00Monday, April 3, 2006 3:30 PM
Wonderful anecdote from new Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston. Asked recently what it felt like to attend the Cardinals' day of prayer and reflection with the Pope, he said this, to begin with:

That was quite an experience. It began with prayer and then the Holy Father said, “I’d like to share a spiritual reflection” which he gave spontaneously, talking about St. Toribio — it’s the feast of St. Toribio. He was a missionary bishop in South America, he learned Quechua [one of the main Indian languages in the Andes region], and was able to translate the catechism, he walked thousands of miles to evangelize. The Holy Father’s speech was such a wonderful feature. And it was all from his heart. That was very moving...

Too bad we don't get to hear all this.
00Monday, April 3, 2006 9:06 PM
From an Italian news item posted upstairs -

At a press conference that preceded the Vatican screening of the TV film “Karol, the Pope who remained a man” last week, the director Giacomo Battiato explained that the character of Cardinal Ratzinger is not seen in the film except at the end, as successor to John Paul.

The film, part 2 of a biofilm whose first part dealt with Wojtyla’s life before he became Pope, deals with his life as Pope, in which Ratzinger played a key role as his virtual right-hand man at the Vatican.

However, Battiato said the scriptwriters decided “out of deference” to omit the Ratzinger character in the film because they did not want to “relegate him to a secondary role.”

The film will be screened on Italian TV May 10 and 11, to coincide with the late Pope's birthday.

00Tuesday, April 4, 2006 6:05 AM
I really loved this one. From American Papist's Your Papist-Picture-of-the-Day (Monday, April 3)

"Keep it down, ya crazy kids!"

00Tuesday, April 4, 2006 1:14 PM
another fun from "shoutsinthepiazza.blogspot.com"

O.K., who's the wise guy who decided watching all three "Lord of the Rings" in one night was a good idea?
00Thursday, April 6, 2006 6:39 PM
Here is a translation of a ddp German news agency report from Regensburg today:

Regensburg, 6 April 2006 (ddp). Master housepainter Michael Wallauch is happy. “One does not get such an assignment every day,” he says.

After 4 days work he has just finished repainting Pope Benedict’s house in Pentling, a suburb of Regensburg, in preparation for the Pope’s homecoming in September.

Wallauch repainted the façade, the walls, the doors and the windows in gleaming white – all of it for free.

“For me it is a great honor. I gladly did it for nothing,” he says. When he first heard that the house was being prepared for September, he submitted a no-price bid right away for the job. “There were other applicants,” he says, but the job went to him.

The 38-year-old master painter knows the Pope personally. He served him as an altar boy – “21 years ago,” he says. And because his parents live near then Cardinal Ratzinger’s house, he often met him on the street whenever he was in Pentling.

Wallauch did the repainting job with three helpers. They used ove 100 liters of paint which was donated by the manufacturer. He says the paint is “specially fast and will keep long.”

Rupert Hofbauer, the Pope’s next-door neighbor who has been guardian of the house in the owner’s absence for the past 25 years, has been busy preparing too. He has been trimming the trees and bushes in the garden.

“There’s a lot to be done on 1000 square meters,” he says. And the lawn must be resodded. Around Easter, his wife Therese will start planting flowers to bloom in time for the Pope’s visit.
“His favorite flowers are roses and fall asters,” says Hofbauer.

The last time the Pope was home was on January 7, 2005, he adds. “Now as Pope, he obviously can no longer come any time to visit. He used to come here whenever he had a break. He has had this house for 36 years.”

When he visits in September, it will be during his private day in Regensburg, but he definitely will not be coming alone - there will most certainly be lots of security.

“Regardless, we are unbelievably happy to see him back here,” both Hofbauer and Wallauch agreed.

And from AP's German service:

Historic baptismal font back in use

Marktl-am-Inn, 6 April 2005 (AP) – For Pope Benedict’s 79th birthday on Easter Sunday, April 16, the parish will resume using the baptismal font on which he was baptized a few hours after he was born on Holy Saturday in 1927.

The baptismal font was taken out when the St. Oswald Church was rebuilt in 1965 and kept in the parish house courtyard, where it lay quite neglected, according to Marktl Mayor Hubert Geschwendtner. The town later “rescued” the 150-year-old stone font and installed it in the town museum.

The baptismal font will be re-installed in a side chapel of St. Oswald, and the first baptism will be performed on Easter Sunday.

Website for the visit

In preparation for the Pope’s September 9-14 visit to Bavaria the dioceses of Munich, Regensburg and Passau have started an official Itnernet website

It will publish updates about the visit as well as information about the Pope’s life and work. Web-surfers can also use it to greet the Pope by e-mail on his birthday.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 06/04/2006 18.54]

00Saturday, April 8, 2006 7:27 AM
The website http://www.benedikt-in-bayern.de is in full swing. It is chock-full of information (I'll try to translate the most important and interesting on a timely basis once I get to translate what there is now!) and has three main divisions, one each for Munich-Freising, for Altoetting and for Regensburg, the main stops on the Pope's Bavarian trip on September 9-14.

"My heart beats Bavarian, but in my office I belong to the world," the Pope is quoted as saying in the introduction to the Munich-Freising section of the site.

Local bishops show off the official poster for the visit that will be used in billboards all over Germany
as well as nearby Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Hungary

The picture shows then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in prayer before the Mariensaeule (Mary's Pillar) in Munich's center
on February 28, 1982, when he left the Archdiocese to become Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
He will begin his Bavarian visit in September with a prayer at this same spot

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 08/04/2006 15.26]

00Saturday, April 8, 2006 3:38 PM
In NEWS ABOUT BENEDICT, I have commented about the scant coverage given to this event
in the mainstream media, even in Italy itself. I can only hope the TV coverage which was aired
live on Italian commercial TV as well as Catholic TV was widely seen.

Emma in the main forum made a beautiful comment:
"Listening to the Pope speaking off the cuff is like listening to a Mozart symphony."

She also makes one other point, which struck me as well when I was translating the transcript:
One of the young women asked the Pope -
"...In other words, what do you expect of us, Holiness?"
And without missing a beat, the first line of his answer was-
"We all ask ourselves what the Lord expects of us..."
What a lesson in consistency, humility and never losing sight of the fact that it's all about God, not him!

P.S. By the way, Amy Welborn in her blog today references this forum for the transcript of the Q&A from Thursday. She quotes the Pope's answer about his vocation.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 08/04/2006 16.55]

00Saturday, April 8, 2006 8:49 PM
Paparatzifan has shared with this forum a rarity sent to her by a Belgian friend: the letter written by Papa Luciani, Pope John Paul I, to then Cardinal Ratzinger, in September 1978, naming him as his special representative to the Marian celebrations in Ecuador. Inexplicably, the original letter was supposedly written in English. However, Paparatzifan got the Italian translation, so here is the letter back in English:
To Our Venerable Brother
Joseph, Cardinal Ratzinger
Archbishop of Munich and Freising

The symphony of praise with which the Most Blessed Birgin Mary is usually honored in the whole world will be much more sublimely exalted, as much as one can foresee, during the month of September in the State of Ecuador and particularly in the city of Guayaquil.

There, in order to complete and end the Marian Year which was prolaimed, a religious Congress of the whole nation will be held in honor of the Mother of God. The memory still lives there of a similar Congress held in the same city twenty years ago, which remains famous because of its beautiful ceremonies and for the resulting abundance of spiritual fruits.

By a very wise decision, taking account of the requests and needs of these times, two documents of the Magisterium from the Roman Pontiff are proposed to be more profoundly explored during these celebrations. One document is “Marianis Cultus”; the other "Evangelii Nuntiandi.”

A double result is expected from this Congress: an increse in genuine piety towards the Mother of God, and greater eagerness to spread in every direction the saving message of Christ.

Indeed, we embrace the people of Ecuador with sincere love and a desire to participate in some way in this solemnities, so that they may be celebrated with greater splendor. Therefore, through this letter, we choose, make and proclaim you our Extraordinary Legate, entrusting to you the office of presiding in our name and with our authority these Marian celebrations.

We have no doubt that you will competently fulfill the task to which you have been accredited to do, because of the richness of sacred doctrine which is very praiseworthy in you, and the ardent love for the Mother of Christ and our Mother for which you are known.

Therefore, may the Marian festival of Guayaquil shine with a new splendor, of which St. Augustine, stunned, once remarked: “For whoever the mind suffices to think, the tongue suffices to declare not only that in the beginning was the Word, which had no need to be born but even so was made flesh, choosing a Virgin who would be his mother, making a mother of someone who would remain a virgin… What is this? Who would speak? Who would remain in silence? An astonishing saying: about that which we cannot speak we are not permitted to remain silent; by crying out we preach that which we cannot comprehend by thought." (Serm. 215,3; PL 38, 1073).

We hope and we ask of God that these solemnities may overflow abundantly into the life of every man and into society. To you, Venerable Brother, and also to him who shares the same dignity as you, the Cardinal of the Holy Catholic Church Pablo Munoz Vega, who with his co-workers, has assumed with such anxiousness, the enterprise of preparing this Congress, to the other prelates, public officials, priests, religious and faithful who are gathered there for this Congress, we joyously bestow the Apostolic Blessing, a pledge of divine gifts.

Given in St. Peter’s, Rome the first day of September in the year 1978, the first of our Pontificate.

John Paul I PP
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