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

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00Friday, April 28, 2006 1:19 PM
Thanks to Mag6nideum for first having alerted me to this item.

Papal Biography Published in Malayalam

KOCHI, India, APRIL 27, 2006 (Zenit.org).- "Benedict the Sixteenth" is the title of an in-depth biography, written by well-known Indian journalist Ignatius Gonsalves and published for the first time in the Malayalam language.

The work, published by Kochi-based Pranatha Books, describes the Pope as "the multidimensional voice of the world conscience," said ICNS, the Indian episcopate's news service.

Malayalam, the main language of southern India, belongs to the group of Dravidian languages. It is spoken in the state of Kerala, where it enjoys official ranking, as it does in the Indian Constitution. Some 30 million people speak Malayalam.

The city of Kochi, in Kerala, hosted the launching of the book last Saturday, to mark the occasion of the first anniversary of Benedict XVI's pontificate.

"It is a unique biography that is meant for everyone to read," said Latin-rite Archbishop Daniel Achatuparambil of Verapoly, who presented the book. "It gives an accurate and in-depth analysis of the Pope's personality."

K.S. Radhakrishnan, vice chancellor of Kalady Sri Sankara University, said: "Everyone in India, irrespective of caste, creed and religion, wants to know about the new Pope. And this biography is the best example of a great book on a great religious leader like Pope Benedict XVI."
00Sunday, April 30, 2006 5:20 AM

This short item is from ANSA, the Italian news agency -

Do Popes wear pullovers?

In a lecture today at the Pontifical University of Santa Croce in Rome, Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls pointed out that the new Pope Benedict XVI nevertheless clearly wore a black pullover under his new Papal robes when he first stepped onto the world’s view.

Valls said that for him, this was an indication that Joseph Ratzinger had “not in the least” counted on being elected Pope.

“Do you think that anyone who believes he will be the next Pope would wear a black sweater?” he asked. He did not say what a would-be Pope should wear against the cold.
00Sunday, April 30, 2006 7:20 AM
CNN's Vatican correspondent Alessio Vinci wrote a piece to mark Pope Benedict's first anniversary as Pope for an Austin broadcasting network on
with this impressive anecdote:

...Cardinals who met him during a recent meeting, say the new Pope is giving them greater opportunities to speak their minds.

“He listened to everything everybody said, and he didn't speak. He just waited, and then at the end, he took his glasses off, and in a masterful way he reviewed everything that was said in the whole day. Even saying cardinal so and so said this, remembering everything and summarized and gave us some guidelines as to where he might be going and some guidelines as to where he might not be going. He did it as a teacher. He did it as a brilliant professor,” said Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, of the Washington Diocese

We should all pray to be half as sharp when we get to be 80!
00Sunday, April 30, 2006 1:44 PM

Scritto da: TERESA BENEDETTA 30/04/2006 5.20

In a lecture today at the Pontifical University of Santa Croce in Rome, Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls pointed out that the new Pope Benedict XVI nevertheless clearly wore a black pullover under his new Papal robes when he first stepped onto the world’s view.

“Do you think that anyone who believes he will be the next Pope would wear a black sweater?” he asked. He did not say what a would-be Pope should wear against the cold.

We can see he wears white sweater now. [SM=g27828]

[Modificato da Maklara 30/04/2006 13.45]

00Sunday, April 30, 2006 1:55 PM
awww..look at that white sweater!! [SM=x40800]
00Sunday, April 30, 2006 2:38 PM
I wonder what he did with the black sweater..... [SM=g27822]
Papa B fan
00Sunday, April 30, 2006 3:00 PM

Scritto da: Jil 30/04/2006 14.38
I wonder what he did with the black sweater..... [SM=g27822]

He still needs the black sweater during his "secret missions" to his old apartment.... [SM=g27828]

00Sunday, April 30, 2006 3:03 PM

Scritto da: Jil 30/04/2006 14.38
I wonder what he did with the black sweater..... [SM=g27822]

Maybe the same thing as he did with his former suits, cardinal cassocks and other clothes he can't use anymore... [SM=g27823]
00Sunday, April 30, 2006 8:02 PM
[Yvonne, our Polish correspondent, and I wondered a while ago what language Papa would speak in Poland. Papa usually reads a greeting in Polish at his audiences and angeluses but, as Yvonne says, you can see it is a struggle for him. It is not an easy language to speak and Papa is trying to learn it in a hurry at age 79. However, it looks like he is going to struggle through it after all if the article below is correct. I think we need to pray for him on this one.]

Pope to Sing in Polish in Blonia

Cracow 2006-04-30 10:22:13
Benedict XVI will sing in Polish selected fragments of the Holy Mass – disclosed in an interview with KAI Fr. Stanislaw Szczepaniec, in charge of the papal celebration in Cracow Blonia. The priest said that also shorter prayers will be recited by the Pontiff in Polish.

The Holy Mass in Cracow Blonia on May 28 will be celebrated by Benedict XVI in Latin, especially the longer prayers. – There are, however, longer fragments which the Holy Father will recite in Polish - Fr. Stanislaw Szczepaniec told KAI. He added that the Pope may also sing in Polish. – This is probably going to be the first time ever he has sung in Polish! – stressed Fr. Szczepaniec.

Fr. Szczepaniec disclosed that it is the question of, for instance, the summons following the transubstantiation "Let us proclaim the mystery of faith," or before "Our Father." – It is hard to say today if this is going to happen, but the Holy Father’s Missal will have musical notation and so if he only wanted to, he might sing – assured the priest, responsible for entire course of the papal celebration in Cracow Blonia.

Latin was chosen for a variety of reasons. For one thing, the Holy Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI will gather a sizeable number of clergy from abroad. – Besides, Latin is the lingua franca of the Church. I cannot imagine that the Pope could say Holy Mass in Blonia in Italian or German – emphasised Fr. Szczepaniec. In his opinion Latin is too rarely used in Poland. – We do not make our faithful accustomed to it. In truth, however, they should at least be able to respond in this language to the summons of the celebrant – noted Fr. Szczepaniec. He added that the Vatican’s side was "a bit puzzled" when told that Poles might have a problem here.

A booklet prepared for the Holy Mass with Pope Benedict XVI will have two texts, Polish and Latin. Pope Benedict XVI will begin his homily in Polish, then read a fragment in Italian, and the principal part will be probably read out in Polish. – The Holy Father is making fast progress as far as his Polish is concerned so it can be expected that we will hear him speak our mother tongue more than once in Blonia – assured Bishop Józef Guzdek, Chairman of the Organising Committee of the papal pilgrimage in Cracow. The chief theme of the papal celebration in Blonia will be the feast of the Ascension of the Lord, observed on May 28, but the homily is likely to contain references also to the Divine Mercy.

00Sunday, April 30, 2006 9:04 PM
Ever since I read that the Pope was working hard to get his Polish in shape for the trip, I have been praying that Mietek earns his keep by making sure Papa has the accent and the pronunciations right!
00Sunday, April 30, 2006 10:59 PM
Remember a few weeks back when Rocco Palmo said that the Tablet, in its 'Notebook' column, had run a story about a Papal cat named Scherzo? Subsequently, he said it was all an April Fool joke and had no further explanations. At the time, I think I asked MaryJos to check the actual issue for me, as the Tablet does not place the 'Notebook' column on line to see what it actually said, because I did not think that the columnist would publish something that was an April Fool gag....

Well, so many things have happened since, Holy Week and anniversaries, etc. and I never did get to follow up on it...
(But MaryJos and Wulfrune, I still would like to know exactly what was printed in 'Notebook'! It was the issue with playing cards showing B16 and JP2 on the cover)

And now the story re-surfaces in a French magazine called GALA, issue of 4/22/06, with an article reproduced by Beatrice in the French section. Unfortunately, the writer does not indicate his source for this particular story, but considering that much else of what is reported is a rehash of things we have seen before - the article however is well-meaning - could he have picked it up from Tablet? But he has other details as well. Anyway, here is the story, for what it is worth. It is told to illustrate a facet of Giorgio:

...The Italians and the trans-Alpine (ie, Italian) media love Don Giorgio. But it is his efficency, his correctness, and his cheerful character that have been his best assets in the service of the Pope. Last January, defying protocol and knowing the Pope’s passion for cats, he introduced an ailing kitten into the Apostolic Palace. Together, he and the Pope watched over its recovery until it was well enough for them to find it another lodging. Namely, the Pope’s old apartment next to the Vatican. Scherzo (Italian for “joke”) was hooking his claws on the brocade curtains in the Papal apartments! Don Giorgio goes to feed him everyday, sometimes accompanied by the Pope, which is to say, not as often as the Pope would like to.....

I'll translate the article later for the record.
00Sunday, April 30, 2006 11:09 PM

Also from Beatrice, this snippet from an interview given by Cardinal Angelo Scola, Patriarch of Venice, to the Paris-Match writer Caroline Pigozzi. He is replying to a question about Papa.

Q: Can you describe His Holiness to me in a few words?
A. According to his own words, he is a "humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord." The simple fact that he used those words is extraordinary, because we are really in front of a personality who is beyond normal standards, someone who is gifted with remarkable intellectual powers.. While he remains a theologian and thinker of the first magnitude, the Pope - with the humility and unshakeable faith of a solid Bavarian Catholic - is showing himself to the world as an eminent pastor. Through the feeling and 'tendresse' [tenerezza!] in his eyes, he knows how to convey to Christians a faith as great as the magnitude of his teaching

Cardinal Scola is one of three younger cardinals (along with Schoenborn of Vienna and Ouellet of Quebec) who are ex-students of Cardinal Ratzinger. He did not actually take courses under him but he was mentored by him in his early days as theologian.
00Monday, May 1, 2006 6:20 AM

Spokesman Cites Pope's
"Sensitivity" for Media

ROME, APRIL 30, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI has great sensitivity for the media, says Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro Valls.

The director of the Vatican press office said this on Saturday during the closing session of the 5th Professional Seminar of the Church's Information Offices, held at the University of the Holy Cross in Rome.

"I have found in the Pope's life a great sensitivity toward the media world," said Navarro Valls.

"He is an intellectual and knows the limits of the media, but that knowledge does not hinder him from being greatly concerned about this world," he said.

Comparing his work with Pope John Paul II and with Benedict XVI, Navarro Valls said: "I have the same direct access, not only to the person, but also to the decision-making process."

The Vatican spokesman offered as an example a conversation he had with Benedict XVI last Friday.

"I argued almost for one hour with the Pope on the topic of the media -- well, not argued," he corrected himself, "one does not argue with the Pope."

In this conversation he said that he "tried to transmit an aspect to the Pope: When in the life of a person -- also of a journalist -- the moral level is raised, what he produces is also better."

Narvarro Valls also commented on his intention to leave the post of Vatican spokesman, a post he has held for 22 years.

"I do not want to give big news," he said. "At present, the Holy Father knows well my wishes and I know very well what the Holy Father's wishes are."

I must say this translation is bad! I read the original in Italian and then I saw that the English service also has it, so I don't have to translate but... For example, that sentence about arguing, my sense from the Italian story was clearly that he meant "discuss" not "argue" [the word 'discutere' was used - its first sense is 'discuss' rather than 'argue'.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 01/05/2006 14.40]

00Monday, May 1, 2006 12:05 PM

Scritto da: TERESA BENEDETTA 01/05/2006 6.20

Spokesman Cites Pope's
"Sensitivity" for Media

I must say this translation is bad! I read the original in Italian and then I saw that the English service also has it, so I don't have to translate but... For example, that sentence about arguing, my sense from the Italian story was clearly that he meant "discuss" not "argue" [the word 'discutere' was used - its first sense is 'discuss' rather than 'argue'.

I hope that Navarro will stay on and help Papa. He is one of the best pressmen in town. While Papa is sensitive to the media, I must say that Papa always keeps a 'negative' view about it , so much so that even Archbishop Foley, President of Pontifical Council for Social Communications had to 'appeal' in one of his addresses that people should recognise also the positive influence of the media.

I am curious as to why Navarro had to speak to Papa for 1 hour about the media.

Yes, Teresa, although I don't know Italian (a Romance language), but the word discutere, probably shares the same meaning as 'discuter' in French (also a Romance language) which means to discuss.

00Monday, May 1, 2006 12:47 PM
Re: Re:

Scritto da: Papa B fan 30/04/2006 15.00

He still needs the black sweater during his "secret missions" to his old apartment.... [SM=g27828]

Of course, the only opportunity that we can still see him in black is one of the "secret missions" ..... [SM=g27828] [SM=g27832]
00Monday, May 1, 2006 1:16 PM
Teresa - I'm sorry but AS I never read the Tablet, and it's not sold at our local church, I wasn't able to sneak a look at the Notebook item about the kitty.

Looks as if there is some truth in it now, though. What an adorable story!
00Monday, May 1, 2006 6:10 PM
Tigre - the cat he loved

Here's a photo of Tigre [she's a "gatta"]. I caught her on Good Friday, sitting on top of the display cabinet where Papa used to talk to her and stroke her nose - lucky Tigre! She told me she would love to see him again......so, next time you pop out to your old apartment, Papa, go along to the cartoleria and visit Tigre again. Note: Pooh Bear gets everywhere - he's decorating a pencil case on the top shelf!

Another sweet photo of Tigre! I wasn't sure on which thread to post these photos, but then I saw the discussion about Papa possibly having a cat in the Apostolic Palace. I'm afraid events swept me away over Easter and I didn't get chance to check that article in The Tablet. I'll ask Alma, when I get the chance. Think the "scherzo" was probably just that, though.
Love to all! Mary x [SM=g27811]
00Monday, May 1, 2006 6:32 PM
The Black Sweater!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have a hunch that Papa still owns black sweaters. I have a vision of him wearing one over either a white or a blue shirt, with dark trousers and some very fetching black slippers [not the kind of boring old things you can buy in the UK! They are probably velvet or look like velvet. Or the slippers could be red,like his shoes.....]. As for socks? Um? Does he always wear white ones now? Of course, this is mere speculation about what he wears when he's completely out of sight to anyone but those closest to him.
Did anyone believe that story about the blue track suit?
No smoke without fire...............I would love to know.
[Oh dear - does this post constitute something that should be in the Private Room? Probably not. Heck, we are bound to wonder and there is an absolutey stunning photo of him on holiday in 2004, wearing more or less what I described, so it's no secret. I'll post it when Image Shack stops throwing tantrums....
Love you all! Mary x [SM=g27811]

[Modificato da maryjos 01/05/2006 18.42]

00Monday, May 1, 2006 6:45 PM
I'd love to see your photo!

And I often wonder what he wears when he is on his own (is he ever on his own?) or maybe in the afternoon when he has no more meetings to hold. I could imagine it's a pair of dark trousers, a shirt of any colour and an old comfortable cardigan....or even the black sweater. The tracksuit.....hmmm....no I don't really think he does, maybe he used to - but now being Pope he probably thinks it's not appropriate. [SM=g27822]

They are probably velvet or look like velvet. Or the slippers could be red,like his shoes

Or he wears the typical German type of slippers, here they are:

00Tuesday, May 2, 2006 1:50 AM
MARYJOS - Thanks for posting that picture of Papa on vacation in the Austrian Alps (and visiting a Malteser hospital, I think, with brother Georg) in August 2004. It was one of my early favorites when it was posted as a mega-photo in the Italian forum last year, but it is not easy to handle when it is so huge! There were other pictures in the series (normal format), but this one is different because Ratzi looks - here I go again - unusually 'Teutonic' in the best possible way. Of course the cropped print of that mega-photo is stunning!

By the way, any luck on checking out that Tablet story on Scherzo the new cat?

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 02/05/2006 1.52]

00Wednesday, May 3, 2006 5:04 AM
In her Portuguese news section, Nessuna posts this item from the Brazilian news agency O Globo:

Venezuelan President Hugh Chavez will be meeting with Pope Benedict at the Vatican on May 11. This was confirmed today by the Venezuelan Embassy to the Holy See.

Chavez is travelling to Algeria, Great Britain, Austria and Italy. He will be attending a meeting between the European Economic Commnunity and the leaders of Latin America and the Caribbean to be held in Vienna May 11-17.

00Wednesday, May 3, 2006 5:32 AM
Your PPOTD (Papist-Picture-of-the-Day): Tuesday, May 2

Pope Benedict knew the kids at
World Youth Day in 2008 would love it, but the
only way he could attempt the first live base-jump
by a Pontiff was if he started practicing years in advance.
The first task? Learning to read the terrain...

[photo: AP Photo/Osservatore Romano]


(Great shot of what Papa sees from his chopper window...) [SM=g27811]
00Wednesday, May 3, 2006 9:50 PM
James Galway plays his flute for Pope

By Eddie McIlwaine
03 May 2006
Belfast Telegraph

Sir James Galway and his wife Jeanne are in Rome today for an audience with Pope Benedict and to play at a concert in the Vatican this evening to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Swiss Guard.

"Not bad for a wee lad from Onward Flute Band in Belfast who used to march to Finaghy on the Twelfth," said the Man with the Golden Flute from St Peter's Square.

"I was 13 and living in Carnalea Street when I went on the Orange parade on July 12. And, if I remember rightly, I was paid £35 for the day. For that kind of money I would have marched anywhere.

"I remember coming home, getting my money and going out to buy a bike."

The Swiss Guard for whom Sir James and New Yorker Lady Galway will be playing Danny Boy "and a little bit of Mozart" was formed five centuries ago when 150 Swiss soldiers were recruited as a bodyguard to protect Pope Julius 11. The current Guard has 110 male Swiss citizens, every one at least 5ft 8ins tall, all under 30 and unmarried when they began their service.

And Sir James, who has made his home in Lucerne, Switzerland, for many years, was a natural choice to play in tribute to the soldiers who, apart from their duties, are one of Rome's most treasured tourist attractions.

"And they must have all served in the Swiss Army," said Sir James, who will be presented with a copy of a book called simply 'Guard' in which Sergeant Christian-Roland Marcel Richard tells the story of how the bodyguard came into being.

"Little did I know in those happy days of my youth that one day I would be invited to the Vatican for such an important occasion and to meet the Pope," said the Knight Flautist who was in Belfast last Saturday to play at the Night Of 1,000 Voices concert.
00Wednesday, May 3, 2006 10:07 PM
RE: Galway
A nice story, Benefan! Thanks.
I am too uninformed to be certain from this article if Galway is Catholic or not. [/] Up till 12 years ago, in the bad old days of Apartheid, we could still watch excellent music programmes on South African TV. The democratic South Africa unfortunately brought with it the slogan "elitist" for Western art and music and our TV now offers NO "classical" music anymore. But in the eighties someone pirated a series on the development of Western music, presented by James Galway with insight and humour. I've used this pirate copy in classes until last year, to the enjoyment still of 21st century students. In his manner of presentation I sometimes got the impression that Galway was Catholic. [SM=g27833]
00Wednesday, May 3, 2006 10:07 PM
From the Beacon Journal

Cleveland Orchestra music director to conduct at pontifical mass

Franz Welser-Moest, the music director of the Cleveland Orchestra, will conduct music of Mozart at a pontifical mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday at the Vatican.

Welser-Moest will lead the Zurich Opera Orchestra and Chorus, the Freiburg Cathedral Choir and the Choir of the Lucerne Musikhochschule (Music School).

The occasion is the state visit of Swiss President Moritz Leuenberger in Rome to mark the 500-year anniversary of the Swiss Guard.
00Wednesday, May 3, 2006 10:10 PM
RE: Welser-Moest
Oh great, Benefan. But will this Mass be televised? Do you know?
00Wednesday, May 3, 2006 10:25 PM

*Mag6, I don't know if the Mass will be televised, but maybe by RAI.
[Below is an interview with a Bishop from Saginaw, Michigan in the US. A few days ago, I noticed his name on the list of audiences that the Vatican website posts and I wondered why he was meeting with the pope since Saginaw is not a big city and is out of the way. The bishop explains.]

Fresh Off His Meeting With Pope Benedict XVI, Bishop Of Saginaw Robert Carlson Talks With The Catholic Report

Dave Hartline: Bishop you have just returned from the Vatican. I understand you met with Pope Benedict. This was not on your schedule was it?

Bishop Carlson: No, I was on a pilgrimage and I hadn’t planned to meet with the Holy Father. While in Rome I received a phone call from the Vatican saying the Holy Father would like to meet with me.

Dave Hartline: May I ask if you can share any of the conversation?

Bishop Carlson: Yes, the Holy Father had some questions about our vocations. We have had some successes and he was interested in them. I found Pope Benedict to be extremely knowledgeable about what was going on in the realm of vocations and in the seminaries. I felt truly blessed to have had the meeting.

Dave Hartline: We have been blessed have we not to have had the leadership of Pope John Paul II and now Pope Benedict?

Bishop Carlson: We certainly have been blessed. The vocations turnaround is due to Pope John Paul II. Generation John Paul they call them, a truly wonderful story. Now we are blessed to have Pope Benedict who has been in the Vatican for so many years and knows it inside and out. Had he been a German Cardinal, I doubt he would have had all the inside knowledge he has about the Vatican. He certainly knows what does and doesn’t need done.

Dave Hartline: Speaking of leadership. Bishop Carlson no one can accuse you of being anything less than a firm leader in your assignments.

Bishop Carlson: I am just doing what I am suppose to do.

Dave Hartline: Your increase in vocations is truly remarkable. Can you elaborate on that?

Bishop Carlson: When I came to this diocese in early 2005, we had no one entering the seminary. Now we have 16 seminarians and I hope to have 20 in the fall. I decided I needed to be the Vocations Director. I think letting the young men know that the Bishop thinks their job is important says something. However, I don’t want you to think I took just anyone. I had to say no to some young men who were interested. The key is knowing what God is calling you to do.

Dave Hartline: Bishop I know so many people who I come across, either with my website or in conversation, that feel they need to know their faith better. I try to explain the "Good News" about the Church in my forthcoming book, "The Tide Is Turning Towards Catholicism" How did we get off track and what can we do about it?

Bishop Carlson: We have to know the truth. We live in a society that is focused on rugged individualism and relativism. As an immigrant church we learned to become like everyone else. Well, now its time to become counter cultural. I started an Apologetics course for seniors at all of our Catholic high schools this year. Young people are going to have to know the truth when they get to college. They are going to have to answer the questions posed to them from the Campus Crusade for Christ. Also they are going to have to be able to defend their faith from pop culture junk like the DaVinci Code and the Gospel of Judas. We are also helping the adults to understand their faith as well. In our diocese, we have over 60% who are unchurched. We can’t evangelize until we know our own faith.

Dave Hartline: You seem to have taken a great interest in Catholic schools. Having spent many years working in Catholic schools, I greatly admire your stance.

Bishop Carlson: Catholic schools are our future. We need strong Catholic schools to teach the faith and to evangelize. We need to keep the schools going all the while paying a just wage. As I mentioned, we have established an Apologetics course for our seniors and that is just the start. I have our grade school students writing to our seminarians. I have them doing this not because the seminarians are lonely but to connect the different levels of Catholic education.

Dave Hartline: What about the Eucharist? It seems Catholics are expressing an interest in knowing about the Eucharist & devotion to it.

Bishop Carlson: That’s what its all about it isn’t it, the Real Presence of Jesus. How anyone can not embrace that I do not know. This is not some abstract theory. We are talking about the Real Presence of Jesus. Wherever you see this happening, you see great things taking place in the Church. You see vocations, parish involvement, greater respect for one another. I could go on and on. Obviously, I am working on having more Adoration in the Saginaw Diocese.

Dave Hartline: Well you certainly have your plate full. Do you have any other projects in mind or is that it for a while?

Bishop Carlson: Oh, we are just beginning. Right now we are working on having better music and giving better homilies. You know the Lord helps those who help themselves.

[I think it is interesting how Papa seems to know about what this bishop has been doing with vocations and also that he was in Rome. Papa knows everything!]

00Wednesday, May 3, 2006 11:49 PM
Welser-Moest will lead the Zurich Opera Orchestra and Chorus, the Freiburg Cathedral Choir and the Choir of the Lucerne Musikhochschule (Music School) [SM=g27836] [SM=g27836]

I will check French Catholic TV online, they have the best musical papal archive I know...Fingers crossed... [SM=g27817] [SM=g27817]
00Thursday, May 4, 2006 5:40 AM

Mag6, the Papal Mass honoring the Swiss Guards will be televised by EWTN.

00Thursday, May 4, 2006 8:44 PM
Thanks Benefan!
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