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

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00Monday, October 9, 2006 11:25 PM
I join Maryjos
in thanking you for the article, Teresa. I did not think there was anything the matter with Papa, judging from his sprightly step in Bavaria. But when the Islam-fracas started, I panicked a wee bit that it could affect his general health in a way. He may smile and wave and appear serene, but still, he is a human being, and a sensitive man. And he is not a spring chicken anymore. But he looks so happy and "strahlend" on the photo's taken with the Emiglio-pilgrims that I am not worried anymore.
[SM=g27811] [SM=g27811] [SM=g27836]
00Monday, October 9, 2006 11:51 PM
Well, Papino's joy and glow and energy are his most obvious characteristics, so the day we fail to see one of those, then I would start worrying. I always tell myself he's German, so even if he were not the conscientious and disciplined priest that he is, he would be conscientious and disciplined when it comes to taking care of himself - especially since he knows the weight of his responsibility. He's had a pretty good record, so far, and God watches over him. Ad multos annos, Papino! Stay 'immer strahlend' with God's grace!

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 09/10/2006 23.58]

00Tuesday, October 10, 2006 1:11 AM
thanks teresa for that reassuring article amidst the *rumor* spread by some bloggers out there [SM=g27818]

i pray each day for Papa,for his safety,health and well-being. [SM=x40800]
00Tuesday, October 10, 2006 2:17 AM
I noticed how well Papa looked during the German TV interview and during his trip to Bavaria. I'm glad to see additional verification of his good health. He's such a dear. I hope he's with us for many years.
00Tuesday, October 10, 2006 5:02 PM
Thanks to Amy Welborn for pointing us to this wonderful 'appreciation' of Benedict by someone who knew him before he was Pope.

I have not placed it in ENCOUNTERS WITH THE FUTURE POPE because the author's association with the then-Cardinal is merely a reference point here for what he says, nor in NEWS ABOUT BENEDICT - although it takes off from the 'limbo still in limbo' issue - because it really is an appreciation fo Benedict the theologian.

And since our Papino, as weighty as his words and his responsibilities are, is never ever ponderous (he's an angel, remember? - I'm putting this bouquet of praise into the POPE-POURRI.

Father Z (John Zuhlsdorf) can be visited on


8 October 2006
On Benedict’s silence about limbo
and on his theological method

In all the hype about limbo these days, keep some things in mind. When he met with the International theological Commission at the end of their work, Benedict XVI didn’t do two things: he didn’t give them a normal post-meeting meeting or a normal post-meeting address. Instead, he celebrated Mass with them and gave them a sermon about the work of the theologian.

[He then goes into the Pope's wonderful homily at that Mass...]

On a personal note, years ago when I worked in the Palace of the Holy Office, a couple days after he released his instruction On the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian , I encountered Cardinal Ratzinger in the hallway and had a pleasant and very fruitful chat with him.

I told him I had read the document through a couple times and he, with his characteristic kindness, asked my opinion about it. I responded to his surprise that I wasn’t satisified. "Why", he asked.

I said, "There are quite a few pages there, but nowhere do you identify who a theologian is." He regarded me for a few seconds and then said, "Why don’t you tell us. You are working at the Augustinianum [the Patristic Institute literally across the street from the Holy Office building]. You are studying St. Augustine. Find out what St. Augustine thought a theologian is."

That became the basis of my first thesis and I have him to thank for it. My point is that the Pope approaches the issue of theology and who the theologian is with great humility. I give this personal example as a tiny flicker of light to illuminate his own theological method.

Benedict XVI is always taking the time to interrogate the past about today’s burning questions. In helping me to a thesis topic, he did what a professor had done for him when he was young as he steered the young Ratzinger to go back to Augustine to explore what was meant by the "People of God", a much discussed question of those years.

Even in his Regensburg Address, the Pope uses something of the past as a crowbar to pry open the difficult questions we face today.

He pries and prays and then pronounces.

This more than likely why, in his present role as Supreme Pontiff, he did not breathe even a single word about limbo in a sermon to the Theological Commission. He didn’t even mention it as something they had studied!

He is going to pry and pray before making a pronouncement and he wants everyone else to do the same.

Let us not forget that he also told those theologians present (as well as other theologians in the world together with himself) that theological pronouncements must be subject first to silence and God’s will, rather than the bombastic pressure of the world’s expectations.

The world probably expected the Pope to be politically correct about Islam. He was not. The Pope spoke.

The Pope has probably figured out his best approach to Islam and to Europe and Christianity and, after considerable thought and prayer, he spoke boldly something he must have known would anger many people.

On the other hand, limbo, being a theological solution proposed about the question of the effects of original sin, also is going to cause the politically correct to flare up. After all, the very idea of original sin, and consequences for any sort of sin is going to make some relativists and that ilk see red.

In this case, however, rather than say something that might be pleasing to that side, the Pope spoke not even the word "limbo", though he could have very easily said at least something.

If you want a hammer with which to drive home my point, the Pope in these days announced the topic of the next Synod of Bishops: The Word of God in the Life and the Mission of the Church. I imagine that everyone is going to be thinking that this will focus on Scripture.

I think he has something more in mind.


And they said this would be dull Papacy after the Wojtyla years! Dull??? - With a mind as original and brilliant and fearless as Benedict's, how can anything be dull?
In fact, it's become a thrilling exercise to anticipate what his next surprise might be.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 10/10/2006 17.10]

00Tuesday, October 10, 2006 5:40 PM
What Pope Benedict does is ressourcement theology: going back to the scriptural and patristic sources and asking hard questions and then praying over them. If the proponents of this method had "won" at Vatican II, the Church would be in a far better state today than it is. The "aggiornamento" side lost all contact with the sources and launched itself into the modern world with no foundation or underpinnings. What has always impressed me about Joseph Ratzinger is his constant need for and revitalization in silence and prayer. It is a lesson that many of my own teachers should follow.
00Thursday, October 12, 2006 6:21 AM

A survey of theological novelties
at the Frankfurt Book Fair
By Michael Karger

The quiet chilly exhibition halls of theinternational publishing houses at Frankfurt's Book Fair are not much visited by most fairgoers. But Catholic book lovers generally head for the Vatican's stand found among those of Italian publishers.

A nun makes sure there is always a fresh stack of the Pope's pictures in postcard size or in devotional-card format. "After all, he is German," she says. And if you ask her, she also has the Pope's official portraits in large format.

But even among the autumn novelties from German publishers, there are numerous Pope titles on display in the various stands. Several versions are devoted to the documentastion and after-reporting of teh Pope's triumphal visit to Bavaria.

The picture book "Der Papst in Der Heimat" (The Pope in His Homeland) by Fr. Von Gemmingen (Radio Vatican edition published by Benno Verlag) comes with a CD containing the Pope's addresses.

"Papst Benedikt in Regensburg" is published by the Diocese of Regensburg (F. Pustet Verlag) and describes in text and pictures the two days and two nights that the Pope spent there.

A small book by Karl Birkenseerr (journalist fromh the Passauer Neue Presse) "Heimatbesuch von Papst Benedikt XVI" (Pope Benedict's Home Visit) is devoted to the Pope's private program in Regensburg and Pentling alone.

Matthias Kopp and Ludwig Ring-Eifel, using photographs by Vatican photographer Arturo Mari, offer their book, "Der Papst in Bayern" (Herder).

Gerhard Fuchs's "Papst Benedikt XVI in Deutschland" is published by Weltbild.

Vatican correspondent Crista Kramer provides the text to a magnificent picture book from Sankt Ulrich Verlag. It also contains the transcripts of all the Pope's addresses.

Two new biographies deserve special mention. One is Peter Seewald's monumental picture biography "Benedikt SVI: Leben und Auftrag" (Benedict XVI: His Life and Mission) with several previously unpublished photos of Joseph Ratzinger as a theology studfent and as a young priest. This is published by Weltbild.

Amazingly rich in material is a documentation of teh years-long relationship of Joseph Ratzinger with the Integrierte Gemeinde [this translates as 'integrated community' but it appears to refer to a church movement or a federation of churches], "30 Jahre Wegbegleitung" (30 Years along a Common Road), edited by Traudl Wallbrecher, Ludwig Weimer and Arnold Stoetzel and published by Verlag Urfeld.

This is an important building block for the chapter of Joseph Ratzinger's life relating to the spiritual breakthroughs and movements of the post-conciliar era.

The rest of the article is devoted to other new books that have to do with religion and faith - all German publications, but very interesting. I may add it here if I have time to translate the rest of it.]

Then, Die Tagespost also reviews the book by Fr. Laepple on his friend Benedict, as well as the German version of George Weigel's "God's Choice" (for some reason, it was given the German title "Project Benedikt", which wrongly implies that it is about the Pope's "agenda"!) Translations of these reviews to follow.

00Tuesday, October 17, 2006 7:22 PM

Scritto da: TERESA BENEDETTA 30/06/2006 23.38
It was hard to decide which thread to post Simone's extraordinary account of "How I spent my summer vacation",
but since it revolved around Papa and the places dear to him, I decided I would place it here, rather than in PICTURES

I hope I have placed the picture-montages in the right places! As I said earlier in another thread, Simone's travelog
is probably the best visual preparation one can have for Papa's Bavarian visit.


“God be with you, land of Bavaria”:
My Travel Report

Dear friends…H ere is Part-I of my travel report. I warn you – it is daunting! Although I tried hard to limit myself,
there is so much to write about…If it annoys you, then…

Gott mit dir, du Land der Bayern” (God be with you, land of Bavaria) from the Bavarian anthem or
Wer den Dichter will verstehen, muss ins Land des Dichters gehen (Goethe)“ [also quoted by Papa in
Wadowice about John Paul II - Roughly, it means whoever wants to understand a poet must visit the place
he comes from. Side note- Simone has a talent for picking out the right quotations – remember her signature
motto eventually became the motto for Papa’s Bavarian visit

Part I


When one plans to spend a summer vacation in Bavaria, one must prepare for everything from a snow fall to
super-heat, so we naturally have too much baggage. But there was room in the suitcase, of course, for the
two most necessary Ratzi-books I decided to bring [Papa's autobiography and Peter Seewald's 'Portrait of
Benedict XVI Up-Close"

The first little problem crops up before we even left – the suitcases would not fit into the new car – but it
has a back seat! And the warm extreme-summer weather has begun.

Along the way, we saw many football fans from Mexico on their way to Nuremberg....

My heart started racing as we approached the city of Regensburg, almost like it did when arriving in Rome last time.

The Hotel Herzog-am-Dom is very well-located, as the name says, right by the Cathedral (Dom). It has almost
avant-gardist furnishings in a historical edifice, and the rooms have free DSL access! The room charge
also includes the minibar which has no alcohol except beer, and juices, Fanta, Cola and water.

One does not need an alarm clock because at 6 a.m. the Cahtedral bells start to ring. I find that very beautiful!!!

The furnishings are so ‘avantgarde’ that one has two LEDs instead of ordinary reading lamps and they also serve
as “emergency lights”. But who would read in bed in this vibrant city!

Another hotel, “Der Andechser” which has a beer garden, is in the same building. Very practical! Altogether,
the hotel prices are comparable. I would have chosen the Bischofshof in any case, but they had no vacancies.

Now we went a bit around the city. How pretty it is – the Cathedral, the Bishops’ Court (Bischofshof),
the many small streets where life truly pulsates….

The cathedral bookstore has two display windows filled with HIS books and posters.

And so here are the places he frequented – where his beloved eyes looked, where he walked, where he loved to be.
What did he think? What did he do?

We went over the Stone Bridge [crossing the Danube which flows through Regensburg]. A figure on the bridge
is on the lookout - for whom, I wonder?

There is a typically Bavarian street fair in Stadtamhof. All the beer gardens along the banks of the Danube
are bursting full.

After dinner at Andechser, we took another Absacker at the Bischofshof. We then proceeded to Georg’s house
on Luzengasse 2. Unfortunately, he was not in town so one did not have the possibility of seeing him. Here,
there is absolutely no evidence of wanting to be incognito – the doorbell and mailbox are quite normal,
with Georg’s name on them. How often has Papa been in and out of this place!

Again extreme summer weather, very hot.

We went to the Cathedral for the first time. I lit a candle before Mary’s image, HIS candle already burning (?).

Then to the tourist information bureau – very inadequate!!
They did not know anything about the Vespers on
6/14, vigil of Corpus Domini, nor whether Gloria (Thurn und Taxis) was in town, and they even located the
‘Kaff' (boarding-school for the Domspaetzen, the Regensburg Cathedral's boys choir) wrongly on the city map…

But they know that Papa will stay at the Seminary on Bismarck Square in September. So we proceeded there...

Once again, the city fascinated me – it is fantastic, so many young people, with activity everywhere and
wonderful piazzas.

Later we drove to Ziegetsdorf, to the cemetery. It is a very tiny one – I found the gravesite [of Papa's parents
and sister]immediately since I had a picture of it. I asked two women who were taking care of other gravesites if
there was a flowershop nearby. But there wasn’t so we had to go to Pentling to a shopping center. I bought
three roses that I laid on the grave – that meant a lot to me.

Necessarily, I had to go by myself to Bergstrasse 6 [Papa’s Pentling home address]. Actually, everything
about it is publicly described. There is even a sign on the house – despite which I could not find it at first
and had to ask other residents the way. The man said jestingly that ‘the pope is not there though”, and in the
same spirit, I said I was deeply disappointed!

The house looks quite pretty, unassuming, but by no means “Bausparkkassenstil” [roughly, savings-bank building
style] as I had once read somewhere. It looked freshly painted and the garden is well tended.

Bergstrasse [mountain street] , as the name indicates, goes uphill and ends in a cul-de-sac. The house is almost
at the opposite end [of the cul-de-sac] at the corner of Bergstrasse and Mittweg. The state highway is not
far away, so the area is not quite peaceful.

The house looks lived in, at least the ground floor, and there are plants in flowerpots on the terrace. There is
a beehive in the garden. I broke off a small branch from a tree [Weigelien?]to take with me (veneration of
relics is not, after all, unusual among Catholics).

The Hofbauer family [Papa's friends and caretakers of his house]lives directly across the street on Mittterweg.
Unfortunately there was not a soul to be seen to whom I could speak to, although an “work-ready” high-pressure
automatic cleaner was in the driveway. Apparently, everyone has hidden away from me!

I couldn’t get myself to leave but neither could I continue. Here he lived, worked, slept, ate, laughed,
received guests, walked about the grounds….

It is here that he has always returned. But even now, as I write, my heart is racing. When I think about it all…..
phew! the Regensburg effect! You can think what you want about what I mean by that!
But back to reality. Back in Regensburg, we both visited the splendid “Old Chapel”, which lies right behind
our hotel. Then we proceeded to the Domspaetzen boarding-school, the so-called “Kaff”. At first we couldn’t
find it. The name was in giant letters on the building, but from the street one could nto see this because
tree branches covered the sign. But even here, everything seemed dead- everyone is still on Pentecost
vacation, and the house won’t reopen until 6/18.

Later, we ate at the Augustiner beer garden – we both ordered steak. Very good! In any case, I had drunk a bit
too much Thurn-und-Taxis beer. We wandered through the narrow streets, through the Bishops’ Court, towards the
Danube. It was very warm. I felt depressed, since I was still....Anyway! Warm summer nights, and the
atmosphere of the city, his city – that's a very dangerous mix – Phew! The Regensburg effect at high concentration!

Super-hot weather.

We got ourselves theater tickets for an open-air performance tonight of, appropriately, “Don Camillo und Peppone”
[Teresa's note: Ruini and Ratzinger!]

Then we went on a ‘Strudelfahrt’ on the Danube - no strudel, just a brief river cruise. For Regensburgers,
‘Strudel’ refers to the water eddies under the Stone Bridge.

Afterwards, I bought myself two Papa-books at the Cathedral bookstore – one about his Regensburg relationships,
Hier bin ich wirklich daheim” (Here I feel I am really home) [Teresa's note: I posted translations of some
‘chapters’ from this book in the RFC before we had an English section here
] which is very very beautiful.
The other book was “Werte in Zeiten des Umbruchs” (Values in a time of upheaval) which I did not previously
have, to complete my collection.

Today we will have an early meal at the beer garden of the Bischofshof, the place to be!

Here and there in Regensburg -

Around 20:30 the performance began in the inner courtyard of the Thon-Dittmer Palace on Haidplatz. The play is
a very lively, engaging comedy.

Do you know the relation between Jesus and Don Camillo? Jesus is portrayed here by an actor who, at the start
of the performance, leisurely ‘climbs’ a Cross that is on the stage and thereafter remains ‘suspended’ there.
From where he advises Don Camillo. For a moment, I thought, “Hmm- Popetown!” and someone behind me said,
“Do you think the bishop is pleased with this?”…But it all turned out to be harmlessly amusing.

Regensburg is wonderful. One comes across HIS footsteps everywhere (if you want to and know what to look for).
The warm summer nights make one all stirred up… And these many romantic narrow streets and corners….

It is getting even warmer.

After breakfast, we took a walk to Luzengasse. Georg has been back (from Rome) since yesterday! Someone from
the ZDF Bavarian state TV was in front of the house. He said he was to do an interview with Georg about the Pope’s
visit. All the windows were wide open, but unfortunately, not a sign of Georg.

So we went on to St. Emmeram Basilica. Above the main entrance is Papa’s coat of arms.

From there, we went to the Castle of the Princes Thurn und Taxis. No one claimed to know whether Gloria was
in town. It was OK by me, but I want HIS friends to be my friends too! [Simone, are you saying you’re OK
with Gloria now, and perhaps Alessandra
?] The castle shop is selling her autograph for 1 Euro!

But the weather was too beautiful to do a castle visit, and there was no one in the courtyard either. So we went
to the princely brewery, which looks like a castle itself. Even there was a TV team.

We asked the brewmaster what the motto of the Thurn und Taxis means – Habeo quod dedi. (I have what I gave.]

The motto goes back to the first Prince Thurn und Taxis ( almost like the dynasty founder) with this sense.
“I have really hanged myself [reingehaengt - may have a more idiomatic translation] and what I have created
thereby, I keep.”

In the realm of Thurn-und-Taxis - On the left is the entrance for paying visitors to the castle;
on the right is the princely brewery

Around 3 p.m., we attended the first Vesper at the Cathedral (it was the only time during the whole trip that
we had to dress warmer – it was so cold inside the Cathedral). The Domspaetzen sang under the direction of
Roland Buechner [Georg’s successor]. It was so beautiful - everything so fascinating, the wonderful singing,
the rituals.

We sat in the first row. The Cathedral was only a third full at best. Near me was a slender young priest with
thick dark hair who reminded me instantly of Papa as a young man!

After Vespers, I waited at the side entrance for Maaestro Buechner, but my darned shyness overcame me…
I didn’t know what to say, he said a friendly “Gruess Gott” to me, I said the same, and that was it!

Vespers on the eve of Corpus Domini-

Later, we walked through Luzengasse again (a window remained wide open) to the princely Brewery. We ate at
the beer garden – it’s pleasant sitting there. Then we went in to look at the first half of the Germany-Poland
game, but the Beamer-images were not good, so at half-time, we went back, passing by Georg’s house again –
the lights were on. Was he also watching football?

When one thinks that from this house there are visible and invisible links to Rome and Papa – a telephone line
that goes directly to him – that probably, at this very minute, they were talking to each other as we were passing by.
What a prospect!

In the Andechser, we watched the rest of the game. Later, sleep was out of the question – half the night, cars were
honking and people were screaming! [I suppose she meant in celebration of Germany’s victory over Poland.]

Corpus Domini

Again it is super-hot, 31 degrees Centigrade.

To spare my husband, I left the Mass in a rush. He was ready however to go with me to the University and once again
to Pentling. But there was something else.

From 8:30 on, one could observe from the hotel how many people, dressed in Sunday best, were headed
for the Cathedral. Meanwhile, we had breakfast and checked out.

Around 9:30, one could see the preparations for the procession on the south side of the Cathedral, as the main
entrance is under repair. Buechner was with his Domspaetzen as expected, along with student associations, many nuns…
The couple Richardi [Papa’s good friends from his university days, grandparents of the boy he was playing with
in that famous picture where he is on his knees
] marched at the very front. I didn’t see Georg. Archbishop
Mueller carried the Monstrance under the baldachin. Many people joined the procession. The bells pealed – a very
festive procession.

We proceeded to the University – naturally, a giant area – but I found the faculty of Theology and Philosophy.

Then we drove to Pentling, went by and around Papa’s house. One last look and then, we drove in the direction of
the town center, or what there is of it. We found the lodging house Altes Tor and ate a little something in
the beer garden. There was a lot of activity by the townspeople.

I asked if HE had ever been here. The waitress in tight leather pants and scant top nodded knowingly and pointed
to a picture that showed the audience that a Pentling delegation had with the Pope in Castel Gandolfo last summer!

First wave of 'marketing' the Pope's trip:

The preliminary rejoicing over the coming visit is already great. On the right, a photo of Islinger Field,
where the Papal Mass will be celebrated on 9/12

I will stop here for now. Dear friends, there is still a lot I could report, but now I need a pause. Plus, maybe
this has been to much for you???

No, Simone, nothing of this sort is ever too much for Benaddicts, so we are all awaiting Part 2 -
the famous or infamous Altoetting sojourn, I believe?

And we are all so very happy to finally meet your sainted husband virtually - he must be endlessly amused
that he has been 'adopted' by the Forum!

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 09/07/2006 6.03]

00Tuesday, October 17, 2006 7:51 PM
DEAR PALMA....I am truly curious to find out what you meant by reproducing above my translation-posts
on Simone's account of her Bavarian trip, since you did not post any comment with it!

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 11/11/2006 23.22]

00Wednesday, October 18, 2006 12:45 PM
Only to underline some error on the tale.
The tale about the Teddy Bear is very good but some part of the tale disagree with the real story about Teedy Bear.
00Wednesday, October 18, 2006 7:35 PM

Volkswagen offers Pope a luxury sedan

Oct. 18 (CWNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI is the owner of a new Volkswagen Phaeton, courtesy of the German auto maker.

Volkswagen's President Bernd Pischestsrieder met with the Pontiff on October 18, and gave him the keys to the black luxury sedan-- specially equipped with tinted glass and curtans on the windows. The German company said that the car is ideally suited for "comfort, discretion, and security."

00Wednesday, October 18, 2006 8:07 PM
And here's the picture from RAtzigirl...
00Thursday, October 19, 2006 11:13 AM
I so sorry!!
My little son (9 age) is learning to speak english and he like to make fan, too !!! I only now find about that. I so sorry!
@Andrea M.@
00Thursday, October 19, 2006 11:09 PM
Things happen ...
October 19th, 2006

Pope loses ring, faithful give it back

VERONA, Italy (Reuters) – Pope Benedict may have to have his ring tightened.

According to Italian media reports, the papal ring slipped off his finger twice while he was shaking hands with well-wishers as he left Verona's Bentegodi stadium on Thursday.

The faithful into whose palms the gold ring fell promptly gave it back each time.

The ring is known as the "Fisherman's Ring," because it depicts St Peter, the first pope, casting a net into the sea.

© news.yahoo.com/fc/World/Papacy_and_the_Vatican
00Thursday, October 19, 2006 11:13 PM
Those Sundays together, to the hearth of " road of the mountain ".
Called to Munich and then to Rome, the future Pope has never stopped considering Pentling his true house.
When professor the Joseph Ratzinger whit his sister Maria moved to Regensburger in November 1969 , letting to the shoulders the enlivened university of Tubinga in the full load of the protests of the '68, he decided would have been his own house. In Regensburger also live his Georg, master of the Chorus of the Regensburger . Them the family could re-united again, all three , like to the old times in Marktl Am Inn and Traunstein. He knew that outside cities, from the sides of Pentling, were building new habitations.There besides there were living also other colleagues of the university, like the professor Reinhard Richardi, his expensive friend. It was a quite zone, with much green, and garden and to be able to do beautiful walks in the woods of the neighbourhoods. In 1970 there were under construction the little houses , the road of the mountain, which had also a beautiful name. So it purchased the little house about two plans (ground floor and first plan), where it equipped suddenly a room also for the brother Georg, who could sleep there nevertheless living in centre close to the cathedral; and a part of the house for his sister Maria. " Even if I live in Rome, there is my true house in Germany - Ratzinger was saying, when he was returning home like prefect's of the Congregation for the doctrine of the faith-. When I return, I do not want to go to hotel, but I want to return to house, where there are the things whom I need, my books. And this one feels me to house it is this that binds to me with Pentling, with this garden, with closeness of my brother Georg and my parents, who are buried in the cemetery of the country ".
In 1974, in fact, Joseph Ratzinger decided to make re-exhuming the corpses of his parents, buried in Traunstein (the father had died in 1959, the mother in 1963), and transferring to the little cemetery of Pentling, so to be able to bring some fresh flowers and to prayer . For the whole period in whose Ratzinger it taught Regensburger, the house of Pentling was the centre of the familiar life. The brother Don Georg was coming every Sunday to dinner, which was cooking by thier sister Maria, and then, all and three together were going out to walk. The afternoon was always concluding with a beautiful coffee and some Bavarian pastry tasted to the fresh one of the garden, the cat of house that was coming to make them melted. Also on the eve of Christmas the Ratzinger they were reunited together in the house of Pentling, adorned for the festivities, and were passing here the hours of wait of the Christmas, before going to the Setting into cathedral sung at Regensburger Domspatzen's.
When in 1977, big surprise ,he was appointed archbishop of Munich, Joseph Ratzinger and his sister Maria leaved the house of Pentling, which remained whichever as a point of reference for the vacation, and the days of visit.

The entire story is here:
00Friday, October 20, 2006 4:00 AM
[Thank you for the story,Palma. It is one of those I had marked out to translate during the Bavarian trip but got sidetracked in the uproar that followed the Regensburg lecture, so I am truly glad you posted it. Thank you again.]

Ratzigirl today came across two blogs by two Italians who remember the Joseph Ratzinger they had occasion to meet 'casually' before he became Pope. And both come to the same conclusions about his genuine humility, kindness and sweetness.

Here are translations

Benedict XVI:
The greatness of a Pope,
the humility of a man

When, as a representative of the youth in my diocese, I met the then Cardinal Ratzinger, I came conditioned by so many reports that had been circulated about him, with the image of severity and coldness that the media had built around the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

I was therefore convinced that I would meet a harsh, haughty and surly man. But as soon as I looked into his eyes and saw the kindness ('dolcezza') with which he looked at me, the image crumbled, and with it, my distorted ideas of him .

Joseph Ratzinger, in spite of his severely Teutonic surname, is a man whose gentless and sweet nature are disarming. Later, when I would tell others of that meeting and recount the sensations I felt before a man whose tremendous inner life came across very obviously, when I spoke about a man who was even shy, many found it dificult to believe me.

After the polemics raised by Islamist extremists, Benedict XVI has demonstrated that great humility which cannot but be a characteristic of Christ's Vicar on earth. Not just willing to enter into dialog, but even actively advocating it, this most gentle Pope, in holding out his hand to the Islamic world and in meeting with its ambassadors, has given a lesson to the whole world.

The second story is recounted by Corriere della Sera's chief Vatican corespondent Luigi Accatoli on his blog:

Years ago, when Joseph Ratzinger was for many the Grand Inquisitor, I saw him on a street near St.Peter's. I gathered courage and stopped him - something which cost me much effort because I am basically very shy myself.

I had just read his book "Salt of the Earth", which I think is the book that has been his greatest success in general readership. I told him so, and he was very kind and thanked me. We walked together a bit, we talked some more about the book, and then, with great courtesy, he asked about me.

When we got to his residence, we said our goodbyes and he was very generous with his best wishes and more kind words, even if obviously, I was a total stranger to him.

I could not help comparing him to some of his colleagues - ecclesiastical dignitaries often considered and introduced as 'progressive,' open-minded, modern types. I have met quite a few of them, and I have been struck by their personal coldness, the distance they keep or their apparent inattention when one tries to approach them directly, and often, a superficiality in the simple matter of speaking person to person. Everything about them seems to contradict their reputation, which is evidently based more on a 'political' profile rather than on personal qualities.

I don't mean to generalize, but Ratzinger was certainly different this way: The Pope (as the Prefect was) coincides with the priest that he is, and the priest with the person that he is. There is no difference - not one Ratzinger on show, and another one in private. And that's the way a priest should be. If he does not have the ability to deal with individuals one on one, then what sense does his mission have?

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 20/10/2006 4.05]

00Friday, October 20, 2006 11:49 PM
Paparatzifan posted this beautiful little 'memoir' published in Verona's L'Arena newspaper yesterday on the occasion of the Pope's visit.

A local nun recalls
summer vacations shared
with the future Pope

By Camilla Ferro

Ironic: "Who better than I could say she knows the Pope? We spent many vacations together, having meals next to each other for two weeks at a time."

Affectionate: "I have a special memory of those summers in Bressanone and the time spent with then-Cardinal Ratzinger talking about so many things, by no means always serious. The last time I saw him? It was Augusut 2004, the last summer he spent before becoming Pope. His brother, don Georg, was with him as usual. We were all summer guests at the major seminary."

Reflective: "Whoever says this Pope is 'closed' is wrong. He has an accessibility and a kindness that are rarely found in most people, and I say that without 'piaggeria'... He has a big heart and an intelligence just out of the ordinary. In talking to him, one comes away enriched with viewpoints that are as original as they are profound, and one always finds the answers one was looking for."

Argumentative: "The fuss over the Mohammed quotation? Precisely, it was just a quotation, which others have exploited to make it appear that it his opinion - He, a man of such profound culture and therefore respectful of all human beings, every single one, would never even allow himself to think that way."

And moreover: "Papa Ratzinger is a man who is open to inter-religious dialog. He was misunderstood, that's all. He is too refined and too educated to offend anyone, even his worst enemies - it just isn't in his code of conduct."

Suor Germana Canteri, in charge of cultural activities at the Don Mazza Institute in via Campofiore, Verona, spent several two-week summer vacations in August in the same lodging house where Joseph Ratzinger had spent his summer vacations since 1979, in Bressanone in the Tyrolean Alps of Italy.

"He ate his meals with other summer guests and all the other priests of the seminary," she recalls. "His brother was always with him. And I repeat - from what I experienced with him, from what he has told me in our chats, from what I see of how he behaved with everyone, from the sensitivity that he has unfailingly shown towards others on more than one occasion, I can say that, even before the fact that he is Pope, this is a man who is kind, cordial, humble and reserved."

Reserved or severe? Suor Germana feels provoked. "But enough of these tales! He is absolutely not a cold and distant person - his shyness could have been wrongly interpreted."

She remembers an episode: "There were concerts held in the Cathedral and one time, he was the guest of honor. They had prepared a special red chair for him in the front row. But he preferred to take an ordinary seat, the most inconspicuous he could find, so that people were not even aware he was there. He said later, 'Was it more important to be seen or to be present? Most times, people don't see the organist but he is there!'

"That was Papa Ratzinger - a priest who said Mass every day at 7:00 in the former seminary and at 10 a.m. went to Mass at the parish church, kneeling there among the faithful, dressed simply, certainly not as a cardinal, attentively listening to the priest's homily and ever ready to compliment him if it was called for."

Suor Germana goes on "her" Pope: "He always had a kind thought for everyone. During his walks, he often stopped to talk to those he met along the paths, always ready to listen to whoever approached him."

"There was another nun named Maria who did the rooms every day. One afternoon, he walked to a store in Bressanone just to get her a bag of sweets. For me, he would sign the postcards that I sent to my family and friends. He did not just sign them, he would ask me who was the recipient so he could write a personal note for each one."

Suor Germana has a well of memories: "In the afternoons, he would sit under a tree with his brother. Once, I had my room just above where they were chatting. I looked out the window and called out to him, 'Eminence, don't speak loud because then I will hear everything.' He answered- 'Suor Germana, don't worry. Go ahead and listen. Even better, why don't you come down now so we can all chat?'

"In short," the nun says,"Pope Benedict is really a beautiful person, with a simplicity so disarming that it is such a great contrast to the high position he has."

"I know," she adds with a smile, "how those official robes must weigh on him, since he was always most comfortable in shirt and trousers when on vacation."

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 21/10/2006 4.58]

00Saturday, October 21, 2006 2:31 AM


What a lucky nun! Imagine going to stay in a seminary on vacation and ending up eating with Papa, not once but often on a daily basis and not just one summer but many years in a row. Coincidence? I think not. Even though Papa wasn't Benedict yet at that time, obviously the Benedict effect was in full force.

00Saturday, October 21, 2006 8:00 PM
The Associated Press entitled this item "Atheist gifts Pontifical School in will" - which I found strange because Oriana Fallaci's best credential is her name, and any other headline writer would have written "Fallaci gifts..."

In any case, this is a beautiful story. Oriana reached out to the Pope even in her final days

{C] Associated Press Writer
Saturday, Oct. 20, 2006

ROME - An Italian journalist and self-described atheist who died last month has left most of her books and notes to a pontifical university in Rome because of her admiration for Pope Benedict XVI, a school official said Saturday.

Oriana Fallaci had described the pontiff as an ally in her campaign to rally Christians in Europe against what she saw as a Muslim crusade against the West. As she battled breast cancer last year, she had a private audience with Benedict, who was elected only a few months earlier, at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo.

In one of her final interviews, Fallaci told The Wall Street Journal: "I am an atheist, and if an atheist and a pope think the same things, there must be something true."

Benedict was surprised by the gift of the books, which dated back as far as the 17th century and included volumes about the formation of modern-day Italy, American history, philosophy and theology, said Monsignor Rino Fisichella, rector of the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome.

"The veneration that she had for you, Holy Father, persuaded her to make this donation, which will be known as the Oriana Fallaci Archives," Fisichella said during a ceremony at the university Saturday to announce the gift of the books.

Benedict greeted Fallaci's nephew and his family during the ceremony, according to the Italian news agency ANSA. He then spoke briefly about the search for truth in science and academia.

"God is the ultimate truth to which all reason naturally gravitates," the pontiff told an audience of students and faculty.

A few weeks before her death, Fallaci had some 20 boxes of books sent to the university, Fisichella later told The Associated Press. Books are still awaiting shipment from her homes in New York and Tuscany, he said, as well as her notes as a journalist.

Fisichella said "the pope has said we must live in the world as if God existed and she (Fallaci) took up the challenge."

After decades of conducting major interviews and covering wars as a correspondent for two of Italy's largest dailies, Fallaci concentrated her famous passion and energy in her last years on vehement attacks against a Muslim world she judged to be the enemy of Western civilization.

Absent from the publishing scene for nearly a decade, Fallaci burst back into the spotlight after the Sept. 11 attacks in the U.S. with a series of blistering essays in which she argued that Muslims were carrying out a crusade against the Christian West.

At the time of her death, she was on trial in northern Italy, accused of defaming Islam in her 2004 book, "The Strength of Reason." In it she argued that Europe had sold its soul to what she called an Islamic invasion.

Fallaci had also taken the Catholic Church to task for being what she considered too weak before the Muslim world, despite her praise of Benedict.

She died three days after the pope delivered a speech at a German university in which he quoted a Byzantine emperor who characterized some of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad as "evil and inhuman," particularly "his command to spread by the sword the faith."

The speech sparked anger in the Muslim world, prompting Benedict to express regrets and say the words did not reflect his personal opinion.

Benedict, who has been calling for more dialogue between Muslims and Christians, will make his first pilgrimage as pontiff to a predominantly Muslim country when he visits Turkey in November.


Interesting comments from our Italian sisters:

Lella :"A devout atheist who had a genuine veneration for our Pope! It should be a slap in the face to so many priests and bishops and some VAtican corespondents!"

Stupor-Mundi: "I think Mons. Fisichella who was in touch with her to the end must know in his heart that even for her, the gateway to Eternal Hope had opened."

Paparatzifan: "I pray that the Lord has welcomed her. I think in her heart, she was a believer."

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 21/10/2006 23.22]

00Monday, October 23, 2006 3:42 PM
The English version of 30 GIORNI that carries the fourth installment of the magazine's biographical series on Joseph Ratzinger starting with his years at seminary has apparently just come out, and Rocco Palmo quoted something from the installment this weekend. I posted my translation in ENCOUNTERS WITH THE FUTURE POPE on 9/8/08, shortly after the original Italian edition came out. You may want to check out the official translation at

Meanwhile, the English edition also has this small addendum - notable because of the photograph:


Professor Joseph Ratzinger and his former students, Including those of the early days in Bonn and Münster, continued to meet up once a year for a study session devoted to specific themes, even when the one-time professor had become first bishop and then cardinal prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The tradition did not stop even after the election of Joseph Ratzinger to the papal throne.

Here is a group photo of the annual assembly at the pontifical mansion of Castel Gandolfo in September 2005.

On that occasion the matter for discussion was the conception of God in Islam, with particular reference to the difference in the concept of revelation in the Koran and in Christian revelation. On the agenda for the next meeting – to be held in early September, again at Castel Gandolfo, strictly behind closed doors – are recent developments in the debate on creation and evolution.

I had read once before a reference to the Korean lady theologian in the Schuelerkreise, and I am surprised no one has done a story about her, nor about the other ladies in the group (there are at least 2 others, it seems, if I can trust my poor eyesight)

P.S. The picture has poor resolution on enlargement but I posted the enlargement anyway and haev saved even the small one on ImageShack in case 30 GIORNI takes it offline.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 12/11/2006 3.09]

00Monday, October 23, 2006 9:41 PM
The Ladies
Teresa - my eyesight is nothing to write home about but I think I see 5 women, including the Korean lady. I am VERY curious as to their identities and careers. Do we have sleuths on the forum who could "investigate"? [SM=g27820]:
00Tuesday, October 24, 2006 2:19 AM
When Cardinal Pompedda died last week, we had a bit of an exchange in the main forum about it because Ratzigirl's first comment on posting the news was - "He was the one who wrote the supposedly 'secret diary' of the last Conclave." And, of course, I said, Requiescat in pace, and all - but if he was really the culprit, as had been rumored even last fall, why on earth did he do that? Why would any cardinal have done it? And now, Papino would be saying his funeral Mass!

Funeral Mass for Cardinal Pompedda, St. Peter's Basilica, 10/20/06

Because I still find the whole episode very distasteful, I decided not to say anything in the English section when I posted the obit. But John Allen in his 10/22/08 daily journal has blown the lid off, for the Anglophone media anyway, as well as written a proper eulogy, here it is...

Alleged 'Deep Throat'
of Catholic Church
dies at 77

New York

A cardinal rumored by some to be the “Deep Throat” of the Catholic Church – the source of one of the most famous, if also widely contested, leaks of the last quarter-century – died on Wednesday in Rome at the age of 77.

Cardinal Mario Francesco Pompedda, an expert in canon law who served as Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura from 1997 to 2004, has often been flagged in Roman circles as the source of a document entitled “Diary of the Conclave,” published in the Italian journal Limes in September 2005, which purported to offer round-by-round voting totals from the April 2005 election which propelled Benedict XVI to the papacy.

Italian journalist Lucio Brunelli, author of the Limes report, said at the time that the diary had been provided to him by a cardinal after the conclave, despite the cardinals' vow of secrecy – and despite the penalty of excommunication for violating it.

Not everyone, it should be noted, believes that the alleged diary is authentic. It offered no new nuggets of insider detail, other than alleged vote totals, which had not already surfaced in other accounts.

Certainly not everyone bought the theory that Pompedda was the source, especially since he was the principal editor of Pope John Paul II’s 1995 apostolic constitution, Universi dominici gregis, outlining the very rules of the conclave that Pompedda was rumored to have violated.

The diary’s account gave then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger 47 votes on the first ballot, 65 on the second, 72 on the third, and 84 on the fourth, six more than the two-thirds needed to elect him to the papacy. The account also indicated that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergolio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, was a strong second-place finisher. [Allen does not indicate here that this 'secret' account was the only one that gave these figures, and that most other accounts had the final votes for Ratzi at 95, including Allen's own invesstigations.]

Privately, Pompedda denied the rumors that he was the source, and Brunelli has not had any comment on Pompedda’s death.

Yet among many observers in Rome it quickly became conventional wisdom that Pompedda was the source – perhaps for no other reason than that the Sardinian jurist was a notoriously independent thinker in an environment that tends to breed homogeneity, perhaps because Pompedda was unafraid to speak his mind despite the near-epidemic of caution that usually infects church officials at his level.

A reputation as Catholicism’s “Deep Throat” is not how Pompedda himself envisioned his legacy. Instead, he had hoped that one of his principal gifts to the church would be revised set of rules for annulments, which would have made the declaration that a marriage had never existed faster and easier to obtain. A draft of these rules seemed on the brink of publication in 2003, and Pompedda actually outlined the new system in several public comments, treating it as a fait accompli.

In fact, however, Pompedda resigned from the Signatura in 2004 without the document having been published. When it finally appeared in February 2005 under the title Dignitas Connubii, it was largely a reaffirmation of existing discipline rather than the reform Pompedda had desired.

Privately, Roman canonists said that Pompedda’s indiscretion in talking about the document before its publication had given opposition a chance to organize – in effect, they said, the Sardinian cardinal had snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

Yet Pompedda was never one to shy away from public discussion.

In retirement, he offered views on a wide cross-section of questions, often making headlines. He affirmed the need to fill the vacuum in canon law created by the absence of any procedures for dealing with the case of an incapacitated pope, he called for greater consultation of the laity in the nomination of bishops, and he supported some sort of civil legislation for “de facto couples” despite official pronouncements to the contrary.

In the summer of 2005, when the Italian bishops called upon voters to abstain from a liberalizing referendum on in vitro fertilization as a means of invalidating the measure, Pompedda said he felt that the duty of “democratic participation in public life” obligated Italians to vote. (In the end, the measure failed due to insufficient turnout).

Pompedda was a frequent participant in events organized by the Community of Sant’Egidio, though I recall a long talk I had with him in Lyon, France, in 2005, when he expressed doubt as to whether such ecumenical and inter-faith initiatives adequately addressed the “truth question,” meaning the ultimate validity of the claims put forward by the church’s dialogue partners. Ahead of his time, Pompedda told me that he was sure, sooner or later, that this would become an especially tough question in the dialogue with Islam.

Pompedda was one of those churchmen whose deep faith and loyalty never smothered the independence of his judgment. He believed that he owed the popes he served his best efforts to arrive at honest conclusions, ones which didn’t depend upon ideology or the tribal allegiances that can sometimes dominate Italian ecclesiastical life.

He also was convinced that Catholicism has nothing to fear from robust debate, and he was among only a handful of figures at senior levels who could be equally at home at a canon law seminar organized by Opus Dei or an ecumenical liturgy put together by Sant’Egidio.

Pompedda was, in short, a unique, colorful figure, who left his mark on the church of his time.

Addendum by Teresa:

The Holy Father's homily recalled Pompedda's life and ecclesiastical career, all 55 years of which were, unusually, spent in Rome and working in the Curia.

Having finished his priestly formation and professional studies in Rome, he was ordained at St. Peter's Basilica in 1951, with his first job at one of the Tribunals of the Roman Rota. He rose within the judicial hierarchy of the Vatican, reaching the top position, Prefect of the Apostollic Segnatura, in 1997.

The following year, John Paul II made him a bishop, with the title Archbishop of Bisarcio, and Cardinal in 2001. He retired in 2004 upon reaching 75.

Also noteworthy was that he spent the last 30 years saying Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in the Monte Mario section of Rome. He died at Gemelli Clinic after months of hospitalization for an unspecified illness.

The Holy Father's homily ended with this:

The last stage of his earthly journey was marked by an illness that precluded him from virtually any acitivity. Thus assimilated into the Passion of Christ, our friend and brother gradually detached himself from everything in order to abandon himself to the will of God.

'Soli Deo', only God, was the motto he chose when named Archbishop. Only in God could he find true comfort in his days of suffering and trial. Now the heavenly Father has opened the arms of His merciful love to welcome him.

St. Paul reminds us in the Letter to the Romans: "God shows His love towards us because when were sinners, Christ died for us. For more reason, now that we have been redeemed by His blood, we are saved from divine ire because of Him" (5,6-9).

"Trust in Christ, especially in these last montns, always guided the life of Cardinal Pompedda, whose soul we now commend to the mercy of the Father.

How comforting at tis time are the words which we just heard in the Gospel: "This is the will of my Father, that whoever has seen the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life; I will resurrect on the last day" (Jn 6,40).

He who believes in Christ has eternal life. Jesus does not eliminate death. It remains as a hesvy debt to be paid to our human limits and to the power of evil. But with His resurrection, Christ defeated death forever. And with him, they who believe in Him have also defeated death and attain grace upon grace from His fullness" (cfr Jn 1,16).

This knowledge illumines and orients the existence of all believers. Cardinal Pompedda died in the certitude that Christ triumphed over death and with the hope that we will be resurrected by him on the last day.

In his exit from this world, let us accompany him with our brotherly prayers, entrusting him to the celestial protection of Mary. May the Lord, through the intercession of the Most Holy Virgin, grrant him the rest promised to His friends, and in HIs mercy, may He introduce him to the kingdom of light and peace.

Gathered in affection around the mortal remains of Cardinal Pompedda, let us ask God that we may always live, reaching out towards Christ, who "taking on Himself our death, has liberated us from death and, sacrificing His life, has opened for us the way to immortal life" (Preface for the Dead, II). Amen!

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 24/10/2006 7.47]

00Wednesday, October 25, 2006 10:23 PM
In his blog today, Sandro Magister tackles one of my long-standing complaints about one of the most unexplainable and unpardonable inefficiencies at the Vatican Press Office...

The Regensburg lecture:
Where to find it if you don't
know German, Italian or English

The top-selling book at the recent Verona convention of the Italian church was "Chi non crede non e mai solo," with the Italian translations of all the speechs given by Pope Benedict XVI on his trip to Bavaria last month.

Published jointly by the Vatican publishing house and Cantagalli, it opens with the memorable Regensburg lecture in its complete form, with footnotes.

More than 40 days have past since that lecture, during which much has happened revolving around it throughout the world.

But incredibly, the most Discussed anD most controversial statement of this Papacy so far was for more than a month available on the Vatican site only in German, Italian and English.

A few days after the Bavaria trip, the Vatican site had all of the Pope's other Bavarian texts available in the SIX obligatory languages of the Vatican: Italian, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and German.

Except the Regensburg lecture, which continued to be available only in German, Italian and English! Not even the Arab version - which the Vatican had rushed through in a few days last month - has been placed online! Not today, the last I checked.

The French and Portuguese translations were placed online a few days ago, 35 days since the lecture. But the official Spanish translation is still not there. [Teresa's note: Consider how many Spanish-speaking Catholics there are - all of Latin and Central America, except Brazil, and Spain itself!]

Those who want to read it in Spanish may go to Aciprensa online, which decided to furnish its own translation.

It is disconcerting, to say the least, that such communications dysfunction should surround the Pope's most important text.

There's a new Secretary of State, there's a new director of the Vatican press office, but that has not affected the long-standing dysfunction at the Vatican in terms of translating Papal texts - so disastrous for a Pope whose ministry is very much based on what he says.


One would think it would not be the most challenging thing (nor expensive) in the world at all to assign at least 6 translators - one for each of the official languages - to get to work right away as soon as the original version of a text was ready.

As someone who has been translating the Pope's texts to English for months now, doing it on the sly when I am at work, or on weekends for longer pieces like his extemporaneous exchanges with priests, etc. - it is not a full-time job at all. And I'm only an amateur translator, who never had to do any formal translating work before, outside of exercises in language class a long time ago!

If a professional translator got down to work on a text right away, he should be able to finish the usual Angelus message or Wednesday catechesis in about an hour - far less, if he were a hotshot - including editing, and adopting idioms to the language of translation [which can be tricky].

The Regensburg lecture took all of five printed pages in German. Even granted that translating it would have required more technical precision in view of the scientific and philosophical language used, it flows so well and is expressed in such unequivocal terms, that assuming I needed half an hour to translate each page, an amateur like me would have had a first draft translation done in two and a half hours. What is their problem?

Both the Secretariat of State and Radio Vatican are staffed with quite a number of polyglot translators who can manage more than one language. If the Press Office does not have its own competent translating staff, can't they fan this out to the right individuals in those other departments? Again, we are not talking fulltime commitment here. You use them for the time it takes to do a translation, that's all. Or pay people per page of translation to come in and do it - Rome is teeming with people who can do that!

HELLO!!!!!! Father Lombardi? Cardinal Bertone? Is anyone out there listening? If someone like Sandro Magister can't budge your bureaucracy (and he must have tried to in vain all the past several years under the previouis management!), who can and who will?

It's a crying shame, because it is such a simple thing to correct, and the longer it's not corrected, the greater disservice is to the Pope, and all so unnecessary!

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 11/11/2006 23.19]

00Thursday, October 26, 2006 12:07 AM
Papal ring
via Ratzingerfanclub (originally by Joan Lewis - EWTN blog)

"Shortly after the Verona Mass, reports were circulating that Pope Benedict’s ring – known as the Ring of the Fisherman in reference to St. Peter, a fisherman and the first Pope - had slipped off his hand several times as he greeted well-wishers and VIPS. Each time this happened, the ring was, of course, handed back to the smiling Pontiff."

"This reminded me of a wonderful story recounted by a young deacon who was one of the guests in my home this year for Easter dinner. Several months earlier he had been called upon to be one of the altar servers for a Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict. Before he started vesting for Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, the Pope had washed his hands and this young deacon held the towel for the Holy Father to dry his hands. He did just that and handed the towel back to the young man who, as he took the towel, felt something hard inside. He realized in a flash that he was holding - in the palm of his very own hand - the Ring of the Fisherman. He said he felt a shiver at the thought, then he smiled and extended the ring to the Holy Father who smiled broadly in return and thanked him for returning the ring."
00Thursday, October 26, 2006 12:34 AM
Well, Teresa, do you think an "official" complaint plus petition signed by all and sundry here could be handed over formally, or sent by mail to Father Lombardi about this issue? And a copy of it should go to the Holy Father, whose staff (at least) would read it. I'm sure you could draw up an excellent letter and petition - and to make sure they understand it (hehe) it can be translated in the languages you handle so well. Magister's piece can be added for good measure.

It is a crying shame that translation of the Regensburg address has taken ages, but the same goes for all Papa's communications.
00Thursday, October 26, 2006 3:24 AM
In fact, Crotchet, I was thinking od doing something like that - sending Fr. Lombardi an e-mail with the URL to the forum and specific parts of the forum that are relevant to this problem. I'll see what Ratzigirl thinks about it. I'd even volunteer to do work for them (it would be my pleasure) if they e-mailed me the texts as soon as available - though it seems so stupid that they can't just have people right there get on with it!
00Friday, October 27, 2006 2:33 AM
Paparatzifan and Lella share this sidebar on the Pope's Verona trip, taken from L'Arena, Verona's city newspaper. I combined two stories into one for this translation - first the description of the menu, and next, what the people involved felt about their experience :

What they served
the Pope in Verona

A light meal but planned to reflect in its few dishes the best and most typiocal characteristics of Veronese cuisine - the chefs, sommeliers and students at the city's Stimattini professional cooking school and the Berti del Chievo hotel training institute planned, prepared and served the single meal taken by the Pope during his 10-hour visit to Verona last Thursday.

The Pope had lunch at the Bishop's Palace where he rested after his morning address to the 4th National Convention of the Italian Church.

The antipasto was artichoke hearts with a fondue of Monte Veronese cheese and pumpkin, followed by a double first course - tortellini in butter-and-salvia sauce, and a wine-based risotto (all'amarone). The second course was veal filet with lemon sauce, served with golden-fried potatoes and young spinach. Dessert was 'millefoglie' (a cream-filled pastry) prepared according to an age-old recipe). Five students, overcome with emotion at being able to wait on the Pope, were selected to serve the dishes.

The wines accompanying each course were Veronese wines: a 2003 Soave with the antipasto; classic Valpolicella 2001 with the first course; an Amarone from the 90s with the second course; and a classic Reccioto from 2003 with the dessert.

Coffee was served with puff pastries from Villafranca and 'sanvigilini' [another type of pastry?] drenched in Grappa Mezzanella (a wine) from Amarone.

"It was a meal prepared with much thought and served with all our heart," said Francesco Cabianca, president of Stimmatini.

The young men who were privileged to serve the Pope describe someone who was calm and kind and put everyone at ease.

Cabianca said later, "I was really taken by surprise when the Pope mentioned the name of our school when he greeted me, thanks of course to Padre Flavio [Bishop Carraro of Verona] who told the Pope about our preparations for the meal."

The kitchen contingent arived at the Bishop's Palace at 8 a.m. and immediately set to work under the guidance of their chefs and the supervision of a ceremonial master from the Swiss Guard.

One of the cooks said, "Up till noontime, we worked rather calmly. Pre-cooking the food, preparing the vegetables, the pasta and the fillings. Then when we saw on TV that the Pope was already at Piazza Bra [Verona's large square in front of its famed Arena, and not far from the Bishop's Palace], we all felt excited." But everything went well.

Prof. Paolo Massagrande from the hotel institute said: "We got the assignment to wait on the Pope from the Diocese in August.
We were privileged to do that in 1988 for John Paul II. But this time, we had much more time to prepare."

18-year-old Paolo Fortunato [who has the appropriate family name!] recalls: "I stayed calm because I knew I had to control myself, but when I saw the Holy Father come in, I was assailed by fear of making a mistake. But I pulled myself together to do what I had to do. Later when he gave each of us a little box containing a rosary, I experienced a wave of euphoria I had never felt before, and I was just so happy that I had touched the Pope!"

The Pope told them after the meal: "Thanks to you, and my compliments to everyone."

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 27/10/2006 2.35]

00Friday, October 27, 2006 3:42 AM
Ratzigirl posted this story in the main forum. Here is a translation, but it would be so good to have a picture to go with it.

They brought him
a bronze church door
to bless

Pope BenedIct XVI's visit to Verona will always be remembered at the main entrance of St. Peter the Apostle's Church.

A bronze panel, measuring six meters by three and weighing almosT two tons, containing scenes in relief showing Jesus handing the keys to St. Peter, who in turn hands it to Benedict XVI, looking strong and decisive and conscious of the enormous task entrusted to him.

The work of art was brought to the Bishop's Palace in Verona last Thursday to be blessed by the Pope himself.

Don Paolo Zuccheri, parish priest of St. Peter's said, "It was a most powerful emotion to present our bronze portal to the Pope
and to have him bless it."

He says, "The Pope was surprised to see such an imposing work of art before him. He asked us to explain its features, after which he blessed it."

The portal was designed by priest-artist don Battista Marello, director of the office for Ecclesiastical Properties in Caserta, near Naples.

In rhe central scenes, Jesus gives the keys to Peter who appears anxious at so much responsibility. But then Jesus comforts him, takes his hand in His and with the other hand, blesses him.

Surrounding the key scenes are the figures of all the other apostles represented with the Biblical attributes that distinguish each one.

Benedict is depicted wearing a cope with a pattern of Pentecost 'tongues of fire', a breast clasp, and a gold-embroidered stole with a geometric design meant to represent Reason.

The bottom of the panel shows a local river, the Mincio, in which the apostles are fishing, while the top part shows clouds that are a visual link to the ceiling of the Church entrance with its painting of the Annunciation.

Don Zuccheri says, "The idea for this came from a joke, really. Don Marello, who has designed two portals for churches in Caserta, jested he could do one for us, too. We certainly needed a new Church door, but we did not think it would end up being as important as this. Don Marello tells us that as far as he knows, our church door would be only the fourth one in existence here in Italy that has been blessed by a Pope. It's a great privilege, about which we will always be proud."

The bronze panel will be on exhibit at the cathedral till November when it will be affixed permanently.

00Friday, October 27, 2006 4:01 AM
We may not have pictures of that bronze portal, but we do have pictures of the Pope coming out of Church after he visited the Cathedral of Verona Thursday afternoon during his mid-day 'break' at the Bishop's Palace - before going to the Stadium Mass. It looks like this Cathedral needs a new door badly itself! Note how GG has ceded his place beside the Pope to the chief of security!

I know this is not a Pictures thread, but lacking a written story, let the pictures do it. Thanks to Paparatzifan for this sequence. Papino is gorgeous!

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 27/10/2006 4.03]

00Friday, October 27, 2006 5:06 AM
Having in mind these pictures, you can imagine how is going to be in Turkey....I wonder if someone will be able to see the Pope......U think that he wouldn't use the Papamobile......As a matter of fact I prefer that he goes,greets whoever he has to, make a beautifull discourse withuot leaving the airport and then take the plane back.
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