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

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00Friday, October 27, 2006 5:13 AM


I agree with you. I would prefer that when the plane lands in Turkey, Papa stays on the plane, whoever he was going to meet gets on and talks to him then leaves, then Papa takes off in the plane. Maybe Arturo Mari could take a photo or two of the scene from the plane's door just to prove Papa was there, but that's it. Zoom, zoom!

00Friday, October 27, 2006 5:22 AM
It would be bettter for everyone: a flash trip.....Oh dear benefan, what we can do? Praying, praying......and praying!
00Friday, October 27, 2006 5:38 AM


Interesting you should mention that. Apparently, the Knights of Columbus are thinking the same as you.

Knights of Columbus sponsors “Spiritual Pilgrimage” with Pope during Turkey trip

10/26/2006 - 12:29 PST

Catholic PRWire

(NEW HAVEN, CT.) — The Knights of Columbus announced today that it will sponsor a “spiritual pilgrimage” with Pope Benedict XVI as he travels to Turkey in late November. Knights, their families, and all Catholics are being asked to pray daily for the Pontiff during the trip, which begins on Tuesday, November 28 and concludes on Friday, December 1.

Knights will pray for the pope’s intentions beginning on November 26, the Sunday before the pope departs (the Solemnity of Christ the King). In addition, the Knights of Columbus will print and distribute cards with a special prayer written by the Order’s Supreme Chaplain, Bishop William E. Lori. Knights and others joining in the Spiritual Pilgrimage will say the prayer each day during the pope’s trip.

The prayer asks that the pope’s visit will bring about “deeper ties of understanding, cooperation, and peace among Roman Catholics, the Orthodox, and those who profess Islam.” And it asks that “Pope Benedict be kept safe from all harm as he prays, bears witness to the Gospel, and invites all peoples to a dialogue of faith, reason, and love.” The full text of the prayer appears below. A PDF file of the prayer card can be found at www.kofc.org.

“Only a few Catholics can physically travel with the Holy Father to Turkey,” Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson said, “but millions of us can be united with him in prayer during his pilgrimage for peace.”

“We will ask Our Lady of Fatima to intercede for the pope during this journey,” Anderson continued. “Mary is regarded with special esteem by people of the Islamic faith, and this is especially true under her title Our Lady of Fatima, since Fatima was the name of the prophet Mohammed’s daughter.”

The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest lay Catholic organization, with more than 1.7 million members in North and Central America, the Philippines and Poland.

Text of the Knights of Columbus prayer

NOV. 28–DEC. 1, 2006

Heavenly Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name, we humbly ask that you sustain, inspire, and protect your servant, Pope Benedict XVI, as he goes on pilgrimage to Turkey – a land to which St. Paul brought the Gospel of your Son; a land where once the Mother of your Son, the Seat of Wisdom, dwelt; a land where faith in your Son’s true divinity was definitively professed. Bless our Holy Father, who comes as a messenger of truth and love to all people of faith and good will dwelling in this land so rich in history. In the power of the Holy Spirit, may this visit of the Holy Father bring about deeper ties of understanding, cooperation, and peace among Roman Catholics, the Orthodox, and those who profess Islam. May the prayers and events of these historic days greatly contribute both to greater accord among those who worship you, the living and true God, and also to peace in our world so often torn apart by war and sectarian violence.

We also ask, O Heavenly Father, that you watch over and protect Pope Benedict and entrust him to the loving care of Mary, under the title of Our Lady of Fatima, a title cherished both by Catholics and Muslims. Through her prayers and maternal love, may Pope Benedict be kept safe from all harm as he prays, bears witness to the Gospel, and invites all peoples to a dialogue of faith, reason, and love. We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord.

Prayer composed by Bishop William E. Lori, Supreme Chaplain
00Saturday, October 28, 2006 12:39 AM
Anna in the main forum informs us that the magazine Famiglia Cristiana is coming out next month with a very special Papal calendar.

Some time this summer, The Holy Father agreed to have a photographer be with him for one whole day at Castel Gandolfo to photograph his routine daily activities: prayer, study, work, reading, meals, his daily walk...

Out of these, they have chosen 14 pictures to illustrate the calendar, which will come out on November 23 with an initial print run of 1 million.

The Pope agreed to the project in order to raise funds for
a youth center for study and work in Mbare, Rwanda, which has more than 300 wards at present.

I haven't done it yet but visit Famiglia Cristiana online, and I am sure they will have details on how to order the calendar if you can't be in Italy to get it. IF I do get ANY details that need translation, I will post iT ASAP.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 12/11/2006 23.36]

00Saturday, October 28, 2006 8:35 AM
Sandro Magister informs us in his blog that for the third time in 21 years - and for the first time in Benedict's Papacy - the Coronation Mass K. 217 will be performed in St. Peter's Basilica as part of the liturgy.

Cardinal Christoph Scoenborn of Vienna will celebrate the Mass, and appropriately the Vienna Philharmonic will be playing the music under the baton of Leopold Hager.

[But will our Mozart-loving Pope be there? Does anyone recall a Pope attending a Mass at St. Peter's that is not celebrated by himself? We have seen Benedict come down to address special audiences after Mass, but if he is to enjoy the 'Kronungsmesse' as it is being performed, then he should be present during the Mass, right? I can't imagine him sitting upstairs and watching on TV!]

The Vienna Philarhmonic has so far been the orchestra of choice. Herbert von Karajan conducted when the Coronation Mass was first performed at the Basilica in 1985, and Riccardo Muti led them for a performance during the Jubilee Year 2000.

The November 19th Mass will be the climax of this year's International Festival of Music and Sacred Art which takes place every autumn for thepast five years. Concerts of sacred music by the great composers are held free in Rome's major basilicas with world-renowned orchestras, performers and singers .

This being a Mozart jubilee year, the program this year will be exclusively Mozart.

The Foundation responsible for the events also chooses a restoration project each year as the beneficiary of its fund-raising. This year, it will be the Roman necropolis in the Vatican grottoes adjoining the tomb of Peter. Last year, they restored a Benedictine chapel in the Basilica of St. Paul outside the walls.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 28/10/2006 14.22]

00Saturday, October 28, 2006 1:27 PM

Scritto da: benefan 27/10/2006 5.13


I agree with you. I would prefer that when the plane lands in Turkey, Papa stays on the plane, whoever he was going to meet gets on and talks to him then leaves, then Papa takes off in the plane. Maybe Arturo Mari could take a photo or two of the scene from the plane's door just to prove Papa was there, but that's it. Zoom, zoom!


you took the words right out of my mouth - why can it not be like this?

But Papa goes to Turkey for all the Christians that live there in constant fear and I'm sure it will mean so much to them.
00Saturday, October 28, 2006 4:16 PM
Thank you Benefan for the article on the Knights of Columbus. I'm glad the prayer is included. I too wish Papa would just stay on the plane and those who were to meet with go to him... have a few snap shot... then zoom safely back to the Vatican. But, alas, our beloved Papa isn't looking for the easy way out. He has been invited to go... he wants to go. As Christians all we CAN do is trust in God and pray.
00Friday, November 3, 2006 4:19 AM

[Another book by Papa coming out.]

Vatican's UN mission to hold conference on Pope's critique of relativism

Nov. 02 (CWNews.com) - The Vatican mission at UN headquarters in New York is organizing a conference on Pope Benedict's critique of contemporary relativism, to be held in New York on November 20.

The conference is timed to coincide with the launch of a new book by the Pope, entitled Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures. Written before his election, the book analyzes the moral crisis facing the Western world; the English-language edition is being published by Ignatius Press.

Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the permanent observer for the Holy See at the UN, will chair the conference, which is to be held in the Dag Hammarskjold auditorium of the UN. The event, co-sponsored by Ignatius Press and the Path to Peace Foundation, will include presentations by George Weigel of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and Marcello Pera, a member of the Italian senate.
00Monday, November 6, 2006 2:19 AM
The German Catholic newspapewr DIE TAGESPOST has an interesting sidelight about the Pope's forthcoming book on the life of Jesus. Here is a translation:

In October 2003, an interview with the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, was published in this paper.

The last question asked was, "If you had the time, which theological question would you most urgently tackle, and what would the corresponding book be entitled?"

The Cardinal answered: "I must keep learning more and more to leave it to the Lord whether I will have time or not, because I probably do not have many more years left. Nevertheless, I try somehow in my free time - which is rare but I have it sometimes - to carry on with some project.

"In August I started to write a book on Jesus. As things stand, it will take me probably 3 or 4 years to do it. In it, I would like to show how a living, harmonious and consistent Being steps out of the pages of the Bible, and how the Jesus of the Bible is also very much present and contemporary."

Sixteen months later, he became Pope. But apparently, even as Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger has found time to work on the book, because he recently told the head of the Vatican publishing house that only the bibliography is not complete.

"When it is done, I will call you," he told a delegation from the publishing house headed by Mons. Antonio Scotti.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 06/11/2006 3.15]

00Monday, November 6, 2006 11:43 AM
The Jesus of the Bible
I'm sure I am not the only one who can't wait for this book. It is probably going to be a best seller and I can't wait to see the comments of the scholars of the "historical Jesus"..... I would not be surprised if Papa had this topic in mind as a counter-foil to many of the "historical" Jesus books on the market.
00Thursday, November 9, 2006 2:59 AM

Pope posed for 2007 benefit calendar

Nov. 08 (CWNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI has finished a posing session for a 2007 calendar that will be produced by the Italian weekly Famiglia Cristiana.

The calendar entitled "A Year with the Pope," due to go on sale in Italy later this month, will have 14 exclusive photos of the Holy Father. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the calendar, which will be marketed for €5, will go to the Nazareth Home for Children in Rwanda. Pope Benedict himself reportedly chose that charity: a project promoted by the Pontifical Council for the Family, which now houses 300 children.

The calendar was produced after the Holy Father allowed a photographer, Giancarlo Giuliani, to spend a day with him at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandalfo. A few previews of the calendar, made available by Famigilia Cristiana in a press relase, show the Pope talking a walk through the gardens of Castel Gandolfo, and working in his library there.
00Friday, November 10, 2006 4:31 AM
[Papa has been given enough new vehicles to need a new Vatican parking garage.]

New Volvo FL gets first service from Pope Benedict XVI
Easier Motoring.com
9 November 2006

Today members of the Italian Volvo Truck Dealers’ Association delivered a new Volvo FL truck to Pope Benedict XVI, at the end of the weekly general audience held in the Vatican.

The donation from the Italian Volvo Truck Dealers’ Association to the Vatican State was made in conjunction with the official launch of the vehicle in Italy and will be used for construction duties when preparing for major public events at St Peter’s Square.

The Volvo FL is a new model within Volvo Trucks’ medium duty range and was built in Volvo Trucks’ production plant in Gent, Belgium and fitted with a body and crane in Italy by FGM of Castello d’Argile in Bologna.

“The new Volvo FL meets all quality and safety features associated with the Volvo brand,” says Marco Lazzoni, Managing Director of Volvo Italia. “The entire Volvo Truck organisation in Italy is particularly proud of this donation.”

The keys were handed over during a brief ceremony at the end of the audience. Among those present at the Vatican were Claudio Zanella, President of the Italian Volvo Truck Dealers’ Association, Roar Isaksen, President Europe Division of the Volvo Truck Corporation, and Marco Lazzoni, Managing Director of Volvo Italia.

They were introduced by Fredrik Vahlquist, the Swedish Ambassador to the Vatican State.

[Modificato da benefan 10/11/2006 4.32]

00Friday, November 10, 2006 8:51 AM
from Timesonline.co.uk
Well, this is tabloid article but at least describe some pics of the papal calendar.

Pope gets in picture with calendar girls
From Paul Bompard in Rome

Competing for space on the newsstands with siliconed starlets, muscular football players and the cats of Rome later this month will be a new calendar: 14 full-colour photographs of the Pope in leisurely poses.

All were taken in a day’s shooting at Castel Gandolfo, the Pope’s magnificent summer residence in the hills east of Rome.

This is not the first papal calendar — those illustrated with photographs of the late John Paul II during his travels or audiences were popular — but it is believed to be the first time that a pope has agreed to pose for one.

Benedict XVI, who succeeded John Paul II last year, has already earned a reputation for stylishness and attention to the aesthetic details of papal attire. There are sunlit views of the pontiff, dressed in a long white habit, reading a book (we are informed it is a German edition of the Epistles of St Paul), and in his library perusing the many ancient volumes.

He is shown strolling through Gandolfo’s splendid gardens, his white-clad figure artfully reflected in a pool with water lilies, distractedly toying with the water sprinkling from a fountain, and serenely enjoying the vista of Lake Albano in the valley below. One photograph portrays him in the chapel of the castle, in prayer.

The calendar, called Together: A Year with the Pope, is published by Famiglia Christiana, a Catholic weekly.

It costs €5, and for each copy sold €1 will go to the Nazareth Children’s Town in Mbare, Rwanda. According to Famiglia Cristiana, the rest will cover production and distribution costs. A first run of a million copies is scheduled, with the possibility of reprints.

The photographs were taken by Famiglia Christiana’s top photographer, Giancarlo Giuliani. “His Holiness was very affable and very co-operative,” Giuliani said. “Perhaps a little awkward at times, without the showmanship, if one may use the term, of John Paul II. But always very helpful and co-operative.”

The money from the calendar will be used to build a children’s hospital at Mbare. According to Famiglia Cristiana, the Pope himself chose the project.

Further evidence of his attention to Africa is his purchase this week of the first bond of a $1 million issue by the International Fund for Immunisation to finance vaccinations of a million children in Africa.

Vatican-watchers agree that he is less of a “media man” than his predecessor, but the decision to pose for informal portraits for a calendar may indicate that he is learning fast.
00Saturday, November 11, 2006 3:20 AM

[Modificato da benefan 11/11/2006 3.30]

00Sunday, November 12, 2006 2:46 AM
Our Italian sisters report in the main forum that Pope Benedict XVI's address to the National Convetnion of the Italian church in Verona on Ocober 19 drew a 19.77% share of the TV audience at 10 a.m. that day, and the Mass he celebrated at 4 p.m. the same day drew a 20.59% share.

But the papal TV blockbuster of the week was the RAI TV-film "PAPA LUCIANI: SORRISO DI DIO" [Papa Luciani, the smile of God] which got a 33.09% share in prime time Thursday night.

Coincidentally, Nessuna also reports this news item from a Portuguese news agency in the Iberian section:


The diocesan phase of the process of Beatification for John Paul I has ended at the Basilica of Belluno, near the late Pope's hometown in northern Italy.

The cause now goes to the Vatican to be examined further by the Congregation for the Cause of Saints.

The dossier contains testimony from 190 witnesses who were questioned, all the unpublished writings of Albino Luciani, and the results of all investigations conducted by the diocesan tribunal in three years of work.

The Congregation under Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins will now review all documented facts about Papa Luciani's life, including the miraculous cure, attributed to his intercession, of a man who had cancer.

The 'smiling Pope', as John Paul I is lovingly remembered, was elected to succeed Paul VI on August 26, 1978, but he died unexpectedly 32 days later, on September 28.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 12/11/2006 23.44]

00Sunday, November 12, 2006 3:12 AM
Thank you so much Teresa for translation this article.
I just love Papa Luciani.....I have read a lot about him. There was something special about him....he was so sweet. His death was something really sad..... [SM=g27834] [SM=g27834]
00Sunday, November 12, 2006 10:47 PM
After all the to-do in the Anglophone press last week on the Papal calendar to be published by FAMIGLIA CRISTIANA, please remember this forum first reported it on Oct. 28 in the main forum as well as on this thread (see Post 4581 above on this page)....

And now I must apologize for not having found the time earlier to post this in a timely manner - Lella shares it from korazym. org and she posted it on 11/9 actually. Here is a translation


By Loris Lauretano

So even Pope Benedict XVI has 'posed' for a calendar. The initiative came from the weekly magazine Famiglia Cristiana, which will publish this special calendar for 2007 called "INSIEME: Un anno con il Papa" [TOGETHER: A year with the Pope].

Here is a preview. The photographs were taken by Giancarlo Giuliani of Famiglia Cristiana.

VATICAN CITY - Praying the chapel, relaxing at the piano, reading in the garden or working at his desk. Benedict XVI is seen in various activities at Castel Gandolfo in this project initated by Famiglia Cirstiana in cooperation with the Vatican publishing house.

Readers of the magazine can get it at their newsstands with the issue of November 23. By buying the calendar, they will be able to see the Pope in informal previously unpublished pictures and to support a project for children in Rwanda.

The calendar actually starts with December 2006 (above).

Such calendars as fund-raisers for specific charities are a tradition at Famiglia Cristiana, but the idea of a specially-photographed Papal calendar is unique and special.

Each picture of the month will be accompanied by a passage from the Holy Father's first encyclical, Deus caritas est, as well as facts about the beneficiary project in Rwanda.

The cover and all the fotos in the 2007 Benedict calendar.

The calendar will cost an extra 5 Euros above the cover price of the magazine. One Euro from each sale will go to the City of Nazareth Children in Mbare, Rwanda, to help build new schoolrooms and other facilities.

The project is one of those that resulted from Un Sorriso per l'Africa [A Smile for Africa], an initiative started by John Paul II during his 1990 pastoral visit to Africa to support the poorest and neediest children on the continent, and which Benedict XVI is carrying on.

The Mbare facility was inaugurated in 1998 by Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo. It now houses 354 children selected in the different dioceses from families who have been victims of the civil war and genocide in Rwanda since 1994. These troubles have left thousands of orphans and mutilated children.

"We have to rebuild an entire generation," said Mons. Smaragde Nbomyinte to Famiglia Cristiana. "The nation which has always been extremely poor was just devastated by the genocide of 1994."

In order to take the photographs, Giancarlo Giuliani who has photographed several Popes in 40 years for Famiglia Cristiana, was allowed by Pope Benedict to spend a whole day with him at Castel Gandolfo last summer.

From the pictures he took, 14 were chosen for the calendar.

Promotional pages for the calendar in Famiglia Cristiana.


Besides buying the calendar, you may also send contributions directly to:
- By the postal c/c n. 14365209, to the
Associazione don Giuseppe Zilli Onlus,
via Giotto 36, 20145 Milano,
specifying it is intended for
the "Progetto Città dei Ragazzi - Ruanda";
- Through bank c/c n. 2063009/01/48 ABI 03069 CAB 09467 CIN V at Banca Intesa in Italy;
- By credit card on the site of
to the Associazione don Giuseppe Zilli Onlus,
Progetto Città dei Ragazzi - Ruanda;
- Giving credit card number and expiration date
by telephone to 02-480.120.40, not forgetting to
indicate the beneficiary,
"Progetto Città dei Ragazzi - Ruanda".

To reserve copies of the calendar, write to:
San Paolo
Periodici San Paolo
piazza San Paolo, 12
12051 ALBA (CN)

[What ever happened to e-mail, guys at San Paolo????]

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 12/11/2006 23.34]

00Monday, November 13, 2006 8:26 AM
A little item from DIE TAGESPOST of 11/11 says -

The executives of Herder Verlag (publishing house) marked the Golden Jubilee of Joseph Ratzinger as a published author on November 8, with a special audience at the Vatican and a reception afterwards at the Campo Santo Teutonico (Germany cemetery) campus of the German college in Rome.

It was on November 8, 1956, when Joseph Ratzinger, then a theology lecturer at Freising, signed his first author's contract with the Freiburg-based Herder for the publication of two articles in a new Lexicon for Theology and the Church.

That was followed by an intensive collaboration over the next five decades, according to Herder executive Manuel Herder.

At the reception, Cardinal Karl Lehmann presented a brief outline of the current Pope's literary output. Cardinal Walter Kasper of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity also attended, as well as most of the German bishops who are in Rome for their ad-limina visit this year.

From the Pope's 'side' came private secretayr Mons. Georg Gaenswein and his predecessor in that post, Bishop Josef Clemens, now secretary of the Congregation for the Laity.

@Andrea M.@
00Monday, November 13, 2006 9:50 AM
Benedict XVI and Herder publishing house
Hello Teresa,

the delegation from Herder publishing house was also present at the General Audience on Wednesday November 8, 2006. Mr. Manuel Herder presented the Holy Father with some books and reminded him that it was 50 years to that day that he had signed the contract with them.

Fotografia Felici has some pictures of this:

[8.11.2006] Udienza Generale Baciamano; pictures 6312-0967 and following

The Holy Father was quite surprised to learn this and said: "Where have all these years gone".

SWR Fernsehen, a local German TV station, featured a small report on this collaboration during their newscast last Wednesday, in which they also showed the contract ... Ratzinger was said to be one of their most successful authors ...

00Tuesday, November 14, 2006 4:01 AM

High praise for Houston artist

Pope welcomes Holocaust survivor Alice Lok Cahana's No Names painting to Vatican Museum

Houston Chronicle
Nov. 9, 2006

Alice Lok Cahana survived the Holocaust to become an artist of international renown.

The most recent acknowledgment of her work was given by Pope Benedict XVI last month in St. Peter's Basilica. The pontiff met with the Houston-based artist when her painting No Names was presented to him for the Vatican Museum's collection.

Museum director Francesco Buranelli, who chose the 85-by-46 inch abstract painting, said it "will complete the important cycle of 20th-century art history in (the museum)." That collection includes important works by luminaries such as Georges Rouault, Giacomo Manzu, Giorgio de Chirico and Henri Matisse.

"You don't even dare to dream this could happen to you," said Cahana.

Cahana's painting depicts train tracks that begin on the lower edge and disappear into the darkness of Auschwitz. Numbers representing the tattooed victims of the Nazi death camps crowd the entire surface. A yellowish cloud hovers over the whole.

That cloud, the artist said, "represents the odor of Auschwitz, of the crematorium. It settled in my stomach. You can't paint odor. You can't forget it.

"I promised myself that if I survived, I would speak in the name of those who did not come out," the artist said.

Cahana was 15 when she and her entire family were sent to Auschwitz. Her father was rescued by Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat credited with saving the lives of an estimated 100,000 Jews. Her mother was never seen again. Cahana did not know what happened to her sister Edith until after 53 years of searching, she discovered Edith had died soon after liberation. Cahana's story was among those in Steven Spielberg's 1999 documentary The Last Days.

After liberation, Cahana lived in Sweden, Budapest and Israel. In 1959, she immigrated to the U.S. with her husband, Israeli-born Rabbi Moshe Cahana. They settled in Houston where he founded Congregation B'rith Shalom in Bellaire and she attended classes at the University of Houston and Rice University.

Cahana works with acrylics and collage in both intimate and monumental scale. Her works are in numerous collections, among them Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and The Holocaust Museum Houston.

"I was very, very moved when the pope went to Auschwitz (in May)," Cahana said. "My art is about building bridges and he understood the painting."

The artist said the gift of No Names to the Vatican collection was arranged by Archbishop Oscar Lipscomb of Mobile, Ala., and Houston doctors Harvey and Judith Rosenstock.

00Sunday, November 19, 2006 2:13 AM

Cherie Blair, 51, wife of the British Prime Minister and a highly-respected jurist, may soon formally become one of the Pope's 'advisers.'

Vatican sources said she may soon be sworn in as a member of the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences.

The academy is an independent entity within the Holy See and was established 12 years ago by John Paul II. New members are elected by current members from men and women on the basis of "the high level of their academic work and their moral profile" and are subsequently named directly by the Pope.

The academy, which enjoys full freedom of research, currently covers six principal fields: basic sciences, science and technology of global problems, science for the problems of the Third World, the politics and ethics of science,, bioethics, and epistemology.

Perhaps the best-known member of the Academy at present is Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini.

Mrs. Blair was invited by the Pope to meet him, when she attended a meeting of the Academy last summer and delivered an address on the problems of adolescents.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 19/11/2006 2.14]

00Monday, November 20, 2006 4:07 AM
A new member in the German section, Sue27, posted this item today:

SWR (SudWest Rundfunk, broadcast agency serving southwest Germany) announced this week that -
"On the 80th birthday anniversary of the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, on April 16, 2007, there will be a concert by the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Stuttgart at the Aula Paolo VI of the Vatican in honor the German Pope. SWR will broadcast it on radio and television."

Tempus fugit! AD MULTOS ANNOS, PAPINO!!!

Does anyone have any inspired ideas for how Papino's big day should be celebrated? (We have seen pictures of JP-II's 80th birthday celebrated by the cardinals with dinner at the Vatican, but then he was already ailing.)

I cann only think of the more obvious.

If his birthday falls after Easter next year (I think it will be the day after Easter), then he should have a beautiful outdoor celebration in Castel Gandolfo (weather permitting).

Too bad he's too modest, but it would be nice to have a Mass - the Tridentine rite - for him at St. Peter's Square (but can the honoree say it himself?) so that a maximum number of fatihful could be there to greet him.

And how about the German universities - starting with Munich, Bonn, Muenster, Tuebingen and Regensburg - make up for their decades of oversight and give him the honorary degrees he deserves? It's absurd that three Polish universities have given him honorary degrees and only Eichstatt in Germany has so honored him)? Maybe the Sorbonne should give him one - he's already in the Academie Francaise. (Since he is the Pope, he does not have to go to any of these universities to be conferred the degree. They can come to the Vatican.)

I'm sure all sorts of books and picture books are already in the pipeline.

I hope someone is already working on a comprehensive TV documentary about him - something that can be broadcast around the world that day.

To think that less than three weeks after his birthday, he will be on his way to Brazil!
00Friday, November 24, 2006 4:29 AM
I picked this up from DIE TAGESPOST:

The German Postal Service will honor Pope Benedict XVI with a special stamp issue on his 80th birthday in April.

For the first time in the history of the Federal Republic Of Germany, a living German who is not President of the Republic will be on a stamp.

The 55-cent stamp will come out on April 12, four days before the Pope's birthday. Nothing will be known about the stamp until six weeks before it comes out. One thing has been decided: Only the Pope's face will appear, not his coat of arms.

Precedent shows, however, that even if Benedict were not German, they would have honored him with a stamp anyway, as the German Post Office did John Paul II with a 35-pfennig stamp when he marked his 70th birthday.
00Friday, November 24, 2006 10:10 AM
Re: Cherie Blair

You need to scroll down to the piece about Cherie Blair and Planned Parenthood - just look for the photo of Cherie handing out condoms.

The fact that this woman is a cradle Catholic and happens to be a very gifted legal mind does not make her an appropriate advisor to the Pope. Her 'Catholicism' is the kind which advocates women priests and the whole liberal shebang. She does attend Mass but her spirituality would seem to be more aligned to the New Age movement.

For none of those things would I castigate her - we are a free society and don't go beheading people who disagree with our theology - but I don't think she is a suitable person to be 'advising' the Holy Father.

[Modificato da Wulfrune 24/11/2006 10.12]

00Friday, November 24, 2006 7:28 PM

Nativity Scene exhibit opens to honor Pope

Munich, Nov. 24, 2006 (CNA) - In preparation for the seasons of Advent and Christmas, an exhibit of 35 nativity scenes, crafted in Naples, Italy, will open Nov. 25 in the Pope’s native Bavaria. The exhibit seeks to honor of the German pontiff and to “put God back into Christmas,” reported Fides.

The exhibit will run at Kunstraum Klosterkirche in the town of Traunstein until Dec. 26. The Pope lived in Traunstein as a boy.

The exhibit is titled, “God Becomes Man: The Neapolitan Art of Nativity Scenes.” It is a being promoted by officials in both Traunstein and in Naples, which has a tradition of making Nativity Scenes.

“The Neapolitan Nativity Scene has a tradition and a history which deserves to be told,” said Umberto Grillo, a professor and secretary of Amici del Presepio (Friends of the Nativity Scene).

At a press conference in Rome Nov. 22, he said the first Neapolitan Nativity Scenes were only for the nobility and were the work of great artists. Later, thanks to a Dominican priest, the scenes entered all Neapolitan homes, fostering tremendous devotion.

The Amici del Presepio association offers courses in this art. Among the most successful students are two former prison inmates. They took the course while in prison and have now opened a workshop and storefront on the famous San Gregorio Armeno Street, where most Nativity Scene artists work.
00Saturday, November 25, 2006 5:11 AM

Pope will skip Nativity film premiere

Rome, Nov. 24 (CWNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI will not attend a November 26 world premiere of the film, The Nativity Story.

Gossip columnists have devoted a good deal of attention to the fact that Keisha Castle-Hughes, who plays the role of the Virgin Mary in The Nativity Story, is pregnant out of wedlock. But informed Vatican officials say that the teenage actress's condition has nothing to do with the Pope's decision not to attend the premiere.

Throughout his pontificate, Benedict XVI has sought to hold down the number of public events in which he is involved. With a critical trip to Turkey looming next week, the 79-year-old Pontiff is undoubtedly busy with preparations, and conserving his energy by avoiding non-essential public appearances. The premiere of The Nativity Story, held at the Vatican's Paul VI auditorium on Sunday evening, will benefit construction of a new school in the Holy Land.
00Sunday, November 26, 2006 4:48 AM
When Famiglia Cristiana sent a photographer to take pictures of the Pope one day last summer at Castel Gandolfo, Famiglia Cristiana writer Alberto Bobbio was privileged to be there too.

For the 11/26/06 issue of the magazine, he wrote this article to 'present' the 2007 Papal calendar which resulted from that day of picture-taking. Emma shares the article, and here is a translation


There is an ancient familiarity between the Pope and his Castle. In Rome, the Castle is referred to without an article. "Il Papa e a Castello." The Pope is at Castle. It sounds as if the Pope had turned back to the pomp of the past, when the Church exercised temporal power.

But of course, that's not true. It's just that between the Popes and Castel Gandolfo, the town that faces the volcanic bowl of the Alban Lake, there is more than just familiarity, there is goodwill, grateful acknowledgment, a love for the townspeople.

Here a Pope had caused running water to be available on a rocky place and had drained the marshes. Here the Popes could visit neighboring houses and they would walk through its alleys. It is said that Pius IX would sometimes enter houses to lift the lid from cooking pots to check if the soup was thick or thin. And that if he found it too meager, he would leave some money next to the stove.

Today, however, security considerations impose discretion on the Pope and even staying out of sight except for public occasions. So today, if the Pope must take a walk, he does so in the extraordinary gardens of this villa which began as a castle.

That is why the photos you see here - those that illustrate the months in in our Calendar of solidarity - are exceptional. They give us a look inside the grounds of Castel Gandolfo and even inside the villa.

Here you have the pictures.

There's Benedict XVI with his simple ways, and there's the summer residence of the Popes, bristling with history, a work that was commissioned by the Barberini Pope Urban VIII in the first half of the 17th century to Carlo Maderno - including theinterior decoration and the magnificant gardens, still faithful to the original design, with paths that trace a grid marked by precisely-barbered hedges.

The villa knew centuries of splendor, but also decades of abandon after 1870. With the end of the Papal States, the summer residence of the Popes fell into disuse because the Popes, although the law provided them the same inmmunity in Castel Gandolfo as they had at the Vatican, opted not to leave Rome at all. Until the Lateran Treaty of 1929.

When that Treaty was being negotiated with Mussolini, other summer residences were considered - the Villa Farnese in Caprola, or the Villa Doria Pamphili behind the Janiculum. But tradition won out. And the Popes came back to Castel Gandolfo.

There are 55 hectares under Vatican extra-territorial sovereignty, with more than one papal villa, erected on the ruins of one of the most famous villas of antiquity, the Albanum Domitiani, the Emperor Domitian's grandiose country residence.

Using a golf cart and on foot, Benedict goes around, remembering this history on a summer afternoon.

But first, there he is on a little terrace overlooking the lake. And before that, in his study. He jests with Giancarlo Giuliani, the photo-reporter for Famiglia Cristiana, who asks him whether he can take a picture of him at the telephone. "What, should I speak on the phone even if I have nothing to say?"

In the chapel of Urban VIII, there is a rather stern God the Father painted on the vaulting, surrounded by a glory of angels. Papa Ratzinger often comes here to say his breviary, as he did that evening, with a light breeze coming to the villa from the lake.

Snapshots and more snapshots. Even in the private chapel, which was ordered built by Pius XI, who placed on the altar a reproduction of our Lady of Czestochowa that had been given to him by Polish priests.

Villa Barberini is the oldest nucleus of the Castle. At the extreme end of the gradens is a statue of the Madonna. Ratzinger approaches it. He speaks softly, almost as though not wishing to disturb Giancarlo as he continued taking shots.

"Last year," the Pope said, "when Hans Kueng came to visit me, we came here in the evening. He and I. I told him that for me, it was almost traditional to chant the Salve Regina at this time of day. And the Professor sung it with me.".

He stops to look over the Italian gardens, the imposing belvedere on the west side. He touches the waters of the fountain of the Nymphs, delicately. The garden of the Moors is much farther. We have to get there iwith the golf cart.

Beside the Pope sits Don Mietek, the young Polish secretary who also served Papa Wojtyla as don Stanislaw's assistant. The sun still burns.

The Pope sits at a garden table where he has left some books. He gets up and walks on the lawn, and jokes: "In Germany, this is absolutely forbidden."

He talks about Africa and the project in Rwanda which the calendar sales will benefit.

In the end, it is he who thanks us: "Thank you. Thank you for this project that you are supporting. It is a beautiful initiative."

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 26/11/2006 4.49]

00Monday, December 4, 2006 2:28 AM
Luigi Accattoli, chief Vatican correspondent for Corriere della Sera, keeps a blog which one can describe as minimal. It is rarely longer than a paragraph - more like notes to himself that he puts on his blog rather than on a paper notebook.

Accatoli is not just a journalist. He has also written 16 books, at last count, including 8 on John Paul II alone - the first one written in 1988 and titled "John Paul II, the new Moses", and the most recent one, this year, Part 1 of what he calls the most complete bigraophy of JP-II. the other books are all religious - about prayers, atechesis, lives of saints, lives of martyrs, a book on Muslims who have integrated successfully into Italian society.

With that background in mind, one will be better able to appreciate what he wrote in two of his recent blogs.

The first one was about Benedict XVI's Jesus book:

22 November 2006
The theologian Pope comes out into the open: he will publish a book on Jesus and says that 'anyone can contradict me."

Sometimes we have seen legislators renouncing parliamentary immunity in order to be 'free to defend oneself.'

But here we have a Pope who strips himself of magisterial authority in order to bear witness - more freely - to his Christian faith, as one Christian to another, or better still, man to man.

I find this move extraordinary, more daring than the analogous undertakings tried several times by papa Wojtyla.

Because the Polish Pope came down from Peter's Chair occasionally to speak of himself as a man. But the German Pope is doing this to speak of Jesus, the same subject that he preaches from the Chair.

Equally beautiful is the signature chosen for this new publication: 'Joseph Ratzinger - Benedict XVI". Papa Wojtyla signed his five personal books of memoirs and poetry John Paul II.... and I imagine that for every Pope, the part to be carried out as their personal self will grow in the measure that the part attribuited to their papal self diminishes.

The second is from November 28, the day Accattoli flew to Ankara on the papal flight from Rome. He talks about the mini-press briefing given by the Holy Father on board, before the plane took off from Rome airport.....

Pope Benedict was very intent on explaining to us journalists the symbolic weight of this journey. In three days, he said, one cannot do very much, but one can affirm a symbolism, whether it be about dialog or about peace or about Christian unity.

For the first time, we were all in our seats. The Pope had a microphone and it was not necessary to crowd arouind him to hear. The photographers were in front to take pictures, we editors sat back.

And I remembered Papa Wojtyla 'assaulted' by newsmen, also on a trip to Turkey in 1979. He was unnerved by the undignified crush that we created around him, so he decided to turn back without the usual conversation with us, and rather angrily he said, "You are always asking for democracy, and yet you behave that way!"
00Wednesday, December 6, 2006 12:00 PM
Pope becomes standard-bearer for Turkish tourism
Wednesday, December 6, 2006


ISTANBUL - Turkish Daily News

Sunny relations between Turkey and the Vatican continued on Wednesday, when the Vatican gave the thumbs-up to Turkey's plan to promote itself abroad by publishing an image of Pope Benedict XVI waving the Turkish flag during his public relations-packed visit to the secular but predominantly Muslim country last week.

With Turkey sidelined as EU membership negotiations slowed to a glacial pace, the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced this week that it would promote the country in Europe using images of the pope with the Turkish flag, visiting the Sultanahmet (Blue) Mosque in Istanbul and praying in Turkish at the House of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus, Turkish daily Vatan reported. To boost such a campaign in Europe, the ministry said it wanted to take advantage of the fact that the pope's four-day visit to Turkey had been broadcast live to 70 countries.

A spokesman for Archbishop Antonio Lucibello, the papal nuncio in Turkey, had only good things to say about Turkey's use of the flag-wielding pope to generate positive images of Turkey abroad. "When the image of the pope is public, there is no question about using it in this way," he said. "It is a good message, no?"

Monsignor Georges Marovitch, the official Vatican representative in Istanbul, said that featuring Benedict's photo on the front of Turkey's tourism brochures was "a very good idea." Marovitch added that the pope's visit to Turkey had been "wonderful" in every way and that the success of the trip would only grow so long as "Turks can manage to capture the spirit of his trip."

Also in the business of making images, state-run Turkish Airlines (THY) told daily Milliyet it was proud to have carried the pope into and out of Turkey onboard a turquoise-colored aircraft, the much-celebrated 100th aircraft in its fleet. Noting that they were very honored by the pope using their services, THY General Manager Temel Kotil added, "This flight was a big promotion for us all over the world."

[Modificato da Maklara 06/12/2006 13.25]

00Wednesday, December 6, 2006 2:56 PM
Emma in the main forum shares this with us.

Alessandra Borghese writes in Corriere della Sera's Style section:

They're talking - and not only at the Vatican - about the latest book on the Pope, 'Chi crede non e mai solo', which contains all the texts delivered by Benedict XVI during his recent trip to Bavaria. Chapter I is the full annotated text of the Regensburg lecture...

Some prelates do not like the cover picture of the book published by Cantagalli and the Vatican publishing house. It shows the Pontiff ascending some marble steps, looking ahead and with decisive step. He looks like someone who can't be stopped - and (the objectors) perahps find it too modern and politically incorrect? [Are they insane???]

In fact, the Pope is said to like the cover very much, and he has ordered a 1,000 boxed copies to be sent out as Christmas gifts.


What a great poster it would make! And the picture catches Papino as we love to see him - with all his grace and beauty of motion!
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