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

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maryjos
00Saturday, March 15, 2008 8:10 PM
Bressanone and other places
Thank you for all the latest news about Bressanone and other places dear to Papa's heart in the Pustertal. I love the nineteenth century postcards.

So, there is another feline friend waiting for him: Milly!!!
I'm so glad he'll be able to see her and talk "cat" to her. His other friend, Tigre, lives a few hundred yards from his home, but he can never see her now [unless he does slip out of the Vatican on occasion].

It looks from the maps as if Bressanone is as difficult to reach as Lorenzago - oh dear! Woe is me!

But....what wonderful news about Michele and her husband having been to Regensburg again and having been given an appointment with Monsignor Georg. If any proof were necessary that the first visit was not an intrusion, this was it. I am thrilled.
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Monday, March 17, 2008 5:26 AM
PAPAL FINERY

Some additional pictures from the Palm Sunday Mass to make a few points about the Papal vestments today. I found these particular shots, though not the best possible, most illustrative of the papal vestments today - and that of his deacons. We will probably get better full shots as well as detail in the next few days.

It was previously announced that the Pope's Palm Sunday vestments, particularly, the cope, would be modelled after the vestments worn by the Medici Pope Leo X on his installation as Pope in 1513.

Here is the item from Il Giornale di Toscana translated and posted on Feb. 26 in NEW ABOUT BENEDICT:

VATICAN CITY - On Palm Sunday, March 16, Benedict XVI will wear liturgical vestments that reproduce the fabric and the Medici coat of arms of Pope Leo X.

It is a rose silk damask with gold thread, brocaded with the heraldic symbols of the Medici who ruled Florence for centuries - three rings with a diamond point that are concentric and inscribed within a two-lobed leaf.

Giovanni de Medici, son of Lorenzo the Magnificent, became Pope Leo X on March 11, 1513.

The initiative follows the execution for the Office of Pontifical Liturgical Ceremonies of the Ash Wednesday vestments worn by Benedict XVI, by the company Tridentinum of Ferrara, under lay liturgist Pietro Siffi, who proposed the concept. The Palm Sunday vestments would recreate the vestments worn by Leo X upon his accession to the Papacy.

The Ash Wednesday vestments were a violet brocade with the heraldic emblems of Pope Paul VI Borghese.

Siffi's project aims at a revaluation of some Roman liturgical vestments which have been practically forgotten.

The Palm Sunday ensemble will include chasuble, dalmatic, cope and other accessories carrying the Medici motifs. Corresponding vestments will be prepared for the deacons who will assist the Pope.

The original installation vestments of Leo X are in the custody of the Servants of Mary friars in the Basilica della Santissima Annunziata in Florence.

Today, it was obvious that the cope matched the color described in the press release, but I could not figure out if the ornate design was indeed the Medici cost of arms or other Medici heraldic motifs.

I had assumed that the article was right about its description of the Medici motif - but when I checked today, I found nothing that resembles what the article describes - "three rings with a diamond point that are concentric and inscribed within a two-lobed leaf", although the description might refer to the motif in the upper right-hand panel of the photo below.

I certainly cannot see it in the ornate gold-embroidered border design [orphrey] in the Pope's cope today, nor even the floral motif strewn across the rest of the cope. [It makes sense to concentrate all the heavy ornateness in the orphrey, and leave the rest of the garment with minimal clutter. The Pope's stole and the deacon's dalmatics are also 'cool' - as is the use of different shades of red.]

All references I could find today show and describe the Medici coat of arms to be red balls on a gold shield. The other motifs shown in the panel are supposedly also associated with the Medicis, but even Leo X's papal coat of arms only adds the triple tiara and St. Peter's keys to the family emblem (left panel in photo below).


















On the subject of the Cardinal Deacons, I finally found some information as to when cardinal-deacons were last asked to carry out one of their obvious functions as cardinal-deacons - before Mons. Guido Marini restored the practice of having two cardinal-deacons assisting the Holy Father during a Papal Mass.

A reader of the NLM blog wrote, at least insofar as cardinal-attendants:

"I have some old video tapes of Pius XI (1922-1939), Ven. Pius XII (1939-1958, Bl. John XXIII (1958-1963), and the first 2-3 years of Paul VI (1963-1978) which all show either priest attendants, or Cardinal attendants holding the sides of the Papal cope....and in the cases of the really long copes that even Benedict XVI has not restored (yet), there were Papal MC's walking behind with the train."

A reader of Father Z's blog provided the following information last December, shortly after we first saw two cardinal-deacons assisting Pope Benedict XVI at the Mass for the imposition of rings that followed the November consistory:

"When the Pope celebrates a Solemn Papal Mass, the honorary deacons are REQUIRED to be Cardinal Deacons (something that was retained in Papal Liturgies following the reforms, then fell out of use, but has now been brought back by the new Marini, thankfully), and the archpriest is REQUIRED to be a Cardinal Bishop. The Cardinal Deacons wear dalmatics, and the Cardinal Bishop wears a cope. They all wear white miters."



In the case of the Pope, there is an equally important historico-traditional reason for being attended by two 'honorary deacons'. Such deacons are required whenever a Bishop celebrates High Mass in his diocese - and the Pope is the Bishop of Rome celebrating Mass in his diocese, when he is in Rome.

The cardinal deacons are not there for show: they do perform the liturgical function of regular deacons assisting at liturgy, starting with assisting the principal Mass celebrant - in this case, the Pope - during the ritual (it is a ritual, complete with a prayer for every item of clothing that is donned) of putting on his liturgical vestments (and when he takes them off). And they are supposed to walk alongside the Pope, as they hold up the sides of the papal cope, just as Cardinals Martino and Grocholewski did today.

In a post on DAPPLED THINGS last December, Fr. Jim Tucker said this about the Cardinal Deacons:

On very solemn occasions, the Pope is accompanied by two Cardinals who belong to the rank of Cardinal Deacons. They vest in the full dalmatic (generally worn over their scarlet choir cassock, with the knee-length rochet, and amice around the neck) and make use of the white-damask mitre (the mitra simplex).

In fact, he posts a series of pictures dating back to Pius XII where the two Cardinal-Deacons always stand out because of their white miters. He posts this picture of Pope Benedict from the Vespers last New Year's Eve, with the caption below it:


"Pope Benedict XVI, assisted by two deacons. The Pope wears a cope of Blessed John XXIII (notice the coat of arms on the orphrey) and a precious mitre that belonged to John Paul I. The deacons, vested in dalmatics, hold the cope open in the traditional fashion, which makes it easier for the Pope to walk. Beneath the cope you can easily see the pectoral cross, stole, alb, and cincture."


And to complete this post, something I noted in my original post in NEWS ABOUT BENEDICT:

Fr. Guy Selvester on his blog www.shoutsinthepiazza.blogspot.com/
has identified the pastoral staff [baculus pastoralis is the Latin term] topped by a Cross used by the Holy Father today as a historic one that was used by other Popes:



The Papal staff with the stylized Crucifix that we have been used to was designed for Paul VI by a contemporary sculptor. All the Popes after him chose to keep the design. I think the use of the traditional Cross today is another token of continuity with tradition, and that the Pope will continue to use the contemporary staff regularly.

TERESA BENEDETTA
00Wednesday, March 19, 2008 6:25 AM
A RATZI-BOOKLET FROM THE VATICAN


While looking up the cover of the 2008 Via Crucis in the Libreria Editrice Vaticana site, I also found this cover of a booklet being released at this time:





It's the letter on the role of women that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued under Cardinal Ratzinger. I thought I had posted the full English translation of the letter on the Forum some time ago, but I can't locate it in thE only threads where I coudl possibly have posted it!

I will look for the original link to the English version and post it ASAP. Those of you who have read it elsewhere will know what an enlightened contemporary statement it is on the role of women.




GABRIELLA.JOSEPHINE
00Friday, March 21, 2008 5:51 PM
Re: MICHELLE'S HOLIDAY 'MIRACLE'
HERE IS THE PHOTO!!!!


TERESA BENEDETTA, 08/03/2008 17.55:


Gabriella has just informed me of a letter she got from Michele, about some wonderful holiday surprises she had in connection with the beloved Ratzinger brothers.

Shortly before Christmas, Michele and her husband were back in Regensburg and on their last day there, they were given an appointment to see Mons. Georg once again.

She asked him to autograph the book written about him last year, and also brought along a little gift for the Holy Father - a calendar Michele had made using pictures taken in Lorenzago last summer and a watercolor she made of the Plan dei Buoi - a famous plateau in he Dolomites which John Paul II often visited when in Lorenzago, but which Benedict had not visited.

To her great delight and surprise, shortly after the New Year she received a note from Mons. Gaenswein thanking her for the gift, along with the Pope's Christmas card, SIGNED BY HIM.

She thinks the kind Frau Heindl must have made sure the calendar was in Mons. Georg's bags when he left for the Vatican, and thus was instrumental in her little holiday 'miracle'.





TERESA BENEDETTA
00Sunday, March 23, 2008 7:29 PM
HOLY WEEK 2008:
Highlights from a Liturgical Ceremonial Perspective

by Shawn Tribe
March 23, 2008
thenewliturgicalmovement.blogspot.com/


It goes without saying that what is first and foremost through all the Triduum is the Triduum itself - the liturgical commemoration of the Passion, Death and glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ, who died for our sins, and whose sacrifice we mystically and truly celebrate each and every day upon our altars.

That said, this is a liturgical site, and as such, we are also interested in the liturgical forms which clothe these realities, and which may also help us to gain further insight into the program of continuity and liturgical reform that is so important to Pope Benedict, and indeed, for the Church and the faithful.

With that in mind, now that the Triduum is complete at the Holy See, I thought I would put together a brief photo montage of interesting liturgical sights we have seen starting a week ago on Palm Sunday. There are many things here we have either not seen before in recent decades, or which at least have not been seen with such frequency until this pontificate -- long may it last.


A baroque-style cope and another papal staff.



The "usual" altar arrangement - that we now can view this as so usual
should be a cause of thanksgiving and joy.




The traditional seven candlesticks and cross at St.Peter's Novus Ordo altar.



The ombrellino for the Eucharistic procession at St. John Lateran lends even greater emphasis
on the presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist
.




The seven acolytes in papal procession.



The return of the Roman chasuble, worn by Benedict for the first time as Pope,
and the ever more frequent sight of traditionally styled dalmatics
.




The seven-stepped papal platform.
[The last 2 steps are the platform itself and the 'step-up' below the cathedra.]


Aside from what is photographable, we also had a significant use of Latin in the sacred ceremonies, as well as chant, and an Easter Vigil homily which raised the history and importance of ad orientem in relation to the proper focus within the sacred liturgy.

Some get awkward about focus upon these things. They think one is focusing merely upon externals, or turning the liturgy into a "fashion show", but beauty is important on a variety of levels; signs and symbols are important.

Our entire sacramental life is a mixture of external forms and interior realities that are linked to each other. This aspect of our tradition reaches back into Judaism itself and goes throughout our ecclesiastical history.

Beauty is an echo of the divine and it speaks to sacred realities and sacred things. It is an expression not only of the objective dignity and importance of those realities, but it is also an expression of our own love and valuation of these divine gifts; a valuing of the worship of God the Father; a valuing of the Sacrifice of Christ; a valuing how these things effect both our own sanctification and that of our neighbour; a valuing of how these things have an evangelical power to speak to -- and potentially convert -- the world. Indeed, in valuing these things, we value worship and we value the power of beauty to teach and sanctify.

Some also have expressed some disappointment at other liturgical elements, but if one takes a look at these photos, all gathered from just the past week alone, one must be clear: Pope Benedict is pursuing his programme of liturgical and ecclesiastical continuity, with the willing help of Msgr. Guido Marini.




The resurrection of the Lord can bring us great cause of joy and thankfulness on this day, and so too, liturgically, do we have much cause for rejoicing.

======================================================================


Here's a good photo from Leoste, thanks to Paparatzifan:



The Holy Father in Roman chasuble at the Good Friday Liturgy of the Passion





TERESA BENEDETTA
00Monday, March 24, 2008 12:28 AM
The Holy Father’s homily at the Easter Vigil:
Theological starting points for
liturgy and 'ad orientem' worship

By Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
wdtprs.com/blog/
March 22, 2008


Considering that he celebrated the Easter Vigil Mass - in the exitraordinary form - at St. Augustine's Church, St. Paul, Minnesota last night, it is a feat that Fr. Z managed to post this commentary on the Holy Father's EAster Vigil homily before celebrating his own Mass.

And if you missed my post yesterday in CHATTER, Fr. Z just swept eight of the awards in this years 2008 Catholic Blog Awards, including Best Individual Blog, Best-Written Blog and Most Spisitual Blog.




We can approach the Holy Father’s magnificent Easter Vigil sermon on many levels. Since WDTPRS is mainly interested in our Catholic life of prayer, let’s look at it from the stand point of what Benedict XVI is offering for our own reflection on our present liturgical practices.

First, some remarks:

I have been maintaining that the Holy Father has a program, a vision for the Church. He is trying to revitalize our Catholic identity. I often refer to his "Marshall Plan", as I call it, for the Church.

Just as Europe was devastated after the war and needed rebuilding, the Church and our identity as Catholics has been devastated over the last 40 or so years. We need rebuilding.

For Benedict, liturgy is the key. It is the "tip of the spear" so to speak. Change our approach to liturgy and you change everything.

One of the most devastating changes after the Council was the widespread abandonment of 'ad orientem' worship. Authors like Klaus Gamber, for whom Papa Ratzinger has such great respect, thought that changing our altars around was perhaps the most damaging change in the post-Conciliar reform.

Sadly, the destruction of 'ad orientem' worship was based on misuse of scholarship, surely, but mostly on ideological choices rooted in a hermeneutic of rupture and an ecclesiology which was little in harmony with our Catholic faith. The results for Catholic worship were viciously corrosive.

Pope Benedict has long written of the meaning and need for 'ad orientem' worship. In practical terms he knows that we cannot force abrupt changes. We must be gentle in reintroducing it.

However, as we have been watching him during the last year or so re-introducing many traditional elements our Roman Rite into the full view of the world, including 'ad orientem' worship in the Sistine Chapel, I think we can say that he thinks the time has come for more decisive moves.

Let’s turn to the Holy Father’s sermon for the Vigil of Easter.

Again, there are many levels on which we can read this sermon and I urge you to read it once, perhaps, with an eye on baptism, on illumination, etc.

But let’s take some time for what his words could provide for some liturgical starting points, helpful to a reform of our contemporary liturgical practices.

In the early Church there was a custom whereby the Bishop or the priest, after the homily, would cry out to the faithful: "Conversi ad Dominum" – turn now towards the Lord.

This meant in the first place that they would turn towards the East, towards the rising sun, the sign of Christ returning, whom we go to meet when we celebrate the Eucharist.

Where this was not possible, for some reason, they would at least turn towards the image of Christ in the apse, or towards the Cross, so as to orient themselves inwardly towards the Lord.

Fundamentally, this involved an interior event; conversion, the turning of our soul towards Jesus Christ and thus towards the living God, towards the true light.

Linked with this, then, was the other exclamation that still today, before the Eucharistic Prayer, is addressed to the community of the faithful: "Sursum corda" – "Lift up your hearts", high above the tangled web of our concerns, desires, anxieties and thoughtlessness – "Lift up your hearts, your inner selves!"

In both exclamations we are summoned, as it were, to a renewal of our Baptism: Conversi ad Dominum – we must distance ourselves ever anew from taking false paths, onto which we stray so often in our thoughts and actions.

We must turn ever anew towards him who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. We must be converted ever anew, turning with our whole life towards the Lord.

And ever anew we must allow our hearts to be withdrawn from the force of gravity, which pulls them down, and inwardly we must raise them high: in truth and love.

At this hour, let us thank the Lord, because through the power of his word and of the holy Sacraments, he points us in the right direction and draws our heart upwards.

Let us pray to him in these words: Yes, Lord, make us Easter people, men and women of light, filled with the fire of your love. Amen.

What is going on here? I think the Holy Father has made another contribution to support the benefits of 'ad orientem' worship. The Holy Father has raised the stakes, so to speak. It seems to me that he is now pressing the issue.

I believe that it is time for bishops and priests around the world to take the hint and start, first through catechesis, to start turning our worship back toward the Lord in ad orientem worship.

I made a point I wanted to return to about active participation.

I wrote that, the starting point for "active participation" is our baptismal character. This "active" participation starts with an interior dimension of the human person.

In his sermon for the Chrism Mass he spoke to the "active participation" of priests in liturgy, starting from "correct celebration" brought to completion by "interior participation".

I often speak of the need for strong active interior participation which then comes to be expressed in outward gestures, movement, singing, etc.

However, here the Holy Father is speaking about how the correct outward celebration of the priest, is brought to completion in interior participation. I don’t want to put to much on this at this moment, but it has started me thinking.

First, perhaps there is a possible distinction to be made in active participation of laypeople and that of priests. Also, this expression may also represent the other side of the coin of lex orandi lex credendi. There is a reciprocal relationship between how we pray and what we believe. Sometimes the one or the other will have logical priority.

=====================================================================

ON THE HOLY FATHER'S HOMILY
AT THE MASS OF THE CHRISM



Father Zuhlsdor's reference to the Holy Father's homily at the Mass of the Chrism on Maundy Thursday is a good occasion to remind anyone who has not yet done so to read that homily. The full translation is posted in HOMILIES, DISCOURSES, MESSAGES.

As the Mass of the Chrism celebrates the institution of the priesthood by Christ, Benedict once again reminds priests all over the world what it means to be a priest in his usual original and eloquently illustrative way.

Not only does he show how integral the liturgy is to the life of the priest, but that this is part of the priest's duty above all to pray, to be intimate with God in prayer and through familiarity with the Word of God, and finally, to be obedient to the teaching of the Church, which is Christ's mystical Body, reminding his fellow priests again that Adam's sin was pride. [When one comes to think of it, the original sin was pride - Lucifer and the other fallen angels sinned in the same way. And the dissident theologians and priests today, who, it seems, do not know what it means to be humble.]

As I have had occasion to comment many times in the past, I particularly treasure all that this Pope has to say about being a priest, because he is telling us, in effect, his personal practices as a priest.

This, I believe, is the aspect of his complex multiform personality that most defines who he is and most determines what he does and says. He is not just a Christian, but specifically, a Roman Catholic priest, which is more fundamental than the fact that he is a theologian or the Pope.

From the homily at the Mass of the Chrism:



Maundy Thursday is for us an occasion to ask ourselves yet again: What did we say Yes to? What does it mean to 'be a priest of Jesus Christ'?

Canon II of our Missal - which probably dates back to the second century here in Rome - describes the essence of the priestly ministry with the words that describe the essence of the Old Testament priesthood in the Book of Deuteronomy (18, 5,7): "astare coram te et tibi ministrare" - to stand before you and serve you.

In the first place, then, "to stand before the Lord". In the Book of Deuteronomy, this is read in the context of the preceding disposition, according to which the priest does not receive any portion or lot in the Holy Land, (because) priests should live off God and for God. They were not to expect to do the usual necessary work to sustain daily life. Their profession was 'to stand before the Lord' - to contemplate him, to be there for him.

In this way, the Word (of God) indicates a life in the presence of God, and with this, a ministry in behalf of others. As other men must cultivate the land from which even priests live, so does the priest keep the world open toward God, and should live with his attention fixed on him.

This passage is found today in the Canon of the Mass, immediately after the consecration of the offerings - after the entry of the Lord into the assembly in prayer - (and) it tells us to be present before the Lord, indicating the Eucharist as the center of priestly life. But the meaning goes even farther.

In the hymn of the Liturgy of the Hours that introduces the Office of the Readings in Lent - the Office which monks once recited during an hour of nightly vigil before God and for men - one of the tasks during Lent is described with the imperative: 'arctius perstemus in custodia' – let us be even more intensely attentive.

In the Syrian monastic tradition, monks were defined as 'those who are on their feet' - this expression referred to being vigilant. That which was seen as a task for monks, we can rightly see likewise as an expression of the priestly mission and as the correct interpretation of the words of Deuteronomy: the priest should be one who watches and keeps guard.

He must stand guard against the pressing powers of evil. He must keep the world awake for God. He must be someone who is on his feet - standing sqwuarely against the currents of the time, standing for the truth, for a commitment to the good.

Standing before the Lord should always be, at its most profound, taking responsibility as well for others before the Lord, who, in his turn, takes responsibility for all men before the Father.

And it should mean taking on Christ himself, his words, his truth, his love. The priest shoud be correct, fearless and ready to undergo even the worst affronts for the Lord - as it says in the Acts of the Apostles, "rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name of Jesus" (5,41).

Let us proceed to the second part of the passage that the Canon takes from the text of the Old Testament: 'to stand before you and to serve you'. The priest should be an upright person, vigilant, a person who remains straight. But to all this is added that he must serve.

In the Old Testament text, this word has an essentially ritualistic meaning: it was the priest's task to perform all the actions of worship prescribed by the Law. But this acting according to rite came to be described as service, as a responsibility of service, which explains in what spirit that activity should be carried out.

With the use of the word 'to serve' in the Canon, the liturgical meaning of the term was adopted to conform to the newness of Christian worship. What the priest does in the moment of celebrating the Eucharist is to serve, to fulfill a service to God and a service to men.

The act of worship that Christ offered to the Father was to give himself up to the very end in behalf of men. It is within this worship, within this service, that the priest must situate himself. Therefore the expression 'to serve' has many dimensions.

Certainly, part of it is, first of all, the correct celebration of the liturgy and of the Sacraments in general, which must be carried out with interior participation. We should learn to understand ever increasingly the sacred liturgy in all its essence, develop such a living familiarity with it that it becomes the soul of our daily existence.

And when we celebrate liturgy in the right way, then ars celebrandi, the art of celebrating, emerges by itself. This art should not have anything artificial.


If the Liturgy is a central task for the priest, this also means that prayer itself should be a priority to be learned ever anew and ever more profoundly in the school of Christ and the saints of all times.

Inasmuch as Christian liturgy, by its very nature, is always also an announcement, we should be familiar ourselves with the Word of God, as persons who love it and live it - because only then can we explain it appropriately.

"To serve the Lord": priestly service also means learning to know the Lord in his Word, and to make this be known to all those whom he has entrusted to us.

Two other aspects make up what it means 'to serve'. No one is closer to the Lord than the servant who has access to the most intimate aspects of his life. In this sense, service means closeness, which requires familiarity.

But this familiarity also carries a danger: even the sacred which we encounter all the time then becomes a habit, and this extinguishes reverential awe. Conditioned by habit, we no longer can perceive the great, new and surprising fact - that God himself is present, speaks to us, and gives himself to us.

Against this habituation to an extraordinary reality, against the indifference of the heart, we must fight ceaselessly, always acknowledging our inadequacy, as well as the grace it means to us for him to (literally) put himself into our hands.

To serve means closeness but above all, it means obedience. The servant is bound by the words: "Not my will but yours be done" (Lk 22, 42). With these words, Jesus in the Garden of Olives resolved the conclusive battle against sin, against the rebellion of the fallen.

Adam's sin consisted, precisely, in that he wanted his will to be realized, not God's. Mankind's temptation has always been to want total autonomy to follow one's own will and to believe that only thus can we be free, that man can be completely human only thanks to such freedom without limits. But in thinking this way, we oppose the truth.

Because the truth is that we should share our freedom with others and that we can only be free in communion with others. This shared freedom can be true freedom only if we use it to enter that which is the measure itself of freedom, if we enter into the will of God.

This fundamental obedience is part of being human: a being who does not exist on his own nor for himself alone becomes even more concrete in the priest. We do not announce ourselves, but God and his Word, which we could not have thought of ourselves.

We announce the word of Christ correctly only in communion with his Body. Our obedience is a believing with the Church, thinking and speaking with the Church, serving with the Church.
In this, we can always think of what Jesus predicted to Peter: "You will be drawn where you do not wish to be."

Allowing ourselves to be led where we do not wish to be is an essential dimension of our service, but it is this which makes us free. In allowing ourselves to be led thus - which may be contrary to our own ideas and plans - we experience the new thing, the richness of God's love.

"To stand before him and to serve him": Christ as the true High priest of the world gave these words a profoundness which was previously unimaginable. He, who as the Son was and is the Lord, wanted to be that servant of God that the vision in the Book of the prophet Isaiah had foretold. He wanted to be the servant of all.

And he illustrated the sum total of his supreme priesthood in the act of washing the Apostles' feet. With his act of love to the very end, he washes our dirty feet; with the humility of his service, he purifies us from our affliction with pride. And thus he makes us worthy to sit at the table of God.




TERESA BENEDETTA
00Monday, March 24, 2008 4:35 AM
New Zealander residents
recount being at a papal audience

Wellington Daily News, 3/21/08



Thousands of people around the United States are waiting for the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI in April, but for Rose Smith of Wellington, the wait is over.

The Wellington resident and her son Cary Smith, and his wife Tara were in the audience of the Pope last month as the Smith’s performed in a choir before his Holiness.

In an auditorium that sat as many as 3,000 people, Smith says being in the same room with the Pope was “thrilling” and “a once in a lifetime event.”

Smith sat in the audience, listening as group after group performed for the Vatican head. Each parish and group was acknowledged and then stood to sing or perform for the Pope.

Cary and Tara Smith were performing with St. Michael’s Choir from Bedford, Texas. About 50 people were in the choir group.

Catholics and non-Catholics alike performed music selections of the Pope. One by one, showing their talent and skill for Rome’s No. 1 resident.

“It was very festive,” said Smith.

Though the individual performance was relatively short, the performance of all the groups took a long time, said Smith. The wait was worth it, however, as the Pope performed a papal blessing on all those in the audience.

“He did a papal blessing on everyone and an extended blessing on our friends and family. I tried to remember all my friends, to think of everyone I knew,” Smith said.

The group spent six days in Italy, spending time in numerous basilicas, churches and picturesque spots. Smith saw the Colesseum where chariot races were performed thousands of years ago, and even got to see the countryside of Assisi, home of patron saint of animals, St. Francis of Assisi.

“It was so beautiful. It was a beautiful country. There were so many olive trees. It was just gorgeous,” said Smith.

The Wellington resident and lifelong Catholic, had never even been out of the Country until her recent trip and says though she saw many sites, seeing the Pope was the top tier of the trip.

“It was so great to be there with our son and his wife and to see the Pope. That was the highlight of the trip. All the other places were a bonus and if I never saw them, that would have been fine,” she said.

Seeing Pope Benedict reinforced Smith’s faith.

“I have always appreciated my faith. When I think back and remember my time in the presence of the Pope, it just reinforces what I already know and have read.”

TERESA BENEDETTA
00Monday, March 24, 2008 2:10 PM
BENEDICT REVIVES THE 'EASTER MOZZETTA'
And once again we thank The New Liturgial Movement blog,
thenewliturgicalmovement.blogspot.com/
this time Gregor Kollmorgen, who picked out these pictures from Foto Felici.

It appears the Holy Father received - indoors - some guests after the Urbi
et Orbi message yesterday, at which these photos were taken. And he wore
for the first time in his Pontificate, the third kind of papal mozzetta -
a white damask capelet trimmed with ermine. [The damask pattern
(white on white) photographs beautifully, doesn't it
?]








Mr. Kollmorgen further informs us:


... traditionally there had been three different types of mozzette for the Pope:
a red atlas silken one, worn in summer; a red velvet one trimmed with white fur,
worn in winter; and a white damask silk one trimmed with white fur, which is
only worn during the Easter octave
.

Pope Benedict had already reintroduced the winter version of the mozzetta,
last worn (if memory serves) by Paul VI, in 2005.

He also has pictures of Paul VI and John XXIII wearing the Easter mozzetta:


Blessed John's picture is precious! - wearing both the camauro and the Easter mozzetta!

=====================================================================


WILL HE WEAR GREEN SHOES, TOO?

Father Guy Selvester
www.shoutsinthepiazza.blogspot.com/
also takes note of the Easter mozzetta with an added note about green shoes!

Our wonderful Holy Father (may he live to be 100!) has revived yet another custom not seen since the 1960s.

For the Octave of Easter he is wearing the white papal mozetta. This custom used to be observed by all popes up until the pontificate of Pope Paul VI. John Paull II, of happy memory, never made use of this.

According to tradition, while wearing the white mozetta the Pope is also supposed to discard his usual red shoes in favor of green shoes. I would be very happy to find out if Pope Benedict XVI has done this as well.

I noticed that at mass today he was wearing the red shoes as usual. Perhaps at the Wednesday audience we'll see? I think it's wonderful not just because it is an old custom revived but because I think it is great to use this as a means of marking the Octave of Easter as particularly special which, of course, it is.

But are the green shoes worn even when the Pope is in his cassock, not in choir robe?

MORE ON THE EASTER MOZZETTA...
AND THE GREEN SHOES


Father Z shares this e-mail from one of his readers:

When ____ and I were in Rome last February, the guy at Gamarelli told us that they were busy making various things for the Pope. I asked him if they had any plans to make the white silk mozzetta that the popes used to wear during the Easter Octave. To my surprise, he said that they had already made one for him, and that he should be wearing it that Easter. Unfortunately, the Pope didn’t wear it last year.*

As you should (hopefully) be able to see below, the Holy Father wore the traditional white Mozzetta today after Mass! Whether it’s the one made by Gamarelli I don’t know, but who cares.

It’s another small step in the Benedictine Revolution, reminding us that the Church didn’t start in the mid-1960’s.

Father Z then adds this comment:

We'll have to wait for the Wednesday audience to see if he switches to the green shoes, which if memory serves, was part of this custom. Maybe some of you know more about that.



=====================================================================


The 'problem' with the Easter mozzetta is that there are only eight days (the Easter Octave) during which it may be worn - and the mozzetta is only worn when the Pope is carrying out an official ceremonial duty (receiving another head of state or a new ambassador) - or a non-Eucharistic liturgical duty (such as the yearly homage to the Immacolata in Rome). He would not, for instance, wear it to deliver his catechesis at the General Audience.

I have not yet read what occasioned his wearing it yesterday after the Easter Mass, but unless he is meeting an ambassador or a head of state, or performing a non-Eucharistic liturgical ceremony in the remaining 6 days of the octave, what chance is there he will wear it again this year?

Perhaps last year, we never saw him in it, because with the 80th birthday, Easter and second anniversary celebrations all coming together, he practically 'disappeared' from sight during the Easter Octave, when he retreated to Castel Gandolfo for a much-needed rest.


TERESA BENEDETTA
00Tuesday, March 25, 2008 3:51 AM
The Pope's Jewish pastrymaker
By Bruno Volpe
Translated from



VATICAN CITY - Vilma Limentani is a Jewish pastrymaker in Rome, and she bakes Pope Benedict's favorite sweets. A rather curious story which PETRUS is pleased to recount.

It appears the Pope particularly likes Signora Vilma's almond-and-cinnamon petit-fours and especially the so-called 'Jewish pizza', which is actually a sort of jelly roll (or 'log', as in the French Yule log, or buche de Noel) stuffed with candied fruit, almonds, raisins and pine nuts.

Signora Liverani's pastry shop is in the Ghetto, Rome's Jewish quarter, a few steps from the Synagogue - a small place that is always crowded starting in the early morning. Among the pastry shop's most prominent customers are Silvio Berlusconi, Massimo D' Alema and Giuliano Ferrara.


Signora Limentani, can you tell us how your sweets got to the Pope's table?
By chance! A friend of ours who is a customer, Dr. Giacomo Perugia, is one of Benedict XVI's trusted physicians. Once, he asked us for some of the cinnamon-and-almond cookies and the Jewish pizza to bring to the Pope during one of his social calls at the Vatican. I remember he came back right away to tell us that the Pope sent his compliments for our products and made it clear he would not mind having them again. Therefore, everytime Dr. Perugia goes to see him, he passes by here first to take some of the goodies with him.


As far as you know, which one does the Pope like best?
The cookies. For one thing, they are right for his diet. You know that according to the dietary rules of our religion, we cannot use saturated animal fats. So our cookies may be somewhat calorie-rich but they are healthy and do not increase cholesterol.


Your pastry shop is almost an example of inter-religious interaction. One of your trusted staff is a Filipina Catholic who is also a devotee of Padre Pio.
Oh, we are all for tolerance, we can agree on that. Now, what joins us even more is our common affection for the Pope. You know, I am, of course, very happy that the Pope likes our products.


What is the main characteristic of a Jewish pastry shop?
To make an otherwise long story short, one word: kosher. That means, complete respect for Jewish dietary laws, which have natural and hygienic bases, as well as faithfulness to tradition.


Tradition, as in the Good Friday prayer of the old Latin Mass?
I assure you we have the greatest respect for Pope Benedict, and I think that we Jewish also need to revise some radicalisms on our part!

======================================================================

I find Papino's decidedly 'sweet tooth' one of the most endearing things about him. It makes him so delightfully down to earth!



TERESA BENEDETTA
00Tuesday, March 25, 2008 5:48 AM
Singing monks bag record deal


London, Mar. 23 (Press Assn, UK) - A group of singing monks who caught the ear of the Pope are set for wider fame after signing a major recording deal.



The monks, from the Monastery of the Holy Cross (Heiligenkreuz) in the heart of the Vienna Woods in Austria, captivated Pope Benedict when he visited them last year.

Their talents also impressed record company bosses at Universal Music, who have signed them with the promise of making a commercial recording within the next few weeks.


Monks Do a Deal
New York Times, 3/25/08

The record label that is home to Amy Winehouse and Eminem is now home as well to a group of Gregorian chanting monks.

The monks from the Abbey of the Holy Cross (Heiligenkreuz), who number Pope Benedict XVI among their fans, have been signed by Universal Records, Reuters reported.

Though they are based at the world’s second-oldest Cistercian monastery, established in 1133 and 10 miles west of Vienna, the monks were discovered in a very modern way, by responding via YouTube to advertisements seeking medieval chanters.

They beat more than 100 other entries from around the world. The monks’ spokesman, Father Karl Wallner, said they answered the ad for fun.

“But now it has become a very serious and positive thing for us, because Gregorian chant is an expression of our spirituality; it’s how we pray,” he said. “We’re not Robbie Williams or Michael Jackson; we’re just a group of monks who sing every day because it’s our prayer and it’s our life.”

The first album is scheduled for release by summer.


[I know I read a much longer story about this during the weekend - all about the tradition of Gregorian chant at HK, etc. I will look for it and post it here.]



P.S. This isn't what I saw earlier, it's actually a later story but it is more extensive than the previous two:


Cistercian monks of Holy Cross
sign major record contract



BERLIN, March 26 (CNA) – After “blowing away” music executives with their performance of Gregorian plainchant, a group of Austrian monks has been given a record deal with Universal Music, the Independent reports.

Universal had been persuaded that there was a market for albums of Gregorian chant by the success of the video game Halo. The game, which has sold over 16 million copies, uses in its soundtrack a plainchant sung by male choirs without musical accompaniment.

Dickon Stainer, head of Universal Classics and Jazz, said, "Young people have an awareness of Gregorian chant, even though it’s not something you come across in everyday life. It made us think that there was something in it."

The music company placed an advertisement in The Tablet and The Church Times seeking “men of the cloth” to sing on an album of Gregorian chants.

After a contact in London informed the Cistercian monks of Heiligenkreuz (Holy Cross) monastery about Universal’s search for Gregorian singers, the 80 monks compiled a clip of their singing and put it on YouTube as an audition.

The professionally edited video begins with a shot of altar candles and then switches to images of monks clad in white habits walking in double file through the ancient cloisters. The video closes in a picturesque aerial shot of the Holy Cross abbey, set deep in the Austrian woods.

"I was blown away by the quality of their singing," said Tom Lewis, an executive at Universal. "They are quite simply the best Gregorian singers we have heard. They make a magical sound which is calming and deeply moving. They are using the very latest communication devices to get their music heard. They’re very passionate and excited about this opportunity."

Lewis said the company had received hundreds of videos in response to its advertisements, but the Cistercians were the clear winners.

The monks have described their success as “divine intervention.” They were scheduled to record an album last year, but the recording session was cancelled after it conflicted with a visit to the monastery by Pope Benedict XVI.

The monastery, which dates back to 1133, has been famous for its relic of the True Cross.

Father Karl, a spokesman for the abbey, welcomed the news. "Gregorian chant is part of spirituality and our life," he said, according to the Independent. "Any profits will be spent on training future brothers."

Gregorian Chant, which is named for Pope Gregory I, had some popularity in the 1990s and was featured in several successful CDs by the group Enigma.


loriRMFC
00Tuesday, March 25, 2008 6:56 AM
'EASTER MOZZETTA'

Thank you for posting about this Teresa. I was wondering about the specifics of it and quite curious when Fr. Z mentioned green shoes on his blog.

"But are the green shoes worn even when the Pope is in his cassock, not in choir robe?"

This is a good question. I don't mean to be silly, but how do we know he's not wearing the green shoes in the pictures?

What a smile he has in the first photo! [SM=g27828]

maryjos
00Tuesday, March 25, 2008 6:01 PM
White mozzetta!!!!!
I don't know about the green shoes, but the white mozzetta is magnificent - or rather, the particular person wearing it is magnificent!!!!!!! Papa Ratzinger is taking his papacy seriously and using all the accoutrements etc. which may have been considered "optional extras" during the last papacy.

Was the "ombrellino" [the small umbrella carried over the Blessed Sacrament in procession, especially to the Altar of Repose] used in John Paul's papacy? I'm hopelessly ignorant.

Only just recovering from seeing Papa in the superb vestments for the Triduum.......now I'm confronted with him in the beautiful white mozzetta!!! Can't take much more!!!!
[SM=x40798] [SM=x40798] [SM=x40798] [SM=x40798]
[SM=g27828] [SM=g27828] [SM=g27828] [SM=g27829] [SM=g27829] [SM=g27829]
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Tuesday, March 25, 2008 11:03 PM

Hosting the Pope's 2008 Summer Vacation, July 28-Aug.11



The Pope's special request:
A piano in his room
at the Bressanone seminary

By LUIGI RUGGERA
Translated from
Corriere dell'Alto Adige
March 25, 2008


BOLZANO — One of the few requests that have reached Bressanone from the Vatican so far regarding the Pope's summer vacation there from July 28 to August 11 this year: a piano in the small three-room suite that he will be occupying in Bressanone's Seminario Maggiore.



Classical music has always been a passion of Joseph Ratzinger, who started playing the piano as a boy. And he has never stopped playing the piano, having installed his own old piano in his private study at the papal apartment of the Apostolic Palace.

When he spent his summer vacation in Lorenzago di Cadore last year, a Yamaha piano was brought to the vacation house belonging to the diocese of Trentino that he and his personal staff occupied. At Bressanone, there are already a number of pianos in the seminary.

One imagines that just as he did in Lorenzago (and in les Combes before that), the Pope will be bringing music sheets of his favorite composers. He will be glad to learn a Bressanone footnote to the lore that has accumulated about his favorite composer Mozart, who came to the Val d'Isarco area (where Bressanone is located) many times. (It must be remebered Bressanone/Brixen was part of Austria until after the First World War.)

Recently, an Austrian musicologist, Hildegard Hermann Schneider, discovered in the archive of the Cathedral of Bressanone a previously uncatalogued autograph score, the Spaur Mass in C-major EV 257 (composed by Mozart in 1776), which had its world premiere in the Bressanone Cathedral last November.

The request for a piano shows the Pope intends to relax as much as he can during his vacation, while not neglecting the reading, study and writing that are essential to his day. He began writing JESUS OF NAZARETH during his last summer vacation as a cardinal here in Bressanone in August 2004.

He is also an avid walker. "Mountain air makes me feel good and helps me to dedicate myself better to meditation and prayer," he has said.

In his first three years as Pope, Papa Ratzinger chose to spend his summer vacatioms where his predecessor had spent his - first, Les Combes in Val D'Aosta, and last year in Lorenzago, where Papa Wojtyla had spent six summer vacations.

Pope Benedict's choice of Bressanone is therefore very personal - following his own custom as a cardinal who, since 1977, chose to spend his summer vacation in Bressanone every three years.

So, while Papa Ratzinger is an old acquaintance for many of the local clergy, the Brissinesi themselves still consider it an extrarodinary event, for which tourists will be coming specially while the Pope is in town. Local hotels have already received thousands of reservations for that period, especially from Germans.

'Let us leave him
to vacation in peace'


Nonetheless, the diocese of Bolzano-Bressanone is trying to condition residents not to expect too much outside of the two Sunday Angelus prayers that the Pope is scheduled to lead in Piazza Duomo (Cathedral Square) during his stay.

The diocese has also appointed Fr. Thomas Stuerz, private secretary of Bishop Wilhelm Egger, to receive all 'requests, intentions and suggestions' about the visit, which he will then forward to Mons. Georg Gaenswein, the Pope''s private secretary for the Holy Father's review and decision.

Obviously, a diocesan spokesman said, "we will not be able to satisfy most of the requests, but it must be remembered that the Pope is coming to Bressanone to enjoy a pleasant and tranquil vacation."

The Canon of the Bressanone Cathedral, Fr. Carlo Milesi, also informed his parishioners: "The Pope chose to return to Bressanone because he considers it an ideal vacation spot. It is understandable that many will want to see him, but I think his desire for a peaceful vacation should be respected. Besides the two Angelus prayers at Piazza Duomo, the Pope has nothing else scheduled. Those who want to get close to him would do well to read his two encyclicals instead."

Corriere dell'Alto Adige, 25 marzo 2008

GABRIELLA.JOSEPHINE
00Friday, March 28, 2008 11:34 AM
Re: Re: MICHELLE'S HOLIDAY 'MIRACLE'
GABRIELLA.JOSEPHINE, 21/03/2008 17.51:

HERE IS THE PHOTO!!!!









In this lovely photo we can see my dear friend Michelle G.,
who lives near Stuttgart, during her second visit with
Monsignore Ratzinger, in Regensburg (December 2008)
while she asks him to sign the byografic book
"Der Bruder des Papstes".

(Photo by Siegfried H.,her husbend)
Wulfrune
00Friday, March 28, 2008 8:03 PM
Kratzie, Gabriella Josephine
foto Meraviglioso!!!!!

What a gorgeous picture of two lovely people. She will never forget this day. Msgr Ratzinger is such a wonderful, holy, humble man. God bless him!

And God bless you for sharing this picture! [SM=x40800] [SM=x40800] [SM=x40799] [SM=x40799]

PS: Chust noticed the gift-wrapped parcels on the chair in the background - someone's birthday?
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Saturday, March 29, 2008 11:48 AM
Pope Benedict likes
buffalo mozzarella cheese



Vatican City, 28 March (AKI) - Pope Benedict XVI is a big fan of buffalo mozzarella cheese, and eats it often, reported Italian daily Il Messaggero on Friday.

Pope Benedict XVI reportedly likes simple dishes and often receives buffalo mozzarella cheese as a gift from bishops from the Campania region in southern Italy where the best buffalo mozzarella is produced.

The cheese is given to Benedict's policemen, who later 'discreetly' take the cheese to his apartment, Il Messaggero reported.

Recently there have been fears the highly popular mozzarella cheese may have been contaminated by dioxins and other chemicals from illegally dumped toxic waste.

Japan and South Korea have in recent days halted imports of buffalo mozzarella, and there are fears other countries could suspend imports.

In the supermarket located inside Vatican City, the dairy section is full of mozzarella cheese products from the southern region of Campania.

Reportedly, the cheese is prized among priests and nuns who visit the supermarket everyday to restock convents, institutes and monasteries.

The cheese, prized for its subtle flavour, costs twice as much as mozzarella made with cows' milk. It is eaten on top of pizza and also alongside prosciutto or with sliced tomatoes and basil.

====================================================================

I must look up the original article in Messaggero.



GABRIELLA.JOSEPHINE
00Saturday, March 29, 2008 5:23 PM
Thank you from the heart, dear Clare!!!!!!
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Good bless each of you!

(About the gifts on the chair J don't know...
Probably Christmas' gifts for Monsignore.)
maryjos
00Saturday, March 29, 2008 9:06 PM
Kratzie dear Gabriella Josephine!!!!!
Carissima Gabriella! Mille grazie per la foto da Monsignor Georg e Michelle!!!!! It looks as if both of them were thoroughly enjoying the visit!

It's perfectly obvious that he didn't mind Michelle visiting - in fact he positively welcomed it.

I'm interested in those three framed photos on the cupboard. The middle one is his brother in mozzetta and stole......but can't see the details of the others.

Un grande abbraccio di Mary dal Inghilterra!!!!!
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benedetto.fan
00Saturday, March 29, 2008 10:09 PM
Re:
TERESA BENEDETTA, 29.03.2008 11:48:

Pope Benedict likes
buffalo mozzarella cheese



Vatican City, 28 March (AKI) - Pope Benedict XVI is a big fan of buffalo mozzarella cheese, and eats it often, reported Italian daily Il Messaggero on Friday.

Pope Benedict XVI reportedly likes simple dishes and often receives buffalo mozzarella cheese as a gift from bishops from the Campania region in southern Italy where the best buffalo mozzarella is produced.

The cheese is given to Benedict's policemen, who later 'discreetly' take the cheese to his apartment, Il Messaggero reported.

Recently there have been fears the highly popular mozzarella cheese may have been contaminated by dioxins and other chemicals from illegally dumped toxic waste.

Japan and South Korea have in recent days halted imports of buffalo mozzarella, and there are fears other countries could suspend imports.

In the supermarket located inside Vatican City, the dairy section is full of mozzarella cheese products from the southern region of Campania.

Reportedly, the cheese is prized among priests and nuns who visit the supermarket everyday to restock convents, institutes and monasteries.

The cheese, prized for its subtle flavour, costs twice as much as mozzarella made with cows' milk. It is eaten on top of pizza and also alongside prosciutto or with sliced tomatoes and basil.

====================================================================

I must look up the original article in Messaggero.







perhaps it is this one you are looking for, teresa?

www.ilmessaggero.it/view.php?data=20080328&ediz=20_CITTA&npag=14&file=N_384.xml&type=...


======================================================================

Thanks, benedetto.fan, I actually did not find time to go looking for the article, but I have seen it now, and the AKI English article said everything in it.

The only difference is that the Messaggero article led with the fact that the Vatican has not stopped buying the 'bufala' mozzarella despite the story about the dioxins.

The last part adds that the Pope prefers simple cooking with fresh ingredients, the 'bufala' fits this requirement, and that his meals are prepared by one of his four Memores Domini housekeepers.


Teresa.
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Sunday, March 30, 2008 9:24 PM
TRACKING DOWN PAPINO'S 'JEWISH PIZZA'
TERESA BENEDETTA, 3/25/2008 3:51 AM:

The Pope's Jewish pastrymaker
By Bruno Volpe
Translated from



VATICAN CITY - Vilma Limentani is a Jewish pastrymaker in Rome, and she bakes Pope Benedict's favorite sweets. A rather curious story which PETRUS is pleased to recount.

It appears the Pope particularly likes Signora Vilma's almond-and-cinnamon petit-fours and especially the so-called 'Jewish pizza', which is actually a sort of jelly roll (or 'log', as in the French Yule log, or buche de Noel) stuffed with candied fruit, almonds, raisins and pine nuts.

Signora Liverani's pastry shop is in the Ghetto, Rome's Jewish quarter, a few steps from the Synagogue - a small place that is always crowded starting in the early morning. Among the pastry shop's most prominent customers are Silvio Berlusconi, Massimo D' Alema and Giuliano Ferrara.


Signora Limentani, can you tell us how your sweets got to the Pope's table?
By chance! A friend of ours who is a customer, Dr. Giacomo Perugia, is one of Benedict XVI's trusted physicians. Once, he asked us for some of the cinnamon-and-almond cookies and the Jewish pizza to bring to the Pope during one of his social calls at the Vatican. I remember he came back right away to tell us that the Pope sent his compliments for our products and made it clear he would not mind having them again. Therefore, everytime Dr. Perugia goes to see him, he passes by here first to take some of the goodies with him.


[As far as you know, which one does the Pope like best?
The cookies. For one thing, they are right for his diet. You know that according to the dietary rules of our religion, we cannot use saturated animal fats. So our cookies may be somewhat calorie-rich but they are healthy and do not increase cholesterol.


Your pastry shop is almost an example of inter-religious interaction. One of your trusted staff is a Filipina Catholic who is also a devotee of Padre Pio.
Oh, we are all for tolerance, we can agree on that. Now, what joins us even more is our common affection for the Pope. You know, I am, of course, very happy that the Pope likes our products.


What is the main characteristic of a Jewish pastry shop?
To make an otherwise long story short, one word: kosher. That means, complete respect for Jewish dietary laws, which have natural and hygienic bases, as well as faithfulness to tradition.


Tradition, as in the Good Friday prayer of the old Latin Mass?
I assure you we have the greatest respect for Pope Benedict, and I think that we Jewish also need to revise some radicalisms on our part!


======================================================================



John Thavis of CNS tells us in this sidebar that he, too, has been a habitual customer of Signora Vilma's pasticceria for her Jewish pizza, which he has photographed for the curious reader.



His little expedition turned out to be interesting for other things:


PASTRY DIALOG
By John Thavis
3/27/08



I wandered into Rome’s Jewish ghetto neighborhood because I read an intriguing little report about Pope Benedict’s favorite bakery.

The tiny Limentani pastry shop has long been a favorite of mine. I go for the same reason most people go: their “Jewish pizza,” a type of miniature fruit cake packed with almonds, raisins and other stuff I’ve never identified. It looks terrible and tastes great.

I asked the senior woman behind the counter about the report that the Pope had their sweets delivered to his table. Through a series of phrases and gestures, she let me know that it was somewhere between maybe and probably true.

“The other Pope, too,” she said. Before I could respond, customers in the jam-packed bakery began talking excitedly about John Paul II, the “other Pope,” the one who in 1986 came to visit their synagogue a block away.

“He and Rabbi Toaff were great friends,” one woman said. That prompted a whole new round of assent and acclamation in the shop.

When Pope John Paul died, Elio Toaff, Rome’s former chief rabbi, made a moving visit to pray before the Pope’s body. In his own spiritual testament, John Paul remembered the rabbi in a special way.

They were still talking about Pope John Paul when I left the pastry shop, toting my pizza ebraica.

I passed by the synagogue, where 22 years ago I watched Pope John Paul pay his visit. I still remember the impression he made when he called Jews “our beloved elder brothers.”

At the street level of inter-religious dialogue, those personal gestures endure.

Pope Benedict also visited a synagogue in his native Germany, but he’s not as well known by the Rome Jewish community. His taste in pastries could change that.



TERESA BENEDETTA
00Monday, March 31, 2008 2:54 AM
The man who supplies the Popes
with buffalo mozzarella

by Bruno Volpe
Translated from






VATICAN CITY - There is apparently at least one gastronomic pleasure that John Paul II and Benedict XVI share - a fondness for the 'bufala campana' or mozzarella made with buffalo milk that is a specialty of Campagna (the region of which Naples is the capital).

Neapolitan restaurant entrepreneur Pasquale Esposito tells PETRUS that for years, he has been sending the prized mozzarellla to both John paul II and now Benedict XVI, and that the cheese comes from a friend's dairy in Frattamaggiore.



Dottor Esposito, where do we begin?
The day that my parish priest and spiritual director, Fr. Alfonso D'Errico, from Grumi Nevano, told me that John Paul II liked mozzarella particularly, and suggested that we both send him the cheese as a gift.

Since then, every two weeks, we would set out for the Vatican with the packets of mozzarella, sometimes accompanied by one of our local senators.


Who was your contact to make sure the Pope got the cheese?
Mons. Stanislaw Dsiwisz, who was his personal secretary. He took to referring to the cheeses jokingly as 'biancheria' [meaning 'whites', a term used for underwear in general] So when we talked on the phone, he would say, "Dottor Esposito, is the 'biancheria' ready?"

I will tell you what I know. John Paul II ate mozzarella every morning because he said it was good for his health - I remember he would always tell me that with a smile whenever we saw each other. While Cardinal Dsiwisz said he preferred to take it with bread as an afternoon snack at work.


Do you have a special memory of John Paul II as we approach the third anniversary of his death?
To thank me for the mozzarella, he eventually gave me a staff and a quilted jacket that he used when he took walks in the mountains. They are precious relics that I guard jealously and which I consider truly invaluable.


Now, what about the present Pope?
It turns out he, too, loves mozzarella. So with him, I have kept the same 'routine'. I telephone his secretary, Mons. Gaenswein, we set the appointment, I come to the Vatican, knock on his door and deliver the mozzarella.

Mons. Gaenswein says he himself is crazy about it, and he says the Holy Father really takes great pleasure eating it. Who has not failed to send me his thanks now and then by writing.


Do you think the warnings against the possible dangers in buffalo mozzarella are exaggerated?
Without a dobubt! Dioxins are physiologically present everywhere. I think it is wrong to criminalize our mozzarella this way.


So are you going to keep on bringing mozzarella to the Vatican?
Yes, I will be there Wednesday for the third anniversary Mass for John Paul II. After the Mass, I expect to deliver the cheeses to Mons. Gaenswein for the Pope. In fact, I will also bring some honey from my farm which the lay sisters who cook for the Pope like to use in preparing strudel for the Pope.



GABRIELLA.JOSEPHINE
00Monday, March 31, 2008 5:00 PM
Re: Kratzie dear Gabriella Josephine!!!!!
maryjos, 29/03/2008 21.06:

Carissima Gabriella! Mille grazie per la foto da Monsignor Georg e Michelle!!!!! It looks as if both of them were thoroughly enjoying the visit!

It's perfectly obvious that he didn't mind Michelle visiting - in fact he positively welcomed it.

I'm interested in those three framed photos on the cupboard. The middle one is his brother in mozzetta and stole......but can't see the details of the others.

Un grande abbraccio di Mary dal Inghilterra!!!!!
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**********************************************************************

Carissima Mary, sono molto contenta che la fotografia ti sia piaciuta!!!!!

The three framede images on the cupboard are the following:
on the left Msgr. Georg playng on the piano.
In the middle: the Holy Father in mozzetta and stole.
On the right: the three Ratzingers brothers.

CIAO!!!! [SM=x40800]

TERESA BENEDETTA
00Monday, March 31, 2008 8:42 PM
Pope loves 'Jewish pizza'


24 Adar Bet 5768, March 31, '08


(IsraelNN.com) - Catholic Pope Benedict XVI is a new customer at a renowned kosher bakery in Rome's historic Jewish quarter, according to a report by Y-netnews.

The Boccione bakery, which was established in 1555, stands alongside a prominent local synagogue and Jewish schools.

Bakery owner Wilma Limentani says the Pope was introduced to her handmade baked goods by one of his doctors, who stopped by the bakery on the way to a routine checkup on the Pontiff, and picked up some treats, including an almond and raisin confection with cinnamon and pine nuts which she has dubbed "Jewish pizza."

Limenati, who says her bakery is strictly kosher, recently received a thank you note from the Vatican.

Ever since the papal endorsement, curious customers have lined up at Boccione to try the “Jewish pizza.”

TERESA BENEDETTA
00Tuesday, April 1, 2008 2:39 PM
LEADING FASHION DESIGNER
PRAISES THE POPE'S
'LITURGICAL LOOK'
AND PERSONAL ELEGANCE

By Bruno Volpe
Translated from



VATICAN CITY - Renato Balestra, one of Italy's most renowned contemporary fashion designers, accepted to speak to PETRUS about religious 'fashion' and his aesthetic judgment on the liturgical vestments that Benedict XVI has been weraing lately, but above all, he praised the spirituality of liturgical celebrations by the Holy Father.


Maestro Balestra, you obviously attribute great importance to elegance. Lately, Benedict XVI has been wearing liturgical vestments worn by his predecessors or patterned after them. What do you think of this decision?
In the best way possible. I find these vestments to have an elegance and a refinement that is enviable, and I wonder that they have been abandoned and forgotten for so many years.


What do you mean by elegant when it refers, for instance, to a chasuble?
A wise mix of colors, design and execution. Obviously, the Pope cannot be compared to or judged as one would any other person - but even from the way he carries himself, the class with which he celebrates the Holy Mass, you know you are dealing with an elegant person. Moreoer, Benedict XVI is a naturally elegant man, and so, whatever he wears becomes even more elegant.





Therefore, the new papal cerimoniere, Mons. Guido Marini, was right to suggest to the Holy Father making use of his predecessors' vestments.
Of course, Look, in the past years, rightly or wrongly, even in the Pope's vestments (and I am thinking particularly of John Paul II), there was too much improvisation, on the istaken belief that to be 'democratic' is beautiful.

At that time, a friend of mine took me to visit a Vatican warehouse which contained, among other things, strewn about as if they were old rags, quite a few old liturigcal vestments that were very beautiful, hand-embroidered, of exquisite handmade quality - and I asked myself why they were gathering dust in a warehouse.

Thank heaven now I see they have found a worthy use being worn by Benedict XVI.


Did you like his vestments during Holy Week?
Excellent. But what I adore most of all is the way Benedict XVI celebrates Mass. In his liturgy, one feels the mysery, the search for the Most High - his Masses are not merely 'formalistic' but laden with spirituality.


What do you think of the traditional Mass?
First of all, I think it is always important to pray. But even prayer, and therefore, Mass, requires certain rules and forms. The Mass should follow fixed criteria that no one can change at pleasure on the pretext of so-called creativity.

As for the traditional Mass, allow me to say - without taking anything away from other celebrations - I consider that it best responds to canons of beauty and refinement, if only because it tends to generate reverence, a sense of the transcendent, and spirituality. As a lover of the esthetic, I prefer the traditional Mass.


What do you think of persons who enter Church with improper wear?
I am not putting myself up as a moralist, but there is a limit to everything. It would be good if the churches could ask women in mini-skirts, shorts or other improper apparel not to enter until they cover themselves. The church is for praying - it is not a fashion runway or the beach.


So, how would you rate the Pope in elegance?
With great praise. He is one of the most elegant men in the world.


PapaBear16
00Wednesday, April 2, 2008 1:16 AM
Papal Elegance
I loved this little article. It is so true. Whenever Papa celebrates Mass, or Vespers for that matter, there is a reverence and a beauty no one can deny. It makes you focus and think about the wonder and awe of Who is before us in Word and Sacrament.

Beautiful vestments strewn about in a warehouse ... terrible! I'm so happy that Papa is makeing good use of them.

One thing for certain ... improper attire is a difficult thing to change. Our parish has been discussing this as the result of a parish survey that each parish in the Diocese compiled as a sort of "picture" of the way we worship, do outreach, teach, etc. One item was ... attire. And not only re the women ... the men (remember it's Hawaii) in T-shirts, bermuda style shorts, young men in those huge cargo pants ... I think many have forgotten what "Sunday best" means.

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Janice0Kraus
00Wednesday, April 2, 2008 8:17 PM
I wish the designer had referred to Benedict's liturgical wear as "dignified" or "stately," rather than "elegant." Elegant sounds more like the Paris catwalks than the Mass. And all that rhapsodizing over the vestments ... it's like he's looking at women's clothing.

Joseph Ratzinger isn't actually all that elegant and that's a compliment. Real men don't pay that much attention to their clothes and that's the impression I have of Ratzinger from his old photographs. He usually wore just an ordinary suit or coat, without any adornment. He certainly didn't have the "casual elegance" of the showroom. And I think when he went on vacation he actually borrowed suits from his brother because they don't really fit right.

Anyway, my point is that it's creepy when male fashion designers talk about other men because they're always using feminizing words about them like "elegant." The Pope isn't "elegant" when he offers Mass. Know what I mean?
cowgirl2
00Wednesday, April 2, 2008 9:10 PM
elegant
I think he is extremely elegant.
In the way he carries himself and in the way he always makes sure that a certain type of form is kept.

He looks elegant - even in his brothers suits, which are normally too big in the shoulders - but not in the feminine kind of way.

It's basically simply the way he is.. or always has been.
Strangely he even looks like that in those early pics from his youth.
Considering he grew up in deep Bavarian farm land, he always seems out of place in those pics, in terms of the way he carries himself compared to everybody else.

As for vestments.. I do agree that elegant isn't really a well chosen term. But, dignified isn't strong enough.. to me those old vestments are simply glorious.






Janice0Kraus
00Wednesday, April 2, 2008 9:48 PM
Cowgirl,

You mean because he's not wearing overalls and suspenders? He looks like he belongs with the rest of his family and they were all farm people or rural people, at any rate.

To me, anyway, he always looks just right. No pretensions, no fancy stuff. No silly fussing around with clothing details.

The only piece of clothing he's ever worn that I think is a bit off is that short, white coat he wears on vacation. He'd look better in a plain, grey coat.
TERESA BENEDETTA
00Wednesday, April 2, 2008 11:19 PM
THE POPE EMBODIES ELEGANCE
I believe Balestra was using the adjective 'elegant' in a very precise sense - not loosely - therefore, in its classic, basic definition: elegance as "a refined quality of gracefulness and good taste", or when it refers to a manner of thinking, characterized by "neatness and ingenious simplicity".

Other definitions of elegance in the classic sense: "the attribute of being unusually effective and simple. It is frequently used as a standard of tastefulness, particularly in the areas of visual design and decoration. Elegant things exhibit refined and dignified propriety."

Used with wines, "elegant" refers to "a well balanced, full wine with pleasant, distinct character, agreeably restrained and subtle", or wines that express themselves "in a fine or delicate manner, not intense."

Strangely, all the adjectives into which 'elegant' breaks down, even in different contexts - also refer to Joseph Ratzinger/ Benedict XVI's manner, bearing and thought (except perhaps the 'not intense', because his thinking, of course, can be very spiritually intense, indeed, but that does not detract from the elegance with which it is expressed).

Some people are born with the grace of natural elegance - and our beloved Pope obviously was.

P.S. I agree that baroque and Renaissance garments are glorious (or extravagant, depending on one's attitude) in their excess, but an elegant person wearing them makes all the difference between propriety and spectacle (as in showing off).

PapaBear16
00Thursday, April 3, 2008 6:12 AM
More grace ...
Yes, I agree with Teresa and thought that our Holy Father's bearing and posture is what brings "elegance" to his person. One only needs to observe, for example, the look of his hands as he unveils the cross during the Good Friday service. Very graceful, not clumsy. I'm sure his love of the piano has something to do with that, too.

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