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

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00Saturday, February 11, 2006 4:24 AM

Both Sylvie and Ratzigirl posted more photos today of the Bush women (shown above with US Ambassador Francis Rooney) meeting with the Pope - everyone was wreathed in smiles all the time, and Sylvie called her new photo round-up "a bouquet of smiles ."

Thanks to Nessuna for this item from the Spanish news agencies - here in translation:

After having been received in a private audience by Pope Benedict XVI yesterday, Laura Bush was interviewed b tye Catholic television channel Telepace, to whom she said:
"We would very much like to welcome him (the Pope) to the United States. I truly hope he will come to America soon. To see the Pope yesterday was very much like visiting one's parish priest. He shows the same solicitude that a parish priest would and he shows the same personal and affectionate concern that John Paul II had."

During their talk, they spoke about "the importance of having certain values as the basis for political action: mutual respect, human dignity, honor and integrity - values which we all share globally, independent of religion."

Hmmm...A case of telepathy on the parish priest simile, though in a different context (See "Love letter to my parish priest" from last Sunday in MESSAGES FOR PAPA).

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 11/02/2006 4.50]

00Saturday, February 11, 2006 4:57 AM
Deus caritas est, or DCE, as it is now being referred to, has already sold more than one million copies since it came out on January 25. The sales are through both lay and religious bookstores, and are in addition to the one million plus copies distributed with Famiglia Cristiana and Osservatore Romano in its various editions.

The Vatican publishing house says the Italian edition is in its 4th printing and 70,000 are being distributed to supermarkets, autostops, train stations and airports.

In an interview with Radio Vatican earlier, Claudio Rossini, director of the Vatican publishing house, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, said that the record sales are simply "a translation on the national scale of what we see every Sunday at St. Peter's Square, where we see tens of thousands of faithful who come to listen to five minutes of profound words - it tells us both about the thirst of believers as well as for this Pope's ability to help the faithful meditate on the faith."

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00Saturday, February 11, 2006 2:10 PM

The plan reportedly calls for doubling the space from 400 square meters to 800, in order to accommodate Papal quarters to consist of a study, bed and bath, and a private chapel.

Well, I think the reason for doubling the space is another one. They need the space for us, girls, don't they? So there is room for all of us now. [SM=g27822] [SM=g27836] [SM=x40790]
00Saturday, February 11, 2006 4:51 PM
From the Passauer Neue-Presse today -

Photo: Vatican

Author Peter Seewald recently had the occasion to present Pope Benedict with a copy of his book, "Benedict XVI: Ein Portraet aus der Naehe" (Benedict XVI: A Close-Up Portrait), which is now in its 4th printing.

Seewald told PNP that the Pope looked forward to his visit in Bavaria this September as a "return to his roots" and that he intends to "fully recharge himself" with the visit.

Seewald was particularly happy that the Pope said he was ready to consider doing another interview book with him (after "Salt of the Earth" and "God and the World") but that he warned him "It won't be easy".

00Saturday, February 11, 2006 5:45 PM
hooray! hope that they're gonna do it soon [SM=x40799]
00Sunday, February 12, 2006 10:27 PM
kna, a German Catholic news agency, carries a report today from the newspaper Muenchner Merkur, which claims that the Pope's trip to Bavaria has been moved forward one day, and will take place September 9-14, instead of September 10-15 as originally announced.

The reason appears to be that if he arrives on Sunday, Sept.10, he would have to go direct to a planned noonday Mass.

No other details on the trip have been announced, only that the Pope's schedule calls for no more than two big events for every day of the trip, and that none will be scheduled to take place after 8 p.m.

Any excuse to post a new photo -
this one an enlargement by Nessuna:

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 12/02/2006 22.50]

00Monday, February 13, 2006 2:48 AM
From Alejandro Bermudez's Catholic Outsider blogsite today, 2/12/06 -

According to an official report of Italian booksellers, Pope Benedict’s first encyclical Deus Caritas est has become a major bestseller. In Italy, the book has sold one million 115 thousand copies.

Vatican Publishing House, Cantagalli and San Paolo (co-publishers) have released an extra 70,000 copies to be sold at convenience stores and airports.

According to a statement of the Vatican Publishing House, “The encyclical is indeed topping the list in all book categories for the last two weeks.”

I don't wish to imply a "competition," but it galls me that according to a figure I just read in a news report, the calumnious fiction "The Da Vinci Code" has already sold 40 million copies worldwide - of course, it has been on sale for over two years now.

But who would have thought an encyclical would sell so well? Benedict continues to set unexpected records!
00Monday, February 13, 2006 3:10 AM
Look what a wonderful thing I found in the RFC German section, posted by our own Simone:

She says it comes from the Heart of Jesus Church in Munich-Neuhausen, where Papa himself unveiled it 15 years ago. Unfortunately, the church burned down completely in 1994 but the relief survived intact! They have not placed it back in the reconstructed church, a futuristic glass building, because it would reportedly be out of place. Simone asks her German colleagues if they have any information about this. (I hope the parish priest has at least kept it, Simone!]

And the reason she posted the picture, to begin with, was that Anna Lena recounted on the forum how she went to the Munich Cathedral for the unveiling of a new bronze relief of the Pope after Vespers today. Cardinal Wetter did the honors.

She says it looks like the relief was designed after a picture of Benedict at his installation ceremony, because he is wearing the miter and the pallium and carries the Papal crozier.

But she says that the relief did not awaken any spontaneous enthusiasm in her - the face as depicted had nothing to say to her, nothing like the effect of many pictures of Papa. She hopes it will look better when she can come back another day and look at it up close from a more favorable angle.

00Monday, February 13, 2006 4:41 PM
And here, from Kirsty in the German section, are pictures of the bronze relief unveiled yesterday at Munich's Frauenkirche.
The life-size relief is the work of sculptor Josef Alexander Henselmann.

Judging by the pictures, I'd have to agree with Anna Lena's lack of enthusiasm! Neither the front view nor the profile view
looks like the Papa we love, and why didn't he show a smiling Pope, for heaven's sake?

Some details from the German kathnet report on the unveiling:

At the unveiling, Cardinal Friedrich Wetter announced that Pope Benedict XVI would celebrate Mass in an open space adjoining the New Munich Fair at noon Sunday, September 10, and will then come to the Munich Cathedral in the afternoon. The fairgrounds can accommodate about 400,000.

Cardinal Wetter recounted the Pope’s long association with the Archdiocese of Munich-Freising, from Joseph Ratzinger’s student days. He was Archbishop of Munich-Freising from 1977 to 1982, and kept up close relations with his former archdiocese during his years as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 13/02/2006 17.02]

00Friday, February 17, 2006 3:34 PM
The general vicar of Regensburg Michael Fuchs said yesterday that Pope Benedict will spend two days in Regensburg, Sept. 12-13, during his official visit to Bavaria.

The official events will all take place on Sept. 12, while September 13 will enable the Pope "to experience Regensburg in private." He would therefore be able to visit his house in Pentling, the family graves in Ziegetsdorf and spend some time at his brother's house in the old city.

(Full translation of article IN PAPAL TRAVELS thread.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 18/02/2006 4.30]

00Saturday, February 18, 2006 5:24 AM
Here is another welcome story today from the German press, in translation -

Cologne(www.kath.net, dt)- It has been half a year since over a million young people celebrated with the Pope at Marienfeld. The pink skies, inflatable crosses, the celebratory cheers and even the portable toilets – no one is likely to forget soon among those who attended the closing mass of World Youth Day with the Pope celebrating Mass atop an 80,000-cubic-meter artificial hill.

The remembrance of that day will now be made visible: the Pope’s Hill, which originally was supposed to be laid flat, will now be left as is, the State Minister for Federal and European Afffairs announced in Duesseldorf yesterday. The 800,000 Euros originally budgeted for flattening it will be better spent in keeping and maintaining the hill, he said.

The 10-meter high hill will be designated a “place for quiet and encounter,” which is welcomed by the town of Kerpen, where it is located, and byits Mayoress, Marlies Sieburg.

The World Youth Day Society, which owns the space will turn over the hill to the Archdiocese of Cologne in the next few months.

The necessary measures for the long-term maintenance of the hill (anti-erosion care, planting trees on its slope, etc) will be undertaken by the Society. The state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Archdiocese will share in the costs.

Concrete plans for future use of the Pope’s Hill are in the works, according to Christoph Heckeley, spokesman for the archdiocese. A monolith that can also serve as an altar will be erected at the summit. The Cross that was set up at the foot of the hill will also be brought to the summit, and a commemorative tablet will be laid.

It has also been considered to plant 12 or 14 trees on the slopes of the hill (12 for the Apostles, or 14 for the Stations of the Cross).

“We are happy,” Heckeley said,” that the Hill will become a landmark memorial for WYD and that it can continue to be used for its original purpose."

One politician said it was certainly better to convert Marienfeld into a “Place of Quiet” rather than into a golf course or pop concert venue.
00Saturday, February 18, 2006 5:49 PM
From dpa, the German news agency, and zeitung-org, in translation -

Pope Benedict’s hometown, the Regensburg suburb of Pentling, will remember the Pope’s earlier work in the Oberpflaz region in an exhibit called “One of us is Pope” which will be mounted at the Pentling town hall from April 8- May 12 and then again from September 2-17.

This was announced Friday by Pentling mayor Albert Rummel, Who said the Pope has already sent many personal items to Pentling for the exhibit.

About this, Dr. Maria Baumann, curator of the Regensburg Diocesan Museum had this to say: “The Pope practically emptied his desk, packed up the items and sent them to Pentling.” She is overjoyed about the contents of a package that arrived last week from the Vatican.

The exhibit at the Pentling town hall will mark the first anniversary of the Pope Benedict’s election as Pope.

Josef Eder, councilman and public affiars officer, said he wrote the Pope to ask him whether he could send them a few objects for the exhibit. The letter was personally handed to the Pope in Rome during a visit there by Rupert Hofbauer, who has been caretaker of the Pope’s Pentling house, as he lives next door.

The package, wrapped in brown paper, weighing 6.5 kilos, was sent from the “Secretariat of State, Vatican City.”

“I thought, that can’t be right,” said Eder, to whom the package was addressed. So, very carefully, he opened it and laid out its contents.

“It contained three letters, many books, a personal clanedar from 2005, a table clock and a candlestick.” A particular treat was a Collections book from the time when the Pope was a priest in Pentling (1869-1977), in which he recorded how much the parishioners had given in alms.

However, the crown piece of the exhibit is the pectoral cross which Joseph Ratzinger most often used as Arhbishop and Cardinal. It weas given to him by the Greek metropolitan patriarch Damaskinos Papandreou, whose father had worn it as a Greek Orthodox priest.

“I particularly cherish it because of its provenance and I wore it as an ecumenical symbol the year I became an Archbishop,” the Pope said in a letter to “my dear fellow citizens of Pentling.”

Mayor Rummel said that the town hopes to “bring the Pope closer” through the exhibit. But he says Pentling has no wish to exploit the Pope commercially, as his birthplace of Marktl-am-Inn has done.

“We do not wish to gain any profit from this, and we will remain respectful of his private sphere… What is private will remain private.”

Caretaker Hofbauer discussed mundane matters during his “work meeting” with the Pope in Rome. For instance, that he will prepare the house for the Pope’s visit in September. This Monday, he will start to clear the garden and prune the trees and shrubs. The Pope is expected to visit Pentling on September 13, during the one “private day” of his visit to Bavaria.

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00Sunday, February 19, 2006 3:58 PM
Alejandro Bermudez in Catholic Outsider brings up an intriguing question, to which we should know the answer by Wednesday.

Last week, the Pope delivered the last catechesis in the cycle on Psalms and Canticles that had been started by John Paul II - who began the edifying practice of using the Wednesday audiences as an occasion for a lesson in the faith, starting with the articles of the Apostles' Creed. And of course we know that Joseph Ratzinger's most far-reaching work before Deus caritas est was his Introduction to Christianity, which was basically, an exposition and meditation on the articles contained in the Apostles' Creed.

So what will Papa choose for his very own first catechetical series as Pope?

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00Sunday, February 19, 2006 5:10 PM


The subject of the catechesis is interesting because recently I read an article that claimed that it was well known that Cardinal Ratzinger had written the catechesis on the psalms and canticles that JPII would speak about on Wednesdays and that the two men discussed this subject at their regular Tuesday meetings or lunches. If this is true, then Benedict has actually been continuing with his own instructions this year, not picking up where JPII left off. It will be very interesting to see where he goes from here.
00Monday, February 20, 2006 3:03 PM
Pectoral cross
I found this picture on american forum, so I post it here too in order to put all informations together.
Then I past here evidence of using pectoral cross [SM=g27823]


Albert Rummel, Mayor of Pentling, shows the Pectoral Cross loaned by Pope Benedict to the exhibition in Pentling city hall.

It was given to him by the Greek Metropolitan Damaskinos Papandreou. It had belonged to his father.
Benedict wrote, in a letter to his fellow citizens, “Its history made it particularly dear to me.
I also carried it as a symbol of the ecumenical character of my years as Bishop.”

00Monday, February 20, 2006 9:21 PM

Now, let me post three small items -

From Ratzigirl, an item in the Italian press
today- herewith in translation:

Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino concluded the first stage of his current visit to Cuba with a two-hour “cordial meeting” Saturday with Cuban President Fidel Castro.

A statement from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, which the Cardinal heads, said “the subject of the conversation included the relationship between religion and society, international and Cuba’s own internal policies on education, health, religious freedom, and the cultural and health-related initiatives of the Catholic Church in Cuba.”

“As Cardinal Ortega y Alamino (president of the Cuban bishops conference), said earlier, Fidel Castro had words of ‘great friendship for Pope Benedict XVI,' once again indicating he would like to invite the Pontiff to visit Cuba.“

[Castro first proposed the visit when Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone of Genoa visited him last October after accompanying three Fidei donum priests to their assignment in Cuba. At that time, Castro famously said he thought Benedict has “the face of an angel.”]

Cardinal Martino said he was “very satisfied with the conversation,” adding that Cuba’s leader had discussed in particular Cuba’s commitment in health matters, and the 'precious' contributions in this area from religious agencies and Catholic religious.” Equally significant were their discussions on “peace in the world and human rights.”

The Cardinal presented Castro the Spanish version of the Church’s Compendium of Social Doctrine as well as two silkscreen prints by the Hungarian artist Giovanni Hajnal who has made several notable works in the Vatican. One serigraph represnts “Peace on earth” symbolically, and the other illustrates a quotation from St. Augustine: “It is a sign of superior glory to kill wars with words instead of killing men with arms, and to conquer peace with peace.”

Also yesterday, the Italian news agencies confirmed the report we made earlier from German journalist Paul Badde that the Pope will visit the "Holy Face" at Manoppello in the Abruzzo region of Italy in May.

Apparently, the tourism authorities of the Abruzzo region made the announcement in Milan, but the exat date is not yet known.

On the heels of that New York Times weekend feature on “papa1 fashion” at the Vatican, one of the brief special meetings the Pope will have after the general audience on Wednesday may invite more of the same “trivial pursuit” by the media.

Representatives of the Camera Europea dell’Alta Sartoria (in effect, European chamber of haute tailoring) will be presenting the Pope with a cashmere overcoat made by master tailor Michele Ombroso of Euroclero [the Rome firm which the Pope had patronized as cardinal and decided to continue patronizing for his clerical and personal garments even as Pope].

Luigi Gallo, president of the group, said the fabric is light, warm and comfortable, and the coat may be worn by the Holy Father for important occasions on very cold days.

The chamber is made up of European and Italian tailors with the avoWed purpose of keeping alive traditional sartorial standards and methods of tailoring fine garments completely by hand. For this purpose, they plan to set up a Sartorial School for Cutting and Sewing to pass on their ancient craft to younger generations.


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00Monday, February 20, 2006 9:45 PM
When I read that Castro invites Papa to Cuba, I have remember joke which was spoken around 1997 when JP2 visited Cuba.
"Why old pope wants to visit Cuba?"
"He wants to see how the hell look like."

For me is crucial that Fidel's communistic regime keeps in prison people in potics disent and also for the religion (which is in majority catholic).

[Modificato da Maklara 20/02/2006 21.49]

00Monday, February 20, 2006 10:14 PM
Cute joke, Maklara! But joking aside, maybe Fidel is softening up as he realizes more and more that he may die any time soon. Let us pray that Papa can influence him even indirectly to loosen up more on human rights in Cuba, or even give up communism altogether. He's virtually the last Communist holdout in the world; even the Chinese Communists have adopted capitalism in their economy; and Pope John Paul's visit did result in greater freedom for the Catholic Church and Cuban Catholics on that island. It would be wonderful if Benedict can work a 'miracle' on Fidel!
00Tuesday, February 21, 2006 2:39 PM
In John Allen's Word from Rome of 2/17/06, he makes the following observation:

When cardinals fanned out after their April 19 election of Joseph Ratzinger as pope in order to explain the logic of their choice, most said that among other things they felt Benedict would be a "listening pope," a man of genuine collegiality.

It struck some observers, especially Western liberals, as a counter-intuitive claim, since Ratzinger had been seen in those circles as the architect of John Paul II's "imperial papacy," which led some theologians and even bishops to complain about over-centralization in Rome. Yet the cardinals insisted that their personal experience of Ratzinger suggested that he is an extremely adept listener, capable of grasping widely differing perspectives and reluctant to impose his own personal conclusion on matters about which there is disagreement among bishops.

This week another move suggested some merit to the cardinals' reasoning.

Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the powerful vicar of Rome, turns 75 next February and will conclude his third five-year term as president of the Italian bishops' conference. The pope, as the Primate of Italy, appoints the president of the Italian conference, and in the past popes canvassed Italian cardinals before making the choice. This time, however, Benedict XVI instructed the nuncio in Italy to solicit nominations from every bishop in the country, a total of 226, a move the Italian press has dubbed a sort of "primary" for Ruini's successor.

Some Italian bishops have long argued that they ought to be able to elect their own president, as bishops everywhere else do. The request for nominations suggests that's not going to happen, but it also means Benedict wants to exercise his authority collegially....


Allen also speculates about Benedict's first consistory, joining his Italian colleagues who have been predicting that
as early as tomorrow,2/22, Feast of St. Peter's Chair, the Pope may announce a date for his first consistory. And like them, Allen speculates on the most likely persons who will be named cardinal - same list the Italian press has been writing about.

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00Wednesday, February 22, 2006 5:32 PM
i AM Very curious to hear a song written for the Pope by Hans and Annmarie Ramsauer of Bavaria, who were inspired to do it the moment they heard on TV last April 19th that a Bavarian had been elected Pope.

According to a German news account in Siegel (which I don't have the time to translate in full), Hans told his wife, “A Bavarian Pope – this calls for a song to celebrate it.” And three days later, they had the lyrics which Annmarie set to music.

The item cited a few lines from the song –
"Wir sind entzüüückt, wir sind beglüüückt, Heiliger Vater Benedikt….
Diener im Weinberg des Herrn, über dir leuchtet ein gütiger Stern…
Edel, nobel, frei und gut, ist dein bayrisch Herz und Blut."

(We are delighted, we are happy, Holy Father Benedict …
Servant in the vineyard of the Lord, a benevolent star shines on you…
Noble, noble, free and good - your Bavarian heart and blood!)
[They use two words for noble - "edel" and "nobel"]

They premiered the song at the parish church of Marktl-am-Inn in June 2005, and 5000 CDs sold out instantly.

Better yet, the song has been heard by the Pope, who has invited them to the Vatican in a letter from Monsignor Gabriel Caccia of the Pontifical Household.

The Ramsauers plan a trip to Rome with 50 of their best friends to attend a General Audience at which they will have a chance to meet the Pope personally.

{I can't manage to hear the song from the link provided, but I gather from comments by the girls in the German section that it is sort of like the hearty folk songs Bavarians sing in beerhalls. The item describes it as being "in D-major and four-quarters beat".)

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 22/02/2006 17.33]

00Wednesday, February 22, 2006 6:12 PM


Okay, that's our answer! Like the folks Teresa mentioned in the post above, we just need to come up with a song for and about Benedict to get invited to meet him. Of course, those people are from Bavaria and sang in Bavarian and in the style of Bavaria. I'm sure with all the talent and creativity on this forum, we could do a close approximation. Their song was something similar to folk songs sung in Bavarian beerhalls. We could do that. We could first hang out in some Bavarian beerhalls to pick up on the most popular melodies and go from there. Anybody know how to play the piano?

00Wednesday, February 22, 2006 8:14 PM
Very good idea. We have to think about it and I'm sure we'll find a way to present him a lovely song. May be we could do it in our verious languages? I'm sure Papa will love it. So when is the next flight to Rome Fuimicino?
00Wednesday, February 22, 2006 11:23 PM
try this link, I hope, it works


scroll a little bit down and click on the camera symbol under the pic "DAS INOFFIZIELLE PAPST-VIDEO"

[Modificato da Simone55 22/02/2006 23.25]

00Friday, February 24, 2006 8:15 PM
Coat of the arms - heraldic discussion
What I found in Wikipedia.org about "heraldic discussion"...in fact I post it here only for best coverage information about Papa...this things are important only to heraldists
The coat of arms of Pope Benedict XVI was designed by Archbishop Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo soon after the papal election. The coat of arms consists of a shield and external ornaments.

Heraldic discussion


Many heralds have voiced objection to the use of the mitre and pallium. They consider that the current arms ignore heraldic convention, rather than changing them. A summary of typical arguments against the current rendering include:

* Heraldry is governed by established custom. Artists have considerable latitude on how to render elements of arms, as long as heraldic customs are followed.
* Heraldic customs are either based on established practice or rules set down by a competent authority properly decreed.
* The use of the tiara as the symbol of the pope is an established practice, its use being very consistent since 14th century.
* The use of mitres in the personal arms of lesser Catholic bishops was banned by papal decree in 1969.
* Long standing tradition prohibits the use of all external ornaments, save the tiara and keys, in papal arms. This would preclude the use of the pallium.
* Although the Pope, as head of the Church and ruler of Vatican City, has the authority to alter ecclesiastically heraldic rules to permit the mitre and pallium, he has (as yet) not issued a proper decree to that effect.
* Soon after the unveiling of the coat of arms, the Holy See announced that although the tiara is not represented in Benedict's "personal" arms, the tiara and keys remain the symbol of the papacy. (The Vatican flag and arms of the Holy See will not be changed).
* The practical use of an item in everyday life is irrelevant to the appropriateness of its use in heraldry. The fact that no pope has worn a tiara since 1963, does not affect its use in heraldry. Cardinals have been prohibited from wearing the galero since 1969, and other clergy have been prohibited from wearing it for hundreds of years prior, yet it is still used in heraldry for all Catholic clergy, except popes.

Based on the above arguments some find the introduction of the mitre and pallium in the Pope's personal arms as inappropriate. According to those critics Benedict's arms can properly be rendered with the tiara and keys and without the pallium.

There have been a few instances where the Pope's new shield has been coupled with the traditional tiara and keys. The most public is in the garden behind St. Peter's Basilica, viewable from atop the dome. Shortly after the death of John Paul II, the contents of his shield were removed from the flowerbed, but the tiara was left in place. Rather than making the gardeners dig up the tiara and replace it with a mitre, it was left in place. The pallium was not added.


If the abandonment of the tiara is to become a formal change in papal arms, one suggestion, hypothesized on the American Heraldry Society's on-line discussion forum, is to alter the form of the mitre. Both the mitre and the tiara may share a common origin: the camelaucum. Use of the camelaucum would hearken back to the original papal mitre while still retaining the unique appearance of the tiara. It could be rendered with three stripes with a vertical band.

Initial rendering of the arms of Pope Benedict XVI

Alternate rendering with Tiara and Keys

Garden behind St. Peter's

Alternate rendering with Camelaucum
00Saturday, February 25, 2006 8:31 AM
Thanks for the refrence, Maklara. As my visual memory is poor, I lifted this image of Papa's coat-of-arms, as it is, from the Vatican site to compare with the Wikipedia images, and I sure am glad it is the simplest of the designs presented above. Also, the color scheme is different, using pink rather than red-orange as the primary color.

00Saturday, February 25, 2006 8:39 AM
Beautiful anecdote about an American priest who worked with
Ratzi at the CDF from Rocco at
http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/ -
Finishing up an 18-month stint at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith -- to which he was on loan in light of its efforts to work through the massive (18-month) backlog of sex abuse cases -- Pope Benedict has honored a Long Island canonist for his distinguished service.

Photo: The Long Island Catholic

Msgr. Charles Guarino, a priest of the diocese of Rockville Centre, was named a Protonotary Apostolic -- the highest grade of the monsignorial classes -- earlier this week... He had already been a monsignor but, as the Protonotary distinction is rare outside of Rome, the elevation is notable.

Called "a delightful and humble priest," Guarino "was one of the two canonists assigned by the USSCB to the CDF to help clear up the backlog of misconduct cases submitted to Rome." The other, Msgr. Bob Deeley of Boston, "has been assumed indefinitely into the service of the CDF."

Guarino praised B16 -- his former boss -- in an April interview with the Rockville Centre diocesan newspaper, The Long Island Catholic:

“Whenever we got together as a staff he would always address us as ‘carrissimi amici,’ (Italian for ‘dearest friends’),” Msgr. Guarino said. “That day he said to us: ‘You are my family.’”

That was only the latest example for Msgr. Guarino of the kindness, gentleness, and thoughtfulness that he described as characteristic of the new Pope.

“Every week we met together. At first I was nervous because of his reputation for formidable intellect,” Msgr. Guarino said. That reputation proved an understatement. “Had I known how formidable, I would have been even more nervous.” Despite that, “from the beginning, I always found him to be a very generous, welcoming man, very appreciative of the work we were doing.

“He always spoke to me in Italian, which I think (he did) to force me to use my Italian,” Msgr. Guarino explained. When Msgr. Guarino gave his reports in English, the cardinal always understood the reports without difficulty, demonstrating his facility in different languages. “He always grasped everything.”

Msgr. Guarino said that Pope Benedict is a humble man, a good listener, and shows “a very good sense of humor. First and foremost, he is a priest, a pastor, with concern for people.

“He asked me last Christmas if I were going home for Christmas,” Msgr. Guarino explained. “I told him that all my family had gone to God so I was staying in Rome. He replied: ‘We’re your family now.’”
00Monday, February 27, 2006 3:10 AM
In the French section, Sylvie shares an item from the site http://eucharistiemisericor.free.fr/index.php?page=2502062_eros -
on the sales of Deus caritas est:

As the Italian press reported earlier, more than 500,000 copies have been sold in Italy of the Pope’s encyclical in the first two weeks after it was published – a record for an encyclical.

Without fanfare, Pope Benedict XVI seems to nourish the desire for spiritual reflection.

“It reflects what we see every Sunday at Angelus when tens of thousands of pilgrims come to listen to the Pope, who speaks to them of the faith with serenity and hope,” a spokesman at the Vatican publishing house has been quoted.

But it really is no surprise. Because Benedict XVI possesses a rare power of reflection, and when he puts his gifts in the service of a cause as universal as love, at the very heart of Christian faith, he cannot be other than successful.

At the same time, the French press has hailed “Benedict’s encyclical, a success at bookstores”. The comments are less exhaustive and the figures are more modest, but still quite impressive.

According to the professional classification by Livres Hebdo, the encyclical rose the past week from #20 to #4 in sales of “essays and documents”.

In the classification of the weekly magazine L’Express, it was #2 last week in the same category. The encyclical first came out in Italy one month ago.

In France, three publishers have come out with it – Bayard-Le Cerf originally printed 58,000 and is now on its second printing. Tequi which came out with 29,000 coppies and Salvator with 10,000 are also preparing second printings.

The French bishops conference has given rights to two other publishers.

The encyclical is, of course, available on several sites online. Eucharistiemisericor itself reports a gain of some 15,000 visitors to the encyclical during the period from Jan.25-Feb. 25.
I find it remarkable that as many as 5 publishers in France alone are coming out with the same book! I have this crazy thought that if Michael Jackson sold 40 million copies of "Thriller" and Dan Brown a similar number of his book, surely there are enough Catholics around rhe world who can give Papa the same numbers if not more????

00Tuesday, February 28, 2006 4:13 AM
From Catholic World News

Lent brings busy schedule of papal liturgies

Vatican, Feb. 27 (CWNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI urged the faithful to approach the penitential season of Lent "with the new spirit of one who has found the meaning of life in Jesus."

At his Sunday Angelus audience on February 26, the Holy Father said that Lent, which begins this week, should not be seen as "a heavy a troublesome burden," but as a journey toward a closer identification with Christ.

The Pope will open Lenten observances in Rome on Ash Wednesday with the traditional prayer service at the church of St. Anselm and procession to the basilica of Santa Sabina, where he will preside at Mass and the blessing and distribution of ashes.

Ash Wednesday will inaugurate a busy period for the Pope. On February 27 the Vatican released a schedule for the Pontiff's liturgical activities during Lent.

On March 5 the Lenten Retreat will begin in the Redemptoris Mater chapel of the apostolic palace, with most leaders of the Roman Curia taking part. Cardinal Marco Cé, the patriarch of Venice, will be the preacher. Papal audiences will be suspended and Vatican offices closed until the conclusion of the spiritual exercises on March 11.

On March 19, the 3rd Sunday of Lent and feast of St. Joseph-- his own patron as well as the patron of workers-- the Pope will preside at Mass in the Vatican basilica, in an annual tradition for the workers of Rome.

On March 24, the College of Cardinals will meet with the Pope in a public consistory, for the elevation of 15 new cardinals. The ceremonies will be held in the Paul VI auditorium that morning, with receptions for the new cardinals in the apostolic palace during the afternoon. On the eve of the consistory, March 23, the cardinals will gather with the Pope for a day of prayer and reflection.

On March 25, the feast of the Annunciation, the Pope will again celebrate Mass in the Vatican basilica, surrounded by the new cardinals, as the consistory draws to a close.

On March 26, the 4th Sunday of Lent, the Pope will visit the Roman parish of God the Merciful Father, celebrating morning Mass there before returning to the Vatican for his Angelus audience.

On April 2, the Pope will appear at the window of his apartment to pray the Rosary, together with the faithful below in St. Peter's Square, on the anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II (bio - news). The next day the Pontiff will celebrate Mass in St. Peter's basilica in memory of his predecessor.

On April 9, Palm Sunday, the Pope will celebrate Mass in St. Peter's Square, beginning with the traditional procession with palms. The day is also designated as World Youth Day, and the accent will be on young participants in the ceremony.

On April 11, Tuesday of Holy Week, the Pope will lead a penitential service in the Vatican basilica, a new service at which the faithful will be given an opportunity for individual confession and absolution.

On April 13, Holy Thursday, Pope Benedict will preside at the Chrism Mass in the morning in St. Peter's, then go to the basilica of St. John Lateran for the Mass of the Lord's Supper later in the day.

On April 14, Good Friday, the Pontiff will lead the commemoration of the Passion in the afternoon, then travel across Rome in the evening for the Stations of the Cross in the Coliseum. Archbishop Angelo Comastri, the archpriest of St. Peter's basilica, has been selected to write the meditations for that ceremony.

On April 15, Holy Saturday, the Pope will preside at the Easter Vigil in the Vatican basilica-- as he did last year, in his capacity as dean of the College of Cardinals, with Pope John Paul in his final illness.

On April 16, Easter Sunday, he will preside at the Easter morning Mass, then deliver his Urbi et Orbi message at midday from the loggia of the Vatican basilica. That evening there will be a fireworks display in St. Peter's Square in honor of the Pope, who will be celebrating his 79th birthday on Easter Sunday.

00Tuesday, February 28, 2006 6:11 AM

I think this beautiful enlargement by Nessuna is an appropriate illustration for the Pope's Lenten calendar
posted above by Benefan. (I am trying to be able to accompany postings - especially about Papa - with appropriate
pictures so as to keep our pages more lively. I thought I was going to be able to fully illustrate Sandro Magister's
10-month review, but I got bogged down looking for a picture of Papa at the Marienfeld vigil and other pictures,
that before I knew it, the 24-hour limit for editing a post was over
. )
00Thursday, March 2, 2006 12:07 PM
from my favourite blog AmericanPapist: Not Your Average Catholic!

Piero Marini refused to admit that he was lost, and continued looking at his map ... Pope Benedict, meanwhile, was quickly losing patience with his excuse that "all roads lead to Rome."

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