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

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    Post: 5,607
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    00 1/8/2007 4:39 AM
    I thought I had posted this item before Christmas but obviously I had not.

    From the German service of Radio Vatican on 12/22/06 comes this quotation from Cardinal Paul Poupard, president of the Pontifical Councils for Culture and for Inter-Religious Dialog. He was asked to look back at 2006 and pick its most significant event.

    "What has most moved me," he said, "is not a single event, but what Benedict XVI showed himself to be in 2006. He was very 'personal.' I observed with great joy the big crowds that haev gathered in St. Peter's Square at the general audiences and for the Angelus. But most specially, what most impressed me was that significant moment in the Blue Mosque of Istanbul when the Pope was in utter silence. At that moment, I felt myself very strongly bound to our Muslim brotehrs and sisters."

    Cardinal Poupard thinks that the friendly and openhearted demeanor of the Pope was a very important element in the success of the papl trips not only yo Turkey but also Poland and Bavaria.

    "I would say that Pope Benedict XVI has the same charisma as John Paul II had. Both simple folk as well as intellectuals see him as the Good Shepherd and a true friend of Christ."


    Thank you, Cardinal Poupard. You may well be the first person of consequence to have articulated what we Benaddicts have instinctively and instantaneously grasped about Papi Ratzinger - almost from the moment he 'held the Piazza' with his memorable eulogy for his predecessor. That was certainly no mean feat, considering the titanic stature that JP-II had. And now, here we are, with another gentle giant of a world figure, but very much in his own image and his own dazzlingly extraordinary personality.

    [Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 09/01/2007 5.08]

    Post: 289
    Registered in: 12/3/2005
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    00 1/8/2007 10:42 AM
    Americans Pick 50 Most Admired Men, Women
    Americans ranked the 50 most admired people in the world in a recent Gallup poll. And topping the list is President George W. Bush.

    Bush was rated as the most admired man by 13 percent of Americans. With presidents usually listed as the most admired, this is Bush's sixth time leading the rankings.

    The Rev. Billy Graham finished in the top 10 for a record 50th time. The evangelist was ranked fifth this year behind former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.

    Graham has preached to over 210 million people around the world and is continuing his ministry through television and the upcoming Billy Graham Library. He is currently deciding where he and his wife Ruth will be buried. The 88-year-old evangelist suffers from Parkinson's disease among other ailments while his wife, 86, is bedridden with degeneration of the spine.

    Men finishing in the top 10 list include Colin Powell, Pope Benedict XVI, Nelson Mandela tied with George H.W. Bush, and Bill Gates.

    Topping the most admired women list is Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., who finished first for the 11th time. Following Clinton are Oprah Winfrey, Condoleezza Rice, Laura Bush and Margaret Thatcher.

    Of the 58 most admired women, 20 have been former first ladies, 18 have been sitting first ladies, 14 have been politicians, and 6 have been humanitarians.

    More women than men voted for Winfrey in their choice for most admired woman. Women also included actress Angelina Jolie, who finished sixth, in their list. Following Jolie, Nancy Pelosi, Madeleine Albright, Barbara Bush and Maya Angelou rounded out the top 10.

    Survey results are based on telephone interviews with 1,010 adults, conducted Dec. 11-14, 2006.
    Post: 290
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    00 1/8/2007 10:43 AM

    [Modificato da Maklara 08/01/2007 10.46]

    Post: 501
    Registered in: 6/30/2006
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    00 1/8/2007 1:29 PM

    Women also included actress Angelina Jolie, who finished sixth, in their list.

    Ewwww, how disappointing.

    "To believe in the brotherhood of man without the Fatherhood of God would make men a race of bastards." -Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

    Post: 5,625
    Registered in: 8/28/2005
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    00 1/9/2007 3:12 AM

    An item in Repubblica online today, shared by Lella in the main forum, puts together some fashion notes about what's 'in' for clerics and religious.

    Based on an informal survey of clerical clothing shops in Rome and Milan, the following trends are noted:

    First, cassocks are back for priests - the classic one, in all its simple sobriety. This reverses the casual trend in priestly dressing noted over the past 2-3 decades.

    Nuns, however, would prefer to have habits other than black. The less traditional and newer orders choose light grey, beige or blue.

    Many cardinals now choose to have a more streamlined silhouette and finer,lighter fabrics for for their outer robes, as opposed to bulky clothing that drapes the figure indifferently.

    It isn't clear what dictates the trends for priestly pret-a-porter. Certainly, not any explicit instructions from the Pope. But, say some of the clerical tailors, it's probably a reflection of Pope Benedict's own style, which is always correct but elegant.

    Raniero Mancinelli, whose company has dressed Popes and Cardinals for decades, says there is no question who the most elegant man in the Church is.

    "It's the Pope. All you have to do is look at him. It's true that there were some little mishaps the first few days, but now, he cannot be faulted. There are little refinements that add to the elegance. For instance," he says, "he has chosen to use the Papal oversleeve, which Papa Wojtyla did not." Not to mention that the Pope has 'dusted off" various papal headgear appropriate for the season or the weather.

    As for the comeback of the cassock, Mancinelli notes: "Before Papa Ratzinger, priests were generally rather cavalier about the way they dressed. Now they are more attentive. With John Paul II, many priests tended to be rather 'sportive' in their look, even for ceremonies. Now, the cassock is de rigueur."

    He recalls a priest who came to get new cassocks and said, "I haven't worn one of these in 20 years."

    A clerical clothing shop in Verona begs to differ, however. Its owner claims that priests in northern Italy still prefer to be casual. "They go to regular shops for their clothing, not to us."


    By the way, it may seem strange to Western eyes, but a Pope travelling to a tropical country will find himself amid a sea of priests and nuns all dressed in white! In the Philippines, I grew up among bishops, priests and nuns all dressed in pristine white. White,is of course, a concession to the weather. Imagine the perpetual penance of having to wear black robes all the time in a country where the average temprature is 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade, with 90% humidity! (On the other hand, that's not such a bad idea perhaps?)

    [Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 09/01/2007 5.11]

    Post: 5,667
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    00 1/11/2007 3:22 PM
    This is from the Italian service of ZENIT today, which for some reason, since it started its 2007 reporting on 1/7, has not added anything to its English service since that day.

    I decided to put this item here, because half of the documents in the anthology were issued by Cardinal Ratzinger as Prefect from 1981-2005.

    Volume has 105 texts
    important for the Magisterium -
    55 under the signature of
    Joseph Ratzinger

    VATICAN CITY, Jan. 11 ( - A book published recently puts together all the documents issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 1966 to 2005.

    It has 662 pages, most of it in Latin. Of the 105 texts prsented, 52 are signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as Prefect of the CDF from 1981-2005.

    Cardinla William Levada, present CDF prefect, writes in the Introduction that these are 'magisterial interventions which, in rejecting objections to and deformations of the faith or authoritatively proposing miore profound consideration of frevealed doctrine, will accompany and assist theological research."

    He continues: "It is not enough to denounce errors...(but) it is necessary to recall the facts of tradition and other elements of the Christian faith which can illuminate the way."

    The Congregation does not intend to replace the task of the theologian, Levada says, nor does it propose a particular theology as unique and normative. Rather, the CDF aims to "reformulate many elements (of the faith) which may be unexpected but indispensable for the elaboration of a ehalthy Catholic theology."

    “Documenta. Inde a Concilio Vaticano Secundo Expleto Edita (1966-2005)” is published by the Vatican publishing house, Libreria Editrice Vaticana ( and costs 40 Euro. It updates a 1985 compilation which covered the years from 1966-1985.

    The last document included is the "Note on the administration of the Sacrament of Unction for the sick", signed by Cardinal Ratzinger in February 2005. The document makes clear it can only be administered by priests or bishops, and that any administration by a deacon or layman is merely 'simulation of the Sacrament.'

    Archbishop Angelo Amato, secretary of the CDF, said the documents reflect a "high theological quality strongly rooted in the great tradition of the Church."

    The book ends with an index (Index rerum notabilium) that alphabetically lists the various topics covered by the documents, from abortion (abortus) to the Virgin Mary (Virgo Maria) and nascent life and procreation (Vita nascens et procreatio).

    One of the mmost infotrmative texts is that dedicated to the reduction of priests to lay status (reductio ad statum laicalem), which also refers to doctrinal errors about matrimony (matrimonium).

    Other noteworthy documents are those about excommunicati0n(excommunicatio), homosexuality (homosexualitas), prohibited books (index librorum prohibitorum), Masonry (massonica associatio) and private revelations (revelationes privatae).
    Post: 295
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    00 1/11/2007 6:13 PM
    Pope "recruited" by priests' soccer team

    Rome, Jan. 11, 2007 ( - During his regularly weekly audience on Wednesday, January 10, Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) acknowledged the presence of a soccer team composed of 80 priests.

    The priests’ team, which organizes games to raise funds for charitable causes, gave the Pope one of the team’s yellow jerseys, with “Benedict XVI” written across the back. The team had previously given a similar jersey to Milan’s Archbishop Dionigi Tettamanzi, at a pre-Christmas event.

    The prospects for soccer teams composed of priests had been the topic of some whimsical headlines in December, when Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone (bio - news), who is known as an ardent soccer fan, was quoted as saying that the Vatican could field a “magnificent” team, using priests and students studying at pontifical universities. The cardinal’s offhand remark drew so much attention that he was forced to issue a clarification, telling Vatican Radio that he had not intended the suggestion seriously. “I have more important things to do than managing a soccer team,” the Vatican Secretary of State observed.
    Post: 2,073
    Registered in: 11/23/2005
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    00 1/12/2007 2:33 AM

    [Sorry, Mary and Nan. I hope you didn't pay full price for those tickets.]

    False priest arrested for selling Pope tickets

    Wed Jan 10, 8:31 AM ET

    A man posing as a Catholic priest was arrested for selling phony tickets to get near Pope Benedict on his scheduled trip to Brazil in May, authorities said on Tuesday.

    Erivandro Ferrer de Lima had charged believers 175 reais ($81.78) in cash and another 375 reais in installments for the possibility of "getting close and touching" the Pope, Police Inspector Rosicleide de Castro said by telephone from Fortaleza in the northeastern Ceara state.

    Lima carried a false credential from the Brazilian Bishops Conference, held mass and heard hundreds of confessions to prey on his victims, Castro said.

    "There are a lot of upset people," Castro said.

    Brazil has more Catholic believers than any other country in the world.

    In May, Pope Benedict will open the Latin American Episcopal Conference.

    ($1 = 2.15 reais)

    [Modificato da benefan 12/01/2007 2.34]

    Post: 5,687
    Registered in: 8/28/2005
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    00 1/13/2007 2:52 AM
    Sihaya alerts us to two new book releases, but since she provides no information
    on either, I'm posting them on this thread rather than the BOOKS... thread.

    The title of the German book translates as
    'JOSEPH RATZINGER/BENEDICT XVI: The development of his thinking'.
    Isn't the cover picture very sweet?

    That of the Italian is "5 Minutes with God' - it must be a book of meditations based on Ratzi-Papi's writings.


    And from Beatrice....If you read French,this would be a great collection to keep. In a country like France where recent surveys show the number of Catholics down to 51% in 2007 compared to 69% in 2000 and 80% in the early 1990s, it is surprising to find a publishng house like TEQUI which has come out with 6 volumes so far about Benedict XVI devoted to his speeeches during the two weeks in April 2005 between the funeral of John Paul II and his installation Mass as Pope, and during each of the five trips abroad that he has made.

    [Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 14/01/2007 7.20]

    Post: 642
    Registered in: 11/19/2005
    Senior User
    00 1/13/2007 5:07 AM

    [Sorry, Mary and Nan. I hope you didn't pay full price for those tickets.]

    Thanks for your concern Benefan! I can honestly say neither Mary nor I were even considering going to Brazil. That's not to say that we don't have plans for possible future trips to Rome. But lets face it Rome is Rome!!!

    Post: 5,702
    Registered in: 8/28/2005
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    00 1/13/2007 10:41 PM
    ZENIT's Spanish service on 1/11/07 carried this interview with a Spanish theologian who has just written his third book on Joseph Ratzinger. Unfortunately, the 'interview' is maddeningly sketchy!.

    ROMA ( A new book on Benedict XVI highlights his Augustinian side, that is his similarites with the saint of Hippo and his passion for Augustine.

    «Joseph Ratzinger: Vida y Teología», published in Spain by Rialp last year is a portrait of the theologian who became Pope.

    Pablo Blanco, doctor in theology and philosophy, and professor at the University of Navarra, has written two previous books on Ratzinger: "Joseph Ratzinger: Una biografia" (Eunsa, 2004) and "Joseph Ratzinger: Razon y cristianismo" (Rialp, 2005). His new book also contains Ratzinger's Spanish bibliography.

    Blanco spoke to ZENIT about his new book.

    "For Ratzinger, everything started with St. Augustine." What does this sentence from your book mean?
    It means, on the one hand, that his first work was about the concept opf Church in St. Augustine. But there's much more. Joseph Ratzinger is Augustinian in that he shares with the saint - to me, at least - the triple dimension of being a poet, a pastor and a thinker.

    Like the Bishop of Hippo, the German theologian not only dedicated himself for 50 years to theology, but he has also been a bishop (of Munich and now Rome), and his poetic talent is evident from his homilies and his writings.

    Is Pope Benedict XVI also the theologian Ratzinger?
    Yes and no. Yes, because he remains who he is, even as Pope, and I think his long career as a theologian is one of the best preparations to know the situation, the pproblems asnd the great possibilities for the Church.

    And no, because a Pope does not govern alone. He has a team of 'collaborators' - above all, all the other bishops - who help him carry out the difficult task of leading the Church.

    In the emblematic year of 1968, Joseph Ratzinger signed, along with 1360 other theologians, the Declaration of Nijmegen, which was addressed to the ex-Holy Office, requesting for more religious pluralism. What was that about?
    It was a request by theologians for more independence from Rome and their bishops, although Ratzinger did not fully agree with everything in the declaration.

    He has written on several occasions about theological pluralism (which I try to explain in my book) but this is very far from being relativism. The first seeks truth and freedom, the other would submit all truth to any freedom.

    You note that life, love, truth and theology are the four parameters which define the thought of Joseph Ratzinger. Do you think the Pope would agree?
    I would love to ask him. I do think his love of theology is beyond doubt, having dedicated his life to it. He also considers love and truth inseparable, and that, too, one can appreciate in his life and his works.

    Joseph Ratzinger has always aimed at a theology that is linked to life, not something elaborated in a lecture hall or one's study. Likewise, he sees that theology should be linked to preaching, to spirituality, to the needs of the moment.

    Sometimes, I think Joseph Ratzinger would even add a new parameter - beauty - which I speak of at the end of this book.

    [Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 14/01/2007 7.05]

    Post: 5,720
    Registered in: 8/28/2005
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    00 1/15/2007 1:28 AM
    It's been some time since I last posted a 'quotable' reference to our Forum. Here's one from
    a blog by Fr. Tim Finigan, who is parish priest of Our Lady of the Rosary in Blackfen (Kent), England.

    I love it not only because of what it says about the Forum, but because he actually translates that wall-size commemorative 'plaque' at the Lateran University from the Latin!


    Saturday, January 13, 2007
    First Latin plaque?

    I found this on that unfailing source of all things papal, the Papa Ratzinger Forum: (Underscoring by Teresa, obviously]

    The text reads:


    Which might be translated as:

    May the memory always be preserved of the auspicious day of 21 November 2006 on which Benedict XVI, Pontifex Maximus, following the footsteps of his predecessors, and having been received with greatest joy by the academic community, visited the Pontifical Lateran University, blessed the new library as a seat of studies and research to foster sacred tradition, and inaugurated the Great Hall dedicated to himself. Accompanying him were Camillo Ruini, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, the Grand Chancellor, and Rino Fisichella, titular bishop of Voghenza, the Magnificent Rector, who saw to it that the work was begun and completed.

    ICEL translation for those who feel excluded by all this:
    [Very clever!]

    One day last year, the Pope came to our school. He made us all very happy when he said a prayer for the new bookcases and a big room with his name on it. Cardinal Ruini (who is very important) was there and so was Bishop Rino who got it all done.

    I needed a book for this one - Circonscrizioni Ecclesiastiche. Nomi Latini De Curia. (published by the Vatican) which gives the vernacular names for all the sees in the world: including Vicohabentia.


    But wait, there was more!

    Saturday, January 13, 2007
    Ratzi forum goes green-eyed

    A gem found on the Papa Ratzinger Forum. The section for pictures of Pope Benedict is populated by adoring females. This set of photos caused some tears, I think.

    Lady Ratzinger comments:
    Scherzi a parte ragazze,io sono seriamente gelosa!Non posso vedere cose simili!!!

    Benny, don't betray us like this!!! Girly joke - I am seriously jealous. I can't look at things like this!!!

    Hmmm. Maybe I would like to be Pope after all :-)


    The post drew this comment from another blogger, Ma Beck, of Chicago:

    Ah, my Papa!

    Adorable pics.
    (Some day... some day..)

    1/14/2007 4:42 AM

    [Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 15/01/2007 3.49]

    Post: 794
    Registered in: 11/27/2005
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    00 1/15/2007 8:40 PM
    Our plans for 2007
    Tee hee hee!!!!!! Nan and I don't plan to go to Brazil to see Papa - it's too far and too hot and steamy.
    But we do have plans for seeing our Papa up close this year! Continue to watch this thread or one of the others! [SM=x40799] [SM=x40799] [SM=x40799] [SM=x40799] [SM=x40799] [SM=x40799]

    I don't want him to go to Brazil, but of course he will, just as he went to Turkey. But Brazil is horribly hot and humid and it's a long plane journey from Rome [I worry about that and trust that he'll be able to get up and walk around during the flight]. At least he is only going to open the conference, so will only be there for a few days.
    Luff and Peez, Mary x [SM=g27811]

    Post: 5,750
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    00 1/16/2007 6:09 PM
    Here's a translation of a heartwarming little item posted in the main forum by Lella from Il Gazzettino del Nord-Est today:

    "Pope Benedict XVI emanates a wondeful sensation of calm and profundity, an extrardinary magnetism. And yet, he presents himself with a simplicity that goes straight to the heart. Even at a meal, where he appreciates dishes that are not excessively 'constructed' or 'baroque', but focused on using fresh ingredients from produce, prepared without excesses but tasteful and genuine. Like the best of Venetian cuisine, I might add."

    Nadia Pasquali, owner of the restaurant 'Alla Borsa' at Valeggio, remembers meeting the Pope last summer at Castel Gandolfo. Along with two colleagues from the Veneto region, Sergio Dussin of 'Al Pioppeto' in Bassano, and Massimiliano Trento, executive chef of 'Villa Razzolini Loredan' in Asolo, she catered the lunch on the occasion of Cardinal Sodano's retirement as Secretary of State and the asumption of that post by Cardinal Bertone.

    The menu: Angus beef carpaccio marinated with truffles; tortellini with butter and salvia sauce; veal medallions au gratin; and apple strudel with cream. The wines: Gambellara Classico (2005), Corvina Veronese, Mumm champagne, and Bassano grappa.

    It wasn't easy - but between late flights and security escorts needed to get to Castel Gandolfo, as well as the awesomeness of the venue and the prestige of the guests, they managed quite well. Of course, they were also rewarded at the end with the Papal blessing.

    It was a repeat invitation from the Vatican for the three Venetan restaurateurs. In May of 2005, they were asked to cater all the lunches and dinners at the annual sessions of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.
    Post: 2,095
    Registered in: 11/23/2005
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    00 1/16/2007 6:23 PM

    German soccer star says Pope drew him back to faith

    Jan. 16, 2007 ( - German soccer legend Franz Beckenbauer has told the Munich newspaper Abendzeitung that his October 2005 meeting with Pope Benedict XVI was “the most important experience” of his life.

    As chairman of the German committee organizing the 2006 World Cup competition, Beckenbauer met with the Holy Father at the Vatican in October 2005. The encounter made a deep impression on the German athlete, and after the Pope’s trip to Bavaria in 2006, Beckenbauer began to immerse himself in the Pope’s writings. As a result of his reading, Beckenbauer returned to the active practice of his faith.

    “Benedict XVI leads people to the Church,” Beckenbauer told Abendzeitung, “and I myself am the best example of that.”

    Known as “the Kaiser” because of his dominance of the game, Beckenbauer was captain of the German squad that won the World Cup in 1974.

    @Andrea M.@
    Post: 284
    Registered in: 5/14/2006
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    00 1/16/2007 6:34 PM
    More precisely ...
    Dear benefan,

    thanks for finding and posting this article. I read this in the German-language press as well.

    Note: Mr. Beckenbauer was quoted by the German press as having read all the homilies that the Holy Father had pronounced during his visit to Bavaria in September 2006.

    He said: In there it says: "Go to church and thereby show your Faith". After having read this the "Kaiser" says he has once again taken on the habit of going to Church more regularly and more willingly.

    He considered his meeting in 2005 with the Holy Father as a "highlight" of his life. He was quoted as saying that "he had rarely met someone with such a charisma, such a benevolence and friendliness."


    P.S. My comments and notes are a rough translation of the information I found in "Rheinische Post" (newspaper)

    [Modificato da @Andrea M.@ 16/01/2007 18.36]

    Post: 5,752
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    00 1/16/2007 10:40 PM
    What a beautiful thing to read after all the absurd to-do about fashion and the Vatican! And after reading that most informative Spiegel article Benefan posted in Readings, we can only hope the Kaiser's example can lead some of his own countrymen to find their faith again.
    Post: 60
    Registered in: 11/24/2005
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    00 1/16/2007 11:21 PM
    Thanks for sharing a great story about Franz Beckenbauer.[SM=g27828]
    Music of Lorien
    Post: 168
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    00 1/17/2007 5:08 AM

    Thanks for sharing a great story about Franz Beckenbauer

    It's wonderful to read that after all the recent nonsense here and there about the Pope and about GG.
    I think I remember a photo of that meeting with Franz Beckenbauer, I'll see if I can find it.
    Post: 5,768
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    00 1/18/2007 3:27 PM
    In this recent picture of Cardinal Dsiwisz
    taken in Cracow, I like the portrait (or is
    it an actual photograph?) of Benedict XVI
    that he has on the wall behind him!

    But I am puzzled by Rocco Palmo's comment about this picture:

    ..more than just sometimes, however -- especially on seeing shots like this one -- you can't help but feel for the poor guy.

    Why 'poor guy'? He is clearly not alone (even if the spotlight in the above photo isolates him from the rest of the crowd that is obviously milling around him) as far as love and support - prayers, especially - from the faithful.

    Rocco rightly reminds us of these poignant sentences from the Pope's inaugural homily - always good to bear in mind:
    "And now, at this moment, weak servant of God that I am, I must assume this enormous task, which truly exceeds all human capacity. How can I do this? How will I be able to do it? All of you, my dear friends, have just invoked the entire host of Saints, represented by some of the great names in the history of God’s dealings with mankind. In this way, I too can say with renewed conviction: I am not alone. I do not have to carry alone what in truth I could never carry alone. All the Saints of God are there to protect me, to sustain me and to carry me. And your prayers, my dear friends, your indulgence, your love, your faith and your hope accompany me."
    Homily, Mass for the Inauguration
    of the Petrine Ministry
    24 April 2005

    [Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 18/01/2007 16.10]