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

  • Posts
    Post: 71
    Registered in: 7/25/2006
    Junior User
    00 3/18/2007 7:14 PM
    RATZINGER'S YOUTH: "Nice, sweet, blond"
    PALMA - I hope you don't mind. I transferred this story to ENCOUNTERS WITH THE FUTURE POPE, to go with all your previous postings about people remembering the Pope as they knew him before he became Pope. - TERESA

    [Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 20/03/2007 0.49]

    Post: 588
    Registered in: 11/15/2005
    Senior User
    00 3/18/2007 7:46 PM
    Young Ratzinger's hair....
    ...That's strange, looking at young Joseph pics I used to think he had dark hair [SM=g27833]

    [Modificato da stupor-mundi 18/03/2007 19.47]

    STUPOR-MUNDI, I've likewise transferred your comment to go with Palma's story. I can't seem to copy your 'avatar, though! - TERESA

    [Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 18/03/2007 20.40]

    "Tu es Petrus et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam et portae inferi non praevalebunt adversum eam " (Mt 16,18)
    Nel menù di hitleriani e maomettani, gli ebrei, pochi di numero e relativamente deboli, sono soltanto l'antipasto: il piatto più consistente è a base di cristiani! (C. Langone)
    Post: 6,633
    Registered in: 8/28/2005
    Master User
    00 3/19/2007 12:49 AM
    From Yahoo's German newsroundup site, this photo from
    the German Post Office of the stamp they are issuing
    to mark the Pope's 80th birthday. The photo was released
    on March 14.

    Here is an earlier story about the stamp.

    Munich/Leipzig, February 8, 2007 – Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) has begun printing a commemorative stamp featuring Pope Benedict XVI at Wertpapierdruckerei Leipzig, one of its printing factories. The stamp was commissioned by Deutsche Post AG, who is issuing the stamp to mark the pope's 80th birthday. All told, 10.4 million of the new 55 cent stamps will be printed. Antonia Graschberger, a Munich-based illustrator, created the design used on the stamp.

    I am trying to check if this is the first stamp they have issued on the Pope - Or did they issue one for his Bavarian visit...

    [Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 19/03/2007 1.06]

    Post: 6,634
    Registered in: 8/28/2005
    Master User
    00 3/19/2007 4:30 AM
    At least in its German edition - the original, since Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI wrote it in German. Online sites are now taking orders for the book, expected to come out April 11.

    What immediately leaps to the eye,however, is that the cover does not carry Joseph Ratzinger's name. I thought it was essential that the book come out as written by Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI to make clear that it is a personal work of the present Pope and not an act of Magisterium. How can the publishers not abide by the authoris wish?

    The second thing is I like the format size they chose, similar to the size of the Ratzinger books iussed by Ignatius Press.

    448 pp. 14 x 21 cm
    [approx 5.5 x 8.3 in]
    Herder Verlag
    ISBN-10: 3451298619
    ISBN-13: 9783451298615

    From the Baptism in the Jordan
    to the Transfiguration

    Here's a translation of their online blurb:

    What does Christianity have to say to us today about the fundamental questions of existence? The answer to that directly depends on the question: Who is Jesus of Nazareth? Was he just a great man or was he more?

    All his life Joseph Ratzinger has occupied himself with Jesus of Nazareth, As Professor, as Bishop, as the topmost guardian of the faith, and now as Pope, he has sought to understand Him.
    He started this book a few years ago when he was still a cardinal. After he was elected Pope, he has used every free minute to go on with it. This work represents the sum of a great theologian's life. It may well be the most personal book that Joseph Ratzinger - or, for that matter, any Pope - has ever written.

    Benedict XVI is convinced that historico-critical reason and faith are not contradictory. On the contrary. But one must trust the Gospels. The Bible offers a true and existential testimony to faith: Jesus was not only a true man but also the Son of God. From this perspective, the historical facts worked out by critical research can open up a profound understanding of Jesus of Nazareth - deeper than it had ever been imagined possible before. And it will also lead to deeper insights.


    (The Truth about the Family)

    I hadn't noticed it before but on the home page of Osservatore's daily edition, they have been advertising this little book that the newwspaper put together around the time the PACS-DICO issue was heating up in Italy. It contains 18 speeches, homilies and messages that Benedict XVI has devoted to issues regarding the family.

    If the diocese of Rome can afford it, it should strike a deal with OR to purchase these booklets in bulk and give it away along with the Ruini-Antonelli letter on that house-to-house campaign.

    And if only for the cover, here's the Italian edition of a French biography on the Pope,
    which Paparatzifan discovered on a visit to her local Catholic bookshop this weekend.

    Benedetto XVI: L'ultimo papa europeo
    by Bernard Lacomte
    Edizioni San Paolo
    Cinisello Balsamo 2007, 1 ed.
    128+8 pp, Photos in color and B/W
    ISBN 978-88-215-5890-0
    Euro 13,00

    A translation of the blurb:
    Some expected a Latin American to be elected Pope, or even an African, and instead here we have a German Pope, born in 1927 in the Catholic heartland of Europe, Bavaria. A man, like his Polish predecessor, who has gone through Nazism, the war, the Shoah, communism. A European militant who has been calling on all to fight for truth, in the name of love.

    He is probably "the last European Pope." This is a book that is illuminating for the general public.

    Bernard Lecomte is a prestigious journalist who writes for La Croix (French Catholic newspaper) and L'Express (weekly newsmagazine), and is the editor-in-chief of Figaro magazine. He wrote a 2004 biography of John Paul II.


    And this is an item that I had been meaning to pass along,
    from Beatrice's website, and as worthy as the story is,
    you will see from the image why I didn't exactly rush
    to share it.

    The Latin inscription means, "Keep spiritual unity for that good which is peace."

    I swear I thought it was a medal intended for Putin from looking at the image alone!

    It's the medallion that the Academy of Political and Moral Sciences of the Institut de France presented to the Pope when a delegation came to see him last March 10. I posted a translation of his address to them at the time in HOMILIES, MESSAGES, DISCOURSES.

    The speech of the Academy's permanent secretary in presenting the medallion is worth translating - it's on the site of the Academy (the Vatican unfortunately hardly ever publishes the addresses made to the Pope at any occasion) - and when I do translate it, I will post it with the Pope's reply on March 10.

    Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was voted in by the Academy in 1992 as an associate member (only French citizens are full members) to fill the chair left vacant by Russian physicist-activist Andrei Sakharov who had died.

    [Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 20/03/2007 4.35]

    @Andrea M.@
    Post: 926
    Registered in: 5/14/2006
    Senior User
    00 3/19/2007 9:17 AM
    Benedict stamps

    I am trying to check if this is the first stamp they have issued on the Pope - Or did they issue one for his Bavarian visit...


    to my knowledge there was not a stamp for the Bavarian visit. There were stamps for WYD. Generally speaking, stamps of living persons or persons of public life are very rarely done in Germany. So one could consider this as an exception.

    There was one recently for the 100th birthday of the late cardinal Joseph Höffner, former Archbishop of Cologne and close friend of the present pope.


    The reson for saying only Benedict XVI in the title may be owed to the fact that it is only published in 2007.

    In Germany at least, books by the Holy Father which were published when he was still cardinal Ratzinger came out in a new edition mentioning both names after his election to the See of Peter.

    [Modificato da @Andrea M.@ 19/03/2007 9.35]

    Thanks for the clarification about the stamps. I did check online, and the stamp issued for WYD was about WYD not the Pope.

    As for the book attributIon, I don't think the publication date is the question here. It is that the Pope himself specified when the news first came out about the book last year that it was going to be attributed to Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI for the reason mentioned, and that in fact, the Preface which was released at the time (part of it, anyway) is signed Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI. - TERESA

    [Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 19/03/2007 11.13]

    Post: 6,645
    Registered in: 8/28/2005
    Master User
    00 3/20/2007 1:52 AM
    Avvenire has this story today from Cologne.

    Cardinal Meisner:
    He wanted to leave the Vatican
    when he turned 75 but
    Wojtyla told him he needed him

    By Luigi Geninazzi

    The black-and-white photo is a bit grainy but it highlighjts the shining eyes of a five-year-old boy on his first day at school: he looks serious, almost contrite, with his knapsack on his shoulder and a white ribbon around his collar.

    It is one of the many hitherto unpublished photographs of Joseph Ratzinger that can be admired at the Maternushaus, the red brick building a few steps away from the imposing Gothic cathedral of Cologne.

    Here, an exhibit called "The Pope from Germany" opened yesterday to celebrate the Pope who turns 80 on April 16.

    A child viewing part of the Cologne exhibit (Reuters photos).

    It is the first reconstruction of the human and intellectual development of the Geman pope through videos, films and audio tapes with explanatory caption panels. It is his biography but also an illustration of his theological thought.

    But the visitor's curiosity will surely be drawn first to the archive photos and original documents on display.

    A real gem, for instance, is a letter from the young Prof. Ratzinger to Cardinal Joseph Frings of Cologne, who was a member of the preparatory commission for Vatican-II.

    It is dated September 14,1962, just a few weeks before the opening of that great event that would mean a historic turn for the Church. Ratzinger at the time was a lecturer in dogmatic theology at the University of Bonn, and Frings chose him to be his theology expert at the Council.

    So, when Ratzinger received the Schemata (preparatory Council documents), he wasted no time and wrote his mentor a letter that is neatly written, almost with schoolboy precision, but with explosive contents. For instance, "I have taken the liberty to make some suggestions for improvement..."

    We already find here, in kernel, the intellectual power and expository clarity of a man who was destined to become first the faithful guardian of Catholic orthodoxy and now, the greatest theologian Pope in modern times.

    But why an exhibit on Joseph Ratzinger in Cologne rather than, say, Regensburg or Munich in his native Bavaria?

    Peter Scharr, the curator who is very proud of this effort, says, "There are three reasons. It was in Bonn, which is part of the Archdioocese of Cologne, that the young Ratzinger had his first university professor's chair. Then, he hit it off right away with Cardinal Frings, which led to a calm but fruitful relationship. Finally, we cannot forget, that Benedict came to this city on the Rhine in August 2005 for World Youth Day, in his first trip abroad as Pope."

    Then he adds, "Actually, there's another very good reason, pehaps the most decisive one. It's the extraordinary friendship between the Pope and Cardinal Joachim Meisner, the present Archbishop of Cologne."

    "Well, everyone knows it," Meisner tells me as he accompanies me through the exhibit. "I have always been deeply and sincerely in agreement with him, even when many were criticizing him. We think the same way.

    "When I started to study theology, it was his book, Introduction to Christianity, that formed me, in a convincing and substantial way. God has given us a great Pope who knows how to propose the truths of our faith clearly and simply. At the Conclave, we did not choose him because he is German. We chose him because he was the best."

    Meisner is a river in full spate when he gets started about Benedict XVI. At the opening of the exhibit, he delighted the audience with rare anecdotes and sharp observations.

    That opening did not lack music by Mozart, a quartet for flute and violins. About Ratzinger's love of Mozart, Meisner says, "Maybe because his theological thinking unfolds like Mozart's music - clear, tender and enchanting." [ Meisner once called Ratzinger 'the Mozart of theology.']

    The archbishop recalls the time when Ratzinger was nearing his 75th birthday and the Prefect of the CDF told him he wished to leave the Vatican to devote himself to his studies. "I've already beaten all previous records for length of time in this post," Ratzinger told him. "It's time for me to go."

    John Paul II, says Meisner, was appalled, and entrusted him with the assignment to talk his friend out of it. "Tell him that without him, I cannot do what I need to do, that Wojtyla's pontificate needs the theological support of Joseph Ratzinger."

    So Meisner went to Ratzinger to carry out his mission. "You'll have all the time to study when you finally retire. But for now, give it a few more years at the Vatican." Obviously, he succeeded in his assignment.

    But retirement? Look where RAtzinger is now.

    "You were a terrible prophet," the new Pope jestingly chided Meisner the day after the Conclave.

    For now, if Germans want to know more about their Pope, they may come to Cologne to see this exhibit, which is unique in all the world.

    [Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 27/03/2007 0.17]

    Post: 67
    Registered in: 11/24/2005
    Junior User
    00 3/20/2007 2:36 AM
    What a great story Teresa! Very cool to hear about this exhibit and the photos and documents they have. Hehe at Papa to Cardinal Meisner, "You were a terrible prophet." I wonder how long this exhibit will be open for...and I have a feeling some people from our forum will go to it.[SM=g27828]
    Post: 6,647
    Registered in: 8/28/2005
    Master User
    00 3/20/2007 4:32 AM
    I certainly hope we will be able to find some of the material online soon from the Cologne exhibit. It would be so great if one of the Forum Benaddicts went down to it. PAGING SIMONE!!!! I know she lives not too far from Cologne. She can drive down on a weekend and get pictures!


    And before St. Joseph's Day is over here in New York, let me post a translation of a beautiful story from Gianluca Barile of PETRUS:

    Angelo and his special wishes
    for the Pope on his name day

    By Gianluca Barile

    Angelo was a good man, he was 54, with a wonderful wife, three children, a granddaughter, and great admiration for Benedict XVI.

    But since Thursday, Angelo is no longer with us. Finally released from suffering, he now looks down at us from heaven. He had been fighting an incurable sickness since last spring, with faith and exemplary dignity.

    The last time I went to visit him, he was still lucid, although he was nailed to his bed by pain as Jesus was on the Cross. I spoke to him like a son would, I tried to rally him, recalling all those anecdotes that linked him to my father, who died in his arms in 1996.

    "Next Monday is the feast of St. Joseph, Papa's (my dad's) feast day," I said at one point. And he answered, "It's also the Pope's name day."

    How much that remark struck me! Angelo knew he was close to death, yet he didn't forget about the Pope.

    So I told him, "When you're a little better, I will take you to the Pope's general audience - you know, after the catechesis, he always greets the sick and the handicapped."

    He looked at me with tears in his eyes, and something like a flash of hope. "Oh, gladly, gladly!" he said, " but if that won't be possible, then just give him my best wishes and congratulations."

    And so now, Holiness, on this your feast day, I send you not only the best wishes of PETRUS and its readers, but especially the message to you from Angelo who is no longer with us, from a man who faced death with full confidence in the Resurrection, a true Catholic, apostolic Roman who offered you his love, loyalty and obedience up to the last breath.

    A few days before that last meeting, I had brought him one of the 'official' rosaries from the Vatican. We spoke of the Pope, and he said, "Ratzinger is the right Pope for our times."

    One of his relatives commented, "Well, Benedict may even be 'bravo', but I preferred John Paul II." And I recall Angelo's reply, almost vexed: "But what are you saying? One loves the Pope whatever his name is. I love Ratzinger the same way I loved John XXIII when I was a boy!"

    Indeed, Angelo loved the Pope as a child would love his father. And therefore, once again, best wishes, Holiness, not only for your name day, but because for people like me, like Angelo, like our readers who think of you with affection, you are not only Papa, our Pope, but also Papa, our father.

    [Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 20/03/2007 4.38]

    Post: 6,648
    Registered in: 8/28/2005
    Master User
    00 3/20/2007 5:15 AM
    ZENIT carried this intriguingly brief item today:

    LONDON, MARCH 19, 2007 ( The British artist Michael Noakes was commissioned for the first formal portrait of Benedict XVI.

    According to the London-based Times, Noakes saw the Pope as a slightly shy man and tried to portray that.

    "He also smiles a great deal," the artist said, "but it's an oil painting and is going to be around as part of the records for a long time. So I made him look cheerful, with a degree of gravitas and a bit of a twinkle."

    The portrait, which measures 48.5 by 32 inches (124 by 82 centimeters) unframed, will be shown to the Holy Father at the end of April.

    It will eventually hang in the Vatican.

    So of course, I went online to try and see if I could get more information. And here's the original story:

    P.S. 3/26/07 I must apologize - Benefan had actually posted the ff story on this thread two pages back, and I never saw it until tonight when I went back to check when I had posted a story about Hans Kueng in Canada...

    Twinkle to the portrait
    of a cheerful, shy pontiff

    By Dalya Alberge
    March 19, 2007

    MICHAEL Noakes must be the only man on earth who can suggest to God's emissary how he should stand and how high he should raise his hand in blessing.

    The British artist found himself at the Vatican earlier this year doing just that as he got the Pope to stand still for him in his private quarters.

    "Please raise your hand, Holy Father, nearer your head," he heard himself saying. "Would you, Holy Father, move your right foot forward?"

    Surrounded by leather-bound antiquarian books and a couple of paintings of saints, he was painting the Pope's first formal portrait. For Noakes, it was the ultimate blessing as an artist and as a Catholic.

    Although he is no stranger to painting famous people - previous sitters have included the Queen, Margaret Thatcher and Bill Clinton - he was taken aback by this commission, partly because it had been so unexpected.

    Noakes recalls how he visited Rome last year to unveil a portrait of the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor. "At the end of the unveiling, a young Maltese monsignor stationed in the Vatican came over and said simply, 'Will you paint the Pope for us?"' The invitation was all the more surprising because the previous pope, John Paul II, had steadfastly refused to pose for portraits.

    A year after the initial invitation, Noakes was contacted again by the Vatican and a date was set.

    His informal brief was to portray Pope Benedict with his hand raised in blessing or greeting, and wearing his crimson cape with fur trim and heavily embroidered stole.

    The artist turned up with his pencils, his drawing book, his paints and his brushes - his gear, as he refers to the tools of his trade - and was shown into the library. Getting himself prepared mentally, he sharpened his pencils, but within minutes the Pope was standing before him and Noakes was kissing his ring.

    Noakes, who trained at the Royal Academy Schools in Britain, is represented in public collections including the National Portrait Gallery and the British Museum in London, as well as the Royal Collection.

    While the Queen gave him unprecedented access - allowing him to shadow her and record her daily working life in detail for a year - Pope Benedict did not grant him that luxury. When Archbishop William Levada, the Pope's head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, asked him how long he would need, Noakes replied: "Four, five or six sittings of 2 1/2 hours". But that wasn't possible.

    "I'm a professional and I make do with what I'm given, although that's bound to affect what I can do. I dearly wanted more time," Noakes says.

    The artist sketched feverishly, trying out different poses and expressions to take back to his studio. He could barely relax enough to make conversation and the Pope, who had no difficulty in standing still, did not ask him any questions about himself or comment on anything other than the portrait. The Pope's only suggestion was that the picture ought to show him with his mouth closed.

    For Noakes, he came over as a slightly shy man: "I wanted to imply that. He also smiles a great deal, but it's an oil painting and is going to be around as part of the records for a long time. So I made him look cheerful, with a degree of gravitas and a bit of a twinkle."

    The portrait, which measures 124cm by 82cm unframed, will be shown to the Pope at the end of April.

    It was dispatched to Rome last week and will hang in the Vatican, in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's room. In London, Noakes will display a related oil study for the portrait in an exhibition by the Royal Society of Portrait Painters.


    And just to set my mind at rest that this was not going to be like, you know, a Francis Bacon type portrait,
    I went to Noakes's site, and am reassured that he is indeed a traditional portrait painter. Below, his portraits
    of Cardinal Basil Hume and the Queen Mother.

    I don't think we will get to see a picture of the Pope's portrait before he himself sees it first.

    3/26/07 P.S. On the contrary, MaryJos has since informed us that a photo of teh the portrait has been published in Brtiain's Catholic newspapers, and Mary posted one with teh artist beside it.

    [Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 27/03/2007 6.38]

    Post: 303
    Registered in: 11/29/2005
    Senior User
    00 3/20/2007 3:38 PM
    The exhibition in Cologne
    Hi, girls,

    here is the link
    I am sorry, the website is in german.
    On the right you will find the photos of the opening and from the exhibition.
    I really would like to visit the exhibition. Let's see.

    Wer glaubt, ist nie allein, im Leben nicht und auch im Sterben nicht.
    @Andrea M.@
    Post: 934
    Registered in: 5/14/2006
    Senior User
    00 3/20/2007 4:56 PM
    Re: The Cologne exhibit
    Hello everyone,

    I thought I had read in my local newspaper that the exhibit was also scheduled to come to Bonn. Strangely the web-page does not mention this ... only Düsseldorf ... oh well, perhaps a stop in Bonn is scheduled after that.

    Post: 6,653
    Registered in: 8/28/2005
    Master User
    00 3/20/2007 6:28 PM
    Thank to the link provided by Simone, which provides a lot of information but for now, none of the individual photos or documents on display. The exhibit covers 30 panels - each one almost 10 ft high - of which we are given photographs of 5 such panels, one from each of the major subdivisions of the exhibit: Early Year, Academic Career, Ecclesiastical Offices, Theological Profile and Pontificate.

    Supplementing what is seen on the panels are video, film and audio material accessible to the visitor on appropriate screens or listening stations. The exhibit is designed so that anyone interested may get in touch with the right people at the Archdiocese of Cologne on how to 'rent' all the material and set up an exactly identical exhibit anywhere - modular design at its most efficient!

    There's a good introductory article which is to be translated.

    One very good appendix is what I think may be the most complete available list of all the books published in German by Joseph Ratzinger - and from his doctoral thesis on Augustine in 1954 to the first volume of JESUS OF NAZARETH coming out next month, there are 61 so far! We all have a long way to go, don't we, to catch up? And probably less than half of the titles are currently available in English.

    [Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 20/03/2007 18.59]

    Post: 2,340
    Registered in: 11/23/2005
    Veteran User
    00 3/22/2007 4:06 AM


    By Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI

    Printed by Ignatius Press
    95 pages
    In stock

    Prepared and co-published by the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia, this book is a combination of two lengthy essays written by Cardinal Ratzinger and delivered in talks when he was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Both talks deal with the importance of conscience and its exercise in particular circumstances.

    Ratzinger's reflections show that contemporary debates over the nature of conscience have deep historical and philosophical roots. He says that a person is bound to act in accord with his conscience, but he makes it clear that there must be reliable, proven sources for the judgment of conscience in moral issues, other than the subjective reflections of each individual.

    The always unique and profound insights that the new Pope Benedict XVI brings to perennial problems reminds the reader of his strong warning before the recent Papal conclave of the great dangers today of the "dictatorship of relativism."

    [Modificato da benefan 22/03/2007 4.09]

    Post: 8
    Registered in: 8/28/2005
    Junior User
    00 3/23/2007 1:27 AM
    Thanks to Paparatzifan...

    AETATIS ANNO LXXX, it reads,
    and that we can all understand.
    I suppose the P.M. in
    BENEDICTUS P.M. stands for
    Pontifex Maximus. I like the
    idea of pairing the Pope's
    image with a church associated
    with him - is the first one
    Aschau's where he had his first
    Communion? The second one is
    Munich's Frauenkirche, I believe,
    and the third is of course,
    San Pietro. And I also like it
    that they show him in red

    P.S. I have just noticed that the system ,or whatever, has regressed me back to being a Membro Junior,
    with 8 posts to my name so far- those i've posted since I got back home tonight!...I was going to e-mail
    Ratzigirl to ask her for an explanation when I noticed that she herself has been 'reduced' to Membro Junior
    with 20 posts to her name instead of the more than 10,000 she already has!

    [Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 23/03/2007 1.44]

    Post: 2,345
    Registered in: 11/23/2005
    Veteran User
    00 3/23/2007 2:08 AM

    @Teresa: "I have just noticed that the system ,or whatever, has regressed me back to being a Membro Junior, with 8 posts to my name so far- those i've posted since I got back home tonight!...I was going to e-mail Ratzigirl to ask her for an explanation when I noticed that she herself has been 'reduced' to Membro Junior with 20 posts to her name instead of the more than 10,000 she already has!"

    That's okay, Teresa. We, ehem, "Veteran Members", won't rub it in.
    Post: 12
    Registered in: 8/28/2005
    Junior User
    00 3/23/2007 5:59 AM
    BIG OVERSIGHT! If I had not just read some items in Lella's news round up about Cardinal Scola saying the St. Benedict's Day Mass in Montecassino yesterday, 3/21, it would have completely skipped my mind that, as I noted one year ago today in this section -

    It cannot be other than providential that our Pope's two name-days (the Italians have a specific word, onomastico, for a person's name-day - the feast day of the main saint whose name they carry) fall within two days of each other - March 19 for Saint Joseph, patron of his birth name, and March 21 for St. Benedict, patron of his papal name.

    So, another HAPPY FEAST DAY, BENEDICT!!!!, if belated, from your inattentive Benaddicts. But how come no one referred to it either during or in connection with the General Audience yesterday? I think I read last year that the Benedictines commemorate their founder on the day of his death because it is his 'birthday in heaven.' What a beautiful thought!

    [Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 24/03/2007 16.38]

    Post: 38
    Registered in: 8/28/2005
    Junior User
    00 3/25/2007 1:24 AM
    From a distance of 21 years, it's very interesting to see not just that TIME reported the appointment of Ratzi to be CDF Prefect back in 1981, but also how they reported it. sihaya found it on,9171,925123,00.html

    And isn't it strange to be told now that it took John Paul II four years to complete his Curia? And they've been complaining that Papa Ratzi has beenslow!!!

    TIME Monday, Dec. 14, 1981

    Hardening the Papal Lineup:
    John Paul picks a German Cardinal
    as his doctrinal watchdog

    Unlike Premiers or Presidents, new Popes put their top aides in place only gradually, as jobs open up. John Paul II's first major appointment, two years ago, was Papal Loyalist Agostino Cardinal Casaroli as Secretary of State. Other changes slowly followed, including the selection last September of U.S. Archbishop Paul Marcinkus as chief administrator of Vatican City.

    Now, at the start of John Paul's fourth year, his lineup is virtually complete. The Pope has just named West Germany's Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, 54, to be his doctrinal watchdog as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly the Holy Office).

    Ratzinger is the only internationally respected theologian in modern times to fill the post, and the Pope's second most important appointee is also perfectly attuned to John Paul's conservative views.

    Ratzinger did not always see things that way. During the Second Vatican Council he was the most eloquent member of a troika of progessive German theological experts (with Karl Rahner and Hans Küng). In that era the reform-minded priest called the office he will now head "detrimental to the faith."

    By the 1970s, however, he gradually came to question the church's leftward drift. He warned against accepting "tenets merely because they happen to be fashionable at the moment."

    In 1975 he called the previous decade "a period of ecclesiastical decadence in which the people who had started it later on became incapable of stopping the avalanche."

    After Ratzinger was appointed Archbishop of Munich in 1977, he barred Liberation Theologian Johann Baptist Metz from a professorship and engineered the Vatican crackdown on his former colleague Küng. [Isn't that attributing unlikely power to a junior cardinal who had been less than two years cardinal at the time Kueng was first disciplined by the CDF?]

    Ratzinger's shift prompted charges of opportunism; students broke up one of his campus appearances last year with booing and jeering chants.

    No one has ever questioned his intelligence, though. As a Wunderkind theology professor, he raced through appointments at five German universities and at 42 became deputy president of Regensburg.

    He is abstemious, hardworking, and as archbishop has earned a reputation for aloofness from his people [Ratzi aloof????] but persuasiveness in his oratory. In 1980 the Pope assigned him to prepare the major reports for the International Synod of Bishops.

    The Pope's desire to end the church's period of doctrinal uncertainty means that the new prefect can expect some renewed booing and a lot more conflict.

    One sure focus for trouble is Dominican Father Edward Schillebeeckx, a Dutch scholar who has frequently questioned Vatican views. In a new book, Ministry, published last April in English (Crossroad; $12.95), Schillebeeckx focused his critical attention on the clergy. Pointing to the church's manpower shortage, he argues that the "right" of Catholics to have priests means that some rules must be reexamined, notably those which ban women, non-celibates and even lay people from performing priestly duties.

    The Vatican is not receptive to such proposals, and last spring the doctrinal office quietly questioned Dominican headquarters in Rome about the book. The order is planning a formal "discussion" of Schillebeeckx's proposals. The bureaucratic maneuvering will go on for some time, but Ratzinger is likely to press hard for Schillebeeckx to be either less contentious or just plain quiet.

    The Pontiff clearly wants that sort of decisive action. Religious orders like the Dominicans have long been free of control by bishops and tend to be loosely disciplined, but John Paul is now signaling that if they do not police their own ranks, he intends to do it.

    In October he suspended the normal rules and installed two men of his own choosing as interim leaders of the Jesuits, an order which has been troubled by social and theological liberalism in recent years. Last week the new leaders ordered the 83 regional Jesuit executives to Rome next February. The purpose, says one Jesuit, is to get them "to think with the Pope."

    John Paul, adds one unhappy Vatican observer, "really wants to see a kind of highly organized church with the Pope at the top, bishops underneath and clergy underneath them - all tidy-like." With Joseph Ratzinger, the Pontiff now has just the team to tend to the tidying up.

    Post: 7
    Registered in: 11/23/2005
    Junior User
    00 3/25/2007 6:12 AM
    [Not sure if we've already seen this book but I really like the title and the photo of Papa on the cover.]

    Pope Benedict XVI: The Conscience of Our Age

    Availability: On Back Order
    Ignatius Press
    ISBN: 1586171704
    Author: Vincent Twomey
    Length: 200 pages
    Edition: Hardcover
    Your Price: $19.95

    Fr. Vincent Twomey, a former doctoral student of Joseph Ratzinger and long time friend of the Pope, felt the need to respond to the common question he heard often after the papal election, “What kind of person is the new Pope?” So often Twomey had read false depictions of both the man and his thought, especially the image presented by the media as a grim enforcer.
    Twomey offers here a unique double–presentation of the man, Pope Benedict XVI — a “theological portrait” that encompasses both an overview of the writings, teachings and thought of the brilliant theologian and spiritual writer, as well as the man himself, and his personality traits and how he communicates with others.

    Twomey shows that the secret to the serene dignified behavior of Benedict is that he is open to beauty as much as truth, that he lives outside himself, and is not preoccupied with his own self. He also is a man that Twomey says “has the courage to be imperfect”, showing he has a deep humility and strives for teaching the truth even when misunderstood or not presented as well as he would like.

    Fr. Vincent Twomey, SVD, holds a PH.D. in Theology and is a Professor of Moral Theology at the Pontifical University at St. Patrick's College in Ireland. He is the author of several books including his most recent acclaimed study on the state of Irish Catholicism, The End Of Irish Catholicism?

    [Modificato da benefan 25/03/2007 6.17]

    Post: 8
    Registered in: 11/23/2005
    Junior User
    00 3/25/2007 6:25 AM

    [I thought Papa's new book was being printed in the US by Doubleday. But Ignatius Press is advertising it.]

    Jesus of Nazareth

    Availability: On Back Order
    Ignatius Press
    ISBN: 0385523416
    Author: Pope Benedict XVI

    Length: 400 pages
    Edition: Hardcover
    Code: JN-H
    Retail Price: $24.95
    Sale Price: $21.20

    In this bold, momentous work, the Pope—in his first book written as Benedict XVI—seeks to salvage the person of Jesus from recent “popular” depictions and to restore Jesus’ true identity as discovered in the Gospels. Through his brilliance as a theologian and his personal conviction as a believer, the Pope shares a rich, compelling, flesh-and-blood portrait of Jesus and incites us to encounter, face-to-face, the central figure of the Christian faith.

    From Jesus of Nazareth… “the great question that will be with us throughout this entire book: But what has Jesus really brought, then, if he has not brought world peace, universal prosperity, and a better world? What has he brought? The answer is very simple: God. He has brought God! He has brought the God who once gradually unveiled his countenance first to Abraham, then to Moses and the prophets, and then in the wisdom literature—the God who showed his face only in Israel, even though he was also honored among the pagans in various shadowy guises. It is this God, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, the true God, whom he has brought to the peoples of the earth. He has brought God, and now we know his face, now we can call upon him. Now we know the path that we human beings have to take in this world. Jesus has brought God and with God the truth about where we are going and where we come from: faith, hope, and love.”

    Available May 15

    [Modificato da benefan 25/03/2007 6.32]

    Post: 884
    Registered in: 11/27/2005
    Senior User
    00 3/25/2007 12:12 PM
    The new portrait
    I must just say that the new official portrait of our Papa is featured in both The Universe and The Catholic Herald this week. It's only a photo within a photo, so the quality is poor. But even from that I can see that it's a good likeness and I hope that, soon, it will be available for us to see properly. And that we'll be able to buy copies - postcards, probably, at first.
    He's standing, wearing his lovely dark red fur-trimmed mozzetta, his pontifical stole and he's giving the apostolic blessing. I think this is a very promising portrait!
    Luff and choy! Mary xxxxx

    [Modificato da maryjos 25/03/2007 12.16]