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

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    TERESA BENEDETTA
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    00 4/12/2007 2:36 AM
    ROOM FOR THE POPE
    Still making up for my backlog of stories one can find only in the Italian media, Corriere della Sera shows us the simple bedroom Pope Benedict will be using when he stays overnight in Pavia on April 21. This makes the third 'Papal' bedroom we have 'seen' in recent weeks, in photographs - the first two being those he will occupy at the Monastery of St. Benedict in Sao Paolo and the Bom Jesus Seminary in Aparecida when he travels to Brazil next month.

    It's very edifying for everyone to know that when the Vicar of Christ on earth travels, he gets no special luxuries in lodging. The rule is either the Nunciature in the host country or the Archbishop or Bishops' Palace of the host diocese, and if neither of those are available or suitable for any reason, then any monastery or seminary in the host city.

    And so the Papal Suite, if one may even call it that, is generally as monastic as the Pope's own bedroom in the Apostolic Palace.





    A simple room in the Bishops Apartment
    that has been uninhabited for 200 years

    By Giuseppe Spatola


    PAVIA — Simple, well-lit and humble is how one might describe the room in the Bishop's Palace of Pavia which will be occupied by Benedict XVI the night of April 21.

    Located between the refectory and the Private Secretariat of the so-called 'noble apartment', the room is on the first floor (second floor in US usage)of the historic building built in the 17th century by Bishop Hippolyte and the work of architect Pellegrino Pellegrini.

    The whitewashed walls are relieved only by the azure blue of the frescoes above the simple brass bed. On the wooden night table is a lamp and the breviary, while there are two Bibles on a lectern, as requested by the Pope - one in German, the other in Latin.

    It is a part of the Palace that has not been used for 200 years. In the past five months, some 50 laborers worked with 20 historical restoration experts to make it ready for the Pope.

    Once past the courtyard that faces the Cathedral of Pavia, the Pope will ascend the 52 steps of the Grand Stairway of Honor designed in the 17th century by Nusanti. The first door opens onto the hall where the Pope will have lunchon Sunday with some 50 bishops who will be attending the Angelus earlier at the Borromeo Gardens.

    The restorers worked carefully to be able to maintain the friezes of the 17th century hall, brightened by the ochre walls decorated by the portraits of bishops who have guided the Diocese of pPavia since 1600.

    The far end of the hall opens into the so-called Private Secretariat, which is really a library with some 6,000 volumes of historical books and sacred texts. To the right of this library is the Pope's bedroom, and to the right, a small sitting room and dining room.

    Pope Benedict will be arriving in Pavia around 8:30 in the evening after saying Mass at the Piazza Ducale in nearby Vigevano.

    He will dine alone in the little dining room adjoining his bedroom. Nothing more than a vegetable soup and a tisane before going to bed.

    But he will have a menu of Lombard specialities the next day when he lunches with the bishops. The piece de resistance is supposed to be the dessert called 'torta diplomatica' (diplomatic cake) prepared by the historic pastry shop Vigoni with liqueur-flavored cream and almond paste. The meal will be served with sparkling wines of the region.

    For security, police barriers will close off some six kilometers of streets within the historic center of Pavia during the pope's visit.

    Arrangements are being made to make sure that traffic in the rest of the city will not be prejudiced. On April 22, at least 300 buses and 4,000 cars bringing the faithful from the surrounding areas are expected in Pavia.


    Corriere della sera, 7 aprile 2007

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

    I have been unable to find a picture of the Bishop's Palace in Pavia online, and I can't even get the Google Earthlink for Pavia to work. Pavia is one of those exquisite medieval cities one finds dotting Italy from north to south, and its historic center has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, so I hope I can assemble some pictures together before the Pope's visit, which is nearer than we think!

    Just 2 days after his second anniversary as Pope, it is appropriate that he should pay his homage to his great role model St. Augustine.


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    TERESA BENEDETTA
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    00 4/12/2007 2:42 PM
    BRITHDAY STAMP FROM AUSTRIA


    Nuncio Edmond Farhat looks at a new special edition
    Austrian stamp released in Vienna today, April 12,
    for the 80th birthday of Pope Benedict XVI.
    REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader (AUSTRIA)

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    lutheranguest
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    00 4/12/2007 4:55 PM
    Re: Joseph Ratzinger the poet
    “Gott allein genügt”, I love the poem. This is one of the cutest little stories I’ve heard about Papa.
    Thanks for sharing, Maklara! And for the translation, Teresa!
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    benefan
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    00 4/12/2007 9:52 PM

    German municipalities to give Pope Benedict XVI charitable fund as 80th birthday gift

    The Associated Press
    Published: April 11, 2007

    MUNICH, Germany: Municipalities in Pope Benedict XVI's southern German homeland are creating a charitable fund they will present to the pontiff for his 80th birthday — along with some Bavarian beer — officials said Wednesday.

    Several of the communities in the southern state of Bavaria, where the pope was born and spent his youth, have already contributed more €10,000 (US$13,300) to the fund, which is aimed at supporting various charitable projects of the pope's choice in the Middle East.

    "It is to be a fund that allows for an appropriate amount of money to be collected to support projects for the church in the Holy Land," said Herbert Bauer, an official with the Inn and Salzach communities.

    Bauer hopes that other communities will contribute to the fund over the coming months, allowing it to grow and create an endowment for use well into the future.

    For his April 16 birthday, the pope can also expect to receive various regional specialities, including 80 bottles of locally brewed beer, to be brought to him by Cardinal Friedrich Wetter of the dioceses of Munich and Passau.

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    Maklara
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    00 4/13/2007 11:08 AM
    Georg Gänswein about Papa's birthday
    http://62.77.60.84/audio/ra/00074413.RM

    All who understand little german, here is interview from thursday (via german section of Radiovaticana). It's not only about birthday and gifts. The interview is quite long (9 minuts) and interesting, hope it will translated to english too.

    [Modificato da Maklara 13/04/2007 11.11]



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

    Thanks for the tip, Maklara! Unfortunately, my REALPlayer is malfunctioning so I can't hear a thing. I did go to the German site of Radio Vatican and picked up this written introduction to the interview - translated here:
    Gudrun Sailer interviewed Mons. Gaenswein in Castel Gandolfo yesterday, who says that "he indicated the Pope should count on having some surprises." Gaenswein is quoted:

    "The official events are already known. But what's on the private intimate program is a secret. Even the Holy Father does not know, and I will not say anything now. There's much room for surprises in private."

    PAGING ANDREA! Maybe you can give us an English summary of the 9-minute interview.

    TERESA

    [Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 13/04/2007 12.20]

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    TERESA BENEDETTA
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    00 4/13/2007 12:49 PM
    MEETINGS WITH THE POPE: A NEW BOOK
    I did find another interesting item in the German page of the Vatican Radio site - I really should remember to visit Vatican Radio's German and Italian sites daily:


    Turkish Religious Affairs Minister Ali Bardakoglu has praised Pope Benedict XVI's commitment to peace and moral values.

    Bardakoglu is one of 45 personalities who contributed to a book edited by German journalist Matthias Kopp (on the occasion of teh Pope's 80th birthday), to describe their personal encounters with the Pope. [What a great idea!]

    In his essay, Bardakoglu thanks the pope for his visit to Turkey, during which he made clear the common responsibility of religions for world peace and justice.

    Kopp handed a copy of the book, "Und ploetzlich Papst" (Suddenly Pope), to Pope Benedict after the general audience last Wednesday.

    [Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 13/04/2007 13.57]

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    Sue27
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    00 4/13/2007 1:51 PM
    For those of you who have problems with RealPlayer:
    There's also an mp3-version of the latest interview with Georg Gänswein on the radiovaticana site.

    Here's the link:

    www.radiovaticana.org/RSS/tedesco.xml

    (The first audio file: 00074413.mp3)

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

    Thanks, Sue. In fact, I did try that too, but the problem appears to be with the audio-card on my PC or with my speakers, and I certainly won't get it fixed early enough. So I'm going to miss the audio on the book presentation too! TERESA

    [Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 13/04/2007 14.00]

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    @Andrea M.@
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    00 4/13/2007 2:03 PM
    GG interview in Vatican Radio
    Ok, I will provide a translation into English as soon as possible.

    Sneak preview:

    The Official programme of the Holy Father's birthday is already known

    GG will not yet tell what the Papal family have prepared in terms of surprises

    Gifts from the Papal family will be presented before breakfast on the "big day"

    All sorts of letters, things have reached the Vatican already: books, CDs, writings, etc.

    Holy Father requested that not too many personal gifts be given

    But also perishable goods, foodstuffs reach the Vatican: what is not immediately eaten is given to other institutions of the Curia such as seminaries and the like

    GG is responsible for handling the distribution of these things

    A "Magazzino privato" exists for what reaches the so-called Terza Loggia

    From Italy Pope was also given a plush teddybear (not KNUT ,though, another one): was given to Bambino Gesú Hospital. Pope received letter of thanks by children. Those who could not write themselves had adults write for them

    An E-mail address was established by the Holy See, GG did not give his mail address for this purpose

    He says his account and computer are already working "on the limit"

    Which letters does the Holy Father read? Official mail and private mail from people who have a "joint past" together with Benedict XVI

    He has two "audiences" daily where both men discuss things on the agenda

    New book is Benedict XVI present to the faithful

    GG thankful for the book, has already read it, recommends it (Note: OK, he has to, but I would think he would also if he were not in the position he is in)

    [Modificato da @Andrea M.@ 14/04/2007 8.43]

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    Maklara
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    00 4/13/2007 3:37 PM
    Send best wishes to Papa via Vatican.va
    http://isidoro.vatican.va/auguri/auguri.php?lingua=en
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    TERESA BENEDETTA
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    00 4/13/2007 6:21 PM
    MARKTL'S PAPAL MUSEUM
    REUTERS today posted a series of photographs showing preparations for the re-opening of Pope Benedict's 'birth house' in Marktl as a Museum on April 15, one day before his 80th birthday. Obviously, the photos were taken early on, so there isn't much to see yet, but take a look at those photo blow-ups that appear to punctuate the exhibit (see first photo)!






    Left, the room where he was born.
    They have not yet put back the crib that used to be there.



    The house - bought last year by the Archdiocese of Munich, with money donated by the family of the late Cardinal Frings of Cologne, who took Fr. Ratzinger with him to Vatican-II as his theological consultant. The bronze pillar was unveiled by the Pope last September and depicts scenes from his life. Apparently, the square in front of the house is now formally Benediktplatz.

    Here's the AP story that came in hours after the photos:

    Pope's birthplace to open to public



    MARKTL AM INN, Germany, Apri. 13 (AP) - The house where Pope Benedict XVI was born in religious rural Bavaria opens to the public Sunday, a day before the pontiff's 80th birthday.

    At the pope's urging, the foundation that owns the home did not try to restore the structure to the state it was in 80 years ago. Instead, exhibits recount Joseph Ratzinger's life and teachings and stress the importance of his close family and the roles played by his parents, Josef and Maria Ratzinger.

    "This house should not be a museum, but a spiritual challenge, a place of meeting with things that are important to us as well," said Bishop Wilhelm Schraml.

    Most important, Schraml said, was to understand "how important the deeply religious family life was for young Joseph Ratzinger." The future pope had parents "who pray, who bring their children together with the faith and the church," Schraml said.

    The pope's father, a police officer, moved the family to Traunstein when Joseph was 2, and Benedict has said he has no memories of Marktl.

    The three-story white house where Benedict was born on April 16, 1927, the Saturday before Easter, stands in the center of the small town on the Inn River on the border with Austria.

    The first floor of the house is devoted to the events of Benedict's life and to the Marktl region, with the pope's birth certificate and baptismal register. Upstairs, exhibits focus on his work as a theological adviser at the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, and on his achievements as pope.


    [Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 14/04/2007 4.50]

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    Maklara
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    00 4/13/2007 9:17 PM
    more detailed




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    TERESA BENEDETTA
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    00 4/14/2007 1:25 AM
    POSTERS FROM VIGEVANO




    In the PAPAL TRAVELS thread, I have posted the official programs in both Vigevano and Pavia on separate posts.

    [Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 17/04/2007 8.00]

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    TERESA BENEDETTA
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    00 4/14/2007 3:14 PM
    BIRTHDAY TRIBUTES
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    benefan
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    00 4/14/2007 6:01 PM

    Interview: Cardinal Kasper on papal birthday presents

    By Carola Frentzen
    dpa
    Apr 13, 2007, 14:53 GMT

    Vatican City - German-born Cardinal Walter Kasper has known Joseph Ratzinger for more than 40 years. In this interview with Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa, the prefect of the Papal Council for the Unity of Christians speaks about papal birthday presents, teddy bears and Bavarian beer.

    dpa: Cardinal Kasper, the pope turns 80 on Monday. What will he be doing on the day, and how will you wish him a happy birthday?

    Kasper: He has invited all the cardinals to a big lunch, and in the evening there will be a concert in his honour. The day before, on Sunday, there will be a Mass on St Peter's Square. I'll be there, and I'll be congratulating him personally.

    dpa: We were under the impression that popes don't generally celebrate their birthdays. If Benedict is inviting his closest friends around on the day, isn't that rather exceptional?

    Kasper: Well, the tradition was that Catholics celebrated the feast day of their patron saints, whereas Lutherans celebrated their birthdays. But that doesn't really apply any more, times have changed. What's so bad about celebrating your birthday anyway? You have every reason to thank God if you've been able to live reasonably well and in good health for 80 years, and you can rightly pray that you'll get a few more good years.

    dpa: What do you wish a pope on his birthday?

    Kasper: Basically the same thing you wish anybody who has just made it to 80: many more years of health. At 80, that's no longer automatic, and he needs a lot of strength to keep exercising his office. So we'll be telling him we hope he carries on for a good many more years in full health and mental alertness. And of course we'll wish him God's blessings.

    dpa: Do you plan to give the pope a present?

    Kasper: It is quite difficult to find a gift for the pope. He's got most things already, especially books, and he hardly has any time left to read. We cardinals plan to club together and make a big donation to charity as their present to him. However, I'll probably find a little thing of my own to give him, such as an old photograph from some occasion where we were together years ago. We've known each other for more than 40 years, and I know he would really enjoy seeing something like that.

    dpa: They are selling a commemorative-edition teddy bear in Germany which is dressed in papal robes and a cross to mark Benedict's birthday. What's your view and the Vatican's opinion about such giftware?

    Kasper: Well, there isn't any official Vatican opinion about it. But personally speaking, I don't like it all. It's just tasteless. If people want to buy something, why not make a donation to a good cause?

    dpa: A Bavarian bishop plans to bring beer from home as a present to the pope. Is that a good present for Benedict?

    Kasper: I don't think beer is a good choice for this pope. He hardly drinks any alcohol, he has an occasional small glass of beer, but that isn't his style. Sure, I understand that Bavarians would want to bring him their beer, but I don't think it's going to thrill him.

    dpa: There are a lot of pilgrims due in Rome who want to congratulate the pope on his birthday. How do you think he will react?

    Kasper: He'll definitely be very pleased. It's an expression of esteem on a personal level and esteem for his office and for the way he is exercising it. So he'll be very pleased to encounter so much affection.

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    TERESA BENEDETTA
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    00 4/15/2007 6:19 PM
    BENADDICT ARTICLES
    BILD newspaper, from which these pictures come,
    calls them 'Benedict fan articles', and includes,
    of course, teddy bears and dolls.



    This is supposedly the first postage stamp
    made with 22-kt gold, issued by the government
    of Guyana in the West Indies, and available
    from the stamp dealer Richard Borek in Braunschweig
    for 20.80 Euro.



    A new golden Liberian coin
    (25 Liberian dollars=0.33 Euro)
    is available for 49 Euros from the Bavarian Mint.


    In addition to the postage stamp issued earlier,
    Deutsche Post (German Post Office) also sells
    an 80th birthday medallion for 29.90 euro.


    These are the stamps issued by Germany and Austria, respectively, to honor the Pope.
    Outside of the Federal President, German postwar stamps have not featured any living person,
    but an exception was made for the Pope.



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    @Andrea M.@
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    00 4/15/2007 8:19 PM
    Georg Gänswein on the Holy Father's 80th birthday
    I have decided to translate an article from the Italian that I found on the web-site "Petrus" of Gianluca Barile concerning the interview with Georg Gänswein. It has all the interesting information:

    The pope’s secretary: "Also a plush teddy-bear for the 80th birthday of Pope Benedict"

    By Angela Ambrogetti

    VATICAN CITY - "What I can say, it is that I am very grateful for this book. It is a reading that enriches and that nurtures; I can surely invite anyone to read it". The personal secretary to the Pope sums up the book "Jesus of Nazareth" - signed Joseph Ratzinger - Benedict XVI - in this way.

    In an interview released on the occasion of the 80th birthday of the Pope to the German program of Vatican radio, monsignor Georg Gaenswein opens a window on the "Appartmento" and leaves it up to us to imagine the festivity of the birthday for the Pope which will be celebrated within the Papal family, comprising letters of congratulations and gifts.

    "A large number of letters and many small gifts – he discloses - like CDs, flowers, books, writings arrive and surely much more will still arrive, many things within the proximity of the birthday and also thereafter. As far as gifts are concerned the Pope has said explicitly that he prefers not to accept personal gifts: who wants to offer him a present can make a donation that he will then use for a purpose he will make public in due course, like - for example the Holy Land or other areas of crisis in the world or also in Africa. The most curious gift has been an enormous bear. It is an animal made of plush that has not come from the Germany but from Italy, a beautiful piece that the Holy Father suggested should go to the Paediatric hospital Bambin Gesù where it was received with great enthusiasm by the small children: those who knew how to write, thanked him with a most beautiful letter, while for smallest ones the president of the hospital has answered".

    Also the papal family will offer a present to the Pope. Is it easy or is it difficult to make a gift to the Holy Father? "Who knows the Holy Father at close range soon learns to recognize what appeals to him and we hope that we have found something that will please him. We will give it to him on the big day itself, probably before breakfast, after mass".

    But the true gift for Pope Benedict, says Gaenswein, "is when he sees that there are persons who accept the Word of God that he, and the Church announces and that this Word is not considered a load but an aid, like wings that carry the burden of the life, and that this faith then takes root in the personal life of the individual. You meet persons who are touched and affected by that and who draw great advantage / use their from faith . This is an experience that offers great joy to the Pope". The German specialist in Canon Law - who since 2004 is personal secretary to the former cardinal Ratzinger and now to the Pope – reveals also the daily routine of his job. In particular opening and processing the mail that all through the days of anniversary increased considerably. "There are many, many persons, private citizens but also many persons with official assignments, many organizations, many bishops have approached the Pope with the request that he not skip or consider second in importance his 80th birthday; the Holy Father has responded positively to this request and has offered the possibility to people to extend their best wishes for the occasion".

    Many have even thought of sending an e-mail. "An official e-mail address of the Holy See obviously does exist; I did not want to give my private address for these purposes, because my computer already "is exhausted" and is surely happy to be able to avoid receiving also this enormous load of e-mails". The daily correspondence is already too much, don Georg goes on saying: "obviously official letters addressed to the Holy Father, then of course there are also letters that come from the personal, private background of the Pope: [coming from persons who] have many years of way completed with him, many years of friendship or relationships of student times ... It is important to succeed in finding the key that opens the door in such way that has then not been submerged from a true alluvium but also that the flow is not reduced to a small river. There is no specific recipe: A certain ability to value is helpful, a sensibility to hand on this flow to the Holy Father. Twice a day I have a kind of audience with the Holy Father, in which I must present him "in cumulus" all the mail that arrives by means of the Secretariat of State and several of the ministries.

    Beside this "official bundle", obviously there are also many private letters, and I have the task to submit these letters to the Pope. Normally, it is easy enough to characterize who writes: there is the heading and then, when the letters are written by hand, you can acknowledge the handwriting and moreover, the Holy Father has an incredible ability of identifying immediately who writes him. Therefore, besides the official mail, there is also the private mail."

    Does it all end up on the table of the secretary? "If it all ends on my writing desk, I do not know. At times, the ways of the correspondence of the Holy See are impenetrable. I can say however that what arrives on my table is more than sufficient". Then congratulations to the Pope and good job [done] to don Georg!

    [Modificato da @Andrea M.@ 16/04/2007 20.07]

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    TERESA BENEDETTA
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    00 4/16/2007 3:35 PM
    BERTONE: 'WE ALWAYS START OFF WITH A GOOD LAUGH'
    Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, one of the most sought-after Vatican personalities for interviews these days, tells TG-1, the premier newscast of RAI, how his daily meetings with the Pope get started, according to an item posted by Ratzigirl in the main forum.

    As Secretary of State, he gets to meet the Pope every weekday afternoon to discuss business, but he says they always start off by exchanging jokes and some banter about football before they get down to "the serious business about the life of the Church and the world in general."

    "I usually tell him the latest jokes I have heard, so we can start with a good laugh, then settle down to discuss business.
    We also talk about football. When the Pope knows or hears about a game, he asks me 'How did it go with Juve'? [Juventus, the Milan team of which Bertone has been a lifelong fan]. And I should ask him how it goes with Bayern, the Bavarian team he rooted for as Archbishop and Cardinal..."

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    Maklara
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    00 4/17/2007 1:13 AM
    other gift, today presented to Papa


    by Natalia Tsarkowa

    ==============================================================
    Thanks, Maklara. Is she the same Russian lady who is supposed to have done many portraits of John Paul II? Actually, this one of Benedict is not bad, and she'S very detailed. TERESA

    [Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 17/04/2007 3.06]

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    TERESA BENEDETTA
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    00 4/17/2007 3:02 AM
    A WISHBOOK FOR THE POPE AND A GRAPEVINE FOR MARKTL
    Picked up from the Bayerische Rundfunk site -

    They urged their listeners and watchers to write the Pope on his 80th birthday, and they set a deadline so that all the mail could be put together and sent to Rome where they wree bound overnight Saturday, then the "Wish Book' was handed by a BR official to Fr. Lombardi, who would in turn give it to the Pope today.

    A couple of letter-writers remembered the Pope from way back.

    "The 7 Rosenegger brothers" wrote "from Traunstein, where you [the Pope] and your brother Georg as schoolchildren came to our house in Rosenthal to get milk and eggs from our parents."

    And Johanna Boettcher wrote from Lille (France): "My Papa knows you from the time you were in Muenster, riding to the University in your bike, and then giving the best lectures he had ever heard."

    Karl and Helga Weick, vintners from Nuernberg, propose something for the Marktl 'birth-house' museum: to plant a Franconian grapevine in its garden, so that "it will always remind the visitors about the Pope's words when he was elected" that he is a 'humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord."


    [Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 17/04/2007 3.04]

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    TERESA BENEDETTA
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    00 4/17/2007 9:52 AM
    THE 'BENADDICT' EFFECT
    A retrospective article in DIE WELT this weekend had a paragraph that is the first 'recognition' I have seen in print of the 'Benaddict' effect.

    After describing the false image that the media had built of Cardinal Ratzinger, the article goes on to say:

    "This media filter was shattered on April 19, 2005. From that moment on, numberless cameras have zoomed into Joseph Ratzinger and brought his face in close-ups to television screens around the world on one occasion after another. From that day on, countless women (and men) around the world have fallen in love with the shy smile of the Pope from Germany, who had already previously attracted Romans by his 'bella figura' and rhetorical brilliance.... Popular interest in the Pope and the papacy has been undergoing a boom that has not been known before."


    The article is titled "The German Pope is changing the world".
    [Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 7/6/2007 3:29 AM]
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