Recalling with great fondness my four-day visit to the United Kingdom last September, I am glad to have the opportunity to greet you once again, and indeed to greet listeners everywhere as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ.
Our thoughts turn back to a moment in history when God's chosen people, the children of Israel, were living in intense expectation. They were waiting for the Messiah that God had promised to send and they pictured him as a great leader who would rescue them from foreign domination and restore their freedom.
God is always faithful to his promises, but he often surprises us in the way he fulfils them.
The child that was born in Bethlehem did indeed bring liberation, but not only for the people of that time and place - he was to be the Saviour of all people throughout the world and throughout history.
And it was not a political liberation that he brought, achieved through military means; rather, Christ destroyed death forever and restored life by means of his shameful death on the Cross.
And while he was born in poverty and obscurity, far from the centres of earthly power, he was none other than the Son of God.
Out of love for us, he took upon himself our human condition, our fragility, our vulnerability and he opened up for us the path that leads to the fullness of life to a share in the life of God himself.
As we ponder this great mystery in our hearts this Christmas, let us give thanks to God for his goodness to us and let us joyfully proclaim to those around us the good news that God offers us freedom from whatever weighs us down: he gives us hope, he brings us life.
Dear Friends from Scotland, England, Wales and indeed every part of the English-speaking world. I want you to know that I keep all of you very much in my prayers this Holy Season.
I pray for your families, for your children, for those who are sick and for those who are going through any form of hardship at this time.
I pray especially for the elderly and for those who are approaching the end of their days.
I ask Christ, the light of the nations, to dispel whatever darkness there may be in your lives and to grant to every one of you the grace of a peaceful and joyful Christmas.
May God bless all of you!
Friday, December 24, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
- Converting Anglican bishop says papal action changed the landscape Catholic News Agency. November 14, 2010. The Anglican Bishop of Richborough told his flock that he plans to become Catholic because Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic constitution “completely changed the landscape” for Anglo-Catholics and he now believes that he must lead the way to union with the Universal Church.
- On November 8, 2010, Five bishops of the Church of England announced their resignation from ministry in that church, and their intent to join a personal ordinariate for Anglicans wishing to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church:
The apostolic constitution "Anglicanorum Coetibus" published a year ago, offered a way for groups of Anglicans to enter the Catholic Church through the establishment of personal ordinariates, a new type of canonical structure.
The constitution outlines that these communities will be able to retain some elements of their liturgical and spiritual traditions while being unified under the Pope.
- Papal visit inspires Catholic-Humanist discussions (Catholic Herald October 28, 2010):
Catholics and Humanists held groundbreaking talks this week about Aids, contraception, faith schools and same-sex adoption. ...
The discussions, which lasted for two hours, followed on from a public debate held at Conway Hall before the papal visit, at which Catholic speakers were heckled, and which Mr Sims described as “loud and rowdy”.
Following the Conway Hall meeting, both groups wished to organise a smaller, more respectful meeting.
- Scottish composer James MacMillan has claimed that Church liturgists tried to stop his Mass setting from being performed for the Pope in September 2010 (Catholic Herald October 27, 2010):
He said an “almighty row erupted behind the scenes” after he submitted the setting earlier this year and it was passed on to Church officials who disliked it.
According to Mr MacMillan, they complained that the setting was “un-singable”, “not fit for purpose”, and “not pastoral enough”. They were unhappy that it required a competent organist.
But they were overruled after Mr MacMillan contacted Scotland’s bishops, who had commissioned the setting, and all but one of them gave him their support.
- Fr Robert Barron on the Pope’s Westminster Hall speech: says Benedict XVI vindicated the English martyr [VIDEO] October 26, 2010.
- The Pope and Pavement, by Stratford Caldecott (Beauty for Truth's Sake October 23, 2010):
When Pope Benedict XVI visited the United Kingdom in September, one of the most striking images was of him sitting side by side with the Archbishop of Canterbury, trading polite speeches, on the Cosmati Pavement of Westminster Abbey. That pavement is worthy of some attention, especially if, like me, you are interested in the symbolic meaning of geometrial forms and their role in the great cathedrals of Christendom.
- Lord Sacks, Britain’s Chief Rabbi, has described his meeting with Pope Benedict XVI during his visit last month as “an epiphany” “Soul touched soul across the boundaries of faith, and there was a blessed moment of healing”. (Catholic Herald October 18, 2010).
- Church faces £3.5 million shortfall from papal visit The Church has raised £6.5 million for the papal visit so far, mostly from private donors, but the cost is estimated to be £10 million. (Catholic Herald October 15, 2010).
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
- Pope Benedict thanks Archbishop Nichols for 'fruitful' UK visit - Following is the text (via Independent Catholic News October 12, 2010) of a personal letter from Pope Benedict XVI to Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference England and Wales:
To the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales
I am writing to thank you most sincerely for all that you and your brother bishops in England and Wales did to make my first official visit in the United Kingdom such a success. Please extend my thanks to the civil and ecclesiastical authorities who worked so diligently to render my Visit to England so fruitful. I would ask in particular that you convey my affectionate greeting to the people of London who welcomed me so warmly.
I am very conscious of the significance of the events of those days and the unprecedented opportunities afforded me, both by Her Majesty's Government and by the Church of England, to build new relationships and to strengthen existing ones, including with representatives of other religions. It was particularly moving for me personally to preside at the Beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman. Finally, I am grateful for Your Grace's hospitality at Westminster and for the welcome afforded me by the faithful of London, especially the young people and the elderly.
Invoking the intercession of Saint George and Saint David, patrons of England and Wales, I willingly impart to you and to the bishops, clergy, religious and lay faithful in England and Wales my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of grace and peace.
- The First Fruits: The UK One Month After Benedict - Paul Burnell (Patheos) on the UK's "Benedict Bounce":
Since the pope's mid-September visit here, there is a definite sense of English Catholics suddenly rediscovering their confidence (the Scots have never lacked this). This emboldened spirit even seems to be emerging from the normally reticent hierarchy. Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster (London) in a pastoral letter following the pope's visit urged his flock to make their faith more visible in daily life, by offering to pray for people, by openly blessing themselves with the Sign of the Cross, or by making such remarks to people as "God bless you."
Now to some, especially in a country as in-your-face religious as the USA, this may seem pretty basic. But in one of Europe's most secular nations, where even an employee of British Airways was disciplined for wearing a cross, this is quite up-front and noteworthy. ...
The Holy Father's visit began with media hostility and ended in tens of thousands of people -- not just Catholics -- lining the streets for him. Visiting several churches across different cities since his visit, one notes a sense of the foot soldiers in the pews feeling less inhibited about their faith. [More].
- A copy of the 1,200-year-old book which the Pope gave to the Queen ohas gone on display at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh (BBC News, October 12, 2010).
- The Official Record of the State Visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Great Britain has been published, launched with a special mass at Westminster Cathedral on the Feast Day of Blessed John Henry Newman, Saturday, 9 October.
- Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster has said the silence of 80,000 people praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament at Hyde Park was “something beyond words” (Catholic Herald October 1, 2010).
- Anglo-Catholicism within the Church of England is dispersing like a cloud of incense rolling down the nave, says Damian Thompson, as those Anglicans taking advantage of Benedict's historic invitation "are already constructing a network of Ordinariate communities that will bear fruit in new Catholic parishes." (Telegraph September 30, 2010).
- From the Yorkshire Evening Post, an article on some of the ecclesial furniture, which has a link to craftsmen in Leeds (September 30, 2010).
- Richard Dawkins & Co. = Paisley 2.0? - George Weigel on the pope's UK critics (First Things September 29, 2010):
The serious anti-Catholic antics prior to the Pope’s pilgrimage to Scotland and England came, not from Ian Paisley, but from “new atheists” like Richard Dawkins and Stephen Fry, their allies in the British media (generally vicious in the run-up to Benedict’s arrival), and their legal show-pony, Geoffrey Robinson, Q.C., a transplanted Australian seeking to export the joys of American liability law to the U.K., as a base from which to plunder the Vatican of what he imagines to be its Croesus-like wealth. These people came unglued in anticipation of the Pope’s arrival: Dawkins & Co. originally proposed having the Pope arrested as an abettor of child-rape, and the op-ed pages were filled with raucous anti-Catholic blather for weeks before Benedict XVI set foot in the United Kingdom.
In the event, of course, it all came a cropper, to use a local phrase. ...
- Always looking for bad news, the BBC reports that Cofton Park's grass [is] still damaged after Pope's Mass (September 28, 2010).
- Bridging the Anglican-Catholic Gap Kevin M. Clarke examines the ecumenical impact of Pope Benedict XVI's September visit to the UK. (Zenit September 27, 2010). On Benedict's praise of John Henry Cardinal Newman as an ecumenical witness:
The graceful mention of Newman’s fidelity to his conscience is an important one. All too often one hears personal conversion stories in which pastors from other communities desiring full communion with Rome were encouraged -- in some cases even by Catholics themselves -- to remain separate from the Catholic Church to achieve the greatest possible unity. But what is lost in such an approach is the pastor’s duty himself to follow his conscience.
And this, of course, is why Blessed Newman’s example is so vital. Newman’s ecumenical witness brilliantly illumines the true path to union -- one in which followers of Christ achieve the real unity for which our Lord prays (cf. John 17) by following their consciences, and dialogue and friendship continue in charity and in truth.
- According to the Irish Post, "the impact of the historic visit not only had a lasting spiritual effect ... but economically it brought financial success to groups including hotels, restaurants, bars, retail outlets and travel companies" -- an estimated .£12.5million to Birmingham alone.
- Some uplifting photos of the Holy Father’s private visit to the Birmingham Oratory Sept. 19 after he beatified Blessed John Henry Newman. The photographs were taken by L’Osservatore Romano but not seen elsewhere. (Via Edward Pentin, National Catholic Register).
- "Benedict & the UK; The First Fruits" - another roundup from Elizabeth Scalia (The Anchoress) First Things October 13, 2010.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
- Benedict's Creative Minority - Dr. Samuel Gregg of the Acton Institute, on the Benedict’s vision of the Catholic Church’s role in contemporary Europe (September 22, 2010):
In the wake of Benedict XVI’s recent trip to Britain, we have witnessed—yet again—most journalists’ inability to read this pontificate accurately. Whether it was Queen Elizabeth’s gracious welcoming address, Prime Minister David Cameron’s sensible reflections, or the tens of thousands of happy faces of all ages and colors who came to see Benedict in Scotland and England (utterly dwarfing the rather strange collection of angry Kafkaesque protestors), all these facts quickly disproved the usual suspects’ predictions of low-turnouts and massive anti-pope demonstrations.
Indeed, off-stage voices from Britain’s increasingly not-so-cultured elites—such as the celebrity atheist Richard Dawkins and others whom the English historian Michael Burleigh recently described as “sundry chasers of limelight” and products of a “self-satisfied provincialism”—were relegated to the sidelines. As David Cameron said, Benedict “challenged the whole country to sit up and think.” ...
- Blessed by Blessed John Henry Newman National Catholic Register September 22, 2010. Legionary Father Thomas Williams is a Michigan-born professor of theology and ethics at Regina Apostolorum University in Rome. He was in England to witness the papal visit there and beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman. He reflects on the visit, some of the controversy surrounding it, Blessed John Henry Newman and the priesthood.
- Celebrating the Papal Visit online: My pilgrim social media journey (Claz Coms) - Claz Gomez, papal pilgrim and blogger, shares her experience of the Pope's visit as accounted through Twitter, Youtube and her blog.
- "Mainstream US media asleep on the job?" asks the Pertinacious Papist (September 24, 2010):
A friend of mine, a retired Hollywood actor, who rightfully prides himself on keeping up with the news, wrote me recently and included a newspaper clipping on the Pope's recent trip to Great Britain. The newspaper article featured a large photo of crowds of placard-bearing anti-Catholic demonstrators and was substantially devoted to only one subject: the Pope's meeting with sex-abuse victims and the outrage of Britons over the sex scandal. If one's news sources were limited to the mainstream print media and TV networks in the US, this is likely all he would know about the Pope's journey to Britain, if he knew about it at all.Likewise, Deacon Greg Kandra notes, One of the biggest surprises of Pope Benedict's historic trip to the United Kingdom may be how few people realize that it was, in fact, historic."
- Philosopher Roger Scruton on why, "for many Englishmen, I suspect, the Pope’s Westminster mass was the first inkling of what Christianity really means". (Big Questions Online September 23, 2010):
The most positive effect of the Pope’s visit, however, was one that even the BBC could not prevent — and that was the public display of Roman Catholic ritual at its most gorgeous and replete. For many television viewers the mass at Westminster Cathedral was their first experience of sacramental religion.
- Edward Pentin asks: "Did Papal Visit Signal an End to the English Reformation?" (National Catholic Register September 26, 2010):
Here was a Pope coming to the United Kingdom at the invitation of Her Majesty, the supreme governor of a church that violently split from Rome 500 years ago. Yet she gave him free rein to address her subjects as he saw fit – even beatify one who left her church to come over to Rome.
For the first time, a ruling English monarch allowed the Successor of Peter to address her Parliament, attend a liturgy in the church of her Coronation, and even to pray with her archbishop at the tomb of the Royal Family’s patron saint. Her government also hosted unprecedented formal bilateral talks with Holy See officials.
It was a kind of surrender, a giving up of the Reformation and all it had stood for in terms of rebellion against the papacy.
- Finally, if it is possible to measure the Pope's success by the complete discombobulation of his critics, carreer atheist Richard Dawkins sputters: "Ratzinger is an enemy of humanity!", displaying all the telltale symptoms of "Benedict Derangement Syndrome."
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As you know, I have just returned from my first Apostolic Journey to the United Kingdom, and I wish to send my affectionate greetings to all those I met and those who contributed to the visit through the media during four days, which have begun a new and important phase in the long-standing relations between the Holy See and Great Britain.
Last Thursday, I was honoured by the warm welcome of Her Majesty The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in Scotland’s historic capital Edinburgh. Later that day, I celebrated Mass in Glasgow in the presence of many bishops, priests, religious and a great concourse of the faithful against the backdrop of a beautiful sunset at Bellahouston Park, within sight of the place where my beloved predecessor celebrated Mass with the Scots twenty-eight years ago.
Upon arriving in London, I met thousands of Catholic students and schoolchildren at a very joyful celebration, reminding all of us of the excellent and essential work being done by Catholic schools and teachers throughout the land. I then had the pleasure of meeting the clerical and lay representatives of different religions and of discussing the search for the sacred common to all men.
Pope Benedict XVI waves during his weekly Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican September 22, 2010.. Source: Reuters
Later, I had the honour of calling upon His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury who has come on several occasions to meet me in Rome. Our meeting at Lambeth Palace, in the presence of the Bishops of the Church of the England, was very cordial and fraternal. I then crossed the river to Westminster where I was given the unprecedented opportunity to address both Houses of Parliament gathered in Westminster Hall on the importance of a fruitful dialogue between religion and reason, a theme as relevant in the time of Saint Thomas More as it is in our own day. Finally that day, I had the privilege of kneeling in prayer with the Archbishop of Canterbury at the Tomb of Saint Edward in Westminster Abbey, and of giving thanks to God with the Archbishop, the Moderator of the Church of Scotland and other British Christian leaders, for the many blessings God has bestowed upon our efforts to re-knit the fabric of our Christian fellowship.
The next morning, I had the pleasure of greeting Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Ms Harriet Harman, leader of the Opposition, before celebrating Mass in Westminster Cathedral, with a liturgy evocative of the best of the English musical tradition in the celebration of the Roman rite. That afternoon, I was welcomed very cordially by the Little Sisters of the Poor and the elderly people they look after. There I also had the chance to thank and encourage those charged with the safeguarding of children in Britain. That evening I participated at a beautiful vigil of deep prayerfulness and stillness at Hyde Park with tens of thousands of the faithful.
On Sunday morning, I travelled to Birmingham where I had the joy of celebrating the Beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman. Later that day, after a warm and fraternal meeting with all the Bishops of Britain, I was bidden farewell by Prime Minister Cameron during a very cordial speech at Birmingham International Airport on the Government’s wish to build a partnership for development with the Catholic Church and others.
Sunday, then, was a moment of deep personal satisfaction, as the Church celebrated the blessedness of a great Englishman, whose life and writings I have admired for many years and who has come to be appreciated by countless people far beyond the shores of his native land. Blessed John Henry Newman’s clear-minded search to know and express the truth in charity, at whatever cost to his own personal comfort, status and even friendships, is a wonderful testimony of a pure desire to know and love God in the communion of the Church. His is surely an example that can inspire us all.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
- Benedict XVI in UK: Bold and Triumphant: Government and Vatican Hail Success of State Visit (Zenit):
Benedict XVI's four-day state visit to Britain defied doomsayers and the negative publicity that preceded it, bringing out an estimated 500,000 people in Scotland and England as well as countless others who heard his messages in the media and on the Internet.
Both the government and the Vatican were delighted with how well it went. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said it was a “wonderful visit” and, above all, a “spiritual success.”
- "The key to the Pope's success in Great Britain", by Phil Lawler (Catholic Culture):
Most of the reporters writing about the papal visit are clearly surprised by this outcome, and more than a few are betraying their disappointment. A week ago the same reporters were predicting a debacle, and some of them were relishing that prospect. The Pope would face angry protesters wherever he turned, they said. The crowds would be small and subdued. There would be empty seats at the Pope’s public appearances. The staid, jaded secular world of Great Britain would listen skeptically, perhaps nod and clap politely, and then quickly move on to other things, dismissing the old man from Rome.
But Pope Benedict didn’t follow that script. ...
- Pilgrims reflect on Birmingham visit by Pope Benedict (BBC News. September 20, 2010)
- Francis Phillips exclaims "The Holy Father should put his feet up and have a glass of whisky!" The last few days have been stupendous. Here are some immediate impressions. (Catholic Herald)
- The ‘People’s Pope’ made one thing clear: he wants an empowered laity -- And, in some ways, Catholics in Britain have already risen to the challenge Anna Arco (Catholic Herald)
- Bishop Crispian Hollis: Benedict had “gone out of his way to speak not simply to our Catholic community but to the nation” (Catholic Herald)
- Pope Benedict’s UK Visit: The News Everybody Missed, by Raymond Arroyo (National Review "The Corner"):
The Pope saved the most important news of his visit to the United Kingdom for the end. Most people didn’t even hear or see it. But I imagine Thomas More and John Henry Newman were smiling . . .
- William Oddie: The Pope has routed his enemies and brought joy to the faithful (Catholic Herald)
- Reflections on the Pope's visit: What will the lasting legacy be for the Pope's visit to the UK? - That's the question posed by the BBC to a diverse array of citizens.
- "If only the Archbishop of Canterbury dared to speak with a fraction of Benedict's authority!" Stephen Glover (Daily Mail)
- The Pope in Great Britain, by Joanna Bogle. (Inside Catholic):
The visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Britain brought so many extraordinary, magnificent, unforgettable moments. It was a time of grace, a time of healing, a time for an unprecedented gathering together of British history, a people somehow making peace with its past.
- "The Pope and the Crowds" (New York Times):
All in all, the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Britain over the weekend must have been a disappointment to his legions of detractors. Their bold promises notwithstanding, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens didn’t manage to clap the pope in irons and haul him off to jail. The protests against Benedict’s presence proved a sideshow to the visit, rather than the main event. And the threat (happily empty, it turned out) of an assassination plot provided a reminder of what real religious extremism looks like — as opposed to the gentle scholar, swathed in white, urging secular Britons to look with fresh eyes at their island’s ancient faith. ...
- Benedict Busts Stereotypes - Kathryn Jean Lopez (First Things):
Leonie Caldecott is a Catholic writer living with her family in Oxford. She and her husband run the Centre for Faith and Culture and work with Thomas More College New Hampshire on a journal of faith and culture, Second Spring, as well as a regular summer school. They are also the U.K. editors of Magnificat is the author of What do Catholics Believe? This weekend, she was among the singers at the beatification Mass for now Blessed John Henry Newman. She talks about the experience and the controversy and where apostles of Christ might go from here ...
- C.S. Lewis, Pope Benedict and Blessed John Henry Newman, by William Van Ornum (America):
Lewis was a member of “The Inklings”, a group including J.R.R. Tolkien, best known for “The “Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings,” but also a translator for The New Jerusalem Bible, where his name may be found among the small group of translators. The Inklings met weekly to discuss their ongoing writing projects, their own lives, and politics and culture. So I think it is appropriate, and even valuable, to think about how C. S. Lewis might respond to events in Britain this week were ink still flowing from his pen. ...
- Benedict's Surprising Visit Michael Kelly (Catholic World Report):
... It’s too early to tell what the legacy of the visit will be. The hope is that it will serve as a shot in the arm for all Britons and not just Catholics, for, as Prime Minister Cameron observed, the Pope’s message was for all of Britain. The visit has also given many Catholics an opportunity to express their faith in a public, unapologetic fashion. The sight of thousands of young Catholics carrying their rosary beads and papal flags as they marched past Tyburn, where their forefathers were martyred for refusing to renounce their faith, is surely a sign that, as Pope Benedict, “the Church is alive, and, yes, the Church is young.”
- "With Pope Benedict back in Rome, the Catholics of Great Britain are now left to rely on their own bishops for a powerful and unflinching presentation of the faith. Good luck with that." - Diogenes (Off The Record)
- Wrap up of the pope's UK trip National Catholic Reporter senior correspondent John Allen traveled with Pope Benedict XVI during the Sept. 16-19 papal trip to Scotland and England. Other NCR contributors offered commentary and insight during the trip. Following is a complete list of NCR stories covering the trip.
- "Are we still acting surprised when, once again, Pope Benedict turns out to be nothing like the angry caricature so often painted of him?" wonders Margaret Cabaniss (Inside Catholic)
- Papal Visit 2010: a round-up of reactions compiled by Rupert de Lisle (Catholic Herald)
- Every parish to receive image and candle blessed by the Pope (Catholic Herald):
Three thousand images blessed by the Pope will be distributed to parishes in England and Wales as a legacy of the papal visit, the bishops’ conference has announced.
The images, copies of the pre-Raphaelite William Holman Hunt’s Light of the World, will be distributed to parishes in England and Wales, with 145 being sent to prison chaplains. The framed images are meant for use in prayer groups, as well as schools, prisons, and hospitals, and can be obtained through Catholic parishes.
Also being distributed to parishes are a similar number of candles, also blessed by the Holy Father.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
What Happened Today?
- 08:00 - Farewell to the Apostolic Nunciature in Wimbledon (London Borough of Merton)
- 08:45 - Departure by helicopter from Wimbledon Park (London Borough of Merton) for Birmingham
- 09:30 - Arrival at the heliport near Cofton Park of Rednal
- 10:00 - Mass with the Beatification of Venerable Cardinal John Henry Newman at Cofton Park of Rednal | Video
- Homily of the Holy Father
- Recitation of the Angelus Domini
- Words of the Holy Father
- 13:10 - Private Visit to the Oratory of St Philip Neri, Edgbaston
- 13:45 - Lunch with the Bishops of England, Scotland and Wales and the Papal Entourage at the Francis Martin House in Oscott College
- 16:45 - Meeting with the Bishops of England, Wales and Scotland in the Chapel of the Francis Martin House, Oscott College: Address of the Holy Father
- 18:15 - Farewell Ceremony at the International Airport of Birmingham Address of the Holy Father
- 18:45 - Departure from the International Airport of Birmingham for Roma | Video
- 22:30 - Arrival at Ciampino Airport
Addresses of the Holy Father (and Others)
- Mass with the Beatification of Venerable Cardinal John Henry Newman at Cofton Park of Rednal (Birmingham, 19 September 2010)
- Recitation of the Angelus Domini (Birmingham, 19 September 2010)
- Meeting with the Bishops of England, Wales and Scotland in the Chapel of the Francis Martin House, Oscott College (Birmingham, 19 September 2010)
- Farewell Ceremony (International Airport of Birmingham, 19 September 2010)
Coverage of the Day's Events
- Father Richard Duffield, Provost of the Birmingham Oratory, said the Pope had also given a blessing to the Oratory's cat (BBC News)
- Photo Gallery: Pope's UK visit culminates in beatification of Cardinal Newman Pilgrims braved the early morning rain to join Benedict XVI at a beatification mass for the Victorian poet-priest Cardinal John Henry Newman, the first such ceremony on British soil. (The Guardian)
- Pope pays tribute to Britons who resisted nazism Benedict XVI lauds courage of Britons at Birmingham beatification ceremony for Cardinal Newman. (The Guardian)
- Pontiff Marks Anniversary of Battle of Britain, Calls Nazis a Force of an "Evil Ideology" (Zenit)
- UK Jubilant Over Cardinal Newman's Beatification Edward Pentin (Zenit):
A rainbow appeared over Cofton Park as Pope Benedict arrived this morning for the beatification Mass of Cardinal John Henry Newman ...
This was a particularly special beatification Mass: not only was it the only such Mass celebrated by Benedict XVI, but it was also the first beatification of an Englishman for centuries.
- Pope Benedict beatifies Cardinal Newman (Catholic Herald)
- Benedict finds unlikely ally in British PM by John Allen Jr. (National Catholic Reporter): "All indications are that the message Benedict XVI came to the U.K. to deliver has been music in the ears of the Cameron government."
- Hijacking or setting him free, Benedict loves Newman, by John Allen Jr. (National Catholic Reporter)
- 'Pope Benedict we love you': message from the faithful at Cofton Park Service for Victorian cleric in front of 50,000 at windswept park in Birmingham. (The Guardian)
- Benedict XVI took leave of the United Kingdom today, entrusting before he left two particular tasks to the bishops of England, Scotland and Wales (Zenit):
After thanking the bishops for their work in reviewing and approving the texts, he urged the prelates to "seize the opportunity that the new translation offers for in-depth catechesis on the Eucharist and renewed devotion in the manner of its celebration."
Citing Sacramentum Caritatis, the Holy Father said, "The more lively the Eucharistic faith of the people of God, the deeper is its sharing in ecclesial life in steadfast commitment to the mission entrusted by Christ to his disciples."
"The other matter," Benedict XVI continued, is a request to "be generous in implementing the apostolic constitution 'Anglicanorum Coetibus.'"
That November 2009 document provides for Anglicans to come in groups into full communion with Rome.
- Pope Benedict XVI stopped to give a police dog an unexpected pat while thanking some of the 2,000 members of the West Midlands Police who had helped to protect him during his visit (Catholic Herald)
- Pope visit: Benedict XVI says goodbye to Britain Britain's historic papal visit has come to an end as Benedict XVI gave his final wave from the steps of his aeroplane. (Telegraph)
- David Cameron has told Pope Benedict XVI in a powerful farewell speech that his visit had made Britain “sit up and think” (Catholic Herald)
- Benedict XVI Bids Farewell to Queen Elizabeth II (Zenit):
To the queen, he sent a telegram, stating, "As I leave the United Kingdom at the conclusion of my apostolic visit, I renew my deep gratitude to your majesty for the gracious welcome and the many kindnesses which you, your government and the British people extended to me during my stay."
The Holy Father continued, "I ask Almighty God to guide the nation in accordance with his will and to confirm it always in the ways of freedom, justice and peace."
He concluded, "Upon all I cordially invoke the Lord's abundant blessings."
- Benedict in Britain: personal triumph for the Pope, humiliation for secular fanatics Damien Thompson (Telegraph):
... the papal visit has killed the myth of the “Nazi Pope” outside a tiny circle of professional Pope-baiters who from now on may find themselves marginalised even in secular liberal circles.
- Vatican declares Pope's visit to Britain a success (Associated Press)
- Pope leaves UK charmed and challenged, by Austen Ivereigh. (America)
Blogging the Papal Visit
- Papal Visit 2010 live blog: Birmingham (Catholic Herald)
- Pope visits UK: Day Four Pope Benedict XVI will carry out the beatification of John Henry Newman at a special Mass in Birmingham on the final day of his visit to Britain. (Telegraph)
- Pope visits Britain: Cardinal Newman's beatification live (The Guardian)
- 17th Sunday after Pentecost (1962MR): tonic for anti-Papal protesters - Fr. John Zuhlsdorf (What Does The Prayer Really Say?)
Additional Articles of the Day
- Students from the country's only independent Catholic school for boys have starring roles in the Pope's beatification mass (The Reading Chronicle)
- "Master and Commander" - Wheat & Weeds unpacks some fundamental points of Benedict's many addresses to the English people:
There's a recurring line in Patrick O'Brien's Aubrey-Maturin series, in which Capt. Aubrey explains his military strategy, which he claims to have gotten from Lord Nelson. "Go straight at 'em."
That is what I adore about Benedict's preaching. He is of course gentle and respectful, but he zeros in like a laser on the heart of the matter --because if we're not going to talk about what matters, why waste our time?
- The Pope and Protester Personality Fr. Dwight Longenecker (Standing on My Head)
- One Protester The Pope Would Have Liked Greg Burke (Fox News)
- Vatican 'confident' about future canonization of Newman Speaking to journalists less than an hour after Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman's beatification, Vatican spokesman Fr. Lombardi expressed confidence in his being canonized. There is a "concrete possibility," also, that he will be made a "doctor of the Church." (Catholic News Agency)
- Beatification of Newman and His Submission to the Infallible Church - Fr. Jeffrey Steele (de cura animarum) responds to the liberal spin that, were Newman alive today, he would have been at odds with the present Pope.
- The inside story of Pope Benedict XVI's visit Only a handful of journalists flew with the Pope to Britain and travelled around the country with his touring party. Jonathan Wynne Jones, The Sunday Telegraph's Religious Affairs Correspondent, was one of them.
- "In terms of his primary objectives -- preaching the Gospel to his flock and defending the influence of religion in society -- Pope Benedict XVI can look at his four-day visit to Great Britain as a major success" John Thavis (Catholic News Service)
- The Church is enjoying a “Benedict bounce” following the Pope’s visit, Cardinal Keith O’Brien has said (Catholic Herald)
Saturday, September 18, 2010
What Happened Today?
- 09:00 - Meeting with the Prime Minister in the Archbishop's House (City of Westminster)
- 09:20 - Meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister in the Archbishop's House (City of Westminster)
- 09:30 - Meeting with the Opposition Leader in the Archbishop's House (City of Westminster)
- 10:00 - Mass in the Cathedral of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ (City of Westminster): Homily and Greeting of the Holy Father
- 17:00 - Visit to St Peter's Residence for the elderly (London Borough of Lambeth): Address of the Holy Father
- 18:15 - Prayer Vigil on the Eve of the Beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, Hyde Park (City of Westminster): Address of the Holy Father
Addresses of the Holy Father (and Others)
- Mass in the Cathedral of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ (City of Westminster, 18 September 2010)
- Visit to St Peter's Residence for the elderly (London Borough of Lambeth, 18 September 2010)
- Prayer Vigil on the Eve of the Beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, Hyde Park (City of Westminster, 18 September 2010)
Coverage of the Day's Events
- Pope meets David Cameron It is the first time a Pope has met the head of a British government during a state visit, and concludes an emotional month for the prime minister. (Catholic Herald)
- Cheering young Catholics give pontiff "rock star welcome" The Pontiff was treated to whistles and chanting from up to 2,500 youngsters from dioceses in England, Wales and Scotland gathered on the piazza outside Westminster Cathedral. (Telegraph)
- Pope tells young people: ‘In silence, we find God’ (Catholic Herald)
- Pontiff Underlines Christian Roots of Wales; Blesses St. David Mosaic (Zenit)
- Pope meets sex abuse victims This afternoon in London, Pope Benedict XVI held a private meeting with a small group of victims of priestly sexual abuse. It was the fifth time Benedict met victims, after previous encounters during trips to the United States, Australia and Malta, and a meeting with Canadian "first nations" victims in Rome. John Allen Jr. (National Catholic Reporter)
- Pope expresses ‘deep sorrow’ at ‘unspeakable crimes’ of child abuse (Catholic Herald) | Video
- Pope meets residents of St Peter’s Residence, Vauxhall Meeting with elderly residents of St Peter’s Residence in Vauxhall, London, the Pope emphasised the “unique gift” of life, “from conception to natural death”. (Catholic Herald)
- "Tens of thousands of people have gathered in London's Hyde Park to take part in the prayer vigil led by Pope Benedict XVI" (Sky News)
- Myriads of enthusiastic Catholics join Pope for Cardinal Newman vigil (Catholic News Agency)
- Pope: Christians cannot go on with business as usual Addressing 80,000 people who had come to Hyde Park for evening prayer, Benedict said that Christians needed to “imbue temporal life with the values of the Gospel” and not ignore the “profound crisis of faith which has overtaken our society”. (Catholic Herald)
- Glastonbury with God: Banners, Pilgrim Picnics and singing and dancing...as 80,000 flock to Hyde Park (Daily Mail)
- Britain’s Got Talent finalist performs at Hyde Park (Catholic Herald)
Blogging the Papal Visit
- Papal Visit 2010 live blog: Westminster Cathedral (Catholic Herald)
- Papal Visit 2010 live blog: Hyde Park (Catholic Herald)
- Pope Visit UK 2010: Live (Telegraph)
- Pope Benedict XVI's UK visit: Day three The pontiff meets David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Harriet Harman and presides over a mass at Westminster Cathedral. (The Guardian)
- Pope visits Britain: protests and Hyde Park vigil (The Guardian)
- Polarized opinion on pope fills London streets John Allen Jr. (National Catholic Reporter)
- Pope Benedict at Westminster Cathedral (Hermeneutic of Continuity)
- "The joy of being at Westminster Abbey with the Successor of St Peter!" Eyewitness account. (The Reluctant Sinner)
- London Gallery Fr Ray Blake of Saint Mary Magdalen, Brighton, UK visits Westminster.
Additional Articles of the Day
- Is Richard Dawkins turning into Ian Paisley? In his criticisms of the Pope, Richard Dawkins is sounding suspiciously familiar, says Jenny McCartney. (Telegraph)
- Cardinal Newman: The man behind the pope's visit Brief Q&A from CNN.
- Newman offers church a candle in the dark "Everything about modern Anglicanism bears the marks of Cardinal Newman's teaching." Eamon Duffy. (The Guardian)
Friday, September 17, 2010
What Happened Today?
- 08:00 - Private Celebration of Mass in the Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature in Wimbledon (London Borough of Merton)
- 10:00 - Meeting with the world of Catholic Education in the Chapel and Sports Arena of St Mary’s University in Twickenham (London Borough of Richmond): Greeting and Address of the Holy Father | Video
- 11:30 - Meeting with Religious Leaders in the Waldegrave Drawing Room of St Mary’s University College in Twickenham (London Borough of Richmond): Address of the Holy Father | Video
- 16:00 - Courtesy Visit to the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace (London Borough of Lambeth): Address of the Holy Father | Video
- 17:10 - Meeting with representatives of civil society, academic, cultural and entrepreneurial world, diplomatic corps and religious leaders at Westminster Hall (City of Westminster): Address of the Holy Father | Video
- 18:15 - Ecumenical Celebration at Westminster Abbey (City of Westminster): Address of the Holy Father
Addresses of the Holy Father / Others
- Meeting with the world of Catholic Education in the Chapel and Sports Arena of St Mary’s University College in Twickenham (London Borough of Richmond, 17 September 2010)
- Meeting with Religious Leaders in the Waldegrave Drawing Room of St. Mary’s University College in Twickenham (London Borough of Richmond, 17 September 2010)
- Fraternal Visit to the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace (London Borough of Richmond, 17 September 2010)
- Meeting with representatives of civil society, academic, cultural and entrepreneurial world, diplomatic corps and religious leaders at Westminster Hall (City of Westminster, 17 September 2010)
- Ecumenical Celebration at Westminster Abbey (City of Westminster, 17 September 2010)
The pope visited about 4,000 school pupils and young people at St Mary's University College, Twickenham. Source: Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images
- Five arrested in alleged terror plot (The Guardian):
Scotland Yard arrested five street cleaners today over an alleged terrorist threat to the pope.The Vatican said the arrest of terrorist suspects would not affect Pope Benedict XVI's schedule of events and hat the pope remained "calm" and happy with the visit (Catholic News Service).
The men were arrested by armed officers in central London at 5.45am on the second day of the pope's visit.
Sources say the men are believed to be Muslim and that some of them are Algerian. ... They were taken to a nearby police station, where they will be interviewed by detectives.
An assessment of the intelligence judged it to be so severe that police needed to disrupt the alleged plot immediately.
UPDATE: Police release 'Pope threat' men without charge BBC News reports that, having found "no credible threat", all six suspects have been released. (9/19/10)
- Pope Benedict XVI's UK visit: Day two Photo Gallery (from The Guardian)
- Pope urges children to grow in holiness at first papal event in England (Catholic Herald)
- Pope urges states to respect freedom of religion (Catholic Herald)
- Holy Father addresses 'question' of existence Following the recent claim by U.K. physicist Dr. Stephen Hawking that the universe “created itself from nothing,” the Holy Father spoke about “the most important question” of existence in an address to interfaith leaders. (Catholic News Agency)
- Pope to Anglicans: Proclaim Uniqueness of Christ Greets Anglican Leader, Maps Guidelines for Dialogue. (Zenit)
- Pope: reason and faith need one another (Catholic Herald) "In one of the major speeches of his Pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI today spoke to the assembled members of civil society about the proper place of religious belief within political process."
- The Pope in Parliament and Westminster Abbey: a day that shook the foundations of Britain's Protestant myth Damian Thompson. Telegraph:
... if you want evidence of the self-confidence of our Catholic national identity, look no further than Westminster Abbey and Westminster Hall. For at least the first 500 years of its existence – we can’t be sure when it was founded – the Abbey was obedient to Benedict’s predecessors. So for the Pope to enter it today was an affirmation of its own “foundational act”. Not for nothing did he point out in his address that the church was dedicated to St Peter. Even Catholics who would never be so crude as to say “the Abbey belongs to us, not to you” sensed that history was being re-balanced in some way. They realised that the Pope had as much right to sit in that sanctuary as the Archbishop of Canterbury.
- Pope Benedict XVI worked a minor miracle while on his state visit to Britain by getting Tony and Cherie Blair to kiss and make up with Gordon Brown Daily Mail
- The Pope publicly shook hands with a woman priest for the first time last night as he joined the Archbishop of Canterbury in an ecumenical service at Westminster Abbey crows Heidi Blake (The Telegraph). (From which we can conclude that, despite differences in convictions, the Holy Father is not above extending the hand of friendship).
Blogging the Papal Visit
- Papal Visit 2010 live blog: Central London (Catholic Herald)
- Papal Visit 2010 live blog: St Mary’s, Twickenham (Catholic Herald)
- Papal Visit 2010 live blog: Central London (Catholic Herald)
- Pope visits Britain: day two live (The Guardian)
- What Boris said to the Pope and the Pope said to Boris The Holy Father met the Mayor of London last night. (Stuart Reid, Catholic Herald)
- Pope's visit: Blimey. What to say to the Pope? A good joke ought to clinch it. . . Waiting to meet Benedict XVI, Boris Johnson feels his sense of humour rising to the occasion. (Telegraph)
- “Benedict goes to Westminster” Fr. John Zuhlsdorf:
The phrase that comes to mind is "Nixon goes to China".
Day 2 Benedict’s trip has blown John Paul II’s trip out of the water. I don’t mean that John Paul’s trip wasn’t important or that the crowds weren’t as big. But we have to consider who the players are, and what is taking place and where. What John Paul did was great, but what he did, didn’t matter as much as what Benedict is doing. John Paul’s effort was a continuation of what Paul VI and John XXIII had done. Benedict builds on that, but his project is something quite different. ...
- Phil Lawler couldn't help but notice Pope Benedict's personal invitation to the Anglican bishops (Catholic Culture):
when he spoke to a group of Anglican (and Catholic) bishops, and offered Cardinal Newman as a model for ecumenical actions, the Pope was making his point clearly enough. Any Anglican prelate who takes that suggestion seriously, and models his actions after those of Cardinal Newman, will very soon run up against an immovable fact. Cardinal Newman became a Catholic. If you want to follow him, you'll have to follow him to Rome.
The Pope stressed that Cardinal Newman made his move gently, politely, without breaking friendships, without recriminations, without renouncing his heritage—the same way other Anglicans might take the step today, under the provisions of Anglicanorum Coetibus.
Other Articles of The Day
- Martyrs and messy divorces: 500 years of Anglo-papal antagonism (Paul Willis, CNN):
When the pope gets up to speak in London's historic Westminster Hall today we might forgive him a few nerves.
In agreeing to visit Britain he has, as some observers have noted, entered the lions' den.
- Benedict in Britain: We get it, we've got it, let's share it - an assessment of the first two days by John Allen Jr. (National Catholic Reporter)
- Luke Coppen: "The pope's trip to Britain is worth the money" (Special to CNN)
- Embarrassment for Commons Speaker as wife uses Twitter to join attacks on Pope hours before Benedict goes to Parliament (Daily Mail)
Thursday, September 16, 2010
What Happened Today?
- 08:10 - Departure from Ciampino Airport for Edinburgh
- 10:30 - Arrival at Edinburgh International Airport | Video
- State welcome at Edinburgh International Airport
- 11:00 - Welcoming Ceremony in the Palace of Holyroodhouse
- Courtesy Visit to Her Majesty Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom, in the Palace of Holyroodhouse | Video
- 11:40 - Meeting with State Authorities in the grounds of the Palace of Holyroodhouse Address of the Holy Father | Video
- 13:00 - Luncheon with Papal Entourage at the Archbishop's House
- 17:15 - Mass at Bellahouston Park: Homily of the Holy Father | Video
- 20:00 - Departure from Glasgow International for London
- 21:25 - Arrival at Heathrow International Airport (London Borough of Hillingdon)
- Meeting of His Holiness Benedict XVI with journalists during the flight to the United Kingdom (Papal Flight, 16 September 2010)
- Meeting with state authorities in the grounds of the Palace of Holyroodhouse (Edinburgh, 16 September 2010)
- Queen’s speech to Pope Benedict – Full Text
- Mass celebrated in Bellahouston Park (Glasgow, 16 September 2010)
Coverage of the Day's Events
- Pope Benedict's visit to the UK: day one Video | Gallery - Highlights from the first day of the pope's state visit to the UK, as he arrives in Edinburgh and is greeted by the Queen. The Guardian
- What is on-board the Papal plane? (Telegraph) - Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Britain this morning on board the ‘Papal plane’ – an ordinary Alitalia Airbus A320 chartered for the trip.
- Pontiff Not Concerned by Pre-Trip Polemics: Notes Point of Union for Anglicans and Catholics (Zenit)
- Anita the Greeter meets the Pope Iain Hollingshead meets Anita The Greeter, Heathrow's VIP services manager, who will be the first person to welcome the Pope to England when he lands for his papal visit. (Telegraph)
- Pope: Church has not been vigilant enough on child abuse On board the papal plane the Pope told journalists that the Church “had not been vigilant enough” on the issue of paedophile priests. (Catholic Herald)
- Queen welcomes Pope Benedict at Palace of Holyroodhouse (Catholic Herald) - The Queen this morning welcomed the Pope to the palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, her official residence in Scotland. | Video
- Benedict gives Queen copy of rare text - "In a symbolic gesture, the pope has given the Queen a copy of The Codex Aureus of Lorsch, a priceless manuscript." (The Guardian)
- Queen Notes Common Heritage, Concerns of Pope; Stresses Opportunity to Deepen Anglican-Catholic Relations (Zenit)
- Pope reminds Britain of its greatness, by Austen Ivereigh (America)
- Pope likens the rise of atheism in Britain to the Nazis as he admits his 'shock and sadness' over abuse scandal (Daily Mail) - Some great photos as well.
- Row after Pope's remarks on atheism and Nazis (BBC). The Pope's remark about "the sobering lessons of atheist extremism of the 20th century" has prompted a hissy fit among "humanist" organizations.
- Benedict battles the 'dictatorship of relativism' John Allen Jr. (National Catholic Reporter): "If there were any doubt that the battle against a secular “dictatorship of relativism” would be Benedict XVI’s top priority during his Sept. 16-19 trip to the United Kingdom, the pontiff has swiftly removed it."
- Scots Line Streets to Welcome Benedict XVI: Pontiff Completes 1st Day of UK Trip, by Edward Pentin. (Zenit)
- 70,000 (and Susan Boyle) drown out the cynics: Amid the crowds and the pageantry only a sea breeze troubles the Pope (Daily Mail)
- Nick Squires (The Telegraph profiles 'Gorgeous' Georg Ganswein, the Pope's right-hand man - bringing "an unlikely touch of sex appeal and glamour to the Pope's visit to the UK."
- Planned protests during pope’s visit to Britain - Reuters' Faithworld provides an outline of some of the main protests likely to take to the streets. (Let's counter them with LOVE!)
- Pope urges Scotland: don’t exclude believers from public life, by Anna Arco (Catholic Herald)
- “We couldn't desire a better start” for the Pope's visit to the U.K., said Fr. Federico Lombardi, referring to the great crowd of 100,000 in Edinburgh (Catholic News Agency)
- Pope Benedict and the St Ninian revival "Catholicism and Scotland have a long and complex past. Did the papal visit change anything?" - Ian Jack. (The Guardian)
Blogging the Papal Visit
- Pope Visit UK 2010: Live, liveblogging with Andrew Hough, Heidi Blake and Alastair Jamieson (Telegraph)
- Claz Coms: The start of a pilgrim journey with the Holy Father: My Itinerary, by Claz Gomez (Papal Pilgrim)
- A Running thread on Benedict in UK Elizabeth Scalia (The Anchoress)
- Papal Visit 2010 live blog: Edinburgh (Catholic Herald)
- Papal Visit 2010 live blog: Bellahouston Park (Catholic Herald)
- A Jesuit shout-out from the Pope, by Anthony Lusvardi, SJ (Whosoever Desires)
- Pope To British Press: You're Not So Tough (Translation: "ain't you scared?") Answer: "nope." (Wheat and Weeds)
- What would a guest of honour in Scotland be without a tartan? Pope Benedict XVI donned a specially designed Papal tartan over his shoulders as he traveled from Holyroodhouse Palace to the Archbishop of Edinburgh’s residence. (Salt + Light)
- "Ticking the Boxes in Scotland" David Schütz (Sentire Cum Ecclesia)
- Fr. Tim Finigan: "Papal visit - first day a roaring success!" (Hermeneutic of Continuity)
- Scotland, you did yourselves proud (Claz Cloms)
- A Graceful and Elegant Beginning Fr. George W. Rutler. (First Things "First Thoughts")
Other articles of the day
- The Pope Of Christian Unity, Pope Benedict XVI Is In The UK, by David Hartline. "Many in the mainstream media have failed to see the obvious concerning Pope Benedict XVI’s trip to the United Kingdom, the truth of the Catholic Church has won out." (The American Catholic)
- Another “gotcha” for the British press ... and another episcopal fumble Diogenes (Off The Record)
- What to expect from the Pope's visit to Great Britain by Phil Lawler (Catholic Culture)
- Of all people, Cardinal Kasper? John Allen Jr. National Catholic Reporter
- Cardinal Walter Kasper won't apologise for 'Third World' comment (Telegraph)
- Well done, Mark Dowd. You did the Pope justice Francis Phillips reviews Mark Dowd's BBC documentary, "Trials of a Pope" (Catholic Herald)
- "Visit is a chance for the Pope to show Britain his human side", says John Allen Jr. to the Scotsman. He relays the following anecdote:
There's a tradition in the Vatican press corps that when one of us writes a book about the Pope, we make sure he gets a copy. Thus when my volume The Rise of Benedict XVI appeared shortly after the papal election of April 2005, I made an appointment to deliver an inscribed copy for the new pontiff. ...
To be honest, I had always assumed the Pope never sees these books. To my surprise, a few weeks I received a call from the Vatican spokesperson, at the time the Spaniard Joaquin Navarro-Valls, who was with the new Pope at his summer vacation chalet in northern Italy.
Navarro-Valls told me Benedict had come down to breakfast that morning with my book in his hands, and wished to relay a message.
"Please thank Herr Allen for having written this book," Navarro-Valls quoted his boss as saying, "especially the last part about the future of my papacy … it has saved me the trouble of thinking about it for myself!"
- Modern Historians on Pope Benedict First Things' "First Thoughts" - William Doino (on historian Michael Burleigh's defense of Pope Benedict XVI in the Telegraph).
- Pope to Use Sedia Gestatoria, by Father Dwight Longenecker (Standing On My Head). "Traditionalists the world over will be pleased to hear the news that has just come in that Pope Benedict XVI plans to bring back the sedia gestatoria during his upcoming visit to Britain." ;-)
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
- Religious Showdown: Papal Aide Drops Out of Visit to 'Third World' UK, by Nate Jones (Time September 15, 2010):
Cardinals aren't allowed to make fun of Britain! Only Americans are allowed to make fun of Britain!Papal spokesman Frederico Lombardi sought to put Kasper's remarks in the best light, while others distanced themselves (The Guardian):
In an interview with the German Magazine Focus, a close advisor to Pope Benedict XVI minced no words in criticizing the United Kingdom, site of an upcoming visit by the Pope.
"When you land at Heathrow [airport] you think you are in a Third World land," Cardinal Walter Kasper told the paper. He also implied the Christians were at a disadvantage in Britain due to a system of "aggressive atheism" in the country, saying "If you wear a cross you are discriminated."
Today, Kasper backed out of the trip with the Pope. Vatican officials stated that this was due to illness.
Lombardi said Kasper "had meant to refer to the fact that from the moment of arrival in London airport – as happens in many big metropolises of the world today, but in London particularly because the unique role played over time by the UK's capital – you realise from the outset that you are in a country in which many human realities of the most diverse provenances and conditions meet and mingle; a crucible of today's humanity, with its diversity and problems".
Lombardi added that, in speaking about atheism, the cardinal "was obviously referring to the positions of certain well-known authors who put themselves forward particularly aggressively and dress themselves up in scientific and cultural arguments, but who do not in fact have the value they show off".
Last night the Catholic church in England and Wales distanced itself from the cardinal's comments, which a spokeswoman said "do not represent the views of the Vatican, nor those of bishops in this country".
- "Pope Benedict XVI is the worst enemy of Britain's vicious secular elites" - James MacMillan, reknowned Scottish Catholic composer, goes to bat for the Pope in an editorial for the Telegraph (September 15, 2010):
When he was elected Pope in April 2005, it was not just musicians who were cock-a hoop. Many had known about this distinguished academic theologian for decades. My first encounter with his ideas and writings was as an undergraduate at Edinburgh University when the then Catholic Chaplain and Dominican, Fr Aidan Nichols was talking about his influence. In those days many young Catholics like me were seduced by the cul-de-sac political romanticism of “Liberation” Theology. It was a huge mistake, and it took the power and charisma of John Paul II to shake us out of our self-indulgent, irresponsible reverie. Joseph Ratzinger too, was a potent voice in warning the Church of its dangers. ...
[T]he Left, having lost the economic arguments are now channeling all their energies into “reforming” our culture, institutions, public manners and ethical norms. Ratzinger saw this coming when he was exposed to the rabid intolerance of the left-wing 68ers at Tubingen University, ... As has been well documented since, these campus Marxists have ascended to power and influence all over western Europe, and now form the secular elites who control governments, universities and what we read, see and hear in our media. This is why the reception of Pope Benedict in this country has been so vicious, one-sidedly negative and unfriendly. They sense their worst enemy! Literally.
- Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark has warned Catholic families that “crackpots and lunatics” could still disrupt the papal visit (Catholic Herald September 15, 2010). Coincidentally, as if to validate his fears, The Edinburgh Journal reports that the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland and the Humanist Society of Scotland (HSS) have organised protests to coincide with the Pope’s visit.
- Edward Pentin (Catholic Herald), on why the Pope’s address in Westminster Hall is one of his most important ever:
Freedom of conscience, faith and reason, and the positive contribution to society of the faith are the expected themes of the speech the Pope will deliver in the ancient chamber, perhaps most famous for being the place where St Thomas More was tried and condemned in 1535.
Westminster Hall has also been the site many other historical events, highly significant to British Catholics and to the nation as a whole. Originally constructed by William II (Rufus) in 1097, it was the venue for the coronation banquets of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, and Elizabeth I. Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot conspirators were tried there, as were Charles I and Sir William Wallace.
More recently, it was where Edward VII, George V, George VI, Queen Mary, Winston Churchill and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother all lay in state. It is also reserved for the most important addresses: Charles de Gaulle delivered a speech in the Hall on a visit to Britain in 1960, and Nelson Mandela did so in 1996.
For the government, Westminster Hall will be a crucial event, ...
- David Cameron has offered a “warm welcome” to Pope Benedict XVI and said his visit would be a “great honour” for Britain (Catholic Herald September 15, 2010) | Video
- More than 50 public figures have added their names to a letter in the Guardian newspaper opposing the Pope's visit (September 15, 2010). Signatories include "Professor Richard Dawkins, Ken Follett, AC Grayling, Stewart Lee, Claire Rayner, Lord Foulkes, Lord Hughes, Professor Steve Jones, Sir Jonathan Miller, Lord Taverne, Peter Tatchell and Baroness Turner." (Any of those ring a bell besides Dawkins?) -- At any rate, they wish to "reject the masquerading of the Holy See as a state and the pope as a head of state as merely a convenient fiction to amplify the international influence of the Vatican."
By way of Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, The Catholic League responds to those lecturing the Pope:
Philip Pullman, of "The Golden Compass" fame, signed the letter. A few months ago, he said, "I hope the wretched Catholic Church will vanish entirely." Atheist fanatic Richard Dawkins, known for charging that the Catholic Church is "the greatest force for evil in the world," signed it as well. Gay activist Peter Tatchell, an organizer of "Protest the Pope," has said, "Several of my friends—gay and straight, male and female—had sex with adults from the ages of nine to 13. None feel they were abused. All say it was their conscious choice and gave them great joy."
There you have it. The pope’s leading critics are imbued with hate and even associate with advocates of child rape. And they have the nerve to point fingers at the pontiff.
- As Pope Benedict prepares for his visit to the United Kingdom, speculation abounds as to what he might say. According to William Doino of First Things, clues can be found in a previous speech he delivered, which has been surprisingly overlooked:
In 1988, the-then Cardinal Ratzinger, travelled to England to give the annual Fisher Lecture at the Catholic Chaplaincy at Cambridge University. The Times of London said it was one of the best-attended theological lectures ever in contemporary England, and for ample reason: it was classic Joseph Ratzinger–Ratzinger at his scintillating best.
Addressing what he called “the characteristic signs of our time,” he names them: an overwhelming sense of gloom, paradoxically alternating with a naïve sense of “progress;” a spiritual emptiness finding expression in sexual excess and drug abuse; a secular conformism which forbids serious criticism of social immorality (“whoever dares to say that…is put on the sidelines as a hopeless obscurantist”); and—most prophetically—a false and fanatical search for “liberation,” which spurs terrorism: “a real prevention of its root causes has not yet taken place….and, as long as this is so, it can erupt anew at any time.”
Against this nihilism, Ratzinger proposes the Christian world view, ingeniously invoking that most British of British Christians ... more]
- On the eve of the Pope's visit, news of a possible second Newman miracle -- Cindy Wooden reports for the Catholic News Service:
Catholic officials are investigating claims that a severely deformed baby was born in a perfectly normal condition after the child's mother prayed to Cardinal John Henry Newman for a miracle.
Andrea Ambrosi, the Vatican lawyer in charge of Cardinal Newman's cause for canonization, has revealed in a BBC program to be broadcast Sept. 18 that he hopes the inexplicable healing may be the miracle needed to canonize Cardinal Newman as Britain's next saint. ...
- Francis Campbell, U.K. ambassador to the Holy See, speaks with ZENIT at length about the expected impact of the pope's visit -- the first state visit of a Pope to the United Kingdom (September 14, 2010).
- "The expectations and interest of British society is growing," despite some "noisy but always marginal manifestations of dissent" -- that's the word of Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, in an editorial in the weekly program "Octava Dies" of the Vatican Television Center. (Zenit. September 14, 2010).
- The Popemobile has been displayed ahead of the state visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the UK - and it's a Mercedes. (Metro.co.uk September 14, 2010).
- Tyneside teenager Declan Stokle will be addressing a crowd of more than 80,000 people during the Papal visit to the UK (BBC News, September 14, 2010).
- The man who was in charge of ensuring Pope John Paul II's safety during his visit to the UK in 1982 recalls his experiences to the BBC (September 14, 2010):
Being tasked with the role of keeping the leader of the Roman Catholic church safe, just over one year on from an assassination attempt in Rome, he was well aware of the responsibility on his shoulders.(Please pray for those who occupy the same shoes providing security in the coming days).
"In 25 years in the Special Branch it was the one morning that I got up and thought 'I don't want to go to work today,'" he said.
"It was the morning of the start of the Papal visit and I thought 'hell, what have I volunteered to do' because if it goes wrong it's down to me. ...
- Breaking news from the Richmond and Twickenham Times -- Richmond’s LGBT forum has launched a last-minute campaign to demonstrate anger at the visit of Pope Benedict XVI (September 14, 2010):
“We hope that the Challenge HomoPopia campaign will allow all of those who are unable to attend the various physical demonstrations being organised to add their voices to the challenge and, simultaneously, to make a small donation, leaving a tangible legacy to help the victims of HomoPopia.”HomoPapia?!?