- In an August 2 interview with Asia News, John Milbank, Anglican theologian and professor of Religion, Politics and Ethics, at the University of Nottingham, perceives the papal visit as a chance to revitalize the Pope's image in the eyes of the British media and fostering goodwill between Catholics and Anglicans.
However, I expect Milbank's spin on things may raise a few eyebrows in disbelief. For instance, he heralds Anglicanorum Coetibus -- which provides a canonical framework to integrate groups of disaffected Anglicans seeking to swim the Tiber into the Roman fold -- as "a new recognition by the Papacy of the validity of the Anglican tradition, beginning to equate it more with Eastern Orthodoxy", creating "a fluidity between the two communions that will help to lead to full intercommunion in the future." Likewise, Milbank welcomes Benedict's beatification of the Anglican convert to Catholicism, as a "positive development":
Anglicans by no means feel that Newman ‘betrayed’ them by becoming a Catholic. On the contrary, they are very proud of Newman’s double contribution to both modern Anglicanism and to modern Catholicism. Newman is a sign of unity: he belongs to both Churches and I am sure that our prayers to God through him will aid us in the cause of Church unity, as in the revival of a Christian Britain.William Oddie takes issue with Milbank in the Catholic Herald ("Sorry, Professor Milbank, Newman was no ecumenist" August 6, 2010):
The “cause of Church unity”, however, was hardly one ever espoused by Newman, and I fear that Professor Milbank’s mellifluous sentiments are part of a general movement towards setting him up as a somewhat anaemic “plaster saint”.
The fact is that Newman was the very opposite of an ecumenist: he was, in his very bones, a controversialist in such matters. To say that “Newman belonged to both Churches” is absurd: the Catholic Newman didn’t believe that the Established Church was a Church at all, but a mere national institution.
This is how he addressed those of Catholic mind within the Church of England (Difficulties of Anglicans, lecture 4): “You can have no trust in the Establishment or its Sacraments and ordinances. You must leave it, you must secede; you must turn your back upon, you must renounce, what has—not suddenly become, but has now been proved to you to have ever been—an imposture. You must take up your cross and you must go hence.”
- Blogger A Reluctant Sinner has details on some of the "warm up acts" for the Papal Prayer Vigil in Hyde Park (August 7, 2010) and asks: papal visit policing costs - where do the figures come from? (August 7, 2010)
- The U.K. ambassador to the Holy See, Mr. Francis Campbell, spoke to the Catholic News Agency about the Pope's visit (August 6, 2010):
In the state's perspective, the Sept. 16-19 appointment is "a visit to the Church and to wider society," observed the ambassador. "This is our oldest diplomatic relationship," he said, recalling that state-to-state relations go back to the year 1479 when the papal envoy was sent by the British monarchy.
"It hasn't always been an easy relationship," he said, "and here is the Pope coming on a state visit as a guest of the Queen and there are some very poignant moments in that visit that speak of rapprochement, that don't say anything, but speak to it."
Ambassador Campbell cited an example of this in Pope Benedict's speech to 1,800 members of civil society in Westminster Hall, "the very same Hall where Thomas More was condemned to death." [more]
- The bishops of England and Wales will pose with Pope Benedict to recreate a historic painting of the restoration of the hierarchy in Britain (Catholic Herald August 6, 2010).
- The Telegraph makes the case for Britain: The success of the Pope's visit matters to all of us" (August 6, 2010):
... Both the BBC and the Government set great store by "celebrating other cultures". Benedict XVI's arrival is an opportunity to celebrate a culture that planted our Christian roots; for it was a Pope who sent St Augustine to Britain.
This state invitation does not require Anglicans and other Christians to recognise papal authority. But, as the Archbishop of Canterbury recognises, if Benedict XVI is greeted with hostility and manufactured scandals, then British Christianity as a whole will be weakened. And, in the eyes of hundreds of millions of Catholics around the world, our national reputation will be damaged. The Pope's visit is more than a great event for Catholics: it is a test of Britain's professionalism, hospitality, tolerance and maturity.
- Andrew Brown announces the winners of "Comment Is Free"'s papal visit T-shirt competition (The Guardian August 4, 2010).
- The BBC heralds the visit of Pope Benedict XVI ... with a documentary about the Catholic clerical abuse scandals. (The Guardian August 3, 2010).
- The organisers of the papal visit unveiled the official merchandise for the Pontiff’s trip to Britain on Monday(Catholic Herald August 2, 2010):
Papal visit souvenirs include papal flags inscribed with the visit’s date and logo, baseball caps, a Swarovski bracelet, rosaries with pictures of the Pope, prayer cards, tote bags and branded T-shirts. An electric flashing candle is also among the items advertised.The offerings include some rather atrocious examples of "Catholic kitsch": "Glow-in-the-dark rosaries, alarm clocks shaped like Our Lady of Lourdes which sing Aves, T-shirts sporting saints and Madonna-shaped USB-sticks", which in turn prompted this week's debate: "Does Catholic merchandising trivialise the faith?". Meanwhile, Milo Yiannopoulos proclaims "No one does hideous tat quite like us Catholics!"
T-shirts include a beatification T-shirt with a retro-style picture of John Henry Newman, as well as a black-and-white Pope Benedict T-shirt which features the Pontiff in profile.
- The Catholic Herald reports that costs for “pilgrim passports” to the papal prayer vigil at Hyde Park have been reduced by half the original price.
- The biography written as part of Cardinal John Henry Newman's cause for canonization will be released at a conference in Birmingham, England this September. Catholic News Agency (August 2, 2010):
The International Convention Centre of Birmingham will be the venue of the Sept. 18 all-day conference, "J. H. Newman by his Biographers," announced through local Church's website for the papal visit.
The event, they say, "is an important opportunity to hear four world-class Newman scholars and biographers talk about the man, the message and his enduring significance."
- Thousands of Scotland’s Catholics are returning tickets for the first papal visit in three decades to Church headquarters in Glasgow (Scotland's The Herald August 2, 2010):
Just days ago it emerged some Catholics were being asked to pay to see Pope Benedict XVI in Glasgow, despite the Church insisting there would be no individual fees for the visit.
Priests have cited various reasons for the low uptake, including costs, suitability of the venue and the lack of time they have been given to apply for tickets.
With the deadline now passed, the Papal Visit office will today be counting how many returns they have received.
- The Priests, a trio of clerics from Northern Ireland, are to headline a key event during Pope Benedict XVI's state visit to the UK (The Guardian August 2, 2010).
- The BBC is to air a documentary about the Catholic clerical abuse scandals -- planned to coincide with the first papal visit to the UK for 28 years (The Guardian August 2, 2010):
Benedict: Trials of a Pope features film-maker Mark Dowd going in search of what the BBC calls "the real Joseph Ratzinger".
Dowd travels to Pope Benedict XVI's homeland of Bavaria and the programme includes a rare interview with his brother, Georg Ratzinger, who reveals how he has been affected by the abuse scandals.
The hour-long BBC2 documentary also looks at how the Catholic church has tried to "fashion a positive message about Pope Benedict by training up an army of young religious spin doctors called Catholic Voices".
- Staff at the BBC are plotting to disrupt live TV coverage of the Pope’s visit to Britain, the Sunday Express (August 1, 2010):
Thousands of workers want to boycott the Papal visit in September over plans to cut their pensions. ...
The proposed action during Pope Benedict XVl’s tour will be a huge embarrassment to the corporation. It is his first state visit to Britain and the country’s 7.5 million Catholics will be infuriated if the historic occasion is caught up in the BBC’s latest controversy.
- The Catholic Church in Birmingham said it is oversubscribed with parishioners wanting to go to the Papal Mass -- About 14,000 of some 70,000 tickets have been allocated to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham for Pope Benedict XVI's visit. (BBC News. August 1, 2010)
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Posted by Christopher Blosser at 5:57 AM