Tag: B16

Benedict’s Resignation – Bringing the Church into the Modern Age

So, here’s my two cents about B16’s resignation. In a piece in the Washington Times today, I maintain that this is part of John Paul II and Benedict’s vision for…

So, here’s my two cents about B16’s resignation. In a piece in the Washington Times today, I maintain that this is part of John Paul II and Benedict’s vision for the future of the Church. You can read the piece here.

Additionally, I think it’s important to note that Benedict will be remembered for influencing two consistories conclaves. The last with his homily on the dictatorship of relativism and this with his extremely clear signals as to what the leadership of the Church should look like.

Exciting times! I do hope Benedict gets a cat when he steps down…

 

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Benedict XVI: Humble, Heroic, Groundbreaking Servant

I know, those adjectives don’t always go together; but Benedict is a unique case. I was just in Rome where I was able to be at a private audience with…

I know, those adjectives don’t always go together; but Benedict is a unique case. I was just in Rome where I was

Thursday's Private Audience

able to be at a private audience with the Pope on Thursday. I was there for his address to the Order of Malta on Saturday, when the Order celebrated its 900th anniversary. And I was there on Sunday for the Angelus.

When I left Rome on Monday morning, the news had not broken yet. Landed at Dulles and, well there you have it! History had been made just a few hours before. It’s taken me a while to get to posting since the rest of our trip turned into much more of an ordeal than planned. Nevertheless, we reached our destination early this a.m.

So here are some quick thoughts. Benedict is a servant. He understands that being Pope is not simply an honorary title but that he actually has to serve all of the people of the world. He has not shunned the commitment to a deep spiritual life on behalf of the world. The problem is that he lacks the physical stamina to be the active leader that the global Church (and the rest of the world) needs. It took great courage and humility to make this decision.

Obviously, it’s a groundbreaking decision because this has not happened in several hundred years. It will probably do a lot to define how the papacy moves forward in the coming years. The globalization of the world has changed the reality of carrying out the duties of the Petrine office…and others as well.

Fr. Robert A. Gahl, Jr, a professor in Rome, has a good reflection here. John Allen has a helpful q&a here.

Stay tuned…

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“All I want for Christmas is a family.”

The Telegraph, a UK news publication, reports that the top ten things that children put on their Christmas lists, included siblings and a dad. The number one gift children requested…

The Telegraph, a UK news publication, reports that the top ten things that children put on their Christmas lists, included siblings and a dad. The number one gift children requested was a baby brother or sister. But it’s their number ten request that speaks volumes: a dad. In my book, that’s something that a child shouldn’t have to put on a Christmas list. That should be a given, no pun intended.

And yet, the fact that a sibling and a dad ranked so high on wish-lists gives me great hope. Even though we can see many sociological indicators that suggest all is not at all well with the world, these children seem to suggest that they know it should be better, starting with their own families.

In his homily for Midnight Mass, Pope Benedict, reflecting on Mary and Joseph as they are turned away from every inn, asks, “[W]hat would happen if Mary and Joseph were to knock at my door. Would there be room for them?” He ties the situation of Mary and Joseph to our own lack of willingness to open the doors of our hearts to God, including “children, the suffering, the abandoned, those who are excluded and the poor of this world,” in whom God is reflected.

While these children may not all be writing the type of Christmas letter that the Pope wrote when he was a boy of 7, I find at least two of their requests to be profound and a hopeful indication that their hearts are very generous. And without wanting to suggest that children cast off all their lessons on stranger danger, I think they would open their doors to Mary and Joseph. They’d know a family when they saw it.

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B16’s “Jesus of Nazareth”: it’s worth your time.

Released today, just in time for Lent – Pope Benedict’s new book, Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week. Last week, the book made headlines with old news that needed to be…

Released today, just in time for Lent – Pope Benedict’s new book, Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week.

Last week, the book made headlines with old news that needed to be heard again, namely that the Jewish people are not responsible for the death of Jesus. The book continues to make international news.

Yesterday, Ignatius hosted a telepress conference to introduce the book. Experts included Fr. Fessio, Mark Brumley, Dr. Craig Evans, Dr. Jacob Neusner, Dr. Brant Pitre, Fr. Thomas Weinandy, and Dr. Benjamin Witherington III. I found it very refreshing to hear people of different faith backgrounds (Jewish, Protestant, and Catholic) have a constructive conversation about something substantial. We need more examples of such discourse.

Read more.

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Pope ok’s condoms.

Now that I’ve got your attention, please buy a copy of the new book Light of the World, an interview of B16 by Peter Seewald, and find out for yourself….

Now that I’ve got your attention, please buy a copy of the new book Light of the World, an interview of B16 by Peter Seewald, and find out for yourself. In addition to the question of condoms, you’ll also find that Benedict is an incredibly interesting and deep leader.

So, here’s the scoop. L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper (where I once worked), broke the embargo on the book and published some excerpts. Of course, if there’s something to do with sex and anything Catholic, you can be sure that it will get attention.

In a detailed section on the question of the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, the Pope gave the following response:

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This, too, shall pass.

Pope Benedict gave animpromptu talk at the special synod on the Middle East. A synod is basically a meeting of regional bishops and other experts, typically to discuss particular issues…

Pope Benedict gave animpromptu talk at the special synod on the Middle East. A synod is basically a meeting of regional bishops and other experts, typically to discuss particular issues and their local effects.

Benedict started with a very deep theological treatment of the nature of Jesus as the second person of the trinity and went on to describe Mary’s role as the mother of God. And then he applied it to several of the major issues affecting our world: financial markets, drugs, terrorism, so-called religious wars, and even climate issues. I’ve excerpted part of his discussion on these practical matters, but the whole discourse is certainly worth a read:

We think of the great powers of today’s history, we think of the anonymous capitals that enslave man, that are no longer something belonging to man, but are an anonymous power that men serve, and by which men are tormented and even slaughtered. They are a destructive power that threatens the world. And then the power of the terrorist ideologies. Violence is done apparently in the name of God, but this is not God: these are false divinities that must be unmasked, that are not God. And then drugs, this power that, like a ravenous beast, stretches its hands over all parts of the earth and destroys: it is a divinity, but a false divinity, which must fall. Or even the way of life promoted by public opinion: today it’s done this way, marriage doesn’t matter anymore, chastity is no longer a virtue, and so on.

… .

And there is also a final expression in Psalm 81, “Movebuntur omnia fundamenta terrae” (Psalm 82 [81]:5), the foundations of the earth are shaken. We see this today, with the climatic problems, how the foundations of the earth are threatened, but they are threatened by our behavior. The outer foundations are shaken because the inner foundations are shaken, the moral and religious foundations, the faith that leads to the right way of life. And we know that the faith is the foundation, and, without a doubt, the foundations of the earth cannot be shaken if the faith, the true wisdom, stands firm.

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