Friday, May 30, 2008

Benedict XVI's prayer intentions for June

Vatican City, May 30, 2008 / 10:22 am (CNA).- The Vatican's Press Office released the Holy Father's prayer intentions today for the month of June.

Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for June is: "That all Christians may cultivate a deep and personal friendship with Christ, in order to be able to communicate the strength of His love to every person they meet."

His mission intention is: "That the International Eucharistic Congress of Quebec in Canada may lead to an ever greater understanding that the Eucharist is the heart of the Church and the source of evangelisation."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

St. Gregory the Great shows us how to find true peace and hope, Pope says

Vatican City, May 28, 2008 / 09:40 am (CNA).- In his weekly audience today, Pope Benedict XVI continued his lessons on the Fathers of the Church by focusing on Pope Saint Gregory the Great. From St. Gregory we can learn that closeness to God brings true peace and hope, Pope Benedict said.

Under the hot Roman May sun, the Holy Father taught the thousands of visitors and pilgrims in St Peter's Square about how Gregory the Great left a life of civil service for the service of God.

"Born of a noble Roman family, Gregory entered the civil service, in which he rose to the dignity of Prefect of the City, and then embraced the monastic life.”

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Ahmadinejad requests Pope meeting

Television New Zealand
May 28, 2008 8:05 AM

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has asked for an audience next week with Pope Benedict which would be the first meeting between the two leaders, a diplomatic source said.

Ahmadinejad is among the heads of state expected to visit Rome to attend a June 3-5 United Nations summit on global food security, hosted by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Vatican sources said earlier this week that it was not yet clear if the Pope would meet individual heads of state attending the UN event or hold a collective audience for them in order to save time.

The Vatican has criticised Ahmadinejad for calling for Israel to be wiped off the map.

The Holy See has diplomatic ties with Iran and Pope Benedict has met Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki.

Monday, May 26, 2008

God bless our military on Memorial Day

May we remember and pay tribute to those who died for our country and those in the armed forces who are now presently serving:

Video: Bush Honors Fallen at Tomb of the Unknowns

Associated Press

Friday, May 23, 2008

Benedict XVI, As Seen Up Close

Vatican Officials Give Insider's Look

By Marta Lago

ROME, MAY 23, 2008 ( If you want to understand Joseph Ratzinger, the man and the Pope, the starting point is the love of God, affirmed a cardinal who has worked closely with him.

Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, gave an inside look at the personality of Benedict XVI when he participated Tuesday in the book launch of "Benedictus," by Giuseppe de Carli.

"The key to the person and the ministry of Benedict XVI is the love of God," the cardinal said, affirming that the Pontiff's first encyclical, "Deus Caritas Est," "represents the particularity of this Pontiff."

But the cardinal clarified what that love of God means: "Love is not a static attitude," but "a dynamism that, by definition, is something that spreads.

"It tends to continuously bring into play new energies," he affirmed. "Thus, love provokes the great questions, and therefore engenders philosophy and theology."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Living faith rescues our cultural heritage from the past, Pope says

General Audience

Vatican City, May 21, 2008 / 09:48 am (CNA).- At the general audience today in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall, Pope Benedict XVI emphasized the beauty of Christian culture, which, because it is rooted in Christ, has left a heritage that remains alive today.

Continuing his series of reflections on the Fathers of the Church, the pope turned his attention to the poetry of a little known figure, Romanus the Melodist.

Born in Syria at the end of the fifth century, Romanus received a classical education, was ordained a deacon, and settled in Constantinople. He was called the “Christian Pindar" (a Greek poet) for his lofty compositions in verse.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

True youthfulness is found in Jesus, Pope Benedict says

Pope Benedict XVI in Genoa

Genoa, May 18, 2008 / 12:30 pm (CNA).- Speaking to a crowd young people huddled under umbrellas in Piazza Matteotti, the main square of the northern Italian city of Savona, Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday offered his words of encouragement and blessing to the city's enthusiastic youth. Telling the crowd that friendship with Jesus ensures true youth, he exhorted them never to remain "old inside."

"Dear young people, unfortunately, the rain followed me in these days, but let us take it as a sign of blessing, fertility for the land, even as a symbol of the Holy Spirit who comes and renews the earth, the earth dry of our souls," he began.

The Pope invited youth to "Always be young." He stressed that "real youth" is not a matter of age or efficiency, being cool, or following "mythical figures," but is instead about being "good and generous."

Friday, May 09, 2008

Fr. Joseph Fessio: The Pope is just being who he really is

Insight Scoop
Friday, May 09, 2008

From a May 8th ZENIT interview with Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J.:

While many Americans have a new take on the personality of Benedict XVI after his U.S. trip, Father Joseph Fessio says the Pope revealed nothing new. ...

The Jesuit, who is also the founder and editor in chief of Ignatius Press, the Pope's primary English-language publisher, explained that the Holy Father "is transparent, so what you see is who he is. His many concrete acts of thoughtfulness and generosity are unknown to most people, but would not be a surprise to those who have now had the chance to see and hear him."

There has been speculation that the Pope sometimes was negatively portrayed by the press simply because of his many years leading the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, coupled with his shyness.

Father Fessio agrees that these have been factors, "[b]ut the largest factor is that the secular media and dissenting Catholics will always project a negative image of anyone who upholds the teaching of the Catholic Church on the controversial, neuralgic issues of our time. Most are related to gender: contraception, abortion, homosexuality, ordination of women, married priests."

"Once the tide of enthusiasm recedes," the priest speculated, "the Holy Father will be portrayed as a hard-line conservative who is behind the times."

Sunday, May 04, 2008

‘Jesus came into the world to bring the sheep back,’ says the Holy Father

Vatican City, May 4, 2008 / 09:11 am (CNA).- Over 100 thousand people filled St. Peter's Square with tremendous enthusiasm to pray with Pope Benedict XVI at noon today. Tens of thousands of members of the Italian Catholic Action league came from all parts of Italy to meet the Vicar of Christ on the occasion of its 140th anniversary.

Before reciting the Regina Coeli prayer, Pope Benedict likened the enthusiasm of the crowd to an "open air upper room" where the disciples waited and prayed with Mary in the days leading up to Pentecost. Today is celebrated as the feast of the Ascension in several countries, including Italy.

The Pope spoke about the Ascension of Jesus who, he said, "came into the world to bring man to God, not as a philosopher or a master of wisdom - but really, as pastor who wants to bring the sheep back."

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Pope Benedict to vacation in Australia before World Youth Day

Sydney, May 3, 2008 / 01:07 pm (CNA).- This July, Pope Benedict XVI will spend three extra days resting in Australia before heading to Sydney for World Youth Day 2008.

Mandy Higgins, media coordinator for the massive youth event, said in a statement that Pope Benedict’s trip to Australia will be the longest journey of his papacy. He will spend eight days there, five of which will involve World Youth Day activities.

Pope Benedict will leave Rome on July 12 and arrive in Australia on Sunday, July 13. He will return to the Vatican on July 21.

Bishop Anthony Fisher, Coordinator of WYD08, said he was “delighted” the Pope would spend more time in Australia.

“We were asked to nominate a suitable location for his stay and have recommended somewhere serene, beautiful and suitable for the leader of the world’s Catholics.”