Tag: Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Francis – A Man Of His Word

Monday, 16 April, 2018 0 Comments

German director Wim Wenders will be back at the Festival de Cannes (8 to 19 May) with a new documentary titled Pope Francis – A Man Of His Word. According to Wenders, it’s “a personal journey with Pope Francis rather than a traditional biographical film about him. A rare co-production with the Vatican, the pope’s ideas and his message are central to this documentary, which sets out to present his work of reform and his answers to today’s global questions from death, social justice, immigration, ecology, wealth inequality, materialism, and the role of the family.”

Note: Today is the 91st birthday of retired Pope Benedict XVI. Felix dies Natalis tibi!


Has the nimbus been tarnished?

Thursday, 28 February, 2013 1 Comment

There is a nimbus about the Papacy, bound up with the history of the office that makes it unlike anything else on Earth. That being the case, one could view the decision by Pope Benedict XVI to resign as very damaging to the ancient aura he inherited. By doing something as normal as what’s being termed “retiring” he is making the mysterious very mortal. And therein lies a danger. The other-worldliness of the Papacy, its claim to divine selection, has enabled the Catholic Church to act as a bulwark against secularization in all its forms, be it the evil of communism or the sterility of consumerism. And when some new cultish belief system like warmism emerges, the historical example of the Vatican helps puts it in perspective and in its place. If the Papacy is to be “humanized”, will the forces and the fanaticisms that it has traditionally neutralized feel emboldened to stake their claim for legitimacy, now that they feel a mere man stands in their way?


Sede vacante

Thursday, 28 February, 2013 0 Comments

“From a distance, the skullcaps of a knot of cardinals looked like fuchsias,” writes Christopher Howse in the Telegraph. Getting into his stride, he adds: “The people spilt out of the Vatican state, with concentrations like iron filings round screens in the Via della Conciliazione that runs towards the kaolin-grey Tiber. The silence that fell during readings from Scripture was like walking from a noisy pub into an empty street.” One of the finest pieces written about yesterday’s events in Rome is titled “In The world bids farewell to Pope Benedict XVI.”

Christopher Howse brings his readers back to 2005 and the Mass at the opening of the conclave that elected the then-Cardinal Ratzinger as Pope: “Buildings do not last, or books. After a certain time, more or less long, all this disappears,” said the celebrant. And that’s what will happen tonight when Pope Benedict XVI retires from public life. The chair of Peter will be empty. Sede vacante. That, the Latin scholar Howse points out is the Latin ablative absolute for “the chair being empty.” Now is not a moment for grief, however:

“But I think we should not underestimate the hard-bitten ability of Catholics to distinguish between the holiness of the Church and the sinfulness of its members. Jesus Christ, they were taught from childhood, is the head of the Church, not the Pope. There may be crises in the Church, but the Church is not in crisis. It is growing.”

Sede Vacante


Lance Armstrong: corrupt optima pessima

Friday, 18 January, 2013 0 Comments

Latin “In English you say ‘the corruption of the best one is horrible’; in Latin, three words suffice: ‘corrupt optima pessima‘. It is a language which helps to think with precision and sobriety. And it has produced an exceptional heritage of science, knowledge and faith.” So spoke Roberto Spataro, secretary of the Pontifical Academy for Latin Studies, which Pope Benedict XVI founded last year.

Latin is back in the news because of @pontifex_ln, which now has 3,000 followers. In the four weeks since he began tweeting in seven other languages the Pope has gathered more than 2.5 million followers and counting. But isn’t Latin, with all its lentitudo, just a tad sluggish for our hyper times? Not at all says Manlio Simonetti, professor in Christian history. He told L’Osservatore Romano, the “semi-official” newspaper of the Holy See: “Latin… is very well suited to the brevity necessary on new social networks, even more so than English.”

Speaking of L’Osservatore Romano, it began the year with an article titled, “How a tweet from the Pope originates“. Tweet-like snippet: “The appointed departments of the Secretariat of State prepare a text which the Pope then must approve.”

@lancearmstrong, meanwhile, has 3,895,000 followers.


Anticipating @Pope

Monday, 3 December, 2012 0 Comments

Pope Benedict XVI will launch his personal Twitter account later this morning at the Vatican. Among those present for the big moment will be Revered Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office and Claire Díaz-Ortiz, who heads social innovation at Twitter. And the papal Twitter handle? In June last year, the Pope launched the new site www.news.va by sending a tweet from @news_va_en. He wrote, “Dear friends, I just launched News.va. Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI.” That signature has led some to believe that @BenedictusPPXVI will be the name for the 85-year-old Pontiff’s account, although @Pope would be very fitting.

UPDATE: #HabemusPapam…. @Pontifex


“Non si può seguire Gesù da soli”

Sunday, 1 July, 2012

Who knows what this pilgrim at the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin in mid-June was praying for? Health, perhaps. Better weather, possibly. An Italian victory in Euro 2012? Tonight, in Kiev, Italy play Spain in the final of the championship and for the Italian coach, Cesare Prandelli, the tournament has been a triumph of faith. […]

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