Month: August 2005

The Man Who Became Pope

I was going to blog about this yesterday but I see Vivificat already beat me to it. =) This past weekend I saw “A Man Who Became Pope”, a dramatization of the early life of Karol Wojtyla, Pope John Paul II, and I heartily recommend it. If it’s any incentive, the film was previewed by both Pope Benedict XVI and John Paul II himself in a private viewing, receiving great approval:

“A Man Who Became Pope” was warmly received when screened at the Vatican’s Paul VI hall on May 19. “The film presents scenes and episodes that, in their severity, awaken in the viewers an instinctive ‘turning away’ in horror and stimulates them to consider the abyss of iniquity that can be hidden in the human soul,” said Pope Benedict XVI. “At the same time, calling to the fore such aberrations revives in every right-minded person the duty to do what he or she can so that such inhuman barbarism never happens again…I…express living gratitude to those who wanted to offer me. . . . the opportunity to view this moving film.”

Vatican press spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said Pope John Paul II had seen the film in its entirety in a private viewing before his death and was “very impressed” with the portrayal and “appreciated the many scenes” from that period in his life.

Those watching the film with prior knowledge of JPII’s life will enjoy certain scenes (his tutoring a student in the phenomenology of Max Scheler, for example, or his postwar reunion with lifelong Jewish friend Jerzy Kluger, who would play an instrumental part in the Vatican’s recognition of Israel). But even those for whom this is an introduction to JPII will find the plot compelling and the acting exceptional (I did not realize it until Pedro pointed it out, but one of the actors played Pontius Pilate in Gibson’s Passion of the Christ).

All in all, this is a stirring testament to the enduring power of Christ’s love and forgiveness. It will receive encore presentation” on the Hallmark channel on August 27 (see for further details). For those who don’t have cable it is now available on DVD. [Sorry, I thought I saw an advertisement for a DVD release on the official website. Let’s hope they’ll release it due to popular demand? — Chris]

Update!The trouble with “Karol”, by George Weigel. “The Catholic Difference”. Papal biographer George Weigel takes serious issue with some of the fictionalized elements of the film. I think we can expect that a “made for television” movie, even if intending to portray the life of a major figure, is going to engage in some creative rewriting for purposes of dramatization. If it passed muster with both JPII and B16, it’s all right with me — but then Weigel’s certainly entitled to his opinion.


Lenoir-Rhyne College and "the erosion of liberal arts education"

Bowling for Lenoir-Rhyne – A Michael Moore movie? Or the new liberal arts curriculum? – Dr. Philip Blosser speaks out on “the erosion of the liberal arts core” at Lenoir-Rhyne College, my alma mater, including a proposal to group philosophy with a number of electives alongside courses in “physical wellness”:

The matter is not merely academic. I have just come from a meeting in which the School of History, Philosophy, and Religion, of which I am a member, was asked by the chair of the faculty curriculum committee to consider a proposed new liberal arts curriculum in which philosophy would be no longer required of all students, but grouped together with a number of electives alongside courses in “physical wellness.” Let me translate: a student, under this proposal, would be allowed to choose between Introductory Philosophy and, say, Introductory Bowling. Students would doubtless leap for joy. But from the point of view of anyone schooled in the history and meaning of the liberal arts, this is (to use the words of one of my colleagues in history) simply obscene!

The issues go far deeper than bowling or philosophy. The proposal shows a profound poverty of understanding – or at least a profound myopia – on the part of those faculty members who designed the proposed curricular changes. It reveals an erosion in understanding about the very purpose of liberal arts education, not to mention the place of philosophy in such an education. The problem behind this myopic reasoning is simple: philosophy, like the other liberal arts, has no immediately identifiable utility, therefore it is assumed to lack substantial value. By contrast, courses in “professional” programs — such as business, marketing, tax law, physical therapy, occupational therapy, exercise science, nursing, computer science, etc. — are obviously very useful, and therefore assumed to be eminently valuable . . .

From what I understand the other humanities are being “downsized” as well in the effort to turn what was once a promising Lutheran liberal arts institution into something resembling your average technical college.

Lenoir-Rhyne College is affiliated with the ELCA and its founding statement proclaimed “the conviction that wholeness of personality, true vocation, and the most useful service to God and the world are best discerned from the perspective of Christian faith.” I think my college’s founding fathers would be turning over in their grave if they could see what is happening now.

An applicable passage from G.K. Chesterton [from All is Grist]:

Now, the nuisance of all this notion of Business Education, of training for certain trades, whether of plumber or plutocrat, is that they will prevent the intelligence being sufficiently active to criticize trade and business properly. They begin by stuffing the child, not with the sense of justice by which he can judge the world, but with the sense of inevitable doom or dedication by which he must accept that particularly very worldly aspect of the world. Even while he is a baby he is a bank-clerk, an accepts the principles of banking which Mr. Joseph Finsbury so kindly explained to the banker. Even in the nursery he is an actuary or an accountant: he lisps in numbers and the numbers come. But he cannot criticize the principles of banking, or entertain the intellectual fancy that the modern world is made to turn too much on the Pythagorean worship of numbers. But that is because he has never heard of the Pythagorean philosophy; or, indeed, of any other philosophy. He has never been taught to think, but only to count. He lives in a cold temple of abstract calculation, of which the pillars are columns of figures. Bue he has no basic sense of Comparative Religion (in the true sense of that tiresome phrase) by which he may discover whether he is in the right temple, or distinguish one temple from another. . . .

From Jacques Maritain [Education at the Crossroads]:

If we remember that the animal is the specialist, and a perfect one, all of its knowing-power being fixed upon a single task to be done, we ought to conclude that an educational program that would aim only at forming specialists ever more perfect in ever more specialized fields, and unable to pass judgement on any matter that goes beyond their specialized competence, would lead indeed to a progressive animalization of the human mind and life.

Finally, from “The Changing Idea of a University: American Higher Education and the Illiberal Use of Knowledge”, by Matthew D. Wright [The 2001 Lord Acton Essay Competition – The Acton Institute]:

Liberal education values man as man, unique in an ordered universe and ordered in his uniqueness. Man is not a fungible cog in the gears of social progress. Developing the student’s intellect is its own good, admitting of no further justification for the energy expended. Liberal learning educates for the good of man, and in so doing produces a good for mankind. Utilitarian training, on the other hand, abandons the good of the soul for the perceived good of society, and in so doing abandons the possibility of a good society to shallow and incontinent souls. This is increasingly the position of American culture. As Newman observed of his own day, “The Philosophy of Utility, you will say, Gentlemen, has at least done its work; and I grant it,– [sic] it aimed low, but it has fulfilled its aim.” The state’s experiment in utilitarianism has been overwhelmingly successful as well. Contemporary technological sophistication is unparalleled, and the university has unquestionably been at the forefront of this progress. Nonetheless, as society begins to experience the upshot of abandoning its heritage, the realization grows that it has had far, far too low an aim.

Concerning my "lack of reflection and Catholic seriousness"

From Stephen Hand’s blog (TCR Musings):

. . . confused war bloggers who like to dabble in religion will often be heard saying that war, unlike abortion, “is not intrinsically evil”. And then, to butcher the syllogism, they jump to the conclusion that therefore this particular war (and probably any other war the United States waged or will) is justified because George Bush said so. It’s about that simple for them. There’s very little reflection on Catholic principles required to join the club. One certainly never hears from them what one would expect from a Catholic, a plea for peace…

‘Freedom’ at the point of a preemptive gun is a simple, harmonious truth for such as these. And rather than be repelled by national war propaganda, they admire its cleverness.

One of them (to be polite I will not name the fellow) who I used to respect for his archival skills formed a fan club with some Americanist theological caveboys and seems oblivious to the fact that his startling lack of reflection and escapades with them has ruined him so far as the worth of his opinions are concerned. He is a mere archivist now and parrot of a strain of thought (we can call it Manifest Destiny) which repulses Catholicism despite its corporate backers. Theology for him means looking up what George Weigel wrote… Utterly unhindered by Catholic seriousness, he.

Oh, come now, Stephen. Don’t be modest. =) You’re sniping is directed at yours truly, as anybody will realize.

For those out of the loop regarding my “warblogging” and dispensing of “national war propaganda”, Stephen’s referring to the exchange w. I. Shawn McElhinney, Greg Mockeridge, Dave Armstrong and myself. See the May 2005 Archive for details.

And as to the reason why I’m “merely archiving” at the moment, I explained earlier this month (“Interlude” August 5th, 2005), I’m taking a “leave of absence” to spend some time in serious reading and pursuit of personal interests in research (the “Augustinian-Thomist”/”Whig-Thomist” debate, for example) as well as some of the latest works of our Holy Father (for whom Stephen and I share a mutual esteem, despite our differences).

Consequently, posting at Against The Grain will be sparse in the interim (apart from the occasional roundups, as I prefer to continue directing my readers to other bloggers and articles which I’ve enjoyed). I think most of you can understand, but I apologize to those who, like Stephen, bewail the abominable lack of substantial theological content.

This is not to say I haven’t been writing at all — I refer you to my other blog Religion & Liberty, chiefly used as a means for note-taking but lately corresponding with David Jones (la nouvelle théologie) and Chris Burgwald (Veritas), among others, who share my interest and the pleasure of a civil discussion.

* * *

The RatzingerFanClub is not a fan club per se, in that we do not have any secret handshakes, membership cards, or chapter meetings (For details on the origins of the site, its humor and its inspiration, click here).

We do have a email discussion list, however, that presently runs 600+ members (not all of them active) — a good number are from the United States, but others herald from Latin America, Europe and Russia. If you turn to our online forum you’ll find several hundred members, also from around the world, few whom I think would take kindly to being called an “Americanist theological caveboy.”

As to my “startling lack of reflection . . . unhindered by Catholic seriousness”, I’ll leave that assessment to my readers. After all, “St. Blog’s Parish” is a pretty diverse place. Those who are offended by my utter vacuity and subserviance to corporate backers (where are they? I wouldn’t mind the help) can surely find another blog to their liking. =)

Here and There . . .

An irregular roundup of blogs, articles and commentary.

  • Spirit of Dissent – from Cosmos, Liturgy, Sex on the “spirit of Protestantism in the Catholic Church” that Brother Roger of Taizé criticized, and thoughts on Brother Rodger’s own relationship with Rome by way of Ken, a friend who has spent some time with the community:

    . . . Ken visited the Taizé community and has been interested in it since beginning his journey to the Church. He found it an inspiration that so many Protestant ministers who joined the community ended up, sooner or later, in full communion with Rome. That, by the way, is what he believes that Brother Roger did as well. Ken is confident that Brother Roger was Catholic when he visited him in 2003. In any case, based upon his interest in Taizé he caught something that I had missed in reading the Zenit article discussing Brother Roger’s letter to the Pope. In the letter, Zenit reports that Brother Roger wrote of his desire “to come as soon as possible to Rome to meet with me [B16] and to tell me that ‘our Community of Taizé wants to go forward in communion with the Holy Father . . . ‘” Ken sees in this the logical fulfillment of Taizé’s mission, in other words, the community’s full communion with the Catholic Church. . . .

  • Stephen Riddle (Flos Carmeli) on The New Life and Detachment:

    A few weeks back I wrote an entry on Jesus’s proclamation, “Behold, I make all things new.” All things–everything–that includes us. How can we be new if we are still doing everything we did before? How can we be new if we are completely ingrained in habit? How can Jesus recreate each one of us if we steadfastly refuse to be recreated?

    Detachment is our part of the work (aided by grace, of course) that complements the power of Jesus’s resurrection. He raises us to new life, and we cooperate with the help of the graces of God by allowing ourselves to be changed. . . .

  • David Michael Phelps on the necessity for clarity in our definitions:

    We must be extremely careful about our language when we debate one another on any issue. So often, an argument is won, lost, or irredeemably confused because of a definition. If truths can be unlocked in careful definition, so can lies be reified in careless ones. . . .

    In a society of immense wealth, are those people in poverty who can afford only a fraction of the luxuries that others can afford? Can we so easily hijack a word, complete with its connotations? If you think that words cannot be so easily hijacked, so easily skewed, or so simply misunderstood as to serious impact culture and life, I submit the terms ‘liberal’ and ‘human rights’ for your consideration.

    See also: “Watch Your Language” Acton Inst. Powerblog Thursday, June 30. 2005.

  • A Religion the New York Times Can Love, by Donna Steichen – on the “minimalist world religion” of Fr. Hans Kung. (This article originally appeared in the June 2005 issue of The Catholic World Report).
  • Young adult ministry can be hazardous to your health – Karen Marie Knapp profiles Blessed Karl Leisner, youth minister, whose memorial was on August 12.
  • “Cardinal Avery Dulles once said to a Lutheran theologian, “We’ll only know what your ‘yes’ means when you say ‘no’ to someone.” – Bill Cork, who has a great post demonstrating how Dulles’ admonishment applies to the ELCA and Eucharistic sharing.
  • First, Do No HarmDisputations on moral scandal and a recognition of our limitations:

    If moral scandal — the turning away from Christ caused by another’s sin — that comes with the tabloid scandal — public reports of the sins of a Christian apostle — is motivated by hatred of falsehood, anyone involved in preaching the Gospel ought to make clear that he himself recognizes he is to some extent a false sign of Christ, that for example he is perfectly capable of fathering a child. The apostle necessarily signifies Christ; his choice is whether to be an imperfect sign or a false sign.

    It’s often remarked that, the holier a person becomes, the more aware he is of his own sins. Less often is it remarked that we are aware of how aware the saints are of their own sins. We know this because they have told others of their awareness, and telling others serves not only to instruct us on how sinful we must be, but to make of the saints’ lives a true, because admittedly imperfect, sign of Christ.

  • Faith and Certainty – Clairity at Cahiers Peguy shares some insights from Fr. Giussani:

    In the section of Why the Church? about “The Cultural Value of a New Concept of Truth,” Giussani compares the Hebrew concept to that of the Greek world. For the Hebrew, God is the rock. It is He himself who is certain for us, rather than just our idea of Him. Yahweh – I am who am. His Being is the pivotal point for our own, and is the only thing that will anchor us in the world, which is full of everything uncertain from capricious circumstance to the unsteady roiling of our own psyches. . . .

    (Read on).

  • “Same old, same old”, says Genevieve Kineke (Feminine Genius), providing critical commmentary on the ordination of Susan Ringer to the deaconate in the United Catholic Church (which is not valid, licit, or recognised in any way by Rome).
  • Lane Core posts a tribute to Steven Vincent, a fallen journalist and blogger murdered by terrorists.
  • This has been mentioned in countless blogs by now, but I’d like to praise Nick Cannon for his song and music video “Can I Live?”. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. As one reader commented on his forum: “You have no idea the power of that song, it’s power is bigger than you are, it’s bigger than the music industry itself. It will continue to take on a life of it’s own. Let it be so.” This has great potential to change minds and hearts and save the lives of unborn children, and that it is being played on the cesspool of MTV is nothing short of amazing.
  • Stephen Bogner (Catholicism, Holiness and Spirituality on learning to forgive from the heart.
  • Tuesday, August 9th, was the feast day of Edith Stein -. Teresa Polk (Blog by the Sea commmemorates the occasion with a series of readings on the Search to Know God’s Will; Grace, Faith and the Church and The Cross and Freedom.
  • “Last week I received phone calls from two of the most powerful, mysterious, and controversial institutions in the world: Opus Dei and The New York Times. And I lived to talk about it,” says Carl Olson, writing about his amusing encounter with the New York Times.
  • Is the Adoremus Society opposed to “reform of the reform”? — Back in July my father aka The Pertinacious Papist posted a letter he had sent to Adoremus Bulletin regarding some ambiguities in the Adoremus Society’s mission regarding liturgical renewal:

    There are three liturgical movements in Roman Catholicism today: (1) the Tridentine rite, which continues under an officially encouraged indult, (2) the reform of that rite called for by Vatican II, and (3) the Novus Ordo, which incorporates numerous innovations never envisioned by the Council, and which Pope Benedict has called a “rupture” with liturgical tradition. . . . If Adoremus is devoted to the renewal of the Sacred Liturgy “according to the genuine intention of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council,” wouldn’t you be committed primarily to #2 above? Yet over the last decade, you have been occupied almost exclusively with abuses within the Novus Ordo, which, even with its abuses eliminated, incorporates numerous innovations never mandated by the Council. Doesn’t this suggest that Adoremus is more concerned with #3 than with #2?

    As he noted, he recieved a rather curt and ambiguous response from the editors of the publication. Now, he posts a letter he recieved from Rev. Thomas M. Kocik, author of Reform of the Reform? A Liturgical Debate (San Diego: Ignatius Press, 2003). Adoremus‘ response towards the book (or marked lack thereof) appears to corroborate Dr. Blosser’s suspicions regarding the misplaced emphasis of the organization. Curiouser and curiouser . . .

  • The incomparable William Luse:

    I’m the kind of Christian who can hold his booze . . . You must make the most of your inheritance, of the talents you’ve been given. If you don’t, there’s a penalty. The Bible says. So my liver is a capacious and efficiently ordered mechanism; I feel obligated to see that it lives up to its potential. . . .

    The other kind of Christian I am is one who would never force his tastes and habits on another. For example, if in my presence you wanted to play the part of the pseudo-virtuous teetotaller (pregnant women excepted), by my guest. Suffer for the greater glory. If you don’t like alcohol, that’s fine with me; I’m sorry for your loss and I’ll still love you while drinking enough for the both of us. For further example, if I were in charge of the Mass, which I’m obviously not, I’d never shove my stinking lousy taste in music down your earpipes. If you wanted a moment to pray in silence before Mass, I’d find a way to squeeze it in. If you thought the jungle thunder of drums and the endless chatter and wail of human voices did not provide the appropriately reverent ambience for keeping our focus on the sacrifice at the free-standing table, I’d find a way to tone it down.

  • Domenico Bettinelli asks What has happened to WorldNetDaily?, responding to a disturbing resurgence in anti-Catholic bigotry in a popular dispenser of conservative news and commentary. (By the way, A hearty congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Domenico Bettinelli on their marrage!)
  • Dave Pierre @ Newsbusters notes that the mainstream media is silent after Planned Parenthood Golden Gate (PPGG) posted an animated video that displayed gross acts of brutality against those who wish to advance the messages of life and abstinence. In addition to its violence, the video also extended its own degree of tastelessness and disrespect.”

    The video was removed from PPGG’s site around midday, Tue. Aug. 9, 2005), but the silence of the secular media over its’ appearance is deafening. Imagine the outcry if, say, the National Right to Life posted a cartoon subtly advocating violence against abortionists? (Via Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam).

  • Gen X Revert has finally updated his very impressive Catholic Blog Directory, in which he integrates a list of Catholic bloggers outside the U.S.A.. According to Gen X, “There are several lists of Catholic Blogs out there, all with some good qualities. St. Blog’s needs to get together and create a master list that is totally up to date and can be updated by many people.” Those who maintain similar lists take note.
  • Rick Morrow (Being in the Form of a Quest), on Pieper and the Health Promoting “Fear of the Lord”:I often talk with Catholics who have been infected with a strange malady. They have come to fear the fear of the Lord. They seem to avoid it in all of the conversations, and, especially, their liturgical expression. If asked, they will suggest that fear and guilt are outmoded in modern religion.

    Morrow offers a good quote from Joseph Peiper as a remedy to such confusion one may have about “fearing the Lord.”

  • But God’s First – a new blog by Stephen Dillard, founder of the excellent group-blog Southern Appeal.

On a lighter note . . .

  • Jimmy Akin has developed with much thought and care a theology of the living dead. As in “Night of the Living . . .”; “Dawn of the . . . “, or most recently, “Land of the . . .”. — You know, zombies. Just in case you had any moral reservations about blowing one away in the rare event of a zombie attack.

Brother Roger Schutz of Taize 1915 – 2005

In the midst of the joy and celebration of World Youth Day, a heartbreaking tragedy — the senseless murder of Brother Roger Schutz:

DIJON, France, AUG. 16, 2005 ( The founder of the French religious Taizé Community, Brother Roger, was attacked and killed by a mentally disturbed [woman] during vespers, his community said.

Roger, 90, was attacked, probably with a knife, during evening prayer today at Taizé, near Cluny, in the eastern Burgundy region, a member of the community told Agence France-Presse.

The Taizé movement started during World War II, when Swiss-born monk Roger Schutz, living in Taizé, provided a refuge for those fleeing the conflict, irrespective of their religion.

Roger, a Protestant with a degree in theology, devoted his life to the reconciliation between Christian denominations.

Statement of the Taize community:

In its sorrow, the Taizé Community thanks all those who are supporting it by their affection and their prayer. On the morning of 17 August, after Brother Roger’s death, the following prayer was read in the church:

“Christ of compassion, you enable us to be in communion with those who have gone before us, and who can remain so close to us. We confide into your hands our Brother Roger. He already contemplates the invisible. In his footsteps, you are preparing us to welcome a radiance of your brightness.”

The funeral of Brother Roger will take place on Tuesday 23 August at 14.00.

Each afternoon, from 15.00 to 19.00, his body is placed in the church of Taizé, so that all who wish may go and meditate close by him.

Eight years ago, Brother Roger designated Brother Alois to succeed him, as the person in charge of the community. Brother Alois has entered straightaway into his ministry as servant of communion at the heart of the community.

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord.
And let perpetual light shine upon him.

  • Pope Mourns Murder of Taizé’s Brother Roger Zenit.or. August 17, 2005:

    The Pope showed emotion as he expressed his grief, at the end of today’s general audience.

    “This news has affected me even more because precisely yesterday I received a very moving, affectionate letter from Frère Roger,” the Pope said, addressing the pilgrims gathered in the patio of the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo.”

    In it he wrote that from the depth of his heart he wanted to tell me that ‘we are in communion with you and with those who have gathered in Cologne,'” the Holy Father said. . . .

    The letter, written in French, expressed Brother Roger’s desire “to come as soon as possible to Rome to meet with me and to tell me that ‘our Community of Taizé wants to go forward in communion with the Holy Father,'” according to Benedict XVI.

    The letter ended with these words in Brother Roger’s own handwriting: “Holy Father, I assure you of my sentiments of profound communion. Frère Roger of Taizé.”

    “At this moment of sadness,” the Pope said, “we can only commend to the Lord’s goodness the soul of this faithful servant of his.”

    “Frère Schutz is in the hands of eternal goodness, of eternal love; he has attained eternal joy,” the Holy Father added. “He invites and exhorts us to be faithful laborers in the Lord’s vineyard, also in sad situations, certain that the Lord accompanies us and gives us his joy.”

  • Brother Roger: A Life of Reconciliation – on the “Legacy of Taizé Community’s Slain Leader”. August 17, 2005.
  • How Taize changed the church, by Steve Tomkins, Church historian. BBC News, August 16, 2005.
  • Brother Roger – “Swiss-born pastor who founded the community at Taizé and saw it become a centre of pilgrimage”; a lengthy obituary from the UK’s Sunday Times August 18, 2005.
  • Brother Roger’s Funeral Highlights “Ecumenism of Holiness” Zenit News Service. August 25, 2005.
  • “A Man of Faith Loving Passionately the Church” messages sent to the ecumenical Community of Taizé by various religious leaders — a demonstration of its ecumenical influence on Christians around the world.

  • “He Nourished a Deep Desire for Reconciliation and Encounter”, text of Cardinal Kasper’s funeral homily for Brother Roger. August 24, 2005.

Pope Benedict XVI – World Youth Day – Cologne, 2005

The Official Website | EWTN Coverage | Weekly Schedule | Vatican Radio

This post will be updated daily with new material over the course of this week. Likewise, check out Amy Welborn who has all the goods, including links to all those live-blogging the events. – Christopher

Addresses of Pope Benedict XVI during WYD ’05 / Visit to Cologne
Farewell ceremony at the International Airport of Cologne/Bonn, August 21, 2005.
Meeting with German Bishops in the Piussaal (Pius Hall) of the Seminary of Cologne, August 21, 2005.
Vigil with youth at Marienfeld area August 20, 2005.
Meeting with representatives of Muslim Communities, at the Archbishopric of Cologne August 20, 2005.
Ecumenical meeting at the Archbishopric of Cologne August 19, 2005.
Meeting with seminarians at the Church of St Pantaleon in Cologne August 19, 2005.
Visit to the Synagogue of Cologne August 19, 2005.
Visit to the Cathedral of Cologne August 18, 2005.
[Address to Youth] Papal Welcoming Ceremony on the Poller Rheinwiesen bank in Cologne August 18, 2005.
Welcome ceremony at the International Airport of Cologne/Bonn, after being greeted by German President Horst Köhler. August 18, 2005.
  • His Holiness Benedict XVI speaks to Vatican Radio about his next visit to Köln for the 20th WYD August 12, 2005 [transcript – translation from German by Cristina Badde]:

    ” Holy Father, can you tell me what you would like to transmit to the youth of the world? What is the main issue you would like to “bring about”?

    Yes – I would like to show them how beautiful it is to be Christian, because the widespread idea which continues to exist is that Christianity is composed of laws and bans which one has to keep and, hence, is something toilsome and burdensome – that one is freer without such a burden. I want to make clear that it not a burden to be carried by a great love and realization, but it is like having wings. It is wonderful to be a Christian with this knowledge that it gives us a great breadth, a large community: As Christians we are never alone – in the sense that God is always with us, but also in the sense that we are always standing together in a large community, a community for The Way, that we have a project for the future – and in this way a Being which is worth believing in. This is the joy of being a Christian and is the beauty of believing.

    Read the whole thing. (Thanks, Rocco Palmo @ Whispers in the Loggia).

  • Catholic World News has PB16’s daily schedule for August 18-21. Also, here is the 90-page Handbook for WYD 2005, courtesy of Aristotle the Recovering Choir Director, who will be attending the festivities.
  • For the traditionalist-minded of my readers, here is some liturgical eye-candy from the Juventutem website — first photographs from World Youth Day 2005. As Brian from the new blog The New Liturgical Movement says: “Look at the traditionalist pilgrims’ Cologne schedule [.pdf format] . . . and then tell me you’re not just a touch jealous.”
  • According to AsiaNews, Benedict XVI has expressed the hope that WYD will become a “starting point for the re-evangelization of Europe.” He’s got a good audience to work with:

    . . . Participation in the six digits is expected when young Catholics gather for the 20th World Youth Day (WYD) on August 16-21 in Cologne, Germany. The event will culminate with the presence of the Pope.

    Some 400,000 young participants have already officially registered inspired by this year’s theme: “We have come to worship Him”. Organisers expect that number to be twice as much on the days of the main events and reach a million on August 21 when Pope Benedict XVI celebrates the Eucharist in Marienfeld, Mary’s Field, 17 km west of Cologne. Overall, about 1.2 million people are expected to come. . . .

    And for those who can’t make it, please note:

    On this occasion, the Pope has granted the plenary indulgence to all those who will present in Cologne. For all those who cannot but who will pray for the young people, he has granted the partial indulgence.

    Please keep the Holy Father and all those attending in your prayers, that they may carry that same enthusiasm for Christ, the Pope and his Church to their homes, families and schools in the days following the event.

  • John Allen Jr’s “Word from Rome” is, of course, a must-read for weekly coverage of Pope Benedict’s pontificate. This particular segment lays out the background and expectations for World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany:

    World Youth Day is the largest regular gathering of Catholics in the world, and therefore offers the pope a critically important opportunity to exercise his “bully pulpit.” Any event that involves a million people will draw media attention, and the theatre of a high papal Mass offers the global press irresistible imagery. All of this means that when Benedict XVI speaks in Cologne, the world will be listening in a way it generally doesn’t to papal addresses. (Some 4,000 journalists are already accredited for the event). It’s an “at-bat” for the pope as a global communicator, and whether he strikes out or knocks it out of the park will make a difference in the Catholic Church’s capacity to “evangelize,” meaning to spread its message.

    As well as the Holy Father’s relationship to Lutheranism, another topic of marked interest as he encounters Germany’s Catholic population (which, host to such organizations as Call to Action, harbor the rebellious spirit of their Protestant brethren):

    As a German theologian, and a convinced Augustinian, Joseph Ratzinger has long admired the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther. In 1965, commenting on the document Gaudium et Spes from the final session of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), Ratzinger criticized the text for relying too much on the optimism of French Jesuit Teilhard de Chardin, and not enough on Luther’s consciousness of the Cross and of sin. (Note that Ratzinger was complaining that a Catholic document neglected the father of the Protestant Reformation; that alone says something about his ecumenical attitudes).

    Also covered is the Holy Father’s relationship with the Jewish people (he will visit the Cologne synagogue for a prayer service on Friday, August 19) as well as Muslims (he is scheduled to meet Muslim leaders the following day at the archbishop’s palace).

  • See also: Cologne Jews prepare for Pope, by Yossi Lempkowicz. European Jewish Press. August 10, 2005.
  • Nice photo page from Vatican Radio. Got photos from Cologne? — Send them to
  • One of the perks of his profession — my brother Jamie is “attending World Youth Day in Cologne, through a fortunate series of coincidences, which happened to make it a more or less business related trip.” Having Vienna in Three Hours, he’s now blogging his first day in Cologne — check it out at
  • Good blogging from Tim Drake. Who better to cover World Youth Day than the author of Young and Catholic: The Face Of Tomorrow’s Church?
  • Fr. Willy Raymond of Hollywood, CA will be audio-podcasting at Couragio (“a pilgrim’s journal for WYD 2005”). He “will be travelling with a party that includes Jim Caviezel and his wife Kerri and Clarence Gilyard and his wife Elena and their three children; Rachel, Paul and Max.

    . . . We are sponsoring a major English language event at World Youth Day on Friday, August 19, at the UTL Arena in Dusseldorf from 2 PM to 6 PM. We will welcome Jim and Kerri Caviezel to address the assembly, then we will screen the film “The Passion of the Christ”. (Thanks go to Mel Gibson for donating a copy of the film for this event. Finally, we will pray the five Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary in five different languages. Clarence Gilyard will also speak, he is best known for his role on “Walker Texas Ranger.”

  • Kishore Jayabalan notes the significance of Cologne in “Becoming Adults in Christ: Benedict and World Youth Day” Acton Commentary. August 17, 2005.

    The late University of Chicago Professor Allan Bloom noted the absolute relativism among university students in The Closing of the American Mind (1987), and how this relativism is believed to be a moral postulate of the free society, rather than a theoretical insight. “The danger they have been taught to fear from absolutism in not error but intolerance. Relativism is necessary for openness, and this is the virtue, the only virtue, which all primary education for more than fifty years has dedicated itself to inculcating,” wrote Bloom.

    As an antidote to relativism, Pope Benedict proposes an adult faith, one “deeply rooted in friendship with Christ,” making “truth in love”. Young people need to be taught and shown that there is such a thing as knowable objective truth. They need to learn how freedom and moral responsibility work together and lead to a virtuous life. A society that does not recognize truth cannot defend itself when challenged, as Europe currently is, and World Youth Day is the perfect setting for this message.

    The choice of Cologne for the 20th WYD was not Benedict’s; it now appears providential. Besides serving as a homecoming for a German Pope, Cologne boasts an awe-inspiring Gothic cathedral, a university that hosted Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus as teachers, and a Carmelite convent that housed St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, also known as Edith Stein, the Jewish philosopher who converted to Catholicism and died in Auschwitz. If there is a place to show how the Christian faith shaped Europe and formed heroic persons even in its darkest hours, this is it.

  • Cologne Day 2 – My brother speaks highly of the Legionairies of Christ and their evangelization efforts:

    . . . The Legionaires never cease to amaze me. They managed to secure a hotel about one block from the Cathedral, a prime spot for young people. They are running a ‘coffeeshop’ with live internet access and dirt-cheap food available for any pilgrims who stop by. An hourly mass and six confession stations (in about 20 languages) run twelve hours a day. Live bands and intermittent vocation speakers exchange places on the stage. Books and flyers from Legionaires and Regnum Christi criss-cross the room. The kids come in droves. Hundreds every hour flock in and out, peppering the confession booths, chattering up the priests (why is it that the Legionaire priests are the best-looking priests around?), and crowding in for masses. No site at WYD is as successful. They blatantly promote priestly vocations, parade their priests around, and push (literally) the kids into confession booths, and the kids respond en masse. No one else is pushing confessions. The Legionaires are there. I am incredibly grateful, because spiritual renewal is impossible without penance: I know that, and the Legionaires know that. . . . I caught a confession with a Legionaire who barely spoke English (no worries, a fantastic confessor!). We left both utterly amazed by what the Legionaires had put together. No fuss. Just substance.

  • Pope Benedict XVI is IN DA HOUSE!:

    COLOGNE, Germany (AFP) 8/18/05 – An emotional Pope Benedict XVI arrived in his native Germany sparking a rapturous ovation from a welcoming party of young pilgrims at the start of the first foreign visit of his pontificate. . . .

    “With deep joy I find myself for the first time after my election to the Chair of Peter in my beloved homeland, in Germany,” Benedict said in a speech after being officially welcomed by President Horst Koehler.

  • Plenty of photos of World Youth Day and the arrival of Pope Benedict via YahooNews. (I’ve got EWTN’s coverage taping as we speak).
  • Amy Welborn notes the difficulties w. transportation and crowd-control — A German recipe for sardines — and takes account of the mixed reports by the press:

    in between stories of mob scenes, I also read stories of young people being challenged in the catechesis given by bishops, of appreciating the opportunities for Adoration and Reconciliation. So we’ll hope and pray, that in the end, for these young people, the good experiences outweigh the difficulties.

    And is WYD for everyone? Is it heaven on earth? Of course not. When you get half a million youth together, you have a riot of mixed motives, of raging hormones, conflicting personalities and intensity. Take your local youth group or religious ed class and multiply by hundreds of thousands. I do think you’d find a higher proportion of seriously engaged youth at WYD, simply because of the trouble it takes to make the trip, but at the same time, there’s probably a good party vibe going on – in the context of exhaustion and discomfort.

  • Reporting from Cologne, Germany, John Allen Jr. posts the first of a series of daily reports from World Youth Day, including this bit of trivia:

    A bit of trivia: Why is this event called “World Youth Day” even though it’s almost a week long?

    The answer is that the idea for World Youth Day was born in 1983, when John Paul II invited youth from around the world to join him in Rome on Palm Sunday. The first event staged under the title of “World Youth Day” was in 1986, again on Palm Sunday. As the event evolved, it rapidly outgrew its original one-day program, but by that stage the name had stuck.

    One other note: In Vatican argot, “youth” refers to anyone between the ages of 16 and 30. Hence “World Youth Day” is not designed for young children, who for the most part are discouraged from attending. Official communiqués from the German organizers warn that anyone under 16 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, or, in lieu of that, the sponsoring diocese, parish or organization’s group leaders must assume full responsibility. Special forms have to be filled out for minors who wish to come.

    EWTN had some great footage of past World Youth Day events this morning, wonderful moments of John Paul II capturing his sense of humor — moments which bring a tear to the eye. Perhaps he is even now smiling and watching, as his successor carries on his tradition, visiting with the future generation of our Church.

  • “We have seen the Peace of Christ, and it is glorious in our eyes” – The blog Excessive Catholicism has some great photos of the Pope’s trip on the Rhine along with commentary.
  • The Real United Nations – Tim Jones (posting to Jimmy Akin):

    It struck me while watching coverage of World Youth Day in Cologne that, as you look out over the vast crowd with flags flying from virtually every country on Earth, you are seeing the real United Nations. The Catholic church is truly catholic.

    For the most part the United Nations that we all know from the newspapers is a group of mutually suspicious, grudging, scheming members united mainly in their desire to get a larger piece of the pie. They are united in the same way that hyenas are united around a carcass.

    By contrast World Youth Day shows us a gathering of people who come together spontaneously, joyfully, with no greater desire than to demonstrate their love for Christ by showing love for one another. It is easy to sense, even through the satellite feed, that they are united in their love for their Papa and the One he represents.

  • Tim Drake on the final Mass at Marienfeld:

    Despite the over-produced music that smacked of “look at what we can do” rather than “let’s reflect on the mystery of God,” the Mass was an incredible experience – hearing so many youth responding in each of their languages. It was also incredible how the giant crowd went from chants and songs to absolute silence after Mass had started.

    The homily was quite clear and continued to expand upon the theme that Pope Benedict started last night – that of adoration. It focused very pointedly on the Eucharist and the youth responded with cheers on several occasions.

    The loudest cheers came after he said that “free time is empty if God is not present,” and after he said that religion, when pushed too far, “becomes like a consumer product. People choose what they like, and some are even able to make a profit from it.”

    (Tim’s live-blogging throughout the course of WYD has been nothing short of incredible, with on the spot reporting and many photographs. As one of many who could not make it, I offer my gratitude).

  • One Million Reasons Benedict XVI Is Winning – from John Heard aka. DreadNought, celebrating the official announcement that World Youth Day 2008 Will Be In Sydney.
  • Amy Welborn posts some of her favorite news photos from World Youth Day.
  • A story that’s already been passed on by Amy Welborn, Tim Drake and Rocco Palmo, but as the latter remarks, “it’s so good it deserves a repeat” — this from the WYD website on the papal lunch with 10 lucky youth:

    Twelve young people who have been involved in the preparations for World Youth Day for quite some time now — most of whom had interrupted their studies to do so — were invited to eat lunch with the Pope in the seminary in Cologne on Friday. The symbolism of the occasion was not lost on the young people: just as Jesus ate the Last Supper with his disciples, so the Pope wanted to spend some time with them, talk to them, and celebrate with them.

    Omelette was on the menu for the young people, and trout for the Pope. But the Holy Father declined the offer because he felt it would be too complicated to eat fish and speak at the same time. So Benedict XVI was served an omelette and nothing stood in the way of communication; not even the variety of languages spoken by the diners, because on top of everything else, the Pope proved to be an excellent interpreter.

  • As mentioned previously, plenty worth reading from John Allen, Jr., covering WYD for the National Catholic Reporter:
  • Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the Jews of Cologne was a historic one — “The Jewish community in Cologne is the oldest in Germany, with a history which stretches back 2000 years,” according to Kirsten Serup-Bilfeld (Deutsche Welle August 19, 2005), providing the background for the tragic history of Jewish-Christian relations that the Church is only recently amending. Pope Benedict XVI also became First Pope to Visit a Synagogue in Germany, the other being his predecessor, John Paul II in Rome, 1986.
  • While I’m at it — a Roundup of my brother’s posts from WYD:
    • Cologne Day 1 – Arrival in Cologne; attending Mass with bishops Skylstad (Spokane), Sheridan (Colorado Springs), and Zurek (San Antonio auxiliary) — Sheridan “is a hulking beast of a man, with shoulders as broad as a gorilla and a frat boy haircut, and a glance that lets you know he could kill you in less than three seconds. But quite cordial.”
    • Cologne Day 2 – passing himself off as a seminarian (to attend meeting w. B16); receiving the chalice at Mass from Msgr. Fay, General Secretary of the USCCB; admiration for the coffeeshop and vocation work run by the Legionaires of Christ (“No site at WYD is as successful. They blatantly promote priestly vocations, parade their priests around, and push (literally) the kids into confession booths, and the kids respond en masse.”); visiting the Cologne Cathedral and an unusual dinner experience (“When you order food in Germany, make sure you ask the waiter whether or not the meal is served in gelatin form”).
    • Cologne Day 3 – visiting various catechetical sites around the WYD area; noting the youth’s creative response to Planned Parenthood poster campaign (“from the hour the pilgrims started arriving, the posters started coming down. Most pilgrims ripped selectively, crossways and upwards, to tear out the shape of a cross across the posters. Others took the whole things down. . . . By the end of the first day, nothing was left on the subways but ripped-out crosses and bare walls”); attempting to locate the tombs of Bl. Duns Scotus and St. Albert the Great and discovering the practicality of “the universal language”)
    • Cologne Day 4 – strategizing to get a good view of the Pope’s arrival; visiting the tomb of Duns Scotus and Albertus Magnus (“Inside the church [of San Andreas] was worlds apart from any others I had visited. The Dominicans had slapped up posters on every available space, both around the entrance and over and beside every door, indicating ‘SILENCIO’ in every language on earth. They pulled no punches: this was no tourist spot, but a house of prayer”)
    • Cologne Day 5 – attending mass at St. Panteleon’s church (“[security] me at the gates, priests only, but Fr. EJB called out that I was his personal ‘sacristan’ and he never went anywhere without me. ‘Sacristan?'”); Benedict’s visitation with the seminarians (“Please note: our Pontiff is short”); the vespers’ service (“Through the vespers service [Benedict] remained stoic, looking straight ahead, his mouth whispering the psalms. But the seminarians clearly love him, and the energy was high”); hearing another’s report on meeting Cardinal Francis Arinze (“Arinze had the kids rolling on the floor the whole time, mostly because he would heartily laugh at his own jokes every other sentence”)
    • Cologne Day 6 – finding an English-speaking mass in Cologne (the youth having relocated to Marienfeld); admiring the stained-glass windows of the cathedral (“These windows are epics. Around one central artistic motif, entire narratives are woven, in smaller sections of the window. In one relatively small window one can ‘read’ the entire life of a saint”); encountering the proselytizers (“The plaza, now nearly empty of tourists, is now filled with propagandists. Fundamentalists, anti-globalization protestors, anti-war (in Iraq) peaceniks, Falun Gong agitators, and some weird guitar-strumming love cult calling itself the ‘Community of the Twelve Tribes'”); visiting the Cologne City Museum (“the traditional piety of the people of Cologne also stands out”); the wretched coverage of the BBC on WYD (“They brought one religious commentator in to explain the significance of the Holy Father’s visit, and he spent five minutes discussing why the Catholic Church’s position on gay sex was self-contradictory”).
  • Heroes & Goats: WYD 2005 from Rocco Palmo (Whispers in the Loggia).
  • After Cologne: The Remarkable Lesson of Professor Ratzinger, by Sandro Magister. http://www.chiesa August 25, 2005. On April 20, his first morning as Pope, Benedict XVI said “the Eucharist will be the centre of the World Youth Day in Cologne in August.” Providing a wonderful recap of the week’s events (on and off camera), Magister believes he delivered on his promise:

    From August 18-21 in Cologne, Benedict XVI did not bestow upon the crowd a mere theatrical gesture, or nothing more than a striking phrase. He led the young people to look, not at him, but always and only at the true protagonist: that Jesus whom the Magi adored in Bethlehem, the “House of Bread,” and who is now concealed in the consecrated host.

    Read on for details on the Pope’s meetings with Jews at the Cologne synagogue (in which he urged “progress towards a theological evaluation of the relationship between Judaism and Christianity”) and the Muslim community (“no pope had ever been so explicit and hard-hitting in facing the question of terrorism on a personal level”).

  • Opus Dei Prelate on a Springtime for Church in Germany (Part 1) interview with Opus Dei, Bishop Javier Echevarría. [Part 2] August 24-25, 2005.
  • “Young People Relaunched . . . the Message of Hope” reflections on his first foreign apostolic trip to Germany, for World Youth Day. August 24, 2005.

Pope Benedict XVI Roundup!

  • Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, elder brother of Pope Benedict XVI, was recently hospitalized for heart trouble. He has since been released, but Amy Welborn posted this endearing photo of the two brothers visiting in the hospital. As she tells her eldest sons: “you know, there will come a time when all you’ll have is each other.” Update: Here is a recent photo of Georg, attending a mass celebrated by the Pope during the Assumption festival in the small church of Castelgandolfo village, outside Rome August 15 (YahooNews). Quick recovery!
  • The Pope Opens Up to the Priests of a Small Mountain Diocese Sandro Magister on “Pope Benedict XVI’s surprising question and answer session with the priests of Aosta. On the West‘s weariness of God, Christianity in Africa, parishes without priests, communion for divorced and remarried persons . . .” http://www.Chiesa July 29, 2005:

    On how to bring those who are far away back to the Church, like the birds on the mustard tree:

    “Only moral values and strong convictions, together with sacrifice, offer the possibility to live and build up the world. […] It is only love that permits us to live, and love is also suffering. […] Here too, naturally, we need to have patience, but this is also an active patience in the sense that it shows people: you need this. And even if they do not convert immediately, at least they draw near to the circle of those in the Church who have this interior strength. The Church has always recognized this group of persons who are strong inside, who really carry the strength of the faith, and the persons who almost latch onto these others and let themselves be carried along and participate in that way. I think of the Lord’s parable about the tiny mustard seed, which then becomes a tree large enough for the birds of the sky to nest in it. And I would say that these birds could be interpreted as the persons who have not yet converted, but have at least perched upon the tree that is the Church.”

    Read the whole thing.

  • Benedict XVI’s Top 15 “Words” Used during his first 100 Days a unique compilation of “some of the most striking ‘words,’ as Benedict XVI likes to call the formulation of his thoughts, articulated during the first 100 days of his pontificate.” Zenit. July 27, 2005.
  • On Benedict XVI’s 100 Days, Interview with Marco Tosatti of La Stampa and author of the Italian The Dictionary of Pope Ratzinger: Guide to the Pontificate. July 27, 2005.
  • Benedict XVI and liturgical reform, by Dom Alcuin Reid. AD 2000 Vol 18 No 5 (June 2005), p. 9. The author of The Organic Development of the Liturgy and editor of the anthology Looking again at the Question of the Liturgy with Cardinal Ratzinger (papers from a conference held at the Abbey of Notre-Dame at Fontgombault from July 22-24 2001), on the prospects for liturgical “reform of the reform” in the pontificate of Benedict XVI:

    has, certainly, complained that “after the Council, in the place of the Liturgy as the fruit of organic development came fabricated liturgy” a “banal on-the-spot product.” And he has stated categorically in God in the World and elsewhere that proscriptions against the traditional Mass should be lifted. So there is little doubt that we shall see freedom granted to the traditional Latin Mass. But we shall not see its forcible re- imposition, nor the reversal of the reforms of Paul VI.

    What we may well experience, however, are the first steps along the path of the “reform of the liturgical reform” about which Cardinal Ratzinger has spoken for many years. Traditionalists need not fear, as the Cardinal made perfectly clear in 2001 that he means by this not the modernising of the traditional Missal (though he is in favour of its enrichment), but getting back to “a faithful ecclesial celebration of the Liturgy” everywhere. What will that mean in practice? . . .

  • One of the interesting things I’ve noticed is the mention given to our new Pope by politically-oriented bloggers outside the realm of “St. Blog’s Parish”. Lexington Green from the excellent blog Chicago Boys — who reads a lot of books — gives this appraisal of God and the World:

    I started it in the Fall, before I had any idea he’d be Pope. This is the third in a series of interviews with Cardinal Ratzinger. The fact that he is able to answer with this sort of clarity and modesty when speaking off the cuff is interesting, and shows the depth of his scholarship (and wisdom) and his style of thinking, which is at once traditional and yet aware of the modern world and its challenges. For a person who is supposedly a hard-headed proponent of orthodoxy, he is much more open to discussion and even “thinking out loud” than one might expect. Ratzinger is a man who comes off as sound on dogmatic theology, and moral theology, without being “dogmatic” in any simplistic sort of way. Of course, anyone either within or without the Church who is hoping for some basic change in long-standing theological or moral principles will find little cheer. Finally, Ratzinger seems to be a more practical and dour man than his predecessor. John Paul II was a man of preternatural cheer rooted in a deep personal prayer and an all-embracing sense of the Divine, mystical dimension of life and the world. This led him to make optimistic pronouncements which were cheering to the faithful, but also seemed at odds with the empirical facts. Ratzinger is not of that sort of mind. I expect a more focused and practical and disciplined approach — a more German approach — to the papacy from Ratzinger. I loved John Paul II and I miss him. But Joseph Ratzinger is a tough and brilliant man and I have great hope that he will serve the Church and humanity very well in whatever time he is granted as Pope. I pray for the Pope every day.

  • Pope Benedict on the “springtime of the Church” – from the 2000 interview w. EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo:

    . . . And my idea is that really the springtime of the Church will not say that we will have in a near time buses of conversions, that all peoples of the world will be converted to Catholicism. This is not the way of God. The essential things in history begin always with the small, more convinced communities. So, the Church begins with the 12 Apostles. And even the Church of St. Paul diffused in the Mediterranean are little communities, but this community in itself is the future of the world, because we have the truth and the force of conviction. So, I think also today it should be an error to think now or in 10 years with the new springtime, all people will be Catholic. This is not our future, nor our expectation. But we will have really convinced communities with élan of the faith, no? This is springtime — a new life in very convinced persons with joy of the faith.

    Raymond: But, smaller numbers? In the macro?

    Cardinal: Smaller numbers, I think. But from these small numbers we will have a radiation of joy in the world. And so, it’s an attraction, as it was in the old Church. Even when Constantine made Christianity the public religion, there were a small number of percentage at this time; but it was clear, this is the future. So we can live in the future, just give us a way in a different future. And so, I would say, if we have young people really with the joy of the faith and this radiation of this joy of the faith, this will show to the world, “Even if I cannot share it, even if I cannot convert it at this moment, here is the way to live for tomorrow.”

    As posted by Rod Dreher to Amy Welborn‘s post discussing the same topic: “Big Tent” v. “Remnant.”

  • Maggie (In Nomine Domine) posts a quote from Ratzinger’s Pilgrim Fellowship of Faith (Ignatius, April 2005) along with some reflections on belief and certainty.
  • St. Blog’s Parish is offered a brief glimpse of Pope Benedict’s first encyclical via his blog Musum Pontificalis. I must say, it’s a worthy subject. [Note to the gullible: it’s a parody].