First off of course is the news that Pope Benedict is to raise John Paul II to the honour of the alters and beatify him on May 1st 2011. One hostelry of my acquaintance in Rome was booked out in half an hour of the news being released!
- The full text of the decree signed by Pope Benedict XVI
- Rocco has a couple of posts over at Whispers in the Loggia
- Is the Vatican rushing the process for JPII? Some views here and here
- The Catholic Herald has a number of links and articles here and some other details including - where despite his final wishes in his will to remain in the earth - the new blessed's remains will be moved up into St Peters Basilica to the Chapel of St Sebastian.
- Other reports from the New York Times and National Catholic Reporter.
Continuing with the annual important speeches and talks that the Pope gives at this time of the year on January 10th we had the annual address of the Pope to the diplomats who are accredited to the Holy See (the Vatican City State does not accredit ambassadors despite the incorrect usage of terminology by the media). The annual address is like a "State of the World" address seen from the vantage point of the Chair of St Peter and this year it was a very precise address setting out the concerns of the Holy See about the safety of our fellow Christians of all denominations around the world both in countries such as Pakistan (which was directly named) where you can be put to death for converting to Christianity to Europe and the western world where despite the claims to free speech and openness and tolerance there is an increasing effort to drive the role of religion from the public square. Pope Benedict reminded his listeners that "Christians are original and authentic citizens” in the Middle East, Benedict said, quoting the concluding message from the recent Synod of Bishops for the Middle East, who should “enjoy all the rights of freedom of conscience, freedom of worship and freedom of education, teaching and the use of the mass media.”
The full text of the address can be read here. Some reaction and analysis to the Pope's address can be read at NCR, Inside Catholic. Sandro Magister has the text of the speech but also links to other important addresses of the Pope which can you some context to the whole debate.
Although there was various reactions to the Pope's support for Copts in Egypt after the attack on them while praying in church - some disapproving Muslims and some showing that we can't tar all followers of the Prophet with the same brush.
Of course during the week, we had some more movements on the creation of the Anglican Ordinature which is to provide a structure of Anglicans who wish to enter into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church and still maintain some of their Anglican traditions and patrimony. Some of the best coverage is from the Catholic Herald in the UK which has a whole page dedicated to it on their website. Take a visit over and have a look, an interesting piece to look at is the statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the establishment of the Ordinature which is dedicated under the patronage of Our Lady of Walsingham.
There was an interesting talk from Pope Benedict on how purgatory is a process, not a place.
The last week has been Vocations Awareness week in the USA where there is a strong effort on promoting vocations to the priesthood and religious life. The Anchoress has a list of uplifting and encouraging stories about people who have followed the call, inspiring and hope giving especially for us in Ireland. Also a reminder that all Christians are called to take part in helping to grow vocations to the priesthood - when was the last time you prayed for vocations personally or encouraged someone you know to consider a call?
This week saw the beginning of the Visitation in the archdiocese of Armagh with public meetings with Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor - coverage here, here and here.
Ever wonder what the Church thinks of meditation and yoga and other practises from Eastern Religions?
"In 1989 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith delivered a Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Some Aspects of Christian Meditation. In Section V of that document, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) wrote: "Just as ‘the Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is true and holy in [the great religions]' neither should these ways be rejected out of hand simply because they are not Christian. On the contrary, one can take from them what is useful so long as the Christian conception of prayer, its logic and requirements are never obscured."Over at Patheos they are beginning a series of reflections starting with "Pose by Pose: Amen and Om" by Mary DeTurris Poust.
Across Europe there is an increasing level of people choosing de-baptism, but can you really become de-baptised? Pat Gohn reflects on the meaning of baptism.
The blog called The New Liturgical Movement has an interesting article focusing on a reflection from Dom Columba Marmion OSBInterior and Exterior Dimensions of Divine Worship; a topic which is going to come more and more to the fore as we move towards Advent 2011 and the introduction of a new missal in English speaking countries to replace the one we currently use to say Mass with.
What a blind monk sees - a reflection to cause you to pause.
A couple of interesting articles and reflections which you might like to ponder and read over:
- When atheists are angry at God
- God isn't big enough for some people
- Children need more meditation and less stimulation - A remote diocese in Australia is leading the way by allowing regular periods of silent meditation in the classroom
Continue reading here.
"Back in the 1970s, when there was a lot of liturgical innovation going on, Dorothy Day invited a young priest to celebrate mass at the Catholic Worker. He decided to do something that he thought was relevant and hip. He asked Dorothy if she had a coffee cup he could borrow. She found one in the kitchen and brought it to him. And, he took that cup and used it as the chalice to celebrate mass. When it was over, Dorothy picked up the cup, found a small gardening tool, and went to the backyard. She knelt down, dug a hole, kissed the coffee cup, and buried it in the earth. With that simple gesture, Dorothy Day showed that she understood something that so many of us today don’t: she knew that Christ was truly present in something as ordinary as a ceramic cup. And that it could never be just a coffee cup again".
Continue reading here.