This weeks programme's podcast is available HERE.
The Papacy and the Conclave
Shane and John discuss the understanding of the papacy and the conclave on this weeks programme and the Catholic understanding of its biblical foundations. To follow more about the Conclave and the symbols and actions that will be happening in the Sistine Chapel over the next few days.
Vatican Radio Facebook page
Whispers in the Loggia - blog and twitter account
New Advent which includes a ranking based on the amount of internet interest in each of the cardinals
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York had an excellent blog summarising some of the common misunderstandings and misconceptions about the Pope:
"These days in the Eternal City offer us a welcome occasion to do that. I sure have enjoyed my meetings with people here, especially the journalists, who give me the chance to teach. It’s clear to me that there are quite a few misconceptions out there about the church. Let me mention a few to you.
One would be that the Pope has a divine status in the Church. True, while Catholics love the Holy Father, and consider loyalty to him a virtue, we hardly consider him divine! He is the Successor of St. Peter, whom we believe Jesus appointed earthly pastor of His Church (Mt. 16). And anyone familiar with St. Peter, as shown in the New Testament, knows that he was far from divine! In fact, our first Pope was a big sinner. He denied even knowing Jesus at the very time the Lord needed his friend Peter the most.
An inquirer even used the word “worshiper” when referring to us Catholics in relation to the Pope. That’s malarkey! We can only worship the one true God, not any mere mortal, no matter how revered his office may be, or we violate the first commandment.
A second common misperception is that a new Pope can “change doctrine.” That, of course, is impossible. Catholicism is a revealed religion, meaning we believe that God has told us about Himself and about the meaning of life, primarily by sending us His Son as the “Word made flesh.”
To preserve this truth, to “pass on” the faith to our children, is at the very essence of the Church, and the “job description” of the Pope. He cannot change the deposit of faith.
Some have the impression that we are electing a man who has a “platform,” who can decide new “policies” for the Church. We are not.
Yes, a new Pope can develop fresh, new strategies to better, and more effectively, teach the doctrines of the faith. In fact, this is a big part of what we call the New Evangelization: to express the timeless truths of the faith – – especially the message and mystery of the Person who called himself the Truth, Jesus – – in a timely, radiant, more compelling way.
Remember the way Good Pope John explained it on the eve of the opening of the Second Vatican Council? The faith of the Church is a gift that cannot be altered, he remarked. But, the way this gift is “wrapped” can! That is always a challenge for a Pope. In other words, the how of our teaching can change; the what of it cannot.
Because, as Billy Graham used to say, the aim of life is to change our lives to conform to God’s will, not to change God’s will to match ours. We let God re-create us in His image; we do not attempt to create God in our image!
Finally, some tease me that we are here to elect a “new boss.” Yes, while I look forward to pledging my obedience to our new Holy Father, I also recognize that his ancient title is “servant of the servants of God.” Following Jesus, he will be elected to serve, not to be served.
And, he will hardly be a “boss” who tells us what to do, but a shepherd who invites us to walk with him on a journey to eternal life in company with Jesus and His Church. As Blessed John Paul II observed, “The Church proposes, not imposes.”"
Gospel - Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
This weeks gospel is a very popular gospel and is often called the gospel story of the Prodigal Son although perhaps rather than focusing on the two prodigal sons but rather we should reflect on the gratuotious love of the Father. As we reflect on this gospel we ask ourselves where are we in the story? Which reflects us - or perhaps do we see ourselves in many characters?
Are you open to the unconditional and awesome love of the Father (of God) in our lives or do we see our relationship with God as a burden, as a slavery? Or do we understand the freedom of the love that each of us is given.
Reflections on this weeks gospel:
Word on Fire
Centre for Liturgy
Liturgical odds and ends
Saints of the Week
March 11th - St Aengus
March 12th - St Theophanes the Chronographer
March 13th - Bl Angnellus of Pisa
March 14th - St Matilda
March 15th - St Louise de Marillac
March 16th - St Abban
March 17th - St Patrick (Solemnity in Ireland)