Readers of the blog will have noticed that we have been offline for a few days but by golly did the news out the Vatican brings us back with a bang yesterday! Fr Lombardi (the spokesman for the Vatican) must have had a reel in his head dealing the good news stories that came flowing out yesterday following on a week of horrendous tales about the Vatican Bank.
Pope Francis first encyclical Lumen Fidei (the light of faith) was published today. The first encyclical (letter) of the new pontificate is generally seen as scene setter for the new pope but this is the first encyclical where it is officially acknowledged that it is written by two Popes as Pope Benedict had most of it written before his abdication in February as part of the things being done for the Year of Faith. Some highlights of the encyclical can be read HERE, HERE and HERE and we will do a post on it during the week.
But the news that has grabbed the media headlines (and which is some great news!) is the decision to proceed with the canonisations of both John Paul II and John XXIII.
The official announcements and a round of excellent links are below (highly recommend Phil's over at Blue Eyed Ennis as she went thralling through the archives for some great links especially over at EWTN).
- Vatican Radio
- John Allens analysis - John XXIII, John Paul II to be canonized together and also Three things to learn about Francis from his sainthood surprise
- America magazine
- Blue Eyed Ennis - Phil has out done herself with this round up of links to all around the web and wonderful quotes from these two new saints.
Rome Reports Coverage:
There are pro's and con's to the canonisations of both men. As John Allen has pointed out, these are the role models held up in our bitterly divided church from the conservative and liberal sides, yet to paraphrase St Paul - " I am for Christ!". We need to strive for a unity in faith and live out what was best in both of these humble men who are now given as examples worthy of imitation to the christian faithful.
At the end of the day, God creates his saints, the church only recognises them! As someone who longs for a via media in the church where gregorian chant and roman gothic vestments are not seen as a stark other to the simplicity of folk masses and ceramic chalices but rather each has a place and where we have diversity in unity, I welcome the canonisation of both these men trusting in the Spirit that guides our church and pope in making this infallible decision. Once more the church is setting before us two examples of what it means to be church not an either/or situtation but rather that in this universal family of faith there is room for many. And so, when the offical decree is read in St Peter's Square and Pope Francis gives his official assent, I will join with the Church Universal in singing a Te Deum!