Potpourri of Popery, St. Rita Edition


Yesterday's saint was Rita of Cascia, patroness of forgotten and desperate causes. Her husband was murdered in the midst of civil strife, but she forged an understanding between his faction and those of his enemies, pacifying her city before entering the convent. Nice post about the late Card. O'Connor's pilgrimage to her shrine.

Sunday's Regina Coeli message was itself a potpourri. A reference to Brazil; an appeal for media responsibility on World Communication Day; and a plea for peace in Lebanon. This morning's audience was a re-cap of the Brazil trip (will post the text once it's up), and a call for Catholics to be disciples and missionaries. Fr. Z. reports a huge crowd --50,000, and a massive attack on the Pope in the Italian press (no details). Open book says the papal hat is a saturno. Hear B16 summarize in his own voice on the Vatican Radio report (English).

Is the Pope for low tax rates? He addressed a convention of the Centesimus Annus foundation Saturday, thanking them for their work to further Catholic social teaching. The main idea was that "development" is more than a merely economic question --as evidenced by the rapid growth, eg, of China's economy, without that translating into widespread improvement of conditions for all her citizens. Here's the Italian, and Zenit ran a little story on it. Interesting:

When we consider the sustained increase of taxes on economic growth, when we stop and analyze the problems linked to modern progress, not excluding environmental damage and irresponsible consumption of natural and environmental resources, it is evident that only a globalization that is attentive to the needs of solidarity can ensure an authentic future for humanity and a stable peace for all.
Strangely this did not make headlines worldwide as "Pope endorses Laffer curve" or "Pope condemns confiscatory tax rates." Not that it should have; I'm not even certain what he means here. But you can bet it would have made headlines the other way 'round.


  • London: Bl. Fr. George Preca will be canonized June 3rd thanks to a miracle for which the chief witness is a King's College doctor who happens to be Hindu --read his comments.
  • Afghanistan: Religious congregations working there --a 2nd Jesuit mission and a 4th order of nuns "gratefully welcomed."
  • Brazil: CELAM conference continues. Seems like a mixed bag.
  • North Korea: for the first time, allows a Catholic group to enter the country.
  • Iraq: Kidnapped Chaldean priest beaten, but released.
  • Israel: speaking of taxes, the joint Vatica-Israeli commission is reporting great progress in their talks. A little vague on what that might be, but seems to include tax emptions for Church properties.
  • China: sick underground priest released; and Protestant groups are taking advantage of relaxed Olympic entry rules to take Bibles there. AP reports the letter to Chinese Catholics to be released "around" Pentecost.
  • Pakistan: Muslims & Christians demonstrate in defense of a Christian "blasphemer."

Finally: JP II Off-Broadway. They're doing four of his plays. The NY Post reports:

"If you sat and read it in your room, you would think this was kind of deep and heady,” Dobbins says. “But when actors say it, it becomes a different experience, it becomes light and beautiful."

Curtsy: Whispers. And, Oh, Dear: spiritainment?