Some Folks Can't Wait For That Motu Proprio


A deranged man attacked the Pope during this morning's audience. One Swiss Guard was apparently hurt; it's not clear the Pope even noticed his attacker. And there's no truth to the rumor he was shouting, Quando, Quando? (Seriously, though, read the 2nd link for a bead on security problems caused by the huge crowds B16 is drawing.)

As long as we're here, let's do this week's Potpourri.

This morning's audience was about St. Cyprian and prayer, and the Pope revealed his
“particular love of his book on the Our Father, which helped me to better understand it and thus better pray it”. “He teaches us – continued the Pope – how the Our Father is an outline for Christians on the correct way to pray”. The Pope underlined the fact that “the Our Father is written in the plural so that he who prayer it does so not only for himself.

It may seem like boiler-plate to you, but when you see the full text in English and think about the two documents the whole Church is awaiting --the letter to Chinese Catholics & the Motuo Proprio-- I think you'll see the significance of a talk on unity & the Eucharist. There was also a plea to the G-8 nations gathering today to increase aid to the poor and attention to education. I want to see the text before commenting. I'm amused that Asia News reports the attacker as a woman. In some parts of the world, pink is still understood as a woman's color.

Here's the homily for Sunday's canonization of four new saints (find their bios on Zenit's documents page). As Cardinal, Ratzinger often said the best arguments for the Church are her saints, and he takes up this theme, all the while drawing on the readings from the Mass.

In the first reading, taken from the Book of Proverbs, wisdom comes on the scene, standing at God's side as assistant, as "architect" (Proverbs 8:30). The panorama of the cosmos seen with wisdom's eyes is stupendous. Wisdom confesses: "I played upon the surface of his earth; and I found delight in the human race" (8:30).

Wisdom loves to dwell among men because in them she recognizes the image and likeness of the Creator. This preferential relationship of wisdom with men makes us think of a celebrated passage in another sapiential book, the Book of Wisdom: "Wisdom," we read there, "is an aura of the might of God and a pure effusion of the glory of the Almighty; therefore nothing that is sullied enters into her. For she is the refulgence of eternal light, the spotless mirror of the power of God, the image of his goodness. And she, who is one, can do all things, and renews everything while herself perduring; and passing into holy souls from age to age, she produces friends of God and prophets" (Wisdom 7:25-27). This last suggestive expression invites us to consider the manifold and inexhaustible manifestation of sanctity in the people of God through the centuries. God's wisdom is manifest in the cosmos, in variety and beauty in its elements, but its masterpieces are the saints.

The pontiff also sent a telegram of condolence for the martyrdom of an Iraqi priest and 2 sub-deacons outside their parish earlier this week. You might take a peek, too, at what he said when the new Pakistani ambassador to the Holy See presented his credentials (it's along the lines of, since the West saved you from your big earthquake and the Church is running all your schools and hospitals, how 'bout skip the thank-you notes and just not letting your people kill us?). There are some other significant addresses too (Sudan, all new ambassadors), but as my French is execrable, I'll wait for translations.


  • Rome Bush meets with B16 Friday. The last half of this post at open book is on the Bush itinerary. He's going to meet with members of St. Egidio --a new movement dedicated to peace. That'll be interesting.
  • Iraq: Zadok has more on those martyred Iraqi priests. The funeral is said to have been beautiful. Also, their synod continues, and the names of two new bishops have been leaked.
  • China: Cardinal Zen lead a prayer service for freedom in China on the Vigil of the Tianamen Square anniversary.

And finally: B-16 will announce later this month that this is to be the Year of St. Paul, in preparation for his 2000 birthday. Let's leave it there, as I expect more on Friday.