Potpourri of Popery, Pope's Birthday Edition

Here's Benedict at yesterday's Audience, acknowledging the crowd singing him, "Happy Birthday." (Just last year we got to sing it to him here, remember?) Today's the actual day, and he's spending his 82nd in Castel Gandolfo w/ his brother, Georg, resting up from the Holy Week/Easter exertions.

Resting. Which for him probably means writing another book.

See a slideshow of the audience here. Gov. Richardson was there with a delegation from New Mexico --the state was being honored later in the day by the Saint Egidio Community for abolishing the death penalty.

  • Stations of the Cross at the Colosseum. This year's reflections were written by Archbishop Menamparampil, S.D.P., of one of the Indian provinces. The Holy Father gave this address at the conclusion.
  • I posted his Easter addresses earlier, and the entire week's addresses are here now.
  • No Audience in English (only Italian)...Zenit's on hiatus this week, but he urges Christians to be witnesses to the truth of the Resurrection --its historical truth attested by many witnesses.
  • His letter to Gordon Brown on the eve of the G-20 Summit asks the big guys not to cut off aid to little guys --and to recognize the root of our economic problems is the collapse of ethics caused by a crisis of confidence in the human person.


Going to make this one Amero-centric, except for the news out of Hong Kong that good Cardinal Zen has retired. His successor appears to be cut of the same cloth --sticking up for religious liberty right away.

  • Big News is that communities under the Leadership Conference of Women Religious --already undergoing apostolic visitation under the direction of the Congregation for Religions-- will undergo a second visitation, doctrinal in nature, directed by the CDF. Cardinal Levada's (prefect of CDF) explanation to the conference is pretty tough. Visitation to be overseen by Bishop Leonard Blair: a perfect choice. Lovely man, with an intellectual specialization in the role of women in the Church. Huzzah! (Won't Sister be pleased?)
  • Archbishop Timothy Dolan is the new bishop of NY. By all accounts the right man for the job. Sustained raucous standing ovation for his defense of life during his homily, followed by this:
    the Church is a loving mother who has a zest for life and serves life everywhere, but she can become a protective “mama bear” when the life of her innocent, helpless cubs is threatened.

    [snip] Everyone in this mega-community is a somebody with an extraordinary destiny. Everyone is a somebody in whom God has invested an infinite love. That is why the Church reaches out to the unborn, the suffering, the poor, our elders, the physically and emotionally challenged, those caught in the web of addictions..."

    ...and more sustained applause.

    (My spy among the NY clergy says priests there are deeply demoralized and Dolan's sunny disposition and obvious care for them is already helping). Will have a weekly radio show. Hits the ground running, opposing Gov. Patterson's same-sex marriage bill today.
  • Knight v. Pirate: Commander of the Bainbridge sent to rescue Capt. Phillips is a Knight of Columbus. Phillips is a practicing Catholic too, by the way; his Vermont parish is "overjoyed" at his return. (Curtsy: NCRegister)
  • So much for "dialogue," so much for self-respect. The President asked Georgetown to cover its crucifixes and other religious symbols while he spoke --and they did.
  • Thomas Dillon, president of Thomas Aquinas College, killed in a car accident in Ireland yesterday. How awful! Prayers for him, his still-hospitalized wife (who was with him), and his kids.
And finally: John Paul's Cleveland miracle? And...get your man interested in spirituality.