Monthly Archives: September 2008

Pope Benedict addresses Pope Pius XII study group

Pope Benedict met today with the Pave the Way Foundation (PTWF). The PTWF met in Rome this week to hold a symposium to study the papacy of Pope Pius XII. “Pave the Way has identified this period in history as one of the most difficult between Catholics and Jews, and so we have taken on this challenge in the furtherance of our mission” says PTWF President, Gary L. Krupp. “PTWF has launched an independent investigation by video interviewing eye witnesses to events of war years. We have uncovered a great deal of information which is not known by any of the scholarly institutions including the Vatican itself.” Krupp believes there is considerable evidence from eye witnesses and other archival materials to help to answer questions of what in fact the Pius XII papacy did during World War II and its importance today.

 

In his audience the Pope said:

 

The focus of your [Pave the Way Foundation] study has been the person and the tireless
Pius 12.jpgpastoral and humanitarian work of Pius XII, Pastor Angelicus. Fifty years have passed since his pious death here at Castel Gandolfo early on the ninth of October 1958, after a debilitating disease. This anniversary provides an important opportunity to deepen our knowledge of him, to meditate on his rich teaching and to analyze thoroughly his activities. So much has been written and said of him during these last five decades and not all of the genuine facets of his diverse pastoral activity have been examined in a just light. The aim of your symposium has been precisely to address some of these deficiencies, conducting a careful and documented examination of many of his interventions, especially those in favour of the Jews who in those years were being targeted all over Europe, in accordance with the criminal plan of those who wanted to eliminate them from the face of the earth. When one draws close to this noble Pope, free from ideological prejudices, in addition to being struck by his lofty spiritual and human character one is also captivated by the example of his life and the extraordinary richness of his teaching. One can also come to appreciate the human wisdom and pastoral intensity which guided him in his long years of ministry, especially in providing organized assistance to the Jewish people.

 

Thanks to the vast quantity of documented material which you have gathered, supported by many authoritative testimonies, your symposium offers to the public forum the
Pope Pius XII.jpgpossibility of knowing more fully what Pius XII achieved for the Jews persecuted by the Nazi and fascist regimes. One understands, then, that wherever possible he spared no effort in intervening in their favour either directly or through instructions given to other individuals or to institutions of the Catholic Church. In the proceedings of your convention you have also drawn attention to his many interventions, made secretly and silently, precisely because, given the concrete situation of that difficult historical moment, only in this way was it possible to avoid the worst and save the greatest number of Jews. This courageous and paternal dedication was recognized and appreciated during and after the terrible world conflict by Jewish communities and individuals who showed their gratitude for what the Pope had done for them. One need only recall Pius XII’s meeting on the 29th of November 1945 with eighty delegates of German concentration camps who during a special Audience granted to them at the Vatican, wished to thank him personally for his generosity to them during the terrible period of Nazi-fascist persecution.

Benedictine Abbots to meet in Rome

The 2008 Congress of Abbots also occurs every four years which gathers the nearly 260

St Benedict6.jpgBenedictine abbots from around the world to discuss topics of interest. The Abbot Primate Notker Wolf said the purpose of the Congress  “Promotes the union of the Confederation, by extending its contacts with its many souls.” The meeting will take place at the Abbey of Saint Anselm from the 18th to 27th September.  

 

Among the presenters will be the esteemed Preacher to the Papal Household Father Raniero Cantalmessa, OFM Cap, who will make a presentation entitled, “What the Spirit is Saying to the Churches.” Plus, the recently retired Abbot General of the Trappists, Abbot Bernardo Olivera will deliver a talk called “Experiences as a Monk and as a Monastic Superior.”

Abbot Notker said there will be workshops and committee work on some major subjects, such as the monasteries with diminishing numbers of monks and nuns, ecumenical and inter-faith dialogue, matters pertaining to the African monasteries, the relation between monasticism

Thumbnail image for Notker Wolf2.jpgand the Church, and the relationship between between abbots and priests. The congress will also be attended by the Benedictine sisters and nuns who will be involved in a discussion about the relations between men’s and women’s monasteries. Discussions will also happen on the work and funding of the various institutes and academic departments, including the Pontifical Liturgical Institute, at Sant’Anselmo.

 

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Saint Hildegard of Bingen: adorned with grace

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About our sister Saint Hildegard

Saint Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) whom the Church raises up for us is a remarkable woman: deeply committed to seeking God, a friend of the Lord, and a pastor of souls. In her era she lived to almost 80 years, a rare age then and as it echoes the psalmsist. One point of context: Hildegard was born in the year that the Cistercian reform of monasticism was born. She is remembered for being an abbess, a reformer, a theologian, a singer-songwriter, a mystic, a biologist, an environmentalist, and a dialogue partner with world leaders. Are we clear that Saint Hildegard was intelligent and competent?

Today, the Benedictine nuns of an abbey under Saint Hildegard’s patronage continues to thrive in Germany. On another note, Pope Benedict said, in the Wednesday Angelus address (9/17): “I met with men and women from the world of culture, with whom I reflected on the monastic ideal of seeking God–quaerere Deum–as the bedrock of European culture. I wished to emphasize that meditation on the Scriptures opens our minds and hearts to the Logos, God’s Creative Reason in the flesh.”

For those interested in the Mass prayers for today’s memorial:

St Hildegard.jpg

Introit

The Spouse of Christ Hildegard, illuminated the Holy Church by the light of her wholesome doctrine. Grace is poured out upon thy lips. Therefore God has blessed thee forever.

Opening Collect

O God,

Who did adorn blessed Hildegard, Thy virgin,

with heavenly gifts; we beseech Thee, grant that following her example and teaching, we may deserve to pass from darkness of this present world into the gladdening light of Thy presence.

 

Prayer Over the Gifts

Lord, may the gifts we bring You help us follow the example of Saint Hildegard. Cleanse us from our earthly way of life, and teach us to live the new life of your kingdom.

Communion Antiphon

The five sensible virgins took flasks of oil as well as their lamps. At midnight a cry was heard: the bridegroom is here; let us go out to meet Christ the Lord. (Matthew 25:4,6)

Post-Communion Collect

Lord, may our reception of the body and blood of Your Son keep us from harmful things. Help us by the example of Saint Hildegard to grow in Your love on earth that we may rejoice for ever in heaven.

Fordham honors pro-abortion Justice Breyer

One would think that intelligent people at Catholic institutions of higher education would know the difference between being pro-life and not. Fordham University, a “Catholic” and a “Jesuit” university has announced that it will give the Fordham-Stein Ethics Prize to Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer. The honor “recognizes one individual each year whose work, according to
Fordham University.jpgthe prize’s charter, ‘exemplifies outstanding standards of professional conduct, promotes the advancement of justice, and brings credit to the profession by emphasizing in the public mind the contributions of lawyers to our society and to our democratic system of government.'”

Breyer’s award dinner is scheduled for October 29, 2008.

I wonder how Fordham’s round heads justify this act of dissent and claim to assent to Catholic teaching. I certainly don’t recognize this bestowal of honor on a pro-abortion Supreme Court Justice as consistent with Catholic teaching. How is giving a prize for ethics congruent with the Justice’s pro-choice record? Explain this to me Father McShane? Are we now beginning to say argue that Fordham is coming out as a non-Catholic university?

Fordham’s announcement and the LifeSiteNews.com article.

Cricket, anyone? Seminarians exercise for a cause


Cricket.jpgRome Reports reports that the seminarians from the Pontifical International College Maria Mater Ecclesiae and players from the Fellowship Team from Holland played cricket to collect funds for 240 children in an Indian orphanage. The story is here.

Do you know what cricket is? I don’t. But I did have a cricket in my room the other night making so much noise that I was kept awake for hours. Just in case you don’t know what cricket is –like me– have a read of this wiki article on cricket.

AND now we look forward to the Clericus Cup in 2009.

610x2.jpgTeam USA from the Pontifical North American College lost the spring 2008 game 4-0. The Clericus cup is Vatican-sponsored and is an international soccer tournament for priests and seminarians studying in Rome. The games are played at the Oratorio San Pietro, a center with a field maintained by the Knights of Columbus since the 1920s.

Rome Reports is religious-based group of journalists reporting on the Catholic Church.  Based in Rome, Rome Reports is proximate to the source happenings in the universal Church. While many of their stories are centered in the Eternal City they do report on global matters. The TV version of Rome Reports is carried on EWTN on Sundays at 10 a.m EST.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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