Category Archives: Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict speaks to Roman Curia, reviews 2012, gives Christmas greetings

B16 blesses Curia 21 Dec 2012.jpgIt’s custom for the Holy Father to speak to the members of his Curia in way that reviews the past year, assessing the “situation” faced in the Apostolic ministry, and to give some idea of what will be worked on in the coming year. The address is ALWAYS worth the time to read, to study, and to reflect on in a serious manner. The Pope is a masterful thinker and writer; he really sets the bar pretty high but with clarity. One is clear to me is that the Pope is calling the laity to a new engagement in faith formation, worship of God, and cultural and political activities (not activism, there’s a difference). You might say that the goal of the Pope in his address is to help us to rediscover the gift and beauty of Catholic faith. As he notes, God comes to us in the circumstances of life. Some people will latch on the sensational parts of the talk, especially with some of the more heated topics discussed in society today but the raising of issues and talking about them intelligently isn’t a sign of trouble or weakness in the communion of the Church, but a way to seriously look at what is before us and to rely on God for help. We do, as you will agree, have a nostalgia for the Infinite which shows that we are limited human beings in need for a deeper conversion to the Good News. What the Pope reminds us here is that our Salvation doesn’t come from within us but is given by Someone outside, that is, by the Most Holy Trinity.
The foci:

A. pastoral visits: Mexcico, Cuba, Milan, Lebanon 

B. post-synodal exhortation to Eastern Churches
C. synod of bishops: on the New Evangelization
D. matters of concern: the family, marriage, justice, peace, interreligious dialogue, sexuality, evangelization, the person, community life, self-giving, conversion

The papal address

It is with great joy that I meet you today, dear Members of the College of Cardinals, Representatives of the Roman Curia and the Governorate, for this traditional event in the days leading up to the feast of Christmas. I greet each one of you cordially, beginning with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, whom I thank for his kind words and for the warm good wishes that he extended to me on behalf of all present. The Dean of the College of Cardinals reminded us of an expression that appears frequently during these days in the Latin liturgy: Prope est iam Dominus, venite, adoremus! The Lord is already near, come, let us adore him! We too, as one family, prepare ourselves to adore the Child in the stable at Bethlehem who is God himself and has come so close as to become a man like us. I willingly reciprocate your good wishes and I thank all of you from my heart, including the Papal Representatives all over the world, for the generous and competent assistance that each of you offers me in my ministry.

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Papal twittering has a history

The real history of papal tweeting.
B16 tweets 12 12 12.jpg
Pio tweets.jpg

Pope Benedict’s prayer intentions for December 2012

papa prega.jpgThe December prayer intentions of the Pope have us praying for migrants and for the Light of the Incarnation to radiate from our own faces as witnesses to someone greater than ourselves. These are particularly poignant set of prayer intentions for us in the USA: we are a nation of immigrants; we are a City set on a hill. Our solidarity in prayer if not in other concrete ways ought to remind us of our roots.

Let’s us join with Pope Benedict to pray for those who have left their home in the hope of finding work, peace, love and acceptance in other lands. Are we still hospitable children of God?

The general intention

That migrants throughout the world may be welcomed
with generosity and authentic love, especially by Christian communities.

The missionary intention

Christ may reveal himself to all humanity with the light that shines forth from
Bethlehem and is reflected in the face of his Church.

Speaking of God in 140 characters

Pope with iPad.jpgThe Pope will tweet. Is this a mortal sin or a gospel value?

In today’s L’Osservatore Romano edition Mario Ponzi
writes of Pope Benedict’s latest venture into tweeting. The Pope is not going to give up his love of books, old fashion research and handwriting his talks, but he’s diving into more deeply in the digital world. He’ll have to keep his message
to 140 characters. Can he do it? I am sure the clarity of the Pope can be
limited to a mere 140 characters. It’s ancient history now in cyberworld but it
was June 2011 that the Holy Father touched his own iPad launching the Vatican’s portal; tweeting in five languages
is a polymath way of  communicating
at the Vatican.

Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, 71, president of the Pontifical
Council for Social Communications
 since 2007, last week delivered his keynote address at
the 100th anniversary of Our Sunday Visitor. Celli has been hardworking in
moving the Holy See into the 21st century with an acceptance of social media and its benefits for communicating the gospel effectively today.

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Pope to the faithful: bear witness to the kingdom of God, to the truth

Conversion advances the Kingdom of God. There is no possibility of entering the Kingdom prepared and promised to us without turning away from sin and truly walking on the path given by the Lord. AND this Kingdom is totally other than what we known and expect. And because of our baptism our vocation is to build the Kingdom according to a plan that is not our own. At the Mass offered by the Pope on the
Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, he did so with the six cardinals and their friends and family. The homily follows.

Hagia Sophia ; Empress Zoë mosaic : Christ Pan...

Pantocrator, Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today’s Solemnity of
Christ, King of the Universe, the crowning of the liturgical year, is enriched
by our reception into the College of Cardinals of six new members whom,
following tradition, I have invited to celebrate the Eucharist with me this
morning. I greet each of them most cordially and I thank Cardinal James Michael
Harvey for the gracious words which he addressed to me in the name of all. I
greet the other Cardinals and Bishops present, as well as the distinguished
civil Authorities, Ambassadors, priests, religious and all the faithful,
especially those coming from the Dioceses entrusted to the pastoral care of the
new Cardinals.

In this final Sunday of the liturgical year, the Church invites
us to celebrate the Lord Jesus as King of the Universe. She calls us to look to
the future, or more properly into the depths, to the ultimate goal of history,
which will be the definitive and eternal kingdom of Christ. He was with the
Father in the beginning, when the world was created, and he will fully manifest
his lordship at the end of time, when he will judge all mankind. Today’s three
readings speak to us of this kingdom
. In the Gospel passage which we have just
heard, drawn from the account of Saint John, Jesus appears in humiliating
circumstances – he stands accused – before the might of Rome. He had been
arrested, insulted, mocked, and now his enemies hope to obtain his condemnation
to death by crucifixion. They had presented him to Pilate as one who sought
political power, as the self-proclaimed King of the Jews. The Roman procurator
conducts his enquiry and asks Jesus: “Are you the King of the Jews?” (Jn
18:33). In reply to this question, Jesus clarifies the nature of his kingship
and his messiahship itself, which is no worldly power but a love which serves.
He states that his kingdom is in no way to be confused with a political reign:
“My kingship is not of this world … is not from the world” (v. 36).

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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]
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