Tag Archives: Pope Benedict XVI

Vatican: Benedict’s grave illness not true

According to Edward Pentin, the “Vatican denies Benedict XVI has serious illness.”

Perhaps Borrero was opportunistic in her reporting. And, many wanted to get a scoop on this story by resorting to unsubstantiated news. Rumors may be untrue, but at 86, how long do you really think the pope emeritus has to live, with or without serious illness?
One would think the press officer for the Holy See, Jesuit Father Lombardi, would just tell the world what constitutes the effects of old age and not dodge any possible issue there may be. The Vatican only officially claimed that John Paul had Parkinson’s following his death. Is the same going to be true with Benedict? Why do we have to be so circumspect with Benedict’s health. Reality never is divisive nor is it to be feared. Privacy aside –he lost privacy the day he was ordained a deacon in 1950– he is the former spiritual father of the Catholic Church, and we ought to walk with Benedict in a prayerful way.

Pope Benedict’s health in decline?

The UK blogger on religion and culture Damian Thompson posted a piece today that potentially will get people excited: Pope Benedict XVI’s health is in the decline as he’s suffering from something very severe. Thompson is citing Paloma Gómez Borrero of El Mundo who wrote that Benedict’s health is noticeably diminished.

Benedict is 86 on the 16th. Rumors have swished around saying that the emeritus pope has a pacemaker, is going blind in one eye and deaf in one ear. Health concerns were piqued when he abdicated on 11 February with his own words.
Nothing’s been said by the Holy See about the health of Benedict. Nevertheless, we ought to be united with him in prayer begging the Holy Spirit for the graces needed to stand at the foot of the cross.

A papal brotherhood

Francis and Benedict at helicopter.jpg

2 popes praying at Gandolfo 23 March 2013.jpg
2 popes talking 23 March 2013.jpg
Only speculation exists at this point as to any of the details on the meeting of the Pope and the Pope emeritus, today at Castel Gandolfo (other than those revealed by the Press Officer for the Holy See, Father Lombardi, SJ, and those others allowed to witness an epic event): dress, the embrace, prayer together, a gift of an icon of Our Lady of Humility, a meal, and a 45 minute private meeting. There is a deep communion between the two of them. And there is no shortage of news making analysis, including Vatican Radio. The beautiful acknowledgement of Pope Francis was, and very emotionally charged, I believe, was his reference, “We are brothers.”

What will Benedict XVIs legacy be in the years ahead?

Português: Cerimônia de canonização do frade b...

The answer to this question will not be in its final form for a long time. The papacy only ended a few weeks ago. Historians will have to look at several things before they will be able to reflect back with greater precision that a video or a blog commentary can provide in 2013. There are several things that Pope Benedict’s 8 year reign that give good indicators as to what we engage with in the years ahead. Many more intelligent than I have thought this question through, but Father Robert Barron of the Archdiocese of Chicago has made a good first attempt when he posits that Benedict will be remembered for:

1. being able to give a more authentic interpretative key to the Second Vatican Council; that is, naming the true mission of the Church;
2. being able to present the objective truth of the faith as taught by the Church these 2 thousand years with the clear awareness that the truth is about the Divine Love lived in joy; this is often called affirmative orthodoxy: the big ‘yes’ vs. the fat ‘no’;
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A focus on mission, Pope Francis points to direction

Pope Francis met with media

Pope Francis met with media

I don’t think Pope Francis will be too different from the last several Roman Pontiffs. As bishop of Rome he will preach and teach, govern and sanctify.The Pope’s un-programatic homily is in fact programatic if you can read the details. In some ways Francis’s homily is an Aesopian creature.

First, style is substance. Second, the liturgical preaching thus far indicates a trajectory. Third, focus on the Pope’s connection with people of belief and unbelief because this connection ought to be assessed for the facts and and not cliché. What the Pope said and what he’s done matters. Who’s present, and who’s not. (And this data is not to be reduced to politics.) All this is to say that you can’t miss “a trick” if you really want to know what and who Pope Francis is, and why he is doing what he’s doing and with whom. 
We are living nothing different from what Blessed John Paul and Pope Benedict did in their pontificates. Three things to pray for daily: conversion, vocation and mission.
A “news” man and priest whom I respect very much is the editor-in-chief for AsiaNews.it, Bernardo Cervellera. Tonight, his article, “Like Benedict, mission is Pope Francis’s focus,” captures what I am indicating and what I am urging you to attend.
Want to be informed about Christianity, and the global Church of Christ, read AsiaNews.it.
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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]yahoo.com.
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