Pope Benedict XVI: March 2011 Archives

Pope's team shirt

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Did you know that Pope Benedict is in the Termana soccer club?

Pope sports Ternana shirt.jpg

parvis gentils paris 2011.jpgCardinal Gianfranco Ravasi's interview on the importance of the Court of the Gentiles for us. This is probably the single most significant initiative of the Pontifical Council for Culture taking seriously the place of belief and unbelief. The Pope some time ago asked the pastors of the Church to take atheism as a serious matter to engage in. And by atheism he's not suggesting the Christopher Hitchens' version of atheism but what might be called "honest atheism," those who ask sincere questions of belief and who are seeking to live a coherent life. The Pope is brilliant in his call to respect, dialogue and living.

Pope Benedict's message to the gathering:

GRavasi.jpgI know that at the invitation of Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, the Archbishop of Paris, and of Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi (seen right), the President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, you are gathered in great numbers in front of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. I greet all of you, together with our brothers and friends from the Taizé Community. I am grateful to the Pontifical Council for having taken up and extended my invitation to open a number of "Courts of the Gentiles" within the Church. This image refers to the vast open space near the Temple of Jerusalem where all those who did not share the faith of Israel could approach the Temple and ask questions about religion. There they could meet the scribes, speak of faith and even pray to the unknown God. The Court was then an area of separation, since Gentiles did not have the right to enter the consecrated area, yet Jesus Christ came to "break down the dividing wall" between Jews and Gentiles, and to "reconcile both to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility in himself". In the words of Saint Paul, "He came and proclaimed peace..." (cf. Eph 2:14-17).
Jesus vol 2.jpgPope Benedict's book, Jesus of Nazareth, volume 2, internationally released on March 10 with 1.2 million copies in 8 languages.

Father Joseph Fessio says that "It's clear that what interests the Holy Father is helping people to know and love someone whom he knows and loves. But he does this as a scholar. This book is a bright star in the constellation of books about Jesus." Astute readers consider Jesus of Nazareth to be a complex, clear with a breadth of learning of learning having a depth of theological insight. Volume 1 was the same.

I finally picked up my copy at a local monastery bookstore and giving it some time today. It is a satisfying read already. In the meantime, I just read a former professor of mine's review of Benedict's new book in an essay "Benedict's Passion."
pope praying at Mass.jpgThe Pope reminds us to broaden our awareness of other Christians in the world. Here we remember those Christians in Latin America and persecuted Christians. The second intention is most poignant given recent acts of violence on the many of the Eastern Churches.

The general intention

That the nations of Latin America may walk in fidelity to the Gospel and progress in justice and peace.

The missionary intention

That the Holy Spirit may give light and strength to those in many regions of the world who are persecuted and discriminated against because of the gospel.

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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This page is a archive of entries in the Pope Benedict XVI category from March 2011.

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