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Benedictions: The Pope in America

Benedictions: The Pope in America

April 2008 Archives

Catholics as political orphans

posted by David Gibson

Steve Waldman and Deal Hudson are having a debate about why Clinton is winning the Catholic vote and Obama is not–an interesting development given that the two candidates share most social justice views that might appeal to Catholics, as well […]

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Egan v. Giuliani

posted by David Gibson

Rudy is at it again. Anyone watching the papal mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on April 19 must have been surprised to see Giuliani–twice-divorced (once annulled), thrice-married, pro-gay rights, pro-abortion rights–take communion. Rudy hadn’t done this before, in my experience–neither […]

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Jeremiah, Obama, and Catholics

posted by David Gibson

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright is back in the news, delivering some fiery (the indispensible adjective with the Rev. Wright) rhetoric yesterday at the close of a meeting of the NAACP’s Detroit branch. Wright’s unrepentant talk and prophetic style are likely […]

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Be faithful and multiply?

posted by David Gibson

Great headline on a Catholic World News report citing a German study linking religiosity and the number of children: “Women of faith found more fertile” Think of all the money you could save on IVF, huh? Well, actually, CWNews is […]

Hold the Pope-roni

posted by David Gibson

Can’t get enough of Benedict? Or was il papa not your taste? You might try this curiosity–a pope made out of pizza dough. Prudence Emma Staite is a British (did I have to add that?) experimental food artist (don’t ask […]

What you didn’t see last week: Women

posted by David Gibson

They are the majority of worshipers every Sunday (and through the week), and they make up some 80 percent of the more than 30,000 lay ministers (and growing fast) serving in the nation’s 19,000 parishes. There are more of them […]

First steps, Next steps…

posted by David Gibson

Two refrains often lost amid the accolades for the papal visit is that the trip itself was, as Pope Benedict said, a chance for a new beginning, a first step, not the end of a process. The second refrain was […]

Podcast on the Pope

posted by David Gibson

Tim Reidy at America magazine, the flagship Jesuit weekly and a must-read for serious Catholics, had me over for a podcast about the pope’s trip, and it is now on-line at the magazine’s website. Whether it is a “must hear” […]

Daily Pope Question No. 7

posted by David Gibson

Q: Did a pope really condemn Galileo for saying the Earth revolves around the Sun? Read more from the papal answer man, Chris Bellitto and his new book, 101 Questions on Popes and the Papacy.

“What is truth?” Some post-papal thoughts

posted by David Gibson

Pontius Pilate famously asked that question and the Gospel of John provides the answer, as did Pope Benedict XVI in recent days, most notably in his talk to young people at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie in New York: “In […]

Text of the Yankee Stadium Mass

posted by David Gibson

The homily that sums up the visit, as the Mass was itself the capstone…

Pope Ends U.S. Trip With Yankee Stadium Mass

posted by aroan

By Daniel Burke c. 2008 Religion News Service NEW YORK — Pope Benedict XVI ended his first trip to America on Sunday (April 20) with a Mass for more than 50,000 at Yankee Stadium that celebrated 200 years of the […]

Daily Pope Question No. 6

posted by David Gibson

Yes, the pope is gone back to Rome. But now is the time to process and learn. So let’s continue with a few more papacy-related quizzes, this time about married popes. Huh? Yes, we’re pretty sure Benedict XVI isn’t married. […]

The Pope in Pictures

posted by David Gibson

There are a host of online galleries of papal visit images. Here are a few, with updates to come: America magazine. The New York Times gallery. The Washington Post here and here.

Youth Rally–The Pope and the American Idol

posted by David Gibson

Yes, Kelly Clarkson sang “Ave Maria”, and the Pope nearly forgot to read his text in Spanish. But a good time was had by all. And maybe later everyone will go back and read the text of his talk–very meaty, […]

Daily Pope Question. No. 5

posted by David Gibson

Q: How many popes are saints? Read more from the papal answer man, Chris Bellitto and his new book, 101 Questions on Popes and the Papacy.

Updates: No changes in canon law, Vatican now says; Rudy takes communion; the Pope gets “Sirius”

posted by David Gibson

At a news briefing just ended, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi sought to quell speculation in news reports (including yesterday’s posting here) that Rome was considering changes in the canonical statute of limitations to make it easier to laicize future […]

Thank God he’s not ermine…

posted by David Gibson

But Benedict, an avowed animal lover, would surely be pleased by this story from FOX News (via the American Papist) that a young beaver was rescued from the East River during an NYPD security sweep ahead of yesterday’s UN visit. […]

Pope to priests from St. Pat’s: Find unity in Christ

posted by David Gibson

Benedict’s homily (text below) at the mass with priests and seminarians this morning at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York (the first papal mass ever at the great church) was a heartfelt and often lyrical call for American priests to […]

Benedict: Discuss Differences “With Calmness, Clarity”

posted by aroan

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) – April 17, 2008 Washington (dpa) – Pope Benedict XVI greeted leaders of other faiths in the United States in a meeting Thursday in Washington, continuing the interfaith contacts that have not always gone well in the […]

“The Successor”–Cardinal Levada on bishops and the abuse scandal, and why he is not in line to be Pope…

posted by David Gibson

Benedict XVI has earned headlines and goodwill on this, his first visit as pope to the United States, by speaking out repeatedly about his anguish over the clergy sexual abuse scandal and yesterday meeting with a small group of abuse […]

Pope to the United Nations: Natural Law and Human Dignity

posted by David Gibson

Below is the text of the pope’s speech to the U.N. just concluded. As expected, he’s a “natural” lawyer, and made the case very well. Also check out the CNS story.

Christ and Culture–and the Pope

posted by David Gibson

In today’s Wall Street Journal I have a column on a thread that is increasingly emerging from the pope’s talks during this visit–namely, the need to recreate a new kind of Catholic culture, while at the same time not creating […]

A new view of the Exodus story

posted by David Gibson

I saw this shot in Christianity Today recently, and couldn’t pass up a chance to post it. Yes, this blog is about Catholicism. But the pontiff took time out to say “Good yontif,” so we should as well. It’s a […]

Daily Pope Question No. 4

posted by David Gibson

It’s been a busy day, so let’s relax with some really useful trivia: Q: I’m confused when I hear “the Vatican,” “the Holy See,” and “Vatican City.” Are they all the same thing? Read more from the papal answer man, […]

Wrap-up

posted by David Gibson

So the pope’s surprise meeting with victims capped, and likely dominates, an intense and productive day for Benedict–and those following the visit. Interestingly, the expected priorities (or at least mine, and those of many others observers) did not pan out […]

Benedict’s talk to the interfaith gathering

posted by David Gibson

Here is Benedict’s address to representatives of other religions:

Pope’s address to the Jewish community

posted by David Gibson

Here is the Pope’s message to the Jewish community on the eve of Passover:

Updates on B16 meeting with survivors

posted by David Gibson

Check out Michael Paulson’s piece in the Boston Globe.

SNAP’s statement

posted by David Gibson

Here is the statement from SNAP (Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests)…SNAP is the engine whose efforts led to this pass, but they also remain on the outside of this meeting, and pushing for more. The meeting between the […]

Breaking News: Pope meets with sexual abuse victims

posted by David Gibson

In a move that could truly be described as a breakthrough after more than six years of crisis for the church in the United States and decades of agony for victims, Pope Benedict XVI this afternoon met with several victims […]

Catholics Meet Their New Pope and Fall in Love

posted by aroan

By Jonathan Rubin c. 2008 Religion News Service WASHINGTON — As the sun rose over the sparkling new Nationals Park baseball stadium, the weather turned from chilly to warm to downright glorious — not unlike the feelings many Catholics here […]

Homily at Nationals Park Mass

posted by David Gibson

Read the text of Pope Benedict’s homily at Nationals Park this morning:

Pope Carves Out Distinctive Approach to Interfaith Dialogue

posted by aroan

By Jeff Diamant c. 2008 Religion News Service They gathered in the Italian hillside town of Assisi. In October 1986, at the place where St. Francis famously preached repentance in the 1200s, top representatives from 15 religions stood together and […]

Pope Says U.S. Bishops Must Heal `Enormous Pain’ of Abuse

posted by aroan

By Daniel Burke and Adelle M. Banks c. 2008 Religion News Service WASHINGTON — Pope Benedict XVI told the nation’s Catholic bishops Wednesday (April 16) that they must heal the “enormous pain” caused by the clergy sexual abuse scandal by […]

Pope Benedict gets thumbs up, Cardinal George thumbs down, from former head of Lay Review Panel

posted by David Gibson

In a post yesterday on the roots of Benedict’s “conversion” on the issue of sexual abuse by priests–and the enabling behavior of many bishops–I recounted the story of Anne Burke, a widely-respected Illinois jurist and former head of the National […]

Always a Met in our hearts

posted by David Gibson

No, not the pope. He won’t arrive for a couple hours yet. But they just interviewed the other great ballplayer, er, Catholic, in the house, Mike Piazza. Broadcast on the stadium Jumbotron. Couldn’t hear anything, but no matter. Check out […]

Sunrise at the Stadium

posted by David Gibson

I’d never had breakfast at a ballpark, until today. And I’d never been to the new Nationals Stadium, until we entered early this ayem through the security checkpoints and pre-dawn darkness. A gentle way to start the day, this first […]

“Awesome” speech

posted by David Gibson

If this visit has proved one thing beyond a doubt, it is that Benedict can go the distance–with speech-making, that is. The morning event at the White House was just a throat-clearing for what was to come tonight. Although President […]

Catholic University President Anticipates Pope’s Address

posted by aroan

By Daniel Burke c. 2008 Religion News Service WASHINGTON — Pope Benedict XVI’s address to Catholic educators on Thursday (April 17) has become one of the most anticipated moments of his first U.S. trip as pontiff. Already there is debate […]

Remarks By Pope Benedict XVI At The White House

posted by aroan

Associated Press – April 16, 2008 Remarks by Pope Benedict XVI at the White House on Wednesday, as transcribed by the White House. Mr. President, thank you for your gracious words of welcome on behalf of the people of the […]

A Joint Statement By President Bush And Pope Benedict XVI

posted by aroan

Associated Press – April 16, 2008 A joint statement by the White House and Holy See on the Oval Office meeting Wednesday between Pope Benedict XVI and President Bush: His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI and President George W. Bush met […]

Benedict’s conversion

posted by David Gibson

While Pope Benedict voiced his revulsion at the sexual abuse scandal for the first time yesterday, it is important to understand that the genesis of his statements went back to a meeting that took place more than four years ago, […]

Of Popes and Presidents

posted by David Gibson

The indefatigable American Papist, to whom the papal presence is what caffeine is to the rest of us, has a very cool entry on the history of meetings between American presidents and Roman pontiffs, including great photos like this one […]

Penance and the Pope

posted by David Gibson

Yesterday’s strong and welcome words by Benedict XVI to reporters on the papal plane saying he was “deeply ashamed” at the clergy sexual abuse scandal set the tone for his visit–first impressions are important, and those words did a great […]

Eggs, Benedict?

posted by David Gibson

Yeah, so at the media hotel this morning there they were, on the buffet table (a.k.a. the feeding trough), eggs benedict. I steered clear. At my age, c’mon. They didn’t look like these at the right, but I was convinced […]

Daily Pope Question No. 3

posted by David Gibson

(Yes, I’m a day behind, but please forgive.) Today’s question regards the debate over whether there was once a woman pope–a story that has had a longer life than even “The Da Vinci Code”… Q: Was there really a Pope […]

Pope Arrives In Washington For First U.S. Visit

posted by aroan

By Daniel Burke c. 2008 Religion News Service ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, Md. — Pope Benedict XVI, the shepherd of the world’s 1 billion Roman Catholics, arrived here Tuesday (April 15) for his first U.S. visit as pontiff and was […]

Politics To Greet Pope On U.S. Visit

posted by aroan

The Baltimore Sun, Maryland Apr. 14–Pope Benedict XVI arrives in the United States this week amid a full-throttle presidential campaign, with Sens. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain seeking support from the same engaged Catholics the pontiff hopes to […]

Bush Readies Big Welcome for Pope

posted by aroan

Associated Press – April 14, 2008 WASHINGTON – The leader of the world’s Roman Catholics has been to the White House only once in history. That changes this week, and President Bush is pulling out all the stops: driving out […]

First Putin, now the Pope: Bush eyeballs His Holiness and sees…God.

posted by David Gibson

EWTN, Mother Angelica’s legendary Catholic (I won’t put in any controversial modifers) TV station, scored an interview with President Bush about the Pope’s visit…No surprise. Bush and anchor Raymond Arroyo played softball–or perhaps volley ball, as Arroyo mainly set up […]

Fashion flash!

posted by David Gibson

Over on the Commonweal magazine blog where I occasionally contribute, Sister Mary Wood points out, apropos of my papal fashion story, that the pope has “snubbed” (their words Down Under) the organizers of this July’s World Youth Day in Sydney, […]

Say it ain’t so…

posted by David Gibson

This it it: I have tried to maintain a certain degree of poise and charity despite the fact that Pope Benedict XVI is celebrating Mass on Sunday at Yankee Stadium (altar mock-up at right) and ignoring Shea. Full disclosure: I […]

Daily Pope Question No. 2

posted by David Gibson

Today’s topic is one of the most controversial–and misunderstood, for Catholics as well as non-Catholics: papal infallibility… QUESTION: Do I have to believe every word the pope says? Read more from the papal answer man, Chris Bellitto and his new […]

The pope’s fashion statement

posted by David Gibson

Benedict’s vintage vesture has been a topic of much blog-babble and tongue-wagging. No, not just the Prada shoes (knockoffs, actually). Vestments of greater import, including the news that the pope has commissioned a set of 30 new vestments modeled on […]

Is the prez Catholic?

posted by David Gibson

Dan Burke of RNS poses the question in today’s Washington Post. It’s an interesting question. Bush appoints Catholic justices and talks about “the culture of life.” But…this does not a Catholic make.

Jewish reactions “emotional rather than rational”–Relations with Church grow tense as visit nears

posted by David Gibson

Rather than dissipating ahead of Benedict’s visit to New York and Washington, Catholic-Jewish relations appear to be growing more problematic by the day. There is a history here, not just of the past 2,000 years, but also over the past […]

His heart was always in Poland anyway…

posted by David Gibson

Catholic World News relays news of Polish church officials as saying they would like the heart of the late John Paul brought to his old Wawel cathedral in Krakow as a relic (seriously first class) if–er, when–the Polish pope is […]

Daily Pope Question No. 1

posted by David Gibson

A papal visit like next week’s trip to the U.S. by Benedict XVI is an opportunity not only to check out the current occupant of the Chair of St. Peter, but also to learn more about the 2,000-year history of […]

Bavarian-born Pope to Visit New York’s Last German Church

posted by aroan

By Amy Ellis Nutt c. 2008 Religion News Service NEW YORK — Julia Winter was tending to her flock, passing out sheets of paper printed with the prayers and songs for the “Deutsche Messe.” Here at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic […]

The Pope’s prayer at Ground Zero

posted by David Gibson

Surely one of the most spiritually and visually powerful moments of the papal visit will be Benedict’s stop at Ground Zero on Sunday morning, April 20, the final day of the visit. The pontiff will not give an address, but […]

Poll: Pope Enjoys 70 Percent Approval Among U.S. Catholics

posted by aroan

Renee K. Gadoua Religion News Service On the eve of Pope Benedict XVI’s first visit to the United States next week, his approval rating among U.S. Catholics is 70 percent, according to a LeMoyne College/Zogby International poll released Wednesday (April […]

What’s The Big Deal About The Pope Anyway?

posted by aroan

By Benedicta Cipolla c. 2008 Religion News Service In case you’ve missed the countless news articles, blog posts and television segments, the leader of 1.13 billion Catholics is coming to America. When Pope Benedict XVI makes his first trip to […]

What’s on Benedict’s iPod?

posted by David Gibson

In March 2006, Benedict XVI visited the offices of Radio Vaticana at the end of Via della Conciliazione, the wide boulevard in front of St. Peter’s, and went home with an iPod nano, courtesy of the radio staff. The 2-gig […]

Schools Give Pope Birthday Gift of Community Service

posted by aroan

Brittani Hamm c. 2008 Religion News Service Anyone who’s ever tried to buy a birthday present for an octogenarian grandparent knows the dilemma: What do you buy for someone who seems to have everything and need nothing? Pope Benedict XVI […]

Pope Says US Trip To Reach Out To All Christian Communities, Other Religions

posted by aroan

Associated Press VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI hopes his trip to the United States later this month will be seen as a sign of friendship toward all Christian denominations and other religions. Benedict has asked the faithful to pray […]

Now for some “tasteful kitsch”…

posted by David Gibson

Actually, that phrase should be a contradiction in terms. But it’s up to you to decide if a “Christ Our Hope” slim-fit ladies t-shirt is in better taste than the Pope Bobblehead (see post below) that did not please the […]

Bobblehead bobble

posted by David Gibson

The pope is very green–as in eco-minded–but his zucchetto, or skullcap, has to be white. That’s one lesson the Washington metro authority learned, the hard way, when it had to yank a YouTube promo video encouraging people to take the […]

Laborem exercens, indeed

posted by David Gibson

With the price tag on the Washington end of the papal trip topping $3 million, I guess everyone has to pitch in…Well, this gem is actually by way of Thomas Peters, aka the American Papist, and a friend who sent […]

Vatican: Pope Will Address Abuse Crisis

posted by aroan

Associated Press VATICAN CITY – The Vatican’s No. 2 official says Pope Benedict XVI recognizes the damage and pain caused by the clergy sex abuse crisis and will seek healing during his U.S. trip next week. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said […]

You Tube, Your Holiness?

posted by David Gibson

Yes, he do. The Vatican has released both a statement and a video message to the United States ahead of Benedict’s trip next week–the latter has been posted on YouTube. It’s not exactly great theater. One can see that English […]

Pope Will Find Diverse Church In US

posted by aroan

Associated Press NEW YORK – In his visit this month to the United States, Pope Benedict XVI will find an American flock wrestling with what it means be Roman Catholic. The younger generation considers religion important, but doesn’t equate faith […]

Pope Benedict XVI Blazing His Own Path

posted by aroan

Chicago Tribune CHICAGO – Most Americans awaiting Pope Benedict XVI’s first visit to the U.S. this month likely know little about him beyond his fluffy white hair, his taste for red Prada shoes and his reputation as a hard-nosed church […]

Vatican Assures Jews of Its Respect And Esteem Despite Tension Over Good Friday Prayer

posted by aroan

Associated Press VATICAN CITY – The Vatican has expressed its respect and esteem for Jews despite tension over a Good Friday prayer. The Vatican issued the assurances Friday, shortly before Pope Benedict XVI begins a visit to the United States […]

White smoke, bad habits…

posted by David Gibson

Following on a previous post about a U.S.-based petition to convince Pope Benedict to ban smoking in the Vatican (yeah, right), Vatican Radio did a bit of snooping around the Eternal City and discovered that in the nineteenth century, Pope […]

Agony and Ecstasy, and R.I.P.

posted by David Gibson

The obituaries for Charlton Heston tend to play up his larger-than-life roles, such as the fearsome, bearded Moses or the powerful, bare-chested Ben-Hur, or the noble, doomed El Cid. I always think of him as the passionate, difficult genius Michelangelo, […]

Conversion, clarification, confusion–the Good Friday prayer debate continues…

posted by David Gibson

The Vatican has issued a clarification of its revision of the old Good Friday prayer that was re-authorized by Pope Benedict as part of his effort to re-introduce the old Latin Mass. Confused? You’re not alone. The Vatican today tried […]

Ted Turner joins the “losers”–or at least tolerates us.

posted by David Gibson

Media mogul and self-professed Big Mouth, Ted Turner, has done a 180 on Christianity, which he once famously described as “a religion for losers.” (Actually, the phrase has a certain theological validity, though I don’t think that’s what Ted meant.) […]

UPDATE: Pope to visit NY synagogue

posted by David Gibson

In a development sure to be welcomed by the Jewish community, Pope Benedict has added a stop during his New York leg and will visit the Park East synagogue, long headed by Rabbi Arthur Schneier, a Holocaust survivor and champion […]

Strikes, social justice, and the pope’s visit

posted by David Gibson

Pope John Paul II was the spiritual force behind the Solidarity labor movement that helped bring Soviet-led communism to its knees in the 1980s, but bishops have struggled with unions operating within the walls of the Catholic Church, especially as […]

Pope’s ‘Loving’ Fans An Added Security Challenge

posted by aroan

By Nicole Neroulias Religion News Service NEW YORK — High-profile political leaders get Secret Service agents and police escorts to guard against assassins. Celebrities rely on bodyguards to shield them from overzealous fans. When it comes to Pope Benedict XVI, […]

John Paul’s “white martyrdom”

posted by David Gibson

<!––> Wednesday marks the third anniversary of the death of John Paul II, a passing that provoked such an enormous outpouring that the world—and even the College of Cardinals who gathered with the unenviable task of choosing his successor—was transfixed […]

Pope’s Subtle Impact May Be Felt in Elections

posted by aroan

By Elizabeth Birge Religion News Service Two days after the 2004 presidential election, William Portier ran into an acquaintance at the grocery store. The man was a strong opponent of the Iraq war and had demonstrated against it, but when […]

Getting dizzy

posted by David Gibson

The pre-papal spinning is picking up speed, though it seems largely in the form of pre-emptive whirling by those who fear Benedict won’t get the fair shake he deserves. I wonder if some of the spinning is so out of […]

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