Via Media

Via Media


Words from Cologne

posted by awelborn

John Allen’s report and Correspondent’s Notebook. From the latter:

A group from Bakersfield, Calif., is staying in the same hotel as the Vatican press corps. Several of the young participants told me Friday morning that although they had purchased a full meal package, with tickets for lunch and dinner each day, so far they had been unable to use them because of the massive lines. In the end, they decided that Burger King was a better solution.

The same group said they had been discouraged from attending the pope’s cruise down the Rhine because the crowds would be too massive. Instead they watched a jumbo screen projection in a Cologne stadium, but because of the enclosed space they had no air on a very warm and humid afternoon, and some of the young people became ill. They ended up standing in a stadium tunnel, where there was a bit of breeze, and catching a sliver of the big screen.

A group from Dublin said they weren’t even sure where their luggage would be the next day, since the lodging they had been assigned couldn’t keep it during the day and they had nowhere else to put it. World Youth Day organizers had suggested they leave it on their bus, but they weren’t using the same bus throughout the day.

Nor were the difficulties confined to reporters and pilgrims.

Auxiliary Bishop Gabino Zavala of Los Angeles, for example, told me that the bishops who took one of the five boats accompanying the pope on the river were more or less abandoned when they got off the boat, and did not arrive at their hotel until several hours later, at which point the meals they were supposed to have were long gone.

Despite the hiccups, many of the participants seemed philosophical.

"It’s a pilgrimage," Zavala said. "Difficulties are part of the experience."

Allen did a chat today, sponsored by the WaPo. Transcript (and a couple of really dumb questions) here.

The text of the Pope’s message to seminarians:

Address at the ecumenical meeting.

Tomorrow: Meetings with political leaders in the morning, Muslim leaders at 6pm Cologne time, then it’s off to the Marienfeld, where the youth will be gathering in vigil.

Live webcam of the Marienfeld

Link to Vatican TV feed

tha



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KH

posted August 19, 2005 at 4:58 pm


For anyone who wanted some information on the Juventutem group, I’ve got a little…
So my husband and son really wanted to meet up with them, but their only real source of information is me, reading blogs and calling them with info. (They are having loads of trouble with the usual getting-around problems, but also because, at least in their group, there are about 25% kids who are simply too immature to be traveling alone. They end up causing problems, which usually end up wasting a lot of time, in addition to the usual time-wasting traffic problems, for the rest of the group).
So they were determined to get to where one of the Juventutem gatherings were going to be: a St. Antonius, for Vespers, today, with Cdnl. Arinze. But how to find St. Antonius? No one they asked knew anything about Juventutem or St. Antonius. They did find, in their WYD handbook, something scheduled for a St. Antonius, but it didn’t seem very Juventutem-y. Still, it had an address! So, today they split from the group after being dropped off in downtown Dusseldorf. They made their way to this church and caught the end of what my husband said was an “Up With People” mass. When it was over, he aked one of the priests who was presiding, who said he knew nothing of this group, but warned…there are THREE St. Antoniuseses in Dusseldorf. And he only knew the address of one of them. They took a chance and cabbed it; of course, it was on the complete other side of the city. And sure enough! They found them. And just as they were to start, the announcement was made…because the traffic is so horrendous and the Cdnl. ended up walking for miles…he couldn’t make it! So it seems it ain’t just the regular Joes who are effected by the crowds. However, besides Arinze not being there, it was beautiful. Really great choir. Very reverent. It was just what they were looking for.
Now, we all gotta pray for no rain for the vigil tomorrow or this will be Whirled-Youth-in-the-mud Day.



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Venerable Aussie

posted August 19, 2005 at 5:30 pm


Looks like it’s not just the Americans having trouble getting fed. Our son rang yesterday and said that while he’s having a great time spiritually he’d really like to get the food for which they’ve prepaid. Their group with food tokens in hand waited ages in line for lunch before being told that “sorry, no food left”. After the same happened at dinner time they descending en masse upon a fast food joint at their own expense. True, it is a pilgrimage, but…



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Kenjiro Shoda

posted August 19, 2005 at 7:30 pm


The comments made by Benedict XVI prpbably did nothing to please the Protestants, who were miffed at the Pontiff before He even set foot on German soil.
Their demands to discuss inter-communion was totally rude and out of line. Their demands to push ecumenism regardless of theological issues long standing is proof that they are interested in unity only on their terms. Of course the Vatican should have realized this 40+ years ago before ever having entered into dialog with them.
The Orthodox on the other hand are valid and trusting ecumenical aprtners who share 95% the same beliefs, and share a mutual respect for tradition and liturgical correctness. And of course their priesthood and episcopacy are totally valid which is not the case with any clergy or so called “Bishops” of Protestant Churches.
One of the contributers yesterday wrote in response to one of my comments ” Kenjiro, why are you so down on Protestants?” Actually I’m not, but I see our own Church particularly in the USA slowly turning into something very similar to Protestant….at the expense of loosing our ancient Catholic identity.
When my family and I were still living in Japan, I went to my parish Church as usuall. All the music of course was in Japanese, but the music booklets all had the words “Augsburg/Fortress Church Supplies, USA” on the cover. I never thought anything of it until we moved to the USA and saw the same gold stamp on the misselets in the pews. Researching it, I found out that both the books (and all the music) that we had sung for years in my parish outside Tokyo, and now near Philadelphia was from a Lutheran publishing house and all the music was Protestant. I was appalled. I had never really heard Catholic Gregorian Chant, but would have loved to. I never heard polyphonic hymns, but would have loved to. Instead, we got the same old tired Protestant hymns from the 16th-thru 19th centuries.
The Novus Ordo resembles a Lutheran service more than a Catholic one, in fact it was the expressed aim of Paul VI to develop a service more similar to a “Calvinistic service”, in an attempt to draw Protestants to Catholicism…which of course did not happen.
If you look around and see a Protestant Church with no confessionals, no kneelers, no statues, pcitures, candles, Stations, Crucifix, altar cloths…and then see many modern Catholic Churches-they are exactly the same.
So, I don’t have anything against Protestantism per se….just that I would have preferred growing up and feeling more Catholic….being exposed to Catholic traditions, instead of feeling like a Lutheran, Anglica or Methodist. Sorry, but I would have much rather heard Latin Gregorian Chant, or the works of Palestrina and Gabrieli at Mass like “Missa pro Papa Marcelli”, rathern that hearing over and over again “A Mighty Fortress” by Martin Luther.



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Dave

posted August 19, 2005 at 7:55 pm


I hope everyone over there has a safe trip. There will be snafus with so many people there. I wish I could be there. I have been watching EWTn, but is it me? the hosts seem to be doing a great deal of talking? but it is wonderful to new our new Holy Father .



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Christine

posted August 19, 2005 at 9:41 pm


Kenjiro, as I commented elsewhere, the Protestant community has no right to look upon Pope Benedict as an interloper. The Catholic Church preceded the Protestant communities in Germany by many centuries. He has every right to be there, especially with the strong Benedictine presence in German Catholicism. It was also the skill and positive influence of Catholic leaders like Konrad Adenauer that helped Germany to reset herself after the War and have kept Catholic Bavaria more pro-life than northern Germany.
Just the mere mention of Palestrina makes me drool with joy!!
I am impressed by the gracious tone of John Allen’s comments. And yes, there certainly were a couple of dumb questions.
To be expected, unfortunately.



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Kif Kroker

posted August 19, 2005 at 10:25 pm


[Benedict] might schedule fewer big events in stadiums, Mahony suggested, and spend more time in listening sessions with the local church. Granted, [Allen] asked, World Youth Day is set up for big events — but does he believe that on future trips, Benedict will adopt his model? “I would surely hope so,” he said. “Rather than these big mega-Masses outdoors, he could have sessions with the church of that area, hearing the concerns of laity, of the pastors, of the deacons, and so on. I think he would pick up much more about the local church that way.”
Maybe because its Cardinal Mahony that I was a little more sensitive to this, but the central act of the faith is the Mass, not bureaucratic, touchy-feely rap sessions. Christ is the central focus of the papacy, not listening sessions with laity, pastors, deacons, and so on.



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Jack Dwyer

posted August 19, 2005 at 11:05 pm


Well, a perusal of the Gospels will indicate crowds had problems seeing our Blessed Lord too, and they additionally couldn’t see things via T.V. or huge screen, or get the dvd set afterwards…!
I also don’t like your chances in getting onto a roof and lowering a sick friend in need of healing down to where the Holy Father is…!
God Bless you all anyway…!



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David Kubiak

posted August 19, 2005 at 11:25 pm


For perhaps the first time Cardinal Mahony has said something I agree with. I never appreciated the mega-Masses, and in fact there could be legitimate theological doubt about the validity of a Eucharist consecrated by mental intent across the space of a football field.
Not to be a kill-joy, but I think that the present Pope’s style is not at all conducive to this kind of event, which was tailor-made to showcase his predecessor’s gifts. I hope he feels free to break out of the mold if he is not comfortable with it.



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Jason

posted August 19, 2005 at 11:36 pm


It’s World Youth Day, not German Ecclesial Day.



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Kif Kroker

posted August 20, 2005 at 12:14 am


in fact there could be legitimate theological doubt about the validity of a Eucharist consecrated by mental intent across the space of a football field.
You may want to re-think that Mr. Kubiak. If God can make Himself present across all of time and all of space, I’m sure He can manage a mere 100 meters.



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Kif Kroker

posted August 20, 2005 at 12:26 am


Will the Pope visit a mosque? How will the Muslim world respond?
John Allen: As you probably know, John Paul became the first pope to visit a mosque, the Grand Ommayid Mosque in Damascus, in 2001. (Great story about me almost getting killed by the Syrian security, which I’ll save for another time). If as expected Benedict travels to Istanbul to meet the Patriarch of Constantinople, it’s hard to imagine he wouldn’t also schedule a trip to a mosque.

If he wants to go to a mosque in Istanbul, why not simply go to the Hagia Sophia? which the Islamic extremists of the day stole from the Church and desecrated with their presence.



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Stefan

posted August 20, 2005 at 8:41 am


It was wonderful, the week in Cologne with so much young christians. :) http://www.weisse-rose.info



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dcs

posted August 20, 2005 at 8:46 am


You may want to re-think that Mr. Kubiak. If God can make Himself present across all of time and all of space, I’m sure He can manage a mere 100 meters.
This is actually a topic that’s been discussed in moral theology. I can’t remember the particulars, but I seem to recall that there was a physical limit beyond which any confection of the Eucharist would be regarded as doubtfully valid. After all, from 100 meters away, can one be sure of what it is that one is attempting to consecrate?



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Maureen

posted August 20, 2005 at 4:20 pm


If the Pope went to Hagia Sophia and treated it as a mosque, it would be as if he were acknowledging the Muslim right to it. If the Pope went and spoke for its return to service as a Christian church, he’d either start a riot worthy of Constantinople or a war. And either way, the Orthodox would probably take it as an insult.
I’m thinking the Vatican state department wouldn’t be in favor….



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Sandra Miesel

posted August 20, 2005 at 5:12 pm


Hagia Sophia is–and has long been–a museum. If the Pope wants to visit a mosque in Istanbul, there’s the Blue Mosque which was built de novo by the Turks.



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Kevin Miller

posted August 20, 2005 at 5:34 pm


This is actually a topic that’s been discussed in moral theology. I can’t remember the particulars, but I seem to recall that there was a physical limit beyond which any confection of the Eucharist would be regarded as doubtfully valid. After all, from 100 meters away, can one be sure of what it is that one is attempting to consecrate?
First of all, are you sure you don’t mean sacramental theology?
Second, yes, I think one can be sufficiently sure. Presumably the pope can be told something to the effect that there will be roughly X number of priests present holding ciboria for the Mass. All he has to do is intend to consecrate all the hosts held by such priests.
And third, I very strongly suspect that the late pope and the present pope have both forgotten more sacramental theology than David Kubiak has ever known (or, for that matter, than I have). So to say that there’s reasonable doubt about the validity of consecrations at Masses they celebrate strikes me as rash in the extreme.



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Kif Kroker

posted August 21, 2005 at 2:08 am


If the Pope went to Hagia Sophia and treated it as a mosque, it would be as if he were acknowledging the Muslim right to it. If the Pope went and spoke for its return to service as a Christian church, he’d either start a riot worthy of Constantinople or a war. And either way, the Orthodox would probably take it as an insult.
I thought that I was clear that he wouldn’t be treating it as a mosque, but reclaiming it for the Church. Oh, by the way, the Muslims are already at war with us, and have been for 1,400 years.



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Kenjiro Shoda

posted August 21, 2005 at 7:39 pm


Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) in Greek was built in the 6th century and used as a Byzantine (Greek Orthodox) church until the 1450′s when Sultan Mehmet and the Turks defeated the Byzantine Army and ended the 1,000 year old Byzantine Empire. It became a mosque under the Ottoman Turkish Empire until the 1920′s when Mustafah Kemel Attaturk overthrew the Ottoman Sultan Mohammed V and Turkey became a secularist state. Hagia Sophia was turned into a museum which it remains today. In theory, Turkey is still a secular state but Islam is re-gaining some authority.
There are almost no Greek Orthodox faithful left in Turkey. Only 1,500+ remain in Istanbul. The Ecumemnical Patriarch of Constantinople-Bartholmeus II titular head of the world-wide Greek Orthodox Church rules a tiny corner of Istanbul smaller than the Vatican ,called the Phanar.
If Benedict XVI ever went to Turkey (which I doubt), and to a mosque (even more doubtful) He would indeed go to the beautiful “Blue Mosque”, built by the great Ottoman architect Senan for the Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th century.
Benedict XVI’s speech to Moslems in Cologne was honest. He pulled no punches. John Paul II would have wimped out due to HIs love of dialog with non-Christians. But Catholics should be proud of Pope Benedict XVI for His wonderful speech to the Moslems, and for all of His outstanding speeches in Cologne. He is far and away, and head and shoulders baove John Paul II when it comes to defending our own Faith and preaching what we believe clearly.



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dcs

posted August 22, 2005 at 8:47 am


I very strongly suspect that the late pope and the present pope have both forgotten more sacramental theology than David Kubiak has ever known (or, for that matter, than I have). So to say that there’s reasonable doubt about the validity of consecrations at Masses they celebrate strikes me as rash in the extreme.
It would only be “rash in the extreme” if no one else had ever come to such a conclusion. However, if it was a topic that was discussed among the Church’s approved theologians, and if the Church has not answered the question definitively, then its not even “rash,” let alone “rash in the extreme.” I wrote “moral theology” above because there is a discussion in Jone (one of the Church’s most widely used handbooks of moral theology) on this very point, but you are almost certainly correct that any debate on this topic would be confined to sacramental theology, with the conclusions subsequently applied to moral theology.
The current Pope and his Predecessor are almost certainly more well-versed in sacramental theology than you or I or almost anyone else, but can one say the same about Abp. Marini? ;-)



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