Archive for February, 2013

Pope Benedict Will Be Known As “Pope Emeritus 4

Vatican News reported this morning that Pope Benedict will be known as ‘Pope emeritus’ or ‘Pontiff emeritus.’ He’ll keep the name of ‘His Holiness, Benedict XVI,’ and will wear a white cassock without the cape called a ‘mozzetta.’

“On the morning of 28 February, the last day of his pontificate, the Pope will meet with, again in the Clementine Hall, the cardinals what are present in Rome. At 4:55pm, in the San Damaso Courtyard of the Vatican Apostolic Palace and before a detachment of the Swiss Guards, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., secretary of State of His Holiness, and and other members of that dicastery will bid him farewell. The Pope’s helicopter will land at Castel Gandolfo at 5:15pm, where he will be received by Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello and Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca, respectively president and secretary general of the Governorate of Vatican City State along with Bishop Marcello Semeraro of the Diocese of Albano, and civil authorities of the locality.”

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Benedict XVI will be “Pope emeritus”

Vatican City, 26 February 2013 (VIS) – Benedict XVI will be “Pontiff emeritus” or “Pope emeritus”, as Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office, reported in a press conference on th final days of the current pontificate. He will keep the name of “His Holiness, Benedict XVI” and will dress in a simple white cassock without the mozzetta (elbow-length cape).
More than 50,000 tickets have already been requested for the Pope’s final general audience tomorrow morning, 27 February, but greater attendance is expected. Except for the trip around St. Peter’s Square in the popemobile and the exclusion of the “bacciamani” (brief personal greetings that take place after the ceremony), the audience will take place as usual. On its conclusion, the Pope will go to the Clementine Hall of the Vatican Palace to meet with some of the civil authorities who are present in Rome or who have travelled here to wish him farewell. Among these dignitaries will be the presidents of Slovakia and of the German region of Bavaria.
On the morning of 28 February, the last day of his pontificate, the Pope will meet with, again in the Clementine Hall, the cardinals what are present in Rome. At 4:55pm, in the San Damaso Courtyard of the Vatican Apostolic Palace and before a detachment of the Swiss Guards, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., secretary of State of His Holiness, and and other members of that dicastery will bid him farewell. The Pope’s helicopter will land at Castel Gandolfo at 5:15pm, where he will be received by Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello and Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca, respectively president and secretary general of the Governorate of Vatican City State along with Bishop Marcello Semeraro of the Diocese of Albano, and civil authorities of the locality.
Benedict XVI will appear at the balcony of the Castel Gandolfo Apostolic Palace to greet those who have gathered in the square to wish him well. The Sede Vacante will begin at 8:00pm and the Swiss Guards assigned to him at Castel Gandolfo will take their leave, as their corps is dedicated to the safe-guarding of the Roman Pontiff. Instead, the Vatican Gendarmerie will take over the Pope emeritus’ safety detail.
Fr. Lombardi also explained that Bendict XVI will no longer use the “Fisherman’s Ring”, which will be destroyed along with the lead seal of the pontificate. This task falls to the cardinal camerlengo and his assistants. Likewise, the Press Office director announced that the Pope will no longer wear the red papal shoes.
Regarding the beginning of the Congregations of Cardinals, the dean of the College of Cardinals will send a letter to all the cardinals on 1 March, calling them to Rome. “It is likely, therefore,” Fr. Lombardi added, “that the congregations will begin starting next week.”
The congregations will be held in the new Synod Hall. The prelates will not be housed in the Casa Santa Marta residence until the eve of the beginning of the Conclave for various reasons, including the fact that rooms are to be assigned by lot during the congregations.

Farewell to Papa

This is no ordinary farewell. As they say in Italian, “Sempre tutti insieme!”

And now for a little interactive fun! Do you want to see how a Pope is elected from inside the walls of the Sistine Chapel? Click here for an interactive demo (FUN!)

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English: Pope Benedict XVI during general audition

 Pope Benedict XVI .     (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


ONE OF THE BEST ARTICLES :  By  Rev. Fr. Subhash Anand




On 11th February 2013 Benedict XVI announced the best decision of his pontificate: to resign from his post as the Bishop of Rome. Some may think I am cynical. I must admit, at times I am very cynical. I am also aware that my cynicism has hurt some people. Yet, there are moments when I think that being cynical may be the last resort to get things across, or at least to let off steam. This time I am not trying to be cynical. Let me explain.


Benedict XVI tells us that, given his health condition, he does not think he can do justice to his task. He has come to this conclusion after much discernment. I maintain that this is his best decision because by his word and deed he has very effectively reminded us that people who have a ministry in the Church are called to service (diakonia). The ministry is not meant to be a personal honour, to which we cling even when we cannot do justice to the task given to us. Benedict has given us a much needed reminder. He invites all of us, but especially priests and bishops to go through a similar process of discernment and, if need be, gracefully step down. Benedict gives the inspiration and the example to follow.


What happens when we fail to do this? Here we need to remember what Carlo Martini said a few days before he passed away last year. “The Church is two hundred years behind time.” Martini was no upstart. He was an internationally respected New Testament scholar, the archbishop of Milan, a cardinal of the Roman Church. He was not only a papabile when John Paul II died, but also a fairly acceptable candidate. If the reports we have are correct, noticing a division of votes between Ratzinger and himself during the conclave, he stepped out of the race to prevent the hardening of the division within the Electoral College, and subsequently within the Church. From what I see and what I hear from highly qualified and responsible persons, Martini’s decision was most unfortunate, but what he said is very true. If the Church is two hundred years behind time, then it is the failure primarily of priests and bishops. We are the ones who are most responsible for the tragic situation in which the Church finds herself: two hundred years behind time. To put it bluntly: the Church today does not have the right leaders.


Benedict states exhaustion as the reason for his decision. We can be bodily exhausted (sickness, age, lack of energy, etc.). We can be emotionally exhausted (stress, irritability, moody behaviour, etc.). We can be intellectually exhausted (outdated knowledge of Scripture, irrelevant theology, etc.). We can be spiritually exhausted (not open to dialogue, “I know best!”, etc.). Many educated lay people think that some persons in leadership role within the Church were not meant to be there! The People of God – not just the Vatican – are the Church. If we are serious in our talk about serving God’s people then we need the humility at least to listen to what they are saying. If we ignore the laity, we are ignoring the Church, and we are assuming a leadership role for the power and prestige it brings us. We are no longer servants, deacons. If so, we have no moral right to continue in that role. May the Spirit, who makes all things new, guide us so that the Church moves into our times: the dream of Vatican II.


Subhash Anand
St. Paul’s School
Ph.: 0294 – 2423507


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Benedict XVI (2005-present, Episcopal form of ...

Benedict XVI (2005-present, Episcopal form of Papal arms) An alternate version with Papal Tiara: here (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Actions, not just words : By Jason.

Vatican City, 13 February 2013 (VIS)

Benedict XVI dedicated the catechesis of today’s General Audience to the season of Lent, which begins today, Ash Wednesday. “Forty days,” he said, “that prepare us for the celebration of Easter. It is a time of particular commitment in our spiritual journey. … Forty days was also the period that Jesus spent in the desert before beginning his public life, when he was tempted by the devil.”


Reflecting on Jesus’ temptations in the desert, is “an invitation to each of us to respond to a fundamental question: What is truly important in our lives? … The core of the three temptations that Jesus faced is the proposal to instrumentalize God, to use Him for personal interests, for self-glory and success. In essence, it is putting oneself in God’s place, eliminating Him from our existence and making Him seem superfluous. … Giving God the first place is a path that each Christian has to undertake. ‘Conversion’ … means following Jesus, so that His Gospel becomes the practical guide of our lives. … It means recognizing that we are creatures who depend on God, on His love …This requires us to make our decisions in light of the Word of God. Today it is no longer possible to be a Christian as a simple consequence of living in a society that has Christian roots. Even those who come from a Christian family … must renew daily their decision to be Christian, to give God the first place in the face of the temptations continuously suggested by a secularized culture, in the face of the criticism of many of their contemporaries.”


“The tests that Christians are subjected to by society today are numerous and affect our personal and social life. It is not easy to be faithful to Christian marriage, to practice mercy in our everyday lives, or to leave space for prayer and inner silence. It is not easy to publicly oppose the decisions that many consider to be obvious, such as abortion in the case of an unwanted pregnancy, euthanasia in the case of serious illness, or the selection of embryos to avoid hereditary diseases. The temptation to set one’s faith aside is always present and conversion becomes a response to God that must be confirmed at various times throughout our lives.”


The Holy Father recalled that in history there have been “great conversions such as St. Paul’s on the road to Damascus or St. Augustine’s. But also in our age, when the sense of the sacred is eclipsed, God’s grace acts and works wonders in the lives of many people … as was the case for the Orthodox Russian scientist Pavel Florensky who, after a completely agnostic education … found himself exclaiming, ‘It’s impossible without God.’ He completely changed his life, even becoming a monk.” The Pope also cited the case of the intellectual Etty Hillesum (1914-1943), “a young Dutch woman of Jewish origin, who died in Auschwitz. Initially far from God, she discovered Him by looking deep within herself, writing: ‘There is a well deep within me. And God is that well.’ … In her scattered and restless life, she rediscovered God in the midst of the great tragedy of the twentieth century, the Shoah.”


“In our age, there are more than a few conversions that are seen as the return of those who, after a Christian education, perhaps a superficial one, have turned away from the faith for years, then later rediscover Christ and His Gospel. … In this time of Lent, in the Year of Faith, we renew our commitment to the path of conversion, overcoming the tendency to be wrapped up in ourselves and to make room for God, seeing our everyday reality with His eyes. Conversion means not being wrapped up in ourselves in the search for success, prestige, or social position, but rather of making each day, in the small things, truth, faith in God, and love, become what is most important,” the Pope concluded.


( I feel the comparison to the forty years since Roe V Wade decision legalized abortion can be made here, and it is about time we all stand up for all the obvious issues that can be opposed and defeated, if we choose life now and choose now to not be afraid, the Holy Father said it would not be easy to publicly oppose this issue among others, but not impossible!)

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Cover of "Living Lent"

Living Lent


Vatican City, 14 February 2013 (VIS)

– Yesterday at 5:00pm, the Holy Father presided over the rite of blessing and imposition of ashes. Traditionally, the celebration is held in the Roman Basilica of Santa Sabina but, given the large influx of persons and the desire of the cardinals and bishops of the Roman Curia to accompany the Pope in the final acts of his pontificate, it was moved to St. Peter’s Basilica. Before the ceremony, Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., address a brief greeting to the pontiff, expressing the “emotion and respect not only of the Church, but of the entire world” for Benedict XVI on the news of his decision to renounce the Petrine ministry. Following are ample excerpts from the Holy Father’s homily.

“Today, Ash Wednesday, … we have gathered to celebrate the Eucharist following the ancient Roman tradition of Lenten station Masses. This tradition calls for the first ‘statio’ Mass to take place in the Basilica of Santa Sabina on the Aventine Hill. Circumstances, however, have suggested that we gather in the Vatican Basilica. We are great in number around the tomb of the Apostle Peter, also to ask for his intercession for the Church’s journey in this particular moment, renewing our faith in the Supreme Pastor, Christ the Lord. For me, this is a opportune occasion to thank everyone, especially the faithful of the Diocese of Rome, as I prepare to conclude my Petrine ministry, and to ask for special remembrance in your prayers.”

“The readings that have been proclaimed give us the idea that, with God’s grace, we are called to make our attitudes and behaviours take concrete form this Lent. Above all, the Church proposes to us once again, the strong appeal that the prophet Joel addresses to the Israelites: Thus says the Lord: ‘return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, weeping, and mourning’. Note the expression ‘with your whole heart’, which means from the centre of our thoughts and feelings, from the roots of our decisions, choices, and actions, with a gesture of total and radical freedom. But is this return to God possible? Yes, because there is a strength that doesn’t reside in our hearts but that springs from God’s own heart. It is the power of His mercy. … This return to God becomes a concrete reality in our lives only when the Lord’s grace penetrates to our innermost being, shaking it and giving us the strength to ‘rend our hearts’. Again the prophet makes God’s words ring out: ‘Rend your hearts, not your garments’. Indeed, even in our days, many are ready to ‘rend their garments’ in the face of scandals and injustice?naturally moved by others’ situations?but few seem willing to act on their own ‘heart’, on their own conscience, and their own intentions, to let the Lord transform, renew, and convert them.”

“That ‘return to me with your whole heart’ then is a reminder that involves not just the individual but the community. In the first reading we have heard: ‘Blow the horn in Zion! Proclaim a fast, call an assembly!’ … The dimension of community is an essential element in faith and the Christian life. … This is important to remember and to live in this Lenten period: each of us must be aware that the path of penitence is not to be faced alone, but together with our many brothers and sisters in the Church.”

“Finally, the prophet focuses on the prayers of the priests who, with tears in their eyes, turn to God saying: ‘do not let your heritage become a disgrace, a byword among the nations! Why should they say among the peoples, “Where is their God?”‘ This prayer makes us reflect on the importance of the witness of faith and the Christian life on the part of each of us and our communities to reveal the face of the Church as well as how this face, at times is disfigured. I’m thinking in particular of the blows to Church unity and the divisions in the ecclesial body. Living Lent in a more intense and evident ecclesial communion, overcoming selfishness and rivalries, is a humble and precious sign for those who are far from the faith or indifferent to it.”

“‘Behold, now is the time of favour; behold, now is the day of salvation’, The Apostle Paul’s words to the Christians of Corinth resound for us too, with an urgency that allows for no omissions or inactivity. The word ‘now’, repeated again and again, says that we cannot let this moment pass us by, it is offered to us as a unique and unrepeatable opportunity. The Apostle’s gaze focuses on the sharing that Christ wanted to characterize his existence, taking on everything human even to the point of bearing the very burden of humanity’s sin. … The reconciliation offered to us has had a high price, that of the cross raised on Golgotha, on which was hung the Son of God made man. God’s immersion in human suffering and in the abyss of evil lies at the root of our justification. ‘Returning to God with our whole heart’ during our Lenten journey passes through the Cross, following Christ on the road to Calvary, to the total gift of our self. …”

“In the Gospel of Matthew, part of the so-called Sermon on the Mount, Jesus refers to three fundamental practices required by Mosaic Law: almsgiving, prayer, and fasting. They are also traditional directives on the Lenten journey to respond to the invitation to ‘return to God with our whole heart’. But Jesus emphasizes that it is both the quality and the truth of the relationship with God that determine the authenticity of every religious gesture. This is why He denounces religious hypocrisy, the behaviour that wants to appear a certain way, the attitudes seeking applause and approval. The true disciple doesn’t serve himself or the ‘public’, but serves the Lord in simplicity and generosity. … Our witness, then, will always be more effective the less we seek our own glory and we will know that the reward of the just person is God himself, being united to Him, here, on the path of faith and at the end of our lives, in the peace and light of meeting Him face to face forever.”

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2013-02-11 12:52:49  Printable version

February 11, 2013. (Romereports.com) (-VIDEO ONLY-) “I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry,” starts off the message of Bendict XVI to his cardinals on Monday morning.

His brief speech, issued in Latin, the Pope explains that in today’s fast-paced world, strength of mind and body are necessary to lead over one billion Catholics worldwide, and that his age has taken a toll on both.

Benedict XVI went on to say that his resignation will go into effect as of February 28, 2013 at 8 p.m. European Central Time.

“A Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is,” the Pope stated.
The current number of cardinals eligible to choose the next Pope stands at 118. By canon law, the consistory must be scheduled within 20 days of the resignation of Benedict XVI. RCarr
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Largest Marian Statue


La Paz, Bolivia, Feb 4, 2013 / 12:09 pm (CNA).-


The largest statue of the Virgin Mary in the world, dedicated to Our Lady of Socavon, was inaugurated at a Feb. 1 ceremony in the city of Oruro, Bolivia.


Rolando Rocha, the lead sculptor for the project, told reporters that more than simply “a work of engineering and art,” the monument “is an act of faith that strengthens our traditions.”


Towering at 149 feet, the statue is located on a 12,000-foot mountain south of La Paz, the country’s second largest city. It stands 22 feet taller than the Christ the Redeemer statue atop Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


The statue’s unveiling ceremony was attended by both Bolivian president Evo Morales and Oruro mayor Rossio Pimentel.


Our Lady of Socavon is the patroness of miners. The original statue is kept at the Diocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Socavon in the city of Oruro.


The presentation of the $1.2 million statue also marked the beginning of Carnaval in Orugo. The city’s festival is the only Carnaval celebration that includes a dance in honor of the Virgin Mary.


As residents of Oruro prepared for the annual candlelight procession to the Shrine of Socavon, Bishop Cristobal Bialasik issued a letter inviting those along the procession route to decorate their homes with sacred images and to listen to the diocesan broadcast of the event.


The closing procession, which took place on the evening of Feb. 3, featured nearly 50 dancers making their way to the shrine, where they asked the Virgin Mary for her intercession.


Español: Fresco pintado el Siglo XVI, en un mu...

Español: Fresco pintado el Siglo XVI, en un muro de ingreso al “Socavón” de la Villa colonial de Oruro, el culto y devoción a la imágen, ha generado el famoso Carnaval de Oruro, miles de danzarines que bailan devotamente. Este fenómeno cultural se ha expandido como parte de la “imitación extralógica” a otros poblados como La Paz, Cochabamba, Potosí en Bolivia, Puno en Perú y La Serena y La Tirana en Chile (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Tags: Virgin Mary, Bolivia, Statue


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The event featured the participation of a large number of consecrated persons to mark the World Day for Consecrated Life.

Posted on February 5, 2013, 4:00 PM


Pope Invites Consecrated Persons To Recall First Love Of God Within The

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