Tuesday, August 31, 2010

An Interview-Book of Ratzinger Pope

Pope Benedict had a series of interviews this Summer with his German biographer, the journalist Peter Seewald, for a new interview-book to be published in the near future. It shall be the first such work of Ratzinger as Pope.

There are three Cardinal Ratzinger interview-books of which Seewald produced the last two (viz. God and the World, 2001; and Salt of the Earth, 1997; The Ratzinger Report, 1985, by Vittorio Messori, was the first).

God and the World is the least original and simplest of the three, often reading like basic catechesis. Salt of the Earth is a fine sort of autobiography, rich in personal details and spiritual and theological depth. And The Ratzinger Report is an excellent account of the status of the faith in the present world with an acute appraisal (still very necessary 25 years hence) of the major modern religious and moral dilemmas, in accord with it's original Italian title: Rapporto sulla fede (The Report on the Faith).

Il Blog di Andrea Tornielli was the source for the news on the upcoming volume.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Why I Wear the Cassock

Here is an interview of a Mainz priest who tells that wearing the cassock is an act of obedience, Catholic continuity and priestly service and authentic zeal.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI UK Schedule


Live Broadcast by CTV
(Vatican Television Center)

Thursday, 16 September 2010
08:10 Departure from Ciampino Airport for Edinburgh

10:30 Arrival at Edinburgh International Airport
State welcome at Edinburgh International Airport
11:00 Welcoming Ceremony in the Palace of Holyroodhouse
Courtesy Visit to Her Majesty Elisabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom, in the Palace of Holyroodhouse
11:40 Meeting with State Authorities in the grounds of the Palace of Holyroodhouse Address of the Holy Father
13:00 Luncheon with Papal Entourage at the Archbishop's House

17:15 Mass at Bellahouston Park Homily of the Holy Father
20:00 Departure from Glasgow International for London

21:25 Arrival at Heathrow International Airport (London Borough of Hillingdon)

Friday, 17 September 2010
08:00 Private Celebration of Mass in the Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature in Wimbledon (London Borough of Merton)
10:00 Meeting with the world of Catholic Education in the Chapel and Sports Arena of St Mary’s University in Twickenham (London Borough of Richmond) Greeting and Address of the Holy Father
11:30 Meeting with Religious Leaders in the Waldegrave Drawing Room of St Mary’s University College in Twickenham (London Borough of Richmond) Address of the Holy Father
16:00 Courtesy Visit to the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace (London Borough of Lambeth) Address of the Holy Father
17:10 Meeting with representatives of civil society, academic, cultural and entrepreneurial world, diplomatic corps and religious leaders at Westminster Hall (City of Westminster) Address of the Holy Father
18:15 Ecumenical Celebration at Westminster Abbey (City of Westminster) Address of the Holy Father

Saturday, 18 September 2010
09:00 Meeting with the Prime Minister in the Archbishop's House (City of Westminster)
09:20 Meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister in the Archbishop's House (City of Westminster)
9:30 Meeting with the Opposition Leader in the Archbishop's House (City of Westminster)
10:00 Mass in the Cathedral of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ (City of Westminster) Homily and Greeting of the Holy Father
17:00 Visit to St Peter's Residence for the elderly (London Borough of Lambeth) Address of the Holy Father
18:15 Prayer Vigil on the Eve of the Beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, Hyde Park (City of Westminster) Address of the Holy Father

Sunday, 19 September 2010
08:00 Farewell to the Apostolic Nunciature in Wimbledon (London Borough of Merton)
08:45 Departure by helicopter from Wimbledon Park (London Borough of Merton) for Birmingham

09:30 Arrival at the heliport near Cofton Park of Rednal
10:00 Mass with the Beatification of Venerable Cardinal John Henry Newman at Cofton Park of Rednal Homily of the Holy Father
Recitation of the Angelus Domini Words of the Holy Father
13:10 Private Visit to the Oratory of St Philip Neri, Edgbaston
13:45 Lunch with the Bishops of England, Scotland and Wales and the Papal Entourage at the Francis Martin House in Oscott College
16:45 Meeting with the Bishops of England, Wales and Scotland in the Chapel of the Francis Martin House, Oscott College Address of the Holy Father
18:15 Farewell Ceremony at the International Airport of Birmingham Address of the Holy Father
18:45 Departure from the International Airport of Birmingham for Roma

22:30 Arrival at Ciampino Airport

Time lag
Rome: + 2 UTC
United Kingdom: + 1 UTC

Monday, August 16, 2010


That is my assessment of the diocesan priesthood. The diocesan priest is neither a monk in a monastery nor an social activist. He must have deep interior life (a firm sacramental life of prayer and mortification) and must learn to love being often alone with God and to be interrupted at any time by men (and women!), with great joy. He is happy to be a quasi-hermit!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Munificentissimus Deus

On the 1 November 1950 the Venerable Pope Pius XII declared that “by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.” Munificentissimus Deus, 44

This solemn dogmatic definition indicates the bodily nature of the after life and thereby strengthens our hope in eternal life.

The creedal dogmas of the final judgment, heaven, hell and the intermediate state of purgatory are presupposed by the doctrine of the bodily assumption of the Mother of God. Venerable Pius in his dogmatic document showed how death and judgment are punishments due to sin stating: “God does not grant to the just the full effect of victory over death until the end of time has come.” (Ibid., 4) “…The bodies of even the just are corrupted after death, and only on the last day will they be joined, each in its own glorious soul.” The body and soul are separated for a time at death and the body normally undergoes corruption.

However, Mary was preserved, by a special grace, from original sin and the consequent law of corruption. She is granted special exemption from the law of death and the usual waiting for the last day. Her exemption is proven in three moments: in the Immaculate Conception and in the angelic salutation “full of grace” and in the Virginal Birth. “God, who by an entirely unique privilege, preserved Mary from sin by her Immaculate Conception [and kept her a virgin through childbirth] exempted her from the law of remaining in the corruption of the grave, and so she did not have to wait until the end of time for the redemption of her body. (Ibid., 5, 18) And since she is proclaimed “full of grace” one realizes that there is no corruption in her. Death and corruption are punishments due to sin, which punishments this Immaculate Virgin never deserved, she alone always being truly worthy of uninhibited union with the Most High God.

Moreover, Mary Immaculate’s glorious assumption, being the assumption of a woman, body and soul, is an early fulfillment of the last two articles of the Christian Creed (and even a cause of the knowledge of those truths of faith): “I believe in the resurrection of the body” and “I believe in the life everlasting.” A mere mortal man is in heaven in the person of the perfect Woman Maria. Our hope for our bodily incorruption on the last day is greatly strengthened today as we are assured in this ancient feast and modern definition of faith that together with Christ, the heavenly King, is also the soul and body of [the heavenly Queen—the Woman] who has already obtained the reward of heavenly glory in her flesh.

Optimam Partem

Luke 10:38-42 is the Gospel of the ancient Assumption Mass Gospel (1962 Missal) which ends "Mary has chosen the best part, and it will not be taken away from her," that also being the communion antiphon for that same Mass: Optimam partem elegit sibi Maria, quae non auferetur ab ea in aeternum.

This is a very legitimate analogical use of sacred scripture. One might legitimately ask: might not our Lord have also intended to mean the greatest Mary when he said that "Mary" has chosen the best part which would not be taken from her? In any case, God is the primary Author of scripture and he intends several levels of understanding in every text. Lazarus' and Martha's sister is here a type, a shadow, of The Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Assumpta.

A similar application is made in reference to Saint Joseph using the Exodus passage referring to the patriarch Ite ad Joseph. Joseph the Patriarch is a type of Saint Joseph of Nazareth.

Personally, I think this Gospel is a better choice for the Assumption Mass than the entirely too often repeated Annunciation Gospel because at least it alludes to Mary's eternal reward which is the meaning of this feast.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Virtue of Intolerance

God is intolerant and requires all believers to be intolerant of all errror, false worship and of immorality in all it's forms. Just consider the first commandment:

"I, the Lord, am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. You shall not have other gods besides me. You shall not carve idols for yourselves in the shape of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; you shall not bow down before them or worship them. For I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishments for their fathers' wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation but bestowing mercy, down to the thousandth generation, on the children of those who love me and keep my commandments." Deuteronomy 5:6-10

The first necessary principle of respect for the human person and of right reason is to have solid ideas: i.e. to acknowledge the Absolute.

The truth imposes itself with apodictic force upon the intelligence and everyone who possesses or think he possesses it tries to spread it, to impose it on the rest of men and to remove the darkness of error which blinds them. And it happens, by the hidden relation and harmony which God has given to our faculties that intolerance of the will should follow this fatal intolerance of the understanding; and when it is firm and entire and the manly spirit of peoples has not been extinguished or whithered these should fight for an idea, at the same time with the weapons of reason and logic as with the sword and fire.

So called tolerance is an easy virtue ; it is a sickness of sceptical ages or of no faith. He who believes nothing, nor hopes in anything, nor neither strives for the salvation nor is concerned about the damnation of souls, can easily be tolerant. But such meekness of character cannot depend except upon a weakness and emasculation of the power of understanding.

The second principle of respect of the human person is to acknowledge and promote the equality and liberty and supreme dignity of all men under God. Any proper principle of "tolerance" is based on the antecedent principle of intolerance (i.e. the truth must first of all be unshakable for any other principle to apply universally and to therefore have any meaning at all for the true good of each person and of humanity). "Tolerance" is therefore not tolerance at all but it's opposite: the intransigent upholding and defense of the inviolable dignity of each person, not tolerating any unjust opposition to that necessary respect for the person and for the truth on which his dignity depends!

The third principle of respect of the human person is union among believers. Catholics must be true and loyal to Christ and to the Church and so influence society by their love and commitment to the truth. They will thus live the virtue of intolerance and save themselves and all who would be saved.

cf. Antologia General de Menendez Pelayo, I Tomo: Madrid 1956 (pp. 49-51).

Ernesto Lecuona

Ernesto Lecuona (1896-1963), arguably the greatest Cuban musician of the twentieth century, produced some very fine classical Cuban music for piano, orchestra, opera and cinema.

The "Andalucia" (from his Suite Espanola) is magnificent piano!

His "Siempre en mi corazon" (1942) got a Grammy nomination and was beat that year by "White Christmas".

"Maria la O" (1930) is from his famous zarzuela opera of that name.

P.S. Please excuse this little Summer diversion into my Cuban heritage!
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