Friday, March 1, 2013

This Week's Headlines

As another week comes to an end, this is your chance to top off your glass with a final helping of news, current events, and just plain interesting stuff that may not have made into the mainstream media. A chance to linger for a few more moments before we close the door on the week. Below are some links to articles, blogs, and miscellaneous happenings that caught my eye over the past few days. Sample what you like. I'll serve up more next Friday...

Vatican Website interactive  "Memory Book" of Pope Benedict

Video of Pope Benedict leaving the Vatican on his way to Castel Gandolfo.

Video: Highlights from Pope Benedict XVI's pontificate

"Among Us Is the New Pope... To Whom I Pledge Obedience" - [Pope Benedict's farewell address to the Cardinals.]

Benedict’s Last Papal Audience: What is the Church? - "Here, one can touch what the Church is – not an organization, not an association for religious or humanitarian purposes, but a living body, a community of brothers and sisters in the Body of Jesus Christ, who unites us all."

Pope's Last Angelus: The Bark of the Church, is guided by God - [Video link]

Humble and Holy: Benedict XVI Offers His Final Words From the Chair of Peter - "...complete text of the final words offered by His Holiness, Benedict XVI, to the massive crowd who gathered in St. Peter's square for this extraordinary and historic even on February 27, 2013, the day before he voluntarily lays aside his office as Successor of Peter, Servant of the Servants of God."

Benedict’s New Name: Pope Emeritus, His Holiness Benedict XVI, Roman Pontiff Emeritus - "The Vatican disclosed that in retirement, the Pope would also wear a simple white cassock but without the mozzetta (elbow-length cape). And instead of red shoes, he will wear brown ones..."

Click here to view a few images from Benedict XVI's final day as pope...including this one:

And here are a few shots of a candlelight vigil beneath Pope Benedict’s window, the night before his final day.

Can (Should) the Pope Influence the Election? - "In theory the pope can influence, even directly, the election of his successor, and it is unjust to claim that it would be “wrong” for him to do so. It is an entirely different question as to whether or not it would be prudent for this pope, Benedict XVI, at this particular point in history, to explicitly tap the next pontiff."

A step toward transparency - "Good news today from the Vatican press office: the powers-that-be have decided to brief reporters during the cardinals' daily pre-conclave meetings, which will probably begin March 4."

The Last of the Giants? - "Fr. Joseph Fessio, SJ, in reflecting on the (now completed) pontificate, spoke of Benedict as the 'last of the giants', referencing the great ressourcement theologians—de Lubac, von Balthasar, Danielou—who had so much to do with Catholic theology in the twentieth century and in shaping the work of the Council."

Pope Benedict’s legacy: Beware the secular state - "He is leaving us a warning. In the West, and now especially in the U.S., the state is increasingly pushing a secular agenda, and pushing that agenda through means pushing the Church out. The threat to religious liberty is very, very real."

Benedict vs. the Dictatorship of Relativism - "Relativism is a poison. It attacks our most human capacity, the capacity to seek and know the truth, including the moral truth. A dictatorship of relativism imposes by real cultural force (and even by political force) a no-standard standard, a command that all must imbibe this poison."

Benedict's war: What the Pope achieved and what he leaves behind - "The challenge in choosing Benedict's successor will be to find someone who has the strength and ability to deal with the administrative side of the office of the papacy while retaining at least some of the intellectual flair and imagination of Benedict and his predecessor."

Benedict's faith encyclical could appear in different form - "An encyclical on faith was expected sometime in the first six months of this year, to coincide with the Year of Faith. It was to have formed a trilogy of encyclicals on the theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity."

Gentle Shepherd Inspires the Nation - "Benedict Encouraged America to Live for ‘Christ, Our Hope.’"

The New Pope Will Inherit a Prepaid Trip to the USA - "His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, announces the official dates for the Eighth World Meeting of Families, which will be celebrated in the United States for the first time in its history. It is expected to draw tens of thousands from around the world to the City of Philadelphia."

Thank You for Your Gift, Benedict XVI - "It is through Benedict XVI's writing that I have come to know, admire and love him. He has fed my mind and heart in a way that no other has, and I will never be able to thank him enough for this wonderful gift he has given me."

The Next Pope Will Be God's Choice...Right? - "We can be confident of the general principle that God guides his Church. This is something we have biblical assurance of. But his guidance does not prevent human free will from operating, and that means there is the potential for humans to abuse their free will."

Why Cardinal Mahony and others are participating in conclave despite scandal - The Church is an ancient institution, with many of its practices being codified during the medieval period of European history. These practices include a tradition of protecting both the Church's reputation and clergy against civil authorities, which have at times been quite hostile to the Church."

Betting on the conclave? - [Is it allowed by Canon Law?]

How Old Will the Next Pope Be? - [Interesting analysis from Jimmy Akin.]

Why Marriage Matters for America and Conservatism - "Marriage predates government. It is the fundamental building block of all human civilization. All Americans, especially conservatives, should respect this crucial institution of civil society." See also: Republicans for Same-Sex Marriage

The Gay Marriage Beauty Pageant - "Conservatives think they are in a boxing match; liberals understand that marriage policy is a beauty pageant."

Government’s idea of women’s freedom harms women - "The White House, Hollywood, Planned Parenthood and other powerful groups are sending the message that women’s freedom almost completely overlaps with sexual expression without procreation, and the government is not accepting dissent from this view..."

Notes from Beneath the Veil - "I wore a chapel veil to church for the first time ever yesterday. It’s something I’d wanted to/felt called to do for years, and I finally committed to doing it during Lent"

No One Goes Away From Jesus Unchanged. A reflection on the fruitfulness of the Sacrments and the Liturgy - "It as time is Catholics to reclaim our birthright that comes to us through faith that Jesus Christ is alive, and ministers powerfully and effectively through the liturgy, the Sacraments and his word."

Purgatory Part 1: Conversion as a Process - "We may still be in this work-in-progress state when we die. We are essentially still converted to Christ, but not yet fully sanctified, still being tempted into sin, still occasionally turning away from God, even if we always turn back to Him."

Fr. Barron comments on "dumbed down" Catholicism - [Great video.]

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