ENGLISH BROTHER TAKES STAND IN THE AMAZON MEET THE MISSIONARY FROM HAMPSHIRE RISKING ALL FOR THE INDIAN PEOPLE PAGE 8
47 DAYS TO THE PAPAL VISIT
Faithful are urged to line the streets to greet Pontiff
BY ANNA ARCO
THE FAITHFUL are being urged to line the streets for the Pope during his visit to Britain in September.
After some confusion about whether Catholics would be encouraged to see Pope Benedict XVI as he made his way to events during his four-day stay in Britain, organisers have said they hope people will come out to see him.
Tickets for papal events are becoming ever more difficult to obtain as many parishes are experiencing a high demand for them, so organisers are urging Catholics to consider other options.
According to Mgr Andrew Summersgill, the bishops’ papal visit coordinator, the Pope will use the Popemobile, a white fortified Mercedes with a glass cage, for some parts of the trip so that people can greet him. When the final programme is finished, he said, people will have opportunities to greet the Pope.
“Some of his movements will be in the Popemobile, precisely so that people can gather and greet him as he travels, and that will be made quite clear when the programme is published,” he said. “I hope that as many people as possible would take that opportunity to be able to welcome Pope Benedict as he goes by – that would be great.”
The Popemobile plans also include the possibility of the Pope being driven around Cofton Park in Birmingham before and after the Beatification of John Henry Newman so that assembled pilgrims can see him.
Some reports said that the idea of the Popemobile for Cofton Park had been dropped because of rising costs, but Canon Patrick Browne, the papal visit coordinator for the Archdiocese of Birmingham, said they were still working on “allowing as many people as possible to view the Holy Father as he passes by and to welcome him and support the Church in its mission”. Speaking at a press conference in Birmingham, Canon Browne said organisers were still working with the various agencies to get the Popemobile to Birmingham. He said there were fears that the slope at Cofton Park might be too dangerous for the Popemobile.
Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham said: “If you think of the papal audiences in Rome which are very often in St Peter’s Square and the huge numbers of people who come there.
“It is an ideal way of letting people who are at some distance from where the Pope speaks to actually see something of him up close. I think that remains a legitimate aspiration.”
He also announced that the American deacon miraculously cured with the help of Cardinal Newman will have a major role in the Birmingham cardinal’s beatification Mass.
Deacon Jack Sullivan, from Massachusetts, whose spinal disorder disappeared after he prayed for the intercession of Cardinal Newman, will proclaim the Gospel and act as deacon at the beatification Mass.
The miracle, subjected to rigorous tests by a series of doctors and then by theologians, was necessary to advance the process of beatification. The Church requires one miracle attributed to a Servant of God for beatification and a second one for canonisation.
Archbishop Longley said: “Another thing that is at the heart of the beatification is a recognition of Cardinal Newman’s intercessory powers. We can speak about prayer to the saints as part of the life of the Church.
“We feel a closeness to those who are part of the communion of the saints. So people do pray and have prayed to Cardinal Newman that his prayers to Almighty God may assist him in their daily lives. This has been recognised through the Church’s miraculous cure of an American
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July 30 2010 £1.20 (Republic of Ireland €1.70)
Pope uses holiday to complete Jesus book
Pope Benedict XVI is reflected in the water as he feeds fish at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo CNS
BY CAROL GLATZ IN ROME
POPE BENEDICT XVI is dedicating his holiday to writing the third and final volume in his series on the life of Jesus, which will cover Christ’s infancy and childhood.
The Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi told journalists that just a few days after the Pope arrived at the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo on July 7 he already showed signs of being fully “restored and beaming”.
The Pope “immediately began to dedicate himself to reading and studying which, even though it’s demanding, doesn’t tire him out,” he said. “It’s clear, therefore, how important it is for him to finish this great project begun years ago.”
Pope Benedict started writing the first volume of the work during his summer holiday in 2003, two years before he was elected Pope.
After his election the Pope said in that volume’s preface that he used all of his free time to complete the book, which was published in the spring of 2007 and covered Jesus’s life from his baptism to his Transfiguration.
The Pope handed his editors the final draft of the second volume of his book, Jesus of Nazareth, in May. Fr Lombardi said it is not expected to be on sale in bookshops until next spring since the work must be translated and published in different languages. The second volume is dedicated to the Passion and Resurrection and takes up where the first volume ended, the Vatican has said. The first volume, which ran to more than 400 pages, highlighted what the Bible says about Jesus, what the moral implications of his teachings are and how reading the Scriptures can lead to a real relationship with Jesus.
Fr Lombardi said the 2008 world Synod of Bishops on the Bible showed how critical it was to have a book on the life of Jesus. The Pope’s book is a “guide for the faithful to encounter, through the gospels, the person of Jesus”, he said.
The Vatican spokesman also said that the Pope has reviewed the materials for another volume in the series The Complete Works of Joseph Ratzinger. The first volume of the 16-volume series, being published in German and Italian for now, was presented in 2008. The works, almost all of which were completed before the Pope’s election in 2005, are meant to reflect the Pope’s personal theological thought and not the Magisterial teaching of the Church.
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Ann Widdecombe declines post of ambassador to the Holy See
BY SIMON CALDWELL
FORMER Conservative Minister Ann Widdecombe has turned down the chance to become the next British Ambassador to the Holy See after undergoing surgery on her eye.
The 62-year-old Catholic convert required emergency surgery to save the sight in her left eye.
She is convalescing at home in Kent, where she must lie with her head to one side, but will not know for nearly two weeks if the operation has been a success.
Miss Widdecombe had been the favourite to succeed Francis Campbell, who steps down from the post this summer.
But the former Prisons Minister told The Catholic Herald that she is no longer in a position to accept. She said the offer was “definitely on the table” but she declined it simply because of her health. “I am lying here having had emergency surgery for a detached retina,” she said. Miss Widdecombe left the Church of England for the Catholic faith in 1993, partly under the influence of Fr Michael Seed, a Franciscan once considered the unofficial chaplain to Parliament because of his numerous connections with MPs and peers.
She stepped down as an MP before the General Election and was seen by the Prime Minister David Cameron as an ideal Tory replacement for Mr
Campbell, a Catholic and a good friend of Tony Blair.
Speculation that she will be elevated to the House of Lords is inevitable now that she is unable to accept a diplomatic post. There is also speculation that Lord Patten, who was appointed by Mr Cameron to oversee the smooth running of the papal visit, will emerge as the favourite for the job. Commentators say, however, that he is far too busy with present duties to give any such offer serious consideration.
Decca signs French nuns for record deal
Tom Jones releases first gospel album
BY ED WEST
AN ORDER of cloistered French Benedictine nuns has signed a deal with a British music label to produce an album of Gregorian chant.
The nuns of the Abbaye de Notre-Dame de l’Annonciation, near Avignon, won a worldwide search to find the world’s finest female singers of Gregorian chant. The search by Decca Records,
which has previously signed the Rolling Stones, Amy Winehouse and Elton John, surveyed over 70 convents.
The nuns remained behind the grille even when negotiating with the record company, and will respect their rules while recording the album, so that record company representatives will not be allowed into the abbey, and the nuns will film their own television commercial and photograph their own album cover.
The abbess said that after time in prayer the nuns decided the effort could touch people’s lives.
BY TOM BROOKS-POLLOCK
TOM JONES, Wales’ most famous pop star, has released an album of the hymns, gospel and soul he sang decades ago in the chapels of the Welsh valleys.
The LP, entitled Praise & Blame, has won critical plaudits. But David Sharpe, VicePresident of Island Records, was less impressed by its
Christian themes. In what is being seen by more cynical observers as a publicity stunt, an internal email from Mr Sharpe, decrying Praise & Blame as a “sick joke”, was leaked to the media on the album’s release.
Mr Sharpe questioned why the album had no songs like Jones’s 1999 smash, “Sex Bomb”.
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