From the Jerusalem Post:
The world’s largest cross will be built in the Israeli Arab town of Nazareth in an attempt to draw millions of Christian tourists to the boyhood town of Jesus, according to an initial private building plan under consideration, officials said Sunday.
The proposal, which is still in its planning stages, is being floated by a group of affluent Christian businessmen from Israel and abroad.
The massive cross, dubbed “The Nazareth Cross,” would tower 60 meters high, and would be decorated by some 7.2 million brilliant mosaic tiles made of Nazareth stone, according to project adviser Ibrahim Boulous.
To Liturgy and Ecumenism, from Sandro Magister:
Just a few months ago, the French bishops were extremely concerned about the news that Benedict XVI was preparing to liberalize the celebration of the Mass labeled as that of Pius V. “Such a decision endangers the Church’s unity,” wrote the most alarmed of them.
Benedict XVI shot straight from the hip, with the “motu proprio” released on July 7. But there was no reaction of rejection from the French bishops. Nor was there from the bishops of the touchiest countries: Switzerland, Germany, Great Britain. On the contrary, their most authoritative leaders hailed the pope’s decision with positive comments: from the German cardinal Karl Lehmann to the English cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, both ranked among the progressives.
The same happened with the document released on July 10 by the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, which nails down some firm points of doctrine about the Church. There was no comparison with the criticisms that in the summer of 2000 were hurled – even by high-ranking churchmen – against the declaration “Dominus Iesus,” signed by then-cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, which to a great extent dealt with the same points of doctrine. Cardinal Walter Kasper, one of the critics back then, decisively supported the Vatican document this time: “Clearly stating one’s own positions does not limit ecumenical dialogue, but fosters it.” And from Moscow, metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk, president of the department for external relations at the Russian Orthodox patriarchate, described the text as “an honest declaration, because sincere dialogue requires a clear vision of the respective positions.”
Criticisms did arrive, naturally, against both of these promulgations, from within and outside of the Church, and especially from Protestants and Jews. But in the Catholic camp the protests were limited to confined sectors, mostly Italian: the sectors of the liturgists and of the intellectuals who interpret Vatican Council II as a “rupture” and a “new beginning.”
Among the liturgists, the one most pained in contesting the papal “motu proprio” was Luca Brandolini, bishop of Sora, Aquino, and Pontecorvo, and a member of the liturgical commission of the Italian bishops’ conference, in an interview with the newspaper “la Repubblica”:
“I cannot hold back my tears; I am living through the saddest moment of my life as a bishop and as a man. This is a day of mourning not only for me, but for the many who have lived and worked for Vatican Council II. What has been negated is a reform for which many worked at the cost of great sacrifices, motivated solely by the desire to renew the Church.”
Among the theorists of Vatican II as a “rupture” and a “new beginning,” the most explicit against the papal provisions were the founder and prior of the monastery of Bose, Enzo Bianchi, and the historian of Christianity Alberto Melloni, coauthor of the most widely read “History of Vatican Council II” in the world. For Melloni, the objective of pope Ratzinger is nothing less than that of “deriding” and “demolishing” Vatican Council II.
But instead it is known that Benedict XVI’s clear objective – plainly enunciated and argued in the memorable discourse to the Roman curia on December 22, 2005 – is that of freeing the Council from a particular interpretation: precisely the interpretation of “rupture” and “new beginning” dear to Bianchi and Melloni.
“The hermeneutic of discontinuity,” the pope said in this address, “risks ending in a split between the pre-conciliar Church and the post-conciliar Church”.
While instead the correct interpretation of Vatican Council II, in the view of Benedict XVI, is this:
“… the hermeneutic of reform, of renewal in the continuity of the one subject-Church which the Lord has given to us. She is a subject which increases in time and develops, yet always remaining the same, the one subject of the journeying People of God.”
From the Guardian:
In nomine Patris, et, er, … thingummy.
Pope Benedict may want more of his flock to have the chance to hear mass in Latin. But there is a snag. Not many of his priests know enough of the language to hold a service in it. Even in Italy.
Yesterday the newspaper La Stampa reported on priests’ reactions to the Pope’s decision this month to extend the use of the old Latin-only rite. Their views ranged from embarrassment to downright anger.
Hopefully, more than just the UN. From USA Today:
Pope Benedict XVI has a heavy international travel schedule coming up, with plans to deliver an important speech to diplomats in Vienna in September and confirmed trips to the United Nations, Australia and Lourdes, France in 2008, the Vatican spokesman said Sunday.
The Rev. Federico Lombardi did not specify what the speech would cover during the pope’s Sept. 7-9 trip to Austria, but Lombardi said Benedict would deliver an “internationally important” speech to diplomats accredited to international organizations.
He said early plans are underway for a papal trip next year to the shrine at Lourdes, to mark the 150th anniversary of the apparition of the Madonna. The trip will also be a significant emotional one, Lombardi said, since Pope John Paul II’s last foreign trip was to Lourdes.
“We also hope to go to the United Nations,” Lombardi said. No date for the trip has been set.
The archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, has invited Benedict to visit Boston next year, saying it would help mend wounds from the clergy sexual abuse scandal that erupted in Boston.
In the current edition of The Wanderer by Pete Vere:
Harry Potter Christian literature? A number of Catholic commentators, including those who have previously been critical of the children’s series, are beginning to ask this question. One such author is Nancy Carpentier Brown, who is well known within Catholic home- schooling circles as a writer who promotes Catholic orthodoxy.
Dr Alcuin Reid is a former Benedictine monk and an Australian. He’s also a leading liturgy scholar and the author of The Organic Development of the Liturgy, the definitive text on the Tridentine mass. In fact the glowing Preface of his recent book was written by one Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
Alcuin Reid: It certainly is a big story in the history of the liturgy in the Catholic church, especially in the last 40, 50 years, big questions are raised by it, how does this relate to the reform of the Second Vatican Council? Is this a reversal? All sorts of big questions. In terms of local parishes, there probably won’t be much difference immediately, I think any change, any development, any enrichment of the liturgical life of the parishes is likely to be gradual.