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Luke Coppen's Catholic Herald Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Czech Republic

‘We must not be afraid of truth’

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Pope Benedict sums up the message of his visit to the Czech Republic at today’s general audience.

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Written by Luke Coppen

September 30, 2009 at 8:51 pm

A Kafkaesque experience

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Did Benedict XVI make a little bit of history on Monday? As he left the Czech Republic, he quoted the country’s most famous modern author.

Speaking to young people, he said: “According to a saying attributed to Franz Kafka, ‘anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old’.”

Was this the first time a pope has quoted the author of Metamorphosis and The Trial?

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Written by Luke Coppen

September 29, 2009 at 8:32 pm

The farewell

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Pope Benedict has just delivered the final speech of his Czech visit. The Catholic News Service has the details.

The Associated Press reports that the Pope was “very happy” with the short, low-key trip.

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Written by Luke Coppen

September 28, 2009 at 5:44 pm

Honouring St Wenceslaus

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Pope Benedict has just celebrated Mass for 40,000 people in a meadow in the Czech Republic. Vatican Radio has the full text of the homily. The trusty John Allen provides analysis. You can watch an official Vatican YouTube video of the Mass here.

He stopped off on the way to bless relics at a shrine to St Wenceslaus, the nation’s patron saint, whose feast day is celebrated around the world today.

After the Mass the Pope delivered a message to young people, which you can read here.

Pope Benedict will have lunch with the Czech bishops in Prague before returning to Rome later today.

You can read John Allen’s complete coverage of the visit here. The Catholic News Service has a decent summary of the three-day trip, as does the New York Times, and Edward Pentin offers a short reflection on the key themes of the Holy Father’s speeches.

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Written by Luke Coppen

September 28, 2009 at 10:13 am

A quick catch-up

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Did you miss the weekend’s events in the Czech Republic? Zenit offers a one-minute summary.

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Written by Luke Coppen

September 28, 2009 at 10:06 am

The professor speaks

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Pope Benedict met the Czech Republic’s intellectual titans today in the Vladislav Hall in the Prague Castle.

Speaking “as one who has been a professor” he reflected on the true nature of academic freedom.
The stand-out section of possibly the most important speech of the visit:

What will happen if our culture builds itself only on fashionable arguments, with little reference to a genuine historical intellectual tradition, or on the viewpoints that are most vociferously promoted and most heavily funded? What will happen if in its anxiety to preserve a radical secularism, it detaches itself from its life-giving roots? Our societies will not become more reasonable or tolerant or adaptable but rather more brittle and less inclusive, and they will increasingly struggle to recognize what is true, noble and good.

John Allen describes the speech as “rhetorical jiu-jitsu”. Watch the official Vatican YouTube summary here.

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Written by Luke Coppen

September 27, 2009 at 7:56 pm

‘The Gospel is not an ideology’

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Earlier today the Pope spoke at an ecumenical meeting at the Throne Hall of the Archbishop’s House of Prague. The Catholic News Service has the text. The key passage:

From this perspective, we understand more clearly why Christians are obliged to join others in reminding Europe of her roots. It is not because these roots have long since withered. On the contrary! It is because they continue – in subtle but nonetheless fruitful ways – to supply the continent with the spiritual and moral sustenance that allows her to enter into meaningful dialogue with people from other cultures and religions. Precisely because the Gospel is not an ideology, it does not presume to lock evolving socio-political realities into rigid schemas. Rather, it transcends the vicissitudes of this world and casts new light on the dignity of the human person in every age.

John Allen reflects on how Pope Benedict addressed the matter of Jan Hus, the “father of the Czech nation” who was burned at the stake by the Church in 1415.

You can watch the Vatican’s short video report here.

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Written by Luke Coppen

September 27, 2009 at 7:49 pm