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Posts Tagged ‘Sistine Chapel

Morning Catholic must-reads

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Benedict XVI has told the Italian bishops that penance, forgiveness and justice are necessary to overcome clerical abuse (video).

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa has said that Italy is facing a “demographic winter“.

Archbishop Donald James Reece of Kingston believes that gunmen will not target priests living in the city’s conflict zone.

An investigation has discovered 205 allegations of clerical sexual abuse in German Jesuit schools.

The Pope has sent aid to the victims of flooding in Poland.

Cuban protesters have thanked the Church for playing an unprecedented role in mediating with the government.

Sydney archdiocese has joined the bishops of England and Wales in criticising the first television advertisement for abortion shown in Britain.

The Vatican will lend four tapestries to the Victoria and Albert museum in London to coincide with Pope Benedict’s British visit.

Jeff Israely and Howard Chua-Eoan of Time offer a detailed assessment of Pope Benedict and the abuse crisis.

Jonathan Luxmoore profiles Fr Jerzy Popiełuszko, who will be beatified in Warsaw on June 6.

Megan Sweas wonders whether a professional football player turned seminarian will lead the Pontifical North American College to Clericus Cup glory.

And Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton describes his narrow escape from a bear while playing golf.

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Morning Catholic must-reads

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Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster has written an article in the Times defending Pope Benedict against allegations that he covered up abuse.

L’Osservatore Romano has strongly denounced the coverage of the “Murphy case”.

The Pope has asked Cardinal Camillo Ruini to write the meditations for this year’s Way of the Cross.

Caritas Sri Lanka is still struggling to help displaced refugees nearly 10 months after the civil war ended.

Mehmet Ali Agca wants to visit Fatima on May 13 and meet Pope Benedict XVI.

Francisco Ayala, a biologist and former Dominican priest, has won the 2010 Templeton Prize.

The complete Acta Apostolicæ Sedis up to 2007, as well as the previous official publication Acta Sanctæ Sedis from 1865 onwards, are now online.

The Archdiocese of New York has urged the New York Times to correct a claim in its recent editorial on the Pope and abuse.

Fr John Zuhlsdorf offers a heartfelt reflection on the “Murphy case”.

Fr Roy Cimagala, a chaplain in Cebu City in the Philippines, argues that the abuse scandal is “crucifying the Church“.

Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman of the US bishops, criticises the atmosphere of “intolerance and incivility” around the health care debate.

And the Vatican website is offering an eye-popping virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel.

Paul VI is Pope Benedict’s surprising guiding light

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Photo: A statue of Pope Paul VI greets Pope Benedict XVI at a museum in Concesio on November 8
(CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

I’ve been trying to absorb the Pope’s speech to artists in the Sistine Chapel last Saturday. Benedict XVI is famous for the clarity of his teaching, but I have to admit I’m finding the loftier parts of the address a bit of a struggle.

The speech displays the Pope’s deep knowledge of European culture. He refers to Fra Angelico, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Plato, Dostoevsky, Braque, Cyprian Norwid, von Balthasar, Simone Weil and Hermann Hesse. But the guiding light is undoubtedly Paul VI, whom Beneduct XVI mentions no fewer than five times.

It’s become increasingly clear that Pope Benedict feels a deep affinity for Paul VI, in spite of their differences in personality and policy.

This may surprise those on the liberal and conservative wings of the Church who tend to contrast the two popes, presenting Paul VI as a bold (or naive) post-conciliar reformer and Benedict XVI as a traditionalist with a preference for the pre-conciliar forms of the Church. But while this stark contrast holds true for the liturgy on many other topics Benedict and Paul VI are of one mind.

The truth is that Paul VI was more of a “traditionalist” and Benedict XVI is more “modern” than these reductive interpretations allow.

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Written by Luke Coppen

November 25, 2009 at 7:06 pm

Pope to artists: ‘You are the custodians of beauty’

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The Pope has just met artists in the Sistine Chapel. The Catholic News Service has an excerpt from his speech:

You are the custodians of beauty: thanks to your talent, you have the opportunity to speak to the heart of humanity, to touch individual and collective sensibilities, to call forth dreams and hopes, to broaden the horizons of knowledge and of human engagement. Be grateful, then, for the gifts you have received and be fully conscious of your great responsibility to communicate beauty, to communicate in and through beauty!

Through your art, you yourselves are to be heralds and witnesses of hope for humanity! And do not be afraid to approach the first and last source of beauty, to enter into dialogue with believers, with those who, like yourselves, consider that they are pilgrims in this world and in history towards infinite Beauty! Faith takes nothing away from your genius or your art: on the contrary, it exalts them and nourishes them, it encourages them to cross the threshold and to contemplate with fascination and emotion the ultimate and definitive goal, the sun that does not set, the sun that illumines this present moment and makes it beautiful.

The Vatican website has the full English text. The BBC posted a preview earlier this morning with some good analysis and the New York Times has an informative report on the event. The Vatican has a short official video report here.

Photo: Artists crowd the Sistine Chapel during their meeting with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican on Saturday (AP Photo/Osservatore Romano, HO)

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Written by Luke Coppen

November 21, 2009 at 12:29 pm

Pope Benedict XVI and artists: a preview

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Sandro Magister previews Pope Benedict XVI’s hotly anticipated meeting with artists in the Sistine Chapel tomorrow:

It has become routine to think about Benedict XVI as the pope of the ‘Logos’. His critics accuse him of rationalism. But in reality, he is convinced that Christianity’s ‘proof of truth’ does not come solely by rational means. For him, ‘art and the saints are the greatest apologia of our faith’.

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Written by Luke Coppen

November 20, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Pope proposes ‘friendship between Christian spirituality and art’

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Pope Benedict XVI dedicated his general audience today to the great cathedrals of medieval Europe. He also looked ahead to his meeting with artists in the Sistine Chapel on Saturday, which he described as “a proposal of friendship between Christian spirituality and art”.

CNS has a good report on the audience, as does Asia News. The trusty Zenit has the full text.

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Written by Luke Coppen

November 18, 2009 at 4:42 pm

Pope Benedict seeks to build bridges with art world

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What do Bill Viola, Daniel Libeskind, Zaha Hadid, Santiago Calatrava, Andrea Bocelli, Ennio Morricone, Arvo Pärt, Peter Greenaway, Nanni Moretti and Paolo Taviani have in common? They will all be gathering in the Sistine Chapel on Saturday to hear Pope Benedict’s appeal for a new era in relations between the Church and the art world.

The full list of participants is here and our preview is here.

Photo: Santiago Calatrava’s Ponte della Costituzione in Venice (Frenza)

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