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Thursday 28 February 2013

A fond goodbye and prayers for Benedict, Pope Emeritus

This Pope is no longer pope. He is not any man we have seen for hundreds of years. He is Benedict, Pope Emeritus. I and the entire Catholic Church of true members pray for him and wish him well. We shall never forget him, even if we never see him again.

He is our brother in Christ, now entering into the life of prayer, the life of a warrior behind the scenes.

May God bless him and bring him to perfection. May he experience the great consolations in contemplation.

May we share in his intercessions for the good of the whole Church.

May we always be grateful for his gentle, yet clear, teaching.

God bless, Benedict, Pope Emeritus.

(There are 16 posts today on this Pope, today and the conclave. Take time to read, please.)

"Loving the church also means having the courage to make tough choices, suffering, having always before you the good of the church and not yourself," yesterday's quotation from Benedict.

Sede Vacante

Is that an ATM on the right?

I just watched the Swiss Guard hang up the pike and the doors are closed. The local police have now taken over the protection of the Pope.  There are three and not quite as colourful as the Swiss Guards.

Sede Vacante.

The first meeting of the Cardinals is Monday at 9:30. That will be all the 207 Cardinals.

Arriving in Castel Gandolfo and the Bells of Gandolfo

Earlier photo of the Pope at Castel Gandolfo

After about a twenty-minute ride, I am watching the Pope arriving in Castel Gandolfo. (By the way, there was a helicopter following the Pope's helicopter).

The scenes of the helicopter has really moved me, especially flying over Rome and the great monuments and his cathedral. Wow!

One cannot imagine the importance of this moment.

The countryside of Italy is so beautiful, so green.

The helicopter is about to land.

Bells are ringing in Castel Gandolfo. It is so moving, as the sun is setting.

The Pope does look more relived and relaxed coming out of the helicopter.

He radiates peace.

The Pope will give a little speech in a few minutes.

The crowd is about ten thousand according to the media.

That is more than the official number of inhabitants of Castel Gandolfo.

The secular media is really impressed by the fact that this man is so humble as to have given up his power.

These media people are moved by his humility. And, the fact that the Pope is here means that he will not be part of the voting at the conclave. This is so important.

The photos of Castel Gandolfo from the helicopter are stunning. The Pope is now on the balcony and the people are yelling wishes and clapping. He is so loved.

They will not stop clapping.

Dear Friends

I am happy to enjoy your sympathy. I give thanks for your friendship and affection.

You know this is a different day for me than other days.

I am no longer the Pope....I am just a pilgrim starting his last pilgrimage on earth. (CNN translator)

He said more, but I can write no more.

Goodbye, Holy Father and the Bells of Rome

Wow, the crowd at Castel Gandolfo has been praying the rosary while waiting for the Pope. So cool, so appropriate.

The Pope is being addressed by Soldano. Some of the Cardinals have taken off there little red caps.

This is so sad, but dignified and noble.

He is standing at the door and the Swiss Guard is there. All the people in the private square are clapping.

The helicopter can be heard behind the clapping.

How humble this man is.....

The applause is now two minutes long.

He is now in the black car which will take him to the helipad.

There are giant screens showing this to the crowd.

The Pope looks relaxed.

I am not sure how far the helicopter is from the door, it is at the Vatican train station, but I do not know how far that is.

It is such a beautiful day in Rome.

I can hear bells beginning to ring in Rome on the Vatican feed.

OK, that is really moving....the bells of Rome saying goodbye to Benedict XVI.

The Pope is now at the helipad. He just waved in his childlike way.

The Pope is not flying his own helicopter today (lol).

Here is his final tweet. 
Thank you for your love and support. May you always experience the joy that comes from putting Christ at the centre of your lives.

The helicopter is now in the air....

The sun is setting at almost the same time...

The helicopter is going to make a loop over Rome. and the bells are fantastic.

More in a few minutes....

OK, now I am getting a little emotional (remember, I am an INTJ)

I am looking at the white helicopter which is going to take about the Pope in a few minutes.

This is so unreal.

The sun is setting  It is 4:35 according to my clock in Rome.

I shall write of the Pope's leaving the Vatican and going to Castel Gandolfo.

For me, this is a personal moment as well, as this Pope has been my favourite in my lifetime.

I am old enough to have remembered the papacies of six popes.

All these papacies have been very different. The Cardinals coming to Rome must look at the great popes with which we have been blessed for over a hundred and fifty years.

Did you know that the Pope has a helicopter license and is a trained pilot. I am amazed. What an amazing man.

I am watching this on both CNN and here

To be continued....

Cardinal Dolan Interview on CNN Today

A commentator on CNN actually said  something insightful. He said that Catholics believe that God already knows who the next Pope is (of course, we know God knows everything) but it is he role of the Cardinals to find out God's choice. Interesting.

Cardinal Dolan is being interviewed on CNN, who thanked CNN for its interest.

Cardinal Dolan said it was somber and sad to talk to the Pope for the last time as Pope. Dolan also said he looks very fragile. The Pope does look frail.

The Pope's comment that he would give his complete obedience to the next Pope struck Dolan as poignant. Tweeters agreed, as that phrase went around the world this morning.

Dolan says he is on his mom's list to be the next pope.

The Cardinal said that at this point the Cardinals are grieving. Then, the Cardinals will talk about issues. He also said they look for qualities---he said he would look for a man who reminds us of Jesus.

Dolan said we call the Pope the vicar of Christ and therefore they look for the natural characteristics; these are a person who is a pastor, a savvy person who knows the Church, a great theologian who knows the history and Tradition of the Church and a person who is a good administrator. There were a few more points, but those were the ones which struck me.

Dolan said that because we are talking about a shepherd, a pastor, the new pope would have to pray; he also wants a pope who wants to trust the other cardinals and bishops. He used the term "collegiality".

The Cardinal also said the turmoil has always been in the Church, of course. We in the Church know this.

The call to purity was mentioned by the Church. Yes...

Dolan said we have to work on the Sacrament of Marriage. But, in response to a question, Dolan said that there would be no change in priests getting married. He reminded the reporter that the mission of the pope is to conserve, not to change.

Dolan said the pope can change the way the teaching is opened, or "packaged", but the main teaching does not change.

The Cardinal noted that the duty of the pope to preserve the teachings of the Church.

He said there has to be a renewal of holiness, purity and renewal in the Church.

Amen. Of course, the abuse scandals were a great part of this interview. Nothing new there....Cardinal Dolan said there are some groups which are never happy with what the Church does. He also said that what the Church is doing now is good, there is a rigour, and that is laudable.

He did say the Church can never say thank God that's over with regard to the sex abuse scandals.

Deep theological insights masked as simplicity is a paraphrase of what Cardinal Dolan said was one of  Pope Benedict's gifts to the Church.

More in a few minutes.

Two and one-half hours until the Pope arrives here

The Pope and the Cardinals are still at lunch. A day of prayer for many who love him.
Here is a photo of his home for two months, Castel Gandolfo, the summer residence of the Popes.

Video of Pope's Meeting with Cardinals

found here

text here

One of the Pope's last gifts to us; a view of the Shroud

The Pope is allowing the Shroud of Turin to be on view on March 30th.  From

At 11 am on Friday 1 March the Archbishop of Turin, Mgr. Cesare Nosiglia, who is Pontifical Custodian of the Shroud, will give a presentation of the televised Ostension of the Shroud on 30 March, the day before Easter. Nosiglia’s presentation will be given at the Metropolitan Seminary of Turin (on Via XX Settembre, 83), Italy. Two million pilgrims from all across the world walked past the Shroud at the 2010 Ostension in Turin Cathedral. Forty years after the first televised Ostension ..more on this site.

Cardinals and numbers

231 were appointed by John Paul II, but of course not all can vote because of age

90 created by Benedict XVI, but not all can vote because of age

I think, but I am not sure, that 67 of Benedict's can vote and 55 of John Paul II's.

Aarrgh and a good link

Where do the main-stream medias get these liberal priests to make commentaries? Allen, the lay biographer, is a ok, just....

Good commentary here

Pope's Address to the Cardinals This Morning

Full text may be found at this site:

Here are a few words of the Pope. And I just got the Papal blessing as well. He looks very tired.

Wonderful that Cardinal Sodano is addressing the Pope and referred to the fact that the Church will last until the End of Time.

Also, he used the story of the Road to Emmaus in saying that the Cardinals feel like their hearts were burning within them walking with you, the Pope.

The Pope is greeting all the Cardinals who are in Rome, ( not all are there), and is stating that he, too, experienced joy in working with them, "marvellous moments in the history of the Church, and also times when the world was covered by dark clouds."

"Only Christ alone can shed light on our journey...."

He is quoting Romano Guardini at the Vatican II Council. "The Church is a living institution, it is living through time...its heart is Christ...and it lives in the strength of God....we saw this yesterday."

"The Church becomes alive in the souls of people." The Pope promised his obedience to the next Pope. Wow!

"We remain united in these mysteries...serving the Church and mankind. That is something which no one can deprive us of..."

(CNN translator)

Also found here

Of course, the station is talking about Archbishop Georg Gänswein, who is in an interesting position of serving Benedict XVI AND the next Pope.

John Allen has pointed out that the Pope has a almost "photographic memory" for details of scholarship.

I know a woman in Canada who has this and wrote her doctoral thesis in nine months.

From Father Z, Pray for the Pope

partial indulgence is granted to the Christian faithful who, in a spirit of filial devotion, devoutly recite any duly approved prayer for the Supreme Pontiff (e.g., the Oremus pro Pontifice):
V. Let us pray for our Pontiff, Pope Benedict.
R. May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and bless him upon earth, and deliver him not to the will of his enemies.

Our Father.  Hail Mary.

Let us pray.

O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful people, look mercifully upon Thy servant Benedict, whom Thou hast chosen as shepherd to preside over Thy Church. Grant him, we beseech Thee, that by his word and example, he may edify those over whom he hath charge, so that together with the flock committed to him, may he attain everlasting life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

If you are in London this evening....

A Quick Note from St. Bernard:Part 60 on the DoC and Perfection

I know I started the postings on St. Augustine, which will continue on Friday, but today I was reading in the sermon of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, On Detraction.

I am only going to refer to two ideas, both repetitions on this blog.

Bernard states plainly that without orthodoxy, our good works remain worthless.

Faith, and that means the True Faith, which is found in the Teaching Magisterium of the Church, forms
the basis of all good works.

Bernard goes so far as to say that only those who are orthodox can work in the Lord.

So many people start projects which flag and die. So many people begin ministries which are not exactly in God's Will but merely reflect that person's need for activity.

Bernard is clear. Orthodoxy and good works are both necessary for salvation, but orthodoxy must come first.

He also noted that if one suffers for one's own sins, that is not the same as suffering for Christ, with Christ and in Christ. Only when we are purged of sin can we suffer for Christ's sake.

Ponder these simple but true statements.

Tomorrow, back to Augustine of Hippo.

Missing the Snowdrops

In England, the snowdrops have been out for several weeks. I am missing them again this year. To miss the snowdrops is a sad thing for me.

I was born in January and in England, the snowdrop is the flower of a January baby.

Many. many years ago, more than twenty to be exact, I visited Kingston Lacy Gardens with a friend and my little son.

As this visit was in the summer, I missed the snowdrops.

I hope I get to see them at least once at Kingston Lacy. Buckfast Abbey Gardens and Grounds, especially the walk by the River Dart, is a great place for snowdrops.

A humble, small, yet brilliant flower....a little homage to it here.

Are there any readers who can tell me if the snowdrops are still blooming somewhere in the south of England?