Friday, April 09, 2010

A round...

...of family visits over Easter. Church bells pealing in Oxfordshire as a wide smooth river flows between grassy banks where bright daffodils and pale primroses welcome the walkers enjoying the Easter break. Wobbly-legged lambs in Somerset meadows. Chocolate eggs and simnel cake and much family talk around a beautifully-laid table, four generations together.

I watched the Holy Father on TV on Easter morning. It was raining in Rome and he had been given a small, rather ugly chasuble and a little messy lacey collar round the stole - somehow it all looked bleak. People cheered and the crowds seemed undiminished by recent events, waving from beneath umbrellas. But they were not helped by the intervention of a formal Cardinalate speech before the start of the Easter Mass, offering the H. Father support in the face of recent "gossip". This really will not do: people are shocked and sickened by revelations of clergy abuse, and the Holy Father is at one with them in this, and has been the leader in seeking to rid the Church of what he has aptly named as "filth" - it is just all wrong for a formal Church spokesman to appear to be brushing the whole subject aside as "gossip". The Church must be seen to be open, truthful, humble and capable. Plenty to pray about this Eastertide...


Elizabeth said...

The Knights of St Columbus have asked people to pray a novena for the Pope starting on Divine Mercy Sunday (this coming Sunday), until April 19th the fifth anniversary of his election to the Papacy. The novena prayer is on their website and can be printed out.

Monica said...

Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder.

You may have found the Holy Father's chasuble small and ugly. Many of us admired both its beauty and the fact that the Roman Pontiff is once again being seen wearing the classical design and cut of the Roman vestment at a Papal Mass in the City of Rome. The only other places we ever seem to these beautiful, traditional Roman types of vesture is at the Oratories.

It made a lovely change from the horse-blanket coverall so prevalent in much of our liturgy these past 40 years.

Isaac Olson said...

I am surprised at your rather harsh criticism of Cardinal Sodano's speech before Easter Mass began. I agree with you completely that "people are shocked and sickened by revelations of clergy abuse, and the Holy Father is at one with them in this, and has been the leader in seeking to rid the Church of what he has aptly named as 'filth'". But there are two points of yours which I must disagree with:
1) You reference Cardinal Sodano as "a formal Church spokesman." That is incorrect, and the mass media seem to get this wrong all the time - thinking that some individual Catholic (whether laity, religious, priest, bishop, or cardinal; or even the L'Osservatore Romano) speaks for the church in an official or formal capacity. The Cardinal was merely speaking on his own behalf and, as he thought, on the behalf of many Catholic Christians.
2) You need to look at or listen to Cardinal Sodano's statement again. Although, to my knowledge, the Vatican Information Service has not released an official transcript of his statement, the Vatican Television and Radio Center did translate it. Here is a portion of what Sodano said: "Holy Father, with you also are the people of God, who are not letting themselves become upset by the chatter of these times or by the trials, which at different moments, can strike at the community of believers." According to many Catholic news reports, the same was translated as: “Holy Father, on your side are the people of God, who do not allow themselves to be influenced by the petty gossip of the moment, by the trials which sometimes buffet the community of believers.”
The "gossip" or "chatter" which Sodano references is not regarding the "whole subject" of the sex abuse scandal, as you surmised, but specifically the vicious, false, and calumnious attacks on our Holy Father by the mass media. Sodano was not trying to brush aside the whole subject of the sex abuse scandal- no one could or should - it is a proven and painful fact we cannot deny. It would also be unbelievable for him to stand before the Holy Father, who has done all he can to address and correct the scandal, and it attempt to brush the scandal aside! He did not even "appear" to be brushing the whole subject aside as "gossip" - only the false "gossip" that tried to drag the Holy Father through the mud! Look at the clear definition of gossip: unconstrained conversation or reports about other people,typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true. This defines the attack of the mass media perfectly! The Church has been "open, truthful, humble, and capable" - particularly Pope Benedict. But we will, and should, always stand up for justice and honesty regarding our Holy Father.
Finally, in the following post you said: "Pope Benedict will have us all with him if he announces a Church-wide act of sorrow and repentance..." First, the Pope will, and should, have us all with him whether or not "he announces a Church-wide act of sorrow and repentance." Second, why do you think that is necessary for him to do? What has he done before that hasn't been enough?

Think about, please.