Archive for the ‘Benedict’ Category

Chinese Cardinal At Good Friday Rites

March 22, 2008

By John Phillips
The Washington Times
March 22, 2008

The Vatican yesterday was accused of currying favor with China by “censoring” the Easter reflections for last night’s solemn Good Friday service at the Colosseum that Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong wrote at the request of Pope Benedict XVI.
Pope Benedict XVI holds a wooden cross before the faithful during ... 
Pope Benedict XVI holds a wooden cross before the faithful during the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) procession celebrated by the pontiff, at the ancient Colosseum in Rome, on Friday, March 21, 2008. Pope Benedict XVI recalled the martyrdom of early Christians thrown to hungry lions in the Colosseum as he presided over the Good Friday Way of the Cross procession at the ancient arena in a tradition which this year was dedicated to religious freedom.(AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

But many commentators insist the choice of the outspoken Shanghai-born bishop for the task reflects the full support he is getting from the pontiff.
 

The pope asked Cardinal Zen, 76, to write the reflections, or special prayers, for the Way of the Cross ceremony yesterday, which was beamed on live satellite television to millions of Christians around the world.
 

Benedict presided over the ceremony but did not carry the cross as planned, the Associated Press reported.
 

He stood sheltered from pelting rain under a canopy.
 

At the end of the procession, Italian Cardinal Camillo Ruini handed Benedict the lightweight cross. The pope gripped it briefly and then blessed the crowd.
 

Plans were for the pope to carry the cross for the final minutes of the procession.
 

But Vatican officials said that because of the storm, it was decided that Benedict, who turns 81 next month, should stay dry under the canopy.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080322/FOREIGN/44619244/1003

Christmas Message: Make Time for “Higher Power”

December 25, 2007

VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI urged the faithful to set aside time in their lives for God and the needy, as he ushered in Christmas early Tuesday by celebrating Midnight Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.
Christmas Midnight Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican

Pier Paolo Cito / AP
Pope Benedict XVI receives gifts from children in native costumes as he celebrates the Christmas Midnight Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, early Tuesday.
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Echoing a theme he has raised about an increasingly secular world, Benedict said that many people act as if there is no room for spiritual matters in their lives.

“Man is so preoccupied with himself, he has such urgent need of all the space and all the time for his own things, that nothing remains for others, for his neighbor, for the poor, for God,” he said.

Read the rest:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22390769/

Vatican, in shift, says Pope won’t meet Dalai Lama

November 27, 2007

By  Philip Pullella Mon Nov 26, 11:00 AM ET VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Benedict has no plans to meet the Dalai Lama next month, the Vatican said on Monday in an about face from a previous position that irked China.
Photo
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said “no audience is planned” between Benedict and the Dalai Lama and added there had never been an official, written statement of a meeting.

A Vatican official who spoke on condition of anonymity told reporters in late October that the Pope would meet the exiled spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism on December 13.

The meeting during the Dalai Lama’s visit to Italy, which would have been their second since Benedict’s election in 2005, was widely reported in the world media.

Beijing‘s communist government responded early in November by saying such a meeting would “hurt the feelings of the Chinese people” and urged the Pontiff to take action showing he “is sincere in improving relations.”

The Dalai Lama has this year met U.S. President George W. Bush at the White House, as well as the leaders of Austria, Germany, New Zealand, Australia and Canada.

The diplomatic blitz has been met with a stream of vitriol from Chinese officials and state media, calling the 72-year-old a “splittist” bent on independence for Tibet and accusing him of orchestrating anti-Chinese activities in the remote region.

In New Delhi, a Dalai Lama representative said: “His Holiness’s objective is to promote inter-religious harmony and he will not create any inconveniences for anybody.”

SOME DISAPPOINTED

Father Bernardo Cervellera, head of AsiaNews, a Catholic news agency that specializes in China and earlier this month also reported on the December 13 meeting, said he was disappointed that the encounter would not take place.

“It was clear from the start that Beijing was not happy about this meeting,” he told Reuters.

Benedict has made improving ties with Beijing a major goal of his pontificate and issued a 55-page open letter in June saying he sought to restore full diplomatic relations with Beijing that were severed two years after the 1949 Communist takeover.

Catholics in China are split between those who belong to a state-backed Church and an underground Church whose members are loyal to the Vatican.

Relations hit low points several times in recent years as the Vatican criticized China for appointing bishops without papal approval. In May 2006, Benedict accused China of “grave violations of religious freedom.”

Relations warmed significantly two months ago when the Vatican approved the installation of a new state-approved Catholic bishop of Beijing.

The Dalai Lama met Benedict last year in a low profile meeting Vatican said was strictly religious in nature.

Benedict’s predecessor John Paul met the Dalai Lama a number of times during his 27-year papacy and the Dalai Lama attended a major inter-religious conference hosted by John Paul in 1986.

Italian politicians are divided over whether the Dalai Lama should be allowed to address parliament during his visit.

(Additional reporting by Phil Stewart and Alistair Scrutton)