Archive for the ‘pope’ Category

Rome hosts Vatican-Muslim summit

November 4, 2008

Muslim and Vatican officials are holding historic talks in Rome to establish a better inter-faith dialogue and defuse any future tensions.

Catholic-Muslim ties soured after Pope Benedict XVI’s speech in 2006, in which he linked Muslims with past violence.

BBC

The speech provoked Muslim outrage and triggered violent protests.

It also prompted leading Muslim scholars to launch an appeal to the Pope for greater theological dialogue, called the Common Word.

The manifesto now has more than 250 signatories.

Pope Benedict XVI. File photo

The Pope has sought to improve ties with the Muslim world since 2006

Muslim leaders say protests against the Pope’s speech – and also the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper in 2005 – might have been avoided if Christian and Muslim leaders had spoken out together against such violence.

‘New chapter’

The three-day talks in Rome are being attended by nearly 60 religious leaders and scholars from each side.

The Muslim delegation is being led by Grand Mufti of Bosnia Mustafa Ceric, while Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran heads the Vatican officials.

The meeting opens ” a new chapter in the long history” of the dialogue between the two faiths, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran told France’s La Croix newspaper on the eve of the talks.

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7707606.stm

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Due To Sex Scandal; Future Candidates for Catholic Priest Must Meet These Psychological Screening Guidelines

October 31, 2008

The Vatican issued new psychological screening guidelines for seminarians Thursday — the latest effort by the Roman Catholic Church to be more selective about its priesthood candidates following a series of sex abuse scandals.

The church said it issued the new guidelines to help church leaders weed out candidates with “psychopathic disturbances.” The scandals have rocked the church in recent years, triggering lawsuits that have cost hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements.

Three priests cross St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, in this ... 
Three priests cross St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, in this
Oct. 18, 2002 file photo.
(AP Photo/Luciano Del Castillo)

“(The guidelines) became ever more urgent because of the sexual scandals,” Monsignor Jean-Louis Brugues told reporters. He stressed, however, that psychological testing was used in some seminaries as far back as the 1960s — or at least a decade before the sexual abuse scandals exploded in public.

“In all too many cases, psychological defects, sometimes of a pathological kind, reveal themselves only after ordination to the priesthood,” the guidelines said. “Detecting defects earlier would help avoid many tragic experiences.”

The guidelines said problems like “confused or not yet well-defined” sexual identities need to be addressed.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests said the Vatican needs to go beyond screening seminarians to end what the group calls the church’s “virtually unchanged culture of secrecy and unchecked power in the hierarchy” that left dangerous priests in parishes.

“Every barrel will always have some bad apples,” the Survivors Network said. “Real change requires effectively reforming the barrel and those who oversee it.”

Vatican officials conducted an evaluation of U.S. Roman Catholic seminaries in response to the abuse crisis to look for anything that contributed to the scandal. The evaluation was completed in July of 2006, but the results have not been made public.

The bishops and seminary staff who conducted the onsite reviews gave special attention to what seminarians are taught about chastity and celibacy. The Vatican also directed the evaluators to look for “evidence of homosexuality” in the schools.

Studies commissioned by the bishops’ conference have found that the majority of known victims of abuse by priests in the last 50 years were adolescent boys. In response, some Catholics have blamed gay clergy for the scandal; experts on sex offenders contend homosexuals are no more likely than heterosexuals to molest children.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081031/ap_on_re_eu/eu_
vatican_screening_priests_12

Could Sainthood For WWII Pope Be On Hold As Jewish Group Requests?

October 30, 2008

A Jewish leader says Pope Benedict XVI is considering a request to freeze the sainthood process for wartime Pope Pius XII.

Rabbi Ravid Rosen says the pope was asked to do so during a meeting with a Jewish group Thursday and that the pontiff replied he would give “serious consideration” to the request to wait.

Frances D’emilio And Marta Falconi, Associated Press Writers

Some Jewish leaders and historians have said Pius didn’t speak out enough during World War II to save Jews during Hitler’s extermination campaign.

Rosen spoke after the Vatican had rejected Jewish groups’ requests for the immediate opening of its secret archives on Pius XII’s papacy during the Holocaust years.


Above: Pope Pius XII

Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said the requests to see the wartime archives were “understandable,” but added Thursday that cataloguing some 16 million documents is expected to take another six or seven years.

Currently, the archives can be consulted only up through the papacy of Pius XII’s predecessor, Pius X, which ended in early 1939, a few months before World War II began in Europe.

Pius XII was Pius XI’s secretary of state, as Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli. Some scholars who have examined archive documents dealing with the future Pius XII’s diplomacy say Pacelli was a sometimes indecisive diplomat as Nazism and Fascism took hold in parts of Western Europe.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081030/ap_on_re_eu/
eu_vatican_secret_archives;_ylt=AuNbc
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Pope at St. Patrick’s in New York: We Owe Bishop Hughes

April 20, 2008

When the Pope celebrated Mass in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, a TV newsman reminded us that the cornerstone of that magnificent church was laid in 1858.  But I was reminded of one of the men who made that church possible: “Dagger” John Hughes….

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

John Joseph Hughes (1797–1864), Catholic Archbishop of New York, played three critical roles for Lincoln and the United States during the Civil War. He traveled to Europe in search of able-bodied Irishmen to enlist in the Union Army. He participated in tricky diplomatic missions to France and the Vatican to keep them out of the war. Finally, Hughes used his personal powers of persuasion and clout to help quell the 1863 draft riots in New York.

Archbishop John Hughes is also responsible for starting the project, raising the first monies and laying the cornerstone for St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York — where Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Catholic Mass this week end.

View of the cathedral from Rockefeller Center.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York
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By the time of the Civil War, “Dagger” John Hughes was nearing the end of his influence and his life. He earned the nickname “Dagger” for two reasons: first, he signed his name to include a small cross, often confused for a dagger. Second: Hughes’ hard-nosed style and ability to toughly face difficult challenges earned him the reputation as the “Dagger” of the Irish community in New York.After the Civil War began in 1861, Lincoln desperately needed to keep up a dialogue of understanding with European monarchs. Lincoln wanted to keep European nations from assisting the Confederacy. Lincoln wanted a Catholic of stature to assist him in dealing with the Catholic leaders in Europe. He chose Dagger John Hughes.

Lincoln paired Hughes with Thurlow Weed to head the mission to Europe.

Harper’s Weekly reported on November 23, 1861 that “Mr. Weed [and Archbishop Hughes] left this port [New York] on Saturday last for Europe. He states himself that he goes on private business; the public, however, will be apt to suspect that his private business concerns the public interest. If the suspicion be correct, we may feel assured that our affairs will suffer no mischance in his hands. Few men in the country are such true patriots as Thurlow Weed.”


Archbishop John Hughes

European leaders wanted a divided nation on the American continent. In September 1861, England’s former Colonial secretary Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton stated that a permanent division of the United States would benefit the “safety of Europe.” A truly united United States “hung over Europe like a gathering and destructive thundercloud … [but] as America shall become subdivided into separate states … her ambition would be less formidable for the rest of the world.”

“Dagger” John understood his mission and President Lincoln’s concerns: even though he harbored no animosity toward the Confederacy. “My mission was and is a mission of peace between France and England on the one side, and the United States on the other. ….I made it known to the President that if I should come to Europe it would not be as a partisan of the North more than of the South; that I should represent the interests of the South as well as of the North; in short, the interests of all the United States just the same as if they had not been distracted by the present civil war. The people of the South know that I am not opposed to their interests.”

While Weed headed to London to apply his tact and persuasion on members of Queen Victoria’s government, Dagger John went to France to call upon Napoleon III.

Historian Dean B. Mahin wrote that “Napoleon thought an independent Confederacy would provide a buffer between royalist Mexico and the republican United States.”

Even so, Hughes convinced the monarch to avoid involvement in the American conflict.

Then Hughes went to Italy on two missions. The first mission involved convincing the Vatican to keep out of the conflict. Hughes’ second mission was to persuade Irishmen serving as mercenaries in the Army of the Vatican to join their Irish immigrant countrymen in America and fight for the Union.

Hughes accomplished both missions. The Catholic Pope stayed out of the war, despite intense pressure and diplomatic maneuvering from the Confederacy. Jefferson Davis sent Bishop Patrick Lynch of Charleston to the Vatican in 1861 and Father John Bannon in 1864. Nether could change the neutrality of the influential Pontiff.

In Rome, Hughes also met with leading and influential Irish mercenaries, including Miles Keogh and John Coppinger. Both agreed to join the Union cause and both persuaded others to join them.

A short time later General George McClellan described Keogh as “a most gentlemanlike man, of soldierly appearance,” whose “record had been remarkable for the short time he had been in the army.”

Keogh would serve in many engagements of the Civil War and die alongside George Armstrong Custer at the Little Big Horn on June 25, 1876.

Bishop Hughes recruit John J. Coppinger also served with Custer. During the Civil War, General Custer wrote that Coppinger’s “ability as an officer is of the highest order. … As a soldier I consider him a model.”

Coppinger was still serving the United States during the Spanish-American War of 1898 when he was promoted to Major-General of Volunteers.

Hughes remained on his diplomatic mission in Europe until the summer of 1862.

Dagger John’s final, but perhaps most significant, contribution to the Union cause came during New York’s draft riots of July 1863.

The Irish, most of whom were Catholics, hated the Union Army draft. Most Irishmen lacked the funds to buy their way out of service, the way more wealthy men did throughout the war. The Irish also avidly read newspapers recounting the valor of the Irish Brigade and other units. But Irish losses appalled them — and seemed disproportionate to the losses of non-Irish units. Irish boys made up about 15 percent of the Union army – and they were dying in droves.

The Irish had also reacted badly to Lincoln’s January Emancipation Proclamation. The Irish, arguably members of the lowest echelon of free American society, believed Lincoln’s emancipation of the slaves only added another large population to their small niche of society.

So when Lincoln called a draft of even more men, the Irish went wild.

The New York Times reported that, “It seemed to be an understood thing that the negroes should be attacked wherever found.” An orphanage was burned to the ground, stores were ransacked and dozens of police officers were killed or injured.

In three days of mayhem and unrest, 443 people were arrested, 128 wounded, and over 50 people dead. The rioters also burned down more than 100 buildings and damaged about 200 others. Many of the killed and wounded were free Black men. were killed. Irishmen were largely responsible for the rioting.

“In New York no one had to ask who ruled the Church,” explained Professor Jay P. Dolan of the University of Notre Dame in his book “The Immigrant Church: New York’s Irish and German Catholics, 1815-1865.”

“John Hughes was boss….He ruled like an Irish chieftain,” wrote Professor Dolan. A newspaper reporter of the time wrote that Archbishop Hughes was “more a Roman gladiator than a devout follower of the meek founder of Christianity.”

But Hughes and the Irish did not rule all New York. New York was rued by Protestants, who winked at the unruliness of the Irish Catholics. The historian E.P. Spann called New York City in the mid-19th century “the capital of Protestant America.” Protestant leadership, said Spann, “made no secret of their belief that Roman Catholicism was alien and inferior.” Though not condoning the riot, the Protestant leadership of New York largely considered the disorder “a Catholic problem.”

Hughes left his death bed to appeal to the Irish, their honor and their pride. Hughes challenged the Irish leaders with the words, “no blood of innocent martyrs, shed by Irish Catholics, has ever stained the soil of Ireland.” Thus Archbishop Hughes convinced the Irish to end the rioting and peace was restored in New York.

President Lincoln wrote that “having formed the Archbishop’s acquaintance in the earliest days of our country’s present troubles, his counsel and advice were gladly sought and continually received by the Government on those points which his position enabled him better than others to consider. At a conjuncture of deep interest to the country, the Archbishop, associated with others, went abroad, and did the nation a service there with all the loyalty, fidelity and practical wisdom which on so many other occasions illustrated his great ability for administration.”

Dagger John Hughes proved himself a formidable force in an era when a fighting bishop was needed. When the Vatican nuncio, Archbishop Bedini, asked an American priest to explain why people in America held Archbishop Hughes in such esteem, the answer was: “It is because he is always game.”

Dagger John Hughes: Lincoln emissary and leader of American Irishmen died in New York on January 3, 1864.

John Hughes is also the one man most responsible for the building of the St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
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Catholics have made a very long and indelible contribution to the history of North, South and Central America.  It is appropriate at the time of Pope Benedict’s visit to recall Archbishop John Hughes.
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Mr. Carey is president of International Defense Consultants, Inc.  He writes for the Washington Times.

Pope Benedict XVI waves before leaving Saint Joseph Seminary ... .
Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI holds a Mass at Nationals Park in Washington ... 
From

REUTERS/Jim Bourg 

Pope Benedict XVI passes St. Patrick's Cathedral in New ... 
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Pope Benedict XVI passes St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York while riding up 5th Avenue in the Popemobile following a Mass at the Catherdral April 19, 2008.REUTERS/Mike Segar 
  

 
 
 

 

 

Transcript of Pope Benedict’s Remarks to Young Americans on Life, Hope, Prayer

April 20, 2008

From Peace and Freedom

On April 19, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI addressed compelling remarks to all young Americans while appearing at the Seminary of St. Joseph in Yonkers, New York.

We at Peace and Freedom believe this address, among all the Pope’s fine talks and sermons this week in the United States, provided the most stirring message. 

Below is a sample of that sermon and then you’ll find a link to the entire text.

Pope Benedict XVI waves before leaving Saint Joseph Seminary ... 
Pope Benedict XVI waves before leaving Saint Joseph Seminary following a meeting with the youth in New York April 19, 2008. Pope Benedict visited Ground Zero, site of the World Trade Center destroyed in the Sept. 11 attacks, on Sunday to pray for the nearly 3,000 victims and their families and for an end to hatred and violence.REUTERS/Max Rossi
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On April 19, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI gave the remarks below at the Seminary of St. Joseph in Yonkers, New York.

“What happens when people, especially the most vulnerable, encounter a clenched fist of repression or manipulation rather than a hand of hope? A first group of examples pertains to the heart. Here, the dreams and longings that young people pursue can so easily be shattered or destroyed. I am thinking of those affected by drug and substance abuse, homelessness and poverty, racism, violence, and degradation — especially of girls and women. While the causes of these problems are complex, all have in common a poisoned attitude of mind which results in people being treated as mere objects ? a callousness of heart takes hold which first ignores, then ridicules, the God-given dignity of every human being….”

“At times…  we are tempted to close in on ourselves, to doubt the strength of Christ’s radiance, to limit the horizon of hope. Take courage!”

“What matters most is that you develop your personal relationship with God. That relationship is expressed in prayer. God by his very nature speaks, hears, and replies. Indeed, Saint Paul reminds us: we can and should “pray constantly” (1 Thess 5:17). Far from turning in on ourselves or withdrawing from the ups and downs of life, by praying we turn towards God and through him to each other, including the marginalized and those following ways other than God’s path (cf. Spe Salvi, 33)….”

“There is another aspect of prayer which we need to remember: silent contemplation. Saint John, for example, tells us that to embrace God’s revelation we must first listen, then respond by proclaiming what we have heard and seen (cf. 1 Jn 1:2-3; Dei Verbum, 1). Have we perhaps lost something of the art of listening? Do you leave space to hear God’s whisper, calling you forth into goodness? Friends, do not be afraid of silence or stillness, listen to God, adore him in the Eucharist. Let his word shape your journey as an unfolding of holiness….”

Related:
Pope at St. Patrick’s in New York: We Owe Bishop Hughes

Read the entire transcript of the Pope’s remarks:
Papal Message at St. Joseph’s Seminary, New York
http://peace-and-freedom.blogspot.com/2008/04/papal-message-at-st-joshephs-new-york.html
Petersdom von Engelsburg gesehen.jpg
St. Peter’s, Rome

Pope Benedict Encourages Young Americans, Seminarians

April 20, 2008

NEW YORK (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI focused on the future of his American church Saturday as he marked the third anniversary of his election as pontiff, rallying young people, priests and seminarians and assuring them of his support as they dealt with the damage from the clergy sex abuse scandal.

On a highly personal day, Benedict spoke of suffering under Nazism in his youth and, at another point, touched on his own “spiritual poverty.” He added that he hoped to be a worthy successor to St. Peter, considered the first pope.

Benedict began the day with a Mass at St. Patrick’s cathedral. The building was packed with cardinals and bishops, priests and nuns, who cheered him to mark the day he succeeded Pope John Paul II on April 19, 2005.

The German-born pope lamented that what he called “the joy of faith” was often choked by cynicism, greed and violence. Yet he drew an analogy to show how faith can overcome distractions and trials.

In America, he has said repeatedly, the religious intensity stands out in marked contrast to the tepid spiritual emphasis in his native Europe. That makes the U.S. a testing ground for him in his bid to counter secular trends in the world.

Benedict later was driven to St. Joseph’s Seminary in nearby Yonkers, for a rally with young Catholics and seminarians. Upon arriving he blessed about 50 disabled youngsters in the seminary chapel. Two small girls gave him a painting and a hug.

The pope got a hero’s welcome at the youth rally from a festive crowd of 25,000, which burst into wild cheers when Benedict first acknowledged them from the stage. The shy theologian took time to reach out and shake hands with the ecstatic faithful in the front rows.

During his speech at the rally, Benedict reflected on the repression of his own youth under Nazism. He urged the young people and seminarians to carry on the faith while enjoying the liberties that they were fortunate to have.

“My own years as a teenager were marred by a sinister regime that thought it had all the answers,” he said making a rare reference to his own life. “Its influence grew — infiltrating schools ands civic bodies, as well as politics and even religion — before it was fully recognized for the monster it was.”

At the end of the St. Patrick’s service, Benedict was clearly moved when his top assistant, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, read a tribute for the third anniversary.

Benedict told the crowd of 3,000 that “I am deeply thankful” for the support they showed him, and for “your love, your prayers.” The pope said that he, like St. Peter, was a “man with his faults.”

Read the Pope’s remarks:
Transcript of Pope Benedict’s Remarks to Young Americans on Life, Hope, Prayer

At UN, Pope Stresses Human Rights

April 18, 2008

By ERIC GORSKI, AP
April 18, 2008

UNITED NATIONS — Pope Benedict XVI told diplomats at the United Nations on Friday that respect for human rights was the key to solving many of the world’s problems, while cautioning that international cooperation was threatened by “the decisions of a small number.”

The pontiff, addressing the U.N. General Assembly on his first papal trip to the U.S., said the organization’s work is vital. But he raised concerns that power is concentrated among just handful of players.

Pope Benedict XVI concludes his address to the 62nd United Nations ...
Pope Benedict XVI concludes his address to the 62nd United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York April 18, 2008.(Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

“Multilateral consensus,” he said, speaking in French, “continues to be in crisis because it is still subordinated to the decisions of a small number.”

The world’s problems call for collective interventions by the international community, he said.

“The promotion of human rights remains the most effective strategy for eliminating inequalities between countries and social groups, and increasing security,” the pope said.

Read the rest:
http://news.aol.com/story/_a/at-un-pope-stresses-human-rights/
20080415092409990001

Taiwan president urges Pope to condemn China’s crackdown in Tibet

April 18, 2008

Asia World News

Taipei – Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian on Friday at a reception at the Vatican embassy in Taipei urged Pope Benedict XVI to condemn China’s crackdown in Tibet. “China’s bloody crackdown on Tibetan people last month has shocked the world. Hereby I would like to call on His Holiness the Pope to condemn violence, and to encourage the search for a solution with the aim of protecting peace,” Chen said at the event to mark the third anniversary of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s becoming the Pope.

Chen Shui-bian
陳水扁
Chen Shui-bian

“I would also urge China to improve human rights and protect freedom of religious belief, to remove missiles against Taiwan, and ensure cross-straits peace and regional stability,” he said.

Pope Critical of American Culture

April 18, 2008

 By E. J. Dionne, Jr.
The Washington Post
Friday, April 18, 2008; Page A27 
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The most jarring word that Pope Benedict XVI is using during his visit to the United States is “countercultural.” The American sense of that term is shaped by the 1960s: free love, drugs, hippies, rock music and rebellion. Needless to say, that’s not what Benedict is preaching.
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That word is the key to understanding how Benedict’s message runs crosswise to conventional liberalism and conservatism. Benedict came to the United States as a quiet but forceful critic of “an increasingly secular and materialistic culture,” as he put it during yesterday’s Mass. Almost any American who paid attention to his sermon had to be uncomfortable because all of us are shaped by the very forces he was criticizing.
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Benedict directly challenged an assumption so many Americans make about religion: that it is a matter of private devotion with few public implications.
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Not true, said the pope. “Any tendency to treat religion as a private matter must be resisted,” he told the country’s Catholic bishops on Wednesday. “Only when their faith permeates every aspect of their lives do Christians become truly open to the transforming power of the Gospel.”
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That is a demanding and unsettling standard for the right and the left alike. Benedict asked a pointed question: “Is it consistent for practicing Catholics to ignore or exploit the poor and the marginalized, to promote sexual behavior contrary to Catholic moral teaching, or to adopt positions that contradict the right to life of every human being from conception to natural death?”
Pope Benedict XVI holds a Mass at Nationals Park in Washington ... 
From REUTERS/Jim Bourg
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Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/17/AR2008041703168.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

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