Friday, April 25, 2008

Anniversary Concert

Pope Benedict XVI, his older brother Georg Ratzinger, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, second right, and his wife Clio, look on during a concert to celebrate the third year of Benedict’s pontificate, at the Vatican, Thursday, April 24, 2008.

St Pius

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Cardinal Lopez Trujillo

Pope Benedict XVI presides over the funeral of Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo inside St.Peter’s Basilica, at the Vatican, Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Final Mass In New York

Ground Zero

O God of love, compassion, and healing,look on us, people of many different faiths and traditions,who gather today at this site,the scene of incredible violence and pain.
We ask you in your goodnessto give eternal light and peaceto all who died here-the heroic first-responders:our fire fighters, police officers,emergency service workers, and Port Authority personnel,along with all the innocent men and womenwho were victims of this tragedysimply because their work or servicebrought them here on September 11, 2001.
We ask you, in your compassionto bring healing to thosewho, because of their presence here that day,suffer from injuries and illness.Heal, too, the pain of still-grieving familiesand all who lost loved ones in this tragedy.Give them strength to continue their lives with courage and hope.
We are mindful as wellof those who suffered death, injury, and losson the same day at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.Our hearts are one with theirsas our prayer embraces their pain and suffering.
God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world:peace in the hearts of all men and womenand peace among the nations of the earth.Turn to your way of lovethose whose hearts and mindsare consumed with hatred.
God of understanding,overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy,we seek your light and guidanceas we confront such terrible events.Grant that those whose lives were sparedmay live so that the lives lost heremay not have been lost in vain.Comfort and console us,strengthen us in hope,and give us the wisdom and courageto work tirelessly for a worldwhere true peace and love reignamong nations and in the hearts of all.

Pope Benedict's Address to Young People

Have you noticed how often the call for freedom is made without ever referring to the truth of the human person? Some today argue that respect for freedom of the individual makes it wrong to seek truth, including the truth about what is good. In some circles to speak of truth is seen as controversial or divisive, and consequently best kept in the private sphere. And in truth’s place – or better said its absence – an idea has spread which, in giving value to everything indiscriminately, claims to assure freedom and to liberate conscience. This we call relativism. But what purpose has a “freedom” which, in disregarding truth, pursues what is false or wrong? How many young people have been offered a hand which in the name of freedom or experience has led them to addiction, to moral or intellectual confusion, to hurt, to a loss of self-respect, even to despair and so tragically and sadly to the taking of their own life? Dear friends, truth is not an imposition. Nor is it simply a set of rules. It is a discovery of the One who never fails us; the One whom we can always trust. In seeking truth we come to live by belief because ultimately truth is a person: Jesus Christ. That is why authentic freedom is not an opting out. It is an opting in; nothing less than letting go of self and allowing oneself to be drawn into Christ’s very being for others (cf. Spe Salvi, 28).How then can we as believers help others to walk the path of freedom which brings fulfillment and lasting happiness? Let us again turn to the saints. How did their witness truly free others from the darkness of heart and mind? The answer is found in the kernel of their faith; the kernel of our faith. The Incarnation, the birth of Jesus, tells us that God does indeed find a place among us. Though the inn is full, he enters through the stable, and there are people who see his light. They recognize Herod’s dark closed world for what it is, and instead follow the bright guiding star of the night sky. And what shines forth? Here you might recall the prayer uttered on the most holy night of Easter: “Father we share in the light of your glory through your Son the light of the world … inflame us with your hope!” (Blessing of the Fire). And so, in solemn procession with our lighted candles we pass the light of Christ among us. It is “the light which dispels all evil, washes guilt away, restores lost innocence, brings mourners joy, casts out hatred, brings us peace, and humbles earthly pride” (Exsultet). This is Christ’s light at work. This is the way of the saints. It is a magnificent vision of hope – Christ’s light beckons you to be guiding stars for others, walking Christ’s way of forgiveness, reconciliation, humility, joy and peace.At times, however, we are tempted to close in on ourselves, to doubt the strength of Christ’s radiance, to limit the horizon of hope. Take courage! Fix your gaze on our saints. The diversity of their experience of God’s presence prompts us to discover anew the breadth and depth of Christianity. Let your imaginations soar freely along the limitless expanse of the horizons of Christian discipleship. Sometimes we are looked upon as people who speak only of prohibitions. Nothing could be further from the truth! Authentic Christian discipleship is marked by a sense of wonder. We stand before the God we know and love as a friend, the vastness of his creation, and the beauty of our Christian faith.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Pope Benedict at the United Nations

My presence at this Assembly is a sign of esteem for the United Nations, and it is intended to express the hope that the Organization will increasingly serve as a sign of unity between States and an instrument of service to the entire human family. It also demonstrates the willingness of the Catholic Church to offer her proper contribution to building international relations in a way that allows every person and every people to feel they can make a difference. In a manner that is consistent with her contribution in the ethical and moral sphere and the free activity of her faithful, the Church also works for the realization of these goals through the international activity of the Holy See. Indeed, the Holy See has always had a place at the assemblies of the Nations, thereby manifesting its specific character as a subject in the international domain. As the United Nations recently confirmed, the Holy See thereby makes its contribution according to the dispositions of international law, helps to define that law, and makes appeal to it.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mass in DC

Pope Benedict Addressing US Bishops

New Continent, Same Gear!

Pope Benedict XVI during Vespers in the Crypt of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, Wednesday, April 16, 2008.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Papal Visit to United States - Itinerary

Tuesday, April 15 (Rome, Washington, D.C.)

• Noon. (6 a.m. ET) Departure from Rome's Leonardo da Vinci Airport for Washington.
• 4 p.m. Arrival at Andrews Air Force Base.
• 4:14 p.m. Transfer by car to the apostolic nunciature in Washington.

Wednesday, April 16 (Washington, D.C.)

• Morning Mass in private in the chapel of the nunciature (no time given).
• 10:10 a.m. Transfer by car to the White House.
• 10:30 a.m. Welcoming ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House. Speech by pope, followed by a courtesy visit with the president in the Oval Office.
• Noon. Transfer by popemobile to the nunciature.
• 1 p.m. Lunch with the U.S. cardinals, officers of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the papal entourage at the nunciature.
• 4:45 p.m. Greeting representatives of Catholic charitable foundations at the nunciature.
• 5 p.m. Transfer by car and then by popemobile to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
• 5:45 p.m. Celebration of vespers and meeting with the bishops of the United States in the basilica. Speech by pope.
• 7:30 p.m. Transfer by car to the nunciature.

Thursday, April 17 (Washington, D.C.)

• 9 a.m. Transfer by car from the nunciature to Nationals Park.
• 10 a.m. Mass in Nationals Park. Homily by pope.
• 12:15 p.m. Transfer by car to the nunciature.
• 4:40 p.m. Transfer by car to The Catholic University of America.
• 5 p.m. Meeting with representatives of Catholic universities at The Catholic University of America. Speech by pope.
• 6:15 p.m. Transfer by popemobile to the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center.
• 6:30 p.m. Meeting with representatives of other religions in the rotunda of the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center.
• 7:30 p.m. Transfer by car to the nunciature.

Friday, April 18 (Washington, D.C., New York)

• Morning Mass in private in the chapel of the nunciature.
• 7:50 a.m. Farewell to those at the nunciature.
• 8 a.m. Transfer by car to Andrews Air Force Base.
• 8:45 a.m. Departure by air to New York.
• 9:45 a.m. Arrival at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.
• 10 a.m. Transfer by helicopter to Manhattan.
• 10:30 a.m. Arrival at the Wall Street heliport and transfer by car to the United Nations headquarters.
• 10:45 a.m. Visit to the United Nations. Speech by the pope to the U.N. General Assembly followed by greetings to the staff and personnel.
• 1:45 p.m. Transfer by car to the residence of the Vatican's permanent observer to the United Nations.
• 5:45 p.m. Transfer by car to St. Joseph's Church in New York.
• 6 p.m. Ecumenical meeting in St. Joseph's Church. Speech by pope.
• 7:15 p.m. Transfer by car to the permanent observer's residence.
• 7:30 p.m. Dinner with the U.S. cardinals, the officers of the U.S. bishops' conference and members of the papal entourage.

Saturday, April 19 (New York)

• 8:45 a.m. Transfer by car to St. Patrick's Cathedral.
• 9:15 a.m. Mass with priests, men and women religious in St. Patrick's Cathedral. Homily by pope.
• 11:30 a.m. Transfer on foot to the residence of the archbishop of New York.
• Noon. Lunch with Cardinal Edward M. Egan of New York, the auxiliary bishops of the archdiocese and the papal entourage.
• 1:15 p.m. Transfer by popemobile to the residence of the permanent observer.
• 4 p.m. Transfer by car to St. Joseph Seminary in Yonkers.
• 4:30 p.m. Meeting with young people and with seminarians at St. Joseph Seminary. Speech by pope.
• 6:30 p.m. Transfer by car to the permanent observer's residence.

Sunday, April 20 (New York, Rome)

• 9:10 a.m. Transfer by car to Ground Zero.
• 9:30 a.m. Visit to Ground Zero. Prayer by pope.
• 10 a.m. Transfer by car to the permanent observer's residence.
• 1:50 p.m. Transfer by car to Yankee Stadium.
• 2:30 p.m. Mass in Yankee Stadium. Homily by pope.
• 4:45 p.m. Transfer by car to the permanent observer's residence.
• 7 p.m. Transfer by car to the Wall Street heliport.
• 7:20 p.m. Arrival at the Wall Street heliport.
• 7:30 p.m. Transfer by helicopter to John F. Kennedy International Airport.
• 8 p.m. Arrival at airport for farewell ceremony. Speech by pope.
• 8:30 p.m. Departure for Rome.

Monday, April 21 (Rome)

•10:45 a.m. (4:45 a.m. ET) Arrival at Rome's Ciampino airport.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Easter Mozzetta Outlasts the Octave

Even though the Octave of Easter is now over, Pope Benedict XVI is still wearing the Easter mozzetta. This particular occasion was a visit today to the Community of Saint Egidio at the Church of San Bartolomeo on the Tiber Island. The Easter mozzetta was being worn along with a white papal stole (this one being a stole of Benedict XV, (1914-1922).

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Now that's what I call a Mitre (and cross)!

Pope Benedict XVI during yesterday's third anniversary mass for Pope John Paul II.