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First published in National Catholic Reporter, April 16, 1999, this article offers a view of the now Pope Benedict XVI …Interesting dualisms, potentialities, possibilities – I’m ever the optimist. 

Cardinal Joseph Alois Ratzinger was born
in rural Bavaria on April 16, 1927. Perhaps it is fate that the day was
Holy Saturday and his parents were Joseph and Mary — eerie
foreshadowing for a child who would grow up to become a stark sign of
contradiction in the world’s largest Christian church.

Like so much else about Ratzinger, how far to press that biblical
parallel is contested. Some say his 18 years as prefect of the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the church’s guardian of
orthodoxy, have been the intellectual salvation of Roman Catholicism in
a time of confusion and compromise.

Others believe Ratzinger will be remembered as the architect of John Paul’s internal Kulturkampf,
intimidating and punishing thinkers in order to restore a model of
church — clerical, dogmatic and rule-bound — many hoped had been
swept away by the Second Vatican Council, the 1962-65 assembly of
bishops that sought to renew Catholicism and open it to the world.
Ratzinger’s campaign bears comparison to the anti-modernist drive in
the early part of the century or Pius XII’s crackdown in the 1950s,
critics say, but is even more disheartening because it followed a
moment of such optimism and new life.

Read the rest here.

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Benedict_xviAnd so it goes… New Pope.  May God bless his soul and the Church and all people.  May God have Mercy on us all and give us courage and peace in our time.  May Pope Benedict XVI be blessed and be holy and be a light for the nations.

cnn story, usccb site

Pope Benedict XV?  And what he had to say about St. Dominic

At least dogs couldn’t call you on the phone.  The guilt trip had to be laid as one left, and by the time one returned, the silly buggers were so overjoyed, all sins were forgiven.  Dogs were eternally optimistic.  They seemed to believe each abandonment was the last and each homecoming eternal.  They were Catholic not only in their ability to inspire guilt but in their unwavering faith. 

–Nevada Barr

in the novel, Liberty Falling

As Bob mentions here – A group has formed to discuss Jim Wallace’s new book: God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It.

To whit: the Discsussion begins…

excerpt from Dave’s commentary on the Intro

  All too often, when it comes to contentious subjects, we adopt a
"don’t ask, don’t tell" policy. If I don’t really know what
you think,
I don’t have to deal with it. And that’s sad, because we can learn from
each other. But it takes a certain amount of humility to be able to set
aside our own beliefs temporarily to listen to the other side. And then
it takes a certain amount of restraint not to respond with our first
thoughts about why they’re wrong.

So humility and restraint are what we need. No wonder this is difficult.

and then an excerpt from Christy’s discussion of Chapter One:

I’ve heard a number of different organizers say, “La lucha misma es la victoria
– The struggle itself is the victory. Paul called it “working out my
salvation with fear and trembling.” It’s the sense that I have not
arrived, that this messy fight is really all about me, that I cannot
fully experience God’s grace without creating space for others to
experience it as well. My engagement with political and social issues
should grow out of my own process of continuous conversion.

Go here to discuss…

When the official period of nine days mourning is announced, one may wish to join in with the rest of the Catholic Community in praying this novena, provided the the US Catholic Bishops.

Download novena.pdf

Pope John Paul took as an informal motto of his papacy the words of
scripture, “Be not afraid!” Through these twenty-six years, he taught
us in word and deed the meaning of this phrase – that all who
wholeheartedly open their lives to Christ and belong to Him have
nothing to fear in this world or the next.


May we who mourn the passing of our Holy Father follow the example of
his faith and be led, as he was, to a deeper hope of eternal life with
the Risen Christ.

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A toast to Il Papa!

Hnew2_pic
Lord Jesus, Good Shepherd,
look kindly on John Paul II,
your vicar on earth,
and grant him relief from his sufferings.

To this herald who has bravely proclaimed your Gospel,
give the consolation of your word.
To this faithful guardian of your Church,
send an angel to shield and protect him.
To this Priest who comforted and anointed the sick,
now bring peace in his own time of trial.

Hear the prayers of those who trust in you,
O Risen Lord and Savior,
who are seated at the right hand of the Father,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

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