Pope Benedict XVI Special Souvenir Edition
February 27 to March 5, 2013
Thank you, Pope Benedict XVI
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Supplement to The Southern Cross, February 27, 2013
Pope’s great teaching moment By resigning the papacy, Benedict XVI offered a final teaching moment: that popes too are human. Fr RAYMOND M MWANGALA OMI discusses the implications of that for us.
OPE Benedict’s announcement that he would be stepping down from the chair of St Peter came as a surprise to many. It was taken for granted that he would follow in the footsteps of his predecessors and keep to the long-held tradition, of popes dying in office, one that had not been broken since the Middle Ages. If the pope can resign his office, what does this mean for commitment and fidelity to God and to the Church? For me, what is most striking about Pope Benedict’s announcement is that it reminds us that popes, including Benedict himself, are human. They are mortal human beings with limitations imposed by human nature. When he was elected pope almost eight years ago, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was not a young man. Advanced age and ill health have now made it impossible for him to continue in office as he would not be able to fully discharge the responsibilities of the office. What better option is there than to humbly accept his frailty and let there be another who will lead the Church?
where along the way.” Accepting limitation is an act of courage. What Pope Benedict has done is a true act of courage. He has reflected long and deep on his reduced capacity and has come to accept that this is who and where he is. He has not been afraid to tell his brothers and sisters in the Church, and the world at large, that he is weak, he has limits and so he can’t go on.
While many commentators have focused on the meaning and implications of the pope’s decision, for me the pope’s decision makes abundantly clear a reality that popes are human, that they have limits even in terms of physical strength and capacity. To expect popes to die in office is imposing an unnecessary burden on the individual and on the Church. It is also a mistake to think that it is the particular man who is the head of the Church—no, God is the head of the Church! No human being is indispensable. Some would have loved to see Pope Benedict continue to steer the Barque of Peter and die in office. Suffering in public and carrying his cross as John Paul II did is admirable, but it is not for everybody, nor is it absolutely necessary.
ost people find it difficult to deal with the limitations of advancing age. We all want to go beyond the present, including the limitations imposed by our human condition. Accepting limitation is perceived to be a sign of weakness. Advanced age, poor health, reduced strength and capacity have thus become things to be avoided, or at least hidden from the public eye. Does this not explain the present age’s preoccupation with image? One only has to think of the amounts of money spent on cosmetic surgeries, tummy tucks, gyms and wellness centres and so on (not that there is anything intrinsically wrong with physical exercise and maintaining a healthy
body, of course). It is when these become ways of running away from and avoiding the reality of our human condition that real problems begin. Sr Joan Chittister, an American Benedictine nun best describes
what I am talking about: “The problem is clear: we have forgotten how to grow older. We have forgotten how to let go of one stage of life so that other stages of life can happen—in ourselves and in others, as well. “Instead, ours is an age of agelessness, of plastic surgery and health clubs, which good as they may be for therapeutic reasons, are too often designed to help us fool ourselves into thinking that we will never age, never die. “Worse, the benefits of age— white hair and wisdom, the fruit of various stages of life, the learnings of each separate phase of life we are meant to teach to others— seem to have gotten lost some-
heologically, with Benedict’s announcement we witness an aspect of the paschal mystery. The pope has allowed death to take place so that something new may be born. He has refused to cling to the role of pope with which he has been identified for the last seven years and ten months, so that something new and beautiful may be born. God will give the Church a new shepherd! In a sense, both Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have demonstrated for our age not only that popes too are human, but also how we must live the experience of death and new life, the paschal mystery—one by suffering in public and allowing the mystery of his own suffering to be shared by millions, the other by admitting his limits and stepping down from office, thus proclaiming that there is life beyond even the office of pope. My hope is that our leaders who think that they are the only ones best suited to rule will learn a lesson from Pope Benedict’s decision. When the time comes to go, take courage and go. God will raise up other leaders to guide his people. Thank you, Pope Benedict, for reminding us that popes too are human. n Fr Mangwala is the dean of studies at St Joseph’s Theological Institute in Cedara. He writes in his personal capacity.
Landmark events in the papacy of Benedict XVI April 19, 2005: Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, 78, elected pope and takes the name Benedict XVI. December 22, 2005: In a meeting with top aides at the Vatican, Pope Benedict insists the teaching of the Second Vatican Council must be read in continuity with the Church’s tradition. January 25, 2006: Pope Benedict’s first encyclical, Deus Cartitas Est (God Is Love) is promulgated. Two more encyclicals, Spe Salvi (2007) and Caritas in Veritate (2009), follow. September 12, 2006: In a speech about faith and reason at the University of Regensburg, Germany, the pope cites a historical criticism of violence in Islam, setting off consternation and protests. November 30, 2006: Pope Benedict stands with Muslim leaders in Turkey’s Blue Mosque; says he prayed that God would help all believers see each other as brothers and sisters. April 16, 2007: The first of what would be a three-volume work, Jesus of Nazareth, by Pope Benedict goes on sale and is an immediate commercial success. May 27, 2007: In a letter to Chinese Catholics, the pope criticises government restrictions on religion and urges reconciliation among China’s Catholic communities. July 7, 2007: Pope Benedict issues an apostolic letter, Summorum Pontificum, permitting wider use of the
pre-Vatican II Mass. April 15-20, 2008: Visiting the United States, Pope Benedict meets victims of clerical sex abuse for the first time, and addresses the United Nations. January 21, 2009: With Pope Benedict’s approval, the Vatican issues a letter lifting the excommunication of four traditionalist bishops of the Society of St Pius X to clear the way for talks. May 8-15, 2009: Pope Benedict makes a pilgrimage to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories. November 4, 2009: With the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, Pope Benedict establishes personal ordinariates for Anglicans entering into full communion with the Catholic Church. July 15, 2010: With the approval of the pope, the Vatican releases streamlined procedures for handling accusations of clerical sexual abuse and removing those found guilty from the priesthood. May 1, 2011: Pope Benedict beatifies Pope John Paul II. March 23-28, 2012: Pope Benedict visits Mexico and Cuba. December 22, 2012: After the Vatican scandal over leaked documents and the papal butler being convicted of theft, the pope visits him in jail and pardons him. February 11, 2013: Pope Benedict informs a group of cardinals that he will resign effective on February 28.
Supplement to The Southern Cross, February 27, 2013
Review of Benedict’s papacy Pope Benedict often found himself in the centre of controversy, but he was rather a pope of conversation, writes Fr JOHN MOFFATT SJ in his review of the eight-year pontificate.
ELEBRITY culture, and perhaps even the memory of Pope John Paul II, might tempt us to judge Pope Benedict XVI from headlines that his papacy has created. But that does a disservice to a man whose preferred way of teaching is not through grand public acts but thoughtful reflection. Benedict XVI continually impressed Catholics and nonCatholics alike, in his writings and on his travels. Though he often found himself the focus of negative media criticism, the real Benedict has again and again surprised those who were prepared to meet him by his personal charm and by the quality and subtlety of his thought. He can easily be portrayed as a pope of controversy, but more importantly for the Church, beyond the controversy he has been the Pope of conversations. Benedict, as a theologian, is steeped in the ancient writings of the Church Fathers. He shares their vision that human beings are sinful and fallen, but are invited by God to be raised up to become fully human and fully alive. For this to happen they need to encounter Jesus Christ and allow him to transform them by his love. For Benedict, words like “freedom” and “progress” can never be separated from this idea of becoming more human in Christ. This Catholic humanism is a recurrent theme. John Paul II often spoke about sex and family life in defence of the Church’s teaching against artificial contraception. When Benedict produced his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est (“God is Love”, 2006),
everyone was expecting more of the same. However, when it came out there was a genuine sense of wonder in the commentators as they recognised something very different. This was a profound and inspiring meditation on human love, which invited the world to a conversation about what it means to be human. There was a second important element in this encyclical and in those that followed. Over the centuries it has been something of a tradition in official Church documents to denounce as evil those who challenge a teaching or are atheists. Benedict does not denounce. Instead, alongside quotations from scripture or Church theologians, he introduces the critical thought of, amongst others, Nietzsche (who wrote that God is dead) and Marx (who said “religion is the opium of the masses”). He accepts some of their criticisms of the Church of their day, but moves on to argue that the Christian account of what it means to be human is, in the end, more complete than theirs.
n his encyclical Caritas in Veritate (Love and Truth, 2009), Pope Benedict meditates on human progress. He affirms that Christians are called to challenge political oppression, global economic injustice and environmental degradation. Since “liberation theology” was called into question for its use of Marxist analysis in the 1980s, a gap has opened up between Catholics who want to work for a better world, and those who are suspicious of anything that sounds like anti-religious communism. Benedict’s encyclical closes that gap. Catholics are indeed called to work for a better world. But, he adds, this cannot be just a matter of improving the material wellbeing of people around the globe, however vital that may be. The work for justice goes alongside proclaiming the Gospel. But halfway through Benedict’s papacy the integrity of the Church’s message was radically
called into question by further child-abuse revelations in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, the United States and Ireland. For many, the Church’s response came too little, too late. For Benedict, the scale of the crisis was an unprecedented shock. His letter to the Catholics of Ireland begins, “I can only share in the dismay and the sense of betrayal that so many of you have experienced.” Meetings with the victims of abuse formed an integral part of all his journeys since. They were his personal contribution to a process of reparation and reconciliation. Under his watch, Church-wide, systems were put into place for dealing justly with the victims and preventing further crimes. Benedict sometimes presents a very pessimistic view of modern society. He worries that modern Europe is abandoning its Christian past. He notes how secular governments fail to respect and even attack religious belief and practice. He sees a dangerous relativism in matters concerning sexuality and the family. Nevertheless, when he visited Britain, in September 2010, his speech to the two Houses of Parliament was finely judged, respectful of the values of freedom and tolerance protected by democratic institutions. Commentators appreciated that he offered a thoughtful and insightful invitation to reflect about how the Christian tradition could contribute to the human progress of wider society.
enedict unintentionally provoked a media storm on his first journey to Africa, with a throwaway line that the problem of Aids could not be overcome by the distribution of condoms. In context, the remark was actually intended to point out that solutions to Aids demanded a more holistic approach, and that Church workers were providing just such an approach. This was of apiece with his positive appraisal of the wider work of the Church in Africa after the recent African Synod.
Pope Benedict XVI is lauded for his personal warmth and thoughtful reflection. (Photo: Max Rossi, Reuters, CNS) In a later interview with the German journalist Peter Seewald he suggested that in the context of Aids, use of a condom out of concern for a sexual partner could represent a step towards a more human form of relationship. This surprising remark, making use of his big idea of “humanisation” opens possible pathways to dialogue on a contentious issue. Other controversies were his unwitting engagement with a Holocaust-denying Lefebvrist bishop and his quotation of a remark critical of Islam during an academic lecture. Yet beyond the headlines Pope Benedict sought to build bridges between the Catholic Church and the wider world, secular, Jewish, Islamic and beyond, in the light of reason and the quest for truth. In-house he tried to re-establish a sense of the depth of the Catholic tradition by encouraging more solemn forms of liturgy. This included making the old-rite Mass more freely available (perhaps with an eye to closer union with the Or-
thodox Churches). He criticised liturgy that celebrates the community rather than God. But at the same time he acknowledged the integrity and fruitfulness of the modern Mass. In fact, as pope he never celebrated the old rite and instead reiterated that the new, post-Vatican II rite is the norm. He does the Church a final service by leaving the papacy, as he said he might, because he no longer has the strength for the task. In so doing he teaches that this is an appropriate development for our times. Here, as elsewhere, he has shown definitively that Catholicism is not static, but is a still-developing tradition and that even a pope can learn new things. n Fr John Moffatt is a British Jesuit who has recently come to work in South Africa with the Jesuit Institute. Formerly a Catholic chaplain to Oxford University, he will be the lecturer for this year’s Winter Living Theology programme.
POPE BENEDICT XVI
Holy Father, we the Sisters of Nazareth in Johannesburg express our deepest gratitude to you for the service you have given to the Church and all God’s people as the shepherd of His ﬂock. We admire the courage and humility in your decision to retire and we ask Mary the mother of Jesus to journey with you as the Holy Spirit continues to guide you to the Father. You will always be remembered in our community prayers as one who was not afraid to speak the truth. Your loving sisters in Jesus Christ. The Sisters of Nazareth
Thank you for your years of service to the Church. May God bless you with graceﬁlled days ahead during your retirement years. Excellence in Catholic Education since 1908
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His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
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Today is an occasion for compliments, thanks and praise A chance to say the many things We don't say on other days. For often through the passing days We feel something deep down inside. Unspoken thoughts of thankfulness, questions and appreciation. But words can say so little when our hearts overﬂow with love and gratitude And so often the person who we focus on has just no way of knowing The many things our words just cannot impart. Our words today seem so inadequate To express what we wish to say Wishing you peace and tranquility, happiness and improved health in your retirement Your Holiness. Assuring you of our love, prayers and support now and always. Principal, staﬀ and learners
Supplement to The Southern Cross, February 27, 2013
The times of Pope Benedict XVI Born in a rural village in Bavaria, Joseph Ratzinger never seemed destined to become pope, yet in 2005 he succeeded Pope John Paul II. JOHN THAVIS and FRANCIS X ROCCA review the life and papacy of Pope Benedict XVI.
archbishop of Munich and Freising, and four years later Pope John Paul called him to head the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, where he wielded great influence on issues such as liberation theology, dissent from Church teachings and pressure for women’s ordination. Serving in this role for nearly a quarter century, Cardinal Ratzinger earned a reputation in some quarters as a sort of grand inquisitor, seeking to stamp out independent thinking, an image belied by his passion for debate with thinkers inside and outside the Church.
URING his almost eight-year pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI impressed the world as a teacher, guiding Catholics to the sources of the faith and urging modern society not to turn its back on God. Citing his age and diminishing energy, the 85-year-old pope announced on February 11 that he would be resigning effective on February 28 and would devote the rest of his life to prayer. As pastor of the universal Church, he used virtually every medium at his disposal—books and Twitter, sermons and encyclicals—to catechise the faithful on the foundational beliefs and practices of Christianity, ranging from the sermons of St Augustine to the sign of the cross. Having served in his 30s as an influential adviser during the 1962-65 Second Vatican Council, he made it a priority as pope to correct what he saw as overly expansive interpretations of Vatican II in favour of readings that stressed the council’s continuity with the Church’s millennial traditions. Under his oversight, the Vatican continued to highlight the Church’s moral boundaries on issues such as end-of-life medical care, marriage and homosexuality. But the pope’s message to society at large focused less on single issues and more on the risk of losing the basic relationship between the human being and God. He consistently warned the West that unless its secularised society rediscovered religious values, it could not hope to engage in real dialogue with Islamic and other religious cultures. In his encyclicals and in his books on Jesus of Nazareth, the pope honed that message, asking readers to discover the essential connections between sacrificial love, works of charity, a dedication to the truth and the Gospel. The German-born pontiff did not try to match the popularity of his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, but the millions of people who came to see him in Rome and abroad came to appreciate his smile, his frequent ad libs and his ability to speak from the heart. Although he did not expect to travel much, he ended up making 24 trips to six continents and three times presided over World Youth Day
The new pope
Pope Benedict XVI waves to pilgrims after a 2006 Mass near Regensburg, Germany, where he taught at the local university in the 1970s. (Photo: Kai Pfaffenbach, Reuters/CNS) mega-gatherings—in Germany in 2005, in Australia in 2008, and in Spain in 2011. Talking about ageing last March when he met the 85-year-old Cuban leader Fidel Castro in Havana, Pope Benedict told him: “Yes, I’m old, but I can still carry out my duties.” On a historic visit to the United States in 2008, the pope brought his own identity into clearer focus for Americans. He set forth a moral challenge on issues ranging from economic justice to abortion. He also took Church recognition of the priestly sex abuse scandal to a new level, expressing his personal shame at what happened and praying with the victims. Pope Benedict was 78 and in apparent good health when elected on April 19, 2005, but was said to have told his fellow cardinals that his would not be a long papacy like that of his predecessor. In an interview with the German author Peter Seewald in 2010, the pope said: “If a pope clearly realises that he is no longer physically, psychologically and spiritually capable of handling the duties of his office, then he has a right and, under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign.” As inevitable as his election seemed after Bl John Paul died in 2005, his path to the papacy was long and indirect.
Joseph Ratzinger was born on April 16, 1927, in the Bavarian town of Marktl am Inn, the third and youngest child of a police officer, Joseph Sr, and his wife, Maria. Young Joseph joined his brother, Georg, at a minor seminary in 1939. Like other young students, Joseph—whose parents opposed the Nazis on religious grounds—was automatically enrolled in the Hitler
Youth programme, but soon stopped going to meetings. During World War II, he was conscripted into the army, and in the spring of 1945 he deserted his unit and returned home, spending a few months in an Allied prisoner-of-war camp. He returned to the seminary late in 1945 and was ordained six years later, with his brother. Meeting young people in 2006, the pope said witnessing the brutality of the Nazi regime helped convince him to become a priest. But he also had to overcome some doubts, he said. For one thing, he asked himself whether he “could faithfully live celibacy” his entire life. He also recognised that his real leanings were towards theology and wondered whether he had the qualities of a good pastor and the ability “to be simple with the simple people”. After a short stint as a parish priest, the future pope began a teaching career and built a reputation as one of the Church’s foremost theologians. At Vatican II, he made important contributions as a theological expert and embraced the council’s early work. But he began to have misgivings about an emerging anti-Roman bias, the idea of a “Church from below” run on a parliamentary model, and the direction of theological research in the Church—criticism that would become even sharper in later years. In a 2005 speech that served as a kind of manifesto for his young papacy, Pope Benedict rejected what he called a “hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture” in interpreting Vatican II as a radical break with the past. The pope called instead for reading the council through a “hermeneutic of reform” in continuity with Catholic tradition. In 1977, Pope Paul VI named him
As the newly elected pope in 2005, he explained that he took the name Benedict to evoke the memory of Pope Benedict XV, a “courageous prophet of peace” during World War I, and said he wanted to place his ministry at the service of reconciliation and harmony among peoples. The new pope spent most of his energy writing and preaching, in encyclicals, letters, messages, homilies and talks that eventually numbered more than a thousand. Surprising those who had expected a by-the-book pontificate from a man who had spent more than 23 years as the Vatican’s chief doctrinal official, Pope Benedict emphasised that Christianity was a religion of love and not a religion of rules. During the 2010-11 Year for Priests, Pope Benedict held up the 19th-century French St John Vianney as a model of clerical holiness who struggled against the indifference and hostility of a militantly secular society. He convened a Synod of Bishops on Scripture in 2008, in an effort to move the Bible back to the centre of individual spirituality and pastoral planning. He opened a Year of Faith in October presided over a synod focusing on the New Evangelisation and a revival of Christian faith in the secular West, one of the priorities of
+Wilfrid Cardinal Napier OFM ARCHBISHOP OF DURBAN
Pope Benedict’s outreach to traditionalist Catholics brought him some criticism. In 2007, he widened the possible use of the Tridentine Mass and began introducing touches of antiquity in his own liturgies, including the requirement of kneeling when receiving Communion from the pope. Then in 2009, in an effort to reconcile with the traditionalist Society of St Pius X, he lifted the excommunications of four of the society’s bishops who were ordained illicitly in 1988. A storm of criticism erupted because one of the four, Bishop Richard Williamson, had made a number of statements—widely available on the Internet, but unknown to the pope—denying the extent of the Holocaust. The Vatican scrambled to distance Pope Benedict from the bishop’s views and reaffirm the pontiff’s commitment to Catholic-Jewish dialogue. The pope himself wrote an unusually personal letter to the world’s bishops, defending his efforts to restore Church unity by reaching out to traditionalists and expressing sadness that even some Catholics seemed ready to attack him “with open hostility”. At the same time, he clearly acknowledged mistakes in Vatican continued on pg V of the supplement
Joseph Ratzinger, back right, is pictured with his family in a 1951 photograph. Next to him his brother, Georg. Seated are sister Maria, and his parents, Maria and Joseph. (Photo from Catholic Press Photo/CNS)
Dear Pope Benedict
In the name of all the Catholics and well-wishers of all faiths in Southern Africa, I thank you most sincerely for your loving and exemplary fatherhood and leadership as our Holy Father. May the Lord bless you abundantly with peace and joy, hope, love and good health during your Retirement.
his pontificate. Some of Pope Benedict’s most memorable statements came when he applied simple Gospel values to social issues such as the protection of human life, the environment and economics. When the global financial crisis worsened in 2008, for example, the pope insisted that financial institutions must put people before profits. He also reminded people that modern ideals of money and material success are passing realities, saying: “Whoever builds his life on these things—on material things, on success, on appearances—is building on sand.”
salutes Pope Benedict XVI and prayerfully wishes him well in retirement
Msgr Gregory van Dyk, National Director of
The Pontifical Mission Society in Southern Africa thanks Pope Benedict XVI for courageously putting his faith, solid as a rock, at the service of the Catholic Church these past eight years as Sucessor of St Peter. National Oﬃce PO Box 2630 Bethlehem 9700
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Dear Holy Father, We the Sisters of Nazareth, together with our residents and staff in Nazareth House Durban, wish to assure Your Holiness of our love, support and prayers and we thank you for your fatherly guidance throughout the years. We will remember you with affection and we wish you God’s blessing for the future.
February 27 to March 5, 2013
What cardinal is telling pope on Lent retreat
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The next pope: 12 cardinals to watch
Cardinal Napier heads to conclave BY CLAIRE MATHIESON
S a member of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Wilfrid Napier has packed his bags and left Durban for the Vatican to bid farewell to Pope Benedict and prepare to enter the conclave which will the new pontiff. This will be Cardinal Napier’s second conclave; he participated in the 2005 conclave which elected Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as Benedict XVI. “There was a great atmosphere of uncertainty at the time,” Cardinal Napier told The Southern Cross of the 2005 conclave following the death of Pope John Paul II. It had been 27 years since the previous conclave with the vast majority of electors having never taken part in a conclave before. “This time, many of us are more familiar with each other and the procedure,” said Cardinal Napier. Of the voting-age cardinals, 51 (including Cardinal Napier) were appointed by Pope John Paul, and 67 by Pope Benedict. Despite his veteran status, he said he had given special thought to his preparations. “First and foremost, I will get a list of all the episcopal garments I need to take,” the cardinal said on a practical note, not wanting to be caught without the correct attire. “Secondly, I will be reading up on the constitution so that I can fully understand what can and cannot be done.” While the conclave has been the method of papal election for hundreds of years, adjustments have been made. These include the age of voting cardinals—they must be under the age of 80 on the date the Holy See falls vacant; in this case on February 28. A two thirds plus one majority is now required to elect the new pope, with Pope Benedict having reversed a decision by Pope John Paul II, and even who can become pope has changed—originally, lay status did not bar election to the papacy. Cardinal Napier has also committed time to reading up on the cardinals of “calibre”. He said it is difficult to assess the candidates when the media was speculating who the next pope might be. It is easy to get carried away with any hype, he said. The decision should not be interfered with, the cardinal said, adding that this takes time and is cause for deep reflection and prayer. Created cardinal in 2001, the archbishop of Durban is familiar with all the African bishops thanks to the Synod of Bishops in Africa in 2009. “We have a great understanding of each other,” Cardinal Napier said. Furthermore, the Synod of Bishops in 2011 and the launch of the New Evangelisation brought the clergy together. “It’s a different picture going into this conclave.” The cardinal told The Southern Cross that South Africans should pray for the right leader. “We should not expect the pope to do everything for us, but instead we should pray for a pope who will help give us the confidence to make positive contributions to the world.” The cardinal said prayer time is something vital in the run-up to conclave. “We are called into conclave to do the Lord’s work. We want to elect someone who truly represents Christ.” Prayer time and reflection would also help the cardinals to focus. “We don’t want to have to worry about any factions or politics when voting.” Cardinal Napier, himself eligible to be elected pope, said it is likely the new pontiff would strengthen what Pope Benedict has done during his papacy. “Especially in the beginning; the new
Fr Humberto Alvarez sprays holy water from a water gun to bless children during Mass at a church in Saltillo, Mexico. Fr Alvarez wears robes with cartoon characters and uses a water gun to bless the congregation when conducting a children’s Mass, but slips back into his regular robes when celebrating Mass for adults. (Photo: Daniel Becerril, Reuters/CNS)
pope is likely to continue with the plans and previous arrangements that Pope Benedict had made”. However the new pope would not be obliged to keep to the schedules announced for Pope Benedict—and changes are quite possible since the new pope will come into his term just before the Easter period. But for Cardinal Napier, a new pope growing from Pope Benedict’s papacy would be ideal. “It would be one of the qualities of leadership we are looking for: building on what is already in the Church.”
An unadorned bedroom at the Domus Sancta Marthae, the residence where cardinal-electors will rest during the conclave. A bus will transport most of the sequestered cardinals to and from the Sistine Chapel, although some may choose to walk. (Photo: CNS)
Cardinals to stay at guesthouse BY CINDY WOODEN
HEN they are not in the Sistine Chapel, seated under Michelangelo’s frescoes to vote for the next pope, the cardinal-electors will stay in a modern guesthouse that offers them both privacy and space to gather for relaxed conversation. The Domus Sanctae Marthae lies on the edge of Vatican City. Most of the cardinals will take short bus rides to the Sistine Chapel for their twice-daily voting sessions, although during the 2005 conclave, some cardinals insisted on walking—under the protective gaze of Vatican security—behind St Peter’s basilica and into the chapel. The five-storey residence was built in 1996 and normally houses clerical and lay guests attending Vatican conferences and events. But for the conclave, its 131 rooms will be cleared out, and the cardinals will move in. The Domus is just inside the Vatican walls, and its upper floors can be seen by Rome apartment buildings; for the 2005 conclave, the shutters on the windows were locked to ensure no one could see in. Of course, that also meant the cardinals could not see out. The building will be off-limits to “unauthorised persons” during the conclave, but staff will be needed to cook and clean. Like the cardinals, staff members are required to take an oath of silence, promising
“absolute and perpetual secrecy” regarding anything related to the election. They also must “promise and swear to refrain from using any audio or video equipment capable of recording anything which takes place during the period of the election within Vatican City”. When they come in and out of the residence, the cardinals will pass a bronze bust of Pope John Paul II, who decided in 1996 that the conclave cardinals should have decent quarters. Previously, the cardinals slept on cots in small, stuffy rooms next door to the Sistine Chapel. While the Domus offers relative comfort, it is not a luxury hotel. The building has 105 two-room suites and 26 singles. Each suite has a sitting room with a desk, three chairs, a cabinet and large closet; a bedroom with dresser, night table and clothes stand; and a private bathroom with a shower. The rooms all have telephones, but the cardinals are prohibited from using them to phone anyone outside the conclave. The international satellite television system will be disconnected for the duration. The building also has a large meeting room and a variety of small sitting rooms. The most convivial place in the residence is the dining room, where the cardinals will take their meals. The building also has a small main chapel and four private chapels.—CNS
The Southern Cross, February 27 to March 5, 2013
Keeping dream of world peace alive BY TERENCE CREAMER
NDEPENDENT political analyst Aubrey Matshiqi, who describes himself as a former “gun-carrying member” of the African National Congress, has appealed to the Church and to South Africans to refrain from giving up on the “dream” of a world free of all forms of violence. Addressing the recent annual general meeting of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference’s (SACBC’s) Justice & Peace (J&P) Department, the Umkhonto we Sizwe veteran reflected on the “internal conflict” that had arisen during his active participation in “revolutionary violence”—a role that moved South Africa closer to its goal of liberation, but moved him “further and further away from who and what I thought I was”. Sharing the podium at the Sacred Heart College, in Johannesburg, with Muslim scholar Farid Esack and moderator Sr Sheila Mary Waspe HF, the Helen Suzman Foundation research fellow questioned whether violence should remain a weapon of the oppressed once liberation had been attained. Wrestling with Sr Waspe’s question as to whether violence was the “only way to be listened to”, he lamented the fact that the authorities only seemed to react to the plight of the poor when communities resorted to violence. Mr Esack, an Islamic studies professor and head of the University of Johannesburg’s religious studies department, acknowledged that he felt “battered and raw” over the level of violence in post-apartheid South Africa. Despite being an ever-present threat, the issue of violence had been brought to the fore in 2012 and early 2013 by the killing of miners, security guards and policemen at Marikana, the brutal rape and murder of Bredasdorp teenager Anene Booysen, and the murder of Reeva Steenkamp, allegedly by her
(From left) Logie Naidoo, speaker of the eThekwini municipal council; Paddy Kearney, coordinatorof the Denis Hurley Centre (DHC) Project; Nomabelu Mvambo-Dandala, DHC patron; Mikaela York, niece of Archbishop Hurley; Paddy Meskin, DHC patron; Cardinal Wilfrid Napier. (Photo: Rajesh Jantilal)
Centre celebrates being on target Sr Sheila Mary Waspe HF with Aubrey Matshiqi (left) and Farid Esack (right) at the SACBC Justice & Peace AGM. Olympian and Paralympian partner, Oscar Pistorius. But Mr Esack distinguished between violence perpetrated by those in authority, or in a relatively more powerful position by virtue, for instance, of gender, and those who resorted to acts of violence to defend themselves, or highlight injustices. Mr Matshiqi added that most acts of violence perpetrated in poor communities appeared to arise from a feeling of insignificance, or from the perception that they did not matter to those in authority. Both speakers, nevertheless, stressed the dehumanising effect of violence on the victim and the perpetrator. “Notwithstanding the contradictions of the human condition, we must not give up on the dream of a world free of all forms of violence,” Mr Matshiqi urged. J&P national coordinator Fr Mike Deeb OP indicated that the SACBC was deeply concerned about the level of violence in South African society, especially the high levels of gender-based violence. During 2013, J&P would continue prioritising the impact of gen-
der issues on the spread of HIV/Aids. However, it would also have a new focus to tackle the root causes of gender injustice. “We have been challenged to confront the horrifying prevalence of rape in our society and because of this we will focus on issues of masculinity in 2013,” Fr Deeb explained. This will help to redefine masculinity in a way not premised on the suppression of women. The J&P Department, which has more than 170 active groups in parishes across South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland, would also be prioritising issues of corruption, reversing the legacy of the 1913 Land Act, the creation of livelihoods to combat unemployment and the urgency of addressing water pollution and scarcity through engagements with communities, other church structures and through high-level meetings with government Ministers. It also plans to raise its visibility and began by launching a new website, which is available at www.jandp.org.za.
FFECTIONATELY named “Hurley Weekend”, special events were held at Durban’s Emmanuel cathedral to mark the ninth anniversary of Archbishop Denis Hurley’s death. The events included a public meeting to discuss progress in raising funds for the construction of the Denis Hurley Centre (DHC). The meeting opened with a procession led by Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban and Bishop Barry Wood, auxiliary bishop of Durban, followed by representatives from the Hurley family, and organisations associated with the DHC, bearing wreaths to be placed at the archbishop’s tomb. Cathedral administrator Fr Stephen Tulley said the DHC has programmes which service about 46 000 people in the inner-city. Testimonies were heard from the beneficiaries of Job Linx, the Refugee Pastoral Care, Usizo Lwethu and the Nkosinathi Project. Mr Kearney, coordinator of the DHC, said 80% of the total building cost was required in order for construction to begin, meaning R23,1million of R28,9 million. So
far, fundraising efforts stand at R22 million. “The immediate goal then is to raise enough funds to begin construction. Funds have been collected from parishes as well as overseas and local organisations,” said Mr Kearney. Gratitude was extended to all those involved in the DHC by Mikaela York, niece of the late archbishop. The cardinal closed the meeting by emphasising the twin themes of charity and justice in the building of the centre. Other events of the Hurley Weekend were the candlelight procession to the archbishop’s tomb after Mass on Saturday, and the “wonderful sermon preached” by Bishop Wood at all Masses over the weekend, said Mr Keaney. Even the singing was significant over the weekend, he added. “Singing was led by the choir of St Augustine’s Primary School, with which the cathedral parish has a strong bond because the school was for 50 years based in the old parish centre which will soon be demolished to make way for the new parish centre,” said Mr Kearney.
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Kudos for St Francis College matrics BY MAURICIO LANGA
T Francis College, Mariannhill, has been recognised for its outstanding academic achievement last year by the eThekwini municipality and the Department of Education in KwaZulu-Natal respectively. In both functions the school was presented with a trophy and a certificate. The school received first an accolade from the Mayor of eThekwini municipality, James Nxumalo, for obtaining a 100% pass rate for the 2012 academic year. The event was held at the Durban Olive Convention Centre, and was sponsored by Nedbank. The function aimed not only at schools that obtained a 100% pass rate, but also at schools which improved more than 30% from their previous pass rate. The award serves to recognise the school’s excellent achievement and thus motivate future generations. The second award for the school came from the MEC of Education in KwaZulu-Natal, Senzo Mchunu, in a function held at the Coastlands Hotel in Durban. It included all the schools which performed exceptionally well throughout KwaZulu-Natal. The upbeat St Francis College principal, Jabulani Nzama, said the school did not only get a 100 % matric pass rate last year, but also obtained a huge number of matriculants who got bachelor passes which allowed them entry to universities. Of 108 learners who sat for examinations, 98 got bachelor pass while ten got diploma pass.
Christ is on campuses BY CLAIRE MATHIESON
I St Francis College principal Jabulani Nzama is delighted with the two awards for outstanding achievement. Also notable in the class of 2012 was the significant growth in the number of distinctions, another clear indication that St Francis College is serious about producing high quality results, he said. The school attained 221 distinctions last year. “There was a vast improvement in the number of distinctions. The pass rate is of more quality than the previous years in terms of number of distinctions,” said Mr Nzama. Although St Francis College has in the past 30 years been producing excellent matric results, there is no doubt that the class of 2012 did extremely well and even better than
the previous classes in the past few years, he said. Last year’s outstanding matric pass rate did not come as surprise. It was as results of extensive planning and dedication from teachers, parents, pupils and all other stakeholders, said Mr Nzama. “We always aim high. We don’t have sleepless nights when waiting for the matric results because we dedicate all our time to teaching our learners throughout the year. We teach and teach and teach,” he said. The school principal also commended the efforts made by the school’s alumni.
N his sermon at the opening Mass of the year for the University of Pretoria, Archbishop William Slattery of Pretoria told students that Christ can be found on campus and that their presence at university can still be holy. “Universities are not only concerned with content—pouring facts into students’ heads like water into empty bottles. “University life is a process. The university experience is formative. Students will be different personalities when they leave university after four years. “Besides a more scientific approach to reality students will have imbibed certain attitudes and values,” he said. “Some students will have grown in integrity, humanity, friendship, forgiveness, honesty, responsibility. Others may have become infected with ideologies filled with prejudice, anger and rejection,” said Archbishop Slattery. He reminded congregants that there was a university chaplain at each university in the country. He encouraged Catholics to look for Catholic organisations such as the Association of Catholic Tertiary Students (Acts).
“Catholic students must seek them out. Here new entrants will meet students who are experienced at university, who can advise them to find their way around the campus.” The archbishop added that many campuses have apostolic movements like Sant’Egidio or Focolare. He said the Rural Education Access Programme (REAP) offers students help. The archbishop said Catholics need to get involved. “Life of faith, life in the Church shows us that real humanity does not depend just on our knowledge but it depends on the kind of heart, the kind of personality we have. Our greatest joy at the end of our lives will be the goodness that we brought into the lives of others, particularly the poor. “What a success it will be to acknowledge the excitement of children whose exams results are excellent because you as principal have transformed their school,” he said. “Christian life is faith expressed in love. The entire Christian ethos receives it meaning from faith as an encounter with the love of Christ. He is present for those who seek him also at university.”
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Israel wall might cut order off from its community BY JUDITH SUDILOVSKY
VER the ridge, not far from where Fr Ibrahim Shomali celebrated Mass on a recent Friday afternoon, is the Israeli settlement of Har Gilo. Nearby is Gilo, another Israeli settlement. It was built decades ago on land that was part of Beit Jalla, a largely Christian Palestinian town 10km south of Jerusalem and 5km west of Bethlehem. Israelis consider Har Gilo and Gilo suburbs of Jerusalem. Between the two settlements, hidden behind trees, is a 150-yearold community of Salesians. The priests and brothers there run the West Bank’s only winery, the Cremisan Cellars. Not far away is the convent of the Salesian Sisters of Cremisan, who operate an elementary school and after-school programmes for 400 children. As near as they are, the two religious communities may end up on opposite sides of an extension of the Israeli-Palestinian separation barrier. This month, the Israeli Supreme Court heard Israel’s appeal to extend the barrier, a series of cement slabs, barbed wire fences and security roads snaking across part of the valley. It would effectively separate Beit Jalla from the two Israeli settlements, creating a contiguous strip of land that could be used for expansion and their eventual joining. Under army proposals, both re-
ligious communities would be on the Israeli side, separated from the people they serve in Beit Jalla. The school’s students would be forced to go through a military gate to attend classes. Israel maintains the wall is needed for security reasons. The wall also will separate 57 Christian Palestinian families from their agricultural lands, the last green area left for expansion of the city, Fr Shomali said. According to Israeli law, if agricultural land is not cultivated for a certain amount of time, the state can expropriate it.
very Friday for the past 18 months, Fr Shomali has transported a small wrought-iron table in his car down the winding road from Beit Jalla to the men’s residence, where he celebrates Mass with a desire for peace in his heart. “We don’t use the Mass to protest but to pray,” he explained. “The only thing left for us is to pray to God. We ask God to do something for us, and when we ask God we also ask his followers all over the world to at least know about our case.” The two Salesian communities said that they “have always expressed their opposition to the building of the ‘wall’ and, in ways deemed most appropriate, have also shown solidarity with the Palestinian families of Beit Jalla who, because of the construction of the ‘wall,’ suffer injustice and
are deprived of land which is their property.” “We are in the same boat as the people of Beit Jalla,” Salesian Father Giovanni Laconi, provincial vicar, recently told a group of visiting bishops. “We didn’t know we became part of the Jerusalem municipality [until the phone company came here]. The wall will go right through our courtyard. Suddenly we found ourselves in Israel. We are quite annoyed. Beit Jalla is our home.” Attorney Manal Hazzan-Abu Sinni of the Society of St Yves, a Catholic human rights organisation handling the case for the sisters, said an injunction prohibits construction of the barrier until the Supreme Court rules. “We are not delusional that this is the only wall around Jerusalem, but we have the opportunity to battle the construction of the wall here because of the importance of the two [Catholic] institutions in the area and uncover the hypocrisy of the security claims which accompany it,” she said. Ms Hazzan-Abu Sinni said the nuns could be cut off from 75% of their land, and the men’s residence could become isolated. “We don’t argue that the Israeli people should not be able to protect themselves, but not at the expense of the Palestinians [in Beit Jalla,]” she said. “The clear reason for choosing the area is...so they can get their hands on the land.”—CNS
Fr Ibrahim Shomali celebrates an outdoor Mass in an olive grove outside the Salesian monastery in Beit Jalla, West Bank. A planned routing of the Israeli separation barrier could isolate the monastery from the people it serves. (Photo: Debbie Hill, CNS)
Vatican Bank gets new head BY CAROL GLATZ
N one of his last efforts to clean up the image of the Vatican bank, Pope Benedict has approved the hiring of the chairman of a German shipyard as the bank’s new president. Ernst von Freyberg, 54, fills a nine-month-long vacancy at the helm of the bank after its former president, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, was ousted in May for alleged incompetence. The commission of cardinals for the Vatican bank, formally called the Institute for the Works of Religion, announced the appointment in a six-month-long hiring process that included the help of an independent head-hunting agency. Mr von Freyberg is chairman of Blohm+Voss Group, a Hamburg-
based shipbuilding company that builds and repairs yachts and ocean liners and is part of a consortium that builds warships for the German navy. Responding to journalists’ inquiries about whether the company’s activities conflicted with Catholic values, Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi SJ said working in the shipbuilding industry does not disqualify a competent candidate, especially when the businessman is heavily involved with charity and “has a notable human, Christian sensibility”. Mr von Freyberg is an active member of the Knights of Malta, a lay Catholic religious order and a worldwide humanitarian network offering free medical care and other services.—CNS
NFP pioneer dies at 95
OCTOR Evelyn Billings, who with her husband, John, pioneered research that led them to develop a form of natural family planning (NFP) supported by the Catholic Church, died on February 16 after a short illness. She was 95. The Australian paediatrician joined her physician-husband’s team in 1965 to develop what is now known as the Billings ovulation method, a more reliable method to prevent pregnancies than the rhythm method, which was developed in the 1930s.
The Billings method, allows women to monitor periods of fertility through close examination of naturally occurring physiological signs, and use that information to prevent pregnancy or space births. In 2002, the Billingses were named international Catholic physicians of the year by the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations. Dr John Billings died in 2007. Evelyn Billings is survived by eight of her nine children, 39 grandchildren and 31 great-grandchildren.
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Cardinal leads pope’s Lenten retreat BY CAROL GLATZ
HE Italian cardinal leading Pope Benedict’s Lenten retreat was tweeting and podcasting his reflections, signalling that detachment from the outside world doesn’t have to mean a total media blackout. Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi— president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, for this year’s weeklong retreat—began the spiritual reflections by describing Pope Benedict’s future role in the church after his resignation as being a presence “like that of Moses, who climbs the hill to pray for the people of Israel”. A contemplative presence whose role will be one of “intercession and interceding [while] we remain in the valley, that valley where Amalek is, where’s there’s dust, fear, terror, nightmares, but also hope, where you stayed with us for eight years”.
The pope and top officials from the Roman curia suspended their normal schedules to gather each morning and afternoon in the Redemptoris Mater chapel for common prayer, eucharistic adoration and 17 meditations that are offered by a different guest preacher each year. Cardinal Ravasi, 70, was offering brief “tweets” from his talks on his Italian and English Twitter accounts, @CardRavasi and @CardRavasi_en. And Vatican Radio was posting the audio of the cardinal’s complete meditations in Italian. The cardinal’s reflections were focused on “Ars orandi, ars credendi” (the art of praying, the art of believing), looking particularly at “the face of God and the face of man in the Psalm prayers”. In his second and third mediations, Cardinal Ravasi spoke about
how the Word guides people out of the fog, like “a light that banishes the darkness, in particular in today’s culture”. Modern times are marked by “a shifting horizon and uncertainty, where amorality is celebrated [as is] absolute indifference, in which there is no difference between sweet and bitter and where everything is a generic grey”, he told the pope and top Vatican officials. God shows what really matters as he both leads and accompanies his flock, offering them both truth and love, he said. The cardinal also echoed the pope’s commitment to reconciling faith and science. “Faith answers why, science how.” While God created the sun that shines in the sky, he also gave people the Word, “that is the other sun,” that illuminates the revealed truth to all mankind, he said.—CNS
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, walks on a street close to St Peter’s Square in Rome. Cardinal Ravasi, the Italian cardinal leading Pope Benedict’s Lenten retreat, was tweeting and podcasting his reflections, signalling that detachment from the outside world doesn’t have to mean a total media blackout. (Photo: Max Rossi, Reuters/CNS)
German tribute to pope Pope was ‘exhausted and disheartened’ BY JONATHAN LUXMOORE
HE president of the German bishops’ conference has asked Pope Benedict’s forgiveness for “errors committed against him” in his homeland, adding that most Germans respect him as a “spiritual and intellectual authority”. “After eight years, we feel a deep, overriding respect and gratitude, but also a sadness— farewells always hurt, especially when they concern people familiar and revered,” said Archbishop Robert Zollitsch. “The pope has asked forgiveness for his own shortcomings. I would also ask the Holy Father, in return, to pardon errors committed against him within the Church in Germany,” the archbishop said in his opening address to the German bishops’ spring plenary. His remarks were an apparent reference to media criticisms of the pope, especially during his September 2011 visit to Berlin, as well as the continued decrease in Mass attendance and accusations of sexual abuse against Catholic
priests, which have been made by hundreds of Germans since the first case was reported in January 2011. Archbishop Zollitsch said all Germans had “in some sense shared the honour” bestowed on then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger at his 2005 election as pope. He added that Pope Benedict had “not succeeded in everything” and had faced criticism for failing “to meet the excited, interrelated expectations of so many worldwide”. However, “truth, clarity and compassion” had formed “three pillars” of the pope’s pontificate, Archbishop Zollitsch said, and most Germans would appreciate his devotion to God. “The fundamental dedication which shaped our Holy Father’s life is so transparent that people revere him as a spiritual and intellectual authority,” the archbishop said. “So do most of those who, through their individual decisions and attitudes, cannot or will not understand him.”— CNS
OPE Benedict was “exhausted and disheartened” well before his February 11 resignation announcement, according to his German biographer, Peter Seewald. In an article, “Farewell to my pope”, in the Germany weekly magazine Focus, Mr Seewald said he had held several Vatican meetings with the 85-year-old pontiff over the six months while preparing a new biography. He added that he had “never seen Benedict so drained of energy” and “deeply disheartened” as when he met him twice last year. Asked what could still be expected of his pontificate, according to Seewald, the pope answered: “From me—not much now. I’m an old man and I’ve lost my strength. I think I’ve done enough.” The 58-year-old Mr Seewald, a fellow-Bavarian and former journlists with Germany’s prestigious Der Spiegel and Stern weeklies, has published several interview-based books on Pope Benedict, including a biography in 2006 and 2010 best-seller, Light of the World. He said the pope told him the
German journalist Peter Seewald, the pope’s biographer. (Photo: Piotr Spalek, Catholic Press Photo/CNS) third volume of his Jesus of Nazareth, published in November, would be his last book. However, he denied that the 2012 “VatiLeaks” scandal had been
a reason for the pontiff’s resignation and said Pope Benedict had merely voiced incomprehension at the decision of his former butler, Paolo Gabriele, to leak information. “It’s true the butler’s betrayal was a painful experience,” Mr Seewald told the Munich-based Focus, which was launched in 1993 and is Germany’s third-largest weekly. “But it certainly didn’t influence his decision in any important way. In our 90-minute talk at Castel Gandolfo last August, the pope said he felt neither despair nor despondency. “It was very important for the pope that the VatiLeaks exposure would ensure an independent judiciary in the Vatican—that there wouldn’t be a situation in which the monarch said he was taking the matter in his own hands.” Speaking to journalists, Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi SJ confirmed that Mr Seewald had met the pontiff in August and late November, adding that he saw “no reason not to believe” the journalist’s account.—CNS
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LEADER PAGE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Editor: Günther Simmermacher
Electing a new pope
HIS week we say farewell to Pope Benedict XVI, the first pope since 1294 to have voluntarily relinquished the office of the papacy. In our special supplement, we cover various aspects of the pontificate of Benedict XVI and the experience some have had of it, and advertisers offer personal words of appreciation to a pope who in less than eight years has made a profound and lasting impact on the Church. A copy of this edition— which we hope makes for more edifying reading than some of the uninformed writings which Catholics have encountered in the secular media— will be sent to Pope Benedict via the official channels. And as one pope leaves the office, thoughts invariably turn to his successor. The identity of the next pope will be revealed once the cardinal-electors, guided by the Holy Spirit, have reached their decision. In the interim there will be much speculation. The bookmakers wasted little time in offering odds on different papabili, real or imagined. Catholics are, of course, proscribed from placing bets on the outcome of a conclave. In any case, the Holy Spirit takes no cue from the bookies. Catholics are entitled, however, to express their hopes and expectations for the new papacy, and the cardinal-electors would do well to take these into account in their deliberations. The cardinals will doubtless be aware of the challenges and problems the new successor of St Peter will face, and of the foundations laid by previous popes, modern and ancient, on which he will build. The New Evangelisation project was formally launched only a few months ago. Since it is directed especially at regions that are rapidly secularising, it is likely that cardinals will consider candidates with the attributes to fruitfully continue this important mission. Such candidates will need to be able to speak the language of the world. They would understand the culture of the mission fields, while also supporting the Church’s engagement in traditional mission territories.
To connect with those whom the Church seeks to address, especially young people, the new pope would need to be able to formulate the Catholic message clearly and in suitable language. At the same time, he would need the erudition with which to address Catholics at every level. The new pope will also have to speak to the joy and hope, and the grief and anguish of the faithful and of all mankind. In doing so he would continue Pope Benedict’s powerful witness in responding to the scandal of global poverty and address the persecution which so many Christians face around the world. This will require great personal courage in speaking out prophetically and, at the same time, the attributes of diplomacy, so that his commitment for the poor and oppressed not be misunderstood and used as a weapon against the Church and her followers. The new pope will inherit, as many of his predecessors did, a divided Church in which many followers of Christ cast a hostile glance at fellow believers. He will be aware of various reformist and orthodox tendencies in the Church, all acting in what they believe to be the interest of the Church. The new pope will, ideally, be a man who can build bridges between Catholics of different, sometimes opposing perspectives. He must be able to turn our eyes on what unites us: the mission of the Church of Christ and the ultimate hope of salvation. The new pope will also inherit a Roman curia which is facing certain problems. The illegally leaked papers, the veracity of the content of which has not been challenged, suggest that a measure of curial renewal may be timely. The cardinals who will meet to elect the new pope will have their own areas of priority. We must pray for them as they enter conclave burdened by the knowledge that their decision will be momentous. May they hear the voice of the Holy Spirit who is always present, and may the pronouncement of habemus papam signal a new fruitful era for the Church.
The Editor reserves the right to shorten or edit published letters. Letters below 300 words receive preference. Pseudonyms are acceptable only under special circumstances and at the Editor’s discretion. Name and address of the writer must be supplied. No anonymous letter will be considered.
Jesus an outgoing, strong man AM happy to lend support to With the primitive tools then on Heather Withers of Johannesburg hand, they worked very hard—all I(January 23) in her plea for exulta- with muscle power. Jesus, who liked tion rather than sadness. In early and even contemporary art, Jesus is often incorrectly depicted as a rather sad, often underfed or effete teenager. Even the beautiful sculpture the Pietà, where the Holy Cadaver is lying on the lap of Mary, is totally off the mark. Jesus was actually an outgoing character, liked to work hard from a young age by helping his temporal father Joseph making firniture, carts and many things wooden.
HE unexpected resignation of Pope Benedict XVI has caused widespread reaction because popes do not traditionally resign. I would like to say, however, that the tradition of popes (and sometimes Eastern patriarchs) not resigning is a bad one, and that we are seeing the leader of the Catholic Church doing something very responsible in view of his age and declining health. Nevertheless, I would like to question why he was given this position at the age of 78. Pope John Paul II was relatively young when he took up the position of universal leader of the Church. Being younger and more energetic, he was able to accomplish much. I pray that a dynamic and forceful man will be elected as pope to take the place of Benedict. We need someone who is able to implement a credible programme of reform and renewal. Whoever takes the place of Benedict will need to do a lot more than write books and issue encyclicals. We need someone with the spiritual power to re-energise the Church and inspire it to fulfil its pastoral and evangelical mission. Frank Bompas, Johannesburg
URING his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI brought to a close two shameful episodes in recent Church history. The first concerned a commission that was, and the second one that was not. In 1986, Pope John Paul II’s commission determined that all priests had the right to celebrate the traditional Mass. This verdict was not made public, and the false witness against the traditional Mass was allowed to continue. The situation was ended by Pope Benedict when he declared there had never been any restrictions in celebrating that Mass.
to eat well, consequently developed a large, very well-built body. People admired this rather handsome and powerful young man when he entered his missionary work. Remember the moneylenders in the yard of the temple? Even towards the end of his mission, the soldiers who came to arrest him fainted with fright when he was pointed out to them. The Roman soldiers tried to The second episode relates to the 1988 consecration of four bishops by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, without a papal mandate. All bishops concerned were excommunicated. Had Pope John Paul set up a commission, it would have established that the conditions for excommunication were not met, in terms of the 1983 code of canon law. Possibly, a lesser penalty applied. This shameful situation was ended by Pope Benedict in 2009, when he declared that the “excommunications” no longer existed. These two rectifications by Pope Benedict have gone into eternity for his spiritual benefit. Franko Sokolic, Cape Town
OW has it happened that the process of electing the leader of our Church has become so divorced from reality that one hears more about gambling on the outcome than about what we, the Church, need? It’s probably too much to expect that candidates for the See of Peter be proposed by the Church community, as bishops were in the early Church. But is it too much to hope, in these days of mass communication, for more active participation by us, the Church? We Are All Church South Africa has written to the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) to ask if they can find a way to include members of the Church more actively in the elecOpinions expressed in The Southern Cross, especially in Letters to the Editor, do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editor or staff of the newspaper, or of the Catholic hierarchy. The letters page in particular is a forum in which readers may exchange opinions on matters of debate. Letters must not be understood to necessarily reflect the teachings, disciplines or policies of the Church accurately. Letters can be sent to PO Box 2372, Cape Town 8000 or email@example.com or faxed to 021 465-3850
“break him in” with beatings, hunger and thirst, and by making him carry the cross to sap his energy so that he would not cause mayhem at the crucifixion. So then his last act was to place his soul into the hands of his Father. This set Christ free to take the young saved robber by the hand into paradise and to return to his friends on the third day as he had promised. Yes, it is true, Jesus was a man among men and what is more, he lived his life with enthusiasm and joy for, after all, he was the Prince of Life! Henri L du Plessis, Cape Town tion of the new pope. For instance, it would be good to know what areas of Church life the SACBC prioritises for attention or reform by the incoming pope. And it would be a wonderful thing if local Catholics were encouraged to send the SACBC their response to this. Wouldn’t it make a difference to let us know that Cardinal Wilfrid Napier is at least aware of what is important to us, when he leaves for Rome? Without such dialogue, how can the Church remain real to its members? Brian Robertson, Cape Town
Y cousin, a committed Catholic, lost his job 15 years ago when he was retrenched. He has submitted many job applications, all in vain. Destitute, with a pension that dosen’t cover living costs, he turned to me and I have put him up since June 2012 in a small room attached to my house, and ideally he needs a job and a better place to stay. He did approach the Church for assistance and was told all they could offer was R50. A Southern Cross of December 2012 reported on a group of priests caught in a fraud, giving in excess of R20 000 to a thief. This motivated me to write to The Southern Cross for what is a genuine cause. Can you network to get this Catholic man a job? He is a BCom graduate who majored in financial accounting at the University of Natal. I am contactable on 031 209 0538 and at firstname.lastname@example.org. B Hurt, Durban
ITH regard to Fritz Rijkenberg about the format of the Mass losing followers (February 13), Mark Twain said: “Most people can’t bear to sit in church for an hour on Sundays. How are they supposed to live somewhere very close to it for eternity.” Angela Botha, Cape Town
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Inspired by a waterfall A WATERFALL is a stunning sight. Above the fall, the river is beautiful, tranquil, passing through lands mysterious and attractive. Below, beyond the fall, it is the same: peaceful, full of the promise that the lifegiving water brings. But in the fall itself there is such power, such turmoil, an overwhelming force that carries everything before it; a force that blocks out everything around it, as if nothing exists but the fall. There is something utterly arresting about a waterfall. I recently visited the Northern Cape and had the opportunity to visit the beautiful Augrabies waterfall. Few sights are as awesome or a sound as deafening as water thundering down the 56m waterfall when the Orange River is in full flood. From the entrance to the falls to the actual viewing site, there is a distance to cover in rugged paths and walkways, and you arrive at the main waterfall quite exhausted. But confronted by the majestic sight of the falls, this exhaustion is soon forgotten. Together with friends and family I watched men and women gaze in wonder and stand speechless before the majestic splendour of the falls. Confronted by such a sight, we are reminded of the great forces of life that surround us, the power and the glory of such forces, and our human weakness in comparison. Each human life has its waterfall moments. We float along on the safe, calm river of our lives, and then, maybe without warning, or maybe having heard the
distant thunder of the approaching fall, we round a bend and are suddenly thrown out of our tranquillity, wrenched from our comfort zone, helplessly swept over the bank into a terrifying maelstrom that takes all our resources simply to survive. But how will we deal with our waterfall moments and the challenges that they bring? As an adventure that helped us access the deep strength and internal resources we already possess to overcome our challenges? Or as a horrible experi-
The Augrabies waterfall in the Northern Cape
On Faith and Life
ence that disturbed our lives and changed it from the way we would have wanted to keep it? The choice is ours—and it is a spiritual one. Our waterfall moments come in many forms. Car accidents in our families that take away our loved ones, failed relationships or marriages ending in divorce that leaves us bitter towards each other, retrenchments and company closures that take away our means of support for our families, and many other tragedies in our lives. But what can seem like a disaster, misery, horror, destruction and failure may turn out to be no less than the passage from one part of the river of life to another. Instead of terrorising us, the “waterfalls” on our river of life can be moments of ecstasy, moments that remind us that we are in fact alive, with all the highs and lows, the confusions and uncertainties that life entails. And a few years later we ask ourselves: “Did I really survive this? How did I get through it?” Only then we see the grace and glory and splendour of God. “God has crowned you with glory and splendour” (Psalm 8:5). Nowhere in life are that glory and splendour so obvious as in our waterfall moments, as life becomes disrupted, fractured, and we find ourselves in free fall. (With acknowledgment to Fr Jim McManus’ book The Inside Job ).
Will the king’s people find their way home? Emmanuel Ngara
N this column we are going to learn about a community that wandered away from its roots and made a new home in a foreign country. In this new country some people eat and drink; they live in luxurious homes and drive flashy cars; extramarital sex is a hobby for married men and women; people kill people as if they are killing rats. In the disadvantaged communities people die of hunger and disease, while some are seen in the city and at road junctions stretching out miserable arms, begging for food and money. Among the lost people of this country is a woman who is advanced in age. It is said that there is no one else of her generation still living. While she has become a curiosity because of her age, the woman is also well known for the stories she tells about her people’s country of origin. “Tell us about our country of origin,” some young members of her community would ask. “It was a beautiful country with good people and a wise king”, she would begin. “Everybody was taught to work hard and to be generous. Because rice was the staple food, everybody was encouraged to harvest 20 bags of rice per year for consumption and selling. If you harvested 20 bags in any year, you were supposed to give the surplus to your siblings who had not managed to get the 20 bags. If all your siblings were successful in harvesting 20 bags each, then you were expected to give your surplus to the king who would distribute it among the poorer members of the community. “But the amount each poor person received would depend on the effort he or she had made to reach the norm of 20 bags,” she explained.
“But why did our people come here in the first place?” the youngsters would ask. “We were lured by the glitz and glamour of the rich people of this country. At first the king would send messengers to try and persuade us to go back, but the young ones among us were not interested in the values the messengers talked about: they talked about a life of sharing. “Each person who had was supposed to have a sense of responsibility for the have-nots, whereas here each person cares only for himself or herself. The messengers spoke about discipline. For example, boys and girls were not allowed to have sex before marriage, whereas here condoms were freely distributed— even to school children. Life was made tough there, and here life seemed easy.” “Why, then, do you miss a country where life is made tough?” the young ones would ask. “Human life is difficult. As young peo-
ple we were taught to understand that life is full of problems; that there are solutions to most problems; and that the challenge to a true human being is to face those problems and find solutions to them. “This requires discipline and perseverance, which in turn produce character; and because we were disciplined people of character who cared for each other, incidents of crime were very limited and the occurrence of sexually transmitted disease was controlled. “But in this country we have a free for all kind of situation, and the rapid spread of crime and disease speaks for itself,” she said. “But why does someone not lead us back to our country of origin?” the youngsters would ask. “The king eventually stopped sending messengers, and we no longer know our way back. In any case, I am now too old to undertake such a journey,” the woman said. “However, I am passing the baton on to you. Live to tell the story of our people, the story of what it really means to be a human being, what true human values are. If you remain true to true human values and teach these to your children’s children, I am certain the king will relent and perhaps send his own Son to lead us back,” she said. “And at that point some members of this materialistic society may begin to listen to the king’s message.”
The Southern Cross, February 27 to March 5, 2013
Could there be women deacons? A friend returned from the United States tells me there is much debate there about the possibility of the Church allowing women deacons. I have a difference of opinion with my parish priest about this. Please comment on whether it is likely that the Church may allow women into the order of diaconate.SV
HERE has been speculation, especially in the United States of America, about ordaining women as deacons. A committee set up by the bishops there decided in 1992 that admission to the diaconate was among the concerns of women, and the issue needed continuing dialogue and reflection on the meaning of ministry in the Church. The International Theological Commission issued a statement in 2002 upholding the unity of the sacrament of orders as embracing bishops and priests on the one hand and deacons on the other. It remarked that the ordination of women to the diaconate has not been authoritatively decided by the Church, leaving the question an open one. Then in 2009 Pope Benedict issued an apostolic letter Omnium in mentem, in which he added a paragraph to canon 1009 of the Code of Canon Law. The canon stated that the orders of episcopate, priesthood and diaconate are conferred by the laying on of hands and the prayer of consecration. The new paragraph says: “Those who are constituted in the order of the episcopate or the priesthood receive the mission and capacity to act in the person of Christ the Head, whereas deacons are empowered to serve the People of God in the ministries of the liturgy, the word and charity”. The reason for this amendment seems, firstly, to reinforce the clear distinction between the priest who acts “in the person of Christ” and the deacon who acts, as some have said, “in the image of Christ”, and secondly, to stress that the permanent diaconate is an order in its own right, and not merely a stepping stone to the priesthood. Consequently, some conclude that women deacons remain a possibility. They argue that the amendment to canon 1009 excludes deacons from acting “in the person of Christ” (therefore male) and refers to them only as ministers (male and female?) to the People of God. The obstacle to women deacons at present is canon 1024: “Only a baptised man can validly receive sacred ordination”. How the Church’s understanding of the permanent diaconate, as reintroduced by Vatican II, will evolve in future remains an open question.
n Send your queries to Open Door, Box 2372, Cape Town, 8000; or e-mail: email@example.com; or fax (021) 465 3850. Anonymity can be preserved by arrangement, but questions must be signed, and may be edited for clarity. Only published questions will be answered.
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The Southern Cross, February 27 to March 5, 2013
Influential at conclave 2013 (from left): Cardinals Dolan, Erdo, Rodriguez, Ouellet, Ravasi, Sandri, Sarah, Scherer, Schönborn, Scola, Tagle and Turkson. (Photos: CNS)
Twelve cardinals to watch at conclave When the elector-cardinals gather in the Sistine chapel for the conclave, one of them will emerge as the new pope. CINDY WOODEN and FRANCIS X ROCCA look at 12 influential cardinals, one of whom might become the successor to Peter.
HEREVER journalists and bookmakers may be getting the names on their lists of top candidates for the next pope, it’s not from the cardinals who will actually vote in the election. Both custom and canon law forbid the cardinals to discuss the matter in such detail with outsiders. Moreover, the true papabili (literally, “popeables”) are likely to emerge only after all the world’s cardinals—not just the 117 who will be under 80 and eligible to vote—begin meeting at the Vatican in the coming days. One thing is already clear, however: because of their experience and the esteem they enjoy among their peers, certain cardinals are likely to serve as trusted advisers to the rest in the discussions and election. Here, in alphabetical order, are 12 cardinals expected to have a major voice in the deliberations: Conventional wisdom has long held that the cardinals will never elect an American pope, lest the leadership of the Church appear to be linked with the United States’ economic and geopolitical dominance. But the extroverted and jocular Cardinal Timothy Dolan, 63, charmed and impressed many in the College of Cardinals in February 2012 when he delivered the main presentation at a meeting Pope Benedict had called to discuss the New Evangelisation. The pope himself praised the New York archbishop’s presentation on how to revive the faith in increasingly secular societies as “enthusiastic, joyful and profound”. Although not a familiar name in the press, Hungarian Cardinal Peter Erdo of Esztergom-Budapest, 60, is a major figure among his peers in Europe, the Church’s traditional heartland and the region of more than half the cardinal electors. He was elected to a second five-year term as president of the Council of European Episcopal Conferences in 2011. A Salesian, Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, 70, is president of Caritas Internationalis, the umbrella group of national Catholic charities around the world. As a result, many of his peers have come to know the multilingual cardinal as the person spearheading assistance to the neediest of their people. He aroused controversy in 2002 with remarks about clergy sex abuse that struck some as overly defensive of accused priests and the Church’s past policies. But he was already widely mentioned as a possible pope before the 2005 conclave that elected Pope Benedict. Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, 68, is a member of the Society of St Sulpice, whose members are, strictly speaking, diocesan priests but which is normally considered a religious order. Hence he is one of only 19 members of religious orders among the cardinal-electors, who are overwhelmingly diocesan clergy. He is prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, which coordinates the nomination of bishops in Latin-rite dioceses around the world, so his work has brought him into frequent contact with most of his fellow cardinal-electors. As president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, he is well acquainted with one of the church’s largest and fastest-growing regions. Italian Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, 70, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, was the prelate chosen by Pope Benedict to lead his 2013 Lenten retreat, which will make him a prominent voice at the Vatican in the run-up to the election.
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The cardinal has been leading the universal Church’s efforts to develop a non-confrontational dialogue with non-believers, trying to make Christianity intelligible to the modern mind and build a reason-based consensus on key moral issues. Argentine Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, 69, was born to parents of Italian descent and has maintained strong ties with both Italy and Argentina. As prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches, he is familiar with the challenges facing Eastern Catholics and the pastoral concerns of the church in the Middle East. He has worked in the Vatican for more than a dozen years, and previously served as nuncio to Venezuela and then Mexico. His only experience in a parish was a brief assignment shortly after his ordination as a priest. Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah, 67, is president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, which promotes Catholic charitable giving. He has used his leadership to emphasise Pope Benedict’s teaching that Catholic charitable activity must not be simple philanthropy, but an expression of faith, rooted in prayer and Catholic identity. A scripture scholar and former diocesan bishop, he served nine years as secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples. Another leading voice of the South American church is 63-year-old Brazilian Cardinal Odilo Scherer of São Paulo, Brazil’s largest diocese. The son of German immigrants, he also has strong ties to Rome. He studied philosophy and theology at Rome’s Pontifical Brazilian College and Pontifical Gregorian University and worked as an official of the Congregation for Bishops from 1994 to 2001. Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, 68, has known Pope Benedict for almost 40 years, having studied under him at the University of Regensburg, Germany. Even before his former professor became pope, the cardinal was well known at the Vatican and in wider Church circles. He was invited in 1996 to preach Pope John Paul II’s Lenten retreat and was the main editor of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which was published in 1992. As the Church in Austria has struggled with declining attendance and calls for change in some of its most basic disciplines, Cardinal Schönborn’s response has received increasing attention, with some praising his prudence and pastoral sensitivity, and others calling for more decisive action. Italian Cardinal Angelo Scola, 71, is the archbishop of Milan, the archdiocese led by both Popes Pius XI and Paul VI when they were elected. He previously served as patriarch of Venice, once the see of Pope John XXIII. The cardinal, a respected academic theologian rather than a popular preacher, has longstanding ties to one of the new Church movements, Communion and Liberation, which is based in his archdiocese. Philippine Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila, 55, is one of the youngest and newest members of the College of Cardinals. Although he did not receive his red hat until November 2012, he had already made a name for himself at the world Synod of Bishops on the Word of God in 2008. This leader of one of the world’s fastest-growing churches is a popular speaker with a doctorate in systematic theology and has served on the International Theological Commission, an advisory body to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Cardinal Peter Turkson is the 64-year-old former archbishop of Cape Coast, Ghana, and current president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. The cardinal, a biblical scholar who was active in ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, has frequently appeared on lists of possible popes. He aroused controversy in 2011 with a proposal for a “world central bank” to regulate the global financial industry, and then in October 2012 when he showed bishops at the Vatican a video warning about the growth of Muslim populations in Europe.
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The Southern Cross, February 27 to March 5, 2013
A practical guide to Confession There are many benefits to confessing our sins, but it’s not always easy to go to confession. CLAIRE MATHIESON finds out how it should be done.
O, you’ve decided to go to confession. It’s been a while and you’re wondering if it’s changed. It has also crossed your mind that it might be easier not to go—that way you avoid the guilt you might feel when you tell the priest how long it might have been since the last time. “Telling the priest how long it’s been since one’s last confession gives the priest a little insight into what the needs of the penitent might be,” said Fr Seán Wales CSsR, parish priest at Holy Redeemer in Bergvliet, Cape Town. He said divulging this information is not a source for judgment, but rather an indication as to how the priest might be able to help one through the sacrament and to make the most of the situation. Furthermore, the priest merely acts as a mediator between the Holy Spirit and the penitent. Fr Wales said confession is encouraged and even though it might be difficult to return after a long absence, receiving the sacrament is certainly worthwhile. It should not be feared, procrastinated or avoided, he said. The sacrament of confession is meant to be a joyous occasion—when all our sins are forgiven! But how and when do we confess? Fr Wales noted that parishes have found different ways to suit their parishioners and the priest when it comes to confession. Some prefer to attend confession anonymously while others are comfortable talking to the priest face-to-face. Confession is available all year round, but many prefer to attend confession during Lent and Advent—in preparation for the forthcoming feasts. The Redemptorist priest said it is beneficial not only for the penitent to attend confession during Lent and Advent but also for the parish as there is a “great spirit in the Church as the community as a whole prepares for Easter and Christmas”. “Pray before you go to confession,” said Fr Wales. One can pray for guidance, confidence, that one might remember all one’s sins and to pray for honesty. Fr Wales said some people like to take a scripture into confession. This gives them direction and a starting point to changing their lives. “It’s something to reflect on and helps us understand why something might not have turned out the way we had hoped.” But for those unsure of where to start looking for
an appropriate reading in the Bible, start with the Ten Commandments. And you can start at home, said Fr Wales, where you might feel more relaxed to start an examination of the conscience. Fr Wales said by working through each of the commandments and asking searching questions based on these, one is able to find the areas in their lives that may need guidance or confession. While one might not have committed murder, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other areas of reflection in the fifth commandment. Have I been involved in an abortion? Have I desired to kill? Have I threatened someone? Have I driven recklessly under the influence of alcohol or drugs? Have I delighted in seeing someone else get hurt or suffer? Have I treated animals badly? These are all related to “you shall not kill”. By reflecting on each of the commandments and spending careful time examining one’s actions in light of the commandments, it is clear to see what needs to be confessed. “It’s all about being sorry,” said Fr Wales, adding that there’s little point in confessing minor infringements that we are likely to continue to do—these are forgiven through attending Mass or being charitable. “Confession is a time to look at our lives more carefully, to go deeper and make the decision to not do it again.” Fr Wales said it would be appropriate to celebrate confession during the Year of Faith by conducting an examination of conscience based on faith. “How do I trust God? How do I trust other people? These are just some of the questions one could ask in preparing for confession during the Year of Faith.” Fr Wales said a review of life on the virtue of faith will help us understand the influences our faith has on other areas in our lives and might highlight areas that need work. Fr Wales said it is preferable for penitents to make confession less frequently but with deeper confessions. But for those who are battling with something that has become a habit, the penitent might be urged to attend more regularly. “A person struggling with an alcohol or drug addiction might need the psychological support that confession can offer. Whenever they feel a moment of weakness, they should attend confession.” Fr Wales said that Jesus healed people and that forgiving and healing went hand in hand. A person who needed healing can get the grace and the guidance from the priest. But it is not only grace for the penitent that is granted. “Hearing confession is a moment of grace for the priest too,” said Fr Wales. The sacrament is beneficial to all involved—another reason to not skip confession!
Conscience through the commandments 1st: Do I give God time every day in prayer? Do I seek to love him with my whole heart? Have I been involved with superstitious practices or have I been involved with the occult? Do I seek to surrender myself to God’s Word as taught by the Church? Have I ever received Communion in a state of mortal sin? Have I ever deliberately told a lie in confession or have I withheld a mortal sin from the priest in confession? 2nd: Have I used God’s name in vain: lightly or carelessly? Have I been angry with God? Have I wished evil upon another person? Have I insulted a sacred person or abused a sacred object? 3rd: Have I deliberately missed Mass on Sundays or holy days of obligation? Have I tried to observe Sunday as a family day and a day of rest? 4th: Do I honour and obey my parents? Have I neglected my duties
to my spouse and children? Have I given my family a good religious example? Do I try to bring peace into my home life? Do I care for my aged and infirm relatives? 5th and 8th: Have I quarrelled with any one? Have I cursed anyone or otherwise wished evil on him? Have I taken pleasure in anyone’s misfortune? Is there anyone to whom I refuse to speak or be reconciled? Have I lied about anyone? Have I rashly judged anyone of a serious sin? Have I engaged in gossip or spread scandal? Have I listened to scandal about my neighbour? Have I been jealous or envious of anyone? 6th and 9th: Have I been faithful to my marriage vows in thought and action? Have I engaged in any sexual activity outside of marriage? Has each sexual act in my marriage been open to the transmission of new life?
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Have I been guilty of masturbation? Have I respected all members of the opposite sex, or have I thought of other people as objects? Did I willfully look at indecent pictures or watch immoral movies? Have I been guilty of any homosexual activity? Do I seek to be chaste in my thoughts, words and actions? 7th and 10th: Have I stolen anything? Have I damaged anyone’s property through my own fault? Have I cheated or defrauded others? Have I refused or neglected to pay any debts? Have I neglected my duties or been lazy in my work? Have I refused or neglected to help anyone in urgent necessity? Have I failed to make restitution?
Parishioners wait in line for confession. Fr Seán Wales CSsR says: “Working through the commandments and asking searching questions one is able to find areas which need guidence or confession.” (Photo: Karen Callaway, Catholic New World, CNS)
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The Southern Cross, February 27 to March 5, 2013
The rituals of the Book of the Gospel at Mass The new Book of the Gospels will arrive in the Southern Africa region next month. In the second of two articles, CHRIS BUSSCHAU looks at the history of the Book of the Gospels and its place in the liturgy.
AST week we looked at the origins and ancient practices around the Book of the Gospels. We saw how the practice of giving special honour to the Book of the Gospels as the container of the Living Word of God was central to the first part of the public worship of the Church, the liturgy of the Holy Mass. This week we will look at how the Book of the Gospels can be used in the Mass to enhance our engagement with the Word, and to enable our sense of community and our act of worship. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) describes the following aspects of the way in which the Book of the Gospels is to be handled (the relevant paragraphs of the GIRM are shown in brackets): At the entrance procession. Carrying the Book of the Gospels slightly elevated, the deacon precedes the priest as he approaches
the altar or else walks at the priest’s side. If there is no deacon, the lector may carry the book. The lectionary and the missal may not be carried in procession—this honour is reserved for the Book of the Gospels. (44, 60, 172 and various others) When he reaches the altar, if he is carrying the Book of the Gospels, the deacon omits the sign of reverence and goes up to the altar. It is particularly appropriate that he should place the Book of the Gospels on the altar, after which, together with the priest, the deacon venerates the altar with a kiss. (175) At the liturgy of the Word, if incense is used, the deacon assists the priest when he puts incense in the thurible during the singing of the Alleluia or other chant. Having bowed to the altar, he then takes up the Book of the Gospels which was placed upon it. He proceeds to the ambo, carrying the book slightly elevated. He is preceded by a thurifer, carrying a thurible with smoking incense, and by servers with lighted candles. If there is no deacon, the priest performs these actions. (44, 175, 276, 277) When the deacon is assisting the bishop, he carries the book to him to be kissed, or else kisses it himself. In more solemn celebrations, as the occasion suggests, a bishop may impart a blessing to the people with the Book of the
Gospels. (175) Lastly, after the reading of the Gospel, the deacon may carry the Book of the Gospels to the credence table or to another appropriate and dignified place. (175)
hile the indication of GIRM No. 175—that the Book of the Gospels be carried to “the credence table or to another appropriate and dignified place”—could be generously interpreted as allowing the practice described, the fact that the credence table is mentioned suggests that the mind of the legislator/liturgist does not foresee any solemn enthronement at this stage, but merely that the book be treated with due respect after use. The Book of the Gospels is treated with great honour during the liturgy of the Word with rites and gestures analogous to those offered toward the altar and the Blessed Sacrament. By doing so the Church shows its veneration toward God’s Word and its belief that Jesus is present and speaking to us in a special way during the liturgical proclamation of the sacred texts. However, as Pope Paul VI taught, while Jesus’ presence in the Word is real, it ceases when the readings are concluded. The Eucharistic presence alone is substantial and real “in the fullest sense”. It is therefore quite logical that all liturgical honours paid toward the Book of the Gospels cease once the liturgy of the Eucharist begins. A different case is the permanent or habitual setting up of a Book of the Gospels in the sanctuary or some other suitable place. The primary aim of setting up
Pope Benedict raises the Book of the Gospels as he celebrates a Mass with cardinals in St Peter’s basilica at the Vatican last November. (Photo: Paul Haring, CNS) the book in this way is to foment respect and devotion toward sacred Scripture. For this reason the role of the permanent display of Scripture is analogous to that of a statue or icon and does not immediately affect the liturgical action. Indeed, during the mission for Rome ordered by Pope John Paul II in preparation for the Jubilee Year 2000, every parish in Rome was ordered to set up the Book of the Gospels for public veneration during the two years or so that the mission lasted. In this Year of Faith, and with the Holy Father’s request that the Church focus on the New Evangelisation, the arrival of the new Book of the Gospels provides a
golden opportunity for all of us to develop a deeper understanding of the importance of the Gospels and in particular their special role when we come together to pray and worship as a community in the Holy Mass. A suggested ritual for the commissioning of the new Book of the Gospels during a Sunday Mass will be distributed by the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference. n Chris Busschau is a member of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference Committee for Liturgy and the English Missal Implementation Committee.
The Southern Cross, February 27 to March 5, 2013
Liturgical Calendar Year C
Sr Anne Walshe
ISTER Anne Walshe, a Newcastle Dominican Sister, died on January 4, 2013. Sr Anne was born in the United States in 1919. She was brought up in Galway, Ireland, the second of nine children. Sr Anne entered the Congregation of St Catherine of Siena, Newcastle Natal in 1935 and made her novitiate in Villa Rosa, Rome and then came to South Africa in 1938. Her first assignment was at St Dominic’s in Boksburg where she taught and did her degree and teachers’ training. She then taught in Dundee, La Rochelle, in Johannesburg Durban North, St Lewis Bertrand School in Blaauwbosch and then worked with street children in Durban. Sr Anne did art therapy with the street children—her gentle, refined presence was a good influence on them and they did extraordinary paintings under her care. Sr Anne came to Marian House in 2008. Several of her past pupils sent messages expressing appreciation of the profound influence she had on them as a teacher. Sr Anne was a great fan of Radio Veritas, whose director, Fr Emil Blaser was the chief celebrant at her funeral Mass at Marian House, Boksburg. Submitted by Sr Audrey Drinkwater
Southern CrossWord solutions
SOLUTIONS TO 539. ACROSS: 1 Red Sea, 4 Unused, 9 Nightwatchman, 10 Emanate, 11 Rolls, 12 Bigot, 14 Goths, 18 Unwed, 19 Titania, 21 Morning Masses, 22 Resist, 23 Played. DOWN: 1 Ringer, 2 Dogmatic words, 3 Extra, 5 No cargo, 6 Simple honesty, 7 Danish, 8 Paper, 13 Ordains, 15 Summer, 16 Stage, 17 Caused, 20 Trawl.
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Weekdays Cycle Year 1
Sunday, March 3, 3rd Sunday of Lent Exodus 3:1-8, 13-15, Psalm 103:1-4, 6-8, 11, 1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12, Luke 13:1-9 Monday, March 4 2 Kings 5:1-5, Psalm 42:2-3; 43:3-4, Luke 4:24-30 Tuesday, March 5 Daniel 3:25, 34-43, Psalm 25:4-9, Matthew 18:2135 Wednesday, March 6 Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9, Psalm 147:12-13, 15-16, 19-20, Matthew 5:17-19 Thursday, March 7, Ss Perpetua and Felicity Jeremiah 7:23-28, Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9, Luke 11:1423 Friday, March 8 Hosea 14:2-10, Psalm 81:6-11, 14, 17, Mark 12:2834 Saturday, March 9 Hosea 6:1-6, Psalm 51:3-4, 18-21, Luke 18:9-14 Sunday, March 10, Fourth Sunday of Lent Joshua 5:9, 10-12, Psalm 34:2-7, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
Word of the Week
INTERREGNUM: Meaning between reigns, it is the period between popes. CONCLAVE: The meeting of cardinals to elect a new pope, from the Latin cum clave (with key)— means under lock and key. In 1268, cardinals couldn’t decide on a new pope. After nearly three years the people finally locked them up and cut their rations. EXTRA OMNES: The Latin command, “all outside”, orders everyone who is not authorised to be in the Sistine Chapel during the conclave to leave before the conclave starts.
GOD BLESS AFRICA Guard our people, guide our leaders and give us peace. Luke 11:1-13
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LAGESSE—Solange. 1924-2013. Our loving mother, grandmother and great grandmother passed away peacefully in her sleep on February 17, in Wellington. Will live forever in our memories. Brigitte, Marie-Helene and Christine.
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HOLY ST JUDE, apostle and martyr, great in virtue and rich in miracles, kinsman of Jesus Christ, faithful intercessor of all who
invoke you, special patron in time of need. To you I have recourse from the depth of my heart and humbly beg you to come to my assistance. Help me now in my urgent need and grant my petitions. In return I promise to make your name known and publish this prayer. Amen. RCP HOLY St Jude, apostle and martyr, great in virtue and rich in miracles, kinsman of Jesus Christ, faithful intercessor of all who invoke you, special patron in time of need. To you I have recourse from the depth of my heart and humbly beg you to come to my assistance. Help me now in my urgent need and grant my petitions. In return I promise to make your name known and publish this prayer. Amen. For prayers answered. OUR MOST beautiful flower of Mount Carmel, Fruit of the vine splendour of heaven. Blessed Mother of the Son of God. Immaculate Virgin assist me in my necessity. O star of the sea help and show me herein you are my mother, O holy Mary, mother, Queen of Heaven and earth. I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart to secure me in my necessity. There are none that can withstand thy power, O show me where you are my mother. O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee (3x). Thank you for your mercy towards me and mine. Amen. Say this prayer 3 days and then publish. Special thanks to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Ss Jude and Daniel for prayers answered. FOR YOU created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I
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was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139.
GRATEFUL thanks to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Our Mother Mary and Ss Joseph, Anthony, Jude and Martin de Porres for prayers answered. RCP.
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4th Sunday in Lent: March 10 Readings: Joshua 5:9-12, Psalm 34:2-7, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
EXT Sunday is the fourth Sunday in Lent, and you can ease off the austerity for a day before getting back to your penitential regime (or whatever you are doing this year). It is known as Laetare or “Rejoice” Sunday, and there are grounds for rejoicing in the readings that we are going to hear; but the rejoicing is not unmixed, for God has always got a deeper joy lined up for us than the rather trivial joys that we tend to have in mind. In the first reading we have an account of a very happy occasion, the first time when the children of Israel celebrated Passover in the Promised Land, to which they have been wandering over an incredibly lengthy itinerary of forty years since leaving Egypt. There is celebration, as the Lord says to Joshua, who has by now taken over the leadership of the people from Moses: “Today I have removed the shame of Egypt from you.” The Passover takes place at exactly the appointed day and time (“on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month”), and they show that they are observant followers of Moses by eating “unleavened bread and parched grain”; then, you might suppose, God’s favour leaves them for “on the day after the Passover, the manna ceased”, but the fact is that they no longer need it, for they have left the desert, and “they ate
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Rejoice in the Lord Nicholas King SJ
from the produce of the land of Canaan”. So God has not let them down, but brought them to where he had promised to bring them. The psalm is (as the psalms so often are) full of a joy that fits the day: “I shall bless the Lord at all times, his praise continually on my lips”, but we should notice the reason for all this rejoicing: “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; from all my fears he delivered me.” And (here’s the rub) the singer has known tough times: “This wretched person called, and the Lord heard; from all my distress he saved me.” There is great joy here, but nothing trivial; it is the joy of one who has known suffering and yet has found the Lord. Paul is no stranger to suffering, and in our second reading for next Sunday he is (perhaps a shade wearily) arguing with those members of the Corinthian church who disapprove of him because he does not match up to their
standards of what an apostle should be like; and he links that with the suffering that Jesus endured, which he interprets as an attempt to “reconcile”, a word that appears no less than five times, as noun or verb, in our passage. The other word that is repeated (though admittedly only twice) is “new”, to describe what God has done. So Paul sees his task (which means of course that we must see our task) as one of being “ambassadors for God, who is making a plea through us: ‘We are begging you, on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God’.” There is joy here, and it goes deeper than Paul’s suffering. This pattern of a deep joy that trumps all the superficial joys that we might think that we need is there in the gospel for next Sunday, which is that loveliest of Luke’s stories, what we often call the “Prodigal Son”, but which we might do better to name “The Father prodigal of his love”. It starts (superficial suffering once more, you see) with the religious establishment criticising Jesus for his “terrible friends”, for “this fellow gives hospitality to tax-collectors and sinners and has meals with them!” To answer the objection, and take it deeper, to the things that really matter, Jesus tells three stories about people (about God, really) losing
Love heals our anxiety A
FRIEND of mine likes to jokingly pretend he’s the ultimate egoist and will occasionally crack this quip: “Life is hard because I have to deal with the magnitude of me!” Ironically our ultimate struggle in life is exactly the opposite: we are forever dealing with the insubstantiality of me! We are forever fearful that we have no substance, nothing of lasting value, no immortality. We fear that we might ultimately disappear. Jesus called this anxiety and frequently cautions us against giving in to this fear. It’s interesting to note that, for Jesus, the opposite of faith is not doubt or atheism, but anxiety, a certain fear, a certain insecurity. What, more precisely, is this fear? At one level, Jesus makes it clear: We are too anxious, he tells us, about our physical needs, food, drink, clothing, and shelter. As well, we are too anxious about how we are perceived, about having a good name and about being respected in the community. We see this in his warning about how we are to imitate the lilies of the field in their trust in God and his multiple warnings about not doing things to be seen by others as being good. But we’re always anxious about these things, and our fear here is not necessarily unhealthy. Nature and God have programmed us to have these instincts, though Jesus invites us to move beyond them. More deeply, beyond our anxiety for our physical needs and our good name,
Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
we nurse a much deeper fear. We’re fearful about our very substance. We’re fearful that, in the end, we are really only, as the author of Ecclesiastes puts it, vanity, vapour, something insubstantial blown away in the wind. That’s the ultimate anxiety and you see it already in animals, in their irrevocable and often violent drive to get into the gene pool, nature’s form of immortality. We have the same irrevocable (and sometimes violent) drive for immortality, to get into the gene pool. But, for us, that takes on multiple forms: Plant a tree. Have a child. Write a book. In essence, leave some indelible mark on this planet. Guarantee your own immortality. Make sure you can’t be forgotten. We are always anxious about our substance and immortality and are always trying to create this for ourselves. But, as Jesus, often and gently, points out, we cannot do this for ourselves. No success, no monument, no fame, no tree, no child, and no book will ultimately still the anxiety for substance and immortality inside us. Only God can do that. We see one of Jesus’ gentle reminders
of this in the gospels when the disciples come back to him buoyed-up by the success of a mission and share with him the wonderful things they have done. He shares their joy, but then, in essence, gently reminds them: Real consolation does not lie in success, even if it’s for the Kingdom. Real consolation lies in knowing that our “names are written in heaven”, that God has each of us individually, lovingly, and irrevocably, locked into his radar screen. Real consolation lies in recognising that we don’t have to create our own substance and immortality. God has already done this for us. But because we are anxious and fearful we try, as St Paul puts it, “to boast”, that is, to create for ourselves some immortal mark on this planet. Classical Protestant spirituality, following St Paul, would say that we are forever attempting to “justify ourselves”, to write our own names in heaven, through our attempts to immortalise ourselves. How do we ever move beyond this? Where can we find the trust to give up on fear and anxiety, especially to move beyond the ceaseless pressure inside us to create some kind of immortality for ourselves? Only love casts our fear. And our deepest fear can only be cast out by the deepest love of all. To give up on anxiety and on our need to create substance and immortality for ourselves we need to know unconditional love. Unconditional love, whether it comes from God or from another person, gives us substance and immortality. The French philosopher Gabriel Marcel once said that to love another person is to say to him or her: You, at least, will never die! But unconditional love, this side of eternity, is not easily found. God loves us unconditionally, but, most times, we are too wounded (emotionally, psychologically, and morally) to be able to existentially appropriate that. Simply put, it’s hard to believe that God loves us when it seems no one else does and we struggle to love ourselves. No wonder we are habitually anxious and forever trying to in some way earn love through some kind of measuring-up or standing-out. So what’s the cure? What will cure our fear and anxiety is a deeper surrender to love, both in terms of our intimacy with those we love in this world and in terms of our intimacy with God. But that surrender requires taking a deep risk. What’s the risk? To be continued.
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things and then throwing parties to celebrate finding them. Our reading omits two of them, the lost sheep and the lost coin, and concentrates on the lost son (or rather two lost sons). Neither son is particularly attractive; the elder is lost in self-regarding self-righteousness, and the younger virtually says to his father, “You’re nearly dead—why not give me the means to have some fun now?” And the father, Luke tells us, “divided his life between them”. This is a very strong statement that does not always come out in translation; we need to feel the loving sadness of this generous father. You remember the rest of the story, how the younger son runs out of money and fun and friends, and rehearses a speech to get back onside with his father; the father however, behaves quite absurdly and is actually watching for him to arrive, and is “gutted, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him” (Would you do this?). There is no time for the youngster to produce the carefully practised speech, instead there are rings and the best suit and the banquet. But then there is the other son, simmering with rage at his father and his brother; and Luke does not tell us what he is going to do. What do you think he will do? What would you do? And what does this tell us about the joys that really matter in life?
Southern Crossword #539
ACROSS 1. Moses got through it as reed bent (3,3) 4. Not accustomed to being brand new (6) 9. He is one holding a vigil (13) 10. Emit (7) 11. How one arrives up at the venue (5) 12. He’s intolerant and prejudiced (5) 14. Vandals who were yet great architects (5) 18. Single (5) 19. Midsummer Night’s queen (7) 21. They are celebrated in church before noon (7,6) 22. Oppose the crazy sister (6) 23. Took part in the game and strummed harp (6)
DOWN 1. Church rope-puller (6) 2. Infallible teaching is expressed in these (8,5) 3. One more in the crowd scene (5) 5. The empty vessel may have it (2,5) 6. Plain truthfulness (6,7) 7. Scandanavian pastry (6) 8. Material for news or waste (5) 13. Gives orders for inroads (7) 15. Totter in season (6) 16. Kind of fright for the actor (5) 17. Had an effect (6) 20. Fish with a dragging net (5) Solutions on page 11
T a old-age home, a group of senior citizens were sitting around talking about their aches and pains. “My arms are so weak I can hardly lift this cup of coffee,” said one. “I know what you mean. My cataracts are so bad I can’t even see my coffee,” replied another. “I can’t turn my head because of the arthritis in my neck,” said a third. “My blood pressure pills make me dizzy,” another contributed. “I guess that’s the price we pay for getting old,” winced an old man. Then there was a short moment of silence. “Thank goodness we can all still drive,” said one woman cheerfully. Send us your favourite Catholic joke, preferably clean and brief, to The Southern Cross, Church Chuckle, PO Box 2372, Cape Town, 8000.
BENEDICT XVI Continued from page IV communications and said the Holy See would have to do a better job using the Internet in the future. Instead, the mishaps continued, and for most of the year preceding Pope Benedict’s resignation, press coverage of the Vatican was dominated by the so-called “VatiLeaks” affair, a scandal over confidential and sometimes embarrassing confidential documents that had been provided to the press, allegedly by the pope’s own butler. A Vatican court found the butler, Paolo Gabriele, guilty in October and sentenced him to 18 months in jail. Pope Benedict pardoned him just before Christmas. The pope’s 2009 letter to bishops also summarised what he saw as his main mission as the successor of Peter: “In our days, when in vast areas of the world the faith is in danger of dying out like a flame which no longer has fuel, the overriding priority is to make God present in this world and to show men and women the way to God.” The idea that God is disappearing from the human horizon and that humanity is losing its bearings with “evident destructive effects” was a theme Pope Benedict saw as common ground for dialogue between Christians and Muslims.
Pope and other faiths
He voiced the Church’s opposition to a potential “clash of civilisations” in which religion was seen as a defining difference. But sometimes his words drew as much criticism as praise, particularly among Muslims who felt the pope was unfairly questioning the foundations of their religion. In a lecture at Germany’s University of Regensburg in 2006, the pope quoted a Christian medieval emperor who said the prophet Mohammed had brought “things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached”. Following protests in the Islamic world, which included the burning of churches in the Palestinian territories and the murder of a nun in Somalia, the pope said he was sorry his words had offended Muslims and distanced himself from the text he had quoted. Later that year, visiting a mosque in Turkey, he turned towards Mecca and prayed silently alongside his host. This interfaith gesture generated considerable good will, and over the succeeding years, Pope Benedict continued to meet with Muslim leaders. Pope Benedict also visited synagogues, in Germany in 2005, in New York in 2008 and in Rome in 2010, and his strong condemnations of anti-Semitism won the appreciation of many Jewish leaders. However, tensions arose in 2008 over the wording of a prayer for Jewish conversion, which the pope had revised for use in the Tridentine-rite Good Friday liturgy. The pope considered Christian unity one of his priorities, and he took steps to improve dialogue with Orthodox churches in particular. The most visible sign was the pope’s decision to accept the invitation of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to visit the patriarch at his headquarters in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2006. Two years later, the pope invited the patriarch to give a major address at the Synod of Bishops. The Vatican also arranged the resumption of theological talks with the Orthodox in 2006 and began new forms of cultural collaboration with the Russian Orthodox Church.
The fate of Christian minorities around the world was one of the pope’s major concerns, especially in places like Iraq and other predominantly Muslim countries. The pope strongly defended the right to religious freedom in his speech to the United Nations in 2008. In early 2007, the pope turned his attention to China, convening a meeting of Church experts to discuss ways to bring unity to the Church and gain concessions from the communist government. A papal letter to Chinese Catholics a
Fr Joseph Ratzinger, right, talks with an unidentified prelate in this photo taken in 1962 during the Second Vatican Council. The future Pope Benedict XVI attended all four sessions of the council as a theological adviser to German Cardinal Joseph Frings of Cologne. (CNS photo from KNA) few months later encouraged bold new steps to bridge the gap between Catholics registered with the government-controlled Catholic Patriotic Association and the socalled underground communities, whose leaders were frequently harassed or imprisoned by the authorities. The pope’s letter also issued a broad invitation to government authorities for dialogue on the appointment of bishops and other topics. A number of bishops were subsequently ordained with both papal and government approval, before the government returned to the practice of choosing bishops without the Vatican’s approval. One of the most important documents issued under Pope Benedict, and with his explicit approval, was a doctrinal congregation instruction on bioethics in 2008. The document warned that some developments in stem-cell research, gene therapy and embryonic experimentation violate moral principles and reflect an attempt by man to “take the place of his Creator”. The pope’s own writings frequently explored the relationship between personal faith in Christ and social consequences. His first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est (“God Is Love,”), issued in 2005, reminded all people that God loves them and called on them to share that love in a personal and social way. It won high praise, even from quarters typically critical of the Church. Two years later, his second encyclical, Spe Salvi (“On Christian Hope”), warned that without faith in God, humanity lies at the mercy of ideologies that can lead to “the greatest forms of cruelty and violations of justice”. His third encyclical, Caritas in Veritate (“Charity in Truth”) was released in 2009 and said ethical values are needed to overcome the current global economic crisis as well as to eradicate hunger and promote the real development of all the world’s peoples. Several months ago, the Vatican said Pope Benedict had completed work on another encyclical, this one on the virtue of faith, and its publication was expected in the first half of this year. His three-volume work, Jesus of Nazareth, published between 2007 and 2012 in several languages, emphasised that Christ must be understood as the Son of God on a divine mission, not as a mere moralist or social reformer. The books argued that while Christ did not bring a blueprint for social progress, he did bring a new vision based on love that challenges the evils of today’s world—from the brutality of totalitarian regimes to the “cruelty of capitalism”.
The pope spent much of his time meeting with bishops from around the world when they made ad limina visits to the Vatican to report on their dioceses. Some of Pope Benedict’s longest and most-revealing encounters were with priests, in Rome and elsewhere. He frequently spoke of the importance of the quality formation of priestly candidates, and in 2005 he approved the release of a long-awaited document barring those with deep-seated homosexual
tendencies from the priesthood. In a few areas, Pope Benedict asked Church experts to engage in careful study and reflection: He asked Vatican agencies to consider the moral and scientific aspects of condom use in Aids prevention, after some theologians argued that condoms were acceptable for married couples in which one spouse is infected with HIV. At the same time, his own statement in 2009 that condom-distribution campaigns aggravate the problem of prompted widespread criticism. In his 2010 interview for the book Light of the World, Mr Seewald asked Pope Benedict about the use of condoms in Aids prevention and the pope’s answer made headlines around the world. While continuing to insist that condoms were not the answer to the Aids pandemic, he allowed that in particular circumstances—for example, a prostitute seeking to reduce the risk of infection—using a condom might represent a step towards moral awareness.
Supplement to The Southern Cross, February 27, 2013
Left: Pope Benedict after his election as pope on April 19, 2005. Right: Pope John Paul II greets his eventual successor. (Photos: CNS) He convened scientific and theological scholars for private discussions about the theory of evolution. In his own remarks on the subject, he emphasised that the acceptance of evolutionary theory should not mean the exclusion of a fundamental divine purpose in creation. One of the pope’s most notable actions came in May 2006, when he approved a decision saying that Fr Marcial Maciel Degollado, the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, should not exercise his priestly ministry publicly. Fr Maciel, who enjoyed favour for many years at the Vatican, had been accused of sexually abusing minors. Although he was expected to reverse a trend set by Pope John Paul, Pope Benedict did not slow the Vatican’s saint-making machinery, but he did immediately announce he would not preside over beatifications. He did
HOLY SPIRIT CENTRE (CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC RENEWAL WESTERN CAPE)
Your Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI
The Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement of the Western Cape, South Africa, wish to add our voice to the millions of voices all over the world in thanking you for your years of service and dedication to the church, not only as a priest but also as our Pope. Go well good and faithful servant!
Mkhonzi Ongcwele, Pope Benedict XV1
UMbutho wamaKatolike ongeeNdlela ezintsha zokuthandaza waseNtshona Kapa eMzantsi Afrika, wongeza ilizwi lethu kwizigidi zamazwi athe aphoswa lilo lonke ihlabathi, kubulelwa wena ngenkonzo yakho othe wayinikezela yeminyaka nokuzimisela kwakho kwibandla, hayi kuphela njengomfundisi ingakumbi njengoPapa wethu. Hamba kakuhle sicaka esithobekileyo! P.O. BOX 925 MAITLAND 7404, 161A CORONATION RD. MAITLAND Tel: 27 21 021-510 2988, Fax: 27 21 021-510 7699, email@example.com (SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR: Reverend Father Emmanuel Siljeur)
make two exceptions to his new rule: the first to beatify Cardinal John Henry Newman during a September 2010 visit to England; and the second to beatify Pope John Paul in May 2011. While Pope Benedict asked Vatican experts to be more selective in picking candidates for sainthood, he ended up canonising 44 new saints. Pope Benedict named 90 new cardinals; 67 of those he named are still under the age of 80 and therefore eligible to vote in the conclave to elect his successor. As of February 28, the day his papacy ends, Pope Benedict’s appointments will represent just over 57% of the 117 cardinals under 80 that day.—CNS
CATHOLIC LITURGICAL ARTS
Pope Benedict XVI, it is with great sadness that we learn of your announcement that you are to retire at the end of February. We thank you for your love, devotion, and all your have done for your ﬂock during your tenure as our Pope. Our very best wishes for a happy and restful retirement. With God's richest blessings
Contact Theresa Tel 011 782 3135 Fax 086 263 7303 firstname.lastname@example.org The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference’s
PARLIAMENTARY LIAISON OFFICE
wishes the Pope well in his retirement and will always be grateful for the voice he gave to the poor and marginalised, especially through his encyclicals. We will continue to build on this legacy and in that way remember him.
Supplement to The Southern Cross, February 27, 2013
Benedict saw Jews, Muslims as allies BY CINDY WOODEN
N trying to help people understand how belief in God is a natural part of life and provides grounding for the values that protect human dignity and peaceful coexistence, Pope Benedict saw Jews and Muslims as natural allies. But in the almost eight years of his pontificate, his relations with the Jewish and Muslim communities were marked by alternating tensions and new initiatives. During his pontificate, Pope Benedict visited synagogues in three countries and mosques in three others. However, despite his efforts to promote new forms of dialogue with the followers of Islam, in the field of Catholic-Muslim dialogue, many people remember Pope Benedict primarily for remarks about Mohammed in a 2006 speech. His relationship with the world’s Jewish communities was not always smooth either, primarily because of his decision in 2009 to lift the excommunication of a traditionalist bishop who denied the extent of the Holocaust. As recently as last October, Pope Benedict affirmed the Church’s teaching about the importance of dialogue with and respect for Jews, Muslims and members of other religions, but he did so with a caveat. In an essay published on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, Pope Benedict wrote about the ongoing importance of
Nostra Aetate, the declaration on relations with other religions, for Catholics in increasingly multireligious societies. But he also said, “a weakness of this otherwise extraordinary text has gradually emerged: It speaks of religion solely in a positive way, and it disregards the sick and distorted forms of religion which, from the historical and theological viewpoints, are of far-reaching importance”, and which explain why Christians for centuries had been mostly critical of other religions. When some 300 religious leaders joined him in Assisi, Italy, in October 2011 to mark the 25th anniversary of Blessed John Paul II’s prayer for peace meeting, Pope Benedict said that as more and more people become convinced religion is a major source of tension in the world, religious believers have to be honest about their communities’ past and present: “As a Christian I want to say at this point: Yes, it is true, in the course of history, force has also been used in the name of the Christian faith. We acknowledge it with great shame. But it is utterly clear that this was an abuse of the Christian faith, one that evidently contradicts its true nature.” At the same time, he insisted that history also has shown the danger of denying God’s existence because “when man no longer recognises any criterion or any judge above himself”, he feels free to unleash his fury to obtain what he wants. uring his May 2009 pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Pope Bene-
Left: Pope Benedict visits the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Judaism’s holiest site, during his 2010 pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Right: Pope Benedict and Mustafa Cagrici, the grand mufti of Istanbul, pray in the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2006. When the mufti said he was going to pray, the pope bowed his head, folded his hands and moved his lips in silence for about a minute. (Photos from CNS)) dict visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, prayed at the Western Wall—Judaism’s holiest site—and met with Israel’s chief rabbis and with Jewish leaders from throughout the country. Jewish leaders have praised Pope Benedict’s record on dialogue in several respects: He explicitly recognises that a special bond continues to exist between God and the Jewish people; he recognises that, for centuries, Christians used Jesus’ death as an excuse to denigrate—and even persecute—the Jews; and he understands that the contempt some Christians had for the Jews helped create an atmosphere that the Nazis easily and progressively manipulated to the point of killing 6 million Jews. Muslim leaders are less clear about where Pope Benedict stands with regard to their faith, al-
though he repeatedly has shown that he wants to keep open lines of communication and promote cooperation on social issues and in social projects of concern to both Catholics and Muslims. When Pope Benedict stood in silent meditation in Istanbul’s Blue Mosque in November 2006, the world took notice. The fact that the pope had taken off his shoes and was standing with his arms folded in the same manner as the imam praying next to him was read by many Muslims as a sign of deep respect and as a gesture that ran directly counter to a speech he had made two months earlier at the University of Regensburg, Germany. In the Regensburg speech, the pope had quoted a medieval Byzantine emperor, who said the prophet Mohammed had brought “things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread the faith by the sword”. The pope afterward explained that he was not
endorsing the emperor’s words, and he expressed regret that some Muslims were hurt by the remarks. In reaction, 138 Muslim scholars from around the world launched an initiative called “A Common Word”, writing to Pope Benedict and other Christian leaders asking for a serious dialogue about values Christians and Muslims hold in common: the obligation to love God and to love one another. Representatives of the 138 scholars met at the Vatican to establish a new Catholic-Muslim Forum in November 2008. Addressing the participants, the pope said that professing faith in one God, the creator of all humanity, obliges Catholics and Muslims to respect one another and to work together to defend human rights and help those who are suffering. The commandments of love of God and love of neighbour are at “the heart of Islam and Christianity alike”, he said. Pope Benedict’s Holy Land trip brought further rapprochement with Muslim leaders as the pope visited a mosque in Jordan, made a major address to Muslim scholars there and visited the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, one of Islam’s holiest sites. In journalist Peter Seewald’s 2010 interview book Light of the World, Pope Benedict said Catholics and Muslims have two basic things in common: “We both defend major religious values— faith in God and obedience to God—and we both need to situate ourselves correctly in modernity.” As the Catholic Church did at the Second Vatican Council, he said, the world’s Muslims now are grappling with questions like “What is tolerance? How are truth and tolerance related? In this context, the question of whether tolerance includes the right to change religions also emerges. It is hard for the Islamic partners to accept this,” he said. “Their argument is that once someone has come to the truth, he can no longer turn back,” he added.—CNS
Pope made 24 trips BY CAROL ZIMMERMANN
LTHOUGH travelling the globe was a hallmark of Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, who when elected was not expected to do too much travelling, logged a lot of miles during his own pontificate. The pope made 24 trips to six continents outside Italy in his eight years as pope. Pope John Paul made 104 trips over a 27year span. Pastoral visits to Catholics worldwide were a key aspect of the pope’s role as shepherd of the Church. The pope’s last trip outside Italy was to Lebanon last September, visiting the region during a time of heightened tension with a civil war under way in neighbouring Syria and violent protests taking place in several Muslim countries. Last year, he also visited Mexico and Cuba. In Mexico, he addressed a crowd of more than 60 000 at an outdoor Mass. This year, his only scheduled trip was to Brazil in July for World Youth Day. During his pontificate, he presided over three World Youth Day gatherings, in Germany in 2005, in Australia in 2008, and in Spain in 2011. In 2011, he also visited Croatia and Germany, and flew to
A plane carrying Pope Benedict is seen over a crucifix as it arrives at Erfurt airport in Germany in 2011. In the nearly eight years of his pontificate, Pope Benedict made 24 foreign trips. (Photo: Frank Augstein via Reuters/CNS) Benin to launch his apostolic exhortation Africae munus, his document on the second Synod for Africa. In 2010 he visited Malta, Portugal, Cyprus, England, Scotland and Spain. In 2009, he visited Cameroon and Angola, and made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, including Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories. In 2008, the pope travelled to
the United States, presided at World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia, and also visited France, where he spoke in Paris and Lourdes. In 2007, Pope Benedict travelled to Brazil and Austria. The previous year he visited Poland, Spain, Germany and Turkey. During the first year of his pontificate, he visited his home country of Germany for World Youth Day in Cologne.—CNS
Supplement to The Southern Cross, February 27, 2013
Pope Benedict found in our seminaries BY CLAIRE MATHIESON
HEN Pope Benedict retires, he will leave behind, not just a legacy of leadership, but a vast library of theology which inevitably will influence those studying towards the priesthood for years to come. This is most certainly the case in Port Elizabeth for students at the Collegium; a bridging year offered to seminary candidates and run by the Port Elizabeth Oratory. While the students here do not themselves grapple with Pope Benedict’s writings, their teachers do. And it is through this influence that Pope Benedict, himself a scholar and teacher, will continue to educate the country’s future priests. Fr Jonathan Vermaak CO said the central theme contained in all Pope Benedict’s work, from beginning to end was “faith in the risen Lord Jesus”, a simple but powerful theme, particularly helpful in the formation of the country’s future priests. “Pope Benedict has been able to see beyond a socio-political analysis of the Church and the human condition, and to focus on fidelity to the risen Lord Jesus.” Fr Vermaak said, adding that the pope’s work was grounded in faith. It is therefore perhaps no coincidence that in his first homily as pope, Benedict stated: “The new pope knows that his task is to bring the light of Christ to shine before the men and women of today: not his own light but that of Christ.” And similarly, in the inauguration of the Year of Faith and the New Evangelisation, a season which would also mark the end of Pope Benedict’s term as pontiff, the pope invites all Christians “to be co-operators in the truth”. Not only is faith a theme of his theology, but also his life and especially his papacy. Even in his inaugural lecture as a professor at the University of Bonn in 1959, the chosen theme was “The God of Faith and the God of Philosophy”. Fittingly, several of Pope Benedict's students from his academic career are also prominent clergy today, including Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schönborn. Fr Vermaak said Pope Benedict has also been a great influence in the teaching world not only
through his encyclicals, but also his messages. Fr Vermaak pointed to the pope’s World Mission Day message in 2012 where he said the concern to “evangelise must never remain on the margins of ecclesial activity and of the personal life of Christians. Rather, it must strongly characterise it, in the awareness that they are those for whom the Gospel is intended and, at the same time, missionaries of the Gospel.” For Fr Vermaak, this “cooperation must not remain at the level of abstract truth, but involve a complete gift of self that mirrors the gift of God. The Holy Father said: ‘God's passionate love for his people—for humanity—is at the same time a forgiving love. It is so great that it turns God against himself, his love against his justice’.”
he Pope has published 66 books and written three encyclicals: Deus Caritas Est (God is Love), Spe Salvi (Saved by Hope), and Caritas in Veritate (Love in Truth); each communicating the importance faith to all levels of society. And even when his teachings seem difficult to comprehend for some theology students, their teachers have certainly benefited from them, said Fr Vermaak. For many, defining the papacy of Pope Benedict and his contribution to the Church will take some time. But, his legacy and teachings are most definitely being embraced in the country’s seminaries, even if the future priests are not yet aware of it. For Fr Vermaak, one of the greatest legacies of the Holy Father might be his insistence that “being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction”. South Africa’s future priests will be heavily influenced by Pope Benedict, because “in everything he has done, he has always so faithfully turned to God,” something which Fr Vermaak keeps reminding his students. Quite simply, “Pope Benedict inspires us to be saints.”
St. Catherine’s School A message of gratitude to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
We, the Staﬀ and learners of St Catherine’s School, Germiston, wish to convey our gratitude to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI for all he has done for the Church during his 8 years of leadership. We ask God to bless and reward him and may he experience much Peace, joy and rest during his retirement.
St Catherine’s School 31 Piercy Avenue Parkhill Gardens, Germiston, South Africa, (011) 827 4102
The covers of a few of the many books by Joseph Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI).
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DEar HoLY FaTHEr We thank you for your life of selﬂess service to the Lord, His Church and His people. We thank you also for your recognition and support of the importance of Catholic Media. May God pour His blessings on you and grant you, in your retirement, the peace and joy you so richly deserve. PO Box 4599, Edenvale, 1610 [t] 011 663-4700 [f] 011 452-7625 email@example.com Nedbank Cresta (191305) 1913296067 @RadioVeritasSA
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Supplement to The Southern Cross, February 27, 2013
Eyewitness to Pope Benedict’s last public Mass On Ash Wednesday, Pope Benedict celebrated his final public Mass in St Peter’s basilica. Seminarian DENEYS WILLIAMSON shares his impression of the event.
Convent Close, oﬀ Rick Turner Road Glenmore Durban 031 205 5083
HOLY FAMILY COLLEGE BUILDING CONFIDENT LEADERS Pope Benedict XVI Thank you for being a part of our Family! God Bless You!
The Springﬁeld Convent School
Community wishes to thank Pope
Benedict XVI for the many years of gifted service to the Catholic Church. Your
servant leadership has inspired us to respect faith and reason. We wish you a blessed and prayerful retirement.
HEN we heard the news we were all shocked. Our father Pope Benedict XVI, the leader of the Church and the successor to St Peter, had decided to renounce his office at the end of the month in order to retire to a life of isolation and prayer. During the news frenzy and the general speculation which followed, Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano remarked that it was an act of great humility. It was also, as Benedict himself later explained, motivated by a love for the Church, for her good. Finally it revealed the foresight of our theologian pope, opening the way for future papal electoral possibilities more adapted to the fast modern world. I couldn’t help but note how some of our own politicians could benefit from his humble example. Being in Rome, it was important for us to show our solidarity with the Holy Father in this difficult time for him. So on the day of his last public Mass, a grey and chilly Ash Wednesday afternoon, we joined thousands of other faithful and walked up to St Peter’s basilica to say goodbye to our Holy Father. The basilica is built on the site of the tomb of St Peter. You could say that St Peter’s basilica is the centre of Christianity, because it is a monument to the man who is our link to Jesus Christ, the Word made Flesh. This simple fisherman from Galilee was the first to confess the divinity of Jesus with those famous words at Caesarea Philippi: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” And with the reply, “And you are Peter, and on this Rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it,” Jesus made him the permanent and visible source and foundation of the unity of the Church, (Lumen Gentium 3, 18), entrusting to him and the apostles the mission of continuing his work of salvation after his ascension into heaven. This account from Matthew’s gospel is recorded in giant letters in Latin on the interior of the basilica’s dome. Entering through the huge bronze doors I found a seat in the central nave close to the altar. Then Mass began. The service, as usual, was solemn and beautiful, and the spiritually uplifting music invited one to prayer. The Holy Father in his homily spoke movingly of the need for all of us to undergo a true conversion this Lent, to be reconciled with God in the depths of our heart, in order to discover the happiness that we have been created for. I love St Peter’s basilica. In it you get to experience with your own eyes the sentence of the Creed,
Pope Benedict waves after celebrating Ash Wednesday Mass, the last large liturgical event of his papacy. (Photo: Paul Haring, CNS) “I believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church”. Here you see one enormous assembly of people of all nationalities and races, sharing the same faith as the first early Christians, united under the shepherd of the universal Church, and giving thanks to God through his Son Jesus Christ. Here you feel part of the People of God. There was a Filipino to my left, a West African sister to my right, a French family behind me, and a young Italian couple in front of me. And there on the altar, above the tomb of the head of the apostles and first bishop of Rome, was his 264th successor, a testament to an unbroken line spanning 2000 years of history. After Communion and thanksgiving Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone offered a word of thanks to the Holy Father on behalf of the Church. Quoting Benedict’s own words at his election in 2005, the cardinal praised him for being an example of “a humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord”. At these words the congregation broke out in a long and solemn standing ovation. What a contrast, I thought, to the opinions of Benedict that we get from some sources in the public square! Walking back to the seminary through the cold night air, I again tried to come to terms with the turmoil of emotions I had experienced that day: sadness, gratitude, fear and hope. But in the end I was left with the ring of that applause in my ears as the most eloquent testament to the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI. n Deneys Williamson is a seminarian for the archdiocese of Johannesburg currently studying in Rome.
Papal resignation: What the world said BY CLAIRE MATHIESON
DEAR POPE BENEDICT
It is great to see someone as deserving as you retire. We are confident you will never stop doing our Heavenly Father’s work in your retirement. Love and prayers
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Thank you, Holy Father for wearing “The Shoes of the Fisherman” to guide us. Like Peter, you ”cast your net out into deep waters” as Jesus instructed. We are confident that you have, and will continue drawing in many souls to the shores of Heaven. Prayers and God's blessings always from the Administrators and the Priests, Brothers and religious guests of End House (Beach Guest House) Gordons Bay, Cape, South Africa.
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OMBA,” this was the word most repeated at the Vatican press conference following the news of Pope Benedict’s resignation. Shocked and surprised, the world’s media could only consider the news a “bomb” as they contacted their networks around the world. “I think Filipinos in general were shocked and surprised as evidenced by posts, reposts and reactions via Facebook,” Ilsa Reyes, Catholic media worker in Manila, Philippines told the Southern Cross . In Britain, “total surprise and shock, even among non-believers” was the response, said the BBC’s Paul Burrell. Mr Burrell said the pope would be remembered for carrying “much wisdom in a tiny, white frame”. “ “Reaction in the US has been shock and then substantive with confidence in the rightness of the decision,” said Cornelius Sullivan, adding that Pope Benedict will be remembered as daring. “He was daring at Regensburg, has been bold with candid interviews, and has dared to do Twitter.” And in Portugal, a majority Catholic country, “the reaction was very much one of shock and tremendous surprise. Once that settled down, most people seem to have a lot of sympathy for the pope's decision,” said journalist Filipe Avillez. Fr Michael Umoh, director of the Centre for Media Development in Lagos, Nigeria, said the reaction was similar in Nigeria and the bishops were quick to educated locals on what this meant. “It is an educable moment, a time for teaching, learning and renewal; very much in the spirit of the Year of Faith.” Even in Finland, the country with the lowest proportion of Catholics in Europe, interest in Pope Benedict’s decision to step down was high. Dr Mikko Ketola from the University of Helsinki told the Southern Cross that the Catholic clergy in Finland thought at first the news was a hoax. While the succession debate will rage, only those in the Sistine Chapel, guided by the Holy Spirit, will have the final say. But, much more interesting this time, said Dr Ketola, is what sort of informal, unconscious influence Benedict will exert on the cardinal electors. “Just the fact that he is alive and following the procedure. He is obviously not the sort of ‘player’ who would make calls and deal out voting instructions. But will the electors feel really free to follow their conscience?”