After Years of Being Booed Offstage, the Curtains Have Again Opened and God is Being Greeted with Tumultuous Applause

World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney was a triumph for the Catholic Church and its 81-year-old head, Pope Benedict XVI. About 400,000 people attended a final Mass on Sunday (July 20), briefly making the pilgrims’ destination bigger than the nation’s capital, Canberra. Some baffled journalists described it as a Catholic Woodstock – the 1969 orgy of, drugs and sex and rock ‘n roll which became an iconic moment for baby-boomers. But 40 years later, the world has moved in an unexpected direction. WYD, the biggest youth event in history, is an anti-Woodstock, a repudiation of the materialism and secularism of the baby-boomers.

After years of being booed offstage, the curtains have again opened and God is being greeted with tumultuous applause. As a young woman commenting the event on Australian TV said, with unabashed confidence, it used not to be “trendy” to be a Catholic in Sydney, but now “it’s become cool again”. No wonder the news that Madrid will host WYD 2011 was greeted with such jubilation.


Animal Rights Group Protests Pope’s Fur

ROME (AFP) — One of Italy’s leading animal rights groups said Monday it was launching an Internet petition to demand Pope Benedict XVI stop wearing fur during religious ceremonies at the Vatican.

Lorenzo Croce, chairman of the Italian Association for the Defence of Animals and the Environment (AIDAA), denied being provocative or wanting to make an anti-religious statement.

“We just want to ask him in a message of love and peace to give a strong signal towards the protection of animals and the environment through a small but very significant personal sacrifice,” Croce told the Italian news agency ANSA.

Since his election Pope Benedict has taken to wearing a number of traditional religious garments, including a small red velvet cape with a white ermine border, which he wears in winter along with a hat the same colour.

The association has created a website to accept signatures and Croce wants to present the petition to the pope in September.

Pope Benedict returned late on Monday to Rome after a nine-day visit to Australia marked by his historic apology for the scourge of paedophilia in the Catholic church.


Ex-Anglican Communities to Become Catholic, Rome Confirms

Saint Charles Borromeo parishioner, Pauline Breedan, receives Holy Communion from Pastor, Father Loren Gonzales at the Traditional Latin Mass celebrated on the one-year anniversary of Summorum Pontificum. Tim Ruane served the Mass that morning.

Read more about the Traditional Latin Mass in the Diocese of Phoenix at The Catholic Sun Online. Many thanks to Catholic Sun journalist, Andrew Junker, for the fine article and photos.


July 13, 2008

Thomas Peters at American Papist directs us toward this scientific study of the effects on incense on the masses as reported at MSN Health & Fitness.

St. Louis Archdiocese Brawls with Catholic Newspaper

Rome to Sydney

July 12, 2008

In this photo released by the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict XVI reads a copy of L’Osservatore Romano on the flight from Rome to Sydney, Saturday, July 12, 2008.

Outbreak said to have begun April 19, 2005.

Cappaphobia: Mental Disorder Affects Progressive Catholics

Please pray for them.

UK’s Telegraph Damian Thompson Blog Reports:

Church of England Bishop Will Lead Anglicans to Rome

Rumor Alert

July 3, 2008

Gregor Kellmorgan offers us his translation of the Italian weekly Panorama article:

Benedict Changes the Mass – The Study of the New Liturgy Assigned to the Congregation for Worship

The rite of the Mass could change. According to some indiscretions, Benedict XVI has charged the Congregation for Divine Worship to study some modifications in the liturgy. In particular, the Pope is said to have the intention to restore Latin for the formula for the Eucharistic consecration within the Mass in the “vernacular language”, i.e. the one celebrated in the different national languages. The same could happen to the formulae of Baptism, Confirmation, Confession and of the other sacraments. In addition, the exchange of peace among the faithful during the Mass, which today takes place prior to the distribution of the Eucharist, could be anticipated (as in the Ambrosian rite) to the offertory so as not to disturb the recollection that precedes Communion.

These would be changes which would be added to the changes in the liturgy and regarding sacred vestments which the Pope, together with his Master of Ceremonies, Monsignor Guido Marini, has made in recent months, to recover ancient traditions: the restoration of the crucifix at the center of the altar, the distribution of Communion to the faithful in the mouth while kneeling, the recovery of the pastoral staff of Pius IX (the ferula), the changing of the style of pallium (the strip of white wool with red crosses worn by the Pope), the restoration of the papal throne used in the Consistory and the celebration of Mass with the back to the assembly, as happened in January in the Sistine Chapel.

Il rito della messa potrebbe cambiare. Secondo alcune indiscrezioni, Benedetto XVI avrebbe incaricato la Congregazione per il culto divino di studiare alcune modifiche alla liturgia. In particolare il Papa avrebbe intenzione di ripristinare il latino per la formula della consacrazione eucaristica nella messa in «lingua volgare», cioè quella celebrata nelle diverse lingue nazionali. Lo stesso potrebbe accadere per le formule del battesimo, della cresima, della confessione e degli altri sacramenti. Inoltre lo scambio della pace tra i fedeli durante la messa, che oggi avviene prima della distribuzione dell’eucarestia, potrebbe essere anticipato (come nel rito ambrosiano) all’offertorio per non disturbare il raccoglimento che precede la comunione.

Sarebbero modifiche che si aggiungerebbero ai cambiamenti alla liturgia e ai paramenti sacri che il Papa, insieme al suo cerimoniere, monsignor Guido Marini, ha compiuto in questi mesi, per recuperare antiche tradizioni: il ripristino del crocifisso al centro dell’altare, la distribuzione della comunione ai fedeli in bocca e in ginocchio, il recupero del pastorale di Pio IX (la ferula), la modifica della foggia del pallio (la striscia di lana bianca con croci rosse indossata dal Papa), il ripristino del trono papale utilizzato nel concistoro e la celebrazione della messa con le spalle all’assemblea, come avvenuto a gennaio nella Cappella Sistina.