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Organizers of this year's World Youth Day say the figures for registration and requests to volunteer are higher than ever and auger well for a successful gathering in Madrid in August.
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Pope Benedict will travel in greener style in the future when a project for a new hybrid popemobile gets off the drawing board and on to the road, a papal spokesman said.
Members of the College of Cardinals celebrated Pope Benedict's 60th anniversary of his priestly ordination by making a personal donation to pay for a special lunch for hundreds of poor people living in Rome.
Archbishop Gerald Lacroix of Quebec waves after greeting Pope Benedict.
The appointment of Cardinal Angela Scola, patriarch of Venice for the past nine years, as the archbishop of Milan, Europe's largest diocese, has entrenched his name as the top Italian candidate when a new pope is chosen. Many observers see Scola as worthy in his own right. But the fact that three 20th century popes had previously served as patriarch of Venice and two as archbishop of Milan only heightens the likelihood that Scola will be seen as a serious candidate.
Two contraries cannot co-exist inside the same subject. Aristotle wrote that and it seems to say the obvious; something can't be light and dark at the same time.
However, in terms of what's happening inside our souls it seems that contraries can indeed co-exist inside the same subject.
Prayer comforts — sometimes. It can be an entreaty, murmured in despair, sometimes riddled with tears. Or a memorized string of words, said in monotone rote. Or a whispered "Thank you" to God. So many variations, the variety intoned according to the mood or occasion of the moment.
Often, prayer is not valued, thought to be the refuge of the weak. One cleric, describing a problem, laughed at a reception, asking, "Are we so desperate we've turned to prayer?"
The feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, June 29, is kept with suitable solemnity in Rome, with the pope offering Mass at St. Peter's on the patronal feast of his diocese.
Ten years ago, in 2001, Blessed John Paul asked Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to celebrate the Mass in his stead. It was the 50th anniversary of Ratzinger's priestly ordination, June 29, 1951, and the honour of offering the patronal Mass in the pope's presence was thought both a tribute to Ratzinger's long service, and, perhaps, a prelude to a farewell earnestly sought by Ratzinger himself.
In your previous column on Our Lady of Good Counsel, you mention that a pope "granted an office" or "approved a new Mass" for Our Lady. Can you tell me what the significance of "an office" is in this context.
Last month, I gave an address at the Atlanta Eucharistic Congress, which is one of the most impressive gatherings in the American Catholic Church. Roughly 30,000 people came together, on the eve of the feast of Corpus Christi, to celebrate the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.