Posts Tagged ‘Vatican’
Currently studying theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Jesuit Scholastic Michael Rogers recently had the opportunity to be in the Eternal City during the beatification of Pope John Paul II.
In an exclusive to National Jesuit News, Rogers shares his experience of the late pontiff’s beatification…
In the past few days it has always been crowded around the simplest tomb in St. Peter’s Basilica. This is not the tomb of St. Peter, with its grand Bernini Baldacchino, nor is it the one of the tombs of a pope surrounded by grand sculptures. This is a simple marble slab with the name of the pope buried there, engraved in red. The word around Rome is that the waiting list to offer a Mass at the altar of this tomb is already weeks long. Michelangelo’s Pietà, usually the main attraction in this section of the basilica, garners only a few visitors now. The crush of people has made it difficult to keep the Blessed Sacrament Chapel open lately, and so the tabernacle has shifted to the front of the church from where it usually resides. There, wedged between the chapels of the Pietà and the Blessed Sacrament, the resting place of Blessed John Paul II is simple, and yet there is a profound sense of the importance of this space to so many people.
When word broke back in January that John Paul II would be beatified last Sunday, I was among the first in my Jesuit community to say that I would be leaving Rome. Citing my desire to flee ahead of the crowds, I had planned to go south into the mountains of Calabria, or north to Tuscany. One thing, however, was sure. I was going to get out. Over the course of a couple of months my thoughts on this changed, though. The truth is that as the beatification day approached I wanted to be here more and more. When the invitation to distribute communion for the beatification arrived, all of my ideas about fleeing the city were cancelled, and I responded that I would be there.
It was 5:30am on the morning of May 1, 2011 and although tired, I headed off to a church event here in Rome. Wearing an old borrowed cassock, I crossed the Tiber not far from the General Curia of the Society and waited for the police escort to take us to where we would be distributing communion. In the crowd of over a million people, all around us you could hear languages from all over the world. There were groups of people singing and dancing. There was a sense of joy, and even among the many police who were clearly working overtime, there seemed to be a sense of relief that, for once, there was a gathering of people here in Rome that wasn’t a protest. The moment of this celebration was a moment to celebrate that one of us, someone whom we knew, had almost assuredly gone before us into the place where we all hope to go. Read the rest of this entry »
The Catholic Church needs active members who blog, but Catholic bloggers also need the church, especially to remind them of the virtue of charity needed in their writing, said participants at a Vatican meeting.
The meeting was sponsored by the pontifical councils for culture and for social communications. The councils accepted requests to attend, then drew the names of the 150 participants once the requests were divided according to geography, language and whether the blog was personal or institutional.
The Vatican meeting was not designed as a how-to seminar, and it was not aimed at developing a code of conduct, but rather to acknowledge the role of blogs in modern communications and to start a dialogue between the bloggers and the Vatican.
Archbishop Claudio Celli, president of Pontifical Council for Social Communications, welcomed the bloggers to the Vatican and told them the Vatican wanted to begin “a dialogue between faith and the emerging culture” that is the blogosphere.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, told the bloggers that while Pope Benedict XVI “is a person who does not Tweet or have a personal blog, he is very attentive and knows well what is happening in the world” and supports Catholic media efforts, as seen by his Good Friday television interview and by his book-length interview with the German writer Peter Seewald.
“Bloggers are important” for forming and informing church members, Father Lombardi said, but anyone who influences what Catholics think must recognize the responsibility that brings with it.
Father Lombardi said he had to thank bloggers for the times they acted to explain and spread church teaching and the thought of Pope Benedict.
But he also said that the whole question of bloggers’ self-centeredness and “ego” is “one of the problems which is worth reflecting on,” because while it is a danger for all communicators, a communicator who calls him- or herself Catholic must focus first on serving others.
By Sarah Delaney
Catholic News Service
A new Vatican exhibit highlights the life of a Jesuit missionary whose extraordinary intelligence, culture and open-mindedness helped him bring Christianity to imperial China four centuries ago.
The exhibit is part of a series of events marking the 400th anniversary of the death of Jesuit Father Matteo Ricci, an Italian Jesuit who spent 28 years evangelizing, absorbing Chinese culture and bringing Western science to the faraway Asian continent.
The show, which was to open Oct. 30 in the Braccio di Carlo Magno hall in St. Peter’s Square, is titled “On the Crest of History, Father Matteo Ricci (1552-1610): Between Rome and Peking” (the name formerly used for the Chinese capital Beijing).
It was Father Ricci’s scientific acumen and enthusiasm for cultural exchange that won the trust and admiration of the Ming Dynasty Emperor Wanli. The relationship ensured that he and his Jesuit brothers would have the freedom to evangelize, the show’s organizers explained in a news conference at the Vatican Oct. 28.
A proficient cartographer, Father Ricci was perhaps most appreciated for the maps of the world he made for the Chinese, who at the time had little knowledge of the other continents, said Antonio Paolucci, director of the Vatican Museums and head curator of the exhibit.
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