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Online Edition: September 2010
Vol. XVI, No. 6

News & Views

Pope Benedict’s “Working Holiday”: Writing Books | Pope to Proclaim Gaudí’s “Holy Family” Church a Basilica | Delegate Appointed to Oversee Legionaries Reform | Catholic Scholars: The Church in America

Pope Benedict’s “Working Holiday”: Writing Books

During his annual vacation, Pope Benedict intends to complete work on the third volume of Jesus of Nazareth, his account of the life of Christ. The first volume, which focused on the period from Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration, appeared in 2007, and has been a best-seller ever since.

The second volume, on the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus, was completed last year and is awaiting translation into multiple languages before being published. It is expected to appear in English in the spring of 2011.

The third volume of this three-part series — the one Pope Benedict is presently working on — will be reflections on the childhood and youth of Jesus, according to Vatican reports.

Another book by Pope Benedict on Jesus was released in July — this one intended for young children. Titled Jesus and His Friends, the 48-page illustrated book was compiled from excerpts of the pope’s Wednesday general audiences, according to the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.

Spanish priest Father Julian Carron, president of the Communion and Liberation movement, wrote the opening of the children’s book. The Vatican Information Service (July 22) quoted part of this:

Once upon a time there was a small group of men who, one day two thousand years ago, met a young man who walked the roads of Galilee. Each had his own job and family but, in an instant, their lives changed. They were called Andrew and John, Peter, Matthew, Thomas, etc. They were twelve and we know them today as the “Apostles”.... In Jerusalem at that time everyone knew that they were Jesus’ “friends”.... Later they were joined by St. Paul ... who from being a persecutor of Christians became the greatest witness to Jesus.

In this book, Father Carron explained, Pope Benedict “takes us by the hand and accompanies us as we discover who Jesus’ first companions were, how they met Him and were conquered by Him to the point that they never abandoned Him”.

The Holy Father’s book for children was published in Italian, but is expected to appear in English and other languages soon.

Pope to Proclaim Gaudí’s “Holy Family” Church a Basilica

More than a century after construction began on the unique church designed by the equally unique Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926), the interior is finally complete enough to be used for Mass. Pope Benedict XVI will dedicate and declare the famous Sagrada Familia (Holy Family) church a basilica when he visits Spain in November.

Pope Benedict will dedicate the church during a Mass on November 7, according to a press report July 23 from Cardinal Lluís Martínez Sistach, archbishop of Barcelona.

Construction began on the church in 1882. Gaudí supervised construction until his death, though work continued until 1935, when it was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War. New architects and builders continued Gaudí’s plans and designs, and the interior is now completed sufficiently to dedicate the church for worship. The construction of Sagrada Familia is now expected to be complete in 2026 — one hundred years after the death of its visionary architect.

Delegate Appointed to Oversee Legionaries Reform

On June 16, Pope Benedict XVI appointed as Pontifical Delegate for the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, CS, President of the Prefecture of Economic Affairs of the Holy See. Archbishop De Paolis is a member of the Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo (Scalabrinians).

In his letter appointing Archbishop De Paolis to oversee the Legionaries, the Holy Father wrote, “I confer on you the task of governing this religious institute in my name for as long as it takes to carry out the path of renewal and lead it to the celebration of an extraordinary General Chapter, whose main purpose will be to bring to completion the revision of the Constitutions”.

The news of Archbishop Di Paolis’s appointment was made public July 9, and on that date the Secretariat of State issued a decree that grants the Pontifical Delegate full authority over the Legionaries and Regnum Christi. An English translation of the decree was published by Zenit internet news agency: zenit.org/article-29984?l=english.

On May 1, the Secretariat of State issued a communiqué summarizing the results of the Apostolic Visitation of the Legionaries that revealed

The very grave and objectively immoral actions of Father Maciel, confirmed by incontrovertible testimonies, in some cases constitute real crimes and manifest a life devoid of scruples and authentic religious meaning. This life was unknown to the great majority of the Legionaries, above all because of the system of relationships constructed by Father Maciel, who was able skillfully to create alibis for himself, to obtain trust, confidence and silence from those around him, and to reinforce his personal role as a charismatic founder”.

(The communiqué is accessible on the Vatican web site: http://www.vatican.va/resources/resources_comunicato-legionari-cristo-2010_en.html.)

Catholic Scholars: The Church in America

Catholicism in America is the theme for the 33rd Annual Convention of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, which will take place in Baltimore, the mother diocese of the United States. The event will be held September 24-26 at the Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel.

Archbishop Edward O’Brien of Baltimore and Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver will both address the convention.

Dr. James Hitchcock of St. Louis University will present the keynote address on Friday evening, “The Church Universal in America”.

Archbishop Chaput’s address, “Life in the Late Republic: The Catholic Role in America After Virtue” will be presented on Sunday morning.

Archbishop O’Brien will celebrate Mass at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the basilica and will address the Fellowship during the banquet on Saturday evening.

Other featured speakers include Dr. Glenn Olsen (University of Utah), Dr. Christopher Shannon (Christendom College), Dr. David Schindler (John Paul II Institute), Father Michael Roach (Arch- diocese of Baltimore), Father Joseph Rossi, SJ, and Dr. Sue Abromaitis (Loyola University of Maryland).

For further information, and to register online, please visit Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Annual Convention web site: www2.catholicscholars.org/Default.aspx?pageId=361465&eventId=90485&EventViewMode=EventDetails.

Contact James Shank via e-mail - james.shank@www2.catholicscholars.org, or phone 1-866-837-5182.

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