INSIDE THIS WEEK’S PAPER
ABBOT CHRISTOPHER JAMISON OF WORTH URGES YOU TO HUG A POLITICIAN PAGE 20
LETTER TO A CONFUSED CATHOLIC
AIDAN NICHOLS ADDRESSES DOUBTS ABOUT VATICAN II, ROME AND THE SSPX PAGES 8-9
Benedict says bones may belong to St Paul
www.catholicherald.co.uk July 3 2009 £1.20 (Republic of Ireland €1.70)
Archbishop Nichols receives the pallium in St Peter’s Basilica
BY ANNA ARCO
A SCIENTIFIC investigation seems to confirm the theory that St Paul’s bones lie under the basilica bearing his name in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI has announced.
The bones, long buried in a sarcophagus under St Paul Outside the Walls in Rome, have been carbondated to the first or second century AD, the Pope said, adding a dramatic flourish to the close of the Pauline year.
Standing in front of the sarcophagus, which is under the main altar and was discovered only three years ago, Pope Benedict said he felt moved to be able to make the announcement.
The Holy Father said: “This seems to confirm the unanimous and uncontested tradition that these are the mortal remains of the Apostle Paul, and it fills our heart with profound emotion.”
He explained that a micro-probe was inserted into the sarcophagus and found fragments of costly goldembroidered purple linen, grains of incense and human bones. Researchers who did not know where the fragments were coming from or what they were thought to be performed radiocarbon tests, dating the pieces to the first or second century. The sarcophagus was not opened for the tests.
Tradition has maintained that the bones of St Paul were buried in Rome after his martyrdom in the city in the first century AD. Some fragments are believed to be in the Basilica of St John Lateran but most of the body is thought to be buried in St Paul’s.
Pope Benedict caused a stir when he announced the celebration of the Pauline year on the Feast of Ss Peter and Paul in 2007, saying that the
sarcophagus preserved the remains of St Paul “by the unanimous opinion of experts and an undisputed tradition”.
Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, the archpriest of St Paul Outside the Walls, said that the sarcophagus, which dates from the fourth century, would be opened for further tests. He said it would be “important to avoid even the smallest damage”. It was also announced this week that the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology has discovered the oldest-known icon of the Apostle.
Ending the Pauline year with the First Vespers at St Paul Outside the Walls, Pope Benedict said St Paul was the Master of the Gentiles “who wished to carry the message of the risen Christ to all men and women, because Christ has known and loved them all, He died and rose again for them all”.
The Pope called upon the faithful not to “succumb to the blueprint of the current age”.
He said: “The phrase ‘adult faith’ has become a common slogan over recent decades. It is often understood as the attitude of those who no longer listen to the Church and her pastors, but autonomously choose what they wish to believe and not to believe: a sort of ‘do-it-yourself’ faith. This is also presented as the ‘courage’ to go against the Magisterium of the Church.”
Benedict XVI said that adhering to the faith of the Church when it contradicted the modern world required courage.
He said: “It is the ‘non-conformity’ of faith that Paul calls ‘adult faith’. What he considers childlike is to charge after all the winds and currents of the age.”
Editorial comment: Page 13
Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster greats Pope Benedict after receiving his second pallium in St Peter’s Basilica on Monday
BY MARK GREAVES
ARCHBISHOP Vincent Nichols of Westminster has said he was “honoured and moved” to receive a pallium from Pope Benedict XVI this week.
He was one of 34 archbishops to kneel before the Pope on Monday and have a white woollen band, known as a pallium, placed on his shoulders. He said the ceremony would always remind him of the strong tie between the Pope and the bishops of the Church. The pallium signified “the office of shepherd”, he said.
“Most importantly this office is exercised in union with the Pope, the visible centre of unity in the Church. Every time I wear the pallium I will recall this moment and our union with the Holy Father.”
Archbishop Nichols now has two palliums – he received one as Archbishop of Birmingham. He cannot wear the first, though, because it cannot be transferred to another metropolitan province. Instead it must be kept in a safe place, for when he dies he will be buried in it.
In his homily Pope Benedict
said bishops were called to watch over the faithful not like “prison guards” but like shepherds who viewed their flock with love and concern. The First Letter of St Peter, he said, describes Jesus as “the bishop of souls”. “This means that he sees us from God’s perspective. Watching from God’s point of view, he has a vision of the whole and he sees dangers as well as hopes and possibilities,” the Pope said.
He said that those appointed to serve the Church as bishops must model their ministry on that of Christ. Watching over the faith
ful, the Pope said, “certainly does not mean surveillance as is fitting for a prison guard. Rather it means seeing from on high, from the heights of God.”
The words “bishop” and “shepherd” are almost interchangeable, he said. “To shepherd the flock means to be careful that the sheep find the right nourishment,” which for Christians is the word of God, he said. Shepherds also “must know how to resist enemies, the wolves. He must lead, indicating the path and preserving the unity of the flock,” the Pope added.
Bishops also have a responsibility to help people see the Christian faith not “simply as a tradition, but to recognise it as the answer to our questions”, he said.
But to discover the relevance of faith for everyday life, the Pope said, it is not enough just to think things through or to hear explanations. “We need the experience of faith, a living relationship with Jesus Christ. Faith must not remain a theory; it must be lived,” he said.
Pastor Iuventus: Page 17
Pope Benedict XVI finally signs long-awaited first social encyclical
BY ANNA ARCO
POPE BENEDICT signed his new encyclical Caritas in Veritate this week following a twoyear delay in its publication.
The Holy Father announced on Monday that he had signed the long-awaited encyclical whose title translates as “Love in Truth”.
He confirmed that the encyclical dealt with the social themes in Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Populorum Progressio , and said it aimed “to delve
more deeply into certain aspects of the integral development of our age in the light of charity and truth”.
Speaking to the pilgrims gathered in St Peter’s Square on the Solemnity of St Peter and St Paul, Pope Benedict said: “To your prayers I entrust this latest contribution made by the Church to mankind, in her commitment to sustainable development while fully respecting human dignity and the real needs of everyone.”
But shortly after the Pope’s announcement it emerged that the publication of the document had been delayed yet again. According to the Italian press, this was because Vatican translators were struggling to translate the encyclical.
Veteran Vatican-watcher John Allen predicted that the encyclical would be anti-climactic as it had been expected for so long and the Italian papers have already leaked sections of it.
The Italian newspaper Cor
riere della Sera reported that the new encyclical would not attack globalisation per se, but would suggest the need for more regulation and a stronger ethical system guiding it.
It was likely to say that the financial crisis was the result of a “deficit of ethics in the economic structures” which could only be reformed by the establishment of a common code and structure.
The encyclical will be published on July 7, the Vatican said on Wednesday.
Vatican newspaper mourns King of Pop
Astronaut to take new Thérèse relic to space
BY STAFF REPORTER
MICHAEL JACKSON will never die “in the imagination of fans”, the Vatican’s newspaper said after the pop star’s death.
Marcello Filotei, writing in L’Osservatore Romano, compared the death of the 50-year-old King of Pop to that of Elvis Presley.
Noting that Jackson was a “child prodigy” with an “ex
traordinary soul voice”, Mr Filotei acknowledged the pop star’s many successes, such as his 1982 album Thriller , “known even by those unfamiliar with this genre of music”.
The writer noted elements of the singer’s life that drew wide criticism, including allegations of child sex abuse.
“But no accusation, however serious or shameful, is enough to tarnish his myth among his millions of fans throughout the entire world,” wrote Mr Filotei.
Nick Thomas: Page 12
BY STAFF REPORTER
THE US ASTRONAUT who carried relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux into space and put them in orbit around the earth has pledged to take more relics of the saint with him on his next mission.
On a Discovery shuttle mission a year ago, Colonel Ronald Garan, pictured right , took the relics given to him by a Carmelite community in New
Caney, Texas. The astronaut had called the women religious before his space flight to ask for prayers, and at that time he told them he could take a small item
into space on behalf of the
Garan said that he
would be bringing
a second relic of
the saint to space on his next mission, which is scheduled for March 2011.
Patrick West: Page 12
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