Immediately after Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation, reports circulated that he would be bumped back to a cardinal, which I passed along to you. This made sense at the time, because there can be only one pope.
It turns out that the Holy Father will have a new title designed to express his unique position in the Church as a living, but not sitting, Pope. His title will be: “His Holiness, Benedict XVI, Bishop Emeritus of Rome.”
That sounds a lot better — and more accurate — than calling him “Cardinal Ratzinger” once again. That idea made me sad and I am glad it’s not going to happen.
Frank Weathers, who blogs at Why I Am Catholic, has details. Check it out here.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The pope took his opposition to gay marriage to new heights Friday, denouncing what he described as people manipulating their God-given gender to suit their sexual choices — and destroying the very “essence of the human creature” in the process.
Benedict XVI made the comments in his annual Christmas speech to the Vatican bureaucracy — one of his most important speeches of the year. He dedicated it this year to promoting family values in the face of vocal campaigns in France, the United States, Britain and elsewhere to legalize same-sex marriage.
In his remarks, Benedict quoted the chief rabbi of France, Gilles Bernheim, in saying the campaign for granting gays the right to marry and adopt children was an “attack” on the traditional family made up of a father, mother and children.
“People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given to them by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being,” he said. “They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves.”
“The manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man’s fundamental choice where he himself is concerned,” he said. (Read more here.)
Henry VIII had Will Sommers, the court jester, who got away with saying things to Henry that would have made anyone else who said them “shorter by a head.”
In present-day America, we have jesters from every point on the political compass vying for our laughs. Unfortunately, a good number of these people are soooo political and their humor is soooo mean that it’s only funny in a nasty, gotcha sort of way. The power of good humor is its pretense-stripping honesty. But a lot of today’s politically-motivated humor is as dishonest as most campaign ads.
Humor can show us truths that are right in front of us but that we don’t see, probably because they are right in front of us. If it’s well done, it can do this in a way that illuminates and edifies. If it’s powered by malice, it can simply hurt.
Every so often a bit of humor comes along that illuminates a current reality and gives us a laugh along with it. That’s satire, and satire is what The Onion dishes up in its latest offering on the Holy Father, titled “Pope To Identify With Catholic Youth By Giving Up On Catholicism.”
The attitudes this bit of spoofery points out regularly show up in Public Catholic’s comboxes. That may be why I found it so funny. First Things put this Onion piece on their site, and I’m going to link to it here:
And, oh yes Bill S, this one’s for you.
What would you ask the Holy Father if you could?
Generations of Christians could never have dreamed of such a possibility. But now you and I have the opportunity ask Pope Benedict XVI our questions.
His Holiness has a new twitter account, @Pontifex. Anyone who wants can tweet the Pope with questions and thoughts.
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the internet trolls are out in force, tweeting insults and their usual hate-filled comments. These people and their pathological hatred of the Church and Christ never miss a chance to show themselves for what they are.
I am hoping that Public Catholic readers can do a lot better. Please don’t be afraid to go to twitter and ask your questions of the Holy Father at @Pontifex. My experience in public life has been that the negative and destructive people are only too eager to push everyone aside and make all sorts of noise while the nice people you really want to hear from hang back for fear of being a nuisance.
Please let our Holy Father know that we appreciate his willingness to hear from us in this time of crisis for our faith and for the world. I have no doubt that above all things, what he wants to accomplish with this twitter account is genuine communication with his children in Christ.
I’m excerpting a December 2 post about the Pope’s twitter account by Kathy Schiffler, who blogs here at Patheos at Seasons of Grace. Kathy says in part:
Now You, Too, Can “Follow” Pope Benedict, Get
News As It Happens
That’s because Pope Benedict XVI’s new Twitter account will be activated—so you’ll be able to “follow” the Pope and receive brief, up-to-the-minute news from the Vatican in real time.
At a press conference scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Rome time (that’s 5:30 a.m. Eastern Time here in the U.S.), the Pope’s Twitter account will be officially launched at a press conference in the Holy See Press Office. Present for the occasion will be a number of familiar Vatican communicators whom I met last year at the Vatican Blogfest: Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications; Monsignor Paul Tighe, secretary of the same dicastery; and Father Federico Lombardi, S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office. Also present will be the editor of L’Osservatore Romano, Professor Gian Maria Vian, and the Holy See Secretariat of State’s American-born media advisor, Greg Burke. (Read more here.)