A WEEKEND TO PAUSE AND PRAY
There has been so much sadness and anger and disappointment over the Pennsylvania Report on clerical sex abuse in the United States and reports and allegations of cover up that I think we’ve had our fill of bad news, at least for a day, perhaps for a weekend. I have no doubt that what we’ve read and heard is the proverbial tip of the iceberg and we’ll be flooded with more bad news in days and weeks to come, perhaps even longer.
I am sure you are pondering what you’ve heard and read this week. So am I.
Therefore, for the moment at least, for this weekend, I don’t want to further burden your mind or heart or soul with additional news on this subject. I’ve already posted a fair amount.
I hope and pray you will have a wonderful, relaxing, relatively carefree weekend with your family or a group of good friends.
I pray you go to Church with a new will to talk to the Lord, to His Mother, to ask for help for a badly wounded Church, for her faithful who are hurting like never before.
I pray the Eucharist will be an enormous help to you, that it will give you strength to see you through these hours and days and weeks. I pray it will help you pray for and support all of the Good Shepherds we know who have been such a huge and positive part of our lives. They too are hurting enormously.
I pray above all that any anger or disappointment or bitterness does not extend to the Church. The Church is the Bride of Christ. If her members are weak, the Church is strong and, as the Lord said, to Peter: “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.”
Interestingly enough, those words are in the Gospel of Matthew (16,13-17) for the February 22 Feast of the Chair of Peter. And here are the words of the Reading for that feast from 1 Peter 5. 1-4:
I exhort the presbyters among you,
as a fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ
and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed.
Tend the flock of God in your midst,
overseeing not by constraint but willingly,
as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly.
Do not lord it over those assigned to you,
but be examples to the flock.
And when the chief Shepherd is revealed,
you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
VATICAN INSIDER: INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW
This week I think I have a fun offering for you in what is normally the interview segment of Vatican Insider.
I call it “Inquiring Minds Want to Know,” not an original title but so named because I’m going to bring you some trivia, that is, some little known, and often unusual facts about the Vatican – some fun stories about the 7 hills of Rome, the papal coat of arms, the Paschal candle, Vatican City State, the Bridge of Angels, and the Vatican mosaic studio.
My previous such column was the weekend of July 22 when I wrote about the names of the 6 bells in the St. Peter’s Basilica bell tower, the story of the Vatican flag, the bronze mosaics on the basilica floor, the Teutonic cemetery in the Vatican and the mosaic of Mary on the outside of the Apostolic Palace that overlooks St. Peter’s Square.
So stay tuned for this after the news segment! Maybe I’ll even quiz you!
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