MY COUSIN THE SAINT
A Search for Faith, Family, and Miracles
by Justin Calanoso

Posts Tagged ‘Pope Benedict XVI’

Pope John Paul II moves a step closer to sainthood

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Washington Post reports: “VATICAN CITY — During Pope John Paul II’s 2005 funeral, crowds at the Vatican shouted for him to be made a saint immediately. “Santo subito!” they chanted for one of the most important and beloved pontiffs in history. His successor heard their call. On Friday, in the fastest process on record, Pope Benedict XVI set May 1 as the date for John Paul’s beatification — a key step toward Catholicism’s highest honor and a major morale boost for a church reeling from the clerical sex abuse scandal.”

John Paul II, the busiest saint-maker in church history, approved each step in the process for the 2005 canonization of Padre Gaetano Catanoso. Pope Benedict XVI canonized Gaetano several months after JPII’s death. To learn more about saints and the canonization process, there are few sources better than My Cousin the Saint.

April 4, 1963

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

Today is Easter, of course. It is also the anniversary of the death of Padre Gaetano Catanoso. He was 84 on this day in 1963, when he died in his own bed in Santo Spirito in Reggio Calabria. Some hours before his death, Monsignor Sorrentino of Reggio visited his mentor and spoke with him about Saint Francis of Paola, the last saint named from Calabria (in the early 1500s). The mother general of Padre Gaetano’s order of nuns mentioned to the monsignor that Calabria was in needs of new saints. Thus, the idea was lodged. Sorrentino launched the cause for canonization in 1980 under Pope John Paul II. The canonization, led by Pope Benedict XVI, took place Oct. 23, 2005.

The future of Pope Benedict XVI

Friday, March 26th, 2010

As a Catholic, a relative of a saint, a citizen of the world, I want to state loudly and clearly that I am appalled at the actions of the Vatican regarding the priest sex abuse scandals, then and now. Specifically, I am outraged and offended by the pope’s restrained response.  Apologies are not enough. Taking responsibility, meting out long-overdue punishment and changing the culture of this church are boldly in order. If Benedict cannot lead on this issue, he must consider stepping down so that someone else will.

As much as the Vatican would want the world to believe otherwise, The New York Times is not out to get him. It’s only out to get the truth. And it is. For balance, today’s Times offers this story, too.

Pope gets knocked down in St. Peter’s

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

VATICAN CITY (AP) — A woman jumped the barriers in St. Peter’s Basilica and knocked down Pope Benedict XVI as he walked down the main aisle to begin Christmas Eve Mass on Thursday, a Vatican spokesman said.

Story here.

Vatican Defends Move to Sainthood for Wartime Pope

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

The NY Times reports today:

“ROME — In an effort to calm growing tensions with Jewish groups, the Vatican said Wednesday that Pope Benedict XVI had not moved the wartime Pope Pius XII closer to sainthood as an “act of hostility” against those who believe Pius did not do enough to stop the Holocaust.”

…This pope seems to have a difficult time avoiding controversy, from provoking Muslims to giving Holocaust-deniers a free pass to advancing the canonization cause of one of the most controversial popes of modern times. One has a right to ask: Why?

Research for my book revealed that Pius XII was not nearly the monster his critics accused him of being, nor was he the Nazi sympathizer he was charged with being either. The historical record seems to argue that Pius took great risks to hide and protect Jews in Italy during WWII in Vatican-owned property. That’s all good. But what, we must ask, is the purpose of canonization? Is it to simply honor the church’s best-known figures? Or is it to honor those who truly lived lives of heroic virtue, and whose lives can be an  inspiration to the faithful — role models for emulation? If Pius can truly pass the test of the latter, he deserves his shot at Catholic recognition. If, on the weight of the evidence, he cannot, than this cause should die and be done with.

But for a German pope to push this cause forward, it seems another case of the Vatican’s blindness to perceptions.

Closer to sainthood

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

giansanti of JPII
NYT reports here:

ROME — Pope Benedict XVI moved two of his predecessors a step closer to sainthood on Saturday, confirming the “heroic virtues” of John Paul II and, in a surprise move, those of Pius XII, the pope during World War II.

Ask and receive

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

(CNN) — “Shortly before he died from brain cancer, Sen. Ted Kennedy wrote a letter to Pope Benedict XVI. President Obama delivered the letter to the pontiff during his visit to the Vatican in July.” Kennedy’s letter and the pope’s response is here.

Newly named saints

Friday, May 1st, 2009

VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI named five new saints April 26, including Portugal’s 14th century independence leader and a priest who ministered to factory workers at the dawn of the industrial era. Speaking in a packed St. Peter’s Square, Benedict praised each of the five as a model for the faithful, saying their lives and works were as relevant today as when they were alive. Full story here.

The pope’s visit to L’Aquila

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Pope Benedict XVI was accompanied by more than 400 journalists as he toured the city of L’Aquila and surrounding villages for three hours on Tuesday. Powerful photos, too, at this link.

State funeral in Italy

Friday, April 10th, 2009

The Times today: L’AQUILA, Italy — Italy held a state funeral Friday for the victims of the country’s worst earthquake in three decades, as weeping relatives and officials assembled in a vast outdoor parade ground to mourn the 289 killed by the quake on Monday.

The photos, with the story, are heartbreaking.