Thursday, April 07, 2005


The tributes and the flood of pilgrims continue. The city is plastered with posters bidding the Supreme Pastor farewell. The lastest flurry read 'A Dio' - 'To God'. I had the privilege of assisting a Cardinal at a Mass for the Pope. Amongst the many other fine things he said, he reflected that whilst the late Pope was abundantly endowed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, what struck him most was the Holy Father's wisdom - that gift which allows us to understand the things of this world in their relationship with God. This, he saw, was the foundation of the Holy Father's pastoral and intellectual labours.
Today we eagerly await the publication of the Pope's message to the chuch as left in his spiritual testament. The Cardinals heard a draft Italian translation yesterday. The Italian press say that it was written in stages, from 1979 to 2002 and that the Holy Father specifically disdained writing a 'monumental' spiritual testament.
Ironic Headline of the Week
Stalin is said to have asked (in reference to Pius XII) 'How many divisions does the Pope have?' I saw a lady reading today's copy of the Communist paper 'Il Manifesto'. The front page consisted of a photo of the unprecedeneted queue to view the Pope's remains and bore the headline 'The Divisions of the Pope.'

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