"Whilst for other creatures, who are not called to eternity, death means only the end of earthly existence, in us sin creates an abyss which risks swallowing us up forever, if the Heavenly Father does not reach out his hand towards us." These severe words, which contradict the openness of Paul VI regarding the possibility that animals also go to paradise, were spoken by Benedict XVI in the Sistine Chapel before the extraordinary fresco of Michelangelo of the Last Judgement. He did this during the homily of the mass which will be remembered for a long time: after 40 years, for the first time in fact, a Pope has celebrated with his back to the faithful, despite the fact that for the mass of the rite of baptism was chosen from the new post-conciliar missal in Italian, and not that of Pius V, notwithstanding the fact that from the 14th of September last Pope Ratzinger has liberalised the use of Latin.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
How wonderful to see the Holy Father confirm to the world that celebrating towards the liturgical East is still a legitimate option! I'm interested in what the media reaction will be however. The Italian newspaper La Repubblica has this rather banal report (translation mine):