Sunday, April 27, 2014

Now it's Official: St. John XXIII; and St. John Paul II

(From Reuters, via BBC News, used w/o permission.)
(Early arrivals at St. Peter's, Rome.)

About 1/1000th of the world's living Catholics were in Rome today, to be on hand for the canonization of two Popes: John XXIII and John Paul II. We don't have an exact count, since they didn't all fit in St. Peter's Square, but it looks like about a million Catholics came to be near, if not at, the ceremony.

(From BBC News, used w/o permission.)
(Several thousand of the folks who came to Rome, in St. Peter's Square.)

Most of us couldn't make it to Rome: and never will. That won't stop us from celebrating on our home turf, in culturally-appropriate ways: like these folks in the Philippines.

(From Reuters, via BBC News, used w/o permission.)
('Mini-popes' and Filipino 'Swiss Guards' in the Philippines.)

Two Millennia and Counting

I've heard that the 11 surviving Apostles and Matthias divided the known world into 12 sectors: one for each of them. Then they headed out, acting on the standing orders outlined in Matthew 28:19-20.

Communications weren't what they are today, but we're reasonably sure that they reached Armenia, Ethiopia, Carthage, Syria, and Persia. One of them made it as far as India. My ancestral homelands don't show up in traditions involving the 12: hardly surprising, since some of them were on the other side of barbarian lands bordering the Roman Empire.

Meanwhile, the authority my Lord gave Peter was passed along to Linus. Centuries rolled by, and so far the bark of Peter has had 264 senior officers on deck.

We're spread thin in some places, but today we live on every continent except Antarctica: and some scientists there have been Catholic, like Brother Consolmagno.

A few dozen Popes are recognized as Saints. Some were anything but. Then there was Benedict IX, who was Pope three times from 1032 to 1048.

As kingdoms, empires, and civilizations, rose and fell: the Church kept going, no matter who was Pope. I could have assumed that the Church 'just happened' to survive every crisis: and was on a millennia-spanning 'lucky streak:' or that the Church was getting outside help. More topics. (January 13, 2011)

Saints: It's What You Do

(From Dnalor 01, via Wikimedia Commons, license #CC-BY-SA 3.0, used w/o permission.)
(John XXIII's body, in the altar of Saint Jerome in St. Peter's.)

John XXIII wasn't declared a Saint because his body is in remarkably good condition, years after his death. The Church recognizes that as the result of embalming and a triple-sealed coffin.

He and John Paul II passed the usual qualifications for Sainthood: which include two verified miracles. Real miracles: not the 'miraculous face of Jesus in a jar of mayonnaise' fluff that gets in the papers now and then. (April 5, 2011; October 17, 2010)

As usual, news coverage of the canonization included 'analysis' that tried to ram Catholic beliefs into contemporary pigeonholes; some refreshingly accurate observations; and lots of pictures. BBC News did a reasonably good job, aside from a clueless analysis, and linked to a nine-item slide show.

(Reuters/BBC News, via BBC News, used w/o permission.)

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.