- New deacon welcomed at St John Neumann
- CRS CEO Woo visits Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in High Point
- College students spend weekend 'awakening' their faith
- Postcard from Kingston: My impressions of our parish mission trip to Jamaica
- 'Yankee' turned Southern pastor reflects on 60 years as a priest
- Nuns get on the bus for immigration reform
- Military Mass planned for July 7
Some may protest, but young will welcome pope in Spain, spokesman says
VATICAN CITY — Protests planned against Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Madrid Aug. 18-21 are "not worrying or surprising" to the Vatican, particularly because "there are hundreds of thousands of young people who will be happy to welcome the pope," the Vatican spokesman said.
Groups opposed to government and church spending for the pope's visit have planned a protest Aug. 16, the opening day of World Youth Day.
Briefing reporters Aug. 12 about the papal trip, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi said, "It seems to me that before every papal trip there are demonstrations by people who have a different opinion and use the occasion to express their problems or concerns .... It's part of life in a democratic country."
Father Lombardi also acknowledged the failure of efforts to keep the location of the next World Youth Day secret until Pope Benedict announces it at the final Mass Aug. 21.
He told reporters that at the end of the Mass, young people from Spain will pass the World Youth Day cross to their peers from Brazil, who will host the gathering in Rio de Janeiro in 2013. The Vatican decided not to wait three years for the international gathering because in 2014 Brazil is scheduled to host the World Cup soccer tournament and will have its hands full.
Father Lombardi also said that with 800 bishops registered, one-fifth of the world's active bishops will be in Madrid.
The spokesman said that among the meetings, Masses and prayer services the pope will have in Madrid, one of the most striking is likely to be the Way of the Cross prayer service Aug. 19.
A series of sculptures used in Holy Week processions in several Spanish cities will be set up along a major Madrid street. Young people representing nations or groups of people suffering, either because of natural disasters or human action, will carry a cross from station to station. Young people from the Holy Land, Rwanda and Haiti -- among others -- will be joined by those who are unemployed, are recovering from addiction or who volunteer to assist people living with HIV and AIDS, Father Lombardi said.
The meditations, written by Sisters of the Cross in Seville, will be read over a loudspeaker and include explicit acknowledgments of those who suffer. The introduction of the text said the idea is to let them know Jesus is with them, "he takes on their pain and walks at their side."
The meditations offer prayers for peace, for those who are discriminated against because of their faith, for immigrants and for those addicted to alcohol, drugs and other substances. They remember the unemployed and those who work to defend the life of the unborn.
The end of the ninth station -- Jesus Is Stripped of his Garments -- says, "Jesus suffers with all those who are victims of human genocide where brutal violence explodes, or victims of rape and sexual abuse, affecting children and adults. How many people are stripped of their dignity, of their innocence, of their trust in man?"
— Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service
Father Patrick Winslow: What can we learn from Pope Francis?
It appears as if popes have something on their mind when first elected. One might call it a diagnosis and a proposed remedy for current ails. With Pope John Paul II, it was a message of hope to a world filled with fear. One can still hear him...Read More...
David Hains: Close that unhealthy health center
The Gosnell abortion mill in Philadelphia and A Preferred Woman's Health Center in Charlotte have something in common: little regard for human life. It should come as no surprise that women are being mistreated in these facilities since...Read More...
Peggy Bowes: Honor thy mother: Devotions to Mary
"We never give more honor to Jesus than when we honor His Mother, and we honor her simply and solely to honor Him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek – Jesus, her Son." — St. Louis de Montfort,...Read More...
Arts & Entertainment
McLeansville artist sees his work as evangelization
GREENSBORO — One gift changed Paul Nixon's life. Today the McLeansville man is a working artist, with sculptures on display throughout Guilford County. His latest, a sculpture of the Lamb of God, was installed at St. Thomas More Church...Read More...
For the love of painting: Lifesize portrait painted of Monsignor Marcaccio
GREENSBORO — Last month Monsignor Anthony Marcaccio, pastor of St. Pius X Church in Greensboro, was hung. On a wall. In the church. Last year, St. Pius X parishioners hired up-and-coming British artist Nancy Fletcher to paint a life-size...Read More...
Shroud of Turin broadcast set for Holy Saturday
DENVER — Pope Benedict XVI's decision to allow a TV broadcast of the Shroud of Turin on March 30, Holy Saturday, has been lauded by experts for highlighting the link between the shroud and the death and resurrection of Christ. "Pope Benedict...Read More...