“I am for life”

This video of Italian singer Andrea Bocelli, recorded privately more than a year ago as part of a fundraiser for a new children’s home in Haiti, has been doing the rounds in the blogosphere these past days.

“Because of my personal convictions as a devout Catholic, I am not only fighting against something, I am fighting for something – and I am for life.”

– Andrea Bocelli

38 pallia on 29 June

The papal pallium, in the design introduced in 2008

On 28 June, the feast day of Saints Peter and Paul, 38 metropolitan archbishops will receive the pallium from Pope Benedict XVI. The 38 are archbishops which have been appointed in the past year, and the pallium is the symbol of their jurisdiction as bestowed upon them by the pope. It is therefore also a sign of the bond between the archbishops and Rome, and thus between the Church on the local level and the worldwide level.

A pallium bestowed signifies the pastoral power of an archbishop in an archdiocese and Church province, and is tied to that jurisdiction. If an archbishop is installed in another archdiocese (as happened in the past year to Archbishop Peter Smith, who moved from Cardiff to Southwark), he will receive a new pallium.

A metropolitan archbishop has supervisory rights in the so-called suffragan dioceses outside his own archdiocese. For example, in the Netherlands, Utrecht is the archdiocese and the other dioceses are are suffragans. Archbishop Wim Eijk of Utrecht can, for example, intervene in legal matters in the other Dutch dioceses

The Vatican Information Service has the complete list new metropolitans:

– Archbishop Luis Gerardo Herrera O.F.M. of Cuenca, Ecuador
– Archbishop Alex Thomas Kaliyanil S.V.D. of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
– Archbishop Gerard Tlali Lerotholi O.M.I. of Maseru, Lesotho
– Archbishop Antonio Fernando Saburido O.S.B. of Olinda and Recife, Brazil
– Archbishop Albert Legatt of Saint-Boniface, Canada
– Archbishop Gualtiero Bassetti of Perugia – Citta della Pieve, Italy
– Archbishop Andrea Bruno Mazzocato of Udine, Italy

Archbishop Mazzocato

– Archbishop Gabriel Mblinghi C.S.Sp. of Lubango, Angola
– Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, Philippines
– Archbishop Constancio Miranda Weckmann of Chihuahua, Mexico
– Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham, England
– Archbishop Juan Jose Asenjo Pelegrina of Seville, Spain.
– Archbishop Jerome Edward Lisecki of Milwaukee, U.S.A
– Archbishop Samuel Kleda of Douala, Cameroon

Archbishop Kleda

– Archbishop Jesus Sanz Montes O.F.M. of Oviedo, Spain
– Archbishop Anton Stres C.M. of Ljubljana, Slovenia
– Archbishop Joseph Atanga S.J. of Bertoua, Cameroon
– Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town, South Africa
– Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr of Cincinnati, U.S.A
– Archbishop Alberto Taveira Correa of Belem do Para, Brazil
– Archbishop Andre-Mutien [sic] Leonard of Mechelen-Brussels, Belgium

Archbishop Léonard

– Archbishop Antonio Lanfranchi of Modena – Nonantola, Italy
– Archbishop Dominik Duka O.P. of Prague, Czech Republic
– Archbishop Ricardo Antonio Tobon Restrepo of Medellin, Colombia
– Archbishop Jose Domingo Ulloa Mendieta O.S.A. of Panama, Panama
– Archbishop Francis Kallarakal of Verapoly, India
– Archbishop Desire Tsarahazana of Toamasina, Madagascar
– Archbishop Ricardo Blazquez Perez of Valladolid, Spain

Archbishop Ricardo Blazquez Perez

– Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-joong of Kwangju, Korea
– Archbishop Luis Madrid Merlano of Nueva Pamplona, Colombia
– Archbishop Thomas Gerard Wenski of Miami, U.S.A
– Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark, England
– Archbishop Jozef Kowalczyk of Gniezno, Poland
– Archbishop Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon of Hanoi, Vietnam

Archbishop Nguyen Van Nhon

– Archbishop Matthias Kobena Nketsiah of Cape Coast, Ghana
– Archbishop Bernard Bober of Kosice, Slovakia
– Archbishop Carlos Garfias Merlos of Acapulco, Mexico
– Archbishop Luigi Moretti of Salerno – Campagna – Acerno, Italy

Faith on the football field

Nu.nl announces that Wesley Sneijder, man of the match in both of the games the Dutch team has played in the World Cup, has recently become Catholic, while English team captain Wayne Rooney was blocked from answering a question about the cross and rosary he habitually wears.

Apparently, faith and football go well together, but it is still reason for a slightly amazed tone in media reports: wow, normal people can be Catholic too. The perceived amazement is not very surprising. One rarely sees the Catholic identity of people so clearly, unless the person in question is a priest or bishop, for example. The fact that Sneijder openly mentions that he was introduced to the Church, and Rooney’s rosary and cross (which he wears outside training, of course), are both subtle but potent witnesses of faith.

The bishop’s conference of South Africa, which also includes the bishops of Botswana and Swaziland, have created a website called Church on the Ball, for all news surrounding the World Cup and its meaning for South Africans and the Church. One specific initiative that I am quite sympathetic to is the so-called Peace Cup, a tournament of African teams organised by the Church. It takes place in the Atteridgeville township in Pretoria, and sees 26 teams from all over Africa competing. Notable is the fact that the teams who reach the semifinals and the finals will consist of multiple nationalities. As Father Kees Thönissen, OFM Cap, said:

Peace is built on inner values such as mutual respect and appreciation of difference. A football Peace Cup is a modest attempt to bring about value change through the immediate experience of the ‘other’ as a human being with unique qualities and skills. Large scale social transformation is arrived at through small scale relationships. It is our prayer that the ties of unity and understanding built up in the teams of this Peace Cup will spread as a leaven into South Africa’s burgeoning multi-ethnic society so in need for real examples of peacefulness.