One to watch

Today, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop Francesco Moraglia as Patriarch of Venice. The 58-year-old prelate succeeds Cardinal Angelo Scola, who was transferred to Milan in June of last year. Patriarch Moraglia has a virtually certain shot at a red hat at some future consistory and will be one to watch, if only because Venice gave the Church no less than three popes in the last century-and-a-bit: Pope Saint Pius X, Blessed Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul I.

Photo credit: La Nazione

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Pope’s first pastoral visit of the season to take off tomorrow

Pope Benedict XVI’s first pastoral visit of the season, set to take off tomorrow, will technically take him abroad, but not very far. The Patriarchal See of Venice will be his host for a two-day visit, specifically the cities of Aquileia (on Saturday), Mestre and Venice (on Sunday) . Having provided three popes (Saint Pope Pius X, Blessed Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul I) in the twentieth century alone, the See of Venice is an ancient and venerable one in the Catholic Church in Italy and the world. It is currently helmed by Patriarch Angelo Cardinal Sodano.

Pope Benedict’s visit will feature encounters with faithful, a his attending a preparatory meeting for Pentecost 2012’s Congress of Aquileia, the veneration of the relics of St. Mark, and outdoor Mass, a meeting with cultural and economical representatives, the blessing of a recently restored chapel in the Basilica of St. Mark and the inauguration of the Studium Generale Marcianum library.

As usual, I’ll do my best to provide some interesting ‘papal soundbytes’ of the Holy Father’s various addresses, homilies and interviews.

The Official Acts of the Holy See, and lots of them

A wealth of historical information has been made digitally available by the Vatican: the official Acts of the Holy See from 1865 to 2007. That covers the papacies of Popes Pius IX, Leo XII, Pius X, Benedict XV, Pius XI, Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, as well as the unification of Italy, two Vatican Councils, the challenge of modernism, the publication of the first Code of Canon Law, two world wars, the creation of the Vatican City State and the cold war. A lot of topics which directly affected the Vatican and the Catholic Church and which resulted in many hundreds of pages of documents.

Browsing is not really useful with this collection, since the PDF files take while to load, due to their size. And it requires a working knowledge of Italian, but all the same: it’s a treasure chest of information.

Now to learn Italian…