Takin' it Easy
And, should you be interested, the talk was a look-forward to next week's trip to Valencia, where the Holy Father will preside at the World Meeting of Families:
“In so many secularized communities today,” said the pope, “the foremost urgency for believers in Christ is that of renewing the faith of adults, so that they may be able to communicate it to new generations. On the other hand, the journey of Christian initiation in boys and girls could become a useful occasion for parents to approach the Church and to delve more and more into the beauty and truth of the Gospel”.It's definitely summer at the Vatican. Further proof of this is that the Pope, together with his trusty secretary, Msgr Georg Ganswein, and the four laywomen of the Memores Domini who assist in the papal apartment, will be spending Tuesday night watching the World Cup semifinal pitting the German pontiff's native side against the Italians.
He said: “The family is all in all a living organism, in which a reciprocal flow of gifts is realized. The important thing is that the Word of God is never lacking, keeping the fire of faith alive. In a very significant gesture, during the rite of Baptism, the father or godfather lights a candle from the large Paschal Candle, the symbol of the Risen Christ, and then, turning to the family, the celebrant says: ‘Take care that your child, illuminated by Christ, lives always as a child of the light’.”
Benedict XVI continued: “For this gesture – in which there is all the meaning of transmission of faith in the family – to be authentic, it must be preceded and accompanied by the commitment of parents to deepen the knowledge of their faith, reviving the flame with prayer and the assiduous practice of the Sacraments of Confession and the Eucharist.”
This news comes from no less a source than Ganswein, who told the ADNKronos news agency that, indeed, Germany-Italy "is at the center" of discussion and interest in the papal apartments. A big-screen television is being brought in just for the occasion, to boot.
But who's the Ratzi-Bear rooting for? While Ganswein readily admitted to waving the flag for Germany, and the MD contingent are hard-core Italy fans, he made it known that "The Pope is always impartial and will have as great a heart on Tuesday for Germany as for the team of blue," a reference to the Italian side.
Apparently, on Friday, Georg was watching the match against Argentina that won Germany its semifinal berth. The Pope was by his side, holding up dinner for a few minutes to keep an eye.
"Che palpitazioni!" Ganswein said of the game, which the Germans won on penalty kicks.
PHOTO: AP/Plinio Lepri