Monday, September 04, 2006

September at Castel Gandolfo

With August behind, the Pope has started to ease out of vacation mode and begun receiving official visitors again.

The ad limina visits have kicked back into gear from their summer recess, as the first group of the bishops of Ontario met individually with Benedict XVI this morning, led by Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic of Toronto and his three auxiliaries. (Keep in mind that Ambrozic is soon to retire; the questionnaires on potential successors went out eons ago....)

Following their meetings with the dicasteries and collective audience with the pontiff, the prelates of Canada's largest province will go to Assisi, where they'll be led in retreat by the preacher of the Papal Household, Capuchin Fr Raniero Cantalamessa. On their quinquennial visit earlier this year, the bishops of Quebec also enjoyed a retreat from the papal preacher, who made headlines this year for the Good Friday homily in which he castigated The DaVinci Code, and infuriated many traditionalists by citing another Brown -- the scripture scholar Raymond.

In other Vatican Reawakening news, the Holy See announced this morning that on Thursday, a press conference will be held to present "The Rise of the Gospel: The Presence of the Holy See in the Life of the People," a commemorative volume of the significant speeches of Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the retiring Secretary of State.

Given the anticipated lovefest atmosphere of the event, the event could also be known as "The Rise of the Widows," but that's another story for another day....

Cardinal Sodano will perform one last bishop-making this Wednesday, when he ordains Archbishop-elect James Green, the newly-named apostolic nuncio in South Africa and Namibia, at the Altar of the Chair in St Peter's Basilica.

A delegation from Green's hometown of Philadelphia leaves today for Rome.