Saturday, October 17, 2009

On Grace

Yesterday morning, Pope Benedict received Prince Albert II of Monaco in private audience.

Head of Europe's longest-reigning dynasty, the 51 year-old head of the Grimaldi clan is best known in most places not so much for the statelet he calls home... but the starlet he called "Mom."

A month before what would've been Princess Grace's 80th birthday, Albert's courtesy visit to B16 came while the he was in Rome to open a special exhibit on his mother, who died at 52 in a 1982 car crash.

A daughter of St Bridget's parish in the River City's East Falls section, Grace Kelly -- who won a Best Actress Oscar for 1954's The Country Girl -- married Prince Rainier III in 1956.

Moved by yesterday's visit, Inside the Vatican's Bob Moynihan paid a tribute:
In his eulogy at her funeral Mass, the American actor James Stewart said: “You know, I just love Grace Kelly. Not because she was a princess, not because she was an actress, not because she was my friend, but because she was just about the nicest lady I ever met. Grace brought into my life as she brought into yours, a soft, warm light every time I saw her, and every time I saw her was a holiday of its own. No question, I'll miss her, we'll all miss her, God bless you, Princess Grace. ”

The traditional wisdom of the church taught us to disdain and despise all that is superficial, shallow, false, and artificial, and to embrace and defend all that is profound, deep, true and genuine.

We should return to that wisdom.

Our lives would be richer were we to embark on this journey.
In its post-audience statement, the Holy See said that Albert and Benedict discussed "the protection of natural resources and the environment... the importance of solid cultural and moral formation of the young, and the defense of life at all stages."

The latter was clearly linked to recent developments in the principality; earlier this year, Monaco's parliament unanimously passed a law ending the officially Catholic mini-state's total ban on abortion, permitting the procedure solely in "hard cases" including rape, deformity, and risk to the life of a mother.

Still a bachelor, Albert has fathered two children out of wedlock.

PHOTO: Reuters