Sunday, November 21, 2010

"The Logic of the Cross"... and Vuvuzelas in the Vatican

Over these days, B16 has delivered two memorable homilies, both drawn from the same theme: namely, that authority in the church derives itself not from "power as understood in human criteria," but through "the logic of the Cross," which reveals the true nature and meaning of the Kingdom of God.

Especially given the tie-in with this Christ the King weekend, it would've been wonderful to circulate these around quickly. However, as the Holy See failed to prepare translations into any other language, simply releasing the texts in their original Italian, a fuller treatment will have to wait... by which point most of the news-cycle, as ever, will have moved on.

Then again, it already has -- thanks to, as one Italian headline summarized it, "A condom on the consistory."

(For the record, the pontiff's widely-reported condom comments are among the least interesting aspects in Light of the World -- Papa Ratzi's much-awaited book-length interview with Peter Seewald -- which rolls out Wednesday... and which these pages will report on further once the requisite embargoes are sufficiently lifted.)

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Early this morning, in a phone interview from Rome, Pittsburgh's Bishop Dave Zubik was asked if any Terrible Towels were in evidence as a big Steeler Nation crowd witnessed the creation of the "City of Champions'" third living cardinal.

"No," Zubik replied between laughs. "I think the Pittsburgh folks would be respectful enough not to bring the Terrible Towel into the Basilica."

Still, such is the universality of the church that one delegation's "respect" is another's scruples.

Before yesterday morning's Consistory, a now-familiar sound bounced off the walls of St Peter's as at least one member of the Congolese delegation who've made their presence especially known this time took to blowing a Vuvuzela -- the much-remarked airhorns that marked this year's World Cup in South Africa.

Along those lines, led by US Ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney -- a daily communicant... and the High Priest of the Steeler faithful -- the Wuerl delegation has one last chance to show Black and Gold on Vatican soil: the DC cardinal will celebrate his Mass of Thanksgiving tomorrow at the Altar of the Chair in St Peter's.

Suffice it to say, Burghers, have at it.

PHOTOS: AP(1,2), Getty(3)