Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pope in the Box

No text on this one, obviously... still, a key -- indeed, unprecedented -- moment of this World Youth Day.

For the record, the Confessor-in-Chief of the hundreds who've filled the 200 booths at the "Festival of Forgiveness" in Madrid's Retiro Park was able to celebrate Reconciliation with three penitents, according to the wires.

As an aside, at this morning's Mass for Seminarians in the Spanish capital's Almudena cathedral, Benedict XVI made a rare move, announcing that he would "soon declare" the patron of the Spanish clergy -- the 16th century priest and preacher St John of Avila, a son of converts to the fold from Judaism -- a Doctor of the Church.

The group of the faith's great teachers now set to comprise 34 members who stretch to the door of the 20th century, the last Doctor to join the line came in 1997, when Blessed John Paul II added St Therese of Lisieux -- the celebrated "Little Flower" -- to their number.

As the French Carmelite mystic (who died at 24 in 1897) was preceded in 1970 by the first female Doctors -- Teresa of Avila and Catherine of Siena -- two of the last four to be named have hailed from Spain.