Friday, March 24, 2006

Creatio ex nihilo ...

As a philosophical wag once remarked, only God and the Pope can create something out of nothing ... :-) The Holy Church of Rome has 15 new cardinals. Definitely check out the liveblog report from Michael Paulson of the Globe, a huge mega-post at American Papist, and of course that Pennsylvania based Vaticanista(Where I found the link to the photo above). Most interesting (well, not most ... ) that there is a wi-fi spot on the top of Bernini's collonade! (And I totally get it when Paulson mentions the bizarre "German-Latin-Italian" accent of the Pope. It's really Italian with a strong German accent. His Italian sounds so ... well ... German!) The tituli were announced, with the new Cardinal Archbishop of Boston getting S. Maria della Vittoria (as Rocco notes, someone shouted "Lepanto" when that was announced! A reference to the battle of Lepanto - the defeat of the Ottoman fleets there in 1500 - which is the victory the church commemorates, and, by implication, of the importance of current relations with Islam, one could say), right next door to the titulus of the former Cardinal Arcbhishop of Boston, Bernard Law, at S. Susanna (the Paulist-run American parish in Rome). S. Marai della Vittoria is also home to Bernini's famous Ecstasy of St. Theresa.

I wonder if EWTN will rebroadcast the service? I mean it's all good for the Vaticanisti to wake up at 4 am -- but this ain't a Papal funeral, so I slept. :-) Ah yes ... 6pm tonight. VCR! (No TiVo here! :-)

Anyway. I love this stuff. The pageantry. The pomp. I know there are many who look askance at all of this. Too triumphalistic. Too ritualistic. Too anachronistic. I cannot disagree more. This - the ceremonies, the rituals, the whole darned range of proudly anachronistic stuff is definitely part of what I so love about being Catholic. Of course, this "isn't what it's about." That's the Gospel. (Hey, and read the Pope's homily at the event. He wasn't about to let anyone forget that!) But these visible manifestations of ecclesial communion are so important. Especially in an era where everything would be dissolved by the vitriol of a secularism (and a mediocrity) that rages at any manifestation of the religious that is vibrant, and joyful, and beautiful.

Ok, I got a bit carried away there. :-)

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