Archive of October 15, 2003

Pope Not Resigning Any Time Soon

Vatican City, Oct 15, 2003 (CNA) - Pope John Paul II still can carry out his mission and shows no sign of resigning, several cardinals told media outlets yesterday.  

"He still seems to be able to do it," Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, archbishop of Washington, D.C., told the Associated Press yesterday. "As long as God lets him do it, he's going to continue doing it."  

On several occasions, the pope said clearly that he does not intend to resign.  

Francis Cardinal George, archbishop of Chicago, said the pope sees value in continuing his pontificate “as a weakened man, a man who isn't up to the physical standards that you would associate with him even a few years ago.”   In an interview with the Chicago Sun Times yesterday, Cardinal George called the pope’s spirit “indomitable.”   “He is a man who suffers and explains what that suffering means…. This is how the world is saved, by filling up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ,” said the cardinal.  

“On the other hand, you can't have a dysfunctional pope, mentally, or someone who can't communicate or mentally isn't capable of making decisions,” he said. “At least it would cause enormous problems in the Church because there's no replacement.”.  

Portuguese Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, head of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints, told the Portuguese newspaper Diario de Noticias that only the pope can decide what he would do if he loses the ability to communicate.  

"Evidently it would have to be evaluated, it would have consequences, but it wouldn't be fundamental for the pope's work," he was quoted as saying. "The word is very important for those who govern, but the Holy See is governed more by the head than by the word."  

"It must be so hard for him," Cardinal McCarrick told the AP, referring to the pope’s history as an excellent communicator. "Because I remember 25 years ago, he strode across the stage of the world and he was so eloquent and he could speak so beautifully in so many languages. It must be so hard, but he keeps going, (saying) 'Give me the next page, I'm going to read it.'"  

“I've seen this man pray,” McCarick continued. “He is a holy man. He is never alone; he is with the Lord always. He's down to earth, he's very jovial, but he's praying all the time. I trust that communion with the Lord,  that he will make the right decision if he has to. I have great confidence in that. “

  In an interview with AGI, Pio Cardinal Laghi said rumors of the pope’s resignation are "completely unfounded.” The pope “does not feel incapacitated in any way and governs with his head and his heart,” he said.  

The former apostolic nuncio in South America and the United States called the pope an “athlete of the spirit,” adding that he was certain that the pope ” is in possession of all his faculties, mental, spiritual and of the heart. He continues to appeal to young people, as he did last Sunday, and he was certainly not saying goodbye. He is a fully active pope.”

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Homeless Will Be Guests of Honor at Beatification of Mother Teresa

Vatican City, Oct 15, 2003 (CNA) - This Sunday, October 19, 2,000 homeless people from Rome, accompanied by 1,000 members of the Missionaries of Charity, will be the guests of honor at the beatification of Mother Teresa, the tireless apostle of the poor. 

The Missionaries of Charity--who have been charged with preparations for the ceremony-- have sought to emphasize the original vocation of their religious order, to serve "the poorest of the poor," by reserving preferential seating for the people Mother Teresa loved so dearly.

At the end of Mass, the homeless will be invited to a special banquet that the Missionaries of Charity will host at the Paul VI Auditorium.

The Holy See expects 200,000 people from all over the world to attend the ceremony of Beatification in St. Peter’s Square.

About 175,000 tickets have already been distributed through the Missionaries of Charity, but organizers expect a considerable last-minute rush for places at the ceremonies, producing a congregation similar in size to those that attended the canonizations of Sts. Padre Pio and Josemaria Escriva.

There are now 4,514 members of the Missionaries of Charity, from 89 different countries. They are working in 132 nations, serving 710 homes for the poor--of which 228 are in India. There are also 369 male religious associated with the order, and 26 missionary priests.

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Vatican Museums and Italian Newspaper Join In Pontifical Celebrations

Rome, Italy, Oct 15, 2003 (CNA) - As part of the celebrations of the 25th Anniversary of John Paul II’s Pontificate and the beatification of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the Vatican Museum will be open for extended hours and will donate ticket sales to the works of the Missionaries of Charity.

On Saturday, October 18, the Museums will open at the usual hour and remain so from 1pm until 10pm, with tickets costing just over $8.00.  The ticket sales collected that day will be given to Holy Father to distribute to the various charitable activities of Mother Teresa’s order.

A press release from the Museums indicates that on October 18 visitors will be treated to “a most inspiring and unforgettable visit thanks to the extraordinary lighting of the patios that will be provided by traditional Roman torches.”

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