There's news and pageantry at the Vatican this weekend: The late Pope John Paul II will be beatified in a multi-hour ceremonty. This honor, of course, is a step towards canonization, the church's public affirmation that John Paul has entered the fullness of Divine life.
The former House speaker also recounted his conversion experience. “For me, the joyful and radiating presence of the Holy Father was a moment of confirmation about the many things I had been thinking and experiencing over the last several years,” Gingrich told the Washington audience.
Over on Bold Faith Type, John Gehring points to an editorial in America magazine that begins: "The upcoming battle over the 2012 budget may prove to be one of the most important legislative debates of the new century" and asks the question: Will Catholic bishops have a place in the fight?
On this day, in 1916, as the Easter Rising raged on in Dublin, one hundred Volunteers in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, 65 miles south of the capital, took control of their town.
Fearghal McGarry, in The Rising: Ireland: 1916, Oxford University Press, 2010, gives details.
"In the early hours of Thursday morning one hundred Volunteers, armed with pikes, shotguns, and no more than two dozen rifles, seized the town. . . . The Enniscorthy Volunteers appear to have had a realistic sense of what was achievable; Galligan told a local priest 'that we were only carrying out our orders and I believed that there was no hope of success'.
United Kingdom Tribunal rejects Catholic Care's gay adoption appeal
ROME -- Here’s a true story, drawn from the only-in-Rome files.
tI was sitting at a restaurant with a friend Monday night when the hostess came by to chat. She mentioned the bad weather (it’s been raining off and on), but went on to say that as a believing Catholic, she finds a bit of gloom appropriate for Good Friday and Holy Saturday, a reminder of Christ’s suffering and death. When she learned I’m a journalist covering the beatification of John Paul II, she became animated in talking about how much the late pope had meant to her as a Roman.
Two Buddhists are banging fan drums as they walk through the downtown area of Oak Ridge, Tenn. They're marking a fast beat while chanting a Japanese mantra in low, hushed tones. As they walk their yellow robes are billowing in the wind.
Step by step they move forward. They weave through the trafficked streets and low-rise buildings of the "Secret City" -- so known because of its veiled history as the location where the uranium used in the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, was enriched.
Behind the Buddhists march over 160 activists. They've all gathered to protest a proposed major new facility at the nearby Y-12 National Security Complex, a key nuclear weapons production and maintenance complex.
NCR first covered the April 16 event last week.
Now, the group which organized the protest has made available video from the April action.
Anyone wanting to watch the beatification Mass of John Paul II will be plenty of choices, according to TVNewser, a blog on www.mediabistro.com.
Live coverage begins Sunday morning at 4 a.m. eastern time.
Of course, we recommend CNN, where our own John L. Allen Jr. will be backing up CNN anchor Jon Mann and CNN correspondent Jim Bitterman. Jose Levy will provide coverage for CNN en Espanol.
From CNA: Scholar and papal biographer George Weigel batted aside criticism of John Paul II's speedy canonization process, saying accusations that the pontiff is responsible for scandals that took place under his watch are ultimately unfounded.
“The investigation into John Paul II's life has been very thorough, and the results fill four thick volumes,” Weigel told CNA in an April 25 interview.
Author of the 1999 biography of John Paul II, “Witness to Hope,” Weigel first countered the claim that the late pontiff's canonization process has moved too quickly.