Snowlocaust 2011!

This is specially for all my blogging friends in America… Thinking of you ;)…

PS   Here in Cape Town South Africa, it has been very hot. Today was about 31 degrees celsius – I have no idea what that is in fahrenheit (for you guys) but it’s hot… Real beach weather!


Will this Chapel in St Peter's Basilica House the Body of Pope John Paul II?

Things are getting intriguing…

According to the French news agency I Media, this is the chapel where the body of John Paul II will rest once he has been beatified. It’s located within Saint Peter’s Basilica, next to the sculpture of the Pietà, in the chapel of Saint Sebastian, which has until now held the remains of the pope from 1689, Innocent XI.

What’s going on? I suppose we will but wait and see…


Pope John Paul II Beatification News on Friday?

CNN is reporting that news regarding the beatification of Pope John Paul II could come as early as Friday:

The Vatican could announce as soon as Friday that the late Pope John Paul II is to be beatified, putting him on the verge of sainthood, several Italian newspapers reported this week.

Catholic Church officials have credited him with a miracle, Il Giornale reported Thursday, and all that remains is for the pope to confirm it. The newspaper La Repubblica carried a similar report. Neither story named its sources.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi refused to confirm the news, but said it was “reasonable to expect it” if the Catholic cardinal in charge of the beatification process had an audience with Pope Benedict XVI on Friday.

The pope’s daily audiences are normally announced at noon on the day they take place.

A secretary for the official in question, Cardinal Angelo Amato, would not say if he has an audience with the pope Friday.

Longtime Vatican journalist Andrea Tornielli of Il Giornale reported last week that John Paul could be beatified in a service led by the pope by the end of this year.

A beatification – which would make the late pope “the Blessed John Paul II” – would be certain to draw hundreds of thousands of faithful.

Medical and theological experts have credited John Paul II with the healing of a nun whose order prayed to him after he died in 2005. Sister Marie-Simon-Pierre says she was cured of Parkinson’s disease.

If the pope confirms it was a miracle, John Paul will be eligible to be beatified, the last step before sainthood. Stepping from beatification to sainthood requires a second miracle.

The Vatican office studying the case for John Paul’s sainthood refused to comment when questioned by CNN last week.

But if the miracle is confirmed by the Catholic Church, John Paul II could be beatified as soon as April 2, the sixth anniversary of his death, Tornielli said.

That would be very fast in Vatican terms.

Other possible dates are May 18, John Paul’s birthday, or October 16, the anniversary of the date he was elected pope in 1978, Tornielli said, suggesting the last date is most likely, to give the church time to prepare what will be an enormous event, even by the Vatican’s standards.


On the Disturbing Trend of 'De-Baptisms' in Europe

Writes Msgr Charles Pope:

… tragically there are some in Europe who are formally renouncing their faith through a process they call “de-baptism.” In effect they write to the parish where they were baptized and asked that their name be blotted out from the book of life, also known as the Baptismal Register. Of course the Catholic Church does not remove the names, but does make a notation that they have formally renounced the Christian faith, that they have renounced their baptism…

… Pray, this is very serious. It is bad enough to drift away from the faith, but to formally renounce ones baptism is to really ramp things up to a mega-serious level…

Read his piece in full here.

The whole thing is no better than American Atheists who prefer to ‘de-baptise’ using hair dryers:

All round, ‘de-baptism’ remains a tragic decision with dire eternal consequences.


The Portal

The Portal is a new free monthly on-line magazine running an independent review in the service of the Ordinariate:

The Portal Magazine, is published on the first of every month. It covers News, Events, Personalities Catholic teaching, Letters, Features, Catholic and Anglican history, the Ordinary’s Page and information about Ordinariate Parishes…

The first edition is really excellent and can be read online here or downloaded (in pdf) here.

Their website is here.


Monks Make and Donate Casket for Christina-Taylor Green

(More on her here or Wikipedia here.) CNN reports:

A group of Trappist monks in Iowa have donated a handmade casket to bury 9-year-old Christina Green, the youngest victim in the Saturday attack that killed six and wounded 13 others in Arizona.

Sam Mulgrew, the general manager of Trappist Caskets in Peosta, Iowa, told CNN a family representative of the Greens reached out to the monks at New Melleray Abbey near Dubuque after her death. The custom-made casket arrived in Tucson, Arizona, Wednesday morning.

“We didn’t want to send an adult coffin that would be too big, we wanted something just for her,” said Mulgrew, who is not a monk but who manages the 11-year-old casket business that is part of the abbey.

The casket, crafted from red oak, was made especially for 9-year-old Christina, Mulgrew said. She died after a gunman opened fire at a constituents event held by U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was critically wounded in the shooting.

Christina’s funeral is scheduled for Thursday in Tucson.

The lid of the casket was inscribed with her name, date of birth and death, and a cross. The family also will receive five small keepsake crosses hewn from the same wood as the casket, Mulgrew said.

Before the casket was sent from the monastery in Iowa to Arizona, the monks gave the casket a special blessing inside their chapel on Tuesday.

The monks are Roman Catholic and are part of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance. They make and sell custom caskets with “reverence for nature,” according to the Trappist Caskets website.

“Along with prayer and study, our casket ministry is an extension of our sacred work. We labor quietly with our hands in support of our life of simplicity,” says a statement on the website.

Mulgrew said when a child dies it hits the monks particularly hard. He said they don’t like to sell children’s caskets; instead, a “child casket fund” they started often covers the costs.

It hits us all very hard…