Sunday, December 30, 2007

Pray for the repose of their souls

21 katholische Geistliche wurden 2007 ermordet from Die Presse

21 Catholic priests and nuns died a violent deathin 2007. Especially in Iraq, the situation of Christians since the US invasion in 2003 has dramatically deteriorated. As the Vatican missionary press service, Fides reported, in Iraq Ragheed Ganni, a priest and three deacons were killed in Mosul in June outside their church. Dozens of churches were burned.

Cardinal Insensitivity

Catholic leader claims Poles could split Church

The Cardinal clearly understands nothing of Polish history. The Church is the identity of Poland, which endured three long partitions at the hands of the Germans, Russians and Austrians.

Even if the Cardinal could provide the whole social and support network of their communities, the Poles would still stick together. The Poles take one look into the parish churches of England and see a rather desicated, cautious spirituality engendered by the leadership of the English Catholics, post-Heenan. I attended Polish Mass two weeks ago in the Church of La Chapelle in Brussels. By the time the doors opened for Mass, half-an-hour before, there were a hundred people waiting for Mass. Many rushed and knelt on the bare stone floor before the image of Our Lady of Czestochowa. Other formed a queue for confessional- probably about 250 people by the beginning of Mass. All knelt on the same floor for the consecration.

The Polish will be the leaven for the Catholic community in England through marriage with non-Poles, but this is not in the gift of the Cardinal, anymore than he can dictate to journalists (see below).

Despite his name, I think I am right in saying that the Cardinal claims to be English!

He retires shortly and the Polish community will easily survive these insensitive statements, as they have survived so much worse in the past.

Sto lat, sto lat,
Niech żyje, żyje nam.
Sto lat, sto lat,
Niech żyje, żyje nam,
Jeszcze raz, jeszcze raz, niech żyje, żyje nam,
Niech żyje nam!
This translates roughly into English as:

A hundred years, a hundred years,
May he (she) live for us.
A hundred years, a hundred years,
May he live for us.
Once again, once again, may he live, live for us,
May he live for us!

Or to adapt the Jewish prayer for the Czar from Fiddler on the Roof.

God bless the Cardinal, may he live into ripe old age, and keep him a long way away from us.

The Cardinal is only reflecting the hostility of many American bishops to the national churches, which there has led to many of their churches being first on the list for closure.

This week cannot be described as the most magnificent in the Cardinal's career.

Hopefully, he likes German Catholics more than he likes the Poles. Poles who have more fidelity to the Pope than he has ever displayed.