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"Harmony", the ever-biggest word carved by 2 popes, floating in the sky which has no boundaries of religions, or claimed regions


By WcP.Observer - Posted on 30 December 2013

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[Dec 29, 2013] Pope emeritus Benedict XVI has shared a holiday meal with his successor, Pope Francis.
The two men dined together at Francis's residence, the Santa Marta hotel on the Vatican City grounds, Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano said on Saturday.

Francis had extended an invitation for a holiday meal when he paid a call on his predecessor December 23 at a monastery on the Vatican's grounds to offer Christmas greetings, Vatican Radio said.

Benedict retired on February 28 to a generally secluded life of prayer in the monastery. Francis, who says he likes company, has made a point of keeping in touch. In March, 10 days after his election as pontiff, Francis headed to the Vatican's vacation retreat in Castel Gandolfo outside Rome, where Benedict was staying and had lunch with his predecessor there.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has visited his predecessor, Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, to exchange Christmas greetings.

Photos released by the Vatican newspaper show the two men, dressed in identical white robes save for Francis' cape, chatting in a sitting room inside Benedict's retirement home during the visit Monday. They also prayed together in the adjoining chapel. Benedict was looking well, using a cane for support while they stood in prayer.

It is the first time the interior of Benedict's home has been shown publicly: The sitting room and furniture were all white. An Advent wreath decorated the coffee table.

Since Benedict's retirement in February, the two men have met only once publicly, for an official Vatican ceremony in July. They also have met privately and occasionally have spoken by telephone.

[July 5, 2013] Two Popes Consecrate the Vatican to St. Michael the Archangel
Since his retirement, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has kept a low profile—living a life of quiet prayer and study in the home prepared for him in the Vatican Gardens.

So it was a treat for Vatican City State workers when Benedict joined his successor, Pope Francis, in the gardens on Friday, July 5, for the blessing of a statue of St. Michael the Archangel. At the same time, Pope Francis consecrated the Vatican to the Archangel’s protection.

Pope Francis, in his remarks following the brief ceremony, noted that St. Michael defends the People of God from its enemy par excellence, the devil. Even if the devil attempts to disfigure the face of the Archangel, the Pope said, and thus the face of humanity, St Michael wins, because God acts in him and is stronger.

POPE FRANCIS: "We’ve gathered here today in the Vatican Gardens to unveil a sculpture of Saint Michael Archangel, the patron of Vatican City. It is something that had been planned a long time ago and that was approved by Pope Benedict XVI, whom we address with all our affection and thanksgiving. We also want to express to him our great joy in having him here today among us. Thank you so much."

The statue is made of bronze and is about 16 feet high.

[July 5, 2013] Pope Francis invited the Pope Emeritus to join him in the Vatican Gardens for the blessing of a new statue of Michael the Archangel, which had been commissioned by Benedict. During this ceremony Pope Francis dedicated the Vatican to the protection of St. Michael against the forces of evil.

[July 5, 2013] Pope Francis issues first 'joint' encyclical
Pope Francis has paid tribute to his predecessor Benedict XVI in his first letter to clergy, acknowledging that most of it was written by Benedict.

The encyclical to Roman Catholic bishops, called Light of Faith ("Lumen Fidei" in Latin), speaks of faith as a beacon of hope for those who suffer.

It is credited to Pope Francis and bears only his signature.

But Francis, an Argentine Jesuit, said Benedict had written a "fine" first draft for it.

Pope Francis and Benedict - officially called Pope Emeritus - appeared together on Friday to consecrate a statue of St Michael Archangel in the Vatican.

In February Benedict became the first pope in 700 years to resign by choice, and Francis was elected to succeed him in March.

The choice of Francis, the first non-European pope for centuries, surprised many Catholics as he had not been seen as a favourite.

The encyclical is an extended letter to the faithful, intended to teach and guide.

The BBC's Alan Johnston in Rome says this one is a rare document, in that it combines the work of two popes - the new pontiff and his predecessor.

In the 82-page text Pope Francis said Benedict had "almost completed" the encyclical before resigning, and that he himself had merely added "further contributions".

The document suggests that the modern world relies too heavily on technology and science, and not enough on religious faith.

[July 5, 2013] Francis' First Encyclical Is Rare Joint Writing Effort
Pope Francis ' encyclical "Lumen Fidei," or "The Light of Faith," caps a three-part series begun by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, exploring faith after prior tracts addressed love and hope, which together form the three theological virtues.

Beginning by recalling that even the pagan cult of the Sun God had arisen out of human hunger for light, the new encyclical expounds that faith is a kind of public good, one that individuals cannot engage in on their own but that liberates them from idols and offers them a truth beyond the notion of "subjective authenticity" that gathered strength in the wake of 20th century totalitarianism.

The 82-page tract notes that "no one baptizes themself" and devotes a whole chapter to evangelization and how believers cannot keep the gift of God's love for themselves.

It also asserts St. Paul's claim that faith comes from hearing, an activity Pope Francis has pursued on many fronts as he tries to wrestle down controversial practices and alleged lobbies inside the Roman Curia and at the so-called Vatican bank.

True faith is humbling and leads to dialogue with science, other religions and nonbelievers, according to Lumen Fidei. "The certainty given by faith is a gift of grace, not grounds for arrogance," said Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the prefect of the Congregation of Bishops.

[June 30, 2013] Pope Francis praises Benedict for 'courage' in following conscience and deciding to retire
VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis says his predecessor, Benedict XVI, was courageously following his conscience when he decided to retire.

Benedict became the first pontiff in 600 years to quit the post when he resigned in February, paving the way for Francis' election as pope two weeks later.

Francis told pilgrims and tourists in St. Peter's Square on Sunday that God made Benedict understand through prayer the step he had to take.

Benedict explained when announcing his intention to resign that he felt he didn't have the mental and physical strength to continue as pontiff.

The rare resignation dismayed some traditionalists in the Catholic church. But Francis praised Benedict for following "his conscience with a great sense of acumen and courage."

[March 23, 2013] 'We are brothers': Pope Francis makes history as he embraces retired predecessor Benedict in first-ever meeting of two pontiffs
Pope Francis and his predecessor Benedict embraced today in a historic meeting of two popes at Castel Gandolfo. The men met on the helipad at the papal summer retreat, before praying together in the chapel.

Benedict offered Francis the kneeler traditionally used by the pope when he prays. But Francis refused to take it alone, saying 'We're brothers', and the two used a different kneeler in the pews and prayed together, side-by-side.

[March 23, 2013] Francis And Benedict: Two Popes Have Historic Meeting At Castel Gandolfo
CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy - The two men in white embraced and showed one another the deference owed a pope in ways that surely turned Vatican protocol upside down: A reigning pope telling a retired one, "We are brothers," and insisting that they pray side-by-side during a date to discuss the future of the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis traveled Saturday from the Vatican to this hilltown south of Rome to have lunch with his predecessor, Benedict XVI, an historic and potentially problematic melding of the papacies that has never before confronted the church.

In a season of extraordinary moments, starting with Benedict's resignation and climaxing with the election of the first Latin American pope, Saturday's encounter provided perhaps the most enduring images of this papal transition as popes present and past embraced, prayed and broke bread together.

"It was a moment of great communion in the church," said the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi. "The spiritual union of these two people is truly a great gift and a promise of serenity for the church."

Benedict, 85, has been living at the papal retreat in Castel Gandolfo since he stepped down Feb. 28 and became the first pope to resign in 600 years. From the moment he was elected, Francis, 76, made clear he would go visit him, refusing in a way to let Benedict remain "hidden from the world" as he had intended.

Wearing a white quilted jacket over his white cassock to guard against the spring chill, Benedict greeted Francis on the helipad of the Castel Gandolfo gardens as soon as the papal helicopter landed. They embraced and clasped hands. And in a series of gestures that followed, Benedict made clear that he considered Francis to be pope while Francis made clear he considered his predecessor to be very much a revered brother and equal.

[Feb 28, 2013] Legacy beyond religion: Pope Benedict XVI, a teacher pope with sense of humility and service on charity, hope, love and...

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Image courtesy AAP, AFP / Getty Images, ordinariateexpats.wordpress.com, and AP

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