BlogWatcher - Danny Boyle's Olympic liturgy


“Olympic liturgy” is the title of Pádraig McCarthy’s Association of Catholic Priests blog on Danny Boyle, the artistic director of Saturday morning’s Opening Ceremony. Boyle was born in Lancashire but both his parents were Irish.

Danny was an altar server for eight years, and at one stage considered becoming a priest. Although not now religious as we might define it, clearly a lot is deeply engrained. ... Danny Boyle included two overtly religious pieces in the opening ceremony ... 

And [he] finished his opening words saying, “We hope, too, that through all the noise and excitement you’ll glimpse a single golden thread of purpose – the idea of Jerusalem – of the better world, the world of real freedom and true equality … a belief that we can build Jerusalem. And that it will be for everyone.” You can’t get much more Apocalypse/Revelation and Catholic than that!

Sentire Cum Ecclesia sums it up by describing it as “grand entertainment, but nevertheless all over the place.”

I liked the number of hymns that featured in the opening ceremony ... With the Archbishop of Canterbury lined up directly behind the Head of the English Church, it reminds one that Christianity is still deep in the ancient culture of the British.

Blogging before the Opening Ceremony, the Catholic Herald’s Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith admits he is an Olympicphobe and confesses his understanding of the impulse to protest against the Games, but cautions that

It is worth bearing in mind that when the Pope visited the United Kingdom at the invitation of the government back in 2010, a whole load of people protested ... Protesting about public events is always going to be problematic.

Meanwhile the National Catholic Reporter’s John Allen blogs on Pope Benedict's apolitical line on Syria and the Middle East.

Benedict knows that it's a precarious moment for the Christian minority [with] rising Islamic radicalism. He has watched as the church in Iraq imploded, and knows that many Christians fear the same thing may be about to happen in Egypt, Syria and elsewhere.

kkkThe best survival strategy, he seems to feel, is for Christians as much as possible to stay out of the political fray. At the very least, he obviously feels it's not helpful for him to take anything other than a neutral humanitarian stance.

L’Espresso’s Sandro Magister blogs on Benedict’s April letter to the German bishops in which he seeks to have the last word on the translation of the Latin expression "pro multis" in the consecration of the chalice. 

In effect, after Vatican Council II, in most of the translations of the Roman missal in the various languages "pro multis" was rendered as "for all," in a forced interpretation. ... In recent years, nonetheless, the new translations of the missal undertaken by some of the episcopates have restored in various countries the "for many." 

[However] in the Italian Church, which has the pope as bishop of Rome and its primate, the episcopate has applied to the Vatican for the "recognitio," or final evaluation and authorisation, of a new translation of the missal that still maintains the "per tutti." [In a 2010 vote of 187 Italian bishops], 171 voted to keep "per tutti." In their judgment, abandoning this translation could disorient the faithful, sowing doubts on the truth of faith that salvation is offered to all without exception.

In an earlier blog (missing Magister’s byline), it’s noted that recent appointments have diminished the Italian influence in the Curia. 

It was a round of appointments under the banner of a greater internationalization, the one conducted in the Roman curia by Benedict XVI over the course of the last few weeks. ... In three cases Italian churchmen have been replaced with non-Italians for important curial posts.

But David Timbs at v2catholic blogs on one Italian whose influence on the Curia is decisive even though he is well past the mandatory retirement age.

Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone is still there because the Pope wants him there despite all the accusations of incompetence ... Their [earlier] time together developed into a relationship based on personal loyalty and mutual dependence. ...

The precise reason Bertone was chosen as Secretary of State remains somewhat of a mystery but his personal loyalty to and friendship with Ratzinger/Benedict seem to be critical factors. It certainly wasn’t for any diplomatic preparation or previous experience and competence. ...

Sandro Magister refers to ... scorched earth around the Pope. It seems that both Bertone and the Curia have proven spectacular failures in that regard. ... As Benedict has withdrawn into his preferred world of books and disengaged from direct Church governance, Bertone has asserted his authority over the Curia.

There is Christian reading of the new film of the Amazing Spider-man at Seeing Swans at Night

His encounter with a child that brings about a moment of ‘conversion’ ... as he plucks the child from a burning car he realises that Spider-man’s mission cannot be simply about revenge. After this encounter it seems to me that [his] weaknesses no longer cripple him, but are now the wellspring of creative, life-giving energy that now motivates him. ... Paradoxically, while his superpowers make him in some sense more than human, [his] true humanity is found in his desire to use his gifts in the service of others.

Finally one of the Catholic blogosphere’s best known characters, The Curt Jester, muses on his ten years of Catholic blogging.

There is so much expertise out there on so many topics that it can really help you from having a narrow view of the faith ... There is something very Catholic about the blogosphere in a very “here comes everybody” way. ... The other thing I so like about St. Blogs is that you seem to have a personal connection to these writers.  Writers with a byline seem to be off in the distance, but members of St. Blogs I seem to have grown up with as they get married, have children, etc.


Michael MullinsMichael Mullins, founding editor of CathNews, compiles this 'Blog Watcher' column every week.

Disclaimer: CathBlog is an extension of CathNews story feedback. It is intended to promote discussion and debate among the subscribers to CathNews and the readers of the website. The opinions expressed in CathBlog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the members of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference or of Church Resources.

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