At Crux, Thomas Williams hailed a “watershed” moment in the Pope’s teaching on refugees. His comments in Sweden, Williams argued, were a turning point in his thought. The Pope told journalists that Sweden was welcoming to refugees but that governments also had to be “prudent” in their response.
The Pontiff spoke of the dangers of ghettoisation, saying that it was necessary to ensure migrants were integrated into wider society. “In theory no one should close their heart to a refugee, but those who govern must also exercise prudence,” the Pope said.
Williams said the Pope’s remarks were impressively “nuanced” and showed “that he is willing to learn from the experience of those on the ground”.
There may not be any harps in heaven
Jimmy Akin at Catholic Answers pondered whether heaven will be boring. He wrote that the idea of sitting on a cloud playing a harp does not appeal to most.
Akin explained that the idea of paradise transcends our earthly understanding and that “we know that the ‘heaven’ or ‘happiness’ in which we will find ourselves is neither an abstraction nor a physical place in the clouds, but a living, personal relationship with the Holy Trinity.”
Bruce Springsteen: I’m still a Catholic
At Angelus Greg Erlandson compared Bruce Springsteen’s journey of faith with his own.
The pair started at Catholic schools before Vatican II, and Springsteen went on to say that, despite years of rebellion and feeling estranged, he concluded that “once you’re a Catholic, you’re always a Catholic … deep inside … I’m still on the team.”
Erlandson, who was inspired to become a writer by Springsteen’s songs, reflected on his own experience growing up in the faith. He wrote: “I wonder how many of my classmates feel the same. How many remain estranged, and how many like myself have come to recognise the tender mercies God extended, and continues to extend, to our prodigal generation?”
The babies born in a papal bedroom
The papal residence at Castel Gandolfo has been opened to the public as a museum. In the Spectator, Alexander Chancellor recounted the fascinating history of its main attraction: the papal bedroom.
Chancellor wrote that the bedroom at the Apostolic Palace was used as a delivery room for 40 children during World War II. The area was engulfed by fighting between the Allies and the occupying Germans in 1944 when the palace was also used to shelter Jewish refugees. Pius XII died in the same room in 1958 after suffering prolonged hiccups.
✣ Pope Francis met more than 300 members of the House of Habsburg in the Vatican’s Clementine Hall at the weekend. The descendants of one of the oldest royal families in Europe were on a pilgrimage from Austria to Rome for the Jubilee year. The Pope said their ancestor, Blessed Charles of Austria, the last ruler of the Austro-Hungarian empire, “used all his strength in pursuit of peace, at the cost of being mocked.”
✣ Priests have taken part in a spoof of James Corden’s“Carpool Karaoke” for a Catholic youth summit.
In the video two parish priests sing along to a number of pop hits before being joined by Bishop David Malloy of Rockford. They question him about why he felt called to the priesthood – and then he has to put up with their singing. One young parishioner said the video showed that priests weren’t always serious and “can be fun”.
✣ The Russian Orthodox Church has come out in support of the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar after some Christian activists called for it to be banned.
Church spokesman Vladimir Legoida said: “It is not right to forbid an artist from drawing inspiration from the Holy Scripture.”
Reports said that in Soviet times listening to recordings of the musical was one of the few ways Russians could learn about the Bible.
✣The week in quotations
Mercy is the best antidote to fear Pope Francis Speech to the World Meeting of Popular Movements
People have to accept this view of the body [or] you are excluded Cardinal Eijk on gender theory and intolerance CNS
With fake bishops you are destroying the Church Cardinal Zen on a potential Vatican-China deal Wall Street Journal
Their numbers are small, but I believe their faith is strong Cardinal Vincent Nichols visits Christians in Gaza Associated Press
✣Statistic of the week
100 The number of political prisoners Venezuela’s president is being urged to release