Skip to comments.Pope's Top Aide In Nashville To Receive Honor
Posted on 08/07/2007 10:00:05 AM PDT by NYer
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Vatican's secretary of state celebrated Mass Tuesday morning at the Knights of Columbus annual meeting -- marking his first U.S. appearance since taking over the position last year
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who as the Vatican's secretary of state is the pope's top aide, was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in September 2006.
Bertone, the Mass' principal celebrant who said much of it in Italian while an English interpreter translated, said the pope wanted him to convey his "cordial greetings."
"Please be assured of the Holy Father's spiritual closeness and of a special remembrance in his prayers at this time," Bertone said.
"During this celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice, let us join our intentions to those of His Holiness in prayerful gratitude for the good works carried out by the Knights of Columbus and in humble supplication for the success of your convention and the fruitfulness of your apostolate."
Bertone spent most of his Mass homily talking about the origins of the Knights of Columbus, a fraternal organization for Catholic men considered one of the world's largest lay Catholic groups.
He praised the work of Knights of Columbus founder the Rev. Michael J. McGivney and said he would work to try to have the U.S.-born priest declared a saint.
Founded in 1882 by McGivney at St. Mary's Church in New Haven, Conn., the Knights of Columbus was created as an organization for Catholic men who were discriminated against for their religion and immigrant origins.
"The plight of Catholics in America was far from easy," Bertone said. "Through the organization he (McGivney) founded, he reached out beyond the boundaries of his parishes to members of the Catholic community throughout America, many of whom were in great need.
"Widows and orphans who might otherwise have suffered destitution have been offered charitable assistance and fraternal support."
The Knights of Columbus currently has 1.7 million members and donated more than $139 million and 64 million hours of volunteer service to charitable causes in 2005 -- including $10 million to Gulf Coast residents and Catholic groups affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Its charitable work also includes substantial support for the Vatican. The group funded the restoration of the facade of St. Peter's Basilica during the 1980s, and annually underwrites the cost of satellite TV broadcasts of liturgical celebrations from Vatican City, including the Christmas midnight Mass.
The organization has also established a $20 million endowment called the Vicarius Christi Fund, whose annual proceeds are provided to the pope in support of his charitable initiatives.
Bertone was expected to bring a message from the pope to be read during the Tuesday afternoon session of the convention at the Gaylord Opryland hotel.
He also will receive the organization's Gaudium et Spes (Joy and Hope) award -- the highest honor bestowed by the group.
Bertone, 72, will be the seventh person to receive the award. The first recipient was Mother Teresa in 1992.
Attending the convention, which runs through Thursday, are more than 1,000 delegates representing Knights of Columbus members. About 100 bishops from the U.S., Canada, the Vatican and throughout the world are also attending.
In 1995, Pope John Paul II appointed Bertone as Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, where he worked closely with then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. In 2003, he was installed as Archbishop of Genoa and was made a cardinal the same year.
On August 14, 1890, Father Michael J. McGivney, a priest of the Diocese of Hartford who was just 38 years old, passed from this life to eternity. An obituary notice quoted from the Book of Wisdom, Being perfected in a short time, they fulfilled long years; for their souls were pleasing to the Lord, therefore he took them quickly from the midst of wickedness (Wis 4:13-14). The crowds who turned out for his funeral bore eloquent witness to the power of his example, rooted in personal holiness. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints, as you know, is currently studying the life of this Servant of God, with a view to recognizing his sanctity and presenting him to the faithful as a model Christian, worthy of imitation. In the light of todays Gospel, I would like to dwell briefly on some aspects of the life of this holy parish priest, founder of your association.
The Gospel we have just heard provides us with the image of Peter walking on the water towards Christ. Peter is uncertain, buffeted by the waves and the intensity of the storm, but with his gaze fixed upon Christ he finds the faith and the courage to withstand all the forces working against him and to move forward. Only when his faith momentarily deserts him, does he begin to sink, and then it is the hand of Christ that holds him up. In many respects the storm-tossed boat on the Sea of Galilee seems an apt image for the situation of the local Church at the time of Father McGivney, when the plight of Catholics in America was far from easy. This holy priest, however, like Peter in the Gospel story, found the faith and the courage to walk steadfastly towards Christ, and to inspire others by his leadership. Everyone who had the privilege of knowing Father McGivney was impressed by the dynamism of his personality and his pastoral zeal. He guided the organization he founded with prudence and wisdom, firmly trusting in Christ. He recognized the need to promote the mutual support and solidarity of the Catholic community, and nothing would deter him from pursuing this noble goal. May your founders faith and courage serve as an inspiration to all of you as you devote yourselves to the pursuit of your own apostolate.
When they saw Jesus walking across the water, the disciples were terrified. But when he encouraged them not to be afraid, Peter called out: Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water. And Jesus said, Come. It was in response to that call that Peter set out towards him. Likewise, Father McGivney, when he set out upon the path to priesthood, did so in response to a call from Christ, and he spent his remaining years faithfully living out that vocation. He also helped others to recognize the call that Christ addressed to them, and to respond generously. This was the key to his apostolic vision in founding the Knights. He recognized the material and spiritual poverty of so many members of the Catholic community, and he understood that it was part of the lay vocation to become actively involved in offering assistance to brothers and sisters in need. He knew that it is not only priests and religious who have a vocation, but that every Christian is called by Christ to carry out a particular mission in the Church. He left a lasting legacy in the organization that he founded which has continued to provide opportunities for countless lay Catholics to play their part in building up the Kingdom of God.
At the end of todays Gospel passage, we hear that the people from the surrounding country brought to Jesus all those who were sick, and begged to be able to touch even just the tassel on his cloak, so that they could be healed. Christs care for the sick and the suffering was an inspiration to Father McGivney who, as a priest, sought to be a living sign of Christ for the people he served. The parishioners in New Haven and Thomaston were attracted to this kind and gentle priest, who ministered to them with Christ-like compassion. Through the organization that he founded he reached out beyond the boundaries of his parishes to members of the Catholic community throughout America, many of whom were in great need. Widows and orphans who might otherwise have suffered destitution have been offered charitable assistance and fraternal support. Those afflicted by alcoholism have been helped through this association to overcome their loneliness and to make a courageous choice to fight against their dependency. Like the Good Samaritan, you bind the wounds of those you discover lying by the wayside and help restore them to health and strength. In so doing you are following in the footsteps of your founder, and with him imitating Christ, who came that we might have life in abundance.
It's a tough one. The by-laws state that eligibility for membership in the KofC consists in being a male over the age of 18 who is a "practical Catholic in good standing." But that last term is not defined.
I think most people would assume that means you are a member of a parish, you are a communicant, and you do not manifestly, publicly, obstinately and unrepentantly engage in, advance or support grave moral wrongs.
These guys' bishops apparently aren't up to the task of challenging the pro-gay, pro-abort Knights on the "good standing" part. But the KofC should have th 'nads to take responsibility for their own organization and kick 'em out.
AlaninSA has left the forum. I can’t remember the name of the freeper who took over his list. Frank ... do you remember?
What happened to AlaninSA?
Once upon a time, I heard a “specialist” or a “consultant” defined as “someone who can come from 10 miles outside the State’s borders and tell the assembled people what those who are part of the organization couldn’t tell them and come out of the meeting alive.”
If that definition is correct, then surely the Cardinal Secretary of State - instead of just being wined and dined by an organization that pumps plenty of money into the Holy See’s operational budget as well as its charities - ought to be able to speak the truth of the Gospel and Catholic Tradition to the pro-abortion, pro-gay-marriage Knights of Columbus, especially the despicable politicians among them.
The habit doesn’t make the monk, nor do fancy feathered plumes make a Catholic knight.
Meanwhile, Rocco also has a posting about an UTTERLY USELESS CARDINAL, the anti-American Tauran . . .
He’s an unabashed USA-basher and Islamo-phile. Just as both approaches have served his beloved Old Europe well - now flooded with swiftly-reproducing children of the False Prophet, a fair number of whom will grow up to be first-string jihadists - so has his and other Curial nitwits’ bending over backwards - and forwards - for Islam paid off handsomely. You now have one of the largest mosques in Europe a stone’s throw from Saint Peter’s and NO freedom for Catholic worship in most of the Muslim world.
And wasn’t he nice to give the Pope a gold star for conducting himself well in Turkey? Why doesn’t Benedict make this useless jerk archpriest of some dusty basilica or Papal Nuncio to Uranus?
I thought the K of C Ping List had died?
He said the mass in Italian and had it translated? Why didn’t he just use Latin, the official language of the church?
Bravo. Great line. I'm stealin' it.
“homily delivered in Italian, ordinary of the Mass in Latin”
Thanks for the teaser about Levada, is his roommate also at “the condo”?
Ok, thanks, that makes much more sense.
I’ve not left the Forum, I’ve simply began to log in on a very sporadic basis. Just happened to log into FR tonight, as nothing was on TV and I’m all caught up on email from work.
Way too much Catholic bashing here - with the silent approval (it seems) of the religion mod(s). I gave up the list, as it wasn’t something I could keep up with given my sporadic logins.