Pope Benedict presides at first canonisation
Pope Benedict XVI named five new saints yesterday at a Mass closing the three-week meeting of the world's Catholic bishops that reaffirmed the church's position on celibacy for priests and other central teachings.
Associated Press reports that most of the 250 bishops who attended the Synod of Bishops joined the pope in celebrating the Mass and the ceremony to elevate five men to sainthood.
"Today I have the joy of presiding for the first time over a canonization rite," Benedict said in an opening prayer. Many of the thousands of people gathered in St. Peter's Square waved Chilean flags in honour of a Chilean Jesuit who was being canonised.
Benedict also highlighted some of the major issues that emerged during the synod, calling priestly celibacy a "precious gift" and telling lay Catholics there can be no "dichotomy" between their faith and everyday life.
That appeared to be a reference to whether Communion can be denied to Catholic politicians who support laws contradicting church teaching, such as abortion rights - an issue raised by American prelates at the synod. Bishops recommended giving church officials leeway to decide the issue on a case-by-case basis.
Among those canonized Sunday was the Rev. Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga, a Chilean Jesuit who was known for his work with the poor as well as the young.
Two others came from Ukraine: Josef Bilczewski, archbishop of Lviv, who was greatly admired by Catholics, Orthodox Christians and Jews alike during World War I; and the Rev. Zygmunt Gorazdowski, who founded the Congregation for the Sisters of St. Joseph to care for the sick and poor.
Italians Felice da Nicosia, a lay Capuchin who lived in the 1700s, and the Rev. Gaetano Cantanoso, who founded the Veronican Sisters of the Holy Face in 1934, also were canonized.
Benedict's predecessor, Pope John Paul II, canonised 482 people and beatified 1338 - more than all the previous popes over the past 500 years combined. Departing from John Paul's custom, Benedict is presiding over only canonisations. He has designated cardinals to celebrate Masses for beatification.
Pope Presides Over First Saint Ceremony (The Guardian/Associated Press 23/10/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Table of Canonisations (Congregation for the Causes of Saints)
Pope to end Year of Eucharist with five canonisations (CathNews 21/10/05)
Pope presides over his first saint-making ceremony (Irish Times 23/10/05)
John L Allen: Cardinal Newman gets a miracle (National Catholic Reporter 21/10/05)
John L Allen: Cause of John Paul II pushed (National Catholic Reporter 21/10/05)
Pope reaffirms priestly celibacy, makes new saints (Reuters 23/10/05)
Five new saints (overview) (AsiaNews.it 23/10/05)
Canonization of popular Chilean priest celebrated by youth pilgrimage (Catholic News Agency 21/10/05)
Pope Presides Over First Saint Ceremony (Leading the Charge 23/10/05)
Cardinal continues Scottish paton saint campaign (The Universe 22/10/05)
Joseph Bilczewski, Tireless Archbishop of Leopoli (Zenit 22/10/05)
Cause for Solidarity Chaplain Is Advancing, Says Official (Zenit 22/10/05)
Musical creativity nourished by christian roots of Europe (Vatican Information Service 21/10/05)
Pope: Witnesses of the Eucharist to the ends of the earth (AsiaNews.it 23/10/05)
Angelus: the Eucharist, the seed from which missionary vocations are born (AsiaNews.it 23/10/05)
Pope Benedict: 'sublime music makes us feel the greatness and beauty of God' (Catholic News Agency 21/10/05)
Europe's music nourished by Christian culture, Pope says (Catholic World News 22/10/05)
Benedict XVI will preview CBS series on John Paul II (Catholic World News 22/10/05)
End to Hunger Calls for Halt to Egoism, Asserts Pope (Zenit 22/10/05)
Layman Appointed to Plan Papal Trips (Zenit 22/10/05)
Pope Blesses Statue of "Lily of Quito" (Zenit 22/10/05)
Pope's Message for World Food Day (Zenit 22/10/05)
Benedict XVI's Catechetical Dialogue With Children (Zenit 22/10/05)
Concert Marks Benedict XVI's 60 Days as Pope (Zenit 21/10/05)
24 Oct 2005