If one can do no other than remember today’s Gospel, so many of life’s problems and successes would fall into place. “Fool, this very night the demand will be made for your soul.”
We were in Rome with the All-Party Group on the Holy See. We called on Cardinal Turkson and asked him about Syria. Did the Pope’s day of prayer and fasting help to avoid a wider war? It certainly did no harm.
The first sight of St. Peter’s Square when you arrive is always awesome. It is just on such a large scale. Archbishop Muller had explained to us the difficult position of the Church on communion for divorcees. Ultimately though all the Church’s teaching has to be based on love and compassion.
Along with 110,000 other people we went to a General Audience. I nominated two of our number to shake the Pope’s hand. We, meanwhile, want to see the equivalent of the Cabinet Secretary to find out about the reform of the Curia. The reality is much more prosaic than the media hype. It was strange to be standing alone in the Scala Regia alone with the Michaelangelo and Vasparis on the other side of the door to the Sistine Chapel.
The Foreign Minister equivalent whom we met at the end of a long day for him and us seemed only to really speak with life and cease choosing his words when falling about his working relationship with Francis who really is inspiring them all. I like him but I also liked Pope Benedict who despite his deep intellect had a twinkle in his eye.
What a privilege to have our little Mass said for us in the Crypt of St Peter’s. Looking at the tomb of St Peter. The glass reflected an image of us superimposed on his tomb, an allegory of our pilgrimage toward him.
We had a debate on multiculturalism in the Council of Europe. I alone attacked the concept. We should learn from the success of Jewish immigration into England. Jewish people took English names and fully integrated. There is no anti-semitisim and they often lead the way in industry, arts, and politics. If other immigrants ghettoise themselves in their own dress, homes, and aggressive practice they will not advance. So the liberal thinktanks and politicians who addressed us on the virtue of multiculturalism are actually the enemies of Muslim progress in the West.
It was a Day with Mary in the Cathedral, which was packed. Yet the Administrator continued with the usual sung Latin Mass. This vast crowd who don’t or perhaps never are given an opportunity to hear a Mass in Latin seemed perfectly content and happy to take part. The truth is that the Novus Ordo Latin Mass is simple, clear, and easy to understand. When sung in Latin it is beautiful. Why did we ever get rid of it?