In brief

Source: FSSPX News


Muslim singer Khaled – star of forthcoming Christmas concert at the Vatican

The Muslim singer Khaled will be the star a the Christmas concert at the Vatican alongside the Italian Gianni Morandi, the Polish singer Natalia Kukulsla, the black Gospel choir of Harlem, as well as many other celebrities. Each artist will interpret two songs, one from their own repertoire, the other a Christmas carol.

As every year, this concert will help to finance the building of new churches on the outskirts of Rome.

The concert will take place on December 13 in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican, and will be broadcasted by an Italian television channel on Christmas Eve.

Visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to His Holiness pope John-Paul II

"It was a brief visit, of an exclusively religious nature", said Joaquin Navarro-Valls, spokesman for the Holy See, speaking of the meeting between Jphn-Paul II and the Dalai Lama, which took place on November 27. The two men were meeting for the eighth time, after visits made by the Dalai Lama to the Vatican in 1980, 1982, 1988, 1990 and 1996, and the two interreligious meetings, that of Assisi in 1986 and Rome in 1999.

The visit was organized with discretion, so as not to compromise further the already difficult relations between Peking and the Vatican.

In an interview given to the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, on November 26, the spiritual leader of Tibet’s Buddhists explained that "many factors" united him to the pope, in particular the fact that they had both lived under communist regimes. "We both know what such a system is all about", he said, stressing also that they shared "a concern for the survival of spirituality in modern times". For the Dalai Lama, however, there was one point which divided them. "I would promote a secular moral code, not necessarily religious". But he emphasized that these were "no more than different opinions on an identical problem".

The father of Liberation Theology gives course at the Angelicum

"The preferential option for the poor is an integral part of Vatican Council II, even if, for several reasons, it did not appear as one of the priorities of the Council", said the Peruvian priest Gustavo Gutierrez. The father of Liberation Theology is giving an intensive course over four weeks, at the theology faculty of the Pontifical university, the Angelicum in Rome. During the first lesson, attended by around forty students – religious and laity – he explained that his course would follow three themes: to deepen the significance of the option for the poor; to relate it to the theme of spirituality linked with Liberation Theology; to tackle the theme of memory, and to bring to the fore what we mean by making the memory of God "our own".

As far as the origin of the preferential option for the poor was concerned, Fr Gutierrez traced it back to Vatican II, noting that the Council clearly intended to respond to the challenge of evangelization in the modern world. The commitment in favor of the Church of the poor, on the other hand, was expressed less obviously.

Pope receives humanitarian award from the Simon Wiesenthal Center

On December 1, John-Paul II welcomed a delegation from the Paris based Simon Wiesenthal Center. The delegation was led by rabbi Marvin, who said that he had come to the pope "in order to speak of the problems concerning the escalation of worldwide anti-Semitism and international terrorism".

For his part, the pope said: "In these difficult times, let us pray that all peoples may be strengthened, in their commitment to mutual understanding, reconciliation and peace".

Rabbi Marvin also said that he had come "to show his gratitude to the pope for his unprecedented achievements in relations between Catholics and Jews". It was for this reason that the delegation awarded him the highest honor of their organization, "The Humanitarian Award of the Simon Wiesenthal Center". The pope thanked the delegation for their good wishes and the gift presented to him for the 25th anniversary of his pontificate.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, which represents 400,000 families in the United States, is one of the most important international organizations working for the rights of Jewish people.