Vatican Media Watch

Pope Offers His Sympathy to Australian Catholics

ABC NEWS ONLINE, June 27 — Pope Benedict XVI expressed sympathy to the Bishop of Bunbury over the loss of St. Patrick's Cathedral, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

The 84-year-old cathedral, severely damaged from May's tornado in Western Australia, was scheduled to be demolished. Hundreds of people attended a farewell Mass for the building June 26.

Bishop Gerard Holohan says many parishioners were visibly moved as they remembered the cathedral as a place of worship, but also as a major landmark for the city. He told the congregation that the Holy Father was saddened to learn of the fate of the building, but had urged them to look to the future as they begin construction of a new cathedral.

Holy Father Urges Safe Travel for Vacationers

REUTERS, June 26 — Have a happy holiday, but take care on the roads as you head to the beach — that was the message Pope Benedict delivered to the faithful in his weekly blessing June 26.

The Pope told pilgrims and tourists in a sweltering St. Peter's Square that he welcomed the arrival of the holiday season in the Northern Hemisphere, but feared too many people were killed in busy holiday traffic because of carelessness.

“Life is precious and unique,” Benedict said. “It must always be respected and protected, including with correct and prudent behavior on the roads.”

In Italy, the arrival of summer is accompanied by an exodus from the main cities to the sea, causing traffic chaos.

John Paul II Sainthood on Fast Track

CBS NEWS, June 28 — Positive momentum for John Paul II's sainthood is building so quickly, the result could be that he is canonized more quickly than anyone else ever was, CBS news reported.

The process for sainthood was formally opened June 28. At press time, the Vatican had received tens of thousands of e-mails, phone calls and letters attesting to John Paul's holiness.

Pope Benedict XVI waived the rule that states beatification proceedings cannot begin for at least five years after death, and appointed a “postulator,” a priest to research the evidence and put the case to the test.

“I am convinced that the truth is that he is saint,” the postulator, Msgr. Slawomir Oder said.

But all data and claims, both pro and con, must be analyzed and weighed. According to ABC, so far it's all pro, and the volume grows daily.

Vatican Suspends Priest's Beatification

ASSOCIATED PRESS, June 17 — The Vatican put the beatification of Father Leon Dehon on hold while it investigates claims of anti-Semitism, Associated Press reported.

Father Dehon (1843-1925) had been approved for beatification in a ceremony in St. Peter's Square on April 24. That ceremony was postponed because of Pope John Paul II's death and the election of Pope Benedict XVI.

But complaints in France about some of Dehon's writings prompted the Vatican to form a commission to study the case, effectively putting it on hold, a Vatican official said.

Dehon founded the priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1877 after visiting the Italian shrine of Loreto. The Vatican commission formed to look into allegations of anti-Semitism in Dehon's writings will also consider them in the context of the time in which they were written, said Msgr. Yves Gouyou, ecclesiastic counselor at the French Embassy to the Holy See.