"May Mary be for all of you, and in particular for young people, a Mother always attentive to the needs of her children, a light of hope that illuminates and guides your ways," said Pope Benedict XVI in a message to the French people on the eve of his four-day visit there this weekend. Above, screenshot of our own Benedetto, the Pontiff with the "winsome public personality" who loves cats and Mozart, as he steps away from the Popemobile toward the entrance to Notre Dame for vespers, brought to us live by EWTV mid afternoon EST.
"The presence of Christian values is fundamental for the survival of our nations and our societies," Pope Benedict XVI told reporters on the plane taking him to Paris this morning," we imailed Goomp this afternoon:
We: I am watching the Pope in Notre Dame de Paris. Just beautiful. Huge, enthusiastic crowds. Church attendance is down in France. This may be just the thing to push back the insidious Ummah creep.
Goomp: I hope so.
Goomp: The Church's Sarah?
We: Interesting thought! [We're pretty sure our friends on the other side of the aisle would substitute Barack for Sarah. In fact, someone over there is already comparing Sarah Palin to Pontius Pilate and Barack Obama to Jesus himself!] You can imagine how rousing the music is. The commentator is saying the organ is one of the greatest in the world: 7800 pipes! The Holy Father told reporters that "The presence of Christian values is fundamental for the survival of our nations and our societies." That sounds like YOU.
"All of you desire to love and be loved, and it is to God that you must turn to learn how to love," Papa Ratzi tells ecstatic throngs chanting "Benedetto, Benedetto" outside Notre Dame as they listened, rapt, to the Pope's "Greeting to Young People" in Cathedral Square following vespers.
More pontifications — in the best sense! — that echo the wisdom of the Old Salt, Goomp himself. This from an AP report on a speech this afternoon following talks with President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Elysee Palace:
Traditionally Roman Catholic France is wrestling with its changing religious landscape, and how to reconcile it with the secularism that underpins the modern French Republic. The country has a growing number of Muslims whose visible customs, such as wearing headscarves in public schools, have raised the hackles of officials determined to preserve the boundaries between church and state …
The pontiff said it was "fundamental on the one hand, to insist on the distinction between the political realm and that of religion in order to preserve both the religious freedom of citizens and the responsibility of the State towards them."
But he added that societies must also be "more aware of the irreplaceable role of religion for the formation of consciences and the contribution which it can bring to — among other things — the creation of a basic ethical consensus within society."
A basic ethical consensus. Isn't that what Goomp has been calling for all these years?
Update: Maggie's says "Amen."
Update II: More things that must be true at Dr. Sanity's Carnival of the Insanities
Update III: Mind of Mog links.