Will Pope Benedict Ban “Silent Night” While Using Pop Music To Make John Paul II A Saint?

The workings of the Vatican are a constant source of amusement.  If you do not follow Pope Benedict and his actions you miss a great deal.  For instance, the move by the Pope to take the music of the Catholics back to Gregorian chants and baroque music is just the latest entertainment to watch.  For a church that can’t find enough priests or churchgoers, I think the last thing the Vatican might ramp up would be Gregorian chants.  Throw in the Latin Mass, and one has a real reason to run far and fast.

Ah yes, the Pope is on the forefront of thinking by taking the church back to the Baroque period!  Can “Silent Night” make the cut?


At the same time that this all is in the pipline there is this news item.

A DVD aiming at hastening late Pope John Paul Seconds path to sainthood, which the Vatican is to launch soon, will show the pontiff singing like a music star.

The DVD is titled Santo Subito, a reference to the Latin proclamation “Make him a saint now!”, which was chanted by crowds at the pontiffs funeral in 2005.

British composer Simon Boswell, whose work normally features in Hollywood movies, was employed by the Church to write the music for the DVD.  

As I said, the Pope and the Vatican are a constant source of amusement.  And snickering.

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The Best Paragraphs In Sunday’s Newpaper

In the midst of the campaign season the words of Mark Halperin ring so true.  Halperin is a guest columnist today in The New York Times and writes something that so many of us have said for many election cycles.

Voters are bombarded with information about which contender has “what it takes” to be the best candidate. Who can deliver the most stirring rhetoric? Who can build the most attractive facade? Who can mount the wiliest counterattack? Whose life makes for the neatest story? Our political and media culture reflects and drives an obsession with who is going to win, rather than who should win.

For most of my time covering presidential elections, I shared the view that there was a direct correlation between the skills needed to be a great candidate and a great president. The chaotic and demanding requirements of running for president, I felt, were a perfect test for the toughest job in the world.

But now I think I was wrong. The “campaigner equals leader” formula that inspired me and so many others in the news media is flawed.


In the face of polls and horse-race maneuvering, we can try to keep from getting sucked in by it all. We should examine a candidate’s public record and full life as opposed to his or her campaign performance. But what might appear simple to a voter can, I know, seem hard for a journalist.

If past is prologue, the winners of the major-party nominations will be those who demonstrate they have what it takes to win. But in the short time remaining voters and journalists alike should be focused on a deeper question: Do the candidates have what it takes to fill the most difficult job in the world?

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Richard Roberts Resigns

With Thanksgiving, family, and friends this nugget may have slipped by you this weekend.  But Oral Roberts University, which is staggering under a $52.5 million debt, (not a typo) is without a leader.   You may recall I said in an earlier post that we should just sit and back and enjoy this show.  I was right.

As The AP reported, the students at the infamous ORU have a few thoughts on the matter. 

To ORU’s 5,300 deeply religious students, the events of recent weeks have brought an unexpected test, one that caused them to choose between questioning or defending the administration, worry about tainted diplomas and search for spiritual answers.

“I’m sure there is corruption everywhere,” said freshman Ben Conners, one of a number of people interviewed before the resignation. “But if you’re holding students to such a high standard, making them sign an honor code and live by these strict principles, I expect the administration to be living an even stricter set of principles. To see something like this, it feels empty, like an elaborate masquerade party.”

At a university that is hardly a den of dissent, the reaction to the scandal has been striking. Before Richard Roberts stepped down, tenured faculty gave him a no-confidence vote and his hand-picked provost said he would resign if Roberts were reinstated.

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