The recent news that the Vatican’s traditional Midnight Mass is to have a temporal change, has raised concerns that Pope Benedict XVI may be suffering with poor health. The revised schedule for Christmas Eve will see the pope finish taking mass at midnight, rather than just beginning the service then. The Vatican has denied rumours that Benedict’s health is failing, insisting that the revision was made two months ago. With the Pope due to read his time-honoured “Urbi et Orbi” on Christmas Day, the Vatican argues that he needs time to rest between services.
However, critics including Andrea Tornielli (the Pope’s biographer) have pointed out that the previous Pope; John Paul II never felt the need to alter the timing of the Midnight Mass, even when at his frailest. Whether or not his health is failing, we should perhaps remember that Pope Benedict XVI is 82 years old, and despite his energetic schedules, even the Pope needs time to rest.
Theology and the Lure of the Practical: An Overview
By Mary McClintock Fulkerson
(Vol. 2, February 2007)
Theology in its Spatial Turn: Space, Place and Built Environments Challenging and Changing the Images of God
By Sigurd Bergmann
(Vol. 2, April 2007)