Today’s papal audiences

His Hermeneuticalness, Fr. Finigan, picked up on the interesting make up of the papal audiences in today’s Bolletino (my emphasis):

    LE UDIENZE , 10.07.2009   

    Il Santo Padre ha ricevuto questa mattina in Udienza:

    S.E. il Signor Héctor Federico Ling Altamirano, Ambasciatore del Messico presso la Santa Sede, in occasione della presentazione delle Lettere Credenziali; Card. Giovanni Battista Re, Prefetto della Congregazione per i Vescovi; Card. Agostino Vallini, Vicario Generale di Sua Santità per la Diocesi di Roma.

    Il Papa riceve questa mattina in Udienza:

    S.E. Mons. Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don, Arcivescovo di Colombo (Sri Lanka).

    Il Santo Padre riceve questo pomeriggio in Udienza:

    S.E. il Signor Barack Obama, Presidente degli Stati Uniti d’America, con la Consorte, e Seguito.


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  1. Mary says:

    That’s an elegant way to translate ‘First Lady,’ ‘La Consorte.’

  2. James says:

    Ok, I’ll bite. What makes Ranjith’s visit so odd?

  3. Jeannie says:


    I think “la Consorte” is just “Wife”, not “First Lady”. I have been referred to in that way, and I can assure you I am not married to a head of state. :^)

  4. Malcom Ranjith. Well, the President is in good company.

    The President aside, is Ranjith’s audience normal routine or may we begin to wonder what it’s about (though we’ll likely never know).

  5. P. McGrath says:

    No, the point is that the President of the United States is at the bottom of the list.

  6. Prof. Basto says:

    Maybe Archbishop Ranjith paid the Holy Father a goodbye visit before his departure from Rome to Sri Lanka, where he is scheduled to take possession of his See on August 1st.

    [Wishful thinking] Or perhaps the Pope called him in to ask if he accepts a red hat to be delivered at the next consistory. [/Wishful thinking].

  7. Prof. Basto says:

    P. McGraf,

    That’s normal. The list is always presented in the cronological order of audiences, from the first to the last. The President was the last person to be received.

    So, the Holy See Press Office listed (in the usual order it uses) first the people that the pope had received in the morning, then the people that the Holy Father would still receive that morning, and then the people that the Holy Father would receive in the afternoon.

  8. P. McGrath: He was the last audience of the day.

  9. Steve says:

    Would the Church be better off if the Pope simply dissolved the “audiences,” incredibly long Encyclicals that virtually nobody reads, and such and simply spent his days pastoring in Rome, roaming the streets preaching the Gospel, feeding the hungry and tending to the poor and ill?

    Would such a reform of the Papacy would reinvigorate the Church and Catholic identity?

    (I realize that his exclusive return to the TLM would be the best way for the Pope to reinvigorate Catholic identity. But the Pope has made it clear that he doesn’t have any desire to do that.)

  10. Hidden One says:

    Steve, no. On all counts, to every question and to the stuff you put in brackets.

  11. What a charmingly antique picture of contemporary Rome! I can see the hungry
    in their picturesque rags, in ancient doorways, as feral dogs lick their
    sores. Then there’s the horse-drawn dead cart passing by on the street, with a warning
    bell. And look, over there! A saintly knight cutting his cloak in twain! And
    in this corner, a humble infirmary where nuns are grinding up poltices. Let’s
    get the octogenarian pope down here to preach, book in hand, amid the refuse,
    and give sustenence to the groaning peasants of Rome. Of course, thousands can
    see him better from St. Peter’s Square, but never mind that. And never mind that the teeming
    hungry of 21st century Rome tend to be alley cats! O my! Does no-one think
    of our feline brothers? Get him out there with a basket of dolphin-friendly fish.

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