- The state we’re all in
Popular notions of hard-working families forking out for benefit scroungers are well wide of the mark, argues the author of a new book, which shows that virtually everyone at some point in their lives needs government support
- Home News
- World News
- Parish Practice
- Letters Extra
- The living Spirit
- Heythrop chairman quits as west London's 400-year-old Jesuit college considers its future
- Prince Charles tells Armenian church of his heartbreak over attacks on Middle Eastern Christians
- Nichols says Pope Francis appreciates the 'pragmatic minority' temperament of English Catholicism
- Cardinal O’Malley: we need urgent action on convicted Bishop Finn, LCWR probe was 'a disaster' and I'd ordain women
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI will attend the Mass for the canonisations of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II, the Vatican said today.
In an historic first, Pope Francis and the Pope Emeritus will concelebrate the Mass.
But, Vatican Radio reported, the Pope Emeritus will not be at the altar, but with the cardinals and bishops on the left side of the sanctuary.
It will be only the second time the Pope Emeritus, 87, will have attended a public liturgical function in the Vatican since he resigned in February 2013. He took part February's consistory the Archbishopof Westminster, Vincent Nichols, was made a cardinal.
There has been much speculation over whether Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI would attend Sunday's canonisations.
On Thursday the Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi said: "The Pope Emeritus has been invited; we'll be happy if he comes but we respect his liberty and [his] decision as to whether he is up to it," Fr Lombardi said. "There is nothing official about his coming. There is the desire: if he comes we'll all be happy; if he doesn't come we have no right to feel disappointed.”
Earlier, a senior Vatican source told The Tablet that the 87-year-old Pope Emeritus had not yet made his intentions clear, not least because the canonisation Mas "is a two-hour ceremony in the heat."