by Anura Guruge
I was privileged to have his permission and blessing to use a picture of the interior of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls (Basilica Papale di San Paolo fuori le Mura) he took on that trip on the front cover of ‘The Next Pope 2011‘ — with the picture attributed to him. Father Anthony has this to say about the Basilica: ‘It is a very fine building and is the place where Pope John XXIII announced the decsion to convene the 2nd Vatican Council on January 25th 1959. It is in many ways very appropriate as an illustration because St Paul’s has the form that the ancient St Peter’s would have had, and it has become a place associated with various ecumenical occasions. It was there that Paul VI and Archbishop Michael Ramsey jointly led the first ever Angican/ Catholic worship preside over by a Pope and an Anglican Primate.’
In July, as was reported here, the Father celebrated 40 years of ordination.
Fr. Anthony will be visiting Rome again, for nine days, in early November.
The English College in Rome has a programme to honor British priests celebrating special jubilees. They get to spend a few days at the College’s ‘second home’ in Villa Palazzola, on Lake Albano — Castel Gandolfo also located there. According to its Web site it is renowned for its world famous cuisine.
Father Anthony’s jubilee is his 40 years as a priest.
The Father will spend a few more days in Rome, at Casa del Clero, a Vatican ‘property’ for Vatican employees and official visitors, before getting back to the U.K.
The father has promised to send us more pictures and if possible thoughts and reflections of the ‘Vatican scene’.
This morning he sent me this, with permission to publish his words:
Regarding the Pope’s health, my impression is that there is no obvious medical problem, as far as we can see. However, I think that the changes in the Ad Limina alongside the use of the mobile platform does suggest a certain worry/anxiety on the part of the Papal household that the Pope is getting over fatigued. His health was never robust but he has had no real problems since his election. I can certainly see that he has aged quite a bit between his visit to Britain in September 2010 and now.
He walks more slowly, and to my eyes seems more frail. on the other hand he was able to carry out a taxing schedule in Germany, and his talks there show that his mind is still very sharp. We must not forget that he is going to be 85 next April. Maybe you should re-think your prognosis and make it 95!
If you want to publish any of those thoughts you are welcome. I have no inside knowledge, but I use my eyes!