Or just bits and pizzas
ISN'T the Catholic Church supposed to be universal? Well, this week it has been celebrating a Jubilee of Pizza Chefs, who, to be fair, came with an eye on boosting the coffers of the Peter Pan Home for child cancer victims which works with the Child Jesus Hospital for Children in Rome. While the patients were all offered pizzas, chefs gave John Paul II an antique Neapolitan stove, a copper pizza carrier, and a decorated pizza cutter. A Mass was celebrated after the audience, followed by a pizza festival in Castel Sant' Angelo, where pizzas were offered to famished pilgrims. Fr Giuseppe Gagliano said the event had a spiritual message to mankind. "We want to offer man, who is gripped by the frenetic rhythm of life and the desire for success, the occasion to stop for a moment and
reflect," he said (with his mouth full?). The Association of Italian Pizzerias claimed the event was in fact universal, having used the net to reach chefs as far afield as Turkey, America, Germany, Australia, Sweden and Japan, many of whom came as volunteers to prepare 50,000 portions for pilgrims, beggars and the poor. The true test of universality, of course, is whether or not Jubilee of the Curry Chef will be announced. (If so I, for one, shall he over there like a shot.)
worship went on in the Vatican has died aged 73. Luigi Marinelli, who fell victim to liver and bone cancer; quit his ministry in 1997 after 45 years in Rome. His book, Gone With the Wind in the Vatican, became a best seller in 1999 when the Holy See ordered it to be removed from bookstores. It portrayed some clerics as powercraved, lacking in virtue, and had anecdotes about a prelate being stopped at the Swiss border with a cash-stuffed suitcase for a bishop accused of sexual abuse. The identities were thinly veiled, and he was sued for libel.
His loss is a sad one, but it is also a shame he died before he could tell us who poisoned him.
IN NEW JERSEY, meanwhile, an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the window of a couple's home has turned out to be a defect in the glass. "The response to this occurrence has a lot to do with the perspective of a society that is really hungering for extraordinary and miraculous happenings," said Mgr Michael Alliegro who investigated it. "They are starving for spiritual things and when something comes along, like an unusual ray of sunshine, for example, people tend to see meaning in it."
When people first learned about the alleged image, fervour swept the area and believers filed along to place their hand on the cracked pane of glass. Their numbers swelled so that police had to barricade the street to traffic.
Mgr Alliegro, however, visited the site and reported to Bishop Vincent de Paul Breen that there was nothing but a "rainbow-coloured splotch".
FINALLY, well done to Priya Cooper, 26, a Catholic who refused w be beaten by cerebral palsy She has just won a gold medal in the 400m freestyle in Sydney's Paralympic games — to add to the eight golds, three silvers and two bronze medals from previous games in Atlanta and Barcelona and has now become a hemine in her native Australia, being awarded the Order of Australia medal and getting to meet the Queen.