Monday, June 05, 2006


The gathering of the Catholic movements with the Pope this past weekend to celebrate Pentecost was quite impressive. Around here it didn't get much press coverage - the guy eaten by the lions in Kiev actually got more print in some quarters - but EWTN transmitted the length and breadth of the ceremonies in St.Peter's live bot Saturday and Sunday.

Nearly half a million people by some estimates, most of them young, representing all the movements in the broad spectrum from Opus Dei to Sant'Edigio converged on Rome this year. Pope Benedict addressed the difficulties that accompany the growth and expansion of the movements that, in their diversity, have become a formidable evangelizing force for the Church. On the one hand, he asked bishops and parish priests to be open to the movements and allow them to work with and for the local church. On the other, he called on the movements to truly see themselves as part of the greater reality of the Church and to resist setting themselves up as a 'parallel magisterium' that tends to divide more than to unify.

At one stage in the coverage of Sunday's outdoor Mass, the commentator from Vatican radio who was doing the audio for the EWTN transmission pointed out a large yellow banner in the crowd that read "Regnum Christi movement with Pope Benedict XVI". She went on to say that the Regnum Christi is an interesting phenomenon because it is actually "a movement within a movement". She described it as a subset of the broader Opus Dei movement that is better known throughout the world.

Hmmm... A freudian slip, perhaps? Or maybe one of the lasting effects of the Da Vinci Code frenzy: even Vatican radio has come to suspect that the Opus secretly hides behind the least likely fronts?