Boston Dailies Are Papal Tigers

April 27, 2014

From our Santo Subito! desk

The local dailies both play the home-away game in their coverage of this weekend’s Saintorama in the Eternal City.

Start, naturally enough, with Page One of the Boston Herald.

 

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The faithy local tabloid follows up with four pages of Pope-O-Scope coverage, most notably former Boston Mayor/Vatican Ambassador Ray Flynn’s filing from Rome.

World’s Catholics celebrate the faith

O’Malley, Boston represented well

Vatican Popes Saints

VATICAN CITY — The great and the good have gathered in this lovely city, flocking from all corners of the world — ambassadors and cardinals, presidents, prime ministers and royalty.

They are meeting in hotels and embassies and gorgeous residences in the Eternal City, and many gathered together for joyous reunions last night on the eve of today’s double canonization of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II.

It is a tribute to the remarkable occasion, the convergence of so many diverse and powerful leaders for the first time two popes will be canonized in a celebration presided over by two living popes — Pope Francis and the retired Pope Benedict XVI.

 

But there’s an even more important constituency in town, Flynn writes.

Yet there is a far greater tribute, below the glittering halls, past the motorcades and speeding police escorts and throngs of media.

Down in the streets of St. Peter’s Square, thousands of humble pilgrims gathered to sleep last night. They lay on the cobblestones in the spring chill, the clouds and stars above them, waiting for the dawn, waiting for one of the great moments in our faith.

 

There’s also Margery Eagan on John XXIII, Marty Walsh reminiscing about JP II’s 1979 Hub visit, journalist-turned deacon Greg Piatt on his vocational switch, and Peter Gelzinis on local-boy-mage-seminarian Kevin Leaver, who’ll be at the hoedown in St. Peter’s Square.

Crosstown at the Boston Globe, the front page features this:

 

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The lordly local broadsheet has Cathoholic Czar John L. Allen Jr. in Rome, while Lisa Wangsness and Jeremy C. Fox patrol the local parishes.

From Allen’s piece (website version):

Francis accents unity with halos for superstar popes

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ROME — Oct. 11, 1962, brought a beautiful moonlit night to Rome. Pope John XXIII was in an ebullient mood because of that morning’s launch of the Second Vatican Council, a gathering conceived by the pontiff in which bishops from around the world would throw open the windows of the Catholic Church to the modern world.

The first pope of television’s Golden Age, “Good Pope John” had a roly-poly, grandfatherly persona and seemingly inexhaustible cheer that won fans everywhere, though the changes he set in motion also stirred up critics, then and now. That night, the pope looked out over St. Peter’s Square at the vast crowd praying for the council, and made some off-the-cuff remarks that passed into history as his “Sermon on the Moon” . . .

“Tonight, when you get home, you’re going to find your kids,” Pope John said. “I want you to give your kids a caress . . . and tell them that this caress comes from the pope!”

No one could recall hearing a pope address the faithful in quite that way.

 

Today’s papal twofer is unique as well.

 

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Herald Romes Much Farther Than Globe

March 20, 2013

It’s a rare day – and therefore a noteworthy one – when the Boston Herald devotes more resources to a big story than the Boston Globe does.

Welcome to today’s edition of our feisty local tabloid gone global. Note the dateline on Margery Eagan’s column:

Vatican PopePope Francis fever catches on in Rome

ROME — The Roman Catholic Church has been losing the faithful in Italy and much of Europe for decades. Pope Francis has clearly revived interest, if only until his novelty wears off.

Yesterday, for the third time in a week, an estimated 150,000 packed St. Peter’s Square. Police were keeping order in subway stations en route to the Vatican as crowds tried to push onto nearly full trains. Streets all around the Vatican were closed to traffic. But they were filled with what looked like thousands more spectators who showed up too late to fit into the square — meaning they didn’t get here by 7:30 a.m. for a 9:30 a.m. Mass.

These thousands watched on at least a dozen Jumbotrons as Pope Francis, just before his inaugural Mass, rode about the square not in the bulletproof glass popemobile, but, unusually, in an open-air model. It allowed him to get on and off and kiss a baby and the forehead of a man who appeared disabled and smiled up at Francis’ face.

 

Today’s Herald also features a thumbsucker on Sean O’Malley’s elevated status after his waltz with the Great Mentioner at the Vatican conclave.

Vatican PopeObservers see O’Malley as papal adviser

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley will return to Boston this week a more influential figure than when he left for the papal conclave late last month — with international name recognition, and possibly the prospect of a role in Rome as Pope Francis aligns his inner circle, religious experts said.

“My sense is that Sean O’Malley is happy in Boston and would not be happy at the Vatican. On the other hand, he is a close friend of Pope Francis. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a role for Cardinal O’Malley,” said Thomas Groome, a theology professor at Boston College. “He’ll have a more enhanced role in advising and leadership than he did under Benedict. He certainly is coming home with an enhanced reputation.”

National Catholic Reporter’s John Allen Jr., whose article on O’Malley prior to the conclave helped elevate the Boston archbishop’s profile, said O’Malley has been rumored to take over as leader of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, which manages the rules governing priests and nuns.

Meanwhile, crosstown at the Globe, today’s edition included only this on the pontiff front:

2013-03-19T141110Z_01_MBH11_RTRMDNP_3_POPEAt inaugural, Pope Francis vows to serve poor

Urges those in power to protect world

By Elisabetta Povoledo, Rachel Donadio and Alan Cowell |  NEW YORK TIMES     MARCH 20, 2013

VATICAN CITY — At the formal start of his papacy, Pope Francis offered a passionate pledge Tuesday to serve ‘‘the poorest, the weakest, the least important,’’ striking the same tones of humility that have marked the days since he was elected last week.

On a raised and canopied throne on a platform looking out from St. Peter’s Basilica to the piazza in front of it, the pope enjoined those in temporal power to protect the world and ‘‘not allow omens of destruction and death to accompany the advance of this world.’’

“Today, too, amid so much darkness, we need to see the light of hope and to be men and women who bring hope to others,’’ he added to frequent applause from some among the tens of thousands of people cramming the square and the broad avenue leading to it from the River Tiber. The Vatican estimated the number at 150,000 to 200,000.

 

A story plucked from the New York Times wire service?  Kinda pales in comparison with the Herald, eh?

It’s possible-to-likely the paper is splitting the cost of Eagan’s Roman gig with WGBH (where she co-hosts a radio show with Jm Braude), since she’s also reported on the papal festivities for 89.7 FM.

Either way, it’s the Herald that’s the papal tiger on this story.