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Thank you, Pope Benedict, Pope Francis, for giving us so much to talk about!
And thanks to our thoughtful interviewees: Holy Cross University Prof. Matt Schmalz, Hofstra University Prof. Phyllis Zagano, Mark Silk of Trinity’s Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life, University of Hartford art history Prof. Fran Altvater, Fairfield University Prof. Paul Lakeland, National Catholic Reporter columnist Jamie Manson, the Rev. Gabriella Velardi Ward, pastor of St. Praxedis Parish in NYC, retreat leader Joan Kennedy, Dave and Judy Lorenz and the Rev. Jack Wentland of the married priests movement, the Archdiocese of Hartford’s Courage leader Deacon Robert Pallotti, LGBT activists Michael Reynolds, Anne Ring (with her partner Mary Vivo, right), Len Discenza (with his son, Dan, left), Sal Uccello (with his partner Michael, right), and Rich and Kathy Broggini!
Pope Francis on Mozart: “The ‘Et incarnatus est’ from his Mass in C minor is matchless; it lifts you to God!” (The piece included in our episode is by the New Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Raymond Leppard, and sung by Kiri Te Kanawa and Ileana Cotrubas.)
On Beethoven: “I like listening to Beethoven, but in a Promethean way, and the most Promethean interpreter for me is Furtwangler.” (The excerpt we hear is from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4, Allegra ma non troppo, by Wilhelm Furtwangler.)
On Bach: “The piece by Bach that I love so much is the ‘Ebarme Dich,’ the tears of Peter in the St. Matthew Passion. Sublime.” (Our excerpt is from the Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus, with Elisabeth Schwartzkopf, conducted by Otto Klemperer.)
Fr. John Baptist Pesce after Mass on Christmas morning. His ambo-shaking homily touched all his favorite themes and included the wisdom of Nietzsche, Viktor Frankl, Oblate Fr. Ron Rolheisher, Boston College philosopher Peter Kreeft, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and 17th-century German mystic Angelus Silesius, who said, “Should Christ be born ten thousand times anew, despair, O Man, unless he’s born in you.” Also: “I am to be another Mary and bring God to the world.”
Watch this space for the audio of Fr. John’s inspired homily!