Action Alert!

Is this a news story?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles ) | Mar 09, 2005

There's an interesting line of speculation coming from Vatican-watchers. But is it news?

Here's the single fact that we have at our disposal: The Vatican has not announced who will be leading the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday, at the Roman Coliseum.

That's a curious omission, because a Vatican announcement provided fulll details on every other major liturgical event during Holy Week. With the Pope still recovering gradually from his surgery, other cardinals are handling his usual liturgical responsibilities. The Vatican duly indicated which prelate would handle shich ceremony. Only for the Good Friday event did the announcement fail to name the prelate who would preside.

So now here's the speculation: Maybe no one has been named to preside at the Stations of the Cross because the Pope hopes to do it himself!

There are 2 problems with this hypothesis: 1) the Pope isn't in any shape for a trip across Rome, and 2) he can't speak more than a few words at a time. So if he did "preside," he'd probably have to do so as a silent, remote figure, sitting in the apostolic palace, projected onto a TV screen in the Coliseum.

Is it possible? Sure it's possible.

Is it likely? Is there any evidence to support the speculation? No.

So is it a news story? You tell me. (But notice that this isn't on the CWN news page.)

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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