Monday, July 14, 2008

Pope vs. Dalai Lama, Tibet Day fest

Germans Prefer the Dalai Lama to Pope Benedict Study Finds
Deutsche Wells (07/14/07)

Dalai Lama narrowly came out on top of the pope in the popularity stakes

Germans like the Dalai Lama more than they do their native-born Pope Benedict XVI, according to a survey published on Saturday

A study carried out for the news magazine Der Spiegel showed that 44% of those questioned saw the Tibetan spiritual and secular leader as a role model, while only 42% attributed the same qualities to the pope.

The Dalai Lama enjoyed a particularly high popularity rating among the young and better educated, according to the survey by the TNS research organization. Half of those questioned in these groups believed the Buddhist leader was able "to provide advice on how to live," according to the study, which showed that Germans found Buddhism a more sympathetic religion than Christianity or Islam.

Asked what they thought was the "most peaceful religion," 43 % opted for Buddhism, while 41% chose Christianity. Only 1% picked Islam.

Pope erases already negligent protestant support

Pope can do no wrong in his home region [inspite for Nazi ties]

The Bavarian-born pope was criticized by German protestants this week for endorsing a Vatican document reaffirming the primacy of the Catholic Church and dismissing other Christian denominations as either "defective" or "not proper churches."

The Tibetan spiritual leader, who was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 1989 for his efforts to achieve a non-violent solution to the Tibetan problem, is due to pay a 10-day visit to Germany starting July 19. During his stay, he will deliver a series of lectures and philosophical talks at the Hamburg tennis stadium and attend an international congress of Buddhist monks and nuns.

What does the pope do on his day off?
By Victor Simpson (AP, 07/14/08)

SYDNEY, Australia - One shot pigeons, another played bocce ball with the Swiss Guards, and John Paul II skied and hiked. But give Pope Benedict XVI a grand piano and he will feel his vacation is complete.

What popes do on their days off has usually been the subject of speculation. But officials have given some hints about Benedict, who has taken off three days to rest and recover from jet lag as he prepares to meet with hundreds of thousands of young pilgrims for the church's World Youth Day.

The 81-year-old pontiff is ensconced at a secluded study center run by the conservative Catholic organization Opus Dei in bush country outside Sydney. His spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Benedict plans no public activities until the welcoming ceremony Thursday morning. But he said a Vatican television crew would be on call to record anything noteworthy "like if they bring him a kangaroo."

On Monday, the day after flying more than 20 hours from the Vatican in the longest journey of his three-year papacy, the 81-year-old Benedict took several walks, touched up his speeches for later in the week, and was treated to an afternoon concert by seven members of the Sydney Symphony Training Orchestra. They played Schumann, Schubert and Mozart — a particular favorite, Lombardi said. He met with Sydney Archbishop Cardinal George Pell to discuss the upcoming events over brunch. "His health is very good. The pope is resting," said Lombardi.

On the grounds of the retreat is a swimming pool, tennis court and a miniature chapel built right against the bush — with windows looking out onto Australian native eucalyptus trees. Awaiting Thursday's commencement of a busy four-day schedule, Benedict, an accomplished pianist, will be more than content to practice on the piano, read or make last-minute touches to his speeches. "The lodgings in Kenthurst are simple but comfortable," Pell told reporters before visiting the pontiff there Monday. "He does have access to a tennis court — but we don't anticipate that he will be using that." "I am sure that he will be in fine form for his official welcome on Thursday," Pell added.

Benedict is a brisk walker and aides say his health is good, but he clearly enjoys a more sedentary life than his predecessor John Paul. Even during vacations in the Italians Alps, he is rarely seen outside his compound.

Leo XIII, an avid hunter before becoming pope in 1878, was known to shoot pigeons from the windows of the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican. Benedict XV, pope from 1914-22, played bocce with the Swiss Guards in a Vatican courtyard.

Other pontiffs simply took walks inside the Vatican, sometimes alarming unsuspecting gardeners and other workers. Until hip and knee ailments slowed him down in the 1990s and symptoms of Parkinson's disease set in, John Paul hiked in the Italian Alps, in Canada's Jasper Park during a tour of that country in 1984 and in the Rocky Mountains outside Denver during World Youth Day there in 1993.

John Paul had never made a secret of his love for the mountains, the backwoods and the ski slopes, sometimes slipping out of the Vatican to avoid scandalizing prelates who believed those activities were un-pope like.

Although he answered five questions submitted in advance in a 15-minute meeting with reporters aboard his plane from Rome, Benedict is generally being kept far from the press. He didn't mingle with the traveling press as John Paul did on long flights. But 12 youngsters will join Benedict for lunch on Friday at St. Mary's Cathedral House in Sydney. The Vatican said they can ask questions.

His Holiness the fourteenth Dalai Lama with the former pontiff, Pope John Paul II, at the Vatican on November 27, 2003 (AP Photo/Osservatore Romano).

Dalai Lama to attend Rome film fest's Tibet Day
CBC News, 07/10/08
The Dalai Lama has accepted an invitation to a day in Rome dedicated to films about Tibet. He is to attend a Rome Film Festival tribute to Tibet on October 8, 2008.

The Tibet Day program was organized by Goffredo Bettini, the former president of the fledgling festival, which was started in 2006 to rival the established Venice Festival. In an interview in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Bettini confirmed that the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, has accepted an invitation to attend. Bettini stepped down in June after a change in government that threw out the leftist city administration that created the film festival.

The new city mayor has decried the amount of money spent on the festival and appointed a new president, Gian Luigi Rondi, who has said he will concentrate on creating a program focused on Italian film. But Bettini's proposal for Tibet Day remains in place, according to a report in Variety on Thursday.

The day will feature a meeting between the Dalai Lama and Bernardo Bertolucci, director of Little Buddha, and a screening of the 1993 film about the search for a spiritual leader.

Also to be shown are Paul Wagner's 1998 film Windhorse about the Tibetan resistance movement, which prompted protests from China. Released and unreleased works by Tibetan filmmakers are also in the lineup.

Tibet Day falls two weeks before the third edition of the Rome Film Festival, which will run October 22-31, 2008.

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