by Robert Moynihan
"Tonight at 5 p.m. in St. Peter's Basilica, I attended the Good Friday liturgy which celebrates the Passion of the Lord.The basilica was packed, but a kind Vatican official enabled our little group to have a place near the main altar. Pope Benedict XVI was present throughout, and spoke a number of prayers in Latin, and unveiled the cross for veneration. But he did not deliver the sermon.
"He entrusted the sermon to the Preacher of the Pontifical Household, Father Raniero Cantalamessa, a Franciscan Capuchin friar.Cantalamessa, regarded as one of the most profound and moving Catholic homilists in the world today, focused on the mystery of Christ's priesthood and what it means for a mankind subject to mortality and sin. The sermon was essentially a meditation on violence, and on how Jesus, through his life and death, overthrew the primordial 'alliance between the sacred and violence' which prior to him was so common (animal and even human sacrifice, the use of a 'scapegoat' to bear the sins of the people)...." [Read the full article and Raniero's sermon