Pope's Way of the Cross: 2010 service focuses on essentials of faith


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VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Instead of sharp commentary on current social ills or controversies, the meditations for Pope Benedict XVI's Way of the Cross service this year were a pared-down catechesis on the essentials of the Christian faith.

Even the meditations' author said some might find the straightforward text surprising given that he is normally very outspoken and often addresses events unfolding in Italy and in the church.

Retired Italian Cardinal Camillo Ruini was a leading voice of the church in the last two decades as he served as head of the Italian bishops' conference from 1991 to 2006 and as papal vicar of the Diocese of Rome from 1991 to 2008.

But the 79-year-old cardinal said he wanted to keep the commentary and prayers for the Good Friday evening service at Rome's Colosseum simple and to the point.

Because millions of people from all over the world would be watching April 2, "I think it will be a great occasion to help people get to the heart of our faith more deeply or to rediscover it for those who have been distanced" from the church, he said in an interview with the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, March 30.