Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cardinal Burke has the right attitude to the Pope


Vatigate!- allegations of massive and systematic wire-tap authorised by Cardinal Bertone

A few hours before the resignation of the Pope come rumors of unrest from the Vatican: Benedict's most important assistant, Secretary of State Cardinal Bertone has, according to a magazine report, ensured that the Curia was systematically monitored. Not a good starting point for the conclave. The most important assistant of the outgoing Pope, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, reportedly spied systematically on Vatican employees. The aim was to investigate a suspected network associated with the distibution of documents stolen from the private office of the Pope by Paolo Gabriele. This is reported by the current issue of the Italian weekly magazine "Panorama".

Accordingly Bertone mandated the head of the Vatican Gendarmerie, Domenico Giani, to monitor phone calls, conversations and e-mail traffic of bishops and cardinals. If it took place, it was the "most massive and extensive wiretap" that has ever taken place in the Vatican. Details were recorded of who entered the Vatican at which time and again at which time they left and who had met with whom. "Panorama" does not provide evidence for the claim.

Explosive: police boss Domenico Giani is a former intelligence officer, who in the coming weeks was actually to leave the Vatican, because he was considered for the job as a security officer at the United Nations. The unexpected resignation of the pontiff made Giani withdraw. He decided to stay for now in the Vatican, although his new appointment was assured. Now decisions on his future will be taken after the appointment of the new Pope.

1999 Pope John Paul II picked Giani as vice-inspector of police in the Vatican. Since 2006 he is the director. The 50-year-old is married and has two children. Giani is also cofounder of Rondine Cittadella della Pace, a project that will offer a future to traumatized children and young people from conflict areas. In this context, he visited several times Chechnya.

Spying would be be the result of Vatileaks Even when taking office Giani extended the security measures at the Vatican drastically. He introduced thus a magnetic card system and perfected the video surveillance. "There is no square metre that escapes the eyes of the cameras," the paper wrote.

There were rumors that the espionage activities continued until today Many priests were nervous given the surveillance , especially so close to the start of the Conclave. Given the alleged total surveillance, it seems almost naive, that Benedict XVI in his recent "Motu Prorio" threatened to excommunicate all Cardinals, should they talk about the upcoming conclave and the candidates.

According to the newspaper spying which was put in place n September 2012, had been a result of Vatileaks affair, in which numerous documents from the archives of the Pope were made public. The journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi had written in a much-discussed book about the scandal and published several documents. In May, the manservant of the Pope, Paolo Gabriele, was identified as the man who had passed on he papers from the Vatican. He was charged, convicted and later pardened by Pope Benedict XVI. What is in the secret dossier?

Was the alleged surveillance done with the blessing of Pope Benedict XVI or rather was it a solo move by the Cardinal Secretary of State? After all, Benedict had officially asked the three Cardinals, Jozef Tomko, Julian Herranz Casado and Salvatore De Giorni to investigate Vatileaks. These handed over to the Pope recently a 300-page long dossier, in which, among other things, there was discussion of a powerful gay lobby in the Vatican.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said on Thursday to the "Panorama" report: "In connection with Vatileaks some wiretaps and surveillance have been authorized by investigative judges." This suggests that monitoring took place of "two or three users." He also denied that a comprehensive wiretap or surveillance was undertaken.

His spokesman colleague Thomas Rosica added that if there had been a monitor, it only took place in a "very small form." Both speakers emphasized the action had not been commissioned by the three cardinals who drafted the dossier relating to the affair.

The contents of the controversial dossier, nobody knows. Benedict has said he will pass it to his successor, and let him decide what to do with it. The Pope on 30th May 2012 stated that the Vatileaks publications had "saddened" him- he stressed that he stood behind his closest associates.

Bertone had been criticized for his crisis management during Vatileaks affair by many because he was seen as overwhelmed. He called the invasion of privacy of the pope serious, and sensed an organized approach: There they were "targeted attacks on the Pope," he told the RAI, the attacks he described as "deliberate, cruel and wounding".

After the resignation announcement of Benedict XVI, Cologne's Cardinal Joachim Meisner told the "Frankfurter Rundschau", that he had asked the pope to dismiss Bertone. The Holy Father however rejected this decision, "Bertone remains basta basta basta" he reportedly said. Insiders describe the connection between Ratzinger and Bertone as a close and trusting. The pope always relied on him and took him for a supporter, says the Vaticanista Marco Politi.

This is all the more surprising, when it is considered that the fall of the Vatican bank chief, instaled by Ratzinger, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi was on Bertone's account. Tedeschi wanted to provide for more transparency after money laundering allegations had become vociferous. After he had asked for details of certain bank accounts, he was sacked.

Whether the publication of the allegations of spying just at this time is politically motivated and intended to mortally wound the "Papabile" Bertone in the upcoming conclave is unclear. "Panorama" is published by the Mondadori publishing house, where Silvio Berlusconi has a majority holding. His daughter Marina runs the company.


Cardinal Pell becomes second Cardinal to criticise Pope's decision

A few hours before the resignation of Pope Benedict, the highest ranking Australian cleric, Cardinal George Pell criticized the decision to abdicate. The 85 year old had thus made it harder for his successors, as "People who do not agree with future Pope can mount a campaign for their resignation," said Pell to an Australian TV station. Benedict XVI was "very aware" of the fact that his resignation was a "break with tradition" and that it was "rather destabilizing" for the Church. For the Pope's biographer Andreas Englisch, Pell is a prime candidate as the Pope's successor. The Archbishop of Sydney is considered to be progressive on social issues, but on matters of faith and morals is classified as a a conservative.


On hearing of the Pope's decision Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow, Poland, personal secretary of John Paul said the latter “led the church to the end because he was convinced that one doesn’t come down from the Cross.”

See also French Archbishop criticizes Pope's decision

Praise for Pope Benedict from Russian Orthodox Church

The abdication of Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger) came as a surprise to the entire Christian world, including representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC). Noting the tremendous progress made between the different Christian traditions under his papacy, experts believe that, whoever is elected to lead the Catholic Church, relations with the ROC will not suffer.

The official position of the ROC was stated by the chairman of the Department for External Church Relations (DECR) of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokalamsk. He suggested that, in the face of serious challenges requiring new stimuli, the pope is naturally giving way to a younger and more dynamic successor.

"Pope Benedict XVI's decision to resign can be regarded as an act of personal courage and humility," read the statement issued by the head of the DECR. "The Orthodox Church is grateful to the outgoing pontiff for his understanding of the obstacles that lie in the way of fully normalized relations between the Orthodox and Catholic churches, especially in western Ukraine."

Full story

Progressive Catholics- stuck in the past and irrelevant to the modern world


"We need a Pope who leads the Church into the future". Head of German Bishops Conference


Robert Zollitsch, head of the German Bishops' Conference, has expressed specific ideas for a future pope. "We need a pope who leads the Church into the future. Who looks forward and makes clear the question of God. And who both organizationally ensures that the Curia is the apparatus which really him full and totally supports him  in his service." He said to tne Phoenix radio station.

As candidates, there is a whole row of competent Cardinals, for whom I have great respect, "said Zollitsch further. Rumors of possible spectacular reasons for the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI,  Zollitsch completely rejected.

"There has always conspiracy theories in the Vatican. You have to get used to it fast." Rather physical reasons were a decisive factor was the resignation. "It really is the physical causes that have weakened the Pope very much. I am convinced this is the reason for him to say really, I resign from my ministry."


Cardinal expects longer Papal election than 2005

Following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI Cardinal Karl Lehmann of Mainz expects no quick decision on a successor in the conclave. He was not a prophet, but the result will not perhaps be as swift as last time , said Lehmann of Mainz to the "Allgemeine Zeitung". The home country of the future pope is not a priority for Mainz Cardinal. Lehmann will himself participate in the conclave. After almost eight years now ends the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI. In March, the Cardinals come together and appoint a successor to Benedict.


Feast of the Repose of the Relics of St Augustine in Pavia


Appropriate given the special veneration of the Pope for St Augustine- the Pope is seen here with the relics.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Final Papal Audience in Full- video


Georg Ratzinger interviewed about his brother's abdication

Regensburg - Again, he sat in front of the TV and looked at "Joseph". This is the name Georg Ratzinger uses for his brother, who has been called Benedict XVI for almost eight years and on Wednesday had his last major appearance as Pope.

Although he can no longer see so well, the 89-year-old in Regensburg wanted to see as much of the general audience as popssible of the outgoing head of the Church in St. Peter's Square. "It was very touching," the prelate said to the news agency dpa. "There was a melancholy mood." And Georg Ratzinger added reassuringly added on the poor health of the soon to be emeritus pope. "He is fine"

Also on the evening of 19 April 2005 Georg Ratzinger had been sitting in front of the TV and looked fixedly at the St. Peter's Square, as "Habemus papam" was proclaimed and the Cardinal proto-Deacon proclaimed the name of the new pope: Joseph Ratzinger. From one second to the other, he became pale and the then 81-year-old slumped in his chair. "He is buried in front of the TV and does not say a word," reported his housekeeper, Agnes Heindl at that time. " I've never seen him like that." The fact that his brother was to be pope, and thus he would lose any private life, had shocked him.

But this time the old man who sat with his snow-white hair was a lot more relaxed in front of the TV. "Despite a certain emotion, the positives are of greater weight," Georg Ratzinger said now about the last major appearance of his brother as Pope. The presence of many of the faithful in St. Peter's Square have let the Catholic Church appear as "one big family". His brother had been "relatively well disposed," certified Georg Ratzinger his closest relative, "even though his inner emotions could be seen."

He who had immediately after the election of Joseph Ratzinger to be Pope had heard the words of the longtime Regensburg chapel choir director, could even then hear doubts about the capacity of the prelate, "I had thought that the not so good health of my brother would have led the Cardinals to choose a somewhat younger pope, "Georg Ratzinger said at the time.

For the last appearance of Benedict XVI in St Peter's Square, the 89-year-old was not specially in Rome. "My brother would have had no time in the day for me," Ratzinger explained his absence.

At the inauguration ceremony on 24 April 2005, he had certainly been there. His next visit to the then already emeritus pope's summer residence in Castel Gandolfo is planned for mid-April.
A repeated return visit of his brother to him in Regensburg, Georg Ratzinger, does not believe will happen. "Joseph" will no longer come to Germany, the longtime head of the cathedral choir is sure, even if Prime Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) personally gave an invitation to the Pope at the Vatican on Wednesday. When Benedict XVI visited Bavaria in 2006, he returned for a few hours to the house of Georg Ratzinger.

Thus, the older brother will still visit the younger several times a year in Rome, soon in in his new home, a converted monastery Vatican. There will be space for both. For Georg Ratzinger knows: "I get my own room."


Georg Ratzinger is not convinced that one of the Cardinal Electors is even a Catholic.

Archives which may throw light on Cardinal O'Brien allegations closed for a 100 years


All material of a personal nature including medical records and reports on progress of students is subject to 100 year closure.

Description Although the archives listed here were from Gillis College, the larger part relate to the previous colleg at Drygrange. The move from Drygange to Gillis took place in summer of 1986.

Most of the papers are from the file of successive rectors. They include not only material on the administration and teaching practice of the colleges but also on the running of Drygrange Estate. Furthermore, as the rectors were involved with national and diocesan commissions as well as being members of different societies, the archives reflect all these aspects of the rectors' lives as well. There are also a small number of purely personal papers.


Cardinal who is not Alan Dershowitz's candidate for the Papacy, defended by Abe Foxman

Harvard academic Alan Dershowitz has hit out at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) over its support for an allegedly antisemitic candidate for next pope, saying he intends “to fight this all the way to Rome”.

In a letter published in the Miami Herald, Mr Dershowitz accused Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras of propagating conspiracy theories about Jews, describing him as an “unrepentant sinner” who has compared the “Jewish-controlled media” to Hitler for its persecution of the church.

He said the cardinal, a possible replacement for Pope Benedict XVI, blamed the Jews for “the scandal surrounding the sexual misconduct of priests toward young parishioners.”
Mr Dershowitz added: “He has argued that the Jews got even with the Catholic Church for its anti-Israel positions by arranging for the media — which they, of course, control — to give disproportionate attention to the Vatican sex scandal.”

But National Director of the ADL Abraham Foxman defended the cardinal. “As far as we are concerned, the issue is closed,” he said.

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Pope Benedict's Pontificate in 2 minutes


Pope invited to return to Bavaria

Rome - Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) has thanked the Pope for his distinctive pontificate. Bavaria and Germany were "very, very grateful," said Seehofer to Benedict XVI at a personal meeting after the last general audience in Rome.

"Bavarians are also sad," he added. Seehofer brought greetings to the Pope from President Joachim Gauck, whom he had met the previous day in Munich. He also invited the then retired Pope to Bavaria. "The answer was a very nice smile," Seehofer said of the brief meeting at the Vatican. The Pope wished Bavaria and his home region all the best while taking on "serene look".

Benedict XVI on 11 February unexpectedly announced his resignation, his term ending on Thursday.


Video of post-Vatican III worship


The Missal is already available in draft form

Cardinal Kasper against quick start to Conclave

The retired German Cardinal Walter Kasper has spoken out against a premature start to the papal election. On Vatican Radio, he said on Tuesday, the Cardinals should take your time, "to think about what kind of pope we need now, and the Church needs now." In the Curia and in the global church, there are large problems. Therefore how the pope could be helped to lead the church must be considered.

Meanwhile, it was announced that Pope Benedict XVI should hold after his resignation on Thursday the title "Pontifex emeritus" or "emeritus pope" is. He should be addressed as "His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI" the spokesman for the Vatican, Lombardi, announced on Tuesday.

The dean of the College of Cardinals, Sodano, is required by 1 March to invite all the cardinals to Rome to begin the general congregations to prepare for the papal election as soon as possible.


Cardinal Danneels leaves for Rome, calls for Papal privy council and Curia reform

The new pope must bring unity in diversity, Cardinal Danneels said on Wednesday at a press conference before his departure for Rome, where he will be present on Thursday for the farewell ceremony of Benedict XVI. For the latter the cardinal had nothing but praise.

It was the first time since the announcement of the resignation of Benedict XVI Cardinal Danneels had spoken to the press.

Danneels is thus going to the conclave, despite various calls not to do. They came there because he would not have moral authority to decide on the successor to the Pope because a judicial inquiry against him because he would have been aware of abuse in the church, but not surgery. A pope is not a matter of moral authority, but it is the duty of every Cardinal Danneels said about that.

The cardinal began his speech with praise for the current pope. He praised him as one who serves his talents fully stated as leader of the church. The three books he wrote about the life of Jesus are written in the style of the Fathers, and that is saying something, "says Danneels.

But wait many challenges still wait the new Pope, he says. His main task is 'unity in diversity'. "We live in a complex world, with rapidly evolving communications and different realities and sensitivities in different continents. The new Pope should try to bring more unity. According to Danneels, the next Pope should be someone with 'great empathy' for sensitivities and differences.

Cardinal Danneels on Wednesday also called for changes in the Curia and supports a privy counsel to assist the Pope.

Cardinal Danneels departs on Wednesday for Rome to attend on Thursday morning the farewell ceremony for Benedict XVI. He remains there until a new Pope is elected.


French Archbishop strongly criticises the Pope for renunciation of his office

Monsignor Roland Minnerath, Archbishop of Dijon, broke his silence after the shock announcement on Monday of Pope Benedict XVI. Further surprise, his reaction also shows a big difference from the point of view of the person leaving his office on February 28.

Bishop Minnerath (to right of Pope) and Bishops of the Province of Dijon, surrounding Pope Benedict XVI during the last Ad Limina visit to Rome in November 2012

On Monday, learning of the decision of Benedict XVI to leave his position as Pope for health reasons at the end of February, Archbishop Minnerath, according to RCF parabole (a radio channel) who was given a sole and unique interview, "did not want believe it. "

On Wednesday morning, Archbishop Minnerath agreed to speak on this sensitive subject. He did this without omitting to point out some disagreement with someone he knows, since the two men both worked at the Theological Commission in Rome.

"When one is Pope, we assume it is unto death", ruled the man of faith.

Explaining: "What is important is that the ministry of a priest, a bishop or the Pope, his intellectual qualities or the gift he makes of himself to Christ?".

"Is it not that which beareth fruit, more than anything else?," analyzed the archbishop before citing the example at the end of the pontificate of Benedict's predecessor, John Paul II:

"He was very impotent during the last years of his life, but he remained to the end" adding: "He gave an example of 'remaining faithful to the call I received.'"

Although he recognizes that Benedict XVI has made a choice "in conscious.”

"But it should not be at the expense of the choices others make to stay until the end."

"This is unprecedented"

This renunciation is a kind of revolution in the Church, which Monsignor Minnerath does not see in a very good light. "If we introduce a criterion of efficiency, this is quite valid in the Government of the temporal things by a head of state. But the exercise of the episcopate or the priesthood is something else!" thundered the archbishop.

According to him, when one is Pope, it means being "a witness, and one is a witness to all ages, whether you are in good condition or tired."

Especially since he highlights "the dimension of the relationship of the Pope to Christ." The following can already be imagined: "What is their status to be?This is unheard of!".

"Humility, simplicity, kindness"

However, Bishop Minnerath is not as severe when it comes to the balance of the eight years of Benedict XVI: "I pray for him, he gave a lot of himself. And also a beautiful testimony of the doctrine of the Church in the times that are ours. "

He retains most of all his "extreme humility, his simplicity and kindness."

Especially since he was found to be very different from the picture painted by the media after taking office: "It is just the opposite of what was told in the beginning."

Hints from his past as Prefect of the Congregation of the Faith made him pass for an ultra-conservative in the Vatican.

Yet this does not "conform" with what Bishop Minnerath knows, citing his "finesse, his kindness and gentleness."

Especially since he was ultimately only half surprised, "he announced that if he was not in good health, he would retire.And he retired!."

What Msgr Minnerath fears the most is "collateral consequences of such a decision."

Revealing "I'm always hesitant when I see such changes, introduced in haste."

Source Msgr Minnerath has written a book on the Papal Primacy, which he discusses, for those understanding French.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Long-term associate of Pope attacks SSPX and calls for new Council

Cathcon note- Professor Dr Wolfgang Beinert is a Jesuit (no surprise there!) has known the Pope for fifty years, is a member of the Ratzinger Schulerkreis and succeeded to his chair in Regensburg. He does not see any objection to the ordination of women.

Given the "reform seizure" in the church emeritus Regensburg theologian Wolfgang Beinert believes "another council to be unavoidable". The current backlog of reforms was frozen by "centuries-old histories and historical constellations" and needed a comprehensive solution Beinert said in an interview with "Kathpress". He acknowledges that the future pope theoretically could use his own authority to bring about a big change, "but every pope is well advised to conform to the consensus of the bishops and so also to clearly express the will of the Church."The word council means nothing else in the final analysis.

The end of the current debates about church reform was according to Beinert therefore not yet in sight. Therefore there is time pressure because the window of opportunity for these reform models especially on the question of the much-needed young priestly vocations is closing.

Nobody wants to be a "vir probatus"

He currently knows a few men who as "viri probati" could take over (married, men of proven qualities) a priestly ministry. "But I know just as sure, their sons would not do that in the next generation - because you can highly praise the 'viri probati' as much as you want - there will be no more." said Beinert (Cathcon- he maintains that, in constrast, to the East, a married priesthood would not produce priests in succeeding generations- a good reason for not accepting it in the West while this sociology prevails).

Regarding the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) Beinert told Kathpress about unfulfilled potential - such as the collegiality of the bishops, in "Solidarity and Compassion" of Christians to non-believers and ecclesial understanding: The council have finally underlined " Communio "- Community – as a structured understanding, the sense of the faith of the faithful (" sensus fidelium ") and turned “against centralism and authoritarianism ". Since the Council, however, in the church a "barricade" mentality and a new fear has prevailed, "you could get too committed to the contemporary." The "aggiornamento" of the council had "not been widely implemented," said Beinert.

Beinert evaluated in this context exceptionally positively the person and role of the late Viennese archbishop, Cardinal Franz König. König was "a conservative man," (Cathcon- speechless about this ludicrous description) in the sense "that he wanted to preserve what is of the nature of faith" - but he was not however conservative in the context of making contemporary the faith and its modern expression. Beinert's conclusion: "I think you can call the Cardinal König undoubtedly one of the most important figures of the 20th century church." (Cathcon- met him once- quite charming- but charming is no guarantee of grace).

Beinert expected no progress in the near future in view of the negotiations between the Vatican and SSPX. Despite more than three years of talks, have shown that the quality of the theological statements of the SSPX are "unsuitable" "to build a solid bridge." (Cathcon- oh, really!)

That the Vatican dialogue proceeds intensively with such a relatively small group is necessary in the struggle for religious unity, Beinert further said. Finally, there is a "formative experience of the Church", namely that "right-wing groups like the SSPX" always were "prone to divisions." He would go so far as to assert that "all heresies in the church came from the right, not one from the left," said Beinert. The left-Catholic wing were neither ultimately community-forming or have had "a church-building power", as this carries the risk of the formation of an Episcopally run parallel church as was the case with the SSPX.

The Regensburg dogmatist was at the invitation of the Vienna "Theology Courses" recently in Vienna, where he lectured on among other matters on the dialogue with the SSPX and the Council.

On the day he abdicated, Pope announced canonisation of 800 martyrs slaughtered for their Faith by Muslim troops


The 800 Martyrs of Otranto to be canonized
Muslim massacre of 1480
On Monday, 11 February in Rome the canonization was announced of 800 Christians took place who suffered martyrdom in the 15th Century in Otranto. The elevation to the altars is to be made in the context of an ordinary consistory of the College of Cardinals which was convened by Pope Benedict XVI.

The canonization concerned Antonio Primaldo and his 800 companions. The Christian inhabitants of the town of Otranto in Apulia, in southern Italy were victims of a bloodbath by Ottoman troops during a raid on 29 July 1480. They killed more than 800 fishermen, craftsmen, farmers, merchants, peasants simply because of their faith.

A Turkish fleet appeared off the coast of Puglia in 1480
On that day in mid-summer in the early hours of the morning, a Turkish fleet appeared of 90 galleys and 66 other vessels. The fleet transported an army of 18,000 soldiers under the command of Gedik Ahmed Pasha, a commander of Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror, who in 1451 at the age of only 21 years, took over the reign of the Ottoman Empire.

In1453, he was successful at the head of an army of 260,000 soldiers in the conquest of Constantinople and the destruction of the Eastern Roman Empire. The largest church in the "Second Rome" and the entire East, Hagia Sophia was desecrared and turned into a mosque. Since then Mehmed II had pursued the goal of conquering also the first Rome and turning St. Peter's Basilica in Rome into a stable for his horses.

Mehmed II took aim at Rome after the conquest of Constantinople
In June 1480, he directed his work of conquest against the real Rome after the conquest of the island of Rhodes with the stubborn and heroic resistance of the Knights of St. John (now Malta) had failed The Turkish fleet sailed westwards and targeted Otranto on the southern Adriatic. The southeastern city of Italy with about 6,000 inhabitants at that time was an important port between East and West.

During the attack, the population had to abandon their city and took refuge in the fortified castle, where they simply found only 400 soldiers, who were left to their own devices with the people.

Turkish massacre cost 17,000 lives: men executed, women and children enslaved
After a fifteen day siege the Turkish attackers on 11 August succeeded through concentrated artillery fire to breach the defensive wall, through which they could enter the castle. Gedik Ahmed Pasha ordered the killing of all the male inhabitants over 15 years, while women and children were enslaved. Some of the inhabitants managed to take refuge before the massacre with the clergy in the city's cathedral. There the Turks met Archbishop Stefano Pendinelli with the Cross in his hand raised towards them who asked the attackers to spare the lives of the people in the house of God, and accept Christ as their Saviour. He was killed in a particularly brutal manner, his head cut off, and this was carried on a spear as a trophy through the streets of the city. The commander of the Castle team was sawn in two while still alive.

Archbishop beheaded - 800 Christians found refuge in cathedral
Gedik Ahmed Pasha demanded the at least 800 Christians in the cathedral to convert to Islam, for which he gave them a night to think. On 12 August, all refused, among them the elderly tailor Antonio Pezzulla called Primaldo. He gave Gedik Ahmed Pasha the response of the trapped: "All of us who believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God and our Savior, are ready to die a thousand times for him."

The Turkish warlord then gave orders to put all in chains. The cathedral was converted into a stable. On 14 August he had all the prisoners taken to a hill outside the city.

The 800 rejected conversion to Islam and were beheaded.
The craftsman Antonio Primaldo who had supported the others in these difficult times was to be executed first. Immediately prior to the beheading he called to the others, they should not lose heart, he had just the heaven which awaited them. Then the executioner of the Pasha decapitated him. As the tradition says, he remained miraculously standing after his beheading. His headless body stood still, until the last one of Otranto's Christians had been executed.

The chronicles give details of one of the Muslim executioners, named Bersabei who was converted by the boldness with which the Christians went to their deaths for their faith. He pleaded loudly for Christ and was also beheaded. Overall, in the city and the surrounding area, 17,000 people were killed by the Turks.

Thirteen months later, Alfonso of Aragon managed to free Otranto. On 13 October 1481, a mass grave was found of the 800 who had been beheaded. Their bodies were not decomposed and were transferred to the cathedral. From 1485, some of the martyrs were brought to other churches. Some are in the Church of Santa Caterina a Formiello of Naples kept under the altar of the Madonna of the Rosary, which commemorates the victorious Battle of Lepanto, when the Turks were defeated by the Christians.

1771 beatified - recognized in 2007 as martyrs for the faith
The canonical beatification process was initiated in 1539 and completed in 1771. Pope Clement XIV acknowledged the 800 martyrs as blessed and allowed her veneration in Otranto. Since then, they have been the patron saints of the city and the Archdiocese.

A few years ago, the Archdiocese of Otranto requested the resumption of canonization process . On 6 July 2007, Pope Benedict XVI gave the canonical recognition of their martyrdom, as they were killed in odium fidei- in hatred of the faith. On 20 December 2012, the Pope recognised a miraculous healing of a nun, Francesca Levote at the intercession of the Blessed Antonio Primaldo and companions and signed the decree for the canonization.


Will it be a round-trip for Cardinal Schönborn as he leaves for Rome?

Schönborn: Great confidence in proper Papal election
Vienna's archbishop departed on Tuesday afternoon to Rome - "The great task of the next Pope will be what Benedict XVI has repeatedly emphasized so clearly- to put God at the centre."

with a prayer at the Archbishop's palace in Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn on Tuesday afternoon said goodbye to his staff before he left for Rome. He had great faith, the Cardinal said, "God is with us", and the cardinals in the conclave would choose the right man to be the next pope. God had already chosen the next Pope, the cardinals task is simply, to discover who this is. To do this requires the prayer of the whole Church, according to Schönborn.

The great task of the next pope will be what also Benedict XV has repeatedly emphasized so clearly - to put God at the centre. It is necessary "to refer to the human desire for God," said Schonborn. Because: "Where God is neglected, humanity comes to be diminished." The Archbishop of Vienna, recalled in his short speech in the Chapel of St Andrew in the Archbishop's palace in this connection the Soviet poet and writer Andrei Sinyavsky, who had just written this down during his imprisonment in an inhuman Soviet prison camp: "Enough talk of the people, we must speak of God . "

The liturgical celebration ended with a double blessing- one from the Archbishop for the employees and one of them gave the appointed blessing prayer for the departing Cardinal Christoph Schönborn


“Even sinners can vote for the Pope”

Interview with Bishop Scicluna, Prosecutor in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

It is their right to take part in the Conclave. God will fill their mouths with words that come from a humiliated and wounded heart.” The papacy that has done the most to combat the scandal of sex-abuse in the Church, adopting Joseph Ratzinger’s “zero tolerance” rule, will give those cardinals tainted by cover-up accusations the “green light” for participation in the Conclave. “Knowledge is not only given to saints but to sinners too,” Maltese bishop, Charles Scicluna, (who has been prosecutor of the in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith tribunal for ten years) explained.

I sit right for the four cardinals who have been dragged into the paedophilia scandal to vote for the next Pope?
“We are all sinners; God will make their presence in the Conclave work for the good of the Church. We should avoid pointing the finger. Even the members of the first college of apostles did not all deserve to be canonised; there are treasures to be found in clay vessels. Human fragility becomes a spectacle for the world. We cannot hand out permits. Who is worthy? In the liturgy we constantly proclaim our unworthiness. Every day in the Church we bear fitness to a holiness we would like to take part in. The curtain of silence that often covered abuse cases has finally been removed. The only guiding principle that can remedy the moral downfall of the clergy is the fact that truth sets humans free.”

Why did these cardinals keep silent about paedophile priests?
“For fear of a scandal breaking out. What they didn’t realise was that they needed to look at the abuse from the exact opposite angle. The real scandal was not reporting the abuse. Perceptions changed: silence became a scandal. We have Ratzinger to thank for this. So we should let them take part in the Conclave. As Psalm 51, the Miserere, says: “Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness. In your compassion blot out my offense. O wash me more and more from my guilt and cleanse me from my sin. My offenses truly I know them.” Their right to participate is linked to the need to show respect for their conscience, whilst their duty to be there involves them taking on their responsibilities. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

Full story

Cathcon- should they really have a hand in determining the next Pope- all liberals of varying shades, almost needless to say.

Episcopate cleansed by Pope Benedict

Throughout his eight-year papacy, Pope Benedict XVI has “carried out a cleansing of the episcopate,” said the apostolic nuncio to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tadjikistan.

“This Pope has removed two or three bishops per month throughout the world because either the accounts in their dioceses were a mess or their discipline was a disaster,” said Archbishop Miguel Maury Buendia during a Feb. 20 address at the University of San Pablo in Madrid.

“The nuncio went to these bishops and said, ‘The Holy Father is asking you for the good of the Church to resign from your post.’”

Nearly all of these bishops, when approached by the Pope’s representative, were aware of the “disaster” and accepted the request to resign, he added.

Full story

It was not the media who hijacked the Second Vatican Council

Theory of the Hijacked Council interesting response to the Pope's comments on the Council saying the media hijacked the Council.

The whole speech to the clergy of the Diocese of Rome

To quote the great litany of the article
It was not the media who asked for a Council to open up the Church to the modern world, but Pope John XXIII.

It was not the media who rejected the prepared schemata drafted the Preparatory Commission, but the Council Fathers.

It was not the media who cut the power to Cardinal Ottaviani's microphone when he protested, but the Council Fathers.

It was not the media who drove the progressive agenda of the Council, but the Council advisors, the periti, such as Hans Kung and Karl Rahner.

It was not the media who appointed the periti, but the Bishops, and in some cases (Kung), the pope himself.
It was not the media who were enamored with the teachings of such dissenting theologians as Rahner, Kung and de Chardin, but the Bishops and theologians of the Church.

It was not the media who failed to put an end to the Council even after it was evident from Session 1 that it had gotten out of control, but Pope Paul VI. (Cathcon- St Padre Pio told a representative of the Vatican to get the thing over quickly).

It was not the media who drafted documents that Benedict XVI himself describes as "dense " and "weak", but the Council Fathers (see here).

It was not the media who promulgated a document that Benedict XVI said was "too naturalistic and unhistorical, took insufficient notice of sin and its consequences, and was too optimistic about human progress", but the Council Fathers.

It was not the media who drafted an intentionally ambiguous document on the inspiration and inerrancy of the Holy Scriptures, which dissident theologians have been able to twist to deny the Bible's authority, but the Council itself.

It was not the media who called for a new Mass despite the fact that the Council never called for a New Mass, but the Church itself acting under a Commission of Bishops established by the Pope.

It was not the media who entrusted the creation of this New Mass to a man commonly believed to be a Freemason (Msgr Bugnini), but Pope Paul VI.

It was not the media who, in the words of Benedict XVI, "introduced a breach into the history of the liturgy whose consequences could only be tragic" with the promulgation of the Novus Ordo Mass, but Pope Paul VI (Milestones, pg. 146-149).

It was not the media who illegally suppressed celebrating Mass according to the 1962 Mass despite the fact that it was "never abrogated" (SP Art. 1), but the Bishops of the Church, most of them also Council Fathers.

It was not the media who promulgated heretical catechisms after the Council with modernist interpretations of the faith, but regional councils of Catholic bishops.

It was not the media who forced the Church to abandon Latin despite the fact that the Council did not call for this, but Bishops.

It was not the media who compelled the pope to give up the papal coronation and tiara and substitute them for an "inauguration", suggesting a democratic Church, but the pope himself.

It was not the media who instituted practices like communion in the hand, altar girls, extraordinary ministers and rock music during Mass, but liturgical experts working for the Church, appointed and supported by Bishops, whose abuses were later authorized by the papacy itself.

It was not the media who insisted on destroying and dismantling historic churches, but parish committees working in conjunction with parish priests with the support of the local bishops, who insisted on such measures as appropriate for the modern Church.

It was not the media who insisted on harsh disciplinary measures against priests and bishops who wished to maintain Catholic Tradition while simultaneously failing to sufficiently discipline dissenting theologians, Catholic colleges that fomented modernism and radical feminism, and whole dioceses mired in liberation theology, but the papacy itself.

It was not the media who screened orthodox aspirants to the priesthood out of the seminaries while encouraging the ordination of homosexuals, but the diocesan bureaucracies.

It was not the media who turned these diocesan bureaucracies over to lay people and dissenting religious, but the Bishops themselves, who voluntarily abdicated their responsibility based on an erroneous understanding of Vatican II's call for greater lay participation.

It was not the media who insisted that Catholic universities hand over control from religious orders to lay persons, but the Bishops and religious orders themselves, as in the case of Notre Dame where this was done in the name of Vatican II.

It was not the media who promised to starve the Catholic Church into accepting married priests by intentionally turning away seminarians, but liberal Catholic bishops, like Kenneth Untener of Saginaw, MI. (1980-2004), who did in fact make such a statement.

It was not the media who confused the faithful about the Church's teaching on issues such as abortion and homosexuality, but dissenting priests and bishops who preached error or refused to correct error when it was preached.

It was not the media who moved tabernacles from their position of centrality and banished them to broom closets, but Catholic priests acting with the tacit or explicit approval of Catholic Bishops.

It was not the media who turned many liturgies throughout the 80's, 90's and even today into horrendous displays of egotism, sacrilege and blasphemy, but Catholic priests operating either with the blessing of their Bishops or without their active opposition.

It was not the media who wrote banal, faith-destroying pop music for our liturgies, but Catholic musicians, many of them priests.

It was not the media who taught that the Church's missionary mandate no longer applies to the Orthodox, but a conference of Catholic bishops at Balamand.

It is not the media who are undermining the Church's missionary mandate by teaching that conversion to the Faith is no longer necessary for salvation, but Catholic missionary orders and organizations who openly teach such things and do so in the name of the Second Vatican Council.

It was not the media who confused the Catholic faithful by kissing the Koran, praying in synagogues and mosques, and attending reprehensible pagan ceremonies, but Pope John Paul II.

It was not the media who taught the Catholic faithful indifferentism by gathering leaders of all the worlds religions to pray for worldly concerns, but Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI at the Assisi meetings.
It was not the media who have failed to "clean up corruption in the Curia", but the popes.

It is not the media who have failed to address the growing "homoheresy" and "Lavender Mafia" within the Church, but the popes.

It was not the media who systematically covered up homosexual abuse within the Church hierarchy, but the Catholic bishops.

It is not the media who fosters these continuing misunderstandings of the Second Vatican Council, but the Catholic Bishops and the Pope who collectively and individually have failed to offer authoritative guidelines for understanding the Council and allow such things as listed above to go on year after year.

Finally, it was not the media who appointed all of the liberal, progressive and modernizing Bishops and Cardinals who have done such things, but the Popes themselves. Cathcon- ironically the most out-of-date document of the Council is the second document issued on the Media of Social Communications, Inter Mirifica

Cardinal- next Pope must 'clean house'


Time for Cardinal's accusers to come out of the shadows

A friend of Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s yesterday challenged the priests who accused him to have the courage to identify themselves.

Writer Peter Jennings, who has known O’Brien for more than 40 years, said: “I believe these priests should have the courage to come out and say exactly who they are.”

He also questioned why the priests made their claims through a senior figure in the diocese rather than directly to nuncio Antonio Mennini, the Vatican’s “open and accessible” ambassador to Britain.

Jennings added: “I would challenge these four men also to be more specific in their allegations.

Fully story

Monday, February 25, 2013

Should the four accusers of the Cardinal be excommunicated for interfering in the Conclave?


The canon lawyer stressed the legal necessity of precise rules in order to "avoid uncertainty and also dangers that have occurred in 2000 years of history". The Cardinals, Archbishop Arrieta said are in obedience obliged to accept the invitation to the General Congregation, and then to take part in the conclave. Who should keep trying, to preventthem attending, to hinder a regular proceeding of the conclave according to the electoral rules, to intervene in the election, or to attempting to influence the election, runs according to canon law, the excommunication latae sententiae. The excommunication must be ascertained in each case specifically. The person responsible will automatically be judged by his action. The severe exclusion from the ecclesial community therefore also applies to anyone who tries to stop any of the 117 voting cardinals from participating in the conclave.


Cardinal joins in Muslim prayer in the Great Mosque of Lyon

The Archbishop of Lyon, Philippe Cardinal Barbarin visited the Grand Mosque of Lyon, and there prayed for the release of a seven-member French family who has been kidnapped in Cameroon and is held hostage. "Does Allah hear the prayers more than our Lord Jesus Christ?," asks the French website Riposte Catholique .

Kabtane Kamel, head of the Grand Mosque of Lyon announced on his website: "Cardinal Barbarin, Primate of the French, visited on 21 February 2013 in the afternoon the Grand Mosque of Lyon, to pray with the Muslim community for the release of seven French hostages, including four children. The prayer was held in the presence of a large audience. After the head of the Great Mosque, Kamel Kabtane, had recited from the Koran, he called on the mosque to pray for the speedy release of the hostages. The Cardinal appeared moved by the fraternal meeting in the mosque of Lyon and prayed with them.

The ceremony was concluded by the imam of the mosque, after he had called for prayer for peace and the brotherhood of man, against unjust wars, for the concerns of innocent people. "
The appearance of Cardinal Barbarin in the mosque was not the first time. Riposte Catholique writes that the Cardinal in 2010 recited at the end of the Mass from the Koran and said elsewhere as early as 2011, the Shahada, the Islamic creed . The secretary of the Archbishop, Renaud de Kermadec said that a quotation in a lecture by the Cardinal at an interreligious dialogue conference had been misunderstood.


Vatileaks dossier kept from Cardinals by Pope as they decide on his successor

The investigation report of the Cardinal Commissioners into the "Vatileaks affair" remains under lock and key and will only be made ​​available to the new Pope. This is from a Vatican communique issued on Monday in connection with an audience for the three cardinals Julian Herranz, Jozef Tomko and Salvatore Di Giorgi. Initially it was thought that the Pope could make the text available to the Cardinals at the start of the General Congregation.

At the audience with the three cardinals, the Pope thanked the Commission for the completion of its, said the statement. Your report did - "beside the limits and imperfections given the human component of all institutions - made clear the generosity, honesty and dedication of the employees for the Holy See in the service of the pope".

"The Pope has decided that the records of the investigation about whose contents only the Pope is aware, will only be made available to the new Pope," according to the communique.


Pope accepts resignation of Cardinal after allegations of 'inappropriate behaviour'

Original story-

Three priests and a former priest report the most senior Catholic clergyman in Britain, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, to the Vatican over allegations of inappropriate behaviour stretching back 30 years.

The Observer newspaper says they have demanded his immediate resignation.

The allegations come just days after Cardinal O'Brien called for Catholic priests to be able to marry and have children, saying some struggled with celibacy.

A statement from the Scottish Catholic church said Cardinal O'Brien contested the claims and was taking legal advice.


"You don't have the figure to be Pope"- Cardinal to female reporter

A team of satirical from ZDF's "Heute (Today) Show" has angered the head of the Catholic Church in Germany. The catalyst was a meeting of the "Heute-show" comedienne Carolin Kebekus with Cologne Cardinal Joachim Meisner last week, as reported by the news magazine "Der Spiegel" in its latest issue.

At a press conference of the German bishops in Trier Kebekus had asked the dignitaries on camera for advancement of women in the church - and says she has a job application in his hand: She wants to be Pope. Meisner's answer: "Because you do not have the figure to be Pope."

Cathcon note- Figur can also mean character or physique- the triple meaning makes the comment a magnet for satire

At the conference, a spokesman for the German Bishops' Conference tried ​​to ensure that the scene will not broadcast, it was stated on TV. He placed himself between the camera and Cardinal. After the incident, the Catholic Church complained to the top management of the station about the "Heute-show". In the broadcast last Friday moderated by Oliver Welke, the report was shown as planned.

Cardinal Meisner should not be too surprised to be a figure of fun if he holds Carnival Masses inside his Cathedral.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Vatican issues warning about the Conclave

The freedom of the College of Cardinals, which alone, under the law, is responsible for the election of the Roman Pontiff, has always been strongly defended by the Holy See, as a guarantee of a choice based on evaluations solely for the good of the Church.

Over the centuries, the Cardinals have faced multiple forms of pressure exerted on the individual voters and the same College, with the aim of conditioning decisions, to bend them to a political or worldly logic.
If in the past the it was the so-called superpowers, namely States, who sought to condition the election of the Pope in their favour, today there is an attempt to apply the weight of public opinion, often on the basis of assessments that fail to capture the spiritual aspect of this moment in the life of the Church.

It is regrettable that, as we draw near to the beginning of the Conclave when Cardinal electors shall be bound in conscience and before God, to freely express their choice, news reports abound which are often unverified or not verifiable, or even false, even subsequent damage to people and institutions.

It is in moments such as these, that Catholics are called to focus on what is essential: to pray for Pope Benedict, to pray that the Holy Spirit enlighten the College of Cardinals, to pray for the future Pope, trusting that the fate of the barque of St. Peter is in the hands of God

Secretary of State communiqué on Conclave:

'via Blog this'

Cardinals' pledge obedience at Papal inauguration restored

Pope Benedict XVI has ordered several changes to the Masses and liturgies that will mark the inauguration of the next pope’s pontificate.

Rites and gestures that are not strictly sacramental will take place either before a Mass or in a ceremony not involving Mass, Monsignor Guido Marini, master of papal liturgical ceremonies, told the Vatican newspaper Feb. 22.

One of the most visual changes, he said, would be the restoration of the public “act of obedience” in which each cardinal present at the pope’s inaugural Mass comes forward and offers his allegiance.

When Pope Benedict celebrated his inaugural Mass in 2005, 12 people were chosen to represent all Catholics: three cardinals, a bishop, a diocesan priest, a transitional deacon, a male religious, a female religious, a married couple and a young man and a young woman recently confirmed.

Full story

Cathcon- a clear indication of disloyal Cardinals during this pontificate.

Monsignor sent into exile after being cited in Vatileaks report

Surprising demotion of Monsignor Balestrero

In a surprise move on Friday Benedict dismissed Monsignor Balestrero, who played an influential role in the State Secretariat and was also involved in the relations of the Vatican Bank abroad. Balestrero will now be ambassador to Colombia, which is understood as a clear demotion. The name Balestrero according to "La Repubblica" was mentioned in the secret report of the three cardinals. The Vatican refused to comment on the speculation about possible new spectacular background to the decision of the Pope. The 85-year-old Benedict has resigned for age reasons.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Vatican insists all cardinals must attend Conclave- even Danneels,Brady, Mahony and Rigali

The Vatican said Friday that the presence of the cardinals in the conclave to elect the new pope is an absolute requirement, while many of them criticized in pedophilia scandals are pressed by victims' associations not to go to Rome.

Father Federico Lombardi, spokesman of the Holy See- "It is a duty, a ministry given to cardinals. Under no circumstances can it be waived," said Father Federico Lombardi, spokesman of the Holy See at a press briefing.

In several countries, the United States, Belgium and Ireland, associations of former victims of pedophile priests are pushing for some cardinals to be prevented by their church to go to Rome.

Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles is particularly in the crosshairs, after he was relieved of his duties last month for protecting in the past priests accused of sexual abuse.
But the former Archbishop of Philadelphia Justin Francis Rigali, Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels and Irish Cardinal Sean Brady are also on trial.

In principle, the electoral college is composed of 117 cardinals under the age of 80 years. But more could be absent for health reasons. "The acceptance of reasons for absence depends on the congregation of cardinals meeting prior to the conclave, after the resignation of the pope, said Father Lombardi.

Asked about the predictable absence of Julius Riyadi Darmaatmadja, Archbishop Emeritus of Jakarta, the spokesman acknowledged that a cardinal would probably be absent "for health reasons", these generally being considered valid.

According to the Italian magazine Panorama, another Cardinal Antonius Naguib Egyptian could also be absent for health reasons.


German Bishops' ruling on the morning after pill based on scientific myth

Morning-after pills all have abortive potential, doctor says

The reasoning offered by the German Catholic bishops for allowing the morning-after pill in rape cases is being faulted for citing information that is not medically accurate.

“There is absolutely no such pill with a 100 percent guarantee that it will not cause an abortion,” said Dr. Catherine Vierling, who studied medicine at the Universities of Paris and Strasbourg.

The German bishops unanimously agreed on Feb. 21 to allow the morning-after pill to be administered in Catholic health facilities for rape cases, provided that it is administered in a way that “has a preventive and not an abortive effect.”

Their decision came after a 25-year-old woman said she was raped and was refused treatment at two Catholic hospitals in Cologne.

“Medical and pharmaceutical methods which result in the death of an embryo still may not be used,” a Feb. 22 statement from the German Bishops’ Conference said.

However, as part of their discussion, Cardinal Karl Lehmann, president of the conference’s Commission for Doctrine and Faith, provided a moral and theological evaluation of the morning-after pill “on the basis of scientific findings on the availability of new compounds with modified effect.”

Full story

Cathcon has made a request via the Bishops Conference website for the scientific findings on which the statement is based. The German Bishops owe it to the Catholic world to provide these as a matter of urgency.

Cardinal Schönborn worried by homosexual adoption

The local Roman Catholic Church is not happy with this week's ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on the adoptive rights of homosexual couples. This ruling "we'll have to take note of, but look at it with concern," Cardinal Christoph Schönborn and Bishop Klaus Küng gave their position on Friday via Kathpress.

The ECHR held: gay people should not be denied the so-called stepchild-adoption because of their sexual orientation. Austria discriminates against gay couples.

The problem with the judgment is that "there is a further development towards reframing the family image prescribed" according Schönborn and Küng. Every person has "dignity" - and whose "attitudes, beliefs, skills, and sexual orientation" are to be respected. If, however, the "right to demand the cessation of all forms of discrimination", has an influence on family law, there are serious consequences to be taken into account," say the churchmen. "Central to this question is that the child's welfare must be considered. The identity of each person is "inextricably linked to his own father and his own mother, it said in the statement. "And the child suffers most when families break up or if they can now grow up in the security of the family within the meaning of marriage between father and mother."

Politicians have announced their intention to amend the relevant legislation in the context of the judgement of the award judges. The SPÖ (Socialists) wants a major reform: that gay couples can marry and be allowed to adopt children. The ÖVP (People's Party- Christian Democrats- theoretically Catholic)  rejects this. They want to allow only stepchild-adoption. In the spring, a draft bill will be published.


Glove Puppet Cardinal

Reactions illustration for Cathcon story

Am trying to track down the evidence that the Bishops' Conference used to maintain that the morning-after pill is not an abortofaciant.

Pressure on Cardinal Danneels not to attend Conclave

The representatives of the victims of the paedophile priests "do not want him not to go"

Father Rik Devillé, head of the group "Human Rights in the Church" wants to prevent the Cardinal Godfried Danneels from participating in the next conclave. "It would be morally inappropriate given everything we know about how the cardinal was silent for years about sexual abuse by his priests! And then there is always an ongoing investigation for culpable negligence by absence or non-assistance to people in danger. "

Judgment falls like a guillotine blade from the former parish priest who never ceases to settle accounts with his institution, and he is obviously inspired by the campaign against the presence of American cardinal Roger Mahony in the conclave who faces strong critcism on both sides of the Atlantic.

But comparison is not right: the former Archbishop of Los Angeles relieved by his successor Msgr Gomez and can not speak or act in the American Church. He is called to the conclave, because he is not yet 80 years old because the Pope has not (yet) been led to the logical conclusion to deprive him of his title of cardinal. A heavy decision , so heavy that there is only one precedent: Cardinal Louis Billot, who could not accept the condemnation by the Church of Action française and Charles Maurras.

Rik Devillé however did not budge: he suggests that the successor Godfried Danneels, Archbishop Léonard, should follow his fellow Californian, and also remove the cardinal. No question of starting a petition here, but " Mensenrechten Kerk" will contact directly parishes and local communities in the coming days.

What do the top of the church think of this? Spokesman for the Bishops' Conference, Fr Tommy Scholtes SJ has no doubt that Cardinal Danneels will go to Rome and will have the rest next week to farewell the current pope. "It is a duty for him, especially as this is an important vote for the universal Church as it is for Belgium. I will go further: if there was no real reason, the conclave could be invalidated! Finally, Rik Devillé is aware that there is the presumption of innocence. "

The controversy arises at the moment of the publication of the first report of the Arbitration Center of Parliament and the Belgian Church. Finally, 621 victims of clerical abuse have made a request for compensation. So far, 67 cases have been treated, resulting in damages of 303,000 euros. The Church will pay finally about 2.5 to 3 million euros. So far, it has paid compensation of 5000 euros relating to 48 "lighter" cases and larger amounts for 19 "serious" cases.


Feast of the Chair of St Peter


Homosexual network in Vatican organised sex parties and blackmailed senior members of the Curia

Gay network organised sex parties
The Cardinals with their information had given the Pontiff "a clear picture of the damage and the rotten fish" in the Vatican, said the newspaper report. Is it about "improper influence" on members of the Curia, and an overarching network, linked together by "sexual orientation", of lobbyists with financial interests. The report explicitly spoke of violations of several Christian commandments. With these papers on his desk Benedict had decided a week before Christmas on his resignation.

Some high prelates were influenced from outside by laymen, to whom they were associated by relations of "secular nature", the newspaper said. The word homosexuality was used in the context. However merely cited is a source briefed on the report that claims everything had turned to the non-observance of the commandments, which say one should not steal or engage in "impure acts". The Cardinals have identified a hidden gay network that organised sex parties in Rome and the Vatican. Curia members in the network had been blackmailed because of their sexual orientation.

In the "Vatileaks" affair over stolen and passed-on documents of Pope Benedict, the valet Paolo Gabriele  was convicted and later pardoned by the head of the church.

Benedict expires on 28 February from his post. The report says that he wants to pass the "Vatileaks" personal information to his successor, hoping that he is "strong, young and holy" enough, to then take the necessary steps.

Source See also Did Pope's discovery of gay network in Vatican lead to abdication? Similar story- very different source

Cardinal supports female deacons

The German bishops discuss at their spring conference about how they can support greater participation of women in the Catholic Church. Cardinal Walter Kasper calls for a new diaconal ministry, women priests, he rejects, however.

Trier - At the spring meeting of the German Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Walter Kasper has proposed a new diaconal office for Women. He spoke of a parish deacon who takes on certain pastoral, charitable, catechetical and liturgical services. Such an office is different from the post of male deacon, said Kasper. The parish deacon will be commissioned by a blessing, not by a sacramental consecration.

"I think if there is such a position that is not simply attached to the classic office of deacon, would have a lot more flexibility," the retired cardinal said on Wednesday in Trier. The occasion was a study day in which the bishops discussed how they can support greater participation of women in the Catholic church.

They committed themselves to "increase significantly the proportion of women in leadership positions that do not require ordination to increase significantly," said Bishop Franz-Josef Bode. Currently, women occupy 13 percent of the top management positions in the Catholic Church. At the central level, this may be 19 percent. The figures show: "Women are still under-represented." After five years, the bishops wanted to examine how their intent had been implemented, said Bode.

Women in the priesthood were rejected by Kasper, "I think that this will not change the position that women can not be ordained to the priesthood." This was "the unbroken tradition of the Eastern Church as the Western Church." Women can however in all other parts of the church be active in volunteer and official roles. "Every German parish would collapse if the women did not work"

The Movement We are Church called on the sidelines of the Spring Plenary again for the priesthood for women. "The key positions in the church only come through priestly office," said their representative Annegret Laakmann . "We want to be priests, bishops and Popes." According to the movement, needs for more positions for women in the administration of the Church are not a matter for discussion. "It's a matter of course that women with the required qualifications get these positions," said Laakmann. The talks had been "a sop".


"Morning-after pill" - statement of German Bishops Conference in English

Moral theological issues related to rape ("morning-after pill ")
The Assembly in the light of current events considered the moral theological aspects
of the administration of the so-called "morning after" pill for women, who have fallen victim to rape.

Cardinal Karl Lehmann (Mainz) as chairman of the Doctrinal Commission of the German Bishops' Conference described the moral theological evaluation of the use of a so-called "morning after" pill on the basis of scientific knowledge about the availability of new medications with altered the mode of action.

Cardinal Joachim Meisner (Cologne) explained the background to his declaration of 31 January 2013, following the actual case of the turning away of a rape victim by two hospitals run by religious orders in Cologne, which he issued, in consultation with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical Academy for Life.

The Assembly reaffirms that women in Catholic hospitals, who are the victims of rape should, of course, receive human, medical, psychological and pastoral assistance.

This may include the administration of a "morning-after pill" insofar as it has a contraceptive and not an abortifacient effect.

Medical and pharmaceutical methods that cause the death of an embryo may not in the future be applied. The German bishops have confidence that in Catholic operated facilities the practical; treatment decision will be based on these moral theological requirements. In any case, the decision is to respect the woman concerned.

The Assembly recognizes the need, besides first comments on the "morning after pill" to examine in greater depth the wider context of the question - in contact with the person responsible in Rome - to discover and make the necessary distinctions. The bishops are in appropriate discussions with the leaders of the Catholic hospitals, with Catholic gynecologists and physicians, as well as with consultants.

Text in German See Foul Play by German Bishops

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Did the Pope's discovery of an influential "gay lobby" in the Vatican lead to his abdication?

The Vatileaks dossier as a fourth secret of Fatima . Three "James Bond" Cardinals had to write it, at the command of Pope Benedict XVI, after his former butler had removed some confidential documents. They all all over eighty and therefore will not enter the next conclave: Julián Herranz, Josef Tomko and Salvatore De Giorgi. Months and months of painstaking investigation, interrogation, analysis of the alliances that have been consolidated within the hallowed halls in order to compile, report after report, a file that is burning hot.

On December 17, the three cardinals have delivered the only existing copy into the hands of the Pope, as confirmed by the director of the Vatican press office, Father Federico Lombardi. A dossier on Vatileaks, which will be inherited by the new Pontiff, which even if only for the highly symbolic gesture of Benedict XVI who received in private audience on his penultimate day the three "007" cardinals, will weigh more than a little on the next pontificate. Today some excerpts of what was written in those papers are revealed by Conchita De Gregorio of La Repubblica  and Ignazio Ingrao of Panorama.

Everything turns around the infringement of two commandments: Do not commit adultery, do not steal. That is the sex and money which are in the middle of the dark story of Vatileaks. A dark page of the Church of Rome is destined to be open for a long time after the short reign of Ratzinger. As is apparent from these indiscretions, Benedict XVI, who has lived in the Roman Curia for thirty-two years, would have discovered by reading the pages of the dossier that the filth in the Church which he had denounced as a cardinal is far beyond his imagination.

From the report, and perhaps this is the part that shocked most of the Pope, there is a "gay lobby" within the Vatican, which included the most influential and networked within those hallowed halls.

The biographer of Benedict XVI, Peter Seewald, categorically ruled out, after having spoken directly with the German Pope about the drafting of a new book soon to be published, that the renunciation of the papacy has been made by Ratzinger because of the scandal Vatileaks. But most likely the file, which has been two months on the desk of Pope Benedict XVI, has confirmed the decision to give to someone else the government of the Church of Rome. This is a thesis that is supported by the director of "Tv2000", Dino Boffo, prominent among the victims of the Vatileaks story.

According Boffo, in fact, the Pope's decision to renounce the papacy is designed to "put an end to a power management which can offend the least and the lowly." "I think" - adds the director of TV forthe Italian bishops - that the Holy See should get rid of the infamous habit of anonymous letters without signatures and without senders ". Meanwhile, the last stab at the Pope comes from his homeland. A few weeks before the conclave, the German Bishops' Conference today expressed a favorable opinion, within certain conditions, about the administration of the morning-after pill to women who request it after they have been victims of rape . The yes of the fellow bishops of the Pope, however, is partial. The clinics are authorized to administer the pill only when clinically the drug can prevent fertilization of the egg and not when its effect would be to cause an abortion. The distinction is very important: human life begins, according to the decision of the German Bishops' Conference, when the egg is fertilized, then intervening before a human life is not suppressed.


Foul play by the German bishops- "Morning after" pill: a fait accompli during the Sede Vacante

The German Catholic Bishops conference today approved of the use of the morning after pill in cases of rape.

The following commentary was published earlier in the week- but it was clear which way they were going.

"Are the German bishops playing foul by exploiting the Roman interregnum?" They convey this impression at least writes the Spanish church historian Francisco de la Cigoña. Although the Holy See only is vacant on 28 February, there is little doubt that in these final days of the pontificate of Benedict XVI, which are taken up by Lenten exercises, substantial papal decisions are hardly to be expected. "We experience a church that is for a month without a head," said de la Cigoña.

"It seems almost pathetic that the German bishops could take advantage of this time to introduce the morning-after pill and provide the next Pope with a fait accompli," said church historian on recent German events. No sooner does the Pope tender his resignation, than the German bishops availed themselves og the opportunity of a semi-Sede Vacante and soon the full Sede Vacante, to turn their backs on "non-negotiable values"? It all began with a media hyped rape case in Cologne which distorted the facts.

Rape cases represent only a tiny number of all the reasons for abortion and have been used since the beginning of the abortion debate as the crowbar with which the abortion lobby could overturn the right to life. And this has been very successful. A marginal exception is converted into a measure of the total issue, because it can be used as a moral cudgel against pro-lifers. The urge to defend himself against the media orchestrated attacks against institutions of the Archdiocese of Cologne, Cardinal Archbishop Joachim Meisner pussyfooted into abortion cases, by leaning on alleged research coming from all place the abortion lobby.

Since then, the question is asked whether he was simply advised poorly or if there is an actual change of direction in the Catholic Church in Germany. Perhaps to finally break out of the corset of the protection of life, which seems so little to relevant to "modern life" and even less with the current legislation.

The rape case seems to drive the abortion wedge in the Catholic Church. From the German bishops namely no criticism of Meisner's position was heard. With nuances from the Archbishop of Berlin, Cardinal Woelki to the Essen bishop, Cardinal Lehmann came consent. It seems as if the majority of the German bishops agree to use the unexpected resignation of Pope Benedict XVI as an opportunity to differentiate themselves in a central ethical question from the Roman position. This is not new. Since the "Königstein Declaration" of 1968 in response to the prophetic encyclical Humanae Vitae of Pope Paul VI. the German bishops have been in conflict with Rome. A wound of disobedience that has not healed to this day.

The results of the cited study, the Spanish church historian will be sure to investigate. The results presented by the abortion lobby alone are not enough, however. They must first be confirmed. And even then, there are still a number of other issues to consider, such as the prophylactic effect, over the use of force to the openess to life, before making a decision.

"A decision cannot be made while the Chair of Peter is vacant, or over the head of the Pope," said de la Cigoña.


Pope lifts ultimatum on SSPX

This morning, 22 February the "ultimatum" would have expired which the Curial Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, who heads the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei presented to the Society of St. Pius X.. By that date, the SSPX which was founded by Archbishop Lefebvre had make a response to the June 2012, "Doctrinal preamble" presented by the Vatican.

At noon today, theVatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said that Pope Benedict XVI would leave the matter of the SSPX to his successor, without making any further details. Pope Benedict XVI has apparently lifted the deadline given in the Archbishop's letert. The question remains open until the new head of the church gives new directives.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013



Don Bosco's message for the next Pope

Anchor the barque of St Peter between the Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin.  Don Bosco's Dream of the Two Columns

How sick is Pope Benedict really?


Last week, Pope Benedict XVI announced. (85) his resignation as Pope - because he was too old and too weak to feel for the performance of his duties.

Since then, there has been repeated speculation about the health of the Holy Father. He had no acute illness, says the Vatican. But now, Pope biographer Peter Seewald (58) in "Focus" talks about his last meeting with Benedict a few weeks ago, in the Apostolic Palace

The Pope expert: "His hearing had diminished. The left eye did not see," He continued," the body was emaciated, so that the tailors had difficulties with providing appropriate new clothing. "

Observations, which are also made by BILD Vatican correspondent Albert Link:
" The signs of weakness are obvious. For more than a year, close associates of Benedict XVI have known how he diminishes. Besides the problems with eye and ear, also the memory is in decline. It would seem that he could no longer remember at meetings. "

However: "The problems with the eye are far from new, they started 20 years ago, when he suddenly after a student meeting in Germany felt a white haze in front of the eye. The eye clinic told him it would have been better if he had come twelve hours earlier. A close friend of the then cardinal believes the haze was the result of an unremarked small stroke.

Since then, they say, the future Pope had to wear glasses with very different strengths.

On top of that, the Pope himself cannot cope with the stairs to the main altar in St. Peter's, without help. The newspaper "La Stampa" reported that after a nocturnal fall on his Central American trip almost a year ago Benedict XVI decided to resign, but this was, however, denied by the Vatican.

Surprisingly, last week came the news that Benedict only about three months ago had a heart operation.

Vatican spokesman Father Lombardi immediately tried to calm things down. During the procedure, only the battery of the pacemaker had been exchanged. "A routine intervention," said Lombardi. The OP has nothing to do with the resignation of the Pope!

But unknown to others, Benedict received a pacemaker when he was a Cardinal.

Farewell General Audience
On 27 February, the pontiff will hold a general audience of the faithful. 150,000 people are expected in Rome.

At the weekend for the penultimate Angelus ("The angel of the Lord ...") of Benedict many believers flocked to St. Peter's Square.

After his retirement Benedict XVI will retire to a monastery in the Vatican City State. He wants to lead a life of prayer and meditation.


The Smoke of Satan has entered the Church

End of 2009 film on life of Pope Paul VI

Archbishop Gänswein reportedly says Cardinal Meisner's statement "not true"

Secretary of Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Georg Gänswein is said to have accused the Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Joachim Meisner of being untruthful. The Osnabrück-based social ethicist Manfred Spieker was reported in the "Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger" (Wednesday edition). Spieker says he received an email from Gänswein on 14February , in which the latter wrote that it was "not true" that Meisner had called him and spoken with him about his opinion on the "morning after pill". This was "to deny" the report.

The Archbishop of Cologne had earlier in the "Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger" said after his surprising statement, that the "morning after pill" could be ethically used after rape as a contraceptive, he had informed Gänswein by telephone. He said, "The Pope knows. it's all in order".

Spieker, a protagonist of the "protection of life" movement did not at their request provide the "Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger" with Gänsweins alleged e-mail, but quoted from it in conversation.

He stressed that he had sent the secretary of the Pope the relevant passage from the Meisner interview on 12th February. It must be presumed, said the Osnabrück scientists that neither the CDF nor the Pontifical Academy for Life had dealt officially with the declaration of Cardinal Meisner, but that only by phone or electronically given a quick okay for the declaration of the Cardinal. Meisner had in KStA interview highlighted the support for his statement from the Roman institutions.

Cardinal Meisner's spokesman Christoph Heckeley reiterated that Meisner's statement was "intensely" discussed with the Academy for Life and the Congregation. He also indicated a possible misunderstanding of Meisner's statements. The Cardinal did not claim to have given Gänswein or the Pope knowledge of his statement in advance, but only after the publication of his statement. Meisner's U-turn in the moral judgment of the "morning after pill" is a response to the Cologne clinic scandal. In December, two Catholic hospitals refused to treat a raped woman, because they feared that otherwise they needed to provide guidance on the "morning after" pill, the prescription of which was in Catholic institutions at that time strictly prohibited.


See original interview in English

and  German Catholic Bishops' Conference inclined to approve "morning-after" pill

Priest with Superman instead of Christ on his chasuble


The Mexican priest Humberto Alvarez has used unusual methods to make the church attractive to young people. And he gets help from a super-hero.

Superman on his chasuble, blessing with water pistol. The Mexican priest, Humberto Alvarez tries with creativity to get children and youth to like the Church.

There is encouragement and also criticism of his actions said Alvarez according to Mexican media reports. "There are groups which support me and there are people who oppose, as they worry that I might be perceived as a caricature.

The Bishop of Saltillo who is responsible for the priest, Raul Vera has done nothing against his unusual practice. The children's Masses enjoy a lively throng.


Battle in Vatican leaves Archbishop Müller routed by Cardinal Bertone

Secretary of State, Cardinal Bertone reprimands Archbishop Müller

(Lima) in the Andean country of Peru, there is a rebellious university, which Rome has deprived of the right to continue to call itself a "Catholic." The Archbishop who is responsible and nominal Chancellor of the academic institution withdrew from the entire faculty for the right to teach theology. After a heated session, which took place a few days ago in Rome, it has been laid down by the Holy See that the rebel university will continue without theologians. Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone was responsible for invitations to the meeting. The senior participants wished to thwart the intentions of the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,Curial Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller. He had tried to take the side of the Peruvian rebel party. A "gross error" from the protector of the faith, as it is said in Rome.

Several Dicasteries were invited to the meeting to consider a letter from Archbishop Müller to the Archbishop of Lima, Cardinal Juan Cipriani Thorne dated the end of January. In it the Prefect demanded an explanation of why the Peruvian Cardinal had revoked the church's permission to teach all the university professors of theology department. The disciplinary measures were notified to the university authorities in December after which the Holy See by decree of June 2012, deprived the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú of the right to continue to describe themselves as "Papal" and "Catholic".

University must not be no longer describe themselves as "Papal" and "Catholic" - entire faculty of theology deprived of teaching license.

The disciplinary measures which had the approval of Pope Benedict XVI, has lost none of its legal validity, since the university boards continue to refuse to reform the statutes and to conform to the the ecclesiastical provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae for higher education institutions.

Although the Roman decree at the time of appointment of the Bishop of Regensburg to Rome had been adopted, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith becaome active after the rebellious professors had turned to complain to him. According to them, the withdrawal of permission to teach was made from "reasons of doctrine." Müller felt himself to be responsible for this matter and called on the Archbishop of Lima, despite his decision to allow the teaching regularly of theology. He justified this unusual step of saying that the Holy See had not yet decided the question.

Archbishop Müller's interference neither in Lima nor in the Vatican taken well
This interference of the new Prefect at the Congregation of the Faith was not taken well in Archbishop's Palace in Lima and not in the other departments in Rome. Therefore Secretary of State Cardinal Bertone called together the meeting at which the Müller 's letter was cancelled. It was done on the grounds that it had merely been a "personal" initiative by the Prefect, who had not even consulted his experts at the Congregation. 

Müller also did not also send the letter via the regular channels of the Apostolic Nunciature in Lima. The Archbishop of Lima, Cardinal Cipriani had instead simply just got a fax.  The letter had ignored canon law, according to the other Dicasteries, in which the competent diocesan bishop has the right to grant and revoke the teaching license.

The result of the meeting was immediately sent through diplomatic channels to Peru. It can be summarized as follows: The letter from Archbishop Mueller is null and void and the decision of Archbishop Cardinal Cipriani has undiminished validity.

Müller's letter null and void - "Hard hit" for the new tenant of the Holy Office
The former Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, whose acronym of PUCP has shrunk in UP has not enough teachers who are willing to teach at the university without ecclesiastical permission.

The outcome of the meeting chaired by Cardinal Bertone was a "serious blow" to the new head of the CDF, as Andrés Beltramo Álvarez for Vatican Insider wrote. It is questioned in the Roman Curia whether the "new German" in Rome "is really the right man for such a central post, which demands maximum discipline demands and allows neither for improvisation nor for formal or editorial errors".