Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Traditional Litany for the English Nation on St George's Day

And said on Thursday's throughout the year.

Remember not, O Lord, our offences, nor those of our fathers; neither take thou vengeance of our sins.

Lord have mercy,
Lord have mercy

Christ have mercy,
Christ have mercy

Lord have mercy,
Lord have mercy

Jesus, receive our prayers,
Lord Jesus, receive our petitions

God the Father, Creator of the world,
Have mercy on England

God the Son, Redeemer of mankind,
Have mercy on England

God the Holy Ghost, Perfector of the elect,
Have mercy on England

Holy Trinity, three Persons and one God,
Have mercy on England

Holy Mary , Mother of God,
Pray for England

Holy Mary, Queen of Angels, who alone destroyest all heresies, Pray for England

Holy Mary, Virgin of virgins,* whose eminent sanctity our Lord hath honoured with so many miracles,
Pray for England

St. Michael,* prince of the Church,
Pray for England

St. Gabriel,* glorious messenger of our Saviour’s Incarnation,
Pray for England

St. Raphael,* faithfulguide of those who have lost their way,
Pray for England

Holy Angel, to whose pious custody this province is committed, Pray for England

AH ye holy Angels and blessed Spirits of heaven,* who celebrate with joy the conversion of sinners,
Pray for England

St. John Baptist,* precursor of the Messias, and great example of penance,
Pray for England

All ye holy Patriarchs and Prophets,* friends of God, and advancers of his truth,
Pray for England

St. Peter,* prince of the Apostles, and supreme pastor of Christ’s sheep,
Pray for England

St. Paul,* doctor of the Gentiles, who, of a persecutor, becamest a preacher,
Pray for England

St. Andrew,* first disciple of Christ, and constant lover of the Cross,
Pray for England

All ye holy Apostles and Evangelists,* chief planters of the Christian faith, and zealous maintainer of Catholic unity,
Pray for England

St. George, our principal patron,
Pray for England

St. Alban, our first martyr,
Pray for England

St. Thomas of Canterbury, who, as a faithful shepherd, laidst down thy life in defence of the Church,
Pray for England

All ye holy Martyrs of this nation, * who voluntarily lost your lives here to find them in a joyful eternity,
Pray for England

St. Gregory, most vigilant Bishop of the Universal Church,* whoso pious zeal sent missioners from Rome for the conversion of our ancestors,
Pray for England

St. Augustine, Apostle of this nation,* bv whom our forefathers were reclaimed from paganism and infidelity,
Pray for England

St. Bede, most venerable Confessor,* by whose religious life and learned writings the Catholic faith was eminently propagated amongst us,
Pray for England

All ye holy Bishops and Confessors, by whose wisdom and sanctity this island was once a flourishing seminary of religion,
Pray for England

St. Helen, most holy queen,* and mother of the First Christian emperor,
Pray for England

St. Ursula, most blessed martyr,* who diedst in the glorious defence of faith and chastity,
Pray for England

St. Winefride, most admirable virgin,* even in this unbelieving generation still miraculous,
Pray for England

All ye holy Saints of this nation,* who, amidst the * innumerable joys of heaven, still retain a particular charity for the salvation of your country,
Pray for England

All ye holy Saints of all places,* who, though divided here in several regions, were united in the same faith, and now enjoy one common felicity,
Pray for England

Be merciful,
Spare us, 0 Lord.
Be merciful.
Graciously hear us, O Lord.

From the dangers most justly threatening* our sins,
Deliver England, O Lord

From the spirit of pride, rebellion, and apostasy,
Deliver England, O Lord

From the spirit of hypocrisy, profaneness, and sacrilege, Deliver England, O Lord

From the presumption of private opinion, and contempt of the authority of Thy Church,
Deliver England, O Lord

From schism, heresy, and all blindness of heart,
Deliver England, O Lord

From gluttony, drunkenness, and the false liberty of an undisciplined life,
Deliver England,O Lord

O Lord. We sinners,
Beseech thee, hear us

That it may please thee to hasten the conversion of this our miserable country, and reunite it to the ancient faith and communion of thy Church,

That it may please thee particularly to have mercy on our relations, friends, and benefactors, and open their eyes to see the beauty of thy truth, and embrace it,
We Beseech thee, hear us

That it may please thee to comfort and strengthen thy servants, who suffer for the Catholic faith,
We Beseech thee, hear us

That it may please Thee not to permit the weakest of us, by any temptation whatsoever, to fall away from thee and thy truth,
We Beseech thee, hear us

That it may please thee to assist with thy special grace those good pastors who venture their lives for their flock,
We Beseech thee, hear us

That it may please thee daily to augment in them the fire of thy love and the zeal of gaining souls,
We Beseech thee, hear us

That it may please thee to preserve the Catholics of this land from all sin and scandal,
We Beseech thee, hear us

That it may please thee so to adorn their lives with solid piety, that others, seeing their good works, may glorify thee our heavenly Father,
We Beseech thee, hear us

That it may please thee to enlighten all schismatics with thy powerful grace,
We Beseech thee, hear us

That it may please thee to s shew them the danger of their state, and the great importance of eternal salvation,
We Beseech thee, hear us

That it may please thee mercifully to look down from heaven on the tears of the afflicted, and the blood of so many martyrs, who have spent their lives, and suffered death to convert us to thee,
We Beseech thee, hear us

Son of God,
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Have, mercy on us

Christ hear us,
Christ graciously hear us

Let us pray.
Almighty and everlasting God, whose judgments are righteous and counsels unsearchable ; who visitest the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation, and yet at length rememberest mercy ; forgive, we beseech thee, the sins of our forefathers, and turn away thy wrath from their posterity : deliver the ignorant from being seduced by false teachers, and the learned from being abused by their passions, and the whole nation from the spirit of contradiction, licentiousness, and discord ; that instead of so many divisions and changes in religion, under which they labour, they may again be restored to that unity of mind, steadiness of faith and tranquility of conscience, which is nowhere to be sought but in the communion of thy Church, nor possible to be found but by the conduct of thy grace, Through our Lord Jesus Christ

Bishop Williamson to re-visit Germany

Bishop Richard Williamson will visit Germany in the next days according to the webpage Williamson will consecrate a chapel of sisters in Häusern, southern Germany, and visit the Carmelite nuns of Brilon Wald who have left the FSSPX some weeks ago. Further the bishop will be the guest of a Sedevacantist Mass centre in Wigratzbad. According to, in Germany a split between followers of the FSSPX and followers of bishop Williamson is imminent.


Video-SSPX priest kicked and beaten by French police


This happened at the latest mass protest in Paris against same sex marriage proposals.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Rocking, rolling, biking priest mixing in politics


Clearly a Diocese out of control- another  of their  priests who uses superheros rather than the Cross as Christian symbols.

American religious women will be disappointed by new Pope


Today the Superiors of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith met with the Presidency of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in the United States of America. Most Rev. J. Peter Sartain, Archbishop of Seattle and the Holy See’s Delegate for the Doctrinal Assessment of the LCWR, also participated in the meeting.

 As this was his first opportunity to meet with the Presidency of the LCWR, the Prefect of the Congregation, Most Rev. Gerhard Ludwig Müller, expressed his gratitude for the great contribution of women Religious to the Church in the United States as seen particularly in the many schools, hospitals, and institutions of support for the poor which have been founded and staffed by Religious over the years. The Prefect then highlighted the teaching of the Second Vatican Council regarding the important mission of Religious to promote a vision of ecclesial communion founded on faith in Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Church as faithfully taught through the ages under the guidance of the Magisterium (Cf. Lumen gentium, nn. 43-47). He also emphasized that a Conference of Major Superiors, such as the LCWR, exists in order to promote common efforts among its member Institutes as well as cooperation with the local Conference of Bishops and with individual Bishops. For this reason, such Conferences are constituted by and remain under the direction of the Holy See (Cf. Code of Canon Law, cann. 708-709).

Finally, Archbishop Müller informed the Presidency that he had recently discussed the Doctrinal Assessment with Pope Francis, who reaffirmed the findings of the Assessment and the program of reform for this Conference of Major Superiors.

It is the sincere desire of the Holy See that this meeting may help to promote the integral witness of women Religious, based on a firm foundation of faith and Christian love, so as to preserve and strengthen it for the enrichment of the Church and society for generations to come.

Cathcon-hopefully this is not the first disappointment for progressives. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Msgr Gänswein slowly takes leave of Pope Benedict

Since Monsignor Georg Gänswein, the secretary of Benedict XVI is engrossed in the duties of Archbishop of the Roman Curia, a German deacon has been called to Castel Gandolfo. The Pope has been living there in seclusion since 28th February. Four members of Memores Domini have been responsible for household duties in the Papal summer residence. Because of the frequent absences of Gänswein with his duties as Prefect of the Apostolic Household needed a commute between Castel Gandolfo and the Vatican, he called on a specially selected person of German mother tongue, to be near Benedict XVI. When the move to the Vatican takes place is not yet clear. It was originally scheduled for late April. Gänswein is also discussed as the next Archbishop of Cologne . A bishopric which is traditionally associated with the cardinal's hat.


Pope has more talks with top curial officials

Pope Francis continued his talks with top officials of the Roman Curia. On Saturday, he received the President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, in a private audience, the Vatican announced. Originally from Poland, Rylko is responsible for all matters relating to religious lay organizations.

Well received by the Pope once again, was the prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Marc Ouellet (Cathcon- they are known to have a positive relationship which may be an indicator that Cardinal Ouellet will retain his post in the longer term). In addition, Francis came to the Vatican for a meeting with the President of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, Nestor Osorio.


Pope begins curial reform by establishing high-powered Cardinals' Commission

The first step towards a more collegial leadership of the Catholic Church seems to be have been taken – but instant reports are not to be expected.

Francis Pope does seem serious about a comprehensive reform of the Roman Curia. On Saturday, he appointed a committee of eight cardinals from all continents, which will draw up proposals for the reorganization of the Catholic Church leadership. And not only that: The Commission shall also advise the Pope on the management of the universal Church.

The calls for a reform of the Roman Curia are as old as the institution itself: but at last the criticism in the daily meetings of the cardinals seemed before the Conclave to have reached a new level: Not only did cardinals from the church worldwide complained about patronizing the local churches or lack of coordination and inefficiency in the Vatican administration, but Curial cardinals also called for a more collegial style of government and complained that even heads of Curial departments often had to wait months for an appointment with the Pope.

Finally many linked such a reform to the election of the former Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Lombardi identified the Commission explicitly as a signal that the Pope had responded to the wishes of the Cardinals.  (Cathcon- Lombardi also stated that the body has an advisory role and not any formal decision making power).

Pope Francis' predecessor Pope Benedict XVI, who from his own experience was only too well informed about a number of abuses of the Curia, had not ventured onthe risky projects. The former professor of theology was a man of words, not of administration. He left this to others, especially his Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. He showed his trust in the Italian even recently, when the criticism of th discharge of his duties, especially after the affair of the Holocaust denier Richard Williamson became louder and louder. Pope Francis confirmed Bertone in office for the time being. That it must vacate his post in the near future, but no one doubts the Vatican.

The Commission appointed contains many familiar names, its "coordinator" being Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras. The president of Caritas Internationalis is one of the most prominent cardinals of the world church. Striking to all is the clear dominance of the World Church: Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello is the one Vatican representative represented in the new body. He comes not even significantly from the Curia itself, but is head of government of Vatican City, that the primary responsibility for administration and infrastructure of the papal territory. The second Italian in the Commission is the Bishop of Albano, who acts as secretary. The other members are with one exception incumbent archbishops large dioceses: Sean Patrick O'Malley of Boston (Cathcon- the Franciscan influence- will have great influence given the Pope's preference for all things Franciscan), George Pell of Sydney (Cathcon- the conservative influence), Laurent Monswengo Pasinya of Kinshasa, Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay and Cardinal Marx of Munich (Cathcon- an indication that the quiet Cardinal is destined for higher office in Rome). Also noteworthy is that Latin America is represented by two members: Besides Maradiaga, the retired Cardinal of Santiago de Chile, Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa belongs to the Commission.

A key point of the reform is expected to be the role of the Vatican Secretariat of State: Even Curial cardinals had recently complained again and again about the great power and a wealth of comprehensive jurisdictions of this Curial department. The Secretariat of State gained its strong position not least by the papal decree "Pastor Bonus" of 1988, a document by John Paul II that the Commission is now to revise. Its official mission is to study “the project for a revision of the Apostolic Constitution" Pastor Bonus'” It is not without irony that the Cardinal Secretary of State, Cardinal Bertone, was greeted as "Secretary of the Pope in the fullest sense". For the powers of the Secretary of State now go far beyond these original function.

The first step towards a more collegial leadership of the Catholic Church seems to have been taken. Where the path leads under Pope Francis remains, for the time being, still open. Quick results are not to be expected. The first official meeting of the Commission is scheduled for October. The Pope is however already in contact with the Cardinals.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Vatican burns 3 million euros on modern art for Venice Biennale

Vatican Pavilion for the first time at the Venice Biennale - "2.8 million euros thrown out of the window"

At the Venice Biennale, which from 1 June takes place for the 55th time, for the first time the Vatican will be represented with its own pavilion. The Italian art and culture critic Francesco Colafemmina criticised in a statement the works selected for the artists shown there and the costs of the purchase of the exhibited works.

The Vatican Pavilion at Biennale: 2.8 million euros wasted. Pope should cancel the exhibition!

Francesco Colafemmina

Cardinal Meforio will announce in a month with pomp the big event. For the first time in history since the little-known ban issued in 1895 by Patriarch Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto (later Pope St Pius X) on Catholics participating in the City of Venice;s Biennale, the gates of the famous international exhibition of modern art will be open to the Holy See.

A mediocre, if not horrendous pavilion will house the works of three living and one deceased artist. The Via Crucis, of the illustrious screen engraver Lucio Fontana, previously owned by the Niccoli Gallery of Parma was purchased for the Biennale for about 2 million euros from the Holy See, on the recommendation and urging of Gianfranco Cardinal Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture . The cost of the works of the other three artists are estimated at around 800,000 euros. If the artworks had a minimum of aesthetic relevance to the requirements of the Catholic Church,the excessive costs could still be criticised in times of tight budgets.

The fact is, though, that the works of inferior quality and stand in stark contrast not only to the Papal teaching of the whole past century (especially what the abstract art is concerned), but also and especially to what the conciliar Constitution on the Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium has said on the sacred arts. It says:

Very rightly the fine arts are considered to rank among the noblest activities of man's genius, and this applies especially to religious art and to its highest achievement, which is sacred art. These arts, by their very nature, are oriented toward the infinite beauty of God which they attempt in some way to portray by the work of human hands; they achieve their purpose of redounding to God's praise and glory in proportion as they are directed the more exclusively to the single aim of turning men's minds devoutly toward God.

Holy Mother Church has therefore always been the friend of the fine arts and has ever sought their noble help, with the special aim that all things set apart for use in divine worship should be truly worthy, becoming, and beautiful, signs and symbols of the supernatural world, and for this purpose she has trained artists. In fact, the Church has, with good reason, always reserved to herself the right to pass judgment upon the arts, deciding which of the works of artists are in accordance with faith, piety, and cherished traditional laws, and thereby fitted for sacred use.

The Church has been particularly careful to see that sacred furnishings should worthily and beautifully serve the dignity of worship, and has admitted changes in materials, style, or ornamentation prompted by the progress of the technical arts with the passage of time.

The Pope, who set aside homage after his election, the Pope, who has sent to the museum objects of gold, that rejects the chasubles and splendid mitres, the Pope, who is close to the poor would, logically - and no matter whether these millions come from donations or actual expenditure of the Vatican - should stop this disgraceful circus that alone satisfies the narcissism of an individual and the Renaissance court.


Cathcon- Even if one person is converted by this venture, it would be a surprise. It must go down as the most inefficient and expensive missionary effort in history.

Opponents of the Church constantly complained in the past about Her wealth.  Ironically the contemporary church has now given them something real to complain about  in this ostentatious display of modern ecclesiastical decadence.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Three sources now claim Pope supporting same sex civil unions

On this score, I was told by three sources in Argentina that the Times basically got it right: Bergoglio did, in fact, favor civil unions.

That was confirmed on background by two senior officials of the bishops' conference in Argentina, both of whom worked with Bergoglio and took part in the behind-the-scenes discussions as the conference tried to shape its position.

"Bergoglio supported civil unions," one of those officials told me.

Mariano de Vedia, a veteran journalist for La Nación, has covered church/state issues in Argentina for years and said he could confirm Bergoglio's position had been correctly described in the Times account.

Guillermo Villarreal, a Catholic journalist in Argentina, said it was well known at the time that Bergoglio's moderate position was opposed by Archbishop Héctor Rubén Aguer of La Plata, the leader of the hawks. The difference was not over whether to oppose gay marriage, but how ferociously to do so and whether there was room for a compromise on civil unions.

Villareal described the standoff over gay marriage as the only vote Bergoglio ever lost during his six years as president of the conference. Behind the scenes, sources say Bergoglio tried to avoid fireworks on the gay marriage issue. One young Catholic told me, for instance, he had wanted to organize a public recitation of the rosary on the eve of the vote outside the legislature, knowing that supporters of gay marriage would also be there and the prayer would be a provocation. He wrote to Bergoglio seeking advice, he said, and Bergoglio called him directly, suggesting they pray at home instead.

Oesterheld suggested Bergoglio went along with the harder line espoused by the majority of the bishops' conference even if it wasn't his own instinct.

"At that time, there were different views within the bishops' conference on how open the church should be [to compromise solutions]," Oesterheld said. "The Cardinal went along with what the majority wanted. He didn't impose his own views. He never publicly expressed his own feelings on the matter, because he didn't want to seem to be undercutting the common position of the bishops."

Full article which covers many  issues related to the Pope's record in Argentina.

Austrian bishops stick with heretical translation of "pro multis" as "for all"

In celebration of the Eucharist, the translation of "pro multis" with "for all" will continue to be mandatory following the current edition of the Missal.

For the translation of the term "pro multis" in the Eucharistic Prayer during the Eucharistic celebration the German for "for all" will continue to be used. This clarification has been made ​​by the Austrian Bishops' Conference and now published by them in the Official Journal. The Bishops' Conference notes that this is the only acceptable translation for the purposes of the current Missal in the German language area.

The reason for the clarification was a letter from Pope Benedict XVI of 14 April 2012, in which the Pope had communicated to the bishops in the German speaking world the decision that "for the new translation of the Missal," the word "pro multis" must be translated into German with " for many".

The Conference of Bishops makes explicitly clear in its "clarifying statement" that this decision of Benedict XVI only applies "for the new translation of the Missal" applies and maintains that the appropriate ecclesiastical procedures "are not yet complete." Therefore, the authentic edition of the Missal stemming from the year 1975 was still binding.


Cathcon- collegiality in action.....

Have done some research on all the ancient liturgies, just to show how heterodox the translation is. No wonder churches are empty when at all Novus Ordo Masses, those with ears to hear have been heard all are saved.  The belief is related to Cardinal de Lubac's erroneous theology of grace which says that all will eventually be made perfect by God's grace elaborated in his book, Surnaturel of 1948.

New SSPX Superior for Germany

Father Firmin Udressy, currently Prior in Munich, will be Superior of the German district of the SSPX

He succeeds Father Franz Schmidberger, who has been appointed Regens of the seminary of the Sacred Heart in Zaitzkofen.


Three Cardinals open to same sex civil partnerships

A leading cardinal has said that same-sex relationships should be respected and recognised in law amid signs of a change in church thinking on the subject.

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, the Archbishop of Vienna, made the remarks in a lecture at the National Gallery evening titled "Christianity: Alien Presence or Foundation of the West?" on Monday. "There can be same-sex partnerships and they need respect, and even civil law protection. Yes, but please keep it away from the notion of marriage. Because the definition of marriage is the stable union between a man and a woman open to life," Cardinal Schönborn said. "We should be clear about terms and respect the needs of people living in a partnership together. They deserve respect," he added. Two other cardinals, Colombian Ruben Salazar and Theodore McCarrick have recently suggested the Church should not oppose same-sex civil unions.


Cathcon- more soon.   The Cardinal has given this talk at least three times, although as far as I can see without the above until now.  Blessings of gay couples have been going on in his Cathedral for years.

Pope Francis allegedly was in favour of a softer line until outvoted by the Bishop's Conference.   The source for this was someone working within the Bishops' Conference at the time.  Subsequently, there were strong denials.

Cardinal McCarrick subsequently clarified his comments.

Cardinal Ruben Salazar joined the debate generated by the decision that  Congress should legislate soon on  marriage between same-sex couples.

"There can be no true marriage but between a man and a woman, and this can only be the basis for a real family,"said Salazar, President of the Episcopal Co nference, who said that it is not a personal position but from the vision of the universal Church, reflected also in the Constitution.

Salazar also said that it is not an ideological position, and it is the vocation of the Church to  defend the heart of society, which he said is the family. "The other unions have a right to exist, no one can ask them not to exist, but they should not be equated with the family, not trying to assume the role of the family within the state,which is where it starts to subvert the social order, "said also Archbishop of Bogota, who cautioned that these statements are not looking to attack the country's gay community, much less violate their rights.

The most senior prelate of Catholicism in Colombia recalled that homosexual couples already enjoy a set of rights, protected by the Colombian justice system, but he considers it unacceptable that seek access to the marriage. "They have every right in the world to live together, to legalize their union, if they want to do all types of economic arrangements. But I see no reason that they want even more , as if they have the right to be truly a family when they are not "emphasized the prelate.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cardinal: "We have troubles in the Catholic Church"

Cardinal Lehmann participated in the election of a pope in Rome. In an ECHO interview he talks about, among other things,  reasons for the lack of priests and what has a mountain climb has to do with ecumenism 

ECHO: Cardinal Lehmann, one of your concerns is to promote ecumenism. Pope Benedict has disappointed many Catholics, because he has rejected categorically shared communion . Do you see a chance to change that now?

Karl Lehmann: The hope must not  be given up under any circumstances. But for us Catholics, the Eucharist is not shared at the beginning. It is the perfect destination. One must not forget that we have achieved a lot. I have experienced in my youth  that Protestant children were beaten up in predominantly Catholic villages because they were Protestant. And vice versa. That's unthinkable today, fortunately.

ECHO: Nevertheless, for many lay people the ecumenical movement is too slow.

Lehmann: For that I have a very great understanding. I like to compare this with a mountain climb. The last 200, 300 meters are very difficult - even if you have already achieved a lot, if you have arrived at this point. We are in this situation with ecumenism.

ECHO: The Catholic Church is suffering from a shortage of priests. Even some priests in the Diocese of Mainz must serve several communities. How do you counteract you?

Lehmann: Only human management of matters cannot help. We can do many things, but we can not produce young people who is willing to place a lifetime at the service at the church. We can still be in the Diocese of Mainz actually quite happy. Compared to other dioceses, we have more priests. But there is also a shortage. On the other hand you have to see, we have the deacons, we have pastoral assistants, we have the parish officials. That is: More than 1000 people.  We have far more people involved pastoral care as we've ever had. The problem is church services in the sense of Eucharistic celebrations.

ECHO: Are possible candidates frightened of celibacy?

Lehmann: Some hope to gain a lot if the celibacy requirement was lifted. I'm not convinced. It's not just the celibacy of priests, which keeps people away. We also have troubles in the church herself ...

ECHO: For example?

Lehmann: for example, the abuse scandals. And, do not forget: If someone wants to become a priest, he has a set path for his life. That's pretty strange for most people today.

ECHO: Not only the priest shortage is a problem. More and more people depart from the Christian churches.

Lehmann: Yes, that's true. But we are not alone. You have this in each political party, in sports clubs. In our pluralistic society, it is no longer so easy to have an authentic version of faith and to live.

ECHO: Cardinal Lehmann, the abuse of children and adolescents by Catholic priests has still not been properly dealt with. Last year, the church stopped  an independent investigation. How will things proceed now?

Lehmann: The story of the investigation so far was unhappy, as there was not enough co-ordination on which facts should be made ​​available, and whether those facts in the case of living persons should  be made ​​public. There are also questions of personal data protection. But we want to clarify further and do that too. We must not only think of the Research Institute in Hanover and to Professor Pfeiffer. We have already had more than ten years' experience with recognized guidelines for handling abuse cases. We have done, for example in schools, prevention work, we have rewarded many victims. Our diocese has agreed to evaluate all records dating back to 1945.

ECHO: At the end of 2012,  Father Hendrick Jolie priest in Darmstadt-Dieburg, made ​​headlines. He was active on the Internet portal which preached hatred of dissenters, homosexuals and against liberal clergy. They have warned him then that's it. If the case does it?

Lehmann: What should I have done more? Priests also have the freedom to express themselves and they have the opportunity to select a course in ecclesiastical politics.

ECHO: But it's the question of how and in what environment.

Lehmann: Father Kolie has apologized. I have as yet no reason to doubt that he has changed. I cannot talk on the one hand of reconciliation and reject on the other hand, the hand that reaches out. I myself have been so treated by over years and decades in a lousy maner. But I have rules about dealing with people. I'll even more "left" priests say things with which I disagree. This freedom must exist within the church.

ECHO: A liberal line ...

Lehmann: .., yes, that is a word ...

ECHO: ... which is often associated with you shortly ...

Lehmann: Yes. If liberal means complying with and granting freedom of expression thatis also fine. But freedom also includes obligation and responsibility, and - what concerns the Church - even obedience.


Properly clothed nuns, singing like Angels, facing God.


Pontificate of Pope Francis to be consecrated to Our Lady of Fatima

On May 13 in Fatima, in celebration of which are invited all the people of God, the pontificate of Pope Francis will be consecrated to Our Lady of Fatima. In response to the request made by the Pope to Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, José Policarpo, to consecrate his pontificate to Our Lady of Fatima, the Portuguese bishops decided that this consecration will be done next May 13. The consecration will be inserted in the program of international pilgrimage of 12 and 13 May,on the 13th, at a time to be announced.

The anniversary international pilgrimage in May marks 96 years since the first apparition of Our Lady to the seers, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta and will be presided over by the Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, Orani Tempesta.

In his opening speech of 181st Plenary Assembly of the Portuguese Episcopal Conference,José Policarpo Francisco revealed that the Pope had asked him twice, that consecrate his Petrine ministry to Our Lady of Fatima.

At the time of the announcement, José Policarpo said that could accomplish this mandate alone, "in the silence of prayer," but that "it would be indeed good if all the Bishops associated themselves with the accomplishment of this request."

Official source!

Cathcon- hopefully the Pope will also clear up the obscurities surrounding the Third Secret of Fatima and (finally!) consecrate Russia to Our Lady of Fatima.   The Russians could dedicate the West to Our Lady of Vladimir so as not to upset ecumenical relations.

As stated before on this blog, this Marian Pope is going to be full of surprises.

Pope Francis will not call Vatican III this Sunday

But if he does, and he is a Pope of surprises, you heard about it here first. What is much more likely is that he will set out his ecumenical vision and give an indication of whether he intends to visit Germany to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.

On Sunday, April 14, Pope Francis will take possession of the Papal Basilica of St. Paul's outside the Walls in Rome. The Pope will celebrate Mass at the Basilica together with the Benedictine Monks to whom the Basilica and the adjoining Monastery are entrusted. Benedictine Abbott Edmund Power says the link between St. Ignatius - the founder of the Society of Jesus to which Pope Francis belongs - and the Basilica of St. Paul's Outside the Walls is a strong one. Speaking to Vatican Radio's Linda Bordoni, Abbott Power says the affinities between Benedictines and Jesuits are in fact many... 

Full story

Cathcon- again- St Paul's outside the Walls is known by those of satirical inclination to be St Paul's without the Faith given its ecumenical significance and a few years ago it also almost became St Paul's without the Benedictines.   The article refers to Abbot Franzoni who was  one of the most radical of clerics after Vatican II.   His life has ended in theological disappointment as he believes that Vatican II has not been implemented (note-ultra-dissenting site of the Irish priests who support a radical interpretation of Vatican II)-   unlike this blog as all can see the memorials of Vatican II that are all around.  The Pope will be endangering the Church if he even takes one step in Franzoni's direction, as a Pandora's box of demands would be opened up.

Much more spiritual joy can be found in the writings of a predecessor of Franzoni's the great Benedictine liturgist, Blessed Idelfonso Schuster. He died in 1954- the liturgical reforms after the Council would have broken his heart.

Pope begins dialogue with Bishops

Poope Francis has begun his dialogue with the bishops of the universal Church. On Thursday, he received as the first group, the bishops of Tuscany, who have traveled to their ad limina visit to Rome. All Episcopal Conferences should report to the Pope and the Roman Curia usually every five years in person  in Rome report on the situation in their local churches. These visits are for the Pope an important source of information for assessing the situation in the local churches. The Austrian bishops traveled recently in November 2005 for the ad limina visit to Rome (Cathcon- and started to quarrel beside the grave of St Peter- so much so they were summoned back in 2009). Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI completed in November 2012 after seven and a half years in office, the cycle having received all the Bishops in Rome. The Catholic bishops in China loyal to the Pope were, however, prevented by the authorities from traveling to Rome. The Italian Bishops now begin the new cycle.


Cathcon- the question is whether this will suffice for the new Pope or whether, in his reform of the Curia, he will formalise new structures at the interface of the Papacy and the global episcopate.  These could take the form of maintaining the Synod of Bishops in quasi-permanent session in the form of a secular parliament or appointing a smaller group of senior figures to share the unique burden of his office.

BBC Radio investigation of role of Pope Francis during the Junta to be broadcast tonight

For the past few weeks there's been excitement across the Catholic world over the election of the first Latin American Pope - a man who wants to put the poor at the centre of the Church's teaching. But a series of difficult questions have been raised about Pope Francis's role during Argentina's "Dirty War" and the military dictatorship of the 1970s and early 1980s. In this week's Report journalist and former Dominican monk Mark Dowd travels to Buenos Aires to find out the truth about Pope Francis. Mark speaks to those close to the new Pontiff, his former colleagues, friends and sister about his motivations and character. He talks to key players in the case of two Jesuit priests who were seized and tortured by the dictatorship to find out what Pope Francis really knew and did when they went missing. And he hears from a family whose pregnant relative was kidnapped by agents of the dictatorship. The baby was taken away and relatives appealed to the then Father Bergoglio for help in finding the child. But what happened - and when did Father Bergoglio become aware of the stolen babies scandal?

BBC Radio 4 - The Report, Pope Francis

More details here

 Mark Dowd, the BBC reporter is an openly homosexual, former Dominican monk who has already drawn attention to himself with the claim that half of the recruits to modern seminaries are homosexual. A claim echoed by the rather more conservative author, Michael Rose in his book, Goodbye Good Men.

Vatican denies reports that Pope Benedict is seriously ill

Benedict XVI. reportedly seriously ill. Serious concern about the former Pope in the Vatican: His health said to have deteriorated. He is reported to be seriously ill, and withdraw completely from the public: In the Vatican rumors circulate according to which the health of the retired Pope Benedict XVI has detiorated. A report by the Spanish newspaper El Mundo caused a stir on Wednesday, according to which the state of health of Benedict had deteriorated sharply over the past two weeks.

The newspaper referred to the Spanish-Vatican expect Paloma Gómez Borerro, who had been presenting in Madrid her book about the former Pope. Gómez Borrero believes that the Pope will not reside for much longer in the Mater Ecclesiae convent in the Vatican, which is currently undergoing restoration work. This should be completed in May. According to the journalist, Benedict due to his impaired health will no longer be seen often in public. Reduced health Vatican insiders denied that Benedict's condition had deteriorated dramatically in the past 14 days. However, it is undeniable that he has reduced health. Benedict XVI resigned voluntarily on 28 February. He had made it clear after his tenure that he only wanted to serve the church with his prayers. He gave guarantees of his total devotion and obedience to the new Pope before the election by the Conclave.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Vatican to celebrate St George's Day with public holiday

The 13th March, the day of the election Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope and his name day on 23 April, the Feast of St. George have been declared to be non-working days in the Vatican, in accordance with Article 50 of the General Regulations of the Roman Curia. At the same time the 19th April (election of Benedict XVI)h has been abrogated as a free day. The employees of the Vatican have again in 2014 the same number of non-working days as they did under John Paul II, because the name day of Benedict, the feast of St. Joseph is in the Vatican a holiday in any case. The Italian National Days (Liberation Day, Republic Day) do not apply in the Vatican, of course


Tuesday, April 09, 2013

The liturgy cannot be poor

On the back-cover of the eleventh volume of Joseph Ratzinger’s Opera Omnia, on the “Theology of the Liturgy”, there is this not even thinly-veiled declaration: “The fate of the Faith and the Church hangs upon the relationship with the liturgy.”

These first days of Pope Francis’ pontificate render the above tremendously current and oblige us to reflect on the relationship between poverty (not pauperism) and the liturgy. A reflection, that, not to be taken too lightly, is between a human dimension, poverty, and a divine one, liturgy. Yes, in these years of post-conciliar convulsions, the exquisitely divine nature of the liturgy has slipped away: i.e. the appearance of Heaven on earth - the earthly prefiguration of Jerusalem and which, accordingly, must evoke majesty and glory.

In the liturgy - the bloodless presentation of the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross - it is God Who encounters man: it is not done by man – otherwise it would be idolatry. It is Divine work as even Vatican II recalls.

Full, magnificent article

New Catholic-Lutheran ecumenical document expected

Evangelical Council President Schneider on Monday invited the Pope to the celebrations in Germany to celebrate the Reformation in 2017.

The document of the Catholic-Lutheran Commission on the common Reformation Commemoration 2017 will be published shortly. The text entitled "From Conflict to Community" was finished, the Vatican's ecumenical minister Cardinal Kurt Koch told Vatican Radio on Tuesday in an interview. Once the German translation existed, it would be published. Koch did not give details of the document. The Commission is composed of representatives of the Vatican and the Lutheran World Federation.

Originally from Switzerland, Cardinal Koch had on Monday discussed in the Vatican with the President of the Council of the Protestant Church in Germany, Nikolaus Schneider, on a possible common Reformation commemoration. Schneider had personally invited Pope Francis to join in the commemorations of the Reformation in Germany. The programmes in Wittenberg and Berlin would not be a "German jubilee", but a solid Christian festival, to which every Christian can commit, according to Schneider.

Cathcon- no celebrations of the Reformation started by the belligerent anti-semite Luther, whose rejection of scholasticism whose finest representative was St Thomas Aquinas, led to a massive destruction of the Faith.   There is nothing to celebrate but a time to mourn the destruction of beauty, truth and love.

Curia- be ready for some surprises

Pope Francis has won widespread acclaim thus far in his nascent papacy with popular gestures like washing the feet of juveniles during Holy Week and refusing many papal perks. But now comes the hard part of his new job: reforming the Vatican. The Roman Curia, as the central administration of the Catholic Church is known, has been riven by scandals and allegations of infighting and careerism, which helped undermine Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s reign and reportedly pushed him to resign.

The dysfunction was so bad that reforming the Curia became a rallying cry for many cardinals at the conclave that elected Francis. But will he deliver on the promise of reform? Much will depend on who Francis will choose as his top aides, starting from the appointments of the new heads of key Vatican offices. So far, he has reconfirmed the Curia leadership, but he has made it clear that this is just a provisional measure while he makes up his mind about his next steps. “Be ready for some surprises. He is not afraid to pick up the phone to call up people and ask things. He is talking to everyone,

Full story

Four contenders for the top job in the Vatican

Cardinal Bertello does appear to be in the pole position, but another solution being suggested is that the Pope could appoint a current papal nuncio as his new secretary of state. This would satisfy the so-called circle of diplomats, cardinals and monsignors in the Curia who maintained that Bertone was unfit for the position because he had no diplomatic experience. This arrangement would also meet the need for a significant change in the Vatican’s “engine room” after the Vatileaks scandal.

There are three other contenders widely considered to be in the running for the position of secretary of state: Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, the former papal nuncio to Brazil and the current secretary of the Congregation for Bishops; Archbishop Luigi Ventura, the nuncio to France and formerly the nuncio to Canada; and Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, the president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, who previously served in the Secretariat of State.

Full story

Two new Bishops in the US indicate policy of continuity for Pope Francis

Twenty-six days after his election, Pope Francis has brought the US' Appointment Shop back to life with two domestic nods among a spate of others.

Even so, however, this first round is a keen exercise in continuity.

At Roman Noon today, the pontiff named Bishop Michael Jackels of Wichita as archbishop of Dubuque.

A CDF aide to the future Pope Benedict  from 1997-2005, the Kansas prelate – who turns 59 on Saturday – succeeds Archbishop Jerome Hanus OSB, 72, at the helm of the church in Iowa, a bastion of tradition in the historic outpost that's home to the famous "Field of Dreams."

Following a year's worth of reports indicating that consultations for his successor were underway, in a statement released this morning, Hanus said that "my health has declined in recent years.

"As a result," the onetime abbot of Conception revealed, "some time ago I submitted my resignation as archbishop to the proper authorities."

One of John Paul II's final appointees to the Stateside bench, such was the archbishop-elect's comfort with his longtime boss that, when Jackels stepped up to greet Benedict during the annual orientation for new bishops in September 2005, the now Pope-emeritus is said to have exclaimed "Look at you!" at the sight.

Not having seen Joseph Ratzinger since his election, the story goes that the junior prelate shot right back at Benedict, responding "Look at YOU!"

At the same time, Francis tapped Msgr John Folda, 51 – a considerable talent who's served as rector of Lincoln's St Gregory the Great Seminary almost since its opening in 1998 – as bishop of Fargo, succeeding Archbishop Samuel Aquila, who was transferred home to Denver last May.

Bishop pulls out of Requiem for controversial Cardinal

"Many personal encounters of the past days" led to a new decision on the celebration planned for Monday - "Christian commemoration of the dead also means to take account of the living'

The Diocesan Bishop Egidio Zsifkovics Eisenstadt will not participate in a Requiem planned for Saturday on the tenth anniversary of the death of the former Archbishop of Vienna, Hans Hermann Groër. In a personal statement on the same day Zsifkovics justified his decision by "numerous personal encounters and conversations in recent days", which led him to pull out of his original commitment. He would not be now accepting the invitation of the Sisters of the Cistercian convent at Marienfeld to celebrate the traditional ecclesiastical "Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord" with the monastic community and commemorate at this Mass the late Cardinal Groer, the Eisenstadt Bishop said in a Diocesan press release.

The commemoration of the dead was for Christians "an inviolable value." It is not about"Transfiguration", but the "grateful remembrance of the good" in the life of the deceased, at the same time keeping their 'their fallibility and human error "in mind. " That is why we pray to God for our deceased and ask Him in his merciful love to complete in them, that which is left imperfect by sin," said the bishop.

Christians deny the non-respect, through ignorance of this "fundamental right of believers." for the individual deceased to be commemorated through the celebration of Mass.

Christian commemoration of the dead means, in the words Zsifkovics "but also, "to encounter those who still live. " "External circumstances and contexts that are calculated to injure the personal feelings of people" should not be ignored. Currently a commemoration of the dead, "which has in the last 10 years regularly been taking place with the participation of church dignitaries without causing offense,"had been partly exploited and led to a "distorted image that must cause many people pain and bitterness," said Zsifkovics

All this had"led to the inner belief that I as a bishop and carrier of these two values ​​- a concern for the living and the uninterrupted prayer for the dead - can protect and defend them the best by not attending today's Requiem " On 29 March of Eisenstadt Bishop had rejected in a press release, the criticism of his planned participation in the ceremony.


Cathcon-  I knew a priest who was close to Cardinal Groër in his final years who was convinced of his innocence. On Good Friday in the year that he resigned he was pursued by a media mob between his palace and the Cathedral.  Cardinal Meisner preached at the Funeral Mass.  Details of the allegations

Here the Cardinal celebrates a Requiem for Mozart on the 200th Anniversary of the latter's death.

Proposals for Curial reform


“Reform of the Roman Curia” was the cry of the day—among journalists, at least—in the days before the conclave that elected Pope Francis. So now with the new Pope settling into his work, commentators are speculating on the sort of changes that the Holy Father might make.

George Weigel has presented a short list of his own suggestions for administrative reforms at the Vatican. He suggests, for example, that the disproportionate power exercised by Italian clerics could be resolved by using “the world language—English” rather than Italian for the everyday work of the Curia. Italian is the appropriate language for the Diocese of Rome, Weigel reasons, but the Roman Curia should represent the universal Church. He also suggests a pruning of the pontifical councils, downgrading several to “research centers in their fields, not mini-cabinet departments.”

Full story

Cathcon- it was originally Pope Paul VI who gave the Secretariat of State primacy over all departments including the CDF.  This has to be reversed - the Church's role is not a diplomatic power house but Supreme teacher of Faith and Morals.   The teaching of morals also needs to rediscover a credible basis also in association with the teaching of the Faith.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Pope Francis and a new vision of Catholic reform

From the very first moment of his unexpected election as Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina has embraced a series of small departures from established tradition.

He took his papal name from a great nonconforming saint of the Middle Ages — and one that no other pope in the history of the Roman Catholic Church has taken. He then refused to stand on an elevated platform that would separate him from his “brother cardinals,” and asked the people of Rome to bless him rather than receive his blessing. He even insisted on returning to his hotel to settle his account (as though his credit were in any doubt).

Everyone who knew Bergoglio saw in him an unconventional and even unpredictable figure

Full story

Archbishop- supporters of same sex marriage should not take Communion

The Archbishop of Detroit told Catholics who support same sex marriage that they should effectively excommunicate themselves. Archbishop Allen Vigneron on Sunday said that Catholics who support marriage equality and try to receive Communion would “logically bring shame for a double-dealing that is not unlike perjury,” according to the Detroit Free Press.

Vigneron’s comments come after Sacred Heart Major Seminary canon law professor Edward Peters made similar remarks in a blog posting last month.

“Catholics who promote ‘same-sex marriage’ act contrary to Canon 209 § 1 and should not approach for holy Communion per Canon 916,” Peters wrote. “Depending on the facts of the case, they also risk having holy Communion withheld from them under Canon 915, being rebuked under Canon 1339 § 2, and/or being sanctioned under Canon 1369 for gravely injuring good morals.”

Full story

Graveyard of post-Conciliar modernism

Under the umbrella of Glasgow architects Gillespie Kidd & Coia, Isi Metzstein and Andrew MacMillan seized on the momentary experimentalism of the Catholic Church after World War II to revolutionise church design. This was a brave new world and the Catholic Church wanted their places of worship to meet the needs of a new era. In a culture never quite comfortable with the high modern influences of Europe and America, Metzstein and MacMillan drew on the ideas of Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright with unparalleled freedom. Their masterpiece (Cathcon--!!!!!) was St Peter's Seminary at Cardross, which stood out like a spaceship in the modest construction yards of British architecture. It's a ghost space now, abandoned in 1980 just 14 years after completion. While most of their churches are still in use, their Modernist design and location means they stand like monuments to a very different time; a time when Catholicism in Scotland was expected to spread its wings. Jonathan Glancey explores Scotland's physical and spiritual landscape to discover more about the extraordinary lives of two of Britain's most talented architects.

BBC Radio 4 - The Concrete and the Divine "They put the Cross off centre"

Video of the seminary

Slideshow before the abandonment showing individual altars as the post-Conciliar liturgical disaster had not yet taken place.

Pope takes up Cross of Popes John Paul II and Paul VI

He will use the Ferula of Italian artist Lello Scorzelli held for the first time in 1965 by Pope Paul VI at the end of the Second Vatican Council. Pope Francis has clearly returned to the Cross-staff, called Ferula, of Paul VI. (1963-1978) and John Paul II(1978-2005). On Sunday evening, he used the papal insignia for the first time in worship when taking possession of the Lateran Basilica. The day after his election Francis used the Ferula of Benedict XVI for the Mass with the voting cardinals in the Sistine Chapel .

The bronze Ferula of Paul VI. is simpler than the one recently used by Benedict XVI and shows a representation of the Crucified. Benedict XVI has used since November 2009 a crosier constructed especially for him which was given to him by a Roman charity. Previously, he held since Palm Sunday 2008,a golden staff of Pius IX. (1846-1878), which has a golden cross. In the first three years of his pontificate he used also the ferula of Paul VI. and John Paul II

 The Ferula is a staff that takes the form of a cross. Unlike the pastoral staff of the bishops, it is not in the form of a crook. It is has been used by the popes since the eighth century as insignia. Paul VI took up again the Ferula after it had been used since the fall of the Papal States in 1870 only rarely. He commissioned the Italian artist Lello Scorzelli with the creation of a Ferula. This Pope Montini first used for the final service of the Second Vatican Council on 8 December 1965. John Paul II took up this Ferula. It became a kind of trademark of this pope.


Cathcon- some would take this as a sign of denial of the post-Conciliar crisis, whose existence had been accepted during the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI.  No cure will be possible if the symptoms are denied.

It remains to be seen whether the new Pope will take up the programme of the reconciliation of Tradition through the Council, which was the hallmark of Pope Benedict.   It led to the unfortunate side-effect of the Council being used a test of orthodoxy, cited in isolation from the other Councils. 

Pope did not give Communion to Muslim prisoner

Pope Francis gave Communion at the Holy Thursday liturgy to a Muslim. Traditionalist websites and some media had spread this misleading message. Pope Francis did not give Communion on Maundy Thursday to a Muslim Bosnian woman . This has learnt from well-informed Vatican employees. The Internet has in the past few days disseminated this misinformation on traditionalist websites specifically to discredit the Pope. Also this been reported in some newspapers in a misleading manner. Observers who were present at the Mass confirmed that the Pope had not done so. During the Mass, he washed and kissed the feet of twelve young prisoners of different nationalities and faiths.


Cathcon- I did not say he had given Communion. 

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Cardinal defends Pope from accusations of collaboration with the Argentine junta

The Bishop of Mainz Cardinal Karl Lehmann has defended Pope Francis from accusations of being too close to the then rulers in the period of military dictatorship in the period from 1976. It will often not sufficiently considered that Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the present Pope Francis, "then not as a bishop or even Cardinal agreed to church policy, but that he, as Provincial, had to and wanted to protect the people of his congregation and also other people", Lehmann said on Sunday in Mainz Cathedral.

At the Pontifical Mass in honor of the new Pope, Lehmann added Francis had "made great efforts to keep a middle line between the actual rescue of individuals, especially from the Order, and a contact with the authorities at the time of the dictatorship” "Pope Francis is through and through a pastorally caring priest," said Lehmann. He has strong foundations for this in his deep personal faith. The Pope knew "very well the Cross in the world and in everyone's life. Let him alone!" Lehmann concluded his sermon.


For a contrast, the Cardinal's criticisms of Pope Benedict.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Is Archbishop Piero Marini being lined up for a top liturgical post?

On 4th April, the Holy Father, Francis received in audience, Piero Marini, Titular Archbishop of Martirano, President of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses.

Archbishop Marini was the Master of Ceremonies under Pope John Paul II, being replaced by the Msgr Guido Marini who has a much sounder liturgical sensibility.

Piero Marini was a pupil of Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, of evil memory, who was responsible for the preparatory work for the new Mass but who was instantly exiled to diplomatic work in Iran when it was discovered he was a freemason.

 Archbishop Marini speaks for himself.

 "Go to this Father Bugnini and do what he tells you".

Father Bergoglio ostracised by the Jesuits

Marginalized by his own Jesuit brothers, forced for six years to be a confessor in a church in Cordoba, more than 700 km from Buenos Aires, and even forbidden from visiting other Jesuit communities. The story of the relationship between Jorge Mario Bergoglio and the Society founded by Saint Ignatius of Loyola is very painful. There is even a letter of the Superior General of the Society, Dutchman Peter Hans Kolvenbach, that establishes an express prohibition to other houses and communities to receive Bergoglio, at any moment he might have wished to leave the church assigned to him in Cordoba. A true a proper ostracism, that takes place within the most difficult and troubles years of the Society, guided first by Spanish Father Pedro Arrupe, then intervened by John Paul II through Father Paolo Dezza, then returned to the hands of Father Kolvenbach.

Full story

Pope's first Curial appointment indicates desire to Franciscanise religious orders

Jose Rodriguez Carballo (59), Minister General of the Franciscan Order, has been appointed by Pope Francis, secretary of the Vatican's Congregation for Religious. As the Vatican announced this on Saturday, the Pope raised the Spanish friar to the rank of Archbishop.

As secretary Rodriguez Carballo's Curial authority is second only to the Prefect, the Brazilian Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz. Rodriguez and the Pope also know eachother very well personally. The Franciscan is successor toy the American Joseph William Tobin, who Benedict XVI in October appointed Archbishop of Indianapolis . The appointment Carballos Rodriguez is the first Curial appointment of the new pope, having previously confirmed as is customary all heads of Curia authorities in their offices (Cathcon- but delayed this annoucement in contrast to his predecessors)

Pope Francis is the first religious for 167 years (1846) to sit on the the Chair of Peter, and the first Jesuit Pope. He had based his choice of name on St. Francis of Assisi, whose legacy is the Franciscan order. The Franciscans currently have over 14,000 members worldwide. This Order, Jose Rodriguez Carballo, born 11 August 1953, in the Spanish town of Lodoselo has governed as Minister General for ten years. Since 2012 he was also chairman of the Union of Superiors General. He was one of the two non-Cardinals who concelebrated Mass with Pope Francis at his assumption of office in St Peter's Square.

Rodriguez Carballo's predecessor Joseph William Tobin was only two years second in command of the Curial body responsible for religious communities. Vatican experts reported that the background for his return to his American home was the conflict over the "rebel" U.S. women religious. Tobin was following a softer line, which was not agreeable to the U.S. bishops,than Cardinal Franc Rode, who led the congregation until 2011, it was said.

"St. Francis will be satisfied"

Jose Rodriguez Carballo has written on the 13th March in his welcome to the new Pope after his election that the name chosen Francis was a sign "for the world, for the church and of course for all Franciscans. All successors of St. Francis of Assisi stood by the new head of the church . "Sincere obedience and constant prayer to the side- you can count on us for this, Holiness."

And he recalled a meeting with the then Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio 2004 in Argentina. Bergoglio in arranging a meeting has insisted on visiting the Franciscan in the convent, and he had come despite the slight rain on foot. "The moment he arrived, I felt I had a real Franciscan friarin front of me," said Rodriguez. He believes that the Catholic Church in the present pope has "a 21st Century Francis - St. Francis of Assisi will certainly be very happy with this," he stressed.


Cathcon- the new orders which have been founded since the Council are likely to be pushed very much in a Franciscan direction, which in a sense could move them closer to a more conservative religious life. 

Pope receives Curial Cardinals responsible for Bishops and Liturgy

Pope Francis received in private audience on Saturday the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Marc Ouellet (68). Ouellet is like a head of human resources for the bishops in a large part of the world church. His department prepares the nominations. Ouellet's role is considered one of the most influential in the Vatican. The head of the Congregation for Bishops, was up to now, next to the prefect of the CDF, the only one of the Vatican's ministers who had regular access to the Pope, without an appointment being required. The Franco-Canadian Ouellet has led the Congregation for Bishops since 2010.

Also received by the Pope was the prefect of the Congregation for Worship, Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera (67). The former archbishop of Toledo and Primate of Spain since December 2008, is the person responsible at the top of the Curia for the liturgy, above all the sacraments. Cardinal Canizares has in the past gone out several times to meet the followers of the "Old Mass" (extraordinary form of the Roman Rite) . So in November last year, he was the first top Curial representative to celebrate the pre-Conciliar liturgy for an international group of pilgrims on the Cathedra Altar at St Peter's Basilica. The pilgrims belonged to movements from several countries who had come together under the title "Coetus internationalis Summorum Pontificum".


Cathcon- expect announcements soon in both departments. The big fear is that Ecclesia Dei will be abolished in the name of administrative simplicity.  Cardinal Llovera was known as "Little Ratzinger"- so if he is replaced, it will be a clear sign of the changing times.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Two Brazilian humorous hit songs about Pope and Argentina

A Brazilian group has filmed a video clip as a humourous take on the election of the Argentian Pope Francis and they do not lose the opportunity make ironic comments about our (Argentinian) lack of humility, the sovereignty claim over the Falkland Islands (see Pope backs Argentinian sovereignty over Falklands Islands) and the old addiction of Diego Maradona to drugs. "Messi is divine, the Pope is Argentinian and Maradona is no longer a 'snifa' (inhaler of cocaine) as usual ...

Congratulations to the Pope that you send to the Church" , sings the humorous duo of Rogerio Cordoni, vocalist of the band "Doctor Smith" and Diogo Portugal . Throughout the clip the musicians and comedians appear disguised as Cardinals, tango dancing and parodying Maradona with a bulging belly, an extravagant wig and a football shirt of the blue and white of the Argentinian football team. "Papal Nation" is the title and the refrain of the song that does not lose the opportunity to address the known self-esteem of Argentines, saying that with the arrival of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio the throne of Peter is the"first time in history an Argentinian agrees to serve under God. "

Choosing Francisco has resulted in comments in mischief laden Brazilian media, as an article published in the newspaper Estado de Sao Paulo showed two weeks ago in which the author wonders far will ego of the "brothers" who, in addition to the Pope , have the world's best player, Messi, while it is just one year before the the 2014 World Cup Final which will be played at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro . The clip concludes by recalling that Gardel " is in heaven " and that while "the Pope is Argentine, God is Brazilian" , repeating the phrase uttered by President Dilma Rousseff to reporters after meeting with Francis the Vatican on Wednesday March 20. A few weeks agop in the comedy program "uncoded" presented the "Papal Cumbia" (Cumbia-meaning) asserting "Pancho the First is larger than Pele" . (Pancho is an term of endearment for Francis)

 Papal Nation

Papal Cumbia

Cathcon- according to other reports, the Pope's sister is amused by the two videos.


Thursday, April 04, 2013

Pope moves Sophia Loren to tears

Italian actress Sophia Loren wept with emotion at the first appearance of Pope Francis. "When Papa Francesco appeared on the balcony and said " Buona sera" then the tears came," she told the magazine "Gala".

 The film diva ("Three Sinners," "The Woman at the River") is at 78 years, only two years older than the new Pontiff. She is but rarely in front of the camera. "For women my age there are just a few good roles," she said in the interview. "Although there is a large project, which I think is great, but as to whether it is ever implemented, that is in the stars."


Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Pope was in conflict with conservative Catholics in his Archdiocese

What was Bergoglio's conflict with the Instituto El Verbo Encarnado? That group was born in San Rafael, Mendoza, founded by Father Carlos Miguel Buela, who had come from Buenos Aires. It's a terribly right-wing order that, however, has a lot of priestly vocations (Cathcon- everything is very right wing to the very progressive Catholic who wrote this) -- everywhere, the right-wingers usually have many, many vocations. But this group is so far right that it had confrontations with almost all of the Argentine bishops, to the point that the full Bishops Conference went to see John Paul II to ask him to act on this Institute. But an Argentine layman, the former ambassador to the Holy See during the Carlos Menem administration who had a lot of contacts in the Roman Curia, and the [Vatican] Secretary of State, Angelo Sodano, not only ignored the bishops' request, but in San Rafael a bishop was appointed who was a friend of the Instituto, priestly ordinations from this group were authorized in Buenos Aires, which were performed by Aguer, and José Luis Mollaghan, the only one who hadn't condemned the group, was named archbishop of Rosario. In the Bishops Conference, Bishop Estanislao Karlic and Bishop Guillermo Rodríguez Melgarejo, who was secretary of the Conference, had to resign. I don't think those of El Verbo Encarnado are celebrating Bergoglio's appointment. 

 Full story

Cathcon- if this is how the Pope dealt with a mainstream conservative group, one can guess what he thinks of traditional Catholics.

 This is a video of their apostolate

The full article also touches the relationship with Archbishop Aguer, cited also today on CathCon. Monsignor Aguer is an exemplary bishop who never feels inhibited in criticising the secularising errors of the modern world.

  Many videos here, unfortunately all, as far as I can see, in Spanish.

Of even more concern, is the Pope's attitude to power- full article here on the Pope of Surprises.

This has been noted about him. Bergoglio prefers for himself the simple title of “bishop of Rome,” and is silent about his power as head of the universal Church, in spite of the fact that this power has been confirmed very forcefully by Vatican Council II.

His autobiography states:
"When a pope or a teacher must say 'I am in charge here,' or 'I am the superior here,' it is because he has already lost authority and is seeking to attribute it to himself with words. Saying that one has the staff of command implies that one no longer has it. Having the staff of command does not mean giving orders and imposing, but serving.”

That is, it seems that Bergoglio does not want to proclaim but to exercise his supreme power as successor of Peter.

Cathcon- what he says is that he does not want to exercise it either. He has no hope of reforming the Curia on this basis.

In effect, in the discourses and homilies from the beginning of his pontificate, Bergoglio has so far avoided touching upon the questions that see the Church most set against worldly powers.

In the discourse to the diplomatic corps he remained silent about the threats to religious freedom, just as in his other statements he has avoided any reference to the critical areas of birth, death, the family.
But in his autobiographical interview, Bergoglio recalls that Benedict XVI also decided to remain silent on one occasion (Cathcon- just one occasion):

"When Benedict XVI went to Spain in 2006, everyone thought that he would criticize the government of Rodriguez Zapatero because of its divergences with the Catholic Church on various issues. Someone even asked him if he had addressed the issue of homosexual marriage with the Spanish authorities. But the pope said no, he had only spoken about positive things and the rest would come later. He wanted to suggest that first of all one must emphasize the positive things, those that unite us, and not the negative ones that serve only to divide. The priority must be given to the encounter among persons, to making the journey together. In this way, afterward it will be easier to tackle the differences."

Cathcon- a pastor leads, he does not encounter (whatever that may mean) the flock.  He strangely was not conflict averse when taking on the Instituto El Verbo Encarnado.

The Pope is, in the words of the job title used since the reign of Pope St Gregory the Great

Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Patriarch of the West (Cathcon- a title laid aside by Pope Benedict XVI- an action attracting critical comment from the Moscow Patriarchate, as this is a title they are entirely at ease with, unlike the claim to be Vicar of Christ). Primate of Italy, Servant of the Servants of God; Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City.

His calling is as prophet, priest and monarch.

Pope mistakes youthful Cardinal for a seminarian

Louis Cardinal Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila and second youngest cardinal of the Catholic Church, was apparently confused by Pope Francis with a seminarian. When the 55-year-old Tagle wearing a casual sweater met with the Pope in guest house, I greeted him with this "young man". Francis passed over quickly the embarrassment of Tagle given his lack of clerical clothing, "That looks sporty! I like you, "the Pope had replied, when Tagle revealed his identity. Otherwise the Philippine Cardinal has fond memories of his stay in Rome on the occasion of the Conclave in March. A group of young people have dubbed him as "China's Pope." He was outed by other guests as cardinal in a restaurant. "The dessert I got for free," Tagle related.


Father Cantalamessa sets out modernising agenda for Pope

We must do everything possible so that the Church may never look like that complicated and cluttered castle described by Kafka, and the message may come out of it as free and joyous as when the messenger began his run. We know what the impediments are that can restrain the messenger: dividing walls, starting with those that separate the various Christian churches from one another, the excess of bureaucracy, the residue of past ceremonials, laws and disputes, now only debris.

In Revelation, Jesus says that He stands at the door and knocks (Rev 3:20). Sometimes, as noted by our Pope Francis, he does not knock to enter, but knocks from within to go out. To reach out to the "existential suburbs of sin, suffering, injustice, religious ignorance and indifference, and of all forms of misery."

As happens with certain old buildings. Over the centuries, to adapt to the needs of the moment, they become filled with partitions, staircases, rooms and closets. The time comes when we realize that all these adjustments no longer meet the current needs, but rather are an obstacle, so we must have the courage to knock them down and return the building to the simplicity and linearity of its origins. This was the mission that was received one day by a man who prayed before the Crucifix of San Damiano: "Go, Francis, and repair my Church".
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Opposition from within Argentinian church hierarchy to Pope's election says close friend

Alicia Oliveira received the surprise from her friend, Eduardo Valdes, influential man in the Buenos Aires Peronist movement. It had been 48 hours since the election of Jorge Bergoglio as the new Pope Francis when Valdés told her that the President of the nation Cristina Fernandez had invited her to join the official delegation would travel to the Vatican to witness the inauguration of the Supreme Pontiff.

Oliveira accepted immediately. She shared the Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt-Rome with Father Carlos Accaputo, Head of the Social Pastoral Office of the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, the Villa Fiorito waste scavenger Sergio Sanchez, the head of the Chamber of Deputies, Julián Domínguez, and the representative of the UIA, José Ignacio de Mendiguren.

For Oliveira, the trip to Rome came to complete a cycle of her own biography. Catholic single mother of three children, former judge who was left unemployed by the civil-military dictatorship in April 1976, a member of CELS in its early days, Oliveira was always considered a close friend of the new Pope, whom she keeps calling by his first name: "Jorge".

Oliveira is known as one of the most fervent defenders of Pope Francis. Especially when the controversy over his tenure as Provincial of the Jesuit Order began to move across the world. In 1976, after being left unemployed as a judge- she was one of the few judges who dared to give effect to habeas corpus-Bergoglio started meeting her twice a week. The appointment was inevitably in the retreat house that the Jesuits own in Villa de Mayo, present municipality of Malvinas Argentinas.

"We made a meal, held a small religious ceremony, he greeted and took the opportunity to talk to people about the state of the country," Oliveira recounted in several reports. The lawyer says that the Pope came to state his own position of how the "very marked" youth of Argentina could escape.

After Bergoglio was chosen as new head of the Catholic Church, the stories of Oliveira received media coverage. In some cases, the attempt was made to contrast her testimony with the investigation, undertaken since the 90s, by the journalist Horacio Verbitsky on the kidnapping and torture of the Jesuits Francisco Jalics and Orlando Yorio (click on labels below for more details of this case, in which the Pope is accused on collaborating with the military junta).

Oliveira said she took up the defense of the Pope at the request of her children and Valdes, with whom she undertaken public service in the Chancellor's Office . Both were close to the former president of Sedronar and next head of Aeropuerstos Argentina 2000, Rafael Bielsa. In fact, during the administration of Bielsa as Chancellor, Oliveira was appointed director of Human Rights in the Palacio San Martin.

When asked about her current activity, the criminal lawyer, now retired, defines herself as an "observer". An observer, for one, who is very attentive to what happens in Buenos Aires and the Vatican.

In the two weeks that have passed since the white smoke over the Vatican, Oliveira spoke twice by phone with the brand new Pontiff who is trying to govern 1200 million adherents worldwide. "Things about friends, affectionate things. He was very angry because I said that when I was in Rome I made no effort to see him. Was crazy. Everybody wanted to go to see him and it was impossible," she tells Tiempo Argentino on the content of the conversation with Pope.

The telephone conversation also included a question about the alleged "dirty dossier" that had circulated in the Vatican in order to stop the election of Bergoglio. According to Oliveira, both agreed that if this maneuver really existed, it did not have among its sponsors the Argentine Ambassador to the Holy See, Juan Pablo Cafiero.

In another part of the interview with Time, Oliveira warns: "Let's see what happens at the next Te Deum." (this is sung in the Cathedral to celebrate Argentinian National Day- the President unlike her late husband, also President, has not been attending in recent years).  The comment sounds casual but is illustrative of the new winds of the relationship between the President's Residence and the former archbishop of Buenos Aires. This May 25 will mark ten years of the arrival in the Presidential office of Néstor Kirchner. It will be a very significant day for the government, which is preparing a major demonstration to celebrate it. "I hope the Te Deum is made in the Cathedral of Buenos Aires. I hope you have noticed that sometimes the religious vocabulary is not exactly equal to the vocabulary of politicians. They should have someone ready to explain some things" Oliveira slides in a somewhat cryptic message, which appears to have multiple recipients.
Most media made a contrast between your statements and Horacio Verbitsky's research on previous activity of Bergoglio in the case of the arrest of Jalics and Yorio (two Jesuits who were imprisoned and tortured) .

What is your opinion?

I was surprised it took so long to get them out (the journalist's notes on the performance Bergoglio as provincial of the Jesuits during the dictatorship), because in the other election (the election of Benedict XVI) the same thing happened. I noticed that later.

Verbitsky is not being faithful to the memory of Emilio Mignone, founder of CELS, and what he wrote in his famous book, Church and dictatorship?

Remove the word loyalty. I read that book, and I talked about it with Jorge ( Bergoglio) because I was in the CELS and never hid my friendship with him. The issue always generated a discussion with Emilio (Mignone). With him oJorge always discussed. And one day he held a Mass for the disappeared in the Church of the Holy Cross. We both attended . I remember we were there and I told Emilio: "Turn around and look who's among the faithful." Jorge was. Emilio said nothing. That was in the last years of the dictatorship and the beginning of democracy. I used to meet Jorge at the College of Saviour. I left the CELS and was going to see. And one day on meeting Emilio I said: "Look, I now I'm meeting George, why do not you stop fooling around and you come, and say hello and endthis story." I was so insistent, I convinced both. Emilio came with me. And we found Jorge. They greeted each other, there was a great conversation, and then we left. So to those that say there was no meeting... I witnessed that meeting.

Why do you think that Bergoglio is not coming to Argentina until December?

They said it is because of the election, right?

And what do you think of him not coming until after the election?

I do not think it right that comes before. It should not be used although it can be used ...on the one side or the other. And he can not fall into that game, in that game ... I remember within the ecclesiastical circles, in the hierarchy, there are people who do not want Jorge.

Why do they not want him?
They feel him very light, very leftist. For these groupings, which are the old story of the Church, Jorge is very light.

You mean the grouping representing the Archbishop of La Plata, Hector Aguer?

They tried to lobby for Bergoglio not to be elected Pope?

As I have understood it, although I cannot say with absolute certainty, Aguer is closely linked to (Leonardo) Sandri (the other Argentine cardinal who aspired to become Pope) and a man who was Secretary of the Religious Affairs Department with former President Menem: Esteban Caselli. They exerted their influence.
In terms of Argentinan politics, what is signified by Bergoglio and what is signified by Aguer?
I have no answer. I do not know about the political groups linked to Aguer.

And those linked to Bergoglio?

Was there or was there not an exercise of secret diplomacy, from the Vatican embassy in Argentina, to try to block the election of Bergoglio as Pope?

I know Pablo Cafiero very well- I cannot believe that Juan Pablo was involved. Look, when I discussed this Bergoglio, I have not talked about what I said or what I learned from others. No. Always, my testimonies were from things that I experienced with him directly. I did not experience that with Juampi (Cafiero) so I could not say anything about it. But his long political and human behavior, personality characteristics indicated he would not do that. That's what I can say. And when I telephoned, the Pope mentioned it and he said he thought agreed. More than that I can not tell. That does not mean that there have not been things that have not come to light.

The journalist Marcelo Longobardi said he had information from the United States and he was sure that Washington had exerted a decisive role in the appointment of Bergoglio. He cited the Cardinal of New York, Timothy Dolan. What do you think?

I do not believe Longobardi too much.

The New York Cardinal is an important man.

I do not know. I'm no expert on cardinals.

In that vein, a reading that the Church might be competing with popular and progressive movements in Latin America who take away its members, its mass base.

'These things says the comrade of La Matanza (Luis D'Elia). I think not.

I ask now about the personal relationship between President Cristina Fernandez and Pope Francisco. Is there still going to be the distance that characterized the link while Bergoglio was archbishop or will this change?

That the relationship is a bit aloof does not bother me. Do you remember what Peron said ? So that the relationship is not cluttered, they do not have to be bound closely all together. It can work well, cooperate with some distance, and assuming that the Church is one thing and the civil power is something else. Since this man was named archbishop, as far as I know, his main character has been the concern for people. We must wait. Because you have to see what Cristina does. Let's see what happens at the next Te Deum, you understand?

Do you think that the Argentina Catholic Church, as an institution, has made the necessary self-criticism of his role during the dictatorship?

I think not yet. But we must also remember that it was the whole Church who were members of the Church.
You mean those leading the Church?

Sure. In some places. The La Plata case ( Antonio Plaza), for example, that was terrible. Not only Monsignor De Nevares, not only La Rioja man (Enrique Angelelli), who was murdered, and Ponce de Leon, who was also killed. Many were victims of state terrorism.

But the Argentinian church did not have the same attitude as the Brazilian Church and the Church in Chile to the crimes of the respective dictatorships.

Certainly. Some hierarchs did not. But when he speaks of the Church I feel involved, because the Church is a community of faith and I am a member of the faith community. Church saying, I am referring to all, to be a community of faith.

Will the election of Bergoglio as Pope promote self-criticism of the role of the Church in Argentina during the dictatorship?

I hope so.