Thursday, May 31, 2012

Vatican decision expected on Medjugorje

Richtlinien zu „Erscheinungen“ und „Botschaften“ veröffentlicht – Entscheidung zu Medjugorje erwartet › 

Guidelines for "appearances" and "messages" published 
The CDF published on 29 May Norms regarding the manner of proceeding in the discernment of presumed apparitions or revelations. They have formed since 1978 the standard by which the Church examines alleged apparitions. In Normae de modo procedendi in diiudicandis praesumptis apparitionibus ac reveationibus, it is noted that for "private revelations" that is "alleged apparitions, visions and messages to which supernatural origins are attributed" to be authentic, they must be focused on Jesus. They can "introduce new dimensions, bringing to light new forms of piety or deepening old," but they cannot in any way, "correct" Divine revelation or contradict this.

Guidelines date from 1978 - publication linked with Medjugorje?
The newly published guidelines were already on 25 February 1978 adopted by the CDF, as William Cardinal Levada, Prefect of the Congregation points out in his introduction. At that time, they were brought to the attention of the bishops, but not made known. The reason was that they concerned "primarily the pastors of the Church" said the Prefect. Why have they now been published? Is the disclosure in connection with the decision still-awaited in 2012 on Medjugorje?

The question of experiences that are linked to supernatural phenomena, have been in the life and mission of the church always been  topical, as it was during the 12th Ordinary Synod of Bishops of 2008.

Pope Benedict XVI. saw the need, in his Post-Synodal Apostolic Verbum Domini to respond.

Pope Benedict XVI about private revelations
In all of this, the Church gives voice to her awareness that with Jesus Christ she stands before the definitive word of God: he is “the first and the last” (Rev 1:17). He has given creation and history their definitive meaning; and hence we are called to live in time and in God’s creation within this eschatological rhythm of the word; “thus the Christian dispensation, since it is the new and definitive covenant, will never pass away; and no new public revelation is to be expected before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. 1 Tim 6:14 and Tit 2:13)

So said Benedict XVI

Consequently, the Synod pointed to the need to “help the faithful to distinguish the word of God from private revelations”  [Proposition 47]

Throughout the ages, there have been so-called "private" revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ's definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the Magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church
[Catechism of the Catholic Church, 67]
(Cathcon- I quote the whole paragraph)

The value of private revelations is essentially different from that of a public revelation: These support our faith, as through human words and through the mediation of the living community of the church , God himself speaks to us. The standard for the truth of a private revelation is its orientation to Christ himself. If they are leading us away from Him, then they certainly do not come from the Holy Spirit who guides us more deeply into the Gospel and not away from it. Private revelation is a help to this faith, and is proven credible by refering to a public revelation.

The Church's approval of a private revelation is therefore indicative of, essentially, that the corresponding message contains nothing contrary to faith or morals, it is permissible to publish them, and it is allowed for the faithful to give their wise consent .

A private revelation can deepen or give new dimensions that highlight new ways of piety or old.  They can have a certain prophetic character (cf. 1 Thes 5:19-21) and be a valuable tool to better understand and to live the Gospel in a particular moment , so they should not be disregarded. It is a help that is offered, but one which one is not obliged to use.But in all of this there must be a nurturing of faith, hope and love, which are the unchanging path to salvation for everyone. The Message of Fatima (26 June 2000) : Ench. Vat 19, Nos. 974-1021]

Lourdes and Fatima were officially recognized by the Church
Worldwide, there are several current phenomena of alleged apparitions and messages which were explained by those affected as supernatural influence. The Church saw in its history no reason to comment on any vision, but does so when a special need exists, particularly the danger that believers might be misled. Few visions have been officially recognized by the Church. These include those of Lourdes and Fatima.

Commission of Inquiry on Medjugorje established in 2010
Currently, a decision is expected on Medjugorje. To test the alleged apparitions in the mountain village of Herzegovina, Pope Benedict XVI in 2010 set up a commission of inquiry whose final report is expected in 2012.

The competent bishops' conference said in 1991 that "non constat de supernaturalitate ", which means "the supernatural nature is not certain". The final judgment for what the Vatican's commission of inquiry established by Pope Benedict XVI is not yet known.

"Non constat de supernaturalitate " means a negative decision, according to guidelines
The newly published guidelines from 1978 are the basis for the work of Medjugorje Commission of Inquiry. The church has, according to ecclesiastical practice, two choices available: "constat de supernaturalitate " in which she recognises the supernatural nature and therefore recognizes a vision (positive decision) and "non constat de supernaturalitate" by which the Church rules that the supernatural nature is not certain (negative decision).

Until the 1970s, the negative decision read "constat de non supernaturalitate"- it is cetain that it is not of supernatural nature. This formulation was replaced in the canonically binding 1978 Normae de modo procedendi in diiudicandis praesumptis apparitionibus ac reveationibus with the new formulation. A non constat de supernaturalitate means a negative judgement about the alleged visionary phenomenon, since the all-important authenticity remains doubtful.

The various meanings of constat.
One dictionary
it is agreed/evident/understood/correct/well known (everyone knows/agrees)
Another dictionary

it is certain
As a noun it can mean cerfied report
The Church in 1978 moved the negative non and thereby moved from deciding on the truth of a revelation to interpreting it. That said, the local Bishop's Conference have over the years been very hostile to Medjugorje and her Franciscan promoters.

One of the visionaries, Mirjana

The place has its supporters and detractors. Among the supporters is found, Cardinal Schönborn who is also a key supporter in Rome.

Among the detractors, the traditionalist author Michael Davies who wrote a critical book and who told me on the second of his two visits he received threats by telephone on the last day that he would be murdered if he ever visited again.

Father Brown investigates Vatileaks


This is the theme tune of the German version of Father Brown- which would be familiar to the Pope from his earlier years.

See also- Catholic Church Conservation: Vatileaks now has its own Father Brown- Father Martignani investigates

Pope's butler to be interrogated next week and may get bail


Ecclesia Dei- Mass Obligation NOT Fulfilled at SSPX-Affiliated Chapel


 "On February 19, 2012, a letter was written to His Eminence William Cardinal Levada, President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei asking if a Catholic may fulfill the precept to assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at a chapel which is affiliated with the Society of St. Pius X.  Queen of Martyrs Press has received a transcription of the letter written to the Pontifical Commission with the latter's response (both with necessary editions).  The response is an apparent 180° reversal of the previously - publicized responses from Roman authorities, including that of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei  in regards to the fulfillment of the precept to assist at Holy Mass at SSPX-affiliated chapels.   What is interesting about the date of the response from Ecclesia Dei is that it was written 12 days after deadline requesting Bp. Fellay to clarify his stance on the doctrinal preamble was publicized."

Cathcon has many books full of old decisions of the Congregation for Rites.  They tend not to contradict eachother. 

Pope deserves Nobel Prize for Economics, not for Theology, says former Head of Vatican Bank

No wonder he lost his job- he also said that the Pope was the greatest economist in the world. Move over Paul Krugman- not that I think he deserves the title either, but many in Europe do. He then talks about the relationship of various other religions to economics and then tells a joke about Hitler.... Elsewhere, Italian newspapers quote him ..."I love the Pope more than my reputation" and "I'm torn between the anxiety to explain the truth and not wanting to disturb the Holy Father"

Woman trains as Iman in Germany

Feature: Die Predigerin des Islam - Nachrichten Newsticker - News3 (DAPD) - WELT ONLINE

Hilal Sandikci preaches Islam, because she is looking for answers. She cannot stand open questions. Since Secondary School in Herten near Recklinghausen, the 23-year-old has been occupied with the Koran, which offers plenty of room for interpretation, and the religion that is so complex. Meanwhile, it has become a profession.

Hilal Sandikci was trained as a female Iman in a Turkish Cultural Centre. Since then, she teaches the Muslim faith to Turkish people. Because she wanted to preach Islam, but also in German, in parallel with her A-levels, she took the training for Imans.

"I've learned a lot from the training for imams," she says. "I have been given structures of how I respond and react to situations." They also can call on the instructor at any time and ask how what verse is to be interpreted. For Sandikci, the program is just a further step. As a further step, in autumn she will be one of the first students to study Islamic theology in Osnabrück. This is her dream.

Sandikci wears a long brown skirt to just above the ankles, and hands and face are unveiled. A scarf covers her hair. "This is required by the Koran," she says as she sits in a café in front of the Osnabrück-Islam Centre. Around her neck she wears a necklace with a bronze amulet. 
Depicted on it is an Arabic letter. In the Latin alphabet, it says "Waw", the symbol of the "servant of God." It is her life's motto: Be humble and live to serve God. So "Waw" was also chosen for the screen for her Facebook profile. She likes the symbol because "the baby in the womb has the form of Waw".

In order to realize their dream of a college degree, Sandikci was a year ago at the Emscher-Lippe training college in Gelsenkirchen. There was a fateful encounter. Actually it was only because of Islamist extremists that she entered the training program for imams in Osnabrück.

In her class was a Salafist. He blustered: "Women must obey men" or "You come all to hell. I just want to help you.." The Islamist hardliners put the Quran literally and threw a bad light on their religion, says Sandikci.

When she comes from a course of training program for imams, in whuch the director of the Islamic Institute, Bülent Ucar encourages Muslims to distance themselves from religious extremists, she said: "It made me angry that I got could not argue against it in German in front of my classmates ."

She talked to a student adviser about Gelsenkirchen, who then advised her about the program that educates the imams through the medium of German. In Osnabrück, she found "support for arguments, which can show to the Germans that we are not like that", and learned that Germany's largest institute of Islamic theology is being developed there.

In the time until the start of the course this winter semester, she takes in parallel to the school twice a month the training program for imams and hopes that with her education, professional experience and the programme, she will be accepted as admission. The course in Gelsenkirchen only finishes in 2014. She won't wait that long. She is impatient. She wants to get through the study of Islam as soon as possible in order to answer the open questions her faith brings with it.

Three new suspects in Vatileaks scandal work in the Secretariat of State


Sadness in his heart": as Benedict XVI scandal makes public his displeasure on the leaks scandal in the Vatican, there is speculation behind the scenes on more arrests: three lay people from the State Secretariat have attracted the attention of the investigators.

Paolo Gabriele, the treacherous servant of the Pope is sitting in a holding cell in the Vatican. So far he is the only one who has been arrested in connection with the scandal of stolen confidential documents of the Pope. But it is expected that Domenico Giani, the head of the Vatican Police and former employee of the Italian secret service will strike again. According to rumours, three laymen employed at the Secretariat of State of the Holy See are in his sights.

Still, the interrogations have not started of the 46-year-old "Paoletto" in whose apartment, Vatican police found Papal documents. But details are now circulating. Perhaps, he has been for a year acting as a spy and thief - but on whose behalf, that is the question. For six months, the Papal policeman apparently had him under observation because of contacts that Paolo Gabriele had outside the Vatican. A document from the office of the Holy Father then apparently removed the doubt that he must be the man who had passed on the papers.

Pope Secretary George Gänswein had discovered the document in the book "Sua Santità" by Gianluigi Nuzzi. Nuzzi quoted from documents from Benedict's correspondence and documents of the State Secretariat, a number of which are reproduced in facsimile. It is now rumored that Gänswein confronted Paoletto with the serious suspicion, hours before the police made the arrest last Wednesday. The paper in question, the balance sheet of the " Pope Benedict XVI. Foundation " must have been taken from Gänsweins desk, as this document is not passed for safekeeping to the archive.

The Pope criticized the media. Some had "painted a picture of the Holy See, which does not correspond to reality," the pope said to 15,000 faithful at the General Audience. Ther was "sadness in his heart" about the revelations. Benedict has every reason to be so, because it's not just about the disappointment with the man who belonged to his household for six years and had the closest contact with him. It can hardly be doubted that behind "Vatileaks", the leaks in the Vatican there is intrigue and a power struggle. Supporters and opponents of the controversial Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone juggle to the detriment of the church and the Pope.

For the first time, the Official Journal of the Vatican, Osservatore Romano has picked up the scandal. It was not Bertone who took the floor, but his deputy, Archbishop Angelo Becciu. He was bitter to see that such an investigation would now take place. The publication of the stolen papers was an "immoral, outrageous act," said, Becciu but "the image of a Vatican of fighting, poison and suspicions" was still wrong.