Saturday, March 02, 2013

Cardinal Herranz, the Pope's chief investigator of Vatileaks, gives an interview

Investigator from Medjugorje to the "bubble" of Vatileaks

Much has been written in recent days about the Vatican's secret dossier, and even more speculation. It concerns the final report of the Commission of Inquiry consisting of three cardinals, which Pope Benedict XVI had commissed to investigate the "Vatileaks" document theft that led to the arrest of the papal chamberlain,Paolo Gabriele.

When the Holy See announced that the cardinals will be granted access to the report before the conclave, but in the event did not provide it, it gave open editorial season to the journalists. And ever less serious speculation came up like weeds that Benedict XVI had resigned because of this report. The document that is not in the foreseeable future to be made available can be interpreted in anyway anyone wants. Even some Catholic journalists could not be kept in check, and rode the wave that showered the church with garbage.

The head of the pontifical commission, Cardinal Julián Herranz, a member of Opus Dei, canon law expert, physician and psychiatrist has only once given a statement on the matter.

He did this in an interview with the Spanish daily El Pais published on 19 February. A look at this interview is useful to give proportion to the contrived media excitement.

Julián Herranz was born in 1930 in Andalusia. Ordained a priest in 1955, he has worked since 1960 in the Roman Curia.

Pope John Paul II appointed him to be a Curial Archbishop and created him a cardinal in 2003. He is Chairman Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts and the Disciplinary Commission of the Roman Curia. Cardinal Herranz was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to the Commission appointed to examine the phenomenon of Medjugorje. Although the final report has been submitted, ecclesiastical recognition of the Herzegovinian "place of apparition" has still not been made, as the Pope, it seems, was not ready.

The Spaniard celebrated after the adoption of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum the Holy Sacrifice in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, and was a member of the pontifical commission Ecclesia Dei.

You have led the investigating commission about Vatileaks which passed its final report to the Pope on the 17th December. There has been much speculation about the contents of this report, which one imagines is extremely serious, to the extent that many are of the opinion that he had been crucial for the resignation of the Pope.
This matter has been enormously inflated. I assure you in my capacity as Chairman of the Commission of Inquiry that a bubble was constructed from it, which will soon burst.

In the Vatican, it is relatively common, to form committees of this kind. You have the task of examining how things are in a certain area. It goes and talks to people, looks at the things, those that are functioning and those that are not, the lights and the shadows, it made notes, and finally the results are reported to the competent authority. It then is up to the competent authority to make the decisions it deems appropriate.

The matter has conveyed a bad impression of the church.
But it's just a soap bubble, an anecdote. There is a willingness to see snake nests, mafia groups fighting each other, internal jealousies and hatred, all of which is absolutely wrong. I have been working for more than half a century in the Vatican, and I can say that I admire many of my colleagues, for their capacity for devotion and sacrifice. There will be black sheep, as in all families, that fact I would not argue with, but we speak of the least corrupt and most transparent government, there is, more than any international organization and any secular government. I have been following the media attention, I am a hermit, and I read what happens in the world and see that we speak of the least corrupt government that has been exemplary in many respects.

[...] In fact, they created a bubble of mysterious things. It is created with a lot of imagination. It is clear that there is no government, family or organized group that has not an intimate area that is kept away from the public. In any government, there are far more dark areas of intelligence agencies and decisions that a president makes, without making them public, far more than in the Vatican areas of secrecy.

Has the Vatileaks case not really scarred the Pope ?
No. I assure you that this is just an anecdote compared to the decisions of the Holy Father and the problems of the Church. The fundamental problem of the church is the need for a new evangelization. The church suffered a terrible persecution. 80 percent of people worldwide who have been persecuted in the past year because of their beliefs were, and the Christians and that is said by other institutions, not the church itself. This is happening in India, Pakistan, Africa. In other places, they are discriminated against, as if they have wrong, reprehensible opinions. And then there is a more toxic form of persecution.

In the developed countries?
Yes, for example

In Europe, the Church has certainly lost a lot of power.
Anyone looking at the church as a power factor, is wrong from the outset. The message of the Church is persecuted there, where there is an absolutist stance. It is where religious freedom is not granted. It is estimated that last year around 100,000 Christians were persecuted, imprisoned or murdered. For three years, a mother of a family, Asia Bibiis in prison in Pakiston and only a few secular bodies raise their voices. Again, these things make you suffer. And the Pope is aware that the waves of the world ocean are growing higher and that the barque of the Church needs a solid hand on the rudder.

What qualities should the man who presents himself as the new Pope to the control?
Two things. In the first place it is necessary that there is a man who loves Christ. Knows the founder of the church and loves.

But this quality is met by all the cardinals.
Of course, but not in the same way. All Cardinals can talk, but it is to see who speaks best. There are different degrees of holiness in the people. It is not irrelevant as to whether someone has the monastic vocation, as Celestine V, or if another is a friend of Christ in the same way, but is aware, what happens in the world, what ideological and cultural trends hit the world in waves.

And the second quality?
That he is ready to explain his love for God to others.

So a good communicator.
Exactly. The carrying forward of the new evangelization, which proclaims Christ in the world.

Is age important?
Yes, these are indeed secondary issues, but of great importance- Age, health, language skills, ability to travel and perhaps nationality


Adopt a Cardinal!


If you are lucky, you will get Cardinal Ranjith,  if profoundly unlucky, Cardinal Mahony.

Cardinal Tonini is the eldest Cardinal at the age of 98.  

He still gives interviews....

Cardinal on Curia- "There are reforms which are necessary".

The Spanish Cardinal Lluís Martínez Sistach has been in Rome for four day and on Thursday the Archbishop of Barcelona took personal leave of the Pope. Our correspondent Julius Müller-Meiningen with the Catalan prelate.

What is your assessment of the recently concluded pontificate?

Martínez Sistach:
I know the Pope Emeritus well and admire him for his generosity, his consistency and foresight.

Aside from its great intellectual and spiritual power, he has not avoided even difficult questions.

I think of his efforts to investigate abuse cases and an attempt to bring more transparency in the finances of the Vatican.

What will remain of Benedict's work?

Martínez Sistach:
His core message was that the reason is enriched by faith. His fight against relativism was very important. In society, it often seems as if everything is good and right. But the world has lost its bearings, it lack a compass.

What are the challenges for the Church?

Martínez Sistach:
The most important point is evangelization, thus spreading the message of Jesus Christ in the world. For this, reforms are needed, both in personnel and in the Curia.

The church consists of many cultures.

There are a few small specific groups, but the church should rediscover its unity.

The Curia must also do their part in reform.

Next week, the deliberations of the cardinals begin before the conclave. What exactly happens there?

Martínez Sistach:
We will first talk about the issues raised by Benedict and the challenges facing the world church today. Only in a second step, it will be important to find a person who can answer these questions best.

But first we must get to know other Cardinals better.

We do not know each other at all.

Eventually the first names are mentioned, you keep your ears open, suggest a name yourself. Thus, the first trends are emerging.

What happens when your name is mentioned as a possible successor?

Martínez Sistach:
I do not think about this really.

Who are the candidates?

Martínez Sistach:
I rather keep that to myself.

What characteristics should the new Pope have?

Martínez Sistach:
He must be a man of faith and be equal to the task. He has to know the world as well as the church. And he needs the skills of a shepherd as well as the head of government.

Is the personal profile or the origin of the candidates is important?

Martínez Sistach:
The personal profile. Only if two or three candidates have emerged, the origin also plays a role.

You will participate in a conclave for the first time. How do you imagine this?

Martínez Sistach:
I have seen the procession of cardinals so far only in movies. I never thought that I will be there as well. This is sure to be very exciting, we have a great responsibility.

At the thought of taking my oath of allegiance before the fresco of the Last Judgment by Michelangelo, I will feel very faint. And if I'm going to go to the altar to give my vote, my hand will surely shake.


Day after Joseph Ratzinger renounces Papacy, Church begins Month Dedicated to St Joseph, Patron of the Church


Cardinals: liturgical abuse weakens the Faith

If the Mass is not celebrated according to the norms of the Church, it contributes to the weakening of Faith, say the Curia cardinals Raymond Burke and Antonio Canizares Llovera.

Liturgical abuses weaken faith in God, encourage selfishness and provide a reduction in numbers assisting at Mass. Curial Cardinals Raymond Burke and Antonio Canizares Llovera are convinced about this. They receive support from the liturgy expert Father Nicola Bux. During the presentation of the new book by Fr Bux both Curial cardinals spoke out.

Unfortunately, if many priests and bishops dismiss deviations from the liturgical norms as irrelevant although they are actually serious abuses said Cardinal Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura. Cardinal Canizares shares this view: "The participation in the Eucharist can weaken the faith when if do not participate properly or if the liturgy is not celebrated according to the norms of the Church, "he said . This applies both for the ordinary and the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, added the former prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Many modern Catholics were of the view the Mass is something that the priest and the faithful do together. In fact, it was all concerned with Jesus, said Fr Bux.


Homosexual mafia accused of bringing down Britain's top Catholic

Almost invariably, it was late at night by the time the parties started. After dinner and prayers, the residents of St Andrew’s College would gather around candlelit tables in the refectory or head upstairs to the billiard room to talk, drink and laugh into the wee hours.

The tight-knit group, mostly in their early 20s, had been drawn to the 19th-century baronial mansion near the village of Drygrange, a stone’s throw from the River Tweed, on the Scottish borders, by a calling. They wanted to devote their lives to serving God as priests in the Catholic Church.

St Andrew’s was a seminary 30 miles south-east of Edinburgh, where at any time several dozen young men were being prepared for the priesthood. They spent their days studying, praying, meditating, debating theology and learning how to run a parish.

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See also archives which may throw light on this case sealed for one hundred years.