Friday, March 22, 2013

Pope Benedict and Pope Francis- continuity or break


No longer visible, the angels to guard nor the Holy Spirit to inspire
The Bishop of Rome presides, yet should the Pope not reign?
Not least when all the other thrones have crumbled
Vicar of Christ
The Son who once reigned over the world from the Cross
and who now
with the Father and the Holy Spirit
reigns as Monarch
from His throne in Heaven

Jesuit defence of Pope Francis

You are young, inexperienced, and burdened with a heavy responsibility at a dangerous time. Today we understand better what was happening, but then it was often utterly confusing. You march for the truth and non-violence but such a stance seems almost irrelevant as the struggle deteriorates into a welter of killing and ‘political cleansing’. You struggle to keep your feet.

A major preoccupation is to prevent casualties among your Jesuit companions. You call this prudence but you wonder whether the situation demands something more forthright. You are acutely aware that, as a priest, you are in less danger than the ordinary people but that your public stance can place them in mortal danger. There are disagreements among your advisors and you do not have the hindsight with which to make perfect decisions, and so you make some mistakes. But you acknowledge these and hope that people will understand.

Some will; some won’t. There are some for whom even if Francis was the very incarnation of Francis of Assisi, that would still not be good enough. Hopefully most people will be grateful that he’s human and fallible. St Paul reminds us that the gospel is carried by us, mere ‘earthen vessels’. For Christian believers the election of Pope Francis is a vivid sign of the times, and what God seems to me to be saying through it is: ‘It’s the Gospel, stupid!’


Pope reminds Jesuits of their duty of unconditional obedience to the Pope.

Dear Father Nicolás,

I received with great joy the kind letter you sent me, in your name and that of the Society of Jesus, on the occasion of my election to the See of Peter, in which you assure me of your prayers for me and my apostolic ministry as well as your full disposition to continue serving - unconditionally - the Church and the Vicar of Christ according to the teachings of St. Ignatius Loyola.

My heartfelt thanks for this sign of affection and closeness, which I am happy to reciprocate, asking the Lord to illuminate and accompany all Jesuits, so that faithful to the charism received and following in the footsteps of the saints of our beloved Order, they may be evangelical leaven in the world in their pastoral action, but above all in the witness of a life totally dedicated to the service of the Church, the Spouse of Christ, seeking unceasingly the glory of God and the good of souls.

With these sentiments, I ask all Jesuits to pray for me and to entrust me to the loving protection of the Virgin Mary, our Mother in heaven, while as a sign of God's abundant graces, I give you the Apostolic Blessing with special affection, which I also extend to all those who cooperate with the Society of Jesus in her activities, those who benefit from her good deeds and participate in her spirituality.
Vatican, 16 March 2013


Cathcon- an indirect but decisive reference to the fourth Jesuit oath, after poverty, chastity and obedience and which was inserted into the Bull Exposcit Debitum.

"to carry out whatever the present and future Roman pontiffs may order which pertains to the progress of souls and the propagation of the faith and to go without subterfuge or excuse, as far as in us lies, to whatsoever provinces they may choose to send us, whether they are pleased to send us among the Turks or any other infidels even to those who live in the region called the Indies, or among any heretics whatever, or schismatics or any of the Faithful."

The Pope's career indicates that he took this rather more seriously than many of his Jesuits contemporaries but he now definitely expects it of them.

Papal fight against blasphemous artist

León Ferrari, a blasphemous artist  according to Bergoglio

The new Pope had a strong confrontation in 2004 with the award-winning artist. It was about the retrospective exhibition,  "Hell and Idolatories". Ultra-Catholic militants were charged for incidents connected with the exhibition

León Ferrari's work is blasphemy for the new Pope Argentine Jorge Bergoglio. In 2004 Cardinal declared he was against a retrospective show of the award winning artist called "Hell and idolatries."

The exhibition generated such controversy that even an ultra-Catholic militant group was prosecuted for vandalizing and incidents within the context of the exhibition that took place at the Centro Cultural Recoleta. The local judge, Elena Liberatori, closed the exhibition down, but the Administrative and Tax Court overturned that decision and allowed continuation in early 2005. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was a strong opponent of Ferrari for the exhibition in an unusual failure (really so anachronistic) which he wanted censored. Ultra-Catholics who considered it profane were demonstrated against the exhibition and were prosecuted for causing a disturbance. "Cardinal (Jorge) Bergoglio wrote a letter against the exhibition which was read in all churches saying it was blasphemous. Blasphemy in religion is paid for by death by stoning. processed So when the lads broke some of the pieces, I thought I should have sought the prpsecution of Cardinal Bergoglio because he had incited these people to vandalism. Luckily no-one broke my  head, "said Ferrari at the time.

"It's blasphemy that shames our city",  Bergoglio had said.  He also called "a day of fasting and prayer" so that "the Lord would forgive our sins and those of the city", in reference to the city government, which favored the controversial exhibition. "When I was getting the Golden Lion in Venice I thought of Cardinal Bergoglio a lot, because I thought it was part of his responsibility. rarely had so much publicity  been given to an artist ... and in all the churches, "Ferrari said at the time of a retrospective of his work at the Museum of Art Modern New York


SSPX issues lengthy critique of new Pope's approach to inter-religious dialogue

"Quo vadis, Domine?" St. Peter once asked the Lord when he was preparing to leave Rome to escape the ordeal.

"I let myself be crucified a second time", the answer should have been.

"Quo vadis, Francisce? " all faithful Catholics ask after what happened yesterday. Yesterday, at an audience of representatives of Christian churches and other religions .

It is Wednesday 20 March 2013, in the Clementine Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace. Pope Francis has asked the representatives of the non-Catholic churches, Judaism, Islam and other religious communities to an audience.

The Pope thanked the Orthodox Christians, that they appeared at his inauguration. He had during the Mass "felt the presence of their spiritual communities" said the pontiff.

The Council is praised, more specifically, the spirit of ecumenism, which the Council has produced and which culminates in the desire " ut unum sint "-" that they may be one ". The desire of the Pope at first sounds traditionally faithful: "Let us ask the merciful Father, that we live the faith that was given to us on the day of our Baptism, in abundance, and that we can make a free, happy, courageous witness to him." Unity in the true faith: That was certainly the desire of Jesus.

The way of "ecumenical dialogue" Pope Francis will continue. The commitment to promote "friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions," he says twice.

This is all very laudable, that's all desirable. The other religions should be treated with respect. For the Catholic Church that is - in contrast to some other religion that has spread through blood and war - nothing new. Respect and friendship for other faiths have been maintained in the High Middle Ages: Each scholastic discussion started with the arguments of those who think differently. Their objections were heard first, and formulated, the opposite was paid faithful attention.

Therefore there may be a good dialogue, a dialogue that is characterized by respect, but also has the courage to ask the crucial question: "Is Jesus Christ the Messiah for all people or not?"

Back to the speech of the Pope. It will be more concrete, one is curious in the hall. Jewish and Muslim representatives are present and expect to be addressed by the Pope. What is Francis now say to them?
The Pope speaks softly, almost a little nasally, holding both hands in front of the manuscript, which he reads verbatim, speaks into the microphone, which winds its way from the stand up from his mouth:

"And now I turn to you, dear representatives of the Jewish people, with whom we share a very special spiritual bond, since - as reaffirmed by the Second Vatican Council -" the Church of Christ [recognizes] that according to God's salvation, the beginnings of her faith and her election are found already among the Patriarchs, Moses and the prophets, see "(Declaration Nostra Aetate, 4). Thank you for your presence and trust that we, with the help of the Most High to continue those fraternal dialogues as the council wished (cf. ibid) and was actually implemented but has born particularly in recent decades, not much fruit.

Everything perfect, everything right. Yes, and yes: we share an incredibly intimate bond: Jesus Christ, our Lord, Savior, and founder of the Church, with the Jewish people. The Council says in the passage quoted nothing new, for the mysteries of salvation began in fact in the Old Covenant. The Pope goes on only on the surface, more precisely: circumnavigating diplomatically the cliffs. He does not speak of conversion, not the recognition of Christ, he speaks only of the "fraternal dialogue" that he wishes to "continue profitably." Here, too, every Catholic faithful to Tradition could follow, for without discussion, for without dialogue, it is not possible to announce Christ as the Son of God.

Then follow the words about Islam. Perhaps the tension is also so great because they are the first words of the man, to whom seven days ago the Keys of Kingdom were entrusted. Because he first as the Successor of Peter directly addresses those who oppose the founder of the Christian religion as the Son of God, the Muslims:

"I greet you all well and thank you, dear friends, you who belong to other religious traditions, especially the Muslims, who adore the one, living and merciful God, and call to prayer, and you all. I really appreciate your presence here today. In it I see a tangible sign of the will to grow in mutual respect and cooperation for the common good of humanity. "

Quo vadis, Francisce? "The Muslims worship the one living and merciful God"? Of course, that's a quote, that is one of those points , for which the SSPX insists on a definitive review of certain conciliar texts . "Muslims pray with us to the same God." (Nostra Aetate 3, Lumen Gentium 16)

Is that not a direct, open betrayal of Christ? " Isa ", as the Qur'an calls Jesus. And " Isa "is a prophet, not more. This is the teaching of the Koran, which says in Surah 4.171 , "Verily, the Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah [...] It is far from Allah, that he had a son.".

Now one could to save the Pope pointing out Nostra Aetate 3 and Lumen Gentium 16, refer indeed to God the Father, not Christ. The Muslims pray to one God yes, so are monotheistic, and that God indeed is the same as in Christianity.

But this argument shows just how far our time has been removed from the true image of God. Basically exactly what Christ said of the Pharisees applies to the representatives of the thesis "God-is-still-in-all-religions-the-same "If God were your Father, you would love ME, for I came out from God. " (John 8:42) And again. "No one comes to the Father but by me." (John 14:6)

In other words, whoever does not believe in Christ to be the Son of God does not believe in the Father. These are not the words of the SSPX, those are the words of St. John: "Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father. (He that confesseth the Son, hath the Father also.)" (1 John 2:23) And the Evangelist pushes it to: "Who is a liar, but he who denieth that Jesus is the Christ? (This is Antichrist, who denieth the Father, and the Son.") (1 Jn 2:22) (Cathcon note- my brackets- SSPX do not use the full quotes shown here- just the text outside the brackets)

One can formulate the question to Pope Francis differently: How, Your Holiness, how do you move the Muslims ever to accept faith in Christ, the Son of God when they worship without Christ the true God?
The speech closes with humanist rallying calls. It is about- how could it be otherwise - "friendship", "respect among people", "responsibility for Creation", "reconciliation", "peace", "defense of human dignity," "peaceful coexistence among peoples" , "integrity of creation" etc. etc. etc.

Inner worldly horizontalism, which since the break of the Conciliar years has been worn like a greasy leather jacket from the same period.

The Pope awakens only once even a vague hope, one almost has the impression that in the pre-prepared speech, the unconventional Argentines added these sentences:

"Above all, we need to break into the world's thirst for the absolute life as we cannot permit a one-dimensional view of people to take the upper hand, according to which people are limited to what they produce and what they consume: The is one of the greatest threats to our time. "

Anti-Consumerism, which is Franciscan, that's good. It is to be praised, especially in our hedonistic prosperous industrialized countries for which the church just as the scapegoat of all humanly possible misdeeds from a sinister pre-enlightened time.

"Keep the thirst for the Absolute alive" - ​​Yes, Holy Father, yes.

But why does the 266th Successor of Peter, not say who or what this absolute is? It is like a drama, in which the curtain falls before the climax is reched, like an advertisement that pours out intensive images, failing to mention the product by name.

Oh, that the Pope had but repeated those words spoken by his predecessor, two thousand years earlier and a little more than two thousand miles to the east. Back then, in Caesarea Philippi, the situation was similar: People did not know what they thought about Jesus as in the audience of the Pope. Some said - similar to the Islamic representatives present- he was merely a prophet, others thought he was a reincarnation of an enlightened predecessor. In all the confusion of opinionsm, the first Pope takes a position saying: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Matthew 16:16)

Francis could have said that, at the very least, to the representatives of non-Christian religions . He could have written hisstory, he would be immortal in the annals of the Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana as the first pope, who would have ventured after the Council, to again say the word "error" .

"They are in error," Pope Francis could have said, and thus approached the doctrine of his patron saint who went once to the Sultan to get him to repent of his error, "they are in error, whoever deny that Jesus Christ is the true Son of Hod"

At the same time, he could have been thus accepted as the first truly tolerant Pope in history. Tolerance consists not in the talking away of all differences- and now mistakenly assumed by everyone these days. They can be dismissed or swept under the carpet, under the motto: "Nothing results from Christ, come on, we're talking about protecting the environment."

That's just tolerance, that's respect, that's respect, if I do not share the opinion of the other but in spite of that highly esteem them as a people, not storming at them, on the contrary, I listen to their arguments, let them finish, and then answer in peace.Or even more sharply worded: "Tolerance is only possible where there are two really different opinions ."

The post-Conciliar church has forgotten in the Dionysian frenzy of brotherhood to proclaim the truth. Not for nothing now so many a Catholic on the street thinks: "What truth is to be proclaimed since the Council all the differences between religions have disappeared?".

The objection of diplomacy still remains. Sure, the representatives of Islam and Judaism reject Jesus as the one true Messiah, just as John describes it. But if the Pope would have told them with John to the face, you are "liars", the "Antichrist"? After all, the representatives have appeared at his inauguration, at least they pay respect to the Pope. Such a speech would have been almost an affront and would have caused a scandal.
In fact, a speech to non-Christian religions must be given with sense and sensibility. But also by a desire for the proclamation of the truth - according to the words of Christ: "For this I have come into the world to give witness to the truth." (John 18:37)

Could Pope Francis have used these word or similar?
Dear representatives of non-Christian religions, I am glad that they came. I assure you ofd my deepest friendship and esteem. Jesus Christ is the true Son of God and the founder of the one true religion. You know, my dear friends, this is our unwavering faith. And we have a longing that Christ was even more known, loved even more by all people on this earth. The mission of the Church is not a humanitarian mission, but a mission of faith. From the true faith follows love, from the love of God, the love of neighbor, and from this human charity, which in contrast to the humanism of the world is not done for money, but for love of Christ, whose incomparable phase was a legacyto the Faithful: "What have you done to the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Mt 25:40)

We ask you to formulate as the very first step of our common dialogue your personal beliefs, your arguments but also your objections. We will make every effort not only to listen but also to understand them properly. We will repeat it and only start with the answer, if you, dear religious leaders say: Yes, my point was understood. For this first, real dialogue, we invite you on behalf of the Catholic Church. I say 'first real dialogue', for it is a dialogue in which the differences are not discussed to death, but remain standing. For every choice of faith, both yours and mine, must be free and come from within, as St. Thomas Aquinas said 750 years ago, and today remains just as true as ever. I am sure that this dialogue will show us Catholics, what arguments you give for your convictions, but also vice versa: it will open up a variety of arguments which speak for the Catholic faith. After the exchange of arguments everything else is your highly personal decision which you alone take before the face of the Most High. Because '(And the Lord said to Samuel: Look not on his countenance, nor on the height of his stature: because I have rejected him, nor do I judge according to the look of man:) for man seeth those things that appear, but the Lord beholdeth the heart."(1 Sam 16:7) (Cathcon- I give the whole verse- SSPX does not use the part in brackets)

By the way: After Peter's confession, "You are the Son of the living God" the office of Supreme Pastor twas entrusted to Peter: "I tell you, you are Peter, upon this rock I will build my church." (Matthew 16:18)

This has a profound meaning: This position is given to Peter, to Christ, to proclaim the Son of God. This was true of the first representative of Jesus, that also applies to the 266th Successor: Pope Francis. (PAS)

Roman exorcist tells Pope to beware a quick death and the Freemasons.

The Roman exorcist Gabriele Amorth said that Pope Francis wanted a "poor church of the poor" like John Paul I. "I would not wish that he ends like Luciani". John Paul I died after only 33 days in the papacy

Father Gabriele Amorth, chief exorcist of the Diocese of Rome has warned the new Pope Francis about a quick death following the fate of Pope John Paul I. "The Masons have their branches everywhere, even in the Vatican, unfortunately," Amorth said in an interview with the Italian newspaper "Il Giornale", which the newspaper "Österreich" online reported.

Amorth said that the new Pope Francis wanted a "poor church of the poor" like John Paul I "I would not wish that he ends like Luciani," commented the chief exorcist, but the Freemasons aspire only after money and career, "they help each other," reported, "Österreich“" online. Father Gabriele maintains that they include the present Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, a Freemason, as well as President Giorgio Napolitano. In principle, all politicians in power are subordinate to the Freemasons and the world was dominated by seven or eight people who kept all the money in their hands, said the 88-year-old monk, who is believed to have carried out 70,000 successful exorcisms. Amorth alluded to Albino Luciani / Pope John Paul I, who died in 1978 just 33 days after his election as pope. An autopsy of his body was denied by the Vatican, which gave rise to numerous conspiracy theories. For example, the assessment was circulated that the Pope had been poisoned, because he wanted to expose corrupt transactions in the Vatican Bank.


Pope to appoint 12 bishops as his quasi "apostles"?

But within the Catholic Church as well papal primacy, pushed to the limit, is waiting to be balanced by the college of bishops. This was called for by Vatican Council II, so far with scarce practical application, and again forcefully by Benedict XVI in one of his last discourses as pope, a few days before his resignation. His successor Francis has already made it known that this is precisely what he means to do.

To do this he has available to him a rough and ready implement, the synod. It consists of the approximately two hundred bishops, the elite of the almost five thousand bishops of the whole world, who every two years meet in Rome to discuss an issue of particular urgency for the life of the Church.

Its powers are purely advisory, and its twenty-eight editions so far, since the first in 1967, have risen only rarely above tedium. Pope Francis could make it deliberative, naturally “together with and under” his power of primacy.

But above all he could transform into a proper and permanent “council of the crown” that restricted group of bishops, three for each continent, which every synod elects at the end of its work, to act as a bridge to the following synod.

For a pope like Francis, who wants to feel from Rome the pulse of the worldwide Church, this group is the ideal instrument. Suffice it to say that among the twelve elected by the last synod are almost all of the outstanding names of the recent conclave: the cardinals Timothy Dolan of New York, Odilo Scherer of São Paulo, Brazil, Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, Peter Erdö of Budapest, George Pell of Sydney, Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle of Manila.

By gathering around himself a summit of the worldwide episcopate of such a high level, once a month or even more frequently, physically present in Rome or by videoconference, Pope Francis could govern the Church just as Vatican Council II wished: with stable collegial support for his ultimate decisions as successor of Peter.

Full story

Cathcon- such a small group at the top would only enhance Papal power rather than dispersing it.   Splits between the Bishops at this high level could be catastrophic.  The other immediate and potentially explosive problem would be the relationships with the episcopal conferences, who all too often have attempted to take a juridical role over and against individual bishops in their dioceses.

The larger body of bishops suggested would function as a quasi-parliamentary body but potentially would just insert another bureaucratic intermediary body between the Vicar of Christ and the Bishops of the world Church.

The crisis in the Church is nothing if not episcopal and "collegiality" is part of the problem rather than the solution as it leads to a confusion of roles between the Pope and his bishops.

Guilty silence of the Church in Argentina during the military dictatorship

The lawyer of the Italians who disappeared in Argentina: "The Church in Argentina was responsible"

Giancarlo Maniga, a lawyer for the civil party in the process that led to the imprisonment of Generals Mason and Riveros, emphasizes the role of the clergy during the years of dictatorship: "Their absence was so marked as to cross the border almost into complicity." A shadow for the Pope? "I don't not think so, as Bergoglio is a very clever politician"

The shadow of the disappeared in Argentina throws a long shadow over the reign of Francis. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was forty years old during the dark era of the dictatorship. He was Jesuit provincial between 1973 and 1979, at a time when it was difficult not to be aware of the crimes committed by the military junta, kidnappings and disappearances, torture and abduction of hundreds of children born to those active in the underground. The lawyer Giancarlo Maniga , of Sardinian origins and whose office is in Milan, was the legal representative for relatives on six cases of disappearances of people of Italian origin, which ended in Rome in 2004 with a life sentence for General Guillermo Suarez Mason and Santiago Omar Riveros and other Argentinian military officers.

Maniga also followed the fortunes of three citizens of Italian origin in the Argentinian Naval School trial , after which were sentenced to life imprisonment, among others, the former Lieutenant Commander Alfredo Astiz and "Tiger" Jorge Acosta, one of the most brutal torturers of the dictatorship. The lawyer knows that dark background: he listened to the testimonies of dozens of family members of the disappeared but also to students, trade unionists, academics, ordinary people who survived the cruelty of the clandestine centers. "At that dramatic moment in history, the Church in Argentina was conspicuous by her absence," said Maniga today from his office opposite the Central Court of Milan:

"An absence so marked as to border on complicity . In Buenos Aires, but also in Rosario and Cordoba, every day someone disappeared. The Church could not but know, "

says the lawyer.

"Especially since there is evidence that the disappeard , before they were pushed into the sea from the infamous death flights, were given the last rites by priests called in ad hoc."

What some call a prudent silence is translated, in the memories of the Sardinian lawyer to a guilty silence . This ended with the mea culpa on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the coup, when Pope Francis, then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, encouraged the Church to publish a document in which he admitted part of their responsibility. According to Maniga, this is not enough: "The believers then were entitled to a more clear and more active position. Only unknown priests and provincial pastors were exposed. Representatives of the lower clergy that in many cases paid with their lives for their courage. " A stain, that of the disappeared, which threatens to undermine the popularity of the new pope? The lawyer Maniga does not believe so: "Bergoglio is a very clever politician. "


Nobel prize winner after audience with Pope defends his record on the Junta

Pope Francis received on Thursday the Argentinian Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel. Francis said in the private audience that he wished to advance, "the truth, justice and reparation for the damage suffered under the dictatorship " Esquivel said at an impromptu press conference which followed near St. Peter's Basilica.

The meeting had gone "very well," said the 81-year-old civil rights activist. "We have talked about the martyrs of the church, including Monsignor Romero of El Salvador and Enrique Angelelli." Enrique Angelelli was on account of his commitment to workers in Argentina killed in 1976 in a staged car crash. Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, was shot in 1980 during a Mass.

Esquivel again when questioned defended the Pope against allegations that in the 1970s as a Jesuit Provincial he collaborated with the Argentine military dictatorship. He rather set about through quiet diplomacy to save detainees and deportees.

The Nobel Peace prize winner mentioned that he and Francis had emphasized the need for a consistent, holistic view of human rights. "They must not be confined to the murders during the dictatorship, but they also had to apply to poverty, the environment and the lives of the people ," said Esquivel about the conversation.
Next, the position of the church in general and especially in Latin America was discussed according to Esquivel, about "the challenge of being for the first time a Latin American pope." - which Esquivel represented as "overcoming Eurocentrism" in the Catholic Church The Church in Latin America had adopted a "prophetic role".

The meeting itself Esquivel described as "goodbye", because they already knew eachother. He assessed his fellow- countryman in a positive light; in his eyes Pope Francis sought, "to internalize things, but with security and the willingness to fulfill his apostolic mission," stated the human rights activist. After the Pope asked Esquivel to pray for him, he had promised to accompany him on his path.

Torture victim and advocate
Shortly after the election of Pope Francis Esquivel had vehemently defended the former Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio against accusations that he had during the military dictatorship in Argentina (1976-1983) made a pact with the then rulers. Esquivel told the Spanish-language service of the BBC: "There were bishops who were accomplices of the dictatorship, but Bergoglio not." There was no connection between the present Pope and the dictatorship.

The now 81-year old Esquivel had after the Argentine military coup in 1976 founded the human rights organization "Service for Peace and Justice". He was arrested and tortured by the regime. In 1980 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts against the methods of the junta.