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

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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.”

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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.