Benedetto XVI Forum


Last Update: 4/21/2019 10:12 PM
Print | Email Notification    
6/23/2012 7:09 PM
Post: 25,110
Post: 7,613
Registered in: 8/28/2005
Registered in: 1/20/2009
Master User

See preceding page for earlier posts today,6/23/12.

Pope meets Curial heads then
meets with five trusted cardinals
to discuss leak scandal

June 23, 2012

VATICAN CITY, June 23 (AP) - Pope Benedict XVI convened a special meeting of cardinals Saturday to get their advice about how to deal with the scandal over leaked Vatican documents, another sign of the damage the leaks have done to trust in the Holy See's governance. [Why should the meeting be seen as 'a sign of the damage...' rather than a sign of the Pope's normal concern about a managerial and morale problem, not to mention as[S} a sign of collegiality even in dealing with problems that are not ecclesial but administrative?]

Benedict was already scheduled to attend a regular meeting of the heads of Vatican offices Saturday morning. The Vatican press office said he had added a second meeting later in the day with other cardinals in a bid to try to "restore a climate of serenity and trust" in the church.

And the Vatican said he would meet over the coming days with still more cardinals who will be gathering in Rome for a Church feast day on Friday to "continue the dialogue with the people who share the responsibility of the Church's governance with him."

The Vatican has been scrambling to cope with the leaks of hundreds of Vatican documents exposing corruption [Only two - Mons. Vigano's letters - out of dozens of documents, alleged any corruption at all, and even he only cited one specific case of what he considered contract over-pricing! And yet, from the start, MSM has codified that one case into 'CORRUPTION IN THE VATICAN' as though it were a widespread practice], and I am compelled to point this out everytime they repeat this unfounded feneral charge!], political infighting and power struggles at the highest level of the Catholic Church.

The Pope's butler has been arrested in the case, accused of aggravated theft after [copies of] the Pope's own documents were found in his Vatican City apartment.

The Vatican is conducting two main investigations into the leaks: a criminal one headed by the Vatican gendarmes that led to the arrest of the butler, Paolo Gabriele, and another internal probe led by a commission of three cardinals tasked with getting to the bottom of the scandal.

Last weekend Benedict met with the cardinal's commission to learn details of [their questioning of] some of the two dozen people they have questioned.

The meetings Saturday were another indication of the seriousness with which he has taken the scandal and the damage it has done to the trust that is supposed to form the basis of the Vatican's governance.

In its statement, the Vatican said the regularly scheduled meeting with department heads, aimed at coordinating the Vatican's work, was "today particularly important and urgent to show efficient witness to the union of spirit that animates the Curia."

The second meeting Saturday includes Vatican cardinals and the archbishops of Sydney and retired vicar of Rome — two longtime papal advisers. [I don't see why the AP chose not to list the 5: Marc Ouellet, Prefect of Bishops; George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney; Camillo Ruini, former Vicar-General of both John Paul II and Benedict XVI in Rome; Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialog, member of the five-man Cardinal's Commission that oversees IOR, and former #3 man at the Secretariat of State in the latter part of John Paul-II's Pontificate; and Josef Tomko, former Prefect of Propaganda Fide, confidante of his fellow Pole John Paul II, and one of the three cardinals investigating Vatileaks-etc for the Pope.]

[The obvious thing about the afternoon meeting is that it does not include Cardinal Bertone. It is reminiscent of a meeting called by the Pope in Castel Gandolfo in the summer of 2009, the year Bertone was to turn 75, the statutory retirement age, at which the cardinals present were Scola, Schoenborn, Ruini and Bagnasco - all considered 'Ratzingerians'. The cast of characters today may have been determined primarily by which of those the Pope wishes to consult privately happened to be in Rome today (other than Ruini who lives in Rome, the three other cardinals who were called to Castel Gandolfo are currently in Milan, Vienna and Genoa, respectively, and it is likely they will be consulted when they come to Rome later this week for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul). The presence of Cardinals Tauran and Tomko ensures high-level representation of the 'Old Guard' in these consultations.

About the 2009 meeting, Andrea Tornielli reported that Cardinal Schoenborn said the Pope 'closed off the discussion' about allowing Bertone to retire, before it could even begin. Now, those who think Bertone should retire when he reaches 78 in December - such as the Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois and Vittorio Messori - are saying to 'lay off Bertone for now - he'll be gone by the end of the year, anyway". No one but Benedict XVI knows, however.

And in the past, still according to Tornielli, he has apparently ignored the opinion of his good friend Cardinal Meisner of Cologne that he would be better off allowing Bertone to retire. One wonders whether there has been any change since then of the Pope's personal cost vs benefit assessment of keeping on Bertone. God forbid that history will record, perhaps not entirely without basis, his insistence on retaining Bertone as one of the major 'mistakes' of his Pontificate. ]

P.S. Announced later today by Fr. Federico Lombardi:

Secretariat of State takes on
a lay communications adviser from MSM

Greg Burke, longtime Rome-based European correspondent of Fox News and a member of Opus Dei, has been named 'communications adviser' to the Secretariat of State.

Fr. Lombardi said Burke will "contribute to the improvement of communications strategies within the Holy See". He said that specifically, Burke would help "integrate attention to communications questions in the work of the Secretariat of State and to take charge of relationships with the Vatican Press Office and other communications organisms of the Holy See".

Let us all say a prayer for Mr. Burke, who has been a competent and fair reporter of Vatican events, but who may be entering uncharted waters here. Since the Vatican Press Office and the other 'communications organisms' of the Holy See are directly under the supervision of the Secretary of State, how will Burke's role as 'adviser' fit into that organizational scheme? Will Fr. Lombardi and Giovanni Maria Vian be inclined to listen to his recommendations? Will Cardinal Bertone or Mons. Becciu ask them to?

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/29/2012 5:48 PM]
Fine imminente Testimoni di Geova Online...37 pt.11/22/2019 10:39 PM by Aquila-58
Cristina Bianchino - è nata una stella!TELEGIORNALISTE FANS FORU...11 pt.11/22/2019 4:36 PM by @arfo@
Monza vs Alessandriablog19126 pt.11/22/2019 9:27 PM by Coronaferrea.Monza
Condividiamo le nostre giornateNoi Crocieristi6 pt.11/22/2019 7:17 PM by and1974
GossipSenza Padroni Quindi Roma...5 pt.11/22/2019 10:01 PM by jandileida23
6/23/2012 8:14 PM
Post: 25,111
Post: 7,614
Registered in: 8/28/2005
Registered in: 1/20/2009
Master User

In the US media's excitement over the conviction last night of a famous football coach from Pennsylvania State University for 45 out of 48 charges of abusing children from a foundation he set up to help underprivileged children, little attention has been paid so far to an earlier conviction yesterday, also in Pennsylvania, on a a far lighter charge - but a historic one, because for the first time, a criminal court has found a prelate guilty of child endangerment by negligence...

Philadelphia jury finds monsignor
guilty of allowing accused priest
to take on new post involving children


PHILADELPHIA, June 22 — A Philadelphia jury delivered a sharp rebuke of the Catholic Church's handling of allegations of sexual abuse by its priests, convicting for the first time a senior Church official of not taking steps that could have prevented further attacks.

Msgr. William Lynn, who served as secretary for clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 1992 to 2004, was found guilty on Friday of one count of child endangerment for allowing a priest to take a new assignment involving contact with children even after learning of allegations that he had engaged in inappropriate contact with at least one minor.

The jury deadlocked in the case of another priest who was overseen by Msgr. Lynn and also on trial, the Rev. James Brennan.

The landmark ruling came after jurors heard nearly 10 weeks of testimony in a trial that opened a window into how one of the nation's largest Catholic dioceses grappled with the sort of allegations that have shaken the church for more than a decade.

Victims' groups heralded the decision as an opening to law-enforcement officials in other cities to look anew at whether other high-ranking church officials could be held criminally liable for looking the other way when priests under their charge were accused of abuse.

"We know that Philadelphia is not the only place where this has happened…other dioceses have had the same coverup and complicity by church officials," said Barbara Blaine, president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a Chicago based group.

The verdict come as the Catholic Church braces for another clergy-abuse trial set for September in Missouri. Kansas City, Mo., Bishop Robert Finn, the highest-ranking church official to be indicted on a charge of allegedly failing to protect children, is awaiting trial on a misdemeanor criminal charge that he failed to report a priest found with child pornography. Bishop Finn has pleaded not guilty.

Msgr. Lynn, who was acquitted of two other charges — another child endangerment count, and conspiracy with another priest to endanger the welfare of children — was taken into custody Friday afternoon and faces a possible 3½ to seven years in prison. Sentencing is set for Aug. 13.

The verdict has "certainly produced a great new crisis for Catholic authority," said the Rev. Raymond Helmick, a Jesuit priest, and an instructor at Boston College. [Said he, gloatingly, and brimming with Schadenfreude! God help the Rev, Helmick if there is anything in his record that could come to light to challenge his sanctimony!]

"This is the first time that someone responsible for the supervision has been held to that civil accountability.…That is a precedent that may go very far. I'm sure all kinds of people are itching to bring criminal cases against many, many authorities, and we'll have to see how far it goes," he said.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia issued a statement on Friday offering "a heartfelt apology" to victims of clergy sexual abuse. "Now and in the future, the Church will continue to take vigorous steps to ensure safe church environments for all the faithful in Philadelphia," it said.

The Roman Catholic Church has been trying to move past the scandal. U.S. bishops have been putting more resources into child-protection efforts, with dioceses having spent $30.1 million for "safe environment coordinators," training programs and background checks, according to a 2011 report by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Some dioceses recently celebrated the 10-year adoption of the U.S. Conference's "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" in 2002, which established programs to keep young parishioners safe. A spokeswoman for the USCCB declined to comment on the Philadelphia case.

As Friday's verdict was read, Msgr. Lynn's face turned red and members of his family sitting behind him cried. Lawyers for Msgr. Lynn, 61 years old, said their client was "crushed" by the single conviction on child endangerment and indicated that an appeal is likely.

They are likely to argue that the state's child endangerment statute was improperly used to prosecute Msgr. Lynn and that evidence of unrelated clergy abuse should not have been part of the trial. The statute "had never been used in this fashion before," said Jeffrey Lindy, one of Msgr. Lynn's lawyers, who said he plans to file a request to have the monsignor held under house arrest instead of jail until his sentencing.

The 12-member jury, in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, handed up the verdict on the 13th day of deliberations after considering often heart-wrenching testimony from more than 60 witnesses, including Msgr. Lynn and alleged abuse victims, and saw hundreds of confidential church documents.

Isa Logan, the jury foreman, said on Friday the deliberations were sometimes heated between "open-minded" jurors. "I never knew about stuff like this happening," said Mr. Logan, 35, of West Philadelphia, who works in customer service at BNY Mellon bank. "My heart went out to the victims," he said, adding: "Every juror wanted justice."

Father Brennan, the other priest on trial, faced charges of attempted rape and endangering the welfare of a child, in connection with allegations that he abused a teenage boy at his apartment in suburban Philadelphia in 1996. "My faith is what got me through all of this," Father Brennan told reporters after the verdict.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, who brought the case, said that the Lynn conviction would "change the way business is done" in many institutions. "What happened here was unspeakable," he said. "People knew there were predators, but were much more concerned with the institution than victims of sexual assault."

He said he had not made a decision about whether to retry Father Brennan, a move that the priest's lawyers indicated they would fight, and Mr. Williams declined to comment about any future cases.

The prosecution's case underscored both the success and the shortcomings of the church's handling of abuse allegations. The Philadelphia district attorney's office credited the diocese with referring some of the allegations at issue in the trial to prosecutors, under strengthened reporting policies the diocese adopted in the past decade.

But a grand-jury report last year assailed the diocese for allowing 37 priests to remain in active ministry despite having "credible" abuse allegations lodged against them. The diocese later placed a majority of the priests on leave as it investigated the allegations, and recently deemed some of them unsuitable for ministry. Msgr. Lynn also was placed on leave from his post as a parish pastor after he was charged last year.

Prosecutors presented evidence that Msgr. Lynn learned in the 1990s of allegations that Father Brennan and another priest had engaged in inappropriate conduct with minors but failed to keep them out of assignments involving contact with children or to inform parishioners of the allegations. The two priests later sexually abused two boys in separate incidents, prosecutors contend.

The other priest, Edward Avery, pleaded guilty before the trial to charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and conspiracy to endanger the welfare of a child, and was sentenced to 2½ years to five years in prison. Mr. Avery, who has since been defrocked, was accused of engaging in oral sex with a 10-year-old altar boy at a Philadelphia parish in the late 1990s.

Father Brennan didn't testify during the trial, but jurors were read his testimony from a 2008 church canonical trial in which he denied sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy. In his testimony, he did say he allowed the boy to view pornography on the priest's computer and that they slept overnight in the same bed. Father Brennan's attorney questioned the accuser's credibility and motives.

Defense attorneys for Msgr. Lynn argued that the charges against him were baseless because he didn't have authority to remove or transfer accused priests in most cases. Prosecutors countered that his failure to restrict the priests' behavior led directly to the alleged abuse of the boys.

Msgr. Lynn testified last month that he did his best to investigate allegations and recommend restrictions on the duties of accused priests. He acknowledged he never called police, and said that only his superior, the archbishop of Philadelphia, had the authority to remove or transfer priests. Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, who was the archbishop during most of Msgr. Lynn's tenure as secretary for clergy, wasn't charged. He died in January.

Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington told jurors that the monsignor was the "point man" for carrying out a plan by the Philadelphia diocese to keep in the ministry priests accused of sexually abusing children, and to keep the public in the dark about the allegations.

"He and everyone else that protected those pedophile priests were murdering the souls of children," he said in closing arguments.

Msgr. Lynn's attorney, Thomas Bergstrom, told jurors in his closing argument that Msgr. Lynn attempted to improve the diocese's handling of sex-abuse allegations, and did more than his predecessors. "This man, who never touched a child but yet who documented the evil other men did, [prosecutors] want you to convict him for their sins," he said.

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/24/2012 7:04 AM]
6/23/2012 9:16 PM
Post: 25,112
Post: 7,615
Registered in: 8/28/2005
Registered in: 1/20/2009
Master User

Tales of three bishops

In recent days, besides Mons. Flynn and Bishop Finn in the United States, both criminally indicted (Flynn has now been convicted) of negligence in failing to report suspected sex-offender priests to the police, three other bishops elsewhere have been in more attention-getting headlines: Fernando Lugo, a former Catholic bishop who became President of Paraguay; Fernando Maria Bargallo of Argentina, who was photographed enjoying a seaside vacation with a woman he has now admitted to be his mistress; and Francesco Micciche, bishop of Trapani in Sicily, who was relieved of his post last month by Benedict XVI after a papal legate found evidence of his involvement in irregular financial transactions.

Lugo's is the most strAightforward story because he is no longer a bishop. Bargallo has just announced he has submitted his resignation as Bishop after admitting to a liaison with his divorced 'childhood friend'. But Micciche's is the most difficult to describe because he claims he is the victim of Vatican machinations and because an associate of his is now suspected of having possibly used IOR to deposit money from criminal sources.

[A fourth tale would be that of the Croatian bishop whom the Pope recently dismissed from his post for his role in trying to lay claim for his diocese to a monastery that has been ruled by the Vatican and the Croatian government to belong to the Benedictine community based in Italy, to whom the property was originally .]given by its original owner in the 19th century.

It must be remembered, however, that there are about 5,100 bishops in the world today, so the number of those who have been implicated in any alleged wrongdoing or eyebrow-raising activities is a very small fraction. Also, so far, none of the bishops appointed by Benedict XVI has been implicated in questionable activity.]

Strange ending to the political career
of Paraguay bishop who defied the Vatican
to run and be elected president of his country

Fernando Lugo, the Catholic bishop who was elected President of Paraguay in 2005 and later admitted to have fathered at least one child while he was a bishop, was impeached by the Paraguay Senate yesterday for alleged 'failure to carry out his functions as President'. He has accepted the verdict, and his vice president has taken over, but Lugo says he remains 'a Paraguayan citizen ready to serve his country in any way he can].

He did denounce the impeachment, saying "It is not Fernando Lugo who has been dealt a blow today - it is the history of Paraguay, its democracy, which has been profoundly wounded, because all its principles have been violated in a cowardly and premeditated manner, and I hope that those responsible are conscious of the gravity of their deed". He also called on his followers to express themselves in peaceful ways.

Lugo was named bishop of Paraguay's poorest diocese in 1994, from which he resigned in 2005 because he decided to run for President. He requested the Vatican to be laicized so he could run for office, but he was refused on the grounds that bishops could not undergo laicization, and also denied him the requested canonical permission to run for elected office. Following his election as President, the Church imposed laicization after, because he was elected to political office without permission.

The reaction from other South American government to his impeachments is generally in his favor.

Lugo impeachment
draws strong reactions

June 23, 2012

Governments in Latin America have reacted angrily to the impeachment of Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo.

The move has drawn criticism from the presidents of Ecuador and Venezuela, among others.

A 39-4 vote in the Senate on Friday saw Mr Lugo impeached in the wake of a high-profile land dispute scandal.

The United States and Spain have avoided publicly opposing or supporting the move, instead pressing the principle of democracy in Paraguay.

Fernando Lugo's case was brought before the Senate over his handling of clashes between farmers and police last week in which at least 17 people died.

Vice-President Federico Franco was sworn in as president immediately after proceedings.

President Rafael Correa, the leader of Ecuador, spoke out against the impeachment: "We believe that they [Unasur - Union of South American Nations] should apply the sanctions of what the democratic charter establishes, not to recognise an illegitimate government, even go as far as closing the border.

"Independently of what Unasur decides in respect to the people of Paraguay, in respect to democracy in Paraguay, we won't recognise the president currently elected."

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez said he would not recognise the new president and his government: "We, the Venezuelan government, the Venezuelan state, do not recognise this illegitimate and illegal government hat has been installed."

A number of South and Central American governments, including Argentina and Bolivia, have also indicated that they will not recognise the new president's government.

In both Argentina and Ecuador, Paraguayan and local citizens took to the streets to protest against the impeachment of Fernando Lugo.

Demonstrators gathered outside the Paraguayan embassy in the Ecuadorean capital Quito.

Spain took a more pragmatic approach in commenting on the move.

According to the AFP news agency, a statement from the foreign ministry said: "Spain defends full respect for democratic institutions and the state of law and trusts that Paraguay, in respect for its constitution and international commitments, will manage to handle this political crisis and safeguard the peaceful coexistence of the Paraguayan people."

The United States took a similar stance.

US State Department spokeswoman Darla Jordan was quoted as saying: "We urge all Paraguayans to act peacefully, with calm and responsibility, in the spirit of Paraguay's democratic principles."

The Argentine bishop and
his Mexican vacation with his mistress

Translated from the Spanish newspaper

June 23, 2012

BUENOS AIRES - After three days of denying any wrongdoing in the publication of photographs showing him bathing in the sea with a woman he claims to be a childhood friend, Mons. Fernando Maria Bargallo, Bishop of Merlo-Moreno in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, called his priests to a meeting to acknowledge a romantic relation with the lady in the photos and to announce that he was resigning as bishop.

The newspaper Clarin reported further that Bargallo then proceeded to the Apostolic Nunciature in Buenos Aires to submit his letter of resignation to be forwarded to Pope Benedict XVI.

His initial reaction to the photographs was that it was an 'imprudent' action that could be badly interpreted as it was, but that she was merely a childhood friend. However, the following day, another newspaper published more details about his vacation in Puerto Vallarta (Mexico), where the photos were taken, and he decided to come clean.

While it is true that he and the lady were childhood friends, since their families have always known each other, the two-week vacation they took together in January 2011 was not an accidental event. It started in Miami and went on to various luxurious tourist resorts in Mexico.

Bargalló, 57, comes from a very rich family, and it is thought he spent his own money for the vacation, not funds from the diocese or from Caritas, for which he was president for Latin America. His lady friend, 55, is a divorced businesswoman who is also well-off. It was not immediately known if the relationship continues.

Nor is there any clue so far who was responsible for sending six photographs to an Argentine TV station last Tuesday and who later provided the newspaper Cronica with more details about the January 2011 vacation.

In cases like this, the Vatican usually names an apostolic administrator to take charge of the diocese until a bishop is appointed. It is not known what canonical sanctions Bargallo may face.

[I'm still trying to put together a clear and balanced account of the Micciche case in Italy.]

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/23/2012 10:55 PM]
6/24/2012 4:09 AM
Post: 25,113
Post: 7,616
Registered in: 8/28/2005
Registered in: 1/20/2009
Master User

Could Benedict XVI highlight
the Year of Faith by proclaiming
Paul VI and John Paul I 'Blessed'?

by Antonino d'Anna
Translated from

June 23, 2012

D'Anna is a journalist who writes about religious topics. He co-authored a book in 2010 about the extent of pedophilia and sexual perversions involving children throughout the world.

The 'news' coming from our source in the Vatican is very juicy. Indeed, for some time now, people in the Vatican have been talking about some important 'signal' that Benedict XVI will manifest to the world just before or during the Year of Faith, which marks the 50th anniversary of the opening the Second Vatican Council.

What might it be? Apparently, the beatification of Paul VI and John Paul I - the Pope who closed Vatican II and made the enxt three Popes cardinals (Albino Luciani, Karol Wojtyla and Joseph Ratzinger), and the Pope of smiles, though he only reigned 33 days in the late summer of 1978.

Both are figures that Benedict XVI could indicate as models to a Church that appears to be agitated by contingencies like Vatileaks. in order to call attention to a way of serving the Church to celebrate the start of the Council which brought about the Church's aggiornamento or updating (which is still in dispute) according to the inspired initiative of Blessed John XXIII (whom John Paul II beatified during the Jubilee Year of 2000 along with Pius IX) within a few months of becoming Pope.

If Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was the man who opened Vatican II (he died on June 9, 1963, after its first session+, it devolved on Giovanni Battista Montini (elected June 21, 1963) to lead the Council through three more sessions to its conclusion in December 1965.

The period between summer 1963 to December 1965 when the Council ended was full of intense renewal and debates within the Conciliar hall, with decisions that were not easy for Papa Montini, who did decide that he was not going to let the Council rule on priestly celibacy or sexual morality or contraception. {Thank God for that!]

A reserved man who was not given to any mediatic gestures that came naturally to John Paul II, Paul VI is generally 'forgotten' by Catholics today. And wrongly so. The penultimate Italian Pope in our time, son of a bourgeois family of Brescia, a great intellectual who was the object of strong criticisms durihg his pontificate (similar in this way to Benedict XVI today), he revealed himself in his full humanity during the bitter days that followed the abduction and eventual murder by Communist terrorists of his longtime good friend Aldo Moro, who was Prime Minister of Italy at the time.

He did not hesitate to write an open letter to the "men of the Red Brigade", begging them, 'on my knees' to "just release him, without conditions". But he was unable to save the Christian Democrat statesman.

On the other hand, there is Albino Luciani, son of the Veneto region, from Canal d'Agordo, born in 1912. He was a 'popular' Pope. In 1972, Paul VI bestowed on him his papal stole on a visit to Venice, of which Luciani was Patriarch. A simple man, a man of the essentials, he wrote letters to famous people or literary characters in the book Illustrississimi, letters which first appeared in the monthly magazine Messaggero di Sant'Antonio/ He had known both Papa Roncalli and Papa Montini before they became Pope.

He was Pope for 33 days, and his sudden death (apparently the result fo a heart condition) left a number of questions that have given rise to conspiracy theories ranging from the incredible to the grotesque. What could he have done if he had lived longer? The hypotheses are equally numerous, and he has always been portrayed as something of a progressivist.

In fact, he Pope of smiles would probably not have been an innovator, as one might glean from the description of him in his home diocese of Belluno-Feltre: "In the theological field, he could be considered conservative, having energetically defended the encyclical Humanae vitae, and he was equally conservative about 'freedom' of conscience. In the disciplinary area, he was a reformer: he found ecclesiastical pomp 'vain', he encouraged his parish priests to sell their precious lioturgical vessels and other assets to spend on the poor. In 1971, he even proposed that the richer churches of the West donate one percent of their annual revenues to the churches of the Third World".

The late Giuseppe De Carli (1952-2009) of RAI who contributed to a film on John Paul I, said: "He had projects that one might call revolutionary. And he did not like being in the Apostolic Palace that he called 'a labyrinth of Croesus'. He wanted an itinerant Church, as John Paul II would later carry out... If he had lived longer, he would have given us great surprises".

But at what point are the causes for beatification of these two Popes? In 2009, before Benedict XVBI visied Brescia in November, the postulator for Paul VI's cause, don Antontio Marrazzo, said: "I can say with a good deal of certainty that by 2010, our statement or Positio on the heroic virtues of the Pope will be completed. It will then be submitted to the Congregation for the Causes of Sainthood to be included in the list of causes to be analyzed by theologians and the cardinals and bishops who make up the Congregation. The joint recommendation of these two panels would then be presented to the Pope so he can proclaim the candidate's 'heroic virtues' [This has not yet happened]. Then we must proceed to presenting a miracle that can be attributed to his intercession. And there is a miracle that we have been examining to determine whether the healing produced was, in fact, not explicable by science. This will go through a similar procedure as the Positio, with the addition of a scientific panel, and if the miracle is certified, then the Pope can approve a decree for beatification and set a date for it."

Actually, quite a few miracles are being investigated for Papa Montini, including the healing of cancer patients, babies with severe illness, or work accidents, that have been reported to the church of the Virgin of Graces in Brescia.

As for Papa Luciani, his cause was forwarded to Rome after the conclusion of its diocesan phase in 2006. And the beatification miracle has even been narrowed down to a bank employee from Altamura who was inexplicably healed of stomach cancer when he prayed for the late Pope's intercession.

Brescia already has quite a devotion to its favorite son. As for Papa Luciani, on this centenary year of his birth, Canal d'Agorodo has become the object of many pilgrimages by people who believe his sanctity. Now it is up to the Church to formally recognize what the faithful believe.

It's a most appealing hypothesis - but unless the Congregation for Saints has already been working overtime on the steps towards the beatification of the two Popes, the probability seems remote. Pius XII is at a more advanced stage in the process because he has already been proclaimed Venerable. And a significant probable beatification miracle has been disclosed for him. His beatification - or perhaps, the beatification of all three Popes - would be a great manifestation of the multiple charisms that the Lord sees fit to endow his Vicars on earth with.

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/24/2012 6:52 AM]
6/24/2012 6:22 AM
Post: 25,114
Post: 7,617
Registered in: 8/28/2005
Registered in: 1/20/2009
Master User

From potential saints to profligates and downright disgraces to the Church: I must make up for failing to call attention earlier to a major post-script to the entire Marcial Maciel case written by American journalist Jason Berry, who almost singlehandedly kept the case alive for the Anglophone world in the past decade. Most of you will have read it by now from National Catholic Reporter online which published it on June 21.

To those who have not seen it yet, it's very long, and rather meandering, so I won't re-post it here because, after all, NCRep is good about keeping its online archives intact. If you have not already been disgusted by what you have read till now about Maciel and his criminally servile 'acolytes' - who are still being kept on, almost unpardonably, by papal legate Cardinal De Paolis in their leadership positions at the Legionaries of Christ - you will have more than enough cause to be, learning about their systematic deception to keep Maciel's myth intact even after the CDF had penalized him in 2006.

The unspeakable Fr. Maciel:
Post-mortem post-scripts

Abstracted from an article

June 21, 2012

- Berry's new revelations start out from what Gianluigi Nuzzi publishes in his book regarding notations made by Mons. Georg Gaenswein about a meeting he had with a priest, Fr. Moreno, who had been Maciel's private secretary for 18 years and served also as his valet. Gaenswein's notes say "In 2003, [Moreno] insisted on informing GP II -- but the latter would not stand to listen to him and did not believe him", and that Moreno then "wanted to inform Cardinal [Angelo] Sodano [then Vatican secretary of state] but he did not grant him an audience". Berry notes that "John Paul rebuffed a priest haunted by Maciel's secrets a full year before Ratzinger broke from the Pope to order an investigation".

- Berry describes Maciel's influence in John Paul II's Church almost to the very end: "From 1998, when a group of ex-Legionaries filed a canonical process with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's tribunal, seeking Maciel's ouster for abusing them in seminary, until 2006, when Ratzinger-as-Benedict dismissed him from ministry, Maciel was a gilded force, raising millions of dollars, thanks to the support of John Paul and the video images of the Pope and Maciel that the Legion gave to donors. By 2004 the Legion had a $650 million budget, and fewer than 650 priests".

- There's a side excursion into the case of Fr. Thomas Williams, for a long time the Legion's chief spokesman in the Anglophone world, who admitted recently that he had fathered a child many years ago.

- And how did the Legion leadership react (specifically Corcuera and Garza, the superior-general and chief financial officer, respectively), after Maciel was disciplined by Benedict XVI?

When the 2006 Vatican order banished Maciel to a life of prayer and penitence, the Legion sprang to his defense, announcing that Maciel had never been tried and, like Jesus, chose not to defend himself...

When Maciel died in 2008, the Legion revved up the publicity campaign, announcing that he had gone to heaven. A year later, after Corcuera revealed the news of Maciel's children, Garza spoke to Regnum Christi followers in Monterrey, telling them: 'We had the responsibility to assure that Our Father [Maciel] was in a house in a Legionary community because...the Vatican wanted Maciel handled in a certain way. This took us a good part of October, November, December of 2006; it wasn't until January or February of 2007 that we were in a position of power to start to think about what we were going to do.'...

The Legion never acknowledged in his lifetime that Maciel abused anyone. So strong was his psychological grip on the order that from 2006 through mid-2009, a year and a half after his death, Legion seminarians in Rome were being told that Maciel was falsely accused, a future saint, while in several countries, priests were leaving the order in protest.

- There's a convoluted account of Berry's conjecture on why Benedict XVI did not break up the Legionaries and start afresh, instead of trying to rebuild the order with the same people at the top. He believes that the Vatican has been trying to get hold of the Legion's finances, tightly held by Garza, and that is why Garza has been kept on. I find the conjecture offensive, naturally. But De Paolis really does not have a plausible explanation for keeping on Maciel's two top lieutenants, which is even more offensive.

- Berry ends with an astounding bit of information:

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, a powerful canon lawyer in the CDFG when the 1998 case was active, ended up helping the defendant, Maciel. Bertone left the doctrinal congregation to become archbishop of Genoa, Italy, and while there, in 2003, he wrote a glowing preface to the Italian edition of Christ Is My Life, Maciel's spin-control memoir, a last-ditch effort to keep himself from being punished. "The key to [his] success," Bertone wrote, "is, without doubt, the attractive force of the love of Christ."

Why on earth Bertone would have done that at all is unbelievable - given what he knew of the complaints that had been formally filed with the CDF in 1998! He obviously could not have been in touch with Cardinal Ratzinger who was already preparing to send Mons. Scicluna on his fact-finding and witness-interview mission to the USA and Mexico in 2004. Bertone was, of course, an ardent follower of John Paul II, who made him a bishop and eventually Archbishop of Genoa, so he probably thought that if John Paul II saw no evil in Maciel at all, then he would go with the Pope's judgment. Despite what he knew from the CDF files.
[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/24/2012 6:48 AM]
6/24/2012 2:45 PM
Post: 25,115
Post: 7,618
Registered in: 8/28/2005
Registered in: 1/20/2009
Master User

June 24, 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

From left: Birth of John, Pontormo, 1520; Holy Family with young John, Fra Bartolome, 1507; Jesus and John, Murillo;
and John the Baptist: Bernini sculpture, 1615; Bronzino sculpture, 1555; Rublev icon.

Readings for today's Mass:


Sunday Angelus - The Holy Father paid tribute to John the Baptist as the last prophet of the Old Testament
and the first of the New, who announced the Messiah, baptized him and went on to precede him in violent death.
He also thanked the Italian faithful who today observe the Day of Charity for the Pope, and asked for
their prayers as he visits the earthquake victims in the Modena region on Tuesday.

When the Vatican bulletin yesterday had a brief item about the Holy Father visiting the Church of the Abyssinians behind St. Peter's Basilica to pray at the wake of a Polish Franciscan who had worked for the Vatican Penitentiary, I thought he must have been someone special. A story with photo in today's OR says why - he was his confessor. It's hard to imagine anyone more unique than the Pope's confessor. Let us say a prayer for him.

Pope mourns death
of his confessor

Translated from the 6/24/12 issue of

On the late afternoon of Friday, June 22, Benedict VXI went to the Church of St. Stephen of the Abyssinians in order to pray before the coffin of Fr. Mariusz (Mieczyslaw) Paczoski, a conventual Franciscan, who was a Vatican penitentiary and his confessor.

The Polish priest died Wednesday, June 20, at age 77. After having carfried out various responsibilities in his order - master of novices, provincial minister, vicar of the General Custody in Assisi, and guardian of the Franciscan shrine in Niepokalanów — then served two terms as rector of the College of Penitentiaries of St. Peter's Basilica.

Benedict XVI blessed the remains and knelt in prayer before the coffin laid before the altar of the little church behind St. Peter's Basilica. [The Holy Father also came to this church in November 2010 at the wake for Manuela Camagni, of the Memores Domini, who had been one of his housekeepers.]

He was accompanied by his two private secretaries and welcomed by Cardinal Angelo Comastri, Arch-Priest of St. Peter's Basilica.

Funeral rites were held for Fr. Paczoski on Saturday morning.

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/24/2012 3:28 PM]
6/24/2012 4:24 PM
Post: 25,116
Post: 7,619
Registered in: 8/28/2005
Registered in: 1/20/2009
Master User

A report on the discovery of the Origen manuscripts was posted on Page 321 of this thread.

Presenting the newly-found
homilies of Origen

Translated from the 6/24/12 issue of

On June 13, L'Osservatore Romano reported the news of the extraordinary discovery made by an Italian philologist, Marina Molin Pradel, in Munich's Bavarian State Library (Bayerische Staatsbibilothek): 29 previously unpublished homilies in the original Greek text by the great Christian thinker Origen (AD 185-254). The texts were found in an 11th century codex, formally known as Monacense Greco 314.

Today, we publish some significant excerpts from those homilies, translated by the patrologist Lorenzo Perrone who has been named editor of the critical edition of the homilies.

This spread also features two excerpts from the detailed lecture which Perrone will give Monday, June 25, at the University of Padua at a seminar on Greek Paleography.

I will post translations of some of these items as soon as I have translated them.
6/24/2012 5:40 PM
Post: 25,117
Post: 7,620
Registered in: 8/28/2005
Registered in: 1/20/2009
Master User

June 24, 2012

Remembering John the Baptist

Pope Benedict spoke to the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square today for the noontime Angelus on John the Baptist, whose nativity the Church observes today.

In English, he said:

This Sunday, we celebrate the birth of John the Baptist, the great saint who prepared the way for our Lord. John was a voice, crying in the wilderness, calling God’s people to repentance. Let us heed his voice today, and make room for the Lord in our hearts.

After the prayers, he thanked the faithful for their contributions collected in Italy today on the Day for the Pope's Charities, and also asked their prayers for the earthquake victims in the Modena area as he prepares to visit them on Tuesday, June 26.

Here is a full translation of the Holy Father's words today:

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today, June 24, we celebrate the solemnity of the birth of St. John the Baptist. Other than the Virgin Mary, the Baptist is the only saint whose birth is celerbated by the liturgy, and this is because his birth is closely linked to the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God.

In fact, even in his mother's womb, John was the precursor of Jesus: His miraculous conception was announced by the Angel to Mary as a sign that "nothing is impossible to God"
(Lk 1,37), six months before the great miracle that would bring us salvation - the union of God with man through the work of the Holy Spirit.

The four Gospels all give great importance to the figure of John the Baptist as the prophet who concludes the Old testament and inaugurates the New, recognizing the Messiah in Jesus of Nazareth, consecrated by the Lord.

Indeed, Jesus himself would speak of John in these words: "This is the one about whom it is written: ‘Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way before you.’ Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he"
(Mt 11,10-11).

The father of John, Zachariah - husband of Elizabeth, Mary's relative - was a priest of the Old Testament cult. He did not immediately believe the news of a fatherhood that was unthinkable [because of his wife's advanced age], and for this, he became mute until the day the baby was circumcised, to whom he and his wife gave the name indicated by God, John, which means 'the Lord gives grace'.

Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Zachariah spoke thus of his son's mission: "And you, child, will be called prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give his people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins"
(Lk 1,76-77).

All of this would be manifested 30 years later, when John started to baptize in the river Jordan, calling the people to prepare themselves with that gesture of penitence for the imminent coming of the Messiah, whom God had revealed to him during the time he spent in the Judean desert. And so he was called the Baptist - one who baptizes (cfr Mt 3,1-6),

When one day, from Nazareth, Jesus himself came to be baptized, John refused at first, and then agreed, and he saw the Holy Spirit poised above Jesus and heard the voice of the heavenly Father who proclaimed that this was his Son (cfr Mt 3,13-17).

But the Baptist's mission was not done. Not long thereafter, he would be asked to precede Jesus even by way of a violent death. John was beheaded in the prison of King Herod, and thus rendered full testimony to the Lamb of God, whom he had been the first to recognize and publicly proclaim.

Dear friends, the Virgin Mary helped her older relative Elizabeth to bring to term her pregnancy of John. May she help us all to follow Jesus, the Christ, Son of God, whom the Baptist announced with great humility and prophetic ardor.

After the prayers, he said:
Today in Italy is the Day for the Pope's Charity. I thank all the parish communities, families and individuals for their constant generous support in behalf of so many brothers in difficulty.

In this regard, may I remind you that day after tomorrow, God willing, I shall make a brief visit to the area struck by the recent earthquakes in North Italy. I wish this to be a sign of solidarity from the whole Church, and I ask you all to accompany me with your prayers.

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/24/2012 6:42 PM]
6/24/2012 9:18 PM
Post: 25,118
Post: 7,621
Registered in: 8/28/2005
Registered in: 1/20/2009
Master User

The headline and the contents of this analysis may well represent at best the writer's wishful thinking, and one gathers he will not be saddened if Cardinal Bertone goes, though he ascribes the same sentiment to more than just 'a few people'. What, in fact, has Bertone done that has served to inspire confidence in his ability as an administrator, which he was hired to do? He said very famously - and rather unrealistically - when he took office, that he did not intend to be 'a minister of State but a minister of the Church'. But he was hired to be a minister of State, and it is his duty to be a minister of State, which is not at all incompatible with being a minister of the Church. Being Secretary of State, and a most efficient one at that, did not make Eugenio Pacelli, future Pius XII, any less holy, a reputation he held unsullied, nor any less worthy as a cardinal of the Holy Roman Church.

Significant maneuvers in the Vatican:
Is the Pope preparing a post-Bertone
administration by technocrats?

by Giacomo Galeazzi
Translated from the Italian service of

June 24, 2012

Yesterday morning, Benedict XVI consulted the heads of the Curial dicasteries and offices (including Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone), and in the afternoon, he met with five other cardinals, presumably to stem the negative effects from the publication of private documents that have passed through his desk in the past two years.

The Curia, despite the usual formalities, is inevitably concerned over the unprecedented seriousness of a crisis in administration to solve which the Pope has started consulting the members of the College of Cardinals.

Mons. Angelo Becciu, deputy Secretary of State (Sostituto) for general affairs, and therefore #2 to Bertone, admits: "Today, the credibility of the Church appears to be in doubt - now is not the time to abandon her". [He was addressing seminarians in his native Sardinia.]

The urgency manifested by Benedict XVI is interpreted in the Vatican i two ways. On the one hand, it would seem to mark a countdown to the ever more likely replacement of Bertone as Secretary of State when he reaches age 78 in December.

On the other hand, the Pontiff is telling the Curia to protect itself by giving his principal ministers the responsibility for guarding the privacy of their documents.

In effect, the Pope appears to be sounding the Church hierarchy over the possibility of a 'technocratic government' entrusted to a representative of the Vatican diplomatic world.

In December, Bertone turns 78, and protests about his work as Secretary of State have reached the Pope both from the majority of Curial officials as well as from bishops and apostolic nuncios. Some errors (such as the Williamson fiasco) have been attributed to him, even by Papa Ratzinger [How does Galeazzi know this, who does not even hedge the statement with a 'reportedly'!]?], who is, however, ever aware that his closest collaborator has been the object of hostile reaction from various sectors that have been dominant for decades in strategic areas like geopolitics and health care. [In both of which Bertone has openly indicated in words and actions that he would like to take control. Think CEI-Bagnasco, San Raffaele and Toniolo-Gemelli!]]

Therefore, in order not to leave the field open to old and emerging power centers, the Pope seems to be analyzing all possible scenarios. So this does not exclude that he may decide to keep Bertone in command - someone he has always trusted even now that he has been crippled by Vatileaks - but 'ordering' him to a more collegial conduct of the Vatican bureaucracy.

In recent days, two prominent and authoritative cardinals have sounded an alarm by publicly saying they desire clarification on what is happening in the Vatican: Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris and president of the French bishops' conference, who might be said to represent the thinking of some local bishops, and Cardinal Peter Turkson, who heads one of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia.

"The Holy Father wishes to explore in depth his thoughts about the situation by consulting persons who share with him the responsibility for the governance of the Church," said Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi yesterday.

The Pope presided at the 10 a.m. meeting yesterday of his 'Council of Ministers' - the heads of the various Curial offices - and then at 6 pm, in his own residence, he met with cardinals who have his complete confidence - Ouellet, Pell, Ruini, Tauran and Tomko - in an effort to 're-establish a climate of calm and confidence in the services of the Roman Curia'. The latter was an atypical move, one of exceprional significance.

In the next few days, he will continue such consultations, "availing of the presence in Rome of so many cardinals and bishops who will be here for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul".

Meanwhile, exactly one month (yesterday) since the search of his Vatican apartment which yielded a huge volume of documents presumably copied from originals that were on the Pope's desk of that of his private secretary, Paolo Gabriele, the Pope's ex-valet, continues to be deatained at Vatican police headquarteers.

"Gabriele appears to be a monster created by the vanity of those who got into his brain and exploited him for years as a source of documents but who then lost control over him or yielded it", says Vaticanista Salvatore Izzo of AGI. "In fact, it is likely that Gabriele was recommended to be the Pope's valet because his patrons thought he would thus be useful to them".

[With all due respect to Izzo, 1) he is thereby casting doubt unfairly on the motivations of persons like Mons. Harvey, in whose household Gabriele once served; Angelo Gugel, the papal valet to whom he was an assistant for years; and the Polish chaplain who was Gabriele's parish priest near the Vatican - all of whom vouched for Gabriele; and 2) How is it that none of the leaked documents so far dates back to more than two years ago? Does it mean that Gabriele - or whoever is pulling his strings - thought that any earlier documents were completely unimportant? There has to be a logical relevance of the time period to which the purloined documents date back, but as far as I can see, no one has publicly questioned this arbitrary timing at all.]

"It is not known into what other hands the stolen files may have fallen, other than the journalist who published them, but perhaps some corrupt members of the Curia who intend to use them as a shield", Izzo continues. [Unless these hypothetical figures have documents more damaging than those that have been published - none of which are objectively damaging in terms of proving evil-doing by anyone in the Secretariat of State or the Curia, but at best, only of bad faith and intentions gone wrong - can any of the revealed documents really 'shield' anyone from accusations of corruption? If this is what passes for analysis, Izzo is best left to reporting on the Vatican which he does excellently, not attempt any 'analysis' which does not even abide by elementary logic.]

Benedict XVI could well entrust to a 'sdirectory' of cardinals in whom he trusts completely the transition towards a new leadership in the Secretariat of State. An administration that will be less 'Italian' that will be able to manage the 'control room' of the unviersal Church.

This would be a sign of farsightedness and humility on the part of a Pontiff who is seeking not just an emergency exit from the quagmire of Vatileaks but also to force a reform of the Curial structure that has always been hampered, whoever the Pope is.

Meanwhile, the Secretariat of State has named Fox News correspondent Greg Burke, an Opus Dei member, to be a communications adviser to the Secretariat of State.

"To confront a crisis, it is an absolute novelty that the Pope decided to consult these five cardinals," some said at the Vatican. "It seems the Pope has decided to consult trusted cardinals he has known for a long time who are neither too closely tied in with Italian interests nor with the current administration".

They also claim that after hearing from local bishops of the same thinking as the Archbishop of Paris, "the Pope realized the need to listen to more opinions and above all, to ask help in governing the Church from prelates with international prestige and proven reliability".

Therefore, a possible benefit springing from a setback. A cardinal observed that "Before Papa Ratzinger, only Pope Paul VI had the advantage of having such a long experience with the Curia before becoming Pope. [Before Paul VI, there was, more famously, Pius XII, who was, in fact, his predecessor's Secretary of State, whereas Paul VI was 'sidelined' to Milan after his long service in the Secretariat of State without ever becoming Secretary of State].]

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/24/2012 9:23 PM]
6/24/2012 10:59 PM
Post: 25,119
Post: 7,622
Registered in: 8/28/2005
Registered in: 1/20/2009
Master User

Meet the journalist who decided
to come aboard and be the Vatican's
senior communications adviser

by Barbie Latza Nadeau

JunE 24, 2012

The Daily Beast is the online news and opinion website that has been operated by Newsweek since November 2010.

Right photo, Burke covering the Pope's visit to the UK in 2010.

ROME - One week after the Pope’s butler was arrested for allegedly leaking private Vatican documents to the press, Fox News’s Rome correspondent, Greg Burke, got what he refers to as “a curious call” from the Vatican.

Burke was in the United States at the time, celebrating his father’s 90th birthday, and had turned off his Italian cellphone. When he turned it back on, he had several messages from the Holy See. “The Pope’s chief of staff would like to see you,” said one.

“I knew it was something important,” Burke, 52, told The Daily Beast. “I figured it wasn’t to talk about the best restaurants in Rome.”

When Burke returned to Rome, the Vatican’s deputy secretary of state, Archbishop Angelo Becciu, asked Burke to become the Holy See’s senior communications adviser, a job created especially for him in an effort to help guide the institution out of an increasingly difficult public-relations quagmire.

“I waited 24 hours and then said no,” Burke said. “It seemed too much of a mess and too big for me and way out of my comfort zone.” Burke then left for Spain to cover that country’s economic crisis, putting the idea behind him.

The Vatican called again. “I said no again,” Burke remembers, “but then after a few days, I thought maybe I should just man up and step up to the plate.”

A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Burke is a practicing Catholic and member of Opus Dei — but by no means a Vatican apologist. He moved to Rome in 1988 as a correspondent for the National Catholic Register, a job that eventually ended when the newspaper ran out of money.

He then moved to Time magazine as its Rome bureau chief for 10 years before eventually accepting an offer to be Fox News’s European and Middle East on-air correspondent. In his previous jobs, he covered the illness and death of Pope John Paul II, the election of Pope Benedict XVI, the pedophile scandal, the VatiLeaks saga, and the crackdown on American nuns.

“A scandal is a scandal, and I’ve reported on them all,” he says. “It all has to be told, and as much as things are true, it’s good they’ve come out.”

He believes he was chosen for the Vatican job for a combination of factors. “Being American certainly plays into it. If you want conspiracy theory, it’s the American Fox News and Opus Dei connection,” he joked. “But if you want the experience factors, I have a solid career in journalism, and I do know essentially what journalists want. I am a faithful Catholic, and I can bring a certain level of American practicality to the job.”

Hiring an American to interface between the Church hierarchy and the press is a giant step into the brave new world of transparency for the Holy See. Burke says he sees the job as a role similar to that of the White House director of communications, so he knows it won’t be easy.

He won’t be the official spokesperson — that job will stay with Father Federico Lombardi — but he will have authority to speak to reporters on background (meaning the press can report the general sentiment of what he says without using direct quotes), a development that may open up roads that have previously been blocked.

One of the most challenging responsibilities of the new job will be to reach out to the press and get them back “on message,” Burke says.

The recent scandals have overshadowed much of the positive work the Church has done, and Burke says it’s time for an effort to refocus attention to some of the more positive aspects of the Catholic Church.

Since he is a respected journalist among the often-cynical Rome press corps, he may be able to make an impact — at least on the surface. When the Vatican takes issue with unfair reporting, for example, he’ll be able to call up reporters and speak to them as a peer, in a way the Church has never been able to do before.

“Anything that can show an openness and willingness to meet the press is a step in the right direction,” he says. “But more than an attempt to humanize it, I would say it’s an attempt to modernize it. It’s going to be a slow process. The Vatican is not going to change in a day.”

Because no one has ever had a job like this before, Burke says he will have to find his way through a system few outside the clerical set have ever trespassed. But he’s realistic about what lies ahead.

“I am going to have no power,” he says, “but I certainly will be at the table with people who do have power. Will I make a point forcefully enough to get my point across? I really have no idea.”

Andrea Tornielli comments on the Burke appointment... though I disagree with his use of the term 'spin doctor' for Burke's role, because 'spin doctors' go to work after the fact - a media event that has to be maximized for positive use or minimized for the least possible damage. Burke's role begins with the decision on what to announce and how to announce it, so that the announcement does not have to be spun afterwards!

A 'spin doctor' for the Vatican
by Andrea Tornielli
Translated from the Italian service of

June 25, 2012

VATICAN CITY - During the peak of the media storm over pedophile priests in the spring of 2010, Fr. Federico Lombardi, who succeeded Joaquin Navarro-Valls as Vatican press director, said in an interview published by BBC online that he was "a spokesman who relies on the Secretariat of State" from whom he gets his instructions.

"It's the Secretariat of State that decides the line, and I try to communicate it the best way I can", he said. "No one ever gave me the task of coordinating a media strategy for the Holy See".

It is precisely this failure to entrust him with the task, or better still, the lack of a unifying communications line, as well as in the fact that Fr. Lombardi is not included in the decisional processes about what is to be communicated and how, that is the principal reason for the 'media crises' that have characterized some episodes of this Pontificate.

Crises about which it is simplistic to be always and only attributed to journalists as they have been, by the Vatican at every level. [That's also an incomplete statement. While these 'crises' do not generally start out to be generated by the media, the initial communications failure by the Vatican inevitably leads to great license taken by the media in misrepresenting, mis-interpreting and mis-reporting subsequent related events, often with embellishments that have no bases in fact. That has been best illustrated by the fanciful spin-offs from Vatileaks']

The appointment as 'communications adviser' of the American journalist Greg Burke, an excellent professional newsman who has been bureau chief of Time magazine in Rome, and then for Fox News in the past 10 years, appears to indicate that finally, someone in the Secretariat of State has perceived their communications problem adequately, after the past several weeks characterized by a series of mediatic self-penalties.

Starting, for instance, with the deliberate disclosure of internal notes regarding the dismissal of Ettore Gotti Tedeschi from the IOR. Regardless of the merits of that decision, it was sheer moral and professional destruction of a person whose appointment three years earlier was flaunted with great praise of his merits and trust in him.

It was an event unprecedented in the modern history of the Holy See, subsequently compounded by the release of a 'diagnosis' of psychological instability written by a psychiatrist to Gotti Tedeschi's major internal rival in IOR, who had asked the doctor to observe Gotti Tedeschi's behavior during a Christmas party for IOR employees.

Then the statement made by the Vatican after Gotti Tedeschi's homes and office were raided by Italian police who confiscated all the documents they could find was infelicitous: The statement, prepared by the Secretariat of State, was intended primarily to assert the sovereign rights of Vatican State over anything that had to do with the Vatican among Gotti Tedeschi's papers.

But it ended up sounding as if the Vatican feared any disclosures that might arise from perusal of those Vatican documents by Italian magistrates.

Even Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone's interview with Famiglia Cristiana - which gave the Secretary of State an occasion to understandably vent himself about the fact that he seemed to be the principal target of Vatileaks - had no significant effect.

For him to have put all the blame on journalists, especially Italian journalists, whom he described as 'imitating Dan Brown', and branding "lies and calumnies" everything that has been written about the Vatican traitors and about IOR, was an over-simplification, with respect to what the leaked documents actually contained, including the internal tensions at the Vatican that emerge from reading the documents. [First of all, for Bertone to even use Dan Brown's name was mighty 'stupid', as why would he call new attention to that charlatan at all! And as I have maintained, you cannot expect the perceived major 'villain' in the Vatileaks papers to be able to put a good face on it, especially since he is not exactly the best communicator that the Vatican has, nor the brightest bulb on the shelf, for that matter. Nor did he offer anything new, except the almost insulting anodyne that "we are one great happy family and everything is wine and roses" when it clearly isn't so. Some common-sense honesty is at least expected. Nor did he even think to apologize for the barbaric treatment of Gotti Tedeschi! And he says that he means to be 'a minister of the Church not a minister of State'. You cannot be selectively Christian in how you treat people. That's not what we are taught.]

So now we have the Secretariat of State deciding to make up and repair the situation, creating the new post of 'communications adviser', as a kind of supervisor similar to the communications director at the White House.

Burke, 52, is a member of Opus Dei, like Lombardi's predecessor, Joaquin Navarro-Valls. The 'Work' founded by St. Josemaria Escriva, in its academic extension, has always paid special attention to communications, and this is proven by the highly popular communications programs offered at the Pontifical University of Santa Croce, and their annual communications seminars for Church people engaged in the media.

Describing the job of the new adviser, Fr. Lombardi said: "He will contribute to integrate attention to all communications questions in the Secretariat of State and to take care of its relationship to the service of the Press Office and other communications institutiosnnsf the Holy See".

One assumes that Burke will have the chance to intervene from the start of the communications process, about what and how much should be communicated, and how and when to make these statements.

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/25/2012 6:49 PM]
6/25/2012 4:57 AM
Post: 25,120
Post: 7,623
Registered in: 8/28/2005
Registered in: 1/20/2009
Master User

From left, Cardinal Martini visits B16 in May 2005; on his 80th birthday in Jerusalem (Feb 2007); next 2 photos taken 2009-2010 after he retired to a Jesuit home in Gallarate, near Milan; last 3 photos taken 2011-2012.

'Dialog with the heart defies time:
My three happy years as a columnist with Corriere'

by Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini
Translated from

June 24, 2012

The time has come when age and illness are giving me a clear signal that it is the time to retire from the greater part of earthly concerns in order to prepare for the imminent coming of the Kingdom.

I assure my prayers for all those whose questions have remained unanswered in this column that I have held for three years in Corriere. Dialog with the heart defies time.

I wish to start the last page of this column to thank all those who have written me in these years. I have received thousands of letters of affection, of gratitude, of encouragement, and of criticism.

I ask forgiveness from those whom I was not able to answer and from those who, though receiving an acknowledgment of their questions, have considered the answer barely exhaustive or not at all.

I thank the editor of Corriere who has allowed me this time of dialog despite the fact that my voice has weakened, and I thank all his co-workers.

Thanks from the heart also to my successors on the Chair of St, Ambrose for the patience that they have shown during these monthly interventions.

Now the time has come to retire. May Jesus respond to the most profound questions in the heart of everyone.

He proceeds to answer the letter he has chosen:

The greatest sorrow
is to lose a young child

Dear Cardinal Martini, On Monday, April 2, I lost my 10-year-old son. I humbly ask you for a word of comfort and the way to follows so that somehow I can bo back to living. How, Eminence, can I believe in Jesus? I beg you, Eminence, help me, you who are a special man. - Francesco Rizzo

Dear Francesco, there are really no words of comfort before a sorrow that is so great, perhaps the greatest sorrow for a human being. Nor can I show you the right ways exactly. I can tell you that I pray for you in order that Jesus himself, Son of God, may show you the way. It certainly will not come right away, because such great sorrows take away our strength, our sight and our hearing, and even harm our fundamental strength to have the courage to face any event.

I have not been able to get the last part of the column, but a writer who reported on Cardinal Martini's farewell to his Corriere readers, writes this about it:

The emeritus Archbishop of Milan also answers a reader who asks him what is happening in the Church. Citing the Gospel of Matthew, the Cardinal assures the reader - and the Pope - that "the gates of Hell shall not prevail".

It is the second time in a few weeks that Cardinal Martini, often portrayed as an antagonist of Benedict XVI, has given his explicit and affectionate support for the Pontiff. [The first was after their brief meeting at the Archbishop's Palace in Milan when the Pope was there for the VII World Meeting of Families. Before that, they met in the Vatican on April 4, 2011, at the time the Pope was deciding on who would be the next Archbishop of Milan..]

Cardinal Martini has been suffering from Parkinson's disease since 2002 - he announced he had the first signs of the disease shortly before retiring at age 75 as Archbishop of Milan. It has now advanced to the point where he has difficulty moving and talking. In 2008, he wrote an essay saying he felt that death was imminent, but apparently, the Lord did not think so. In 2010, he wrote a beautiful essay on how he has been coping with his ailment, and revealed how, spiritually, he relies on the well-known Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, but that he discovered it was the music of Mozart that helps him best not just to counteract depression with joy, but also to accompany the necessary exercises to keep him physically moving. I will translate it when I can... I think it might have been a small shock to Benedict XVI earlier this month to observe the difference that a year could make (since their April 2011 meeting), and I am sure he has Cardinal Martini in his prayers every day. Let us pray for him, too.
[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/25/2012 4:50 PM]
6/25/2012 5:51 PM
Post: 25,121
Post: 7,624
Registered in: 8/28/2005
Registered in: 1/20/2009
Master User

Monday, June 25, Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time

Third from left, the saint's statue among the founder-saints' gallery in St. Peter's Basilica.
ST. GUGLIELMO (WILLIAM) OF VERCELLI (also 'of Montevergine') (Italy, 1085-1142)
Hermit, Founder of the Williamites Benedictine Congregation
The saint was born into a noble family of Vercelli in northwest Italy. At age 14, he went on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela,
during which, tradition says, he encircled his body with iron bands to increase his suffering. Back in Italy, he went to live as a hermit
on the summit of Monte Vergine (then known as Monte Vergiliana) between Nola and Benevento, southwest Italy. By 1119 his followers
were united in the Benedictine congregation, the Hermits of Monte Vergine (Williamites), which he headed. The austerity of his rule led
to dissension among his monks. To restore peace he left and was taken under the protection of Roger I of Naples who built a monastery
for him in Salerno. He founded monasteries throughout the then Kingdom of Naples and Sicily. He died at Santa Maria di Guglieto, a
daughter house of Montevergine. He is often portrayed with a wolf - according to legend, a wolf attacked and ate his donkey, whereupon
the saint tamed him. Although he was immediately venerated in Italy, he was not canonized till 1785.
Readings for today's Mass:


The Holy Father met with

- His Highness Fra Matthew Festing, Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta,
and his delegation.

- Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops

- Cardinal José Manuel Estepa Llaurens, emeritus Military Ordinary for Spain.

At a news conference, Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education,
presented a document entitled "Pastoral orientations for the promosion of vocations to the ministry
of priesthood".

The Vatican also released the texts for two recent Vatican interventions before the United Nations:

- A statement on national debts and human rights 20th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva[ and

- The closing statement of the Vatican delegation to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development that just
ended in Rio de Janeiro

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/25/2012 6:26 PM]
6/26/2012 12:20 AM
Post: 25,122
Post: 7,625
Registered in: 8/28/2005
Registered in: 1/20/2009
Master User

Vatican issues new guidelines
for priestly vocations

By Carol Glatz

VATICAN CITY, June 25, 2012 (CNS) - In an effort to respond to a "clear and pressing" need for priests, the Vatican released a set of guidelines to help bishops and church communities promote, recruit and educate a new generation of men for the priesthood.

The Church needs "suitable" candidates and must avoid men who "show signs of being profoundly fragile personalities," while helping others heal from any possible "individual deviations" from their vocations, the document said.

"The witness of Christian communities giving account of the faith that is in them becomes even more necessary," because it's a community of believers committed to passing on God's love that "prepares the Lord's call that invites people to consecration and mission," it said.

Based on responses to a questionnaire sent to bishops' conferences and directors of national vocations offices around the world in 2008, the Congregation for Catholic Education sought to address a widespread demand for pastoral guidelines for fostering vocations "based on clear and well-founded theology of vocation and of the identity of the ministerial priesthood."

Titled "Pastoral Guidelines for Fostering Vocations to Priestly Ministry," the 29-page document was released June 25. [I cannot find any version of it online!] It also marked the 70th anniversary of the inauguration of the congregation's Pontifical Work for Priestly Vocations.

The challenge of attracting men to the priesthood is made more difficult by declining birthrates in the developed world and a materialist, secular culture in which people are less likely to make "courageous and demanding Gospel choices" in their lives, the document said.

"In the West, there is a prevailing culture of indifference to the Christian faith, a culture unable to understand the value of vocations to a special consecration," it said.

Key to turning things around isn't just setting up new programs and initiatives, but building a vibrant, active and dedicated community of Catholics, united in prayer and with Christ, it said.

Some reasons men say "no" to or ignore a call to the priesthood, it said, include:

-- having parents who are reluctant about their son's choice because they have different hopes for their child's future;

-- living in a society that marginalizes priests and considers them irrelevant;

-- misunderstanding the gift of celibacy;

-- being disillusioned by the scandal of priests who abused minors;

-- and seeing priests who are too overwhelmed by their pastoral duties to the detriment of their spiritual life.

Vocations are fostered when boys and young men have an uplifting and transformative Christian experience, it said. That experience can be found in family life, at school, in the parish, as an altar boy, in Catholic groups and associations or in volunteer work, all of which allow them to "know firsthand the reality of God himself, in communion with their brothers and in Gospel mission," it said.

During a Vatican news conference presenting the guidelines, Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the education congregation, said that, paradoxically, "experience teaches us that the strongest candidates grow in hostile environments."

In places where there is open hostility to the church, he said, vocations are "very healthy, very strong and (priests are) very aware that we have a mission."

Msgr. Vincenzo Zani, undersecretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, said the aftermath of the sex abuse crisis in the United States has had some positive results, specifically in Boston, where the seminary is now filled thanks to an aggressive effort, led by the archbishop, to search for serious vocations.

While dioceses and seminaries bear most of the responsibility of determining the suitability of a candidate, vocations offices, too, must be consistent in attracting and forming people who display a healthy "integration and maturing of the affections," the document said.

Men who "show signs of being profoundly fragile personalities" should not be encouraged to consider a vocation, it said.

The educational setting must support a candidate's authentic reasons to be a priest and contribute "to healing any possible individual deviations from his vocation."

Cardinal Grocholewski said determining "a fragile personality" at the early stages of a candidate's journey is a question of discretion by trained professionals from the diocesan vocations office.

"There are some people whose fragility is easily seen, while others hide themselves, sometimes just because they want to seem like good people," he said. "It's a question of fundamental human maturity. We are looking for a person who is responsible, someone who can be trusted, a person who can control himself" and his impulses, he added.

"A more serious, mature judgment should come in the seminary, where in speaking and observing a candidate, his maturity can be better determined," the cardinal said.

A priest represents Christ the shepherd, the document said, and as such, he must draw his strength from and base his vocation on loving and serving Christ and his church.

All Catholics, including parents, coaches, catechists and group leaders, should help their young charges to see the priestly vocation as a gift.

Boys and young men should be taught the value of prayer and meditation on God's word, the document said, so that they learn to hear what God is calling them to do with their lives.

The congregation's guidelines also called for diocesan vocation offices to organize a so-called "invisible monastery" where large numbers of people are dedicated to providing non-stop prayer for priestly vocations.

While searching online for the text of the new guidelines described above - it's not on the Vatican site anywhere - I did come across one of two new anthologies by Benedict XVI published by the Vatican publishing house LEV this month:

Unfortunately I can find no information about it, but I imagine it would be a collection of what he has said in homilies and in various Q&A sessions about priesthood and the consecrated life in general - which, as general spiritual and practical guidelines, ought to go hand in hand with the 'technical' guidelines described in the new document by the Congregation for Catholic Education.

The other book published by LEV this month, about which I can find no information either apart from the catalog display, would appear to be is an anthology of what Benedict XVI has written and said about Vatican-II since he became Pope.

In May, LEV came out with the artistic edition of the Pope's catecheses on the Prayers of Jesus:

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/26/2012 1:20 AM]
6/26/2012 1:59 AM
Post: 25,123
Post: 7,626
Registered in: 8/28/2005
Registered in: 1/20/2009
Master User

Holy See supports rational
human rights approach to
loans for poorer nations
and foreign debt cancellation

June 25, 2012

The Holy See's permanent observer to the United Nations and other ionternational organizations in Geneva delivered the following position paper to the 20th session of the Human Rights Council on the subject of foreign debt and human rights. Her is the text of the address delivered in English:

Madam President,

1. The Holy See strongly supports the Report’s assertion that human rights as well as the rules of justice and ethics apply to all economic and social relations, including foreign debt obligations.

Human rights criteria for evaluating foreign debt can be an important tool for moving development from the narrow "economic" or material understanding to one based on integral human development, one that promotes "the development of each man and of the whole man". (1)

This recognizes the "right to development" (2) grounded in the humanity of each and every person, from conception to natural death, regardless of their age, nationality, race, religion, ethnicity, sex and disability status.

At the same time, we acknowledge the role that corruption has played and continues to play in aggravating the problem of debt obligations in many less developed countries.

2. A people-centered ethics is one that is grounded in a view of the human person which emphasizes human dignity, the basis of human rights, for human rights are those rights that spring from what it means to be human. All just economic activity respects this human dignity.

Wealth and debt must serve the common good. If justice is violated, wealth and debt become instruments of exploitation, especially of the poor and marginalized. But unjust, and especially exploitative, economic transactions are invalid and must be made just, even if each party agreed to the legal terms of the exchange, as it may happen when the rich lend to the poor.

For many years now all have come to recognize that "the heavy burden of external debt (…) compromises the economies of whole peoples and hinders their social and political progress."(3)

3. Foreign debt is just a symptom of the lack of justice in the flow of capital in the world.(4) "The debt question is part of a vaster problem: that of the persistence of poverty, sometimes even extreme, and the emergence of new inequalities which are accompanying the globalization process. If the aim is globalization without marginalization, we can no longer tolerate a world in which there live side by side the immensely rich and the miserably poor, the have-nots deprived even of essentials and people who thoughtlessly waste what others so desperately need. Such contrasts are an affront to the dignity of the human person."

Thus, in evaluating foreign loans consideration should be given to: 1) Reducing unethical loan practices and 2) Better aligning foreign loans with authentic human development.

If both the loan process and the loan use have to respect human rights there is a much better chance that the money from the loan will promote development and the necessary environment for the enjoyment of human rights.

Many of the barriers to development arise because the human costs and benefits of economic activities are not given adequate, or any, weight in the decision making process. "Human costs always include economic costs, and economic dysfunctions always involve human costs"5 and the consequent violation of human rights.

4. While institutionalizing the inclusion of human rights into the cost and benefit calculations will present challenges, we would like to remind the Council that every past improvement in human rights and expansion of participation and inclusion faced the same challenge. In a few words, financial relationships that increase inequality and do not promote income convergence are "contrary to justice". (6)

5. Along with the Report, and most objective observers, the Holy See recognizes that loans to developing countries have at times promoted inequality and have become barriers to development rather than serving as tools to promote development. Often this is due to changes in outside economic circumstances which can turn a good and just loan arrangement into a barrier to development and a vehicle for exploitation. One such change in outside circumstances that the Report addresses and responds to relates to fluctuations in currency values.

6. The Holy See supports the new principle for transparency in foreign loans at all levels and by all actors (borrowers, lenders and international agencies) in order to lessen the chance of the grave mistakes that were made in the past, when corruption led to secret loans for dubious purposes, taken out by leaders not interested in the common good with the poor in developing countries bearing the burden. We support this reform and encourage efforts to correct the injustices of past loans with more aggressive debt forgiveness.

The Holy See hopes that "the process of debt cancellation and reduction for the poorest countries will be continued and accelerated. At the same time, these processes must not be made conditional upon structural adjustments that are detrimental to the most vulnerable populations." (7)

The Holy See supports the Human Rights Council’s call to end conditionality in debt forgiveness and renegotiation, and supports its call to respect the sovereignty and right of each country to independently plan its own development strategies and not be forced by outside agencies or governments to pursue policies which are more in the interest of the lending nations than the common good of the developing nations.

Furthermore, programs for debt cancellation or relief should not result in insurmountable obstacles to future responsible borrowing that may be critically necessary for the long-term development and prosperity of the country at risk.

7. Greater transparency will also help in preventing the building up of unsustainable levels of debt by developing nations. In both developing and developed countries the lack of transparency in the accumulating of debt has added to economic uncertainty in the world financial system.

The Guiding Principles on Foreign Debt and Human Rights move in the direction of a concrete solution. Sovereign debt cannot be viewed as an exclusively economic problem. It affects future generations a well as the social conditions that allow the enjoyment of human rights of vast numbers of people entitled to the solidarity of the whole human family. Thank you, Madam President.

1 Pope Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, n.14
2 General Assembly resolution 41/128 of 4 December 1986.
3 Pope John Paul II noted in his World Peace Day Message of 1998 WPD 1998, n.4.
4 Idem
5 Pope Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate, n. 32.
6 Cfr Aquinas ST, II, II, QQ78.
7 From the Address of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See. Monday, 8 January 2007.

6/26/2012 2:41 AM
Post: 25,124
Post: 7,627
Registered in: 8/28/2005
Registered in: 1/20/2009
Master User

Vatican reiterates principles
promoting human dignity as bases
for 'sustainable development'

June 25, 2012

Here is the Vatican's English translation of the position paper delivered last June 22 by Pope Benedict XVI's personal representative to the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, Cardinal Odilo Scherer, Archbishop of Sao Paolo, who also headed the Vatican delegation. He delivered the address in Portuguese.

Madame President,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

My delegation warmly thanks the Government of Brazil for hosting this important Conference on sustainable development, expresses gratitude to the people of Brazil for their warm hospitality, and is pleased to participate in this timely gathering of representatives of the international community meeting at this significant juncture in human history.

Now is the opportune time to address the many threats to the human family and its earthly home posed by the persisting injustice of hunger, poverty and underdevelopment which continue to plague our societies.

It is the firm hope of the Holy See that this opportunity may provide the occasion at last to set aside the hermeneutic of suspicion underpinning partisan self-interest and protectionism in favour of a true solidarity between us, especially with the poor.

This is the time to commit ourselves to a more just distribution of the abundant goods of this world and to the pursuit of a more integral development which corresponds to the dignity of every human being.

For the Holy See, this requires above all maintaining the proper relation of the means to its end. Standing at the centre of the created world is the human person – and, therefore, also at the centre of sustainable development, as affirmed by the First Rio Principle. Each individual human life, from conception until natural death, is of equal value and dignity.

Any new model of development, such as the "green economy," must be anchored in and permeated by those principles which are the basis for the effective promotion of human dignity, namely:
- Responsibility, even when changes must be made to patterns of production and consumption;
- Promoting and sharing in the common good; access to primary goods including such essential and fundamental goods as nutrition, health, education, security and peace;
- Solidarity of a universal scope, capable of recognising the unity of the human family;
- Protection of creation linked to inter-generational equity;
- The universal destination of goods and the fruits of human enterprise; and
- The accompanying principle of subsidiarity, which permits public authorities at all levels to operate in an efficacious manner for the uplifting of each and every person and community.

This is all the more marked in international relations where application of these principles between and within states favours an appropriate transfer of technology, the promotion of a global commercial system that is inclusive and fair, as well as respect for obligations in aid-for-development and the determination of new and innovative financial instruments which place human dignity, the common good, and the safeguarding of the environment at the centre of economic activity.

The unique and fundamental role of the family – which the Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares the fundamental group-unit of society – deserves special mention here because education and development begins in the family, where all these principles are transmitted to and assimilated by future generations so that their members assume their proper responsibility in society.

The right to water, the right to food, the right to health and the right to education are intrinsically linked to the right to life and to the right to development. Therefore, we must be bold in affirming them, and equally resolved to safeguard the evident reality that these rights are at the service of the human person.

The risk of obscuring this correct relationship seems particularly to be the case in the right to health, where the promotion of a conception of health can be observed that profoundly menaces the dignity of the human person.

Imposing death upon the most vulnerable human lives – namely, those in the safest sanctuary of their mothers’ wombs – cannot conceivably be brought under the nomenclature of health-care or simply health. This performs no true service to authentic human development or its true appreciation; indeed it constitutes the greatest violation of human dignity and unjustifiable disservice because development, at all stages of life, is at the service of human life.

Madame President, the ongoing economic and financial crisis has risked undermining the great progress made in recent decades in technological and scientific development.

Engaging such problems honestly and courageously will challenge the international community to a renewed and deepened reflection on the meaning of the economy and its purposes, as well as a renewal of models of development which will not allow the ‘why’ of development to be overwhelmed by the urgent ‘how’ of technological solutions.

This examination must include not merely the economic or ecological state of health of the planet, but must also require taking stock of the moral and cultural crisis, the symptoms of which are now evident in all parts of the world.

This is undoubtedly a complex challenge to confront, but the Holy See stresses the importance of moving from a merely technological model of development to an integrally human model which takes as its point of departure the dignity and worth of each and every person. Each individual member of society is called to adopt a vocational attitude which freely assumes responsibility, in genuine solidarity with one another and all of creation.

In conclusion, Madame President, it is people who are charged with stewardship over nature; but as with everything human, this stewardship necessarily possesses an ethical dimension. In the discharge of this right and duty, a just solidarity with our fellow human beings is always implicit, including those yet to be born. This requires of us a duty towards future generations who will inherit the consequences of our decisions.

In this regard, this Conference provides an opportunity for governments to come together to help chart a course for advancing development for all people especially those who are most in need.

Once again, Madame President, we express our gratitude for the leadership of Brazil in hosting this Conference, and sincerely hope that this will help promote the future that together we all need.

Thank you.

6/26/2012 5:58 AM
Post: 25,125
Post: 7,628
Registered in: 8/28/2005
Registered in: 1/20/2009
Master User

Quite a few Vaticanistas today (Monday, June 25) went out on a limb to assert that Benedict XVI's recent moves indicate he is planning for a post-Bertone administration in the Vatican, going so far as to mention some likely candidates from the Vatican's experienced diplomats. I don't know how much credibility - or even plausibility - one can place in these judgments, but Giacomo Galeazzi gives the rationale for their point of view, and cites some 'facts' regarding the private meeting between the Pope and the five cardinals that could be sheer conjecture... As much as my mind is made up about the utter management fiasco at SecState - and how it all works against the Pope's best intentions for the Church - I do not wish to indulge in wishful thinking, and I hope the Vaticanistas are not doing that...

After a season of vipers and venom,
Benedict XVI seems set to revamp
the Vatican's administration

by Giacomo Galeazzi
Translated from the Italian service of

June 25, 2012

Phase 2 of this Pontificate may be starting. Benedict XVI plans to restore Vatican diplomacy to the top of the Vatican administrative pyramid, and will most likely name one of the Vatican's most experienced Apostolic Nuncios to succeed Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone as Secretary of State.

The five cardinals who met with the Pope privately on Saturday evening are said to have agreed on two possible names, both with outstanding diplomatic experience - Italian Luigi Ventura, now Nuncio to France, and Spaniard Pedro Lopez Quintana, now Nuncio to Canada.

Of course, the Pope does not move at the pace of the 24/7 news cycle, and for now, he is seeking to understand the situation within the Church as a consequence of Vatileaks and its related developments, as well as keep track of the investigations being carried out by the Vatican police and by his three-man cardinals' commission.

Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi said that for now, the Pope wishes to restore 'calm and confidence' in the Roman Curia [that has unfairly been vilified in general by the media due to Vatileaks, even if clearly all the negative inferences and deductions emerging from the documents divulged have to do with mismanagement and false moves at the Secretariat of State and its two main dependencies, the Governatorate and IOR].

However, it appears as if it's a done deal. Cardinals Pell and Ruini reportedly advised the replacement of Bertone, a solution said to be favored even by Benedict's faithful secretary, Georg Gaenswein, who is believed to be increasingly trusted by the Pope.

Cardinals Tomko, Ouellet and Tauran were said to be more prudent though they concurred on the criticality and gaps apparent in the 'governance' by the Secretariat of State.

Benedict XVI obviously wishes to put an end to any power infighting in the Vatican. His Saturday morning meeting with all the heads of the Curial offices and then with the five trusted cardinals in the evening, shows he wants to listen to diverse opinions and be kept up to date on what's happening in the Curia after Vatileaks, but more specifically, the meetings serve as informal consultations about the possible choice of a new Secretary of State.

A changing of the guard could take place as early as October (after the Pope ends his annual summer stay in Castel Gandolfo), or in December [when Bertone turns 78, though age apparently is not always a factor for retirement, the same way John Paul II named Joseph Ratzinger to a fifth five-year term as CDF Prefect after he turned 75. What's more, Secretaries of State do not have a fixed term as the Curial cardinals do. So, unless the Holy Father himself decides that Bertone has become more of a liability than an asset, it would really be wishful thinking to count on Bertone going when he turns 78! I love the Pope unconditionally, but I pray he will make an objective rather than an affective decision in this case.]

The cardinals' commission and the Vatican police and magistrates continue their separate investigations into Vatileaks. Meanwhile, the leaked documents have evidenced a state of non-governance that has reached a tipping point and that must be confronted.

Of course, Benedict XVI does not make his decisions - much less strategic choices such as a changeover at State - because of 'scandals' and media pressure. But the College of Cardinals is rallying behind him to make the right decision because they saw how he singlehandedly handled the pedophile-priest crisis in 2009 and 2010, going against established (and erroneous) Vatican practice in terms of transparency.

But it will be recalled that when Bertone presented a customary letter of resignation when he turned 75, the Pope turned it down. And last May, speaking publicly about Vatileaks for the first time, Benedict reiterated his confidence in 'my closest collaborators'.

Age is not a factor in this. Cardinal Angelo Sodano, appointed Secretary of State back in 1990 by John Paul II, continued as Benedict XVI's Secretary of State for another 18 months, retiring a month and a half before he turned 79. So the matter of replacing Bertone is a matter of substance, not just of form.

Perhaps after an unnerving war of attrition between Bertonians and Sodanians, Benedict XVI may wish a more collegial and shared leadership at State, a 'Prime Minister' with a more palatable style of being 'first among equals' in the Curia.

But he is also facing a more general problem regarding fundamental aspects of governance at the Vatican that will not be solved by simply having a new Secretary of State.

Perhaps he is thinking of accelerating the pace of Curial reform that has been pending for decades. For less bureaucracy and more coordination. In which everything must be, by definition and in fact, considered 'service to the Church'.

The lingering image now of infinite power struggles in the Curia is damaging to Papa Ratzinger's Church of preaching and purification. And Fr. Lombardi underscored Saturday that the Pope is well aware of the central role that his Secretary of State has in that image.

Whatever the Pope decides to do, it will be a well-considered move, not a punitive measure nor the sacking of a cardinal who had been Cardinal Ratzinger's right-hand man for six years at the CDF.

It will be an acknowledgment that changed conditions demand new responses. Vatileaks has weakened Bertone, not the Pope. A 'technocratic' government that will allow a 'settling down' would seem to be the only feasible escape from the venomous quagmire of Vatileaks.

Meanwhile, the Holy See appears to be shielding itself in a way by turning to the Opus Dei and its reputation for quietly systematic order. First, Cardinal Julian Herranz who leads the three-man cardinals' commission looking into Vatileaks. [Herranz served closely with Opus Dei founder St. Josemaria Escriva for almost two decades.]

And then, on Saturday, the announcement that Greg Burke, veteran Rome correspondent for over two decades for Reuters, Time and Fox News, will the senior communications adviser to the Secretariat of State. Burke is an Opus Dei lay member.

[I think the Opus Dei connection is purely coincidental. Two swallows don't make a summer, although I don't doubt that, following the precedent of John Paul II in hiring lay journalist and Opus Dei member Joaquin Navarro Valls, Burke's being Opus Dei must have given him an advantage when the Vatican was making its choice, in addition to the fact that he is American and therefore quite knowledgeable in the ways of both the conventional media and the new Internet-based outlets. I cannot think of any other present Vaticanista who has such a connection...

The Opus Dei is the only 'new ecclesial movement' that I have had any contacts with, since in the 1960s-1970s, it already had a significant following in the Philippines, especially among middle-class professionals and businessmen. In 1978, my executive editor and his wife introduced me to Opus Dei because they asked me to go with them to visit the tomb of Mons. Escriva in Rome, when we were there for a Holy Week event. The church of Our Lady of Peace, which is the Opus Dei's prelature church in Rome, is located in a modest building with an un-churchlike facade, that is found along the bus route leading from central Rome to the Parioli district (nine years later, the first time I lived in Italy for almost a year, it would be my daily bus route). My first visit to the church was only three years after Mons. Escriva died - long before he was beatified in 1992 and eventually canonized in 2002. The Opus Dei members I was privileged to get to know, and some even to work with, were solid orthodox Catholics and daily communicants, usually successful in their professions, business and government positions, with exemplary families, but who never called attention to their being Opus Dei. The whole point of the movement is to do the 'work of God' by living the routines of secular life in a holy way but discreetly. I've been watching Fox News exclusively since 2001, and I never knew Burke was Opus Dei until it came out this weekend. Of course, once it is known, you're tagged for life and you'll have to live up to it publicly every hour of every day!]

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/26/2012 6:14 AM]
6/26/2012 10:21 AM
Post: 25,126
Post: 7,629
Registered in: 8/28/2005
Registered in: 1/20/2009
Master User

I've seen at least 4 interviews (AP, Newsweek, Corriere della Sera and Vatican Insider) with Greg Burke since he was named senior communications adviser to the Secretariat of State on Saturday, and I was a bit apprehensive that he might be over-exposed [as if he hadn't already been sufficiently exposed in 10 years of being a Fox News TV correspondent]. But L'Osservatore Romano's double issue for June 25-June 26 plays him up by way of introduction, in a way that Giovanni Maria Vian, say, was not introduced when he was named OR editor back in 2007. We really didn't know about his personal life before now, and now we know he is not just an Opus Dei member but a 'numerary', one among the 30% of Opus Dei members who are celibate by choice (they do not take vows), give a large part of their earnings to the movement, and live in Opus Dei centers. (I checked - Joaquin Navarro-Valls is also a numerary.] The other 70% lead traditional family lives. So Burke won't be entirely a stranger in the world of priests. Vatican Insider says he wil formally begin his job at the Vatican on Monday, July 2.

Greg Burke and his new job:
It took him five days to go
from 'No' to 'Maybe' to 'Yes'

Translated from the 6/25-6/26 issue of

"In June 2009, I called muy friend Carlo Ancelotti who had just signed up with Chelsea and I offered to be his English teacher," says Greg Burke smiling reminiscently. Evidently, that didn't go through at all, and Fox News' Rome-based correspondent for Italy, southern Europe and the Middle East went on reporting.

For another few years, until about a month ago, Burke, 52, from St. Louis, Missouri, received a telephone call that would prove to be near-historic.

It may not have been accidental that the new senior communications adviser to the Secretariat of State was a baby learning to speak when the United States elected its first Catholic President.

He was born on November 8, 1959, in an Irish-German neighborhood of St. Louis to an observant Catholic family and went to a Jesuit school before earning a degree in comparative literature from Columbia University in New York. That was when he joined Opus Dei, which became one of the firm points in a professional life that would bring him to various parts of the world.

"I was very interested in building a career, but also in the spiritual dimension of life," he says. Having decided to go into jouralism, he rose through the ranks. First as a crime reporter for a small newspaper in New York, then a punishing apprenticeship at United Press International in ChicaGo ("I worked the night shift - and that was no life"). After a brief time with Reuters and the magazine Metropolitan, he got his big break when he was hired by National Catholic Register and sent to Rome as its correspondent.

Paradoxically, since then, Burke never left Rome for good - despite hopping in and out of planes frequently. Perhaps the city struck him much more than he would admit now (he even roots for the Roma football team).

In 1990, he joined the Rome bureau of Time magazine, and four years later, he became bureau chief and Time's chief correspondent in Italy. It was also the year that TIME named John Paul II its Man of the Year. [In the interview with Luigi Accattoli, the latter recalls that his colleagues knew at the time it was Burke who had originally suggested the Pope to be nominated by Time.]

Of those days, he recalls with particular emotion when the Pope's secretary showed him the Pope's prie-dieu in his private chapel. "He asked me to lift the knee-pad - under it were all the requests for intercession from all parts of the world, which were the object of his prayer intentions. It's how the faithful of the world were all present concretely in the Paul's meditations".

After his years of experience with news agencies and with the press, he joined Fox News after September 11, 2001. "It was a paradox, because basically, I had always looked askance at broadcast news".

Just as he recalled his journalistic career with a smile, so he speaks of "the hope and the joy which come from my faith", when we ask him if his Catholicism had ever been a source of conflict with the secular news organizations he worked with.

He shakes his head, "Not even in the most critical times", he says. "For instance, in reporting about the sex abuses by priests in the Archdiocese of Boston, I always reported from 'the middle of the road'. My bosses appreciated that. I did have a 'cultural clash' with my editors in TIME about the population conference in Cairo". [The interviewer does not background this reference, but it was a UN-sponsored international conference on population and development in 1994, in which one of the four main agreements was about access to 'reproductive services' including family planning and abortion. For the first time, some governments and non-governmental organizations used the term 'reproductive rights' to imply that abortion was a human right.]

The offer that has made him the center of attention today was first made to him around the end of May, "at first not quite clearly, but formalized on June 4. The next day, I said 'No, thanks'. On the one hand, it is a great professional challenge, but on the other, I was doing work that I loved very much, with an organization that continues to grow, and a road ahead that continued to be stimulating. But as I thought more about it, it became a 'Maybe' and finally, on June 10, I said Yes".

And so this American journalist who combines the enthusiasm of his great nation and his deep Catholicism with a sunny Roman disposition [quite coincidentally, he acquired Italian citizenship a few weeks ago, before this new development] has taken on an unprecedented role in an environment where, in the past, some American prelates have played a role. Between 1948-2007, three archbishops have been in charge of the pontifical Council for Social Communications - Martin John O'Connor, Edward Louis Heston and John Patrick Foley. [To this day, I am not clear how this Council meshes, if at all, with the regular communications outlets of the Holy See - the Vatican Press Office, Vatican Radio, CTV, and L'Osservatore Romano. What does it actually do, since it seems to have nothing to do at all with those four major outlets. It's an autonomous Curial office, so how will it factor in Burke's work at SecState?]

So did you accept the offer for the professional challenge or because you felt a responsibility as a believer?, we asked him.

«Fifty-fifty», he said, and his smile becomes more contemplative. "Twice in my professional life, I found myself, by chance and by luck, in the right place at the right time - in 1994, at TIME, and in 2001, with Fox. It feels like that now, though it is also very different, of course".

Burke smiles a lot, but one does not doubt his consciousness of the responsibility and significance of his new role. "I know how newsmen think, I know how they would react to certain things, and I know something about how the mechanism of information functions," he adds, saying this is what he brings to his new assignment.

He has no illusions that he will be a 'savior' of the Vatican's communications problems: "Small steps in the right direction will help. Because there is a message and a good one about the Church - the challenge is to communicate it well".

Here is an interview of Burke by his former colleague, Luigi Accattoli.

Interview with Greg Burke:
'I could help make the Vatican
more Internet-friendly'

by Luigi Accattoli
Translated from

June 25, 2012

“I hope I can do something, I am aware of the difficulties, and I have no illusions I can be a hero”, says the American journalist Greg Burke, 52, who has been named senior communications adviser in the Vatican Secretariat of State.

Burke was until last week the Rome-based correspondent for Fox Newas in southern Europe and the Middle East since 2001, and he had been Rome bureau chief for TIME for ten years before that.

A suggestion of his, when he was at TIME, eventually led to John Paul II being named TIME’s Man of the Year in 1994. Shortly afterwards, I was sitting next to Burke on the airplane that was bringing the Pope and us to Manila, when someone cried out to Papa Wojtyla, “Holiness, you have been named Man of the Year…” And the Pope smiled, mischievously, “That’s old news!” Burke, meanwhile, was brushing off compliments from his colleagues, saying, “It wasn’t me who made the decision”.

It is reasonable to think that someone at the Vatican remembers that incident, indicative of Burke’s excellent relations with his colleagues, when they were seeking a remedy to the ‘bad communications' that have been plaguing the Vatican. Burke is a man of the Opus Dei, a professional newsman and an American.

Would you have been chosen because you are American and the first criticisms of Vatican communications errors have always from Americans?
It’s true that I am American, but it’s also true that I have been an Italian citizen for a few weeks now. There is no connection between the two events, of course. When I applied for Italian citizenship – after 24 years living in Rome – I had no idea at all about this possibility! I received my citizenship on May 4, and the offer from the Vatican came a month later. I decided to accept it on June 10.

What do you propose to do?
I see the communications effort of the Holy See like a big ship that moves slowly. I am certainly not getting into it like a Marine attack force. I know I have to be prudent, and that this is a great challenge for me. For a quarter century I have reported on the activities of the Holy See, and now I will have the chance to see the action from the inside.

Do you have a plan of action?
No plans, and no illusions, but I hope to be able to lend a hand so that an antiquated communications machinery can move forward. I consider the fact that I was hired as one such step objectively, not because I happened to be the one chosen. I think it shows that the people who decide these things have finally seen the need to pay attention to the media not just at the moment when something is communicated to them, but even earlier, when preparing what is to be communicated.

I am not a PR expert, but I know what newsmen look for, I have become accustomed to monitoring what goes on in the information world, and I have some competence in understanding how the words used in a statement will be received or the news itself that one provides. So I can say beforehand, Let’s be careful about this, or let us not forget such-and-such.

A layman among priests - would that not be like a lamb among wolves?
I hope not, but I am well aware that I am entering that world as a layman, and even, that I am relatively young compared to those I will work with. I can foresee that there will be some who may not care to listen to a ‘young layman’. But I see it simply in these terms: I can give some advice but I will not be making the decisions.

It will be said that you were ‘imposed’ by the US bishops who are fed up by the terrible media image of the Vatican…
And they are wrong. The only American aspect in this is that I am American by origin, and this is important mostly because the Anglophones dominate the Internet. It would be incorrect and even false to say the Americans know something that the people in the Curia do not know, so let an American handle this. But it is true that whatever the Curia says, in whatever language, gets disseminated throughout the world which speaks the English of the Internet. I can help to keep this audience in mind at all times.
[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/26/2012 10:25 AM]
6/26/2012 12:38 PM
Post: 25,127
Post: 7,630
Registered in: 8/28/2005
Registered in: 1/20/2009
Master User

Tuesday, June 26, Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time

ST. JOSEMARIA ESCRIVA DE BALAGUER (b Spain 1902, d Rome 1975)
Priest, Founder of Opus Dei
An estimated 300,000 people filled St. Peter's Square on October 6, 2002, for the canonization of Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, the founder of Opus Dei. His canonization came only 27 years after his death, one of the shortest waiting periods in Church history. Opus Dei, which means Work of God, emphasizes that men and women can become holy by living their daily lives in a Christian way. Born in Barbastro, Spain, the future saint was ordained a priest in 1925, briefly served in a rural parish, then moved to Madrid, where he obtained a doctorate in law. At the same time, he began to flesh out a movement that would allow 'ordinary' people to achieve lives of holiness in their daily activities. Opus Dei was officially founded in 1928. Fr. Escriva himself continued to minister to the poor and the sick. During the Spanish Civil War, he had to exercise his ministry secretly and move from place to place. After the war, he returned to Madrid to complete his studies, then moving to Rome where he obtained his doctorate in theology. Pope Pius XII named him an honorary prelate and a consultor to two Vatican congregations. All the while, Opus Dei grew in size and influence. When Msgr. Escriva died in 1975, Opus Dei was established in dozens of countries around the globe. Today its membership includes approximately 83,000 laypersons and 1,800 priests in 90 countries. However, his beatification and canonization, which were almost literally advocated by John Paul II, stirred up much controversy because of hostile accusations from some persons who had worked with him for years, and because of the 'speed' with which it happened (he died in 1975, was beatified in 1992, and canonized in 2002). He was one of the first candidates for sainthood to whom the new simplified rules for canonization desired by John Paul II were applied. The saint's remains are found beneath the main altar at the Opue Dei's prelature Church in Rome.
Readings for today's Mass:

Visit to earthquake victims in Rovereto:

Tuesday, June 26

09.00 Departure from the Vatican heliport

10.15 Arrival at the San Marino di Carpi sports field in Modena province.
- The Holy Father is welcomed by Prefect Franco Gabrielli,
chief of Italy's Department of Civilian Protection.

The Pope will board a minibus if the DCP to go to Rovereto di Novi
and its Zona Rossa, or emergency zone, towards the church of Santa Caterina di Alessandria.

10.50 Arrival at a sports field with an assembly of civilian authorities,
bishops, parish priests, business representatives and the faithful.
- Greeting by the Hon. Vasco Errani, President of the Emilia-Romagna region
- Address by the Holy Father
The Pope will then greet and talk to those present.

11.50 The Holy Father departs by car for the helicopter station at the San Marino di Carpi sports field.

12.00 Papal helicopter leaves for Rome

13.15 Arrival at the Vatican heliport

The Vatican today announced some Curial resignations and appointments:

- Mons. Jean-Louis Bruguès, Emeritus Archbishop of Angers (France), who has been till now Secretary
of the Congregation for Catholic Education, as the Archivist-Librarian of the Holy Roman Church.
He succeeds Cardinal Renato Farina who has retired because of age.

- The retirement due to age of Cardinal Ennio Antonelli as President of the Pontifical Council for the Family,
who will be succeeded by

- Mons. Vincenzo Paglia, till now Bishop of Terni-Narni-Amelia, who is also elevated to the rank of Archbishop

- Mons. Joseph Augustine, until now Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, as Vice-President
of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

- Mons. Arthur Roche, until now Bishop of Leeds (UK), is the new Secretary of the Congregation for
Divine Worship, and will be elevated to the rank of Archbishop.

- The retirement due to age of Mons. Piergiuseppe Vacchelli, as Adjunct Secretary of the Congregation
for the Evangelization of Peoples and President of the Pontifical Missionary Works, who is succeeded by

- Mons. Protase Rugambwa, until now Bishop of Kigoma (Tanzania), who is elevated to the rank of Archbishop.

- The retirement due to age of Mons. Gianfranco Girotti, as Regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, succeeded by

- Mons. Krzysztof Józef Nykiel, until now an official in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The Holy Father has also accepted the resignation of Mons. Fernando María Bargalló as Bishop of Merlo-Moreno
(Argentina), according to Section 2 of Art. 401 in the Code of Canon Law, and has named
- Mons. Alcides Jorge Pedro Casaretto, emeritus Bishop of San Isidro as the Apostolic Administrator of
Merlo-Moreno until a new bishop can be named.
[Bargallo resigned after admitting to a romantic relationship with a childhood friend with whom he was photographed vacationing in a Mexican resort.]
[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/26/2012 5:47 PM]
6/26/2012 12:55 PM
Post: 25,128
Post: 7,631
Registered in: 8/28/2005
Registered in: 1/20/2009
Master User

Rovereto awaits Benedict XVI:
'The Pope will transmit his serenity
so we too can proceed calmly and
in peace to recover and rebuild'

Translated from the Italian service of

June 26, 2012

The website of the Diocese of Carpi has dozens of photographs documenting the damage to the churches in the territory.

"We await the Pope with hope in our heart and the certainty of faith", said Mons. Francesco Cavina, Bishop of Carpi, who welcomes the Holy Father today on his visit to the earthquake zone in Emilia-Romagna.

In his diocese, only three out of 50 churches are usable and safe, but despite this, the commitment and efforts of all the priests have been great through this difficult time, the bishop said.

MONS. CAVINA: I must say that the priests have been truly heroic: they have all remained on duty with their respective flocks and many of them organized the first aid and rescue efforts. They helped them get to sports fields and any community buildings that still remained intact. And they took charge of the tent encampments that were set up spontaneously in parish grounds. This shows the trust, acknowledgment and affection of the people for their priests - the importance of the parish for them, especially for the people of the countryside, in terms of their community, social and religious life, because the parish is the only organization that exists in their life. And damage to their parish church is also a great loss to them, because it is usually the only place of beauty in the village.

When the Pope arrives, what do you expect him to say and to 'bring' to you?
First, I address my gratitude and acknowledgment to him. When I learned that the Holy Father had decided to come to Rovereto, I wept with emotion and for joy, because this shows he is truly father to all of us, that he is close to his suffering children who find themselves in truly trying conditions.

When I worked at the Secretariat of State in Rome, I was always struck by his serenity in the face of all the problems of the Church. And I think he will transmit to us this serenity during his visit - which in turn will allow us to continue in serenity and peace the long and difficult road to recovery, with the knowledge that we are not abandoned. I think the whole diocese looks upon his visit this way.

It's a gesture of great affection, and for him to do this in this torrid climate must not be easy for him. For more reason, I am grateful to him, as is the whole diocese of Carpi.

You have been bishop here for only four months. Don Ivo Martini died here along with about 15 civilians, with hundreds injured, and thousands left homeless. What has it been like for you on the personal level? [Father Martini died after he and a firefighter went inside his church in Rovereto di Novi, to recover a Virgin Mary statue after a main tremor struck at 9 am on May 29. Masonry collapsed over him when an aftershock hit while he was inside the church.]
Before the tragedy that we are now experiencing, I cannot forget that in the first two months, I lost two priests who died unexpectedly while they were doing pastoral work. That continues to be a cause for grief. I won't deny that I am feeling exhaustion from all that we have had to do since the earthquakes, but I am comforted by the affection of my priests and the faithful whom I have met during these days. Together, we shall do what we need to do.

I am thankful to Vatican Radio for allowing me the chance to say this, just as if we are all one family, and I count on the prayers of your listeners, many of whom are committed to sustain the Church with their prayers, their sacrifices and their respective apostolates.

[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/26/2012 5:20 PM]
6/26/2012 5:08 PM
Post: 25,129
Post: 7,632
Registered in: 8/28/2005
Registered in: 1/20/2009
Master User


To earthquake victims:
‘God is your rock’

June 26, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI flew up to Italy’s northern region of Emilia Romagna today to express his solidarity and pray with victims of a series of powerful earthquakes that devastated the area last month.

At least 12,000 people across a large swathe of north central Italy saw their homes destroyed or damaged and are living in tents and makeshift camps. Thousands braved the soaring temperatures and scorching sun to greet the Pope when he arrived in San Marino di Carpi outside Modena and hear his words of comfort. Tracey McClure reports:

A visibly moved Pope Benedict said he had been following their plight since the first quake struck May 20th and had remained “close to them in prayer and concern.”

But he said when he “heard their plight had become even harder, he felt an increasing need to come in person to be with them.”

In offering prayers for those families and communities who had lost loved ones in the destruction, the Pope said he “wanted everyone in every town to feel how the Pope’s heart is close to theirs to console them but above all to encourage and support” them.

Pope Benedict recalled flying over the stricken region on his way up to Milan in early June for the World Meeting of Families, saying he had wanted to visit them then and his “thoughts turned frequently to them.”

He said he knew that “besides suffering the material consequences, your souls were also tried by the continued tremors, even strong ones; and by the loss of several symbolic (historic) buildings of your towns…amongst which many churches.”

On his arrival in Rovereto di Novi, near Modena, Pope Benedict toured the “red zone,” the historic and hardest hit part of town where parish priest Ivan Martini died in the collapse of his church as he tried to rescue a statue of Our Lady.

Paying tribute to his memory, the Pope commended the local clergy for demonstrating “generous love for God’s people” and pointed to the comfort he found in reading Psalm 46 which recalls the trembling earth. In that passage, the Pope said God is seen as “our refuge and our fortress” especially in times of anguish and duress.

“On this rock, with this firm hope,” the pope said, “we can build, we can rebuild.” And likening the tragedy to post war Italy, the Pope reminded the quake victims that they are not alone and that their country “was rebuilt certainly thanks also to the help received, but above all thanks to the faith of so many people moved by the spirit of true solidarity.”

The Pope 's visit to Rovereto

Vatican City, 26 June 2012 (VIS) - At 9 a.m. today the Holy Father departed by helicopter from the Vatican to fly to the Italian region of Emilia Romagna which, beginning on 20 May, has been affected by a series of earthquakes that have left many dead and hundreds of injured. The tremors have forced thousands of people to abandon their homes, destroyed historic buildings and seriously damaged the infrastructure and economy of the entire area.

The Pope's helicopter landed at 10.30 a.m. at the sports ground of San Marino di Carpi where he was welcomed by Bishop Francesco Cavina of Carpi and by Franco Gabrielli, head of the Italian Civil Protection Department.

The Pontiff then boarded a minibus to travel to Rovereto di Novi where he made a brief visit to the church of St. Catherine of Alexandria which partially collapsed during the earthquake killing the pastor Fr. Ivao Martini.

Subsequently the Holy Father boarded a Jeep from which he greeted the faithful while being driven to the central square of Rovereto di Novi where, in the presence of the archbishops and bishops of the affected areas (Bologna, Carpi, Modena, Mantua, Ferrara and Reggio Emilia) he delivered his address.

Ample extracts from the Holy Father's words are given below:

"Ever since the beginning of the earthquake which affected you I have been close to you with my prayers and concern. But when I saw that the trial had become more arduous, I felt the impelling need to come among you in person, and I thank the Lord for having enabled me to do so. Thus I greet all of you who are gathered here, as with my mind and heart I embrace all the villages and all the people affected by the earthquake, especially the families and communities mourning their dead. May the Lord welcome them into His peace".

"I was aware that, apart from suffering the material consequences, your spirits were also being sorely tried by the continuation of the seismic activity, including even strong tremors, and by the loss of certain symbolic buildings in your towns and villages, in particular many churches. Here in Rovereto di Novi in the collapse of a church - which I have just visited - Fr. Ivan Martini lost his life. Paying homage to his memory, I address a special greeting to you, dear priests, and to all confreres who, as has happened at other difficult moments in the history of these lands, are showing their generous love for the people of God.

"As you all know, we priests (as well as religious and no small number of lay people) daily pray the 'Breviary' which contains the Liturgy of the Hours, the prayer of the Church which marks the hours of the day. We pray the Psalms in an order which is the same for the entire Catholic Church. Why am I telling you this? Because in recent days I came across this expression in Psalm 46: 'God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble'".

"These words seem to contrast with the fear we inevitably feel following an experience such as the one you have just been through; that is an immediate reaction, which can become more profound if the phenomenon is prolonged. However, the Psalm does not in fact refer to that kind of fear; and the confidence it expresses in not that of supermen untouched by normal feelings. The confidence expressed is that of the faith. Yes we may feel fear and anguish - even Jesus did - but above all is the certainty that God is with us. ... His Love is as solid as a rock. We see this Love in the crucified Christ; at one and the same time a sign of suffering and of love. This is the revelation of God Love, Who remained united to us even unto extreme abasement.

"On this rock, with this firm hope, we can build, we can rebuild. Italy was rebuilt on the postwar ruins, and not just material ruins, thanks also to help received, but above all thanks to the faith of so many people animated by a spirit of genuine solidarity, by the will to give a future to their families, a future of freedom and peace. You are a people whom all Italians respect for your humanity and sociability, for hard work and cordiality. These qualities have been dealt a harsh blow by the current situation, but this must not and cannot affect your identity as a people, your history and your culture. Remain faithful to your vocation as a fraternal and united people, and face everything with patience and determination, rejecting the temptations which are unfortunately always associated with such moments of weakness and need.

"The situation you are going through has highlighted an aspect which I hope will remain at the forefront of your minds: You are not and you will not be alone! Over these days, amidst so much destruction and pain, you have seen and felt how numerous people have expressed closeness, solidarity and affection through so many signs and concrete forms of assistance. My presence among you is intended to be another such sign of love and hope. Looking at you lands I have been profoundly moved by the sight of so many wounds, but I have also seen many hands extended to cure those wounds with you. I have seen that life restarts with force and courage, and that is the most beautiful and lustrous sign of all.

"From here I wish to launch an appeal to the institutions, and to all citizens, despite the difficulties of the current time, to be like the Good Samaritan of the Bible who did not walk by indifferent to the one in need, but lovingly tended him, helped him, remained at his side and took full responsibility for the other's needs. The Church is close and will remain close with her prayers and with the concrete help of her organisations, especially Caritas, which will also undertake to rebuild the social fibre of parish communities".

Having completed his address, the Holy Father greeted the civil and religious authorities present. He then returned to the sports ground of San Marino di Carpi where his helicopter took off at midday, arriving in Rome shortly after 1.30 p.m.
[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 6/26/2012 5:50 PM]
New Thread
Cerca nel forum

Home Forum | Bacheca | Album | Users | Search | Log In | Register | Admin
Create your free community and forum! Register to FreeForumZone
FreeForumZone [v.5.1] - Leggendo la pagina si accettano regolamento e privacy
Tutti gli orari sono GMT+01:00. Adesso sono le 10:50 PM. : Printable | Mobile
Copyright © 2000-2019 FFZ srl -