thomas.kochi + pope   109

Pope Benedict’s letter on sex abuse is not an attack on Francis (or Vatican II)
The first part, seeking the origins of the abuse crisis, restates Benedict’s well-known horror at the cultural and sexual “revolutions” in the West in the 1960s and their effects on the church.The second part of the article, on the church’s evolving legal response to abuse, is also interesting. Rather than blame the lack of willingness to make use of canon law in the post-conciliar period, as he has often done in the past, he criticizes an imbalance in the law itself that he calls “guarantorism.Benedict’s third part contains to me his most important—and helpful—suggestions. Noting how the crisis has led some to see the church “as something almost unacceptable, which we must now take into our own hands and redesign,” he warns that “a self-made Church cannot constitute hope.”It seems obvious that this is a riposte to many of the right-wing responses to institutional failure that treat the church as a kind of renegade corporation needing a purge of bad employees under new management.Benedict does not use the word, but Francis did recently on his return from Morocco, when he warned of “the church’s danger today of becoming Donatist, making human regulations that are necessary, but limiting ourselves to this and forgetting the other spiritual dimensions, prayer, penitence and self-accusation.” Francis similarly warned the U.S. bishops on the eve of their New Year’s retreat that “many actions can be helpful, good and necessary, and may even seem correct, but not all of them have the ‘flavor’ of the Gospel.”Is this not Benedict’s point, when he follows his master St. Augustine—who battled the Donatists of his day—in calling up Jesus’ descriptions of the church as a fishing net containing both good and bad, or a field in which both wheat and darnel grow?Surprise, surprise. Both the pope and the pope emeritus are at one in defending the freedom of the church to be redeemed by God’s mercy, and in opposing any attempt at neo-Donatist reform.They are very different men, and very different popes. But on the fundamentals, there seems to be little distance between them. That is why it is not just courtesy for Benedict to sign off by thanking Francis “for everything he does to show us, again and again, the light of God, which has not disappeared, even today.”
AmericaMag  catholic  pope  debates  scandals 
5 days ago by thomas.kochi
Pope Francis celebrates largest Mass in the history of Morocco
Pope Francis concluded his historic visit to Morocco by celebrating a Mass enlivened by a mixture of Gregorian chant with the beat of drums and the rhythmic dance, music and song of 10,000 faithfulAmong those attending the Mass was Brother Jean-Pierre Schumacher, O.C.S.O, the last monk survivor from the monastery of Tibhirine in Algeria. (Seven Trappist monks were killed at Tibhirine during the Algerian civil war in 1996.) Commenting on the Gospel reading of the day—the parable of the prodigal son—Pope Francis, speaking in Spanish, emphasized that the father’s joy “would not be complete without the presence of the other son,” so he set out to find him and invite him to the festivities. But, he recalled, the older son found it hard to accept the father’s joy when he embraced the other son, and so he was unwilling to participate in the celebration. By doing so, “he fails not only to recognize his brother, but his father as well.”ndeed, the pope said, the older son “would rather be an orphan than a brother. He prefers isolation to encounter, bitterness to rejoicing. Not only is he unable to understand or forgive his brother, he cannot accept a father capable of forgiving, willing to wait patiently, to trust and to keep looking, lest anyone be left out: in a word, a father capable of compassion.”Francis remarked that “at the threshold of that home, something of the mystery of our humanity appears,” and what we see “is the tension we experience in our societies and in our communities and even in our own hearts—a tension deep within us ever since the time of Cain and Abel. We are called to confront it and see it for what it is. For we, too, ask: ‘Who has the right to stay among us, to take a place at our tables and in our meetings, in our activities and concerns, in our squares and our cities?’” The question seems constantly to return: “Am I my brother’s keeper?Francis said “the greatest legacy and wealth of a Christian” is to see things with “the compassion and loving eyes of the Father,” and in this way, “instead of measuring ourselves or classifying ourselves according to different moral, social, ethnic or religious criteria, we should be able to recognize that another criterion exists, ”Returning to the Gospel parable, Francis noted that “it leaves us with an open ending. We see the father asking the older son to come in and share in the celebration of mercy. The Gospel writer says nothing about what the son decided.” Then applying the parable to the situation in which these believers live, the pope (himself the son of migrants to Argentina) said, “we can imagine that this open ending is meant to be written by each individual and every community. We can complete it by the way we live, the way we regard others and how we treat our neighbor.
pope  catholic  Bible 
17 days ago by thomas.kochi
Exclusive: Inside the election of Pope Francis
“I call as my witness Christ the Lord, who will be my judge, that my vote is given to the one who, before God, I think should be elected.” As for Bergoglio, the first vote revealed that he was indeed a strong candidate, stronger than many had realized. There were many factors in Bergoglio’s favor. He was known to be a very holy man, a humble, intelligent, inspiring pastor, devoid of ambition, who avoided the limelight, lived a simple life and had a passionate love for the poor. He had never lived or studied in Rome and did not have a Roman outlook. He had governed the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires for 15 years in a truly pastoral way, with decisiveness, prudence and creativity; he had a talent for government. Ever since the 2001 synod his stature had grown internationally, and at the Celam meeting in Aparecida, Brazil, in May 2007, he had emerged as the undisputed leader of the church in this region, where almost 50 percent of the world’s Catholics live. Above all, he was a man of courage with a vision, a missionary vision, able to open new horizons for the church, a man committed to dialogue—with Jews, with Muslims, with other Christians and with those who professed no faith. He was above all a pastor. His brief intervention in the General Congregation as well as his interaction with many cardinals during these days had revealed this clearly.
AmericaMag  catholic  pope  elections 
25 days ago by thomas.kochi
Bannon descends on Rome, sowing chaos
Steve Bannon’s whirlwind tour of three continents took him to Italy’s capital on Thursday, to deliver a head-spinning diatribe on world events, economics, the environment and the prospects of Donald Trump’s reelection, about which he characteristically.Eyes grew glazed, yawns were stifled and when the show was finally wrapped up, photographers surrounded Bannon, nearly mobbing him, until in an instant he had disappeared into the night and, hopefully, into a bed for what appears to be much-needed sleep. managed to be both cryptic and definitive at the same time.If Trump can last the next six months, “and that’s a big if,” Bannon said, he will win bigger than in 2016... speaking before a group of around 150 journalists at the 17th century Biblioteca Angelica, a gorgeous high-ceilinged building lined with a million old books.The stunning library was built in 1604, he noted, “three years before the British set foot in Virginia, my home state,” a remark whose significance was lost on most of the Italian journalists present, and the Americans...And even though Russia was thuggish, it should be embraced, because the world would need its help against China, whose president, along with the pope, seems to have become one of Bannon’s newest targets.
catholic  pope  politics  Trump  controversies  counter-view  controversial 
26 days ago by thomas.kochi
Pope Francis isn’t my favourite Vicar of Christ of the last couple of millennia, but I don’t like the way some of my friends and family trash-talk him. Should I say something? If so, how do I put it without sounding cloyingly pious?
With the best of intentions, people may forget that at the heart of piety is “reverence for the fathers”. That does not mean indulging the extravagant and unfounded notion that the Holy Spirit cho...
catholic  pope  criticism  from notes
8 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
It Will Cause a Scandal.’ The Pope and a Trusted U.S. Cardinal Clash Over Sex-Abuse Crisis
Cardinal O'Malley made his name as a trouble shooter when the abuse scandals struck the US in the US.The once-warm relationship between Pope Francis and Cardinal O’Malley has become strained over the Vatican’s stance on sex abuse
catholic  wsj  pope  scandals 
8 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
The Pope’s Abu Dhabi trip has vindicated Benedict XVI’s Regensburg lecture
Francis’s visit vindicated the wisdom of his predecessor’s much-maligned Regensburg lecture.Back in 2006, religiously illiterate Western reporters and opportunistic Islamist preachers alike distorted Benedict XVI’s 2006 address into a crude harangue against Islam. It was anything but. Benedict’s polemic was directed against modern intellectual movements that seek to exclude religion (Islam as much as Christianity) from the realm of reason, treating faith as at best a purely subjective matter. Put another way, his target was Western modernity.Most secular media outlets only heard the notes about interfaith dialogue and fraternity. What they didn’t appreciate – and couldn’t, precisely because they are outgrowths and proponents of the modern scientistic worldview – is that neither the Pope’s nor the sheikh’s moral claims would be intelligible without the religious foundations on which they rest. But precisely by making these grand claims against the impoverished ideology of the age, Francis and his Muslim interlocutor, each in his own way and within his own tradition, vindicated the prophetic German pontiff so badly misunderstood when he sat on Peter’s chair.
C.Herald  pope  Islam  controversies 
9 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Poor and Rich. The Pope’s Vision Compared With the Real Figures
Setting the threshold of extreme poverty at $1.90 per day, the World Bank has calculated that the number of those who are below this threshold plunged from 1.895 billion in 1990 to 736 million in 2015, in spite of the fact that in the meantime world population grew from 5.3 to 7.3 billion. Or in percentage terms, those extreme poor who in 1990 were 36 percent of world population, twenty-five years later have dropped to 10 percent.Not only that. Even raising the threshold of poverty to $5.20 per day, the drop is extraordinary. Especially in Asia, where those below this threshold in 1990 were 95.2 percent, while by 2015 they had fallen to 35 percent.No need to mention that “the god Market” so stigmatized by “L’Osservatore Romano” has played a very noteworthy part in the reduction of poverty.The inequalities remain, especially among that one percent who “keep getting richer” and the leftover 99 percent of the population.
economy  debates  catholic  pope  counter-view  statistics 
11 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Wuerl Misread the Crisis; Pope Francis Need Not
There’s truth in all this, of course, but it’s also profoundly inadequate. The reopening of old wounds and the discovery of hidden crimes is painful, to be sure. But the outrage in the United States today cannot be understood apart from this elementary fact: Many of the faithful in the United States believe, with good reason, that they have been lied to by their shepherds. And many of the American faithful believe, with good reason, that they are still being lied to right now.Next to Theodore McCarrick, perhaps no cleric has done more to convince the American Church of this than Cardinal Donald Wuerl.Part of me is sympathetic to Wuerl. Of all the prelates who deserve to be cashiered for mishandling abuse allegations in the 1980s and 1990s, Wuerl is nowhere near the top of the list. By all accounts, he was a by-the-book manager. His record of handling abuse in Pittsburgh, while not exemplary, was ahead of the curve. And while there are some cases he clearly handled badly, the overall pattern of his time in Pittsburgh was one of making the right call even in tough cases. Who can blame him for not wanting to be the scapegoat?But what Cardinal Wuerl still doesn’t seem to understand is that, far more than his spotty record in Pittsburgh, it has been his inexcusable lack of candor about what he knew about McCarrick – and when – that have cost him the confidence of his priests and his flock. It’s hard to heal old wounds when you’re still inflicting new ones.
catholic  pope  scandals 
january 2019 by thomas.kochi
Ubi et Orbi: Pope Francis dedicates Christmas speech to fraternal love
The face of God has been revealed in a human face. It did not appear in an angel, but in one man, born in a specific time and place. By his incarnation, the Son of God tells us that salvation comes through love, acceptance, respect for this poor humanity of ours, which we all share in a great variety of races, languages, and cultures. Yet all of us are brothers and sisters in humanity!Our differences, then, are not a detriment or a danger; they are a source of richness. As when an artist is about to make a mosaic: it is better to have tiles of many colours available, rather than just a few!The experience of families teaches us this: as brothers and sisters, we are all different from each other. We do not always agree, but there is an unbreakable bond uniting us, and the love of our parents helps us to love one another. The same is true for the larger human family, but here, God is our “parent”, the foundation and strength of our fraternity.
pope  Christmas  catholic  speeches 
december 2018 by thomas.kochi
Pope Francis tells Curia: 'Spare no effort' in bringing abusers to justice
“It is undeniable that some in the past, out of irresponsibility, disbelief, lack of training, inexperience, or spiritual and human short-sightedness, treated many cases without the seriousness and promptness that was due. That must never happen again. This is the choice and the decision of the whole Church,”“The strength of any institution does not depend on its being composed of men and women who are perfect (something impossible!), but on its willingness to be constantly purified, on its capacity to acknowledge humbly its errors and correct them; and on its ability to get up after falling down,”The pope used the Biblical story of King David to analyze the sins of “abuses of power and conscience and sexual abuse.The pope also thanked the journalists who shed light on the cases of sex abuse within the Church, “who were honest and objective and sought to unmask these predators and to make their victims’ voices heard.””“Let us all remember that only David’s encounter with the prophet Nathan made him understand the seriousness of his sin. Today we need new Nathans to help so many Davids rouse themselves from a hypocritical and perverse life,
C.Herald  catholic  scandals  pope  speeches 
december 2018 by thomas.kochi
Steve Bannon goes to war with the Pope
His greatest failings outside the spiritual and theological are siding with the globalist elites against the citizens of the nations of the world. Memo to the Pope — if you want to cultivate a media image of working man’s champion, great; but you then actually have to stand up for the little guy, and not with the rich and powerful who drive the UN and the EU in favor of their own internationalist agendas at the little guy’s expense. His attempts to demonize the populist movement in Europe and the United States are beneath contempt.’
catholic  pope  contrarians 
december 2018 by thomas.kochi
Pope points to Mary’s trust in God on solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
“Today we look at the beauty of Our Lady, who was born and lived without sin, always docile and transparent with God. This does not mean that life was easy for her. Living with God does not magically solve problems,” “Why not start your days like this? It would be nice to say every morning: ‘Here I am, Lord, today your will be done in me’,”After the Annunciation, the angel departed and Mary’s “problems began immediately,” Mary knew that “she would become the Mother of God, but the angel had not explained it to others,” Francis explained. “Think of her irregular situation according to the law, the torment of St Joseph, the skipped life plans, what the people would say…”“The angel leaves the Virgin alone in a difficult situation… And she trusts,” he said. “We ask the Immaculate to have the grace to live like this.”
catholic  pope  Christmas 
december 2018 by thomas.kochi
In new book on clergy and religious life, Pope Francis addresses homosexuality
The Strength of a Vocation:“The issue of homosexuality is a very serious issue that must be adequately discerned from the beginning with the candidates, if that is the case. We have to be exacting. In our societies it even seems that homosexuality is fashionable and that mentality, in some way, also influences the life of the Church,” “It’s not just an expression of an affection. In consecrated and priestly life, there’s no room for that kind of affection. Therefore, the Church recommends that people with that kind of ingrained tendency should not be accepted into the ministry or consecrated life. The ministry or the consecrated life is not his place.”“have to urge homosexual priests, and men and women religious to live celibacy with integrity, and above all, that they be impeccably responsible, trying to never scandalize either their communities or the faithful holy people of God by living a double life. It’s better for them to leave the ministry or the consecrated life rather than to live a double life.”
pope  catholic  gender  celibacy  sexuality 
december 2018 by thomas.kochi
The papacy is working hard to combat the sex trade
EVEN THE Holy See’s greatest defenders would acknowledge this much: this is not an easy time for the Vatican to be burnishing its credentials as a defender of vulnerable youngsters from exploitation. As a colleague wrote recently, there is good reason to expect the fallout from clerical abuse scandals to get worse.But, in what is one of the great paradoxes of the current papacy, Pope Francis has repeatedly returned to the issue of people-trafficking, and the closely related problem of sexual exploitation, especially of minors. In the thinking of the Vatican, the manipulation of vulnerable individuals for the sex trade is the epitome of a darkly materialistic age, when everything can be monetised and intangible values are cast aside. Over and above these philosophical assertions, it is acknowledged by people who work in the field (including those who are far from the church) that Catholic-inspired projects and charities have a role to play in combating people-trafficking and the sex trade, one that cannot easily be matched by their secular counterparts.Over and above these philosophical assertions, it is acknowledged by people who work in the field (including those who are far from the church) that Catholic-inspired projects and charities have a role to play in combating people-trafficking and the sex trade, one that cannot easily be matched by their secular counterparts.Whatever motivates the individuals involved in these Christian charities (who may be religious professionals or lay-people, devout or otherwise), it is probably not the desire to improve the Holy See’s image, or even to put into practice some theological principle about the dignity of the human person. There is simply a job to be done and they get on with it.Vatican has other failings. Here, at least, it is sincere
catholic  Economist  charity  Vatican  pope 
november 2018 by thomas.kochi
New book throws light on Viganò and McCarrick
“The truth emerges,” Ben Bradlee, the former editor of the Washington Post once said.“Truth is humble, truth is silent, the truth is not noisy,” the Pope said during Mass a week after Viganò had published his testimony. He added that “with people who seek only scandal, who seek only division” the only response is “silence”.
catholic  pope  scandals  books  A.Tornielli 
november 2018 by thomas.kochi
Why this conservative Catholic defends the Pope and Amoris Laetitia
Two years ago Pope Francis was presented with a list of “dubia,” known as doubts, by four cardinals who wanted him to clarify a teaching document on marriage and family life. The Princes of the Church, two of whom have died, are still waiting for a response and complain about not being able to meet with Francis to discuss their concerns.It was a different story for British Catholic writer Stephen Walford, a married father-of-five who teaches the piano and has a sideline in theological writing.“If we have to use labels, I’m what you call a conservative Catholic, I’ve always tried to be obedient to the Popes’ teachings, whatever they are,” “I’m a family man, married with five children, trying to live what ‘Amoris Laetitia’ is about in the general sense.”“I see no ambiguity in that document whatsoever,”“People are looking for ambiguity when it’s not there. The Pope hasn’t changed the general teaching on confession and holy communion [for divorced and remarried], but he’s opened a pathway in certain cases.”That pathway, he explains, is built on discernment and the Church’s long tradition of moral theology which combines both proclaiming unchanging truths but applying those truths to people’s lives.Mr Walford sets this out in detail in a new book “Pope Francis the Family and Divorce: In Defence of Truth and Mercy”, in which the Pope writes in the preface that "Amoris Laetitia" should be read as part of the Church’s constantly maturing tradition.“Of course some traditionalists have been up in arms for years about anyone since John XXIII. To me, is it really that far from Protestantism? It’s a pick and choose Catholicism now for people who would suggest they hold the teachings most dear, the purest form of Catholicism. And yet the hypocrisy is astounding. They are saying ‘we’ll accept this from this Pope, and we won’t accept that’.Discernment, he goes on, is crucial and helps the Church distinguish different cases. The single mother with children who is abandoned by her husband and enters into a new marriage is different from a man who leaves his wife and family for another woman.
catholic  pope  controversies 
november 2018 by thomas.kochi
Letter from Pope Francis to Cardinal Wuerl.
To our Venerable Brother.."That they may be all one ,as you ,Father, are in you and I in you,that they may be also in us,that the woid may believe that you sent me (John 17:21).This is the horizon from which we are continually invited to discern all our actions
pope  catholic  letters 
october 2018 by thomas.kochi
What Óscar Romero’s Canonization Says About Pope Francis
Reassessing the Catholic Church’s dubious history in Latin America:"I implore you, I beg you, I order you, in the name of God: stop the repression!” As the archbishop read the Gospel, the assassins pulled up to the chapel. As he raised the consecrated bread and wine, the gunman fired a shot to the heart.Nearly four decades later, Pope Francis has declared Óscar Romero a saint. An archbishop murdered at the altar, in the manner of England’s Thomas Becket, would seem a simple case. But Romero’s path to canonization—at an October ceremony at Saint Peter’s Basilica, in Rome—has been tortuous. At a moment when bishops in the United States and around the world are being called to account for their criminal cover-up of priestly sexual abuse, Óscar Romero stands in stark contrast as a bishop who strove to be holy by being accountable—a voice for the voiceless rather than for the Church and its patrons. To celebrate Romero, the Church has to address unholy episodes in its past—episodes as troubling, in their own way, as the current sexual-abuse scandal. The canonization also forces us to consider Francis in a different light—as a figure scarred by Latin American politics and his own encounter with fear and violence, compromise and complicity.
catholic  saints  pope 
october 2018 by thomas.kochi
Wealthy Catholics to target Cardinals with ‘Red Hat Report’
Austen Ivereigh@austeni How wealthy US libertarian allies of Viganò who oppose Pope Francis are exploiting abuse crisis to undermine his allies (incl Parolin) & to bend the next conclave to its neo-Jansenist ideology..“The Better Church Governance Group” held its launch on the campus of the Catholic University of America (CUA) with the stated intention of producing its “Red Hat Report” by April 2020.The Red Hat Report, dubbed as the group’s “flagship project,” is designed to audit all 124 current papal electors.Better Church Governance’s Operations Director, Jacob Imam, said the organization was not meant as an attack on Pope Francis, though he asked the crowd of nearly forty attendees: “What if we would have had someone else in 2013 who would have been more proactive in protecting the innocent and the young?”“Had we had the Red Hat Report, we may not have had Pope Francis,”Imam, who is currently a Marshall Scholar of the University of Oxford and converted to Catholicism from Islam three years ago, alleged that following the 2013 conclave that elected Francis, many major news outlets based their knowledge of the newly elected pope on what they could find on Wikipedia
catholic  pope  conservatives 
october 2018 by thomas.kochi
Both on China and the abuse crisis, Pope Francis faces a trust deficit
Five days after announcing a landmark deal with China over the appointment of bishops, Pope Francis released a letter to Chinese Catholics on Wednesday. The gist of it amounts to, “Trust me.”Specifically, Francis asked the roughly 13 million Catholics in China to “place your trust ever more firmly in the Lord of history and in the church’s discernment of his will.”In some ways, the situation isn’t entirely dissimilar from the approach Francis has taken on the charges leveled a month ago by Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.In some ways, it’s an understandable request. From the beginning of his papacy, Francis has shown himself to be a friend of victims, underdogs and oppressed peoples everywhere, and to have a keen pastoral heart for those shoved to life’s peripheries. It’s thus perhaps not unreasonable for him to think that he could rely on a certain benefit of the doubt.The problem he faces, however, is two-fold.First, Francis suffers from an institutional trust deficit that didn’t begin with him, but he inherited it and it’s part of his reality.Moreover, both constituencies are feeling a little ambivalent about Francis himself these days, wondering if despite the new tone the underlying music from the Church really hasn’t changed that much.Transparency, in other words, isn’t just a “best practice” in both avoiding and remedying scandals, though it certainly is that. It’s also a down payment on trust - a payment that can’t just be made once, but regularly, like gas and water, because otherwise the service gets turned off.Both on China and on sex abuse, making that payment may be costly for Francis and his Vatican team, but experience may prove that doing is no longer a luxury but a necessity.
J.Allen  catholic  pope  scandals  accords  China 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
Conservatives must face John Paul II's legacy in sex abuse crisis
First, it is always an honor to be mentioned alongside Frs. Spadaro and Martin, as well as Professor Faggioli. But, while I can't presume to speak for them, I can assure Ms. Eberstadt that the reason I called Vigano's filthy lies a "putsch" attempt was because he not only mixed just enough truth amidst the lies to tantalize many journalists for a week, and apparently still has her believing him, but he called for the pope to resign. In the face of the fact that Francis is the only pope who ever really took action against McCarrick, this call for his resignation was self-evidently an attempt at triggering a putsch, the modern day ecclesial equivalent of the shot fired by the cruiser Aurora to trigger the October Revolution in 1917. This is what Viganò and his crowd of admirers want, for Francis to go.I detest hypocrites. I do not think John Paul's dreadful legacy on sex abuse takes away from the great things he did, but it does require us to rethink the whole "John Paul the Great" cult. I do not believe all the diplomatic work on behalf of the church that McCarrick undertook is vitiated because we know now he was living a double life for many years and what he kept hidden was predatory and disgusting. Still, to give credence to Viganò's unproven and self-evidently score-settling allegations, dribbled out through friendly media outlets aligned against the pope, and not to smell a rat? You have to be willfully obtuse. Eberstadt may not see it. Weigel may not see it. Still, their ideology blinds them.John Paul II, more than any other person, set the model for obfuscation and cover-up that became the sex abuse scandal. Saying so does not make me a partisan. It is the simple truth.
catholic  Reporter  scandals  pope 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
House of card(inal)s
The problem is that the current scandals reflect corruption of clergy, leadership and the institution itself, going far beyond the sexual abuse alleged. The roots of the corruption were sown as the institution that evolved from a tribal guerrilla movement that the Roman empire co-opted, to a militant state, to an empire and, finally, to adapt to modern demands for specialization and efficiency, to a corporate institution.The problem is that, as it “corporatized” and specialized, it made the mistake of many companies — it began to focus on protecting the institution, rather than meeting the needs of the customer, in this case, the “faithful.”.. the estimated $170 billion operating budget of the U.S. church, $100 billion is hospitals and health care, $50 billion is colleges and universities, $10 billion is churches and parishes, $5 billion is charity — note the relatively small proportion devoted to pastoral work of spreading the gospel and helping parishioners, though of course schools and hospitals could be considered pastoral or charitable in some cases.It would be a miracle if a secretive and tightly controlled organization with a $170 billion operating budget did not have other hidden scandals.The problem is that the pope is a product of the socialist, revolutionary theology, Latin American wing of the church.Unfortunately, he has adopted the favorite strategy of authoritarian socialist leaders when the heat is turned up: resorting to extreme nationalism and creating external “threats.” Venezuela’s former president Hugo Chavez and Cuba’s communist revolutionary and former president Fidel Castro went for “American imperialism.” Pope Francis is going for “the devil.” The problem for socialist leaders is, when their economic and political foundations crumble, such nationalistic trope never works for long.
catholic  America  criticism  pope 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
The left-leaning German news weekly strongly criticises the Holy Father
Here are five areas where it takes a particularly critical stance..Division in the upper levels of the Church..Criticism not just from ‘archconservatives’..Francis “does not really listen to people who don’t share his views”, many believers end up “disenfranchised”..The wrong silences..Argentine background ..Juan Pablo Gallego, who prosecuted Grassi, says that Pope Francis won’t return to Argentina because he would face heavy criticism over his handling of abuse cases..Bad advisers..some of the Pope’s “advisers and assistants” are “in more or less obvious concubinage with representatives of one sex or the other.”..a document supposedly commissioned by Pope Benedict, describing the “gay lobby” in the Vatican.
Spiegel  pope  catholic  criticism 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
Pope Francis Takes Responsibility for China Deal
Francis said the agreement was the fruit of a dialogue that has taken several years.“The Vatican team worked a lot,”Cardinal Parolin has a special devotion to the lens; he studies all of the documents down to the period, comma, notes, and this gives me a great assurance.”“You know that when you make a peace agreement or a negotiation, both sides lose something,” “This is the law.And you move ahead.”..the dialogue that led to the agreement was a process of going two steps forward and one step back. “Then, months passed without speaking to each other; and then the time of God, which appears to be [the time of the] Chinese. Slowly. This is wisdom, the wisdom of the Chinese.” “the bishops who were in difficulty were studied case-by-case,” and “dossiers came on to my desk about each one. And I was responsible for signing the case of the bishops.““I think of the resistance, the Catholics who have suffered. It’s true. And they will suffer. Always, in an agreement, there is suffering. They have a great faith.”He said they have written him, saying that “what the Holy See, what Peter says, is that which Jesus says. The martyrial faith of these people today goes ahead. They are the great ones!
accords  catholic  China  pope 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
The Benedict XVI speech that everyone missed
The Benedict Option, Rod Dreher’s much discussed book about how St Benedict’s withdrawal from a corrupt and declining Rome offers a model for Christians today..the “September Speeches” of Benedict XVI..The quintet forms an accessible entry point to the thought of Benedict on how biblical faith relates to reason, science, politics and law.he first remains the most (in)famous, the Regensburg address of September 12, 2006, in which Benedict argued that biblical faith is reasonable, and therefore to act against reason is to act contrary to faith in the God of Abraham, incarnate in Christ Jesus. Hence, violence in the name of faith – as is claimed by terrorist jihadis – is contrary to reason.Exactly two years later, September 12, 2008, in Paris, addressing the world of culture at the Collège des Bernardins, once home to the Cistercians, Benedict argued in the opposite direction, namely that the world of reason needs the intellectual motivation provided by faith. The monks were motivated by their search for God, but their work of research on the Word of God gave rise to an entire culture of literature, science and scholarship.Another two years passed, and Benedict gave his historic address at Westminster Hall on September 17, 2010. The following year at the Bundestag in Berlin, the fourth speech was given on September 22, 2011. The two speeches argued that law and politics had to follow the dictates of reason, not revelation, but that human nature gives rise to a moral order that must be respected.The final September speech was given the following year on September 15, 2012 in Beirut, where Benedict explored freedom and truth in the context of religious pluralism, articulating a vision of peace for Lebanon and the Middle the Catholic faith can be credible in the face of the moral counter-witness of so many of her clergy.“If the Church does not know how to renew itself again this time with God’s help, then the whole project of our civilisation is at stake again,” Gänswein said. “For many it looks as if the Church of Jesus Christ will never be able to recover from the catastrophe of its sin – it almost seems about to be devoured by it.”The crisis of the Church is at its core a crisis of the clergy,” Gänswein said. “And that now the hour of the sovereign laity has struck, especially in the new and independent Catholic media, as almost embodied by Rod Dreher.”Gänswein suggested that Dreher’s approach was developed in dialogue with Ratzinger’s concept of the Church as a creative minority.Last week, this September, it seemed like the old monk was speaking again.
C.Herald  pope  speeches  ideas  philosophies  books 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
Glen Argan: Francis is making slow but sure progress
VatiLeaks had fostered the perception that the Pope(Benedict) was the captain of a ship of fools. The cardinals entering the March 2013 conclave were resolute that, among other qualities, the next pope should be a man who would sweep the deck and impose clear discipline on the ranks.That man chosen was Pope Francis..from well outside the Vatican club and owed no debts to those within it. He immediately set up his Council of Cardinals, nine diocesan bishops who advise him on running the Church’s internal matters. His annual Christmas greetings with the Curia also became an event filled, not with sweet remembrances of the year past, but chastisements and moral advice to avoid the sins that can occur in an entrenched bureaucracy.Many say real reforms to that bureaucracy have been slow to arrive. Still, Pope Francis has made more than his share of enemies. To those who want reform, this is a good sign, but to those whose careers are rooted in the curia, the negative papal attention can lead to resentment.So it should be no surprise that some have publicly tried to discredit the Pope and even force his resignation. To those in the bureaucracy, he represents a formidable threat to their established way of life. It would serve their purposes to have Francis disgraced and rendered ineffective, if not totally out of the picture.Pope Francis’ Christmas remarks to the curia have included calls for greater holiness. Structural reforms are needed, but will be of no avail if those implementing them are cut from the same cloth of careerism and in-fighting which has been the norm. Earlier this year, the Pope even issued a letter to all the faithful — Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad) — underlining the universal call to holiness. As the Pope wrote in his recent letter, holiness is the most attractive face of the Church. An evident lack of holiness is the Church’s repulsive face.Whatever his faults, Pope Francis has pointed us in the right direction, a direction opposite from the deplorable situation indicated in the butler’s leaked documents.
catholic  pope  Register 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
McCarrick – the real choices
If you were a “successful” Church leader bringing in money and vocations, it was assumed that any allegations against you were an “attack on the Church”.That is how the most notorious of all abusers, Legionaries of Christ founder Marcial Maciel, could continue to be protected by the Vatican long after allegations of abuse first surfaced. So it is no surprise to discover that Sodano also nurtured McCarrick, the creator of the Papal Foundation – which channelled huge amounts of dollars to Rome – and the greatest vocations fisher of his generation.The mood in the American Church is ugly. In the wake of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report and the McCarrick revelations, people are demanding answers. The natural American response to any scandal is essentially juridical: they demand a probe, call in the FBI, and punish the offenders. They want the same now, starting with Francis.But while the Church has a penal law, it is not, naturally a punitive institution. Punishment has a twin purpose: both to “reform the offender” – to prevent a person continuing in bad ways – as well as to “restore justice and repair scandal”, that is, to make clear to the world where the Church stands: to send a clear message about what is right or wrong. The second assumes that a wrongdoing has come to light.Is this “cover-up” or a prudential decision by a Pope taking into account a variety of factors? The depraved behaviour was from decades earlier, and while very wrong, it wasn’t criminal: there was no concealment from civil authorities involved. Nor was there a public scandal demanding a public act of reproof. As for reforming the offender, McCarrick was an old man, who no longer represented a threat to anyone.John Paul II’s canonisation cause was moving ahead; the question of why he had named McCarrick Archbishop of Washington would certainly have been asked, adding to the controversy over the abusive founder of the Legionaries of Christ. And what of all those seminarians suborned by McCarrick all those years earlier, who were now well-known parish priests: did they want all this reopened? Did they want to be put in a position of being quizzed by their parishioners?Popes Benedict and Francis were dealing with an old man whose moral corruption decades earlier involved no crime and no public scandal. If they decided it was not in the Church’s interests to make it all known, who are we to judge them?
A.Ivereigh  C.Herald  pope  scandals 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
The Catholic Crisis as It Stands Now
If the Church is in the middle of a cold civil war between a Benedict faction and a Francis faction, the question all laypeople have is whether that factionalism has now become all-consuming, so that even the punishment of flagrant sexual abuse is subordinated to factional concerns. Pope Francis should dignify us with an answer.
catholic  scandals  pope 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
When the Far-right teams up with those critical of Pope Francis
Populist are allying with conservative Christians to defend religious identity from Islam and secularization. The international anti-multiculturalist movement run by the Italian League, and the four Visegrad countries, Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro and Austria.Vendée’s revenge – religious fanatism to protect class interests and privileges Even Voltaire’s homeland is suffering a bit from the wind blowing from the east and from overseas, if the former minister of the Sarkozy family and practicing Catholic, Nadine Morano makes blatant claims of a “White” France, walking on a ground already ploughed by the paladins of the anti-gay marriage, Manif pour tous and by the neo-con of Sens Commun. All belonging to that reactionary front that by rediscovering God have shortened its distances Salvini’s anti-immigrant Italy. Europe is haunted by a new Ghost, this time white. Is it Vendée’s revenge on the long cultural hegemony of the Republican Enlightenment?“The cultural convergence between national-populism and the Catholic right both hostile to Bergoglio’s ecumenism is a real phenomenon and is particularly evident in Italy, the only country in Western Europe where populists are in power” A recent Pew study reveals a reversal trend in the hitherto contagious march of secularism, especially in Greece and in the former communist countries, where the term “Christian” (over 70% of those questioned) is increasingly linked to nationalism and conservative social positions. Salvini: “I believe that people of Catholic sensitivity have been able to appreciate many of our struggles, especially in recent years - Salvini declares to Rossoporpora - from the establishment of the family as the core of society, formed by father and mother, and not by anonymous parents 1 and 2 which are quite disturbing, up to the defense of those religious symbols that also belong to our cultural heritage and say much of our common roots as the Nativity Scene or the Crucifix in public offices. Protecting these symbols also means protecting our history and culture”.
catholic  pope  alt-right  populism 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
In these times, it seems like the Great Accuser has been unchained and is attacking bishops,' the Pope said
The Great Accuser, as he himself says to God in the first chapter of the Book of Job, ‘roams the earth looking for someone to accuse’.“In these times, it seems like the Great Accuser has been unchained and is attacking bishops.”“True, we are all sinners, we bishops,” he added. “He tries to uncover the sins, so they are visible in order to scandalize the people.A bishop’s strength against the Great Accuser is prayer, that of Jesus and his own, and the humility of being chosen and remaining close to the people of God, without seeking an aristocratic life that removes this unction.A good bishop also does not “try to find refuge with the powerful of elite,” “The ‘elites’ criticise bishops, while the people has an attitude of love towards the bishop.“This is almost a special unction that confirms the bishop in his vocation.”
C.Herald  catholic  scandals  pope 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
Pope should not resign, but church abuse tribunal needed: Bannon
Bannon, himself a Catholic, clearly distanced himself from Vigano, saying a papal resignation was not appropriate.“This is as serious as it gets. We can’t have memos and letters and accusations. The pope is from an unbroken chain the Vicar of Christ on Earth. You don’t just sit there and say ‘I think you should resign’,” said Bannon during a visit to Rome.Instead, he said an independent tribunal had to be created to look into every aspect of the multiplying scandals.“This has nothing to do with whether you are a liberal Catholic or right-wing traditionalist ... It can’t be seen as a political witchhunt.”
catholic  pope  scandals  SteveBannon 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
The bruised and bloodied church will be reborn -- or it won't
There is a reason that Pepsi never attacked Coca-Cola head-on, or vice-versa. They did not want to "ruin the brand," in the parlance of marketing. They did not want people turning against the concept of soda altogether. So, instead, each company adopted clever ways of situating their project in the consumer's mind, and they even occasionally took an implied swipe at their competitor — e.g. Coke was "the real thing," in one ad campaign, implying Pepsi was not real, or at least nothing better than a copycat.The Catholic Church is not a soda company. It is not a company at all. But it is hard not to recognize that this summer, conservative critics of Pope Francis became so overwrought that they decided to ruin the brand. As Massimo Faggioli explained in a brilliant essay at Commonweal, in seeking to de-legitimize Francis, they have de-legitimized all popes and more. "[W]hat is really in danger is the bond between the church as a people and ecclesiastical authority — not just particular church officials, but the very idea of ecclesiastical authority."The fact that this result is ironic — the same crowd attacking Francis has been repeating, albeit often in a misunderstood way, Pope Benedict XVI's warning against the "dictatorship of relativism" for years — is little comfort. And, irony is not the problem here. Hypocrisy is.
catholic  scandals  pope  Reporter 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
Migrants, "there is no peaceful future except in solidarity"
"Work creates dignity, subsidies, when not linked to the precise objective of giving back work and employment, are addictive and de-contributised""The current centrality of financial activity compared to the real economy is not random: behind this there is the choice of someone who thinks, wrongly, that money is made with money. Money, real money, is done with work. It is the work that gives dignity to man, not money. Unemployment affecting several European countries is the consequence of an economic system that is no longer capable of creating jobs, because it has put an idol at the center, which is called money.he distribution and participation in the wealth produced, the insertion of the company in a territory, social responsibility, corporate welfare, equal treatment of wages between men and women, the conjugation of working time and life time, the respect for the environment, the recognition of the importance of man in relation to the machine and the recognition of the right salary, the ability to innovate are important elements that keep alive the community dimension of a company. Pursuing an integral development calls for attention to the topics I have just listed ".
catholic  pope 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
The (inaccurate) memories of the former nuncio who wants the head of the Pope
New denials of Viganò’s memorandum that asks for the renunciation of Francis, the Pope who punished Cardinal McCarrick. An analytic chronology of events based on the news that has emerged so far
catholic  pope  scandals  A.Tornielli 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
What has Pope Francis covered up?
DamianThompson:..the pontificate of ‘The Great Reformer’ has already ended in failure; whether it also ends in disgrace remains to be seen.
catholic  pope  scandals  DamianThompson 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
Viganò, a blessing in disguise for Francis
Was there a coup in the Vatican? Perhaps not, but there is proof that for the first time ever the Pope is a global leader.What is really new – and it is the first time in the history of the world – is that news about the Holy See has gained instant global interest. In the past, Vatican news was important only in the Western, Christian world and in particular in countries with Catholic majorities.The overall sense is not only that Francis is a saint (which perhaps he is as it is emerging in all of this, and again one should thank Viganò for it) is no religious element, not actual elements of faith involved, and perhaps the Pope’s opponents shot themselves in the foot showing how weak is their hand.Here everything becomes very complicated. Whereas seeing the problem can be easy, solving it practically can be very difficult, because it is not religious but perhaps highly political, where the Church must be extremely prudent..there is the delicate issue of political management of the Church, of its global reach, and the relationship with civil authorities. This will become more complicated as time goes by and as the trend of global reach of the Church grows.Therefore, regardless of future issues, the Church will become more controversial and subject to more pushes and pulls by all authorities and political and economic centers. With this, yes, Viganò’s statement is just the beginning of a new set of frictions between the Church and secular powers.Yes, after all, this is the history of the Church, but its scale and scope now is totally different. For this the Church, and the world, must prepare.
catholic  pope  scandals 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
Why It’s a Good Thing Pope Benedict Resigned and We Have Pope Francis
“If only we had been given a sign,” joked Catholic Vote’s Joshua Mercer. Accompanying his comment was a photo of lightning hitting the dome of St. Peter’s the day Pope Benedict announced he would resign.He thinks Benedict should not have resigned. That God did not want Francis to be pope the last five years. Viganò’s letter proves it.My reaction was the exact opposite.The lightning that hit St. Peter’s dome the night of Benedict’s announcement was not, I believe, a sign of God’s displeasure. It was, rather the lightning of Luke 17:24, as described in the Battle Hymn of the Republic: “He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword: His truth is marching on.” May that lightning now cleanse His Church.
catholic  pope  scandals 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
It’s Time to Turn Down the Temperature
It was a mistake for Archbishop Viganò to call for the resignation of Pope Francis. For the Pope to resign under a cloud would be a catastrophe for Catholic credibility and unity.It was also a mistake for some of those defending Pope Francis to denounce the character and truthfulness of Archbishop Viganò himself.There is a reasonable way forward, both in terms of rooting out corruption in the Church and restoring a measure of harmony.
catholic  pope  scandals  register 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
Trump defends Pope Francis’s handling of the abuse crisis
Donald Trump has defended Pope Francis’s handling of the abuse crisis, saying that the Pontiff is handling the situation “the best anyone can handle it”... the abuse scandal dated back 70 years, and was “one of the sadder stories ’cause I respect so much the Catholic Church.”I’m surprised at McCarrick, everyone knew him and so incredible to see these things.
catholic  pope  Trump  scandals  C.Herald 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
Benedict, Viganò, Francis, and McCarrick: Where things stand on nuncio’s allegations
It is also possible that the archbishop wasn’t certain exactly what happened, and that he overcommitted to what he did know by claiming to have “certainty” Benedict had imposed canonical sanctions. This seems a likely scenario, given that Viganò’s entire testimony has a certain dramatic flair.It seems unlikely that semantic disagreements about Viganò's claims will lead Catholics to dismiss entirely the questions he has raised, implicitly and explicitly, about whether, and by whom, McCarrick’s situation was inadequately addressed or simply papered over.
catholic  pope  scandals  back-and-forth  usage  CNA 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
Pope Francis recommends silence before forces of scandal and division
The Pope’s homily concerned the Gospel from Luke (4:16-30), when Jesus returns to Nazareth and and the fury of the townspeople when he refused to perform miracles for them(Catholic Herald)..those who attacked Jesus “were not persons, they were a pack of wild dogs that threw him out of the city. They did not reason. They shouted. Francis recommended “silence and prayer” when one is confronted “with people lacking good will, with people who only seek scandal, who seek only division, who seek only destruction, even within the family: silence, prayer.”“The truth is meek. The truth is silent. The truth is not noisy,"Gospel story helps us “to reflect how to act in daily life, when there are misunderstandings” and “to understand how the father of lies, the accuser, the devil, acts to destroy the unity of a family, of a people.” “silence wins, through the Cross.” “the dignity of the Christian is anchored in the power of God.”“May the Lord give us the grace to discern when we should speak and when we should stay silent. This applies to every part of life: to work, at home, in society.”In this way, “we will be closer imitators of Jesus.”
pope  catholic  scandals  AmericaMag 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
Vigano’s Testimony; McCarrick’s Defiance
Pope Francis has asked journalists to provide the initial response to the archbishop’s testimony. The Holy Father declared that he will “not say one word,” and no senior Vatican officials have come to his defense on the substance of the charges.So the journalists are hashing it out,The simplest answer is that, in fact, there were no sanctions, and that Archbishop Viganò somehow misunderstood what he had been told by the Congregation for Bishops and what his predecessor as nuncio in Washington, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, had told Cardinal McCarrick...As a journalist, then, I would conclude that there are four major episodes of defiance that make it plausible that Archbishop Theodore McCarrick could have defied sanctions placed upon him.
catholic  pope  scandals  back-and-forth  register 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
The Power Play Driving the Latest Vatican Crisis
the letter is a power play by Viganò as much as a cri de coeur calling for a cleanup of the Church.The questions fit the pattern of those raised by every abuse case to come to light in recent decades, which generally fall into these lines: Who knew what when? Who acted and didn’t act? Who treated abuse as a sin and who as a crime to be punished? And who in the Vatican hierarchy was aware that abuse cases were to be taken seriously, not to be dismissed as calumnious attacks on church officials? More specifically, in this case: What exactly did Francis know about McCarrick? Did Benedict indeed sanction the then-cardinal in 2009, and if so, why weren’t those sanctions applied?How Francis responds will define his papacy.
catholic  pope  scandals  back-and-forth  AtlanticMag 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
Pope Francis and McCarrick: where does the evidence lead?
Claim 1: Pope Benedict XVI imposed sanctions on McCarrick.Do the facts support the claim? Mostly – but there are complications. Claim 2: Pope Francis was told about McCarrick’s depravity Do the facts support the claim? Inevitably, it’s hard to say – nobody can read the Pope’s mind.Claim 3: Francis abandoned Benedict’s sanctions.Do the facts support the claim? The facts are, at least, not inconsistent with Viganò’s allegation.Claim 4: Francis made McCarrick an important adviser.Do the facts support the claim? Broadly, yes, though not every detail can be confirmed.What, then, does all this add up to? Everyone will draw their own conclusions. My own is that, while a position of agnosticism can be justified – especially at this early stage – it’s not unreasonable to believe Viganò’s central claims.A more difficult position, I think, is to dismiss what Viganò is saying. There are two ways to do this.The first is to say that Viganò is a liar, even a fantasist, on a truly epic scale – a sort of Catholic Mark Hofmann.The second possible argument is that we just don’t know enough: that, as in a detective story, some key evidence can turn everything on its head. That if the files of the Vatican and the US nunciature were opened, or if the churchmen accused by Viganò came out to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, the picture would change dramatically.
catholic  scandals  pope  back-and-forth  C.Herald 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
Inside the extraordinary meeting between Pope Francis and abuse survivors
The eight were sitting in a circle. The pope sat in front of them. Fr McCafferty noted the informality of it, but the atmosphere was far from relaxed..the pope heard them out for an hour and a half.The pope threw in the odd English word. He would also use the word caca the Spanish equivalent of “poo” to describe those who cover up abuse.. the atmosphere was tense but civil. “It was robust, but he is an elderly gentleman. There was a recognition of that. It was very passionate. People spoke with their hearts.”“Jesus is knocking on the door not from the outside to give us inspiration,” the pope recounted. “He is knocking from within to get out of this church which is full of corruption and filth.”Fr McDonald said the pope looked like he was “bowed down” by the scale of abuse and could hardly believe what he was hearing.“Speaking from a human perspective, I saw a man I believe was broken by this darkness. You have this old man listening to all of this, but in a strange way he was very strong. There was some resolve or strength or toughness in him,” “He has a deep personal relationship with Jesus of Nazareth. If he didn’t have it, it doesn’t make sense.”Fr McDonald came away from the meeting believing the pope was serious about doing something about sex abuse.“The immediate difference it made is that it shaped the penitential rite for the papal Mass,” “I was amazed at his engagement, his energetic, sustained interest, his obvious desire to understand, his repeatedly seeking clarification. I found in Pope Francis a man who knows Jesus.”
catholic  pope  scandals  Ireland 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
Viganò's latest statement part of concerted campaign to attack papacy
Carlo Maria Viganò,is a prickly sort of man. He offered his 11-page dossier and pretended it was an account regarding former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, when it was really just chock-full of score settling, conspiracy theories, bigotry and misinformation.Now Viganò has published another statement, this time promising to explain what "really happened" regarding the meeting between the pope and Kim Davis.What Viganò actually demonstrates is that he is incapable of telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and that his anti-gay bigotry has so blinded him, he still mischaracterizes the issues surrounding Davis. His 11-page dossier was filled with anti-gay slurs and complaints about a "lavender mafia" that tried to do him in. Viganò's magnum opus of last week is falling apart. Edward Pentin at the National Catholic Register, who played a key role in disseminating Viganò's original dossier, now appears to be realizing that perhaps he has been taken for a ride.For this, the pope should resign? The pope should dignify the charges of this man who seems incapable of telling the truth, get down in the mud with this score-settler, and why?This man whom his sister now calls a "farabutto" or "scoundrel.". Let's admit it was a huge mistake for Benedict to get rid of the headache Viganò was at the Vatican by making him America's headache, and let's thank Francis — the guy who actually sacked McCarrick — for preserving the dignity of the papacy by refusing to get into the Viganò gutter
catholic  pope  scandals  Reporter 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
Viganò: Benedict did not want public sanctions because McCarrick was retired
It is interesting to note the explanation that the former nuncio gives: Pope Ratzinger probably did not want to publicly humiliate the cardinal harasser - who until then, let us remember, was not known to be also an abuser of minors - also because he was already retired. He no longer carried out the ministry of Archbishop of Washington and just over a year later, at eighty, he would also no longer be one of the cardinals with the right to participate in the conclave.The second hypothesis proposed by Viganò seems less logical: Pope Ratzinger was convinced that he would obey. It is legitimate in fact to ask: but if McCarrick showed himself to ignore these secret sanctions (or recommendations?) of the Pope, that he himself reminded (unsuccessfully) the cardinal, why did he not ask Benedict himself to intervene? Perhaps by transforming those secret indications - that had never become operative into public sanctions - would have made the whole Church aware of the serious moral problems, abuses and crimes committed by the important American cardinal?Viganò's interview with LifeSiteNews objectively represents another element that brings out the instrumental nature of the operation that has taken place in recent days: the request for the resignation of Francis, that is of the Pope who was the first to adopt public sanctions against McCarrick, the only one who had them enforced, and the Pope to take away the purple cap, as has not happened in the Church for almost a century.
catholic  pope  scandals  A.Tornielli 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
Facts and omissions of Viganò’s testimony against Francis
In any case, the pure and crude facts, and assuming that every detail told by the former nuncio is true, here is what happened. There is a holy Pope whose entourage (much less holy) promoted and made cardinal a homosexual bishop who abused his power to sleep with seminarians, even if it is not clear how much information had reach directly the ear of John Paul II, then perfectly capable of understanding and willing, to whom certainly could not pass unnoticed the importance of the appointment of the Archbishop of Washington. There is another Pope who has emerged today, Benedict, who (perhaps) would have ordered this cardinal to live withdrawn but without then being able to enforce his orders, who never flinched not even after seeing him arrive at the Vatican on several occasions, and without his nuncio to the USA (Viganò) having any problem in taking pictures next to him, in concelebrating with him, in having dinner with him, in pronouncing speeches in his presence. And finally, there is a Pope, Francis, who stripped the cardinal - despite being old and retired for some time – from his cardinal status after having reduced him to silence, forbidding him from celebrating in public. And yet it was of the latter’s head that the former nuncio today indignant is asking for, probably only because Francis had “dared” to appoint in the United States some bishop who are less conservative than those previously appointed, when it was cardinals like Bernard Law who advised on the American appointments. That it is a biased operation, it is evident to anyone who reflects on the succession of events, without the need to revisit information that tends to discredit the figure of Viganò.
catholic  pope  scandals  back-and-forth  A.Tornielli 
august 2018 by thomas.kochi
Here Are the Catholic Church Politics Behind That Letter Calling on Pope Francis to Resign
A scathing letter attacking Pope Francis over claims that he covered up allegations of sexual abuse by a high-profile American cardinal has brought into focus a crisis in the Catholic Church.The 11-page text, written by noted anti-gay conservative Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, calls for Francis to resign over his alleged negligence.Massimo Faggioli, a theology and religious studies professor at Villanova University, says the charges in Vigano’s letter are motivated by a personal vendetta on behalf of conservative American Catholics. “People are especially upset with the fact that Francis is opening the church on sexuality and homosexuality,”“So, here you have a very cynical alliance with a cynical agenda that has nothing to do with the sex abuse crisis.”Here’s a breakdown of the accusations against Francis and why they are coming up now.Who is calling for Pope Francis’ resignation and why?Conservative bishops in America have voiced their support for Vigano..What has Pope Fracis said about the accusations?Pope Francis declined to confirm or deny the claims by Vigano on Sunday during a press conference. He said the text, which he had read, “speaks for itself,” and that he trusted reporters to judge the claims in it for themselves.“It’s an act of trust,” “I won’t say a word about it.”Who Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the man accusing the Pope?Vigano has also been accused of covering up misconduct claims
Time  catholic  pope  scandals  testimonies  letters  back-and-forth 
august 2018 by thomas.kochi
The Man Who Took On Pope Francis: The Story Behind the Viganò Letter
The journalist, Marco Tosatti, said he had smoothed out the narrative. The enraged archbishop brought no evidence, he said, but he did supply the flair, condemning the homosexual networks inside the church that act “with the power of octopus tentacles” to “strangle innocent victims and priestly vocations.”“The poetry is all his,” The pope has said he won’t dignify it with a response, yet the allegations have touched off an ideological civil war, with the usually shadowy Vatican backstabbing giving way to open combat…Cardinal Bertone, who Archbishop Viganò writes in the letter “notoriously favored promoting homosexuals,” banished him to the United States..He said he needed to stay because his brother, a Jesuit biblical scholar, was sick and needed care, In 2012, when he was already in the United States as nuncio, or ambassador, the letters started appearing in leaks eventually pinned on the pope’s butler. The scandal consumed the Vatican and prompted intense blowback.But Archbishop Viganò’s brother, Lorenzo Viganò, told Italian journalists that his brother “lied” to Benedict that he had to remain in Rome “because he had to take care of me, sick.” To the contrary, he said he had lived in Chicago and was fine and hadn’t talked to his brother in years over an inheritance dispute.
NYTimes  catholic  pope  scandals  testimonies  letters  back-and-forth 
august 2018 by thomas.kochi
Vigano letter exposes the putsch against Pope Francis
Unfortunately, Vigano’s tissue of misinformation will leave its mark. In the midst of a feeding frenzy, no one stops to ask basic questions and even journalists can forget to undertake basic tasks like asking for corroboration or looking at the questions a text such as Vigano’s poses.Vigano is a disgruntled former employee. Such people are always a bit angry. They are also often a bit unreliable. He was always a crackpot. But, make no mistake: This is a coordinated attack on Pope Francis. A putsch is afoot and if the U.S. bishops do not, as a body, stand up to defend the Holy Father in the next 24 hours, we shall be slipping towards schism long before the bishops meeting in November. The enemies of Francis have declared war.
catholic  pope  scandals  back-and-forth  Reporter 
august 2018 by thomas.kochi
The bombshell
the funny thing is that it’s hard to see how Viganò’s misdeeds make him a liar. He may, in fact, be a culture warrior who has a grudge against Francis for sacking him from the nunciature and withholding the customary red hat. He may, in fact, be a talented Curial bureaucrat who torpedoed his career by asking questions better left unasked. And he may have made bad decisions when confronted with the misdeeds of others, like Nienstedt. But it’s hard to spin this past into the conclusion that Viganò is a fabulist. Indeed, he seems like exactly the sort of character who ends up spilling the beans on everything for a variety of motives, some noble and some less noble.Pointing to noted non-Catholic and bouillabaisse enthusiast Rod Dreher’s coverage of the breaking news, Alan Jacobs seems to think that nothing will come of this
catholic  pope  scandals  back-and-forth 
august 2018 by thomas.kochi
Viganò Goes "Nuclear" – Targeting Rome and US, Ex-Nuncio's "Saturday Night Massacre"
an 11-page memo that can only be described as "nuclear,"..Along the way, Viganò – a lead whistle-blower behind the 2012 "Vatileaks" fiasco, who's more recently become a public critic of Francis' over the Pope's approach in Amoris Laetitia – produces a laundry list of leading prelates both in the Vatican and the US who he alleges were aware of McCarrick's misconduct, as well as other indications of the disgraced prelate's influence with the current pontiff..To be sure, the statement contains a fair share of seeking to settle scores – among other gripes, Viganò (who lamented his transfer to Washington as a "punishment" from the outset) grinds his long-standing ax toward Benedict XVI's "Vice-Pope," the then-Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, alongside lambasting several allies of Francis while defending prelates the Pope reputedly views as "right-wing.
catholic  pope  scandals  usage  WhispLog 
august 2018 by thomas.kochi
Making sense of McCarrick cover-up charges against Pope Francis
Yet as it turns out, the meteorological storms Francis faced paled in comparison to the metaphorical ones breaking on Sunday, in part related to his overall handling of the clerical sexual abuse crisis, but more specifically to an astonishing claim by a former papal ambassador..Here’s my bottom line response: Take it seriously, but with a large grain of salt..there are at least four reasons why a large grain of salt is warranted.To begin with, the 11-page statement Viganò released to reporters probably undercut his own credibility in key respects.Second, Viganò has a history Third, Viganò arguably undercut his credibility by not dealing with his own record on the abuse issue.Fourth, it may be difficult for many observers to escape the impression that all this was orchestrated with a political agenda in mind.
catholic  pope  scandals  J.Allen 
august 2018 by thomas.kochi
Abuses, no new papal document. The letter has to be applied
The Pope” expects the Episcopal Conferences to take his letter “to the People of God” and its concrete indications seriously. The Pope considers the letter to be exhaustive and believes that the Church has equipped herself with the regulatory instruments and rules necessary to combat those who commit the crime of child abuse and also to hold superiors responsible if, due to negligence or other reasons, they do not act in an adequate manner, thinking of the good of the victims.In fact, the letter , contains precise and concrete indications, which are spiritual and pastoral, and therefore have nothing to do with laws, codes and regulations...the attempts by the galaxy of self-proclaimed Catholic and anti-papal sites, as well as by Vatican experts with a short memory, to pour all responsibility for the current crisis on Pope Francis seem pathetic. By conducting a selective battle only on the people who are presumed to be “close” to him, they forget when and how those people - bishops and cardinals - were can try to do so, slaughtering the reality of the facts, history and dates, just by forgetting the last fifty years of history.
catholic  pope  scandals  A.Tornielli 
august 2018 by thomas.kochi
Viganò’s accusations: What we know and what questions they raise
Asked about the letter during his press conference while returning to Rome from Ireland, Pope Francis confirmed that he had read it but refused to respond to it in detail, telling the journalists on the plane, “Read the statement carefully and make your own judgment. I will not say a single word on this.” He also said they had the “journalistic capacity” to draw their own conclusions and that once some time has passed, he may speak further in response.In this instance, what Archbishop Viganò does not allege is nearly as important as what he does. He does not say that Pope Francis knew about allegations that Archbishop McCarrick sexually abused a minor.Peter Isely, a survivor of abuse, told The New York Times that the letter appears to be about church politics. “This is infighting between curia factions that are exploiting the abuse crisis and victims of clergy sexual abuse as leverage in the struggle for church power,”
catholic  scandals  pope  back-and-forth  AmericaMag 
august 2018 by thomas.kochi
TESTIMONY by His Excellency Carlo Maria Viganò Titular Archbishop of Ulpiana Apostolic Nuncio
In this tragic moment for the Church in various parts of the world — the United States, Chile, Honduras, Australia, etc. — bishops have a very grave responsibility. Even in dismay and sadness over the enormity of what is happening, let us not lose hope! We well know that the great majority of our pastors live their priestly vocation with fidelity and dedication. It is in moments of great trial that the Lord’s grace is revealed in abundance and makes His limitless
mercy available to all; but it is granted only to those who are truly repentant and sincerely propose to amend their lives. This is a favorable time for the Church to confess her sins, to convert, and to do penance to be credible witnesses of the immeasurable love of Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life. .Francis is abdicating the mandate which Christ gave to Peter to confirm the brethren. Indeed, by his action he has divided them, led them into error, and encouraged the wolves to continue to tear apart the sheep of Christ’s flock.In this extremely dramatic moment for the universal Church, he must acknowledge his mistakes and, in keeping with the proclaimed principle of zero tolerance, Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example for cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them.Even in dismay and sadness over the enormity of what is happening, let us not lose hope! We well know that the great majority of our pastors live their priestly vocation with fidelity and dedication.It is in moments of great trial that the Lord’s grace is revealed in abundance and makes His limitlessmercy available to all; but it is granted only to those who are truly repentant and sincerely propose to amend their lives. This is a favorable time for the Church to confess her sins, to convert, and to do
testimonies  catholic  scandals  pope 
august 2018 by thomas.kochi
The Church is reeling from grave scandal, and Christians are crying out to heaven for reform and purification. It is time to end the Imperial Episcopate.Exalted titles and elaborate uniforms, for example, tend to distance bishops from their priests and people, and also subtly nudge them toward self-important and self-referential ways of thinking and acting. As the recent catastrophic scandals demonstrate, too many bishops have proven unable to act as pastors and evangelists and have instead behaved as managers and bureaucrats.Grotesque unchastity is an obvious symptom, but perhaps even more dangerous to the priesthood is the habit of mendacity that hides unchastity and other sinful habits.While deference to the bishop may begin with true reverence for his office, it too often leads to the growth of vanity, ambition, and clerical careerism. And so it is time to end the Imperial Episcopate.“In Christ Jesus I became your father through the Gospel,” wrote Saint Paul to the Corinthians, and from antiquity bishops and priests alike were called “Father.” The bishops of all the ecumenical councils are known as the Council Fathers, the early bishop-theologians are called the Fathers of the Church, and to this day the Bishop of Rome has Father as his formal and everyday title. It is time to restore the practice of calling all bishops Father, while letting all the other titles slip into history along with ostrich feathers and buskins.Eliminating auxiliary bishops would also remove a chief temptation to clerical careerism. At present, priests work to become auxiliaries so that later they can become diocesan bishops and eventually be promoted to metropolitan archbishop.And living as a shepherd in precisely that way will be the end of the Imperial Episcopate and a source of deep reform in the Church.
catholic  pope  scandals  counter-view  FirstThings 
august 2018 by thomas.kochi
Pope Francis’s Failed Abuse Letter
If you are new to this story, the letter sounds great.If I had not been following this story closely for years, I would be comforted by this epistle. Here’s why you should not be.It’s very late in the game for this or any Pope to think that words alone are credible. Pope John Paul II said similar things when clerical sexual abuse was exposed … but the status quo remained. Pope Benedict XVI was significantly more active in fighting the culture of abuse, but bad bishops remained in place. (The rumor is that when he was presented with a dossier detailing the extent of homosexuality in the Roman Curia, he resigned when he realized that he was powerless to combat it.) And now we have Francis, who releases a torrent of good words, but whose deeds, to this point, do not match them.The Pope's letter to the People of God: 1. Lays most of the emphasis on caring for victims 2. Spreads the blame to "all of us." 3. Glosses over egregious episcopal crimes 4. Never mentions homosexuality.Of course we must do everything we can for the victims of clerical abuse, but the exclusive focus on the victims is a slick PR stunt to shift attention away from the abusers and their enablers.Exactly right. Exactly. Ordinary Catholics — priests and laity alike — surely know that if rescue is going to come, it’s going to have to come from them.
catholic  pope  scandals  counter-view  AmCoservative 
august 2018 by thomas.kochi
Pope Francis’s letter on abuse was not enough. We need action
From start to finish, “Letter to the People of God” is full of language we have seen before, or minor variations on themes that have become clichés – little more than what folks in the trade call “boilerplate”.The letter is, in a word, inadequate: like the statement from USCCB president Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, an exercise in misdirection, blame-shifting, and obfuscation.Its incipit takes a quote from the First Letter of St Paul to the Corinthians (12:12-26) and misapplies it — for though the Church is indeed one Body, her sickness is in the head.Thirteen years have passed since we first heard that cri de coeur, and still the People of God await the cleansing of the house. Meanwhile, we are fed on what may charitably be called euphemism.Such words as these, given in this moment, are a grotesque parody of John the Seer.If Pope Francis is reticent to share the power of governance necessary to address the crisis and repair the Church he is nevertheless quite willing to share the blame with the whole body of the faithful.“The heart-wrenching pain of these victims, which cries out to heaven, was long ignored, kept quiet or silenced,” Pope Francis writes. “But their outcry was more powerful than all the measures meant to silence it, or sought even to resolve it by decisions that increased its gravity by falling into complicity.”The first sentence of that passage is bromide: mere rehearsal of fact, without even an attempt to warm over the stale descriptors.The second is an exercise in linguistic gymnastics that would make the Ministry of Truth blush
catholic  pope  scandals  usage  counter-view  C.Herald 
august 2018 by thomas.kochi
Pope Francis: Letter to the People of God (full text)
“If one member suffers, all suffer together with it” (1 Cor 12:26). Pope Francis has responded to new reports of clerical sexual abuse and the ecclesial cover-up of abuse. In an impassioned letter addressed to the whole People of God, he calls on the Church to be close to victims in solidarity, and to join in acts of prayer and fasting in penance for such "atrocities".
catholic  pope  scandals  letters 
august 2018 by thomas.kochi
‘What Francis Did Is Just Huge’ An Interview with Sr. Helen Prejean
Change happens when society grows and evolves, and we have alternative ways of keeping people safe. We’ve also learned from science. The fact that young juveniles’ brains are not yet as fully developed as adults influenced the Supreme Court’s decision to end capital punishment for juveniles. Teaching can change. The church endorsed slavery for a long time and quoted Scripture to do so. Jesus also had to deal with religious legalism. People were so attached to the letter of the law they missed the person and human dignity behind it.Pope Francis also has direct experience with prisoners. In 2015, I got a call about Richard Glossip, an innocent man on Oklahoma’s death row. We started a full-fledged campaign and I wrote a letter to Pope Francis. The pope got involved in the case by calling on the governor to commute his death sentence, which he did. I think Pope Francis helped save his life
catholic  pope  punishment 
august 2018 by thomas.kochi
Pope Francis Keeps Making it Easier for Catholic Parents to Raise Catholic Kids
Pope Francis took the extraordinary step of labeling capital punishment an attack on human dignity. In taking this stance on executions, the Pope changed the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church, a formational document, which had previously accepted the death penalty as a means of saving lives. For many Catholic parents, the change will bring consistency to a doctrine of love that makes church teachings slightly easier to explain to children, who are naturally adept at ferreting out hypocrisy.I am a “Cafeteria Catholic.” A doctrine of fairness, which is to say a doctrine of consistency, is appealing to me as a Catholic parent because it allows me to use fewer words to build a stronger faith in my boys. One of my boys’ favorite catch-phrases is “But you said … ” It’s a dialectical gambit that never fails to catch me in my hypocrisy By leaning into a theology of dignity for all and working to apply a consistent approach to earthly issues, Pope Francis continues to make it easier to raise Catholic kids by establishing and reiterating an overarching theme: God loves everyone. Period.
catholic  pope  punishment  debates  parenting 
august 2018 by thomas.kochi
Retired Pope Benedict accused of anti-Semitism after article on Christians and Jews
The central point of debate is Benedict’s denial the Catholic Church ever adopted “supersessionism,” the theological belief that God’s covenant through Christ replaced the covenant God made with the Jewish people, and his insistence at the same time that the Christian lens for reading the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) is the only valid one.
pope  catholic  Jewry  controversies 
august 2018 by thomas.kochi
How Pope Francis Is Changing the Catholic Church
Pope Francis is wearing a hangdog expression—all watchful eyes and soft apostolic chins. It’s how he looks opposite strongmen in Myanmar or posing with Donald Trump or preparing to berate the Vatican hierarchy for being out of touch and insular.But when the kids ask him questions, Francis brightens dramatically. He suddenly radiates ebullience and avuncular warmth. As a journalist who has covered Francis for years, I’ve seen this shift before.He is perched on the edge of his armchair fielding questions: about his first teacher (“Estela; I had her in first and third grade”), where he is from (“the most beautiful city in the world, Buenos Aires”), and what his favorite game was as a child (“We played a lot with kites”). Then one boy stands up and asks him what it felt like when he was elected pope.“But that question isn’t original!” Francis says with a chuckle. He turns pensive. “I felt peace. That’s the word. That’s not a lie. I’ve felt peace from that day to today.”Francis may be at peace, but in the five years since the 81-year-old pontiff became history’s first Jesuit pope, the world has slipped off its axis. The populist strain of nationalism that Francis has prophetically warned against is seemingly everywhere.Perhaps most important, he has proved an adept, and critics say ruthless, political operator, deftly layering over his opponents by placing allies in charge of the Roman Curia that governs the Church. The Curia is resilient and has lately reasserted the centrality of Rome against Francis’s collegial vision. Nevertheless, with each passing year, Francis creates more cardinals who will choose his successor and change the complexion and direction of the Church for decades to come.
pope  catholic 
july 2018 by thomas.kochi
The church can no longer ignore the chasm between Catholicism and Catholics
This summer marks 50 years since the publication of Pope Paul VI's encyclical, Humanae Vitae, the document clarifying the Catholic Church's opposition to artificial contraception. Both hated and hallowed, it signifies a watershed. The birth control question was controversial and Paul VI had removed it from discussion at the Second Vatican Council, putting it rather to a select commission of theologians, doctors and married couples. However, when the commission recommended the church modify its stance, the pope instead reasserted the traditional Augustinian understanding of marriage with its classic ordering of the goods and ends of sex. Against the counsel of experts, the pope practiced that mystical sort of stubbornness that belongs to successors of Peter, standing against the world and much of the church, too.Paul Claudel, that political and poetic French Catholic, said once, "It is not from the mote from one's neighbor's eye that the house of God can be built, but with the beams one takes out of one's own." The last 50 years, the chasm between Christian thought and the world's imagination has only widened; all while Christians, Catholics especially, have mostly played ignorant of the irreconcilables. A half-century since Humanae Vitae, too many Christians simply don't know Christianity, bereft not just of the barest facts of the faith, but more and more its fundamental moral instincts.
catholic  Ireland  referendums  pope  debates  anniversaries 
june 2018 by thomas.kochi
Pope Francis: World’s Pastor, Enforcer of Doctrine—or Spiritual Director?
Pope Francis’s declarations on LGBTQ issues have been producing spiritual whiplash. On one hand we have “Who am I to judge?” and “God made you like this. God loves you like this.” On the other, we have a reaffirmation that seminaries should not admit gay men, and no indication that Francis plans to alter basic church teaching on sexuality.Should we simply conclude, as CNN’s Delia Gallagher has, that “his words and the teaching of his Church are an ‘and/and’ proposition: God loves you, the Church welcomes you AND we think [celibacy and heterosexual marriage are] the best way to live”?People on the theological “left” distrust “and/and” because they are skeptical that the pastoral can survive the doctrinal. People on the “right” distrust it for the opposite reason. Ross Douthat’s new book To Change the Church: Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism worries that doctrine will give way to the pastoral whims of (post) modernity.Tara Isabella Burton and Andrew Sullivan both argue that Douthat overstates the contradiction between pastoral care and doctrinal tradition.What if we viewed Francis as not primarily a keeper of doctrine, or a compassionate pastor, but as a spiritual director in the mode of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises that form him as a Jesuit?
pope  debates 
may 2018 by thomas.kochi
Elite chef Mario Batali's hypocrisy
There is no celebrity chef more adored by elites nationwide than Mario Batali. They particularly like the way he champions women's rights and the rights of the poor. And so far, at least, they seem untroubled by revelations that he abuses both women and the poor. Maybe that's because they still approve of the way he called out the pope five years ago.Mario may like to abuse women but he loves to stand up for their rights. Not surprisingly, he is a big proponent of abortion rights (most abusers tend to be that way)Mario is also an advocate of two men marrying (those who are pro-abortion are almost always pro-gay marriage). That explains why he wasn't too happy with Pope Francis, who, while visiting the U.S. in 2015, met with Kim Davis; she is the Kentucky County clerk who refused to issue a marriage license to gay couples.Mario also loves the poor.he and his partner agreed to pay $5.25 million to settle their cash-skimming schemes at eight high-scale restaurants. They took 4-5 percent of the tips from employees, ripping off the busboys to pay for the sommeliers' salaries. The money that was paid out was shared by 1,100 employees; many were forced to work more than 40 hours a week without making minimum wage...the top prize for hypocrisy goes to Mario Batali.
scandals  pope  Spero  WilliamDonohue 
may 2018 by thomas.kochi
Review: In ‘Pope Francis: A Man of His Word,’ a Religious Leader Speaks at Length
...the first pope to adopt the name of St. Francis of Assisi. For Mr. Wenders, this is most significant. The film begins with a long, high angle shot of the Italian village of Assisi, done in time-lapse cinematography to convey what the filmmaker considers the timeless nature of the place.Mr. Wenders’s singular focus on Pope Francis is born of sincere admiration, but it also constitutes a canny strategy. This pope is a controversial one, and this portrait plucks him out of the context of debated opinions to let him speak without argument. “The world is mostly deaf,” he says at one point. He continues to describe his approach when traveling the world and meeting its leaders: “Talk little. Listen a lot.” Less welcome are Mr. Wenders’s brief attempts at depicting the life of St. Francis himself. It just feels dumb. And frustrating, especially considering that if Mr. Wenders wanted a classic film model to emulate for evoking St. Francis, he needed look no further than Roberto Rossellini’s splendid 1950 film “The Flowers of St. Francis.”
movies  NYTimes  pope 
may 2018 by thomas.kochi
Ancient heresies become new again
The decline of the prestige of Christianity raises the question of what will replace it. No culture can live without a philosophy which gives structure and meaning to social institutions and to individual lives. The alternative is nihilism, whose wintry bleakness makes it an unwelcome guest at the dinner table.So what, then?One answer comes from Pope Francis. Ever since he was elected in 2013, he has fingered two ancient Christian heresies, Gnosticism and Pelagianism.So what lessons can fans of the Pope – anyone, really – take from his analysis of Gnosticism and Pelagianism? Hundreds and hundreds of years of history amply demonstrate that they have failed to bring salvation, to bring happiness to the world. They don’t explain the world as it is and they lead to “a self-centred and elitist complacency, bereft of true love”.What’s the alternative? The Beatitudes, says Pope Francis. Perhaps it is time to take closer look at the time-tested power of Christianity to transform lives for the better.
Christianity  philosophies  pope 
may 2018 by thomas.kochi
UK-based Envirowaste makes spectacular historical find in a dust-bin
Pope St. Clement is considered to be the first apostolic father of the Catholic church. Clement served as pope nearly 2,000 years ago from 92 to 101 AD. He is believed to have been a disciple of Sts. Peter, the first pope, and Paul.Clement was elected to the papacy in 90 AD, following the deaths of Peter, Linus and Cletus at the hands of the Romans.One account claims that Clement died an exile in Crimea, while it was the Emperor Trajan who purportedly had him killed in retaliation for evangelizing the local people in 100 AD. He is among the saints mentioned in the Roman canon of the traditional Latin Mass.In 868, the Greek missionary St. Cyril claimed to have recovered St. Clement’s bones.
catholic  pope  history 
may 2018 by thomas.kochi
A new type of Catholic emerges: the conservative dissenter
In the recently published book “To Change the Church,” Ross Douthat compares Francis to President Trump, arguing the pope is seeking to push through changes without thinking about the consequences.“The story could end with Francis as its hero,” the New York Times columnist writes. “But to choose a path that might have only two destinations — hero or heretic — is an act of great and dangerous presumption, even for a pope. Especially for a pope.”Finding themselves criticizing a pope may, in the long run, see conservatives end up with a more nuanced and balanced view of papal authority. In the meantime, liberal Catholics could offer them a simple message: “Welcome to the club.”
catholic  pope 
april 2018 by thomas.kochi
Heartsick Boy Asks If Atheist Dad Is In Heaven. Pope Francis Reveals The Answer With A Hug.
“A boy that inherited the strength of his father also had the courage to cry in front of all of us,” the pope said. “If this man was able to create children like this, it’s true that he is a good man.”“That man did not have the [gift] of faith, wasn’t a believer. But he had his children baptized. He had a good heart..The pope said that God decides who goes to heaven, and that God has “the heart of a father.” He asked the young girls and boys in the audience if they thought God would abandon a father like Emanuele’s, who was a good man.“No,” the children shouted back.“There, Emanuele, that is the answer,” the pope said..In a 2013 homily, the pope reiterated the Christian belief that eternal salvation is attained through Jesus Christ. But he declared that all humans are created in the image of God, and that all have a duty to do good. This principle of doing good to others is one that unites all of humanity, the pope said, including atheists.
“Just do good and we’ll find a meeting point,”
pope  faith  atheism 
april 2018 by thomas.kochi
Did Benedict XVI predict the rise of Trump and fake news?
More than 13 years ago, in a homily given at the conclave that would later elect him Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger spoke of a growing “dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and desires.” The urgent call for a return to truth-based religion, far from repelling the cardinals, distinguished Ratzinger as the frontrunner for papal office.Ratzinger’s papal platform did not prove broadly appealing. The secular pundits of the last decade often ignored his warning as the scare tactic of a dogmatist unable to adjust to the benign pluralism of a world that had, in keeping with Kant’s rallying cry, “dared to think.”I doubt the pope emeritus has much energy nowadays to follow the many instructive ironies of the Trump era; but if he did, he might take just the tiniest bit of satisfaction in seeing not just the religious right but also the secular left denouncing a growing “dictatorship of relativism.” Ratzinger’s distinctive emphasis on freedom’s need for truth may have come not too late but too early to find a bipartisan hearing in the United States.
pope  catholic  philosophies  faith 
april 2018 by thomas.kochi
The 1 Rule Pope Francis Never Breaks When Taking Time Off Work
Have you ever wondered what a typical workday is like for Pope Francis? What exactly does the 81-year-old pontiff do all day, where does he do it, and is his job even remotely like the average person’s? Does he get hangry at 3:00 and run for the vending machine? Does he go anywhere in his Ford Focus?Here we’ll take a look at the typical workday for Pope Frances from start to finish. Francis rises on his own at 4:30 a.m. and spends two hours praying and meditating .. At 7 a.m.,he says Mass..then walks to the Santa Martha cafeteria at 8 a.m..breakfast consists of fresh-squeezed orange juice and membrillo..After breakfast, Francis takes the elevator up to apartment 201, where he lives and works. He maintains his own private agenda, choosing with whom to make appointments. If guests come to meet him, it happens here.The pope eats lunch at 1 p.m..he’s not picky and will eat anything he’s served — although he does prefer meat over fish.. enjoys pizza After lunch, he takes a short nap After siesta, Francis goes back to work: More correspondence and phone calls.He tries for an hour of adoration of the Eucharist before dinner (although he admits he sometimes falls asleep while praying). “One cannot know the Lord without the habit of adoring, of adoring in silence,” Francis eats a cafeteria-style, self-service dinner in the dining room at 8 p.m.He’s in bed by 9 p.m., reads for an hour, and sleeps soundly for the next six hours ..During his stay-cation, he spends time reading(he’s a fan of Dostoevsky and Gerard Manley Hopkins) and listening to music (he enjoys Mozart).
pope  catholic  routines  careers 
april 2018 by thomas.kochi
The day that summed up a pontificate Actions spoke louder than words on Holy Thursday
The Paschal Triduum is the holiest moment of the year. This time it was also abundantly newsworthy. Holy Thursday 2018 summarised the entire pontificate of Pope Francis in one day.It began with the release of the “interview” of Pope Francis by Eugenio Scalfari. It would be major news if the Supreme Pontiff no longer believed settled Church teaching about the existence of hell Of course the holiest days of the year could not pass quietly in the Rome of Pope Francis; there is always news to be made.The first public item of the day was the Chrism Mass. As is customary when Pope Francis addresses priests, he had a few admonishments in mind as they renewed the promises of their ordination. And he introduced a new term: the “truth-idol”.“We must be careful not to fall into the temptation of making idols of certain abstract truths, Because the ‘truth-idol’ imitates, it dresses itself up in the words of the Gospel, but does not let those words touch the heart. Much worse, it distances ordinary people from the healing closeness of the word and of the sacraments of Jesus.”The press office also put out another Holy Thursday statement, namely that there was no “imminent” agreement with the People’s Republic of China..the most newsworthy element of the day, the papal visit to Regina Coeli prison for the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.
pope  catholic 
april 2018 by thomas.kochi
This is how the Vatican should deal with China
China has a remarkable capacity for seducing otherwise intelligent people. Mao’s “Great Leap Forward”, a late-1950s experiment designed to make China an industrial power, was a colossal failure that caused millions to starve. Sensitive to mounting criticism, China organised carefully curated study tours for international opinion leaders in the hope that they would proclaim, as François Mitterrand and Field Marshal Montgomery foolishly did, that there was no famine in the land. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has yet to fully distance himself from the charge of naïvety levelled in the wake of his 2013 comment praising China’s “basic dictatorship”. And China-watchers are still scratching their heads following the recent suggestion from Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo that we should look to China as an example of Catholic social doctrine in action.In some respects, Vatican diplomats are engaged in the kind of negotiation with Chinese officials that is familiar to their counterparts from other sovereign states. They need to keep a few basic rules in mind.First, see China as it is, not as you would like it to be. For all of its undeniable progress, China remains under the full control of the Communist Party, whose principal objective is to stay in power, whatever the cost. The party is wary of any other institution or belief system capable of motivating or inspiring China’s citizens.Second, stick to your principles and know when to walk away from the table.Third, and finally, the negotiations are never over.What that really means is that the deal will hold as long as the Chinese feel that it serves their interests.
catholic  China  pope 
april 2018 by thomas.kochi
Pope Francis Puts Caring for Migrants and Opposing Abortion on Equal Footing
“Seeing and acting with mercy: That is holiness.” That statement is a distilled expression of Francis’ vision of the church, which is consistent with a view articulated by Cardinal Joseph L. Bernardin, the archbishop of Chicago who died in 1996, and who called for a “consistent ethic of life” that wove issues of life and social justice into a “seamless garment.”Throughout the document, Francis urges followers to be less consumed with showy demonstrations of faith and piousness than with patiently and lovingly raising children, working hard to support families and representing what he called “the middle class of holiness.”“In their daily perseverance, I see the holiness of the Church militant,” Francis wrote, using a phrase that has been appropriated by archconservatives critical of his papacy. The pope’s allies have described the fringe Catholic website Church Militant as openly in favor of political “ultraconservatism.”But a majority of the document is a rumination on what constitutes an effective and true practice of holiness.While he says “ the silence of prolonged prayer” is critical, Francis adds that holiness at times requires the faithful to be loud and active, and says it “is not healthy” to seek prayer while disdaining service.
NYTimes  pope  catholic 
april 2018 by thomas.kochi
Pope Francis’ new exhortation warns against modern problems caused by ancient heresies
In many ways, Gnosticism and Pelagianism are two sides of the same coin. For contemporary forms of Gnosticism, the temptation is to reduce Christian holiness to a set of abstract ideas detached from the flesh. Such an approach makes individuals “incapable of touching Christ’s suffering flesh in others, locked up as they are in an encyclopedia of abstractions” (No. 37)First, in drawing our attention to the primacy of grace, the pope illuminates the dangers of both Pelagianism and Gnosticism by humbly reminding us that it is not about us; it is about God and God’s kingdom. As human creatures, by our very nature, we are limited. We cannot know everything nor can we do everything (No. 49).Second, a renewed theology of grace helps us to welcome God’s gift as “a source of contagious joy” in our lives (No. 55). If God is indeed at work in our lives, how, as Francis wonders, can we not live with a joyful gratitude?Finally, a renewed theology of grace draws our attention to the necessity of discernment, which itself demands a special gift from God (No. 166).
catholic  pope  faith  heresies  religion 
april 2018 by thomas.kochi
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