Habemus Papam! Pope Francis l

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Re: Habemus Papam! Pope Francis l

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:36 am

Fukushima? :shock2:

Is Pope Francis Sicker Than We Know?
Italian media reports that the pontiff saw a brain-cancer specialist from Duke have Vatican watchers wondering more than ever about the health of His Holiness.
VATICAN CITY — The Vatican’s press machine kicked into high gear Wednesday to try to dispel rumors that Pope Francis has a small benign brain tumor that was discovered by a Japanese specialist several months ago at a private clinic near Pisa, Italy.

As reported by Tuscan newspaper Quotidiano Nazionale with the headline, “The Pope Is Sick,” Francis is said to have been whisked away by helicopter in the dark of the night last spring for a private checkup by Japanese oncologist Takanori Fukushima at the San Rossore clinic near Pisa. Fukushima, 73, who is a professor at Duke University Medical Center and at West Virginia University Medical Center, sees some 600 patients a year as a specialist in brain cancer and aneurysms. The newspaper did not specify just why Fukushima would have been in Pisa to see the pontiff because he is not a practicing doctor in Italy.

The visit, according to unnamed hospital employee quoted by the newspaper, resulted in the discovery of a small spot on the pope’s brain that is, as the paper reports, “not malignant and does not require surgery.”

Several unnamed sources reported seeing the papal chopper in the area late at night and another unnamed source claimed they had seen the pope’s medical chart and that, thankfully, the tumor was not malignant. There were no reports of biopsies, MRIs, or other tests that would be necessary to confirm such a diagnosis, and the hospital has refused to comment on the matter.

The paper’s director, Andrea Cangini, said he anticipated the Vatican denial and added that the reason they didn’t run the story sooner was because it had taken all these many months to confirm the details, which are scarce at best. “We have had this for months, we took months to find all the confirmation necessary,” Cangini told Bloomberg News. “We asked ourselves for a long time if it was opportune to publish, then we decided that informing the public was more important than the pope’s privacy, given his public role.”

As the story rippled through Italian news outlets, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi’s denials became more terse and tried, but he has not yet said to anyone the words, “the pope does not have a brain tumor.” Instead, he called the report “a complete lie” and scolded the paper for running such a story at such a delicate moment when the Synod of the Family is just winding down.

“The spread of the totally unfounded news of the health condition of the Holy Father on the part of an Italian news agency is seriously irresponsible and not worthy of attention,” Lombardi said in the statement. “Also, as all can see, the pope continues to exercise his intense activity without interruption and in an absolutely normal way.”

The pope did not mention his health at his Wednesday audience in St. Peter’s Square. Looking spry and happy, he greeted some 30,000 faithful in his usual manner, kissing babies and caressing the ill, though he did raise eyebrows when he mentioned a special Mass for the Pope John Paul II, who died in 2005 after a long and painful battle with various health problems. “Carry with joy the cross of sufferance,” he said, referring to the late pope. The Vatican quickly noted that he had prepared his sermon long before the tumor rumor broke.

Francis, 78, who does suffer from sciatica and who had a portion of one lung removed when he was in his twenties, has repeated numerous times that he thinks his papacy will be short, and that he does not rule out retiring. He ends almost every public appearance by asking the faithful to pray for him. He is scheduled to travel to Kenya, Uganda, and the Central African Republic for a five-day visit beginning Nov. 25.
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Re: Habemus Papam! Pope Francis l

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Oct 29, 2015 3:13 pm

Vatican bracing for new revelations of mismanagement


The Vatican is bracing for more allegations of financial wrongdoing and mismanagement with the publication next week of two books that underscore the challenges Pope Francis is facing to reform the Holy See.

Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi's "Merchants in the Temple" follows his blockbuster 2012 book, "His Holiness," based on confidential papal correspondence detailing corruption and political intrigue in the Vatican. The so-called Vatileaks scandal that ensued resulted in the conviction of Pope Benedict XVI's butler for leaking the documents, and some say, to Benedict's historic resignation.

Italian journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi is releasing "Avarice: Documents Revealing Wealth, Scandals and Secrets of Francis' Church." Fittipaldi writes for L'Espresso newsweekly, which has published some of the most damaging leaks of Francis' papacy, including most recently the letter by 13 cardinals warning Francis about his family synod.

The publication of the books, both on Nov. 5, will no doubt set off a new flurry of speculation about the depth of opposition to Francis' reform agenda, given both are purportedly based on leaked documents and internal information to which only Vatican officials would have had access.

On Thursday, Italian newsweekly Panorama hinted at the dangers to come with a cover story "Sabotage in Vatican," noting the pending financial revelations and detailing the recent intrigues surrounding the just-ended synod on the family, which exposed internal battles over the direction Francis has set for the church.

Francis was elected on a mandate from his fellow cardinals to reform the Vatican's outdated bureaucracy and clean up its scandal-marred bank. But Francis' reform agenda has gone much farther — to the dismay of some on the right — by refocusing the church as a "field hospital for wounded souls" rather than a doctrinaire club of the righteous.

Opposition came to the fore during the synod with conservatives and liberals squaring off on issues about marriage, sex and gays.

The Vatican No. 2, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, confirmed Wednesday that Francis would write a document of his own about the family following the bishops' deliberations. As Francis mulls how to press ahead, the new books threaten to uncover more trouble of the sort that undermined Benedict's papacy.

In a press release Thursday, Nuzzi publisher Chiarelettere said the documents and recordings of internal discussions would reveal the real reasons why Benedict resigned, while also examining the funding required to get a saint named, of misdirected charitable donations and the "black hole" of the Vatican's pension system.

Benedict became the first pope in 600 years to retire, saying he simply didn't have the strength to carry on. The announcement in February 2013 was at least a year in the making, but Benedict acted after receiving the results of an in-house investigation about what was behind the leaks.

The results of the investigation have never been released, but in their first meeting, Benedict handed over the dossier to Francis.

Feltrinelli said Fittipaldi's book would map out the church's financial empire, from the luxurious lives of the cardinals to the big businesses of Catholic-run hospitals in Italy.
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Re: Habemus Papam! Pope Francis l

Postby backtoiam » Thu Oct 29, 2015 4:45 pm


I doubt he was infiltrated by Fukushima, I would suspect that it is "infiltration" of a whole different type, that didn't necessarily start with his reign... :eeyaa
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Re: Habemus Papam! Pope Francis l

Postby Nordic » Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:36 pm

"Papal chopper".
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Re: Habemus Papam! Pope Francis l

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:20 am

Explosive New Book: Vatican Sainthood Costs $550K
Secretly bugged priests, missing multimillions, and possible threats to Pope Francis’s life—new allegations deepen the Catholic Church’s VatiLeaks scandal.
VATICAN CITY — There is nothing like a good old Vatican scandal to bring Rome to its knees.

Never mind that the city government is already in complete shambles on the eve of the Vatican’s Holy Jubilee, which could double the many millions of visitors to the Eternal City over the next year. No, instead of finalizing preparations for what should be a feather in the pope’s mitre, the Vatican is bracing itself for the release on Thursday of two books that seek to expose the sinister side of everything from saint-making to the very sanctity of the Holy See.

On Monday, by way of preemptive measure, the Vatican confirmed that laywoman Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui, along with a Spanish monsignor named Lucio Vallejo Balda, had been arrested for allegedly leaking documents to journalists. Both had been on a special commission to advise the pope’s men in charge with reforming the Vatican’s broken financial system, which had, under previous papacies, been accused of money laundering and other unholy financial practices.

The Daily Beast obtained advance copies of both books ahead of their Thursday release, and both seem likely receptacles for the latest chapter of the VatiLeaks scandal, which began when Pope Benedict XVI’s butler was arrested in 2012 for stealing secret documents off his boss’s desk.

The most damning of the two is Merchants in the Temple—to be released as Via Crucis in Italian on Thursday and in English a week later—by Gianluigi Nuzzi, the journalist who was the recipient of the butler’s stolen files, which Nuzzi published in his bestselling 2012 book, His Holiness. In his new book, he focuses on Francis and finance, all the while weaving an intricate story between the popular pontiff’s promises and what Nuzzi tries to prove are his failings. Along the way, he also reveals through stolen documents, hidden taped conversations, and meeting minutes just who he believes Francis really is.

“The Pope, so sweet and affable in public appearances, but steadfast and firm before his closest collaborators,” Nuzzi writes. “Francis of the big smiles and kind words shows himself to be absolute in his goals and intolerant of the Curia’s ‘human ambition to power.’”

But rather than showing how Francis is defeating his foes, Nuzzi paints a far more vulnerable picture of the pontiff who, he believes, has managed very little in terms of reforming the Holy See’s messy finances—perhaps because greater powers prevail.

“Of all the reforms contemplated during the first year of his pontificate, very few managed to get off the ground. This unfortunately meant one thing: Bergoglio’s [Pope Francis’s] plan to drive out the merchants from the temple was still unfulfilled some three years after his election,” Nuzzi writes. “The only project that did become concrete was the communications hub, through the establishment of the new Secretariat for Communications. All the other projects and changes announced remained in the drawer or were only partially realized. This situation was a source of discontent all around. More and more cardinals were criticizing the Holy Father, some quite openly.”

The book contains somewhat bizarre revelations tied to the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, including how, a week after the historic announcement, the Holy See received documentation of an apparent deal with the devil to continue its profit-sharing cigarette business through what amounts to a special buyers’ club, complete with member cards for Vatican staff and Roman elite.

“In the same period, business proposals arrived in the Curia that were not quite consistent with the message of the Holy Gospel,” Nuzzi writes, pointing to a series of secret letters between giant tobacco companies like Philip Morris and the Holy See discussing profit-sharing and bonuses for introduction of new cigarette brands to the Vatican City state to sell via their private commissary stores.

But what Nuzzi alleges next could be most worrying for the Vatican. “Today, almost three years since the beginning of Francis’s pontificate, his reform of the Governorate has still not taken effect,” he writes, referring the very Roman Curia Francis hopes to reform. “The shops alien to the Church’s mission are still open, churning out profits and serving thousands of customers who can make purchases there by exhibiting a buyer’s card to which they are not entitled.”

Among those benefits, according to a detailed list of perks still in effect for those who run Francis’s “poor church,” are an allowance of 200 discounted packs of discounted cigarettes a month for certain high-ranking clerics. Nuzzi quotes a recent letter to the committee meant to overhaul the Vatican budget, essentially making sure these items remain untouchable for certain prelates: “Among the perks: The purchase of food, in amounts compatible with family needs, at the Annona commissary or the Community Warehouse at a 15% discount; A 20% discount off the list price limited to a total of 200 packs of cigarettes per month; A 20% discount off the list price for clothing; A 400 liter a month supply of fuel at special prices subdivided as follows: a) Voucher for 100 liters; b) Special price vouchers (15% discount off the going price) for 300 liters.” The list goes on.

“No documents. No justification and bookkeeping for an activity involving tens of millions of euros. Yet these are huge sums of money for which Vatican regulations demand proper bookkeeping.”
The cigarette story is not a complete secret, though it barely rippled in the Italian press when Italian journalist Marco Ansaldo first tried to break it a year ago in a La Repubblica in a piece in which he mused that he had rarely seen a cardinal smoking. “So who are all those cigarette cartons going to?” Ansaldo asked then, not excluding the possibility that they are resold by someone who is pocketing the difference between the discount and the resale price. “There are even nasty rumors that the person who receives the cartons turns around and sells them on eBay.” Whether Nuzzi’s attention to the troubling contraband detail will stop the practices has yet to be seen.

Another major financial blind spot for the Vatican under Francis, if Nuzzi’s allegations are proved to be true, is the Holy See’s complicated real estate holdings, which range from luxury apartments in Rome rented out at zero rent or for just a few hundred euro a month to other assets like farmland and factories. “The immense real estate holdings of the Vatican are a challenge to Francis’s program and another thorn in the side of his Pontificate,” Nuzzi writes. “The recent history of the Vatican’s management of its real estate has not exactly been happy. Under both John Paul II and Benedict XVI, the convents, buildings, and churches were administered without a common strategy, and management was characterized by waste, nepotism, and outright scandals. But these problems were never addressed, and passed along from pope to pope for decades. The status quo prevailed, enabling the more powerful or more astute to take advantage of the general state of neglect.”

The Vatican also apparently continues to turn a blind eye to its clerical rent evaders, who racked up nearly €4 million in overdue rent payments, which account for around a third of the Vatican’s total rental income, according to documents Nuzzi says the cardinals tasked with fixing the broken system were given.
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Re: Habemus Papam! Pope Francis l

Postby slimmouse » Wed Nov 04, 2015 12:59 pm

The whole problem with the 5000 year old culture of spiritual coercion, which is the Holy Cee, is that many of its adherents are subsequently drowned in it.

Probably one of the greatest shames of this life, is that people are incapable of developing the capacity to truly think for themselves. To be the sole soul that they actually are.

To speak nothing of course of money,

Or the current situation of us and them, although all of this is IMHO unquestionably related

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Re: Habemus Papam! Pope Francis l

Postby cptmarginal » Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:21 pm


FILE - In this June 25, 2015 file photo, Pope Francis greets the Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta Matthew Festing, right, at the end of a private audience in the Pontiff's private library at the Vatican. Festing resigned after entering into a public spat with Francis over the ouster of a top official involved in a condom scandal, a spokeswoman for the ancient lay Catholic order said on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca, File)


FILE - In this Feb. 9, 2013 file photo, Grand Master of the Knights of Malta Matthew Festing waits for the start of a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Tacisio Bertone, not pictured, to mark the 900th anniversary of the Order of the Knights of Malta, at the Vatican. Festing resigned after entering into a public spat with Pope Francis over the ouster of a top official involved in a condom scandal, a spokeswoman for the ancient lay Catholic order said on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File)

There are newer updates on this, but I'll post what I found to be worthwhile. Obviously (?) I do not endorse the viewpoint of any of the authors.

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/issues/ ... t-retreat/

The knights who won’t retreat

by Dan Hitchens
posted Wednesday, 11 Jan 2017

Vatican officials have mounted an extraordinary challenge to the ancient Order of Malta. But what is the row really about?

The Sovereign Military Order of Malta is one of the more improbable success stories of the 21st-century Church. Founded in 1099 to provide hospital care and military defence in the Holy Land, it has retained much of its medieval tradition and ceremony. But it has also, by gradual reform, become a powerhouse of international aid. More than 100,000 members, medical staff and volunteers are offering practically every form of charitable assistance around the world, from handing out sandwiches to the homeless in Britain, to running Aids clinics in Africa, to rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean.

The order attributes this vast network in large part to its sovereign status. Thanks to its diplomatic links with more than 100 countries, it often has access to places that other agencies cannot reach.

It is a religious order, some of whose knights take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. But the order also values its independent sovereignty, which it has jealously guarded. In the early 1950s, when Cardinal Nicola Canali tried to bring the order more under the sway of the Vatican, the knights successfully resisted what they saw as a power grab. Since then Rome has mostly let the order get on with things – right up until last month.

The crisis was brought about by the dismissal of Albrecht von Boeselager, the order’s Grand Chancellor (number three). Boeselager’s previous job was running the order’s humanitarian arm, Malteser International. A few Malteser projects had been handing out condoms – since 2005, according to the watchdog the Lepanto Institute. The order says that Boeselager had known about this since at least 2013 and had failed to respond properly. Moreover, it alleges, he had concealed the problem from his superiors. Boeselager denies this, saying he acted as soon as he knew about it.

This would have remained an internal matter, except that Pope Francis himself became involved. On November 10, he had a meeting with the order’s patron, Cardinal Raymond Burke, who serves as an intermediary between the Vatican and the order. At the beginning of December, according to sources within the order, the Pope wrote Cardinal Burke a letter asking the order to take action against any possible cause of moral scandal. The exact content of the letter is unknown; but it was universally taken as a reference to the Boeselager situation.

I’m told that the mood at the Order of Malta’s headquarters was largely one of relief. The issue of Boeselager’s alleged wrongdoing had dragged on for some time without resolution. The German aristocrat has been as much part of the Order of Malta community as anyone. His late father Philipp, who took part in the July Plot which narrowly failed to assassinate Hitler, is one of the order’s most celebrated members. And Albrecht, like his father, has given his life to the order. This was a delicate situation for an organisation that often works more like a family than a bureaucracy.

But now that the Pope was expressing his alarm, it seemed impossible to put off decisive action. On December 6 the Grand Master, Fra’ Matthew Festing, called in Boeselager for a meeting. Fra’ Festing, a former art expert for Sotheby’s, is not the most obviously fierce disciplinarian. In person, he seems more like a jovial uncle than a reigning prince in charge of a chivalric order of knights. But now, sources in the order suggest, the obvious response was to ask for Boeselager’s resignation.

Some Boeselager supporters say that Fra’ Festing and Cardinal Burke (who was also present) claimed the sacking was on the Pope’s explicit advice. According to the well-connected Vatican reporter Edward Pentin, of the National Catholic Register, that is not quite right. The Grand Master and the cardinal did not claim direct authority; rather, “the Knights’ leadership could not see how the matter could be otherwise rectified, when great scandal was involved and no one was taking responsibility for it.”

Fra’ Festing invited Boeselager to resign; Boeselager refused. Festing commanded him, under his promise of obedience, to resign; remarkably, Boeselager refused again. He was removed from his position, and the order began to look for a new Grand Chancellor.

A few days later, they received some unexpected news. Boeselager had appealed to his allies, who in turn had appealed to Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State. Cardinal Parolin wrote to Fra’ Festing telling him the order had misunderstood the Pope’s thinking. “His Holiness asked that dialogue be the approach used to address and resolve potential problems,” Cardinal Parolin wrote, according to a leaked letter. “He never mentioned, conversely, expelling anyone.” Cardinal Parolin did not stop there: at a meeting with Fra’ Festing soon afterwards, he told him that he would launch an inquiry.

In a public statement, the order expressed surprise. Boeselager’s dismissal was, it said, an “act of internal governmental administration of the Sovereign Order of Malta and consequently falls solely within its competence”. A Vatican inquiry would be “unacceptable”.

Canonists agreed: it is – as Ed Condon writes below – very difficult to see what authority the Vatican has to investigate another sovereign entity. The Pope does have authority over the order, but its exercise requires a very specific – and quite dramatic – legal action. Unless that happens, no Vatican official has any more authority to act on the matter than does, say, the British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

Fra’ Festing has asked members of the order not to help the Vatican’s inquiry. He has said publicly that the order is loyal to the Pope. But that doesn’t mean members must do the bidding of any official in the Vatican.

How to make sense of this strange clash between two tiny sovereign bodies? There are two possible explanations: dirty tricks or a misunderstanding.

Supporters of the first theory point to the tension (to put it mildly) between Pope Francis and Cardinal Burke. The cardinal is one of the four who, with their dubia, have asked Francis to answer five yes-or-no questions about whether Amoris Laetitia is compatible with previous Church teaching. Cardinal Burke has also said that the quartet may issue a (possibly private) correction of the Pope, maybe in the next few months.

For some observers, the whole thing cannot be a coincidence. They argue that discrediting Cardinal Burke is the real goal of the inquiry. Some even theorise that the Pope had that in mind from the start.

It would not be the first time that the Pope has intervened against someone perceived as unsympathetic. After Cardinal Robert Sarah, the Vatican’s liturgy chief, invited priests to celebrate Mass facing east, he was publicly rebuked and his department was overhauled. The John Paul II Institute, seen as too conservative, had its leadership replaced.

In the last few weeks, the seasoned Vatican-watcher Marco Tosatti reported that the Pope was replacing members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) who were too attached to traditional teaching – and that, when asked for an explanation, Francis said: “I am the Pope, I do not need to give reasons for any of my decisions.”

Michael Brendan Dougherty, senior correspondent of the American magazine The Week, reports that the Pope is also looking into removing child abuse cases from the oversight of the CDF – and allegedly moving them to friends of his who are more lenient in how they deal with some abusers.

And yet, much of this is still at the level of speculation – as are the theories about Francis and Cardinal Burke. It’s arguable that the whole dispute results from a series of misunderstandings. First, the Pope did not make quite clear what he wanted from the order. Then Fra’ Festing felt he had no choice but to sack Boeselager. Boeselager turned to Cardinal Parolin, who mistakenly thought this was the Vatican’s business.

The commission will be led by Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, a Vatican diplomat who has recently dismissed claims that the Secretariat of State is overstepping its legitimate authority. Also on the commission are a canon lawyer and three members of the order. The word in Rome is that the commission is “stacked” with Boeselager supporters. Of the order’s 40 national associations, I understand that only four have come out strongly in support of Boeselager: but one is the influential German association, headed by Boeselager’s ally Erich Prinz von Lobkowicz, who has close Vatican links.

That makes some in the order fearful of a major intervention when the commission reports in the next few months – maybe even an overhaul of the order’s constitution. Past experience has taught them to value their sovereignty. One longstanding knight, who is also a lawyer, says: “It is very important that the order remains independent, so that it can provide aid to all the countries in the world – including, for instance, Islamic countries. Such access might be compromised if it was ever generally thought that the order was merely another aid agency of the Catholic Church.”

On the other hand, some members are in good spirits. “It’s a sign of the order’s success that we’re running into a crisis,” says one. “The Devil only starts making trouble when things are going well for you.”

The legal limits on the Vatican’s authority

Ed Condon

While the Sovereign Military Order of Malta may no longer be military or govern the island of Malta, it remains a truly sovereign entity and is recognised as such in international law. The order issues its own passports and stamps, and has full diplomatic relations with more than 100 countries – including the Holy See. Like the Holy See, the order has permanent observer status at the United Nations. As most people know, its roots go back to the Crusader era when it was known as the Order of Knights of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem, later becoming the governing body of the islands of Rhodes and Malta, the latter until the Napoleonic Wars.

The order may be a Catholic religious order, but unlike any other order, it does not report to the Holy See’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life – or to any other Vatican department, for that matter. The constitution of the order, its own sovereign law, makes clear that “The religious nature of the order does not prejudice the exercise of sovereign prerogatives pertaining to the order in so far as it is recognised by states as a subject of international law.” While its members make vows or promises of obedience (depending on the class of knight they are) their religious obedience remains strictly within the order itself. Indeed, its constitution specifically states, in the section on relations with the Holy See, that “Religious members through their vows, as well as members of the Second Class through the Promise of Obedience, are only subject to their appropriate Superiors in the Order.” Even the Grand Master of the order is elected without papal approval or ratification.

It can seem jarring to most people that there is a large, internationally prominent, explicitly Catholic body which does not answer to the Vatican, but that is exactly what the Order of Malta is. The closest thing there is to curial oversight of the order is the office of Cardinal Patron, currently Cardinal Burke, who is appointed by the Pope to “promote the spiritual interests of the order and relations between the Holy See and the order”. The role is, legally speaking, chaplain and papal ambassador to the knights; he has no executive or deliberative function within the order, or any governing power to exercise.

The sovereignty of the order was originally granted by the pope, and the order’s constitution retains a legal mechanism for the pope to abrogate it. This is not, however, something that can be done informally, haphazardly or on a whim; the rights of the order which a pope intends to revoke have to be “expressly abrogated”, meaning a formal legislative act on the part of the Holy Father. As a matter purely between the order and the Holy See, this would be of enormous significance, but taken in the context of international law and diplomacy the scope of the impact would be hard to predict.

While the order originally received its sovereign status through an act of the pope, it has since independently forged full diplomatic ties with many other countries which recognise the order as a sovereign subject of international law, including the UN. For the Holy See to effectively revoke its independence, over, say, a matter of internal governance, would be a serious diplomatic event akin to Britain involving itself in the governmental affairs of a former colony.

Given that the Holy See and the order are, at least in international law, very similar, any act by the Vatican which undercuts the sovereign status of the order could easily be turned back against the Holy See by its own international critics. A diplomatic row between the two could well spiral into a serious threat to the international legitimacy of both institutions.

Ed Condon is a canon lawyer

These articles first appeared in the January 13 2017 issue of the Catholic Herald.

https://www.catholicculture.org/comment ... fm?id=1195

Why the Knights of Malta resist the Vatican—and the Knights of Columbus should have done the same

By Phil Lawler | Jan 20, 2017

The escalating dispute between the Vatican and the Knights of Malta brings to mind a somewhat similar debate from years past.

During the 1980s, as the abortion issue gave rise to the most contentious arguments on the American political scene, the Knights of Columbus (KofC) faced a tough question: Could a Catholic man who supported unrestricted legal abortion—in flagrant disregard for the teaching of the Church—remain a member?

Membership in the KofC is open to men who are “practical” Catholics. The KofC does not require members to be saints, nor even to prove that they practice their faith regularly. But if a member of the KofC formally breaks with the Church, he cannot remain a member. Until the time of the abortion debate, the meaning of that standard had never been much in doubt. But now some very prominent members of the KofC were leading the fight for abortion. The KofC, as an institution, was and is very strongly committed to the pro-life cause. How could it tolerate such opposition to its own goals and to the clear moral guidance of the Church?

Months and years rolled past, and Catholic politicians who identified themselves as Knights continued to be leading advocates not only of unrestricted abortion, but also of compulsory taxpayer subsidies for the slaughter. While the debate within the KofC simmered, it gradually became clear that the group’s leaders would not expel abortion advocates.

In 1990 the Supreme Grand Knight, Virgil Dechant, revealed that the question had been resolved for the KofC—not by a consensus among the members or leaders of the organization, but by an instruction from the Vatican. Dechant said that Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, then the Vatican Secretary of State, had told him: “Don’t you dare make a move without the approval of Church authorities.”

When I first heard of Dechant’s explanation, I wondered aloud why the group felt obliged to accept such a directive from Cardinal Casaroli. The KofC is a private organization, free to set its own standards for membership. If the Knights chose to disqualify pro-abortion politicians, wasn’t that their own affair? They would not be handing down doctrinal decisions; they would not be excommunicating anyone. They would simply be saying that advocacy for the slaughter of unborn babies is incompatible with the purposes of their fraternal organization.

At the time, the KofC was not beholden to the Vatican—except in the sense that every loyal Catholic is bound to show fealty to the Holy See. On the contrary, as a heavy financial contributor to the Vatican, the KofC exercised a great deal of clout in Rome. Nevertheless the group accepted the Vatican directive, and abortion advocates retained their membership.

Now flash forward thirty years, and once again the Holy See is (or at least certainly seems to be) questioning the decision of an important Catholic organization to expel an influential member because of his involvement in a program that violated Catholic moral principles. But unlike the Knights of Columbus, the Knights of Malta have chosen to resist the Vatican directive.

(A word of caution is in order here. The Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM) has not offered a public explanation for the ouster of Albrecht von Boeselager, saying only that the matter is confidential and “more complex” than reports might suggest. But it has been widely reported that the former chancellor had involved the SMOM in a condom-distribution scheme, and Boeselager himself has said that he was targeted as a “liberal Catholic.”)

Like the KofC, the SMOM carries a great deal of influence in Rome. Founded at the end of the 11th century, the venerable Order has been an international powerhouse of charitable work for nearly a millennium. The members are wealthy Catholics, from prominent families, who have a strong track record of generosity in supporting the Church: the sort of people bishops would certainly not want to alienate.

The SMOM has two special characteristics that make its case quite different from that of the KofC:

- Some Knights of Malta take the traditional religious vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. In some respects, the SMOM can be seen as a religious order.

- However, the SMOM has also established itself as a sovereign body under international law. From their headquarters in Rome, they issue their own passports and maintain formal diplomatic relations with more than 100 countries.

Insofar as they are a religious order, the Knights of Malta are subject to Vatican authority. But insofar as they are a sovereign body, they are not. Thus the current debate. Since the dismissal of a chancellor is a matter of internal governance, the SMOM argues, the Vatican has no cause for involvement in the matter. The Vatican Secretariat of State evidently thinks otherwise; despite the protests from the SMOM headquarters, an investigating committee appointed by Pope Francis continues its work.

The details of this dispute are not public knowledge, and probably never will be. We do not know exactly why Albrecht von Boeselager was ousted from the SMOM. Nor do we know why his dismissal provoked such concern at the Vatican Secretariat of State. But if the common public perception is even roughly accurate—if the conflict was precipitated by Boeselager’s involvement in a condom-distribution program—it is difficult to understand why Vatican intervention is necessary.

Let us assume, for the sake of the argument, that a Catholic who promotes the distribution of contraceptives can remain in good standing with the Church. Why shouldn’t a lay Catholic order—and a sovereign order at that—be allowed to establish its own, tougher standards?
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Re: Habemus Papam! Pope Francis l

Postby stickdog99 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:10 pm

As a reformed Catholic, I am wondering just what are these principles of "true Catholicism" that Pope Francis is abandoning or seeking to change?

Frankly, I have not followed anything about this closely, but my surface reading is a power struggle between those who prefer a kinder, gentler, thousand points of light veneer on Catholicism and those who prefer both self and flock flagellation.
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Re: Habemus Papam! Pope Francis l

Postby cptmarginal » Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:46 pm

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/ ... st-in-rome

(See also: Italy's Referendum:' Vaffanculo Day' revisited)

US cardinal Raymond Burke stokes papal tensions by meeting nationalist in Rome

Pope Francis’s harshest critics are aligning themselves with Trump and his acolytes around the world, including Matteo Salvini

Stephanie Kirchgaessner

Sunday 5 February 2017 12.55 GMT
Last modified on Monday 6 February 2017 00.06 GMT

A powerful American cardinal who is engaged in a bitter feud with Pope Francis has met Matteo Salvini, the rightwing Italian nationalist who is a staunch supporter of Donald Trump and has praised Benito Mussolini.

The reported meeting between Cardinal Raymond Burke and Salvini, the head of the Northern League party, is a sign that intense divisions between traditionalists and the pope are becoming increasingly political.

Pope Francis’s allies in the church, who back his message of inclusion and support for immigrants, are speaking out against the US president’s travel ban against refugees and immigrants from majority-Muslim countries. Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, New Jersey, who was recently promoted by Francis, called Trump’s executive order “the opposite of what it means to be an American.” Tobin has also suggested that Trump is a conman.

At the same time, Francis’s harshest critics appear to be aligning themselves with the new Republican president and his acolytes around the world, including Salvini.

Burke, who is one of four cardinals who signed an open letter to Francis last year questioning new guidance allowing priests to decide whether divorced and remarried believers should be able to receive communion, praised Trump after his election in November. He said the surprise victory represented a clear win for pro-life causes and said the US president tended to surround himself with “very sound advisers”.

“I don’t think the new president will be inspired by hatred in his treatment of the issue of immigration,” Burke told the National Catholic Register, a conservative Catholic publication, at the time. He added: “Charity is always intelligent; it demands to know: Exactly who are these immigrants? Are they really refugees, and what communities can sustain them?”

During the 2016 election, Francis criticised Trump’s call for a border wall between the US and Mexico, saying any person who supported such policies “is not Christian”.

The meeting between Burke and Salvini reportedly took place last Thursday in Burke’s home in the Vatican and lasted for an hour and a half, according to a report by Francesco Grana, a Vatican journalist.

A spokeswoman for Salvini declined to comment about whether the meeting took place. But she confirmed that Salvini was at the Vatican at the time. A spokesman for the pope did not respond to a request for comment.

It is highly unusual for a senior American cleric to meet with the head of an Italian political party.

Salvini has openly shown contempt for Pope Francis when the pope has spoken of the need for Italy and countries around the world to take in hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants who are escaping war and poverty.

In 2015, when Francis said countries that “close the door” to refugees seeking a safe haven in Europe ought to ask God’s forgiveness, Salvini shot back in a radio programme that he did not need God’s forgiveness. He has also accused the pope of doing a disservice to Catholics by promoting dialogue with Muslims.

The meeting could be a way for Burke – the unofficial head of the most conservative and traditional elements within the Roman Catholic church – to send a message to other conservatives. The next Italian election could be called as early as this summer. While Salvini has the support of only about 13% of Italian voters, a meeting between Burke and the rightwing leader could be an attempt by Burke to urge conservatives to rally around the Northern League.

Pope Francis last week essentially replaced Burke in his role as envoy to the Knights of Malta after a tense standoff between the pontiff and the ancient Catholic order that ended with the ousting of the order’s chief. Pope Francis appointed a new papal delegate to be the sole person in charge of communication between the pope and the Catholic order, therefore making Burke – who had served as the top diplomat between the two – irrelevant.

Dozens of mysterious posters appeared in Rome on Saturday picturing a harsh-looking Pope Francis and the words “Where’s your mercy?”. The unsigned posters also noted the “decapitation” of the Knights of Malta. The posters, which were deemed to be “illegal postings”, were removed or covered up by police.



"Pope Francis appointed a new papal delegate to be the sole person in charge of communication between the pope and the Catholic order"

That's one Angelo Becciu.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/ ... eorge-pell

(I've posted about Pell before...)

Vatican’s suspension of major PwC audit exposes internal rift

Surprise decision exposes tensions between church’s old guard and supporters of financial reform, led by George Pell

Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Rome

Thursday 21 April 2016 16.37 BST
Last modified on Wednesday 26 October 2016 23.40 BST

The Vatican has suspended its first audit by a major accounting firm in a move that raises new questions about the Catholic church’s commitment to cleaning up its finances. The Vatican’s chief spokesman, Federico Lombardi, said the audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers had been halted pending an analysis of “certain aspects” of the auditing arrangement.

The surprise decision has exposed a deep rift between the church’s old guard – a powerful Italian bureaucracy resistant to greater transparency – and supporters of financial reform, led by the Australian cardinal George Pell. Pell, a controversial senior figure, was handpicked by Pope Francis to lead the drive for reform.

The Holy See’s finances have long been seen as a mystery, with Pell himself acknowledging in 2014 that “hundreds of millions of euros” had been discovered “tucked away” and off the city-state’s balance sheets.

In 2014, when Pell was chosen to become secretariat of the economy, a new role, Francis endorsed a plan for the Vatican to adopt globally accepted accounting standards and better internal controls, transparency and governance of the church’s vast finances. That included a decision to allow “senior and experienced experts” in financial administration to help manage and oversee the church’s finances.

But what was then seen as the first major structural reform of Francis’s papacy is facing stiff headwinds, despite a recent spate of embarrassing revelations about the alleged mismanagement of church funds by senior officials, including claims in two recent books that describe lavish living arrangements for senior clergy members in Rome.

On Thursday the Vatican was forced to confirm that the audit was being suspended after the news leaked that an archbishop named Angelo Becciu had written a letter to every Vatican entity on 12 April announcing the pause in proceedings. The Becciu letter instructed the Vatican entities that PwC had been given authority to collect financial information from the groups, but that the authority, issued by Pell, had since been revoked.

Pell’s office said the Australian cardinal was “a bit surprised” by the Becciu letter and that he fully expected the audit to resume once certain issues were clarified.

A person familiar with the issue inside the Vatican, who requested anonymity, said the fight over the PwC audit pointed to a broader power struggle between senior Vatican officials who wanted to ensure that details of the church’s finances were not exposed to outside scrutiny and those who wanted to pursue reform. The letter was sent at the behest of Italian cardinal Pietro Parolin, the secretary of state.

Those who opposed the audit were alleged to be concerned that the Vatican might be exposing itself to too much outside scrutiny, and whether it could trust PwC to keep the information confidential.

The fight also reflects doubts and speculation about Pell’s future within the church hierarchy. The Australian cardinal was appointed as the church’s top financial official by Pope Francis following the latter’s election in 2013. In Rome, Pell is seen by the Italian bureaucracy as a brusque figure and an outsider, Vatican watchers say.

But a separate controversy related to Pell’s history in Australia, and allegations that he ignored the widespread sexual abuse of minors in his native Ballarat in the 1970s and 1980s, have opened the door for his critics in Italy to question whether Pell will remain in his position.

On 8 June Pell will turn 75, the age when, under Vatican rules, he must submit his resignation. It is unclear whether the resignation will be accepted by Francis or not. The secretariat term was supposed to be five years, which would keep Pell in that post until 2019, but an article in Italia Oggi this week suggested that Pell would leave, and that his departure would also trigger the ousting of Jean Baptiste de Franssu, a French businessman brought in by Pell to lead the Vatican bank.

Pope Francis met Pell on Thursday morning, but no details of their discussion have yet been revealed.

Inside a church where political moves can be difficult to interpret, the decision to disrupt the PwC audit could be viewed as an attempt to signal that Pell is on his way out. Adding to the intrigue, veteran Vatican watcher John Allen said in a report on Catholic news website Crux that Parolin had discussed his concerns about the PwC audit with Pope Francis and that Francis had probably approved of the Becciu letter.

Edward Pentin, a Vatican journalist for the conservative National Catholic Register, which is supportive of Pell’s reform efforts, said: “It’s becoming clear that the rigour of the audit in an effort to raise its financial transparency to international standards is unnerving some in the Vatican.”
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Re: Habemus Papam! Pope Francis l

Postby SonicG » Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:58 pm

Not a surprise...

Steve Bannon Carries Battles to Another Influential Hub: The Vatican
ROME — When Stephen K. Bannon was still heading Breitbart News, he went to the Vatican to cover the canonization of John Paul II and make some friends. High on his list of people to meet was an archconservative American cardinal, Raymond Burke, who had openly clashed with Pope Francis.

In one of the cardinal’s antechambers, amid religious statues and book-lined walls, Cardinal Burke and Mr. Bannon — who is now President Trump’s anti-establishment eminence — bonded over their shared worldview. They saw Islam as threatening to overrun a prostrate West weakened by the erosion of traditional Christian values, and viewed themselves as unjustly ostracized by out-of-touch political elites.

“When you recognize someone who has sacrificed in order to remain true to his principles and who is fighting the same kind of battles in the cultural arena, in a different section of the battlefield, I’m not surprised there is a meeting of hearts,” said Benjamin Harnwell, a confidant of Cardinal Burke who arranged the 2014 meeting.

While Mr. Trump, a twice-divorced president who has boasted of groping women, may seem an unlikely ally of traditionalists in the Vatican, many of them regard his election and the ascendance of Mr. Bannon as potentially game-changing breakthroughs.

Just as Mr. Bannon has connected with far-right parties threatening to topple governments throughout Western Europe, he has also made common cause with elements in the Roman Catholic Church who oppose the direction Francis is taking them. Many share Mr. Bannon’s suspicion of Pope Francis as a dangerously misguided, and probably socialist, pontiff.

Until now, Francis has marginalized or demoted the traditionalists, notably Cardinal Burke, carrying out an inclusive agenda on migration, climate change and poverty that has made the pope a figure of unmatched global popularity, especially among liberals. Yet in a newly turbulent world, Francis is suddenly a lonelier figure. Where once Francis had a powerful ally in the White House in Barack Obama, now there is Mr. Trump and Mr. Bannon, this new president’s ideological guru.
For many of the pope’s ideological opponents in and around the Vatican, who are fearful of a pontiff they consider outwardly avuncular but internally a ruthless wielder of absolute political power, this angry moment in history is an opportunity to derail what they see as a disastrous papal agenda. And in Mr. Trump, and more directly in Mr. Bannon, some self-described “Rad Trads” — or radical traditionalists — see an alternate leader who will stand up for traditional Christian values and against Muslim interlopers.

“There are huge areas where we and the pope do overlap, and as a loyal Catholic, I don’t want to spend my life fighting against the pope on issues where I won’t change his mind,” Mr. Harnwell said over a lunch of cannelloni. “Far more valuable for me would be spend time working constructively with Steve Bannon.”

He made it clear he was speaking for himself, not for the Institute for Human Dignity, a conservative Catholic group that he founded, and insisted that he shared the pope’s goals of ensuring peace and ending poverty, just not his ideas on how to achieve it.

Mr. Bannon publicly articulated his worldview in remarks a few months after his meeting with Cardinal Burke, at a Vatican conference organized by Mr. Harnwell’s institute.

Speaking via video feed from Los Angeles, Mr. Bannon, a Catholic, held forth against rampant secularization, the existential threat of Islam, and a capitalism that had drifted from the moral foundations of Christianity.

That talk has garnered much attention, and approval by conservatives, for its explicit expression of Mr. Bannon’s vision. Less widely known are his efforts to cultivate strategic alliances with those in Rome who share his interpretation of a right-wing “church militant” theology.

Mr. Bannon’s visage, speeches and endorsement of Mr. Harnwell as “the smartest guy in Rome” are featured heavily on the website of Mr. Harnwell’s foundation. Mr. Trump’s senior adviser has maintained email contact with Cardinal Burke, according to Mr. Harnwell, who dropped by the cardinal’s residence after lunch. And another person with knowledge of Mr. Bannon’s current outreach said the White House official is personally calling his contacts in Rome for thoughts on who should be the Trump administration’s ambassador to the Holy See.

During Mr. Bannon’s April 2014 trip he courted Edward Pentin, a leading conservative Vatican reporter, as a potential correspondent in Rome for Breitbart, the website that is popular with the alt-right, a far-right movement that has attracted white supremacists.

“He really seemed to get the battles the church needs to fight,” said Mr. Pentin, the author of “The Rigging of a Vatican Synod?” a book asserting that Pope Francis and his supporters railroaded opponents. Chief among those battles, Mr. Pentin said, was Mr. Bannon’s focus on countering a “cultural Marxism” that had seeped into the church.

Since that visit and the meeting with Cardinal Burke — an experience that Daniel Fluette, the head of production for Breitbart, described as “incredibly powerful” for Mr. Bannon — Mr. Trump’s ideological strategist has maintained a focus on Rome.

Mr. Bannon returned to direct the documentary “Torchbearer,” in which the “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson contemplates the apocalyptic consequences of an eroding Christendom. Mr. Bannon also reunited with old friends, including Breitbart’s eventual Rome correspondent, Thomas Williams.

A former priest, Mr. Williams said that he used to have arguments with Mr. Bannon about whether the pope subscribed to a hard-left brand of liberation theology, with Mr. Bannon calling the pope a “socialist/communist.” Mr. Williams said he usually defended the pope, but that recent statements by Francis convinced him “Steve turned out to be right. That happens more often than not.”

Mr. Bannon’s private thoughts about the pope have at times surfaced in public.

On May 23, Mr. Bannon and Mr. Williams spoke about Pope Francis on the radio program Breitbart News Daily.

Discussing a Breitbart article about the new mayor of London titled “Pope Hails Election of Sadiq Khan, Celebrates Mass Muslim Migration Into Europe,” Mr. Bannon suggested that the pope “seems almost to be putting the responsibility on the working men and women of Italy and Europe et cetera, that they have to go out of their way to accommodate” migration.

Was the pope a global elitist, Mr. Bannon asked, “two or three steps removed from this?”

Many critics of Francis express similar views, but they are often scared to express it for fear of retribution from the pope, who, they say, has eyes and ears all over the Vatican.

Instead, the pope’s critics anonymously papered Rome over the weekend with posters of a grumpy-looking Francis above complaints about his removing and ignoring clerics and cardinals. “Where’s your mercy?” it asked.

Conservatives and traditionalists in the Vatican secretly pass around phony mock-ups of the Vatican’s official paper, L’Osservatore Romano, making fun of the pope. Or they spread a YouTube video critiquing the pope and his exhortation on love in the family, “Amoris Laetitia,” which many traditionalists consider Francis’ opening salvo against the doctrine of the church. Set to the music of “That’s Amore,” an aggrieved crooner sings, “When will we all be freed from this cruel tyranny, that’s Amoris” and “It’s the climate of fear engineered for four years, that’s Amoris.”
Cardinal Burke — who has said that the pope’s exhortation, which opened the door for divorced Catholics remarried outside the church to receive communion, might require “a formal act of correction” — has been unusually outspoken in his criticism of Francis. Cardinal Burke and Mr. Bannon declined to comment for this article.

Just weeks ago, the pope stripped Cardinal Burke of his remaining institutional influence after a scandal exploded at the Knights of Malta, a nearly 1,000-year-old chivalrous order where he had been exiled as a liaison to the Vatican. The pope had removed the order’s grand master after he showed disobedience to the pope. There was a sense in the order that the grand master followed the lead of Cardinal Burke because he projected authority, a power that stemmed in part from his support by the Trump administration, one influential knight said.

Cardinal Burke has become a champion to conservatives in the United States. Under Mr. Bannon, Breitbart News urged its Rome correspondent to write sympathetically about him. And at a meeting before last month’s anti-abortion March for Life rally in Washington, Cardinal Burke received the Law of Life Achievement, or Nail award, a framed replica of the nail used to hold the feet of Christ to the cross. According to John-Henry Westen, the editor of Life Site News, who announced the award, the prize is awarded to Christians “who have received a stab in the back.”

Despite Mr. Bannon’s inroads in Rome, Mr. Burke and other traditionalists are not ascendant in the Vatican.

The Rev. Antonio Spadaro, a Jesuit priest who edits the Vatican-approved journal La Civilta Cattolica and who is close to the pope, dismissed their criticism as the stuff of a noisy but small “echo chamber.”

He also played down the effect of Mr. Trump’s ascent on the standing of Francis’ opponents in the Vatican, saying it was only on a “level of image” and “propaganda.”

The pope will maintain his direction and not be distracted by fights against those trying to undercut him, Father Spadaro said. “He moves forward, and he moves ahead very fast.”

He added that Mr. Trump’s ban on immigrants from certain Muslim countries was “opposite” to the pontiff’s vision for how to foster unity and peace. The pope, Father Spadaro said, is doing everything he can to avoid the clash of civilizations that both fundamentalist Muslims and Christians want.

Indeed, the pope does not seem to be slowing down.

Days after the election of Mr. Trump, in St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican officially elevated new cardinals selected by Pope Francis who reflected the pope’s emphasis on an inclusive church — far from the worldview of Mr. Bannon and Mr. Burke.

“It’s not that he is just bringing new people in that think maybe like him,” Cardinal Blase Cupich, the influential new cardinal of Chicago, said after the ceremony. “He is transforming the church in making us rethink how we have done things before.”

That transformation was evident later in the evening, when the old conservative guard came to pay their respects to the new cardinals.

João Braz de Aviz, a powerful cardinal close to the pope, walked around in simple cleric clothes, the equivalent of civilian dress among all the flowing cassocks. Asked whether the ascent of Mr. Trump would embolden Mr. Bannon’s allies in the Vatican to intensify their opposition and force the pope to take a more orthodox line, he shrugged.

“The doctrine is secure,” he said, adding that the mission of the church was more to safeguard the poor. It was also, he reminded his traditionalist colleagues, to serve St. Peter, whose authority is passed down through the popes. “And today, Francis is Peter.”

(more at link)
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/07/worl ... .html?_r=0
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Re: Habemus Papam! Pope Francis l

Postby American Dream » Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:44 am

Secret Wars: Vatican Edition


The Knights of Malta along with their allies in Opus Dei are the bedrock of far right wing Catholicism (some may even call it clerical fascism). And contrary to what countless conspiracy hacks have written about either order online, neither the Maltese knights or Opusians have an especially warm relationship with the Jesuits.

http://visupview.blogspot.com/2017/02/s ... ition.html
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Re: Habemus Papam! Pope Francis l

Postby cptmarginal » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:06 pm

The VISUP guy does a good job in collecting and presenting all of that information...

This picture becomes even funnier when put in the context of the NYT article quoted there:


A few days later, Cardinal Burke relayed his concerns about Mr. Boeselager to Francis. According to supporters of the cardinal, the pope then instructed him to root out from the order elements of Freemasonry, Vatican shorthand for adherents of a secular moral view. But other people familiar with the events inside the order said the pope had also urged Cardinal Burke and the order’s leadership to settle the dispute through dialogue.

Instead, Mr. Festing and Cardinal Burke met Mr. Boeselager on Dec. 6 and requested his resignation, claiming, Mr. Boeselager said in a statement, “that this was in accordance with the wishes of the Holy See.”

Mr. Boeselager denied knowing about the condom distribution program and considered the move a coup and an attempt to tarnish him as a “liberal Catholic.” He argued that once he had discovered the program, he had informed the Vatican and it ended.

He also refused to leave, setting off a disciplinary procedure that led to his suspension, and reached out to the Vatican for confirmation that the pope desired his removal. Mr. Boeselager declined to comment for this article.

Francis was apparently not pleased about the firing and did not want the dispute to spill into the public, which it did when The Tablet, a Catholic publication in England, broke the news.

The pope was already critical of the ornate dress favored by the Knights (red military jacket and gold epaulets) and by Cardinal Burke (a long train of billowing red silk known as a cappa magna). Francis also had a history of run-ins with the Knights during his time as a cardinal in Argentina.



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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declarati ... sociations
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Re: Habemus Papam! Pope Francis l

Postby divideandconquer » Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:48 am

Sorry if this has been posted already but very interesting.

Blasphemous,” “Disgusting,” & “Demonic”: Archbishop Paglia’s Homoerotic Mural

Image: The mural, commissioned by Archbishop Paglia for his cathedral Church in Terni-Narni-Amelia, depicts homoerotic themes, trangender persons, prostitutes, drug dealers and other material highly inappropriate for a church setting.

Last week on the 1P5 podcast, I talked to Joseph Sciambra about the revelation that Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, Pope Francis’ newly-appointed head of the Pontifical Academy for Life and Grand Chancellor of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family, had commissioned an openly homosexual artist to paint a homoerotic mural in his cathedral Church in 2007.

Reactions to that story are now coming in from Catholic leaders, including former members of Paglia’s freshly-gutted Pontifical Academy for Life. At LifeSiteNews, Pete Baklinksi reports that the fallout from these revelations among Catholic leaders has been strong and vocal:

Critics are saying the work commissioned by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia is “blasphemous,” “disgusting,” and even “demonic.”

“There is a need for reparation for this blasphemous work. And it is blasphemy because of the effeminate depiction of Christ in a context that the artist himself said was meant to be ‘erotic,’” said Dr. Thomas Ward, president of the National Association of Catholic Families and former corresponding member of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

“It is especially insulting that this image is in the presence of the tabernacle, in the presence of Our Blessed Lord. It is no stretch to say that in this context, and with the image’s clearly erotic content, it is demonic,” he told LifeSiteNews.

Paglia, former bishop of the Italian diocese of Terni-Narni-Amelia where the mural hangs in the cathedral, has been elevated to influential levels of responsibility.

After serving as President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Pope Francis appointed him last year to head the Pontifical Academy for Life and also made him Grand Chancellor of the St. John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Studies of Marriage and Family. As the former head of the Pontifical Council for the Family, he oversaw the development and launch of a sex-ed course for teens that experts criticized as “thoroughly immoral,” “entirely inappropriate,” and “quite tragic.”

Descriptions of the mural make clear the reason for the outrage:

The image of the Savior is painted with the face of a local male hairdresser, and his private parts can be seen through his translucent garb.

In one instance, one male can be seen with his hand between another male’s legs groping his reproductive organ.

Included in one of the nets is Paglia, the then diocesan bishop. Wearing his skull cap, he is depicted as clutching another semi-nude man who is tenderly embracing him.

Cinalli told La Repubblica that the naked people in the nets were meant to be “erotic,” although Paglia drew the line when Cinalli proposed to show people actually copulating.

“In this case, there was not – in this sense – a sexual intention, but erotic, yes,” Cinalli said. “I think that the erotic aspect is the most notable among the people inside the nets.” He later added, “The one thing that they didn’t permit me to insert was the copulation of two people within this net where everything is permitted.”

Answers are lacking as to why a man who would commission such a work would be put in such significant positions of influence within Church institutions responsible for the implementation of Catholic sexual teaching:

Dr. Ward questioned Paglia’s recent appointments to influential posts within the Vatican given his artistic sensibilities.

“Given that Archbishop Paglia is in the net of erotic figures going to heaven, and given that he discussed every detail with the painter, the question has to be asked by parents worldwide why was this man put in charge of a prototype of sex education aimed at Catholic children throughout the world?” he said.

“Catholic parents must look at the scale of evil [that has infiltrated the Church at the highest levels]. They have to wake up to what is going on: It’s a moral nuclear wasteland,” he added.

Christine Vollmer, president of the Latin American Alliance for the Family as well as a founding member of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life, called the mural “disgusting.”

“This work is absolutely disgusting,” she told LifeSiteNews. “Added to this scandal is the huge debt Bishop Paglia allegedly left in his diocese. Given this, along with his elevation to key posts in the Church, it’s obvious that this man has high-ranking protection at the Vatican.”

Is the implication of “high-ranking protection at the Vatican” comparable to what Michael Brendan Dougherty described in his January 3rd column at The Week as pertains to clerical sexual abusers?

Pope Francis and his cardinal allies have been known to interfere with CDF’s judgments on abuse cases. This intervention has become so endemic to the system that cases of priestly abuse in Rome are now known to have two sets of distinctions. The first is guilty or innocent. The second is “with cardinal friends” or “without cardinal friends.”


Consider the case of Fr. Mauro Inzoli. Inzoli lived in a flamboyant fashion and had such a taste for flashy cars that he earned the nickname “Don Mercedes.” He was also accused of molesting children. He allegedly abused minors in the confessional. He even went so far as to teach children that sexual contact with him was legitimated by scripture and their faith. When his case reached CDF, he was found guilty. And in 2012, under the papacy of Pope Benedict, Inzoli was defrocked.

But Don Mercedes was “with cardinal friends,” we have learned. Cardinal Coccopalmerio and Monsignor Pio Vito Pinto, now dean of the Roman Rota, both intervened on behalf of Inzoli, and Pope Francis returned him to the priestly state in 2014, inviting him to a “a life of humility and prayer.” These strictures seem not to have troubled Inzoli too much. In January 2015, Don Mercedes participated in a conference on the family in Lombardy.

OnePeterFive reached out to Greg Burke, Director of the Holy See Press Office, for comment on the Paglia revelations. At the time of this writing, we have not yet received a response.

In our prior reporting, we’ve raised questions about the pope’s closeness to clerical sexual-abuse enabler Cardinal Godfried Daneels, as well as his appointment of accused abuser Bishop Juan Barros to the see of Osorno in Chile. We’ve shared allegations that Cardinal Reinhard Marx — Archbishop of Munich, head of the German Bishops’ Conference, and close adviser to Pope Francis — has been accused of negligence in dealing with clerical sexual abuse while he was the bishop of Trier. We have highlighted that the administrator of the Domus Sanctae Marta and papal-appointed liasion to the Vatican bank reform process, Msgr. Battista Ricca, has been accused of living a scandalous homosexual life in Latin America, and was the figure about whom the pope famously asked, “Who am I to judge?” We have noted that Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, whom the pope appointed as a consultor to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, advocates for Catholic acceptance of gay relationships and identity, women’s ordination, and has speculated about the “Eucharistic” nature of sodomy.

While this list is not comprehensive, the number of times such figures are appointed or honored by Francis pushes the suggestion that these are mere accidents beyond credulity. As the number of figures associated with sexual misconduct but nevertheless favored by Pope Francis continues to grow — with no remedial action in sight — hard questions need to be asked about whether any moral standards are being applied to candidates in positions of power in Francis’ Vatican. Or perhaps more to the point, whether noteworthy moral weakness is a characteristic preferred by the pontiff for reasons of his own.

Two Catholic psychologists of note — Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons and Dr. Gerard J. M. van den Aardweg — recently published an op-ed making the situation clear:

To begin with, the exposition of homoerotic art in Archbishop Paglia’s Cathedral from 2007 raises the important question of how he could ever have been chosen to lead the Pontifical Council for the Family and later the Pontifical Academy for Life and the John Paul II Institute for Studies in Marriage and Family. It is now clear that he opposes the Church’s teaching on sexual morality. This question in itself requires an inquiry as to the intentions and criteria used within the Vatican for appointments under Pope Francis.

Archbishop Paglia’s use of homoerotic art reinforces the earlier views, presented to the Vatican by several Catholic mental health professionals, that Archbishop Paglia should be suspended from his responsibilities at the Vatican and be required to undergo an evaluation required of clergy who abuse youth with a focus on psycho-sexual development. This request was made because the initial Meeting Point online sexual education program for youth, developed under Archbishop Paglia’s direction when he headed the Pontifical Council for the Family, contained homoerotic and heterosexual pornography which was like that employed by adult sexual predators of youth.

However, even more troubling is the role of Pope Francis. His apparent approval of the release of the Meeting Point program at World Youth Day with its homoerotic content and heterosexual pornography was severely negligent.

The authors conclude:
In the United States, a member of the hierarchy who deliberately places youth at risk of abuse by a known sexual predator is expected to resign from his Episcopal ministry. This norm is valid for all countries. In addition, such a Bishop would also face criminal charges of severe negligence for contributing to the sexual abuse of a minor, which could have been prevented.

With all due respect, it is time that Pope Francis takes a firm stand in favor of Catholic moral doctrine, publicly distancing himself from those prelates who favor homosexuality as an alternate form of love by removing them from positions of leadership in the Vatican.

This link posts some of the artist that was selected to pain the mural's work (TRIGGERING)
'I see clearly that man in this world deceives himself by admiring and esteeming things which are not, and neither sees nor esteems the things which are.' — St. Catherine of Genoa
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Re: Habemus Papam! Pope Francis l

Postby slomo » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:42 pm

divideandconquer » 17 Mar 2017 04:48 wrote:This link posts some of the artist that was selected to pain the mural's work (TRIGGERING)

So what I am seeing now is a conflation of homosexuality with "demonic". That seems to be the perspective of author Maureen Mullarkey. Admittedly, Cinalli's work reveals an obsession with, shall we say, the lower chakras, exactly the kind of thing you don't want in a space that is supposed to be spiritually uplifting. But my reading of her subtext isn't that she exclusively objects to the profane materiality of the artist's work, rather she objects to the artist's homosexuality (and, via guilt-by-association, Archbishop Paglia's potential homosexuality). Again, it's easy to find evidence within the gay community of the kind of hedonism that could be characterized as demonic, but there now seems to be a desire to conflate homosexuality in general with evil.

Reflecting back over the last 4 months, I see that in Pizzagate as well. Sure, some of the players are shady AF, and there are hints of real-world abuses, but the lasting memetic content seems to be that gay = pedophile. While it's true that some PG "researchers" are in fact primarily or exclusively concerned about elites' abuses of children, a great many of them seem rather to be morbidly focused on the scandalous details of abuse, especially as they may pertain to those fag pedifiles. Certainly, most of them seem to be ignoring the potential culpability of current members of our administration, making PG a seemingly partisan exercise after all.

So now the whole national vibe feels like a coup by Opus Dei.
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Re: Habemus Papam! Pope Francis l

Postby SonicG » Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:49 pm

Did you read the comments on 1PeterFive?
Mark Kenny, Janitor at St. Cecelia Cathedral of Omaha NE, far down the power structure from great men like Arbp Paglia, remains my hero.

The Parish Priest, Fr. Gutgsell adorned the Cathedral with Disney mannequins last year. Mary Poppins floating above the Church was too much for Janitor Kenny. He went up with bolt cutters and Mary Poppins was no longer able to "fly". He then proceeded to trash all the mannequins before the police arrived to put a stop to it.

Fr. Gutsgell: "Why did you throw out the displays"?

Mr. Kenny: "Father, this is bull****! We can't have this in the church. This isn't culture, it's Disney crap!". He then went to the Communion rail to wait for police.

Of course, Disney=Gay now apparently...I agree though, the whole attitude is one of total denial by Catholics, is it not?
We will never fully enter, or exit, modernity until there are no more religious institutions with sexist policies regarding their priesthood...
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