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Showing posts with label Vatican. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vatican. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

A Memorandum on the Next Conclave Is Circulating Among the Cardinals. Here It Is

One hopes and prays that this anonymous memorandum about the catastrophic damage done to the church by the current "Pope" was authored by a Cardinal and read by them all. This sums up the criminal and heretical pontificate of Jorge the Merciful. May God, in His mercy, never allow us to see such demonic leadership again.

Since the beginning of Lent the cardinals who will elect the future pope have been passing this memorandum around. Its author, who goes by the name of Demos, “people” in Greek, is unknown, but shows himself a thorough master of the subject. It cannot be ruled out that he himself is a cardinal.

From L'Espresso by Sandro Magister


Commentators of every school, if for different reasons, with the possible exception of Father Spadaro, SJ, agree that this pontificate is a disaster in many or most respects; a catastrophe.

1. The Successor of St. Peter is the rock on which the Church is built, a major source and cause of worldwide unity. Historically (St. Irenaeus), the Pope and the Church of Rome have a unique role in preserving the apostolic tradition, the rule of faith, in ensuring that the Churches continue to teach what Christ and the apostles taught. Previously it was: “Roma locuta. Causa finita est.” Today it is: “Roma loquitur. Confusio augetur.”

(A)    The German synod speaks on homosexuality, women priests, communion for the divorced. The Papacy is silent.

(B)    Cardinal Hollerich rejects the Christian teaching on sexuality. The Papacy is silent. This is doubly significant because the Cardinal is explicitly heretical; he does not use code or hints. If the Cardinal were to continue without Roman correction, this would represent another deeper breakdown of discipline, with few (any?) precedents in history. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith must act and speak.

(C)    The silence is emphasised when contrasted with the active persecution of the Traditionalists and the contemplative convents.

2. The Christo-centricity of teaching is being weakened; Christ is being moved from the centre. Sometimes Rome even seems to be confused about the importance of a strict monotheism, hinting at some wider concept of divinity; not quite pantheism, but like a Hindu panentheism variant.

(A)    Pachamama is idolatrous; perhaps it was not intended as such initially.

(B)    The contemplative nuns are being persecuted and attempts are being made to change the teachings of the charismatics.

(C)    The Christo-centric legacy of St. John Paul II in faith and morals is under systematic attack. Many of the staff of the Roman Institute for the Family have been dismissed; most students have left. The Academy for Life is gravely damaged, e.g., some members recently supported assisted suicide. The Pontifical Academies have members and visiting speakers who support abortion.

3. The lack of respect for the law in the Vatican risks becoming an international scandal. These issues have been crystalized through the present Vatican trial of ten accused of financial malpractices, but the problem is older and wider.

(A)    The Pope has changed the law four times during the trial to help the prosecution.

(B)    Cardinal Becciu has not been treated justly because he was removed from his position and stripped of his cardinalatial dignities without any trial. He did not receive due process. Everyone has a right to due process.

(C)    As the Pope is head of the Vatican state and the source of all legal authority, he has used this power to intervene in legal procedures.

(D)    The Pope sometimes (often) rules by papal decrees (motu proprio) which eliminate the right to appeal of those affected.

(E)    Many staff, often priests, have been summarily dismissed from the Vatican Curia, often without good reason.

(F)    Phone tapping is regularly practised. I am not sure how often it is authorized.

(G)    In the English case against Torzi, the judge criticised the Vatican prosecutors harshly. They are either incompetent and/or were nobbled, prevented from giving the full picture.

(H)    The raid by the Vatican Gendarmeria, led by Dr. Giani in 2017 on the auditor’s (Libero Milone) office on Italian territory was probably illegal and certainly intimidating and violent. It is possible that evidence against Milone was fabricated.

4. (A) The financial situation of the Vatican is grave. For the past ten years (at least), there have nearly always been financial deficits. Before COVID, these deficits ranged around €20 million annually. For the last three years, they have been around €30-35 million annually. The problems predate both Pope Francis and Pope Benedict.

(B)    The Vatican is facing a large deficit in the Pensions Fund. Around 2014 the experts from COSEA estimated the deficit would be around € 800 million in 2030. This was before COVID.

(C)    It is estimated that the Vatican has lost € 217 million on the Sloane Avenue property in London. In the 1980’s, the Vatican was forced to pay out $ 230 million after the Banco Ambrosiano scandal. Through inefficiency and corruption during the past 25-30 years, the Vatican has lost at least another € 100 million, and it probably would be much higher (perhaps 150-200 million).

(D)    Despite the Holy Father’s recent decision, the process of investing has not been centralized (as recommended by COSEA in 2014 and attempted by the Secretariat for the Economy in 2015-16) and remains immune to expert advice. For decades, the Vatican has dealt with disreputable financiers avoided by all respectable bankers in Italy.

(E)    The return on the 5261 Vatican properties remains scandalously low. In 2019, the return (before COVID) was nearly $ 4,500 a year. In 2020, it was € 2,900 per property.

(F)    The changing role of Pope Francis in the financial reforms (incomplete but substantial progress as far as reducing crime is concerned, much less successful, except at IOR, in terms of profitability) is a mystery and an enigma.

Initially the Holy Father strongly backed the reforms. He then prevented the centralization of investments, opposed the reforms and most attempts to unveil corruption, and supported (then) Archbishop Becciu, at the centre of Vatican financial establishment. Then in 2020, the Pope turned on Becciu and eventually ten persons were placed on trial and charged. Over the years, few prosecutions were attempted from AIF reports of infringements.

The external auditors Price Waterhouse and Cooper were dismissed and the Auditor General Libero Milone was forced to resign on trumped up charges in 2017. They were coming too close to the corruption in the Secretariat of State.

5. The political influence of Pope Francis and the Vatican is negligible. Intellectually, Papal writings demonstrate a decline from the standard of St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict. Decisions and policies are often “politically correct”, but there have been grave failures to support human rights in Venezuela, Hong Kong, mainland China, and now in the Russian invasion.

There has been no public support for the loyal Catholics in China who have been intermittently persecuted for their loyally to the Papacy for more than 70 years. No public Vatican support for the Catholic community in Ukraine, especially the Greek Catholics.

These issues should be revisited by the next Pope. The Vatican’s political prestige is now at a low ebb.

6. At a different, lower level, the situation of Tridentine traditionalists (Catholic) should be regularised.

At a further and lower level, the celebration of “individual” and small group Masses in the mornings in St. Peter’s Basilica should be permitted once again. At the moment, this great basilica is like a desert in the early morning.

The COVID crisis has covered up the large decline in the number of pilgrims attending Papal audiences and Masses.

The Holy Father has little support among seminarians and young priests and wide-spread disaffiliation exists in the Vatican Curia.

The Next Conclave

1. The College of Cardinals has been weakened by eccentric nominations and has not been reconvened after the rejection of Cardinal Kasper’s views in the 2014 consistory. Many Cardinals are unknown to one another, adding a new dimension of unpredictability to the next conclave.

2. After Vatican II, Catholic authorities often underestimated the hostile power of secularization, the world, flesh, and the devil, especially in the Western world and overestimated the influence and strength of the Catholic Church.

We are weaker than 50 years ago and many factors are beyond our control, in the short term at least, e.g. the decline in the number of believers, the frequency of Mass attendance, the demise or extinction of many religious orders.

3. The Pope does not need to be the world’s best evangelist, nor a political force. The successor of Peter, as head of the College of Bishops, also successors of the Apostles, has a foundational role for unity and doctrine. The new pope must understand that the secret of Christian and Catholic vitality comes from fidelity to the teachings of Christ and Catholic practices. It does not come from adapting to the world or from money.

4. The first tasks of the new pope will be to restore normality, restore doctrinal clarity in faith and morals, restore a proper respect for the law and ensure that the first criterion for the nomination of bishops is acceptance of the apostolic tradition. Theological expertise and learning are an advantage, not a hinderance for all bishops and especially archbishops.

These are necessary foundations for living and preaching the Gospel.

5. If the synodal gatherings continue around the world, they will consume much time and money, probably distracting energy from evangelization and service rather than deepening these essential activities.

If the national or continental synods are given doctrinal authority, we will have a new danger to world-wide Church unity, whereby e.g., the German church holds doctrinal views not shared by other Churches and not compatible with the apostolic tradition.

If there was no Roman correction of such heresy, the Church would be reduced to a loose federation of local Churches, holding different views, probably closer to an Anglican or Protestant model, than an Orthodox model.

An early priority for the next pope must be to remove and prevent such a threatening development, by requiring unity in essentials and not permitting unacceptable doctrinal differences. The morality of homosexual activity will be one such flash point.

6.    While the younger clergy and seminarians are almost completely orthodox, sometimes quite conservative, the new Pope will need to be aware of the substantial changes effected on the Church’s leadership since 2013, perhaps especially in South and Central America. There is a new spring in the step of the Protestant liberals in the Catholic Church.

Schism is not likely to occur from the left, who often sit lightly to doctrinal issues. Schism is more likely to come from the right and is always possible when liturgical tensions are inflamed and not dampened.

Unity in the essentials. Diversity in the non-essentials. Charity on all issues.

7. Despite the dangerous decline in the West and the inherent fragility and instability in many places, serious consideration should be given to the feasibility of a visitation on the Jesuit Order. They are in a situation of catastrophic numerical decline from 36,000 members during the Council to less than 16,000 in 2017 (with probably 20-25% above 75 years of age). In some places, there is catastrophic moral decline.

The order is highly centralized, susceptible to reform or damage from the top. The Jesuit charism and contribution have been and are so important to the Church that they should not be allowed to pass away into history undisturbed or become simply an Asian-African community.

8. The disastrous decline in Catholic numbers and Protestant expansion in South America should be addressed. It was scarcely mentioned in the Amazonian Synod.

9. Obviously, a lot of work is needed on the financial reforms in the Vatican, but this should not be the most important criterion in the selection of the next Pope.

The Vatican has no substantial debts but continuing annual deficits will eventually lead to bankruptcy. Obviously, steps will be taken to remedy this, to separate the Vatican from criminal accomplices and balance revenue and expenditure. The Vatican will need to demonstrate competence and integrity to attract substantial donations to help with this problem.

Despite the improved financial procedures and greater clarity, continuing financial pressures represent a major challenge, but they are much less important than the spiritual and doctrinal threats facing the Church, especially in the First World.


Lent 2022


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Vatican Gardens Provide Prayerful Oasis

"It becomes more and more evident that there is an inseparable link between peace with creation and peace among men."
~ Pope Benedict XVI

Recently, the world spotlight has been focused on the Vatican and the tight knot of buildings squeezed into its walls. Between St. Peter’s Basilica, the Nervi audience hall, the Domus Sanctae Martae and the Sistine Chapel, Vatican City has seemed like a condensed cluster of structures.

Behind those lofty brick or travertine facades, however, lies the oasis of the Vatican Gardens, where Pope Benedict XVI will live out his days in a renovated monastery. The gardens were already dear to the pope emeritus, who referred to them as his "vital space" for prayer.

The Vatican city state comprises 104 acres, of which 57 are destined for gardens. This division is much like the synthesis of the active and contemplative in the Christian life, where the busy existence in the world is fortified by quiet times of prayer.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

High Noon: How the Sun and Moon Guided Prayer Times and Liturgy

By Carol Glatz

Hidden among the paving stones of St. Peter's Square there is a simple clock and calendar. All you need is a sunny day.

The 83-foot stone obelisk in the middle of the square acts as a sundial that can accurately indicate midday and the two solstices thanks to a granite meridian and marble markers embedded in the square.

Pope Benedict XVI proudly pointed out the hidden timepiece during an Angelus address he gave on the winter solstice a few years ago.

"The great obelisk casts its shadow in a line that runs along the paving stones toward the fountain beneath this window and in these days, the shadow is at its longest of the year," he told pilgrims from the window of his library.

In fact, at noon on Dec. 21, the obelisk's shadow falls on the marble disk furthest from the obelisk's base, while at noon on June 21 -- the summer solstice -- the tip of the shadow will fall just a few yards from the obelisk. In between are five other disks marking when the sun enters into which sign of the zodiac.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

In 30 months, St. Peter’s Square to Resemble the 1600s

From L'Osservatore Romano
By Raffaele Alessandrini
In thirty months, St. Peters Square will return to looking like that which was conceived and built in the second half of the 1600s. Work has already begun on the Bernini columns and soon they will be restored in all of their original color and brilliance; as one of the most important Baroque symbols, famous not only in architecture and urban planning – as a space dedicated to public religious ceremonies – but also as highly allegorical artistic representation of an ecumenical embrace of the universal Church to all people.

The immense construction site aims to restore all of the architectural and decorative elements of the Square: 284 columns, 92 pillars, 140 statues, 6 papal coat of arms, 1200 meters of balustrade and crown mouldings as well as 3400 square meters of paneled ceilings. Then there are the two celebrated twin fountains – the Clementina and the Gregoriana – and of course, the Egyptian obelisk in granite, 42 meters high, erected in 1586 by Sixtus V at the center of the Square. Even the 18th century lamps around the obelisk will be restored, according to the Director of Technical Services of the Governatorate, Pier Carlo Cuscianna.

This immense project, “made possible thanks to generous sponsors and Divine Providence,” said Cuscianna, “will take around two and a half years and will involve detailed direction from the Governatorate of the Vatican City State,” who will work with the engineers and architects in specific areas of planning, verifying and execution of the works.

Scientific, artistic, historical and monumental aspects will be handled by the Vatican Museums, directed by Antonio Paolucci and supported by a group of expert restorers, specialists and researchers from the Superintendence of Architectural Heritage of the Vatican City State. The duty of regulating the financing of the work and its execution will lie with the Direction of the Accounting of the State and the Juridical Office. The general restoration and works have been tendered to the Associazione Temporanea di Imprese: Italiana Costruzioni  and Fratelli Navarra. Cuscianna emphasizes that the most significant contribution to the project has been given by the President of the Governatorate, Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo who has, “steered clearly and firmly in these turbulent economic and financial times,” and the Secretary General, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano’ in “putting together this long and arduous interdisciplinary undertaking.”

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pope Launches Vatican News Portal

With the following tweet, Pope Benedict has announced a new Vatican news portal:
"Dear Friends, I just launched Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI."
 The story follows:

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Russia and Vatican to Establish Full Diplomatic Relations

From Catholic World News

Russia and the Holy See have agreed to establish full diplomatic relations. The agreement was announced on December 3 after Pope Benedict XVI met with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev.

Since 1990, Russia has maintained a mission at the Vatican. That representation will now be upgraded to a fully accredited embassy, and an apostolic nunciature will be established in Moscow.

Source(s): these links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Following Outcry, Vatican Newspaper Criticizes Obama Peace Prize

Notes president's questionable record on abortion and war

From LifeSiteNews
By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

Following an outcry from pro-life organizations in response to Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi's expression of "appreciation" for the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama, the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano has published an editorial strongly criticizing the award.

After noting the irony of giving a peace award to a president who is continuing to fight two wars begun by his predecessor, author Lucetta Scaraffia notes that Obama's "oscillating policy" in Iraq and Afghanistan is "very similar to that held by the president towards the great bioethical issues, besides those regarding abortion, which have caused such controversy among American Catholics."

"In receiving the coveted award, Obama should remember that in 1979 he was preceded by Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who had the courage, in her official statements on the occasion of receiving the award, to remember that the more intense war, with the greater number of 'casualties,' is the practice of abortion, legalized and facilitated even by international institutions," continues Scaraffia.

He also notes the Nobel Committee's inconsistency in giving the award to Obama, but failing repeatedly to give it to Pope John Paul II, despite the former pope's highly significant efforts in favor of peace, including his strong opposition to the Iraq war.

Despite his efforts, says Scaraffia, the pope was considered "too conservative in other ways," and that the fear was that, by awarding the pope, "one important religious confession would be privileged over another." However, this fear of partisanship evidently was overcome in the "much more controversial" case of the selection of Obama, said Scaraffia.

The decision, he concludes, was motivated by "politically correct thinking."

Scaraffia also makes an apparent attempt to rationalize or explain the initial response to the selection of Obama by Federico Lombardi, head of the Vatican Press Office.

Lombardi had received the news warmly on behalf of the Vatican on October 9, stating that the news "was greeted with appreciation" because of "the president's demonstrated commitment to promoting peace on an international level and, in particular, in recently promoting nuclear disarmament."

His statement was criticized by pro-life leaders and who noted the destructive record of Obama with regard to the right to life.

In an apparent attempt at damage control in the wake of Lombardi's remarks, Scaraffia reaffirms the spokesman's remarks in the context of his highly critical article, stating that "as the director of the Holy See's Press Office has said, we can only rejoice in seeing the recognition in president Obama of the effort for nuclear disarmament and an undeniable personal propensity towards a policy oriented more to obtaining peace than affirming American power in the world."

Friday, January 23, 2009

Vatican Inaugurates YouTube Channel

From Catholic World News

The Vatican has launched its own YouTube channel, to offer daily news items and messages from the Holy Father. Vatican officials said that the channel was designed to take advantage of a popular new method of communications and also to exert some control over the use of the Pope's image, which is already being used by other internet sites-- sometimes without permission and for purposes hostile to the interests of the Church. The new Vatican YouTube channel-- available in English, Spanish, German, and Italian-- will feature short daily features and links to other Vatican resources. The initiative was launched on the same day that the Vatican released the text of Pope Benedict's message for the 43rd World Day of Social Communications [see today's CWN feature for more detail on that papal document]; in that text the Pontiff concentrated on the potential power of new communications technology in advancing the Gospel message.

Source(s): these links will take you to other sites, in a new window.