Posts Tagged ‘Catholic Church’
After weeks of being on tenterhooks about the new president of the Congregation of Bishops the Pope has announced that Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the Archbishop of Quebec will take up the post. Cardinal George Pell was one of the people whose name was originally being bandied about but a smear campaign and poor health made him turn down the appointment, according to Vatican watchers.
In this Curial turn-around–which places a Canadian at the top of a curial department dominated by Italians–other important posts have also been filled and people shifted across departments.
Archbishop Rino Fisichella, a controversial figure who headed the Pontifical Council for Life as well as being the rector of the Lateran University has been moved to the Pope’s new department the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, while Don Enrico dal Covolo, S.D.B takes over as Rector at the Lateran and Mgr Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, the Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy for Life, is taking over as head.
Mgr Carrasco de Paula is a medical doctor as well as a prominent moral theologian and bioethicist. He is a member of the Opus Dei, which reminds me of this John Allen Jr article from 2001 about the Opus Dei in the Vatican.
This morning B16 said that the greatest danger for the Church does not come from the outside but from the inside.
Alluding to the crisis of clerical abuse and to the persecution the Church has faced during its history, Benedict said (NB this is my very rough translation from Italian): “If we think of the two millenia of the history of the Church, we can see that, as the Lord Jesus had foreseen, there were not missing for the Christians the tests which in some periods and places took on the character of real and actual persecution.
“This, however, despite the suffering which provoke us, does not constitute the most grave danger for the Church. The greatest damage in fact, it suffers from those who pollute the faith and the Christian life of its members and community, attacking the integrity of the mystical Body, harming it in its capacity of prophecy and testimony and dulling the beauty of its face.”
The Vatican Information Service has just released an unusually detailed communique relating to a meeting between Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn and Cardinal Angelo Sodano in which the Austrian cardinal was made to explain public criticism he had levelled against Sodano.
After Cardinal Sodano made a surprise speech at Easter criticising the media’s reports about abuse as “idle gossip”, Cardinal Schoenborn publicly accused the former Secretary of State of having deliberately obstructed an investigation into accusations of child abuse against Cardinal Herman Groer of Vienna. In today’s meeting, Pope Benedict seems to have done several things: he has reminded Cardinal Schoenborn that the disciplining of members of the hierarchy is the responsibility of the Pope, he has clarified Sodano’s controversial comments about “idle gossip” and has brought the two men together. Interesting.
Maureen Dowd — the red-haired doyenne of liberal journalism — whose New York Times columns provoke mirth and wrath, has united both liberal and conservative American Catholics with her latest column, which deals with the Apostolic Visitation of Women Religious currently taking place in the US.
It is a rare occasion that finds Fr John Zuhlsdorf of What does the Prayer Really Say on the same side as Michael Sean Winters, a journalist who writes for the Jesuit America Magazine — but it’s Dowd what done it.
Both men have censured her, even if the reasons they give are somewhat different.
MSW ended his post on the America with this: “It is not that she is wrong, it is that she is so contentedly wrong, so confident in her ignorance, so comprehensively prejudiced against the Church. Why doesn’t she just become a Protestant and have done with it? If you heard her rant on the street, you would give her a dollar and hope she doesn’t spend it on booze. Reading her rant in the Times, you can just flip the page.”
Our friends over at the Intentional Disciples blog have been following the news developing in the wake of last week’s surprise announcement about the Anglican provision . While much of the world’s attention (and ours too) has focused on the Church of England and the Traditional Anglican Communion, some commentators have looked at what the Anglican provision–the Personal Ordinariates–might mean for Africa.
Tuesday’s news—that the Holy See is offering a canonical structure Anglicans wishing to become Catholics, but keep aspects of their identity—has set the Christian (and secular) interweb a-humming.
A million different interpretations of the statements made both in Rome and in London about the Apostolic Constitution, the highest form of Papal decree, abound, while experts attempt to unravel the process and the politics behind the Vatican move. Speculation is varied: Does this announcement mean the end of the Anglican Communion? Was Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, hopping mad over the news? Had he been implacably opposed to the idea? How will the hierarchy of England and Wales react? Was the Vatican fishing/poaching from the Anglican pool? Showing a vote of no confidence in the Anglican Communion? Is this the end of the ecumenical process? Will it make the Catholic Church more conservative? Will it put an end to mandatory celibacy? Will it foreshadow a structure which the SSPX could adopt if it were to return to the fold after the conversations start on Monday? Is the Pope simply moving forward in his greater plan for Christian unity?
Cardinal Walter Kasper — the gap-toothed Swabian official in charge of the Vatican’s ecumenical department (or Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity as it is known for short)—has launched a book celebrating 40 years of Catholic-Protestant dialogue this week.
Even the people who worked on the book were “positively surprised at how much has been accomplished in these years. It is a very rich harvest that overcomes the polemics and the great historical problems of the Reformation”, the cardinal said.
He said that although there had been great progress, there were some “even among some members of the curia” who held a less than positive view of ecumenism. They believe, he said, that ecumenism “has not borne any fruit and left us with our hands empty.”
Harvesting the Fruits: Basic Aspects of Christian Faith in Ecumenical Dialogue comes at an interesting time for ecumenical dialogue in Cardinal Kasper’s native Germany, where ecumenical relations have, until the last week, been on the rocks. Read the rest of this entry »
Organisers expect over 2 million people to take part in a pro-Life demo in Madrid this Saturday.
Rising in protests against the Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s plans to liberalise Spain’s abortion laws, millions are expected to take to the streets under the slogan “Every life matters”. It is also the name of the umbrella group for over forty pro-life groups who have joined forces for the rally.
“We are counting with around 2 million people who will take part in the March for life,” said
Benigno Blanco, the president of the Spanish forum for families, a lawyer and former politician and one of the demos organisers according to a report in an Austrian newspaper.
“We strive towards three goals with this demonstration: to restore a lost culture of life, to explain to worried mothers that they are not alone, and to make it clear to the Government that a great majority of Spaniards are against the new abortion laws,” he said.
I’m thinking of submitting this article to Comment is Free: Belief. But the Guardian on-line would never publish something like this…
The Priests: the politics behind the singing sensation
They may be popular among ordinary Catholics, but the cult following of The Priests serves the hierarchy’s political purposes well
Some commentators have argued that “the cult following of The Priests, though stimulated by their families and fellow clergy, grew among ordinary Catholics first” and even die-hard atheist commentators seem to have accepted the idea that the both the wider cult and the ongoing success of their live shows are characterised by a spontaneous outpouring of devotion amongst the faithful. But far from being a grassroots movement, The Priests have been vigorously marketed by a powerful political entity – the Catholic church. Read the rest of this entry »