Anna Arco's Diary

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Archive for January 2010

Publishing Pope Benedict-Jesus of Nazareth II

Pope Benedict has finished the sequel to his Jesus of Nazareth book. We know because he told Rabbi Jacob Neusner (aka the Pope’s Rabbi) during an audience last week that the book was finished, was coming out soon and would probably be his last book.

The publishing phenomenon Benedict (to be Germanic about it) is a fascinating one. Jesus of Nazareth was an international best-seller. In a move that was unusual at the time Pope Benedict XVI went away from his normal English-language publishers Ignatius in favour of Doubleday in the United States and Bloomsbury in Britain. Last year Libreria Editrice Vaticana hosted a discussion about the relationship between secular publishers and the Pope and what they brought to the table. Apparently secular publishers found it difficult to accept that Magisterial material had to be open and available to everyone, rather than under copyright.

It’s exciting news that the sequel to Jesus of Nazareth is coming out. The first book, which was very much in answer to Rabbi Neusner’s A Rabbi talks with Jesus, is wonderfully readable (once you get past the somewhat dry introduction), insightful and points to the limitations of the historico-critical method.

The question is, who will publish it in English? Bloomsbury have said that they are not planning to publish the Pope’s sequel…

Written by annaarco

January 29, 2010 at 12:34 pm

The Equalities Bill

The Lords voted to drop controversial clause in the Equality Bill which Church leaders feared could force Churches to ordain women as well as make it difficult for bishops to discipline their priests.

After a heated debate in the Lords this evening, the amendment 100 tabled by Baroness O’Cathain and the Bishop of Winchester among others was passed with 177 to 172. It favoured dropping the offending clause. Another amendment, tabled by the Government clarifying the language of the bill at the last minute failed to be passed with 174 content and 195 not content.

Written by annaarco

January 25, 2010 at 7:01 pm

In Linz, troubles continue…

Over on Cathcon, Christopher Gillibrand has a post on the newest wrinkle in the troubled diocese of Linz. Since Dr Wagner’s interview with the OberOesterreichischen Nachrichten which I posted on last week, the Upper Austrian Church has been in a tizzy. And they’ve taken the fight to the newspapers.

The beleaguered diocesan Bishop Ludwig Schwarz has lashed out at Wagner in public, accusing of raising the emotional temperature to an already heated debate about the future of the polarised diocese.

Written by annaarco

January 21, 2010 at 12:06 pm

“Even Benedict XVI and Pius XII are victims of predjudice”

One of the world’s most glamorous public philosophers has lept to the defense of one of the world’s most formidable theologians. Bernard-Henri Lévy has written an article defending Pope Benedict as well as Pope Pius XII’s wartime record in the Italian daily Corriere de la Sera.
Bernard Henri Levy wrote that Pope Benedict had been misrepresented in the press.
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by annaarco

January 21, 2010 at 11:47 am

The bishop formerly known as André-Mutien Léonard

Lots has changed concerting Belgium’s most talked of prelate André-Mutien Léonard (and not just his name) since I last blogged on the subject. He is now no longer the bishop of Namur/Namen but the Archbishop-elect of Brussels-Mechelen.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by annaarco

January 20, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Dinoscopus sleeps, eats and blogs: Williamson Redux

After months of sensible silence in the genteel exile of Wimbledon, Bishop Richard Williamson, the Lefebvrist bishop whose Holocaust denial caused a media ruckuss and an endless headache for Pope Benedict last year has given an interview to a minor French politician of the extreme right, Pierre Panet. The French Catholic newspaper La Croix first posted the interview today.

It was published on Daily Motion on Tuesday, only days after Pope Benedict XVI visited the Great Synagogue in Rome. There is already comment on it here The interviewer, Pierre Danet was a candidate for the European elections on the anti-zionist ticket of the right-wing French comic and political activist Dieudonne M’bala M’bala.

Bishop Williamson said that he believed that the dialogue between Rome and the Society of St Pius X, working towards reconciliation, was a dialogue of deaf people. He also said that he was sleeping, eating and blogging in his “unexpected sabbatical year”. His blog Dinoscopus (a cross of Dinosaur and Episcopus) was public until last year’s bruhaha over Bishop Williamson’s Holocaust denial broke. In the interview he gives his oppinion on the State of Israel, Muslim Christian relations, Kant (a criminal), and some basic theology. He also discloses to the interviewer that he loves Beethoven.

Here is an unofficial translation and transcript of the interview:

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by annaarco

January 20, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Order of Malta in Haiti

From the Foreign Service of the Order of Malt:

Thousands of people are believed dead and three million people are affected.  In what is the poorest country of the western hemisphere, the ability to help themselves is very limited.  Hospitals are overflowing, and the administration is struggling to cope.

The Order of Malta has been active in Haiti for 15 years, both through initiatives of its embassy, and by supporting a hospital in the north of the country. However, its current staff do not have the resources to address this magnitude of need.

Malteser International is preparing the deployment of an international medical team consisting of doctors and other medics to support our people on the ground.  Long years of experience mean we know that the first priorities are basic medical care and the provision of clean drinking water, to keep people safe and healthy in these horrendous circumstances

We are in great need of money to fund this work, so please consider donating to this very urgent and worthwhile cause.  Your money will go directly to help those who have lost everything.

You can donate online through our website ( <; ), or by sending a cheque made payable to BASMOM Foreign Aid Service (see attached form).

We thank you for any donation you can make.
Nicolas Reuttner, The Foreign Aid Service

Written by annaarco

January 15, 2010 at 2:17 pm

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The Wagner-effect? Austria’s exodus

Last week, upper Austria’s main newspaper Die Oberoesterreichischen Nachrichten ran an article saying that 2009 marked the upper Austrian church’s largest exodus. Ever. (Or at least since such numbers have been kept).

The paper speculates that the reason for the decline lies predominantly with last year’s disastrous Wagner Affair (Causa Wagner–background here) but that secondary reasons include the storm following the lifting of the excommunications from the four Lefebvrist Bishops last January. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by annaarco

January 14, 2010 at 5:12 pm

Aging Baby-boomers and the Church

As the Church in Spain gears up for the World Youth Day extravaganza that takes place every three years and draws hundreds of thousands of youngsters the world over, the National Catholic Reporter‘s John Allen Jr urges the Church to pay attention to its greying population.

Quoting from the United Nations population division’s report “World Population Ageing 2009”, Mr Allen points out that the numbers of older people (60 and above) in the world will exceed the number of children (15 and under) by 2045. The elderly, he says, are the fastest growing demographic segment of the population (from both ends–longer lives and fewer babies) creating a completely new phenomenon in human history. The demographers have named this trend, Grayby-boom. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by annaarco

January 14, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Pray for quake-torn Haiti, Pope says

This just in from the Catholic News Service, the Pope Benedict XVI turned his thoughts to the victims of the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti today:

“I invite everyone to join in my prayer to the Lord for the victims of this catastrophe and for those who are mourning their loss. I assure my spiritual closeness to people who have lost their homes and to all those affected in various ways by this calamity, imploring from God consolation and relief of their suffering,” he said.

Caritas Internationalis, the Vatican-based umbrella organization for Catholic charities, said it was mobilizing to provide immediate assistance to Haiti. On Jan. 13 it had already assembled an emergency relief team to fly to Haiti to assist Caritas members already working in the country. It said there had not yet been contact with the Haitian Caritas office

The US based Catholic Relief Services are already working on collecting help and getting it to Haiti, here

Written by annaarco

January 13, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Posted in Uncategorized