Tag Archives | Pope Benedict XVI

Catholic Church Approves iPhone Confessions

Original Photo: Jean-Pol Grandmont

Original Photo: Jean-Pol Grandmont

You can now reach God via your iPhone. BBC News reports:

The Catholic Church has approved an iPhone app that helps guide worshippers through confession.

The Confession program has gone on sale through iTunes for £1.19 ($1.99).

Described as “the perfect aid for every penitent”, it offers users tips and guidelines to help them with the sacrament.

Now senior church officials in both the UK and US have given it their seal of approval, in what is thought to be a first.

The app takes users through the sacrament – in which Catholics admit their wrongdoings – and allows them to keep track of their sins.

It also allows them to examine their conscience based on personalised factors such as age, sex and marital status – but it is not intended to replace traditional confession entirely.

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Pope Says Condoms Sometimes Permissible to Stop AIDS

Pope BenedictPhilip Pullella reports in Reuters:

VATICAN CITY — The use of condoms to stop the spread of AIDS may be justified in certain cases, Pope Benedict says in a new book that could herald the start of sea change in the Vatican’s attitude to condoms.

In excerpts published in the Vatican newspaper on Saturday ahead of the book’s publication next week, the pope cites the example of the use of condoms by prostitutes as “a first step toward moralization” even though condoms are “not really the way to deal with the evil of HIV infection.”

While some Roman Catholic leaders have spoken in the past about the limited use of condoms in specific cases to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS as a lesser of two evils, this is the first time the pope has mentioned the possibility himself in public.

The Vatican newspaper unexpectedly published significant excerpts from the book on Saturday night, days before extracts were initially due to be made public.

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Gay “Kiss-In” Protest Greets Pope In Spain

220px-GayFest_Bucharest_2005_2Welcome Pope Benedict XVI! From The New York Daily News:

A crowd of about 200 gay men and women in Barcelona staged a massive make-out session in front of the Pope Sunday as he was driven through town in the bullet-proof Popemobile on his way to celebrate mass at one of the city’s basilicas.

The monster spit-swap was organized by a Facebook group called Queer Kissing Flashmob, which sought to protest Pope Benedict XVI‘s visit to Spain and the Catholic church’s policies about homosexuals.

“We are here for a peaceful protest,” Eduardo Prado, one of the men who participated in the so-called kiss-in, told The Irish Times.  “The church oppresses us and doesn’t respect us…We can’t tolerate this sort of Pope in the 21st century.”

The kissing protesters were a small segment of the estimated 250,000 Spaniards who lined the streets along Benedict’s motorcade route, but they were joined by others who were unhappy with the 83-year-old pontiff’s visit, his second to Spain since 2006.

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Deaf Catholic Sex Abuse Victim Sues Pope

Father Lawrence C. Murphy

Father Lawrence C. Murphy

Why did he wait 50 years though? From CNN:

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin – Terry Kohut has kept a dark secret for nearly 50 years. Now he is breaking his silence, becoming a key figure in the sex-abuse crisis in the Catholic Church and the growing controversy over what Pope Benedict XVI did about it.

When Kohut was barely a teen, and for years afterward, he says, he was sexually molested and assaulted by the headmaster and priest of the school where he lived, St. John’s School for the Deaf, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. What occurred there is one of the most notorious cases of sex abuse in the Catholic Church.

Kohut was not alone. From 1950 to 1974 the headmaster of St. Johns, Father Lawrence C. Murphy, raped and molested as many as 200 deaf boys, according to court and church documents.

Kohut has now filed the first sex-abuse lawsuit against the Vatican actually naming Pope Benedict, previously known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, as a defendant.

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Pope Says Religion Has Been Marginalized Around The World

Photo: Fabio Pozzebom/ABr (CC)

Photo: Fabio Pozzebom/ABr (CC)

I, for one, wouldn’t argue with Herr Ratzinger on this point. The BBC reports on his speech during his unwelcome UK visit:

The Pope has warned that religion – and Christianity in particular – is “being marginalised” around the world.

His comments came in his keynote speech to UK MPs, senior members of British society, and religious leaders at Westminster Hall in central London.

Pope Benedict XVI warned that there were some people who wanted to see “the voice of religion be silenced”.

He returned to the subject in a service at Westminster Abbey, asking Christians to speak out about their faith.

BBC correspondent Peter Hunt described the speech at Westminster Hall as “a rallying call, and a plea – for religion not to be squeezed out by secular society”.

The Pope was speaking as a sixth man was arrested as counter-terrorism detectives investigate an alleged threat to Pope Benedict XVI’s visit.

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Relentless Views of The Pope And His Opinions

In a letter to the Guardian, harsh words were written towards the pope’s visit to the country. Disagreeing with his religious and political actions, and lack of actions, the pope is presented in an interesting depiction from the eyes of these English citizens. From The Guardian:

We, the undersigned, share the view that Pope Ratzinger should not be given the honour of a state visit to this country. We believe that the pope, as a citizen of Europe and the leader of a religion with many adherents in the UK, is of course free to enter and tour our country. However, as well as a religious leader, the pope is a head of state, and the state and organisation of which he is head has been responsible for:

Opposing the distribution of condoms and so increasing large families in poor countries and the spread of Aids.

Promoting segregated education.

Denying abortion to even the most vulnerable women.

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Future Pope Stalled California Pedophile Priest Case

GILLIAN FLACCUS writes in the AP:
Pope Benedict

LOS ANGELES — Four years after a California priest and convicted child molester asked to be defrocked, his bishop pleaded with the future Pope Benedict XVI to remove the man from the priesthood. Then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger replied, urging caution.”

Consider the good of the Universal Church,” Ratzinger wrote in a 1985 letter to Oakland Bishop John Cummins. “It is necessary for this Congregation to submit incidents of this sort to very careful consideration, which necessitates a longer period of time.”

Two more years would pass before the Vatican acted on the Rev. Stephen Kiesle’s request to leave.

A copy of the letter, typewritten in Latin and signed by Ratzinger, was obtained by The Associated Press. It constitutes the strongest challenge yet to the Vatican’s insistence that Benedict played no role in blocking the removal of pedophile priests during his years as head of the Catholic Church’s doctrinal watchdog office.

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Legal Immunity Cannot Hold: The Vatican Should Feel the Full Weight of International Law

Priest in CuffsGeoffrey Robertson writes in the Guardian:

Well may the pope defy “the petty gossip of dominant opinion”. But the Holy See can no longer ignore international law, which now counts the widespread or systematic sexual abuse of children as a crime against humanity. The anomalous claim of the Vatican to be a state — and of the pope to be a head of state and hence immune from legal action — cannot stand up to scrutiny.

The truly shocking finding of Judge Murphy’s commission in Ireland was not merely that sexual abuse was “endemic” in boys’ institutions but that the church hierarchy protected the perpetrators and, despite knowledge of their propensity to reoffend, allowed them to take up new positions teaching other children after their victims had been sworn to secrecy.

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