Tag Archives | Vatican

Why is the Vatican Searching for Aliens?

PIC: Lewis Francis (CC)

PIC: Lewis Francis (CC)

Is there any theological motivation in the search for life beyond earth? Or is this just the academic bent of our Jesuit pope being felt early in his papacy?  Is it a terrible pursuit of heresy or worse, the work of the Devil?  Or is the Vatican searching for some greater inspiration for humanity?

The last time the Vatican was moved to pursue a momentous astronomical discovery was in 1580 to reform the Julian calendar.  It was known that the equinoxes and solstices had drifted some distance off from true, and Pope Gregory XIII sought a reform to respect the traditional Easter celebration date as set by the Council of Nicaea in 325.  The Gregorian Tower was ordered erected in the Holy See and stocked with the finest instruments of the day.  Jesuit astronomers were able to refine the length of the year from 365.25 days to 365.2425 days (a reduction of about 10 minutes and 48 seconds per annum or <0.002%).  To compensate for the calculated discrepancy, a Papal Bull decreed that all calendars would skip 10 days.  The day of Thursday Oct 4th 1582 on the Julian calendar was immediately followed by the day of Friday Oct 15th 1582 on the new Gregorian calendar, and Easter has been when it’s supposed to be ever since.However, does the pursuit of the discovery of extraterrestrial life have a practical end such as that for calendar reform?… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Vatican Library Begins Digitizing Its Collection Of Ancient Manuscripts

codexBut will some documents be kept secret? The BBC reports:

The Vatican Library has begun digitising its priceless collection of ancient manuscripts dating from the origins of the Church.

The first stage of the project will cover some 3,000 handwritten documents over the next four years. The cost – more than $20m – will be borne by Japan’s NTT Data technology company. Eventually, the library hopes to make available online all its 82,000 manuscripts.

The 3,000 documents to be scanned digitally over the next four years include copies of works of classical Greek and Latin literature and mediaeval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts.

The library, founded by a 15th Century Pope, also contains important works of mathematics and science, law and medicine from earliest times up to the present day.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Condoms Full of Cocaine Addressed to Vatican Seized by German Customs Officers

Pic: Willis Kent Productions (C)

Pic: Willis Kent Productions (C)

Pope Rockso would approve.

Via The Guardian:

A government spokesman said a box packed with 340 grammes of the drug, valued at €40,000 (£33,470), was seized in January at the international airport in the eastern city of Leipzig.

The cocaine, posted from an unnamed South American country, was in liquid form. It had been poured into the condoms and placed in the package addressed to the main postal centre at the Vatican.

Authorities handed the parcel to a Vatican police officer with the aim of laying a trap.

Read the rest at The Guardian.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Miracles: So What?

9839c6ee-a777-4189-a03e-6c0cc0b0128eLast year I bought a book from the internet titled Raised from the Dead: True Stories of 400 Resurrection Miracles by Father Albert J. Herbert (1986).  As one could probably guess, the anecdotes this book contains span many centuries and involve many people who had flatlined coming back to life, really incredible stuff.  Father Herbert treats the accounts in an old-school ‘devout’ manner, as though each incredible miracle were a natural matter of course and a testament to the will of God.   While inspiring, I found them just too incredible.  My own faltering set me on a mission to try to corroborate accounts of miracles with credible evidence.  Maybe by bringing back an olive branch, I could also inspire others to climb to the mouth of the cave (mixing metaphors, lol).

A miracle is a supernatural phenomenon (which we here at disinfo are to no small degree acclimated) but one that strings along a set of religious implications as well.  For example, Jesus performed 3 different types of miracles: healing, exorcism, and natural wonders.  However, numerous divergent religions will claim miracles on behalf of their deity(s).  One notable modern non-Catholic, undoubtedly among many, who is widely referred to as “miracle worker” is Sathya Sai Baba, who has many remarkable miraculous claims to his name.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Vatican Offers ‘Time Off Purgatory’ to Followers of Pope Francis tweets

100421FranckenII

Frans Francken II (1581 – 1642) Man Choosing
between Virtue and Vice, 1633. Click to enlarge.

Get ready to indulge yourself and the pope, because the big hat is offering good time off in purgatory for following him on twitter.

via The Guardian

In its latest attempt to keep up with the times the Vatican has married one of its oldest traditions to the world of social media by offering “indulgences” to followers of Pope Francis‘ tweets.

The church’s granted indulgences reduce the time Catholics believe they will have to spend in purgatory after they have confessed and been absolved of their sins.

The remissions got a bad name in the Middle Ages because unscrupulous churchmen sold them for large sums of money. But now indulgences are being applied to the 21st century.

But a senior Vatican official warned web-surfing Catholics that indulgences still required a dose of old-fashioned faith, and that paradise was not just a few mouse clicks away.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Vatican Says Pope John Paul II Miraculously Healed Several People From Beyond The Grave, Will Be Made A Saint

pope

Well I am certainly impressed. The Telegraph reports:

The Vatican has secretly attributed a mystery miracle to the late John Paul II, clearing the way for him to be declared a saint.

The Holy See has yet to reveal what the miracle was or where and when it took place but Vatican sources said it would “amaze the world”. It concerns the “extraordinary healing” of a Costa Rican woman who was cured of a severe brain injury after her family began praying to the memory of the late Polish pope.

John Paul II was beatified — the first step towards sainthood — in a lavish outdoor ceremony in St Peter’s Square in May 2011.

John Paul’s first attributed miracle was the apparent healing of a French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre. Her recovery from Parkinson’s disease after praying for the late pope’s “intercession” had no medical explanation, the Catholic Church maintains.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Pope Admits There’s A ‘Gay Lobby’ At The Vatican

Pope Francis in March 2013I’m sure you’re all shocked, shocked.  From BBC News:

Pope Francis is reported to have acknowledged the existence of a “gay lobby” inside the Vatican.

He also said there was a “stream of corruption”, according to reports in Catholic media.

He is said to have made the remarks during a private meeting with a group of Latin American Catholic clerics.

The clerics wrote up a report of the conversation that then appeared on the Chilean website Reflection and Liberation.

Previous rumours

According to the report, the Pope was extremely open as he discussed problems at the Vatican.

He is said to have told the Latin American delegation that there were good, holy men in the administration, but that there was also corruption.

The Vatican would have to “see what we can do” about the “gay lobby” operating in the bureaucracy, he said. “It is true, it is there,” the report quotes him as saying.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Pope Francis Allegedly Performs Exorcism During Sunday Mass In Rome

pope francisHigh-ranking Vatican exorcist Gabriele Amorth, featured in the Disinformation film Exorcist in the 21st Century, proudly declares that the new pope’s use of prayer to expel demons from a visiting Mexican man constitutes a proper exorcism, ABC News reports:

Pope Francis’ fascination with the devil took on remarkable new twists Tuesday, with a well-known exorcist insisting Francis helped “liberate” a Mexican man possessed by four different demons despite the Vatican’s insistence that no such papal exorcism took place.

The case concerns a 43-year-old husband and father who traveled to Rome from Mexico to attend Francis’ Mass on Sunday in St. Peter’s Square. Francis blessed several wheelchair-bound faithful as he always does, including the man, [who was] possessed by the devil. Francis laid his hands on the man’s head and recited a prayer. The man heaved deeply a half-dozen times, shook, then slumped in his wheelchair.

The images, broadcast worldwide, prompted the television station of the Italian bishops’ conference to declare that according to several exorcists, there was “no doubt” that Francis either performed an exorcism or a simpler prayer to free the man from the devil.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

DisinfoCast: 57: The Exorcist in the 21st Century – Christian Falch and Fredrik Horn Akselsen

The-Exorcist-poster1

iTunes | Download (mp3) | RSS | iPhone App

Documentarians Christian Falch and Fredrik Horn Akselsen join us to discuss the making of their documentary The Exorcist in the 21st Century.

The Exorcist in the 21st Century takes the viewer into the unknown and sinister world of exorcism in the Catholic Church. We meet one of the few exorcists in Europe, the Vatican approved José Antonio Fortea. He travels around the world on a mission to enlighten the masses about demonic possession. Constanza, a Colombian woman, is desperately looking for Fr. Forteas help. She claims to have been possessed by demons for nearly 15 years and she goes through a ritual of exorcism before she sees the Spanish exorcist as a last hope for spiritual liberation. The film follows both their journeys and gives a unique insight into one of the world most secret and mystical rites – the catholic ritual of exorcism.… Read the rest

Continue Reading