… Read the rest
VATICAN CITY — Germany’s sex abuse scandal has now reached Pope Benedict XVI: His former archdiocese acknowledged it transferred a suspected pedophile priest while Benedict was in charge and criticism is mounting over a 2001 Vatican directive he penned instructing bishops to keep abuse cases secret.
The revelations have put the spotlight on Benedict’s handling of abuse claims both when he was archbishop of Munich from 1977–1982 and then the prefect of the Vatican office that deals with such crimes — a position he held until his 2005 election as pope.
Benedict got a firsthand readout of the scope of the scandal Friday in his native land from the head of the German Bishop’s Conference, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, who reported that the pontiff had expressed “great dismay and deep shock” over the scandal, but encouraged bishops to continue searching for the truth.
Tag Archives | Vatican
Didn’t you just know it? From the Times:
… Read the rest
Sex abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church are proof that that “the Devil is at work inside the Vatican”, according to the Holy See’s chief exorcist.
Father Gabriele Amorth, 85, who has been the Vatican’s chief exorcist for 25 years and says he has dealt with 70,000 cases of demonic possession, said that the consequences of satanic infiltration included power struggles at the Vatican as well as “cardinals who do not believe in Jesus, and bishops who are linked to the Demon”.
He added: “When one speaks of ‘the smoke of Satan’ [a phrase coined by Pope Paul VI in 1972] in the holy rooms, it is all true – including these latest stories of violence and paedophilia.”
He claimed that another example of satanic behaviour was the Vatican “cover-up” over the deaths in 1998 of Alois Estermann, the then commander of the Swiss Guard, his wife and Corporal Cedric Tornay, a Swiss Guard, who were all found shot dead.
Shocker! via The Washington Post:
… Read the rest
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) — One of Pope Benedict’s ceremonial ushers and a member of an elite choir in St Peter’s Basilica have been implicated in a gay prostitution ring, in the latest sexual scandal to taint the Vatican.
Ghinedu Ehiem, a Nigerian, was dismissed by the Vatican on Wednesday from the Giulia Choir after his name appeared in transcripts of police wiretaps, published by an Italian newspaper, in an unrelated Italian investigation.
The wiretaps were carried out in connection with a probe into corruption in contracts to build public works, including the planned venue in Sardinia of last year’s G8 summit. The summit was eventually moved to the Abruzzo region as part of efforts to help it recover from an earthquake.
Among four people arrested last month in the corruption probe was Angelo Balducci, a engineer who is a board member of Italy’s public works department and a construction consultant to the Vatican.
The following is the second chapter from my book 50 Things You’re Not Supposed to Know, published in 2003.
For more on me: go to The Memory Hole.
Before he was Pope Pius II, Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini was a poet, scholar, diplomat, and rakehell. And an author. In fact, he wrote a bestseller. People in fifteenth-century Europe couldn’t get enough of his Latin novella Historia de duobus amantibus. An article in a scholarly publication on literature claims that Historia “was undoubtedly one of the most read stories of the whole Renaissance.” The Oxford edition gives a Cliff Notes version of the storyline: “The Goodli History tells of the illicit love of Euralius, a high official in the retinue of the [German] Emperor Sigismund, and Lucres, a married lady from Siena [Italy].”
It was probably written in 1444, but the earliest known printing is from Antwerp in 1488.… Read the rest
Reported on SPIEGEL ONLINE:
The Catholic Church in Germany has been shaken in recent days by revelations of a series of sexual abuse cases. Close to 100 priests and members of the laity have been suspected of abuse in recent years. After years of suppression, the wall of silence appears to be crumbling.
This is what it looks like, the document of a conspiracy: 24 pages, with appendix, in Latin, published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican. A “norma interna,” or confidential set of guidelines for all bishops, who were required to keep it a secret for all eternity, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
The guidelines, issued in the year of our Lord 1962, address a sensitive subject: sex in the confessional. The Vatican doesn’t put it quite that directly, preferring to use more guarded terminology to describe what happens when a priest leads a member of his flock astray before, during or after the confession — in other words, when he provokes a penitent “toward impure and obscene matters” through “words or signs or nods of the head (or) by touch.”
Read More: SPIEGEL ONLINE
The Geneva-based laboratory would like to invite an astronomer from the Vatican Observatory to collaborate on studies concerning the origin of the universe, said Ugo Amaldi, a professor of medical physics and president of the TERA Foundation, which works closely with CERN in finding ways to apply atomic research in treating cancer. CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, "is an international and European (facility), and to have the Vatican Observatory send some or one of its young scientists will be something that is extremely important," he said. He made his comments during a Dec. 10 Vatican press conference launching the Italian-language version of "The Heavens Proclaim," a book about the history of the Vatican and astronomy. The head of the Vatican Observatory, Jesuit Father Jose Funes, said during the book presentation that he hopes Gabriele Gionti, a young Vatican astronomer who will be ordained in June, will be involved in the CERN collaboration...
Richard Allen Greene and Hada Messia write on CNN World:
… Read the rest
Pope John Paul II used to beat himself with a belt and sleep on a bare floor to bring himself closer to Christ, a book published Wednesday says.The late pope had a particular belt for self-flagellation and brought it with him to his summer residence, according to the book, Why He is a Saint: The True Story of John Paul II.
“As some members of his own entourage were able to hear with their own ears, both in Poland and in the Vatican, Karol Wojtyla flagellated himself,” the book says, using the name the pope was given at birth.
“In the closet, among the cloaks, a particular pant-belt hung from a hook, which he utilized as a whip and one which he always had brought to Castel Gandolfo,” the book says.
The book was written by a Vatican insider, Slawomir Oder, with Italian journalist Saverio Gaeta of the Catholic weekly Christian Family.
Alessandra Rizzo reports on yet another example of the Catholic Church’s lack of insight as to what people are looking for today, at ABC News/AP:
Unlike much of the world, the Vatican is not awed by the film “Avatar.”
James Cameron’s big-grossing, 3-D spectacle has earned lukewarm reviews by both the Vatican newspaper and its radio station, which say the movie is simplistic in its plot is superficial in its eco-message, despite groundbreaking visual effects.
Perhaps more significantly, the Vatican takes the movie to task for flirting with what it says is the worship of nature as a substitute for religion.
“So much stupefying, enchanting technology, but few genuine emotions,” said Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, which devoted three articles to “Avatar” in its Sunday editions…
ARIEL DAVID writes on the AP via Yahoo News:
… Read the rest
VATICAN CITY — A woman jumped the barriers in St. Peter’s Basilica and knocked down Pope Benedict XVI as he walked down the main aisle to begin Christmas Eve Mass on Thursday.
The 82-year-old pope quickly got up and was unhurt, said a Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini. Footage aired on Italy’s RAI state TV showed a woman dressed in a red jumper vaulting over the wooden barriers and rushing the pope before being swarmed by bodyguards.
The commotion occurred as the pope’s procession was making its way toward the main altar and shocked gasps rang out through the public that packed the basilica. The procession came to a halt and security rushed to the trouble spot.
Benedettini said the woman who pushed the pope appeared to be mentally unstable and had been arrested by Vatican police. He said she also knocked down Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, who was taken to hospital for a check up.
Ariel David reports for AP:
… Read the rest
VATICAN CITY — E.T. phone Rome. Four hundred years after it locked up Galileo for challenging the view that the Earth was the center of the universe, the Vatican has called in experts to study the possibility of extraterrestrial alien life and its implication for the Catholic Church.
“The questions of life’s origins and of whether life exists elsewhere in the universe are very suitable and deserve serious consideration,” said the Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, an astronomer and director of the Vatican Observatory.
Funes, a Jesuit priest, presented the results Tuesday of a five-day conference that gathered astronomers, physicists, biologists and other experts to discuss the budding field of astrobiology — the study of the origin of life and its existence elsewhere in the cosmos.
Funes said the possibility of alien life raises “many philosophical and theological implications” but added that the gathering was mainly focused on the scientific perspective and how different disciplines can be used to explore the issue.