Benedict at Westminster

Friday, September 17, 2010 \PM\.\Fri\.

The text of Benedict’s keynote speech on his trip to the UK is here; video of the speech can be found here.

Obviously, you read or watch the speech in its entirety, but I will present a few highlights for readers:

And yet the fundamental questions at stake in Thomas More’s trial continue to present themselves in ever-changing terms as new social conditions emerge. Each generation, as it seeks to advance the common good, must ask anew: what are the requirements that governments may reasonably impose upon citizens, and how far do they extend? By appeal to what authority can moral dilemmas be resolved? These questions take us directly to the ethical foundations of civil discourse. If the moral principles underpinning the democratic process are themselves determined by nothing more solid than social consensus, then the fragility of the process becomes all too evident – herein lies the real challenge for democracy.

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The United States Youngest Cardinal

Thursday, August 26, 2010 \PM\.\Thu\.

A Profile of Daniel DiNardo

by Jeff Ziegler

On June 17, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo expressed “grave concern over the FDA’s current process for approving the drug Ulipristal (with the proposed trade name of Ella) for use as an ‘emergency contraceptive.’ Ulipristal is a close analogue to the abortion drug RU-486, with the same biological effect — that is, it can disrupt an established pregnancy weeks after conception has taken place.”

Cardinal DiNardo expressed these concerns as chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, the latest in a line of responsibilities he has assumed in recent years. As recently as 1997, he was simply “Father Dan,” a 48-year-old Pittsburgh parish priest, before he was appointed coadjutor bishop of a small Iowa diocese. At the age of 54, he was appointed coadjutor bishop of Galveston-Houston, and at 58, Pope Benedict created him a cardinal — the first cardinal from a diocese in the South, and the youngest American cardinal since Cardinal Roger Mahony received his red hat in 1991.

Following the consistory of 2007, Pope Benedict appointed Cardinal DiNardo a member of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (2008) and the Pontifical Council for Culture (2009). In the fall of 2009, he assumed the leadership of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life efforts. He will take part in any conclave that occurs before his eightieth birthday in 2029 and appears destined to be one of the leading American ecclesial figures of the next two decades.

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What Role Did Catholics Play in Rwandan Genocide?

Saturday, August 21, 2010 \AM\.\Sat\.

  (from anarkismo.net) (photo)

I was watching the documentary “Shake Hands With The Devil:  The Journey of Romeo Dallaire” tonight, and there were disturbing charges made against the Catholic Church concerning the role of Catholics and the local and Vatican Hierarchies in doing little or nothing to reduce the factional tensions.  Here is an article that makes a more direct case against our fellow Catholics  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/mar/29/pope-catholics-rwanda-genocide-church

I am one who believes that the official teachings and the Sacraments of the Catholic Church are the places of security for us as Christian believers, but the administrative decisions and the actions of individual Catholic laity/clergy are not protected from error or sin by the Holy Spirit. So, I would like to know more about the role of my brother and sister Catholics in the lead-up to (and direct actions), during the genocide of 1994.  Was the Catholic Hierarchy in Rwanda (as well the representatives of the Vatican) teaching a vigorous message of non-violence, anti-tribalism, and informing the global community of the scope of the man-made horrors in the attempt to bring in the international community to halt the spread of violence?  I want to know because I often feel that we Catholics are our own worst enemies in what we do and what we fail to do as ambassadors for Christ and His Church.  But I don’t want to jump to hasty conclusions that unfairly charge fellow Catholics with horrible accusations.  So, does anyone know more about all of this? Is there a need to acknowledge some more self-inflicted Catholic damage to the mission of promoting the Good News? Or should we be defending the overall Catholic effect before, during, and after the genocide?


New Vatican Rules on Sex Abuse

Friday, July 16, 2010 \AM\.\Fri\.

The Catholic News Agency reports on this new development:

Monsignor Charles Scicluna took part in a press briefing on Thursday for the release of modified Vatican norms on how to examine and punish cases involving the “most serious sins.” He fielded a number of questions as to its content but underscored the importance of ongoing action for successfully bringing about change in the Church.

Journalists in the Holy See’s Press Office spoke of the encounter as “unseen since the days of Cardinal Ratzinger.” The Maltese promotor of justice of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith fielded questions on complex matters with apparent ease, answering journalists’ queries regarding many aspects of the updates to the Motu Proprio of 2001 in both English and Italian.

About the concern in the media that sexual abuse against minors was being equated with the attempted ordination of women in the eyes of canon law, Msgr. Scicluna said in English, “They are not on the same level.” Serious sins are divided into those against Christian morality and those committed during the administration of the sacraments, he explained.

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Visionaries of Medjugorje May Appear Before The Vatican

Monday, July 12, 2010 \PM\.\Mon\.

The Rome Reports TV News Agency is saying that the seers may appear before the Vatican where they will need to answer certain questions that they have refused to reveal to others.


Pope Benedict to be Deposed

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 \AM\.\Tue\.

The most evil inspired man in the world, attorney Jeffrey Anderson, plans to “sue the sh-t out of [the Catholic Church] everywhere”. Because the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from the Vatican, a court case will move forward allowing for the Vatican to be sued.

“I have known for 25 years that all roads lead to Rome,” said Jeff Anderson, the Minnesota attorney who represents the plaintiff. “This is the beginning for us of a new journey, a uniquely difficult odyssey.”

Anderson, who has represented hundreds of abuse victims and has tried for years to sue the Vatican, said he hoped to persuade a judge that he should be allowed to depose Vatican officials.

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The Disgrace of Cardinal Danneels and the Belgian Catholic Church

Sunday, June 27, 2010 \PM\.\Sun\.

This past week, Belgian police raided the headquarters of the Catholic Church in Belgian, as well as the home and office of recently retired Archbishop Godfried Danneels, during an investigation into the sexual abuse of children.

Rorate Caeli provides the full text of Pope Benedict’s letter to Abp. André Joseph Léonard, Archbishop of Mechlin-Brussels and President of the Belgian Episcopal Conference, responding to the unfortunate series of events:

I wish to express to you, dear Brother in the Episcopate, as well as to all Bishops of Belgium, my closeness and my solidarity in this moment of sadness, in which, with certain surprising and deplorable methods, searches were carried out in Mechlin Cathedral and in places where the Belgian Episcopate were assembled in plenary session. During that meeting, aspects related to the abuse of minors by members of the clergy were to have been treated, among other things. I have myself repeated numerous times that these grave facts should be treated by the civil order and by the canonical order in reciprocal respect for the specificity and autonomy of each one. In this sense, I wish that justice will follow its course, ensuring the rights of persons and institutions, in respect for victims, with the recognition, without prejudices, of those who wish to collaborate with it and with the refusal of everything that could darken the noble duties that are ascribed to it.

As Rorate Caeli notes, there is a “one-sideness” and “tone-deafness” to the papal remarks. The impression is exacerbated by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone,

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