The Sad State of America’s Aging Sisters
: Why are there so few nuns today?
You may wonder whether the global church the sisters belong to is interested in keeping the convents open. It sure seems like it isn't. By 2005, the Catholic Church had spent $1 billion on legal fees and settlements stemming from priests sexually abusing children. Yet church leaders have allocated no funds to take care of elderly sisters, and while priests’ retirement funds are covered by the church, the sisters have no such safety net. When their orders run out of money, that’s it. [more inside]
“Why would you want to be a nun if the archdiocese is going to treat you like they do?” Ann Frey at the Wartburg said. “Their whole lives they’ve been obedient and done what they were asked to do, and now nobody is helping them?”
"A modern pope gets old school on the Devil
" by Anthony Faiola
"Witness to an Exorcism
" -An interview with Anthony Faiola
"The Exorcists Next Door
In their tidy suburban home, Marion and Larry Pollard have dug deep into the recesses of the Scriptures to save tortured souls—and command demons to get out. Get out now!
This past Sunday, while privately meeting with a delegation of clerics from Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious, Pope Francis reportedly confirmed the existence
of a "gay lobby
" within the Curia. The delegation's notes of the meeting were published by Reflection and Liberation
, a Chilean website focusing on liberation theology
. While the Pope's statements were not public remarks, the question puzzling most Vatican watchers is not whether he made the remarks, but rather what does gay lobby in the Vatican mean? Rocco Palmo
from the blog Whispers in the Loggia
. Columnist Jimmy Akin
from the conservative National Catholic Register
. [more inside]
After a right-wing coup crushed the reforms of Vatican II, one scholar says the last two popes are illegitimate.
It comes near the end of a thousand-year history of the Vatican’s global rise to power, ambiguous flourishing and rapid decline. It also comes after 40 years of internal counterrevolution under the previous two popes, during which a group of hardcore right-wing cardinals have consolidated power in the Curia and stamped out nearly all traces of the 1960s liberal reform agenda of Pope John XXIII and Vatican II. A handful of intellectuals, both inside and outside the church, quietly believe that means Pope Francis isn’t a legitimate pope at all.
It’s a good story because of the Vatican’s proverbial secrecy and intrigue and because of its ambiguity between its role as an international political and economic power and its claim to spiritual and ethical leadership. Mix that with the pedophile priest scandals (none in the Vatican itself so far but plenty of accusations of cover-ups) and not surprisingly, there is good copy for all. [more inside]
The Calendario Romano
, aka "the most typical souvenir from Rome," is looking for a few good men: "single clergymen and seminaristi" who wish to be featured
are welcome to contact the being followed author of the Calendar to deliveries. Inevitable video tribute! [more inside]
The Pope's butler arrested following Vatileaks investigation. [telegraph.co.uk]
Vatican police have arrested Pope Benedict XVI's personal butler following an investigation into the leaking of sensitive church documents.
I still call him Ratzinger. That fits him better. But that is just a personal bias ... The nuns that I talk to aren't really afraid, because they can't see or they can't imagine what he would do to change us. I mean, like, excommunication? That is a thing of the past. You can't excommunicate hundreds of nuns. Wouldn't that be kind of funny? Excommunicate the whole order! It is irrational.
Sr. Brigid McDonald, of the Sisters of St. Joseph, speaks the truth to power
(single link interview, but delightful).
After the rumoured murder of John Paul I
and the attempts on the life of John Paul II
, and following an old, old tradition
, an Italian daily has now published a restricted document
purporting to warn Benedict XVI of a plot to kill him before the end of this year.
Irish PM condemns Vatican interference in sex abuse cases.
Enda Kenny, the new Taoiseach of Ireland, has scathingly criticized the Vatican, citing the Cloyne Report
and a recently-leaked Vatican letter
intended to prevent sex abuse cases from going public, despite their public policy of reporting all abuse claims to the authorities. (Similar claims of the Vatican not reporting recent child abuse cases have also been made in the US
.) Ireland's Minister for Justice has cited an extensive list of The Church's failures to comply with their policies
, and is supporting legislation to make it a crime not to report child abuse claims
. The Vatican's envoy was asked to report to Parliament and explain The Church's position on this matter quickly, with the implied threat that they might be forced to testify.
Today, the Church, citing "surprise and disappointment at certain excessive reactions"
has recalled their envoy. "(This) should be interpreted as an expression of the desire of the Holy See for serious and effective collaboration with the (Irish) Government."
Vatican officials unveiled a new Internet portal Monday
, a service that will aggregate the latest news from all its various media in a campaign to reach a growing online congregation across the world. [more inside]
Pope’s child porn 'normal' claim sparks outrage among victims
Pope Benedict XVI said this week that as recently as the 1970's, pedophilia was "theorised as something fully in conformity with man and even with children,” but conceded that in 2010 it's gotten pretty bad, and brought "humiliation" on the church. Understandingly, victims feel differently.
Just your typical day at the Vatican. Topless muscle-bound gymnasts perform for the Pope, appreciative cardinals and waving nuns. Make your own jokes.
Mehmet Ali Agca who tried to assassinate
Pope John Paul II in 1981 was released from Prison earlier this year
and has now alleged in a Turkish TV interview that the Vatican
government had masterminded the move.
Originally Agca, who was a member of the Turkish Grey Wolves
laid the blame at the door of the Bulgarian Secret Services
Agca's Grey Wolf colleagues were involved in some interesting and nefarious
Meanwhile the crazy
is running strong. (related
The Vatican Bank is once again Under Investigation
In 1982 The Vatican Bank was involved in the Ambrosiano Scandal
with its associations with Roberto Calvi, Gladius, Opus Dei and the P2 masonic lodge, all well documented
The story was summarised in a 1982 Time article
The Vatican Bank is also known as the The Institute for Works of Religion
and apparently holds 5 billion Euros in complete secrecy (pdf
For further reading there is the book Vatican exposed
Did the Vatican
just equate ordaining women with molesting children? Sure sounds like it
to a handful of women priests. The church is backpedaling
a bit today, but not very hard
Pope Benedict XVI has announced
the establishment of a new Vatican department
dedicated to tackling what he called 'a grave crisis in the sense of the Christian faith and the role of the Church." The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of New Evangelisation will (per Archbishop Vincent Nichols,
) focus on countries "in which, even though the Christian Gospel has shaped an entire culture,"
secularism now reigns, in what the Pope termed an "eclipse of a sense of God." [more inside]
Pope John Paul II, the musical:
Two priests, two dancers and a team of young actors are bringing John Paul II to the stage this month, with a musical version of the pope's life and work. [more inside]
The Benedict Condom:
The British Government has apologised to the Pope over official documents that mocked his forthcoming visit to the UK by suggesting he should bless a gay marriage and even launch Papal-branded condoms. [more inside]
The source Fr. Amoth refers to
, according to Fr. Fortea
, is the demons who are being exorcised
. Of this, the Spanish priest wrote that knowing whether or not the demon
is telling the truth "is in many cases impossible." "We can know with great confidence when a demon tells the truth in the subject directly related with the exorcism. That is, the number of demons, their name and similar things. But we cannot be confident in what regards concrete news relating to people." [more inside]
announced today that it would create a new structure
that would allow former Anglicans to join the Roman Catholic Church
while preserving elements of Anglican spirituality and liturgy. [more inside]
Alone among major Western nations, the United States refused to sign a United Nations declaration
calling for worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality. The U.S. was joined by China, Russia, the Roman Catholic Church,
and members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference in rejecting the declaration. In 2004, the Vatican and Islamic Conference had lobbied vehemently and successfully
to prevent the U.N. Human Rights Commission from outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation. [more inside]
Pope Benedict XVI, speaking at the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Rome, which was badly damaged by Allied bombing in July 1943, again praised Pius XII
, a pope seen by Jewish leaders and other critics as having turned a blind eye to the Holocaust
, and who is nonetheless on his way towards beatification
, a step towards sainthood. The Vatican contends that Pius XII worked behind the scenes to help many escape the Holocaust
, although many Catholics question
Vatican's chief astronomer states that belief in alien life does not conradict faith in God. Fr. José Gabriel Funes
, a Jesuit preist and chief astronomer for the Vatican, stated in an interview in L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's official newspaper, that, "Just as we consider earthly creatures as 'a brother,' and 'sister,' why should we not talk about an 'extraterrestrial brother'? It would still be part of creation." [more inside]
"Ratzinger is an Evolutionist, which by definition makes one an athiest"
, is one of the reasons that this website
, in which the "true" catholic faith (different [?] from the other catholic faith
) is promoted, gives as to claiming Benedict XVI isn't the true pope. And to make their point they have elected a "real" pope themselves: Pope Pius XIII
His real name? Lucian Pulvermacher
) [more inside]
licensed caskets and urns aim to make your Star Trek fantasy funeral
a reality. Ditto with Precious Moments
, the MLB
, and the Vatican. Cat Fanciers
and Kennel Clubbers
won't be disappointed either.
The Catholic Church is traditionally not seen as a progressive institution, but when it comes to global warming, Vatican City is aiming to become the worlds first fully carbon-neutral state
, and the Pope is expected to use his first address to the United Nations next April to deliver a powerful warning
over climate change in a move to adopt protection of the environment as a "moral" cause for the Catholic Church and its billion-strong following.
Newsfilter: Vatican rejects Intelligent Design.
The Vatican has stated that Intelligent Design is not, in their opinion, science and they do not support it. Their announcement is a part of the effort to end the "mutual prejudice"
between science and evolution.
Catholic rebels with a cause
Two days ago, on a boat on the St. Lawrence River, nine Catholic rebels did something in direct defiance of the Vatican and now face the real prospect of excommunication
by the Inquisitor Cardinal
Formerly Known as Ratzinger. What crime did they commit, you might ask? Were they participant in something blackhearted, vile and fully deserving of society's wrath, like, say child abuse or pedophilia
? Heck no. The white-haired guys at HQ in Rome will
look the other way on that business. They might even reward
duplicitous attempts to cover up
that sort of thing. These malcontents did something much, much worse in the eyes of the Holy See, among others
These are Catholic women, you see. And they had themselves ordained
, some as priests and some as deacons.
If you've followed Ratzinger's career, you'll recall his response
the last time
this issue surfaced, so the conclusion to this saga is all-but-foregone.
At least he's consistent in what he thinks ought to be the correct response
of an individual in the face of a rigid, autocratic institution bent on order.
Articles of Faith
"By inviting articles that covered different sides of disputed issues, Father Reese
helped make America Magazine
a forum for intelligent discussion of questions facing the Catholic Church and the country today."
's policy -- to present both sides of the discussion -- apparentlly "did not sit well with Vatican authorities". Reese, a Jesuit and a political scientist, had made a point of publishing both sides of the debate on a range of subjects
, some of them quite delicate for a Catholic magazine -- gay priests, stem-cell research, the responsibility of Catholic politicians confronting laws on abortion and same-sex unions and a Vatican document (the Dominus Iesus
declaration) which outlined the idea that divine truth is most fully revealed in Christianity and the Catholic Church in particular.
Reese, who had described last month the Vatican as behaving like the cranky owner of a good restaurant, resigned yesterday as editor of the magazine. More inside.
registered a few weeks ago by our very own rcade
. He hedged his bets by registering six domains in all, and now is being called out for popesquatting.
The Vatican's university in Rome is starting a seminar on satanism and exorcism.
"The seminar will conclude with the testimony of two exorcists who will explain how to distinguish between someone who is ill and requiring medical care, and one is 'possessed by demons.'"
The real Vatican is in Kansas.
"On July 16, 1990 the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church elected David Bawden as Pope Michael, ending an almost 32 year long interegnum."
Banned by the Vatican
and created by a tone deaf engineer
... presenting the Hammond.
"...From President Bush seeking the Vatican's help on social issues to the decision by some Catholic bishops to deny communion to pro-choice (but not pro-war or pro-death penalty) politicians and their supporters, some on the right are actively trying to portray John Kerry and others on the left as "bad Catholics." But such attempts could well backfire, as it appears the majority of Catholic voters dislike the selective and political co-opting of their faith. .."
The latin lover
Father Reginald Foster, the Pope's own Latinist has a weekly show on Vatican radio, they are always informative and often hilarious (Real player required).
Another Worlds AIDS Day, another statement from the Vatican
saying you should never use a condom. [via rc3
The value of disobedience. [note: nytimes]
"Ignoring the reactionary policies of the Vatican, some local priests and nuns quietly do what they can to save parishioners from AIDS." So: when and why do people choose to quietly disobey, rather than leave and promote change from outside their social institutions...or vice versa? Should dissenters just leave, or stay and fight? Anecdotes from Republicans and NRA members are especially welcome ;-)
Vatican declares fresh Death all around.
It seems the Vatican is telling people in countries with high AIDS infection not to use condoms, because the virus is small enough to pass through the porous latex. The World Health Organization believes condoms do reduce the risk of AIDS transmission. To which the Vatican's Cardinal Trujillo replied: "They are wrong about that... this is an easily recognisable fact."
Axis of Medieval?
Hot on the heels of Bush's announcement that his adminstration is seeking ways to ban gay marriage, the Vatican has issued a document
condemning same-sex unions as "deviant" and "gravely immoral." One Bishop has warned
Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien (a Catholic) that "his eternal salvation is in jeopardy. He is making a morally grave error and he's not being accountable to God."
Are we witnessing a coordinated attack on the burgeoning campaign for broader gay rights? What is the relevance of the Church's edicts, in combination with Bush's announcement? Are we about to see "the backlash" that some gay rights activists have warned of, or is this the (almost) last gasp of self-evidently outmoded thinking?
is now viewable online at the Vatican website
. View the Sistine Chapel
and Raphael's Rooms
in all their glory (sort of).
The Vatican's publishing a new 900-page dictionary
of "Ambiguous and Colloquial Terms about Family Life and Ethical Questions," such as "reproductive health" and "conjugal love." Some groups
are looking forward to the tome...I personally would like to look up "pedophilia
" in it.
The Vatican's Pontifical Council for Culture
releases a document on the surging interest in New Age thought (e.g., Zen Buddhism
). They advise that Harry Potter is okay
but that Deepak Chopra
might be someone to be wary of
. Evidently the Age of Aquarius
isn't coming so that peace will guide the planets
. Bummer. That might be nice.