Tag Archives: Pope Benedict XVI

Why Did Ratzinger REALLY Resign?

Boff has some ideas– summarized:

I have a serious suspicion that …  the collapse of his theological structure took away his “necessary vigor of body and spirit” to the point, as he confesses, of “feeling incapable of exercising his ministry”. Captive to his own theology, he had no alternative other than to honestly resign.

Read the whole piece.

That ‘Vatican Owns Beretta’ Thing? Yeah, That, it Turns Out, is a Hoax

From Beretta (in comments on the previous post)

«In relazione a notizie diffuse nei giorni scorsi circa la composizione dell’azionariato di Beretta Holding, la società smentisce nella maniera più ferma che IOR o società ad esso riconducibilisiano parte della compagine degli azionisti della società stessa o di società da essa controllate. Beretta Holding, che controlla un gruppo di imprese principalmente attivo nel settore dello sport, caccia e tempo libero, è un’azienda di proprietà famigliare da 15 generazioni».  

You can read it in the update of this article —  http://i.imgur.com/24X4S.jpg

Did Pope Benedict Hint That He Was Going to Resign?

Candida Moss relates on FB that Scott Hahn reports-

English: Pope Benedict XVI during general audition

Back on April 29, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI did something rather striking, but which went largely unnoticed.

He stopped off in Aquila, Italy, and visited the tomb of an obscure medieval Pope named St. Celestine V (1215-1296). After a brief prayer, he left his pallium, the symbol of his own episcopal authority as Bishop of Rome, on top of Celestine’s tomb!

Fifteen months later, on July 4, 2010, Benedict went out of his way again, this time to visit and pray in the cathedral of Sulmona, near Rome, before the relics of this same saint, Celestine V.

Few people, however, noticed at the time.

Only now, we may be gaining a better understanding of what it meant. These actions were probably more than pious acts. More likely, they were profound and symbolic gestures of a very personal nature, which conveyed a message that a Pope can hardly deliver any other way.

In the year 1294, this man (Fr. Pietro Angelerio), known by all as a devout and holy priest, was elected Pope, somewhat against his will, shortly before his 80th birthday (Ratzinger was 78 when he was elected Pope in 2005). Just five months later, after issuing a formal decree allowing popes to resign (or abdicate, like other rulers), Pope Celestine V exercised that right. And now Pope Benedict XVI has chosen to follow in the footsteps of this venerable model.

If he was hinting at his future behavior, he is the sort to plan well in advance and his was certainly no spur of the moment decision.  Fascinating stuff, Candida.  And Scott.  Thanks for sharing it.

The Pope Sounds Very Much Like Emil Brunner

brunner_tvz2“The defence of the family is about man himself. And it becomes clear that when God is denied, human dignity also disappears. Whoever defends God is defending man”, said Pope Benedict XVI Friday in his Christmas address to members of the Roman Curia.

Brunner makes the same point more fully in his awesomely brilliant ‘Man in Revolt’ which EVERYONE everywhere should read.

The Pope recognized the widespread refusal in today’s world “to make any commitment ” as one of the biggest challenges to family life, “a false understanding of freedom and self-realization as well as the desire to escape suffering” . Only in self-giving, noted Pope Benedict “does man…discover the breadth of his humanity. When such commitment is repudiated, the key figures of human existence likewise vanish: father, mother, child – essential elements of the experience of being human are lost”.

Yes, all very Brunnerian (though Brunner said it better).  It’s nice to see the Pope becoming Protestant.

Jesus Was Born Before Jesus Was Born, Says Ratzinger

The entire Christian calendar is based on a miscalculation, the Pope has declared, as he claims in a new book that Jesus was born several years earlier than commonly believed.

Jesus was born between 6 and 4 BC. So what’s the Pope think? He thinks the same thing… He doesn’t (and honestly, who DOES) believe that Jesus was born in year 0 or year 1.

“The calculation of the beginning of our calendar – based on the birth of Jesus – was made by Dionysius Exiguus, who made a mistake in his calculations by several years,” the Pope writes in the book, which went on sale around the world with an initial print run of a million copies. “The actual date of Jesus’s birth was several years before.” The assertion that the Christian calendar is based on a false premise is not new – many historians believe that Christ was born sometime between 7BC and 2BC. But the fact that doubts over one of the keystones of Christian tradition have been raised by the leader of the world’s one billion Catholics is striking.

Many? How about all. I’m not sure who Mr Squires of the Telegraph has been reading all these years, but it isn’t any New Testament exegete known to me. Seriously, this isn’t even news to anyone even REMOTELY familiar with the subject. The Telegraph must be having a slow news day.

Via Milton A.

Rahner and Ratzinger: Heretics

Supporters of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, founder of Society of St Pius X, branded the future Pope Benedict XVI and the late Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner “heretics” during the Second Vatican Council.

A previously undiscovered letter written by Karl Rahner to his brother, Fr Hugo Rahner SJ, during the council in November 1963 has revealed that the French Intégristes – followers of Lefebvre – accused him and Fr Joseph Ratzinger as “heretic[s] who deny the existence of hell and are worse than Teilhardt de Chardin and the Modernists”.

The letter, part of an exhibition in Munich, states that Rahner consoled himself with the knowledge that the pamphlet in which the accusation appeared also called Pope John XXIII “a harbinger of the Anti-Christ” and attacked Cardinal Giovanni Montini, the future Pope Paul VI.

How fun!  And how interesting that the worst person they can think of to compare the heretic brothers to is de Chardin!  I think I would have liked this guy Lefebvre.  He sounds like a real hoot.

Need an Indulgence For Your Sins from the Pope?

No need to hop in your time machine and go back to 1517.  Ratzinger is granting indulgences… again…

Catholics who participate in events connected with the 2012-2013 Year of Faith can receive a special indulgence, the Vatican said.  Pope Benedict XVI authorized the granting of a plenary, or full, indulgence in order to highlight the Year of Faith and encourage the “reading, or rather, the pious meditation on” the documents of the Second Vatican Council and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a Sept. 14 Vatican decree said.  The decree, which the Vatican released Oct. 5, was signed by Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de Castro, head of the Vatican tribunal that deals with indulgences and with matters related to the sacrament of penance.  An indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment a person is due for sins that have been forgiven.

Bahahahahahaha.  And this isn’t even on The Onion!  It’s for real!!!!!  Oh Catholics.  You’re an eternal source of theological amusement.

The Icky Bishop: Monsignor Bargallo

The Pope has accepted the resignation of an Argentine bishop after the publication of pictures showing him embracing a woman on a Mexican beach.  Bishop Fernando Bargallo, 57, was photographed in the sea, hugging a woman in a bikini.  He initially said she was a childhood friend, but later admitted to having had “amorous ties” with her.

Icky, Bishop. She’s young enough to be your daughter.  But at least she’s not 12, or a boy.  So kudos for that at least…

The Vatican Is As Corrupt as it Was in the 16th Century

We just haven’t known the depths of corruption until the floodgates opened from the inside-

Pope Benedict XVI may have been hoping for some respite from the scandal which has engulfed his papacy, with a visit this weekend to Milan, where he celebrated an outdoor mass for a million faithful and took in a performance of Beethoven’s ninth at La Scala opera house.  For the 85-year-old pontiff, the three-day trip outside the Vatican walls was a break from the Vatileaks scandal, which has seen his butler, Paolo Gabriele, arrested on suspicion of disclosing dozens of embarrassing letters alleging corruption and nepotism at the Holy See.  Gabriele is believed to be one of up to 20 whistleblowers trying to oust Benedict’s powerful prime minister, secretary of state Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who has been accused of incompetence, covering up graft, and packing key Vatican posts with supporters.

The papal leopard never changes its spots.

Thirst for Power

The Pope will appoint 22 new cardinals in a lavish ceremony at the Vatican on Saturday, against a backdrop of leaks, back-stabbing and jostling for power in the Holy See.

Apparently the wish-to-be-Cardinals haven’t read a little verse from the New Testament that says

ὁ δὲ μείζων ὑμῶν ἔσται ὑμῶν διάκονος. (Mat 23:11)

Real power comes through servanthood, not position.

The appointments come after a torrid few weeks for the Holy See, with claims of corruption and nepotism, questions over the transparency of the Vatican bank and murky reports of an assassination plot within the next 12 months against Benedict. The leaks and rumour-mongering in the normally staid institution have suggested that a power struggle is going on, most notably between Tarcisio Bertone, 77, the powerful Secretary of State and Vatican no.2, and a cabal of disaffected cardinals.

Oh Vatican, how much you seem to be just like every other splotch of government.

Quote of the Day

Rick Santorum

From Archbishop Cranmer on the twitter (I’m fairly sure it isn’t the REAL Cranmer but who knows these days…)

Rick Santorum is just a traditionalist Roman Catholic who happens to practise what Pope Benedict XVI preaches.

Completely correct isn’t it?  People hate Santorum and he’s not my cup of tea, as a politician.  But he is at least a person of strong principles who isn’t afraid to tell people what they are.  I find that refreshing for a politician.  Especially since most politicians are disgusting liars who are more than happy to say one thing to one crowd and something else to another.

Will I vote for him?  Not a chance.  Along with being a staunch Catholic (which is ok with me) he’s also a Christian Zionist and that, that I simply can’t stomach.

The Pope/Imam Fraud

Come on, be honest, you wouldn’t like it if some stupid clothing company wanted to make a point (a political point), regardless of its merits, by using a fake photo of you smacking on some total stranger.  Be fair.  It’s deceptive, manipulative, and immoral.  Shame on Benetton.

Kudos to the Pope For Putting the Smack Down on China’s Intolerance

Pope Benedict XVI in Munich, Divine Service in...

Pope Benedict XVI urged loyal Catholics in China and Iraq to have courage in the face of persecution and limits on their religious freedom, as the largest number of pilgrims in a decade flocked to celebrate Christmas in Bethlehem. Bombings in Nigeria and the Philippines left 11 dead and 11 injured, however, and Christians’ fears in Iraq also marred the Christmas festivities. Benedict’s traditional holiday speech highlighted the tensions between Beijing and the Vatican and the dangers facing minority Christians in Iraq, where militants have used violent attacks to try to drive them out of the country. “May the birth of the savior strengthen the spirit of faith, patience and courage of the faithful of the church in mainland China, that they may not lose heart through the limitations imposed on their freedom of religion and conscience but, persevering in fidelity to Christ and his church, may keep alive the flame of hope,” Benedict prayed.

Christians, it seems, are becoming more and more the object of disdain. So along with the Pope’s prayer I can gladly add my own Amen.

Catholics, Condoms are Cool… Now…

Vatican euro coin design (serie 3)

I thought by the time I was 90 the Vatican would allow Catholics to use condoms to control unwanted pregnancies. Alas, I’m 50 and the Vatican is allowing Catholics to use condoms for the prevention of HIV – even among heterosexual women. Can full and free access to condoms for birth control really be that far behind now? How could it justifiably be? If condoms are permitted to control the spread of disease, they must also be allowed to control the spread of unwanted and therefore unloved or abandoned or mistreated children.

Using a condom is a lesser evil than transmitting HIV to a sexual partner — even if that means a woman averting a possible pregnancy, the Vatican said Tuesday, signaling a seismic shift in papal teaching as it further explained Pope Benedict XVI’s comments.

This is, for you folk not familiar with traditional Catholic teaching and practice, a BIG DEAL. It’s a huge shift in position, to say the least. So good for the Vatican. Old Ratzinger isn’t as arcane as he’s been portrayed.

The Pope Has Reversed Longstanding Church Opinion

VATICAN. With Pope Benedict XVI.

And now suggests that the use of condoms can be justified in some situations.

Pope Benedict XVI says in a new book that condoms can be justified for male prostitutes seeking to stop HIV, a stunning turnaround for a church that has long opposed condoms and a pontiff who has blamed them for making the AIDS crisis worse. The pontiff made the comments in a book-length interview with a German journalist, “Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times,” which is being released Tuesday. The Vatican newspaper ran excerpts on Saturday.

The times, they are a-changin….  Read the rest of the really astonishing essay.  And isn’t it interesting that the Pope is willing to allow condoms but I wonder if he had anything to say about male prostitution.  It might be quite intriguing to pose a follow up- ‘so, Holy Father, is it then fair to say that male prostitution is permissible so long as they use condoms in the quest to conquer AIDS?’

The Pope: The Internet has Numbed Young People

Pope Benedict XVI prays in front of the image ...

Image by Catholic Church (England and Wales) via Flickr

Maybe.  Maybe not.

The Vatican has had a mixed relationship with the Web.  Last year, executives from Google, Wikipedia, and Facebook coached Catholic bishops about Internet culture. Pope Benedict XVI also launched a YouTube channel, has encouraged priests to blog, and has told young Catholics to use the Internet to share their faith.  But Benedict issued a warning to Internet users late last week, cautioning that the Web has “numbed” young people and created an “educational emergency — a challenge that we can and must respond to with creative intelligence.”  “A large number of young people… establish forms of communication that to do not increase humaneness but instead risk increasing a sense of solitude and disorientation,” Benedict also said, according to the AFP.

You can’t have it both ways.  You can’t, on the one hand, urge use of the internet as a grand tool of communication, and on the other, tell them it’s making them dumber.  The internet is neutral morally.  It can be used for good or ill.  It is a tool.  It’s up to people of faith to use that faith, and reason, and employ the tool responsibly.  Nothing more and nothing less.

For instance, Priests can use the web to communicate faith, or surf for smut.  The one is good, the other is evil.  The priest has to decide how the internet will be utilized.  That’s all.

The Gays in Spain Stay Mainly on the Protest Plane

Overview of the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada...

Pope Benedict XVI strongly defended traditional families and the rights of the unborn Sunday, directly attacking Spanish laws that allow gay marriage, fast-track divorce and easier abortions as he dedicated Barcelona’s iconic church, the Sagrada Familia. It was the second time in as many days that Benedict had criticized the policies of Spain’s Socialist government and called for Europe as a whole to rediscover Christian teachings and apply them to everyday life. As he headed to the church named for the sacred family, about 200 gays and lesbians staged a ‘kiss-in’ to protest his visit and church policies on homosexuals, condom use and a host of other issues. Church teaching holds that gays should be treated with dignity and respect but that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered.”

Church teaching is correct. Homosexuals should and must be treated with utmost dignity and respect. There is no justification whatsoever for gay-bashing or campaigns of hatred like we find in the cruel sub-human behavior of Fred Phelps and his sycophants.  Nor is there any cause for homosexual activists to denigrate straights as ‘breeders’ and those who don’t agree with them as ‘homophobes’.

But the Church (Protestant and Catholic and Orthodox branches) cannot afford to abandon the Scriptural stance on the issue and must maintain that homosexual acts are indeed ‘intrinsically disordered’.  That isn’t homophobia any more than urging justice for the Palestinians is antisemitism.

Naturally such issues always stir debate. But they never need stir acrimony. Unless people just want to be acrimonious. And persons on both sides are guilty too often of exactly that.

Cardinal, You’re Wrong- London Isn’t The Third World

Cardinal Walter Kasper

Cardinal Kasper, the not so friendly

London’s fantastic!

Landing at London’s Heathrow Airport is like arriving in a Third World country, a close confidant of Pope Benedict XVI said on the eve of a high-profile papal visit to Britain. Cardinal Walter Kasper also disparaged the Church of England in an interview published last weekend, saying that although it had broken with the Vatican on two key issues – married priests and women priests – it was not faring better than the Roman Catholic Church. The Vatican and English Catholic bishops distanced themselves Wednesday from the comments, saying they do not represent the views of the Vatican. Kasper, who, like the pope, is German, was speaking to the German magazine Focus, which published an interview with him in its September 11 issue. A storm of controversy broke out over the remarks on Wednesday, the day before the pope departs for the United Kingdom.

Go ahead and pick on the C of E if you must- but picking on London is just wrong.  If you really want to see the Third World, visit Texas!  Now that place is Third Worldish.  Crazy German Cardinals, always saying goofy things.