(ROME) – Speaking at a March 16th conference in Limburg, Germany, the long-time Vatican correspondent Andreas Englisch has delivered an explosive allegation: In contradiction of public appearances, Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI “are in complete disagreement” and “never speak to one another.” The Pope Emeritus has apparently stated that he only appears in public “at the explicit request of Pope Francis.” What is shown on these occasions, Englisch continues, is “only the pretense of friendship.”
Pewsitter publishes the following editorial, which appeared in the March 17th Edition of L’Osservatore Romano under the title of “The Last Word”. This is a rough translation from the original Italian.
(ROME – Fr. Salvador Pie-Ninot) – In confrontation with the Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, which collects the reflections of the 2014-2015 Synods on the Family, some critical public voices have been raised in the form of “dissent,” and therefore it can be important to reflect theologically on this sensitive issue. For guidance we turn to the document published by the Congregation for the Defense of the Faith, Donum Veritatis, On the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian, published in 1990 by Cardinal Ratzinger; Ratzinger discusses “the problem of dissent” in the chapter of that name (nn. 32-41).
March 7th, 2017
(AciStampa) UTRECHT – Yesterday, Cardinal Willem Jacobus Eijk, Archbishop of Utrecht, said in an interview that a magisterial document on gender theory was “urgent.” The Archbishop confirms a previous statement, made in November, in which he expressed his opinion that such a document would be useful to the Church.
“I would not necessarily say it takes an encyclical,” the Archbishop told AciStampa. “It could also be a different type of document, such as an instruction from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. However, it is important that there be an authoritative document of the Church on this theory.”
Open Letter To Cardinal Müller: How Can a Excommunicated Heretic Be a “Witness to Hope”?
It is indisputable that in recent times the historical figure of Martin Luther has undergone a remarkable rehabilitation. Once excommunicated, Luther has been recommended to the faithful as a “witness to the Gospel.” His statue has been photographed in the Vatican, a commemorative Reformation postage stamp has been issued by the Vatican, and the Holy Father himself has praised Martin Luther’s personal journey and the Protestant Reformation which he began.
The Vatican appears to be coming to a boil these days: the pace of strange and alarming announcements from Rome has increased ever since the release of Amoris Laetitia in April of last year. It is easy to lose sight of the overall trend of a news story as individual headlines are released; Pewsitter is releasing the below report, which is a timeline of most directly Vatican-related events since April 2016, in the belief that it clearly demonstrates the unusual nature of these continuing developments. This timeline will be periodically updated with new material.
To the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
Founded in 2007, Pewsitter is one of the oldest and largest Catholic news sites on the Internet. We gather and republish thousands of stories weekly from national and international Catholic sources, to keep our readership informed. One of the issues we have been closely following in recent weeks is that of the immigration executive order put in place by President Trump, and the subsequent response of Catholic bishops worldwide.
The official USCCB statement on the refugee order reads, in part, as follows:
February 5, 2017
by Fr. George W. Rutler
In the margin of a public speaker’s manuscript was the notation: “Weak point. Shout.” Such is the rhetoric of those who place emotion over logic and make policy through gangs rather than parliaments. In Athens 2,400 years ago, Aristophanes described the demagogue as having “a screeching, horrible voice, a perverse, cross-grained nature and the language of the marketplace.” That marketplace today includes the biased media and the universities that have become daycare centers.
February 2nd, 2017
(Serena Sartini / Infovaticana) ROME – The Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR): a name synonymous with intrigues, cardinals’ power games, and shady business deals. From the era of Cardinal Marcinkus, the “banker of God”, to this day, the so-called “Vatican Bank” has been awash in scandal, financial and otherwise. To name only a few: the collapse of the Banco Ambrosiano, the ongoing Italian investigation into Benedict-era senior officials and the sentencing of Monsignor Nunzio Scarano for money laundering. With Pope Francis, have things changed? Have the long-awaited cleanup operation and transparency arrived? The auditing of accounts? Has the alignment with international accounting standards been completed?
January 30th, 2017
One thing about the Maltese bishops’ document on Amoris Laetitia that does not seem, as yet, to have been sufficiently emphasized by anyone is the similarity of its argument to that put forward in the infamous Lambeth Decision of 1930 on contraception. In fact, the two statements, in justifying themselves, use almost identical phrases:
Our role is patiently to help them to form and enlighten their own conscience, in order that they themselves may be able to make an honest decision before God and act according to the greatest good possible (see AL 37).
January 26th, 2017
Of the two great public controversies presently rocking the Church, one is unquestionably the Amoris Laetitia scandal, and the other is arguably the ongoing effort to salvage Martin Luther. The consistent praise emanating from the Vatican, even in the face of scholars’ reminders about the historical truth, has confused many. It seems, rather than encouraging the ecumenical progress that is its alleged goal, to be furthering a type of indifferent syncretism instead.
January 14, 2017
ROME (Matthew Matzuzzi / Il Foglio) – The archbishop emeritus of Bologna and one of the four cardinal signers of the “dubia” statement, Cardinal Caffara, commented today on the continuing Amoris Laetitia controversy in an interview with the Italian Il Foglio.
“A Church with little attention to doctrine is not a more pastoral Church, just a more ignorant Church,” he declares, as part one of a two-pronged argument against the direction which seems to have been taken by the senior Vatican hierarchy. Despite his firm stance, the Cardinal is at particular pains to refute the idea that the four cardinals are deliberately acting to divide the Church.
ROME (katolisches.info) – The painful tension of doubt grows stronger with each day that Pope Francis refuses to answer the questions posed by the “Four Cardinals” regarding His Holiness’ statement on marriage, Amoris Laetitia. The doubt itself has metastasized dramatically since the “dubia” letter’s release two months ago. As Church hierarchy continues to publicly declare allegiance with one or the other side, giving strength to the impression of a fractured Church, the unnecessary viciousness of Papal confidants’ rebukes to the Four, strange rumors of a Pope “boiling with rage,” a “police-state Vatican atmosphere,” and Francis apparently declaring he will “go down in history as the divider of the Church,” have all led to rapidly increasing fear and concern in this bizarre and twisting story. Most puzzling of all, to those desperately trying to preserve the benefit of the doubt, is the Pope’s continued silence. It is thus worth asking, with Katolisches.info’s Giuseppe Nardi, whether Pope Francis really understands the gravity of the situation.