Pope Benedict, and “Homosexual Orgies in the Lateran Palace”.

A few days ago, there were several breathless reports that Mel Gibson’s father had claimed that Pope Benedict XVI, along with half the Vatican, were “homosexuals”. It turned out though, that these were old claims, made in a January radio interview which were totally unsupported by any evidence.

Allegations of widespread homosexuality among high ranking Vatican officials are not new though, nor are they surprising. Read the rest of this entry »

Pedophilia, Women Priests, and Kid Gloves for the Legion

Amid a welter of excellent commentary on the mad coupling of pedophilia and women’s ordination, Nihil Obstat makes a different comparison: she notes that in  the same week as the latest madness, Pope Benedict has appointed Archbishop Velasio De Paolis to take control of the finances and assets of the Legionaries of Christ.  The need for an outsider to take control of the vast fortune was obvious. The extraordinary, horrifying part is the mild words in the news release about the problem’s of the order, and the legacy of its founder, Father Marcial Maciel, who is said to have ” fathered children and was guilty of other crimes.”

That has to place first as the wryest, drollest, understatement of the year.

Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado raped and sexually abused underage seminarians and priests; kept mistresses on two continents; fathered at least three children; raped his sons; lied, cheated and stole his order’s money to support an illicit lifestyle.  He was aided and abetted by senior members of the Legion.  The organization was maintained by secrecy and deceit.

In the Zenit article Archbishop De Paolis said it is understandable that some Legionaries are “going through difficult moments, that some have already thought of a different path.” He cautioned that the “vocation is something too serious to be able to make a decision about it in a moment of disorientation.”

Maciel’s key supporters in the Vatican, who provided him with a protective shield, included Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state from 1991 to 2006; Cardinal Eduardo Martinez, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life; and Cardinal Stanislaw Dzwisz, the Polish secretary of late Pope John Paul II.

Fr. Maciel’s biggest enabler was Pope John Paul II himself.  Maciel brought in money and men to the priesthood; and that balanced the account as far as the pope was concerned.

Ponder this for a minute…..senior members of the Vatican hierarchy protected a serial molester and rapist, a priest that had several children with two different women—because this man had created an organizational structure that attracted seminarians and espoused traditional values and practices.

At the same time, they have set into place the most savage penalties for bishops and women who want to become priests, and refuse to consider the issue of priestly celibacy.

-(Read the full post)

No wonder that she says she is herself now “disoriented” by the events of the week.

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Church Reform: “The Beginnings of the Beginning- or the end of the new song?”

This was sent to me last month by the German church reform group, “Wir Sind Kirche”. I delayed posting it at Queering the Church as I was not happy with the language of the English translation. (Provided by themselves). In terms of some current discussion here, it is particularly topical: responding to a comment in another post, I promised to prepare a post on how John Paul II was responsible for reversing many of the council’s reforms. That post is into fully ready, but I have been catching up on my reading, so Seibel’s words immediately recalled to my mind some of what I ahve been finding. I am posting below the text I received, lightly edited for language, together with my responses.

I have added at the end references to the sources I have used – which were jsut simply those that I had to hand. Any reasonable library will have many more.

Authorized short version of a talk held in Wurzburg on November 8th 2008 during the 24th assembly of the movement “We are Church” by P.Wolfgang Seibel SJ, observer of the Council and long-standing editor of the journal “Stimmen der Zeit”of the Jesuits in Munich.

Pope John 23rd called the Council because he was convinced that the Church was in dire need of fundamental reforms. The Council was intended to initiate a “Renewal of the whole Church”. The Pope was convinced that this reform could only be achieved by shared discussion, and open argument, and only if as many as possible lay people and office bearers were to contribute and introduce their knowledge and experience. He did not accept solving problems by directives or decree. The Church shall “renew itself under the guidance of the Holy Spirit incessantly” (GS21). It is “obliged to study the signs of the present time and to interpret them in the light of the holy Bible”

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Hans Kung: 30 years. (“We Are Church” Media Release)

Media Release from “Wir Sind Kirche” (The sometimes odd translation is from their own website; the picture I added from  Wikimedia Commons):

30 years since revocation of the ecclesiastical right to teach of Hans Kueng (18 December 1979):

‘His persistence is encouragement, inspiration and incentive for all of us.’

Hans Kung

This 18 December 2009 will be the 30th anniversary of the day when Pope John Paul II revoked the ecclesiastical right to teach (missio canonica) of Prof. Dr. Hans Kung because of his proposals for reform in the Catholic church. In his book ‘Infallible? An inquiry’ published in 1970 after the Second Vatican Council (1962- 1965) and equally prompted by the encyclical ‘Humanae Vitae’ from 25 July 1968 Kung raised the question if the papal ministry is indeed infallible. With this Kung, like nobody else in our time, raised the question of truth in Christianity and kept it alive ever since. The world-famous Swiss theologian, appointed official adviser to the Second Vatican Council by Pope John XXIII, contributed decisively to an ecumenical theology notwithstanding his later marginalization by the church. His doctoral thesis ‘Justification’ about the Swiss reformed theologian Karl Barth, finished in 1957, was praised at the time by Joseph Ratzinger, teaching colleague of Kung at the University of Tuebingen/Germany until 1968. Kung made major contributions to the agreement reached in 1999 between the Catholic church and the Lutheran Church with regard to the declaration of the doctrine of justification. His ‘Project world ethos’ (www.weltethos.org) started in 1990 grew into an important stimulator for the interreligious dialogue, today more necessary than ever in the face of our global problems. On 6 October 2009 he proclaimed his ‘Declaration to a global business ethos’ in front of the UN.

After the revocation of the ecclesiastical right to teach Kung did not retract his theologically well founded statements to the disputed dogma of infallibility of 1870. By doing so he showed that what we are being asked to do is not to obey but to resist the usurpations from Rome. In 1979 Kung was appointed to the chair for ecumenical theology that was created for him outside the Catholic faculty and which he occupied until 1997.

Read the rest of this entry »