Daily Archives: August 12, 2010

Pope Benedict’s remarkable chutzpah in the face of scandal hysteria

German Pastors are not afraid to fight.

Whatever you think of the present Pontiff, you can’t deny that he is not on a relentless pursue for popularity.
Here we have another example of this German Pastor-ness of the Holy Father and it is frankly a pleasure to see that age has not softened his readiness to be unpopular when he thinks that there is a good reason for doing so.

The background: the “Murphy Report” on child abuse in Ireland has put four bishops into the spotlight. Two of them were more or less directly implicated and have soon resigned. Further two (Raymond Field and Eamonn Walsh) were rather indirectly implicated and have initially refused to resign, but have given in to pressure and resigned their positions of auxiliary bishops in the diocese of Dublin when the titular of their diocese, Archbishop Martin, refused to give them support by declaring to the press that he had “confidence in their ministries” as opposed to having confidence in…them.

The news is that Pope Benedict has now refused to accept the resignation of the two bishops, though they will be assigned to different roles within the diocese.

We have here the strange situation in which an Archbishop publicly throws his auxiliaries to the dogs (the expression “not give full support” is a clear understatement in light of Archbishop Martin’s words) and the Pope rescues them from public humiliation. As Archbishop Martin is certainly nearer to the events but Pope Ratzinger is certainly not stupid and not easy to manipulate, the refusal of the resignations sends in my eyes some interesting signals. The first is that when Pope Benedict thinks that some punishment is too harsh he does not hesitate in doing what is unpopular, even knowing that he will be once again portrayed by the liberal press as “protector of paedophiles”. The second is that his refusal to accept the resignation is, if you ask me, a clear disagreement with Archbishop Martin’s clearly damning statement; one has to wonder whether Archbishop Martin was not just offering sacrificial victims to the press and public and the Pontiff felt he really couldn’t accept it. The third is that this decision could be a further move toward normalisation, in that the Church avoids to give in to the current hysteria regarding the issue.

I for myself could never understand why the New York Times demands from the American dioceses that every suspicion of certain crimes should lead to an automatic denunciation to the police (which by the way the US dioceses have been doing for many years now), but doesn’t have such a policy itself.
I do understand, however, why the NYT doesn’t have such a policy: because they know that it would ruin the life of perfectly innocent people, create a climate of terror and open the door to the worst exercises in office plot and private vengeance.

Let us prepare ourselves for the next volley of criticisms against the Holy Father and let us be glad that we have a brave Pontiff.


Kick him out: the heretical video-show of an American priest.

Cardinal Hummes, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy. There's work for him.

I have already written here about the difference between the Church as infallible custodian of the Catholic Doctrine and the heresies spread by this or that member of the clergy. This has always happened and will, alas, always happen.
But this here – published from the always instructing and amusing Creative Minority Report – is different in that Fr Joseph Breen had the gut to make an astonishingly heretical video and put it on the website of his parish.

This individual is not new to such shows, having already received a bit of a shampoo in the past after threading the same forbidden territory. Obviously not satisfied, he now tries again to be kicked out; which I think he should be, sharpish. On the other hand, what can you expect from one who writes a letter to William Levada (always insisting on the same issues) and calls him “Cardinal Bill”….

After listening to this – in its own tragic way amusing – show of heresy, I think it would be faster to say where he hasn’t been heretical than where he has. The man is pure entertainment. Even when he is not being heretical, he just can’t avoid being plain wrong (say: Galileo, Crusades). He is either very wicked or completely gaga. Unless he is both.

After you have stopped laughing, the person to address to ask the removal of this scandalous nutcase is:

The Most Reverend David R. Choby
Bishop of Nashville
The Catholic Center
2400 Twenty-first Avenue South
Nashville, TN. 37212

Please do not forget the “deacon”. He’s another one who must be stopped before he grows up.

The relevant video has been already removed from the website of the parish. Still, I think the man should get the boot asap.
I can’t think how much damage he has done in his disgraceful career, but I’d say it is enough damage already. I also struggle to see how the man could have come to the idea of putting such a video on his website unless he has a long experience of remaining unpunished. I truly think that the bishop must now act swiftly and in an exemplary way.


The Villanova Project, or Catholic Virtual Tours from the comfort of your home.

Now available in virtual format

The Villanova project is an initiative of the faculty and students of the Villanova University in Pennsylvania.
What they do is to take a vast number of photos of a certain church or particular Catholic site (say: Sistine Chapel); then they spend months stitching the photos together, after which a virtual tour is possible. As in a virtual tour of, say, an apartment you can see the relevant monument by different vantage points, zoom in and out, look up or down, etc., but these are not apartments and the result is truly impressive. The fifth project (St. Peter) has been recently released and with this we have four major churches and the Sistine Chapel.

The projects released up to now are as follows:

Sistine Chapel
St. Paul Outside-The-Walls
St. John Lateran
St. Mary Major
St. Peter

My heartfelt thanks (and I am sure: yours too) to the faculty and students of the University for this fascinating project. Let us hope that it will continue for a long time adding many beautiful Catholic monuments to this already impressive collection and allowing many who can’t or don’t want to travel to Rome to appreciate the splendor of Catholicism in a way not possible before.


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