Prayer zone for a better, empowering, inspiring, promoting, prospering, progressing and more successful life through Christ Jesus

Posts tagged ‘Pope Benedict XVI’

UN Panel Says Vatican Enables Sex Predators to Repeat Crimes.


A United Nations committee decried the Vatican’s response to sexual abuse of children by its clergy, saying the Holy See has allowed alleged predators to strike again because it was more concerned about itself than the victims.

“In dealing with child victims of different forms of abuse, the Holy See has systematically placed preservation of the reputation of the church and the alleged offender over the protection of child victims,” the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child said in a report released today. The Vatican in response reiterated “its commitment to defending and protecting the rights of the child” according to church teaching.

The committee’s report increases expectations on Pope Francis, who has won praise in his first 11 months in office for encouraging dialogue on social issues. The Roman Catholic leader was urged to break what the panel characterized as church practice of harboring sex offenders, retaliating against witnesses and condoning ritualized beatings.

“The committee notes as positive the willingness expressed by the delegation of the Holy See to change attitudes and practices,” the panel said. It “looks forward to the adoption of prompt and firm measures for the concrete implementation of its commitments.”

Benedict XVI

The findings take into account a Vatican report presented to the panel in January 2013, when the church was led by Francis’s predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.

Francis, 77, has been hailed as a potential reformer after the final years of Benedict’s reign, which ended a year ago with his resignation. The Argentine pontiff has taken on money laundering at the Vatican bank, signaled an easing of the church’s traditional stance against homosexuality and repeatedly spoken up about the injustice of income inequality.

The church’s decades-long struggle with child molestation, which the UN panel said has claimed tens of thousands of victims worldwide, may be the biggest problem inherited by Francis. The Vatican, while saying it would submit the UN panel’s report to “thorough study,” signaled it will contest at least some of the findings.

‘Gravely Concerned’

“The committee is gravely concerned that the Holy See has not acknowledged the extent of the crimes committed,” the UN panel said. The church “has adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of the abuse by and the impunity of the perpetrators,” it said.

A “code of silence” has been imposed on clergy in cases of child sex abuse, and nuns and priests have been demoted and let go for stepping out of line, the committee said. It called for transparency and cooperation with law enforcement and victims organizations.

The UN panel called for the Holy See to provide family planning information to minors and make HIV and AIDS a mandatory part of Catholic school curriculum, the panel said. Corporal punishment, which it said has “reached endemic levels in certain countries,” must be banned.

Vatican Response

The Holy See does “regret to see in some points of the concluding observations an attempt to interfere with Catholic Church teaching on the dignity of human person and in the exercise of religious freedom,” the Vatican said in its e- mailed response. It didn’t specify which points it objected to.

Mothers who bear the children of priests should no longer be required to sign confidentiality agreements in exchange for financial support, the UN panel said.

The church may be moving in the right direction as it reviews withdrawing references to “illegitimate children” from its law, the panel said. Francis was also recognized for his “progressive statement” in July, when the pontiff addressed the issue of homosexuality.

Still, the committee said past church comments on homosexuality contribute to stigmatization and violence against gay, bisexual and transgender adolescents.

The panel recommended the Vatican “promptly abolish the discriminatory classification of children born out of wedlock as illegitimate children,” it said. “The committee also urges the Holy See to make full use of its moral authority to condemn all forms of harassment, discrimination or violence against children based on their sexual orientation.”

Catholic Voices

Catholic Voices, a U.K.-based blog that comments on media coverage of the church, criticized the report and said dozens of incarcerated priests and millions of dollars in compensation paid to victims undermine the findings. It also argued that the decentralized nature of the church renders the systematic training recommended by the committee impracticable.

“The committee has shown itself to be a kangaroo court,” according to the blog. The findings were produced “by adopting the mythical framework peddled by victims’ advocacy groups and lawyers, and ignoring the evidence put to it by the Holy See.”

 

© Copyright 2014 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

 

Novak: Conservatives Overreact to Pope on Economy.


The political right is overreacting in its criticism of Pope Francis, said a prominent Catholic theologian who predicted the pontiff’s economic views would become more friendly toward capitalism.

“I’m very enthusiastic” about the Pope, author Michael Novak said on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” airing this weekend. “He’s concentrated on the basics. Love, care for the poor, humility, kindness. And those are what matter, really. The rest is housekeeping.”

Novak, whose latest book is called “Writing from Left to Right: My Journey from Liberal to Conservative,” questioned some conservatives’ criticism that has been directed at Pope Francis. Radio commentator Rush Limbaugh, who isn’t Catholic, called the Pope’s comments about economic inequality and the need for regulation “just pure Marxism.”

“Rush doesn’t understand the Catholic part of it and he’s taking it seriously,” Novak said. “Give the guy a chance to get his feet on the ground, get his arms around the questions of globalization, get his arms around the fact that capitalism is mostly ideas.”

While reiterating church teaching on social issues like abortion, Pope Francis has elevated economic issues to prominence since succeeding Pope Benedict XVI in March. In November, he urged governments to stand up to the wealthy and criticized the theory that policies favoring the rich will eventually “trickle down” to help the poor.

“Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless,” Francis said Nov. 26. “Such an economy kills.”

President Barack Obama invoked Pope Francis in his Dec. 4 speech, calling economic inequality the “defining challenge of our time.”

Novak said he didn’t agree with all of the Pope’s economic pronouncements and said that he wished the Pope wouldn’t say “some of the too simple things he says” in his speeches. “Priests, bishops are not trained to do economic analysis,” Novak said.

He suggested that Pope Francis’s views were shaped by his upbringing in Latin America, where social mobility isn’t as fluid as it is in the U.S. The pope was born in Argentina.

“I think he will begin to see the different economies of the world in a different light,” Novak said.

Novak also broke with others from his side of the political spectrum in calling on Congress to pass an immigration bill that addresses the status of an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants now in the U.S.

House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, won’t allow his chamber to vote on a Senate-passed bipartisan measure that offers a path to citizenship along with stronger border control measures.

“My family got here as immigrants, the wretched refuse of the Earth,” Novak said. “And so I’m grateful for that.”

Decades ago, Novak worked for such prominent Democrats as Robert F. Kennedy and Sargent Shriver. By the 1980s, he was backing Republicans Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich.

Novak said his ideological shift, as chronicled in his book, was influenced by his view that government programs intended to help the poor turned out to be largely counterproductive.

“What I’ve come to think is that poverty programs ironically fed the wrong incentives,” Novak said. “And for the first time in our history, we have a body of people who are generations on welfare.”

© Copyright 2013 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

Ho Ho Holy: 2 Popes Exchange Christmas Greetings.


Pope Francis has visited his predecessor, Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, to exchange Christmas greetings.

Photos released by the Vatican newspaper show the two men, dressed in identical white robes save for Francis’ cape, chatting in a sitting room inside Benedict’s retirement home during the visit Monday. They also prayed together in the adjoining chapel. Benedict was looking well, using a cane for support while they stood in prayer.

It is the first time the interior of Benedict’s home has been shown publicly: The sitting room and furniture were all white. An Advent wreath decorated the coffee table.

Since Benedict’s retirement in February, the two men have met only once publicly, for an official Vatican ceremony in July. They also have met privately and occasionally have spoken by telephone.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source: Newsmax.com

Pope Skips Rules to Declare 16th Century Jesuit a Saint.


VATICAN CITYPope Francis, who is a Jesuit, Tuesday skipped the Vatican’s customary procedures and bestowed sainthood by decree on Father Pierre Favre, a 16th century priest who was one of the first Jesuits.

Favre, who is sometimes known in the English-speaking world as Peter Faber, was a close companion of St. Ignatius Loyola, the Spaniard who founded the religious order.

Francis, the first Jesuit Pope in history, applied a little-used procedure called “equivalent canonization.”

This meant Favre was proclaimed a saint by decree without a formal ceremony and without the need for a miracle to have been performed through his intercession.

Francis, who has often spoken of his devotion to Favre and his admiration for the early Jesuit’s spirituality, signed a decree that added Favre’s name to the universal calendar of Roman Catholic saints.

Favre, who was born in France in 1506 and died in Rome in 1546, was beatified, or declared a blessed of the Church, in 1872.

He spent much of his adult life preaching to Protestants in Germany during the Reformation.

The “equivalent canonization” procedure has been used by Popes to bestow sainthood on a person who died long ago and who the Church has revered as holy for centuries.

Pope Benedict used it three times, Pope John Paul used it once, and Francis himself used the procedure in October to canonize an Italian nun, Angela of Foligno, who died in 1309.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax,com

Rev. Gahl: Pope Francis Not Leftist or Conservative.


The Rev. Robert A. Gahl Jr.’s perspective: Pope Francis has ascended and rapidly bypassed his German predecessor, now ranking the fourth most powerful person in the world, according to one recent study.

Crowds continue to grow at his audiences in Rome. In the first eight months of his Pontificate alone, he has already drawn more people to his audiences and feast day Angelus addresses than Benedict did in eight years.

The political left cheers Francis, while claiming that he is a progressive man of the people ready to break with years of Vatican traditions, including such touchy subjects as sexual morality.

The political right has also applauded the Pope, but has begun to complain, usually in hushed tones, which are constantly growing more public.

Pope Francis is revolutionary.

No one can sit easy while listening to such shepherds of the spirit who prophetically challenge the self-righteous pharisee in us all. Like Jesus, the Pope speaks of a Kingdom that is much bigger than impending inflation rates, growing national debt, and strife between political parties.

Loved for his short, pithy statements that show sensitive compassion and deep understanding of timeless truths, Francis is followed by more than 10 million Twitter and holds records for the most re-tweets.

But his longer statements, two extensive interviews with journalists and his exhortation on the new evangelization, have provoked contrasting interpretations and confusion, stoked of course by talk radio, like Rush Limbaugh‘s initial discussion of “The Joy of the Gospel.”

In fact, it should be no surprise that the Pope debate has intensified in reaction to the publication of “The Joy of the Gospel,” Francis’ first programmatic personal statement on the Church and evangelization of the world. From the left, Hans Küng, the dissident Catholic theologian and priest, celebrates what he calls Francis’ intensifying “critique of capitalism”.

From the right, Kishore Jayabalan and Sam Gregg, Catholic proponents of free market economics at the ecumenical Acton Institute, complain about Francis’ “tirades against the market economy” and “facile and plainly false accusations” against global capitalism.

Should proponents of a free market fear Francis, the first Pope to have worked under a Marxist woman, when, prior to entering priestly formation, Jorge Mario Bergoglio worked in a chemical lab in Buenos Aires?

Francis has expressed his deep respect and fondness for his former boss — even how much he learned from her.

But the key to understanding Francis is now in black and white. The apparent ambiguities should be easily resolved, unless the reader is so rushed that he takes a few lines out of context. Francis is well aware of the temptation to read Church teaching in the facile framework of economics and politics, the dominant themes of the twenty-four hour news cycle.

In “The Joy of the Gospel,” while introducing the section that deals most extensively with the poor and economic structures, Francis clarifies that his task is one of evangelical discernment for the missionary disciple not one of “detailed and complete analysis of contemporary reality.”

So, look to “The Joy of the Gospel” to learn how to evangelize, not for economic theory.

Moreover, Pope Francis wants to reassure his reader that he writes in continuity with the Popes who preceded him, John Paul II, with his Centesimus Annus and its defense of the human freedom expressed in a regulated market economy, and Benedict XVI, with his Charity in Truth, the most recent full account of the Church’s social doctrine.

Francis builds upon John Paul II’s defense of economic liberty and Benedict XVI’s development of the doctrine that the freedom to seek profit within a market economy must be embedded within the context of love and truth: love for one’s neighbor and the truth regarding development in accord with authentic human dignity.

Francis succinctly recapitulates his papal predecessors: “I take for granted the different analyses which other documents of the universal magisterium have offered.” Regarding his own political theory and its application to papal governance of the universal Church, he states “I am conscious of the need to promote a sound ‘decentralization'”.

Francis then proceeds to focus on the core of the new evangelization: conversion of the human heart and the personal encounter with Jesus Christ, especially in the poor. Francis’s compassion for the poor is revolutionary, not utilitarian.

His compassion is radical but not infected by communism. Francis defends private property while clarifying that the rich have a responsibility to care for the poor. Francis follows Jesus’s proclamation of salvation in heaven, not in an earthly utopia achieved through the destruction of capitalism and forced redistribution.

In fact, despite the leftist applause lines and the conservative critics’ claims that the Pope needs to learn more about economics before he criticizes capitalism, those who actually read “The Joy of the Gospel” will discover that Francis nowhere uses the word “capital” or “capitalism”.

Like all of his predecessors, he criticizes consumerism and idolatry, especially the idolatry of money, finance, and the market for its own sake. “In effect, ethics leads to a God who calls for a committed response which is outside the categories of the marketplace.”

Indeed, when man serves money he succumbs to the slavery of idolatry. Money must serve man, because the children of God, all men and all women, are to be loved for their own sake.

To address the scandalous inequalities like those he saw up close in the slums of Buenos Aires, Francis challenges the wealthy to compassion. As an Argentine archbishop, Bergoglio once railed against corruption, especially the rackets of drug and human trafficking and abusive government power.

Now as Pope he prays for politicians capable of promoting the common good, rather than usurping it. To address inequality and marginalization, Francis doesn’t propose socialist redistribution, but mercy, compassion, and individual responsibility.

To define himself, Francis simply said: “I’m a sinner.” He publicly states that the papacy itself is in need of conversion.

The first Pope from the Americas is not from the left or from the right. He is a revolutionary, and his aim is reform of the most radical kind.

The Rev. Robert A. Gahl, Jr. is Associate Professor of Ethics at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By The Rev. Robert A. Gahl Jr.

Pope Slams ‘Throwaway Culture’ That Discards Unemployed Youth.


Image: Pope Slams 'Throwaway Culture' That Discards Unemployed Youth

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Pope Francis took on the issue of high youth unemployment in his first interview aired exclusively in his home country of Argentina on Wednesday, warning that today’s “throwaway culture” had discarded a generation of young Europeans.

A day after issuing an 84-page platform for his eight-month-old papacy that blasted unfettered capitalism as “a new tyranny,” the pontiff used the interview aired on the TN TV channel to link high European unemployment to its twin problem of neglecting older people who are past their earning prime.

Special: The ObamaCare Survival Guide – Just $4.95. Save $15! 
“Today we are living in unjust international system in which ‘King Money’ is at the center,” he said in the interview.

“It’s a throwaway culture that discards young people as well as its older people. In some European countries, without mentioning names, there is youth unemployment of 40 percent and higher,” he added. “A whole generation of young people does not have the dignity that is brought by work.”

European leaders pledged earlier this month to make fighting youth unemployment a priority but came up with no new ideas to tackle a problem that risks fueling social unrest.

Nearly 6 million people under the age of 25 are without work in the European Union, with jobless rates among the young at close to 60 percent in Spain and Greece.

Francis’ skepticism of free markets and concern about the lack of ethics in finance were shared by his predecessor, Benedict XVI. But Francis’ unassuming style and rejection of the traditional trappings of office lend his words particular weight.

“A people that cares neither for its youth nor for its older people has no future,” the Pope said. “Young people take society into the future, while the older generation gives society its memory, its wisdom.”

Previously archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis in March became the first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years. He is the first South American Pope.

Francis has called for a more austere Church that sides with the poor, and has promised to clean up the murky finances of the Vatican bank.

Special: The ObamaCare Survival Guide – Just $4.95. Save $15! 

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Source: Newsmax.com

Pope Francis Bids Farewell to Problematic Second in Command.


Image: Pope Francis Bids Farewell to Problematic Second in Command

Pope Francis bids farewell to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone during a ceremony at the Vatican on Oct. 15.

VATICAN CITY — The changing of the guard is underway at the Vatican. Pope Francis bid farewell Tuesday to the Vatican’s No. 2, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who was blamed for many of the gaffes and problems of the papacy of Benedict XVI.

And at a ceremony inside the Apostolic Palace, Francis welcomed his new chief collaborator, Archbishop Pietro Parolin, a career diplomat who was sent from the Holy See to Venezuela during Bertone‘s tenure.

The handover represented a tangible sign of change for the Vatican following Bertone’s scandal-marred term, which climaxed with the 2012 theft of Benedict’s papers by his butler.

But many other problems of Benedict’s reign — from his rehabilitation of a Holocaust-denying bishop to the Vatican’s response to the 2010 sex abuse scandal — have been pinned on Bertone.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: NEWSmax.com

Tag Cloud

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,696 other followers