Posts Tagged Benedict XVI
In new letter, Benedict blames clergy abuse on sexual revolution, Vatican II theology / National Catholic Reporter
A number of noted theologians took to Twitter overnight to criticize Benedict’s take on the root causes of clergy sexual abuse. (National Catholic Reporter)
Retired Pope Benedict XVI has published a new letter blaming the continuing Catholic clergy abuse crisis on the sexual revolution, developments in theology following the Second Vatican Council, and modern society’s aversion to speaking about God.
“The letter, one of a handful the ex-pontiff has shared publicly since his resignation in 2013, immediately drew criticism from theologians and Vatican watchers. They noted it does not address structural issues that abetted abuse cover-up, or Benedict’s own contested 24-year role as head of the Vatican’s powerful doctrinal office.
“The former pope instead points the finger at a range of esoteric issues, from a supposed societal “mental collapse” brought on by the protests of 1968, to a claim that the sexual revolution declared pedophilia to be “allowed and appropriate,” and to “vehement backlashes” by theologians against a 1993 encyclical by Pope John Paul II.
“‘Among the freedoms that the Revolution of 1968 sought to fight for was … all-out sexual freedom, one which no longer conceded any norms,’ Benedict says at the beginning of his text.”
By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …
“On June 28, the priest’s diocese of Crema in northern Italy released a statement saying the pope had made a “definitive ruling” that Inzoli, also known as Don Mauro, should be dismissed from clerical duties.” (National Catholic Reporter)
Pope Francis has defrocked an Italian priest who was found guilty of child sex abuse, three years after overturning predecessor Benedict XVI’s decision to do the same after allegations against the priest first came to light.
“Mauro Inzoli, 67, was initially defrocked in 2012 after he was first accused of abusing minors, but Francis reversed that decision in 2014, ordering the priest to stay away from children and retire to ‘a life of prayer and humble discretion.’
“On June 28, the priest’s diocese of Crema in northern Italy released a statement saying the pope had made a ‘definitive ruling’ that Inzoli, also known as Don Mauro, should be dismissed from clerical duties.
“Bishop Daniele Gianotti of Crema said the Vatican body responsible for church doctrine informed him of the pope’s decision, which Gianotti described as “the worst punishment” to be imposed on a priest.”
By Josephine McKenna, Religion News Service, in National Catholic Reporter — Read more …
N.B.: This is part one of a three-part series discussing the theologies of the papacies of Pope Francis and Pope Paul VI. Links to parts two and three of the series are listed below.
The opposition to Pope Francis is unprecedented. There have been disagreements in the life of the church before: How could there not be? And, in recent times, we have even seen some cardinals voice disappointment or even disagreement with directives coming from Rome. For example, Belgian Cardinal Leo Joseph Suenens was not shy in voicing his concern about the manner in which the first synods of bishops after the Second Vatican Council were conducted. But claiming an apostolic exhortation is not magisterial? Publishing detailed challenges to the pope’s teaching? This is uncharted territory.
“I believe that the opposition to Francis is rooted in a flawed understanding of the post-conciliar era and, more specifically, where we are in the process of receiving the council. Francis, just last month, in an interview with Italian daily Avvenire, noted that it takes about 100 years to fully receive a council, and he is right. Some people thought that process was completed, and that they had mastered all the riddles of the Catholic faith in the post-conciliar age. They are very upset that their assumptions and some of their conclusions have been challenged.
“Last week marked the 51st anniversary of the close of Vatican II. In the past four years, we marked the opening of the council, commemorated the promulgation of key conciliar texts, held conferences to explore the meaning of the documents, and appropriately so, because Vatican II remains the most determinative event in the life of the Catholic church in our living memory.
By Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this first article in Winters’ three-part series.
Click here to read the second article in this series, “Pope Paul VI’s greatness lies in his church leaderhsip after Vatican II.”
Click here to read the third article in this series, “Different popes, different personalities — and underlying continuity.”
“What they [the cardinals] have done is a very grave scandal, which could even lead the Holy Father to take away their red hats, as it’s happened already in some other times in the Church.”
According to a senior Vatican judge, four cardinals, including American Raymond Burke, who recently published a letter in which they asked Pope Francis to clarify his document on the family, Amoris Laetitia, could lose their red hats over what he termed the ‘very grave scandal’ they’ve caused.
“‘What Church do these cardinals defend? The pope is faithful to the doctrine of Christ,’ said Father Pio Vito Pinto.
“‘What they [the cardinals] have done is a very grave scandal, which could even lead the Holy Father to take away their red hats, as it’s happened already in some other times in the Church,’ Vito Pinto said.
‘The priest, appointed in 2012 by emeritus Pope Benedict XVI as head of the Vatican’s main working court, also known as the Roman Rota, was quick to clarify that his words don’t mean Francis has made such a decision, simply that he could.”
By Ines San Martin, Cruxnow.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Four semi-retired cardinals have publicly questioned Pope Francis’ most recent teachings on family life, issuing an open letter to the pontiff with five yes or no questions about how he understands church teaching following the publication of his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetita.
“While the cardinals say they are writing the note in ‘an act of justice and charity’ to allow the pope to ‘dispel all ambiguity’ about his exhortation, they take a defiant tone and pit Francis’ document against others written by his predecessors John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
“Publication of such an open challenge to a Catholic pontiff from some of his cardinals, who normally act as the pope’s staunchest defenders, is exceedingly rare.”
By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
In this television interview, Fr. Zollner talks about the intersection between psychology and spirituality, the progress of the the Catholic Church in dealing with the clergy sexual abuse scandal, and how his involvement in addressing the scandal has changed his life. He wraps up the hour-long video by discussing the role of clericalism in the scandal.
Fr. Hans Zollner, SJ, born in Regensburg, Germany in 1966, is a member of the Society of Jesus, currently serving as Academic Vice Rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Fr. Zollner, a licensed psychologist and psychotherapist is professor in the Gregorian University’s Institute of Psychology. He is also Honorary Professor in the Department of Theology and Religion of the University of Durham (England) and serves as President of the ‘Centre for Child Protection’ at the Gregorian. He is also a Member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. Over the past decade, Fr. Zollner has become an articulate, leading, sought after expert and prolific author in the area of the Safeguarding of Minors and Child Sexual Abuse Prevention as well as in the area of Spirituality of Priesthood and Consecrated Life. He has visited over 35 countries and addressed the ecclesial leadership of each country on these topics.”
Interview by Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., CEO, Salt & Light Catholic Media Foundation — Click here to watch this interview.
A high-ranking Vatican official recently voiced serious doubts about the need to reform the Roman Curia. Believe it or not, he said talk of reform was exaggerated.
“‘I personally can see no significant reason that would necessitate a reform of the Curia at the moment,’ the official said.
“‘One or two changes have been or will be made concerning personnel or structures, but that is part of the normal run of things,’ he continued.
“‘To speak of ‘Curia reform’ is, with all due respect, somewhat of an exaggeration,’ he maintained.
“This wasn’t just any official. It was Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the papal household. He’s the same one who is the private secretary and housemate of the former pope, Benedict XVI.”
By Robert Mickens, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this column.
A photograph taken in Argentina in 2007 shows two cardinals, Jorge Mario Bergoglio and Tarcisio Bertone, sitting side by side, although their chairs are on two different levels. At the time, Bertone was the Vatican’s Secretary of State, having traveled to a village in northern Patagonia ‘in the name of His Holiness Benedict XVI’ to preside over the beatification of a turn-of-the-century religious student.
“Bertone’s wooden armchair sits on a dais that puts him a good six inches higher than Bergoglio, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, who perches uncomfortably on his metal-and-plastic seat, and the man known to many as the “vice-pope” occupies his virtual throne with kingly complacency, clad in yards of fine Italian filetto lace beneath his golden chasuble, with a sporty pair of aviator sunglasses to complement his gold-embroidered miter (and is that a Rolex on his wrist?). Next to him, in Jesuit black under plain white robes, Cardinal Bergoglio, with his iron cross and his horn-rimmed spectacles, looks open-mouthed upon the radiant spectacle, his famously mobile face providing the perfect caption to the picture. Six years later, Bergoglio became Pope Francis, and things have not been the same since.”
By Ingrid D. Rowland, The New York Review of Books — Click here to read the rest of this article.
Can Pope Francis manage his local opposition as he attempts Church reforms?
A few weeks after Benedict XVI announced his resignation, the political philosopher Giorgio Agamben published a short book called “The Mystery of Evil: Benedict XVI and the End of Times.” In that volume, Agamben calls the pope’s resignation a prophetic moment, and argues that it highlights the crisis of institutional legitimacy … As the cardinals assembled in Rome to elect a new pope, curial reform became the conclave’s watchword. That is Francis’s mandate. It is also one of his greatest challenges. Whether he is able to rouse the church from its institutional coma depends entirely on his ability to manage his opposition …
“According to Bishop Fernández (Víctor Manuel Fernández, rector of the Catholic University of Argentina, whom Franics appointed bishop in May 2013), Francis believes in the participation of the people of God (bishops, priests, and laity) in the church’s decision-making processes. The pope is interested in reforming more than the Curia. That is important, but it won’t solve all the church’s structural problems. The church needs more ‘synodality.’ That is, the church must develop processes through which all Catholics ‘can feel represented and listened to…giving more autonomy to the local churches.’ In this sense, it is time for ‘more listening to the people of God.’
“But listening entails risk. If the pope really does want to allow all Catholics a place at the table, then he’ll have to listen to a lot of people who aren’t especially pleased with his leadership so far.”
By Massimo Faggioli, Commonweal magazine — Click here to read the rest of this article.
You may be interested in this television news magazine story — “‘Secrets of the Vatican,’ a special, 90-minute FRONTLINE presentation premiering today, Feb. 25, that tells the epic, inside story of the collapse of the Benedict Papacy—and illuminates the extraordinary challenges facing Pope Francis as he tries to reform the powerful Vatican bureaucracy, root out corruption, and chart a new course for the troubled Catholic Church and its 1.2 billion followers.”