Pope and politics

Not only in Cuba, but also in Mexico,
Pope may have political agenda in Mexico visit

In Mexico, where he arrives Friday, the pope is expected to bolster a close ally, Mexico’s president, the devout Catholic Felipe Calderon, and his beleaguered ruling party, running behind in the polls for upcoming elections.

There is the issue of the pedophile scandals,

Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Mexico Friday to a very public reminder of one of the Catholic Church’s most egregious sex abuse scandals: A new book says internal Vatican documents show the Holy See knew decades ago of allegations that the Mexican founder of the disgraced Legion of Christ religious order was a drug addict and pedophile.

The documentation has been compiled in a book “La voluntad de no saber’’ (“The will to not know’’), which is coauthored by Jose Barba, a former Legion priest who along with other priests in 1998 brought a church trial against the Legion’s founder, the Rev. Marciel Maciel, for having sexually abused them while they were seminarians.

While details of the abuse were made public years ago, the new documents seem to solidify proof that the Vatican knew of the allegations long before taking action.

Excerpts of the book were published by the Mexican magazine Proceso on Sunday.

“The importance of this book is that it documents the irrefutable evidence and proof that the Vatican has been lying about Maciel,’’ said Bernardo Barranco, an expert from the Religious Studies Center of Mexico and author of the prologue of the new text.

Additionally, the Pope’s visit to Mexico refocuses attention on narco-church relations
Priests have to report suspicious donations to their dioceses, but the power of the drug cartels means it is not that simple

In Cuba,

Pope Benedict comes to show Rome’s backing for a politically savvy cardinal who is pushing – ever so gently – for change on the communist-run island.

“Politically savvy” cardinals get to make speeches on government propaganda TV stations but are not agents for change in Communist countries: Cardinal Wyszynski (h/t Babalu) in Poland was not a “politically savvy” appeaser and instead was an agent for change

Throughout the Communist era, the Catholic Church in Poland was a bastion of freedom and a source of protection from and opposition to the Communist authorities. Activists received protection from the Church and refuge in churches across the nation. Throughout those years the Church grew in strength and influence. It emerged from the communist era not only as the highest moral authority but also as the most powerful institution in the country.

Czech Bishop Vaclav Maly, along with dozens of world dignitaries have also demanded the release of Cuba’s political prisoners ahead of the Pope’s visit. Instead, the Cuban government is preparing for the Papal visit as they only know how: The papal visit has unleashed more repression, and Cardinal Ortega is saying nothing.

The Vatican claims that the Pope’s trip to Cuba will help democracy. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s secretary of state, naively believes that the Cuban regime will not exploit the papal photo-ops for propaganda purposes.

The only way that won’t be the case is if the Pope names the dissidents in his sermon and then assertively goes and meets the dissidents in the middle of an official press conference.

The Pope can meet with Cuban dissidents if he so desires.

But, will he?

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Post re-redacted with more links.

I’ll restore this week’s posts shortly. Thank you for your patience.


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