Archive for the ‘Pope Benedict’ Category

Cuba: Communist regime summons Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

In preparation for the Pope’s visit, Cuban police showed up at the home of dissident Dr. Oscar Elías Biscet ordering to turn himself in by 9AM this morning.

James Glassman reports,
A Brave Man Takes on Cuba’s Brutal Regime. Will the Pope Help?

“Police are in my house; bring summons for Oscar,” Tweeted Elsa Morejon at 11:50 Thursday morning from Havana. “Oscar” is her husband, Oscar Elias Biscet, the courageous physician who has spent 12 of his 50 years on earth in Fidel Castro’s prisons for expressing the opinion that Cubans should be free to speak their minds, to associate with whom they please, and to vote in fair elections.

On Wednesday, he voiced those opinions again in an op-ed in theWall Street Journal. “My country continues to be run by a brutal regime that oppresses the people, systematically violating our basic freedoms,” he wrote. “Cuba is a police state…. They beat and harass anyone seeking peaceful political change.”

Thus, a knock on the door, and the summons to appear at the police station Friday at 9 a.m.

Biscet responded as any brave person responds in the Internet age. He is not cowed. Within minutes, Biscet and his wife ensure that aphoto of the police who came to his door and a copy of the hand-written summons are circulating around the world.

Handwritten summons issued to Oscar Biscet, March 22, 2012

Soon after, I learn from one of Biscet’s supporters that Oscar has no intention of showing up at the police station. Biscet says, I am told, that “if he lived in a democracy, he would have to attend, but since he lives in a dictatorship and has not committed any crimes, he will not present himself.”

Babalu has photos of the police showing up at Biscet’s home yesterday.

As of the writing of this post, Morejon’s twitter feed has no news on Dr. Biscet.

To be continued…

Pope and politics

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

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.


The Pope’s trip to Cuba: a gamble

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Mary O’Grady:
The Pope’s Cuba Gamble
Ignoring those who have suffered for their faith may win some favor for the Church, but it risks alienating the island’s faithful.

As readers of this blog know, the Ladies in White have requested to meet with the Pope during his visit to Cuba,

Numerous other Christians on the island have made similar requests. From the U.S., Yale Prof. Carlos Eire wrote a powerful plea on behalf of the Ladies for National Review Online on March 5: “Like the Canaanite woman who cried out to Jesus, ‘Lord, help me!’ or the woman who touched the hem of Jesus’s robe in hope of a cure, they are reaching out, full of faith, begging against all odds. In an island where everyone has been turned into a beggar, they beg for the rarest and most precious gift of all: your presence.” Cuban Cardinal Jaime Ortega’s office told the Ladies in White that the pope’s schedule is too tight.

Some dissidents wonder whose side the cardinal is on. In recent years he was instrumental in helping the regime deport scores of political prisoners who had become a liability for the regime’s image. Though he recently offered a Mass for ailing Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez, Ms. Soler’s request for a Mass for deceased dissidents has gone unanswered.

The cardinal has said that the purpose of the trip is “a new evangelization” and of course spreading the gospel is the Lord’s work. But it is hard to see how converts will be won if the pope snubs the marginalized and schmoozes with the powerful.

On Thursday, 13 Christians holed up inside Our Lady of Charity of Cobre church in Havana to demand that the pope hear their grievances against the regime were forcibly removed by police, reportedly at the request of Cardinal Ortega. Then on Friday the Vatican announced that if Fidel Castro wants to meet, “the pope will be available.”

Mary concludes,

Unless he has something up his sleeve, the visit may turn out to be a gross miscalculation. Cubans know that they are hostages in their own country. If the pope is perceived as going along with this big lie, it will only heighten the sense of betrayal toward Cardinal Ortega and it will do nothing to strengthen the Church in Cuba.

Here is the text of Carlos Eire’s letter, which I posted a couple of weeks ago before the blog crashed,

His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI 27 February 2012
Apostolic Palace
00120 Vatican City

Most Holy Father:

I’m writing to thank you for your upcoming visit to Cuba. It is very heartening to know that you will be visiting eleven million prisoners. After all, that whole island is a prison, and all of its inhabitants prisoners.

I write not only as a Cuban but as one of your flock and as a scholar. The professorship I hold here at Yale University – named after Yale’s first Catholic chaplain – is the chair in Catholic studies. Oddly enough, many at this very secular university think that I am your nuncio and in constant contact with you, simply because I hold the Catholic chair.

So, I am now finally doing what they think I often do, writing to you.

All of the imprisoned in Cuba need your visit, desperately. Your physical presence will do much to uplift their spirits, and give them a glimpse of the world beyond their salt-water prison walls, perhaps even a glimmer of The Kingdom of Heaven itself, especially when you celebrate the holy sacrifice of the Mass and Christ is made present among them.

You will have to meet with the tyrants, jailers, and executioners, of course. That is inevitable. Not much has changed since Our Lord said “See, I am sending you out like sheep among wolves,” The tyrants and their henchmen will probably attend Mass, as they did when your predecessor the Venerable John Paul II visited the island some years ago.

These men need you too, in their own twisted way. They hope your visit will lend them an aura of legitimacy, fatten their coffers, and fool the world into thinking that they are not tyrants after all.

Many of your predecessors have dealt with such men, under worse circumstances. We Cubans know that those will not be easy moments for you. But our prayers will accompany every step you take, and every handshake too. And we are confident that the Holy Spirit will help you deal with these wolves as Our Lord Jesus Christ advised nearly two thousand years ago, when he told his disciples to be “as cunning as serpents yet as innocent as doves.”

I have but one request: please meet with the Ladies in White while you are in Cuba. They have asked for this themselves, through your nuncio Monsignor Bruno Musaro, with whom they met a few weeks ago. Bless them with your presence, please, Most Holy Father. They are brave beyond belief; but, subjected as they are to constant physical and mental abuse, and to the constant threat of imprisonment or death, they are in dire need of your blessing.

As you well know, they are often attacked and beaten and prevented from attending church; sometimes they’ve even been attacked inside churches. They are living out the gospel, at a high cost, laying their lives down for their brethren. Like the Canaanite woman who cried out to Jesus, ‘Lord, help me!’ or the woman who touched the hem of Jesus’s robe in hope of a cure, they are reaching out, full of faith, begging against all odds. In an island where everyone has been turned into a beggar, they beg for the rarest and most precious gift of all: your presence.

And, oh, what a sight that would be for all the world to see! You and the Ladies in White together. What a jolt to the senses: an image so unexpected, it might restore sight to those blinded by hate, perhaps, or stem the flow of blood that has stained that beautiful prison island for far too long. It might even make demons flee, too.

Your power as Vicar of Christ is unique. You command the world’s attention. You serve as the world’s conscience. Your public acknowledgment of the Ladies in White could change the course of history. They pray for that; we all pray for it too, along with them. I, a beggar, driven from my homeland fifty years ago, join the bold Ladies in begging. We beg like the blind man who would not stop crying out to Jesus and yelled all the louder when told to shut up.

And we beg in the name of Jesus, hoping you will hear our voices above the din made by those who want us not to be seen or heard.

Humbly yours, in Christ,

Carlos M. N. Eire
T. Lawrason Riggs Professor of History and Religious Studies

My translation, which was sent to the Ladies in White for them to read in Spanish,
(more…)

Damning evidence: The Pope and the sex scandal

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

Abuse Scandal in Germany Edges Closer to Pope

— A widening child sexual abuse inquiry in Europe has landed at the doorstep of Pope Benedict XVI, as a senior church official acknowledged Friday that a German archdiocese made “serious mistakes” in handling an abuse case while the pope served as its archbishop.

The archdiocese said that a priest accused of molesting boys was given therapy in 1980 and later allowed to resume pastoral duties, before committing further abuses and being prosecuted. Pope Benedict, who at the time headed the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, approved the priest’s transfer for therapy. A subordinate took full responsibility for allowing the priest to later resume pastoral work, the archdiocese said in a statement.

The archdiocese said that a priest accused of molesting boys was given therapy in 1980 and later allowed to resume pastoral duties, before committing further abuses and being prosecuted. Pope Benedict, who at the time headed the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, approved the priest’s transfer for therapy. A subordinate took full responsibility for allowing the priest to later resume pastoral work, the archdiocese said in a statement.

Here’s a graphic on the history of the abuse case.

And, as the article shows,

In Munich case, a priest from Essen, “despite allegations of sexual abuse, and in spite of a conviction — was repeatedly assigned work in the sphere of pastoral care by the then-Vicar General Gerhard Gruber,” who worked under Benedict when he was the archbishop.

The priest, identified only with the initial “H,” was moved to Munich in January 1980, where he was supposed to undergo therapy, a decision that was taken “with the approval of the archbishop,” according to the archdiocese’s statement. Benedict was archbishop of Munich from 1977 to 1982.

In June 1986, the priest was convicted of sexually abusing minors and given an 18-month suspended sentence with five years of probation, fined 4,000 marks and ordered to undergo therapy.

the sex abuser is now free, and his identity is still concealed.

There is no justice. None at all.

Newsweek: “Is Obama more Catholic than the Pope?”

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

VATICAN OBAMA

Boldly going where no mag has gone before, Newsweek asserts, Without a Doubt: Why Barack Obama represents American Catholics better than the pope does.
And you know it must be true because Kathleen Kennedy Townsend says so:

“The pope has a lot to learn about Catholic politics in America. Barack Obama can teach him.”

There you go.

h/t Meredith Jessup, who said,

As for me, I’ll be sticking with God and continuing to thank Him for term limits.

Do I hear an “Amen!”

Sayonara, Sheikh

Monday, May 11th, 2009

benedictjerusalemPope Walks Out on Hostile Islamic Judge in Jerusalem An insult, a handshake and a walk-out:

Pope Benedict XVI walked out on a toxic anti-Israeli Islamic judge at a meeting in Jerusalem on Monday night.
Taking the podium after the pope without being on the original list of speakers scheduled for the evening, Tamimi, speaking at length in Arabic, accused Israel of murdering women and children in Gaza and making Palestinians refugees, and declared Jerusalem the eternal Palestinian capital.

Following the diatribe and before the meeting was officially over, the pope exited the premises. Army Radio reported that the pope shook Tamimi’s hand before walking out.

Sheikh Taiseer al-Tamimi is head of the Palestinian Authority’s Sharia Courts.

Instapundit says it best,

Hey, you can’t have meaningful dialogue with some people. So why pretend?

Indeed.

Tea, right-wing extremists, pirates, and Vatican rejects

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

In today’s podcast at 11AM Eastern, Moe Lane of Red State joins in for political commentary.

Chat’s open at 10:45AM. Join us!

Pope lectures Pelosi on abortion stance

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Pope lectures Pelosi on abortion stance. Heck, yeah:

After their meeting the Vatican issued a statement that read:

“His Holiness took the opportunity to speak of the requirements of the natural moral law and the Church’s consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death which enjoin all Catholics, and especially legislators, jurists and those responsible for the common good of society, to work in cooperation with all men and women of good will in creating a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development.”

The statement emphasizes that the church considers life to begin at conception and that legislators such as Pelosi are “enjoined” to work to create laws that “protect life at all stages of development.”

Here’s the Vatican statement:

“Following the General Audience the Holy Father briefly greeted Mrs Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the United States House of Representatives, together with her entourage.

His Holiness took the opportunity to speak of the requirements of the natural moral law and the Church’s consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death which enjoin all Catholics, and especially legislators, jurists and those responsible for the common good of society, to work in cooperation with all men and women of good will in creating a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development.”

Moe:

Based on what I wrote earlier, I’m thinking that while the Church is hopeful to avoid a confrontation in the American Church over abortion, it is not expectant that they can avoid it. Ed Morrissey is right when he notes the use of the word “consistent” in the above: it’s in direct contradiction to the excuse Pelosi uses to justify her heresy on abortion. I keep using the term “heresy” here because that’s what it is, by the way: pro-choice Catholics are not having a debate with the Church on this doctrine, much as they’d like to pretend otherwise. That would imply that the Roman Catholic Church recognizes their right to have a variant opinion on this topic and still be a good Catholic, which it pointedly does not – which is why Benedict XVI made sure to have this statement sent out.

If there’s any doubt whatsoever as to the Catholic Church’s position on abortion, hopefully this clarifies it.

Roundup and more commentary at The Anchoress.
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Pelosis on the move

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

MIDEAST SYRIA US PELOSI
Having turned off the lights, handed out “the Chavez rule“, brought in the gourmet menu, and engaged in Hermes scarf diplomacy, Nancy Pelosi got on her private jet and headed to Rome.

Now we hear Pope Benedict to meet Pelosi

In a move likely to stoke more controversy about whether Catholic politicians who support abortion rights are in line with the church, Pope Benedict XVI has granted an audience to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The Catholic News Agency confirmed Monday that Pelosi (D-Calif.) is to meet Wednesday with Pope Benedict XVI, who has said supporters of abortion rights should not receive Communion.

Here is what Pelosi has said about abortion:

Ed posted a transcript:

REP. PELOSI: I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition. And Senator–St. Augustine said at three months. We don’t know. The point is, is that it shouldn’t have an impact on the woman’s right to choose. Roe v. Wade talks about very clear definitions of when the child–first trimester, certain considerations; second trimester; not so third trimester. There’s very clear distinctions. This isn’t about abortion on demand, it’s about a careful, careful consideration of all factors and–to–that a woman has to make with her doctor and her god. And so I don’t think anybody can tell you when life begins, human life begins. As I say, the Catholic Church for centuries has been discussing this, and there are those who’ve decided…

She lied. Pure and simple, lied.

Any practicing Catholic (ardent or not) knows that the Catholic Church is unequivocal about abortion, and it has been for the length of the Church’s existence.

In addition to her eccentric lies about abortion and the Catholic Church, Pelosi also claims that

“Communion is the body of the people of the church coming together,” Pelosi said at her weekly news conference after returning from the mass. “I feel very much a part of that.”

Maybe in some Protestant churches but in the Catholic Church the Eucharist is a sacrament,

“the source and summit of the Christian life.” “The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.”

What that means, in plain English, is that you either accept all the doctrines of the Catholic Church (abortion included), or you don’t have Communion.

Catholic dogma is not a salad bar. You don’t get to pick and choose.

Let’s hope Nancy had time to brush up on her Catechism while the private jet was flying her there. Oh, to be a fly on that wall

It’s always exciting when a notorious heretic meets the Pope.

The Anchoress was praying for Nancy a while ago.

While her mother’s in the Vatican, Nancy Pelosi’s daughter has a documentary coming up on HBO. How such a piece gets on a major cable network remains for speculation, considering that Michael Leahy calls it “This is less a documentary than a reason for a snarky laugh track.”

I don’t think Nancy will be doing much laughing while visiting Pope Benedict.

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The Pope doesn’t wear Prada…

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

… says The Manolo, who found it at Times on Line:

According to Vatican sources the Pope’s shoes are made by a cobbler from Novara called Adriano Stefanelli, who makes them from calf or kid for the winter and nappa leather for the summer. Papal shoe repairs are carried out by Antonio Arellano, a Peruvian shoemaker in the Borgo, the medieval quarter next to St Peter’s. The article, on “Ratzinger’s Liturgical Vestments”, was written by Juan Manuel de Prada, the noted Spanish writer and author of The Tempest, who is not related to the fashion company. De Prada said that the image of the German-born Pope as concerned with “frivolity” was at odds with the truth, which was that he was a “simple and sober” man. Suggestions to the contrary were “stupid and banal”.

And here I thought Shakespeare wrote The Tempest.

In one of life’s coincidences, Novara is the town I was referring to when I wrote this post four years ago.

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I’m still on vacation so instead of the WSj’s 5 best books links, please buy Steve‘s cookbook:

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Not Prada, and definitely not Papal, today’s shoes, perfect for the beach: