Inside the Vatican magazine January-February 2023

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JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2023 $5 / EUR 5 / £3.30

















How Science Supports Catholic Moral Wisdom for Human Flourishing ◆ A Defense of Her Controversial

Moral Teachings


he final volume of his Called Out of Darkness trilogy, Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J. lays bare the theological and philosophical roots of Catholic morality, using secular studies to demonstrate that these teachings, even from a scientific standpoint, help people to flourish. Gathering data from universities, medical institutions, psychiatric research and more, he shows that going against foundational Christian doctrines leads to signiocant increases in depression, anxiety, substance abuse, familial tensions, and suicidal contemplation. |e numbers speak for themselves. With scientioc clarity, this work provides everything you need to know to speak credibly, efectively, and persuasively about the most controversial moral issues. MWCCP . . . Sewn Sovcover, $24.95 <In an age in thrall to scientism, it’s not only useful but imperative to show that Catholic moral teachings are well-supported by social-scientioc and other empirical considerations. Fr. Spitzer's work is an important contribution to this enterprise.= — Edward Feser, Ph.D., Author, Five Proofs of the Existence of God

<Fr. Spitzer has hit another home run! His defense of Catholic moral teaching is greatly needed. |e book is not just theologically and philosophically sound; it is also supported by large amounts of data from the social sciences.= — Paul Vitz, Ph.D., Senior Scholar/Professor, Divine Mercy University

Other Titles by Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J.

Christ versus Satan in Our Daily Lives CVSP . . . Sewn Sovcover, $19.95

Escape from Evil’s Darkness

Finding True Happiness

God So Loved the World

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|e Soul’s Upward Yearning

|e Light Shines On in the Darkness

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by Robert Moynihan

“Be Sober and Watch...” In 2023, many crises face us — war, the economy, viruses, vaccinations, human folly, human sin. So we must be vigilant — even more than we have been — to keep the faith and to fight for it and... for our civilization

“The Lord comes to the world in a stable... because the word of God needs no spotlights or loud human voices. The Lord is Himself the Word that gives life its meaning.” —Pope Francis, Urbi et Orbi Christmas message, December 25, 2022, Rome “May the Lord... enlighten the minds of those who have the power to silence the thunder of weapons and put an immediate end to this senseless war!” —Ibid. “Our time is experiencing a grave famine of peace, also in other theaters of this third world war.” —Ibid. “Fr. Frank Pavone, a well-known pro-life activist... has been dismissed from the clerical state.’” —CNA on Dec. 17, after obtaining a Dec. 13 letter to US bishops from Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the US. Pierre said the decision was issued Nov. 9 with “no possibility of appeal” “It is said the CDF Prefect, the Jesuit Luis Ladaria, wished, after the trials and fact-finding, to reduce Fr. Marko Rupnik, S.J., to the lay state. Pope Francis removed this extreme sanction [of excommunication]... As is known, the pontiff is the only authority authorized to decide in this matter.” —Luis Badilla, a journalist supportive of Pope Francis, editor of Il Sismografo, questioning why Francis in May 2020 re versed the excommunication of Rupnik for sacrilege December 26, 2022, Feast of St. Stephen, the First Martyr— As 2022 is drawing to a close, as Christmas is quickly followed by the recollection of the stoning of St. Stephen because he bore witness to the same Christ who was born in Bethlehem, we see many worrisome signs in the world — war, hunger, sickness, addiction — and in the Church — efforts to alter established teaching, lack of clear leadership from Rome, incidents of sexual abuse and of sacrilege. Yet signs of hope remain. One worrisome sign: Pope Francis, in his Christmas Day Urbi et Orbi message, said that the world is already in “World War III,” referring to Ukraine, but also to Syria and the Holy Land. During ten months of war in Ukraine, tens of thousands have been killed. And 2022 has seen the most violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank in years, with at least 150 Palestinians and more than 20 Israelis killed. So the Pope is warning us, and urging us to be vigilant about, the danger of war. A second sign: On December 25, Christmas Day — yesterday as I write — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia is “ready to negotiate” to end the war in Ukraine. “We are ready to negotiate with everyone involved about acceptable solutions, but that is up to them — we are not the ones refusing to negotiate, they are,” Putin told Rossiya 1 state television. Of course, as it is often said, “talk is cheap,” and an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy quickly said that Putin needed to acknowledge it was Russia which did not want talks. “Russia single-handedly attacked Ukraine and is killing citizens,” the adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, tweeted, adding: “Russia doesn’t want negotiations, but tries to avoid responsibility.” Still, there are only two possibilities to end this war: negotiations, or the

total defeat of one side or the other. So, this sign reminds us that we must weigh everything, with calls for peace, with care, in order to judge what is prudent. A third sign: Pope Francis cried out yesterday: “Our time is experiencing a grave famine,” then ended his phrase by saying “of peace...” A famine of peace. He said the war in Ukraine has put millions at risk of actual famine, mentioning Afghanistan and countries in the Horn of Africa. So, the Pope is warning us that the spreading wars may lead to famine. A fourth sign: the differing treatment by Church authorities of the cases of Fr. Frank Pavone and Fr. Marko Rupnik. Pavone was laicized on November 9 “for blasphemous communications on social media” and “disobedience.” Rupnik, a Jesuit artist, was excommunicated in May 2020 when an investigation judged as “credible” that he had used the sacrament of confession to absolve the sin of a woman he had sexually abused — a sacrilege (the crime of “absolution of an accomplice in a sin against the sixth commandment”). Then, within weeks, his excommunication was lifted — something only Pope Francis has the authority to do. (These two decisions were not made public until early this month.) So these two cases, as well as many others in recent years, are also signs: that, despite decades of attempts to reform the Church’s procedures to avoid “coverups” of sexual crimes, there is still too little transparency, leaving many faithful to conclude that either Pope Francis is acting based on information he alone has received, information never made public, or that he is acting on bad advice from uninformed, unbalanced, or unfaithful advisors. So, a lack of transparency in these matters — and also in doctrinal matters, like the decision not to answer the five dubia of 2016, or not to explain the decision to bring images of the Pachamama into St. Peter’s in 2019 — is undermining papal authority, and so harming the Church, as millions are perplexed and asking, “Why was this decision taken?” Again, these two decisions are signs that there should be greater transparency in Church decision-making processes, to lessen much faith-destroying confusion. A fifth sign: a hospitalized man in Vienna, Austria, left totally alone by his family due to alcohol addiction, for whom a Rosary group has been praying, has recently been visited by his brother, and it seems a reconciliation is occurring. This is a sign that prayers can be answered, in small and in large ways. So, in spite of so many concerns, there remains much to be thankful for, as 2023 begins. In his First Letter, St. Peter, writing “from Babylon” (Rome) to Christians in Asia Minor, says: “Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist ye, strong in faith: knowing that the same affliction befalls your brethren who are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little, will himself perfect you and confirm you and establish you. To him be glory and empire, for ever and ever. Amen.”m JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2023 INSIDE THE VATICAN



Year 31, #1

LEAD STORY JESUITS IN COMMAND OF THE CHURCH: In what direction are they leading it? by Sandro Magister (Settimo Cielo) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 PROFILES/The Pope’s handpicked Jesuits at the Vatican by ITV staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 INTERVIEW/Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, S.J., head of Synod on Synodality by ITV staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2023 Year 31, #1


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Robert Moynihan ASSOCIATE EDITOR: George “Pat” Morse (+ 2013) ASSISTANT EDITOR: Christina Deardurff CULTURE EDITOR: Lucy Gordan CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: William D. Doino, Jr. WRITERS: Anna Artymiak, Alberto Carosa, Giuseppe Rusconi, David Quinn, Andrew Rabel, Vladimiro Redzioch, Serena Sartini PHOTOS: Grzegorz Galazka LAYOUT: Giuseppe Sabatelli ILLUSTRATIONS: Stefano Navarrini CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER: Deborah B. Tomlinson ADVERTISING: Katie Carr Tel. +1.202.864.4263

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v INSIDE THE VATICAN (ISSN 1068-8579, 1 yr subscription: $ 49.95; 2 yrs, $94.95; 3 yrs, $129.95), provides a comprehensive, independent report on Vatican affairs published bimonthly (6 times per year) with occasional special supplements. Inside the Vatican is published by Urbi et Orbi Communications, PO Box 57, New Hope, Kentucky, 40052, USA, pursuant to a License Agreement with Robert Moynihan, the owner of the Copyright. Inside the Vatican, Inc., maintains editorial offices in Rome, Italy. Periodicals Postage PAID at New Hope, Kentucky, USA and additional mailing offices. Copyright 2023 Robert Moynihan


NEWS UKRAINE/Zelinsky issues decree on Russian-affiliated churches by Peter Anderson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 UKRAINE/Can the Vatican help bring peace to Ukraine? by Robert Moynihan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 UKRAINE/”There is no military way out”: Pontifical Academy member Jeffrey Sachs, Ph.D. by ITV staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 VATICAN/Holy See, in unusual move, reacts to China deal violation by Cindy Wooden (CNA) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 SPECIAL: TOP TEN OF 2022 TEN WHO SHINE: Catholics Who Showed Us the Good and Beautiful in 2022 by ITV staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 CULTURE Medicine/A Catholic Perspective on Health Care Reform by William G. White, M.D. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 Scripture/The Kingdom of God is at hand by Anthony Esolen, Ph.D. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 Latin/St. Ambrose and the Power of Silence by John Byron Kuhner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 URBI ET ORBI: CATHOLICISM AND ORTHODOXY Icon/“I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth...” by Robert Wiesner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 East-West Watch/The Orthodox Church of Cyprus by Peter Anderson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 News from the East/Interview with Ecumenical Patriarch; Lebanese Cardinal meets Arab ambassadors; Split feared over Indian liturgy; Russian Metropolitan Tikhon: “We need peace” by Matthew Trojacek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 FEATURES Tradition and Beauty/Pius X’s Motu Proprio on Sacred Music: Not to be Forgotten by Aurelio Porfiri . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50 Art/Painting on Stone After the Sack of Rome by Lucy Gordan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 Lord of the World/“New humanist rituals imposed” by Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56 Vatican Watch/A day-by-day chronicle of Vatican events: October-November 2022 by Matthew Trojacek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58 People/A million Filipino kids pray rosary; pro-abortion Pontifical Academy member; Catholic Nagasaki survivors; Indian Church’s new Eastern-rite head; Catholic priests captured by Russians by Matthew Trojacek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60 Food for Thought/Nutella: An Italian-born worldwide success by Mother Martha . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62

How to Grow in Love & Union with God


◆ DESIRE AND UNITY Augustinian Spirituality for Today

In this unusual book on the Gospel of Mark, the brilliant Peter Kreev presents 252 contemporary questions that modern man asks about every aspect of the meaning of life, faith, love, sufering, friendship, eternity, Jesus, and more. Kreev then provides an answer to each question taken from Mark9s Gospel, which are always pointed and oven surprising, and makes us ponder more deeply the meaning of the Scripture passage for our own lives. |is allows Jesus to speak more directly to us, answering our questions in a personal and profound way.

St. Augustine is one of the intellectual giants of Christianity, but also one of its great spiritual masters. A man of desire and of friendship, he learned from Christ to purify everything in charity and to unify everything in communion with Him. His vigorous, expansive view of the human heart still speaks to us today. Fr. Emmanuel-Marie Le Fébure du Bus leads us through Augustinian spirituality, with an overview of his life and his teachings on seven key points: happiness, love, prayer, Christ, the Church, community, the kingdom of God.

|e great spiritual writer and theologian, Fr. Louis Bouyer, studies ove female ogures whose innuence catalyzed an interior renaissance within Catholicism—which the Church needs as much today as it did in times past. Between Hadewijch of Antwerp, Teresa of Avila, |érèse of Lisieux, Elizabeth of the Trinity, and Edith Stein, there is a striking continuity, yet each is unique— and deeply creative—in her spiritual mission, and each has given to Christians a vivid glimpse into the reality of the living God. Learn from these mystics how to grow in love of God and neighbor.

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<Kreeft describes this as a 8Ponder-Book9; I call it a 8Provoke-Book9! |e brisk, incisive Q&A format provokes readers to pursue a deeper relationship with Christ and a more profound understanding of the Faith.= —Carl Olson, Editor, Catholic World Report

<A treasure of a book! As is splendidly shown in this work, Augustine speaks to the heart and thereby teaches us how to ond God.= —Tim Gray, Ph.D., President, Augustine Institute; Author, Peter: Keys to Following Jesus

<|is book is a treasure. Bouyer acts as a wise, knowledgeable guide, and with his help, these women will bring you to the Heart of Jesus.= —Kathryn Jean Lopez, Author, A Year with the Mystics: Visionary Wisdom for Daily Living

<A marvelous work on the life and spiritual impact of the great Augustine. It captures the wonder of his searching prayer and love for God.= —Fr. Donald Haggerty, Author, Saint John of the Cross: Master of Contemplation

<Bouyer's scholarly mastery of the oeld of spirituality provides an entrée to a world that9s enriching for all Christians. Fascinating and rewarding!= —Ronda Chervin, Ph.D., Author, Treasury of Women Saints

<A beautiful, accessible introduction to the spirituality of Augustine, helping you to know Augustine the mystic, and to meditate with this truly great saint.= —Brant Pitre, Author, Introduction to the Spiritual Life

<|ese women, who have enjoyed the mystical vision of God, are a clear voice of reason and inspiration amidst today's confused world.= —Fr. George Rutler, Author, He Spoke to Us: Discerning God in People

<How would Jesus answer today's most burning questions? |e Gospels are olled with answers, and Peter Kreev does a splendid job of pairing Christ9s answers to our questions.= —Brandon Vogt, Editor, Wisdom & Wonder: How Peter Kreev Shaped the Next Generation of Catholics

◆ WOMEN MYSTICS P.O. Box 1339, Ft. Collins, CO 80522

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Classic Italy: Journey to the Face of Christ June 3 - 13, 2023 From the ancient rooms where St. Peter lived for seven years, to the bishop’s residence in Assisi; from the treasure trove of art and faith at the Vatican Museum, to the Benedictine monastery of Norcia; we will encounter some of the “living stones” of our Church, as we journey toward the Face of Christ — both spiritually and physically – in the form of the miraculous Face of Manoppello. Visit us online to learn more!


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BRILLIANT! [Re: Letter #132, 2022, Monday, December 19: Viganò’s latest] Brilliant! From the depth of the heart. Always a firm, but eloquent message written only as the good Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò could write. If people would listen to the truth in his words, there is no doubt he is inspired by the Holy Ghost. A saint walking among us. Merry Christmas, Robert. And Merry Christmas, Archbishop Viganò. P.S. The Special Christmas Issue of Inside the Vatican devoted to Mary is outstanding! A treasure, filled with beautiful inspiration and gorgeous art. Our Blessed Mother is smiling at this Christmas gift. May God bless your continued good work. What a magnificent Christmas reflection by Archbishop Viganò. His incorporation of Virgil’s Aeneid is beautiful and brilliant. His analysis of world history since Augustus, culminating today with Klaus Schwab and the World Economic Forum, far surpasses anything I have ever read, but the joy I experienced in recognizing the hope for suffering humanity’s forthcoming deliverance from “a sect of servants of the devil” was breathtaking. Thank you so much, and please have a most wonderful and blessed Christmas. J. Kevin Vogel Post Falls, Idaho, USA Thank you for your Moynihan Letter citing Archbishop Viganò’s latest “letter of instruction”! His voice, among others, is what we are in desperate need of, and your willingness to bring it into the light in these murky times is a testament to your fortitude. If only he could be elected as the next Pope... In gratitude, Tim Bratt

Thank you for this Christmas letter from Archbishop Viganò. The man is a genius. I read it very slowly, because I am not that smart. He is amazing. Wishing you a joyous Christmas and health in the New Year. Louise Helder SPECIAL ISSUE ON MARY I have rarely seen a more spiritually beautiful, moving, inspirational magazine as your Special Issue on Mary. I am only part way into it and can already think of five families I would like to send this to! Is it possible to buy copies and have them sent to people? Please let me know. This is one of the finest Christmas gifts I have received in years. Thank you so much, and wishing you the blessings of the Baby Jesus in your hearts, Mary Ann Novak Washington, DC, USA PEACE TALKS [Re: Letter #125, 2022, Monday, December 12: Peace Talks] In all honesty, how can Russia trust anyone in the West when it is crystal clear now to everyone that the West wasted time with the Minsk agreement, according to Angela Merkel, to build the Ukraine army for war with Russia? What you are saying is Western propaganda. Patrick Finnegan RESPONDING TO HOLLERICH [Re: Letter #126, 2022, Tuesday, December 13: Reading Hollerich] The Church is not a “paradigm.” To call her a paradigm is to speak of something altogether different. The Church is first of all a way of life to get to Heaven — a thing we inherit, we join, we hunger for. It is all of that and much more. But She is not a paradigm. Good grief! She is an unsinkable ship sailing the high seas while picking up the lost

and destitute. She is more than we can ever imagine. But now in these last days of the great moral battle between good and evil we find all sorts of summations of what’s wrong with the Church — alll of them about how she is sinking and losing her clout. She certainly has her enemies and many false friends. Indeed, never before has our Dear Lord been so betrayed by so many priests, bishops and cardinals. Some men and women in same-sex relationships even want their sins erased by the Pope so they can go about enjoying themselves without a guilty conscience. So they say out loud, things like “Christianity is a paradigm” as if it were a move in chess to capture the king. She is not a paradigm but rather a ship in time, picking up souls who want to be saved while leaving those who want to take their sins on board with them. Thomas Greerty Absolutely brilliant reporting on Hollerich! So much I could say, but I’ll comment on only one of Hollerichs absurd statements: “Those who are outside the Church sometimes understand the Gospel better than those who are inside.”— Cardinal Hollerich Apparently the cardinal knows a “different Gospel!” For St. Paul, the Gospel is this: “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2) This is the Gospel: Christ Crucified. And no, the world knows nothing of this Gospel. The world hates this Gospel, and is opposed to it and all who follow our Crucified God and Lord of Glory. Should Hollerich and his ilk ascend to the papal throne, the last and final apostasy will soon follow. See the Catechism of the Catholic Church, para 675: “Before Christ’s second coming, the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers…” Jack Carter Archbishop Hollerich’s reasoning is typically Jesuit, that is to say, it is anthropocentric. He refers to man, to human ideas or hypotheses, not to God and his creation. According to this worldview, he holds that all human knowledge of reality

and nature, and certainly the “sociological-scientific thinking,” is just man’s opinion, always hypothetical and relative, always reflected by the actual belief of the majority of people. Therefore the archbishop holds that scientific thinking inevitably “evolves,” that is, it does change in the course of time. There is no invariable “truth” in it. Accordingly, the Archbishop does not use the word “truth” but instead votes for measuring religious moral value judgements relative to the Zeitgeist, and adapting them accordingly. The authentic Christian worldview, however, was and is a realist view, cosmocentric, referring to God’s creation, and theocentric, referring to God himself, who at the beginning built the world “according to measure, number, and weight.” Therefore this God-created “cosmos” mirrors God’s reasonable will. A science that refers not to human hypotheses but to this creation is then able to learn invariable eternal truths from it, simply by natural experience. It is even able to learn (a posteriori) that God the creator of everything really exists (St. Paul’s 1st Letter to the Romans, 19, 20). From God’s creation we learn that He built human beings as man and wife. We also learn that there is a profound difference between man and wife, unreconcilable but by love. So we can judge that with respect to Nature it is not true that the difference would only be a product of education, and it is also not true that Nature herself would produce human beings that “by their nature” would love members of their own sex. Homosexuality is evidently unnatural; it is indeed a product of education, or miseducation, only. There exist no “homosexual beings”

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in Nature! This is true today as it always has been true; the truth of the God-created Nature is invariant in time. Since God’s invariant truth (as it is revealed in Nature and in Scripture) is a central message of Christianity, it is as well false (with respect to Nature) as it is unchristian (with respect to Scripture) to accept homosexuality as a “normal” human quality and behavior. Ed Dellian I fear that Cardinal Hollerich is of that generation, as I am, that imbibed the heady revolutionary ideas of the 1960s. Some of us have seen the light, and rediscovered traditional Christianity. Others of us are still chasing the pot of gold at the end of that revolutionary rainbow. It is significant that he does not argue, he just asserts. Every revolution has to keep up the momentum of change, or it falls flat and expires. So we are continually urged to adopt new paradigms. One technique that he and many who think like him use is this: they read the Gospels and they pick out some theme which appeals to them. Very often it matches a key plank of the contemporary worldview. Then they say, “Christianity is

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR all about...” In this case, it is all about “openness and change.” Then they measure the Church and traditional Christianity against this benchmark and find much of it wanting. Well, of course it is wanting, because “openness” or whatever is merely one of the themes of the Gospel, and these other aspects of Christianity draw their strength from the Gospel’s other themes. By saying “Christianity is all about...” Hollerich and others cancel out all those other themes. But of course, logically, you can’t do that. Their statement “Christianity is all about...” is logically dependent on the data furnished by the Gospels. They cannot use that derived statement to turn round and cancel out some of their data. That would be like a man surveying 1,000 adult males and saying, “The adult male human is shown to be between 5’ 6” and 6’ 3” in height, so it is clear that the 65 participants in my survey whose height falls outside those limits are not in fact adult human males. They must be some other species.” That is simply a fault in logic and it is unacceptable. The number of alternatives to Christianity is endless, but if you believe that Christ was God you have to believe that he entrusted a complete revelation to his apostles: he did not plan on leaving the world in the dark for 2000 years until man suddenly “came of age” in the 1960s. The Gospel was delivered to plain men in plain language: it does not need translating into an entirely new set of concepts. David Critchley “I CONTINUE...” I continue to subscribe to the magnificent magazine — Inside the Vatican — because I enjoy its format and great writing which keeps me informed of the Catholic Church throughout the world. Fr. Klaus Sirianni Parochial Vicar, St. Stephen Martyr Church, Washington, DC, USA FACING DEATH [Re: Moynihan Letter #116, Monday, November 28, 2022: Facing Death] Beautiful reflections, Bob. I am so sorry for the passing of your great friend. Yes, death is hard for us, particularly 10


when we love somebody. But, as I am reminded as I deal with the passing of my own Mum, our grief is not without hope. Andrew Rabel Thank you, Dr. Moynihan, for this email. This is the second Christmas season since my husband died on July 3, 2021. This year’s seems harder to prepare without Hal than last year. Several of your writings reflect Hal’s beliefs in life and how I envision him in heaven. This was an uplifting article rather than a negative for me. I’m grateful for so much and remain hopeful for times to come. Michele Small Dr. Moynihan, thank you for this letter, telling us of the rosary group. May God bless you for all you do. Tania Kuhn (Editor’s note: An online rosary group sprang up in October during the final illness of a friend and former writer for this magazine, Marie Czernin. The Rosary participants, moved by Marie’s calm and faith as she prayed, sometimes with 300 people, as death approached, thinking always of others and not of herself, decided after her death on October 28 to continue on, to pray for her most important intentions: for peace, for the poor, for families in difficulty, and for priests, that they remain strong in their faith, but then also, and especially, for various “sick and lonely” people, people who may have fallen ill and may be dying alone, without friends and family. The Rosary is in several languages — Latin, German, Italian, and English, occasionally in French and Spanish — each evening at 8 p.m. Vienna, Austria, and Rome, Italy, time, which is 2 p.m. in Virginia and the eastern United States. If you would like to join, write: We will mail a link to you to join via Zoom. The Rosary usually takes between 25 and 35 minutes, as the list of intentions are read out, and five mysteries are prayed.) WHY PRINT? I have just read ITV’s opinion on printed matter; I couldn’t agree more.

I have received many items over the computer and it is, for the most part, very tiring. You must sit in front of a screen in a rather uncomfortable position. I love to get ITV, get my coffee, sit in my comfortable recliner and really enjoy the magazine. This is what I did years ago when people wrote letters! Thanks so much for my printed copy of ITV! Patricia DeChurch Kentucky, USA “TEACH THE TRUTH” [Re: Inside the Vatican NovemberDecember 2022, “Synod on Synodality”] The world and the devil do counterfeit the truth of God’s creation of human sexuality. They work to get people to believe and accept that desires and attractions suggested in their hearts and minds are true, that they must be LGBT, etc. and therefore cannot help these thoughts and feelings. Whereas, it is the duty and obligation of Bishops to exercise the gifts and power of Jesus Christ to teach the people the truth, that these are counterfeits of God’s creation of human sexuality, and that they are lies, and that people who desire to be freed, can be freed, by the power of the Holy Spirit, from these counterfeits and lies with which many people are so afflicted. And, this can be done by Bishops willingly exercising the gifts given them, the same gifts that the Apostles had. Wishing that Cardinal Arinze had brought the above to our attention, and that Cardinal Müller had done so, too. Can it be that they do not know the above? The John Paul II Catechism calls for prayer and chastity for those afflicted by these counterfeits, but not how to be wholly free of them. Claudia Person MELTING THE ICEBERG Thank you for Inside the Vatican. Its value is far beyond pearls. I believe that when Our Lady says “Russia will be converted,” she means that the Orthodox Church will reunite with Rome. They call themselves “autocephalous,” but actually they are headless because they cut themselves off from Peter, the visible Head of the Church, who represents Christ, the invisible Head.

In your articles about the Orthodox, I was especially happy to see the warm reception given by Benedict XVI to Archbishop Hilarion and his music. Hilarion is an honest man, and brave. He was willing to differ from Patriarch Kirill on the Ukraine war, and was sent to Budapest. Hurray for Hilarion! I am praying that he will be, in Russia, what Newman was in England: the first to bear witness to the truth, even though it cost him everything. Of course, the Lord is his great reward. Our Lady is aiming to melt the iceberg of Orthodox separation from the Catholic Church. May Hilarion be the first drop. Sr. Mary Pius, OSC Japan VOCATIONS IN WISCONSIN I read the interview with Cardinal Gerhard Müller in your November-December 2022 issue, and was shocked by what he said: that there are “no more priestly vocations” and that “churches are empty on Sundays” in Germany. I wondered if he was over-exaggerating. No vocations? None at all? I know parts of Europe have moved away from the Church. We even have this problem in America. We are living in an age where people are losing direction, and hope. Yet in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area, where I live, we have an increase in men going into the seminary. We currently have more than 70 seminarians. To accompany the influx of men, the seminary had to expand the living quarters. In 2023, it will be the largest group of priests ordained from St. Francis de Sales Seminary in more than 40 years! Maybe Cardinal Müller should ask what St. Francis de Sales is doing to bring more young men into the seminary! I always look forward to receiving your magazine. Thank you. Bob Giese Wisconsin, USA (Editor’s note: Perhaps readers can investigate in person what may be causing the vocations boom in Wisconsin by joining Inside the Vatican on our next pilgrimage along the increasingly famous Catholic “Wisconsin Way” during 2023. For more information, write to:

DONATION FOR PRISONERS Thank you for your recent letter acknowledging my donation. I would like the enclosed check for $60.00 to be used as follows: $50 for a subscription to a person in prison; $10 to send me a copy (or two?) which I plan to give to friends for Christmas. I’m hoping you can provide the beautiful November-December issue. Thank you and praying the ITV enterprise will continue for many more years. Anonymous Indiana, USA

I am an elderly, indigent Catholic who has been incarcerated for the past 37 years. I’ve read Inside the Vatican over the years and fond it to be a wonderful and inspiring source of news. I hope you will consider gifting me a subscription. My faith is my lifeline and as you can imagine, it is often difficult not only to cope but to remain informed. Thank you and God bless you. Michael A. Cardinale #3108194 Martin Correctional Institution 1150 S.W. Allapattah Rd. Indiantown, Florida 34956

ST. JUNIPERO SERRA I am writing in praise of St. Junipero Serra! Thanks to St. Junipero Serra, Christian and beautiful California is what it is today. He volunteered to come to this new country to bring the Good News to the natives, whom he catechized, baptized and taught agriculture to. He is a saint because the Church studied carefully his life and found him to possess sanctity. The supposed “horrors” that one reader mentioned as perpetrated by him and the friars is an example of true misinformation.

I would like to respectfully request a renewal of your free subscription to ITV. I share the magazine with like-minded men in my dorm. Then I bring it to the chapel for others to read. David Williams #D29095 Everglades Reentry 1599 SW 187th Avenue Miami, FLorida 33194

FROM PRISONERS Peace be to you! Hello and good afternoon, I hope and pray that all is well with you. Please forgive me for asking, but could you send me a free copy of your magazine please? We might finally receive our sacraments soon. However, COVID hit one wing out of 16. Please pray for us, as we have movement on our unit and hopefully the COVID scare is a false alarm. It is no fun being locked down for any amount of time. Myself and some of the brothers have started a prayer group using a blue book titled Rosary Warfare. The scriptural rosary is a very powerful prayer tool and we hope to get more men praying with us soon. I hope to hear back from you soon. John Wayne Bega #2071402 Torres Unit, 125 Private Road #4303 Hondo, Texas 78861 P.S. We have started at our chapel a Bishop Fulton Sheen program, each lesson is packed with information! Its based off his way of teaching in a form of catechism. Thank you once again!

My journey to becoming Catholic is rooted in many years of soul-searching with several fits and starts. Now that I am in a place where talking to God is the only solace one can find, I consider myself blessed to have found a small Catholic community in prison. One of my fellow inmates gave me his newest copy of Inside the Vatican and suggested I write in hopes of finding a sponsor for the subscription cost. I pray and ask for someone to help me in this regard. Brandon Combs #180834 Ouachita River Correction Unit Barracks II, P.O. Box 1630 Malvern, Arkansas,72104 Editor’s note: I would like to invite all readers to consider the simplicity, dignity and humility of the prisoners who write to us, including their prison number and their unit name. We are attempting to “visit those in prison” through sending the magazine. We feel honored to have the opportunity. We ask any reader who would like to support such efforts to send a small donation of $25 or $50, or more, to help us pay the printing and mailing costs for these free issues. Bit by bit, the magazine is becoming widely read in US prisons, something I could not be more proud of. Thanks to all our readers, in and out of prison, and to all our donors who support the magazine. —Robert Moynihan JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2023 INSIDE THE VATICAN



Francis’ Team in command oF The church: all JesuiTs The JesuiT PoPe has handPicked an unPrecedenTed number oF his conFrères For inFluenTial PosiTions. in whaT direcTion are They leading The church? n BY SANDRO MAGISTER (SETTIMO CIELO)


ncredible but true. Just now, when in a few decades it has lost a good half of its forces, the Society of Jesus has surged to the heights of command of the Catholic Church as never before. Francis’ story is well known. He is the first Jesuit pope in history: he who notwithstanding had more adversaries than friends in the Society and took care not to set foot in its general curia whenever he came to Rome as a cardinal. But the innovation is that in this last phase of his pontificate — declining in age but not in ambitions — Francis has equipped himself with a veteran attack team, all his own and made up entirely of Jesuits. The top man of this team is without a doubt Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, archbishop of Luxembourg. Top man, in Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s plans, both for today and for tomorrow. For today, the task assigned to him by Francis is to steer, as Relator General, the world synod that got underway in 2021 and will last at least until 2024, but in the pope’s mind even beyond, with the task of remodeling the Church under the banner of none other than a permanent “synodality.” While for tomorrow it is no mystery that Hollerich is also Francis’ candidate in pectore for his succession, on which the current synod will have decisive influence, effectively obliging the future pope — whoever he may be — to take delivery on and continue the “process,” a bit as happened to Paul VI with the Vatican Council II inherited from John XXIII. The general rehearsal of this world synod is the one underway in Germany, which is already infecting other national Churches without Francis’ opposing any effective restraint, with the inevitable litany of fashionable 12


reforms, ranging from married priests to women priests, from new sexual and homosexual morality, to the democratization of Church governance. It is impossible not to recall that some of these were the reforms that another great Jesuit, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini (1927-2012), had included in the agenda of the future Church in a memorable 1999 speech. Martini is known to have had a negative view of Bergoglio, but the supporters of the current pontificate are having a field day making him the “prophet” of the reforms for which Francis is supposedly paving the way at last and of which Hollerich has already repeatedly said he is in favor. On October 24, L’Osservatore Romano published a comprehensive agenda-setting interview with this cultured Jesuit cardinal with twenty-seven years of mission in Japan behind him. And in it he once again expressed the hope for “a paradigm change” in the pastoral care and doctrine of the Church on homosexuality, because homosexuals too “are the fruit of creation” and therefore are not “rotten apples” but “something good.” Of course, there is no room — the cardinal added — for a sacramental marriage between persons of the same sex, because the procreative purpose that characterizes a marriage is lacking, “but this does not mean that their affective union has no value.” And to the editor of L’Osservatore Romano who brought up the fact that the bishops of Belgium have spoken out in favor of the blessing of homosexual unions, Hollerich replied: “Frankly, the question does not seem decisive to me. If we keep to the etymology of ‘bene-dire’ [bless, literally ‘well-speak,’ tr.], do you think that God could ever ‘dire-male’ [‘speak ill,’ tr.] of

Opposite page, on January 11, 2016, at the Vatican, Pope Francis led a group of cardinals into the Sala Regia to receive the representatives of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See for the traditional New Year’s greetings. Below, on June 4, 2015 in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis arrived for his Wednesday General Audience (Photos Grzegorz Galazka)

two persons who care about each other?” These words of Hollerich’s spontaneously bring up the question: but wasn’t it another high-ranking Jesuit at the Vatican, Cardinal Luis F. Ladaria, in his capacity as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who prohibited the blessing of homosexual unions in a Responsum made public on March 15, 2021? And was it not Francis himself who had “given his consent” to the publication of this Responsum, after having been “informed” of it, as written at the bottom of the document? Just so. Except, however, to take note that the following Sunday, at the Angelus, the pope had made it clear that he had no liking at all for “theoretical condemnations” or “claims of legalism or clerical moralism” where what are needed instead are “gestures of love.” And “authoritative Vatican sources” had anonymously made it known that with this he was criticizing none other than the Responsum that prohibited the blessing of homosexual unions, which he had approved in words. In short, humiliated by his confrère the pope, the hapless Cardinal Ladaria is the exception that confirms the rule. He is the oldschool Jesuit whom Bergoglio keeps on the bench while waiting to send him into retirement, off his team, requiring him in the meantime to answer “no” to those cardinals — and there have been several — who have asked him to call Hollerich back to respect for correct doctrine. But in addition to Hollerich, there are two other Jesuits whom Francis has recently made cardinals and has put on the team in important roles. The first is the Canadian Michael Czerny, for many years more a competitor than a coworker of the Ghanaian Cardinal Peter K. A. Turkson, first at the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and then at the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, of which he has now become prefect. Czerny was also the special secretary of the Synod for the Amazon. From the defense of nature to migrants, to the “popular movements,” he is the man Bergoglio avails himself of in these fields he favors. The second is the Italian Gianfranco Ghirlanda, former rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University and a seasoned expert in canon law. Among his tasks is that of translating into juridical provisions the imperious acts that Francis carries out with the air of an

absolute monarch. From Ghirlanda, for example, came the perfunctory conclusion of the longstanding theological dispute between powers of orders, those derived from episcopal ordination, and powers of jurisdiction, those conferred by a higher authority, opting for the latter in order to place some lay people as well, men or women, at the head of the Vatican curia, with the simple mandate of the pope. Again from Ghirlanda, in his role of juridical “factotum” at the service of Francis, came the dismantling and refounding imposed by the pope on the Order of Malta. But that’s not all. Also among Jesuits who are not cardinals there are some whom the pope has placed in key roles at his service. In the general secretariat of the Synod of Bishops there is a consultant who is in fact the associate closest to Cardinal Hollerich. It is Fr. Giacomo Costa, former editor of the magazine Aggiornamenti Sociali of the Milan Jesuits and vice-president of the Carlo Maria Martini Foundation. Not to mention Fr. Antonio Spadaro, editor of La Civiltà Cattolica and very close to Francis since his election as pope, he too very active and urgent in promoting the world Synod on Synodality, and in particular in involving in the adventure — with important help from his predecessor at La Civiltà Cattolica, Bartolomeo Sorge (1929-2020) — the Italian episcopal conference, which was initially very distrustful. Then there is the area of Vatican finances, where Francis has chosen the Spanish Jesuit Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves as prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, the office that oversees the entire sector. Moreover, for a couple of years there has also been a Jesuit at St. Peter’s Basilica, alongside the cardinal archpriest Mauro Gambetti, the Pope’s vicar general for Vatican City. It is Francesco Occhetta, secretary general of the Fratelli Tutti Foundation and until 2020 political columnist for La Civiltà Cattolica. And there is also a Jesuit among the auxiliary bishops of the diocese of Rome of which the Pope is bishop: Daniele Libanori, who is entrusted with the pastoral care of the city center. With the Pope, the names listed make nine. And with Sorge and the “prophet” Martini, 11, naturally without counting Cardinal Ladaria. Such a team, entirely of Jesuits, has never before been seen in command of the Church.m JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2023 INSIDE THE VATICAN


LEAD STORY FRAnciS’ TEAm in cOmmAnD OF ThE chuRch: ALL JESuiTS By iTV Staff 1. CARDINAL MICHAEL F. CZERNY, S.J., 76, is a Czechoslovakian-born Canadian who has been prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development since April 23, 2022, previously undersecretary of the dicastery since 2017. Pope Francis made him a cardinal in 2019. Czerny has worked to promote social justice in Canada, Latin America, Africa, and Rome, and was the special secretary for the Synod on the Amazon. In a 2022 conference, “Doing Theology from the Existential Peripheries,” Cardinal Czerny said that the Church must learn from those on “the peripheries”: “The Church and contemporary world... are intertwined in people’s lives. They coexist in us. Doing theology from the existential peripheries is a way to glimpse God in this intertwining and to allow Him to speak to us.” On fraternity, Cardinal Czerny said at an April 2022 event on international affairs that the full realization of man’s potential is at the center of the Church’s concerns, and noted that the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen issued during the French Revolution, which also inspired the milestone Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, is one of the “highest expressions of the recognition of human dignity” and a point of reference for Western modern democracies. Cardinal Czerny also takes a hard line on climate change issues, endorsing calls for a “fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty,” and saying, “All new exploration and production of coal, oil, and gas must immediately end, and existing production of fossil fuels must be urgently phased out.” 2. CARDINAL GIANFRANCO GHIRLANDA, S.J., 80, a renowned professor of theology, was made a cardinal by Pope Francis as Father Ghirlanda. He started off his career working a regular job at Fiat to pay for his studies at university, eventually ordained a Jesuit in 1973. He earned a doctorate in Canon Law summa cum laude in 1978, from the Pontifical Gregorian University, where he subsequently taught Canon Law, became dean and, later, rector until 2010. For the Holy See, he has served as a consultor on different congregations and councils. For example, he was a key author in the 2009 Anglicanorum coetibus, which created the Anglican Ordinariate for former Anglicans 14


who wanted to join the Catholic Church but retain some of their liturgy. He also helped to reintegrate religious institutions like the troubled Legion of Christ in 2014. Most recently, he authored the curial reform document Praedicate Evangelium, promulgated in March 2022, in which, for the first time, it was stated that the juridical authority to lead a Vatican dicastery was now open to lay men and women. Cardinal Ghirlanda told the press: “The vicarious authority to carry out an office is the same if received by a bishop, a presbyter, a consecrated man or woman, or a lay man or woman.” Others, like Cardinal Marc Oullet, prefect for the Dicastery for Bishops, disagreed, saying that although the “juridical” and “sacramental” functions of the bishop are not identical in concept, they necessarily coincide in fact. 3. FR. GIACOMO COSTA, S.J., 55, Communications Secretary for the 2019 Synod on the Amazon and contributor to its final document, was appointed by Pope Francis as a consultor to the General Synod on Synodality, making him effectively one of Archbishop Hollerich’s closest collaborators. In a report on the Synod on Synodality’s Working Document for the Continental Stage (“DCS”) of the synodal process, entitled “Enlarge the Space of Your Tent,” Fr. Costa highlighted facets of the report which he called “hinges” of the structure of the “tent” of the Church: one of them was “radical inclusion — no one is excluded!” on which he further elaborated: “This urge to inclusion translates Isaiah’s invitation to ‘enlarge the tent’ and is directed toward a wide range of people and groups who for the most diverse reasons live in a condition that the DCS describes through the biblical category of exile, ‘an exile, the consequences of which affect the entire People of God: if the Church is not synodal, no one can really feel fully at home’ (No. 24). “There is room here for attention to ‘women and young people who do not feel their gifts and abilities are recognized’ (No. 38), to ‘many members of the clergy who do not feel listened to, supported and appreciated’ (No. 34), as well as to ‘those who for various reasons feel a tension between belonging to the Church and their own affective relationships, such as, for example: remarried divorcees, single parents, people living in a polygamous marriage, and LGBTQ people’ (No. 39).” He also stressed the document’s calls to eradicate clericalism and stressed the ministry of the laity and the inclusion of women in the governance of the Church: “For example, the DCS points out ‘the importance of

Pope Francis smiles during Mass at the Church of the Gesù in Rome on January 3, 2014. The Mass was celebrated on the feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus in thanksgiving for the recent canonization of Jesuit St. Peter Faber (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

L’Osservatore Romano, of a very controversial 2017 essay in his magazine, entitled “The Ecumenism of Hate,” in which they condemned “fundamentalist” Christians as being the root of “conservative” Catholic attitudes they find odious. Phil Lawler, editor of Catholic World News, put it this way: “The authors of the essay claim to embrace ecumenism, but they have nothing but disdain for the coalition formed by Catholics and Evangelical Protestants in the United States. They scold American conservatives for seeing world events as a struggle of good against evil, yet they clearly convey the impression that they see American conservatism as an evil influence that must be defeated. “While they are quick to pronounce judgment on American politicians, the two authors betray an appalling ignorance of the American scene… The essay is written from the perspective of people who draw their information about America from left-wing journals rather than from practical experience.” Fr. Spadaro was quick to label those who expressed opposition to the thesis of his essay as “haters” on social media. Undaunted by the torrent of criticism his “Ecumenism of Hate” essay provoked, in 2020 he recommended that, amid rising tensions in the Middle East, people should read it again. ridding the Church of clericalism, so that all its members, both priests and laity, can fulfill the common mission’ (No. 58). In this light, there is also the question of lay ministries and especially the place of women within the Church, also with respect to participation in decision-making processes and access to the structures of governance: ‘From all continents comes an appeal for Catholic women to be valued first of all as baptized and equal members of the People of God’ (No. 61).” Last year, Fr. Costa caused indignation by saying Italian anti-homophobia legislation (called the “ddl Zan” bill) “was needed,” as the “priority is the defense of the person against all violence and against all discrimination.” Italian bishops, and the Vatican, opposed the bill, which was ultimately defeated. 4. FR. ANTONIO SPADARO, S.J., 55, editor-in-chief of the Jesuit publication La Civiltà Cattolica, has been reported to have the Pope’s ear at all times. Shortly after his election as Pope, Francis called Fr. Spadaro to give him an extensive interview; he has been a frequent visitor at the Pope’s apartments ever since. Fr. Spadaro is also the author, along with Presbyterian Rev. Marcelo Figueroa, editor-in-chief of the Argentinian edition of

5. FR. JUAN ANTONIO GUERRERO ALVES, S.J., 63, is a Spanish Jesuit who was appointed prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy as of January 1, 2020. Before that he taught at the university level and held administrative positions within the Jesuit Order. [Note: On November 30, Pope Francis named a layman, Spanish economist Maximino Caballero Ledo, 63, who has a wife and two children, to succeed Guerrero Alves.] In recent years the Holy See’s finances have been marked by a lack of transparency exemplified by a failed real estate deal in London that landed disgraced Cardinal Angelo Becciù and others in a Vatican City courtroom in 2021 on charges of financial malfeasance (the trial continues). Fr. Guerrero Alves said in a 2022 interview with Vatican News, “We are well aware that we have made major mistakes in financial management, which have undermined the credibility of the Holy See. We seek to learn from them and we believe we have remedied them so that they do not happen again. In recent years, encouraged by the Holy Father, we have taken important steps in the right direction in economic management: greater professionalization, more teamwork, more transparency and less secrecy. We are working in the right direction.” JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2023 INSIDE THE VATICAN


LEAD STORY FRAnciS’ TEAm in cOmmAnD OF ThE chuRch: ALL JESuiTS 6. FR. FRANCESCO OCCHETTA, S.J., 52, General Secretary of the Fratelli Tutti Foundation, is also the “number two” under Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, Archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica. Until 2020, Fr. Occhetta was political columnist for the Jesuit journal La Civiltà Cattolica. In that capacity, Fr. Occhetta wrote several articles, including a 2017 essay condemning “populism.” In it, he said, “To hold back populist movements it is necessary to have processes of greater democratization; to battle against social inequality through the redistribution of income and power; to rethink the forms of political parties, and more generally, democratic participation at all levels, to transform it into a culture.” Speaking of contemporary European populist movements, he went on: “The blend of populism and nationalism is made possible by a weak European Union and a fragile Eurozone. The choice by France, Germany, and some northern European countries to prevent the intergovernmental institutions and the European Council from making political decisions has opened up a flank for populisms. “The idea of the European Union as a synthesis of the policies of national governments and European policy has not worked… Greater competences and political powers — in economic and monetary matters, as well as common defense policy and foreign policy — should be transferred from single states to the European federal political bodies, the European Parliament, and the European Council.” 7. BISHOP DANIELE LIBANORI, 69, was raised to the episcopate by Pope Francis in 2018 and made Auxiliary Bishop of Rome, under Pope Francis himself as Bishop of Rome. During the COVID closures of the churches in Rome in 2020, Bishop Libanori was active in assuring his Roman flock that a “mature” faith could and should be nourished in the absence of the Eucharistic sacrament. An essay he wrote for the Jesuit publication La Civiltà Cattolica said: “It must be recognized that it is not up to the Church, but to the state, to legislate on public health. Faced with a problem the gravity of which not everyone is yet fully convinced, this — and this alone — is the level on which decisions must be taken regarding access to places of worship, without recalling principles that are so ideolog16


ical. In a time of emergency like the present, faith and devotion must find new ways. [...] “Here it is necessary to ask ourselves honestly and with much respect a question of no small importance for us pastors: is the protest against the closure of churches animated by faith or rather by a religiosity yet to be purified?... In the too insistent request for the Eucharist there is often a sincere faith… but it is not a mature one…” In December 2018, the Priestly Fraternity of Familia Christi, whose priests say the Traditional Latin Mass, received official notice from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that its Superior General Don Riccardo Petroni, was to step down and would be replaced by Bishop Libanori — originally from Ferrara — who was named “plenipotentiary commissioner and delegate of the Holy See for the Priestly Fraternity of Familia Christi.” No specific complaints from the faithful who belonged to Familia Christi had ever been cited; however, the supportive bishop of Ferrara, Archbishop Luigi Negri, had been replaced by the more “progressive” Bishop Gianfranco Perrego, who was not a friend of the Traditional Mass. Libanori was to assume the governance of the Priestly Fraternity of Familia Christi, and to determine, in collaboration with the pontifical commission Ecclesia Dei, possible future paths for the Familia Christi. Unfortunately, a little over a year later, in February 2020, the Archdiocese of Ferrara announced that the Fraternity’s activities were being suspended — in effect dissolving it — and its seminarians asked to leave. Antipathy to “traditionalism” was widely cited as the reason by its members, especially in the absence of any specific evidence of malfeasance or even mismanagement. 8. CARDINAL JEAN-CLAUDE HOLLERICH, S.J., 64, the first cardinal from Luxembourg, has served as the Archbishop of Luxembourg since 2011, and president of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) since 2018. In addition to studies and pastoral work in Belgium, Germany, and Luxembourg, he studied in Japan from 1985 to 1989 and worked there from 1994 to 2011, for 17 years. Cardinal Hollerich gave a lengthy October 2022 interview to the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, in which he discussed his view of the mission of the Church, characterizing it as “to proclaim the Gospel… a testimony that the Christian must interpret mainly through his commitment in the world for the protection of creation, for justice, for peace.” On the priesthood, the cardinal opposes the traditional idea that there

On June 28, 2018, in St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis celebrated an Ordinary Public Consistory for the creation of new cardinals. Here he embraces Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (Photo Grzegorz Galazka)

is an ontological character to the ordained priesthood that is not present in the laity: “Indeed, all of us priests must understand that there is no ministerial priesthood without a universal priesthood of Christians, because it originates from this. I am well aware that the difficulty of assimilating a concept, fundamentally so elementary, is opposed by a presbyterial formation that still lingers on an ‘ontological diversity’ that does not exist.” Most notably, Cardinal Hollerich has been outspoken on several occasions in his belief that modern man is undergoing an “anthropological transformation” that requires the Church to change her attitudes about many things: “Today we are not even able to imagine it, but there will be very, very big anthropological transformations. In the awareness that man can only partially influence his own evolution…I don’t want to sound trenchant but, very frankly, our pastoral care speaks to a man who no longer exists.” An example of this “anthropological transformation,” maintains the cardinal, can be seen in the area of homosexuality: “Pope Francis often recalls the need for theology to know how to originate and develop starting from human experience, and not remain the result of academic elaboration alone. “So many of our brothers and sisters tell us that, whatever the origin and cause of their sexual orientation, they certainly didn’t choose it. They are not ‘bad apples.’ They are also the fruit of creation. And in Bereshit [Genesis] we read that at each step of creation God is pleased with his work saying ‘and he saw that it was good.’” While reaffirming that “there is no room for sacramental marriage between people of the same sex, because there is no procreative purpose that characterizes it,” he nevertheless proclaims, in seeming contradiction to the Catechism’s teaching that homosexuality is “intrinsically disordered,” that “this does not mean that their affective relationship has no value.” Cardinal Hollerich has been given the most powerful position in the Pope’s project to move the Catholic Church more toward a permanent “synodality.” Cardinal Hollerich was Francis’ choice to be the “Relator General” of the Synod on Synodality which is engaging the attention of the entire Church over a threeyear period, ending in 2024.

Some believe Hollerich is a possible successor to the papacy, and is favored by Pope Francis himself. 9. POPE FRANCIS, 85, is the ninth Jesuit in Rome in a high position in the Catholic Church. Francis was, at least partly, theologically formed in the South American religious climate of the 1970s, which saw a dramatic shift toward “this-worldly” peace-and-justice activism, even the attempt to “baptize” Marxism (in the guise of “liberation theology”), especially in the Jesuit Order. The themes of the Francis pontificate are markedly more emphatic about serving the poor, saving the environment from pollution and climate change, combatting “populism,” “accompanying” those in non-traditional lifestyles, and curbing liturgical traditionalism than any of his predecessors. So it is not surprising that he is considered by many the most “progressive” Pope to date, coming from a “progressive” religious order — the Society of Jesus. 10. Special mention must be made of another Jesuit in the Curia, but this Spanish professor of moral theology is perhaps not cut from the same ideological cloth as the others: CARDINAL LUIS LADARIA FERRER, 78, a Spanish moral theologian, was elevated to the episcopate by Pope Benedict XVI in 2008 and made a secretary for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. On July 1, 2017, Pope Francis appointed Ladaria prefect of the CDF, succeeding Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller. Ladaria also succeeded to the offices held ex officio by the prefect: president of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei (suppressed January 2019), president of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, and president of the International Theological Commission. In June 2018, Pope Francis made Ladaria a cardinal. In an essay printed in L’Osservatore Romano on May 29, 2018, Ladaria wrote that those who raise the possibility of female priests “create serious confusion among the faithful.” In a 2021 letter to the head of the USCCB on the question of Holy Communion for pro-abortion politicians, Cardinal Ladaria said, “The bishops should affirm... that ‘those who are directly involved in lawmaking bodies have a grave and clear obligation to oppose any law that attacks human life.’”m JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2023 INSIDE THE VATICAN



“Our PastOral actiOn sPeaks tO a Man whO nO lOnger exists” OctOber 24 interview in L’OsservatOre rOmanO with cardinal Jean-claude hOllerich, archbishOP Of luxeMbOurg and relatOr general Of the uPcOMing synOd On synOdality n BY ANDREA MONDA AND ROBERTO CETERA


ollowing are excerpts of an October 24, 2022 interview in L’Osservatore Romano with Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, Archbishop of Luxembourg and president of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union. The interview was conducted by Andrea Monda and Roberto Cetera.

Cardinal (Matteo) Zuppi was interviewed on the Synod of the Italian Church. With much honesty, he did not conceal that there had been less participation than expected…What is your impression of the course of the Synod in the European context? CARDINAL JEAN-CLAUDE HOLLERICH: Yes, I read that interview with great interest. [...] I believe that today in Europe we are suffering from a pathology, that is, that we are unable to see clearly what the mission of the Church is. We always talk about structures, which is certainly not a bad thing, because structures are important and certainly need to be rethought. But there is not enough talk about the mission of the Church, which is to proclaim the Gospel— proclaim, and above all testify, the death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. A testimony that the Christian must 18


interpret mainly through his commitment in the world for the protection of creation, for justice, for peace. [...] Certainly, the difficulty observed in the synods in various countries was influenced by a certain instinctive defense of one’s status on the part of the clergy ... CARDINAL HOLLERICH: The concept of synodality was introduced by Pope Paul VI as a requirement of collegiality, of communion among bishops. The Second Vatican Council had the preliminary need to complete what had remained pending with the First Vatican Council, whose focus was entirely on the figure and prerogatives of the Roman pontiff. So the effort of the meeting was above all to define the role of the bishop. But in Lumen Gentium the concepts of “people of God on the way” and of the Church as “temple of the Holy Spirit” were introduced for the first time; the “universal priesthood” which concerns all the baptized is made explicit. [...] The baptismal priesthood takes nothing away from the ministerial priesthood. Indeed, all of us priests must understand that there is no ministerial priesthood without a universal priesthood of Christians, because it originates from this. I am well aware that the difficulty of assimilating this concept, fundamen-

tally so elementary, is opposed by a priestly formation that A few weeks ago I met a 20-year-old young woman who still rests on an “ontological diversity” that does not exist. said to me: “I want to leave the Church because she does Theologians must get to work on this and provide more not welcome gay couples.” I asked her: “Do you feel discertain definitions around the theme of character and criminated against because you are gay?” And she sacramental grace. But above all, the bishops must seriousanswered: “No, no! I am not a lesbian, but my best friend ly and profoundly put their hands on the formation of is. I know her suffering and I do not intend to be part of future priests. We still have seminaries today that I call those who judge her.” This made me reflect a lot. “liberalized Tridentine.” We must not take further steps However, Protestant Churches that have a more libertowards “liberality,” but take the path of “radicalism.” al approach, and bless gay couples, do not seem to be [...] And this question is also the hallmark of this ponmore greatly appreciated by young people... tificate: to accept the inadequacy of a pastoral care born of CARDINAL HOLLERICH: Certainly not. Because that is bygone eras and to rethink the mission. A choice that has not enough. A profound change in cultural paradigm is profound and courageous theological implications. needed and a conversion to the spirit. It is not a matter of You speak of an unsuitable pastoral action with canon law, or norms or structures... We are called to proregards to the times. Why? What times are we living in? claim the Good News, not a set of norms and bans... CARDINAL HOLLERICH: […] You see, my generation has Thus, to give an example, the issue of blessing homolived and is living changes that no one sexual couples that was discussed: c ardinal has experienced before. I would say frankly, I don’t think the issue is the greatest since the invention of the decisive... If we think about the etyJean-claude hollerich wheel. […] There will be very, very mology of “blessing” (from the Latin big anthropological transformations. bene dicere, literally: to say good “Many of our brothers and In the awareness that man can only things), do you think that God could sisters tell us that, whatever partially influence his own evolution. ever “male dicere” (literal Latin May be the cause of their […] Our pastoral action speaks to a translation: to say bad things) two man who no longer exists. We have to people who love each other? I would sexual orientation, they be capable of proclaiming the Gospel be more interested in discussing definitely did not choose it. and of making the Gospel understood other aspects of the problem. For they are not ‘rotten apples.’ by today’s man who mostly ignores it. example, what is causing the considThis implies greater openness on our erable increase in homosexual orienthey too are the fruit part and also the availability — while tation in society? Or why is the perof creation” being firm in the Gospel — to allow centage of homosexuals in ecclesial ourselves too to be transformed. institutions higher than in civil society? When we speak about anthropological changes, our Thus, starting again from an empty tomb in Jerthoughts turn first of all to relations between men and usalem on a spring Sunday morning... women. Paul VI had already anticipated the greatest CARDINAL HOLLERICH: Certainly. This is the Good change. News! And I would like to add: everyone is called. No one CARDINAL HOLLERICH: Yes, Humanae Vitae is a maris excluded: even the divorced who remarried, even homovelous text. It is truly sad that it has gone into history only sexuals, everyone. [...] Sometimes in the Church there are for its judgment on contraception. […] Today the world discussions on these groups’ accessibility to the Kingdom has radically changed. First, sexuality and the gift of life of God. And this creates the perception of the exclusion of were separated, and now also sexuality and affection. part of the People of God. They feel they are excluded, and Many young people experience their sexuality in a way this is not fair! [...] that is completely separate from feelings. And they did not However, objectively, there is a theological problem. invent this on their own but rather learned it from the world You yourself have referred to this in past interviews, hopof adults. Marriage, not just the sacramental kind, is a pracing for a reconsideration of doctrine. tice that is obsolete in large parts of Europe. [...] CARDINAL HOLLERICH: [...] Many of our brothers and Staying on this topic, can pastoral action be adapted sisters tell us that, whatever may be the cause of their sexto these anthropological changes? ual orientation, they definitely did not choose it. They are CARDINAL HOLLERICH: Certainly. And it was precisely a not “rotten apples.” They too are the fruit of creation. And pastoral need which raised a reflection on the theme of in Bereshit, we read that at each step of creation, God was gender, which caused some criticism. [...] And I constantly pleased with his world and said, “...and he saw that it was see that young people stop taking the Gospel into consida good thing.” Having said this I want to be clear. I do not eration if they have the impression that we are discriminatthink there is room for a sacramental marriage between ing. For young people today, the greatest value is non-dispeople of the same sex because there is no procreative goal crimination. Not only of gender, but also ethnicity, origins, that distinguishes it, but this does not mean that their affecsocial status. They get really angry about discriminations! tive relationship has no value.m JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2023 INSIDE THE VATICAN



Ukraine iSSUeS decree Banning rUSSia-affiliated chUrcheS Some Ukrainian orthodox fear new government perSecUtion n BY PETER ANDERSON From left to right: Ukrainian leaders pray together: Metropolitan Onufriy, President Volodymyr Zelensky and his wife Olene, and Metropolitan Epifaniy joined a solemn “Prayer for Ukraine” event on the morning of August 24 in Kiev on Independence Day Opposite: On December 17, 2018, Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, major archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church (left), met with the then-head of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine, Metropolitan Onufriy (center), and with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow (right) In the circle, Archdeacon Vadim Novinsky, a Ukrainian billionaire and one of the 10 richest men in Ukraine


n December 1, the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, chaired by President Volodymyr Zelensky, made a decision (“Decision”) relating to “the activities of religious organizations in the territory of Ukraine in the conditions of the military aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine.” The Decision was immediately placed in effect by a decree issued by the president. The Decision contains a number of sections. In the first section, the Council of Ministers is directed to submit to the Verkhovna Rada (the parliament of Ukraine) for consideration within a two-month period a draft law on prevention of activity in Ukraine of religious organizations affiliated with centers of influence in the Russian Federation in accordance with the norms of international law in the field of freedom of conscience



and Ukraine’s obligations in connection with joining the Council of Europe. However, to determine the exact effect of this first section on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (“UOC”), one must wait to examine the actual terms of the draft law prepared by the Council of Ministers and then, later, the actual terms of any law that may emerge from the Verkhovna Rada as a result. There are many open questions. For example, will the term “religious organization” be defined in the new law so as to allow the Ukrainian government to seek to limit the activity of a specific diocese, parish, or monastery as opposed to the entire church in Ukraine? Will the term “activity” be defined so as to allow the Ukrainian government to seek to prevent certain specific activities of a religious organization as opposed to seeking to prevent all activities of the religious organization?

The drafters of the new law are also faced with a great challenge. The Decision expressly requires that the draft law be in accordance with the norms of international law in the field of freedom of conscience. To fulfill this mandate, the drafters must be very careful so as not to infringe on protected national and international rights, a difficult and perhaps even impossible task if the drafters attempt to prohibit all activity based on merely a spiritual affiliation with Russia as opposed to actual control from Russia. To apply the new law to the UOC, the Ukrainian government will need to prove that the UOC in fact violated the terms of the new law. This in turn will involve some type of trial and court involvement. The UOC will surely invoke national and international guarantees of freedom of religion and conscience. All of this will take time. One may recall that

the 2018 amendment to the law on freedom of conscience and religious organizations required the UOC to rename itself to reflect its affiliation with the Moscow Patriarchate. The challenge to the constitutionality of this amendment is still in the courts four years later. To the extent that the future new law is applied to all activities of the UOC in Ukraine, the Ukrainian government is faced with the likely impossible task of enforcement. The UOC is not a smaller church such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses (banned in Russia), but a church with approximately 10,000 parishes. The UOC will certainly not stop ministering to its faithful and fade away. How does one prevent priests at approximately 10,000 parishes from celebrating the Liturgy, baptizing children, marrying couples, and caring for the dying? It would require massive imprisonments and coercive police actions on a vast scale. Even then, as shown by the historic example of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the UOC would not die. Although one must wait and see on many aspects of the Decision, the Decision has had a number of immediate effects. The Decision is seen as an effort by Zelensky to ban the UOC. In this regard it provides another ground for the Russian Federation to seek to justify its war in Ukraine — namely, it is protecting Orthodoxy against persecution. The decision can also be perceived by the UOC as an attempt by the Zelensky government to cause Orthodox faithful in Ukraine to join the rival Orthodox Church of Ukraine (“OCU”). This just further embitters the UOC against the OCU and makes an eventual merger of the two churches even more unlikely. Three parts of the Decision of December 1 relate to the State Ser-

vice of Ukraine for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience (“State Service”). The latter is part of the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy. On November 25, Olena Bohdan, who heads the State Service, gave an important interview. One of her conclusions was that there is currently no reason to believe that the UOC has a dependent or subordinate relationship with the Moscow Patriarchate. However, she added that she believes that a canonical relationship exists (see the

reference in the UOC charter to the 1990 document from Patriarch Alexy) so as to avoid severing canonical relations with other Local Orthodox Churches. Seeking to capitalize on Bohdan’s acknowledgement of a canonical relationship, the Decision requires the State Service to carry out a religious examination of the charter of the UOC “for the presence of a church-canonical connection with the Moscow Patriarchate and, if necessary, apply the measures provided for by law.” The Decision then requires the Council of Ministers to resolve the issue of functional subordination of structural units of local state administrations to the State Service. In addition, the Decision supported the proposals made by the Security Service of Ukraine for the application of special economic and other

restrictive measures and applied sanctions against individuals “according to the appendix.” The appendix lists 10 individuals and the sanctions applicable to each. Five are bishops from Crimea: Metropolitans Lazar and Platon and Bishops Alexy, Kalinnik, and Agathon. Archbishop Arkady is from the occupied area of eastern Ukraine. Two are bishops that have fled to Russia and have been replaced by the UOC: Metropolitan Elisey and Bishop Joseph. However, the two that have created the greatest interest are Metropolitan Pavel (Lebed) and Archdeacon Vadim Novinsky. Metropolitan Pavel is responsible for the KyivPechersk Lavra, although the actual head is Metropolitan Onufry. Vadim Novinsky is a billionaire and is one of the 10 richest Ukrainians. Last July he announced his resignation from the Verkhovna Rada where he represented the city of Mariupol. Novinsky has been a huge financial benefactor to the UOC. On December 2, Novinsky stated on his Facebook page that he is a Ukrainian patriot who has always urged the preservation of Ukrainian statehood and its territorial integrity. He ended his comments by saying: “Considering the sanctions illegal persecution due to religious beliefs and consistent support of the UOC, I will challenge their application in Ukrainian and international courts.” It will be interesting to see how other Local Orthodox Churches (aside from the Moscow Patriarchate) and the Catholic Church react to the Decision and the future draft and final law. Peter Anderson is a retired Catholic attorney and an expert on Orthodoxy whose “East-West Watch” appears regularly in Inside the Vatican.m JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2023 INSIDE THE VATICAN



can the Vatican helP bring Peace to Ukraine? Possible behind-the-scenes negotiators for Ukraine-rUssia Peace talks n BY ROBERT MOYNIHAN August 24, 2022, Vatican City. Pope Francis leads the general audience at Paul VI Audience Hall. Present is Ukraine’s Ambassador to the Holy See Andrii Yurash (photo Grzegorz Galazka). Below, in a private audience, Pope Francis meets Leonid Sevastianov, one of the prominent members of the 1-2 million member “Old Believer” community of Russia, with his wife, Svetlana


n December 8, Pope Francis shed tears publicly over the tragedy of the war in Ukraine, calling the war “a defeat for humanity.” He was in Piazza di Spagna, in front of a column capped by a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, on a traditional December 8 visit to the piazza for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Francis, among all world leaders (I dare to say… willing to accept criticism if it comes) has been the one who has most insisted that the war should be brought to an end by peace talks. And he deserves our respect and appreciation for this, I believe. This lonely, much-criticized effort of Francis needs to be acknowledged: that Francis, among the world’s leaders, has been the one most focused on ending the killing. May God reward him for this. 22


AN UNOFFICIAL VATICAN-RUSSIA “LIAISON” Four days later, on December 12, an intriguing article was published on the news website suggesting the names of a

number of possible “behind the scenes” negotiators for potential Ukraine-Russia peace talks. One of those figures is Leonid Sevastianov, 44, who represents himself as the head of the 1-2 million

member “Old Believers” community of Russia (previously headed by his father). The article suggests that Sevastianov is a “liaison” between... Pope Francis and the Kremlin leadership. How could this possibly be? Sevastianov worked as a consultant for the Russian atomic energy company Rosatom, whose head was a man named Sergei Kirienko, who is close to Russian President Putin. The article notes that there is some opposition, or irritation, in Catholic Church circles, with regard to “Old Believer” Sevastianov’s alleged “liason” role with the Pope. It states: “In Paris, the Pope liaises with his ambassador, Apostolic Nuncio Celestino Migliore [Note: Migliore, 70, was nuncio in Russia from 2016 to 2020, under Pope Francis, so Migliore does know Russia well.—RM]. In private, Migliore protests about the

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, with the president of France, Emmanuel Macron, on June 26, 2018. Cardinal Pietro Parolin supports the Pope’s idea to encourage Macron to invite the warring parties to the Holy See



n the face of the war in Ukraine, “we cannot but ask ourselves whether we are doing everything, everything possible to put an end to this tragedy,” said Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State at the Vatican, at an event at the Italian Embassy to the Holy See on December 13. The cardinal stressed that “war itself is an error and an abomination,” repeating Pope Francis’ call to “use all diplomatic instruments, including those that have not been used to date, to achieve a ceasefire and a just peace reach.” The cardinal secretary of state added: “In the last few weeks we have seen a glimmer of hope for a possible resumption of negotiations, but also lockdowns and the escalation of bombing” and “it is terrifying that we have returned to talk about the use of nuclear devices and atomic warfare as a possible eventuality. It is worrying that in several countries around the world, the race to rearmament has accelerated, with huge sums being spent on fighting hunger, creating jobs and ensuring ade-

leading role Sevastianov plays in Moscow. The Old Believer is not a nuncio, but an ad hoc spokesman by virtue of his close personal relations with the Pope, who consequently entrusted him with this unofficial mission.” FRIENDSHIP WITH POPE FRANCIS I met Sevastianov in 2001, when he came to Rome to study at the Gregorian University. I then worked with him on many projects, especially preparing the concerts of Metropolitan Hilarion in Rome, Washington, New York, and at Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 2007. And, with Sevastianov, our Urbi et Orbi group helped organize a “Concert for Peace” in Rome on November 12, 2013, featuring Svetlana Kasyan, a Russian opera soprano, who is Sevastianov’s wife. It was at that time — November 2013 — that Sevastianov and his wife were first invited to stay at the

quate medical care for millions of people could be used.” Referring to the theme of the event, Cardinal Parolin called for “reviving the spirit of Helsinki and working creatively” and called for “new tools” to tackle not only the war in Ukraine but also the many forgotten wars. “We cannot envision the future based on old patterns, old military alliances, or ideological and economic colonization. We must envision and build a new concept of peace and international solidarity.” “We need courage, to bet on peace and not on the inevitability of war.” “Why not go back and reread the outcome of the Helsinki conference to take some of its fruits and put them on the table in a new form? Why not work together to have a new major European peace conference?” asked the cardinal, and wished for “a stronger organized and prepared participation of European civil society, peace movements, think tanks and organizations working at all levels for peace education and dialogue.” (Agenzia Fides).n

Domus Santa Marta, where Pope Francis lives, and so were able in 2013 to meet Pope Francis in person for the first time. From that meeting, a friendship has grown over the past nine years... MACRON AND THE VATICAN According to Intelligence Online, “Pope Francis has made it known to his close advisers that he would like to see the French president invite Vladimir Putin to the Vatican for negotiations on what is hoped to be perceived as a neutral footing.” However, reported the website, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on November 28 said that Russia was not ready to accept negotiations, including at the Vatican, “under current conditions.” “The president’s office, however, is poring over different scenarios under which talks at the Vatican could take place, taking into account the military balance of power on the ground and the fallout

from sanctions. After the Pope’s idea to encourage Macron to invite the warring parties to the Holy See reached Russia’s presidential administration, Putin’s foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov (IO, 20/04/22) made a comment at the press conference on December 6 which did not go unnoticed: according to him, the French president “talks a lot about maintaining contacts, dialogue with Putin, but does not take any concrete steps in this direction.” There is no certainty that any of these channels, or efforts, can or will bring about peace talks to end the war in Ukraine. However, we may continue to pray for the blessing of peace in the new year, hoping that this may be a time when our thoughts turn toward Almighty God, and toward the Blessed Mother, and that, once having turned toward them, they may assist us to accomplish things not possible for merely human strength.m JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2023 INSIDE THE VATICAN





nother figure close to Pope Francis and the Vatican who has been pressing publicly for the immediate commencement of negotiations between Ukraine and Russia to end the bloodshed is Jeffrey Sachs, Ph.D., economist and director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University. Dr. Sachs, not a Catholic, was named by Pope Francis to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences in October 2021. But the Pope’s appeal to the necessity of dialog is one that Dr. Sachs — who was an economic adviser to both Russian presidents Gorbachev and Yeltsin, and Ukrainian President Kachuma, in the early 1990s after the demise of the Soviet system — echoes. In a December 6, 2022 interview with — excerpted here — Dr. Sachs offered his rationale for the view that negotiations are a moral and practical imperative. In it, he began by pointing out that “there is no military way out…” “This war, like von Clausewitz told us two centuries ago, is politics by other means, or with other means, meaning that there are political issues at stake here, and those are what need to be negotiated.” “What President Macron said is absolutely correct... One of the essential points we must address” — meaning we, the West — “as President Putin has always said, is the fear that NATO comes right up to its doors, and the deployment of weapons that could threaten Russia.” Much of this war has been about NATO enlargement, from the beginning… But President Biden, at the end of 2021, refused to negotiate over the NATO issue. But now is the time to negotiate over the NATO issue. That’s the geopolitics at stake. There are other issues as well, but the point is, this war needs to end because it’s a disaster for everybody, a threat to the whole world. According to European Union President Ursula von der Leyen last week, 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers have died, 20,000 civilians. And the war continues. [...] Of course, I should say, equally important is Ukraine’s sovereignty as a sovereign country and in need of security arrangements. But NATO as Ukraine’s security doesn’t work. It’s an explosive brew. So, one needs to find, as President Zelensky himself said earlier this year, before backing off from it, that there needed to be a non-NATO way to secure Ukraine. And there can be. [...] The third issue that is very consequential is Crimea… The peninsula in the Black Sea has been the home to Russia’s naval fleet, and therefore completely consequential for Russia’s economic and foreign policy and military security since 1783. [...] There was a delicate balancing act for many, many years, especially in the early 2010s. Then-President Viktor Yanukovych was negotiating with Russia to give, essentially, a long-term lease to Crimea to satisfy Russia’s security desires and needs as a balancing, as a delicate balancing. But the United States, very unwisely and very provocatively, contributed to the overthrow of Mr. Yanukovych in early 2014, setting in motion the tragedy before our eyes. And that



ended that delicate balance. Russia said, “Crimea has to be ours, because we just saw that we can’t depend on a longterm arrangement with Ukraine. The United States contributed to the overthrow of a Ukrainian president who was negotiating with us over this core issue.” So, my view is that — and almost everybody that discusses this in private understands — Crimea has been historically, and will be in the future, effectively, at least de facto Russian. And this cannot be the cause of World War III. [...] The last issue on the table is a real issue, and that is the ethnic divisions within Ukraine itself, given the complex history of this region and the piecing together of all of the countries of this region from various times in history. [...] On the western part, it’s ethnically Ukrainian, but complicated there, too. But on the east, which is the Donbas, Luhansk and Donetsk, the two regions that are the center of this war, these are predominantly Russian, ethnic Russian, Russian-speaking, Russian Orthodox, and, after Yanukovych’s overthrow, the place where paramilitaries demanded independence of these regions or joining Russia. And Russia supported those paramilitaries, and autonomous or independent states were declared. What happened — and this is crucial to understand — is that, in 2015, there were agreements to solve this problem by giving autonomy to these eastern regions that were predominantly ethnic Russian. And these are called the Minsk agreements, Minsk I and Minsk II. And in particular for Minsk II, the Europeans, especially France and Germany, said, “We will be guarantors of that.” But then, Ukraine, under the post-Yanukovych two presidencies, Poroshenko and Zelensky, refused to implement the Minsk II agreement, saying, “They’re dead. We don’t accept them. We don’t accept autonomy.” Russia said, “Well, you had a diplomatic agreement, and now this is violated.” [...] Ukrainian sovereignty, no NATO enlargement, de facto Russian control over Crimea, some kind of solution like Minsk II, some kind of autonomy, some solution for the Donbas — these are the four pieces that can save Ukraine, spare Russia, save the world from what is a growing disaster. And this is why we need a pragmatic approach. [...] Putin calculated that the initial invasion would push Ukraine to the negotiating table, and these political issues would be resolved. And frankly, in March, after the February invasion, there were negotiations.[...] Then the Ukrainians walked away from the negotiating table. We don’t know the full story to that. My own guess is that the U.S. and U.K. said, “You don’t have to compromise in that way.” There was a U.S. project for more than a decade to expand NATO, and I think there were forces in the administration that did not want to give up that project. And so Ukraine backed away from the negotiations, and the war went on. [...] This was a collision that is disastrous, and the cruelty of the Russian invasion is enormous. But the foolishness, recklessness of the U.S. neoconservatives to push to this point is also something that needs accounting for.n
















VatIcan reacts to chIna agreement VIolatIon


Is the much-crItIcIzed chIna-VatIcan deal now openly falterIng? n BY CINDY WOODEN (CNA)


n an unusual move, the Vatican in November issued a public statement of regret, essentially accusing the Chinese government of violating its agreement with the Vatican over the appointment of Catholic bishops. “The Holy See noted with surprise and regret the news of the ‘installation ceremony’” of Bishop John Peng Weizhao of Yujiang as auxiliary bishop of Jiangxi, “a diocese not recognized by the Holy See,” said the note, released by the Vatican November 26, two days after the installation of the bishop. “This event, in fact, did not take place in accordance with the spirit of dialogue existing between the Vatican and Chinese sides and what was stipulated in the provisional agreement on the appointment of bishops,” an agreement first signed in 2018, renewed in 2020 and renewed again in October. The Vatican statement also expressed concern that the government “recognition of Bishop Peng was reportedly preceded by long and heavy pressure from local authorities. The Holy See hopes that similar episodes will not be repeated, is awaiting appropriate communications on the matter from the authorities and reaf-

firms its full readiness to continue respectful dialogue concerning all matters of common interest.” Asia News, a Rome-based missionary news agency, reported that Bishop Peng was secretly ordained bishop of Yujiang with a papal mandate in 2014, which led to his arrest by the country’s Communist authorities. He was held in jail for six months and after his release was subjected to restrictions on his ministry. In late September, according to Asia News, Bishop Peng told the priests of the diocese that he had resigned as bishop of Yujiang and accepted the government’s plan to integrate five dioceses, including Yujiang, into one, the new Diocese of Jiangxi. The text of the Vatican-China agreement has never been made public, but Vatican officials said it outlines procedures for ensuring Catholic bishops are elected by the Catholic community in China and approved by the Pope before their ordinations and installations. In the past four years, only six bishops have been named and installed under the terms of the agreement.m

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n this issue we spotlight ten Catholic individuals who “made a difference” in 2022 –– and beyond. Five of them are members of the Catholic clergy, men whose ordination has deepened and broadened a life-long desire to serve Christ and their fellow men by offering their entire lives to Him. Their life’s work has been infused with the grace of the Gospel, transforming them to love and serve others because they were first “captured,” falling

Photo: Christendom College of Front Royal, VA



in love with Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Five of them are lay people who, like most of us, must struggle every day in between “the world” and “the Church,” to keep that love burning. Each of us desires to shine a light on something good and beautiful that God has given us in this time, and that modern man in all his troubles and sorrows and confusion needs. The lay people we have chosen have done that. Join us in saluting our “Top Ten” of 2022!

TEN WHO SHINE Catholics who showed us the good and beautiful in 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2023

Archbishop Visvaldas Kulbokas

The One WhO RemAined... “The main ‘weapon’ is... prayer itself”


or traumatized… and the heart does not know what it rchbishop Visvaldas Kulbokas, 48, has been in Kiev means to pity.” for 18 months as the papal nuncio to Ukraine, and is As the face of the Roman Catholic Church in Ukraine, the only ambassador to Ukraine who has never left the Archbishop Kulbokas walks a fine line between concapital since Russian forces invaded Ukraine this past demning war itself and making what will be perceived as February 24. blanket political statements. Although he says that “the Born in Lithuania, Kulbokas has a doctorate in theolright to defense against an aggressor is legitimate, at least ogy and a licentiate in canon law; he was ordained in in the Catholic conception,” he also stresses that “we 1998. He joined the Vatican’s diplomatic service in 2004 must not give in to the temptation to become judges of and was posted to the nunciatures in Lebanon, the each other, in order not to enter Netherlands, Russia and Kenya, into a whirlwind of mutual conas well as the Holy See’s Secredemnations.” tariat of State. He speaks Eng“I remain convinced,” he said, lish, Italian, French, Russian, “that the Holy See can help us Ukrainian and Spanish fluently. focus on the moral realities of war On June 15, 2021, Pope Fran— not only from a military and cis appointed him Titular Archpolitical point of view, but from a bishop of Martanae Tudertinohuman one. Therefore, it will be rum and Apostolic Nuncio to an essential factor in getting out of Ukraine — the sixth since this impasse.” Ukraine became a state in 1991. Not only the Holy See, but A statue of John Paul II welmany Ukrainians themselves see comes those arriving at the Kiev that peace must be achieved nunciature. Kulbokas traveled through dialog, not in the pursuit with Pope John Paul in 1993 to Ukrainians pray during the celebration of a Byzantine-rite Divine Liturgy with Pope John Paul II at an airfield in Kiev, of victory on the battlefield — a the Baltic countries while still a June 25, 2001 (CNS photo from Reuters) victory that inevitably results in seminarian, after the Baltic nabloodshed and destruction. tions had been liberated from the Soviet regime. He “It was last March,” he said, “shortly after the start of made another trip to the Baltic states with Pope Francis this large-scale aggression, when some members of in 2018, while still Fr. Kulbokas. Ukrainian civil society came to see me and announced Despite the apparent intensification of the war, Archthat they would begin to work towards establishing new bishop Kulbokas continues to believe that negotiation Ukrainian-Russian relations. Because only with friendmust be pursued without fail; this, he says, is the path in ship, dialogue and knowledge can we have a better which the Holy See can contribute to peace. future. And these are people who condemned the Russian “I feel like crying,” he said in a July 2022 interview attack and strongly reaffirmed that the country must be with the Italian journal Avvenire, “both for the suffering protected. But at the same time they are looking for new of the people and for the absurd fact that the whole of ways to conceive the world as a family of nations.” humanity is not united in condemning war. I am referring “We do not want only the appearances of peace,” said to Ukraine because we are here in Kiev. But it is valid for Archbishop Kulbokas in October 2022. “We want real all conflicts around the world.” peace, a real change of hearts.” He continued, “But another thing amazes me: it is the “My personal reading is that the main ‘weapon’ is lightness, the superficiality with which the theme of war prayer itself. I’m sure of this every morning, when I celis approached in various nations. ‘Will Ukraine or Russia ebrate the Eucharist as a bishop… I believe that there is win?’ seems to be the only question. As if war were a no way out except prayer and the conversion of those game. We stop at the theoretical level, as if behind all this who are responsible for this war.”m there are no victims, no wounded, no people on the run JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2023 INSIDE THE VATICAN



fr. Peter Gumpel

A LIfe In PursuIt of HoLIness A Jesuit whose understanding of sainthood — and Pope Pius XII — was unmatched


and traveling thousands of miles to interview people who f all the people ITV has ever honored, none is more worknew and worked with Pius XII, Fr. Gumpel amassed an thy of recognition than Fr. Peter Gumpel — the esteemed enormous amount of evidence which convinced him of Pius Jesuit scholar and expert on sanctity who died in Rome on XII’s heroic virtue—particularly during the Holocaust, when October 12, 2022, at the age of 98. he did so much to rescue Jews and others targeted by the Born in Hanover, Germany in 1923, Gumpel was long Nazis. known to have come from a wealthy and prestigious family The Congregation for Saints agreed with his conclusions, — later revealed to be the House of Hohenzollern, the Gerunanimously approving the advance of Pius XII’s cause in man royal dynasty whose members included princes, kings 2007, and Pope Benedict XVI declared him “Venerable” in and emperors — a fact about which he never boasted. 2009. All that remains for Pius XII’s canonization are two His real passion in life was the pursuit of holiness, someconfirmed miracles — one for his beatification, and the secthing he believed all Catholics were called to, in imitation of ond for his sainthood – thanks, in the main, to Fr. Gumpel. the saints. He was able to fulfill his greatest desire when the No one of Gumpel’s era came close to acquiring the Jesuits assigned him a prominent position in the Congregaknowledge he had about Pius XII; but despite his encyclopetion for the Causes of Saints in 1960, which he helped lead or dic knowledge, Father Gumpel patiently, charitably and comassist for the remainder of his life. His rigorous training in prehensively addressed every pointed theology, history, and spirituality gave question brought to him — either in him a knowledge about sainthood that person, or in extended correspondence was unique. America magazine, the — and by doing so, changed the minds Jesuit periodical, noted that “his masof a generation of scholars unjustly hostery of the history, development and tile to Pius XII. He also inspired a procedures of canonization was ackwhole new generation (including the nowledged as unmatched. Together present writer), to discover the riches of with his longtime friend and colleague, Pius XII’s pontificate. Father Paul Molinari, SJ, the Jesuits’ What made Fr. Gumpel’s testimony postulator general, Father Gumpel so compelling was his own dramatic shepherded more than 150 causes through the sometimes byzantine Among the important causes of canonization prepared experience with Nazism. Hitler and the by Father Gumpel were those of St. Jacinta Marto Nazis detested Fr. Gumpel’s family process by which the Roman Catholic and St. Francisco Marto. Here, two paintings of the Church investigates, studies and judges shepherd children presented during a May 8, 2017 news because of its nobility, its fierce opposithose found worthy (or unworthy) of conference in Fatima (CNS photo/Rafael Marchante, Reuters) tion to Nazi racism and anti-Semitism, and its unwavering Catholic faith; they veneration as saints.” arrested and killed Peter’s grandfather, executed a cousin, and Among the most successful candidates they worked on, very nearly murdered his mother. Young Peter himself was reported America, were Jacinta and Francisco Marto, two of exiled twice because of threats against his life. the three children who witnessed visions of the Virgin Mary And Fr. Molinari confirmed to me that during Gumpel’s at Fatima; the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales; and Jesuit training in the Netherlands, he joined the anti-Nazi numerous extraordinary women, including St. Katherine resistance and risked his life to assist escaping Jews. (Fr. Drexel, St. Philippine Duchesne, and St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Gumpel himself never spoke publicly about his heroism.) the first Native American saint. Had the Nazis never overrun Germany and Gumpel never But if there is one cause Peter Gumpel’s name will forevbecome a Jesuit, he would have been destined to a life of priver be attached to, it is that of Pope Pius XII. Shortly after ilege, the possible heir of a German Emperor. Instead, the Pius’ cause was introduced, at the end of Vatican II, Fr. Molionly throne Fr. Peter Gumpel, SJ, was ever interested in nari became its postulator (or advocate), with Fr. Gumpel inheriting was in the Kingdom of God, of which we can now assuming the even more demanding role of relator (or indebe assured he is an ever grateful member. pendent judge). Examining over 100,000 documents, includ—William Doino, Jr. ing the Vatican’s extensive archives of Pius XII’s pontificate,




Marie Czernin

BReAthless: MeMoRies of MARie CzeRnin A German editor recalls an Austrian woman who first welcomed him to Rome


And now she’ll probably drive heaven itself mad with arie Czernin, 51, died in Vienna, Austria, on October her breathlessness, and keep spinning her celestial webs! 28, 2022, after a long struggle with cancer. A daily Of course, that’s why I think of Marie C. as I re-read the rosary prayer group of some 300 people sprung up around end of Bertold Brecht’s most beautiful love poem, who her, and still continues. She met death with such courage ended his “Memories of Maria A.” in September 1920, a that many marveled, and spoke of her as of a saint. good hundred years ago, with these words: I can’t remember when and where I first met Marie, but “Und über uns im schönen Sommerhimmel I know that when we came to Rome from Jerusalem 20 War eine Wolke, die ich lange sah years ago, she was suddenly everywhere, helping everySie war sehr weiß und ungeheuer oben where. And everywhere she was breathless — in four lanUnd als ich aufsah, war sie nimmer da.” guages, all of which she spoke fluently — falling like a “And above us in the beautiful summer sky waterfall. “She talked like an express train,” says an old Was a cloud, upon which I long gazed. American friend, “nobody could stop her.” A very white cloud, and immensely above, Above all, she was out of breath... and always focused on And as I looked up, it was no more there.” God. She introduced us to many hearts and opened countless Marie is certainly “immensely doors, because all doors were open above” now — not as a cloud, but to her. Perhaps her “master key” in with her unforgettable smile and Rome was Pope John Paul II, who her breathlessness towards her dear knew and respected her for her Savior. utter simplicity and faith, and Her own secret role model was chose her in 2002 to prepare one of the Russian Grand Duchess Elisthe meditations for the Good Friaveta Feodorovna, who, after the day Via Crucis at the Colosseum. assassination of her husband Sergei The Polish Pope “from the East” Aleksandrovic, of the Romanov was familiar with her family name tsar’s family, first became the pri— the Czernins were a prominent family of the Austro-Hungarian Marie among traumatized refugee children in Africa, she in the midst oress of a convent and then, on July of them, laughing. She worked and traveled for Missio of Vienna 17, 1918, was shipped, with her nobility. faithful nun Sister Barbara, on a truck to an abandoned mine But it was probably also something like a personal love shaft outside of Ekaterinburg, where Bolshevik soldiers of the Pope, which connected the two from heart to heart, as threw her down, then tossed in a hand grenade after her. a photo reveals in which the aged saint caresses Marie’s Of Marie, as of that young widow herself, who, born in cheek like a daughter. And Marie, beaming with 1000 watts Germany, became a great saint of Russia, Elisaveta’s words in front of him. “Cor ad cor loquitur!” “Heart speaks to will surely live forever: heart.” That was her second trademark, her gift for dialogue “Es ist leichter für einen dürren Strauch, in an almost cosmic network that she was constantly weaveinem mächtigen Feuer zu widerstehen, ing — and her radiance and laughter. She laughed and als für die Natur der Sünde beamed everywhere. der Macht der Liebe.” Her photos still capture that: among traumatized child “It is easier for a dry bush soldiers in Africa, she in the midst of them, laughing; in the to withstand a mighty fire, slums of Calcutta, Marie laughing right in the middle. than for the nature of sin to withstand When a planned marriage fell through in 2003 or 2004, the power of love.” she probably cried a lot inside, yet she still laughed about it. —Paul Badde And even those bitter hours arguably contributed greatly to Editor, Vatikan magazine, her networking talent and charisma of connection, right up the German edition of Inside the Vatican to her deathbed. Her life was youth. JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2023 INSIDE THE VATICAN



Archbishop Timothy Broglio

CourAGeous New HeAd of us BisHops A “culture warrior” to critics, he seeks to “insert the Gospel into all aspects of life”


rchbishop Timothy Broglio, JCD, 71, is the newlyArchbishop Broglio dealt with a particularly hot military elected president of the United States Conference of topic during the COVID pandemic: vaccine mandates. AlCatholic Bishops. He was elected on November 15 in Baltithough the Vatican approved and even endorsed them, more. He comes to the job after a career which took him Broglio fully supported religious exemptions for military from a brief stint as a parish priest in South Euclid, Ohio, to service members “if it would violate the sanctity of his or her nunciature posts in Ivory Coast, Paraguay and the Dominiconscience.” can Republic, to the office of Cardinal Angelo Sodano, VatCalled by some a “culture warrior,” in his first press conican Secretary of State under Pope John Paul II. ference as USCCB President, Archbishop Broglio was asked Along the way he also earned a degree in Canon Law about Catholic, pro-abortion politicians like Joe Biden. “I from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He is fludon’t see my role as primarily political, but if there is any ent in four languages. way to insert the Gospel into all aspects of life in our counHis current (since 2008) post is as head of the Archdiotry, I certainly will not miss any occasion to do that,” Broglio cese for Military Services of the U.S. told reporters. During Archbishop Broglio’s But perhaps the most urgent subtenure there, he’s attracted criticism ject that Archbishop Broglio has adfrom the secular media on a variety dressed — one that holds the key to of occasions, most notably on quesaddressing all other social and spirtions of sexual morality, contracepitual ills — is that of Jesus, present tion and public policy. He’s been a in the tabernacle. reliable voice for the Catholic In a 2013 keynote address, Archunderstanding of human anthropolobishop Broglio revealed his convicgy and the moral teachings that flow tions on the importance of the from it. Eucharist for unity, for healing, for For example, he was criticized for salvation — and why he might be objecting in 2013 to the military’s the perfect choice for his new post. benefits to same-sex “spouses” of “The Church tells us that this Broglio washes the feet of a U.S. soldier serving in military service members. He said, Archbishop Eucharistic Presence in the tabernaAfghanistan at Shindand Air Base, Holy Thursday 2014. (CNS photo/ courtesy of the Archdiocese for the U.S. Military Services) “This new policy under the guise of cle is a prolonging of the Sacrifice ‘equal benefits’ undermines marriage as the union of one of the Altar,” he said. man and one woman because it treats two persons of the “This Jesus, who is interceding for us in heaven, wants to same sex as spouses.” do the same sacramentally from the tabernacle. He conseHe also registered his objection to the “contraceptive crates all human activity, gathering all that happens in the mandate” of Obama’s Affordable Care Act. universe and presenting it to the Father. Archbishop Broglio supported the August 2017 Presiden“For this reason He is present in the midst of every parish tial Memorandum issued by President Trump which preventand every community, to make palpable His mission to unify ed so-called “transgender” persons from serving in the miliwhat is divided, to heal what is sinful, sweeten the bitter, and tary (immediately overturned by new President Joe Biden). give eternity to our joys and sorrows…” In 2018, Archbishop Broglio’s email to a service member “There is nothing wrong with these good things in life,” saying, “There is no question that the crisis of sexual abuse he continued, “which are also a gift from God. However, we by priests in the USA is directly related to homosexuality; are created in the image and likeness of God. Our goal 90% of those abused were boys aged 12 and over. That is no should be elevated and noble. It must be eternal life. longer pedophilia,” drew LGBT activists’ ire. Critics also “The Eucharist puts us in contact with that life; it allows panned his opposition to the 2021 repeal of the Clinton-era us to taste the union with Christ and the whole Church of “Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell” policy on regulating “LGBT” memthose living, suffering, or triumphant. When we celebrate the bers of the military, accomplished under Biden. Eucharist we are in the presence of all the Saints.”m




Benedict Rogers

“This WoRk is ABouT The soul” A British Catholic fights rising religious oppression in Asia


n a materialist age in which few people speak publicly been renewed for the second time with seemingly no scrutiny, about the existence of the human soul, human rights review or transparency — and far from improving conditions activist and writer Benedict Rogers, 48, dares to not only for the Church in China, it has resulted in worsening represspeak of the soul, but also to defend it in the public forum. sion and persecution. Rogers is the co-founder and chief executive of Hong “The only detail we know about the agreement itself is Kong Watch and senior analyst for East Asia at Christian Solthat it relates to the appointment of Catholic bishops in China idarity Worldwide, a rights organization specializing in freeand gives the CCP a say in picking them. Yet so far only six dom of religion or belief. He is the cofounder and deputy new bishops have been appointed, according to the Vatican’s chair of the UK Conservative Party Human Rights CommisSecretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, leaving at least 40 sion, a member of the advisory group of the Inter-Parliamenvacancies to fill. Many underground bishops and priests tary Alliance of China (IPAC) and a board remain in prison or under house arrest.” member of the Stop Uyghur Genocide CamRogers, while at times critical of the Vatipaign. He is also the author of several books; can’s political moves, is himself a faithful his newest, The China Nexus: Thirty Years In Catholic — a convert to the Faith from Angliand Around the Chinese Communist Party’s canism, who was brought into the Church by Tyranny, was released in October 2022 by Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Myanmar in Optimum Publishing International. 2013. Over the years of mission in Asia, he He received the US government’s Internamet and befriended prominent Catholics, tional Religious Freedom Champion award in including Shahbaz Bhatti, Minister for Reli2021. Based in London, Rogers writes about gious Minorities in Pakistan, murdered by issues of religion and rights in Asia, including Islamic fundamentalists in 2011 for his firm in his regular column “Rights and Wrongs” on opposition to the notorious blasphemy laws; the UCANews (Union of Catholic Asian Bishop Carlos Belo and the fearless nun, SisNews) website. Among these issues are: ter Lourdes, in East Timor; and Cardinal – the arrest and sometimes execution of Joseph Zen in Hong Kong. Rogers also studthousands of political dissidents, and the ied various Catholic authors, including Von years-long and ongoing genocidal campaign Balthasar, de Lubac, Chesterton, Merton and against the ethnic minority Rohingya of the encyclicals of Pope Benedict XVI, espeTHE CHINA NEXUS Thirty Years In and Around Myanmar; cially Caritas in Veritate. Party’s Tyranny – slavery, forced organ harvesting and per- the ChinesebyCommunist In fact, Rogers remarked, he rediscovered Benedict Rogers secution of the Ugyur and Tibetan minorities in in the mission fields of Asia a Catholic faith Communist China, as well as persecution of the Catholic that Europe and the West seem to have abandoned. Church, surveillance and control of the Catholic faithful and In a July article about the 2022 International Ministerial imprisonment of Catholic clergy; Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief, held in Lon– arrest and imprisonment of pro-democracy activists don, he outlined a series of recommendations based on (including nonagenarian Cardinal Joseph Zen) in Hong encouraging developments as civil coalitions have been Kong; formed to promote and protect religious freedom. –anti-Christian terrorism and government persecution in Most pointedly, however, he continued, “The central mesIndia and Pakistan. sage of all these initiatives is that there can be few things Of particular concern to many is the Vatican-China agreemore important than a human being’s freedom of conscience. ment, renewed for the second time in October 2022, by which At heart, this work is about the soul — and the freedom of the Vatican was to have input in decisions of appointing Chievery human being to decide according to their own connese bishops, and whose details remain undisclosed. science what they do with it. That is a freedom no govern“If the details of the agreement were transparent and the ment, no other religion, no armed group and no terrorist gains more obvious, perhaps some of the Vatican’s comproshould ever take away from anyone. We must step up efforts mises might be more understandable. But this deal, first to defend freedom of religion or belief for everyone, everyagreed on by the Vatican and China four years ago, has now where, all the time.”m JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2023 INSIDE THE VATICAN



Patrick reilly

WheN “CatholiC” ColleGes areN’t really CatholiC Newman Guide founder brings Catholic parents “truth in advertising”


n June 2022, Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester, Massaof our advisors. He told me, ‘You really ought to focus on the chusetts banned Nativity Catholic Middle School in his diogood things. There are some really good things happening in cese from calling itself “Catholic.” Catholic education.’ So we decided to recommend schools.” He issued the order when the school refused to take down Reilly’s organization publishes the Newman Guide for prominently displayed “gay pride” and “Black Lives Matter” Choosing a Catholic College, which currently includes 22 flags from school grounds. Catholic institutions of higher learning, most – but not all – in It was a rare victory in the “Catholic school culture wars” the US. that is increasing at a rapid pace throughout the Western world. The three main criteria upon which the Cardinal Newman “The incident at the Nativity School,” said Patrick J. Reilly, Society bases its recommendations are the school’s mission and 53, founder and president of the Cardinal Newman Society, is governance, academics and moral and religious formation. another example of how “anything in the surrounding culture “The Church doesn’t have anywhere near the appreciation finds its way into Catholic schools, for Catholic education that it through the students or through the should have. Catholic education is teachers.” supposed to help people be who “To some extent, this is unavoidthey should be,” said Reilly. “We able,” Reilly said, “but it is a greater should be valuing Catholic educaproblem today, when fewer tion more than just about everyCatholics are well-formed in the thing we do, except the sacrafaith and an increasing portion of ments.” students and teachers are nonIn an interview with the NationCatholic. The Cardinal Newman al Catholic Register in June 2022, Society has been very concerned as the USCCB’s 3-year Eucharistic about the infiltration of critical race Revival campaign was opening, theory, gender identity, and cancel Reilly spoke specifically to the criCorpus Christi procession with parents and students culture in Catholic schools.” sis of faith in the Eucharist as eviat Christendom College of Front Royal, VA Patrick Reilly founded the Cardenced by a 2019 Pew study, saydinal Newman Society in 1993, two years after graduating from ing that “it is more a crisis of education and a failure of the Fordham University. Critical race theory was not an everyday Church… about two-thirds (64%) of the young adults who phrase back then, but already the fallout of the 1960s’ cultural denied the Real Presence admitted to being unsure or unaware revolution in the West had been eroding the moral and religious of the Church’s teaching on the Eucharist. And 62% actually character of Catholic education for decades. believed the Church teaches that the Eucharist is just a symbol As Domino’s Pizza magnate and Catholic philanthropist of Christ. Tom Monaghan wrote in a 2022 article praising Reilly, a UCLA “We greatly need a revival of Eucharistic education. It is in survey from 1997-2001 found that Catholic students’ support faithful Catholic education that young people learn not to sepafor abortion, homosexual unions, and casual sex increased at rate their lives and their knowledge from Christ, who enters into roughly the same dramatic rate regardless of whether the stuevery study and every activity. We need this in our Catholic dents enrolled at a Catholic, secular, or other religious college. parish schools, lay-run independent schools, homeschools, “I could not believe it!” wrote Monaghan. “This study conhybrid programs, and colleges.” firmed my conviction that I should focus my philanthropy on “Patrick Reilly, like Benedictine College, believes in truth in Catholic higher education and thus my ongoing efforts to build advertising,” said Benedictine’s President Stephen D. Minnis. Ave Maria University and Ave Maria School of Law.” “We are excited to honor him for the great work he has done in Reilly explained in 2022 remarks at Benedictine College in celebrating faithful Catholic colleges and giving so many famiKansas, where he received an honorary degree, “My plan was lies the opportunity to find colleges that will teach their daughthat we would put out a guide reviewing all 200 Catholic colters and sons what the Church truly believes about the Catholic leges in the United States. Father Benedict Groeschel was one faith.”m




Mrs. Linda Nicolosi

GOd — NOt MaN – Is the desIGNer “Our fullest humanity calls us to live out our biological design”


oseph Nicolosi, Sr., who died suddenly in 2017, was a In fact, Linda was Dr. Nicolosi’s longtime collaborator. Catholic pioneer in the field of the psychology of homoIn the beginning of NARTH’s existence, she says, “Joe, sexuality. Forty years ago, his profession was already myself, and our son Joe, Jr. folded and stuffed the NARTH abandoning the classic (and Catholic) understanding of Bulletins on our kitchen table. I wrote the articles. But we sexuality as rooted in design and purpose — i.e., “normalhad a sense of mission that it had to be done.” ity is that which functions in accordance with its design,” Linda continues, “I had always wanted to do something — but he refused to be carried along with the tide. of value in my life, something to promote the truth. Just He founded the Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic ‘making a living’ would have never satisfied that need. My in Encino, California in 1980, and crafted a method of mother’s family had been missionaries and ministers, and helping patients who so desired to diminish their same-sex I think their spirit came into my spirit and drove me to purattraction and develop their heterosexual potential, which sue this work. So, I did virtually all the writing and he named “Reparative Therapy.” editing for NARTH. He believed that our bodies tell “We all have a designed and us who we are, and that our bodies created nature, and when we conhave made us for heterosexuality. form ourselves to that truth, we Homosexuality, he maintained, is live our lives most fully. Because an adaptation to trauma; it is rootthe world was losing its ability to ed in a same-sex attachment probperceive this truth, I felt driven to lem that leaves the boy alienated write about it and to help Joe in his from his masculine nature. work. He had a remarkable clinical He was also one of three foundastuteness, as well as great patience ing members, along with Dr. Benwith people and empathy for them… jamin Kaufman and Dr. Charles Sometimes he would cry when he Socarides, of NARTH (National would tell me how some of his The late Joseph Nicolosi, Sr. and the cover of a book he Association for Research and clients had been neglected and co-authored with his wife Linda, who survives him Therapy of Homosexuality) in abused as children.” 1992, now the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and ScienJoe Nicolosi, Sr. also wrote several books, later banned tific Integrity. by Amazon because they did not echo the LGBT lobby’s Dr. Nicolosi’s widow after 39 years, Linda Nicolosi, “born that way” line. So Linda has taken over their distrihas since taken up the task of continuing her husband’s bution on the website, which she legacy — a task which is more difficult, and yet more necmaintains. And a final book, The Best of Joseph Nicolosi, essary, today than it was even at the time of his death. Dr. which she is publishing under her own imprint, Liberal and Mrs. Nicolosi’s only child, Joseph Nicolosi, Jr., has Mind Publishers, came out in December 2022. also followed the path of his father into the field of psy“Another thing I learned during my NARTH years was chology, and founded his own multi-specialty clinic, the that there is a ripple effect in society…As one example: Breakthrough Clinic in Westlake Village, California. same-sex attraction, particularly in men, threatens friend“Joe had always hoped for his legacy as the creator of ship—the natural and beautiful bond of camaraderie that Reparative Therapy to go on. His career was dedicated to should always be free of eroticism and even the suspicion helping people align their lives with their deeply held conof eroticism. Thus, SSA begins to break down the social victions. Anyone, he stressed, is free to live his life as gay; order and push society into pansexuality… but we are inevitably gendered beings, and our fullest “I also came to a greater appreciation of why Jewish humanity calls us to live out our biological design,” comtradition has required separation and division — the separmented Linda. ation of male from female, good from evil, sacred from “He saw the world as designed, and God — not man — profane, life from death. Without those fundamental sepawas the designer.” rations, civilization begins a slow slide into barbarism.”m JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2023 INSIDE THE VATICAN



fr. sean sheehy

A PriesT sPeAks AbouT sin — And is “CAnCeled” for iT “The truth hurts — but it sets us free”


November are former sinners. r. Sean Sheehy, 80, is a native of County Kerry, Ire“When we honor the saints on the first of this coming land, but, like many Irish priests who were sent in month, we honor people who are saints. Why are there past decades to help relieve the priest shortage in the saints? Because they’re repented and because they United States, he has spent most of his priestly ministry sought forgiveness. As somebody said one time, heaven in the U.S. — most recently in the Diocese of Baton is full of converted sinners,” he said. Rouge, Louisiana. In 2008, Fr. Sheehy, who had always “And so today, God says to us, ‘I have come to call maintained ties to native country, returned to Ireland sinners, but if you don’t admit you’re a sinner, then and his home of County Kerry to help alleviate Ireland’s you’re not listening to my call own priest shortage of recent and I can’t do anything for you years. because it’s a two-way street.’ By all accounts, his flock in Now, there are people you see America was sad to see him go; who won’t like to hear what I’m he was noted for his commitment saying, but the day you die, you to Catholic education. His new will find out.” parishioners in the Irish town of It’s hardly the stuff of heresy, Castlegregory hailed Fr. Sheehy one would assume. And yet, as a tireless community worker Bishop Ray Browne of Kerry who had been particularly active published a November 1 statein supporting local charity and ment regarding “the offending developmental groups. Fr. Sheehy has since retired, More than 25,000 people gather for a pro-life vigil outside the homilies,” saying that “the views expressed do not represent the and had been “filling in” for the Irish parliament in Dublin Jan. 19. The massive turnout appeared to take politicians and the mainstream media by Christian position.” He apolopriest at St. Mary’s Church in surprise. (CNS photo/John Mc Elroy) gized for “the deep upset and Listowel, a County Kerry town hurt caused by the contents of the homilies” given by Fr. of fewer than 5,000 people. And that’s where Fr. Sheehy Sheehy. ran into trouble. Regarding the rebuke from his bishop, who barred In a late October 2022 sermon, the Irish priest reflecthim from saying Mass until the regular priest returns, ed on sin, penitence, sainthood, and God’s forgiveness. Sheehy said in an interview he “couldn’t care less, “You rarely hear about sin, but it’s rampant,” he said. really.” “We see it in the promotion of abortion. We see it, for “As the old saying is, the truth hurts, but it sets us example, in this lunatic approach of transgenderism.” free,” he said. “Jesus, for example, did not come to make Another example, Sheehy said, was “the promotion people feel good. He came to save people from their of sex between two men and two women. That is sinful. sins, and that was actually the Gospel of the Sunday. He That is a mortal sin and people don’t seem to realize it. said he came to seek and save what was lost; in other It’s a fact, a reality, and we need to listen to God about words, those people who are lost in sin.” it because if we don’t, then there is no hope for those “And why are people lost in sin? Sometimes they people.” don’t even realize that what they’re doing is a sin. So Several of the congregation heckled the priest and that’s where the Church’s responsibility kicks in, some walked out. because the Church has a responsibility to identify what “And so God is also telling you and me today, look, is sin or what isn’t, so people will know what they’re you have a responsibility to seek out those who are lost. choosing freely,” Sheehy continued. You have a responsibility to call people to an awareness He claimed the bishop is “muzzling the truth in order of the fact that sin is destructive, sin is detrimental, and to appease people,” and advised him to familiarize himsin will lead us to hell,” the priest said. self with the Catechism of the Catholic Church.m Then Sheehy reflected that the saints honored in 34



matt Walsh

One Simple QueStiOn A Catholic cultural commentator shines light on the illogic of “transgenderism”


he year 2022 saw the release of an explosive documentary film by Catholic cultural commentator Matt Walsh that asked the titular question, “What is a Woman?” The simple question, which Walsh posed to a variety of people ranging from clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson to transgender activists to African Masai tribesmen, proved to be a decisive one that some of his interlocutors just couldn’t answer. And that was the point: how can one assert that transgenderism has a valid rationale when people who claim to transition from men to women (or vice versa) cannot even say what a woman is? As the husband and father of four, writer, blogger and online Daily Wire host said himself in his column “What is a Woman? Why the Left Can’t Answer the Question”: “Gender theory has made it so that the word ‘woman’ itself, and the word ‘man,’ have no meaning. Leftists, because of their ideological commitments, cannot define the terms. They say trans women are women. They say that someone can start out life as a male and transition into a woman. But how can I understand any of these claims and declarations if I do not know how they define the word ‘woman’?” The film, and the companion book he also released by the same title, caused a firestorm of criticism in the mainstream secular press, as well as appreciation and support in the Catholic press. In it, he presses the logic of gender theory to its ultimate conclusion: if gender is not defined biologically, then it simply can’t exist, and even speaking of the concept “gender” means nothing. The Masai tribesmen he interviews are the ones who provide the most straightforward and logical observation of what woman and man are: a woman has babies and a man does not. Finally, it turns out, there is no alternative way to define the sexes. We can add, “And that is what God meant when he said, ‘Male and female I have created them.’” But the deeper issue that is thrown into relief by Walsh’s work is the ultimate fate of the soul of the

world. For sexuality, as American Orthodox writer Rod Dreher points out in a December 11 post at, has emerged as the principal battleground of the struggle — it may not be an exaggeration to call it a cosmic struggle — for that soul. Why? Sexuality is the principal arena in which culture reveals its contours as either authentically human (meaning in harmony with our human natures as God created them), or anti-human. There is no in-between. So one lesson Matt Walsh’s documentary teaches us is that those who would deny that gender is a created reality end up denying our very humanity. The result? Human beings become playthings, as exemplified in ancient Roman society, where the free, landed male was culturally entitled to use whomever he wished — male or female, slave or freewoman — to satisfy his lust, effectively denying the humanity of those he used. Christianity changed all that, bringing dignity and respect for their humanity, created in God’s own image, to ordinary people. Today the situation is returning to that of pagan Rome. The exception is the much-lauded but ultimately empty element of “consent” that exists where it did not in pagan Rome — but this does nothing to diminish the fact that modern sexuality, shorn first of its natural purposes through contraception, and now, in this “LGBT-friendly” age, even of its natural bodily expression, has become fundamentally a relationship of “using” others for pleasure — a situation Pope St. John Paul II labored throughout his pontificate to change through his “Theology of the Body” catechesis. Walsh has done us a tremendous service by giving us new and irrefutable evidence that following God’s plan for sexuality, gender and procreation is really the only way that makes sense. May Catholics around the world become awake to the danger human culture — another way of saying the world’s soul — is in because of our denial of reality in the sexual sphere.m JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2023 INSIDE THE VATICAN



Bishop Jude arogundade

NigeriaN Bishop oN a MissioN The world should not ignore the continuing Christian genocide in Nigeria...


ishop Jude Arogundade, 60, of Ondo, Nigeria, said the believed by some Western climate change ideologists. It is Christians of his country are suffering persecution so far from it. It is clearly the use of terrorism to accomplish intense that it borders on genocide. an age-long ethno/religious objective.” “The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria has spoArogundade has spoken out before against those who ken against the unprecedented insecurity situation in Nigeblame shrinking resources due to climate change – like ria repeatedly, but to no avail,” he said in a November 16, president of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, when he called 2022 speech in a committee room of the U.K.’s Houses of the Pentecost Sunday massacre “a source of particular conParliament. demnation, as is any attempt to scapegoat pastoral peoples “We have walked for life, protested and even called the who are among the foremost victims of the consequences President (Muhammadu Buhari) to of climate change.” resign if he is incapable of fulfilling “While thanking the Honorable the basic purpose of government — Mr. Higgins for joining others to the security of lives and properties condemn the attack… his reasons of citizens. Even at that, nothing has for this gruesome massacre are changed,” he said. incorrect and far-fetched,” Aro“With 3,478 people killed as of gundade said in a message dated June this year and the increased June 10. cases of terror thereafter,” he said he “To suggest or make a connection strongly wished to appeal to the between victims of terror and conseU.K. government and “all people of quences of climate change is not goodwill to compel the Nigerian only misleading but also exactly government to stop the genocide” rubbing salt to the injuries of all who On June 5, 2022, Bishop Arogundade, together with before Nigeria is overrun as have suffered terrorism in Nigeria,” government authorities, visited a Catholic church in Afghanistan was. he said. southwest Nigeria brutally attacked during Sunday Mass Bishop Arogundade made his Arogundade believes the attack remarks at the launch in London of “Persecuted and Forto be part of a broader movement to establish an Islamic gotten? A Report on Christians Oppressed for Their Faith caliphate in Nigeria, which is roughly one-half Muslim. 2020-22,” a project of the British branch of the pontifical “Immediately, I saw a mission entrusted to me,” Arofoundation Aid to the Church in Need. gundade, a naturalized U.S. citizen with numerous AmeriHe began by recalling the June 5, 2022 Pentecost Suncan contacts, told Catholic News Agency. “My first thought day massacre in his own diocese — at St. Francis Catholic was, ‘I can really do something about this. I can really Church in Owo. It left 41 people dead and 73 others seribring a further awareness to this. I can reach out to many ously injured. places.’ And at that point I was ready to talk to anybody “Like other attacks on churches in Nigeria, no one has who cared to listen to me.” been charged for committing this crime,” he said. Among the first to offer Arogundade his support was the “The world must insist that terrorists, their sponsors and leader of his former archdiocese, Cardinal Timothy M. their sympathizers be brought to justice. Please, ask the Dolan of New York. Nigerian government to deploy all the legal instruments In July, that mission brought Arogundade to Washingand political institutions for protecting and enforcing the ton, D.C., where he was a guest of the nonprofit Catholic rights and freedom of the minority to stop the killings.” organization Aid to the Church in Need and a featured Incredibly, in 2021 the U.S. State Department under speaker at the International Religious Freedom Summit. Secretary Anthony Blinken removed Nigeria from the list The three-day event shone a light on cases of religious perof the world’s worst violators of religious freedom – secution going on throughout the world. despite the fact that the U.S. nonprofit Open Doors USA The soft-spoken bishop delivered a blunt and sobering found that in 2021, more Christians were killed — 4,650 message. “What’s going on now is genocide,” he told CNA. — than in all the rest of the world combined. The bishop “It’s pure ethno-religious cleansing. That’s what it is. And added: “This pogrom is not caused by climate change as it’s getting worse.” m 36


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A CAtholiC PersPeCtive on heAlth CAre reform mediCine is losing its beArings. the ChurCh’s soCiAl teAChing And the hiPPoCrAtiC trAdition CAn restore it n BY WILLIAM G. WHITE, M.D.


ince her beginning the stances, a fee that may be Catholic Church has conwaived entirely if the patient sidered the care of the is unable to pay. The ethical sick an essential part of her physician renders his serministry. Jesus and the apostles vices without requiring a healed the sick. The Church and guarantee of payment; the her religious orders sponsored patient’s need for care takes the earliest hospitals and hosprecedence. Sad to say, as the pices. The monastic orders large institutions of governpracticed hospitality, caring not ment, insurance companies, only for travelers, but also for hospital systems, and hospithe sick and injured. The paratal-owned physician pracble of the Good Samaritan tices have taken control, exemplifies the divine comthese standards are rapidly mand to love one’s neighbor. disappearing. Christian medical care also CATHOLIC SOCIAL incorporated the Hippocratic TEACHINGS tradition. Arising in pre-ChristThe Church’s social teachian Greece with the School of ings refine our understanding Hippocrates, this tradition Donors visiting a hospital in 1440 in Tuscany, Italy. emphasized the physician’s The image is a part of a larger painting, La cura e il governo degli of the role of medicine in sociobligation to make the good of infermi, by Domenico di Bartolo, Santa Maria della Scala di Siena, ety. The Church teaches, for Italy example, that society has an his patient his highest prioriobligation to provide basic care to all the sick, regardless ty—above all other social, political or financial considof their economic status. Some assume that this responerations. The happy confluence of the Hippocratic and sibility requires government-run programs not only for the Christian traditions produced the “ethical profession the poor, but even for everyone. This extrapolation of of medicine” as it has been understood for centuries. Catholic teaching is invalid. Catholic social teaching As one of the four “learned professions” (the others does not require ignoring economic principles. If private being the clergy, the law, and the military), medicine endeavors are more effective and more efficient than serves one of the basic needs of mankind, that of health government, society may employ these means without (the others grace, justice and security). Learning these neglecting its obligation to address basic human needs. arts takes long years of study and experience. The In fact, there is ample evidence that government patient, penitent, client or citizen who lacks such learninvolvement in medicine leads to lower quality, less ing trusts that the learned professional will use his responsive, more expensive care. skills for the respective suppliant’s benefit. In turn, the In fact, the success of voluntary private medicine professional is bound by an ethic of service. The physiconfirms Catholic teaching on the “principle of subcian, for example, is not a tradesman selling a product, sidiarity,” which states that society’s functions are but a professional (a “professed” person) who gives his properly carried out at the smallest and most local levels services on the basis of the patient’s need for care, and possible. Child-rearing, for example, is best done in the then charges a fee based on the patient’s circumJANUARY-FEBRUARY 2023 INSIDE THE VATICAN





ince 2011, the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture – renamed this year the Dicastery for Culture and Education – has sponsored five International Conferences on health. The most recent, just last year on May 6-8, 2021, titled “Exploring Mind, Body and Soul: How Innovation and Novel Delivery Systems Improve Human Health,” drew hundreds of participants from around the world, including government officials, health care system executives, medical researchers and pharmaceutical industry leaders; COVID vaccine manufacturer Moderna’s CEO, Stephane Bancel, even received a “Pontifical Hero Award.” Journalist Edward Pentin, writing for the National Catholic Register, reported on whether Catholic teaching, even about fundamental issues like abortion or the nature of the human being, were being articulated in this Vatican setting. The answer he found, alas, was generally “no”:

When subjects besides ethical issues were covered about which Catholic priests, religious or laity could have shared their expertise, such as empathy and compassion, music, beauty, caregiving, the “loneliness epidemic,” mental health or aging with dignity and purpose, they were absent along with the Church’s wisdom on such topics. Much attention was also focused on COVID-19, its vaccines, and overcoming vaccine hesitancy but with no comprehensive articulation of the Church’s view on them. Indeed, throughout the conference, no discussion took place regarding abortion-tainted vaccines, the concerns that many vaccines have an experimental nature, or the right to refuse them on grounds of conscience for these or other ethical reasons. Instead, [Anthony] Fauci and other speakers spoke a great deal about over-

family. If families need help, first their relatives, then voluntary associations (including the parish), and then the lowest levels of local government should assist them. Only if these local bodies cannot perform a function should the county or the state step in. The national government, in turn, should carry out only those functions (e.g. foreign relations, national defense) that the lower levels of society cannot accomplish. But medical care, like child rearing, is an essentially personal service. It is not the manufacture of widgets, but the rendering of care by one person to another. It can be accomplished only at the personal level. Making the physician a servant of government or commerce deprives the patient of his personal physician and advocate, whose loyalty is only to him. It also deprives the physician of the ability to fulfill his highest ethical obligation: to place his patient’s needs before all others. “No one can serve two 40


coming vaccine hesitancy, saying a “deeply religious person who will listen to their clergy [is] different than me with a suit, going into an area, telling people to do something.” Chelsea Clinton of the Clinton Foundation, who is not a Catholic and believes it is “un-Christian to ban abortion,” similarly pushed the vaccines during a panel session on “Building a More Equitable Health System for All.” Clinton advised that the foundation was doing “everything and anything we can” to make people feel comfortable having the jab, and that more regulation is needed of social media to prohibit “anti-vaccine content.” No Catholic was present on the panel to challenge her about ethical questions over the vaccines. A segment on how to improve the medical response and build on cooperation following COVID-19 featured Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla. Cooperation between vaccine manufacturers was highlighted, as again was overcoming vaccine hesitancy, and an uncritical appraisal of the mRNA technology used in many of the COVID vaccines, which [had] yet to receive full approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Meanwhile, the conference awarded a “Pontifical Hero Award” for inspiration and leadership to several participants including the CEO of COVID vaccine manufacturer Moderna, Stephane Bancel, and his team. Msgr. Trafny told The Register May 10 that the Vatican wanted to acknowledge their “wonderful work and strong commitment.” A number of speakers also promoted ideas at odds with Church teaching that went uncorrected, such as Deepak Chopra, an alternative medicine advocate, who spoke of “universal consciousness which religions might call God,” that “there’s one field of consciousness which is universal,” and that “it’s differentiating into speciesspecific modes of knowing that we call souls.”n

masters...” Public policy, then, while providing that all citizens’ basic needs are met, should support private voluntary endeavors as much as possible. Removing bureaucratic red tape, restoring the meaning of medical licensure as applying only to individuals who have completed medical training (not to hospitals or groups), treating employer-provided and individual insurance equitably, ending restrictions on private insurance (e.g. mandated benefits, first-dollar coverage, and the prohibition on buying insurance across state lines), and curbing abusive litigation are only a few changes that would benefit medical care without introducing the well-intentioned but ultimately destructive hand of government into the patient-physician relationship.

THE LESSONS OF COVID The recent history of the COVID-19 virus and the


A CAtholIC PErsPECtIvE oN hEAlth CArE rEforM

reaction thereto by government and public health officials has led to a growing awareness of the conflict between coercive acts of the state and the civil rights of citizens. The flip-flopping response of government health officials, oddly combined with an air of certainty about the correctness of their shifting recommendations and a willingness to punish those who question them, has led to an understandable skepticism about the reliability of these institutions and individuals. Revelations about the close financial ties of government officials and pharmaceutical companies have further increased the mistrust of the populace. Vatican officials, including the Holy Father, have generally supported vaccines as both beneficial to human health and without significant risks or side effects. The current administration of the Church has declared that the universal distribution of COVID “vaccines,” without cost to the recipients, is a moral imperative. Little has been said by Church officials about the actual safety and efficacy of these shots. The word “vaccine,” as applied to the COVID-19 shots, is a misnomer. These mRNA injections are not vaccines in the correct sense of the word. The word “vaccine” comes from the vaccinia, or cowpox virus, which Edward Jenner discovered would confer immunity against smallpox. The word has been extrapolated to cover the administration of any antigens that stimulate antibody production (immunity) to various diseases. The COVID shot, an mRNA “vaccine,” is not a vaccine at all, but a genetic manipulation that makes every recipient a “GMO” or genetically modified organism. What then should be the response of Catholics and the Church to these events? Should Catholics submit blindly to the blandishments of both secular and religious bodies and get the shots? Should we bow meekly to government officials who claim to be “the Science,” but are in fact enriching themselves and the pharmaceutical companies they serve? Does the Catholic tradition require submitting to the zeitgeist, or is the Catholic Church committed to subject the secular world and its potentates to the scrutiny of truth?

half-century ago, most physicians were independent practitioners dedicated primarily to the good of their patients. The inevitable human temptation to avarice was tempered, if not eliminated, by an ethic of service that prevailed in the organized profession of medicine and in the predominantly Christian sponsored hospitals. In other words, there was a certain social pressure on physicians to practice ethically, or else earn the disapproval of their peers. Now most physicians are employed by secularized hospitals (some of which still retain vestiges of religious identity, but are run as profit-driven enterprises by laypeople) and large groups that supervise every aspect of physicians’ practices. The principle of moral suasion has been replaced by coercion. These entities are driven not by an ethic of service but by the motive to maximize revenues, and physicians must knuckle under if they wish to keep their jobs. In the matter of COVID-19 in particular, tremendous pressure has been brought to bear upon physicians to toe the party line. Physicians who suggest safe, early, inexpensive treatments for the COVID-19 infection, or who raise doubts about the safety or efficacy of the COVID “vaccine,” are accused of spreading “disinformation” or “misinformation,” and have been threatened with expulsion from hospitals and medical groups and revocation of their state licenses. Only those patients who are still able to find independent physicians can rely on hearing unbiased, informed judgments about these matters. Happily there are glimmers of hope. The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons ( promotes and fights for independent ethical physicians. The growing popularity of “direct primary care,” which eschews all government and insurance third-party payments, returns control of care to patients and their physicians. Most of all, restoring the Hippocratic ethic of dedication only to the patient, and independence of physicians from the stranglehold of large institutions, will provide patients with the assurance that their needs and only their needs are the basis for their personal physician’s recommendations.

REJECTING SECULARISM AND COERCION Sad to say, the advice of individual physicians to their patients in these matters has been distorted by changes in medical practice over the past generation or two. When I graduated from medical school almost a

William G. White, M.D. is a Chicago-area family physician and past president of the Catholic Medical Association of America. He is the father of twelve (seven by birth and five by marriage) and grandfather of 33.m JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2023 INSIDE THE VATICAN



the kingdom is at hand Jesus heals on the sabbath — shaking the foundations of earth and heaven n BY ANTHONY ESOLEN The Healing of the Paralytic by Tintoretto, Church of San Rocco, Venice


he Jews persecuted Jesus, says John, after He healed the crippled man at the pool, because He had done so on the Sabbath (John 5:17). We are accustomed to taking their indignation as a form of religious rigorism. That is not incorrect, for after all Jesus does criticize the Scribes and the Pharisees, for they tithe their “mint, dill, and cumin” (Mt. 23:23), but leave undone the weightier matters of the law, such as justice, mercy, and faith. Those words are caustic indeed, as the spices Jesus names were not what cassia or cinnamon were — royal spices, precious, brought from afar. You could cull mint and dill and cumin from the weeds growing up behind your house — as you can do with oregano in Italy, and juniper berries in Norway. A tenth of nothing, we might say, is nothing, and unless you are giving it in love, you are either overscrupulous, or you want to play-act at righteousness, with yourself as your most admiring audience. Yet I think we underestimate both the piety of the Jews in this case, and the challenge that Jesus is posing to them. The Sabbath is a holy day not because God has arbitrarily determined it to be so. It is the aim and the summation of all His creative work, “for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day” (Ex. 20:11), blessing it and making it holy. The seventh day, then, is God’s day, and man in his rest upon the seventh day is granted the great favor of participating in His everlasting life. At stake here is no less than the revelation by Jesus not just of what He does, or what we should do by imitation of Him, but of who He is. Let us recall the scene. 42


Jesus has gone up to Jerusalem, and there He pauses at a pool called Bethesda, which John notes is a name in the Hebrew language (5:2). What is that name? It is the Bethchesed, the House of Mercy, or, more pointedly, the House of Grace. That is the crucial word here, and John has already made it plain that though the law was given by Moses, “grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (Jn 1:17). Not “given,” but, literally, came into being, came to pass. For “no one has ever seen God,” says John, and that includes Moses himself, but “the only-begotten Son of God, the One who is in the bosom of the Father” (Jn 1:18), has revealed Him to us. The Greek that John uses for the phrase I have italicized is ho on, the holy Name of God as rendered in the Septuagint: the Being, as we might say (cf. Ex 3:14). Now the crippled man rises and walks. It does not violate the Sabbath to be standing on your feet and walking. There are two problems here. One is that he is carrying his pallet, as Jesus commanded him to do, in the same breath as He commanded him to rise and walk. The other is that Jesus Himself appears to have worked. I suppose it would have been no great loss to the crippled man to leave his pallet where it was. Perhaps he could have gone for it the next day, if no one had taken it in the meantime. It was probably a cheap thing, like a stretcher. But Jesus commands him to carry it. He must have known what would happen. He is inviting a direct confrontation with His own people, some who would believe in Him, some who would not — though the emphasis in this scene is on those who would not. For when they accused

“The Lord rested from all his work on the seventh day.” Mosaics in Monreale Cathedral, Italy

him, Jesus replied, “My Father has worked, and so do I work” (John 5:17). I dearly wish we knew what Hebrew or Aramaic words Jesus uttered here. They might have been something like this: Yippa’al ha-Ab w’eppa’al; the point is that the very terseness of the Semitic language compels identification, and that is exactly how the Jews interpret it, for they see that Jesus has called God His Father, “making himself equal to God” (5:18; see Phil. 2:6 for the same expression). When men work, they perform ta’abod, service, labor; it is what Adam in the garden of Eden is going to do, tilling the earth, literally serving it, though when he is sinless it is not as a slave but as an earthly participant in God’s creative work (Gen. 2:5). The Sabbath, then, substitutes one sort of work for another: the joyous work of worship for the laborious work of a man bent over his plow. But Jesus here is claiming to work as God works, and thus does He claim lordship over the Sabbath, giving to man the fruit of his work beyond that of the creation in the beginning. That is the very meaning of what might seem to us to be an abrupt transition to another subject entirely, when Jesus answers the disgruntled and says, “Just as the Father raises the dead, and gives them life, so the Son gives life to whomever he will” (Jn 5:21). God is the living God, and to give life, that is, to quicken, to bring

to life again, is in the power of God alone. And there is the crux of the matter. Who is this Jesus? It is possible, if we read the Gospels inattentively, to separate the person of Jesus from His words and teachings, in which case we might read Matthew, Mark, and Luke for those teachings, showing us how to live, while we ignore John as far too mysterious and other-worldly for our purposes. But Matthew, Mark, and Luke are also, and always, about who Jesus is, while John is also, and always, about what Jesus does and what He commands us to do. Yet we may grant that the focus in John is intense. The unbelieving hear, but do not really hear, the claim that Jesus makes that He and the Father are one, and that makes them doubt the works He does, even when He heals the man born blind. But Jesus urges them to reason in the reverse direction. If you see the works, you should trust them, and “believe that the Father is in me, and I in him” (Jn. 10:38). For if only God can do what Jesus has done, then we must conclude, though we may not understand it, that the works of God declare the glory of God. And if that is so, then the very Sabbath Himself has come among us. And that shakes the foundations of earth and heaven. We are far beyond the mere breach of a rule. The kingdom of God is at hand.m

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DissolvinG a DioCese The ChurCh Gives; Can The ChurCh Take away? n BY JOHN BYRON KUHNER Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston and other U.S. bishops concelebrate Mass in the crypt of St. Peter's Basilica on Nov. 7, 2019. The bishops were making their ad limina visits to the Vatican to report on the status of their dioceses to Pope Francis (CNS photo/Paul Haring)


hen you really think populations outside Europe. about the complexity The Latin Office would then of the global Catholic be given the task of making Church, you cannot imagine up new Latin names for these anyone actually being able to places. Usually the Latin Ofcompetently run the thing. fice is trying to establish clarLet’s say someone wanted to ity while not ruffling any restructure the dioceses of the feathers, even if its Latin world to reflect contemporary realities on the ground — is thereby becomes questionable (the Falkland Islands are there anyone who could give a competent analysis of how the Insulae Falkland, for instance; they certainly were not best to organize the Church in Nigeria as well as Greengoing to call them the Insulae Malvinae, following the land, not to mention in Israel and in the Ukraine and in Spanish name). India? The papacy has been called the “ghost of the Roman Of course one would have to rely on local wisdom and Empire,” and in diocesan administration we can clearly see “episcopal conferences,” but even assigning dioceses to how the papacy is the Empire’s spiritual successor. In fact, such conferences is fraught with political problems. Lookthe word “diocese,” dioecesis in Latin, is a civil and impering at a map, one would imagine that the Falkland Islands, ial term. Meaning “administration” in Greek, the later just off the coast of South America, would be assigned to Roman Empire was divided up into dioeceses by the the nearest episcopal conference in Argentina, but since emperors in order to facilitate the running of the Empire. they are disputed territory they have no episcopal conferThe Church simply borrowed this imperial, diocesan ence at all — they are an “apostolic prefecture,” with the system of management. It has, of course, been sacralized prefect there reporting directly to the Pope. and aligned with the office of the episcopus (bishop), All the power to make these kinds of territorial deciwhich has Biblical roots, coming from St. Paul. Through sions —what constitutes a diocese, what its boundaries ordination the bishop himself has a sacramental and indisare, whether it is under a parsoluble character; but his acticular archdiocese, whether tual territory is a question for it is part of an episcopal conthe Pope and his Curia. ference — rests with the In the United States, we Pope, and, since these quesmay be seeing the Church tions exceed the powers of hierarchy taking on a new any one man, the power realproblem: how to dissolve ly rests with the Curia, the dioceses created during the administrative apparatus of years of expansion. Word has the Holy See. I have written been leaked that Jeffrey before about the involvement Monforton, bishop of Steuof the Curia’s Latin Office in benville, Ohio, has been in creating these territories. For negotiations with the Vatican decades, the Vatican has been to dissolve his own diocese, creating dioceses and other Pope Francis greets Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton of Steubenville, Ohio, and reintegrate it back into ecclesiastical jurisdictions during a meeting with U.S. bishops from Ohio and Michigan making their the diocese of Columbus, for the growing Catholic ad limina visits to the Vatican, December 10, 2019 (CNS photo via Vatican Media) where it was taken from in



1944. In historical terms, the Steubenville diocese is not that small — half a million people, of whom almost one third are Catholics — but it is not a diocese with much history, and it might be one of the easier ones to dissolve. Europe has many dioceses that are much smaller — the island of Ischia, in the Bay of Naples, has its own diocese for its 20,000 people — but they also have much more history, and dissolution might occasion more complaints. Dissolving diocesan boundaries means that money and staff can more easily flow from one part of the Church to another. The diocese of Columbus, which would absorb Steubenville, definitely needs priests, and Steubenville has more priests per capita than most American dioceses. Fewer bishops also in theory makes the Church easier to govern. In the modern Church where global travel is so easy, every bishop makes a visit to Rome every five years and speaks directly with the Pope. These are called visits Ad Limina Apostolorum, “to the thresholds of the apostles.” The phrase is an old pilgrimage term, to make a journey to the thresholds of the tombs of St. Peter and St. Paul, and the Ad Limina visits still retain some pilgrimage elements. The bishops all have to pray at the tomb of St. Peter beneath the high altar at St. Peter’s, and at the tomb of St. Paul at the church of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls in Rome. There are more than 3,000 ecclesiastical jurisdictions at present, which is an ungovernable complexity for the Pope to manage directly. By contrast, the largest session of the

Council of Trent featured 255 signatories. Given these two motivations — an easier flow of money and staff, and the problems of governing so many jurisdictions — it seems reasonable to presume that diocesan consolidation is going to be of interest to the Vatican. Presumably the person who would want consolidation least would be the bishop — who thus loses his job — but since he would retain his episcopal ordination, he would simply be assigned a new territory. If the bishop wanted to dissolve his own diocese, why wouldn’t the Vatican agree? For administrative purposes — and dioecesis means administration — consolidation is probably useful. The irony is that Steubenville happens to be one of the most Catholic places on the American map, with a thriving Catholic subculture. Most of the Catholics there do not want to lose their diocesan status. Whether they can keep it is another question. The decision really rests with the Pope, and it’s not clear that the Pope knows anything in particular about Steubenville, though in theory he does speak a lot about “listening” and being a “listening Church.” On a list of the hundreds of American dioceses ranked by population, it is near the bottom; it was created from another diocese less than 100 years ago; it even currently lacks a cathedral, as its 1953 eyesore was closed for renovations in 2014 and has never reopened. The diocese hence would be an ideal candidate for dissolution — at least from the Vatican’s perspective.m

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The Message of the Icon




here are a number of intellectual and philobeing. Any image purporting to be the Father is strictly forbidden by the canons of iconography. If justification sophical proofs for the existence of God; all of for this image is sought, the prologue to the Gospel of them, as valuable as they are for the apologetic John would suffice: “In the beginning was the Word, and arts, somewhat miss the point of the opening of our the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was Creed. The existence of God is something of a given for in the beginning with God. All things were made through a Christian. The astounding truth for Christian contemHim, and without Him nothing was made that was plation is that God, Existence Himself (or is it Themmade.” Further explanation may be found in the first selves?) saw fit to extend three verses of Genesis, which existence to something other than makes clear that the undivided God! The sheer exuberant joy of Trinity, Father, Son (Word), and Being as opposed to non-being led Holy Spirit, brought all things into to a veritable explosion of creative existence: “In the beginning God energy, resulting in visible and inmade heaven and earth. The earth visible realms lying outside divinwas invisible and unfinished; and ity! Philosophers explain that darkness was over the deep. The everything that exists participates Spirit of God was hovering over by grace in Divine Existence, not the face of the water. Then God in a pantheistic synthesis, but as said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there carrying a bit of divine spark. All was light.” things, from the most magnificent The early Fathers of the Church galaxy to the merest grain of sand, neatly put together a formula or the most glorious angel, exist which brought as much human theonly due to the expression of Diological clarity as possible to crevine Thought, Word and Spirit, as ation: the Father made heaven and related in the opening verses of earth through the Son and in the Mosaic, detail from The Cycle of Creation, Holy Spirit. The first chapter of Genesis. Monreale, New Cathedral of St. Mary, Italy Genesis emphasizes the majestic The first difference in the creative power of God; a mere uttering of the Word sufCreeds of 325 and 381 occurs in the first statement of fices to bring all things into being. Creation culminates the Creed. The Fathers of 381 expanded the wording of in the creation of human beings and the giving of comthe first article to include the words “of heaven and mands from on high. earth” to emphasize the point that God is indeed the oriChapter Two of Genesis seems a far more personal gin of all that exists. The words may have been added affair, with God fashioning humanity as a direct handias a direct reference to the opening words of Scripture, work, making a sort of mud pie, into which He breathes but the issue remains mysterious, since a great deal of His own Spirit and brings it to life, calling it Adam. the documentation from that era has been lost. In any Thus, creation reveals the two aspects of God that huevent, the addition simply underscores the origin of both manity must recognize: the majestic Almighty creating matter and spirit: God is the Author of all that exists. by verbal thunderbolts, and the very personal God Who The icon in one sense is looking forward to a later does not shrink from creating by direct contact with His section of the Creed, since it depicts Christ rather than creatures.m attempting an image of the Father bringing all things into

INSIDE THE VATICAN PILGRIMAGES will have two special pilgrimages to Italy during 2023: Easter (April 3-13, 2023) and Journey to the Face of Christ (June 3-13). If you would like to celebrate Easter in Rome, or to visit Italy in June, these might be pilgrimages you would wish to join. Call us at 1-800-789-9494 or email us at for information about these special pilgrimages page 46 t






he island of Cyprus, located in the Mediterranean role in the history of Cyprus. Archbishop Makarios III Sea south of Turkey, has apostolic roots dating back assumed his office in 1950 and led the fight for indeto apostolic times. St. Paul preached there with St. Barnpendence from Britain. He served as the first president abas in approximately 45 AD and converted the proconof Cyprus from 1960 to 1977. Makarios had many chalsul Sergius Paulus. St. Barnabas was born in Cyprus and lenges including a Turkish invasion of the island in according to tradition was later martyred there. Three 1974. Since that time, the island has been divided by a bishops from Cyprus attended the first ecumenical “green line” separating the larger Greek-speaking part council at Nicaea in 325. The third ecumenical council and a smaller Turkish part. held in Ephesus in 431 rejected Two Popes have now visited the claim of the Bishop of AntiCyprus — Pope Benedict XVI och over Cyprus and ruled that in 2010 and Pope Francis in the bishops of Cyprus, accord2021. On both occasions the ing to the canons and ancient pope was warmly greeted by custom, had “the right of perArchbishop Chrysostomos II, forming for themselves the orthe primate of the Orthodox dination of their excellent Church of Cyprus. However, bishops.” Thus, the Church of some of the Cypriot bishops Cyprus can point to an ecuboycotted these meetings, permenical council as establishing haps due in part to historical anits autocephalous or completely imosities arising from the self-governing status. Catholic occupation in the MidThe Church of Cyprus used December 2021. Pope Francis kisses the cross dle Ages. Greek and followed the Byzan- of Chrysostomos II, the late Greek Orthodox In October 2020, Archbishop Archbishop of Cyprus, who died of cancer on tine rite of Constantinople. Chrysostomos II recognized the November 7, 2022, at the age of 81 However, in 1191, King Orthodox Church of Ukraine Richard the Lionheart conquered Cyprus as a result of which was formed in 2018 with the blessing of Ecusome of his crusader fleet being shipwrecked on the ismenical Patriarch Bartholomew. This recognition was land and the Cypriot ruler refusing to release the crusubsequently supported by a majority of the bishops of saders. Richard subsequently gave Cyprus to the the Cyprus Church’s Holy Synod. However, this inFrench Lusignan family which ruled it until 1489 when curred the ire of the Moscow Patriarchate which sevthe island was ceded to Venice. Under the rule of the ered eucharistic communion with the archbishop. House of Lusignan and the Venetians, the native Greek Archbishop Chrysostomos died of cancer on NoCypriots were reduced to a class of serfs and laborers, vember 7, 2022, at the age of 81. The Church of and their Orthodox clergy became subject to Latin bishCyprus uses an unusual procedure for electing a new ops. archbishop. First, the faithful who are Cypriot OrthoCyprus was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in dox, age 18 or over, will vote for their favorite candi1571 and remained under Ottoman control until 1878 date. As of this writing, there are six candidates, and when it came under British control. the election has been set for December 18, 2022. The The plight of the Orthodox Cypriots improved under Church’s Holy Synod will then elect the new archOttoman rule. The Catholic Church was expelled from bishop from the three candidates who received the Cyprus. The Orthodox archbishop of Cyprus was recmost votes in the election by the faithful. Some of the ognized as the sole representation of the Greek Cypriot candidates have had excellent ecumenical relations population before the Ottoman court. In modern times with the Catholic Church, but one candidate boycotted the Orthodox archbishop of Cyprus has played a crucial both papal meetings.m t



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NEWS from the EAST


“DIALOGUE AND RECONCILIATION ARE NOT UKRAINIAN CATHOLIC LEADER GIVES OPTIONAL FOR US”: AN INTERVIEW WITH POPE FRANCIS RUSSIAN MINE FRAGMENT ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH BARTHOLOMEW Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk was in Rome the first Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I is the spiritual leader of full week of November to speak with Pope Francis and members an estimated 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide. He was of the Roman Curia about the war in Ukraine. It is his first time chosen in 1991 to lead the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constanleaving Ukraine since Russia launched its full-scale invasion on tinople. In an interview with The Pillar, conducted via email on February 24. October 20 and excerpted here, he spoke about the During their private meeting November 7, the 52-year-old Ukraine war, the Russian Orthodox Church, and Schevchuk gave Pope Francis a fragment of a mine that destroyed the quest for Christian unity. the front of a Ukrainian Greek Catholic church in the town of Irpin, Pillar: In a message that Pope Francis sent outside Kyiv, in March. to you on the feast of Saint Andrew 2020, he Irpin was the site of one of the first major battles after the Russian expressed his desire for full communion beinvasion of Ukraine. Ukrainian forces were tween Catholics and Orthodox Christians. able to recapture the town on March 28, two Do you share the Pope’s confidence that full weeks after Russian troops had gained concommunion is possible? trol of half the town. (CNA) Patriarch Bartholomew: Unless we POPE FRANCIS CHOOSES share hope and yearning for full communPAPAL AMBASSADOR TO LEAD ion, then we cannot really say that we are DICASTERY FOR THE EASTERN disciples of Christ. Union and communion CHURCHES is a mandate of the Lord Himself, who — Pope Francis on November 21 appointed on the night he was betrayed — prayed with a papal ambassador and expert in Eastern tears that his disciples may be one (John languages and literature to lead the Vatican 17:21). Dialogue and reconciliation are not Dicastery for the Eastern Churches. optional for us; they are directives and comArchbishop Claudio Gugerotti, 67, has mandments. In the circle, the Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew, spiritual leader of an estimated 250 million been apostolic nuncio to Great Britain since Pillar: The Russian-Ukraine War is a Orthodox Christians worldwide July 2020. conflict largely between Eastern Orthodox The Italian was undersecretary of the Dicastery for the Eastern Christians. How do you feel about this as the spiritual leader of the Churches from 1997 to 2001, before beginning his diplomatic servworld’s Eastern Orthodox Christians? ice as an apostolic nuncio to Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan in Patriarch Bartholomew: The ongoing war waged by Russia December 2001. into the sovereign territory of Ukraine has weighed heavily on our Gugerotti was also apostolic nuncio to Belarus for four years and mind and heart in recent months. It is true that it has been characterized as Orthodox fratricide, although the consequences have Ukraine for almost five years before moving to Great Britain. (CNA) reached many more people, including Ukrainian Catholics as well as other Christian and religious believers, and the repercussions CARDINAL RAÏ MEETS ARAB AMBASSADORS have surely been felt throughout the world. IN ITALY Pillar: We are witnessing multiple crises in Europe: war, On November 30, Maronite Patriarch, Cardinal Bechara Boutros refugees, energy, poverty, and the environment. Where can we find Raï, met at the residence of Lebanese Ambassador to Italy Mira Dahope? her with the ambassadors of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, the EmiPatriarch Bartholomew: There is a moment in the Orthodox rates, Oman, Kuwait, Jordan, Yemen, Palestine, Sudan, and Iraq, in Divine Liturgy, when the priest turns to the congregation and says: an acquaintance visit. “Let us love one another so that we may confess God with one Also present were the patriarchal delegate to the Holy See and mind.” The challenges you mention confront not just Europe, but president of the Maronite Pontifical Institute in Rome, Bishop John the entire globe. Unless we face them in a spirit of love, we will Rafik Al-Warsha, and the curator of the Priestly Institute, Joseph not prevail. Sfeir. The atmosphere of the meeting was described as friendly. This is why we have committed to addressing these problems Urbi et Orbi Communications, which publishes this journal, rejointly with our brother in Christ, Pope Francis. If our churches are cently sponsored a meeting with Cardinal Raï in Lebanon as part of as yet unable to claim full communion, we can at least proclaim its “Friends of Lebanon” initiative, which is seeking ways to help our resolve to address the world’s crisis in solidarity of faith and and strengthen the Church in Lebanon and bring aid to the suffering action. (ThePillar) Lebanese. (MTV) page 48 t



reason, references to synodal dynamics “cannot be used to open SPLIT FEARS OVER LITURGY ROW fractures among members of the Church on questions of faith or FORCE INDIAN BISHOPS TO TALK morals.” The top decision-making body of the Eastern Rite Syro-Malabar Thus Mar Awa III, Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, Catholic Church has formed a team of three bishops to dialogue offered, in an interview released December 5, an oriental perspecwith warring priests and the laity of an archdiocese amid threats of tive for looking at the synodal process started in the Catholic them breaking away from the Catholic Church over a protracted Church. liturgical dispute. “The synodal dynamic of the Church consists in walking toThe permanent Synod of Bishops of the Church based in southgether in the faith of the apostolic Tradition,” he said. “The synodal ern Indian Kerala state formed a panel November 24, authorized to modality serves to safeguard and confirm the unity of faith in this dissuade the Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly from exiting the path, facilitating it for all and freeing all from useless burdens and global Catholic Church, and the composition of the panel indicates ecclesial practices that hinder it.” that a compromise may be possible. “Therefore,” he went on, “the criterion for evaluating the validity Archbishop Mathew Moolakkatt heads the Knanaya Kottayam and fruitfulness of a synodal process is whether it, in the present diocese which has a separate liturgy and does not even allow intertime and in the current historical condition, helps everyone to walk denomination marriages, even with other Catholic rites. in the faith of the Apostles cherished by Tradition. But Archbishop Joseph Pamplany of Tellicherry and Bishop Jose “The exercise of synodality, if it really Chittooparambil of Rajkot are known libis the path of all the baptized and of all erals who may not be adamant about the bishops as successors of the Apostles, can adoption of a uniform liturgy. never be used to move away from the Cardinal George Alencherry, head of riverbed of the Apostolic Tradition, of the the Syro-Malabar Church, has appealed to faith transmitted to us by the Apostles, all faithful to pray for an amicable settlewhich unites the Catholic Church and the ment and urged the parish priests and heads ancient Churches of the East. We share the of religious institutions to organize at least same Depositum fidei received from the one-hour adoration for the cause. Apostles.” (Agencia Fides) The Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly is the largest diocese of the SyroEAST AND WEST CAN LEARN Malabar Church and the second-largest FROM EACH OTHER Catholic diocese in India with more than The Ukrainian Catholic Church, half a million believers. (UCANews) Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Tikhon Shevkunov, who though a minority in the universal Church, has been called Vladimir Putin’s “personal confessor,” in November said “we need peace” in Ukraine METROPOLITAN TIKHON, CLOSE thrives in Canada, where most of the TO PUTIN, SAYS, “WE NEED PEACE” Catholics belong to the Latin rite. Bishop Bryan Bayda of the Metropolitan Tikhon Shevkunov, who has been called Vladimir Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Toronto and Eastern Canada told Putin’s “personal confessor” (though this has never been conVatican News in December 2022 that this paints a “wonderful imfirmed), made an extraordinary plea, in a November interview with age” since, whatever role the Ukrainian Catholic Church plays, it Russian media, for an end to the war in Ukraine after months of brings with it “a history” and “a perspective.” bloodshed. “We must speak about what we wake up with, what’s “And truly, if there are two lungs, and East and West, that in our heads all day long, and what we go to bed with — it’s the Church relies upon to give life to the body of Christ, Ukraine,” he said. “There is no doubt we are living through there are so many other parts of the body — to use St. an unprecedented tragedy, a fateful stage in the life of our Paul’s image — that we have to rely on. And, you know, people, our country, and Ukraine. How will it end? We it’s profound. I mean, the brain and the ear and the feet shall pray that, of course, it should end with peace, and and the fingers, they all need each other,” said Bishop safely. Everyone is calling for peace now. We need peace Bayda. by the will of God, to resolve this issue, battles, hatred beThe bishop explained that persecution in Ukraine over tween brothers,” Shevkunov said, “even though they don’t the centuries has marked the Church and has “shaped us and want to call us brothers now. But we understand they are brothers, has transformed us,” leading to the realization that “it’s about mercy, and not long ago they did call us brothers. I am certain people canit’s about being Christ.” He added that if some of that can be brought not resolve it. How could it be resolved after all that has happened? to the table — to interfaith dialogue, and to interactions with the Only God Almighty can resolve it all, I have no doubt about it.” Roman Church at the level of the Canadian Bishops’ Conference — ( then the Ukrainian Church in Canada will have lived out synodality. “We can learn from each other that way and we can learn from the ORTHODOX PATRIARCH: VALID SYNODALITY CAN West on how to do that, and yet at the same time I think we have NEVER MOVE AWAY FROM TRADITION some examples that we can give the West, as an Eastern Church in A synodal ecclesial program is fruitful if “it helps everyone to Canada, some hope, some freshness. The Holy Spirit speaks more walk in the faith of the Apostles cherished by Tradition.” For this than one language.” (Vatican News) m t



page 49

TradiTion and BeauTy

sAint Pius X’s motu ProPrio Tra le solleciTudini A document on church music not to be forgotten n BY AURELIO PORFIRI Left, The Concert of the Angels by Gaudenzio Ferrari, now in Santa Maria dei Miracoli, Milan, Italy. Below, St. Pius X, Pope from 1903 to 1914. Opposite page, from top to bottom: Jesuit Fr. Angelo de Santi (18471922), musician Don Lorenzo Perosi (18721956) and Belgian Benedictine Lambert Beauduin (1873-1960)


n November 22, 2023, a year from now, a document of enormous importance should be remembered, for better or for worse, as regards liturgy and sacred music. In fact, it will be 120 years since the promulgation of the motu proprio Tra le sollecitudini, promulgated by St. Pius X on November 22, 1903. St. Pius X took that document very seriously, so much so that he defined it “almost a legal code of sacred music.” And why was there a need for something like this? The topic would be long, but we can try to summarize it. Since the Renaissance, secular music was emancipated from its origins in the context of music for liturgical ceremonies. This emancipation would give life to the splendid musical heritage of Western civilization but would also cause the phenomenon of the influence of the profane on the sacred. This phenomenon was particularly evident in the 1600s, 1700s and 1800s, in which the predominant musical languages were those of instrumental music and opera. These languages would make their way into sacred music, giving life to musical masterpieces which, however,



would have little adherence to liturgical needs. They could perhaps be all right in certain liturgies that could indulge in length of time, which could be many hours. We know, for example, of Vespers in the 1800s in which the Psalms were set to music from beginning to end, and not simply recited in Gregorian chant or with a faux bourdon (false drone). These Vespers naturally went on for many hours. But modern civilization was probably no longer able to consider these very long times for the liturgy and for sacred music, and an attempt was made to preserve the dignity of the liturgical rite and sacred music with shorter times and, above all, to hold it above profane influences, however artistically sublime. The Council of Trent had already dealt with these influences, as had Pope Benedict XIV in his 1749 encyclical Annus Qui. This was also a concern of the Patriarch of Venice in the last decade of the 19th century, Cardinal Giuseppe Sarto (later Pope Pius X), who attempted to implement reformist ideas in his diocese. To do this he made use of the work of a Jesuit priest, Angelo de Santi (1847-1922). Aldo Bartocci in 1991 (Dizionario

Biografico degli Italiani) recalls that collaboration thus: “In 1903 the election as Pope, with the name of Pius X, of Cardinal Giuseppe Sarto, an old friend of De Santi and his firm supporter, gave new impetus to the reform of sacred music. With the motu proprio Inter pastoralis officii sollicitudines of 22 November 1903, to whose formulation De Santi contributed in a decisive way, the new pontiff put an end to the controversies that had divided the ecclesiastical hierarchy on the question, approved De Santi’s reform program and decided to implement it.” Together with Father de Santi, another name not to be forgotten with reference to Pius X is that of the musician Don Lorenzo Perosi (1872-1956), a decisive figure for sacred music of the 20th century, whose compositions are still widespread today. Pius X, who certainly loved music very much, published his motu proprio, and it was like a hurricane in the field of liturgy and sacred music. The reformist “Caecilian” associations immediately got busy supporting the Pontiff’s work of reform, but this document was also seen as an impulse to a certain direction that the Liturgical Movement born in the 19th century was taking under very different auspices. Among those who used the motu proprio in this sense was the Belgian Benedictine Lambert Beauduin (18731960), a name of enormous importance for understanding what led us to the Second Vatican Council. Beauduin had almost taken a passage from the motu proprio as his motto, where St. Pius X stated: “Filled as We are with a most ardent desire to see the true Christian spirit flourish in every respect and be preserved by all the faithful, We deem it necessary to provide before anything else for the sanctity and dignity of the temple, in which the faithful assemble for no other object than that of acquiring this spirit from its foremost and indispensable font, which is the active participation in the most holy mysteries and in the public and solemn prayer of the Church.” Certainly, how this “participation” would be understood was a very different problem. In reality, the motu proprio of St. Pius X on sacred music attempts to curb the influences of secular music (even if of a high artistic level) and of the instruments associated with profane use in the liturgy, reiterates how the Church promotes the use of Gregorian chant in sacred rites and how polyphony, with special reference to that of the Roman school of the 16th century, has to be held in great consideration for liturgical use. It certainly does not exclude modern polyphony and popular song, if they correspond to the qualities required for sacred music: “Sacred music should consequently possess, in the highest degree, the qualities proper to the liturgy, and in particular sanctity and goodness of form, which will spontaneously produce the final quality of uni-

versality. It must be holy, and must, therefore, exclude all profanity not only in itself, but in the manner in which it is presented by those who execute it. It must be true art, for otherwise it will be impossible for it to exercise on the minds of those who listen to it that efficacy which the Church aims at obtaining in admitting into her liturgy the art of musical sounds. “But it must, at the same time, be universal in the sense that while every nation is permitted to admit into its ecclesiastical compositions those special forms which may be said to constitute its native music, still these forms must be subordinated in such a manner to the general characteristics of sacred music that nobody of any nation may receive an impression other than good on hearing them.” This document provided important reference points for composers of sacred music, references that many continue to take as a guide for their own musical activity. (It must be said that not all those who were inspired by the motu proprio of St. Pius X have rendered a good service to sacred music, often proposing music which slavishly imitated Renaissance music or which limited itself to covering the sacred text with simplistic melodies and harmonies.) However, the motu proprio of St. Pius X, with its limitations and strengths, represented a turning point in the field of sacred music and liturgy, a turning point that would have great importance in the following decades — at least until the earthquake that would hit the Church following the Second Vatican Council. In the chirograph commemorating the centenary of the motu proprio of Saint Pius X, John Paul II wrote: “On various occasions I too have recalled the precious role and great importance of music and song for a more active and intense participation in liturgical celebrations. I have also stressed the need to ‘purify worship from ugliness of style, from distasteful forms of expression, from uninspired musical texts which are not worthy of the great act that is being celebrated,’ to guarantee dignity and excellence to liturgical compositions. In this perspective, in the light of the Magisterium of St. Pius X and my other Predecessors and taking into account in particular the pronouncements of the Second Vatican Council, I would like to re-propose several fundamental principles for this important sector of the life of the Church, with the intention of ensuring that liturgical music corresponds ever more closely to its specific function.” Sadly, few now listen to these teachings of St. John Paul II, let alone those of St. Pius X.m JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2023 INSIDE THE VATICAN


Of Books, Art and People

Painting on Stone after the Sack of rome n BY LUCY GORDAN Tempesta’s Capture of Jerusalem in “Painting with Stone/Landscape and Architecture” (photo credit: Galleria Borghese)

Below, Johannes Lingelbach’s painting of the Sack of Rome in 1527, and two portraits of Pope Clement VII, before the Sack of Rome without a beard (1526), and with beard afterward (1531)


ay 6, 1527 was a tragic day in the history of Rome. Angry at not having been paid, some 34,000 mercenaries of Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, many of whom were German followers of Luther known as Landknechts, mutinied. They forced their commander, Charles III, Duke of Bourbon, who was killed in the assault that followed, to descend on a nearly defenseless Rome. Although a small militia and some 200 Swiss Guards of Pope Clement VII’s (reigned 1523-34) attempted a desperate defense, they were hopelessly outnumbered and 147 Guards were massacred. The 42 who survived whisked the Pope along the secret passageway, known as il passetto, from the Vatican to the nearby fortress of Castel Sant’ Angelo, where he took refuge. Elsewhere, throughout the city with no one in command, total chaos broke out, resulting in ruthless mass murders and widespread pillaging. Churches and monasteries as well as the palaces of prelates and cardinals were looted of their artworks and other valuables and many destroyed, 52 INSIDE THE VATICAN JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2023

their owners held at ransom. So was the Pope, who after a month, agreed to cede the cities and surrounding territories of Parma, Piacenza, Civitavecchia and Modena to the Holy Roman Empire and pay 400,000 ducati in exchange for his life. He escaped disguised as a peddler and took shelter first in Orvieto and then in Viterbo. When he returned in October 1528, Rome was a changed place: its population had dropped from 55,000 before the Sack to 10,000. An estimated 10,000 of these had been murdered; the others, including Imperial soldiers, had died in the aftermath either from starvation or diseases caused by the huge piles of unburied corpses in the streets. Needless to say, the catastrophic Sack of Rome brought an end to the High Renaissance epoch in Rome, scattering afar Raphael’s followers and emerging Roman Mannerists, not to mention the once wealthy patrons, now without financial means. Nonetheless, the Venetian painter Sebastiano Luciani (1485-1547) escaped to Castel Sant’Angelo with the Pope and remained with him throughout

his exile and his return to Rome. (He became known as Setabletop of inlaid marbles and semiprecious stones, its oval bastiano del Piombo after Clement VII gave him the lucracenter instead painted. tive court position of piombatore, the official who sealed “Painting on Stone and Its Creator” demonstrates how important documents with lead stamps, in 1531.) the use of metals and marbles as a support for portraits made Devastated by the destruction of the all the frescoes and the work not only capable of conquering time like sculpture, works of art painted on canvas, Sebastiano revived an anbut also made the memory of the person portrayed long-lastcient practice mentioned by Pliny: the technique of oil painting. Of particular note here are Francesco Saviati’s Portrait ing on stone: slate, marble, agate, alabaster, lapis lazuli, of Filippo Strozzi (c.1550) on African marble, the portrait of touchstone, and limestone. He, Pope Clement VII, and sevCosimo I de’ Medici (c.1560) attributed to Bronzino on red eral contemporary artists firmly believed that stone, as opporphyry, and Sebastiano del Piombo’s unfinished Portrait posed to fragile canvases and wood panels, would confer of Pope Clement VII with a Beard (c.1531) on slate from immortality to painting. The “stone” supports also had symNaples’ Capodimonte Museum. bolic values: St. Peter, the solidity of the Catholic Church, As Pope Clement VII’s favorite painter, Sebastiano eternal life and resurrection. The numerous portraits on dis(1485-1547) painted many portraits of this pope. Before play emphasize the moral sothe Sack of Rome, they were lidity of the sitter while the beardless. During his imprisworks on black touchstone, onment Clement grew a full used to reveal the authenticity beard as a sign of mourning. of gold, reveal value and truth This was a contradiction to as well as the artistic talent of Catholic canon law, which rethe work’s creator. Thus, on at quired priests to be cleanthe Villa Borghese until Janushaven, but it had as a preceary 23, 2023, is Timeless Wondent the beard Pope Julius II der. Painting on Stone in wore for nine months in Rome in the Cinquecento and 1511-12 as a sign of mournSeicento (Sixteenth and Seving for his loss of the papal enteenth Centuries). city of Bologna to the Holy On display are 60 works Roman Empire. Jacques Stella’s Judith in Prayer in “Night as Dark as Stone” from Italian and international Unlike Julius II, however, (photo credit: Galleria Borghese) museums: the Villa Borghese Clement kept his beard until itself because its founder Cardinal Scihis death in 1534. His example of pione Borghese collected many wearing a beard was copied by his suc“stone” paintings, the Uffizi, Palazzo cessor Paul III and by the 24 subseFarnese, Naples’ Capodimonte, Villa quent popes down to Innocent XII, Farnesina, Turin’s Galleria Sabauda, who died in 1700. London’s Victoria and Albert MuseThe works in “Devotion as Eternal um, the Getty Museum, and Ottawa’s as Marble” have occasionally been atNational Gallery of Canada, for examtributed to having a magical power of ples. The exhibition, explains the press protection against physical and spiriturelease, “recounts not only the ambial evils. Dedicated to incorruptible imtion for eternity of works of art, but alages of devotion, they are often small so the critical debate of an era sensitive and part of the furnishings of a cardito the competition between painting nal’s bedroom. Alessandro Turchi’s and sculpture, as well as primordial Dead Christ with Magdalen and Anmaterials extracted from mines, their gels, painted on polished slate and adventurous journey to the artists’ commissioned by Scipione Borghese workshops, and their place in collecin 1650, was displayed in the Room of tions, which became new venues for Sleep in his Villa, together with these debates, in palaces and villas in- Johann König’s Rest on the Flight to Egypt in Alessandro Algardi’s Allegory of Sleep creasingly rich in furnishings, magnets on black marble. Their dark back“Precious and Colored Stones” (photo credit: Galleria Borghese) for the production of luxury goods.” grounds were considered particularly The exhibition’s itinerary is divided into eight sections. appropriate for devotional use during evening prayer. “The Collection and Colored Stones” contains many extraDuring the 16th century iconic religious images and porordinary objects such as altars, cabinets and clocks shaped traits were the most common subjects of “stone” paintings. like buildings in miniature and embellished by small sculpInstead, Leonardo Grazia da Pistoia used stone to portray setures, bas-reliefs, and pictures. The most beguiling is a ductive female figures from mythology and Roman history. JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2023 INSIDE THE VATICAN 53

Of Books, Art and People On display in “Immortalizing Beauty” are three of his paintings, Hebe and Lucrezia, on slate, and Cleopatra, oil on a wooden panel. Also on display is Jacques Stella’s small pendant, a copy of Guido Reni’s Martyrdom of St. Catherine of Alexandria, painted with oil on lapis lazuli, with touches of gold and enamel in a rock crystal frame. Instead, the several works in “Allegory and Antiquity” on slate, marble and touchstone, are all dedicated to themes of ancient poetry such as Cavalier d’Arpino’s tiny Andromeda, Pasquale Ottino’s gory Medea Restores Aeson’s Youth, and Vincenzo Mannozzi’s Hell with Mythological Episodes. The backgrounds of these paintings are shiny and gleam like mirrors, thus reflecting the image of the viewer, who, while observing, becomes part of the painting. The spooky works in “A Night as Dark as Stone,” painted on dark stones (touchstone, slate or Belgian marble) utilize the blackness of these supports for nighttime settings. They dramatize their dark scenes with the light of “fires” thanks to their golden finishes, as in Stefano della Bella’s Burning of Troy. Eeriest of all is Jacques Stella’s Judith in Prayer shortly before she slays Holofernes, in the darkness of his tent where he is portrayed sound asleep. Instead, a saint-like Judith, although about to commit murder, is lit uncannily by the glow of a candle.


Pietra paesina is not a household word. It refers to the large limestone pebbles from the Arno Valley. When cut by an expert, their uneven surfaces and earthy colors, the result of centuries of mineralized infiltration in hydroxides of iron and manganese, produce a natural landscape without the intervention of a human artist. Thus, in “Painting With Stone/Landscape and Architecture,” the painters adapted their compositions, often landscapes, to the veins in this local limestone. For example, in Tempesta’s Capture of Jerusalem, the tiniest brushstrokes transform the stone patterns into the image of the city. If other stone support was generally inexpensive, lapis lazuli, imported from Afghanistan, was precious. In “Precious and Colored Stones,” the artists used only small slivers, often carefully joined together in workshops that dealt with hardstones. This collaboration is evident in Johann König’s Rest on the Flight into Egypt. Here a sliver of lapis lazuli, representing the sky, is inlaid in pietra paesina to emphasize the miraculous spring of water that appeared to Mary and Joseph in the desert. The passion for painting on stone lasted about a century because, when plague broke out in Rome in 1630, pieces of slate and lapis lazuli were impossible to procure. Believed to have medicinal qualities, they were ground into small pieces or powder and placed on the sufferer’s heart as a cure.m


New Humanist Rituals Imposed MORE THAN A CENTURY AGO, MONSIGNOR ROBERT HUGH BENSON FORESAW THE RISE OF SECULAR HUMANISM, THE CONTRACTION OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, AND THE COMING OF THE ANTICHRIST... n BY ITV STAFF Editor’s Note: The passage below is from the novel Lord of the World, written by the English Catholic convert Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson (the son of the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury) in 1907. He attempts a vision of the world more than a century in the future — in the early 21st century… our own time… predicting the

LORD OF THE WORLD BY ROBERT HUGH BENSON (1907) Book II, The Encounter, Chapter IV, Section III (Note: The hero of the story, a young English priest, Fr. Percy Franklin, has gone to Rome to report to Pope John XXIV on what he has seen in England: the arrival of a leader named Senator (then President of Europe) Julian Felsenburgh. Felsenburgh is proposing global harmony, but leaving aside Christ. The Pope has responded by establishing a new “Order of Christ Crucified,” and has made Fr. Percy a cardinal. The Pope’s intent is for Percy to succeed him when he dies. Now, in England, Parliament has just passed a new “Bill of Worship” — identical to bills passed in Germany, Spain, Italy, and all other countries — requiring all citizens to attend a new liturgy four times each year, giving homage to a “Spirit of the World” under the titles of Maternity, Life, Sustenance, and Paternity. Catholic Mass will still be “allowed,” but all will be required to attend these new ceremonies, or face imprisonment... Oliver Brand, an influential Labour MP from Croydon, and his wife Mabel Brand, a quite “modern” British couple, are now discussing this mandatory new, post-Christan liturgy with a certain “Mr. John Francis” — formerly a Catholic priest — who has been asked by the new British Minister of Public Worship to take charge of (be Master of Ceremonies for) the first celebration of the ceremonies of the new humanist religion on October 1...) “First,” he (Mr. Francis) said, “we must remember that this ritual is based almost entirely upon that of the Masons. Three-quarters at least of the entire function will be occupied by that. With that the ceremoniarii will not interfere, beyond seeing that the insignia are ready in the vestries and properly put on. The proper officials will conduct the rest… I need not speak of that then. The difficulties begin with the last quarter.” He paused, and with a glance of apology began arranging forks and glasses before him on the cloth. “Now here,” he said, “we have the old sanctuary of the abbey. In the place of the reredos and Communion table there will be erected the large altar of which the ritual speaks, with the steps 56


rise of Communism, the fall of faith in many places, the advance of technology (he foresees helicopters) and so forth, up until... the Second Coming of the Lord, with which his vision ends. For this reason, and also because Pope Benedict and Pope Francis have repeatedly cited Benson’s book, saying its clarification of the danger of a type of humanitarianism without God is a true danger that we do face, we are printing selections from it in ITV, now and in the months ahead.

leading up to it from the floor. Behind the altar—extending almost to the old shrine of the Confessor—will stand the pedestal with the emblematic figure upon it; and—so far as I understand from the absence of directions—each such figure will remain in place until the eve of the next quarterly feast.” “What kind of figure?” put in the girl. Francis glanced at her husband. “I understand that Mr. Markenheim has been consulted,” he said. “He will design and execute them. Each is to represent its own feast. This for Paternity—” He paused again. “Yes, Mr. Francis?” “This one, I understand, is to be the naked figure of a man.” “A kind of Apollo—or Jupiter, my dear,” put in Oliver. Yes—that seemed all right, thought Mabel. Mr. Francis’ voice moved on hastily. “A new procession enters at this point, after the discourse,” he said. “It is this that will need special marshalling. I suppose no rehearsal will be possible?” “Scarcely,” said Oliver, smiling. The Master of Ceremonies sighed. “I feared not. Then we must issue very precise printed instructions. Those who take part will withdraw, I imagine, during the hymn, to the old chapel of St. Faith. That is what seems to me the best.” He indicated the chapel. “After the entrance of the procession all will take their places on these two sides—here—and here—while the celebrant with the sacred ministers—” “Eh?” Mr. Francis permitted a slight grimace to appear on his face; he flushed a little. “The President of Europe—” He broke off. “Ah! that is the point. Will the President take part? That is not made clear in the ritual.” “We think so,” said Oliver. “He is to be approached.” “Well, if not, I suppose the Minister of Public Worship will officiate. He with his supporters pass straight up to the foot of the altar. Remember that the figure is still veiled, and that the candles have been lighted during the approach of the procession. There follow the Aspirations printed in the ritual with the responds. These are sung by the choir, and will be most impressive, I think. Then the

God as seen by the British poet William Blake as the Architect of the world in his 1794 watercolor etching Ancient of Days, now held in the British Museum, London. The name “Ancient of Days” is a name for God used by the Prophet Daniel: “I kept looking until thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow and the hair of His head like pure wool....” (Daniel 7:9)

officiant ascends the altar alone, and, standing, declaims the Address, as it is called. At the close of it—at the point, that is to say, marked here with a star, the thurifers will leave the chapel, four in number. One ascends the altar, leaving the others swinging their thurifers at its foot—hands his to the officiant and retires. Upon the sounding of a bell the curtains are drawn back, the officiant censes the image in silence with four double swings, and, as he ceases the choir sings the appointed antiphon.” He waved his hands. “The rest is easy,” he said. “We need not discuss that.” To Mabel’s mind even the previous ceremonies seemed easy enough. But she was undeceived. “You have no idea, Mrs. Brand,” went on the ceremoniarius, “of the difficulties involved even in such a simple matter as this. The stupidity of people is prodigious. I foresee a great deal of hard work for us all…. Who is to deliver the discourse, Mr. Brand?” Oliver shook his head. “I have no idea,” he said. “I suppose Mr. Snowford will select.” Mr. Francis looked at him doubtfully. “What is your opinion of the whole affair, sir?” he said. Oliver paused a moment. “I think it is necessary,” he began. “There would not be such a cry for worship if it was not a real need. I think too—yes, I think that on the whole the ritual is impressive. I do not see how it could be bettered….” “Yes, Oliver?” put in his wife, questioningly. “No—there is nothing—except… except I hope the people will understand it.” Mr. Francis broke in. “My dear sir, worship involves a touch of mystery. You must remember that. It was the lack of that that made Empire Day fail in the last century. For myself, I think it is admirable. Of course much must depend on the manner in which it is presented. I see many details at present undecided—the colour of the curtains, and so forth. But the main plan is magnificent. It is simple, impressive, and, above all, it is unmistakable in its main lesson—” “And that you take to be—?” “I take it that it is homage offered to Life,” said the other slowly. “Life under four aspects—Maternity corresponds to Christmas and the Christian fable; it is the feast of home, love, faithfulness. Life itself is approached in spring, teeming, young, passionate. Sustenance in midsummer, abundance, comfort, plenty, and the rest, corresponding somewhat to the Catholic Corpus Christi; and Paternity, the protective, generative, masterful idea, as winter draws on…. I understand it was a German thought.” Oliver nodded. “Yes,” he said. “And I suppose it will be the business of the speaker to explain all this.” “I take it so. It appears to me far more suggestive than the alternative plan—Citizenship, Labour, and so forth. These, after all, are subordinate to Life.” Mr. Francis spoke with an extraordinary suppressed enthusiasm, and the priestly look was more evident than ever. It was plain that his heart at least demanded worship. Mabel clasped her hands suddenly. “I think it is beautiful,” she said softly, “and—and it is so real.”

Mr. Francis turned on her with a glow in his brown eyes. “Ah! yes, madam. That is it. There is no Faith, as we used to call it: it is the vision of Facts that no one can doubt; and the incense declares the sole divinity of Life as well as its mystery.” “What of the figures?” put in Oliver. “A stone image is impossible, of course. It must be clay for the present. Mr. Markenheim is to set to work immediately. If the figures are approved they can then be executed in marble.” Again Mabel spoke with a soft gravity. “It seems to me,” she said, “that this is the last thing that we needed. It is so hard to keep our principles clear—we must have a body for them—some kind of expression—” She paused. “Yes, Mabel?” “I do not mean,” she went on, “that some cannot live without it, but many cannot. The unimaginative need concrete images. There must be some channel for their aspirations to flow through— Ah! I cannot express myself!” Oliver nodded slowly. He, too, seemed to be in a meditative mood. “Yes,” he said. “And this, I suppose, will mould men’s thoughts too: it will keep out all danger of superstition.” Oliver bowed as he gathered up his papers. Mr. Francis turned on him abruptly. “What do you think of the Pope’s new Religious Order, sir?” Oliver’s face took on it a tinge of grimness. “I think it is the worst step he ever took— for himself, I mean. Either it is a real effort, in which case it will provoke immense indignation—or it is a sham, and will discredit him. Why do you ask?” “I was wondering whether any disturbance will be made in the abbey.” “I should be sorry for the brawler.” A bell rang sharply from the row of telephone labels. Oliver rose and went to it. Mabel watched him as he touched a button—mentioned his name, and put his ear to the opening. “It is Snowford’s secretary,” he said abruptly to the two expectant faces. “Snowford wants to—ah!” Again he mentioned his name and listened. They heard a sentence or two from him that seemed significant. “Ah! that is certain, is it? I am sorry…. Yes…. Oh! but that is better than nothing…. Yes; he is here…. Indeed. Very well; we will be with you directly.” He looked on the tube, touched the button again, and came back to them. “I am sorry,” he said. “The President will take no part at the Feast. But it is uncertain whether he will not be present. Mr. Snowford wants to see us both at once, Mr. Francis. Markenheim is with him.” But though Mabel was herself disappointed, she thought he looked graver than the disappointment warranted. (End, Book II, The Encounter, Chapter IV) (To be continued) m INSIDE THE VATICAN JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2023


VATICAN WATCH By Matthew Trojacek with CNA Reports - Grzegorz Galazka and CNA photos


TOURIST WHO “WANTED TO SEE THE POPE” SMASHES BUSTS AT THE VATICAN MUSEUMS A man visiting the Vatican Museums in Rome on October 5 flung two ancient Roman busts to the ground, causing moderate damage to the valuable works of art. According to an article in the newspaper Il Messaggero, the middle-aged American tourist asked to see the Pope and became enraged when told that would not be possible. He then threw one bust to the ground and knocked the other over while trying to run away. After the incident, he was restrained by security guards and taken to the police station for questioning. (CNA) MONDAY 17

VATICAN RETURNS THREE ANCIENT MUMMIES TO PERU The repatriation of three ancient mummies from Peru corresponds to the spirit of integration between cultures on which the Anima Mundi Ethnological Museum was founded. The Anima Mundi is a section of the Vatican Museums that preserves thousands of prehistoric remains, dating back more than two million years, from all over the world. On October 17, the president of the Governorate of Vatican City State, Cardinal Fernando Vérgez, signed an agreement with Peru’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, César Rodrigo Landa Arroyo, formalizing the repatriation. As Minister Landa explained in a meeting with the press following his audience with the Pope, the agreement reflects the shared feeling that, more than objects, they are the remains of human beings that should be appreciated in the place from which they came. (Vatican News) SUNDAY 23

WORLD YOUTH DAY REGISTRATION IS OPEN On October 23, with a click on a tablet in front of the crowd gathered in Saint Peter’s Square, Pope Francis became the first person to register for the next World Youth Day in Lisbon, Portugal. The Pope announced that registration is now open for World Youth Day 2023, the largest international Catholic youth gathering scheduled to take place August 1-6, 2023. “Dear young people, I invite you to register for this meeting in which, after a long period of staying at a distance, we will rediscover the joy of the fraternal embrace between peoples and between generations, which we need so much,” Pope Francis said. (CNA) 58 INSIDE THE VATICAN JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2023


POPE FRANCIS WARNS SEMINARIANS THAT THE VICE OF PORNOGRAPHY “WEAKENS THE SOUL” On October 24, in a meeting with hundreds of seminarians studying in Rome, the Pope underlined that it is important for seminarians and priests to be very careful about the “temptation of digital pornography” because “it weakens the soul.” “Dear brothers, be careful of this. The pure heart, the heart that receives Jesus every day, cannot receive this pornographic information,” Pope Francis said. “And if from your cell phone you can delete this, delete it, so you won’t have temptation at hand. And if you can’t delete it, protect yourself properly so you don’t have access to this. I tell you, it weakens the soul.” Pope Francis explained that he wanted to bring up the problem of pornography because “it is a vice that so many people have — so many lay men, so many lay women, and even priests and religious sisters.” He added that he was not just talking about “criminal pornography, like child abuse,” but what some people might call “‘normal’ pornography.” “The devil enters from there. It weakens the priestly heart,” the Pope repeated. (CNA)


IN BAHRAIN, POPE CALLS FOR FULL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, NO DEATH PENALTY Traveling in Barain in the Persian Gulf, Pope Francis said today that commitments to protect tolerance and religious freedom need to be put into practice constantly so that these rights may be fully experienced. This is important “so that religious freedom will be complete and not limited to freedom of worship; that equal dignity and equal opportunities will be concretely recognized for each group and every individual; that no forms of discrimination exist; and that fundamental human rights are not violated but promoted,” the Pope said, addressing King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, other government authorities and diplomats serving in Bahrain. The meeting with political and cultural leaders in the vast marble-paved courtyard of the royal family’s Sakhir Palace in Awali came shortly after the Pope landed in Bahrain for his 39th international trip in his nearly ten-year papacy. He

Opposite, young people from Lisbon, Portugal, where the next World Youth Day will be held in August, at a recent Sunday Angelus prayer of Pope Francis. Below, Pope Francis meets with King Abdullah II of Jordan and his wife Queen Rania (CNA photo). Bottom, Pope Francis, in the Paul VI Audience Hall, prays in front of the Nativity scene donated by the nation of Guatemala (Grzegorz Galazka photo)

is the first Pope to visit this archipelago nation in the Persian Gulf. (CNS) THURSDAY 10

POPE FRANCIS, KING OF JORDAN DISCUSS “NEED TO ENCOURAGE CHRISTIAN PRESENCE” IN MIDDLE EAST Pope Francis received King Abdullah II of Jordan on November 10 at the Vatican for “cordial discussions” and spoke about the presence of Christians in the region, the Holy See press office said. The Pope and the king spoke about the need to continue to develop interreligious and ecumenical dialogue, “always ensuring that the Catholic Church in Jordan may freely exercise her mission,” according to a Vatican statement. Both sides expressed appreciation for the good bilateral relations between the Holy See and the Hashemite Kingdom, highlighting the importance of promoting stability and peace in the Middle East — with particular reference to the Palestinian question and the issue of refugees — and the “need to preserve and encourage the Christian presence in the region was reiterated,” the statement said. (CNA) SATURDAY 19

POPE FRANCIS TRAVELS TO NORTHERN ITALY TO SHARE A SPECIAL MEAL WITH HIS COUSINS Pope Francis traveled to northern Italy on November 19 to celebrate the 90th birthday of his second cousin Carla Rabezzana with his Italian relatives. The 85-year-old Pope arrived by helicopter in the Italian province of Asti, 30 miles east of Turin, just before noon. The Pope made a brief stop to pray at a local church before greeting Rabezzana at her home in the town of Portacomaro, where they were joined by five other relatives and their families to share a homecooked lunch with local delicacies from the Piedmont region. Rabezzana, who turned 90 on November 8, told Vatican News ahead of the visit that she was looking forward to embracing her cousin (the Pope) because they had not seen each other for three years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (CNA) MONDAY 28

POPE FRANCIS SAYS DIALOGUE “SLOW,” BUT ONLY WAY FORWARD WITH CHINA Pope Francis spoke about the Vatican-China deal with America magazine on November 22, two days before the November 24 installation ceremony of Bishop John Peng Weizhao, which the Vatican said “did not occur in accor-

dance with ... what was stipulated” in the renewed provisional agreement. A November 26 statement said that “the Holy See noted with surprise and regret” that Peng had been installed as an “auxiliary bishop of Jiangxi,” a diocese that is not recognized by the Vatican. In the America magazine interview, published November 28, Pope Francis emphasized dialogue “up to the point that is possible.” “Dialogue is the way of the best diplomacy,” he said. “With China I have opted for the way of dialogue. It is slow, it has its failures, it has its successes, but I cannot find another way.” (CNA) WEDNESDAY 30

POPE FRANCIS’ WATCH AUCTIONED OFF; PROCEEDS SET A WORLD RECORD A watch worn by Pope Francis was sold November 30 at a charity auction and set a new world record for the brand. The LaViolette Scholarship Foundation auctioned off a Swatch Once Again watch that Francis had worn for much of his pontificate. The watch, which can be found at the brand’s official store for $55, was finally sold for $56,250 — more than 1,000 times its retail value — making it the Swatch watch for which the most money has ever been paid. (CNA)


POPE FRANCIS BLESSES NATIVITY SCENE MADE BY CRAFTSMEN IN GUATEMALA Pope Francis blessed a nativity scene on December 3 that was handmade by artisan craftsmen in Guatemala. Guatemala’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mario Búcaro led a delegation that traveled from the Latin American country to be present for the nativity scene’s inauguration in Vatican City’s Paul VI Hall. “It is the first time in history that our country presents a nativity scene in the Vatican, a beautiful work of sacred art, personally delivered to Pope Francis and, therefore, also a gift from the people of Guatemala in anticipation of Christmas,” Búcaro said. The nativity scene was made by the combined effort of more than 30 artisans. It features the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph, wearing large golden crowns, in a manger surrounded by angels. (CNA)m JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2023 INSIDE THE VATICAN



BY MATTHEW TROJACEK with G. Galazka, CNA and CNS photos

n ONE MILLION FATIMA’S SISTER LUCIA FILIPINO CHILDREN PRAY IS ONE STEP CLOSER THE ROSARY FOR WORLD TO BEING BEATIFIED PEACE The cause for beatification of SisOver 1 million children in the Philip- ter Lucia dos Santos, the eldest child pines prayed the rosary together for to witness the 1917 Fatima appariworld peace and unity at an event orga- tions, has taken a step forward. nized by an international In a meeting at the Vatican, the posfoundation founded by tulators for Lucia’s cause submitted Dutch priest Werenfried the positio document containing testivan Straaten. monies and information detailing her The annual program heroic virtues to the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints. was held on October 18 with Father Carlos Cabecinhas, the rector of the Fatima shrine, participation by children studying in announced the update on the October 13 anniversary of the MirCatholic and government schools and acle of the Sun, the last Marian apparition in Fatima in 1917. was live-streamed on social media across The Positio on the Life, Virtues and Reputation for Holiness the archipelago. of Sister Lucia de Jesus dos Santos will now be examined by nine “Join us today at 9 am, Philippine theologians. If the evidence of her heroic virtue is confirmed by the time, as we pray the rosary with children Vatican’s saints office and Pope Francis decides to promulgate a decree, Sister all over the world. We will pray for wars to stop, for the pandemic to end, and for Lucia will be declared as Venerable in the Catholic Church. (CNA) peace and unity to reign in the Overbeek’s accusations, stating St. John Paul II did not cover world,” appealed Monsignor Gerry Santos, exup any abuse and consistently acted against such cases during ecutive director of the Philippine Aid to the his time as archbishop of Krakow from 1964 to 1978. Church in Need, a pontifical charity with the The Polish reporters cited as a typical example the priest mission to help the persecuted, oppressed and Józef Loranc, who was accused of sexually abusing young suffering Christians worldwide. (UCANews) girls in 1970. Cardinal Wojtyla’s decisions came just days after learning of the accusation against Loranc, which were “in n VATICAN: PRO-ABORTION MEMBER accordance with canon law,” said Kryzak and Litka. OF PONTIFICAL ACADEMY FOR LIFE Wojtyla “made all the necessary decisions at that moment: CONTRIBUTES TO “DIALOGUE” the quick removal of the priest from the parish, the suspension The Pontifical Academy for Life issued a statement on Ocuntil the matter was resolved, and the obligation to live in a tober 19 defending the recent appointment of an outspoken admonastery,” where civil authorities then arrested him. vocate for abortion rights on the grounds that members are chosen to contribute to “fruitful interdisciplinary, intercultural, and interreligious diaCATHOLIC SURVIVORS logue.” OF NAGASAKI RECALL An Italian-American economist and proTRAUMA OF THE fessor at University College LonBOMBING WHILE don, Mariana Mazzucato, TOURING U.S. was among seven academics When the United States appointed by Pope Francis dropped an atomic bomb on Naon October 15 to serve fivegasaki, Japan, August 9, 1945, year terms with the academy. Archbishop Joseph Mitsuaki (CNA) Takami’s mother was three months pregnant with him. While she survived the n JOURNALISTS: ST. JOHN PAUL II bombing, much of her family did not. “DID NOT COVER UP ANY ABUSE His maternal grandmother suffered from horrific burns and DURING HIS TIME AS ARCHBISHOP bodily trauma for eight days before dying. Two of his maternal OF KRAKOW” aunts died in the bombing. The body of one of his aunts was Journalists investigating secular and found; the other was not. Catholic Church sources in Poland have Many of the dead were not found because the heat from the bomb incinercalled into question allegations by Dutch ated anything close to the epicenter. writer Ekke Overbeek that St. John Paul II It is estimated that between 60,000 and 80,000 people died in Nagasaki, ei“covered up” for sexual abusers while still a ther in the bombing or from exposure to radiation. In Hiroshima, Japan, it is bishop in Poland. “The future Pope knew estimated that 70,000 to 135,000 people died when the U.S. dropped an atomic about it and transferred them anyway, which bomb on that city August 6, 1945. led to new victims,” he claims. Archbishop Takami, now retired archbishop of Nagasaki, was part of a However, Polish journalists Tomasz small peace delegation of atomic bomb survivors that visited the Sheil Krzyżak and Piotr Litka of Rzeczpospolita Catholic Center at Northwestern University on September 28 for a Blessed published an investigation that countered Are the Peacemakers event. (UCANews) 60 INSIDE THE VATICAN JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2023

FILIPINO BUSINESSMEN MAKE CHRISTMAS NON-PROFITEERING VOW The Catholic Businessmen Association of the Philippines, a group of more than 3,000 entrepreneurs, agreed on November 8 to put a ceiling price on goods in order not to take advantage of the high demand during the Christmas season. People in the Catholic-majority nation are expected to begin partying from the beginning of December, which tempts businessmen to raise the prices of commodities due to high demand. The business group said having a price cap would remind every Catholic entrepreneur of his mission to God and country. “The purpose of putting a price cap on goods and commodities is, in fact, a gentle reminder to each member of the association that although we are in business for profit, we still have a moral obligation to our fellow men,” the association’s president Larry Valdez stated. (UCANews)

n EASTERN RITE PRELATE TO HEAD INDIAN BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE Archbishop Andrews Thazhath of the Eastern Rite Syro-Malabar Church has been elected the new president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI). Archbishop Thazhath of Thrissur was elected on the penultimate day of the November 6-11 biennial meeting of the CBCI in Bengaluru, the provincial capital of the southern state of Karnataka. The Catholic Church in the country comprises three rites — the Latin rite and two Oriental rites called Syro-

Malabar and Syro-Malankara. The inter-ritual national conference’s head is conventionally elected from all three rites on a rotating basis. (UCANews)

n CARDINAL’S VILLAGE HIT AS MYANMAR (BURMA) JUNTA STEPS UP ATTACKS Hundreds of homes in the Catholic village of Mon Hla in central Sagaing — the home of Cardinal Charles Bo — in Myanmar have been burned down by junta forces as the regime steps up attacks in Myanmar’s Bamarmajority region. Villagers said the homes were torched on November 24 during a raid on Mon Hla village where Catholics and Buddhists have lived in harmony for decades. The exact number of houses destroyed remains unclear and it is not known whether Saint Michael Church, the convent, and the priest’s house in the village were also set on fire. This latest attack on a Catholic village came a day after fighting broke out between the military and people’s defense forces near Mon Hla where scores of junta troops were killed. (UCANews)

n GERMAN SYNODAL WAY DESIGNED TO CREATE “PRESSURE” ON THE CHURCH, FOUNDING PRESIDENT SAYS The German Synodal Way was designed from the outset to avoid legal UKRAINIAN ARCHBISHOP APPEALS FOR RELEASE sanctions while simultaneously creating OF CATHOLIC PRIESTS CAPTURED BY RUSSIAN TROOPS “pressure” on the Church to change Catholic teaching, one of the founders of Two Catholic priests captured by Russian troops the process told German are “being tortured without mercy,” the leader of media December 2. the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church said DeThomas Sternberg, cember 1. Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevformer president of the chuk (photo below) issued an appeal to internationCentral Committee of al authorities to help facilitate the release of RedempGerman Catholics (ZdK), torist Fathers Ivan Levitskyi (above left) and Father Bohdan Heleta (above said the controversial process wanted to right) who have been held in captivity for more than two weeks. They are the achieve changes to the Church’s teaching parish priest and chaplain in the city of Berdyansk, near Zaporizhzhia. on homosexuality, the ordination of “We have received the sad news that our priests are being tortured without women, and other topics. mercy,” Shevchuk said. “According to classic Stalinist methods of repression, Speaking to German diocesan broadconfessions to crimes they did not caster Domradio, Sternberg said the Syncommit are being extracted from odal Way was proceeding “much more them. In fact, our two heroic passuccessfully than I had thought.” tors are daily threatened under torIn light of the Vatican’s interventions ture with death.” The Ukrainian against the Synodal Way, he said it had archbishop asked Catholics around become clear “it was right not to use the the world to pray for the release of form of a synod, as that would have been the priests. (CNA) sanctioned by canon law” and “would Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, major have given canon law properly then also archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, speaks at the Vatican Press Office the possibility to prohibit something like (CNS photo/Max Rossi, Reuters) that.” (CNA)m JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2023 INSIDE THE VATICAN



Stefano Navarrini illustration



Michele, hoping to commercialize very year Forbes Magazine the product throughout Europe, and Bloomberg Billionaires made an even creamier Supercrema Index publish lists of the 50 and changed its name to Nutella, an richest people in the world. This Italianized “little nut.” In Italy, its year Elon Musk was leading the ingredients were and still are: sugar lists with $195 billion, followed by and palm oil (50%), hazelnuts the French chairman and CEO of (13%), powdered skimmed milk (8.7%), low fat cocoa (7.4%), luxury-items LVMH, Bernard Arnault, with $153.8 billion; Indisoy lecithin, and vanilla. In Anglo-Saxon countries the palm oil is an coal and transport tycoon Gautam Adani with $129 billion; Bill replaced by soy oil. According to, every 100 grams Gates with $107 billion; and Warren Buffet with $101 billion. counts 544 calories, 6 grams of protein, 57.6 grams of carbohyArnault is the richest European, followed by a French woman, drates (of which 56.8 grams are sugar), and 31.6 grams of fat, 11 Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, with $66.9 billion, the richest of which are saturated. woman in the world as the l’Oréal heiress (she pledged to give The first glass jar with 250ml of Nutella left Michele’s new $226 million to repair Nôtre Dame Cathedral in Paris). Spaniard factory outside Alba on April 20, 1964. It was an immediate sucAmancio Ortega, the founder of Zara, comes in third with $54 bilcess in Italy and Germany and in 1965 also in France. Other imlion, followed by Frenchman Rodolphe Saadé portant Nutella facts are: The French have always eaten the most and his family, owners of CMA-CGM, Nutella. Although exports to the US began in the 1980s, Nutelthe world’s largest shipping company, la didn’t become popular for another decade. In 2007, an based in Marseilles, with $41 billion. American fan initiated World Nutella Day, celebrated since In fifth place in Europe is Giothen on February 5. vanni Ferrero, the CEO of his famIn 2012, a group of American mothers sued Ferrero ily’s namesake company, which for its advertisements saying Nutella was a healthy makes Nutella, Tic Tacs, Butterfinbreakfast food; the case was settled out of gers and Mon Cheri cherry-filled court for 3 million US dollars. In 2013, chocolates, as well as namesake thieves in Bad Hersfeld, Gerchocolates filled with chopped many, stole 20,000 euros’ nuts, with $38.8 billion, a $3 billion inworth of Nutella. In 2014 crease over last year. Italy issued a Nutella-themed Ferrero is the richest Italian, trailed by Giorgio Armani with stamp, and since October 2022, Ferrero has dedicated its jars to $7.8 billion, and three-time Prime Minister of Italy and media events which took place in each of its 59 years of production. For mogul Silvio Berlusconi, with $7.1 billion. examples, 1964 to the company’s birth; 1969 to the first landing The scoop here is not all these Scrooge McDuck statistics, but on the moon; 1971 to the first e-mails; 1981 to erasable pens; the fact that in 2022 Ferrero overtook Facebook founder Mark 1991 to the worldwide web; 2007 to smartphones; and 2022 to Zuckerberg ($35.1 billion), putting Ferrero in 25th place and post-Covid live concerts. Zuckerberg in 28th worldwide — the first time a sweets compaToday some 350 tons of Nutella are sold in 75 countries every ny(!) has surpassed Silicon Valley technology. year, a jar every 2.5 seconds. Although Ferrero International SA, Giovanni Ferrero, born in Milan in 1964, has been the CEO of the company that produces the spread, is headquartered in Italy, Ferrero since his older brother Pietro’s 2011 premature death there are 10 Nutella factories worldwide: in Los Cardales, Arfrom a heart attack during a bicycle race in South Africa. His gentina; Lithgow, Australia; Poços de Caldes, Brazil; Brantford, grandfather Pietro, a baker in Alba, a small city in Piedmont, Canada; Villers-Écalles, France; Alba and Sant’Angelo dei Lomfounded Ferrero in 1946. The company’s chief product is the bardi, Italy; Stadtallendorf, Germany; Belsk, Poland; and ever-popular Nutella, a worldwide success story. Vladimir, Russia (now closed). In 1946, a year after the end of World War II, when chocolate Turkey supplies most of Nutelwas scarce in Italy, Pietro Ferrero created 300 kilos of small la’s hazelnuts; its cocoa comes bread-loaf-shaped blocks of hazelfrom Nigeria; its palm oil from nuts, abundant in Piedmont, and sugar Malaysia; its sugar mainly from with a small amount of cocoa. When Brazil, but also from Europe; its sliced, they were soft enough to be vanilla flavor from China, and its spread on bread. He named his creglass jars from Poland. ation Giandujot, after the character The world’s second-largest conGianduia of Piedmont’s Commedia fectionery company after Mars, most dell’arte. In 1951, with more cocoa Ferrero products are sold online, as available, Pietro created a more are Giovanni’s seven novels. The spreadable version he called Supermost recent (2021), Blu di Prussia e crema. Nutella, more or less as we know it Italian Nutella producer Giovanni Ferrero and his latest book, rosso di porpora, a thriller, is set in Rome and the Vatican.m today, dates to 1963 when Pietro’s son, a thriller, set in Rome and the Vatican



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