Inside the Vatican magazine July-August 2021

Page 1


JULY-AUGUST 2021 $5 / EUR 5 / £3.30


The Body and Blood of Christ

Bishop Athanasius Schneider: The Mass expresses the agape, the love of the Christian community united in the sacrifice of Christ

Pope rejects Cardinal Reinhard Marx’s resignation request

PRISON JOURNAL The State Rejects the Cardinal’s Appeal “Anyone interested in what radical surrender to Christ looks like should read this luminous text.” — Bishop Robert Barron, Host, Catholicism film series ◆

“Cardinal Pell is a superb writer and an articulate witness to an inexcusable abuse of law, but also to the triumph of God’s grace. His journal is a marvel.” — Most Reverend Charles Chaput Archbishop Emeritus of Philadelphia ◆

“Like Thomas More and John Fisher, Cardinal Pell took his stand on the truth, confident that the truth is liberating in the deepest meaning of human freedom. This journal illustrates that liberation in a luminous way.” — George Weigel, from the Introduction


That final verdict from the Australian High Court came after George Cardinal Pell endured a grueling eight years of accusations, investigations, trials, public humiliations, and more than a year of imprisonment after being convicted of a crime he did not commit. Led off to jail following his 2019 sentencing, the 78-year-old prelate began what was to be six years in jail for "historical sexual assault offenses”. Cardinal Pell endured more than thirteen months in solitary confinement, before the Australian High Court voted 7-0 to overturn his original convictions. His victory over injustice was not just personal, but one for the entire Catholic Church.

Bearing no ill will toward his accusers, judges, prison workers, journalists, and those expressing hatred for him, he used his time in prison as a kind of "extended retreat". He eloquently filled notebook pages with his spiritual insights, prison experiences, and personal reflections on current events both inside and outside the Church, as well as moving prayers.

In this second volume, Cardinal Pell receives the terrible news that his first appeal is rejected. With the same grace, wisdom, and calm perseverance we see on display in Volume 1, he continues his quest for justice by appealing to the Australian High Court. Glimmers of hope emerge as more legal experts, including non-Catholics, join the chorus of those demanding that this miscarriage of justice be reversed. ◆ PRISON JOURNAL - Volume 2 The State Rejects the Cardinal’s Appeal PJ2P . . . 348 pages, Sewn Softcover, $19.95

◆ PRISON JOURNAL - Volume 1 The Cardinal Makes His Appeal PJ1P. . . 350 pages, Sewn Softcover, $19.95 P.O. Box 1339, Ft. Collins, CO 80522

(800) 651-1531


by Robert Moynihan

An Appeal to Pope Francis The specific role and mission of the Bishop of Rome is to confirm the bishops of the world in the faith handed down from the beginning, expressed in the Creed. An appeal to Pope Francis to confirm his brother bishops

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against ... the spiritual forces of evil.” —St. Paul, Ephesians, 6:12 As the summer of 2021 proceeds toward the autumn, a number of disputes and divisions in the Church seem to be threatening both the truths of the Gospel — our doctrine, our faith — and the unity of our Roman Catholic Church — our mystical communion in space and time with all Christ’s followers down through the ages, which is so critical to preserve. For we are and must always remain... one Church. Yet in Germany, many priests and even bishops are openly defying the Vatican’s own clarification on the question of blessing homosexual couples. The Vatican said in March that it was not in the power of the Church to bless such relationships, though the Church always blesses everyone who comes to her seeking to draw into closer union with Christ. The Church also blesses friendships and close collaborations. But the Church cannot bless sexual relations except between men and women who are married. Evidently many no longer believe this is the Gospel truth. So a division is looming between Rome and Germany. In the United States, more division: many priests conservative in doctrine have liberal bishops who place restrictions on their pastoral work, or move them to isolated parishes where they will be in obscurity. These priests are now beginning to band together, to the point of defying the authority of their own bishops. Meanwhile, the US bishops as a whole have become divided over the question of the moral requirements for receiving the Eucharist. In a vote in mid-June, the bishops voted 168-55, with six abstentions, to draft a document on “the meaning of the Eucharist in the life of the Church.” Many in the majority group believe Catholic politicians who openly, publicly, support laws legalizing abortion — the taking of innocent human life — must not approach the altar to receive the Eucharist, because supporting abortion is an objective evil which makes reception of the Eucharist an objective sacrilege. But the Vatican itself wrote to the US bishops asking them not to implement any policy on this question, saying the Eucharist ought not to become politicized in any way, but must remain an available remedy bringing spiritual healing to all who approach the altar; hence the decision to draft a document, not announce a policy. Still, one sees here a startling possibility: a deepening division between Rome and the more conservative US bishops. Thus, various forces seem to be driving the universal Church into national or regional churches, or into a “high Church” and a “low Church,” a “modern Catholic Church” and a “traditional Catholic Church.” This is a sad, worrisome state of affairs. We need to preserve our unity. And it is the role of Rome, the specific mission of the Roman pontiff, to facilitate and confirm the unity of all bishops, and so of

the Church, around the world. The unity of the Church is one of her four marks; she is “one, holy, catholic and apostolic,” as we say in the Creed: “I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.” Logically, we must not say, “I believe in a multiple (not one), profane (not holy), un-catholic (not catholic, not universal) and un-apostolic (not apostolic) Church.” We know such a credal declaration would be wrong, would be not in keeping with our faith of all time, from the beginning. And yet... many seem willing to begin to profess such a faith — a faith in a Church that is particular, local, diversified, not universal, not united, not “one”; a faith in a Church that reaches out to the sinner even to the point of blessing one or another sin, so blessing what is not “holy”; not a faith in a Church that retains the traditional moral teaching about what is holy and pleasing to God; a faith in a Church that is different in various countries, various regions, various segments of society, no longer “catholic,” but regional, diversified, disunited; a faith in a Church that is “modern,” “up-to-date,” no longer embracing the teaching of Sts. Peter, Paul, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, no longer “apostolic.” So we stand at a crossroads today. Do we still believe, as Catholics, what our Creed professes, when we say, “I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church”? Or have we come to believe in another Church? Among the faithful, there are many who are looking to the bishops to confirm our communities in the credal faith of all time. Yet the bishops themselves seem deeply divided. In such a situation, the task of confirming the bishops in the faith once handed down by the Apostles falls to the Bishop of Rome: the Pope. There are today many enemies of the Church who believe Catholicism is a negative factor in human society, that the Church does not bring salvation but neurosis, placing unbearable moral burdens on the backs of many. These enemies would like the Church to change (no longer teach what she has traditionally taught), or disappear. Tremendous pressures are being brought to bear on the Church to change her teaching, to eliminate beliefs taught from the beginning that are now regarded as outmoded, inconvenient, unloving, hateful. Jesus chose Peter to become “the Rock” upon which He would build His Church. But Peter denied the Lord three times on the night He was arrested. When the cock crowed at dawn, Peter realized what he had done and wept “bitter tears.” Jesus said to Peter: “Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Lk 22:31-32) As Christ prayed for Peter, let us pray for Pope Francis, and let us appeal to Pope Francis to confirm his brothers and preserve our unity.m

We will be holding our first-ever US pilgrimage in the Shenandoah Valley October 25-29. We will visit shrines, see the autumn beauty of the Valley (near Christendom College), and discuss issues facing the faith today. It will be a week of spiritual reflection, retreat and renewal which may help restore hope and joy in this challenging time. If interested, call 202-536-4555 or email JULY-AUGUST 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN




Year 29, #4




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Bishop Athanasius Schneider: The Mass expresses the agape, the love of the Christian community united in the sacrifice of Christ

Pope rejects Cardinal Reinhard Marx’s resignation request

JULY-AUGUST 2021 Year 29, #4

v EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Robert Moynihan ASSOCIATE EDITOR: George “Pat” Morse (+ 2013) ASSISTANT EDITOR: Christina Deardurff CULTURE EDITOR: Lucy Gordan CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Giuseppe Rusconi WRITERS: Anna Artymiak, Alberto Carosa, William D. Doino, Jr., David Quinn, Andrew Rabel, Vladimiro Redzioch, Serena Sartini, Father Vincent Twomey PHOTOS: Grzegorz Galazka LAYOUT: Giuseppe Sabatelli ILLUSTRATIONS: Stefano Navarrini CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER: Deborah B. Tomlinson ADVERTISING: Susan Sebesta Tel: 202-864-4261

v EDITORIAL OFFICES FOR MAIL: US: 14 West Main St. Front Royal, VA 22630 USA Rome: Inside the Vatican via delle Mura Aurelie 7c, Rome 00165, Italy Tel: 39-06-3938-7471 Fax: 39-06-638-1316 POSTMASTER: send address changes to Inside the Vatican c/o St. Martin de Porres Lay Dominican Community PO Box 57 New Hope, KY 40052 USA Tel: 800-789-9494 Fax: 270-325-3091 Subscriptions (USA): Inside the Vatican PO Box 57 New Hope, KY 40052 USA Tel: 800-789-9494

LEAD STORY Papal advisor Cardinal Marx asks to resign, and the Pope declines... by Robert Moynihan and ITV staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 NEWS GERMANY/Dispute over homosexual blessings continues by CNA with ITV staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 HOLY SEE/”Reform” of Benedict XI’s Latin Mass directives imminent by CNA with ITV staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 HOLY SEE/Archbishop Arthur Roche replaces Cardinal Sarah at Liturgy Office by ITV staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 ESSAY/Bishop Athanasius Schneider on the meaning of the Mass Layout by Giuseppe Sabatelli . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 VATICAN CONFERENCE HOLY SEE/The world and the Church meet at fifth Rome health conference by Christina Deardurff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 IN MEMORIAM Sr. Margherita Marchione/The world’s #1 defender of Pope Pius XII dies at 99 by Robert Moynihan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 CULTURE INTERVIEW/Are the Holy Fire phenomenon and the Shroud of Turin related? by James Bertrand, expert investigator of the Shroud of Turin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 SAINTS/St. Josaphat, feast day November 12 by ITV staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 EDUCATION/“A College in the Making” — St. Athanasius in Illinois by Timothy H. Bratt, Board of Directors Manager for the new college . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 LATIN/The Vatican poems of Iosephus del Ton by John Byron Kuhner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 YEAR OF SAINT JOSEPH/Jesus’ first 30 years on earth by Mark Drogin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43 SCRIPTURE/Hidden and revealed: the poetry of Scripture by Prof. Antony Esolen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 LAY ACTION/Catholic lawyers join global prayer for China campaign by Jane Adolphe and Marcela Szymanski . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 URBI ET ORBI: CATHOLICISM AND ORTHODOXY The Message of the Icon/Birth of the Theotokos by Robert Wiesner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 East-West Watch/The Jesus Prayer by Peter Anderson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49 News from the East by Becky Derks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50

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 monthly except July and September 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 Haven, Kentucky and additional mailing offices. Copyright 2021 Robert Moynihan



FEATURES Art/Laura Bosetti-Tonatto: The world’s leading maker of marvelous perfumes by Lucy Gordan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 Lord of the World/”I welcome you, my son...” by Robert Hugh Benson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56 Vatican Watch/A day-by-day chronicle of Vatican events: May and June by Becky Derks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58 People/Monks protect Eucharist; Cardinal Cassidy dies at 96 by Becky Derks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60 Food for Thought/Basil in food, history, religion, poetry and paintings by Mother Martha . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62


◆ MARY, THE MOTHER OF JESUS Tomie dePaola, beloved author and illustrator of children’s books, presents a splendid depiction of the life of Mary that will touch the heart of every child, and adult. His beautifully written and illustrated episodes draw on the Bible and Church tradition to portray the woman chosen to bring the Savior into the world, and will inspire a lifelong love for and devotion to Mary. 6 MARYH . . . 32 pp, Hardcover, $14.99

◆ SAINT JOSEPH: Watch Over My Family — In his great redemptive plan for humanity, God chose Joseph, a just man, to be the guardian of Mary and Jesus. With this delightful, inspiring and beautifully illustrated book, children will learn about and grow closer to Saint Joseph. They will also learn to ask for the powerful intercession and protection of this humble man, who always put Jesus and Mary first in his life.

◆ JUNIPERO SERRA In this beautifully illustrated book, join the founding father of California on his amazing journey and experience his saintly missionary zeal that led to the establishment of the 21 Catholic missions in California. His presence and work are still very much alive through these beautiful missions that are visited by millions of people every year. 6 JSH . . . 36 pp, Hardcover, $14.99

◆ HOLY MYSTERIES! This intriguing and fun book investigates 12 mysterious, inexplicable cases that happened in the history of the Catholic faith, some which still continue to remain today. These cases study the mysteries connected with the sun dancing at Fatima, the face on the Shroud of Turin, saints who are incorrupt, the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Juan Diego’s tilma, a Eucharistic miracle, and much more! 6 HMYSH . . . 80 pp, Hardcover, $16.99

6 SJWFH . . . 56 pp, Hardcover, $13.99

◆ THE INTERIOR CASTLE Based on St. Teresa of Avila’s spiritual classic, this enchantingly adapted tale tells the story about a boy’s journey into the riches of prayer. Sure to captivate and inspire readers of all ages, this engaging story promises an amazing journey its readers will never forget! It wonderfully combines a dramatic adventure with rich spirituality and gorgeous illustrations.

◆ JESUS, I ADORE YOU How do we adore God who shares his divine presence with us in the Blessed Sacrament? This beautiful book teaches children what Eucharistic Adoration is, the ways they can practice Adoration, and suggestions for lovely prayers and words to use in Adoration. It draws on beautiful words from Scripture, and inspiring prayers from various saints. 6 JAYH . . . 64 pp, Hardcover, $13.99

6 ICH . . . 72 pp, Hardcover, $15.99



Demi, acclaimed children’s author and illustrator, tells the moving story of Hiawatha, the great leader of the Iroquois who brought the tribes together to restore peace and to unify his people. A true peacemaker, he prepared the way for the Gospel to spread in North America. An engaging, colorful story that sets the scene for the missionary work of the heroic Jesuits of the 17th century!

Tomie dePaola and Caryll Houselander tell the classic story of a snowy white rooster who encounters a kind, mysterious young boy that caresses his newborn chicks, and years later experiences the death and resurrection of that boy as a grown-up man. The artful storytelling and delightful illustrations invite young readers to enter into a relationship with the One who longs to care for us all.

SOHH . . . 48 pp, Hardcover, $15.99

6PETH . . . 32 pp, Hardcover, $14.99 P.O. Box 1339, Ft. Collins, CO 80522

(800) 651-1531

The Shenandoah Valley Experience October 2021 We are pleased to announce a new Classic pilgrimage experience in the United States! Cultivated for centuries, the majestic and serene Shenandoah Valley is now home to organic farms – a “farm to table” culinary treat – and family wineries producing award-winning local wines. But this land has also cultivated the faith of thousands...come with us as we experience national Catholic shrines, monasteries and basilicas within easy driving distance of our peaceful and bountiful Valley. The much-lauded American Catholic author, Walker Percy, foresaw in his 1971 novel, Love in the Ruins, a future gathering of Catholics in this lovely and peaceful Valley, turning it into a type of Catholic sanctuary in a post-Christian nation. The entire Shenandoah Valley, immortalized in story and song, stretches along 200 miles of the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains, but we will concentrate on the northern 30 miles in and around Warren County, Virginia. Visit us online to learn more!

“The goodness of God, and the merriness of living… cooking out, attending Mass… What we Catholics call the sacramental life.” —American novelist Walker Percy, speaking of life in the Shenandoah Valley

Virtual Pilgrimages

Join us live and enjoy the discussion after the pilgrimage. If you are unable to join us live, you can view all of our Virtual Pilgrimages on the Inside the Vatican Pilgrimages YouTube channel. Don’t forget to subscribe and stay informed of all of our Virtual Pilgrimages and other original content! SEE THE SCHEDULE AND REGISTER ONLINE


Start Planning for 2022 Inside the Vatican Pilgrimages are different from all other tours and pilgrimages. Our daily itinerary is a fabric woven of spiritual, historical and personal elements – the personalities of great saints, of those we encounter, and of our pilgrims, their lives and their faith journeys. And, we do not fill the bus! Our pilgrimages are unique, unrepeatable experiences, led by ITV’s editor, Dr. Robert Moynihan, and other renowned experts.

2022 Pilgrimages

Classic ITALY: Journey Toward the Face of Christ – May 28 – June 7

Classic IRELAND: Saints & Scholars

Classic ENGLAND: Mary’s Dowry August 10 - 19

Classic ITALY: Fall in Rome: Annual ITV

Our Signature Pilgrimages (intimate, limited to 15 pilgrims) are impossible to mass-produce. Like the products of an artisan, they are works of painstaking preparation that reflect our unswerving commitment to create something of great and unique beauty.


Mag Pilgrimage – September

Our Classic Pilgrimages (small by industry standards, limited to 35) are carefully budgeted so you can visit beautiful and sacred destinations while experiencing the quality, style and integrity of Inside the Vatican pilgrimages at an affordable price.

Our pilgrimages fill up fast. Make your reservation today! Join us on a trip of a lifetime. C R E AT E A G R O U P O F 15 O R M O R E A N D G O F R E E !


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR INSIDE THE VATICAN welcomes letters but cannot reply to all. Each is read and considered carefully. Printed letters may be edited for clarity. You may email us at


We get requests like these everyday. Dear Friends: I’ve just received your latest issue, and even a cursory perusal reveals your usual incisive and relevant articles and stellar photography. I also noticed, however, that it was marked “last issue” of my subscription. If possible, may I request another year’s extension? In this prison—deep in rural Georgia—there is no Catholic ministry, ergo, no sacraments; Inside the Vatican is therefore a vital part of my communion with the Church—second, of course, to prayer, in which I always include you and your staff. I appreciate your kindness. With love in Christ, Richard J. T. Clark, T.O.M.

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First, let me sincerely thank you for the gift subscription this past year. I have greatly enjoyed reading the issues. I happily share with my fellows. As a new Catholic, I have drawn much inspiration and also learned much from reading Inside the Vatican. I ask you to please renew the gift subscription for another year. Many Catholics in my unit benefit from it too. If you have a spare gift subscription available, please consider renewing it; I am still indigent. If you cannot do so, I truly understand. Thank you in advance for considering my request. The peace of our LORD Jesus Christ be with you. Your brother in Christ. Charles Watson North Central Unit Calico Rock, Arkansas P.S. Please pray for us at NCU and please pray for the efforts of our pontiff, Pope Francis. ___________________________ I have been extremely blessed by having a “free” (no cost to me) subscription of ITV for the last year. I am a prisoner in a Texas prison, I’m 64 years old and have been here on a false charge and wrongful conviction since 2012. I am from Victoria, BC, Canada, was an ICU/ER RN for more than 31 years and am a cradle Catholic. Your ITV has been a game-changing “Life Saver” to me during a very hard year of prison lock downs and sometimes inhumane conditions. I have no family here and just recently started getting regular correspondence from a Catholic in Pennsylvania. All my immediate family has passed away, my friends are gone. I once had money, a great job, a house, and “things,” but now I have something better — Jesus. And up until March 31, I had ITV too. I am an Oblate of St. Benedict, and have had to learn humility the hard way because of stubbornness and self-pride. I have found one of the hardest things for me to do is to “beg.” Not only must I be


a beggar, but I have learned this maxim: “If you do not humble yourself, God will never stop allowing you to be humiliated.” So as a humble beggar, I come to you in this letter begging you to renew my subscription for another year to ITV. The entire magazine is wonderful, every section, and every article. I especially enjoy the “Scripture,” “News from the East,” the “Food for Thought” at the end and “Message of the Icon,” and learning about such great saints and how we can learn from them. The coverage on COVID has been exceptional, especially from my past nursing and microbiologist backgrounds. I pray most fervently that some way, somehow there are resources available to grant me a scholarship subscription. In closing, I would like you to know I include everyone at ITV in my daily prayers at 3 p.m. Divine Mercy, my evening rosary, and my liturgy of the hours prayers at 0600 and 1600 hours, and will continue to do so. I hope I can ask someone there at ITV to pray for me too — I sure could use someone praying for me. Who can’t? God bless you. Your brother in Christ. Peter J. Ellington CT Terrell Unit Rosharon, Texas Thank you so much for a wonderful magazine! Here at Coleman Federal Correctional Complex [note: the largest federal

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complex in the Federal Bureau of Prisons], it has been instrumental in catechesis, education, and evangelization. I have received the magazine for a few years thanks to the generosity of a priest. Unfortunately, I have been out of touch with him for a while and my latest issue was marked as my last. If the resources are available (there are men who need the magazine a lot more than I do), I would like to request an extension of my subscription. Thank you and God bless you. Peace and Good! Antonio De Gaetano FCC Coleman Low Unit C1 Coleman, Florida

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TRUTH, BEAUTY, AND GOODNESS Your magazine Inside the Vatican is a work of truth, beauty, and goodness. May God bless your faithful work at ITV for many more years. You reach out to everyone, and your efforts will yield a good harvest. Ed Thomassen Lincoln, Nebraska I look forward to receiving each issue of Inside the Vatican. The photos are of such wonderful quality and the articles are current. I have received this for many years. I then pass the copy on to our pastor at our parish and he thoroughly enjoys getting it. Ora Mae Brigidi Sarasota, Florida, USA P.S. I am currently fascinated with Finding Viganò and look forward to the next edition. I have enjoyed your magazine for the variety of subjects presented. Your lengthy letter moved me to the point of truly making this sacrificial gift. No matter what, the Catholic Church will survive till Jesus comes again! God bless you and

your staff. A blessed Easter. Viva Jesu. Ralph J. Pezzullo Astoria, New York Blessings on you and I pass on my copies of Inside the Vatican to prisoners in jail. They love it. Lauretta Froelich River Forest, Illinois I’m sorry to be so delayed in sending this note and the contribution to you. I appreciate your good work with the magazine and very much enjoy reading it. Stepping back, I think it is the religious nature of so many articles, like the essays on Holy Week and Easter (and Christmas before, etc.), ones on Scripture and on saints and prayer. Of course, I like the news and current affairs from the Vatican, depressing as they so often are, reminding us of the virtue of perseverance. I love the Books, Art and People articles, and Food for Thought is always a fun treat (pun intended!). Seriously, I read every page from front to back and then pass it along to my priests, sometimes very much later, as now. I am so sorry you have had to struggle during this crazy time we are living

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR through: we are all suffering from the lack of strength, courage and holiness in our institutions, secular and religious. Though I am not Irish, St. Patrick’s Breastplate of Prayer is what we all need to pray with devotion each day, with total reliance on God. My gift is small next to your gifts, Bob, but I hope many have sent in to you even greater amounts to encourage and enable all of you to do what God is asking of you. If it be to continue your writing and editing and publishing, you can know that we are all grateful to Him for you. With prayers and thanks, Mary Ann Novak Washington, D.C. This is a salute to your exceptional journalism! With respect to your Volume 1, Finding Viganò, I must say this — the book is a thoroughgoing, substantive, and searching piece of journalism; compassionate, stirring, forthright, and at every turn, compelling. And I might add, every bishop should, to quote the words St. Augustine tells us he heard at the moment of his conversion, as he considered picking up the Scriptures, “Take (heed!) and read”! Together with a final admonition: beware of wolves bearing cardinals’ crosiers! Thank you, Dr. Moynihan, for ITV; for your courage, your coverage, and for your singular fidelity to the Faith and the Truth! Wishing you every grace and blessing of the Risen Lord, as you move forward and cast your nets once more, “Duc in altum!” Carol Crawford Crestone, Colorado

STAND STRONG I have begged my bishops and priests over the past 3 decades to stand strong against tendencies to reject Humanae Vitae and water down the biblical and traditional teachings regarding sexual morality. I have fought against the most horrendous sex education as it infiltrated our Ohio schools through the department of health and the department of education, during the administration of a Catholic governor who just refused to understand. I stood with some wise and brave Protestants who clearly understood the stakes; but I can honestly say that, even today, as a Catholic I stand alone. And now, as sexual and financial scandals rock, and I dare say still rule, the 10


highest levels of the Church, it will be exponentially more difficult to stand against the legion of corporate and cultural leaders who espouse the latest, and most dangerous existential threat to the faith, the family, and indeed to humanity itself: the transgender ideology. This ideology will destroy our children, physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. It is already promoted with no challenge by the public schools all over our country and Canada. I believe it was Lord Baltimore in the 1600s to whom is attributed the saying, “Treason doth never prosper, and here's the reason; for if it prosper, none dare call it treason.” Both treason and heresy do indeed prosper in 2021, and they shamelessly consolidate their power. We stand mostly helpless. Please speak for us if you possibly can, by continuing to champion Archbishop Viganò and any who, like him, speak out bravely. They will save many who, like me, are sorely tempted. I heard a story and I’m not sure it is exactly true, but it would not be out of character for the man. When Nicolae Ceausescu was consolidating his power in Romania, in what would become one of the most brutal of the Iron Curtain communist regimes, he went around the towns holding meetings to procure support and demoralize opposition. At those meetings, it is said that many pastors of all denominations stood up and intoned support for the regime, urging their people to go along to get along, and so on, in that vein. At one such meeting sat the Lutheran Pastor Richard Wurmbrand and his wife, Sabina. At one point she leaned over and whispered to her husband “Richard, get up and wipe the shame off the face of Jesus.” He replied, “If I do, you’ll be a widow.” She was undaunted: “I don’t need a coward! Get up and wipe the shame off the face of Jesus!” And he did. And he went to prison for 14 years and was tortured severely. Miraculously, they both escaped and he wrote the book Tortured for Christ. I saw them once in person, at a Protestant church in my town. He also did an interview that I saw with Archbishop Fulton Sheen, with whom he was friends. He was a hero. I need such heroes today. I even would like to become like him if it were God's will. Gilbert E. Adolph Barberton, Ohio

I greatly appreciate your work, and I look forward to your emails. I have learned a great deal from your other writings, such as Finding Viganò, which sits at my bedside. I do not doubt that Archbishop Viganò has far greater insight into the workings of the Vatican than I shall ever have, though I gained some insights when I served for more than a decade as communications director for the Legionaries of Christ — a trying and sad episode, to say the least. But a recent statement from the Archbishop opposing a Rome conference which will examine the use of stem cells, raises a question: How can the Church persuade people of influence to abandon research using fetal stem cells if it does not engage the leaders who make such decisions? On its face, it is not evident to me that inviting these people to a professional discussion reflects abandonment of the Faith. Perhaps I continue to suffer from the naiveté that led me to serve in defense of the Legionaries.... Jay Dunlap Thank you for your wonderful magazine Inside the Vatican. You are serving God and the Holy Catholic Church in a wonderful way with the Truth you print. God Bless You. Antonia Kimberlin Lewistown, Montana

ON VIGANÒ God bless you for sending your new book, Finding Viganò, and God bless the Archbishop. I liken Archbishop Viganò to the “manly” saints who have fought the various heresies that threatened the Church throughout Her history, e.g., Arianism by St. Athanasius, etc. We live in this time for a reason. Viganò helps keep us on our toes, invigorates courage within us to act, and quickens our prayers in the hope they will pierce Heaven. Theresa Distinctions are as important in theology and ecclesiology as they are in philosophy. The Vatican alone is not the true Church. Rome alone is not the true Church. The gates of hell are not prevailing and

will never prevail against the true Church. In other words, the true Church is not eclipsed. The Pope, the vicar of Christ, however, is the head of the true Church, and people of faith can be as certain that he will not teach anything contrary to faith and morals from the Chair of Peter as we are that the true Church will never be eclipsed. Men are as sinful as they have been since the true Church was founded, and this reality need not cause us to waver in our faith. The devil is still telling lies; multitudes are still believing his lies. We walk in the light, with the true Church leading and guiding us. Praised be Jesus Christ! Katherine Fedoryka

THE TRANSGENDERING OF OUR CHILDREN There are some narratives that get repeated on the conservative side on the issue of transgender identities that are untrue, wholly or partly. I want to briefly explain a few so you get where I am coming from. One narrative is that this (as in transgender identities) is only happening to lib-

eral families. No. No. No. I know plenty of faithful Catholic, one Eastern Orthodox, a couple of Baptist and many other churchgoing families that have had this happen to one of their loved ones. The common denominator today is, I dare to say almost always, a similar type of child or young adult: the profoundly gifted, the autistic, and the neuro-atypical—the ones (like my own) who were seemingly flying in school and activities or the ones who have profound abilities yet cannot use them appropriately (like my own). When the wrong influence gets in the way, disaster can strike. The other narrative is that this is always the illness of “gender dysphoria.” Another no! I can assure you, neither I nor my husband had ever heard of the term until I learned after my daughter’s announcement that she was changing her gender. My question to a man considered one of the tops in his field was: “Do you think all these girls have gender dysphoria?” His answer was telling: “In my mind, they do.” I then told him that I completely failed to see this after my allnight deep dives into this madness. I then let him know that you cannot treat gender dysphoria if it is not gender dysphoria. He

called me “intense.” So, just what do you call things like the over 32,000 Go Fund Me posts for females seeking funding for “top surgery?” (The surgical removal of female breasts.) Of course, the problem is far more nuanced than “gender dysphoria” — it’s the whole society today. It works on the doctors too. These young people are learning via the internet exactly how to approach the doctors and get their drugs. Every parent will tell you: “This was not my kid — until” ...until they got the narrative from peers, social media, the internet, campuses, doctors... One more idea is that the trans-identification problem lies primarily with females. While true, this is happening at exponentially higher rates to boys as well. We also see a younger and younger cohort of “patients” being shuffled into the neverending supply of gender clinics. As for the Catholics, I have been disappointed at their cowardice in addressing this issue head-on. The swiftness with which these kids are ushered into drugs and surgeries is unbelievable. There is no time to waste. We are in a serious crisis of youth identity. An anonymous Catholic mother (email withheld)




PaPal advisor cardinal marx asks to resign ...and PoPe Francis reFuses his request. What does it all mean? Cardinal Reinhard Marx, 67, Archbishop of Munich and Freising in Germany, sent shockwaves through the Catholic world when his letter to Pope Francis, dated May 21, asking the Pope to accept his resignation as Archbishop, was made public June 4. Pope Francis replied with his own letter, dated May 21 but published June 10, asking Cardinal Mark to “continue” in his episcopal post. The German prelate is a former president of the German Bishops’ Conference and a confidant of Pope Francis who has been a member of his Council of Cardinal Advisers since April of 2013, just a month after Francis’ election, and is a coordinator of the Pope’s Council for the Economy. He is also a supporter of the Catholic Church in Germany’s proposed “Synodal Path,” about which it has been repeatedly warned by the Vatican for apparently treading too close to schism.

Why did cardinal marx Wish to resign? n BY ROBERT MOYNIHAN, EDITOR OF INSIDE THE VATICAN


ardinal Reinhard Marx is only 67, and so he was asking to leave his archbishop’s post some eight years before turning 75 — the ordinary retirement age for bishops. Why did Marx feel it was necessary for him to resign? There have been no allegations of any wrongdoing by him, either in his actions or in his dealing with the actions of others. Why then would he not remain at his post to continue working at something he says is


important to him: to ensure in so far as is in his power that sexual abuse does not occur, and, if it should occur, is not covered up by ecclesial authorities? Marx has led the archdiocese of Munich-Freising for 14 years, since 2007. His resignation request did not extend, evidently, to other important posts Marx holds in the Church. For example, even if his resignation had been accepted by the Pope, Marx would still, it appears, continue

to be a voting cardinal, and would still serve as one of the seven members of Francis’ special advisory “Council of Cardinals,” and would still be the coordinator of the Vatican’s “Council for the Economy,” which supervises the financial activities of both the Vatican City-State and the offices of the Holy See. So why ask to leave his post as archbishop of Munich and Freising? Marx is arguably the most prominent and influential of the German

bishops. He was the President of the German bishops’ conference from 2012-20. In that role, he was a key organizer of the often controversial German “synodal path,” initiated by the German bishops as a way of answering public calls for a number of Church reforms. In 2019, Marx strongly defended the German Synodal program from criticism by Cardinal Marc Ouellet, head of the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops. Ouellet had said some of the topics up for discussion in Germany — including, for example, the role of women in the ministries of the Church — might have an impact on the entire global Church. This exchange led many observers to conclude that Rome — in the person of Ouellet — was concerned about the path the German bishops, led by Marx, were taking, fearing the possible emergence of a type of “national Church” within Catholicism. The eventual emergence of a such a “German Catholic Church” as a kind of special subset of the “Roman Catholic Church” would risk harming the unity of the Church, and the universality of the Church, characterized by the adherence to one faith and one practice throughout the world by all members of the Church, Ouellet seemed to be arguing. It is precisely this unity and universality which is the special duty of the Pope — and his advisors in Rome (his Roman Curia) — to preserve and protect. The Pope carries out this duty by “confirming his brothers in the faith” (see Luke 22:32, where Jesus says to Peter: “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren”). Only once in his May 21 letter does Marx mention the German “synodal path,” but he refers to it, strikingly, as “the only way” out of the present crisis of the Church in Germany.

DOUBLING DOWN ON THE S YNODAL PATH ? There is something admirable on the surface about taking personal responsibility for the shortcomings of the Church with regard to the sexual abuse of so many victims. Paraphrasing, Marx in his letter seems to be saying: “I accuse myself of going along with the Church and its terrible ways.” If “the system” is the problem, and the “synodal path” is the solution, no light is shed on what seems a central issue which few wish to focus on: the failure in formation — the failure to form Christian believers in Christian virtue so that sexual abuse is less likely to be a temptation. In this sense, it seems that Marx wished to step down from his post as archbishop to publicly emphasize his repentance for and break with a “system of coverup” which thought more about the image of the Church than about the suffering of victims. Yet, at the same time, Marx wishes to “double down” on the “synodal path” he has helped to fashion, calling it the “one way” to bring about a true reform of the Church which will help protect victims. It is this point that remains doubtful: is the “synodal path” really the right path for the Church to take to grow in virtue and holiness, including caring in the most profound way for victims of every type of abuse? Or could such a path lead to a type of “theological abuse,” a type of embrace of worldly thinking which breaks with tents of the faith handed down for 2,000 years? Indeed, could such a path leading toward disunity in the Church, geographical division (region by region, country by country) but also division over time (departing from unity with the Christians of the first century, the fourth, the 12th, the 19th, down through all the ages)? That question remains still to answer, after reading Marx’s unexpected and unusual letter.m




orn in Geseke, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, on September 21, 1953, Marx was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Paderborn on June 2, 1979. He obtained a doctorate in theology from the University of Bochum in 1989. On July 23, 1996, he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Paderborn and Titular Bishop of Petina by Pope John Paul II. On December 20, 2001 he was named Bishop of Trier, the oldest diocese in Germany. On November 30, 2007 Pope Benedict XVI appointed Marx metropolitan archbishop of Munich and Freising (a position that Benedict held from 1977 to 1981). While Archbishop of Munich, in 2010 Marx was named by Pope Benedict as a member of the Congregation for Catholic Education for a five-year term, and appointed a member of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. In March, 2012, he was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches; the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community elected him its president. He was one of the cardinal electors in the 2013 papal conclave that elected Pope Francis. On April 13, 2013 he was appointed to Pope Francis’ Council of Cardinal Advisers, to advise him on revision of the Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia, Pastor Bonus. On March 12, 2014 Marx was elected chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference, and served in this capacity until his replacement Georg Bätzing was elected on March 3, 2020. On 15 October 2020, Pope Francis renewed Marx’s term on the Council of Cardinal Advisers. Marx currently serves as head of the committee for social issues at the German Bishops’ Conference. None of Cardinal Marx’s positions within the Vatican Curia would be affected by his resignation as the Archbishop of Munich and Freisburg.n JULY-AUGUST 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN





21st May 2021




dinary in large bishoprics. It is painful for me to witness the severe damage to the bishops‘ reputation in the ecclesiastical and secular perception which may even be at its lowest. To assume responsibility, it is therefore not enough in my opinion to react only and exclusively if the files provide proof of the mistakes and failures of individuals. We as bishops have to make clear that we also represent the institution of the Church as a whole.

HOLY FATHER, Without doubt, these are times of crisis for the Church in Germany. There are, of course, many reasons for this situation – also beyond Germany in the whole world – and I believe it is not necessary to state them in detail here. However, this crisis has also been caused by our own failure, by our own guilt. This has become clearer and clearer to me looking at the Catholic Church as a whole, not only today but also And it is also not right to simply link these problems in the past decades. My impression is that we are at a “dead largely on past times and former Church officials thereby end” which, and this is my paschal hope, also has the po„burying“ what happened. I feel that through remaining tential of becoming a “turnsilent, neglecting to act and Vatican Oct. 1, 2013. Cardinal Marx with Pope Francis in a group of ing point”. Of course, the cardinals chosen by the Pope to help him reform the Roman Curia over-focussing on the repu“paschal faith” also applies tation of the Church I have and study possible changes in the worldwide Church to our pastoral care as bishmade myself personally ops: For whoever whishes to guilty and responsible. Only save his life will lose it, but after 2002 and even more whoever loses his life will since 2010, those affected by find it! sexual abuse have been Since last year, I have brought to the fore more thought about this more thorconsequently and this oughly and have asked mychange of perspective has self what this means for me not yet been completed. personally and I have decidOverlooking and disregarded – encouraged by the Easter period – ing the victims was certainly our greatto ask you to accept my resignation as “I therefore strongly request est fault of the past. In the aftermath of Archbishop of Munich and Freising. In you to accept thIs resIgnatIon. the MHG survey commissioned by the I contInue to enjoy beIng a essence, it is important to me to share German Bishops‘ Conference I stated prIest and a bIshop of thIs the responsibility for the catastrophe of in the Cathedral of Munich that we church and I wIll keep the sexual abuse by Church officials have failed. But who is this “We“? In over the past decades. The investiga- commIttIng myself In pastoral fact, I also belong to this circle. And tions and reports of the last ten years matters, wherever you deem It this means that I must also draw perreasonable and useful” have consistently shown that there sonal consequences from this. have been many personal failures and This is becoming increasingly clear administrative mistakes but also institutional or “systemic” to me. I believe one possibility to express this willingness failure. to take over responsibility is my resignation. In doing so, The recent debates have shown that some members of I may be able to send a personal signal for a new beginning, the Church refuse to believe that there is a shared responfor a new awakening of the Church, not only in Germany. sibility in this respect and that the Church as an institution I would like to show that not the ministry is in the foreis hence also to be blamed for what has happened and thereground but the mission of the Gospel. This too is an element fore disapprove of discussing reforms and renewal in the of the pastoral care. context of the sexual abuse crisis. I firmly have a different I therefore strongly request you to accept this resignaopinion. Both aspects have to be considered: mistakes for tion. I continue to enjoy being a priest and a bishop of this which you are personally responsible and the institutional Church and I will keep committing myself in pastoral matfailure which requires changes and a reform of the Church. ters, whereever you deem it reasonable and useful. In the A turning point out of this crisis is, in my opinion, only next years of my service, I would like to increasingly dedpossible if we take a “synodal path”, a path which actually icate myself to pastoral care and support an ecclesiastical enables a “discernment of spirits” as you have repeatedly renewal of the Church which you also call for incessantly. emphasised and reiterated in your letter to the Church in Germany. Oboedientia et Pax and oremus pro invicem I have been a priest for forty-two years and a bishop for Your obedient Reinhard Cardinal Marx almost twenty-five years, twenty years thereof I was an orArchbishop of Munich and Freising.n 14 INSIDE THE VATICAN JULY-AUGUST 2021

PoPe Francis rePlies: “Tend my sheeP”




n 2018, Cardinal Marx and a majority of other German bishops supported a proposal to allow Protestant spouses of German Catholics to receive the EuOn June 10, the Holy See Press nowhere, and the crisis must be adcharist at Mass. Office published Pope Francis’ reply dressed by our Paschal faith.” ThereHowever, Rome’s Congregation for to Cardinal Marx. In it, the Pope fore, he adds, “taking up the crisis, perthe Doctrine of the Faith warned in a agreed with the cardinal’s descrip- sonally and communally, is the only September, 2019 statement that the theologians’ proposal contained “doction of the abuse crisis in the Church, fruitful way, because we do not come trinal errors,” and said that intercomurging him to “continue as you pro- out of a crisis alone but in community.” munion could not be left to “individual pose, but as the Archbishop of MuPope Francis said it is “urgent” to aldecisions of conscience.” The German nich and Freising.” Francis, in echo low “the Spirit to lead us to the desert proposal for “reciprocal eucharistic of Cardinal Marx’s assessment, said of desolation, to the Cross and resurhospitality” was tabled in Septhat “the whole Church is in tember 2019 by a working crisis because of the abuse group of Protestant and issue,” and that “taking up Catholic theologians. the crisis, personally and “I would like to see Chriscommunally, is the only tians celebrate the Eucharist fruitful way, because we do together, without becoming a not come out of a crisis unified Church,” the Cardinal nevertheless told the Munichalone but in community.” based Bayern Radio in OctoIs Francis signaling that ber 2020. “Ecumenism only he also wants the German works if we try to understand cardinal to pursue the “Synthe position of others and odal Path” of which Marx is sometimes accept differa passionate advocate? ences.” In 2015, Cardinal Marx n BY VATICAN NEWS strenuously advocated that Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich speaks at a Vatican briefing during the meeting on the protection of minors in the Church, Feb. 23, 2019. Also the Church reconsider its uni“If you are tempted to pictured are Father Arturo Sosa Abascal, superior general of the Society of versal ban on allowing the dithink that by confirming your Jesus, and Nigerian Sister Veronica Openibo, congregational leader of the vorced and civilly-remarried to Society of the Holy Child Jesus. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) mission and not accepting receive the Eucharist. your resignation, this Bishop of Rome rection. It is the way of the Spirit that “With a view to divorced and remarried Catholics who take an active part (your brother who loves you) does not we must follow, and the starting point in parish life, many faithful ask why the understand you, think of what Peter felt is the humble confession: We have church without exception refuses to let before the Lord when, in his own way, erred, we have sinned.” them partake of Communion,” Marx he presented his resignation,” by preIn doing so, the Pope explained, “we said in remarks at the October 2015 senting himself as a sinner, and received will feel that healing shame that opens Synod on the Family. “They cannot unthe answer, “Shepherd my sheep.” the doors to the compassion and tenderderstand how one can belong to the It is with this image that Pope Fran- ness of the Lord who is always close to full community of the church and yet be cis concludes his letter in which he re- us.” Francis also said that he appreciexcluded from the sacraments of recjects the resignation presented by Car- ates the ending of Marx's letter and his onciliation and the Eucharist. The readinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of willingness to continue “to be a priest son given is that divorced and remarMunich and Freising. It was written in and bishop of this Church,” committing ried people are in an objectively adulSpanish and published in Spanish and himself to spiritual renewal. terous situation and therefore contradict what the Eucharist symbolically German by the Holy See Press Office on “And this is my answer, dear brothrepresents, namely Christ’s loyalty to June 10. In it, the Pope thanks Cardinal er,” the Pope concluded. “Continue as His church. Marx for the “Christian courage that you propose, but as Archbishop of Mu“But does this explanation do jusdoes not fear the cross, that does not fear nich and Freising. Recalling that the tice to the situation of those conbeing humiliated before the tremendous Bishop of Rome, Successor of that Pecerned?” Marx continued. “ And is it reality of sin.” Francis recalls that “the ter who had said to Jesus, ‘Depart from mandatory from the sacramental-thewhole Church is in crisis because of the me, for I am a sinner,’ can understand ological point of view? Can people who abuse issue,” maintaining that “the him well, and invites him to listen to are seen to be in a state of grave sin reChurch today cannot take a step forward the answer that the Nazarene gave to ally have the feeling of fully belonging without addressing this crisis” because the Prince of the Apostles: “Tend my to us?”n

“the politics of the ostrich leads





REActIoNs follow GERMAN chuRchMEN’s dEfIANcE of holY sEE Is blEssING hoMosExuAl uNIoNs ANothER stEp towARd schIsM? n BY CNA/ITV STAFF


riests and Church officials in place, an article by German Germany thumbed their Cardinal Gerhard Müller noses at the Vatican May 10 appeared in the journal First by holding blessing ceremonies of Things in which the former various types for same-sex couhead of the Congregation for ples in 80 cities. the Doctrine of the Faith reiterThe blessings were given in ated that “the Church has no defiance of the Congregation for authority” to bless homosexual the Doctrine of the Faith’s March unions. He explained: 15 pronouncement that the Church The nuptial blessing is does not have the power to bless closely connected with marsame-sex unions. riage as an institution of creThe ceremonies, known as ation and a sacrament instituted “Segnungsgottesdienste für by Christ. The nuptial blessing Liebende,” or “blessing services is the powerful prayer of the for lovers,” were promoted using More than 100 Catholic congregations in Germany have been offering Church for the bride and the hashtag “#liebegewinnt” blessings to same-sex couples in recent days. The Vatican forbids it, groom that they might particibut priests have been offering the blessings anyway (“love wins”). But CNA Deutsch pate in salvation: that their reports that it was difficult to say marriage might build up the how many such couples participated; sex couples, which was published with Church and promote the good of the there seemed to be only a “modest num- the approval of the pope, and when bish- spouses, their children, and society ops declare in advance that they gener- (Lumen Gentium 11). ber” in most places. The backlash prompted bishops in ously tolerate this or declare such blessThe nuptial blessing is unlike other other countries to express fears that the ings theologically possible and pastoral- blessings and consecrations. It cannot German Church was heading for ly necessary.” be separated from its specific connecFr. Gero Weishaupt, a judicial vicar tion to the sacrament of marriage and schism. They included English Bishop Philip Egan, Australian Cardinal in the Archdiocese of Cologne and applied to unmarried partnerships or, George Pell, and Italian Cardinal Camil- scholar of canon law, in an interview worse, misused to justify sinful unions. with CNA Deutsch also warned of lo Ruini. After then repeating the doctrinal Cardinal Joseph Zen, the former movement toward schism: “And one congregation’s judgment, he went on: bishop of Hong Kong, added his name to can ask oneself whether it is not already It beggars belief that bishops and thean appeal, launched in Portugal, asking latently realized,” he commented. ologians are suddenly insisting upon the But in a May 6 interview with ACI pastoral urgency of blessing homosexuRome to take action to stop a “schism” Stampa, 60-year-old German bishops’ al couples in areas where for many in Germany. Helmut Hoping, a professor of dog- head Georg Bätzig insisted that the months believers were deprived of the matic theology at the University of Church in Germany remained close to consolation and the grace of the sacraFreiburg, told CNA Deutsch that some Rome. ments during the coronavirus. This fact He said: “It is absolutely clear that shows how low the dogmatic, moral, of the priests conducting blessings “also openly advocate opening the sacrament there are matters that we can only dis- and liturgical water table has sunken… of marriage to same-sex couples in the cuss at the level of the Universal The scandal in Germany is thus not Church. We will contribute from Ger- about individuals and their consciences. medium term.” The theologian also spoke of “schis- many with our reflections.” Nor does it signal concern for their tem“However, I would like to reject the poral and eternal salvation. Instead what matic tendencies” in the Church in Germany, saying that “in several areas of accusation repeatedly used of us being we are witnessing is the heretical denial Church doctrine and discipline, commu- schismatics or of wanting to detach our- of the Catholic faith in the sacrament of nion with the pope is being severed, for selves as the German national Church marriage and the denial of the anthropoexample when priests violate the clear from Rome. Our bond with Rome and logical truth that the difference between ‘no’ of the Congregation for the Doc- the Holy Father is very tight.” men and women expresses God’s will in Two weeks after the “blessings” took creation.m trine of the Faith to blessings of same16


NEWS vatican

“reForM” oF benedict’s latinrite directives coMing Francis reportedly has set his sights on Summorum Pontificum, which liberalized use oF the extraordinary rite oF the Mass n BY CNA/ITV STAFF


ope Francis, in an address to the Italian Bishops upon the opening of their national assembly on May 24, told them that a “reform” of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, which under Pope Benedict XVI expanded permission for liberal use of the traditional Latin rite Mass, is in the offing. Proponents of the traditional (or “extraordinary”) rite reacted with apprehension as Italian bishops at the gathering reported the Pope as saying he had reached the third draft of a text restricting celebration of the “extraordinary form” of the Latin rite Mass. The Pope reportedly explained the existence of Summorum Pontificum as pri-

marily a concession to the traditionalist Pius X Society; however, this contention is dismissed by the motu proprio’s defenders, not only due to the sense of the text itself, but also because Pope Benedict, on page 189-190 of the book Last Testament: In His Own Words, (edited by Peter Seewald, 2017) says of the extraordinary rite, ”The Church preserved internal continuity with its past. What was once sacred did not suddenly become wrong. There is no other Mass now. They are different forms of the same rite.” As to why Pope Francis would want to, essentially, return the Church to the “indult days” in a time when the faithful

are attending the Latin rite Mass in ever greater numbers, no one seems to have a ready answer. There is some conjecture that the Latin Mass is perceived in the Vatican as a conduit for wider dissatisfaction with the entire post-Vatican “modernization” of the Church. As such, it may be considered a growing threat to unity – or to the preferred status quo – which must be squelched. With Summorum Pontificum, Benedict XVI universally liberalized the celebration of the Mass according to the Missal of St. John XXIII. In the letter to the bishops accompanying the motu proprio to all bishops in 2007, Benedict XVI established that “in the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture. What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful.” He added, “I would like to draw attention to the fact that this Missal [that of 1962] was never juridically abrogated and, consequently, in principle, was always permitted.”

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NEWS vatican According to CNA’s source at the Congregation for the Divine Worship, the modifications to Summorum Pontificum would restore the need to get consent from the local bishop to celebrate it. The source said that this and other possible changes “have been requested by some local bishops, complaining about the need to better regulate the conditions for celebrating the Mass in the Ancient Rite.” He said the most common complaint is “sometimes, the group of people requesting the Vetus Ordo is tiny, and adding such celebration and keeping the church open for such small amount of people can be troublesome in dioceses with priests’ shortage.” In 2020, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith sent a nine-point questionnaire about Summorum Pontificum to the presidents of bishops’ conferences worldwide, since the Pope wished to be “informed about the current application” of the motu proprio. But the document will not come for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith but from Divine Worship. One of the proposals on the table is to require that priests who want to celebrate the Traditional Mass will have to establish a specific community at a specific church. CNA’s source said that the first two drafts of the document ended up being “too tough” on the priests and faithful devoted to the Vetus Ordo. The third revision, according to the source, takes more into account “the possibility that restrictive regulations might be perceived as a step back in the path of the liturgical harmony desired by Benedict XVI.” The source said completing the last draft and preparing it for publication is the task given the new undersecretary of the congregation, Msgr. Aurelio García Masías. García will be consecrated a bishop next month, a dignity not typically given to undersecretaries. According to CNA’s source, this unusual decision might mean that Pope Francis is inclined to move the competencies on communities attached to the Traditional Latin Mass from the CDF to Divine Worship.m 18


arcHbisHop artHur rocHe appointed new Head of divine worsHip dicastery He replaces cardinal robert saraH as prefect n BY ITV STAFF


he news of Summorum Pontificum’s imminent change arrives at a time when change has come to the entire Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments: a new Prefect has been named by Pope Francis, to replace the venerable Cardinal Robert Sarah, 75, whose term ended February 20 of this year. The Vatican announced May 27 that Cardinal Sarah’s “number two,” the Secretary of the Congregation, English Archbishop Arthur Roche, 72, would become the new Prefect. Archbishop Roche has worked in the Congregation since appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012. He is the former bishop of Leeds, England, and while still ordinary, was named chairman of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) in 2002, overseeing the final production and acceptance of the new English translation of the Missal after its failure in 1998. In 2012, Pope Benedict appointed Bishop Roche as Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, until 2014 under Prefect Cardinal Antonio Llavera, and then under Cardinal Robert Sarah until this year. Pope Francis asked Archbishop Roche in 2016 to chair an informal commission to decide who should translate liturgical texts into the ver-

nacular; in 2017, when Francis released his document Magnum principium giving national bishops’ conferences the dominant role and constraining the authority of the CDW, Roche alone authored the Congregation’s accompanying commentary. Although Archbishop Roche has not been known as a champion of the traditional Latin rite Mass or other liturgical traditions in the same way that Cardinal Sarah has been, his previous work as Chairman of ICEL (International Commission on English in the LIturgy) from 2002-2012 is generally viewed with approval by liturgical conservatives. Archbishop Roche’s appointment and oversight of the restructuring of ICEL was a move aimed at reining in the commission’s complete independence from the oversight of bishops. He was a key person in the revision of the structure and methodology of ICEL, which had been highly concerned with “inclusivity” and, at times, not only translated texts but actually added to them on its own initiative. The Vatican actually rejected a 1998 ICEL translation of the Missal, and Roche’s appointment, along with replacement of staff, was part of an overhaul to ensure a more accurate translation that an increasing number of bishops and Vatican officials had wanted over the years. Previously, explained Catholic journalist Helen Hull Hitchcock in

Opposite page: Archbishop Arthur Roche, 72, the new prefect for the liturgy, taking the place of Cardinal Robert Sarah, 75, whose term ended February 20 of this year

2002, ICEL had produced in 1994 “a modernized version of the Psalms and Canticles. Although this was not proposed for use in the Lectionary, it was intended for use in the Liturgy of the Hours. Although the ICEL Psalter had been granted an imprimatur by the US bishops and published in 1995, it was rejected by the Holy See, its imprimatur removed, and it was ordered withdrawn from publication. “ICEL’s translating staff said they had used for the Psalter the “dynamic equivalency” theory of “free” translation that justified “correcting” the original text for gender and other reasons — a theory found in a 1969 document on translation, Comme le prévoit (“As foreseen.”) that had governed all of ICEL’s translations and revisions of the Missal texts. In addition, for the Missal revision, ICEL had composed original texts, non-existent in the Latin edition, expanding considerably on its original mandate to translate. This was the state of affairs that Archbishop Roche was, in part, called in to correct in 2002. So it is hardly fair to categorize him squarely as a “liturgical liberal.” In fact, as commentator and canon lawyer Ed Condon writes in his blog The Pillar, “In 2002, Roche was elected chairman of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, which produced the 2011 revised translation of the English liturgy, which was widely criticized by liturgical progressives.

“More recently, he oversaw a review of Liturgiam authenticam, which promulgated that revised translation, and which led to Francis’ 2017 motu proprio Magnum principium, which delegated future liturgical translations to episcopal conferences. “Critics of Roche describe him as someone who can be relied upon to ‘go with the flow’ and fall in line with the predominant school of thought on any particular issue, almost to the point of being a ‘yes-man.’ “Others who know and work with Roche stress that his collaborative nature makes him well suited to the

often bitterly divisive work of liturgical reform.” In a February address, Archbishop Roche revealed a glimpse of his views on the language of the Mass – and its sacrificial nature – when he spoke about the 1970 publication of the revised Roman Missal for what we now call the Ordinary Form of the Mass. His talk was titled, “The Roman Missal of Paul VI: A witness to unchanging faith and uninterrupted tradition,” delivered February 19, 2020, at the Pontifical University della

Santa Croce in Rome. In it he said: “While the Missal retains the basic structure of that of St. Pius V, together with ninety percent of the texts of that MIssal, it removes a number of repetitions and accretions and simplifies the language and gestures of the liturgy. At the same time, it uses more sacrificial vocabulary than was the case in the 1570 Missal. Opinions to the contrary are false. As St. Paul VI said to the members of the Consilium, ‘Liturgy is like a strong tree whose beauty is derived from the continuous renewal of its leaves, but whose strength comes from the old trunk, with solid roots in the ground.’ (Allocuzione di Paolo VI ai componenti del “Consilium ad Exsequendam Constitutionem de Sacra Liturgia,” 29 October, 1964).” Dr. Joseph Shaw, Senior Research Fellow in Philosophy at St. Benet’s Hall, Oxford University, and Chairman of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales, had this to say about his fellow countryman: “Archbishop Roche will be forever remembered for bringing the word ‘ineffable’ back into the English-language Mass in 2011; he has now become the most senior English prelate in the Roman Curia for generations. “On behalf of English Catholics I would like to congratulate him on this, and I hope we will all support with our prayers the important work he has been given by Pope Francis.” m


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fIrst lIturgy and today IndIvIdual Masses at st. Peter’s halted... ruMors of further restrIctIons on the old Mass? Why? Why the battle over our lIturgy? an exclusIve essay by bIshoP schneIder

The Last Supper by Philippe de Champaigne, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyons, France


fter individual Masses were suppressed at St. Peter’s basilica by an unusual decree pinned to the basilica sacristy doors March 11, many have expressed alarm that St. Peter’s might become, in the words of Cardinal Gerhard Müller, “more and more like a museum.” Vatican journalist Edward Pentin, writing in the National Catholic Register on March 22, the first day in which the new rules were in force, noted that the basilica was “almost completely devoid of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.” Previously, there had been Masses being said on most of the 45 altars and 11 chapels in St. Peter’s. Clergy who worked in the Vatican were accustomed to starting their days by saying Mass in St. Peter’s, sometimes alone. Now, all clergy are restricted to concelebrating one of four Masses scheduled from 7 to 9:30 am daily. The stated reason: to foster an “atmosphere of recollection and liturgical decorum,” said the directive, initialed by Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra, deputy Secretary of State (though such matters are typically overseen by the basilica’s cardinal archpriest). Cardinal Raymond Burke, Prefect Emeritus of the Apostolic Signatura, criticized the directive, saying it unjustly conditions priests to concelebrate Masses in violation of their freedom to offer the Mass individually, a violation of Church law.



Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana, Kazakhstan, a constant defender of Catholic liturgical tradition, in Christus Vincit (2019) a book-length interview with Diane Montagna, recalls the profoundly respectful eucharistic formation he received as a child. Warned that the then-novel practice of Communion in t,he hand had been introduced into the parishes of their adopted Germany, his family, who had emigrated from the Soviet republic of Estonia, felt confused. “We could not imagine how the Holy of Holies, the Living God, could be taken in the hand,” the bishop remembered. “That was for me inconceivable, really.” Now Bishop Schneider comes to the defense of tradition in objecting to the new Mass prohibitions in St. Peter’s Basilica — at the very heart of our Eucharistic Lord’s Church, arguing that tradition in the liturgy is not a tool of factionalism, but an expression of the participation of every Catholic in the sacrificial remedy for sin offered by the God-man Himself. The Mass is our “thanksgiving” for the great sacrifice of Our Lord. Bishop Schneider has crafted for Inside the Vatican a thorough, multi-faceted explanation of the concept of concelebration of the Mass, its history and purpose — and also its theological differences from individual celebration of the Mass by a single priest. His analysis follows. — Christina Deardurff m

euchAristic concelebrAtion An essAy on the liturgy by bishop AthAnAsius schneider, AuxiliAry bishop of the Archdiocese of st. MAry in AstAnA, KAzAKhstAn

Bishop Athanasius Schneider, 60, is Bishop of Astana, Kazakhstan. He was born in 1961 in the Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic. His parents were Black Sea Germans from Ukraine, sent by Stalin to a gulag in the Ural Mountains, where the family was part of the underground Church. In 1973, after making his First Holy Communion in secret, Schneider emigrated with his family to Rottweil in West Germany. In 1982 in Austria, Schneider joined the Canons Regular of the Holy Cross of Coimbra. Starting in 1999, he taught Patristics at the Catholic seminary in Karaganda. On June 2, 2006, he was consecrated a bishop in Rome. In 2011, he became auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Astana. He is the General Secretary of the Bishops’ Conference of Kazakhstan. BY BISHOP ATHANASIUS SCHNEIDER I. EUCHARISTIC CONCELEBRATION: THE THEOLOGICAL AND HISTORICAL ASPECT


he first Holy Mass was celebrated by Our Lord in the cenacle. This Mass did not have the form of a sacramental concelebration, because the apostles did not pronounce the words of consecration, but only the Lord pronounced them. The apostles participated in the Eucharist, celebrated by the Lord, by sacramentally receiving His Body and His Blood. We could say they “concelebrated” in the first Mass in the form of a non-sacramental concelebration. From the earliest times, the universal Church (both in the East and in the West) conserved faithfully this original form of Eucharistic concelebration with these two characteristics: The main celebrant alone pronounces the words of consecration. The main celebrant is always and exclusively the “high priest,” i.e. the bishop (and, in Rome, the Pope). In the beginning of the Middles Ages, in the Papal Liturgy in Rome there was a development of the original form by the fact that the concelebrants pronounced the words of consecration together with the Pope (cf. Ordo Romanus III, 8th century). However, down to the present, the most ancient Oriental churches — the non-Catholic Greek Byzantines, the non-Catholic Copts, and non-Catholic Nestorians — have conserved the norm that only the main celebrant pronounces the words of consecration. JULY-AUGUST 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN




Until recent times in the universal Church, a priest never Chrism Mass of Lyons, or when the Pope (in the first millepresided as the main celebrant of a Eucharistic sacramental nium) celebrated solemnly on the four highest feast in the concelebration. year: Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, Ss. Peter and Paul (a cusFrom the 17th century on, the Byzantine Catholic tom that ceased in Rome in the high Middles Ages). churches introduced an innovation, that is, the form of conIn all rites of all times, a solemn episcopal Mass always celebration among priests without a bishop as the main celrequired the liturgical assistance of the representatives of all ebrant. Thereby the concelebration among priests became degrees of the clergy. In the Roman rite, such a Mass was usual (cf. the article “Le rituel de la concélébration structured as follows: priests wearing Mass vestments (so, eucharistique” of Aimé Georges Martimort in Ephemerides for example, the ceremonial concelebrants in the case of the Liturgicae 77 [1963] 147–168). Cathedral canons “canonici parati,” prescribed in the Such a form of Eucharistic concelebration only among ancient Caeremoniale Episcoporum), assisting priest, two priests was alien to the universal and constant tradition of assisting deacons, deacon and subdeacon of Mass, acolytes, the Church. Therefore the Roman lectors. Church forbade such concelebraThe solemn Papal Mass in tion among priests (cf. can. 803 of Saint Peter’s before the Second the Code of Canon Law 1917). Vatican Council had the same Only the Catholic Oriental structure: cardinal bishops and carchurches adopted the custom that dinal priests, wearing Mass vestall concelebrants pronounce the ments, and cardinal deacons assistwords of consecration. ing the Pope. The cardinals concelUntil the Second Vatican Counebrated ceremonially, i.e. noncil, in the Latin Church a Eucharissacramentally. tic sacramental concelebration, The use of the sacramental where all concelebrants pronounce Eucharistic concelebration in order the words of consecration, was practo resolve practical problems in a ticed only on three occasions: gathering of a great number of priests Episcopal consecration: only the or bishops is therefore entirely alien main consecrator and the newly conto the original and constant tradition “The firsT holy Mass was secrated bishops concelebrated. of the entire Church. Such a use concelebraTed by our lord in The Priestly ordination: only the bishtradicts the original form and nature op and the newly ordained priests cenacle. This Mass did noT have The of the Eucharistic concelebration concelebrated. and constitutes a “degradation” of forM of a sacraMenTal Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday concelebration, as Martimort concelebraTion, because The in the Cathedral of Lyons (France): already noticed (cf. op. cit.). the bishop concelebrated with six The argument for extending the aposTles did noT pronounce The priests. cases of concelebration on the occawords of consecraTion, buT only For the Chrism Mass, the Roman sion of priest gatherings in order to Church conserved until the Second resolve practical problems of celeThe lord pronounced TheM” Vatican Council however the most bration figured in “Schema II” of the ancient form, i.e. the words of conseConstitution Sacrosanctum Concilicration pronounced only the bishop, although twelve priests um of the Second Vatican Council. This argument, however, assisted him clothed with all the vestments required for was rejected by the majority of the Councils Fathers, so that Mass. With this form, the Roman Church perhaps wished to it disappeared in the definitive text of n. 57. recount the first Holy Mass on Holy Thursday, where the A Eucharistic concelebration only among priests main celebrant, Jesus the High Priest, alone pronounced the obscures an essential element of this form of celebration, words of consecration while the twelve apostles concelei.e., the visibly recognizable hierarchical form. Each celebrated non-sacramentally, since they did not pronounce bration of Holy Mass possesses its innate hierarchical form. together with the Lord the words of the sacramental conseThe first Holy Mass in the cenacle revealed this charactercration. istic: Jesus the High Priest was the main celebrant and He In the millennial tradition of the Roman Church, sacraalone pronounced the words of consecration, being surmental Eucharistic concelebration constituted always an rounded by the twelve first priests (bishops) of the New extraordinary solemn act, which occurred on: Covenant, who ceremonially assisted Him. Jesus was hierEcclesiastically important circumstances, which reflectarchically higher and the ceremonially concelebrating aposed the hierarchically ordered constitution of the Church, tles were lower. Since then, every authentic concelebration such as in the aforementioned episcopal consecrations and of the Holy Mass possessed this structure. in priestly ordinations; When a priest celebrates alone and without the sacraWhen the bishop celebrated Mass in a most solemn and mental concelebration of other priests, he alone represents hierarchically structured form, such as was the case in the Jesus the High Priest in the moment of the consecration, and 22


The French liturgist Monsignor Aimé-Georges Martimort during a session of the Second Vatican Council. Opposite, two fundamental books to understand the thought of Bishop Athanasius Schneider

all other priests who are present and do not pronounce the words of consecration (e.g., those who may be ministering as deacon or subdeacon, or any who are assisting in choir) are, at this moment, hierarchically lower from the point of view of the sacramental action, inasmuch as the celebrating priest alone acts at this moment sacramentally in persona Christi capitis, while the others do not. Every Eucharistic celebration or concelebration has to demonstrate visibly the aspect of Christ the Head, i.e., that there is in the structure of the Church only one Head, Christ the High Priest. All other priests (presbyters, bishops) who are acting in the Eucharistic consecration in persona Christi capitis are only His visible vicars on different levels. Therefore, the moment of realizing the Eucharistic consecration in persona Christi capitis — whether the consecration is made by only one consecrator or simultaneously by several consecrators — has to show visibly the uniqueness of the Head; in the case of a group of consecrators there has to be visibly one who is hierarchically higher, to show the uniqueness of Christ the Head. From the point of view of the sign — and with the sacramental celebration, only one concrete person, in this case the main celebrant, visibly represents Christ the Head — it would be against the law of the sign-representation and of sacramental symbolism, when in the moment of the Eucharistic consecration a group of hierarchically equal persons simultaneously represents Christ, the one Head. “Indeed a pure multiplication of the concelebrants makes difficult the liturgical expression of their unity in Christ. How in this case is the Mass the act of the unique Priest?” (P. Tihon, “De la concélébration eucharistique,” Nouvelle Revue Théologique 86 [1964] 600, n. 97). On the other side, the totality of the faithful represents the Mystical Body of Christ (Christus totus), because there are many hierarchically different members. There is, however, only a single Head in the Body, and therefore the Head is represented concretely by only one person in the visible acts of the life of the Church: both on the canonical level (jurisdiction) and on the Eucharistic level (celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice). The Eucharistic celebration is the sacrament which most perfectly realizes and visibly reflects the mystery of the Mystical Body with only one Head and one High Priest and with many hierarchically subordinated members. On the canonical level, the Pope represents Christ the Head for the universal Church and the bishop represents Christ for the particular church (diocese). On the Eucharistic sacramental level, the celebrant or the main celebrant (in the case of a concelebration) represents Christ the Head.

The one who represents Christ the Head at the moment of the Eucharistic consecration has to be as well “head” hierarchically or sacramentally in reference to the other concelebrants: this case is seen when the bishop concelebrates with priests, or a papal delegate (or the Metropolitan or the main consecrator in an episcopal consecration) concelebrates with other bishops, or when a priest celebrates alone. When several priests are realizing the Eucharistic consecration together and on the same level, the symbolism of the representation of the one Head is obscured, because there is no hierarchical difference of the Eucharistic co-consecrators, for none of them is a real “head” relative to the others on the hierarchical level. A hierarchical difference between Eucharistic co-consecrators guarantees convincingly the true symbolism of representing the only one Head. Furthermore, having a main celebrant who is hierarchically higher and clearly distinguished as such also displays the truth that there is ultimately only one principal and main celebrant in each Mass, who is Christ the High Priest, the “minister principalis” of each sacrament, with all celebrants, even the main celebrant, occupying the rank of “minister secundarius.” The essentially hierarchical structure of the visible Church has only one visible head as the vicar of Christ, the one sole Head (Vicarius Christi): Saint Peter and his successors, the bishops of Rome. The Orthodox Churches rejected this truth of faith and created as a substitution for it an ecclesiology called “synodality” (sobornost in Russian). According to such a vision, the uniqueness of Christ the Head is not represented by one concrete person, i.e., Peter and his successors, but by the body or the collegium of bishops simultaneously, especially when gathered in a council or synod and sacramentally when concelebrating the Eucharist. In such a theory, there is no real visible head, but all are equal (“pares”). Consequently, the president of such a synod or of such a Eucharistic concelebration is only “primus inter pares.” A Eucharistic celebration most perfectly reflects and realizes the mystery of the Church if and only if there is a real jurisdictional and hierarchical “primus.” Therefore, from the point of view of the sign and symbol, there must be among the concelebrants one who at the moment of the Eucharistic consecration is really “primus”: Only sacramentally: when only one priest (however many are present) consecrates sacramentally, or Sacramentally and hierarchically: when the bishop concelebrates with priests, or Sacramentally and hierarchically: when a bishop with ordinary or extraordinary papal delegation concelebrates JULY-AUGUST 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN




with other bishops (the Metropolitan using the pallium, the main consecrator in the episcopal ordination, a Papal Legate). It also obscures the hierarchical nature of the Eucharistic concelebration and reveals an egalitarian form, since in that scenario bishops and priest together constitute a kind of egalitarian group of concelebrants in reference to an episcopal main celebrant, who has not a real higher hierarchical position, as would be the case with a Metropolitan using the papal pallium, the main consecrator in an episcopal ordination acting on the base of a papal mandatum, or a specially appointed papal delegate. The Pope is the visible sign of the unity of the episcopal order. The bishop, united with the Pope, is the visible sign of unity of the presbyterate. This must be visible also in the Eucharistic concelebration. A Eucharistic concelebration among bishops where the main celebrant has no papal delegation, not even a remote one, has a strong “egalitarian” characteristic. Likewise, a Eucharistic concelebration among priests without the bishop, has a strong “egalitarian” characteristic, since there is lacking as well the presence of the visible head of the presbyterium, i.e. the bishop. Moreover, the egalitarian conception goes further, saying that what is essential is not the representation of Christ by one or by many priests, but His representation rather by the whole community that celebrates the Eucharist (cf. P. Tihon, op. cit., 593). When a priest realizes the Eucharistic consecration alone (even though there could be present other not-concelebrating priests), he sacramentally makes visible Christ the one Head, acting in persona Christi capitis. Remotely, his singularity refers also to the bishop, the one head of the particular church, who in his turn is united with the Pope, the one head of the universal Church. Therefore, a licit Eucharistic celebration has to mention expressly the bishop, one head of the local church and the Pope, one head of the universal Church. In the perspective of the truth that there is no “primus inter pares” in the hierarchical constitution of the Church, but that there is “one head” universally (Pope), locally (bishop), and sacramentally (the consecrating priest in persona Christi capitis), the highest sign of the unity of the priesthood is not the Eucharistic concelebration among priests without the bishop as main celebrant, but the Eucharistic concelebration of the priests with the bishop, as occurs in the Mass of priestly ordination. In the rite of priestly ordination it is said that the unity of the Body of Christ is 24


made up by members who are many and different as to the dignities: “ex multis et alternae dignitatis membris unum Corpus Christi efficitur” (Allocutio episcopi). The form of the sacramental concelebration (as occurred in the Mass of the Pope with the cardinals only four times in the year from the 7th - 8th centuries) appeared gradually in later centuries also in the Mass of episcopal consecration and of priestly ordination (in this case it became obligatory only in 1596). At the same time, the Eucharistic concelebration of the Pope with the cardinals gradually disappeared, and remained a ceremonial concelebration of the Pope with the cardinals. According to the original and perennial sensus ecclesiae, the Eucharistic concelebration is the most solemn form of the Mass and not a simple and daily form of celebration. St. Ignatius of Antioch (1 - 2nd centuries) and the Traditio Apostolica (3rd century), for example, mentioned it: during the Mass the bishop is surrounded by his whole presbyterium, by the deacons and other servers and the whole assembly of the faithful. The Traditio Apostolica says that only the bishop speaks the Eucharistic prayer. The most Greek Orthodox monasteries of the Mount Athos, for instance, do not pratice a daily Eucharistic concelebration. They preserved the original tradition of a Eucharistic concelebration – always in a ceremonial and never in the sacramental form – only on a few main feasts during the year (cf. Hagioreitokon Typikon tes Ekklesiastikes Akoloutheias, Athena 1997, I part, chapter 1, note 28). The custom of the some Oriental Catholic churches with a regular Eucharistic concelebration of priests without the bishop, which is indeed ultimately an “egalitarian” and not a strictly hierarchical form, was erroneously considered by representatives of the Liturgical Movement in the 20th century as the authentic and original model of Eucharistic concelebration, of which they strongly demanded a “restoration” in the Latin Church. Until the Second Vatican Council, the Roman Church conserved this original form of the Eucharistic concelebration according to the norm of the Fathers (“pristina norma Patrum”) in the Chrism Mass, where twelve priests, wearing Mass vestments, concelebrated ceremonially with the bishop, surrounded by seven deacons and seven subdeacons. The numbers twelve and seven are representative and symbolic numbers for the totality of the respective degrees of the clergy.

Below, a Mass concelebrated in the Cathedral of Lodi, Italy, for the ordination of priests. Opposite, a Mass according to the ancient rite in Vaduz, Switzerland, celebrated by Bishop Haas

The original and older form, non-sacramental or ceremobe clearly hierarchical (and not in an egalitarian form) and nial Eucharistic concelebration, such as it was in the Chrism also must be the most solemn form of the Eucharistic celeMass, coexisted in the Roman Church with the later form of bration. the sacramental Eucharistic concelebration in the case of the A daily sacramental Eucharistic concelebration diminMass of the episcopal consecration and priestly ordination. ishes over time a deeper, closer, and more personal relationOn the eve of the Second Vatican Councils, there were ship of the priest with Christ the High Priest during the offermany requests to harmonize these two forms of Eucharistic ing of the Holy Mass, which is the very center of priestly concelebrations in the Roman Church, i.e., to extend the life. sacramental Eucharistic concelebration also to the Chrism The Eucharistic celebration always had in its form sevMass, as occurred in the Rite of Lyons until the Second Vateral degrees of solemnity. The highest and most solemn ican Council and in several French dioceses until the 19th form of the Mass was the Pontifical High Mass, and such century (cf. Martimort, op. cit.). Pontifical Masses always conserved in the Roman Rite the The call for extending the possibility of Eucharistic conessential elements of the original Eucharistic concelebracelebration on the eve of this Council was very loud. The tion, i.e., of the non-sacramental or ceremonial concelebraCouncil Fathers were surrounded by an atmosphere of tion. Prior to the postconciliar liturgical reform, such Poneuphoria, of uncritical approval tifical Masses with ceremonial of the new “concelebration theconcelebration had three ory,” of a lack of deeper reflecforms: tion about sacramentological The solemn Pontifical Mass and ecclesiological aspects ad thronum in the Cathedral: linked with Eucharistic concelthe bishop was surrounded by ebration. some Canons, wearing Mass The Second Vatican Council vestments (“canonici parati”), indeed extended the possibility with assisting priest, assisting of Eucharistic concelebration deacons, deacon and subdeaformally to six cases (Sacrocon, acolytes. sanctum Concilium, n. 57). The Chrism Mass with The norms were, however, so twelve priests, wearing Mass “elastic” that in fact there is vestments, seven deacons and nowadays a total liberty of conseven subdeacons. This was celebration, a liberty postconreally the most solemn Mass ciliar documents even favored. in a diocese. The Second Vatican CounThe solemn Papal Mass in “Nowadays the actual practice of cil had no intention of deciding Saint Peter’s Basilica, where eucharistic coNcelebratioN has ofteN about the theological and even cardinal-deacons, cardinalless about the historical probpriests, and cardinal-bishops, trespassed the limits of liturgical lems of concelebration. “The wearing Mass vestments, surdigNity” Council gave no definition, no rounded the Pope and served description of concelebration, or concelebrated ceremonialthere being different and oppoly. This was the most solemn site theological tendencies” concerning it (P. Tihon, op. cit., form of Mass in the universal Church. Such solemn Masses 579). were celebrated rarely, as was also the case in the first milThe actual practice of Eucharistic concelebration in the lennium, where the Pope sacramentally concelebrated with Latin Church constitutes a great rupture with the constant the cardinals only four times in the year (Christmas, Easter, tradition of the Roman Church and of the most Oriental Pentecost, St. Peter and Paul). churches, for it obscures the original sense and form of this The renowned liturgist A. Martimort acknowledged the concelebration as Christ entrusted it to the Church and as it character of the particularity and the solemnity of a sacrawas faithfully transmitted by the Roman Church in the last mental Eucharistic concelebration, saying: “More delicate two millennia. is the problem of the conditions to which concelebration The actual practice of Eucharistic concelebration in the should be submitted, concerning their dates, the number and Latin Church has trespassed nowadays often the limits of the quality of the concelebrants. The liturgists remark that liturgical dignity and theological meaning, especially in the concelebration in itself is a rare and a somewhat exceptional frequent cases of “mass concelebrations” or “oceanic” conthing, as it has always been in the West and as it is in the East celebrations with several hundred and even thousands of — if not in practice, yet in principle” (op. cit.). concelebrants. On the eve of the Second Vatican Council, Martimort The frequent daily concelebrations among priests (or made this theologically correct and practically balanced among bishops) disfigures the original sense of Eucharistic proposal for an extended practice of the Eucharistic concelconcelebration, according to which such a celebration must ebration: “One should imagine concelebration in the Latin JULY-AUGUST 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN




Church only around the diocesan bishop, with him presiding at the celebration: it finds a normal place in the Mass where the bishop is surrounded by his clergy, clothed in vestments for Mass (clergé paré)” (op. cit.). Martimort makes the following concrete suggestions about the extension of cases of concelebration: “There are three cases, in which concelebration is demanded: in the case of the co-consecrators of the episcopal consecration, in the case of the priests in the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday, [and] in the case of a great manifestation of the Church, where some priests surrounding the celebrant express the universality of the catholica” (op. cit.). If the practice of Eucharistic concelebration was to have been extended, it should have been done according to the authentic and perennial theological and ecclesiological meaning, i.e., it must fulfill simultaneously the following essential characteristics: There must be the sign of hierarchical unity and universality (catholicity): therefore, no egalitarian form; therefore, no concelebration among priests alone or among bishops without a papal delegate or without the Metropolitan, using the pallium. There must be the sign of particular solemnity: therefore, no daily concelebrations, but only in the particular important events of the universal Church (Ecumenical Councils) and in the particular Churches: episcopal consecration, priestly ordination, Chrism Mass, diocesan synod, provincial council (the different particular churches of the same ecclesiastical province), plenary council (all the particular churches of the same conference of bishops). There must be the sign of particular ritual dignity and beauty: therefore, no “stadium concelebration” and — with the exception of priestly ordinations — necessarily a concrete limitation of the number of concelebrants (e.g., a minimum of two and a maximum of twelve concelebrants), as was exemplified by the almost millennial well-tried experience of the Roman Church, the Rite of Lyons, and some French dioceses after the Council of Trent. Considering the above-mentioned ecclesiological, sacramentological, and liturgical aspects, one can make the proposal that the sacramental Eucharistic concelebration in the Roman Rite should comprise the following seven cases: Episcopal consecration; Priestly ordination; Ecumenical Councils; Provincial Councils; Plenary Councils; 26


Diocesan synod; Chrism Mass. The highest form of the exercise of the Magisterium (councils on the universal, regional, and local levels) could be appropriately linked also with the highest form of the exercise of the Eucharistic celebration, i.e., with the sacramental Eucharistic concelebration, showing the indissoluble link of the lex credendi with the lex orandi. The nature of Divine worship requires that in the liturgical life of the Church there must be a particularly solemn and not-daily form of the Eucharistic celebration, and we should see this in a hierarchically structured Eucharistic concelebration. Martimort warned prophetically in 1960 on the eve of the Second Vatican Council: “It is the occasion to admonish that concelebration will be a very demanding thing from the point of view of the quality of the things and the material organization” (op. cit.). P. Tihon said in 1964: “Concelebration should not be done on discounts. Moreover, a dignified celebration, executed according to the norms, imposes a limited number of participating priests, and it would be almost impossible during big gatherings of priests, such as during the Eucharistic Congresses for example” (op. cit., 606). According to the example of the Oriental non-Catholic churches (where there is no sacramental concelebration at all) and the ancient norm of the Fathers (pristina norma Patrum), the strictly sacramental Eucharistic concelebration should be reduced to the abovementioned cases and the non-sacramental concelebration, which is the original form, should be more extended, such as it is the Pontifical High Mass according to the traditional Roman Rite, the usus antiquior of the Roman Rite. A non-sacramental Eucharistic concelebration very beautifully demonstrates as well the hierarchical order of the Church and of the celebration itself. This is witnessed when only one priest or bishop performs the Eucharistic consecration, whereas other priests or bishops assist the Mass in the sanctuary (presbyterium), wearing the distinctive sign of their priesthood or of their ecclesiastical office. Even though not consecrating sacramentally, they nevertheless concelebrate with the one priest or bishop in the original form of the concelebration, i.e., in the form in which Christ the High Priest celebrated the first Holy Mass on this earth on Holy Thursday. A practice of the sacramental Eucharistic concelebration, presided over by the bishop and restricted to very particular

The elevation of the Sacred Host and of the chalice during a Mass in the old Latin rite. Opposite, a depiction of a Mass celebrated by St. Gregory the Great, showing the appearance of the living Christ

and solemn occasions, would be the most appropriate form, as Martimort stated: “This concelebration seems to us a more sure way, more immediately practicable and more in conformity with the evolution of priestly piety” (op. cit.).

II. THE LITURGICAL ASPECT A ritually dignified and theologically sure sacramental Eucharistic concelebration demands necessarily a numerus clausus [closed number] of concelebrants. It is a constant law of the universal tradition of the Church that the Eucharistic consecrator has to be in bodily contact with the place of sacrifice and consecration in order to be able to touch the altar. The minister of the sacrament has to be corporally close to the materia. The words “Hoc est corpus… ,” “Hic est sanguis…” demand that the materia is really present to the consecrator. In the Latin Tradition (with the exception of the newly ordained priests in the usus antiquior) the sacramental coconsecrators had to stay immediately at the altar, as for example in the Mass of the episcopal consecration and in the Chrism Mass in the Rite of Lyons. The same rule is observed in the Oriental rites still today. In view of a dignified Eucharistic concelebration, Martimort suggested establishing a numerus clausus of concelebrants (cf. op. cit.). The Latin Church has a welltried model for such a ritually dignified and theologically sure sacramental Eucharistic concelebration in the centuries-old form of concelebration in the Mass of the episcopal consecration and in the Chrism Mass of the Rite of Lyons. Concerning the ritual aspect, Martimort suggested: “The Chrism Mass of Holy Thursday would be the most sure and comfortable occasion for such an evolution of the discipline: it would be sufficient to extend to the universal Church the custom of Lyons” (op. cit.). More concretely, Martimort made this proposal: “I would gladly adopt the rubrics of the episcopal consecration or the living custom of Lyons, which prescribe for the concelebrants the recitation in a middle tone of all prayers said by the main celebrant from the Offertory to the Communion; for the sung parts, the bishop sings alone, while the other concelebrants recite in a low voice” (op. cit.). In the Roman Rite the sacramental Eucharistic concelebration should regularly not exceed the number twelve for concelebrants, except in the Mass of priestly ordinations. This custom has a centuries-long tradition in the Chrism Mass.

The number twelve recounts the number of twelve Apostles during the first Holy Mass in the cenacle on Holy Thursday. Furthermore, this number symbolizes fullness. The minimum number of concelebrants would be two, because of the minimum requirement of beauty and solemnity, which two symmetrically placed concelebrants express. During the catechumenal part of the Mass, the concelebrants are placed symmetrically on seats on each side of the sanctuary or on the right and left side of the episcopal throne. From the Offertory on, the concelebrants stay symmetrically on each side of the altar. At the front side of the altar, the main celebrant stays alone with the assisting priest, deacon, and subdeacon. This position manifests visibly that there is really a main celebrant, who in this moment represents Christ the one Head. The other concelebrants, his helping co-consecrators, are therefore placed on the sides of the altar. This position has also a practical advantage: there is guaranteed an unhindered ministry of the assisting priest, deacon, and subdeacon, as well as the incensation of the altar. Because of the presence of concelebrants at both sides of the altar, the altar during the Offertory is incensed in the front part, and not in a circle around. When the sides of the altar are not sufficiently long, the remaining concelebrants stay in two rows one behind the other. All the prayers from the Offertory to the Communion (except the Offertory verse, the Secreta or Oratio super oblata and the Preface) the concelebrants pray in a low voice together with the main celebrant, who prays them aloud. During the Canon Missae, the concelebrants perform together with the main celebrant the following gestures: During Hanc igitur holding the hands spread flat so that the right thumb is over the left and joining the hands at the conclusion Per Christum Dominum nostrum. During the pronunciation of the words of the consecration, the concelebrants bow. All genuflect immediately after each consecration. During the elevation of the sacred host and of the chalice, the concelebrants look upon them. All genuflect after each elevation. They make a profound bow, kissing the altar and crossJULY-AUGUST 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN




ing themselves during Supplices te rogamus. They strike the breast at the beginning of Nobis quoque peccatoribus; The rite of the Pax is according the ritual of the episcopal consecration. During the Domine, non sum dignus, the concelebrants strike the breast three times, together with the main celebrant. The rite of Communion of episcopal concelebrants is similar to that of the Mass of episcopal consecration. Each concelebrant approaches the main celebrant, who stands at his place in the center. The concelebrant genuflects towards the Blessed Sacrament, and the main celebrant lays the sacred host directly on the tongue of the concelebrant, who is standing and slightly bowing, then the main celebrant gives the chalice to the concelebrant and the concelebrant, holding the chalice with his hands, drinks from the chalice. The main celebrant does not say any words while giving Holy Communion to the concelebrants nor does he make the sign of cross with the sacred host. The concelebrants purify themselves drinking from a chalice of unconsecrated wine at the credence. The rite of Communion of priestly concelebrants: the concelebrants kneel down in a row on the top step of the altar; the bishop lays the sacred host directly on their tongue, while attended by the deacon and subdeacon, the deacon holding the paten. The concelebrants remaining still kneeling, awaiting the bishop to return with the chalice; the bishop holds to the lips of each concelebrant the chalice, from which he drinks a sip, while the deacon holds a purificator beneath the chin of each one. The bishop does not say any words while giving Holy Communion to the concelebrants nor does he make the sign of cross with the sacred host. The concelebrants purify themselves drinking from a chalice of unconsecrated wine at the credence. The fact that the concelebrants and even the episcopal concelebrants receive the Body and Blood of Christ from the main concelebrant demonstrates in a very impressive manner the hierarchical aspect of the Eucharistic concelebration, stressing that there is only one Head and one High Priest Christ, who is visibly represented by the one main celebrant who at that moment is His true vicar (vicarius Christi). The rite of concelebration in the Mass of the priestly ordination should remain unchanged, except the rite of Communion, which could be done as described above. There are following reasons for maintaining the traditional rite of concelebration for the priestly ordination: The eminent pedagogical character. For the newly ordained priest there is given this psychologically very appropriate gradual introduction to the awesome and sacred moment of offering for the first time the unbloody Sacrifice of the Cross. So the neo-presbyters remain behind the bishop and not directly at the altar, and in a kneeling position. This all expresses the necessary spiritual attitude at such a moment: that one can approach to the Holiest of Holies 28


only with deep humility, with a holy and tactful reserve. Like docile and astonished “apprentices,” the newly ordained priests are introduced to realizing the greatest spiritual power which is given to men, i.e., to offer the Sacrifice of the Cross and transubstantiate in persona Christi bread and wine into the immolated and living Body and Blood of Christ. Indeed, in the allocution before the ordination, the bishop says: “cum magno timore ad tantum gradum accendendum est” (one must ascend to such a great degree with much fear). In the last admonition at the end of the Mass, the bishop says to the newly ordained priest that the celebration of the holy Mass is a “quite dangerous thing” (“res, quam tractaturi estis, satis periculosa est”). Therefore, says the bishop, before they start to celebrate Mass, they have to learn to celebrate it diligently from wellversed priests (“ab aliis iam doctis sacerdotibus discatis”). The rite of priestly ordination unfolds gradually, through impressive signs and actions, the various spiritual powers of the priesthood: first the power to offer the sacrifice of Mass and then the power to absolve the sinners in the sacrament of penance. Therefore, at the end of the Mass the bishop unfolds ritually the chasuble, whose back side had been pinned up, pronouncing the words: “Receive the Holy Ghost: whose ever sins you remit, they are remitted,” etc. The subordinated place and position occupied by the neo-presbyters relating to the celebrating bishop is a very eloquent demonstration of the theological truth that the priests possess the “munus secundi meriti” (cf. Prayer of the ordination), i.e., they have the second, subordinate degree of the priesthood. They are called in the rite of ordination “sacerdotes minoris ordinis” (cf. Allocutio episcopi). It demonstrates the fact that a priest may not licitly celebrate the Holy Mass unless he has either actual or habitual authorization from the bishop of the diocese. In celebrating Holy Mass, the priest is in some way always dependent on and subordinated to the bishop of the place. In non-sacramental Eucharistic concelebrations when priests or bishops assist in the sanctuary without Mass vestments, they should receive Holy Communion from the hands of the main celebrant. They wear the stole and, kneeling on the top step of the altar, receive the Body of Christ directly on the tongue. Then they could receive also the chalice of the Blood of Christ. Their participation at Mass and at Holy Communion

should be in some way distinguished from those who are not sacramentally ordained or not priests.

CONCLUSION In conclusion, it is worthwhile to quote the following apt observation of a great Catholic Anglican theologian, Dr. Eric Mascall, as reported by Fr. John Hunwicke: “If, Mascall wrote, you want to make ‘anybody understand wherein the corporateness of the Mass really consists,’ the best thing you can do is to take him into a church with lots of simultaneous private Masses going on, and tell him that ‘the different priests saying their different Masses

A panel of The Ghent Altarpiece (or The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, Dutch: Het Lam Gods), St. Bavo's Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium

at their different altars are doing not different things but the same thing, that they are all taking part in the one eternal Liturgy whose celebrant is Christ and that their priesthood is only a participation in his... the multiplication of Masses emphasises the real unity of the Mass and the true nature of the Church’s corporate character as nothing else can... what makes the Mass one and corporate is not the fact that a lot of people are together at the same service, but the fact that it is the act of Christ in his body (corpus) the Church... Look at those men at their various altars all around the church, each of them apparently muttering away on his own and having nothing to do with the others. In fact, they are all of them doing the same thing — the same essentially, the same numerically — not just a lot of different things of the same kind, but the very same identical thing; each of them is taking his part as a priest in the one redemptive act which Christ, who died for our sins and rose again for our justifi-

cation, perpetuates in the Church which is his Body through the sacrament of his body and blood’” (liturgical notes., 13 March 2021). Fr. Hunwicke concludes saying: “How wonderful it would be if the scene he describes returned to the life of our churches... just imagine the basilica at Lourdes every morning with a constant coming and going of priests to the altars of the fifteen mysteries.” The Eucharistic celebration is the most perfect and effective sign of the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, in its admirable unity, which is built up by hierarchical diversity. Therefore, the practice of Eucharistic concelebration must be such that it visibly demonstrates this truth more clearly. There is only One Christ, the One Head and One High Priest, who is the principal celebrant of the Mass. The original, universal, and constant practice of Eucharistic concelebration according to the pristine norm of the Fathers (pristina norma Patrum) is the particularly solemn form, presided over by a main celebrant, who hierarchically must be distinguished from the other concelebrants — one who is not only “primus inter pares,” but also visibly one “head,” representing as “vicarius Christi” on different levels — Pope, Papal Legate, Metropolitan, diocesan bishop, ordaining bishop with papal mandatum — the One Divine Head of the whole Body. To such a form of Eucharistic concelebration could be applied these words of Saint Paul about the Mystical Body of Christ: “From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, makes increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Eph 4:16). The Mystical Body of Christ is an organic and living hierarchy of order and love. And so should be the form of the most solemn celebration of the Eucharist, the sacramentum Corporis Christi, which is the sacramentum caritatis, since the deepest sense of the Corpus Christi Mysticum is revealed in the Corpus Christi Eucharisticum. May the practice of the sacramental Eucharistic concelebration once again be “bene ordinata… ad pristinam normam Patrum” — “well-ordered according to the ancient norm of the Fathers.” This was meant to be a guiding principle of the Second Vatican Council’s renewal of the sacred liturgy (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, 50) and of the Tridentine reform of Pope Pius V. (cf. the bull “Quo primum”).m JULY-AUGUST 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN



The World and The church meeT aT VaTican’s healTh conference Who is influencing Whom? n BY CHRISTINA DEARDURFF A troubling poster for the Vatican conference echoes Michelangelo’s famous Sistine Chapel depiction of the creation of Adam by God to suggest that modern science is a “new” creation. Below, Dr. Anthony Fauci, US Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Msgr. Tomasz Trafny, head of the science and faith department of the Pontifical Council for Culture; and the CEO of vaccine-maker Moderna, Stephan Bancel


he Vatican held its fifth Vatican Conference on Health, “Exploring the Mind, Body and Soul: How Innovation and Novel Delivery Systems Improve Human Health,” this spring, from May 6 to 8. World-famous presenters participated, ranging from corporate CEOs and heads of medical institutions to model Cindy Crawford and rock band Aerosmith’s lead guitarist Joe Perry. (Much of it was virtual.) Dr. Anthony Fauci, US Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the United States’ chief Covid-response strategist, led off the three-day series of online sessions with a discussion of his approach to understanding public health threats and formulating responses to them. CEOs of Pfizer and Moderna spoke about Covid and vaccines developed by their respective corporations. Reports on the conference noted that much attention was given to Covid vaccines and overcoming vaccine “hesitancy.” Of particular interest to those looking at the future of the health sciences were discussions of “gene editing” and the recent technology known by the acronym CRISPR, developed to facilitate it. Changing our genetic codes, said conference participants, holds promise of correcting harmful genetic mutations that can cause disease. However, as conference presenter Jamie Metzl, prominent “futurist” and author of the book Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity has warned, it opens up the possibility, even likelihood, that people will eventually use this technology in pursuit of creating a “superman,” and indeed a “super race,” as is the goal of the “Transhumanist” (and related “Posthumanist”) movements.



WHAT IS TRANSHUMANISM? Transhumanism’s enthusiasts give a range of interpretations of its definition; what they have in common is a belief in technology as a means to “improve” human capabilities, both physical and intellectual (and even emotional and moral). Some go on to posit the possibility, and desirability, of using technology to transform human nature itself. But the question is, would shedding the nature with which we are endowed by our Creator indeed bring the universal happiness and wellbeing that is imagined? And, would it even be moral – never mind wise – to so militate against the order of nature designed by God? The Christian intellectual patrimony of 2,000 years tells us that man is a spiritual, as well as physical, creature, putting Catholics necessarily at odds with Transhumanist theory. A superficial review of scientific thought in the last two centuries reveals the influence of Darwin’s theory of evolution, by which a nonbelieving intelligentsia finally found a presumed hook on which to hang their atheist hats. The theory, positing that nature is solely the product of impersonal forces like random genetic mutation, has impacted almost every field of science. In the case of Transhumanism, using technology to change human nature is just a “new-and-improved” version of genetic mutation: rather than random, it is intentional. Man is able to “remake” himself in whatever image he chooses. If atheistic evolution is not a true belief, however, and the

order of nature really does embody the Logos — the “Word” which expresses the thought of the eternal Father, the logical and coherent meaning of the universe – then Transhumanism is dangerous indeed. In the Vatican conference discussing the topic of gene editing, the context was that of medicine in its traditional sense of healing, that is, restoring the human body to the function for which it was designed. Only at the end of one presentation were the dangers of gene alteration alluded to – Msgr. Tomasz Trafny, head of the science and faith department of the Pontifical Council for Culture and a conference organizer, warned scientists not to “destroy who we are” and “introduce irreversible changes in our genome”; an image of apparent human clones with identical UPC codes tattooed on their necks was one visual example. Certainly, there is potential for right use of gene-reparative therapies when the gene has been damaged and loses its natural function. What one would have hoped from a Vatican conference, however, would be a much more robust discussion of the rationale condemning gene manipulation for other, “Transhumanistic” purposes. THE CATHOLIC VIEWPOINT IN ABSENTIA Very little of the Catholic viewpoint on any moral matters, however, was in evidence at the conference, according to observers. A “Pontifical Hero” award was bestowed on phar-

maceutical corporation Moderna’s CEO Stephan Bancel for his company’s rapid development of a Covid vaccine, without, ostensibly, regard to profit-making – this according to Msgr. Trafny, even though Moderna actually reported a whopping $800 million in revenues for the year 2020, compared to $60 million in 2019. No mention was made of the use of tissue from aborted babies in vaccine development. Msgr. Trafny told journalist Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register in April that the Pontifical Council for Culture wanted to “invite people who think differently as it’s an opportunity for them to explain what they’re doing, but also for us to challenge them and ask difficult questions.” But when asked by Pentin after the conference why so little actual “challenging” in issues like abortion-tainted vaccines actually went on, Msgr. Trafny said pharmaceutical company executives “perfectly know” the Church condemns such research, and that “everyone knows that we don’t accept contraception, we don’t accept research made on an induced abortion, or things like that.” It’s difficult to tell whether the real purpose of the conference was to present the truth or to just buy the Church a place at the world table: “We are trying to do important work to show that [the] Church can be a part of this discussion, that the Church can help people to be more sensitive,” he added. “So, if we only blame others and condemn others, what can we really achieve? No one cares today about our condemnations.”m

A Catholic physician’s view of the Vatican’s 2021 health conference


homas McGovern, M.D., Catholic physician in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, Catholic Medical Association Board member and co-host of EWTN Radio’s “Doctor, Doctor” show, has attended past Vatican health conferences and his take on them is that Catholic professionals in the health and science fields need to be part of global discussions – or the Church’s viewpoints will be excluded from public health policy entirely. He also lamented the dearth of authentically Catholic voices in the lineup of this year’s speakers. In 2018, he says Fr. Kevin Fitzgerald of the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute served as a presenter and defender of Catholic teaching. Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, OP, of Providence College (the only Dominican priest with an R1 grant from the NIH—significant funding for scientific research) has a PhD in biology from MIT and a background in medical ethics did not present, but he was active in discussions with many of the attendees. In this year’s virtual format, he says, “Such dialogue was not achieved.” “In attending this year’s online sessions on ‘Compassion’ and ‘The Loneliness Epidemic,’ I heard many references to Buddhist belief, but none to the rich Catholic treasury of wisdom on those subjects. The conference addressed important subjects and assembled A-list presenters from the medical, secular media, and progressive firmaments. It seemed like a

missed opportunity to include dialogue, discussion, and even principled disagreement by not having a balance of presenters or moderators who fully embrace the best of medical science and Catholic wisdom.” Dr. McGovern points out that it is vitally important for orthodox Catholic physicians and scientists to attend such conferences in person. “The most helpful conversations were outside the conference rooms,” he says. “If my colleagues and I who are active in the Catholic Medical Association and excellent in their own secular spheres of medicine could attend, that is where I think progress could be made—because without some of the presenters meeting those of us radically committed to both the faith and the best that medicine and science can offer our patients, we’ll just be people operating in disconnected spheres of influence. It is essential that people with a secular or non-Christian worldview get to know those of us with a Christian worldview who have credibility in medicine—it can cause a helpful cognitive disconnect for such people and perhaps plant seeds for the future.” “We are working to build up a reputation for excellence in medicine,” emphasizes Dr. McGovern, “so that people then might be willing to consider the reasons behind what we do— what C.S. Lewis referred to as the ‘Apologetics of Secular Competence.’ ”n JULY-AUGUST 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN





r. Margherita Marchione, an American Religious Teachers Filippini sister known for her defense of Pope Pius XII against attacks against his character, courage and actions during the Second World War, died peacefully in her convent in Morristown, New Jersey on May 19, 2021,at the age of 99. Born in Little Ferry, New Jersey, one of eight children of immigrants from Campania in Italy, Sr. Margherita entered the Religious Teachers Filippini in 1935. She received the habit in 1938, and made her religious profession in 1941. After receiving a BA degree from Georgian Court College, Sr. Margherita continued her studies in Italian at Columbia University, New York, earning an M.A. and Ph.D. She received a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Ramapo College and the “Michael Award” from the N.J. Literary Hall of Fame. She was a trustee of Opera at Florham and Bayley-Ellard H.S., and a member of the N.J. Catholic Historical Records Commission. Sr. Margherita was a Fulbright scholar and the recipient of countless national and international honors and awards for her literary and historical accomplishments and for her outstanding contributions to higher education and Italian culture. Sr. Margherita served as President of Walsh College for six years and as President of Corfinio College for 10 years. Sr. Margherita is included in the Congressional Record and in biographical references such as Dictionary of American Scholars, Contemporary Authors, World Who’s Who of Women, and Past and Promise: Lives of NJ Women. In addition to lecturing here and abroad, Sr. Margherita made numerous radio and television appearances. As a professor of Italian Language and Literature at Fairleigh Dickenson University. in Madison, New Jersey, for 20 years, Sr. Margherita authored numerous books on the Italian friend of Thomas Jefferson, Philip Mazzei, which have been donated to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello along with materials and artifacts. These works reveal quite clearly and colorfully the full import of the mostly unknown and neglected Italian Founding



Father of America, as well as the Italian influence on the U.S. Constitution. Sr. Margherita’s great devotion to the Holy See and, in particular, to Pope Pius XII’s sanctity and fidelity to the office entrusted to him, made her eminently worthy of multiple articles in Inside the Vatican, and the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Cross, awarded by Pope St. John Paul II. Sr. Margherita’s collection of research papers, books and artifacts of Pius XII has been placed in the Msgr. James C. Turro Seminary Library in Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology at Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey. For over 82 years Sr. Margherita was a devoted member of the Religious Teachers Filippini, and received their Humanitarian Award. Her zealous commitment as a true daughter of St. Lucy Filippini made her a dynamic leader as she served as Treasurer, Delegate to Provincial and General Chapters, Councilor, and author of numerous community documents and histories.

DEFENDING POPE PIUS XII It was not until she was in her late seventies that Sr. Margherita took on the subject that became her particular area of expertise: the role of Pope Pius XII during the Second World War, and the efforts of the Catholic Church to save Jews from the Nazis. She was particularly determined to prove wrong Pius’ detractors, whose claims that he refused to help the Jews were popularly accepted in the media and academe. “If Jewish leaders say today that Pius XII did nothing to save Jews, they are disputing the testimony of other Jews who said he did quite a lot … It is terribly unfair to put so much blame on Pius, who had no army besides a few Swiss Guards with which to resist Hitler, while leaders like Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, who had the means to bomb the concentration camps, failed to do so.” —Sister Margherita Marchione

Below, Sr. Margherita Marchione in 1960 (Photo from

“Of course, I believe deeply in the righteousness of Pope Pius, but if you were to prove to me that Pius XII did something wrong, I would be the first to acknowledge it. Yet I haven’t found anything so far to indicate that… I know I won’t be around forever, but I very much hope to live long enough to witness the beatification of Pius XII. Until then, I will do what I can to bring that day closer by exposing the falsity of the attacks on this great and good man.” —Sister Margherita Marchione

A REMARKABLE WOMAN OF FAITH Sr. Margherita died on May 19 at the age of 99, but her research into the life and times of Pope Pius XII will remain as a testament to her courage, fidelity, and tireless scholarship. “I will never forget the moment I first saw Pope Pius XII in person,” Sister Margherita told me in a conversation some years ago. “It was at the very end of his life, in the late 1950s. (He died in 1958.) I was about 35 years old and I was able to make a visit to Rome. I managed to be admitted to a papal audience. When the Pope appeared, I felt an immediate sense of his holiness. Pope Pius seemed to shine with a special inner spiritual light. He was tall, thin, austere, yet also very warm and human. I was deeply moved and have never forgotten that moment.” She was so moved that, some years later, when Pope Pius XII was attacked for his alleged “silence” and lack of action on behalf of persecuted Jews during World

War II, she decided to refute the allegations. In the last half of her life, she became, arguably, the Number 1 defender of the life, character and action of Pius XII (1939-1958). Sr. Margherita was a remarkable woman of faith, an excellent scholar, and a good friend. I met with Sister Margherita many times in Rome and in the United States, at her home in a convent in Morristown, New Jersey. We collaborated on a number of projects, and she authored several articles for Inside the Vatican magazine. Sr. Margherita also became one of the closest friends of my late father, Prof. William Moynihan, who died 14 months ago, on March 28, 2020 at the age of 93. Beginning in the 1990s, for almost 30 years, Sister Margherita and my father would speak often on the telephone, sometimes for 15, sometimes for 45 minutes. Sr. Margherita trusted my father to read a number of her books prior to publication and to make editorial suggestions, which she always took into consideration. The sorrow I feel at the news of Sister Margherita’s passing is tempered by the memory of her ever cheerful smile, her indomitable strength, her fearlessness, and her goodness and kindness to me and other members of my family. May she rest in peace, and may eternal light shine upon her. —RM

TRIBUTES TO SR. MARGHERITA TRIBUTES TO SISTER MARGHERITA WRITTEN BY SEVERAL OF HER FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES, COLLECTED BY THE EXCELLENT BRITISH JOURNALIST EDWARD P ENTIN GARY KRUPP Jewish founder and president of the Pave the Way Foundation, a New York-based nonsectarian organization aiming to bring peace between religions. “In 2006, I was introduced to Sister Margherita Marchione by then-nuncio to the United Nations, Archbishop Celestino Migliore. Sister revealed shocking information about the actions of Pope Pius XII during the Second World War, which was the opposite of what I was told about him growing up as a Jew in New York. Archbishop Migliore advised me to meet with Sister Marchione, who had been

researching the actions of the Holy See since the 1970s. “It was the revelation of her massive primary-sourced documentation that she presented to me that prompted me to ask our board of directors of the Pave the Way Foundation to initiate an indepth investigation of the actions of the Holy See during World War II under the pontificate of Pius XII. This work has taken us around the world and resulted in our posting over 76,000 pages of primary source documentation on along with dozens of eyewitness interviews. JULY-AUGUST 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN




“We co-sponsored a United Nations conference on Jan. 17, 2021 with the Holy See Mission to the U.N. I revealed, in my statement, that it is a Jewish responsibility to recognize the life-saving effort of the Vatican under the pontificate of Pius XII, since ingratitude is the worst character flaw a Jew can have. The evidence we have unearthed since 2006 is incontrovertible. “Sister Margherita will be so sorely missed as an unwavering defender of the Catholic Church.” RONALD RYCHLAK Distinguished professor of law at the University of Mississippi School of Law, author of several critically acclaimed books on Pope Pius XII and his efforts to save Jewish lives during World War II. “I first met Sister Margherita while doing a television series on Pius XII for EWTN. I had read her writings on Pius, and I assumed that this was her life work. While she did much for Pius, she did as much or more for many other people (and historical figures) during a life in which she earned a Ph.D. from Columbia; authored over 40 books; served as a Fulbright Scholar; was honored by the New Jersey Literary Hall of Fame; and hobnobbed with popes, presidents, scholars and royalty. “Sister Margherita became interested in Pope Pius XII when she learned that Jews had been sheltered at the home of the Religious Sisters Filippini in Rome during World War II. That discovery led to research and a new passion. She recognized the attack on Pius XII as an unfair stain on the Catholic Church, and she waged a difficult, often lonely battle to defend the honor of Pope Pius XII (and hence the Church). “Sister Marchione had many benefactors over the years, including Frank Sinatra and Henry Salvatori. I think, however, that she was most proud of her relationship with the late New York Yankee great Billy Martin. She was particularly proud of a photograph of him kissing her that once appeared in the newspapers. WILLIAM DOINO JR. Author and expert on Pope Pius XII’s wartime record and contributor to The Pius War: Responses to the Critics of Pius XII. “I knew Sister Margherita Marchione for several decades, right up until the time the Lord called her, and I can only imagine the joy she is feeling today, in the loving embrace of her Savior, having devoted her whole life to her Catholic faith, to the Church 34


and the Good News of Jesus Christ. People who knew her loved her, and those that didn’t know her as well were nevertheless amazed by her indefatigable energy, on behalf of her Order, the Church, and those in need everywhere. Her concern for the poor and oppressed was deep and consistent, and her charity for humanitarian and educational projects across the globe boundless. She had the love and commitment of a Mother Cabrini in pursuit of the true, the good and the beautiful. “One of Sister Marchione’s most admirable qualities was her fearless pursuit of the truth and a burning desire to right serious injustices. My most vivid memory of Sister, however, isn’t about her work clearing the good name of Pius XII — as invaluable as that was — but about the joy she experienced being a Catholic nun. “Once, when traveling by plane with Sister to appear on EWTN to discuss Pius XII, I had a long and inspiring conversation with her about what drew her to the religious life in the first place. When I asked her if she ever had any doubts about her decision to devote her entire life to the Church, she answered more forcefully than I ever heard her speak. ‘Not for a second!’ she exclaimed. ‘I wanted to become a nun and serve Our Lord and his Church ever since I was a young child, and God fulfilled my prayers in the most extraordinary ways.’ “The word ‘wonderful,’ she continued, could not describe the blessings she received as a Catholic nun — and the same is true, I believe, of the graces she bestowed upon all those who were fortunate enough to know her.” MICHAEL HESEMANN German Catholic historian and author of several books on Pope Pius XII. “She deserved to witness his beatification after spending her life rehabilitating him. But at the age of 99, she left us to meet her great hero, Pope Pius XII, in heaven. Her heritage, the result of a life of truly dedicated historical research, will stay with us forever. It inspired so many to see the great, saintly wartime pope with different eyes, with the eyes of respect — and justice. “Sister Margherita Marchione was herself a witness of the war and its great pontificate. Born in 1922, as one of eight children of Italian immigrants in Little Ferry, New Jersey, Pius XII was the pope of her adult life and her vocation. Being a teacher at heart and with a nun’s soul, she joined the Religious Teachers Filippini. She later learned that, following the call of Pope Pius XII, the Roman mother house of her congregation was one of the most active in rescuing and hiding Roman Jews during the nine months of Nazi occupation. When after 1963, a campaign initiated by the Soviet KGB

through the theater play The Deputy by former Hitler Youth member Rolf Hochhuth, tried to discredit Pius XII and claim he was silent during the Holocaust, Sister Margherita knew it was not true. When others remained indifferent, she started to fight for the truth. She traveled to Italy numerous times, collected evidence from her own order and others, and published it. “She became known as ‘the Fighting Nun’ — the title of her autobiography, published in 2000 — and deserves this title. Her eight books on Pius XII were read by others who were open to the truth and changed lives. Yes, they inspired Catholics and Jews alike. Thanks to her, New York-born

DONATIONS IN MEMORY OF SR. MARGHERITA may be made to: The St. Joseph Hall Infirmary, c/o Sr. Patricia Pompa, Villa Walsh, 455 Western Avenue, Morristown, NJ 07960.

Jew Gary Krupp changed his mind on Pius XII (see above) and became, together with his Pave the Way Foundation, one of the greatest defenders of the wartime pope. A whole phalanx of international historians from the US, the UK, Italy, Germany and France searched the archives and uncovered undeniable evidence that Pius XII indeed saved not only 5,000 Roman Jews — as Marchione always claimed — but caused 950,000 Jews to survive the Holocaust. The Pope was the secret guardian angel of the persecuted victims of Hitler’s diabolical racism. Without Sister Margherita, the world might have never learned the truth.”m


“PIUS XII SOUGHT PEACE UNTIL THE END” Dr. Johan Ickx is the author of a study of the Holy See’s assessment of Germany’s tactics in occupied Belgium during the First World War, La Guerre et le Vatican (2018). He argued that Eugenio Pacelli, the future Pope Pius XII who was then the Vatican’s equivalent of a foreign minister, played a key role in bringing the Vatican to discount German propaganda and recognize that Germany was trying “to terrorize the population” of Belgium. As one of the Vatican’s top archivists — he is currently the Director of Historical Archives in the Holy See’s Section for Relations with States — Dr. Ickx, a Belgian, has had special access to these archives for the past 10 years, during which he has meticulously collected hundreds of vital documents pertaining to the Vatican and the persecution of the Jewish community for his new work. “He [Pius XII] sought peace until the end; from the

beginning of his pontificate and during the war he sought the friendship of the Americans, and he rejected Pétain’s anti-racial laws,” said Ickx. There was a separate office set up at the Vatican devoted to trying to save endangered people, the researcher says: “I think there are 2,800 cases, there’s a list equivalent to Schindler’s list, a ‘Pacelli’s list.’ I wonder how it is that the Holy See never publicized it.” William Doino, Jr., is an American Catholic researcher and writer who, along with Dr. Ickx, has himself offered a major contribution to scholarship on Pope Pius XII. Doino is the author of a widely-cited “Annotated Bibliography of Works on Pius XII, the Second World War, and the Holocaust,” published in the anthology, The Pius War: Responses to the Critics of Pius XII, edited by J. Bottum and D. Dalin (Lexington Books); to obtain a copy, click here. Doino is a close friend of the eminent German Jesuit priest and scholar, Fr. Peter Gumpel, S.J., now in his 90s and residing in the Jesuit Curia a few steps from St. Peter’s Square. Gumpel is the principal author of the Positio for the Cause of Beatification of Pope Pius XII.m JULY-AUGUST 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN



Are the holy fire And the Shroud of turin relAted? An interview with robert Siefker, engineer And Shroud of turin expert n BY JAMES BERTRAND FOR INSIDE THE VATICAN

Images of the Holy Fire from the tomb of Jesus in Jerusalem, and the candles lit from it


ames Bertrand, an expert on the Shroud of Turin in his gests a similarity between it and the origin of the Shroud. own right – he has made over 200 presentations about Mr. Bertrand recently interviewed Mr. Siefker on the the Shroud in 12 US states and New Zealand – intertopic, exclusively for Inside the Vatican. viewed engineer and veteran Shroud researcher Robert Siefker on the startling relationship that is being uncovered Inside the Vatican: I understand that you were an between the Shroud of Turin and the “Holy Fire” phenomengineer by profession. Could you elaborate on that? enon of Orthodox Holy Saturday in And what was it that led you to your Jerusalem. decade-plus study on the Holy Shroud, For more than 1,000 years, since beand now your focus on studies of the fore the Great Schism separating Eastern Miracle of the Holy Fire? and Western Christianity in 1054, the ROBERT SIEFKER: Yes, I graduated from college with an engineering degree Eastern Orthodox have celebrated a yearon a U.S. Navy scholarship, then served ly Paschal ceremony at the Tomb of in the Navy Civil Engineer Corps for five Christ in Jerusalem, in which a mysteriyears. I finished my Navy years at Mofous, non-consuming fire appears, emafett Field Naval Air Station located in nating from the Tomb, and from which California as the Public Works Engineerone of the Patriarchs lights candles and ing Officer. Subsequently, I pursued a lanterns which carry the Holy Fire to civilian career in software development, many countries. eventually serving as vice president of The Holy Fire phenomenon has, up to software development for two different now, not been well known in the West, but it may become a more familiar object A believer during the ceremony of the Holy software companies, the first located in of inquiry now that recent research sug- Fire shows the harmless nature of the flame California and the second in Colorado



Moses and the burning bush in a mosaic in the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy. Below, an icon showing the faithful young Jewish men who would not worship the Babylonian golden image Nebuchadnezzar had constructed

where I was able to retire at the age 555782.pdf). of 55 after the company went public. I was shocked by Fanti’s paper. It was in Colorado that I was introduced to the Turin Shroud Until I read Fanti’s paper I had not in my life ever heard of the Miracle of Center of Colorado (TSC), headed the Holy Fire. I emailed Giulio conby Dr. John Jackson, PhD in physics. gratulations on his extraordinary Dr. Jackson was the leader of the paper. He responded asking if I 1978 Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) that conducted would be interested in helping to schedule tasks associated with rethe most extensive scientific handssearch he planned on the phenomeon examination of the Shroud that has ever been conducted. I became non. Of course, I answered yes. Subsequently, I helped schedule further essentially a full-time volunteer for research on the Miracle of the Holy TSC for well over a decade and a Fire in 2020 and 2021. However, half. I read every word of every sciboth years the world-wide coronentific paper published by the STURP team, every Shroud book avirus pandemic forced cancellation of plans for the Fanti Research and technical paper I could put my “And the Angel of the lord Team to travel to Jerusalem. hands on, and pestered Dr. Jackson AppeAred to him (moses) in A To what do you attribute the with uncountable questions, which fact that you, as a life-long Cathhe always worked to answer. I built flAme of fire out of the midst of olic living in the United States, had a website for TSC and was co-author A bush... the bush wAs burning, never even heard of the Miracle of and editor of the TSC book on the yet not consumed.” (exodus 3:2) the Holy Fire? Shroud entitled The Shroud of Turin: SIEFKER: I was familiar with BibA Critical Summary of Observations, Data and Hypotheses. lical stories that alluded to what might be called “Holy Fire” — fire that does not consume. Even as a child I knew My years of Shroud studies have planted in me a firm the story in the Book of Exodus where it is reported, “And judgment that the Shroud is indeed the actual burial cloth the angel of the Lord appeared to him (Moses) in a flame of of Jesus of Nazareth. However, there always remained one fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the lingering and nagging question. In spite of a strong scienbush was burning, yet it was not consumed.” (Exodus 3:2) tific consensus that the image on the Shroud is related to the Another familiar “story” I heard was from the Book of action of radiation or light, there has, until now, never been Daniel where Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar sought to a fully satisfying explanation for the nature of that source execute the young Jewish men Shadrach, Meshach, and of light. On July 10, 2019, everything changed. A new Abednego who would not worship the Babylonian golden paper by the well-known and highly-respected Italian image that Nebuchadnezzar had constructed and thus, Shroud scientist Giulio Fanti was “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abedpublished. (Fanti and co-author nego were thrown into a super-hotPierandrea Malfi had previously burning furnace to be burned alive published one of the most complete — but the fire did not consume and authoritative books on the them.” (Daniel 3:91-94). Shroud, The Shroud of Turin: First Nevertheless, I had never heard Century After Christ!) The paper of the Ceremony of the Holy Fire on was entitled Is the “Holy Fire” Orthodox Holy Saturday until I read Related to the Turin Shroud? In his about it in Fanti’s paper. The Cerepaper Fanti provides compelling mony of the Holy Fire is associated evidence that the “Holy Fire” phewith the Eastern Orthodox Church. nomenon that occurs on Orthodox It is simply not well known in the Holy Saturday every year in the West to Catholics, like myself, and tomb of Jesus in Jerusalem reveals Protestant Christians. Church polithe source of the image on the tics that separate believing ChrisShroud. (Find Giulio Fanti’s paper tians, Eastern from Western, is the online here: https://juniperpublishunfortunate cause. JULY-AUGUST 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN


INTERVIEW ARE ThE holy FIRE ANd ThE ShRoud oF TuRIN RElATEd? What were some of the more significant findings enubearing cloth fibers on the Shroud. The “hot” flame of the merated in Fanti’s 2019 paper based on his experimental control candle on the other hand heavily scorched the same measurements taken on Orthodox Holy Saturday, April Shroud-like linen fabric. 27, 2019, in the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem? In summary, Fanti’s empirical findings show that the SIEFKER: Fanti recorded lightning-like electrical disShroud and the LIGHT from the Holy Fire lock up in a relacharges being seen in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher at tionship neither the Shroud alone, nor the LIGHT alone, can ever approach in power! As this relationship becomes the time of the emergence of the Holy Fire from the Edicule in the form of a large blazing candle carried by the Orthodox more generally known, the world will be changed. When Patriarch. Historically, for hundreds of years, pilgrims to the Jesus of Nazareth said to Jewish scribes and Pharisees that ceremony of the Holy Fire have also testified to the presence he would give them just one sign, the sign of Jonah, he of such lightning-like discharges and clearly wasn’t speaking only to that specific first-century audience. He have testified to seeing individual candles in the church ignited by such was speaking to all generations. discharges. Fanti’s linking of the Holy Fire to the Fanti, most significantly, reported image on the Shroud of Turin is that his measurements show that the profound—nothing but a worldchanging sign, forcefully pointing to flame of a candle in his possession one event in history, the resurrection that was ignited by the distributed Holy Fire and the flame of a separate of Jesus of Nazareth. control candle, ignited by a normal Your ardor in recognizing the lighter, were spectrally indistinguishpotential world-changing connecable. However, Fanti found the tion between the Holy Fire and the effects of the separate candles to be Shroud makes us look forward to radically different on objects directhearing more about this in the ly exposed to their separate individfuture. What should we especially ual flames. The Holy Fire was much be paying attention to as time goes by? cooler. The Holy Fire flame was People can read a book about the found to be “non-consuming” of Shroud and, because of its complexiobjects exposed to it. Fanti found the ty, come away without a judgment of phenomenon to persist for a period of approximately 20 – 25 minutes after authenticity. So, I now strongly recommend to people that they take the first emergence of the Holy Fire another careful look at the Shroud in flame in the hands of the Orthodox “light” of the Holy Fire. Patriarch. There is no naturalistic The phenomenon of the Holy Fire explanation for this difference! “Fanti has shown that Fanti’s results are in agreement with is simple — it is not complex. It is a shroud-like linen samples previous measurements conducted phenomenon that is binary — it is exposed to the Flame oF the either a miracle of a non-consuming by Russian physicist Andrey Volkov fire, or it is not. If it is a miracle, as in 2008, and Archpriest Gennady holy Fire candle were only Zaridze of the Russian Association of Fanti’s work suggests, then the image very lightly and superFicially on the Shroud has an empirically Orthodox scientists in 2016. singed” Fanti exposed his face and beard based explanation — God’s Miraculous Light. to the flame of the candle ignited by the Holy Fire. The flame did not burn So, please read Fanti’s paper and his beard and there was no burning or pain on his face assowork to pass along what you have learned and urge people ciated with the areas exposed to the flame. to pay attention as new measurements are made and reported It has been suggested by Fanti that the mechanism for over the next year or two. the image on the Holy Shroud may be linked to the pheWe are in for a very interesting moment in history. You nomenon of the Miracle of the Holy Fire. Can you put can be sure proponents of Naturalism and secularism will this into words for us? fight it tooth and nail. All Christians need to become familiar with the relationship between the Shroud and the Holy Fire SIEFKER: Fanti has shown that Shroud-like linen samples — and to help spread the knowledge of that relationship. exposed to the flame of the Holy Fire candle were only very Become involved!m lightly and superficially singed, similar to the actual image38



St. Josaphat This 17Th-cenTury marTyr for uniTy lies incorrupT aT sT. peTer’s in rome


t. Josaphat was an Eastern rite bishop who was martyred in 1623 while trying to restore unity between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church. The year 1054 A.D. was the year of the formal schism between the Eastern Church, centered in Constantinople, and the Western Church, centered in Rome. Trouble between the two had been brewing for centuries because of cultural, political, and theological differences. More than five centuries later, the Orthodox metropolitan of Kiev and five Orthodox bishops decided to commit the millions of Christians under their pastoral care to reunion with Rome. Many of the Christians there did not agree with the bishops’ decision to return to communion with the Catholic Church, and both sides tried to resolve this disagreement. Unfortunately, violence often broke out and martyrs died on both sides. Josaphat became the first bishop of Vitebsk and then Polotsk in 1617, both cities now in Belarus. The church there was in ruins. Buildings were falling apart and the clergy were in complete disarray, with many of them marrying two or three times. Within three years, Josaphat had rebuilt the church by holding synods, publishing a catechism and by enforcing rules of conduct for clergy. Josaphat was known as an excellent teacher and preacher, and one dedicated to spending time visiting the sick and needy of the town. Unfortunately, the Orthodox Christians who were against reunification with Rome set up their own bishops in the exact same area. Meletius Smotritsky was named as Josaphat’s rival archbishop of Polotsk. To try to resolve the tensions this created, the King of Poland named Josaphat the only legitimate Bishop. Sadly, this led to riots in Polotsk and Vitebsk. Josaphat decided to return to Vitebsk to try to stop the fighting. He was aware of the danger but said, “If I am counted worthy of martyrdom, then I am not afraid to die... I am ready to die for the union of the Church under St. Peter and his successor the Pope.”

On November 12,1623, an Orthodox priest named Elias stirred up a mob and went to the house where Josaphat was staying, shouting insults and threats to everyone he saw, especially focusing on Josaphat and the Church of Rome. Josaphat came out into the courtyard to see the mob abusing his friends and servants. He cried out, “My children, what are you doing with my servants? If you have anything against me, here I am, but leave them alone!” With shouts of “Kill the papist!” Josaphat was hit with a stick, then an axe, and finally shot through the head. His body was dragged to the river and thrown in. The heroes that day were the Jewish people of Vitebsk. Some of the Jewish people risked their own lives to rush into the courtyard and rescue Josaphat’s friends and servants from the bloodthirsty mobs. Through their courage, lives were saved. These same Jewish people were the only ones to publicly accuse the killers and mourn the death of Josaphat while the Catholics of the city hid in fear of their lives. Surprisingly though, the violence had the opposite effect from that intended by Elias. Instead of destroying support for reunification with Rome by eliminating Josaphat, regret and horror at how far the violence had gone and at the loss of their archbishop swung public opinion toward unity with the Catholics. Eventually, even Archbishop Meletius Smotritsky, Josaphat’s rival, was reconciled with Rome. And, in 1867, Josaphat became the first saint of the Eastern Church to be formally canonized by Rome. St. Josaphat’s body is under the altar of St. Basil the Great in St. Peter’s Basilica and has miraculously remained incorrupt. Sadly, division amongst Christians and even some divisions within the Catholic Church still exist today. Let us pray through the intercession of St. Josaphat that peace and unity will be restored. May we also follow St. Josaphat’s example and work towards greater unity and peace within our own community and amongst our families and friends.m INSIDE THE VATICAN JULY-AUGUST 2021



“A College in The mAking” The College of ST. AThAnASiuS iS STill in iTS infAnCy, buT iTS miSSion To renew CATholiC eduCATion – And To prepAre iTS grAduATeS for dignified work – iS A viTAl one for The 21ST CenTury n BY TIMOTHY H. BRATT, BOARD OF DIRECTORS MANAGER

Above, Timothy H. Bratt. Below, a drawing of the building which will serve as the center of the new “college in the making.” Below: St. Athanasius, Doctor of the Church, Champion of Orthodoxy, and patron of the College, and St. Thomas Aquinas, the inspirer of the academic model


hat does one do who finds himself in uncharted territory? He either retraces his steps and chooses another destination, or else finds someone who knows the lay of the land and charts a course from there. Such is the case in the quest to open the doors of the College of Saint Athanasius. Lacking the credentials often deemed appropriate for such an undertaking, and never having guessed that such a quest would become a part of my retirement plans, I have become convinced that our patron, St. Athanasius, is the responsible party of this undertaking. Beginning in the last century (or even earlier), unhappy events in the academic world convinced many to return to the study of the venerated Liberal Arts, those elements of education that promote the formation of a well-rounded, critically-thinking person, armed with the knowledge of the purpose of our existence, a healthy fear of God, our Creator, and the foundation for a virtuous way of life. In earlier times, the Liberal Arts were taught at the secondary level (today, we call it high school) and a post-secondary education was devoted, almost exclusively, to honing the talents, skills and passions that lead to a professional livelihood. In the course of the last 50 years, many small, liberal arts colleges have appeared to restore the loss of the critical Liberal Arts in higher education; however, an absence of the



proper order of education has led to an unfortunate prolonging of the educative process; college students need the basics of the Liberal Arts, but often, they also need further practical training. Practically speaking, this has also added to the already high cost of an education. Consolingly, gains have been made in again beginning the Liberal Arts education in the high school years, trickling down through successive generations (especially among home-schooling families) to the extent that the proper order of education is now undergoing a slow process of restoration; that end, however, is not yet clearly in sight. THE NEED FOR ANOTHER KIND OF CATHOLIC COLLEGE A decision to contribute to authentic Catholic education in this country thus became galvanized as my own children grew and attended college. I myself was educated as a geologist, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree from Montana State University in 1979. My wife Grace and I were married in 1977 and she worked full time while I finished my education. Back in Illinois, we settled in the town of Dixon, where I began my career as a geologist with the Illinois Department of Transportation in 1980, retiring in 2016. In the course of that time, we became parents to 12 children, all of whom are now involved in the life-long struggle

The College grounds and gymnasium

to endure, with joy, the trials of our time on earth while seeking the rewards of eternal life in Heaven. It seems that within this cauldron of family formation, a pathway was being forged for an apostolate involving the concept of a college. Yet, I was convinced, another Liberal Arts college, as attractive as it seemed, would not contribute to a restoration of better order in academic pursuit. St. Athanasius, a Doctor of the Church and Champion of Orthodoxy (and Confirmation namesake of one of our children) led us through prayer to another saint whose overall influence in the history of Catholic academia is considered by most to be unmatched: the Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas. Thus the program of what was to be taught at the College of St. Athanasius was formulated. A decision was made to chart a path in the educative forum of applied letters, arts and science. In reflecting on the Thomistic formula of our created being and its parts, an orthodox approach came into focus which aimed at connecting those parts to a relevant, degree-related path; in brief, described as follows. EDUCATING ALL THE PARTS OF MAN Saint Thomas Aquinas’s distillation of the being of man tells us that he is created of a body and a soul, but that the soul is further divided into a sensate part and a rational part. The rational soul is described as being part intellect and part will, both of which are to be constrained and edified by a well-formed conscience. The sensate soul is simply composed of the five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. All of these work to inform the intellect in its physical abode. The Body desires to be sheltered, nourished, and healed when sick; thus are prescribed degrees offered in Architecture, Agriculture and Biology (pre-med). The Rational Soul desires to know, through the intellect, the will, and the conscience, how to live well in this life by learning to please God our Creator, thereby attaining to eternal happiness in the next; thus are prescribed degrees offered in Philosophy of Education, Justice and Jurisprudence, and Catholic Culture and the Literary Arts. The Sensate Soul desires to know of the goodness and beauty of its earthly abode through the use of its senses. Practically speaking, those of sight, hearing, and smell/ taste are commonly known to be attached to an academic setting; thus is prescribed degrees offered in the Visual Arts, Music and the Dramatic Arts, and the Culinary Arts and Horticultural Studies. Through the connections assigned, students pursuing a degree-related path as described will be choosing not only a time-honored and enduring vocation for a livelihood but

also one that serves the collective soul of the social Kingship of Christ our Savior. At a certain point, it became clear that, in the communion of saints of the Church Militant, a concerted effort was to begin to find those of prominent stature in the ranks of orthodox, Catholic men and women in the academic arena. Rather than list those who have contributed their talents thus far to our St. Athanasius Educational Foundation and its work of gathering all types of resources needed to start the college, it would be appropriate to invite the reader to visit our website, co-athanasius/recognitions to read their biographies. The Foundation operates under a three-member Board of Directors and a six-member Board of Advisors, and is a not-forprofit 501c3 organization. KNOW THYSELF, KNOW THY GOD, CHOOSE THY PATH All of the above-described processes have led our Foundation to sum up the purpose of its work for the re-edification of Christendom as follows: In knowing thyself, knowing thy God, and then choosing thy path, the student graduating from the College of St. Athanasius will be prepared to constructively labor in a profession of enduring substance and necessity for our times. The educative threshold crossed will be crossed with confidence and, though the graduate may someday deviate from an initially chosen path, as Providence demands, he will be well-armed with the knowledge demanded for his labor. LOOKING AHEAD AND PRAYING FOR ASSISTANCE Now, having been guided by the inspiration of our patron saint, we find ourselves, as foundationally established in the State of Illinois, poised to found the College of St. Athanasius here in the Midwest. A desired site has been selected in a small rural setting in the northwestern part of the state and, by the guidance of the Holy Ghost, will become the location of the college. The Midwest has become the scene of a brain-drain in the orthodox Catholic academic arena and the continued efforts for a re-edification of a Christendom in our time, begun here, is a quest worth the pursuit. We at the St. Athanasius Educational Foundation would love to count on your aid and your prayers in this quest to open the doors of the College of Saint Athanasius. Your support is critical to our success. Visit the St. Athanasius Educational Foundation’s website: JULY-AUGUST 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN



the vatican poems of iosephus DeL ton Latin poetry of the 20th century, “shot through with quiet reverence” n BY JOHN BYRON KUHNER


ne of the most common misconceptions people have about the Latin language is that it “stopped” at some point, many centuries ago. Actually, people have never stopped reading, speaking, and writing Latin. In fact, the Latin we have from the ancient world – say St. Augustine and everything before him – represents less than one tenth of one percent of the total written material in Latin. The Latin book I’ve been returning to most recently is by Iosephus (or Giuseppe) del Ton (1900-1997), a CroatianItalian who headed the Vatican Latin Office in the 1970s. Del Ton was the epitome of a Vatican don — learned, devout, thoughtful, his writings are shot through with quiet reverence for the splendor and majesty of the Christian life, with all its glorious history, and its transcendence of history. Del Ton’s magnum opus is his Vaticana Levia, a collection of Latin poems published in 1968, but never translated into English. The title contains a pun: the primary meaning is probably “Light Poems from the Vatican,” or “Vatican Trifles,” but levia can mean not only “light” but “smooth,” implying elegance: “the Vatican Elegancies.” It’s just more proof of the general truth that you really can’t translate poetry: there are always implications you can’t quite pin down. More than anything else, these poems offer us a unique perspective on living day in, day out beside the tomb of St. Peter. Del Ton treats of the daily variations and textures of life in the Vatican penumbra: crowds in St. Peter’s Square, children throwing snowballs in the colonnade during a rare Roman snowstorm, seeing the lights on at night in the Pope’s apartment (Pastor excubias nocte nigrante gerit, “the Shepherd keeps his watch in the darkness of the night”). Living in a place is not the same as visiting it. Del Ton could do things most tourists never can — he writes, for instance, about using the Codex Vaticanus — the world’s most important (and possibly oldest) Bible, in the Vatican Library — as his own personal study Bible. He also sees St. Peter’s in all its vicissitudes — crowded at Christmas and Easter, totally empty at off-hours and off-seasons. I think of Del Ton as he writes in Divina Silentia, standing, solitary, in St. Peter’s, amazed at being alone in that vast, godly space:



Arcanis mihi sunt gravida ista silentia rebus: Nil sane his potius musica ferre potest. Omnia cum tacuere, animus tum percipit alta; Hic sisto, ut capiam mystica verba Dei. The silences are heavy with hidden meanings; Music itself could not say so much as this. When all things grow silent, the soul perceives the sublime: I stand here, to receive the mystical words of God. Everything Del Ton writes about is still part of Vatican life: the Porta Santa, the Swiss Guards, the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Library. The Catholic Church, at its heart, is an island of stability in a changing world; our ideal for life comes from the life and teachings of Christ, almost two thousand years ago. Latin is itself a symbol of that: we venerate and pass on an inheritance coming from the time of Christ himself. The 1960s Latin of Del Ton is much like the Latin poetry written at the time of St. Peter. Del Ton, in one of his best poems, uses the Vatican obelisk as a symbol of it all. The obelisk, standing in the Circus of Nero where St. Peter was likely martyred, is often called “the silent witness”: it saw that martyrdom which was the seed for all the life that has gathered around it since. Del Ton writes in the voice of the obelisk itself: Me fuga saeclorum lambit velocibus alis; Prae me regnorum creba ruina iacet. Eventa, aeva, tribus praeterlabuntur ut amnis; Terrigenum varias testor in urbe vices. Intactus, firmus caelum peto, tempora vinco; Iure ego, sancta fides, imago dicor tua. The swift wings of centuries but brush against my sides: Whole kingdoms lie ruined before me. Events, epochs, peoples, pass by like a river: To mortals’ vicissitudes here I am a witness. Unscathed, unbent, I seek heaven, I rise above time, I am well called your Image, O Holy Faith.m


Jesus’ first 30 years on eartH He lived in filial devotion to JosepH and Mary n BY MARK DROGIN


he Word became flesh” to redeem us humans by sanctifying human life: 33 years after the Incarnation began, Jesus offered the one, holy, acceptable, living, eternal Thanksgiving Sacrifice on Calvary for our Salvation. He offered the Holy Sacrifice – in one Holy Week plus 40 days more; and, 10 days later, He sent the Holy Spirit. For three years, “beginning with the baptism of John,” St. Peter says, “Jesus went around doing good and healing all” (Acts 10:38). “The Word became flesh” – with Mary’s “Fiat” in “the fullness of time” – 33 years before the Holy Sacrifice on Calvary, when the Divine Word became the human Son of Mary and Joseph. Today, the Holy Spirit is shouting “Go to Joseph!” The Holy Spirit is pointing to the “other” 30 years on earth when Jesus sanctified the human family! The God of Israel promised to establish a New Covenant written on our hearts (Jeremiah 31:31-34; and interpreted in the Epistle to the Hebrews 8:6-13 and 10:3-18). In the fullness of time, God fulfilled that promise and wrote the New Covenant on the hearts of Mary and Joseph before the Incarnation. In the Holy Marriage of Jesus’ human parents, God established the first Sacrament of the New Covenant – the Sacrament of Marriage-and-Family (St. John Paul II; see Redemptoris Custos, #7). Matthew and Luke report essential details in the first 12 years: the pregnancy, birth, infancy, and early childhood. Today the Holy Spirit is also telling us that Jesus lived another 18 “hidden” years in His Holy Family in Nazareth, working and sanctifying family life. Jesus was fully human in everything but sin: He sanctified all seasons of human life, beginning with Marriage-and-Family. Maria Montessori, an expert in the stages of human development, proposed a fascinating perspective in her book, The Child in the Church. “There are some of those who think that the child’s only value for humanity lies in the fact that he will someday be an adult,” she wrote. “In this way they detract from the true value of childhood by shifting it only into the future. This cannot be justified. The child is a human entity having importance in himself, not just a transition on the way to adulthood. We ought to look upon the child and the adult,” she continued, “as two different forms [seasons] of human life, going on at the same time, and exerting upon one another

a reciprocal influence.” (Maria Montessori, The Child in the Church) The Incarnation fully reveals God’s Plan for human life; Jesus completes, perfects, and fulfills all the Old Testament types. In the Old Testament type, Sarah and Abraham, wife and husband together, become the mother and father of a multitude of nations – the mother and father of God’s Chosen People. In the New Testament fulfillment, God calls and sanctifies Mary and Joseph, wife and husband together, to become the human mother and father of all God’s People. Every Pope has proclaimed for 150 years, “Go to Joseph”; and this Year of Joseph marks this call from the Holy Spirit. Today, we see Mary and Joseph as the “new Sarah and Abraham”: the human spiritual Mother and Father of every member of the Mystical Body. Why do the saints repeatedly counsel us to take Joseph for our spiritual father, to ask Joseph to be our spiritual director (see Consecration to Saint Joseph by Father Donald Calloway)? Because we are called to follow Jesus! Joseph is Jesus’ human father and Jesus’ spiritual director in Nazareth. Joseph taught Jesus; and Jesus obeyed Joseph. The Incarnation reveals, in the flesh, the beautiful “reciprocal influence” of all the members of a human family: God includes Mary and Joseph in the Incarnation. St. Luke documents this “reciprocal influence” when, in “the fullness of time,” Mary and Joseph with Jesus learn from each other and grow “in wisdom and stature and grace with God and men” (Luke 2:52 and 40). The sanctification – the recapitulation – of all human life takes place in Nazareth as the Creator teaches and learns from His holy parents; the holy parents teach and learn from the Child. Jesus and Joseph-with-Mary lived, worked, prayed, laughed, cried, and worshipped together for decades. Two thousand years later, we can still hear Joseph and Mary praying the Psalms of David as we pray them – and the whole divine liturgy – with the Holy Family now! The extraordinary participation of Mary and Joseph in the Incarnation continues forever. Do not hesitate to invite them into your home and ask them to help you in everything you do. Multiply Nazareth! Live Nazareth! Bring the Holy Family into your hearts and into your homes; and the Holy Family will bring your family into their Home.m INSIDE THE VATICAN JULY-AUGUST 2021



hidden and revealed The poeTry of ScripTure can deepen our underSTanding of iTS meaning n BY ANTHONY ESOLEN Parable of the Hidden Treasure, Rembrandt (1606-1669), Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest. In the circle, the British poet George Herbert, whom Prof. Esolen considers to be the greatest lyric poet in English


t is a sorrow of mine to consider that most people who speak English and who have graduated from our colleges and universities know very little of their language’s poetic heritage; a greater sorrow to consider that Christians themselves know little about it. We have had many centuries of poetic meditation upon Scripture, in our own language, but we preach and write as if it had never happened. Let me illustrate what we might gain if we submitted to be taught by our literary forefathers. The verse I have in mind is powerful and mysterious. “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth,” says St. Paul. “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:2-3). We should not take the easy way out and say that Paul is merely engaging in a metaphor here, as that we have “died to ourselves,” learning to be less selfish, to volunteer at the local soup kitchen, and to hug



small children. He really does mean that we have died in Christ, and that our lives now spring from a new root, and so we can say truly that we do not live, but that Christ lives in us: Christ our life. But such new life is also somehow hidden, because we still move and act in the world about us, and that we long for things above is not going to be apparent to those who do not know that there is an “above” at all. How do you explain greenness to the color-blind? In some ways that new life will be hidden even from our own eyes, because the action of grace is like yeast in the dough, silent, invisible. Recall that when the blessed are brought before Christ their judge, they will say, “Lord, when were you hungry, and we gave you to eat?” — as if even they were unaware of the good they have done, as painful as may be their memories of sin. Then let the poet George Herbert, whom I consider to be the greatest lyric poet in English, show us what this hidden

St. Paul by Guido Reni (1575-1642), Museo del Prado, Madrid

life is like. The poem is simply called “Colossians 3:3,” and it is headed with the verse, Our life is hid with Christ in God. The spacing and the italics are intentional:

motion also, the one that is easily observable, but the other hidden. The hidden one spirals day by day upward – towards the peak. Of course he is not supposing that we will then fall back into a spiritual winter, and in this way our My words and thoughts do both express this notion, lives are not like the seasonal spiraling of the sun. We are That Life hath with the sun a double motion. moving toward a great summer harvest. We labor here, we The first Is straight, and our diurnal friend, “quit” our daily pleasures, “to gain at harvest an eternal The other Hid and doth obliquely bend. Treasure.” Herbert is thinking of the parable of the man One life is wrapped In flesh, and tends to earth: who found a treasure in a field, and went and sold all he had The other winds towards Him, whose happy birth to purchase that field. The kingdom of God, says Jesus, is Taught me to live here so, That still one eye like that – a hidden thing, what the world overlooks, an Should aim and shoot at that which Is on high: “unconsidered trifle,” to use the apt words of Shakespeare. Quitting with daily labour all My pleasure, But the treasure is priceless. So the Christian lives, as it To gain at harvest an eternal Treasure. were, a diagonal life, in the world but not of it, moving with the flesh but also crossing it, cutting athwart it, and this in The simile that governs the poem a quiet but constant way, ever with is a little tricky to explain to people an eye toward “that which is on who no longer have to observe the high.” path of the sun from hour to hour and And what is the substance of this from day to day. The sun, we know, treasure? Once, near the end of his rises in the east and sets in the west. life, Thomas Aquinas heard in That is the “straight” motion, the prayer the voice of God, saying, “diurnal friend” that bends toward “Thomas, you have written well of earth. It is common among all human me. What do you desire for a cultures to compare the life of man to reward?” Thomas replied, “Thee a single day: think of the bittersweet alone, Lord.” That is the astonishing song “Sunrise, Sunset.” The flesh promise that God holds forth for the ages and must die. But there is a secfaithful soul. “My spirit longs for ond motion of the sun, one that is thee, within my troubled breast,” impossible to perceive in the hour. says one old and venerable and It is a spiraling or winding largely forgotten hymn. “Our hearts motion, as Herbert puts it. Suppose are restless until they rest in thee,” we are in the northern hemisphere, says Augustine. “Jesus, priceless and we begin on the shortest day of treasure,” we sing in the magnifithe year. The sun does not rise due cent Bach oratorio. And in this poem “S et your mindS on thingS that east, but southeast, and the higher we Herbert reveals to us in the diagonal, are above... for you have died, are in the latitudes towards the pole, in words otherwise hidden, what is the farther south it will be, and to the true of his life and what he longs for and your life iS hidden with same degree it sets southwest, travelas the summit and perfection of that ChriSt in god.” ing a very short arc and not rising life: My life is hid in Him that is my —St. Paul, Col. 3:2-3 high in the sky. But as it moves – I am Treasure. speaking of the path we observe, Each of those words is exactly which is owing to the tilt of the earth on its axis and its revwhere it should be: the first is the first syllable of 10 in the olution around the sun – it spirals, rising farther to the east first line of the 10-line poem, the second word is the second with each day and setting farther to the west, making a syllable of 10 in the second line, and so forth, until the 10th longer and a higher arc, till finally, on the longest day of the syllable in the 10th line, that which begins the final and cliyear, it rises northeast and travels all the way around east mactic word, treasure. and south and west, to set northwest, and its noon is as high That’s just one small and winsome example of what in the sky as it will ever be, at that latitude. Christian artists used to do, in meditating upon the word of So the Christian life, says Herbert, has that double God. Let us go and learn from them.m JULY-AUGUST 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN


Lay action

CatholiC lawyers Join global prayer For China Campaign China’s government Continues to ramp up oppression n BY JANE F. ADOLPHE AND MARCELA SZYMANSKI

Even during the pandemic, there has not been a halt to the removal of Christian symbols in China. Above, a cross is removed from a Catholic church there. Below, Cardinal Charles Bo, President of the Federation of the Catholic Asian Bishops’ Conference, who is leading the protest against these actions. Below, a new book by the author of this article


atholic lawyers as well as parliamentarians and experts are responding to the “Call for Prayer for the Church and Peoples of China” by Cardinal Charles Bo, President of the Federation of Catholic Asian Bishops Conferences.[1] Both faith and reason must be employed to combat gross human rights violations and atrocities committed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The Global Prayer for China Campaign ( was launched May 23-30, 2021, by an informal coalition of lay Christians on six continents, including certain members of the Ave Maria School of Law (AMSL) in Naples, Florida, as well as the International Catholic Jurists Forum (ICJF), with its head office at the law school.[2] Campaign efforts are poised to endure well beyond the octave. This is not the first time that the forum and the law school have joined forces to confront international crimes and mass atrocities. The book Persecution and Genocide of Christians in the Middle East: Prevention, Prohibition, and Prosecution (Angelico Press: 2017) constitutes the proceedings of a 2016 international conference organized by ICJF and held at the law school. [3] It showcases contributions from multiple AMSL professors and one board member. A similar effort addressed the persecution and genocide of Christians in Sub-Saharan Africa. It was held in 2020 and produced an expert coalition that lobbied on behalf of the persecuted Christians in Washington.



Key participants of the China prayer campaign include American Congressman Chris Smith (NJ), the UK’s Lord David Alton, Canadian Parliamentarian Garnett Genuis, Australian Parliamentarian Kevin Andrews, Irish entrepreneur Declan Ganley, Canada’s former religious freedom envoy Andrew Bennett, Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Nina Shea, Esq., and Christian Solidarity Worldwide expert, Benedict Rogers. Four of them contributed to the videos created by members of the law school, Elizabeth Westhoff, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, and Professor and ICJR Director, Jane Adolphe (available at The three-minute video of Bo’s statement engages the viewer with color and sound, while three additional videos host Smith, Shea, Rogers, and Alton, giving informed talks bristling with examples of gross breaches and violations. They range from freedom of expression, assembly, religion and conscience to arbitrary detention, murder, rape, torture, forced labor, sterilization, abortion, and organ harvesting.[4] In addition, the persecution of the Catholic Church, Protestant denominations and other religious practitioners are highlighted in the 12minute video, “The Primer”; the 60-minute video, “The Backgrounder”; and 30-minute video, “The Conversation.”

A poster for the Week of Global Prayer for China

Finally, the Uyghur population in the North-Western region of Xinjiang is discussed together with various declarations against Uyghur genocide by the USA, UK, Canada, Netherlands, and Lithuania.[5] Underlying these violations and atrocities is the threat of a geopolitical shift with China emerging as a global leader, ruling by force through technology.[6] Legal scholars have explored the link between the rise of China and its COVID emergency law in The Chinese Advantage in Emergency Law published in 2020.[7] They argue that the CCP, a master of collecting and hoarding the world’s most valuable resource – data — is developing a concept of authoritarian governance linked to high-tech totalitarianism.[8] The issue has been tagged in the Religious Freedom in the World Report 2021 by the Aid to the Church Need (ACN), a Pontifical Foundation of the Catholic Church.[9] The surveillance system is described as an “apparatus of repression constructed by the [CCP]…so finetuned, pervasive, and technologically sophisticated that it makes ‘Big Brother’ appear amateurish.”[10] ACN’s Report explains that while first introduced to control mostly the Muslim Uighur population, “elements of the CCP’s surveillance state are rapidly being introduced across the entire nation of 1.4 billion,” and outside of China to its neighbors in Central Asia.[11] The system goes beyond mere facial recognition, data harvesting and analysis. It is designed to monitor, harass, and control targets considered threats through a reward system. Unsurprisingly, over time the technology will become more sophisticated, comprehensive, invasive, repressive and inhuman. How does it work in China? ACN’s Report describes the surveillance state and its rule of technology:[12] • “Sophisticated security cameras and data scanners,” known as sharp eyes, are “capable of giving police high-resolution images of individual faces,” while “scanners installed throughout the country at key pedestrian check-

points scoop up data from smartphones, unbeknownst to those passing through.” • Smart phones with special apps permit the police to “upload the vast data they collect to shared analytical platforms… [which] collate and cross-tabulate the collected information, flagging individuals who meet with known ‘malcontents,’ use apps such as WhatsApp that employ encryption, or engage in an unusually high degree of religious activity.” • The social credit system operating in several major cities, but intended for the entire country, has “instituted schemes whereby individuals accumulate reputational points based on their ‘good’ and ‘bad’ behaviors...[the latter includes] visiting houses of worship too frequently or failing to help the police identify religious dissidents such as Falun Gong members. Low social credit scores can make it impossible for individuals to purchase train or airline tickets, or secure places for their children in desirable schools.”[13] This element is most likely to ensure the obedience of citizens under the rule of technology. Who are primarily targeted in China? In the words of ACN: “Faith groups, perceived as a direct challenge to a jealous atheist system are, and will increasingly be, watched.” ACN’s Report cites Samuel Brownback, then U.S. ambassador for International Religious Freedom, in support, when he warns that “China’s methods represent ‘the future of religious oppression.’”[14] The potential target group, however, could be much larger. In the end, what the world might be witnessing is the emergence of China as a dominant authoritarian power on the international scene, ruling by technology coupled with a correlative unravelling of the global hegemony of the West and the rule-of-law tradition.[15] To combat the leviathan, the Global Prayer for China Campaign’s group of Catholic lawyers aims to build support globally, rising to the occasion on the wings of faith and reason.m

NOTES [1] See Cardinal Charles Bo on the Global Prayer for China: Cardinal Bo Urges Prayer Octave for China - Global Prayer for China. [2] See the press release on the website of the International Catholic Jurists Forum (ICJF) at [3] See the book and reviews on the website of the ICJF: [4] See footnote 2, supra. [5] “Netherlands Joins US and Canada in Declaring Chinese Treatment of Uyghurs Genocide,” in The Jurist, 1 March 2021, at See also “Uyghurs: MPs state Genocide taking place in

China,” in BBC, 23 April 2021, available at news/uk-politics56843368; See also “Lithuanian Latest to Call China’s Treatment of Uyghurs Genocide,” in Reuters, 20 May 2021, at https:// world/china/lithuanian-parliament-latest-call-chinas-treatment-uyghursgenocide-2021-05-20/. [6] Ugo Mattei, Liu Guanghua, and Emanuele Ariano, “The Chinese Advantage in Emergency Law,” Global Jurist 2021: 21 (1): 1-58; De Gruyter/ Published online: August 3, 2020 h t t p s : / / d o i . o r g / 10 . 1515 / g j - 20 20 - 0 0 32 ; 1515/gj-2020-0032/html (last accessed on 25 May 2021). [7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid. [9] “Backgrounder: A Window into the Soul: China’s Threat to Religious Freedom,” (interior citations omitted) at pp. 24 to 25, in Aid to the Church in Need, Religious Freedom in the World, Report 2021, available at (last accessed 26 May 2021). [10] Ibid. [11] Ibid. [12] Ibid. [13] Ibid. [14] Ibid. [15] See footnote 6, supra, at 2.




The Message of the Icon




or obvious reasons, childbirth has been long regarded as a primarily feminine undertaking; it is something of a cliché to see St. Joachim standing somewhat apart from the proceedings in the icon. The role of the father in bringing new life to light has generally been to stand by anxiously, ready to assist in any way necessary, but also a bit bewildered in the process and perhaps even a bit left out of the drama. There is truth in the cliché, of course; the father’s role in a child’s development becomes larger as the infant is transformed into a young man or woman. Still, in the upper portion of the icon, the couple is shown in loving union; the arrival of a new addition to the family does not sever the marital bond, but it will inevitably alter the dynamics of the relationship. The old form of marriage consisting of man and woman must give way to a new reality of man, woman and child. Each subsequent child forces another change to the shape of the family, a sort of death to the old, and a renewal or resurrection of the family in a new, expanded and improved form. The icon certainly does depict the later role of Joachim. Next to Anna is seen a table set for great festivity. Joachim provides for his new family all the means to celebrate the birth of his daughter. Some commentaries even suggest that the table is set for the first birthday of the Theotokos, giving rise to a fruitful meditation on family celebrations. Judaic customs included a great many holy days, marking their appreciation for God’s many interventions in their national life. Passover was a remembrance of their release from slavery in Egypt. Hanukkah marks their appreciation for the return from exile in Babylon and the re-

newed dedication of the Temple. Purim commemorates the thwarting by the noble Esther of Haman’s murderous plot against the Jews. One remarkable feature of these feasts is the theological foundation underlying all of them; besides being an excuse for a good celebratory feast, each of them was an occasion for Jews to remember in prayer and thanksgiving God’s good care for them. This aspect of celebration has largely been lost to the modern world. Little or no recognition of the divine element remains in Christmas or Easter, for instance. They are regarded as excuses for a good (perhaps even gluttonous!) feast and the giving of gifts, maybe family gatherings, but generally modern society pays no attention to the significance of the birth or resurrection of the Messiah. The role of the father in a Christian family takes on immense importance in this regard. Just as the father in a Jewish family carefully directed the course of the Passover feast, a conscientious Christian father must see to it that his family never loses sight of the divine presence in family celebrations. By virtue of our adoption as children of God and heirs to heaven, we belong to an expanded family; our relatives are far more numerous than might be seen within the walls of a family home. To exclude these many aunts, uncles, and cousins from a family party is rude at best, and possibly even insulting or blasphemous! There is a specific role for the parents, led by the father, to direct the family in constant recognition of God’s presence and guidance in the home. Birthdays, name days, feast days, and graduations are all great occasions to celebrate not only the immediate family members, but the far larger extended family to which we have been so wonderfully joined.m

INSIDE THE VATICAN PILGRIMAGES made a special pilgrimage to Russia, as well as Rome, to take part in the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the murder of Tsar Nicholas and his wife and five children in 1918. Contact us at for information about joining us for upcoming special pilgrimages like this one. page 48 t Urbi et Orbi Foundation is a project of Urbi et Orbi Communications t 202-536-4555


THE JESUS PRAYER ope Francis during his general audience on April 21 spoke on the subject of vocal prayer. He cautioned that one should not succumb to the pride of scorning vocal prayer. In this regard, he referred to a well-known spiritual book which has the English title, The Way of the Pilgrim. The Pope stated: “We all have something to learn from the perseverance of the Russian pilgrim, mentioned in a famous work on spirituality, who learned the art of prayer by repeating the same invocation over and over again: ‘Jesus Christ, Son of God, Lord, have mercy on us, sinners!’ (cf. CCC, 2616; 2667). “He only repeated this. If his life received graces, if prayer became so warm one day as to perceive the presence of the Kingdom among us, if his gaze was transformed until it became like that of a child, it is because he insisted on reciting a simple Christian exclamation. In the end, it became part of his breathing. “The story of the Russian pilgrim is beautiful: it is a book that is accessible to all. I recommend you read it; it will help you to understand what vocal prayer is.” The Way of the Pilgrim is an anonymous work which was first published in Russian in 1884, although it probably existed in manuscript form for a number of decades previously. In the book, an unidentified wandering pilgrim in Russia, seeking to fulfill St. Paul’s advice to “pray without ceasing,” was instructed by a holy man in the repetitive recitation of the “Jesus Prayer.” Under this instruction, the repetition was increased to 12,000 times a day and finally became a form of mental prayer as natural as breathing. The book describes this simple pilgrim’s wanderings through Russia and Siberia and his spiritual growth using this prayer. It is a charming and beautiful narrative which has now


become a spiritual classic, popular not only with Orthodox, but with Catholics and Protestants as well. The Jesus Prayer, invoking the mercy of Jesus with repetitive words, has deep roots in Eastern monasticism dating back to the first millennium. For example, it has long been associated with the monks at Mt. Athos. There, it became part of a form of prayer known as hesychasm, a prayer of stillness. With this form, a monk uses certain bodily positions and breathing patterns while reciting the Jesus Prayer. Through long practice, this allows him to experience God’s light or “uncreated energies.” The doctrine of “uncreated energies” was defended by St. Gregory Palamas (1296-1359) and was approved by an Orthodox council in 1351. Although this doctrine has historically been challenged by some Catholics, one can still use the Jesus Prayer without adopting hesychasm or the doctrine of “uncreated energies.” Aside from the Our Father, the Jesus Prayer is probably the most popular prayer of the Orthodox today. Few adopt the unceasing prayer of The Way of the Pilgrim. Saying the Jesus Prayer for less than one hour is far more common. Also, spiritual guides urge caution in using the breathing techniques without a knowledgeable spiritual director. Some find it helpful to use a “prayer rope” with 33, 50, or 100 knots to maintain a rhythm in reciting the prayer. It is not unusual to see Orthodox clerics, monks, and nuns with a prayer rope wrapped around the wrist. It is surprising to see in recent years the number of Catholic articles and presentations discussing the Jesus Prayer. As is true for the growing appreciation of Catholics for icons, it is another example of how Catholics can be enriched by Orthodox spiritual traditions. m t Urbi et Orbi Foundation is a project of Urbi et Orbi Communications t 202-536-4555

page 49


NEWS from the EAST


EGYPT: TEAM LED BY ROMANIAN RUSSIAN PATRIARCH KIRILL ANNOUNCES ARCHEOLOGIST DISCOVER WORLD’S STATISTICAL DATA ON THE LIFE OF THE OLDEST KNOWN MONASTERY RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH A French-Norwegian team led by Romanian archaeThe Russian Orthodox Church unites 303 dioceses, ologist Victor Ghica discovered the oldest archaeologithat is, 10 more than in 2016 and 144 more than in 2009. cally attested monastic site in the world. The site is 370 This was reported by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and kilometers south-west of Cairo, Egypt, and it dates back All Russia in his remarks at the opening of the Bishops’ to the 4th century. Council of the Russian Orthodox Church on November The discovery made at Tall Ğanūb Qaṣr al-'Ağūz, in 29, 2017. the al-Bahariya oasis, certifies that Christian monastiIn the inter-council period, 3 metropolias were estabcism was born in the Egyptian Desert, as the Tradition lished, and now their number has reached 60. of the Church has always taught. The work to improve the statistics, collected in RussThe archaeologists discovered “six sectors conian dioceses, has come to embrace other countries in the structed predominantly of basalt canonical territory as well as dioceblocks and mud” and “a number of ses and parishes abroad, Patriarch buildings which are dug partially, or Kirill pointed out. In particular, corcompletely, in the bed-rock,” includrections were made in some dioceing “clusters of living spaces for ses, which earlier did not monks.” distinguish between staff clergy and clergy not on the staff list. This Four of the six buildings comscrupulous work continues. plexes that compose the site were At present the staff clergy of the found in an exceptional state of Russian Orthodox Church consists preservation, with all the walls intact. of 39,414 clergy including 34,774 The walls of four of the rooms, staff presbyters and 4,640 deacons. including the walls of one of the For the year, the staff clergy inchurches, are completely covered The ruins of the monastery discovered in the Egyptian desert by Romanian archeologist Victor Ghica creased by 521 clerics. This indicawith religious texts written in Greek, tor of the growing number of clergy has been steady in including a passage from Evagrius and another one from recent years. As for the total number of staff and nonSt. Ephraim the Syrian’s Sermo asceticus. staff clergy, it amounts to over 40,000 clerics (as of the Prof. Ghica, who coordinated the project, declared beginning of 2017, since the statistics on the number of that “the dig reveals a new face of the beginnings of orclergy and churches is summarized in the first months of ganised Egyptian monasticism.” The Roumanian profeseach year). sor said the discovery brings new information on “the nature of monastic life in the region.” In the Russian Orthodox Church there are 36,878 Based on stratigraphy, radiocarbon analysis, ceramic churches or other facilities in which the Divine Liturgy and glass assemblages and two coins, the foundation date is celebrated. This statistics includes the data on the far of the sector can be situated in the mid-fourth, or even abroad and corresponds to the annual growth of 1,340 in the first half of the fourth century, making it the oldest churches. In addition, there are 462 male monasteries, preserved Christian monastic site that has been dated that is, 7 more than in the previous year, and 482 female with certainty. convents, that is, 11 more than in the previous years. According to the Romanian, the recently discovered In the far-abroad countries there are over 900 parishes site adds to the “19 structures and a church carved into and monasteries of the Russian Orthodox Church includthe bedrock” discovered in 2020 in this region inhabited ing the parishes of the Russian Church Outside Russia. by the first Christian monks between the 4th and the 8th “Almost every community of the Moscow Patriarchate century. in the far-abroad countries has a Sunday school, cateGhica is a professor at the MF Norwegian School of chetical courses and activities for preserving the native Theology, Religion and Society in Oslo and a graduate language and culture and for educating the younger genof Bucharest University. eration,” Patriarch Kirill said. He specializes, among other, in Late antique archaeAmong the important events for the far-abroad ology, Coptic and Ancient North Arabian Epigraphy, and parishes, Patriarch Kirill mentioned the consecration of in Copto-Arabic and Syriac literature. ( the new cathedral of the diocese of Chersonese in Paris page 50 t Urbi et Orbi Foundation is a project of Urbi et Orbi Communications t 202-536-4555

in 2016 and of the cathedral in London after its capital restoration. (

At the time of her death, a dispute arose because of the religious problems of burying the Greek Orthodox princess with her aunt, the Grand Duchess Elizabeth, in a PRINCE PHILIP: “BAPTIZED ORTHODOX AND Russian Orthodox church in Jerusalem. THAT IS ALL THAT REALLY COUNTS” A compromise was struck: Princess George of Prince Philip, the recently deceased Duke of EdinHanover, who at the time was 73 years old and Prince burgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth of England, was Philip’s eldest sister, flew in with the coffin at the head born on the island of Corfu on June 10, 1921, the only of a royal delegation. son and fifth child of Prince Andrew of Greece and Her remains were buried at a Russian Orthodox conPrincess Alice of Battenberg. He was baptized into the vent in Jerusalem, as she had wished. After a commemGreek Orthodox Church. oration service on the Mount of Olives led by the Greek When in 1948 HRH Princess Elizabeth, the present Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem, the remains were taken Queen, married the Greek Orthodox Prince Philip, to their final resting place at the nearby onion-domed the present Duke of Edinburgh, he was offiRussian Orthodox church, St. Mary Magdalene in cially required to cease to be Orthodox (alGethsemane. though he never ceased to make the After many years of not practicing his faith, HRH Orthodox sign of the cross in public). Prince Philip returned to Orthodoxy in the early His mother’s aunt, Elizabeth, married 1990s. In an article of that time written by Giles Milinto the Russian royal family and ton (The Spectator, March 14, after dying during the Revolution, 1992), it was revealed that in she was considered a saint by the May, 1991 he had spoken in priRussian Orthodox Church. vate to a Russian Orthodox When Germany invaded bishop in London and for June, Greece in the Second World War, 1993 he was planning a meeting Princess Alice, who was always with the Patriarch of Constantinodeeply religious, risked her life to ple, a visit to the Holy Mountain help Greek Jews. Her name is of Athos in Northern Greece and listed among the “Righteous Gena visit to the Patriarch of Moscow. tiles,” those recognized by the IsIn the same article, the Prince’s raeli government as heroic in words to an Orthodox Conference helping Jews escape annihilation. on Ecology in Crete in November She became an Orthodox nun, 1991 were also quoted. and when the Greek royal family “The strong relationship beHRH Prince William paying his respects to his great was expelled from Athens in the tween Prince Philip and the OrPrincess Alice of Greece, at her tomb on military coup of 1967, Prince grandmother, HRH thodox Church seems to be a the Mount of Olives, Israel. Philip brought her to London meeting of like minds. We all had Above, Prince Philip, the recently-deceased where she moved into Buckinga very interesting discussion in Duke of Edinburgh ham Palace and created a private Crete as to whether Prince Philip chapel for herself which was hastily dismantled folwas still Orthodox or not,” says Palmer. “The lowing her death in 1969. She can be seen dressed monks said his conversion to Anglicanism 49 as an Orthodox nun on the balcony of Buckingyears ago didn’t matter because he was bapham Palace in photographs on various public octized Orthodox and that is all that really casions in the 1950s. counts.” (Greek City Reporter)m

The Christian Churches, the communities of the disciples of Christ, were intended to be united as one; Pope John Paul II proclaimed, “The Church must breathe with Her two lungs!” Unfortunately, the Churches are not united. This is a great scandal, an impediment to the witness of the Church. Since unity was desired by Christ Himself, we must work to end this disunity and accomplish the will of the Lord.

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page 51

Of Books, Art and People

laura bosetti-tonatto: Italy’s World-Famous “Nose” n BY LUCY GORDAN


ia dei Coronari is directly across the Tiber from the Vatican, running parallel to the river from Piazza Navona to Castel Sant’Angelo’s footbridge. On the pilgrims’ itinerary to St. Peter’s Basilica since the Middle Ages it’s always had a Vatican connection. Its name derives from the Coronari, also named Peternostrari, who sold rosary beads (corone in Italian), holy miniatures and other holy objects. Later, during the Renaissance, attracted by the fiscal advantages promised by Pope Sixtus IV (r. 1471-84), high prelates, nobles and prosperous merchants built elegant palazzi here. It’s also rumored that Raphael bought a home here. When I first lived in Rome, Via dei Coronari was lined with antique dealers, furniture-makers, art galleries, framers, and jewelers, only a few of whom still exist. Yet today, at No. 57 is the only artisan left with a direct Vatican connection, the “nose” Laura Bosetti-Tonatto, the first (since 1986) perfume maker in Italy to create custommade fragrances and still one of only a few women “noses” worldwide. Besides private individuals including Queen Elizabeth II and several princesses of the Saudi royal family, who introduced her to their local magical rose Taif and to helping the less fortunate women in their kingdom, fashion designers, movie stars, film producers, and sports idols, her clients include deluxe hotels, museums, luxury car and pen manufacturers, and major cosmetic companies. In addition, since October 2006 she’s been an adjunct professor at the University of Ferrara in the Master’s Degree in Cosmetic Science and Technology teaching the courses “Perfumes: Art and Production” and “Aromacology.” I first noticed Laura’s shop, which she opened in 2015, because of a window display of her “Scents of the Bible” which she’d created for Pope Francis’ extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy in 2015/16. These, Incenso delle 52 INSIDE THE VATICAN JULY-AUGUST 2021

Laura Bosetti-Tonatto in her perfume laboratory and, below, Mary Magdalene with an alabaster jar of a very precious nard ointment, by Bernardino Luini, National Gallery, Washington, D.C.

Chiese di Roma, Nardò della Maddalena and Rosa Mistica, are only three of the 55 fragrances and some 800 products: perfumes, hand and face creams, shower gels, soaps, body lotions, cosmetics, candles, home scents, and sanitizers, to name only a few product types that she sells here in her only shop (a second will be opening “hopefully in July” nearby). All her products can also be ordered from her website: and some on Ebay. In the press release about her Biblical scents, Laura recounts: “Smell is the most spiritual of our five senses. It’s written in the Talmud (Berakhòt 43b) that smell is the only one of our senses that gives pleasure to our soul, while the other four are connected to our corporal needs. Smell’s spiritual characteristic can give us the impression of someone’s presence even when no one is there. For example, when the Apostle Peter knelt down in Jesus’ empty tomb, the smell of myrrh and aloe made him think that Jesus was present… Another example is Isaac who, because blind, mistook Jacob for his older son Esau, when he smelled Esau’s clothing that Jacob had put on to trick his father. Smell is connected to memory and often reminds us of an absent loved one, of places we’ve been, or experiences we’ve had. “In the Bible, myrrh, frankincense, cassia, and tuberose,” continues Laura’s press release, “are mentioned frequently, as are the more exotic aromas of saffron, amber, and cinnamon. In Exodus God dictates to Moses the list of fragrances to include in anointing oil, the oil that renders things sacred and that must not be poured ‘on someone else’s body.’” Incense, cited in Genesis 8:21 and in Psalms 140:2, is a part of the liturgy in many religions. Since the dawn of civilization it’s represented purification, meditation and healing. It’s the first sign of God’s presence when we enter a church. The fragrances of Laura’s “Incense of the Churches in Rome” are

Laura's three perfumes for the Vatican Museums

resinous balsamic, woody, warm, ambry, and a bit pungent. For Laura knew from a young age that she wanted to beThe Gospels of John 12:3-5, of Mark 14:3-5, Luke 7:36come “a nose” thanks to her paternal grandmother Ippolita 38, and Matthew 26:7-9 all recount that, when Jesus was in Bosetti, an artist and lover of perfumes, who recognized the home of Simon the Leper, Mary Magdalene took a pint her potential and encouraged her. “It was our secret,” Lauof pure nard, an expensive perfume with an intense earthy ra told me. and musky scent, and poured it on Jesus’ feet. Afterwards At age 18 Laura went to Cairo to visit her aunt. Her Unshe wiped them dry with her hair. For this reason Mary cle Samir, an Egyptian engineer, sympathetic to Laura’s inMagdalene is the patron saint of terest, took her to the Khanel El perfumers and the protagonist of Kalili bazaar, which has a whole Laura’s extensive art collection. street devoted to fragrances. Her In the Bible, the Rosa Mistica career began here in the stall of or thornless rose, the oldest ingrea certain Hassan, “my first mendient in perfumery, is quoted in tor who taught me 80% of what Sirach as an attribute of wisdom, I know today,” Laura affirmed. in the prophecies of Isaiah to From Cairo she went to Grasse foretell the incarnation of Christ, in Provence where she studied and is a poetic attribute of the with her two other mentors, the Virgin Mary. It highlights her “noses” Serge Kalouguine and conception without original sin Guy Robert before creating her (so “without thorns”). first personal fragrances in MiCurious to know more, as lan at age 21 for the singer Orsoon as Rome’s stores were alnella Vanoni and for the movie lowed to reopen at the end of actress Ornella Muti. Caravaggio's Lute-Player in The Hermitage Museum April, I finally met Laura, a It wasn’t until nearly two down-to-earth citizen-of-the-world, and learned her story. decades into her career, in April 2004, that Laura created Her curriculum vitae is 28 pages long, so after a brief bioher first “Roman” and “art-connected” fragrance Artemis, graphical introduction, I’ve limited my highlights to those inspired by Artemisia Gentileschi’s Aurora (1627). Today connected to Rome and the Vatican. this painting is in a private collection in Rome. Italophile Laura, a history and cinema buff, classical The next year in September, Michail Piotrovskij, the music lover, especially of opera, and voracious reader, was director of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, born and grew up in Turin, but for many years now Rome asked her to create a fragrance inspired by the flowers, has been the “city of my heart and of my rebirth after a fruits, wood, and human flesh in the Lute-Player by Carvery difficult life experience.” She also told me that the avaggio (1571-1610), Laura’s favorite artist. Commisfirst scent she remembers is blood mixed with disinfectant sioned by the powerful banker/art collector with close ties that her mother used to clean up a nosebleed after she’d to the papacy Vincenzo Giustiniani, it had been painted in tumbled at around age 3, but soon afterwards, on the pleaRome in 1595/6. surable side, also the scents of her grandmother’s boudoir. To celebrate her favorite period of art, Baroque Rome, JULY-AUGUST 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN 53

Of Books, Art and People Laura created two fragrances. Inspired Instead, Laura’s Terra Marique or by Rome’s many fountains designed by Land and Sea was inspired by the Muthe Baroque’s great sculptors and archiseums’ Gallery of Maps. Commistects: Nicola Salvi, Domenico Fontana, sioned by Pope Gregory XIII in 1580 Orazio Gentileschi (Artemisia’s faits frescoes by friar and geographer Igther), Bramante, and the two most fanazio Danti depict individual topomous of all: Bernini and Borromini, the graphical maps of many of Italy’s 20 top notes of Acqua Barocca are narcisregions. On one side of the Hall are the sus and lily-of-the-valley. Borromini regions with Tyrrhenian coastline; on also inspired her Il Cortile delle Zagare the other, those along the Adriatic Sea. (The Orange Blossom Courtyard), reHere Laura’s scents, a mixture of the ferring to a small courtyard in his smells of flowers, orange leaf, woods, Palazzo Spada. fields, and sea, evoke Italy. Laura’s latest creations take us In November 2019, after extensive across the Tiber to Vatican City, where redesigning Pope Francis reopened in 2020 the Museums commissioned The Vatican Ethnological Museum, her to create three fragrances, also on which houses over 80,000 objects and sale there, inspired by places in Vatiart works from all over the world, and can City. An obvious choice was the he renamed it Anima Mundi or Soul of Behind the cash register is this collage Vatican Gardens. Founded in c. 1297 of the paintings of Mary Magdalene in Laura's the World. At its inauguration The muart collection during the papacy of Nicholas III, they seum’s director, Father Nicola Mapelli, cover approximately 57 acres or about half of the City. Its said that this new name reflects the belief that “when we Roseto, or Rose Arbor, built by Pope Leo XIII (r. 1878display objects, we don’t display a dead reality, but some1913), was one of Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI’s favorite thing that expresses the spirit of a culture through its art.” meditation spots so rose and jasmine, omnipresent here Laura’s Ethnos, with its masculine scents of leather and all over Rome, are the predominant fragrances of and wood mixed with honey, evokes this ideal, as do her Laura’s Giardini or Gardens. other perfumes.m

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What You Must Believe to Be a Good Liberal Catholic  Jesus Christ’s primary legacy is teaching tolerance, compassion, and unconditional love.  Female deacons were a common feature of the early Church.  The Church’s prohibition of women priests is a result of a centuries-long male-dominated hierarchy.  “Pope Joan” actually existed.  Pope Francis will pave the way for women’s ordination.  “Gender” is artificial and culturally determined.  Homosexuality is natural and genetically determined.  Heterosexual priests are just as likely as homosexual priests to be pederasts.  The sex-abuse crisis was inevitable because priests aren’t allowed to marry.  Any combination of consenting parties can constitute a “family.”  There’s no valid reason why divorced-andremarried Catholics shouldn’t receive Communion.  We need less Vatican intervention in the a昀airs of local parishes, dioceses, and charity organizations.  We need more federal intervention in the a昀airs of cities, states, and charity organizations.  We need to be welcoming to and accommodating of practitioners of other religions in public life.  Catholic public o cials should “follow their conscience” and not feel obligated to legislate Catholic morality.  Muslims, Christians, and Jews all worship the same God — they just don’t know it yet.  Islamic violence against Christians is a reac-

tion to the Church’s historic intolerance and oppression of minority groups.  Jesus was probably black.  Systemic racism continues to plague the Catholic Church.  The Church entered a “new springtime” after Vatican II.  Anyone who disagrees with any of the above, is obviously a racist, most likely a Nazi, and maybe even a Pelagian!           If you believe any of this, sorry but you’re a hopeless liberal Catholic! We at the New Oxford Re­ view, an orthodox Catholic monthly magazine, expose liberal Catholics for what they are: smug pooh-bahs who’ve capitulated to the Zeitgeist. And they’ve gotten uptight about it and have lashed out at us. Commonweal magazine, for example, once devoted its entire back cover to an attempt to ridicule us. The National Catholic Reporter newspaper called us a “poisoned dart.” Best of all, Archbishop Rembert Weakland, who paid out $450,000 in archdiocesan funds to cover up a homosexual a昀air, called us “extremely o昀ensive.” Yes, we’ve got “attitude,” as Karl Keating, founder of Catholic Answers, has noted. We’re “cheeky” according to Newsweek, and “in昀uential” according to the Los Angeles Times. Obviously, we’re too in昀uential to tolerate — or to ignore. If you’ve had it up to here with liberals who try to pass o昀 secular ideology as Catholic theology, if you want a Church that moves the world rather than one that’s moved by it, subscribe today! (Please allow 2 to 8 weeks for delivery of 昀rst issue.)

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“I welcome you, my son...” 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 I, Part III (Note: The hero of the story, a young English priest named Fr. Percy Franklin, has come to Rome to report directly to the Pope on what he has seen in England: the emergence of a popular political figure who seems to be entirely humanistic, and so to have one of the characteristics of the Antichrist. Percy is about to see the “Papa Angelicus,” who is now 89, and has been Pope for nine years...) It was he [the Papa Angelicus] who had carried out the extraordinary policy of yielding the churches throughout the whole of Italy to the Government, in exchange for the temporal lordship of Rome, and who had since set himself to make it a city of saints. He had cared, it appeared, nothing whatever for the world’s opinion; his policy, so far as it could be called one, consisted in a very simple thing: he had declared in Epistle after Epistle that the object of the Church was to do glory to God by producing supernatural virtues in man, and that nothing at all was of any significance or importance except so far as it effected this object. He had further maintained that since Peter was the Rock, the City of Peter was the Capital of the world, and should set an example to its dependency: this could not be done unless Peter ruled his City, and therefore he had sacrificed every church and ecclesiastical building in the country for that one end. Then he had set about ruling his city: he had said that on the whole the latter-day discoveries of man tended to distract immortal souls from a contemplation of eternal verities—not that these discoveries could be anything but good in themselves, since after all they gave insight into the wonderful laws of God—but that at present they were too exciting to the imagination. So he had removed the trams, the volors, the laboratories, the manufactories—saying that there was plenty of room for them outside Rome—and had allowed them to be planted in the suburbs: in their place he had raised shrines, religious houses and Calvaries. 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.

Then he had attended further to the souls of his subjects. Since Rome was of limited area, and, still more because the world corrupted without its proper salt, he allowed no man under the age of fifty to live within its walls for more than one month in each year, except those who received his permit. They might live, of course, immediately outside the city (and they did, by tens of thousands), but they were to understand that by doing so they sinned against the spirit, though not the letter, of their Father’s wishes. Then he had divided the city into national quarters, saying that as each nation had its peculiar virtues, each was to let its light shine steadily in its proper place. Rents had instantly begun to rise, so he had legislated against that by reserving in each quarter a number of streets at fixed prices, and had issued an ipso facto excommunication against all who erred in this respect. The rest were abandoned to the millionaires. He had retained the Leonine City entirely at his own disposal. Then he had restored Capital Punishment, with as much serene gravity as that with which he had made himself the derision of the civilised world in other matters, saying that though human life was holy, human virtue was more holy still; and he had added to the crime of murder, the crimes of adultery, idolatry and apostasy, for which this punishment was theoretically sanctioned. There had not been, however, more than two such executions in the eight years of his reign, since criminals, of course, with the exception of devoted believers, instantly made their way to the suburbs, where they were no longer under his jurisdiction. But he had not stayed here. He had sent once more ambassadors to every country in the world, informing the Government of each of their arrival. No attention was paid to this, beyond that of laughter; but he had continued, undisturbed, to claim his rights, and, meanwhile, used his legates for the important work of disseminating his views. Epistles appeared from time to time in every town, laying down the principles of the papal claims with as much tranquillity as if they were everywhere acknowledged. Freemasonry was steadily denounced, as well as democratic ideas of every kind; men were urged to remember their immortal souls and the Majesty of God, and to reflect upon the fact that in a few years all would be

God as seen by William Blake as the Architect of the world, in Ancient of Days, held in the British Museum, London

called to give their account to Him Who was Creator and Ruler of the world, Whose Vicar was John XXIV, P.P., whose name and seal were appended. That was a line of action that took the world completely by surprise. People had expected hysteria, argument, and passionate exhortation; disguised emissaries, plots, and protests. There were none of these. It was as if progress had not yet begun, and volors were uninvented, as if the entire universe had not come to disbelieve in God, and to discover that itself was God. Here was this silly old man, talking in his sleep, babbling of the Cross, and the inner life and the forgiveness of sins, exactly as his predecessors had talked two thousand years before. Well, it was only one sign more that Rome had lost not only its power, but its common sense as well. It was really time that something should be done. ***** And this was the man, thought Percy, Papa Angelicus, whom he was to see in a minute or two. The Cardinal put his hand on the priest’s knee as the door opened, and a purple prelate appeared, bowing. “Only this,” he said. “Be absolutely frank.” Percy stood up, trembling. Then he followed his patron towards the inner door. IV A white figure sat in the green gloom, beside a great writing-table, three or four yards away, but with the chair wheeled round to face the door by which the two entered. So much Percy saw as he performed the first genuflection. Then he dropped his eyes, advanced, genuflected again with the other, advanced once more, and for the third time genuflected, lifting the thin white hand, stretched out, to his lips. He heard the door close as he stood up. “Father Franklin, Holiness,” said the Cardinal’s voice at his ear. A white-sleeved arm waved to a couple of chairs set a yard away, and the two sat down.

it was at the face chiefly that he looked, dropping his gaze three or four times, as the Pope’s blue eyes turned on him. They were extraordinary eyes, reminding him of what historians said of Pius X; the lids drew straight lines across them, giving him the look of a hawk, but the rest of the face contradicted them. There was no sharpness in that. It was neither thin nor fat, but beautifully modelled in an oval outline: the lips were clean-cut, with a look of passion in their curves; the nose came down in an aquiline sweep, ending in chiselled nostrils; the chin was firm and cloven, and the poise of the whole head was strangely youthful. It was a face of great generosity and sweetness, set at an angle between defiance and humility, but ecclesiastical from ear to ear and brow to chin; the forehead was slightly compressed at the temples, and beneath the white cap lay white hair. It had been the subject of laughter at the music-halls nine years before, when the composite face of well-known priests had been thrown on a screen, side by side with the new Pope’s, for the two were almost indistinguishable. Percy found himself trying to sum it up, but nothing came to him except the word “priest.” It was that, and that was all. Ecce sacerdos magnus! He was astonished at the look of youth, for the Pope was eighty-eight this year; yet his figure was as upright as that of a man of fifty, his shoulders unbowed, his head set on them like an athlete’s, and his wrinkles scarcely perceptible in the half light. Papa Angelicus! reflected Percy. The Cardinal ceased his explanations, and made a little gesture. Percy drew up all his faculties tense and tight to answer the questions that he knew were coming. “I welcome you, my son,” said a very soft, resonant voice. Percy bowed, desperately, from the waist. The Pope dropped his eyes again, lifted a paper-weight with his left hand, and began to play with it gently as he talked. “Now, my son, deliver a little discourse. I suggest to you three heads—what has happened, what is happening, what will happen, with a peroration as to what should happen.” Percy drew a long breath, settled himself back, clasped the fingers of his left hand in the fingers of his right, fixed his eyes firmly upon the cross-embroidered red shoe opposite, and began. (Had he not rehearsed this a hundred times!)

***** ***** While the Cardinal, talking in slow Latin, said a few sentences, explaining that this was the English priest whose correspondence had been found so useful, Percy began to look with all his eyes. He knew the Pope’s face well, from a hundred photographs and moving pictures; even his gestures were familiar to him, the slight bowing of the head in assent, the tiny eloquent movement of the hands; but Percy, with a sense of being platitudinal, told himself that the living presence was very different. It was a very upright old man that he saw in the chair before him, of medium height and girth, with hands clasping the bosses of his chair-arms, and an appearance of great and deliberate dignity. But

He first stated his theme; to the effect that all the forces of the civilised world were concentrating into two camps—the world and God. Up to the present time the forces of the world had been incoherent and spasmodic, breaking out in various ways—revolutions and wars had been like the movements of a mob, undisciplined, unskilled, and unrestrained. To meet this, the Church, too, had acted through her Catholicity— dispersion rather than concentration: franc-tireurs had been opposed to franc-tireurs. But during the last hundred years there had been indications that the method of warfare was to change... (To be continued) m JULY-AUGUST 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN


VATICAN WATCH By Becky Derks with CNA Reports - Grzegorz Galazka and CNA photos


Entity in which they serve, for reasons or on the occasion of one’s office, gifts, presents or other benefits of a value exceeding 40 euros.”


POPE FRANCIS AT THE GENERAL AUDIENCE: “WE CAN ALL LEARN FROM THE PERSEVERANCE OF THE RUSSIAN PILGRIM” Pope Francis encouraged Catholics to read a 19th-century Russian spiritual classic. Speaking at his general audience on April 21, the Pope said that everyone could benefit from reading The Way of a Pilgrim, the story of an unnamed pilgrim who travels across Russia seeking to discover the secret of constant prayer. He said: “We all have something to learn from the perseverance of the Russian pilgrim, mentioned in a famous work on spirituality, who learned the art of prayer by repeating the same invocation over and over again: ‘Jesus Christ, Son of God, Lord, have mercy on us, sinners!’ He repeated only this…” “If graces arrive in our life, if prayer becomes so warm one day that the presence of the Kingdom were perceived here among us, if that vision could be transformed until it became like that of a child, it would be because we have insisted on reciting a simple Christian exclamation. In the end, it becomes part of our breathing.” He added: “It is beautiful, the story of the Russian pilgrim: it is a book that is accessible to all. I recommend you read it; it will help you to understand what vocal prayer is.” THURSDAY 29

IN ANTI-CORRUPTION LAW, POPE FRANCIS SEEKS TO QUASH VATICAN “ENVELOPE” CULTURE WITH BAN ON GIFTS OVER $50 As part of a sweeping new anti-corruption law, Pope Francis declared April 29 that officials of the Roman Curia should no longer accept personal gifts with a monetary value over 40 euros (about $50). The new rule appears to be an effort to quash the Vatican “envelope” culture, in which large monetary donations are made to bishops and cardinals working in the Roman Curia. These gifts have been blamed for contributing to corruption in the Church when they were used between high-level Church officials to seek favors, most notably in cases like that of ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick. The new directive says that Vatican officials must not “accept or solicit, for oneself or for subjects other than the 58 INSIDE THE VATICAN JULY-AUGUST 2021


POPE FRANCIS CHANGES LAW TO ALLOW VATICAN CITY COURT TO JUDGE CARDINALS, BISHOPS Pope Francis amended part of a law issued last year regulating Vatican City’s judicial system, now allowing the court of first instance to rule on criminal trials of bishops and cardinals. The law previously said that cardinals and bishops could only be judged by the final court of cassation for the civil judicial system, which is the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, meaning that such criminal trials were only judged by other cardinals. WEDNESDAY 28

POPE FRANCIS AT THE GENERAL AUDIENCE: CHRISTIAN MEDITATION “IS NOT A WITHDRAWAL INTO OURSELVES” Pope Francis said that Christian meditation is a way of encountering Jesus and not “a withdrawal into ourselves.” Speaking at his general audience April 28, the Pope reflected on what distinguishes Christian meditation from other meditative practices popular in the Western world. He said: “For us Christians, meditating is a way of coming into contact with Jesus. And in this way, only in this way, we discover ourselves.” He said: “Meditating is a necessary human dimension, but meditating in the Christian context — we Christians — goes further: it is a dimension that must not be eradicated.” “The great door through which the prayer of a baptized person passes — let us remind ourselves once again — is Jesus Christ. For the Christian, meditation enters through the door of Jesus Christ. The practice of meditation also follows this path.”


VATICAN ADDS SEVEN INVOCATIONS TO LITANY OF ST. JOSEPH The Vatican’s divine worship office announced the addition of seven new invocations to the Litany of St. Joseph. The seven invocations, in Latin, are Custos Redemptoris, Serve Christi, Minister salutis, Fulcimen in difficultatibus, Patrone exsulum, Patrone afflictorum, and Patrone pauperum.

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments wrote a letter to the presidents of bishops’ conferences May 1, the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, explaining the inclusion of the new invocations. The new invocations of St. Joseph can be translated in English as Guardian of the Redeemer, Servant of Christ, Minister of Salvation, Support in Difficulties, Patron of Refugees, Patron of the Afflicted, and Patron of the Poor. SUNDAY 2

PUT HEALTH BEFORE PROFITS BY MAKING VACCINE MORE AVAILABLE, POPE SAYS Pope Francis called for a global fight against the virus of “closed nationalism” and lack of concern for the poor by supporting “the temporary suspension of intellectual property rights” that prevent the widespread manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines. Describing himself as an “old man who does not dance or sing like you, but who believes, like you, that injustice and evil are not invincible,” the Pope sent a message to the “Vax Live” concert, which was taped May 2 in California with an audience of fully vaccinated health care and essential workers. The concert to promote “vaccine equity” and raise money for vaccines for poor countries for the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund was broadcast globally May 8. SUNDAY 9

VATICAN CREATES GROUP TO STUDY SEPARATING MAFIA FROM THE CATHOLIC CHURCH The Vatican’s human development office has created a working group on the topic of the expulsion of criminal organizations from the Catholic Church. The group was created in honor of Rosario Livatino, a Catholic judge killed by the Mafia in Sicily in 1990, who was beatified in the Cathedral of Agrigento May 9. The eight-member group will study the excommunication of the Mafia, offering support to bishops around the world, according to a press release announcing the initiative from the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development. TUESDAY 11

POPE FRANCIS INSTITUTES NEW MINISTRY OF CATECHIST Pope Francis issued an apostolic letter formally instituting the new lay ministry of catechist. The Vatican released the papal letter, Antiquum ministerium (“Ancient ministry”), on May 11 in eight languages, including Italian Sign Language. The Pope said that the institution of the new lay ministry would “emphasize even more the missionary commitment proper to every baptized person, a commitment that must however be carried out in a fully ‘secular’ manner, avoiding

any form of clericalization.” The letter, issued motu proprio (“on his own impulse”), is dated May 10, the feast of the 16th-century Spanish Doctor of the Church St. John of Avila. In the apostolic letter, the Pope recalled the role of catechists in Church history, beginning with the New Testament’s First Epistle to the Corinthians, which refers to “teachers” within the early Christian community.


HOLY SEE GRANTED PERMANENT OBSERVER STATUS TO THE WHO The Holy See announced that it has been granted permanent observer status to the World Health Organization following a resolution adopted by consensus on May 31. This means that the Holy See will be a non-member state observer for the organization, and will be permitted to observe sessions and participate in debates. Unlike member states, the Holy See will not be allowed to vote on issues or put forth candidates. A communiqué issued by the Holy See Press Office stated: “The World Health Assembly adopted, by consensus, Resolution Participation of the Holy See in the World Health Organization presented by Italy, which formalizes the participation of the Holy See in the work of the World Health Organization as a non-Member State Observer.” “This decision reflects the relationship that the Holy See has continuously maintained with this Organization since 1953 and it bears witness to the commitment of the family of nations in addressing, through dialogue and international solidarity, the global health challenges that afflict humanity.” The Holy See has been an observer of the WHO’s World Health Assembly since 1953, and has been a permanent observer at the United Nations since 1964. FRIDAY 4

“ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION AN OUTCOME OF “ECONOMIC DYSFUNCTION” Pope Francis said June 4 that environmental degradation is “a clear outcome of economic dysfunction.” In a June 4 message marking the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, the pope underlined the importance of protecting the environment and reforming the global economy. “The current environmental situation calls us to act now with urgency to become ever more responsible stewards of creation and to restore the nature that we have been damaging and exploiting for too long,” the pope said. “Otherwise, we risk destroying the very basis on which we depend. We risk floods and hunger and severe consequences for ourselves and for future generations.”n JULY-AUGUST 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN




BECKY DERKS with G. Galazka, CNA and CNS photos

n ROSARIO LIVATINO BEATIFIED IN SICILY, HONORED AS “MARTYR OF JUSTICE AND FAITH” Blessed Rosario Livatino, a Catholic judge brutally killed by the Mafia in 1990, was beatified Sunday in the Cathedral of Agrigento, Sicily. Pope Francis commended the beatification of the young judge, calling him a “martyr of justice and faith” at the end of his Regina Caeli address on May 9. “In his service to the community as an upright judge, he never allowed himself to be corrupted. He strove to judge, not to condemn, but to redeem,” Pope Francis said from the window of the Apostolic Palace. “He always placed his work ‘under the protection of God;’ for this he became a witness of the Gospel until his heroic death. May his example be for everyone, especially magistrates, an incentive to be loyal defenders of the law and liberty,” he said. (CNA) n “I OFFER THE PAIN I’M GOING THROUGH”: SHOT CATHOLIC BISHOP-ELECT PRAYS FOR PURIFICATION OF SOUTH SUDAN DIOCESE A Catholic bishop-elect recovering from gunshot wounds said in a video released May 4 that he is offering up his pain with the hope that God will purify his diocese in South Sudan. In a message recorded by ACI Africa, CNA’s African news partner, Bishop-elect Christian Carlassare said that he was imploring God for an end to “violence, division, [and] selfish desires” in the diocese of Rumbek, which Pope Francis appointed him to lead on March 8. Speaking from his hospital bed in Kenya, he said: “I bend low in front of God to intercede for the church of Rumbek. I pray for the conversion of sinners.” “I offer the pain I’m going through so that the Lord our God may purify 60 INSIDE THE VATICAN JULY-AUGUST 2021

CARDINAL WYSZYNSKI, POLAND’S “PRIMATE OF THE MILLENNIUM,” TO BE BEATIFIED IN SEPTEMBER The beatification of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, the former Primate of Poland who heroically resisted communism, will take place on Sunday, September 12. Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz announced April 23 that the beatification ceremony would be held in the Polish capital, Warsaw, at noon local time. Nycz, the archbishop of Warsaw, said that Wyszyński would be beatified alongside Sr. Róża Maria Czacka, a Polish nun who died in 1961 after a lifetime of service to blind people. “During the September ceremony, Pope Francis will be represented by Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, who will promulgate the decree of beatification,” he said in a statement. (CNA)

the church of Rumbek from all errors and things like these may happen no more: no room for violence, division, [and] selfish desires that come from the devil.” (CNA) n ACTOR IN THE CHOSEN PRAISES SHOW’S MESSAGE FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES An actor on the internet show The Chosen, which tells the story of Jesus, praised the show’s accommodation of his disability in his character’s role as an example of inclusion. The Chosen, an evangelical Christian-produced internet series on the ministry of Jesus, recently returned for its second season, which premiered on Easter Sunday. Among the actors in the series is Jordan Walker Ross, who plays the role of the apostle James the Lesser. Speaking to the magazine Deadline, Ross explained that he has “severe scoliosis and minor cerebral palsy,” conditions which manifest themselves through “a pretty noticeable limp, very limited flexibility in my torso and legs.” Ross is also only 5 feet, 4 inches tall. He explained that, in the past, his disability prevented him from being

cast in certain roles. Casting directors even told him to “lose the limp” when he auditioned for roles, he said. However, when Ross was cast in The Chosen, he said that the show’s creator Dallas Jenkins did not initially notice his limp. When he did notice it, he chose to re-work Ross’ character as having a disability. (CNA) n POPE FRANCIS APPLAUDS BEATIFICATION OF MONKS WHO DIED PROTECTING THE EUCHARIST In his Regina Coeli address Pope Francis applauded the beatification of six Cistercian monks who were martyred while trying to protect the Eucharist from desecration by French soldiers in 1799. And five other Cistercian monks were beatified on April 17 in the Italian abbey where they were martyred more than 200 years ago. Speaking from the window of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace for the first time in weeks, Pope Francis asked the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square on April 18 to applaud “the new Blesseds.” “In 1799, when French soldiers, in retreat from Naples, sacked churches and monasteries, these meek disciples


of Christ resisted with heroic courage, unto death, to defend the Eucharist from desecration,” the Pope said. “May their example spur us to a greater commitment of fidelity to God, capable of transforming society and making it more just and fraternal.” (CNA) n PRIEST WITH CANCER DIES 23 DAYS AFTER HIS HOSPITAL ROOM ORDINATION Fr. Livinius Esomchi Nnamani, who was ordained to the priesthood in his hospital room on Holy Thursday with special permission from Pope Francis, has died of leukemia at the age of 31. The young priest’s funeral was held in Rome on April 26 at the parish of San Giovanni Leonardi. He had dedicated the last 23 days of his life to offering Mass from his hospital bed, a priest who knew him recalled. “His altar was the [hospital] bed, where he was able to unite his sufferings to those of Christ. He lived and renewed his Eucharist in a strong

Pope Francis declared a blind 14th-century Italian lay Dominican a saint using a process known as “equipollent” canonization. The Holy See press office said April 24 that the Pope had authorized the extension of the liturgical cult of Blessed Margaret of Castello to the universal Church during a Saturday morning meeting with Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints. She will now be inscribed among the saints via the procedure also called “equivalent” canonization, where the requirement for a miracle attributed to the candidate’s intercession is waived. (CNA) and visible way and this is a great lesson for all priests,” Fr. Davide Carbonaro told Roma Sette, a newspaper of the Diocese of Rome. “His gift was of a different priesthood, but at the same time, the same as that of every priest. His particular union with the sacrifice of Christ teaches us to celebrate with greater awareness,” he said. (CNA)

CATHOLIC LEADERS WELCOME INDIAN MARTYR’S IMPENDING SAINTHOOD Catholic leaders in India are celebrating after Pope Francis cleared the way for an 18th-century martyr to be declared a saint. Devasahayam Pillai will become the first Indian lay Catholic to achieve sainthood after the Pope confirmed his canonization at an ordinary public consistory at the Vatican on May 3. “It is a great honor and pride for the people of India but especially the people of southern India where martyr Devasahayam Pillai is revered across the faith line. They see him as a role model, a messenger of peace and harmony,” Bishop Nazarene Soosai of Kottar said. “It is also a time to celebrate and renew our faith because he is being declared a saint during a time when many fascist forces are trying to divide the people in the name of religion, caste and creed, but Blessed Devasahayam symbolizes a person who connects all people. “It is a moment where we can encourage more laypeople to follow great people like Blessed Devasahayam and build bridges between communities where all will be equal without making any differences between any religions.” (UCA) Statue of Devasahayam Pillai at the Cathedral of St. Francis Xavier

n CARDINAL CASSIDY, VATICAN’S FORMER TOP ECUMENIST, DIES AT 96 Australian Cardinal Edward I. Cassidy, a longtime Vatican diplomat and former president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, died April 10 at the age of 96 in Newcastle, Australia. He celebrated his 80th birthday nine months before the death of St. John Paul II, so was not eligible to vote in the April 2005 conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI. “I missed the cut by a few strokes, as they say in the golfing world,” Cardinal Cassidy told Catholic News Service at the time. “It would have been a special occasion” to have been part of the conclave, “but you turn 80 and, there you go.” In 2003, when St. John Paul beatified Mother Teresa of Kolkata, Cardinal Cassidy was there, remembering the feisty nun he met in the early days of her Missionaries of Charity when he was secretary of the Vatican nunciature in India from 1955 to 1962. “She was a frequent visitor,” coming to inform the nuncio of her plans and occasionally asking for help, he said. “The nuncio and I kept saying, ‘Go slowly. You are building for the future, build solidly.’” (CNS)m JULY-AUGUST 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN



Stefano Navarrini illustration



n the late spring little pots of the culinary herb basil (basilico in Italian) go on sale at flower stands and market stalls all over Italy. Placed on terraces and balconies chefs and housewives add hand-picked leaves to their summer dishes for color, fragrance, and anise-like flavor. Originally a native of India and tropical regions of Africa and Southeast Asia, today basil is used in cuisines worldwide. It’s particularly popular in Italy, especially Genoa, where it’s profusely cultivated on terrace farms close to the city. Basil is the main ingredient of pesto, a pasta sauce of crushed (pesto in Italian) basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese and olive oil. It also features prominently in the southern Italian dishes pomodori al riso (baked tomatoes filled with rice) and insalata Caprese of mozzarella cheese slices, tomatoes, and basil leaves named for the world-famous island of Capri where it was first served. Just across the Bay in Naples, the pizza Margherita’s toppings have the same ingredients. A legend recounts that on November 6, 1889 the pizzaiolo Raffaele Esposito, Pizzeria Brandi’s chef, invented this pizza in honor of the Queen of Italy, Margherita of Savoy, during her visit to Naples. He supposedly chose the toppings to represent the colors of the Italian national flag. While the pizza Margherita undoubtedly became more popular after the royal visit, a book by “a certain” Riccio, otherwise unknown, entitled Napoli, contorni e dintorni (Naples, side-dishes and surroundings) (1830) had already described a similar pizza as had Emanuele Rocco in 1849, but here the slices of mozzarella and the basil leaves were arranged on the tomato paste in a flower shape because Margherita means “daisy” in Italian. In addition to its culinary connection, basil is associated with many rituals. The French sometimes call basil “l’herbe royal”; Jewish folklore suggests it adds strength during fasting. In Portugal a future groom traditionally gives a pot of basil, a love poem and a paper carnation, to his fiancée on the feast days of St. John and of St. Anthony. On the contrary, in ancient Greece basil was the symbol of hatred.

Basil also has had a long religious significance. In ancient Egypt, ancient Greece and medieval Europe it was placed in the hands of the dead to ensure a safe journey to eternal life. Today it’s highly revered in Hinduism. In the Greek Orthodox Church it’s used to sprinkle holy water, while the Bulgarian, Serbian, Macedonian and Romanian Orthodox Churches prepare holy water with it and pots of the plant often decorate their church altars. Some Greek Orthodox Christians avoid eating basil because of its association with the legend of the Elevation of the Holy Cross, celebrated on September 14. For, according to Orthodox teachings, St. Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine the Great, discovered the Holy Cross on September 14, 325 AD near Golgotha, where it had laid in the dust for centuries. In the same place she also discovered a hitherto unknown plant of rare beauty and fragrance namely basil. Centuries later, basil was featured in the Decameron, a collection of 100 short stories written in c. 1350 by Giovanni Boccaccio for 10 friends secluded in a villa outside Florence during the Black Death. In the 5th story of the narrative’s fourth day, a pot of basil is central to the plot. Elisabetta’s family wish her to marry a prosperous nobleman, but she is in love with Lorenzo, her brothers’ accountant. Her brothers murder Lorenzo and bury his body. He appears to Elisabetta in a dream and tells her where he is buried. Broken-hearted, she exhumes his body, buries his head in a pot of basil, and tends the plant obsessively. When her brothers confiscate her pot, she dies shortly thereafter. Boccaccio’s story inspired the British poet John Keats (1795-1821) to write in 1818 a long narrative poem entitled Isabella, or the Pot of Basil. Keats’ poem inspired three paintings of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood: John Everett Millais’s Isabella in 1849, today in Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery, and William Holman Hunt’s and John William Waterhouse’s Isabella and the Pot of Basil (both 1868), today both in the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Later John White Alexander depicted the poem in his 1897 Isabella and the Pot of Basil, now in Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.m

basil (“Basilico”) in History, religion, Poetry and Painting

In the paintings, from left to right: Millais’s Isabella, and Isabella and the Pot of Basil by Waterhouse, Hunt and Alexander


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