The statue of Our Lady of Harissa, overlooking Beirut, Lebanon (CNS photo/Dalia Khamissy)
JULY-AUGUST 2022 $5 / EUR 5 / £3.30
VATICAN BIMONTHLY BIMONTHLY of of RELIGION-SPIRITUALITY-NEWS-COMMENT-DEBATE-HISTORY... RELIGION-SPIRITUALITY-NEWS-COMMENT-DEBATE-HISTORY...
Mary Watches Over LebanOn RepoRt fRom the CountRy of the tall CedaRs
FAITH OF OUR FATHERS ◆
A History of True England
he Catholic Church has been a major part of English history since the arrival of Christian missionaries to Roman Britain in the first century, and when the Romans withdrew in the fifth century, England was largely Catholic. Anglo-Saxon England has been considered a land of saints. From St. Bede, with his history of the early Church, to the holy king St. Edward the Confessor, Saxon England was ablaze with the light of Christ. |en in the 16th century, the Catholic heart was ripped from the English people by the reign of the Tudors. England again became a land of saints—that is, of martyrs, with Catholics being put to death for practicing the Faith. The martyrdoms continued for 150 years, followed by another 150 years of legal and political persecution. In the 19th century, against all odds, there was a great Catholic revival, heralded by the conversion of St. John Henry Newman, which continued into the 20th century. Much of the greatest literature of that period was written by literary converts, such as G. K. Chesterton, Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene, and J. R. R. Tolkien. The whole exciting story is told by Joseph Pearce in this history of <true England=, that remained true to the Faith in times both merry and perilous. A powerful story to read, and celebrate!
<Highest praise to Joseph Pearce for giving all the English-speaking peoples a true understanding of who they are by showing them from whence they came.= —Christopher Check President, Catholic Answers
FFHTEP . . . Sewn Softcover, $19.95
<Faith of Our Fathers is full of surprises. But the biggest surprise is that the Catholic Church has been the main character in the two thousand years of stories that have come from this storied island.= —Dale Ahlquist, President, Society of Gilbert Keith Chesterton
<Pearce’s spirited history of the True England is a microcosm of the human story: against all odds, God’s grace breaks through the darkness of sin and folly to inspire noble deeds of intrepid odelity.= —Christopher Blum, Provost, Augustine Institute School of |eology
Also by Joseph Pearce
WISDOM AND INNOCENCE From years of meticulous research Pearce presents a major biography of a modern literary giant, G. K. Chesterton, with a great deal of important information on him never before published. A thoroughly delightful biography of a multi- faceted author. Illustrated WI2P . . . Sewn Sovcover, $21.95
SOLZHENITSYN: A Soul in Exile THE QUEST FOR SHAKESPEARE
CATHOLIC LITERARY GIANTS
A vivid biography of the world’s most revered writer. Unabashedly provocative, with scholarship and keen observation, Pearce strives to separate historical fact from oction about the beloved Bard, including the strong evidence for his Catholic faith.
CLGP . . . Sewn Sovcover, $21.95
A dazzling tour of the creative landscape of Catholic prose and poetry, from Dante to Tolkien, from Shakespeare to Waugh, this is an immersion into the spiritual depths of the Catholic literary tradition with a premier literary biographer as our guide.
Based on exclusive, personal interviews with Alexander Solzhenitsyn, this biography of the renowned Russian dissident provides profound, unknown spiritual and cultural insights into a towering literary and political ogure, and a man of deep Christian faith. Illustrated. SP . . . Sewn Sovcover, $19.95
QSH . . . Sewn Hardcover, $19.95
www.ignatius.com P.O. Box 1339, Ft. Collins, CO 80522
by Robert Moynihan
Hard Truths In 2022, the many crises facing the Church and world — from confusion regarding Church doctrine to the conflict in Ukraine — seem to be intensifying. In response, Church leaders are pointing to some “hard truths”
“What we are seeing [in Ukraine] is the brutality and ferocity with which this war is being carried out by the troops, generally mercenaries, used by the Russians... But the danger is that we only see this, which is monstrous, and miss the whole drama that is unfolding behind this war, which was perhaps somehow either provoked or not-prevented. Someone may say to me at this point: but you are pro-Putin! No, I am not. It would be simplistic and erroneous to say such a thing. I am simply against turning a complex situation into a distinction between good guys and bad guys, without considering the roots and self-interests, which are very complex.” —Pope Francis, in a conversation with Jesuit magazine editors in Rome on May 19, 2022, published on the Vatican website on June 15 under the title “Pope: ‘War cannot be reduced to distinction between good guys and bad guys’” “In the proper sense of the word, the Pope is the man in the Church with the least power. In the proper sense of the word, he is the one who must be most obedient.” —Bishop Athanasius Schneider, in his new interview-book with Polish writer Paweł Lisicki, The Springtime That Never Came (2022) In Rome, at the start of summer of 2022, there are numerous signs we are entering a time of transition. Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican Secretary of State for 14 years (1991-2005) under Pope John Paul II, passed away on May 27 at the age of 94. (See p. 26) And Don Gino Belleri, owner of the Leoniana Bookstore just behind the Vatican Press Office, who knew almost everyone in Rome from the 1960s until today — so that he became a precious resource and advisor to many Vatican journalists — died on May 16 at age 93. (See p. 28) Pope Francis, now 85, canceled scheduled papal trips to Lebanon in June (see p. 12) and central Africa in July, due to health problems. And began appearing publicly in a wheelchair. And, abruptly, at the end of May called for a consistory to be held on August 27 to create 21 new cardinals. (See p. 18) And, that same day, announced he would make a trip to Aquila, Italy, on August 28, to visit the tomb of St. Celestine V, the Pope who in 1294 resigned the papal throne. This set off a flurry of speculation that Francis may intend to resign as did Benedict (Benedict visited Celestine’s tomb in 2009, four years before he resigned in 2013). Many Vatican observers, however, say Francis will “never resign.” Time will tell... Amid these signs of transition, one thing is clear: Francis is deeply concerned about the war in Ukraine — and about the “black and white” way (see opening quote above) in which blame for the war has been apportioned by most of the Western press. This call of the Pope for a “balanced” assessment of blame for the Ukraine conflict is raising eyebrows. Why? Because it seems to contrast with the way Francis has offered unswerving support for other narratives associated with the great issues of our time, from “climate change” to the vaccine mandates in connection with the Covid crisis. Yet, with regard to the Ukraine war, Francis is calling for distinctions to be made, for judgments to be with-
held until all the facts are fully considered. In this, Francis is stating a “hard truth” — that it is necessary to have adequate, reliable information about the facts of any situation before coming to a judgment of blame for actions taken. And he is right to do this. Within the Church, there has been a growing tendency to divide Catholics into “good guys” and “bad guys” in terms of their attitude toward Church tradition. In fact, in his same May 19 interview with the Jesuit editors, Francis said: “Restorationism has come on the scene to gag the Council. The number of ‘restorationist’ groups... there are many in the United States... is staggering... They never accepted the Council... The problem is precisely this.” Francis in these words seems to be dividing the Church into two groups: those who accept the Council, and those who, he says, reject it. But this, like the apportioning of blame for the Ukraine war, is an over-simplification. The problem is that, as Pope Benedict XVI clearly taught, to interpret the Council correctly, and then accept it correctly, we must see (again quoting Pope Francis) “the whole drama that is unfolding behind.” There was an attempt made at the Council and after the Council to spark a revolutionary change in the Church, in her doctrine and liturgy, in order to adapt her to “the modern world.” And there has been an effort to restrain this attempt, to maintain the Church’s fidelity to perennial doctrine. This is why Pope Benedict has come to teach that there were, in fact, “two Councils”: one the Council “as it was” and the other the Council “of the journalists,” who depicted the Council as a revolution successfully overturning perennial Church doctrine. So there is a second “hard truth,” a truth Francis up to now has not seemed to perceive as a compelling one, that the Church cannot change her fundamental teaching, only defend it. This second “hard truth” is being expressed eloquently today by Bishop Athanasius Schneider, 61. Schneider is of German background, but he was born and raised in the USSR, so he is a man who experienced Communism in his youth. In his second interview-book, The Springtime That Never Came, in conversation with Polish writer Paweł Lisicki (Sophia, 2021), which has just appeared, Schneider says that to call Catholics who adhere to past teaching “opposed to the Council” is inaccurate, because the Fathers themselves at the Council were seeking to “open to the modern world” but not to change doctrine. So Schneider is to be lauded for speaking a second “hard truth”: that many today “want a different, new Christianity, different from the one Jesus brought, the one handed down by the apostles” — a Christianity “that will allow sin, won’t care about truth, won’t defend it, and won’t speak out against error or falsehood.” And Schneider concludes: “Ideally, he [the Pope] is the one who must show the greatest fidelity to the deposit handed down to him by his predecessors... And he must continue to pass it on to those who will come after him without violating, distorting, or destroying it.”m JULY-AUGUST 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN
CONTENTS JULY-AUGUST 2022
Year 30, #4
LEAD STORY Keeping Hope Alive in Lebanon by Christopher Hart-Moynihan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 LIFE OF THE CHURCH Pope Francis announces consistory to appoint 21 new cardinals by CNA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Profiles of the 21 cardinals-designate; the consistory will be August 27 in Rome by ITV staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 JULY-AUGUST 2022 Year 30, #4
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Robert Moynihan ASSOCIATE EDITOR: George “Pat” Morse (+ 2013) ASSISTANT EDITOR: Christina Deardurff CULTURE EDITOR: Lucy Gordan CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: William D. Doino, Jr. WRITERS: Anna Artymiak, Alberto Carosa, Giuseppe Rusconi, David Quinn, Andrew Rabel, Vladimiro Redzioch, Serena Sartini PHOTOS: Grzegorz Galazka LAYOUT: Giuseppe Sabatelli ILLUSTRATIONS: Stefano Navarrini CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER: Deborah B. Tomlinson ADVERTISING: Cynthia Sauer Tel. +1.202.864.4261 firstname.lastname@example.org
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v INSIDE THE VATICAN (ISSN 1068-8579, 1 yr subscription: $ 49.95; 2 yrs, $94.95; 3 yrs, $129.95), provides a comprehensive, independent report on Vatican affairs published bimonthly (6 times per year) with occasional special supplements. Inside the Vatican is published by Urbi et Orbi Communications, PO Box 57, New Hope, Kentucky, 40052, USA, pursuant to a License Agreement with Robert Moynihan, the owner of the Copyright. Inside the Vatican, Inc., maintains editorial offices in Rome, Italy. Periodicals Postage PAID at New Hope, Kentucky, USA and additional mailing offices. Copyright 2022 Robert Moynihan
4 INSIDE THE VATICAN JULY-AUGUST 2022
NEWS Rome/”Bicycling cardinal” new head of Italian bishops’ conference by Hannah Brockhaus (CNA). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 Rome/Cardinal Angelo Sodano, former Vatican Secretary of State, dies by CNA/ITV staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 Rome/Fr. Gino Belleri: “Icon of a Vatican that no longer exists” by Andrea Gagliarducci (ACIStampa) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 Commentary/Benedict XVI: The Light of Holy Saturday, Part 2 by Michael Hesemann . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 SPECIAL INSERT COMMUNIQUÉ: A Newsletter of Urbi et Orbi Communications The Spark is Becoming a Flame: Bringing help and hope to Ukraine, Lebanon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 CULTURE Profile/New Carmelite Saint: Titus Brandsma by Andrew Rabel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 Footsteps on the Way/Italy: Celebrating the Resurrection among the Saints by ITV staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 Saints for our Time/St. Edith Stein: Understanding the Feminine by Mary Ellen Stanford . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 Scripture/Are we afraid to let Jesus change our lives now? by Anthony Esolen, Ph.D. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Latin/Pragmatic Lovers of the Latin Rite: We just want something that works by John Byron Kuhner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50 URBI ET ORBI: CATHOLICISM AND ORTHODOXY Icon/The Man Born Blind by Robert Wiesner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 East-West Watch/The Bumpy Road to Christian Unity by Peter Anderson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 News from the East/Hilarion transferred; Russian Orthodox churches attacked; Catholic clergy expelled; Moscow Patriarchate moves DECR head; Greeks oppose “third gender”; Serbian-Macedonian schism ends by Matthew Trojacek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 FEATURES Education/A truly Catholic law school in the heart of Florida by Jovan Tripkovic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Tradition and Beauty/The Wisdom of Birds by Aurelio Porfiri . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58 Art/Rome’s newest museum narrates history through the kitchen and cookbooks by Lucy Gordan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Lord of the World/”Not with the Weapons of this World” by Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64 Vatican Watch/A day-by-day chronicle of Vatican events: April-June 2022 by Matthew Trojacek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .66 People/New Lourdes bishop; US Ambassador arrives at Holy See; Pope names scientists; Myanmar priest freed; Nigerian priest murdered; Asian cardinal: fight human trafficking by Matthew Trojacek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .68 Food for Thought/Limoncello: Italy’s Most Popular Digestivo by Mother Martha . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .70
Brilliant Wisdom on Marriage & Family
by G. K. Chesterton
“ The disintegration of rational society started in the drift from the hearth and the family”, wrote G. K. Chesterton in 1933. “ The solution must be a drift back.” In a world that has lost touch with normality, it takes a pioneer to rediscover the wonders of the normal. This masterful compilation of texts from the prolific G. K. Chesterton, edited by GKC expert Dale Ahlquist, illustrates the glory of the family— the heritage of romance, love, marriage, parenthood, and home. It is a hymn in praise of the saucepan, the kettle, the hairbrush, the umbrella stand, what Chesterton calls “the brave old bones of life”. With piercing wit, the English writer pits all these venerable truths against the fashions of divorce, contraception, and abortion, along with the troubling philosophies that have afflicted education and the workplace since the early 20th century. Society is built on the family, and Chesterton helps readers to see this reality with fresh eyes. He writes: “|e orst things must be the very fountains of life, love and birth and babyhood; and these are always covered fountains, nowing in the quiet courts of the home.” “Chesterton was not only a great defender of the faith but a great defender of the family. This excellent collection of the best of Chesterton’s writing on the family is more needed today than it was in Chesterton’s own day.” —Joseph Pearce, Author, Wisdom and Innocence: A Life of G. K. Chesterton
The Story of the Family SFP . . . Sewn Softcover, $17.95
“Mankind’s future depends on whether we embrace or reject the wisdom of this book. Read this book before doing so becomes a criminal act.” —Christopher Check President, Catholic Answers
“Brilliantly assembled by Ahlquist, this Chesterton chrestomathy does with rapier wit and robust humor what so few could do—make laughingstocks of those sappers who so earnestly undermine the family in the name of freedom. |e Woke should fear this book. Everyone else should buy it.” —Robert Reilly, Author, America on Trial
Also on Chesterton
◆ KNIGHT OF THE HOLY GHOST
◆ THE APOSTLE OF COMMON SENSE
In a rollicking adventure quite Chestertonian in navor, Ahlquist captains an expedition of discovery into who this GKC fellow is. He devly and cleverly explores Chesterton as a man, as a writer, and as a potential saint. KHGP . . . Sewn Sovcover, $16.95
A perfect introduction to Chesterton as Ahlquist takes you through 12 of GKC's most important books. He makes the literary giant accessible, highlighting Chesterton's amazing reach, keen insight, and marvelous wit. ACSP . . . Sewn Sovcover, $16.95
◆ IN DEFENSE OF SANITY
◆ COMMON SENSE 101
|ree leading authorities on Chesterton — Dale Ahlquist, Joseph Pearce, Aidan Mackey —have joined together to select the “best” Chesterton essays, a collection that will be appreciated by all readers of this great man of letters.
A book of wonderful insights on how to “look at the whole world through the eyes of Chesterton”, who wrote about everything. |is work helps you beneot from GKC's insights on many important topics covering politics, art, education, wonder, marriage, fads, poetry, faith, charity and more. CSENP . . . Sewn Sovcover, $17.95
IDSP . . . Sewn Sovcover, $19.95
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Classic US Wisconsin: Discovering Mary in the Heartland
September 2-9, 2022 Join us in Wisconsin as we pilgrimage to 6 national shrines including Our Lady of Good Help at Champion Shrine – America’s Fatima – the site of the only Church-approved Marian apparition in the United States. Come and explore this unique and vibrant culture of Catholic pilgrimage in America’s heartland today, and learn about the hidden treasures of Catholicism in Wisconsin.
I N S I D E T H E VAT I CA N PI LG R I M AG E S .C O M
Coming in 2022 and 2023 – Plan Now! 2022 Pilgrimages
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Signature ITALY: Easter
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April 3 - 13, 2023
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Christ – June 3 - 13, 2023
Classic IRELAND: Saints & Scholars
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Classic ITALY: Annual ITV Magazine Pilgrimage – Inside the Vatican Magazine’s 30th Anniversary! – October 4 - 14, 2023
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INSIDE THE VATICAN JULY-AUGUST 2022
This month we received letters from readers containing the texts of other letters the readers wished to bring to our attention. We decided to publish these letters here because they deal with matters of great importance to many Catholics.
ARCHBISHOP CORDILEONE TO NANCY PELOSI Editor’s note: Below is the full text of San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone’s notification to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, informing her that she should not receive Holy Communion in her home archdiocese, the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Cordileone made the letter publicly available on Friday, May 20.—RM NOTIFICATION To the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States Congress Nancy Pelosi The Second Vatican Council, in its Decree on the Church in the Modem World, Gaudium et spes, reiterated the Church’s ancient and consistent teaching that “from the first moment of conception life must be guarded with the greatest care while abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes” (n. 51). Christians have, indeed, always upheld the dignity of human life in every stage, especially the most vulnerable, beginning with life in the womb. His Holiness, Pope Francis, in keeping with his predecessors, has likewise been quite clear and emphatic in teaching on the dignity of human life in the womb. This fundamental moral truth has consequences for Catholics in how they live their lives, especially those entrusted with promoting and protecting the public good of society.
Pope St. John Paul II was also quite consistent in upholding this constant teaching of the Church, and frequently reminded us that “those who are directly involved in lawmaking bodies have a ‘grave and clear obligation to oppose’ any law that attacks human life. For them, as for every Catholic, it is impossible to promote such laws or to vote for them” (cf. Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding the participation of Catholics in political life [November 24, 2002], n. 4, §1). A Catholic legislator who supports procured abortion, after knowing the teaching of the Church, commits a manifestly grave sin which is a cause of most serious scandal to others. Therefore, universal Church law provides that such persons “are not to be admitted to Holy Communion” (Code of Canon Law, can. 915). With regard to the application of these principles to Catholics in political life, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, wrote to the U.S. bishops in 2004 explaining the approach to be taken: “... when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist. When ‘these precautionary measures have not had their effect... ,’ and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, ‘the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it.’” In striving to follow this direction, I am grateful to you for the time you have given me in the past to speak about these matters. Unfortunately, I have not received such an accommodation to my many requests to speak with you again since you vowed to codify the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade
decision in federal law following upon passage of Texas Senate Bill 8 last September. That is why I communicated my concerns to you via letter on April 7, 2022, and informed you there that, should you not publicly repudiate your advocacy for abortion “rights” or else refrain from referring to your Catholic faith in public and receiving Holy Communion, I would have no choice but to make a declaration, in keeping with canon 915, that you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion. As you have not publicly repudiated your position on abortion, and continue to refer to your Catholic faith in justifying your position and to receive Holy Communion, that time has now come. Therefore, in light of my responsibility as the Archbishop of San Francisco to be “concerned for all the Christian faithful entrusted to [my] care” (Code of Canon Law, can. 383, §1), by means of this communication I am hereby notifying you that you are not to present yourself for Holy Communion and, should you do so, you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion, until such time as you publicly repudiate your advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion and confess and receive absolution of this grave sin in the sacrament of Penance. Please know that I stand ready to continue our conversation at any time, and will continue to offer up prayer and fasting for you. I also ask all of the faithful of the Archdiocese of San Francisco to pray for all of our legislators, especially Catholic legislators who promote procured abortion, that with the help and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, they may undergo a conversion of heart in this most grave matter and human life may be protected and fostered in every stage and condition of life. Given at San Francisco, on the nineteenth day of May, in the Year of our Lord 2022.
standing of Catholic doctrine following Vatican Council II.—RM Sacred Congregation For the Doctrine of the Faith Prot. No 871/66 Rome, 24 July 1966 Piazza del S. Uffizio, 11 Since the second Vatican ecumenical council, which was recently and successfully brought to a close, promulgated most wise documents in both doctrinal and disciplinary matters for the efficient promotion of the life of the Church, the entire people of God has the grave duty of making every effort to implement all that has been solemnly proposed or decreed in that great assembly of bishops under the presidency of the Supreme Pontiff. Now it is up to the hierarchy—it is its right and its duty—to supervise, to direct, and to promote the movement of renewal undertaken by the Council, so that this Council’s documents and decrees may receive a correct interpretation and be implemented in keeping with the meaning and the spirit of the documents themselves. For indeed it is the bishops who must protect this doctrine, since they enjoy—under their head, Peter—the office of teaching authoritatively. It is thus praiseworthy that many Pastors have already begun to explain the Council in a fitting manner. Nevertheless it is regrettable that from diverse quarters there is sad news of increasing abuses in the interpretation of the Council’s doctrine, as well as errant and bold opinions arising here and there that in no small measure distort the minds of many of the faithful. Though studies and efforts for a deeper investigation of the
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A JULY 24, 1966 LETTER FROM OTTAVIANI AND LEFEBVRE’S DEC. 20 REPLY Editor’s Note: Italian Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani wrote a letter to all the bishops of the Church after the Second Vatican Council. French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre replied to the letter. The two letters express concerns over under-
truth, rightly distinguishing between what must be believed and what is a matter of free opinion, are worthy of praise, nevertheless, upon examination of the documents submitted to this Sacred Congregation, it is clear that no inconsiderable number of theses effortlessly go beyond simple opinion or hypothesis and to a certain degree seem to affect dogma itself as well as the foundations of the faith. It is appropriate to touch upon some of these theses by way of example as they are manifested either from the accounts of learned men or in their public writings. In the first place, sacred Revelation itself: some men have recourse to Sacred Scripture by knowingly putting aside Tradition; they also reduce the extent and force of biblical inspiration and inerrancy and do not have a correct idea of the worth of historical texts. As far as concerns the doctrine of the Faith, it is said that dogmatic formulas are subject to historical evolution in such a way that their objective meaning itself is subject to change. The ordinary Magisterium of the Church, especially that of the Roman Pontiff, is sometimes so neglected and undervalued that it is relegated to the area of free opinion.
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Objective and absolute truth, firm and immovable, comes close to not being admitted by certain men who subject all things to a sort of relativism. This for the faulty reason that all truth necessarily follows the rhythm of the evolution of conscience and history. The adorable Person of Jesus Christ Himself is hit when, in dealing with Christology, such concepts of person and nature are used as are hardly compatible with dogmatic definitions. A sort of Christological humanism creeps about according to which Christ is reduced to the condition of a mere man who, allegedly, became conscious of His divine Sonship gradually. His miraculous conception, his miracles, even his Resurrection are granted verbally but in reality are reduced to the purely natural order. Likewise in the theological tract on the sacraments certain elements are ignored or insufficiently taken into account, especially as concerns the Most Holy Eucharist. There is no dearth of those who discuss the true presence of Christ under the species of bread and wine by favoring an excessive symbolism, as if the bread and wine were not converted into the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ through transubstantiation, but were simply transferred towards a certain signification. There also are those who push further than is reasonable the concept of agape for the Mass, giving it priority over the idea of Sacrifice. Some, preferring to explain the sacrament of Penance as a means of reconciliation with the Church, do not sufficiently express reconciliation with God who is Himself offended. They claim that personal confession of sins is not necessary to the celebration of this sacrament; rather they are content to express only the social function of reconciliation with the Church. There are many too who underrate the doctrine of the Council of Trent on original sin, or who comment on it in such a way that the original sin of Adam and its very transmission are obfuscated. No less important errors are spread in the realm of moral theology. Indeed some, in no small number, dare to reject the objective rule of morality; others do not accept natural law and affirm the legitimacy of situation ethics, as they call it. Pernicious opinions are proposed on 10
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morality and responsibility in sexual and matrimonial matters. To all of this one must add a note on ecumenism. The Apostolic See fully praises those who, in the spirit of the conciliar decree on ecumenism, promote initiatives with a view to favor charity towards separated brethren and to attract them to the unity of the Church, but it deplores the fact that there is no lack of those who, interpreting after their own fashion the conciliar decree, make claims to such ecumenical action as offends the truth of the unity of the Faith and of the Church, favoring a dangerous irenicism and indifferentism, which is assuredly foreign to the spirit of the Council. These sorts of errors and perils are widely distributed, but are nevertheless brought together in this letter in a summary synthesis and submitted to the Ordinaries, so that each of them, in keeping with his charge and office, may take care to repress them or to prevent them. Moreover, this Sacred Dicastery earnestly entreats these same Ordinaries of regions, assembled in their respective Episcopal conferences, to take care of them, to refer them opportunely to the Holy See and to share their reflections before the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord of the current year. May the Ordinaries and those— whoever they are—to whom they have deemed it just to communicate this letter, which an obvious reason of prudence forbids to render public, cover it in utmost secrecy. Card. OTTAVIANI Prefect Rome, 20 December 1966 Most Reverend Eminence, Your letter of July 24 concerning the questioning of certain truths has been forwarded to all our major superiors. Few answers have reached us. Those that reached us from Africa do not deny that a great mental confusion reigns today. Though these truths appear not to be questioned, nevertheless in practice there is a diminishment of fervor and of regularity in the reception of the sacraments, especially penance. There is a much diminished respect for the Holy Eucharist, especially among priests; a dwindling of priestly vocations in Frenchlanguage missions; English- and Portu-
guese-language missions are less hit by the new spirit, but periodicals and journals are already spreading the most advanced theories there too. It seems that the cause of the slight number of responses received stems from the difficulty in grasping these errors, which are diffused everywhere; the trouble is to be found especially in a literature that spreads mental confusion through ambiguous and equivocal descriptions in which one discovers a new religion. I think it my duty to expose to you very clearly what emerges from my conversations with many bishops, priests and laymen of Europe and Africa, and which emerges also from my reading in English- and French-language countries. I should gladly follow the order of truth outlined in your letter, but I dare say that the present trouble seems to me far graver than the denial or questioning of a truth of our Faith. It manifests itself today in an extreme confusion of ideas, by the collapse of the Church and religious institutions, seminaries, Catholic schools, in a word of all that has been the abiding support of the Church. It is none other than the logical continuation of the heresies and errors that have been sapping the Church these last few centuries, especially since the last century’s liberalism, which has made every effort to reconcile the Church to the ideas that led to the Revolution. To the extent that the Church has opposed these ideas that are against healthy philosophy and theology, she has progressed; contrariwise, any compromise with these subversive ideas has brought about an accommodation of the Church in common law and the risk of enslaving her to civil society. Moreover every time Catholic groups have allowed themselves to be drawn to these myths, Popes have bravely brought them back into line, enlightening them and if necessary condemning them. Catholic liberalism was condemned by Pius IX; modernism by Leo XIII; “Le sillon” by Saint Pius X; communism by Pius XI; neo-modernism by Pius XII. Thanks to this admirable vigilance, the Church grew stronger and developed. Conversions of pagans and Protestants were very numerous; heresy was completely routed and civil governments accepted a more Catholic legislation.
On the other hand groups of religious, imbued with these false notions, managed to spread within “l’Action catholique” and in seminaries, thanks to a certain indulgence on the part of bishops and the tolerance of certain Roman dicasteries. Soon bishops were chosen from among these priests. This is the point at which the Council occurred. It had been readying itself, through its preparatory Commissions, to proclaim the truth before these errors in order to make them disappear for a long time from the Church’s midst. It might have been the end of Protestantism and the beginning of a fruitful era for the Church. Yet this preparation was odiously rejected to make way for the worst tragedy the Church has ever endured. We have witnessed the marriage of the Church with liberal ideas. It would be to deny the facts, to close one’s eyes, not to affirm boldly that the Council has allowed those who profess the errors and the tendencies condemned by the aforementioned Popes to believe legitimately that their doctrines are now approved. Whereas the Council was preparing to be a luminous cloud in the world of today—if use had been made of the preconciliar texts, in which a solemn profession of sure doctrine regarding modern problems was to be found—nevertheless one can and unfortunately must affirm: That, in a nearly universal manner, when the Council innovated, it has shaken certitude in the truths taught by the authentic Magisterium of the Church as definitively belonging to the treasure of Tradition. Whether one speaks of the transmission of the jurisdiction of bishops, of the two sources of Revelation, of biblical inspiration, of the necessity of grace for justification, of the necessity of Catholic Baptism, of the life of grace among heretics, schismatics, and pagans, of the ends of marriage, of religious liberty, of the last things, etc… On these fundamental points, traditional doctrine was clear and unanimously taught in Catholic universities. Yet many conciliar texts on these truths now allow them to be called into doubt. The consequences of this have been quickly drawn and applied in the life of the Church:
—Doubts regarding the necessity of the Church and of the sacraments beget the disappearance of priestly vocations. —Doubts regarding the necessity and nature of “conversion” of the soul beget the disappearance of religious vocations, the ruin of traditional spirituality in novitiates, the uselessness of missions. —Doubts regarding the legitimacy of authority and the necessity of obedience, brought about by the exaltation of human dignity, of the autonomy of conscience, and of freedom, shake up all societies, starting with the Church, religious societies, diocese, civil society, the family. Pride has, as a normal consequence, every concupiscence of the eyes and of the flesh. One of the most appalling things to note is, perhaps, the moral degeneracy to which most Catholic publications have fallen. There is no reserve in talking about sexuality, the limitation of births by any and all means, the legitimacy of divorce, coeducation, flirting and dances as means of Christian education, about priestly celibacy, etc. —Doubts regarding the necessity of grace for salvation bring about disregard for baptism, which is now postponed, and the abandonment of the sacrament of penance. All of this is principally the attitude of priests, not of the faithful. The same applies to the Real Presence: it is the priests who behave as if they no longer believe, hiding the Holy Reservation, suppressing all marks of respect toward the Blessed Sacrament and all ceremonies in Its honor. —Doubts regarding the necessity of the Church as only source of salvation and regarding the Catholic Church as one true religion, derived from declarations on ecumenism and on religion freedom, destroy the authority of the Church’s Magisterium. Indeed, Rome is no longer the sole and necessary “Magistra Veritatis.” Overcome by the facts, therefore, we must conclude that the Council has fostered the spreading of liberal ideas in an inconceivable way. Faith, morals, ecclesiastical discipline: these are shaken to their foundations, in keeping with the predictions of all the popes.
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The Church’s destruction is proceeding apace. Through an exaggerated authority granted to episcopal conferences, the Sovereign Pontiff has rendered himself impotent. In a single year, how many painful examples! And yet, the Successor of Peter and he alone can save the Church. Let the Holy Father surround himself with vigorous defenders of the Faith, let him appoint them to significant dioceses. Let him deign to proclaim the truth in weighty documents, let him hunt down error without fear of opposition, without fear of schism, without fear of casting doubt upon the pastoral dispositions of the Council. May the Holy Father deign to encourage the bishops to set faith and morals aright individually, as befits any good shepherd; to support courageous bishops, to incite them to reform their seminaries, to reestablish studies according to St. Thomas in them; to encourage superiors general to maintain in their novitiates and communities the fundamental principles of all Christian asceticism, especially obedience; to encourage the development of Catholic schools, of a doctrinally healthy press, of associations of Christian families; at last also to repress those who instigate error and to reduce them to silence. Wednesday allocutions cannot take the place of encyclicals, of commands, of letters to bishops. Doubtless I am rather bold to express myself in this manner! But it is with ardent love that I write these lines, love of the glory of God, love of Jesus, love of Mary, of her Church, of the Successor of Peter, bishop of Rome, vicar of Jesus Christ. May the Holy Ghost, to Whom our congregation is dedicated, deign to come to the assistance of the Shepherd of the Church universal. May it please your Eminence to accept the assurance of my very respectful devotion in Our Lord. + Marcel Lefebvre Titular Archbishop of Synnada in Phrygia Superior General of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost
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Here, the Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon in Harissa, east of Beirut. (CNS photo) Right, young people hold up a sign that reads "We love Jesus" as they gather for an outdoor Mass with Pope Benedict XVI on the waterfront in Beirut on September 16, 2012 (CNS photo/Mohamed Azakir, Reuters). Below, Lebanese at a Papal General Audience on September 2, 2020 at the Vatican; Pope Francis kisses the Lebanese flag (photo: Il Sismografo)
“In Lebanon, the message must be the looming possibility of global famine.” — A friend, summarizing the message of the Lebanese Global Conference, held on April 26 in Washington, D.C., as concern grows over the rising price of food and fertilizer in Lebanon and throughout the Middle East and beyond “Many of the Christian political leaders in Lebanon are for power. We don’t trust them. We don’t have true Christian leaders. Only Patriarch Raï. He should go to the United Nations [to advocate for Lebanon] with the Sunni and Druze. Only the Shia are happy with the present situation.” — a Lebanese participant in our Unitas: Friends of Lebanon video conference, sponsored by Urbi et Orbi Communications on Friday, April 29 12
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KEEPING HOPE ALIVE IN BELOVED LEBANON n BY CHRISTOPHER HART-MOYNIHAN *
A DESPITE SECTARIAN CONFLICT, A DEVASTATING EXPLOSION AND ECONOMIC COLLAPSE, LEBANON REMAINS “A MESSAGE OF FREEDOM AND PLURALISM” FOR THE WORLD
fter several years of anticipation, it seemed to be all but a formality: a Pope would be visiting Lebanon for the first time since 2012. Then came a flurry of statements from sources in the Curia that rolled back the travel plans. Now Pope Francis’s visit to Lebanon is once again at the stage where it had remained for quite some time: slated to happen sometime “very soon,” though nobody is quite certain when. The first news about a papal visit in June was, in fact, not released by the Vatican, but rather by the office of the Presi-
dent of Lebanon, which Francis has been sufferput out a statement on ing from back pain (sciatiTuesday, April 5. In it, ca) and has been told by his they announced that Pope doctors to rest. In recent Francis would be coming weeks, in his public appearThe logo of “Friends to Lebanon on June 12-13. ances he is in a wheelchair. of Lebanon,” a Unitas project of Urbi et Orbi According to the stateA visit from Pope Francis Communications directed ment, news of the Pope’s in June would have come at a by Christopher HartMoynihan visit had been confirmed delicate time for Lebanon, by Archbishop Joseph right after national elections Spiteri, the Apostolic Nuncio to in the country, which were held on Lebanon. However, Matteo Bruni, the May 15. The elections, which saw director of the Holy See Press Office, gains for political parties opposed to characterized the June trip as simply “a Hezbollah as well as the accession to possibility that is being studied.” Parliament of 11 candidates from Then, in May, first the Vatican and newly-formed “independent” political then the Lebanese government back- parties, have been widely seen as a step tracked. On Monday, May 9, two Vati- forward for Lebanon. can sources told Reuters that the trip In the face of massive economic and would be postponed, followed by an social collapse, however, as well as secannouncement from Lebanese tourism tarian division (Hezbollah, for examminister Walid Nassar that Francis’ ple, operates in large part as a “state visit to Lebanon in June would, in fact, within a state” in southern Lebanon, not take place in June due to the Pope’s with a paramilitary wing that is far larghealth issues. er than the Lebanese Army), it is still
unclear what kinds of concrete effects these electoral shifts will have. Many now speak of the “new poor” in Beirut — families who have lost everything in the economic collapse of the past several years, many of whom now seek a way out of the country at all costs. Lebanon’s economic and humanitarian crises over the last several years have greatly affected religious orders in the country as well. There are 14 religious orders within the Maronite Church (5 male orders and 9 female orders) currently active in Lebanon, with a total of 719 monks and 812 nuns. Now these orders — many of which are involved in running key institutions such as schools and hospitals — are struggling to continue their work. Due to the collapse of the economy and the devaluing of the Lebanese pound, many families in Lebanon have lost everything and can no longer afford to send their children to school. JULY-AUGUST 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN
KEEping HOpE ALivE in LEbAnOn
Nevertheless, in the words of and an example of pluralism for Bishop Michel Aoun of the the East as for the West.” (Maronite Catholic) Eparchy of John Paul’s 1997 Post-SynJbeil-Byblos (who, incidentally, odal Apostolic Exhortation, A shares a first and last name with New Hope for Lebanon, was the the President of Lebanon), the result of many years of diaPope’s eventual visit “will give logue between the Vatican, rephope to the Lebanese people.” resentatives of the Catholic Bishop Aoun also gave credit Church in Lebanon, and John to Vatican officials for work that Paul himself. John Paul was has already been done to support able to travel to Lebanon in Lebanon: “Vatican diplomacy is May of 1997 for the official doing its job in this field, in parsigning of the Apostolic Exhorticular in urging countries to tation. Pope Benedict XVI meets with religious authorities in Beirut during his lend a hand to Lebanon at all The Apostolic Exhortation visit in September 2012 (photo: L’Osservatore Romano/AP). Bottom, hundreds of thousands gather at an open-air Mass levels.” (Archbishop Paul Galbegins with a moving reflection Pope John Paul II in Beirut during his trip to Lebanon lagher, the Vatican’s Secretary celebratedinbyMay on Lebanon’s unique place 1997 (photo: Al-Safir/AFP/Getty Images) for Relations with States, visited within the Christian world, and the unique challenges that arise Lebanon in February of this from the presence of many difyear.) ferent faiths in one country: According to Bishop Aoun, the papal trip to Lebanon was to “Lebanon is home to Cathinclude “a Mass in Beirut, a olics who are members of difmeeting with President Aoun ferent patriarchal Churches, as and political officials in the well as of the Latin Apostolic Republican Palace, a meeting Vicariate,” John Paul wrote. with the spiritual authorities and “Because of this fact, right from leaders of religious denominathe time he begins to reason, the tions, a meeting with young peoyoung baptized Lebanese Cathple and a Prayer in the Port [of olic recognizes himself as a Beirut].” Maronite, or Greek-Melkite, or midst of many other extremely pressThe Port of Beirut is, of course, the Armenian Catholic, or Syriac Cathing issues. site of the horrific explosion of olic, or Chaldean, or Latin. It is thereWhy is the situation in Lebanon — August 4, 2020, which left hundreds fore through this path that he opens home to a mere 6 million people, dead and many thousands more himself to the Christian life and that he located at the far eastern edge of the injured, and destroyed a part of the is called to discover the universality of Mediterranean, a country with no sigcity that, to this day, has not been fully the Church. nificant natural resources that is often rebuilt. “Christians from other Churches overshadowed by its larger neighbors and Ecclesial Communities also live — so important that Francis has A STORY OF THREE POPES in Lebanon. The other important part decided to make a personal visit? As the leader of a Church with 1.3 of the population is made up of MusTo understand the answer to this billion members worldwide, Pope lims and Druze. For the country, these question, we must return to the words Francis has a unique ability among different communities constitute at of three Popes: Francis and his two world leaders to focus attention on the same time a wealth, an originality immediate predecessors, Benedict specific issues. At the same time, his and a difficulty. But bringing LebXVI and John Paul II. multiple roles — as spiritual leader anon to life is a common task of all its and apostolic successor to St. Peter, inhabitants.” 1997: JOHN PAUL II — bishop of Rome, and head of state of Later on, there is an assessment of “A NEW HOPE FOR LEBANON” the Vatican — mean that he has many the difficulties Lebanon faces. These During his pontificate, Pope John different priorities at any given time. words, written between 1995 and Paul II’s great interest in Lebanon was For this reason, his commitment to 1997, would not seem out of place well-known. His words about Lebvisiting Lebanon means that he, and today, in 2022: anon in a 1989 letter to the Lebanese the Vatican, view the situation in the “This project is largely condiCatholic bishops remain a popular country as being of profound importioned by the years spent in war and refrain for Lebanese of all faiths to tance — as something worthy of by the serious situation that hangs this day: “Lebanon is more than a international attention even in the over this region of the Middle East. I country… it is a message of freedom 14
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Jocelyne Khoueiry and Pope John Paul II in 1997 (photo: Christianity Today/Courtesy of Shiraz Awad)
JOCELYNE KHOUEIRY: FROM BULLETS TO BIBLES
n one of the most iconic images from his 1997 visit to Lebanon, Pope John Paul II is sharing a quiet moment with a woman on a treelined street (photo right). The woman seems to be overcome by emotion; her face tells a story of great suffering, but also of having at last found peace and joy. Her name was Jocelyne Khoueiry, and she was born in 1955, in Beirut. Her family was Maronite Catholic, but the strongest influence in their life was the Kataeb Party, also known as the Phalanges, a Christian political party with a paramilitary arm, which had its office across the street from their house. Jocelyne and her brothers joined the Phalange militia in the early 1970s, just before the outbreak of Lebanon’s civil war in 1975. But her life would soon change after she experienced a vision of the Virgin Mary on May 7, 1976 while on a routine patrol on the roof of the Regent Hotel in Beirut. A few minutes later, Jocelyne was involved in a major battle with a Palestinian militia group, which ended when she threw a hand grenade from the roof of the hotel, killing the Palestinian commander.
am aware of the current major difficulties: the threatening occupation of southern Lebanon, the country’s economic situation, the presence of nonLebanese armed forces on the territory, the fact that the refugee problem has not yet been fully resolved, as well as the danger of extremism and the impression of some that they are frustrated in their rights. [...] From this, the temptation to leave insinuates itself more and more among the Lebanese, especially among the young. “But despite everything, hope remains alive in them. They have not lost their faith in themselves, nor their attachment to their country and its democratic tradition.” John Paul’s visit to Lebanon was, in some ways, a culmination of several decades of intense efforts to prevent the country from splintering. In his book Dévastation et Rédemption, Fady Noun, a Lebanese journalist,
For her courage, Khoueiry became famous as a symbol of the “Christian resistance” in Lebanon. But, as the years passed, she began to wonder if her Christian faith was truly com patible with the violence she and those who fought alongside her were engaged in. During a period of truce, from 1977-79, she attempted to join several religious orders as a nun. “I wanted to belong to God, and to belong to Him totally,” she recalled during a 2012 interview. She was turned down by the convents, who said her place was in the world. Khoueiry rejoined the Lebanese Forces in 1980, dedicating herself to sharing her faith with the women under her command. Jocelyne eventually commanded 1,500 women during the war, training them during the day and leading Bible studies at night. She also organized a team of 30 priests and 12 female spiritual guides to travel with the fighters. Khoueiry’s remarkable journey culminated with her renouncing violence and entering a two-year-long spiritual retreat, from which she emerged with a commitment to fight for Lebanon through living her Christian faith.n
offers a little-known account of how the Polish pontiff’s dedication to Lebanon originated. “When in October 1978, after his election, [John Paul II] went out to greet the crowds in Saint Peter’s Square, at a time when posters and banners were not allowed, he saw one being raised that said, ‘Holy Father, Save Lebanon!’ just before it quickly disappeared,” Fady wrote. “Like an arrow, that message struck his heart. At the end of the celebrations, after greeting everyone, he came back inside and went to kneel before the Almighty. He asked Jesus, present in the Eucharist, to let him live long enough to save Lebanon.” Such a simple deed can influence the course of events. In 1978, John Paul II had already decided that Vatican diplomacy would focus on preventing Lebanon from breaking up. John Paul II saw in Lebanon many commonalities with his home country
of Poland, and he believed sustained dialogue and diplomacy could achieve a breakthrough for Lebanon, similar to the cascade of events that had followed his 1979 visit to Poland. But despite the pontiff’s vision for Lebanon, progress there was not destined to take the form of sweeping, dramatic changes like glasnost, perestroika, or the Fall of the Berlin Wall, but rather slow, incremental advances like the signing of the 1989 Taif Agreement and the disarmament of various militias. The 2005 Cedar Revolution and the peaceful withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon — a year after John Paul’s death — seemed to validate the Vatican’s “long game” diplomatic approach. However, enormous sectarian tensions remained, especially around the question of Hezbollah. Then the 2011 “Arab Spring” upended the Middle East and brought a fresh wave of challenges to Lebanon. JULY-AUGUST 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN
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2012: POPE BENEDICT — “MAINTAIN PEACE” BETWEEN CHRISTIANS AND MUSLIMS John Paul’s predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, arrived in Lebanon in 2012 at a time when the entire region of the Middle East stood once again at the brink of violence. In neighboring Syria, a civil war had begun in 2011 — a war that would plunge the country into more than a decade of bloodshed, and result in more than 1.5 million Syrians — many of them Syrian Christians — fleeing into Lebanon as refugees. On arriving in Lebanon, Benedict acknowledged the shadow of the war, saying, “I have come to Lebanon as a pilgrim of peace, as a friend of God and as a friend of men.” He also offered Lebanon as an example for Syria and other countries in the region where sectarian violence was erupting: “The successful way the Lebanese all live together surely demonstrates to the whole Middle East and to the rest of the world that within a nation there can exist cooperation between the various churches and at the same time coexistence and respectful dialogue between Christians and their brethren of other religions.” While the years following the end of the Lebanese civil war in 1990 had been punctuated by wars between Israel and Hezbollah and political struggles and assassinations within Lebanon, the Arab Spring was seen as an even more pivotal moment, one in which tensions between Christians, Muslims, and other sectarian communities such as Alawites and Druze had the potential to boil over into a wider war, and ultimately even threaten the continued survival of Christians in the Middle East. Benedict, like many others in the Vatican, was observing the situation in Syria deteriorate into chaos, and likely saw the disastrous consequences for the Christian community that this chaos would bring — including the genocide of Christians in Iraq that 16
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would come about several years later after the rise of ISIS in Syria. In this sense, his visit to Lebanon was an attempt to reinforce the country, allowing it to stand as a kind of “stronghold” that would remain stable and at peace, no matter how much the rest of the region spun out of control. Like John Paul before him, Benedict released an Apostolic Exhortation on the occasion of his visit to Lebanon: Ecclesia in Medio Oriente (The Church in the Middle East). In it, he spoke of the impact of “two new realities”: the “opposing trends” of “secularization, with its occasionally extreme consequences,” and “a violent fundamentalism claiming to be
based on religion.” Both of these trends, Benedict believed, ran counter to (and could be countered by) what he termed “religious freedom” and “healthy secularity”: “There is a need to move beyond tolerance to religious freedom,” Benedict wrote. “Taking this step does not open the door to relativism, as some would maintain. It does not compromise belief, but rather calls for a reconsideration of the relationship between man, religion and God. It is not an attack on the ‘foundational truths’ of belief, since, despite human and religious divergences, a ray of truth shines on all men and women… “A healthy secularity… frees religion from the encumbrance of politics,
and allows politics to be enriched by the contribution of religion, while maintaining the necessary distance, clear distinction and indispensable collaboration between the two spheres.”
2022: FRANCIS — “IN MY PRAYER THE DESIRE FOR PEACE” Since becoming Pope in 2013, Francis has sought a solution to the ongoing and increasing flight of Christians from their communities in the Middle East. Francis emphasized this commitment to dialogue during a Mass in Cyprus on December 2, 2021, at which many Christians from Lebanon were present (Cyprus, just a 50minute flight from Beirut, has a large Lebanese diaspora community). “I look at you and see the richness of your diversity,” Francis said. “It is true, a beautiful ‘fruit salad’ [Italian: ‘una bella macedonia’]. All different. [...] I carry in my prayer the desire for peace that rises from the heart of that country.” Many have speculated that Francis originally sought to tie his visit to Lebanon into a larger itinerary that might also include a meeting in Jerusalem with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow. In recent days, however, it has become clear that no meeting between Francis and Kirill is on the imminent horizon, with the Pope himself saying that such a meeting “could lead to much confusion.” It is likely that Francis has realized the backlash that such a meeting would cause within the 5.5 million-member Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, as well as with Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, who has denounced the ongoing war in Ukraine as an “atrocious invasion” and called for solidarity with Ukrainians. Whatever the reason behind it, the scrapping of a proposed meeting with Kirill means that the ambitions for Francis’ trip are now more limited. In
Opposite, Lebanese crowds greeting Pope Benedict upon his arrival in Beirut in September 2012 (photo: Hasan Shaaban/Reuters). Below, Pope Francis greets Lebanese Cardinal Bechara Boutros Raï during a private audience at the Vatican on February 7, 2020 (Vatican Media)
a certain sense, Francis is following a similar path as his predecessors with respect to Lebanon. Just as John Paul and Benedict before him, Francis can see the hope that Lebanon symbolizes — a hope for peace, acceptance, and the possibility for people of different faiths to live side by side. Just as they did, he has sought to draw attention to this model with a larger goal in mind. For John Paul, this larger goal was peace between the Arab world, Israel and Christianity, especially in the Middle East. For Benedict, it was the ending of the disastrous conflicts in Syria and Iraq and the preservation of Christian communities throughout the Middle East. For Francis, it seems to be a resolution to the conflict in Ukraine, which has become a wedge deepening the conflict between Catholicism and Orthodoxy. In the case of all three Popes, the larger goal has proved to be difficult to achieve. Rather than using Lebanon as a path towards peace-making in a broader conflict, John Paul and Benedict both shifted their course, in the end seeking simply to protect and preserve Lebanon, so that the broader conflicts that surrounded it would not themselves change Lebanon beyond all recognition. The approach that Francis will ultimately take with respect to Lebanon remains to be seen.
FACING FOOD SHORTAGES AND A POLITICAL CRISIS Many people who have been following the unfolding situation in Lebanon have recently begun to warn about looming food shortages. One source I spoke to, who had been present at the Lebanese Global Conference held on April 26, 2022, in Washington, D.C., went as far as to tell me, “‘Famine’ became the key word over the course of the session.”
The conference featured talks from experts, analysts, and prominent figures like Samy Gamael, the current leader of the Kataeb Party in Lebanon, as well as American Congressmen Darrell Issa and Darin LaHood, who are both of Lebanese descent. The conference’s most urgent discussions centered on how Lebanon will be affected by the war in Ukraine. The production of staple foods in Ukraine such as wheat — staples on which much of the Middle East depends — is expected to be greatly diminished this year. Some estimates place the number of people who will be affected by food shortages as a result of the war as high
as 500,000,000. “One full year of crisis in Ukraine will equal four years in the countries that depend on it,” the source told me. The individual I spoke with also echoed what many Lebanese have told me over the past several months: that without active leadership on the part of the Vatican, the United States and Europe, Lebanon will go the way of other failed states in the region such as Syria, likely descending into chaos and war. “There are 100,000 combatants [in the Hezbollah paramilitary forces] vs. 7,000 [in the Lebanese Army],” the source told me. “Nobody can compete with this power. “We need peace. We need political stability in Lebanon.”
When I asked about the Christian political leadership in Lebanon, many Lebanese with whom I spoke offered harsh criticism. “We don’t have true Christian leaders,” one Lebanese Christian told me. “Only Patriarch Raï.” “The problem is that even Christians are divided,” another told me. “The Shia [Muslims], when it comes to politics, are united. Christians are united with them [i.e., some Christian political parties ally with Hezbollah] because they are after power, they are after their own interests.” For now, Lebanon will continue waiting — waiting for the visit of Pope Francis, waiting to see if the glimmer of hope offered by its election proves to be a mirage, waiting, in short, for a miracle. “We’re stuck,” a friend in Lebanon told me. “We need prayers. I believe in miracles because I am a Christian… We need intervention of the United States more boldly in Lebanon. We need an agreement with Iran, to keep Lebanon impartial from all of the struggles around it. Right away, Hezbollah would vanish.” John Paul II’s words about the Lebanese people ring true even today, even as the crisis deepens: “Despite everything, hope remains alive in them.” Fr. Hani Tawk, a Maronite priest who established an organization to feed the “new poor” in Beirut following the August 2020 explosion, affirms this, bringing a message of light in a time of darkness. “We are passing through a very miserable situation,” he said in a recent interview with Catholic News Service. “But we believe there is light at the end of this tunnel. We believe in the Resurrection.”
* Christopher Hart-Moynihan is the Director of Friends of Lebanon, a Unitas project of Urbi et Orbi Communications.m JULY-AUGUST 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN
CONSISTORY CONSISTORY 2022 2022
POPE FRANCIS N AMES 21 NAMES NNEW EW CARDINALS CARDINALS TTRUE RUE TO TO HIS HIS SIGNATURE SIGNATURE PREFERENCE PREFERENCE FOR FOR ““GOING GOING TO TO THE THE PERIPHERIES PERIPHERIES,” ,” THE THE NEW NEW CARDINALS CARDINALS HAIL HAIL FROM FROM ALL ALL OVER OVER THE THE GLOBE GLOBE,, INCLUDING INCLUDING SOME SOME MORE MORE OBSCURE OBSCURE SPOTS SPOTS n BY CNA
ope Francis has announced that he will create 21 new cardinals, including American Bishop Robert Walter McElroy of San Diego, at a consistory on August 27. Five are above age 80 and so not eligible to vote in a papal conclave. The 85-year-old Pope made the announcement from a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square after reciting the Regina Coeli prayer on May 29. Since his election in 2013, Francis has created 101 cardinals from 58 countries at seven consistories. The last consistory to create new cardinals took place on November 28, 2020. The new cardinals that year included Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington and Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa, the Preacher to the Papal Household since 1980. Immediately following the 2020 consistory, 73 of the members of the College of Cardinals eligible to vote in a future conclave had been chosen by Pope Francis. Benedict XVI had named 39 of the cardinal electors and John Paul II 16. The choice of August for a Consistory — a time when the weather in Rome is boiling hot — is unusual. Usually Consistories in recent years have been held in November or in February.
INSIDE THE VATICAN JULY-AUGUST 2022
Jean-Marc Aveline Oscar Cantoni
Vergez Alzaga Lucas Van Looy Arthur Roche
Robert Walter McElroy
UNITED KINGDOM MONGOLIA
SOUTH KOREA SPAIN
Lazzaro You Heung-sik
Jorge Enrique Jiménez Carvajal EAST TIMOR
Virgilio Do Carmo Da Silva
Adalberto Martínez Flores
Paulo Cezar Costa
William Goh Seng Chye
Filipe Neri António Sebastião Leonardo Ulrich Steiner Richard Kuuia Baawobr
THIS IS THE FULL LIST: Arthur Roche, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (United Kingdom) Lazzaro You Heung-sik, Prefect for the Congregation for Clergy (South Korea) Fernando Vergez Alzaga, President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State (Spain) Archbishop Jean-Marc Aveline of Marseille (France) Archbishop Peter Okpaleke of Ekwulobia (Nigeria) Archbishop Leonardo Ulrich Steiner of Manaus (Brazil) Archbishop Filipe Neri António Sebastião of Rosário Ferrão, of Goa e Damão (India) Bishop Robert Walter McElroy of San Diego (United States) Archbishop Virgilio Do Carmo Da Silva of Dili (East Timor) Bishop Oscar Cantoni of Como (Italy) Archbishop Anthony Poola of Hyderabad (India)
Archbishop Paulo Cezar Costa of Brasília (Brazil) Bishop Richard Kuuia Baawobr M. Afr, of Wa (Ghana) Archbishop William Goh Seng Chye of Singapore (Singapore) Archbishop Adalberto Martínez Flores of Asunción (Paraguay) Archbishop Giorgio Marengo Prefect of Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) (These five below are over the age of 80 and thus not able to vote in a papal conclave): Archbishop Jorge Enrique Jiménez Carvajal, Archbishop Emeritus of Cartagena (Colombia) Archbishop Lucas Van Looy SDB, Archbishop Emeritus of Ghent (Belgium) Archbishop Arrigo Miglio Archbishop Emeritus of Cagliari (Italy) Father Gianfranco Ghirlanda, SJ (Italy) Monsignor Fortunato Frezza (Italy)
JULY-AUGUST 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN
lazzaro You Heung-sik Prefect for the congregation for clergy (south Korea)
rchbishop Arthur Roche, 70, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, studied at St. Alban’s College in Valladolid, Spain and was ordained in 1975. He was named a bishop in the Diocese of Leeds, England, and worked at chancery positions; he received his licentiate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University and was named General Secretary of the English and Welsh bishops’ conference in 1996. In 2002, he was elected Chairman of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. Since becoming Prefect at the CDW, Archbishop Roche has come under fire for his strict approach to implementing the motu proprio restricting the Traditional Latin Mass, Traditionis Custodes, and for his claim that Pope Paul VI “abrogated” the old rite.
rchbishop Lazarus You Heung-sik, 70, is current Prefect for the Congregation for the Clergy, and the first Korean in a head curial position. He was born in Nonsan, South Chungcheong, South Korea, and baptized a Catholic at the age of sixteen. He studied at the Catholic University of Korea in Seoul and then in Rome, at the Pontifical Lateran University. He was ordained in 1979. In 1994, he became spiritual director and professor, and later president, at the Catholic University of Daejeon, and he has been associated with the Focolare Movement. Pope John Paul II named him Bishop Coadjutor of Daejeon in 2003, and he led committees on migrants, youth ministry, and the cause of Korean martyrs. As head of Caritas Korea from 2004 to 2008, You visited Pyongyang four times. He described the situation of young people in 20
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Fernando Vergez alzaga President of the Pontifical commission for Vatican city state
Korea: “Since childhood they grow up in a highly competitive society. Competition thwarts fraternal relations, it casts off friendships and nurtures loneliness.”
r. Fernando Vergez Alzaga, 77, was born in Salamanca, Spain, was ordained a priest in 1969, and began working for the Holy See three years later. He has collaborated in different Vatican organizations over more than 50 years, including the Congregation for Religious Life, and he has also been responsible for the Holy See’s Office of Internet and Telecommunications. Pope Francis in 2021 appointed Fr. Vergez as President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and President of the Governorate of Vatican City State; previously he was Secretary General. He is the first member of the Legionaries of Christ to be named a cardinal, coming 12 years after the Vatican investigation exposing the misdeeds of deceased Legionaries founder Marcial Maciel and others in his circle. Jean-Marc aVeline archbishoP of marseille
artHur rocHe Prefect of the congregation for diVine WorshiP and the disciPline of the sacraments
rchbishop Jean-Marc Aveline, 63, ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Marseille, France, in 1984. He was a seminary professor of dogmatic theology and director of studies from1986 to 1991, and then head of vocations and diocesan delegate for seminarians until 1996. In 1992 he founded and managed until 2002 the Institute of Science and Theology of Religions of Marseille. He was also director of the Catholic Institute from the Mediterranean, and taught theology at the Catholic University of Lyon. In 2000, he completed a joint doctorate in theology and philosophy. Archbishop Avaline leads a diocese centered on a port city which is heavily populated with migrants, many of them Muslim and young, and he is known for his attention to the poor and his dialogue with Islam.
leoNaRdo UlRich SteiNeR archBishop of Manaus
rchbishop of Manaus, Brazil, Leonardo Ulrich Steiner, OFM, 71, took his first vows in 1976 and was ordained in 1978 by his cousin, Franciscan Cardinal Paulo Evaristo Arns. He obtained his Licentiate and Doctorate in Philosophy at the Pontifical Antonianum University in Rome, and later became its Secretary General. In 2005 he was ordained a bishop, appointed to the prelature of São Félix do Araguaia, and became Secretary General of the Brazilian bishops’ conference. Steiner has had to deal with two major crises since 2020: The increasing devastation of the rainforest and the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit hard in Manaus, in the Amazon – a region with an inadequate healthcare structure; Steiner organized spiritual assistance for patients and to the families of the dead in church communities and funeral parlors. He also took part in the distribution of
Filipe NeRi aNtóNio SebaStião of rosário fErrão, archBishop of goa E DaMão
ishop Peter Ebere Okpaleke, 59, born in Amesi in Anambra State, Nigeria, was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Awka in 1990. He has been a university chaplain, parish priest, diocesan finance administrator and chancellor, and secretary and member of diocesan boards. He also studied canon law in Rome at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. Named Bishop of Ahiara, Nigeria in 2012, clergy and parishioners prevented him from taking possession of his see because he was not of the area’s Mbaise ethnic origin. Despite papal intervention, in February 2018, Bishop Okpaleke resigned. Two years later, Pope Francis appointed him bishop of the newly-created Diocese of Ekwulobia, formerly part of Awka Diocese. The Cardinal-designate stresses the need for pastors to be “participants in the culture” in order to allow “the Gospel of Jesus Christ to penetrate such cultures, and to transform, and to build a dialogue between the Gospel and the culture.”
medicine and medical equipment. “He is not a bishop who sits on the fence,” said a bishops’ conference official. “When he talks, people listen.”
rchbishop Filipe Neri António Sebastião of Rosário Ferrão, of Goa e Damão, India, 69, began his religious studies at the Seminary of Our Lady in Saligao and then went to the Papal Seminary in Pune. He graduated in philosophy and theology and is fluent in Konkani, English, Portuguese, Italian, French and German. Archbishop Sebastião has been an outspoken advocate of helping migrants, appealing to Catholics to “show greater love and affection for migrants” as “Quite a few of them do not even have the basic necessities of life… Every parish, by using the necessary means, should offer them the love which will rekindle their hope,” he said. RobeRt WalteR Bishop McElroy, of san DiEgo
peteR okpaleke archBishop of EkwuloBia
ishop of San Diego Robert McElroy, 68, born in San Francisco, earned his B.A. in history from Harvard and his M.A. in American History from Stanford. After graduating from the seminary, he went on to earn both a licentiate and a doctorate in theology, concentrating on the thought of American Jesuit theologian John Courtney Murray. Bishop McElroy is widely regarded as a “progressive”-leaning prelate who called for a 2015 NCCB document on “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” to be scrapped because “It tilts in favor of abortion and euthanasia and excludes poverty and the environment.” In the 2020 election year, he decried the “public denial of candidates’ identity as Catholics because of a specific policy position they have taken. Such denials are injurious because they reduce Catholic social teaching to a single issue. But they are offensive because they constitute an assault on the meaning of what it is to be Catholic.” Observers highlight his contrast with San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone (thus far red-hatless) who JULY-AUGUST 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN
rchbishop Virgilio do Carmo da Silva, 54, of Dili, East Timor, is the first cardinal-elect of the island, Timor, shared with Indonesia. Also called Timor-Leste, the country, which was colonized by Portugal, is nearly 98% Catholic and very youthful — its median age is 20. Da Silva, a priest of the Salesians of St. John Bosco, made his perpetual vows in 1997, and was ordained the following year. He was named bishop of Dili in 2016. He is vice president of the national bishops’ conference. He said he views his elevation as a blessing for the country, which recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of the restoration of its independence – and the 500th anniversary of its evangelization. The prelate said, “I am convinced that Pope Francis did not offer this to me, Virgilio, but rather to the Church and the people of Timor-Leste.”
ishop of Como, Italy, Oscar Cantoni, 71, was ordained in 1975. Until 1982 he was a parish priest; then he taught religion at the technical institute Pliny Como. In 2000, he was made Honorary Prelate of His Holiness by Pope John Paul II. In 2003 he became the diocese’s episcopal vicar for clergy. Pope John Paul appointed him Bishop of Crema in 2005. In 2009, after two years of intensive preparatory work in Uni-Crema, “the free university for adults,” he “contributed to the promotion of cultural and social citizenship” through the avenue of “Christian humanism and Christian tradition.” In September 2010 he became the first bishop in Italy to organize a diocesan Youth Mission, including “minstrels of God” intended to communicate His love in nightclubs, theaters, through sport, etc. In 2011, he organized an ecclesial assembly “in order to prepare our Church to face the times ahead,” with a public discussion open to all. He was installed as Bishop of Como in 2016.
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orn to a Catholic Dalit (“Untouchable”) family in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, Anthony Poola, 62, joined minor seminary in Kurnool and studied at St. Peter’s Pontifical Major Seminary in Bengaluru. He was ordained in 1992, served in the diocese of Kadapa for over 16 years, and was appointed Bishop of Kurnool in 2008, and Archbishop of Hyderabad in 2020. Two-thirds of the 18 million Catholics in India are Dalits, and there have been simmering tensions due to continued discrimination against the Dalits even in the Catholic Church. Cardinal-designate Poola hopes to be part of the remedy. “My elevation as a cardinal is certainly reiteration of the attempt of the Pope to reach out to the peripheries. This is an opportunity for me to be an agent of compassion and mercy to the poor and the Dalits, under the norms of the Church and in obedience to the Holy Father,” Archbishop Poola said. PAulo CezAr CostA Archbishop of brAsíliA
osCAr CAntoni bishop of como
Anthony PoolA Archbishop of hyderAbAd INDIA
Virgilio Do CArmo DA silVA Archbishop of dili
recently issued a public admonition to pro-abortion politician Nancy Pelosi to refrain from receiving Holy Communion.
rchbishop Paulo Costa, 55, has been Archbishop of Brasilia, Brazil’s capital, since 2020. He has a licentiate and a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and was ordained in 1992. He is a member of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America and the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity. Upon his episcopal appointment, he wrote a letter to the Archdiocese of Brasília in which he said, “I go with the disposition to know you, to love you and to donate the best of my strength so that the Gospel of Jesus Christ can be known, loved and witnessed.” His objective, he said, was to realize the “desire of Pope Francis” to promote the “culture of encounter,” and he quoted Pope Francis: “A country grows when its diverse cultural riches dialogue in a constructive way: popular culture, university culture, youth culture, artistic culture and technological culture, economic culture and family culture, and the culture of the media.”
WilliaM Goh senG Chye Archbishop of singApore
rchbishop William Goh Seng Chye, 65, a fluent Mandarin speaker, has led a small but dynamic Church of Singapore since 2013, especially in pastoral outreach to migrants. After Hong Kong’s Bishop Emeritus John Tong reached the age limit, Goh will be the new ethnic Chinese prelate among the cardinal electors. In May, Archbishop Goh issued a pastoral letter to the Church of Singapore following an outcry caused by the sentencing to five years in prison of a male religious, convicted in connection with sexual abuse. He wrote: “Conversion is required of the entire Church. We must remember that the sins of one will affect others as well. It is a timely reminder for us to renew our faith, find healing in forgiveness and in God’s mercy, and seek reconciliation with our wounded brothers and sisters by taking the call to conversion of life seriously.”
ishop Richard Kuuia Baawobr, 63, was born at TomZendagangn, in the Diocese of Wa, Ghana, which he now leads. He entered the Society of Missionaries of Africa in 1981, moving to Fribourg, Switzerland, for his novitiate. After theological studies at the Missionary Institute London, he professed his religious vows in 1986 and was ordained in 1987. In 2010 Bishop Baawobr was chosen the Superior General of the Missionaries of Africa (the first African to hold this position) as well as vicechancellor of the Pontifical Institute of ArabicIslamic Studies (PISAI). He is known for many acts of charity, especially his love for the mentally ill neglected by their families. In 2016, volunteers from the bishop’s project for people with mental illnesses took to the streets to provide them with care. The bishop started using media platforms to raise awareness of mental illness in a country where its stigma is high.
adalberto Martínez Flores Archbishop of AsUnción
rchbishop of Asunción, Paraguay, Adalberto Martinez Flores, 71, President of the Paraguayan Epsicopal Conference, takes pains to distinguish the roles of ordained ministry and the laity. Speaking to a conference of the National Coordination of the Laity of Paraguay, he said, “Although the collaboration of the lay faithful is precious and necessary also in pastoral tasks and activities directly linked to the life of the parish ... the fundamental mission of the laity is outside the limits of the parish church, or its group or apostolic movement.” Archbishop Martinez Flores is the founder of the Youth Pastoral Institute and a crusader for the rights of all Paraguayans in a country that is rife with corruption, calling it “part of our daily landscape. Furthermore, many of those who commit or tolerate acts of corruption and those who promote impunity are baptized Catholics…we bishops, clergy, consecrated and lay people need to examine our conscience on our evangelization.” GiorGio MarenGo, Archbishop, prefect of UlAAnbAAtAr
riChard Kuuia baaWobr bishop of WA
he Apostolic Prefect of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, is not well known, but the pressure on the small states who live in the shadow of Communist China is. Pope Francis has drawn attention to the region, and his “closeness” to them, by naming Mongolia’s Prefect, Archbishop Giorgio Marengo, a cardinal. The 48-year-old Marengo, an Italian, will become the youngest cardinal in the College of Cardinals. Born in Cuneo, Italy, in 1974, he studied at the Pontifical Urban University, earning a licentiate and a doctorate in missiology. In 2000, he made his profession of vows for the Consolata Missionaries and in 2001 was ordained. When Pope Francis announced on May 29 that he planned to make Marengo a cardinal, Marengo was in Rome to participate in a meeting he had arranged between the Pope and Buddhist leaders from Mongolia. He said: “Dialogue with the Buddhist world, which is a majority in Mongolia, is fundamental for us; it is part of our mission.” JULY-AUGUST 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN
lucas van looy archbishop eMeritus oF ghent
orge Enrique Jiménez Carvajal, 80, Archbishop Emeritus of Cartagena, Colombia, was ordained in 1967; in 1992, Pope John Paul II named him Bishop of Zipaquirá, Colombia. He served as Secretary General of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia (1993-1995), and the Latin American Episcopal Council-CELAM (1995-1999) and President of both (19992003). In 2004, John Paul II appointed him Coadjutor Archbishop of Cartagena. In 2002, Bishop Carvajal was kidnapped by the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC), a leftistguerilla group. Subsequently rescued by the Colombian military, Bishop Carvajal said, “It is a pity that the FARC are seeking social justice by committing the worst injustices, such as depriving a person of his liberty. Social justice will never be the product of injustice, never… This is the tragedy of all that we are going through in our country.”
rchbishop Lucas Van Looy, SDB, 80, joined the Salesians of Saint John Bosco in 1961 and after three years in South Korea he earned a licentiate in missiology from the Catholic University of Louvain. He took his final vows in 1968 and was ordained in 1970, holding a series of leadership positions in the Salesians, including Vicar General, before he was appointed Bishop of Ghent in 2003. In 2010, disagreeing with a statement that AIDS victims were suffering the just results of promiscuous sex, Van Looy warned they would “suffer even more because they have been so stigmatized.” He also allowed that “stable homosexual relationships” should be possible. In 2014, van Looy was named to the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and became chair of Caritas Europe.
rchbishop Arrigo Miglio, 80, Archbishop Emeritus of Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy, was born in Piedmont, Italy, and was 24
INSIDE THE VATICAN JULY-AUGUST 2022
arriGo miGlio archbishop eMeritus oF cagliari
Father GianFranco Ghirlanda ITALY
ordained in 1967. He was named Bishop of Iglesias in 1992, then in 1999, Bishop of Ivrea. He is president of the scientific committee and organizer of the Social Weeks of Catholic Italians as well as a member of the Italian Episcopal Conference for social issues, labor, justice and peace, and has been president of the Sardinian Episcopal Conference since 2012. Archbishop Miglio hosted a visit from Pope Francis to his diocese in the first year of the Francis pontificate. Then, as today, Archbishop Miglio focused on the theme of “family,” explaining that the Pope “encourages us to reflect on the fact that society destroys itself, collapses, if it does not support the family.”
ather Gianfranco Ghirlanda, SJ worked at Fiat while earning a doctorate in jurisprudence at Sapienza University of Rome in 1966. He joined the Society of Jesus that year, and was ordained in 1973. He earned a licentiate in canon law and a doctorate in canon law summa cum laude at the Pontifical Gregorian University. In 1986 Fr. Ghirlanda became a full professor of Canon Law at the Gregorian, later serving as Dean and then Rector. He has been a consultor to various Vatican dicasteries, and a judge of the Court of Appeal in Vatican City. In 2014, he was appointed to assist the Legion of Christ in its ongoing renewal process, and similarly in 2020 for the lay association Memores Domini. He is a member of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life.
Monsignor Fortunato Frezza
JorGe enrique Jiménez carvaJal archbishop eMeritus oF cartagena
OVER THE CONCLAVE VOTING AGE OF 80
ortunato Frezza was born in Viterbo, Italy, in 1942 and ordained in 1966. After earning degrees in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University and in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute, he devoted his career to biblical scholarship and teaching, including in the Holy Land. In 1983 he joined the staff of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops and in 1997 became its undersecretary under Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. In 2013, Pope Francis appointed him a canon of St. Peter’s Basilica and in 2022 he became Camerlengo of the Chapter of St. Peter. He was chaplain to the football team A.S. Roma. His reaction to being named a cardinal: “I am ready to face what will be asked of me. I’m like a soldier.”m
“Bicycling cArdinAl” iS nEw hEAd of itAly’S cAtholic BiShopS’ confErEncE n BY HANNAH BROCKHAUS (CNA)
ope Francis has chosen who led the bishops’ conference Cardinal Matteo Zuppi as for a five-year term beginning in the next president of the 2017. Italian bishops’ conference folPope Francis made Zuppi a lowing a vote on Tuesday. cardinal in 2019. Zuppi, 66, has a reputation For years, the Rome native as the “bicycling cardinal” for has been listed among the “papahis propensity to cycle around bili” — possible future Popes — the northern Italian city of but has made light of the specuBologna, which he has led as lation. archbishop since 2015. Before being transferred to He also has strong ties to the Bologna, Zuppi was an auxiliary influential Sant’Egidio Combishop of Rome for three years. munity. He was responsible for the city’s The cardinal was chosen to Italian Cardinals Gualtiero Bassetti of Perugia-Città della Pieve historic center area, which inand Matteo Zuppi of Bologna. Zuppi has been chosen the cludes the Trastevere neighborlead the Episcopal Conference (left)president of the Italian bishops' conference, succeeding of Italy (CEI) during the hood, where the headquarters of Cardinal Bassetti (CNS photo/Paul Haring) group’s 76th general assembly, the Sant’Egidio Community is taking place in Rome on May located. Rome is also the Primate of Italy. 23-27. Sant’Egidio is a Catholic lay Under a compromise arrangement, Pope Francis had previously the bishops presented a list of the association that aids migrants and asked the Italian bishops to adopt a three candidates with the most votes promotes ecumenism. It has also new statute that would allow them to to the pope, who could then choose helped negotiate reconciliation, elect the president themselves, but between the three or opt for a differ- including by holding peace talks in the bishops preferred to leave the ent candidate. Zuppi succeeds 80- countries like Mozambique and choice to the Pope, who as Bishop of year-old Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, South Sudan.m
Zuppi ElEction: A “SignAl” to thE popE? n BY ANDREA GAGLIARDUCCI (CNA)
ardinal Matteo Zuppi’s election as C president of the Episcopal Conference of Italy is, at one level, unsurprising. For at least two years, he was spoken of as a frontrunner to succeed outgoing president Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti. And everyone pointed to Cardinal Zuppi as the only figure who could lead the bishops’ conference in the direction desired by Pope Francis. Yet, on another level, the appointment was somewhat unexpected. Some bishops, who asked to remain anonymous given that the ballot took place in secret, suggested that the Pope was “forced” to select Cardinal Zuppi, the archbishop of Bologna, because he received the most votes among the three
candidates sent to him for a final decision. It was evident, they said, that the Pope would have preferred Cardinal Paolo Lojudice of Siena, who, they indicated, would be appointed as the new vicar of Rome. Shortly before the latest election, Pope Francis said in an interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that he preferred that the next president was a cardinal. After this, the three candidates were narrowed down to Cardinal Zuppi, Cardinal Lojudice, and Bishop Antonino Raspanti of Acireale, Sicily. Cardinal Zuppi received by far the most votes from his brother bishops and Pope Francis had to take this into account. Rumors had previously suggested
that the Pope was wary of the great publicity that surrounds the “papabile” Cardinal Zuppi and was leaning toward a different candidate. The Pope was also said to have been negatively surprised when Cardinal Zuppi applied the motu proprio Traditionis custodes in the Bologna archdiocese in a benevolent way. The rumors that constantly circulate in the Vatican, aiming to scuttle or promote candidates, have always carried a lot of weight. Those cited are, in any case, sensitive issues for the Pope. “The bishops were courageous in voting for Cardinal Zuppi and giving a signal to the Pope,” a participant in the Italian bishops’ assembly told CNA.m JULY-AUGUST 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN
OBITUARY Cardinal Angelo Sodano Curial leader dies May 27 at age 94 THE FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE AND DEAN OF THE COLLEGE OF CARDINALS DIED AFTER 60 YEARS IN VATICAN SERVICE n BY CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE/ITV STAFF
ardinal Angelo Sodano, former Vatican Secretary of State and former Dean of the College of Cardinals, died in Rome May 27 at the age of 94. According to Vatican News, Cardinal Sodano had been hospitalized since early May for treatment of pneumonia after testing positive for COVID-19. Pope Francis attended the funeral Mass for Cardinal Sodano in St. Peter’s Basilica on May 31. Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, the dean of the College of Cardinals, was the main celebrant. The 85-year-old Pope, who led the Rites of Final Commendation, was seated in a wheelchair as the Mass was celebrated at the Altar of the Chair. Pope John Paul named Cardinal Sodano Secretary of State in late 1990. He had been the Vatican’s “foreign minister,” heading the Secretariat of State’s Section for Relations with States. He had already spent three decades in the Vatican’s diplomatic service, mainly in Latin America. He remained in office for the first 17 months of the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI and served as dean of the College of Cardinals from 2005 to 2019. After he stepped down, Pope Francis issued a law giving the office of dean a five-year term. Many observers saw him as a key player in the Vatican’s slow response to the clerical sexual abuse scandal, particularly in the case of the late Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legionaries of Christ. In a message of condolence May 28 to the cardinal’s family, Pope Francis said the cardinal had “lived his priesthood with generosity” briefly in his home diocese of Asti, Italy, and “then, for the rest of his long life, in the service of the Holy See.” While Cardinal Sodano was criticized for his apparent closeness to Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, Pope Francis said that, in his service as a Vatican diplo-
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mat in Ecuador, Uruguay and Chile, “he zealously dedicated himself to the good of those peoples, promoting dialogue and reconciliation.” Born on November 23, 1927, the second of six children, in Isola d’Asti, Italy, he studied at the local seminary before moving to Rome. He was ordained a priest in 1950 and taught at the Asti seminary. With a doctorate in theology from Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University and a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical Lateran University, he joined the Vatican diplomatic corps in 1959. St. Paul VI named him an archbishop and nuncio to Chile, and he was ordained a bishop January 15, 1978. St. John Paul II called him back to the Vatican in 1988 and in 1989 named him Secretary for Relations with States, in effect, the Vatican foreign minister. He was named Pro-Secretary of State in 1990, and a year later, Secretary of State and a cardinal. Sodano retired as Secretary of State in 2006, after holding the powerful curial office under both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. The cardinal’s final years were overshadowed by allegations that he covered up sexual abuse by Legionaries of Christ founder Marcial Maciel, former U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, and others. Sodano’s name was mentioned 30 times in the McCarrick Report, published in 2020. At the funeral, Cardinal Re said: “In the nearly 16 years that he was the Pope’s first collaborator, he worked with competence and dedication on behalf of peace.” Following Pope Benedict XVI’s election in 2005, Sodano was elected dean of the College of Cardinals. In that role, he preached at the Mass in 2013 before the conclave that elected Pope Francis. Addressing his fellow cardinals, he said: “My brothers, let us pray that the Lord will grant us a pontiff who will embrace this noble mission [of charity] with a generous heart.”m Grzegorz Galazka photo
“May the angels lead you into paradise” HOMILY — CARDINAL GIOVANNI BATTISTA RE
he Church bid farewell to former Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano, at a Requiem Mass celebrated May 31 by Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re. In his homily, Cardinal Re recalled Sodano’s 71 years of priesthood and more than 60 years of service to the Holy See. “In his long years of service to the Holy See, Cardinal Sodano firmly believed in Christ and followed Him faithfully, serving Him with love and dedication to the Church and His Vicar,” Cardinal Re said. Cardinal Re noted that after being ordained in 1950, Sodano began his priestly service by teaching theology in the diocesan seminary and engaging in youth ministry. “In the nearly 16 years that he was the Pope’s first collaborator, he worked with compe-
Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re and Pope Francis during the May 31 funeral ceremony for Cardinal Angelo Sodano (CNS photo/Vatican Media)
tence and dedication on behalf of peace,” said Cardinal Re. “Many of us were able to appreciate Cardinal Sodano up close,” he said, highlighting the late cardinal’s “gifts of intellect and heart, his sensitivity to the pastoral aims of the Church’s action in the world, his wisdom in assessing events and situations and his readiness to help, seeking appropriate solutions in every case.” Commending Angelo Sodano’s soul to the mercy of Almighty God, Cardinal Re concluded his homily by inviting the faithful to make their own the Church’s prayer In Paradisum: “May the angels lead you into paradise, may the martyrs greet you at your arrival, and lead you into the holy city of Jerusalem.” (CNA)m
The Rise to Power of Cardinal Sodano AN EXCERPT FROM A 2020 ARTICLE BY CHILEAN JOURNALIST LUIS BADILLA IN IL SISMOGRAFO
n May 28, 1988, John Paul II, who wanted to attribute — in a rather questionable way—the great success of his visit to Chile (1983) to Nuncio Sodano, called him to the Vatican to appoint him Secretary of the then-Council for Church Affairs. On March 1, 1989, with the entry into force of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus, Sodano then assumed the title of Secretary for Relations with States. The official biography of Sodano on the Vatican.va site at this point states: “On December 1, 1990, he was called by the confidence of the Holy Father to take on the Office of Pro-Secretary of State, becoming Secretary of State on June 29, 1991, once created Cardinal.” From this moment on, the power of Cardinal Sodano became total, absolute, incontrovertible, and often more incisive than that of Pope John Paul II, who was very busy in his pastoral ministry, and subsequently very limited by his illnesses. The real, concrete, everyday government of the many, delicate, and tangled mechanisms of the life of the Church all passed into the hands of the Piedmontese cardinal born in Isola d’Asti. In this long period there are painful events in the life of the Church, some even gruesome, which have up to now hurt the soul of the whole ecclesial community and for which Cardinal Sodano bears heavy responsibility. Such is the coverage and protection of the serial pedophile Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, even
when the then-Cardinal Prefect Joseph Ratzinger asked the Secretary of State in vain for different conduct towards the Mexican priest, then revered at the Vatican as a “saint” even if it was known that he was a great corruptor. Or, there is the case of the never-clarified pedophilia affair involving the archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Hans Wilhelm Groër (1995), which the current archbishop, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, denounced years ago, accusing Sodano of blocking the creation of an investigative commission and therefore of sandbagging the matter. It will also be remembered that in public remarks to Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Sodano, then-Secretary of State, called the complaints on cases of clerical pedophilia “chatter” and never expressed a single word of solidarity toward the victims. Schönborn protested because, in his view, it was a real offense against abused people. The life of the universal Church between 1991 and 2006 had an iron-gripped helmsman in Cardinal Angelo Sodano, who managed to shape most of the world’s episcopates according to his ideas, beliefs, interests, and projects. The cardinal, even after his retirement in 2006, continued as Dean to exercise important influence and surely when the history of this period is written, it will be possible to fully understand the different phases of the true role of Sodano in the Vatican in the time since he arrived at the Apostolic See 60 years ago. —Luis Badillam JULY-AUGUST 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN
OBITUARY Fr. Gino Belleri “Icon of a Vatican that no longer exists” dies on May 16 at age 93 “BOOKSELLER TO THE POPES” SAW SEVEN PAPAL CONCLAVES IN HIS LIFETIME n BY ANDREA GAGLIARDUCCI (ACISTAMPA)
e said that during the conclave of 1963 he put a giant picture of Montini in front of the bookshop, with the certainty that he would be elected Pope. And so it was. But Don Gino Belleri, who was ordained a priest by Giovanni Battista Montini, cardinal and archbishop of Milan, was not only the bookseller of Paul VI, to whom limitless affection and admiration bound him. He had met John XXIII, in one of those daring Vatican stories that could only happen when the Vatican was not rigidly encased in plaster as it is now. And then, he had also had the opportunity to appreciate Albino Luciani (John Paul I), and obviously the long pontificate of John Paul II. Until the arrival of Pope Francis, whom he warned good-naturedly in one of the encounters in which they came face to face. Don Gino Belleri, 93, died on May 16 in a Roman clinic. For some time he had no longer managed the bookshop, and the pandemic had made his visits to the Vatican rare, if not impossible. He remained alive and vital until the end, continuing to ride a motorbike beyond 80 years of age, when an accident forced him to accede to more cautious advice. And, despite his age, he divided himself between the bookshop and Villa Giuseppina, where he continued to do pastoral service for 60 years for the nuns with serious mental illness who were hospitalized there. A photo remains of the meeting with Pope Francis, with Don Gino Belleri in a short-sleeved shirt with his fin-
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ger raised and Pope Francis listening to him, which Don Gino had placed among his “trophies” in the office in the mezzanine of the Librerie Leoniana. A bookstore which, by admission of Joaquin Navarro-Valls, historic spokesperson of John Paul II, had become a “parallel press office,” a fact made even more iconic by the fact that the bookstore was precisely behind the Vatican Press Office, with an entrance on Via dei Corridori which runs parallel to Via della Conciliazione, where the Press Office is. Don Gino welcomed everyone into his bookshop, and bestowed advice on everyone; for each one he fished out suitable anecdotes from his very precise memory, and with each one he took time to talk, listen and advise. It was not uncommon for a line of people to form in front of his office, including journalists looking for news, priests and bishops looking for books, nuncios and cardinals looking for advice and an exchange of views. It happened once that Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, not yet a cardinal and General Secretary of the Synod, wandered among the shelves of the bookstore while Archbishop Agostino Cacciavillan was in Belleri’s study, and a few scattered journalists were also there, pretending to be interested in books. Among the frequenters of the bookshop was also a president of Italy, Francesco Cossiga, who went there even while he was in office (but continued to live in his house in Prati and not at the Quirinale).
In the ferment of the Second Vatican Council (1962shop and St. Peter’s, and knew how to be generous. And it 65), the bookshop became a fundamental landing place was precisely his human figure, almost unsuspected, that for experts and clerics. And from that time on, over the attracted the friendship of many. years, Don Gino Belleri became an institution, an icon of And here this reporter must now leave room for a a Vatican that no longer exists. A Vatican in which one friend, and move on to telling the story in the first person. could still enter without permits when one was a cleric, so Don Gino Belleri was introduced to me by Benny Lai, the much so that Don Gino spoke for the first time with John dean of the Italian Vaticanists, who was introducing me to XXIII when he presented himself there to bring Monsignthe profession, and who immediately wanted to show me or Capovilla a book in French that he had requested for the the “parallel press office.” Don Gino welcomed us into his Pope. Capovilla, very busy in office after a brief wait in his who knows what conversaanteroom, and Benny Lai told tion, simply said to him: “You me that whatever Don Gino bring it to him.” would say to me, it would be From that Vatican, Don as if he had said it. Gino had kept the taste for Thus began an acquainwitty jokes, with their nevertance, at first timid and then banal background and full of more and more assiduous. I meaningful details — a particfilled notepads with notes of ularly elegant way of managthe things he told me. I used ing relationships that was his anecdotes for a column I never “over the top.” had on Sicily, and I also In his mezzanine office learned to understand where above the Leoniana Library the news he was referring to was his whole life. The photo me came from, gradually of his good-natured rebuke to understanding how to filter it A view of the interior of the Leoniana Bookstore. Pope Francis was added to the Below, left, Benny Lai and, right, Gianfranco Svidercoschi, well-known and when I could totally rely Vatican journalists photo of Paul VI, opening the on it. Year of Faith by lighting a candle, an It was a real school of pontifical lanimage he was particularly fond of. guages, slow, constant, discreet, never And he always sat under a tapestry invasive, always respectful of the depicting the Madonna, not very ardor of my 20 years. A type of school large, of Syrian origin. Always in that no longer exists, just as the Vatithe dim light, with only the yellow can of Don Gino Belleri and Benny Lai rays of a lamp illuminating it, Don no longer exists. Gino kept a sentence from Seneca in De It was the Vatican of a whisper, a Vatican Brevitate Vitae stuck on a Post-it note in his tiny and somewhich knew how to communicate news in low tones, and what disordered handwriting, for the benefit of those who which had a profound sense of being an “institution.” And read it: “Non exiguum tempus habemus, sed multum perDon Gino, who was also strongly a priest of the Second didimus” — “We do not have too short a time, but we Vatican Council and whom no one could accuse of conserwaste most of it.” vatism, loved precise language — just as precise as the Don Gino certainly wasted no time, giving to many Latin that he had mastered perfectly. previews of important documents, such as some of the He was a bookseller because he loved being among papal encyclicals. Through him also filtered the news of books, he was a priest because he loved being a priest, he the correspondence between Cardinal Silvio Oddi and the was a friend because he simply couldn’t do otherwise. would-be assassin of John Paul II, Ali Agca. And to him I also owe another friendship, the one with Don Gino Belleri was also a great friend of Cardinal Gianfranco Svidercoschi. Benny Lai took me to Don Giovan Battista Re, current dean of the College of CardiGino, Don Gino sent me to Svidercoschi. It was like this, nals, and it was perhaps for this reason that then-Archbishone step at a time, that young people were ushered into the op Emmanuel Milingo decided to tell him about his deciVatican corridors. Rooms you seldom can enter today, but sion to marry the Korean acupuncturist Maria Sung of the the secrets of which everyone seems convinced they know Reverend Moon sect. Re was at the time Prefect of the how to interpret and explain. Congregation of Bishops, and had to manage a situation For this reason, with Don Gino goes one of the last citthat was certainly not easy. izens of a Vatican world that no longer exists. It is not a Yet, Don Belleri was above all a good man, who knew nostalgic statement. It is an observation that must help us and helped the poor who were stationed around his bookto understand the times.m JULY-AUGUST 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN
tHe ligHt of Holy saturday
/ part 2
NiNety-five years ago, BeNedict Xvi was BorN oN a Holy saturday — wHicH turNed out to Be a sigN of diviNe provideNce. eigHty-tHree years later, iN 2010, He was coNfroNted witH tHe most mysterious icoN aNd relic of tHe NigHt of cHrist’s resurrectioN, tHe turiN sHroud... n BY MICHAEL HESEMANN
here is, of course, a reason why I am writing this as a historian and not as a theologian. At this point, I would like to remind you of the moment when Benedict XVI himself stood at the crossroads of history, including its auxiliary sciences, and the theology of Holy Saturday. That was a good 12 years ago, on May 2, 2010, when he stood in front of the Holy Shroud, the true “acheiropoieton” (“not painted by human hands”) icon of Holy Saturday in the Cathedral of Turin, in northern Italy. It is the image of overcoming pain and death, painted (or “written”) with the blood of the Passion and the light of the resurrection of Christ. Nowhere else has the whole humanity and divinity of Jesus, of which the Council of Chalcedon (451 A.D.) spoke, become so visible, comprehensible and touchable. Here is the “Man of Sorrows” from the prophecy of Isaiah (Isaiah 53:3), marked by His precious blood which He shed for our salvation: the 117 dumbbell-shaped wounds, caused by the 39 (“forty less one”) lashes with the leather whip, to which the Romans attached three dumbbell-shaped pieces of lead to cut the skin (39 lashes times 3 pieces of lead causing a wound each time, total 117 wounds — the same number found on the Shroud). They alone testify that the torture was carried out by Romans with a Roman instrument of punishment but
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with regard to the Mosaic law, which prescribed a maximum of 40 blows (see Deuteronomy 25:3). In practice, this became the “40 strokes less one,” which Paul also mentions in Corinthians (2 Cor 11:24), probably because one did not want to disobey God in the event that one miscounted. Such a “39 lash maximum” was unknown to the Romans, and it is only conceivable between AD 6 and 66, when Judaea, originally Herod’s vassal kingdom, was a Roman protectorate, rather than a conquered enemy nation, and so during those years the peculiarities of Jewish law were respected by the Romans. Then the marks of the crown of thorns, which, unlike in Christian iconography, was a hood of thorns affecting the whole scalp: they alone prove that the “man on the shroud” was Jesus of Nazareth. None of the hundreds of thousands of unfortunates who were scourged and crucified by the Romans ever had such a crown put on their heads, except the one who was derided as the “King of the Jews.” Finally, there are the abrasions on the knees, cheek and nose, which testify to the three falls on the way to the Crucifixion site; scientists found particles of street dust amidst the blood crusts, which, like the street dust on the footprints of the soles of the feet, could be clearly assigned to the region around Jerusalem according to its geological signature on the element table. Then the
Christ of Pity among the Symbols of the Passion, by Pietro Gerini (1340-1414, Florence), now in the National Museum of Medieval and Modern Art in Arezzo, Italy, halfway between Assisi and Florence
pierced feet and wrists (the latter again in a departure from conventional iconography) proving that the “man on the Shroud” ended up on the cross, where he died after hours of agony. This agony is reflected in the pathological findings concerning the side wound, which correspond to the biblical description. St. John tells us that “blood and water” (John 19:34) actually flowed from Christ’s side when the centurion struck him with a spear. This is medically plausible: it was lung fluid (water) accumulated during the inhuman, excruciating exertions that gradually challenged the circulatory system up to its collapse, and blood from the atrium or upper chamber of the heart, which the legionnaire’s lance hit after penetrating the lungs. The pattern of the bloodstains on the Shroud forms the basis for a “Way of the Cross (Via crucis) in one picture,” which can only be decoded and deciphered with the help of science — in this case, forensic pathology. But while any mortal, if he — God forbid! — would have to suffer something similar, would also leave comparable traces of blood, something else makes the linen Shroud of Turin a mystery. The real “secret of the Shroud” is the body image, that apparent cast of a human body from the front as well as the back, lying outstretched, hands placed over the pubic area, with clear signs of rigor mortis (“stiffness of death”). We have known since the photos taken by the Italian photographer Secondo Pia (1898) that this body image has all the properties of a photographic negative, and since John Jackson (1978) that it also contains 3D information, i.e. it is comparable to a holograph. The most fanciful theories have been put forward to explain it as the work of an artist or an impression of the spices with which the body was said to have been embalmed — to no avail! The only thing that is certain is that another shroud with comparable traces has never been discovered in the 5,000-year-history of human sepulchral culture. So we are dealing here with what quantum physics would call a “singularity.” In fact, a thorough examination of the Shroud of Turin using electron microscopes as early as 1978 revealed that this body image exists only on the uppermost fibers of the linen threads from which the Shroud was woven. In this thin layer, finer than the skin of a soap bubble, the fibers have yellowed to varying degrees. Yellowing is always a consequence of radiation. But this radiation could not have been directed at the body from outside, because then it would have cast shadows on all uneven places; it
must have emanated from the body itself. Since Einstein, we know that all matter is just “frozen energy” and that, comparable to the moment of nuclear fission, energy is released when this bond is broken. Well-known physicists such as Prof. John Jackson, Prof. Giulio Fanti, Prof. Eberhard Lindner from Karlsruhe, Germany, and others are convinced that the image of the body on the Shroud is, so to speak, a “photograph” that was created when the cloth literally fell through the body, when the body turned into energy and released radiation. As fantastic as this sounds, it would perfectly explain the present finding. Italian scientists achieved a comparable yellowing effect when they bombarded a piece of linen with laser light in the ultraviolet spectrum for hours. However, if the image formation process took place in a matter of seconds (as evidently is the case of the Shroud), according to 2011 calculations by experts from the Italian ENEA (“National Authority for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development”), an energy output of 2000 MW/cm2, which would be 17000 cm2 = 34,000 billion watts, would be required, more than any power plant on earth could produce. But with God, as we know, nothing is impossible. A major theme in the teachings of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI is the reconciliation of faith and reason. The Shroud of Turin was examined using methods of interdisciplinary research and science, and a hypothesis was formulated as to how its image came about. Experimental verification is impossible because it exceeds human possibilities, which is where science reaches its limits. This is where faith has to take over. For 1800 years, people have venerated the Shroud of Turin without understanding its image-creation process. Then came science and, in the course of the Enlightenment, declared all relics a priori to be pious forgeries, including, of course (and especially) the Shroud. “God is dead” was the dogma of many natural scientists — or at least He retired, became a Deus Emeritus after creation, as the Deists among the Enlighteners believed. That’s why I like to compare the Shroud of Turin to a time capsule. Only today, in this time which ignores God, in which science has long since become a substitute religion for many, it is precisely men of science who accept Him again and fall on their knees before Him: because all their scientific knowledge has reached its limits when confronted with His Image, just as the Apostle Thomas first had to see and touch the wounds of the Lord in order JULY-AUGUST 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN
commentary the Light of hoLy Saturday / part 2 to fall on his knees and pronounce the most beautiful come and proclaim the old Easter message of the Church. creed in the entire Gospel of John: “My Lord and my It’s true! Christ has risen from the dead! God!” (John 20:28). The struggle of the first theologians, He is risen truly, so truly that the light of His resurrecthe apostles, to understand what had happened before tion burned His image into the linen. On the night of their eyes on Good Friday had come to an end on this secHoly Saturday, the light has conquered the darkness forond Sunday after Easter. Theology is a science of recogever, life has conquered death! nition; its goal is the knowledge of God. In my opinion, it is also no coincidence that this inOnly then did Peter, John and James understand what sight found its maturity and rounding off during the ponhad confused them so much back on Mount Tabor that tificate of Benedict XVI, and that it was he who, perhaps they wanted to build huts for Moses and Elijah when they unconsciously, in his meditation on the “light of resursaw the Lord transfigured. There, becoming pure light, rection,” built a bridge between the findings of natural He anticipated what would happen on the Easter Vigil in science and of theology, and thus let faith and reason the darkness of the tomb, hidequally take the course den from their sight: “His face towards Easter. shone like the sun, and His He is the Pope of Holy Satclothes became white as urday. After the “second Good light,” Matthew wrote (17:2). Friday” — the renewed cruciIn his second letter, Peter, fixion of Jesus by the totalitarone of the eyewitnesses, ian regimes of the 20th centudescribes what happened on ry, which created a “Golgotha” Mount Tabor and he also uses of our time in Auschwitz (to the metaphor of light: “For it is quote St. John Paul II) —we a light that shines in a dark are experiencing today, in the place”(2 Peter 1:19). beginning of the 21st century, But above all he testifies: the global Holy Saturday, the “For we did not follow any time of doubts, dark thoughts, cleverly devised story when even apostasy. we announced to you the Christ himself was mocked mighty advent of Jesus Christ The Transfiguration by Raphael, Pinacoteca Vaticana, Vatican City and accused like the disciples our Lord, but we were eyewitIn the transfIguratIon, he antIcIpated who were about to flee Jerunesses of His power and greatsalem, where they feared what would happen on the easter VIgIl In ness. He received honor and worse. But when the night was glory from God the Father.” (2 the darkness of the tomb: “hIs face shone at its darkest, in the grave of Peter 1:16-17) lIke the sun, and hIs clothes became whIte God, who only seemed dead Our faith is based on reand written off by society, a as lIght,” matthew wrote (17:2) vealed truth, our Church is light shone that changed founded by the witnesses of His glory, and it calls us all everything. It is this light of truth that also gives us hope to become Cooperatores veritatis (“Co-workers of the and orientation at this time. Because as Christians we truth”) as Benedict XVI’s episcopal and papal motto is know that the dark night of Holy Saturday is followed by known to be. But that is exactly the message of the icon the bright light of Easter morning — and then the Easter of Holy Saturday and thus of Holy Saturday itself, whose jubilation fills the world. light it wrote. He himself recognized this when on May 2, 2010, in the face of this most glorious and mysterious * Dr. Michael Hesemann, 58, is a German historian, icon of Christianity, Benedict XVI stated: “This is the author of 45 books, mostly on Church history. He has mystery of Holy Saturday! Truly from there, from the been accredited to the Holy See Press Office since 1998 darkness of the death of the Son of God, the light of a new and has done research in the Vatican archives since hope gleamed: the light of the Resurrection. And it seems 2009. His discoveries on Pius XII’s activities in saving to me that, looking at this sacred Cloth through the eyes almost a million Jews from the Holocaust, subject of his of faith, one may perceive something of this light.” upcoming book The Pope and the Holocaust (Ignatius Press), and his study of the Armenian Genocide, have I used the image of the “time capsule” above. Here, attracted international attention. An expert on Christian too, the work of divine providence is evident. It is prerelics, including the Shroud of Turin, he accompanied cisely in our time of apostasy, perhaps the greatest crisis Pope Benedict XVI on his trips to Germany and the Holy of faith and forgetfulness of God in history, in which Land. In 2011 he wrote, with Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, the most people live as if God did not exist, that the high international bestseller My Brother, the Pope.m priests of their substitute religion, namely scientists, 32
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The spark is becoming a flame DEAR FRIENDS, In the past several years, the Praised be the Lord Jesus world has seen Christians, and Christ, who has brought us out all people, pitted against one of darkness into His Light! another – by the Covid panSometimes it looks as if the demic, controversy over vaccidarkness is still pressing in nations and bodily autonomy, around us, but the Light is, after and now a conflict between all, within us, and it is up to us Russia and Ukraine. Unitas is to shed that light into the surworking in Ukraine as well, to rounding world. This is why we bring relief to the victims of first conceived of our Unitas: war, a war Pope Francis himCome, Rebuild My Church iniself vocally opposes. Unitas is tiative and set it into motion last now planning a roundtable in year, and that is why we continAssisi, a forum in which reliue to expand its work in three gious and lay leaders can bring statue of the Shrine of Our Lady main areas of “Unity”: unity of The fresh insights to the quest for of Lebanon in Harissa, east of Beirut each soul with God; unity withpeace. in the Catholic Church; unity between Catholics and the Our work to bring the Light into the darkness is now more Orthodox, our brothers in faith and sacrament. important than ever. Our Unitas Centers, centers intended to foster unity As the great hermit saint of Lebanon, St. Charbel reminds between each soul and God, are coming into being through diaus: “Every person is a torch of light; our Lord created him to logue we are conducting with leaders in Assisi and the United illumine the world.” States. We intend them to be loci of worship, spiritual enrichIn Christ, ment and theological insight that welcome Catholics from all walks of life. We continue to pursue the cause of unity within our Editor, Inside the Vatican magazine Church, principally through covering key issues for all Founder and President, Urbi et Orbi Communications Catholics in our flagship publication, Inside the Vatican magazine, and through online discussions, videos and guest appearances on other platforms. One example: our release of “The Franco Tapes” grappled with important debates within TABLE of CONTENTS Catholicism; they are now available on our YouTube channel. Unitas Update………......................2 With regard to unity with the Orthodox, Lebanon has beReflection……………......................4 come a focus for us. It is a place where Catholics and Orthodox can walk together even as events in Ukraine and elseLebanon Report……........................5 where pull them apart. Unitas is working with our friends in People………………........................6 Lebanon, both Catholic and Orthodox, to help struggling Christians to thrive again, and remain in the land where Jesus Pilgrimages………….......................7 Himself once walked. Even Muslims and Christians can learn Digital Platforms……......................8 to respect one another if Lebanon becomes once again, in the words of John Paul II, “a message of peace.”
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Unitas Update: Striving for Unity in a Time of Division
t has been a busy year at in the Middle East and in UkUrbi et Orbi Communicaraine. tions, all the more so Our Unitas: Friends of Lebbecause we have been busy anon project has now been acimplementing the Year One tive for almost two years. Durobjectives of our flagship iniing this time, we have helped tiative: Unitas: Come Rebuild more than 100 Lebanese ChrisMy Church. Over the first half tian families with food boxes, of 2022, as part of the Unitas reached more than 1,300 stuinitiative, we have continued dents with scholarship aid, and our work in Lebanon, begun a recently provided water purinew project in Ukraine, and fiers to 50 families in Beirut. continued planning for our The postponement of Pope exclusive Unitas Signature Francis’ long-awaited visit to Event, which will be held on Lebanon will delay the focus of From left: Urbi et Orbi advisor Tony Assaf, His Beatitude Patriarch October 4, 2022 in the Washworld attention on this ancient Bechara Boutros al-Rahi, head of the Lebanese Maronite Catholic ington, D.C. area. Christian homeland, but UniChurch, Urbi et Orbi Executive Director Deborah Tomlinson, and Urbi In addition, we have been in et Orbi Founder and President Dr. Robert Moynihan, at a meeting in tas: Friends of Lebanon retalks to hold international con- Bkerké, Lebanon, on May 31, 2022. During the meeting, Dr. Moynihan mains committed to bringing presented the Patriarch with a dossier explaining the Unitas initiative ferences in Italy this summer, “short-term help” like food of Urbi et Orbi Communications, which the Patriarch is holding sponsored by and organized boxes and water filters, and through Unitas. These conferences will promote dialogue “long-term hope” by helping children return to school after and debate on a range of important topics, with the goal of pandemic and economic crisis. furthering Unity within the Catholic Church and Unity On April 29, 2022, our Unitas: Friends of Lebanon group between Catholics and Orthodox. had its second videoconference of the year (the first was held Meanwhile, our print and digital media have continued to on February 25). These meetings take place bi-monthly, on present crucial discussions and testimonies of faith by leadthe last Friday of the month, and are open to all who wish to ing Catholic writers, as well as interviews with leading figbecome “Friends of Lebanon.” ures – both clergy and laypeople – within the Church, in an During the meeting, we were delighted to receive confireffort to foster the Unity of each soul with God. mation that 50 water purifiers have arrived in Lebanon and These three pillars of our work have been our focus will be distributed to needy families by our partners in since the launch of Unitas: Come Rebuild My Church last Beirut. October, in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley (covered in our Clean drinking water can be difficult to come by these Winter 2022 Communiqué, included in the January-Februdays in Beirut, as industrial water purification systems are ary 2022 issue of Inside the Vatican). often turned off during power outages. The purifiers we gave Beirut families are extremely easy UNITAS PROJECTS IN LEBANON AND UKRAINE… to operate: after adding table salt to water, each device can Two projects of Unitas have taken on an increased produce enough chlorine to disinfect up to 20 liters of water urgency over the past several months. Through our Unitas: at a time, in line with CDC Safe Water System requirements. Friends of Lebanon project and our Unitas: Friends of Each device has a lifetime capacity of 124,000 liters, with Ukraine and Russia project, we have continued in our efforts no replacement parts needed. These water purifiers will to reach out to our struggling brothers and sisters in Christ make a real difference in the lives of hundreds, and we thank
JOIN US! BRING SHORT-TERM HELP — AND LONG-TERM HOPE — TO LEBANESE CHRISTIANS Visit https://urbietorbicommunications.com/unity-with-the-orthodox/friends-of-lebanon/ or email us at USoffice@Inside the Vatican.com or call +1.202.536.4555 2
clothing, living in bomb-ravaged buildings. Many have managed to leave the country to become refugees in other lands; but many more cannot. These include families with young children, the elderly, children and adults with Down Syndrome… Many who become invisible in “the fog of war” and UNITAS ON TELEVISION yet need the most help. Unitas: Friends of Lebanon was also Jesus said, “As often as you have recently mentioned on a television proAssaf, who has been one of the partners done it to the least of My brothers, you gram in Lebanon: the “Mariam TV Georges of our Unitas: Friends of Lebanon initiative for Lebanon” recently interviewed Aya nearly two years, appeared on Lebanese channel have done it to Me.” We cannot let these most vulnerable Naimeh and Georges Assaf about their “Mariam TV” to discuss his work with Lebanese youth people — all of them God’s children, work supporting Lebanese youth. but most of them also our Christian brothers and sisters — Aya and Georges have been working with Unitas: be left without help, and without hope. Friends of Lebanon for almost two years now. It is in large Sergii and the people that he works with are not a largepart thanks to their expertise and tireless labor that we have scale NGO; they are Ukrainian neighbors helping neighbeen able to implement various projects, including food bors. With their assistance, we can bring hope in the midst boxes and scholarships, on the ground in Beirut. of suffering. Through our partnership with Georges and Aya, Unitas: Friends of Lebanon has been able to reach 1,385 students …AND EVENTS IN ITALY AND WASHINGTON, D.C. across Lebanon, providing funding for scholarships to help Over the past several months, we have been seeking a keep them in school during this difficult time. way to continue our work for unity in We’ll continue to work with them the Church, in the face of a war in as they and others build the country’s “WRITER’S CHAT” FEATURES Europe that threatens to divide the future. MARY STANFORD, AUTHOR, Orthodox world and sever many links COLLEGE PROFESSOR BRINGING HELP AND HOPE TO between Orthodox and Catholics. We AND MOTHER OF SEVEN UKRAINE are now organizing an event which ary Ellen Stanford’s soon-to-beIn addition to our work in Lebwill bring together Catholic and Orreleased new book, The Obedience anon, we have recently begun a prothodox representatives, to be held Paradox: Finding True Freedom in Marject to aid people affected by the war later this summer in Italy. More inforriage, is the fruit of both scholarship and in Ukraine — Unitas: Friends of mation about this event will be comexperience: she is an adjunct professor at Ukraine and Russia. ing soon in Inside the Vatican magaChristendom College with a Master’s Unitas: Friends of Ukraine and zine and on the Urbi et Orbi website. degree in Theology from the John Paul II Russia is using donations from people Finally, please mark your calenInstitute for Studies on Marriage and the Family, and she is a wife and mother of like you to enable native Ukrainians, dars for our yearly Unitas Signature seven. led by our good friend Sergii Bortnik, Event, which will be held October 4 in She will join Inside the Vatican’s online of the Kyiv Seminary of the UkrainWashington, D.C. Last year’s Unitas “Writer’s Chat” on August 12 to discuss her ian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriretreat (see Winter 2022 Commuarticle on Edith Stein in the July-August archate), to bring direct financial help niqué), was a unique experience, 2022 issue of Inside the Vatican, and the to hungry families, the elderly and filled with profound personal encoun20th-century saint’s thought on recognizhandicapped, the displaced and forters and spiritual reflection, and this ing and developing Woman’s unique gifts — what Pope John Paul II would later call gotten. year’s event at Washington’s breath“the feminine genius” — in an era of mass In the midst of a full-scale war ragtaking Franciscan Monastery of the confusion, even among Catholics. See page ing around them, countless UkrainiHoly Land promises another fruitful 47 for more information. ans are struggling to care for their experience. We hope to see you families, scavenging for food and there!l all those who made their safe arrival possible. We are especially grateful for the support of the charitable organization “Make Water Safe for the World,” which donated the water purifiers to Unitas: Friends of Lebanon. Thank you!
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“The glory of God is man alive” St. IrenaeuS, the ChuRCh’s “DoCtoR of unity” n BY ROBERT MOYNIHAN
t. Irenaeus of Lyon, one of the great bishops and theologians of the early Church, was declared a Doctor of the Church and given the specific title of “Doctor of Unity” (“Doctor Unitatis”) by Pope Francis on January 21 of this year. “May the doctrine of such a great Master encourage more and more the path of all the Lord’s disciples towards full communion,” Francis wrote in the decree proclaiming him a Doctor of the Church. Though his exact birth date is unknown, Irenaeus was born of Greek parents in Asia Minor. According to his own writings, he, as a child, heard and saw St. Polycarp, the last known living connection with the Apostles, in Smyrna, before that aged Christian was martyred in 155. Eusebius of Caesarea also notes that, after persecutions in Gaul in 177, Irenaeus succeeded the martyred Pothinus as bishop of Lugdunum. According to Eusebius, who wrote a history of the Church in the 4th century, Irenaeus, prior to his becoming bishop, had served as a missionary to southern Gaul and as a peacemaker among the churches of Asia Minor that had been disturbed by heresy. Historical sources testify to a close cultural connection between Asia Minor and southern France (the Rhône valley) during the 2nd century. According to tradition, St. John the Apostle, as a very old man who had “seen the Lord” (i.e., Jesus), lived at Ephesus in the days when Polycarp was young. Thus, there were three generations between Jesus of Nazareth and Irenaeus of southern France. This era was a time of expansion and inner tensions in the Church. In many cases, Irenaeus acted as mediator between factions. The Churches of Asia Minor continued to celebrate Easter on the same date (the 14th of Nisan) as the Jews celebrated Passover, whereas the Roman Church maintained that Easter should always be celebrated on a Sunday (the day of the Resurrection of Christ). Mediating between the parties, Irenaeus stated that differences in 4
external factors, such as dates of festivals, need not be so serious as to destroy Church unity. In the course of his work as the second bishop of Lyon, he came up against heretical doctrines and movements that insisted that the material world was evil. He rebutted these Gnostic errors in his lengthy book Against Heresies, which is still studied today for its historical value and theological insights. A shorter work, the Proof of the Apostolic Preaching, contains Irenaeus’ presentation of the Gospel with a focus on Jesus Christ’s fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. St. Irenaeus is perhaps best known for an oft-cited phrase which is in just a few words a kind of synthesis of Christian theological and anthropological thinking: “The glory of God is man alive, but the life of man is the vision of God.” The very existence of a universe in which there are persons, capable of love and of choice, beings who, living fully, are able in their free will to choose the right and the good and the just, are able to sacrifice themselves for others in selfless love, to be faithful, and to set out on the path toward holiness, toward full communion with the holy, with the divine — all this, and just this, reveals God’s glory, is God’s glory. And then St. Irenaeus adds: “But the life of man is the vision of God.” And with this phrase, Irenaeus’ thought folds back upon itself, deepens, intensifies, for what makes man into “the glory of God” — what makes man alive, what gives life to men and women — is “the vision of God.” Seeing God. Seeing the holiness, eternity, lovingkindness, justice and mercy of God, and in seeing it, comprehending it, grasping it, being inspired by it… and entering into it ourselves. So, for Irenaeus, man receives his true life from God by seeing God, and living fully in Him; he becomes, marvelously, “the glory of God.”l
Lebanon: 2,000 years of religious faith, now facing hunger and famine With a promised papaL visit in the offing, young Lebanese are struggLing to buiLd “a better Lebanon” n BY CHRISTOPHER HART-MOYNIHAN, DIRECTOR OF FRIENDS OF LEBANON
ebanon is a country where “In Lebanon, the message must the Church has thrived since be the global famine,” one “Friend the days of the first apostles. of Lebanon” in our bi-monthly It is known from the New Testavideoconference, held on April 29, ment that during His life Jesus told us. “Lebanon [and other Midpreached at Tyre and Sidon, two dle Eastern countries] get 60% of ancient cities located in moderntheir food supplies from Ukraine day Lebanon, and many also beand Eastern Europe. [The food lieve that his first miracle, turning shortages] will affect 60% of the water into wine at the wedding at population in the Middle East and Cana, took place in the village North Africa.” A view of the Melkite Greek Catholic Basilica of St. Paul in today called Qana, in southern We began supporting Lebanese Harissa, north of Beirut, Lebanon Lebanon. Christian communities with food Lebanon is also a country where the multiplicity within boxes in 2021, and Unitas: Friends of Lebanon has brought the Christian faith is on full display: in a population of “short-term help” to more than 100 needy families in Beirut around 2 million Christians, there are substantial communisince the 2020 port explosion, in the form of food boxes conties of Maronite Catholics, Greek Catholics, Greek Orthotaining pasta, oil, salt, rice, lentils and beans. We are comdox, Oriental Orthodox (including Syriacs, Armenians, and mitted to monitoring the situation on the ground in Beirut to Copts), Church of the East (Assyrians), and Protestants. see how we can combat hunger and malnutrition if the food One recent article in L’Osservatore Romano quotes Siscrisis deepens, and to make sure these people continue to ter Jocelyne Chahwane, an “intrepid and restless” member receive the support they need. of the Congregation of the Maronite Sisters of the Holy A few of the “Friends of Lebanon” in our videoconferFamily living in the village of Fatka, 30 kilometers north of ence also shared their views on the Pope’s promised visit to Beirut: “All our neighbors are Muslim countries; here, howthe country: ever, traditionally, there is a diversity of rites: the Maronites, “The Holy Father should highlight regions in Lebanon the Orthodox. However, these Christians are those who sufthat are functioning, that have the rule of law. Then have a fer the most; the Shiite Muslims have help from Iran, the global conference for Lebanon. It’s not about money. It’s Sunnis from Saudi Arabia. What about the Christians? Yet about an education for solidarity. We want to do fasting in Pope Francis, praying for us, said we are the last bastion of solidarity with Lebanon. And send the food to Lebanon.” Christianity in the Middle East. Today, the big question is: All of us in the call agreed that we would make an effort will Lebanon remain a Christian country or not?” to fast every week, on Thursday, in solidarity with Lebanon. Through our Unitas: Friends of Lebanon initiative, we The meeting ended with inspiring words from Aya will be leading a pilgrimage to Lebanon in October of this Naimeh, our friend and colleague, on the personal sacrifices year, to talk with people like Sister Jocelyne and visit places she has made to stay in Lebanon, working for a brighter like Fatka, where, because of the collapse of tourism and the future: economy, “nobody comes anymore,” in order to bring a sim“Even my husband is not [with me] in Lebanon because ple message: that they are not alone. (More information we need [financial] support. I want to be here. I want to fight about this pilgrimage can be found on page 7 of this Comthe fight here. There will be a better Lebanon, through us. muniqué.) Not through anybody else.” In addition to a years-long economic crisis that has Please consider becoming a “Friend of Lebanon,” and spurred massive emigration by Lebanon’s Christian help us to bring “short-term help” and “long-term hope” community, Lebanon may now be facing an even graver to the land where Jesus Christ walked and performed situation. miracles.l 5
Our Most Valuable Asset Sergii Bortnik
he process of seeking peace, travel plans had been upended by reconciliation and unity multiple flight delays. We spent an between Churches is fraught entire afternoon with his family, eatwith historical grievances and rivaling fruits and vegetables from his ries, as well as seemingly insurgarden and speaking with his sister, mountable present challenges. For who has a child with Down synthose working in the area of Ecudrome and is active in the Down menical or “Inter-Church” Relations, syndrome community in Ukraine. both a calm personal disposition and Since our introduction to Sergii, a solid theological grounding are we have met several more times and essential in order to deal with differhelped facilitate a visit to Rome ences in a spirit of faith, joy, and hope. where he met several Vatican offiSergii Bortnik is one man who is idecials working in ecumenical relaSergii Bortnik in Ukraine. Below, Sergii with Dr. Robert ally equipped for this work. Now he Moynihan during a visit to Ukraine in 2017, five years ago tions. He now is working for the has put his diplomatic skills to use Kyiv Seminary of the Ukrainian helping his own local community in Orthodox Church (Moscow PatriarUkraine as our partner on the ground chate). with Unitas: Friends of Ukraine and As the conflict in Ukraine intenRussia. sified during the first half of 2022, We first met Sergii in July 2017, we were in contact with Sergii and when he picked us up in Boryspil several other individuals living in airport in Kyiv as we were beginand around Kyiv as we sought to ning our Urbi et Orbi Pilgrimage to discern the way in which we could Ukraine, Russia, and Italy. Over best support those who were most several days spent in and around affected by the conflict. Sergii sugKyiv, Sergii was an incredible host gested that we assist with work that and guide, organizing our stay in the he had begun with friends and colPecherskaya Lavra (the spiritual leagues at the Kyiv Seminary. center of Orthodoxy in Ukraine) Through our direct connection and visits with officials in the with Sergii, we were recently able to Ukrainian Orthodox Church. As we send financial support for elderly got to know Sergii, we came to people and families with children in appreciate his down-to-earth perthe town of Boryspil, south of Kyiv, sonality, as well as his diplomatic acumen (he worked for who have been displaced or otherwise affected by the war. many years in the office of Ecumenical Relations for the In addition, these funds have gone to support a bakery that UOC, during which he spent time living in Germany, and employs individuals with Down syndrome in the area. he speaks four languages: Russian, Ukrainian, English, and We are looking forward to continuing our collaboration German). with Sergii, and helping to bring hope to the “least of our On the day of our departure, Sergii even invited us to his brothers and sisters” in Ukraine through Unitas: Friends of family’s “dacha” in the Ukrainian countryside after our Ukraine and Russia.l
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Land of Cedars, Land of Faith Lebanon, the meeting point oF east and West, hoLds an anCient heritage oF Faith and a naturaL beauty CeLebrated sinCe oLd testament times
The Church of the Sacred Heart in Bcharre, northern Lebanon. Bcharre is located near the Holy Valley of Kadishah, where the Cedars of Lebanon mentioned in the Bible still grow today
nside the Vatican Pilgrimages wants to introduce you to an incredibly beautiful, historic land of faith: Lebanon. We have been working with friends in Lebanon for some time, bringing supplies to areas of the capital city, Beirut, which were destroyed by last year’s blast… but the nation of Lebanon is a lovely land, rich with spiritual and historical significance, and we are excited to be able to show you firsthand this land of spreading cedars, ancient rock faces and fertile valleys. Beginning in Beirut, the meeting-point of East and West, and continuing on to Bkerké, site of the episcopal see of the Maronite Catholic Patriarchate of Antioch, we will meet with leaders of the Maronite Catholic Church and other Christian churches in Lebanon. Then we’ll visit the breathtaking Kadisha Valley in the north of Lebanon (“Qadisha” means “holy” in Aramaic), the site of some of the oldest Christian monastic communities in the world, which are still active today. The Kadisha Valley has been continuously inhabited since the 4th century B.C. In the early centuries of Christianity, monks and hermits chose to live in its many caves and secluded natural grottoes — to be alone with God and seek His face. The monastic tradition of the Kadisha Valley continues today, in the midst of the fresh odor of pines and
cedars, in the quiet where sometimes the only sound is the running water of the nearby river. Here you can visit the many cave chapels, and light a candle under their overhanging rock ceilings, or climb a series of carved stone steps to a shrine – it might be a shrine to St. Maron or St. Charbel — built high up into a steep rock face. Our visit to northern Lebanon may also include a chance to visit the Forest of the Cedars of God, the site of the “Cedars of Lebanon” mentioned 103 times in the Bible, which were used by King Solomon to build the Temple in Jerusalem. But beyond the incredible natural beauty of the country, we will experience Lebanon’s ancient heritage of faith. The Gospel mentions that Jesus Himself was in Cana for a wedding — the town today called “Qana” in southern Lebanon, across the Israeli border. Many saints, like St. Maron and St. Charbel, impressed their form of desert spirituality on Lebanese Christianity over the centuries. In the 20th century, the Catholic French left their mark on Lebanon during their administration of the country after the Partition of the Ottoman Empire in 1920, instituting religious houses, schools and hospitals. We’ll meet some of the people who carry on their work today. We’ll explore all this and more during Inside the Vatican’s pilgrimage to Lebanon, coming later in 2022.l 7
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irtual pilgrimages, roundtable discussions, Vatican news and commentary and spiritual reflection are all just a click away with Urbi et Orbi Communications’ digital platforms on the internet. • Virtually anyone, anywhere can access our three websites — UrbietOrbiCommunications.com; InsidetheVatican.com; and InsidetheVaticanPilgrimages.com. They each have a different focus but all three are chock-full of opportunities for you to grow in your faith, your knowledge, and your experience of the Church’s great pilgrimage destinations, its saints and its scholars and its present-day mission. • Inside the Vatican Pilgrimages has recently begun to showcase testimonials from pilgrims who have traveled with us on our Instagram channel: @insidethevaticanpilgrimages. If you are interested in going on pilgrimage with us this fall (Fall 2022), whether to visit five Marian shrines in Wisconsin or to travel to Lebanon with Unitas: Friends of Lebanon, this channel is your place to discover more information and begin planning your trip! You can also follow Urbi et Orbi Communications, Inside the Vatican magazine, and Robert Moynihan on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. • Our YouTube channel: Urbi et Orbi Communications is the home of ITV Voices:
short highlights of past interviews and Writers’ Chats, which are carefully selected and condensed to fit in with your busy schedule. Watch selections from Dr. Robert Moynihan’s interviews of Dr. Anthony Esolen, as well as from the dramatic Viganò Tapes, and subscribe to the channel to keep up with all that is going on in the Church. • Receive Inside the Vatican founder and editor-in-chief Robert Moynihan’s widely-read and highly-respected email bulletin, The Moynihan Letters, as well as the monthly Lebanon Report, focusing on our initiatives for bringing peace and unity to Lebanon through our Unitas: Friends of Lebanon project. Visit InsidetheVatican.com to subscribe. • Every Friday, we highlight a different article from the latest edition of Inside the Vatican magazine across all of our platforms (Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter). Follow @insidethevaticanmagazine to see the latest article and then subscribe to our digital magazine to receive Inside the Vatican on your digital device. Past issues of Inside the Vatican magazine are also available to subscribers in digital form online. Visit Issuu.com/InsidetheVaticanMagazine. We all belong to the visible Body of Christ on earth, the Catholic Church, and Urbi et Orbi Communications is committed to keeping us all connected!l
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new carmeliTe sainT Fr. TiTus Brandsma, ouTspoken criTic oF nazism, was killed By a leThal injecTion — and he converTed The nurse who adminisTered iT n BY ANDREW RABEL
In the round photo at upper left, Titus Brandsma, a Dutch Carmelite, journalist and manager of the Catholic press at the time of the Nazi occupation, canonized at St. Peter's during the ceremony on May 15, presided over by Pope Francis. (Grzegorz Galazka photo) Opposite page, Brandsma in the study of the Doddendaal Monastery which he founded in 1930. Bottom, with fellows of the Catholic Journalists Association in the Netherlands.
n May 15, 2022, Pope Francis conducted 10 canonizations in Rome, in the presence of 50,000 persons. Several of these had been postponed because of the Covid outbreak in Italy. Pope Francis said, “It is good to see that, through their evangelical witness, these Saints have fostered the spiritual and social growth of their respective nations and also of the entire human family.” One of these was Dutch Carmelite friar, Fr. Titus Brandsma O.Carm., who was killed by a lethal injection in Dachau concentration camp during World War II. Anno Sjoerd Brandsma was born in Friesland in the north of the Netherlands on February 23, 1881. His family were dairy farmers. They were part of the small Catholic minority in the region. The family spoke Frisian rather than Dutch, and they were markedly religious in that five of the six Brandsma children pursued religious vocations. At the age of 11, Anno went to Franciscan minor seminary in the more Catholic South, following which he joined the Carmelite Order. Following ordination to the priesthood, he pursued further studies in philosophy at the Gregorian University in Rome, gaining a doctorate. He returned to the Netherlands to teach philosophy and do research and write. He translated the works of St. Teresa of Avila into Dutch and worked on 42
INSIDE THE VATICAN JULY-AUGUST 2022
the medieval Dutch and Flemish mystics. From 1922, he was professor of philosophy and mystical theology in the new Catholic University of Nijmegen. He was active in the Catholic press. In 1935, he came to Ireland to study English in preparation for a lecture tour of the US, and he spent time in Kinsale in County Cork and at the Carmelite church on Whitefriars St. in Dublin, the capital — home to the shrine of Our Lady of Dublin and the relics of St. Valentine. In the US, visiting Niagara Falls, one of the seven wonders of the world, he commented, “I not only see the riches of the nature of the water, its immeasurable potentiality; I see God working in the work of His hands and the manifestation of His love.” In that same year, he became secretary of the Catholic Journalists’ Association in the Netherlands. He was watching events in Germany at the time with horror as he opposed Nazism on ideological grounds. In 1940, the Netherlands was overrun by the Wehrmacht in five days. The Dutch bishops took a robust anti-Nazi stance, excommunicating Catholics who joined the Dutch Nazi NSB. Fr. Brandsma acted as a point man between the Archbishop of Utrecht, Johannes de Jong (later a Cardinal) and the Catholic press. He was very firm that Catholic editors not publish Nazi propaganda.
The Reichskommisar, Dr Arthur Syess-Inquart, described Fr. Brandsma as a very dangerous man. He was arrested in early 1942 and spent time in various Dutch and German prisons before going to Dachau in June, often referred to as “the priest cemetery.” In his imprisonment, he was known for showing Christian charity even to the most brutal SS guards and the Kapos, with some effect. His health was never good and it was clear he wouldn’t last long in Dachau; while he was there, he was the victim of some medical experiments. After a month, the doctors ordered his death by lethal injection on July 26, 1942. He had already made an impression on the nurse who had to carry this out, and she soon returned to the faith and testified to his sanctity. In 1957, the nurse, known pseudonymously as “Tizia,” testified: “I bear witness because of personal knowledge. I was in Dachau from April till October, 1942. There I got to know Fr. Titus a week before his death. I was a nurse in the infirmary of the concentration camp at Dachau. I visited him twice a day. Fourteen or 15 times I spoke with him briefly, about 10 minutes each time. “When I was 16 years old I went to Berlin as a nurse for the Red Cross. There we had to swear an oath that we viewed Hitler as our god and we had to confirm that we would never go to church. The church and all else was only deceit. The Jews would have to be completely exterminated. That was the start of our training. I was too young to understand the consequences of all this. “He (Titus) would have to die, irrespective of the fact that he would have arrived from Holland in good health, because they had a great deal of hatred towards distinguished clergy. When he arrived at the infirmary, he was already a candidate for death. That stems from the fact that the doctor had pointed him out as one of those who, after a certain period of time, would be administered the ‘MercyInjection.’ I sensed immediately that he felt very sorry for me. He was very gentle because he was aware that we, the doctor and I, had life and death at our disposal. “A great majority of the ill prisoners were only concerned about themselves and only thought about themselves, but Titus was always in a good frame of mind and was a support for everyone and, in a special way, for me.” Once, Fr. Brandsma gave her a wooden rosary, even though she was an atheist who openly “despised priests.” Not knowing what to do with the object, she kept it in her apron pocket. On the day when she injected Brandsma with
the liquid that would end his life, she felt nervous and irritated. Some time later, she was moved when she found that rosary again. In her testimony, Tizia attributes to Fr. Brandsma her abandonment of the Nazi ideology and her conversion to the Catholic faith. John Paul II beatified Fr. Brandsma on November 3, 1985, after a decree of martyrdom. A miracle is not necessary in this instance. In his homily the Polish Pope (who had lived during the Nazi occupation of Europe) spoke about how the Dutch priest had never lost a sense of hope. He said, “It accompanied him even in the hell of the Nazi camp. Until the end, he remained a source of support and hope for the other prisoners: he had a smile for everyone, a word of understanding, a gesture of kindness.” The canonization miracle was approved for Fr. Michael Driscoll O.Carm., of St. Jude Parish in Boca Raton, Florida, who was diagnosed with advanced melanoma in 2004. He underwent major surgery, with doctors removing 84 lymph nodes and a salivary gland. He then went through 35 days of radiation treatment. Doctors said that his subsequent recovery from Stage 4 cancer was scientifically inexplicable. Fr. Driscoll recalled that his doctor told him: “No need to come back, don’t waste your money on airfare in coming back here. You’re cured. I don’t find any more cancer in you.” According to Michael O’Neill, the “Miracle Hunter,” this is one of approximately 30 miracles that have been approved by the Holy See in the causes of saints, that have happened in the United States. Two of the doctors involved in the case that have testified to his cure being miraculous are Dr. Anthony Dardano, Sr. (associate dean of Florida Atlantic University’s medical school and a parishioner of St. Jude’s), and his son Dr. Anthony Dardano, Jr., a plastic surgeon, who treated Fr. Driscoll for a skin graft. St. Titus Brandsma now joins St. Maximilian Kolbe, OFM Conv., and St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, OCD, (St. Edith Stein), as the canonized saints martyred during the Nazi Holocaust. According to Peadar Laighleis of the Irish publication The Brandsma Review (named after our saint), this is in addition to 147 Blesseds who perished during the Nazi persecution, and several hundred causes of saints being investigated in those years. May their powerful witness never be forgotten, as John Paul II said in Fatima in 2000, when he said the Church should “rewrite the martyrologies.” St. Titus Brandsma’s feast day is now on July 27.m JULY-AUGUST 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN
FOOTSTEPS On ThE WAY
celebrAting the resurrection Among the sAints A unique eAster pilgrimAge incorporAtes prAyerful prepArAtion before the feAst n BY ITV STAFF The Upper Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, Italy, and the map of the places visited in our Easter 2023 pilgrimage
he Catholic Church designates the entire week before Easter as a “Holy Week.” It is a time to prepare our hearts for the remembrance of Christ’s supreme sacrifice for our salvation, and for the great feast that follows — the Feast of the Resurrection of the Lord. Unfortunately, most Christians, unavoidably caught up in the hustle and bustle of modern life, find it difficult to spend this “holy week” in spiritual preparation: in silence, in contemplation. The Triduum — those three days and nights in the liturgical life of the Church in which she “re-enacts” the Last Supper, the passion of Jesus, His silent repose in the tomb and then His glorious resurrection — arrives on Thursday evening, during the busy work week. Before we know it, Easter Sunday morning dawns — and we have hardly been able to stop and prepare ourselves for it. But Easter of 2023 can be different. Inside the Vatican Pilgrimages’ Easter in Italy pilgrimage begins almost a week before Easter, in the Umbrian towns of Assisi and then in Norcia, with ample opportunity for silence, prayer and preparation for the coming Triduum. Assisi, the city of St. Francis, in the Umbrian hills near the very center of Italy, is one of the loveliest, most peaceful cities in the world. The very light and air of the city seem filled with the presence of the spirits of St. Francis and his friend, St. Clare. Pilgrims will spend three nights here, immersed in the readings of the Easter Vigil Mass; the Franciscan friars will hear confessions, and Mass will be offered next to the tomb of St. Francis himself. On Holy Thursday, we will travel to Norcia, the birthplace of St. Benedict in 480 A.D. Tucked under sparkling white, snow-capped mountains in the center of Italy, it appears much as it has for hundreds of years. Here we will begin the Easter Triduum with the Benedictine monks of Norcia, many of whom are Americans (they have re-launched the historic Benedictine presence in Norcia, and use the ancient Latin liturgy in their
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daily round of prayer). After a devastating earthquake in October of 2016 which destroyed their centuries-old basilica, the monks simply began again: they moved outside the city and built a new mountainside monastery and chapel. We will spend Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the morning of Holy Saturday in their new chapel overlooking the town. Norcia honors Good Friday with a very poignant procession of live Stations of the Cross, which takes place after dark. The next morning, during the “silence” of Holy Saturday, Father Cassian, the prior emeritus of the Benedictines in Norcia, will share a spiritual reflection. After, we drive down to Rome for the joyous celebration of Easter at the Vatican. We will attend both the dramatic Easter Vigil Mass and the glorious Easter Sunday Mass on Easter morning, both celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica. These liturgies, celebrating the triumph of Christ over sin and death, are among the most splendid and joyous in the Church’s calendar. The Italians continue to celebrate Easter Monday (it’s a national holiday: la Pasquetta — “Little Easter”) and so shall we continue to celebrate, by traveling about two hours to the tiny town of Manoppello, Italy (population 157!) in the rugged Abruzzo region. There, we will visit the Shrine of the Holy Face, and its mysterious cloth bearing the image of a man’s wounded face, an image some believe is the actual face of Christ, formed at the moment of his Resurrection. That same day, we’ll travel to Lanciano, to see the famous Eucharistic Miracle that occurred in the 8th century and remains enshrined there for all to see. During the final two days of our pilgrimage in Rome, Dr. Robert Moynihan, the founder and editor of Inside the Vatican magazine, will introduce pilgrims to a number of friends, from Vatican officials to long-time observers of Vatican affairs. They will recount some little-known anecdotes, and weave for us a fascinating narrative surrounding some of the most important Vatican events of the last few years.m
Sick & Tired of
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you believe in, or how you behave, so long as you’re <compassionate= and try not to hurt anyone. That’s not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and you know it! Today’s faithful Catholics long for a religious witness that’s bold and articulate, one that doesn’t bow down before passing fads or backtrack when vigorously challenged. That’s where the New Oxford Review comes in. We aren’t a mouthpiece for ideologues with dubious agendas or ecclesiastics with weak stomachs, so we don’t have to downplay the <hard= teachings of Christ and His Church. We know why we’re Catholic, and we aren’t afraid to tell skeptics and scaredycats all about it. Our editorial freedom allows us to tell it like it is. We aren’t required to turn a blind eye to scandals or troublemakers in the House of the Lord. And we don’t give a free pass to anyone — not even popes or prelates. Instead, we address all the challenges facing the Church today, both internal and external, while articulating the full splendor of the faith. No wonder Inside the Vatican has called us <provocative=; National Catholic Register has called us <feisty and gutsy=; and Karl Keating, founder of Catholic Answers, has said we’ve got <attitude.= If you’re frustrated by the wishy-washiness, lack of clarity, subtle syncretism, and downright dissent that’s crept into the Catholic Church, if you’re searching for a <face= of Catholicism that’s spiritually vibrant, socially concerned, unapologetically pro-life, and doctrinally orthodox, subscribe today! (Please allow 2 to 8 weeks for delivery of 昀rst issue.)
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SaintS for todaY
sT. ediTh sTein: undersTandinG The feminine This converTed Jewish inTellecTual and aTheisT arTiculaTed The TruTh of God’s desiGn for woman n BY MARY ELLEN STANFORD
dith Stein (1891-1942), A person is a union of the once the brilliant student of physical and spiritual; as such, a the philosopher Edmund woman’s physical capacities to Husserl, is now revered by accommodate and sustain anothCatholics as St. Teresa Benedicer person only scratch the surta of the Cross. A German Jew face of her interior abilities to and atheist who converted to nurture others beyond herself. Catholicism during the era of Stein noted that women posHitler’s rise to power, Stein sess a unique capacity for intufound herself writing and lecturition, empathy, and adaptability; ing for years on the nature and she identified what John Paul II education of women before would later refer to as “the femientering the Carmel of Cologne nine genius”: a singular ability to in October 1931, and taking on pay attention to another person. her new name. Though hunted Oriented by design to the condown and killed by the Nazis a crete, living “whole” rather than St. Edith StEin idEntifiEd decade later, Stein has left the the abstract “part,” a woman is what P oPE J ohn P aul ii latEr Church an enduring gift beyond naturally interested in the multithat of her heroic witness in faceted details of the persons callEd “thE fEmininE gEniuS” death: an inspiring legacy of around her. (Modern neurosciwisdom for women sorely needed in our world today. entists have recently confirmed what Stein addressed a In a time when USA Today’s “Woman of the Year” and century ago: that women have better memories of perthe NCAA’s top women’s swimming title are awarded to sonal events and are more proficient at multitasking!). biological males, it has become a dangerous thing to ask Symbolized by her womb — a physical “space” — a “what is a woman?” woman’s spirit was described by Stein as “shelter in Our nation’s newest Supreme Court justice attempted which other souls may unfold.” to dodge the question by claiming ignorance and referShe longs to nurture the potential in others, to foster ring the issue of womanhood to biologists. How ironic their organic development through her relationships with that Edith Stein would probably agree! them; as such, a woman tends to draw satisfaction and a Stein understood our biological design — our bodies sense of self-worth in and through those very relation— to be revelatory signs of our natures as persons. ships. In the tradition of St. Thomas Aquinas, who described So, what could go wrong? the soul as the “form” of the body, Stein saw the female Unfortunately, a woman is often tripped up by the body’s particular shape to be an expression of interior, very gifts that distinguish her. Her personal orientation spiritual powers within her. can become warped as she is hurt by taking things “too 46 INSIDE THE VATICAN JULY-AUGUST 2022
personally.” Her ability to recognize potential in others inclines her at times to see things that simply “aren’t there,” allowing herself to be wounded by imagined offenses, or worse, to enter into relationships based on fantasy rather than reality. Her capacity for empathy can lead her to an unhealthy identification with others—it is no accident that women often fall prey to behaviors known as “social contagions” (formerly known in psychology as “hysterias,” referring specifically to the feminine) as the disproportionately high number of teenage girls suddenly questioning their gender currently attests. Perhaps the greatest danger for women lies in their desire to seek fulfillment in relationships; craving a personal bond at any cost, so many women find themselves willing to accept treatment contrary to their dignity just to experience a sense of connection. How are women today to fight these dangers? Edith Stein recognized the need for women to seek affirmation through relationships; she simply recommends that each woman cultivate a foundational relationship with Our Lord before all else. She called for women to work and to study to “ground” themselves in reality and mitigate the dangers of unhinged imagination. Perhaps most crucially, Stein invites women to channel their incredible powers of empathy.
Blessed with an inclination to make another’s concern “her own,” a woman is designed to “suffer with” those she loves. I was moved this Easter season when I watched the film The Passion; at the crucifixion, Mary of Nazareth is quite notably not “in hysterics” as other films depict her at this dramatic moment. She is not “reacting” emotionally and falling to pieces — but in fact is doing something more powerful; she is entering in, uniting herself with Our Lord, making His agony her own, and in doing so, assisting Him in bearing it. Mary’s composure in this moment does not reveal a lack of feeling, but rather a fullness. She is totally engaged! And it is her emotions which enable her to connect and support; they do not “disable” her and cause her to dissolve. The problems of our world today can only be borne with the tremendous strength exemplified by the heart of a mother.
* Mary Stanford received a Master’s degree from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. A homeschooling mother of seven, Mary also teaches the occasional theology course at Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia. She is the author of The Obedience Paradox: Finding True Freedom in Marriage, forthcoming in 2022 from Our Sunday Visitor.m
You’re Invited! Mary Ellen Stanford Friday, August 12 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Join us for LIVE “Writer’s Chat” conversations with some of the world’s most informed and insightful Catholic writers with questions from online participants Visit Inside|eVatican.com/WritersChat, to see our upcoming featured writers and schedule. Register to participate in our online ZOOM meeting and even submit your own question! We look forward to seeing you at our next Writer’s Chat!
JULY-AUGUST 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN
fear of lettinG Jesus ChanGe our lives now “You’re here before Your time,” saYs the world to Jesus. “Get lost, and take Your shabbY followers with You.” n BY ANTHONY ESOLEN A series of scenes depicting the Gospel story in which Jesus restores to sound mind a demon-possessed man. On the opposite page, the evil spirits are cast into a herd of swine who dive into the Sea of Galilee. The miniatures are taken from a late medieval illustrated manuscript, the Legendary Sforza-Savoia (Milan, 1476), now in the Royal Library in Turin, Italy
nd behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their neighborhood” (Mt. 8:34). A most mysterious verse, this. For the people had suffered much from the demoniacs Jesus had healed. You might think that the loss of a herd of swine, pitching themselves over the cliff into the sea when Jesus cast the demons into them, was a small price for the healing of two men, and the safety of that road along the shore, for the demoniacs were “so fierce, that no one could pass that way” (29). And what were these people doing, herding swine? For Jews, those beasts were themselves unclean, like the spirits that had possessed the men, and like the tombs where they dwelt, full of corruption and dead men’s bones. The pagan Roman overlords, I imagine, liked pork roast well enough, and perhaps that explains the work, or perhaps the people of that region were not strict observers of the Mosaic law. In any case, they ask Jesus to do just what the demons have asked. They ask him to get lost. Take then the words of the demons and imagine that people are saying
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them: “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” When the people of the city came out, they saw Jesus with one of the men whom he had healed. The man was no longer naked, and no longer to be driven into the desert by the demon —and here I turn to the account in Luke (8:26-39). He was sitting at Jesus’ feet. Why did the people not rejoice? Luke says that it was their fear. But what were they afraid of? The demons had gone down with the swine into the deep blue sea. The man — one of them, in any case — was “clothed and in his right mind.” The way was clear. What were they afraid of? The healing power of God? Is that something to fear? Of course it is. The fear here, Greek phobos, does not suggest mere nervousness or sweaty anticipation. It suggests dread and awe, as when we read in Proverbs that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (9:10). But the dread the people here experience does not lead them to fall down in worship and gratitude. They know, somehow, that to welcome Jesus into their midst would be like admitting the
presence of the divine into the light of their common day. And that is unendurable. They walk, as do all men, on the verge of a precipice, even as they shut their eyes and pretend that it is not so. One false step, and perdition — but they do not welcome him who would open their eyes to their peril. They dwell, as do all men, in tombs, that is, in a life that leads but to death and oblivion, playing with the common toys of mankind—gold, power, lust, fine clothing, wine, prestige, swine, dead men’s bones. They are naked, too, because the clothing they wear serves only to reveal how bare and shivering their souls are; the clothing is a disguise to hide them from others and from themselves. They throw rocks at each other and curse. Their hands are bloody, and they know not what they do. We imagine that if we saw the face of Jesus, and if he worked a miracle in our presence, we would be so struck with wonder that our lives would never be the same again. Ah, but that is the point. Our lives would never be the same again. It would mean a kind of death, and we are afraid to die, even if the way down into the valley of shadows, or the way up the bleak bald hill called Golgotha, leads to everlasting life. We are afraid to die. It is not the time, is it, for us to die? Must it be here, must it be now? Can we not go raging through the desert, naked and howling, one last frenzied time? Is there not a sick pleasure in self-torment, just as the demon-ridden man was “always crying out, and bruising himself with stones” (Mk. 5:5)? “Why have you come to trouble us?” we ask of Jesus. “Leave us alone. We are doing fine without you. Go away.” But there was one person who did not say that. It was one of the two men who had been healed. For “the man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with [Jesus]” (Lk. 8:38). We are not told about the other. And here Jesus does something mysterious. He tells him to go home and tell everyone about the great thing God has done for him.
If you want to read an excellent meditation upon what might well have happened then, go to Riccardo Bacchelli’s great novel, Lo Sguardo di Gesù — or The Gaze of Jesus, soon to appear in my English translation. Bacchelli assumes that the man’s family and townsmen would be about as eager to welcome him as the swineherds and the people of that region were. That is a perfectly reasonable thing to assume. If the people who saw the miracle that Jesus wrought begged him to leave them in peace — at least in such peace as the world can know, the usual restlessness of human business and sin, the tense peace of night and locked doors — what about the people who did not see the miracle? They might well eye the healed man with suspicion. Who knows when the demon might rush into him again, and the madness resume? They had gotten used to doing without the man. Why should they now have to change their ways? Let him get lost then, too, or at least keep quiet about the healing. If it is bad to have a brother who was possessed by a demon and who did unspeakable deeds of darkness, it is almost as bad to have him around again in health to remind everyone of it all. There is one last detail to the account that I wish to look at. When Jesus asks the demon its name, it replies, “My name is Legion; for we are many” (Mk. 5:9). That’s a Roman word, the Latin to name the greatest of the divisions of the Roman army. Suppose it is not an exaggeration. Imagine, then, a legion of devils infesting the soul of a man—devils of all sorts, with all kinds of evil inclinations. The sheer horror of it boggles the mind. And yet — what else is the battlefield of the human soul, or of every human society that has existed on the face of the earth? The legionnaires of hell are in their panoply, and they often have a fine time of it, resting on their laurels. “You’re here before your time,” says the world to Jesus. “Get lost, and take your shabby followers with you.” It is the great gift of God that he does not do what we beg him to do.m JULY-AUGUST 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN
Pragmatic Lovers of the Latin rite We aren’t rigid; We just Want something that works n BY JOHN BYRON KUHNER
esterday I was present at a well-attended Mass in North Carolina. The Mass had many virtues. The congregation was welcoming. The music was not exactly high art, but most of the people sang. Every pew was full except for one on an aisle which had no kneelers: since we were late, that was the one we had to use. We were glad to use it: it’s always nice to be in a full church. It was, in general, the picture of a thriving Novus Ordo parish. Except for the one glaring problem. “My goodness,” said Lynn, a grandmother who had adopted and was raising her grandchildren, “it’s so nice to see some other children here,” referring to my children. In the whole church there were three families with children, including my own; besides Lynn, there was a couple with a son who vanished after the service was over, so I did not get a chance to meet them. The parish had only one Sunday Mass, so I believe this was representative of the state of the parish. Almost everyone there was old. And there was, in general, a kind of “grandma” aesthetic to the place: the pews looked like my grandma’s furniture; the art looked like what would hang on my grandma’s walls; the music was thin, fragile stuff I associated with grandma. My grandma ate more graham crackers than anyone. This music was like that. Musical graham crackers.
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After Mass, I asked my daughter Eva if she liked this church. “No,” she said breezily. “Why?” I asked. “I don’t like the sounds here,” she replied. She’s four, and puts things in unexpected ways. “What do you mean?” I asked. “I like bells,” she replied. “There were no bells.” When I thought about it, I realized she was right: there had been no bells at the elevation of the host. I have four children, ages one through six, and they are all squirmy. I spend a great deal of time during Mass trying to keep them seated and quiet. But I have noticed an almost unaccountable thing: they are better behaved, and prefer, the Tridentine Mass. More than that: they are best behaved during, and prefer most of all, the silent canon of the Tridentine Mass, with its incense and bells. For the talky parts of the Mass — and the homilies most of all — they squirm and fidget and ask me how long it is until Mass is over. But during the consecration in the Latin Mass, they feel the intensity in the room, and they respond to it. They respond with silence and attention. And so we find ourselves going to the Tridentine Mass by preference, because our children prefer it — even when we get priests who give us 20-minute sermons that are like torture. The kids still do better with those Masses than with Novus Ordo Masses.
They have another reason for preferring Latin Masses. There are more children there. They want to be where the other kids are. When a church has no children, they make the determination that church is not for children. When there are children, they enjoy watching the other kids and looking for future friends and playmates. Though sometimes they make faces at the other kids and laugh and get silly, in general their behavior improves at these parishes. Nothing gives my children the capacity to sit quietly so much as the sight of other children sitting quietly. (Though sometimes I think it’s useful for them to see kids melting down too: they whisper to me things like “That boy’s being bad.” They make the determination that they don’t want to be like that.) After this Mass in North Carolina, I spoke with a couple who sometimes attended Latin Mass. “I actually don’t love Latin,” the husband told me. “I just prefer the Rite. I wish we could have the Tridentine Rite, but in English.” They went during the week. I said I was looking for one on a Sunday. “I think there’s one in the next town over,” he said. “At eleven or twelve. It’s not so easy to find out
because they’re not putting it in the bulletins anymore.” Pope Francis has painted his crusade to exterminate the Tridentine Mass as a battle against “rigidity.” Stuff like that makes me want to scream, then to laugh. Do I know rigid people who love the Latin Mass? Of course I do. Do I know rigid people who are atheists, Jews, Protestants, Muslims, and Novus Ordo Catholics? Yes, I know rigid people like that too. But there are also people like my children, who just like bells and want to be with other children. They’re not rigid: they’re squirmy, and need something intense that can focus their attention. There are people who like the old rituals, though they don’t love Latin. They’re not rigid about it; they just prefer the old rituals. There are also people like me, who are willing to go anywhere so long as I can instill in my children a love for Christ and His Church. There’s a group of us who are pragmatic lovers of the Latin Mass: we don’t have any ideological objections to the Novus Ordo. It just doesn’t seem to work, for my generation or my children’s generation. And for my children to remain Catholic, we need something that works now.m
JULY-AUGUST 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN
C AT H O L I C I S M A N D O R T H O D O X Y E D I T E D B Y: C H R I S T I N A D E A R D U R F F
The Message of the Icon
BY ROBERT WIESNER
THE MAN BORN BLIND
he Paschal season has long been the time for Christians to reflect on just how dramatically the world changed with the resurrection of Christ. On the first Sunday after Pascha is celebrated the conversion of St. Thomas from disbelief to ardent faith. The following week sees the myrrh-bearing women astounded by the empty tomb. Then we celebrate the healing of the paralyzed man, infirm for many years and without a friend to plunge him into the healing waters of Bethesda; with only a word, Christ rejuvenates his powerless muscles and bids him to take up his mat and walk. All these celebrations point to the fact that a nature worn by sin, death, and disease has been freshened and renewed by a power vastly superior to any destructive force whatsoever. By far the most dramatic of Christ’s healing miracles was the restoration of sight to the man born blind. In all His previous healings, there was at least something already existing as a starting point: a leper had skin, after all, which could be restored. The paralytic had musculature, however damaged it may have been. Loaves and fish actually were present in some amount to feed the five thousand. Even Lazarus at least had a body for Jesus to work with, even though it was a dead body. But the case of the man born blind was a unique situation: there actually were no eyes there to be restored; this man’s eyes had never developed in the womb at all! Interestingly, Jesus spits on the ground and mixes a bit of clay to place on the empty sockets, precisely the same procedure related in the second chapter of Genesis in forming Adam’s body. In other words, in this case, the creative Word of God again brought forth a new creation from nothingness!
There could be no clearer lesson that some new powerful force was active in a fallen world and creation itself was, to phrase it almost tautologically, recreated. There was an obvious new beginning to human history, the dawning of a new hope for the restoration of Paradise and a promise that damaged nature, even damaged human nature, could be restored to original innocence and bliss. Of course, there are other spiritual lessons to the story as well. The Kontakion for the feast reads, “Blinded in the eyes of my soul, I come to You, O Christ, like the man who was blind from birth, and I cry in repentance: You are the brilliant light of those in darkness.” There is even some direction given as to how enlightenment is to be achieved: the object of Christ’s compassion is directed to wash himself in the pool of Siloam; the clay on his face is then transformed into original matter, newly created eyes. The closing prayer for the Liturgy begs: “O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, joygiving Light of the eternal Father, You enlightened the man born blind by forming clay to spread on his eyes and commanding him to wash. Cleanse us of our sins by the washing of regeneration…” The opening verses of Genesis tell us of the Spirit of God hovering over the waters. Water is used to scour sin from the earth in the time of Noah and to destroy the destructive Egyptians in the time of Moses. Finally, in the time of Jesus, water becomes not the destructive force of previous generations, but a healing element empowered to pour the Holy Spirit into our souls and recreate human nature in the likeness of God. Our poor clay is transformed by our Baptism into a new creation! m
INSIDE THE VATICAN PILGRIMAGES is now planning to lead pilgrimages to shrines in the United States in the coming year. We will also begin again to undertake pilgrimages in Italy. Contact us at insidethevaticanpilgrimages.com for information about joining us for upcoming pilgrimages. page 52
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East-West Watch BY PETER ANDERSON
THE BUMPY ROAD TO CHRISTIAN UNITY
nyone who has worked extensively in the field of John Paul II to make a personal visit to Russia to return ecumenical relations knows that the road to Chrishis beloved Kazan icon of the Blessed Mother. tian unity is not smooth. There is progress, and then The year 2004 saw a turning point in the relations bethere are setbacks. There are moments of joy, and then tween the two Churches. The Kazan icon was given by there are disappointments. If one were to graph progress Pope John Paul II to Russian Patriarch Alexy without in ecumenical relations, it would not be a straight line insisting on a papal visit. On April 19, 2005, the day of but rather peaks and valleys which hopefully gradually the election of Pope Benedict XVI, Bishop Hilarion ascend. This has been especially true of relations be(Alfeyev) of the Moscow Patriarchate proposed a “Eutween the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox ropean Catholic-Orthodox Alliance,” so that the CathChurch (also referred to as the olic and Orthodox Churches “Moscow Patriarchate,” as it could “speak with one voice” on is under the authority of the all major social and ethical isPatriarch of Moscow and All sues facing Europe. In January Russia). 2009, Metropolitan Kirill, The Catholic Church’s inwhose spiritual mentor had been volvement in ecumenism had Metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov), its beginning at the Second was elected head of the Moscow Vatican Council. Orthodox Patriarchate. Two months later, and Protestant Churches were Bishop Hilarion became a metinvited to send observers to ropolitan and the head of exterthe Council. Metropolitan nal Church affairs for the Nikodim (Rotov) was an obMoscow Patriarchate. Patriarch Alexy II, head of the Russian Orthodox server for the Moscow PatriUnder Metropolitan Hilararchate and developed a love Church, and Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of ion, an extensive series of culthe Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian of the Catholic Church. In tural and other exchanges Unity, venerate the icon of the Mother of God of 1969, he wrote a 656-page Kazan (Aug. 28, 2004 - CNS photo from Reuters) between the Moscow Patriardissertation on “John XXIII, chate and the Catholic Church Bringer of Christian Unity.” Metropolitan Nikodim athave occurred. ITV publisher Robert Moynihan and the tended the installation of Pope John Paul I in September Urbi and Orbi Foundation have contributed greatly to 1978 and died in the arms of this Pope when being rethese exchanges. The goodwill created set the stage for ceived by the latter in his study. During the time of the first meeting in history between a Pope and a RussNikodim, there were excellent relations between the Vatian patriarch — the meeting in Havana between Pope ican and the Moscow Patriarchate. Francis and Patriarch Kirill in February 2016. Another With the fall of Communism beginning in 1989, the high point was the 2017 tour of the relics of St. Nicholas Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church arose from the catafrom Bari, Italy to Russia, where the relics were venercombs and began claiming its churches that had been ated by over two million people. given to the Orthodox by the Communist government. Now there are new tensions between the Vatican and This created great tensions between the Moscow Patrithe Moscow Patriarchate arising from the Russian invaarchate and the Catholic Church. In April 1991, Pope sion of Ukraine. A planned meeting between Pope FranJohn Paul II appointed two Catholic bishops for Russia, cis and Patriarch Kirill in June was postponed by the and in February 2002 established four Catholic dioceses Vatican, and the Moscow Patriarchate has objected to in the Russian Federation. Both of these actions brought comments made by the Pope to an Italian newspaper. strong protests by the Moscow Patriarchate which conYes, this is indeed a bump in the road. However, sidered Russia to be its exclusive canonical territory. Christian unity will never be obtained without perseverTensions were further increased by the desire of Pope ance, and one cannot be easily discouraged.m InsideTheVatican.com t UrbietOrbiCommunications.com
C AT H O L I C I S M A N D O R T H O D O X Y
NEWS from the EAST
BY MATTHEW TROJACEK
Meanwhile, three parishes of the Russian Church’s DioMETROPOLITAN HILARION TRANSFERRED cese of Argentina and South America were vandalized in late The Moscow Patriarchate (Russian Orthodox Church) March and early April. made a surprise announcement June 7 that the Chairman of the The diocese reports that early in the morning of March Department of External Relations — often considered the 31, a group of intruders attacked the Church of the Hodigitria “Number Two” after the Patriarch himself — Metropolitan HiMother of God in the Brazilian capital of Brasília. The vanlarion Alfayev had been transferred from his position to a reldals broke several church windows, shouting, “Russia, get atively small Russian Orthodox diocese in Budapest, Hungary. out!” and “Putin is a murderer!” The minutes of the Patriarchate meeting announcing the move, Later that day, a Z was painted on the fence of the Church it was noted, did not mention whether the move was requested of the Holy Martyr Zenaida in Rio de Janeiro. Both incidents by Metropolitan Hilarion, nor indicate any thanks for his servare being investigated. ice. On April 2, the Diocesan Cathedral of the Annunciation Hilarion was in Hungary June 1-5, perhaps in preparation in Buenos Aires was vandalized, affor his move. He has had a close ter which His Grace Bishop Leonid friendship with Catholic Cardinal of Argentina and South America Péter Erdő since the time that Metsent appeals to the national governropolitan Hilarion was appointed ment bodies concerned with reliBishop of Vienna and Austria in gious affairs. (OrthoChristian) 2003. In September 2021, Metropolitan Hilarion was invited by the PRIEST’S UNEXPLAINED Cardinal to speak at the 52nd EuchEXPULSION FROM RUSSIA aristic Congress in Budapest. FUELS FEARS FOR Metropolitan Hilarion has not FOREIGN CLERGY echoed the more controversial stateA Catholic priest was expelled ments made by Patriarch Kirill on Pope Francis and Swiss Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of from Russia without explanation the subject of Ukraine, and seemed the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, to suggest this was a factor in his re- speak via video with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of amid fears for the well-being of assignment: “Many people ask me Moscow and Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, then other clergy ministering in the counhead of external relations for the Russian Orthodox try. Father Fernando Vera, a Mexithese days — why, for what?” MetChurch, on March 16. Also pictured is Ukrainian can member of Opus Dei, left ropolitan Hilarion said on June 12, Franciscan Father Marek Viktor Gongalo Russia in mid-April after being told after celebrating his final liturgy in Photo: CNS/Vatican Media his residence permit was revoked. the church in Moscow where he has Father Kirill Gorbunov, spokesman for the Russian bishops’ been the pastor for many years the Church of Our Lady The conference, told Catholic News Service on April 21 that no Joy of All the Sorrowful on Bolshaya Ordynka Street . “I will reason had been given for the priest’s expulsion, adding that not go into details now, in fact, I myself do not know many the Catholic Church had “no reason” to believe it was condetails… And it was said only that this is required by the curnected with the conflict in Ukraine. rent socio-political situation. That the road made a very sharp “All he did was relay to people what our bishops had alturn, I didn’t fit into it and ended up on the side of the road. ready said — there’s no indication he went beyond that,” FaBut it’s better than if I drove into a ditch, my car would roll ther Gorbunov told CNS. “The letter he received states that a over and explode,” Metropolitan Hilarion summed up. person has the right to appeal, so we hope he’ll reapply for a visa and have a chance to resume his service here.” ATTACKS ON RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCHES Father Vera most recently headed Moscow’s Saints Peter There have been a number of recent attacks on Russian and Paul Parish, one of three Catholic parishes in the capital. Orthodox Churches in Europe, including the vandalism of (UCANews) the Church of All Saints in Strasbourg, France, and a number of attacks on Russian Orthodox churches in South America. POPE FRANCIS TO PATRIARCH KIRILL: LET’S “On the morning of April 5, two giant Z’s were painted in BE “TRUE PEACEMAKERS” FOR UKRAINE red on two bulletin boards of the Russian Orthodox Church In an Easter message to the head of the Russian Orthodox of All Saints in Strasbourg,” the parish rector Father Philip Church, Pope Francis expressed hope that the Holy Spirit Ryabykh reported. would “make us true peacemakers, especially for war-torn “Well, we suffer together with all the suffering. We carry Ukraine.” our cross of reproach in the days of Great Lent,” he wrote. page 54
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In a letter published on April 24 on the Moscow Patriarchate’s website, the Pope wrote: “May the Holy Spirit transform our hearts and make us true peacemakers, especially for war-torn Ukraine, so that the great Easter passage from death to new life in Christ may become a reality for the Ukrainian people, who long for a new dawn that will end the darkness of war.” (CNA)
POPE TELLS RUSSIAN PATRIARCH THEY ARE NOT “CLERICS OF THE STATE” Warning that the Russian Orthodox Patriarch should not “turn himself into Putin’s altar boy,” Pope Francis also said he would like to go to Moscow to meet Vladimir Putin in an attempt to end the conflict in Ukraine. The Pope reiterated that he would not be going to Kyiv “for now,” but “I first must go to Moscow, I must first meet Putin,” he said in an interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, published May 3. Pope Francis also provided more details about a video call he had with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow in mid-March. “I spoke with Kirill for 40 minutes via Zoom. He spent the first 20 minutes holding a piece of paper reading all the reasons for the war. I listened to him, and I told him, ‘I don’t know anything about this. Brother, we are not clerics of the state, we cannot use the language of politics, but of Jesus. We are shepherds of the same holy people of God. That is why we must seek the path of peace, to cease the blast of weapons,’” Francis said. (CNS)
very early morning, 30 minutes after the curfew, men armed with machine guns arrived by car, put soldiers so no one could get near, and very quickly, in just a few minutes, pulled the monument down. No one had any time to do anything to protect the monument.” (OrthoChristian)
UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH ADDRESSES RESTRICTIONS PLACED UPON IT The Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) met on May 12. The previous meeting of the Synod was on February 28, a few days after the invasion. The most important subject discussed was the issuance of a statement that first recounts how the UOC-MP “fully shares the pain and suffering of the Ukrainian people” and expresses confidence that “Ukraine will survive and maintain its statehood.” However, the statement then condemns attacks against the UOC-MP, including bills introduced by certain Ukrainian parliament members and local governments or restrict the activities of the UOCMP. The statement adds: “We note with sadness that all these facts are the result of the erroneous religious policy during the presidency of P.O. Poroshenko and the destructive ideology of the socalled Orthodox Church of Ukraine. We are convinced such activities of the previous government and the OCU became one of the reasons for the military invasion of Ukraine.” (Peter Anderson)
GREEK CLERICS OPPOSE SCHISM ENDS BETWEEN SERBIAN The monument to Saint LEGALIZATION OF “THIRD GENDER” ORTHODOX CHURCH AND Alexander Nevsky pulled A number of priests of the Church of Greece MACEDONIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH down in Kharkov, the second largest city in have addressed the country’s Prime Minister, A joyous event occurred in the huge St. Sava Ukraine calling on him not to raise the issue of legalizing Cathedral in Belgrade, Serbia, on May 19. It was the so-called “third gender” for discussion in Parliament. a liturgy of reconciliation which marked the end of a 55-year According to media reports, Aristotle University in Thesdivision between the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) and the saloniki added “other” to the gender options on training center schismatic Macedonian Orthodox Church-Ohrid Archbishapplication forms, reports Orthodox Life. The current “Say opric (MOC-OA). Present were Patriarch Porfirije, priYes!” campaign is also actively pushing for “marriage mate of the SOC, as well as all of the bishops of the equality” in Greece. SOC who are now attending their annual Assembly “Small minorities, well organized and having in Belgrade. The bishops of the MOC-OA who broad access to both print and electronic forms of served in the Liturgy were its primate Archbishop mass media, have been pushing government and parStefan as well as Metropolitans Peter and Timotej. ties for years to legally recognize their sexual deviaIn his remarks, Archbishop Stefan referred to tions,” seven priests wrote to Prime Minister Kyriakos the SOC and the MOC-OA as “two beloved sister Mitsotakis. (OrthoChristian) Churches.” He thanked the Assembly of the SOC for acting in “unanimity with the Ecumenical Patriarch” in MONUMENT TO ST. ALEXANDER NEVSKY restoring communion with the MOC-OA. DEMOLISHED IN KHARKOV On May 24, feast of Saints Cyril and Methodius, Patriarch A monument to St. Alexander Nevsky was pulled down in Porfirije announced the Church in what is now North Macethe Saltova District of Kharkov on May 19. A video published donia has obtained the consent of the Serbian Orthodox Church by the Ukrainian outlet Strana shows the monument being to be a completely independent and autocephalous Local Orpulled down by a rope tied around the saint’s neck and conthodox Church. On May 24, Father Nikolai Balashov, deputy nected to a truck. head of External Relations for the Moscow Patriarchate, said: Archpriest Peter Kozachkov, rector of the nearby St. “We rejoice together with our Serbian and Macedonian brothAlexander Nevsky Church, told the Union of Orthodox Jourers. We have been waiting for this event for many years. And nalists how they managed to pull the statue down: “From the now the hour of God’s will has come.” (Peter Anderson)m InsideTheVatican.com t UrbietOrbiCommunications.com
A truly cAtholic lAw School in the heArt of floridA At Ave MAriA School of lAw, cAtholic legAl educAtion iS Alive And well n BY JOVAN TRIPKOVIC
* In these photos: potential students from around the country (and globe) came to campus as part of the Cardinal Newman Pre-Law Academy at Ave Maria School of Law in Naples, Florida
Lisa Johnston firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @aeternusphoto
he relocation of Ave Maria School of Law to southwest Florida in the summer of 2009 marked a new era in the state’s position in legal education. Since then, Ave Maria Law has been an “unabashedly Catholic” institution of higher learning. Despite its short history, its academic program and truly Catholic character have earned Ave Maria Law a respected place in Catholic legal academia. CARDINAL NEWMAN PRE-LAW ACADEMY Since 2014, Ave Maria School of Law has been hosting in early spring a one-of-a-kind law school experience: Cardinal Newman Pre-Law Academy. It’s an all-expense-paid, highly selective, and intensive program. In order to be considered for the Academy, candidates need to fulfill one of the eligibility criteria: earned or will earn an undergraduate degree from an eligible Cardinal Newman Guide-approved school or a Catholic college, or served as a FOCUS missionary. Students of public colleges who are active members of a Newman or Catholic Student Center are also considered. And Ave Maria Law doesn’t forget its Michigan roots: members of Catholic parishes supporting the universities in the greater Ann Arbor area are also eligible for the program. Besides fulfilling eligibility criteria, application is not much different from applying for college. Historically, between 8 and 12 students have attended the yearly program, but from March 3-6, 2022, Ave Maria Law hosted a record number of 16 Academy participants. This year I had the privilege of being one of them.
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Cardinal Newman Pre-Law Academy is a three-day law school program that provides a full-immersion experience into legal education. During the Academy, we had the opportunity to attend a discussion in the Socratic method, sample a law school class, hear from current Cardinal Newman scholarship recipients, become acquainted with faculty members and learn more about career pathways upon graduating. Ave Maria Law seeks to educate the new generation of lawyers, inspired by the Catholic intellectual tradition and natural law philosophy. So it doesn’t come as a surprise that the program includes an introduction to moral foundations, emphasizes the importance of faith on campus, and discusses faith and reason in Catholic doctrine. Claire T. O’Keefe, Associate Dean of Admissions, sums up this educational philosophy: “It’s always been our founder’s, Mr. Monaghan’s, dream to have this type of law school and send out into the world ‘change agents,’ who are equipped with the education and the knowledge to go out and effectuate real change in the world. Cardinal Newman Pre-Law Academy and the generous scholarship named after Newman are both designed to attract those types of students.” Besides the academically rigorous and intense, intellectually stimulating program, we toured the city of Naples, Florida, experiencing the city’s gastronomic scene and beautiful beaches, and socialized with Ave Maria’s faculty, staff and students — a final touch, offering participants a glimpse into Naples’ lively social life.
CATHOLIC AND ECUMENICAL ENVIRONMENT Everything about Ave Maria Law reflects its Catholic character and commitment: crucifixes in classrooms, well-attended daily Mass, and the Catholic intellectual tradition incorporated into the curriculum. According to the Religious Law School Rankings, for years Ave Maria has been continuously ranked number one among most devout Catholic law schools. The school’s faculty and staff embraced the phrase coined by Claire T. O’Keefe, Associate Dean for Admissions: “Ave Maria is unabashedly Catholic.” Elizabeth Westhoff, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, says. “I promote that we are the Catholic, conservative and competitive law school in the United States.” Some would say that this concept doesn’t reflect the spirit of the times — maybe even creating a so-called “hostile environment.” The reality is, as the only Orthodox Christian (Serbian Orthodox Church) participant in the Cardinal Newman Pre-Law Academy, I found the environment at Ave Maria Law welcoming and surprisingly ecumenical. At the introductory meeting, John M. Czartentzky, CEO and Dean of the school, pointed out my Serbian origin, saying loudly: “I know Serbs! You are tough guys.” More importantly, during his welcoming speech, Dean Czartentzky addressed the Catholic nature of the school, while clearly stating its ecumenical aspect: “We believe Ave Maria School of Law is a haven for all students who are serious about their faith. Unlike all but a tiny few law schools in this country, devout Catholics, Christians, and believers of all stripes will find a welcoming and supportive culture. In addition to my fellow Latin-Rite Catholics, particularly close to my heart are Orthodox and Byzantine-Rite Christians. My mother grew up in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, so from a young age, I have loved the beauty and wonder of the Orthodox liturgy.” Participants of the Pre-Law Academy attended daily Mass at St. Therese of the Little Flower Chapel on campus, led by Monsignor Frank McGrath, the school’s chaplain. Every day Monsignor McGrath prayed for the Consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart and for peace among Orthodox brothers. During the lunch break, Monsignor McGrath initiated a conversation with me to learn more about my Orthodox faith and the Serbian Orthodox Church; I was reminded of the significance of ecumenical dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox in everyday communication. CARDINAL NEWMAN SCHOLARSHIP According to the American Bar Association, the average law school graduate owes approximately $165,000 in student loans; more than 95 percent of law students take out loans. In a time of global pandemic, recession, and constant tuition increase, Ave
Maria School of Law offers generous scholarships and financial aid to prospective students. The school’s point of pride is its Cardinal Newman Scholarship Program. In addition to eligibility criteria similar to the Pre-Law Academy’s, the Cardinal Newman scholars need to satisfy Ave Maria’s academic standards: prospective students need an LSAT test score of at least 154 and a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.4. On top of the full tuition and fees, Cardinal Newman Scholarship recipients with an LSAT score of 154-155 receive a one-time $5,000 stipend, and those scoring 156 will receive a onetime $10,000 stipend towards living expenses incurred during their first year. The Cardinal Newman Scholarship is renewable for the period of three years, provided that recipients maintain a GPA of 2.667. Admissions Associate Dean O’Keefe states: “Thanks to our founder, Mr. Monaghan, and generous donors, Ave Maria Law awards between 10 and 15 full-ride scholarships every year.” LOCAL ROOTS — GLOBAL VISION Following a multi-year analysis, Ave Maria Law School relocated from Ann Arbor, Michigan to Naples, Florida in the summer of 2009 — yielding positive results. After 13 years, the campus is a vibrant and intellectually stimulating Catholic community. The only law school in the area, Ave Maria Law is a feeder school for the legal market in southwest Florida. Ave Maria’s graduates go on to become successful real estate, tax and trial attorneys, law clerks, and federal and state judges, living the Ave Maria mission and Monaghan’s vision. Says Westhoff, “Tom Monaghan always said, ‘Outside of the priesthood, the people who have the most impact on our society are attorneys.’ He wanted this law school to form attorneys who will go out armed with their law degree and their rosary and change the world!” Along with a strong regional presence in southwest Florida, Ave Maria Law has a nationwide alumni network. But it appears to be aiming for a global impact as well. In May, Ave Maria School of Law and Poland’s Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University jointly organized Saint John Paul II’s Natural Law Legacy and International Human Rights: Toward a Century of Persuasion conference in Warsaw, Poland. The program featured an impressive line-up of speakers: Adrian Vermeule, Robert P. George, Ryan T. Anderson, George Weigel, and R.J. Snell, among others. Judging by this event, the school’s academic rigor, and its Catholic commitment, Ave Maria School of Law — and its graduates — are destined to set the world on fire. * Jovan Tripkovic, an Orthodox Christian, is a graduate student and teaching assistant at the University of Wyoming.m JULY-AUGUST 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN
TradiTion and BeauTy
the Wisdom of birds Among mAny species, beAuty is more importAnt thAn life n BY AURELIO PORFIRI* The Crowning of the Virgin by Catarino, Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice, Italy. Opposite, a choir sings in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican
was very sad that day. I don’t know why I walked into a church near where I live. This church is an architectural jewel with a beautiful mosaic, known all over the world. In the church there were only a few tourists, who were walking around curiously. I sat down at the back and began to fix my eyes on that famous mosaic in which there were Christ and the Blessed Virgin, staring at me. It was as if there were only we three, and what bound us so strongly was the beauty of those images, because beauty is not something neutral: beauty can strike you in a way that nothing else can. That beauty helped me, and also gave meaning to the suffering I was feeling at that moment; it seemed to me like a medicine, as if my soul had been nourished by what it missed so much. Beauty is nourishing. Ugliness is not. But ugliness is much more active than beauty, which is eternal in its shining. The philosopher Marcello Veneziani said in his Letter to the Italians: “The trouble is that beauty is; instead the ugly advances, moves, speaks, does. Beauty is inert, passive, helpless, while the ugly advances, incedes, is agitated. Beauty is a legacy, a lineage, sometimes a ruin, however declined in the past or lost in the ancient, while ugliness is a language, a way of doing, understanding and willing, between technique and administration. This is our economic and metaphysical, aesthetic and social, urban and literary tragedy. The beautiful is, the ugly becomes; the beautiful poses, the ugly is in perpetual motion. Beauty pertains to the sphere of being but not to that of the eternal and immutable. The ugly, on the other hand, pertains to the sphere of making and becoming, and is viral, expansive, progressive” (all translations are from 58
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the Italian version of these texts and are mine). And we have seen in recent decades how ugliness has taken over art, music and architecture in our churches. The feeble resistance of some knights of good taste was not able to do much. The Russian Orthodox writer Vladimir S. Soloviev said: “It might seem excessive to leave the salvation of the world to beauty, when it is still necessary to save beauty itself from the various artistic and critical experiments that try to substitute the deformed-real for the beautiful-ideal” (On Beauty). And here we are not even talking about artistic experiments, but about selling off the beauty of tradition for the byproducts of contemporaneity. Albert the Great gives us a definition of beauty: Pulchritudo consistit in componentibus sicut in materialibus, sed in resplendentia formae, sicut in formali, [and consequently] sicut ad pulchritudinem corporis requiritur, quod sit proportio debita membrorum et quod color supersplendeat eis [...] ita ad rationem universalis pulchritudinis exigitur proportio aliqualium ad invicem vel partium vel principiorum vel quorumcumque quibus supersplendeat claritas formae. In English: “Beauty consists in the components that make up [the beautiful object] as regards the matter, but in the splendor of the form as regards the shape [and consequently] as well as the beauty of a body it requires that there be a due proportion of the members and that the color shines on them [...], likewise the universal essence of beauty requires the reciprocal proportion among what is equivalent [to the limbs in the body], be they parts or principles or whatever other element the luminosity shines upon of the form.” (From Albertus Magnus, Super Dionysium de
divinis nominibus, IV, 72 and 76, in Opera omnia XXXVII / 1:182-183 and 185; cited in Umberto Eco, Art and beauty in medieval aesthetics, 1986.) The law of proportion helps to discern beauty when it is ordered to an aesthetic end, and it recalls the supreme order that beauty intends to place before us and within us. Why don’t we give our young people beauty? Why do we give them cheap cosmetic food for the soul? How is it possible that we do not understand that we must educate young people, including their aesthetic sense? If they are well educated, they will then become champions of beauty, of the good and of the true... “Youth” as a category in its own right has sought to ruin not only sacred music, but even the young themselves. But young people are much better than they are led to believe. Romano Amerio in his fundamental Iota Unum frames the problem well: “Concluding this analysis of the new attitude of the world and of the Church towards youth, we will note that here too a semantic alteration has taken place and that the terms ‘paternal’ and ‘paternalistic’ have become terms of contempt, as if the education of the father, as a father, were not an excellent exercise of wisdom and love, and as if all the pedagogy with which God educated mankind in the way of salvation were not paternal. But who does not see that in a system, in which value rests on authenticity and the refusal of any imitation, the first refusal is the refusal of paternal dependence? “The truth, going beyond the hypocorisms [Note: “Hypocorism,” Maestro Porfiri clarifies, “means to treat with petty names young people when they should be taught to be better adults and not to stay in an infinite youth”] of clerics and laity is that youth is a state of virtuality and imperfection that cannot be possessed as an ideal state or taken as a model. Furthermore, youth is valid in the prospect of a future, of a hope for the future, so much so that when the future is fulfilled, youth diminishes and is lost. The tale of Hebe becomes the tale of Psyche. “Indeed, if youth is deified, it is thrown into pessimism, because it makes it want to perpetuate itself, while it is not possible. “Youth is a project of non-youth and mature age should not be modeled on it, but on matured wisdom. After all, no age of life has as a model for its becoming an age of life, neither one’s own nor others. In fact, the model of each is given by the deonto-
logical essence of man, which is to be sought and lived, identically, in each age of life. Here, too, the spirit of vertigo makes the dependent turn towards non-dependence and the insufficient towards self-sufficiency.” How much wisdom there is in these words! Promote education in beauty in your churches. Young people are much better than some clerics think... I have experienced this and I can tell you that when young people are enthusiastic about it, they become the
heralds of beauty and carry this treasure within, throughout their whole lives... What harm was done to the younger generations by neglecting this, and treating them as if theirs was a perfected “age” in its own right, and not, rather, a preparation for mature age. Sacred music is itself a pedagogy of beauty: it is that via pulchritudinis (“way of beauty’) that we travel towards the Father. We don’t need pastoral plans and ecological conversions to save our souls — we need beauty, goodness and truth. Vladimir S. Soloviev, already quoted above, said: “Among many species of birds, the complicated ornaments of males not only cannot have any utilitarian value, but are indeed directly hindering because they develop at the expense of mobility, hinder flight and ability to race, and betray their presence in the face of the enemy who pursues them; but evidently, for them, beauty is more important than life.” Beauty is more important than life; we should never forget that.
* Aurelio Porfiri is a composer, author, honorary master organist at churches in Rome and Macau, China, newsletter editor and YouTube host. Find him at aurelioporfiri.com.m JULY-AUGUST 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN
Of Books, Art and People
ROME’S NEWEST MUSEUM: KITCHENWARE AND COOKBOOKS n BY LUCY GORDAN
De honesta Voluptate ac Valetudine libri decem (On honest indulgence and good health, Ten Books, often shortened to De honesta voluptate) was the first cookbook ever printed. Compiled ca. 1465 by Bartolomeo Platina, it appeared between 1470 and 1475 in Rome
ts inauguration postponed several part of the Orti Farnesiani (Farnese Gartimes since early February 2020 dens), the first private botanical gardens because of COVID, Garum: The created in 1550 by Cardinal Alessandro Library and Museum of Cooking Farnese, the Benedictines built their finally opened in Rome on May 26. Monastero dei padri Olivetani The website www.atlasoscura.com here. The Order still owns the lists 81 museums worldwide devotbuilding, which has recently ed to the history of food, but none been extensively renovated of these includes a research library. to accommodate its new Rossano Boscolo, Moreover, the only library I know creator of Garum activity, before renting it to of with a larger collection of cookGarum. books, food-related pamphlets, Garum is the brainchild of and menus is at the New York Rossano Boscolo, born in Academy of Medicine, 1216 5th Chioggia in 1956, the second of Avenue, which houses some chef/hotelier Bruno’s five sons. 10,000 items, including a 4thAfter graduating from hotel century AD manuscript of De re school in Abano Terme near Venice, culinaria (“Concerning the culBoscolo returned home to run the ninary arts”) by the ancient Rokitchen in his father’s first of several man chef Apicius. hotels worldwide, but soon afterGarum gets its name from a wards, in 1982, left for Paris. liquid sauce of fermented fish enHe was the first Italian to study Opera, created by Bartolomeo Scappi, trails used by the ancient Roman as with Gaston Lenôtre, considered one is the first illustrated printed cookbook dressing for their appetizers and main of the greatest pastry chefs of the 20th dishes. century. Lenôtre became Boscolo’s mentor together with Garum’s complex is unique not only for its dual conanother top French pastry chef, Charles Ceva, who in 1985 tents, but because of its location, Via dei Cerchi 87, at the advised Boscolo to open Italy’s first professional academy bottom of the Palatine Hill where the ancient Roman emfor chefs. First located in Cavàrzere, 15 miles southwest of perors built their luxurious residences. Venice, Boscolo soon relocated it to his father’s Hotel According to legend, this site had been the luperAirone in Chioggia, and then in cale or grotto where the she-wolf nursed Romulus and 2010 moved it again to its internaRemus. Then in the 4th century AD tional campus in Tuscania the Basilica of Santa Anastanear Rome, where it resia, the first Christian mains today. Over the Church built inside the anyears some 20,000 procient city walls, was erectfessional chefs have ed here. graduated from BoscoIt seems that the Basililo’s academies. ca was built on the ruins of “I started to collect an enormous building datfor my own pleasure being to the first century AD. Several cencause I love history,” Boscolo turies later, after this area had become told me. “I used some of these old First children’s culinary game 60 INSIDE THE VATICAN JULY-AUGUST 2022
utensils in my kitchens. As sance 153 cookbooks were for the books, when I was a printed in Italy and only student and later when I three in France, one of started teaching, there were which was a translation of no internet or cooking proPlatina. The situation grams on TV, only books. I changed when in 1533 had no ambitions to beCatherine de’ Medici marcome a ‘professional’ colried Prince, later King, lector, much less to open a Henry II of France. Almuseum. though she’d brought Flor“About 25 years ago, I entine chefs with her, from met the bookdealer Matteo between the late 1550s to Ghirighini, today Garum’s the 1950s, France was the director. He convinced me center of cuisine worldGas stoves dating from the 19th century to the 1950s of the importance of ownwide. So it could be said ing rare first editions. My first purchase from Matteo was that we taught the French to cook and then they taught the the library of the distinguished food historian Claudio world.” Benporat. Today I own some 4,000 utensils, 1,000 of The stars of Boscolo’s collection are De honesta Volupwhich are displayed here at Garum. Of my 3,500 books, tate ac Valetudine libri decem compiled by Bartolomeo Sac2,000 are first editions; some 300 of them here on display. ci, better known as Platina, and printed in Venice in 1517. The other books are in Garum’s research library open to It’s the first printed book about cuisine. scholars by appointment. My most recent acquisition are “Platina” was not a cook; he was a man-of-letters and some 3,500 historical menus. Garum’s entrance is free bethe first director of the then newly-established Vatican Licause we want the freedom to organize seminars, our own brary. The book contains the recipes of Maestro Martino, guided tours, private events, and tastings using recipes in the most important European chef of the 15th century, our books during conventional museum hours.” who worked at the court of the Cardinal of Aquileia beGarum is divided into two tween 1450 and 1465. sections. The kitchenware is Martino’s recipes are simidisplayed in 11 glass cases lar to those of the late Middle on the ground floor: specuAges, quite simple to follow, loos or wooden molds for and much less elaborate than making thin gingerbread bisthose of the Renaissance cuits, a Christmas time specourts contained in another cialty in the Low Countries star of Boscolo’s collection, spiced with cinnamon, Opera, created by Barcloves, and cardamom; then tolomeo Scappi and printed in metal cake and chocolate Venice by Michele Tramezzimolds (Boscolo’s favorites) no in 1570. of many different shapes; gas Scappi was the private stoves dating from the 19th chef of Pope Pius V. “Opera, century to the 1950s; all my most prized possession,” kinds of pots and pans; 19thBoscolo told me, “is the first Gingerbread and chocolate molds century utensils for making illustrated (32 drawings, inbread and pasta, gelato, and cheese; and ceramic duckcluding the first one of a fork) printed cookbook; for the shaped foie-gras terrines. first time cooks had access to recipes previously inaccesThe most unusual objects are wooden bowls with covsible outside the Papal Palace.” ers from an 18th-century monastery refectory, and the first For example, Scappi tells us that Pope Pius V’s favorite “culinary” game for children made in Ravensburg, Gerdish was frog, but not any old frog. It had to come from many, in 1898. Bologna, because frogs from there were chubby and espe“The earliest books on exhibition,” Boscolo told me, cially delicious. His favorite recipe was crisply-fried “date to the Italian Renaissance, because, thanks to itinerfrog’s liver fritters.” ant typographers from Germany, Italy—especially Rome An innovative chef, Scappi was the first to introduce and Venice—became extremely important centers of ingredients from the New World. Opera also contains over printing. We know, for example, that during the Renais200 pasta recipes, many sprinkled or filled with cascio JULY-AUGUST 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN 61
Of Books, Art and People parmigiano, which he said “was Giovio wrote this volume afthe best cheese in the world.” ter being a guest at a papal dinOther highlights are Pellegrino ner, where the conversation conArtusi’s La Scienza in cucina e cerned the fish available on the l’arte di mangiare bene (“SciRoman market. ence in the kitchen and the Art of Lo Scalco alla moderna (The Eating Well”) first published in Modern Steward) by Antonio 1891. Latini, the steward of Cardinal Filled with amusing anecAntonio Barberini, cardinaldotes as well as recipes, the nephew of Pope Urban VIII book is still a perennial best(Naples, 1692) contains the first seller in Italy. It has been transrecipe for tomato sauce. lated into Dutch, English, And Le Petit Cuisinier ModWooden dish with cover from an 18th-century refectory French, German, Polish, and erne (Paris, 1890) by Gustave Portuguese. Garlin, one of the great chefs of the second half of the Another is Vittorio Agnetti’s La Nuova Cucina delle 19th century, is the only great cookbook written in prison, specialità regionali (Milan, 1909). Although not the first while its author was serving a two-year sentence for sedicookbook devoted to a single region’s cuisine, it’s the first tion. Garlin was also the first chef to present cheese at the volume to include every region of Italy. end of a meal. The third is Rosa Aiello’s La cucina casareccia napoTo learn all about Boscolo’s still growing collections, letana per golosi e buongustai, published in New York in consult Garum’s state-of-the-art website www.museodel1940 to soothe the emigrants’ nostalgia for Italy. lacucina.com. In both Italian and English, it contains hisAdditional curiosities include: De Romaniis piscibus torical information on the utensils and bibliographical inLibellus (A Pamphlet About Roman Fish), the first cookformation for every volume on display, as well as texts book devoted to fish, by Paolo Giovio (Basel, 1531), like from publications written by Ghirighini, Boscolo and his “Platina” a man of letters and not a cook. students.m
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THE END EXCERPTS FROM LORD OF THE WORLD
“Not with the weapons of this world” 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 III (Note: The hero of the story, a young English priest, Fr. Percy Franklin, has come to Rome to report to the Pope what he has seen in England: the emergence of a leader proposing a global harmony leaving aside Christ. Percy has met the Papa Angelicus, now 89, briefed him on the events in England, and proposed to the Pope the creation of a new “Order of the Cross” to confront the challenge. The Pope has now summoned the Curia to say he has decided to establish an “Order of Christ Crucified.” Percy is present...) Scarlet and purple and gold were well enough for those who stood on the steps of the throne—they needed it; but for Him who sat there nothing was needed. Let colours die and sounds faint in the presence of God’s Viceroy. Yet what expression was required found itself adequately provided in that beautiful oval face, the poised imperious head, the sweet brilliant eyes and the cleancurved lips that spoke so strongly. There was not a sound in the room, not a rustle, nor a breathing—even without it seemed as if the world were allowing the supernatural to state its defence uninterruptedly, before summing up and clamouring condemnation. Percy made a violent effort at self-repression, clenched his hands and listened. “… Since this then is so, sons in Jesus Christ, it is for us to answer. We wrestle not, as the Doctor of the Gentiles teaches us, against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. Wherefore, he continues, take unto you the armour of God; and he further declares to us its nature—the girdle of truth, the breastplate of justice, the shoes of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit. “By this, therefore, the Word of God bids us to war, but not with the weapons of this world, for neither is His kingdom of this world; and it is to remind you of the principles of this warfare that we have 64
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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.
summoned you to Our Presence.” The voice paused, and there was a rustling sigh along the seats. Then the voice continued on a slightly higher note. “It has ever been the wisdom of Our predecessors, as is also their duty, while keeping silence at certain seasons, at others to speak freely the whole counsel of God. From this duty We Ourself must not be deterred by the knowledge of Our own weakness and ignorance, but to trust rather that He Who has placed Us on this throne will deign to speak through Our mouth and use Our words to His glory. “First, then, it is necessary to utter Our sentence as to the new movement, as men call it, which has latterly been inaugurated by the rulers of this world. “We are not unmindful of the blessings of peace and unity, nor do We forget that the appearance of these things has been the fruit of much that we have condemned. It is this appearance of peace that has deceived many, causing them to doubt the promise of the Prince of Peace that it is through Him alone that we have access to the Father. That true peace, passing understanding, concerns not only the relations of men between themselves, but, supremely, the relations of men with their Maker; and it is in this necessary point that the efforts of the world are found wanting. It is not indeed to be wondered at that in a world which has rejected God this necessary matter should be forgotten. Men have thought—led astray by seducers—that the unity of nations was the greatest prize of this life, forgetting the words of our Saviour, Who said that He came to bring not peace but a sword, and that it is through many tribulations that we enter God’s Kingdom. First, then, there should be established the peace of man with God, and after that the unity of man with man will follow. Seek ye first, said Jesus Christ, the kingdom of God—and then all these things shall be added unto you. “First, then, We once more condemn and anathematise the opinions of those who teach and believe the contrary of this; and we renew once more all the condemnations uttered by Ourself or Our predecessors against all those societies, organisations and communities that have been formed for the furtherance of an unity on another than a divine foundation; and We remind Our children
God as seen by the British poet William Blake as the Architect of the world in his 1794 watercolor etching Ancient of Days, now held in the British Museum, London. The name “Ancient of Days” is a name for God used by the prophet Daniel: “I kept looking until thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow and the hair of His head like pure wool....” (Daniel 7:9)
throughout the world that it is forbidden to them to enter or to aid or to approve in any manner whatsoever any of those bodies named in such condemnations.” Percy moved in his seat, conscious of a touch of impatience…. The manner was superb, tranquil and stately as a river; but the matter a trifle banal. Here was this old reprobation of Freemasonry, repeated in unoriginal language. “Secondly,” went on the steady voice, “We wish to make known to you Our desires for the future; and here We tread on what many have considered dangerous ground.” Again came that rustle. Percy saw more than one cardinal lean forward with hand crooked at ear to hear the better. It was evident that something important was coming. “There are many points,” went on the high voice, “of which it is not Our intention to speak at this time, for of their own nature they are secret, and must be treated of on another occasion. But what We say here, We say to the world. Since the assaults of Our enemies are both open and secret, so too must be Our defences. This then is Our intention.” The Pope paused again, lifted one hand as if mechanically to his breast, and grasped the cross that hung there. “While the army of Christ is one, it consists of many divisions, each of which has its proper function and object. In times past God has raised up companies of His servants to do this or that particular work—the sons of St. Francis to preach poverty, those of St. Bernard to labour in prayer with all holy women dedicating themselves to this purpose, the Society of Jesus for the education of youth and the conversion of the heathen—together with all the other Religious Orders whose names are known throughout the world. Each such company was raised up at a particular season of need, and each has corresponded nobly with the divine vocation. It has also been the especial glory of each, for the furtherance of its intention, while pursuing its end, to cut off from itself all such activities (good in themselves) which would hinder that work for which God had called it into being—following in this matter the words of our Redeemer, Every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it that it may bring forth more fruit. At this present season, then, it appears to Our Humility that all such Orders (which once more We commend and bless) are not perfectly suited by the very conditions of their respective Rules to perform the great work which the time requires. Our warfare lies not with ignorance in particular, whether of the heathens to whom the Gospel has not yet come, or of those whose fathers have rejected it, nor with the deceitful riches of this world, nor with science falsely so-called, nor indeed with any one of those strongholds of infidelity against whom We have laboured in the past. “Rather it appears as if at last the time was come of which the apostle spoke when he said that that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that Man of Sin be revealed, the Son of Perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God.
“It is not with this or that force that we are concerned, but rather with the unveiled immensity of that power whose time was foretold, and whose destruction is prepared.” The voice paused again, and Percy gripped the rail before him to stay the trembling of his hands. There was no rustle now, nothing but a silence that tingled and shook. The Pope drew a long breath, turned his head slowly to right and left, and went on more deliberately than ever. “It seems good, then, to Our Humility, that the Vicar of Christ should himself invite God’s children to this new warfare; and it is Our intention to enroll under the title of the Order of Christ Crucified the names of all who offer themselves to this supreme service. In doing this We are aware of the novelty of Our action, and the disregard of all such precautions as have been necessary in the past. We take counsel in this matter with none save Him Who we believe has inspired it. “First, then, let Us say, that although obedient service will be required from all who shall be admitted to this Order, Our primary intention in instituting it lies in God’s regard rather than in man’s, in appealing to Him Who asks our generosity rather than to those who deny it, and dedicating once more by a formal and deliberate act our souls and bodies to the heavenly Will and service of Him Who alone can rightly claim such offering, and will accept our poverty. “Briefly, we dictate only the following conditions. “None shall be capable of entering the Order except such as shall be above the age of seventeen years. “No badge, habit, nor insignia shall be attached to it. “The Three Evangelical Counsels shall be the foundation of the Rule, to which we add a fourth intention, namely, that of a desire to receive the crown of martyrdom and a purpose of embracing it. “The bishop of every diocese, if he himself shall enter the Order, shall be the superior within the limits of his own jurisdiction, and alone shall be exempt from the literal observance of the Vow of Poverty so long as he retains his see. Such bishops as do not feel the vocation to the Order shall retain their sees under the usual conditions, but shall have no Religious claim on the members of the Order. “Further, We announce Our intention of Ourself entering the Order as its supreme prelate, and of making Our profession within the course of a few days. “Further, We declare that in Our Own pontificate none shall be elevated to the Sacred College save those who have made their profession in the Order; and We shall dedicate shortly the Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul as the central church of the Order, in which church We shall raise to the altars without any delay those happy souls who shall lay down their lives in the pursuance of their vocation.” (To be continued) m INSIDE THE VATICAN JULY-AUGUST 2022
VATICAN WATCH By Matthew Trojacek with CNA Reports - Grzegorz Galazka and CNA photos
APRIL FRIDAY 1
POPE FRANCIS ASKS OPPONENTS OF SYRO-MALABAR UNIFORM LITURGY TO TAKE “PAINFUL STEP” OF ACCEPTING CHANGE Pope Francis has urged Syro-Malabar Catholics opposed to the introduction of a uniform liturgy to take the “difficult and painful step” of accepting the change. In a three-page letter addressed to members of the Archeparchy of Ernakulam-Angamaly, the Pope noted that the Synod of Bishops of the Eastern Catholic Church based in India had endorsed the move. He said that as of November 28, 2021, the date selected for the transition, 34 eparchies had decided to enact the synodal decision. The Eucharistic liturgy of the Syro-Malabar Church, known as the Holy Qurbana, has been the subject of a decades-long dispute. The controversy is centered on a debate about which direction the priest should face when celebrating the liturgy. The authenticity of the Pope’s letter was reportedly questioned in India, but Vatican News, the online news portal of the Holy See, published a summary on April 1. Protests against the adoption of a uniform liturgy have included a hunger strike by priests and the burning of effigies of cardinals. (CNA) WEDNESDAY 20
POPE FRANCIS: TO DISCARD THE ELDERLY “IS A GRAVE SIN” To forgo honoring the elderly as God commands, and to treat them as something to discard “is a grave sin,” Pope Francis said on April 20. During his weekly meeting with the public in Saint Peter’s Square, the Pope said, “This commandment to honor the elderly gives us a blessing.” “Please, care for old people,” he urged, “because they are the presence of history, the presence of the family. And it is thanks to them we are here. Please, do not leave them alone.” Honoring the elderly is a form of love, giving life not only to those honored, but to those doing the honoring, the Pope said. (CNA) SATURDAY 23
POPE FRANCIS: GOD IS WEEPING FOR THE VICTIMS OF THE UKRAINE WAR Pope Francis said today that “we must ask for the grace 66 INSIDE THE VATICAN JULY-AUGUST 2022
to weep” with Our Lady for the lives destroyed by the Ukraine war and the other miseries of our time, like “the children discarded before they are even born.” In a meeting on April 23 with the Catholic community affiliated with the Marian shrine of Our Lady of Tears in northern Italy, the Pope said that Mary’s tears are “a sign of God’s weeping for the victims of the war” in Ukraine. Pope Francis underlined that the war is “destroying not only Ukraine,” but is destroying “all the nations involved in the war.” “We have entrusted our prayer to the Immaculate Heart, and we are certain that our Mother has accepted it and intercedes for peace because she is the Queen of Peace,” the Pope added. (CNA) FRIDAY 29
POPE FRANCIS: ALL COUNTRIES SHOULD PROMOTE FAMILY-FRIENDLY POLICIES In an address to members of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences on April 29, the Pope insisted that it was possible to create “a family-friendly society” despite major cultural and economic obstacles. “Family-friendly social, economic, and cultural policies need to be promoted in all countries,” he said. “These include, for example, policies that make it possible to harmonize family and work; fiscal policies that recognize family burdens and support the educational functions of families by adopting appropriate instruments of fiscal equity; policies that welcome life; and social, psychological, and health services centered on support for couple and parental relationships.” He added: “A ‘family-friendly’ society is possible. Because society is born and evolves with the family. Not everything is attributable to a contract, nor can everything be imposed by command.” (CNA)
MAY THURSDAY 5
POPE FRANCIS USES WHEELCHAIR IN PUBLIC FOR FIRST TIME SINCE COLON SURGERY Pope Francis used a wheelchair during a public meeting on May 5, the first time he has done so publicly since leaving the hospital after colon surgery in July 2021. The 85-year-old Pope has had difficulty walking due to a painful torn ligament in his knee. He was pushed in a wheelchair onto the stage of the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall, at the start of a meeting with participants in the plenary meeting of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG).
Opposite, a group of Ukrainians who live in Italy with their families came to St. Peter's Square to show their solidarity with their motherland, Ukraine. (Photo Galazka) Bottom, Pope Francis meets with new members of the Swiss Guard before their swearing-in ceremony at the Vatican May 6, 2022 (CNS photo/Vatican Media).
During his recent public appearances, he has apologized for being unable to stand and walk to greet participants. (CNA) FRIDAY 6
POPE FRANCIS ENCOURAGES NEW SWISS GUARD RECRUITS “TO GROW AS CHRISTIANS” Pope Francis encouraged 36 new recruits of the Pontifical Swiss Guard to “grow as Christians” during their service in Rome. The Pope met with the new candidates for the world’s smallest but oldest standing army on May 6, the day of their swearing-in ceremony. He said: “Dear Swiss Guards, I encourage you to always place the proper emphasis on formation. The efforts devoted to it are indispensable for acquiring adequate skills and professional competence. “But first of all, the time spent in Rome should be valued in order to grow as Christians. I am thinking of the spiritual life, which allows us to discover God’s plan for each of us.” (CNA) THURSDAY 12
POPE FRANCIS: LOW BIRTH RATE IS A “SOCIAL EMERGENCY” Pope Francis decried the low birth rate in Western countries on May 12, describing it as an urgent social emergency and a “new poverty.” “It is not immediately perceptible, like other problems that occupy the news, but it is very urgent: fewer and fewer children are being born, and this means impoverishing everyone’s future; Italy, Europe, and the West are impoverishing their futures,” Pope Francis said in a message to an event addressing the birth rate in Italy. The Pope’s message was read during the second edition of the meeting “The General State of the Birth Rate,” held in Rome on May 12-13. Pope Francis also spoke at the meeting in 2021. “Sorry that I cannot be among you physically this year,” he said. “But I will follow your work closely, because the issue of birth rate represents a real social emergency.” “The General State of the Birth Rate” brought together political, business, and organization leaders to reflect on Italy’s demographic crisis, caused by one of the lowest birth rates in Europe: 1.24 births per woman. “The data, the forecasts, the numbers are now known to all: we need concreteness,” Pope Francis said in his message. “It is time to give real answers to families and young
people: hope cannot and must not die of waiting.” (CNA) SATURDAY 21
POPE FRANCIS: CATHOLIC SCHOOLS SHOULD NOT BE CHRISTIAN IN NAME ONLY Speaking to the De La Salle Christian Brothers, the Pope underlined that Christians educators must first of all be witnesses to the Gospel. “The Christian educator, in the school of Christ, is first of all a witness, and he is a teacher to the extent that he is a witness,” Pope Francis said on May 21. “And above all I pray for you, that you may be brothers not only in name, but in fact. And for your schools to be Christian not in name, but in fact,” he said. (CNA) MONDAY 30
VATICAN GRANTS INDULGENCES FOR DAY FOR GRANDPARENTS AND ELDERLY In a decree published on May 30, the Apostolic Penitentiary — the Vatican tribunal responsible for issues relating to mercy and the forgiveness of sins in the Church — announced several grants of indulgences for those taking part in the second World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, which this year falls on July 24. A plenary indulgence, which may also be obtained in suffrage for the souls in Purgatory, is granted: —to grandparents, the elderly, and the faithful who, motivated by a true spirit of penance and charity, will participate on July 24 in the solemn Grzegorz Galazka photo celebration that Pope Francis will preside over in the Vatican, or in the various functions that take place throughout the world —to the faithful who, on the same day, devote adequate time to visit, in person or virtually through the media, their disabled brothers and sisters in need or in difficulty (such as the sick, the abandoned, or the disabled) —to the sick elderly and to all those who, unable to leave their homes for a serious reason, will unite spiritually with the sacred services of the World Day, offering to the Merciful God their prayers, the pains and sufferings of their lives, especially while the words of the Supreme Pontiff and the various celebrations are broadcast through the media. The grants of indulgence, “from the heavenly treasures of the Church,” are made under the usual conditions of sacramental confession, receiving the Eucharist, and prayers for the intentions of the Pope. (VaticanNews)n JULY-AUGUST 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN
BY MATTHEW TROJACEK with G. Galazka, CNA and CNS photos
n POPE FRANCIS GIVES POPE FRANCIS APPOINTS NEW BISHOP OF LOURDES NEW VATICAN ROLE TO Pope Francis, on March 30, appointed a new bishop, MonCARDINAL TURKSON signor Jean-Marc Micas, to the French Catholic diocese On April 4, Pope Francis that is home to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, one appointed Cardinal Peter of the world’s most-visited Marian shrines. Turkson as the new chanMicas currently serves as the French provincial superior cellor of the Pontifical of the Society of Priests Academy of Sciences and of Saint-Sulpice (PSS), a society of the Pontifical Academy of apostolic life founded in 1642 that Social Sciences. focuses on priestly formation. The Ghanaian cardinal succeeds the The 58-year-old priest will fill 79-year-old Argentine Bishop Marcelo the vacancy in the Lourdes diocese Sánchez Sorondo, who has led both instileft when Bishop Nicolas Brouwet tutions since 1998. was reassigned as bishop of Nîmes The Pope accepted Turkson’s resignain August 2021. (CNA) tion as prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human DevelopHe won the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1997 for his work ment last December. in proposing the cause of bovine spongiform encephalopathy Turkson served as the archbishop of Cape Coast, Ghana, (“mad cow disease”) and its human equivalent, Creutzfeldtbefore he was called to Rome in 2009 to be president of the Jakob disease. Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. (CNA) Alemseged, who studies the origin and evolution of early human ancestors, is a professor at the University of Chicago. n POPE FRANCIS RECEIVES NEW US His field work in Ethiopia led to finding the nearly complete AMBASSADOR TO THE HOLY SEE fossilized remains of the “world’s oldest child” — believed to Ambassador Joe Donnelly of the United States presented be a 3.3 million-year-old human ancestor. his credentials to Pope Francis at the Vatican’s apostolic Cuda has taught at several universities in the United States palace on April 11. and Argentina; she was a visiting lecturer at the Pontifical “I look forward to deepening our ties with the Holy See. My family and I are proud to be members of the Catholic faith,” Donnelly said in a video message published by the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See. “From my childhood, through my college and law school years at the University of Notre Dame, through years of public service in Indiana and Washington, D.C., the Catholic Church has been a core part of my life and my values.” (CNA) n
POPE NAMES TWO US-BASED EXPERTS TO VATICAN SCIENCE ACADEMY Pope Francis has appointed Stanley B. Prusiner, an American neurologist and Nobel Prize laureate in medicine, and Zeresenay Alemseged, an Ethiopian paleoanthropologist, to be members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. The Pope also appointed Emilce Cuda, an Argentine theologian and secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, as a member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, the Vatican said April 13. The two academies are made up of top-level scholars and experts from around the world who promote studies on issues of concern to the Vatican. Prusiner is director of the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases and professor of neurology and biochemistry at the University of California, San Francisco.
68 INSIDE THE VATICAN JULY-AUGUST 2022
POPE FRANCIS VISITS BENEDICT XVI AHEAD OF POPE EMERITUS’ 95TH BIRTHDAY Pope Francis visited Benedict XVI ahead of the Pope emeritus’ 95th birthday on April 16. The Holy See press office said that the Pope went to the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, the retired German Pope’s residence in Vatican City, on April 13, shortly after 6 p.m. local time. Benedict XVI celebrated his 95th birthday on April 16, Holy Saturday. He was born in 1927, also on Holy Saturday, in Marktl, Bavaria. He led the Catholic Church from 2005 to 2013, when he became the first Pope in almost 600 years to resign. “After a brief and affectionate conversation, and after praying together, Pope Francis returned to Casa Santa Marta [his residence],” the press office said. (CNA)
Catholic University of Argentina and at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas. (UCANews)
ate urgency into this issue,” said Cardinal Bo, also president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences. “The moral holocaust of the commodification of human fragility rages. It is compounded by unscrupulous monetizing of human tears and vulnerability,” Cardinal Bo said in a keynote address at the Santa Marta Group’s meeting at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in the Vatican on May 18. “While thousands are exhibiting poignant shows of generosity to the war-affected, the heartless march of trafficking wolves masquerading as benign helpers rolls on,” Bo said. He said every Christian is mandated with the mission to fight this. To be a Christian today is “to wage a war against human trafficking.” (UCANews)
n MYANMAR JUNTA FREES ARRESTED CATHOLIC PRIEST A priest from Pathein Diocese in Myanmar’s Irrawaddy Division who was arrested by the military has been released following mediation by Church officials. Father Richard Nay Zaw Aung was released on the afternoon of April 19, nine days after his arrest. “He was treated well during detention and questioning by the security forces,” a clergyman from Pathein Diocese told UCA News. Father Aung, who is an assistant parish priest, was among 13 people, UKRAINE’S WAY OF THE including another priest, two seminarians CROSS: PAPAL ALMONER and laypeople with some catechists, PRAYS AT MASS GRAVE picked up during a raid at St. Joseph Mass graves and the deceased Catholic Church in Sharge village, Hinthastill lying along the roadside beda township, under Pathein Diocese. All came a kind of “Way of the except Father Aung were released after Cross” where Cardinal Konrad being questioned for several hours. Krajewski, the papal almoner, The predominantly Buddhist country and Archbishop Visvaldas Kulhas so far witnessed some 11 Catholic bokas, apostolic nuncio to priests being arrested since May 2021 Ukraine, stopped and from Banmaw, Mandalay, Hakha, Taungprayed. gyi and Pekhon on suspicions of supportPope Francis ing the rebel People’s Defense Forces. sent the cardinal (UCANews) to Ukraine to spend the Triduum and Easter with the people there as his special envoy. n POPE FRANCIS NAMES On the way back to Kyiv from Borodyanka, a town that had been NEW CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP under control of Russian forces, the cardinal and archbishop prayed amid the OF PARIS ruins and bodies of those killed, including by an unmarked mass grave, he told On April 26, Pope Francis Vatican News on April 15. named Archbishop Lau“We found many dead and a grave with at least 80 people, buried without a rent Ulrich as the new name,” he said. Catholic archbishop of The scenes left them speechless, he said, but “Thank goodness there is faith Paris. and that this is Holy Week, Good Friday, when we can unite ourselves with the Ulrich, the archbishop of person of Christ and go up with him onto the cross.” (CNS) Lille, northern France, succeeds Archbishop Michel Aupetit, who resigned in December. n NIGERIAN PRIEST DIES AT THE HANDS OF The new Paris archbishop was born in KIDNAPPERS 1951 and ordained a priest of the diocese of A priest of the Archdiocese of Kaduna in Nigeria and his Dijon, eastern France, in 1979. elder brother have lost their lives while being held captive by He was appointed archbishop of Chambéry, kidnappers. southeastern France, by Pope John Paul II in the year 2000. He This disclosure was contained in a statement signed by the was transferred to Lille in 2008 by Benedict XVI. (CNA) archdiocesan chancellor of Kaduna, Father Christian Emmanuel Okewu, on May 11. n HUMAN TRAFFICKING IS A MODERN “It is with a heavy heart but with total subBURNING BUSH, SAYS MYANMAR CARDINAL mission to the will of God that we announce Cardinal Charles Bo of Yangon has decried the scourge of the death of Reverend Father Joseph Akete modern-day slavery as it happens all over the Bako. The sad event took place at the hands of world including in war zones where millions are his abductors between April 18 and 20,” the statement read. fleeing. “Father Akete (aged 38) was kidnapped from his residence Spiraling conflicts in places like Ukraine in St. John’s Catholic Church, Kudenda, where he was serving and Myanmar have infused “a new and desper- as parish priest, on March 8.” (UCANews)m JULY-AUGUST 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN
Food FoR THoUGHT
Stefano Navarrini illustration
n BY MOTHER MARTHA
n almost all family-run trattorias in Rome and in southern Italy, when the restaurateur presents the bill at the end of the meal, he or she offers the guests a choice of digestivi. These are afterdinner drinks meant to help digestion. Many, like grappa from the Veneto and Friuli, Abruzzese centoerbe or Sardinian fil ’e ferru, are fiery; many others, like Fernet-Branca, China Martini, Amaro Lucano, and Cynar made from artichokes, fall into the category of amari or bitters; still others, like Sicilian Averna, Milanese Ramazotti, and Amaro Montenegro from Emilia Romagna, are bitter-sweet; and several are sweet and thus considered suitable for ladies, like strega from Benevento, amaretto from Saronno made from almonds, anice-flavored Sambuca from Civitavecchia near Rome, as well as limoncello from the Amalfi Coast. Limoncello has become world-famous and is the second-most popular Italian liqueur after Campari. As its name more than implies, limoncello is definitely made from lemons, but its history is disputed. Some sources say that during the Middle Ages the monks along the Amalfi Coast already sipped limoncello to pass the hours between prayers. Others claim that fishermen drank it to keep warm while still others clarify that it was long-distance sailors, not fishermen, who drank it to stave off scurvy. Although there is no documented history of limoncello before the turn of the 20th century, we do know that it has to have originated along the Sorrento Peninsula from Vico Equense to Massa Lubrense, the Amalfi Coast, and on Capri because of the local microclimate, closeness to the sea, and the pagliarelle (straw matting) held up with chestnut poles, still and probably always used to protect the lemon orchards from cold winds. Its origin, however, is a tale of three towns, Amalfi, Capri, and Sorrento, each fiercely defending its claim as the birthplace. No matter where, the lemons are always harvested by hand from February to October. Amalfi bases its claim on its sfusato or spindle-shaped lemon, which has grown in its orchards since the 11th century. Instead, the first description of the Sorrento lemon dates back to 1656, when a botanist named G.B. Ferrari described the rind as tough, pleasantly-scented with a sweet taste and the flavor of the flesh as “pleasantly sour.” Capri’s claim as limoncello’s birthplace is the most recent, but also the only one with verifiable documentation. 70 INSIDE THE VATICAN JULY-AUGUST 2022
At the beginning of the 20th century, Maria Antonia Farace kept a small inn at Isola Azzura, where she maintained a lush orchard of lemons and oranges and developed a liqueur which she shared with her guests. Then, after World War II, her grandson opened a pub in the town of Anacapri near the home of Axel Munthie (1857-1949), the Swedish-born medical doctor and psychiatrist best known as the author of The Story of San Michele, an autobiographical account of his life and work. Of course, the specialty of the pub was nonna Maria Antonia’s liqueur. Then in 1988 Massimo Canale, Maria Antonia’s great-grandson, produced his own homemade limoncello, patenting its trademark. Canale’s trademark started a snowballing sensation still existing even today. What started as local and then regional sales quickly spread nationwide. Its popularity skyrocketed internationally when it was served in a scene of the 2003 movie Under the Tuscan Sun. Yet this sudden popularity had a down side. Since the name limoncello itself is not protected, liquor companies started to make their own brands, often adding artificial colors to limoncello’s four official ingredients: the zest or peel of organic lemons, water, alcohol, and sugar. As an attempt to block commercial imitations, in 2008 the European Parliament passed regulations that offered limoncello made on the Amalfi Coast and environs a location-based stamp of approval called a “Protected Geographical Indication” or PGI for short. This stamp of approval is found on the labels of the bottles of authentic limoncello and guarantees that the producers have not used artificial colors, emulsifiers, flavorings and preservatives (with the exception of ascorbic acid). According to Marjorie Shaw, the owner of Insider’s Italy (www.insidersItaly.com), which organizes exclusive customized trips to “the boot,” and her local expert colleague, Giocondo Cavaliere, the best authentic local brands are Carlo Mansi’s in Minori (see my article, “Off the Amalfi Coast’s Beaten Track,” ITV, November 2021), Valerio Di Riso’s “I Giardini di Ravello,” now made in Conca dei Marini, and the Aceto family’s “Valle dei Mulini” in Amalfi. So first a fad, then a fashion and now a tradition, limoncello is served all-year-round, but it’s at its best served chilled in little chilled ceramic cups also made on the Amalfi Coast after an unforgettably romantic summertime supper overlooking the Bay of Naples. So, if as the saying goes “When life brings you only lemons,” don’t follow its instructions to make lemon pies or lemonade; instead open a bottle of limoncello.m
LIMONCELLO: ITALY’S MOST POPULAR DIGESTIVO
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