Inside the Vatican magazine March-April 2021

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MARCH-APRIL 2021 $5 / EUR 5 / £3.30




SORROW and HOPE The Way of the


Essential Works for Living Wisely X CHRIST VS. SATAN IN OUR DAILY LIVES Robert Spitzer, S.J.


ith his focus on the human heart, Fr. Spitzer tackles the topic of recognizing and overcoming spiritual evil. His goal is our moral and spiritual transformation, which leads to true peace and genuine happiness. He shows how to experience God's peace even during suffering and persecution. He examines the basics of the spiritual life and Christian mysticism, including the contemplative dimension. He explains the purgative, illuminative, and unitive aspects of spirituality, as well as the Lord's consolation and the passive Dark Night of the Spirit.

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“A chillingly thorough summary of the evidence for demonic activity in our world. Shows how the devil gets his toehold by means of deceptions, temptations, and the seven deadly sins.” —Scott Hahn, Ph.D., Author, Rome Sweet Home “A thoughtful and profound presentation of an urgent topic. The section on the Evil One’s strategy to undermine and corrupt culture is especially insightful and helpful.” —Fr. Peter J. Cameron, O.P., Founding Editor-in-Chief, Magnificat



very corner of our lives brings us face to face with competing philosophies and world views claiming to tell us definitively what it means to be human. How can we know which one is right? McTeigue gives a fun, humorous and invigorating crash course in practical logic, metaphysics, anthropology, and ethics, equipping readers with a tool kit for breaking down and evaluating the thought systems that swirl around us, and even within us.

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“A delightful romp through modern idiocies disguised as philosophies. It is full of the most revolutionary and uncommon thing today: common sense.” —Peter Kreeft, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy, Boston College “A must for anyone seeking a comprehensible and comprehensive presentation and defense of theistic philosophy in contrast to its contemporary opponents.” —Robert Spitzer, S.J., Author, Finding True Happiness



n invaluable contribution to the understanding of classical, medieval, and modern political philosophy, while explaining the profound problem with modernity, which Schall shows to be a perversion of Christianity by trying to achieve man's salvation in this world. It does this by politicizing everything which results in the absolute state. The best defense against this tyranny is "the adequate description of the highest things, of what is beyond politics". Both reason and revelation are needed for this work, and they are eloquently set forth in this book. PHHP . . . Sewn Softcover, $19.95

“A classic of political philosophy. As a guide into the depths of political philosophy, there is no more sure-footed and sagacious guide than Fr. Schall.” —Benjamin Wiker, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science, Franciscan University “An essential text presenting crucial ideas that have for too long been missing — with disastrous consequences for both our personal and public lives.” —Robert Royal, Ph. D., President Faith & Reason Institute P.O. Box 1339, Ft. Collins, CO 80522

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by Robert Moynihan

“Peace be with you, Philomena” The story of one man’s devotion over a lifetime of changes in the Church. A tribute to an Italian priest who died on February 26, 2021: Monsignor Giovanni Braschi. May eternal light shine upon him February 28, Feast of St. Hilary (Pope 461-468 A.D.) I received sad news on Friday, February 26, from a shrine in southern Italy, not far from Naples, dedicated to St. Philomena. “It is great sadness we make this announcement,” Sister Paz and Sister Marichu wrote to me in an email. “Monsignor Giovanni Braschi (October 24, 1943-February 26, 2021), Rector of the Sanctuary of St. Philomena, Custodian of the Sacred Body of St. Philomena, President and Spiritual Director of the Universal Archconfraternity of St. Philomena, passed away suddenly this morning at 10:30 in the Sanctuary of St. Philomena in the presence of loved ones. He was suffering from bronchitis over the past week which had worsened in the past 24 hours. Today Our Lord called him home when his heart stopped... He was the worldwide expert on everything related to St. Philomena and was definitely the greatest devotee of St. Philomena our time has known. He is now in the presence of St. Philomena and is at peace. He leaves behind his older sister Antoniette who he spent every lunch and evening meal with, he loved her dearly and cherished this time with her. He loved his nieces and nephews and spoke affectionately of them, he always prayed for them. His family life was dear to him and they all took turns at helping him with his work in the sanctuary throughout the years.” I had come to known Monsignor Braschi in early 2013, when I brought a group of about 25 pilgrims to Mugnano del Cardinale, near , Italy. (It was in the days just before Pope Benedict XVI resigned his papacy, on February 11, 2013.) Braschi was delighted to see us, overjoyed, I would say, at the interest shown by our pilgrims in St. Philomena. Why overjoyed? Because, in 1961, on the advice of some historians, the Vatican decided to suppress the Feast of St. Philomena — to treat her as a saint who was not historically verifiable, a pious legend, not an actual, living, suffering, loving saint. Braschi thought that decision was a terrible mistake. “St. Philomena certainly lived,” Braschi said to me and my pilgrims. “She was a young woman who was martyred for her faith, and she is one of the most powerful intercessors for those who pray to her. So many prayers answered, so many miracles performed, all attest to her actual existence!” I can still remember the radiance of his joyful face as, with a large key which he drew from under his cassock, he opened the lid containing what he believed were three authentic tablets from St. Philomena’s grave. He lifted them up, then handed one of them to me to hold. “Here is the inscription, see,” he said to me, with great animation. “Here, you can read the words, written on three tablets, found on May 25 in 1802 in the Catacombs of Priscilla in the north of Rome. The letters say: ‘LUMENA / PAXTE / CUM FI.’ But that is not the right order. In the correct order, the tablets read ‘PAX TE

/ CUM FI / LUMENA’ — ‘Peace (Pax) be with you (tecum), Philomena (Filumena).’” Also inscribed on the tablets were symbols: a lily, arrows, an anchor and a lance, which would appear to indicate virginity and martyrdom. Inside the coffin were discovered the remains of a girl of about 12 or 13 years of age, along with a vial or ampulla of her dried blood. So it seems there was a devotion to a young girl who was treated by the early Christians of Rome as a virgin and martyr, and whose name may have been Philomena. Then Braschi actually handed one of the tablets to me, telling me to lift it, to see it was real, substantial, heavy, proof of the existence of St. Philomena. “Lift the tablet?” I asked, hardly believing he was serious. “Yes, lift it, lift it,” he said. And I lifted up the tablet. I still have a memory of how that tomb tablet, apparently from the first centuries of the Christian era, perhaps from the 100s or 200s, so, more than 1,800 years ago, felt in my hands: real, substantial, profoundly moving… The nuns wrote: “It wasn’t an easy job he took on, restoring the Sanctuary and reviving the devotion to St. Philomena. He loved history and he researched everything about St. Philomena and with this, facts and science, he set about restoring the devotion to St. Philomena. ‘This devotion had not gone away, it was only suppressed,’ he would say... He was a kind and loving man who completely dedicated his life to St. Philomena. But if you did something against St. Philomena or the Sanctuary, he let you know! It’s fair to say he was passionate about this.” Braschi was born in Mugnano del Cardinale, on October 24, 1943, so he grew up during the realm of the grandest feast celebrations of St. Philomena within Mugnano. This was a time when people flocked to the Sanctuary during the August feast (August 11). There was a solemn Mass and prayers within the church and great festivities outside, all one would expect on a very grand Italian occasion for this very important and special person... Throughout Msgr. Braschi’s training in the seminary he would go to the Sanctuary and pray at the Sacred Altar of St. Philomena to help him to get through the studies and pass his exams to become a priest. These exams were quite tough, and he promised St. Philomena that if she could help him through he would offer his priesthood to her.” And so it was. This man, whose boyhood was shaped by the great feasts in honor of Philomena, dedicated his priesthood to Philomena. In 1983, Bishop Giuseppe Costanzo of Nola named him Rector of the Sanctuary, and he stayed at his post until the end. In November 2016 he suffered a major heart attack. It required surgery and his feet became badly infected. He was advised the solution was a bilateral amputation above the knee, but he refused. Today is a sad day at the Sanctuary, and no words can describe the sorrow of his passing. St. Philomena, the martyr of chastity and faith in Christ, can halt the spread of materialism and cold rationalism of today, through a spirit of ardent faith.m MARCH-APRIL 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN



Year 29, #2

LEAD STORY America: Is the United States Seeking to De-Christianize the West? Will we have to choose between American values and Christian ones? by Christina Deardurff, ITV Staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 “Most subtle campaign to de-Christianize Western culture in 100 years” Interview with Cardinal Gerhard Müller, by Petra Lorleberg, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13

MARCH-APRIL 2021 Year 29, #2


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Robert Moynihan ASSOCIATE EDITOR: George “Pat” Morse (+ 2013) ASSISTANT EDITOR: Christina Deardurff CULTURE EDITOR: Lucy Gordan CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Giuseppe Rusconi, Dr. Jan Bentz WRITERS: Anna Artymiak, Alberto Carosa, William D. Doino, Jr., David Quinn, Andrew Rabel, Vladimiro Redzioch, Serena Sartini, Father Vincent Twomey PHOTOS: Grzegorz Galazka LAYOUT: Giuseppe Sabatelli ILLUSTRATIONS: Stefano Navarrini CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER: Deborah B. Tomlinson ADVERTISING: Katie Carr Tel: 202-536-4555, ext.303

NEWS NEWS/Germany: Vatican’s top ecumenist “astonished” by German bishops’ intercommunion proposal by Catholic News Agency (CNA) with ITV staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 NEWS/ by Christina Deardurff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 NEWS/France: Jerome Lejeune. the “father of modern genetics,” declared Venerable by Barbara Curtis of Celebrate Life, with ITV staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Reflection/Adopting God’s Perspective in a troublous time by Josepth Pearce . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 LENT AND EASTER PHOTO ESSAY HOLY WEEK AND EASTER by Christina Deardurff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28

The poverty of the Cross . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 The kingship of truth

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A mystery and an example

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

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 every two months, 6 times years yearly, with occasional special issues and supplements. Inside the Vatican is published by Urbi et Orbi Communications, PO Box 57, New Hope, Kentucky, 40052, USA, pursuant to a License Agreement with Robert Moynihan, the owner of the Copyright. Inside the Vatican, Inc., maintains editorial offices in Rome, Italy. Periodicals Postage PAID at New Haven, Kentucky and additional mailing offices. Copyright 2021 Robert Moynihan



“Look for the things that are in heaven” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 CULTURE SAINTS/ by Barbara Middleton of Detroit, Michigan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 YEAR OF ST. JOSEPH/ by Pope Francis, December 11, 2020, Rome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 LATIN/ by John Byron Kuhner, Paideia Institute, Rome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 SCRIPTURE/” by Prof. Anthony Esolen, Magdalen College, New Hampshire, USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 EDUCATION/Catholic Polytechnic University in Los Angeles Interview by Zenit with University President Jennifer Nolan, Ph.D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46

URBI ET ORBI: CATHOLICISM AND ORTHODOXY Icon/ by Robert Wiesner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 East-West Watch/ by Peter Anderson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49 News from the East/ by Becky Derks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50 FEATURES Art/In the Eyes of the Beholders: A New Exhibition in Rome by Lucy Gordan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 BOOK/Selection from “Lord of the World” (originally published in 1907) by Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56 Vatican Watch/A day-by-day chronicle of Vatican events: December and January by Becky Derks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58 People/ by Becky Derks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60 Food for Thought/The “fast-food” forerunner of McDonald’s in Pompeii, Italy by Mother Martha . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62


X NOT FORGOTTEN George Weigel Weigel has known many interesting personalities in politics, religion, journalism, the academy, entertainment, and sports. In these reminiscences and elegies of some 60 people, he helps us understand the deep truths of the human condition illuminated by these not-forgotten lives. Written with verve and insight on the consequential lives that have touched his own including Albert Einstein, William F. Buckley, Flannery O’Connor, Franz Jägerstätter, John Paul II, Jackie Robinson, Charles Krauthammer, Sophie Scholl, and many more. NFP . . . Sewn Softcover, $17.95

“Moving and delightful, these reminiscences prove that Weigel has not only a mind of the very first order, but the heart to match.” —Mary Eberstadt Author, Adam & Eve after the Pill “Weigel displays his distinctive blend of philosophic sophistication and humane sympathy. An intellectual feast.” —George F. Will Author, The Conservative Sensibility

“If the One whom I love, the greatest gift of my life, is close to me, then even in difficulties I can experience in the depth of my heart a joy that is greater than any suffering.” —Joseph Ratzinger X ON LOVE Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI Benedict XVI addresses the theme he has celebrated, pondered, and witnessed by his life more than any other: love. For him, love is the vital nucleus of the Church and to serve Christ is above all a question of love: “Peter, do you love me? Feed my sheep.” Love is also the quest of every human being on the journey toward eternity. Arranged by the liturgical seasons of the Church year, these writings trace how Joseph Ratzinger has been enamored of the love of God throughout his years of serving the Church. JRSW3P . . . Sewn Softcover, $15.95

X TRUE FRIENDSHIP John Cuddeback We all want true friends. But how do we know what friendship is, or where to find it? Philosopher Cuddeback weaves together the timeless wisdom of Scripture, saints and the ancient Greeks to map out the beautiful path to man’s greatest joy—true friendship. Using Aristotle’s teachings on the deep connection between happiness and virtuous living, Cuddeback shows that true friendship can only be achieved through a life of virtue, and this is where the human person comes most fully alive. He offers rich advice on how to tap into this reality in our own lives. TFP . . . Sewn Softcover, $15.95

"Wonderfully clear and concise. This book is very wise, very practical, and very much needed." —Peter Kreeft, Ph.D. Author, Wisdom from the Psalms “Cuddeback demonstrates that true friendship based on virtue benefits the individual, family life, and social life. Highly recommended." —Alice von Hildebrand, Ph.D. Author, The Privilege of Being a Woman P.O. Box 1339, Ft. Collins, CO 80522

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Start Planning for 2021 IInside nside tthe he Vatican V Vaatican Pilgrimages Pi lg rimages aare re different di fferent ffr from rom aall l l other other ttours ours aand nd pi pilgrimages. lg rimages. Our Our daily da i ly itinerary itinerar y is is a ffa fabric abric w woven oven o off sspiritual, pirit ua l, h historical istorica l aand nd p personal ersona l eelements lements – the t he p personalities ersona l ities of of great g reat ssaints, a ints, o off tthose hose we we encounter, encounter, and and of of our our pi pilgrims, lg rims, ttheir he i r lives l ives and and their their faith ffaa ith jjourneys. ourneys. A And, nd, we we do n not ot fi fill l l tthe he bus! bu s ! O Our ur pi pilgrimages lg rimages aare re unique, unique, u unrepeatable nrepeatable eexperiences, xperiences, lled ed by by ITV’s IT V ’s eeditor, ditor, Dr. Dr. Robert Rober t M Moynihan, oy nihan, and and other other rrenowned enow ned eexperts. x p er t s .

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I just finished your book, Finding Viganò. You did a superb job, many congratulations, and thank you! I believe the archbishop, plain and simple, he is in my prayers, and I will have a Mass said for him. I can relate to his story, though clearly at a relatively insignificant and local level by comparison. I have worked in public schools for many years. Though the “cover-ups” are not sexual abuse, thank God, they are real and hurt children daily. I fight alone, and I could relate to him and his story completely. It is totally credible and believable. Protecting children is the most important thing, testifying to the truth is important, and fighting for what is right is necessary. But it is a lonely job. Speaking “in accord with our consciences,” as you put it, is so seldom done in this time of history, that it is shocking to many when it occurs. It is easier to say and think “Oh, that can’t be!” — because if you admit to the problem you are obliged to do something about it! I am grateful for his words on this subject, because it helps me in my small corner of the world — to continue to support children. As a Catholic, my thinking and my conscience is differently developed than many around me. It was so refreshing to read words from such a learned man of the Faith that light my way as a message from God. Joan Dise Thanks to the editor for the book on Archbishop Viganò. We became best friends when he served as Nuncio in DC. Rev. Donald Brice Knoxville, Tennessee, USA I have been a subscriber to your beautiful magazine almost since its inception. I really enjoyed the reproductions of the Vatican Art, the celebrations of the various saints, the publication of


the complete texts of the various papal encyclicals, and the balanced coverage of the events in the Vatican, as well as the liturgies and the recipes. At age 75, I am a loyal son of the Church and an admirer of all the Popes from Pius XII to Pope Francis. All that said, I have been increasingly concerned, disturbed and offended by the direction that the magazine has taken in the last several years. For one thing, there has been an increased antipathy toward Vatican II and the liturgy of St. Paul VI. While the Tridentine Latin Mass is beautiful (I love renditions of the various classical composers), and should be available to those who desire it, it should not be shoved down the throats of the majority of Catholics who prefer the new Mass as few seem to be doing. As you know, St. Paul VI made significant changes in the Mass to counter the innovations of the Reformation. The new Mass is an attempt to appeal to a more diverse Church and to encourage participation of the laity. The old Mass, for the most part, does not appeal to most young people or minorities. While I am all for an occasional inclusion of the more beautiful Latin hymns, I would never like to see complete embrace of the old liturgy of the Church. I am also upset by your continuing support for Viganò, Burke, and others who have not only called for the Holy Father’s resignation, but who have encouraged Catholics to vote for our unbalanced and traitorous President Trump. In this regard, you seem to be going the way of the dubious Catholic organization such as The Vortex/Church Militant and the Catholic Vote. While I am no supporter of abortion and pray that it will become a thing of the past, I also know that changes in the law will not end it — it would just go underground as it has for centuries. Besides Trump was always Pro-Choice until becoming President and seeing that opposition would endear him to his base. I also note a great deal of hypocrisy among the Pro-Lifers. They have a very narrow conception of what it means to be

Pro-Life. They are only, for the most part, interested in seeing the baby born and do nothing to support the emotional and financial needs of the new mothers. A few organizations, like the wonderful Sisters of Life, do everything possible for the mothers and children. So what is to be done? Peaceful, caring protests marches are a good thing, enlightened sex education courses, more information about sexually transmitted diseases and more prayers, as well as scientific research on how to protect the child in utero. Getting back to the magazine, in your latest issue, besides promoting the Viganò book, there were very slanted articles by Dr. Greaney and Prof. Esolen on papal views on the economy and education respectively. Then there is the article by Anthony Jay on the COVID vaccine. This one was the most difficult to swallow. In short, I was incredulous. Jay appears to be a rogue scientist. Aside from a few side effects, no one in his right mind or who has the good of other people in mind would question the necessity or the safety of the vaccine. As a long time educator, I occasionally ran into parents who refused to have their children vaccinated for measles, etc., because of their unfounded fears of autism. They were rightfully banned from bringing their children or teens to school until they complied. Your comparatively recent views only serve to further the division in the Church and in our country. As indicated or implied, I am a loyal son of the Church in that I love the Mass, the Eucharist, all of the sacraments and basic dogmas of the Church, including devotion to Mary and the saints and a commitment to adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and support for the Holy Father. Does the Church have its problems? Of course it does as it has had off and on for centuries. But your approach and Viganò’s to them does nothing to resolve these issues. In many ways the Church is an unchanging entity, but in others it has continued to evolve with changing times. In closing, I challenge you to have the courage and the charity to publish this letter in its entirety. Ray E. Brown Jr., MA Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

The Editor replies: I accept your challenge. You are free to raise points of concern, just as I was free to print the material that prompted your concern. Here is the full text of your letter. —RM

“GIVE US STRENGTH” Poem by Therese Gamache of Chepachet, Rhode Island, USA Mary, we tried so hard to follow you We do not know what else to do, Help us reach the souls that are cold And for us to always be bold. In this last chance that you are giving us, come to our aid In this evil world man has made. The cross we have, give us strength to always carry Blessed Virgin Mary Pray for us, Our Loving Mother.

“KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!” No need to send me a copy of the book! I already have it and am enjoying it. To Bob — I am an old friend of John McBride who is from Irvington-onHudson. We worked together at Equitable Life Assurance in Manhattan on 6th Avenue. John organized many hikes in the mountains just north of the city. He is a great leader and I have often been at his side. John talks about his many trips with ITV and his friendship with you. I’ve subscribed to ITV for many years. Keep up the good work! I donate this in honor of John McBride and our friendship. Rev. David M. Wilke Belleville, Illinois, USA I just received my January-February issue and for one brief second I thought it had been decided to end the print issues. Thank God, as I read the next sentence, it was to be published every two months. As someone on social security and a small pension I can’t afford a computer and internet. I have depended on Inside the Vatican, and EWTN, to give me the news and truths of the Church since I became a Catholic in 2005. My subscription will end at the end of March 2021. I don’t care what I may have to give up, I will renew. God bless you for all you do. Gail Bryant Rochester, New York, USA

Your letter was compelling and I hope you have many generous responses. Inside the Vatican is priceless in quality and content. Enclosed is a contribution, and I will mail renewal in envelope sent. These are turbulent times for the Church which makes the magazine more important reading than earlier. I ordered and read Finding Viganò — gave it to a priest (young) who I am certain will read it. Excellent interview! Maybe he, too, will pass it on. I will sign up for $10.00 monthly as requested (on line). Send my copy of book to a priest who would benefit. Carol Grady Cleveland, Tennessee, USA I love your printed-on-paper magazine. I emailed you a while ago suggesting you ask for monthly donations. I’m glad you’ve decided to do so. I would like a copy of Finding Viganò, but not just for $10.00 a month. I will give you $20.00 a month for as long as you keep your beautiful printed magazine. God bless you and your great work. Enclosed is my first contribution. Stan Interrante Placentia, Califonnia, USA

ON VATICAN II What greater approval and endorsement of the Holy Spirit’s writing of the documents of Vatican II than three Popes now Saints of the Church, Pope St. John XXIII, Pope St. Paul VI, and Pope St. John Paul II. They oversaw its writing and implemented its novenas and practices in their pontificates. Similarly, Pope Benedict and Pope Francis didn’t criticize Vatican II but honored it by its practices. Inside the Vatican, by publishing voices critical of Vatican II, allows us to pray for their conversion to “Obedience of the Faith” in the norms of Vatican II. Robert P. Saverine Stamford, Connecticut, USA

SPECTACULAR ISSUE The Christmas issue, like the monthly, was spectacular. Keep up that “Moynihan” tradition of excellence! Jim O’Connor Garden City, NewYork, USA The Editor replies: Thank you, Jim. I may tell our readers that you are now in your 90s and were a friend of my father, MARCH-APRIL 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR William T. Moynihan, in the Marine Corps in the late 1940s in Washington, D.C., and that the two of you encouraged some of the other Marines who were Catholics to go with you two on Sunday to Mass. My Dad always spoke very highly of you, and it is great that we are still in touch. Semper fi.

GIVING UP TV We are approaching that time of the year when various religious groups enter a period of introspection, selfexamination and penitence. In the Christian tradition, it is called Lent. People commit to tasks that are beneficial to themselves and their fellow man. I would like to suggest something that will take you to a better place of less stress, calmness, satisfaction and connection with friends and family. What is this something? I stopped watching the TV news! I started out slowly, one day a week. It felt good! As I increased the number of days I felt even better. I actually spoke to my friends and family. I then extended this idea to TV shows, especially the late night programs. Today, such programs reek of hatred, ridicule, lies and degrading attempts at humor at another’s expense. After doing this, I am betting you’ll feel better. Dan Malecki Crystal Lake, Illinois, USA

“VACCINES: HOW SAFE” I reread Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. ‘s, article and found it to be so excellent and know now why you suggested it (ITV, June/July 2020). I am also partial to Dr. Theresa Deisher’s article (Aug/Sept 2020) and Dr. Anthony Jay’s article on Vitamin D3 (Dec 2020). I have distributed them — thanks!

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I recently wrote the Veteran’s Administration in Oceanside and while thanking them for bringing my vitamin D3 levels up from a low count to a more moderate level. I gave them three reasons why I didn’t plan to get the vaccine (actually four, with my vitamin D3 level.) I also sent them some handwritten excerpts from the above three articles so I have sent a small donation to Urbi et Orbi Communications. Also, I wrote the editor of our local Catholic paper in response to their February 2021 article “Vaccine: it’s an ethical choice!” The whole article was ultra pro-vaccine. “Are safe and effective; are morally acceptable to take after careful vetting of their clinical development; Advance the common good, as Catholic social teaching calls the faithful to do.” (The Southern Cross, page 2). Thank you for getting the word out. Also my siblings (6) are well informed and don’t plan on getting a vaccine. Gail Royal Carlsbad, California, USA Thank you, ITV and Dr. Anthony Jay, for publishing the honest, truthful article “Covid Vaccines: How Safe? “ (December 2020). These are valuable facts and insights “behind the Wizard of Oz curtain” which we, who are not research scientists, would never have known without your article. I mailed a copy of this article to family members in different states. I am very grateful for this information. Maria-Luisa Rodríguez Lee Morris, Minnesota, USA

POLITICIZATION OF THE CHURCH Your magazine is fantastic. I am glad that you are publishing Archbishop Viganò’s letters. Unfortunately, he is absolutely right. He is responsible for exposing Uncle Ted (McCarrick)’s crimes, but interestingly, the Vatican document, which condemned John Paul II, his secretary, Benedict XVI, never interviewed Viganò. The only saint that came out of the report was Francis. It is interesting that another scene from the Gospel, namely the anointing at Bethany, is not mentioned at all. Although, the Bible describes it in Matthew 26:7-13, Mark 14:3-9, Luke

7:37-50, John 12:3-8, in which the Disciples, but especially Judas Iscariot lament the waste of money on Jesus, when it could be spent on the poor. Jesus told them that the poor will always be with them, but He will not. Indeed, today, the Church is focusing exclusively on social issues, to the expense of believing God. St. Paul, in the 2 Thessalonians 3:10 clearly states that “If anyone will not work, let him not eat”, he did not mean the disabled, but simply the one who demands public keeping, education, rent, etc. This is a huge topic, and would be interesting to write pages about it, but in my opinion it led to the total politicization of Church life and the destruction of spirituality and the worship of God, leading to the victory of Marx’s Theory and his evil teachings. The canonization process is completely politicized. Today, hardly anyone who died in the Odor of Sanctity is elevated to the Altar. If, however, he died with an automatic rifle in his hand, preventing the building of a hydroelectric dam, demanding instead that the world should pay the locals a hefty fee, and is killed by his opponents and ends up as a Blessed who does not need a miracle to prove Heaven’s approval. I do not think that Oscar Romero’s Beatification was for his religious stand, but rather, for his politics which was the main reason that at that time and that international climate led (mistakenly and heavy-handedly) to his elimination. John J. Alpar, M.D., P.A. Amarillo, Texas, USA

YEAR OF ST. JOSEPH Your lead story in the JanuaryFebruary 2021 issue laudably tells the story of “A New Year With St. Joseph” quoting Father Don Calloway as saying “This is the best thing that Pope Francis has done.” There is no argument with that. Having read and followed Father Calloway’s book Consecration to St. Joseph, I would suggest that your readers could have been better served by a cover image of St. Joseph that would depict him as the more youthful and vigorous protector of Jesus and His Mother Mary than the one chosen. That would more closely align ITV with the theme advanced by Fr. Calloway. Even with this

ON VIGANÒ I understand both the concerns of those who wish that you not publish Archbishop Viganò’s words, and those that believe his words are important given the state of the Church today. Whether you publish them or not, they will get into the public realm; i.e. via Bannon. So perhaps whether you publish or not is not the heart of the matter. It seems to me the real core is what the Archbishop is doing to his credibility. He brings no special expertise on the pandemic, and his full throated support for former President Trump allows others to simply dismiss him as a partisan, ideological crank who is “against Francis.” Further, while he of course does have expertise on Church doctrine, to call Vatican II not legitimate puts him in the position of a dissenter outside the Magisterium of the Church. The release of the “McCarrick Report” actually supports much of what the Archbishop has said. The massive number of references to Viganò,` who was never interviewed; the failure of the report to address more specifically the network that clearly did and does surround McCarrick; the failure to directly address why Francis “rehabilitated” the Cardinal except to say he decided to trust his predecessors; all point to the real intent — besmirch Viganò, clear Francis, and leave the blame with others, in particular St. John Paul II, something I thought would happen from the beginning. The real gift Archbishop Viganò can give the Church, the core of his extreme courage, is to stay focused on the rot in the Vatican. The interview with Fr. Murr in ITV corroborates how long the rot has been going on and how bad it is. Here is my proposal: the Archbishop, and the Church, might benefit greatly by someone with the right relationship with him giving him some advice on where to focus his commentaries. His words are now news. If he can be convinced to leave the other matters aside and focus on his original “mission” — which is so clear

from your page-turning book — to stop the effort to turn the Church of the Risen Lord into a progressive NGO. (name withheld)

very end of the program in Roman numerals, so quickly that it was hard to read, but it appears that it was an episode copyrighted in 2010, before the election of Pope Francis to the papacy. The Vatican, that is, in essence, the Pope, has doubled down on this honoring of Pachamama by the issuance of a coin that appears to have the image of Pachamama. This episode of Bizarre Foods is an important contribution to the understanding of Catholics with regard to the activities that took place in the Vatican Gardens, St. Peter’s Basilica, and in the church from which the idol was removed and thrown into the Tiber – thank God. I wanted to bring this to your attention, as this episode is very likely easily obtainable on the internet through YouTube, the Bizarre Foods site, or the site probably maintained by the television channel where Bizarre Foods is one of the programs. Ned Jacobs St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

When Pope Francis brought into the Vatican the Pachamama statue and the South American people who accompanied it and who appeared to revere it, I wondered whether the statue was simply a statue, not an idol. When the people accompanying the statue formed a circle around it and bowed down in front of it in the Vatican Gardens, it gave the impression that these people were worshipping a pagan god they knew as Pachamama, represented by this statue. I wondered, who are these people? Do they self-identify as Roman Catholic, but Catholics who have sensibilities that augment their Catholic faith, or simply pagans who worship a non–Christian god called Pachamama? This brings me to the point: recently, I tuned in to an old episode of TV show “Bizarre Foods” with Andrew Zimmern. This particular episode had the host FOR MEN + WOMEN + KIDS visiting Argentina; he H O LIDAYS I BIRT H DAYS I A N Y O CC A S I O N met with indigenous people from the mountains. While with them, he participated in and was permitted to video and audio tape the preparation of a sacred meal meant to honor the god Pachamama. He said that these people prayed to this god of the earth to seek approval to have the meal preparation and the meal videotaped by the television WEARABLE BLESSINGS HANDWOVEN WITH LOVE AND PRAYER crew. The host USE CODE VATICAN15 specifically and MYSAINTMYHERO.COM repeatedly referred to Pachamama by the name “Pachamama.” The copyright date of the episode was flashed at the

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deficiency, ITV remains a highly valued publication with an essential mission well executed. Norb Plassmeyer





AMERICA: DE-CHRISTIANIZING THE WEST? n BY CHRISTINA DEARDURFF Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks to residents in Kenosha, Wisconsin, September 3, 2020, at Grace Lutheran Church (CNS photo/Kevin Lamarque, Reuters)


he American columnist and social commentator Rod Dreher, once a Methodist who converted to Catholicism, then was persuaded, after the Church’s clergy abuse scandal, to convert to Orthodoxy, shone a spotlight on the warnings expressed straightforwardly in the accompanying interview by Cardinal Gerhard Müller on the ascendance of Catholic Joe Biden to the US presidency, and the pressure his “progressive” collaborators were bringing to bear on American society — militating against social and moral values upheld by the Church. Dreher commented in a January 28 article in the American Conservative that we may be heading for a major conflict between selfstyled “American” values and Christian values: Though the US has separation of church and state, we have long been accustomed to American Christianity being consonant with American patriotism. But close Christian observers of American life have wondered for the last couple of decades — at least in my experience — if and when the day will come when being a faithful Christian will require one to oppose the US government and the American system. As America de-Christianizes, what was once unthinkable by conservative Christians is now fast moving from the fringes to the mainstream of our thinking.




His remarks prefaced extensive quotes from an interview by journalist Petra Lorleberg with former Prefect for the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, German Cardinal Gerhard Müller, which appeared a few days earlier on the German Catholic website Inside the Vatican republishes the entire in-depth interview, posted January 25, in which Cardinal Müller says the US “with its conglomerated political, media and economic power, stands at the head of the most subtly brutal campaign to de-Christianize Western culture in the last one hundred years.” “What Cardinal Müller means, I think,” offers Dreher, “is that all the major power-holders in the United States are equally committed to creating a world in which all are ‘liberated’ from the chains of tradition, of religion, of biology, of history, of national feeling, and are turned into a herd of consuming individuals eager to be controlled by elites. “They want Brave New World. The ‘subtle brutality’ of which the German cardinal speaks is what I mean by ‘soft totalitarianism.’ They aren’t going to smash the windows of your shop or burn it down, as the Nazis did. They are just going to make it impossible for Christian dissenters to do business.”m


PETRA LORLEBERg: Your Eminence, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has expressed strong criticism of the pro-abortion policies of the new U.S. President Joe Biden. On the other hand, a few U.S. bishops voiced their view that the USCCB’s critique of Biden was unwise. Blase Cardinal Cupich from Chicago writes on his personal Twitter account that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops had issued “an ill-considered statement” on the occasion of the new President’s inauguration. Do you see the USCCB critique as justified, or are the bishops exaggerating? CARDINAL GERHARD MÜLLER: A Catholic bishop is distinguished from power politicians and ideologues by his obedience to the revealed Word of God. He would be a false apostle if he relativized the natural moral law for the sake of his political preference or because he favored one party or the other. Every human being recognizes the demands of the natural law in his conscience because of his reason.



When those who held political and religious power in the time of the apostles tried to forbid them to proclaim Christ’s teaching under threat of punishment, the latter replied: “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). Anyone who relativizes the clear acknowledgment of the sacredness of every human life with tactical games, sophistries and window dressing because of political preferences, pub-

licly opposes the Catholic faith. Vatican II and all the Popes down to Francis have described the deliberate killing of a child before or after birth as a most grievous violation of God’s commandments. The USCCB President, Archbishop Gomez, declares to President Joe Biden in his clear opinion: “As Pope Francis teaches, we cannot stay silent when nearly a million unborn lives are being cast aside in our country year after year through abortion.” What is the Church’s teaching on abortion? “God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.” (Vatican Council II, Gaudium et spes, n. 51). President Joe Biden has presented himself—not only on the day of his inauguration—as a believing, practicing Catholic. How credible is that in your view, given his long MARCH-APRIL 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN




series of pro-choice declarations actions with regard to abortion, is But they must never participate in evil and his official Statement on the not in full communion with the actively or passively. At least they Catholic Church, for instance must protest against it and—as far as 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Archbishop of Denver, they can—oppose it, even if they sufthe Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion: “In the past Samuel J. Aquila, and the fer discrimination as a result. It is well known that a Christian four years, reproductive former Archbishop of who declares his opposition to health, including the right to Philadelphia, Charles the mainstream of LGBTchoose, has been under relentless Chaput. Chaput suppropaganda, abortion, legaland extreme attack,” and also his ports the idea that at this ized drug use and the aboliannouncement that his adminis- time Biden should not receive tion of male or female sexutration will massively support Communion. In contrast, ality is called “extreme rightabortion in the United States and Wilton D. Cardinal Gregory, wing” or even a “Nazi,” alworldwide, even financially? though in fact the National SoThere are good Catholics cialists with their biologisticeven in the highest Vatican posiDarwinist ideology were diations who, in their blind antimetrically opposed to Christian Trump sentiments, put up with anthropology. everything or play down what is Those with a spiritual affinnow being unleashed in the ity (who disparage others with U.S.A. against Christians and all Nazi comparisons but at the people of good will. same time are indignant when Now the United States, with they are compared with Nazis) its conglomerated political, megather, instead, where people dia and economic power, stands rebel against God, who created at the head of the most subtly man in His image and likebrutal campaign to de-Christianness—as man and woman. ize Western culture in the last Can the U.S. bishops in one hundred years. They play “NOW THE UNITED STATES, WITH ITS principle count on Pope down the lives of millions of chilCONGLOMERATED POLITICAL, MEDIA Francis to support their prodren, who now fall victim to the AND ECONOMIC POWER , STANDS AT life commitment across the worldwide, organized abortion board, so that any disagreecampaign under the euphemism THE HEAD OF THE MOST SUBTLY ments in dealing with a sitting of “right to reproductive health,” BRUTAL CAMPAIGN TO President would be at most in by referring to Trump’s character DE -C HRISTIANIZE W ESTERN CULTURE a question of tact? faults. The Holy Father has never An otherwise highly respectIN THE LAST ONE HUNDRED YEARS” failed to oppose in the clearest ed confrere reproached me, saypossible terms abortion as preing that I must not fixate on abortion. For now that Trump has been Archbishop of Washington, D.C., meditated murder, and for this reason he has been slandered vilely by voted out, this eliminates the much said that he would not deviate those who otherwise like to greater danger that that madman from the current practice of quote him and cannot emphamight push the nuclear button. I am allowing Biden continued acsize loudly enough the conconvinced, however, that individual cess to the reception of Comtrast with the previous Pope and social ethics has priority over munion. How do you evaluate Benedict XVI. I hope that no one politics. It crosses a line when faith this? comes up with the perverse idea of and morals are reckoned by a political Even among Catholics, the absurd calculus. I cannot support a pro-abor- opinion has crept in that faith is a pri- balancing abortion and euthanasia tion politician just because he builds vate affair and that in public life you against the admission of immigrants public housing, as though I had to put can tolerate, approve and promote and migrants at the Mexico border and thus of “silently” accepting up with what is absolutely evil on ac- something that is intrinsically evil. count of something relatively good. Concretely, in practice the Chris- crimes against humanity as part of the In the U.S.A. there are bishops tians in a legislature or a government bargain. Given the pro-abortion posiwho say publicly that Biden, on ac- might not always succeed in adopting tions of the new President, can and count of his public statements and the natural moral law on all points. 14 INSIDE THE VATICAN MARCH-APRIL 2021

should American Catholics simply that she can perform for society for Life, has become almost rouand obligingly go along with his within the parameters of the com- tine, in Germany you can count on calls for “unity” and the healing of mon good and dependence on the one hand the few brave bishops State. who come to the March for Life. wounds? Only once, during the KulIt is not my job to evaluate the conReconciliation is the gift that God turkampf [German Culture War] duct of individual bishops. I have alhas given us through Jesus Christ. Precisely for Christians in politics against Prussian state absolutism and ways been impressed by Clemens this should also be a standard for their against the totalitarian ideology, was August von Galen, who on October speech and actions. But an ideologi- there practical opposition in the name 18, 1933, was consecrated Bishop of cal rift in society is not overcome of her higher mission (Pius XI, En- Münster [Germany]. The motto on his episcopal coat of when one side marginalizes, crimi- cyclical Mit brennender Sorge, arms was: Nec laudibus – nec timore. nalizes and destroys the other, so that 1937). “Neither the praise of men nor in the end all institutions from the fear of men should move the media to the international us.” firms are now ruled only by repIn Poland, on the contrary, resentatives of the capital-sothe bishops are decidedly and cialist mainstream. strikingly pro-life. Do you In the United States, as in value their efforts? Spain now, the Catholic More than all other Euroschools, hospitals and other pean nations, the Poles for 200 non-profit institutions supportyears have suffered and fought ed with public funding are befor constitutional democracy ing compelled to implement and the Catholic faith. Neverimmoral policies; if they refuse theless, malicious prejudices they are closed. Even the most against this country are circunaive must be able to tell by lating. Even in ecclesiastical now whether the talk about reconciliation in society was “IN THE UNITED STATES, AS IN SPAIN circles these commonplaces and stereotypes are adopted unmeant seriously or was only a NOW, THE CATHOLIC SCHOOLS, critically. propaganda trick. HOSPITALS AND OTHER NON-PROFIT The advocacy of Polish bishThe very same ones who talk about it at the top of their lungs INSTITUTIONS SUPPORTED WITH PUBLIC ops, priests and lay people are associated with a fundamental should examine themselves FUNDING ARE BEING COMPELLED traditionalist sentiment of a nacritically about their own conTO IMPLEMENT IMMORAL POLICIES; tion which, after the National tribution to the division. The Socialist and Communist dictaslogan, “If you won’t be my pal, IF THEY REFUSE THEY ARE CLOSED” torship and foreign rule, is not I’ll smash in your skull,” is not yet so ripe for democracy. the right path to reconciliation Since then, [German-speaking] Offers of remedial instruction in and mutual respect. Would such a strong reaction Catholics have obviously subordinat- matters of democracy and in dealing against pro-abortion policies be ed themselves to a great extent to sec- with a secularized society are coming imaginable in Austria, Germany ular governmental goals (so-called from Germany and Austria, of all and German-speaking Switzer- “system relevance”) and have grap- places. pled with the aggressive de-ChrisAll things carefully considered, land? Since the eighteenth century, tianization of society only in the pri- we should show more solidarity with along with absolutism, we have even vate sphere. A bishop in Central Eu- our Catholic brothers and sisters. We in Catholic France, Austria and rope today faces the choice of surviv- could learn important things from Bavaria the unholy tradition of the of- ing through conformity or being each other and together accomplish ficial state church (Gallicanism, branded a fundamentalist by ignorant much good for the Catholic Church in people. Febronianism, Josephinism). today’s world. Whereas in the United States the [As a result] the Church no longer defines herself in terms of her divine participation of great numbers of (Translated from German by mission for the salvation of all peo- Catholic bishops in the largest pro- Michael J. Miller. Permission by ple, but rather in terms of the service life event in the world, the March MARCH-APRIL 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN



TOP ECUMENISM OFFICIAL “ASTONISHED” BY GERMAN INTERCOMMUNION PUSH GERMAN BISHOPS SEEM INTENT ON PROCEEDING DESPITE VATICAN CONCERNS n BY CNA STAFF/ITV STAFF Left, Bishop Georg Bätzing, president of the German bishops’ conference, and, right, Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity


ardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, expressed “astonishment” January 26 at a statement by the Ecumenical Study Group of Protestant and Catholic Theologians (known by its German acronym, ÖAK). The ÖAK published the 26-page statement on January 24 in response to a critical assessment of the group’s proposal for a “reciprocal Eucharistic hospitality” between Catholics and Protestants by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). Koch told CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner, that he was surprised by the tone and choice of words in the statement, as well as its content and timing. The Swiss cardinal also questioned whether the statement’s authors were sincere in their call for further discussions with Rome. “After more than 20 pages have been devoted to showing that in fact none of the requests made by the 16


Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about the ÖAK’s document are justified, one wonders how seriously the willingness expressed at the end by the authors of the statement to engage in further discussions is really meant,” he said. The CDF raised concerns last September about a 2019 document prepared by the ÖAK entitled “Together at the Lord’s Table,” which envisaged a “Eucharistic meal fellowship” between Catholics and Protestants. In a letter to Bishop Georg Bätzing, president of the German bishops’ conference, the CDF said, “The question of the unity of the Eucharist and the Church, in which the Eucharist presupposes and brings about unity with the communion of the Church and her faith with the pope and the bishops, is undervalued in the aforementioned document.” “The doctrinal differences are still so important that they currently rule out reciprocal participation in the Lord’s Supper and the Euch-

arist,” it went on to say. The CDF suggested that the ÖAK text should inspire further theological discussions, but cautioned against any steps towards intercommunion between Catholics and members of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), an organization representing 20 Protestant groups. Koch told CNA Deutsch that he was taken aback by the content of the ÖAK’s new statement. “In it, as in [the original document], there are certainly many good statements, which, however, remain in the purely academic domain and are not linked back to the concrete ecclesiastical reality,” he said. “If they were grounded in this concrete reality, many statements presented as an unquestionable consensus would have to be questioned. “The fact that this grounding has not happened to a large extent is all the more astonishing since the ÖAK repeatedly invokes the primacy of practice, but largely fails to live up to it.”m

The former CDF prefect, Cardinal Gerhard Müller

Cardinal Gerhard Müller: “That would be madness” The former CDF prefect, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, told German journalist Regina Einig in a 2018 interview that departing from Church doctrine on the Eucharist for the sake of saving souls would mean “to correct God”


ne may not separate pastoral practice from the Church’s doctrine. If we depart from the revealed Faith [supposedly] for the sake of the salvation of souls, it would mean to correct God who in our eyes would then not be at all capable of foreseeing in His Commandments all the possible concrete individual cases. That would be madness, in whose abyss the Church then would sink. We cannot do so as if one could accomplish the full community of the

Church — which is represented in the Eucharist — without “considering our teachings to be true,” as Justin the Martyr already said in his First Apology (written around 150 B.C. in Rome). If, according to Vatican II’s Constitution on the Liturgy (SC 10; 47), the Eucharist is the “source and summit” of the liturgical life of the Church, how could one then claim that the question as to whether someone may fully partake in it does not touch the question of Faith? The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ, and the Eucharist the Sacramental Body of Christ, which one may only receive if one belongs fully and without obstacle to that same one visible Church.” (Translated by Maike Hickson)



September 2020 letHilarion Alfeyev of ter sent by the ConMoscow, “the Cathgregation for the Doctrine olic Church will of the Faith to the head of never allow an attithe German bishops’ contude of division to be ference, dealing with inborn on its own.” tercommunion between Murzaku points out that Catholics and Protestants, the Second Vatican Counalso spoke about the hincil’s Decree on Ecudrance to ecumenical relamenism, Unitatis Redintetions with the Orthodox gratio, states that the churches that this practice Orthodox, “although sepawould bring about. rated from us, possess true Bishop Georg Bätzing (far right) and Heinrich Bedford-Strohm (far left) “However, an opening during an ecumenical celebration. In the circle, Ines Angeli Murzaku, sacraments”: “These Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Seton Hall University of the Catholic Church toChurches, although sepawards Eucharistic meal felans or other Protestants was ever rated from us, possess true sacralowship with the member churches approved (which I strongly doubt), ments, above all by apostolic sucof the EKD in the current state of it would not only be “sacrilegious” cession, the priesthood and the the theological discussion would and an “outrage” against the sacra- Eucharist, whereby they are linked necessarily open new rifts in ecu- ment of the Eucharist, as Cardinal with us in closest intimacy,” menical dialogue with the Ortho- Sarah has put it, but would also Murzaku said. dox Churches, not only in Ger- cause a trauma in modern ecu“Therefore, some worship in many,” it said. menism and damage Catholic- common (communicatio in sacris), Ines Angeli Murzaku, in a 2018 Orthodox relations, something the given suitable circumstances and article in Catholic World Report, Catholic Church would avoid at the approval of Church authority, is elaborated on this theme, saying: any cost. As Pope Francis said in a not only possible but to be encour“If intercommunion with Luther- recent meeting with Metropolitan aged. (no. 15)m MARCH-APRIL 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN





ope Francis on January 10 signed a motu proprio (a letter written on his own initiative) titled Spiritus Domini (released the next day) allowing women and girls, through an amendment to canon law which replaces “men” with “persons,” to serve at the liturgical altar in the capacities of acolyte and lector (already a long-standing practice in many places). The exact wording of the amended canon is: “Lay persons who possess the age and qualifications established by decree of the conference of bishops can be admitted on a stable basis through the prescribed liturgical rite to the ministries of lector and acolyte. Nevertheless, the conferral of these ministries does not grant them the right to obtain support or remuneration from the Church.” In the complete text, Francis notes that, formerly, the reception of what 18


he calls “lay ministries” preceded the reception of ordination to the priesthood; now, he says, a “doctrinal development” has occurred wherein the Church now “highlights” that these ministries are based on the common priesthood of the faithful, and not the ordained priesthood. Thus, he says, these ministries can better “respond to the nature of the aforementioned charisms and the needs of the times.” In an explanatory letter on the motu proprio to the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Francis expands somewhat on his reasons for issuing it. Among other things, he says, in regard to reserving the offices of acolyte and lector to men, that “in recent times and in many ecclesial contexts, it has been observed that dissolving such a reservation could help to better manifest the

common baptismal dignity of the members of the People of God.” Again, he later notes, “To offer lay people of both genders the opportunity to enter the ministries of Acolyte and Lector, by virtue of their participation in the baptismal priesthood, will increase recognition, also through a liturgical act (institution), of the precious contribution that for a long time many, many lay people, including women, have offered to the life and mission of the Church.” In both instances, the underlying theme seems to be that by conferring permission to read at Mass and serve at the liturgical altar, lay people, and in particular women, will receive “recognition” and appreciation of their dignity: a reward, or an overdue promotion, as it were, to a more prestigious position. The following pieces discuss this apparent intent.m

“Welcomes the witness given by many, many women” From the Letter of the Holy Father Francis to Cardinal Luis Ladaria (photo), the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on access of women to the ministries of Lector and Acolyte, January 11, 2021


or centuries the “venerable tradition of the Church” has considered those that were called “minor orders” — including, precisely, the Lector and the Acolyte — as steps on a path that was to lead to the “major orders” (Subdiaconate, Diaconate, Presbyterate). Being that the Sacrament of Orders is reserved to men only, this was a valid fact for the minor orders as well. A clearer distinction between the responsibilities of those that today are called “non-ordained (or lay) ministries” and the “ordained ministries” allows a loosening of the reservation of the former to men only. While, with regard to the ordained ministries, the Church “does not consider herself authorized to admit women to priestly ordination” (cf. St. John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Sacerdotalis Ordinatio, 22 May 1994), for the non-ordained ministries it is possible, and today it seems opportune to surpass this reservation. This reservation had its meaning in a specific context but may be reconsidered in new contexts, however, always having as a criterion fidelity to the mandate of Christ and the will to live and proclaim the Gospel imparted by the Apostles and entrusted to the Church so that it may be religiously heeded, devoutly safeguarded, faithfully proclaimed. Not without reason, St. Paul VI refers to a venerabilis tradition, not a veneranda tradition, in the strict sense (namely, it “must” be observed): it can be recognized as valid, and for a long time it has been so; however it does not have a binding character, since the reservation to men only does not pertain to the nature proper to the ministries of Lector and Acolyte. To offer lay people of both genders the opportunity to enter the ministries of Acolyte and Lector, by virtue of their participation in the baptismal priesthood, will increase recognition, also through a liturgical act (institution), of the precious contribution that for a long time many, many lay people, including women, have offered to the life and mission of the Church.

For these reasons, I found it opportune to establish that not only men but also women — in whom, through the discernment of pastors and after an appropriate preparation, the Church recognizes “the steadfast will to faithfully serve God and the Christian people,” as written in the Motu Proprio Ministeria Quaedam, by virtue of the Sacrament of Baptism and of Confirmation — may be instituted as Lectors and Acolytes. The choice to confer also to women these offices, which entail stability, public recognition and a mandate on the part of the Bishop, renders more effective in the Church everyone’s participation in the work of evangelization. “This would also allow women to have a real and effective impact on the organization, the most important decisions and the direction of communities, while continuing to do so in a way that reflects their womanhood” (Francis, Apostolic Exhortation Querida Amazonia, n. 103). The “baptismal priesthood” and “service to the community” thus represent the two pillars on which the institution of the ministries is founded. In this way, in addition to responding to what is required for the mission in the present time and to welcome the witness given by many, many women who have attended to and attend to service to the Word and to the Altar, it will appear more evidently — also for those who are oriented toward the ordained ministry — that the ministries of Lector and Acolyte are rooted in the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. As such, on the path that leads to diaconal and priestly ordination, those who are instituted as Lectors and Acolytes will better understand they are participants in a ministry shared with other baptized, men and women. Such that the priesthood proper to every faithful (commune sacerdotium) and the priesthood of ordained ministers (sacerdotium ministeriale seu hierarchicum) may be seen even more clearly interrelated (cf. LG, n. 10), for the edification of the Church and for the witness to the Gospel.n MARCH-APRIL 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN





he opinion that argues that the dignity of the common priesthood must be ennobled by placing the laity and women in the presbytery and at the altar, giving them the task of performing minor services in the liturgy, ultimately means a form of clericalization of the laity and above all of women. Furthermore, this indicates not a promotion of the laity, but on the contrary a subtle discrimination of the laity and women, reserving to them only the minor services in the sanctuary, but to the clergy, instead, the most important or major services. Furthermore, the application of the word “ministry” to the common priesthood in the liturgy contains the Protestantizing

danger of a confusion between ministerial and common priesthood. The Church has always understood the liturgical expression of the common priesthood as that of the laity participating in the sacred liturgy by being gathered in the nave of the Church and not in the presbytery. The laity thus participates in the liturgy by being in their place outside the presbytery (as already indicated by Pope Clement I in the first century and then by the main liturgical documents of the tradition). Consequently, the lay faithful liturgically express their common priesthood with responses, songs, bod-

ily gestures, genuflections, bows, even with silence (cf. Vatican Council II, Sacrosanctum Concilium, 30). The greatest and most worthy liturgical realization of the common priesthood consists in the worthy and fruitful sacramental reception of Holy Communion. The principal expression of the common priesthood outside the strictly liturgical sphere consists in the service of the laity in the family, in the domestic Church, in the domestic “liturgy” at home. Mainly, however, the expression of the common priesthood consists in

Emphasis on “doing” at the altar is false Participation in the liturgy is really about “being” n BY PETER KWASNIEWSKI


hat we need to see clearly, is this: the highest dignity of the baptized is to welcome Christ the Lord in Holy Communion. Period. Nothing else they do, no other function or service , can compare to the Marian privilege of receiving God. When we elaborately multiply functions, services, activities, we introduce distractions, invert priorities, build false hierarchies, and undermine simple faith, devotion, humility, and reverence. The participatio actuosa or actual participation of the faithful in the liturgy is not about doing, but about being, or more precisely, being a good recipient of the Word, so that this Word may be fruitful in us. It is not about busyness with much serving, but about contemplation, the union of love. The proper role of the clergy, for its part, is to serve actively, bestowing divine gifts or assisting in their bestowal. This role embraces all ministers who assist the clergy in the sanctuary, as they collectively prepare and offer the sacrifice of Christ on behalf of all and for 20


Peter Andrew Kwasniewski, author of four books about traditional Catholicism and composer of sacred music

all. The purpose of this distinction, written into the Mystical Body of the Church no less than sexuality is written into the human body, is not to show off the better members, or let them lord it over others, or announce that they have powers, privileges, and perks that lesser mortals lack. No. It is a power to lead the people closer to the Lord Jesus, whom the clergy and liturgical ministers are to show forth not only in their official actions but also, importantly, in their very being. What we do, what we see, what we hear: in traditional Catholic worship, these are and must be utterly consistent. The powerful sacramental symbolism of the sexes should not, and in the end cannot, be ignored. If we are no longer able to recognize these luminous and fundamental truths of the Faith, then we are far indeed from the Spirit of the Lord, and well mired in the Spirit of the Age. (excerpted from “Far from the Spirit of the Lord: On the Pope’s New Motu Proprio,” Crisis, January 13, 2021)

Bishop urges greater involvement of women at the altar Next step: ordination


n a December, 2020 interview with a Catholic magazine, the bishop of Limburg, Germany, said it was “becoming less and less convincing” to argue against opening the “sacramental ministry” — the priesthood — to women. “I would describe myself as conservative because I love this Church and enjoy devoting my life and my strength to it. But I want it to change,” Limburg Bishop Georg Bätzing told the magazine Herder Korrespondenz. KNA reported that, in the interview, the Limburg bishop called for reforms of the participation of women in the Church. He said it was becoming increasingly difficult to justify the ban on ordaining women deacons

and priests. It was important to him to “honestly state the Church’s arguments as to why the sacramental ministry can only be given to men, but I am also aware that these arguments are becoming less and less convincing and that there are well-developed arguments in theology in favor of opening up the sacramental ministry to women as well,” Bätzing said. He said he often mentioned the ordination of deacons as the first step before the ordination of priests and bishops. He said he saw room to maneuver on the issue, adding that he favored a greater involvement of women and of laypeople in general in the Mass, including giving the homily, which has been prohibited. (CNS)

A moment from a Vatican symposium in October, 2013, of the Pontifical Council for the Laity "On the digity and vocation of women”

the sanctification of the However, through Pope secular field, as e.g. Pope Paul VI and now Pope Paul VI teaches in the ApFrancis, a drastic break with ostolic Exhortation Evanan almost bimillennial relegelii Nuntiandi: vant tradition of the univer“[The laity’s] primary sal Church (East and West) and immediate task is not has been carried out through to establish and develop the the abolition of the Minor ecclesial community- this Orders (Paul VI) and is the specific role of the through the change of the pastors- but to put to use significance of the minor every Christian and evanliturgical services (Pope gelical possibility latent but already fore of salvation in Jesus Christ, with- Paul VI and Pope Francis). The proper present and active in the affairs of the out in any way losing or sacrificing significance of Minor Orders and of all world. Their own field of evangelizing their human content but rather pointing the minor services at the altar derives activity is the vast and complicated to a transcendent dimension which is — according to the lex orandi of the world of politics, society and econom- often disregarded.” (n. 70) Church — not from the common ics, but also the world of culture, priesthood but from the diaof the sciences and the arts, of conate. Minor Orders are thereinternational life, of the mass fore an expression — through media. It also includes other realinon-sacramental ordinations — ties which are open to evangelizaof the humble service of the mintion, such as human love, the famisterial priesthood (episcopate ily, the education of children and and presbyterate) and of the adolescents, professional work, sacramental diaconate. In a suffering. The more Gospelbroader sense, this also applies to “WE CATHOLIC WOMEN, AWARE OF OUR MARIAN inspired lay people there are altar servers (altar boys), who engaged in these realities, clearly PRIVILEGE, CHOOSE TO PUT OUR ENERGIES AND TALmust be therefore of the male sex involved in them, competent to ENTS AT THE SERVICE OF THE EFFECTIVE COMPLEMENto maintain the link with the minpromote them and conscious that TARITY OF MEN AND WOMEN. WE CONSIDER THAT isterial priesthood and the sacrathey must exercise to the full their OUR SPECIFIC VOCATION IS NOT A MIRROR OF THAT OF mental diaconate at the symbolic MAN, AND THAT IT DOES NOT NEED TO BE ENNOBLED Christian powers which are often level. (Excerpted from “Healing BY THE SERVICE OF THE ALTAR.” buried and suffocated, the more the Rupture: A Call for the —from A Manifesto: The Call to Deepen the these realities will be at the service Restoration of Minor Orders,” Vocation of Women ( of the kingdom of God and thereCrisis, February 3, 2021)m MARCH-APRIL 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN



JEROME LEJEUNE, “FATHER OF MODERN GENETICS,” IS DECLARED “VENERABLE” THE CELEBRATED RESEARCHER, WHO DISCOVERED THE CAUSE OF DOWN SYNDROME, FOUGHT FOR THE DIGNITY OF “HIS DEAR LITTLE ONES” n BY BARBARA CURTIS (CELEBRATE LIFE) WITH ITV STAFF Dr. Lejeune received many honors for his discovery, including the Kennedy Prize in 1962 (bestowed by President John F. Kennedy in person). Bottom, Dr. Jerome Lejeune with some of his “little ones”


n April 11, 2012, a memorable Mass was celebrated at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. First, the incense, the pleasing fragrance to the Lord. Then the crucifix, a reminder of Christ’s sacrifice and a rebuke of our hardened hearts. Then a couple dozen altar boys, most with the beautiful almondshaped eyes of Down Syndrome, leading the procession for this very special Mass — a Mass marking the first step toward beatification of a man who holds a special place in the hearts of those whose lives have been touched by an extra chromosome. Jérôme Jean Louis Marie Lejeune — the man they came to honor — was the pediatrician and geneticist who, in 1958, working from the discovery that humans have 46 chromosomes, found the extra chromosome on the 21st pair (hence the scientific label “Trisomy 21”) that causes what was then called “mongolism” and is now called Down Syndrome (after the British doctor John Langdon Down, who, in the mid-1800s, described the physical characteristics associated with this disability). Until Dr. Lejeune’s discovery, the syndrome had wrongly been attributed to maternal syphilis. Almost nine years after that Mass celebrating the conclusion of five 22


years of gathering testimony of Jerome Lejeune’s sanctity, Pope Francis recognized on January 21 of this year the doctor’s heroic virtues and declared that he may now be called “venerable.”

The next step, beatification, would require a verified miracle due to his intercession. Dr. Lejeune received many honors for his discovery, including the Kennedy Prize in 1962 (bestowed by President John F. Kennedy in person) and, in 1969, the William Allen Memorial Award from the American Society of Human Genetics — the highest distinction a geneticist can earn. But as a devout Catholic and father of five, Dr. Lejeune’s discovery led him to think in terms of improving the lives of those with Trisomy 21. Thousands of families corresponded with him and came from all over the world to seek his counsel. Dr. Lejeune offered them a different perspective than the world’s, encouraging them to see that their children were created in God’s image and made for eternity,

The book Life Is a Blessing written by Dr. Lejeune’s daughter, Clara Lejeune-Gaymard, and published in 1997

Through his daughter’s eyes Pope John Paul II called him “Brother Jerome”


he personal life and professional character of Dr. Jérôme Lejeune were a seamless garment of pro-life philosophy and action. This is what comes through in the book Life Is a Blessing: A Biography of Jérôme Lejeune, lovingly written by his daughter Clara LejeuneGaymard and published in 1997. Clara describes the compassion and hope he shared with families affected by Down syndrome. People called him at any hour — day or night — for his counsel. He would drop everything to spend hours with them. Once, while attending an international health conference at the United Nations, Dr. Lejeune was the lone prolife voice when abortion was being debated. He asked, “Is life a fact or a desire?” and admonished his audience: “Here we see an institute of health that is turning itself into an institute of death.” That evening he wrote to his wife, “This afternoon I lost my Nobel Prize.” In the social upheaval of the 1960s, there were some frightening moments for the Lejeune children. At the medical school where he taught, they saw ter-

rible graffiti: “Dr. Lejeune is an assassin! Kill Dr. Lejeune! Dr. Lejeune and his little monsters must die.” Clara laments, “He who hated no one, who always said, ‘I am not fighting people; I am fighting false ideas,’ is even today the object of unconcealed fury on the part of those who set themselves up as apostles of tolerance.” She sees her father as a dry martyr of the abortion battle: “Here is a man who, because his convictions as a physician prohibited him from following the trends of the time, was banned from society, dropped by his friends, humiliated, crucified by the press, prevented from working for lack of funding. Here is the one who became, for certain people, a man to be beaten down; for others, a man not worth jeopardizing your reputation with; and for others, an incompetent extremist. Pope John Paul II called him “Brother Jérôme.” To Clara, her father was a great Christian: “If he suffered, he never let us see it. In the face of insults he used to smile, saying, ‘It is not for myself that I’m fighting, and so these attacks don’t matter.’”n

er — and increasing preslike all of us. He assured sure on mothers to abort an them their children pos“imperfect” baby and “try sessed special gifts of again.” Over 90 percent of love and affection. babies diagnosed prenatalDr. Lejeune called ly in the U.S. are aborted, them “these dear little and in France, the rate is at ones,” and his love for least 96 percent. them was authentic. So, For the rest of his life, he was horrified by the Dr. Lejeune would also realization that, in this speak out against abortion eugenic era, his discov— which put him at odds ery of the extra chromowith the elite scientific some made them targets. community, threatened to He feared — correctly — Dr. LeJeune (center) became the first president of the Pontifical Academy for disrupt his family life, and it was only a matter of Life created by Pope John Paul II in 1994 probably deprived him of time before tests made prenatal diagnosis possible, result- be at the service of life — not death. the Nobel Prize he deserved. But Dr. Lejeune knew that the ing in many parents choosing to Since the only hope for saving lives would be to find a cure for genetic onslaught against him paled in abort their children. intelligence disabilities, Dr. Leje- comparison to the onslaught une devoted the rest of his life to against these unique and innocent SCIENCE AT THE SERVICE OF LIFE Though a scientist, Dr. Lejeune this purpose. Today, his worst fears children. As he was dying, he was first and foremost a godly man have come to pass, with tests that mourned, “I was the doctor who who understood that science must diagnose trisomies earlier and earli- was supposed to cure them and, as I MARCH-APRIL 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN


NEWS FRANCE leave, I feel I am abandoning them.” His wife, Birthe, has written, “All of the awards he received for his discoveries were meaningless to him, because he had not been able to accomplish that one goal.” HIS CONTINUING SCIENTIFIC LEGACY

In 1996, Dr. Lejeune’s family established the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation in Paris to continue his legacy of ethical research for improving the intellectual functioning and associated physical maladies of those with Trisomy 21 and other chromosomal anomalies (cri-du-chat syndrome, Rett syndrome, fragile X syndrome, and others). The foundation is the world’s oldest and largest funder of research on genetic intelligence diseases. The foundation also advocates for the fundamental

Dr. Lejeune with his family

rights and human dignity of persons afflicted with such disabilities, and through its Lejeune Institute in Paris, the foundation also provides them with specialized medical treatment and lifelong follow-up. In 2011, under the leadership of Jean-Marc Guilloux, the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation opened an extension in the United States. In its brochure titled Jérôme Lejeune

Foundation: Coming to America, the foundation explains: “Life-changing treatments will soon be a reality, but there is so much more to do. “There are approximately 400,000 individuals with Down syndrome in the U.S., but according to recent statistics only $20 million is provided for Down syndrome research. “Compare that to funding for cystic fibrosis, which receives $79 million for a population of only about 30,000. Clearly, if Down Syndrome research is going to progress, funding must come from private sources.” According to Guilloux, “Because so many with the condition are aborted, researchers have been very reluctant to put time and money toward a better understanding of the condition.”m


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t is all too easy in these troublous times to become discouraged and disheartened. What preserves us from such despondency is the ability to see the bigger picture. We must see things as God sees them, as far as this is possible. We must see all of time, all of history, from the omnipresent perspective of eternity. There is no past or future with God. All is present to him. Since this is so, each of us is always present to him as is all of history. A knowledge of history illustrates that the Church Militant, the Church at war within the devil’s domain, is always being besieged from without and betrayed from within. The pattern was established during the life of Christ and has woven its way through history for the past two thousand years. The secular powers, from Pilate and Herod onwards, have always had much more political power than the Church and have always been at war with Her. As for the soldiers of Christ, the pattern was established by the Apostles at the time of the Passion. Of the twelve men selected by Christ to be His inner sanctum, one was a traitor, ten were cowards, and only one had the courage to accompany Christ’s Mother to Golgotha, standing with her at the foot of the cross. This same pattern is present throughout the whole history of the Church. For every single saint there are always ten cowards who run for cover as soon as times get hard or perilous; for every saint, there is always the traitor who is ready to betray Christ and His followers. This 26


Left, the stark Pardoner of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Below, Dante Rebukes Pope Nicholas III, by Gustave Dorè, from the Inferno, Canto XIX, the circle of simoniacs. Simony is the act of selling Church offices and roles or sacred things

perennial pattern, woven through history, was present in the so-called good times, as well as in the bad. It was present in the history of the middle ages, as is evident to all who have studied the medieval world and to all who have read the works of Dante and Chaucer. Even as the great cathedrals were being built, there were corrupt Popes and sometimes two or three different people claiming to be Pope at the same time. Even as the power of Christian Rome seemed triumphant, Popes were being exiled from Rome itself. Even as the great saints walked the earth, great sinners walked beside them. Even as the Church defined orthodoxy, the world was being ripped apart with heresy. For every saint in Dante’s depiction of the so-called “golden age” of Christendom, there is a sinner wallowing in his self-made hell. For every good and holy parson on Chaucer’s pilgrimage, there are drunk and avaricious friars and monks; for every noble and pious ploughman, there is an ignoble and uncouth miller. The world is always at war with Christ and His Church, and the worldly within the Church are always in an unholy alliance with the world. The world, as the Salve Regina reminds us, is a vale (and veil) of tears and a land of exile. Nothing essential has changed, from the time of Christ to the present day, which means that everything essentially remains the same. In Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales we see essentially the same unchanging humanity struggling with essentially the same unchanging prob-

Close-up of the angels in the Last Judgment of Michelangelo in the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel. The angels call souls to judgment. The larger of the two books they hold contains the names of those whose unrepented sins lead to their damnation

lems. We see the same struggle between holiness and hedonism, sanctity and sin, virtue and vice. The seven deadly sins are as deadly now as they were in Chaucer’s time. They kill human society as surely as they kill the human soul. They destroy the sinner’s love of God and neighbor as surely as they destroy the wholeness or holiness of the self-centered self. Pride is still pride, and it still precedes a fall; lust is still lust, and it is as destructive to life and to marriage as it always was; avarice is still avarice, gluttony is still gluttony, sloth is still sloth, envy is still envy, wrath is still wrath, ad nauseam, ad infinitum. In Chaucer, as in Dante, we see Everyman, which is to say all of us, struggling with the perennial problems that have beset every generation of men throughout the countless centuries of human history. Nothing has changed, everything remains the same. It is the same perennial pattern weaving its way through the centuries, timeless in design and woven with three distinct threads. The first thread is good; the strand of virtue or holiness. The second is bad; the strand of pride and viciousness. The third is beautiful; the strand that shines forth the glory of Creation. Each of these three strands, representing the three dimensions of history, is a human thread, manifesting who we are: homo viator (the good man), homo superbus (the wicked man), and anthropos (the poet or sub-creator). Homo viator is pilgrim man, or man on the quest for heaven, who struggles with the demons and dragons of life, assisted by the grace he needs. He knows that if he serves the Church Militant faithfully and courageously during his active service in this mortal life, he will be received into the Church Triumphant forever. Homo superbus is proud man, the man who refuses the self-sacrifice necessary to follow the quest and who does his own thing, pursuing his own appetites. He holds sway outside the Church, and is present within the ranks of the Church Militant. (He is not destined for the Church Triumphant until or unless he repents.) Anthropos, according to Plato, is he who looks up in wonder at the goodness, truth and beauty of Creation, seeing the Creator’s presence in His creatures. Such people are the poets who see the beauty and, if

they have been given the gifts, show the beauty to others in sub-creative ways (music, literature, art, architecture). This “three-dimensional” understanding of history animated Pope Benedict’s insistence that the only argument for the Church is the saints she has nurtured and the great works of art that she has inspired: “Next to the saints, the art which the Church has produced is the only real ‘apologia’ for her history. It is this glory which witnesses to the Lord, not theology’s clever explanations for all the terrible things which, lamentably, fill the pages of her history. The Church is to transform, improve, ‘humanize’ the world — but how can she do that if at the same time she turns her back on beauty, which is so closely allied to love? For together, beauty and love form the true consolation in this world, bringing it as near as possible to the world of the resurrection. The Church must maintain high standards; she must be a place where beauty can be at home; she must lead the struggle for that ‘spiritualization’ without which the world becomes the ‘first circle of hell.’” It is, therefore, the twin threads of beauty and love which witness to God’s presence, in contrast to that third dark and twisted thread of pride. All three threads are interwoven in the history of man because they are all interwoven in the heart of man. As for each of us, as individuals, answering the call of homo-viator, we are soldiers of Christ in the Church Militant (the Church at War) who must pray for the grace to defeat our own dragons, our own interior homo superbus, and also for the grace to keep looking up in wonder at the heavens, seeing Heaven itself reflected in its beauty. If we do this, we will become lights in the darkness. The end of the world for each of us is when we die. The only purpose of life is to get to heaven. It is not easy. It is a war. Heaven is the victory. The Church Triumphant is the victor. The war is already won. We, as combatants, will either rise with Christ in His victory, or fall from His presence by choosing to fight for the Enemy. “The issue is quite clear,” G. K. Chesterton said on his deathbed. “It is between light and darkness and every one must choose his side.”m MARCH-APRIL 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN





he one who knows God will follow the Lord’s footsteps, bearing the cross of the Savior. It is said, “The world is crucified to him and he to the world.” The Lord says, “He who loses his life will save it.” We can “lose our lives” in one of two ways. First, we can risk our lives just as the Lord did for us. Secondly, we can separate our lives from the customary things of this world. Bearing the cross means to separate our souls from the delights and pleasures of this life. If you do this, you will find your life again — resting in the hope of what is to come. Dying to ourselves means being content with the necessities of life. When we want more that these necessities it is easy to sin. (St. Clement of Alexandria)


CHRIST AND THE RICH YOUNG RULER nd a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. (Luke 18: 18-23)


Christ and the Rich Young Ruler, 1889, by German painter Heinrich Hoffman (1824-1911)





o Pilate’s question: “So you are a king?” he answers: “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice” (Jn 18:37). Previously Jesus had said: “My kingship is not of this world; if my kingship were of this world, my servants would fight, that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but my kingship is not from the world” (18:36). This “confession” of Jesus places Pilate in an extraordinary situation: the accused claims kingship and a kingdom (basileia). Yet he underlines the complete otherness of his kingship, and he even makes the particular point that must have been decisive for the Roman judge: no one is fighting for this kingship. If power, indeed military power, is characteristic of kingship and kingdoms, there is no sign of it in Jesus’ case. And neither is there any threat to Roman order. This kingdom is powerless. It has “no divisions.” With these words Jesus created a thoroughly new concept of kingship and kingdom, and he held it up to Pilate, the representative of classical worldly power. What is Pilate to make of it, and what are we to make of it, this concept of kingdom and kingship? Is it unreal, is it sheer fantasy, that can be safely ignored? Or does it somehow affect us? In addition to the clear delimitation of his concept of kingdom (no fighting, earthly powerlessness), Jesus had introduced a positive idea, in order to explain the nature and particular character of the power of this kingship: namely, truth. (from Jesus of Nazareth, Pope Benedict XVI, 2011)



hen the whole company of them arose and brought him before Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ, a king.” And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” (Luke 23:1-3)

Ecce Homo (1543) by the Italian painter Titian (1488-1576), Art History Museum in Vienna, Austria MARCH-APRIL 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN 31




nd over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus the King of the Jews.” Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right hand and one on the left. And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the Cross.” (Matthew 27:37-42)


or all our weaknesses, which come from sin, He took on Him without sharing in sin, so that He felt the sensation of hunger and thirst and sleep and fatigue, and grief and weeping, and suffered the fiercest pangs up to the extremity of death, because no one could be loosed from the snares of death, unless He in Whom alone all men’s nature was guileless allowed Himself to be slain by the hands of wicked men. And hence our Saviour the Son of God provided for all that believe in Him both a mystery and an example, that they might apprehend the one by being born again, and follow the other by imitation. For the blessed Apostle Peter teaches this, saying, Christ suffered for us, leaving you an example that you should follow His steps. Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth. Who when He was reviled, reviled not: when He suffered, threatened not, but gave Himself up to His unjust judge. Who Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that being dead to sins, we may live. (St. Leo the Great, from Sermon 63)


am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death. (Psalm 22: 14)


Crucifixion of Jesus Between Two Robbers (1635), by Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp, Belgium MARCH-APRIL 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN 33




e do not hesitate in diffidence, we are not under the suspense of uncertainty, but having received an earnest of the promise, we now with the eye of faith see the things which will be, and rejoicing in the uplifting of our nature, we already possess what we believe. (St. Leo the Great, from Sermon 71)


ince you have been brought back to true life with Christ,you must look for the things that are in heaven where Christ is, sitting at God’s right hand. (Colossians 3:1)


nd they both ran together, and that other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre... Then cometh Simon Peter, following him, and went into the sepulchre, and saw the linen cloths lying... Then that other disciple also went in, who came first to the sepulchre: and he saw, and believed. (John 20: 4-9)


The Disciples Peter and John Running to the Tomb on the Morning of the Resurrection by Swiss painter Eugène Burnand (1850-1921), 1898, Museum d'Orsay, Paris MARCH-APRIL 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN 35



The three shepherd children: Francisco, Lucia and Jacinta, witnesses of the several apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima, Portugal, from May to October in 1917

Francisco de Jesus Marto and Jacinta de Jesus Marto were siblings from Aljustrel, a small hamlet near Fátima, Portugal, who with their cousin Lúcia dos Santos witnessed three apparitions of the Angel of Peace in 1916 and several apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Cova da Iria in 1917. Pope Francis canonized Francisco and Jacinta on May 13, 2017, the 100th anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima. Jacinta is the youngest saint to have not died a martyr’s death. ITV correspondent Barbara Middleton interviewed the postulator for their cause, Sr. Angela Coelho. Barbara Middleton: How did you first become interested in Fatima? Since I was a child, the devotion to our Lady and to the Message of Fatima always has been present in our family life, I think I can say that I have received it as heritance. However, as I grew up, this familiarity was transformed into a love, commitment and dedication relationship. Is it true that you helped to establish a religious community dedicated to Fatima? I know the “Alliance of Holy Mary” since my childhood. I keep the memory of a small, but very joyful and united, “family” of women nurtured by the same filial love to Our Lady and totally committed to the Message of Fatima. When I joined “Alliance of Holy Mary,” in 1995, we were not yet recognized by the Catholic Church as a Religious Congregation; we were a few sisters and everything was still germinat36


ing. So, I cooperated at the time we were fixing the identity, and the approval came for the “Alliance of Holy Mary” as a Religious Congregation by the Catholic Church. How were you selected to be a postulator for the cause of Saints Jacinta and Francisco? And now sister M. Lucia. As a consecrated woman, the message of Fatima and the shepherd children’s lives are part of my mission and of what I am as individual and, since very early in the “Alliance of Holy Mary,” I dedicated most of my activity to the apostolical work of giving talks on Fatima and the shepherd children’s way of sanctity. In 2000 I met Fr. Luis Kondor, SVD. He was, at that time, the vice-postulator for Francisco and Jacinta Marto’s cause. I’m a medical doctor also, so I started to accompany him. Naturally, within the scope of the doctor-patient relationship, this love and dedication to Fatima was manifested and, in 2009, due to Fr. Kondor’s delicate state of health and advanced age, Antonio Marto, Bishop for the Leiria-Fatima Diocese, asked me to assume the cause. When Fr. Molinari, SJ, died – he was the Roman postulator for the cause – I was asked to assume also his role. In 2014, in Rome, I had the chance to meet Fr. Romano Gambalunga, OCD, the general postulator for the Order of Mount Carmel. By that time, he asked me to support the cause of Sr. Lucia, assuming the role of vice-postulator. Is it true that there were some who were skepti-

Paintings of Blessed Jacinta Marto and Blessed Francisco Marto are presented by Sr. Angela Coelho, the postulator, during a May 8, 2017 news conference in Fatima, Portugal (CNS photo/Rafael Marchante, Reuters). Below, John Paul II with Sr. Lucy of Fatima during their first encounter on May 13, 1982

cal about the cause of Jacinta and Francisco because they were children and they did not die as martyrs? In fact, the cause of Francisco and Jacinta Marto’s beatification and canonization is an historical landmark in the life of the Church, because they are the first canonized children who didn’t suffer martyrdom. Maybe it’s not about skepticism; it was typical of the mentality of that time. Until 1981, the fact of considering that children do not have sufficient maturity to practice the virtues in heroic degree was a major obstacle to the canonization of children who were non-martyrs, which would include Francisco and Jacinta Marto. Francisco and Jacinta’s cause challenged the Church to question this rule. John Paul II, in that same year, asked to CCS for an opinion on this fact. An interdisciplinary committee met to study the issue and the Holy Father established that the Catholic Church recognizes holiness in children. What were the most remarkable indications of the heroic sanctity of Saints Jacinta and Francisco? For Francisco Marto the central attitude is the deep contemplation of Jesus, seeking to console Him for all the offenses, and the imitation of His silent and hidden prayer. In the silence of Eucharistic adoration, He whom Francisco called “Hidden Jesus” nurtured a deep friendship made of his abandonment, and his presence in the many hours he spent in front of the tabernacle, in the parish church. Francisco preferred to pray all alone, for in this inhabited solitude, he was willing to think about God, how He was sad, consoling and giving Him joy. Jacinta stood out in a generous Christlike imitation as the suffering servant abandoned at the Cross. In fact, the central attitude in Jacinta’s holiness is the profound compassion for “poor sinners.” “Wounded” by the love for Hidden Jesus in the Eucharist, and compassion for sinners, for those who suffer the most

and for the Holy Father, the center of her prayers and sacrifices, she was willing to “only put in the hearts of all, the fire that was burning” within her heart, and that made her “love the Hearts of Jesus and Mary so very much.” What do the lives of Saints Jacinta and Francisco teach us about holiness? These two saints teach us a lot about holiness. However, I would like to emphasize that the most important thing is that holiness must be understood within the experience of a loving relationship that God establishes with each child that He loves. It was because they understood each other as deeply loved by God, in that light that Our Lady put in their hearts – that was God – the saints Francisco and Jacinta Marto let themselves be transformed into the image of Jesus’ Heart by the heavenly Mother. Therefore, holiness is giving life itself as a response to God in loving freedom, willing profoundly to correspond to divine love. Do the apparitions at Fatima teach us about the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the life of the Church? Of course. The Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, no. 62, states that Our Lady, after “taken up to Heaven,” did not lay aside Her “salvific duty”; instead, Mary’s maternity in the economy of salvation lasts without intermission. In Fatima, this maternity duty of Mary, that always comes to us, stands out. By the response of each believer to the maternal requests of Our Lady for conversion, prayer, reparation and consecration, humanity allows itself to be involved by a spiritual itinerary – “to Jesus through Mary” – within an experience of God’s salvific love for humanity. Why are the apparitions at Fatima still important for the life of the Church? The third part of the secret revealed by Our Lady on the apparition of 13th of July manifests the message MARCH-APRIL 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN




of hope that Fatima is for the whole Church. Fatima points to the meaning of life, animated by the love for Jesus, for the benefit and unity of the ecclesial body. Our Lady’s requests for prayer and sacrifice go towards giving life an ecclesial dimension, and which fits into a much broader perspective of God’s love for the “cities in ruins.” Therefore, Fatima is, most of all, a call for the fidelity of the Church to the vocation to be a sign of hope, alive, maternal and incarnated, for the world. What did Mary mean when she said: “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph?” The greatest moments in the history of salvation in Jesus, the Incarnation and Resurrection, happened in a hidden way, in solitude, away from the gaze of human knowledge. In my opinion, the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary takes part in the same divine logic. It’s not going to be an ostentatious event in a specific moment in history, but, as Franco Manzi, an Italian biblist, says, her triumph is fulfilled thanks to imitation and “repeated acts of consecration of many Christians to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In fact, the triumph of the Heart of Mary happens whenever, responding to the requests for prayer, reparation and consecration, our hearts are opened to the action of the Holy Spirit and He “will shape the hearts of these and those of so many other believers to the heart of Christ.”1 Do you know how the cause for the beatification of Sister Lucia is progressing? The cause for the beatification of Sister Lucia is developing in a very positive way. At this moment, we are in the so-called Roman phase, in the stage of writing the Positio on her virtues. Therefore, as soon as we finish it, we will go on to the other phases of the process. By the grace of God, I attended the funeral of Sister M. Lucia. Cardinal Bertone was the main celebrant. Did you attend the funeral? Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to attend Sister Lucia’s funeral, but it was a remarkable moment in the history of the Portuguese and universal Church. We can say that Sister Lucia is a very important figure for the twentieth century’s history. After her death, the Portuguese government decreed a day of national mourning: that is only dictated on the occasion of death of people that have had a significant role for the nation. 38


St. Francisco died (of influenza) at home in his bed. Can you tell me something about his death? Francisco fell ill in October of 1918 with the Spanish flu. According to the testimonies, he passed away by 10pm on the 4th of April, 1919. Since that moment, Jesus ceased to be “hidden”; He made Himself totally visible to him. Fully transformed in Jesus, that he so loved, Francisco Marto’s only thoughts, before he passed away, were about the final and everlasting encounter with Jesus. Therefore, once he said to Lucia that he might forget to ask Him for the intentions that she was entrusting him because, he said “I’m afraid to forget when I see Our Lord. And then, more than anything else I want to console Him.” St. Francisco saw himself in the light of God. Can you explain about the light? In fact, the light is one of the elements present in both the Angel of Peace or Our Lady’s apparitions. The “Lady brighter than the sun,” surrounded by light and full of God that, as Sr Lucia wrote, “was that Light,” appears as the mediator of that light of God’s that reveals the Mystery of the Trinity and leads and introduces us to communion with God. St. Francisco was particularly sensitive to that Light; he once said to Lucia: “I loved seeing Our Lord, but I loved still more seeing Him in that light where we were with Him as well.” The Light is the manifestation of a God that is close, within the innermost depths of the human being, and that reaches each of us, leading to transformation. In the Light that is God, one can see himself in Him, more clearly than in the best of mirrors. That happened with little Francisco and, from that day on, his conversion to the merciful love of God grew until he gave whole life for Jesus and died within that Light. It is reported that Jacinta was in a room behind Francisco but did not permit herself to visit him as an offering/penance for Poor Souls. Did this happen? Love is creative, and these children’s love responded with their own creativity to the Angel’s call since the moment he asked them to offer sacrifices of everything they could. Jacinta, as Lucia used to say, was insatiable about offering sacrifices; therefore, she wouldn’t miss an opportunity to offer sacrifices. Then, we can understand even the sacrifices that could seem

more insignificant. Lucia said that, many times, JacAre we living in the times of the “Third Secret of inta wanted to visit Francisco in his bedroom, but she Fatima?” did not, so she could offer that sacrifice. In Joseph Ratzinger’s (Pope Benedict XVI) theoI would like to see Jacinta made Patron Saint of logical commentary on the secret of Fatima, regarding the Popes. Jacinta had a vision of a Holy Father the third part of the secret, we are offered an attempt weeping. What are your thoughts on that? at an interpretation of the symbolic meaning of the Jacinta’s heart was touched by the suffering of the various elements that constitute the Via Crucis, in the whole of humanity and, most of all, touched by the third part of the secret. The steep mountain and the suffering of the Holy Father. After seeing the Holy city in ruins appears to us as the place of human hisFather suffering, she never ceased to offer herself and tory, a place of destruction but also a place of creativto pray for him. When we think about Jacinta, it’s easy ity, where good and evil intersect, but the place where to think about Moses in the Old Testament when the Jesus’s cross is lifted up as the goal and fountain of our prophet held up his arms so Israel could prevail strength for our salvation. against the enemy; in a similar way, Jacinta held up This place of human history symbolically repreher prayers and sacrifices to bring some relief to the sented in the third part of the secret is history that conHoly Father’s suffering. In tinues, the history of refact, as Jacinta supported the demption, also marked by others in their suffering, her sin, and from it emerges the heart widened. paradox of the crucified but On February 13, 2005, victorious Christ. John Paul II sent a fax to We live in times of the Sister M. Lucia of Jesus ..a third part of the secret if we few hours before her death. are aware that also we are He ended his message by climbing the “steep mounimparting his blessing to tain” and we walk through her. Can you share with us the “ruins of our cities” with the final words of Sister M. our gaze placed on Christ. Lucia? When Pope Francis (on One of Sister Lucia’s releMarch 27, 2020) presided vant characteristics was her over prayers for humanity profound communion with at an empty St. Peter’s prays at the tomb of St. Francisco Marto during his the Church. So, it is mean- Pope Francis Square, it reminded me of visit to Fatima on May 13, 2017. (Grzegorz Galazka photo) Opposite, page from Ilustração Portuguesa, 29 October 1917, ingful to state that her last the vision of St. Jacinta. people looking at the sun as it danced in the sky during words were directed to the showing the the Your thoughts? Fátima apparitions on October 13, 2017 Pope. At her last moment, These times of pandemic she offered the suffering she was going through for the we are living through remind us that, precisely 100 Holy Father. years ago, Jacinta Marto also would suffer and die in The dedication of a whole life by the offering of similar circumstances. St. Jacinta Marto is a gift to us, herself can t be thrown to oblivion or erased. Therea beautiful witness of how we can offer ourselves for fore, her lifetime speaks loudly of what filled the heart the benefit of others. of Sr. Lucia. Seeing Pope Francis in an empty St. Peter’s Square, What brought the little saints (Jacinta and praying for everyone, reminded me of little Jacinta Francisco) to the altars in Heaven? who, as Lucia used to say, never forgot to pray for the Saints Francisco and Jacinta’s biography reveals to intentions of those who asked her. us a life marked by a self fiat to God’s will. Impressed by the Holy Father’s suffering, St. JacBoth answered Jesus’ invitation to share His chalinta Marto always remembered him in her prayers and ice that they drank from in the third apparition of the sacrifices. Following Pope Francis’ example of prayangel, so, they turned their experience on earth into a ing for the whole of humanity, it would be good if we, heavenly experience. like St. Jacinta, never forget his intentions and pray for The Kingdom of God belongs to the little ones and those who most suffer because of this pandemic. these two little but great saints were witnesses of this 1 MANZI, F., As crianc Kingdom until the end with their creative fidelity to ̧ as-Profetas de Fátima. O God that revealed Himself to them as love. What else olhar de três crianças sobre os ressuscitados, could raise someone to the altars but love? Edicoes Santuario de Fatima, Fatima, 2018, 273.m MARCH-APRIL 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN




DECREE 11 December 2020


oday marks 150 years since the Decree Quemadmodum Deus, with which Blessed Pius IX, moved by the grave and sorrowful circumstances in which the Church was threatened by mankind’s hostility, declared St. Joseph the Patron of the Catholic Church. In order to perpetuate the entrustment of the whole Church to the powerful patronage of the Guardian of Jesus, Pope Francis has established that, from today’s date, the anniversary of the Decree of the proclamation as well as a day sacred to the Blessed Immaculate Virgin and Bride of Joseph most chaste, until 8 December 2021, a special Year of St. Joseph will be celebrated, in which all faithful, after his example, may daily reinforce their own life of faith in complete fulfilment of God’s will. All the faithful will thus have the opportunity to commit themselves, with prayer and good works, to obtain, with the help of St Joseph, head of the heavenly Family of Nazareth, comfort and relief from the serious human and social tribulations that besiege the contemporary world today. Devotion to the Guardian of the Redeemer has developed abundantly in the course of the history of the Church, which not only attributes to him among the loftiest worship, after that of his Bride, the Mother of God, but has also conferred many patronages upon him. The Magisterium of the Church continues to reveal great things, old and new, in this treasure that is St. Joseph, like the householder of the Gospel of Matthew “who brings 40


out of his treasure what is new and what is old” (Mt 13:52). The gift of the Indulgences that the Apostolic Penitentiary kindly bestows during the Year of St. Joseph, through this Decree issued according to Pope Francis’ wish, will contribute greatly to the perfect accomplishment of the designated purpose. The Plenary Indulgence is granted under the customary conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayers according to the Holy Father’s intentions) to the faithful who, with a soul detached from any sin, shall participate in the Year of St. Joseph, in the occasions and with the modalities indicated by this Apostolic Penitentiary. • a – St. Joseph, an authentic man of faith, invites us to rediscover our filial relationship with the Father, to renew our devotion to prayer, to dispose ourselves to listen and correspond with profound discernment to God’s will. The Plenary Indulgence is granted to those who shall contemplate the Lord’s Prayer for at least 30 minutes, or participate in a Spiritual Retreat of at least one day which involves a meditation on St. Joseph; • b – The Gospel attributes to St. Joseph the appellation “just man” (cf. Mt 1:19): he, guardian of the intimate secret that lies right at the bottom of the heart and soul” (1), depository of the mystery of God and therefore an ideal patron of the internal forum, spur us to rediscover the value of silence, prudence and integrity in carrying out our duties. The virtue of justice practiced by St. Joseph in an exemplary manner is full adherence to divine law, which is the law of mercy, “for it is the very mercy of God that brings true justice to fulfilment” (2).

The Flight into Egypt by Vittore Carpaccio, c. 1500, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Therefore those who, after the example of St. Joseph, shall fulfil a work of corporal or spiritual work of mercy, will likewise be able to attain the gift of the Plenary Indulgence; • c – The primary aspect of St. Joseph’s vocation was that of being guardian of the Holy Family of Nazareth, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and legal father of Jesus. In order that all Christian families may be inspired to recreate the same atmosphere of intimate communion, love and prayer that was lived by the Holy Family, the Plenary Indulgence is granted for the recitation of the Holy Rosary in families and among betrothed; • d – The Servant of God Pius XII, on 1 May 1955 instituted the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, “with the intent that the dignity of work be recognized by all, and that it inspires social life and laws, based on the fair distribution of rights and duties” (3). Therefore the Plenary Indulgence may be obtained by those who shall daily entrust their life to the protection of St. Joseph, and all faithful who shall invoke through prayer the intercession of the Worker of Nazareth, so that those in search of work may find employment and the work of all people may be more dignified; • e – The flight of the Holy Family to Egypt “shows us that God is there where man is in danger, where man suffers, where he runs away, where he experiences rejection and abandonment” (4). The Plenary Indulgence is granted to the faithful who shall recite the Litanies to St. Joseph (for the Latin tradition), or the Akathistos to St. Joseph, in their entirety or at least some part of it (for the Byzantine tradition), or some other prayer to St. Joseph, proper to other liturgical traditions, in favor of the Church persecuted ad intra and ad extra and for the relief of all Christians who suffer any form of persecution. St. Teresa of Ávila recognized in St. Joseph the protector for all the circumstances of life: “To other saints, the Lord seems to have given grace to help us in some of our necessities. But my experience is that St. Joseph helps us in them all” (5). More recently, St. John Paul II emphasized that the figure of St. Joseph has acquired “a renewed relevance for the Church of our time, in relation to the new Christian millennium”(6). To reaffirm the universality of St. Joseph’s patronage over the Church, in addition to the aforementioned occasions the Apostolic Penitentiary grants the Plenary

Indulgence to the faithful who shall recite any prayer legitimately approved or act of piety in honor of St. Joseph, for example, “To you, O Blessed Joseph,” especially on the occasions of 19 March and 1 May, on the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, on the Sunday of St. Joseph (according to the Byzantine tradition), on the 19th of every month and every Wednesday, the day dedicated to the saint’s memory, according to the Latin tradition. In the current context of the health emergency, the gift of the Plenary Indulgence extends particularly to the elderly, the sick, the suffering and all those who for legitimate reasons are unable to leave the house, and who with a soul detached from any sin and with the intention to fulfil, as soon as possible, the three customary conditions in their own home or wherever the impediment detains them, shall recite an act of piety in honor of St. Joseph, Comfort of the Sick and Patron of a Happy Death, faithfully offering to God their suffering and the hardships of their life. In order to pastorally facilitate the attainment of divine grace through the power of the Keys, this Penitentiary prays earnestly that all priests endowed with the appropriate faculties may offer themselves with a willing and generous soul to the celebration of the Sacrament of Penance and often administer Holy Communion to the infirm. This Decree is valid for the Year of St. Joseph, notwithstanding any disposition to the contrary. Given in Rome, from the See of the Apostolic Penitentiary, on 8 December 2020 Cardinal Mauro Piacenza – Major Penitentiary Krzysztof Nykiel – Regent L. + S. Prot. n. 866/20/I 1 PIUS XI, Address on the occasion of the proclamation of the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Emilia de Vialar, in L’Osservatore Romano, year LXXV, n. 20-21 March 1935, 1. 2. FRANCIS, General Audience, 3 February 2016. 3. PIUS XII, Address on the occasion of the Solemnity of St. Joseph the Worker, 1 May 1955, in Discorsi e Radiomessaggi di Sua Santità Pio XII, XVII, 71-76. 4. FRANCIS, Angelus, 29 December 2013. 5. TERESA D’ÁVILA, Life, VI, (translated from Italian, in EAD., Tutte le opere, ed. M. BETTEDINI, Milan 2018, 67). 6. JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Exhortation Redemptoris Custos on the figure and mission of St. Joseph in the life of Christ and of the Church (15 August 1989), 32m MARCH-APRIL 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN



A NEW LATIN INSTITUTE: ENCOUNTERING THE WISDOM OF THE CHURCH ONE MEANS OF EXPERIENCING THE CHURCH’S TRANSCENDENCE n BY JOHN BYRON KUHNER Left, Dr. Nancy Llewellyn, a cofounder and codirector of the newly formed Veterum Sapientia Institute, addresses those gathered Nov. 22 at the Allen Center at St. Ann Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, to announce the institute’s launch. (Photo provided by Markus Kuncoro) Far left, Fr. Jason Barone Near left, the late Fr. Reginald Foster, the legendary Vatican Latinist, who inspired the people most prominently involved with the new Institute. Foster died on Christmas Day, 2020


group of Latinists, both lay and religious, have started a new Latin institute to share the riches of the Church’s Latin and Greek past. Some weeks ago, I received an email from Eric Hewett, former Executive Director of the Paideia Institute, announcing the founding of the Veterum Sapientia Institute (VSI), an independently operated organization — it is not run by the Church, but it does enjoy Church approval (Cardinal Raymond Burke among others has written about it) — offering Ecclesiastical Latin and Greek classes. In some ways this represents another spiritual descendant of the work of Fr. Reginald Foster, the legendary Vatican Latinist, who inspired the people most prominently involved with VSI. Its genesis was as follows: in 2012, Jason Barone, then in his final year of seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, heard about Biduum Virginianum, a Latin program run by the Latin organization SALVI. During this program a group of about 30 people spend a weekend together entirely in Latin: they eat, play games, take classes, and lounge around a large house where everyone 42


speaks Latin the entire time. Barone was hooked. He came back to Biduum a second year, as an ordained priest, with a group of seminarians, and came also to Rusticatio, a weeklong experience of a similar nature. Afterwards, he said to Nancy Llewellyn, a Foster alum, Catholic convert, and the driving force behind Rusticatio, “We have to have this for priests.” By 2013 the first Veterum Sapientia event was held, taught by Llewellyn, Dan Gallagher (of the Vatican Latin office and now a professor at Cornell University), and headlined by Foster himself. Participants spent a week together, speaking Latin and reading Church Latin. The event was open to both clerics and laity, in part because they were unsure how many people would want to attend, in part because Foster did not want special treatment just for priests. The response from priests was tepid — there were about half a dozen there — and overwhelming from the laity. “We had about 50 lay people who wanted to do it,” Llewellyn remembers, “but not so many priests or religious.” Foster was not involved the following year — his health was fragile, and he made no secret of the

St. Augustine at His Mother’s Death by Benozzo Gozzoli, (1465), St. Augustine Church, San Gimignano, Italy

fact that he did not like being around so many conservatives (Foster is in many respects a theological liberal). But Llewellyn was not the sort to put politics before Latin. She and Barone continued the following year: “And really,” Llewellyn adds, “the original concept was that we wanted to do this for priests and religious only. And that concept had never been tried. I think it needed to be for the religious only, because many religious I think are a bit embarrassed by the fact that they have so little familiarity with Latin. And that’s not their fault: they’ve been given very little in their seminaries, a fact which I will note is in direct contradiction to the will of our Holy Father St. John XXIII in his apostolic constitution Veterum Sapientia.” The 2014 clerics-only version of the weeklong class was a success, and it continued. In 2019 a separate week for the laity was added, called Vinculum. In 2020 a further event was added called Ab Initio, a five-day jumpstart program for people with no Latin. In the meantime the founders have put in the time doing the legal legwork for the new institute and designing a series of online classes. A glance at their initial offerings is exciting: this is a well-thought out program focusing on essential Latin (and Greek) in the Church context. Llewellyn is teaching two beginning Latin courses, one just for religious and a second omnibus (Latin meaning “for all”) course. Fr. Barone is teaching a course on the ordinary and extraordinary form of the Mass (because the ordinary form is in Latin too) for clergy; John Pepino (a professor at the seminary of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Denton, Nebraska) teaches an omnibus session on the Mass as well. There is also beginning Greek, taught by Jonathan Arrington. There are Patristics courses, on St. Augustine in Latin and The Desert Fathers in Greek; two courses on Aquinas; and a course on canon law. This is the kind of education in the rich heritage of the Church which St. John XXIII laid out in his Veterum Sapientia (“wisdom of the ancients”). John XXIII is generally touted as one of the Church’s liberals, but regardless of his politics his position on the importance of Latin for the Church is not in doubt. In

Veterum Sapientia he wrote, Nos quoque firma voluntate enitimur, ut huius linguae, in suam dignitatem restitutae, studium cultusque etiam atque etiam provehatur. “We also strive with firm will to promote again and again the appreciation and cultivation of this language, restored to its proper dignity.” He lays out certain Church laws such as refusing the priesthood to people who do not know Latin and requiring that philosophy and theology classes in seminaries be taught in Latin. To make sure his point was taken, he brought the handwritten document to St. Peter’s Basilica for the feast-day of the Chair of St. Peter and signed it on the high altar in front of an audience of thousands. And the document is a constitutio apostolica, the most solemn form of papal pronouncement — no mere encyclical or exhortation. To this day, canon law insists that all priests know Latin “well” — a law most assuredly now honored more in the breach than the observance. And beyond the question of papal will and Church law, for two generations most Catholics have lost the joy of their own tradition. Some of my most glorious memories in Reginald Foster’s classes were reading Ecclesiastical authors: St. Bernard (“This will make you WEEP, friends!” Reginaldus would say), Eloise (who became a great abbess), St. Leo Magnus. We would take trips out to Rocca Secca to read about the birth of St. Thomas Aquinas and to Ostia, the place where St. Monica, St. Augustine’s mother, died. Sitting near where St. Monica breathed her last, reading St. Augustine’s words describing how he ran into the garden, blinded by his tears, or how the two saints discussed what heaven might be like during St. Monica’s final days — this makes the centuries peel away, and gives the believer an actual experience of a Church community that transcends time and death. We know that the Church is transcendent; but what changes people, what motivates people, is an experience of that truth. Latin is one of the means to that end. And now we have an institute to help us secure that kind of experience. In multos annos, amici linguae Latinae.m MARCH-APRIL 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN





hough I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, says the psalmist, “I shall not fear.” He puts no trust in his own strength. He does not look to a prince or warlord to save him. Do you want to invite despair into your heart? Hope in man. Hope in woman. Hope in a political system. Hope in machines, to save us from ourselves, and relieve us of the need to reason, or to restrain our desires. Hope in some fantasy that you have made into a god, calling it History, perhaps, and lending it an inevitable aim, as if it were divine providence and not the record of foolish, shortsighted, and sinful mankind. Optimism is a confidence-man, got up in the garb of hope. Pay him no mind. Some ages are more gullible that way than others, but surely anyone now who believes that we have cause for optimism must be the most self-deceived creature ever to wander across the face of the earth. Our schools do worse than fail to educate; they produce people who are ineducable, and proud in their ignorance. The arts are either dead and forgotten, in free fall, or in the stews, sweating. Our political elites are as tyrannical as Caesar, but nowhere near as capable or patriotic. Our churches are havens of heresy, and the more our leaders err and fail, the more committed they are to the same errors and failures, as witness those incorrigible sorts who wish to emulate every folly that has gutted the liberal churches, as if arsenic 44


would be sugar if only we pretended hard enough. There is no reason for optimism. There is every reason for hope. Hope, as we understand the word, builds upon nature, but is not itself a natural virtue. Just as faith rests upon a bedrock of reason, though reason can never reach the objects of faith, and as charity rests upon a bedrock of natural affection and love, but shines out beyond them as the sun does a candle, so hope, resting upon our sense that the world is good, not evil, can rest in our hearts when optimism the confidence-man has been driven out into the darkness where he belongs. For hope, the theological virtue, rests upon what God has promised, and what God has done. His rod, His staff are there to comfort us. Asaph the psalmist may cry out to God in times of trouble, remembering when all of Israel was in bondage, but “you led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron” (Ps. 77:20). Do we not have far more to recall than he did? Our Church has died many a death. What optimism was there, on that dread Friday, when Christ our Savior cried out from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mk. 15:34)? What happy-talk, when Joseph of Arimathea, a secret disciple, laid the Lord’s body in the tomb? Think of Peter, crucified upside down in Rome, in the first wave of terrible persecutions, and Paul, beheaded. Think of the times of the bloodthirsty

unloved and keeping their memDomitian, and Decius, and the ory alive. Someone must inevcold politician Diocletian, who itably notice it, and say, “Whathad himself called Dominus et ever those Christians are readDeus and probably rolled his ing, or listening to, or singing, it eyes when he heard it. Think of is more interesting than anyJerome, writing that the world thing the rest of the world has to awoke one day and groaned to offer.” find itself Arian. Think of that The world in our time makes most persistent heresy, still a little art worthy the name. force to be reckoned with two Whose heart warms to go to a hundred years later, when the museum full of abstraction, conhonest scholar Boethius was fusion, and offense? Any little falsely accused of treachery by village in Europe, from 1200 to Arian Goths, and, though he was 1600, had a usually unknown a Roman citizen, sentenced to painter or carver or goldsmith death by head-crushing, slowly whose work would in our time — a vinegar-soaked thong gain for him a wide reputation. It strapped round his head, shrinkis not the case now. But that ing, taking a day and more to means that the field is clear and penetrate the brain. Think of open! There is no competition. Augustine, dying, while the VanWe must recover the virtuosity dals were at the gates of Hippo. of the arts, to be sure, but we I could go on. Ancient Rome have tools at our disposal that no is no more. Someday the United one when I was a boy could States will be no more. All things begin to imagine. human pass away. The Church Statue of the theological virtue of Hope, Am I here indulging in optiendures, not because she is intelby Jacques Du Broeucq, St. Waltrude Collegiate Church of Mons, Belgium. mism I have decried, or at least ligent and powerful and pure, St. Paul: “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, opportunism, rather than seizing but because God has promised it, firm and secure” (Hebrews 6:19). upon the hope that Christ has despite her folly and weakness offered to us? I do not think so. Because man has been and filth. made in the image of the Trinity, he is by nature and not We know this, you may say, but still we need to hear by necessity a social being; made in the image of the what will get us up in the morning. Consider, then. Creator, he is by nature inclined to beauty; made in the Satan may be endowed with a prodigious intelligence, image of Christ who offers praise to the Father, he is by but he is also stupid, as evil is stupid. The enemies of nature inclined to worship. Satan hates our nature, and the Church are rich and powerful, ensconced in every many of our contemporaries deny that there is even a great political, educational, and economic institution in nature to hate. That way lies madness — and sorrow, the world. But stupidity and evil undo themselves. Our and sloth, and despair. enemies can hardly provide the good for men and Remember then that we are made for praise of God, women, because they have forgotten what men and as St. Augustine says. women are; we have not forgotten, and in our commitEach one of us is so; your neighbor whose knees are ment to the truth and the natural goodness of the sexes, nearly locked from never bending, he too is made to we have a chance to shine a bright warm light in darkrejoice in the praise of God. He may not know it, but is ness and confusion. We can revive marriage in our that not also a rare chance for us? He is blind, and we, midst, and we must do it, for ourselves and for the without any special talent for it, can throw open to him world. a world of light and color, a world whose existence he Our enemies have abandoned what is called a clashas not suspected. Tell me then that we are not blessed sical education, but what really used to be considered to live in these times! as education without any modifier, whether or not the It is said that the warlord Clovis, upon first hearing students were reading Latin and Greek. We have a of the crucifixion of Christ, cried out in his barbarian chance then to bring to the world almost the only wellinnocence, “Would I had been there with my Franks!” read people around; to save great works of art and Well, we are there. Time to fight, and sing. The end has human thought, not by drying and freezing them or pinbeen written, and Christ has opened the way.m ning them to a wall in a museum, but by loving the MARCH-APRIL 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN





atholic Polytechnic University(CPU) in Los Angeles, California, USA, was born of the desire of parents who insisted on a faithful Catholic college education for their children, but were not necessarily looking for the liberal-arts curriculum that virtually every orthodox Catholic school offered. “For centuries, Catholics have provided exceptional Liberal Arts higher education, and yet the divide between faith and science/technology has grown,” says CPU President Jennifer Nolan, Ph.D. “Formation of young Catholics in faith and science is essential for the New Evangelization.” Dr. Nolan is also a co-founder of the school, which is still in the process of formation, and has just begun offering online career classes which award a certificate of completion but currently do not count toward a degree. The course offerings include Project Management, App Development, User Experience, Business Technology and Cybersecurity. Dr. Nolan spoke to Zenit news agency about the need for an authentically Catholic technical university, and CPU’s aspirations to fill that need. What is the vision of your university? PRESIDENT JENNIFER NOLAN: Catholic Polytechnic University is a Catholic institute of technology. Our mission is to form scientists, engineers, academics, and technology leaders with expertise in business and theology. CPU combines a deep quest for STEM and business expertise with the enduring truths of the Catholic faith. 46


Where are you now in the formation process? PRESIDENT NOLAN: CPU has devout Catholic NASA scientists and engineers, successful corporate executives, and top theologians on our team. Our first undergraduate program is planned for Fall of 2021 or Spring 2022. We have a Facilities Use Agreement with Don Bosco Technical Institute in Rosemead, California for the use of their STEMfocused campus ( when Covid19 restrictions permit in-person instruction. And we are forming partnerships with corporations for student apprenticeships. Tell us about how Catholic Polytechnic University came to fruition. PRESIDENT NOLAN: Catholic Polytechnic University (CPU) was born out of need. For centuries, Catholics have provided exceptional Liberal Arts higher education, and yet the divide between faith and science has grown. According to Pew Research Center, many ex-Catholics even cite this perceived disconnect as a primary cause for leaving the Church. Formation of young Catholics in faith and science is essential for the New Evangelization. Do you have personal experience with the gap between faith and STEM degrees? PRESIDENT NOLAN: Yes, two of my kids would like to be scientists and engineers, so where in the Western U.S. will they go to college? To a secular college where they may be talked out of their faith, or to a Liberal Arts Catholic college where science, engineering, and technology are not the

Opposite page (third from left) President Jennifer Nolan, Ph.D., with Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, in a photo with the staff of the new Polytechnic University (CPU)

focus? I find other Catholic parents and students struggle with the same conundrum. We Catholic parents seek an affordable, STEM-focused, Newman Guide-recommended college for our kids. How is CPU unique? PRESIDENT NOLAN: It was created to integrate faith and reason, as most Catholic universities are. But CPU’s emphasis is on providing STEM and business degrees, grounded in Catholicism. Its students will be leaders in high science/technology fields, academia, and the Church. CPU’s purpose also includes its commitment to an affordable and high-quality STEM education. Because of this core principle, CPU is to be accessible to all Catholics and all people regardless of faith, income, and wealth status. In doing so, we embrace the innate dignity and abilities of the human person. How has the Archdiocese of Los Angeles supported you? PRESIDENT NOLAN: After developing a core team and strategic plan, we met with Archbishop José Gomez and his team in 2020, and the Archbishop was very supportive and enthusiastic. He gave us his blessing, an official letter of endorsement for our website and fundraising efforts, and promised a member of his staff to be on our Board of Directors. We are so grateful for the support of Archbishop Gomez. How will you uphold Catholic tradition? PRESIDENT NOLAN: We strive to be faithful to the Magisterium and principles that St. John Paul II outlined in Ex Corde Ecclesiae, while furthering advances in science, engineering, and technology. These efforts are part of our plan to create a “sustainable Catholic” institution, to ensure that it never loses its Catholic identity. How does the university promote and demonstrate the complementarity of the Catholic faith and science? PRESIDENT NOLAN: As Vatican Astronomer Br. Guy Consolmagno once said, “The more we learn of the created, the more we learn of the Creator.” This simple sentence so aptly describes how science can lead people closer to God through the investigation of His created. At Catholic Polytechnic University, we plan to not only incorporate faith into every STEM course, but we also plan to have the Catholic sacraments, Masses, Adoration, and priests and nuns or a religious order on campus. I call it, “Catholic Immersion,” similar to language immersion, where the faith is joyfully, deeply, and richly experienced. Further, we already have top theologians designing our faith and science curriculum. Our students will not only be STEM innovators, but also experts in the ethics of all they do, so they can guide innovation toward the ultimate good of humanity. Even Fr. Robert Spitzer of the Magis Center has donated curriculum for our use.

Have the words of the recent Popes on this complementarity also served as inspiration? PRESIDENT NOLAN: All three of our recent Popes have written on the complementarity of faith and science, giving us inspiration. We first are guided by Ex Corde Ecclesiae, Pope St. John Paul II’s seminal work on the nature of a Catholic University. Specifically, he states: “In the world today, characterized by such rapid developments in science and technology, the tasks of a Catholic University assume an ever-greater importance and urgency. Scientific and technological discoveries create an enormous economic and industrial growth, but they also inescapably require the correspondingly necessary search for meaning in order to guarantee that the new discoveries be used for the authentic good of individuals and of human society as a whole. If it is the responsibility of every University to search for such meaning, a Catholic University is called in a particular way to respond to this need…” In his encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, Pope Emeritus Benedict states: “Technologically advanced societies must not confuse their own technological development with a presumed cultural superiority, but must rather rediscover within themselves the oft-forgotten virtues which made it possible for them to flourish throughout their history. Evolving societies must remain faithful to all that is truly human in their traditions, avoiding the temptation to overlay them automatically with the mechanisms of a globalized technological civilization. In all cultures there are examples of ethical convergence, some isolated, some interrelated, as an expression of the one human nature, willed by the Creator; the tradition of ethical wisdom knows this as the natural law.” Pope Francis was also an inspiration in Laudato Si in which he exhorts people to combine the search for truth, beauty and justice with the advances of technology. In the encyclical, he states: “We are the beneficiaries of two centuries of enormous waves of change: steam engines, railways, the telegraph, electricity, automobiles, airplanes, chemical industries, modern medicine, information technology and, more recently, the digital revolution, robotics, biotechnologies and nanotechnologies...Never has humanity had such power over itself, yet nothing ensures that it will be used wisely, particularly when we consider how it is currently being used.” How can I learn more or get involved? PRESIDENT NOLAN: If you want to help out, please go to our website We are in need of benefactors, corporations for partnerships, applications from potential Catholic professors, and of course students. Potential students can fill out our website survey to get on our mailing list. Catholic Polytechnic is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, so donations are tax-deductible. Please pray for Catholic Polytechnic University!m MARCH-APRIL 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN



The Message of the Icon




erusalem’s Golden Gate was possibly the most Alas for the Caliph, his knowledge of Jewish ritual revered structure in Jerusalem in ancient times, law was slightly askew; Jewish priests could enter a with the certain exception of the Temple itself. cemetery with proper ritual purification. Of course, in Probably a part of Solomon’s great building scheme for the case of Jesus, a more likely scenario for the Second the Temple precincts, this eastern entrance into Coming was simply raising the entombed to their new Jerusalem has been subject to reverent contemplation eternal life and leading them into a renewed Jerusalem! by Jewish, Christian and even Islamic believers down In any event, the cemetery seems to have been since reto the present day. located. In modern times, the Israeli The architecture of the gate was government keeps the area under complex. Opening directly into the strict control. The remnant of the sacred precincts, it led to a twelvegate is sealed in order to prevent any stepped staircase, leading in turn to Messianic pretenders from making the women’s court in the Temple. use of legend to advance their cause On the other side, it gave access to and create problems for the secular the eastern countryside. Use of the authorities. gate was limited to Temple priests; Among many interesting popular it is thought that through the customs deriving from the Golden Golden Gate the scapegoat was led Gate is the ritual of carrying a new on the Day of Atonement, to be debride over the threshold of her new livered to death outside the city home. Although only priests could walls. Called by the Jews the Gate actually use the gate, newly married Meeting of Joachim and Anna at the of Mercy, the design was actually a couples evidently did journey to the Golden Gate, by Giotto double gate. Moslems had a name vicinity to ask God’s blessing on for each portal: the Gate of Repentance and the Gate of their union and to plead for the blessed fruit of children. Eternal Life. Jewish tradition holds that through this Symbolically, carrying a bride over the threshold was gate the Divine Presence appears, symbolized by the linking the new family to the blessing conferred by the early light of dawn shining through each day. gate; children provided for the future just as the gate Of course, the gate was linked to the appearance of promised the future of the Messiah. The shame of a barthe Messiah; Jesus is said to have entered through this ren marriage was very much in the consciousness of gate on Palm Sunday, having been greeted by multiyoung couples in Israel. Thus it is no surprise to find tudes outside the city! Joachim and Anna meeting at the Golden Gate to praise The Second Coming, too, is linked to the Golden God for the miracle bestowed upon them. Gate. Jews still expect the Messiah to enter here in the There is much more to the rich significance of the First Coming, while Moslems believe the gate to be Golden Gate, of course. Jewish, Christian and Islamic linked to the Last Day. An Ottoman Caliph actually atwritings all attest to the immense importance of the site tempted to sabotage Jewish and Christian use of the gate to sacred history. Small wonder, then, that Joachim and by the Messiah. He located a graveyard directly outside Anna hastened here to celebrate the coming birth of in the belief that a priestly figure could not enter a cemetheir daughter, the Golden Gate through whom the Mestery and thus could not make use of the gate. siah would enter the world!m

In July 2018, INSIDE THE VATICAN PILGRIMAGES made a special pilgrimage to Russia, as well as to Rome, to take part in the solemn commemoration in Ekaterinburg of the 100th anniversary of the murder of Russian Tsar Nicholas II and his wife and five children in July, 1918. Contact us at for information about joining us for upcoming special pilgrimages like this one. page 48 t Urbi et Orbi Foundation is a project of Urbi et Orbi Communications t 202-536-4555




here are a number of institutions that have worked as he taught there in the late 1980s. The faculty of thehard to improve relations between Orthodox and ology also has a close relationship with the Ecumenical Catholics, such as the Urbi et Orbi Foundation. Two are Patriarchate. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew monasteries, Bose in northern Italy and Chevetogne in spoke there in 2017. There is also a partnership agreeBelgium, which have previously been described in ment between the faculty and the Ecumenical PatriarEast-West Watch. Another center for Orchate’s Institute of Orthodox Theology in thodox encounter has been the Faculty Chambésy, Switzerland. of Theology at the University of FriIn December 2017, the St. Nicholas bourg in Switzerland and its Institute for Center for the Study of the Eastern Ecumenical Studies. Although the uniChurches was formed within the theology versity is state-owned, the theology facfaculty. The Center’s founder is Professor ulty is Catholic, with Dominicans Barbara Hallensleben, who has been a playing a major role. For example, Carmember of the Joint International Comdinal Christoph Schönborn, O.P., of mission for Theological Dialogue beVienna was a member of the faculty tween the Orthodox and Catholic from 1975 to 1991 and taught dogmatic Churches since 2006. She also made histheology and the Christian East. tory in 2004 when she and another Important Orthodox hierarchs have woman became the first female members also been connected with the faculty. In of the Vatican’s International Theological order to obtain a professorship at certain Commission. European universities, a Ph.D. is not suf- Prof. Barbara Hallensleben, The primary purpose of the St. Nichfounder of the ficient, but an even higher degree, called olas Center is to provide “an academic St. Nicholas Center for the a “habilitation” and requiring an addiplatform within the framework of Catholic Study of the Eastern Churches tional thesis, is necessary. Metropolitan theology so that Orthodox theologians can Hilarion (Alfeyev), chairman of the Department of Exget to know the Church and theology of the West from ternal Church Relations for the Moscow Patriarchate, their own experience and rethink their ecclesiastical received his habilitation from the University’s faculty and theological tradition from the perspective of the of theology in 2005. He subsequently returned to lec‘diaspora.’” Orthodox students thus have the ability to ture on various occasions. In 2011, Metropolitan Hilarrediscover their own Orthodox tradition from the perion received the unique honor of being made an spective of the West — an ability which is important “honorary professor” in the University’s faculty of thefor priests and others working in Orthodox churches in ology. The granting of this honor required a special act non-Orthodox countries. The students are enrolled in by the Council of States, the upper house of the Swiss the University, but the St. Nicholas Center provides parliament. them support and direction. Metropolitan Hilarion’s close connection with the The Center also has many other projects such as the University of Fribourg is furthermore demonstrated by publication of a current directory of all Orthodox bishthe fact that he chose it to be the location for the celeops in the world, the holding of conferences, and the bration of the first anniversary of the historic meeting translation of the works of important Orthodox theolobetween Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill. gians, such as Sergei Bulgakov (1871-1944). Both Metropolitan Hilarion and Cardinal Kurt However, the Center’s greatest achievement is the Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promotfriendship and trust that it has developed with the Oring Christian Unity, gave major addresses at the celethodox. Much of the credit for this goes to Professor bration in 2017. Cardinal Koch has his own personal Hallensleben and her passion for improving Catholicconnection with the theology faculty at the University, Orthodox relations.m t Urbi et Orbi Foundation is a project of Urbi et Orbi Communications t 202-536-4555

page 49


NEWS from the EAST


DECR CHAIRMAN SPEAKS IN DEFENSE MONTENEGRO ALTERS CONTENTIOUS OF AFRICAN CHRISTIANS RELIGION LAW, SATISFIES SERBIAN On December 22, on the initiative of the Russian OrCHURCH thodox Church and the Russian Association for ProtecThe new Montenegrin government has changed the tion of Religious Freedom, an online conference on the hotly disputed Freedom of Religion Law, erasing all ele“Plight of Christians in Africa” took place at the venue ments previously opposed by the powerful Serbian Orof Rossiya Segodnya Media Group. thodox Church, SPC. Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of On December 18, the new government proposed the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External changes erasing the main bone of contention – an obliChurch Relations, opened the confergation on religious communities to ence, speaking on the large-scale perprovide clear evidence of ownership secution of Christians in Africa, in order to retain their properties. especially in Nigeria, Ethiopia and SoThe new Minister of Justice, Humalia, and emphasized that support for man and Minority Rights, Vladimir suffering brothers is seen by the RussLeposavic, said, “We propose a law ian Orthodox Church as its historical that is religiously sensitive and that mission. protects the rights of all religious Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and communities, more than the previous All Russia raised this topic at the interone. In five days, this government faith summit in Baku on November 14, Montenegrin Justice, Human and Minority has done more for dialogue with reRights Minister Vladimir Leposavic 2019, he noted. “The major goal of this ligious communities than the previous conference is to consolidate efforts of one did in five years,” Leposavic said. the Christian confessions and international organizations On August 30, three opposition blocs won a slender supporting African Christians,” the DECR chairman said. majority of 41 of the 81 seats in parliament, ousting the Mr. Sergei Melnikov, president of the Russian Assolong-ruling Democratic Party of Socialists, DPS. After ciation for Protection of Religious Freedom, put forward the election, the new Prime Minister, Zdravko Krian idea of drawing up the UN convention on the rights of vokapic, promised that changing the controversial law believers. would be a priority. Patriarch Tawadros II of the Coptic Church thanked On December 18, Bishop Joanikije of Budimljathe organizers of the conference and called for a wider Niksic said the Serbian Church in Montenegro felt satiscoverage of the persecution of Christians on the African fied with the law changes. But other religious continent, as the pandemic has worsened the situation. communities complained that the new government didn’t Mr. Peter Prove, chairman of the World Council of give them time to submit suggestions. On December 17, Churches’ Commission on International Affairs, shared members of the Islamic community, the Catholic Church, the WCC’s experience of its work on the African contiand the Jewish community in Montenegro said they were nent and stressed the necessity for regional response to ordered to submit comments on the law in just three days. the persecution of Christians. (Balkan Insight) Participating in the conference were representatives of the Protestant Churches of Nigeria and the Presbyterian ICON GIFTED FROM Church in Rwanda. BOSNIA TO RUSSIA Among the speakers were also Mufti Albir Krganov, CAUSES DIPLOMATIC chairman of the Spiritual Assembly of Muslims of RusROW WITH UKRAINE sia; Rev. Igor Kovalevsky, representative of the Roman An icon gifted to Russia’s Catholic Archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow; Foreign Minister Sergei and Presiding Bishop Sergei Ryakhovsky of the RussLavrov during his visit to ian Union of Christians of Evangelical Faith (PenteBosnia earlier this month was costals). They supported the proposal to form the alliance not stolen from Ukraine, the in defence of the African Christians and to draft the conoffice of Bosnia’s Serb leader Milorad Dodik said on Devention on the rights of believers. cember 22. Dodik gifted an icon of St. Nicholas, believed ( to be a 300-year-old icon from eastern Ukraine, which page 50 t Urbi et Orbi Foundation is a project of Urbi et Orbi Communications t 202-536-4555

immediately set off alarm bells for the Ukrainian embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The embassy sent a note demanding an “urgent explanation regarding the possession of their cultural heritage, which according to allegations from the note, was given as a gift,” Bosnia’s Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic said, reports Aljazeera. A photo of the icon published in Serbian media shows the icon carries the seal of the Ukrainian People’s Committee of Culture from 1920 on the back. It was alleged that the icon was stolen from Lugansk, where some Serbs have joined in the armed conflict on the side of the separatists. “If it’s true that this is an icon that comes from Ukraine, which was brought from Ukraine to Banja Luka, during the conflict in Ukraine, if it was stolen … then someone needs to go to jail,” said Zeljko Kosmic, Bosnia’s Croat member of the presidency. (OrthoChristian)

having the authority to act universally) and recognize the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), and have appealed to be accepted by the Moscow Patriarchate. Hierarchs in the Greek and Cypriot Churches who have resisted their hierarchs’ recognition of the OCU have been accused of being Russian agents, of not loving the Greek people and Hellenism. Georgian hierarchs who uphold Orthodox ecclesiology have also been pressured by being slandered as having pro-Russian sentiments. On the other hand, it is known that Local Churches are under pressure from Constantinople, the Ukrainian government, and the U.S. government to recognize the OCU. Patriarch Theodoros, in particular, faced pressure from the Greek Foreign Ministry. (OrthoChristian)

KAZAN’S METROPOLITAN KIRILL CALLS FOR DAILY RECITATION OF THE AKATHIST BEFORE THE PATRIARCH OF VATICAN KAZAN ICON ALEXANDRIA CALLS On December 28, the new head FOR “CORRECT of the Orthodox Diocese of Kazan, ECCLESIOLOGY,” RESPECT in Tatarstan, Russia, Metropolitan Kirill, held his first meeting with FOR BOUNDARIES the Kazan Diocesan Council. At OF LOCAL CHURCHES the meeting Metropolitan Kirill orIN NATIVITY EPISTLE Patriarch Theodoros embraces Evstrary Zorya, a dered as follows: Patriarch Theodoros of "bishop" of the schismatic Ukrainian church Paying praise to the Most Holy Alexandria’s 2020 Nativity Epistle Theotokos, introduce the daily prayer singing of the places a heavy emphasis on the reality of the Church, Akathist in front of the miraculous Kazan icon of the stemming from the Incarnation of Christ, and the Church’s Mother of God in the Holy Cross Church of the Kazan role in our life. In it, he calls for all to adhere to a “correct Mother of God Monastery in Kazan. ecclesiology,” which he warns is being threatened by “forVeteran observer of Catholic/Orthodox relations Peter eign motives.” Anderson commented, “In my opinion, this is a good The Patriarch’s words come against the background of sign. The icon mentioned is, of course, the Vatican Kazan the ongoing Ukrainian Church crisis and its underpinning icon. The Metropolitan’s order refers to the icon as ‘miracquestion of Orthodox ecclesiology. The issue has caused ulous.’ divisions within and between Local Orthodox Churches. “The daily recitation of the Akathist (the most faHundreds of Alexandrian clergy have expressed mous Orthodox Marian prayer) before the Vatican their dissatisfaction with Patriarch Theodoros’ icon is another sign of the honor being given to this decision to follow Patriarch Bartholomew’s icon.”m model of ecclesiology (with the Patriarch of Constantinople as the “first without equals,”

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

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page 51

Of Books, Art and People

IN THE EYES OF THE BEHOLDERS n BY LUCY GORDAN Il Mondo Novo (“The New World”) by Giandomenico Tiepolo, from the Prado, Madrid. Below, The Girl in a Frame by Rembrandt, from the Royal Castle Museum, Warsaw


affeo Barberini (1568-1644) became Pope Urban VIII on August 6, 1623. During his reign he expanded papal territory by force of arms and advantageous politicking and reformed church missions. But he is certainly best remembered as a prominent patron of the arts on a grand scale. Barberini funded many sculptures from Bernini: the first in c. 1617 the “Boy with a Dragon” and later, when Pope, several portrait busts, but also numerous architectural works including the building of the College of Propaganda Fide, the Fountain of the Triton in today’s Piazza Barberini, and the baldacchino and the cathedra in St. Peter’s Basilica. Besides Bernini Barberini also patronized the painters Nicholas Poussin, Claude Lorrain and Pietro da Cortona, who celebrated Urban VIII’s papacy in his huge fresco “Allegory of Divine Providence and Barberini Power” (1633-9) on the ceiling of the large salon in Palazzo Barberini. For, when Barberini became Pope, he wanted to build a magnificent home for his family. So, when Cardinal Alessandro Sforza met with financial hardships, in 1625 Barberini purchased Sforza’s villa and gardens, today at the base of Via Veneto and near the Quirinal Palace, but at that time on the outskirts of the city. The architect Carlo Maderno, assisted by his nephew Borromini, in 1627 began expanding the Sforza’s villa. When Maderno died in 1629, still with 52 INSIDE THE VATICAN MARCH-APRIL 2021

the help of Borromini, Bernini took over. The exterior, inspired by the Colosseum and similar in appearance to the Palazzo Farnese, which had been constructed between 1541 and c. 1580, was completed in 1633. When Urban VIII died, his successor Pamphili Pope Innocent X (r. 1644-1655) confiscated the Palazzo Barberini, but returned it in 1653. From then on it continued to remain the property of the Barberini family until 1949 when it was bought by the Italian Government to become the art museum it is today. But there was a problem: in 1934 the Barberinis had rented a section of the building to the Army for its Officers Club. The lease ran out in 1953, but the Officers wouldn’t leave so the Government renewed the lease until 1965 hoping to give the Officers the necessary time to relocate their club. Finally, after more years of tug-of-war, in 1997 a solution was found and, after a decade or restoration, in 2006 the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, one of the most important painting collections in Italy with works from the 13th to the 16th centuries, opened to the public. Its permanent collection includes Raphael’s portrait of his mistress La fornarina, Caravaggio’s Judith Beheading Holofernes, and a Hans Holbein portrait of Henry VIII of England, who is dressed for his wedding to Anne of Cleves, his fourth wife. Thank goodness, after two months of a second cultural lockdown the museums in Rome reopened on February 1. However, sadly they’re accessible only to visitors who are in Latium because not even

inter-regional travel in Italy is yet Of the 25 paintings on display, permitted much less international eight: Ottomar Elliger II’s Young tourism. Nonetheless, luckily for Lady in the Window, Bartolomeo me, at Palazzo Barberini I recently Passerotti’s Butcher Shop, Jusepe saw one of the most unusual temde Ribera’s St. Gregory the Great, porary exhibitions of paintings Simone Vouet’s The Fortune Teller, I’ve ever seen. Otherwise, unless Guido Reni’s Salomé, Giovanni there is a miraculous breakLanfranco’s Venus Playing the through in the next six weeks, onHarp, Jacopo Zucchi’s Bathsheba ly other Italian-speakers will be at the Baths, Pierre Subleyras’s Above, Butcher Shop by Bartolomeo Passerotti. able to enjoy this temporary exhiNude belong to the Palazzo BarberiBelow, The Passion by Hans Memling bition by ordering its catalog from ni’s permanent collection. Several its publisher Campisano Editore of the others are on loan from the for 40 euros at campisano.ediNational Gallery in London, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Here’s what I saw. On at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, the CapoPalazzo Barberini until April 5 is dimonte in Naples, the Uffizi in “L’ora della Spetttore. Come le Florence, and the Galleria Sabauda immagini ci Usano” or “The in Turin. Hour of the Beholder: How Im“Outside of Europe, in the ages Use Us.” United States and in Australia, The brainstorm of masterful where there are other important curator Michele Di Monte, its 25 paintings with this same intent of paintings are divided into six sections: “The Threshold,” making the observer a participant,” Del Monte told our ”The Passion of the Gaze,” “The Appeal,” “The Indiscreet,” small, tenfold social-distanced group of journalists at a press “The Accomplice,” and “The Voyeur”. preview, “but sadly the uncertainty of the pandemic made The aim of the exhibition, made clear in an entryway intheir loans impossible. It also has prevented the exhibition troductory section, “The Audience’s Expectafrom travelling elsewhere after April 5.” In the first section, “The Threshold”, wintion,” is for the visitor to participate in the dows, curtains, and frames invite the viewer painting, metaphorically-speaking to enter its to cross the separations between our real canvas, to be part of the action, not just an obworld and that of the painting. For example, server. Rembrandt’s “The Girl in a Frame”, probably This point is made clear immediately by the exhibition’s most famous painting on loan two antique mirrors at the entrance where the from Warsaw, is not a formal portrait. She is visitor is both the observer and the observed gripping an inner frame, a kind of windowsill, and from its only painting, “Il Mondo Novo” which is part of the painting. Thus, she seems (1765). On loan from the Prado in Madrid, it’s to be looking out and ready to talk to us by Giandomenico Tiepolo, the son of his much through a window. more famous father Giambattista. Both artists Likewise, in the section “Appeal” in his are depicted in the painting, Giambattista in a portrait by Sofonisba Anguissola the poet red coat followed immediately behind by GiGiovanni Battista Caselli, from andomenico holding a kind of monAbove, Pope St. Gregory the Great by Jusepe de Ribera. Bottom, Fortune Teller by Simon Vouet Cremona like the artist, is pointing ocle. The painting is of a crowd at a painting of the Madonna, baby waiting its turn to look through a Jesus, and St. John the Baptist prekind of “magic lantern”, not visisumably to let us know he’s a relible in the painting, which is said to gious man and again the butchers project imaginary scenes of exotic in Passerotti’s Butcher Shop also unknown places. All but one perseem to be demanding our attenson has their backs to you the vistion to buy their meats. itor. Thus you too become part of Instead, the only painting in the the crowd. Everyone here is waitinterim section, “The Passion of the ing patiently to see a new invenGaze” is The Passion (1471) by tion just as we are today for the Flemish Hans Memling for his vaccines to end the pandemic. wealthy sponsors Maria and TomHence Del Monte’s choice of this maso Portinari, head of the Florenpainting! MARCH-APRIL 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN 53

Of Books, Art and People tine Medici Bank’s branch in Bruges, Very horrific is Johan Liss’s Judith each of whom is painted in the painting’s Beheading Holofernes, now in the Natwo lower corners. Meant for private detional Gallery in London. Of the many votion it’s a sort of speculum or mirror, a depictions of this scene, one of Carkaleidoscope of the Via Crucis of Holy avaggio’s favorite subjects, Liss’s verWeek from Jesus’s arrival in Jerusalem sion is unique. Judith has already beon Palm Sunday in the upper left hand headed Holofernes whose head is on a corner to his crucifixion in the upper plate held by a servant, both barely visright. The eye has to go “on a journey ible in the nearly dark background. Juand follow in the footsteps of Christ dith with a horrified expression is along the tormented pathway of the 23 looking at us over her shoulder as she stations of his Passion,” relates its wall holds Holofernes’s corpse whose neck panel. in the foreground is spurting blood diIn the next section, “The Indiscreet,” rectly at us. Our presence was certainly we become nosey-parkers. We peak over unexpected. A shock to Judith and to St. Gregory’s shoulder without his conus! sent or realization as he writes and we do In the final section, “The Voyeur” in Judith Beheading Holofernes by Johan Liss, the same to the two young painters, who Van der Neer’s, “The Wife of King Canfrom the National Gallery, London seem to look out of the canvas annoyed daule,” we are twice voyeurs: of the by our presence, in Van Oost’s In Front of the Easel. Another Libyan king’s naked wife, but also of his soldier hiding bescene we should not be witnessing is Simon Vouet’s Carhind the bed whom Candaule had invited to show off his avaggesque Fortune Teller who with an accomplice is robwife’s beauty — in short to be a voyeur. Instead in Lavinia bing her all too innocent unaware client. Fontana’s Venus and Mars an intensely in love Mars is adIn “The Accomplice,” the section with the most relimiring the beauty of his beloved Venus. He’s awaiting the gious paintings we are witnesses to many Biblical scenes: perfect moment; so is a voyeur. She, instead of looking Salomé by Guido Reni, Mattia Preti’s Christ and the Aduldreamingly into his eyes, is looking provocatively over her tress, and Andrea Sacchi’s Drunken Noah. shoulder at us, her other voyeurs.m















Room 529 .DLQV $YH Berkeley CA 94706


“Rome had stood still...” 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 II, Part I (Note: The entire book up until now has been set in London, England, and presents the reader with the emergence of the new global political leader, an American named Julian Felsenburgh, who will usher in a socialist, humanist one-world government that suppresses religious expression. Felsenburg is the Anti-Christ. And the world’s panicked desire for a superficial peace and justice allows it to fall quickly under his sway. Now the hero of the story, a young English priest named Fr. Percy Franklin, has been summoned to Rome to report to Vatican officials on what he has seen in England... Little does Percy know that someday he will elected Pope Silvester III, and he will bravely keep alive the tabernacle flame of faith as the forces of Anti-Christ move in and the fabric of space and time is rent as the Apocalypse commences...) And as to his comments, Percy was clear. He would tell the authorities, as he had already told them fifty times, that it was not persecution that mattered; it was this new outburst of enthusiasm for Humanity—an enthusiasm which had waxed a hundredfold more hot since the coming of Felsenburgh and the publication of the Eastern news—which was melting the hearts of all but the very few. Man had suddenly fallen in love with man. The conventional were rubbing their eyes and wondering why they had ever believed, or even dreamed, that there was a God to love, asking one another what was the secret of the spell that had held them so long. Christianity and Theism were passing together from the world’s mind as a morning mist passes when the sun comes up. His recommendations—? Yes, he had those clear, and ran them over in his mind with a sense of despair. For himself, he scarcely knew if he believed what he professed. His emotions seemed to have been finally extinguished in the vision of the white car and the silence of the crowd that evening three weeks before. It had been so horribly real and positive; the 56


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

delicate aspirations and hopes of the soul appeared so shadowy when compared with that burning, heart-shaking passion of the people. He had never seen anything like it; no congregation under the spell of the most kindling preacher alive had ever responded with one-tenth of the fervour with which that irreligious crowd, standing in the cold dawn of the London streets, had greeted the coming of their saviour. And as for the man himself—Percy could not analyse what it was that possessed him as he had stared, muttering the name of Jesus, on that quiet figure in black with features and hair so like his own. He only knew that a hand had gripped his heart—a hand warm, not cold—and had quenched, it seemed, all sense of religious conviction. It had only been with an effort that sickened him to remember, that he had refrained from that interior act of capitulation that is so familiar to all who have cultivated an inner life and understand what failure means. There had been one citadel that had not flung wide its gates—all else had yielded. His emotions had been stormed, his intellect silenced, his memory of grace obscured, a spiritual nausea had sickened his soul, yet the secret fortress of the will had, in an agony, held fast the doors and refused to cry out and call Felsenburgh king. Ah! how he had prayed during those three weeks! It appeared to him that he had done little else; there had been no peace. Lances of doubt thrust again and again through door and window; masses of argument had crashed from above; he had been on the alert day and night, repelling this, blindly, and denying that, endeavouring to keep his foothold on the slippery plane of the supernatural, sending up cry after cry to the Lord Who hid Himself. He had slept with his crucifix in his hand, he had awakened himself by kissing it; while he wrote, talked, ate, walked, and sat in cars, the inner life had been busy-making frantic speechless acts of faith in a religion which his intellect denied and from which his emotions shrank. There had been moments of ecstasy—now in a crowded street, when he recognised that God was all, that the Creator was the key to the creature’s life, that a humble act of adoration was transcendently greater than the most noble natural act, that the Supernatural was the origin and end of existence there had come to him such moments in the night, in the silence of the Cathedral, when the

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

lamp flickered, and a soundless air had breathed from the iron door of the tabernacle. Then again passion ebbed, and left him stranded on misery, but set with a determination (which might equally be that of pride or faith) that no power in earth or hell should hinder him from professing Christianity even if he could not realise it. It was Christianity alone that made life tolerable. Percy drew a long vibrating breath, and changed his position; for far away his unseeing eyes had descried a dome, like a blue bubble set on a carpet of green; and his brain had interrupted itself to tell him that this was Rome. He got up presently, passed out of his compartment, and moved forward up the central gangway, seeing, as he went, through the glass doors to right and left his fellow-passengers, some still asleep, some staring out at the view, some reading. He put his eye to the glass square in the door, and for a minute or two watched, fascinated, the steady figure of the steerer at his post. There he stood motionless, his hands on the steel circle that directed the vast wings, his eyes on the wind-gauge that revealed to him as on the face of a clock both the force and the direction of the high gusts; now and again his hands moved slightly, and the huge fans responded, now lifting, now lowering. Beneath him and in front, fixed on a circular table, were the glass domes of various indicators—Percy did not know the meaning of half—one seemed a kind of barometer, intended, he guessed, to declare the height at which they were travelling, another a compass. And beyond, through the curved windows, lay the enormous sky. Well, it was all very wonderful, thought the priest, and it was with the force of which all this was but one symptom that the supernatural had to compete. He sighed, turned, and went back to his compartment. It was an astonishing vision that began presently to open before him—scarcely beautiful except for its strangeness, and as unreal as a raised map. Far to his right, as he could see through the glass doors, lay the grey line of the sea against the luminous sky, rising and falling ever so slightly as the car, apparently motionless, tilted imperceptibly against the western breeze; the only other movement was the faint pulsation of the huge throbbing screw in the rear. To the left stretched the limitless country, flitting beneath, in glimpses seen between the motionless wings, with here and there the streak of a village, flattened out of recognition, or the flash of water, and bounded far away by the low masses of the Umbrian hills; while in front, seen and gone again as the car veered, lay the confused line of Rome and the huge new suburbs, all crowned by the great dome growing every instant. Around, above and beneath, his eyes were conscious of wide air-spaces, overhead deepening into lapis-lazuli down to horizons of pale turquoise. The only sound, of which he had long ceased to be directly conscious, was that of the steady rush of air, less shrill now as the speed began to drop down—down—to forty miles an hour. There was a clang of a bell, and immediately he was aware of a sense of faint sickness as the car dropped in a glorious swoop, and he staggered a little as he grasped his rugs together. When he

looked again the motion seemed to have ceased; he could see towers ahead, a line of house-roofs, and beneath he caught a glimpse of a road and more roofs with patches of green between. A bell clanged again, and a long sweet cry followed. On all sides he could hear the movement of feet; a guard in uniform passed swiftly along the glazed corridor; again came the faint nausea; and as he looked up once more from his luggage for an instant he saw the dome, grey now and lined, almost on a level with his own eyes, huge against the vivid sky. The world span round for a moment; he shut his eyes, and when he looked again walls seemed to heave up past him and stop, swaying. There was the last bell, a faint vibration as the car grounded in the steel-netted dock; a line of faces rocked and grew still outside the windows, and Percy passed out towards the doors, carrying his bags. Part II He still felt a sense of insecure motion as he sat alone over coffee an hour later in one of the remote rooms of the Vatican; but there was a sense of exhilaration as well, as his tired brain realised where he was. It had been strange to drive over the rattling stones in the weedy little cab, such as he remembered ten years ago when he had left Rome, newly ordained. While the world had moved on, Rome had stood still; she had other affairs to think of than physical improvements, now that the spiritual weight of the earth rested entirely upon her shoulders. All had seemed unchanged—or rather it had reverted to the condition of nearly one hundred and fifty years ago. Histories related how the improvements of the Italian government had gradually dropped out of use as soon as the city, eighty years before, had been given her independence; the trains ceased to run; volors were not allowed to enter the walls; the new buildings, permitted to remain, had been converted to ecclesiastical use; the Quirinal became the offices of the “Red Pope”; the embassies, huge seminaries; even the Vatican itself, with the exception of the upper floor, had become the abode of the Sacred College, who surrounded the Supreme Pontiff as stars their sun. It was an extraordinary city, said antiquarians—the one living example of the old days. Here were to be seen the ancient inconveniences, the insanitary horrors, the incarnation of a world given over to dreaming. The old Church pomp was back, too; the cardinals drove again in gilt coaches; the Pope rode on his white mule; the Blessed Sacrament went through the ill-smelling streets with the sound of bells and the light of lanterns. A brilliant description of it had interested the civilised world immensely for about fortyeight hours; the appalling retrogression was still used occasionally as the text for violent denunciations by the poorly educated; the well-educated had ceased to do anything but take for granted that superstition and progress were irreconcilable enemies. (Lord of the World, Book II, The Encounter, Chapter II, Parts I and II, to be continued) m MARCH-APRIL 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN


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

DECEMBER TUESDAY 15 COUNCIL FOR THE ECONOMY DISCUSSES VATICAN PENSION FUND The Council for the Economy held an online meeting in mid-December to discuss several challenges to Vatican finances, including the city state’s pension fund. According to a press release from the Holy See, the December 15 meeting also addressed aspects of the Vatican’s budget for 2021 and a draft of statutes for a new committee to help keep Holy See investments ethical and profitable. Cardinal George Pell, formerly the head of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy, said recently that the Vatican has a “very looming and considerable” deficit in its pension fund, as do many countries in Europe. As early as 2014, while still serving at the Vatican, Pell noted that the Holy See’s pension fund was not in good shape. WEDNESDAY 30 VATICAN’S DOCTRINAL OFFICE: DON’T PROMOTE ALLEGED APPARITIONS CONNECTED TO “LADY OF ALL NATIONS” The Vatican’s doctrinal office has urged Catholics not to promote “the alleged apparitions and revelations” associated with the Marian title of “Lady of All Nations,” according to a Dutch bishop. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s appeal was announced in a clarification issued December 30 by Bishop Johannes Hendriks of Haarlem-Amsterdam. The clarification relates to the alleged visions which Ida Peerdeman, a secretary living in the Dutch capital Amsterdam, claimed to have received between 1945 and 1959.

JANUARY FRIDAY 8 FIRST LAY HEAD OF DISCIPLINARY COMMISSION AT ROMAN CURIA APPOINTED For the first time, the Disciplinary Commission of the Roman Curia will be presided by a layperson after Pope Francis appointed professor Vincenzo Buonomo, rector of the Pontifical Lateran University. And it is possible that more laypersons will be appointed for other Vatican positions. The Commission is composed of a president and six members. Established by St. John Paul II in 1981, the Commission rules whether an administrative sanction — i.e., sus58 INSIDE THE VATICAN MARCH-APRIL 2021

pension or firing — can be imposed on a Roman Curia official is pertinent or not. Pope Francis also appointed two new members of the Commission: Monsignor Alejandro W. Bunge, president of the Labor Office of the Apostolic See, known by the Italian acronym ULSA; and Mr. Maximino Caballero Ledo, General Secretary of the Secretariat for the Economy. MONDAY 18

Pope Francis said that Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream “of harmony and equality for all people” is still relevant today. “In today’s world, which increasingly faces the challenges of social injustice, division and conflict that hinder the realization of the common good, Dr. King’s dream of harmony and equality for all people, attained through nonviolent and peaceful means, remains ever timely,” the Pope said on January 18, Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In a message addressed to King’s daughter, Bernice A. King, Francis said that it was imperative to see people “in the truth of our shared dignity as children of Almighty God.” “Only by striving daily to put this vision into practice can we work together to create a community built upon justice and fraternal love,” he said, praying for “divine blessings of wisdom and peace” upon participants in the Beloved Community Commemorative Service, marking Martin Luther King Day. Quoting his 2020 encyclical Fratelli tutti, the Pope said that “each one of us is called to be an artisan of peace by uniting and not dividing, by extinguishing hatred and not holding on to it, by opening paths of dialogue.” TUESDAY 22 Pope Francis has written the preface to a biography of a human trafficking victim in which he decries the men who sustain the “reprehensible” trade by their choices. Human trafficking is estimated to be a $150 billion industry that profits off of 25 million victims worldwide, according to the International Labor Organization. A new book, “Io sono Joy” (“I am Joy”), by Mariapia Bonanate, tells the story of one of these victims: a girl from Nigeria who hopes to go to Italy to find a job but ends up being trafficked. Pope Francis said that he accepted the invitation to write a preface for the book “with the specific intention of delivering Joy’s testimony to readers as a ‘heritage of humanity.’” “The crossing of the desert, the months spent in the Libyan detention camps, the journey at sea, during which she

Opposite, Pope Paul VI met at the Vatican with Dr. Martin Luther King in 1964. Below, Pope Francis meets with the diplomats accredited to the Holy See at the Vatican’s Hall of Blessings February 8, 2021 (Photo Vatican Media/CNA)

was saved from the shipwreck … Joy’s is a story that unites many other people, like her, kidnapped in an infernal chain and struck by the tragedy of the invisibility of trafficking. A story as unknown as it is omnipresent in our globalized societies,” Pope Francis wrote in the book’s preface, published by L’Osservatore Romano on January 21. THURSDAY 24 POPE PRAYS FOR HOMELESS MAN WHO DIED IN THE COLD OUTSIDE ST. PETER’S Pope Francis prayed on Sunday for a homeless man who died near St. Peter’s Square amid freezing temperatures. Speaking after the Angelus, the Pope led prayers for the 46year-old Nigerian man who was reportedly found dead by volunteers from the Community of Sant’Egidio on Wednesday. “Last Jan. 20, a few meters from St. Peter’s Square, a 46year-old Nigerian homeless man named Edwin was found dead because of the cold,” the Pope said. He continued: “May we be reminded of the words of St. Gregory the Great, who, when faced with the death of a mendicant from cold, said that Masses would not be celebrated that day because it was like Good Friday.” “Let us think about Edwin. Let us think of what this man, 46 years old, felt in the cold, ignored by all, abandoned, even by us. Let us pray for him.” According to the news website RomaToday, Edwin was the fourth homeless person to die this year in Rome, where there are an estimated 8,000 homeless people. Many sleep along the edge of Bernini’s colonnade, the semi-circular columns enclosing St. Peter’s Square.

FEBRUARY TUESDAY 2 The Vatican’s doctrinal chief has emphasized the Catholic Church’s duty to promote and protect her teachings as passed down by the Apostles. Speaking to Vatican News, Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer, S.J., prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), noted that “what was called ‘concern for right doctrine’” existed before the CDF was created in 1542 and has its roots in the New Testament. “Our mission is to promote and protect the doctrine of the faith,” he said in the February 1 interview. “A task that will always be necessary in the Church, which has the duty to transmit the teaching of the Apostles to new generations,” Ladaria noted that “the concrete way of completing this task has changed over the centuries and we can think that it will change again. But the concern for fidelity to the doctrine of the Apostles will always remain.”

MONDAY 8 POPE FRANCIS TELLS DIPLOMATS: “RIGHT TO LIFE” IS A FOUNDATIONAL HUMAN RIGHT Pope Francis meets with the diplomats accredited to the Holy See at the Vatican’s Hall of Blessing Feb. 8, 2021. Pope Francis told diplomats at the Vatican that it is “painful” for him to see more countries move away from “their inalienable duty to protect human life” from conception to natural death. “The pandemic forced us to confront two unavoidable dimensions of human existence: sickness and death. In doing so, it reminded us of the value of life, of every individual human life and its dignity, at every moment of its earthly pilgrimage, from conception in the womb until its natural end,” Pope Francis said in his annual address to diplomats accredited to the Holy See on February 8. “It is painful, however, to note that under the pretext of guaranteeing presumed subjective rights, a growing number of legal systems in our world seem to be moving away from their inalienable duty to protect human life at every one of its phases,” the Pope said. Speaking from the Apostolic Palace’s Hall of Blessings, the pope told the representatives of the 183 states that currently have diplomatic relations with the Holy See that the “right to life” is a foundational human right. “If we deprive the weakest among us of the right to life, how can we effectively guarantee respect for every other right?” WEDNESDAY 10 ACCUSED PRIEST ASSERTS INNOCENCE AT VATICAN SEMINARY ABUSE HEARING At a hearing on Wednesday in a trial for alleged abuse and cover-up at a Vatican youth seminary, a defendant asserted his innocence, imputing abuse accusations to jealousy and divisions within the institution. “These are unfounded accusations,” Fr. Gabriele Martinelli said during two hours of questioning in a Vatican courtroom on Feb. 10. Martinelli, 28, has been charged with using violence and his position of authority to commit sexual abuse against a younger student at the Pius X pre-seminary in Vatican City. The defendant further claimed that the allegations were made because of a desire to prevent his priestly ordination. “Speaking of abuses, they struck me but they wanted to strike the pre-seminary above all,” he said. Martinelli is alleged to have committed the abuse from 2007 to 2012. He continued his seminary training afterward and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Como in 2017.n MARCH-APRIL 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN




BECKY DERKS with G. Galazka, CNA and CNS photos

n catholic BiShoP releaSed FiVe dayS aFter KidnaPPinG in niGeria A Catholic bishop in Nigeria, who was kidnapped on December 27, has been released unharmed, according to the Archdiocese of Owerri. The diocese, which is in southeastern Nigeria, announced in a social media post late on January 1 that Bishop moses chikwe and his driver, Ndubuisi Robert, had been released by their abductors “unhurt and without ransom.” “More details to come,” the announcement continued. “To GOD be the glory.” The post was accompanied by a photo, with the words “Welcome back our beloved Bishop, God heard [the] prayers of his people.” Chikwe, the auxiliary bishop of Owerri archdiocese, was kidnapped by unidentified gunmen on the evening of December 27, in Owerri, the capital of Imo State in southeastern Nigeria. The website of the Nigerian newspaper The Sun reported that the bishop was kidnapped “alongside his driver in his official car” and that the vehicle “was later returned to Assumpta roundabout, while the occupants were believed to have been taken to an unknown destination.” (CNA) n Vatican oFFicial callS For “Solidarity” in nuclear diSarmament aFter coronaViruS Pandemic The current pandemic has underscored the need for global solidarity to achieve nuclear disarmament, a senior Vatican diplomat said December 16. “COVID-19 proves the urgent need for a globalization of solidarity, and for greater investment in integral security and new models of global cooperation,” archbishop Paul richard Gallagher, head of the 60 INSIDE THE VATICAN MARCH-APRIL 2021

Blood oF St. JanuariuS FailS to liqueFy on decemBer FeaSt In Naples, the blood of St. Januarius remained solid, after having liquefied both in May and September in 2020. “When we took the reliquary from the safe, the blood was absolutely solid and remains absolutely solid,” said Fr. Vincenzo de Gregorio, abbot of the Chapel of St. Januarius in Naples Cathedral. De Gregorio displayed the reliquary and the solidified blood inside to those gathered after morning Mass December 16 in the Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary. The abbot said that the miracle sometimes occurred later in the day. In a video he could be seen saying “a few years ago at five in the afternoon, the home stretch, it liquefied. So we don’t know what’s going to happen.” He added: “The actual state, as you can see well, is absolutely solid. It does not give any sign, not even a little drop, as sometimes falls. It’s alright, we will await the sign with faith.” By the end of the day’s evening Mass, however, the blood was still solid. (CNA) Holy See Secretariat of State’s Section for Diplomatic Affairs, said at a book launch focused on global disarmament. The coronavirus pandemic, the archbishop said, has offered the world a lesson in the need to “redefine our concept of security.” Security cannot be based on a concept of mutually-assured destruction, he said, but rather must be based on “justice, integral human development, re-

spect for fundamental human rights, the protection of creation, the building of trust among peoples, the promotion of educational and health structures, dialogue, and solidarity. “It is necessary to go beyond nuclear deterrence,” he said, encouraging nations to focus instead on forward-looking strategies such as the promotion of peace and security, and to “avoid shortsighted approaches.” (CNA)

relicS oF St. maximilian KolBe inStalled in chaPel oF PoliSh Parliament Relics of Polish Auschwitz martyr St. maximilian Kolbe were installed in a chapel in Poland’s parliament before Christmas. The relics were transferred December 17 to the Mother of God, Mother of the Church chapel, which also contains relics of the Polish Pope St. John Paul ii and the Italian pediatrician St. Gianna Beretta molla. The relics were introduced formally to both houses of the Polish parliament — the Sejm, or lower house, and the Senate — in the capital, Warsaw, at a ceremony attended by elżbieta Witek, the Speaker of the Sejm, Senator Jerzy chróścikowski, and Fr. Piotr Burgoński, chaplain of the Sejm chapel. (CNA)

n TRUMP PRAISES ST. THOMAS À BECKET AS MARTYR FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM The White House issued a proclamation praising St. Thomas À Becket, an English archbishop who was martyred 850 years ago after conflict with King Henry II over the rights of the Church. “Before the Magna Carta was drafted, before the right to free exercise of religion was enshrined as America’s first freedom in our glorious Constitution, Thomas gave his life so that, as he said, ‘the Church will attain liberty and peace,’” former President Donald Trump wrote in a December 29 proclamation while still in office. “To honor Thomas Becket’s memory, the crimes against people of faith must stop, prisoners of conscience must be released, laws restricting freedom of religion and belief must be repealed, and the vulnerable, the defenseless, and the oppressed must be protected. The tyranny and murder that shocked the conscience of the Middle Ages must never be allowed to happen again. As long as America stands, we will always defend religious liberty.” (CNA) n UNDERGROUND CATHOLIC BISHOP DIES IN CHINA According to the Catholic outlet AsiaNews, headquartered in Rome, Bishop Andrea Han Jingtao, 99, a leader in the underground Catholic Church in China, died December 30. Han Jingtao was the underground Bishop of Siping. In his early years growing up in a Catholic family, Han received a highquality formation and education from the Canadian missionaries of Quebec, who ran the apostolic vicariate in his region of China before the communist revolution. After Mao Zedong took power, the late bishop was sent to a concentration

camp where he would be imprisoned for 27 years (1953-1980) “for refusing to participate in the ‘independent and autonomous’ Church, as Mao Zedong wanted,” AsiaNews reports. Once freed, his command of the English language made him an asset for the communist regime, which conscripted him into service as an English teacher at Changchun University and then at the Northeast University for masters and doctoral programs. According to AsiaNews, “He introduced many Chinese to the study of Classical, Latin, and Greek languages and cultures.” (CNA) n SOCCER LEGEND MARADONA WAS “POET” ON FIELD, POPE SAYS The legendary career of the late Diego Maradona proved that he wasn’t just a skilled soccer player, but a true artist whose creativity and athleticism brought joy to countless fans, Pope Francis said. “On the field, he was a poet, a great champion who gave joy to millions of people in Argentina as well as in Naples (Italy),” the Pope said in an interview published January 2 in the Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport. Maradona, 60, died in November after suffering a heart attack two weeks after undergoing brain surgery in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Argentine President Alberto Fernandez declared three days of national mourning, while in Naples, thousands mourned his death and laid wreaths outside the stadium where he played between 1984 and 1991. (UCA News) n UNIVERSITY PATENTS BEER GIVING DRINKERS TASTE OF THE MIDDLE AGES A pontifical university in Poland is patenting a beer that will give drinkers a taste of the Middle Ages. Sławomir Dryja, a lecturer at the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Kraków, created the recipe which he believes is 90% similar to the white beer

drunk by medieval residents of the city, reported Radio Kraków. Modern-day drinkers will be able to sample the brew — known as Kraków White Beer (Piwo Krakowskie Białe in Polish) — from April at the earliest. The 56-year-old archaeologist was able to identify the original yeast by studying the cellar walls of Kraków’s Lubomirski Palace. Dryja, an expert on the history of brewing, explained that the beer would be made in a similar way to the original. “We know the production of malt technology. We can assume that modern light wheat malts do not differ significantly in their characteristics from those used at that time,” he said. “We have the original yeast and we know more or less the technological procedure, i.e. how it was mashed, boiled, in what proportions the hops should be added and how to handle it.” (CNA) n CARDINAL TAGLE EXPECTS DIFFICULT MONTHS AHEAD Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (“Propaganda Fide”), has urged bishops in mission territories to “reduce or even waive the ordinary subsidy” they receive each year from his Vatican department. In a December letter to the bishops, he noted that the section that supplies the funding — the Pontifical Missionary Societies (OPM) — expects difficult months ahead.The OPM is “completely dependent on the generosity of donors,” the 63-year-old Filipino cardinal said. Some 1,100 dioceses — mainly in Africa, Asia and South America — receive the OPM funds each year to meet operating expenses. The allotment is called the “ordinary subsidy.” Cardinal Tagle told the missionary bishops that the OPM has “no other resources” other than what it is able to collect during the previous year, usually around 25 million euros.m MARCH-APRIL 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN 61


Stefano Navarrini illustration - Luigi Spina photos



n January 17th Massimo Osanna, the interim director of Pompeii’s excavations and the soonto-be director of all of Italy’s State Museums, was a guest on Sunday evening’s popular TV talk show “Che C Tempo Che Fa” (“What’s the weather like?”). His appearance was carefully timed to announce the reopening of Pompeii’s excavations on weekdays to visitors with reservations from Italy’s “yellow” regions: Campania, where Pompeii is located, and those nearby, Molise and Basilicata, because at the moment none of these regions is subject to stricter virus lockdown rules than a mask, hand-washing, and social distancing. The topic of host Fabio Fazio’s interview with Osanna was the latest discovery at Pompeii, a thermopolium also known as a “popina,” the ancient equivalent of a modern fast food restaurant(!), a take-away shop selling mainly cooked dishes without seating frequented by the least wealthy of commercially prosperous Pompeii’s some 20,000 inhabitants. Its discovery, one of Pompeii’s some 80 thermopolia, dates to the spring of 2019, but was first announced on December 26, 2020. It’s well known that the Naples area, which includes Pompeii, is highly seismic. According to Pliny the Younger, since earthquakes were frequent, the inhabitants of Pompeii paid little attention to the tremors felt for the four days before the catastrophic eruption in 79 AD of nearby Mount Vesuvius, the deadliest volcano still today in European history. For two days, Vesuvius spewed forth a deadly cloud of molten rock, pulverized pumice and hot ash at 1.5 million tons per second, releasing 100,000 times the thermal energy of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and burying Pompeii under 13 to 20 feet of debris. “From a recently uncovered charcoal inscription,” said Osanna, “we know now that the eruption began around 16 days before the Calends of November or around October 24 in the early afternoon around 1 PM, and not on August 24 as had been believed until recently. This is confirmed by the remains of autumnal, not summer, clothing materials still worn by some of the 1,500 corpses and by the foodstuffs


excavated here. For examples, in the thermpolium’s several terracotta vessels are samples of duck meat, snails, goat meat, fava beans, dried fruits, pomegranates, and garum, a favorite fermented fish sauce used to preserve and flavor. Not to leave out the large amounts of wine — proof that the eruption occurred after the year’s grape harvest.” The modern day equivalent of garum is a delicacy of the small fishing village of Cetara on the Amalfi Coast. This “colatura di alici” or “anchovy drippings” produced by fermenting anchovies in brine, is still used to season pasta. “This thermopolium,” continued Osanna, “was certainly more luxurious or trendy than most. The counters of thermopolia were usually not decorated or at most had marble finishing, while this one’s large L-shaped counter is decorated with a series of brightly painted frescoes along its front and side wings. The largest is of a Nereid (a sea nymph, see images below) riding a seahorse in a marine setting. Its other frescoes are: an illustration of the shop itself, a kind of trademark; of ducks hanging upside down ready to be cooked; idem for a rooster; and a dog on a leash, a kind of ‘Cave Canem.’ ‘Beware of the Dog’ was probably a reminder to customers to leash their pets. A rude graffiti was scratched along its frame... Its author was probably a fleeced customer or fired worker. Beside the dog fresco, among the remains found here, were the skeletons of a dog, of the thermopolium’s owner who was lame and lying on his bed, and of another younger man’s bones in a jar, probably stuffed there long ago by illegal ‘archeologists’ looking for coins or jewelry.” Probably because of the busloads of approximately 2.5 million visitors annually before covid, there are many tourist-trap restaurants near the excavations, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997, but for special contemporary thermpolia, when it’s possible to travel again, head to Ristorante Garum or Bettola del Gusto for local specialties and then to De Vivo Pasticceria for dessert. A family business since before World War II, its sfogliatelle, babà and gelati are to-die-for.m


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