Inside the Vatican magazine March-April 2022

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MARCH-APRIL 2022 $5 / EUR 5 / £3.30


BENEDICT AT 95 Reflecting on the RemaRkable life and influence of Joseph RatzingeR



hérèse of Lisieux is one of the most popular saints in

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Other Inspiring Books on St. Thérèse ◆ ST. THÉRÈSE OF LISIEUX Story of a Life Guy Gaucher, O.C.D.

◆ SPIRITUAL CHILDHOOD The Spirituality of St. Thérèse Msgr. Vernon Johnson

◆ A FAMILY OF SAINTS The Martins of Lisieux Fr. Stephane Piat, O.F.M.

◆ THE HIDDEN FACE A Study of St. Thérèse Ida Friederike Goerres

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by Robert Moynihan

A “Penned-In” Pope?

In March and April, the Church recalls two important events from recent years: 1) the election of Pope Francis as Pope on March 13, 2013, nine years ago; and the 95th birthday of Emeritus Pope Benedict on April 16...

“For me he is a man of God, a humble man, a man of prayer. I was so happy when he was elected Pope.” —Pope Francis, speaking about Pope Benedict XVI on July 28, 2013, four months after he was elected Pope on March 13, 2013 We celebrate two important ecclesial events in the two months covered in this issue, March and April of 2022. The first is the ninth anniversary of the election of Pope Francis on March 13, 2013, four weeks after Benedict XVI resigned the papal throne. Francis has thus now been Pope for nine years. The second is the 95th birthday of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, which will fall on April 16, 2022 — so we chose to put Benedict on the cover, and to publish contributions from authors around the world to wish the retired pontiff “Happy Birthday.” Then, I thought I might make use of this space to allow Pope Francis to speak in his own voice. I take these quotations from a press conference Francis gave on July 28, 2013, on the airplane back from World Youth Day in Brazil. His words give a revealing and precious insight into his mind at the time. Francis was asked why he chose to make one of the most striking decisions of his pontificate: to live in the Domus Santa Marta guesthouse, and not in the Apostolic Palace (which has remained empty throughout these nine years). Pope Francis: “But I could not live alone in the Palace... I cannot live alone or with just a few people! I need people, I need to meet people, to talk to people. And that’s why when the children from the Jesuit schools asked me: ‘Why did you do that? For austerity, for poverty?’ No, it was for psychological reasons, simply, because psychologically I can’t do otherwise. Everyone has to lead his own life, everyone has his own way of living and being.” He continued: “The Cardinals who work in the Curia do not live wealthy, opulent lives: they live in small apartments, they are austere, they really are austere. The ones I know, the apartments that APSA provides for the Cardinals. Then it seems to me that there is something else I wanted to say. Everyone has to live as the Lord asks him to live. But austerity — general austerity — I think it is necessary for all of us who work in the service of the Church. There are many shades of austerity... everyone must seek his own path... There are saints in the Curia. And there are some who are not so saintly, and these are the ones you tend to hear about... One thing — I’ve never said this before, but I have come to realize it — I think that the Curia has fallen somewhat from the level it once had, in the days of the old curialists... the profile of the old curialist, faithful, doing his work. We need these people... there are some, but not as many as there once were... We need more of them.” Ada Messia of CNN asked: “When you met the young people from Argentina, maybe with tongue in cheek, maybe seriously, you told them that you too, at times, feel penned in. We would like to know what exactly you were referring to...” Pope Francis: “You know how often I’ve wanted to go walking through the streets of Rome, because, in Buenos Aires, I

liked to go for a walk in the city, I really liked to do that! In this sense, I feel a little penned in. I’d like to go out walking but I understand that it isn’t possible: I understand. That was what I meant. Because I used to be — as we say in Buenos Aires — a callejero, a street priest…” Pablo Ordas from El País then asked: “We would like to know about your working relationship... with Benedict XVI...” Pope Francis: “...There is one thing that describes my relationship with Benedict: I have such great affection for him. I have always loved him. For me he is a man of God, a humble man, a man of prayer. “I was so happy when he was elected Pope. Also, when he resigned, for me it was an example of greatness. A great man. Only a great man does this! A man of God and a man of prayer. Now he is living in the Vatican, and there are those who tell me: “How can this be? Two Popes in the Vatican! Doesn’t he get in your way? Isn’t he plotting against you?” All these sorts of things, no? I have found a good answer for this: “It’s like having your grandfather in the house,” a wise grandfather. When families have a grandfather at home, he is venerated, he is loved, he is listened to...” Then a reporter from Russia, Alexey Bukalov, asked him: “Holy Father, returning to ecumenism: today, the Orthodox are celebrating 1,025 years of Christianity, and there are great festivities in many capital cities. If you would comment on this, I would be grateful.” Pope Francis: “In the Orthodox Churches, they have re tained that pristine liturgy, which is so beautiful. We have lost some of the sense of adoration. The Orthodox preserved it; they praise God, they adore God, they sing, time does not matter. God is at the center, and I would like to say, as you ask me this question, that this is a richness. “Once, speaking of the Western Church, of Western Europe, especially the older Church, they said this phrase to me: Lux ex oriente, ex occidente luxus. Consumerism, comfort, they have done such harm. Instead, you retain this beauty of God in the center, the reference point. When reading Dostoevsky — I believe that for all of us he is an author that we must read and reread due to his wisdom — one senses what the Russian soul is, what the eastern soul is. It is something that does us much good. “We need this renewal, this fresh air from the East, this light from the East. John Paul II wrote about this in his Letter. But many times the luxus of the West makes us lose this horizon... These are the thoughts that come to me.” Reading these words, it does seem that Pope Francis has indeed been “penned in” — by the global media, and by some progressive curialists, who have given all of us their version of his pontificate. The love of the mystical liturgy of the Orthodox, for example, is not at all expressed by Traditionis Custodes. In any case, nine years of a papacy, and 95 years of a pilgrim life, come to a close this spring. May God protect, guide and bless both men, Pope Francis and Emeritus Pope Benedict.m MARCH-APRIL 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN



MARCH-APRIL 2022 Year 30, #2


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Robert Moynihan ASSOCIATE EDITOR: George “Pat” Morse (+ 2013) ASSISTANT EDITOR: Christina Deardurff CULTURE EDITOR: Lucy Gordan CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Giuseppe Rusconi WRITERS: Anna Artymiak, Alberto Carosa, William A. 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: Cynthia Sauer Tel. +1.202.864.4261

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Year 30, #2

LEAD STORY BENEDICT TURNS 95: Reflecting on the Remarkable Influence of Joseph Ratzinger by ITV staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 The Last True Liberal in Europe by Anthony Esolen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 “I appreciate his quiet humility” by Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM Cap. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Pope Benedict’s Encyclicals by Paschal M. Corby, OFM Conv. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 The Newman of Our Era by Tracey Rowland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 The Benedict-Francis Alliance by William Doino, Jr. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 Family as a Key to Reading Benedict’s Pontificate and Life by Andrea Gagliarducci . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Did Ratzinger really cover up abuse scandals? by Michael Hesemann . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 “I was struck by his warmth, gentleness and wit” by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 Benedict’s Diagnosis of the Faltering Church in Ireland by Dualta Roughneen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 NEWS China/Chinese government sets sights on Hong Kong Catholics by UCA News/ITV staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 Hong Kong/Cardinal Zen’s “Crimes” by ITV staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 Luxembourg/Time to change Church doctrine on homosexuality? by CNS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 Italy/Pope Francis interviewed on Italian TV by ITV staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Vatican/New stage of the Francis pontificate begins by ITV staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 CULTURE Commentary/Archbishop Roche: “The Traditional Mass must go” by James Baresel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 Commentary/Is the Pope Really “The Head of the Catholic Church?” by James Bogle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 OBITUARY/Dr. Alice von Hildebrand: Catholic Feminist and Apostle of Truth by Fr. Gerald Murray/ITV staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 A Shining Example of the “Feminine Genius” by Christina Deardurff. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 The Heart of Alice von Hildebrand by John Henry Crosby . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 Review/Bishop Schneider’s The Catholic Mass: Steps to Restore the Centrality of God by Leila Marie Lawler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Footsteps on the Way/Ireland: A Land of Saints and Scholars by ITV staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41 Education/The Tyranny of the Modern College Campus by Michael F. McLean, Ph.D. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 Latin/Pope Benedict’s Resignation Speech: What did it really say in Latin? by John Byron Kuhner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 Scripture/He Who Is by Anthony Esolen, Ph.D. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 URBI ET ORBI: CATHOLICISM AND ORTHODOXY Icon/The Ultimate Family Reunion by Robert Wiesner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 East-West Watch/The Orthodox and National Churches by Peter Anderson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49 News from the East/Russian Patriarch condemns vaccine segregation; Vatican-Moscow summit; Jerusalem Patriarch on “status quo”; Kazakhstan Metropolitan: “Stop the confrontation” by Matthew Trojacek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50 FEATURES Art/Plautilla Bricci: Italy’s First Woman Architect by Lucy Gordan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 Lord of the World/Felsenburgh is appointed President of Europe by Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56 Vatican Watch/A day-by-day chronicle of Vatican events: December 2021-January 2022 by Matthew Trojacek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58 People/Xi calls for more Marxism; Vietnam’s new priests; Pope John Paul I to be beatified by Matthew Trojacek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60 Food for Thought/The Lenten Cookbook by Mother Martha . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62


◆ UNPLANNED — Abby Johnson A best-selling book that made national news and shocked the pro-abortion establishment when Abby Johnson, manager of a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic and rising star in the industry, suddenly announced she was leaving that culture of death. Now a major motion picture, this updated edition tells a heart stopping personal drama of life-anddeath encounters, a courtroom battle, and spiritual transformation that speaks of hope and compassion surrounding this issue. UNPP. . . Softcover, $16.95 ◆ CHANGING SIDES:

The Conversion of Abby Johnson



Donald DeMarco & Benjamin Wiker DeMarco and Wiker expose the Culture of Death as an intentional and malevolent ideology promoted by influential thinkers who attack Christian morality's core belief in the sanctity of human life and the existence of man's immortal soul. They examine the roots of the Culture of Death by introducing 23 of its architects, including Ayn Rand, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Alfred Kinsey, and Margaret Sanger.. Still, this is not a book without hope. The personalism of John Paul II is an illuminating thread that runs through the narrative.

The City of Oakland, CA passed a law making it illegal to approach a woman entering an abortion clinic without her consent, Walter B. Hoye II went to jail for standing on a public sidewalk outside an abortion clinic with a sign saying, "God loves you and your baby. Let us help you.” The ordained Baptist minister could have accepted a lesser sentence of community service provided he agreed never to return to the clinic. He preferred spending thirty days in jail to forfeiting his right to free speech and his Christian duty to offer help to women in need. Hoye’s dramatic days in prison are detailed in this book.

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◆ THREE APPROACHES TO ABORTION — Peter Kreeft Kreeft shows, in an irrefutable way, why abortion is evil and why it is illogical to support abortion rights while claiming to be “personally opposed to abortion.” Kreeft’s lucid arguments, and his thoughtful dialogue between a pro-lifer and a “pro-choicer” make this book an invaluable tool in the pro-life cause. TAAP . . . Softcover, $11.95

◆ THE WALLS ARE TALKING Abby Johnson This book narrates the harrowing and life-changing experiences of former abortion clinic workers, including those of the author who once directed abortion services at a large Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas. These stories offer hope, for they show that anyone, no matter what part the person has played in an abortion, can start anew and can make amends for past mistakes. WTP. . . Softcover, $15.95

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◆ ROE V. WADE —Based on the true story of the 1973 landmark decision rendered by the U.S. Supreme Court on the issue of abortion. Dr. Bernard Nathanson and Dr. Mildred Jefferson square off in a national battle in this untold conspiracy that led to the most famous and controversial court case in history. This film is a compelling look into the parties involved in the landmark decision. This film portrays a series of events leading up to the infamous Supreme Court decision. RVWM . . . 111 min., $14.95 (800) 651-1531

Italy: Journey to the Face of Christ May 28 - June 7, 2022 From the ancient rooms where St. Peter lived for seven years, to the bishop’s residence in Assisi; from the treasure trove of art and faith at the Vatican Museum, to the Benedictine monastery of Norcia; we will encounter some of the “living stones” of our Church, as we journey toward the Face of Christ – both spiritually and physically in the form of the miraculous Face of Manoppello. Visit us online to learn more!

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


ARCHBISHOP VIGANÒ [Re: Moynihan Letter # 185, 2021: Viganò to America] Good Lord, this man is ready for the loony bin. Peter von Berg

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

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This letter from Viganò and all that you are doing collectively is so, so inspiring. I am going to print and keep it close. Thank you! My friends just flew to Germany to see their son (in the military) amid the lockdowns and rules that keep changing. God bless you! Linda Smith Florida, USA No, Rosemary, I'm afraid the Archbishop does not "speak the Truth." At least, not consistently, although some of what he says is certainly true. When Viganò makes exaggerated and extreme statements against the new Mass, like saying Paul VI "deprive[d] the Church of her most precious treasure, imposing a counterfeit ritual in its place," he makes it sound like Pope Paul was just a huckster and that the Novus Ordo is not a real Mass, but as phony as a three-dollar bill. In other words, he's saying that Christ, who has promised to remain with his Church till the end of the world, has been so derelict in keeping his promise that he's failed to stop five successive Popes (to whom he has promised special assistance in guiding us!) from imposing a ritual which is simply not "the Catholic Mass" at all, but a fraudulent – and therefore invalid, or at least totally illegitimate – imitation of the Mass. But since Our Lord and the Holy Spirit could never permit such a catastrophe to befall the Church, the new Mass simply can't be as bad as Viganò says it is. He also makes this wildly exaggerated claim: "Everything is profane in the Novus Ordo.” "Everything," Your Excellency? Clearly, a ritual in which everything was

"profane" could not be a valid Mass at all! It is simply not true. I too prefer the TLM and celebrate it privately, but after 36 years of priesthood, I find nothing "profane" in the new Missal! Everything is sacred from start to finish: prayers to God, Sacred Scripture readings, consecration of the Body and Blood of Christ, and feeding his flock in Holy Communion. My biggest concern is that when a high-ranking Archbishop, seen by probably hundreds of thousands of traditionalist Catholics round the world as a representative spokesman for the TLM, makes these grievously false and exaggerated accusations against the Novus Ordo, this only plays right into the hands of the present pontiff! Pope Francis can then say, "There! I told you so! These rigid adherents of the old Mass are fomenting division and endangering unity in the Church by slandering and rejecting the reformed liturgy! That's why we've got to phase out the old Mass completely!" Fr. Brian Harrison, O.S. St. Louis, Missouri, USA I'd like to begin by saying I followed and enjoyed your series on the Viganò Tapes and your book, Finding Viganò. I have been moved and inspired by Archbishop Viganò and his messages to the world. I find him to be the most credible voice on the challenges of our time, who has been clear about recommending a path forward by a return to Tradition. All this being said, I have been contacted by a priest I trust regarding allegations about the good archbishop, in the case of Archbishop John C. Nienstedt, formerly of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. It contends that Archbishop Viganò interfered in the archdiocesan investigation of Archbishop Nienstedt in April 2014. Trying to research the authenticity and credibility of these allegations would take a substantial effort. Perhaps you have

some insight into this controversy, and can help to bring some clarity. Lino DeGasperis Ottawa, Canada A NOTE OF APPRECIATION I am a relatively new subscriber. I want you to know that I prize, and am grateful for, the work that you are doing and for the inside scoop on what is actually happening at the center of power, both spiritual and worldly, in our beloved but beleaguered Catholic Church. Richard G. Arms, Jr. DISGRACEFUL COMMENTS So, work on healing the schism from 1054 while currently undermining the Holy Father and promoting Viganò’s schismatic spirit?… Your comments about the letter of peace are disgraceful. Go to confession. Bryan Baird A FALSE PREMISE Traditionis Custodes cannot be canonically legal when it interprets Vatican Council II with a false premise (what is invisible is considered visible) which is unethical, dishonest and not Magisterial. Its conclusion is schism with the past Magisterium. However, I can interpret Vatican Council II with the Rational Premise (what is invisible is considered invisible) and there is no break with the past Magisterium; there is the hermeneutic of continuity with Tradition. Pope Francis must correct the error. Lionel Andrades FROM SUBSCRIBERS I am praying a Novena to St. John Paul II for his intercession to send you generous donors. I know that he encouraged you to do Inside the Vatican. You and your staff are working very hard to get the truth out to us. We need, more than ever, to know what is going on, to truly follow His Way, Truth, and Life and not fear, as He is always with us. Cathy Fullem Florida, U.S.A. I’m almost 89 and live in an assisted living place. I’ve been with you, Robert,

since you started ITV. May our Lord continue to bless all of you, and the Holy Spirit fill your hearts with joy and peace. Fr. Roger Geditz South Dakota, U.S.A. Thank you for your monthly “treasures” we subscribers enjoy, ponder and deliberate over. There comes not a moment of boredom within the pages of ITV and I would not have it otherwise, or I would many years ago have ceased to renew annually. I wish you many years more of “what you do.” Ms. Jacqueline Hamilton New Hampshire, U.S.A. You are all in my prayers – you are a source of sanity and truth for me in my daily life (as a healthcare professional and Catholic). Please keep me in your prayers and keep proclaiming the truth. May God bless you! Allison Miller Ohio, U.S.A FRANCIS AND BIDEN Pope Francis’ friendship with Joe Biden tells me abortion is not the unspeakable crime Pope John Paul told us it was. That Pope Francis considers Holy Communion bread for sinners, and repentance does not matter to him, is heart rending. Biden promotes abortion globally! At age 82, I pray to be united with Jesus. Thank you for ITV! Ellen Mary D’Agostino THE MOYNIHAN LETTERS Bless you for your informative Moynihan Letters on what is going on at the Vatican and in the world of politics, etc. Just finished Letter #164, 2021, “Schneider: The Complete Tapes.” Such a beautiful soul, at this time in history. Keep up the Google work. I am reluctant to give online, so I hope this contribution is of some help. Rose Mary Snyder Wisconsin, U.S.A. VIABLE MASS ALTERNATIVES Re. Christina Deardurff’s “Writer’s Chat” interview with Peter Kwasniewski: In Canuckistan (aka Canada), we attend a small church in a small town where the TLM has been "permitted" by the bishop. As a result of Traditionis Custodes and

more recent proclamations, the TLM is now under scrutiny, and modifications are in the works (only NRSV for readings, and English only). Some, believing the handwriting is on the wall – endless modifications to come – have scurried to the closest SSPX. But, as we sat there last week, I looked around and realized this is not a "snow on the roof" parish. It is filled with young families and young singles. And it is growing. I am not sure what will happen when it gets too large, as the dear pastor will not be allowed to add a second Sunday TLM (subtle top-down manipulation?). Endless restrictions and modifications push people to SSPX. We also attend a Ukrainian Catholic Church once a month. The liturgy is exquisite. If push comes to shove (and I think it will), we will have a haven. I do hope many will realize the Eastern rites are a viable option. Donna Procher PARTICIPATION IN LITURGY Can we passively participate in the Catholic Liturgy? The answer is yes, but Vatican II’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy says, “Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that full, conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy...” So contemplation is not part of the new Mass. Most Latin Mass attendees (in my opinion) participate by contemplating the Lord, seeking an interior relationship with Him. To them, the Mass is other-worldly. Passive contemplation is less expressive but more receptive interiorly.

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR In the new Mass, the prayers are said by priest and people in a “dialog.” Most love it but others want a more solemn service fostering a more interior relationship with Jesus. But the era in which we live (postVatican II) demands transparency. The new Mass is transparent; it lets the whole world see the Mass. Tom Greerty “THE OTHER WISE MAN” I have enjoyed all of your letters sent out this year but, this one about Artaban (the “Other Wise Man”) seems the best. Very good and to the point. Please keep it up in the following years. Jay Frantz My judgment is thus: a story of a fourth wise man destroys the symbolism of the three kings plus Jesus. Jesus of Nazareth is King of the Jews (a statement that, when written above the cross, spells out his divine nature for all to see). The black king, the brown king, and the white king, coming to adore the King of Kings, are the four corners of the cross. Devising a fourth, heretofore unknown, king is a clever literary device. But it's not good for the meaning of Epiphany: now you have two Semitic kings, a Jew and an Arab. And whereas we had the Young King, the Mature King, and the Old King, coming to adore the Baby King, now we have this awkward other king that doesn't fit into the rubric. The literary device turns the geometry of the cross into a pentacle. Balthasar Maria Brooklynensis Carduelis TURNING AGAINST THE UNJABBED Truly we live in dangerous times, when fellow Catholics draw a line in the sand against those unjabbed!! Sounds like WW II all over again, starting to divide people – or what happened in 1990s Rwanda. Don't think for a minute that one group will not turn on the other if the conditions are created by the "enemy!" Jesus came to seek and save the lost and to bind and heal the broken! Lorraine 10


MORE THAN STATIC I do not know where I would get my in-depth church news if it was not for you. Complex issues are many, yet you bring clarity and truth. Above all, the interviews and source information are what makes your news unique. Without that behind-the-scenes, person-to-person connection, we would only have static information coming out of the Vatican. I will be supporting you; keep it up. Marcelo Sampedro THE RESTRAINER Mark Drogin wrote that St. Joseph is the “restrainer” of the “man of lawlessness,” but according to Cardinal Ratzinger (Benedict XVI), the “restrainer” is Simon Peter, the “rock that stands against the impure tide of unbelief and its destruction of man.” The Catechism says, “The Pope, Simon Peter’s successor, by virtue of his divine office as ‘rock’ and custodian of the ‘keys of the kingdom,’ [13] holds back the ‘mystery of lawlessness’ in its fullness. The Pope, however, is not alone; there are ‘living stones’ [14] built with him upon the foundation who is Christ, the cornerstone, [15] who leads the whole Church into all truth through His Spirit. “The whole body of the faithful… cannot err in matters of belief. This characteristic is shown in the supernatural appreciation of faith (sensus fidei) on the part of the whole people, when, from the bishops to the last of the faithful, they manifest a universal consent in matters of faith and morals.” — Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 92 Cathy Fernandes AUSSIE HERO? [Re. ITV’s “Top Ten of 2021”]: Forget about Moneybags Smit, who has achieved nothing (apart from getting herself in headlines and making mega-bucks). Meet the true Aussie hero: Captain Graeme Hood, Qantas pilot who left his job rather than receive the Covid vaccine. Mary Lou Corboy A BLESSING ON BLESSING Thank you for the disturbing but hopeful and inspiring story of Blessing Okoedion [one of ITV’s “Top Ten of

2021.”] May God continue to bless her and your endeavors. Lawrence NO ONE IS BORN “GAY” To Pope Francis: Minors experimenting with homosexuality should be “discriminated against” for their own good, especially in restrooms, showers and locker rooms – not to mention the sacrifice of a posterity, and perhaps eternal salvation. Since no one is born "gay" or the wrong gender, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6 Michael W. Jarvis COMMUNION OF SAINTS IN HELL? It’s literally a "Communion of Saints" ontologically, therefore: those Christians in Hell remain in communion with those in Purgatory and Heaven, making Hell even more painful through seeing what they have rejected! For apostates and blasphemers still alive, the only sin that cannot be forgiven is not asking for forgiveness. It certainly does not mean that blasphemers and apostates go to Heaven without repenting! Mark Drogin In our time we were taught those in Hell are “dead” members because they lack sanctifying grace. Anonymous SPREADING HATE Would someone please explain why the Catholic Church continues to spread hate? A recent string of comments against the LGBT community seemed unsolicited. Do you know the highest rate of suicide is still gay teens? Imagine feeling the world is against you, then one more group tells you that you are less than others. Is that what Jesus would do? Are you aware most gay couples have two incomes and often no children? This makes an ideal group to keep the churches running. I cannot after 48 years be a part of an organization directly responsible for the deaths of distraught children needing only love. You are obsolete. Timothy Petrites

A MAJOR BETRAYAL A sad situation indeed, with Bergoglio and his corrupt minions systematically destroying what was once the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. The major betrayal of the faithful has been the impotence of bishops and cardinals, allowing the denigration and apostasy of the Faith. Collectively they are as much a disgrace as Bergoglio. Victor Camron PREPARATION BEFORE MASS The Liturgy grew out of early Church believers' desire to meet together in thankfulness for God's holy plan for bringing men back to Him through Jesus Christ, and being fed by his body and blood in order to remain in Him.... because life is only possible in God through his Son. One can see that Liturgy is essential for mankind's physical and spiritual welfare. Also needed before Mass, I suggest, is meaningful reflection on God's great love for us – best achieved with readings from the Word of God. A short silent period after each would allow for reflection to

better prepare the heart to enter into the beauty of the Mass in spirit and truth as meaningful worship requires. Vivian Rudmin WHAT IS “COMMON GOOD?” I now see the term “common good” in Catholic literature, pronounced from church leadership and incorporated into the Mass. A Wiki search yields one Catholic (Aquinas) and a multitude of unsavory and often faithless characters, including Marx. So, “common good” is recognized worldwide but has no religious underpinning; the central thought is that a group will band together and define its own “common good” for that group, eventually becoming integrated in a political structure if the group is large enough. How would Nazi Germany define common good? A “common good” apparently can be evil (though not supported by a small number of people, who nevertheless need to comply with that common good.) Since what is “good” is dependent

upon the group and not Christ, contrary to popular assumption, (Aquinas appears to define the term very narrowly), “common good” eliminates the need for religion. I fear this idea, so easily thrown around in Catholic circles, could end up being a great heresy which replaces Christ’s teaching of what is good with that of mankind’s. It would be really helpful to give your readers feedback on “common good.” Bill Miller ANTI-VACCINE TRUCKERS It is frightening that you appear to have fallen into the clutches of the antivaxx ideologues. In my view, perhaps there could be some more critical thinking on your part. The idea that the truckers should be at the vanguard of those people determining Canada's Public Health policy is simply crazy. How can anyone put this forward? Vaccines kill people? Where is the evidence? Covid is a pandemic. It must be aggressively managed. Dennis Kulesha

PARTICIPATE IN OUR LITURGY SURVEY! We invite you to contribute to our farreaching assessment of the availability and attendance of all the different liturgical rites of the Church. We’ll publish our results in a special “Liturgy” issue of Inside the Vatican magazine, and later, in a more scholarly “white paper” on the liturgy around the world today. contribute your voice today! MARCH-APRIL 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN





he man who was to become Pope Benedict XVI was born in Bavaria, a heavily Catholic region of Germany, on April 16, 1927. Joseph Aloysius Ratzinger was intellectually gifted, and embarked upon a stellar academic career, becoming a noted professor of theology as a relatively young man; in 1958, he was appointed a full professor at the age of 31. In 1963, he moved to the University of Münster, during which time he attended the Second Vatican Council as a peritus (theological adviser) to the Bishop of Cologne. At this period in his career, he was known as a reformist, and his thought was in sympathy with theologians like Hans Kung and Edward Schillebeeckx. In his 1968 book, Introduction to Christianity, for example, he advocated receptivity to differing voices within the Church, and downplayed the centrality of the Pope. But his theological leanings were to take a turn toward Tradition after he saw the departure of modern currents of Catholic thought from what he considered the unalterable truths of God, and of Man… and the moral and social chaos that followed. Ratzinger himself saw “no break in my theological views over the years”; rather, he believed that “progressive” Catholic thought had made the decisive turn away from what the Church —and he himself with her — had always taught. And so he increasingly became known as a “conservative.” After a long academic career, he was consecrated a bishop in 1977; a month later, Pope John Paul II made him a cardinal, seen as unusual 12


because of the paucity of his pastoral experience. But it was Cardinal Ratzinger’s intellect, as well as his reputation for holiness, that the Polish Pope sought, and in 1981, he made Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger the Prefect for the

“THE WORLD OFFERS YOU COMFORT. BUT YOU WERE NOT MADE FOR COMFORT. YOU WERE MADE FOR GREAT THINGS…” —POPE BENEDICT XVI Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. The “conservative” Ratzinger remained at the side of the remarkable Pope John Paul II until his death in 2005. Afterward, the conclave of car-

dinals which convened to elect the new Pope — of which Ratzinger himself was the Dean — said to themselves, it was reported, “If not Ratzinger, who?” And so Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI. “God’s Rottweiler,” as he was termed by some, was portrayed in the press as severe and doctrinaire. In reality, Benedict is a quiet, sensitive man who is also musically gifted; he is an accomplished pianist who once said that the music of his favorite composer, Mozart, “deeply penetrated his soul.” “His music is by no means just entertainment,” he said; “it contains the whole tragedy of human existence.” After his dramatic and unexpected 2013 announcement that he was abdicating the papacy, he retired to a converted monastery in the Vatican Gardens where he lives today. His personal secretary from previous years, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, continues to serve in this capacity as Benedict lives a quiet life of prayer and study. He has written or spoken publicly only a handful of times since 2013, but by all accounts, his intellect is still sharp and his health good for his age. In the following pages, we feature a series of essays discussing various aspects of the life, career and papacy of Joseph Ratzinger — Pope Benedict XVI — and the picture that emerges is of a man who strove to follow his own advice when he said in his encyclical Spe Salvi: “The world offers you comfort. You were not made for comfort. You were made for great things — for God Himself.”m

April 29, 2008, New York City, New York, USA. Pope Francis during his visit to Ground Zero. The Pope prayed for the victims and their families. (Grzegorz Galazka photo)

Opposite, during the sessions of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65)








t is an honor to write in gratitude for the life and the scholarship of Pope Benedict XVI, as he embarks upon his 96th year. His Jesus of Nazareth is, in my opinion, by far the greatest modern meditation upon the person, the life, and the words of the Lord, affirming all that any orthodox Christian in any age has believed of him. It transcends, though it makes use of the discoveries and insights of modern scholarship, all the many attempts in the last two hundred years to give us a Jesus that is tamed, so to speak, and stripped of divinity – a false Jesus, the idol of a passing age. His The Spirit of the Liturgy likewise far transcends the bitter warfare in the Church between those who, as he himself does, accept tradition with humble gratitude, and those who feel that same tradition as a straitjacket upon their expressions of devotion. Indeed, the possibility of such transcendence is what the Holy Father desires to return to the consciousness of the modern Catholic, as it reflects the mutual self-communication, the going-out and the returning, of the inner life of the Trinity. Not for Benedict is the modernist embarrassment with the Trinity — which is not an addendum to our faith, but its inmost heart and soul. If I turn to Eschatology, volume 9 in the Dogmatic Theology he wrote with Johann Auer, I find his usual calm and yet brilliant historical and theological insights on page after page, as when he shows how and why the people of Israel, by the gradual self-revelation of



the God who is not like the myth-ridden deities of Israel’s neighbors, come slowly to see that suffering death can be more and other than deprivation; they can be ‘the proper path of someone who belongs to God, and, treading that path in suffering, the servant of God can open to others the door to life as their savior.’ And yet I wish here to point to something that lies at the heart of all that Pope Benedict has written, something rare enough at any time, and nearly banished from the one institution in the west where it should be honored. To show what that is, I recall an anecdote at the beginning of his Regensburg Address. He was a young member of the faculty at the University of Bonn, he says, in the days when “the various chairs had neither assistants nor secretaries, but in recompense there was much direct contact with students and in particular among the professors themselves.” That habit of lively exchange was best embodied in the dies academicus, when the entire faculty would appear together

before the students to discuss a question; and thus did the common reason of mankind and of the various disciplines of the university make itself manifest. It is abundantly clear that Benedict enjoyed those days, and he even permits the wry jest of a skeptic to stand without condemnation, that the University of Bonn had two faculties — of theology — dedicated to the study of something that did not exist. Yet the jest ultimately turns against the skeptic, because Benedict shows, in a careful and generous reading of a dialogue written by the Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus, that the worship we render to God must be deeply rational, logikos, because God Himself is the self-communicating Word, the Logos, through whom all things were made. Benedict thus wishes to liberate reason from the rationalistic reduction to which it has been subject since Bacon and Descartes, and which has resulted in the almost complete severance of mathematics and the natural sciences from such human sciences as history and literature, let alone theology. His wish is not simply in the service of the Catholic faith as such. It is in the service of man. For if reason is trammeled up in the empirically measurable, testable, and quantifiable, then man falls from a being made in the image of God, and is reduced to a mere material organism or thing — he becomes himself the inert matter upon which he exercises his tools.

Pope Benedict XVI lectured on faith and reason at the University of Regensburg in Germany Sept. 12, 2006. A quotation from a Byzantine emperor he cited provoked outrage in the Muslim world. The Pope said he was "deeply sorry" (CNS photo/Catholic Press Photo, L'Osservatore Romano)

The general result is not worthy to be called a culture. Because Manuel’s dialogue was between a Christian and a Muslim — between one who believes in the eternal Word, and one who accepts the voluntarist deity of the Koran, for whom to say that God acts according to the logos is to clap fetters on the divine will – the journalists at the time wrote angry reports about how Benedict had insulted the whole Islamic world. I doubt very much that one journalist in a hundred had the historical, literary, and theological acumen necessary to understand what Benedict was talking about. Benedict, whom I have sometimes described as the last true liberal alive in Europe, was for them a sour old man who does not accept the enlightened morality of our time, which morality is notable for its incoherence, individualistic loneliness, shrill demands for an unspecified ‘change,’ and bloodshed. It never occurred to them to examine the content of what he was saying — to take up the central questions, as to what reason is,

what it has to do with God, whether we have a wrong or truncated view of reason, and, if so, whether Western culture is far along its way to death. To take up those questions, the reporters, and the many professors afterwards who expressed their outrage, would have required more than a broad and deep education in the humanities — and this is the real point of my essay. They would have required the habits and the spirit of the true scholar; the calm, the willingness to entertain questions; the care to distinguish between what someone says and the various motives — which are seldom either completely good or completely evil — for his saying it; a generosity that puts the best construction on what the opponent brings; and the humility to acknowledge one’s own limitations and never to pretend that even a strong likelihood, let alone plausibility or a single instantiation or two, can constitute proof. In other words, the journalists were not scholars. But then, in our time, neither are the scholars.

But we are in dire need of such. We need scientists humble enough to admit that even the things they subject to analysis are in part but fabrications, parts of a real thing or partial considerations of a thing, manipulated or reduced to fit the tests we want to run. We need men and women of letters generous enough to be open to the wisdom that comes from people who did not accept our political and moral assumptions, scholars who will find beauty and truth in Milton or Dante because they are there to be found, and who will be grateful when they find it. In general, we need people like Benedict himself, who welcomes as fellows all those who are genuinely seeking the truth, to form true universities, and not snake-pits of political hatred and strife, or vast bureaucratic entities with the name — but neither the spirit nor the reality — of a university, whose faculties hardly ever speak to one another, because they do not believe, in the end, that there is anything to say. Thus must the Church, once again, return man to himself.m



hat I appreciate most about Pope Benedict XVI, a virtue that he has manifested throughout his life, is his quiet humility. He has never been a boisterous man wherein he pushed himself into the limelight. Rather, his calm, unassuming presence brought to every situation a reassuring strength that all would be done well and in accordance with the Holy Spirit’s will. This quiet humility is founded, not upon Benedict’s intellectual acumen, but upon his firmness of faith in the Gospel, a faith that is expressed in the Church’s magisterial teaching and her ecclesial theological tradition. Benedict is but a humble servant of Jesus Christ, his Lord and Savior. That being said, all would acknowledge, and most would praise, Benedict’s intellectual ability, a gift that is manifested in academic work. To this day, his Introduction to Christianity continues to be read by appreciative students and members of the theological academy. Likewise, his Spirit of the Liturgy is a foundational text for appreciating and understanding the Church’s liturgy that has come down to us through the ages. I am convinced that every priest and seminarian should be required to

read and study this work. If such were done, it would help alleviate much of the rancor that exists in our present “liturgical wars.” Much of his sound learning and wise counsel would calmly prevail. Both before and after his election as Pope, Joseph Ratzinger bore the slings and arrows that were hurled at him by many within and outside the Church. Members of the secular and ecclesial liberal elite media were, and still are, relentless in their criticism and in their characterization of him as an unyielding rigid conservative. However, such rancor towards Benedict merely makes evident the lack of faith among many of his critics, as well as simultaneously highlighting his own steadfastness in the faith. Benedict, as a person, as an academic, as an archbishop, as Pope, and now in his retirement, is a light in the darkness of our present world. His light will continue to shine even when he has passed from this world into his heavenly reward. There, with all of the Saints, he will give glory to God the Father, in union with Jesus, the risen incarnate Son, in communion with the love of the Holy Spirit. MARCH-APRIL 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN




pope BenediCt’s enCyCliCals their Common thread: “Christianity is a love story” n BY PASCHAL M. CORBY*


n popular opinion, a Pope’s first encyclical heralds the tone of his pontificate. In the case of Benedict XVI, Deus caritas est, promulgated within a year of his 2005 election to the Chair of Peter, not only sets the tenor of his pontificate, but also crowns his long years of theological reflection. At the beginning of the encyclical we read: “We have come to believe in God’s love: in these words the Christian can express the fundamental decision of his life. Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction” (DCE, 1). Here, Benedict is reiterating a familiar theme. The Christian faith is not a philosophy or idea. Rather, it is a person. In his funeral homily for Luigi Giussani, Benedict had previously reflected that “Christianity is not an intellectual system, a collection of dogmas, or moralism. Christianity is instead an encounter, a love story; it is an event.”[1] The encounter with Christ — speaking to us in the Gospels, substantially present in the Sacraments, abiding in His Church — not only establishes us as Christians, but reveals to us the truth of our being. And it is precisely this truth of our being that is the unifying principle of Benedict’s thought. The manifestation of God’s love in Jesus Christ reveals to us the uniqueness of our human nature as made for love – created in the image of God who reveals Himself as a Trinity of Persons. The encounter with Christ further awakens us to our capacity for tran16


scendence. That which is innate to human nature — the dissatisfaction with our lot, and a yearning for immortality — finds both its object and its hope in the risen Christ.

“Being Christian is not the result of an ethiCal ChoiCe or a lofty idea, But the enCounter with... a person, whiCh gives life a new horizon”

(Deus Caritas est, 1) In Christ, the promise of a future is radically transformed. As Benedict had previously written, the focus of Christian hope “is not space and time, the question of ‘Where?’ and ‘When?’, but relationship with Christ’s person and longing for him to come close.”[2] Immortal life does not consist in an extension of the experiences of this life, but in a personal communion of love with God in Jesus Christ. Through an encounter with Christ we discover what true life is (cf. John

14:6), and our yearning for eternity is awakened. This is the basis of Benedict’s fundamental claim in Spe salvi that “to come to know God — the true God — means to receive hope” (Spe Salvi, 3; cf. Eph 2:12). In the wake of the nihilism and hopelessness of atheistic philosophies, as well as the deceptive hopes of technology and science, Spe salvi proclaims an order that is genuinely hopeful. Benedict writes: “It is not the elemental spirits of the universe, the laws of matter, which ultimately govern the world and mankind, but a personal God governs the stars, that is, the universe; it is not the laws of matter and of evolution that have the final say, but reason, will, love—a Person” (SS, 5). Or again: “It is not science that redeems man: man is redeemed by love” (SS, 26). Hope, therefore, is based on something beyond ourselves. But this something is personal. It is ‘Someone’, and he reveals himself to us as love. The intimate connection between hope and love coincides with Benedict’s fundamental premise that love always promises something more, that love is redemptive (SS, 26), and that eternal life “would be like plunging into the ocean of infinite love” (SS, 12). As Benedict had written previously, “the hope which transcends all hopes is the assurance of being showered with the gift of a great love.”[3] That we experience love now is the foundation of our hope. It is in this sense that hope ‘saves’ us, offering us the “certainty that I shall receive that great love that is indestructible and

Opposite, Pope Benedict XVI greets people from the balcony of his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, Italy, Aug. 19, 2007. (CNS photo/Tony Gentile, Reuters). Below, the covers of the three encyclicals of Pope Benedict, published by Ignatius Press, cited in this article

that I am already loved with this love here and now.”[4] Finally, it is through the encounter with Christ, the God-man, who inspires love and hope in the human heart, that we perceive the truth of the human person. He reveals what is good for man, and becomes the icon of human fulfilment. True human development, therefore, finds its source and logic in Christ, and this is the concern of Benedict’s final encyclical, Caritas in veritate. As the title suggests, Benedict insists on maintaining the deep connection between love and truth. “To defend the truth, to articulate it with humility and conviction, and to bear witness to it in life are therefore exacting and indispensable forms of charity” (CV, 1). In establishing his concern for authentic human development, Benedict draws his three encyclicals together: “Love is God’s greatest gift to humanity, it is his promise and our hope” (CV, 2). True development can only occur when the truth of the human person is respected; when the individual person, with his or her fundamental rights and dignity, are upheld. Thus, there can be no development where life is not respected. In this Benedict is insistent: “If there is a lack of respect for the right to life and to a natural death, if human conception, gestation and birth are made artificial, if human embryos are sacrificed to research, the conscience of society ends up losing the concept of human ecology” (CV, 51). Again, he insists that true development cannot simply come by way of advances in technology, but by means of a human mind, heart, and conscience that knows how to act according to what is true and good. With his characteristic critique of contemporary culture, he warns that advances in practical knowledge are “not matched by ethical interaction of consciences and minds that would give rise to truly human development.” He counsels that “only in charity, illumined by the light of reason and faith, is it possible to pursue development goals that possess a more humane and humanizing

value.” It is not technical progress and utility that ensures equality and integral development, but “the potential of love that overcomes evil with good” (CV, 9). This is reminiscent of a theme within Deus caritas est, in which Benedict warns that, while technical skill is essential in many works of charity, “human beings always need something more than technically proper care. They need humanity. They need heartfelt concern” (DCE, 31). Thus, in addition to the professional competence that is essential to any service, Benedict speaks of the

28). This coincides with Benedict’s preferential option for the principle of subsidiarity as expressed in Caritas in veritate. “A particular manifestation of charity and a guiding criterion for fraternal cooperation … is undoubtedly the principle of subsidiarity, an expression of inalienable human freedom.” According to Benedict, subsidiarity fosters autonomy and responsibility. “Subsidiarity respects personal dignity by recognizing in the person a subject who is always capable of giving something to others” (CV, 57). It therefore accords with the nature of the human person as ordered towards gift and love. The genius of Benedict XVI is his capacity to enter into the heart of man. He knows of what we are made, and for what we are made. His encyclicals, the fruit of years of theological reflection, are testimony to this deep knowledge of man, who is fully revealed only in the person of Christ — in whom we encounter God, and who is the way, the truth, and the life (Jn 14:6).

*Rev. Dr. Paschal M. Corby, OFM

need for a “formation of the heart”; of “a heart which sees”, that perceives “where love is needed and acts accordingly” (DCE, 31). And again, such can only happen through an “encounter with God in Christ which awakens their love and opens their spirits to others” (DCE, 31). “Seeing with the eyes of Christ, I can give to others much more than their outward necessities; I can give them the look of love which they crave” (DCE, 18). As Benedict insists, it is only at the level of encounter that the true needs of the human person can be met. Governments and organizations are no substitute for personal presence. When they attempt to do so – when the State seeks to provide for every need – the result is the elimination of man. “Love—caritas—will always prove necessary, even in the most just society” (DCE,

Conv., MBBS, BTheol, STL, STD, is a priest of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual and assistant priest of the Parish of St. Joseph’s, Springvale, Australia. He currently lectures in Moral Theology/Bioethics at the University of Notre Dame, Australia (Sydney) and Catholic Theological College (Melbourne). He is the author of The Hope and Despair of Human Bioenhancement (Pickwick, 2019). [1]

Joseph Ratzinger, “Funeral Homily for Msgr. Luigi Giussani,” Communio 31 (2004).685. [2] Joseph Ratzinger, Eschatology: Death and Eternal Life (Washington DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 1988), 8. [3] Ratzinger, “On Hope,” Communio 35 (2008), 303. [4] Joseph Ratzinger, The Yes of Jesus Christ: Spiritual Exercises in Faith, Hope and Love (New York: Crossroad, 1991), 70.m MARCH-APRIL 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN






n the midst of so much chaos I often tell young students to “keep calm and read Ratzinger.” There is hardly a topic in fundamental theology on which he has not written something and so, to get one’s theological bearings, to work out where true north lies, one just has to google the issue and insert the words “and Ratzinger.” Pope Benedict is a living ecclesial treasure in the sense that he is one of the last surviving Periti of the Second Vatican Council — one of the last of the generation who carry the historical memory of what actually happened in the committee rooms of the Council. He also represents the last generation to have received a strong humanistic education in preparation for the study of theology. He once remarked that “never again have I found anyone with such a comprehensive theological and humanistic education as [Hans Urs von] Balthasar and [Henri] de Lubac, and I cannot even begin to say how much I owe to my encounter with them.” He not only enjoyed the friendships of these two outstanding Catholic theologians of the last century, but like them, he had received a strong classical education. The Humanistic Gymnasia of interwar Germany were second to none in the world. This, along with his education at the University of Munich, gave him a panoramic vision of the history of the ideas from the Greeks to our own times. He has an extraordinary breadth of knowledge of the Catholic intellectual tradition and a deep understanding of how the component parts of the tradition fit together. Another way to make these points is to say that he is the quintessential gentleman scholar. His essays and homilies are peppered with literary references 18


Birmingham, England, September 19, 2010. Homily of Pope Benedict XVI for the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman. Below, two theologians Benedict admired: Hans Urs von Balthasar and Henri de Lubac

and historical facts. For example, he once remarked that St. Paul’s hometown was the place where Mark Anthony first met Cleopatra. Knowing such things is “cultural capital” and he has it in basket loads. In so many ways Pope Benedict is like a contemporary version of St. John Henry Newman, except he is not a convert. With Newman he shares the “gentleman scholar” personality type. A second commonality is that their literary output was driven by the pastoral crises they encountered. Much of what Ratzinger/Benedict has written since the 1960s has been a response to crisis zones within the Catholic intellectual

tradition, while Newman was dealing with the thorny issues in ecclesiology thrown up by the Oxford Movement and issues in theological anthropology laid bare by a triumphal liberalism. It could be argued that for both men, theological liberalism was their number one problem. Both agreed that the Church is the repository of the deposit of the faith and that it is the responsibility of the holder of the Petrine Office and other successors of the apostles to defend that deposit, not to act like CEOs of a multinational corporation who consult the market, find out what is popular, and then invent a new product. In one of his many memorable statements, Pope Benedict as Cardinal Ratzinger declared that the Church is not a haberdashery shop: she does not change her windows to mark each new fashion season. Both men suffered for being on the wrong side of the Zeitgeist but at the same time they were, and continue to be, revered by many. One Church historian has suggested that Pope Benedict is the most intellectually gifted pontiff since Prospero Lambertini (1675-1758) who was Benedict XIV. Lambertini was an authority on ancient literature as well as theology, biology, agriculture and art. He also significantly developed the Vatican Museum. It is probable that in the future, both Newman and Pope Benedict will be declared Church Doctors for their intellectual contributions to the defense of the faith and their resolution of theological crises. In the meantime, those confused about what is and is not the faith of the Church can keep calm and enjoy reading Ratzinger-Benedict.

*Tracey Rowland is a Professor at the University of Notre Dame (Australia).m

THE BENEDICT-FRANCIS ALLIANCE Reality contRadicts the populaR naRRative of opposition between the two pontiffs n BY WILLIAM DOINO JR.*


hen Venerable Pius XII’s extraordinary pontificate came to an end in 1958, he was succeeded by St. John XXIII, whose papacy would prove equally consequential, albeit in myriad ways. Ever since, a stream of articles and books by prominent authors have appeared claiming that Pius and John were complete opposites; and, depending on their perspective, have either lamented or celebrated the alleged revolution “Good Pope John” brought about. A similar narrative has emerged since Pope Benedict XVI resigned, making way for Francis: the latter is said to have made a decisive shift away from Benedict’s pontificate; and that the gulf between the two is now so massive that the Catholicism of Benedict and the Catholicism of Francis are essentially two different religions. Nowhere has this narrative been more popularly expressed than in the Oscar-nominated film, The Two Popes, in which Benedict (played by

Anthony Hopkins) is depicted as the rigid, reactionary pontiff, desperately clinging to outdated Catholic beliefs, while Francis (played by Jonathan Pryce), is portrayed as the compassionate, broad-minded and inclusive pontiff, doing his best to bring the Church “up to date.” The reality is something quite different. In neither example — and notwithstanding their unique personalities and diverse approaches to certain prudential matters (particularly regarding the liturgy) — have any of these Popes ever contradicted one another on fundamental Church teachings; quite the contrary. What stands out about these pontiffs is not their personal differences, which exist but have been exaggerated, but their similarities and the continuity of their profound Catholic vision and magisterium. In the case of Pius XII and John XXIII, the major breach is said to be John’s calling of the Second Vatican Council, which Pius XII, it is argued,

would have been aghast to advance. But modern scholarship has disproven this idea. As the important Italian work, Pio XII e il Concilio (Pius XII and the Council, by Mons. Nicola Bux, Alexandra von Teuffenbach, and Fr. Peter Gumpel), documents, Pius had considered calling a Council shortly after he became Pope in 1939, to complete the work initiated by the First Vatican Council, but was dissuaded from doing so because of the Second World War and its chaotic aftermath. Pius XII never abandoned the idea, however, and left behind the designs for a new Council, which John XXIII and the Fathers of Vatican II gratefully took up and developed. For this reason, no less an authority than Pope John Paul II commented: “We cannot forget how Pius XII contributed to the theological preparations of the Second Vatican Council, especially with regard to the doctrine of the Church, the first liturgical reforms, the new impetus to biblical studies, and the MARCH-APRIL 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN




great attention to the problems of the contemporary world.” Benedict XVI, who, like John Paul II, was a direct participant in Vatican II, stressed those facts when he declared, “It is well-known that of the oral interventions and writings presented by the Second Vatican Council Fathers, over 1,000 references cite the Magisterium of Pius XII. Not all the documents of the Council have an array of Notes, but in those documents that do have them, the name of Pius XII recurs more than 200 times. This means that, with the exception of Sacred Scripture, this Pope is the most authoritative and frequently cited source.” As for John XXIII, in his first Christmas address, he proclaimed Pius XII a “Doctor optimus, Ecclesiae sanctae lumen, divinae legis amator” (“Excellent doctor, beacon of the Holy Church, lover of divine law.”) This is not even to mention the many references to Pius XII’s teachings in John XXIII’s most famous encyclicals, Mater et Magistra (Mother and Teacher, 1961) and Pacem in terris (Peace on Earth, 1963); nor what Pius XII’s successors did to pay tribute to him. As the New York Times reported, on March 13, 1964: “Pope Paul VI dedicated a seven-foot statue of Pope Pius XII today, praising him as a great pontiff and defending his World War II record…. The memorial in Saint Peter’s Basilica marked the 25th anniversary of the coronation of Pius XII. After his death in 1958, at the age of 82, it was found that he had asked in his will that no monument to him be erected. However, Pope John XXIII overruled this wish, authorizing the Cardinals named by his predecessor to commission one.” Thus, the supposed “conflict” often posited between Pius XII and John XXIII is a baseless myth.

UNDERAPPRECIATED The Benedict-Francis alliance has proven equally fruitful, though it 20


remains undervalued and underappreciated. At the beginning of his papacy, Francis took two major steps to directly align himself with Benedict

Pope Pius XII standing next to his successor, Cardinal Giovanni Roncalli, who was elected Pope John XXIII after Pius died in 1958. Below, a scene from the Second Vatican Council

— he fully endorsed Benedict’s vigorous opposition to society’s “dictatorship of relativism;” and proceeded to co-author his first encyclical, Lumen Fidei, with the retiring Benedict. Just weeks after Francis succeeded Benedict, Vatican reporter John Allen wrote: “For those tempted to draw an overly sharp distinction between Pope Francis and his predecessor, the new Pope offered a clear reminder that he may have a different style from Benedict XVI, but on substance, he’s cut from much the same cloth.

“In a speech to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See… Francis lamented not only the material poverty of the early 21st century but also its spiritual poverty, meaning a rejection of God and objective standards of morality. “In that regard, Francis quoted Benedict’s famous critique of a postmodern ‘dictatorship of relativism,’ delivered during a homily for the Mass in 2005 that opened the conclave that elected him Pope…. “The message seemed clear: Pope Francis will try to live up to his namesake, Francis of Assisi, as a man of the poor and of peace, but that doesn’t signal any retreat from the moral and cultural positions associated with the papacies of John Paul II and Benedict XVI.” Sure enough, even as he has generously met with those who disagree with Catholic teaching — just like the newly elected Benedict XVI met with dissenting theologian Hans Kung (hoping to influence Kung for the better) — Francis has loudly and publicly upheld the Gospel — thundering against abortion and euthanasia, the redefinition of marriage, sexual promiscuity and pornography, gender ideology and population control, and a cancel culture which would destroy intellectual and religious freedom, especially for those devoted to preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ and His liberating, salvific message. This is precisely the message of Lumen Fidei (June 29, 2013). At the time it was published, I commented: “This extraordinary teaching document was begun (but never completed) by Benedict in the last stages of his papacy. Francis could have easily put it aside and written his own papal message. Instead, he decided to finish the projected work, and publish it as his own inaugural encyclical, giving Benedict full credit for the draft. By doing so, Francis endorsed all of Lumen Fidei’s insights about faith and reason, the importance of truth,

Pope Francis prays with retired Pope Benedict XVI at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, Italy, March 23, 2013. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

and the hermeneutic of continuity — all hallmarks of Benedict’s papacy.” One of the highlights of this inspiring (but often overlooked) encyclical is Francis’s clarification of authentic Catholic orthodoxy, declaring that it is not a matter of picking and choosing which settled teachings Catholics like, but embracing them all: “Since faith is one, it must be embraced in all its purity and integrity. Precisely because all the articles of faith are interconnected, to deny one of them, even those that seem least important, is tantamount to distorting the whole. Each point of history can find this or that point of faith easier or harder to accept: hence the need for vigilance in ensuring that the Deposit of Faith is passed on in its entirety (cf. 1 Tim 6:20) and that all aspects of the faith are duly emphasized.” A stronger rejection of “cafeteria Catholicism,” one of the banes of the postConciliar Church, can hardly be imagined. In light of the contentious debates surrounding communion for Catholics living in irregular relationships, or violating Church teaching in some other way, Francis’s declaration, proclaimed from St Peter’s Square, on March 14, 2018, is also of continuing relevance: “We know that one who has committed a serious sin should not approach Holy Communion without having first obtained absolution in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.” A succeeding series of additional statements and acts by Pope Francis — his Bull of Mercy, outlining the corporal and spiritual works of mercy; his Apostolic Exhortation, Gaudete et exsultate (“Rejoice and be Glad”) on the call to holiness in the modern world; his powerful letter to priests on the 160th anniver-

sary of the death of the Cure of Ars, St. John Vianney; his Joint Declaration with Patriarch Kirill of Russia, on the urgent need to preserve the Christian roots of Europe; and his introductions to a host of Benedict’s acclaimed books, all indicate the deep spiritual bonds between the

two. Perhaps the most important connection between Francis and Benedict is the annual Ratzinger Prize, given to scholars whose work exemplifies the work of Joseph Ratzinger, both before and after he became Pope Benedict XVI. At this year’s ceremony, the winners included theologian Tracey Rowland, a renowned expert on Joseph Ratzinger, about whom Francis paid tribute with these eloquent words: “As we know, the Third Letter of John — ‘Cooperatores Veritatis’ (Co-workers of the Truth) — are the motto he chose when he became Archbishop of Munich. They express the common thread of the different stages of his life, from his studies to his academic teaching,

to his episcopal ministry, to his service for the Doctrine of the Faith — to which he was called by Saint John Paul II 40 years ago — up to his pontificate, characterized by a luminous magisterium and an unbreaking love for the Truth. “Cooperatores veritatis is therefore also the motto that stands out on the diploma given to the awardees, so that it may continue to inspire their commitment. “These are the words that each one of us can and must continue to draw inspiration from in our activities and in our lives, and I leave them with all of you, dear friends, as a wish, together with my blessing. Thank you.” Speaking to the Swedish Academy, Francis elaborated on Benedict’s desire for truth, especially when engaging those with various beliefs: “Dialogue is not synonymous with relativism. Indeed, society is all the more noble whenever it cultivates the search for the truth and is rooted in fundamental truths, and especially when it acknowledges that every human being possesses an inalienable dignity.” Given their enduring affinities, reflected in their teachings and moving friendship, it is unfortunate that many commentators continue to depict Francis as the anti-Benedict, and Benedict as the anti-Francis. For whatever differences in their pastoral approaches and prudential decisions, Benedict and Francis are genuine allies on all the essentials and have left the Church with immeasurable gifts. For that, the faithful should be most grateful, and both men amply thanked and praised.

*William Doino, Jr., an expert on the pontificate of Pope Pius XII, lives in Connecticut, USA.m MARCH-APRIL 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN


LeAd storY

PoPe Benedict XVi turns 95

FAMILY AS A KEY TO READING HIS PONTIFICATE AND HIS LIFE IN THE CLASSROOM, THE CURIA AND THE PAPACY, BENEDICT TREATED ALL AS MEMBERS OF A FAMILY n BY ANDREA GAGLIARDUCCI Joseph Ratzinger, top right, is pictured with his family in a 1951 photograph. Next to the future Pope Benedict XVI is his brother, Georg. Seated are his sister, Maria, and his parents, Maria and Joseph. (CNS photo from Catholic Press Photo) Opposite, October 22, 2005 Vatican City, the Sistine Chapel. Concert offered by the Regensburg Boys’ Choir, in past years directed by Fr. Georg Ratzinger, the Pope’s older brother, here directed by Roland Buchner. (Grzegorz Galazka photo)


or a long time, we have been struggling to interpret the pontificate of Benedict XVI with the categories of politics and ideology, and those who were perhaps the most refined of us went on to try to prove his theological thought, to understand the how and why of many of his choices. Yet, there is a key to interpreting Benedict XVI that we have often overlooked, which is perhaps the most significant: his bond with his family and the fact that he tended to experience everything in terms of “family.” All this can be seen from the only actual request that Benedict XVI has made since he became Pope Emeritus: that of organizing a trip to Germany, in the middle of the pandemic, to be able to say goodbye to his brother Georg, who was very ill and at the end of his earthly life. In the light of that trip of June 2020, we may read not only the entire



pontificate of Benedict XVI, but also his entire life. Benedict XVI was, first of all, a Pope anchored in his life. He and his brother Georg had been ordained on the same day together. Their sister Maria took care of them and never got married. The Ratzinger family remained united, and there had never been a time when they doubted each other. It was a family raised in the Catholic faith. Everyone in that family cultivated their talents: Joseph was able to carry on his passion for studying brilliantly; Georg grew his love for music with excellent results. When Benedict XVI returned to Germany in 2020, he reconnected the threads of this family fabric. He went to Pentling to pray at his parents’ grave. He celebrated Mass with his brother Georg. He got back in touch with his roots. He acted as one of the family.

The diocese of Regensburg, also, treated him like one of the family, following his movements step by step, communicating his activities in a daily bulletin, but always discreetly, respecting his privacy as much as possible. The same happened when Benedict XVI was vacationing in Castel Gandolfo in the summer, and the locals accepted him with so much sympathy that they did not attack him even when, a little late for dinner, he was seen passing by on a golf car, cutting through the town square towards the entrance in the central door instead of retracing his path through all the gardens of the villas. Thus, where Benedict XVI is, a family is created. When he was elected Pope, Georg Ratzinger confided to Michael Hesemann in the book My Brother, the Pope that his first concern was “the challenge of this office, which now demanded everything of

him, and the burden it meant.” But above all, he confided, he was “sad, because now he probably wouldn’t have time for me anymore.” The pupils of the Schuelerkreis, the circle of former students who had gathered around Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, were also presumably sad when Paul VI recalled him from his university life to become archbishop of Munich and Freising in 1978. And his pupils were also sad when Cardinal Ratzinger was called to Rome as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1981. In all cases, they thought he would no longer have time for them. But his former students and brother were wrong. Benedict XVI never failed to have time for the people he loved. He never formed a real theological school as a theologian, but created a theological family. People who loved him esteemed him and, above all, appreciated his ideas. He convinced people with the humility of his person and the refinement of his reasoning. He never wanted to be a leader, but this was precisely his strength — in not wanting to be one. Cardinal Ratzinger maintained this “human” character during his tenure as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He established a working method that allowed everyone to be part of decisions. There was not only his very particular way of developing condemnations of false theology – never punitive and always explanatory; I think that there are two instructions on Liberation Theology, one that highlights what is good, another that instead is aimed at highlighting what the errors are. There was also the way in which he conducted the meeting of the Feria IV (on Wednesdays), in which everyone had to be involved – everyone had to be, in some way, family. In a family, no one is left behind. And Benedict XVI does not leave behind the people he loves. This is a

key to understanding why he did not ask Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State, to leave his position when many pushed him to do so. Following this rationale, it could have come as no surprise that Benedict XVI pardoned his unfaithful butler Paolo Gabriele, who leaked documents (and was tried and sentenced for it). Benedict XVI looks beyond peo-

ple’s errors; he looks at people and the personal growth of each one. He holds everyone responsible. Amid Ireland’s 2010 abuse scandal, he did not respond by asking the bishops to resign. Instead, he accompanied the dioceses with an apostolic visitation, called the bishops to accountability in two meetings in the Vatican (and the Church leaders offered their resignations step by step), and then sent a letter to the Catholics of Ireland, which still today remains one of the masterpieces of his pontificate and one of the most profound interpretations of the ongoing abuse crisis. Benedict XVI could not understand the plots and intrigue in the Vatican because there could be no such intrigue in a family. There are rivalries and disagreements, but there is also love and reciprocity. The rejection of “biting and devouring,” for example, is highlighted in his 2009 letter rescinding the excommunica-

tion of four Lefebvrian bishops. Benedict XVI wanted the Curia to be a family — and he also felt betrayed by that family. But he never thought of personal vendettas or managing the Curia according to categories of power. Ultimately, Benedict XVI’s goal was, first of all, to exercise paternity. When we speak of him as a littleloved Pope, we say it only because we read the pontificate through the prisms of politics, ideology and power — all characteristics that did not concern Benedict XVI at all. But then we have to look at the facts: there was an everincreasing presence of people attending General Audiences and the Angelus messages at the Vatican, who went there not just to see a leader, but to hear him, to hear his lectures and his readings. They did not count the “image” of the Pope important, but rather, what the Pope said — what truths the Pope transmitted. The whole pontificate is thus about understanding that family is at the center of everything, starting with the Ratzinger family. It was a humble family, which also gave birth to a Pope who is among the most outstanding contemporary theologians, his sensibilities firmly rooted in unchangeable Tradition, yet so modern that he dared to renounce the pontificate; and his brother, the brilliant musician who for years conducted the Regensburg choir. To those who ask why Benedict XVI is loved despite everything, despite the ferocious campaigns that have been conducted against him, even though little has been understood about him — the answer lies precisely in his authenticity, in his having always remained himself. He did not become a man of power by taking power. On the contrary, he has served the Truth, always keeping his motto “Cooperatores Veritatis” firm. And he did it by looking at the first substantial example of his life: the family.m MARCH-APRIL 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN




did RaTzingeR (BenedicT XVi) Really coVeR up aBuse scandals? The media’s haTe campaign againsT pope BenedicT XVi is fully acTiVe — BuT whaT does The “munich RepoRT” Really say? n BY MICHAEL HESEMANN* The report on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church faulted the since-retired Pope’s handling of four cases when he was archbishop of Munich, Germany, in the 1970s and 1980s. Opposite, Pope Benedict XVI meets Robert Zollitsch, president of a conference of German bishops, in his office to discuss abuse allegations. Bottom, Ratzinger’s predecessor in Munich, Julius Cardinal Döpfner


he accusations in the recent abuse report by the Munich law firm Westpfahl Spilker Wastl against Pope Benedict XVI are so absurd and far-fetched that apparently no attempt was even made to conceal their perfidious purpose: to use the prominence of the wrongly accused to distract attention from the failures of others, first and foremost the current Archbishop of Munich and Freising. And to deal the death blow to the church for which Ratzinger stands, i.e. a theocentric Catholicism, and to install in its place the Protestantized, anthropocentric Zeitgeist church of the “Synodal Path.” No other conclusion can be reached by anyone who has seen through the campaign of the media “soundbites” from the Munich press conference and instead concentrates on reading the original report, which is supposed to contain evidence for the accusations confidently trumpeted out into the world programmed for ready-to-leap 24


hostility against the church. But anyone looking for proof, circumstantial evidence or even hard facts that could convict the Ratzinger pope of lying will be disappointed very quickly. For in Munich, the Bavarian mountains screamed mightily, but only a ridiculous mouse was born, so small that no Roman cat would ever run after it. So let’s take a closer look at the four cases — a whole four out of a total of 65 (!) — in which the then Archbishop of Munich and Freising, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (from 1977-1982), is accused of failure in office — or, to be more precise, of not having reacted “in accordance with the rules or appropriately” to cases of abuse. Already here, however, the pitfall of anachronism threatens when experts try to evaluate the handling of abuse cases half a century ago according to today’s standards. For the fact that an “abuse pandemic” has befallen the Catholic Church is only a realization from the 21st century, and it was

Benedict XVI, of all people, who reacted most vehemently to it and cleaned out the Augean stables. During his pontificate, at least as far as Europe is concerned, the first cases of abuse in the church environment were dealt with and the toughest disciplinary measures to date were taken, from the transfer of 384 perpetrator priests to the laity to (for the first time) cooperation with secular law enforcement agencies. But which person can be blamed for not having possessed in 1977 the knowledge and sensitivity to a then practically unknown problem that we have today, in 2022? Was it not inconceivable to all of us into what abysses the over-sexualization of our society since the “revaluation of values” of 1968 would plunge even priests’ souls? Wasn’t the idea that there could be pedophile priests unthinkable for all of us at that time? Were there not other explanations for rumors that seemed more likely on

the basis of the knowledge of the time? And don’t people of high personal integrity often display a certain naivety when it comes to the depths of criminal souls? Isn’t that why impostors and fraudsters have such an easy game? Certainly an archbishop is not a criminal psychologist and runs the risk of seeing the good in a person first. Jesus’ admonition to restrain oneself at every stoning and to give even repentant offenders a second chance leads every bishop at least into a conflict of conscience when dealing with abusers. So it is rather a truism when Benedict XVI also states in his answer to the questions of the experts that it is nevertheless unavoidable “to classify the actions of that time historically correctly and to classify them in the context of that time, in the legal situation of that time, in the spirit of that time and in the moral concepts that prevailed at that time.” This includes the fact that only those who violated the legal norms in force at the time of their responsibility are guilty. “Nulla culpa sine lege” (“No guilt without law”) is a legal principle from Roman law that should also be known to a Munich law firm, but was unfortunately swept under the rug, at least at the press conference. Thus, the instruction “Crimen sollicitationis,” which Ratzinger is said to have violated between 1977 and 1982, came into force at all only with the Codex Iuris Canonici of 1983, for whose adoption none other than Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was responsible. It has even been applied only since the end of the 1990s. But this would at least clarify why Ratzinger did not report the cases in question to Rome, if they had been known to him at all — at that time this was neither a regulation nor common practice!

But even otherwise, there is quite a bit of room for interpretation in the five cases that Ratzinger is accused of. The experts also have to admit this, and they even put the number of cases mentioned into perspective again, literally: “Of these, two cases concern acts committed during the term of office of Archbishop Cardinal Ratzinger and three cases those that were committed before his term of office and partly outside the territory of the archdiocese. Of the cases dealt with in

this volume, the suspicions expressed by the experts were not confirmed in one case. In the separately presented case 41 (which is treated separately and is not a part of the report proper, the author), the suspicion was only partially confirmed.” The first of the four cases — numbered “No. 22” in the report — involves a priest who had been sentenced to prison in the 1960s for homosexual pedophilia. After his release, Ratzinger’s predecessor, Julius Cardinal Döpfner, had transferred him abroad. During Ratzinger’s tenure, he asked to return to his native Bavaria to retire. He was granted that in the late 1970s. The expert opinion insinuates that Benedict XVI knew the perpetrator because he had spent his vacation in his former parish and, moreover, was acquainted with his successor. Moreover, he had given him the “honorary title of ‘parish priest’” upon his retirement. And this is where the absurdities begin. Because, of course, “parish priest,” unlike, say, monsignor, apos-

tolic protonotary, or prelate, is not an honorary title, but a job title. “Retired pastor” is what any priest who has once led a parish may call himself. So Ratzinger did not confer it on him either, he was merely written up with his correct professional title when the Archbishop’s General Vicariate granted him the transfer to retirement. To claim that Ratzinger had looked into his past life and criminal record during his one-time vacation in his former parish is not only an insinuation, but a perfidious construction: the vacation in question took place in August 1982, that is, half a year after Ratzinger had resigned from his office as archbishop in order to work in Rome as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the request of John Paul II. So even if — which is hardly likely — he had learned something about the perpetrator’s previous life at that time, it could not have influenced his action three or four years earlier. Whether Ratzinger ever knew why the said person had acted abroad is more than questionable. He himself denies it and there is no reason not to believe him. But there would also have been no reason to refuse a man who had served his sentence and never relapsed to return home and retire with a standard letter and correct salutation. But Ratzinger did not even do that; the form letter remained without the cardinal’s signature! Thus, even the experts have to admit that Benedict XVI has to be considered “insofar as a whole exonerated.” In the second case, “No. 37,” a priest from the diocese of Essen had been convicted of “attempted fornication with children and (sexual) offense” in the early 1970s, that is, under Ratzinger’s predecessor Julius Cardinal Döpfner. Immediately, the diocese removed him from the teaching ministry. Five years later, now under Ratzinger, there was a second conviction for exhibitionist acts. Ratzinger had agreed that the priest should nevertheless remain in his post, where he MARCH-APRIL 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN




relapsed a year later. Now the court sentenced him to a suspended prison term. After receiving specialized medical treatment, he was subsequently employed by a private school as a religion teacher. While Benedict XVI denies having been fully informed about the case, at least the behavior of his vicar general is understandable: The priest in question had only been convicted of being an exhibitionist during Ratzinger’s tenure, so he had not committed acts against children. A transfer was out of the question because he was undergoing psychiatric treatment at the site. When he relapsed, he was dismissed from pastoral ministry; he then taught at a private business school, where, according to the principal, he behaved impeccably. Moreover, in the 1970s it was believed that exhibitionism and pedophilia were curable diseases that could be cured by psychiatric treatment. So again, there is no evidence of any wrongdoing or neglect on the part of Archbishop Ratzinger. The third case, “No. 40,” exonerates Benedict XVI rather than incriminates him. A priest of a foreign diocese and relative of the bishop there had been given a suspended sentence

in his home country for sexual abuse of children. The bishop, his uncle, then sought to send the perpetrator to Munich to continue his studies or doctorate, a request that Archbishop Ratzinger granted. In the process, the latter was also assigned as a chaplain in pastoral care. When he was observed bathing in the nude and seeking private contact with altar boys, he was forbidden to have any celebrations in the parish and finally his dismissal was effected. The opinion insinuates to Archbishop Ratzinger, admittedly without a single shred of evidence or even circumstantial proof, that he must have known of the young priest’s condemnation abroad. It is much more likely, however, that his uncle deliberately concealed it. Now, neither skinny-dipping nor “making an effort to make contact” is sexual abuse, let alone a criminal offense. Nevertheless, the diocese acted preventively. The fourth case, “No. 42,” involves a priest who was accused of taking “lewd photographs” of girls under 14, which later led to a conviction. Archbishop Ratzinger had been informed about this, who decided to put the accused henceforth in a home for the

elderly and in a hospital. The parish priest who accepted him into his parish also allowed him to celebrate in the parish church. How the experts want to deduce a failure of Ratzinger or even “indifference and disinterest” from the punitive transfer that took place, especially since sexual acts with minors were never at issue, remains open. The entire passage of the Munich report concerning Cardinal Ratzinger, a whole 72 pages, does not deal with a single case of sexual abuse, at least as far as his diocese and his term of office are concerned. There was not a single victim of such, neither boy nor girl, man or woman, neither minor nor adult. It is therefore absurd to accuse him of failing to protect victims. Do these four cases suffice to damage the life’s work of one of the most intelligent Popes in the history of the Church? At best, they reveal that the Church has become more sensitive in dealing with abuse, and that is a good thing. But, as we have already said, this was precisely the work of Benedict XVI, which makes it all the more absurd and perfidious to now place the enlightened person in the same corner as the cover-ups!m



he first time I met Joseph Ratzinger still stands out clearly in my memory. He was then Cardinal Ratzinger and Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and I a young priest pursuing canon law studies in Rome. At that time (now almost 40 years ago!), he came to visit the house where I was a resident to give us a talk and answer questions. I had already known him as a brilliant and insightful theologian who taught the Catholic faith with conviction and clarity, but this personal encounter gave me the opportunity to see the personality of the man, which I soon realized was unknown to the general public. I was struck by his warmth, gentleness and wit. I saw these qualities in subsequent encounters with him after I became a bishop, first when he was still Prefect of the CDF, and later as Pope Benedict XVI. Ever since that first encounter, I’ve seen him as the model theologian, living the very definition of theology: faith seeking understanding. It involves both intellect and will, the mind and the heart, as a quest for deeper life in Christ. This avoids the extremes of turning faith into a practice of mental gymnastics on the one hand, and sentimentalism on the other.



Joseph Ratzinger’s writings have inspired countless millions precisely because they come not just from an extremely intelligent and learned man, but also from one who has great love and devotion for the person of Jesus Christ. That is also why his writings are so accessible to a wide audience, from scholars in the various branches of theology to the devout Catholic seeking to deepen his or her own understanding and living out of faith in Jesus Christ – that, and the fact that his writing style, while deep and scholarly, is always engaging and alive. He has the uncanny ability to turn a book of lofty theology into a pageturner! His writings have benefited me greatly both personally and in my pastoral care of the people of God, and I always look forward to another opportunity to learn from him. His intellect, courage, conviction, and personal qualities of affability are a great gift that God has given to the Church in our time. Thank God for the gift of Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. —Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, California, USA

BenedICT’s dIagnosIs of The ChurCh In Ireland The ChurCh losT Ireland. Can she reClaIm The false narraTIve of The pasT? n BY DUALTA ROUGHNEEN*


n 2010, Pope Benedict RE-SHAPING XVI, in his Pastoral Letter THE NARRATIVE to the Catholics of Ireland, The most recent report offered an assessment of its into historic failings of the abuse crisis, and where the Church provided an opporChurch had gone wrong: tunity to re-shape the nar“Certainly, among the conrative. An investigation tributing factors we can into the Mother and Baby include: inadequate proceHomes in Ireland, finished dures for determining the suitin 2021, found that reliability of candidates for the gious-run institutions were priesthood and the religious actually better-maintained life; insufficient human, and warmer places than moral, intellectual and spirituthose run and controlled by al formation in seminaries and local authorities. The novitiates; a tendency in socireport stated, in no uncerety to favor the clergy and Pope Benedict XVI meets with Irish bishops at the Vatican, Feb. 15, 2010. tain terms, that conditions other authority figures; and a The two-day, closed-door meeting was to assess responsibility in the Irish were not worse than for Church's handling of priestly sex abuse cases and explore ways to heal misplaced concern for the most people living in wounds left by the scandal (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters) reputation of the Church and poverty at the time: the avoidance of scandal, resulting in that were passed by popular vote. The “It is important also to distinguish failure to apply existing canonical first of these, a referendum on chil- between mother and baby homes and penalties and to safeguard the dignity dren’s rights, undermining the natural the county homes. The most accurate rights of parents, passed in 2012. The information about living conditions of every person.” He had a particularly harsh word for Church did not get involved in this ref- comes from the inspections carried out erendum. the Bishops of Ireland. by the Department of Health inspecLater, in 2015, a Constitutional ref- tors, but these only begin in the late “It cannot be denied that some of you and your predecessors failed, at erendum to allow same-sex marriage 1930s, and not all survive. The availtimes grievously, to apply the long- passed by a wide margin. In 2018, with able evidence suggests that, while livestablished norms of canon law to the an almost similar, overwhelming ing conditions in the mother and baby crime of child abuse. Serious mistakes majority, the repeal of the 8th Amend- homes were basic, there is no indicawere made in responding to allega- ment – prohibition on abortion – was tion that they were inadequate by the tions. I recognize how difficult it was passed. The Church distributed articu- standards of the time, except in Kilrush to grasp the extent and complexity of late pamphlets on these two issues to and Tuam.” the problem, to obtain reliable infor- the faithful, but it was almost absent Yet, the popular narrative was hammation and to make the right decisions from the public square. Opposition mered home long before the report in the light of conflicting expert was mostly led by civil society and lay came out that these Church-run homes advice. Nevertheless, it must be admit- groups. were awful, desolate places, created in For some, this near-silence was a cold, uncaring time where Catholic ted that grave errors of judgment were made and failures of leadership unforgivable: a dereliction of duty. For Jansenism was the prevailing ethos. occurred. All this has seriously under- others, it was a practical response to The truth is still getting its boots on mined your credibility and effective- reality: after years of crisis – stumbling while the false impression persists. A from one inquiry into Church failings media offensive focusing on minor ness.” By 2010, the Catholic Church had after another – engagement by the cler- details of the 3,000-page report was lost Ireland. This became clear in a gy in any form, it was feared, would launched to discredit it, and neither the series of changes to the Constitution provoke a backlash. Church nor the Catholic laity were MARCH-APRIL 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN




able to counter it. public face of the Catholic hierarchy. The Church, ubiquitous in Irish Whether for good or for ill, the bishops society for more than the first half cen- of Ireland have a very limited public tury of the country’s independence, is persona. Unfortunately, they are also now most certainly in the margins. It unrecognizable to many of their has become the “small Church” Joseph parishioners. The new, small Church Ratzinger predicted for the world in requires the distance from flock to 1969: shepherd to diminish. “From the crisis of today the But the shepherds also must defend Church of tomorrow will emerge — a their Church more vigorously. The Church that has lost much. She will submission of the Church to statebecome small and will have to start imposed Covid restrictions caused afresh, more or less from the begin- many to question the point ning.” of the faith. If the obligaIn 1971, 94% of the population tion to attend Mass could identified as Catholic and those of no so easily be waived, if religion was almost nil. In Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin retired 2016, the figures were 78% and in December 2020, was the last recognizable public face of the Catholic hierarchy. 10%, respectively. In 1971, Church attendance was 93%; in In 2015, a Constitutional referendum to allow 2020, only 27%, according to same-sex marriage passed by a wide margin. 2018, with an almost similar, overwhelming an Iona Institute poll. Another Inmajority, the repeal of the 8th Amendment – poll near the end of 2021 preprohibition on abortion – was passed dicted a further 12% fall-off in attendance after coronavirus restrictions are lifted. (An aside: donations during Covid dropped by 70-80% in some places.) In January 2022, figures released indicated that 21% of Ireland’s entire population of parish priests and brothers — both serving and retired — have died in just three years. And the proportion due to retire in the next three years is large. Vocations in Ireland are in crisis; Ireland is dependent on priests from the receiving Communion on the tongue new Church in Africa, Asia and Latin could be relegated to an unnecessary America. option, if holy water fonts could be replaced by hand sanitizers, what A NEW OPPORTUNITY exactly remains fixed? Some walked On the face of it, the Church in Ire- away. Others remain, but are frustratland seems to be in a death spiral, but ed. this also brings opportunity. IncreasA credible Catholic Church in Ireingly, those who attend Mass are doing land needs to reclaim the past from the so out of commitment rather than false mythologies of recent years. The social habit or expectation. But contin- leadership of the Irish Church must be ued contraction cannot be met with unafraid of standing on the shoulders resignation. A new evangelization is of history, despite the failings that needed. Pope Benedict XVI pointed to. When the Archbishop of Dublin, In that same letter, he pointed to all Diarmuid Martin retired in December the good in the history of the Church in 2020, he was the last recognizable Ireland — good the Church itself 28


seems afraid to acknowledge: “The Church provided education, especially for the poor, and this was to make a major contribution to Irish society … generations of missionary priests, sisters and brothers left their homeland to serve in every continent … Many dioceses, especially in Africa, America and Australia, benefited from the presence of Irish clergy and religious who preached the Gospel and established parishes, schools and universities, clinics and hospitals that served both Catholics and the community at large, with particular attention to the needs of the poor. In almost every family in Ireland, there has been someone — a son or a daughter, an aunt or an uncle — who has given his or her life to the Church.” But his letter came with an analysis of what led to the decline of the Church that is still relevant today: “All too often, the sacramental and devotional practices that sustain faith and enable it to grow, such as frequent confession, daily prayer and annual retreats, were neglected. Significant too was the tendency during this period, also on the part of priests and religious, to adopt ways of thinking and assessing secular realities without sufficient reference to the Gospel.”

*Dualta Roughneen is a graduate Civil Engineer of the National University of Ireland, Galway, and holds an MSc in Human Rights from University College Dublin. He has worked in Sudan, Afghanistan, Liberia, North Korea, Ethiopia, the Philippines and many other countries, in humanitarian response. He has been a columnist for the Catholic Voice. His publications include the books North Korea: On the Inside Looking in (2014) and The Right to Roam: Travellers and Human Rights in the Modern Nation State (2010). m

Do Intelligent People Take SATAN Seriously? His monikers are many: Lucifer, Beelzebub, the Serpent, the Adversary, the Tempter, the Father of All Lies, the Ruler of This World. His lurking presence in the world and the history of mankind is one of the major themes of the Bible. But how many people today take Satan seriously? Most people’s image of the Evil One resembles an old Saturday Night Live parody: a goofy guy in a bright red body suit, with a pointy tail, plastic horns, a goatee, and a ridiculous sneer — someone about as o昀ensive as Santa Claus’s “evil twin brother.” Most people put as much stock in Satan in Hell as they do Santa in the North Pole. The reigning attitude is that all this Satan-and-Hell stu昀 is the preoccupation of infantile minds, an insult to one’s intelligence. The topics of Satan and Hell are generally laughed o昀 in our secularized society. Even many Catholic priests and bishops are reluctant to mention them, for fear of appearing out of touch. But you don’t have to be a brain surgeon to realize that suppression of the reality of Satan and Hell involves grave consequences. The whole notion of evil is compromised; man’s propensity to sin gets glossed over; and people begin to wonder what exactly it is they need salvation from. If people have no need of salvation, they have no need of a Savior; if they have no need of a Savior, they have no need

of a Church in which to receive Him. Should we be surprised, then, that weekly Mass attendance has dropped from 70 percent to 30 percent over the past 50 years (and lower since the pandemic shutdowns) or that former Catholics now outnumber converts by a ratio of 5-1? If Satan’s cleverest wile is to convince us that he doesn’t exist, then he’s been wildly successful. We at the New Oxford Review, an orthodox Catholic monthly magazine, are spearheading today’s intellectual re-engagement with the ultimate questions, what older Catholics will recall as the Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell. More than that, we cover the full range of issues concerning faith and culture, with analysis from some of the brightest minds in Catholic journalism. Among who’ve appeared in our pages recently are Fr. David Vincent Meconi, Casey Chalk, David Mills, Fr. Frank Pavone, Jason M. Morgan, Renato Cristin, Fr. John A. Perricone, Joshua Hren, Gerard T. Mundy (on Fr. Gabriele Amorth, chief exorcist of Rome from 1985-2016), and Richard Gallagher, M.D. (the world’s foremost scienti昀c expert on diabolic attacks and author of Demonic Foes). If you’re an intellectually curious Catholic who isn’t ashamed to confront his Church’s hard answers to the ultimate questions, then you need to read the New Oxford Review. Subscribe today!

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China seTs sighTs on hong Kong CaTholiCs “O ctober 2022 will see the expiration of the provisional and secret agreement between the Holy See and China on the appointment of bishops, signed September 22, 2018 and renewed for another two years in 2020. It is too soon to say if it will be reconfirmed in a more stable form. Of course, what is not provisional is the overweening power of Xi Jinping, who since December has been awarded the highly symbolic title of ‘Great Helmsman,’ like only Mao Zedong before him,” reports Vatican journalist Sandro Magister in Settimo Cielo. The report calls the Vatican’s margin for negotiation “very narrow if not non-existent,” and calls the Chinese government’s dominance over the selection of new Catholic bishops “overwhelming.” Even the Hong Kong diocese’s freedom as an exception to the 2018 agreement is in serious danger, as a meeting between Hong Kong’s bishops, government-approved bishops from the mainland and Beijing officials saw the Rome-appointed head of Hong Kong diocese dismissed after only fifteen minutes. The delegates from the mainland insisted that Hong Kong be put completely under the policy of the so-called “sinicization” of religions, with a more marked subordination of the Catholic Church to the distinctive traits of China, those dictated by the Communist Party and the state. (Settimo Cielo and ITV)

CarDinal Zen’s “Crimes” A

ccording to Nina Shea, reporter for the Epoch Times, a series of four “vitriolic” articles appeared at the end of 2021 in Hong Kong’s Ta Kung Pao newspaper, the Chinese state-backed newspaper in Hong Kong, which all emphasized the need for greater state control over religion. Targeting the staunchly anti-Communist Cardinal Joseph Zen, retired Bishop of Hong Kong, one article “also accuses the 90-year-old cardinal of associating with Hong Kong entrepreneur, and founder of the pro-democracy media Apple Daily, Jimmy Lai, and former Hong Kong legislator Martin Lee, both Catholics arrested for their strong pro-democracy stance. Mr. Lai is currently serving a 14-month prison term, on a conviction of ‘inciting riots,’ after he attended a peaceful candlelight vigil commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen massacre.” Provocatively headlined, “Cardinal Zen uses his status as a clergyman to disrupt Hong Kong,” the report states, “It is difficult for the government to regulate or eliminate these religious groups or individuals, despite the fact that they have committed many crimes.”m

Time To “Change DoCTrine” on homosexualiTy? T he president of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union said he believes the current church teaching on homosexuality is wrong, and not based in science. In an interview with the German Catholic news agency KNA, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxembourg also said if he were Cologne Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, he would tender his resignation, but the cardinal “is a good Christian, and he will certainly find the right way for himself.” Remarking on the public campaign by more than 100 Catholic Church employees who recently outed themselves as



“queer” in Germany, Cardinal Hollerich said, “I believe that the sociological-scientific foundation of this teaching is no longer correct.” He said it was time for a fundamental revision, and the way Pope Francis had spoken about homosexuality in the past could lead to a change in doctrine. The cardinal said it was important for the Church to remain human. He added that he knew of homosexual priests and laypeople in the Archdiocese of Luxembourg. “And they know that they have a home in the Church. With us, no one is dismissed because they are homosexual, with us no one has ever been dismissed because of that.” (CNS)

PoPe Francis interviewed on italian tv P ope Francis appeared on Italy’s RAI3 television station February 6 to respond to questions posed by host Fabio Fazio on the program “Che tempo che fa.” In the interview, Pope Francis lamented what he called a “culture of indifference” to the sufferings of migrants and the trafficked. “But what is done with migrants is criminal. To get to the sea they suffer a lot. There are videos on the concentration camps, I use this word seriously, concentration camps in Libya, the concentration camp of traffickers. What do those who want to flee suffer in the hands of traffickers… Then they risk crossing the Mediterranean. And then, sometimes, they are rejected, for someone who has the local responsibility and says ‘No, they don’t come here’; and there are these ships that go around looking for a port: ‘No, let them come back and die on the sea.’” Asked about ecological concerns, Pope Francis responded, “We know what a deforestation policy means: it means less oxygen, it means climate change, it means the death of biodiversity, it means killing Mother Earth and not having that relationship that the aboriginal peoples, the original peoples have with the Earth, which they call “the good to live ”...that is, living in harmony with the earth.” The Pope went on to answer a question about the goodness of men, saying, “God made us good but free. And that freedom is what is capable of doing harm. That freedom is capable of doing so much good and also so much evil. We are free, aren’t we? In the myth of Creation it is written: ‘Do not do this, because this would happen. And you did this, and you get sick.’ And as [God] made us free, we are masters of our decisions and also of making bad decisions. This is the freedom that God has given us.”

Regarding forgiveness, he said: “I will say something that perhaps someone is scandalized by, but I will tell the truth: the ability to be forgiven is a human right. We all have the right to be forgiven if we ask for forgiveness. It is a right that arises precisely from God’s own nature and has been given as an inheritance to men. We have forgotten this: that whoever asks me for forgiveness has the right to be forgiven. ‘Ah, you did it? Pay it! ‘. No! You have the right to be forgiven, and if you have any debt to society, arrange to pay it, but: with forgiveness.” When Mr. Fazio questioned Francis

on the future of the Church, he replied, “I have only tried to indicate the path of the Church towards the future: a Church on pilgrimage. And today the greatest, greatest evil of the Church is spiritual worldliness. A worldly Church. A great theologian, Cardinal de Lubac, said that spiritual worldliness is the worst of evils that can happen to the Church, even worse than the evil of libertine Popes…this spiritual worldliness within the Church causes an ugly thing to grow which is clericalism, which is a perversion of the Church.” On a personal note, Mr. Fazio asked the Pope if he ever feels alone, and if he has personal friends. “For this,” replied Francis, “is one of the reasons why I did not go to live in the pontifical apartment, because the Popes who were there before were saints and I don’t get along so well, I’m not so holy. I need human relationships, which is why I live in this hotel in Santa Marta where there are people, you talk to everyone, you find friends. It’s an easier life for me. “m

PaPal counselor: “new stage oF this PontiFicate begins” P

ope Francis enters the ninth year of his pontificate on March 13, and the coordinator of the Council of Cardinals, Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, told Rome Reports that one of the most difficult challenges has been getting financial entities related to the Vatican City State under control. Restructuring the Institute for the Works of Religion, known as the Vatican bank, was one such example. Cardinal Maradiaga pointed out that Pope Francis has actually made three types of reforms: Spiritual reform, through his gestures and establishing events such as the Jubilee of Mercy; Ecclesiological reform, by asking the Church to reflect on synodality; and institutional reforms, by reorganizing Vatican dicasteries, promoting economic transparency, and fighting sexual abuse. “Some are talking about this being a final stage of the pontificate,” said the cardinal. “I say no: it is a new stage of the pontificate.” The new stage consists, said the cardinal, of consolidating his reforms through new appointments — which would mean not only naming new cardinals but also dicastery heads who strengthen those reforms.m MARCH-APRIL 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN



archBishop roche: “the traditional Mass Must go” But are his reasons theologically sound? n BY JAMES BARESEL Left, Archbishop Arthur Roche, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship in Rome; below, Mass in the old rite


hose who read the recent public statements made by Archbishop Arthur Roche, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, in his attempt to justify the changed regulations for use of the Traditional Latin Mass, cannot fail to be struck by one fact: Even if his arguments are perfectly sound as reasons for the Missal of Paul VI to hold the “ordinary” status they did under Benedict XVI — with the Traditional Latin Mass as an “extraordinary” but permanent liturgical form of the Roman Church — they are nevertheless feeble and unconvincing as reasons for his professed goal of eventually eliminating the Traditional Latin Mass from the life of the Church.

THREE DEMONSTRATIVE EXAMPLES: 1) Speaking to a Swiss television station, the archbishop expressed the opinion that “What was produced in 1570 was entirely appropriate for the time. What is produced in this age is also entirely appropriate for the time.” That might sound plausible if it was merely saying that most people of this age will pray better using the Missal of Paul VI and that therefore it is appropriate for this to be the “ordinary” liturgical form of the Roman Church. But it has no logical bearing on whether it is reasonable or appropriate to allow another liturgy (from a previous age) to remain as a permanent (if exceptional) option for those who pray better using it. 2) In an interview given to Rome journalist Edward Pentin, Roche said that “the liturgy is never simply a matter of personal tastes or preferences.” How does this reconcile with the fact that Catholics are free to choose between attending the Roman, Byzantine, Maronite and other rites on the basis of their personal tastes and preferences? Conformity with certain essential Catholic principles takes precedence over personal tastes and preferences. But since the Traditional Latin Mass and the Mass of Paul VI are both in conformity with 32


those essential Catholic principles, personal tastes and preferences are a legitimate consideration. 3) In the same interview, the archbishop stated that the “Ambrosian, Gallican, Dominican or the Anglican (Ordinariate)” liturgies are approved “for specific reasons.” No reason is given for why the Traditional Latin Mass cannot remain in permanent (if exceptional) use for other specific reasons. The explanation for such feeble and unconvincing arguments is simple. If the Traditional Latin Mass is theologically legitimate, then it is sensible to allow its continued use (on a permanent basis) by faithful Catholics who prefer it. With rare exceptions, there have only been three situations in which Church authorities have attempted to suppress specific liturgical forms: first, if those affected by the change were content to go along with the change; second, if there was some concern about the orthodoxy of the forms being suppressed; and third, if the suppressed forms had been introduced as novelties. Because of the foregoing, Archbishop Roche has two choices. Either he can use feeble and unconvincing arguments to justify his goal of eliminating the Traditional Latin Mass; or, he can use a claim which would, if true, justify eliminating the Traditional Latin Mass but which suffers from the problem of being heretical—the claim that the Traditional Latin Mass is at odds with Catholic theology. But for Roche to use the latter, patently indefensible claim would constitute admission that his project is grounded in illegitimate motives and aimed at illegitimate ends. Hence his prominent public statements are limited to the feeble and unconvincing. But a little known quasi-public lecture that Roche presented at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in February of 2020 reveals that his prominent use of feeble and unconvincing arguments is duplicitous at best, and mendacious at worst. That lecture was ironically and disingenuously titled

“The Roman Missal of Saint Paul VI: A Witness to Unchanging Faith and Uninterrupted Tradition.” In reality, it argued that both the Missal of Paul VI and the Second Vatican Council changed the theology of the Mass and of the Church, thus interrupting Tradition. According to the archbishop: “The Tridentine Missal considered the priest alone as celebrant” and was based on “a solely clerical vision of the liturgy, in which the clergy alone are active and the faithful passive.” He claims that the Missal of Paul VI is based on a supposedly contradictory belief that the Mass is “the action of the Christus totus [the Church].” And he claims that because of this, the laity should participate externally — by making the responses, etc. In reality, there was only a change of emphasis. Catholic dogma is quite clear that a priest alone can celebrate a valid Mass without any other member of the Church present—and the Missal of Paul VI explicitly allows for this. At the same time, the prayers of the Tridentine Missal and the traditional understanding of that Mass make clear that those attending it are “active” in that liturgical action as part of “the whole Christ.” Many of the Tridentine texts use the first person plural in addressing the Lord. For example, “Offerimus tibi Domine calicem salutaris”—“We offer you, Lord, the chalice of salvation.” In the Missal of Paul VI, the priest often uses the plural in the same way, speaking alone but on behalf of “the whole Christ.” The question of whether the congregation makes the responses to these priestly prayers does not change the theological reality of what is happening. In the Tridentine Mass, it was always understood that the acolytes made the responses on behalf of the congregation. The difference between the two missals is simply this: the Tridentine can be compared to a system of judicial procedure in which a jury foreman announces the verdict on behalf of the entire jury; that of Paul VI can be compared to a system of judicial procedure in which each jury member individually affirms the verdict. Archbishop Roche seems to make the common mistake of equating the type of “lack of external activity” proper to jury members (who participate in a trial) with the type of “lack of external activity” proper to people watching a trial (who are non-participant spectators). Magisterial theology, however, recognizes this distinction. Both Pope Pius XII’s encyclical Mediator Dei and the Sacred Congregation of Rites’s 1958 instruction De Musica Sacra et Sacra Liturgia state that “external” participation by members of the congregation (making the responses, etc.) is better and to be encouraged, but that “non-external” participation (silently reading the prayers in a missal, meditations and mental prayer, saying the rosary, etc.) are also legitimate and constitute true “participation.” Archbishop Roche further argued that the alleged change in the theology of the Mass was itself influenced by an alleged “replacement” of “the previous notion of the Church as a perfect society...with that of the Church as sacrament and the biblical concept of the People of God..constantly open to reform and conversion.” There are two senses in which Catholic theology did and still does consider the Church a “perfect society.” First, there

is the Aristotelian concept of a “perfect society” as one that has everything it strictly needs for its purpose within itself. Second, there is the sense of the infallibility and indefectibility of the Church making it a “perfect society.” Neither is incompatible with the Church as the people of God or with openness to reform and conversion. But such reform and conversion cannot include “replacement” of previously established principles of theology—such as the doctrine of the Church as a perfect society or the belief that the congregation’s “external” participation at Mass is non-essential. In his assertion that the Missal of Paul VI and the Second Vatican Council broke with previous theology, Arthur Roche is actually in agreement with Marcel Lefebvre. The position of both archbishops is that a rupture took place. Their disagreement concerns only whether that rupture was good or bad. Roche does not seem to realize that the legitimacy, integrity and credibility of Vatican II and the Missal of Paul (legitimacy, integrity and credibility which I do not doubt) depend on the fact that they did not “replace” earlier theologies of the Church or of the liturgy—or, more correctly, depend on that fact that it is theologically impossible for a General Council and a papal liturgical reform to “replace” those earlier theologies.m

If You Preach It, They Will Come: Eduardo A. Samaniego, S.J.

Preaching the Word for Year A, B, and C as Listeners Like It. Part 1 is a manual on how to preach or preach better. Part 2 is a collection of homilies for all three liturgical years. As a Jesuit, Fr. Eddie spent most of his ordained years in multilingual/multicultural parishes. He taught in a Catholic Seminary and has given preaching better workshops to the priests/deacons of the diocese of Los Angeles, San Jose, Stockton, San Bernardino, Orange, San Diego, as well as for the Food for the Poor priests/deacons. Presently, he is the Director of the Permanent Diaconate in the Diocese of San Diego, and works to help form the future deacons, who will serve their parishes. Get Your Copy Now Consigan su copia ahora

Tambien hay una version en español: Bien Predicada, la gente vendera: Predicando la palabra los Años A, B, y C como le encanta al oyente




is the PoPe really the “head of the catholic chUrch?” Understanding the title “Vicar of christ” — and his actUal role in the chUrch n BY JAMES BOGLE* Pope St. Leo III crowns Emperor Charlemagne in St. Peter’s Basilica in 800 A.D. (by Friedrich Kaulbach)


cursory glance at the references to the Pope in any article on, say, Wikipedia, but also in very many other media sources, will reveal the frequency with which it has become customary for writers, bloggers and journalists to refer to the Pope as the “Head of the Catholic Church.” It reveals a deep failure to understand the nature of both the Papacy and the Catholic Church. Yet one can now find even Catholic journalists making this same mistake. The Pope is not now, and never has been, the “Head of the Catholic Church.” There is only one “Head of the Catholic Church” and that is our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. He, and He alone, is the true “Head of the Catholic Church.” The Pope is, as his age-old title reminds us, the “Vicar of Christ,” i.e., a kind of “prime minister” of Christ. Moreover, the Pope is only the spiritual Vicar of Christ. He is not the temporal Vicar of Christ. In the ages of faith, indeed, right up until Napoleonic times, every Catholic knew that the temporal Vicar of Christ was the Emperor (or, more fully, the Holy Roman Emperor) and he was treated as such by the Church and by every Pope that reigned in those days. Indeed, he was prayed for on Good Friday, and at the Easter Vigil, directly after the Pope and clergy, right up until those imperial prayers were removed by Archbishop Bugnini in 1954. It is an oft-forgotten fact that the Popes were purely temporal subjects of the emperors for most of Christian history. The Papal States had been “feued” (granted) to Pope Stephen II, in 756, by King Pepin the Short, the father of an emperor, Charlemagne, who later confirmed the same. 34


Thus it remained until the very end of the Empire in 1806, when it was effectively dissolved by Napoleon Bonaparte, the destroyer of old Christendom. True, the Popes became virtually independent from about 1300 but, even then, they were still, technically and legally, temporal subjects of the Emperor and acknowledged themselves to be such. Even the Duchy of Rome, which the Popes occupied prior to the so-called Donation of Pepin, was a territory feued from the Eastern Emperor. It was on Christmas Day 800 AD that the nobility, clergy and freemen of the City of Rome transferred their allegiance from the Eastern Emperor (actually Empress Irene) and, by acclamation, elected (as was the traditional method of choosing emperors, just as Popes) Charles, King of the Franks, to be the renewed Emperor of the Romans in the West, Caesar semper Augustus et Imperator. This was with the blessing of Pope St. Leo III who then crowned him in St Peter’s Basilica as we are told by Einhard, the chronicler of the life of Charlemagne in his Vita Caroli Magni. Pope St. Leo III had given his blessing to this translatio imperii (transfer of the imperial power) not only because of the failure of the Eastern empress, Irene, to come to the aid of the Popes, under constant threat from the Lombards, in contrast to Pepin and the Franks, but also because she had usurped the imperial throne from her own son, Constantine VI, and connived at his blinding, from which assault he had died. In a proper approach to the distinction between clerical and lay power, advice and blessing was first sought from the spiritual Vicar of Chris, Pope Leo III. It was necessary to gain the papal sanction since emperors, after election, were required to be crowned

St. Pius X and Blessed Pius IX, both elected to the Petrine office after exercise of the imperial veto by the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I (below)

and consecrated by the Pope, or his delegate. But this was virtually assured as Pope Leo had already sought assistance from King Pepin and from his son, Charlemagne, and had already condemned the usurpation of the imperial throne by Empress Irene. The nobility, clergy and freemen of the City of Rome had, since early times, always elected both Pope and Emperor, but since free elections often occasioned violence and bloodshed, the privilege of electing Popes and emperors eventually (by the early Middle Ages) devolved upon two electoral colleges (the origin of an idea still used in American presidential elections). The two electoral colleges were, for Popes, the College of Cardinal-princes and, for emperors, the College of Prince-electors, originally seven in number, being the King of Bohemia, the Duke of Saxony, the Margrave of Brandenburg, the Count-Palatine of the Rhine and the three archbishops of Mainz, Cologne and Trier. However, the position of the Pope was fundamentally different from any other temporal subject because he was (and is) spiritually superior to the Emperor (even if temporally inferior) by virtue of being the spiritual Vicar of Christ and successor of St. Peter, and because the spiritual power, or power of conscience, is, in its own sphere, superior to the purely temporal power. This constitution, or blueprint, for Christendom had been long before laid down, originally by Christ Himself, but was expressly reiterated by Pope St. Gelasius I in his famous letter Famuli Vestrae Pietatis (sometimes called Duo Sunt) addressed to the Eastern emperor, Anastasius I Dicorus. It delineated the two powers that rule the Christian world, namely the spiritual and the temporal, the Pope and the Emperor. This remained the blueprint for Christendom until the fall of the Empire, 1300 years later. It is also often forgotten that the expression “the Church” does not mean merely the clergy of the Catholic Church as is also frequently fondly supposed. The Church is the whole body of the Faithful, lay and clerical, secular and religious. And therein lies another common fallacy: the antonym of “clerical” is “lay” and the antonym of “religious” is “secular” but you will often find the terms muddled, particularly in the minds of nonCatholics.

There are religious laymen and religious clerics, just as there are secular clergy and secular laity (the latter being the majority of the Church). But a “secular religious” or a “lay cleric” are contradictions in terms. In his quite astonishingly ill-informed book, The Case of the Pope, hostile anti-Catholic writer, barrister and judge, Geoffrey Robertson, QC, describes a “deacon” as a kind of monk, betraying an ignorance of the simplest religious concepts in Catholicism. After the fall of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, a “rump” of the Empire continued as the Austrian Empire for another 112 years until 1918, when it was dissolved by the victors of the First World War. The Austrian Emperor retained the imperial veto over Papal elections (as did the kings of Spain and France) almost to the end, and it is worth remembering that, by exercise of the imperial veto, two saints came to the pontifical throne, St. Pius X and Blessed Pius IX, both elected to the Petrine office after exercise of the imperial veto by the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I. Once the empires had fallen, the position of the lay counterpart to the Pope became uncertain, unresolved and confused. Indeed, the whole issue of the lay vocation became an issue of much discussion in a way that it never was when there were kings and emperors and the position of lay power in the Church was obvious. Our time has seen a huge increase in clerical power in the Church, and a vanishing of the lay power, with consequences that have often been far from beneficial. Lord Acton used to say that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Whether or not this is true, the absolute power now enjoyed by the clergy in the Church has not been any more beneficial than other forms of absolute power. One of the other consequences has been that journalists now persist in referring to the Pope as “the Head of the Catholic Church” usurping a position that belongs only to Jesus Christ, our Lord, and to Him alone. James Bogle of Gilmorehill Centre at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, is a barrister, writer, historian, former British army officer and past president of the International Una Voce Federation. MARCH-APRIL 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN




lice von Hildebrand, the Belgian-born war refugee and, subsequently, noted Catholic philosopher died at her home in New Rochelle, New York, on January 14. She was 98. Fr. Gerald Murray gave the homily at Alice (“Lily”) von Hildebrand’s funeral Mass on January 22 at her parish, Holy Family Church, in New Rochelle, New York. This is an excerpt from that homily: Her death brings to an earthly close a truly amazing life. Born in 1923, her journey through this world into the world to come took her in 1940 from her native Belgium to New York, in flight from the Nazi invaders. Her first home here was at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel with her aunt and uncle. Little did she know then that she would spend 38 years at a nearby secular school, Hunter College, teaching philosophy. It was her love of books and learning that led her to Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart and then to Fordham University, where she studied philosophy under the guidance of the brilliant and courageous Dietrich von Hildebrand, who had fled Munich for Vienna when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party took power in Germany. His writings against the Nazis put him at the top of the Gestapo list of people to be arrested when the German army marched into Austria. He escaped on the last train out of Vienna and made his way to New York, where he resumed his work as a philosopher and as a Catholic writer and speaker who inspired his students and friends with a deep love of Christ, of the Church and, in particular, of the Church’s sacred liturgy. Lily soon became his secretary, and after von Hildebrand’s wife Margarete died in 1957, he asked her to marry him in 1959. They eventually moved to New Rochelle and were members of this parish of the Holy Family. My family were also parishioners here. I remember as a grammar schoolboy wondering who this couple was as they sat a few pews ahead of our family at Sunday Mass. I was to find out, to my great benefit, a few years later, when I decided to enter the seminary to study for the priesthood. I discovered the greatness of these two philosophers who defended



all that is worth defending so that man may live at peace with himself, with others and with God. One of the most central themes in the lives of Dietrich and Alice von Hildebrand was the crucial importance of reverence if man is to order his life properly and fruitfully in this world. Lily wrote extensively about matters of faith in various Catholic publications in the years that followed her retirement in 1984 from teaching at Hunter College. Reverence was a central topic. Let me cite three passages from her articles. “The curse of modern men is that so many of them have lost their sense for wonder and gratitude. Boredom is a punishment for irreverence. Alas, our mind-boggling technological progress has brought with it the curse of taking things for granted and assuming with blind stupidity that there is nothing we cannot know — nothing that he cannot master. Having a small gadget in his hand, one feels that he is the master of the universe. He can click on a button and have the world at his fingertips. Regretfully, we never hear homilists say a word about the sin of being ‘blasé.’ It is a sin because it is a consequence of ingratitude — because it is a fruit of pride and metaphysical arrogance. Every sin brings with it its own punishment.” (“Reverence: The Mother of All Virtue,” Catholic News Agency, April 26, 2016.) “What is ‘reverence?’ It is an uplifting and joyful feeling of awe, a response that man is called upon to give to God’s creation which clearly points to the Creator; it is an ever renewed and grateful discovery of the mysteries of being; it is an overcoming of one’s moral blindness preventing us from perceiving the glories of the universe that we live in. “It is a joy to perceive how marvelous it is ‘to be,’ and consequently, should make us respond with horror at abortion, willingly and brutally denying existence to others (for I doubt that abortionists would have chosen to be aborted themselves had they had a chance of doing it.) They deny life to others, not to themselves. We all should tremble with respect at perceiving a little creature making its dramatic entrance into our world.”m



was fortunate enough to have struck up an informal relationship with Alice von Hildebrand in the course of my duties as Assistant Editor of this journal. It consisted, in fact, almost exclusively of emails we traded back and forth; some of them commenting on the various issues facing the Church in the modern milieu, some of them of a more personal nature. I was drawn to her womanly sensitivity and sympathy, just as I was drawn to her uncompromising intellectual stance — her refusal to make peace with anything but the truth. “Make peace” is an odd term for it, perhaps, but it comes to mind as the stance of most of our contemporary fellows: modern ideas, modern life itself, cause a constant warring within the self. The war is between our human nature, what we fundamentally know “in our bones” to be true about ourselves as human persons — and what the world tells us is nature, that is, no nature at all — nothing “given,” nothing “received,” (certainly not “created”) — just our will and what we “want” and the freedom to do it, to have it. No man can live in this tension without being profoundly affected by it; we all try, in one way or another, to “make peace” between our warring elements and ideas and impulses. Most, I believe, live bifurcated intellectual lives, simultaneously holding contradictory ideas like “There is no objective right or wrong” and “Racism is always wrong” or “Selfless, sacrificial love is impossible” and “Selfless, sacrificial love is the only thing worth living for,” etc.

“Lily” von Hildebrand taught us to reject the warring of the inner factions, and to “make peace” only with what is good, and true, and beautiful in us, which, she went on to show, is the Divine reflection of the Good, the True and the Beautiful that is God Himself. She was a lover of God, yes, but a fierce lover of Man, as well, and longed to bring everyone she met to see and love the Lord and His ways as she did. Her love for others was not only abstract, either, but personal. She would often inquire after my “dear husband” and my children, whom she had never met, with a sincere interest that was a mark of the “feminine genius,” sympathetic and supportive (among other qualities), that John Paul II spoke of. Eventually, she did meet my husband and me; we stopped to call on her in her home in New Rochelle once as we were travelling through New York. She was delightful, warm and gracious, even in her state of advanced age and limited mobility. And she was anxious to show us photos and memorabilia of her long-deceased husband Dietrich; how tenderly she still loved him, 40 years after his death! She was a joy in life, and will remain an inspiration, God willing, to generations in the future. —Christina Deardurff

The Heart of Alice von Hildebrand SHE ACCOMPANIED US WITH TENDER LOVE


ince Lily von Hildebrand’s passing, I have been sent back “into the caverns of memory,” as she would often say, as recollections of our nearly twenty years of close collaboration come back to me. We were, in some ways, an unlikely duo when we launched the Hildebrand Project in 2004: she, venerable, brilliant, and prolific, and I, just 25, untried, and in search of my life’s work. I first discovered her unique genius around 1994 when I was 16. I had the tremendous privilege of being invited to her New Rochelle apartment for tête-à-tête, as she was fond of describing her conversations with friends. I remember feeling that I’d never before met someone with such charm, wisdom, and zest for life. For nearly twelve years, until she became homebound, we took innumerable trips together in service of the Hildebrand Project. One of the most unforgettable was our journey to Rome in 2007. We had the tremendous privilege of meeting Pope Benedict XVI in private audience — a sign of the Holy Father’s deep regard not just for her late, great husband but also for herself. She was visibly moved to be meeting the vicar of Christ on earth. I was moved by her trembling heart, and this was a great gift to me, as through her eyes — I saw and felt — the awesome reality of Peter among us, more deeply than I could have on my own.

Even in her high nineties, she never lost the ability to be deeply moved by all that is good, true, and beautiful. She was uniquely invested in the lives of those she loved; sometimes I had the feeling she had greater joy in our joys and deeper sorrow at our sorrows than we ourselves. This is surely why so many of us opened our hearts to Lily. She received us as we were and accompanied us with tender love. I never doubted that she would fulfill her pledge of prayers for me. This full engagement of her heart also gave her faith a unique and convincing power that will ever remain with me. Whatever doubts or difficulties she may have experienced, these could not compare with the depth of her faith in Jesus and His promises. The tombstone she now shares with her beloved husband Dietrich could not capture this more perfectly: “Lord, you know that I love you” (Jn 21:15). —John Henry Crosby Founder & President, Hildebrand Project INSIDE THE VATICAN MARCH-APRIL 2022



The Mass is cenTral To The FaiTh; God is cenTral To The Mass a review oF The CaTholiC Mass: sTeps To ResToRe The CenTRaliTy of God by bishop aThanasius schneider n BY LEILA MARIE LAWLER


became a Catholic in 1979 same direction as we. How difat the age of 19. Thus, I ferent this time of prayer was entered the Church in the from our normal experience of fullness of her turmoil. Other his role – how potentially formathan a few shards of memory tive. from my girlhood in New An elderly parishioner, now Haven – a glimpse of habited departed, reminisced about her nuns minding children in the youth in that little town. During schoolyard, young women at the Great Depression, Vespers Albertus Magnus College wearwas celebrated every Wednesday ing elegant sweater sets and evening at that same parish. After trim skirts rather than the hippie their shift at the factory across the garb favored by the new coeds street, “all the young people at Yale, and a truly sensorially flocked to it! Afterwards we overwhelming stop for ashes walked home with our friends, with my best friend Gina at St. and it was the highlight of our Mary’s — my inaugural experiweek!” I mused on the effect of ence of Catholicism was this pattern on their understanding enmeshed with the resistance of of the liturgy. In The Catholic BISHOP ATHANASIUS SCHNEIDER my fiancé, making his way Mass, Bishop Schneider WITH AURELIO PORFIRI back to the faith, to lounge quotes Pope Benedict XVI: THE CATHOLIC MASS: STEPS TO RESTORE Masses and the bland liberalThe Church’s existence THE CENTRALITY ism of the local parish. In short, draws its life from the proper OF GOD IN THE LITURGY I had had no contact with any celebration of the liturgy, and SOPHIA INSTITUTE PRESS traditional idea of Catholicism that the Church is in danger $21.95 in the liturgy. when the primacy of God no When I read the first chapter of The Catholic Mass: longer appears in the liturgy Steps to Restore the Centrality of God in the Liturgy, I and thus in life. The deepest was struck by Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s identificacause of the crisis that has shaktion of the abandonment of public Vespers and other en the Church lies in the obscurliturgical celebrations of the Divine Office after the Secing of the primacy of God in the ond Vatican Council as an indicator of rupture in worliturgy. All of this led me to ship. This observation is so true and is part of my early devote myself to the liturgy more extensively than in the experience of a void, of something missing. past, because I knew that the true renewal of the liturgy Bishop Schneider speaks of the replacement of woris a fundamental condition for the renewal of the ship of God with a human-centered gathering, with the Church. priest as a sort of master of ceremonies. When I finally And St. Peter Julian Eymard: took part in a sung Vespers at our parish, a lay-driven Without the sun, the world would fall into sterility and attempt at restoration, I was struck above all by the humprison-like darkness; it would be nothing but a picture of ble role of the priest. Normally the center of attention at death. Without the Holy Eucharist, the world would be but Mass (in the Novus Ordo celebrated there), at Vespers he an arid desert, a somber tomb; it would have the aspect of was simply praying with the people and then, in the ad the Last Day, preceding the Last Judgment. Today our bishops show signs of being impressed by orientem posture of Benediction, veiled with heavy statistics indicating that Catholics have lost their undervestments, he took his place at our head, facing in the



standing of these truths (according Novus Ordo regarding Latin and pope benediCT Xvi: to one source, 70% do not believe chant, and so on – all the necesThe ChuRCh’s in the Real Presence. I am not consary preconditions for recognizeXisTenCe dRaws iTs vinced, however, that our leaders ing the Real Presence? They are grasp their responsibility for the like a man who wants his children life fRom The pRopeR crisis. As the primary mission of to draw near to their mother, whom CelebRaTion of The the Church ceases to be preached liTuRGy, and The ChuRCh he himself has not treated with and lived by them, they grope for respect. is in danGeR when The ways to convey what they themThe Mass is primarily, first and forepRimaCy of God no lonGeR most, worship of God. This truth, selves show no signs of believing. appeaRs in The liTuRGy and explored in The Catholic Mass at length In their discussions at the most recent meeting of the United States Thus in life and with ample support from Scripture, Conference of Catholic Bishops the Magisterium, and Tradition, is one (USCCB), they emerged with the usual response: statethat is nearly forgotten in the new ecclesiology, which ments and a plan of action that models itself on the emphasizes the communal and social participation of multi-level marketing business scheme, featuring large the faithful. When I give a talk on liturgy, I often relish conferences trickling down to small groups. They seem the confused, even stricken, silence after I read this pasto have a mass movement in mind, vaguely modeled on sage from Romano Guardini’s Spirit of the Liturgy: what Stuart Chessman has called “features imported The primary and exclusive aim of the liturgy is not from the repertoire of the totalitarian states of the Eastthe expression of the individual’s reverence and worship ern bloc (e.g., youth days and festivals; massive orchesfor God. It is not even concerned with the awakening, trated public appearances.)” Naturally, such a plan formation, and sanctification of the individual soul as requires a vast cadre of administrators to implement it, such. Nor does the onus of liturgical action and prayer hence the resort to managerest with the individual. It does not even rest with the colment systems. lective groups, composed of numersT. peTeR Julian eymaRd: In this way, the bishous individuals, who periodically wiThouT The holy ops condition ecclesioloachieve a limited and intermittent uChaRisT , The woRld e gy, the Church’s underunity in their capacity as the congrestanding of herself and gation of a church. The liturgical would be buT an aRid her mission. The Eucharist entity consists rather of the united deseRT, a sombeR Tomb; iT is a precious – the most precious – jewel would have The aspeCT of body of the faithful as such— the we possess. Many in the pews have Church—a body which infinitely outThe lasT day, pReCedinG begun to recover the notion that this numbers the mere congregation. The jewel must be placed in its proper set- The lasT JudGmenT liturgy is the Church’s public and ting. But there is another level: ecclesiology – how we lawful act of worship, and it is performed and conducted contextualize the beauty we are trying to honor in the by the officials whom the Church herself has designated decisions we make, including decisions about how to for the post—her priests. pass it along to the next generation. The Motu Proprio Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s work of the same name Traditionis Custodes and the bishops’ general acquies(inspired by its predecessor) deems the question of what cence to its unreasonable and contradictory demands worship is in history as essential to his investigation. We undermines their pursuit of the goal of restoring knowlseem to have forgotten that worship, including the priedge of fundamental articles of faith. mordial urge to offer sacrifice, is written into our anthroWhat they miss entirely is the prerequisite for what pology – it is everywhere and at all times present in they say they want, namely, the centrality of God in worhuman life. But the only way we can have forgotten such ship. They propose to tell us, the faithful, what to think an elemental fact is if we have been trained out of it by about the Mass that they show no signs of wishing to those entrusted to the task. make more radiant. Without the Bishop Schneider offers, in Romano GuaRdini: exercise of their authority, who this book, a fitting sequel to The liTuRGy is The can restore beauty to sanctuarthose two previous works and a ies, return tabernacles to their ready antidote to what he calls ChuRCh’s publiC and rightful central locations, move the “profoundly wrong” attitude lawful aCT of woRship, clergy from the spotlight and towards the Mass found among and iT is peRfoRmed and turn them towards the East from those clerics who “think they can whence the Savior will return, ConduCTed by The offiCials whom manipulate it at will.” The ChuRCh heRself has desiGcleave to what clear instructions Such an attitude is a reflection of we have from Vatican II for the naTed foR The posT — heR pRiesTs modern times and of its deepest sickMARCH-APRIL 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN


REVIEW ThE Mass Is cEnTRal To ThE FaITh; God Is cEnTRal To ThE Mass ness, which is anthropocentrism, a spirit of autonomy, and a loss of a supernatural perspective. The idea that we are the ones who make the liturgy, and our failure to understand that Christ is always the main protagonist, derives from this illness. We are invited to participate in something that has been given to us by Christ and is an organic expression of the Church’s tradition. We are not the ones who animate the liturgy. Bishop Schneider examines aspects of the Mass that most need review today. Of course, it’s not possible ever to express the totality of meaning of what the Mass is. But the reader will find here much food for thought. For pious reflection, to nourish the interior life, there are chapters about the Mass as perfect prayer, adoration, splendor, and so on – all the aspects that familiarity and present-day neglect tend to render obscure. For instruction on the larger question of ecclesiastical matters, the book offers a critique of the ways in which worship has degraded. At the same time, Bishop Schneider is careful to build his case on authorities both ancient and contemporary, referring often to documents of Vatican II and teachings of recent Popes. The chapter called “The Mass is Sacred Service” can help the average layperson analyze recent changes by Pope Francis that ratify women as lectors and acolytes. Most Catholics have forgotten about subdeacons and porters, but Bishop Schnei-



der’s excellent treatment of the question of minor orders can clarify what duties of the sanctuary are and are not. Stemming from canonical changes made by Paul VI and culminating with this latest move by Pope Francis, actions in the sanctuary are purported to relate to baptism and the priesthood of all believers. Bishop Schneider recovers the traditional view of these matters as stemming, rather, from the diaconate – that is, to ordination and a strictly male presence in the sanctuary. In this way, he reveals how a seemingly arcane issue relates Scripturally and historically to what has become a false paradigm of power and its distribution, instead of service. “What is sacred must be expressed through signs, as human nature demands,” Bishop Schneider reminds us. Those signs are the details and beauty of worship, details that grew along with the Church as it spread throughout the world, until our time. The truly calamitous state of the faith today – for lay and clergy alike – demands that we take responsibility for them. The Catholic Mass is a valuable resource for that challenge. Leila Marie Lawler writes from Massachusetts. She is author of the three-volume work, The Summa Domestica: Order and Wonder in Family Life, newly published by Sophia Institute Press. She blogs at Like Mother, Like Daughter. m


a land of saInts and scholars Ireland Is a land of rIch hIstory and culture, yes — but also a deeply catholIc spIrIt n BY ITV STAFF


reland... the bucolic Emerald Isle... It has lush, green pastures that rise and fall in gentle hills, and yet it also has a rawness as you look inland, to heathland, bogs, quartzite mountain ranges and vast forests. It’s a land where mountains loom over glassy lakes… an island with a savage-looking coastline and monstrously high cliffs, juxtaposed with white-sand beaches more reminiscent of the Caribbean than northern Europe. In few lands is the story of Christ’s triumph over darkness more dramatic than in Ireland. For generations, Ireland was eventually perceived as a “Catholic country,” holding fast to the values of its historic faith, even at one time passing an amendment to the Constitution safeguarding the unborn. Today’s pilgrims to this land of faith, Ireland, tread with their own feet the ground walked by St. Patrick and the first missionaries in the 5th century. Inside the Vatican Pilgrimages invites you, too, to stand on the Hill of Slane where Patrick dared to defy the pagan king and light the Paschal fire. Walk with us among Erin’s ancient lanes, through her ruined monasteries where

the learning of the Ages was preserved for posterity, past the sites where long ago were fought the battles that even today still resonate. Of course, the Emerald Isle beckons you not only with beauty, history and faith, but the solace of its legendary hospitality, fine foods and even better beer. Experience with us the “craic” — that indefinable Irish word for a “party” — and enjoy the warm conviviality that the Irish know so well how to celebrate. Come with us to experience Ireland, from its Iron Age to the present; but more than that, come with us on pilgrimage. Despite the incursions of secularism, the faith story of Ireland thrives still. Ireland is a land of holiness and learning, and of healings and miracles. You’ll explore all this as well, as you encounter the “living stones” in the abbeys and monasteries we visit – and shrines like the famous Marian shrine at Knock – and return home as a “living stone” yourself, to help build up the Church where you live and work. Come with us as we seek to discover the deep faith of the Irish in our own souls...Come with us as we experience Ireland, the “Land of Saints and Scholars.”m

Left, the Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary. Cashel is reputed to be the site of the conversion of the King of Munster by St. Patrick in the 400s. Middle, Kerwin’s Lane in Galway, during Christmastime. Right, Ireland’s National Marian Shrine in County Mayo, Our Lady of Knock Shrine (1879)

Join us! Inside the Vatican Pilgrimages “IRELAND: SAINTS AND SCHOLARS” Classic pilgrimage... Our pilgrimages fill up fast! Make your reservation today... INSIDETHEVATICANPILGRIMAGES.COM – PILGRIMAGE@INSIDETHEVATICAN.COM +1.202.536.4555 INSIDE THE VATICAN MARCH-APRIL 2022



is “truth” Welcome in todAy’s cAtholic universities? “AcAdemic Freedom” And the tyrAnny oF the modern college cAmpus n BY MICHAEL F. MCLEAN, PH.D., PRESIDENT OF THOMAS AQUINAS COLLEGE *

Some of the titles read in the “Great Books” curriculum at the college. Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, president of Notre Dame University and signatory to the “Land O’Lakes Statement” in 1967


ast fall, one of the preeminent Catholic universities in the United States terminated a professor for an unspecified offense. We know not all the details, but the incident seemingly began when the white lecturer confused the names of two black students. He then compounded his wrongdoing by emailing all of his students to argue that — mounting allegations to the contrary — his error did not make him a racist. To bolster his case, his email listed his many contributions to the cause of racial justice. Such defensiveness, according to an aggrieved student quoted in the college newspaper, hinted at a “white savior complex” on this instructor’s part — a thoughtcrime that, no matter how thinly evidenced, could not go unpunished. The university promptly relieved the professor of his duties, his salary, his benefits, and his reputation. As a teacher who has, on occasion, called students by the wrong names, it is difficult to fathom how such a simple error could lead to such an uncharitable and merciless judgment. Yet stories like this one are now alarmingly commonplace. Throughout much of academia, expressing the wrong opinion — or even the mere suspicion of holding the wrong opinion — is sufficient grounds for censure, de-platforming, and ostracism. In the parlance of the moment, we chalk up such abuses to “wokeism,” or its precursor, “political correctness.” But to get to the heart of the rampant intolerance that characterizes life on most college campuses today, we need to go back to the late 1960s, when this phenomenon first took root. Back then it was called, ironically, “academic freedom.”



THE MODERN UNIVERSITY When various leaders from the country’s premier Catholic universities gathered in Land O’Lakes, Wisconsin, in 1967, they authored a document titled “The Idea of the Catholic University,” now known more commonly as the Land O’Lakes Statement. “The Catholic University today must be a university in the full modern sense of the word,” the document asserted. “Institutional autonomy and academic freedom are essential conditions of life and growth and indeed of survival for Catholic universities as for all universities.” More than just platitudes, these words were, in effect, a declaration of independence. Traditionally, the Catholic university had conducted its instruction and research in fidelity to the teachings of the Church — the magisterium set the moral and intellectual boundaries that guided students and faculty along the path to truth. But no longer. “The intellectual campus of a Catholic university has no boundaries,” the authors proclaimed. “The Catholic university must have a true autonomy and academic freedom in the face of authority of whatever kind, lay or clerical, external to the academic community itself.” Note those words, “authority of whatever kind,” which encompass not only religious communities, the local bishop, and the magisterium, but God Himself. “The student will be able to develop his own capabilities and to fulfill himself by using the intellectual resources presented to him,” the statement continued. The student alone — well, the student, the professor, and the university administration, anyway — would

Dr. McLean, president of Thomas Aquinas College, and the college’s motto Fides Quaerens Intellectum (“Faith Seek Understanding”). Bottom, Eucharistic adoration in the chapel on the California campus.

define what is true. Whether wittingly or not, in seeking to emulate the standards of their secular counterparts, the leaders of the nation’s top Catholic universities were casting their lot with a revolution that was speedily making its way through the academy. Untether higher education from Christianity and its intellectual tradition, the revolution’s proponents promised, and students would achieve new heights in learning, “free” from the outdated conventions that shackled social progress. It didn’t work out that way. The revolutionaries got everything they wanted and more — purging the Great Books from the classroom, abandoning integrated curricula for a multiplicity of majors, dismantling any rules of residence that may have encouraged personal virtue. On Catholic campuses, “autonomy” from the Church was pressed to its limits. Crucifixes came down from classroom walls, while scholars and speakers who brazenly rejected Church teaching were celebrated and tenured. But the revolutionaries never achieved their envisioned utopia. Nearly 60 years later, colleges are not the bastions of free inquiry that the revolutionaries promised. According to one survey, 62 percent of today’s students find that the intellectual climate on their campuses silences voices that dare to challenge conventional opinion. Another recent poll found that 70 percent of college students favor turning in professors who express an “offensive” belief. DUELING STATEMENTS Just two years after the Land O’Lakes signatories declared that they no longer needed, nor would any longer accept, the Church’s authority or guidance, another group of Catholic educators put the finishing touches on a wholly different vision of Catholic higher education. They were the founders of Thomas Aquinas College, the institution which I am honored to serve as president. Their 1969 statement, A Proposal for the Fulfillment of Catholic Liberal Education (aka “The Blue Book) is mustreading for anyone who wants to understand how the current crisis in Catholic higher education came to be — and how to overcome it ( The Blue Book’s authors recognized that schools with no fixed commitment to truth would quickly devolve into what Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI would later characterize as “dictatorships of relativism.” On any campus, they explained, “concrete and particular decisions must be made, about the curriculum, student life, hiring and firing, promotion and so forth.” If these decisions are not governed by revealed truth, they will instead be determined by the whims and dictates of bureaucrats and ideologues. “It would seem that the government of any institution by rules which prescind (or pretend to prescind)

from all differences of belief, or which negate in principle the possibility of governing by the truth, must of necessity be tyrannical,” the Blue Book observes, “leaving an infinite latitude in practice to the men who actually make the decisions, who thus rule by their own absolute discretion.” This is where most of academia finds itself today, a world that the founders of Thomas Aquinas College anticipated 50 years ago, when they set out to create an island of reason in higher education’s quickly expanding ocean of madness. “Divine Revelation … frees the faithful Christian from those specious and yet absurd notions of freedom which, because they are false and subvert the life of reason, deceitfully enslave all who believe in them,” they wrote. “It teaches that self-rule is not the same as independence, but rather that the assertion of complete independence destroys the capacity for self-rule.” Against all odds, in 1971 these men launched Thomas Aquinas College, offering a single, integrated curriculum rooted in the Great Books and the Catholic intellectual tradition. The school would strive to live out its motto, coined by St. Anselm, of “faith seeking understanding.” And in the succeeding half-century, as other institutions have continually struggled to reinvent themselves by flitting from one academic fad to the next — modernism to postmodernism, subjectivism to scientism, deconstructionism to critical theory — Thomas Aquinas College has remained committed to its founding vision. For more than 50 years, the College’s students have grappled with the most important questions ever asked, questions about mathematics, language, the good life, nature, nature’s creator, and our place in His creation. In this intellectual climate, which values real academic freedom — where all sincere inquiry is regarded as an avenue to Truth Himself — students of all backgrounds ask the difficult questions and work their way to transformational answers. Rather than being “woke” to the ideological imperative of the moment, these students’ minds have been awakened to eternal truths; their hearts to divine justice and mercy, not mob rule and cancel culture. It is impossible to miss the workings of Providence in the humble efforts of Thomas Aquinas College over these last 50 years, first on its California campus and now on its Massachusetts campus as well. Yet nowhere were those workings more evident than when the College’s founders resisted the siren song of “academic freedom,” instead offering future generations of students the genuine freedom that comes only from finding and knowing the Truth. * Dr. McLean is president of Thomas Aquinas College, which has campuses in California and Massachusetts. m MARCH-APRIL 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN



PoPe Benedict’s resignation sPeech What did it really say in latin? n BY JOHN BYRON KUHNER Vatican, February 11, 2013. At the conclusion of a meeting regarding canonizations, Pope Benedict XVI read a prepared speech in Latin. Opposite, Italian Giovanna Chirri, a journalist for the ANSA news agency, watching the event on closed-circuit television. Her high school Latin was just enough for her to puzzle out what had happened, and she called in to her editors to break the story


he most significant recent historical event to be conducted entirely in Latin took place on February 11, 2013. It was undoubtedly odd. Pope Benedict XVI, at the conclusion of a canonization meeting, took out two sheets of paper and read a prepared speech in Latin. Its contents were sensational. In the consistory of cardinals — who should have understood at least some of his speech — there was no noticeable reaction at all. When the Pope had finished, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College, stepped to the microphone and expressed his bewilderment at the announcement and began reflecting on the journey of Benedict’s pontificate, but still, the room was stony and silent. Benedict himself, never very animated, looked like he was falling asleep. But Giovanna Chirri, a journalist for ANSA (an Italian news agency), watching the event on closed-circuit television, called in to her editors to break the story: “The Pope has resigned!” Her high school Latin was just enough to puzzle out what had happened, and Sodano’s words — he called it a “bolt out of the blue” (fulmine a ciel sereno) — confirmed it. The story went round the world in minutes. The speech is worth investigating in full, especially because of the controversy Benedict’s resignation continues to generate. The text in Latin is widely available online, along with both audio and video. It’s only 251 words, and makes a great Latin exercise. First of all, the Latin – you can get a sense of Benedict’s Latin right from the beginning: Fratres carissimi, non solum propter tres canonizationes ad hoc Consistorium vos convocavi, sed etiam ut vobis decisionem magni momenti pro Ecclesiae vitae communicem.



“Dearest brothers, I have called you to this consistory not only for three canonizations, but also so I may share with you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church.” Simple, direct. Benedict’s Latin never beats around the bush. It is overwhelmingly likely that he wrote this Latin himself. It bears no marks of the work of the Vatican’s Latin office, which writes far more elegantly and floridly, and no marks of Benedict’s more expansive, say-everything-and-go-on-for-a-while German style. The late Fr. Reginald Foster, who worked in the papal Latin office until 2010, lambasted Benedict’s Latin as “square” and “chunky.” I rather like Benedict’s Latin, but it’s certainly very straightforward. Textbooks tell you that Latin tends to put verbs at the end of clauses, so that’s where Benedict puts them. End of story. The next sentence explains the situation: Conscientia mea iterum atque iterum coram Deo explorata ad cognitionem certam perveni vires meas ingravescente aetate non iam aptas esse ad munus Petrinum aeque administrandum. “Having before God examined my conscience over and over, I have come to the certain knowledge that my strength, due to the burdens of age, is no longer suitable for properly administering the Petrine office.” This is a nod to Vatican II, though probably few people know the Council texts well enough to hear it. It is referring to the Council’s proclamation Christus Dominus, and its section on episcopal resignation: Cum igitur pastorale Episcoporum munus tanti sit momenti tantaeque gravitatis, Episcopi dioecesani aliique in iure ipsis aequiparati, si, ob ingravescentem aetatem aliamve gravem causam, implendo suo officio minus apti evaserint, enixe rogantur ut, vel sua ipsi

sponte vel a competenti Auctoritate invitati, renuntiationem ab officio exhibeant. “Since the pastoral task [munus] of the bishops is of such importance and gravity, diocesan bishops and their legal equivalents, if they have become less suitable for fulfilling their duty [officium] due to the burdens of age or some other grave cause, are earnestly requested to proffer their resignation from the office [officium], either of their own accord or at the behest of the competent authority.” How much the bishop of Rome is merely a bishop or the “legal equivalent” of one, is, of course, one of those endless Church questions, but it’s clear that here, Benedict is applying the logic of Christus Dominus to the papacy itself. Benedict goes on to say that he is aware that being Pope is not just about doing things; merely to pray and to suffer can be accomplishing your job. But, he says, the moment requires something more: in mundo nostri temporis ... ad navem Sancti Petri gubernandam et ad annuntiandum Evangelium etiam vigor quidam corporis et animae necessarius est. “In the world of our age … a certain vigor of body and soul is also necessary for steering the bark of St. Peter and for announcing the Gospel.” And then the conclusion: Quapropter bene conscius ponderis huius actus plena libertate declaro me ministerio Episcopi Romae, Successoris Sancti Petri, mihi per manus Cardinalium die undevicesima Aprilis bismillesimo quinto commissum renuntiare ita ut a die vicesima octava februarii bismillesimo tredecesimo, hora vicesima, sedes Romae, sedes Sancti Petri vacet et Conclave ad eligendum novum Summum Pontificem ab his quibus competit convocandum esse. “Therefore, well aware of the seriousness of this action, in full liberty I declare that I resign the ministry of the bishop of Rome, of the Successor of St. Peter, entrusted to me through the hands of the Cardinals on the 19th day of April, 2005, with the result that, from the twenty-eighth day of February 2013 [see below], at the twentieth hour, the see of Rome, the See of St. Peter, will be vacant; and I declare that a Conclave to select a new highest pontiff needs to be convoked by those to whom the duty belongs.” Things could hardly be clearer. But there is one problem. I hate to offer the conspiracy theorists fodder, but there is a mistake here. It is typical writerly policy in Latin, as in other languages, to write numerals in text (“2013”) in place of the words. The text Benedict was reading from probably had numerals — no problem for

an old Curial hand like Benedict; his Latin numbers were good, and his Italian pronunciation of them quite admirable (he says “diundevicesimaprilis,” eliding his vowels as the Italians do). However, all those “-esimas” and “-esimos” tripped him up when he had to say “2013,” which in Latin is an ordinal number, the “twothousand-thirteenth” year. He reads the adjective form of thirteen (tredecim) as “tredicesimo,” a number which does not exist in Latin. (The correct form is tertio decimo.) Now, the conspiracy theorists may tell you that this means the Pope’s resignation date was “twenty-tredicesimo” — a year which does not exist — and thus Benedict faked his abdication. Perhaps his brain had slipped into Italian for a moment, where “thirteenth” is — you guessed it — tredicesimo: the kind of mental imprecision that warranted his desire to resign in the first place. But I suspect that one Italian word does not invalidate the document! As for people claiming there are Latin mistakes everywhere in the document, don’t believe them. There’s one mistake, and that’s it. I’ve heard another conspiracy theory, that Benedict only resigned his “ministry” (ministerium) and not his “job” (munus), but, in the Latin, this is no valid distinction. A ministerium (look it up) is a rich, full word in Latin, meaning “the office or functions of a minister, attendance, service, ministry… an office, occupation, work, labor, employment, administration, etc.” Listed synonyms are officium and (there it is!) munus. Anyway, Benedict makes it clear that the result of this resignation is a vacancy in the See of Peter and a need for a conclave. He could not, in fact, have made it clearer. It was certainly a momentous speech. At the time, it was thought that Benedict might be trying to create a useful new precedent, where his successors also would resign after a certain number of years, in order to avoid a similar spectacle to John Paul II’s long, difficult, public deterioration. Our current experience makes it clear, however, that the inherent unity of the Petrine office has been compromised by Benedict’s resignation. Having both a Pope and a living previous Pope is a problem – especially when one explicitly abrogates his predecessor’s actions. In losing this unity we have lost something important. I’m hoping that we will return to the old system, where the Pope serves for life, even if all he can do at the end is pray — and suffer — for us all. Sometimes, that is all we can ask of him.m MARCH-APRIL 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN



he Who is The God of Genesis is unlike all oTher Gods n BY ANTHONY ESOLEN


he first time I read the Hebrew of the first chapter of Genesis, I was stunned by something that I might have known already but never would have associated with the relation between God and his creation, as described by the sacred author. Before I name what it is, I would like to glance at what some other human languages tell us about how man conceives of God or the gods. We might start with the Latin deus. That word denotes a beautiful attribute of God, as our ancient linguistic ancestors sensed, as they lived in the vast steppes of Eurasia, broadly open to the skies above. The gods were shining, like the sun. And indeed that captures some of the truth, for God, says Saint Paul, dwells in inaccessible light [1 Tim. 6.16], and, says John, God is light, and there is no darkness in him [1 Jn. 1.5]. The same idea is present in the related Sanskrit deva, and in Greek Zeus. Other languages associate God with sheer power, especially the mysterious power of the spirit, as in Algonquin manitou. But most words for God will suggest to us something that he does, or something that we do for him. Greek theos is related to words having to do with things specially set aside for God as holy, as in Latin festa, feast, and fanum, the sacred place, the shrine. God is rich, and abounding in good things that he will dispense to those who worship him aright, and so we have Sanskrit bhaga, gracious lord, patron, and Slavic bog, wealthy, fortunate, and hence the



giver of wealth. We find a somewhat similar idea in the Semitic name of the deity worshiped by the Canaanites, Ba’al, lord, that is, he who has taken possession. We are not sure where the English god comes from, but the best guesses seem to have to do with invoking or pouring out a drink offering. And then comes the Hebrew, the name so holy that it may not be uttered, except by the high priest on the Day of Atonement, the name whose four consonants – we are not entirely certain of the vowels – are YHWH. We know that the name has to do with sheer being, and that is why the Jewish translators of the Greek Septuagint have God saying to Moses, that he should tell the children of Israel that HO ON has sent him to them, that is, the BEING, he who is. That, I believe, is the single greatest element in all of revelation, that God is not most properly thought of as having this or that feature, or as doing this or that thing, but as simply and fully being, so that his essential act, as Thomas Aquinas will say, is to be. When the vocal atheists of our time say they do not believe in God, they invariably have in mind a figure of man’s mythical imagination, a finite personage, a someone or other who can catch this and miss that, or who cannot possibly care about the numbered hairs of our heads, or the sparrows that fall to the ground, so busy he is with galactic matters. He may get

The names of God sometimes denote one of His attributes, like “shining.” The Hebrew God had the central attribute of “being” — “I am who am”

some things done, but no one would say of him that he simply and boundlessly is. Such an imaginary figure, such a character, is not to be found in the Jewish scriptures. Which brings me back to the beginning of Genesis. There, the author calls God by the honorable and mysteriously plural title Elohim, Lord. But I believe he has the holy name in mind. The first word that God utters in Genesis is yehi, let there be, in the creative command, yehi ‘or, may light be, let light exist. It is a play on his very name. God, who exists not as anything else exists, by virtue of some prior cause, and bounded by its distinguishing characteristics, but rather solely because he is, creates by communicating existence itself to what is to be. Light exists not because God did something or other with the material world in front of him, but because God himself exists, and in an act of what we might call creative love or even creative mercy, he gave to the light a share of his existence. To be a creature, even the first creature of all, which is light, is to share in due measure in the existence of God. Then when God says, Let us make man in our image,

after our likeness, we can suppose it means nothing other and nothing less than what we have already been given to know about God. God communicates existence, and he declares that what he has created is good. If man is like God, then man too is a maker, though not a creator, and an appreciator of goodness. Man exists as other creatures do, but not only so; and here we may sense a first opening to the revelation that man has a soul, and that his soul is mysteriously incompatible with death. As light is the first, so man is the final and culminating creation. Man is endowed with light, and is made for the light. Alas, in attempting to make himself like God on his own terms, by his own efforts, even by a sort of technological use of some created thing, like an apple on a tree, man reduces himself, denies that the root of his very being is in God, and then his habit will be to reduce God likewise, to reduce him from the God who essentially is, to a character, or even a thing, like a stick or a stone. Such is the darkness of sin. But God who creates is also God who redeems. And that is another story.m

Clementine Latin Vulgate & Douay/Rheims English Bible


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The Message of the Icon




either the Protoevangelium nor the Gospels mention whether Joachim and Anna were actually able to meet their Divine Grandson in the flesh. The presumption is that they passed to their eternal reward well before the birth of the Messiah. After all, they were rather elderly even before the birth of their daughter. So, it seems that in temporal terms they may have had to wait until the Ascension of Jesus before they were able to greet Him with a grandparents’ hug and a kiss. But even then, the issue remains murky, for presumably they would need to wait until the General Resurrection and the reunion of body and soul before so greeting Him. But such speculation is, perhaps, quite beside the point. We can be certain that the salvation of Joachim and Anna is assured, and that they were full citizens of God’s Kingdom even before the Ascension. They were witnesses to the entrance of Jesus, Body and Spirit, Humanity and Divinity, triumphantly taking His place at the right hand of His Father (whatever that might mean, since the Father is Himself bodiless). Spiritual relationships can often be quite confusing! Again, the mechanics of interpersonal relationships in heaven are not known in detail and are no doubt quite beyond earth-bound human comprehension. However, it would seem inarguable that some special bond exists even in the heavenly realm between the principal actors in momentous events. Thus, the icon depicts a threegeneration portrait of the single most significant family in history. Joachim and Anna provide spiritual support for their daughter, who in turn is shown bearing her divine Son in her womb; the medallion icon is generally known as the Panaghia, or All-Holy, to denote the holiness of Mary above all other saints. A variant of the icon is known as the Platytera, or She Who is Wider

than the Heavens, often found in the sanctuary or the ceiling of churches of the East. Significantly, Joachim and Anna are depicted holding their daughter, as shown by their hands beneath the medallion; saints are not generally formed in a vacuum, but rely on a support system of family, friends and holy advisors to reach their exalted spiritual state. “No man is an island” in the poet’s words, and the icon drives home the point that all human relationships go toward forming souls, either for good or ill. The influence of Joachim and Anna clearly worked for the good; probably partly due to their influence Mary was brought to utter her worldchanging “Let it be done unto me.” There were of course a great many more ancestors of the Messiah. The great extended family dating back to the dawn of human history are implicitly present in the icon as well. Mundane science informs us that the genetic inheritance of David and Solomon, of Noah, the Patriarchs and so many others dwelt in these four figures. Most of these ancestors of God, we hope, enjoy the same beatitude depicted in our icon; some, perhaps, may be missing from the great family reunion, since not all the forebears of Jesus could exactly be termed righteous. A larger picture yet may be discerned: among His many other gifts, the Messiah brought us the means to also be incorporated into His family circle. We are children of the heavenly Royal Family by adoption, of course. We are not divine by our nature, obviously, but the grace of God allows us entrance to the family estate. But further than that, we are actually able to claim a certain blood relationship to the family, for the Eucharistic Blood of Jesus our High Priest and King runs in our veins as well!m

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




present area of North Macedonia and much of Bulhere are more than 190 nations in the world togaria. day, and the Catholic Church has a presence in In 1959 the Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate recogalmost all of them. Regardless of the country, nized the Macedonian Orthodox Church (“MOC”) as Catholics and their bishops share a unity because of an autonomous organization within the structure of the global jurisdiction of the Pope. There are a few the Patriarchate. However, in 1967, the MOC deexceptions, such as the creation of the Chinese Patriclared that it was an autocephalous church comotic Catholic Association by the People’s Republic of pletely independent of the Patriarchate. Since that China. However, there has not been a general trend time, neither the Serbian Patriarchate nor any other for the Catholic faithful or their bishops to seek a Local Orthodox Church has completely independent recognized the MOC as an Catholic church for their autocephalous church. specific nation. Rather, it is considered a In contrast, for the Orschismatic church. thodox, who do not have a In 1991, with the breakup centralizing authority such of Yugoslavia, Macedonia as the Pope, there is a trend (now called North Macedoto establish independent nia) became an independent national churches, espenation. In 2002, a delegacially in countries where tion of the MOC negotiated Orthodoxy predominates. in the city of Nis an agreeThe governments of variPreparatory work for the 2016 ment with the Serbian Patrious Orthodox countries Great Pan-Orthodox Synod held in Crete archate establishing the have often pushed for the MOC as an autonomous church within the Patriarcreation of independent national churches which chate. However, the hierarchs of the MOC, except would be easier for the governments to control. Varfor Bishop Jovan, rejected the Nis agreement. The ious areas that were previously under the jurisdiction Serbian Patriarchate nevertheless applied this agreeof the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople during ment to establish its own “Ohrid Archbishopric” the Ottoman Empire formed independent national (“OA”) covering all Macedonia under Jovan. The churches during the nineteenth and twentieth cenOA remains part of the Patriarchate. turies. Examples are Greece, Romania, Serbia, BulAccordingly, there are now two competing Orthogaria, and Albania. dox organizations in North Macedonia – the MOC The process for a national Orthodox church to and the OA. The MOC remains by far the largest. form and obtain recognition from other Orthodox For a period of time, the OA suffered persecution churches can often be long and difficult. It may from the government including imprisonment of Josometimes be unsuccessful. An example of this difvan, but the persecution has now largely ended. Still, ficulty is the effort of the Macedonian Orthodox there is no solution in sight with respect to the recogChurch, located in the nation of North Macedonia, to nition of the MOC by other Orthodox churches. obtain recognition by other Orthodox churches. The existence of multiple national churches causes When the People’s Republic of Yugoslavia was esmajor problems for Orthodoxy. It makes it difficult tablished under Marshal Tito, the extreme southern for the Orthodox Church as a whole to speak on isportion of the country was designated the Socialist sues because of a lack of consensus between national Republic of Macedonia with a capital at Skopje. At churches. It also leads to “turf wars” between nathat time, this southern republic was under the juristional churches as to jurisdiction over certain areas. diction of the Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate. In The exercise of greater authority by the Ecumenical 1945, the Orthodox clergy in Macedonia began their Patriarch over national churches may be a partial soefforts to establish a church based on the historic lution.m Ohrid Archbishopric, which had encompassed the t Urbi et Orbi Foundation is a project of Urbi et Orbi Communications t 202-536-4555

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NEWS from the EAST




The Ecumenical Patriarchate in November honored the memory of its founder, the Holy Apostle Andrew the FirstCalled. On November 30, a solemn Divine Liturgy was presided by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. The Divine Liturgy was attended by the official delegation of the Church of Rome, headed by His Eminence Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. At the end of the Divine Liturgy, the Ecumenical Patriarch addressed the official delegation of the Roman Catholic Church: “Filled with sentiments of love and honor, we greet and welcome you here at the festive Phanar, as you honorably bear the festal wishes of His Holiness Pope Francis. We entreat Your beloved Eminence to convey to His Holiness our brother the wholehearted thanks of the Church of Constantinople and our Modesty for graciously sending your Delegation and for the participation of the Church of Rome in the events of our Thronal Feast.” “We communicate our sincere gratitude to our brother Pope Francis for his kind words on our completion of 30 years since we were elected to the Throne of Andrew, the First-Called of the Apostles,” along with our fervent wishes for his forthcoming 85th birthday. Finally, we pray that He who is glorified in His Apostles Andrew and Peter, who imitated and participated in the Lord’s Passion and founded our Churches, may grant you unfailing health and every blessing from above for the continuation of your noble ministry in the Church, and we close with special honor and deep love in the Lord.” Following the address of the Ecumenical Patriarch, Cardinal Kurt Koch responded by reading a message from Pope Francis: “Beloved brother in Christ, along the path towards full communion between our Churches, we are sustained by the intercession of the holy brothers Peter and Andrew, our patron saints. The full unity for which we yearn is, of course, a gift from God, through the grace of the Holy Spirit. May our Lord help us to be ready to embrace this gift through prayer, interior conversion and openness to seeking and offering pardon.” “With these heartfelt sentiments, I renew my warm good wishes for the feast of Saint Andrew, and exchange with Your All Holiness an embrace of peace.” (Ecupatria)

The Orthodox Divine Liturgy was celebrated December 20 on the Old Calendar feast of Saint Ambrose of Milan, one of the greatest Western Church Fathers, in the Sant’Ambrogio Basilica where the Holy Hierarch’s relics are kept. The Liturgy was served by Metropolitan Anthony of Korsun and Western Europe (Moscow Patriarchate), Archimandrite Ambrose (Makar) from the Saint Ambrose of Milan parish in Milan, and Moscow Patriarchate clergy from throughout Italy. The service was sung by a choir from the Kiev Theological Academy and Seminary and the choir of the local Saint Ambrose Church. (OrthoChristian)

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PATRIARCH KIRILL: CHURCH MUST NOT SEGREGATE ON BASIS OF VACCINATION Regardless of what happens in society, the Church must never become a place that is segregated based on vaccination status, the Russian Patriarch told the clergy of Moscow December 21. The annual diocesan meeting of the clergy of the city of Moscow was held under the chairmanship of Patriarch Kirill yesterday. Many are concerned about the topic of vaccination and there are strong disagreements about both it in society and in the Church, the Patriarch noted. Speaking for himself, he said: “This is a purely medical issue, a matter of personal choice and responsibility,” reminding the clergy that he has been vaccinated. The Patriarch was vaccinated in March. Though the Church has never officially revealed which of the Russian vaccines he received, various outlets have reported, with reference to sources close to the Patriarch, that he received either EpiVacCorona or CoviVac. However, “even if the entire world becomes an arena of segregation on the basis of immunity, the Church must remain free from such segregation and accept all people who are seeking Christ,” he emphasized. (OrthoChristian)

FILM INDUSTRY PROMOTES FALLEN MAN AS AN IDEAL, SAYS PATRIARCH KIRILL While the Apostle Paul calls us to put off the old and to be renewed in Christ, much in society rather holds up the old, fallen man as an ideal to be emulated, the Russian Pa- t Urbi et Orbi Foundation is a project of Urbi et Orbi Communications t 202-536-4555

triarch preached on December 26. “This old man is present as an ideal in fiction, and especially in modern cinematography,” the Patriarch said. It is “offered to us again and again, this idea of the old man, as a living ideal. Most often, it’s from the media and modern culture that we most often encounter the propaganda of this old man,” he added, in his homily at Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral. The old man is the fallen man, guided by his emotions, passions, and sinful thoughts, the Patriarch explained. Conversely, the call to put off the old man is “a call to spiritual vigilance, to ensure that we don’t let the old man as an ideal into our consciousness, into our heart.” (OrthoChristian)

nities of the Holy Land before the New Year. Theophilus III, Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and All Palestine, spoke on behalf of Christians of the Holy Land and thanked the president of Israel and the minister for internal affairs for their prolific work in supporting the multicultural status of Jerusalem and the country as a whole. He also emphasized the need for additional support from the state in opposing the ultra-right wing religious Jewish communities who violate the rights of Christians and who are trying to destroy the interreligious balance in Jerusalem, and the Patriarch expressed his desire that the time of hope and joy which the feast of Christ’s Nativity brings would become such for the whole world. (Mospat)



Pope Francis met with Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk on December 22 amid rising expectations of a second encounter between the Pope and the head of the Russian Orthodox Church in 2022. The Holy See press office said that the Pope received the chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate before his general audience. The Pope had announced the meeting with Metropolitan Hilarion during his in-flight press conference on his return from Greece on December 6, saying that the bishop was visiting him “to arrange a possible meeting” with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow. (CNA)

THE PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM THEOPHILUS SPEAKS ON THE NEED TO PRESERVE THE INTERRELIGIOUS STATUS QUO IN THE HOLY LAND On December 29, in the presidential residence of Jerusalem, a traditional reception took place which the Israeli president gave for the heads and representatives of the Christian Churches and commu-

The head of the Russian Church’s Kazakhstan Metropolitan District made an emergency appeal January 5 in connection with the current situation in the country. The President Tokayev of Kazakhstan declared a state of emergency in Almaty, the capital city of Nur-Sultan, and the western province of Mangistau after thousands took to the streets throughout the country, clashing with police and storming the mayor’s office in Almaty. Rallies began several days ago with protestors calling for a cheaper liquefied natural gas. Dozens of rioters have reportedly been killed, and about 1,000 injured. Metropolitan Alexander of Astana and Kazakhstan called upon the nation: “The head of state addressed the protesters with a noble proposal to return to the path of trust and dialogue. For the sake of the future of independent Kazakhstan, we must follow this call and stop inciting any conflicts.” “I appeal to all decision-makers: Stop the hostile confrontation and enter into real negotiations to establish peace and justice. There can be no winners in internecine conflict, there can be no political gains that would be more valuable than people’s lives.” (OrthoChristian).m

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

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Of Books, Art and People


Italy’s FIrst Woman archItect n BY LUCY GORDAN Plautilla’s Madonna and Child that caused her to take a vow of chastity. In the circle, an idealized portrait probably of Plautilla Bricci


wrote the essay Una certa donna che elania G. Mazzucco, born vive ancora for its splendid catalog in Rome on October 6, (34.50 euros). 1966, is one of Italy’s most The some 40 works-of-art on disdistinguished authors. She writes play, with the exception of an “idealfiction, scholarly tomes, art historiized” possible portrait of Plautilla on cal essays, and historical novels. loan from a private collection in Los Her first international success was Angeles, all come from museums, Vita (2003) about a brother, Diaprivate collections, libraries, and mante (based on Mazzucco’s paterarchives in Italy, the majority being nal grandfather), and his sister Vita, in Rome: the Galleria Corsini, Gallewho, at only ages 12 and 9, in 1930 ria Spada, Palazzo Barberini, Bibimmigrated alone to New York. lioteca Nazionale, Archivio di Stato, That same year, 2003, Vita won the The Vatican Library and Museums, prestigious Strega literary prize and Gabinetto delle Stampe, Istituto was translated into English but still Centrale per la Grafica, and the with the same Italian title. MazzucCollezione Fagiolo dell’Arco. co’s scholarly art history tomes are The exhibition is divided into also multi-prize-winning: Jacomo nine sections: The Baroque en Rose Tintoretto & I suoi figli. Storia di about Plautilla’s early training from her father Giovanni una famiglia veneziana (2009) about the painter Tintoretto (1579-1645), a versatile artist himself: painter, musician, and his family, and Il Museo del Mondo (2014), the stories amateur composer, engraver, poet, and comedian; Bricci’s of 52 masterpiece paintings (for a complete list of the partnership with Abbot Elpidio Benedetti (1610-1690), the painters and the titles of their works, click on www.abelfactotum and confidante of Cardinal Giulio Mazarin and an and then on il museo del mondo. Mazzucco’s agent of the King of France, who became Plautilla’s two art historical novels are biographies of the 16th and strongest supporter and then colleague; Defying Death: 17th century female artists: La lunga attesa dell’angelo Bricci’s relationship with Cardinal Mazarin (1602-1661) (2008) about Marietta Robusti, Tintoretto’s daughter, and who commissioned foremostly Architettrice (2019) about PlautilPlautilla’s Standard The Baptism and Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist Benedetti but also Plautilla to dela Bricci, a painter as well as sign his tomb; Very Beautiful BanItaly’s first woman architect ner about her masterpiece for the (1616-1705). An immediate bestCompagnia della Misericordia in seller and also winner of MazzucPoggio Mirteto, a village not far co’s second Strega Prize, Arfrom Rome, where Elpidio had chitettrice was certainly the inbeen born; Trinità dei Monti and spiration for the first monographcelebrations about her and ic exhibition ever about Plautilla: Benedetti’s architectural plans, A Silent Revolution. Plautilla never executed, for central Rome; Bricci, Painter and “ArchitecPlautilla’s Freedom: The Miracutress,” on until April 19 in Trastelous Icon of Santa Maria in Montevere’s newly-restored Renaissanto; Plautilla, the Painter; The sance Palazzo Corsini. Mazzucco 52 INSIDE THE VATICAN MARCH-APRIL 2022

form the monumental stairway on Altarpiece of St. Louis in Rome’s the slopes of the Pincio Hill and Church of San Luigi dei Francesi; more, but for political reasons none and Plautilla the Architect: Villa del of their projects, shown in Trinità dei Vascello. Monti: Plans and Celebrations, Of particular interest in The were ever executed. According to the Baroque en Rose are the portrait by press kit, the reason was that Pope an unknown artist, possibly of Plau“Alexander VII [Don’t miss Bernitilla, on loan from a private collecni’s terracotta bust] could not bear tion in Los Angeles, and Allegoria the idea of there being a large–scale dell’architettura, again by an unarchitectural project in the center of known artist but used by Mazzucco Rome that fatally resembled a celeas the cover of her book. On display bration of Louis XIV.” in Bricci’s Partnership with Elpidio The next section, Plautilla’s FreeBenedetti are magnificent embroidom: The Miraculous Icon of Santa deries stitched by Elpidio’s father, Maria in Montesanto is a flashback Andrea, who was also an art dealer. to 1640 and can be considered an inThey include a lavish chasuble and Cortona’s portrait of troductory section to the next section, corporal burse from the liturgical Cardinal Mazarin. Plautilla as a Painter. On display here is vestments donated to the Bologna Right, the cover of Mazzucco’s book one of her earliest paintings (1640), The Cathedral by Pope Gregory XV. For Icon of Santa Maria in Montesanto, which Plautilla began her artistic career as an embroiderer in Anbrought her to public attention, but which dreas’s Roman workshop. Elpidio also learned his trade as also changed her life. For, as the press kit an art dealer and intermediary from his father. tells us: “Meant to be displayed in a small chapel that no After Cardinal Mazarin left Rome in 1639 never to relonger exists, this Carmelite icon bears young Plautilla’s turn, Elpidio nevertheless provided him with special Italian signature on the back, along with the enlightening handwines, clothing, fine horses, furniture, and art. Probably Elwritten note also stuck onto the back to convey the memory pidio was the negotiator of the Cardinal’s portrait by Pietro of this prodigy: ‘This image was painted in 1640 by Plauda Cortona, painted remotely in December 1641 at the behest of Pope Urban VIII. Loaned by Plautilla’s altarpiece of St. Louis for San Luigi dei Francesi tilla Bricci, a spinster, who, as she herself often told our fathers, having a private collection in Rome, it’s on erroneously shaded some parts of the display in Defying Death: Bricci’s Madonna’s face because she had Relationship with Cardinal Mazarin never painted it on a large scale, for the first time ever. From then on, found it miraculously perfected.’” for the next 20 years Plautilla continThus Plautilla took a vow of chastity, ued to collaborate with Cortona and perhaps to avoid an arranged marwith Elpidio. On display here are alriage or more likely to have the freeso some preparatory drawings by Eldom to paint. pidio and Plautilla for Mazarin’s Plautilla’s life-changing canvas is tomb in Paris. on display in Plautilla: The Painter. In the next section, The Very Again the press kit tells us that PlauBeautiful Banner, again thanks to the tilla “was publicly consecrated as a mediation of Elpidio, is Plautilla’s painter in the 1660s, when by then in masterpiece. It is the only canvas, her fifties, she received two imporpainted on both sides by her, for tant commissions for the complex of which we have a definite date (the San Giovanni in Laterano: a large 1675 Jubilee). It illustrates the birth tempera lunette, The Presentation of and martyrdom of the Compagnia the Sacred Heart of Jesus to the della Miseracordia’s protector saint: Eternal Father (1669-74)” on loan St. John the Baptist. from the Vatican Museums and disBy now Plautilla’s and Elpidio’s played here for the first time, and the partnership was solidified and they lost canvasses with Saint Francis and worked together on plans to transMARCH-APRIL 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN 53

Of Books, Art and People St. Dominic for a series of grisaille in the Garibaldi’s freedom fighters seeking to unify complex’s Oratorio del Santissimo SacraItaly, this campaign was not successful. On mento. Also on display here is the altardisplay here are a few of Plautilla’s survivpiece depicting St. Louis, in Rome’s French ing preparatory drawings and works by latChurch of San Luigi dei Francesi (1676er artists showing what was to have been 1680) at the center of the chapel that she’d her masterpiece but in ruins. designed for Elpidio. The exhibition owes part of its title, “A Also on display here and again thanks to Silent Revolution” to the meeting of PlautilElpidio’s support, is Plautilla’s Madonna of la’s rare artistic talent with her enlightened the Rosary on loan from the Cathedral in sponsor, Elpidio Benedetti, who was willPoggio Mirteto. It is her last currently ing to offer constant encouragement and known painting (1683-1687). protection to the woman, who, at least from Plautilla, the Architect: Villa del Vascello is 1655 on, had become his “resident artist.” the exhibition’s last section. We know that again In 1677 Plautilla and her brother Basilio, also thanks to Elpidio, Plautilla established hera painter and architect, who’d worked with Plautilself as an architect, a field reserved up to la on the Villa Vascello, moved to Borgo Nuovo The Madonna of the Rosary then only for men, and was known as “Ar- with Sts. Dominic and Liborio, di San Francesco a Ripa in Trastevere to a chitettrice” (like the title of Mazzucco’s volhouse which belonged to Elpidio. To make sure Plautilla’s last painting ume). She worked on Villa Benedetti aka Villa she’d be cared for should he predecease her, in Vascello, or the “Ship” Villa, outside Porta San Pancrazio, his will Elipidio had left the dwelling to Plautilla for her at the top of the Janiculum Hill beginning in 1662-1663. lifetime. This bizarre edifice, which resembled a ship on the top Plautilla died on December 13, 1705 at the monastery of of a cliff, was Plautilla’s most notable achievement. Sadly, Santa Maria in Trastevere, where she had moved in 1692 it was almost completely destroyed in 1849 by the canon soon after Basilio’s death. She is buried in Santa Maria in fire of the French army defending Pope Pius IX against Trastevere next to her beloved brother.m

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

LORD OF THE WORLD BY ROBERT HUGH BENSON (1907) BOOK II-THE ENCOUNTER. CHAPTER III (Note: The hero of the story, a young English priest named Fr. Percy Franklin, has come to Rome to report directly to the Pope on what he has seen in England: the emergence of a popular political figure who seems entirely humanistic, and so to have one of the characteristics of... the anti-Christ. Percy has just met the “Papa Angelicus” who is now 89, and has been Pope for nine years. Percy has briefed the Pope, and proposed to the Pope the creation of a new “Order of the Cross.“ Percy is now staying in Rome...) His heart quickened as he saw it—as he swept his eyes round and across to the right and saw as in a mirror the replica of the left in the right transept. It was there then that they sat—those lonely survivors of that strange company of persons who, till half-a-century ago, had reigned as God's temporal Vicegerents with the consent of their subjects. They were unrecognised, now, save by Him from whom they drew their sovereignty—pinnacles clustering and hanging from a dome, from which the walls had been withdrawn. These were men and women who had learned at last that power comes from above, and their title to rule came not from their subjects but from the Supreme Ruler of all—shepherds without sheep, captains without soldiers to command. It was piteous—horribly piteous, yet inspiring. The act of faith was so sublime; and Percy's heart quickened as he understood it. These, then, men and women like himself, were not ashamed to appeal from man to God, to assume insignia which the world regarded as playthings, but which to them were emblems of supernatural commission. Was there not mirrored here, he asked himself, some far-off shadow of One Who rode on the colt of an ass amid the sneers of the great and the enthusiasm of children?… ***** It was yet more kindling as the mass went on, and he saw the male sovereigns come down to do their services at the altar, and to go to and fro between it and the Throne. There they went barehead56


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.

ed, the stately silent figures. The English king, once again Fidei Defensor, bore the train in place of the old king of Spain, who, with the Austrian Emperor, alone of all European sovereigns, had preserved the unbroken continuity of faith. The old man leaned over his fald-stool, mumbling and weeping, even crying out now and again in love and devotion, as, like Simeon, he saw his Salvation. The Austrian Emperor twice administered the Lavabo; the German sovereign, who had lost his throne and all but his life upon his conversion four years before, by a new privilege placed and withdrew the cushion, as his Lord kneeled before the Lord of them both. So movement by movement the gorgeous drama was enacted; the murmuring of the crowds died to a stillness that was but one wordless prayer as the tiny White Disc rose between the white hands, and the thin angelic music pealed in the dome. For here was the one hope of these thousands, as mighty and as little as once within the Manger. There was none other that fought for them but only God. Surely then, if the blood of men and the tears of women could not avail to move the Judge and Observer of all from His silence, surely at least here the bloodless Death of His only Son, that once on Calvary had darkened heaven and rent the earth, pleaded now with such sorrowful splendour upon this island of faith amid a sea of laughter and hatred—this at least must avail! How could it not? ***** Percy had just sat down, tired out with the long ceremonies, when the door opened abruptly, and the Cardinal, still in his robes, came in swiftly, shutting the door behind him. "Father Franklin," he said, in a strange breathless voice, "there is the worst of news. Felsenburgh is appointed President of Europe." II It was late that night before Percy returned, completely exhausted by his labours. For hour after hour he had sat with the Cardinal, opening despatches that poured into the electric receivers from all over Europe, and were brought in one by one into the quiet sitting-room. Three times in the afternoon the Cardinal had been sent for, once by the Pope and twice to the Quirinal.

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

There was no doubt at all that the news was true; and it seemed that Felsenburgh must have waited deliberately for the offer. All others he had refused. There had been a Convention of the Powers, each of whom had been anxious to secure him, and each of whom had severally failed; these private claims had been withdrawn, and an united message sent. The new proposal was to the effect that Felsenburgh should assume a position hitherto undreamed of in democracy; that he should receive a House of Government in every capital of Europe; that his veto of any measure should be final for three years; that any measure he chose to introduce three times in three consecutive years should become law; that his title should be that of President of Europe. From his side practically nothing was asked, except that he should refuse any other official position offered him that did not receive the sanction of all the Powers. And all this, Percy saw very well, involved the danger of an united Europe increased tenfold. It involved all the stupendous force of Socialism directed by a brilliant individual. It was the combination of the strongest characteristics of the two methods of government. The offer had been accepted by Felsenburgh after eight hours' silence. It was remarkable, too, to observe how the news had been accepted by the two other divisions of the world. The East was enthusiastic; America was divided. But in any case America was powerless: the balance of the world was overwhelmingly against her. Percy threw himself, as he was, on to his bed, and lay there with drumming pulses, closed eyes and a huge despair at his heart. The world indeed had risen like a giant over the horizons of Rome, and the holy city was no better now than a sand castle before a tide. So much he grasped. As to how ruin would come, in what form and from what direction, he neither knew nor cared. Only he knew now that it would come. He had learned by now something of his own temperament; and he turned his eyes inwards to observe himself bitterly, as a doctor in mortal disease might with a dreadful complacency diagnose his own symptoms. It was even a relief to turn from the monstrous mechanism of the world to see in miniature one hopeless human heart. For his own religion he no longer feared; he knew, as absolutely as a man may know the colour of his eyes, that it was secure again and beyond shaking. During those weeks in Rome the cloudy deposit had run clear and the channel was once more visible. Or, better still, that vast erection of dogma, ceremony, custom and morals in which he had been educated, and on which he had looked all his life (as a man may stare upon some great set-piece that bewilders him), seeing now one spark of light, now another, flare and wane in the darkness, had little by little kindled and revealed itself in one stupendous blaze of divine fire that explains itself. Huge principles, once bewildering and even repellent, were again luminously self-evident; he saw, for example, that while Humanity-Religion endeavoured to abolish suffering the Divine Religion embraced it, so that the blind pangs even of beasts were within the Father's Will and Scheme; or that

while from one angle one colour only of the web of life was visible—material, or intellectual, or artistic—from another the Supernatural was as eminently obvious. Humanity-Religion could only be true if at least half of man's nature, aspirations and sorrows were ignored. Christianity, on the other hand, at least included and accounted for these, even if it did not explain them. This … and this … and this … all made the one and perfect whole. There was the Catholic Faith, more certain to him than the existence of himself: it was true and alive. He might be damned, but God reigned. He might go mad, but Jesus Christ was Incarnate Deity, proving Himself so by death and Resurrection, and John his Vicar. These things were as the bones of the Universe—facts beyond doubting—if they were not true, nothing anywhere was anything but a dream. Difficulties?—Why, there were ten thousand. He did not in the least understand why God had made the world as it was, nor how Hell could be the creation of Love, nor how bread was transubstantiated into the Body of God but—well, these things were so. He had travelled far, he began to see, from his old status of faith, when he had believed that divine truth could be demonstrated on intellectual grounds. He had learned now (he knew not how) that the supernatural cried to the supernatural; the Christ without to the Christ within; that pure human reason indeed could not contradict, yet neither could it adequately prove the mysteries of faith, except on premisses visible only to him who receives Revelation as a fact; that it is the moral state, rather than the intellectual, to which the Spirit of God speaks with the greater certitude. That which he had both learned and taught he now knew, that Faith, having, like man himself, a body and a spirit—an historical expression and an inner verity—speaks now by one, now by another. This man believes because he sees—accepts the Incarnation or the Church from its credentials; that man, perceiving that these things are spiritual facts, yields himself wholly to the message and authority of her who alone professes them, as well as to the manifestation of them upon the historical plane; and in the darkness leans upon her arm. Or, best of all, because he has believed, now he sees. So he looked with a kind of interested indolence at other tracts of his nature. First, there was his intellect, puzzled beyond description, demanding, Why, why, why? Why was it allowed? How was it conceivable that God did not intervene, and that the Father of men could permit His dear world to be so ranged against Him? What did He mean to do? Was this eternal silence never to be broken? It was very well for those that had the Faith, but what of the countless millions who were settling down in contented blasphemy? Were these not, too, His children and the sheep of His pasture? What was the Catholic Church made for if not to convert the world, and why then had Almighty God allowed it, on the one side, to dwindle to a handful, and, on the other, the world to find its peace apart from Him? (To be continued) m INSIDE THE VATICAN MARCH-APRIL 2022


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

DECEMBER WEDNESDAY 8 POPE FRANCIS MAKES EARLY MORNING VISIT TO IMMACULATE CONCEPTION STATUE IN ROME Pope Francis made an early morning visit to the statue of the Immaculate Conception in Rome’s Piazza di Spagna. The Pope made the private visit shortly after 6 a.m. on December 8, days after the Vatican announced that, for the second consecutive year, he would not make his customary public afternoon trip to the site on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception due to the pandemic. The Vatican said on November 27 that, in place of a public visit, Pope Francis would mark the feast day by asking the Virgin Mary in prayer “to protect the Romans, the city in which they live, and the sick who need Her maternal protection everywhere in the world.” The press office said that the Pope left at around 6:20 a.m. and traveled to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, where he prayed before the icon of Salus Populi Romani, Mary Protection of the Roman People, before returning to the Vatican shortly after 7 a.m. (CNA) THURSDAY 16 POPE FRANCIS: HALVING OF JESUIT NUMBERS WORLDWIDE IS A LESSON IN HUMILITY In a private meeting with Jesuits on December 4, Pope Francis said that a sharp decline in the prominent religious order’s membership is an opportunity to learn humility. “One thing that calls for attention is the diminution of the Society. When I entered the novitiate, we were 33,000 Jesuits. How many are there now? More or less half,” the Pope said during a private meeting with Jesuits in Athens, Greece. His comments were published on December 16 in the Jesuit-run journal La Civiltà Cattolica. “What does the Lord mean by this? Humble yourself, humble yourself! I don’t know if I have explained myself,” said Francis, the first Jesuit Pope. “We have to get used to humiliation.” (CNA) SATURDAY 25 CHRISTMAS URBI ET ORBI BLESSING 2021: POPE FRANCIS ASKS WORLD LEADERS TO BE OPEN TO DIALOGUE Giving his traditional Christmas “Urbi et Orbi” blessing on December 25, Pope Francis urged leaders to be open to 58 INSIDE THE VATICAN MARCH-APRIL 2022

dialogue to resolve the world’s many “conflicts, crises, and disagreements.” Speaking from the central balcony overlooking a rainy Saint Peter’s Square, the Pope said that people had become so accustomed to disputes that “by now we hardly even notice them.” Referring to the baby Jesus, he said: “In the cold of the night, he stretches out his tiny arms towards us: he is in need of everything, yet he comes to give us everything. Let us ask him for the strength to be open to dialogue.” (CNA) SUNDAY 26 POPE FRANCIS ENCOURAGES MARRIED COUPLES TO RELY ON CHRIST IN LETTER FOR FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY On the Feast of the Holy Family, Pope Francis encouraged married couples to rely on the strength of Christ and his graces as they weather the storms of life together. In a letter to spouses December 26, Pope Francis wrote that “marriage, as a vocation, calls you to steer a tiny boat — wave-tossed yet sturdy, thanks to the reality of the sacrament — across a sometimes stormy sea.” “Let us never forget, though, that by virtue of the sacrament of matrimony, Jesus is present in that boat,” the Pope added. “He is concerned for you and he remains at your side amid the tempest.” Pope Francis’ letter was written for the Amoris Laetitia Family Year, which began on March 19, 2021, the Solemnity of Saint Joseph. The celebration will conclude in June 2022 with the 10th edition of the World Meeting of Families, which will be held in Rome. (CNA)

JANUARY SATURDAY 1 POPE FRANCIS: LET US PLACE THE NEW YEAR UNDER THE PROTECTION OF MARY On New Year’s Day, Pope Francis encouraged people to place their lives under the protection of Mary, the Mother of God. “The new year begins under the sign of the Holy Mother of God, under the sign of the Mother. A mother’s gaze is the path to rebirth and growth. We need mothers, women who look at the world not to exploit it, but so that it can have life,” Pope Francis said in Saint Peter’s Basilica on January 1. At the beginning of the New Year, then, let us place ourselves under

Opposite, a CNS photo illustration by Mike Crupi, Catholic Courier. Here below, a family during the Pope’s Sunday noon Angelus prayer in Piazza San Pietro. Bottom, Pope Francis holds a record under his arm as he leaves the Stereo Sound shop in Rome (CNS photo/Javier Martinez-Brocal)

the protection of this woman, the Mother of God, who is also our mother. May she help us to keep and ponder all things, unafraid of trials and with the joyful certainty that the Lord is faithful and can transform every cross into a resurrection,” the Pope said. (CNA) WEDNESDAY 5 POPE FRANCIS: SOCIETY LOSES WHEN “DOGS AND CATS TAKE THE PLACE OF CHILDREN” Pope Francis said on January 5 that it is a civilizational loss when dogs and cats replace children in society, encouraging couples to “take the risk” to become parents. “The other day, I was talking about the demographic winter that we have today … many couples do not have children because they do not want to, or they have just one — but they have two dogs, two cats,” Pope Francis said at his general audience. “Yes, dogs and cats take the place of children. Yes, it’s funny, I understand, but it is the reality, and this denial of fatherhood and motherhood diminishes us, takes away humanity.” Speaking in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall, the Pope said that with this “selfishness” on the part of some couples, “civilization becomes older” as the “richness of fatherhood and motherhood is lost.” “I ask Saint Joseph for the grace to awaken consciences and think about this: about having children. Fatherhood and motherhood are the fullness of a person’s life. Think about this,” he said. (CNA) THURSDAY 13 POPE’S MUSIC LIBRARY CONTAINS NEARLY 2,000 CDS, INCLUDES ELVIS Pope Francis’ music library contains nearly 2,000 CDs and 19 vinyl records, according to the Vatican cardinal who is curating the collection. While it is mostly made up of classical music, it also includes: an old album of Édith Piaf’s greatest hits; Argentine tango tunes, especially by Astor Piazzolla; and a 25-disc collection of Elvis Presley’s Gospel songs, said Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture. In an interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera January 13, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi said he was not at all surprised when he saw images of Pope Francis walking out of a Rome music store with an album tucked under his

arm January 11. “In fact, I can’t wait to find out what it is. I hope he sends it to me soon,” the cardinal said. (CNS) MONDAY 17 POPE RECEIVES CHAIRMAN OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA PRESIDENCY On January 17, Pope Francis met with Željko Komšić, current President of the Collegial Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, who afterwards met with Archbishop Paul R. Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States. “During the cordial talks held in the Secretariat of State, appreciation was expressed at the good existing bilateral relations, and the priorities of the collegial Presidency were discussed,” according to a statement from the Holy See Press Office following the audience. The President of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Archbishop Gallagher also focused on the domestic situation of the country, reiterating “the need to promote the legal and social equality of all citizens belonging to each constituent people,” the statement continues, adding that other discussions focused on “regional matters, including the situation of the western Balkan countries and the enlargement of the European Union.” (VaticanNews) TUESDAY 18 POPE FRANCIS TO CONFER NEW LAY MINISTRIES FOR FIRST TIME IN ST. PETER’S BASILICA The Vatican has announced that Pope Francis will confer the ministries of catechist, lector, and acolyte upon lay men and women for the first time in Saint Peter’s Basilica on January 23. Candidates from three continents will receive the new ministries during the papal Mass for the Sunday of the Word of God. Two people from the Amazonian region in Peru will be formally made catechists by the Pope, along with other candidates from Brazil, Ghana, Poland, and Spain. The ministry of lector will be conferred on lay Catholics from South Korea, Pakistan, Ghana, and Italy. Each of these ministries will be conferred through a rite prepared by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments that will be presented for the first time, according to a Vatican communique issued on January 18. (CNA)n MARCH-APRIL 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN



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

n VIETNAM’S NEW KOREAN ST. ANDREW KIM TO BE ENSHRINED IN AFRICA PRIESTS INSPIRED TO Some of the mortal remains of the first Korean MISSIONARY ZEAL Catholic priest, St. Andrew Kim Tae-gon, will be enA batch of new priests shrined in a church in Burkina Faso in West Africa. from two northern dioceThey will be kept at St. Joseph Church in the Archses in Vietnam are expectdiocese of Koupéla as the Korean Church ed to spread the word and celebrates the 200th birth anniversary of bring Catholic values to the saint who was martyred in the 19th local people. century. Archbishop Joseph Vu Van Thien Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, of Hanoi ordained 15 priests at Hoang the outgoing archbishop of Seoul, delivered Nguyen Church in the capital on Dethe relics of Saint Andrew Kim to Monsignor Julien Kaboré, cember 3, the feast of Saint Francis charge d’affaires of the apostolic nunciature in Manila and a Xavier, patron of all native of the Archdiocese of Koupéla, during a meeting in foreign missions. Seoul on November 23, according to a press release from The new priests are Seoul Archdiocese. (UCANews) in their 30s, except one who is 57. They had n HONG KONG’S NEW BISHOP PROMISES graduated in a variety of disciplines includBRIDGE BUILDING, HEALING ing electronics, English, French, history, inThe newly installed Catholic bishop of Hong Kong late formation technology, international relalast year promised action to heal Catholics, and the wider sotions, linguistics, psychology, sociology and Vietnamese ciety, divided because of the Chinese action to suppress a studies from local universities before finishing eight-year two-year-long protest seeking democratic freecourses in philosophy and theology at Saint Joseph Major doms. Bishop Stephen Chow Sau-yan also Seminary. (UCANews) stressed the Church’s role in the formation of young people in the city, which has witnessed n CHINA: MORE MARXISM, CONTROL pro-democracy protests led by university stuOF RELIGION dents in the past two years. He said he would The Chinese Communist Party’s national conference on work harder to foster the next generation of Catholics. religious affairs in December headed by Presi“It is my desire to be a bridge between the government dent Xi Jinping stressed the strict implemenand the Church in Hong Kong and between the Catholic tation of Marxist policies, increased online Church, fellow Christian denominations and other relisurveillance and tightening control of religion gions,” he told some 550 people gathered for the December to ensure national security. 4 consecration ceremony at Immaculate Conception CatheDuring the conference in Beijing on Decemdral. (CNS) ber 3 and 4, Xi emphasized the importance of “upholding the principle of developing religions in the POPE ADVANCES MULTIPLE SAINTHOOD CAUSES Chinese context and providing active Pope Francis signed a decree recognizing a miracle attribguidance for the adaptation of religions uted to the intercession of Blessed Titus Brandsma, clearing to socialist society,” according to a the way for the canonization of the 20th-century martyr murstatement from the CCP. dered at the Dachau concentration camp. Xi said China would further promote The Dutch Carmelite friar was sent to Dachau for treason — the Sinicization of religion, with a focus after defending Jews and press freedom — and was killed with on strengthening control of online relia lethal injection. gious affairs, and insisted that all reliThe Vatican announced Pope Francis’ decision in his case gious activities must be conducted withand a number of other sainthood causes on November 25. in the boundary of the law, reports XinPope Francis also recognized a miracle attributed to the inhua news agency. tercession of Blessed Carolina Santocanale, also known as “It is necessary to cultivate a team of Blessed Mary of Jesus, an Italian nun born in 1852, who foundparty and government cadres who are ed the Congregation of the Capuchin Sisters of the Immaculate proficient in Marxist religious views, faof Lourdes. miliar with religious work, and good at Among the other decrees signed, the Pope recognized the martyrdom of working with religious believers, and let five priests who were executed by members of the Paris Commune as its revthem study Marxist religious views, the olutionary government was violently crushed by the French Army in 1871. CCP’s religious work theories and poliThe Vatican did not immediately announce dates for the canonization cercies, and religious knowledge,” he said. emonies. (CNS) (UCANews) 60 INSIDE THE VATICAN MARCH-APRIL 2022


INDIAN PRELATE: “END VIOLENCE AGAINST CHRISTIANS” Archbishop Sebastian Durairaj of Bhopal , India, has urged authorities to end the continuing violence against Christians in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. “A section of our community is feeling insecure. That is why we met Home Minister Narottam Mishra, who has assured us of appropriate action,” the archbishop is reported to have said in a video message released after his meeting with the minister on December 7. He also appealed for action in the recent attack on St. Joseph School in Vidisha district by a 500-strong mob of Hindutva activists alleging the school management was converting students to Christianity.

Israel. They stayed for more than 12 hours, he said, as the parish staff cared for them. “I really want to mention this because I think it really is an indication of how well the message of how we should deal with those in need has really seeped through the community here,” Higgins said. (CNA)

n PHILIPPINE BISHOPS: “NO TO POLITICAL NEUTRALITY” Two senior Catholic prelates have urged fellow clergymen and the public to shun political neutrality when oppression exists. People cannot remain neutral in the battle between good and evil, Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen Dagupan and retired Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes said on December 12. They were responding to critics who say the separation of Church and state means that no clergyman can endorse political JOHN PAUL I TO BE BEATIFIED IN SEPTEMBER candidates. Pope Francis will beatify Pope John Paul I September 4, “When we are neutral and there is op2022, at the Vatican, according to Stefania Falasca, a journalist pression, we end up empowering the opand vice postulator of the late Pope’s sainthood cause. pressors,” Archbishop Villegas said durIn October, Pope Francis had signed a decree recognizing a ing a Mass on Gaudete Sunday. miracle attributed to the intercession of Pope John Paul I, clearIn an apparent dig at public support ing the way for his beatification. At the time, a date for the cerfor the present government, he said that emony was not announced. when someone becomes neutral by not Writing December 23 in Avvenire, the daily newspaper owned by the Italian denouncing death and corruption, they bishops’ conference, Falasca said the date had been set. become an ally of sin or the murderer. Pope John Paul I, an Italian who was born Albino Luciani, served only 33 The Church has been a vocal critic of days as pontiff; he died in the papal apartments September 28, 1978, three weeks Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte shy of his 66th birthday, shocking the world and a Church that had just mourned and his war on drugs, which has seen the death of Pope St. Paul VI. thousands of drug suspects killed, as well Although his was one of the shortest papacies in history, Pope John Paul I left as the deaths of activists after being a lasting impression on the Church that fondly remembers him as “the smiling branded rebel sympathizers. (UCANews) Pope.” (CNS)

Madhya Pradesh, like the rest of India, has witnessed a significant rise in violence against Christians this year. Over 300 incidents have been recorded across its 21 states, according to a fact-finding report by the Association for the Protection of Civil Rights (APCR) and United Against Hate and United Christian Forum (UCF). (UCANews) n PARISH’S ROLE HELPING SYNAGOGUE HOSTAGE FAMILIES When a gunman entered a nearby synagogue in Texas and took four people hostage, including the rabbi, Father Michael Higgins and his Catholic parish sprang into action. “We got a call from the police that they were looking for a safe space for the wife and daughter of Rabbi Charlie and for the spouses of the hostages out over at the synagogue,” the Franciscan friar said during his homily on January 16, the day after the attack. “We offered them a safe space.” The family members hid at his parish, Good Shepherd Catholic Community in Colleyville, Texas, located just a minute’s drive away from the synagogue, Congregation Beth

n CHURCH HELPS THOUSANDS FLEEING MYANMAR’S WAR The Catholic Church is helping evacuate and shelter thousands of people fleeing their homes in conflict-torn Kayah state in eastern Myanmar. It is also providing food and non-food supplies to those rendered homeless in and around the state capital Loikaw, where fighting has escalated since January 6. Myanmar’s military has continued airstrikes and artillery shelling even after two-thirds of the town’s population of around 50,000 people fled their homes, according to local aid groups. Father Francis Soe Naing, chancellor of Loikaw Diocese, said they were helping people from some parishes to move from their homes into the church compound. There were some who had arranged to move to safer areas by themselves, he added. Around 300 people have taken refuge inside the Christ the King Cathedral compound in Loikaw. The church was providing them food, shelter and non-food items. (UCANews)m MARCH-APRIL 2022 INSIDE THE VATICAN



Stefano Navarrini illustration



uring the past five years, among its numerous titles, all available from its website, The Sophia Institute Press has published three cookbooks, The Vatican Cookbook (2016, $34.95), Cooking with the Saints (April 2019, $34.95), and The Vatican Christmas Cookbook (September, 2020, $34.95). Mother Martha has reviewed all three in “Food For Thought” (August/September 2018), (September/October 2021) and (December 2000). The recipes in the Vatican cookbooks are by retired Swiss Guard David Geisser. On January 25, Sophia Institute Press released a fourth cookbook entitled The Lenten Cookbook (224 pages, $29.95). Like the three Vatican books, the 75 new international recipes in this fourth book are photographed by Roy Matter, a frequent collaborator behind the lens for Geisser. For those who haven’t seen my earlier articles, Geisser, born and raised in the Wetzikon District of Zurich, was already an accomplished young chef and published author when he enlisted in the Pontifical Swiss Guards in 2013. As the The Lenten Cookbook’s author’s blurb recounts, “today David is one of the leading chefs in Switzerland, author or coauthor of seven cookbooks in German, host of his own TV show, and the founder and leader of David Geisser Cooking Studio. David and his wife, Selina, reside in Zurich.” On his personal website, Geisser says: “Passion is the Leitmotiv that guides my work. Be it passion for all things culinary or a passion for people — I believe that putting your lifeblood into what you do is the key to success.” “The Lenten Cookbook is much more than a cookbook,” Sarah Lemieux, the Press’s Associate Director of Publicity, e-mailed last Fall. “It’s the first-ever guidebook for mealtimes during Lent and features essays by the acclaimed Biblical scholar, public speaker, and teacher Scott Hahn, who’s publishing his first collaboration with the Institute.” A Presbyterian who converted to Catholicism at Easter in 1986, as his author’s blurb recounts, “Dr. Hahn’s talks have been effective in helping thousands of Protestants like himself once, and many non-practicing Catholics, to (re)embrace the Catholic faith. His numerous best selling books include The Lamb’s Supper, Reasons to Believe, Rome Sweet Home (coauthored with his wife Kimberley, it describes the process of their conversions), The Creed, Evangelizing Catholics, and Angels and Saints.

Since 1990, Hahn holds the Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, Chair of Biblical Theology and New Evangelization at the Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. In 2014, Francis Cardinal George appointed him to the newly-established McEssy Distinguished Visiting Professorship in Biblical Theology at Mundelein Seminary in Chicago. Of his five sons, Joseph and Jeremiah are seminarians. Hahn’s Lenten Cookbook essays (“The Joy of Fasting: An Introduction” which includes fasting’s history even before Christianity), “Fasting in Modern Practice,” “Lent,” and “Fasting Through the Year”) reflect on the history of fasting and fasting’s integral role in the reader’s spiritual growth. “Hahn guides you,” continued Lemieux, “on how to practice a holy Lent that will enable you to return your focus to Christ, and to carry the unique and extraordinary joys of Lent forward into the rest of the year. You’ll also learn of forgotten Catholic traditions and timeless customs, such as St. Martin’s Lent, Ember Days, and Rogation Days, and how you can apply these time-honored periods of grace to your spiritual life today.” In case you’ve forgotten, “St. Martin’s Lent” or “Christmas Fast,” as St. Francis of Assisi called it, lasts from St. Martin’s Feast Day (November 12) until Christmas Day. Traditionally “Ember Days” comprise Wednesday, Friday and Saturday following St. Lucy’s Day (December 13), the first Sunday in Lent, Pentecost, and Holy Cross Day (September 14). “Rogation Days” are festival days devoted to special prayers for crops on April 25 and the three days before Ascension. Hahn’s essays are followed by a page about the strictest Lenten diet, “The Black Fast,” which allows only one meal a day (without meat, eggs, butter, cheese, milk or wine after sunset and during Holy Week only of bread, salt, herbs and water), “The Traditional Fasting Substitution List” and an “Index of Recipes for Traditional Fasting.” Then come Geisser’s recipes divided into Breakfast, Soup, Salads, Collations or Small Meals, and Main Dishes which include pasta, fish, vegetables, several quiches, and vegetable and seafood curries, ending with breads and hot cross buns. Much earlier, in 2001, the Institute published Maria Augusta Von Trapp’s (of The Sound of Music family) Around the Year, a charming volume in which she describes the yearround Christian traditions she loved. It’s available with Cooking with the Saints for $54.99 or by itself for $29.95.m


Some traditional dishes described by retired Swiss Guard David Geisser in the Lenten Cookbook, published by the Sophia Institute Press





SEPTEMBER 2-9, 2022

O C T O B E R 2 3 -2 8 , 2 0 2 2


Introducing Pilgrimages in the United States! Now Booking for 2022. Join us as we embark upon a spiritual journey to discover the hidden treasures of Catholic history and culture in America – from the Marian Shrines in the heartland of Wisconsin to the rolling hills of the Shenandoah Valley to the first Catholic chapel built in the New World in St. Augustine, FL. We invite you to come discover the rich heritage of pilgrimage in this land.



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Pilgrimage with us to refresh your soul.

Classic USA: California Missions March 16 - 24, 2020 • Visit eight missions in eight days and seven nights • Attend the Return of the Swallows to the San Juan Capistrano Mission on March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph • Spend 2 nights in San Diego’s Little Italy to include St. Patrick’s Day • Celebrate ITV magazine’s 27th Anniversary with 2 special dinners as we journey up the coastline • Spend 2 nights in the center of historic Santa Barbara with only a 5 minute walk to the beach • Enjoy wine tasting and lunch at one of the most beautiful vineyards with French Courtyards and stone barrelaging caves • Discuss the Church today with Dr. Robert Moynihan and why the Church is more important than ever • Spiritual encounters along the way

Ireland: Saints & Scholars – July 16 - 27, 2022 Pilgrimage with Dr. Robert Moynihan to where it all began on the Hill of Slane, where in 433 St. Patrick lit a paschal fire against the orders of Ireland’s pagan king. The sparks of this fire were never to die. From those flames, the Catholic faith found its way from Ireland to new lands as Irish monks, scholars and pilgrims went out sowing in tears so that you could return to sing eternal Psalms. Visit us online to learn more! PILGRIMAGE@INSIDETHEVATICAN.COM

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