Inside the Vatican Magazine November-December 2021

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NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2021 $5 / EUR 5 / £3.30





...on his lips, the name of Jesus was sweet as honey

Nativity Scene of Greccio, by Benozzo Gozzoli, Church of San Francesco, Montefalco, Italy, in which St. Francis holds the Child Jesus


OF FAITH, WIT & INTELLIGENCE PADRE PIO: Stories and Memories of My Mentor and Friend Fr. Gabriele Amorth


his colorful memoir offers a rare, up-close glimpse of St. Pio of Pietrelcna, the beloved Italian monk blessed with many extraordinary spiritual gifts. Fr. Amorth, the renowned exorcist of Rome, had a close friendship with the holy, quirky Padre Pio, whom he considered his spiritual father. Adding his own personal experiences to a foundation of biographical research, Amorth gives an entertaining and illuminating account of one of the best-known saints of the 20th century. Besides Padre Pio’s miracle-filled priesthood, Amorth reveals his Italian gift for mimicry, humor, and storytelling.

PPP . . . Sewn Softcover, $16.95

"A powerful and personal testimony. You will be inspired and amazed by the extraordinary story of the St. Francis of our times." — Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Author, Immortal Combat "None of the books on Padre Pio have the personal touch of a longtime friend like this. Fr. Amorth pulls the curtain aside and Padre Pio comes alive for us in a new way!" — Steve Ray, Author, Upon This Rock

JEROME LEJEUNE: A Man of Science and Conscience Aude Dugast


pioneer of modern genetics, Lejeune discovered the chromosomal defect that causes Down syndrome, which brought him wide acclaim. But more important to this doctor, dazzled by the beauty of every human life, was improving the care of his patients with this abnormality. He strongly advocated for their dignity, and suffered many attacks on his reputation. This definitive biography, written by the postulator of his cause for sainthood, reveals the true and untold portrait of a brilliant scientist, devout Catholic, devoted family man, and ardent defender of the most vulnerable. JLP . . . Sewn Softcover, $19.95 “Captures the spirit of Lejeune, whose life embraced the paradoxes of the saints. This highly engaging story is filled with inspiration about a modern Man for All Seasons." — Robert Spitzer, S.J., Author, Healing the Culture "A beautifully written ‘profile in courage' that captures Lejeune's dedication to science and medicine along with his even greater devotion to children with Down syndrome.” — Archbishop Joseph Naumann, Kansas City

JESUIT AT LARGE: Essays and Reviews by Paul Mankowski, S.J. Edited by George Weigel


ather Mankowski was one of the most brilliant and scintillating Catholic writers of our time. His essays and reviews display a unique wit, a singular breadth of learning, and a penetrating insight into the challenges of Catholic life in the postmodern world. Exploring a wide range of important topics on faith, culture, and academia, Mankowski's keen intelligence is always on display. His intense Catholic faith shines through his writing as you meet a man of great gifts who suffered for his strong convictions and his deep love for Christ and the Church. JLERP . . . Sewn Softcover, $17.95

"Fr. Mankowski was a priest with the soul of a boxer and a boxer with the soul of a priest. His irreducible brilliance and fierce fidelity grace every page of this book. Read it, give it, be transformed by it." — Mary Eberstadt, Author, Adam and Eve after the Pill P.O. Box 1339, Ft. Collins, CO 80522

(800) 651-1531


by Robert Moynihan

This Christmas, Children and Health Because the human body is a kind of temple — the dwelling place of the Spirit of God — we must treat it with profound respect, reverence and piety. And this is especially the case with regard to children. A reflection...

“And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them... And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not... For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior... And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace.’” —Gospel of Luke 2:9-13 “I realize that it may be extremely unpopular to take a position against the so-called vaccines, but as Shepherds of the flock of the Lord we have the duty to denounce the horrible crime that is being carried out.” —Archbishop C arlo Maria Viganò, 80, in an open letter to the bishops of the United States issued October 23, after US President Joseph Biden announced he would soon mandate the vaccination of 28 million American children between the ages of 5 and 11. Viganò, noting that the testing of the vaccines has not yet been completed, and that some side-effects have been noted, argued that this plan should be postponed until the testing is complete October 27, 2021 — A world of peace. This is what we long for as Christmas approaches each year, and also this year. As we draw near to Christmas, we are reminded that our world changed with the birth of a child. And we are also reminded that this very fact led Christians to have a particular care and love for all children. Christ condescended to exchange His divinity for our humanity so that we might exchange our fallen humanity for His divinity. And this began in Bethlehem, when He was born. This central fact of the Christian faith has had its significance for our thinking about human life. It is the deepest source for what we call our “pro-life” position. We are “pro-life” because each human life is sacred, precious, unique... because each human child is similar to the Child Jesus. Christian culture has done a great deal to try to make the life of children safe and secure. One example is the Christmas tradition of gift-giving — the magic of presents on Christmas morning, giving children a sense that the world is, or can be, a place of joy, of giving and receiving gifts. Yet, despite all of this emphasis in the Christian tradition on gift-giving, on loving and valuing and protecting children, our culture in recent years has been marked by terrible forms of harm against children, of abuse of children, of lack of love for children. On this particular Christmas 2021, as we rejoice in the birth of the Savior, we must also lament and mourn the many ways in which our society abandons children, abuses children, kills children... not in the body alone, but often also in the spirit, in the soul. A society that does not treat its children as the most precious gift that is given, to be nourished, educated, protected, trained up in the faith, is a poor society, to be pitied, and to be reformed, to be changed, to be made once again able to receive children, to love children, and to hand on to children that faith that is the most precious thing we have to offer to them. In this context, I was struck a few days ago when US President Joseph Biden issued a statement saying that he planned to mandate the vaccination of 28 million children between the ages of 5

and 11 in coming weeks, though almost no children have been susceptible to the Covid virus, and if infected, they have generally managed to fight off the virus with their own God-given immune systems. The virus, according to the actual data, has been dangerous for older people, not for children. Moreover, the testing of the various vaccines has not been completed. Science does not yet know, and cannot know for another year or two, whether the vaccines may have any serious side effects. Yet very few voices were raised publicly to protest against this plan. In the universal Church, the single voice that was raised most loudly and publicly came from Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who issued an open letter on October 23 addressed to Archbishop José Horacio Gómez of Los Angeles, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and to all of the Archbishops and Bishops of the Dioceses of the United States, and also, “for their competence,” to Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer, S.J., Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and to Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. “I address to you, Archbishop Gómez,” Viganò began, “some serious considerations related to the so-called vaccines against Covid-19.” He continued: “The safety and effectiveness of individual vaccines is determined after a period of experimentation that normally lasts for several years. In this case, the health authorities have decided to carry out experimentation on the entire world population, as an exception to the usual practice of the scientific community...” And, citing studies largely ignored by the mainstream media, Viganò writes that there have already been negative side effects: “Worldwide, the number of deaths and grave pathologies following vaccination is increasing exponentially,” he writes. “In only nine months, these vaccines have caused more deaths than all vaccines in the last 30 years... In many nations — such as Israel for example — the number of deaths after vaccination is now greater than the number of deaths from Covid...” The archbishop concludes: “How Joe Biden... could impose vaccination on 28 million children aged 5 to 11, is absolutely inconceivable, if only for the fact that there is practically zero risk of them developing the SARS-CoV-2 disease. The Holy See and the Bishops’ Conferences have the duty to express a firm condemnation in this regard, and also in relation to the very serious side effects that can result for children who are inoculated with the experimental gene serum.” He adds: “It is equally imperative that there be an intervention by the US Bishops’ Conference aimed at promoting the religious exemption and immediately revoking the bans imposed in this regard by many Ordinaries on their (unvaccinated) priests.” These vaccines are not yet fully tested. Since serious side effects are already being observed, it seems wise for political, medical and religious leaders to protect our children, and not mandate something that might harm them. Such prudence and restraint might be a beautiful Christmas gift this year to give to many children around the world.m NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN




Year 29, #6

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LEAD STORY The Hidden Story Behind Traditionis Custodes by Diane Montagna, reprinted from The Remnant of October 7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 NEWS HOLY SEE/Pope Francis in Hungary and Slovakia, September 12-15 by Catholic News Agency (CNA) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20

Nativity Scene of Greccio, by Benozzo Gozzoli, Church of San Francesco, Montefalco, Italy, in which St. Francis holds the Child Jesus

NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2021 Year 29, #6


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

v EDITORIAL OFFICES FOR MAIL: US: 14 West Main St. Front Royal, VA 22630 USA Tel. 202-536-4555 Rome: Inside the Vatican via delle Mura Aurelie 7c, Rome 00165, Italy Tel: 39-06-3938-7471 Fax: 39-06-638-1316 POSTMASTER: send address changes to Inside the Vatican c/o St. Martin de Porres Lay Dominican Community PO Box 57 New Hope, KY 40052 USA Tel: 800-789-9494 Fax: 270-325-3091 Subscriptions (USA): Inside the Vatican PO Box 57 New Hope, KY 40052 USA Tel: 800-789-9494

v INSIDE THE VATICAN (ISSN 1068-8579, 1 yr subscription: $49.95; 2 yrs, $94.95; 3 yrs, $129.95), provides a comprehensive, independent report on Vatican affairs published bimonthly (6 times per year) with occasional special supplements. Inside the Vatican is published by Urbi et Orbi Communications, PO Box 57, New Hope, Kentucky, 40052, USA, pursuant to a License Agreement with Robert Moynihan, the owner of the Copyright. Inside the Vatican, Inc., maintains editorial offices in Rome, Italy. Periodicals Postage PAID at New Haven, Kentucky, USA and additional mailing offices. Copyright 2021 Robert Moynihan


NEWS HOLY SEE/Pope Francis to Declare St. Irenaeus “Doctor of Unity” by Courtney Mares (CNA) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 NEWS HOLY SEE/Pope Francis Launches 2-Year “Synodal Path” by Catholic News Agency (CNA) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 NEWS HOLY SEE/The Church: In or of the World? Archbishop Gallagher at the UN by Thomas Storck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 NEWS UNITED STATES/Socialism and Communism: Making a Comeback? by Prof. Paul Kengor, author of The Devil and Karl Marx . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 ART ESSAY CHRISTMAS/The Child and Brother Francis: “Unto us a Child is born” by Inside the Vatican staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 CULTURE THE ICON OF OUR LADY OF KAZAN/The long-lost icon has a new home! by Peter Anderson, expert on events in the Orthodox world . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 YEAR OF ST. JOSEPH/“The Real Crisis Has Barely Begun”: We must face the “final confrontation” by Mark Drogin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 EDUCATION/Christian Identity: A Source of Inspiration for the University by Alfonso Sánchez-Tabernero, President, University of Navarra, Spain . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 LATIN/St. Francis in his own words (he wrote in Latin, of course) by John Byron Kuhner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 SCRIPTURE/These Eyes First Beheld Him — The eyes of Mary, of Joseph, and of the lambs by Prof. Anthony Esolen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 URBI ET ORBI: CATHOLICISM AND ORTHODOXY The Message of the Icon/The Feast of Joseph the Betrothed by Robert Wiesner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 East-West Watch/Rome’s Connections with the East: the Oriental Institute and the Pontifical Russian College “Russicum” (where Fr. Walter Ciszek studied) by Peter Anderson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49 News from the East/Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion Addresses Eucharistic Congress in Budapest, Hungary; Patriarch Bartholomew Visits Kyiv by Becky Derks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50 FEATURES Art/Off the Amalfi Coast’s Beaten Track: St. Trofimena of Minori by Lucy Gordan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 Lord of the World/“A new Order, Holiness... no habit or badge, subject only to you” by Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56 Vatican Watch/A Day-by-Day Chronicle of Vatican Events: July, August, September by Becky Derks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58 People/Pope Francis praises Korean martyr St. Andrew Kim Taegon, meets Jonathan Roumie, American actor who plays Christ in The Chosen by Becky Derks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60 Food for Thought/The best pastry chef in Italy: Salvatore De Riso by Mother Martha . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62


The High Court Frees an Innocent Man “Anyone interested in what radical surrender to Christ looks like should read this luminous text.” — Bishop Robert Barron, Host, Catholicism film series

George C ardinal Pell p

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

rison jo urnal


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


The High C ourt Frees an Innocent Man With an epilo

gue by George Weig el IG N AT IU



That final verdict from the Australian High Court came after George Cardinal Pell endured a grueling eight years of accusations, investigations, trials, public humiliations, and more than a year of imprisonment after being convicted of a crime he did not commit. Led off to jail following his 2019 sentencing, the 78-year-old prelate began what was to be six years in jail for "historical sexual assault offenses”. Cardinal Pell endured more than thirteen months in solitary confinement, before the Australian High Court voted 7-0 to overturn his original convictions. His victory over injustice was not just personal, but one for the entire Catholic Church. Bearing no ill will toward his accusers, judges, prison workers, journalists, and those expressing hatred for him, he used his time in prison as a kind of "extended retreat". He eloquently filled notebook pages with his spiritual insights, prison experiences, and personal reflections on current events both inside and outside the Church, as well as moving prayers. In this third and final volume, Cardinal Pell’s conviction is overturned by Australia’s High Court, and he is released from prison. As the appeal draws near, he grows in confidence that his case is strong and that his vindication is important not only for his own sake and

the Church’s sake, but also for the sake of Australia’s legal system. While continuing his daily readings and devotions, and receiving hundreds of letters with offers of prayers and sacrifices on his behalf, the Cardinal ponders the meaning of suffering in the life of the Christian, and he determines to accept with equanimity whatever outcome lies ahead. ◆ PRISON JOURNAL - Volume 3 The Court Frees an Innocent Man PJ3P. . . 350 pages, Sewn Softcover, $19.95

◆ PRISON JOURNAL - Volume 2 The State Rejects the Cardinal’s Appeal PJ2P . . . 348 pages, Sewn Softcover, $19.95 ◆ PRISON JOURNAL - Volume 1

◆ Discount for 3 Volume Set PJX . . . $49.95

The Cardinal Makes His Appeal PJ1P. . . 350 pages, Sewn Softcover, $19.95

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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


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.

Help us, help them. Many prisoners—as well as religious—have requested, but are unable to afford, subscriptions. Please donate to the ITV Scholarship Fund and provide B GVMM ZFBS of Inside the Vatican magazine for only $39.95/year.

I look forward to each “Moynihan Letter” — always so much new information, facts, and your tremendous in-depth knowledge of all that is going on within our Church. Especially interested in all you have written about the traditional Latin Mass. Several friends will only attend them at a church in our area. Have been to a few — but have so many memories from when I was young before Vatican II. And very confused about some of the changes after Vatican II. Guess we will have to wait and see what’s ahead. But thank you for these wonderful letters. God has given you a very special “gift.” Barbara Dabrowski These emails are brilliant and shed so much light on the entire issue boiling at this time. You have wonderful resources to add to the picture. (Dare I mention that we heard years ago that Bugnini was a Freemason?) I think of one of my heroes, Dietrich von Hildebrand, in all this mess (e.g., Trojan Horse in the City of God). I will be making a donation to help with your valuable emails! S.W.

“KEEP UP THE PACE” May all the Saints of the printed word — Augustine... Aquinas... Francis de Sales... John Bosco... Leo XIII... John Paul II... to name a mere handful — carry you on their shoulders as you “proceed” apace — a GOODLY pace! —with your “Letters from Rome”! How your chosen “genre” of Letters, their intimate and personal nature, fills up and covers the pock-marked terrain of secular, cold-hearted “mutterings” and “utterings”! Bob Sontrop

CHRIST IS OUR HOPE 1-800-789-9494



I am so sick and tired of the filth in the Church of Christ, especially among the hierarchy — wolves in sheep’s clothing!!


Christ is our Only Hope. When a Catholic website broke the news recently of corruption in the Vatican, part of me felt that it’s time to CLEAN UP the Church — yet, part of me feels anger at the invasion of the Church’s privacy in Covid times, when our freedoms are already being curtailed and “experimental jabs” forced on some of us. A time is almost upon us when we will need to meet in secret to partake in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Meanwhile, Fr. James Altman is persecuted for speaking out and Fr. James Martin prances around with his LGBTQRST friends... It must be stopped! Lorraine Pecus

STOP FIGHTING, START LOVING As a daughter of a Methodist minister who, after she became a Catholic, was excommunicated from her family whose origin was Jewish, Methodist and Catholic — I fail to understand how we can fight over “who has God in His/Her pocket.” To me it seems ridiculous. We are all God’s children and He loves us all the same. In my 85+ years of living and studying education and theology, I have learnt God has no favorites and that all of us are journeying towards God — some of us are taking the Highway, some are taking the byways and some are travelling through stormy seas or over hills and vales hoping that we will all reach our destiny. Jesus is out there looking for the lost sheep. I pray that we stop fighting and start loving and supporting each other. Thank you for keeping us up to date. Esme Van Der Westhuizen

TRACKING PRIESTLY MISBEHAVIOR I am very disappointed in your conclusion (Moynihan Letter #60, “Tracking”): What is obvious is that the priest, who had an extremely high position in the Church, is totally guilty as charged! His resignation proves this! Much like the McCarrick case,

I am sure many of his associates and supervisors were well aware of his homosexual activities, and turned a blind eye. (Ask yourselves why The Pillar chose to investigate him.) Where in your essay do you even suggest that his conduct should have resulted in discipline by his superiors long before The Pillar outed him?! Walter Reilly It strikes me that you are conflating two sad facts. First, none of us has any privacy. Phones track everything, collect salable data, and all sorts of people are buying it for all sorts of reasons. Flip phones help, but even those can track. What to do about it is anyone’s guess. No one wants to live without the convenience, and our psychometric data is too commercially valuable to retailers and governments. People can predict with astonishing accuracy your next purchase and payment method. And that’s the point: we have been reduced to marketable assets. Even if you live off the grid, there’s enough power in AI to figure out from electronic purchases to scrutinize someone’s life and exploit their weaknesses. Cash is being phased out precisely so that purchase behavior can be monitored and eventually controlled. Even more germane is to note how thoroughly the hierarchy has paid lip service to clerical reform. The prominent USCCB priest was supposed to be celibate and chaste. He was not; and it beggars belief that his sexually active life was neither known nor suspected. He ought to be laicized, and his possible use of Church resources investigated. Do you think either of those will happen? Neither do I: and that’s the reason why the laity and the world do not take the clergy seriously. The real tragedy is that the hierarchy is just too compromised. Ratzinger as Ratzinger, then Benedict, was acting, and they ran him off. So no one else is going to try. Only divine intervention will remediate. David Carradini, YDS ’86

PRISONER READERS I received your informative magazine and read a request from a prisoner for a copy of your magazine. I am sending a subscription donation. Elizabeth Pinsonault Flanders, New Jersey, USA

Is there a prisoner you know of who would like a subscription? If so, please provide his mailing address and I will purchase a subscription for him. Candace MacMillan Thank you for the complimentary subscription to ITV; it has been the most well-informed source available. My faith teeters on the brink and I feel the Church, with its current hierarchy, has left faithful Catholics behind as it seems to turn more and more towards the world and thus loses its moral authority. Its influence and acceptance of challenges to

perennial teachings seem to coddle the radical left — and come at a cost to the faithful. This ideology bases its worship on man while faith bases its worship on God. The two are like oil and water. When will a leader grab hold of the wheel, and with courage, guide this ship of ours out of these self-manifested dangers? I would like to ask if I could be sponsored for another year’s subscription through the ITV Scholarship Fund. I thank you again, and also for the articles on Archbishop Viganò. Gino Gaporini Allen-Oakwood Correctional Institute Lima, Ohio, USA

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A. Total No. copies (Net Press Run) 5,363 5,100 B. Paid Circulation 1. Paid/Requested Outside-County Mail Subscriptions Stated on Form 3541. 4292 4,132 3. Sales Through Dealers and Other Non-USPS Paid Distribution 245 151 C. Total Paid Circulation (Sum of 15B1 and 15B3) 4,537 4,283 D. Free Distribution 1. by Mail 369 372 E. Total Free Distribution 369 372 F. Total Distribution 4,906 4,655 G. Copies Not Distributed. 457 445 H. Total (Sum of G, H1 and H2) 5,363 5,100 I. Percent Paid and/or Requested Circulation 92% 92% 16. Statement of Ownership will be printed in the November/December 2021 issue of this Publication. I certify that the statements made by me above are correct and complete. Robert Moynihan, Editor INSIDE THE VATICAN NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2021


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR EXPOSE THE ENEMIES WITHIN Clerics and Religious do not come from Mars, Venus or Pluto. They come from the Catholic “faithful.” Survey after survey, year after year, shows that Catholics for the most part espouse beliefs that contradict Church teaching. For example, a Pew Research survey in 2019 found that only one-third of US Catholics believe in the Real Presence. The apostasy in traditionally Catholic European countries is even worse than in America. Pope Francis reminded us in 2019 that data shows the majority of abuse occurs in families. The Catholic Church is at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to abuse of minors. Pope Francis has repeatedly condemned careerism in the Church. And, in 1969 Joseph Ratzinger predicted that a smaller faithful Church would emerge after persecution. The Church in the current clerical culture of conspiracy and concealment will only be cleansed when devout, orthodox members of the ministerial and common priesthood team up on the side of Jesus to expose the enemies and cowards within, motivated not by career advancement or settling of scores, but for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.

VIGANÒ SHOULD BE SILENT Archbishop Viganò has been for decades part and parcel of the corrupted institution that he now, at the end of his ecclesiastical career, relentlessly exposes and mercilessly condemns. Why did he keep silent for all those years? Did the corruption of the Vatican and the Catholic hierarchy start the day he retired? I believe that trying to reconstruct one’s own virginity lost at a young age when one becomes impotent is a futile effort. I do not understand how a man as smart as Archbishop Viganò is, doesn’t realize that the only decent choice he could make at his age is to apologize to all the good Catholics he addresses for his “sin of omertà” for keeping silent about so abominable and grave information he kept to himself for years. At this time silence should be considered just to avoid ridicule of oneself. Antonio Nardoianni 10


NEW WORLD ORDER, KIRILL AND FRANCIS Re Moynihan Letter #20, April 27, 2021: “Kirill,” where you report that Kirill says powerful men in Russia in 1991 offered the Orthodox Church leadership a role in leading post-Soviet Russia, and that Church leaders refused the offer, recognizing that the Church must offer spiritual life to souls, not temporal peace and prosperity for their bodies. He (Kirill) is writing now because Pope Francis has received a similar offer. The new world order leaders seek the Pope’s help, though they are in control of all things secular, because they are floating without rafts as far as the sacred is concerned. They don’t understand it, but want someone to control it for them. Pope Francis they see as their man. He alludes to them that he wants the job. But does he? What he wants first of all is money to run the Church. He needs it very soon so he is throwing a big Conference which will require millions. But he won’t sell his soul. He won’t sign anything heretical. His verbal words are provocative. He paints pictures with words, but he won’t sign anything heretical. So they will get lots of photos and lots of intentions dancing as truth. But not in writing. No matter how hard Cardinal Kasper tries. Tom Greerty

CATHOLIC-ORTHODOX UNITY Thank you so much for re-invigorating the efforts to reunite the two “lungs” of the Church. I have followed and supported your efforts over the past many months as they re-focused on the issues within the Roman Catholic Church as distinguished from the issues between the Roman Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox peoples. I have trusted that you, in your position to see what is transpiring far better than we can see, correctly perceived the need to shift the focus of our efforts. I am, however, relieved (consoled, actually, as in discernment of spirits) to see a renewed effort toward East-West unity. The internal issues of the Roman Catholic side must still be addressed. Yet Satan must not be allowed to have a final

victory regarding the East/West Schism. We cannot allow him any quarter. If we allow him to split us up, then each remaining piece becomes easier to attack. Thank you for renewing the focus, even as you continue to fight for our grave internal issues. God Bless!!! Charles Incaprera

CONCELEBRATION? Your September-October 2021 issue has an interesting article by Bishop Athanasius Schneider on concelebration. On page 22, lower right column, he writes: “The first Holy Mass... Jesus the High Priest was the main celebrant, being surrounded by the twelve first priests (bishops) of the New Covenant, who ceremonially assisted Him.” It would be interesting to know the theological source for this statement. For, in my experience, it was understood that the Apostles were ordained priests in conjunction with Our Lord’s words: “Do this is commemoration of Me” which were spoken after Christ’s consecration of the bread and wine. On pg. 29, the bishop gives an interesting quote of what one Dr. Eric Mascall wrote. I won’t retype all that is at the bottom of the page. Only to wonder: could it not be interpreted as an argument for concelebration? Fr. David Wechter Houston, Minnesota When will the Catholic hierarchy admit and correct its mistakes? For a long time it has been clear that Vatican II, Catholic Social Doctrine and the Vernacular Mass created an unprecedented crisis when they entangled three new “churches” with the One Holy Catholic Church. Vatican II gave us a permissive church; Catholic Social Doctrine, a political church; and the Vernacular Mass a social church. All of these “churches” directed people to each other instead of to God and His heavenly kingdom. Meanwhile, in Christ’s timeless Church, the Latin Mass continues to bring souls close to the Lord; when it was the sole rite, no one missed Sunday Mass and everyone believed in the Real Presence. The Catholic hierarchy needs to finally proclaim that the Latin Mass is a gift from God, that makes the Church holy and turns sinners into saints. George J. Koenig St. Francis, Wisconsin



Thank you for the print edition of the magazine, as I don’t have any skills nor equipment for all the various new technologies. Thank you and God bless. Marietta Merilh Oak Ridge, Tennessee

I am a Traditional Catholic, and in April I turned in a vaccine mandate Religious Exemption Letter dated April 2, 2021. This letter was approved. My company was giving $800 to those who got vaccinated or had a religious exemption; I received the $800 and donated it to a pro-life cause. Now fast forward to September 30, 2021: The religious exemption letter is now invalid! Why? Has my conscience changed? Thanks to Pope Francis, my company is now using his quotes about charity against me! The world cannot even see the aborted baby whose cell lines were used to produce this drug — blind to the evil of abortion. Really, Pope Francis? Out of “charity”? Since when is abortion charitable? You said yourself, “Abortion is murder.” Are there exceptions when it comes to the “common good”? No, no, no! Repent! Now a new letter must be submitted, with an “attached form” that is 3 pages long and very difficult to understand. The priest who wrote the first religious exemption letter is just changing the date and I will resubmit. Then a “third party” company will review, and doctors may notify me — and the priest! — by phone to interrogate further. St Joan of Arc, pray for us! I asked HR 3 times, “Who is the third party?” No response. I resigned on October 1 and my last day will be October 14. I am still turning in the letter because I feel that I must continue to fight for my religious rights. I am an Oncology RN, my job is phone triage and I am never even around a

“THANKS FOR ALL YOU ARE DOING” Thanks for all you are doing to inform people of the Truth and the great need for repentance and conversion (see Acts 3:19). Without some greater emphasis on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 761 (the gathering of the Church as God’s reaction to the chaos created by sin), we fight a losing battle. Yes, like Jesus, the Church will suffer, be put to death, but will rise again to Greater Glory. Blessed are those who hang on to Jesus Christ. Daniel Najvar Quitman, Texas

ON THE SWISS GUARD Thank you for Moynihan Letter #133 on the Swiss Guards’ departure from their posts due to Covid vaccination mandates. I greatly admire these 3 men who have resigned from Vatican service. This “open letter” is very clearly from a man of great integrity and courage who is not afraid to put principle before his Swiss Guard posting – in today’s world, no mean feat. I think it is a shocking reflection on Pope Francis and those who are enforcing this on his behalf. These men are prepared to give their lives for the Pope; they deserve full loyalty and respect in return. Francis McCann

patient. They can take my job, but they can’t take my faith. I will NOT cross this line. Viva Cristo Rey! Shannon Haase San Antonio, Texas, USA

FRANCIS AND HIS CRITICS Re: Moynihan Letter #120: Pope Francis and His Critics: Feels like you keep on hitting a vein lately… here are my criticisms of the Pope’s recent audience, where he said his critics wish to “go backward”: 1. Dialogue — Many of his conservative critics wanted to talk to him or did talk to him first, e.g., Archbishop Viganò, years before his 2018 testimony on Cardinal McCarrick, the dubia cardinals seeking clarification on Amoris Laetitia, Cardinal Zen seeking an audience around China, and most recently the Ecclesia Dei communities regarding the Traditional Mass. My mom used to say, you cannot complain about a relationship if you don’t pick up the phone. Well, your critics are calling, Pope Francis, and if you don’t answer their concerns on some really misleading statements, then how they are supposed to lead their flocks? 2. Fear of “going backward” — Is returning to Jesus, who gave us the Gospels over 2000 years ago, wrong? Is returning to the faith that was defined and defended by the Church Fathers wrong? How many Popes of the last 200 years have warned of progressivism, of caring more for the people and things of this world than for God? Greg Carney


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ad aedificandum regnum Christi







Editor’s note: This text was delivered as a talk by Diane Montagna at the Catholic Identity Conference in Pittsburgh on October 3, 2021. It was published on October 7, 2021, in The Remnant, with slight editorial changes for print. It is reprinted here with permission of the author, Diane Montagna, and The Remnant’s editor, Michael Matt. “Nothing is hidden that shall not be made manifest, nor anything secret that shall not be known and come to light” (Luke 8:17).


ometimes things are not as they seem. And sometimes, there are two “realities”: one that is officially given by those in power, and one

that we then discover to be the truth. When, on July 16, 2021, Pope Francis promulgated Traditionis Custodes, restricting the traditional Latin Mass, he said that according to the results of a recent Vatican consultation of bishops, the norms of his predecessors Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, had been exploited by some who attend the traditional Latin Mass to sow dissent from the Second Vatican Council. In the apostolic letter, Pope Francis writes in regard to the survey of bishops: “In line with the initiative of my Venerable Predecessor Benedict XVI to invite the bishops to assess the application of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum three years after its publication, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith carried out a detailed consultation of the bishops in 2020. The results have been carefully considered

In the circle below, Archbishop Augustine DiNoia, who serves as an adjunct secretary for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In an interview after the publication of Traditionis Custodes on July 16, 2021, he voiced his support for the official narrative set forth by Pope Francis

in the light of experience that has matured during these years.” He continues: “Having considered the wishes expressed by the episcopate and having heard the opinion of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, I now desire, with this Apostolic Letter, to press on ever more in the constant search for ecclesial communion. Therefore, I have considered it appropriate to establish the following...” Pope Francis then proceeds to outline the new restrictions to the Traditional Latin Mass. Along with the decree, Pope Francis also issued an accompanying letter, addressed to the bishops of the world. He introduced it by noting that, as Benedict XVI had done with Summorum Pontificum in 2007, he too wished to explain the “motives that prompted [his] decision” to restrict the Traditional Latin Mass. First among them, he says, are the results of the survey sent to bishops worldwide by the CDF. Pope Francis explains: “I instructed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to circulate a questionnaire to the Bishops regarding the implementation of the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. The responses reveal a situation that preoccupies and saddens me and persuades me of the need to intervene. Regrettably, the pastoral objective of my Predecessors, who had intended ‘to do everything possible to ensure that all those who truly possessed the desire for unity would find it possible to remain in this unity or to rediscover it anew’, has often been seriously disregarded. An opportunity offered by St. John Paul II and, with even greater magnanimity, by Benedict XVI, intended to recover the unity of an ecclesial body with diverse liturgical sensibilities, was exploited to widen the gaps, reinforce the diver-

gences, and encourage disagreements that injure the Church, block her path, and expose her to the peril of division.” Based on these results, Pope Francis concludes that: “In defense of the unity of the Body of Christ, I am constrained to revoke the faculty granted by my Predecessors. The distorted use that has been made of this faculty is contrary to the intentions that led to granting the freedom to

celebrate the Mass with the Missale Romanum of 1962.” Further on in the accompanying letter, yet another reference is made to the results of the questionnaire, Pope Francis says: “Responding to your requests, I take the firm decision to abrogate all the norms, instructions, permissions and customs that precede the present Motu proprio, and declare that the liturgical books promulgated by the saintly Pontiffs Paul VI and John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II, constitute the unique [unica] expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.” According to Pope Francis, then, the consultation of bishops played a fundamental role in his decision to severely restrict the traditional Mass. As he said himself, the results so “preoccupied and saddened” him, that they “persuad-

ed” him to “intervene.” And he ordered that the decree take immediate effect. Following the promulgation of Traditionis Custodes, considerable speculation was therefore swirling about the survey, but the Vatican has not published its results. A CDF SUPERIOR SPEAKS OUT Four days later, on July 20, 2021, a Catholic News Service interview appeared in the National Catholic Reporter and America Magazine, in which CDF superior, Archbishop Augustine DiNoia, who serves an adjunct secretary in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, voiced his support for the official narrative set forth by Pope Francis. DiNoia insisted that the Pope’s accompanying letter “fearlessly hits the nail on the head: the traditional Latin Mass movement has hijacked the initiatives of St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI to its own ends.” QUESTIONS ARISE But does Traditionis Custodes truly reflect what the real situation is? Was the survey on which Pope Francis said he based his decision a fair consultation of the world’s bishops? Would this consultation be considered fair if some of the content of Traditionis Custodes had already been suggested during a plenary meeting of the CDF, at the end of January 2020, that gave way to a consultation that was meant to justify the decisions reached in Traditionis Custodes? Could it be called fair if it came to light that there was a second, parallel report created within the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, which was completed before all the responses from bishops had been received by the CDF? And could it be called fair if Traditionis Custodes did not accurately represent the main, detailed report prepared for Pope Francis by the CDF’s fourth section, i.e. the former Ecclesia Dei? Many people, in fact, knew that this report was being prepared. Let’s examine what has now come to light about each of these three questions. NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN



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THE 2020 PLENARY SESSION To our first question: Would it make sense to think that Traditionis Custodes was just the result of the consultation with the world’s bishops, when we now know that in late January 2020, a plenary session of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith took place, where three cardinals were already laying the groundwork for the July 16, 2021 Motu Proprio? On the afternoon of January 29, 2020, a plenary session meeting was held to discuss the fourth section of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, what was formerly known as the Pontifical Ecclesia Dei Commission, at which the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Luis Ladaria, SJ, was not present due to illness. Before going on, I should say that it is widely thought that Cardinal Ladaria was “reluctant” to publish Traditionis Custodes. He is said to be a good man, is extremely discreet, but will not ultimately go against the Holy Father’s wishes. In Cardinal Ladaria’s absence, the assembly was chaired by CDF secretary, Archbishop Giacomo Morandi. Morandi, some of you may remember, was appointed to the CDF as undersecretary in 2015 before three officials were removed under Cardinal Müller. When Cardinal Müller was “ousted” in 2017, and Cardinal Ladaria was appointed Prefect, Morandi was promoted to secretary. Also present at the January 29, 2020 plenary session were other members of the CDF, including Vatican Secretary of State, Italian Cardinal Pietro Parolin; Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for the Bishops; Italian Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education; Cardinal Beniamino Stella, then-Prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, American Cardinals Sean Patrick O’Malley and Donald Wuerl; Italian Archbishop Rino Fisi14


chella, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization; Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, who serves as an adjunct secretary for the CDF; French Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard; French Archbishop Roland Minnerath; and others. The Pope would not have been at this sort of meeting. According to reliable sources, Cardinal Parolin, Cardinal Ouellet and Cardinal Versaldi were leading the discussion and piloting it in a definite direction. To give you a taste of what was said, one cardinal — who is considered more of an “acolyte” than a gang leader — expressed some alarm that close to 13,000 young people had registered for the Chartres pilgrimage. He said we need to get to the bottom of why these young people are attracted to the traditional Mass and explained to the others present that many of these young people have “psychological and sociological problems.” The cardinal in question has a background in canon law and psychology, so his remarks about “psychological problems” would have carried more weight, especially with bishops and cardinals who are not familiar with the traditional Latin Mass or Latin Mass circles. Another cardinal said that from the little experience he had, “these groups don’t accept change” and they “participate without concelebrating.” The CDF should therefore ask for a “concrete sign of communion, of the recognition of the validity of the Mass of Paul VI,” he insisted, adding that “we can’t go on like this.” He seconded the concern that these groups attract young people and asked that concrete ways be found to demon-

strate that these people are in the Church. An Italian archbishop said he agreed the CDF shouldn’t resume discussions with the SSPX, because “there’s no dialogue with the deaf.” He lamented that Pope Francis had given concessions to the SSPX (Society of St. Pius X) in the Year of Mercy but was getting nothing in return. The hour and a half meeting wrapped up with the following quote: “Tradition is the living faith of the dead. Traditionalism is the dead faith of the living.” Despite the variety of observations offered at this plenary session — which again, lasted an hour and a half — there was only one conclusion that came out in the final proposals offered to the Holy Father. What was it? To carefully study the eventual transfer of competence over the Ecclesia Dei Institutes and the other matters handled by the Fourth Section, to other Vatican dicasteries who deal with related matters: the Congregation for Divine Worship, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (also known as the Congregation for Religious), and the Congregation for Clergy. In articles 6 and 7 of Traditionis Custodes, Pope Francis sets forth these norms: Art. 6.: Institutes of consecrated life and Societies of apostolic life, erected by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, fall under the competence of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies for Apostolic Life. Art. 7: The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, for matters of their particular competence, exercise the authority of the Holy See with respect to the observance of these provisions. Keep in mind that the questionnaire

From left: Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State; Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education; Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for the Bishops; and Cardinal Luis Ladaria, S.J., Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

was sent out five months later, in May 2020. It is not known who wrote the questions. So it seems the ball had already been set rolling at the plenary session in late January 2020. A SECOND PARALLEL REPORT Now to our second question: Could it be called fair if it came to light that there was a second, parallel report created within the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith’s doctrinal section, which was completed even before all the responses from bishops had been received by the CDF? Reliable sources have confirmed that while the main report was being prepared, CDF superiors commissioned a second report in order to be sure that the main report reflected the feedback of the bishops. The Congregation allegedly had to be sure that the main report didn’t just come to the usual conclusions, e.g. that the traditional Mass is a positive element in the life of the Church, etc., etc., etc. The second report was therefore billed as a sort of second opinion, a check on the main report. CDF superiors therefore commissioned an official within the doctrinal section to write his own report. It’s important to keep in mind that the responses would have been coming in by post or email, or through the nunciatures or episcopal conferences. To review the timeline of how things unfolded: The plenary session referred to above was held in January 2020. The questionnaire was sent out the following May. The bishops were given until October 2020 to respond, but as with things Roman, responses continued to come in until January 2021 and all of them were received, reviewed, and consid-

ered for the main report. Concerning the second, parallel report, it is not known if the official assigned the task of writing it was told to come to certain conclusions. What is certain is that the second parallel report, which to my knowledge was commissioned around November 2020, was handed in before Christmas. However, at this point, the CDF was still receiving and processing responses to the survey, and did so until January 2021. So the second report was surely incomplete, and also likely superficial, given how quickly it was completed, the volume of material to be analyzed, and the fact that material was being received in four or five languages. So two reports were prepared. Was the one that best suited a certain agenda chosen as the basis of Traditionis Custodes? Or did those in charge — realizing that the material coming into the CDF would not reflect or justify what those pushing for restrictions wanted to prove — commission the second report and complete it in a matter of less than one month so that a sort of parallel text could be offered to the Holy Father? It is unknown if Pope Francis read the second report, or if he received it before or after the main report. It’s been kept very quiet. But what is coming to light, and we will look at this matter next, is that Traditionis Custodes does not reflect the premises or conclusions of the main detailed report. So the question is: does it reflect the premises and conclusions of another report? Could this be the second report? Or could it perhaps not reflect the conclusions of any report but have

been crafted otherwise? THE MAIN REPORT Now to our third question: Could it be called fair if Traditionis Custodes did not accurately represent the main, detailed report prepared for Pope Francis by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith? Earlier I referenced an interview that featured CDF adjunct secretary, Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, and was published on July 20, 2021, just four days after the promulgation of Traditionis Custodes. Insisting that he was speaking “as a theologian,” and not as a CDF official, Archbishop Di Noia appeared to distance himself from the questionnaire, saying he did not have the results. He also downplayed the importance of the consultation, saying the Pope’s “rationale for the abrogation of all previous provisions in this area is not based on the results of the questionnaire but only occasioned by them.” A rather odd formulation, given Pope Francis’s own explanation of his motives. The article is presented as the summary of an email correspondence or call, so perhaps Archbishop Di Noia didn’t have the report on his desk when he was holding the phone or responding by email. But as a superior of the CDF, it’s impossible, it’s inconceivable that he didn’t at least have access to that report, which was drafted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. You don’t have to be an Einstein to figure this out. Could a person say, “As a theologian, I don’t have the results” when, as a CDF superior you would have received an advance copy and been present when the draft report was reviewed? The executive summary was seen in draft form by some in the CDF. As an aside, the article also claims that Pope Francis “likely either consulted with or at least gave advance copies NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN



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of the document to retired Pope Benedict.” I have been told that the article I published in The Remnant on June 1, 2021, six weeks before Traditionis Custodes was promulgated, and which described what was in the first and third drafts, was given to Pope Benedict XVI. One reliable source told me afterward that the Pope Emeritus was “shocked.” It is therefore difficult to believe that he was consulted in any meaningful way. Was Pope Francis given the main report? Sources say that during an audience with CDF Prefect Cardinal Ladaria, Pope Francis literally snatched the working copy of the report from his hands, saying he wanted it immediately because he was curious about it. Whether Pope Francis actually read the main report is unknown. CONTENTS OF THE MAIN REPORT IN LIGHT OF THE CONSULTATION To my knowledge, the main report was very thorough and was broken down into several sections. One part was very analytical, offering analysis diocese by diocese, country by country, region by region, continent by continent, with pie charts and graphs. Another part was a summary where all the argumentation was presented, along with recommendations and trends. And to my knowledge, one part of the report contained quotations taken from the responses that came from the individual dioceses. This collection of quotations would have been included to give the Holy Father a well-rounded sampling of what the bishops said. I had reported in June that only a third of the world’s bishops responded to the survey. One might argue that this is not a bad representation, given that one would not necessarily expect a response from many countries, e.g., where the Byzantine or other Eastern liturgies are celebrated. 16


QUOTES FROM BISHOPS WHO RESPONDED TO THE QUESTIONNAIRE ON THE TRADITIONAL LATIN MASS Negative assessments about the attitude of certain faithful “In a negative sense, [the Extraordinary Form, the EF] can foster a feeling of superiority among the faithful, but since this rite is more widely used, that feeling has diminished.” (A Bishop of England, response to question 3) On the irrelevance of the EF for the people “Sometimes the form has been applied not for the good of souls, but to pander to the personal tastes of the presbyter.” (A Bishop of Italy, response to question 4) On the necessity and/or pastoral convenience of the EF “The current offer of Masses and celebrations in the EF meets the pastoral needs of the faithful. Initial conflicts about the establishment of Masses in the EF have been peacefully resolved in recent years.” (Joint Report of the German Bishops’ Conference, response to question 1) On those the EF attracts “This movement attracts many young families who are comfortable with this liturgy and in the activities that are offered around it. I think such diversity is good in the Church, and that the dwindling number of practitioners should not generate at all costs a uniformity of proposals. This liturgical form is nourishing for many. There is a sense of the sacred that is pleasing and that orients one toward God.” (A Bishop of France, response to question 3)

In those regions where the traditional Mass is more widespread (i.e., France, the US, and England) the situation is very favorable. The CDF received a 65-75 percent response from

these countries, and of that percentage more than 50 percent were favorable. This would have been reflected in the main report. The executive summary would have also reflected that there is a lot of fruit being born from the traditional Mass. What would a reasonable person have taken away from the main report? That a reasonable majority of bishops,

using different words and in different ways, basically were sending the message: “Summorum Pontificum is fine. Don’t touch it.” It would certainly not have been 80 percent who said this in this way. But over 35 percent of the bishops would have said, “Don’t touch anything, leave everything as it is.” On top of this, another percentage of bishops would have said: “Basically don’t touch it, but there would be one or two things I’d suggest, like a bishop having a bit more control.” Even some of the bishops who gave the most positive responses to the questionnaire made these sorts of comments or suggestions. All told, then, more than 60 percent to two-thirds of bishops would have been on board with staying the course, perhaps with some slight modifications. The message was basically to leave Summorum Pontificum alone, and to continue with a prudent and careful application.

On the value of the EF for the peace and unity of the Church “The EF, under the prudent leadership of the Ordinary, has allowed more Catholics to be able to pray according to their desire, and has dispelled the conflicts of before. Its quiet presence should not be disturbed.” (A Bishop of England, response to question 9) “The most positive aspect of the use of the EF is that there is now no longer any ‘clan’ claiming the ‘true Mass.’ The Eucharistic mystery has been freed of a very damaging ideological split. This has been to the great advantage of the perception of the unity of the Church realized around the Eucharist.” (A Bishop of France, response to question 3) On the liturgical, theological, and catechetical value of the EF “It would not be difficult to say that if they were polled, nearly 100% of those who attend the EF believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, while drastically lower numbers have been shown for Catholics who go predominantly to the OF.” (A Bishop of the United States, response to question 3) On the influence of the EF on the OF “Two parish priests who learned the EF subsequently introduced ad orientem celebration for some or all of their Masses, which was well received by their faithful, who were well catechized in advance. In addition, for some of our priests, there has been greater care of the consecrated Host, both through the reintroduction and customary use of the Communion plate and through greater care by the priest himself at the altar.” (A Bishop in the Caribbean, response to question 5)

The main report spoke of areas where there’s room for improvement, such as more training in seminaries. Some bishops spoke of the need for more training in Extraordinary Form, and for the need for good liturgy in general. Some bishops would have spoken of a need for more Latin. Instead, as we see in Traditionis Custodes, the opposite is being decreed. To my knowledge, what really happened is that all that was ancillary in the main report has been projected as a major problem and has been expanded, magnified and hugely taken out of proportion. Take the problem of unity. This lack of unity, from what the bishops said, came from both directions, not just from traditional groups. Some bishops — although they do not celebrate the traditional Mass themselves — said they are happy that the faithful have somewhere to go. They say that apart from the crazies that one

can find in traditional circles — and equally, if not more, elsewhere — usually these groups are made up of young married couples with many children. They pray, they help the parish and diocese financially, they are involved in the parish and diocesan life very actively. They are well formed and appreciate good music. Very positive comments. Again, regarding seminary formation, some bishops said they wished they had a greater presence of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass in their seminary and among younger priests, but they cannot do more than they are currently doing, because the older priests, especially those who lived the transition from before to after Vatican II, would create havoc in the diocese. These older priests would see something in which they have been highly involved, and which was presented to

them as a kind of victory, swept away by the younger priests and a supportive bishop, who is more supportive of tradition than of the object of their victory. This sort of response, though a small percent, was not confined to one geographical location. Interestingly, in Asia, some bishops said they have a problem with the Latin language, because it comes from a different region, which is completely understandable. They effectively told the CDF: We would be very happy if someone from Rome would come and teach our priests, so that they could offer the Extraordinary Form. In our seminary, we don’t have it because the priests don’t know Latin and don’t know how to offer it. We would be happy to have it because it increases prayer and devotion. But all of this vanished and received no mention at all in Traditionis Custodes. Obviously some bishops had negative comments, but reliable sources say that neither the responses, nor the main report, were predominantly negative. The truly tragic situation, I am told, is in Italy. In many dioceses apart from places like Rome, Milan, Naples and Genoa, and perhaps a few others, Summorum Pontificum has barely, if at all, been implemented. And yet many bishops, who have no practical knowledge of Summorum Pontificum’s implementation, responded in ideological terms, saying (and I paraphrase): “This cannot be. It does not reflect Vatican II.” There is even reason to believe that some of the Italian bishops were coached in their responses. Italy has nearly 200 bishops representing very different backgrounds. They come from different geographical locations, seminaries and universities, and experiences of priestly formation. Yet many of them in their response used the same phrase, “return to the preSummorum Pontificum” regime. In Italian, the phrase is: “Tornare al NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN



ThE hiDDEn STORY bEhinD TradiTionis CusTodes

regime precedente di Summorum Pontificum.” This is somewhat odd, especially when even bishops who don’t have any real presence of the Extraordinary Form in their diocese incorporate it into their response. A further point: In the article mentioned earlier, Archbishop Di Noia claimed that “the thing has gotten totally out of control and become a movement, especially in the U.S., France and England.” (Actually, these are not countries where the traditional Latin Mass is “out of control” but simply widespread.) But since Traditionis Custodes provides means to take control of this “out of control” situation, according to Di Noia, one would think that the American, French and English bishops would have immediately applied it with the strongest possible interpretation. Presumably, they would have taken advantage of the fact that it was immediately applicable, but that hasn’t happened, so where’s the “out of control”? This was reflected in the bishops’ responses after the promulgation of Traditionis Custodes. The first reaction was often to decree that everything would continue as is, until there is time to study, discuss, etc. Where bishops already opposed the Extraordinary Form, they decided to be more holy than the Pope and to ban it. But most bishops said they would guarantee the pastoral care of those attached to the traditional Latin Mass. This was in line with the way bishops expressed themselves in their responses to the survey. In fact, when these decrees came out, they reflected the tone that the bishop had used when he responded. The key point, as you will have likely gathered by now, is that the premises and conclusions of Traditionis Custodes are not the same as those presented in the detailed main report produced by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Traditionis Custodes was not consistent with what the main report rec18


ommended or revealed. As one source said, “What they are really interested in doing is cancelling the Old Mass, because they hate it.” As I mentioned earlier, to my knowledge, one part of the report contained quotations taken from the responses that came in from the individual dioceses. These were meant to provide the Holy Father with a representative sampling of responses, and were broken down into various categories. These included: “negative evaluations about the attitude of certain faithful”; “on the isolation of the community”; a very brief section “on the irrelevance of the EF for the people”; “on the need and/or pastoral fittingness of the EF”; “on those whom the EF attracts”; a considerable section of quotations on “the value of the EF for the peace and unity of the Church”; “on the liturgical theological and catechetical value of the EF”; “on the historic value of the EF”; “on the influence of the EF on the OF”; “on the influence of the EF on seminaries and/or houses of formation”; and a long final section of “proposals for the future.” One can see from the quotations included that the findings were not sugar-coated. Let’s consider just a few of them from the various categories (EF=Extraordinary Form; OF=Ordinary Form). [Editor’s Note: Diane Montagna here gives many quotations from the unpublished text of the surveys of the world’s bishops. For reasons of space, we have excerpted some of these quotations in the boxes on the previous pages.] CONCLUSION What’s next? It’s hard to tell. Some have suggested that an implementing instruction of Traditionis Custodes could be forthcoming, perhaps by Christmas, but this is still unknown. We have grown used to the Holy See supporting the liturgical peace of the Church, but we can no longer take that for granted. In conclusion, and by way of advice:

Priests, stable groups, and individuals should refrain from any correspondence with the Holy See. Those attached to the traditional Latin Mass should also avoid giving the impression that they are “warriors” in their diocese or parish, who are always protesting or unhappy. The goal must be to not lose the traditional Latin Mass as a normal form of prayer. And, as children of the heavenly Father, we must pray for the hierarchy. This is our duty. Individual diocesan priests should continue offering private Masses, since the 1962 Missal has not been abrogated. Bishops whom the Holy Father has entrusted with the task of guarding tradition should truly evaluate whether the implementation of Traditionis Custodes would bring true spiritual benefits to their flock. Bishops might realize that what inspired the Holy Father is totally different from the situation in their own diocese and act accordingly. Today is the 450th anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto (1571) and commemorates the victory of the Holy League (an alliance of Catholic States commissioned to defeat the Turks) over the fleet of the Ottoman Empire. It was the largest naval battle in Western history since classical antiquity. St. Pope Pius V (1504-1572), who commissioned the Holy League, put as much emphasis on the power of Rosary as he did on the Holy League. He is also known for his role in the Council of Trent, for codifying the Rosary, and for promulgating the 1570 Missale Romanum with the papal bull, Quo Primum. With this bull, the saintly Pope sought to ensure that no one could ever change the Mass. At the Battle of Lepanto, the only thing standing between Europe and its certain destruction were the men of Christendom willing to answer the call of the Church, and their readiness to pray the Rosary in defense of Catholic Europe. May such men arise today in defending the traditional Roman liturgy, and may Our Lady have the victory!m

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NEWS Hungary-Slovakia

FranciS imploreS Slovakia’S cHriSTianS To purSue “Freedom” in cHriST over comForT THe Trip included SepTember 12 meeTingS wiTH Hungary’S leaderS... and, laTer THaT Same day, Slovakia’S JeSuiTS n BY CNA

P:ope Francis was in Heroes Square in Budapest on September 12 to celebrate Mass and greet the participants at the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress. Right, Pope Francis greets Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (CNS photo/Vatican Media)


ope Francis began his first visit to Slovakia, a Catholic-majority country of 5.5 million, on September 12, after spending most of the day in Budapest, Hungary, where he celebrated the closing Mass of the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress and met Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. It was the first papal visit to the country since 2003. In Slovakia, he met political authorities, bishops, religious, and priests in the capital city of Bratislava. He also visited a center for the poor and homeless run by the Missionaries of Charity in one of the city’s most impoverished suburbs. The Pope later met with young people, celebrated a Byzantine Divine Liturgy, and spoke to the minority Roma (gypsy) community in the Luník IX ghetto in eastern Slovakia.

DO NOT FALL INTO “INTERIOR BONDAGE” After he arrived in Slovakia September 12, Pope Francis exhorted the country’s Ecumenical Council of 20


Churches to prefer God to comfort and security. Noting the rise of religious freedom in Slovakia in recent years, “after the years of atheistic persecution” of the communist government, Pope Francis implored Christians not to fall into “interior bondage.” Pope Francis noted “how difficult it is to live your faith in freedom. For there is always the temptation to return to slavery, not that of a regime, but one even worse: an interior bondage.” “Dear brothers, may this not happen to us! Let us help one another never to fall into the trap of being satisfied with bread and little else,” he said at the meeting. “Then our goal is no longer ‘the freedom we have in Christ Jesus,’ his truth that sets us free, but the staking out of spaces and privileges, which, as far as the Gospel is concerned, are ‘bread and little else’.” “Here, from the heart of Europe, we can ask: have we Christians lost some of our zeal for the preaching of the Gospel and for prophetic witness?” he asked.

“It is hard to expect Europe to be increasingly influenced and enriched by the Gospel if we are untroubled by the fact that on this continent we are not yet fully united and are unconcerned for one another.” The Pope proposed two suggestions in response to the challenge: contemplation and serving the poor. “Unity is not attained so much by good intentions and agreement about some shared value, but by doing something concrete, together, for those who bring us closest to the Lord. Who are they? They are the poor, for in them Jesus is present,” he said. “May the gift of God be present on the table of all, so that, even though we are not yet able to share the same Eucharistic meal, we can welcome Jesus together by serving him in the poor,” he said. He pointed to Sts. Cyril and Methodius, ninth century missionary bishops who are recognized as the “Apostles of the Slavs.” They adapted the Greek alphabet into a script for the Slavonic language, creating the “Cyrillic” alphabet used to translate the

Pope Francis leads a meeting with young people at Lokomotiva Stadium in Koöice, Slovakia, Sept. 14, 2021 (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

bible into Slavonic. “As witnesses of a Christianity still marked by unity and zeal for the preaching of the Gospel, may they help us to persevere on our journey by fostering our fraternal communion in the name of Jesus,” Pope Francis said.

“SOME PEOPLE WANTED ME TO DIE” In a subsequent private meeting with Jesuits on September 12, a Jesuit priest asked the Pope how he was doing, to which he replied: “Still alive, even though some people wanted me to die.” “I know there were even meetings between prelates who thought the Pope’s condition was more serious than the official version. They were preparing for the conclave,” he added. “Patience! Thank God, I’m all right.” The text of the Pope’s private September 12 meeting with Jesuits in Slovakia was published by Jesuit magazine La Civiltà Cattolica on September 21. During the encounter, one priest spoke with Pope Francis about tension in the Catholic Church in Slovakia, saying that some people see Francis as “heterodox,” while others “idealize you.” “We Jesuits try to overcome this division,” he said, asking: “How do you deal with people who look at you with suspicion?” Pope Francis noted that “there is, for example, a large Catholic television channel that has no hesitation in continually speaking ill of the Pope.” “I personally deserve attacks and insults because I am a sinner, but the Church does not deserve them. They are the work of the devil,” he said. “Some people accuse me of not talking about holiness,” he continued. “They say I always talk about social issues and that I’m a communist. Yet I wrote an entire apostolic exhortation on holiness, Gaudete et exsultate.”

CONDEMNING “EVERY FORM OF ANTI-SEMITISM” Pope Francis on Monday, September 13 recalled the great suffering

endured by the Jewish community in Slovakia during the Holocaust and encouraged Jews and Christians to be united in condemning violence and anti-Semitism. “Dear brothers and sisters, your history is our history; your sufferings are our sufferings,” the Pope told Slovakia’s Jewish community in Bratislava. “Now is the time when the image of

God shining forth in humanity must no longer be obscured. Let us help one another in this effort,” he said. Francis noted that, “in our day too, so many empty and false idols dishonor the Name of the Most High: the idols of power and money that prevail over human dignity; a spirit of indifference that looks the other way; and forms of manipulation that would exploit religion in the service of power or else reduce it to irrelevance.” “But also forgetfulness of the past, ignorance prepared to justify anything, anger and hatred,” he added. “I repeat: Let us unite in condemning all violence and every form of antiSemitism and in working to ensure that God’s image, present in the humanity he created, will never be profaned.” Bratislava had a large Jewish minority for centuries, with the first record of the Jewish community in the city dating to 1251. In 1930, 15,000 Jews lived in Bratislava, which at that time had a total population of 120,000. During World War II, almost all of Bratislava’s Jews were deported to concentration camps or labor camps. Around 11,500 Jews

then living in the city were murdered in the Holocaust. Today, Bratislava has the largest Jewish community in Slovakia, numbering around 500.



Pope Francis told young Slovakian Catholics at an event on Tuesday, September 14, that confession is an “infallible remedy” for the times when they are feeling down. Responding to a question from Petra Filová, a 29-year-old student, about how to overcome obstacles to God’s mercy, he said: “Today, there are so many disruptive forces, so many people ready to blame everyone and everything, spreaders of negativity, professional complainers.” “But when we feel downcast — because everyone in life is a little down at certain times; we all know this experience — what are we to do? There is one infallible remedy that can put us back on our feet. Petra, it is what you said: confession.”. The livestreamed event took place at Lokomotiva Stadium, attended by an estimated 25,000 exuberant young people, began with an introduction by Archbishop Bernard Bober of Košice, followed by three testimonies. The Pope encouraged youngsters to see that God’s mercy, not their sins, is what lies at the heart of confession. He said: “I will give you a little piece of advice: After each confession, sit still for a few moments in order to remember the forgiveness you received. Hold on to that peace in your heart, that inner freedom you are feeling; not your sins, which no longer exist, but the forgiveness that God has granted you, the caress of God the Father. Just hold on to that; don’t let it fade. And the next time you go to confession, remember: I am going to receive again the embrace that did me so much good. I don’t go to a judge to settle accounts. I go to Jesus who loves me and heals me.” The Pope also answered a question about the value of chaste love, posed NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN


NEWS Hungary-Slovakia by Peter Lešak, a 37-year-old company manager who is married with three daughters. The Pope said: “Love is our greatest dream in life, but it does not come cheap. Like all great things in life, love is beautiful, but not easy.” While love may begin with an emotion, he noted, it should not be reduced to a mere feeling. “Love is not about having everything now; it is not part of today’s throwaway culture. Love is fidelity, gift and responsibility,” he commented. The Pope also offered the example of a local, Blessed Anna Kolesárová. Lokomotiva Stadium was the site of the 16-year-old Slovakian laywoman’s beatification on September 1, 2018, a martyr killed “in hatred of the faith.” In 1944, Soviet troops were passing through Kolesárová’s district. When a soldier entered her home and found the family in hiding, he attempted to rape Kolesárová, threatening her with death if she did not comply. Kolesárová refused, and the soldier shot her in front of her family.

The Pope told young people that Kolesárová taught youth to “aim high,” describing her as a “heroine of love.”


At Slovakia’s national Catholic shrine on Wednesday, September 15, Pope Francis said that Our Lady of Sorrows is a model of how to live the faith with compassion and care for the suffering. “Mary, Mother of Sorrows, remains at the foot of the Cross. She simply stands there. She does not run away, or try to save herself, or find ways to alleviate her grief,” the Pope said during Mass on Sept. 15, the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. “Here,” he said, “is the proof of true compassion: to remain standing beneath the Cross. To stand there weeping, yet with the faith that knows that, in her Son, God transfigures pain and suffering and triumphs over death.” On the final day of his visit to Slovakia, Pope Francis offered the livestreamed Mass outside the country’s

National Shrine of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows in the young town of Šaštín. According to local authorities, around 60,000 people attended the Mass. The basilica in Šaštín was built to honor the image of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows, a figure so important to the people of Slovakia that Pope Pius XI declared her the country’s patroness in 1927. Before Mass, Pope Francis prayed with Slovakia’s bishops inside the basilica, reciting a prayer of entrustment to Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows. “Mother of the Church, Consoler of the Afflicted, with confidence we turn to you, in the joys and struggles of our ministry,” they prayed. “Look upon us with tenderness and open your arms to embrace us. “Queen of the Apostles, Refuge of Sinners, you know our human limitations, our spiritual failings, our sorrow in the face of loneliness and abandonment: with your gentle touch heal our wounds.”m

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NEWS vatican

PoPe Francis to Declare st. irenaeus a “Doctor oF unity” st. irenaeus was a seconD-century bishoP anD writer revereD by both catholics anD orthoDox christians n BY COURTNEY MARES/CNA


ope Francis on October 7 said that he plans to declare St. Irenaeus of Lyon, who lived from 130 to 202, A.D. (shown in a stained glass window, right), a Doctor of the Church with the title Doctor unitatis (“Doctor of Unity”). The Pope made the announcement in a speech to the St. Irenaeus Working Group, a joint OrthodoxCatholic working group from the Institute for Ecumenical Studies at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas in Rome, who conducted a study on synodality and primacy. “Your patron, St. Irenaeus of Lyon — whom soon I will willingly declare a Doctor of the Church with the title Doctor unitatis — came from the East, exercised his episcopal ministry in the West, and was a great spiritual and theological bridge between Eastern and Western Christians,” Pope Francis said. St. Irenaeus was a second-century bishop and writer revered by both Catholics and Orthodox Christians and known for refuting the heresies of Gnosticism with a defense of both Christ’s humanity and divinity. The U.S. bishops voted last year in favor of having St. Irenaeus named a doctor of the Church at the request of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, the then archbishop of Lyon, southern France, and sent their approval to the Vatican for the Pope’s consideration. Pope Francis previously declared St. Gregory of Narek, a 10th-century Armenian monk, a Doctor of the Church in 2015. Benedict XVI named Sts. John of Avila and Hildegard of Bingen as Doctors of the Church in 2012. Seventeen of the 36

figures declared Doctors of the Church by the Catholic Church lived before the Great Schism of 1054 and are also revered by Orthodox Christians. St. Irenaeus would be the first martyr to receive the title. “His name, Irenaeus, contains the word ‘peace,’” Pope Francis said. “We know that the Lord’s peace is not a ‘negotiated’ peace, the fruit of agreements meant to safeguard interests, but a peace that reconciles,

that brings together in unity,” Francis added. “That is the peace of Jesus.” The Pope spoke about synodality and primacy during his meeting with the St. Irenaeus Working Group. “A fruitful approach to primacy in theological and ecumenical dialogues must necessarily be grounded in a reflection on synodality. There is no other way,” Pope Francis said. “I have frequently expressed my conviction that in a synodal Church, greater light can be shed on the exercise of the Petrine primacy.” Petrine primacy refers to the absolute authority of the Pope as a pastor and governor with immediate and direct jurisdiction over the whole Church. The primacy of the Bishop of Rome is one of the major issues of disagreement that has kept Orthodox Christians apart from the Catholic Church. The Eastern Orthodox have a conciliar model of the Church, rather than one of centralized authority. “Through the constructive patience of dialogue, especially with the Orthodox Churches, we have come to understand more fully that in the Church primacy and synodality are not two competing principles to be kept in balance, but two realities that establish and sustain one another in the service of communion,” the Pope said. “Just as the primacy presupposes the exercise of synodality, so synodality entails the exercise of primacy. “Dear friends, with the help of God, you too are working to break down dividing walls and to build bridges of communion,” he added.m NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN


NEWS Vatican

francis launches 2-Year “sYnodal path” the themes of the process are “encounter, listen, and discern.” But some warn that the process is flawed... n BY CNA (A SERVICE OF EWTN NEWS)


ope Francis formally launched the two-year global consultation process leading to the 2023 “Synod on Synodality” on Sunday, October 10, with a call to “look others in the eye and listen to what they have to say.” Preaching at a Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, the Pope said Catholics taking part in the “synodal path” should strive to “become experts in the art of encounter.” “Not so much by organizing events or theorizing about problems, as in taking time to encounter the Lord and one another,” he said. “Time to devote to prayer and adoration — this prayer that we neglect so much: to adore, to make room for adoration — listening to what the Spirit wants to say to the Church. “Time to look others in the eye and listen to what they have to say, to build rapport, to be sensitive to the questions of our sisters and brothers, to let our24


Pope Francis visits a Roman parish in the southern suburbs of the city, meeting the children and young people of the parish (Photo Grzegorz Galazka)

selves be enriched by the variety of charisms, vocations, and ministries.” The live-streamed Mass, attended by some 3,000 people, was the second of two weekend events officially opening the two-year global consultation process. The first was a “moment of reflection” on October 9 featuring speeches from the Pope, Cardinal Mario Grech, the secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, S.J., the synod’s relator general, and others. The Vatican announced in May that the “Synod on Synodality” would open with a diocesan phase lasting from October 2021 to April 2022. A second, continental phase will take place from September 2022 to March 2023. The third, universal phase will begin with the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, dedicated to the theme “For a Synodal Church:

Communion, Participation, and Mission,” at the Vatican in October 2023. In his homily, the Pope reflected on the day’s Gospel reading, Mark 10:1730, in which Jesus challenges the rich young man to “Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor… then come, follow me.” He said that the Gospels often showed Jesus in the midst of a journey, meeting people and listening to their deepest concerns. “Today, as we begin this synodal process, let us begin by asking ourselves — all of us, pope, bishops, priests, religious and laity — whether we, the Christian community, embody this ‘style’ of God, who travels the paths of history and shares in the life of humanity,” he urged. “Are we prepared for the adventure of this journey? Or are we fearful of the unknown, preferring to take refuge in the usual excuses: ‘It’s useless’ or ‘We’ve always done it this way’?”

Synodal Path in Germany an “abuse of the Church”


ermany began a “synodal path” of its own in 2020. Two participants say the process betrays a “total failure of catechesis.” Might Germany’s experience foreshadow the Vatican’s Synod on Synodality? The Synodal Path of the Catholic Church in Germany is dominated by “indignant laypeople” who are ensuring their “radical demands” are met by making them look more moderate. This is according to an assessment written by two anonymous synodal lay participants and shared with Bernhard Meuser (photo), Catholic publisher and co-founder of “Neuer Anfang” (New Beginning), a group critical of Germany’s “Synodal Path.” Meuser, who also founded the YOUCAT Foundation for the New Evangelization in Bavaria, told the National Catholic Register on October 6 that according to these members of the Synodal Path, the process is an “abuse of the Church, the forcible appropriation of power by liberal forces and their domination of the process.” The German Synodal Path, which began in January 2020 and is slated to end in 2023, aims to tackle key areas of reform highlighted by the clerical sex abuse crisis, say organizers. The two disaffected participants wished to remain anonymous because they wanted to continue “to have a say within the process” and did not want “the thread of conversation to break off,” said Meuser, who believes they reflect the full “horror” and “terrible things happening there.”

“Celebrating a synod means walking on the same road, together. Let us look at Jesus, who encounters the rich man on the road; he then listens to his questions, and finally he helps him discern what he must do to inherit eternal life.” The Pope built his homily around three verbs — “encounter, listen, and discern” — that he hoped would mark the synodal path. He noted that when Jesus encountered the young man, he was fully present to him and did not “keep looking at his watch to get the meeting over.” “Everything changes once we are capable of genuine encounters with Him and with one another, without formalism or pretense, but simply as we are,” he observed. “Do we allow people to express themselves, to walk in faith even though they have had difficulties in life, and to be part of the life of the community without being hindered,

The participants noted that the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK), source of most of the lay participants in the Synodal Path process, is made up of “mostly left-liberal functionaries of associations, committees and federations” who are “by no means the entirety of the laity in Germany.” The bishops, they added, fall into three groups: those who support the demands of the lay members; a few loyal to the Magisterium led by the theological head of the bishops’ conference, Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer (photo); and the majority of the episcopate, “who remain silent and tremble.” Each bishop has only one vote, the same as each lay participant, and the same applies to the speaking time they are allotted. For these two synod informants, behind this Synodal Path is “a total failure of catechesis in the German Church for 50 years,” along with the “simultaneous emancipation of wide circles of academic theology away from the teaching authority of the Church.” Despite the process having no canonical authority, the two members warned of schism. The next synodal assembly, they pointed out, plans to make “binding decisions by majority vote” and they are not optimistic that courageous bishops will oppose them, especially as only a slim majority of the bishops attended the most recent synodal assembly, September 30October 2. —By Edward Pentin, National Catholic Register

rejected, or judged?” he asked. He continued: “Participating in a synod means placing ourselves on the same path as the Word made flesh. It means following in his footsteps, listening to his word along with the words of others. It means discovering with amazement that the Holy Spirit always surprises us, to suggest fresh paths and new ways of speaking.” The Pope said that encounter and listening should lead to discernment. “We see this in today’s Gospel,” he explained. “Jesus senses that the person before him is a good and religious man, obedient to the commandments, but he wants to lead him beyond the mere observance of precepts.” “Through dialogue, he helps him to discern. “Jesus encourages that man to look within, in the light of the love that the Lord himself had shown by his gaze, and to discern in that light what his heart truly treasures.”

“And in this way to discover that he cannot attain happiness by filling his life with more religious observances, but by emptying himself, selling whatever takes up space in his heart, in order to make room for God.” The Pope described the synod as “a journey of spiritual discernment” guided by God’s word. “That word summons us to discernment and it brings light to that process. It guides the synod, preventing it from becoming a Church ‘convention,’ a study group or a political congress, because it is not a parliament, but rather a grace-filled event, a process of healing guided by the Holy Spirit,” he said. “In these days, Jesus calls us, as he did the rich man in the Gospel, to empty ourselves, to free ourselves from all that is worldly, including our inward-looking and outworn pastoral models; and to ask ourselves what it is that God wants to say to us in this time. And the direction in which he wants to lead us.”m NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN


NEWS Vatican

the church: In or Of the WorlD? the Vatican’s Dilemma as aggressiVe globalism continues on the march n BY THOMAS STORCK

British Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States (the Vatican’s “foreign minister”). Here, a session of the United Nations’ Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)


ery recently Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States, made a statement at a conference sponsored by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) which highlights a continuing and unresolved dilemma facing the Church in a pluralistic world, increasingly dominated by people who are indifferent if not hostile to any organized religion. The UNCTAD conference had as its focus the motto, “Prosperity for All” — surely a goal that the vast majority would agree with and which has been a constant theme of papal social doctrine as well. Nor were Archbishop Gallagher’s short speech and the specific items he advocated out of line with the tradition of modern papal social teaching initiated by Leo XIII. He highlights the increasing disparity between rich and poor, both rich and poor nations and the rich and poor even within countries considered securely developed. He



calls attention to the contribution of the Covid epidemic to this disparity in that “[t]hose with digital skills and financial assets made gains, while those without such resources fell further behind.” The Archbishop notes the effects of “unregulated financial markets and institutions with shortterm horizons.” All this, as we will see, is in line with the thrust of numerous statements by more than one pontiff. Even Gallagher’s proposed remedies, “fiscal redistribution and increasing the progressiveness of income taxation schedules” and “[a]equate enforcement of corporate taxation” can hardly be called alien to Catholic tradition. What then is the unresolved dilemma that I mentioned earlier? What objections can be raised with regard to the Archbishop’s speech? Before addressing what I am calling an unresolved dilemma, let us make sure that we understand exactly how

radical traditional Catholic social teaching often was. Far from endorsing the status quo brought about by the capitalist economic system that arose in the eighteenth century, Leo XIII and his successors reacted with strong language. Leo XIII: “Hence by degrees it has come to pass that Working Men have been given over, isolated and defenseless, to the callousness of employers and the greed of unrestrained competition. (Rerum Novarum, no. 3) “On the one side there is the party which holds the power because it holds the wealth; which has in its grasp all labor and all trade; which manipulates for its own benefit and its own purposes all the sources of supply, and which is powerfully represented in the councils of the State itself. On the other side there is the needy and powerless multitude, sore and suffering, always ready for disturbance. (Rerum Novarum, no. 47)

“From inequality and vulnerability to prosperity for all” Statement by His Excellency Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher (excerpts) Bridgetown, Barbados, October 5, 2021 n The Covid-19 global situation has led to the most severe recession since World War II…[and] has dramatically exposed existing fault-lines and fragilities in the prevailing economic model. As Pope Francis has noted, this is a model that “strengthens the identity of the more powerful, who can protect themselves, but it tends to diminish the identity of the weaker and poorer regions, making them more vulnerable and dependent.” (Fratelli tutti, n. 12) n First, fighting rampant inequality cannot be achieved without fiscal redistribution and increasing the progressiveness of income taxation schedules. Adequate enforcement of corporate taxation, especially multinational enterprises (MNEs), is equally important. Better taxation can redistribute a portion of the rents accruing to big corporations and help build up tax bases, especially in developing countries. Nonetheless, this does not solve structural problems, such as the persistent productivity gap between small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and large firms. n A much more ambitious multilateral approach to debt restructuring and relief is needed. This should aim at substantial redemption schedules for public external debts of developing economies, along with expanding

Then, his even more outspoken successor, Pius XI: “Capital, however, was long able to appropriate to itself excessive advantages. It claimed all the products and profits and left to the laborer the barest minimum necessary to repair his strength and to ensure the continuation of his class. For by an inexorable economic law, it was held, all accumulation of riches must fall to the share of the wealthy, while the workingman must remain perpetually in indigence or reduced to the minimum needed for existence. (Quadragesimo Anno, no. 54) “Each class, then, must receive its due share, and the distribution of created goods must be brought into conformity with the demands of the common good and social justice. For every sincere observer realizes that the vast differences between the few who hold excessive wealth and the many who live in destitution constitute a

the use of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) and Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) to support national development strategies. n The extreme inequality that has emerged in recent decades is underpinned by an individualistic ideology that has abandoned the notion of the common good in a common home with common horizons. Investment and prosperity have been delinked from notions of a social contract and a commitment to a caring society; rather, today they are perceived merely from the perspective of sources of profit. Pope Francis warned that “[r]adical individualism is a virus that is extremely difficult to eliminate, for it is clever. It makes us believe that everything consists in giving free rein to our own ambitions, as if by pursuing ever greater ambitions and creating safety nets we would somehow be serving the common good.” (Fratelli tutti, 105) n A new ethics of the common good is necessary. It forms the basis for policy- making capable of both tackling the structural inequalities behind our deeply divided and increasingly fragile world and unleashing the spirit of human ingenuity and creativity, which is urgently needed to build back better from the devastation of the Covid-19 pandemic.

grave evil in modern society.” (Quadragesimo Anno, no. 58) Then, finally, from John Paul II’s Centesimus Annus, the encyclical erroneously but widely regarded as a kind of paean to triumphant free-market economics. “There is a risk that a radical capitalistic ideology could spread which refuses even to consider these problems, in the a priori belief that any attempt to solve them is doomed to failure, and which blindly entrusts their solution to the free development of market forces.” (no. 42) “The Western countries... run the risk of seeing [the collapse of Communism] as a one-sided victory of their own economic system, and thereby failing to make necessary corrections in that system.” (no. 56) I hope that these few quotations — which I could easily multiply to fill several pages

— will be sufficient to disabuse the minds of any readers that the utterances on economics by Pope Francis and his collaborators are something unheard of in the history of the Church. So, what then do I mean when I speak of a dilemma? This striking quotation from Pope Leo will put into boldest relief the dilemma I am alluding to. “We approach the subject with confidence, and in the exercise of the rights which belong to Us. For no practical solution of this question will ever be found without the assistance of Religion and the Church. It is We who are the chief guardian of religion, and the chief dispenser of what belongs to the Church, and We must not by silence neglect the duty which lies upon Us.” (Rerum Novarum, no. 16) While Pope Leo notes the necessary and important contributions of others, of “the rulers of States, of employers of labor, of the wealthy, and of the workNOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN


NEWS VATICAN ing population themselves,” he clearly has no hesitation about asserting a primary role for the Roman Pontiff. Although the arguments he and later Popes employ in their social encyclicals are chiefly drawn from natural law, not specifically from the Gospel or Christian revelation, nevertheless these Popes do not fail to place their entire enterprise within a Christian context. Perhaps the clearest example of this, my favorite one in fact, is the formal title of Pius XI’s 1931 encyclical Quadragesimo Anno, “On Reconstructing the Social Order and Perfecting It Conformably to the Precepts of the Gospel.” In this encyclical in which Pope Pius notes that private property is not an absolute right, condemns free competition as the means of organizing an economic system, calls attention to the fact that the programs of moderate socialism “often strikingly approach the just demands of Christian social reformers,” and much more along these lines — in this encyclical his whole effort is to reconstruct the social order and perfect it conformably to the precepts of the Gospel. He, like Leo , has no doubt but that economic and social justice is part and parcel of the Church’s message, and moreover, that the Church has a specific and unique contribution to make, one that no other group or organization on earth possesses. And in this lies our dilemma. It is natural that in a pluralistic world Catholic spokesmen desire to have a seat at the table. To ignore the existence and activities of the United Nations would be folly. In 1931 the Catholic historian Christopher Dawson wrote, “The Puritan or the sectarian Christian can isolate himself from the age in which he lives and construct a private world in harmony with his religious convictions. But for the Catholic this should be impossible. Catholicism stands essentially for a universal order in which every good and every truth of the natural or the social order can find a place.” The difficulty consists in walking a fine line, on one side of which lies the 28


irrelevance of sectarian Christians who dwell in an intellectual ghetto; on the other side lies the error of regarding the Church as just another charitable or international aid organization, or going to excessive lengths to ingratiate her with the secular powers that be. (Why does Gallagher, for example, an Englishman, feel compelled to mouth one of the slogans of the Biden administration and speak of that “which is urgent-

Some pages of information about the “2020 Report” of UNCTAD

ly needed to build back better [my emphasis] from the devastation of the Covid-19 pandemic”?) Moreover, there is the additional danger of failing to make it clear whenever the Church might question solutions so confidently agreed upon by the secular world. UNCTAD was founded in 1964 to integrate nations into the world trading system, what we now call the “globalized economy,” and states, as if it were a simple and uncontested truth, that “Globalization, including a phenomenal expansion of trade, has helped lift millions out of poverty.” Although Archbishop Gallagher does demur to the extent of speaking about both “the advantages of globalization” as well as “its negative consequences,” would the Holy See be as welcome at these international parleys if its spokesmen were to raise any fundamental objections, or even questions, about exactly how beneficial globalization really is? If they pointed out how easily international economic transactions are manipulated

by financial interests and by multinational corporations, or highlighted the frailty of intercontinental supply chains and the environmental damage they inflict, or raised doubts about the idea of “comparative advantage” or any of the other axioms of modern economists; and if instead they noted the numerous advantages of local economies and human-scale enterprises and how the principle of subsidiarity can give local farmers, artisans and small manufacturers more control over their economic destinies? I do not condemn the Holy See’s participation in the activities of such international organizations. I am simply pointing out the dangers involved in efforts to avoid the censure of irrelevancy and sectarian retreat from the problems of the real world. Our Lord spoke of his followers as being in, but not of, the world. Deciding when one crosses the line between them can be difficult. I close by offering a couple of suggestions for dealing successfully with this situation. One is that Catholic spokesmen, official or not, should be sufficiently familiar with the corpus of the Church’s social doctrine that they can discern what is of permanent value in it and what is simply a response to a transient phase of social or economic development; and they should not be embarrassed to bring up again and again what is of permanent validity. Secondly, we should begin to educate our own Catholic people on the necessity of “Reconstructing the Social Order and Perfecting It Conformably to the Precepts of the Gospel” — the uncompleted, nay, never even attempted, challenge of Pope Pius. Then, indeed, can it be seen that the Catholic Church does have something real to say to mankind, mired in so many perplexities and problems, and that we stand “for a universal order in which every good and every truth of the natural or the social order can find a place.”m Thomas Storck is the author of seven books and of dozens of articles on the Catholic faith and economics.

NEWS uniTed STaTeS

SocialiSm and communiSm: making a comeback? The church’S reaSoned reSponSe over The Span of 170 yearS SignalS a need for careful analySiS n BY PAUL KENGOR


Some 69% of American “ Millennials” (those born between 1981 and 1996) have a positive view of socialism and communism, casting millions of votes for lifetime socialist Bernie Sanders and "Democratic socialist" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

here has been a sudden surge in support for socialism and communism, particularly in the West, among young people. Most striking has been the surge in America, a nation based on principles antithetical to socialism and communism, and a nation that led the fight during the Cold War to defeat Marxism-Leninism. Polls show that many Americans aged 18-29 prefer socialism over capitalism. A major study by the Pew Research Center found that 49% of these Americans have a positive view of socialism, exceeding the 43% with a positive view of capitalism. In 2015, Gallup turned up a gem, learning that 69% of Millennials said they would be willing to vote for a socialist as president of the United States. In 2016 and 2020, many did just that, casting millions of ballots for lifetime socialist Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Party primary. This support isn’t unique to Sanders. The chairman of the

Democratic National Committee points to self-identified “democratic socialist” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as “the future of our party.” Quite remarkably, the editor of the National Catholic Reporter calls Ocasio-Cortez “the future of the Catholic Church.” Worse still, the leading Jesuit publication in the United States, America Magazine, in July 2019 published an article titled, “The Catholic Case for Communism.” Many people don’t know of the malignant track record of these ideologies. They don’t know how deadly communism is—an atheistic ideology that, according to the 1999 Harvard University Press work, The Black Book of Communism, was responsible for at least 100 million deaths in the 20th century. Some estimates rise as high as 140

million—more than double the combined death tolls of World Wars I and II. Alexander Yakovlev, Mikhail Gorbachev’s chief reformer, estimated that Joseph Stalin alone “annihilated 60 to 70 million people.” And yet, a study by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation finds that 28% of Americans believe that former president George W. Bush was responsible for more deaths than Stalin—a stunning assertion. The survey also revealed a disturbing percentage with positive views of Vladimir Lenin and Mao Zedong, the latter credited with more deaths than even Stalin. A November 2019 survey by Victims of Communism showed that 36% of Millennials say they approve of communism, and 22% believe “society would be better if all private property was abolished.” NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN


NEWS UNITED STATES All of which begs some key questions: How do people define socialism and communism? What are the differences? Why are young people supporting these destructive ideologies condemned not only by the Western democracies but also by the Roman Catholic Church? As for young people supporting socialism, the aforementioned Reason-Rupe survey found that Millennials describe the ideology as one of “people being kind” or “being together.” They view socialism as a “social safety net” where a benevolent government “pays for our own needs” — “free” college, “free” healthcare, “free” daycare, “free” pre-daycare, etc. The exact opposite is true. The reality heaped atop reality is that nothing is “free.” These things aren’t funded by a vast field of money trees or a magic money fairy. No, the money must be produced and collected. So, alas, what is socialism? Does it have anything to do with communism? Many of those rallying to the socialist flag have the same questions. In 2015, the word “socialism” was the most looked-up word at “Socialism,” states MerriamWebster concisely, “is government ownership of the means of production.” That’s an accurate definition. The World Socialist Party declares its socialist objective as this: “The establishment of a system of society based on the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth. . . . We call this ‘common ownership,’ but other terms we regard as synonymous are communism and socialism.” In practice, of course, this means that the state owns and controls economic resources, given that no single worker or consumer, nor group of them, is permitted to own and control economic resources. “Public ownership” means state ownership. 30


Bear in mind that this is a world away from a social democracy, or a generous welfare state, or governmentprovided refuse collection or healthcare or rail service or road paving. Socialism and communism involve extreme levels of government management and ownership. There is a massive difference between a Denmark and a Cuba, a France and a Leo XIII, Pope from 1846 to 1878. Below, a painting by Giuseppe Pelizza Volpedo showing the solidarity of workers in a painting in favor of the socialist ideal

North Korea, a Sweden and a Venezuela. In strict Marxist theory, socialism is a way-station along the path to full communism. History, according to Marxist-dialectic thought, would pass through a series of planes or stages, from feudalism to capitalism to socialism to communism. Each successive plane or stage would be a higher step in the evolutionary process toward a “workers’ paradise” or utopian-like “classless society.” Why such an economic goal is perceived as the pinnacle of human development is a good question. To most people, economics and class simply aren’t that monumentally important; they’re not the centerpiece of existence. To communists and many socialists, however, this is the alpha and omega. They speak as if man truly does live by bread alone. Jesus Christ told Satan, the tempter, just the opposite. As Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI noted, communists mistakenly assume

that if society resolves a problem like economic inequality, then something closer to a New Jerusalem can follow. As both Popes observed, the principal failure of communists and socialists is anthropological. They do not understand human nature and the fact that it is not material but spiritual goods that actually make man happy. Communism is inherently atheistic. Marx called religion “the opiate of the masses” and asserted that “communism begins where atheism begins.” Lenin said “there is nothing more abominable than religion” and that “all worship of a divinity is a necrophilia.” Atheist communists and socialists have always mistakenly felt that the answers to man’s misery are found not in God (the existence of whom they deny) but in economic materialism. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published their Communist Manifesto in 1848 outlining exactly what communists planned to pursue. Marx envisioned an apocalyptic revolution leading to the overthrow of capitalism by the impoverished working class, the common people, the masses. The state would be abolished; it would “wither away.” With a classless society, class antagonisms would disappear, as would conflict, as would economic inequality, as would social inequality, and peace and harmony would follow. Moreover, this wondrous socialism would need to sweep the planet in order to work. It had to be worldwide. That was the plan, and that is no small thing. But Marx and Engels, and then Lenin and Stalin and a train of others still to this day, felt it could happen. And yet, all along, even before the Communist Manifesto was published, no institution has battled communism and socialism like the Roman Catholic Church. In 1846, two years before the Communist Manifesto was even published, Pope Pius IX issued his encycli-

cal Qui pluribus, which stated that communism is “absolutely contrary to the natural law itself” and would “utterly destroy the rights, property, and possessions of all men, and even society itself.” In 1849, Pius IX issued Nostis Et Nobiscum, which described both socialism and communism as “wicked theories,” “perverted theories,” and “pernicious fictions.” In December 1878, Pope Leo XIII issued Quod Apostolici muneris (On Socialism), which characterized communism as “the fatal plague which insinuates itself into the very marrow of human society only to bring about its ruin.” He wrote: “We speak of that sect of men who, under various and almost barbarous names, are called socialists, communists, or nihilists, and who, spread over all the world, and bound together by a wicked confederacy, no longer seek the shelter of secret meetings, but, openly and boldly marching forth in the light of day, strive to bring what they have long been planning— the overthrow of all civil society.” Quod Apostolici Muneris spoke of the “pest of socialism,” the “plague of socialism,” the “evil growth of socialism,” and accused socialists of “stealing the very Gospel itself with a view to deceive more easily the unwary.” These socialists “distort it [the Gospel] so as to suit their own purposes.” In 1891, Leo XIII would issue Rerum Novarum. This classic is a favorite of progressive Catholics, who seem to forget its staunch rejection of socialism. Consider this passage: “To remedy these wrongs the socialists, working on the poor man’s envy of the rich, are striving to do away with private property, and contend that individual possessions should become the common property of all, to be administered by the State or by municipal bodies.” Forty years later came Pius XI’s 1931 Quadragesimo Anno, which stated bluntly: “Religious socialism, Christian socialism, are contradictory terms; no one can be at the same time a

good Catholic and a true socialist.” Above all, stated Quadragesimo Anno, those who want to help their fellow man should simply practice the Christian Gospel. There is “no reason to become socialists.” It advised: “Those who want to be apostles among socialists ought to profess Christian truth whole and entire, openly and sincerely, and not connive at error in any John Paul II, under whose pontificate the workers’ movement in Catholic Poland began to undermine the credibility of communism in eastern Europe, then under the control of the Soviet Union

way. If they truly wish to be heralds of the Gospel, let them above all strive to show to socialists that socialist claims, so far as they are just, are far more strongly supported by the principles of Christian faith and much more effectively promoted through the power of Christian charity.” The encyclical stated emphatically: “We make this pronouncement: Whether considered as a doctrine, or an historical fact, or a movement, Socialism, if it remains truly Socialism, even after it has yielded to truth and justice on the points which we have mentioned, cannot be reconciled with the teachings of the Catholic Church because its concept of society itself is utterly foreign to Christian truth.” Like Leo XIII, Pius XI rejected all forms of socialism, whether “moderate” or “modified.” This consistent Church teaching was echoed even by Popes considered more “liberal,” such as St. Pope John XXIII, who stated: “No Catholic could subscribe even to

moderate Socialism.” (Mater et Magistra, Encyclical on Christianity and Social Progress, May 15, 1961) He noted that socialism “takes no account of any objective other than that of material well-being” and “places too severe a restraint on human liberty.” Many more formal Vatican statements on socialism and communism intervened or followed. Most striking was Pope Pius XI’s May 1937 encyclical Divini Redemptoris (On Atheistic Communism), which referred to communism as a “satanic scourge,” a “collectivistic terrorism.” Marxists were “the powers of darkness.” “The evil we must combat is at its origin primarily an evil of the spiritual order,” said the encyclical. “The monstrous emanations of the communistic system flow with satanic logic.” The Church described communism as literally Satanic. Alas, is the Church addressing socialism and communism today? Sadly, it is not. The Vatican is virtually silent on the subject, whether in its dealings with Beijing and tragic reluctance to speak out against communist China’s human rights abuses, or the complete absence of formal papal statements on communism and socialism. To be sure, Pope Francis said flatly in December 2013, “The Marxist ideology is wrong.” It is important that he said that, but it is unfortunate that no further pronouncements have apparently followed. Since literally 1846, Popes have taken the lead in opposing communism and socialism, with the Vatican a reliable bulwark against these destructive ideologies. Perhaps today, in 2021 and beyond, it will be increasingly up to the laity to sound the alarm and respond— scholars, writers, publications, businesspeople, the folks in the pews. The good news is that their Church has given them a vast volume of material to equip them for the fight.m NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN



THE CHILD AND BROTHER FRANCIS UNTO US A SAVIOR IS BORN AndJosephtoowentupfromGalileefromthetownofNazarethtoJudea,tothe city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth toherfirstbornson.Shewrappedhiminswaddlingclothesandlaidhiminamanger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Gospel of Luke, 2:4-7)

A modern re-enactment of the first living nativity scene in history organized by St. Francis at Christmastime in 1223, three years before his death. This took place in the village of Greccio, near Rieti, in the province of Lazio, Italy, just north of Rome


he Franciscan Friar Thomas of Celano (ca. 1185-1265), one of the first biographers of St. Francis of Assisi, wrote of him, “More than any other feast, he celebrated Christmas with an indescribable joy. He said that this was the feast of feasts, for on this day God became a little child and sucked milk like all human children. Francis embraced with great tenderness and devotion the pictures of the child Jesus and stammered words of tenderness, full of compassion, in the way children do. On his lips, the name of Jesus was sweet as honey.”



Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence, painted in 1600 by Caravaggio, a year before he died. Valued at $30 million (but worth more on the black market), the painting was stolen from the Oratory of Saint Lawrence in Palermo, Sicily, in 1969 when two thieves one night cut the canvas from its frame, rolled it up inside a carpet, and fled. Italian authorities believe the painting remains hidden in Sicily. A Mafia informant recalled seeing it used as a floor mat by boss Salvatore Riina. In 2005, Mafia member Francesco Marino Mannoia said he was involved in the theft. The private buyer wept and called off the sale, he said, when he saw how damaged the painting was from the robbery. A replica commissioned in 2015 now hangs in the altar




THE CHILD AND BROTHER FRANCIS THE FIRST CRÈCHE Fresco in the Nativity Chapel of the Shrine of Greccio. It stands over the grotto where, on Christmas Eve 1223, St. Francis re-enacted the birth of Jesus for the first time in the history of Christianity, thereby establishing the first nativity play


t. Francis created the first Christmas crèche in order to, as St. Bonaventure later explained, “rouse the hearts of those who are weak in the faith.” John, a former knight, gathered an ox, an ass and some hay in “a secluded cell hewn from a projecting rock” in the woods beyond the town of Greccio. “As the day of joy drew near,” Brother Thomas of Celano writes in his The First Life and Second Life of St. Francis, “the brothers were called ... while men and women of that neighborhood prepared candles and torches to light up that night that has lighted up all the days and years with its gleaming star. Thus was Greccio made ... a new Bethlehem ... The people came and were filled with new joy over the new mystery. The woods rang with the voices of the crowd and the rocks made answer to their jubilation. The brothers sang, paying their debt of praise to the Lord, and the whole night resounded with their rejoicing. The saint of God stood before the manger, uttering sighs, overcome with love, and filled with a wonderful happiness.”



The Greccio Nativity scene is the 13th of the 28 scenes in the famous cycle of frescoes of the Stories of St. Francis in the Upper Basilica of Assisi, attributed to Giotto



Ps. 88: 27. Ps. 88: 28. Ps. 41: 9. Ps. 117: 24. Luke 2: 7. Luke 2: 14 . Ps 95: 11. Ps. 95: 12. Ps 95: 1. Ps 95: 4. Ps. 95: 7. Ps. 95: 8.


Rejoice to God our helper. Shout unto God, living and true, with the voice of triumph. For the Lord is high, terrible: a great king over all the earth. For the most holy Father of heaven, our king, before ages sent His Beloved Son from on high and He was born of the Blessed Virgin, holy Mary. He shall cry out to me: Thou art my Father; And I will make Him My First-born, high above the kings of the earth. In the day time the Lord hath commanded His mercy: and a canticle to Him in the night. This is the day which the Lord hath made: let us rejoice and be glad in it. For the beloved and most holy Child has been given to us and born for us by the wayside. And laid in a manger because He had no room in the inn. Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will. Let the heavens rejoice and the earth be glad, and let the sea be moved and the fulness thereof. The fields shall rejoice and all that are in them. Sing to Him a new canticle; sing to the Lord, all the earth. For the Lord is great and exceedingly to be praised: He is to be feared above all gods. Bring to the Lord, O ye kindreds of the gentiles, bring to the Lord glory and honor. Bring to the Lord glory unto His Name. Bring your own bodies and bear His holy cross and follow His most holy precepts even unto the end.


Taddeo Gaddi, History of the Life of Christ and of Saint Francis of Assisi, 1335-1340, Accademia Gallery in Florence, Italy


THE CHILD AND BROTHER FRANCIS HE ASKS FOR OUR LOVE From Pope Benedict XVI’s Midnight Mass Homily, Feast of the Nativity, December 24, 2006

Assisi as an imaginary nativity scene: Giotto’s frescoes are brought to life in the Christmas program of the Franciscan friars at the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, Italy


od’s sign is simplicity. God’s sign is the baby. God’s sign is that he makes himself small for us. This is how he reigns. He does not come with power and outward splendor. He comes as a baby – defenseless and in need of our help. He does not want to overwhelm us with his strength. He takes away our fear of his greatness. He asks for our love: so he makes himself a child. He wants nothing other from us than our love, through which we spontaneously learn to enter into his feelings, his thoughts and his will – we learn to live with him and to practice with him that humility of renunciation that belongs to the very essence of love. God made himself small so that we could understand him, welcome him, and love him. —Benedict XVI, December 24, 2006, St. Peter’s Basilica



It was St. Francis, depicted in this painting by Ludovico Carracci (1555-1619), The Vision of St. Francis of Assisi, who in an apparition was given the Child Jesus to hold by the Virgin Mary, as reported in the rare manuscript De cognatione sancti Francisci by Arnaldo of Sarrant (or Samatan) composed in 1365. This event may have been the inspiration for Francis’ subsequent instituting of the Christmas custom of displaying a Nativity scene with the baby Jesus in the manger



YEAR of St. JoSEph

“the real crisis has barely begun” We must face “the final confrontation” With the aid of mary and Joseph... n BY MARK DROGIN Miniature in the Grandes Heures (Great Hours) of Anne of Brittany, by Jean Bourdichon


n the middle of this Year of Joseph, on June 27, we celebrated the Feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. A widely popular prayer, written by St. Alphonsus Ligouri, begins: “O Mother of Perpetual Help, you are the dispenser of all the goods which God grants to us miserable sinners, and for this reason He has made you so powerful, so rich, and so bountiful that you may help us in our misery. You are the advocate of the most wretched and abandoned sinners who have recourse to you.” This prayer by St. Alphonsus identifies the cooperation of the Immaculate Virgin in the divine plan for creation and redemption: she is the “dispenser” of all the goods God grants to us sinners, and our “advocate.” In this Year of Joseph, the Holy Spirit directs our attention to the everlasting union of Mary and her human husband: “What God has joined together, let no human break apart.” (Matthew 19:6) Serving God in this marriage-union of hearts, minds, and wills establishes the solid foundation for all human life. Today, the war against marriage and family has escalated greatly: we will not successfully defend, support and nourish human life without this solid, God-given foundation. We desperately need Mary-with-Joseph! Certainly, we have “one mediator between God and men, Jesus Christ” (1 Timothy 2:5). Yet, Jesus enters into union with humanity so that we may — mysteriously — participate in our own redemption. We experience this mystical participation-with-divinity every time we offer our whole selves on the altar with the bread and wine, and enter into Holy Communion with Him in the Eucharist. This Year of Joseph began on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 2020, marking the 150th anniversary of the declaration of St. Joseph as the Patron of the Universal Church. The specific date emphasizes the eternal union of Mary and Joseph. Mary-with-Joseph is the Terror of Demons. The Enemy attacks marriage and family in every corner of the world, in every aspect of our lives. At the same time, Divine Providence is opening the floodgates of Divine Mercy by making Joseph known and imitated.



The Gospel begins (Matthew 1:24) with Joseph taking Mary and Jesus into his home. The final Gospel ends with the Beloved Disciple — who literally stands for each one of us — imitating St. Joseph by taking Mary into his home (John 19:27). Every Christian is called to be Jesus’ “Beloved Disciple”: the Gospel instructs us to imitate Joseph by taking Mary and Jesus into our hearts and into our homes. And, the Holy Family will bring your family into their Home! Jesus unmistakably teaches us, “Without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). But God will not save us against our will; God only saves those who want to be with Him. We must actively cooperate with God in our own redemption; papal teaching calls this “the marriage of divine and human action” (St. John Paul II, Redemptoris Custos, #30). “The Word became flesh” (John 1:14) to cooperate with us in our salvation. “In the fullness of time,” two humans cooperated perfectly with God: throughout their entire lives, Mary and Joseph heard the Word of God and bore good fruit (Matthew 13:23). By proclaiming Joseph the Patron of the Universal Church, the Holy Spirit teaches us to ask for the help of Mary-with-Joseph together as one. Together they “are the dispensers of all the goods which God grants to us miserable sinners.” “Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more” (Romans 5:20) St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta is truly a mother — not biologically, but certainly spiritually. St. Padre Pio is truly a father of countless spiritual children. God Himself — when He was on the Cross — gave Mary to us to be our true mother when we become brothers and sisters of Her Son. Mary and Joseph entered into virginal, immaculate marriage and remained open to joyfully and gratefully accepting children. God creates every human person to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). From the beginning, God is prolife: He is greatly offended by every human action against life, every effort to prevent people from having children! Some sins “cry to heaven for vengeance” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1867). Marriage and family is the battleground of today’s world war! Every day, the enemy deploys anti-life — anti-marriage-and-family — weapons

to stop us from being fruitful and multiplying. “Where sin abounds,” we must escalate our response! The Holy Spirit is making Joseph known! Every Pope for the past 150 years has exhorted and pleaded with us to “Go to Joseph!” Jesus promised, and Pope Benedict reminded us in his April 2019 letter to the faithful, “The Church and the Scandal of Sexual Abuse,” that God will separate the weeds from the wheat (Matthew 13:24-29). Attendance is rapidly declining in churches that tend to favor worldly attitudes toward marriage and family; while attendance in churches holding firm to the value of human life, for the most part, are growing rapidly today! Those who tolerate any kind of sex outside of Sacred Matrimony are having fewer and fewer children, while those who honor chastity and virginity and Sacred Marriage are having more and more children. You do the math — but not as the world does math! “You are deceived if you think that a Christian can live without persecution. He suffers the greatest persecution of all who lives under none. A storm puts a man on his guard and obliges him to exert his utmost efforts to avoid shipwreck.” St. Jerome (see Fr. Peter West, Jan 16, 2008; Pope Benedict (then Father Joseph Ratzinger) warned us in a 1969 German radio broadcast: “From the crisis of today the Church of tomorrow will emerge — a Church that has lost much. She will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to

inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes, so she will lose many of her social privileges.” (Fifty years later, Fr. Ratzinger’s radio speech was published in a book, Faith and the Future, Ignatius Press, 2009) Again, Joseph Ratzinger said this in 1969: “The Church is facing very hard times. The real crisis has barely begun. We will have terrific upheavals. I am equally certain what will remain in the end: not the Church of the political cult, which is dead already, but the Church of faith.” (ibid) In 1976, at the Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, on the occasion of the United States’ Bicentennial Celebration, then-Cardinal Karol Wojtyla (two years before he became Pope) proclaimed: “We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has ever experienced. I do not think that the wide circle of the American society, or the whole wide circle of the Christian community, realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the antiChurch, between the Gospel and the anti-Gospel, between Christ and the antichrist. The confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence. It is, therefore, in God’s plan, and it must be a trial which the Church must take up and face courageously.” In the end, the Sacred Heart of Jesus with the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Pure Heart of Joseph will triumph: but not without the terrible struggle in which we find ourselves today!m




Christian identity: a sourCe of inspiration for the university n BY ALFONSO SÁNCHEZ-TABERNERO,

PRESIDENT, UNIVERSITY OF NAVARRA Here, the campus of the University of Navarra, a Spanish university founded in 1952. Below, a hermitage on the campus dedicated to the Virgin Mary under the title of “Mother of Beautiful Love.” The statue was a gift from the founder and first Grand Chancellor of the University of Navarra, St. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, the founder of Opus Dei. Opposite, the current president of the University of Navarra, Alfonso Sánchez-Tabernero


he coronavirus pandemic has posed a major challenge for people, families and institutions all over the world. We are living in times of crisis, but we shall overcome with massive doses of solidarity and science. The origins of the University are founded on generating knowledge and a commitment to pursuing the truth in all scientific endeavors. With high-quality research and teaching, we can help find solutions. The search for truth is also one of the main pillars of Christianity. Integration of these two identities, the university and Christianity, leads to the same end and provides greater strength. As Pope John Paul II explained it in Ex Corde Ecclesiae, Christianity pushes an institution to be a better university because its guiding principles are the disinterested search for truth and serving the common good. This idea encourages us to try to ensure that our teaching and research reach the highest possible level. An institution that aspires to become a research university that serves society can also provide students with a liberal (i.e. humanistic) education. This is the goal of the University of Navarra, a non-profit Christian university that began its teaching, research and healthcare activity in 1952 under the leadership of St. Josemaría Escrivá, the founder of Opus Dei. The Christian concept of the university led to the creation of centers of higher education. The first European universities were founded in the 12th and 13th centuries as



a natural evolution of the educational work done by cathedral and monastic schools. Bologna, Oxford, Paris and Salamanca all initially shared the same model based on Christianity. Centers with different educational programs and approaches then appeared and some universities broke with their Christian roots. In contemporary culture, not everyone is prepared to go against the current. And yet, in my opinion, the double identity of university and Christianity provides a considerable competitive edge. In addition to the pursuit of truth, a spirit of service, professional honesty, protection of life, solidarity and concern for nature are values that respect other people’s opinions and can be attractive to students (regardless of whether or not they have received the gift of faith) and society in general. In other words, the Christian message provides the most inspiring foundation for university teaching. When visiting a campus with an educational program based on these principles, people often ask, “What’s going on here?” This question masks others, such as, “Why is everyone smiling and so willing to help their neighbors? Why are they living hopeful lives and working with such passion and respect?” The answer is simple: these places are illuminated by a magnificent, captivating message that is profoundly human and open to an eternal destiny. Contrary to what one might think, the Christian worldview is particularly attractive to thousands of students enrolled in these centers of

education every year. For example, at the University of Navarra, 30 percent of the student body is now made up of international students. Many come from non-Christian cultures, and yet they feel welcome and respected on our campus. Fortunately, in quite a few cases, the university experience gives them a chance to become more familiar with the Christian faith and living a life in Christ. Identity cannot be limited to a handful of formal procedures with little practical purpose. It must be displayed in behaviors, the approach to work, the spirit of service and relations between teachers and students. It is especially necessary for teachers to share the vision of, and even feel passion for, a Christian educational program. This will make it possible to build a community of shared principles and concerns. Assuming the Christian message helps professors become true teachers who not only achieve their technical training objectives, but also perceive their work as a service to others. The situation is similar for researchers: their true calling is linked to improving people’s lives, especially the lives of the needy. As St. Josemaría Escrivá said in 1972 in the University of Navarra’s Main Hall, “The university does not live with its back turned to any uncertainty, to any worry, to any need of mankind.” He continued: “It is not the University’s mission to offer immediate solutions. But, by deeply exploring academic problems, it moves hearts, dispels passivity, awakens latent energies and trains citizens who are eager to build a more just society.” At the University of Navarra, we aim to ensure that education does not become merely a professional qualification. We want each student to mature and grow in all dimensions: intellectually, morally, professionally and socially. For this reason, since its creation, the University has assigned all students an academic mentor to whom they can turn for the development of professional competence and personal habits. Moreover, all degree programs include core curriculum subjects, which help students integrate knowledge and give them a global vision of people and the world. The content of these subjects includes ethics, anthropology, history, theology and professional ethics.

ETHICS, JUSTICE AND SOLIDARITY In our educational tradition, it is common for knowledge to become compartmentalized, which encourages a clean break between the religious and professional worlds. Based on this concern, the University of Navarra helps students understand that ethical responsibility forms part of professional practice. And the theological training we offer helps students understand that religion is not somehow strange or sepa-

rate, but a dimension that can help them discover the truth about life itself. There is a third essential feature of our educational program, in addition to service and truth: freedom. We aim to train students to become good professionals with a generous heart. We want to help students decide to live full lives oriented towards serving others. We develop students’ critical capacity, which enables them to freely form their own opinions and convictions. Alejandro Llano, President of the University from 1991 to 1996, pointed out that “to educate is not to colonize the minds of students; it is to encourage their individual souls to emerge and to skilfully empathize with the development of radical freedom.” The University of Navarra is currently listed in the top positions on some of the most prestigious international rankings: among the top 50 in terms of employability and third in Europe according to the Times Higher Education Ranking. I mention these results because one of the most passionate challenges of Christian universities is staying true to their mission while being relevant and recognized by the international university community. In other words, there is really no dilemma: it’s not necessary to choose between coherence with the mission and university excellence. The Christian message is not a burden that prevents students from flying, but a shining light that helps them progress. In the context of a polarized society suffering from the serious consequences of the COVID-19 crisis, the University of Navarra has started up Strategy 2025 with sustainability as its main theme, in keeping with Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato si’. We need to take a close look at our lifestyles and our commitment to caring for people and nature, and the university is the right place to do this. Our challenges include providing a transformative education and training young people to acquire critical thinking and collaboration skills; carrying out research with focus and impact in areas such as oncology, rare diseases and palliative care; and becoming an interdisciplinary university. There can be no doubt that European society has gone through a secularization process in recent decades. Catholics are fast becoming a new minority, especially in scientific and cultural communities. That’s why I’m sure that a Christian university can be one of the best places in the world to study, do research and work. When the focus is on people, effectiveness and productivity are no longer the core criteria. Christianity helps us be ambitious about our desire to serve others and acquire a long-term vision without becoming discouraged about the obstacles that always come up along the way. *President of the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain m NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN



ST. franciS in hiS oWn WorDS The “DocTor SeraphicuS” WroTe in LaTin, of courSe... St. Francis Receives the Stigmata, by Antoniazzo Romano, Museo Civico Pinacoteca, Rieti, Italy



aint Francis of Assisi is known for his reverence for the Incarnation. The tradition of live nativity scenes is believed to have originated with him. Francis is also one of the more sentimentalized figures in the Church. He often gets treated as a kind of 1960s hippie countercultural hero, playing a guitar. Francis, of course, would never have owned a guitar (or lute, or any other instrument) and never let any of his followers own one. But there is evidence that he knew Latin. Of the 38 works he is known to have written, one is in Italian (the Canticle of the Sun), one is halfItalian, half-Latin (the song Audite Poverelle), and 36 are in Latin(!). These include letters, prayers, a “testament,” two Rules, an exposition on the Lord’s Prayer, and much else of interest. They are written in a simple medieval Latin unlike any other: Francis is more intense and more direct than other writers. He is one of my favorite Latin authors to read. The picture that emerges when you read Francis’s own words is different from the countercultural stereotype of Francis. The passion is there, and the love of Creation is there, but is a flavor suffusing a far more traditional program deeply committed to the intellectual inheritance of the Church and the “evangelical counsels” of poverty, chastity, and obedience. The poverty — of the sort that means you don’t get to have a guitar — is a foundational concern of Francis’s. In his Testamentum, a brief autobiography, Francis 44


writes: Ipse Altissimus revelavit mihi, quod deberem vivere secundum formam sancti Evangelii. Et ego paucis verbis et simpliciter feci scribi et dominus Papa confirmavit mihi. Et illi qui veniebant ad recipiendam vitam, omnia quae habere poterant, dabant pauperibus; et erant contenti tunica una, intus et foris repeciata, cum cingulo et braccis. Et nolebamus plus habere. In English: “The Most High himself gave me a revelation that I ought to live according to the form of the Holy Gospel. And I in a few words and simply had it written down and the lord Pope confirmed it for me. And those who came to receive life, all the things which they were able to have, they gave to the poor; and they were content with one tunic, patched inside and out, with a belt and pants. And we did not want to have more.” Et nolebamus plus habere (literally “And we did not want more to have”) is so simple, and yet so emphatic – it doesn’t read like Cicero. It’s better than Cicero – more nourishing, more like Holy Writ. *** Francis’s “Exposition on the Lord’s Prayer” is a short, very interesting theological commentary, revealing the intellectual-emotional response Francis had to Jesus’s prayer. This is Francis on “who art in heaven:” Qui es in caelis: in angelis et in sanctis; illuminans eos ad cognitionem, quia tu, Domine, lux es;

The book mentioned by the author: “Opuscula Omnia Sancti Francisci Assisiensis,” now being reprinted by Forgotten Books

inflammans ad amorem, quia tu, Domine, amor es; inhabitans et implens eos ad beatitudinem, quia tu, Domine, summum bonum es, aeternum, a quo omne bonum, sine quo nullum bonum. In English: “Who art in heaven: in angels and in saints; illuminating them to knowledge, for you, Lord, are light; inflaming them to love, for you, Lord, are love; dwelling in them and filling them to blessedness, for you, Lord, are the highest good, the eternal, from whom is every good, without whom is no good.” Talk of highest goods calls to mind Aquinas, but with more evident passion and a direct addressing of God in the second person. This passion mixed with intellect earned Francis the title Doctor Seraphicus (the Seraphim are emblems of intellectual ardor). In this, Francis seems aligned with the institutional Church more than commonly assumed. It is easy to imagine Aquinas reading this approvingly. And a recurring theme in his work is the importance of obedience. In his Admonitiones, he interprets the sin of Adam and Eve as one we perpetually commit: Ille enim comedit de ligno scientiae boni, qui sibi suam voluntatem appropriat, et se exaltat de bonis,

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quae Dominus dicit et operatur in ipso; et sic per suggestionem diaboli et transgressionem mandati factum est pomum scientiae mali. In English: “He eats of the tree of knowledge of good, who takes his own will as his own possession, and exalts himself because of the goods which the Lord speaks and does through him; and so through the suggestion of the devil and the transgression of the commandment it becomes the fruit of the knowledge of evil.” Evil, for Francis, is appropriation: appropriating for oneself one’s own will, believing in one’s own personal efficacy, when everything we have and are comes from God. Poverty, intellect, and obedience, all suffused with love: it’s a more complicated picture than guitars and butterflies, and if you can read Francis’s Latin, you won’t have to take my word for it. You’ll be able to see it all for yourself. It makes a nice bit of Christmas reading. Copies of this work in Latin, the Opuscula Omnia Sancti Francisci Assisiensis, are being reprinted by Forgotten Books for $11 on Amazon; and the whole thing has been made available online by Spanish Franciscans (



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these eyes first beheld him What eyes first beheld him? the eyes of mary, of Joseph... and of the lambs n BY ANTHONY ESOLEN

Adoration of the Shepherds by Lorenzo Lotto. Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo, Brescia, Italy

“And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger; because there was no place for them in the inn” (Lk. 2:7).


rom that one word, the “manger,” and from the additional hint that Jesus was born in a stable, because the inn was full of people on the road to their old family villages and towns to be enrolled for the Roman census, we derive all of our imagined scenes of the Nativity, with the sheep and the ox and the ass nearby. Saint Francis imagined it so, when he set up the first creche. We may then consider what eyes first beheld the Lord: those of the immaculate Mary, the saintly Joseph, and the innocent beasts. And those were not wild beasts prowling the night to seek their prey, but beasts that man had tamed and taken into his domestic life, to help him at his labor, to clothe him in



wool, and to provide food for him, milk and cheese and meat. Yet Luke mentions no specific animals, other than the sheep that the shepherds were watching in the fields. Or does he? The Greek word for manger appears three times in the Nativity narrative in Saint Luke. It is phatne, built from a verb meaning to feed: and English manger, from the French manger, to eat, is a perfect translation. Where would Luke have heard phatne before, in Scripture? Luke was a native speaker of Greek, so he had in mind the words of the Septuagint, the famous translation of the Old Testament into Greek, for the benefit of Jews of the diaspora. And here is the opening of the single book of the Old Testament that most often and most clearly foretells the coming of the Messiah: “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spo-

History of Noah's Ark. Mosaic in Monreale cathedral, Sicily, Italy

ken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider” (Is. 1:2-3). The crib is a manger; in the Septuagint, it is phatne. Israel has not known the Lord – is, in her heedless sin, less intelligent than the ox and the ass. And now we see the tremendous irony of it all. Jesus lies in the manger, and the animals see him, and who knows but that God grants them some of that grave understanding, almost preternatural, which we see sometimes in animals when they are near a birth or a death. But Israel goes about her business or her sin and does not know. In Luke, only the shepherds are told of the birth of Jesus; in Matthew, only the magi follow the sign in the heavens. In only two other places in the Bible can I find the Greek phatne. One of them comes when God speaks to Job from the whirlwind and asks him if he knows of the mysteries of animal life: of the lions, goats, the deer, the wild ass, the peacock, the ostrich, the horse, the hawk, and the eagle (Job 38:39-41; 39). God has provided for all of these, the gentle and the strong, the wise and the foolish, including the “unicorn,” Greek monokeros, perhaps the rhinoceros: “Will the unicorn be willing to serve you, or lie down by your crib?” (Septuagint, 39:9; translation mine). Most suggestive is that this song about the animals is preceded by a song about the heavens and the earth. God asks Job whether he was there at the first of creation, “when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy” (38:7). The Septuagint, though, reads for the sons of God angeloi mou, my angels, that is, my heralds, those who bring the news. Now that Christ is born, the heralds sing again, and announce the good news to mere shepherds keeping watch over their flocks by night. It really is a new creation, as Luke’s friend and teacher, Saint Paul, says: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come” (2 Cor. 5:17). The angels sing, and then God says he “shut up the sea with gates, when it rushed out, coming forth out of its mother’s womb. And I made a cloud its clothing, and swathed it in mist” (Job 38:8-9; Septuagint). The

Greek for swathed, esparganosa, is the same that Luke uses twice in his narrative: Mary “wrapped him in swaddling cloths” (Greek esparganosen), and the angels tell the shepherds that they will find the babe “wrapped in swaddling cloths” (Greek esparganomenon; Lk. 2:7, 12). These are homely details, to be sure. If the inn is full, where else would you go, if not where animals are sheltered? When a baby is born at night, what else do you do if not swaddle him up? And what crib can you use in that shelter, if not for a crib, a manger? Yet Luke sees all these things together, and in the light of the entire history of creation and salvation, and it is no flight of poetic fancy, but the exact truth – an unfathomable truth. First came creation, then the sin of man, as most painfully manifest in the sin of the chosen people, Israel. Now comes the new creation, and the animals are there to witness it. And the sea? Saint Luke may well have the gospel of Saint Matthew in mind, too. Matthew begins with creation: “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ” (Mt. 1:1; Greek geneseos), echoing Genesis: “This is the book of the generations of Adam” (Gen. 5:1). That genealogy in Genesis ends with Noah. And Noah is, for Jesus and the evangelists and Saint Peter, not just one among a number of saintly people from the scriptures. Noah and the flood marked a change in the nature of the world, and afterwards, God made a covenant never to destroy all flesh by water. Noah built for himself an ark, Greek kibotos. That is the same Greek word the translators used to render the Ark of the Covenant, and it is what Saint Peter uses to describe the ark that Noah built, “in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved by water,” a foreshadowing of our baptism into the death and resurrection of Christ (1 Pt. 3:20-21). Peter remembers the words of Jesus, who said that the second coming of the Son of Man will be “as in the days of Noah” (Lk. 17:26, Mt. 24:37). Then we can think of the Christmas creche as another Noah’s ark, but this time our eyes are on a carpenter to be, the little child, the builder of the Church, the new ark, and the God himself who floods the world with his grace.m NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN



The Message of the Icon




o account of the Holy Family would be complete without taking note of the pivotal figure of St. Joseph. The Gospels make mention of Mary’s betrothal to Joseph. A more detailed account is found in The Protoevangelium of James (a text apparently written in the early 100s; it was well-known to authors like Origen in the early 200s, so it was likely in circulation by 150 A.D.; it claims to have been written by James, half-brother of Jesus by an earlier marriage of Joseph, but the author’s identity is in fact unknown). Young girls in the Temple at that time, like Mary, when they grew to marriageable age, were expected to move on and become wives and mothers. Mary was a special case; she had taken a vow of perpetual virginity before the Lord, so finding a husband for her posed a particular problem. The challenge was met by resorting to a lottery of sorts, the result of which would be deemed a matter of Divine Will. When Mary was 12 or 14 (the accounts vary), the Temple priests called upon older widowers to present themselves at the Temple. They collected the walking staffs of these men and took them into the holy precincts, asking God to indicate which of the potential guardians should take on the care of young Mary. The staffs were brought out and returned to the gathered men. When Joseph grasped his staff, it burst into bloom before the entire assemblage, in much the same fashion as Aaron’s rod before Pharaoh in Egypt. Joseph was reluctant since he was elderly; he protested that his marriage to such a young girl would make him a laughingstock among his peers. The priests insisted, however, telling him that the Lord had spoken and that, as a devout Jew, he was bound to obey. Joseph finally acquiesced, and so it was arranged that Joseph was to take Mary into his charge. (The Sunday

after the Nativity celebrates Joseph the Betrothed.) Joseph was again assailed by doubts dring the betrothal period, when it became known that Mary was with child. He was strongly tempted to quietly put the whole affair behind him. It took direct angelic intervention to ensure his perseverance in caring for Mary and the Messiah, as the Gospels relate. The arrangements God devises for human history very often do not come to clarity until time has passed. There was more to the entrance of Joseph into salvation history than would first meet the eye. In fact, in his own family, Joseph brought a great deal to the table for the subsequent career of the Messiah. Some accounts say Joseph had sons from his previous marriage, but a stronger case could be made that these “brothers of the Lord” actually were cousins, the sons of Cleopas, Joseph’s brother. Nobody has yet produced a definitive accounting for the family of Joseph, but following is something of a “best guess.” Cleopas was said to have had four sons, three of whom became Apostles: (1) James the Lesser, shorter in stature than James the son of Zebedee, first bishop of Jerusalem; he was martyred, thrown from the Temple wall onto the stones beneath; (2) Simon the Zealot; he succeeded his brother as bishop of Jerusalem, and was likewise martyred; (3) Jude, who carried the Gospel to Syria and Mesopotamia; he, along with St. Bartholomew, is considered one of the founders of Christianity in Armenia; he authored an Epistle; and (4) Joses, evidently numbered among the 70 disciples (as was his father Cleopas); his later life remains a mystery. There is a tradition that Cleopas also had a daughter who married Zebedee, thus making Cleopas the grandfather of two more Apostles, James the Greater and John! And then there are the relatives of Mary...m

INSIDE THE VATICAN PILGRIMAGES made a special pilgrimage to Russia to take part in the 100th anniversary commemoration of the murder of Tsar Nicholas, his wife and five children in 1918. Contact us at or call 1-800-789-9494 about joining us for upcoming pilgrimages. page 48 t Urbi et Orbi Foundation is a project of Urbi et Orbi Communications t 202-536-4555




scribed these three full years in Rome as among the here is probably no other place in Rome that so exmost significant experiences of his life. It was also the emplifies the Catholic Church’s close bonds to the exciting time of the holding of the Second Vatican Christian East as certain buildings near Piazza di Santa Council. Bartholomew was able to meet such famous Maria Maggiore. The first, of course, is the Basilica of people as Karl Rahner, Joseph Ratzinger, Yves Congar, St. Mary Major. The Basilica was consecrated in 434, and Henri de Lubac. During these three years, he lived a few years after Mary was declared the Mother of God at the French College. He therefore learned French as at the Council of Ephesus in 431, and has a close assowell as Italian and Latin. ciation with this great Council in Asia Minor. The nave Bartholomew wrote his docand the arch in the Basilica are toral thesis at the Orientale on the decorated with magnificent fifthcodification of the canons in the century mosaics of the ByzanOrthodox Church. He received his tine tradition. The most famous Ph.D. in canon law in 1968. It is icon in the Basilica, Salus Populi safe to say that these years at the Romani, is said to have been Orientale laid the foundation for brought from Crete in the year the Ecumenical Patriarch’s warm 590. It was in the Basilica that relationship with the Catholic Pope Adrian II in 867 solemnly Church. blessed the alphabet and the A very short distance from the liturgical books used by Saints Orientale is the Pontifical Russian Cyril and Methodius in their College (“Russicum”), founded missionary work among the by Pope Pius XI in 1929 and also Slavic peoples. operated by the Jesuits. One of its Across the Piazza from the original purposes was to train Basilica is the Pontifical Oriental priests in the Russian Byzantine Institute (“Orientale”), founded rite to perform clandestine misby Pope Benedict XV in 1917. sionary work in the Soviet Union. It is a graduate school whose One of the Russicum’s famous purpose is to study, explain, and graduates is the Polish-American make better known the life and The building that houses priest Walter Ciszek, who spent tradition of the Eastern Churches. the Pontifical Russian College “Russicum” years in a Soviet gulag and who It is operated by the Jesuits and is later wrote With God in Russia. part of a consortium including Today, the work of the Russicum is ecumenical. It the Gregorian University. At the Orientale, there are approvides a residence for Catholic and Orthodox stuproximately 300-400 students, a majority of whom dents, primarily from countries of the Eastern Churchcome from the countries of the Eastern Churches. es, who are studying at various pontifical universities. The library of the Orientale, containing approxiAlthough the Russicum does not presently offer its own mately 230,000 volumes, has perhaps the most extenacademic courses, it is a place of formation with spirisive collection on Eastern Christianity in the world. The tual and cultural conferences, and daily Divine Liturgy. faculty has included world-renown experts, such as the It provides a living experience of ecumenism. late Father Robert F. Taft (1932-2018), who wrote the St. John Paul II urged the Church to breathe with six-volume History of the Liturgy of St. John Chrysosboth lungs – East and West. The Church certainly does tom. The Orientale publishes five scholarly journals. so at these three locations in Rome. A famous graduate of the Orientale is Ecumenical —Peter Anderson, an American, is a retired lawyer Patriarch Bartholomew. As a young deacon, he studied who writes from Seattle, Washington, USA m canon law at the Orientale from 1963 to 1966. He t Urbi et Orbi Foundation is a project of Urbi et Orbi Communications t 202-536-4555

page 49


NEWS from the EAST


TWO WONDERWORKING ICONS VISIT DC CATHEDRAL St. John the Baptist Cathedral (Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia) in Washington, D.C., USA, was blessed recently with the visit of two highly-revered wonderworking icons. For the first time in the parish’s history, the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God and the Hawaiian Iveron Icon of the Mother of God were together at the church at the same time for services on August 28-29, reports the ROCOR Eastern American Diocese. The icons were brought by their respective guardians: Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan with the Kursk Root Icon, and Deacon Nectarios Yangston with the Hawaiian Iveron Icon. They were festively greeted at the AllNight Vigil by cathedral and visiting clergy and a host of faithful, “who had come from near and far to pray before these two holy icons.” “During Vigil, it was plain for everyone to see how the holy myrrh from the Hawaiian Icon overflowed its frame onto the cover of the analogion, leaving a wide mark on the cloth as a grace-filled reminder for parishioners of its visit,” the EAD reports. The icons were also present for the cathedral’s Slavonic and English Liturgies the next day. A moleben (service of intercession or supplication) was served before the icons following both Liturgies, and the faithful were anointed with myrrh and given copies of the icons and a small piece of cotton soaked with myrrh. The next day, both icons were taken to the Russian Embassy in D.C., where a moleben and an akathist (“unseated” hymn, i.e., a hymn sung standing) to the Mother of God were celebrated. (OrthoChristian)

CHURCH MOURNS DEATH OF NEW DELHI’S SYRO-MALANKARA BISHOP The Indian Church is mourning the death of Bishop Jacob Mar Barnabas, who passed away at a private hospital in New Delhi on August 26. He was 60. The Eastern-rite Syro-Malankara Catholic bishop was undergoing treatment for post-Covid-19 complications at the capital’s Fortis Hospital. Bishop Barnabas was appointed in 2007 as the first bishop of the Syro-Malankara Eparchy page 50

of St. John Chrysostom of Gurgaon. The diocese based in Delhi’s Gurgaon area covers a vast area of northern and northeastern India. “Bishop Barnabas was a soft-spoken, kind person who led a simple life. He was committed to the poor and marginalized of his diocese in the rural area,” human rights activist A.C. Michael told UCA News. (UCANews)

STOLEN 18TH-CENTURY ROYAL DOORS REPATRIATED TO CYPRUS FROM JAPAN One of the most interesting and complex cases of repatriation has come to an end with the return of a set of 18th-century Royal Doors that were looted from a church in Northern Cyprus. The Doors, complete with icons of the Annunciation, the Three Holy Hierarchs (Sts. Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom), and St. Spyridon were stolen from the Church of St. Anastasios in the village of Peristeronopigi by the Turkish occupation army and its collaborators and later sold, reports the Cypriot Department of Antiquities. The Doors, which date to 1778 according to an inscription on the back, made their way to Japan, where they were found at the Kanazawa College of Art in the 1990s. And finally, after years of effort, which were intensified in the last two years, the Doors have returned, concluding “one of the most complex cases of repatriation.” Other icons and sacred vessels were also stolen from the church, the fate of which remains unknown. The Doors were returned to Cyprus thanks to the joint efforts of the Department of Antiquities, the Cypriot Embassy in Tokyo, the Church of Cyprus, and the Kanazawa College of Art. (OrthoChristian)

CATHOLIC, ORTHODOX, AND ANGLICAN LEADERS CALL CLIMATE CRISIS A “DEVASTATING INJUSTICE” Pope Francis, Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I released an unprecedented joint message on September 7, calling the climate crisis a “devastating injustice.” “The current climate crisis speaks volumes about who we are and how we view and treat God’s creation. We stand before a harsh justice: biodiversity loss, environmental degra- t Urbi et Orbi Foundation is a project of Urbi et Orbi Communications t 202-536-4555

dation, and climate change are the inevitable consequences of our actions, since we have greedily consumed more of the earth’s resources than the planet can endure,” their statement said. “But we also face a profound injustice: the people bearing the most catastrophic consequences of these abuses are the poorest on the planet and have been the least responsible for causing them.” “We serve a God of justice, who delights in creation and creates every person in God’s image, but also hears the cry of people who are poor. Accordingly, there is an innate call within us to respond with anguish when we see such devastating injustice.” (CNA)

DECR CHAIRMAN SPEAKS AT INTERNATIONAL EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS IN BUDAPEST On September 6, Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk (photo right), in Hungary with the blessing of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, opened the International Eucharistic Congress in Budapest, presenting a report on the Orthodox understanding of the Eucharist. During his speech, Metropolitan Hilarion noted that although the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church are not in Eucharistic communion, they are united by faith in the real presence of Christ in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. This faith has found a special expression in the liturgical and theological tradition of the Orthodox Church which understands the Divine Liturgy as the pinnacle of liturgical life—a Divine service that overcomes spatial and temporal limitations. Metropolitan Hilarion presented the patristic understanding of the communion

of the Holy Mysteries of Christ as the main means of achieving deification, which is the goal of Christian life. Particular attention in the speech of the DECR Chairman was paid to the liturgical features of the celebration of the Eucharist in the Orthodox Church, allowing believers to become familiar with the reality of the Kingdom of Heaven while still on earth. At the end of his speech, Vladyka Hilarion emphasized that the Orthodox Church is the guardian of a rich tradition dating back to the Lord Jesus Christ and the early Fathers of the Church, and expressed gratitude to the organizers of the event for the opportunity to present this tradition to its participants. (

PATRIARCH BARTHOLOMEW VISITS KYIV On August 24, the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew attended the formal state observance of the 30th anniversary of the independence of Ukraine, and met with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. Also during the morning, Ukrainian President Zelensky and his wife attended a “Prayer for Peace for Blessed Ukraine” which was sponsored by the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organization and which was held in the courtyard of the historic St. Sophia Cathedral. During a state reception, Ukrainian Metropolitan Epifany held talks with “the President of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda, the President of Poland Andrzej Duda, and the Secretary of State of the Vatican, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.” The apostolic nunciature in Kyiv had stated earlier that the Cardinal’s visit “has a strictly diplomatic and protocol character.” Earlier Cardinal Parolin had visited with the Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, who confirmed President Zelensky’s earlier invitation for Pope Francis to visit Ukraine – to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the visit of Pope John Paul II to Ukraine in 2001. (Peter Anderson)

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

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page 51

Of Books, Art and People


View of the town of Minori from the lemon path (Photo Lucy Gordan) and a commemoration plaque to the formichelle (“little ants”) who carry the lemons at harvest time (photo Lucy Gordan). Bottom: a formichella (lemon carrier)


he small town of Minori on Italy’s Amalfi Coast is located directly below Ravello, the more famous hill-top town beloved by composer Richard Wagner and many writers: André Gide, E.M. Forster, D.H. Lawrence and Gore Vidal, to name just a few. It’s also only a 10-minute, once-an-hour ferry ride to Amalfi with its magnificent medieval cathedral, Italy’s most-sought-after wedding church with some 400 weddings a year in preCOVID times. Although less glamorous than its jet-set neighbors Ravello and Amalfi, throughout the year Minori offers several events and sights that ITV readers will appreciate. Since this “Of Books, Art, and People” will be published in the November/December issue, let’s start with Christmas. From the Immaculate Conception to Epiphany, several elaborate presepi (crèches) with their numerous terracotta figures, a Neapolitan and thus a local tradition, are displayed in the Churches of Santa Lucia and Santa Trofimena, dedicated to Minori’s patron saints, as well as in the church of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament and in the central square Largo Brandolini. However, Minori’s most special crèche figures aren’t made of terracotta, but rather of carved wooden cutouts painted with acrylics by 72-year-old native son Giacomo Palladino, who taught art and art history for some 30 years in Sondrio, in very northern Italy, before returning to Minori just over a decade ago. His crèche started as a didactic project for his students 52 INSIDE THE VATICAN NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2021

and gradually increased in size over the years. Now it’s usually housed in the Antica Scuderia, a building which dates to 1700 and later was used by King Victor Emanuel III (18691947) as his stables when he visited Ravello. First displayed in Minori in 2012, today Palladino’s crèche depicts the scenes of the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Massacre of the Innocents, the Nativity, the sleeping shepherd Benjamin’s Dream, the Adoration of the Magi, and the Flight to Egypt. All its some 100 figures, between 50 and 180 cm in height, are copies of figures in paintings dating from the 1300s to the 1800s. Many are from works by Giotto, Botticelli, Raphael, Michelangelo, Caravaggio and the Venetian Renaissance painters. To name a few: his Madonna is by Correggio, his St. Joseph by Murillo, and the Adoration of the Magi by Gentile da Fabriano. Palladino also painted the backgrounds: landscapes of the Amalfi Coast with the sea, castles, and lemon groves. If you can’t travel to Minori this Christmas, you can still enjoy Palladino’s unique masterpiece virtually by clicking on presepe dipinto di Giacomo Palladino-Pro Loco Minori to watch videos on YouTube taken during several different years, so each is slightly different, because Palladino has either moved some of his figures or added new ones. Truly unique, hopefully before too much longer this crèche can be visited year-round. One Christmas is not enough for the Minoresi. During Gustaminori, a cultural and food festival held annually for the past

From the left: the facade of the Basilica of Santa Trofimena in Minori. The tomb of the Saint inside (photo Lucy Gordan), and the Shrine to Santa Trofimena on the Lemon Path (photo Lucy Gordan). Bottom, Michele Ruocco, founding father and promoter of “lemon paths” (photo Lucy Gordan)

25 years during the second half of August, on the 24th, 25th, and 26th, the Minoresi recelebrate Christmas; this year they invited me and seven other journalists. On the 24th or “Panettone Night,” 34 chefs from Italy’s 20 regions, all members of the Accademia del Lievito Madre founded by Minori’s most famous citizen, pastry chef “Sal” De Riso, passed out free panettone samples to everyone on the lungomare or seafront. Groups of local zampognari (bagpipers) played Christmas tunes wandering from restaurant to restaurant, which all served typically Christmas dishes (actually all three nights): fritto misto of fried artichokes, broccoli, baccalà, anchovies, apples, and bananas; l’insalata di rinforzo (usually of cauliflower, black and green olives, anchovies, boiled potatoes, baby red peppers stuffed with tuna fish, pickles, cucumber, capers, and onions, but every family has its own recipe. It’s called di rinforzo or “strengthening” because everyday from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day new ingredients are added to it); spaghetti atterrati con noci ed alici (with walnuts and anchovies, and zeppole ‘e patane (sugar-coated fried potato rings). I can recommend ”Giardiniello,” “A’Ricette,” and “La Botte” for these Christmas dishes and other local specialties like homemade fusilli (curly short pasta) or n’dunderi (local gnocchi) with various shellfish sauces, eggplant polpette, and fish and lemon dishes too numerous to list. Speaking of lemons, you cannot leave Minori without stopping at Sal De Riso’s bistro for “pizza Amalfi” (the topping: provola, fior di latte, prosciutto from Parma, ginger, and lemon slices) or delizia al limone (lemon cream on a slice of sponge cake encased in white chocolate with limncello). To learn more about Sal, flip to “Food For Thought” on the back page. To return to Palladino, the crèche is not his only work of art in Minori. The other, in the courtyard of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, is a large (20 meters long and 1.3 meters tall) ceramic tile frieze depicting (in blue) episodes of the traditions of the hooded anonymous “beaters” dressed in long white robes. They are male penitents who for centuries have led the Holy Week processions through town while singing various chants (in 2010 declared “intangible cultural heritage”

by Italy’s Ministry of Culture) and flagellating themselves with rough rope cords. Although they no longer practice selfflagellation, the Confraternity’s battenti still lead Minori’s Easter Processions. The whole town participates particularly on Good Friday; visitors can as well. The rest of the year the battenti devote themselves to helping Minori’s less fortunate citizens. On the walls of the Confraternity’s sacristy are 29 other unique works-of-art depicting religious subjects: the Last Supper, St. Trofimena, and the Madonna, as well as views of Minori. At first sight they look like paintings; instead, they are embroideries made of colored cotton threads by native-son World War II veteran Alfonso Florio. After returning home, he devoted himself to this art form. He’d learned it while a prisoner-of-war in India, to rehabilitate his hands that had been badly frostbitten while serving in the Russian Campaign (1941-43). During any time of year, although best to avoid the hottest months for lack of much shade, you can admire Palladino’s and Florio’s scenery firsthand by walking along “The Lemon Path” between Minori and the neighboring town Maiori. This path was originally an ancient Roman road, which today counts c. 800 up-and-down steps if you complete its entire 7 km. route with several shrines to St. Lucy Gordan photo Trofimena along the way. Luckily for me, thanks to the founding father and promoter of “lemon paths,” Michele Ruocco, a retired banker turned agronomist and very active member of Pro Loco Minori, it has recently become possible to drive nearly halfway up to the hamlet of Torre near the lovely little church of San Michele Archangelo, which dates to 936 AD and was probably built on the site of a pagan temple. Here Michele recounted to my colleagues and me a brief history of Amalfi’s spindle-shaped lemon. “It arrived in Amalfi, already an important port in ancient Roman times, from the Middle East,” he said. “Initially small and practically inedible,” he continued, “over time it was crossed with local bitter oranges to provide sailors with vitamin C to avoid scurvy during their long sea NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN 53

Of Books, Art and People voyages. For several centuries, along with fish, the lemon was the local population’s main sustenance.” During a stop at a local lemon grove, Michele explained: “Over the centuries this unproductive rural landscape was transformed into terraces often only accessible by steep staircases. The lemon trees’ branches, when young, are carefully twisted around wooden trestles covered with black or green nets to protect them from the wind and hail. Everything is still done by hand. The harvest lasts from around February 1 to October 31, producing some 1,700,000 kilos a year along the Coast; most are sold in Italy. The other months are devoted to pruning, maintaining the trestles, and protecting the plants from frost. Our paths are too narrow and too steep for motorized transport, not to mention the stairs,” Michele continued, “so until recently it was the women’s job to carry down on their shoulders to the sea baskets, each loaded with some 50 kilos of lemons. They were nicknamed formichelle or ‘little ants,’ for that’s what their processions looked like. Today men help too, as do mules.” Minori’s story wouldn’t be complete without a word about St. Trofimena. She was born in Patti, a town on the north coast of Sicily below Tyndaris (see my “Tyndaris: “City of Mary,” ITV, October 2013). When, in 304 A.D., at the age of 12 or 13, during the reign of Diocletian and Maximian, Trofimena expressed her wish to be baptized and embrace Christianity, her father, a pagan nobleman, who wanted her to marry a suitable pagan nobleman, murdered her. Legend recounts that some

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300 years later on November 5, 640 A.D. an urn containing her body, inscribed with a description of the saint’s life and death, floated up onto Minori’s beach. Here a woman doing her laundry in the sea found it. The urn was very heavy, so two young heifers were brought to move it. Instead, the urn moved towards the heifers and pulled them (!). A church was built on the spot where they stopped and, though transformed through the ages, is still there. However, because along the Amalfi Coast and its hinterlands she was the only saint with an actual relic, during the early 800s, bishops contested her urn and kidnapped it many times: it traveled to Benevento, to Amalfi, to Salerno, then back to Benevento, back to Amalfi, and finally back to Minori on July 13, 840, after which the townspeople successfully hid it for nearly 1,000 years, until, after four days of frantic digging, they found it again on November 27, 1793. Since then her final resting place is in an alabaster sarcophagus in the crypt of her namesake church, Baroque on the façade and Gothic in the interior. Today Minori has three Santa Trofimena feast days: November 5, the anniversary of her murder and of the discovery of her urn on the beach; November 27, when her remains were discovered after 1,000 years, and July 13 to commemorate the date in 840 when her remains finally returned forever to Minori and the day she is said to have intervened miraculously by creating a terrible tempest which caused Arab pirates attacking Minori to shipwreck.m

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

LORD OF THE WORLD BY ROBERT HUGH BENSON (1907) BOOK II-THE ENCOUNTER. CHAPTER II, Part IV (Note: The hero of the story, a young English priest named Fr. Percy Franklin, has come to Rome to report directly to the Pope on what he has seen in England: the emergence of a popular political figure who seems to be entirely humanistic, and so to have one of the characteristics of the anti-Christ. Percy has just met the “Papa Angelicus” who is now 89, and has been Pope for nine years, and is briefing him...) Europe, at any rate, had grown weary of internal strife; the unions first of Labour, then of Capital, then of Labour and Capital combined, illustrated this in the economic sphere; the peaceful partition of Africa in the political sphere; the spread of Humanitarian religion in the spiritual sphere. Over against this must be placed the increased centralisation of the Church. By the wisdom of her pontiffs, over-ruled by God Almighty, the lines had been drawing tighter every year. He instanced the abolition of all local usages, including those so long cherished by the East, the establishment of the CardinalProtectorates in Rome, the enforced merging of all friars into one Order, though retaining their familiar names, under the authority of the supreme General; all monks, with the exception of the Carthusians, the Carmelites and the Trappists, into another; of the three excepted into a third; and the classification of nuns after the same plan. Further, he remarked on the more recent decrees, establishing the sense of the Vatican decision on infallibility, the new version of Canon Law, the immense simplification that had taken place in ecclesiastical government, the hierarchy, rubrics and the affairs of missionary countries, with the new and extraordinary privileges granted to mission priests. At this point he became aware that his self-consciousness had left him, and he began, even with little gestures, and a slightly raised voice, to enlarge on the significance of the last month’s events. 56


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

All that had gone before, he said, pointed to what had now actually taken place—namely, the reconciliation of the world on a basis other than that of Divine Truth. It was the intention of God and of His Vicars to reconcile all men in Christ Jesus; but the corner-stone had once more been rejected, and instead of the chaos that the pious had prophesied, there was coming into existence a unity unlike anything known in history. This was the more deadly from the fact that it contained so many elements of indubitable good. War, apparently, was now extinct, and it was not Christianity that had done it; union was now seen to be better than disunion, and the lesson had been learned apart from the Church. In fact, natural virtues had suddenly waxed luxuriant, and supernatural virtues were despised. Friendliness took the place of charity, contentment the place of hope, and knowledge the place of faith. Percy stopped, he had become conscious that he was preaching a kind of sermon. “Yes, my son,” said the kind voice. “What else?” What else?… Very well, continued Percy, movements such as these brought forth men, and the Man of this movement was Julian Felsenburgh. He had accomplished a work that—apart from God—seemed miraculous. He had broken down the eternal division between East and West, coming himself from the continent that alone could produce such powers; he had prevailed by sheer force of personality over the two supreme tyrants of life religious fanaticism and party government. His influence over the impassive English was another miracle, yet he had also set on fire France, Germany, and Spain. Percy here described one or two of his little scenes, saying that it was like the vision of a god: and he quoted freely some of the titles given to the Man by sober, unhysterical newspapers. Felsenburgh was called the Son of Man, because he was so pure-bred a cosmopolitan; the Saviour of the World, because he had slain war and himself survived—even—even—here Percy’s voice faltered—even Incarnate God, because he was the perfect representative of divine man. The quiet, priestly face watching opposite never winced or moved; and he went on.

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

Persecution, he said, was coming. There had been a riot or two already. But persecution was not to be feared. It would no doubt cause apostasies, as it had always done, but these were deplorable only on account of the individual apostates. On the other hand, it would reassure the faithful; and purge out the half-hearted. Once, in the early ages, Satan’s attack had been made on the bodily side, with whips and fire and beasts; in the sixteenth century it had been on the intellectual side; in the twentieth century on the springs of moral and spiritual life. Now it seemed as if the assault was on all three planes at once. But what was chiefly to be feared was the positive influence of Humanitarianism: it was coming, like the kingdom of God, with power; it was crushing the imaginative and the romantic, it was assuming rather than asserting its own truth; it was smothering with bolsters instead of wounding and stimulating with steel or controversy. It seemed to be forcing its way, almost objectively, into the inner world. Persons who had scarcely heard its name were professing its tenets; priests absorbed it, as they absorbed God in Communion—he mentioned the names of the recent apostates—children drank it in like Christianity itself. The soul “naturally Christian” seemed to be becoming “the soul naturally infidel.” Persecution, cried the priest, was to be welcomed like salvation, prayed for, and grasped; but he feared that the authorities were too shrewd, and knew the antidote and the poison apart. There might be individual martyrdoms—in fact there would be, and very many—but they would be in spite of secular government, not because of it. Finally, he expected, Humanitarianism would presently put on the dress of liturgy and sacrifice, and when that was done, the Church’s cause, unless God intervened, would be over. Percy sat back, trembling. “Yes, my son. And what do you think should be done?” Percy flung out his hands. “Holy Father—the mass, prayer, the rosary. These first and last. The world denies their power: it is on their power that Christians must throw all their weight. All things in Jesus Christ—in Jesus Christ, first and last. Nothing else can avail. He must do all, for we can do nothing.” The white head bowed. Then it rose erect. “Yes, my son…. But so long as Jesus Christ deigns to use us, we must be used. He is Prophet and King as well as Priest. We then, too, must be prophet and king as well as priest. What of Prophecy and Royalty?” The voice thrilled Percy like a trumpet. “Yes, Holiness…. For prophecy, then, let us preach charity; for Royalty, let us reign on crosses. We must love and suffer….” (He drew one sobbing breath.) “Your Holiness has preached charity always. Let charity then issue in good deeds. Let us be foremost in them; let us engage in trade honestly, in family life chastely, in government uprightly. And as for suffering—ah! Holiness!”

His old scheme leaped back to his mind, and stood poised there convincing and imperious. “Yes, my son, speak plainly.” “Your Holiness—it is old—old as Rome—every fool has desired it: a new Order, Holiness—a new Order,” he stammered. The white hand dropped the paper-weight; the Pope leaned forward, looking intently at the priest. “Yes, my son?” Percy threw himself on his knees. “A new Order, Holiness — no habit or badge — subject to your Holiness only — freer than Jesuits, poorer than Franciscans, more mortified than Carthusians: men and women alike—the three vows with the intention of martyrdom; the Pantheon for their Church; each bishop responsible for their sustenance; a lieutenant in each country…. (Holiness, it is the thought of a fool.) … And Christ Crucified for their patron.” The Pope stood up abruptly—so abruptly that Cardinal Martin sprang up too, apprehensive and terrified. It seemed that this young man had gone too far. Then the Pope sat down again, extending his hand. “God bless you, my son. You have leave to go…. Will your Eminence stay for a few minutes?” Chapter III, Part 1 The Cardinal said very little to Percy when they met again that evening, beyond congratulating him on the way he had borne himself with the Pope. It seemed that the priest had done right by his extreme frankness. Then he told him of his duties. Percy was to retain the couple of rooms that had been put at his disposal; he was to say mass, as a rule, in the Cardinal’s oratory; and after that, at nine, he was to present himself for instructions: he was to dine at noon with the Cardinal, after which he was to consider himself at liberty till Ave Maria: then, once more he was to be at his master’s disposal until supper. The work he would principally have to do would be the reading of all English correspondence, and the drawing up of a report upon it. Percy found it a very pleasant and serene life, and the sense of home deepened every day. He had an abundance of time to himself, which he occupied resolutely in relaxation. From eight to nine he usually walked abroad, going sedately through the streets with his senses passive, looking into churches, watching the people, and gradually absorbing the strange naturalness of life under ancient conditions. At times it appeared to him like an historical dream; at times it seemed that there was no other reality; that the silent, tense world of modern civilisation was itself a phantom, and that here was the simple naturalness of the soul’s childhood back again. Even the reading of the English correspondence did not greatly affect him, for the stream of his mind was beginning to run clear again in this sweet old channel; and he read, dissected, analysed and diagnosed with a deepening tranquillity... (To be continued) m INSIDE THE VATICAN NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2021


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

JULY SATURDAY 17 POPE FRANCIS TO FRIARS MINOR: SEEK RENEWAL AMID DECLINING NUMBERS In a message to participants of the Order of Friars Minor’s general chapter in Rome on July 17, the Pope encouraged the world’s Franciscan Friars, known by the initials O.F.M. (“Ordinis Fratrum Minorum” or “Order of Friars Minor”) not to be paralyzed by worry. “As much of the order faces the challenges of declining numbers and aging, do not let anxiety and fear prevent you from opening your hearts and minds to the renewal and revitalization that the Spirit of God is stirring in you and among you,” he said. “You have a spiritual heritage of inestimable richness, rooted in the Gospel life and characterized by prayer, fraternity, poverty, minority, and itinerancy.” The General Chapter took place on July 318 on the theme of “Renewing Our Vision, Embracing Our Future.” (CNA) SUNDAY 25 POPE FRANCIS ON GRANDPARENTS’ DAY: ELDERLY ARE NOT “LEFTOVERS FROM LIFE” On the first World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, Pope Francis said he is worried about how an individualistic society treats its older members, and he urged young people to give them love and attention (photo here, above right). “I worry when I see a society full of people in constant motion, too caught up in their own affairs to have time for a glance, a greeting or a hug,” the Pope said in a homily read by Archbishop Rino Fisichella on July 25. “Our grandparents, who nourished our own lives, now hunger for our attention and our love; they long for our closeness. Let us lift up our eyes and see them, even as Jesus sees us,” he stated. In January 2021, Pope Francis established the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, to take place annually on the fourth Sunday of July, close to the feast of the grandparents of Jesus, Saints Anne and Joachim. (CNA)

AUGUST MONDAY 2 POPE FRANCIS TO MEDJUGORJE YOUTH FESTIVAL: CHRIST FREES US “FROM THE SEDUCTION OF IDOLS” In a message to the Medjugorje Youth Festival on August 2, Pope Francis told young Catholics that Christ’s loving gaze can free them from attraction to idols. 58 INSIDE THE VATICAN NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2021

“Have the courage to live your youth by entrusting yourselves to the Lord and setting out on a journey with him,” the Pope said. “Let yourself be conquered by his loving gaze that frees us from the seduction of idols, from false riches that promise life but cause death,” he continued. “Do not be afraid to welcome the Word of Christ and to accept his call.” Pope Francis’ message was sent on the second day of the 32nd Medjugorje Youth Festival taking place in Bosnia and Herzegovina on August 1-8. (CNA) THURSDAY 12 INVENTORS OF CRISPR GENE EDITING APPOINTED TO PONTIFICAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES Pope Francis has appointed the co-inventors of the CRISPR genome editing technology to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier, who discovered CRISPR fewer than 10 years ago, were appointed to the Vatican’s scientific academy consecutively August 10-11. Their discovery sparked research into new treatments for cancer and other diseases, earning the two female scientists the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, but it also poses a host of bioethical questions. CRISPR is the simplest technology to date for editing human DNA. It allows scientists to use an enzyme called Cas9 to “cut and paste” gene sequences. (CNA) TUESDAY 17 POPE FRANCIS WILL NOT OFFER A PUBLIC MASS DURING SCOTLAND VISIT It has been announced that Pope Francis would not offer a public Mass during his scheduled short visit to Glasgow in November, according to the Scottish bishops’ conference. “I can confirm that the Scottish bishops are not planning a public Mass with Pope Francis in November,” Peter Kearney, spokesman for the Scottish bishops, told CNA on August 17. “The Pope will visit as a guest of the UK Government who will be responsible for the arrangement details. We understand he will only be a few hours in Scotland to attend the COP26 gathering and expect he will have only a very short part of this time to meet with the Scottish bishops,” he said. The Pope was expected to attend the “world leaders summit” in the opening days of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) taking place in Glasgow on November 1-12. (CNA) FRIDAY 27 VATICAN SUPPRESSES ITALY-BASED REGINA PACIS COMMUNITY AFTER APOSTOLIC VISIT The Vatican has reportedly suppressed the Regina Pacis Community, a society of apostolic life based in Verona, Italy,

citing “institutional shortcomings” and a lack of “charismatic institutional maturity.” According to the news agency L’Arena di Verona, the Vatican’s consecrated life office issued a decree suppressing the community on July 24. The bishop of Verona, Giuseppe Zenti, sent a letter informing the diocese of the decision on August 17. The Regina Pacis Community was founded in 1986 by married couple Alessandro Nottegar and Luisa Scipionato Nottegar as a Catholic community devoted to prayer, evangelization, and service to the poor. Alessandro Nottegar, a doctor who died from a heart attack just a month after the community’s founding at the age of 42, was declared “venerable” by Pope Francis in 2017— one of the steps on the path to beatification and canonisation. His widow, Luisa Nottegar, and the couple’s three daughters are still living. (CNA) SATURDAY 28 POPE FRANCIS MAKES CHANGES TO THE VATICAN’S CHAPTER OF ST. PETER Pope Francis on August 28 made several temporary changes to the Vatican’s Chapter of St. Peter, a group of retired priests who pray and assist in the liturgical activities of St. Peter’s Basilica. The new norms cut the chapter’s expenses and move its financial management under the Fabric of St. Peter, the office which manages St. Peter’s Basilica. Pope Francis said the changes have been made “in order to facilitate the start of the reform of the Chapter of St. Peter in the Vatican.” The group is chaired by the archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica, currently Cardinal Mauro Gambetti. It has a vicar and 34 members. The members are chosen from among the most remarkable personalities in the Catholic Church when they retire. Many of them come from the Roman Curia and receive a Vatican pension in addition to the fee paid to chapter members for their service. One of Pope Francis’ reforms was to state that members can only receive the emolument from the chapter if they are not also receiving another commission, pension, or salary from the Vatican. (CNA)

SEPTEMBER WEDNESDAY 1 POPE ADDRESSES VATICAN REFORMS AIMED AT CURBING CORRUPTION AND ABUSE While financial reforms in the Vatican are progressing steadily, cases involving corruption and malfeasance in the Eternal City are “a disease that we relapse into,” Pope Francis said in a wide-ranging interview broadcast September 1 by COPE, a Spanish radio station owned by the Spanish bish-

ops’ conference. Pope Francis said changes made in the Vatican’s financial laws have allowed prosecutors to “become more independent” in their investigations. “Let’s hope that these steps we are taking … will help to make these events happen less and less,” he said. During the interview, the Pope was asked about the Vatican trial against 10 individuals and entities, including Cardinal Angelo Becciu, former prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, on charges ranging from embezzlement to money laundering and abuse of office. Cardinal Becciu was forced to offer his resignation to the Pope in September 2020, after he was accused of embezzling an estimated 100,000 euros of Vatican funds and redirecting them to Spes, a Caritas organization run by his brother, Tonino Becciu, in his home diocese of Ozieri, Sardinia. The Pope told COPE he authorized the Vatican’s investigation into the property deal as a sign that he was “not afraid of transparency or the truth.” (CNS) SUNDAY 5 600-YEAR-OLD MARIAN ICON IN POLAND RECEIVES A GIFT FROM POPE FRANCIS After his General Audience on September 5, Pope Francis blessed a peculiar item presented to him from the crowd: a golden rose (photo left). The rose is a gift to Our Lady of Skalmierzyce in Poland, an image which dates back to the 15th century. In 1966, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński bestowed upon the image of Our Lady crowns that were blessed by Pope Paul VI. Now, the image will be accompanied by a golden rose blessed by Pope Francis. The small community where the image is located is in central Poland just outside of Kalisz, Poland’s oldest city. The local inhabitants purchased the present as a gift to the icon of their church. Now, the golden rose is making its way back to Poland to deliver the second papal blessing to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Skalmierzyce. (RomeReports) TUESDAY 7 POPE FRANCIS SENDS 15,000 ICE CREAMS TO ROME PRISONERS Pope Francis sent 15,000 ice creams to prisoners in Rome as the Eternal City sweltered in the summer heat, the Vatican announced on September 7. The gelati were taken to the Regina Coeli and Rebibbia prisons by the papal almoner Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the Office of Papal Charities said in a press release. The Vatican department that performs charitable acts on behalf of the Pope said that in the summer months it sought to make “small evangelical gestures to help and give hope to thousands of people in Rome’s prisons.” The office explained that it focused on undertaking corporal works of mercy during the summer, when canteens and charities in Rome are forced to limit their activities. (CNA)n NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN



BY BECKY DERKS with G. Galazka, CNA and CNS photos

n PHILIPPINE POPE FRANCIS PRAISES WEIGHTLIFTER CREDITS MARTYRED KOREAN PRIEST HER OLYMPIC SUCCESS AT VATICAN MASS TO HER FAITH Hidilyn Diaz became the A Vatican Mass in the Korean lanPhilippines’ first Olympic guage on August 21 marked the 200th gold medal winner, set an anniversary of the birth of martyred Olympic record, and priest St. Andrew Kim Taegon, whom thanked her friends who Pope Francis praised as “an exemplary prayed the Miraculous witness of heroic faith.” Medal novena. In a virtual news conferIn a message, Pope Francis called the saint a tireless apostle of evangeence, the 30-year-old said she also lization, even “in difficult times, marked by persecution and suffering for prayed the novena and wore the medal. your people.” After winning July 26, the four-time St. Andrew Kim Taegon was the first Korean-born Catholic priest. In Olympian praised God and lifted up Our 1846, at the age of 25, he was tortured and beheaded near Seoul, South Lady’s Miraculous Medal from around Korea. He was canonized in 1984 with 102 other Korean martyrs. (CNA) her neck while repeatedly shouting “Thank You, Lord,” reported the Cathtion at the Franciscan Monastery of the Church of the Nativolic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines News. That gesity in 1906 and were brought to Jerusalem under the care of ture by Diaz went viral, CBCP News reported. the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land. The objects were After her win in the women’s 55-kg weightlifting — she stored for more than a century in the Studium Biblicum had an overall lift of 224 kilograms (more than 493 pounds) Franciscanum and will be displayed at the new Terra Sancta she told the virtual news conference about the Miraculous Museum in Jerusalem. (CNS) Medal. “It is a sign of… my faith to Mama Mary and Jesus n POPE FRANCIS MEETS ACTOR Christ,” she said. (CNS) WHO PLAYS JESUS IN “THE CHOSEN” The actor who plays Jesus in the internet series The n MUSICOLOGIST HOPES Chosen met Pope Francis on August 11, fulfilling a lifelong TO RECONSTRUCT 12-CENTURY ORGAN dream as he visited Rome to view pilgrimage sites FROM BETHLEHEM CHURCH related to the Gospels. Frozen in time, like a “musical Pompeii,” the 221 remainJonathan Roumie, a Catholic who since ing original organ pipes from the Church of the Nativity in 2019 has brought Christ to the screen for the Bethlehem may fill a gap of knowledge of more than three evangelical Christian-produced series, told centuries in the history of the organ and its cultural context, CNA that meeting the Pope was “a childhood medieval church culture, music, and technology. CHINESE DIOCESE “This organ dates from GETS NEW BISHOP UNDER the 12th century and is a SINO-VATICAN DEAL unique specimen in the world,” said musicologist Chinese Catholics witnessed and historian David Catthe consecration of the fifth bishalunya, a research fellow at op under a deal that China’s comthe University of Oxford. munist government signed with Catalunya was in Jerusalem this sumthe Vatican three years ago. mer to conduct a preliminary study on Father Anthony Li Hui was ordained as the coadjutor bishop of the pipes. The next phases of the rePingliang diocese at Gansu province in northwestern China on July 28, search will involve a larger team perapproved by both the state and the Church. forming the scientific study of the pipes, The 49-year-old Bishop Li is the fifth bishop ordained under the including metal analysis, 3D scanning, China-Vatican provisional agreement signed in 2018, Church sources told and a CT scan. One aim of the project is UCA News. to replicate the original pipes and reconThe Sino-Vatican deal, whose provisions are still not made public, restruct the organ’s missing parts, so that portedly allows the Pope to approve and veto bishops approved by the its sound can be heard again after 800 Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Initially signed for two years, the years. agreement was renewed for another two years in October 2020. The organ pipes were discovered, Bishop Li is the third bishop consecrated after the renewal of the along with bells and other liturgical oragreement. His election as the coadjutor bishop of Pingliang was annaments, in an archaeological excavanounced on July 24, 2020. (UCANews) 60 INSIDE THE VATICAN NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2021

dream realized.” After meeting with Pope Francis, Roumie said: “From the time I was a kid, I always wanted to meet the Pope and go to World Youth Day, and I never knew how to do that. My parents were immigrants, so that wasn’t something that they knew about.” The actor addressed the Pope in Spanish and asked Francis to pray for him as he continues to portray Jesus in the internet series. (CNA)

He, along with five Missionaries of Charity nuns and 14 orphaned and disabled children and young adults in their care, landed safely at Rome’s Fiumicino airport August 25. According to a report by the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, the orphans, many of whom are in wheelchairs, are between the ages of 6 and 20. (CNS) n POPE FRANCIS APPOINTS BENEDICTINE PRIEST AS SWISS GUARD CHAPLAIN The Pontifical Swiss Guard’s new chaplain is the Swiss Benedictine Fr. Kolumban Reichlin, who completed part of his studies at Saint Meinrad Seminary in Indiana. Reichlin, 50, was appointed chaplain by Pope Francis on September 1 and took up his new position in October.

n INDONESIAN POLICE ARREST CHRISTIAN YOUTUBER FOR BLASPHEMY Indonesian police have arrested a Christian YouTuber after a series of complaints were filed by Muslims accusing him of blasphemy. Muhammad Kace, a former Muslim who converted to Christianity, is accused of insulting Islam and the Prophet Muhammad by claiming the POPE NAMES CARDINAL SCHÖNBORN prophet was “surrounded by devils and ENVOY TO ST. LUDMILA CELEBRATION liars.” The comments were uploaded on his YouTube channel on August 23 and went The Archbishop of Vienna, Cardiviral. nal Christoph Schönborn, OP, was “Kace was arrested in Bali,” said Agus named the Pope’s special envoy for the Andrianto, head of the Criminal Investigacelebrations of the first Bohemian saint. tion Unit of the National Police. He said poA host of commemorative events took lice had discovered he had uploaded at least place throughout the Czech Republic, but the main 400 videos on YouTube insulting Islam. celebration was held on 18 September 2021 in the city “Muhammad is unknown by God and is of Tetin, near Prague, the site of the Saint’s martyronly known by his followers because he is dom, 1,100 years ago. surrounded by devils,” Kace reportedly said St. Ludmila is remembered as the daughter of the Sorbian prince Slavin his latest video. ibor and the grandmother of St. Wenceslaus, who is widely known as Kace, who used to be an Islamic cleric in “Good King Wenceslaus.” More than a thousand years later, Pope St. John West Java, reportedly began criticizing Islam Paul II included St. Ludmila in the Roman Martyrology and proclaimed her after he was baptized a Christian in 2014. patron saint of Eastern Europe. “He has insulted God, the Quran, and the St. Ludmila is considered the first Christian martyr of Bohemia, a symProphet Muhammad, so there is a clear case bol of Christianity in the Czech Republic, and at the same time the expresagainst him,” the council’s deputy chief sion of Bohemian unity within the Austro-Hungarian Empire, especially in Ikhsan Abdullah told UCA News. the second half of the last century. (VaticanNews) (UCANews) n ITALIAN PRIEST RECOUNTS HARROWING ESCAPE FROM KABUL Although Barnabite Father Giovanni Scalese, head of the Catholic mission in Afghanistan, found himself back in his native Italy after the fall of the Afghan capital in mid-August, his thoughts remained on the church he was forced to leave behind. “We continue to pray for Afghanistan. We cannot abandon this country and its suffering people,” Father Scalese said in an interview published August 26 with SIR, the news agency of the Italian bishops’ conference. Father Scalese was among thousands of foreigners who had to flee the country after the Taliban, an extremist Islamic movement that ruled Afghanistan until ousted by a U.S.-led coalition nearly 20 years ago, took control of the country prior to the withdrawal of U.S. forces.

The Pontifical Swiss Guard was established by Pope Julius II in 1506 and is charged with serving and protecting the Pope. Members of the world’s smallest but oldest standing army—known for its colorful striped Renaissance-era uniforms—are responsible for Vatican security together with the Vatican gendarmes. The Pontifical Swiss Guard has its own oratory inside Vatican City where members regularly attend Mass, and ceremonies such as weddings and baptisms sometimes take place. The Church of Saints Martin and Sebastian of the Swiss was built in 1568 by Pope Pius V to be the Swiss Guard’s private chapel. It is located just behind the colonnade of St. Peter’s Square on the north side, next to the Swiss Guard barracks and the Apostolic Palace. (CNA)m NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2021 INSIDE THE VATICAN




first met Salvatore De Riso in September 2010 at his bakery in Tramonti during the cultural festival “Scala Meets New York” still organized annually by native-son Padre Enzo Fortunato, a prolific writer and the Press Director for the Franciscan Order in Assisi. This year I met him again at his bistro in his hometown of Minori, like Scala on the Amalfi Coast. I’d been invited there to cover another cultural festival, Gustaminori, which “Sal” was instrumental in founding some 25 years ago. Sal was born on November 28, 1966, into a family of “foodies.” In 1908, his great aunt, Carolina Florio, had opened a bar/tobacco shop, which served homemade granite di limone. It became the family business. So in 1980, Sal enrolled in Salerno’s hotel management school and immediately started working as a chef in prestigious hotels on the Amalfi Coast: Hotel San Pietro, Hotel Palumbo, and Hotel Caruso in Ravello. He especially liked making desserts. After seven years he stopped working in hotels to concentrate on sweets. While an apprentice, his mentor chocolatier Iginio Massari in Brescia taught him how to make visibly mouth-watering cakes and how to run a business. In 1989, Sal returned to Minori and opened a tiny pastry laboratory because he could hook it up to his father’s bar, making sweets to accompany his father’s homemade ice creams and granite. “My first creation was a profiterole al limone,” he told me. “A French/northern Italian favorite with a southern flavor. “From then on I was considered an innovator, especially after I appeared as a regular guest on Antonella Clerici’s TV program La Prova del Cuoco. “Even if here in the south,” he continued, “we have some delicious traditional sweets, I was the first to introduce mousses, cakes topped with fresh ‘exotic’ fruits, but I also have always had a deep respect for Campania’s local ingredients: hazelnuts from Griffoni, ricotta from Tramonti, white figs from the Cilento, apricots from Mount Vesuvius, and, of course, lemons from Minori. In short: my innovations have also brought out the best in the culinary traditions of my home territory.”

Now besides the ice creams and some 95 different sweets he sells at his bistro/pastry shop in Minori, Sal has a shop in Rome at Via Santa Costanza 29-31, and as of last year one in Milan’s Galleria. Except for his perishable torte al forno, liqueurs, perfumes, and very recently bathing suits and scarves with a lemon theme can be purchased and delivered worldwide by DHL from the shop on his website: Otherwise, Sal works through distributors. He makes his products from Monday through Thursday in Tramonti, where he employs 65 people: office workers, accountants, PR, packagers, truck drivers, tasters and chefs, and ships them every Friday in trucks refrigerated at -18° C. Deliveries in Italy and elsewhere in Europe: Germany, France, Great Britain, Belgium, Luxembourg, and The Netherlands are on Saturdays. Outside Europe, Sal’s distributors are in Hong Kong, Australia, and Canada, mainly in Ontario and Quebec. Since last year, his distributors in New York are Domenico and Antonio Magliulo, the owners of “Buon Italia,” who sell his products at the Chelsea Market, and to the restaurants Sandro’s, San Matteo and Celeste, all in Manhattan. Sal’s bestsellers as well, as his personal favorites. are his Delizia al limone made with white chocolate icing and limoncello, his pear and ricotta cake, and his panettone Milanese. “I make around 2,000 panettone a day in Tramonti, not in Milan. I have to call it Milanese because the original recipe for panettone was born in Milan. It’s artisanal and made with flour leavened with mother yeast, butter, eggs, Australian raisins, almonds from Bari or Avola in Sicily, homemade candied orange peel and candied lime peel from Calabria. We make it according to the recipe in the Ministerial Decree of July 2005, which clearly states the amounts of each ingredient. It’s a Christmas tradition, but we make it year-round.” Over his long career, Sal has received numerous awards; most recently in 2019 he was voted “The King of Panettone” and “Best Italian Pastry Chef of the Year.” Nevertheless, the two highlights of his career were giving Saint John Paul II his chocolate and mandarin Jubilee cake “Oro Puro” and, last year, his panettone Milanese to Pope Francis for his birthday on December 17.m

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