| 5/26/2007 3:38 AM
Registered in: 11/23/2005
I wasn't sure whether to post this item since it is pretty vicious but then I thought we should be prepared for the onslaught.
Why did this "saint" fail to act on sinners within his flock?
by Anne Simpson
May 26, 2007
When David Yallop enters a bar or a restaurant he scans the room for anybody whose presence might make him uneasy. Call it paranoia, but he always chooses a seat with its back to the wall. Such caution is understandable in a man who entered Beirut with a price on his head. On that occasion he was on the trail of the international terrorist, Carlos the Jackal, and now, not for the first time, the might of mitres is about to be swivelled in his direction with the publication of his latest investigative opus.
It has taken Yallop more than eight years to write The Power and the Glory, the goal of which is to de-sanctify a man on the road to sainthood: the late Pope John Paul II. Yallop, who describes himself as a Catholic agnostic, is aware that many will regard this work as heretical. Others will see it as the inevitable sequel to his previous book, In God's Name, which exposed the web of financial corruption within the Vatican and explored the suspicion of murder surrounding the death of John Paul I, "the smiling Pope", whose reign lasted 33 days.
But for most of the 27 years of John Paul II's pontificate this was a Pope acclaimed as one of the most charismatic leaders of our time. Even so, he was a paradoxical figure, an autocrat who was loved; the Pope of crowds, whose intractable orthodoxy nevertheless caused many of the multitude to fall away. So, two years after the death of this pilgrim the question increasingly asked is whether his papacy was a failure.
"His obituaries abound with myths, fantasies and dis-information" says Yallop. "The cult of personality which John Paul so revelled in focuses precisely on the man but at great cost to the faith." Even that vision of the Pope as a sad and frail figure, suffering from Parkinson's disease, fails to temper Yallop's criticism. He remembers being told by an informant in those final weeks that "the actor within the Holy Father is dying hard. He refuses to walk off the stage. He is a man terminally drugged on the adulation of the audience."
Yallop begins his demolition work on the heroic reputation of the man, born Karol Wojtyla, by knocking down the perception that in Poland he confronted the Communist regime. "The myth of John Paul, conqueror of Communism, is just that," he says. Yallop accuses the late Pope of complicity "with some of the worst dictators". He claims that John Paul's opposition to liberation theology along with his condemnation of contraception, divorce, abortion and homosexuality caused a haemorrhaging of followers by marching the Church back to the dark ages.
But the most explosive chapters inevitably concern the author's ongoing research into "the Vatican's financial scams" and its systematic cover-up of child sex abuse cases. Of the first he writes: "Because of his (John Paul's) continuing failure to make the necessary decisions', a corrupt archbishop (the American, Paul Marcinkus) retained control of the Vatican Bank for a further decade."
Of the second transgression, Yallop maintains that the Pope's inability once again to make the "necessary decisions" meant that clerical sexual abuse continued unchecked, resulting in mass desertions from the faith. "The late Pope and his cardinals had known since the early 1980s that such abuse was widespread but instead of taking early and decisive action, their response was secrecy."
Yallop is recognised as one of the world's most substantial and unflinching investigative writers. Now 70, he looks back on a life punctuated with dangerous assignments which have included tracking down the Colombian drug cartels and delving into the identities and mind-set of the bombers of Pan Am Flight 103. The sales of In God's Name exceed six million, and it was awarded the Crime Writers' Gold Dagger Award for the best non-fiction book of 1984.
Even he can not deny the impact of the Pope's first visit home to Poland after his election in 1979. Descending from the plane, the man who had almost become an actor before be became a priest, knelt and kissed the ground. In Warsaw's Victory Square he addressed a million of the long-suffering faithful.
No Communist country had experienced anything like it, and from that moment the world would watch this handsome, hitherto unknown, inheritor of Peter's rock who, at 38, had become a bishop, a cardinal at 47 and pontiff at 58. This was the spectacular outsider who had broken the 455-year-old Vatican tradition of choosing an Italian Pope. Yet to Yallop's eye, such scenes were down to superlative theatrics. "Yes, he was a very political Pope, but I believe there was no real compassion in his papacy."
In his view, Karol Wojtyla was elected by the College of Cardinals to put a brake on the progressive theology initiated by Pope John XXIII at the Second Vatican Council of 1962. That spirit of reform would have continued under the papacy of John Paul I, Albino Luciani, the gentle liberator. The cause of his death was officially given as myocardial infarction but Yallop believes it was murder, a heart attack induced by poisoning.
On May 13, 1981 John Paul II was struck by bullets from a potential assassin's gun as he toured St Peter's Square. Mehmet Ali Agca, already wanted for a slaying in Turkey, his native country, was sentenced to life imprisonment in an Italian jail.
In Wojtyla, the Neo-cons of the Vatican had opted for a Pope of the nineteenth century. "That is the key to his personality. His father was born in the same decade that papal infallibility was created, and that teaching would have been very fresh in the minds of the Wojtyla family as Karol was growing up. I mean, intellectually the Pope was back in the 1870s and 1880s: no partnership with his fellow bishops. No collegiality. No dialogue or discussion, merely an unquestioned primacy that inevitably atrophied."
Yallop returns to the subject of corruption within the Vatican Bank which was under the chairmanship of Chicago's Archbishop Marcinkus. Known as a bit of a bruiser from his days playing American football, and from acting as a papal bodyguard, Marcinkus rose to become "gatekeeper" of the Vatican Bank without ever acquiring the necessary ability or integrity for such promotion.
By 1968 the Vatican decided on a major switch in banking policy, away from Italian assets in favour of US and offshore investments. It was a decision that led to a series of criminal and financially disastrous relationships that threatened its entire moral reputation. To maximise profits, Marcinkus had formed an unholy alliance with Michele Sindona, frontman for the Mafia, Lucio Gelli, master of Italy's powerful and illegal P2 Masonic Lodge, and Roberto Calvi, the banker whose body was found under Blackfriars Bridge in London in 1982, and who had been the Mafia's money- launderer and paymaster to P2.
Charges of tax evasion, racketeering and fraud raged, but Marcinkus avoided being placed in the Italian witness box by using his diplomatic immunity, and always insisted that he had never knowingly done anything wrong. Yallop believes his disgrace would have happened much sooner had John Paul I lived longer. "He intended to remove Marcinkus, and if he had, the crash that occurred only after Calvi died would have taken place in 1978." Calvi and his conspirators had been robbing his Banco Ambrosiano for years. "And when he was suicided', as I put it, the authorities found a hole in the bank's finances of $1.3bn."
But if John Paul II's predecessor was poisoned because the removal of Marcinkus would have exposed the scandal, who was the murderer? "After investigating a list of suspects, I have no doubt that it was Gelli's P2 lodge which he ran as a state within a state and whose power was extraordinary."
But the most shocking content in Yallop's book refocuses attention on that gravest of crimes, the repeated violation of innocents. Why did John Paul II close his eyes for so long to paedophilia among errant priests, the sin which, more than any other, has riven the Church worldwide? The Church's attempts to bury these appalling breaches of trust have only compounded the suspicion that parishioners had placed their trust in an institution more concerned with protecting its worldly goods against litigation than with healing the wounds inflicted on children by sexual deviants.
Yallop says that it wasn't a case of the Pope being kept in the dark. "Well into his papacy he went on tour to Austria where priests had been trying to remove Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer, a practising paedophile, for years. But Wojtyla would hear nothing bad about the man, and he chastised those priests who had gone semi-public about their concern."
HANS Groer resigned "on grounds of old age" in 1995 but by then thousands of Austrian Catholics had defected to create their own sect. For many this episode confirms that John Paul was not always a good judge of character. "He was fundamentally weak. Now, that will surprise you because what comes across is a man of great strength . . . But, in fact, the way he handled the Second World War indicates something else. Contrary to the stories that were published when he became Pope, he was not among those who had risked their lives trying to save Jews and Poles from the Nazis. Wojtyla elected for quietism."
Yallop asserts that if it hadn't been for the Communists he would never have become Pope. The regime had approval on the selection of bishops, and when the diocese of Krakov became available, it was made clear that the regime would reject all nominations except Wojtyla.
"The Communists knew he wasn't going to rock the boat. I don't know if that was an overt corruption of the soul but it was certainly a latent one. It was only when he became Pope that Wojtyla condemned anti-Semitism."
As a "Catholic agnostic" Yallop rarely goes to Mass but he does pray. "There are good priests out there, and in the Vatican, too. Of course there are. And to those Catholics who feel that what I've written is a betrayal I would say that since In God's Name was published 23 years ago I've received thousands of supportive letters, and only seven which were really critical of me."
Yallop still has half a dozen books he wants to write, and investigating will involve risk. "I've had attempts on my life but I don't talk about them because that might encourage more." Yet, he recalls that when he was abroad publicising In God's Name, a newspaper rang his wife to ask if she was worried about the Mafia coming to kill him. "She replied that she didn't think the Mafia would be able to find Crouch End. Quite charming, really."
However, even the most faithful have been surprised by Pope Benedict's decision to fast-track John Paul II towards beatification and sainthood. Could it be that the Vatican wishes to canonise the late Pope before further books like Yallop's destroy the aura? "That's a very astute observation. After all, why rush things? The point about beatification is that it's a long and measured process. "
As for the future of Catholicism, Yallop sardonically reflects that the succession of Cardinal Ratzinger as Pope has proved that there is life after death: "With Benedict at the helm, the reign of Wojtyla continues." And, talking of afterlife, does the residual Catholic in Yallop worry that he might be storing up some trouble for himself?
"Well, I'm not sure about an afterlife," he says, then amends that reflection by musing that if there is something going on up there, he has every confidence they'll know he is on their side.
The Power and the Glory: Inside the Dark Heart of John Paul II's Vatican, by David Yallop, is published by Constable, priced £20.
This man sounds monomanic. Does he have anything good to say about John Paul II at all? Just because the Pope may have been wrong about Marcinkus, Yallop has decided he cannot have been right about anything! He's an experienced investigative reporter. He knows exactly what to look for and slant in order to make his case. Did he present his 'evidence' to the diocesan boards that have investigated John Paul's cause?
Perhaps, in a way, it is a good he comes out with the book now. Alas, it will probably be a best-seller. Cardinal Dsiwisz and company should immediately get down to rebutting it point by point!
P.S. By the way, what is The Herald and where is it published? And who is this Anne Simpson who makes such sweeping categorical statements about John Paul?
[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 5/26/2007 7:21 AM]
| 5/28/2007 4:33 AM
|I'm glad I found something that gives us some perspective on David Yallop, hero of the uncritical report above. I was not wrong, after all, when I concluded the guy is monomanic, and no, he reall doesn't see anything good at all about Karol Wojtyla! I wonder who will buy his book? This is from the London Daily Telegraph of 5/17/07.
An outbreak of anti-popery
Damian Thompson reviews
The Power and the Glory:
Inside the Dark Heart of John Paul II's Vatican
by David Yallop
In 1984, the British journalist David Yallop published In God's Name, in which he 'discovered' that Pope John Paul I, the smiling pontiff whose reign lasted only 33 days, was poisoned by the Vatican because he was about to expose its corruption and change doctrines. Rome dismissed his book as trash, which suited Yallop just fine.
Then along came John Cornwell, an 'independent' author unsympathetic to the Vatican, who checked out Yallop's case. It crumbled into dust like an ancient parchment exposed to sunlight. The 'murder' of John Paul turned out to be just another conspiracy theory, glued together with innuendo and non sequiturs. Cornwell's book A Thief in the Night, which demonstrated that John Paul I had died of natural causes, left Yallop's theory looking jolly silly.
Admittedly, In God's Name
has sold six million copies, and therefore made Yallop nearly enough cash to bail out the Vatican bank; but no one likes seeing his pet theory attacked, and Yallop is an angry man
. (If you doubt that, just check out the new edition of In God's Name
, in which he rages against Cornwell.)
The Power and the Glory: Inside the Dark Heart of John Paul II's Vatican
is Yallop's second book about the Roman Catholic Church. I love that subtitle. I don't think I've ever read a book that promises to take me 'inside the dark heart' of something that doesn't turn out to be nonsense. This is certainly no exception.
Now, admittedly, John Paul II wasn't everyone's cup of tea - he certainly wasn't mine - and one of these days someone is going to write a biography of him that properly balances his astonishing achievements against his misjudgments (such as his slow reaction to the clerical abuse scandals at a time when he was obsessively concerned with the sexual practices of the laity).
Cornwell tried to produce such a work a couple of years ago, but the result, The Pope in Winter
, was too coloured by his personal dislike of John Paul to be taken entirely seriously. Compared with The Power and the Glory
, however, it was a model of impartiality.
Reading this book is like being trapped by a bore at a party, and an all-night party at that. David Yallop's tone never varies: it's Glenda Slagg-style 'Karol Wojtyla, don'tcha hate him?!!!' for more than 500 pages
Needless to say, Yallop doesn't allow John Paul any credit for fatally weakening Polish Communism and therefore setting in motion the collapse of the Eastern bloc; in fact, there's even a suggestion that the Pope was unwittingly following a script written by Moscow. Moreover, he brushes aside the considerable evidence that the Soviet Union was behind the 1981 assassination attempt - which is a bit rich, given that his own account of the 'murder' of John Paul I is pretty much evidence-free. But that's conspiracy theorists for you.
Yallop's distaste for his subject is such that he frequently descends into melodrama. Poor John Paul doesn't have colleagues, he has a 'cabal' who (as is their wont) 'surround' him. And the author is so keen to take the shine off the late Pope's many gestures of reconciliation to the Jewish community that he bizarrely ends up juxtaposing them with Mel Gibson's drunken anti-Semitic tirade when he was stopped by the LA police. Eh?
Only one of Yallop's allegations made me sit up, and it doesn't even relate to John Paul II. He claims, intriguingly, that St Maximilian Kolbe, the Polish priest who died in place of a young married man at Auschwitz, had previously endorsed the anti-Jewish 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion'. That's amazing, if true, so I looked for the relevant footnote.
There wasn't one. Not surprising, really, when you consider that there are just 13 footnotes in the entire 530 pages. Two possible explanations spring immediately to mind. One is that Yallop's sources are too secret to be revealed. The other is that he's a lazy writer whose publishers let him get away with murder. Make up your own mind.
| 5/30/2007 1:15 AM
| Pope John Paul enjoyed
...BUT NOW HE'S ABOVE THE STARS
sleeping under the stars,
May. 29, 2007 (CWNews.com) - Pope John Paul II enjoyed slipping away from Rome for visits to the Italian countryside, sometimes sleeping on the ground outdoors to enjoy the open air, according to a story in the Irish Independent
General Enrico Marinelli, the former Vatican security chief, described the Pope's secret trips to Italy's Frosinone province, where the Pontiff would take long hikes and stay in an isolated cottage. At times, Marinelli said, the Pope would sleep under the stars - to the consternation of his security detail.
The late Pope's love for hiking and camping was well known, but his occasional forays into the countryside were not disclosed while he was alive. The closest advisers to John Paul II have revealed that in the early years of his pontificate he would sometimes make unannounced trips to the mountains, concealing his identity so that he could hike or ski without being noticed.
| 6/15/2007 3:46 PM
Thanks to Rocco Palmo for leading us to this article in yesterday's issue (6/14/07) of the Philadelphia Inquirer
JOHN PAUL'S JEWISH FRIEND
Honors for an old papal friend:
Professor Lena Allen-Shore wrote tenderly
to and of Pope John Paul II
By David O'Reilly
Inquirer Staff Writer
WASHINGTON - She was a dear friend of Pope John Paul II's, and has devoted her life to promoting ethnic peace and religious understanding, but professor Lena Allen-Shore of Philadelphia will never be a saint of the Catholic Church.
Alas, the church does not canonize Jewish grandmothers.
Yesterday, however, several church leaders in the United States came pretty close.
In ceremonies at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center, Cardinal William Keeler of Baltimore and Archbishop Pietro Sambi honored Allen-Shore's friendship with the late pontiff and celebrated her ability to touch people's lives, including their own.
Archbishop with Allen-Shore at the book launching.
(Elizabeth Robertson, Inquirer staff photographer)
"She entered and survived the Holocaust," Keeler told the gathering of about 60 people at the center's modern rotunda, recalling how Allen-Shore masqueraded as a Catholic in her native Poland during World War II, and vowed as a teenager to devote herself to "building bridges" if she survived.
The occasion was the release of the third edition of Building Bridges
, Allen-Shore's biographical account (with poetry) of her and John Paul's childhoods outside Krakow, Poland, and how their very different paths crossed in old age.
Allen-Shore, now an adjunct professor at Gratz College, first wrote to John Paul in 1979, weeks after his election as the first Polish pope. To her great surprise, he wrote back to thank her, and the correspondence continued.
They finally met in the Vatican in 1996, and in 2000 he invited her to join him during his historic visit to Jerusalem.
Again, in 2002 he invited her to join him in a meeting of world religious leaders in Assisi, Allen-Shore, and a year later he invited her to the papal palace for her birthday (she won't say which one) where he and her family sang "Happy Birthday" - in Polish, of course.
The new, oversize edition of Building Bridges
, published by Cathedral Press, includes a brief note that John Paul penned to Allen-Shore in 2003, upon publication of the first edition.
"Thank you for seeing deep into my thoughts and understanding the intentions guiding my actions," he wrote, and he praised her for having written it "with heart."
John Paul died in April 2005. Allen-Shore was among a handful of people invited to view his body in the papal palace before it went on public view.
"The Holy Father believed everyone on the planet belongs to the family of man," she told the crowd at the center yesterday, before reading excerpts from several of her poems about him.
She was followed by Sambi, a member of the Vatican diplomatic corps and the papal representative to the United States.
"As a diplomat, I should be a cool person, not a victim of emotion," he said and laughed.
But he began having doubts about his diplomatic cool, he said, when John Paul visited the Holocaust Memorial and Western Wall in Jerusalem in March 2000 and "everyone was crying."
It was a historic moment in the long, often unhappy history of Catholic-Jewish relations, said Sambi, who at the time had been papal nuncio to Israel.
Sambi recalled how, before that papal trip to Jerusalem, John Paul had stunned him with an embarrassing question.
"He said, 'Pietro, do you love the Jews?' "
Sambi said he was so surprised he did not know how to answer. John Paul filled the awkwardness with a story.
"He said that when he was 15 [in Wadowice, outside Krakow], he saw a great number of his Jewish friends disappearing" at the hands of the Nazis, "and he said, 'I could do nothing. But now I can do something.' "
Afterward he found himself in conversation with a stranger from Philadelphia, pouring out to her "my love for Jerusalem."
The stranger was Allen-Shore, whose empathy and compassion, he said, kept the conversation going for nearly nearly two hours.
Sambi then read aloud from Allen-Shore's book her account of that day, and her own recollection of John Paul inserting a note of prayer into the "wailing wall" of Jerusalem's long-ago demolished Second Temple.
"And you can read about that day in this book," he said.
Visitors to yesterday's event included Allen-Shore's son Jacques, 49, a lawyer in Ottawa. Allen-Shore also has another son, Michel, an appeals court judge in Canada, and several grandchildren.
Chester Lobrow, of Monroe Township, N.J., also attended yesterday's ceremony.
A founding trustee of the John Paul Center, he said he drove from North Jersey to have six copies of the book signed by Allen-Shore "because I heard what a good person she is."
Another was Barbara Martindale, a former teacher in New York who said she had taken about six courses with Allen-Shore at Gratz College, where she teaches art and history "but with a sense of compassion and altruism and a sense of life's possibilities."
, published by Cathedral Press, is available by going to the Web site www.cathedralfoundation.org.
| 7/4/2007 12:46 PM
| Social Doctrine Course Gets Underway in Poland
ANNUAL SEMINAR IN POLAND TO STUDY JP-II ENCYCLICAL
KRAKOW, Poland, JULY 3, 2007 (Zenit.org).- North American and Eastern European students are doing what Pope John Paul II said he would never have done as a youth during his summer vacation - study an encyclical.
The students are attending the "Tertio Millennio Seminar on the Free Society," which is taking place in Krakow through July 19. The seminar, initiated in 1992, is built on the study of Pope John Paul II's encyclical "Centesimus Annus."
"The seminar has prepared almost 700 graduates of the 'John Paul II generation' to be leaders in public life, business, the professions, academic life, the family, politics and the Church," said George Weigel, author of Witness to Hope
, and the seminar's director since 2000. He is also a senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.
Rocco Buttiglioni, a former advisor to John Paul II, and Michael Novak, theologian and author, organized the event shortly after the encyclical's release.
The idea behind the founding, Michael Novak said, was twofold. We wanted "to counter the growing drift between America and Europe. Secondly, we both judged that Catholic social policy paid too little attention to the ways in which the United States had broken the chains of poverty for scores of millions of Catholic immigrants since 1880."
"Students from Central Europe had had little exposure to the ideas moving the rest of the world, and the Americans had had little exposure to experiences 'behind the Iron Curtain,'" Novak explained.
First held in Liechtenstein, John Paul II asked that the seminar be moved to Krakow.
"John Paul II used to write to our Krakow seminar with words of greeting, good humor and encouragement," Novak recalled.
One year, said Novak, the Polish Pope wrote to commend the students, saying that when he was young, he wouldn't have spent three weeks of his summer vacation studying an encyclical.
"Each year," Weigel explained, "the seminar seems to be a moment of intense vocational discernment and clarification for our students; and each year, as our graduates move into their careers, we can see the effects of the time they spent wrestling with the social doctrine of the Church and the teaching of John Paul II."
Despite the geo-political changes that have taken place since the seminar's inception, Weigel says the seminar has been able to adapt.
"For the European students we get today," Weigel explained, "the Communist period is just a memory, even a vague memory, so the heroic days of the '80s are about as 'real' to them as the Korean War was to me - which is to say, not very!"
"We also have to contend with the new problems posed by a post-9/11 world in which the threat of jihadism looms large, as well as the problems of incorporating the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe into a European Union that can be very aggressively secular," added Weigel.
As a result, Weigel continued, "we've added lectures on Catholic international relations theory, the just war tradition and 'Europe's problem' to address all of this."
The seminar has also spawned several programs devoted to Catholic social teaching. Novak is in the middle of his seventh seminar in Slovakia on the same topic for American and Slovak students.
"Slovakia is a culturally strategic country at the heart of Central Europe," he said. "Seven years ago, it was still being relatively neglected by outside investors, educators and nongovernmental organizations."
Ever Johnson, a seminar participant in 1999, has also started "The John Paul II Fellowship," which brings together many of the alumni to teach Catholic social doctrine to professionals in Washington, D.C.
The Dominicans in Krakow, who host the participants and faculty each year, have also continued to work with their growing network of alumni, hosting annual reunions for all Poles involved in previous seminars.
| 7/4/2007 12:57 PM
| This is the third time today that I have a double post. Sorry...One of the update glitches....Each time, when I hit Reply, I got back a blank message box. After chekcing on another window whether it posted or not, I don't see the post, so I paste on the post I had previously copied on the mouse as a precaution and hit
ANNUAL SEMINAR IN POLAND TO STUDY JP-II ENCYCLICAL
Reply again. This time, I do get the post posted - and then when I look at the full page of the thread, I see two posts!
[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 7/4/2007 10:30 PM]
| 7/4/2007 8:18 PM
Registered in: 7/25/2006
In Mexic (29 January 1979)
| 7/12/2007 4:45 PM
Registered in: 11/23/2005
"A Life With Karol" Wins Rome Award
Cardinal Dziwisz' Book Details 40-Year Friendship
ROME, JULY 11, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Pope John Paul II's long-time secretary received the "Rome Award" for his book detailing "A Life With Karol," due in English next spring.
Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow, received the award at a ceremony Tuesday in Rome for his book "A Life With Karol: My 40-Year Friendship With the Man Who Became Pope."
The book is a conversation with journalist Gian Franco Svidercoschi and published by Rizzoli. The English-language version will be available next March.
The Rome Award, conferred by the Italian nonprofit Association Ostia Cultura, is given to both foreign and Italian authors of fiction and nonfiction works. The cardinal's book won the award for best foreign nonfiction.
According to members of the jury, it is "a historical essay, like few others, that shows us the victory of seemingly impossible hopes over the stark reality of the contrast between freedom and dictatorship, and on the cultural plane between Christian humanism and materialism."
Upon receiving the award at a Cardinal Dziwisz said: "I am convinced that the jury wished to give this prize to the subject of this book, Karol -- for many, Karol the Great, for me Father Karol and also St. Karol.
"It was not easy to write this book, for many reasons, but I was urged on by the people so that they would not forget a person who was and is loved and who does not want to be forgotten.
"I dedicate this book to the people, all over the world -- above all here in Rome and in Italy -- that loved, love and want to love him."
The cardinal lived in Rome for almost three decades. He spoke of the city, saying, "Believe me I love and learned to love Rome from John Paul II, and I went after 27 years from Rome to Krakow, but my heart beats here and above all when I am next to the Holy Father. It beats here, for eternal Rome, which I can never forget."
The winners received a reproduction of the statue of St. Peter in the Vatican basilica, done in porcelain by Richard Ginori, along with a check for ¬5,000 ($6,854).
Cardinal Dziwisz said he would give the money to the John Paul II Center "Be Not Afraid," which he founded in Krakow to keep the memory of the Polish Pope alive.
Benedict XVI blessed the cornerstone for the center May 27, 2006.
| 7/22/2007 2:25 AM
John Paul the Great Catholic University
I had no idea about this school, looks like its just started as well. The front page says that they completed their first academic year and are working on building a new media lab.
Here's the link: www.jpcatholic.com/
| 7/29/2007 4:13 AM
|About 'Centesimus Annus'
Interview With Adviser to Germany's Chancellor
ROME, JULY 27, 2007 (Zenit.org).- When age-old religious issues were making headlines with the Benedict XVI's election, many were confronted with something new, especially in eastern Germany, said an adviser to Chancellor Angela Merkel.
In this interview with ZENIT, Andrea Schneider discusses what Benedict XVI's election to the pontificate has meant for Germany, Catholic social teaching and the role it plays in her life.
Schneider recently spoke in Rome at a conference "The Foundations of the Free Society," hosted by the Michigan-based Acton Institute.
The event was the last of a series of conferences commemorating Pope John Paul II's 1991 encyclical Centesimus Annus
Q: How has the situation of Catholics changed in Germany after the election of Benedict XVI?
Schneider: I think what happened after John Paul II died and Benedict XVI was elected was that religion came to the forefront, it became a subject to be discussed openly. It was discussed by Catholics in their parishes before, but not at the workplace.
These themes were all of a sudden making headlines in newspapers, and we could discuss it openly with our neighbors. We were no longer outsiders.
So it made people recall topics which had been long forgotten or which they tried to erase from their lives. Hence, many people were confronted with something new, especially in the eastern part of Germany.
When Benedict XVI was elected, people in Germany felt, whether they were Catholics, Protestants or atheists, that something is happening, and that if we are all parts of this, then there is something that we have to do ourselves and that this is wonderful. I think that in the long run this election will make an impact.
We discuss religion more, and I think this is what we Catholics and Protestants have to do to talk about our faith, to keep discussing such topics and challenge our neighbors.
Q: Looking to your lecture at the Acton Institute event "Law, Human Rights, and the Free Society," what struck you as the basic insights of Centesimus Annus?
Schneider: First of all, what matters most is to understand the nature of man that God gave him a dignity that cannot be abolished by any system or by any rule of law.
In order to understand history, social developments or economy, we really need to know what the nature of man is.
Once we know this, we can then ask ourselves which economic and social system is best suited for man. We then have to have a realistic view of the person and the systems that are congenial to his nature.
John Paul II highlighted the different aspects of freedom, like the freedom for economic initiative, and wrote how important it is for humans to unfold their talents in the market, to get involved in personal relationships, to cooperate and also to compete.
Another insight is about the good side of the market mechanism, that is, we all can benefit from it because it covers our needs.
It doesn't do it because, like in a command system, someone tells us what our needs are, but the other way around. This happens when people tell producers, our neighbors, what they need, and they get involved in productivity.
Also the right to private property is something which John Paul II highlighted very strongly, that is, how much humans have a need to do something valuable, to create something, to possess something that they can care for.
These are just a few of the many insights in the encyclical.
Q: Are there recognizable elements in the social market economy that can derive from the Church's social teachings?
Schneider: Definitely. The whole concept of the person, the theme that we have a realistic view of the ambiguous person: In other words, that people are good but they also can tend toward evil.
It also depends on institutions, emphasizing some things as important and what can be brought out of people. This is something that has been the core of the foundations of the market economy, the real analysis of what it means to be human.
Secondly, the principles to apply to a just society are those of subsidiarity and of solidarity, which had already been developed in the social doctrine and had been incorporated into the concept of social market economy.
There were a lot of things, like economy, which is important but is just one aspect of life. There are also other aspects.
The economy should not be superior, but it should be a servant to mankind, as one of the founding fathers of the United States put it.
The market should be balanced with the elements of solidarity and taking care of the poor and the needy.
This type of thinking toward ideals, from my perspective, is grounded in and inspired by the Church's social teachings but also drew a lot from it.
Q: What are the errors of the welfare system?
Schneider: First of all, the role of the state is exaggerated. If you take the principle of subsidiarity seriously, then we should leave to individuals, to families, to the neighborhood what they can do for themselves.
If the state steps in very often thinking it can do it more effectively, it is not necessarily going to be cheaper or better if it does it for a couple of communities.
And many things have been solved by the state that really should be the genuine competences of families. I think we really need safety nets in any social market economy or free market economy. But how do we decide on them?
We have to be really sensitive in defining what a good safety net is, one that does not take away the dignity of the person and does not deconstruct the person just to be a needy recipient of welfare.
For example, in welfare reforms very often the state simply gives transfer payments to the unemployed, so that they can survive. But we leave them there.
Sometimes we put them through a kind of retraining program, so that they have an opportunity to learn a new job. But then sometimes these people cannot find a new job with the new competences they've learned
The real problem of the welfare state is that most of the time it offers merely money, although much more is needed to solve the problem.
Q: In times of crisis of the capitalist system, what is the significance of Centesimus Annus?
Schneider: John Paul II pointed out a lot of dangers of the capitalist system, like consumerism or that individuals, workers, employees and employers don't take up their responsibilities or there is a confusion over who should take up which responsibility between individuals and state.
So, he really outlined the nature of these problems and believed that, first of all, there is a misunderstanding about the nature of man.
I was really amazed when I read it how much he foresaw the developments that we now see today.
Q: What is the message of Centesimus Annus for politicians and economists?
Schneider: To look at the nature of human beings first, before we design institutions to bring the best out of man and to help unfold his dignity and the gifts he was given.
Take labor laws for example: this applies to how we can design institutions to help people find jobs, so as not to be trapped in transfer payment programs.
Q: What role does your faith play in your work?
Schneider: It is the most important basis of my work and of my life, for sure. And Centesimus Annus
gave me a lot of inspiration, insight and understanding.
A lot of what I understand now, I did not learn in my economics studies. Many things I learned by doing youth work, for example, by speaking to young people in my parish or at the youth programs.
I did this by finding out what their needs are, and their wants. They feel insecure, they are afraid but they are also enthusiastic about the future, which is really an important motivation for my work.
When working on subjects like unemployment, health care reform or whatever, I need sound principles to apply to my thinking. It is not evident what the right social or economic order is. What does a good economic system mean?
Principles like subsidiarity and solidarity help me to analyze problems, to apply principles and the value system that my faith offers me.
Personally, it is strengthening; it is good to know I am not alone.
| 9/12/2007 5:53 AM
Registered in: 11/23/2005
Local Catholics reflect on the man who forever changed their lives
Phoenix, Sep 11, 2007 / 03:00 pm (CNA).-
Published with permission from The Catholic Sun
By Robert DeFrancesco
Many local Catholics are finding that the more they reflect upon the life and teachings of the late John Paul II, the more they discover just how much he continues to impact their lives today.
September 14th will mark the 20th anniversary of the Holy Father’s only trip to Phoenix, a time remembered with great excitement by those who took part in the community-wide celebration that encompassed the half-dozen papal events.
Many count that day as one of the most important in Arizona history, one that yielded miraculous results: a period of unity between Church and state, a renewed fire for the faith among practicing and lapsed Catholics alike, and a conversion of those inspired by the Holy Spirit.
While John Paul’s visit was a once-in-a-lifetime event, the spirit of his teachings lives on in the hearts of the local Church, perpetually calling them to grow closer to Christ.
Paul Mulligan, the executive director of the Catholic Tuition Organization of the Diocese of Phoenix, is one example of a local Catholic who was able to closely identify with the pope, especially regarding the importance he placed on life, marriage and family.
Mulligan, a Brophy College Preparatory senior in 1987, was one of the students selected to attend the papal Mass at Arizona State University.
As a 17-year-old student, he remembers how “incredible” it was to be in the presence of the Holy Father. But it wasn’t till later in life that he discovered how much that Mass changed him.
“My life intersected with John Paul II at a critical juncture — I knew that what I was searching for was contained in the Person of Christ, and JPII helped me discover that,” Mulligan said.
“The Jesuits always taught me the importance of being a ‘man for others,’” he added. “John Paul II embodied that, and gave me something in the flesh that I could look at and strive to follow.”
It was at that 1987 Mass that he met his future wife, Michelle, who was selected to represent Xavier College Preparatory. While the two had an immediate attraction, Mulligan spent a period of time discerning the priestly vocation before it became clear to him that his future was in the vocation of marriage.
Following graduation from the Naval Academy in 1992, the two were married and later gave birth to their son, John Paul.
“I love the late Holy Father’s teachings on life, marriage and family,” Mulligan said. “They are exciting and challenging and ultimately for the good of humanity and the experience of Christ in the world.”
In 1999, he, his wife and their three children relocated to Maryland so he could earn his master’s degree in theological studies from the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. There he continued his pro-life work before recently returning to Phoenix to head up the Catholic Tuition Organization.
In 2002, the Mulligan family drove up to Canada for World Youth Day, an intensely popular international youth celebration begun by the pope in the mid 1980s.
Mulligan and his wife reflect on that time as “a great reunion with the man who brought us together.” For their three children, they hope to integrate the life and teachings of John Paul II into their lives, just as it had been for them.
For Barbara Hernes, a parishioner at St. Thomas the Apostle, the pope’s 1987 visit was “a very special day.”
She was at St. Mary’s Basilica when Pope John Paul II addressed the 100,000 gathered across the street at the Phoenix Civic Plaza, followed by the dialogue and Native American blessing at Veterans Memorial Coliseum, and finally the papal Mass at Sun Devil Stadium.
“Just his presence made me feel love and appreciation for being a Catholic,” Hernes said.
From that day 20 years ago, she has been encouraged by his examples to help others, to “do the best we can in our family, with others and the young, and promote Mary in high honor in the Church as he did,” she said.
The pope’s 1987 tour of the United States had a deep impact on many thousands of Catholics — even for those who weren’t around during the Phoenix visit.
Katrina Zeno remembers exactly where she was on Sept. 14.
“I was delighting in my firstborn son, who was not quite 3 months old,” said Zeno, coordinator of the John Paul II Resource Center for Theology of the Body and Culture for the Diocese of Phoenix.
“At the time, John Paul II was barely on the radar screen of my life, seeing as I was a newly-minted mom living in Steubenville, Ohio,” she added. “However, my son’s presence changed that.”
Five years later, she and her son traveled to Rome to celebrate his fifth birthday and were able to attend the pope’s private morning Mass with about 50 others. Afterward, the group was ushered into an audience hall to greet the pope.
As their turn to meet Pope John Paul II arrived, the Holy Father handed them a papal rosary, and Zeno’s son handed him a small book, “The Titles of Mary.”
He was visibly delighted, Zeno recalled, and he bent down and embraced her son and kissed him. The pope then placed his hand on Zeno’s forehead and blessed her.
“It was a blessing I will never forget. The Vicar of Christ imparted a portion of his spirit to me. Next to the birth of my son, it was the most beautiful moment of my life,” she said.
“In my spirit, I sensed I received new graces for motherhood. These graces were indeed for motherhood, but not biological motherhood. They were for spiritual motherhood.”
She credits that experience as a turning point in her life and a catalyst for the work she’s been doing for the last 10 years. Zeno is an expert on the pope’s teachings, especially on his writings known as the Theology of the Body, and now leads talks and studies for people of all ages and walks of life.
“God was way ahead of me,” Zeno said. “He was already charting a new course and infusing my being with the grace I would need. He was also introducing me to my spiritual father, Pope John Paul II, who would guide me through the process of discovering the full truth about my feminine identity and giftedness.”
“I truly cannot imagine living at a different time and place in history — living without the presence of John Paul II and his writings,” she said.
“My hope is that we who are the John Paul II Generation will continue to impart a portion of his spirit to all those we meet and to everything that we do so that the world will truly encounter Christ through the body — His Body and ours.”
Ignacio Rodriguez, associate director of the Phoenix Diocese’s Department of Ethnic Ministries, was living in Texas during the pope’s visit, but has been able to identify and respond to the late pontiff in his work for the Church.
“The pope was a great believer in the dignity of each person and that the gifts each culture brings to the Church make it beautiful,” Rodriguez said. “Recognizing and adamantly defending human life in all its stages allows me to carry out that message in my ministry, especially when it comes to our undocumented brothers and sisters.”
Rodriguez was among a handful of local Catholics who traveled to Mexico City in 2002 for the canonization Mass of Juan Diego — the indigenous man to whom Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared some 476 years ago.
“To see the pope as close as I did was awesome. I felt a great sense of connection to him; it was as though he looked at me as he was extending his blessing and saying ‘thank you for being here with me and being part of the universal Church,’” he said.
“I think it was even more impacting for me because I realized that this would be his last trip to Mexico and so I made an extra effort to absorb every moment and take in all I could,” Rodriguez added.
As someone who works to assist and promote the various cultures that make up Phoenix’s Catholics, Rodriguez takes the pope’s apostolic exhortation “Ecclesia in America” to heart, and is particularly moved by the pope’s ability to speak several languages — a gift, he said, that “opens one up to be more welcoming and understanding of people who are different than you.”
“[Pope John Paul II] clearly tells us that we are one America and that we should be building bridges of communion, conversion and solidarity, rather than walls which separate us,” Rodriguez said.
The next generation
As a new father and husband, 27-year-old Chris Faddis said he continues to be guided and inspired by the pope’s writings on family and human sexuality — that “it has set the bar for holiness in our marriage, in our dealings with each other, and in the raising of our children.”
Referring to his newborn daughter, the St. Timothy parishioner and former youth minister said, “We have a goal of loving her all the way to heaven and we intend to follow through on that goal. We owe that to JPII. His whole life was dedicated to this mission of the family and inviting us to a higher calling in our lives and families.”
Though he was just 7 at the time of the Phoenix visit, Faddis said it was six years later while watching coverage of the 1993 World Youth Day celebration that he had his first true desire to encounter Pope John Paul II in person.
In 1994, while involved with Life Teen, St. Timothy’s announced it was sponsoring a pilgrimage to Rome the following year.
“I knew right then that I was meant to be on that trip. I was going to meet JPII,” Faddis said. “I, of course, didn’t know how, but God would figure that out.”
In August 1995, the 16-year-old Faddis was on the pilgrimage to Rome and his dream was soon to become a reality, but it almost turned out to be a nightmare for the group of 100 American teenagers.
A bus driver without a sense of urgency got the pilgrims to the Wednesday papal audience late.
“We got there and the place was completely full — I believe it was something like 6,000 people,” he said. “And our group of 100 walked in, and it looked like all the seats were gone.”
An usher greeted the group from Mesa and escorted them forward through the thousands of other pilgrims.
“There at the very front of this huge auditorium was a section reserved just for our group of 100. I sat in the front row. I knew at this point that I was about to be 75 feet from JPII.”
Following the audience, to Faddis’ disbelief, the group of 100 was invited to take photos with the Holy Father. “This was amazing,” he said. “I think all of us were shaking. Some were crying. It was incredible. It seemed that the closer you got to him, the more you felt his spirit, his presence.”
The pope then moved through the crowd, greeting and blessing the Mesa teens. As he neared Faddis, he reached out for him. “He took my hand, I kissed his ring, I hugged him,” he said.
“But what I will never forget was a moment that may not have lasted long in which I looked into his eyes. It was then that I began to understand why his presence was so overwhelming. I saw in his eyes a love that I had never seen before,” Faddis said. “I swear that I saw the weight of God’s love in those eyes.”
It’s moments like this one described by Faddis, that have a profound, lifelong impact — and there are thousands of Catholics throughout the diocese who have similar experiences to share.
Faddis said his peers have been affected much in the same way — either through encounters at a papal visit, an audience at the Vatican or at one of the World Youth Day celebrations — and that the pope’s messages are now being lived out both professionally and personally.
“For all of the great things that we can already see that he did while he was alive, there are many fruits that have yet to be seen,” Faddis said. “I believe that in the next 30 years or so we will be able to feel in profound ways the impact he had on our Church and world. It won’t be just through the young men and women of my generation, but through our children.
“I think this JPII generation, my peers and the other young people of the last 30 years, is a foundation for an even greater work,” he added. “Our children will be the fruit. They will be the priests and religious” of tomorrow.
| 9/12/2007 6:38 PM
I hope this makes up somehow for my failure to acknowledge yesterday on the Forum the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks against America. I thank Amy Welborn for calling attention to what John Paul II said about the event, to which he devoted the first part and the conclusion of his General Audience on Sept. 12, 2001.
JOHN PAUL II SPEAKS THE DAY AFTER 9/11/2001
Wednesday, 12 September 2001
I cannot begin this audience without expressing my profound sorrow at the terrorist attacks which yesterday brought death and destruction to America, causing thousands of victims and injuring countless people.
To the President of the United States and to all American citizens I express my heartfelt sorrow. In the face of such unspeakable horror we cannot but be deeply disturbed. I add my voice to all the voices raised in these hours to express indignant condemnation, and I strongly reiterate that the ways of violence will never lead to genuine solutions to humanity’s problems.
Yesterday was a dark day in the history of humanity, a terrible affront to human dignity. After receiving the news, I followed with intense concern the developing situation, with heartfelt prayers to the Lord.
How is it possible to commit acts of such savage cruelty? The human heart has depths from which schemes of unheard-of ferocity sometimes emerge, capable of destroying in a moment the normal daily life of a people.
But faith comes to our aid at these times when words seem to fail. Christ’s word is the only one that can give a response to the questions which trouble our spirit. Even if the forces of darkness appear to prevail, those who believe in God know that evil and death do not have the final say. Christian hope is based on this truth; at this time our prayerful trust draws strength from it.
With deeply felt sympathy I address myself to the beloved people of the United States in this moment of distress and consternation, when the courage of so many men and women of good will is being sorely tested.
In a special way I reach out to the families of the dead and the injured, and assure them of my spiritual closeness. I entrust to the mercy of the Most High the helpless victims of this tragedy, for whom I offered Mass this morning, invoking upon them eternal rest.
May God give courage to the survivors; may he sustain the rescue-workers and the many volunteers who are presently making an enormous effort to cope with such an immense emergency.
I ask you, dear brothers and sisters, to join me in prayer for them. Let us beg the Lord that the spiral of hatred and violence will not prevail. May the Blessed Virgin, Mother of Mercy, fill the hearts of all with wise thoughts and peaceful intentions.
Today, my heartfelt sympathy is with the American people, subjected yesterday to inhuman terrorist attacks which have taken the lives of thousands of innocent human beings and caused unspeakable sorrow in the hearts of all men and women of good will. Yesterday was indeed a dark day in our history, an appalling offence against peace, a terrible assault against human dignity.
I invite you all to join me in commending the victims of this shocking tragedy to Almighty God' s eternal love. Let us implore his comfort upon the injured, the families involved, all who are doing their utmost to rescue survivors and help those affected.
I ask God to grant the American people the strength and courage they need at this time of sorrow and trial...
At the end of the General Audience address, the Holy Father offered the following prayer of the faithful in Italian.
The Holy Father:
Brothers and Sisters, in great dismay, before the horror of destructive violence, but strong in the faith that has always guided our fathers, we turn to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, salvation of his people, and with the confidence of children, pray that He will come to our aid in these days of mourning and innocent suffering.
Dominum deprecemur: Te rogamus, audi nos.
1. For the Churches of the East and the West, and in particular for the Church in the United States of America so that, though humbled by loss and mourning, yet inspired by the Mother of the Lord, strong woman beside the cross of her Son, they may foster the will for reconciliation, peace, and the building of the civilization of love.
2. For all those who bear the name of Christian, so that, in the midst of many persons who are tempted to hatred and doubt, they will be witnesses to the presence of God in history and the victory of Christ over death.
3. For the leaders of nations, so that they will not allow themselves to be guided by hatred and the spirit of retaliation, but may do everything possible to prevent new hatred and death, by bringing forth works of peace.
4. For those who are weeping in sorrow over the loss of relatives and friends, that in this hour of suffering they will not be overcome by sadness, despair and vengeance, but continue to have faith in the victory of good over evil, of life over death.
5. For those suffering and wounded by the terrorist acts, that they may return to stability and health and, appreciating the gift of life, may generously foster the will to contribute to the well being of every human being.
6. For our brothers and sisters who met death in the folly of violence, that they find sure joy and life everlasting in the peace of the Lord, that their death may not be in vain but become a leaven bringing forth a season of brotherhood and collaboration among peoples.
The Holy Father:
O Lord Jesus, remember our deceased and suffering brothers before your Father.
Remember us also, as we begin to pray with your words: Pater noster...
O Almighty and merciful God,
you cannot be understood by one who sows discord, you cannot be accepted by one who loves violence: look upon our painful human condition tried by cruel acts of terror and death, comfort your children and open our hearts to hope, so that our time may again know days of serenity and peace.
Through Christ our Lord.
| 9/14/2007 8:05 AM
|John Paul II Relics Available-
Vicariate of Rome Accepting Requests
VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 13, 2007 (Zenit.org).- People who want to receive a relic "ex indumentis" -- from the clothing -- or a holy card of Pope John Paul II, may do so by writing to the Vicariate of Rome.
The Vicariate of Rome is accepting requests via mail, fax or e-mail for the religious items. The petition should be sent to "Holy Cards and Relics Service," and should indicate a shipping address.
The holy cards contain the prayer to obtain graces through the intercession of the Servant of God John Paul II and can be requested in English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Polish and Portuguese.
Though the vicariate is not charging for the holy card, donations are accepted to cover the printing and mailing expenses.
For more information, visit the official multilingual Web site of the postulation of the cause of beatification and canonization.
Send requests to:
Vicariate of Rome -- 3rd Floor
Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano, 6/A
Rome, Italy 00184
Tel: +39 06 69893723
Fax: +39 06 69886240
To contact the Vicariate's Web site: www.vicariatusurbis.org/Beatificazione/Italiano/LeIniziative/RichiediUnaReliquiaExIndumentisESan...
PRAYER FOR ASKING GRACES
THROUGH THE INTERCESSION OF THE SERVANT OF GOD
POPE JOHN PAUL II
O Blessed Trinity
We thank You for having graced the Church
with Pope John Paul II
and for allowing the tenderness of your Fatherly care,
the glory of the cross of Christ,
and the splendor of the Holy Spirit,
to shine through him.
Trusting fully in Your infinite mercy
and in the maternal intercession of Mary,
he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd,
and has shown us that holiness
is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life
and is the way of achieving eternal communion with you.
Grant us, by his intercession, and according to Your will,
the graces we implore,
hoping that he will soon be numbered
among your saints.
With ecclesiastical approval
CARDINAL CAMILLO RUINI
The Holy Father's Vicar General
For the Diocese of Rome
| 9/17/2007 12:46 PM
One of the strange - but perhaps predictable - reactions to the CDF guidelines issued last week about how to treat brain-dead patients was an accusation that the Vatican itself used a different standard in the case of John Paul II, implying that, in his case, his doctors decided to 'pull the plug' on his life, i.e., to use euthanasia on the Pope. This provoked the following reaction from the Pope's doctor, translated from a PETRUS item this weekend:
JP-II'S DOCTOR DENOUNCES EUTHANASIA CHARGE
VATICAN CITY - "There was no euthanasia. Not even indirectly. John Paul II was assisted with all life-supporting measures to the last moment of his life. Even if he had said to one of the sisters nursing him, Suor Tobiana, 'Let me go to the Lord'."
So said Prof. Renato Buzzonetti, who was personal doctor to John Paul II as well as to Benedict XVI now, in an interview with La Repubblica
"The Pope," Buzzonetti explained, "was supported to the last moment of his life, to 21:37 of April 2, 2005, when he breathed his last. It is true that he had said, "Let me go to the Lord' - but that was an ascetic statement, a form of final prayer by a man who had suffered much and now felt the desire to be with his heavenly Father."
"It certainly was not a manifestation of renouncing life or giving up, much less an invitation to his doctors to pull the plug or stop his life support, an indirect choice of euthanasia as some people have charged. Anyone who thinks this is obviously wrong."
I must mention for the record that the odious atheist 'philosopher' Paolo Flores d'Arcais wrote a long article for one of the Italian newspapers today insisting that John Paul II was administered slow euthanasia by his doctors, purporting to base his insistence on the 'analysis' made by a physician of what Dr. Buzzonetti has written about the medical treatment given to the Pope in the last two months of his life.
I don't have the heart nor the desire to translate Arcais's trash any more, after his senseless rant against Benedict XVI in connection with the proposed DICO earlier this year. The man is fanatically rabid - infinitely worse than a mad dog - against anything that has do with God, religion, the Church.
[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 9/24/2007 8:12 PM]
| 9/19/2007 7:58 PM
Registered in: 11/23/2005
Archbishop of Krakow writes screenplay about life with John Paul II
Krakow, Sep 19, 2007 / 09:46 am (CNA).- The archbishop of Krakow, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, who was John Paul II’s personal secretary, will contribute to a film entitled, “A Life with Karol,” which will recount his more than four decades with the Polish Pope.
According to the cardinal’s spokesman, Father Robert Necek, the script for the movie was written by the cardinal himself, with the help of Catholic writer Gian Franco Svidercoschi and Polish filmmaker Pawel Pitera, who will be the director.
The film scheduled to be released next year, is a 140-minute fictional documentary. A TV version will also be made, with the film split into three 50-minute episodes.
The film’s title will be same as the book by Cardinal Dziwisz, which is being sold in Rome and Krakow. The script is in the form of interview carried out by Svidercoschi.
| 9/21/2007 3:40 AM
Registered in: 11/23/2005
Artists Remember Polish Pope in "Totus Tuus"
Magazine Notes John Paul II's Contribution to Poetry
ROME, SEPT. 20, 2007 (Zenit.org).- The monthly magazine produced by the team working on the cause of Pope John Paul II's beatification has published a tribute by artists to the Polish Pontiff.
The September issue of Totus Tuus, published by the Diocese of Rome, includes the written testimonies of many artists, recalling John Paul II with affection.
One testimony is written by Piotr Adamczyk, who played the young Karol Wojtyla in the film "Karol."
Monsignor Marco Frisina, director of the Office of Liturgy of the Vicariate of Rome, writes: "His pontificate is very similar to the passionate life of an artist who found in the Gospel the most beautiful message to proclaim and in Christ the most beautiful face to contemplate, to make known and to love."
Other testimonies come from Italian actress Sophia Loren and Polish director Krzysztof Zanussi.
The magazine also has an analysis of John Paul II's poetry, written by Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, who includes Wojtyla in the list of "metaphysical poets." He said, "Poetry and vocation for him always exist with an invisible link, hidden, maybe, but alive."
John Paul II wrote a 1999 Letter to Artists, in which he said, "With loving regard, the divine Artist passes on to the human artist a spark of his own surpassing wisdom, calling him to share in his creative power."
| 9/24/2007 4:26 PM
I am very distressed - Fox News, a 24/7 outlet, is now reporting the "John Paul II was euthanized" story referred to a couple of posts above - because the magazine MicroMega edited by the maggot Flores d'Arcais has come out in its current issue with the full article by Flores's 'medical expert' detailing the supposed 'evidence' for the alleged euthanasia.
You know how it is when a 24/7 news-cycle station gets hold of anything, they will beat it to death until the next 'sensation' comes along, and I hope they can get the right people to talk about all this knowledgeably and expertly.
Dear John Paul II, invoke the Holy Spirit to enlighten minds. Amen!
P.S. It gets worse. Fox is citing a TIME magazine article as its direct source for what it is reporting. I am working on translating the Pope's Velletri homily now, so if someone can pick up the TIME item and post it here for the record, it will be greatly appreciated.
[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 9/24/2007 4:33 PM]
| 9/24/2007 5:14 PM
| Hmmm. Only Jeff Israely would pounce on a story like this. Personally, I think it highly unlikely that one can make such a diagnosis from 'afar', unless, of course, you have a bone to pick with the Catholic Church ...
Was John Paul II euthanized?
Was John Paul II euthanized?
by Jeff Israely
In a provocative article, an Italian medical professor argues that Pope John Paul II didn't just simply slip away as his weakness and illness overtook him in April 2005. Intensive care specialist Dr. Lina Pavanelli has concluded that the ailing Pope's April 2 death was caused by what the Catholic Church itself would consider euthanasia. She bases this conclusion on her medical expertise and her own observations of the ailing pontiff on television, as well as press reports and a subsequent book by John Paul's personal physician. The failure to insert a feeding tube into the patient until just a few days before he died accelerated John Paul's death, Pavanelli concludes. Moreover, Pavanelli says she believes that the Pope's doctors dutifully explained the situation to him, and thus she surmises that it was the pontiff himself who likely refused the feeding tube after he'd been twice rushed to the hospital in February and March. Catholics are enjoined to pursue all means to prolong life.
The article, entitled "The Sweet Death of Karol Wojtyla" (using the Pope's birth name) appears in the latest edition of Micromega, a highbrow Italian bi-monthly that has frequently criticized the Vatican's stance on bioethics. The author, who heads the anesthesiology and intensive care therapy school at the University of Ferrara, says she decided to revisit the events around John Paul's death after the Vatican took a hard line in a controversy last year in Italy over euthanasia. Indeed her accusations are grave, questioning the Catholic Church's strictly traditional stances on medical ethics, including the dictum from John Paul's own 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae to use all modern means possible to avoid death.
Recalling the Vatican's medical reports during John Paul's last days, Pavanelli writes: "I'm surprised that I myself failed to critically examine the information. I let my perceptions conform to the hope of recovery and the official version, without confronting the clinical signs that I was seeing." While the Vatican had expressed most of its concern about breathing difficulty, which was alleviated with a tracheotomy, Pavanelli says a readily apparent loss of weight, and an apparent difficulty to swallow, was not being addressed. "The patient had died for reasons that were clearly not mentioned. Of all the problems of the complicated clinical picture of the patient, the acute respiratory insufficiency was not the principal threat to the life of the patient. The Pope was dying from another consequence of the effects on the [throat] muscles from his Parkinson's Disease... not treated: the incapacity to swallow."
The Vatican quickly fired back this week. John Paul's longtime doctor Renato Buzzonetti, who now monitors Pope Benedict XVI, said that doctors and John Paul himself all acted to stave off death. "His treatment was never interrupted," Buzzonetti told the Rome daily La Repubblica. "Anyone who says otherwise is mistaken." He added that a permanent nasal feeding tube was inserted three days before the Pope's death when he could no longer sufficiently ingest food or liquids. Buzzonetti did not specifically respond to Pavanelli's claim that John Paul needed a tube weeks, not days, before he eventually died.
The polemics come just as the Vatican again weighed in on euthanasia. The Church's doctrinal office released a one-page document, approved by Benedict, that denounced the cutting off of food and water to patients in a vegetative state even if they would never regain consciousness. This reaffirmed John Paul's stance in 2004 during the battle over ending artificial feeding for the severely brain-damaged Terri Schiavo, who was later taken off her feeding tube and died.
"The administration of food and water even by artificial means is, in principle, an ordinary means of preserving life," said the Vatican ruling, which came in response to questions from the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference about what constitutes ordinary and extraordinary life support.
The issue of euthanasia and the Church heated up in Italy last year after a man named Piergiorgio Welby, who'd been on life support for nine years from the effects of muscular dystrophy, asked for the right to die. Eventually, the life support was suspended and he died. But when his wife, a practicing Catholic, asked for a funeral in Church, the Vatican refused. Pavanelli says that this episode prompted her to revisit John Paul's death.
The medical aspects of the Pope's final days are clearly difficult to verify from afar, and the Vatican is convinced that the actions of the both its doctors and its Pope were in absolute good faith. Of course, medical opinions can often vary. So too can those on bioethics.
Thanks for posting this, PaxV!
I have thrown up my hands about Israely who appears to have 'turned against' Benedict XVI actively since around the time of the second anniversary of the Pontificate - although before that, he was one of the more friendly Anglophone writers (even providing the text to one of the better photobooks about Benedict's first year as Pope) - and whose animus against the Church in general has appears to be growing.
This story is a dream pretext for media liberals to 'embarass' the Church on one of the advocacy issues dear to them - euthanasia, and I am actually surprised no one jumped in earlier, since Flores d'Arcais wrote about the article for one of the major Italian newspapers last week.
Once again, the criteria for deciding what news to play up is no longer that of fact that merits sharing with the world, but the desire to exploit sensationalism by peddling the speculation of one individual and giving it universal play without even trying to get other disinterested opinion [not Dr. Buzzonetti, because he is directly being accused] about it for balance.
Giving credence and credibility to one doctor advancing her own agenda in a scientifically invalid manner - drawing medical conclusions without direct knowledge of the case nor even once having examined the patient - is the height of journalistic irresponsibility.
Note the doctor's personal agenda:
All this is truly most distasteful, to say the least.
Pavanelli says that this episode [the Welby funeral] prompted her to revisit John Paul's death.
[Edited by TERESA BENEDETTA 9/24/2007 8:10 PM]
| 9/25/2007 2:42 AM
Registered in: 11/23/2005
John Paul II relics online not for sale
By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press WriterMon Sep 24, 3:34 PM ET
Roman Catholic officials reminded the faithful Monday it is sacrilegious to buy or sell religious relics, after news reports and a church Web site suggested fans of Pope John Paul II could get a piece of his white cassock by making an online donation.
For several weeks, the diocese of Rome has been offering the chance to order a relic of the late pontiff from the Web site dedicated to his cause for beatification. Users click on the initiative and an e-mail is sent to the diocese requesting a piece of the late pope's cassock.
No money is exchanged. But next to the relic initiative, users can click on "Freewill offering for the cause," which provides a host of bank transfer coordinates or credit card instructions for those who want to make a donation for the beatification effort.
On Monday, the diocese of Rome reissued an interview with Monsignor Marco Frisina, director of the diocese's liturgy office, in which he said it was sacrilegious to buy or sell relics.
"You can absolutely never buy or sell relics of any type because they are something sacred, they don't have a price," he said. "The problem of the sale of relics is very diffuse on the Internet, and let me say this is a sacrilege."
Diocesan officials said they reproduced the interview, which originally appeared in the official magazine of John Paul's beatification cause "Totus Tuus," after Italian media reports suggested the faithful could buy parts of John Paul's white cassock online.
Private television Mediaset, for example, headlined its Monday story "Wojtyla's clothes sold on the Web," following the Italian media practice of referring to John Paul by his given name, Karol Wojtyla.
The interpretation that cassock pieces were for sale may have arisen from a banner running along the campaign's Web site from the cleric spearheading the beatification cause, Monsignor Slawomir Oder, which linked the distribution of the relics to cash donations.
"I would like to cordially thank you for the generous donation you have made to support the cause of beatification and canonization for the Servant of God John Paul II and I apologize in advance for the delay in sending out the relics," Oder wrote.
The banner, which ran on the site early Monday, was no longer active later in the day.
John Paul died April 2, 2005, after a nearly 27-year pontificate. Less than two months later, Pope Benedict XVI waived the traditional five-year waiting period and allowed the beatification cause to begin, responding to the chants of "sainthood immediately" that erupted during John Paul's funeral.
The diocese of Rome, which carried out the primary investigation into John Paul's life and virtues, handed its dossier to the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints on the second anniversary of John Paul's death.
It is now up to the Vatican to decide whether to recommend to Benedict that John Paul be beatified, the last major step before possible sainthood. The Vatican already is studying a possible miracle needed for beatification: the inexplicable cure of a French nun afflicted with Parkinson's disease.
The cult surrounding relics dates to the earliest years of Christianity, with relics representing a physical memory of the deceased.
The church has two classifications: corporeal relics, or parts of the body, and non-corporeal relics, which are items that were in contact with the deceased's body, such as a robe. Corporeal relics can be venerated publicly only for someone who has been beatified, but the faithful may pray to non-corporeal relics for a person being considered for beatification.
| 9/26/2007 9:52 PM
|In addition to the article posted above by benefan, here is a Zenit report and interview with the man directly involved in the beatification process:
John Paul II Relics: Not for Sale
Interview With Postulator of Cause
ROME, SEPT. 25, 2007 (Zenit.org).- News that relics of Pope John Paul II are for sale through the Internet is entirely false, says Monsignor Slawomir Oder, the postulator of the Pontiff's cause of beatification.
The relics have been made available to the public for free, but the selling of religious objects is a sacrilegious act, the priest told ZENIT in this interview.
Monsignor Oder began by saying: I would like to clarify that the distribution of objects or elements from objects belonging to candidates of the altar, to saints or blessed, is an ancient practice in the Church, and is something that accompanies every process of beatification together with the spreading of the knowledge of the spirituality and the life of the candidate to the altar.
Holy cards are distributed, explaining how to pray for an intention and to ask for their intercession. And the same holds true for the process of the Servant of God John Paul II. These holy cards contain prayers. And pieces of his clerical clothing are distributed by the office of postulation; but we are speaking of an entirely free distribution.
Q: Why is the sale of relics considered sacrilegious?
Monsignor Oder: It is absolutely a sacrilege; it is something which goes against the tradition of the Church, and against logic, recalling what Jesus said: “What you have freely received, you must also freely give." The sale of relics therefore would be offensive to God, to the saint or blessed, to the candidate to the altar.
Q: What is a relic?
Monsignor Oder: Relics are part of the logic of the Incarnation, of concrete history. They are a sign of the presence of a saint in history.
I like the expression used by Monsignor Marco Frisina, director of the Liturgical Office of the Vicariate of Rome, in an article we published in our bulletin Totus Tuus, which follows the process of beatification, and in which we have clarified the meaning of relics: When we touch the body of a saint we touch the temple of the Holy Spirit, when we touch an object that belonged to a saint we touch a monument of the presence of grace and God’s mercy in the life of that person.
This is how we must view objects called relics, the memories, the things that remain of the life of the saint. They are the realities that hearken back to the work of grace in the life of the saint.
Q: [So you can give] a clear denial of the report on the sale of objects or fragments of objects that belonged to John Paul II?
Monsignor Oder: I am troubled by this and do not understand the reason for this report. A false report. I repeat: The sale of relics would be a sacrilege.
We have been distributing holy cards containing pieces of the vestments of the Holy Father John Paul II for some time now. People from all over the world have asked for hundreds of these holy cards.
It is an activity that accompanies the process [of beatification] and expresses the great worldwide devotion to John Paul II -- a great renown for holiness that accompanies this process.
[Edited by @Andrea M.@ 9/26/2007 9:55 PM]