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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

"Church" of Darkness, Call to Humanity & Refugee Feet Washing!

"Church" of Darkness, Call to Humanity & Refugee Feet Washing!
More from Vatican II NewChurch which is leading souls into the formal Apostate Church

St. Peter's participation in Earth Hour 2016

The lights of the Cupola atop St. Peter’s Basilica are to go dark on the evening of Saturday, March 19th, along with those that illumine Bernini’s colonnade embracing St. Peter’s Square. From 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM in the evening, the lights shall remain dark on the occasion of the 2016 iteration of Earth Hour – an initiative promoted by the World Wildlife Fund International, in which the Vatican City State is participating.

The lights illuminating the two fountains in the Square and the four candelabra surrounding the central obelisk will remain shining, however, along with those that light the two “arms” stretching from either side of the Basilica’s narthex and signed by the two great equestrian statues of Constantine and Charlemagne, north and south, respectively.
The Press Office of the Holy See announced the specifics of Vatican City’s participation in the initiative, which were then reported widely on Friday in the Italian press.

The words our Blessed Lord spoke at the beginning of His public ministry now take on an even more tragic meaning: “And this is the judgment: because the light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the light: for their works were evil” (Jn 3:19).

Oh yes, in case you didn’t hear yet what’s planned for Easter: The Vatican will inaugurate an “‘ecological island’, a recycling center for the separate disposal of waste and compost” (source) during Holy Week or shortly thereafter. 
If that’s not a subtle hint that the New Religion of Vatican II is a pile of garbage!

Catholic ain't Catholic anymore...

A call to humanity

· ​To the 2016 Harvard World Model United Nations ·

March 17, 2016
Taking care of others, “regardless of their background or circumstances”, is not only “a mark of Christians”, but is rather a “universal call, rooted in our common humanity”. Pope Francis addressed the youth participating in the 2016 Harvard World Model United Nations in an audience on Thursday morning, 17 March, in the Paul VI Audience Hall. The following is the English text of the Pope’s address, which was delivered in Italian.
Dear Friends,
Good Morning,
I am happy to welcome all of you to the Vatican, and I hope that your time in Rome has been beneficial, as you participate in the 2016 Harvard World Model United Nations. I am grateful to Joseph Hall, the Secretary General of your meeting, for his words offered on your behalf. I am especially pleased to know that your members represent so many nations and cultures and, therefore, reflect the rich diversity of our human family.

As university students, you are given in a particular way to the pursuit of truth and understanding, of growing in wisdom not only for your own benefit, but for the good of your local communities and broader society. I hope that this experience will lead you to appreciate the need for, and the value of, structures of cooperation and solidarity which have been forged by the international community over many years. These structures are especially effective when they are directed to the service of the most vulnerable and marginalized in our world. I pray that the United Nations, and each individual Member State, may always be ordered to such service and care. 

The greatest benefit of your time together here in Rome, however, does not have to do with learning about diplomacy, institutional systems or organizations, however significant and worthy of your study these are. The greatest benefit is your time together, your encounter with people from around the world, who represent not only our many contemporary challenges, but above all the rich diversity of talents and potential of the human family.

The issues and challenges you discuss are not faceless. For each of you can articulate the hopes and dreams, the challenges and sufferings, which mark the people of your country. In these days, you will learn much from one another, and will remind each other that, behind every difficulty our world is facing, there are men and women, young and old, people just like you. There are families and individuals whose lives are daily shaped by struggles, who are trying to care for their children and provide not only for their future but also the basic necessities for today. So too, many of those affected by our world’s greatest problems of violence and intolerance have become refugees, tragically forced from their homes, and denied their land and their freedom. 

These are the people who need your help, who are crying out for you to hear them, and who are supremely worthy of our every effort on behalf of justice, peace and solidarity. St Paul tells us that we are to rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep (cf. Rom 12:15). In the end, our strength as a community, on every level of life and social organization, lies not so much in our learning and personal ability, but in the compassion we show for one another, in the care that we exercise especially for those who cannot care for themselves. 

I also hope that your experience has led you to see the commitment of the Catholic Church to serving the needs of the poor and refugees, to strengthening the family and communities, and to protecting the inalienable dignity and rights of each member of our human family. We Christians believe that Jesus calls us to be servants of our brothers and sisters, who care for others regardless of their background or circumstances. This is not only a mark of Christians, however, but is a universal call, rooted in our common humanity. It’s something we have as persons, that we have inside as human persons!

Dear young friends, I assure you and your families of my prayers. May Almighty God bless you with the happiness he has promised to those who hunger and thirst for justice and work for peace. Thank you.

Francis will have an Instagram account, "Franciscus," on Saturday

“Franciscus” has over half million followers on Instagram in just two days

"I start this new path to walk with you along the way of God's Mercy and tenderness.”

This is how the Pope has launched his Instagram account; "Franciscus.” An account that after being active for only an hour, had more than 100,000 followers and has reached more than one half million followers within a couple of days. 

He was accompanied by the president of Instagram, Kevin Systrom, who was one of the first to follow him and also welcome him to Instagram.

This event did get overlooked by other major player in the social media world, as the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, who received the news with this message: "No matter what faith you practice, we can all be inspired by Pope Francis' humility and compassion.”

The first picture the Pope posted was an image of him kneeling accompanied by a phrase that could not be missed: "Pray for me” in 9 languages. He also uploaded a video upon opening the account and several photos like this one where it says that the Crucifix is the royal seat of God.

His Instagram account was launched precisely on March 19, St. Joseph's Day, marking the three years of the start of his Pontificate


Hovering over [and in] Rome: The Ghost of Martin Luther

Rome has found a name for a new Square in the heart of the city, an open space in the middle of a leafy garden park in a choice area near the Coliseum: Martin Luther Square.
March 16, 2016
Alessandra Nucci
Almost 500 years after Augustinian monk Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Cathedral of Wittenberg, Swabia (October 1517), and 494 years after the bull of excommunication issued by Pope Leo X (“Decet Romanum Pontificem”, January 1521), the city of Rome has honored the man who sparked the Protestant Reformation, a movement premised on what Luther condemned in that very city, the headquarters of the Catholic Church.
The nameplate “Martin Luther – German Theologian (1483-1546)” is assigned to an area laden with history: nearby are Emperor Nero’s Domus Aurea and the boulevard named after the Greek-Egyptian goddess Serapide. The square was officially inaugurated on Wednesday, September 16 of last year.
The decision came six years after an official request was advanced by the Union of Seventh Day Adventist Churches and the Union of the Lutheran Evangelical Churches in Italy.
While no official comment was issued by the Vatican, Lutheran circles have understandably been all abuzz. “I’m very pleased that our request has come true before the anniversary of the Reform in 2017,” said Pastor Heiner Bludau, senior pastor of the Lutheran Evangelical Church in Italy:
When we researched [in 2010] the meaning of Martin Luther’s visit to Rome … we saw that his stay was clearly a part of the history of the Reformation and therefore of the history of Europe. So to dedicate a square in Rome to the great reformer is a highly symbolic and momentous step; in the light of world history it is a step that reflects the level reached by the process of European unification. On both counts I am extremely grateful.
The news, however, barely registered on the press radar, not only because Italy is grappling with engrossing social and economic troubles, but also because the revival of the memory and cult of Martin Luther has become almost normal fare now, both in secular and ecclesiastical circles.
In secular circles it has been powered in part by Germany’s effort to unify the separate cultures which were shaped in the formerly partitioned East and West sides of the country, quietly renewing pride in a common national history so as to get over the country’s guilt complex for the World Wars and the Holocaust, so often mentioned in post-war German education.
The endeavor to get past the memories of the twentieth century, not to mention the economic morass inherited from East Germany in the 1990s, has been so successful that Germany today enjoys a hegemony over the European Union. (Germany trails only the U.S. and the U.K. on the “Elcano Global Presence Report 2015”.) This is the case not just from an economic point of view but also a renewed admiration for the country’s apparent efficiency, moral rigor and hard work.
The process can be illustrated by the success among children and families of the plastic toy Luthers recently marketed by Playmobil, which is the fastest-selling Playmobil figure in the company’s history. Related toy replicas have also been popular, including one of Wittenberg Cathedral, one of the castle of Warburg, and one of Luther’s wife, Katharina von Bora, the ex-Cistercian nun he married in 1525, which are sold as specially numbered collector’s items.
Gemany’s Catholic authorities also had a part in the revival and unprecedented universality of respect for the father of Protestant Christianity. In January 2015, the Archbishop of Munich, Cardinal Reinhard Marx—President of the German Bishops’ Conference and coordinator of Pope Francis’s Board of Economic Advisors—summed up Martin Luther’s long march through the institutions of ecumenism in Politik & Kultur: “Now having completed fifty years of dialogue, a Catholic Christian, too, may respectfully read the texts penned by Luther and benefit from his ideas.” The same acceptance has been variously expressed by Cardinal Walter Kasper, German Swiss Cardinal Kurt Koch, and Fr. Hans Kung. In his 2008 publication “Night-time Conversations in Jerusalem”, written in German, Jesuit Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini praised Luther as having somehow inspired the changes that came after Vatican Council II, thereby effectively recasting as the greatest of reformers he who had previously been seen as the prototypical excommunicated heretic.
Last November, Pope Francis caused a stir when, in the words of Vatican reporter Edward Pentin, he appeared “to suggest that a Lutheran wife of a Catholic husband could receive holy Communion based on the fact that she is baptized and in accordance with her conscience.” Pentin reported a month later that Pastor Jens Kruse of Rome’s Evangelical Lutheran Church “said he believes Pope Francis ‘opened the door’ to intercommunion when the Holy Father spoke to his church last month, and that his parishioners generally have the same opinion.” When asked if he interpreted the Pope’s remarks as “allowing Lutherans to receive holy Communion, leaving it up to their conscience?”, Kruse replied in the affirmative:
The Pope said that’s a question each person has to decide for himself. I think it’s typical for Pope Francis to open doors, and now we, as churches, have the duty to find ways to fill this open door with more of a life of ecumenism, of unity. The image of an open door is, I think, a very good one because we are in front of this door at this moment and now we have to find ways to go through this open door.
Following the November 2015 event, Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, told Aleteia.org, “Intercommunion is not permitted between Catholics and non-Catholics. You must confess the Catholic Faith. A non-Catholic cannot receive Communion. That is very, very clear. It’s not a matter of following your conscience.” In order to receive Holy Communion, Cardinal Sarah emphasized, “I need to be in the state of grace, without sin, and have the faith of the Catholic Church. … It’s not a personal desire or a personal dialogue with Jesus that determines if I can receive Communion in the Catholic Church.”
Prior to his pontficate, Josef Cardinal Ratzinger invited the faithful to reflect “very seriously” on Luther’s message and “save the great things in his theology”. But he did so without blurring the lines that define the radical change that Luther brought about in “the relationship between the Church and the individual, between the Church and the Bible”, which to this day prevents Catholics and Protestants from sharing “the certainty that recognizes in the Church a common conscience which is greater than private intelligence and interpretations”.
On his trip to Germany, less than a year and a half before abdicating, Pope Benedict XVI stopped at Erfurt, where Luther studied theology and celebrated his first Mass. In the talk given on that occasion, Benedict dwelled on the importance attributed by Luther to the issue of sin, a particularly significant facet of Luther’s teaching in the light of the current emphasis on mercy that often seems to downplay the reality of sin and the real possibility of judgment. Benedict stated:
“How do I receive the grace of God?” The fact that this question was the driving force of his whole life never ceases to make a deep impression on me. For who is actually concerned about this today – even among Christians? What does the question of God mean in our lives? In our preaching? Most people today, even Christians, set out from the presupposition that God is not fundamentally interested in our sins and virtues. He knows that we are all mere flesh. And insofar as people believe in an afterlife and a divine judgement at all, nearly everyone presumes for all practical purposes that God is bound to be magnanimous and that ultimately he mercifully overlooks our small failings. The question no longer troubles us.
In January, it was announced that Francis plans to travel to Sweden in October of this year “for a joint ecumenical commemoration of the start of the Reformation, together with leaders of the Lutheran World Federation and representatives of other Christian Churches.” The event will be the start of events marking the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation; it will also “highlight the important ecumenical developments that have taken place during the past 50 years of dialogue between Catholics and Lutherans.”
I hope, however, that the warmth to Luther’s ideas will not go even further and fashion the formerly excommunicated heretic into a hero and a saint, whitewashing history until even actual events lose all meaning. For the former Augustinian monk was as much a man of the flesh and of turbulent spirits as Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503), whose sins we are in no danger of being allowed to forget.
If there is a reciprocal owning up of mistakes all around, on the part of the Protestants this might include, for example, a formal disowning of Luther’s most virulent invectives, such as the ones against the Jews, contained in Luther’s 1543 book On the Jews and Their Lies, and the ones in his “Admonition to Peace”. In the latter, with regard to “The Twelve Articles of the Christian Union of Upper Swabia” (April 1525), Luther pleaded with the German nobility to suppress all the “murderous and thieving hordes of peasants” in the following terms:
What reason be there for leniency with the peasants? If there be any innocents among them, God will know how to best defend and rescue them. If God doesn’t rescue them, then that means they are criminals. I think it’s best for God to kill farmers rather than princes and judges, as the peasants have no Divine authority on which to base their wielding of the sword. No mercy, no patience towards the peasants, only wrath and indignation, from God and from man. This moment is so exceptional that a prince can earn heaven through bloodshed. Therefore, dear gentlemen, go ahead and exterminate, slay, strangle, and may whoever has power, use it.
Ironically, it was reported that at the September 2015 event in Rome, Michael Kretschmer, representative of the Bundestag (the national Parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany), “remembered the sensitivity of the father of the Reformation for the last (of the world). ‘If he were here today, he would tell us to take care of the poor,’ he said.” Meanwhile, the mayor of Rome, Ignazio Marino, stated: “Today gesture means that Rome has to respect every religion and faith. It is easier to smash an atom than a prejudice, Einstein said. And here we have broken some prejudices.” By all means, let’s welcome the ridding of wrong prejudices, but let’s not reject a prejudice for the truth.

3 Franciscan friars are arraigned in child endangerment case



Francis encourages World Youth Day organizers

Pope Francis encouraged the organizers of this year’s World Youth Day on Sunday, saying he sent his greetings to them. The pontiff also said he hoped many young people could travel to Poland for the event
 Pope Francis gave encouragement to the organizers of this year’s World Youth Day gathering on Sunday, saying in his weekly Angelus address in St. Peter’s Square that he sent his greetings to all those preparing for the event.

In remarks following the annual Palm Sunday Mass at the Vatican, the pontiff mentioned how he will be traveling to Poland in July for the event and said he wanted to extend greetings “to all the youth of the world.”

“I hope that many of you can come to Krakow, homeland of St. John Paul II, creator of World Youth Day,” Francis asked young people. “To his intercession we entrust the last months of preparation for this pilgrimage that, in the background of the Holy Year of Mercy, will be the Jubilee for youth at the level of the universal church.”

Francis will visit Poland July 27-31. He will celebrate World Youth Day in the capital and will also travel to Czestochowa to visit the monastery of Jasna Gora, which houses the icon of the Black Madonna, and will see the World War Two German concentration camp of Auschwitz.

John Paul first started world Youth Day in 1985. It is held each year at the diocesan level and every two or three years internationally at different locations. The last gathering was held in 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which Francis also attended.
In a moving homily for Palm Sunday earlier in the morning, the pontiff lamented treatment of refugees globally saying that many are not taking responsibility for their fate and compared it to the injustice Jesus suffered in his crucifixion.

Excepts: World Youth Day: Catholicism or Corruption? 


Krzysztof Wtorek will perform at World Youth Day 2016 for Francis!

And bring Polish Novus Ordo Evangelization
to the youth.
 Fr. Krzysztof Wtorek performs at his rock-gospel mess of 13 March 2016.

The aim of Wtorek's music is to make people happy. People want to be happy, he said, and the desire for happiness without God sometimes drives them to do things that are self-destructive, such as turning to drugs.
"This is really evangelisation," he said of his music. "You can be happy. You can be peaceful. You can be meditative," Wtorek said. "I believe in that. I put my life into that."

bringing Francis message to the world!
In each of Wtorek's parish assignments since his ordination in 1995, he has cultivated a music ministry. He was assigned in 2009 to Saint James Church in Ventnor. When the Longort, Margate and Ventnor churches merged into one parish, Holy Trinity, in 2010, he became the associate pastor for all the churches.
Since Wtorek has been doing the rock-gospel mass on Sundays, it's attendance has grown from 30 people at the start to 150 people during the off season to as many as 220 people during the summer, said Basil DiCerbo, the church's Eucharistic minister.
The start of the international gospel-rock group can be traced to eight years ago when Wtorek visited Poland. One of his friends called and asked him to stop in Germany before heading back to this country. Wtorek, whose main instrument is the bass guitar, was asked to play bass with a 98-voice German choir, which sang gospel music, at a concert in a castle.

A catchy, easily remembered version of the Lord's Prayer sung by Fr. Kristof (Vtorek Band). 

"I think it's a great way to spread the good news of the Lord and to bring people closer to Jesus," she said.
None of this would be happening if not for Wtorek's earlier life as a rock musician. The priest still keeps his hair in a ponytail and sports a beard and mustache from his rebellious rock days.
Wtorek said he learned to play songs such as the Animals' "The House of the Rising Sun" by listening to Polish radio. It's a song he still can play to this day.
Wtorek's days as a rock musician lasted from age 16, when he started in garages, to age 23, when his band, Astat, was able to play in theater-size venues.
When Wtorek came to the United States in 1988 and entered the seminary, he thought his life as a musician was over. Instead, he has found himself creating updated arrangements of traditional hymns, using a variety of instruments and computer software.

if one hasn't suffered enough already...
here is 1 hour plus of his screeching & rambling

They brought ... a horn to the Pope's general audience!

One of the most anticipated moments in the general audience is at the beginning, when the Pope passes through the streets of the square greeting pilgrims from the Popemobile.

Sometimes funny scenes are witnessed, and other times moving scenes.

This group of Brazilians, led by their priest, did not go unnoticed as they tried to draw the attention of the Pope with a peculiar ox horn. They did not stop blowing the horn until Francis finally turned around and greeted them.

"In Brazil it is called "berrante.” The Pope has seen me play here and told me, 'Ciao.'"

"It's a big thrill to be here with the Pope. It's my first time and I've never seen the Pope so close-up before.”

They are very excited and come from the state of Goias in central Brazil. Before coming to Rome, they visited the Holy Land. Now, to be in the Eternal City with the Pope is the icing on the cake.

"Passion, passion, passion. I cried a lot. I would like to hug him. I send the Pope a kiss."

Fr. Junior Periquito is not just a pastor, but one that preaches by using his voice in every way. In Brazil, Catholic rock moves crowds. He also tries to sing when preaching the Word of God, because it is well-known that by praying while singing, one prays twice.

Are the Italians getting tired of Francis? 

The photos on this page were taken in the last three years of Francis' pontificate in the winter season, as can be noted by the presence of the Christmas Tree close to the central obelisk in St. Peter Square.

During this time of the year, since it is cold and near Christmas, there are fewer pilgrims in Rome. The majority of the people present at the General Audiences and Angelus addresses of Pope Francis normally are Italian Catholics, most of them Romans.

Above, we see how meager of late the crowd had become – if we can use this word to signify the barely three layers of persons on either side of his popemobile. This picture shows the Pope passing by the obelisk, whose stone posts of the circle surrounding it can be seen in the top right.

Now, let us compare this scene with photos from the previous years of Bergoglio's pontificate. The first three rows below show Angelus addresses or General Audiences of the years 2013, 2014 & 2015 respectively. The three last rows picture Audiences at the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016.

We see that there is a remarkable decline in attendance. In 2013, in the first picture below, the crowd fills St. Peter's Square and overflows into the Via della Conciliazione. In 2014, second row, the Square is no longer jam-packed but the crowd still fills about two-thirds of it. In 2015, third row, the whole circle surrounding by the Colonnato di Bernini is empty. Only the four sections closer to the Basilica, marked off for pilgrims have people standing and one of them is only half empty.

If we have an open space without chairs, more people can gather there; when we put chairs in that space, there is room for less people but it still looks filled. Vatican officials recently placed chairs in those four sections. With this they tried to fill the increasingly empty space and cover for this obvious decline of audience at Francis' appearances. Before, the people stood in those sections; the only areas with chairs were the two small ones on either side of the papal stage. We can see that the artifice did not work, since now even the chairs are not being filled, fifth row.

When the monarchies were still setting the tone for the world, there was a saying: “The silence of the people is a lesson for the King.” Then, there were no polling institutes to check public opinion. If the people were silent when the King passed by, it was a sign that they did not like him or did not approve what he was doing. The King should understand the censure and reform his behavior accordingly.

Can we not say today, paraphrasing: “The absence of Italians in St. Peter's Square is a lesson for the Pope”?

Crowds abandon Francis 2Crowds abandon Francis 3

 Buffoonish Comment of the week:

Novus Ordite Fr. Longenecker

"There can be a problem with valuing tradition however. It is possible to make tradition a kind of false religion or ideology and to cling to the tradition and imagine that it is unchanging and must be unchanging.


 2 Thessalonians 2:14
Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle.


Twal: “There is no genocide of Christians going on in the Middle East”

The Patriarch of Jerusalem is among those who claim that what is going on in the Islamic State-controlled territories cannot be classed as genocide
“I do not agree with the use of the term ‘genocide of Christians’ to describe what is going on in the Middle East. The statement comes too late, when everything has already happened and it bears no correspondence with reality.” This is according to the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, who was interviewed by Vatican Insider. His opposition to the US government’s recognition of Islamic State (Daesh) violence as genocide, is seconded by Syrian archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo and Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai of Lebanon.

Your Beatitude, do you agree with defining what is going on in ISIS-controlled territories as “genocide”?
“No, I do not agree with this definition. The statement comes too late, when everything has already happened and it bears no correspondence with reality. Everyone has either escaped or are dead. Many others, besides Christians are victims of violence, starting with Muslims. There are others who are more victims than we are.”

Why do you say it is too late?
“Europe and the United States reacted too late and realised they were unable to pursue their agenda of carving up the Middle East. One must recall the consequences of certain military interventions, of certain wars that were fought in our regions. If it is peace that you want, then bring peace into the homes of others, not war.”

There were dictatorships that needed to be toppled…
“During a visit to France a diplomat was asked why there was so much enthusiasm about deposing Assad. He responded by talking about the need to defend human rights that have been breached. To which the reply was: why don’t you start with Saudi Arabia? Different standards are adopted with regard to human rights if countries are allies of the West. The reality is that a solution was expected within a few months. But the war has dragged on for years.”

What would the next step be do you think?
“There is no magic solution unfortunately. ISIS did not just fall out of the sky, it grew out of contexts of poverty, injustice and dictatorship, subsidised by heavy arms trafficking, the trafficking Pope Francis so courageously speaks out against every time he talks about these situations. ISIS needs to be defeated using all means possible but let us not fool ourselves: even if Daesh were wiped out right down to the very last combatant, the phenomenon would reappear if we do not eliminate the causes, such as injustices and illegal arms dealing.”

What are you doing to help the refugees?
There are 740,000 refugees in Jordan. Only 28,000 of them are Christian. We do what we can to help them. The Italian Bishops’ Conference has helped us launch projects that allow children to be enrolled in schools, for example”.

Nun recounts rape, abuse by priest in memoir backed by Catholic Church

ROME — The Catholic Church, under scrutiny for its response to clergy sex abuse scandals, is backing the publication of an Italian nun’s shocking account of her rape as a teenager and years of subsequent abuse by her parish priest in Milan.
The 40-year-old nun, who has not been identified, claims the unnamed priest raped her when she was 14 and continued to abuse her for another seven years.
The sensational book is titled, “Giulia and the Wolf: A Story of Sexual Abuse in the Church,” and it is due to be published in Italy on March 31 by Ancora, a Catholic publishing house.
The memoir is also being published with the backing of the Archdiocese of Milan, one of the largest and most influential in Italy. A priest, the Rev. Hans Zollner, who is a member of Pope Francis’ panel on fighting clergy sexual abuse, has written the preface.
Graphic excerpts of the woman’s abuse have been published in the Italian media. The nun, who goes by the name of Giulia — or Julia, in English — recounts her story in the first person to Italian journalist Luisa Bove.
“He had a kind and paternal way,” says the nun in one excerpt. “He invited me to undo my pants and then helped me take them off. He did the same with his underwear. I was ashamed, I was tense and I didn’t know how to behave.”
The nun lives in a convent and has never before revealed the abuse she suffered.
“He was my spiritual guide. In the face of all his requests I didn’t know how to say no. I know that something in me was dead, because he succeeded to do to me whatever he wanted,” she said.
The idea to publish the book came after Boston Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, head of the Vatican anti-abuse panel, spoke about clerical sexual abuse on a visit to Milan.
According to reports, the abusive priest worked for years in the Milan archdiocese and died recently.
The nun wrote that she encountered him several times as an adult. “He said to me ‘I have never forgotten. I hope you have forgiven me.’ I replied impulsively, ‘Certainly many years ago.’”
But, she adds: “I discovered that forgiveness never occurred because I realized that we had never been two lovers, but a victim and a tormentor. Our relationship was one of abuse and violence. How was it possible to forgive him then? I never did, not even today.”

According to Italian media, the nun divulged her story to Church officials last year.
Despite his personal endorsement of the book, Zollner stressed that the Vatican had not officially backed its publication.
But Zollner, who also heads the Centre for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, told RNS that the book was significant.
“This is the first time a full story about clerical sexual abuse has been written in Italian by an Italian,” he said. “This is the first courageous statement of that kind. This should not be surprising when you see what Pope Francis did when he invited abuse victims into his home to meet them.
“It is not extraordinary that representatives of the Church endorse it. It should be honored and encouraged.”
Zollner’s preface in the book is headlined “Victims must be heard,” and he congratulates the nun for her courage and resilience in telling her story.
Francis met victims of clerical sexual abuse at the Vatican and in Philadelphia during his visit to the United States in September. He set up the Vatican Commission for the Protection of Minors in 2014.
But Francis has continued to face criticism for not moving more quickly to discipline bishops suspected of covering up for abusers and for not yet establishing universal policies for churches to follow around the world.

Pope Francis to Wash Feet of Refugees

Easter Week foot-washing ritual is a gesture high in symbolism inside the Catholic Church and beyond.

By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis will wash the feet of young refugees during an Easter Week ritual in a gesture high in symbolism inside the Catholic Church and beyond.
The Vatican didn't say Tuesday if non-Catholics would be among the 12 refugees participating in the Holy Thursday rite at an asylum center in Castelnuovo di Porto, north of Rome. But women will almost certainly be involved, and a Vatican official, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, noted that most of the center's residents are non-Catholic.
The ritual is meant to be a gesture of service, and re-enacts a rite Jesus performed on his apostles before being crucified.
Within weeks of becoming pope, Francis stunned conservatives by washing the feet of women, Orthodox Christians and Muslims at a juvenile detention facility. In subsequent years, he has washed the feet of other Muslims and even a Brazilian Catholic transsexual at Rome's main prison.
Vatican rules had long called for only men to participate, and popes past and many priests traditionally performed the ritual on 12 Catholic men, recalling Jesus' 12 apostles and further cementing the doctrine of an all-male priesthood.

But Francis in January changed the regulations to explicitly allow women and girls to participate.
The new norms said anyone from the "people of God" could be chosen. While the phrase "people of God" refers to baptized Christians, the decree also said that pastors should instruct "both the chosen faithful and others so that they may participate in the rite consciously, actively and fruitfully," suggesting that the rite could be open to non-Catholics as well.
Fisichella, who is spearheading Francis' Holy Year of Mercy initiative, said the choice of the refugee center was highly symbolic given the current migration crises.
"He means to tell us that at this historic time, we must pay attention to the weakest and that we are called to restore their dignity without falling into subterfuge," Fisichella wrote in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano.
The fact that most of the residents aren't Catholic "is an even more eloquent" sign that respecting one another is the best path to peace, he wrote.
"By washing the refugees' feet, Pope Francis is asking for respect for each one of them," he wrote.

In Colombia, a priest’s alleged affair is a national soap opera

Scandal is shaking the Catholic Church in Colombia, centered on a man who claims that he was in a gay relationship with a priest for 20 years and now is demanding hundreds of thousands of dollars as his portion of assets he says they shared.
Julio César Cardona, 42, told a local radio station that he’d had a long-standing love affair with the Rev. José Elías Lopera, and that the priest owed him $500,000 in compensation they supposedly agreed upon.
The priest sued Cardona in 2013 for extortion; Cardona was convicted of illegal constraint in 2015 and sentenced to 30 months in prison, according to the newspaper El Colombiano. The paper said he has been banned from doing business with any public office until 2020.
Cardona claims the priest made the allegations against him so that Cardona wouldn’t reveal that Lopera has had other affairs.
Lopera has refused to talk to the media.
Cardona claims the romance ended in 2012, four years after he was injured in a satanic ritual in which the priest forced him to take part. According to Cardona, Lopera asked him to bathe himself in alcohol to “cleanse his soul” and then to light a match to burn the liquid. He said he was engulfed by the flames and suffered burns over 80 percent of his body.
Lopera, the priest, made headlines in the 1980s because of alleged ties with Colombia’s most infamous drug lord, Pablo Escobar, founder of the Medellin Cartel, which at the height of its power controlled 80 percent of the global cocaine market.
Cardona is now suing Lopera, who’s in his 70s, demanding more than $300,000. He claims that when they parted ways, the priest promised him almost half a million dollars, but has paid only $200,000.
The layman told journalists the amount is his share of the assets the couple acquired during their 20-year relationship. He also said that when he asked the priest for the rest of the money, Lopera sent him a parish bulletin and two bullets, which he took as a death threat.
Cardona said he received $2,600 a month from the priest throughout their relationship. Lopera also paid for his education, his cars, his credit card expenses, his holidays, and his family’s expenses, he said, using money donated to the church by parishioners.
The communications office of the Archdiocese of Medellin released a statement when the news broke last week, “deploring and condemning the criminal conduct and immoral acts of priests who offend God and the faithful.”
The statement also said that the Church has received contradictory stories from the priest and Cardona, so they are waiting for civil courts to rule on Cardona’s lawsuit before launching a Church investigation.

Legitimizing the Council much?

Pope Francis Confirms His Burial Place -- the Grave of John XXIII

Pope Francis has chosen his resting place
(Rome) Pope Francis is preparing his grave, as the press agency I.Media reported. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi SJ confirms the report. This is neither "mysterious" nor something "special", says Lombardi.

The selection and preparation of a tomb is part of the earthly life cycle of a human being, said the Vatican spokesman.To that effect,  the selection of  the tomb chosen by Pope Francis is in the Vatican Grottoes.

Vatican spokesman: "Little more availability"

The crypt  below the St. Peter's Basilica and the further underlying necropolis is known as the Vatican Grottoes. Numerous popes were buried in the crypt, some of whom were laid there in the Vatican Basilica in the course of the Causes of Saints.
I.Media published the picture of a tomb. It's then not certain this really is the final resting place Pope Francis desires himself, as Tiscali reported yesterday and published its own photo.

Vatican spokesman Lombardi reported on Saturday  that it is the only unoccupied chapel at the moment in the Vatican Grottoes, which is why, in principle, the question arises, where the ceremony will be held  in the future.

"Pope of gestures" will be buried in the grave of the "Pope of the Council"

As "Pope of gestures" Francis wants to use the former grave of John XXIII. in which the "Pope of the Council" has lain for 38 years, from 1963 to 2001.  Soon after the beatification in September 2000 he was translated into St. Peter's Basilica. Pope Francis chose, bypassing the rules for the canonization for his miracle-less  elevation to the altars in 2014  together with John Paul II. The Polish pope was canonized through the recognition of a second miracle within a regular canonization.
From 2005-2011 John Paul II had initially been buried in this grave until he was transferred to St. Peter's Basilica.
John XXIII. let himself be buried in a simple sarcophagus of travertine in contrast to his predecessors. The grave inscription reads only Joannes PP. XXIII . Since then, all the popes have been buried in simple manner.
John Paul II., following the example of Paul VI. who found his final resting place in a grave sunken into the ground. On the marble slab in gold letters, which was even more spare, is Joannes Paulus II  with the birth and death date.

Cardinal Comastri: "Holy Father, it is yet to be seen who comes first"

The grave niche in the Vatican Grottoes has been unoccupied since 2011.  Recently it has been cleaned and "is ready to receive the mortal remains of Pope Francis," said Tiscali. The Argentine Pope let the Archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica, Cardinal Angelo Comastri, know that he wishes that grave for himself. The ideological commonality stressed with a hidden agenda  between John XXIII. and Pope Francis found is to continue in the grave.
Cardinal Comastri confirmed that Pope Francis expressed his wish two times.  The cardinal had replied: "Holy Father, it is yet to be seen who comes first." The reference was to the Emeritus Benedict XVI. whose ideas for grave locations are yet unknown.
Near the niche selected for Pope Francis, a white marble sarcophagus was recently placed.  Whether it has been  prepared for the German Pope remains speculation for now.

Need I say it? Vatican II along with Francis need to be buried (figuratively speaking)...