The Pope’s new moves

The Pope’s new moves

Interesting moves from the Vatican recently. Last week we got word that the Pope had blunt words for the Austrian bishops during the ad limina visit. He invited himself to a South American intercontinental meeting and told the Brazilian bishops where it was going to be held. The new document banning gays from the seminary was produced (or was to be produced next week apparently)

And he shook up the administration of the Assisi shrine. For the latter, he reduced the authority of the Franciscans over the basilicas in Assisi and appointed Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino, who was secretary at the Congregation for Divine Worship, to be bishop of Assisi.

Some sources are saying that this is a sort of payback to the Franciscans for the debacle of the 1986 Peace Summit at Assisi that has caused all kinds of angst in certain circles. (Pope John Paul kissed a Koran, a Buddha was placed on a tabernacle, some group was allowed to sacrifice chickens on an altar). Apparently, Cardinal Ratzinger was quite unhappy at that and the observer, I think it was Vittorio Messori, said he has been itching all these years to put the Franciscans in their place.

I have my doubts as to that certain animus, but I don’t discount that the summit was a factor in the current rearrangements.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
10 comments
  • In TRUTH AND TOLERANCE Cdl. Ratzinger indicated that he refused to attend the first Assisi event.

    Pope Benedict has done something else this week.  The “bishop” of the Order of St. Charbel has been excommunicated.

    A commenter in my blog linked this video of his “consecration”.  It takes place in Bavaria, Germany.  A Bishop Bartholmaus Schneider, T.O.R. is the consecrator.  Since the Order of St. Charbel is located in Australia, why Germany?  That’s an interesting twist to the story.  That consecration has all the trappings of traditional Catholicism, such as the picture of St. Theresa, the chanting, the Latin.  If you didn’t know better, it would look authentic to someone who doesn’t know a lot about such things.

  • “Pope John Paul kissed a Koran, a Buddha was placed on a tabernacle, some group was allowed to sacrifice chickens on an altar”

    Our Lady of Fatima, ora pro nobis.

  • Does anyone have a reasonable explanation for the Pope’s kissing a koran?  This kind of rocked me when I first heard it, and have yet to get an adequate explanation.

  • The explanation that I read was that the Koran was given as a gift. It is customary to kiss a gift as a sign of thanks / gratitude.

  • Given that Pope Benedict has made some surprising moves that support orthodoxy, it will be interesting to see how he pursues interreligious dialogue and ecumenism which he committed himself to early in his papacy.  These latest moves make me hopeful; but until he acts forcefully for Jesus Christ in the interreligious arena, I will not jump to conclusions.

    Holy Spirit, inspire our Pope Benedict to greatness in the name of God’s Son.

  • …some group was allowed to sacrifice chickens on an altar…

    I must have missed that one.  All the screaming and yelling that I heard about Assisi centered around the Koran and the Buddha statue.

  • The “kissing the koran” business shook me too.  I’ve seen pictures of the Assisi summit, which are scandalous.  They need to exorcise and rededicate that basilica.

    When they go to canonize PJP2, somehow they will have to get past those pictures, unfortunately.  And the hype.  Time must be allowed to pass in order to straighten it all out.

    We have spent a lot of time updating and reaching out.  It is now time to integrate that into sound theology and find where all this fits into the grand story of Catholicism.  We are there.

    Long live Pope Benedict XVI. 

  • The biggest change of all is the citizen news of the internet.  It will be impossible to get rid of these pictures.  They are on hard drives all over the world.

    The spectre of the pope kissing the koran, the shocking sight of a buddha on a basilica’s altar are no longer something that can simply be withdrawn from publicity. 

    Interesting.

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