Monthly Archives: February 2018

Tales of the Vatican — novel titles currently reverberating in the teeming brain of this blogger

Get the Whistle-blower is one.  Or Let My Financial Criminals Go.

Others: The Pope and His Italian Cardinals: This Curia Ain’t Ready for Reform or Gunfight at the IOR Corral(Vatican bank) or the same at APSA (Vatican treasury and general accounting department), each handling Euros by the freight-car load with little accounting to anyone.

There should be a chapter called “Battle of the cardinals,” in which one of them has the monarch’s ear in the vintage Italian way, the other (Anglo-Saxon) does not. The latter, appointed to clean things up, asks repeatedly that the other be fired for proven malfeasance. But this fellow dines regularly with the monarch. Not to give the plot away, but who do you think is winning that one?

Other possible chapters:

* “The Cry of the Curia: We don’t need no stinkin’ Secretariat of the Economy” (set up early in this papacy to fix it all, alas).

* “Calcagno si, Vallejo no,” in which perp cardinal thrives, whistle-blowing monsignor goes to (Vatican) jail. For ratting.

The novel would find its material, much more than here adumbrated, complete with voluminous sources, in Dictator Pope, by the shrewd, pseudonymous Marcantonio Colonna.

For which there isthis boisterous pitch on Amazon:

Marcantonio Colonna’s The Dictator Pope has rocked Rome and the entire Catholic Church with its portrait of an authoritarian, manipulative, and politically partisan pontiff. Occupying a privileged perch in Rome during the tumultuous first years of Francis’s pontificate, Colonna was privy to the shock, dismay, and even panic that the reckless new pope engendered in the Church’s most loyal and judicious leaders.

The Dictator Pope discloses that Father Mario Bergoglio (the future Pope Francis) was so unsuited for ecclesiastical leadership that the head of his own Jesuit order tried to prevent his appointment as a bishop in Argentina. Behind the benign smile of the ‘people’s pope’ Colonna reveals a ruthless autocrat aggressively asserting the powers of the papacy in pursuit of a radical agenda.”

Soon to be a major motion picture, as Abby Hoffman called his bio? I doubt it, but things do happen.

Sacrosanctum Concilium 11

Commentator cites or claims “huge oversight on the part of modern critics of participation, [including me, more or less] who suggest there’s too much emphasis on the external.” Point made, but sauce for goose is also for gander, in this case Father at the altar ought to be and look absorbed, not be looking around, counting the crowd, etc. Not businesslike. Some do, some don’t.

See therefore also the next paragraph: “As spiritual guides, pastors are urged to see that their personal focus is not limited to the rubrics. Their responsibility is the full awareness of the people, their active engagement–external and internal, and that the faith community as a whole experiences spiritual growth as a result of liturgy.”

Catholic Sensibility

The council bishops recognized that the old legalistic/minimalist approach was a millstone around our necks.

But in order that the liturgy may be able to produce its full effects, it is necessary that the faithful come to it with proper dispositions, that their minds should be attuned to their voices, and that they should cooperate with divine grace lest they receive it in vain (Cf. 2 Cor. 6:1.) . Pastors of souls must therefore realize that, when the liturgy is celebrated, something more is required than the mere observation of the laws governing valid and licit celebration; it is their duty also to ensure that the faithful take part fully aware of what they are doing, actively engaged in the rite, and enriched by its effects.

This is also the introduction to the oft-repeated council sentiment of full, active, and enriching participation. The council is explicit in stating…

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Reforming the curia under Pope Francis . . .

. . . not what his supporters in the conclave had in mind. For instance:

Like young Lochinvar coming out of the West, Cardinal George Pell came out of (up from) Australia as new sheriff in charge of cleaning out the financial deep state that is, not used to be, the Vatican. Too bad for him — even before he got called home to face sexual-abuse charges. (Sigh)

The opposition to Cardinal Pell [in Rome] has been headed by four cardinals who are interested not merely in stalling the financial reform but returning the Vatican structures to the position before Pell appeared on the scene.

We may begin with Cardinal Domenico Calcagno, who has been president of APSA [Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See — handling its money] since 2011 and who is the most scandalous of the four. Gianluigi Nuzzi, in one of his more outspoken comments, describes Calcagno as “the scheming prelate and wily connoisseur of the Curia’s secrets.”

Before being appointed to the Curia, Calcagno had been Bishop of Savona, where between 2002 and 2003 he ignored repeated instances of sexual violence against minors by one of his priests, simply moving him on to another parish. What is even more shocking is that Calcagno is still under investigation for real-estate dealings which harmed the diocese’s finances.

It is a commentary on Francis’s pontificate that such a background is not thought incompatible with the holding of one of the key financial posts in the Vatican.

From: Colonna, Marcantonio. The Dictator Pope (Kindle Locations 1112-1120). Kindle Edition.


BIBLE SCHOLAR ATTACKS ‘OPPRESSIVE’ LANGUAGE OF LITURGY, says go back to 1998 translation. Current, as of 2010, was “imposed on us” by the Vatican “acting unilaterally.”

The Vatican wouldn’t do that, would it?

But it did in the ’60s, when the Latin mass was declared off limits and rebellious priests and prelates and their supporters were told to get lost.

Read about the Bible scholar here.

Pope asks for huge grant to skin hospital in Rome, gets it, plus flak

This sharp comment by auditors gives a flavor of said flak:

The Board of The Papal Foundation recently approved an unprecedented grant of $25 million to a dermatology hospital in Rome. The following summary will explain why both the process by which the grant was given along with the grant itself are disturbing,

In my opinion as Chairman of the Audit Committee, these recent actions will make it virtually impossible to recruit new Stewards [big-bucks donors], or to retain the membership of many current Stewards.

In many respects, the decision to grant $25 million to a dermatology hospital in Rome without proper due diligence is a disaster for the Papal Foundation. Not only is the decision process flawed, but the recipient has a dubious past.[Italics added]

Money for the poor. Why did Francis authorize this huge gift, unprecedented and highly suspect?

For brutal analysis of this business, see Life Site News, for whom a huge hat tip.

Buried in hard-copy Chi Trib: I-D card good for voting by non-citizens

I’ve heard Rush Limbaugh say that Dems want illegals because they can count on their votes. That’s a stretch, I thought. Now I don’t think it’s a stretch at all, because of this story buried in our Sunday paper. It pays to look!

Municipal ID cards that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is launching for undocumented immigrants and others will be a valid form of identification for people both registering to vote and voting in Chicago, according to a letter aldermen received Friday.

Clerk Anna Valencia, who’s heading up the CityKey program, cited state election rules to explain why the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners will accept the card.

“The Illinois Election Code requires the Board of Elections to accept current, valid photo identification cards and other local governmental documentation that includes an individual’s name and address, as proof of identity and residency,” Valencia’s letter reads in part. “The CityKey fits both of these requirements.”

There you go. Clerk Valencia’s argument/explanation for those who thought non-citizenship was a non-starter when it comes to voting:

Valencia’s letter [announcing the card] notes that voters currently aren’t required to prove they are American citizens under state law. They simply must attest to their citizenship.

Valencia spokeswoman Kate LeFurgy said the clerk’s office consulted with city elections officials before determining the cards pass muster as one of the many types of identification that can be used as voter ID.

And you thought voter-ID was a way to prevent voter fraud, when actually it’s a facilitator — in Chicago, where fast-talk wins the day.

But worry not:

“We want to underscore that if you are undocumented, it is illegal to vote even with any of the documents accepted as proof of identity or residency under the Illinois Election Code — everything from a debit card, utility bill or union card,” LeFurgy said in an email.

Well. For a minute there, I was worried. But wait.

Valencia has said [apparently on another occasion] the city will make the municipal card appealing to people other than those who have trouble getting state ID cards — such as those in the country illegally, homeless people and those recently released from prison. But it’s still unclear exactly what types of broader benefits the ID will provide.

You see, the cards were for getting at broader benefits, as an alderman questioning the use as voter I-D, said.

“This was portrayed to us as a way for people to get basic services,” said Ald. Anthony Napolitano, 41st. “This is exactly what we were concerned about and we raised those concerns with the clerk. I know I have colleagues who would not be on board with this.”

One would think so.

They turned swords into buying and selling in a free market

How Capitalism Tamed Medieval Europe

Even England Catches On

London was behind Italy or Flanders, but it was catching up. The city had started to grow as a trading hub in the 12th century, and its mayor, William Hardel, was the only commoner to witness the Magna Carta in 1215 and helped secure Clause 41, which stated that all foreign “merchants are to be safe and secure in departing from and coming to England” without “evil exactions.”

I.e., tariffs and the like.

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While The Nations rage . . .

Trump Makes Gains Ahead of Midterms but Risks Remain for GOP

After losing voter support in every state during his first nine months in office, Trump begins his second year with his popularity on the upswing.

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The cardinal rattled cages with this one, including mine. What was (is) he thinking?

Commentators on Homosexual Blessing Scandal Call for Correction or Dismissal of Cardinal Marx – OnePeterFive

The recent statements made by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the president of the German Bishops’ Conference and papal counselor, concerning the possibility, even if only in some parishes, of blessing same-sex couples has caused quite a stir in the Catholic world. …

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This POTUS does not mince words

In this case in responding to the Schiff memo:

On Saturday morning the president said on Twitter: “The Democrats sent a very political and long response memo which they knew, because of sources and methods (and more), would have to be heavily redacted, whereupon they would blame the White House for lack of transparency. Told them to re-do and send back in proper form!”

We know what he’s thinking. The previous POTUS, a mainly photo-op fellow, not so much.

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