Vatican accountant under arrest after €20M cash smuggling attempt

posted at 9:26 am on June 28, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Pope Francis pledged to reform the Curia and resolve the cloud over the Institute for Religious Works (IOR in Italian), commonly known as the Vatican Bank.  Earlier this week, the pontiff appointed a five-member commission to delve deeply into the IOR’s operations, but Italian authorities pressed on with their own investigations.  Earlier today, they arrested a suspended accountant from a Vatican financial group after he tried to smuggle €20 million ($26 million) into Italy from Switzerland:

A Vatican official already under investigation in a purported money-laundering plot involving the Vatican bank was arrested Friday in a separate operation: Prosecutors allege he tried to bring 20 million euros ($26 million) in cash into Italy from Switzerland aboard an Italian government plane, his lawyer said.

Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, a recently suspended accountant in one of the Vatican’s main financial departments, is accused of fraud, corruption and slander stemming from the plot, which never got off the ground, attorney Silverio Sica told The Associated Press.

He said Scarano was a middleman in the operation: Friends had asked him to intervene with a broker, Giovanni Carenzio, to return 20 million euros they had given him to invest. Sica said Scarano persuaded Carenzio to return the money, and an Italian secret service agent, Giovanni Maria Zito, went to Switzerland to bring the cash back aboard an Italian government aircraft. Such a move would presumably prevent any reporting of the money coming into Italy.

The operation failed because Carenzio reneged on the deal, Sica said.

Zito, nevertheless, demanded his 400,000 euro commission. Scarano paid him an initial 200,000 euros by check, which Zito deposited, Sica said. But in a bid to not have the second check deposited at the bank, Scarano filed a report for a missing 200,000 check, even though he knew Zito had it, Sica said.

Carenzio and Zito also were arrested Wednesday along with Scarano, Sica said.

Italian authorities already had Scarano under investigation.  Scarano worked for APSA, which is distinct from the IOR.  The Vatican suspended him once informed that Scarano had become a target of the investigation, and an hour or so ago released an official statement about his arrest:

Vatican City, 28 June 2013 (VIS) – This morning, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office, issued the following communique regarding the arrest, in Italy, of Msgr. Nunzio Scarano, director of accounting analysis service of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), in the context of an investigation on corruption and fraud.

“As has been made known in the past few days, Msgr. Nunzio Scarano was suspended from his position at the APSA over a month ago, as soon as his superiors were informed that he was under investigation. This is in compliance of the Regulations of the Roman Curia, which require the precautionary suspension of persons against whom prosecution has been initiated.”

“The Holy See has still not received any request from the competent Italian authorities on the matter, but has confirmed its willingness to cooperate fully.”

“The competent Vatican authority, the AIF (the Vatican Financial Information Authority), is following the issue in order to take, if necessary, appropriate measures within its competence.”

The arrest overshadows the significant and dramatic steps that Francis took this week to produce real reform within the Vatican’s financial institutions.  The appointment of an outside commission to investigate the activities of the IOR includes a familiar American face in Catholic laity, as the Financial Times reports:

Pope Francis has signalled his determination to shake up the troubled Vatican bank with the appointment of a five-member commission to review the conduct of the scandal-hit institution.

The Vatican said Pope Francis set up the pontifical commission “to get to know better the judicial position and the activities” of the Vatican bank, known as the Institute for Religious Works. …

The commission comprises three cardinals – Raffaele Farina, Jean Louis Pierre Tauran and Juan Ignacio Arrieta – as well as Father Peter Wells, a Vatican top official, and Mary Ann Glendon, a Harvard law professor and former US ambassador to the Holy See.

Mary Ann Glendon, readers may recall, rebuked Notre Dame in 2009 for awarding pro-abortion President Barack Obama an honorary degree as part of their invitation to speak at their commencement that year, withdrawing from the event and refusing an award the university planned to award her as well. Her inclusion on this panel affirms the commitment that Francis’ election appeared to promise, and provides a clear, outside look at the murky activities within the IOR.

National Catholic Register also emphasizes that this is a personal project for Francis:

The appointment of a new pontifical commission to advise Pope Francis about the Institute for Religious Works, usually called the Vatican Bank, was desired expressly by the Pope, local sources say.

This was “Pope Francis’ personal choice. It strays from the usual dynamic through which these decisions are taken,” a Vatican official, speaking under the condition of anonymity, told Catholic News Agency on June 26.

The possibility of a reform or even of an abolition of the Institute for Religious Works was raised during the pre-conclave meetings of cardinals in March.

Once elected pope, Francis followed some of the suggestions that emerged during the pre-conclave meetings. One example is the so-called “advisory board” of eight cardinals he will first meet with in October.

“The appointment of the commission,” explained the official, “is in order to understand if the Institute for Religious Works fulfills the mission of the Church in its current structure or if it needs to be reformed.”

This is why the Pope issued the chirograph, an official document of Medieval origins. Through it, he appointed a “board” of five members to report to him about “the legal position and the activities of the institute” in order to “harmonize the institute with the universal mission of the Apostolic See.”

Francis himself emphasized the need for reform in his adoption of the name of St. Francis of Assisi for his pontificate, with its obvious theme of rebuilding the Church.  Scarano’s arrest may be the first of a series of painful headlines for the Vatican as this reform effort continues, but that pain will be a necessary and hopefully temporary stage through which real reform must pass.

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Didn’t the last one who tried that end up hanging from a bridge?

OldEnglish on June 28, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Ah… the old Marcincus trick….

viking01 on June 28, 2013 at 9:30 AM

I’m sure this is the first time anything like this was tried.

Akzed on June 28, 2013 at 9:31 AM

Didn’t Georgi Markov learn not to mess with P2 ?

viking01 on June 28, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Poor John Paul I should have looked the other way…

viking01 on June 28, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Weeding out the bad, in the long run, is always easier than letting it fester. McCarthy was trying to do this with the State Department, but failed, and today we get to watch full blown communists destroying the country.

Flange on June 28, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Could Mario Puzo write another sequel?

Okay, I’ll stop now….

viking01 on June 28, 2013 at 9:35 AM

Perhaps an Augean Stables task, but at least Pope Francis is willing to take on the task. After all, any institution on earth is made up of homo sapiens and we are all flawed.

rbj on June 28, 2013 at 9:38 AM

Business. As. Usual.

The Church does do some good, but only from a self-interest, self-preservation position. And it has always been willing to operate outside the laws of any nation, which leads to silly little plots, outside of the grander schemes, that we see here.

M240H on June 28, 2013 at 9:45 AM

M240H on June 28, 2013 at 9:45 AM

To point out the obvious the above Catholic basher is missing — the Church is supposed to operate outside the laws of any nation.

As we’ve seen here, the laws often run quite against the teachings of Christianity.

That said:

Zito got too greedy, thankfully, and then the good Monsignor trumped Zito’s greed.

I’m at a loss as to why Carenzio was arrested, given that he backed out of the scheme. A conspiracy charge, perhaps?

unclesmrgol on June 28, 2013 at 9:54 AM

Business. As. Usual.

The Church does do some good, but only from a self-interest, self-preservation position. And it has always been willing to operate outside the laws of any nation, which leads to silly little plots, outside of the grander schemes, that we see here.

M240H on June 28, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Oh, shut the hell up, whackjob!

Hey, Ed and Allah! Why don’t you drop the ban hammer on me now?

SagebrushPuppet on June 28, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Would you break financial laws to end abortion?

IlikedAUH2O on June 28, 2013 at 10:01 AM

unclesmrgol on June 28, 2013 at 9:54 AM

Agreed. Especially with how man’s laws and God’s laws often are diametrically opposite. Roe v. Wade, the SCOTUS laughable “art” ruling etc.

Even the disciples had their Judas and that was one out of 12. I’d say the RC church and most churches have a far better track record percentage-wise than that.

viking01 on June 28, 2013 at 10:05 AM

Is this the real reason, why the previous head of church decided to spend more time with the family?

anikol on June 28, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Vatican accountant under arrest after €20M cash smuggling attempt

When the Borgia Pope (Alexander VI) had this problem his solution was, well, a bit medieval

Bruno Strozek on June 28, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Poor John Paul I should have looked the other way…

viking01 on June 28, 2013 at 9:33 AM

For the 100 millionth time, JPI wasn’t assasinated. He had serious health problems.

As for the commission, I like the fact that the one layperson on Francis’ IOR commission is an American and a woman. Since Mary Ann Gleandon is connected with Harvard University, I am thinking that this might have been a Cardinal O’Malley suggestion. It is my understanding that Francis has been in contact with his G8 advisors already.

(As an unrelated sidenote, I wonder if Cardinal Sean has received a personal PopeCall (TM). Considering the Pope seems to get a kick out of the astonished reactions on the other end of the line, I’m thinking that the Archdiocese of Boston probably has received such a call.)

Illinidiva on June 28, 2013 at 10:13 AM

the Institute for Religious Works (IOR in Italian),

APSA, which is distinct from the IOR.

the Holy See Press Office,

Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA),

Regulations of the Roman Curia,

the AIF (the Vatican Financial Information Authority),

the Vatican bank, known as the Institute for Religious Works. …

so-called “advisory board” of eight cardinals

the chirograph, an official document of Medieval origins.

“board” of five members to “harmonize the institute with the universal mission of the Apostolic See.”

Whew! Whatever happened to “Thou art Peter and upon this rock thou will build my church”? They even have their own “gang of eight!” Sounds like any political body trying to preserve its power.

Vince on June 28, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Business. As. Usual.

The Church does do some good, but only from a self-interest, self-preservation position. And it has always been willing to operate outside the laws of any nation, which leads to silly little plots, outside of the grander schemes, that we see here.

M240H on June 28, 2013 at 9:45 AM

This sounds far more like the Obama Administration than the Catholic Church, except for “does some good.” Actually, it sounds like most governments whose bureaucrats and leaders hold themselves above the laws they create for those whom they assume are subjects.

The Church in contrast is the largest private charity in the world, with impact in every country on earth, including those where being Catholic is explicitly banned.

BKennedy on June 28, 2013 at 10:14 AM

unclesmrgol on June 28, 2013 at 9:54 AM

SagebrushPuppet on June 28, 2013 at 9:56 AM

History is history … and it continues. From Marcinkus to protecting child molesters (and fleecing parishioners like my family members to pay the lawsuits) to helping Nazis escape … it goes on and on through history; the hierarchy betrays the parishioner.

And no, I won’t “shut up”. How about you find anything in the Bible that supports the the establishment of the Church’s hierarchy that exists seemingly for the glorification of some hypocrites in the Vatican?

M240H on June 28, 2013 at 10:16 AM

“Thou art Peter and upon this rock thou will build my church”

Should be I will build…

Vince on June 28, 2013 at 10:20 AM

Illinidiva on June 28, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Shhhh! I was just laundry listing all the conspiracy theories…

viking01 on June 28, 2013 at 10:22 AM

competent Italian authorities

There’s a joke in there somewhere.

JimLennon on June 28, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Pope Francis has a tough road ahead cleaning the mess up…But he’s got Benedict XVI behind him.

Most likely this is part of the reason Benedict XVI was inspired to retire.

And that matters.

Pope Francis will go all old fashioned Latino Jesuit on the clericalism…

Both Benedict XVI and Francis are conservative…They just speak different symbolic languages, but the objective is overall a conservative one of reform.

Pope Francis will complete and publish Benedict XVI last encyclical…and that speaks volumes about a team effort.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Unlike our Obamassiah, Francis’ actions speak louder than words.

GarandFan on June 28, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Wait, people are surprised that “man” can be corrupted, even religious men?

And of course because that happens than the whole church must be “wrong”.

right2bright on June 28, 2013 at 10:30 AM

The Church in contrast is the largest private charity in the world, with impact in every country on earth, including those where being Catholic is explicitly banned.

BKennedy on June 28, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Yep.

Right now the RCC is busy trying to deal with the plight of our sister churches in the middle east….They are being butchered.

A Monk was murdered last week defending Nuns under attack by Islamists at St. Anthony’s in Syria.

These Islamists are the ones Il Duce wants to give weapons to and they are slautering Christians throughout the region.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 10:31 AM

And no, I won’t “shut up”. How about you find anything in the Bible that supports the the establishment of the Church’s hierarchy that exists seemingly for the glorification of some hypocrites in the Vatican?

M240H on June 28, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Because people like you will never acknowledge when the RCC actually tries to reform…

Your opinion speaks for itself.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 10:35 AM

Wait, people are surprised that “man” can be corrupted, even religious men?

And of course because that happens than the whole church must be “wrong”.

right2bright on June 28, 2013 at 10:30 AM

This is the danger of clericalism…and Pope Francis has been speakin out about it since day 1.

This is a very good thing.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 10:37 AM

Is this the real reason, why the previous head of church decided to spend more time with the family?

anikol on June 28, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Benedict XVI laid the groundwork…and Pope Francis will make the moves to reform.

I think Benedict XVI just got worn out…But he’s still there to support Francis.

That’s why he’s retired within the Vatican…and not some monastery in Germany.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 10:40 AM

competent Italian authorities

There’s a joke in there somewhere.

JimLennon on June 28, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Something about why JC wasn’t born there?

viking01 on June 28, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Is this the real reason, why the previous head of church decided to spend more time with the family?

anikol on June 28, 2013 at 10:10 AM

It has been speculated that B16 knew that he didn’t have the personality or health to deal with the corruption (or the “gay lobby” that Francis discussed in the amusing leaked conversation a few weeks back.) B16 resigned to shake up the system. It allowed the reformers to get their guy elected.

Illinidiva on June 28, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Poor John Paul I should have looked the other way…

viking01 on June 28, 2013 at 9:33 AM

For the 100 millionth time, JPI wasn’t assasinated. He had serious health problems.

As for the commission, I like the fact that the one layperson on Francis’ IOR commission is an American and a woman. Since Mary Ann Gleandon is connected with Harvard University, I am thinking that this might have been a Cardinal O’Malley suggestion. It is my understanding that Francis has been in contact with his G8 advisors already.

(As an unrelated sidenote, I wonder if Cardinal Sean has received a personal PopeCall (TM). Considering the Pope seems to get a kick out of the astonished reactions on the other end of the line, I’m thinking that the Archdiocese of Boston probably has received such a call.)

Illinidiva on June 28, 2013 at 10:13 AM

True.

I think the commission is an Xcellent idea.

I also think there might be loads of interesting banking activity because of the Middle Eastern situation.

Some of it will be sanctioned by the Pope as funds are shifted to setup Humanitarian aid and apply pressure diplomatically to get refugees out of the region (A similar network was used during WWII)
and some of it might be stories like this one.

Of course the EU and the Italian Government would love to seize the Vatican Bank outright…But that’s an old story.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Right now the RCC is busy trying to deal with the plight of our sister churches in the middle east….They are being butchered.

A Monk was murdered last week defending Nuns under attack by Islamists at St. Anthony’s in Syria.

These Islamists are the ones Il Duce wants to give weapons to and they are slautering Christians throughout the region.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 10:31 AM

The last time this sort of thing was a common occurrence in that region, the result was the founding of a couple of monastic orders. That did more than just meditate.

It would be more than a little ironic if the Holy See were to call for the re-establishment of the Knights Hospitaler… and the Knights Templar.

The scary part is, it might really come to that. And it would be no Dan Brown novel.

clear ether

eon

eon on June 28, 2013 at 10:51 AM

A good start, but I’ll really start paying attention when he goes after the pedophiles and cuts them off at the knees. If he does not do that, all is for naught.

NavyMustang on June 28, 2013 at 10:51 AM

History is history … and it continues. From Marcinkus to protecting child molesters (and fleecing parishioners like my family members to pay the lawsuits) to helping Nazis escape … it goes on and on through history; the hierarchy betrays the parishioner.

And no, I won’t “shut up”. How about you find anything in the Bible that supports the the establishment of the Church’s hierarchy that exists seemingly for the glorification of some hypocrites in the Vatican?

M240H on June 28, 2013 at 10:16 AM

As a Catholic, I’m being “fleeced” too. But the Church depends on us parishioners for donations, and the victims, who rightfully ought to be made as whole as they can, depend on us too.

You are welcome to fulminate against those whose sins caused this, but the Church is not composed completely, or even mostly, of those people.

But that’s the point you are trying to make, is it not?

As for that point in the Bible which defines the reason for existence of the Church, I would say that Jesus’ charge to Peter is at the center of it. He has one of the Apostles stand before the others. In Paul’s writings, you find that the Church is not some communistic endeaver where everyone has an equal vote — it is quite hierarchical.

Indeed, history and Scripture does speak, but not as you want it to.

unclesmrgol on June 28, 2013 at 10:52 AM

If they’d just hurry up and excommunicate Nanzi Pelosi it would make my day or two.

viking01 on June 28, 2013 at 10:54 AM

eon on June 28, 2013 at 10:51 AM

The West lacks the will to mount another Crusade.

unclesmrgol on June 28, 2013 at 10:55 AM

If they’d just hurry up and excommunicate Nanzi Pelosi it would make my day or two.

viking01 on June 28, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Why did you leave out Joe Biden?

unclesmrgol on June 28, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Business. As. Usual.

The Church does do some good, but only from a self-interest, self-preservation position. And it has always been willing to operate outside the laws of any nation, which leads to silly little plots, outside of the grander schemes, that we see here.

M240H on June 28, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Sorry, this is just out of touch with reality.

It’s been clear from the beginning of Francis’ tenure that he is planning a thorough housecleaning of the Curia. He has also been talking the talk and walking the walk in terms of how he has conducted himself as Pope in comparison with previous pontiffs, as numerous news stories here ought to have pointed out to you.

Doomberg on June 28, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Even the disciples had their Judas and that was one out of 12. I’d say the RC church and most churches have a far better track record percentage-wise than that.

viking01 on June 28, 2013 at 10:05 AM

Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus (for money), also kept the purse of money donated to the Apostles, and the Apostle John wrote in his Gospel that Judas was a thief.

Jesus said that a man cannot serve both God and Mammon (money), and Scarano is a prime example of a man who stole money intended for God’s works for his selfish purposes. The temptation for men to steal money intended for charity is part of human nature, from Judas and the Pharisees and Romans of Jesus’ time, to today’s Church and the IRS and teacher’s unions and the UAW and socialist governments around the world.

Is this the real reason, why the previous head of church decided to spend more time with the family?

anikol on June 28, 2013 at 10:10 AM
It has been speculated that B16 knew that he didn’t have the personality or health to deal with the corruption (or the “gay lobby” that Francis discussed in the amusing leaked conversation a few weeks back.) B16 resigned to shake up the system. It allowed the reformers to get their guy elected.

Illinidiva on June 28, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Pope Benedict XVI worked actively to weed out priests who had sexually attacked children, and the bishops who had protected them, from the Church, and also worked to reform seminaries against the “gay lobby” that was pushing to accept far too many gay men into seminaries and the priesthood. A man who is not sexually attracted to other men finds the all-male environment of a seminary a good place to give up his sexuality for the service of God, but for a homosexual man, it is full of temptations, which a gay priest will tend to satisfy on unsuspecting boys later.

Pope Benedict XVI probably found himself too old and frail to continue this fight, and turned the Church over to a younger and healthier man of its choosing to continue his reforms.

Kudos to Pope Francis if he extends the reforms to weeding the thieves and “Judases” out of the Vatican’s financial offices, and returns the Church to its true mission.

Steve Z on June 28, 2013 at 11:00 AM

It has been speculated that B16 knew that he didn’t have the personality or health to deal with the corruption (or the “gay lobby” that Francis discussed in the amusing leaked conversation a few weeks back.) B16 resigned to shake up the system. It allowed the reformers to get their guy elected.

Illinidiva on June 28, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Benedict XVI started the reforms…He was firing bishops about once a month throughout his pontificate.

He was also closing corrupt monasteries and withdrawing Catholic Affiliation from Colleges and Universities who didn’t conform to Catholic Teaching.

He was also ordaining as many old school conservative Bishops as he could.

I think Benedict XVI made (or was inspired) a calculated decision to trust the selection of a Pope the people could rally around…and apparently the Holy Spirit was on the same page so to speak.

I also think Benedict XVI is working with Francis on these reforms and is readily made himself of service at the disposal of the Pope.

Benedict XVI said shortly before he retired…

“We will be a smaller and purer church”

Both Benedict XVI and Francis are deeply conservative…each in their own way but each compliments the other so to speak.

I expect Pope Francis to come down hard on these folks which is why these separatists have issued this statement.

“The Lefebvrist bishops save their harshest criticism to the Novus Ordo Mass, promulgated in 1969 by Pope Paul VI. “This Mass is penetrated with an ecumenical and Protestant spirit, democratic and humanist, which empties out the sacrifice of the Cross.”

The traditionalist bishops announce that, in practice, the dialogue with the Vatican is over and that from now on, they will wait “either when Rome returns to Tradition and to the Faith of all time – which would re-establish order in the Church.”

Or, “when she explicitly acknowledges our right to profess integrally the Faith and to reject the errors which oppose it, with the right and the duty for us to oppose publicly the errors and the proponents of these errors, whoever they may be – which would allow the beginning of a re-establishing of order.”

Meanwhile “we persevere in the defense of Catholic Tradition and our hope remains entire,” the statement concludes…”

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/traditionalists-announce-definitive-break-with-catholic-church/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+catholicnewsagency%2Fdailynews+%28CNA+Daily+News%29&utm_content=Google+Reader&utm_term=daily+news

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Both Benedict XVI and Francis are conservative…They just speak different symbolic languages, but the objective is overall a conservative one of reform.

Pope Francis will complete and publish Benedict XVI last encyclical…and that speaks volumes about a team effort.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Francis and Benedict are polar opposites.. Yes, Pope Francis is still a Catholic priest and isn’t going to start presiding over gay marriages. However, the style differences matter quite a bit because style is as important as substance. Francis has radically changed the papacy in less than four months. Even in terms of social teachings, there is a difference in emphasis. Pope Francis managed to celebrate a Mass about JPII’s famous encyclical on abortion a few weeks back without actually saying the words abortion. He also has not directly spoke about “gay marriage.” It is clear that he isn’t focused on the cultural wars.

Illinidiva on June 28, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Right now the RCC is busy trying to deal with the plight of our sister churches in the middle east….They are being butchered.

A Monk was murdered last week defending Nuns under attack by Islamists at St. Anthony’s in Syria.

These Islamists are the ones Il Duce wants to give weapons to and they are slautering Christians throughout the region.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 10:31 AM

The last time this sort of thing was a common occurrence in that region, the result was the founding of a couple of monastic orders. That did more than just meditate.

It would be more than a little ironic if the Holy See were to call for the re-establishment of the Knights Hospitaler… and the Knights Templar.

The scary part is, it might really come to that. And it would be no Dan Brown novel.

clear ether

eon

eon on June 28, 2013 at 10:51 AM

The Militant Orders serve at the discretion of the Pope.

There’s a lot we don’t know about cause it’s early.

But no I wouldn’t be surprised by it a bit.

Another interesting development is the drawing closer of the Eastern Churches back to the bosom of Rome…Only the Russians continue to balk…But the other Churches have openly supported Pope Francis and this is historic (They attended his Inaugural Mass) and important.

We are living in interesting times.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Both Benedict XVI and Francis are conservative…They just speak different symbolic languages, but the objective is overall a conservative one of reform.

Pope Francis will complete and publish Benedict XVI last encyclical…and that speaks volumes about a team effort.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Francis and Benedict are polar opposites.. Yes, Pope Francis is still a Catholic priest and isn’t going to start presiding over gay marriages. However, the style differences matter quite a bit because style is as important as substance. Francis has radically changed the papacy in less than four months. Even in terms of social teachings, there is a difference in emphasis. Pope Francis managed to celebrate a Mass about JPII’s famous encyclical on abortion a few weeks back without actually saying the words abortion. He also has not directly spoke about “gay marriage.” It is clear that he isn’t focused on the cultural wars.

Illinidiva on June 28, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Not really.

Style doesn’t equal substance.

But as usual…you are so anti-Benedict you miss the point.

Both Benedict XVI and Francis are on the same team.

You are naive to assume they are not.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 11:13 AM

It is clear that he isn’t focused on the cultural wars.

Illinidiva on June 28, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Pope Francis is letting the Bishops do that…many of those appointed by Benedict XVI.

He is currently focused on solidifying popular support of the people…because he will need it.

He will need it when he acts on the next phase of the plight of Middle Eastern Christians.

There’s gonna be a winnowing…

Yep!

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Pope Benedict XVI probably found himself too old and frail to continue this fight, and turned the Church over to a younger and healthier man of its choosing to continue his reforms.

Kudos to Pope Francis if he extends the reforms to weeding the thieves and “Judases” out of the Vatican’s financial offices, and returns the Church to its true mission.

Steve Z on June 28, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Agreed.

Interesting that we now have a Jesuit with Franciscan tendencies.

We are living in interesting times.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Why did you leave out Joe Biden?

unclesmrgol on June 28, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Oh, my list is a lot longer. As a non-RC I’m less aware of whom the central suspects for RC ex-com are.

I’d have ‘em excommunicate Al Franken & Chuck the Schmuck Schumer if they could… and Rubio , McVain and Governor Moonbeam, too. It could be like whack a mole only using the golden hook as a nightstick and the censer like a slingshot instead.

“Dohn’t mess with the Ex-communic-aaaa-toooor! Ah’ll be back!”

viking01 on June 28, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Why did you leave out Joe Biden?

unclesmrgol on June 28, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Oh, my list is a lot longer. As a non-RC I’m less aware of whom the central suspects for RC ex-com are.

I’d have ‘em excommunicate Al Franken & Chuck the Schmuck Schumer if they could… and Rubio , McVain and Governor Moonbeam, too. It could be like whack a mole only using the golden hook as a nightstick and the censer like a slingshot instead.

“Dohn’t mess with the Ex-communic-aaaa-toooor! Ah’ll be back!”

viking01 on June 28, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Follow the actions of the Bishops.

The Bishops are starting to go old school with both their rhetoric and their actions…much of which is not covered in mainstream media but is covered in Catholic Media.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 11:25 AM

If they’d just hurry up and excommunicate Nanzi Pelosi it would make my day or two.

viking01 on June 28, 2013 at 10:54 AM

I think that day is coming actually.

The West lacks the will to mount another Crusade.

unclesmrgol on June 28, 2013 at 10:55 AM

The West is corrupted by secularism.

A crusade is coming anyway…whether we want it or not.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 11:28 AM

viking01 on June 28, 2013 at 11:21 AM

As to Senor Rubio…He was raised a Catholic and now dances in evagelical churches.

So he straddles the fence so to speak…which is politically calculated.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 11:30 AM

“Dohn’t mess with the Ex-communic-aaaa-toooor! Ah’ll be back!”

viking01 on June 28, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Excommunication is not necessarily permanent. I agree with you about increased use of excommunication. It is a way of saying to the errant Catholic that their public announcement of what the Church believes is not in accord with reality.

Right now, the Catholic Church only excommunicates (other than ex latae sententiae) those Catholics who are in the clergy and who commit heresy or violate Canon Law.

I personally think that Catholic politicians who legislate against Jesus should be excommunicated as well. It would decrease their authority (at least amongst Catholics) significantly. For those who detest the Church, it would probably be a mark of approval…

But excommunication has never been meant as a punishment. It is to be used to force the person excommunicated to reflect upon that which has distanced them from the Church, and to allow them to consider what they would do to correct their behavior. For example, if Nancy Pelosi were to be excommunicated, she would no longer be able to receive the Sacraments (in her case Reconciliation and Communion) other than Anointing of the Sick, or to play any leadership role within her parish (such as performing the Readings or acting as a Eucharistic Minister). She would still be free to otherwise participate as a congregant in the Mass.

unclesmrgol on June 28, 2013 at 11:33 AM

A crusade is coming anyway…whether we want it or not.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 11:28 AM

We Christians have always been in the minority.

And as for what is coming, I would say it is already here — a “Crescade”.

unclesmrgol on June 28, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Follow the actions of the Bishops.

The Bishops are starting to go old school with both their rhetoric and their actions…much of which is not covered in mainstream media but is covered in Catholic Media.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 11:25 AM

I will believe it when all signatories to that odious letter from the Democratic Catholics of the House on the matter of “choice” are excommunicated.

And there is this:
http://www.lifenews.com/2013/06/20/priests-demand-pelosi-renounce-catholicism-after-abortion-is-sacred-ground-comment/

unclesmrgol on June 28, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Sounds like any political body trying to preserve its power.

Vince on June 28, 2013 at 10:13 AM

That’s the core of it. The Vatican is its own little nation, and it’s always been heavily involved in politics of other nations. It also has tons of money.

So yes, these kinds of things absolutely will happen. There have been corrupt priests for as long as there have been priests in the Catholic church. Some of the corruption is greed, some of it is pederasty, some of it is power.

The Catholic church decided to become a political entity, which was absolutely not the case in the early church, and that decision introduced a lot of corruption and consequences that go on to this day.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 28, 2013 at 11:41 AM

A crusade is coming anyway…whether we want it or not.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 11:28 AM

We Christians have always been in the minority.

And as for what is coming, I would say it is already here — a “Crescade”.

unclesmrgol on June 28, 2013 at 11:36 AM

The Jihad is here in the West and has been for a while.

The Crusade…is coming.

The Church is preparing for it and Francis is starting to rally the popular support of the people while building on the clerical support begun by Benedict XVI.

I guess we’ll see how things develop.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 11:41 AM

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 28, 2013 at 11:41 AM

Actually, the Vatican does not have “tons of money” — unless you count the materials in the City itself, which are, by their very nature, not convertible into cash.

What influence the Vatican has — it has because it is where the Pope lives, and it is the Pope who has the power.

When Stalin famously asked about how many divisions the Pope had, he was jesting, but the truth is that the Pope’s secular power derives from the respect others accord him, and he proves daily that such respect is indeed worth many divisions. His holy power derives from another source entirely.

unclesmrgol on June 28, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Sounds like any political body trying to preserve its power.

Vince on June 28, 2013 at 10:13 AM

That’s the core of it. The Vatican is its own little nation, and it’s always been heavily involved in politics of other nations. It also has tons of money.

So yes, these kinds of things absolutely will happen. There have been corrupt priests for as long as there have been priests in the Catholic church. Some of the corruption is greed, some of it is pederasty, some of it is power.

The Catholic church decided to become a political entity, which was absolutely not the case in the early church, and that decision introduced a lot of corruption and consequences that go on to this day.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 28, 2013 at 11:41 AM

This is indicative of not knowing history.

Christians have always been political.

Even within the Church…St. Paul & St. Peter…And they worked it out.

The Church (Early Christians) were martyred…and that isn’t political?

The Church (Early Christians) established churches, monasteries and charitable institutions (schools,hospitals,orphan and widow homes, etc.) throughout the Roman Empire…and that isn’t political?

It was these networks of Apostolic Ministries that preserved & defended the West as the Roman Empire crumbled…and that isn’t political?

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 11:49 AM

To point out the obvious the above Catholic basher is missing — the Church is supposed to operate outside the laws of any nation.

That is certainly the Catholic position. It’s also completely contrary to the Bible, which says that every soul must be subject to the higher powers. Certainly, the early church did not operate outside the laws of any nation.

As we’ve seen here, the laws often run quite against the teachings of Christianity.

unclesmrgol on June 28, 2013 at 9:54 AM

That’s always been the case, and always will be. But Romans 13 was written during the pagan Roman empire, and there was still no authorization to operate outside of its laws.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 28, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Actually, the Vatican does not have “tons of money” — unless you count the materials in the City itself, which are, by their very nature, not convertible into cash.

What influence the Vatican has — it has because it is where the Pope lives, and it is the Pope who has the power.

When Stalin famously asked about how many divisions the Pope had, he was jesting, but the truth is that the Pope’s secular power derives from the respect others accord him, and he proves daily that such respect is indeed worth many divisions. His holy power derives from another source entirely.

unclesmrgol on June 28, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Yep.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 11:51 AM

To point out the obvious the above Catholic basher is missing — the Church is supposed to operate outside the laws of any nation.

That is certainly the Catholic position. It’s also completely contrary to the Bible, which says that every soul must be subject to the higher powers. Certainly, the early church did not operate outside the laws of any nation.

As we’ve seen here, the laws often run quite against the teachings of Christianity.

unclesmrgol on June 28, 2013 at 9:54 AM

That’s always been the case, and always will be. But Romans 13 was written during the pagan Roman empire, and there was still no authorization to operate outside of its laws.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 28, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Christ gave Peter what authority he needed to be the Shepherd of his flock.

Apostolic Succession.

Being a Christian was an illegal and dangerous heresy in both Israel and Rome.

The Church has seen many Neros in her long history.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 11:55 AM

I wonder how many of those bemoaning the “Vatican’s riches” are the same folks chastising the left for using “envy” (soak the rich) as campaign fuel?

Don L on June 28, 2013 at 11:56 AM

I wonder how many of those bemoaning the “Vatican’s riches” are the same folks chastising the left for using “envy” (soak the rich) as campaign fuel?

Don L on June 28, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Interesting question that…

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 11:58 AM

This is indicative of not knowing history.

Really? Let’s see.

Christians have always been political.

Already wrong. The early church had absolutely no political power. You’re trying to broaden “political” to mean every possible dispute between people, where I’m referring to seeking political power.

Even within the Church…St. Paul & St. Peter…And they worked it out.

Nope. Paul disputed with Peter because Peter catered to a group of people that wanted the Gentiles to adopt all Jewish customs, even though they had already settled that issue at the first council of Jerusalem.

The Church (Early Christians) were martyred…and that isn’t political?

Oh, come on and be serious. The first martyrs were not martyred by the early church. They were martyred by political authorities. That just means political authorities are political, which is a tautology.

The Church (Early Christians) established churches, monasteries and charitable institutions (schools,hospitals,orphan and widow homes, etc.) throughout the Roman Empire…and that isn’t political?

Churches? Not political institutions, so non-political. Church ministries fall under the churches, so not political.

The Catholic church didn’t get into the political game until Constantine.

It was these networks of Apostolic Ministries that preserved & defended the West as the Roman Empire crumbled…and that isn’t political?

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 11:49 AM

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 28, 2013 at 11:59 AM

It was these networks of Apostolic Ministries that preserved & defended the West as the Roman Empire crumbled…and that isn’t political?

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 11:49 AM

Left off the end response.

The Catholic church was into political power by the end of the Roman Empire, so yes, at that point, it was very political.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 28, 2013 at 12:01 PM

As to Senor Rubio…He was raised a Catholic and now dances in evagelical churches.

So he straddles the fence so to speak…which is politically calculated.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Latim American Catholicism is very close in style to Evangelical Protestantism. I attend a Spanish Mass and there is a lot of active participation.. clapping and singing, etc. There was a bilingual Mass celebrating the parish’s 125th year anniversary a few weeks back and it was much more subdued. Rubio considers himself a faithful Catholic and apparently attends Mass when in DC. However, it is easy to see how he can relate to both an Evangelical Baptist church as well as a Latino-inspired Catholic Church. His wife is Baptist and the children also seem to all attend that church, so Rubio goes to both.

I think that this is really the best way to understand Francis as well. He is Latin American populist and is very steeped in that flavor of Catholicism. It is very mystically inspired and very exuberant. There is a huge Evangelical flavor in Catholicisim in the Global South. This is why Francis feels greatly at home among different Protestant groups and what inspires his liturgical choices.

Illinidiva on June 28, 2013 at 12:02 PM

the Institute for Religious Works (IOR in Italian),

APSA, which is distinct from the IOR.

the Holy See Press Office,

Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA),

Regulations of the Roman Curia,

the AIF (the Vatican Financial Information Authority),

the Vatican bank, known as the Institute for Religious Works. …

so-called “advisory board” of eight cardinals

the chirograph, an official document of Medieval origins.

“board” of five members to “harmonize the institute with the universal mission of the Apostolic See.”

Whew! Whatever happened to “Thou art Peter and upon this rock thou will build my church”? They even have their own “gang of eight!” Sounds like any political body trying to preserve its power.

Vince on June 28, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Yep, it all started with that early “bishop” Judas Iscariot, hand picked by Christ, who played greed games for 30 pieces of silver.
Seems that dirty deal ended up with no less than the salvation of mankind.
If Judas was a liberal politician, I’d suspect that he’d claim he did the dirty deed to help mankind.

Don L on June 28, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Already wrong. The early church had absolutely no political power. You’re trying to broaden “political” to mean every possible dispute between people, where I’m referring to seeking political power.

You argue the fallacy that acting political = accumulation of political power which is does not.

The Church since Pentecost has engaged in counter cultural subversive to authority activity by spreading the Gospel and establishing the apostolic ministries throughout the Roman Empire.

This is the essence of the Church and it is her mission.

Perhaps you might investigate what The Church Militant means…

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Left off the end response.

The Catholic church was into political power by the end of the Roman Empire, so yes, at that point, it was very political.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 28, 2013 at 12:01 PM

The Church filled a vacuum.

Something always fills the vacuum when the old established order crumbles.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Not really.

Style doesn’t equal substance.

But as usual…you are so anti-Benedict you miss the point.

Both Benedict XVI and Francis are on the same team.

You are naive to assume they are not.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Yeah.. I insist on reading Francis through Francis unlike certain huckster Internet priests.

The two are clearly stylistically different and those style differences are important. I don’t think that Francis’ successor will be able to get rid of some of the innovations without getting a lot of bad press. I also don’t think that Francis’ actions have been a Machivellian plot to gain popularity. While the leaked CLAR conversation shows someone who is very shrewd and well-informed, I don’t think that there is any deeper meaning here. Francis just liked the way things worked back in Buenos Aires and wants this to continue.

Illinidiva on June 28, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Yeah.. I insist on reading Francis through Francis unlike certain huckster Internet priests.

The two are clearly stylistically different and those style differences are important. I don’t think that Francis’ successor will be able to get rid of some of the innovations without getting a lot of bad press. I also don’t think that Francis’ actions have been a Machivellian plot to gain popularity. While the leaked CLAR conversation shows someone who is very shrewd and well-informed, I don’t think that there is any deeper meaning here. Francis just liked the way things worked back in Buenos Aires and wants this to continue.

Illinidiva on June 28, 2013 at 12:15 PM

I didn’t say Francis was engaged in a Machiavellian plot.

Sheesh!

The Pope is both a spiritual and political position within and outside the church.

If Pope Francis is especially good at rallying popular support of the people…that is a good thing cause he’ll need it.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 12:20 PM

You argue the fallacy that acting political = accumulation of political power which is does not.

I believe that was your argument, by listing various things as political that had absolutely nothing to do with claiming political power.

The Church since Pentecost has engaged in counter cultural subversive to authority activity by spreading the Gospel and establishing the apostolic ministries throughout the Roman Empire.

This is the essence of the Church and it is her mission.

It’s hard to make preaching the Gospel and telling people to be submissive to “the powers that be” somehow “subversive to authority.”

Perhaps you might investigate what The Church Militant means…

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 12:07 PM

“Church Militant” is not a term found in the Bible.

The position of the early church was the same as when Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”

But the Catholic position has long been that God gave the Church two swords: one of spiritual power, and one of political (temporal) power. This was not the doctrine of the early church.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 28, 2013 at 12:23 PM

Yeah.. I insist on reading Francis through Francis unlike certain huckster Internet priests.
Illinidiva on June 28, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Father Z spanked you on his blog eh?

*snicker*

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 12:23 PM

Left off the end response.

The Catholic church was into political power by the end of the Roman Empire, so yes, at that point, it was very political.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 28, 2013 at 12:01 PM

The Church filled a vacuum.

Something always fills the vacuum when the old established order crumbles.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Yes, it did. And one could argue that with the dissolution of the Roman Empire, the attempt to “fill the vacuum” by having popes endorse certain kings as the “Holy Roman Emperor” was a real attempt to preserve civilization.

It also led to giving political power to popes, which led to political corruption in the Catholic church.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 28, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Sunlight. Good disinfectant!

The Church is well ahead of the United States government, where the only person so far in trouble over Benghazi is the whistleblower and no one at all is in trouble for the IRS torture of citizen groups, the multiple NSA failures in hiring and supervising an employee now traitor to the country or anyone from EPA, OSHA or DOL in harassing donors to the Romney election effort.

Pope Francis is walking the walk, while TFG just talks and talks.

MTF on June 28, 2013 at 12:26 PM

“Church Militant” is not a term found in the Bible.

The position of the early church was the same as when Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”

But the Catholic position has long been that God gave the Church two swords: one of spiritual power, and one of political (temporal) power. This was not the doctrine of the early church.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 28, 2013 at 12:23 PM

Golly…You were present at Pentecost?

You were present during St. Peter’s Papacy?

The Church holds Tradition = to Scripture…otherwise there is an incomplete understanding.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Yes, it did. And one could argue that with the dissolution of the Roman Empire, the attempt to “fill the vacuum” by having popes endorse certain kings as the “Holy Roman Emperor” was a real attempt to preserve civilization.

It also led to giving political power to popes, which led to political corruption in the Catholic church.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 28, 2013 at 12:26 PM

The Church tried to establish Christendom.

They largely succeeded in the West for quite a while.

As to giving political power to the Popes…they already had it.

As King Henry VIII has figured out as he no doubt roasts…But that’s another story.

JPII lifted the excommunication of Martin Luther however…Fun Times.

Steady progress is being made on a Lutheran Ordinate like the Anglican one instituted by Bendict XVI…Gotta give some folks a place to go…

so there’s that.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Pope Francis is walking the walk
MTF on June 28, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Indeed.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Father Z spanked you on his blog eh?

*snicker*

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 12:23 PM

Umm.. I’d never comment on that idiot’s blog. However, it does equally disturb and amuse me that this man was allowed to be ordained as a priest. Does he actually have a job or does he just post on his blog and get gullible people to donate money to him?

I actually have read alot of the traditionalist blogs since the great “lady-foot washing” scandal just because I enjoy reading their confusion over Pope Francis. I find Father Z hilarious because of the contortions that he has done since Bergoglio’s election. It must be very confusing for him. I believe that God is trying to give traditionalists a hint through Francis’ election and hope that they come to some understanding.

As for my dislike of Benedict, I don’t. I’m sure he was a lovely man who should have retired to Munich and wrote his Jesus books rather than being pope. I don’t think that he had a grasp about the main concerns facing the Catholic Church and he was overwhelmed by the responsibilities of the job. He focused solely on very nitpick-y things while the Vatican burned and enabled very unpleasant people (Cardinal Burke for instance.) Francis is much, much better at the job. I think that the comparisons of him with John XXIII are quite accurate.

Illinidiva on June 28, 2013 at 12:41 PM

“Church Militant” is not a term found in the Bible…

But the Catholic position has long been that God gave the Church two swords: one of spiritual power, and one of political (temporal) power. This was not the doctrine of the early church.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 28, 2013 at 12:23 PM

“Speaking of full membership in the Church, Pius XII, in his Encyclical on the Mystical Body, said it is the society of those who have been baptized, and who profess the faith of Christ, and who are governed by their bishops under the visible head, the Pope, the Bishop of Rome.

The Church came into being when Christ died on the Cross, but it was formally inaugurated on Pentecost, when He sent the Holy Spirit as He had promised. St. Paul speaks of all Christians as members of Christ, so that with Him, they form one Mystical Body (Cf. 1 Cor 12:12-31; Col 1:18; 2:18-20; Eph. 1:22-23; 3:19; 4:13). St. Paul did not use the word Mystical. It was developed more recently to bring out the fact that this union is unique, there is no parallel to it. It is not the same as the union of a physical body, nor that of a business corporation.

The Church, the Mystical Body, exists on this earth, and is called the Church militant, because its members struggle against the world, the flesh and the devil. The Church suffering means the souls in Purgatory. The Church triumphant is the Church in heaven. The unity and cooperation of the members of the Church on earth, in Purgatory, in Heaven is also called the Communion of Saints. When St. Paul uses the word “Saints” in opening an Epistle, he does not mean they are morally perfect. He has in mind Hebrew qadosh, which means set aside for God, or coming under the covenant. Being such means of course they are called to moral perfection. But of course, not all have reached it in this world.

The word “Saint” in the modern sense means someone who has been canonized by the Church in recent times, or was accepted as such by the Church in earlier times. If a person is shown to have practiced heroic virtue–beyond what people in general do – in all virtues, the title “Venerable” is given; with two miracles by that one’s intercession, the title is “Blessed”; two more miracles can lead to canonization and the title of Saint.

http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/chura1.htm

Sometimes the Church takes up the literal sword to defend her flock against Evil.

This is the doctrine of Just War written by St. Augustine.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 12:49 PM

“Church Militant” is not a term found in the Bible.

The position of the early church was the same as when Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”

But the Catholic position has long been that God gave the Church two swords: one of spiritual power, and one of political (temporal) power. This was not the doctrine of the early church.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 28, 2013 at 12:23 PM

Golly…You were present at Pentecost?

Now you’re being silly. The apostles were present. The book of Acts covers the early history of the church. The epistles of Paul, James, Peter, and Jude cover the early doctrine of the church. And since we’re discussing political power, are you really going to claim that Pentecost is relevant to the discussion? What political power was claimed at Pentecost?

You were present during St. Peter’s Papacy?

Funny how there’s no record of Peter’s papacy in the book of Acts, or any of the epistles. Also funny how the New Testament never indicates that any church had a position of hierarchy over any other church, or that there was any intention of establishing one church over another.

So not only was I not present during Peter’s papacy, it’s doubtful that Peter ever went to Rome.

The Church holds Tradition = to Scripture…otherwise there is an incomplete understanding.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Exactly my point. Much of Catholic doctrine is based on tradition rather than scripture, which can be usefully defined as non-scriptural teachings accepted by the Catholic church. Catholics can hardly expect those who are not Catholic themselves to also accept their traditions.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 28, 2013 at 12:53 PM

As for my dislike of Benedict, I don’t. I’m sure he was a lovely man who should have retired to Munich and wrote his Jesus books rather than being pope. I don’t think that he had a grasp about the main concerns facing the Catholic Church and he was overwhelmed by the responsibilities of the job. He focused solely on very nitpick-y things while the Vatican burned and enabled very unpleasant people (Cardinal Burke for instance.) Francis is much, much better at the job. I think that the comparisons of him with John XXIII are quite accurate.

Illinidiva on June 28, 2013 at 12:41 PM

You’re a liberal catholic.

Has it ever occurred to you that Benedict XVI prevented a schism?

nah…you just don’t like Latin or maybe it’s Germans.

Whatever.

Pope Francis is keeping Benedict XVI close at hand cause he likes him and needs him.

Nothing wrong with that…in fact it’s smart policy and they probably have lunch or something together whenever they want to.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 12:54 PM

So not only was I not present during Peter’s papacy, it’s doubtful that Peter ever went to Rome.

The Church holds Tradition = to Scripture…otherwise there is an incomplete understanding.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Exactly my point. Much of Catholic doctrine is based on tradition rather than scripture, which can be usefully defined as non-scriptural teachings accepted by the Catholic church. Catholics can hardly expect those who are not Catholic themselves to also accept their traditions.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 28, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Really…Then who is buried underneath the Vatican?

Who is buried in St. Paul’s tomb?

It’s OK if you cling to Protestant Dogma cause it works for ya and hey This is America.

*shrug*

I don’t care really…But when you utter historical falsehoods a Catholic will answer them.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Exactly my point. Much of Catholic doctrine is based on tradition rather than scripture…
There Goes the Neighborhood on June 28, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Catholic Tradition never contradicts Scripture.

But for Protestants revisionist theology is the name of the game and has been since the beginning.

That battle was fought a long time ago…and you have your multitudes of protestant denominations and freedom to interpret scripture as much as you like…May God Bless ya.

I’m not gonna try and persuade you why should I…But I will correct inaccuracies about Catholicism when I can.

: )

I’ll stay Catholic thanks.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Exactly my point. Much of Catholic doctrine is based on tradition rather than scripture…
There Goes the Neighborhood on June 28, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Catholic Tradition never contradicts Scripture.

But for Protestants revisionist theology is the name of the game and has been since the beginning.

That battle was fought a long time ago…and you have your multitudes of protestant denominations and freedom to interpret scripture as much as you like…May God Bless ya.

I’m not gonna try and persuade you why should I…But I will correct inaccuracies about Catholicism when I can.

: )

I’ll stay Catholic thanks.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 1:05 PM

How could Catholic tradition contradict Scripture, when you can just reinterpret the Scripture to remove the conflict?

For instance, the doctrine that Mary is a Perpetual Virgin definitely contradicts the two Gospels that name James, Joses, Simon, and Judas as his brethren. Therefore, the Catholic church considers “brethren” in this case to be “cousins.”

But the bigger problem with tradition is the number of things that are just added to Scripture. For instance, monasteries, nuns, hierarchy of churches, papacy, Purgatory, Limbo, Perpetual Virginity of Mary, Mary as the Co-Redeemer, celibacy of clergy, indulgences, transubstantiation, etc. Then there’s the very strange interpretation of original sin that suggests sex between husband and wife is actually sinful, but allowed by God as long as it’s for the purpose of procreation, even though the actual Scripture says “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled.”

And, to bring the discussion back to point, the idea that the Church is supposed to hold some form of political power.

My point, though, is not to argue the correctness of these doctrines, even though I am quite comfortable in rejecting them.

I’m simply pointing out that the adoption of political power lends itself to corruption.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 28, 2013 at 1:54 PM

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 28, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Typical protestant sophistry…tedious but I hope you feel better.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 2:27 PM

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 28, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Typical protestant sophistry…tedious but I hope you feel better.

workingclass artist on June 28, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Name-calling. How nice.

No, sophistry was claiming that the Roman Empire putting Christians to death meant the church was political.

There Goes the Neighborhood on June 28, 2013 at 5:05 PM

There is a great movie tonight on EWTN Pius XII And The Holocaust: The Secret History Of Great Rescue
Sat. Jun. 29 at 6:30 PM ET

and read Disinformation</em> http://www.wnd.com/disinformation/

I sure wish the President wouldn’t call us the terriosts.

cw on June 29, 2013 at 1:46 PM