Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Top Pope Ally Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga urges Vatican Doctrine Chief Müller to Loosen Up

00 Pope Francisco Bergoglio. 19.09.13


On Monday, Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, an influential aide to Pope Francisco Bergoglio, criticised Vatican doctrinal watchdog Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller and urged the conservative prelate to be more flexible about reforms being discussed in the Catholic Church. Rodríguez, the head of a “kitchen cabinet” the pope created to draw up reform proposals, said that Müller… who opposes any loosening of church rules on divorce… was a classic German theology professor who thought too much in rigid black-and-white terms. In a rare public criticism amongst senior church figures, Rodríguez rhetorically addressed Müller in an interview with the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, saying, “The world isn’t like that, my brother. You should be more flexible when you hear other voices, so you don’t just listen and say, ‘Here’s the wall’”. Rodríguez, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa in Honduras, didn’t cite any possible reforms in particular, but said the pope’s critics, such as those upset by his attacks on capitalism, were “people who don’t understand reality”.

Former Pope Benedict XVI Ratzinger picked Müller in 2012 to head the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the successor office to the Inquisition. Benedict ran that office as the powerful and feared guardian of Church orthodoxy for 24 years as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, until his election as pope in 2005. However, its influence waned under Francisco, who soon after his March 2013 election reportedly told visiting Latin American priests and nuns not to worry if the CDF wrote to them criticising what they were doing.

In an article in the Vatican daily last October, Müller firmly rejected growing demands for the Catholic Church to reinstate divorced and remarried Catholics as full members of the Church. At present, the Catholic Church excludes Catholics who divorce and remarry in a civil ceremony from communion because the Catholic Church teaches that Christ declared marriage an indissoluble bond. With divorce on the rise, more Catholics are asking Rome to show mercy for them. German bishops have been in the forefront of reform thinking and one archdiocese even published guidelines on how to readmit them, which prompted Müller’s article. The Vatican is due to consider reforming its rules on divorce at a worldwide synod of bishops next October.

Müller also strongly defended Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, who reaped stiff criticism from German Catholics, earning the title “luxury bishop” in the media after it came out that he spent at least 30 million Euros (1.38 billion Roubles. 40.7 million USD. 45 million CAD. 46 million AUD. 24.5 million UK Pounds) on a new residential complex. Tebartz-van Elst’s grand plans were so far from the modest approach favoured by the Argentine-born pontiff that Rome sent an envoy to inspect his diocese and later sent him off to a monastery for a leave of absence pending a final decision. Rodríguez didn’t think Tebartz-van Elst would return as Bishop of Limburg and said that Latin Americans like himself and the pope found it hard to understand spending so much money for opulent features such as a 15,000-Euro (690,000 Roubles. 20,350 USD. 22,500 CAD. 23,000 AUD. 12,250 UK Pounds) free-standing bathtub, dryly observing, “For most people, a shower and a toilet are enough. They’re enough for the pope in his three-room apartment, too”.

20 January 2014

Tom Heneghan



Editor’s Note:

George Weigel is having conniptions, isn’t he? Boo-hoo! He and all the other righties are shown up to be “cafeteria Catholics” (they’re going to pick n’ choose what they’re going to believe… what a scream! They truly don’t like it when we turn their own wacko verbiage against them… watch ‘em squirm!). Francisco is turning out to be a real Albino Luciani (Pope John Paul I). Only this time, he didn’t die after a VERY short reign. As for me, I believe that Luciani died a very natural death, as his health wasn’t the best. I don’t favour conspiracy theories… sometimes, shit just happens, and there’s no cabal behind it (although the Curia IS a snake-pit full of ambitious and unscrupulous SOBs, to be sure… just as our First Families are, to be frank). Conspiracy theorists bore me… they should get lives… that’d take up their time, wouldn’t it?


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Saturday, 28 December 2013

Who’s More Fallible on Economics: Paul Ryan or Pope Francisco?

00 Mother Jones to Wet Willy Romney. 28.12.13


Last week, US Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) said about Pope Francisco Bergoglio, the head of the Catholic Church, “The guy’s from Argentina; they haven’t had real capitalism in Argentina”. With a wave of Ryan’s hand, he swept away the tension between his political stance and his faith… the conduit of an omniscient God simply doesn’t know what real capitalism looks like. As Politico pointed up, Pope Francisco keeps saying things that are outside the Republican Party‘s economic worldview. In November, we figured that Francisco’s criticism of capitalism might bring him into tension with Ryan; after all, saying that trickle-down economics “expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralised workings of the prevailing economic system” essentially condemns Ryan’s political orthodoxy.

Ryan offered his response in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel… somewhat amusingly focused on his support for a casino in the state. He said, “The guy’s from Argentina; they haven’t had real capitalism in Argentina. They have crony capitalism in Argentina. They don’t have a true free enterprise system”. Ryan seems to suggest that one can’t comment on another country’s economic system without having lived there for an extended period. Francisco’s social views aren’t a small problem for American conservatives. Earlier this month, NBC and The Wall Street Journal polled Americans on their views about the new pope. Nearly two-thirds of Democrats approved of the job he’s doing; fewer than half of Republicans did. Religion is central in much of American conservative philosophy, so, having the leader of one particularly influential religion directly attacking the GOP‘s economic ideology could leave rightwingers a bit unsettled.

For Ryan, it’s particularly bad. As 2016 approaches, he’s trying to reposition himself as a champion of the poor, even earning a laudatory profile in BuzzFeed for his efforts. As Jonathan Chait points up in New York, Ryan’s born-again commitment to the poor isn’t a new talking point. In Chait’s words, “It might seem odd that Ryan’s determination to keep his love of the poor quiet would nevertheless leak out in the media, over and over again. It’s impossible to disprove the suggestion that Ryan has grown obsessed with helping the poor. However, what exactly does this mean? He’s devoted his entire career to policies that would, as first-order effects, increase the incomes of the rich, and decrease the incomes of the poor. Ryan has always argued that the first-order effects are less important than the deeper incentives he’d unleash… cutting taxes for the rich and reducing subsidies for the poor would make both work harder”.

Those are the sort of policies Pope Francisco explicitly commented upon. To which Ryan feebly responds, “Yeah, well, Argentina’s lame”. As he puts together his presidential campaign team, expect to see a staff member whose only job is to keep an eye out for white smoke coming from a chimney in St Peter’s Square.

26 December 2013

Philip Bump

The Wire


Editor’s Note:

Francisco Bergoglio tied up the Righties’ nicks in a knot. They make all kinds of noise about how “religious” they are… now, one of the most major religious figures in the world says, in essence, “Thou fools and hypocrites! Depart from me and go into the outer darkness where there’s wailing and gnashing of teeth, to your father in Hell”. Ryan’s particularly torpedoed… he’s revealed as a piss-poor Catholic who believes more in Ayn Rand’s maunderings than in the teachings of Our Lord Christ. Since he spits on Our Lord Christ… is Dolan going to refuse Ryan communion publicly for attacking the Catholic Church’s teachings and its leader? Don’t hold your breath… the Catholic hierarchy doesn’t take the “seamless garment” concept seriously any more… it’s become a “tattered garment”, as they obsequiously repeat the Republican Party’s godless Me First ideology. It’s why I’ll have nothing to do with the so-called US “Pro-Life” movement.

One of the main reasons why Democrats favour Pope Francisco is that there’s a higher percentage of Catholics in Democratic ranks than there are in the Republican Party. The GOP has made itself into a “sectarian-friendly” body, which means that it has a very high proportion of anti-Catholic Know Nothings amongst its base. It’s become the default Party of Evangelicals, Mormons, and other sectarians. Ergo, of course, they don’t like Francisco. They’re nutters who believe that the Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon (and that all of the rest of us will roast in Hell after the Judgement). Therefore, the Republican reaction against the pope is more a result of their religious lunacy, not their politics (which is why Orthodox shouldn’t have anything to do with Evangelicals and their ilk).

Yes, the Righties are “religious”… but without any relation to Real Christianity, the Real Church, or the Real Christ (Jayzuss isn’t Jesus… do ponder that). Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity…. don’t forget WHO said that…



Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Krakow Archbishop Stanisław Dziwisz Invites Patriarch Kirill to World Youth Day

01 kathryn_archdiocese_of_brisbane in rome


Editor’s Note:

No notice of this in the usual Russian sources, so, the zapadniki got skunked by the Blunder yet again. When will they find out that he speaks only for himself and not for HH? There’s wishful thinking on the banks of the Tiber. They really think that we’re game for a Unia. Think again. All that’s on offer is the same old thing… no thanks, we’re not going to kiss the Pope’s bum, thank you very much. When will they ever learn? That’s not said out of hatred… we are what we are, and we’re NOT Catholics, and that’s that (if they can understand that, we can line up some old-school human decency, which is better than any “False Union“).



World Youth Day 2016, set for Kraków in Poland, might be the site of a historical meeting between Pope Francisco Bergoglio and Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias. At least, that’s what Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, Archbishop of Kraków, hopes for. The former secretary of Pope John Paul II Wojtyła extended an invitation to Patriarch Kirill during a meeting with Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, chairman of the MP Department of External Church Relations (OVTsS). According to an AFP report, Cardinal Dziwisz expressed his desire for the historical meeting to take place in Kraków during a press conference. He noted that a meeting between the Pope of Rome and the Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias would be more realistic and less problematic in Kraków. Given that World Youth Day is less than three years away, there’s ample time to organise such an event. The meeting would continue to improve the relations between the two bodies. There’s no word as to whether Patriarch Kirill accepted the invitation.

2 December 2013



Koch Sez Meeting between the Pope and Patriarch would be an Event of Historic Proportions and Needs Careful Preparation

00 St Peter's Square. Rome. 29.08.13


Editor’s Note:

There’s much noise in Catholic circles about a possible meeting of HH with the Pope of Rome. Well, there’s nothing on patriarchia.ru, and this is all that’s up on Interfax. In short, it’s no big deal at the Centre, and the announcement’s weasel words seem to confirm that. It needs “careful preparation”… that means that nothing’s arranged and there’s no meeting set. Sorry, CharlieAsiaNews gets the cardboard box again as HH rides off with the bike… they really should stop listening to the Blunder… silly wabbits…



On Monday, Cardinal Kurt Koch, the head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said that the preparations for a meeting of Francisco the Pope of Rome and Patriarch Kirill are more important than the meeting itself, telling reporters, “Preparing for the meeting is more important than the meeting itself. This is an event of historic proportions, and we need to prepare for it, for it’s very important”. He noted that relationships between Catholics and Orthodox are improving, saying, “I’m happy with it. We understand each other better, as we hold common views on some issues”. On Wednesday, Koch will meet with Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias.

16 December 2013



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