Voices from Russia

Friday, 5 April 2013

Pope Francisco Vows to Grapple with Sex Abuse

00 Pope Francisco Bergoglio. 14.03.13


On Friday, Pope Francisco Bergoglio urged Vatican congregations to act “with determination” against sexual abuse committed by members of the Catholic clergy, the Holy See said in a statement, the pope’s first public pronouncement on the topic. The Vatican said, referring to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which handles such cases, after the pope met with its director, “In particular, the Holy Father asked that the congregation … act with determination in cases of sexual abuse”.

The Catholic Archbishop of Durban, Wilfrid Fox Napier, described paedophilia as a psychological “illness, not a criminal condition”. The South African cardinal told the BBC that people who were themselves abused as children, and, then, abused others, need to be examined by doctors. He was one of 115 cardinals who took part in the Vatican conclave that elected Pope Francisco.

Recently, clerical sexual abuse scandals have dogged the Catholic Church. In an interview with the Stephen Nolan programme on BBC Radio 5 Live, Cardinal Napier referred to paedophilia as “a psychological condition, a disorder. What do you do with disorders? You’ve got to try and put them right. If I… as a normal being… choose to break the law, knowing that I’m breaking the law, then I think I need to be punished”. He said he knew at least two priests, who became paedophiles after themselves being abused as children, adding, “Now, don’t tell me that those people are criminally responsible like somebody who chooses to do something like that. I don’t think you can really take the position and say that person deserves to be punished. He was himself damaged”.

Cardinal Napier’s comments triggered immediate criticism. Barbara Dorries, who was abused by a priest when she was a child, works for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, based in Chicago IL. She told the BBC, “If it’s a disease, that’s fine, but it’s also a crime, and crimes are punished, criminals are held accountable for what they did and what they do. The bishops and the cardinals have gone to great lengths to cover these crimes to enable the predators to move on, to not be arrested, and to keep the secrets within the church”.

Michael Walsh, who wrote a biography of late Pope John Paul II Wojtyła, said Cardinal Napier’s remarks were similar to the position once taken by the Catholic Church in the UK and the USA. Mr Walsh told the BBC, “At one time, they actually believed it was a condition that could be dealt with. Many bishops were simply moving priests and trying to disguise the fact that they’d been committing these crimes”. Marie Collins, who was a victim of abuse, told the BBC, “I think it’s appalling that we have a cardinal, a man at this level in the church, that can still hold these views. He’s totally ignoring the child”.

16 March/5 April 2013

Voice of Russia World Service




Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Pope Francisco Refuses to Live in Spacious Papal Apartment

00 Pope Francisco Bergoglio. 16.03.13


On Tuesday, citing his spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi, the BBC reported that Pope Francisco Bergoglio opted to stay at a modest two-room residence instead of moving to the grand papal apartment on the top floor of the Vatican‘s Apostolic Palace. Pope Francisco decided to stay in the Domus Sanctæ Marthæ hotel-style residence inside Vatican City, where he lived with other cardinals during the conclave that saw him elected earlier this month. The BBC quoted Lombardi as saying, “This morning, he let his fellow cardinals know that he’d keep living with them for a certain period of time”. Lombardi explained the pope’s decision as a desire for “a simple life” and said that Pope Francisco would live there for “a certain period of time”. In refusing to move to the palatial penthouse apartment with more than a dozen rooms, staff quarters, and a large terrace, Pope Francisco broke an over-century-old tradition. On March 13, a conclave of cardinals elected Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires the 266th Pope of Rome, becoming the first Latin American to lead the Catholic Church.

27 March 2013



Thursday, 21 March 2013

Pope to Celebrate Mass in Youth Prison on Holy Thursday

00 Pope Francisco Bergoglio. 14.03.13


On Thursday, the Vatican said in a statement that Pope Francisco Bergoglio would celebrate Mass next week, before Catholic Easter, in a youth detention centre in Rome, during which he’d wash the feet of prisoners. The Vatican said the Holy Thursday Mass would continue Bergoglio’s tradition as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, when he served Mass in prisons, hospitals, and nursing homes.

21 March 2013

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

All leftists should note that Pope Francisco is a strong advocate of social justice and economic equity. That means that semi-Republican pukes like Dolan and O’Malley should halt their smarmy and underhanded support of the Republican Anti-Life Programme… but they won’t. Let God see and judge…


Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Pope Francisco Enthroned

00 Pope Francisco Bergoglio. 19.03.13


On Tuesday, Pope Francisco Bergoglio was enthroned in the Vatican as the 266th Pope of Rome. After accepting the key symbols of the papacy… the Fisherman’s Ring and the pallium… the pope, former Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio addressed the thousands of believers gathered in St Peter’s Square, many of whom waited hours for the ceremony and a glimpse of the new pope. Pope Francisco, clad in white papal robes, looked slightly embarrassed as he toured the square in his open popemobile, with the usual bulletproof glass screens removed. He gave his greetings to all who approached him. Even at such a time, the head of the entire Catholic world did an amazing thing. Seeing a disabled man, he ordered the car to pull over, and he got out to greet him. The crowd burst into a storm of applause.

Ricardo, a self-described staunch atheist, shared his impressions of the pope’s inauguration with VOR, “I’ve always been remote from religion and faith. However, when the conclave elected Pope Francisco, and when I saw him on television, it deeply affected me. That’s why I decided to come here today… to greet the new pope. For me, it’s a historic moment, and it may even be a turning point in my life”. There were flags of many countries, greetings in hundreds of languages, smiles of joy wreathed every face in sight… then, the gathered crowd began to shout, “Viva il Papa Francisco! (Long Live Pope Francisco!)”. His presence seemed to revive the faith and hopes of all those present on the Square. Firanella, a resident of Venice, was very excited and emotional as she said, “I admire him so much that I don’t have the words to express it. Until now, I was very critical of faith and religion, so, I almost never went to church, but now I’ve decided to come back to faith definitively. Pope Francisco led me back”.

One could watch the entire inauguration in St Peter’s Basilica on large screens installed in the square. One could see the solemn procession of the cardinals, the vesting of the new pope in his papal vestments, and the prayer of Pope Francisco at the tomb of Apostle St Peter. Later, on the square itself, in a modest ceremony, Pope Francisco received the principal symbols of his office… the Fisherman’s Ring and the papal pallium. The Fisherman’s Ring made for Pope Francisco isn’t made of solid gold, it’s fashioned from gold-plated silver. Sceptics dismissed the pontiff’s modesty as an affectation. They said that it was only a sham… done to appeal to the hoi polloi. Others feared that Pope Francisco is a reformer who might try to change Catholic doctrine gradually. However, the majority are convinced that he’s a modest man in actuality, that he’s truly simple and unpretentious. After all, Francisco’s still taken aback by all the adulation directed at him. If believers expect any change, it’s only change for the better.

Louis is a seminarian from the Congo, he’s in Rome for the first time, but he’s not as anxious to see the Eternal City as he is to see the pope, he said, “I’m very happy that Pope Francisco is on the throne. He’s a simple and compassionate person. That’s what our church should be like. I’m sure that Pope Francisco will return the Catholic world to Christian traditions and strengthen our faith in Christ”. Clarissa is from Gabon in Central Africa, and she said, “He’ll continue the tradition of his predecessors John Paul II and Benedict XVI. He won’t allow same-sex marriage, abortion, or euthanasia. That’s impossible… not because the pope doesn’t want it, but it’s impossible because God doesn’t want it. After all, God installed our pope”.

After the inauguration, Pope Francisco served a Holy Mass of Thanksgiving, attended by official delegations from more than 180 countries. His first appeal to believers began with, “Keep Christ in your hearts!” In his inaugural homily, he spoke these words of peace and charity, “To protect Jesus with Mary, to protect the whole of creation, to protect each person, especially the poorest, to protect ourselves… this is a service that the Bishop of Rome is called to carry out, yet, it’s one to which all of us are called, so that the star of hope will shine brightly. Let us protect with love all that God has given us!” After the end of the liturgy, bells throughout Rome rang out in a cacophonous tribute.

Milena Faustova19 March 2013

Milena Faustova

Voice of Russia World Service



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