Voices from Russia

Sunday, 23 April 2017

23 April 2017. Benny Ratz Still Suckin’ Down the Sudz at Age 90


Here’s proof that Benedict XVI Ratzinger isn’t only hale n’ hearty, he still enjoys a good litre of brewski. Here, he greets a delegation from his native Bavaria on his birthday. Ninety-years-old and still goin’ strong… will he reach 100? Will he outlive Franky Bag o’ Donuts? Who knows? Maybe, Fr Guido Sarducci has the inside intel (“Finda the Pope in the Pizza”)…



Saturday, 2 March 2013

Benedict Leaves… Cardinals to Meet in Rome on 4 March

01 Medvedev and pope


On Thursday, at 20.00 CET (11.00 PST. 14.00 EST. 19.00 UTC. 23.00 MSK. 06.00 1 March AEST), the Vatican declared a state of sede vacante, which means that the authority of Benedict XVI Ratzinger as the Pope of Rome is now over. An honour guard of Swiss Guards left the pope’s summer residence of Castel Gandolfo near Rome, where Benedict intends to spend the next two months, denoting the termination of his papal authority. Henceforth, Benedict will have the title of “Honorary Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church“, and his personal style will still be “Your Holiness”.

Earlier Thursday, Benedict XVI gave his farewells to the cardinals in the Vatican, thanking them for their support. He admitted that for the nearly eight years of his reign, there were both sublime and unpleasant moments. He promised that he’d pray that the Cardinals would make the right decision in the conclave to choose his successor. Then, Benedict left the Vatican and headed by helicopter to Castel Gandolfo. When he arrived at the residence, believers were there to greet him, to whom he made ​​his last official speech, thanking them for their support, saying, “This day isn’t like any other [in my pontificate]. I’m not going to be the pope any longer; I’ll be a pilgrim, making the last stage of my pilgrimage on earth. This day brought me great joy. With all my heart, prayers, and thoughts, with all my inner strength, I’m ready to serve God. I bless you in the name of the Holy Spirit”.

Benedict intends to settle in a monastery in Vatican City to lead a secluded life. He won’t take part in the Church’s administration, but will devote his time to prayer and contemplation. The conclave to choose Benedict’s successor is due to start in March. However, the former pope won’t take part in it. Amongst the most likely papabili cited by the media are 65-year-old Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson of Ghana, 67-year-old Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Canada, 80-year-old Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze, 77-year-old Italian Cardinal Tarcisio Pietro Evasio Bertone, and 71-year-old Italian Archbishop Angelo Scola of Milano. The last instance of a papal abdication was in 1415 with the resignation of Gregory XII Corraro.


During this period of sede vacante following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI Ratzinger, Catholics throughout the world pray that the Lord would give them a worthy successor to their previous pope. As it states in the guidelines published on the website of the Catholic Archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow, “One should pray daily for the College of Cardinals that, guided by the Holy Spirit, they might recognise the one whom the Lord shall choose as the new successor of the Apostle Peter”. On Friday, Fr Igor Kovalevsky, General Secretary of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Russia, told Interfax-Religion that not only priests, but also ordinary believers, shall offer up such prayers, not just in Russia, but also in other countries. In addition, in the days before and during the conclave, Catholics will serve special Masses for the election of the pope. As reported, the conclave to elect Benedict’s successor will convene in mid-March.


On Friday, EFE reported that Colombian tailor Luis Abel Delgado, who made Benedict XVI’s vestments, received instructions several weeks before the abdication of the pope to sew vestments in three different sizes. According to Señor Delgado, these vestments could be for possible successors of the abdicated pope. He had instructions to prepare three different sizes of mitre and vestments “for tall men of European descent”. At the time of receipt of this request from the Vatican, Delgado didn’t know of Benedict’s plans to abdicate. He also didn’t know the possible names of the people for whom he sewed the vestments.


On Friday, the Vatican announced a meeting of cardinals to prepare for the upcoming conclave would begin on 4 March. The meeting, at which participants would discuss the most important issues of the Church, will fix a date for the conclave. EFE noted that many of the cardinals who’d take part in the conclave are already in Rome.


According to a release from the patriarchal press service, Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias praised Pope Benedict XVI Ratzinger for his uncompromising stance in matters of faith, and that the patriarch wished him the best of health on the eve of the pope’s retirement. The message of His Holiness to the just-retired Pope of Rome read, “In these special days for you, I’d like to express my feelings of brotherly love in Christ and respect”. Patriarch Kirill said that the decision of the Pope of Rome to leave “in humility and simplicity” announced on 11 February found a “response in the hearts of millions of Catholics. We’ve always been close to your steadfast position, marked by an uncompromising stance in matters of faith and unswerving adherence to the living tradition of the Church. At a time when an ideology of permissiveness and moral relativism is trying to displace moral values ​​in people’s lives, you boldly raised your voice in defence of Gospel ideals, the lofty dignity of man, and his vocation to free himself from sin”.

He fondly recalled his meetings with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before his election to the Roman papacy. According to Patriarch Kirill, in the years of Benedict’s reign, relations between Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholics “took on a vigorous impetus and responded to the need to testify to Christ to the modern world”. His Holiness hoped that “the good and trusting relationship between the Orthodox and Catholics” developed with Benedict’s active participation would progress under his successor. Patriarch Kirill ended, “Please, accept my sincere wishes for good health, long life, and help from above in your prayer and theological works”.

1 March 2013







Thursday, 28 February 2013

Papacy Vacant as Benedict Leaves Vatican

01 Rome-Italy-Vatican-Giampaolo-Macorig


On Thursday, the Fisherman’s Throne in the Vatican was vacant as of 20.00 CET (11.00 PST. 14.00 EST. 19.00 UTC. 23.00 MSK. 06.00 1 March AEST), after Pope Benedict XVI Ratzinger left the Apostolic Palace, heading for the papal retreat at Castel Gandolfo. Earlier on Thursday, he addressed all the cardinals in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, giving them a blessing and shaking hands. Benedict also bid his followers farewell on Thursday in the last message on his Twitter account, which he later closed, texting, “Thank you for your love and support. May you always experience the joy that comes from putting Christ at the centre of your lives”.

Benedict, who became the 265th Pope of Rome in 2005 following his predecessor John Paul II Wojtyła’s death, announced his resignation due to old age and failing health on 11 February. The last pope to step down voluntarily was Gregory XII Corraro in 1415. Earlier, Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi said that the conclave to elect a successor to Benedict could begin before 15 March if all the cardinals were present in Rome. Under church rules, the conclave should begin between 15 to 20 days after the papacy becomes vacant, to give cardinals time to get to Rome.

28 February 2013



Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Who Will Be the Next Pope of Rome?

Pope Benedict XVI 4


Recently, very unexpectedly, Pope Benedict XVI Ratzinger announced that he’s going to resign. Now, the world’s guessing who’ll be the next Pope of Rome and what the destiny of the Roman Catholic Church in the rapidly changing world may now be. Quite a few analysts predict that, most likely, the next pope would be of Latin American origin, and that he’d conduct a very tolerant policy towards Muslims.

Now, Benedict XVI is 85 years old. His tough attitude towards homosexuality, abortion, and the Harry Potter book series is well-known. Besides that, he’s made several tough statements against Islam during his pontificate. He’s always sharply condemned those ensnared in paedophile scandals. Considering all this, some analysts now suppose that the pope’s decision to resign wasn’t really of his own volition. They suspect, probably, that Curial factions forced him off the Fisherman’s Throne. If this supposition were true, any new pope would have to be more liberal and tolerant than the elderly Benedict. However, John Moody, a former correspondent for Time magazine in Vatican City, believed that, for all his conservatism, Benedict XVI prepared the grounds for radical reform in the Roman Catholic Church.

As was said above, quite a few analysts are predicting that the new pope will be from Latin America. After all, more than 40 percent of all Roman Catholics live there. However, about 50 percent of the cardinal-electors in the next conclave are from Europe. Amongst possible candidates, analysts name Archbishop Odilo Pedro Scherer of São Paulo in Brazil, Archbishop Angelo Scola of Milano, and Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson of Ghana.

Most likely, one of the main criteria for choosing the new pope would be his ability to defend the interests of the Roman Catholic Church in the modern world. Vyacheslav Kostikov, former Russian ambassador to the Vatican, said, “This is a very acute problem for the Catholic Church. At present, Europe is full of Islamists, and their influence on the Christian world is becoming stronger every day. The task of the new pope will be to resist this onslaught of Islamists, being at the same time tolerant and friendly towards peaceful Muslims. On the other hand, for all this tolerance, the pope should firmly stand for Christian values, because these values are traditional for both Europe and America”.

As for the new pope’s domestic policy, analysts also have practically no doubts about what it most likely will be. The new pope would have to take the mistakes of his predecessor into account, having an ability to make compromises. Theologian José Manuel Vidal said, “Today, it’s no secret that the Roman Catholic Church is losing popularity among European young people. To bring young people back to the Church, the church leaders should now be more flexible. Too many problems now need new approaches… the problems of women, of sex freedom, of contraception, of prostitution, and so on”.

The election of the new pope will take place on 24 March. Who will it be… an Italian or a Latin American? On the one hand, the world is changing, and the Church should, to a certain extent, change with it. On the other, the role of the Church is to stand for traditional values. The new Pope of Rome, whoever he’d be, would have to be very wise to find a compromise between these two opposite trends.

13 February 2013

Daria Manina

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

Do note WHEN Benny made his surprise abdication announcement. He made it during the canonisation ceremony of the Martyrs of Otranto… who suffered martyrdom for refusing to convert to Islam in 1480. Remember, not only is the content of a statement important, so is the setting. Firstly, this was a personal statement of the Pope of Rome; its shock flabbergasted Rome, coming completely out of the blue. That militates against it being a Curial intrigue… such things always lead to “whispers in the loggia”… there was no hint of such prior to B16’s announcement.

If the statement were made in the context of canonising a group of martyrs whom the RCs beatified as far back as 1771 means that Benny meant it to be a sign to those in the know. If he announced his resignation in the context of “sainting” those killed by Muslims, I don’t think that he meant to promote a more tolerant or conciliatory policy towards Islamists. Rather, it smells like divide et impera to me. The RCs would talk and interact civilly with reasonable Muslims whilst waging war on Islamists (that’s what the MP does, by the way).

The real danger to the Catholics (and to us, too) are the twin and related foes of Militant Secularism (anti-religion per se, not mere irreligion) and Evangelical Anti-Christianity (excluding Classical Reformation Low Churches). Firstly, most secular people aren’t militant attackers of religion… don’t go after false targets. Most are people who simply aren’t believers, full stop. In like manner, most Evangelicals (which would include Mormons, AdventistsPentecostalists, and JWs) are simply dupes… they aren’t aware that their “faith” has NO resemblance to Classical Christianity in the least. They’ve never heard of the Second Great Awakening, William MillerCharles Parham and Agnes Ozman, Charles Taze Russell, or even the notorious polygamist Brigham Young. Both Militant Secularists and Evangelical Anti-Christians are obdurate and unceasing proselytisers. Both are equally dangerous… Christians have to oppose both, for both are enemies of Christ. Again… be careful! Most secular people aren’t attackers of religion… don’t be misled. Also, most Evangelicals are unaware that their pseudo-religion isn’t the Christianity of the Ages. Be discerning in your opposition.

That is, Benedict sees the threat to Catholicism coming from three sources:

  • Islamism
  • Militant Secularism
  • Evangelical Anti-Religion

Watch for the next Pope of Rome to tackle these three problems, whoever it is. Also note well that Benny intends to live in Castel Gandolfo, which the new pope will go to in the summer, I’m sure. This smells as if Benny’s trying to stage-manage his succession as much as possible. Remember, he’s German… Germans plan… Germans plan THOROUGHLY. That doesn’t mean that his plans will work… but it DOES mean that they’re well-organised and well-thought-out, probably, with several different scenarios catered for. We’ll have to see, no?

However, here’s the oddest detail of all… the conclave is to begin on 24 March… Catholic Palm Sunday. That’s highly unusual; it appears to be a goad to a “fast” conclave. SOMEONE is anxious… VERY anxious. Is B16’s health that bad or does he fear an open rebellion amongst some of the RC hierarchy? I think that it’s a combination of the two.

By the way, I checked patriarchia.ru… HH has NO official comments on B16’s resignation… there’s only the usual boilerplate bullshit from the Blunder.


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