Asia’s leading Catholic news agency, UCAN, wants to “do away with priests”

FEBRUARY 13/25, 2013

Asia’s leading Catholic news agency, UCAN, wants to “do away with priests”

This is not a new proposition. In my 119-page April 2010, updated April 2012 report

NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE 15-DEMAND FOR ORDINATION OF WOMEN PRIESTS-FR SUBHASH ANAND AND OTHERS

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/NEW_COMMUNITY_BIBLE_15-DEMAND_FOR_ORDINATION_OF_WOMEN_PRIESTS-FR_SUBHASH_ANAND_AND_OTHERS.doc

I documented that Fr. Subhash Anand [a diocesan priest, 0294-2423507, St. Paul’s School, Bhupalpura, Udaipur, 313001] and others do not believe that the cultic priesthood was instituted by Jesus Christ and would like to see it scrapped altogether, ushering in a priesthood of believers, non-ordained persons, whereby the members of the congregation become co-celebrants at Holy Mass, having the authority and power to transform the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus. This has long been proposed as a solution to the “shortage of priests”.

The other alternative of course is to ordain women, which Fr. Subhash Anand and other “theologians” such as Virginia Saldanha, Astrid Lobo Gajiwala, a coterie of feminist nuns and some religious brothers and priests are ferociously advocating. The first articles in this series published April/May 2012 are

VIRGINIA SALDANHA-ECCLESIA OF WOMEN IN ASIA AND CATHERINE OF SIENA VIRTUAL COLLEGE-FEMINIST THEOLOGY AND THE ORDINATION OF WOMEN PRIESTS

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VIRGINIA_SALDANHA-ECCLESIA_OF_WOMEN_IN_ASIA_AND_CATHERINE_OF_SIENA_VIRTUAL_COLLEGE-FEMINIST_THEOLOGY_AND_THE_ORDINATION_OF_WOMEN_PRIESTS.doc

VIRGINIA SALDANHA-WOMENPRIESTS INFILTRATES THE INDIAN CHURCH-CATHERINE OF SIENA VIRTUAL COLLEGE

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VIRGINIA_SALDANHA-WOMENPRIESTS_INFILTRATES_THE_INDIAN_CHURCH-CATHERINE_OF_SIENA_VIRTUAL_COLLEGE.doc

Just two weeks ago, I had published a report

WOMEN PRIESTS-THE NCR-UCAN-EWA NEXUS

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/WOMEN_PRIESTS-THE_NCR-UCAN-EWA_NEXUS.doc

on the “nexus” between the Union of Catholic Asian News [UCAN] and those in the West, example the editor of and contributors to the National Catholic Reporter, and in India who clamour for ordaining women priests.

 

Today, in its inimitable style, UCAN reproduced a report, published only a few hours earlier by the liberal-left, New Age-promoting [see page 3] U.S. news web site and blog, The Huffington Post, with the headline, “One way to solve the priest shortage: do away with them“. Even The Huffington Post article author, Gary Wills, a dissenter on the traditions of the Catholic Church [see page 3] and therefore eminently unfit to comment, was more reticent in his choice of words when entitling his piece, “Solving the priest shortage”.

 

What does this, in conjunction with all of the other evidence compiled and presented by me, reveal about the true nature of UCAN?

A bold and prophetic Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, MO, USA, declared on January 25, 2013, that the liberal National Catholic Reporter, which promotes the very same ideologies, can in no way be considered as being “Catholic”. See WOMEN PRIESTS-THE NCR-UCAN-EWA NEXUS.

 

So, when is an Indian bishop or the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of India or the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences going to unequivocally condemn this anti-Catholic news agency that calls itself “Catholic”?

 

Here is the UCAN article:

One way to solve the priest shortage: do away with them

http://www.ucanews.com/news/one-way-to-solve-the-priest-shortage-do-away-with-them/67401

February 13, 2013, 12:34:59

A radical suggestion with some sound Biblical argument from a Pulitzer Prize winning writer.

There is no Christian priest (hiereus) in the New Testament. Saint Paul pays tribute to more than a dozen Christian ministries, but none of them is the priesthood. He never calls himself or his assistants priests, and never offers sacrifice (the priestly act). Jesus was a layman, not a priest. He did not even belong to the priestly line of Levi. But he went to the Temple where priests offered sacrifice — and so did his early followers. James the brother of Jesus kept the first Christians of Jerusalem observant of Temple worship. He directs Paul to get himself ritually purified from travel in the Temple, and Paul does so (Acts 2:17-24). So, until the destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E., Jerusalem Christians had the same (and only) priests as other Jews.

Then where did a separate Christian priesthood come from? At the end of the first century C.E., a group (probably in Rome) of Christians missed the comfort of Jewish worship some of them had experienced before the year 70. The unidentifiable author of the New Testament’s “Epistle to Hebrews” assured them, in elegant Greek, that the old Jewish rites were useless anyway, since Jesus was a better priest with a better sacrifice. The Jews had just offered animal sacrifice. Jesus offered human sacrifice (a savage act in most cultures), since he was both priest and victim. Was — not is — since, according to Hebrews 10:11-15, he offered himself only once, in an unrepeatable way, while Jewish priests repeated their ineffectual offerings. Though Jesus could not be a Jewish priest, since he was not a Levite, this author said he was a priest like the mythical Melchizedek, a priest of Canaanite gods to whom Abraham paid a tithe. Later, Catholic priests would claim descent from Melchizedek (though he had no descendents) and claim to repeat the sacrifice of Jesus (though “Hebrews” says it was “once for all”).

Many religions have sacrificial rites, and priests to offer them. Some early Christians obviously felt the jibes of their contemporaries that they had no sacrificial buildings and no sacrificing priests. So Christians acquired both. They had to make the body and blood of their communal meal become a real body for a real sacrifice, though this meant that the physical body of Jesus was in many places at once, hiding under the substance-less “accidents” of bread and wine. This made Jesus relive (or re-die) on altars his agony on the cross.

A long line of intellectual Christians, typified by Saint Augustine, denied that sacrifice and consumption of the body of Jesus was an original part of the religion. A typical passage in Augustine is from his Sermon 227:

What you see [bread and wine] passes away, but what is invisibly symbolized does not pass away. It perdures. The visible is received, eaten, and digested. But can the body of Christ be digested? Can the church of Christ be digested? Can Christ’s limbs be digested? Of course not.

The claim that the body of Christ was being sacrificed on an altar is not in the earliest liturgies of the Christian meal, which were “thanksgiving” meetings (eucharist is, etymologically, “giving thanks”).

Even while the author of “Hebrews” was dismissing the Jewish priesthood, some people kept yearning back to it, and adopted features of it. The Christian priesthood became, like the Jewish priesthood, all and only male, and male without blemish. Thomas Aquinas said that the Christian priesthood had adopted the purity rules for the Jewish priesthood (Leviticus 21:26-24), but added abstention from sex as an even higher holiness code (Summa Theologiae 3a.36 a 3, 39a6). Thus, the priests who were absent from early Christianity became the monopolizers of “true” Christianity in Roman and Eastern rites. Some Christians, like the Anglicans, have and honor their own priests; but popes have told them these are not real priests, since they do not descend from the mythical Roman bishopric of Peter. In dismissing other people who do things in the name of Jesus, the Vatican resembles the Apostle John, returning with the disciples Jesus had sent out on their first mission:

“Master,” said John, “we saw a man driving out devils in your name, but as he is not one of us we tried to stop him.” Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for he who is not against you is on your side.” (Luke 9:49-50).

We live in a time when Catholic priests are an aging and shrinking group, damaged in morale and reputation, overstretched in their monopolization of all sacramental services. Already, lay deacons and catechizers and readers, instructors for baptism and marriage, are filling in for the diminished priestly ranks in Catholic parishes. Some think the clerical shortage will be solved by recruiting new people for the priesthood — married priests, women priests, gay priests. When we run out of everyone else, will we start ordaining child priests? Anything to keep the sacrificing priesthood?

What we really need are no priests. We should remember what Jesus told the disciples in Matthew 23:8-11:

You must not be called “rabbi”; for you have one Rabbi, and you are all brothers. Do not call any man on earth “father”; for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor must you be called “teacher”; you have one Teacher, the Messiah.

When Jesus told his disciples not to call themselves rabbis or fathers or teachers, he did not add that they should not call themselves priests. No one had yet imagined that there might be Christian priests.

 

UCAN gave the source of the article as The Huffington Post, asking the reader to visit there for the “full story”. UCAN would have been honest — but, then, how could they — if they had admitted reproducing The Huffington Post article* in its entirety.

*http://www.huffingtonpost.com/garry-wills/solving-the-priest-shortage_b_2646307.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

By Gary Wills, February 12, 2013, 10:58 am

Gary Wills is the author of “Why priests?: A failed tradition”, 2013

 

 

 

GARY WILLS, AUTHOR

Gary Wills is an ex-Jesuit seminarian, author of over 40 books including the above named, and claims to be Roman Catholic. As a writer, he has been a strong critic of ecclesiastical authority and many aspects of church history and church teaching, particularly of the doctrine of papal infallibility, the social teaching of the church as regards homosexuality, abortion, and contraception, the Eucharist, and the church’s reaction to the sex abuse scandal.

Wills discussed his latest book Why Priests (2013) on the Colbert Report on 11 February 2013, the same day the Pope announced his own resignation.

Not surprisingly at all, the left-wing dissenting National Catholic Reporter’s John L. Allen, Jr. considered Wills [in 2008] to be “perhaps the most distinguished Catholic intellectual in America over the last 50 years”!

 

THE HUFFINGTON POST

The Huffington Post was founded by Arianna Huffington and three others. It was launched on May 9, 2005. On February 7, 2011, AOL acquired the mass market Huffington Post for US $315 million, making Arianna Huffington editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group. In July 2012, The Huffington Post was ranked #1 on the 15 Most Popular Political Sites list.

In 2008, The Huffington Post was ranked the most powerful blog in the world by The Observer.

The Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington was named in 2009 as number 12 in Forbes’ first ever list of the Most Influential Women in Media.

It has an active community, with over one million comments made on the site each month.

 

Controversies

Allegations of supporting pseudo-science

The Huffington Post has been criticized by several science bloggers, as well as online news sources, for including articles by supporters of alternative medicine and anti-vaccine activists and censoring rebuttals written by science bloggers before publishing.

Steven Novella, president of the New England Skeptical Society, criticized The Huffington Post for allowing homeopathy proponent Dana Ullman to have a blog there:

“Dana Ullman, a notorious homeopathy apologist, actually has a regular blog over at HuffPo [Huffington Post]. For those of us who follow such things, the start of his blog there marked the point of no return for the Huffington Post – clearly the editors had decided to go the path of Saruman and ‘abandon reason for madness.’ They gave up any pretence of caring about scientific integrity and became a rag of pseudoscience.”

 

Other criticisms of The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post’s War on Science”

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/the-huffington-posts-war-on-science/

By Steven Novella, April 29, 2009

 

Science bloggers challenge credibility of Huffington Post “wellness” editor

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/05/02/727191/-Science-bloggers-challenge-credibility-of-Huffington-Post-8220-wellness-8221-editor

By Simon Owens, May 2, 2009

 

The Huffington Post is crazy about your health

http://www.salon.com/2009/07/30/huffington_post/ EXTRACT

By Rahul K. Parikh, May 15, 2009

When it comes to health and wellness, [The Huffington Post] forum seems defined mostly by bloggers who are friends of Huffington or those who mirror her own advocacy of alternative medicine, described in her books and in many magazine profiles of her. Among others, the site has given a forum to Oprah Winfrey’s women’s health guru, Christiane Northrup, who believes women develop thyroid disease due to an inability to assert themselves; Deepak Chopra, who mashes up medicine and religion into self-help books and PBS infomercials; and countless others pitching cures that range from herbs to blood electrification to ozonated water to energy scans.

 

What do Fox News and the Huffington Post have in common?  [Homeopathy]

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/12/14/what-do-fox-news-and-the-huffi/

By P. Z. Myers, December 14, 2009

 

Homeopathy Pseudoscience at the Huffpo

http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/homeopathy-pseudoscience-at-the-huffpo/

By Steven Novella, January 31, 2011

 

So, what is UCAN doing reproducing trash by a dissenting “Catholic” from a New Age blog?

 

 

 

UCAN Wants to do away with the Priesthood- Michael Prabhu

Posted on February 23, 2013 by The Voice of Bombay’s Catholic Laity

Read the complete article by clicking on the link or by copying it. Here are various priests, religious and lay persons and some self promoted theologians who want to do away with the institution of Priesthood.

Comments

1. This is a shocking topic. It is making me confused. How can we do away with our priests? Our priests are our link with our heavenly Father. All the sacraments are to be administered by the priest. So then what? Could our dear cardinal and the bishops enlighten us on this? Andrea

2. Dear Andrea, what do you expect Cardinal Oswald to do when he himself is promoting this? There is a need to have the entire Archbishop’s house staff changed. Tiffany

3. UCAN wants to shake the core base and truth of Catholic Church. Women priests, married priests, no priests! Is UCAN a voice of the Catholic Church? Francis S Lobo

4. I believe this issue is being supported by some Bishops of the Catholic Church at Mumbai. Read Michael Prabhu’s WOMEN PRIESTS INFILTRATES THE INDIAN CHURCH-CATHERINE OF SIENA VIRTUAL COLLEGE.  Can the Archbishops house at Mumbai, or our dear cardinal Oswald Gracias or his bishops please comment on this. I am told the nerve center is very much here at Mumbai itself, and the Church authorities are fully aware of the same, and also know who is the bishop that supports the same. By a copy of this to The Apostolic Nuncio at New Delhi and The Holy Father, can some light be thrown on this movement at Mumbai (Bombay) India? Gordon Jacobs.

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UK’s top cardinal accused of ‘inappropriate acts’ by priests” Three priests and former priest report Cardinal Keith O’Brien to Vatican over claims stretching back 33 year

UK’s top cardinal accused of ‘inappropriate acts’ by priests

Three priests and former priest report Cardinal Keith O’Brien to Vatican over claims stretching back 33 year

Cardinal Keith O'Brien 

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Britain’s most senior Catholic clergyman. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Three priests and a former priest in Scotland have reported the most senior Catholic clergyman in Britain, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, to theVatican over allegations of inappropriate behaviour stretching back 30 years.

The four, from the diocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh, have complained to nuncio Antonio Mennini, the Vatican’s ambassador to Britain, and demanded O’Brien’s immediate resignation. A spokesman for the cardinal said that the claims were contested.

O’Brien, who is due to retire next month, has been an outspoken opponent of gay rights, condemning homosexuality as immoral, opposing gay adoption, and most recently arguing that same-sex marriages would be “harmful to the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of those involved”. Last year he was named “bigot of the year” by the gay rights charity Stonewall.

One of the complainants, it is understood, alleges that the cardinal developed an inappropriate relationship with him, resulting in a need for long-term psychological counselling.

The four submitted statements containing their claims to the nuncio’s office the week before Pope Benedict’s resignation on 11 February. They fear that, if O’Brien travels to the forthcoming papal conclave to elect a new pope, the church will not fully address their complaints.

“It tends to cover up and protect the system at all costs,” said one of the complainants. “The church is beautiful, but it has a dark side and that has to do with accountability. If the system is to be improved, maybe it needs to be dismantled a bit.”

The revelation of the priests’ complaints will be met with consternation in the Vatican. Allegations of sexual abuse by members of the church have dogged the papacy of Benedict XVI, who is to step down as pope at the end of this month. Following the announcement, rumours have swirled in Rome that Benedict’s shock move may be connected to further scandals to come.

The four priests asked a senior figure in the diocese to act as their representative to the nuncio’s office. Through this representative, the nuncio replied, in emails seen by the Observer, that he appreciated their courage.

It is understood that the first allegation against the cardinal dates back to 1980. The complainant, who is now married, was then a 20-year-old seminarian at St Andrew’s College, Drygrange, where O’Brien was his “spiritual director”. The Observer understands that the statement claims O’Brien made an inappropriate approach after night prayers.

The seminarian says he was too frightened to report the incident, but says his personality changed afterwards, and his teachers regularly noted that he seemed depressed. He was ordained, but he told the nuncio in his statement that he resigned when O’Brien was promoted to bishop. “I knew then he would always have power over me. It was assumed I left the priesthood to get married. I did not. I left to preserve my integrity.”

In a second statement, “Priest A” describes being happily settled in a parish when he claims he was visited by O’Brien and inappropriate contact between the two took place.

In a third statement, “Priest B” claims that he was starting his ministry in the 1980s when he was invited to spend a week “getting to know” O’Brien at the archbishop’s residence. His statement alleges that he found himself dealing with what he describes as unwanted behaviour by the cardinal after a late-night drinking session.

“Priest C” was a young priest the cardinal was counselling over personal problems. Priest C’s statement claims that O’Brien used night prayers as an excuse for inappropriate contact.

The cardinal maintained contact with Priest C over a period of time, and the statement to the nuncio’s office alleges that he engineered at least one other intimate situation. O’Brien is, says Priest C, very charismatic, and being sought out by the superior who was supposed to be guiding him was both troubling and flattering.

Those involved believe the cardinal abused his position. “You have to understand,” explains the ex-priest, “the relationship between a bishop and a priest. At your ordination, you take a vow to be obedient to him.

“He’s more than your boss, more than the CEO of your company. He has immense power over you. He can move you, freeze you out, bring you into the fold … he controls every aspect of your life. You can’t just kick him in the balls.”

All four have been reluctant to raise their concerns. They are, though, concerned that the church will ignore their complaints, and want the conclave electing the new pope to be “clean”. According to canon law, no cardinal who is eligible to vote can be prevented from doing so.

Ucan Wants to do away with the Priesthood- Michael Prabhu

Ucan Wants to do away with the Priesthood- Michael Prabhu

Read the complete article by clicking on the link or by copying it.Here are various priests, religious and lay persons and some self promoted theologians who want to do  away with the institution of Priesthood.

ucan wants to do away with the priesthood – Metamorphose Catholic 

ephesians-511.net/…/UCAN_WANTS_TO_DO_AWAY_WIT…Share

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Asia’s leading Catholic news agencyUCANwants to “do away with priests”. This is not a new proposition. In my 119-page April 2010, updated April 2012 report ..

Italian Newspaper Reports that Benedict-Ratzinger Abdicated Because of Imminent Exposure of His Newvatican “Gay” Network

Italian Newspaper Reports that Benedict-Ratzinger Abdicated Because of Imminent Exposure of His Newvatican “Gay” Network

LUTHER WAS RIGHT: DESTROY THE MASS AND YOU DESTROY THE PAPACY

When the sense of the Sacred goes, what is left???

 PAUL VI’s LEGACY- CATHOLICISM ? 

 

February 26, 2013 – Ferial Day

Italian Newspaper Reports that Benedict-Ratzinger Abdicated
Because of Imminent Exposure of His Newvatican “Gay” Network

From: The TRADITIO FathersBenedict-Ratzinger

Italy’s Two Leading Daily Newspapers Have Revealed
That the Cardinaltial Commission’s Secret Report Shows Ratzinger
Running a Network of “Gay” Prelates in Newvatican
When Ratzinger Was Shown the Secret Report on December 17, 2013
He Immediately Decided to Resign before His Entire Newchurch Capsized

Italy’s largest-circulating daily newspaper, La Repubblica, has shocked the world with the revelation in its February 21, 2013, edition that Benedict-Ratzinger abdicated from the Newpapacy because of imminent revelation that he was running a network of “gay” prelates in Newvatican, some of whom were being blackmailed by their “johns” outside the Newvatican.

The revelation was contained in the documents that his whistleblowing butler, Paolo Gabriele, brought out of the secret Newpapal files and gave to a respected Italian journalist. When the Cardinalatial Commission to Investigate the “Vatileaks” Scandal, of which Gabriele’s documents were a part, secretly warned Ratzinger on December 17, 2012, what was going to come out, Ratzinger decided on the spot to abdicate. Another of Italy’s leading daily newspapers, the respected Corriere della Sera, confirmed La Repubblica‘s account.

The Commission’s secret report to Ratzinger was rendered in a dossier comprising “two volumes of almost 300 pages, bound in red” and consigned to a safe in Ratzinger’s apartments, to be delivered to his successor. The pages described a faction in the highest levels of Newvatican who were “united by sexual orientation,” i.e., homosexual orientation. The contents of the report obtained by La Repubblica indicated that these homosexual prelates were being blackmailed by their “johns” outside Newvatican. A similar case was exposed in 2002 in the United States when Newarchbishop Rembert Weakland, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was blackmailed by his homosexual “john” for half a million U.S. dollars, which Weakland proceeded to steal from the Newdiocesan collection plates. Ratzinger did not turn his thieving Newbishop over to the police, nor even forced Weakland to return the money that he stole from Newchurch’s congregations.

The report describes in detail the places where the homosexual Newvatican prelates met their “johns” in and around Rome: a villa outside Rome, a sauna in a Rome suburb, a beauty parlor in Rome’s city center, and the residence of an Italian Newarchbishop. So non-plussed was Ratzinger’s spokesman, Federico Lombardi, over the report that he was rendered mute.

The reality that Newvatican is being run in significant part by a cadre of homosexuals was partially revealed in 2007, when a senior churchman was suspended from his Newvatican duties when he was filmed propositioning a local “john.” In 2010, a member of Ratzinger’s personal household was dismissed for running an “escort service” that procured male prostitutes for ” gentleman-in-waiting” in Ratzinger’s own household. Also in 2010, an Italian weekly news magazine photographed presbyters “doing it” on the floors of gay bars.

Good Catholics, didn’t we predict that it would be only a matter of days before the true reason behind Ratzinger’s abdication would come clear? Considering that only ten days have passed, more intrigue and filth have risen to the surface than even we could have predicted. We TRADITIO Fathers will make yet another prediction: after Ratzinger is out of office, even more shocking details of his personal involvement in the paedophilia holocaust will be revealed. We can only say with St. Augustine: “It is better that the truth be known than that scandal be covered up.” Let’s get it all out into the light of day so that all will learn once and for all that the Newchurch of the New Order is not Catholic.

__________________

Papal resignation linked to inquiry into ‘Vatican gay officials’, says paper

Papal resignation linked to inquiry into ‘Vatican gay officials’, says paper

Pope’s staff decline to confirm or deny La Repubblica claims linking ‘Vatileaks’ affair and discovery of ‘blackmailed gay clergy’

A Swiss guard at the Vatican

The Vatican is awhirl with rumours about the pope’s decision to retire. Photograph: Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images

A potentially explosive report has linked the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI to the discovery of a network of gay prelates in the Vatican, some of whom – the report said – were being blackmailed by outsiders.

The pope’s spokesman declined to confirm or deny the report, which was carried by the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica.

The paper said the pope had taken the decision on 17 December that he was going to resign – the day he received a dossier compiled by three cardinals delegated to look into the so-called “Vatileaks” affair.

Last May Pope Benedict’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, was arrested and charged with having stolen and leaked papal correspondence that depicted the Vatican as a seething hotbed of intrigue and infighting.

According to La Repubblica, the dossier comprising “two volumes of almost 300 pages – bound in red” had been consigned to a safe in the papal apartments and would be delivered to the pope’s successor upon his election.

The newspaper said the cardinals described a number of factions, including one whose members were “united by sexual orientation”.

In an apparent quotation from the report, La Repubblica said some Vatican officials had been subject to “external influence” from laymen with whom they had links of a “worldly nature”. The paper said this was a clear reference to blackmail.

It quoted a source “very close to those who wrote [the cardinal’s report]” as saying: “Everything revolves around the non-observance of the sixth and seventh commandments.”

The seventh enjoins against theft. The sixth forbids adultery, but is linked in Catholic doctrine to the proscribing of homosexual acts.

La Repubblica said the cardinals’ report identified a series of meeting places in and around Rome. They included a villa outside the Italian capital, a sauna in a Rome suburb, a beauty parlour in the centre, and a former university residence that was in use by a provincial Italian archbishop.

Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said: “Neither the cardinals’ commission nor I will make comments to confirm or deny the things that are said about this matter. Let each one assume his or her own responsibilities. We shall not be following up on the observations that are made about this.”

He added that interpretations of the report were creating “a tension that is the opposite of what the pope and the church want” in the approach to the conclave of cardinals that will elect Benedict’s successor. Another Italian daily, Corriere della Sera, alluded to the dossier soon after the pope announced his resignation on 11 February, describing its contents as “disturbing”.

The three-man commission of inquiry into the Vatileaks affair was headed by a Spanish cardinal, Julián Herranz. He was assisted by Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi, a former archbishop of Palermo, and the Slovak cardinal Jozef Tomko, who once headed the Vatican’s department for missionaries.

Pope Benedict has said he will stand down at the end of this month; the first pope to resign voluntarily since Celestine V more than seven centuries ago. Since announcing his departure he has twice apparently referred to machinations inside the Vatican, saying that divisions “mar the face of the church”, and warned against “the temptations of power”.

La Repubblica’s report was the latest in a string of claims that a gay network exists in the Vatican. In 2007 a senior official was suspended from the congregation, or department, for the priesthood, after he was filmed in a “sting” organised by an Italian television programme while apparently making sexual overtures to a younger man.

In 2010 a chorister was dismissed for allegedly procuring male prostitutes for a papal gentleman-in-waiting. A few months later a weekly news magazine used hidden cameras to record priests visiting gay clubs and bars and having sex.

The Vatican does not condemn homosexuals. But it teaches that gay sex is “intrinsically disordered”. Pope Benedict has barred sexually active gay men from studying for the priesthood.

Priest held for raping minors

Priest held for raping minors

Joseph John, TNN Feb 21, 2013, 03.57AM IST
RAIPUR: In a shocking incident, a Catholic priest was arrested on Wednesday from a remote village in Ambikapur district of Chhattisgarh for sexually assaulting four minor tribal girls. Medical examination of the minors aged between six and eight years confirmed rape.

Confirming the arrest Ambikapur district collector R Prasanna told TOI, “Father Vincent Toppo, a priest of Latin right, has been arrested. Parents of minor girls had complained on Tuesday that their children were sexually assaulted. We sent them for a medical examination that confirmed sexual assault.”

He said the girls have been shifted to a children’s home under the direct supervision of district administration. Sexual assault case came to light when parents of girls came forward to lodge a complaint with the administration that their children were sexually assaulted by the priest, who was in-charge of “Ashadeep Missionary School” at a village in Dahima development block in Ambikapur district.

The victims belonged to the tribal Oraon community while the accused priest, Fr Vincent Toppo is also a %tribal.

Additional superintendent of police A R Vairagi said cases under the provisions of newly formed stringent Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012, Indian Penal Code sections 354 a (assault or use criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe her), 342 (wrongful confinement), 506 b (criminal intimidation), 376 (rape) have been slapped against the %accused.He said the priest was produced in a court which remanded him to judicial custody till March 7.

Bishop Patras Minj of diocese of Ambikapur could not be reached for his comments. However, diocese spokesperson Fr Xavier Ekka told TOI, “We can’t believe this. What else can I say. I will have to check what Fr Toppo told police in his statement.”

The latest is the second incident of its kind in the state. In January this year, a rape scandal involving girls in the age group of eight to 10 years, rocked the state when a teacher and watchman of a government run tribal girl’s hostel in Kanker were arrested following complaints.

Medical examination of minor tribal girls had confirmed sexual assault and the Kanker district administration had launched criminal proceedings against a number of people, including government officials, for their negligence and laxity. The issue had also figured in the assembly on Tuesday when the opposition moved an adjournment motion.

Benedict’s renunciation and the wolves within the church

Benedict’s renunciation and the wolves within the church

Lightning strikes St. Peter’s at 6 p.m. the day of the Pope’s announcement.

BBC video frame

February 14, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Since Pope Benedict’s shock announcement Monday, I have held off commenting. Time was needed to step back and consider just what  this astounding action from the world’s leading defender of life and family really meant. It was an earthquake announcement that had to have greater significance than the Pope merely being tired and worn out.  The two lightning strikes onto the dome of St. Peter’s that evening added an uncanny emphasis that the Pope’s action demanded the world’s attention.

So, really, why did Pope Benedict suddenly announce that he would abdicate the ministry of Successor of St. Peter in only 17 days? It is nearly impossible for me to believe that the reasons are as simple as Benedict has stated (although I believe that he is indeed very tired and barely able to carry on which we saw on our last 2 visits to Rome).  There are clues.

Robert Moynihan, a reliable, long-time Vatican observer and Founder of Inside the Vatican magazine, also finds himself unsettled about the Pope’s announcement and wrote in his Feb. 12 report:

“Are there facts the Pope has weighed in making this decision that we simply don’t know about, or don’t know fully? … Does the Pope have information about the possible course of events in the months ahead that led him to conclude that he needed to allow a younger, more energetic man to take over his office from him, so that the Church’s highest authority could take action quickly and decisively as events unfold?”

Those are my same questions.

This great and yet exceptionally humble and gentle man’s fatigue has come about from much more than aging.

Reading other commentators and looking to our own LifeSiteNews experiences have revealed a ferocious battle going on within the Catholic Church and a notably rising tide of hatred towards authentic Christianity from outside.  Moreover, a comment from Benedict yesterday, adds to the impression that resignation was decided for strategic reasons. A new pope had to be quickly chosen because of the pace of alarming events both within and outside the Church.

Yesterday, during his Ash Wednesday homily, Benedict stated:

“I am thinking in particular of the sins against the unity of the Church, of the divisions in the body of the Church.”

And then we should remember these words from his first Mass as Pope:

“Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves.”

Click “like” if you are PRO-LIFE

Is he fleeing from the wolves, especially those within the Church, who he knew would inevitably, incessantly attack him during his pontificate? Very doubtful. They have been even more ferocious than he anticipated in response to his determined rolling back of some of the chaos that followed Vatican II and his strong rebukes to all the elements of the Culture of Death. Benedict’s resignation should instead, in my opinion, be seen as a deeply humbling self-sacrifice to pave the way for an urgently needed stronger pope and stronger Church.

For nothing more than professionally reporting solid facts about controversial Church developments related to moral issues, LifeSiteNews has experienced unrelenting, ferocious assault from particular Church personalities and organizations over the past few years. We have been enduring a visceral hatred from some quarters as noted by LSN-friendly inside-the-church observers.  It has been nearly beyond belief, shockingly unreasonable and entirely unchristian.

The more layers we have peeled away from hidden and long-standing situations needing exposure and correction, the more we have we been subjected to these unjust and hateful assaults on our integrity and credibility and to damaging whispers and other malicious actions. The secular pro-abortion and homosexual activist forces have been easier to manage in comparison to these enraged forces within the Church.

 

Now think how much more Benedict has had to endure for his heroic attempts to steer the entire, badly damaged, diminished, wayward Church back on course away from the errors and influence of the “progressives” and other dissidents. They have been howling with rage over his undoing of their five decades of control.  He has spoiled their plans for a morally and theologically liberal church remade in their own image, rather than Christ’s.

Catholic commentator, George Neumayr, in his article The Reluctant Pope, lists some of Benedict’s notable accomplishments “trivialized and discredited” by many:

“his battles with the dictatorship of relativism,’ his promotion of wider use of the traditional Latin Mass, his reinstitution of the ban on the ordination of homosexuals to the priesthood, his historic overture to disaffected Anglicans, his voluminous stream of speeches and writings that aimed at repairing the catechetical collapse within the Church; his insistence on the ‘non-negotiable’ character of the natural moral law in shaping politics and culture.”

Benedict’s greatest and nearly-unbearable crosses have likely come from opposition to, hatred for, and outright rejection of his reforms – the opposition coming from many in influential positions within the Church – at all levels.

In his blog, Benedict XVI: Reason’s revolutionary, The Acton Institute’s Samuel Gregg explains some of the reasons for the animosity Benedict has experienced:

“Intellectually, Ratzinger far surpassed the usual suspects who want to turn Catholicism into something between the disaster otherwise known as the Church of England, and the rather sad leftist-activism of aging nuns stuck in 1968. But against the increasingly-absurd rants of a Hans Kung or Leonardo Boff, Ratzinger simply continued defending and explaining orthodox Christianity’s essential rationality with a modesty lacking in his opponents.”

Gregg also mentions the pope’s “efforts to root out what Ratzinger once called the ‘filth’ of sexual deviancy” which I have repeatedly noted on this website is a job still far from completed. He has been able to complete this and his other priority tasks only to the extent that the difficult Church bureaucracies and the world’s bishops have followed his urging and well reasoned pleadings.

There has been much resistance, some of it astonishingly vicious and rebellious, especially from clergy and laity in the wealthy, developed nations. Benedict has been betrayed even by those closest to him within the Vatican itself.

Benedict’s exceptional appeals to reason, if accepted, writes, Gregg, translate “into changes in lifestyles that many people simply don’t want to make. But a pope’s job isn’t to tell people what they want to hear.”

But as we have noticed in recent years, reason is increasingly rejected, and changeable feelings and desires are given more emphasis in decision-making by persons and organizations. Anyone who dares to instruct them in what is best regarding their bodies, their sexuality, their theology or their ego, is increasingly seen as a hateful personal aggressor rather than a loving father or other teacher.

I wish that Benedict could have held on for at least several more months to complete more of his necessary reforms and to appoint more faithful bishops.

I wish he could have waited for some of his recent outstanding archbishop appointments to receive their red hats so that they could also vote in this conclave. I am thinking of persons such as Philadelphia’s Charles Chaput, Montreal’s Christian Lépine, Quebec City’s Gérald Cyprien Lacroix and the archbishop of Los Angeles, Jose Gomez – all some of the very best of Benedict’s recent placements or moves to major dioceses.

The Cardinal Mahony scandal that broke last week has shown how very entrenched the “filth” still is, and that those responsible have still not yet been fully accountable.  The neglect was sickening. If the now revealed offences of actively protecting criminal sexual abusers of minors did not exceed the statute of limitations, we might today be seeing the archbishop of the largest diocese in the US up on criminal charges.

Even secular media are appalled that Cardinal Mahony has made it a point to announce to the media that he is looking forward to going to Rome to vote for Benedict’s replacement.

Mahony is an aggressive personality, some say, a bully. Considering all that has been revealed in recent weeks, it is a great scandal for the Church and to the world that this severely negligent prelate, considered by some to be the ring leader of “progressive” US bishops, should be allowed to have any influence whatever in the conclave. I hope at the very least that he will be shunned by the other cardinals.

It is perhaps more than coincidental that Benedict announced his resignation after the Los Angeles abuse files were made public last week. Archbishop Gomez publicly rebuked his predecessor (highly likely with papal approval) and then Cardinal Mahony arrogantly publicly challenged his rebuker’s admonition. This is a first since the sex abuse scandals broke.

Maybe the Mahony incident and other recent inappropriate outbursts by leading Church officials were the last straws for Benedict. That is, he knew that these and other worrisome developments needed quick and firm action from a strong pope, but that he could no longer muster the energy.

I suspect that Benedict knows the restoration and cleaning up of the filth and rebellion within the Church has to continue with haste because of an ominous, rapidly growing cloud of persecution on the horizon at a time when the wisdom and inspiration of the Church will be greatly needed. Perhaps he sees clearer than most what is coming and that there is no time to have an incapacitated pope leading the Church. His resignation was a proactive action.

There will be a conclave in only a few weeks. Who could have predicted such a thing would happen so quickly?

In that conclave the forces of good and evil will be in an unseen battle that we cannot imagine – pride, power and glory-seeking vs holiness, humility and willingness to embrace Christ’s cross.

The outcome of the conclave will to a very large extent depend on the intensity of the prayers and sacrifices of Christians around the world from now until the final decision and acceptance is reached.

May the Holy Spirit guide the cardinals and keep the powers of darkness that have infiltrated the church at bay during this historic time.

I have to agree with many commentators that Pope Benedict has likely performed a great act of humility and charity for the good of not just the Catholic Church, but for the whole world. Where I disagree with many is that there are graver reasons for his decision than are being surmised.

There is a growing sense that something evil is on its way and the greatest bulwark against the evil can only be a strong, unified and faithful Catholic Church working together with all other authentic believers of the loving triune God.

Benedict knows this. That is why he has suddenly stepped aside for the new pope, who will be called to do the necessary battle that Benedict is no longer capable of.

And he has done it at the very beginning of Lent, the Catholic season of special prayer and fasting that culminates in the full rememberance of the suffering and  resurrection of Jesus Christ at Easter. By then, the new pope should be in place. The timing could not be better.

The power of authentic faith, when unleashed, will always defeat any evil. It usually happens, however, by way of the cross. That was the example the Master gave.

Other Face of Afzal Guru – The first interview Mohammad Afzal gave from inside Tihar jail, in 2006.

Mulakat Afzal

The first interview Mohammad Afzal gave from inside Tihar jail, in 2006.
By VINOD K. JOSE | 9 February 2013
Bhawan Singh / The India Today Group / Getty Images
Single Page

In the winter of 2006, Vinod K Jose visited Mohammad Afzal in Tihar Jail. Excerpts from the interview, reproduced in The Caravan. A web exclusive.

A RUSTED TABLE, and behind it, a well-built man in uniform holding a spoon in his hand. Visitors, all of them looked habituated to the procedure, queued up to open their plastic bags containing food, allowing it to be smelled, sometimes even tasted. The security man’s spoon swam through curries thick with floating grease—malai kofta, shahi paneer, aalu baingan, and mixed vegetables. As the visitors opened tiny bags of curries, the spoon separated each piece of vegetable from the other mechanically. After ‘frisking’ the food of a middle-aged woman, the spoon was dipped in water in a steel bowl nearby. It then moved to the plastic bags of the next person in the queue, a boy in his early teens. By this time, the water in the steel bowl had acquired all kinds of colours, the floating oil setting off rainbow hues in the light of the winter afternoon.

Around 4.30 pm, it was my turn. The man left the spoon on the table and frisked my body, top to bottom, thrice, thoroughly. When the metal detector made a noise, I had to remove my belt, steel watch, and keys. The man on duty bearing the badge of the Tamil Nadu Special Police (TSP) looked satisfied. I was allowed to enter now. This was the fourth security drill I had to go through to get into the High Risk Ward of Prison No. 3 in Tihar Central Prison. I was on my way to meet Mohammad Afzal, one of the most talked about men in contemporary times.

I entered a room with many tiny cubicles. Visitors and inmates were separated by a thick glass and iron grills. They were connected through microphones and speakers fixed on the wall. But the audibility was poor, and people on either sides of the glass strained their ears, touching them to the wall to listen to each other. Mohammad Afzal was already at the other side of the cubicle. His face gave me an impression of unfathomable dignity and calmness. He was a slight, short man in his mid-thirties, wearing a white kurta-pyjama, with a Reynolds pen in his pocket. A very clear voice welcomed me with the utmost politeness.

“How are you, sir?”

I said I was fine. Was I to return the same question to a man on deathrow? I was apprehensive for a second, but I did. “Very fine. Thank you sir,” he answered with warmth. The conversation went on for close to an hour, and continued a fortnight later with a second mulakat. Both of us were in a hurry to answer and ask whatever we could in the time we had. I continuously scribbled in my tiny pocket book. He seemed to be a person who wanted to say a lot of things to the world. But he often reiterated his helplessness in reaching people from his current state of ‘condemned for life’. Excerpts of the interview.

There are so many contradicting images of Afzal. Which Afzal am I meeting?

Is it? But as far as I’m concerned there is only one Afzal. That is me. Who is that Afzal?

[A moment’s silence.]

Afzal as a young, enthusiastic, intelligent, idealistic young man. Afzal, a Kashmiri influenced, like many thousands in the Kashmir Valley, in the political climate of early 1990s. Who was a JKLF member and crossed over to the other side of Kashmir, but in a matter of weeks got disillusioned and came back and tried to live a normal life, but was never allowed to do so by the security agencies, who inordinate times picked me up, tortured the pulp out of me, electrocuted, frozen in cold water, dipped in petrol, smoked in chillies you name it. And falsely implicated in a case, with no lawyer, no fair trial, finally condemned to death. The lies the police told was propagated by you in media. And that perhaps created what the Supreme Court referred to as “collective conscience of the nation”. And to satisfy that “collective conscience”, I’m condemned to death. That is the Mohammad Afzal you are meeting.

[After a moment’s silence, he continued.]

But I wonder whether the outside world knows anything about this Afzal. I ask you, did I get a chance to tell my story? Do you think justice is done? Would you like to hang a person without giving him a lawyer? Without a fair trial? Without listening to what he had to go through in life? Democracy doesn’t mean all this, does it?

Can we begin with your life? Your life before the case…

It was a turbulent political period in Kashmir when I was growing up. Maqbool Bhatt was hanged. The situation was volatile. The people of Kashmir decided to fight an electoral battle once again to resolve the Kashmir issue through peaceful means. Muslim United Front [MUF] was formed to represent the sentiments of Kashmiri Muslims for the final settlement of the Kashmir issue. Administration at Delhi was alarmed by the kind of support that MUF was gaining, and in the consequence, we saw rigging in the election on an unprecedented scale.
And the leaders who took part in the election and won with huge majority were arrested, humiliated and put behind bars. It is only after this that the same leaders the gave call for armed resistance. In response, thousands of youth took to armed revolt. I dropped out from my MBBS studies in Jhelum Valley Medical College, Srinagar. I was also one of those who crossed to the other side of Kashmir as a JKLF member, but was disillusioned after seeing Pakistani politicians acting the same as the Indian politicians in dealing with Kashmiris. I returned after few weeks. I surrendered to the security force, and you know, I was even given a BSF certificate as a surrendered militant. I began to start the life new. I could not become a doctor but I became a dealer of medicines and surgical instruments on commission basis. [Laughs.]

With the meagre income, I even bought a scooter and also got married. But never a day passed by without the scare of Rashtriya Rifles and STF men harassing me. If there was a militant attack somewhere in Kashmir, they would round up civilians, torture them to pulp. The situation was even worse for a surrendered militant like me. They detained us for several weeks, and threatened to implicate in false cases and we were let free only if we paid huge bribes. Many times I had to go through this. Major Ram Mohan Roy of 22 Rashtriya Rifles gave electric shock to my private parts. Many times I was made to clean their toilets and sweep their camps. Once, I had to bribe the security men with all that I had to escape from the Humhama STF torture camp. DSP Vinay Gupta and DSP Davinder Singh supervised the torture. One of their torture experts, Inspector Shanti Singh, electrocuted me for three hours until I agreed to pay Rs. 1 lakh as bribe. My wife sold her jewelry and for the remaining amount, they sold my scooter.

I left the camp broken, both financially and mentally. For six months I could not go outside home because my body was in such a bad shape. I could not even share the bed with my wife as my penile organ had been electrocuted. I had to take medical treatment to regain potency…

[Afzal narrated the torture details with a disturbing calmness on his face. He seemed to have lot of details to tell me about the torture he faced. But, unable to hear the horror stories of security forces that operate with my tax money, I cut him short and asked:]

If you could come to the case, what were the incidents that led to the Parliament attack case?

After all the lessons I learned in STF camps, which is either you and your family members get harassed constantly for resisting, or cooperate with the STF blindly, I had hardly any options left, when DSP Davinder Singh asked me to do a small job for him. That is what he told, “a small job”. He told me that I had to take one man to Delhi. I was supposed to find a rented house for him in Delhi. I was seeing the man first time, but since he did not speak Kashmiri, I suspected he was an outsider. He told his name was Mohammad [Mohammad is identified by the police as the man who led the five gunmen who attacked Parliament. All of them were killed by the security men in the attack].

When we were in Delhi, Mohammad and me used to get phone calls from Davinder Singh. I had also noticed that Mohammad used to visit many people in Delhi. After he purchased a car, he told me now I could go back and gave me Rs. 35,000 saying it was a gift. And I left to Kashmir for Eid.

When I was about to leave to Sopore from Srinagar bus stand, I was arrested and taken to Parimpora police station. They tortured me and took me to STF headquarters, and from there brought me to Delhi.

In the torture chamber of Delhi Police Special Cell, I told them everything I knew about Mohammad. But they insisted that I should say that my cousin Showkat, his wife Navjot, SAR Geelani and I were the people behind the Parliament attack. They wanted me to say this convincingly in front of media. I resisted. But I had no option than to yield when they told me my family was in their custody and threatened to kill them. I was made to sign many blank pages and was forced to talk to the media and claim responsibility for the attack by repeating what the police told me to say. When a journalist asked me about the role of SAR Geelani, I told him Geelani was innocent. ACP Rajbeer Singh shouted at me in the full media glare for talking beyond what they tutored. They were really upset when I deviated from their story, and Rajbeer Singh requested the journalists not to broadcast that part where I spoke of Geelani’s innocence.

Rajbeer Singh allowed me to talk to my wife the next day. After the call, he told me if I wanted to see them alive I had to cooperate. Accepting the charges was the only option in front of me if I wanted to see my family alive, and the Special Cell officers promised they would make my case weak so I would be released after sometime. Then they took me to various places and showed me the markets where Mohammad had purchased different things. Thus they made the evidence for the case.

Police made me a scapegoat in order to mask their failure to find out the mastermind of Parliament attack. They have fooled the people. People still don’t know whose idea was to attack Parliament. I was entrapped into the case by Special Task Force (STF) of Kashmir and implicated by Delhi Police Special Cell.

The media constantly played the tape. The police officers received awards. And I was condemned to death.