Tag Archive: Catholic Church

COMMENTARY | According to the Daily Caller, Catholic priests who attempt to minister to troops during the government shutdown have been threatened with arrest by the Obama administration. This has naturally provoked outrage.

“Because of the lack of active-duty Catholic chaplains, the military relies on hiring civilian priests to serve as government service and contract ministers. Those civilian priests are not allowed on the bases during a shutdown.”

The Obama administration has displayed contempt for religious sensibilities, especially of Catholics, before. Under Obamacare, Catholic owned hospitals and other entities are required to offer birth control, sterilization, and even abortion pills against church doctrine under threat of heavy fines.

The Obama edict which, in effect, makes military bases religion free zones has sparked outrage among Republicans. “These priests have 1st Amendment right to practice faith. Hope POTUS takes possible criminal penalties off the table,” Sen Ted Cruz, R-Texas tweeted. The House Republicans will offer legislation reversing the edict. There is no word whether Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will reject it as he has most other attempts by the House to ameliorate the effects of the government shutdown and the Obama administration’s drive to make it as annoying as possible.

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Priests threatened with arrest if they minister to military during shutdown

Alex Pappas

Political Reporter

In a stunning development, some military priests are facing arrest if they celebrate mass or practice their faith on military bases during the federal government shutdown.

“With the government shutdown, many [government service] and contract priests who minister to Catholics on military bases worldwide are not permitted to work – not even to volunteer,” wrote John Schlageter, the general counsel for the Archdiocese for the Military Services USA, in an op-ed this week. “During the shutdown, it is illegal for them to minister on base and they risk being arrested if they attempt to do so.”

According to its website, the Archdiocese for the Military Services “provides the Catholic Church’s full range of pastoral ministries and spiritual services to those in the United States Armed Forces.”

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CBSEveningNews CBSEveningNews

Published on Jul 1, 2013

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee is involved in 45 cases involving sexual abuse by priests. An attorney for abuse victims in the case claims then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan shuffled funds to protect them from abuse claims. Dean Reynolds reports.


Then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan tried to protect money from claims, records show

Archbishop Timothy Dolan, seen in this 2009 file photo, listens as the Apostolic letter is read by the Vatican's ambassador to the United States during his installation Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York.

Associated Press

Archbishop Timothy Dolan, seen in this 2009 file photo, listens as the Apostolic letter is read by the Vatican’s ambassador to the United States during his installation Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.

Milwaukee Archdiocese releases thousands of pages from priest sex abuse files

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

July 2, 2013

Archdiocese Bankruptcy

The Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee, which faces more than a dozen civil fraud lawsuits over its handling of clergy sex abuse cases, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January. As the case proceeds, we’ll have updates, analysis, documents and more.

Four years before the Archdiocese of Milwaukee filed for bankruptcy, then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan sought Vatican approval to move nearly $57 million in cemetery funds off the archdiocese’s books and into a trust to help protect them “from any legal claim or liability,” according to documents made public Monday.

In the decades before Dolan — now cardinal of New York — arrived in 2002, church leaders, including now-retired Archbishop Rembert Weakland, routinely moved pedophile priests from one parish or school to the next, shielding them from criminal charges, the records show.

And when they did try to dismiss sex abusers from the priesthood, Dolan and Weakland were met by a Vatican bureaucracy that moved at a glacial pace, causing the process to slog on sometimes for years.

One case, involving the now-defrocked Father John O’Brien, dragged on for five years, even though O’Brien was convicted of fourth-degree sexual assault of a teenage boy and had sought his own dismissal. At one point a Vatican official wrote to Dolan saying he could not turn the case over to Pope Benedict XVI for a final decision without “an admission of guilt and a sincere expression of remorse.”

How Dolan — now considered one of the world’s most influential Catholic prelates — and his predecessors responded to the sexual abuse crisis in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee is laid out in thousands of pages of documents made public Monday as part of the archdiocese’s bankruptcy proceedings.

They offer, at times in disturbing detail, an unprecedented look at how the Catholic Church’s global sex abuse crisis played out in the parishes, schools and other ministries in southeastern Wisconsin. Some of the information has previously been reported, including revelations that Milwaukee bishops, like their colleagues around the country, routinely moved priests without divulging that they were a danger to children.

But the vast majority of the 6,000 pages of documents are being seen for the first time. They include parts of priests’ personnel files; correspondence between the Milwaukee archdiocese and the Vatican; and depositions of Dolan, Weakland and other church officials, and one notorious sex offender, since defrocked.

“The revelations are shameful and shocking,” said Minnesota attorney Jeffrey Anderson, who represents most of the 575 men and women who filed claims in the bankruptcy alleging they were sexually abused by priests, nuns, teachers and others associated with the Milwaukee archdiocese.

Anderson accused local bishops, including Dolan, of worrying more about the church’s reputation than the care of victims, and of perpetuating a culture of secrecy that has been seen in dioceses around the country for decades.

They “deny, minimize, blame,” Anderson said.

Dolan issued a statement saying he welcomed the release of his deposition. He derided allegations that he shifted money into the cemetery trust to shield it in case of a bankruptcy filing and paid abusive priests to quietly go away as “old and discredited attacks.”

According to the documents, Dolan paid $20,000 to abusive priests who agreed not to fight their dismissal from the priesthood. But records show the practice dated to at least 1995, seven years before he arrived in Milwaukee.

Critics have characterized the payments as payoffs or bonuses to sex abusers. But Dolan said in his statement Monday that canon law requires dioceses to provide “basic support like health care and room and board” for priests until they have moved on.

“Responding to victim-survivors, taking action against priest-abusers, and working to implement policies to protect children, were some of the most difficult, challenging, and moving events of the 6½ years that I served as Archbishop of Milwaukee,” Dolan said in the statement.

Officials with the Milwaukee archdiocese did not respond to email and telephone requests for comment. But Archbishop Jerome Listecki issued a letter to Catholics last week, saying he hoped the documents would “aid abuse survivors, families, and others in understanding the past, reviewing the present and allowing the Church in southeastern Wisconsin to continue moving forward.”

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Records: Archbishop paid problem priests to leave

Updated 4:16 am, Tuesday, July 2, 2013
  • Attorney Jeff Anderson makes available in St. Paul, Minn., on Monday, July 1, 2013, close to 6,000 pages of documents related to child sex abuse by priests in Wisconsin. The documents were made public for the first time as part of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee's bankruptcy proceedings.      MANDATORY CREDIT; ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS OUT; MAGS OUT; TWIN CITIES TV OUT Photo: The Star Tribune, Richard Sennott
    Attorney Jeff Anderson makes available in St. Paul, Minn., on Monday, July 1, 2013, close to 6,000 pages of documents related to child sex abuse by priests in Wisconsin. The documents were made public for the first time as part of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s bankruptcy proceedings. MANDATORY CREDIT; ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS OUT; MAGS OUT; TWIN CITIES TV OUT Photo: The Star Tribune, Richard Sennott

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The archbishop of Milwaukee wrote a letter in 2003 to the Vatican office overseeing clergy sex abuse cases begging it to remove a priest who had repeatedly abused children, showed no remorse and at least once engaged in sexual activity with a young boy, the child’s mother and her female friend.

The archdiocese provided the priest with counseling and alcohol abuse treatment, limited his job assignments, eventually ordering him to stop dressing as a priest and barring him from seminary buildings. It only received more reports of abuse.

In 2003, nearly 40 years after some of the earliest reported abuse took place, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who was then archbishop of Milwaukee, sought permission to have the priest, Daniel Budzynski, officially defrocked. Despite the egregiousness of the priest’s crimes, the Vatican office in charge of sex abuse cases, then led by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI, took more than a year to formally dismiss him.

The correspondence was made public Monday along with thousands of pages of other documents detailing sex abuse by dozens of priests in the archdiocese covering southeastern Wisconsin. The documents were released as part of a deal reached in federal bankruptcy court between the archdiocese and victims suing it for fraud. Victims have accused the archdiocese of transferring abusive priests to new churches without warning parishioners and covering up their crimes for decades.

The Budzynski case was among at least a half-dozen Dolan inherited when he took over the archdiocese in 2002 amid the growing clergy abuse scandal. It shows some of the difficulty church leaders had in dealing with serial molesters and a church bureaucracy that in many cases sat on pleas for priests’ removal for years.

While other church leaders, including Dolan’s predecessor, Archbishop Rembert Weakland, have acknowledged they didn’t immediately grasp the extent of the problem, Dolan appears to have quickly determined a crisis was in the making. He moved to push out problem priests, even paying them to leave the priesthood, and later acted to protect church assets by transferring $57 million from a cemetery fund into a trust as the archdiocese moved toward bankruptcy.

Victims have accused Dolan of caring more for the church’s well-being than theirs, but his letters, such as the one to Ratzinger seeking to defrock Budzynski, show an understanding of the damage done to children.

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Archbishop Timothy Dolan Purposely Shuttled 57 Million Dollars Away From Sex Abuse Victims

He Viewed The Victims As A Major Inconvenience

Archbishop Timothy Dolan Purposely Shuttled 57 Million Dollars Away From Sex Abuse Victims And Viewed Them As An Inconvenience

A portion of the proceeds from this article will be donated to SNAP-the Survivor’s Network of Those Abused by Priests. Please share this article on your social networks.

Breaking news out of Milwaukee today as thousands of pages of documents have been released from the Catholic Archdiocese there. The papers show  that Archbishop Timothy Dolan bribed priests to keep them quiet about the child sex abuse scandal, purposely shuttled nearly 57 million dollars out of the Milwaukee Archdiocese before it declared bankruptcy in an attempt to avoid paying settlements to victims, and was far more concerned with accused priests’ well-being and comfort than with the victims themselves. The papers, published on the Archdiocese website as well as on the website of victims’ lawyers, detail depositions, personnel files and court papers in relation to 42 separate child sexual abuse cases.

In preparation of the publication of the documents, Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki of Milwaukee wrote a letter to his congregation, attempting to explain how the church has had to undergo an “arc of understanding” to comprehend the fact that molesting children is a criminal act. In one paragraph, he says “The arc of understanding sexual abuse of a minor progressed from being seen as a moral failing and sin that needed personal resolve and spiritual direction; to a psychological deficiency that required therapy and could be cured; to issues of addiction requiring more extensive therapy and restrictions on ministry; to recognition of the long-term effects of abuse and the need to hold the perpetrator accountable for this criminal activity.”

While most would say that sexual abuse of a minor would automatically be considered a criminal act for which the perpetrator should be held accountable, the church seems to have taken nearly 80 years coming to that conclusion. Owning up to the mistakes, Listecki said, took a long time because the church only realized that having sex with children was wrong when they looked back upon their actions. “Acknowledging our past… includes facing up to mistakes that were made, even if some of those mistakes become apparent only in hindsight” he writes.

Whereas the vast majority of the population does not feel that child molestation is difficult to equate with criminality, Archbishop Listecki seems to feel otherwise. In his letter he reflects back on how some of the documents show that parents didn’t want the police to be involved, and that some of them were more concerned for “Father” than for their own children. He goes on to say “I do not offer this as an excuse, but rather, as examples of the complexity of the topic and the context in which decisions were made.”

Contrary to what Archbishop Listecki states, most would say that handling child molestation is not complex. It’s actually very simple.  The majority of first responders would probably pick up the phone and dial 911. But the responders were “ill-equipped” and “didn’t understand” he says. He tells his congregation to “prepare to be shocked” about the documents that were to be published.

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Published on Mar 13, 2013

Cardinals have chosen Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina to be the new leader of the Catholic Church.


Mar 13, 2013 3:26 PM

76-Year-Old Argentinian Cardinal Bergoglio Named New Pope, First Ever from Americas

Max Read


In a major surprise, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, an Argentinian cardinal predicted by almost no one, has been named Pope by the Papal Conclave. He will be the first-ever pope from the Western Hemipshere, and will take the name Francis I. Bergoglio was announced to a packed and cheering St. Peter’s Square minutes ago, following the traditional burning of white smoke through the chimney of the Sistine Chapel.

Bergoglio, a 76-year-old Jesuit and the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, was a “close second” when Benedict was chosen in 2005, according to the Times‘ Rachel Donadio. Generally, Papal “runners-up” aren’t chosen by the following conclave—it’s seen as insulting to the previous pope—but Bergoglio is thought to appeal to both hard-liners and moderates in the College of Cardinals, according to John Allen of National Catholic Reporter:

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Gregorio Borgia / AP
White smoke emerges from the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel, in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, on March 13. The white smoke indicates that a new pope has been elected.
Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images

The new pontiff appears on the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica on March 13, 2013, in Vatican City. Bergoglio will be known as Pope Francis.

Paul Hanna / Reuters

People wait in the rain under umbrellas at St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on March 13.

Michael Sohn / AP

People watch on a video monitor in St. Peter’s Square as Monsignor Guido Marini, master of liturgical ceremonies, closes the double doors to the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City on March 12, at the start of the conclave of cardinals to elect the next pope. Marini closed the doors after shouting “Extra omnes,” Latin for “all out,” telling everyone but those taking part in the conclave to leave the frescoed hall. He then locked it.

Andrew Medichini / AP

Cardinal Angelo Sodano leads other cardinals in a Mass for the election of a new pope inside St. Peter’s Basilica, at the Vatican, on March 12.

Natacha Pisarenko / AP
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires, leads a Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Feb. 14, 2013. Cardinal Bergoglio was named leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics on March 13, after being elected pope.
Tony Gomez / REUTERS

Bergoglio washes the feet of a unidentified woman on Holy Thursday at the Buenos Aires’ Sarda maternity hospital on March 24, 2005, when he was an archbishop.


Who is Jorge Bergoglio?

Posted: 03/13/2013 – 1:51 pm PDT | Last Updated: 03/13/2013 – 4:27 pm PDT

Who is Jorge Bergoglio? As white smoke rises over the Vatican and “Habemus Papum,” is cried from its balcony, the new Pope’s identity is revealed. Cardinal Bergoglio, from Buenos Aires, Argentina, bested all others to become the new Pope of the Roman Catholic Church.

Who is Jorge Bergoglio?

Photo Credit Macdiarmid, Getty Image

Pope Francis
Photo Credit Peter Macdiarmid, Getty Images

Jorge Mario Bergoglio was born December, 17, 1936, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, making him the first Pope born in The Americas, the first non-European Pope, and first chosen Jesuit priest in history. Born to a railroad worker, Bergoglio was one of five children born to Mario Jose Bergoglio and his wife Regina Maria Sivori, Italian immigrants. A life threatening lung infection in his 20′s required the removal of one of his lungs. The remainder of his upbringing was normal and modest. He enjoyed activities typical of anyone, including tango dancing with his girlfriend, until he discovered and committed to his religious calling.

Bergoglio spent the majority of his early Catholic career in academia. His rise to papacy started upon his attendance to seminary school in Villa Devoto before entering the Society of Jesus on March 11, 1958. Bergoglio continued his studies at Colegio Maximo San Jose in San Miguel, obtaining a license in philosophy to teach literature and psychology at Colegio de la Inmaculada in Santa Fe and the Colegio del Salvador in Buenos Aires.

On December 13, 1969, Archbishop Ramon Jose Castellano ordained Bergoglio into priesthood. Demonstrating distinguished leadership skills, Bergoglio quickly rose through the ranks within the Society of Jesus, promoting him as provincial for Argentina from 1973 to 1979 before transferring to San Miguel to serve as its rector of the seminary. He served as rector of the seminary until 1986, when he transferred to Germany to complete his doctoral dissertation. He then returned to Argentina serving as Cordoba’s confessor and spiritual director.

Bergoglio was elevated as archbishop replacing Cardinal Quarracino. On February 28, 1998. Meanwhile, the Eastern Catholics of Argentina lacked a prelate and archbishop Bergoglio summated as ordinary until February 21, 2001 when Pope John Paul II ordained him Cardinal Priest of Saint Robert Bellarmino in Vatican City.

Bergoglio exceeded expectations as cardinal being appointed multiple positions in the Roman Curia, serving on the congregation of Clergy, Congregation of Divine Worship and Sacraments, Congregation of Societies of Apostolic Life and Congregation of Institutes of Consecrated Life. Infamous among the Church for his humility and commitment to social justice, Bergoglio was known to cook his own meals, use public transportation, reside in a small apartment, and is an avid football fan, supporting a popular Argentinian club dubbed ‘The Saints’. His genuine humility was further demonstrated in the 2005 papal conclave. Rumor has it his odds of beating Ratzinger in a tie were indefinite until he pleaded with the other cardinals not to vote for him. Perhaps it is this humility that has made the 2013 conclave one of the quickest turnovers in papal history.


New pope slips out of Vatican for morning prayer visit

A photo of the membership card of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio from the San Lorenzo soccer club, of which he is known to be a fan, is seen in this undated handout photograph distributed by the club on March 13, 2013, after Bergoglio was elected as the new Pope. REUTERS-San Lorenzo soccer club-Handout

By Crispian Balmer and Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY | Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:54am EDT

(Reuters) – Pope Francis, barely 12 hours after his election, quietly left the Vatican early on Thursday to pray for guidance at a Rome basilica as he looks to usher a Catholic Church mired in intrigue and scandal into a new age of simplicity and humility.

Francis went to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, the oldest church in the world dedicated to the Madonna, where he prayed before a famous icon of the Madonna called the Salus Populi Romani, or Protectress of the Roman People.

“He spoke to us cordially like a father,” said Father Ludovico Melo, a priest who prayed with the pope. “We were given 10 minutes’ advance notice that the pope was coming”.

The first South American pontiff and the first non-European pope in 1,300 years, Francis is also bishop of Rome.

In his first words on Wednesday night he made clear that he would take that part of his role seriously and made good on the promise by visiting one of the capital’s most important churches.

Later on Thursday he was to go to the papal summer retreat at Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome, to meet Emeritus Pope Benedict, who last month became the first pontiff in 600 years to step down, saying he was too frail to tackle all the problems of the 1.2 billion-member Church.

Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio’s election has broken Europe’s centuries-old grip on the papacy but he is also the first to take the name Francis, in honor of the 12th century saint from Assisi who spurned wealth to pursue a life of poverty.

His elevation on the second day of a closed-door conclave of cardinals came as a surprise, with many Vatican watchers expecting a longer deliberation, and none predicting the conservative 76-year-old Bergoglio would get the nod.

He looked as startled as everyone, hesitating a moment on the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica before stepping out to greet the huge crowds gathered in the square below to catch a glimpse of the new pontiff.

“I ask a favor of you … pray for me,” he urged the cheering crowds, telling them the 114 other cardinal-electors “went almost to the end of the world” to find a new leader.

“Good night and have a good rest,” Bergoglio said before disappearing back into the opulent surroundings of the Vatican City – a far cry from his simple apartment in Buenos Aires.

“Yesterday he transmitted such humility, love and brotherhood,” said a woman outside the basilica on Thursday morning.

On Wednesday night, delighted priests, nuns and pilgrims danced around the obelisk in the middle of St. Peter’s Square, chanting: “Long Live the Pope” and “Argentina, Argentina”.

In his native Argentina, jubilant Catholics poured into their local churches to celebrate.

“I hope he changes all the luxury that exists in the Vatican, that he steers the Church in a more humble direction, something closer to the gospel,” said Jorge Andres Lobato, a 73-year-old retired state prosecutor.


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Mother Teresa: Anything but a saint…

The myth of altruism and generosity surrounding Mother Teresa is dispelled in a paper by Serge Larivée and Genevieve Chenard of University of Montreal’s Department of Psychoeducation and Carole Sénéchal of the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Education.

The paper will be published in the March issue of the journal Studies in Religion/Sciences religieuses and is an analysis of the published writings about Mother Teresa. Like the journalist and author Christopher Hitchens, who is amply quoted in their analysis, the researchers conclude that her hallowed image—which does not stand up to analysis of the facts—was constructed, and that her beatification was orchestrated by an effective media relations campaign.

“While looking for documentation on the phenomenon of altruism for a seminar on ethics, one of us stumbled upon the life and work of one of Catholic Church’s most celebrated woman and now part of our collective imagination—Mother Teresa—whose real name was Agnes Gonxha,” says Professor Larivée, who led the research. “The description was so ecstatic that it piqued our curiosity and pushed us to research further.”

Researchers dispell the myth of altruism and generosity surrounding Mother Teresa 150x150 Mother Teresa: Anything but a saint…As a result, the three researchers collected 502 documents on the life and work of Mother Teresa. After eliminating 195 duplicates, they consulted 287 documents to conduct their analysis, representing 96% of the literature on the founder of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity (OMC). Facts debunk the myth of Mother Teresa

In their article, Serge Larivée and his colleagues also cite a number of problems not take into account by the Vatican in Mother Teresa’s beatification process, such as “her rather dubious way of caring for the sick, her questionable political contacts, her suspicious management of the enormous sums of money she received, and her overly dogmatic views regarding, in particular, abortion, contraception, and divorce.”

‘The sick must suffer like Christ on the cross’

At the time of her death, Mother Teresa had opened 517 missions welcoming the poor and sick in more than 100 countries. The missions have been described as “homes for the dying” by doctors visiting several of these establishments in Calcutta. Two-thirds of the people coming to these missions hoped to a find a doctor to treat them, while the other third lay dying without receiving appropriate care. The doctors observed a significant lack of hygiene, even unfit conditions, as well as a shortage of actual care, inadequate food, and no painkillers. The problem is not a lack of money—the Foundation created by Mother Teresa has raised hundreds of millions of dollars—but rather a particular conception of suffering and death: “There is something beautiful in seeing the poor accept their lot, to suffer it like Christ’s Passion. The world gains much from their suffering,” was her reply to criticism, cites the journalist Christopher Hitchens. Nevertheless, when Mother Teresa required palliative care, she received it in a modern American hospital.

Mother Teresa’s questionable politics and shadowy accounting

Mother Teresa was generous with her prayers but rather miserly with her foundation’s millions when it came to humanity’s suffering. During numerous floods in India or following the explosion of a pesticide plant in Bhopal, she offered numerous prayers and medallions of the Virgin Mary but no direct or monetary aid. On the other hand, she had no qualms about accepting the Legion of Honour and a grant from the Duvalier dictatorship in Haiti. Millions of dollars were transferred to the MCO’s various bank accounts, but most of the accounts were kept secret, Larivée says. “Given the parsimonious management of Mother Theresa’s works, one may ask where the millions of dollars for the poorest of the poor have gone?”


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The leader of the Scottish Catholic Church, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, has resigned amid allegations of inappropriate behavior, involving four priests in the 1980s. The Cardinal used his resignation to apologize to those he’d offended.  ITV’s Lewis Vaughan Jones report.

By John Newland, Staff Writer, NBC News

LONDON — Britain’s most senior Roman Catholic cleric has resigned amid allegations of inappropriate behavior made by priests.

The Vatican said Monday that Pope Benedict XVI had formally accepted the resignation of Cardinal Keith O’Brien, archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh. The Observer newspaper reported Sunday that the Vatican had been notified of allegations of inappropriate behavior stretching back 30 years.

Three priests in Scotland, as well as a former priest, have lodged complaints to the Vatican’s ambassador to Britain and demanded O’Brien’s immediate resignation, according to the newspaper.

The 74-year-old cardinal has contested the claims and said he is taking legal advice.

O’Brien had been prepared to resign, citing his age as the cause. He turns 75 on March 17, and the Vatican said the pope had in November accepted a resignation letter under the condition of “nunc pro tunc,” meaning “now for later.”

The Vatican said Monday, however, that the pontiff had now accepted the resignation “definitively.”

Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images, file

The Vatican confirmed Monday that it had accepted the resignation of Cardinal Keith O’Brien, 74.

It means O’Brien will not take part in the conclave to elect the pope’s successor – a process that could begin earlier than March 15 after the rules governing the process were changed in a move announced Monday.

O’Brien said in a statement that it was the pope himself who had decided his resignation would take effect immediately.

“Approaching the age of 75 and at times in indifferent health, I tendered my resignation … some months ago,” he said. “The Holy Father has now decided that my resignation will take effect today.”

O’Brien would have been Britain’s only elector in the papal conclave that will gather to decide on a successor to Benedict XVI.

“I will not join them for this conclave in person,” O’Brien said. “I do not wish media attention in Rome to be focused on me — but rather on Pope Benedict XVI and on his successor.”

A hint of O’Brien’s accelerated resignation was found Sunday in Edinburgh, when the cardinal did not appear as scheduled to lead a Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral. Instead, Bishop Stephen Robson made a statement on O’Brien’s behalf.

“A number of allegations of inappropriate behavior have been made against the cardinal,” the statement said. “The cardinal has sought legal advice, and it would be inappropriate to comment at this time. There will be further statements in due course.”

Robson is an auxiliary prelate in the Edinburgh diocese.

O’Brien’s statement went on to say: “I have valued the opportunity of serving the people of Scotland and overseas in various ways since becoming a priest. Looking back over my years of ministry: For any good I have been able to do, I thank God. For any failures, I apologize to all whom I have offended.”

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By: AFP | February 17, 2013
Vatican considers early pope vote

ROME – The Vatican on Saturday said it could speed up the election of a new pope as lobbying for Benedict XVI’s job intensified amid speculation over who had the best chance to succeed him. Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi, who earlier said the conclave would probably start on or after March 15 after the pope resigns on February 28, said the issue of bringing forward the date “has been raised by various cardinals”. Benedict’s decision to step down for age reasons has revealed tensions at the heart of the Church, emphasised by a battle between top cardinals over whose candidate should be appointed to head up the Vatican’s scandal-hit bank.

The choice of German financier Ernst Von Freyberg on Friday was seen by some as a snub to the Vatican’s powerful number two, Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who had backed another candidate, religious watchers said.

“The appointment is fruit of a bitter compromise,” Il Messaggero daily said.

It appeared to bring to the fore a power struggle between Bertone’s allies and his rivals reminiscent of Renaissance conspiracies – a bid to shape the hierarchy within the Vatican first revealed in a leaks scandal last year.

In an interview carried out 10 weeks ago but published Saturday, Benedict spoke about the scandal, which some believe was a factor in his resignation.

“I simply couldn’t understand it,” he told his biographer Peter Seewald in the interview published in Focus magazine, referring to his former butler Paolo Gabriele’s decision to leak secret memos revealing intrigue at the Vatican.

“I don’t know what he was expecting. I can’t understand his thought process,” said the 85-year-old, who pardoned Gabriele just before Christmas.

Sources at the Vatican told Ansa news agency that Gabriele will in the next few days sign a confidentiality agreement with the Vatican, assuring the Church that he will not speak out to the media about his life as Benedict’s butler.

Seewald had also asked Benedict six months ago what people could expect from the rest of his papacy: “From me? Not much. I am an old man, running out of energy. I also think what I have done is enough,” he replied.


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Pope’s sudden resignation sends shockwaves through Church

Pope Benedict XVI waves during a mass conducted by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, for the 900th anniversary of the Order of the Knights of Malta at the St. Peter Basilica in Vatican February 9, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

By Philip Pullella | Reuters – Mon, Feb 11, 2013

  • Pope: “My strengths … are no longer suited”Reuters Videos  1:10Pope Benedict surprises the world and his own aides by announcing his resignation. Rough Cut (no reporter …

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Benedict stunned the Roman Catholic Church on Monday when he announced he would stand down, the first pope to do so in 700 years, saying he no longer had the mental and physical strength to carry on.

Church officials tried to relay a climate of calm confidence in the running of a 2,000-year-old institution, but the decision could lead to uncertainty in a Church already besieged by scandal for covering up sexual abuse of children by priests.

The soft-spoken German, who always maintained that he never wanted to be pope, was an uncompromising conservative on social and theological issues, fighting what he regarded as the increasing secularization of society.

It remains to be seen whether his successor will continue such battles or do more to bend with the times.

Despite his firm opposition to tolerance of homosexual acts, his eight year reign saw gay marriage accepted in many countries. He has staunchly resisted allowing women to be ordained as priests, and opposed embryonic stem cell research, although he retreated slightly from the position that condoms could never be used to fight AIDS.

He repeatedly apologized for the Church’s failure to root out child abuse by priests, but critics said he did too little and the efforts failed to stop a rapid decline in Church attendance in the West, especially in his native Europe.

In addition to child sexual abuse crises, his papacy saw the Church rocked by Muslim anger after he compared Islam to violence. Jews were upset over rehabilitation of a Holocaust denier. During a scandal over the Church’s business dealings, his butler was accused of leaking his private papers.

In an announcement read to cardinals in Latin, the universal language of the Church, the 85-year-old said: “Well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of St Peter …

“As from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours (1900 GMT) the See of Rome, the See of St. Peter will be vacant and a conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.”


Benedict is expected to go into isolation for at least a while after his resignation. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said Benedict did not intend to influence the decision of the cardinals in a secret conclave to elect a successor.

A new leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics could be elected as soon as Palm Sunday, on March 24, and be ready to take over by Easter a week later, Lombardi said.

Several popes in the past, including Benedict’s predecessor John Paul, have refrained from stepping down over their health, because of the division that could be caused by having an “ex-pope” and a reigning pope alive at the same time.

Lombardi said the pope did not fear a possible “schism”, with Catholics owing allegiances to a past and present pope in case of differences on Church teachings.

He indicated the complex machinery of the process to elect a new pope would move quickly because the Vatican would not have to wait until after the elaborate funeral services for a pope.

It is not clear if Benedict will have a public life after he resigns. Lombardi said Benedict would first go to the papal summer residence south of Rome and then move into a cloistered convent inside the Vatican walls.

The resignation means that cardinals from around the world will begin arriving in Rome in March and after preliminary meetings, lock themselves in a secret conclave and elect the new pope from among themselves in votes in the Sistine Chapel.

There has been growing pressure on the Church for it to choose a pope from the developing world to better reflect where most Catholics live and where the Church is growing.

“It could be time for a black pope, or a yellow one, or a red one, or a Latin American,” said Guatemala’s Archbishop Oscar Julio Vian Morales.

The cardinals may also want a younger man. John Paul was 58 when he was elected in 1978. Benedict was 20 years older.

“We have had two intellectuals in a row, two academics, perhaps it is time for a diplomat,” said Father Tom Reese, senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University. “Rather than electing the smartest man in the room, they should elect the man who will listen to all the other smart people in the Church.”

Liberals have already begun calling for a pope that would be more open to reform.

“The current system remains an ‘old boy’s club’ and does not allow for women’s voices to participate in the decision of the next leader of our Church,” said the Women’s Ordination Conference, a group that wants women to be able to be priests.

Read Full Article Here

Vatican Considers Worldwide Candidates to Replace Pope Benedict XVI

by William Bigelow 13 Feb 2013, 1:03 AM PDT

Now that Pope Benedict XVI has resigned, the speculation about his successor is already heating up. What follows is a short list of those who have been mentioned as possible candidates.

Two candidates from Italy are prominently mentioned, because Italians are abundant in the College of Cardinals: Cardinal Angelo Scola, the archbishop of Milan, and Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Vatican’s culture office. Scola’s Milan archdiocese is considered the most important in Italy, and he is known as a serious intellectual. Ravasi is also an intellectual; he is a scholar of Hegel and Nietzsche and his “Courtyard of the Gentiles” project, which engages in dialogue with artists, scientists, and even atheists, has gained acclaim. It doesn’t hurt his cause that Benedict chose him to lead the Vatican’s spiritual exercises during Lent.

Looking outside Italy, Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of South Africa noted, “I think we would have a better chance of getting someone outside of the Northern hemisphere this time, because there are some really promising cardinals from other parts of the world.”

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, who is only 56 and may be considered too young, Brazilian Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer, the 63-year-old archbishop of Sao Paulo, and Argentine Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, 69, who spoke for Pope John Paul II when Parkinson’s disease left him silent, are all candidates.

Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson of Ghana, who would be the first black Pope, has been mentioned, too, although he has made statements that veered away from orthodoxy.

From North America, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York and Canadian Cardinal Marc Oeullet are the leading candidates. Oeullet has headed the Vatican’s office for bishops.

If the Catholic Church looks outside of Europe for a successor, it would have demographic support. In 1900, two-thirds of Catholics lived in Europe, but today, two-thirds live in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.


College of Cardinals

Biographical notes

[Updated: 22.04.2012]

Notice: the biographical notes are only a working instrument for the press.

Cardinal Angelo Scola, Archbishop of Milan, was born on 7 November 1941 at Malgrate, Milan. He was ordained on 18 July 1970 and holds doctorates in theology and philosophy.Cardinal Scola was actively involved in the Communion and Liberation Movement before becoming assistant researcher in philosophy and then assistant professor of moral theology at the University of Fribourg. In 1982 he was appointed professor of theological anthropology at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, and taught contemporary Christology at the Pontifical Lateran University, Rome. On 21 September 1991, he was ordained Bishop of Grosseto, subsequent to his appointment on 20 July.

The Holy Father appointed him Rector of the Pontifical Lateran University and President of the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in 1995.

On 5 January 2002 the Pope appointed him Patriarch of Venice. He served as President of the Bishops’ Conference of the Triveneta region.

Relator general of the 11th  Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, The Eucharist: Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church (October 2005).

On 28 June 2011 he was appointed Archbishop of Milan.

On 11 October 2011 he was elected President of the Bishops’ Conference of Lombardy (Italy).

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by John Paul II in the Consistory of 21 October 2003, of the Title of Ss. XII Apostoli (Twelve Holy Apostles).

Member of:

  • Congregations: for the Doctrine of the Faith; for the Clergy; for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; for the Oriental Churches;
  • Pontifical Councils: for the Family; for the Laity; for Culture; for Promoting New Evangelization;
  • Council of Cardinals for Study of Organizational and Economic Affairs of the Holy See.



College of Cardinals

Biographical notes

[Updated: 04.11.2012]

Notice: the biographical notes are only a working instrument for the press, for the exclusive use of accredited journalists.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture and President of the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archeology, was born in Merate, Italy on 18 October 1942. He was ordained a priest of the archdiocese of Milan on 28 June 1966 and studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University and at the Pontifical Biblical Institute.He taught the Old Testament at the theological faculty of northern Italy. From 1989 to 2007 he served as prefect of the Ambrosian Library in Milan.

He has written may books, articles for L’Osservatore Romano and L’Avvenire and hosts the television show Frontiers of the Spirit.

On 3 September 2007 he was appointed titular Archbishop of Villamagna in Proconsolari and president of the Pontifical Council for Culture and president of the Pontifical Commissions for the Cultural Heritage of the Church and for Sacred Archeology (in November 2012 the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage was absorbed into the Pontifical Council for Culture),
He was consecrated on 29 September 2007.

Since March 2012 he is president of the cultural association Casa di Dante in Rome, dedicated to making the works of Dante known throughout Italy and abroad.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Benedict XVI in the consistory of 20 November 2010, of the Deaconry of San Giorgio in Velabro (Saint George in Velabro).

Member of:

  • Congregation for Catholic Education;
  • Pontifical Councils: for Inter-religious Dialogue; for Promoting New Evangelization.

College of Cardinals

Biographical notes

[Updated: 26.10.2012]

Notice: the biographical notes are only a working instrument for the press, for the exclusive use of accredited journalists.

© Gregorz Galazka

Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, O.F.M., Archbishop of Durban, South Africa, Apostolic Administrator sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis of Umzimkulu, was born on 8 March 1941 in Swartberg, South Africa. He was ordained for the Franciscans on 25 July 1970 following philosophical and theological studies at the Catholic University of Louvain.After learning Xhosa, he worked in the parish of Lusikisiki and did pastoral work in Tabankulu. In 1978 he was named Apostolic Administrator of Kokstad and appointed Bishop of the same see on 29 November 1980, receiving episcopal ordination on 28 February 1981. During the turbulent changes that marked the South African political scene, he was deeply involved in mediation and negotiation work along with other national and provincial Church leaders. He served as President of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference from 1987 to 1994.On 29 May 1992 he was promoted to Archbishop of Durban and on 1 August 1994 was named Apostolic Administrator sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis of Umzimkulu.

President of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) (November 1999 – November 2008)

President Delegate of the 2nd Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, “The Church in Africa, at the Service of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace. ‘You are the salt of the earth, … you are the light of the world'” (4-25 October 2009).

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by John Paul II in the consistory of 21 February 2001, of the Title of S. Francesco d’Assisi in Acilia (St. Francis of Assisi in Acilia).

Member of:

  • Congregations: for the Evangelization of Peoples; for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life;
  • Pontifical Councils: for Culture; for Health Care Workers;
  • Council of Cardinals for the Study of Organizational and Economic Affairs of the Holy See;
  • XIII Ordinary Council of the Secretariat General of the Synod of Bishops;
  • II Special Council for Africa of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.

Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle

His Eminence Luis Antonio Tagle Archbishop of Manila
Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church
Metropolitan Archbishop of Manila
Province Manila
Diocese Metropolitan See of Manila
See Manila
Elected 13 October 2011
Enthroned 12 December 2011
Predecessor Gaudencio Rosales
Ordination 27 February 1982
Consecration 12 December 2001
by Jaime Sin
Created Cardinal 24 November 2012
Rank Cardinal-Priest of San Felice da Cantalice a Centocelle
Personal details
Birth name Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle
Born June 21, 1957 (age 55)
Manila, Philippines
Nationality Filipino
Denomination Roman Catholic Church
Residence Manila, Cavite
Parents Manuel Tagle
Milagros Gokim-Tagle
Occupation Cardinal-Priest
Archbishop of Manila
Previous post Bishop of Imus (2001–2011)
Alma mater Ateneo de Manila University
Motto Dominus Est! (It is the Lord!)” – John 21:7
Signature {{{signature_alt}}}
Coat of arms

Luis Antonio Tagle (Latin: Aloysius Antonius Tagle) (born 21 June 1957, in Manila) is a Roman Catholic Filipino cardinal, titular-archpriest of the Church of Saint Felix of Cantalice at Centocelle[1][2] and de facto Primate of the Philippines.[3][4] Appointed by Pope Benedict XVI, Tagle succeeded the Archbishop Emeritus, Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales. Tagle is also the Professor of Dogmatic Synthesis at the Graduate School of Theology of San Carlos Seminary, the archdiocesan major seminary of Manila, and an Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at the Loyola School of Theology of the Ateneo de Manila University.[5]

Tagle is widely known for his charismatic nature[6] and views in line with Catholic teachings.[7][8][9]

Tagle has become involved in many social issues in the Philippines with emphasis on helping the poor and the needy while maintaining opposition against atheism,[10][11] abortion,[12] contraception,[13] and the Reproductive Health Bill.[5] Tagle currently wields strong religious and political influence as the country’s primate, with an estimated 2.8 million professed Roman Catholics in the Archdiocese.[14]

Tagle was installed on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and is currently the head of the Metropolitan See of Manila along with its mother church, the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, as both its metropolitan archbishop and archpriest.[15]

Tagle was made a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI in a papal consistory on 24 November 2012 at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.[16][17]

College of Cardinals

Biographical notes

[Updated: 26.10.2012]

Notice: the biographical notes are only a working instrument for the press.

Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer, Archbishop of São Paulo (Brazil), was born on 21 September 1949 in São Francisco, Cerro Largo, Brazil. He was ordained a priest on 7 December 1976 and holds a doctorate in theology and master in philosophy from the Pontifical Gregorian University.He served as rector and professor at São José Minor Seminary in Cascavel and of the Seminary Maria Mãe of Igreja in Toledo. He was also rector of the Nossa Senhora de Guadalupe seminary and philosophy professor at the interdiocesan theology centre.He has served as parochial vicar, parish priest and official of the Congregation for Bishops (1994-2001).

He was appointed titular Bishop of Novi and Auxiliary of São Paulo on 28 November 2001 and was ordained a bishop on 2 February 2002.

In May 2003 he was elected general secretary of the Nationsl Bishops’ Conference of Brazil. On 12 December 2006 the Pope appointed him adjunct general secretary of the Fifth General Conference of the Latin American Bishops.

He succeeded Cardinal Hummes as Archbishop of São Paulo on 21 March 2007.

On 24 June 2008 he was appointed President Delegate of the XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, “The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church” (5-26 October 2008).

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Benedict XVI in the consistory of 24 November 2007, of the Title of Sant’Andrea al Quirinale (St. Andrew at Quirinale). Member of:

  • Congregation for the Clergy;
  • Pontifical Councils: for the Family; for Promoting New Evangelization;
  • Pontifical Commission for America Latina;
  • Council of Cardinals for Study of Organizational and Economic Affairs of the Holy See;
  • Cardinal Commission for the Supervision of the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR);
  • XIII Ordinary Council of the Secretariat General of the Synod of Bishops.

College of Cardinals

Biographical notes

[Updated: 16.12.2011]

Notice: the biographical notes are only a working instrument for the press.


Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches and Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Oriental Institute, was born on 18 November 1943 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to parents of Italian descent. He was ordained a priest on 2 December 1967 and holds a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical Gregorian University.In 1971 he entered the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy and in 1974 he served at the nunciature in Madagascar. From 1977 to 1989, he worked at the Secretariat of State. In 1989 he was posted to the United States as counsellor at the nunciature and served as papal representative at the Organization of American States.On 22 August 1991 he became regent of the prefecture of the Pontifical Household and on 2 April 1992, assessor of the section for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State. On 22 July 1997 he was appointed titular Archbishop of Cittanova and Apostolic Nuncio in Venezuela. He was ordained a bishop on 11 October of that year.

On 1 March 2000 he was appointed Apostolic Nuncio in Mexico and later, on 16 September, Substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State. On 9 June 2007 he succeeded Cardinal Ignace Moussa I Daoud as prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

He was a President Delegate of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Byshops (10-24 October 2010),“The Catholic Church in the Middle East: Communion and Witness. ‘Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul’ (Acts 4:32)”.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Benedict XVI in the consistory of 24 November 2007, of the Deaconry of San Biagio e Carlo ai Catinari (Sts. Blaise and Charles ai Catinari).

Member of:

  • Congregations: for Doctrine of the Faith; for the Evangelization of Peoples; for Bishops;
  • Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura;
  • Pontifical Councils: for Promoting Christian Unity; for Inter-religious Dialogue; for Legislative Texts,  
  • Pontifical Commissions: for Latin America; for Vatican City State;
  • Special Council for the Middle East of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.

College of Cardinals

Biographical notes

[Updated: 26.10.2012]

Notice: the biographical notes are only a working instrument for the press, for the exclusive use of accredited journalists.


Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and PeaceArchbishop emeritus of Cape Coast (Ghana), was born on 11 October 1948 in Wassaw Nsuta, Ghana.  He was ordained for the Diocese of Cape Coast on 20 July 1975 and holds a doctorate in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome.

From 1975-1976 and 1980-1981 he served as staff member at St Theresa’s Minor Seminary, and from 1981-1987 as staff member at St Peter’s Major Seminary. 

On 6 October 1992 he was appointed Archbishop of Cape Coast and was ordained on 27 March 1993.

He was President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (1997-2005) and member of the Pontifical Commission for Methodist-Catholic Dialogue; Chancellor of the Catholic University College of Ghana; member of the National Sustainable Development, Ministry of Environment; member of the Board of Directors of the Central Regional Development Committee and treasurer of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM).

Attended the Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, April 10 to May 8, 1994; the 9th Ordinary General Assembly of the World Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, October 2 to 29, 1994; the 11th  Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, October 2 to 23, 2005 and the 12th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Vatican City, October 5 to 26, 2008. General Relator of the 2nd Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, “The Church in Africa, at the Service of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace. ‘You are the salt of the earth, … you are the light of the world'” (4-25 October 2009).

On 24 October 2009 he was nominated President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by John Paul II in the Consistory of 21 October 2003, of the Title of S. Liborio (St. Liborius).

Member of:

  • Congregation: for the Doctrine of the Faith; for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; for the Evangelization of Peoples; for Catholic Education;
  • Pontifical Councils: for Promoting Christian Unity; Cor Unum;
  • Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses;
  • XIII Ordinary Council of the Secretariat General of the Synod of Bishops;
  • II Special Council for Africa of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.

College of Cardinals

Biographical notes

[Updated: 26.10.2012]

Notice: the biographical notes are only a working instrument for the press.


Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, Archbishop of New York (U.S.A.), was born on 6 February 1950 in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA.

He holds a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Cardinal Glennon College, a license in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas, and a doctorate in American Church History from the Catholic University of America.

He was ordained a priest on 19 June 1976 and served as associate pastor at Immacolata Parish in Richmond Heights, Missouri. He also served as liaison for the late Archbishop John L. May in the restructuring of the college and theology programs of the archdiocesan seminary system. In 1987 he was appointed secretary to the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C.

In 1992 he was appointed vice rector of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, serving also as director of Spiritual Formation and professor of Church History. He also taught theology at St. Louis University.

He served as rector of the Pontifical North American College in Rome (1994-2001), and taught church history and ecumenical theology at various Pontifical Universities.

On 19 June 2001 he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Saint Louis and titular Bishop of Natchez. He was ordained a bishop on 15 August 2001.

On 25 June 2002 he was appointed Archbishop of Milwaukee and then Archbishop of New York on 23 February 2009.

On 31 May 2010 he was sent by Benedict XVI as an Apostolic Visitator to seminaries in Ireland.

He was elected president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on 16 November 2010.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Benedict XVI in the consistory of 18 February 2012, of the Title of Nostra Signora di Guadalupe a Monte Mario (Our Lady of Guadalupe on Monte Mario).

Member of:

  • Congregation for the Oriental Churches

  • Pontifical Councils: for Social Communications, for Promoting New Evangelization:

  • XIII Ordinary Council of the Secretariat General of the Synod of Bishops.

College of Cardinals

Biographical notes

[Updated: 26.10.2012]

Notice: the biographical notes are only a working instrument for the press, for the exclusive use of accredited journalists.


Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, Archbishop emeritus of Québec, was born on 8 June 1944 in Lamotte, near Amos, Canada. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Amos on 25 May 1968. He holds licentiates in theology and philosophy, and a doctorate in dogmatic theology.
Cardinal Ouellet served as consultor to the Sulpicians’ Provincial Council of Canada, and then director and teacher at the Major Seminary of Montreal, where he became rector in 1990. He also served briefly as rector of St Joseph’s Seminary, Edmonton.
He was consultor to the Congregation for the Clergy, then to the General Council of the Priests of Saint Sulpice. He later taught at the John Paul II Institute at the Pontifical Lateran University, where in 1997 he was appointed to the chair of dogmatic theology.
On 3 March 2001, he was named titular Bishop of Agropoli and Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; Pope John Paul II ordained him a Bishop on 19 March of that year.
On 15 November 2002, Cardinal Ouellet was appointed Metropolitan Archbishop of Quebec.
Cardinal Ouellet is a member of the
Pontifical Academy of Theology.
Relator General of the XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, “The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church” (5-26 October 2008).
On 30 June 2010 he was nominated Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.Created and proclaimed Cardinal by John Paul II in the Consistory of 21 October 2003, of the Title of S. Maria in Traspontina (Holy Mary in Transpontina).Member of:

  • Secretariat of State (second section);
  • Congregations: for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments; for Catholic Education; for the Clergy;  for the Doctrine of the Fait; for the Oriental Churches;
  • Pontifical Councils for Culture; for Promoting New Evangelization; for Legislative Texts;
  • Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses.

Petrus Romanus: 900 Year Old Prophecy Says Next Pope Will Oversee End of Days

Mac Slavo
February 11th, 2013

In 1139 A.D. the Catholic Saint Malachy was said to have experienced visions during a trip to Rome. He subsequently put these visions to paper and penned a document containing 112 short phrases purporting to describe all future popes that would head the Catholic Church. Though not a part of official Catholic dogma or church teachings, this Prophecy of the Popes is well known by Vatican officials and church scholars because it has been remarkably accurate about naming the last 111 heads of one of the world’s oldest and most widespread religions.

According to researchers, theologians and evangelical scholars, the phrases Malachy scribed in his writings offer up the “nature, name, destiny or coat of arms” of every pope in succession and culminate with the naming of the 112th pope.

This morning, Pope Benedict XVI announced he would be retiring. Jokingly referred to as “God’s Rottweiler” in some circles, the German born 111th Pontiff as described in Malachy’s prophecy is called the Gloria Olivae, or ”glory of the olive,” which some supporters of the prophecy suggest is a reference to the Benedictine Order of monks from whom Benedict got his namesake. The monks are also known as the Olivetans, and are represented by an olive branch, leaving many to believe that Saint Malachy was, once again, right.

Now, according to prophecy, the 112th Pope will step up to head the Church, and he will be named Petrus Romanus, or Peter the Roman.

Whether you’re Catholic, Christian or not a religious person at all, the fact that a 900 year old prophecy is coming to a close is intriguing. And one way or the other, whether its predictions turn out to be true or not, the prophecy concludes with the next Pope.

Eerily, the prophecy describes the Catholic Church’s last Pontiff as overseeing a new era, and one that will be met with great difficulty and destruction:

“In  extreme persecution the seat of the Holy Roman Church will be occupied by Peter the Roman…”

“Who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the terrible or fearsome judge will judge his people.

The End.”

Prophecy of the Popes – Attributed to St. Malachy circa  1139 A.D.

Within the Book of Revelation, also known as The Apocalypse of John, are references to the destruction of the City of Seven Hills (Rome) and to the many trials that will be faced by mankind ahead of the final judgement – the rapture, the rise of the anti-christ, seven years of tribulations, and the end of days.

Suffice it to say, if the prophecy is accurate, then the world will soon be engulfed in a battle between good and evil.

The idea by some Catholics that the next pope on St. Malachy’s list heralds the beginning of “great apostasy” followed by “great tribulation” sets the stage for the imminent unfolding of apocalyptic events, something many non-Catholics agree with. This will give rise to the false prophet, who according to the book of Revelation leads the world’s religious communities into embracing a political leader known as Antichrist. 

Throughout history, many Catholic priests—some deceased now—have been surprisingly outspoken on what they have seen as this inevitable danger rising from within the ranks of Catholicism as a result of secret satanic “Illuminati-Masonic” influences. These priests claim secret knowledge of an multinational power elite and occult hierarchy operating behind supranatural and global political machinations. Among this secret society are sinister false Catholic infiltrators who understand that, as the Roman Catholic Church represents one-sixth of the world’s population and over half of all Christians, it is indispensable for controlling future global elements in matters of church and state and the fulfillment of a diabolical plan called “Alta Vendita,” which assumes control of the papacy and helps the False Prophet deceive the world’s faithful (including Catholics) into worshipping Antichrist.

As stated by Dr. Michael Lake on the front cover of this unprecedented report, Catholic and evangelical scholars have dreaded this moment for centuries. Unfortunately – as you will discover in the next 90 days – time for avoiding Peter the Roman just ran out.

Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope Is Here

The prophecy begins in 1143 with the election of Pope Celestine II, who is described in Latin as “Ex caſtro Tiberis,” or “From a castle of the Tiber.” Celestine II was born in central Italy in a city that sits on the banks of the Tiber river.

Pope John Paul II is referred to as “De labore folis,” or “from the labour of the sun,” and is the only pope to have been born on the day of an eclipse and entombed on one as well.

There are scores of similar parallels between prophecy and pope, adding all the more credence to its legitimacy.

In its last prediction, though the prophecy refers to Petrus Romanus as the shepherd that will pasture his sheep, it may not necessarily mean the Pope will be on the side of the people, or even God. According to Thomas Horn, the author of Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope Is Here, the last pope is not the anti-christ, but he may well be the false prophet who ushers him in – a chilling thought for the billions of Catholics and Christians around the world:

The important fact is this. The very next Pope, following Pope Benedict the XVI who, according to a lot of news coming out of Rome right now – his days are numbered. He’s getting older, he’s getting feeble, he may retire…

The next Pope is the final one on a 900 year old prophecy.

So, imagine how historical this moment is with regard to end times bible prophecy. 

By the way, the prophecy tells us that he will be the false prophet of biblical fame who will help give rise to the anti-christ.

Via: Prophecy in the News
Related: Author Thomas Horn with George Noory on Coast to Coast AM discusses the Prophecy

A Look at the St. Malachy Prophecy:

The Last Pope? A Look at the St. Malachy Prophecy (REV)

Whether coincidence, self fulfilling through the machinations of man, or otherworldly, Malachy’s writings have certainly held the attention of the highest levels at the Vatican for centuries, and perhaps even influenced its decisions.

Now, with Benedict the XVI stepping down, we enter its final phase, and we’ll soon learn how accurate it really is.

Lightning strikes the Vatican — literally

Doyle Rice, USA TODAY2:39p.m. EST February 12, 2013

Papal prank? Or did lightning really hit the Vatican?

I know the pope has connections, but this is extraordinary!

An apparent photo of a lightning bolt striking St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican Monday night (left) — the same day that Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation, stunning the world — has gone viral.

Filippo Monteforte, a photographer with Agence France Press, told England’s Daily Mirror that “I took the picture from St. Peter’s Square while sheltered by the columns. It was icy cold and raining sheets. When the storm started, I thought that lightning might strike the rod, so I decided it was worth seeing whether – if it DID strike – I could get the shot at exactly the right moment.”

Monteforte waited for more than two hours and was rewarded for his patience with not one but two bolts, the Mirror reported.

But could it be fake? One expert, AccuWeather meteorologist and lightning photographer Jesse Ferrell, thinks it’s real. In addition to the account from Monteforte — a trusted and well-known photographer — Ferrell sees telltale signs of a genuine lightning strike.

“I believe the photo is plausible, and since it was taken by a professional, with potential video to back it up, I’d say that the photo is legitimate,” Ferrell writes on his blog.


Read Full Article Here

Hmmmm,  so  what  happened  to  courage  of  convictions?  A fetus is a child when a  woman  wishes  to  terminate  a  pregnancy.  It  is  the  murder  of an  unborn  child is it  not ?  Unless of  course  a fetus  dies  due to  negligence of a  hospital or  physician (and  Catholic  at  that )  then  it is a  fetus  again and  not a child?

Hypocritical  much??

~Desert Rose~
By David Ferguson
Thursday, January 24, 2013 12:48 EST
Fetal ultrasound via Wikipedia Commons

A chain of Catholic Hospitals has beaten a malpractice lawsuit by saying that fetuses are not equivalent to human lives. According to the Colorado Independent, in the death of a 31-year-old woman carrying twin fetuses, Catholic Health Initiatives’ attorneys argued that in cases of wrongful death, the term “person” only applies to individuals born alive, and not to those who die in utero.

Lori Stodghill was seven months pregnant with twin boys on the day she died. The Independent reported that on New Year’s Day 2006 in Cañon City, Colorado, Stodghill was admitted to the Emergency Room at St. Thomas More Hospital complaining of nausea, vomiting and shortness of breath. She lost consciousness as she was being wheeled into an exam room and ER staff were unable to resuscitate her.

It was later found that a main artery supplying blood to her lungs was clogged, which led to a massive heart attack. Stodghill never woke up, dying an hour after her admission to St. Thomas. Her twins died in her womb.

Frantic ER personnel had paged Stodghill’s doctor, obstetrician Pelham Staples, but the doctor never answered. A wrongful-death suit filed on the twins’ behalf by Stodghill’s husband, corrections officer Jeremy Stodghill, maintained that Staples should have made it to the hospital or ordered an emergency cesarian section by phone in order to save the 7-month-old fetuses.

Defending attorney Jason Langley argued in a brief he filed on behalf of the hospital chain that the court “should not overturn the long-standing rule in Colorado that the term ‘person,’ as is used in the Wrongful Death Act, encompasses only individuals born alive. Colorado state courts define ‘person’ under the Act to include only those born alive. Therefore Plaintiffs cannot maintain wrongful death claims based on two unborn fetuses.”
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One of the two hospitals which reportedly refused to conduct an exam on a possible rape victim last month.Zoom


One of the two hospitals which reportedly refused to conduct an exam on a possible rape victim last month.

A 25-year-old possible rape victim was reportedly refused a basic exam at two Catholic hospitals in Cologne last month. The Church says the impression that rape victims can’t be treated at Catholic hospitals is “false.”

The case of a possible rape victim who was reportedly refused treatment by two Catholic hospitals in Cologne last month has prompted a strong reaction by the Catholic Church and local victim advocacy organizations.



The local daily newspaper, the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, published an article Wednesday detailing the experience of an emergency center doctor, Irmgard Maiworm, one night last month. Maiworm told the paper that on Dec. 15, a 25-year-old woman came in to see her, accompanied by her mother.

The woman told the doctor that she had been out with friends on Friday night, and that at one point she went blank, not remembering anything until coming to on a bench in a different part of the city Saturday afternoon.

“I immediately suspected that this young woman might have been drugged with a date-rape drug, so that rape was not to be ruled out,” Maiworm told the paper. The woman reportedly complained of pains and difficulty going to the bathroom and wore soiled clothes.

With her permission, Maiworm contacted the police and informed the woman of the risks of pregnancy and gave her a prescription for the “morning-after pill.” She told the paper that she then called the gynecology department at the neighboring St. Vincent’s Hospital to arrange for the woman to have a gynecological exam, only to be told by the doctor there that such an exam would not be possible.


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Father Jose Luis Cuevas, Long Beach Priest, Charged With Sexual Battery on Church Grounds


father cuevas.jpg
Father Cuevas.


Father Jose Luis Cuevas, 67, the longtime head priest at St. Athanasius Church, is being charged with “nine counts of sexual assault” for years of allegedly molesting female congregants, including a 17-year-old girl, say Long Beach police.

His arrest and removal from the ministry have been quite dramatic:

Archdiocese officials informed attendees of the church’s weekend services that their trusted leader would be removed “from all ministry and he will be living privately pending the outcome of these matters,” according to City News Service.


St. Athanasius Church.

Then, on Monday, Long Beach cops showed up to an unidentified home in San Jacinto to handcuff Cuevas and jail him under $1 million bail. They say they were assisted by officers from the U.S. Marshals Service — meaning his crimes are considered a federal concern.

Here are the priest’s alleged deeds (and police believe he had additional victims):

In April 2012, the Long Beach Police Department received information from two female adults that reported being the victims of a sexual battery. … Both women initially reported the incidents to the Archdiocese, and then subsequently filed the police report. During the investigation, a third victim came forward. This victim, a 17-year-old female, reported repeated incidents of inappropriate touching that occurred over a two-year period involving the same suspect.

Regarding the 17-year-old, the Los Angeles District Attorney is slapping Cuevas with one felony county of “lewd acts against a child.”

And as for the two adult women: The California Penal Code says that “sexual battery” charges can be applied to…

… any person who touches an intimate part of another person while that person is unlawfully restrained by the accused or an accomplice, and if the touching is against the will of the person touched and is for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification, or sexual abuse.

According to the church’s website, congregants include “3,000 families from a variety of ethnic groups. Some of those groups are Latino, some white, some Filipino, some Korean, some African, and some African American.”

Investigators found that Cuevas has been living “on church grounds” during his seven years as priest. Indeed, St. Athanasius does appear to host some sort of barracks at its location on Linden Avenue:


Father Cuevas urges members of the community via the church’s site to contact him about “how we may be able to serve your spiritual or material needs.”

The L.A. branch of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese, largest in the nation, has also been the most plagued by sexual abuse. In 2007, hoping to put a whopping 508 accusations of sexual abuse behind them, archdiocese officials reportedly paid out a record-breaking sum of $660 million in a mass settlement with the victims. Most famously, young Rita Milla claimed she was abused by seven Catholic priests over a four-year period, including one who gave her a baby.

Update: Todd Tamberg, director of media relations for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, sent us the following statement.

The adults first came forward to the Archdiocese with reports of wrongdoing by Cuevas toward them as adults. We urged them to make a police report. At that time, we bounced Cuevas from ministry and made announcements about Cuevas at St. Anastasia’s at all Masses the following Sunday.As a result of the announcements, a minor in the parish came forward to the archdiocese with a report against Cuevas. The archdiocese immediately reported this to the LBPD. An archdiocesan Victims Assistance staff member accompanied the minor and an adult relative to the police station.