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Old Issues Resurface for Benedict XVI, the Last Pope before
Old Issues Resurface for Benedict XVI, the Last Pope before the Prophesied "Petrus Romanus" Arrives
by Steve Eastman, Raiders News Network
Last week ended with the death of a Pope. No, it wasn’t Benedict XVI. 88 year-old Shenouda III was the 117th Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt. He had been suffering from kidney disease. Benedict XVI, the 111th Roman pontiff of St. Malachy’s Prophecy of the Popes, sent his condolences Sunday. It is likely the event reminded Benedict of his own impending death. He turns 85 next month and his health has been declining. Last November Cardinal Paolo Romeo predicted Benedict would be dead within a year.
One of the issues the papacy has been struggling with since 1962 has been the reluctance of traditionalist elements to accept the changes of Vatican II. On Friday, the Vatican issued an ultimatum to the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), a prominent splinter group. He gave the group a month to accept certain doctrinal principles; otherwise, they would risk a painful break with Rome. Benedict has previously made concessions, including limited use of the old Latin liturgy, but that has met resistance from other quarters in the Church.
While some elements of the Catholic Church relish in the reforms of Vatican II, others are pushing the boundaries even further, or at least allowing them to be pushed by an “evolving” society. It should be interesting to see how the Peterborough Catholic School Board in Ontario, Canada eventually comes to grips with the demands of a self-identified Lesbian mother who wants a Catechism quote in a school pamphlet to be altered. Ann Michelle Tesluk is objecting to the statement that the homosexual inclination is “objectively disordered.” She has even started an online petition drive to force the board to take action. The board’s Equity and Exclusive Education committee is working on a recommendation to either remove the language or clarify it.
A similar decision was more clear-cut for Father Marcel Guarnizo. And the challenge could not have come at a worst time — at a funeral. It happened last month in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Barbara Johnson, the daughter of the deceased, announced to the priest that her female friend was, in fact, her lover. Father Guarnizo discreetly refused to serve Johnson communion. About two weeks later, he was removed from his pastoral work in the Archdiocese of Washington.”
It looks like Roman Catholics will soon have new opportunities to either stand up for what they believe or cave-in. On Friday, the Obama Administration’s Department of Health and Human Services announced it was finalizing its rule to require universities that offer insurance to students to also offer contraceptives.
The Vati-Leaks scandal is still making the headlines, but there are two versions of the story. The Associated Press has quoted a prelate who says the Vatican has launched an internal, criminal investigation. But Vatican Insider newspaper reports, “The Vatican internal enquiry on the mole or moles who in the past weeks have leaked various letters and documents, causing a scandal of unprecedented proportions in the history of the Vatican, has not begun, and at this point it probably never will.” The newspaper criticizes Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone for doing nothing to check out his suspicions, saying,”… there are open talks of the (once more extraordinary) possibility of assigning him a pro-Secretary of State to relieve him of some of his burdens, specifically those of diplomatic nature, as he is about to turn 78.” This does not bode well for Bertone’s chance to become the next Pope.
The Vati-Leaks scandal alleged money handling problems, among other things. It comes at a time when the Holy See is trying to win approval of its anti-money laundering policies from the European Council. Inspectors completed their visit Friday. The Vatican hopes to hear good news within a few months.
Recently, in a series of articles on Raiders News Network where details of the imminent conclave to elect Benedict's successor has focused on turmoil within the Roman Curia, the origins of the three-hundred-thirty ton Obelisk in Saint Peter’s Square was discussed. “It was cut from a single block of red granite during the Fifth dynasty of Egypt to stand as Osiris’ erect phallus at the Temple of the Sun in ancient Heliopolis ….” Pope Sixtus V moved it to its current location in 1586. Realizing the pagan nature of the obelisk, he performed an exorcism on the shaft of stone during its dedication. Now, more than 400 years later, Pope Benedict XVI is following in Sixtus’ footsteps. The Associated Press reports the Vatican is restoring the colonnade at Saint Peter’s Square. The project includes cleaning the Egyptian obelisk.
Exorcism, as it turns out, is another one of those recurring issues. Chancellor Steve Angi, of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati, recently allowed priests to minister exorcism at an abortion clinic in Kettering, Ohio. According to the Dayton Daily News, it was “designed to drive evil out of a place, rather than out of a person.” It was scheduled for this past Sunday, when the clinic was closed.
Benedict XVI will continue to have to deal with these kinds of issues until his successor, Peter the Roman arrives, most likely in 2012.
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