Friday 25th of May 2018

the body of christ is not for the wimpish allergy sufferers...


Pope Francis has weighed in on the matter of religious bread-making by reminding his flock that the Body of Christ is not gluten-free.

In a letter circulated to Roman Catholic bishops, Cardinal Robert Sarah of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments was instructed by the Pope to tell church members about the correct ingredients of the bread and wine given to mass celebrants.


READ MORE: Trump & Pope Francis pledge support for terminally-ill baby Charlie Gard

The Body of Christ, the blessed bread given to Catholics, must contain a small amount of gluten, according to the Vatican, while the wine must be made from unsoured grapes.

“Hosts that are completely gluten-free are invalid matter for the celebration of the Eucharist,” according to the letter which was translated by Vatican Radio.

It adds that bread made from another substance, even if it is grain, does not constitute valid matter for the Sacrifice and the Eucharistic Sacrament.


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saint apartments and holy housing...


It’s a custom in Italy during the Eastern season for a parish priest to travel door-to-door blessing homes. But in this Rome suburb, a very unexpected priest showed up to perform the annual ritual – Pope Francis!

The Catholic Herald is reporting on a surprise visit by Pope Francis who decided to undertake the customary blessings at a public housing complex in the Rome suburb of Ostia as one of his “Mercy Friday” visits.

Father Plinio Poncina, pastor of Stella Maris parish, had put up the customary signs announcing that a priest would be visiting the neighborhood to bless the houses of parishioners.

However, what residents weren’t told is that Pope Francis was the “priest on call” that day. With his usual down-to-earth manner, the Holy Father he rang the door bells and watched as doors opened to reveal astonished residents. One woman burst into tears when she saw him standing on her stoop.

“It was a great surprise today when, instead of the pastor, the one ringing the door bells was Pope Francis. With great simplicity, he interacted with the families, he blessed a dozen apartments,” the Vatican press office said.

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Meanwhile some papers point a guilty finger to Putin while they're all in it:


Pope Francis slams Donald Trump’s ‘dangerous’ G20 alliance with Vladimir Putin.
POPE Francis has hit out against the potential of a “very dangerous alliance” at the G20 summit among world powers including the United States and Russia.

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Did the pope point out how Saudi Arabia is financing terrorism or demolishing Yemen? Did he point out how Obama destroyed Libya, and how Bush, Howard and Blair (now a Catholic) destroyed Iraq?...

Could he not see that Putin is trying to save Syria from an invasion of foreign fighters supported by the USA...?


bread and butter...

By the standards of the Francis papacy, things were rather quiet in Rome for much of 2017. The great controversy of the previous two years, the debate over communion for the divorced and remarried, had entered a kind of stalemate, with bishops the world over disagreeing and the pope himself keeping a deliberate silence. One long act of the pontificate seemed finished; the question was how much drama there was still to come.

The last month has supplied some. In rapid succession, four important cardinals have been removed from the stage. The first, George Pell, was both in charge of the pope’s financial reforms and a leading opponent of communion for the remarried. He has returned to his native Australia to face charges of sexual abuse — charges that either represent a culminating revelation in the church’s grim accounting on the issue, or else (as Pell’sdefenders insist) a sign that the abuse scandal has become a license for prosecutorial witch hunts.

The second cardinal, Gerhard Mueller, was the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the office charged with safeguarding Catholic doctrine. Often sidelined by Francis, he had performed a careful tightrope walk on the pope’s marriage document, Amoris Laetitia, insisting that it did not change church teaching on remarriage and the sacraments while downplaying the signals that the pope himself thought otherwise. His five-year term was expiring; these are often renewed but his was not, and in a manner so brusque that the usually circumspect German publicly complained.

The third cardinal, Joachim Meisner, was a retired archbishop of Cologne and a longtime friend of Benedict XVI. He was one of the signatories of the dubia — the public questions four cardinals posed last year to Francis about Amoris Laetitia, effectively questioning its orthodoxy. He died in his sleep at 83 — shortly after Mueller, his fellow countryman, had called him to report the news that he had been cashiered.

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flirting with heresy...

Pope Francis is one of the most hated men in the world today. Those who hate him most are not atheists, or protestants, or Muslims, but some of his own followers. Outside the church he is hugely popular as a figure of almost ostentatious modesty and humility. From the moment that Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio became pope in 2013, his gestures caught the world’s imagination: the new pope drove a Fiat, carried his own bags and settled his own bills in hotels; he asked, of gay people, “Who am I to judge?” and washed the feet of Muslim women refugees.

But within the church, Francis has provoked a ferocious backlash from conservatives who fear that this spirit will divide the church, and could even shatter it. This summer, one prominent English priest said to me: “We can’t wait for him to die. It’s unprintable what we say in private. Whenever two priests meet, they talk about how awful Bergoglio is … he’s like Caligula: if he had a horse, he’d make him cardinal.” Of course, after 10 minutes of fluent complaint, he added: “You mustn’t print any of this, or I’ll be sacked.”

This mixture of hatred and fear is common among the pope’s adversaries. Francis, the first non-European pope in modern times, and the first ever Jesuit pope, was elected as an outsider to the Vatican establishment, and expected to make enemies. But no one foresaw just how many he would make. From his swift renunciation of the pomp of the Vatican, which served notice to the church’s 3,000-strong civil service that he meant to be its master, to his support for migrants, his attacks on global capitalism and, most of all, his moves to re-examine the church’s teachings about sex, he has scandalised reactionaries and conservatives. To judge by the voting figures at the last worldwide meeting of bishops, almost a quarter of the college of Cardinals – the most senior clergy in the church – believe that the pope is flirting with heresy.

The crunch point has come in a fight over his views on divorce. Breaking with centuries, if not millennia, of Catholic theory, Pope Francis has tried to encourage Catholic priests to give communion to some divorced and remarried couples, or to families where unmarried parents are cohabiting. His enemies are trying to force him to abandon and renounce this effort.

Since he won’t, and has quietly persevered in the face of mounting discontent, they are now preparing for battle. Last year, one cardinal, backed by a few retired colleagues, raised the possibility of a formal declaration of heresy – the wilful rejection of an established doctrine of the church, a sin punishable by excommunication. Last month, 62 disaffected Catholics, including one retired bishop and a former head of the Vaticanbank, published an open letter that accused Francis of seven specific counts of heretical teaching.

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god made you like that and he loves you...


Via Eponymous Flower, one of the molestation victims of a Chilean priest tells the Spanish daily El País what Pope Francis said to him in their recent meeting:

“Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter. God made you like that and he loves you like that and I do not care. The Pope wants you like that, you have to be happy with who you are.”

Full Spanish text of the interview here. 


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Question. How does the news of the resignation of the 34 bishops gets you?

Answer. I'm over the moon. After spending a week at the Pope's house, talking to him for hours, as if he had known me all his life, he was so compassionate. Now to see that in his letter to the Chilean bishops telling them of the many things that we talked about, that He took it very seriously, such as the corruption of bishops, accusing them of hiding documents, and of minimizing abuses. I was thrilled that he took what we talked about so seriously. I felt that this visit was not a matter of protocol, nor of public relations.


Q. What did you tell him?

R. We talk about everything, about my life, about what happened to me, about the inaction of the bishops, how they tried to make us feel guilty. He had been told that I was a deranged person. The Pope later told his secretary "Juan Carlos can not be more loving, it's wonderful to have known him".


Q. Did he explain that he went to Chile feeling cheated? He said there that everything that had happened was infamy.

A. The first thing he said to me was "I want to apologize, in the name of the Pope and the Church for everything you have gone through. I apologize for me, because I was the cause of this situation that caused you so much pain in these last months." I replied that he can not be surrounded by people like his ambassador who is nefarious, and the cardinal Errazuriz who misinforms him, who is toxic. And then he has bishops who are a real mafia, who cover everything, they minimize it. The Pope was scared. I told him that those men had sunk their religious standing in Chile, that's why there were so few people going to mass. He told me that he loved going to Chile but he had seen strange things. I saw him hurt because he went to Chile with such devastating information, that's why I believe him.


Q. Did you tell him about the abuses?

R. Yes, in a lot of detail. I cried and he looked hurt. He put his hand on my shoulder and said, "Cry baby."


Q. Did you explain that you are still a believer?

R. Yes, of course. He had been told that I did not believe and that I was an enemy of the Church. I told him that I am very angry because I continue to believe, loving the Church, thinking that this can change. "My faith is tremendously important to me, Your Holiness," I said. I find it frightening that even that is what they try to destroy me. "That is a tremendous evil," he replied. I explained that I want to be a good person and I can not bear that as they did to me they do it to thousands of other bishops in the world, and this has to end. I told him that he has a good reputation and that he is a welcoming man. "You can have a magnificent papacy if you take the bull by the horns and give a strong airing to the issue of abuse and send the message that the Pope is not going to tolerate this anymore," I said. He answered "help me to be guided by the Holy Spirit so I can know what I have to do".


Q. Do you think that the issue of abuses has now been taken seriously?

R. Very seriously. He is calling me a victim amongst others. For me it was very worrying that people might think that the Vatican had bought me, that this was a public relations exercise. It was very important to convey the suffering of so many people, to explain that the victims suffer horrors and the bishops cover their backs. I think he understood, his letter is very clear. Blast the bishops. I think asking for the resignation of an entire episcopal conference is a huge step, we had not seen it before.


Q. Could this Pope go down in history for a turn in the issue of abuses?

R. I think so. He is taking unprecedented steps, he knows that this is being seen by the whole world. I am optimistic, I am not naive, so yes. All this has a tsunami effect, it is already the Chilean precedent, it will happen in other countries. We are very hopeful. These people are evil, all we want in Chile is to go home. The Pope treated us as kings of Santa Marta, while the bishops treated us like brats. It is clear that he believed us. When he traveled to Chile he had deceitful information, I want to give him a second chance, he deserves it like everyone else.


Q. Did you talk about your homosexuality and how did you suffer more for that?

R. Yes, we speak. He had been told that I was a wicked person. There I explained that I am not the reincarnation of Saint Luis Gonzaga but I am not a bad person, I try not to hurt anyone. He told me "Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter. God made you like that and he loves you like that and I do not care. The Pope wants you like that, you have to be happy with who you are."


Translation by José Carbón.

gone to god...

Every bishop in Chile offered his resignation to Pope Francis after a three-day meeting at the Vatican to discuss the clerical sexual abuse scandal.


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