NEWS:  February 15, 2002

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Bird’s Eye View of the News

Atila Sinke Guimarães

SIBYLLINE LANGUAGE - If someone wants to know the way that the Vatican habitually approves bad things, here is a good example. It issued a document regarding altar girls that was predated July 27 and published late December in Notitiae, the bulletin of the Congregation for Divine Worship. While the document gives its official permission for altar girls, the language at first seems to forbid it, and then the approval is given in a sibylline way. Let me transcribe a piece from The Tidings (January 4, 2002). "In a English-language document, the Vatican said Bishops cannot require their priests to use female altar servers. While upholding Bishops' authority to permit use of female servers in their Diocese, the Congregation said the use of male servers should be especially encouraged."

The document is responding to a query from an unidentified Bishop, who was considering whether to authorize the use of female altar servers. "Such an authorization," says the official document, "may not in any way exclude men or, in particular, boys from the service of the altar, nor require that priests of the Diocese would make use of female altar servers. Indeed the obligation to support groups of altar boys will always remain, not least of all due to the well known assistance that such programs have provided since time immemorial in encouraging future priestly vocations."

No one can oblige the use of altar girls, no one can use altar girls exclusively, but the use of altar girls was approved. This was the winding and contorted language that made the use of altar girls official. If you want to understand how the destruction of the Holy Church is taking place, you have to learn how to follow the progressivists in their ruses.

SAVED BY A THREAD – John Geoghan, a defrocked priest of the Archdiocese of Boston accused of molesting more than 130 children, was found guilty on January 18 of indecent assault and battery on a 10-year-old boy. In addition, he faces a second trial in late February on charges of raping a minor (America, February 4, 2002). Anticipating the inconveniences of this condemnation, on January 8 Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston publicly apologized for past sexual abuse of children by priests in his Archdiocese. According to a series of articles by the Boston Globe Spotlight, the Archdiocese has quietly settled child molestation claims against at least 70 priests in private negotiations without any court action. Cardinal Law made a serious promise to put a halt to this shameful problem in the clergy of Boston (The Tidings, February 1, 2002). This does not let him off the hook, however, for the responsibility of the past. Since he did not take adequate measures to repress the crimes and he even shielded the guilty ones, he was an accomplice to the crime.

This is not just my judgment. In June of last year this was also how the French law understood a similar complaisance of Bishop Pierre Pican of Lisieux and Bayeux with regard to pedophile priests in his Diocese. The Bishop had to appear in a civil court and was condemned to three months in prison (Actualité des Religions, February 2002, p. 34). Fortunately for Cardinal Bernard Law, the American legal system is more lenient than the French.

MAMMA MIA! - Sixteen percent of the Canadian Anglican clergy are women. In 1976 the first ordinations of women provoked virulent protests in the bosom of the so-called Anglican church. Since then, the number of women who have been ordained priests has already climbed to 500. This "church" also counts two women among their 43 bishops (Actualité des Religions, February 2002, p. 35). Certainly the progressivists would like to apply this example to the Catholic Church. A curious collateral question: when the Anglicans ordain women as priests, are they then called "Father Mary," "Father Doris," "Father Jacqueline" etc.? If so, with this invasion of women in the Anglican clergy, in a short time the title of "Father" will have to be replaced by "Mother," and instead of "priesthood," a "motherhood" will be established among the Anglicans…

SOCCER PRIESTS - They form the "Soccer Priests Club" and make up part of the national soccer association. They are 27 Polish Catholic priests from the parishes of Warsaw and they compete nationally in many sports stadiums of Poland. Now the "soccer priests" want to compete in the international games. And they are in shape to do it, say the sports commentators. These priests are in any case an incontestable sign of the "evolution" of the Polish clergy. The existence of their club would have been unthinkable years ago! But, as team captain Fr. Mariusz Zapolski explains, "The Pope wants the Church to turn to the exterior, and this is what we are doing!" (Actualité des Religions, February 2002, p. 6). And he is right. The adaptation to the modern world is an order that comes from the Catholic cupolas, not a demand from the grassroots.

"ECUMENICAL" WORLD CUP - During the World Soccer Cup playoffs, which will take place in June in South Korea and Japan, around 50 religious temples of Seoul will offer lodging for sports lovers who will come from around the world to watch the games. Along with the lodging, they will have an initiation into Buddhist monastic life. In addition to participating in the daily prayers and ceremonies of the monks, the lodgers in the various temples will also be able to take part in activities that range from instruction in the martial arts to calligraphy classes. "This is not a simple opportunity for lodging: the participants must respect the atmosphere of the temples," affirms Hwang Chan-ik, mission director in the principal Buddhist school in Korea. At the end of the stay, each visitor will receive a certificate and a Buddhist name. Chan-ik expects many guests, since he can offer 25,000 beds during the period of the games. The tourist agencies are proposing this package to soccer lovers with the headline: "Stay in a temple…" (Actualité des Religions, February 2002, p. 41). It is interesting to note that while John Paul II offers a sacred place to each one of the false religions in Assisi to make their offensive cults to God, these same religions, as we see here with Buddhism, continue with élan to blatantly make their proselytizing. I am sure the Vatican sources will not spread a news item like this.




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