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Morning Catholic must-reads: 19/02/13

A daily guide to what’s happening in the Catholic Church

By on Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior of the Society of St Pius X (CNS)

Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior of the Society of St Pius X (CNS)

The Society of St Pius X is likely to reject the Vatican’s latest offer of reconciliation on February 22, reports Rorate Caeli.

Cardinal Peter Turkson has told CNN that Africa is unlikely to suffer a catastrophic clerical abuse crisis because “homosexuality or, for that matter, any affair between two sexes of the same kind are not countenanced in our society“.

Jason Berry suggests that newly released documents show that the Legion of Christ deceived a wealthy widow into donating $30m (£19m, €22m) to the congregation.

Joseph Bottum claims that Pope Benedict has been “a terrible executive of the Vatican“, the worst “for 200 years”.

A Spanish youth group is planning to thank Pope Benedict by breaking the Guinness World Record for the longest applause in history (video).

And Catholic World Report reveals that “the best meal” of Pope Benedict’s life consisted of tomato soup, veal and lemon sorbet.

Follow me on Twitter @lukecoppen for updates throughout the day.

  • AlanP

    Pope Benedict wasted quite enough time trying to woo back the SSPX.  I hope his successor finds better things to do.

  • AlanP

    Bit worried by Cardinal Turkson’s obvious confusion between homosexuality and child abuse.  The two things are unrelated.

  • Cassandra

    That is a matter of opinion.

  • Cassandra

    Are they really? Not according to a Homosexual friend of my late father.

  • majorcalamity

    Of course they are unrelated. That is NOT to say homosexuals cannot be abusers, but are no more likely than heterosexuals. That comment by Cardinal Turkson is really offensive, and demonstrates how backward the attitude is in parts of Africa. I hope this rules him out of any consideration that he might become Pope! Your Church in Africa ought to be doing much more to protect homosexuals from the abuse they are suffering and not joining in.

  • Cassandra

    It was in North Africa during WWII and before the Suez crisis that many catholic homosexuals had liaisons with little Arab Boys. My father’s friend was also a Catholic had complete contempt for them. North Africa happens to be Islamic so nothing to do with my church.
     What makes you think that it is my church!

  • Nat_ons

    ‘Joseph Bottum claims that Pope Benedict has been “a terrible executive of the Vatican“, the worst “for 200 years”.’

    This may well be true, in the same way that Paul was a terrible executive of the mission to the Gentiles .. being a central bone of contention for liberals, conservatives and the world at large (unlike James, beloved of traditionalists, and Peter, tolerated – most grudgingly – by progressives, or Judas, who fitted worldly expectations to a T .. and who could never bring himself to repent of it).

    Personally, I’d say Leo XII was by far the most ineffective (or perhaps least successful) pontiff in the two hundred years since the defeat of Napoleon.

  • Nat_ons

    ‘Joseph Bottum claims that Pope Benedict has been “a terrible executive of the Vatican“, the worst “for 200 years”.’

    This may well be true, in the same way that Paul was a terrible executive of the mission to the Gentiles .. being a central bone of contention for liberals, conservatives and the world at large (unlike James, beloved of traditionalists, and Peter, tolerated – most grudgingly – by progressives, or Judas, who fitted worldly expectations to a T .. and who could never bring himself to repent of it).

    Personally, I’d say Leo XII was by far the most ineffective (or perhaps least successful) pontiff in the two hundred years since the defeat of Napoleon.

  • Nat_ons

    ‘Joseph Bottum claims that Pope Benedict has been “a terrible executive of the Vatican“, the worst “for 200 years”.’

    This may well be true, in the same way that Paul was a terrible executive of the mission to the Gentiles .. being a central bone of contention for liberals, conservatives and the world at large (unlike James, beloved of traditionalists, and Peter, tolerated – most grudgingly – by progressives, or Judas, who fitted worldly expectations to a T .. and who could never bring himself to repent of it).

    Personally, I’d say Leo XII was by far the most ineffective (or perhaps least successful) pontiff in the two hundred years since the defeat of Napoleon.

  • Percy_Fleur

    The evidence from the official investigations in western nations is quite clear that the substantial majority of clerical sexual abuse victims are boys, not girls, and that the majority of abusers prey on boys rather than girls. If attitudes in Africa mean that there are fewer priests with homosexual tendencies, then it might reasonably be expected that there will be fewer abuse cases.
    When you say that Cardinal Turkson’s comment is “really offensive”, what you mean is that it is offensive to you.  I don’t find it offensive.  I do find “offensive” in my top ten words and phrases (along with “vile”, “disgusting”, “hate-speech” and several others) used by people who are giddy with excitement at the prospect of taking offence if somebody implies that homosexuality is anything other than the summit and ideal of human experience.

  • majorcalamity

    I am not speaking about clerical abuse alone, about which I would instinctively tend to agree is more likely to involve boys in the west, although I have no direct evidence to support that view. My concern was about the apparent linkage made by the Cardinal between all  child abuse and homosexuality. 

    Are you aware of the way homosexuals are still treated in Africa? The attitudes there, in many countries, is truly awful. They are persecuted, marginalised and abused. Many lose their lives. Your Church does nothing like enough to speak out against this violence and, in some cases, appears to condone it. That is why the Cardinal’s words are offensive, and if you agree with him, then so are yours.

    That is not because I think that homosexuality is “the summit and ideal of human experience”. I don’t. I am not a homosexual and cannot imagine being one. I do though believe that homosexuals are as much members of our human family as everyone else. I get upset when any member of our family gets hurt, and especially so when it is because of intolerance or ignorance.

  • Percy_Fleur

    “My concern was about the apparent linkage made by the Cardinal all child abuse and homosexuality.”
    Have you actually watched the interview?  The question posed was about clerical sexual abuse, not child abuse generally. There is a linkage, because the majority of clerical abuse cases in the west have involved homosexual acts.  Get over it.
    What is really “offensive” (to use your word) is the way in which you (and the rest of the liberal media) choose to portray any comment on the subject other than a wholehearted endorsement of homosexuality as effective incitement to lynch people with homosexual tendencies.  I might as well accuse you (as a critic of Church teaching on these pages) of being complicit in the murder of Catholics and other Christians in Africa this year, including the ones burnt to death in their churches in Nigeria.
    Violence against people with homosexual tendencies (or indeed anyone) is unacceptable, and I would step in to defend them.  I presume you would do the same for Christians persecuted in Africa?

  • majorcalamity

    Note the word “apparent”. The concern is over the lack of care shown when such things are discussed. All society suffers from irresponsible reporting, and your Church is far from alone in finding their words being twisted to create a good story. Unless we have a state press putting out only approved information that is the price we have to pay for freedom. I am quite sure you don’t want that.

    That being so it is incumbent on the Cardinal to measure his words and ensure they don’t make matters worse. From all that is reported to me (not by the press but by friends with personal knowledge) the Church is not doing nearly enough to attack homophobia in Africa. Do we really want an African Cardinal as Pope at this time? 

    Yes, of course I would step in and protect anyone from persecution. The way some Christians are treated where they are the minority religion is appalling, but don’t let that fact blind you to other injustices. I hear such claims frequently made as though they are more important. They aren’t. They are equally bad.

  • Cassandra

    I am sorry you found my comment offensive. But I also find your comments offensive when you repeat the term my church and I also find western media as a whole terribly offensive including a number of articles in this paper and also find the accusations of homophobia against those against same sex-marriages as equally abusive.
    By using terms like that you try to shut down debate.You know nothing about me any more than I do you and so do not make rush judgments I only paraphrased a friend of my late fathers

  • Cassandra

    Forgot to say, I only hope the next pope will be a holy man , I do not care very much where he comes from.

  • majorcalamity

    I don’t think I said your remarks were offensive, but only would be if you agreed with the Cardinal’s position. Nevertheless I am sorry if you found anything I said offensive.

    I have debated this matter a lot with Catholics in a variety of places. Whilst some are doubtless sincere in their belief about the meaning of marriage, and are charitable towards homosexuals, there are also some, in my experience forming quite a large majority of those who debate, where the overpowering impression to be gained is of a homophobic attitude underpinning all they say. They regard homosexual attraction as “intrinsically disordered” and something which can be “cured”. Such viewpoints are not healthy. Especially for homosexuals in Africa.