from issue no.06 - 2003


Unity of faith, freedom of rites

On 24 May Cardinal Darìo Castrillón Hoyos, Prefect for the Congregation of the Clergy and President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei celebrated in the Roman Basilica of Saint Mary Major a mass according to the pre-conciliar Roman rite. It was the first time since the days of the liturgical reform that a Cardinal has celebrated a “Tridentine” mass in a patriarchal basilica. The liturgy, preceded by the recitation of the rosary, was officiated, at the request of numerous groups of the faithful linked to what is known as the mass of Saint Pius V, in honor of John Paul II as the 25th anniversary of his election as Pope approaches.
At the celebration, along with two thousand faithful and about a hundred priests and seminarians, five Cardinals (the Americans Bernard Francis Law and William Wakefield Baum, the Chilean Jorge Arturo Medina Estévez, the Austrian Alfons Maria Stickler anû the African Armand Gaétan Razafindratandra), two heads of Departments of the Roman Curia (the Archbishops Luigi De Magistris, chief Propenitencier, and Julián Herranz, of Opus Dei, President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts), Bishop Karl Josef Romer, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family, also attended. Don Manlio Sodi, Dean of the faculty of theology of the Pontifical Salesian University and editor, for the Vatican Libreria, of the series “Monumenta Liturgica Concilii Tridentini”.
At the beginning of the celebration a message which the Cardinal Secretary of State had sent in the name of the Pope was read to the participants. Castrillón, after speaking of Most Holy Mary and of the Pope, devoted the third section of his homily to “venerating the rite of Saint Pius X ”. “A providential coincidence”, the Cardinal said, “allows us today to worship God, celebrating the divine Sacrifice according to the Roman rite which took form in the Missal known as that of Saint Pius X, whose mortal remains rest here in this very basilica”. “You yourselves,” the Cardinal continued, “dearest faithful, particularly sensitive to this rite which, for centuries, constituted the official form of the Roman liturgy, took the initiative in today’s celebration. And I was very happy to be able to consent to the request, which goes well beyond the number of those present here, because it is animated by filial devotion to the Holy Father, as the twenty fifth anniversary of his Pontificate approaches, and also because of the recognition of the fruits of sanctity that the Christian people have obtained from the most holy Eucharist in the context of that rite”. “The so called rite of Saint Pius V”, Castrillòn recalled, “can not be considered extinct and the authority of the Holy Father has expressed his benevolent welcome to the faithful who, while recognizing the legitimacy of the Roman rite renewed according to the indications of Vatican Council II, remain bound to the earlier rite and find in it valid spiritual nourishment on the path of sanctification”. “The old Roman rite”, the President of Ecclesia Dei underlined, “conserves, therefore, its right of citizenship in the Church among the multiformity of Catholic rites, be they Latin or Eastern. What unites the diversity of these rites is the same faith in the eucharistic mystery, the profession of which has always assured the unity of the church, holy, catholic and apostolic”. “I know”, Castrillón finally concluded, “that you are immensely grateful to the Holy Father for the invitation directed by him to the bishops of the whole world ‘to have understanding and renewed pastoral attention for the faithful linked to the old rite and, on the threshold of the third millennium, and to help all Catholics to live the celebration of the holy mysteries with a devotion which will be true food for their spiritual life and a source of peace’ (L’Osservatore Romano, 26-27 October 1998, p. 8). A devotion which, Aquinas taught, must be total, propter hoc quod in hoc sacramento totus Christus continetur (Summa Theologica III q. 83 a. 4 ad 5). We are all called to unity in the Truth, with mutual respect for the diversity of opinions, on the basis of the same faith, proceeding in eodem sensu and mindful of the Augustinian saying: in necesariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas ”.
The news of the mass on 24 May was given prominent coverage by the daily Avvenire and by Vatican Radio. L’Osservatore Romano made no mention of the event, nor did the Press Agency of the Holy See publish the text of Cardinal Sodano’s message in its bulletin.


All the Cardinals in Rome in October for the Pope’s 25th

From 15 to 19 October, in the context of the celebrations for the 25th anniversary of the Pontificate of John Paul II, a reunion of all of the Cardinals of the Sacred College is planned. As Joaquìn Navarro-Valls explained in an interview with La Stampa (Ö7 May), “it will be a reunion of cardinals to whom an invitation was sent by their Dean, Cardinal Ratzinger”. “A reunion, however,” the Vatican spokesman explained, “which will not take the form of a Consistory”.
The celebrations will begin on the evening of Wednesday 15 with the recital of Vespers. On Thursday 16, the anniversary of the election of Karol Wojtyla as Pope, there will be a mass in Saint Peter’s with the Te Deum of thanksgiving. On the 17 and the 18 there will be a convention with five speeches on “The Petrine Ministry and Communion in the Episcopacy” (speaker, Cardinal Bernardin Gantin, Dean Emeritus), on “Priests, consecrated life and vocations” (Jean-Marie Lustiger, Archbishop of Paris), “The Family” (Alfonso López Trujillo, President of the Pontifical Council concerned), “Ecumenism” (Nasrallah Pierre Sfeir, Maronite Patriarch), “Missions” (Ivan Dias, Archbishop of Bombay). Finally on Saturday 18 there will be a message to the Holy Father. It is also planned that during the period the Pope will give the post-synodal exhortation of the last General Synod, celebrated in 2001, on the theme “The bishop: servant of the Gospel and of Jesus Christ for the hope of the world”.

Convention in Perugia in honor of Leo XIII

From 29 May 29 to 1 June the international convention “Christian Philosophy between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and the Magisterum of Leo XIII” took place. The initiative is part of a series of celebrations for the centenary of the death of the pope on 20 July 1903. Pope Pecci, before being elected to the


Peace in the Holy Land and the health of the Pope

The Vatican Secretary of State, Angelo Sodano, during the Pope’s journey to Croatia, replied to some questions put to him by journalists. Following, we report large extracts from his statements as reported by the press on 6 June. Speaking about the Middle East, he stated: “There are three large problems. The first is that of the borders; then there is that of the return of the refugees, and that of Jerusalem. Let me begin with the borders, which is the easiest: a state can’t exist like Gruyère cheese, with lots of holes. So it’s been logical since the world began that a staAte should have well defined borders. And then there’s the problem of the return of the refugees. Justice exists throughout the world: if one is thrown out of one’s home .... I too, if I were thrown out of my home I would want to return; or at least I’d say: give me something. It happened in the past as well: the Poles banished from the Ukraine, the Germans banished from Poland, the Italians from Fiume. Justice demands some form of compensation. Finally the problem of Jerusalem, which must be resolved. And without going into the matter, the Holy See views the question from the perspective of the protection of the Holy Places; that is their status guaranteed internationally”. The Cardinal also made a reference to the next journey of the Pope to Mongolia, saying: “We are in the hands of God. There is the proposal to go [....] the decision will be taken either in June or July”. Finally he gave reassurances about the health of the Pope, explaining that “the Pope has a check up every two or three months, a normal check just as we all do. And he’s also better without papaya”.


The Vatican tried to save Gramsci

In the Vatican the “evidence” has bee found of the secret negotiations between the Soviet government with the Holy See, opened in the hope of obtaining freedom for the communist leaders Antonio Gramsci and Umberto Terracini, interned in Fascist jails. Documentation dealing with this was discovered in the Vatican Secret Archive by Emma Fattorini, Professor of Contemporary History at the Sapienza University in Rome.


The Sacred College
The death of Cardinal Colasuonno

On 31 May the death occurred of 78 year-old Cardinal Francesco Colasuonno, who had been ill for some time. Created cardinal in 1998, he was formerly Nuncio in Italy and first Pontifical representative to Moscow. With his death the Sacred College now comprises 167 Cardinals, of whom 111 are electors (110 on June 17 when the American Cardinal Anthony Joseph Bevilacqua will be 80 years old).

Errázuriz Ossa
at the head of the Latin American Episcopate

From 13 to the 16 May the XXIX Ordinary Assembly of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM) was held in Paraguay. On the occasion the new leaders of this ecclesial body were elected. For the four year period 2003-2007 70 year-old Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz Ossa, of the Schònstaat Fathers, , Archbishop of Santiago del Cile since 1998, will be President. Mexican 53 year-old Carlos Aguiar Retes, Bishop of Texaco, was nominated first Vice President; second Vice President, 61 year-old Brazilian Geraldo Lyrio Rocha, Archbishop of Vitòria da Conquista. Secretary General, 64 year-old Dominican Ramon de La Rosa y Carpio, Bishop of Higuey. The Colombian Cardinal, Pedro Rubiano Sàenz, Archbishop of Bogotà, is President of the Economic Council.

A Spaniard is head
of the Friars Minor

On 5 June the Friars Minor elected the new Minister General in place of the Italian Giacomo Bini. As the 119th successor of Saint Francis the 50 year-old Spaniard José Rodrìguez Carballo, formerly Definer General and Secretary General for training and studies, was chosen.

Montenegro new President of Caritas

In the course of the fifty-first general assembly of the Italian episcopate, which was held in the Vatican from 19 to 23 May, 57 year-old Sicilian Bishop Francesco Montenegro, auxiliary of Messina since 2000, was nominated new president of the Episcopal Commission of the charity and health service of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, and head therefore of Caritas italiana. Montenegro was elected by ballot and received more votes than the 72 year-old Bishop of Alexandria, Fernando Charrier.

Castellani Coadjutor in Lucca

On 31 May 60 year-old Benvenuto Italo Castellani from Cortona (AR) was nominated coadjutor to the Archbishop of Lucca. Ordained priest in 1973, with a degree in Sociology from the University of Trent, he was Bishop of Faenza-Modigliana from 1997.
Former USSR
Ecclesiastic reorganization
in Kazakistan

From 16 to 19 May the Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano was in Kazakistan, where, on the 17th, he announced the reorganization of the ecclesiastic jurisdictions of the former Soviet Republic, with the creation of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Most Holy Mary of Astana with, as suffragans the diocese of the Most Holy Trinity in Almaty, in Karaganda and the apostolic administration of Atyrau. These measures provoked tough negative reaction from the Patriarchate of Moscow.

A candle
in church for Raissa

“Are you a believer?” “No, even though my family was a peasant one, like hers, and like hers, used to pray. In all my life I have never said a prayer to God. Since I lost Raissa, however, a strange thing happens to me: at times I go into a church and light a candle in her memory, as is customary in our parts. An irrational gesture, I know, but dictated by some instinct”. Thus the former President of the USSR Michail Gorbacev, interviewed by the singer Bono Vox, leader of the U2, on the occasion of the presentation of the International Forum chaired over by him. The interview was reported by La Stampa of 21 May.

Dziwisz and Lazio;
The Pope and the extinct Cracow

“ ‘A great heart, blue and white of soul’. So was Bishop Stanislaus Dziwisz, personal secretary to Karol Wojtyla for 36 years and new honorary member of the “Lazio club easy rider”, described in Il Messaggero of 9 May in a report of the soccer sympathies of the Pope’s secretary. The interesting article continued by noting how “his capacity to ‘enjoy along with those who rejoiced and to suffer with those who suffer’ exercised in priestly fashion on the Romans, had led to the conclusion that he was of yellow-red (Roma club) sympathies. Monsignor Dziwisz took it upon himself to clarify that our scoop was off target”. The article concluded by mentioning the soccer passion of Karol Wojtyla, a supporter of “Kracow”, the glorious club which ceased to exist some years ago. “Wisla Cracow” was “supported” by Kracovian citizens”.

della Sera

’68, thirty years
of folly
and the return
of Tradition

“An epoch begun in ’68 is ending. Thirty years of folly. We are striving with all our strength to bring back the Tradition of family values”. Thus the Minister for Reforms, Umberto Bossi, in Corriere della Sera of 11 May. The leader of the Northern League returned to the subject in the course of a television interview given on 20 May to Telepadania, saying that: “Today the Church speaks a language too far removed from that of Tradition. From this also stems the great confusion of people, who even at mass hear things very, very different from those they heard said in the same place only a few years ago. But Tradition is returning. Perhaps it is still early for this change to be perceptible to all. But the world is changing. Indeed, perhaps, it has already changed”.

Twenty five years
of madness

Twenty five years of loneliness for madness: this was the title of the editorial in Avvenire, written for the twenty fifth anniversary of the approval of the so called “Basaglia law”, which closed the asylums. A law which, according to the editorial writer, should be changed.

La Stampa /1
Jesuits and power

In Civiltà Cattolica of 17 May (no. 3670, Father Michele Simone, commentator on internal politics for the Jesuit magazine, wrote an article critical of the asperity toward the Italian magistrature of Parliamentary President Silvio Berlusconi. Apart from the contents of the note, the comment in La Stampa on 16 May by Filippo Ceccarelli of interest. We quote a passage from it: “Advisers to rulers, by vocation and tradition, the Jesuits know power as few people in the world do. Berlusconi and his advisers would be wrong to underestimate them. Speaking of Italy and its recent past, it should be remembered that it was an ardent Jesuit preacher, Father Lombardi, appositely known as “the microphone of God”, who invented the anti-communist mass movement through, through the citizen committees of Gedda, led to the victory of 18 April 1948. Indeed, to be exact, that “project” was submitted to Monsignor Montini by the Director of Civiltà Cattolica, Father Giacomo Martegani, when De Gasperi “unloaded” the Italian Communist Party out of the government”

La Stampa /2
D’Alema, Lula
and the extremists

During a conference on 5 June Massimo D’Alema, President of the Democratic Left, praised the moderation and the realism of the new Brazilian President Lula, concluding: “That’s how he won the elections. With the platform of the Italian Lulists he would have had to wait another quarter of a century before winning an election”. In an article which appeared in La Stampa the following day, Filippo Ceccarelli, after explained that “our own Lulas”, that is the Italian “Lulists”, are to be found among the no-globals, as well as in the variegated world of the left, Catholics included, concluded by advising that “D’Alema’s criticism should be read as an up-to-date and globalized variant of the old dispute between reformers and extremists”.

Diplomacy /1
New Nuncio in Malta

On 5 June 66 year-old Spanish Archbishop Félix del Blanco Prieto was nominated Apostolic Nuncio to Malta. He takes the place of 74 year-old Luigi Conti who stepped down from the job “because of having reached the age limit”. The new representative to La Valletta entered the Vatican Diplomatic Service in 1968 and worked in the Pontifical Legations in Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Austria. From 1988 to 1991 he served in the Secretariat of State, as second secretary to Cardinal Agostino Casaroli. In 1991 he was nominated Archbishop and Apostolic Nuncio to Sào Tomé and Prìncipe and Apostolic Delegate to Angola. Since 1996 he has been Nuncio in Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea.
Diplomacy /2
New Ambassadors
of Japan and Israel

On 30 May the new Ambassador of Japan to the Holy See presented his credentials. He is 61 year-old Gunkatsu Kano, a career diplomat, Ambassador to Colombia since 1999.
On June 2 the new Ambassador of Israel, 52 year-old Oded Ben-Hur, a career diplomat, from 1989 to 1994 cultural and scientific attaché of the Israeli Embassy to the Italian Presidency, presented his credentials.

Diplomacy /3
Twelve new

On 15 May twelve new ambassadors who will not reside in the City presented their credentials. They are the representatives of Australia, Zimbabwe, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Ethiopia, Latvia, the Fiji Islands, Burundi, Georgia, Vanuatu, Moldovia, Pakistan.

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