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Exorcism and the Catholic Church

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Although the Catholic Church strayed from exorcisms during Pope John Paul II, the practice has received renewed focus in recent years. Information has recently hit the news that Mother Teresa actually underwent an exorcism. Even the venerable Pope John Paul II performed exorcisms. According to the Italian news channels, he attempted an exorcism on a 19-year-old girl.

Compared to previous years, exorcisms are growing at an alarming rate in the United States. There are ten official exorcists known to be working in the United States. A decade ago, there was just one. These exorcists report experiencing supernatural behaviors like wounds, levitation and unusual scars.

For a Catholic exorcism, the ritual is planned out in advance and takes several hours to finish. It involves sacred objects, holy water and the cross. To carry out the exorcism, priests use a manual that was recently updated by Pope John Paul II in 1998.

In early July, the news began reporting on Pope Francis’ stance on exorcism. He has recently given his support to priests who exorcise demons. Altogether, there are 250 priests who are a part of the International Association of Exorcists. Pope Francis has stood out from previous popes due to his focus on personifying Satan and his works. Video footage from 2013 shows Pope Francis praying over a boy in a wheelchair. Within moments, the boy exhaled and slumped deeper into his chair. Although the incident was downplayed by the Vatican, further reports showed that Pope Francis used a prayer to rid the boy of evil.

Dealing with exorcisms is not new for Protestants and Catholics. In the United States, there are more Protestant exorcists than there are Catholic exorcists. Many Protestants who believe in exorcisms believe that it is a natural way to deal with evil. Unfortunately, the techniques used by some Protestant ministers has resulted in death. In 1997, a 5-year-old girl was forced to swallow ammonia and vinegar that ultimately killed her.

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New Book Claims that Padre Pio owned the true Holy Grail

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The 2000 year search for the Holy Grail has ended according with a new book by Tim C. Leedom and Alberto Festa. The most sought after antiquity in history has been found and revealed by the curator of the Saint Padre Pio 1000 relic collection in Rome, Italy. The Grail that set on The Last Supper table of Jesus has been verified by carbon dating, testimonies of anthropologists and in the until now secret video of Natuzza Evolo holding The Grail.

Manoa Valley Publishing Company Closes in on Secret Location and Holder of Saint Pio’s Holy Grail in “The Freeing of the Holy Grail.”

The Manoa Valley Publishing Company has identified the discovered claimed location and protector of the most sought after sacred antiquity in history – The Holy Grail – in its book “The Freeing of the Holy Grail.”

The Holy Grail was on Jesus’ table at the Last Supper and has been hidden in the collection of Saint Padre Pio in Rome since his passing in 1968. Alberto Festa, the curator of the Pio collection, has guarded it from the threats and intrusions of the modern religious world.

Best seller author and researcher Tim C. Leedom said, “Evidence is not proof, but it can’t be dismissed.”

Highlights from the book include:

  • The Holy Grail came into the possession of Saint Padre Pio in the early 1900’s. Saint Padre is one of the most popular and revered Saints in the world.
  • He is a “People’s Saint” and was at odds with the Vatican many times over his healings, stigmata and leaving the “Vase of St. Peter ” and many relics to a poor priest and not the Vatican.
  • Al Festa is the co-author of “The Freeing of the Holy Grail” and grandnephew of Dr. Giorgio Festa Saint Pio’s personal physician.
  • Al Festa was threatened by Cardinal Ratzinger in 2002 after being summoned to the Vatican – “I see a cloud over your head and it will not disappear until you give us what is rightfully ours.”
  • Al wishes to bring the Grail to United States in accordance with Saint Pio’s wishes – “The Holy Grail will be safe and be seen and appreciated by all the people, away from dark shadows.”
  • Bestselling Newport Beach editor and Award Winning author Tim C. Leedom is Al Festa’s co-author.
  • In the possession of the authors is a never seen DVD of Natuzza Evolo, the revered holy woman of Italy holding the Holy Grail from the Saint Padre Pio Collection. She proclaims its authenticity and the manner in which Saint Pio received the priceless relic. Because she has been hiding it from the Vatican it may jeopardize her path to Sainthood.

Evidences and proofs include carbon dating, photographs, illustrations and testimonials from a leading European anthropologist, a respected hand writing expert and dozens of questions answered by Saint Pio collection curator Alberto Festa.

“The importance of the Holy Grail historically and religiously cannot be overstated. Kings, Templars, Nazis, historians and movie makers have sought to capture this illusive sacred relic for over 2000 years – now it has been revealed by the Christ like humble Saint – The Italian Saint Padre Pio” says Tim C. Leedom.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1854698#ixzz30r7DHcET

Mas afinal onde estão os Templários?

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Uma Ordem com a antiguidade histórica da Ordem do Templo, para mais suprimida por meios violentos e injustos, deixou naturalmente muitos ecos da sua existência que perduram séculos. Para os estudiosos o problema da sobrevivência da Ordem não é um mistério, já que há dados suficientes para demonstrar que a Ordem foi suspensa pela Santa Sé, única autoridade reconhecida por ela, pelo que compete à mesma Santa Sé retomá-la ou não. Estou certo que o fará em moldes que chocarão profundamente a maior parte dos ditos “neo-templários” ou “templários” dos dias de hoje, arrasando de vez com mitómanas pretensões e tolices disfarçadas de “história”. Mas a seu tempo o veremos.

É para nós – e aqui falo em nome da Ordem que represento – completamente indiferente o que aconteceu ao “corpo”, parte tangível e mortal da Ordem Templária. Quem quiser o seu cadáver (e muitos o querem…), que o reclamem e lhes seja de boa serventia. O que nos importa é o interior, a dimensão espiritual e transcendente que compunha a mística da Ordem, a qual lhe é anterior e de origem ainda por apurar. Esse cimento invisível de coesão – que Filipe, o Belo, não pode matar ou queimar – esteve bem presente quando D. Dinis sabiamente apadrinhou a Ordem de Cristo. Essa chama que dá a luz imperecível, a mesma que assegura que o candelabro que ilumina a Santa Palavra sobre o altar de Chartres veicula idêntica luz espiritual que aquela candeia na noite gélida de Trancoso ilumina a Sagrada Família na sala da estar de uma velha mãe que reza em súplica a Maria piedosa pela sua prole, essa luz imortal que activa o Templo terrestre e procede do Templo celeste, essa é a causa e a força que nos interessa. Essa é a verdadeira chave que sobeja uma vez varridas as cinzas dos corpos calcinados na fogueira das tiranias humanas. Ao queimar corpos e carne e ossos, Filipe não impediu que o “ethos” Templário se prolongasse na história através de luminárias como a Ordem de Montesa, a Ordem de Calatrava, a Ordem de Alcântara, os Cavaleiros do Gládio da Ordem Teutónica, a Guarda Real de Robert Bruce, a Estrita Observância Templária e, porventura a mais brilhantes de todas as partículas em brasa dessa Fénix Templária que foi a Ordem de Cristo de Portugal. Se Filipe teve algum mérito foi o de tornar imortal uma Ordem que mostrava sinais de decadência. Foi o de multiplicar por dez os corpos que veicularam com êxito a missão e a ética Templária ao longo da Europa medieval e renascentista.

Ora, olhando profundamente se notará que parte do espírito Templário sintetizam uns e outros ramos dessa antiga família ainda activos nos dias de hoje. Há grupos excursionistas, cujas actividades se centram em viagens pelo mundo para assistir a uma missa e uma “investidura” de gente que jamais voltam a ver na vida. Essa é uma vertente. Há outros grupos que preferem os Jantares de Gala e toda a vaidade que com eles se vive. É um outro aspecto. Os Templários originais foram acusados muitas vezes de “bêbados e comilões, pouco interessados pelos pobres”, pelo que é perfeitamente legítimo andar a exibir essa parte da Tradição Templária pelo mundo. Porque não? O que é muito difícil encontrar é um filho, num dos ramos centrais ou colaterais, que mantenha as práticas mais puras e mais bem ancoradas na verdade Templária, que possam dar acesso à tal Cavalaria Espiritual que fez o Templo e o refez sempre que assim foi preciso ao longo da História.

No nosso caso, OSMTHU, ramo da OSMTH (obrigado a seguir caminho autónomo nos anos da 2ª Guerra a partir da OSMTJ), estamos muito pouco preocupados em saber se Clemente V foi conivente com Filipe deixando que os Templários fossem queimados na fogueira, ou se Clemente V não foi conivente, assinou um documento (“Carta de Chinon”) em que absolveu a Ordem, na sequência do qual deixou Filipe queimá-los na fogueira. Para nós, o “cheiro a esturro” não se dissipa. E nós, OSMTHU, fomos os primeiros (senão os únicos) a ser convidados por Barbara Frale e o Padre Pagano a visitar os Arquivos Secretos do Vaticano e ver o documento , nos idos de 2002. Contudo sabemos que documentos históricos devem ser enquadrados no seu contexto e tempo históricos, pelo que pretender reconhecer mais de 700 anos depois da assinatura da Carta de Chinon uma Ordem fundada mais de 400 anos após a mesma assinatura é de uma desfaçatez  e fantasia mitómana que em nada abona a organização que mantém esse fim, declarando à imprensa que vai “negociar” com o Vaticano… Como se o Vaticano negociasse este tipo de assuntos como quem regateia o preço das nabiças na saudosa Praça do Bolhão… Tenham paciência…

Estamos pouco preocupados em saber se o cadáver Templário pode ser exumado pelo simples facto de que o seu espírito e a sua força anímica, a sua componente transcendente (que não é de jantares anuais, mas, recorde-se, de MONGES -SOLDADOS), o seu SER, está vivo e é tão coerente hoje como o era há 800 anos. É tão Templário como sempre o foi.

Dito isto, há que reconhecer que este post é motivado pela verdadeira avalanche de emails, comentários e pedidos que temos recebido nos últimos dias de entrada na Ordem. Isto deve-se à recente cerimónia realizada em Coimbra por um outro ramo da Ordem que teve cobertura mediática muito razoável. Sobre esse ramo não nos cabe pronunciar (mais uma vez, o frutos são o melhor indicador da árvore que os dá). Cabe sim esclarecer que a OSMTHU está numa fase de interioridade que não é compatível com cerimonial público. Por um tempo ainda indeterminado a Ordem considerou que é profundamente importante reforçar os dois aspectos marcantes da nossa Tradição:

a) A Instrução da Cavalaria (quer histórica, quer filosófica, quer simbólica)

b) A Instrução Religiosa (sem a qual o potencial Cavaleiro não pode realizar a plenitude da iniciação MONGE-SOLDADO)

Estas duas componentes aparentemente contrárias (a do guerreiro que tem o poder de matar e a do sacerdote que tem o poder de absolver) são específicas do nosso ramo da Tradição Templária e não se encontram disponíveis em nenhum outro ramo activo neste momento.

Deste modo, a OSMTHU em Portugal determinou que, antes de se proceder a qualquer tipo de aproximação à Ordem, é de vital importância que possíveis candidatos às suas fileiras entendam de modo muito claro o que é a Ordem e o que podem de forma REALISTA esperar da sua filiação. Deste modo, estabeleceu-se um protocolo com o In Hoc Signo Hermetic Institute (ver www.ihshi.com) que permite a qualquer postulante empreender um período de estudo aprofundado através do Grupo de Estudos Templários, após o qual está melhor posicionado para decidir que ramo da enorme família Templária mais se coaduna com as suas aspirações.

Assim, até notícia em contrário e à semelhança de outras Ordens de carácter iniciático, a OSMTHU em Portugal delega no Instituto IHS a fase introdutória de preparação e orientação prévia dos seus futuros membros.

Mas afinal onde estão os Templários?

Ao leme, Senhor… Ainda estão ao leme.

Bringing our buried treasure to light

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Jesus tells the story of a man who discovered a buried treasure while ploughing in a field. He was so delighted, he sold everything he had so that he could buy the field – and its treasure – for himself!

Our world abounds in hidden treasures that have been brought to light by hard work and painstaking effort. In all cases, the effort involved in uncovering these long-hidden treasures has been more than compensated for by the final reward.

One example comes immediately to my mind.

For centuries, Michelangelo’s frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel were dulled by the build-up of grime and soot from smoke and humidity. The remarkable thing was that many people had come to think that these dark and muted colours were the way Michelangelo originally intended his paintings to appear. They had become so accustomed to the dilapidated appearance of this great masterpiece, that by the beginning of the 19th century, some could even describe the artist who created it as “a painter insensitive to colour”.

When the restoration work began in 1984, close inspection showed that – besides the accumulated grime – some of the damage had actually been caused by earlier, less skilled attempts at restoration. Both repair and correction were required to uncover the ‘buried treasure’. When the restoration was completed, the world was able to marvel once again at the brilliance of Michelangelo’s original work as it was when he first painted it. Even so, there were still critics who claimed that the new colours were too bright or that the restoration had removed a ‘respectful quality of age’ from the artwork.

English-speaking Catholics today are awaiting the restoration of an even greater treasure than the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel: a fresh and faithful translation of the Liturgy of the Church into the English language.

In 1963, in its very first Decree, the Second Vatican Council granted that it “may frequently be of great advantage to the people” if some parts of the Liturgy were translated into the common language of the people. In this way, the Council Fathers hoped that some of the hidden treasures of the Liturgy would be brought to light for all to appreciate. We have been using the translation that resulted for the past 40 years.

While very successful in many ways, this translation has, in many cases, hidden rather than revealed the true treasures of the Liturgy. Just as the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel were dulled by smoke and grime, so the vivid colours of the Sacred Liturgy were dulled by a limited use of vocabulary and a pedestrian style of sentence structure. Like the earlier, unskilled attempts at restoring the work of Michelangelo, so the rich imagery of the original Latin text was often obscured or removed altogether.

Most tragically, in some places our current translations have actually hidden the Church’s true faith. An ancient saying, ‘Lex orandi, lex credendi’ (‘the way we pray is the way we believe’) teaches that if our prayers are robbed of their full meaning, so also our faith is impoverished. If our prayers are in the vocal equivalent of ‘black and white’, so also our faith will lose its vivid colour and tone.

The Latin text of the Liturgy is the result of many centuries of faith and tradition. Parts of the text go back to the very earliest times of the Church. Like Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, the Roman Liturgy carries in it many allusions to the Scriptures and the writings of the Church Fathers. It reaches from the floor level of our present history right up to the ceiling level of the Last Judgement and beyond into eternity. It centres on the Sacrifice of the Mass, the greatest treasure of the Church, in which saints and martyrs and bishops and priests and people join together with the angels ‘as one voice’ to praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

To enable this great symphony, the Liturgy employs a language that is ‘noble’ and ‘poetic’. The language of public worship has never been the language of the street or the marketplace. Even when Catholics still spoke Latin as an everyday language, they intentionally used a courtly style to address their praise and worship to God, following the instinct of the Church that in matters of worship we should offer God the very best of which we are capable.

The desire to use English in our liturgies and the desire to offer our prayers to God in a language of the highest nobility ought not to be mutually opposed. English, like Latin, can also be poetic and beautiful. English, like Latin, is also capable of bearing many layers of meaning. English, like Latin, can accurately express and convey the truth of our Faith.

In 2001, with the authority of Pope John Paul II, the Congregation for Divine Worship began to oversee the huge work of the retranslation of the Latin Liturgy into English. This task required “the preparation of (new) liturgical books marked by sound doctrine, which are exact in wording, free from all ideological influence, and otherwise endowed with those qualities by which the sacred mysteries of salvation and the indefectible faith of the Church are efficaciously transmitted by means of human language to prayer, and worthy worship is offered to God the Most High” (Liturgiam Authenticam).

The process of retranslation is now nearing an end and, hopefully before very long, we will be able to begin to enjoy the fruits of this great labour. The new texts will be common to the whole of the English-speaking Church. All the bishops’ conferences of Canada, England and Wales, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Scotland, South Africa and the United States have been involved. I have been privileged to be a part of the process, as the Australian bishops’ representative on the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL).

Of course, there is much work to be done in the introduction of the new translations when they are ready. Priests and people will need to be pastorally prepared through a period of catechesis. I truly look forward to this phase of the introduction as a way for us all to grow in our faith and our appreciation and understanding of the riches of the Liturgy.

I recognise that, like digging for buried treasure, the work of introducing the new Liturgy will take some considerable effort on behalf of the whole worshipping community. I understand that the period of transition will not be easy. I ask all of you to show a gracious degree of patience and a firm degree of solidarity with me and with the whole Church during the introduction of the new translations.

However, I am sure that when this great work of restoration is completed and we are all able to experience the result for ourselves, we will rejoice to see the revelation of the hidden treasures of the Liturgy – a treasure fresh and restored for the Church today and for many future generations.

Written by Archbishop Denis Hart

Pope confirms visit to Shroud of Turin; new evidence on shroud emerges

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Pope Benedict XVI confirmed his intention to visit the Shroud of Turin when it goes on public display in Turin’s cathedral April 10-May 23, 2010.

Cardinal Severino Poletto of Turin, papal custodian of the Shroud of Turin, visited the pope July 26 in Les Combes, Italy, where the pope was spending part of his vacation. The Alpine village is about 85 miles from Turin.

The cardinal gave the pope the latest news concerning preparations for next year’s public exposition of the shroud and the pope “confirmed his intention to go to Turin for the occasion,” said the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, in a written statement July 27.

The specific date of the papal visit has yet to be determined, the priest added.

The last time the Shroud of Turin was displayed to the public was in 2000 for the jubilee year. The shroud is removed from a specially designed protective case only for very special spiritual occasions, and its removal for study or display to the public must be approved by the pope.

The shroud underwent major cleaning and restoration in 2002.

According to tradition, the 14-foot-by-4-foot linen cloth is the burial shroud of Jesus. The shroud has a full-length photonegative image of a man, front and back, bearing signs of wounds that correspond to the Gospel accounts of the torture Jesus endured in his passion and death.

The church has never officially ruled on the shroud’s authenticity, saying judgments about its age and origin belonged to scientific investigation. Scientists have debated its authenticity for decades, and studies have led to conflicting results.

A recent study by French scientist Thierry Castex has revealed that on the shroud are traces of words in Aramaic spelled with Hebrew letters.

A Vatican researcher, Barbara Frale, told Vatican Radio July 26 that her own studies suggest the letters on the shroud were written more than 1,800 years ago.

She said that in 1978 a Latin professor in Milan noticed Aramaic writing on the shroud and in 1989 scholars discovered Hebrew characters that probably were portions of the phrase “The king of the Jews.”

Castex’s recent discovery of the word “found” with another word next to it, which still has to be deciphered, “together may mean ‘because found’ or ‘we found,’“ she said.

What is interesting, she said, is that it recalls a passage in the Gospel of St. Luke, “We found this man misleading our people,” which was what several Jewish leaders told Pontius Pilate when they asked him to condemn Jesus.

She said it would not be unusual for something to be written on a burial cloth in order to indicate the identity of the deceased.

Frale, who is a researcher at the Vatican Secret Archives, has written a new book on the shroud and the Knights Templar, the medieval crusading order which, she says, may have held secret custody of the Shroud of Turin during the 13th and 14th centuries.

She told Vatican Radio that she has studied the writings on the shroud in an effort to find out if the Knights had written them.

“When I analyzed these writings, I saw that they had nothing to do with the Templars because they were written at least 1,000 years before the Order of the Temple was founded” in the 12th century, she said.

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

El Papa y el Mufti de Jerusalem hablan en el lugar del Temple

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Benedicto XVI en su peregrinación a Tierra Santa llegó el 12 de Mayo a la explanada de las Mezquitas, conocida en árabe como Al-Haram Ash-Sharif (recinto santísimo y nobilísimo). Se hallaba en el sitio en que Salomón construyó el templo de Jerusalén, que fue reconstruido al final del siglo I a.C. por Herodes. En el lugar se encuentran las mezquitas de la Cúpula de la Roca y Al-Aqsa.

El área de la explanada es relevante para las tres religiones monoteístas: para los judíos era el lugar donde Abrahán tendría que haber sacrificado a Isaac, así como el del templo de Salomón; los musulmanes la consideran su tercera meta de peregrinación tras la Meca y Medina y el lugar donde el profeta Mahoma ascendió al cielo; para los cristianos es el lugar donde Cristo habló de la destrucción del Templo.

La Cúpula de la Roca, de techo dorado y forma octagonal, es el monumento islámico más antiguo todavía en pie en Tierra Santa. La primera mezquita, edificada en el 640 fue sustituida por la actual en el 687. En el siglo XII los cruzados la transformaron en iglesia cristiana dándole el nombre de “Templum Domini”, de donde tomó el nombre la orden ecuestre de los Templarios. Fue restaurada como lugar musulmán de culto por Saladino en el 1187. En el centro de esta mezquita suntuosamente decorada se encuentra la roca sagrada en la que rezó Mahoma antes de subir al cielo.

La mezquita de Al-Aqsa, cuyo nombre en árabe significa la más remota, es según la tradición musulmana el lugar más lejano de la Meca al que una noche Mahoma fue transportado milagrosamente. La construcción se remonta al siglo VIII, diversos terremotos la destruyeron, fue reconstruida, pasó a ser una iglesia de los Templarios, y como la Cúpula de la Roca, Saladino la restauró como lugar de culto islámico. Durante la restauración de la mezquita en 1938, el rey Faruk de Egipto renovó el artesonado y Mussolini donó las columnas de mármol de Carrara.

El Santo Padre llegó a las 9,00 a la Cúpula de la Roca, donde le esperaban el Gran Mufti Muhammad Ahmad Husayn, suprema autoridad jurídico-religiosa de Jerusalén y del pueblo árabe musulmán en Palestina. y el presidente del consejo del Waqf (Bienes religiosos islámicos). Después de una breve visita fue acompañado al edificio de Al-Kubbah Al-Nahawiyya”, donde le esperaban los altos representantes de la comunidad islámica.

“La Cúpula de la Roca -dijo el Papa- lleva nuestros corazones y nuestras mentes a reflexionar sobre el misterio de la creación y sobre la fe de Abraham. Aquí los caminos de las tres grandes religiones monoteístas mundiales se encuentran, recordándonos lo que tienen en común. Cada una cree en un sólo Dios, creador y regulador de todo. Cada una reconoce a Abraham como su antepasado. (…) Cada una ha sido seguida por innumerables personas a lo largo de los siglos y ha inspirado un rico patrimonio espiritual, intelectual y cultural”.

“En un mundo tristemente lacerado por las divisiones, este lugar sagrado sirve de estímulo y constituye además un reto para que los hombres y mujeres de buena voluntad se comprometan a superar incomprensiones y conflictos del pasado y se encaminen por la senda de un diálogo sincero, cuyo fin es la construcción de un mundo de justicia y de paz para las generaciones futuras”.

“Ya que las enseñanzas de las tradiciones religiosas conciernen en último lugar a la realidad de Dios, al significado de la vida y al destino común de la humanidad, es decir a todo los que para nosotros es muy sagrado y amado -observó el Santo Padre-, puede existir la tentación de dedicarse a ese diálogo con reluctancia o ambigüedad sobre sus posibilidades de éxito. Pero podemos empezar con creer que el único Dios es la fuente infinita de la justicia y la misericordia ya que ambas existen en Él en perfecta unidad. Los que confiesan su nombre tienen la misión de comprometerse firmemente en la rectitud imitando también su clemencia, ya que ambas actitudes están orientadas intrínsecamente a la coexistencia pacífica y armoniosa de la familia humana”.

“La fidelidad al único Dios, el Creador, el Altísimo, nos lleva a reconocer -subrayó el Papa- que los seres humanos están ligados fundamentalmente unos a otros porque todos proceden de una sola fuente y se dirigen a una meta común. Marcados con la imagen indeleble de lo divino, están llamados a jugar un papel activo para allanar las divisiones y promover la solidaridad humana. Por eso, tenemos una gran responsabilidad. Los que veneran a un sólo Dios creen que Él considerará a los seres humanos responsables de sus acciones. Los cristianos afirman que los dones divinos de la razón y la libertad son el fundamento de esta responsabilidad. La razón abre la mente para comprender la naturaleza compartida y el destino común de la familia humana mientras la libertad empuja el corazón a aceptar al prójimo y a servirlo en la caridad”.

“He venido a Jerusalén -afirmó el Papa- en una peregrinación de fe, (…) como obispo de Roma y sucesor del apóstol Pedro. pero también como hijo de Abraham en el cual “todas las familias de la tierra serán bendecidas” Os aseguro que la Iglesia desea ardientemente cooperar por el bien de la familia humana y que cree firmemente que la promesa hecha a Abraham tiene un alcance universal, que abraza a todos los hombres y mujeres, independientemente de su procedencia o condición social”.

“Mientras musulmanes y cristianos prosiguen el diálogo respetuoso que ya han comenzado -concluyó Benedicto XVI- rezo para que apuren cómo la Unicidad de Dios esté inseparablemente ligada a la unidad de la familia humana (…) y fijen la mirada sobre su bondad absoluta, sin perder nunca de vista cómo se refleja en el rostro de los demás”.

Finalizado su discurso, el Santo Padre se trasladó al Muro Occidental, conocido como el “Muro de las Lamentaciones”.

Vatican plots battle with Dan Brown over Da Vinci Code sequel

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It was described as a “phantasmagorical cocktail of inventions”, a “masonic plot” and a “pot pourri of lies”. Now a nervous Vatican is braced for the sequel to The Da Vinci Code and the return of its nemesis, Dan Brown.

Angels & Demonsis the latest Brown thriller to be turned into a film, and already the Catholic Church is agonising over how best to respond: to urge the faithful to boycott the film, or to ignore it? The Vatican and the Italian Catholic Church condemned The Da Vinci Codein its book and film version, but some church officials argued that the campaign against it merely boosted the public’s curiosity by giving it the “oxygen of publicity”.

The plot ofAngels & Demonshas all the ingredients to worry the cardinals: a sinister elite known as the Illuminati wants to destroy the Vatican using an antimatter bomb made with material stolen from the physics experiment at the CERN laboratory in Switzerland.

The film is to be released in Italy on May 13 and in Britain a day later, as Pope Benedict XVI finishes his tour of the Holy Land. A strong reaction is more likely because the antiDa Vinci campaign was led by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, then Archbishop of Genoa and now the Vatican’s Secretary of State – and as such the Pope’s right-hand man. Gianni Gennari, a leading theologian and a columnist for Avvenire, the newspaper of the Italian bishops, called on Catholics to boycott Angels & Demons, accusing the film-makers of “exploiting the Church to swell takings at the box office”. He said the film was part of a plot to undermine the credibility of the Church.

Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, the head of the Vatican’s Prefecture for Economic Affairs, said that to dramatise the faults of the film would be a “publicity gift” to the film-makers. “We should not play these people at their own game,” he told La Stampa.

Angels & Demons was published before The Da Vinci Code, which was based on the premise that Jesus Christ married Mary Magdalene and had children. The new film will star Tom Hanks, who played the Harvard professor Robert Langdon in the first film.

Key scenes are set in the Vatican and in two Roman churches, Santa Maria del Popolo and Santa Maria della Vittoria, but film-makers were denied permission to shoot in any of the locations. Father Marco Fibbi, spokesman for the Diocese of Rome, said: “Normally we read the script but this time it was not necessary; the name Dan Brown was enough.”

Work started on a project to unbind Leonardo da Vinci’s 12-volume Atlantic Code to better preserve the largest collection of the Italian master’s drawings and writings. About 40 sheets will be exhibited in September in Milan.

Conspiracy of profits

– The Da Vinci Code film has grossed £524,000,000 worldwide since its release in May 2006. The book has sold more than 40 million copies and topped bestseller lists around the world

– Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh brought a plagiarism case against The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown in 2006, claiming that he “lifted the central theme” from their nonfiction book about Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. They lost

– The Da Vinci Code was denounced by the Catholic Church, which launched public debates to debunk what they called the book’s “shameful and unfounded errors”

– Opus Dei, the Catholic sect depicted in The Da Vinci Code as a secret, murderous organisation, denounced its representation and allowed a BBC documentary to be made. The sect’s British wing reported a tenfold increase in membership inquiries in 2006

Source: Times Archive