Vatican

In Remembrance

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Il Gran Maestro e il Consiglio Magistrale dell’Ordine Supremo e Militare del Tempio di Jerusalem si uniscono . al dolore di tutti i confratelli per la scomparsa di Sua Altezza Eminentissima, 80º Gran Maestro del Sovrano Militare Ordine di Malta Fr Giacomo della Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto

Congratulations to the new Cardinals

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From Master Antonio Paris, OSMTHU comments on a full day of engagements:

“Concistoro per la Creazione di Nuovi Cardinali. Basilica Papale di San Pietro. Con il Cardinale Pietro Parolin Segretario di Stato Vaticano.”

Congratulations also to Mons. Tolentino de Mendonça, new Portuguese Cardinal, currently heading the Vatican Library and the Vatican Secret Archive.

 

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.

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

Knights Templar hid the Shroud of Turin, says Vatican

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Medieval knights hid and secretly venerated The Holy Shroud of Turin for more than 100 years after the Crusades, the Vatican said yesterday in an announcement that appeared to solve the mystery of the relic’s missing years.

The Knights Templar, an order which was suppressed and disbanded for alleged heresy, took care of the linen cloth, which bears the image of a man with a beard, long hair and the wounds of crucifixion, according to Vatican researchers.

The Shroud, which is kept in the royal chapel of Turin Cathedral, has long been revered as the shroud in which Jesus was buried, although the image only appeared clearly in 1898 when a photographer developed a negative.

Barbara Frale, a researcher in the Vatican Secret Archives, said the Shroud had disappeared in the sack of Constantinople in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade, and did not surface again until the middle of the fourteenth century. Writing in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, Dr Frale said its fate in those years had always puzzled historians.

However her study of the trial of the Knights Templar had brought to light a document in which Arnaut Sabbatier, a young Frenchman who entered the order in 1287, testified that as part of his initiation he was taken to “a secret place to which only the brothers of the Temple had access”. There he was shown “a long linen cloth on which was impressed the figure of a man” and instructed to venerate the image by kissing its feet three times.

Dr Frale said that among other alleged offences such as sodomy, the Knights Templar had been accused of worshipping idols, in particular a “bearded figure”. In reality however the object they had secretly venerated was the Shroud.

They had rescued it to ensure that it did not fall into the hands of heretical groups such as the Cathars, who claimed that Christ did not have a true human body, only the appearance of a man, and could therefore not have died on the Cross and been resurrected. She said her discovery vindicated a theory first put forward by the British historian Ian Wilson in 1978.

The Knights Templar were founded at the time of the First Crusade in the eleventh century to protect Christians making the pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The Order was endorsed by the Pope, but when Acre fell in 1291 and the Crusaders lost their hold on the Holy Land their support faded, amid growing envy of their fortune in property and banking.

Rumours about the order’s corrupt and arcane secret ceremonies claimed that novices had to deny Christ three times, spit on the cross, strip naked and kiss their superior on the buttocks, navel, and lips and submit to sodomy. King Philip IV of France, who coveted the order’s wealth and owed it money, arrested its leaders and put pressure on Pope Clement V to dissolve it.

Several knights, including the Grand Master, Jacques de Molay, were burned at the stake. Legends of the Templars’ secret rituals and lost treasures have long fascinated conspiracy theorists, and figure in The Da Vinci Code, which repeated the theory that the knights were entrusted with the Holy Grail.

In 2003 Dr Frale, the Vatican’s medieval specialist, unearthed the record of the trial of the Templars, also known as the Chinon Parchment, after realising that it had been wrongly catalogued. The parchment showed that Pope Clement V had accepted the Templars were guilty of “grave sins”, such as corruption and sexual immorality, but not of heresy.

Their initiation ceremony involved spitting on the Cross, but this was to brace them for having to do so if captured by Muslim forces, Dr Frale said. Last year she published for the first time the prayer the Knights Templar composed when “unjustly imprisoned”, in which they appealed to the Virgin Mary to persuade “our enemies” to abandon calumnies and lies and revert to truth and charity.

Radiocarbon dating tests on the Turin Shroud in 1988 indicated that it was a medieval fake. However this had been challenged on the grounds that the dated sample was taken from an area of the shroud mended after a fire in the Middle Ages and not a part of the original cloth.

After the sack of Constantinople it was next seen at Lirey in France in 1353, when it was displayed in a local church by descendants of Geoffroy de Charney, a Templar Knight burned at the stake with Jacques de Molay.

It was moved to various European cities until it was acquired by the Savoy dynasty in Turin in the sixteenth century. Holy See property since 1983, the Shroud was last publicly exhibited in 2000, and is due to go on show again next year.

The Vatican has not declared whether it is genuine or a forgery, leaving it to believers to decide. The late John Paul II said it was “an icon of the suffering of the innocent in every age.” The self proclaimed heirs of the Knights Templar have asked the Vatican to “restore the reputation” of the disgraced order and acknowledge that assets worth some £80 million were confiscated.

The Association of the Sovereign Order of the Temple of Christ, based in Spain, said that when the order was dissolved by Pope Clement V in 1307, more than 9,000 properties, farms and commercial ventures belonging to knights were seized by the Church. A British branch also claiming descent from the Knights Templar and based in Hertfordshire has called for a papal apology for the persecution of the order.

in The Times

Vatican Publishes Study on 4th Crusade

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A study of the famous 4th Crusade of the 13th century — which was called to rescue Jerusalem from Islam but resulted instead in a sack of Christian Constantinople — has been published by the Vatican.

The Vatican Publishing House has released a volume collecting the addresses in various languages from a conference held in 2004 on the 4th Crusade. That year was the 800th anniversary of the crusade that went awry. The 13th-century event is considered to have cemented the Great Schism with the Orthodox that had occurred in 1054.

The 2004 conference was organized by the Pontifical Committee of Historical Sciences, in collaboration with the Institute of Byzantine History of the University of Athens and the Institute of Byzantine and Neo-Greek Studies of the University of Vienna.

The volume is titled “The 4th Crusade Revisited” and it has an interdisciplinary scope, including considerations of the political, anthropological and theological implications of the crusade.

Monsignor Walter Brandmuller, president of the pontifical committee, wrote in the prologue that the volume was edited with the intention of “contributing to the completion of the historians’ great project and to the purification of memory, which has been indicated by the path that has to lead to the coexistence of men, nations and religions, characterized by reciprocal understanding and benevolence.”

He said the congress welcomed the invitation of the Pope, convinced that a “serious and impartial writing of history” without prejudices and based in “rigorous historical method” would be an indispensable tool in reaching this goal.

The volume brings together texts prepared by people of various nations and religious creeds, seeking what they call the step from suspicion to truth in charity.

Scholars Urge More Research on Holy Grail

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Though no one knows if Valencia’s grail is the true Last Supper chalice, a group of experts says it has tremendous cultural value due to its impact on history and literature.

This was affirmed by members of the international congress “Valencia, City of the Holy Grail,” focusing on the chalice traditionally associated with the institution of the Eucharist.

The congress was held Nov. 7-9 at the Catholic University of Valencia and was organized by the Archdiocese of Valencia, the cathedral’s metropolitan chapter, the Catholic University of Valencia, the Spanish Center for Sindonology, the Royal Brotherhood, and the Holy Chalice Confraternity.

Experts from several countries attended the congress. They gave presentations on the ways in which this relic has marked history and literature since its move from Rome to Spain by Lawrence the Martyr in the year 258, as held by tradition.

The body of existing data points to the Valencia grail as the most probable authentic chalice of Christ.

Unique

Antonio Beltrán, professor of archaeology at the University of Zaragoza, noted that the cup is formed by a deep red agate, called “Oriental carnelian,” with streaks in the form of flames. By its material he asserts that it must come from a workshop in Palestine, Syria or Egypt between the fourth century B.C. and the first century A.D. The subsequent additions, such as the precious stones and the frame, date from the 13th or 14th century.

Jorge Manuel Rodríguez, president of the Spanish Center for Sindonology, explained that although films have always shown “a wooden Holy Grail, […] that material did not comply with the norms of purification of the Jews.”

Another element discussed by the scholars was the journey of the chalice from Rome to Valencia.

The experts affirmed that if the chalice arrived in Rome from Jerusalem, it was most likely taken by the Apostle Peter himself.

Jaime Sancho, president of the liturgy commission of the Archdiocese of Valencia, presented a datum that supports the theory that the first popes celebrated the Eucharist with the same chalice that Jesus used.

Sancho explained that in the Roman Canon, which dates back to the second century, it says literally at the moment of consecration “and, taking this glorious chalice in his holy and venerable hands,” instead of “the chalice.”

This and other proofs contributed by Sancho demonstrate the existence in Rome of a unique chalice.

This was affirmed by José Vicente Martínez, professor of ancient history at the University of Valencia, and American researcher Janice Bennet, doctor in Spanish literature. They both spoke about Pope Sixtus II, martyred in Rome during Valerian’s persecution, entrusting the Holy Grail to Deacon Lawrence to protect it from the emperor.

A manuscript by St. Donatus told of this event, said Bennet, as well as the fact that Lawrence was a native of Valencia, not Huesca, as traditionally believed.

Several presenters gave historical proofs of the presence of the chalice in Spain over many centuries, from the study of various annals and paintings.

German anthropologist Michael Hesemann stated that “as opposed to what many think, the grail legends did not begin with the Anglo-Saxon accounts of King Arthur, but in the rooted tradition that says that the chalice of the Last Supper was already in Spain in the Middle Ages.”

Faith and science

The researchers were practically unanimous in supporting research on the chalice with modern scientific techniques to determine its origin, though they emphasized that its religious value does not depend on the resulting discoveries.

Miguel Navarro, doctor in church history from Rome’s Gregorian University, stated that the chalice “is not a magical object, but consecrated by Jesus’ use of it and by the faith that perceives it as such, which has great religious value, regardless of the fact that it cannot be proved with absolute scientific certainty that it is the Lord’s chalice.”

Relics, he added, are not “simple keepsakes, but something more valuable: palpable evidence of the reality of the human or historical event on which our faith is based, as salvation takes place in history, in the flesh.”

Moreover, Father Manuel Carreira, doctor of physical sciences, added that science and faith “are not opposed.” However, he specified that “although science can give an explanation of all this, it cannot demonstrate anything literally about what happens in the Eucharist.”

Navarro added that the chalice “insofar as relic, is beyond and above science, because its primordial significance belongs to the realm of faith, which does not mean that we approach it in an anti-scientific or fundamentalist way.” Rather, “we have the obligation to study it scientifically in its materiality.”

Benedict XVI used the chalice during the Mass with which he concluded the World Meeting of Families in Valencia in July, 2006. Pope John Paul II also used it in his visit to the city.

in Zenith

HOLLYWOOD, UFOS AND THE OCCULT: THE IMPENDING SOMETHING

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Out-there researchers discuss the impending … something

The broadcast-quality lilt of Coast to Coast AM radio host George Noory wafted over a packed conference room at Beverly Garland’s Holiday Inn last Saturday night as he a moderated a panel of out-there researchers engaged in a radical examination of Hollywood’s covert use of occult symbolism and alien agendas — the same week that the Vatican’s chief astronomer told an interviewer that belief in alien life does not contradict belief in God. As Noory told the audience, “There’s definitely a sense of an impending … something.”

Noory is the successor to radio’s legendary Art Bell, who stoked a particular millennial Zeitgeist with his fireside chats on UFOs, the paranormal and all manner of conspiracy theories with his syndicated radio program, before passing the mike to Noory in 2002. Coast to Coast AM remains a cultural touchstone, and Noory — personable and mustachioed — continues to bring so-called fringe ideas front and center.

We’re at “an extraordinary crossroads, with the way life is unfolding,” commented panelist Whitley Strieber, whose most recent novel is based on the doomsday/consciousness-shifting 2012 mythos, and who believes he was “implanted” with a device by his “visitors.” He recalled a bit of the aliens’ verbiage: “We will come from within you.”

According to panelist/abduction therapist Yvonne Smith, 17 functional-growth characteristics in humans born between 1947 and 1987 have been accelerated by 60 to 80 percent. “It’s not environment, it’s not evolution,” she asserted.

A “mutation of society” is under way, and “the skeptic community is getting quieter and quieter,” remarked Dr. Roger Leir, a Valley-based podiatrist, who removes alleged alien implants.

Jordan Maxwell, an expert in occult symbolism and secret societies, likened Americans to Alec Guinness’ blindly megalomaniacal lieutenant colonel in The Bridge on the River Kwai once he realizes he’s been working for the enemy: “What have I done? There is no way out.”

“Jordan’s been looking down the barrel of the New World Order for nearly 50 years,” Noory said.

Maxwell, expounding upon the secret fraternal orders to which our government and religious leaders are bound, remarked, “The Da Vinci Code and National Treasure are teasers. The powers behind Hollywood are Knights Templars, showing you what they can do.”

“What does Hollywood know that we don’t?” asked panelist Jay Weidner, producer of the documentary 2012: The Odyssey. Was Eyes Wide Shut a representation of a sex cult for rich perverts, or a portrait of the Illuminati? Subversive director Stanley Kubrick died two hours after bringing a rough cut of the film to Warner Bros. “Like the Zapruder film, you can see what he was trying to say by what’s missing,” said Weidner, who believes Kubrick fled for England in the ’60s after experiencing events depicted in the film. (Scientologists Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, he said, were simply cast as part of “an inside joke.”)

In Rosemary’s Baby, John Cassavetes’ character eagerly permits the devil to impregnate his wife to ensure his Broadway stardom. “He’s the spitting image of Jack Parsons [black magician and co-founder of Pasadena’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory],” claimed Mike Bara, co-author with Richard C. Hoagland of the recent best-seller Dark Mission: The Secret History of NASA. “It’s the magical ritual known as the Babylon Working. Rosemary becomes the mother of the antichrist.”

A question came from the audience: “There’s so much to dissect from entertainment now — Iron Man, Battlestar Galactica, The Mist, Marvel’s Sons of the Serpent. There’s even a conspiracy theorist in Justice League of America.” The bearded young man echoed the sentiments of many assembled: “Why now?”

“They release little bits of truth, so that in the future they can say, ‘We said that years ago,'” Maxwell answered. “You’ve got to read between the lines.” Entertainment is used to indoctrinate or spread disinformation. Case in point: Universal’s recent optioning of the “period” action script The Knights Templar. “Each time you get a bigger sense of how the game is being played, you are less manipulated by it.” Maxwell asked the audience to verify his contentions — Rome is still in control, a powerful occult system has dominated consensus reality for thousands of years — by forcing us to pay attention to “their” symbols: words, flags, coats of arms. “Once you see [it] organized, it’s frightening.”

“The Gnostic belief is that we must have an apocalypse to bring about the golden age,” Weidner commented. “But is that apocalypse the death of all of us, or the death of consciousness as we know it?”

The Mayan calendar, which runs out at midnight on December 12, 2012, is expected to take us out, whether by mass extinction, interplanetary invasion or a total paradigm shift — a metaphysical bang or a cosmic whimper. With four years and counting, Maxwell advised, “always trust those who are looking for the truth.”

But what the bleep is it?

BY SKYLAIRE ALFVEGREN

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Note: the OSMTHU does not endorse said “conspiracy theories”, but our editors tought that the article was interesting and provocative enough to be brought to the attention of our readers.

Pagan tomb at St Peter’s reopened

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A luxurious ancient pagan tomb located in a necropolis under St Peter’s Basilica has been reopened to the public after a year of restoration.

Catholic News Service reports the Vatican has completed the restoration of the largest and most luxurious mausoleum in the vast necropolis under St. Peter’s Basilica.
The Mausoleum of the Valerii displays some of the most ornate decoration among the 22 family mausoleums in the ancient underground cemetery.

“We had wanted to restore it for a long time, but we didn’t have the money. Now we’re extremely happy” the funding came through and the year long restoration has been completed, said Maria Cristina Stella, an official at the Fabbrica di San Pietro, the office responsible for the basilica’s upkeep.

The $300,000 project was funded by the Rome based Foundation for Music and Sacred Art, the Italian branch of Mercedes-Benz, and other sponsors.

The Vatican necropolis includes the burial grounds where St Peter’s tomb has been venerated since early Christian times.

The Valerii mausoleum was built sometime after 160 by Gaius Valerius Herma – a wealthy, highly educated Roman slave who had bought his freedom. He built the site for his family and his freed slaves and their descendents.

Like many other pagan tombs in the necropolis, the sarcophagi were later “recycled” by Christians who buried their loved ones and added inscriptions referring to Christ.

The cemetery had been used until the fourth century when the emperor Constantine had workmen fill in the open-air necropolis with dirt in order to lay the foundation for building a basilica above St. Peter’s tomb. The airless, lightless atmosphere actually had helped preserve much of the artwork and statuary.

Restorers for the Valerii mausoleum used hand held lasers, tiny drills, scalpels, sponges and plain water to remove mineral salts, other encrustations and dirt, and they injected special glues to reinforce crumbling plaster walls.

They pieced together broken plaster or marble fragments back onto statuary tucked into niches lining the mausoleum walls.

The second century subterranean burial ground is two levels below the basilica floor, and St. Peter’s tomb is directly under the basilica’s main altar.

The cemetery was excavated for the first time in the 1930’s and 40’s, revealing a double row of mausoleums and niches decorated with paintings, stucco and mosaics, along with a section of simpler graves.

The Vatican has spent the past decade repairing and restoring the tombs, labyrinthine lanes and funerary artwork using state-of-the-art techniques, as well as setting up a complete conservation system that controls the climate of the necropolis.

Vatican seeks to throw light on “difficult obedience”

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The Holy See Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life has published a new instruction on authority and obedience for religious men and women.

The new instruction entitled, ‘The Service of Authority and Obedience’ examines the theme of religious obedience, “the root of which is seen in that search for God and for His will which is particular to believer,” according to a media release from the Congregation, Spero News reports.

“Christian and religious obedience does not, then, appear simply as the implementation of ecclesiastical or religious laws and rulings, but as the momentum of a journey in search of God which involves listening to His Word and becoming aware of His design of love – the fundamental experience of Christ Who, out of love, was obedient unto His death on the cross.”

“Authority in religious life,” the communiqué added, “must be understood in this light, in other words, as a way to help the community (or institute) to seek and achieve the will of God. Obedience, then, is not justified on the basis of religious authority, because everyone in a religious community (first and foremost the authorities themselves) are called to obedience. Authority places itself at the service on the community so that God’s will may be sought and achieved together.”

The instruction also considers “the delicate matter of ‘difficult obedience’, that in which what is requested of the religious is particularly hard to carry out, or in which the subject feels he sees ‘things which are better and more useful for his soul than those which the superior orders him to do’.”

The instruction seeks to recall that obedience in religious life can give rise to situations of suffering in which it is necessary to refer back to the Obedient One par excellence, Christ.

“It must, moreover, be borne in mind that authority too can be ‘difficult’, experiencing moments of discouragement and fatigue which can lead to resignation or inattention in exercising an appropriate guidance of the community.”

The document also offers a vast and coherent set of guidelines for the exercise of authority, such as inviting people to listen, favouring dialogue, sharing, co-responsibility, and the merciful treatment of the people entrusted to authority, the communiqué said.

in CathNews