Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Pope Speaks... Some More...

Some fascinating nuggets from the Italian wires.... Tip to Papabile for this Agency brief, dated 25 July:
The need to study further the issue of admitting divorced and remarried people to the sacraments was pointed out today by Pope Benedict XVI, who apparently lingered on those people who re-approach faith after a second marriage, perhaps marrying the first time without really understanding the value of the sacrament. According to Ratzinger, the basic principle to be followed is that of defending the values of marriage, but without making those who can't receive the sacraments because of their irregular situation feel excluded from the communion of the church. "In all cases," said the Pope, "we must see how close they can be to the Church. We must share their suffering, which must be lived with patience."
Around interregnum time, there were whispers from Rome that Your Friendly Neighborhood CDF was working on a document possibly allowing the party not at fault -- the respondent, in canonical terms -- in a divorce and annulment readmission to the sacraments if that party entered into a second marriage. It seems that buzz did have something to it....

AGI also reports that newly-named nuncio to Austria, Archbishop Edmond Farhat, is a former vice-director of Sala Stampa, the Vatican Press Office. Very shrewd move on the part of the Pope, as nuncios usually don't talk to press... Well, except in the Philippines. Or when Montalvo makes a grand faux-pas.

Given that background, putting the Libyan-born Farhat in the heart of German Catholicism can be seen as the Pope's assertive move toward combatting future iterations of the disasters the Austrian church has faced the last few years -- Groer, Krenn, et. al. Be wise to remember that Papa Bear knows the backstory firsthand; if it weren't for Ratzi, Kurt Krenn would've become the archbishop of Vienna. Suffice it to say, even the possibility of something awry along those lines won't happen again. And Krenn was so conservative, much good it did him....

Think of Vienna as the prototype for the major diplomatic appointments of the pontificate.



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