Saturday, June 19, 2010

Vatican on Paetz: "Rehabilitation" Talk "Unfounded"

Earlier today, the Holy See's lead spokesman offered an official response to yesterday's Polish media-storm:
Answering journalists questions about press reports on the situation of the former Archbishop of Poznan, Archbishop Juliusz Paetz, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Father [Federico] Lombardi stated that it is unfounded in this case speak of "rehabilitation", given that the issue dealt with in correspondence with Rome exclusively regarded authorisation whether to allow him or not, preside at public celebrations following an invitation made by a parish priest, without the necessary authorization from the Ordinary bishop.

The criteria and restrictions established in 2002 and thus far observed, are not subject to change.

As officially confirmed yesterday by the spokesman for the archdiocese of Poznan, the possibility that the Archbishop of Poznan, Stanislaw Gadecki, presented, or even thought of presenting his resignation from the diocese, is totally unfounded.
...meanwhile, the papal spokesman's weekly editorial for Vatican Radio -- where he serves as director alongside his Press Office duties -- was dedicated to the ongoing oil spill off Louisiana's Gulf Coast:
For over two months now a river of oil has been spilling into the Gulf of Mexico from a well in the seabed, ruptured in the aftermath of an explosion at a BP drilling platform. The dimensions of the disaster are difficult to calculate. What is certain is that it is of enormous proportions, and getting worse.

Other serious environmental disasters related to human activities come to mind, such as the one at the chemical factory in Bhopal, India in 1984, or that of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine in 1986, which caused casualties and even greater damage to people.

What is striking in this case is the sense of powerlessness and delay in finding a solution to this disaster faced by one of the largest and most technologically advanced oil multinationals in the world, but also by the most powerful country on earth. It seems incredible, but it is a fact. This is not the eruption of a volcano, but a relatively small man-made hole in the seabed. Yet, in two months, expert scientists and technicians, leaders in their field, have failed to plug it.

Will we draw a lesson of prudence and care in the use of the earth’s resources and natural balances of the planet from this?

Of course, from now on much will change in oil extraction to make it safer. But perhaps we can also draw a lesson in humility. Technology will advance. But if a relatively simple production process leaves us so helpless, what will we do if much more complex processes get out of hand, such as those affecting the energy hidden in the heart of matter or moreover in the processes of the formation of life? Benedict XVI had good reason to conclude his last encyclical on the great problems of humanity today with a chapter on responsible use of the power of technology.
In its coverage of the spill, the Italian press has taken to dubbing the disaster "marea nera" -- "the black tide."