Lake Erie Conservative

thoughtful discussion(s) about issue(s)

Posts Tagged ‘Vatican’

… When a Pope really Makes a Difference [#naming Cardinals]…

Posted by paulfromwloh on Friday,October 28th,2016

.. the Princes of the Church really run the Church .

.. they are also the brainpower and the theological heft of the Church and the faithful …

.. when a Pope creates new cardinals , it really makes a difference . Most of all , when the cardinal is below the [voting age] of 80 , it really matters . Any of those folks participating in a possible Papal Conclave could come out of it as the new Pope …

.. [h/t —]..
.. [link] to the blog post …

.. Pope Francis has created [already] almost 1/5 (or , 20%) of the voting age cardinals in the church . Many of them are from outside of Italy and also from outside of continental Europe . So , the face of the Church is continuing to change …

.. eventually , there will be Popes from Asia , and , believe it or not , from North America . It may not happen soon , but , it will happen someday …

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… A ” Communist Crucifix ?!?! ” [#Evo Morales][#Bolivia]…

Posted by paulfromwloh on Wednesday,July 15th,2015

.. you have to be kidding ?? ..

.. unfortunately , I am not kidding ..

.. on Pope Francis I ‘ s recent travels to Latin America , he traveled to Bolivia . Bolivia ‘ s president is the god – awful space cadet for a moron named Evo Morales . Morales and his socialistas are in the process of ruining Bolivia , which is hard to do …

.. Bolivia is one of South America ‘s poorest nations . It easily has the continent ‘s lowest per – capita GDP , even lower than that of Suriname and Venezuela . So there is not a whole lot there to wreck as it is . But morales is trying ..

.. [h/t —]..
.. [link] to the blog post // video clips ..

.. so , dumb – dumb gave His Holiness a ” sacred ” gift , as is tradition . But this one mega bombed , and how … so , what was it ?? …

.. of all things , a ” Communist Crucifix … ” [see below] .. pope francis evo morales (communist crucifix)

.. it is a picture of the gift being made . The gift is a Roman Catholic crucifix , with a Communist ” Hammer and Sickle ” attached to it …

.. so , how did the Holy Father react ??

.. ” no esta bien esto ” , or [translated] , it means , ” this is not right … ”

.. well put , Your Holiness !! …

Posted in personal opinion, stupidity (criminal), stupidity (diplomatic) | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

… Time for the Holy Father to Step Up … [#religious faith]…

Posted by paulfromwloh on Monday,August 4th,2014

.. it is time …. long since time …

.. I am Catholic , and so is Judge Jeanine …

.. [h/t — theRightScoop]..
.. [link] to her Opening Statement …

.. spot on , Judge Jeanine !! …

Posted in moral opinion, moral question, moral stand, personal opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

… ” Tricky Dick ” Durbin is not the Only One [denial of communiion] …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Monday,April 14th,2014

.. politicians and public figures who are Catholic have to be in good standing with the church in order to receive the Sacraments ..

.. to be honest , this is a rule of my faith [yes , I am a Catholic] that has not always been enforced ..

.. [h/t — theGatewayPundit]..
.. [link] to the blog post …

.. Vice – President Joseph Biden , Jr. , former House Speaker [and current House Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi , New York Governor Andrew Cuomo are among the ” prominents ” who are Roman Catholics , and who are pro – Choice [pro – Death] . If the Church is doing its job properly , they should be denied communion as well …

.. Why do you ask ? ..

.. the Roman Catholic Church is in favour of life . It is in  all  circumstances . It is opposed to capital punishment [which I personally favour] , and is vehemently opposed to abortion …

Posted in moral sanction, moral stand, personal opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

… Creative Attempts at History …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Sunday,April 6th,2014

.. in case you are wondering , it is with POTUS , when dealing with the Holy Father and with a phone call with mad Vlad (Putin)…

.. it seems that they tried to get creative with what happened in the meeting (and the phone call) .. both the Holy See and the Kremlin called the ObamaCraps on it , and bitchslapped them down …. Hard …

POTUS had a busy day Friday, meeting Pope Francis in Rome and talking by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin..

After Obama met with the Pope, the two gave differing accounts of their talk. In a press conference in Italy, the president downplayed the Pope’s concerns about Obamacare’s mandate to pay for contraception and about religious freedom in America.

Asked by a reporter about the depth of the talk over the contraceptive mandate, POTUS said the Pope “actually did not touch in detail” on the subject.

But the Vatican issued a statement after the two met, saying Obama’s talks with the Pope focused “on questions of particular relevance for the [Catholic] Church in [the United States], such as the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection.”

The contraception issue came up again when Obama met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state. “I explained to him that most religious organizations are entirely exempt” from Obamacare, the president said. “Religiously affiliated hospitals or universities or [nongovernmental organizations] simply have to attest that they have a religious objection, in which case they are not required to provide contraception — although employees of theirs who choose are able to obtain it through the insurance company.”

The Supreme Court this week heard arguments on both sides and will issue a ruling this fall.

Meanwhile, Obama got a phone call from Putin on Friday to discuss the situation in Ukraine.

This is the White House’s version of the call:

President Putin called POTUS today to discuss the U.S. proposal for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Ukraine, which Secretary Kerry had again presented to Foreign Minister Lavrov at the meeting at the Hague earlier this week, and which we developed following U.S. consultations with our Ukrainian and European partners. President Obama suggested that Russia put a concrete response in writing and the presidents agreed that Kerry and Lavrov would meet to discuss next steps.

POTUS noted that the Ukrainian government continues to take a restrained and de-escalatory approach to the crisis and is moving ahead with constitutional reform and democratic elections, and urged Russia to support this process and avoid further provocations, including the buildup of forces on its border with Ukraine.

Obama underscored to President Putin that the United States continues to support a diplomatic path in close consultation with the Government of Ukraine and in support of the Ukrainian people with the aim of de-escalation of the crisis. President Obama made clear that this remains possible only if Russia pulls back its troops and does not take any steps to further violate Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. President Obama reiterated that the United States has strongly opposed the actions that Russia has already taken to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The Kremlin said:

Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the United States of America Barack Obama.

The two leaders continued exchanging views on the crisis in Ukraine. Vladimir Putin drew Barack Obama’s attention to continued rampage of extremists who are committing acts of intimidation towards peaceful residents, government authorities and law enforcement agencies in various regions and in Kiev with impunity.

In light of this, the President of Russia suggested examining possible steps the global community can take to help stabilise the situation. The two presidents agreed that specific parameters for this joint work will be discussed by the Russian and US foreign ministers in the near future.

Vladimir Putin also pointed out that Transnistria is essentially experiencing a blockade, which significantly complicate the living conditions for the region’s residents, impeding their movement and normal trade and economic activities. He stressed that Russia stands for the fair and comprehensive settlement of the Transnistria conflict and hopes for effective work in the existing 5+2 negotiation format.

The Washington Post summed up the vast differences:

“President Obama noted that the Ukrainian government continues to take a restrained and de-escalatory approach to the crisis …” vs. “Vladimir Putin drew Barack Obama’s attention to continued rampage of extremists …”

President Obama urged Russia to pull “back its troops and … not take any steps to further violate Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.” The Kremlin somehow misses this.

Vladimir Putin began talking about Transnistria, the Russian-majority region of Moldova that considers itself a sovereign state, but the White House did not mention this. Given that Transnistria has been touted as a potential conflict point by the European head of NATO, that’s noteworthy.

Apparently, Obama and the White House think they can meet privately with world leaders and the Pope, then come out and say whatever they want. Except this time, they got smacked down — hard.

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… I would have loved to have been a Fly on the Wall …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Tuesday,April 1st,2014

.. when POTUS met the Holy Father …

.. they mave have had some issues in common (income inequality) . But not many …

.. from the details that have leaked out , POTUS got one hell of a lecture from the Holy Father . Given the problems that ObamaCrapCare has been causing for relgion and freedom , I can guess why …

.. [h/t — theGatewayPundit]..
.. [link] to the blog post …

.. to be honest , whom do you believe ? I would go with the Holy Father over the Liar of the Year , every time …

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… the Holy Father responds [to Univ of Notre Dame] …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Monday,February 3rd,2014

.. the University of Notre Dame is currently having its annual trustees meeting … at the Vatican , of all places …

.. Pope Francis (yes , the Holy Father , himself) spoke to the trustees …

.. how would I put it … His Holiness put it , ” It is time to step up , folks . ”

.. the Holy Father did put it differently . Yes , I know that . However , I put it in a way that was K.I.S.S. , keep it simple and specific . Popes are like many religious leaders , they tend to get long winded and wordy …

.. [h/t — CNSnews]

.. [link] to the news piece …

( – Pope Francis on Thursday told the president and trustees of the University of Notre Dame–which  is suing the Obama administration for mandating that its health  insurance plans cover sterilizations, contraceptives and  abortion-inducing drugs–that Notre Dame should defend the freedom of  the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church teaches that sterilization, artificial contraception and abortion are intrinsically immoral.

“The vision which guided Father Edward Sorin and the first religious  of the Congregation of Holy Cross in establishing the University of  Notre Dame du Lac remains, in the changed circumstances of the  twenty-first century, central to the university’s distinctive identity  and its service to the Church and American society,” the pope told the delegation from Notre Dame, which visited with him at the Vatican.

“Essential in this regard is the uncompromising witness of Catholic  universities to the Church’s moral teaching, and the defense of her  freedom, precisely in and through her institutions, to uphold that  teaching as authoritatively proclaimed by the magisterium of her  pastors,” said the pope, according to a transcript published by the Vatican.

“It is my hope that the University of Notre Dame will continue to  offer unambiguous testimony to this aspect of its foundational Catholic  identity, especially in the face of efforts, from whatever quarter, to  dilute that indispensable witness,” he said. “And this is important: its  identity, as it was intended from the beginning. To defend it, to  preserve it and to advance it!”

Prof. Carter Snead of Notre  Dame  Law School saw the pope’s words as encouraging the university in  its court battle against the Obama administration’s efforts to restrict  the freedom of religion.

“The Holy Father’s words strike me as  a timely and profound encouragement to Notre Dame in its continuing  efforts to defend its religious liberty in court,” Prof. Snead told

They “are a powerful reminder to all of us who love and work for  Notre Dame that we have the duty to preserve and expand the university’s  witness to the truths affirmed and proclaimed by the Church,” he said.

“As Pope Francis observes, this witness requires the freedom to  organize and conduct the work of the university in a manner that  reflects these truths,” said Snead. “It seems to me that the dangerous  effort to ‘dilute that indispensable witness’ is the HHS  contraceptive/abortifacient mandate.”

On May 21, 2012 Notre Dame filed suit against the regulation that the  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued under the  Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that requires almost all  health insurance plans to cover sterilization, contraceptive and  abortion-inducing drugs. A federal judge initially dismissed the lawsuit  in December 2012, arguing that Notre Dame lacked standing at the time  to bring the suit. The university filed suit again in December 2013.

Although some other organizations that are suing to stop the  sterilization-contraception-abortifacient mandate have been granted  injunctions against enforcement of it while their complaints work their  way through the courts, a panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals  for the Seventh Circuit on December 31, 2013 denied Notre Dame’s  emergency motion for a stay.

After that action by court, Notre Dame continued to press its  lawsuit, but began to comply with the federal regulation that required  it to notify the third-party administration of its self-insurance plan  that the administrator would be providing the disputed coverage.

“Having been denied a stay, Notre Dame is advising employees that  pursuant to the Affordable Care Act, our third party administrator is  required to notify plan participants of coverage provided under its  contraceptives payment program,” said Paul Browne, Notre Dame’s vice  president for public affairs and communications, according to WNDU.  “As part of an ongoing legal action, however, the program may be  terminated once the university’s lawsuit on religious liberty grounds  against the HHS mandate has worked its way through the courts.”

A professor of history at Notre Dame, Holy Cross Father Bill  Miscamble told the National Catholic Register that he was disappointed  “with the tepid way in which Notre Dame has acquiesced with the  Obamacare provisions and authorized its health-insurance administrator  to implement the HHS mandate.”

Gerard Bradley, a professor at the Notre Dame School of Law, wrote in a post on National  Review’s Bench Memos, “The reasons for [violating the ACA contraception  mandate] would be, as Notre Dame asserted in its formal complaint in  the local federal court, that so ‘triggering’ the coverage would be  tantamount to facilitating abortions in violation of the university’s  Catholic beliefs.”

Under the Obamacare regulation, the university says in its lawsuit,  “Notre Dame must provide, or facilitate the provision of,  abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and contraceptive services to  its employees in violation of the centuries’ old teachings of the  Catholic Church.”

“If the government can force religious institutions to violate their  beliefs in such a manner, there is no apparent limit to the Government’s  power,” says the Notre Dame lawsuit. “Such an oppression of religious  freedom violates Notre Dame’s clearly established constitutional and  statutory rights.”

… LEC here again — It is time to step up , folks . Get to it , and uphold your moral standards ! …


Posted in historical opinion, moral opinion, moral opposition, personal opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

… I support My Church [on so – called ” pro – choice ” Catholics] …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Thursday,December 19th,2013

.. being denied communion . They are not in good standing with their faith and their beliefs . They are not in good standing with the Roman Catholic Church ….

.. [h/ts —,]

… [from the article] …

Vatican Chief Justice: Denying Communion to Nancy Pelosi “Makes Perfect Sense”

by Steven Ertelt | | 12/16/13 4:21 PM

Catholics across the United States have for years wondered if and when pro-abortion “Catholics” like Nancy Pelosi or John Kerry would be told not to present themselves for Communion because they are out of step with Catholic Church teachings on the sanctity of human life.

Cardinal Raymond Burke, the former archbishop of St. Louis and now the chief justice at the Vatican’s highest court saying prohibiting Pelosi and Kerry from receiving Communion”makes perfect sense,” according to a new interview Burke gave to EWTN.

As CNS News reports on the interview:

In an interview with EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo on Dec. 13, Cardinal Burke explained that it is necessary to protect the Sacrament, the Communion wafer offered at Masses, from “being profaned, being violated by someone receiving unworthily,” someone “who knows that he or she is unworthy and yet presumes to come forward and to take the Holy Eucharist.”

Host Arroyo then asked,  “Now, over the years, you have said everybody from John Kerry to Nancy Pelosi to Rudy Guiliani — these are public figures who are, by and large, pro-choice, in their public pronouncements, and manifestly so — you’ve said they shouldn’t receive the Sacrament. Now, over the years, you have received such scorn, for that clear teaching, do you ever stop and say, ‘Maybe I should back off a little bit’?”

Cardinal Burke, whose official title is Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, or chief of the Vatican’s highest court, said,  “I’ve thought about it because I’ve received very severe criticism, both at the time that I was insisting on applying the discipline and also in my writing and other situations. But I have to say that, I think about it again, the discipline itself, and it’s a consistent discipline from the time of St. Paul, from the very first years of the Church, and it makes perfect sense.” “In fact, it makes such fundamental sense that I can’t feel badly about it or question [it],” said the cardinal.  ‘The question in my mind is, ‘Why don’t more people understand this?’ Because I don’t consider it to be rocket science or some kind of very unusual insight. It’s something that is natural to our Faith.”

The cardinal continued, “The Holy Eucharist is the most sacred reality. It is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. And I simply wouldn’t approach to receive Holy Communion if I was in a state of sin, and neither would I give Holy Communion to someone who I knew was in a state of sin.”

This isn’t the first time Burke has said they should not receive communion.

In a September interview with The Wanderer, a Catholic newspaper, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome, sheds light on Pelosi and communion. He issues a call for pro-abortion politicians to be denied the sacrament — saying that Catholic Canon law must be applied to them.

.. [h/ts]


Posted in moral opinion, personal opinion, religious opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

… Outrageous ! [Religion & the ObamaCraps]

Posted by paulfromwloh on Tuesday,November 26th,2013

.. those idiots want to close our embassy at the Holy See (the Vatican) . The ObamaCraps consider it to be a ” security risk . ”

.. Are they crazy ?!?!

[h/t — the Gateway]

… added material [h/t — the national catholic reporter]

Vatican embassy move draws fire from former US envoys

    John L. Allen Jr.   | Nov. 20, 2013
Plans to move the U.S. embassy to the Vatican onto the grounds of the larger American embassy to Italy, though in a separate building and with a distinct entrance, are drawing fire from five former American envoys despite the tacit consent of the Vatican itself.

Justified primarily on the grounds of enhanced security, the move is described by former U.S. Ambassador James Nicholson, who’s also a former Secretary of Veterans Affairs in the Bush administration and a former chair of the Republican National Committee, as a “massive downgrade” in U.S./Vatican ties.

“It’s turning this embassy into a stepchild of the embassy to Italy,” Nicholson said.

“The Holy See is a pivot point for international affairs and a major listening post for the United States,” he said, “and to shoehorn [the U.S. delegation] into an office annex inside another embassy is an insult to American Catholics and to the Vatican.”

Nicholson, who spoke in an interview Wednesday with NCR, joins former Bush envoys Francis Rooney and Mary Ann Glendon as well as Raymond Flynn, the first Clinton ambassador, and Thomas Melady, who served the first President Bush, in objecting.

“In the diplomatic world, if you don’t have your own separate space, you’re on the road to nowhere,” said Rooney, who served as ambassador from 2005 to 2008. He’s author of The Global Vatican [1], a new book on U.S./Vatican relations.

While the move has not yet been publicly announced, a contract for renovations to the new facility has been awarded, and it’s tentatively scheduled to open in January 2015. The embassy is presently located in a building near Rome’s Circus Maximus, roughly 3 miles away from the other American diplomatic facilities in the city.

Although the Vatican traditionally has insisted that countries maintain embassies in distinct locations as a way of underscoring its autonomy, signals in this case suggest it won’t protest the relocation.

On background, a senior Vatican official told NCR on Monday that safety is a “real concern,” especially in the wake of a lethal June 2012 assault on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that claimed the lives of an American ambassador and three other officials. A U.S. State Department report after that assault recommended consolidating facilities wherever possible.

As long as the embassy remains “completely separate” from other U.S. missions, the Vatican official said, the new site represents a tolerable exception to normal practice.

The current and former Vatican ambassadors of the Obama administration as well as a senior official of the U.S. State Department all told NCR the move is primarily about security. They also say the move will bring cost savings and improved facilities and will not be accompanied by cuts in personnel or resources.

“I see no diminishing in the importance of the relationship at all,” said current U.S. Ambassador Ken Hackett.

In truth, Hackett said, “the relationship between the Vatican and the U.S. government hasn’t been better than it is right now in quite a while,” especially under Pope Francis.

That view was echoed by the State Department official.

“Having the embassy close to the other missions gives it greater stature,” the official said, who was authorized to speak to NCR on background. “It makes it central to everything the U.S. is doing in Italy and the region rather than being out of sight and out of mind.”

Especially given the global interest in Francis, the official said, “If anything, we anticipate intensifying our relationship.”

Hackett and others note that a few other countries, such as Israel, have always had their embassies in Rome at the same location while others, such as the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, have recently combined them.

Those assurances, however, haven’t mollified the critics. Nicholson rejected the security argument, calling it a “smokescreen.”

“That’s like saying people get killed on highways because they drive cars on them,” he said. “We’re not a pauper nation … if we want to secure an embassy, we certainly can.” He said protection at the current location is “state of the art.”

Flynn described the move as part of broader secular hostility to religious groups, the Catholic church in particular.

“It’s not just those who bomb churches and kill Catholics in the Middle East who are our antagonists, but it’s also those who restrict our religious freedoms and want to close down our embassy to the Holy See,” Flynn told NCR.

Flynn said he can’t see any “diplomatic or political benefit to the United States” from the relocation and called it “shortsighted.”

Melady told NCR that no matter how the move is justified, it will be perceived in diplomatic circles as scaling back.

“Whether that’s the official reason doesn’t really matter, because that’s how people will see it,” Melady said.

Hackett called those perceptions off-base. Among other points, he said, the new facilities include better office space and the ability to host small conferences involving 30 to 40 participants.

All told, Hackett said, the new site will give visitors the impression that the United States is “serious” about engaging the Vatican.

The idea of moving the embassy has been around for at least a decade. Under former Ambassador to Italy Mel Sembler, who represented President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005, the U.S. acquired a large building and other property adjacent to the embassy to Italy, located on Rome’s upscale Via Veneto.

The third U.S. embassy in Rome, a mission to the Food and Agriculture Organization and other U.N. agencies, moved into that compound in early 2012.

Both Nicholson and Rooney said moving the Vatican embassy to the same location was floated during their tenures, and both resisted it on the grounds that the delegation to the Vatican needs its own identity, including a separate physical location.

After the Benghazi attack, momentum for moving the embassy gathered steam. Those conversations took place toward the end of the term of former Ambassador Miguel Diaz, who represented Obama from 2009 to 2012.

“There are really serious issues in terms of protecting U.S. diplomatic personnel,” Diaz said. He said the move is “absolutely not a downgrade.”

Diaz said it will promote collaboration among the three American embassies in Rome, creating “more possibilities to do what we want to do.”

Hackett said the Vatican embassy no longer will have to pay the annual lease on its present location, which he estimated at between $600,000 and $1 million. Officials say once it’s operational, the new facility will have separate signage and a separate entrance on Rome’s Via Salustina, marking it as a distinct diplomatic operation.

Glendon disputed the notion that the United States ought to cite what other countries have done as precedent, saying the importance of the relationship merits its own location and profile.

“Both [the U.S. and the Vatican] are global actors,” she said. “The Holy See’s sphere of concern, like that of the United States, is worldwide.”

Diaz suggested that since much of the blowback is coming from representatives of Republican presidents, it may have a partisan edge.

“We need to look at the evidence and the facts rather than politicizing this move,” Diaz said.

Nicholson disputed that charge, noting that his initial objections were lodged under the Bush administration while a fellow Republican was the ambassador to Italy.

“There’s no partisan motivation on my part,” Nicholson said. “I’ve served there, I know the importance of this post, and I know the damage that will be done.”

Although the State Department official described the decision as a fait accompli, Nicholson said he still hopes it can be reversed.

“They like to use the term ‘reset’ in talking about diplomacy, and I think this is something that can be ‘reset,’ ” he said, saying he’s had conversations with political leaders “on both sides of the aisle” in an effort to roll it back.

The U.S. Embassy to the Holy See also maintains an official residence for the ambassador, a picturesque 19th-century building known as the Villa Richardson rented from the American Academy on Rome’s Janiculum Hill, which is often used for receptions and other events. Officials say there’s no plan to change that residence.

Former Ambassador Frank Shakespeare, the only other living former U.S. envoy to the Vatican, did not respond to a request for comment on this article.

[John L. Allen Jr. is NCR senior correspondent. His email address is [2]. Follow him on Twitter: @JohnLAllenJr [3].]

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… the ObamaCraps could Not be This Stupid …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Wednesday,August 21st,2013

.. courtesy of an article that I read on Newsmax

.. POTUS and his fellow ObamaCraps actually considered downgrading relations with the Vatican (technically , with the Holy See) . Not for constitutional reasons . That is something I could understand , although being a Catholic , I would still hate it . It was for policy reasons .

.. It seems that the ObamaCraps had a devil of a time finding a new Ambassador to the Vatican . Their first one had resigned , and

Vatican City

Vatican City (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

they could not find a new one . They did not (obviously) want to make the move before the 2012 election . However , they did want to make the move . Incredible .

.. It seems that their radical social policy agenda got in the way . The way that they were harassing and intimidating Catholic parishes and institutions here in the U.S. was obviously not winning friends and influencing people in the Curia . Encouraging policies that smacked of liberation theology did not help , either .

… from …

During the past year, the Obama administration strongly  considered ending diplomatic relations with the Vatican as it pondered whether  it should appoint a new envoy to the Holy See, Newsmax has learned.

The  recent Obama nomination and Senate confirmation  on August 1 of Ken Hackett as the new U.S. Ambassador has ended internal Obama  administration debate on the matter.

“I have heard the rumors and I believe them to be true,” Jim Nicholson,  former U.S Ambassador to the Vatican under President George W. Bush, told  Newsmax. “It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if the Obama White House  seriously discussed downgrading U.S. diplomatic relations with the Holy See,  given the devalued view they clearly hold this relationship in.”

“This administration does not want a strong Catholic Church, nor a strong  relationship with it, as it sees the Church as an obstacle to its liberal social  agenda,”  Nicholson said.

The Obama administration has been in conflict with the Roman Catholic Church  on a host of issues ranging from Obamacare’s contraceptive requirements for  Catholic hospitals to the administration’s strong stance in favor of abortion  rights.

After Obama’s first ambassador, Miguel Diaz, resigned last year,  President Barack Obama had difficulty identifying a nominee who would represent  his administration, but at the same time would be acceptable to the Holy See,  according to one source familiar with the selection.

Vatican Gardens

Vatican Gardens (Photo credit: MarcelGermain)

Faced with finding  such a candidate, the Obama administration considered closing its Vatican  offices, and opening offices in the U.S.’s Rome embassy for a smaller office to  deal with Catholic matters.

In the end, the Obama administration moved to  select Hackett, whose choice has won strong applause from Catholic leaders of  all political stripes.
Hackett is the retired president of Catholic  Relief Services (CRS), one of the Church’s largest social  welfare organizations supported by the U.S. Catholic bishops. Hackett, a  graduate of Boston College, also served in the Peace Corps.
“I think Ken  Hackett is an excellent choice,” Thomas P. Melady, who was Ambassador to the  Holy See under President George H.W. Bush, told Newsmax.
Melady, who is  also a past president of Sacred Heart College in Connecticut, noted that prior  to assuming the presidency of CRS in 1993, Hackett began his career  with the group in Africa and oversaw its operations in East Africa during the  Somali crisis in the late 1980s.
“The Holy See needs a good person and  they’ve got one,” Francis Rooney, George W. Bush’s envoy to the Vatican, told  the Catholic Standard, saying Hackett “is tremendously qualified to do the job,  given his background with Catholic Relief Services.”
Along with what he  called “an excellent record” at CRS, Melady said that the nominee “knows the  hierarchy at the Vatican well from his years [at CRS] and that is very  important.”
Since the U.S. extended full diplomatic recognition to the  Holy See under President Ronald Reagan, U.S. ambassadors to the Vatican have  always been practicing Catholics who accept the teachings of their church — even  when they conflict with those of the administration in the White House.
Melady pointed out that the two ambassadors to the Vatican under Democratic  President Bill Clinton — former Boston Mayor Ray Flynn and Rep. Lindy Boggs of  Louisiana — were both strong abortion opponents and took stands that differed  strongly with the stated policy of their party and Clinton himself.
The  same was true of Diaz, President Obama’s ambassador throughout his first term.
Because more than six months went from the time of Diaz’s resignation  and the naming of Hackett to succeed him, there were mounting rumors that the  administration was having difficulty recruiting someone to represent it at the  Holy See.
“As far as I know, while there was talk of many choices to be  ambassador, there were no formal offers made before the White House went to Ken  Hackett,” Melady said

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… the Favourites for the Papacy …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Monday,March 11th,2013

Timothy Dolan, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Ne...

Timothy Dolan, Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York


VATICAN CITY (AP) — Cardinals from around the world gather this week in a conclave to elect a new pope following the stunning resignation of Benedict XVI. In the secretive world of the Vatican, there is no way to know who is in the running, and history has yielded plenty of
surprises. Yet several names have come up repeatedly as strong contenders. Here is a look at
who they are:

{courtesy of the AP} [with some of my own added]

CARDINAL ANGELO SCOLA [Italy] Archbishop of Milan
He is known as a doctrinal conservative who is also at ease quoting Jack McCarthy.

CARDINAL ODILO SCHERER [Brazil Archbishop of Sao Paulo

At the relatively young age of 63, he enthusiastically embraces all new methods for reaching believers, while staying true to a conservative line of Roman Catholic doctrine and hardline positions on social issues such as rejection of same-sex marriage.

CARDINAL MARC OUELLET [Canada] Archbishop of Montreal(?)
He possesses the qualities that make the 68-year-old popular in Latin America – home to the world’s biggest Catholic population – and among the cardinals who elect the pope have contributed to his poor image in his native Quebec, where ironically he was perceived during his tenure as archbishop as an outsider parachuted in from Rome to reorder his liberal province along conservative lines.


Erdo is the son of a deeply religious couple who defied communist repression in Hungary to practice their faith. And if elected pope, the 60-year-old would be the second pontiff to come from eastern Europe – following in the footsteps of the late John Paul II, a Pole who left a great legacy helping to topple communism. A cardinal since 2003, Erdo is an expert on canon law and distinguished university theologian who has also striven to forge close ties to the parish faithful. He is increasingly seen as a compromise candidate if cardinals are unable to rally around some of the more high-profile figures like Scola or Scherer.


Often cast as the social conscience of the church, Ghana’s Turkson is viewed by many as the top African contender for pope.


English: Cardinal Peter Turkson Nederlands: Ka...

Cardinal Peter Turkson



Dolan, the 63-year-old archbishop of New York, is an upbeat, affable defender of Catholic

orthodoxy, and a well-known religious figure in the United States.  But scholars question

whether his charisma and experience are enough for a real shot at succeeding Benedict.


{originally Argentinian} Leonardo Sandri, 69, is a Vatican insider who has run the day-to-day operations of the global church’s vast bureaucracy and roamed the world as a papal diplomat.  The jovial diplomat has been knighted in a dozen countries, and the church
he is attached to as cardinal is Rome’s exquisite, baroque San Carlo ai Catinari.


Asia’s most prominent Roman Catholic leader knows how to reach the masses: He sings on stage, preaches on TV, brings churchgoers to laughter and tears with his homilies. And he’s on Facebook. But the 55-year-old Filipino’s best response against the tide of secularism,
clergy sex abuse scandals and rival-faith competition could be his reputation for humility.

His compassion for the poor and unassuming ways have impressed followers in his homeland, Asia’s largest Catholic nation, and church leaders in the Vatican. Tagle’s chances are considered remote, as many believe that Latin America or Africa – with their faster-growing
Catholic flocks – would be more logical choices if the papal electors look beyond Europe.


Schoenborn is a soft-spoken conservative who is ready to listen to those espousing reform.

That profile could appeal to fellow cardinals looking to elect a pontiff with the widest-possible appeal to the world’s 1 billion Catholics. His Austrian nationality may be his biggest disadvantage: Electors may be reluctant to choose another German speaker as a successor to Benedict. A man of low tolerance for the child abuse scandals roiling the church, Schoenborn, 68, himself was elevated to the upper echelons of the Catholic hierarchy after his predecessor resigned 18 years ago over accusations that he was a pedophile.


Benedict XVI picked the Sri Lankan Ranjith to return from Colombo to the Vatican to oversee the church’s liturgy and rites in one of his first appointments as pope. The choice of Ranjith in 2005 rewarded a strong voice of tradition – so rigid that some critics regard it even as backward-looking. Ranjith in 2010 was named Sri Lanka’s second cardinal in history.

There are many strikes against a Ranjith candidacy – Sri Lanka, for example, has just 1.3 million Catholics, less than half the population of Rome. But the rising influence of the developing world, along with the 65-year-old’s strong conservative credentials, helps keep his name in the mix of papal contenders.



To many, Maradiaga embodies the activist wing of the Roman Catholic Church as an outspoken campaigner of human rights, a watchdog on climate change and advocate of international debtelief for poor nations. Others, however, see the 70-year-old Honduran as a reactionary in the other direction: Described as sympathetic to a coup in his homeland and stirringaccusations of anti-Semitism for remarks that some believe suggested Jewish interests encouraged extra media attention on church sex abuse scandals. Maradiaga, the archbishop of Tegucigalpa, is among a handful of Latin American prelates considered to have a credible shot at the papacy.

As archbishop of Boston, O’Malley has faced the fallout from the church’s abuse scandals for nearly a decade. The fact he is mentioned at all as a potential papal candidate is testament to his efforts to bring together an archdiocese at the forefront of the abuse disclosures.

Like other American cardinals, the papal prospects for the 68-year-old O’Malley suffer because of the accepted belief that many papal electors oppose the risk of having U.S. global policies spill over, even indirectly, onto the Vatican’s image. O’Malley is among the most Internet-savvy members of the conclave.

Cardinal Polycarp Pengo, 69, of Tanzania.

As the elected president of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), he has the respect of his peers. He’s also been adept at defending Benedict’s ban on contraceptives in the fight against AIDS without aggravating the argument.

He has, however, called homosexuality one of the most heinous sins on Earth. “Homosexuality is craziness,” he said. “How can people of the same sex have a sexual relationship … they are meeting to do what?”

He has no experience in Rome.

Cardinal Robert Sarah, 67, of Guinea.

Unlike Pengo, Sarah has had considerable Rome experience as the No. 2 man in the powerful Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (officially known as Propaganda Fide), and is the current very hands-on president of the Vatican’s charitable agency, Cor Unum.

He’s had a meteoric rise through the church hierarchy, being named an archbishop at 34. He has said that homosexuality, abortion and contraception to be antithetical to African culture.

The Asians:

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, 65, of Sri Lanka.

Ranjith has extensive Vatican experience, including as a papal diplomat.


English: Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith

Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith


He has a solid

pastoral background, having served as archbishop of Colombo since 2005.

He’s also considered to be on the church’s ultra-conservative fringe.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, 55, of the Philippines.

He is three years younger than John Paul II was when he was elected pope, which means he

could be around for a long time. It’s the biggest obstacle to him being given the nod this


He is a hugely popular, charismatic and powerful communicator, a scholar, a staunch defender of the poor, an environmentalist, and a proponent of the church taking a strong stance against clerical sex abuse. As John Allen, columnist for the U.S. National Catholic
Reporter, says of Tagle: “When he talks, people listen.”

He also has strong pastoral experience but no Vatican experience.

Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, 70, of Mexico.

Carrera has been such a strong critic of globalization and political corruption that the Mexican government threatened to pass a law forbidding priests from commenting on politics.

He has criticized the U.S. media for exaggerated attacks on the church over sex abuse by clergy. He also has been close to conservative religious movements such as the disgraced Legionaries of Christ (whose leader was instructed to retire to a life of prayer and penitence after being accused of sexual misconduct).

In 2003, he declared that Christians should not consult horoscopes because the only star that truly influences human destiny is the star of Bethlehem.

He has no Vatican experience.

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, 70, of Honduras.

He’s Cardinal Cool, tall, handsome, a trained pilot who plays both the piano and the saxophone, speaks six languages, is charismatic and in demand as a public speaker.

He’s shown sympathy for liberation theology, attacked the neo-colonialism of global capitalism and represented the Vatican at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

He’s also said any Catholic politician who supports abortion is automatically excommunicated.

In 2002, he caused an uproar in the U.S. by comparing media criticism of the church’s sex-abuse scandals to persecution by Hitler and Stalin, and suggested the U.S. media was trumpeting the scandals in order to distract attention from the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

These views brought angry reaction from sex abuse victims and the Jewish Anti-Defamation League.




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