L’Osservatore Romano, The joy of unity

Washington, 29. “The joy on their faces… that’s the thing that sticks in my mind the most”. Almost a year has passed since the establishment and inauguration (1 January and 12 February 2012) in the United States of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter, which welcomes former Anglicans and is led by Mons. Jeffrey Neil Steenson. In various statements to Catholic News Agency, Steenson offered his impressions which emerged from a series of meetings he had with the faithful of the community who have decided to enter in full communion with the Catholic Church. The ordinariates, established in accord with the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus of Benedict XVI, allow Anglican faithful of every kind and from every walk of life “to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church”, while preserving the elements common to both Anglicanism and Catholicism.

Mons. Steenson — former Episcopalian Bishop of Rio Grande, who now holds the title of Monsignor — underlined the enthusiasm that is prevalent among the faithful of the communities which have decided to join the Ordinariate. He however observed that the decision does not represent a simple uniform change, but requires a “profound transforma

via L’Osservatore Romano, The joy of unity.

CNS STORY: Four years later, Vatican takes a different approach toward Obama

By Francis X. Rocca

A woman arrives early to vote at a polling place at the Ukrainian Catholic National Shrine in Washington on Election Day, Nov. 6. (CNS/Nancy Phelan Wiechec)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The day after Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008, the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, hailed his election as a “choice that unites,” exemplifying America’s ability to “overcome fractures and divisions that until only recently could seem incurable.” Pope Benedict XVI sent the president-elect a congratulatory telegram the same day, noting the “historic occasion” of his election.

Four years later, the Vatican’s reaction to Obama’s re-election had a markedly different tone.

“If Obama truly wants to be the president of all Americans,” said L’Osservatore Nov. 7, “he should finally acknowledge the demands forcefully arising from religious communities —
above all the Catholic Church — in favor of the natural family, life and finally religious liberty itself.”

Speaking to reporters the same day, the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, voiced hope that Obama would use his second term for the “promotion of the culture of life and of religious liberty.”

The statements alluded to Obama policies favoring legalized abortion, same-sex marriage and a plan to require nearly all health insurance plans, including those offered by most Catholic universities and agencies, to cover sterilizations and contraceptives, which are forbidden by the church’s moral teaching.

The insurance mandate in particular, which U.S. bishops have strenuously protested for the past year, has proven an even greater source of division between the church and the Obama administration than their previous disagreements and threatens to aggravate tensions between Washington and the Vatican during the president’s second term.

From the beginning of Obama’s presidency, his support for legalized abortion and embryonic stem-cell research inspired protests by the church and controversy within it. Some 80 U.S.
bishops publicly criticized the University of Notre Dame for granting Obama an honorary degree in 2009.

Yet the Vatican itself remained largely aloof from such disputes, at least in public statements, and cooperated with the Obama administration on such common international goals as assisting migrants, working against human trafficking and preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS.

But seeing a threat to the freedom of the church itself, the Vatican changed its approach and chose to address matters more directly.

In January, Pope Benedict told a group of visiting U.S. bishops that he was concerned about “certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion,” through “concerted efforts … to deny the right of conscientious objection on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices.”

Any hopes that the administration might change its policy to the satisfaction of the church grew faint as the year wore on and the election drew nearer, to the increasingly vocal frustration of several U.S. bishops.

Two days before Americans went to the polls, the papal nuncio to the U.S. made it clear how urgent a priority the nation’s religious liberty had become at the highest levels of the universal church.

Speaking at the University of Notre Dame Nov. 4, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano devoted most of a speech about “religious freedom, persecution of the church and martyrdom” to the
situation of the United States today.

“The menace to religious liberty is concrete on many fronts,” Archbishop Vigano said, noting the insurance mandate, anti-discrimination policies that require Catholic adoption agencies to place children with same-sex couples, and mandatory public school curricula that present same-sex marriage as “natural and wholesome.”

Recalling persecution of Catholics in fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, the archbishop said that the “problems identified … over six decades ago that deal with the heavy grip of the state’s hand in authentic religious liberty are still with us today.”

A government need not be a dictatorship in order to persecute the church, the nuncio said, quoting the words of Blessed John Paul II that a “democracy without values easily turns into openly or thinly disguised totalitarianism.”

If the mere timing of his speech was not sufficient to underscore its political implications, Archbishop Vigano concluded by lamenting the support of Catholic politicians and voters for laws and policies that violate church teaching.

“We witness in an unprecedented way a platform being assumed by a major political party, having intrinsic evils among its basic principles, and Catholic faithful publicly supporting it,” he said. “There is a divisive strategy at work here, an intentional dividing of the church; through this strategy, the body of the church is weakened, and thus the church can be more easily persecuted.”

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L’Osservatore Romano attacks the Gates’ – Vatican Insider

L’Osservatore Romano attacks the Gates’ – Vatican Insider.

At least Melinda Gates is getting some push-back from Rome as is Nestle Corporation who is trying to get rich on the backs of the poor or from the donations that are provided from the U.N. and other philanthopic groups. When it comes to so-called Catholics that are involved in campaigns that deny the teachings of the Church: when will the Bishops excommunicate or at the very least bar these people from the Blessed Sacrament? By continued reception, they only compound their sin by heaping mortal sin upon mortal sin. I don’t find any charity in allowing a soul to keep doing this: not to mention the message to the faithful that it is OK to deny a tenet of the faith and still remain a Catholic in good standing. It’s a scandal.