Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Cardinal Kasper - There Is A Mean Streak With Some In Vatican Curia

Update- I post my second post referenced below at No Panic Please !! Recent Vatican "Scandals", Pope Benedict, and Our Lady of Fatima

I have not posted on the supposed Vatican " scandals this week. In the United States we have to be quite frank more pressing matters in Catholic land.

However I want to do two posts in quick succession here. First is an article I will not give much comment on but is important. Translated on this page from 'There's an ugly streak in the Curia: Anonymous criticisms are wrong' Interview with Cardinal Kasper February 13, 2012 by the Italian paper Corriere della Sera

All the poison stories about the Vatican preceded a week that is full of important meetings among the cardinals of the Church.
- Tomorrow, the Council of Cardinals that has oversight of organizational and economic affairs will me meeting.
- On Thursday, Church hierarchy will be meeting informally with Italian authorities at the annual reception to celebrate the anniversary of the 1929 Lateran pacts which established the Vatican as a sovereign state.
- On Friday, the Pope will meet with all the cardinals present in Rome for a 'day of reflection and prayer' on the Church efforts for new evangelization, with Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan of New York setting the keynote.
- On Saturday, Benedict XVI will create 22 new cardinals in the fourth consistory of his Pontificate, and preside at a separate consistory in which the cardinals will ratify a decree to proclaim seven new saints in the Church.

VATICAN CITY - "I am sad for the sake of the Holy Father. I am really sad about all this. He must be very sad to see all these attempts to destroy what he has built". Cardinal Walter Kasper, 78, who for ten years, headed the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Council for Religious Relations with the Jews, is one of the leading theologians alive.

One of the few cited directly by Papa Ratzinger in JESUS OF NAZARETH. He and the Pope have known each other for more than 40 years. They have different theological positions but they have always held each other in reciprocal esteem. This year, Kasper's book La Chiesa Cattolica. Essenza, Realta, Missione (The Catholic Church: Essence, Reality, Mission) was oublished in Italy, In it, Kasper reflects on the future of the Church: "A new beginning is possible only if, in a way similar to what happened with the movement that led to Vatican-II, three things can take place together: a spiritual renewal nourished by the sources of the faith; solid theological reflection; and an ecclesial mentality".

It is above all the last element that seems to be absent these days, considering the seemingly continuous launch of 'guided missiles' striking at the heart of the Vatican. The latest one alleged an inexistent plot against the life of the Pope. Kasper says of these poison bombs, "I find them disgusting".

What do you think is happening, Eminence?

I do not know, nor have I ever known much about what happens internally at the Vatican. I never wished to know anything of these factions, I was never interested. I was an alien in the Curia. I simply tried to do my work. So I understand how said this must all make the Pope feel.

Papa Ratzinger himself spent 30 years the Roman Curia. It shouldn't have been a surprise to him.

But he never got into this underbrush. As cardinal and Prefect of the CDF, Joseph Ratzinger only thought about doing his job, to serve the Church. He never had any part in these internal quarrels. A simple question of dignity!

What is not working here?

It is a lack of ecclesiality. Those who take part in these activities do not have a sense of the Church, no sense of loyalty to the Church and to the Vatican itself. This is not the way things should be done. As a Christian and as a human being, I agree it is right to seek justice if one has been wronged. But not this way. This is just a mean streak.

A mean streak?

Yes. And it shows a climate in the internal bureaucracy, a workstyle, that is not good at all. Not that everyone is guilty - many people do work genuinely for the Church. But those who do these underhanded things are irresponsible.

What would be the right way?

If anyone wants to criticize the Secretary of State or whoever, he can do so if he has reasons. But he must speak clearly, present his complaints to the party concerned, even tell the Pope. But not with anonymous notes which are not credible - they discredit themselves. If you want to protest anything, then say so face to face and take responsibility for it.

It was a cardinal, Castrillon Honyos, who sent the anonympous memorandum to the Secretary of State....

But one can do that. Of course, the memorandum seems outside reality, and its contents are laughable, But there are persons who have the duty to evaluate such documents. If you get a signal that you think may be significant, it is your duty to inform the Secretary of State. But the point is that someone gave out these confidential documents to the media. I am very disappointed in this continual transmission of pilfered documents to the media - documents which were supposed to be private to the specific addressee, not disclosed far and wide.

What are the consequences?

I always try to meet people and talk to them. About these matters, I find many faithful scandalized, and they are right. Those who indulge in these bad practices cause confusion among the faithful. It hurts the image of the Church. And this, at a time when the Pontiff is working so hard for the renewal of the Church - he who sought to restore order when he saw the abuses that were being committed.

And what can be done now, Eminence?

I know what I shall tell the Holy Father. I will say it to him directly or in a letter. He will evaluate what I have to say and decide what to do. But I would never say in public what I say to him.

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