Pope gets stuck in Vatican elevator


The Living Force
Looks like the Pope had a minor problem - "ascending" the higher levels?

Pope gets stuck in Vatican elevator, firefighters rescue him

Pope Francis waves to the crowd as he arrives to recites the Angelus noon prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St.Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019. (AP)

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis says he was stuck for 25 minutes in a Vatican elevator and had to be rescued by Holy See firefighters.

Francis apologized to faithful in St. Peter's Square Sunday for showing up seven minutes late for his traditional noon appointment with the public.

Apparently referring to electric power, Francis said a "drop in tension" caused the elevator to block. He said that Holy See firefighters rescued him and asked the people in the square to applaud them.

Pope stuck in elevator for 25 minutes, freed by fire brigade
FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis arrives for the weekly general audience at the Vatican, August 28, 2019. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

Pope Francis arrived late for his weekly address in St. Peter's Square on Sunday, explaining that he had been stuck in an elevator in the Vatican for 25 minutes and had to be freed by firefighters.

FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis gestures as he greets Scouts at Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, August 3, 2019. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
“I have to beg your pardon,” the smiling pontiff said as he started the address about 10 minutes late.

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Vatican police raid top offices in financial investigation
FILE PHOTO: A general view of the Mass for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, led by Pope Francis at the Vatican, September 29, 2019. REUTERS/Remo Casilli/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: A general view of the Mass for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, led by Pope Francis at the Vatican, September 29, 2019. REUTERS/Remo Casilli/File Photo

VATICAN CITY Oct. 1, 2019 - Vatican police raided the offices of the Holy See’s Secretariat of State and its Financial Information Authority, or AIF, on Tuesday and took away documents and electronic devices as part of an investigation of suspected financial irregularities, a Vatican statement said.

It was believed to be the first time the two departments were searched for evidence involving alleged financial crimes.

The Secretariat of State, the most powerful department in the Vatican, is the nerve center of its bureaucracy and diplomacy and the administrative heart of the worldwide Catholic Church.

The AIF, headed by Swiss lawyer Rene Bruelhart, is the financial controller, with authority over all Vatican departments.

The Vatican statement gave no details except to say that the operation was a follow-up to complaints filed in the summer by the Vatican bank and the Office of the Auditor General and were related to “financial operations carried out over the course of time”.

A senior Vatican source said he believed the operation, which the statement said had been authorized by Vatican prosecutors, had to do with real estate transactions.

Since the election of Pope Francis in 2013, the Vatican has made great strides in cleaning up its often murky financial reputation.

Last year, a former head of the Vatican bank and an Italian lawyer went on trial to face charges of money laundering and embezzlement through real estate deals. It is still in progress.

In May, the AIF said reports of suspicious financial activity in the Vatican reached a six-year low in 2018, continuing a trend officials said showed reforms were in place.

For decades, the bank, officially known as the Institute for Works of Religion, or IOR, was embroiled in numerous financial scandals as Italians with no right to have accounts opened them with the complicity of corrupt insiders.

Hundreds of accounts have been closed at the IOR, whose stated purpose is to manage funds for the Church, Vatican employees, religious institutes or Catholic charities.

In 2017, Italy put the Vatican on its “white list” of states with cooperative financial institutions, ending years of mistrust.

The same year, Moneyval, a monitoring body of the Council of Europe, gave Vatican financial reforms a mostly positive evaluation.
Vatican financial control office director, four others suspended: report
Oct. 1, 2019 - Five Vatican employees, including the number two at the Vatican's Financial Information Authority (AIF) and a monsignor, have been suspended following a police raid, the Italian magazine L'Espresso reported on Wednesday.

The scandal, affecting two departments at the heart of the Vatican, was the first after several years of relative calm in which reforms enacted by Pope Francis appeared to be taking root.

On its website, L’Espresso published a picture of a police notice to guards at Vatican gates telling them not to allow in the five employees because they had been suspended. The notice included photographs of the five, one of whom is a woman.

The people whose pictures were on the notice included Tommaso Di Ruzza, the director of the AIF, and Monsignor Mauro Carlino, the head of documentation at the Secretariat of State. The other three held minor roles in the Secretariat of State, the key department in the Vatican’s central administration.

A senior Vatican source said he was aware of the suspension of four employees from the Secretariat of State, but not of Di Ruzza’s suspension.

The magazine report was written by Emiliano Fittipaldi, who has authored several books on Vatican financial scandals. He wrote that Vatican investigators were believed to be looking into real estate transactions, particularly relating to expensive properties in London.

Fittipaldi said investigators were also looking into the use of money from Peter’s Pence, a fund taken up in parishes around the world and earmarked for the pope’s charitable activities.
Amazon synod deepens faultlines between pope and conservatives
FILE PHOTO: Shainkiam Yampik Wananch, a deacon ordered by the Catholic Church, holds up a host during a liturgy with indigenous Achuar people at a chapel in Wijint, a village in the Peruvian Amazon, Peru August 20, 2019.  REUTERS/Maria Cervantes/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: Shainkiam Yampik Wananch, a deacon ordered by the Catholic Church, holds up a host during a liturgy with indigenous Achuar people at a chapel in Wijint, a village in the Peruvian Amazon, Peru August 20, 2019. REUTERS/Maria Cervantes/File Photo

October 2, 2019 - An assembly of bishops to discuss the future of the Roman Catholic Church in the Amazon, including the possibility of introducing married priests, has deepened faultlines between Pope Francis and conservatives who say it is heretical.

The three-week synod opens on Sunday at a time when the region - made up of eight countries and the French territory of Guiana - is in the world spotlight because of recent devastating fires in Brazil.

About 260 participants, mostly bishops from the Amazon, will discuss spreading the faith, protection of the environment, climate change, deforestation, indigenous people and their right to keep their land and traditions.

The Church’s small but vociferous hardline conservative wing has drawn up battle lines.

Despite being led by only three cardinals among some 230 in the Church and just one bishop out of more than 5,000, they have parlayed their savvy use of social media and their access to conservative Catholic news outlets to pillory the synod’s working document.

They say it is bursting with doctrinal errors, including what they say is an implicit recognition of forms of paganism and pantheism practiced by indigenous people, such as nature worship. Many of the conservative hardliners are also skeptical about climate change science.

Last week, about 200 conservatives gathered near the Vatican and prayed silently “with the purpose of forming a united army against the enemies of God and of the Church”, they said in a statement.

The synod will be “a battle between good angels and demons”, one participant said.

German Cardinal Walter Brandmueller wrote that the synod could mark “the self-destruction of the Church or its transformation from the mystical body of Christ into a secular NGO with an ecological-social-psychological mandate”.

“What do ecology, economy and politics have to do with the mandate and mission of the Church?” he asked.

Plenty, answered Pope Francis’ defenders. They have rejected conservative criticisms that the Church should concentrate on saving souls and not get involved in issues such as climate change and social and economic injustice.

Dignity for all

“Every Christian has a prophetic commitment to justice, peace and dignity for every human being,” said Peruvian Cardinal Pedro Barreto Jimeno, vice president of REPAM, a grouping of the Catholic communities in the Amazon.

Barreto said this included protecting people and the environment from the excesses of a “dominant model of society that leads to exclusion and inequality”.

While Francis’ defense of the environment has been widely praised, including by the United Nations, conservatives, mainly in the United States, have attacked him. Many are aligned with conservative news outlets and well-funded political foundations skeptical of climate change science.

Conservatives are also angry with Francis over other issues, such as a more welcoming attitude towards homosexuals and moves to allow Catholics who have divorced and remarried outside the Church to receive communion.

“There is no doubt that there is a political battle going on in the Church today,” said Father Arturo Sosa, the Venezuelan head of the Jesuit order to which Francis belongs.

Sosa said the attacks are a way of “trying to influence the election of the next pope” by destabilizing Francis’ papacy so cardinals picking his successor after his death or resignation lean towards a conservative who won’t rock the boat so much.

One of the synod’s contentious topics is whether to allow older married “proven men” with families and a strong standing in local communities to be ordained as priests in the Amazon.

This solution to the shortage of priests, backed by many South American bishops, would allow Catholics in isolated areas to attend Mass and receive the sacraments more regularly.

At least 85% of Amazon villages cannot celebrate Mass every week. Some see a priest only once a year. Opponents of the change, even only on a regional basis, fear it would be a doctrinal Trojan horse.

U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke, de-facto spiritual guru for many of the pope’s critics, said the shortage of priests in the Amazon was a “pretext” that would lead to “the practical abolition of priestly celibacy” in the rest of the world.

Burke and Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan issued an appeal for “a crusade of prayer and fasting to implore God that error and heresy do not pervert” the synod.

The pope’s backers point out that the Church in the West already has a small number of married priests and say the fears are exaggerated.

They say there was little or no criticism when Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, both revered by conservatives, ushered in changes that allow married Anglican clergymen who convert to Catholicism to continue to serve as priests.

The synod does not make decisions. Participants vote on a final document and the pope will decide which recommendations to integrate into his future rulings.

Slideshow (3 Images)
Amazon synod deepens faultlines between pope and conservatives

Factbox: The Vatican's contentious Amazon synod
October 2, 2019 - VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis on Sunday opens a three-week synod, or assembly of Roman Catholic bishops, to discuss the future of the Church in the Amazon.

The synod is shaping up to be one of the most contentious in recent years as hardline conservatives, though a small minority in the 1.3 billion-member Church, have received much attention in the media. They say parts of its working document, including the possibility of ordaining married men as priests in the Amazon, are “heretical”.

Here are some facts about the synod:

What is a Synod?
Pope Paul VI established the Synod of Bishops in 1965 at the end of the Second Vatican Council as a consultative body that meets every few years on a different topic. It has no decision-making power but is a vehicle intended to assist the pope in Church governance and policy.

Apart from its opening and closing ceremonies and the daily prayers, it is closed to the public, though the Vatican press office will provide regular briefings during the three weeks.

What will happen at this Synod?
Some 260 participants, most of them bishops from the vast Amazon region, will meet in an amphitheatre-type auditorium and surrounding rooms in the Vatican for this synod, whose theme is “The Amazon: New Paths for the Church and for Integral Ecology”.

They will deliver speeches on various topics, and later break up into small discussion groups.

The focus of their deliberations will be a working document known by its Latin name “instrumentum laboris”, which is based on material accumulated during hundreds of meetings over 18 months leading up to the synod.

The document explores how to give a greater voice to the people of the Amazon, confronting environmental devastation, how to deal with an acute shortage of priests in the region, including the possibility of ordaining older married men who are pillars of their community, and allowing women a bigger role.

Committees will compile a final report that will be voted on point by point and published.

What is the Pope's role in the Synod?

The pope has the title of president of the synod but others run the daily proceedings. He sits in on most of the plenary meetings and takes notes but usually does not intervene in a major way except at the beginning and the end.

The pope is free to ignore any recommendations in the final document. Usually, however, he uses it and the deliberations he has heard to write his own document, known as an “Apostolic Exhortation”.

In remote Amazon, indigenous married Catholics spread gospel, pray for priesthood
Shainkiam Yampik Wananch, a deacon ordered by the Catholic Church, celebrates a liturgy with indigenous Achuar people at a chapel in Wijint, a village in the Peruvian Amazon, Peru August 20, 2019.  REUTERS/Maria Cervantes

Shainkiam Yampik Wananch, a deacon ordered by the Catholic Church, celebrates a liturgy with indigenous Achuar people at a chapel in Wijint, a village in the Peruvian Amazon, Peru August 20, 2019. REUTERS/Maria Cervantes

September 24, 2019 - Just before dawn, Shainkiam Yampik beats a drum carved from a tree trunk at the start of a Roman Catholic prayer service in Wijint, a hamlet of thatched-roof huts in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon.

Whispering “Jesusan namanguinde,” or “the body of Christ” in the tongue of the indigenous Achuar people, Yampik gives communion bread to villagers in a small chapel amid a loud chorus of birds and insects outside.

A tribal elder with 10 grown children, Yampik, 48, is a leading Catholic figure in one of the Church’s most remote outposts.

But because Yampik is married, he cannot become a priest. He is an ordained deacon, a lower rank. That means he cannot hear confessions or, more importantly, say Mass, the key sacrament that villagers in Wijint must go many months without because of a lack of priests. The communion bread he distributes is consecrated beforehand by a priest in another town.

But Yampik and other Achuar Catholics in this vast region are hopeful a historic meeting at the Vatican next month will change that.

On Oct. 6, Pope Francis will open a three-week synod of Amazonian bishops where one of the most keenly awaited topics will be whether to allow Yampik and other married men to be ordained as priests in parts of the Amazon, a proposal that would break centuries of Roman Catholic tradition.

The idea is to allow older married men with grown children and a strong standing in the Church - “viri probati” or proven men - to join the priesthood and help fill a gap in their communities.

“I feel it in my heart. I want to be a priest,” Yampik, who like other Achuar in the region was converted by Catholic missionaries decades ago, told Reuters in Wijint.

A three-day boat ride from the nearest town with paved roads, Wijint is one of 827 native communities in the Vicariate of Yurimaguas, a region nearly the size of Panama ministered by just 25 priests, the vicariate’s administrator, Reverend Jesus Maria Aristin told Reuters.

“It’s impossible to reach them all,” Aristin said, recalling a recent visit to a village that required a four-day day trek through jungle marshlands.

At least 85% of villages in the region cannot celebrate Mass every week, a ritual in which Catholics believe communion bread and wine are transformed into the body and blood of Jesus.

Yampik is one of four married “viri probati” Achuar deacons who will be discussed for the priesthood at the synod, said Aristin, who will attend.

Celibacy or Sacrament?
The synod will also discuss protection for the Amazon after a global outcry over forest fires this year. But the “viri probati” proposal could be more explosive within the Church, where Francis is already under attack by its conservative wing.

The synod’s working document, branded heretical by its critics, says men could be ordained in the priesthood “even if they already have an established and stable family, in order to guarantee the sacraments.”

Opponents of the reform say it will introduce a slippery slope leading to the abolition of the Church’s rule on priestly celibacy, which became obligatory in the 12th century in part to keep children of priests from inheriting Church property.

The Church teaches that by remaining celibate and unmarried, a priest can devote himself entirely to God and the Church.

But the requirement has crimped efforts to recruit priests to minister to all its current members - much less expand - in traditional strongholds like Latin America, where evangelical Christians are making inroads.

“Viri probati” proponents also say the Church cannot neglect faithful in places like Wijint, a village with no electricity or running water where the Achuar grow cassava root and bananas and hunt wild pigs in surrounding forests.

“What’s more important, celibacy or the Eucharist, the center of Christian life?” said Aristin.

Just four decades ago, the Church’s presence in this far-flung region was growing, thanks to Italian priest Luis Bolla’s success in converting isolated Indians in Peru and Ecuador.

A Salesian missionary, Bolla lived among the Achuar for decades, adopting their customs and language, and leaving a void when he died in 2013.

Today, it is hard to get outsiders to stay in Achuar villages, said Yampik. “A priest outside of this culture can give himself to us but just for a season. Then he says, ‘I can’t get used to this. I can’t learn the language. I can’t talk,’” Yampik said.

“An Achuar priest would be ours. Where’s he going to go?”

Daring Proposals
The Vatican has allowed some leeway before. Some Anglican priests who were already married when they converted to Roman Catholicism were able to continue to serve as priests.

But it has not made an exception to its celibacy rule for the purpose of addressing shortages of priests. It is a discipline, though, not a dogma, and therefore can be changed.

The synod does not make decisions. Only the pope can. Participants will vote on various articles in a final document, which will then go to the pope to decide whether to make it into an official Apostolic Exhortation.

Aristin said he was hopeful Francis would relax the celibacy rule for the Achuar. He recalled Francis’ excitement when the pope met Yampik and other local “viri probati” on his 2018 visit to Peru.

“Francis, who’s always a bit mischievous, winked at me and said ‘make some daring proposals for the synod,’” Aristin said.

The “viri probati” proposal is backed by all Catholic congregations in the Vicariate of Yurimaguas. It has also fueled calls for bolder change, including among nuns, who outnumber priests in the Amazon and often carry out the bulk of missionary work in remote areas.

“We sisters clamor for the Achuar deacons to be ordained,” said Maruja Escalante, a nun with the Missionaries of Mary Immaculate and Catherine of Siena order. “I also think it’s important that a woman can become a priest,” she added.

Pope Francis, however, has said that the door to a female priesthood was closed by his predecessor Pope John Paul, and that he would not open it.

Church with an "Indigenous face"
Achuar is among the last Amazonian tribes to come into regular contact with non-natives and traditionally practiced polygamy and shamanism.
To win converts, Bolla infused ancient Catholic rites with indigenous customs, a tradition Yampik keeps alive today.

In the prayer service Yampik led in Wijint, girls sang Achuar ancestral chants to praise the Virgin Mary as villagers gathered around a fire built with three logs, a native ritual adopted to symbolize the Holy Trinity.

That multicultural approach, once considered avant-garde, today is celebrated by the Church under Pope Francis, who has called for a Church with an “Amazonian and indigenous face.”

“Father Bolla had a special vision. He said, ‘evangelization here has to be done without disrupting their culture,’” said Reverend Vicente Santilli, the head of the Salesian House in the Peruvian capital Lima.

Slideshow (11 Images)
In remote Amazon, indigenous married Catholics spread gospel, pray for priesthood
Pope installs new cardinals to set future direction of church
Pope Francis and 13 Roman Catholic prelates meet on a day of a ceremony to elevate them to the rank of cardinal, at Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican October 5, 2019. Vatican Media/Handout via REUTERS

Pope Francis installed new cardinals on Saturday, putting his stamp on the future of the Roman Catholic Church with men who share his vision for social justice, the rights of immigrants and dialogue with Islam.

Pope urges conservatives to be open to changes in Church
Pope Francis leaves after a Mass to open a three-week synod of Amazonian bishops at the Vatican, October 6, 2019. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

Pope Francis appealed to conservatives on Sunday not to be bound by the status quo as he opened an assembly of bishops to discuss the future of the Roman Catholic Church in the Amazon, including the possibility of introducing married priests.
Pope urges respect for indigenous Amazon peoples at start of three-week gathering
Pope Francis attends the Synod of Amazonian bishops at the Vatican, October 7, 2019.   Vatican Media/Handout via REUTERS    ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.

Pope Francis on Monday told an assembly of bishops discussing the Amazon region of South America that modern society should not try to impose its rules on indigenous people but respect their culture and let them chart their own future.

'Two Popes' filmmakers hope Pope Francis is amused
FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis visits his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in Vatican, December 21, 2018. Picture taken December 21, 2018.  Vatican Media/Handout via REUTERS

Director Fernando Meirelles is a fan of Pope Francis but says his new film, which tries to get into the head of the Argentine pontiff, also shows some of his weaknesses.

Portals to history and conflict: the gates of Jerusalem's Old City
People are seen near Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City October 7, 2019.  REUTERS/Nir Elias

Jews, Muslims and Christians pass daily through the gates of Jerusalem's Old City, on their way to and from prayers or simply to go about their everyday business in one of the most politically sensitive spots on earth.
Pope canonizes British Catholic luminary John Henry Newman, four others
Pope Francis leads a Mass for the canonisation of 19th-century British cardinal John Henry Newman, a Swiss laywoman, an Indian nun, an Italian nun and a nun known as the Mother Teresa of Brazil, at the Vatican, October 13, 2019. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
Pope Francis leads a Mass for the canonisation of 19th-century British cardinal John Henry Newman, a Swiss laywoman, an Indian nun, an Italian nun and a nun known as the "Mother Teresa of Brazil", at the Vatican, October 13, 2019. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

Pope Francis on Sunday declared five people saints, including Cardinal John Henry Newman, a leading 19th century Anglican who converted to Catholicism and became one of the most influential Christian figures of modern times.

Underscoring Newman’s luminary status in Christianity today, Prince Charles, who will become head of the Church of England when he becomes king, attended the canonization Mass in St. Peter’s Square and said it was a cause for celebration by all Britons.

“Whatever our own beliefs, and no matter what our own tradition may be, we can only be grateful to Newman for the gifts, rooted in his Catholic faith, which he shared with wider society,” Charles said in an article in the Vatican newspaper.

Charles praised Newman, the first British saint in more than 40 years and the first Englishman born since the 1600s to be canonized, as “this great Briton, this great churchman and, as we can now say, this great saint”.

Such has been the fascination with all things Newman among British Christians leading up to the canonization that Father Ignatius Harrison, provost of the Birmingham Oratory that Newman founded in 1848, speculated that the new saint would have been a “remainer” in the Brexit debate because he believed in unity.

Newman was a man of towering intellect who wrote theology, novels, philosophy, history and poetry.

In 1833, just eight years after he was ordained an Anglican priest, Newman helped launch the Oxford Movement that aimed to return the Church of England, which split with Rome in 1534, to the teachings and rituals of early Christianity.

He was the movement’s chief promoter and became increasingly critical of certain Anglican teachings and was opposed to a national Church with no links to Rome.

Poetry, Hymns, Theology
He converted to Catholicism in 1845, was ordained a Catholic priest in 1847 and was elevated to the rank of cardinal in 1879.

Newman’s poetry, hymns and theology have had a great influence on modern Christian spirituality. His autobiography, Apologia Pro Vita Sua, written in 1864 to explain the evolution of his religious thinking, is still in print and widely read today.

Both conservatives and progressives in the Catholic Church today have enlisted Newman’s writings to back their positions. The conservatives say his giving precedence to conscience over obedience shows it is proper to criticize the current pope, Francis.

The progressives say loyalty to Rome was central to his faith and that was a key reason he left the Church of England.

The Pope also canonized three nuns: Giuseppina Vannini (1859-1911), an Italian who founded a religious order; Mariam Thresia Chiramel Mankidiyn (1876-1926), an Indian who helped the poor; and Dulce Lopes Pontes 1914-1992), a Brazilian who dedicated much of her life to educating workers.

He also canonized Marguerite Bays (1815-1879) a Swiss lay woman who was said to have the stigmata, the five wounds of the crucified Jesus.

All five of the new saints were attributed with interceding with God to perform miracles.

The Church teaches that only God performs miracles but that saints who are believed to be with God in heaven intercede on behalf of people who pray to them. A miracle is usually the medically inexplicable healing of a person.
Vatican security chief, papal bodyguard, steps down over leak
FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis is seen at the Vatican walking next to Domenico Giani, Inspector General of the Corpo della Gendarmeria, the police and security force of Vatican City, before boarding a bus heading to Ariccia, south of Rome, to make his Lent spiritual exercises March 5, 2017. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis is seen at the Vatican walking next to Domenico Giani, Inspector General of the Corpo della Gendarmeria, the police and security force of Vatican City, before boarding a bus heading to Ariccia, south of Rome, to make his Lent spiritual exercises March 5, 2017. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

October 14, 2019 - VATICAN CITY - Domenico Giani, the Vatican’s longtime security chief and Pope Francis’ main bodyguard, resigned on Monday over leaks related to an investigation into alleged financial wrongdoing in the Vatican.

Giani, 57, a former member of Italy’s secret services, had been part of the Vatican security apparatus for 20 years, serving three popes, and had held the top post since 2006.

No previous head of Vatican security has left under a shadow in living memory. His resignation is the latest twist in a saga that has gripped the Vatican for two weeks.

It started with an unprecedented and unexplained Oct. 2 raid by Giani’s men on two key Vatican offices, the Financial Information Authority (AIF) and the Secretariat of State.

The subsequent leak and publication in Italian media of an internal police notice bearing pictures of five Vatican employees, including the number two at AIF and a monsignor in the Secretariat of State has left the Vatican in turmoil.

The shaven-headed Giani, who was often seen by the pope’s side or running along beside the popemobile as it moved through crowds, signed the notice which showed the five, including a woman, in a format similar to a “most wanted” flyer.

Vatican sources said the pope was furious over the leak of the notice, issued to guards at gates telling them the five could not enter the Vatican because they had been “preventively suspended”, and had ordered an investigation.

Sources said he was upset that the five had been represented in such a way even though they were not formally suspected of anything and while the investigation, into an international real estate deal, was still in its infancy.

In a statement on Monday, the Vatican said publishing the notice was “prejudicial to the dignity of the people involved and to the image of the Gendarmerie” but that Giani “bears no personal responsibility in the unfolding of events”.

Giani himself told the internal Vatican Media website that he assumed “objective responsibility” as commander of the Vatican’s Gendarmerie.

Gendarmerie Works With Swiss Guard
The Gendarmerie provides security together with the Swiss Guard, a separate unit with its own commander. Both travel with the pope when he leaves the Vatican.

When police raided the offices on Oct. 2, seizing documents and electronic devices, the Vatican said it was a follow-up to complaints filed in the summer by the Vatican bank and the Office of the Auditor General, and related to “financial operations carried out over the course of time”.

Vatican sources say the still-murky episode has all the hallmarks of a power struggle involving the AIF, the Vatican bank, the office of the auditor general and the Secretariat of State, the nerve center of the tiny city-state.

The Vatican’s chief prosecutor Gian Piero Milano opened an investigation into the real estate deal after he received complaints from the Vatican bank, officially known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), and the auditor general’s office against “unknown persons”.

Milano’s investigation involves a stake in a building on London’s posh Sloane Avenue that the Secretariat of State purchased years ago as an investment.

According to Vatican sources, the Secretariat of State wanted to buy out an Italian partner so it could get full control over the property.

The Secretariat asked the IOR for a short-term bridge loan of about 150 million euros but the IOR refused. Instead, it and the acting auditor general filed complaints to prosecutor.

Slideshow (2 Images)
Vatican security chief, papal bodyguard, steps down over leak

Pope mistakenly Tweets support for U.S. 'Saints' football team
FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis leaves after a Mass for the canonisation of 19th-century British cardinal John Henry Newman, a Swiss laywoman, an Indian nun, an Italian nun and a nun known as the Mother Teresa of Brazil, at the Vatican, October 13, 2019. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
Some saints wear halos, other saints wear helmets.

October 14, 2019 - The Vatican employees who manage Pope Francis’ official Twitter account in English confused the two on Sunday when Tweeting about five new saints he canonised in St. Peter’s Square..

“Today we give thanks to the Lord for our new #Saints. They walked by faith and now we invoke their intercession,” the Tweet read.

The hashtag #Saints used by the Vatican on the pope’s English account, however, had the Fleur-de-lis after it, which is the one used by an American football team, the New Orleans Saints.

The New Orleans Saints have 1.5 million Twitter followers and Pope Francis has about 1.8 million on his English account alone.

So the Tweet went viral as thousands of U.S. football fans reacted, with many New Orleans Saints fans jokingly giving thanks for the perceived blessing.

“Praise the Lord and pass the football,” one said.

For the record, the Saints, those from New Orleans, beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 13-6 on Sunday.
Very strange things are happening within the ecclesiastical hierarchy, and many Catholics are stunned for what they see.

I think it is more just a continuation of past methods to pull in more "members". The monotheism wars are not really anything new but they are really being ramped up more and more it seems.

I think the mother figure (Mary) has always been a part of Catholic worship and a mother-earth figure can be drawing-card. It seems the more conservative Catholics don't really buy this latest attempt to display "pagan" figurines. It will be interesting to see how everything plays out I suppose.

I don't think gender applies to the "Prime Creator" as most religions have tried to do.

Session 8 April 2000:
Q: One of the interesting things about this Northern civilizational factor is that one of the hallmarks of the Aryan attitude is the Male dominated religion. When did the masculine religion "take over?" Was this always the tendency or leaning of the Aryan group?

A: Involves more than religion. Religion is the facilitator.

Q: Facilitator of what?

A: Customary psycho/social habitue.

Q: Customary to whom?

A: Those whom you refer to as Aryans.

Q: Where did they acquire the "habit" of a masculine oriented religion? Everybody else was worshipping the goddess in one form or another. But this male dominated theology was the distinguishing characteristic of the Northern peoples. Where did they come up with this.

A: Originated on home planet.

Q: Kantek?

A: For all intents and purposes.

Q: Was it this male dominated religion that contributed to the destruction of Kantek?

A: No.

Q: Okay, when they were on their home planet, why did they develop a masculine religion as opposed to a feminine one, considering the fact that women are the source of life, in certain terms?

A: In your density, masculinism/feminish is essentially a roll of "the dice." Remember, at higher levels gender is nonexistent.

Q: Well, the problem I am having here is this: the masculine religion is monotheistic, essentially.

A: In your references.

Q: Was the older masculine religion polytheistic?

A: Going off the track.

Q: The Aryans always thought they were better than everybody else...

A: They were more advanced than the company they found themselves amongst.

Q: But then, as far as I can tell, the Hebrew monotheism is also derived from the Aryan, monotheistic, male dominated religion. It then "fathered" Christianity, and that has been the whole patriarchal, kill-em-all and let God sort-em-out war mongering thing under which we have lived for over 2000 years. This is the Western, European mind... it came from the Aryans, from the North; it was the so-called "civilizing" influence in nearly every respect that you can track. The cohesiveness and dominance of this type of thinking was able to civilize, but then civilization involves dominance, killing, war, territory, the Hitler scene, the whole nine yards. All of this is antithetical to all that you promote as far as being desirable. Yet, you have said that you were in contact with the Northern Peoples for millennia. Yes, Cassiopeia is a Northern Constellation, and probably figured in the early myths of these peoples in ways we cannot know, but the whole thing is that they represent all that is STS.

A: But so do you, so then why did we contact you?

Q: Well. I don't buy into that whole monotheistic, dominator, war-mongering, make everybody conform to one way of thinking head trip!

A: So, you think all individuals conformed then, or is it the soul that counts in the final analysis?

Q: Okay, obviously all individuals are different, and some did not conform then, either.

A: And neither do you.

Q: Point taken. I am just having a hard time with this. I wish you would just tell me! Who interacted with these Aryans to give them this male-dominated, monotheistic idea that they then sought to impose on every other human being on the planet - and are STILL trying!

A: Interactions were transdensity.
The Pope is having a few problems with his plans, to bring the Amazon Tribe and their customs, under the wings of the Catholic Church?

Controversial Amazon statues stolen from Rome church, dumped in river
October 21, 2019 - Ultra-conservative Catholic militants admitted they stole statues they consider to be Amazon pagan idols from a church near the Vatican on Monday and dumped them from a bridge into the Tiber River.

Vatican accuses conservative social media of fomenting hate after statues dumped
FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis meets with Indigenous Community of Amazonia at the Vatican October 17, 2019.   Vatican Media/Handout via REUTERS

The Vatican on Tuesday accused ultra-conservative Catholic social media of fomenting hate, a day after militants stole statues they considered pagan idols from a church and dumped them in the Tiber river.

Vatican denies book's allegations of impending default

FILE PHOTO: Italian author and journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, who has written three previous books about financial scandals in the Vatican, attends a news conference for his new work, called Original Sin, in Rome, Italy, November 9, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi/File Photo
The Vatican on Tuesday dismissed allegations in a new book that the Holy See risks default in the next few years because of falling donations, financial mismanagement and corruption.
It seems like the glue that holds the ponerology together is often the greed for money whether it is in religious government or secular government.

Vatican denies book's allegations of impending default
While Galantino challenged Nuzzi, saying parts of the book “sound a lot like the ‘Da Vinci Code,’” the Vatican is no stranger to financial scandals.

On Oct. 2, Vatican police raided two key departments, the Financial Information Authority (AIF) and the Secretariat of State, seizing documents and computers in an investigation into the purchase of a building in a posh neighborhood of London for $200 million.

Session 19 November 1994:
Q: (T) Am I correct in assuming that some of these hot-shot, big-wig guys in the government who have plans for taking over the whole world and making everything all happy and hunky-dory with them in charge, are just simply not in synch with the fact that there are some definite earth changes on the agenda? Are they missing something here?

A: Close. They are aware but in denial.

Q: (T) Are these earth changes going to occur prior to the arrival of the cometary cluster?

A: No. But "time" frame is, as of yet, undetermined.

Q: (T) Am I correct in saying that if they knew what was really going to happen that they would still continue with their stupid little plans to make money and try to control the world?

A: Yes. Greed is a sickness.

It is an Atlantean inherited trait perhaps. More oil anyone?...

Session 6 February 2016:
Q: (Joe) In a previous reference to Atlantis, you said that they ended up causing their own destruction because of their greed for energy. Like an energetic hunger, energy weapons, or whatever... But that probably precipitated geological destruction as well. The two are linked.

A: Similarities abound. Money equals energy.

Q: (Joe) You said that previously, as well. Does that suggest that at least initially, a financial crisis first...

(L) The PTB could be having financial motives, but those motives lead to the use and expenditures of energies in ways that are supposed to protect or enhance or promote their financial ambitions but which are ultimately extremely destructive and hard to contain once let loose.

A: Yes

Q: (Joe) I was thinking that overtly, the first blow to the empire this time may come in the form of...

(L) Economic collapse.

A: Yes
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