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PopeWatch: Jonathan Pryce

Well this is interesting.  Actor Jonathan Pryce is going to portray Pope Francis:

 

Add Pope Francis to Netflix’s continually growing TV and movie roster names. The streaming service is moving forward with the feature film The Pope, with Jonathan Pryce tapped to play the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, and Anthony Hopkins in talks to play his predecessor Pope Benedict. The film will be directed by City of God helmer Fernando Meirelles, has a script by Anthony McCarten, who wrote The Theory of Everything about Stephen Hawking and the upcoming Darkest Hour with Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill.  McCarten adapted his stage play. Dan Lin is producing with Jonathan Eirich, and Tracey Seaward. Filming will begin November in Argentina.

Go here to read the rest.  Intriguingly Pryce also has portrayed the religious figure, and true believer, High Sparrow in Game of Thrones:

 

 

 

In 1996 he played Juan Peron in Evita:

 

A religious figure with a good deal of Juan Peron in him.  That sounds unpleasantly familiar.

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PopeWatch: Burke to Guam

 

 

 

 

Just when you thought that things couldn’t get much weirder at the Vatican:

 

Cardinal Raymond Burke has traveled to Guam, to take testimony in the canonical trial of Archbishop Anthony Apuron of Agana.

Archbishop Apuron, who has been accused of molesting a number of young men, was relieved of his pastoral responsibilities in the Guam archdiocese last June. He has insisted on his innocence and refused to resign. However, in October the Vatican named an American prelate, Archbishop Michael Byrnes, as coadjutor with “special faculties” to take over leadership of the archdiocese.

At his installation, Archbishop Byrnes revealed that the Vatican had begun a canonical trial of Archbishop Apuron on the sex-abuse charges. The Vatican press office has now confirmed this, and disclosed that Cardinal Burke was named as the presiding judge in the case. Continue Reading

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PopeWatch: Bear Growls: Leftist Cardinals

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Our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear takes a look at the three new US cardinals appointed by Pope Francis:

Cupich, Tobin, and Farrell new U.S. Francis Cardinals, signaling a switch away from culture wars. Actually, it signals a switch away from Catholicism. And the Bear shall continue to be right when he says again and again that things are far worse than you think in Jorge Bergoglio’s Church. Now he is consolidating his gains.

The Church in America shall be more the Democrat PAC. It shall continue to sacrifice ecclesiastic physiology for ecclesiastic pathology. It will perpetuate the anti-Catholic leftist party who will elect the next pope in Francis’ image. More Muslim refugees; more running cover for renegade nuns; and more excuses for Muslim terrorism. More support for women deacons; even women deacons delivering homilies.

Read the jubilation at America magazine. BTW the author wants us to take him seriously, when he touts a book, “The Tweetable Pope: a Spiritual Revolution in 140 Characters.” That pretty much says it all about everything, the Bear reckons. Continue Reading

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PopeWatch: Noncomformist on the Throne of Peter

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PopeWatch sometimes fears that the Pope Emeritus is in jeopardy of becoming the forgotten pope.  Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa brings to our attention of a perceptive new look at his papacy by a Japanese agnostic:

A NONCONFORMIST ON THE THRONE OF PETER

by Hajime Konno

Benedict XVI entered the stage of world politics as a Church leader endowed with clear principles and strong will. The name selected as pope, Benedict, indicated his pessimistic diagnosis of the times, or his comparison between the situation today and the late-Roman decadence at the time of Saint Benedict. Already in his homily on the eve of his election to the see, on April 18, 2005, he had clearly taken a position in this regard.

The pope’s objective was first of all the defense and reinforcement of the Christian foundations of Europe, even though during his pontificate the curia also dealt intensively with relations with non-European countries, as for example the socialist republics of China and Vietnam. Benedict did not intend to subject himself to fashion and limit himself to governing with diligence. He wanted to decide what should be changed and what not, always on the basis of the Church’s position and independently of the spirit of the times. He was by no means pledged to anti-modernism. He simply intended to preserve the elements that he saw as necessary for the Church, regardless of the fact of whether they were modern or premodern. He eliminated the papal tiara from the pontifical coat of arms, he renounced the title of “patriarch of the West,” he addressed environmental problems with passion.

Above all he was, de facto, the pope of the “logos”: with the power of his words, his most powerful weapon, he fought for Christian Europe. He opened the Church to the most recent means of communication, including YouTube and Twitter, he rehabilitated Latin and the Tridentine Mass, he reached out to the Fraternity of Saint Pius X, he consolidated the liturgy as the solemn actualization of the mysteries, he placed the Eucharist at the center of Christian life, he encouraged the administration of communion on the tongue and was not afraid, even after the much-criticized discourse in Regensburg, to discuss the violence of radical Islamists.

As interlocutors in the ecumenical movement, Pope Benedict XVI carefully chose Churches like the Orthodox and the Anglican, establishing good contacts with both while still inviting conservative Anglican dissidents to join the Catholic Church. The culmination of the friendship between Catholic and Orthodox was the encounter with the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople. Benedict XVI also went to Great Britain, meeting with both Queen Elizabeth and the archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and beatifying Cardinal John Henry Newman in Glasgow. It was not possible to organize a trip to Russia, yet Benedict also had good relations with the patriarch of Moscow, Cyril I, since he was metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad. Although at the time of the council Ratzinger had worked for a positive evaluation of Protestantism, Pope Benedict XVI kept his distance from the “ecclesial communities” of the Reformation.

The progressives inside and outside of the Catholic Church did not recognize the pope’s ability to act autonomously apart from the spirit of the time. To these groups a pontiff who had as his motto “cooperatores veritatis” appeared as an arrogant, unbearable prince of the Church. They did all they could to promote a negative image of the pope and rejoiced over his unexpected resignation. Among the means used, an important role was given to anti-Germanism. The method of stigmatizing Ratzinger as German, even though he rarely emphasized his Germanic identity, resembles that used by anti-Semitism when even Jewish converts are still accused of remaining Jews.

In Germany, his birthplace, Pope Benedict XVI has always been a topic of debate. On the one hand his election was a sort of stroke of liberation. The fact that a German had been elected pope and therefore, so to speak, the supreme spiritual authority of the West, was in itself sensational. English tabloids like “The Sun” could not pass up the chance to compose mocking headlines (“From Hitler Youth to… Papa Ratzi”). Benedict reacted to all of this by emphasizing his Bavarian rather than German patriotism and on May 28, 2006 he went to visit the former concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau. At the same time, however, he also highlighted the importance of Germany. The progressives left no stone unturned in accentuating the problems of sexual abuse and of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X, in order to undermine the authority of the pope. Conservative German Catholics, for example those gathered in the initiative “Deutschland pro Papa” or in the “Forum Deutscher Katholiken” found themselves disarmed in the face of the markedly anticlerical climate that prevailed in German public opinion.

Although Benedict XVI did not expressly intend to do so, in fact he brought the dominion of modern values into question. In the context of his criticism of Marxism he supported Western parliamentary democracy, but his siding in favor of democracy was by no means unconditional. He decisively refused to introduce it into the Church, which is ordered in a hierarchical way. He also looked with skepticism at public opinion polling. His distance from the popular will is not explained only by his experience with the student movement in the 1960’s, but was already rooted in his distancing himself from National Socialism, which in its time was accompanied by thunderous applause from the majority of the population. He also did not share the optimistic evaluation of modern-day man and the progress of society.

His attitude followed in the footsteps of Christian social conservatism. The appreciation of the family and of heterosexual marriage was in contradiction with the present-day multiplication of family models. The emphasis placed on the role of Christianity as the pre-political basis of liberal democracy was aimed against secularism. Benedict XVI disapproved of the criticism of Eurocentrism and reiterated the Christian character of Europe. Not only in political questions, but also and above all in cultural ones he took positions and acted as an active champion of old European culture against the tides of globalization.

Pope Benedict XVI was a nonconformist on the throne of Peter. When from the seat of gold he imparted the blessing in Latin, excommunicated dissidents, held the universal Church together and affirmed the unicity of the Catholic faith, he was in fact showing his authoritative side. It comes as no surprise that his detractors, like Leonardo Boff or Johann Baptist Metz, should have criticized him. Nonetheless, the question can also be seen in a different way if it is placed within the situation in which the Church finds itself. If one looks at the dominant position of modern values, the Catholic Church is an oppressed minority while its critics belong to the majority. Thus Ratzinger’s authoritative attitude was a reaction to the prevailing situation.

In any case, the combative spirit was only one side of Joseph Ratrzinger. Although he armored himself, in a certain sense, against his opponents, he never lost the willingness for dialogue. Even his most ardent critic, Hans Küng, was given a friendly reception at Castel Gandolfo. In his encyclicals, Pope Benedict XVI repeatedly dealt with themes like “love” and “hope.” Substantially he remained a Bavarian patriot, with enthusiasm always in his heart for the procession of Corpus Domini. In this sense he resembles the prince of ancient China Ling Wang (Gao Changgong). Even though he fought on the battlefield wearing a mask of the devil, the features of the face that this concealed were delicate. Continue Reading

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PopeWatch: Cupich of the West

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Christ told us by our fruits he shall know us.  In regard to Popes it is by their appointments that they tend to be known:

 

It’s being called the “Cupich appointment of the West,” and not without reason – resolving the highest-profile vacancy on the current US docket, at Roman Noon tomorrow the Pope is slated to name Bishop Robert McElroy, the 61 year-old auxiliary of San Francisco known as one of the Stateside bench’s most outspoken progressives, as the sixth bishop of San Diego and its 1 million Catholics in the nation’s seventh-largest city.

As reports of the appointment quietly circulated for much of last week, three Whispers ops appraised of the move confirmed the news over the weekend. Coming just shy of six months since the premature death of Bishop Cirilo Flores after a brief struggle with cancer, as reports here at the time indicated, the succession was indeed fast-tracked given both the relative freshness of the consultations leading up to Flores’ own selection in early 2012 and the diocese’s still-unsettled state from its 2007 bankruptcy amid a torrent of sex-abuse lawsuits, which was settled for $197 million.

Go here to read the rest.  Robert McElroy is no stranger to PopeWatch.  This from October 21, 2013: Continue Reading

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PopeWatch: Think Hard About This

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The Pope spoke quite strongly against abortion, euthanasia and in vitro fertilization on Saturday to the Association of Italian Catholic doctors

The dominant thinking sometimes suggests a “false compassion”, that which believes that it is: helpful to women to promote abortion; an act of dignity to obtain euthanasia; a scientific breakthrough to “produce” a child and to consider it to be a right rather than a gift to welcome; or to use human lives as guinea pigs presumably to save others. Instead, the compassion of the Gospel is that which accompanies in times of need, that is, the compassion of the Good Samaritan, who “sees”, “has compassion”, approaches and provides concrete help (cf. Lk 10:33).

Your mission as doctors puts you in daily contact with many forms of suffering. I encourage you to take them on as “Good Samaritans”, caring in a special way for the elderly, the infirm and the disabled. Fidelity to the Gospel of life and respect for life as a gift from God sometimes require choices that are courageous and go against the current, which in particular circumstances, may become points of conscientious objection. And this fidelity entails many social consequences. We are living in a time of experimentation with life. But a bad experiment. Making children rather than accepting them as a gift, as I said.

Playing with life. Be careful, because this is a sin against the Creator: against God the Creator, who created things this way. When so many times in my life as a priest I have heard objections: “But tell me, why the Church is opposed to abortion, for example? Is it a religious problem?” No, no. It is not a religious problem. “Is it a philosophical problem?” No, it is not a philosophical problem.

It’s a scientific problem, because there is a human life there, and it is not lawful to take out a human life to solve a problem. “But no, modern thought…” But, listen, in ancient thought and modern thought, the word “kill” means the same thing. The same evaluation applies to euthanasia: we all know that with so many old people, in this culture of waste, there is this hidden euthanasia. But there is also the other. And this is to say to God, “No, I will accomplish the end of life, as I will.” A sin against God the Creator! Think hard about this. Continue Reading

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PopeWatch: Condolence and Love

 

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The habit of Pope Francis in calling people out of the blue has sometimes produced controversial results, but he made one call last week that all Catholics can support:

Moved by the grisly images of James Foley’s murder, Pope Francis expressed his condolences to the slain journalist’s parents in a heartfelt phone call.

John and Diane Foley received the call from the pontiff at about 3 p.m. Thursday, a family friend said.

“He was very compassionate, very loving,” said the friend, Father Marc Montminy, of St. Michael’s Church in Exeter, N.H.

Montminy added that Pope Francis spoke to the Foleys through a translator for about 20 minutes, offering comfort to the staunchly Catholic couple. Continue Reading

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PopeWatch: Not Interested?

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Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa puts his finger on what PopeWatch views as the single most dispiriting aspect of the papacy of Pope Francis:

 

 

Three days later, on June 4, the pope had a long meeting at his residence of Santa Marta with some “Evangelical” leaders of the United States, including the famous televangelist Joel Osteen, California pastor Tim Timmons, and the president of the Evangelical Westmont College, Gayle D. Beebe.

On June 24, another meeting. This time with Texas televangelists James Robinson and Kenneth Copeland, with Bishop Anthony Palmer of the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches, with John and Carol Arnott of Toronto, and with other prominent leaders. There were also Geoff Tunnicliffe and Brian C. Stiller, respectively the secretary general and “ambassador” of the World Evangelical Alliance. The meeting lasted for three hours and continued through lunch, in the refectory of Santa Marta, where the pope, amid loud laughter, gave Pastor Robinson a high five (see photo).

Copeland and Osteen are proponents of “prosperity theology,” according to which the more faith grows the more wealth grows. They themselves are very wealthy and live an extravagant lifestyle. But Francis spared them the sermon on poverty.

Instead – according to what “ambassador” Stiller reported – the pope assured them: “I’m not interested in converting Evangelicals to Catholicism. There are so many doctrines we will never agree on. Let’s be about showing the love of Jesus.” Continue Reading

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PopeWatch: Communion Gate

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From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:

VATICAN––It was revealed today that senior assistants to Pope Francis conspired to snarl lines for Holy Communion in the basilica of a “rival Cardinal.”  In an EOTT exclusive, an anonymous source said that some of Pope Francis’ top aides remained bitter toward supporters of an undisclosed papal candidate who came close to being elected at the March 2013 conclave. Information leaked from the papal election named Santos Abril y Castello, Archpriest of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, as one of the cardinals who had cast his vote for a runner-up instead of then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio. In official emails and text messages shown to EOTT today, Papal aides discussed Castello’s non-support of Francis in bitter tones in the months following the election. In one email dated December 4, 2013, an aide to Pope Francis, Father Pietro Torelli mentions Castello’s vote and jokes with another aide, “Time for some communion traffic problems in Maria Maggiore!” Many Maria Maggiore parishioners had complained to EOTT that there was a total absence of Eucharistic ministers at the Basilica on Sunday, causing people to wait an “unbearable” twenty to twenty-five minutes to receive Holy Communion. “It was more than I could take,” said one frustrated parishioner. “Usually there are about ten Eucharistic Ministers, but there was only two. For the first time in my life, I walked out of Mass before receiving Communion. I usually run right out after receiving, but since I was at the end of the long and only Communion line, I knew that the parking lot would be a zoo if I did not get out of there soon.” Pope Francis held a news conference today denying knowledge of the incident and promising that any of his aides involved in ordering Eucharistic Ministers at the Basilica to stay home from Mass would be dismissed. Vatican observers wonder if this ugly incident jeopardizes Francis’ chances to repeat as TIME magazine’s “Person of the Year” in 2014. “I am not a bully,” the Pope sadly told reporters. “I don’t know how I got that reputation. Maybe because I was once a bouncer? I don’t know.”

Continue Reading