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Discussion 4 to Meditation 874
Another week in the Vatican without....

by: JT

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The Vatican announced plans to host an international AIDS conference in late May focussing on prevention and care. Church organizers hope this conference will help clarify last November's published interview with the Pope in which he said use of a condom by a male prostitute to prevent AIDS might be a sign of moral responsibility. Given that the interview had been followed up in December by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issuing an note stating that the Pope's remarks did not signify a change in the church's moral teaching, clarification is indeed needed. But clearly there is no perceived rush to do so.

The Diocese of Rome has launched a new website devoted to promoting the beatification and canonization of Pope John Paul II. Not a single mention on the website is made of the Pope's BFF in the Vatican, Monsignor Bernard Prince - a Polish-speaking Canadian priest whose extradition from the Vatican for multiple charges of sexual abuse of boys was blocked until after John Paul II's death. For those who think intercessionary prayer works, we suggest you use the prayer on the JP II site to pray that all those senior clergy including popes, cardinals, archbishops, and bishops who participated in covering-up for abusive priests burn in hell for eternity.

This week it was reported that Cardinal Ad Simonis, former head of the Catholic church in the Netherlands and a member of the conclave which elected the current Pope, had finally admitted to moving a priest known by him to be sex offender between parishes without forewarning the receiving parish, and without following up to be sure the priest did not abuse another child. Of course he did re-offend - multiple times. A year ago, Cardinal Simonis claimed that the Church leadership in the Netherlands had no knowledge of sexual abuse. Liar! Have you confessed that sin yet?

On Monday this week, a new app for the iPhone was released to help Catholics through confession. It had been developed with the assistance of Catholic clergy, and approved by Bishop Rhodes of Fort Wayne. Then on Wednesday, in a move that absolutely stunned Vatican observers with its unprecedented swiftness - a decision in a mere two days, the Vatican banned the app. According to Vatican spokesman, Federico Lombardi:

"It is essential to understand that the rites of penance require a personal dialogue between penitents and their confessor. It cannot be replaced by a computer application."

And while it only took two days to ban the iPhone app, yet another week passed without producing the promised Vatican policy on child abuse by clergy in spite of the fact it clearly remains an open issue undermining whatever moral authority the Church has left.