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Vatican criticized for cardinal’s claim over child abuse

A senior Vatican official who made comments Monday linking homosexuality to pedophilia has been severely criticized by gay rights activists around the world.

The official, Vatican secretary of state Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said yesterday that instead of celibacy, homosexuality was responsible for recent allegations of child abuse by Catholic priests.

He said, on a televised broadcast in Chile, that “Many psychologists and psychiatrists have shown that there is no link between celibacy and paedophilia but many others have shown, I have recently been told, that there is a relationship between homosexuality and paedophilia. Read More…

Truly sorry from Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI issues a pastoral letter to Catholics in Ireland apologizing for sexual abuse of children by clergy.

Pope Benedict XVI

After the pressure gathered from the Ryan and Murphy Reports and the resignation of bishops, Pope Benedict XVI summoned all of the Irish Bishops to the Vatican in January 2010.

Following their meeting, it was announced that a pastoral letter would be written to address the issues involving the sexual abuse of children.

The letter was released by the Vatican on 20 March 2010. In the letter addressed to the Catholics of Ireland, he was “truly sorry” for the harm done to Catholics who suffered “sinful and criminal” abuse at the hands of priests, brothers and nuns. He acknowledged the “serious mistakes” made by the clergy. Read More…

On this day February 17, 1600

Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno, best-known as a proponent of heliocentrism and the infinity of the universe, was burned at the stake as a heretic by the Roman Inquisition.

giordano_brunoIn addition to his cosmological writings, he also wrote extensive works on the art of memory, a loosely-organized group of mnemonic techniques and principles.

He is often considered an early martyr for modern scientific ideas, in part because he was burned at the stake as a heretic by the Roman Inquisition.

Bruno was deeply influenced by magical views of the universe inherited from Arab astrological magic, Neoplatonism and Renaissance Hermeticism.

Other recent studies of Bruno have focused on his qualitative approach to mathematics and his application of the spatial paradigms of geometry to language. Read More…

On this day February 11, 1929

To help settle the “Roman Question”, Italy and the Holy See of the Roman Catholic Church agreed to establish the Vatican City as an independent sovereign enclave within Italy.

The Roman Question began when Rome was declared Capital of Italy on March 27, 1861, and ended with the Lateran Pacts between Mussolini’s government and Pope Pius XI. After the capture of Rome on 20 September 1870, the popes considered themselves (in the words of Pope Pius IX) “prisoners in the Vatican”. Read More…

On this day January 29, 904

Sergius III, whose pontificate was marked with feudal violence and disorder in central Italy, came out of retirement to take over the papacy from the deposed antipope Christopher.

Sergius III was a Pope of the Roman Catholic Church in two intervals (between 897 and April 14, 911). Because Sergius III was possibly the only pope known to have ordered the murder of another pope and the only pope known to have fathered an illegitimate son who later became pope, his pontificate has been described as “dismal and disgraceful.” Read More…

On this day January 3, 1521

Pope Leo X issued the papal bull Decet Romanum Pontificem, excommunicating Martin Luther from the Roman Catholic Church after Luther refused to retract 41 of his 95 theses.

It was issued on January 3, 1521 by Pope Leo X to effect the excommunication threatened in his earlier papal bull Exsurge Domine (1520) since Luther failed to recant accordingly.

Luther had burned his copy of Exsurge Domine on December 10, 1520 at the Elster Gate in Wittenberg, indicating his response to it.

On this day January 1, 2002

Euro banknotes and coins become legal tender in twelve of the European Union’s member states.

euro_banknotesThe euro (currency sign: ; currency code: EUR) is the official currency of fifteen member states of the European Union (EU).

The states, known collectively as the Eurozone are: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, and Spain. Read More…

Pope attacked during Christmas Eve Mass

A woman attacked Pope Benedict XVI during Christmas Eve Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, causing a disruption to the ceremonies.

Pope Benedict XVI

The pope was unharmed and got to his feet and completed the Mass, although afterwards he was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.

French Cardinal Roger Etchegaray also fell down and broke a leg. The accused assailant, Susanna Maiolo, is a 25-year-old Swiss national from the Ticino region, is reported to have psychiatric problems.

Susanna Maiolo also attempted to attack the pope during last years Midnight Mass, although she was stopped by security. Read More…