Instant Library Apr-Jun 2012
Pope - Benedict XVI celebrates his 85th birthday / Reaction to the arrest of the Pope's butler in leak scandal
Story No.: G06076
Source: AP Television
Date: 30/05/2012 00:00 AM
Vatican - Benedict XVI prepares to mark another milestone: his 85th birthday
Vatican City - 15 April 2012
1. Pope Benedict XVI approaching his studio window and cheering crowd
2. Wide of St Peter''s Square
3. Pope blessing the faithful in the square from his window
FILE: Venice, Italy - 8 May 2011
4. Various of pope on gondola
ITALY - REACTION TO ARREST OF POPE'S BUTLER IN LEAK SCANDAL
VATICAN - 26 MAY 2012
5. Wide of St. Peter's Basilica from behind columns
6. Medium of dome
7. Medium of Pope's apartment
8. VOX POP: (Italian), Giuseppe, from Milan:
"They are all corrupt: politicians, priests... All of them."
9. Medium seal on Vatican
VATICAN - POPE SADDENED BY LEAKS CRISIS IN VATICAN; REPORTS OF MORE THAN 10 INVOLVED
VATICAN - 30 MAY 2012
10. Pope in Popemobile with new butler seated in front passenger seat
A day before his 85th birthday, Pope Benedict XVI appeared at his studio window for his usual Sunday Angelus message, looking rested and relaxed.
He addressed the thousands of faithful in St Peter''s Square, asking for prayers and for the strength to carry on as he marks his birthday and his seventh anniversary as pope this week.
Benedict will turn 85 on Monday with only one public event on his often-busy agenda - a meeting with a fellow German national, the premier of Bavaria.
Horst Seehofer is coming from the pope''s home state of Bavaria, in Germany, to wish the pontiff a happy birthday.
The rest of Benedict XVI''s day will be spent in private with his brother, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, and is likely to end in dinner with some cardinals and his closest aides.
On Sunday, some of those attending the weekly blessing remarked on Pope Benedict''s ability to carry on in his role.
"He can continue for many years because he is what he is, we see him with his abilities and his strengths, what he does shows that he''s guided by the Holy Spirit," said Sister Emanuela, who came from Como to see the Pope.
Benedict was born and baptised as Joseph Ratzinger on 16 April 1927 in the Bavarian town of Marktl am Inn, Germany.
He has just come out of stamina-taxing Holy Week ceremonies, with public services from Thursday through to Easter Sunday, that drew huge crowds to Rome.
Just before Holy Week, Benedict conducted an exhausting, six-day pilgrimage to Mexico and Cuba, and apparently for the first time in public, he used a cane to help him walk during the airport ceremony before departure.
Benedict leaned on a black cane with his right hand as he walked steadily for about 100 metres (109 yards) to the foot of the Alitalia plane that was carrying him to Latin America.
Benedict then climbed the steps of the aircraft unaided, stopping at one point to wave, before entering the plane and heading for Mexico.
After Mexico, he visited Cuba where he met with former and present Cuban presidents, Fidel Castro and his brother, Raul.
A few months ago, Benedict started using a wheeled platform to save his energy while navigating the vast length of St Peter''s Basilica.
Vatican spokesman Reverend Federico Lombardi said no medical condition had prompted the decision to use the moving platform in the basilica.
He said it''s merely designed to spare the pontiff the fatigue of the 100-metre (109-yard) walk to and from the main altar.
Given the pope''s age and continued rigorous work schedule, a slowdown is only naturally expected, and some say it''s remarkable that he does as much as he does and is in such good health overall.
Just this past week he confirmed another international trip, a visit to Lebanon in September, and last year he also said he''d like to make it to Rio de Janeiro in 2013 for the next World Youth Day.
But a decline has been noted and that raises questions about the future of the papacy, given that Benedict himself has said that popes should resign if they can''t do the job.
"He is the first pope in the history to say openly and to have it written that he would be ready to resign if he was under mental or psychological or physical stress," said pope biographer Marco Politi.
Popes are allowed to resign; church law specifies only that the resignation be "freely made and properly manifested".
Only a handful have done so, however. The last one was Pope Gregory XII, who stepped down in 1415 in a deal to end the Great Western Schism among competing papal claimants.
There are concerns that the existence of two popes - even when one has stepped down - might lead to divisions and instability in the church, and that a new resignation precedent might lead to pressure on future popes to quit at the slightest hint of infirmity.
Last November, Benedict had faced another exhausting trip to Benin, West Africa, where, notwithstanding braving temperatures of 32 Celsius (90 Fahrenheit) and high humidity, he managed to deliver a strong message about the future of the Catholic Church in Africa.
Wiping sweat from his brow, he kissed babies who were handed up to him, delivered a tough speech on the need for Africa''s political leaders to clean up their act, and visited one of the continent''s most important seminaries.
Benedict has a lot of unfinished business on various subject close to his heart: bringing breakaway traditionalists back under Rome''s wing, sorting out the fate of the sex abuse-scarred Irish church, and easing tensions with China.
Benedict''s papacy has been marked by the sex abuse scandal and the Vatican''s response to it.
Critics say the former Cardinal Ratzinger, both as a former German archbishop and later as a Vatican cardinal who served as the church''s watchdog on doctrinal orthodoxy, was more concerned with saving the church''s moral reputation than acting to ensure abusing clergy could no longer harm children.
"Benedict XVI was very clear in condemning the abuses, he was very clear in saying that the priests have also to face their responsibility in front of civil courts, he has met many victims all over the world, but in the same time he has not ordered to open investigations about the past, said Politi.
Only in 2010, at the peak of the latest clerical sex abuse scandal in Europe, did the Vatican explicitly tell bishops to comply with civil reporting requirements where they exist.
The paedophile scandal exploded in recent decades in the United States, but similar clergy sex abuse revelations have tainted the church in many other countries, including Mexicoand Italy as well as Ireland.
Benedict has not addressed accusations by many victims and their advocates that church leaders, including at the office in the Vatican that Benedict headed before becoming pontiff, systematically tried to cover up the scandals, and that they have rarely been held accountable for that.
Investigations, often by civil authorities, revealed that church hierarchy frequently transferred paedophile priests from one parish to another.
In his encyclical and on his foreign trips, Benedict has tried to show that Christianity was more than just a set of rules to be followed, clearly aware that the unbending enforcer of Catholic doctrine had to shift gears to be seen as the inspiring spiritual leader of the world''s one (b) billion Catholics.
On Thursday, Benedict will also celebrate his 7th anniversary since he was elected pope.
At the time of his election to the papacy, Benedict was 78 years old, making him the oldest pope elected in nearly 300 years and the first German in nearly 1,000 years.
He had been planning to retire as the Vatican''s chief orthodoxy watchdog to spend his final years writing in the "peace and quiet" of his native Bavaria.
Italians gathered at St. Peter's Basilica as a member of the board of the Vatican Bank expressed his opinions over the case of the Pope's butler, Paolo Gabriele, who is under arrest at the Vatican, accused of leaking secret Vatican documents to the press.
The Vatican confirmed on May 26th that the pope's butler has been arrested in its embarrassing leaks scandal, adding a Hollywood twist to a sordid tale of power struggles, intrigue and corruption in the highest levels of Catholic Church governance.
Maria, from Milan stated that this scandal should have been anticipated, "because the church is too rich, handles too much money, there are too many interests behind it."
However, Carl Anderson, an American member of the board the Vatican bank, expressed his concerns at the on-going events at the Vatican and urged the public not to jump to conclusions.
"Well, it is really incredible. If you wrote this in fiction, you wouldn't believe it. No editor would let you put it in a novel. So, it is something I find very unbelievable," he added.
Anderson is head of the Knights of Columbus, a major US Catholic organisation.
Paolo Gabriele, a layman and member of the papal household, was arrested on Wednesday after secret documents were found in his Vatican City apartment and was continuing to be held on May 26th, Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said in a statement.
Gabriele is often seen by Pope Benedict XVI's side in public, riding in the front seat of his open-air jeep during May 23rd general audiences or shielding the pontiff from the rain.
He has been the pope's personal butler since 2006, one of the few members of the small papal household that also includes the pontiff's private secretaries and four consecrated women who care for the papal apartment.
His arrest followed another stunning development at the Vatican this week, the ouster of the president of the Vatican bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, by his board. Sources close to the investigation said he, too, was found to have leaked documents, though the official reason for his ouster was that he simply failed to do his job.
The "Vatileaks" scandal has seriously embarrassed the Vatican at a time during which it is trying to show the world financial community that it has turned a page and shed its reputation as a scandal plagued tax haven.
Vatican documents leaked to the press in recent months have undermined that effort, alleging corruption in Vatican finance as well as internal bickering over efforts to show more transparency in its financial operations.
But perhaps most critically, the leaks have seemed aimed at one main goal: to discredit Pope Benedict XVI's No. 2, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state.
The scandal took on even greater weight last week with the publication of "His Holiness," a book which reproduced confidential letters and memos to and from Benedict and his personal secretary. The Vatican called the book "criminal" and vowed to take legal action against the author, publisher, and whoever leaked the documents.
Gabriele is believed to have met with his two lawyers and that the Vatican judicial system was taking its investigative course. He hasn't been indicted.
The Vatican has taken the leaks very seriously, with Benedict appointing a commission of cardinals to investigate. Vatican gendarmes as well as prosecutors are also investigating the sources of the leaks.
On May 30th Pope Benedict XVI broke his silence over the scandal of leaked documents that has convulsed the Vatican, saying he was saddened by the betrayal.
He added that he was grateful to those aides who worked faithfully and in silence to help him do his job.
Benedict was speaking to the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square during his weekly audience, while nearby, behind Vatican walls, his butler Paolo Gabriele remained under lock and key.
Gabriele was arrested the previous week after Vatican investigators discovered papal documents in his Vatican City apartment.
He has pledged to cooperate fully with the investigation.
Rumours have been flying in the press about possible cardinals implicated in the investigation, pending resignations and details of the investigation that even Gabriele's lawyers say they haven't heard.
The Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi has spent much of his daily briefings in recent days denying the various reports.
The scandal represents one of the greatest breaches of trust and security for the Holy See in recent memory, given that a significant number of documents from the pope's own desk were leaked to investigative journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi.
Speaking to journalists on May 30th, Nuzzi, who wrote a book entitled "His Holiness, the Secret Papers of Benedict XVI," said that he could count more than ten people who he was sure were involved in leaking the documents.
The Vatican has denounced the leaks as criminal and immoral and has opened a three-pronged investigation to get to the bottom of who was responsible.
The Vatican has warned of legal action for those who stole, received and disseminated the documents.
|Subjects:||Christianity , Child sexual exploitation , Roman Catholicism , Sexual abuse , Religious scandals , Criminal investigations , Political scandals , Books and literature , Crime , Government and politics , Biographies , Arrests , Religion , Social affairs , Child exploitation , Crimes against children , General news , Violent crime , Religious issues , Religious issues , Social issues , Law and order , Criminal investigations , Political issues , Entertainment , Arts and entertainment , Nonfiction , Arrests|
|People:||Pope Benedict XVI , Horst Seehofer , Georg Ratzinger , Fidel Castro , Federico Lombardi , Mario Monti , Tarcisio Bertone , Raul Castro , Ettore Gotti|
|Locations:||Vatican City , Rome , Cuba , Benin , Italy , Germany , Africa , Western Europe , Europe , Caribbean , Latin America and Caribbean , West Africa|