Holy See Upholds Parental Role in Sex Education

Expresses Concern Over Defective Creation of UN Document

LEON, Mexico, SEPT. 28, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See is stressing the necessary role of parents in the lives of their children, especially in the area of education on sexuality.

This was one of the points underlined by the Holy See delegation to the 2010 U.N. World Youth Conference in Leon, which took place Aug. 23-26.

The Holy See released a Sept. 17 statement outlining its official position with regard to the Guanajuato Declaration, the final document of the youth conference, in which it pointed out various “serious procedural and substantive issues.”

It noted that “the word ‘parents’ does not appear once in an outcome document devoted to youth, which means that the vital role parents must play in fulfilling their responsibilities for them has not been recognized.”

“This cannot and will not escape notice,” the Holy See asserted.

It expressed concern that “the reference to ‘comprehensive education on human sexuality’ stands alone without reference to parents’ ‘prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children,’ including religious, moral and spiritual dimensions of authentic human love, and related matters concerning the nature of sexuality, marriage and the family.”

In an intervention given to the participants during the conference, the Holy See delegation noted that “young people have a right to receive an education based upon a fundamental respect for the intrinsic dignity and worth of the human person, an education they first receive from their parents and by which they are gradually formed to become responsible adults.”

“Young people have the right to receive education that fully respects the moral and spiritual dimensions of human life and this includes the basic right of parents to educate their children in the nature of sexuality, marriage and the family,” it added.

The delegate affirmed that “every family also has the right to live freely its own domestic religious life under the guidance of the parents, as well as the right to profess that faith publicly.”

Unclear and inconsistent

In the official position statement on the final document, the Holy See also expressed concern that “with respect to the procedural aspects of the 2010 World Youth Conference,” the “process and methods for generating the outcome document were unclear, and inconsistent.”

“The irregularities and defects, which were of significant number and magnitude, continue a pattern that was also evident at the 2008 Third World Conference on the Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and its outcome document to which the Holy See entered reservations,” the statement continued.

The delegation noted, “In regard to the term ‘sexual and reproductive health’ the Holy See considers this expression as applying to a holistic concept of health, which embraces the person in the entirety of his or her personality, mind and body, and which fosters the achievement of personal maturity in sexuality and in the mutual love and decision-making that characterize the conjugal relationship in accordance with moral norms.”

Thus, it continued, “the Holy See does not consider abortion or access to abortion as a dimension of this concept, nor contraception or the use of condoms as an acceptable family planning measure.”

The statement addressed the issue of the terms “gender,” and “gender equality,” noting that “the Holy See reserves its position with the understanding that ‘gender’ is grounded in biological sexual identity, that is, the two sexes, male and female.”

The Holy See reaffirmed its final statement to the 1995 Beijing Conference “and in so doing excludes dubious interpretations based on world views which assert that sexual identity can be adapted indefinitely to suit new and different purposes.”

“It also dissociates itself from the biological determinist notion that all the roles and relations of the two sexes are fixed in a single static pattern,” the delegation stated.

With respect to the term “family … in its plurality of forms,” the Holy See stated its recognition of “one family form based on marriage, the equal partnership between one man and one woman, that is, husband and wife, and the duty of the state to strengthen the family.”

The Holy See concluded its official statement with a request that the document “be reflected verbatim, and annexed to the Guanajuato Declaration” and included in the official record of the conference.

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Museums, library, culture, music, media. They are the most visible face of the Vatican.

The Other Curia of Benedict XVI. The Appointments, the Results

Museums, library, culture, music, media. They are the most visible face of the Vatican. And also most exposed to the judgment of all. Here are the pros and cons, case by case, name by name

by Sandro Magister

ROME, September 27, 2010 – The imminent promotion of Salesian Fr. Massimo Palombella as the new director of the Sistine Chapel choir is the latest in a series of appointments that have changed the visible face of the Vatican curia, in the five plus years of Joseph Ratzinger’s pontificate.

There are, in fact, two curias around the pope. There’s the one that the general public hardly sees, made up of the classical dicasteries: the secretariat of state, the congregations, the pontifical councils. The final decisions of this curia are made public, but little is seen or known of the toil that precedes these decisions.

But there is also a curia that, by its nature, is more outwardly projected and visible. It is that of the museums, the library, culture, the pontifical choir, the media. Much of the operation of this other curia is done in view of the general public.

In the first of these two curias, Benedict XVI has made highly significant appointments, year after year. The subsequent performance of some of these has been disappointing: such as as that of cardinals Cláudio Hummes and Ivan Dias at the congregations for the clergy and for the evangelization of peoples. Another of the highest influence but erratic in its results and criticized by many bishops and episcopal conferences: that of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone at the secretariat of state. Still others, extremely recent, very promising but yet to be proven: those of Cardinal Marc Ouellet at the congregation for bishops and of Archbishop Kurt Koch in ecumenism.

But it is in the second curia, the more visible and public one, that the most evident changes have taken place. Here too with pros and cons.


In the area of the media, there has been in the first place the appointment of Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi as director of the press office of the Holy See. Fr. Lombardi is also director of the Vatican radio and television networks.

While his exuberant predecessor Joaquín Navarro-Valls’ direct connection to John Paul II meant it was never clear if he was speaking for himself or on behalf of the pope, with inextricably ambiguous results, Fr. Lombardi hews impeccably to the limits of his role. At the press office, his is always and exclusively the official voice of the Vatican authorities, while he speaks for himself on the radio. The words of Benedict XVI therefore resound with perfect clarity, never covered over or interpreted by the chatter of a presumed spokesman.

The clarity and moderation of Fr. Lombardi’s role have shone all the more in stormy times like recently, with the Church and the pope subjected to waves of vehement criticism. The communications disasters that have sometimes happened cannot be attributed to him, but only to the Vatican authorities, in particular to the secretariat of state, on which he directly depends. As has been seen, for example, with the Williamson case:

> Double Disaster at the Vatican: Of Governance, and of Communication (4.2.2009)


Another significant transformation has taken place at “L’Osservatore Romano,” with the appointment of Professor Giovanni Maria Vian as director.

With him, the face of the Holy See has changed. Indisputably for the better, as www.chiesa has repeatedly documented, for example in this article:

> “L’Osservatore Romano” Has Been Remodeled. Here Are All of the Changes (29.11.2007)

But with Vian as director, “L’Osservatore Romano” has also had its misadventures. Mainly two.

The first emerged from an article published on the front page on March 15, 2009, at the behest of Cardinal Bertone, written by the president of the pontifical academy for life at the time, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, on the double abortion performed on a very young Brazilian mother. The uproar provoked in the Catholic world by his apparent justifications of the abortion was not quelled even by a subsequent “clarification” from the congregation for the doctrine of the faith:

> Retractions. The Holy Office Teaches Archbishop Fisichella a Lesson (10.7.2009)

The second misadventure coincided with the case of Dino Boffo, the defamation campaign conducted by a conservative Italian newspaper in the summer of 2009, against the then director of the newspaper of the Italian bishops, “Avvenire.” The defamatory charges were shown to be false, but in that crisis Vian not only did not defend Boffo and “Avvenire,” but resumed criticizing them as he had done in the past, with his ultimate target the presidency of the CEI personified by Cardinal Camillo Ruini. A period of tension followed between the Italian episcopate and the Vatican secretariat of state, to which “L’Osservatore Romano” is very closely connected:

> Italy, United States, Brazil. From the Vatican to the Conquest of the World (11.2.2010)

In both cases, Vian has always claimed that his stance was correct.


Two other important appointments have been made in the curia in the area of culture, both taken from that institution of international renown which is the Ambrosian Library of Milan.

The vice-prefect of the Ambrosian, Monsignor Cesare Pasini, was called to Rome to head the Vatican Apostolic Library. And there he immediately embarked upon an ambitious project of renovation and technological upgrading of this, the most famous library in the world, splendidly reopened in September of 2010 for the enjoyment of scholars and visitors:

> Vatican Library

The prefect of the Ambrosian, Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, a world-famous biblicist, was for his part called to the Vatican to head the pontifical council for culture:

> An Air of Appointments in the Curia – With a Gust of New Culture (9.8.2007)

And here, among the many promising initiatives, he is dedicating himself with special care to realizing the idea proposed by Benedict XVI of a “court of the gentiles,” for public dialogue between believers and nonbelievers. The first round of encounters will take place in Paris in March of 2011, and is at an advanced stage of preparation:

> The First “Court” of Believers and Atheists Will Open in Paris (24.6.2010)

It remains to be seen whether in the future the “court of the gentiles” will remain entrusted to Ravasi – who is said to be a possible candidate to be the next archbishop of Milan – or will become the prerogative of the new dicastery instituted in the curia this year for the “new evangelization” of the nations of ancient Christian tradition that are today dramatically secularized.

For now, this new dicastery is only on paper, without specific responsibilities. But its president has already been appointed: Archbishop Fisichella, moved there from the pontifical academy for life.


One appointment that has certainly been successful is that of Professor Antonio Paolucci as director of the Vatican Museums.

Paolucci is an illustrious art historian and expert manager. After arriving in Rome, he has dedicated all of his talents to offering the enjoyment of the immense artistic treasures of the see of Peter to the greatest number of visitors from all over the world. His efforts have been greatly appreciated, both in and outside of the Vatican.

But there are some who are trying to trip him up. One of these is his predecessor, Francesco Buranelli, now the secretary of the pontifical commission for the cultural heritage of the Church, the president of which is Archbishop Ravasi.

A dispute broke out between the two in recent days, all the more interesting in that it helps to expose the fundamental factors – which are highly “Ratzingerian” – behind Professor Paolucci’s work.

On September 10, in the Rome newspaper “Il Messaggero,” Buranelli criticized Paolucci’s decision to extend the opening of the Vatican Museums and of the Sistine Chapel beyond the current hours. It is true – he objected – that with more visitors “additional revenue can be taken in,” but this poses unavoidable danger to the frescoes, with more dust and more fluctuations of temperature and humidity: “If too many tourists do damage, two more hours make it worse.”

Paolucci’s reply came in “L’Osservatore Romano” on September 13:

“I’ve known about these things for forty years,” he writes. “It is evident, in fact, that the fewer people enter the Sistine Chapel, the less visible and dangerous the damage is. But I don’t intend to go down that road.” The road, that is, of reducing the number of visitors.

And he explains why:

“The Sistine Chapel, although it is part of a museum complex, is not a museum. It is a consecrated space. Moreover, it is the true and proper place of identity for the Roman Catholic Church. The great liturgies are celebrated here, the cardinals assembled in conclave elect the pontiff here.

“At the same time, the Sistine is the synthesis of Catholic theology. The history of the world, from cosmogony to the last judgment, is represented here together with the destiny of man redeemed by Christ. The Sistine is the history of salvation for all and for each one, it is the affirmation of the primacy of the pope of Rome, it is the time ‘sub gratia’ that absorbs, transfigures, and assimilates the time ‘sub lege’ of the Old Testament. It is the ark of the new and definitive covenant that God has established with the Christian people. It is no accident that the architect Baccio Pontelli was ordered by the pope to give the chapel the dimensions of the lost Temple of Jerusalem as they are related by the Bible.

“All of this to say that the Sistine is a place of art of absolute excellence, but is also a place of the highest catechesis, it is ‘Painted Word’, perfectly eloquent today just as yesterday. To keep it open for all so that all may see and understand is the duty and mission of those who administer the museums of the Holy See. To guarantee acceptable climatic conditions for the Sistine without thereby restricting the number of visitors. This is the objective I have set for myself.”

And in next part of the article, Paolucci explains the technical measures that he is already implementing to preserve the paintings in the Sistine as much as possible:

> La salvaguardia della Sistina. Stiano tranquilli i consiglieri troppo zelanti


One of the other new men called to the Vatican during the current pontificate has also encountered obstacles to his work of renewal: Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, appointed a year ago as president of the Istituto per le Opere di Religione, an entity that as a rule acts in private, yet still operates in the world, with glaringly public repercussions like the legal incident of a few days ago:

> The Pope’s Banker Weathers the Storm (24.9.2010)


Finally, the last appointment of this curia “ad extra” reviewed so far, the brand new appointment of Fr. Massimo Palombella as director of the choir of the Sistine Chapel.

A baffling appointment, unlike the previous one.

Baffling because it is unclear how the task of accompanying the liturgies of the pope – and of a pope like Benedict XVI – can be met by someone whose musical credentials include only the well-intentioned direction of a choir made up of university students, and nothing else of significance.

> Musical Intermission. Noises from the Sistine Chapel (17.9.2010)

The Sistine was the most ancient and noble choir of great Roman liturgical music. But today it is a shadow of its glorious past. At this point only a miracle can save it.


English translation by Matthew Sherry, Ballwin, Missouri, U.S.A.


The latest three articles from www.chiesa:

> The Pope’s Banker Weathers the Storm
A judicial investigation hits the Vatican Bank and its president, Gotti Tedeschi. But he has been working for a year precisely to purge it of malfeasance. With the full mandate of Benedict XVI, and with many external and internal enemies

> The Feast of Saint Matthew Has a Director: Caravaggio
A new interpretation of his most famous masterpiece: that of the calling of the apostle. Painted with a communicative mastery that today’s Christian art has lost

> The Pope’s Last Wishes in the United Kingdom
He has gathered from his journey “how deep a thirst there is among the British people for the Good News of Jesus Christ.” And therefore he has urged the bishops to preach the Gospel in its entirety: “including those elements which call into question the widespread assumptions of today’s culture”


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India put tens of thousands of police on the streets and the air force on high alert ahead of possible violence

The issue is haunting the ruling Congress Party, a left-of-centre party with secular roots, which will have to stand by a verdict that is likely to upset one or other major voter bloc.

“My humble request is that whatever be the decision, please accept it in the highest tradition of magnanimity,” Sonia Gandhi, Congress party chief and the country’s most powerful politician, said in a statement.

The government appealed for calm once a northern Indian court decides on the ownership of the site of a 16th century mosque, a communal flashpoint which flared in 1992, triggering some of India’s worst riots that killed about 2,000 people.

The ruling, which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called one of the country’s biggest security challenges, comes just before the high-profile Commonwealth Games which kick off in New Delhi from Oct. 3.

Hindus and Muslims have quarrelled for more than a century over the history of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya, a town in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

Hindus say it stands on the birthplace of their god-king Rama, and was built after the destruction of a Hindu temple by a Muslim invader in the 16th century.

Hindus wants to build a temple on the site. Muslims want the mosque rebuilt.

The court will rule on three key issues, which ultimately will decide who owns the land: is the disputed site the birthplace of Rama, was the Babri mosque built after the demolition of a Hindu temple and was it built in accordance with the tenets of Islam?

Thousands of police in riot gear were posted at communally “sensitive” zones across India. The air force has been asked to remain alert, officials said.


In Ayodhya, security forces patrolled mostly empty streets. Shops, businesses and schools remained closed.

Public gatherings have been forbidden in the town and India has banned bulk mobile text messaging nationally to prevent the spread of rumours and religious extremism.

“All the state governments have been asked to identify sensitive and hyper-sensitive areas, keep forces on high alert and co-ordinate with the centre round the clock,” U.K. Bansal, India’s internal security chief, told Reuters.

The verdict is almost certain to be challenged in the Supreme Court and a final decision could take years.

It poses a major challenge for the ruling Congress Party.

A verdict in favour of the Hindus would force the government to uphold the verdict, making it unpopular with Muslims.

A ruling for the Muslims would mean the government would have to push Hindu groups out of the site, a political minefield.

(Additional reporting by Bappa Majumdar and Alka Pandey; Editing by Alistair Scrutton and Jonathan Thatcher)


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Milingo is embroiled in a land ownership dispute with the Zambian Church and Vatican officials

By ELIAS MBAO, Nation Correspondent
Posted Sunday, September 12 2010 at 18:49

Lusaka, Sunday

Defrocked Roman Catholic archbishop Emmanuel Milingo is embroiled in a land ownership dispute with the Zambian Church and Vatican officials.

Archbishop Milingo, 80, claims that the Catholic Church transferred land ownership deeds from his name to the Zambia Helpers Society without his consent.

He also claims that he acquired the land in his personal capacity when he served as the Archbishop of Lusaka.

Archbishop Milingo formed the Zambia Helpers Society, a volunteer group, to provide health care to the poor.

Catholic Church’s sisters — the Daughters of Redeemers — currently operate a hospital on the land in Lusaka.

Following his defrocking in December 2009 for advocating the abolition of celibacy among Catholic priests, archbishop Milingo is now demanding that the land be given back to him.

However, the Church in Zambia declined to comment on the matter.

Superior of the Daughters of the Redeemer, Sister Emelda Moomba, declined to comment while Fr Paul Samasumo, spokesperson of the Zambia Episcopal Conference, said he is seeking more information.

According to the Sunday Times of Zambia archbishop Milingo has reported the matter to the police.

But Zambia Police spokesperson Ndandula Siamana and Lusaka Province Police commanding officer Greenwell Ng’uni said they were not aware of any reports by the archbishop.

Zambia: Helpers Society Tosses Out Milingo

FORMER Lusaka Catholic Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo has been removed from the Zambia Helpers Society (ZHS), the organisation he founded in 1996, after members abolished the position of president.

And Archbishop Milingo has denied that he signed a deed of gift agreement transferring ownership of his farm, number 456a in Shimabala to ZHS.

He confirmed in an interview in Lusaka that he had been tossed out of the organisation which he founded after members altered the society’s constitution.

The archbishop said ZHS members had completely changed the constitution to bar him from continuing heading the society as founding president.

“I have been kicked out by the society I founded. They have changed the constitution so that they will have nothing to do with me, this is very unfair,” he said.

Archbishop Milingo, however, said he would not allow the situation to remain as it is and would ensure that fairness prevailed.

ZHS board chairperson, Chivwara Phiri said during a ZHS special annual general meeting (AGM) held on July 10 this year that the members voted against Archbishop Milingo continuing as president.

Mr Phiri said the archbishop would, however, continue as founder, trustee and patron of the society, adding that the issue could be revisited during the forthcoming ordinary AGM.

And in the ongoing controversy over the ownership of the farm commonly known as Lukamantano, off Kafue Road, Archbishop Milingo charged that he had been swindled out of the piece of land because the -signature on the deed gift document is not his.

He said he had reported the matter to the police.

The wrangle over the farm in question surfaced following Archbishop Milingo’s departure from the Roman Catholic Church.

The cleric founded ZHS in 1966 while he was still in the Catholic Church, and with the help of several donors and own resources he embarked on a development programme.

Among the facilities constructed at the farm are a hospital, school, post office and a shop.

After he left the church, the question arose as to whether the land was his personally or had been bequeathed to ZHS.

Records at the Ministry of Lands show that Archbishop Milingo purportedly gave the two pieces of land to ZHS in 2003 and early this year.

According to the Deed Gift document made available to the Sunday Times, Archbishop Milingo and Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone from the Vatican signed the deed transferring ownership of the farm land to ZHS.

Archbishop Milingo, however, strongly denies that he had signed the document.

Copyright © 2010 The Times of Zambia. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).

Milingo Patriarca, le terre e la firma con il cardinale Bertone Segretario di Stato Vaticano

L’ex Arcivescovo cattolico di Lusaka Emmanuel Milingo sarebbe stato rimosso dalla società “Zambia Helpers Society” (ZHS), l’organizzazione da lui fondata nel 1996, dopo che l’assemblea dei soci ha abolito la posizione di presidente all’interno della società stessa.
Milingo da qualche mese proclamato con l’appoggio di alcune parachiese  patriarca dell’Africa del Sud ha negato di aver firmato un atto di trasferimento di proprietà per l’azienda agricola alla Zambia Helpers Society.

Il cambio dello statuto operato dalla Società africana durante un’assemblea dei soci svoltasi il 10 Luglio 2010 ha di fatto estromesso Milingo dalla carica di presidente.

Secondo Milingo il cambio radicale dello statuto è stato fatto per impedirgli di  proseguire a capo della società come presidente fondatore.

Il sig.  Chivwara Phiri   Presidente del consiglio della socoetà,  ha detto che nel corso di una assemblea straordinaria tenutasi il 10 luglio di quest’anno, i membri hanno votato contro la continuazione della carica di Milingo come presidente.

Al centro del contendere ci sarebbe una proprietà di 600 ettari di terreno chiamata “Lukamantano”. 

Dietro ci sarebbe una storia di firme e di passaggi di proprietà e si sarebbe attivata anche una causa civile

 La proprietà oggi è dotata di  un ospedale, scuola, ufficio postale e negozi.

Una questione di proprietà terriera che poco ha a che fare con la causa dei sacerdoti sposati, causa già danneggiata in passato dalla cattiva gestione mediatica del “caso Milingo”

Per la redazione dei “sacerdoti lavoratori sposati” tali fatti dimostrano l’affarismo dietro il caso Milingo ed altissimi interessi economici in contesa tra associazioni varie, chiese e parachiese.

Il  Sunday Times, avrebbe pubblicato un documento di trasferimento di proprietà dei terreni agricoli alla ZHS firmato da Milingo e dal cardinale segretario di Stato Vaticano  Tarcisio Bertone.

Copyright ©  Associazione Sacerdoti Lavoratori Sposati – http://sacerdotisposati.splinder.com