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Regula Sancti Benedicti

Pope Benedict turns back the Vatican clock another century. Pissing off everyone from liberal Catholics to Jews (“a body blow to Catholic-Jewish relations”) in the process....


Vatican values

A few short paragraphs that tell you everything about Benedict’s Vatican: The Vatican has reacted with outrage to criticism of Pope Benedict XVI’s stance on euthanasia during a traditional May Day rock concert in Rome that was carried live...


Mangaling the message

Would the adventures of Sister Leah make you join a seminary? Japanese manga cartoons have become a multi-billion pound global market, commonly associated with martial arts warriors rather than with nuns and monks. But the Catholic Church in England...


Eliminating limbo

It’s taken only 16 centuries, but: After several years of study, the Vatican’s International Theological Commission said there are good reasons to hope that babies who die without being baptized go to heaven. In a document published April 20, the...


The Domino effect

Mad Tom Monaghan’s bid to Catholicize the world—OK, Corkscrew Swamp, Florida—hits a minor glitch: Domino’s Pizza magnate Tom Monaghan is using a large slice of his fortune to build a Catholic university in southwest Florida, exciting conservative Catholics with his...


Opus Dei shows some leg

And you thought the Da Vinci Code was fiction: A battle over legal rights for gay couples in Italy has focused on a gruesome-looking metal garter belt. With Pope Benedict thundering against the demise of the family and lay politicians...


The green Antichrist

Meanwhile, through the Vatican looking glass: An arch-conservative cardinal chosen by the Pope to deliver this year’s Lenten meditations to the Vatican hierarchy has caused consternation by giving warning of an Antichrist who is “a pacifist, ecologist and ecumenist”. Cardinal...


John Paul’s annus mirabilis

Apparently it takes three miracles to make a saint: The Vatican is close to making the late pope John Paul II a saint after investigating three “miracles” attributed to him. John Paul had already been credited with curing a nun...


Benedict vs. the deviants

Another missive from the Vatican’s very own caped crusader: Pope Benedict today urged Italian Catholics to defend the traditional family and in an apparent reference to gay marriage said they should oppose any moves to legalise “weak and deviant” unions....


Crimen Sollicitationis

More on Regula Sancti Benedicti—and saintly it isn’t: The Roman Catholic Church and the BBC are involved in a furious row over a Panorama documentary programme, ‘Sex Crimes and the Vatican’, which was broadcast on BBC 1 at 10.15pm last...


Holy war

Can a fatwa be far behind*? Muslims around the world expressed outrage over Pope Benedict XVI’s comments on Islam and many demanded an apology. Turkey’s ruling Islamic party accusing the pope of trying to revive the spirit of the Crusades....


Regula Sancti Benedicti

Next, the Vatican reintroduces witch-burning: Pope Benedict XVI on Monday issued his strongest criticism yet of evolutionary theory, calling it “unreasonable”. Speaking to a 300,000-strong crowd in this German city, the former theological watchdog said that, according to such theories...


Ohio’s Fink tank

From the state that brought you America’s most successful sex-education program: The state school board will consider Monday whether the debate over intelligent design vs. evolution should have a second coming. At the request of the board, the Ohio Department...


Redesigning the Vatican

Given the recent dismissal of George Coyne, this isn’t exactly a surprise: Pope Benedict XVI is to brainstorm on evolution with a top theologian accused of championing controversial theories that rubbish Darwin. The theologian, Vienna Archbishop Christoph Schoenborn, announced the...


Legionaries’ disease

Prayer and penance: wipes the slate clean for even the most perverted priest: As founder of the Legionaries of Christ, the Rev. Marcial Maciel is a central figure for the thousands of followers in the Roman Catholic order. Students study...


ID comes to DC

DC’s new archbishop is an intelligent-designer who believes that ID’s pseudo-science encompasses evolution. He also thinks that ID and creationism are distinct, and seems confused about what the “I” in ID actually stands for. Apart from all that, a terrific...


Supersaints

The Catholic Church makes yet another attempt to corrupt children’s minds: A chisel-jawed man with flowing chestnut-brown locks, rippling muscles and a penchant for “endless parties” stares from the cover of the latest comic book. This is not Superman or...


Caped crusaders

Well, this is really helpful: THE Vatican has begun moves to rehabilitate the Crusaders by sponsoring a conference at the weekend that portrays the Crusades as wars fought with the “noble aim” of regaining the Holy Land for Christianity. The...


Deus Pecunia Est

The Vatican must be feeling the pinch: The Vatican has been accused of trying to cash in on the Pope’s words after it decided to impose strict copyright on all papal pronouncements. For the first time all papal documents, including...


Benedict gets creative

Which century are we in? Apparently the fourth: VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI has waded into the evolution debate in the United States, saying the universe was made by an “intelligent project” and criticizing those who in the name...


Visionaries

Chances are this all seemed pretty rational at the time: A couple accused with two others of overturning the altar at a Roman Catholic church during Sunday worship acted on a vision from God and the belief the new pope...


Yet more signs of intelligence

Lapsed uber-creationist Cardinal Schoenborn takes half a step in the right direction: PARIS - A senior Roman Catholic cardinal seen as a champion of intelligent design against Darwin’s explanation of life has described the theory of evolution as “one of...


Teflon-coating Benedict

Not exactly a surprise, but still wrong: ROME (AP) - The U.S. government has told a Texas court that Pope Benedict XVI should be given immunity from a lawsuit accusing him of conspiring to cover up the sexual molestation of...


Vade retro satana

Remind me: which century is this again? Pope Benedict XVI, who often greets religious groups visiting Rome, made a surprising welcome in his general audience: He offered best wishes to a convention of exorcists, whom he encouraged to “carry on...


Gay priests and the Vatican

In 1999, when Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was the Vatican’s guardian of doctrine, he ordered an American nun to stop ministering to gays and lesbians in the U.S. The world is just about to find out whether, as Pope Benedict XVI,...


Blessed

The Vatican has asked Bush to grant Pope Benedict immunity in a lawsuit that accuses him of conspiring to cover up the sexual abuse of three boys by a Texas seminarian: The Vatican’s embassy in Washington sent a diplomatic memo...


The evil one draws near

Wingnuts worldwide celebrate the launch of a new Harry Potter book: A primary school celebration of JK Rowling’s blockbusting boy wizard, Harry Potter, has been cancelled after a rector claimed its organisers were “seeking to lead children into areas of...


More Saturday God-blogging

Sorry, but we do seem to be on a roll here: INDIANAPOLIS – The chairman of the Catholic lay reform group Voice of the Faithful predicted Saturday that the clergy sexual abuse scandal will eventually cost U.S. dioceses $2 billion...


Automotive absolution

So when he’s not enforcing hardline Catholic doctrine, advocating abstinence as the best way to solve Africa’s AIDs crisis, despatching Italy’s fertility laws back to the Dark Ages, and urging Catholic officials in Spain to ignore a new law that...


Life in a theocracy, part 3

MID-MONDAY UPDATE: Well, the final voter turnout was 26%, so the referendum was invalid. Next stop for the theocrats: Italy’s law legalizing abortion, because it conflicts with provisions of the fertility legislation that give embryos the same legal rights as...


Papal bull

More sound advice from Pope Benedict XVI, this time on AIDS: Pope Benedict XVI urged African bishops Friday to keep up their fight against AIDS, reiterating church teaching that abstinence is the only “fail-safe” way to prevent the spread of...


Life in a theocracy, part 2

America has Tom DeLay and James Dobson; Italy has Pope Benedict. Spot the difference: This week Pope Benedict XVI stepped into politics for the first time since his election six weeks ago, endorsing calls to voters from Italy’s Roman Catholic...


Holy war

Last week he ousted the editor of America. Now he’s bathing entire suburbs in electromagnetic radiation. Is there no stopping Pope Benedict XVI? A Rome court convicted a Vatican cardinal and a top Vatican Radio official Monday of polluting the...


Fallible

The New Yorker’s Jane Kramer has more on what to expect from Pope Benedict XVI: His agenda, or his orders, were always clear. During his first ten years as Prefect, the Jesuits were censured for challenging papal teachings on contraception,...


The wrong pope, revisited

Newly inaugurated Pope Benedict XVI may not tolerate doctrinal relativism, but he seems worryingly at ease with moral relativism. As The Observer reports: Ratzinger’s role in protecting the church against scandal became apparent four years ago. In May 2001, he...


The wrong pope

It’s hard to know what to say about the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI. Given an opportunity to choose relevance and reform—or at least continuity—the College of Cardinals instead chose fundamentalism, extremism, divisiveness… and irrelevance. This,...