The ex spokesman of Benedict XVI exposes Viganò

After the first attack against the Pope from his safe house, Msgr. Viganò keeps his mouth off, but he has not realised that his rifle loaded only with blanks. The last gossip of the Prelate of Varese, indeed, concerns the 2015 meeting between Pope Francis and Kim Davis, an employee convicted for having invoked the conscientious objection by refusing to sign the marriage licence of gay couples. But his reconstruction of facts was clamorously exposed by the ex spokesman of Benedict XVI and one of the closest collaborators of the Pope Emeritus: Father Federico Lombardi.

THE PREVIOUS EPISODES. Msgr. Viganò was in the public eye one week ago through a verbose dossier, well detailed but unsubstantiated, in which he asked with a great delay Pope Francis to resign, because the latter would have disregarded some alleged secret restrictions imposed by his predecessor on Card. McCarrick, accused of a past homosexual life. However, we discovered that Viganò lied: Benedict XVI himself allowed the Cardinal to disregard these restrictions, by meeting him at the Vatican and letting him attend events of other kinds (therefore, in the worst of cases, the fault would have to be ascribed to Ratzinger, unhappily involved by Viganò)....

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Malcolm Muggeridge, the journalist who converted defending “Humanae Vitae”

Malcolm Muggeridge was a famous English journalist born in 1903 and died in 1990, a lover of satire and of women. He lived as a declared atheist almost until his death, that is until his surprising conversion, occurred thanks to the Encyclical Humanae Vitae, of which we celebrate the fiftieth year in these days.

He said that his look towards faith was that of a gargoyle: from the top of a spire, from the top of a cathedra, he sneered at the ridiculous behaviours and the wasted efforts by the believing humankind. But in 1969 and in 1982, around the age of 80, this contemptuous observer became Catholic together with his wife Kitty. The first spur seems to have come from Saint Teresa of Calcutta.

The journalist went to India to document the activities of the Missionary Sisters of Charity and spent much time with Mother Teresa: seeing her assist the last of the last, he then defined her a “light which could never be extinguished” and narrated his experience in his book “Something Beautiful for God”, published in 1972. He wrote about her as about a “living conversion” and said that one could not observe her with the people assisted by her, without being already in some degree converted: her love for Christ and treating everyone as if they were the Lord in person had more effect on him than anything else. While being in touch with that defender of life, Muggeridge reported to have perceived the inestimable value of the Incarnation of the Son of God.

...

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Eight uncomfortable questions Msgr. Viganò had better not answer

To clarify”. With this slogan the “Viganò dossier” has been thought and presented, so as to mask its real goal: induce the hated Pope Francis to resign. There is a problem: the testimony, prepared badly and in a rush, contains falsehoods above-all in its key passages, which compromise its credibility. But beside damaging above-all Benedict XVI and John Paul II, it proved to be a boomerang against Carlo Maria Viganò himself. We addressed him eight (rhetorical) questions he had better not answer, because, beside casting shadows of complicity on him, they make his accusations against Pope Francis (and against Benedict XVI) definitely collapse.

The light eventually wins over the darkness”, said Viganò the day before yesterday to who has been discovered to be one of his proofreaders, Aldo Maria Valli. However, the “darkness” of the ex Nuncio’s past effectively compromised his dossier. We do not talk about his court cases, mentioned by us in other articles to highlight the difficulty these matters pose when Viganò asks us to trust his report devoid of proofs. Charges of misappropriation of the family inheritance arrived from his brother Lorenzo, but Viganò himself denied them by publishing a notice by other brothers of his’. Let...

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Human embryo and his self-development: study contradicts pro-choice people

The human embryo the responsible for his own development. It is an important discovery because one of the main excuses to support abortion is that the embryo would not be a human person, it would not have intrinsic capacities and its development would be totally dependent on the mother carrying him in her womb. Some call it a "clump of cells": in this case abortion would not be a morally reprehensible act.

An important study contradicts that: it is published on Nature Cell Biology and is called Self-organization of the human embryo in the absence of maternal tissues. Its authors, led by Marta N. Shahbazi from Cambridge University, showed that a fertilized egg (also called "zygote"), is an autonomous human being. They recognized «significant self-organizing properties of human embryos»: so, in fact, embryos have a life independent of that of their mother and autonomously direct their own development from the earliest moments of life.

The young embryos ("zygotes"), used in this experiment, were not manipulated or artificially forced to develop, but they grew up – on their own initiative – also in the absence of their mother's womb. Dr. Ana Maria Dumitru explained that this means that «embryos know what they’re supposed to do to live, and they try to live». This is also the reason why «most “contraceptive” drugs and...

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Charges against the Pope: former Nuncio Viganò lied, here the proofs

Pope Francis did not want to comment the indictment former Nuncio Carlo Maria Viganò published against him; instead, the Pope asked the journalists to judge it for themselves. Thus, in few hours, the Editorial Staff of UCCR took seriously the memorandum by Viganò and his exhortation by the Pope and found out overwhelming evidence belying the key passage of the testimony of the already controversial ex Nuncio, so as to dismiss (or, at least, to scale down considerably) the charges.

However, before we go on, four clarifications are necessary (who is impatient can look onwards). 1) What Viganò’s accusation is: the ex nuncio did not accuse the Pope of having covered an act of paedophilia performed by Card. McCarrick; he accused him of not having listened to him when in 2013 he would have told him about the various reports/rumours on the Cardinal concerning sexual relationships with adults (seminarists) dating back to fifty years before; Viganò also says to have made Pope Francis aware of the fact that, for this reason, Benedict XVI would have «ordered him to withdraw to a life of prayer and penance». Viganò writes: although Pope Francis «learnt from me at least on June 23, 2013» about the «crimes committed by McCarrick, who abused his authority with seminarians...

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Mary of Nazareth, the twelfth greatest woman in history? A foolish ranking.

Some “experts” in 10 different fields of human activities nominated 10 women each who, according to them, would have had the greatest impact of world history. The initiative was taken by the review BBC History. The first woman was Marie Curie, famous scientist who discovered – amongst the other things – radioactivity, crucial to cure cancer. At the twelfth place, surprisingly, another Mary. The mother of Christ.

A bitter surprise, not so much because Mary of Nazareth was not ranked first, but because she should have been the last. Indeed, her place was out of the ranking. In fact, no comparison is possible between the Virgin and Marie Curie, or any scientist, politician, princess, philosopher. Mary did not invent anything, but no woman has ever introduced into the world what happened through her. With her yes (“fiat”) she allowed the divine to meet the human, the infinite to reach the finite, thereby opening to men a horizon of sense and eternal life. What is the point of perfect bodily health – thanks to medical innovations – if life is then full of an absence? What is the point of recovering from a disease if reality and all what we have built or is dearest to us – sooner or later – fades into nothing, shatters in the ephemeral, as if it had never existed?

Of course, if there had been dozens of Marie Curie, the world would be undoubtedly better. The point is that we are dealing with radically...

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Roger Penrose on consciousness: «Its comprehension is beyond physics»

Whilst determinist biologist E.O. Wilson believes that – sooner or later – will discover the physical basis of consciousness, others seem more realistic and admit that «there are things that cannot be proved». We refer to the famous mathematician Roger Penrose, Emeritus Professor at the Oxford University and winner of the Wolf-Prize together with his friend and collaborator Stephen Hawking.

Recently, on occasion of a conference in Milan titled Intelligenza Artificiale vs Intelligenza Naturale [“Artificial Intelligence vs Natural Intelligence”] Penrose explained in simple words why an Artificial Intelligence will never be able to exist: «The term is not exact, because none of these devices understand what it is doing. The will requires understanding, and understanding requires consciousness, that is the consciousness machines do not have». Intelligence needs consciousness.

The expression AI (Artificial Intelligence) is often used to define advanced computers or programmes playing chess. For example, it is known that a certain chess position causes problems to computers: «it is a famous position of draw known to any player mastering the rudiments of the game of chess; instead, Fritz, the main chess programme, set on the Grandmaster level, completely misunderstands the position and, after a certain number of moves, it makes a stupid mistake and loses the game. I am not a good player at all» – explained...

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What do sceptical scholars think about appearances of Jesus?

The Gospels report that the disciples, disappointed and dismayed after the crucifixion and death of their mentor, had visions of Jesus Himself, who showed them the resurrection from the dead. This fact upset and convinced them, so much as to be ready for martyrdom rather than deny what they had seen. But what is true about this? Critics explain that the Evangelical reports would have been written late with respect to the facts, that the disciples would be lying, or that the they had hallucinations. But these conclusions do not come up even if we analyse the studies of the most sceptical, agnostic, and atheist scholars.

First of all, let us debunk the myth of the Gospels having been written late: already one or two years after the death of Jesus of Nazareth, indeed, the little community of the Christians in Jerusalem, proclaimed and announced the earliest Christian creed: the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Christ. This is demonstrated by the First Letter to the Corinthians, redacted by Saint Paul in 50-55 A.D., using, though, pieces of information learnt from the disciples in 35 A.D., which, besides, had been known since some years. Almost the totality of the experts claims the very ancient origin of the Pauline letter (written before the Gospels), and amongst them there are not only Christian scholars, hastily and erroneously deemed by someone as “biased”, as...

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Orlando shooting, a survivor: «I’ll leave homosexuality»

On June 2016, at least 50 persons lost their lives inside the gay club Pulse in Orlando. Although the “homophobic” defensors of the family – among whom Pope Francis – were immediately indicated as the moral instigators, in the following horse it emerged that the terrorist, Omar Mateen, was a renowned gay and a regular at the Pulse, angry at how he «felt used» in that club.

Following the tragedy, one of the homosexual survivors, Angel Colónannounced a radical life change, by going back to attending the parish where he used to sing in the choir.

A short time ago, another survivor of the Orlando shooting made an even more shocking announcement. He has matured the conviction that God drew a greater good from the evil of that night, a repentance overwhelming his life as he had lived it until then. In an interview, Luis Javier Ruiz recounted, indeed, his leaving homosexuality, after 30 years of Lgbt life.

He had come out during his high school, on his mother’s birthday. They were listening to a radio programme in which a preacher lashing...

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Argentina rejects abortion: historic vote thanks to women and to the Church

What did not happen in Italy on the 22th May 1978 e in Ireland on the 25th May 2018, happened yesterday in Argentina. The legalisation of abortion has been historically rejected by 38 deputees against 31, by preferring to save “both lives” – according to the Argentinian pro-life slogans – the mother’s and the child’s. The militancy for the “no” side by the Episcopal conference, guided by Bishops close to Argentinian Pope Bergoglio and personally chosen by him, was pretty influential.

It was a defeat for the powerful mediatic apparatus which literally censored thousands of pro-life demonstrators characterised by the colour “light blue”: on the newspaper’s page there are only and exclusively pictures of “green” flags, the pro-abortion ones (and also in these first minutes after the vote, the foreign newspapers – in Italy almost nobody has reported this news yet – choose pictures of “green” sad and disconsolate demonstrators while ignoring the exulting “light blue sea”). An example amongst all the other ones: although a survey had reported that the majority of the Argentinian women was sided against abortion, but...

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Luther’s homeland is more Catholic than Protestant. The crisis of the Reformed denominations.

Martin Luther’s homeland is today more Catholic than Lutheran. Catholics outnumbering Protestants, in Germany, happened in 2009. According to a recent survey, the crisis of the Protestants is increasing whilst the number of Catholics has been stable since 1950.

The crisis of Protestantism, therefore, hits Germany as well. A short time ago, we were observing the same phenomenon in the USA: collapse of the Reformed Christians and stability of the number of Catholics. 20,7 million German Protestants left Lutheranism in 1950, whilst the Catholic Church counted 23,2 million faithful in 1950 and today likewise 23,3 millions. The absolute number is kept.

Neither does the Catholic denomination enjoy good health, though: in a year, as reported by the Episcopal Conference of Germany, 270.000 faithful abandoned the Church, and only 9.332 entered or came back into it. The German Bishops have already closed 515 churches in the last ten years. One of the main reasons for this defection, unique in the whole world, is the compulsory religious tax (8-9% of the income tax) that...

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The initial explosion of Christianity: how to explain it? The book by Barth D. Ehrman

How is it possible that a minuscule “sect of Judaism”, as is sociologically defined, could conquer the Roman Empire and dominate the Western world? We talk about Christianity and about its unbelievable demographic expansion. The new and interesting book by Barth D. Ehrman deals this historical question, thereby giving us remarkable surprises.

The most banal explanation for the rapid diffusion of the Christian religion, the explanation that would be given by Voltaire, Gibbon and Burckhardt would bring into play the political support given by Emperor Constantine. «It was not Constantine to convert to Christianity, but it was Christianity to turn into an imperial religion», writes the Italian anticlerical Corrado Augias, in Disputa su Dio e dintorni [Dispute on God and sorroundings] (Mondadori 2010). That is, the Emperor’s would not have been a true religious conversion, but a political move to use Christianity as an “instrument of power”. On the other hand, the Christian religion would have benefitted from the imperial support to spread like wildfire.

Agnostic B.D. Ehrman, expert of primitive Christianity and Professor at the North Carolina University, has a completely different opinion. He is an interesting scholar, to whom we pay much attention, not only because of the importance of his academic profile, but also because of his frequent intellectual honesty. As a non-believer, he set himself the goal to defy two extremisms:...

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«Inquisition reign of torture? Fake news», says Jewish historian

«The image of the Roman Inquisition as a reign of torture and of evil has taken on a life of its own by now, ending up resembling those fake news about which many people talk today». Thus the Jewish historian Anna Foa, Professor of Modern History at the Sapienza University of Rome. Another specialist against the black legend, that is a false anti-Catholic vulgate created by Enlightenment thinkers and Protestants.

The mediatic mainstream, reflected Anna Foa, has erroneously thought that, with the opening of the central archives of the ex Holy Office in 1998, the Catholic Church would have finally recognised the allegedly abominable and bloody nature of the Inquisition, which still represents in the collective imagination «the armed wing of the Church against heresy, free thought, freedom of conscience. To the eyes of the media and of the so-called historiographical common sense, the Inquisition was the enemy par excellence of the modern thought».

None of all this, obviously. A disappointment for journalists and anticlericals, of course not for specialists. Also because, continued the Jewish historian: «during the two last decade there had already been a historiographical revisitation in this field, which, nevertheless, evolved, rather than in the direction of a plea for forgiveness,...

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Jesus of Nazareth: the first and complete historical source? It’s dated 30 A.D.

The four Gospels are unreliable having been written many years after the facts they want to narrate. This is often heard, but it is a false affirmation. Let us see why.

First of all, we have several times pointed out that the pieces of information concerning Jesus of Nazareth are more numerous and closer to the narrated historical facts, as compared to many other historical characters, like Julius Caesar, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, Flavius Josephus, Socrates, Alexander the Great, etc. So much so that famous scholar John Robinson commented: «The wealth of manuscripts, and above all the narrow interval of time between writing and the earliest extant copies, make it by far the best attested text of any ancient writing in the world» (J. Robinson, Can we Trust the New Testament?, Grand Rapids 1977, p. 36).

Secondly, the Evangelists got most of their information from pre-synoptic sources (oral and written), already circulating few years after Jesus’ death. «Some disciples of Jesus» – added the main living biblist, J.P. Meier: «may have begun to collect and arrange sayings of Jesus even before his death» (Un ebreo marginale [A Marginal Jew], Vol. 1, Queriniana 2006, p. 157).

But there is another argument on which we should like to dwell in greater detail: Saint Paul’s epistles, written, as everybody knows, before the Gospels. In particular, the First Letter to the Corinthians was composed...

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Paul VI vetoed the pill. The commendation from Bergoglio: «He was a courageous prophet!»

«I think about Blessed Paul VI. He had the strength to defend openness to life inside the family at a time when many people were worried about population growth. He was not antiquated, close-minded. No, he was a prophet, No, he was a prophet who, with this, told us to beware of Neo-Malthusianism, which is coming». It is a pity that nobody is remembering these clear judgments of Pope Francis on the Pope of Humanae Vitae, the Encyclical that – among other things, because it must not be reduced to that – restated the rejection of chemical contraception by the Church.

It is an issue having become again topical thanks to the study of Msgr. Gilfredo Marengo, Professor at the Pontifical Theological Institute John Paul II and author of the book, The Birth of an Encyclical: 'Humanae Vitae' in the Light of the Vatican Archives (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2018). It emerged that Paul VI, on October 1967, asked for the opinions of the Synodal Fathers on contraception in view of the publication of the encyclical: Only 26 of the 200 bishops present produced a written response. The majority of them said they were in favour of some opening to the pill, while 7 were against. However, the despite the favourable opinion of the Bishops and of the consulted theologians, Montini considered it inappropriate to change the...

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