VATICAN INSIDER, CHARISMATICS AND CHARIS – EMANUELA ORLANDI: HOLY SEE’S DESIRE FOR CLARITY

VATICAN INSIDER, CHARISMATICS AND CHARIS

Join me on Vatican Insider this weekend for Part II of my conversation with Tammie Stevens of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal as we talk about the newly inaugurated CHARIS – Catholic Charismatic Renewal International Service – an institution willed by Pope Francis and linked to the Vatican. Who are Charismatics? What is a charism? What is the role of the Holy Spirit in this movement. Tammie helps us clear up some misconceptions about Charismatics. She just finished a period of work in Rome for the movement and talks about that as well.

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EMANUELA ORLANDI: HOLY SEE’S DESIRE FOR CLARITY

The investigation at the Teutonic Cemetery inside the Vatican shows the Holy See’s closeness to the Orlandi family
Andrea Tornielli – Vatican City

On the morning of Thursday, July 11, all those present at the opening of the two tombs in the Teutonic Cemetery inside the Vatican were surprised to discover they were empty. There were no human remains, no traces of coffins or urns.

As is known, the Vatican judiciary agreed to carry out this investigation upon the wishes of the family of Emanuela Orlandi, the fifteen-year-old daughter of a Vatican employee who mysteriously disappeared in the centre of Rome in June 1983: an anonymous tip had in fact indicated one of the old tombs of that cemetery as a possible burial place for the remains of the young woman. Two tombs were opened because the Promoter of Justice of Vatican City State, Gian Piero Milano, wanted to verify that that adjacent one, also adorned by an angelic image, contained no remains that could be attributed to the missing girl.

The decision to open both tombs, in the presence of an expert appointed by Emanuela’s family, working according to the most advanced technical standards, is a sign of particular attention and human and Christian closeness to the Orlandi family. It is certainly not – as has been said – an admission by the Vatican of a possible involvement in the concealment of a corpse.

Research has shown that in the said tomb and in the adjacent one, there were no remains of Emanuela. Therefore, the investigation had a foreseeable negative outcome. As was revealed, under the two tombs inscribed with the names of two princesses who both died in the nineteenth century, no remains of human skeletons were found, but only a large empty underground space, presumably closed in the 1960s, without tombstones, inscriptions or other burials.

The fact that the two tombs were devoid of remains has triggered new questions about the resting place of the two noblewomen who died two centuries ago. However, the attempt to shift the focus, aiming to involve the Holy See as regards the whereabouts of those remains is absolutely misleading. The investigation wasn’t about the two princesses. It was to find the remains of a 15-year-old girl who died in 1983. It is therefore worth repeating, first of all, that the investigative hypothesis taken into consideration by the magistrate concerned the possible discovery of the remains of Emanuela Orlandi. And no trace of these remains was found.

Having said this, the Vatican’s judiciary decided to continue its investigation into documents regarding the architectural works carried out in the cemetery area which took place in two phases, the last of which was in the mid-1960s with the construction of the new building of the Teutonic College. The tombs of the two princesses are right next to the supporting wall of this building, and therefore it is probable that during the digging of the foundations the remains may have been moved elsewhere. Possibly, further investigations will be carried out on this front as well.

The accuracy of the investigations and technical surveys, the decision to have DNA tests done on the eventual remains, the technical expertise with which the operations were carried out under the guidance of the Promoter of Justice and the coordination of the Vatican’s Gendarmerie Corps led by Domenico Giani, clearly demonstrate the will of the Holy See to take the family’s request seriously. This desire was implemented despite the fact that the request stemmed from an anonymous tip, and it has been impossible for the Vatican judiciary to verify its reliability.

PENTECOST, CHARISMATICS AND RED ROSE PETALS AT THE PANTHEON – POPE FRANCIS WISHES TO TRAVEL TO IRAQ IN 2020

PENTECOST, CHARISMATICS AND RED ROSE PETALS AT THE PANTHEON

It was quite a joyful weekend in Rome! Tens of thousands of visitors and pilgrims for the Pentecost celebrations at the Vatican, including two papal MASSES, one on Saturday evening, the vigil of Pentecost and another Sunday morning. In addition to the huge crowds for those events – 50,000 at the vigil and 25,000 on Pentecost Sunday, hundreds more came to the Eternal City to mark the inauguration of CHARIS – Catholic Charismatic Renewal International Service.

Under the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life – and willed by Pope Francis – this new service will “promote communion among the world’s Catholic charismatic communities and “highlight the importance of promoting the grace of baptism in the Spirit, activities for the unity of Christians, service to the needy and participation in the evangelizing mission of the Church.”

The result of a retreat weekend with students and theology professors at Duquesne University in 1967, Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement over the years grew, expanded and flourished and is now in 138 countries in the world, having touched millions of Catholic loves. The new organization, CHARIS, by the way, is not a governing organization but one in service to the renewal movement.

Also over the weekend was the traditional Pentecost shower of red rose petals from the “oculus” of the Pantheon, an extraordinary event that I have attended several times in recent years.

If you have ever been to the Pantheon, you know that its dome has a single, circular opening at the apex called the “oculus.” On Pentecost Sunday, after the 10:30 am Mass, tens of thousands of red rose petals are released into the church from the oculus by Roman firemen who have scaled the famous dome. Red, of course, is the color for Pentecost, and the petals bring us back to the first Pentecost when tongues of fire – the Holy Spirit – descended upon the Apostles.

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Monday was a big news day at the Vatican: Pope Francis expressed his desire to travel to Iraq: he convened a 4-day meeting of papal representatives (ambassadors), and the Congregation for Catholic Education released its document “Male And Female He Created Them ” – Towards A Path Of Dialogue On The Question Of Gender Theory In Education.”

Here is a link to the Vaticannews story on this document. It contains a summary of the 57 points presented in 33 pages: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/vatican-city/news/2019-06/vatican-document-on-gender-yes-to-dialogue-no-to-ideology.html

Dated Vatican City, February 2, 2019, Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, it was signed by Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, prefect, and Archbishop Angelo Vincenzo Zani, secretary. As I write there is no direct link to the entire document on the Vatican news page. If one is not given eventually, I will study the feasibility of publishing part of the document each day.

POPE FRANCIS WISHES TO TRAVEL TO IRAQ IN 2020

Receiving members of the 92nd Plenary Session of ROACO, the Reunion of Aid Agencies that provides aid to the Oriental Catholic Churches, Pope Francis reveals it is his wish to travel to Iraq in the coming year.
By Linda Bordoni (vaticannews)

Pope Francis said on Monday he “thinks constantly of Iraq,” where he wishes to travel in the coming year.

He was addressing representatives of ROACO, the Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches.

As he listed countries that fall within the Reunion’s reach and where the faithful continue to suffer – including Syria, Ukraine and the Holy Land – the Pope focused on Iraq.

He said he hopes it is able to build a peaceful future based on the “shared pursuit of the common good on the part of all elements of society, including the religious,” without falling back into “hostilities sparked by the simmering conflicts of the regional powers.”

Iraq’s small Christian population of several hundred thousand suffered persecution and hardship when so-called Islamic State took control of large swathes of the country, but have recovered freedoms since the jihadists were pushed out. The country is home to many different eastern rite churches, both Catholic and Orthodox. It would be a first ever apostolic visit to the nation.

Thanking the members of the ROACO committee, which unites funding agencies from various countries around the world for the sake of providing assistance in different areas of life to the clergy and to the faithful of the Oriental Churches, the Pope said ROACO “attends to the pleas of all those, who in these years have been robbed of hope.”

Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, Holy Land
Reflecting briefly on the particular situations in some of the countries and regions ROACO reaches, the Pope expressed sorrow for “the dramatic situation in Syria and the dark clouds that seem to be gathering above it in some yet unstable areas, where the risk of an even greater humanitarian crisis remains high.”

“Nor,” he said, “do I forget Ukraine, in the hope that its people can know peace.”

Then he expressed his trust in a Holy Land initiative in which, he said, “the Christian communities of the status quo are working side-by-side” with the cooperation of local and international actors.

Migrants and refugees
Pope Francis also highlighted the plight of migrants and refugees saying, “We hear the plea of persons in flight, crowded on boats in search of hope, not knowing which ports will welcome them, in a Europe that opens its ports to ships that will load sophisticated and costly weapons capable of producing forms of destruction that do not spare even children.”

Hope and consolation
The Pope did not neglect to underscore voices of hope and consolation that he said “are the echoes of that tireless charitable outreach that has been made possible also thanks to each of you and the agencies that you represent.”

He said that by nourishing hope for the coming generations, we help young people “to grow in humanity, freed of forms of ideological colonization and with open hearts and minds.” He noted that this year, the young people of Ethiopia and Eritrea – following the greatly desired peace between the two countries – abandoned their weapons and are living in harmony.

The Pope concluded by asking those present to help him spread the message of fraternity contained in the Abu Dhabi Document and to continue to preserve those realities that, he said, have been practicing its message for many years now.