US ‘eavesdropped on Vatican in run-up to conclave’

papal-conclave

 

(AFP) –

 

Rome — US secret services allegedly eavesdropped on cardinals before the conclave in March to elect a new pope, Italian weekly magazine Panorama claimed Wednesday.

 

“The National Security Agency wiretapped the pope,” the magazine said, accusing the United States of listening in to telephone calls to and from the Vatican, including the accommodation housing cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio before he was elected Pope Francis.

 

The allegations follow a report on surveillance website Cryptome which said the United States intercepted 46 million telephone calls in Italy in December 2012 and early January 2013.

 

Among those, “there are apparently also calls from and to the Vatican,” Panorama said.

 

“It is feared that the great American ear continued to tap prelates’ conversations up to the eve of the conclave,” it said, adding that there were “suspicions that the conversations of the future pope may have been monitored”.

 

Bergoglio “had been a person of interest to the American secret services since 2005, according to Wikileaks,” it said.

 

The bugged conversations were divided into four categories: “leadership intentions”, “threats to financial systems”, “foreign policy objectives” and “human rights,” it claimed.

 

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said “we have heard nothing of this and are not worried about it.”

 

If true, the US spying would be an embarrassing blow to an institution famous for its secrecy.

 

The goings-on of the conclave are particularly clock-and-dagger, with a system installed in the Sistine chapel where the cardinals meet in order to scramble any mobile phone communications and excommunication for those who spill the beans.

 

 

 

NSA Denies Spying On The Vatican

 

Reuters  |  Posted: 10/30/2013 6:29 pm EDT

 

nsa spying vatican

(Updates with NSA denial, adds Washington dateline)

WASHINGTON/VATICAN CITY, Oct 30 (Reuters) – The National Security Agency, responsible for U.S. electronic eavesdropping, said on Wednesday that it does not target the Vatican and called an Italian media report that it had done so “not true.”

Panorama magazine said on Wednesday that the NSA had eavesdropped on Vatican phone calls, possibly including when former Pope Benedict’s successor was under discussion.

“The National Security Agency does not target the Vatican. Assertions that NSA has targeted the Vatican, published in Italy’s Panorama magazine, are not true,” NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines said in a statement.

According to Panorama, which did not cite a source for its information, the NSA had monitored 46 million phone calls in Italy from Dec. 10, 2012, to Jan. 8, 2013, including conversations in and out of the Vatican.

In a press release before full publication on Thursday, Panorama said, “NSA had tapped the Pope.”

The Holy See said it had no knowledge of any such activity. Asked to comment on the report, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said: “We are not aware of anything on this issue and in any case we have no concerns about it.”

Media reports based on revelations from Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who has been granted asylum in Russia, have said the agency had spied on French citizens over the same period in December and January.

Last week, the German government appeared to confirm that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone had also been monitored by American spies. The issue has also caused Washington problems with Brazil and China.

Panorama said the recorded Vatican phone calls were catalogued by the NSA in four categories – leadership intentions, threats to the financial system, foreign policy objectives and human rights.

Benedict resigned on Feb. 28 this year and his successor, Pope Francis, was elected on March 13.

“It is feared” that calls were listened to up until the start of the conclave that elected Francis, the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, Panorama said.

The magazine said there was also a suspicion that the Rome residence where some cardinals lived before the conclave, including the future pope, was monitored. (Reporting by Steve Scherer and Warren Strobel; Editing by Philip Pullella, Angus MacSwan and Cynthia Osterman)

The seal of the U.S. National Security Agency....

The seal of the U.S. National Security Agency. The first use was in September 1966, replacing an older seal which was used briefly. For more information, see here and here. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

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Vatican sends Diwali greetings to India:

 

 

The biggest Hindu festival falls on Nov. 3 this year.

 

 

 

Rome:

The Vatican’s inter-religious dialogue chief has sent greetings for the upcoming Diwali festival stressing the common humanity shared by Christians, Hindus and other religions, ethnicity and cultures.

“In a spirit of friendship, the Pontifical Council for Inter religious Dialogue extends to you best wishes and cordial greetings,” Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran said in a message.

“May God, the source of all light and life, illumine your lives and deepen your happiness and peace,” he said.

Diwali, the Indian festival of lights beginning Sunday, symbolises the victory of good over evil, truth over falsehood, and life over death, the message recalled, adding that its roots lay in ancient mythology.

The message urged Christians and Hindus to foster human relationships based on “friendship and solidarity”.

“Regardless of our ethnic, cultural, religious and ideological differences, all of us belong to the one human family,” it said.

“May we, Hindus and Christians, work individually and collectively, with all religious traditions and people of goodwill, to foster and strengthen the human family through friendship and solidarity,” the message concluded.

Tauran is president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, the Vatican’s inter-faith dialogue body.

Source: IANS

 

Vatican , Diwali 

 

 

English: Rangoli, decorations made from colore...

English: Rangoli, decorations made from colored powder, is popular during Diwali. සිංහල: Rangoli, decorations made from colored powder, is popular during Diwali. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Suspended bishop is “just the tip of the iceberg,” says reformer

https://silentmaj.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/pope-francis-suspends-bishop-of-bling/

Suspension puts spotlight on Germany’s extremely wealthy Church

<p>Picture: National Catholic Reporter</p>

Picture: National Catholic Reporter

The $20,000 bathtub and $482,000 walk-in closets ordered by “Bishop Bling-Bling” — the moniker of Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, the now-suspended bishop of Limburg — have scandalized the German public.

But Tebartz-van Elst, 52, is only the latest German clergyman to run into trouble since Pope Francis took the helm of the Roman Catholic Church. Francis temporarily suspended the bishop Wednesday while a church commission investigates the expenditures on the $42 million residence complex.

As the new pontiff tries to reform the way the church does business, German dioceses, which reportedly include the world’s wealthiest in Cologne, are chafing under the new direction as membership numbers continue to dwindle.

“Tebartz-van Elst is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Christian Weisner, spokesman for the German branch of We Are Church, an organization advocating Catholic church reform. “There is a real clash of cultures between Germany’s current cardinals and bishops — nominated under John Paul II or Benedict XVI — and Pope Francis.”

Since becoming pope, Francis has repeatedly urged the church to strip itself of all “vanity, arrogance and pride” and humbly serve the poorest in society. Under Francis, priests living in luxury are no longer merely unseemly, but a scandal.

Still, even as Francis drives around Vatican City in a 30-year-old white Renault clunker gifted by an Italian priest, the head of the German bishops’ conference, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, balked at the idea of giving up his company car, a BMW 740d.

“To me that car is not a status symbol; it is the office I use when I am traveling,” Zollitsch said at a press event in early October, when asked whether he would trade it down.

In Germany, most of the church’s top officials drive high-powered Mercedes, BMWs or Audis…

…Carsten Frerk, who specializes on church finances in Germany, said German bishops’ reluctance to follow Francis’ new course is no surprise.

“The German Catholic Church is one of the country’s wealthiest and largest organizations and its top officials expect a certain lifestyle,” said Frerk, who has published two books on the German churches’ wealth and what he describes as their opaque financing. “But they are wary of the extent of their wealth becoming broadly known because it might lead to fewer donations.”

Full Story: Bishop’s suspension a symptom of German Catholic church’s wealth

Source: National Catholic Reporter

 

 

LIST OF PARISH PRIESTS/VICARS AT ST. ANTHONY’S CHURCH, MALWANI

DEAR READERS,

YOU ARE ALL WELL AWARE THAT ST. ANTHONY’S CHURCH, MALWANI; IS IN THE NEWS, NOT FOR ITS PASTORAL ACTIVITIES BUT FOR A DIFFERENT REASON. IT IS GOING THROUGH A TURMOIL, WITH THE SWORD OF DEMOLITION HANGING OVER ITS 15O YEARS OLD PAROCHIAL HOUSE.  UNDER THE ABLE LEADERSHIP OF FR. AUSTIN NORRIS, THE CURRENT PARISH PRIEST;  SOUL – SAVE OUR LAND TEAM ALONG WITH PARISHIONERS, HAS MANAGED TO KEEP THE AUTHORITIES AT BAY.

SILENT VOICE MANAGED TO LAY HANDS ON THE LIST OF VICARS/PARISH PRIESTS, WHO LIVED IN THE PAROCHIAL HOUSE OVER LAST 150 YEARS. WHAT COULD BE THE BETTER TIME THAN THIS, TO LET OUR READERS KNOW ABOUT THEM?

GREG

ST. ANTHONY CHURCH; MALWANI

FR. AGNELO FERNANDES

FROM TO NAME
1835 1842 FR. DIAGO MANUEL GOMES (FIRST PARISH PRIEST)
1842 1843 FR. THOMAS JOAN FRANCISCO FEREIRA
1843 1847 FR. AURELIO DE ESPIRITU SANTO SOARES
1847 1858 FR. FRANCISCO RODRIGUES
1864 1867 FR. LAURENCE CAETANO MEGATHAES
1868 1874 FR. ELIAS CYRILLO HENRIQUES
1875 1884 FR. ROQUE HUMENEGILDO SALVODAR BARETTO
1884 1885 FR. JOAN CAETANO PEREIRA
1885 1896 FR. CRISANTO ANGELO MARIANO DE COSTA
1893 1903 FR. ALCENTARA SANTANA FERNANDES
1903 1905 FR. NICOLAO SEBASTIAN FALLEIRO
1905 1907 FR. ESTANISLEO PSCHEAL DE FONSECA
1907 1910 FR.DSMAEL MARIE DE MANOEL DE COSTA
1910 1912 FR. PASCHAOL SANTANA COLLACO
1912 1916 FR. MIQUEL FRANCISCO PEREIRA
1916 1920 FR. PAUL JACINTO DE LIMA
1920 1929 FR. VINCENT MANUEL DE SALDANHA
1929 1938 FR. JOSE SOCRATES D’SOUZA
1938 1940 FR. P. N. AZVEDA
1940 1947 FR. M. SIVA ROSA
JUNE 1947 AUG.

1947

FR. C. S. FERNANDES (2 MONTHS)
1947 1959 FR. ANACELLETA REMEDIOS
1959 1962 FR. RUDOLPH D’CUNHA
1962 1963 FR. NELSON CORREIA
1963 1973 FR. FRANCIS XAVIER LOBO
1973 1975 FR. SEBASTIAN SERRAO
1975 1979 FR. PETER DREGO
1979 1980 FR. BENEDICT MONIS
1980 1986 FR. SIMON D’SOUZA
1986 1994 FR. VINCENT GONSALVES
1994 1996 FR. PAUL CORDEIRO
1996 2002 FR. PETER D, MELLO
2002 2008 FR. ANDREW SEQUEIRA
2008 2012 FR. AJIT BANDEKAR
2012 2016 FR. AUSTIN NORRIS
2016 —– FR. AGNELO FERNANDES

Is this Mission Sunday in real sense at St. Joseph’s Church; Mira Road???????/ Readers Comments

  1. SILENT VOICE expects and encourages readers to express their views on the issues. Many readers post their views as comments to particular post. However, it is unlikely that reader will go back to the post, once it has been read, and miss the comments. We therefore, carry the comments as main post, so that it is available to our readers upfront.

    Purpose of SILENT VOICE is to encourage the Laity to participate in the CHURCH IN REAL SENSE. ” Church is what we are and not where we go”; is what we often hear from the Sacred pulpit. It means, Church is both, Clergy and Laity Combined. Sadly, Clergy, of course some of them, literally see that Laity does not have any role in decision making. Laity is supposed to , PRAY, PAY, AND OBEY. Laity is not permitted to come anywhere near the Properties and Finance related issues of the Parish. Authority of SOLE TRUSTEE, is being misused to keep out the questioning parishioners. Abolition  of SOLE TRUSTEE norm and bringing in Transparency with greater participation of knowledgeable Lay parishioners, in Property and Financial Matters is need of the Hour.

    Clergy must be true to their VOCATION by concentrating on their Pastoral duties; and not become PROFESSIONALS as PROPERTY DEALERS AND FINANCIERS. This precisely a reason for Laity’s resentment against Clergy.

    A few parishioner who are handpicked to nod their heads to everything that the Parish Priest say, do not make the entire Laity.

    GREG

     

    COMMENTS:

    God’s Beloved (@nameeta2010) said,

    October 20, 2013 at 8:43 pm · Edit

    St.Joseph’s ,Mira Rd. is perhaps the biggest parish in Asia.The situation is deteriorating day after day.

    When questioned about their corrupt practices the Carmelite managers quote their saints : ” Let nothing disturb you …….All things are passing…..!” to shut your mouth.

    Another one is ,” Do Nothing , Let God do !” [ when faced with injustice or where Jesus would expect every Christian to speak out for another human being or fellow catholic who is suffering]. The average lay catholic who is called to live in the world , a beginner in the prayer life and called to active involvement in social , political , civic issues —is taught to lead a life of passivity in contemplative prayer ….something meant for rare Mystics far advanced in their journey towards deeper union with God.

    Most of the OCD priests were caught in the net in their teenage , with no work or life-experience. Their motivations for joining religious life and priesthood are doubtful.

    Being such a big parish , naturally the Church is full during Mass and other prayer services .This has inflated the ego of these priests. But considering the number of parishioners , the proportion of practicing catholics is equal to or even less than other parishes in the Archdiocese of Bombay.

    The spiritual life and Christian witness of parishioners is going down-hill. Some serious action needs to be taken. When the Carmelites started the parish they struggled in the salt-land in a praise-worthy manner. But now it is so bad , they are not competent anymore to handle the issues in the big parish.

    It is not the charism of Monastic OCD clergy to handle all this ….especially finances . I suggest they should hand over the parish to the Pastoral care of the Archdiocese and focus on their own spiritual lives as monastics.

    • October 23, 2013 at 11:22 am · Edit

      it is so very true . I hope and pray that the Archdiocese of Bombay take notice of it . I am one of the members of the community and pained to see the day to day affairs of our Church and also for all the wrong reasons the people today are leaving the Church and joining other prayer groups, and also the attitude of our clergy towards them .

      stephen

  2. dmelloalex said,

    October 21, 2013 at 1:25 pm · Edit

    According to me this article doesn’t give the clarity as to what is exactly happening other than the misappropriation of funds. Request Mr Robert to give a simplified version of happenings

    • October 21, 2013 at 11:22 pm · Edit

      Dear Alex,
      Peace!
      Thanks and appreciate time taken for the reply.

      The issues are many and from different parishioners. These issues have been presented to the Dean Fr. Anselm Gonsalves of Our Lady of Nazareth, Bhayandar, Episcopal Vicar Rev Fr Barthol Machado and also to the Cardinal. We have sent in a request for an appointment with him on 25th July which is yet to materialize highlighting our grievances.
      So far meetings have been held more than once with the Dean and the Episcopal Vicar.
      A meeting was held a fortnight ago with the Parish Priest Fr Dominic Vas, Fr Micheal Shenoy, Anthony Fernandes, Finance Committee and Fr. Anselm Gonsalves and Fr Barthol Machado at Gorai.

      Some of the issues are mentioned below:
      1. Illegal and Unauthorized construction of extension (G+3) of Anubhav Inter-Religious Spirituality Center, The extension is for the purpose of the school which has already started in the Retreat House. Notice was served by MBMC for demolition but construction has been regularized….

      2. Unlicensed contractor used for construction of the extension. The contractor is our parishioner who does interior home jobs. THIS IS DANGEROUS even though structural audit is procured it seems.

      3. Using parishioner especially PPC office bearers and Heads of Cells/Associations to sign a letter against us who raised issues for circulation in the parish. Some of the signatories did not even read the letter but have signed using their pastoral designations. Also conducting signature campaign with this same aim. Their allegations proved wrong with the MBMC serving notice for demolition. The Provincial Fr Archibald Gonslaves even exhorted those present at the meeting to oppose the municipal authorities if they came for demolition……at first citing that everything is legal.

      4. I had to force myself to pay money ( Rs 6375/- for 3 sessions plus 500/- deposit) to conduct Bible Study classes at Infant Jesus Hall for my Word Ministry Commissioning requirement, since place was not being made available citing money required to give it for commercial activities for improving infrastructure. Took money back later since place was made available at Ankur Children Home run by the Sisters of St Anne free of cost……

      5. Conducting meetings with SCC, PPC, Heads of Cells/Associations and some parishioners to discuss about individuals who wrote letter to the Dean to influence thought to project us as trouble-makers. Members were given the impression that we are not interested to resolve matters even though 3 out of 6 of us were told at the last minute about the meeting which was known to others much earlier……

      6. Involving in politics and subtly promoting a parishioner who stood up for MBMC Elections. I had warned the PP not to get involved in politics about two years earlier………..

      7. Using threat/intimidation to a PPC member who raised the viability and justification for using excess steel for construction of weather-shed in the terrace of the church.

      8. 4 rooms constructed on the terrrace of the church which are illegal and unauthorized..

      9. Status of two structures – 1) Infant Jesus Hall and 2) Vailankani Shrine and Chapel are questionable.

      10. Refusing Baptism in an emergency medical situation by Fr Ivan D’Souza Assistant PP.

      As mentioned there are other heart-wrenching stories from parishioners who have expressed verbally. It is not surprising that many want to remain silent for fear of being targetted. As and when testimonies of their atrocities are made available, we will post them.
      Behind each and every issue mentioned above there is lot of information that goes along with it which cannot be produced for limitation of space.
      Regards
      robert dsouza

  3. October 21, 2013 at 6:09 pm · Edit

    Reblogged this on The Iniquitous: Church Crimes.

    • October 25, 2013 at 8:20 pm · Edit

      if this message goes around we will have many more people coming to us about their personnel expereinces in our parish

    • Daniel Quindi said,

      October 26, 2013 at 1:21 am · Edit

      Hi, Robert.
      What can we do to improve the situation. It is sad and miserable to see such a situation. But what can the authorities do? We all know that now there is again THE FAMOUS MIRA FET, money making machine. Why can’t this pp keep quiet and learn to respect the opinion of people? What is the socalled superior MICHAEL DONG? He is good at pointing fingers at others, but as a person INCAPABLE OF ANYTHING GOOD. HE IS JUSTA DUMMY SUPERIOR, GOOD FOR SHOUTING FROM THE PULPIT… LOT OF NOISE BUT GOOD FOR NOTHING…

      Thanks for your commments
      daniel

      • October 26, 2013 at 7:34 pm · Edit

        Hi Daniel,
        I can identify with your pain and frustration of being in such a situation and feeling helpless. You are among the many many parishioners. I hope and pray they too use this medium to express their views.
        All the priests beginning with the Provincial Fr Archibald Gonsalves have let us down; not only Fr Michael.
        Three years back my fears of political interference and engineering division were conveyed to Bishop Bosco through Bishop Percy. Bishop Bosco did not respond……..not once but twice.
        My fears came true….
        The saddest part is that they have managed to rope in some people from the Parish Council who are supposed to care for our pastoral needs, instead have betrayed our trust. The Vice President and the SCC Coordinator are the stooges of the Priests along with some others who are heading the Cells and Associations. I belong to the Family Cell but my own Fam Cell Head has signed a letter against me and others at the behest of the VP and PP. He has signed it without reading it…so you can imagine the maturity of these so called ‘prominent parishioners’ as they have labelled themselves. This letter was circulated in some parts of the parish with a signature campaign against us which fizzled out.
        Even we can’t approach the Peace and Justice Cell for the Head of the Cell too has signed the letter on the information provided to him by the Parish Priest. What justice can you expect? He is a IMFE graduate! He should re-do his formation.
        You are absolutely right on THE FAMOUS MIRA FEST which is nothing but a money making machine. St Joseph Church should conduct courses on Event Management and The Fine Art of Converting Retreat House to School without permissions…….and Construction of Unauthorized and Illegal Structures. Forget Evangelization and Mission.
        Fr Dominic does not know what is ‘respect’ otherwise we would not have reached this situation.
        By posting your comments you have already done your bit to improve the situation. Much needs to be done. Contact me onrobcyn@gmail.com for further action on your part.
        Thanks for posting your comments
        robert dsouza

        COMMENTS ON FACE BOOK PAGE

Tulip Agatha Jacqueline D’souza as a person involved in several associations of St.Joseph Church,Mira rd- I wud like 2 say no 1 extorts money frm the parishioneers – n many r helped financially via the Community Welfare fund—- n i am sure many know how many parishes in mumbai r financially helped by r parishioneers when they come
2 us 4 help funding their bldg projects.I have read the article in this blog n it clearly reads like a case of sour grapes n vested interest of political party.We parishioneers r well aware of how the money is spent that we contribute – beyond that we who work for the church associations do it to ‘serve’ as Christ came to serve not to politicise our faith —–having been closely associated with Holy Family Church n Parish, myself -I am sorry to say blogging about this issue n sharing on another church site is in bad taste–

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