Vatican Scandalized by Pop Music Star’s ‘Crucifixion’

UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, Aug. 4 — An Italian cardinal and a Vatican official have suggested Madonna — the U.S. pop singer, that is — should be excommunicated for re-enacting the crucifixion in her new stage show, UPI reported.

In her current Confessions Tour, the singer has a scene in which she wears a crown of thorns and appears to be hung on a cross.

Cardinal Ersilio Tonini, former archbishop of Ravenna-Cervia,  called the scene “an act of open hostility. It is nothing short of a scandal and an attempt to generate publicity,” he added.

Bishop Velasio De Paolis, secretary of the Apostolic Signature, said the show “represents the rotten fruit of secularism and the absurdity of evil.”

Vatican Keeps an Eye on the Heavens

CHICAGO TRIBUNE, Aug. 7 — More than 10,000 feet above the Arizona desert exists one of the most advanced telescopes on Earth, and it’s owned and operated by the Vatican, the Tribune reported.

Though few Americans know it, the Vatican has for more than 100 years funded and staffed world-class observatories, first in Italy and, since the early 1980s, in Arizona, where the height of Mount Graham and the dark desert nights are ideal for telescope use. Assigned to the observatories — technically as the Pope’s personal astronomers — are men who not only hold advanced astronomy and mathematics degrees but are Jesuit priests. Their scientific findings are formally presented to Church officials in Rome once a year.

“Our work is to be good scientists as well as good Catholics,” said Father Christopher Corbally, the vice director of the Vatican Observatory Research Group, who was giving a Church group a tour of the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope one morning earlier this summer.

“That’s why the Church chose this science, not something like medicine, originally, Father Corbally said. “But the commitment to it over the years has endured because of a desire to create a bridge between good science and good religion.”

Catholic Media Should Seek and Transmit the Truth

CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY, Aug. 8 — The secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said Catholic media need to be different from secular news and should seek and transmit the truth of the faith, the wire service reported.

In an interview with Polish Catholic weekly Niedziela, Archbishop Angelo Amato said secular media often choose to transmit manipulations of the Church’s teaching rather than what it is truly saying. 

“The media does not publish the whole texts of the magisterium. The problem is that as a rule they choose [certain] points, often secondary, that can cause polemics or scandals,” the archbishop said.  “One should admit that we very often have the impression that we are living in some artificial virtual reality that is created by media workers and various opinion-forming people.”
The archbishop added, “The Gospel is not a creation of the human mind but God’s message concerning the reality of man and the universe.”

Catholic media should remain true to their name and not report stories so as to create doubts in the minds of believers, as regards magisterial teachings, he said. By leaving arguments open-ended in the same way that the secular media do, “there is an impression that the commands of the magisterium are only opinions which one can agree with or not.”