National Catholic Register


Vatican Notes & Quotes

BY Jim Cosgrove

February 28-March 6, 1999 Issue | Posted 2/28/99 at 2:00 PM


Cardinal Ratzinger Says Media Misread His Job

CATHOLIC SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 13—Asked about a common perception that he and the Vatican congregation he leads are “repressive,” “censorial,” or “inquisitorial,”Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger said that “clearly the ideas the media give about our congregation are not correct.”

The Catholic faithful have a right to know what is Catholic and what is not Catholic, he added. In an interview with the San Francisco arch-diocesan newspaper, prior to delivering an address at St. Patrick Seminary, Cardinal Ratzinger said the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has two mandates — promote the Catholic faith and defend it.

If Permitted, Vatican Would Switch Embassy to Beijing

AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE, FEB. 12—The Vatican would switch its embassy from Taipei to Beijing if the Chinese communist authorities allowed, Vatican Secretary of State Angelo Cardinal Sodano told reporters in Rome.

The Church would move its nunciature back to Beijing, “not tomorrow but this evening if the Chinese authorities permitted,” said Cardinal Sodano in a story that was picked up by Inside China Today and numerous European publications.

He told journalists that the move would not mean breaking off relations with Taiwan, but simply bringing the nunciature back to Beijing, where it was located before the communists seized power in 1949.

Critiques of Pius XII Called ‘Shameful’

THE TABLET, Feb. 13—Jewish organizations and individuals from all over the world acknowledged at the end of World War II that “no one of whatever station or organization did as much to help the Jews as did Pius XII,” said Father Peter Gumpel SJ in the English Catholic magazine, The Tablet.

Father Gumpel is the relator of the cause for canonization of Pope Pius XII.

In the article he pointed out that those who thanked Pius XII for his role in helping Jews were “contemporaries and survivors of the Nazi persecution.” He said, “[T]hey had firsthand experience and direct knowledge of what they were saying. Nevertheless, their witness is today largely ignored by many who were still children or not yet born at the time of the Holocaust.”

The priest said he agreed with Newsweek magazine, which commented on the current attacks against Pius XII saying, “something shameful is going on.”