Pope Francis has issued a Motu Proprio, enacting legislation for the protection of minors and vulnerable people in the Roman Curia and the Vatican City State. The Motu Proprio can be read in full here. These guidelines have been hailed by an editor from Vatican News as “state of the art” and up-to-date with the best current evidence on the protection of minors: read here why.

Regarding the abuse crisis, it is also noteworthy this interview with Jesuit priest Hans Zollner. An expert on this topic, Fr. Zollner explains the Vatican’s strategy to combat the clergy abuse crisis and the major hurdles it faces.

In the meantime, Papal critics have found two other reasons to attack the Pope this week (besides the ring kissing brouhaha already addressed in our blog.) The first one was when Pope Francis did not accept the resignation submitted by Cardinal Barbarin, convicted by a French court for not denouncing cases of abuse. This article provides a good contextualization on the reasons the Pope might have decided this way.

The second one has to do with the resignation of Lucetta Scaraffia from Donna Chiese Mondo, a supplement from the L’Osservatore Romano dedicated to women in the Church. This resignation was allegedly motivated by a male take-over from new L’Osservatore Romano editor Andrea Monda, recently appointed by the Pope. This has been criticized as clericalist and anti-woman, so as to paint Pope Francis as a hypocrite. However, this article, though containing doctrinal statements which cannot be condoned, gives a perspective of what actually happened.

In other news, Pope Francis has reaffirmed the highly traditional and often forgotten doctrine of the Universal Destination of Goods, by preaching that food is not private property, when there are people starving worldwide. A culture of sharing is needed and urgent. More on that in the vídeo below.

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  1. Avatar Chris dorf says:

    Excellent regarding Universal destination of goods is tough consistently throughout Catholic doctrine. Many well-intentioned Catholic groups jump through hoops to try to explain this under capital ownership forms of market economies and they go to great extremes to hold both views without any contradictions.

  2. Avatar carn says:

    Ah, i should not break my intention not to listen/read Pope Francis verbatim.

    Too often it irritates:

    “that food is not private property, when there are people starving worldwide”

    In the video there is no indication that he placed that condition upon this. He verbatim says that food is not private property; if he meant it conditionally in case there are starving people in need of that food, he placed that several sentences away and its not in the video.

    So i have to presume that you might not have gotten correctly what the Pope meant.

    And:
    “In other news, Pope Francis has reaffirmed the highly traditional and often forgotten doctrine of the Universal Destination of Goods, by preaching”

    No:
    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a7.htm

    ” I. THE UNIVERSAL DESTINATION AND THE PRIVATE OWNERSHIP OF GOODS

    2402 In the beginning God entrusted the earth and its resources to the common stewardship of mankind to take care of them, master them by labor, and enjoy their fruits.187 The goods of creation are destined for the whole human race. However, the earth is divided up among men to assure the security of their lives, endangered by poverty and threatened by violence. The appropriation of property is legitimate for guaranteeing the freedom and dignity of persons and for helping each of them to meet his basic needs and the needs of those in his charge. It should allow for a natural solidarity to develop between men.

    2403 The right to private property, acquired or received in a just way, does not do away with the original gift of the earth to the whole of mankind. The universal destination of goods remains primordial, even if the promotion of the common good requires respect for the right to private property and its exercise.

    2404 “In his use of things man should regard the external goods he legitimately owns not merely as exclusive to himself but common to others also, in the sense that they can benefit others as well as himself.”188 The ownership of any property makes its holder a steward of Providence, with the task of making it fruitful and communicating its benefits to others, first of all his family.

    2405 Goods of production – material or immaterial – such as land, factories, practical or artistic skills, oblige their possessors to employ them in ways that will benefit the greatest number. Those who hold goods for use and consumption should use them with moderation, reserving the better part for guests, for the sick and the poor.

    2406 Political authority has the right and duty to regulate the legitimate exercise of the right to ownership for the sake of the common good.189”

    There is nothing in there indicating that food is no longer private property, even when some people are starving; just that either the owner of the food and/or the state should get that food to the people starving, as the right to private property is subservient to the universal destination of goods.

    But that especially means that if the owners of food do their part to feed the poor, the state has no reason to revoke their ownership (or should only revoke it as far as necessary); and that if the failure to get the food to the poor has other reasons which the owners of the food are not to blame for(e.g. the Pope mentioned war zones; the problem usually is not to get food from rich nations to feed people in the war zones, but get the food into the war zone and distribute it), the state as well usually has no reason to revoke the ownership of food outside the war zone.

    But such nuance is so often lost; instead one has such a sentence “food is not private property” – in itself and without further limitations WRONG according to catechism – and some people trying to add a context, which the Pope might have had in mind but did not put into words, to make the sentence a little less strange.

    Not that the Pope is wrong; it is a good idea to take the part of Our Father as reminder of all the people having less; and of course it is a duty of people having more to give those who have less; and the state might have to encourage that one way or another; but that gets as so often ruined by bad choice of words.

    “food is not private property” is usually found in some socialistic texts or similar.

    • Pedro Gabriel Pedro Gabriel says:

      If it irritates you, please consider that maybe the problem may lie with you and not the Holy Father. Avoiding listening to him instead of opening your heart will not make the problem go away, quite the contrary.

      In fact, right after saying that the Pope was “WRONG” (all Caps), you go on to say that the Pope is not wrong: “Not that the Pope is wrong; it is a good idea to take the part of Our Father as reminder of all the people having less; and of course it is a duty of people having more to give those who have less; and the state might have to encourage that one way or another”

      So you *can* make a charitable and orthodox interpretation of the Pope’s words, but chose instead to say that he is being “WRONG”.
      ***********************************************************
      I understand that you think it’s a bad choice of words, but I see no contradiction between what the Holy Father said and your Catechism quote. Of course, the Pope is doing a homily in simple and didactic terms to common Catholics (the vídeo itself shows that), not a speech to theologians of Church Social Doctrine, so this kind of minutiae is not productive.

      Unless you want to say that St. Basil of Caesarea, one of the Church Fathers, was also “WRONG” and contradicting the Catechism when he said: “The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry man; the coat hanging in your closet belongs to the man who needs it; the shoes rotting in your closet belong to the man who has no shoes; the money which you put into the bank belongs to the poor. You do wrong to everyone you could help but fail to help.”

      Or that St. John Chrysostom was “WRONG” and contradicting the Catechism when he said: “Not to enable the poor to share in our goods is to steal from them and deprive them of life. The goods we possess are not ours but theirs”

      Or that the Didache, the first Catechism, was “WRONG” when it stated: “Share everything with your brother. Do not say, “It is private property.” If you share what is everlasting, you should be that much more willing to share things which do not last.”

      In the end, since the Church Fathers have been instrumental in formulating the Doctrine of the Universal Destination of Goods contained in the Catechism, maybe we can make some distinctions between theological formulations meant to elucidate our beliefs and homiletic speeches rhetorically meant to ellicit an action in the real world.

      And acknowledge that the Pope’s words are actually quite in line with a venerable and old tradition of the Church, before Marx’s grandfather was even born.
      ***********************************************************
      I also note that you criticize me for having added the “when there are people starving worldwide” caveat as if I wanted to make him sound more in conformity with the Catechism… but then go on talking about Socialism and the role of State, that are *also not present in the speech at all*. The speech was made in the context of a homily on the Our Father. Namely the “Give us this day *OUR* daily bread” part of the prayer.

      It was meant to explain why we pray “our daily bread” and not “my daily bread”. You were the one who read into that quote something about Socialism and the State taking away people’s property. You added subtext while decrying me for adding context.

      • Avatar carn says:

        Whatever you take of my criticism, do not presume it is ill willed, but it is honestly based on being convinced that (simplified)

        “food is not private property”

        is a false statement, while

        “that food is not private property, when there are people starving worldwide”

        is – at least in case of some further qualifications – is a true statement.

        And you should presume, that quite a lot of the so-called “critics” of Pope Francis would agree with me that at least the two statements might have different truth values.

        “may lie with you”

        That it “lies with me” i can confirm; but i cannot nail down whether it is an error.

        I – and i am quite confident that the so-called “critics” do it similarly – see a text as a composition of statements, which might or might not be connected. Each statement that claims something is or is not the case, is true, false or something in between, which depends also a lot on context.

        Nobody with that approach would consider “food is not private property” and “that food is not private property, when there are people starving worldwide” to be mutually exchangeable, cause one has some limitation while the other doesn’t and accordingly there might be conditions under which one is true and the other not.

        But your approach – and in my view of a lot of people in what some call “Team Francis” – is more focused on what a text confers in general with less mind upon the issue whether individual statements in the text are true or false or something in between.

        This is not meant as calling anything of the two better; but i think it might be one of the reasons for there being such “camps”.

        It especially fits well with the observation, that so called “critics” seem to have a disproportionate high number of people more of a lawyerly thinking type.

        “Unless you want to say that St. Basil of Caesarea, one of the Church Fathers, was also “WRONG””

        The statements you cited are mostly equivalent to “that food is not private property, when there are people starving worldwide”; accordingly, i would not call them wrong. Which probably doesn’t make any sense for you.

        “Avoiding listening to him instead of opening your heart will not make the problem go away, quite the contrary.”

        As i described above, it has nothing to do with the heart, but with how my mind processes texts. With your approach, Pope Francis words are probably highly inspiring, wise, etc. With my approach not so; many texts would be a case for a lot of red ink for – at least at first glance – false statements.

      • Pedro Gabriel Pedro Gabriel says:

        Of course the Pope’s speech has the “when there are people starving worldwide” qualifier. Unless you think that the Pope believes that it is okay for a person to leave a restaurant after a good meal and then snatch an ice cream cone from the hands of a child (a ridiculous interpretation of his words on its face), then it is obviously implied that the Pope is talking in connection with the problem of starvation in the world. I am sure that the video, if more expanded, would’ve shown this to be the true context, but I also think that the video authors didn’t do that because it was so heavily implied that they would never thought (as I don’t) that any other interpretation would be legitimate grounds for consideration.

        FWIW, here is a speech that the Pope issued on the same day as the “food is not private property” statement. Note this quote: “Yet Jesus teaches us to make this invocation united with the many men and women for whom this prayer is also a plea, forged amid a daily struggle for the bare necessities of life. Seen in this light, Jesus’ words appear with even greater force, reminding us that Christian prayer is not an exercise for ascetics, but emerges from the needs of real people. The bread we are to seek, then, is not my but our bread.”

        http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/audiences/2019/documents/papa-francesco_20190327_udienza-generale.html