Vatican: Pope’s Physician Retires
At the age of 85, Dr. Renato Buzzonetti has retired from his function of personal physician to the pope which he had been exercising from the time of Paul VI until the reign of Benedict XVI. In spite of his imposing stature, he was very discreet. He could be seen not far from John Paul II or Benedict XVI when they were traveling, always carrying a brown bag. Before the end of John Paul II’s pontificate he was assisted by Dr. Patrizio Polisca who will be his successor.
Born in December 1953, Patrizio Polisca is a specialist in heart surgery, anesthetics and reanimation. (Source: Imedia)
Vatican: Social Encyclical Due to be Released in July
On June 13, during the annual audience granted to the members of the Foundation Centesimus Annus - Pro Pontifice, the pope declared: “the financial and economic crisis which has hit the industrialized, and the emerging and the developing countries, shows clearly that certain economic and financial paradigms which prevailed in recent years must be rethought.” On this occasion, he briefly alluded to his first social encyclical which should be released at the beginning of July: “My Encyclical dedicated to the vast topic of the economy and work is, as you know, due to be published shortly.” The document might be entitled “Caritas in veritate.” (Source: Imedia)
Quebec: Carmel Closes due to Lack of Vocations
The Carmel of Belle-Croix in Danville, south-east of Quebec, will close before the end of the year because of the dwindling number of Carmelites and their old age. The carmel was opened when Carmelites from Vietnam arrived in Canada. Fleeing before the Communists of North Vietnam, they came to Montreal in 1954. At the time, there were 20 Sisters: 14 Vietnamese and six Canadian. The Archbishop of Sherbrooke, Georges Cabana received them in Danville in 1957.
Today, only two of the fourteen Vietnamese are left and only one of the six Canadian is still alive. Other Sisters belonging to other monasteries are also present in Danville, but this is not sufficient to ensure the survival of the Carmel. A letter of support to the sisters is presently circulating in the area — “an affective support,” observed the parish priest of St. Ann, Fr. Leo Durocher. “It is a pity. It gives you a shock, but we must resign ourselves to the situation,” he said. (Source: Apic)
Poland: No Concert for Madonna, in Warsaw on August 15
Polish Catholics do not want the American singer, Madonna, to give a concert on the day on which the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of the Assumption. Consequently, they set up a protest committee to have the concert cancelled. “To make money by organizing, on that precise day, a concert by a singer wearing such a name is morally questionable,” declared Fr. Grzegor Kalwarczyk, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Warsaw. Even if the concert will probably take place, it is not surprising that people voice their discontent and that they protest.” Krysztof Zagozada, a Catholic layman and spokesman for the Catholic Polish Association Unum Principium, warned the authorities, pointing out that the protest committee would do everything it can to prevent the concert.
Aged 50, Madonna sought to give scandal on several occasions. In 2006, the Vatican had protested when she appeared crucified on a gigantic cross, in the olympic stadium in Rome, close to St. Peter’s Square. Last April, the director of the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Mikhaïl Piotrovsky, had asked the singer to “promise that there would be no blasphemy” during the show on the Palace Square scheduled for August. (Sources: ENI/Apic)
Germany: Jewish Distinction Awarded to Hans Küng
On June 18, in Berlin, the Swiss anti-establishment theologian Hans Küng, age 81, received the Abraham-Geiger Award for all of his work.
According to the press release from the Abraham-Geiger College, Hans Küng, in his book Judaism, proposed one of the most convincing monographs on Judaism as a universal religion. As chairman of the Foundation Weltethos (World Ethics), the progressivist theologian was a symbol of the way in which “life in common must be successful beyond every religious barrier.” On this occasion, the Vice-President of the Central Council of Jews, Dieter Graumann, judged Hans Küng to be “genuine, credible and convincing.” (Source: Apic)