|Fr Timothy Radcliffe is no stranger to laughter--or making others laugh in good ole fashioned conversation. Except not with Caritas Internationalis.|
Since it appears I wasn't raptured away, I guess I'll just have to get back to work and writing. I did see an early morning cloud, shaped perfectly like a snowmobile, but even I suspected Jesus would not come for me on a snow mobile. Much too proletariat and since He didn't come at all it's back to business with His Church on earth--which isn't the least bit proletarian.
One story I've been following very closely is the one concerning the Vatican's sudden need to bolster the Catholic identity of Caritas Internationalis. I have suspected for the last two years or so that Caritas has been under a concerted attack from the Temple Police. In that sense I am not surprised that it's previous president Leslie Anne Knight was summarily 'retired'. Seems to be the in thing in the Vatican right now, and after all a huge part of Catholic identity is all male leadership. (Too bad for you Leslie, but don't feel bad, you are at least an actual woman who had an actual leadership role, Bishop Bill Morris was forcibly retired in part for only talking about women in a hypothetical leadership role.)
I now see from info in the following article, that the upcoming summit will be deluged with Vatican officials approved by the Secretary of State Cardinal Bertone. The recent Vatican frontal assault on progressives continues on and seems to encompass everything, but the cynic in me thinks this recent concern about Caritas's Catholic identity has more to do with their financial accounts than their identity. A collective estimated five billion dollar budget just flat dwarfs the Vatican budget. Besides I bet one of the first identity issues the Vatican insists on is that all the money that can get funneled through the Vatican bank.
EXCLUSIVE Timothy Radcliffe dropped as speaker at Caritas summit
Robert Mickens in Rome - The Tablet - 20 May 2011The Vatican has dropped Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP, the internationally renowned former head of the Dominicans, from giving the keynote address at next week's Caritas Internationalis (CI) general assembly in Rome, The Tablet has learned.
Fr Radcliffe was originally scheduled to deliver the opening address on Monday morning and speak about the theology that undergirds the work of Caritas. He had already prepared a 45-minute talk. Instead, that slot has been given to Capuchin Fr Raniero Cantalamessa, the charismatic preacher of the papal household, followed by Cardinal Peter Turkson, head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
The former Master of the Dominicans is one of several speakers and panellists who have been removed from the week long meeting's programme in order to "accommodate" the demands from the Secretariat of State that Holy See officials be given the major speaking roles, a CI spokesman told The Tablet on Friday adding that it would now be more like a "Vatican-style retreat".
He denied that the Vatican's main intention in changing the programme was to block Fr Radcliffe from speaking. "We're not reading it that way," he said. At least six Roman Curia officials will have major speaking roles at the 22-27 May general assembly, unprecedented in the confederation's 60-year history. (I can't help but wonder what makes this year so different.)
Two Vatican canon lawyers will be discussing the re-drafting of the CI rules and statutes. The Pope's Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone SDB, will preside at the assembly's opening Mass on Sunday evening.
Fr Radcliffe, 65, was Master of the Dominican Order from 1992-2001. A popular lecturer and preacher around the world, he has authored several top-selling books since he completed his term as head of the Dominicans. He also has long been associated with the work of Caritas and is currently a member of the board of Cafod, one of two British agencies that are part of the CI confederation.
People associated with the Caritas confederation have been careful not to make too much of the Vatican's recent moves to gain greater control over the organisation, fearing that any protests would only make the situation worse. (Just like well trained puppies.)
In the interests of giving my readers some exposure to Fr. Radcliffe I encourage all to chase this video link and prepare to be entertained, challenged, and edified. In this lecture Radcliffe talks about the future of Christianity in the twenty first century. He summarily rules out the idea of a Catholic ghetto. In fact he actually brings up Tom Monaghan's little venture in Florida as the antithesis of how Christianity must present itself. So grab a cup of coffee and a donut and enjoy. It will become pretty obvious pretty quickly why Radcliffe is not speaking to Caritas, and more importantly why he should be, in his words, having conversation with Caritas.