Anne of Carversville & Sensuality News do not accept submissions.

Entries in Vatican (29)

Tuesday
Jun112013

Italy's Conflicted Soul: In This Sensually Rich Country, Violence Against Women Rises

Photographer Szymon Brodziak shoots a visually delicious, mysterious spy story for Martini Cava in Rome. Ironically, in this AOC feature that links one of the most sensual countries in the world with its severe problem with violence against women, everyone is mentioned in the credits but the models.

Born in 1979 in Poland, Brodziak shoots only in black and white.

Violence Against Italian Women

Many women were horrified to read in May that acid attacks against women are escalating in Italy. It seems a total contradiction in reality that a country so drenched in sensual beauty and authentic joie de vivre Italian style leads the European continent in violence against women. 

The rise in assaults against Italian women in which they are murdered by their lovers in acts of jealousy causes particular concern. One of the latest victims was a 15-year-old girl beaten, stabbed 20 times and then burned alive, allegedly by her boyfriend who has confessed.

It’s said that Fabiana Luzzi bled for two hours in the southern town of Corigliano Calabro, when her jealous boyfriend returned with a tank of gas. The young woman tried to fight him off when “he doused her with fuel and set her afire.”

A recent UN Report says that homicides against men have fallen in Italy, as violence rises against women. Author of the report Rashida Manjoo says  that 78 percent of all violence against women in Italy is domestic in nature, with one third of Italian women reporting facing physical or sexual violence during their lifetimes. It’s believed those numbers are underreported.

Even on television, Italian women keep their mouths shut. Manjoo cited studies that found that 53 percent of women appearing on television in Italy didn’t speak, while 46 percent of them “were associated with issues such as sex, fashion and beauty, and only 2 percent issues of social commitment and professionalism.”

Italy Ratifies Istanbul Convention

On June 7 Lithuania signed the Council of Europe Convention dedicated to preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. Called the Istanbul Convention, the initiative was introduced in May 2011 and has been ratified by only five other states — Albania, Montenegro, Portugal, Turkey and most recently Italy.

It’s not clear how many delays in ratification are cultural versus institutional. New Europe reports:

“For example, the convention requires a free national telephone hotline for victims of domestic violence. In an interview this month, French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told the French press that – starting next year – such a nation-wide telephone hotline would be made available. France is among the 25 states which have signed, but not yet ratified the convention.”

In its essence, the Istanbul Treaty says that domestic violence is not a private matter, that states have an obligation to prevent violence, protect victims and punish the perpetrators.

Like the recently passed UN Treaty to protect women, opposed by the Vatican, fundamenalist Islamists including the Muslim Brotherhood, the treaty bans cultural customs based on religion and ‘honour crimes’. In fact, the Vatican led activity at the March UN Summit, trying to defeat the measure.

Religious Bodies

Satan, Yoga & Fashion Monasticism Challenge Our Embrace of Body & Self? Questions Worth Considering Anne’s Blog

I was rather shocked to read that yoga is considered the work of the devil. Sure enough, former Vatican exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth says that yoga — along with Harry Potter — are the tools of the devil. And retired Pope Benedict has warned that yoga “can degenerate into a cult of the body.” Bottom line, in the case of Christianity, ambivalence about having a healthy relationship with one’s body and sexuality are a daily struggle.

 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May092013

David Bowie's 'The Next Day' Video Savages Un-Christ-like Catholic Church

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

David Bowie’s latest video ‘The Next Day’ is back up on YouTube after being taken down from the Google-owned website a few hours after being uploaded. The video in which David Bowie is dressed as Christ, accompanied by Gary Oldman as a debauched priest and Marion Cotillard as a prostitute was said to have “breached YouTube’s terms of service.”

The Independent reports that former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey called the video “juvenile”. 

He told The Telegraph: “If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery perhaps Christians should not worry too much at such an exploitation of religious imagery.”

“I doubt that Bowie would have the courage to use Islamic imagery - I very much doubt it.”

There is no doubt that the video for ‘The Next Day’ is heavily critical of the Church. Imagery includes a Cardinal dancing with a bare-breasted woman, stigmata wounds erupted in the hands of Cotillard, and a figure engaged in self-flagellation.

‘The Next Day’ video is directed by Italian photographer Floria Sigismondi, who began her career as a fashion photographer.

Religious Purity in Rome

Did Pope Clement VII Father Alessandro de Medici with a Nigerian Slave Girl? AOC Sensual Rebel

This attempt to focus didn’t last. When the goddess knocking begins, it’s futile to try to beat it back. Accepting that there is a reason why I flew off to Florence in my Italian-inspired burst of creativity last week — and it has nothing to do with my glorious, sexy existence in and out of the country for years — I began Googling. 

Ask and you will receive! Within minutes I was on PBS Frontline, reading about Alessandro de Medici, the great 16th century Italian Renaissance figure whose Medici prince remains are buried in the famous tomb of Michaelangelo.

Without even trying to mount my religious hypocrisy soapbox, enter stage right one 17-year-old Cardinal Giulio de Medici, as the father of Alessandro. The later Pope Clement VII, is believed by researchers to be the father of a bastard child conceived with a North African slave girl.

Good goddess! A Catholic pope is unintentionally besmirched by my flower pots in this accidental bout with the creative truth.

Doomed | 2Ps in a Pod

Believing in Birth Control Doesn’t Make Me Un-American AOC Sensual Rebel

I just watched a PBS segment on family planning in the Philippines. In it the Catholic bishop spoke aggressively against controlling population, saying that it was fine that women have as many children as possible. We both know the Catholic Church believes it is a woman’s duty. It’s the world’s challenge to figure out how to feed all these babies, not for women to have fewer children argues the bishop who has never had a baby in his life.

(This wandering essay was part of Anne’s short-lived 2012 blog with a Catholic brother. Brother Dennis assured her that he would stand by her, as she was called a whore and every other despicable name in the book. Instead, the brother threw her to the wolves. Based on Anne’s most recent skirmish with the Catholic Church, the new David Bowie video ‘The Next Day’ got her attention.)

Monday
Apr152013

Vatican Confirms That Reform of American Nuns Will Proceed Under Archbishop Gerhard Mueller

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

Was I prescient today? Hardly. It’s just that Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz says that fashion designers are a little like Catholic nuns, grinding away in the trenches and not leading glamorous lives. Elbaz seems pretty off the mark, but we so love him that he’s forgiven. 

That quote led me to circle back with an exceptional interview given by Sister Simone Campbell to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour after the ordination of Pope Francis. 

Sister Simone’s interview was followed by this one on 60 Minutes with Sister Pat Farrell, previous head of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, and Bob Simon.

The headlines are working their way around the world with news that Pope Francis has spoken. The Inquisition of American nuns will continue. This news doesn’t come as a surprise, although it dashes the hope of American nuns like Sister Simone and Sister Pat Farrell, who will be forced now to speak aggressively against birth control, abortion and women priests in the future. 

AOC writing on crackdown of American nuns.

Vatican Crackdown Continues

Pope Francis has affirmed that the investigation of American nuns will continue, dimming the hopes of American nuns that a Jesuit pope with shared values on the poor might take a different approach than Pope Benedict. 

The Vatican imposed an overhaul of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious after deciding that the American nuns were taking positions that undermined Catholic teaching on the priesthood and homosexuality. The sisters were accused of embracing “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.”

While praising the nuns’ humanitarian work, investigators accused the of ignoring critical social issues.

Archbishop Gerhard Mueller, who is in charge of implementing the crackdown on American nuns, met today — Monday — with officials of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, informing them that the reorganization and reforms will be implemented. 

Catholic Culture reports: In his remarks at the meeting, Archbishop Müller reminded the LCWR leaders that their group exists to promote cooperation among the individual orders and with the hierarchy. “For this reason,” he said, groups like the LCWR “are constituted by and remain under the direction of the Holy See.”

All bets are off in what the sisters will do next. They have vowed not to compromise their group’s mission. Exactly what that mission is remains to be seen. 

History of Vatican Conflict

August 11, 2012

Barbara Marx Hubbard was the featured speaker at this week’s Missouri meeting of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The main focus of the meeting was drafting a response to the Vatican’s claims that American nuns are “radical feminists” out of step with the church’s teaching. Of course, the members of LCWR don’t see themselves in this light.

June 11, 2012

Both sides in the discord between American nuns and the Vatican described yesterday’s talks in Rome as open and cordial. But the Vatican wasted no time in reiterating that it expects the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) to change its way to energetically promote church doctrine “as Faithfully taught through the ages”, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The Vatican charges that the LCWR has been “silent” on those issues that are most important to the church leadership: abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality and the ordination of women.

April 20, 2012

The sisters were reprimanded for making public policy statements that “disagree with or challenge the bishops, who are the church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals.” The disagreements have been acute over President Obama’s healthcare legislation and most recently the contraception mandate compromise.

January 23, 2012

Investigation of American Nuns

It’s noteworthy that on Jan. 4, Cardinal Franc Rode resigned as head of the Vatican’s ‘cabinet office’, the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life, that deals with religious orders, including nuns worldwide. 

Writing for Huffington PostAmerican nun Maureen Fiedler says that Cardinal Franc Rode is an arch-conservative with an archaic view of religious life that resonates with the 18th century, rather than the 21st.