Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Pope, in rare move, disciplines Assisi monks

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict's decision to turn the screws on Franciscan monks in Assisi -- considered too leftist by some Italian Catholics -- has provoked a political storm in Italy as the country approaches national elections.

Benedict at the weekend issued a rare decree curbing the autonomy of the monks who are the guardians of the body of St Francis and who welcome millions of visitors from around the world to his burial place in the central Umbria region.

The decree by the conservative Pope put the monks under control of three people -- the local bishop, a Vatican cardinal, and the head of the Italian bishops conference.
. . .
In the past decades, the monks of Assisi, which is one of the holiest and most visited sites in all Christendom, have been associated with leftist political parties and leftist causes.
. . .
The monks themselves sought to play down the papal curb, saying in a statement they would continue carrying out their duties in the "spirit of St. Francis".
Probably much the same way that some here in the U.S. and elsewhere invoke that enigmatic "spirit of Vatican II"???

Complete article here.

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