Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Suppression of Santa Croce and inquiring minds.



Answered questions.
.
I can't say anything, but others who can have been making statements.  Some of the information has been public knowledge in Italy and amongst the very hip for several years - so the following excerpts from The Guardian is not all that surprising.  Not long ago there was a presentation on PBS on the monastery and the monk's gardens, but I am unable to find it online.  As for monastic decadence, unfortunately Santa Croce is not the only monastery in the world that has opened the enclosure to la dolce vita, so to speak - but that little factoid is hardly a secret amongst alumni and friends of such places of beauty and culture.
.
To be fair however, the abbey's connections to celebrities and high placed personages most likely developed as a result of the associazione Amici di Santa Croce, or Association of Friends of Santa Croce.  Similar organizations for fundraising in support of major basilicas throughout the world exist and often attract non religious benefactors, I believe the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis has such an association. 
.
From The Guardian.Co.UK:
.
"Loose living" = monastic decadence.
.
A renowned monastery in Rome where monks staged concerts featuring a lap-dancer-turned-nun and opened a hotel with a 24-hour limousine service has been shut down by the pope.
.
As part of Benedict XVI's crackdown on "loose living" within the Catholic church, 20 or so Cistercian monks are now being evicted from the monastery at the basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, which hosts some of the church's holiest relics.
.
"An inquiry found evidence of liturgical and financial irregularities as well as lifestyles that were probably not in keeping with that of a monk," said Father Ciro Benedettini, a Vatican spokesman. "The church remains open but the monks are awaiting transfer."
.
Reports saying the monks amassed large debts have also emerged, but Benedettini declined to give further details of the Vatican report, which was signed off in March.
.
The monks' days have been numbered since 2009, when the Vatican sacked their flamboyant abbot, Father Simone Fioraso, a former fashion designer who built up a cult following among Rome's fashionable aristocratic crowd as well as show business worshippers such as Madonna, who prayed at the church in 2008.
.
In 2009 Anna Nobili, a nightclub dancer who became a nun, was invited to perform her "holy dance" before an audience including archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Vatican's cultural department. For her performance Nobili, who says she uses dance as a form of prayer, lies spread-eagled in front of the altar clutching a crucifix or twists and turns as in pole-dancing routines.
.
The monks living there now had opened a shop selling organic produce from their kitchen garden, but this was shut down in 2009 amid accusations of their having secretly stocked the shelves from a neighbourhood grocery.
.
The Italian newspaper La Stampa said that VIP guests were also encouraged to stay at a hotel opened at the Santa Croce monastery which offered a 24-hour limousine airport service.
.
In 2008 Fioraso hosted a week-long, televised, reading of the bible with religious figures, politicians and celebrities reading tracts, starting with Pope Benedict himself. But a year later Fioraso was ousted, despite protests from parishioners who defended his "patience, dedication, sacrifice and passion".
.
The Vatican's removal of the monks to other monasteries, ending their 500-year presence at the basilica, follows Benedict's hard line with other wayward orders, including the Legionaries of Christ, run by the Mexican priest Marcial Maciel Degollado, who fathered numerous children, was disciplined over sexual abuse allegations and was banished to a life of penitence.
.
Italian press reports have speculated that the inspectors from the Vatican suspected homosexual relations between monks at the monastery. - Source
.
Photo: l'abate Simone Fioraso, 'Bibbia giorno e notte' The abbot of Santa Croce, Simone Fioraso reading for the television special, 'Bible day and night' a continuous reading of the Bible which took place in 2008.

Other photo links:
Don Simone with Trappists from India
L'Abate Don Simone Fioraso

III Convegno su S. Bernardo a Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, Roma 18-10-08

6 comments:

  1. INFANDUS ET HORRIBILIS

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Father - that is Latin for creepy, right? ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. OY! It is almost as if one needs to define one's conversion ... along with other fluid definitions these days "is", "alone", "marriage" ...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Procul O procul este profani!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow. Just: wow.

    I guess this is the 21st-century version of the 16th-century (and probably before) problem mentioned by St. Thomas More of people using pilgrimages as occasions of immoral behavior.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Tery: I saw the nun on EWTN last night on World Over. She was dancing all right,in, ahem, not a habit. I could not believe my eyes. Like Anita said. Wow. Just WOW.

    ReplyDelete


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. Be sure and double check if your comment posted after you do the verification deal - sometimes it doesn't print if you made an error.