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Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Camerlengo of The Holy Roman Church

When was the Office of the Camerlengo established?
The Office of Camerlengo or Chamberlain dates from the 12th century. The Camerlengo heads the Apostolic Camera, the body which cares for and administers the Holy See during the sede vacante. The Camerlengo is protected by the Swiss Guard during the sede vacante.
Who was the first Camerlengo?
Jordan of Santa Susanna held the position from A.D. 1147–1151. Jordan was a Carthusian monk. He was created Cardinal Deacon by Pope Lucius II in 1144 and then Cardinal Priest of Santa Susanna by Eugene III in December of 1145.
What are the various offices attached to the Apostolic Camera?
The Cardinal Chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church (Camerlengo)
The Governor of Rome, Vice-Chamberlain
The Treasurer-General of the Holy Roman Church
The Auditor of the Camera Apostolica
The President of the Apostolic Camera
The Advocate of the Poor
The Fiscal Advocate
The Commissary of the Apostolic Camera
The Clerics of the Apostolic Camera are twelve in number. Four have specific titles:
  • Prefect of the Annona
  • Prefect of Grace
  • Prefect of the Prisons (carceri)
  • Prefect of the Roads (strade)
What does the Camerlengo do when a pope dies (or resigns)?
17. As soon as he is informed of the death of the Supreme Pontiff, the Camerlengo of Holy Roman Church must officially ascertain the Pope's death, in the presence of the Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations, of the Cleric Prelates of the Apostolic Camera and of the Secretary and Chancellor of the same; the latter shall draw up the official death certificate. The Camerlengo must also place seals on the Pope's study and bedroom, making provision that the personnel who ordinarily reside in the private apartment can remain there until after the burial of the Pope, at which time the entire papal apartment will be sealed; he must notify the Cardinal Vicar for Rome of the Pope's death, whereupon the latter shall inform the People of Rome by a special announcement; he shall notify the Cardinal Archpriest of the Vatican Basilica; he shall take possession of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican and, either in person or through a delegate, of the Palaces of the Lateran and of Castel Gandolfo, and exercise custody and administration of the same; he shall determine, after consulting the heads of the three Orders of Cardinals, all matters concerning the Pope's burial, unless during his lifetime the latter had made known his wishes in this regard; and he shall deal, in the name of and with the consent of the College of Cardinals, with all matters that circumstances suggest for safeguarding the rights of the Apostolic See and for its proper administration. During the vacancy of the Apostolic See, the Camerlengo of Holy Roman Church has the duty of safeguarding and administering the goods and temporal rights of the Holy See, with the help of the three Cardinal Assistants, having sought the views of the College of Cardinals, once only for less important matters, and on each occasion when more serious matters arise.
What happens to the Curia during the sede vacante?

Government defunding Christian schools in Israel

Christians in the Holy Land have a tough enough time as it is. Christians are all too frequently caught between Israeli and muslim entities at odds with each other. Christians have long provided hospitals, schools, universities and other social service organizations to all citizens of the Holy Land regardless of religion. Once again, Christians face an uncertain future in a region they have lived for nearly two millennia.

The Government of Israel has not honoured its promise to provide agreed upon funding for Christian schools.

The following citation is an excerpt from a statement by the General Secretary of the Office of Christian Schools in Israel.

Download the full statement HERE.

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The Office of Christian Schools in Israel
Tel/Fax: 04-6567639

23rd May, 2016


Follow up to the 27-day strike of all Christian Schools in Israel in September 2015:
  • The Israeli Government has not honoured their commitment to transfer 50 Million Shekels (approximately $13 million USD) to the Christian Schools.
  • The Ministry of Education has not offered any solution for the financial crisis in Christian Schools.
  • Christian Schools in Israel are in immediate danger of collapsing financially.

The 47 Christian Schools in Israel owned by Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Church of Scotland, Christ Church, and Baptist Churches in Israel went on strike for 27 days in September 2015.

These Christian Schools consist of 33,000 Christian, Muslim, Druze and Jewish students from all around the country.

The Office of Christian Schools announced this unprecedented strike after the government had been constantly cutting the budgets allocated to these schools to a level of 45% in the last 6 years. Additionally, the Ministry of Education issued regulations that would limit the possibility for the Christian schools to collect fees from parents. These two measures made it impossible to keep operating.

The ministry of Education then suggested that Christian schools join the Israeli Public school system—a suggestion that we rejected.

These measures caused great anguish among all those related to our schools, as ultra-Orthodox Jewish Schools, who are supposedly in the same category of schools in the Israeli system, receive full funding from the government whilst keeping their autonomy. 

The unprecedented strike included demonstrations, tents for protest, meetings in the Knesset, meetings with ministers of government, and meetings with officials and foreign delegations as well as Israeli and worldwide media coverage. 

The strike ended after the government and the Christian schools reached an agreement. It stated that the Christian schools would receive 50 million shekels by the 31st of March 2016 as compensation for the cuts in previous years. In addition, the agreement stated that a commission would be formed with the sole purpose of discussing recommendations to resolve the crisis.



We are asking all those who see the importance of the continuity of Christian Schools in Israel (a vital component of the Christian presence in the holy land) for their help and support. We are asking that you approach the Israeli Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Education, and the Minister of Social Equality as well as the high officials in these offices and Israeli Embassies around the world asking that:
a) The transfer of the sum of 50 Million Shekels be completed immediately.
b) The government decide on a fixed sum to be paid annually to the Christian schools to compensate for the drastic cuts.
c) Alternatively, that a new legislation be brought forward that will create a new status for the Christian schools that will ensure sufficient funding and take into consideration their uniqueness and long service in the land.
Father Abdel Masih Fahim
General Secretary

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Catholic World: Iceland

"Not all those who wander are lost."
—J. R. R. Tolkien

One of the good things about the internet is that one can set out on a digital pilgrimage and discover amazing corners of the Catholic world.

Why not visit the sites below and discover a beautiful community in a distant land. Well, not so distant. A mere mouse-click away.
Christ the King Cathedral, Reykjavik |

There are some wonderful photographs on the Facebook page that show a vibrant community!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016