Rorate Caeli

An inauspicious start:
Assisi 2011

In his Angelus message today, Pope Benedict XVI announced that, on the 25th anniversary of the visit of Pope John Paul II to Assisi for the meeting of different religious leaders in 1986, he will visit Assisi in October 2011 for a meeting with "Christian brothers of the different confessions, leaders of the world's religious traditions, and, ideally, all men of good will".

Interreligious dialogue: as the massacre of Christians in Alexandria reminded us just today, "How's that workin' out for ya?"

60 comments:

  1. All the more reason to talk. Winston Churchill was no appeaser, but he famously said that "jaw, jaw" is better than "war, war".

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  2. Well, it will be interesting to see how this meeting will be similar to and different from the meetings of John Paul II.

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  3. Yes, Ian, I am pretty sure that the Muslim representatives in Assisi will be Bin Laden and Al Zawahiri.

    And then all will hold hands and sing, "All we are saying is give peace a chance".

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  4. Anonymous1:48 PM

    Way to go to piss off the SSPX, traditionalists, give fuel to sedevacantists and imply legitimacy to the heretics and pagans. Bad move.

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  5. Well, Joseph Ratzinger in his "Truth and Tolerance", I believe, strongly critiques the Assisi of '86, etc., so I suspect it won't be a replay.

    However, I would say that, you know, if one is do to apostolate with pagans, etc., then, for goodness' sake, you have to meet them, and plant seeds of good will.

    Tradition, yes 100%.

    But the Church is not a museum, it is an ark, and we need to reach out to others who are drowning in error.

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  6. Anonymous2:21 PM

    Why? Why? Why? They are pagans and worship othe deities and even demons. Why bother. Perhaps the Pope will chalenge them to throw their "holy" books into a fire with the Bible and see which burns? There is a precedant. The Pope is just giving fuel to syncretism. Aren't all religions the same. Well these sort of meetings give the impression they are. Maybe some Moslems can do something that will point out glaring differences and bring this sham to an end.

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  7. Dear Lord, how long must we wait to throw off this Vatican II ecumenical nonsense?

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  8. Why must B16 be part-time zealous about the faith? First he goes and does trad things like SP and only gives Holy Communion on the toungue, but then he does mindless boneheaded things like that reckless comment about condoms, which obviously was easy to misinterpret and that's exactly what happened, now he goes and plans to repeat the Assisi scandal. The Church's mission is to convert all people (as we hear in Matthew's epilogue), not to be nice to them and promote what we have in common, which is no more than ignoring the problems we need to work on.

    "Ecumenical relations" is no more than tolerance for false religions, tolerance for lies. It by nature does not promote the truth. B16 just wants to make everyone on every side happy, which inevitably means contradicting yourself.

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  9. Anonymous3:10 PM

    In 1929, in the Encyclical "Mortalium Animos" Pope Pius XI tells us that:

    "[Ecumenical] meetings and addresses are arranged, attended by a large concourse of hearers, where all without distinction, believers of every kind as well as Christians, even those who unhappily have rejected Christ and denied His divine nature or mission, are invited to join in the discussion (dialogue). Now, such efforts can meet with no kind of approval among Catholics. They presuppose the erroneous view that all give expression, under various forms, to that innate sense which leads men to God and to the obedient acknowledgment of His rule. Those who hold such a view are not only in error; they distort the true idea of religion and thus reject it, falling gradually into naturalism and atheism. To favor this opinion, therefore, and to encourage such undertakings is tantamount to abandoning the religion revealed by God."

    Giles

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  10. Anonymous3:14 PM

    In the quote from "Mortalium Animos" above, I should have added the comment that (to quote the crudity of Anonymous 13:48)it isn't a matter of "pissing off" the SSPX; the point is reconciling the unambiguous language of Pius XI with Assisi and the theology which promotes it.

    Giles

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  11. Craig S3:17 PM

    Anonymous, not all of the Holy Father's moves surround pleasing the SSPX and the wider traditionalist movement.... They are not the be all and end all.

    It will be intresting to see how this meeting differs from that of John Paul II. To be honest I am baffled at the hostility to dialogue

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  12. Anonymous4:28 PM

    All this does is weaken the position of the CATHOLIC CHURCH as being the sole voice of GOD in this world. AS usual it will not do anything to bring them into the one true fold of JESUS outside of which there is NO salvation. My guess it's another photo op to appease the world's power elite and their media lapdogs.

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  13. "Why bother."

    That's not a Christian sentiment.

    Lagrange's EVERLASTING LIFE has a footnote about a priest of holy reputation in France, if I remember correctly, who said to a prisoner about to be executed, "Well, if you want to go to hell, go." Words to that effect. Years later, when the priest's cause for canonization was proceding, this incident stopped it cold.

    Granted, '86 Assisi--no repeat.

    But if we simply hold tight in the fortress of the Church, don't even speak with others, we are not doing the will of God. Vide the letters of St. Paul.

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  14. Anonymous4:45 PM

    This is truly not good. Firstly because it encourages "ecumenism" of the wrong kind and more importantly because, being held in Assisi, it will encourage loonies of all kind to mount a disgusting new-age show.

    I do not doubt that this "gathering" will be very different from the former ones; still, I thik that the Holy Father has started the year on the wrong foot.

    Mundabor

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  15. @Dev Thakur: but in talking to those who are listened to by the communities the men of violence aim to control and employ, so is the will to violence subverted.

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  16. Stop being so judgemental! Why not wait and see what transpires before being so negative? I'm sure it is precisely because of such events as the massacre in Alexandria that the Pope wants to talk. How would not talking help?

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  17. Anonymous5:17 PM

    The legacy of John Paul II just won't go away!

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  18. Of the Assisi of his predecessor Pope Benedict wrote:

    "The convergence of differences must not convey an impression of surrendering to that relativism which denies the meaning of truth itself and the possibility of attaining it."

    So one might expect our current Pope's Assisi to be a bit more subdued than our last. Yet the debate remains whether such a "convergence of differences" does anything to advance the faith, or, rather, if it instills a complacency and false-hope in those who ascribe to a falsehood which will lead to everlasting separation from God.

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  19. Anonymous6:10 PM

    "In 1929, in the Encyclical "Mortalium Animos" Pope Pius XI tells us that:"

    So? During recent decades, Popes have taught the opposite of the above.

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  20. Anonymous6:13 PM

    "Dear Lord, how long must we wait to throw off this Vatican II ecumenical nonsense?"

    Pope Benedict XVI:

    "The Second Vatican Council committed the Catholic Church irrevocably to following the path of the ecumenical venture."

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  21. Anonymous6:16 PM

    Perhaps a Rome-initiated gathering of Catholic Traditionalists will take place in 2011.

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  22. Anonymous6:30 PM

    Be it all as it may, to the extent that these non-Christians are sincere they're are surely closer to God than all the obsessed, self-focused, self-styled "traditionalists" who look upon the Roman Catholic Church as no more than the target of their never-ending nagging.

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  23. The Pope considered such prayer meetings in his book "Truth and Tolerance." On one hand, there is no way to completely avoid the possibility that some may take scandal and interpret the event as religious syncretism. On the other hand, the Pope considered this legitimate in extraordinary circumstances as a "common cry for help...stirring the hearts of men, to stir also the heart of God." At the same time, there must be suffient explanation to avoid false interpretations -- including the fact that "there is no such thing as 'the religions' altogether as such, no such thing as a common concept of God or belief in God, that differences not merely exist in the realm of changing images and concepts but involves ultimate decisions..."

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  24. BobTrad7:05 PM

    It seems to me that there can be both a wholesome, traditionalist, form of inter-faith/ecumenical contact as well as the sappy, dubious form we've seen all too often since Second Vatican. The former could consist of seeking a more clear, precise, accurate understanding of what others believe, identify areas of common social moral concerns, as well as use all those in order to take the opportunity to begin some form of explicit evangelization.

    While those who would caution against presumption here may have something of a valid point, given this is going to be a mass-meeting of numerous faiths and not just modest bi-lateral contacts, and given that it's on the 25th anniversary of JPII's Assisi, it's hard not to be pessimistic and disappointed.

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  25. Rational Traddie7:07 PM

    What a bunch of curmudgeonly Traddies some of you are. The mere announcement of something you remember disliking years ago leads to incessant complaining (which seems to be your stock and trade). Is this is the worst thing we have to worry about (as opposed to, say, the Copts in Egypt)?

    (That being said, what in the world was JPII thinking!?)

    I mean, B16 isn't JP2. I strongly suspect that the show in Assisi will be rigorously controlled to avoid any real craziness.

    With that in mind, perhaps we all should take a "chill pill," and read some Justin Martyr? He seemed to find something good in the pagans...which he then converted to his own apologetic use. Being fond of the Fathers, perhaps Benedict has something similar planned?

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  26. Your Holiness, please do not ratify this grave prudential error by repeating it.

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  27. Mr. Ortiz, the Church is an ark, not a jungle.

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  28. Anonymous7:37 PM

    Anonymous said...
    Way to go to piss off the SSPX, traditionalists, give fuel to sedevacantists and imply legitimacy to the heretics and pagans. Bad move.

    01 January, 2011 13:48

    Don't need any fuel!

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  29. The general sense of readers is that Joseph Ratzinger critiqued the appearances of syncretism at Assisi '86.

    When a new pope comes along, how does he "undo" Assisi '86?

    Proposed answer: He holds a gathering at which all people of good will are invited to come pray on Catholic terms.

    I hope that occurs. I hope that the images that come out of Assisi '11 can finally undo the images of '86 that headline posts such as this.

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  30. Anonymous8:50 PM

    "I mean, B16 isn't JP2."

    Ah, that's wishful thinking of cyber-traditionalists. Like the wojtyłian pontificate can not be thought without Ratzinger (or was the said 25years in some kind of exile and reappears in 2005 by a miracle) also the present papacy is not understand without JPII. Both are interwoven cordially. A bit more of silks and satins makes no restauration. And who else than Benedict XVI could be called "Pope of the Council"? Ratzinger, a progressive, remained constant and steadfast to his thinking of the 50s and 60s most others radicalized. That makes him now a "conservative".

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  31. M. A.9:35 PM

    "the Pope considered this legitimate in extraordinary circumstances as a 'common cry for help...stirring the hearts of men, to stir also the heart of God.'"
    ____________________________

    This cry for help did "stir the heart of God". He mercifully responded when He sent the Blessed Virgin with specific procedures for obtaining peace on earth.

    I will refrain from being crude, but you all know how popes have responded to our Lady of Fatima.

    Holy Father, the peace of this world has been entrusted to our Lady and you will not obtain it any other way! (She certainly made no requests for Assisi-type gatherings.)

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  32. Anonymous10:37 PM

    John Paul II still rules the Church "in Spirit".

    That is a disgrace!

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  33. Pope Benedict XVI:

    "The Second Vatican Council committed the Catholic Church irrevocably to following the path of the ecumenical venture."

    Our current Holy Father is wrong. That path will only lead to destruction.

    True Ecumenism is found in the "Theology of Return." All else is un-Catholic.

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  34. CALM DOWN everyone! I'm sure it will be NOTHING like what went on 25 years ago! And what I am CERTAIN of is that it will be as USELESS as it was 25 years ago!

    Sometimes it takes time for even the Pope to realize that not ALL religions want peace... let us pray for the safety of the Supreme Pontiff at this meeting - you never know what a 'peaceful sheik' will do for the honor of his 'prophet'!

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  35. Anonymous11:36 PM

    Why this gathering? Because our Holy Father, the Vicar of Christ on earth, is the Holy Father to ALL peoples, whether they accept him or not. He is THE moral voice to the world. Although non-Catholics cannot come to communion, there is no reason not to reach out to other souls. I have not noticed Benedict compromising on our doctrines.

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  36. Anonymous1:04 AM

    Maybe, just maybe, it would be better to be open to the guidance of the Vicar of Christ, our universal pastor, instead of crying, 'Imprudent! Imprudent! Error! Error!' at him every second day of the year. I mean, yes, Popes can make mistakes at times, but they don't make the same massive errors continuously over multiple pontificates, even in 'merely' pastoral matters. Scandalous negligence of their flock -- possible. But not repeated positive acts of erroneous guidance spanning multiple pontificates.

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  37. Please God none of ours will be there. Sadly I fear that Bart will show up or send representatives. That said I am all for a serious discussion with one of two aims.

    1. Return of the heterodox to the Church or alternatively where that is not possible...
    2. Establishment of polite relations based on mutual tolerance with cooperation where such is possible without compromising the integrity of the Faith. (Works of charity come to mind.)

    Beyond that I have absolutely no use for this wishy-washy ecumenical feel good nonsense. I think there was an expectation among the Orthodox that Pope Benedict was going to put a lid on this sort of drivel. All I can say is that I hope some of the more optimistic interpretations of this in the preceding comments prove to be accurate.

    ICXC NIKA
    John

    P.S. Happy New Year

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  38. I thought the first gathering at Assisi was about getting together to pray for peace. As such, it was not about interreligious dialogue. I'm not sure if that makes it better or worse. It seems to me, however, that if the intention was the conversion of peoples to true Christianity, a better place to start would be at ground level and not with the hierarchy. On the other hand, I've heard that the missionary activity of the Church has dried up since Vatican 2. Does anybody know if this is true?

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  39. Anonymous3:32 AM

    Anonymous 18:10 (commenting upon the teaching of "Mortalium Animos":

    "So? During recent decades, Popes have taught the opposite of the above."

    And that is the heart of the issue. Pius XI was unambiguous in his condemnation -- with his reasons for doing so.

    The fact that this has been completely ignored by the post-conciliar popes, as if this condemnation was never issued, forces the intellect to wrestle with contradiction.

    Traditionalists are often asked, "Do you follow the Pope?" The answer must be: "Which one?"

    Unless you hold to a nominalist/positivist framework for the life of the Church in the world, a Catholic MUST be puzzled and upset at the contradiction.

    Perhaps that is the heart of the problem: Catholics no longer agree on the essential philosophical underpinnings of the Church's theology.

    The madness of chaos reigns.

    Giles

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  40. Well. I am certain that this won't be a repeat of JPII's Assisi. I trust that there won't be any idols on the altar this time.

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  41. Anonymous4:43 AM

    Ecumenism is about conversion. It is about converting others to the Catholic Faith. The dialogue we have with a Christian depends on what sort. As for pagans they are to approcahed differently. Islam needs to be excluded and exposed.
    What is the purpose of these meeting?
    I am opposed.

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  42. Popes, saints and Christians of all types have met with pagans, heretics and idolators throughout history and have found themselves also attacked by the very pious for doing so.

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  43. Anonymous4:13 PM

    Anonymous 1:04 (and others criticizing the negative reaction to the Assisi announcement):

    Regarding these large ecumenical meetings, Pius XI said:

    "To favor this opinion, therefore, and to encourage such undertakings is tantamount to abandoning the religion revealed by God."

    What part of this did Pius XI NOT make clear? What part leaves open the possibility of the Church changing it's approach in the future? Why were such meetings "tantamount to abandoning the religion revealed by God" in 1921 and suddenly not after Vatican II?

    The mentality of some is that Pius XI's statement is nothing more than the articulation of an outdated Vatican foreign policy which can be changed by a future Papal Administration.

    The ability of some to live with contradiction continually astounds me.

    Giles

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  44. PaulDublin4:31 PM

    'Traditionalists are often asked, "Do you follow the Pope?" The answer must be: "Which one?"'


    Which one? Huh? What a strange question! The obvious answer is the one who is alive and sitting on the throne of Peter. We can't mentally resurrect dead Popes and treat them as some kind of zombie anti-Pope.
    Doctrine doesn't change, but pastoral approaches and disciplines do. It is for the current Supreme Pastor to decide how to lead the Church when it comes to such pastoral matters.
    I'm sure some regarded it as imprudent and harmful to the Faith when Benedict XV put a stop to the modernist hunt begun under Pius X, but it was his decision to make and no one could have said to him, 'Holy Father, we'd rather not obey you; we're going to pretend instead that your predecessor is still alive.'

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  45. The Holy Father has a tremendous opportunity to set things straight at Assisi this time. IMO this is the only way to look at it. Will he? That is the 64 trillion dollar (inflation) question , my friends. One thing is for certain; unless we pray for that to happen, most likely it will not. Can anyone doubt that Lucifer is having a field-day thinking of ways he can create more diabolical disorientation down Assisi way?

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  46. Martin7:00 PM

    God bless His Holiness!
    I am sure that at these meetings the Holy Father will reemphasize the fact that all non-Catholics must return to the Church in order for salvation.
    This Assisi meeting will be a wonderful opportunity for true ecumenism: conversion to the Faith.

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  47. Anonymous8:11 PM

    "Stop being so judgemental! Why not wait and see what transpires before being so negative? I'm sure it is precisely because of such events as the massacre in Alexandria that the Pope wants to talk. How would not talking help?"

    I agree with Dom. Pope Benedict has his own style. Let's see what he has planned before getting all bent out of shape. Give the Holy Father a break doom and gloomers! Honestly!

    Barbara

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  48. Anonymous2:25 AM

    Mr. Dublin:

    A Pope may change pastoral approaches; he has no right to alter moral principles. Pius XI spoke of avoiding Assisi-like meetings as a moral imperative -- not as a pastoral advisory. VERY different animals.

    Benedict XV's decision to cease the rooting out of Modernists was, perhaps, a change in pastoral direction. That was his decision to make at the time -- as long as he didn't decide he had no responsibility to eliminate Modernist influence wherever he found it. That would be dereliction of duty.

    Giles

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  49. May I suggest something?

    If Benedict XVI is the Vicar of Christ, then not only the Catholic Church, but non-Catholic Christians, non-Christians, and even atheists are part of his flock.

    According to the instruction manual, the Good Shepherd goes after the wandering sheep.

    Because of his position, he may do things that I myself would not presume to do.

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  50. M. A.4:29 AM

    The Holy Father has put stock in human efforts for peace because he does not really believe the promise of our Lady of Fatima that in the end, Russia would be consecrated to her, that Russia would be converted, and that mankind would be granted a period of peace. I am not a doom-sayer; just a realist.

    He says in his book(Light of the World) with regard to Fatima, "The Church is constantly called to do what Abraham asked Him to do: to see to it that there are a sufficient number of righteous men to hold evil and destruction in check. [But there weren't even 10 righteous men to stay the hand of God!] I understood that the forces of good can increase once more. In this sense, the triumphs of God, the triumphs of Mary are discreet but real." (pp. 216-217)

    And with that, he dismisses the promise of the triumph of our Lady!

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  51. The Holy Father has put stock in human efforts for peace because he does not really believe the promise of our Lady of Fatima

    I doubt you know what he really believes and really doesn't believe.

    "In this sense, the triumphs of God, the triumphs of Mary are discreet but real."

    And with that, he dismisses the promise of the triumph of our Lady!


    Perhaps he isn't a dismisser, but a realist.

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  52. Anonymous8:33 AM

    I am sorry but if a Pope contradicts the precedence set by the majority of Popes then Catholics have a duty to follow tradition. It is not a case of when the Pope thinks God thinks, or just because the Pope does something it is right! Always side with Tradition. The Pope is bound by tradition himself, he is its servant not a tyrant. Oh well if the Pope does it it has to be right! Really...that is the sort of guff that brought about the war between authority attacking its own basis holy Tradition. I am saying the Pope is by his actions attacking the Tradition of the Church. What of the First Commandment!!! Are we to have ecumenical meetings with Baal worshipers. We are just idiots tempting the wrath of God! The is clearly the teaching of Scripture which is part of tradition. The Pope departs from this at his and our peril.

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  53. \\The Pope is bound by tradition himself, he is its servant not a tyrant.\\

    Seems to me Pio Nono said, "Tradizione son io!"

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  54. Cruise the Groove4:52 PM

    "Perhaps he isn't a dismisser, but a realist."
    Jordanes,
    I would hope the same.
    Then we could look forward to the Holy Father carrying out Our Ladys request to consecrate Russia.

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  55. Anonymous5:44 PM

    Jack,

    IF Pio Nono said, "Tradizione son io!", it certainly wasn't one of his finer moments -- and, in any case, is not exactly accurate theology.

    Giles

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  56. Anonymous7:34 PM

    Anon 01 January 13:48 said "Way to go to piss off the SSPX, traditionalists, give fuel to sedevacantists and imply legitimacy to the heretics and pagans. Bad move."

    Unfortunately, you are correct.

    When, oh when, will enough be enough? When will all of this useless nonsense finally end?

    Delphina

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  57. Anonymous7:36 PM

    Clifford Carvalho said...

    "Why must B16 be part-time zealous about the faith? First he goes and does trad things like SP and only gives Holy Communion on the toungue, but then he does mindless boneheaded things like that reckless comment about condoms, which obviously was easy to misinterpret and that's exactly what happened, now he goes and plans to repeat the Assisi scandal...."

    Two steps forward and one step back. At least, that is what Lenin (or was it our "Uncle" Joe Stalin?) said.

    Delphina

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  58. \\Jack,

    IF Pio Nono said, "Tradizione son io!", it certainly wasn't one of his finer moments -- and, in any case, is not exactly accurate theology.

    Giles\\

    This is my precise point!

    In any case, if His Holiness feels that the best exercise of his role as universal earthly pastor (shepherd) is to reach out to wandering sheep in an Assisi-like gathering of leaders of world religions, I understand his motives.

    I know that I myself would not attend such a gathering on a local level unless I were asked by appropriate ecclesiastical authority to do so.

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  59. PaulDublin11:44 PM

    The Pope cannot, of course, do just whatever he likes with regard to Tradition, but he is its authentic interpreter (and it does need an interpreter just as much as the Scriptures do).
    Moreover, it seems to me that what Pius XI was condemning was syncretism and meetings that promoted or expressed syncretism. Now the line may appear to be a fine one, but not every meeting between religious figures needs to be founded upon, or reaching towards, syncretism. Surely the political aim of peaceful co-existence is not an ignoble one (as distinct from the aims of ideological irenism)?

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  60. In other words:
    Benedict open an invitation to anyone that want to commit a mortal sin:

    sacrilege: m. Desecration and disrespect to the sacred or what is sacred

    consecrate: tr. rel. Offer to God for worship or sacrifice a person or thing. Also prnl.: consecrated priest. rel. Make sacred to a person or thing: to consecrate the bread and wine.

    The act of consecrating a temple Catholic, Catholic basilica, etc. means that from that moment on, the Catholic church will serve only to worship of latria or worship the One True God, who hates all forms of idolatry, and who is offended every time it is mixed with the idols (This is called in the Old Testament, 'the abomination').

    So, Assisi, the Basilica dedicated to the memory of Poverello Francisco, is a place that is intended:

    a) Solely for the Catholics (the erroneous and false religions have their own places of worship where they commit their abominations)
    b) Exclusively for the worship the One True God
    c) sites are "separated " or "reserved" for any other occupation, is not carried out. Only serve to worship Latria

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