Vatican and Discovery Channel Set to Create Exorcism TV Series

Mycatholicblog cannot say it enough: we love the Deacon’s Bench, the blog run by Deacon Greg Kandra.  Check out this interesting story he posted  about the newest plans from the Discovery Channel:

Discovery Channel is teaming with the Vatican for an unprecedented new series hunting the deadliest catch of all: Demons.

The Exorcist Files will recreate stories of real-life hauntings and demonic possession, based on cases investigated by the Catholic Church. The project includes access into the Vatican’s case files, as well as interviews with the organization’s top exorcists — religious experts who are rarely seen on television.

“The Vatican is an extraordinarily hard place to get access to, but we explained we’re not going to try to tell people what to think,” says Discovery president and GM Clark Bunting.

Bunting says the investigators believe a demon can inhabit an inanimate object (like a home) or a person. The network executive says he was initially skeptical when first meeting the team but was won over after more than three hours of talks.

“The work these folks do, and their conviction in their beliefs, make for fascinating stories,” Bunting says.

If the show’s first season is successful, the network hopes its partnership with the Church will pave the way for producers GoGo Luckey to take the series to the next level — joining Catholic investigators on live demon-purging ride-alongs. (Move over, Syfy’s Ghost Hunters.)

As frightening as this series sounds, and as peculiar of a collaboration it may be, mycatholicblog will definitely be watching!!

NOTE: Reports have since been released that the collaboration between the Vatican and the Discovery Channel is absolutely unofficial, and the exact extent of the Vatican’s involvement remains unknown at this time.

Vatican Apostolic Library set to re-open

“The Vatican Apostolic Library will be reopened again this month after three years of reconstruction. As its director explained to Vatican Radio, it aims to be a cultural aid, to offer a glimpse of the “great truth of the world of God.”

Vatican Radio interviewed the library’s prefect, Msgr. Cesare Pasini about the grand reopening set to take place on Sept. 20.

Noting a series of initiatives scheduled to mark the reopening of the library this fall, the prefect also spoke of the value of the library to all people.

He said that by reopening the library, “we not only show scholars and the world what we have done … but we remodel ourselves on this fundamental spirit, on our mission, so that we don’t just make it a place to consult books.”

The library, which allows scholars from all walks and creeds to study its volumes, has an aspect of universality and cultural preservation because it conserves materials “for today and tomorrow,” he said.

Msrg. Pasini also promotes culture by allowing works to be “used, seriously studied and then probed to find any further fragment of truth.

“There are many truths,” he said, “historic truths, truths that make investigations into the reality of things, and these little truths form part of the great truth of the world of God.”

In an article he wrote for last Sunday’s edition of the L’Osservatore Romano, Msgr. Pasini described some of the 15,000 letters and e-mails his office has received hoping for the prompt conclusion to the restoration work and describing the library’s importance to studies. Responding to the interest, he said that in looking around the now “silent and shining” library, he has seen that “only the friendly presence of our scholars is lacking.” He added, “may they know that they are warmly awaited.”

Archivist of the Vatican Secret Archives, Cardinal Raffaele Farina, will present the renovated, restored and restructured library in an on-site press conference next Monday.” – “Vatican Library Prepares to Reopen After Three Years of Restoration”, EWTN

This article from EWTN was a cool one to read about. The Vatican’s library has been closed for quite some time now, and it seems like the reopening will be a great success with scholars and Catholic enthusiasts from all over. After three years the library will hopefully be much better and more updated. This should make the great library and even greater place to research information and topics on the Catholic Church. This was very exciting to hear about!

Vatican Funding Latin American Projects

“The Populorum Progressio Foundation’s administrative council has voted to distribute nearly $2.1 million to 186 projects in 20 Latin American nations. Funding for these projects comes from the Italian bishops’ conference. Founded by Venerable John Paul II in 1992 and headed by Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, the foundation assists impoverished communities in Latin America.

In addition, the foundation approved funding for ten projects in earthquake-ravaged Haiti. The funds for these projects come from donations from the faithful.” – “Vatican Foundation for Latin America to Fund Nearly 200 Projects”, EWTN

This post from EWTN.com was cool to read about. $2.1 million dollars!? That’s a lot of money right there, and I am glad to see it going to somewhere that people could really use the help. I like that 186 different projects will be helped by this money and not just a handful. The projects being helped are also widely spread out through all of Latin America, which again is another great thing to see. I love finding stories like this that remind me that people still have some good inside of them. I tend to forget with all the bad news I hear every day.

Pope Benedict XVI Wanted to Be Vatican Librarian

This post from EWTN.com was a very interesting one. I completely get where Cardinal Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI, was coming from with his request to become Vatican Librarian. He simply wasn’t ready to leave the Church completely yet, but wanted a less time consuming position. I think Vatican Librarian would have worked out well for him, but we all know that didn’t work and he holds a little more prominent position now. I know I would love to be in charge of all of the great pieces of history they have in that library. That would be enough to keep me occupied for life!

“When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger turned 70 in 1997, he asked Pope John Paul to relieve him of his duties as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and permit him to become archivist of the Vatican Secret Archives and librarian of the Vatican Library, according to Cardinal Raffaele Farina, who has held the latter two positions since 2007.

In May 1997, Father Farina was appointed prefect of the Vatican Library– a position just below that of the cardinal librarian. Later that year, he met with Cardinal Ratzinger.

“He continued to speak until I, reflecting on what he was telling me, realized that he thought I knew a piece of news which was in fact then circulating within a restricted number in the Roman Curia: that, having turned 70 on April 16 that year, he had asked the Pope to relieve him of his burdensome task as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith and to grant his wish to spend his last years in the Vatican as cardinal librarian,” Cardinal Farina recounts. “In other words, he was asking me what I thought of his idea and what being archivist and librarian of the Holy Roman Church involved. When I realized what the Pope-to-be really meant, I gave him to understand that I had already heard the news, and I expressed clearly how happy I and the whole staff of the library were to have him join us.”

Cardinal Farina’s recollections add new details to remarks made by Pope Benedict in 2007. In an address to the staff of the Vatican Apostolic Library and the Vatican Secret Archives, he alluded to his desire to become Vatican librarian.

“I confess that, on reaching 70 years of age, I would have liked for beloved John Paul II to permit me to devote myself to study and research into the interesting documents and materials that you carefully conserve, true masterpieces that help us to review the history of humanity and of Christianity,” the Pontiff said.” – “Cardinal Ratzinger Asked to Resign in 1997, Become Vatican Librarian”, EWTN

Toy Story 3 Given the Thumbs Up From the Vatican

“The Vatican daily L’Osservatore Romano has offered up praise for Disney-Pixar’s “Toy Story 3” for providing moviegoers with a profound reflection on transcendental human themes and a lesson on true friendship through the experience of the film’s toy stars.

In the film’s third installment, Woody and Buzz Lightyear, together with their friends, are forced to confront their future. Their owner, Andy, has stopped playing with them and at 17 is preparing to head off to college. He must decide whether to donate the toys to a day care center or throw them away.

According to Vallini, “Toy Story 3” reveals that “friendship is the true bond of this unlikely yet tight-net group of toys” and allows the moviegoer to reflect on “important themes such as the value of friendship and solidarity, the fear of feeling alone or rejected, the unavoidability of growing up and the strength that comes from feeling like you belong to a family.”” – “Vatican paper praises ‘Toy Story 3’ and its lesson on true friendship”, Catholic News Agency

I’m glad to see that Toy Story 3 is being supported by the Church as well as the masses. I saw this movie and enjoyed it just as thoroughly as the other two. The lesson on friendship that is expressed in this movie has been a common theme throughout the trilogy and I am glad it is getting picked up on. These movies are just as entertaining for adults as they are for children in my opinion. If you haven’t seen this one yet take your kids, or go alone, and go to this one! If you have three extra dollars too I would suggest the 3D version!