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Brazilian Cardinals Want To See 'Vatileaks' Findings Before Conclave

The Holy See has said that the final report on the scandal plaguing the Vatican would only be delivered to the new pope. But some of those voting for the pontiff want to know the truth.

St. Peters, Rome
St. Peters, Rome
Bernardo Mello Franco and Fabiano Maisonnave

ROME - Cardinal Geraldo Majella Agnelo, one of the five Brazilians set to participate in the conclave to pick the next pope, said that he will request access to the secret report delivered to Benedict XVI with information on scandals within the Church.

Last week, the Holy See said that the findings of so-called "Vatileaks" case, in a report delivered to then Pope Benedict XVI by a trio of over-80 Cardinals, will only be delivered to the new pontiff. The scandal, which was first exposed in early 2012, involved leaked papal documents and an alleged ring of corruption inside the Vatican -- and eventually led to the arrest of the Pope's butler Paolo Gabriele.

Cardinal Agnelo, 79, emeritus archbishop of Sao Salvador da Bahia and primate emeritus of Brazil, wants the report given to the 115 cardinals who are going to vote in the conclave.

“If there was a comission and they reached any conclusion, we will want to know it,” he told Folha.

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A file photo of Agnelo (credit: Marcello Casal)

Citing unnamed sources, the Italian magazine "Panorama" and the Rome daily "La Repubblica" claim the report describes a network of corruption and homosexual prostitution within the Holy See. Some sources say it was part of the reason Benedict decided to resign.

The Vatican has denounced the Italian press' versions of events.

Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis, president of Brazilian Conference of Bishops, said he expects to see at least a summary of the findings before voting. “It is important to know what is said in these papers. Up to now, all I know is from what the news is saying.”

Brazilian pope

Frequently mentioned as one of the possible candidates to succeed Benedict XVI, the archbishop of São Paulo, Cardinal Odilo Scherer, says it is just “fantasy” that he or anyone else arrives in Rome as a favorites to become pope. Such definitions should come only when meetings among cardinals start, he added.

"Saying that, before the conclave, all the candidates are ready is part of the fantasy – which we comprehend very well, but it is not the real job that will start from now on”, he told the Vatican Radio.

Cardinal Geraldo Agnelo said he has five possible candidates in mind and that the conclave, expected to begin in the coming days, will start with no favorites. “We hold no one above others. Everybody is more os less at the same level.”

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Indigenous Women Of Ecuador Set Example For Sustainable Agriculture

In southern Ecuador, a women-led agricultural program offers valuable lessons on sustainable farming methods, but also how to end violence.

Photo of women walking in Ecuador

Women walking in Guangaje Ecuador

Camila Albuja

SARAGURO — Here in this corner of southern Ecuador, life seems to be like a mandala — everything is cleverly used in this ancestral system of circular production. But the women of Saraguro had to fight and resist to make their way of life, protecting the local water and the seeds. When weaving, the women share and take care of each other, also weaving a sense of community.

With the wrinkled tips of her fingers, Mercedes Quizhpe, an indigenous woman from the Kichwa Saraguro people, washes one by one the freshly harvested vegetables from her garden. Standing on a small bench, with her hands plunged into the strong torrent of icy water and the bone-chilling early morning breeze, she checks that each one of her vegetables is ready for fair day. Her actions hold a life of historical resistance, one that prioritizes the care of life through the defense of territory and food sovereignty.

Mercedes' way of life is also one that holds many potential lessons for how to do agriculture and tourism better.

In the province of Loja, work begins before sunrise. At 5:00 a.m., the barking of dogs, the guardians of each house, starts. There is that characteristic smell of damp earth from the morning dew. Sheep bah uninterruptedly through the day. With all this life around, the crowing of early-rising roosters doesn't sound so lonely.

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