Cardinal James Francis Stafford, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary of the Holy See
He was in the news this week for a strongly anti-Obama speech:
the future under President-elect Obama will echo Jesus’ agony in Gethsemane. Criticizing Obama as “aggressive, disruptive and apocalyptic,” he went on to speak about a decline in respect for human life and the need for Catholics to return to the values of marriage and human dignity.
Stafford said on Election Day “America suffered a cultural earthquake.” The cardinal argued that President-elect Obama had campaigned on an “extremist anti-life platform” and predicted that the near future would be a time of trial.
“If 1968 was the year of America’s ‘suicide attempt,’ 2008 is the year of America’s exhaustion,” he said.
Like many terms in Latin, this one doesn't reflect the evolved modern use of an important term, in this case "Penitentiary". See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostolic_Penitentiary
The Apostolic Penitentiary has jurisdiction ...mainly into these categories:
* the absolution of excommunications latæ sententiæ reserved to the Holy See,
* the dispensation of sacramental impediments reserved to the Holy See, and
* the issuance and governance of indulgences.
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