Stinging criticism has hit the church and the leadership of Pope Benedict from a leading cardinal. Cardinal Maria Martini lashed into the running of the papacy saying that it was tired and 200 years out of date. This is not the normal language that you would expect from a Cardinal, however he waited until just before his death last Friday to issue the challenge to the ruling elite at the Vatican. It seems as if all is not well in Rome and the astrology of the Vatican itself appears stressed. If the indications I see are correct, then big things and changes could be occurring to the Catholic church before long.
The Vatican chart sees a Sun Moon Mercury conjunction in the 10th house of public image and rulership receiving a quindecile from Saturn in faith based Sagittarius. Effectively the image of the Vatican is held to account by this very conservatively devout Saturn, the ones behind the scenes who administrate and run the Church, the Pope and senior cardinals. The very fixed Taurus Midheaven and Virgo ascendant conjunct to both faith planets Neptune in royal Leo and Jupiter in Taurus are connected by a square so we see the need to spread the word of God internationally and through teaching with Jupiter in the 9th and the serving and spiritual side of the church in Neptune. This is a very strict, exacting (Virgo ascendant) and unchanging (Taurus Midheaven) message given out, which Cardinal Martini saw as holding the church back from opening out and reforming with the times. The grand trine between Saturn, Venus and Neptune strengthens the social reach of the church, but that Saturn and proud haughty Neptune stuck behind the scenes in the 12th house also doesn’t promise anything other than a feel of self importance.
The planet of reform and rebellion Uranus where one might find a hint of change sits in the 8th house of secrets and of sexual affairs, trine to Mars in the hidden 12th house of action behind the scenes, and Uranus also makes a disturbing square to Pluto which is very fearful of change and keeps things strictly “in house”. Uranus sitting in the 8th shows the potential for perverse behaviour and is thus in a very difficult position. Sexual scandals have rocked the Catholic church and this is consistent with the Mars Uranus trine, the trine allows indecent and unusual actions to happen. The fact that this Uranus Mars trine focuses on the the Sun and Moon indicates that the rumours of indecent behaviour may well go right to the very top of the tree. If change is to happen, then it is here in the Uranus connections to Pluto and Mars on this chart that I believe we will find the catalyst. It could get very messy before progress is achieved.
The criticism of the Vatican came as the South Node square to transiting Neptune exactly hit the Vatican Midheaven. I expect that the leadership were not expecting such criticism, and it has cast an unexpected shadow as the South Node always seems to do over the reputation of the Catholic church. That South Node is conjunct the star Alcyone in the Pleiades right now, and Brady says of this conjunction that it brings “the voice of disagreement”. So true in this case.
Transiting Neptune is really key on this chart as you can see it opposing the natal Neptune and affecting all of the angles on the Vatican chart. Neptune slowly dissolves and disintegrates structures which were previously impregnable and strong. With the ascendant at 4 degrees Virgo, I see it as only a matter of time before Neptune gets to work and undermines the physical structure of the church. Soon enough (next year), transiting Pluto and Uranus will contact the natal Uranus at 10 Aries. If ever the sexual scandals are going to be opened out, now will be the time under the pressure of the Uranus Pluto square. The connection to natal Uranus will reverberate around that natal Uranus Mars Sun Moon mini grand trine shaking the Vatican to it’s roots. Uncomfortable times may lay ahead for Pope Benedict.
These words from Cardinal Martini are the first signs of discontent from within the inner circle of the church. I rather suspect that in the next year, the infighting, the signs of rebellion and the calls for radical change may spread.