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UPDATE: Three More Cardinals Removed and Arrested as Church Investigation Expands

Kenneth McMullon

 

The head of the Magnissimum Comitium Cardinalicium, Cardinal Mark D’Angelo, has announced the arrest and removal from office of three more cardinals.  This comes after an investigation into Church officials began almost two weeks ago following an Ecclesiastical case that shook the Catholic wurld.

Cardinals Patrick Agrillo of Salvia, Edris Melku of @Orioni, and Victor Salmaria of @Seylos have been removed from the cardinality and any appointments they possessed as cardinals, as well as being arrested and sentenced to life in prison.  Two of the cardinals- Agrillo and Melku- were marked to be immediately investigated following the report nearly two weeks ago; Salmaria was left off this list.

Cardinal D'Angelo stated in his report today that, "the investigations will continue and expand as the Church utilizes more resources and works with international officials in order to root out any corruption seated in the Church."

 

This story is developing and will receive future updates.

 

Edited by Sancti Imperii Catholico
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Protests Turn Violent in Trinity as Demonstrations Enter Sixth Week, High-Ranking Urban Progressives Call for Constitutional Convention

protests.jpg

Protesters filled the streets as they confronted police throughout the day and into the night

 

Protesters turned violent yesterday in Trinity as demonstrations over the Church crisis continue to sweep the rest Salvia.  Riot police deployed tear gas, water cannons, and rubber bullets to disperse the largest crowds, but this would not deter protesters as they would continue to confront police throughout the day and into the night.  Trinity Police Department reported that over 150 arrests were made since yesterday.  The TPD chief of police, Gian Sergio, would even report to media that this was "the worst violence we've seen in decades."

"It's gotten to the point where we're close to calling for the Provincial Guard to step in and assist in maintaining order" Sergio added.

A small number of clashes, inspired by the protesters in Trinity, would be reported in other cities of Salvia, however they were mostly contained as demonstrations continued to be peaceful.

Protesters, many clad in black and wearing masks, began to topple barricades meant to contain the demonstrations and threw rocks at police, prompting the deployment of riot police.  Further clashes between protesters and police would only serve to further escalate the violence.

The demonstrations have caught the attention of several top urban progressives, most notably Representative Emilio Marcus, a candidate for the progressives in 2021.  Some had previously been involved by protesting with demonstrators several weeks earlier, but now these high-ranking progressives have taken it a step further by calling for a "special constitutional convention."

"Corruption within the Church runs rampant.  How much longer until it infects the state?  We must reduce the powers of the Church and its pope through a special constitutional convention" Marcus would post on social media yesterday.  Other urban progressives would continue to make similar calls throughout yesterday and today.

A large number of representatives, including some urban progressives, denounced the calls as "rash and absurd."  Neither the Church nor the Concilio Clerici have made an official statement regarding the matter.

 

This story is developing and may receive further updates.

 

Edited by Salvia
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Elections for Pope of the Salvian Catholic Church to Begin In Coming Days

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The cardinal-electors first met on Monday in the Leotine Chapel and decided the date today.

 

The long-awaited election for the Salvian Catholic Pope was finally announced Thursday, February 13th after almost three years of sede vacante- the term used to describe when an office in the Church is unoccupied and waiting for someone to fill it.  The elections will begin after a morning church service in St. Murphy's Cathedral on Sunday the 16th, with the ceremony marking the beginning of the election process starting a procession out of the service by the cardinals.  The cardinals will process into Leotine Chapel, where the doors will then be closed, contact with the outside world cut off, and the election will then begin.  Papal elections typically last anywhere from one week to a month, although there have been many instances throughout its two thousand year history that elections have lasted longer.

Cut off from the outside world, the cardinals will vote four times a day, 3 days a week with the next day reserved for prayer and reflection- this process will continue until an individual receives a two-thirds super-majority.  The election of a new pope will be announced with the burning of the votes, turning the smoke that emits from a chimney on Leotine Chapel's roof from black to white.  The new pope will then process out of the Leotine Chapel into his new papal residence in St. Murphy's Cathedral, where he will then proceed out onto a balcony overlooking the Square.

The papal elections come at a time of great turbulence in the Catholic Church as an ecclesiastical crisis shakes the Church.  The crisis will also have an effect on the cardinal-electors- while before the crisis there were some 150 cardinal-electors, there are now only 115 deemed eligible to vote.  Many of the excluded cardinals have since been defrocked and arrested or are currently under investigation- only two are not participating for reasons other than the crisis.

The two-and-a-half-year reign of the Magnissimum Comitium Cardinalicium (MCC) under its current leader, Cardinal Mark D'Angelo, is the longest in Church history, although many Catholics including higher-up cardinals and other clergy members suspect that this delay in electing a new pope was due to work of cardinals now under investigation or already arrested.  The MCC's control of the Church began in early August 2017 with the death of the then-pope, Pope Thomas VII.  Despite the almost three year gap, the succession of Peter had been continued under the Iverican pontiff, Pope Hilarius XIX.

 

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President Patrick Saulius's Request for Laicization Granted Amid Church Corruption Scandal

President Patrick Saulius, who had also held the title of "Archbishop", was defrocked by Pope Gregory XVII "pro gratia"- meaning by the request of President Saulius himself.  The request was submitted last Sunday by Saulius, according to the Church, and was granted last night.  

The request, which was released in full to the public this morning, showed that Saulius sought the defrocking due to his "ineligibility to be both a member of the clergy and of Salvia's political sphere."  

The move was lauded by urban progressives, who saw it as "another step towards freeing the state of Church corruption," as minority leader Representative Anna Ferrero put it in an interview this afternoon.  Many progressives, especially since the revelation of the Church scandal, have pushed for a separation of Church and state.  The topic was rarely brought up before the scandal, with most Salvians considering the intertwining of Church and state as necessary for maintaining the morality of the state.  And while many still hold that sentiment, there are a growing number of Salvians who don't.

The diocese of Minotia and Catholic Aslonia, the diocese that Saulius was archbishop of, now has no ruling archbishop and joins 17 other dioceses that need a bishop appointed.

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Famed Salvian Actor Joseph Vivani Dies Peacefully at 93

Annotation_2020-04-23_202307.png 

:pic: Joseph Vivani in the 60's crime show Justice and Law: Salvia as Detective Mike
 

Joseph Vivani, an actor, voice actor, and philanthropist who had appeared in over 200 television series and movies over a 50-year career, died in his Sicani home in St. Paul’s last night at the age of 93.  He had suffered from Alzheimer’s since early 2018.

“He was a gentle and kind man,” his eldest son, Leo, told reporters following the announcement of his death to the media.  “My father will be remembered for his great kindness, charity, and sincerity, traits which he carried with himself wherever he went, in the toughest times and the best,” his family said in a statement.”  Vivani is survived by his wife of 51 years, Maria Vivani, as well as their 9 children and 11 grandchildren.

Born in 1927, Joseph Vivani attended Trinity University and appeared in his first television series, Justice and Law: Salvia, in 1965, where he won a Salvian Actors Association (SSA) Award for Best Supporting Actor in Television after acting in the show for 5 seasons.  Leaving the show in 1972, he then acted in a myriad of movies and TV series, his most famous being the instant hit and Salvian classic Aula d’Marenesia (Fire of Marenesia) in 1981.  Vivani put on a spectacular performance acting as lead character Acues Mardini, a revolutionary during the People’s War, and with a strong supporting cast the movie and cast had a clean sweep at the SSA Awards.

After the smashing success of Aula d’Marenesia, Vivani slowly backed away from being on the front stage, picking up more of the supporting roles he had once held.  He also began working as voice actor for new animated movies and shows, which he stuck with until 2009.  Vivani retired from acting in 2005 at the age of 78, although by that time he was rather limited to a few guest appearances and minor supporting roles.  However, he was happy with these roles, saying in an interview from 2008 that he “enjoyed giving the supporting characters the fame and credit they deserved.”  Vivani is credited with being one of the most influential actors from Salvia for his talent and the variety of characters he was able to play.

Throughout his career, Vivani was also a devout Salvian Catholic and philanthropist, donating millions over the course of several decades to both international charities and the Catholic Church.  Most notably, he was a great advocate for and donor to the wurldwide Alzheimer’s Association after his mother succumbed to it during his acting career.  

 

Requiesce in pace, Joseph Vivani

Edited by Salvia
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Protests Have Erupted Throughout the Salvian Wurld- What’s It All About?

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:pic: Ethnic Marenai protesting outside the Hilocani Legislative House in Alvernia

 

Protests have been shaking the Salvian-majority nations of Salvia, Alvernia, and Tanemum.  This raises the question- why is that?  To get to the answer of that question, we need to rewind the clock to November of last year.
 

Church Crisis

Protests in the state of Salvia first began in mid-December, when an official Church report was released detailing the heavy presence of corruption throughout the Church’s upper echelon.  While this is bad enough on its own for the Salvian people-- 91% of the Salvian people are baptized in the Catholic faith-- the fact that the Church, through the Concilio Populi and regional Castuses, wields actual power within the government was, to say the least, incredibly alarming for Salvians.

Protests began almost immediately after the report was released to the public, but intensified following the use of corporal punishment by the Church in its arrest of almost 40 people, who are as of May 2020 still behind Church bars.  Protestors have since been demonstrating for 4 months, with the only break being the day of the election of Pope Gregory XVII.

During the 4 months of continuous protest, some demonstrations have turned violent, most notably and violently in the northeastern city of Trinity, a liberal stronghold.  Demonstrations at one point became so violent in Trinity that the Provincial Guard had to be called on and, according to mayor Christopher Bergilini, the situation became “dangerously close to forcing me to declare martial law.”  Since the declaration of emergency in March, the protests have since become less violent, but demonstrators are still being arrested in the dozens every day.

Besides the violence and demonstrations, the Church crisis has inspired further political division within the Concilio Populi, as progressive and conservatives took sides following the protests.  Many conservatives have supported the Church during the crisis, proposing funding it to further investigate corruption.  Progressives, on the other hand, have called for reduction in the Church’s role in the state, with radical progressives even proposing a constitutional convention to meet to amend the constitution and remove the Concilio Clerici and Castuses.  Moderates have sided with both sides, however the election of Pope Gregory XVII has encouraged many to side with the conservatives as they hope the presence of a pontiff will inspire stability and justice inside the Church.  That being said, one event in either direction could easily swing the opinion of moderates to either side.

Public opinion on the crisis is deeply divisive, with 36% favoring some limited reforms, 33% favoring retaining the status quo, and 31% favoring complete separation of Church and state, according to a recent NSBN survey.  Needless to say, the crisis will certainly be felt at the polls come 2021.

 

Anti-Cussian Demonstrations

The arrival of Cussian refugees in late January of 2020 also inspired minor protests in Salvia’s northern regions and small packets in Salvia’s northern nation Tanemum.  The Cussian issue has largely been ignored by the members of the Concilio as the government figures out where and how to incorporate the new Cussians.  A welcoming note to many is the fact that most of the around 50,000 refugees that have been brought were well screened and documented and a large percentage have at least some form of education with some even having higher-up professions like dentistry or law.  Almost all are also Christians, which will aid with their integration into a Christian state.

The police of the northern provinces have stepped up their defense of Cussian migrants yet still saw a rise in hate crimes against minorities from just 2 in January to 31 in February.  A surprisingly high amount of resistance comes from native Marenai, who are suspicious of a new minority suddenly appearing in their neighborhood.  The government is doing the best they can with integration, but only time will tell how well it fared.

 

Salvian-Marenai Ethnic Protests and Clashes

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:pic: Salvian nationalist banner used most commonly to signify Salvian unification- the 4 stars represent the 4 regions with Salvian majorities: Salvia and the Sicani Islands, Alvernia, and Tanemum

The brutal murder of a 16-year old Marenai boy in northern Alvernia triggered violent protests and demonstrations like the Salvian wurld has never seen before.  Making up just over a quarter of the population, Alvernia’s 2.4 million Marenai are largely concentrated in the north, which is where most of the violence has been located.

Since its independence from Salvia after the People’s War in 1709, Alvernia has struggled with ethnic conflicts between native Marenai and ethnic Salvians.  The last century has seen a spike in Marenai migration to Alvernia, aggravating pre-existing tensions that have been hidden under the surface for centuries.  This, combined with further cooperation with the Salvian state in the 20th century saw the growth of Salvian nationalist movements which call for the unification of all Salvian people, climaxing with the election of alt-right Salvian nationalist Marco Marzeni to the presidency in 2005.  Marzeni has since reformed the political workings of Alvernia and shifted away from democracy- the moves, instead of being protested, were celebrated as Marzeni greatly improved the average Alvernians living standards with a growing economy. 

Marzeni did not stop with his Salvian nationalism once he was elected; he has continuously supported Salvian nationalist organizations and called for unification with Salvia.  He has also failed to condemn attacks on the native Marenai, which has only increased in number and scope since his election.  The latest attack which has inspired these protests was no different- Marzeni called the killers of the Marenai teenager “heroes” who were “protecting their neighborhood from an unknown threat.”  Marzeni has since pardoned the four of them from any federal crimes, further encouraging radical Salvian nationalists to clash with the Marenai protestors.  Northern cities such as Hilocani have seen total shutdown as violence resulted in the death of dozens after clashes between armed protestors.  The growing tension between ethnic Salvians and Marenai seems to be at a boiling point, with no clear outcome in sight.

Edited by Salvia
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Adajio-Era Trade Agreement With Tagmatium Renewed, Expanded

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:pic: Trade and Finances Minister Leo Conway meeting with Tagmatine officials in Deopolis

 

A trade agreement with the Europan nation of @Tagmatium Rules was officially renewed after being passed by the Concilio Populi and signed by President Saulius on Friday.  The agreement dates back to Saulius’s predecessor, former president Stefano Adajio, who negotiated the trade pact with the Occidental nation during his second term in 2014.  

The pact, officially known as the Salvian-Tagmatine Trade Agreement (STTA), guaranteed favorable deals between Salvian and Tagmatine businesses and slashed tariffs by upwards of 65 per cent.  The deal heavily emphasized agricultural cooperation, with safeguards being placed on Salvian goods such as olives and citrus and on Tagmatine products like grains and heavy machinery.  

The deal was set to be renewed in late 2019 after a trial period of 5 years, however it was extended indefinitely in the summer as both parties wished to expand the deal to further benefit the two nations.  Negotiations began shortly after, and were finalized earlier this May.

The new terms call for further mutual investment, with factories in northwestern Salvia and the infant Tagmatine bio-fuel industry to receive further investment from their counterparts.  Mutual cooperation was also encouraged in the electronic manufacturing and shipbuilding industries, while tariffs on agricultural goods were reduced by a further 8 per cent.  To facilitate the increased contact and trade between the two nations, the expanded deal also included reductions in visa restrictions.

It’s estimated the deal will create upwards of 35,000 new jobs and $2.3 billion of growth by 2025, something President Saulius called, “a huge win for Salvia and her trading partners.”

Many of the features of the expanded deal are based off the @Andallan-Salvian Mutual Development Agreement (ASMDA) finalized in September 2019.  While not yet in effect, many economists, including those of the Trade and Finances Ministry, conclude that the ASMDA will prove incredibly beneficial to Salvia and her markets. 

Edited by Salvia
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