Vince Tañada: The Radical Boy of Philippine Theater?

vince tanada, founder of PSF
vince tanada, founder of PSF
the PSF'ers
the PSF’ers

Written By Jude Cartalaba

 

Robert Brustein said, the primary function of a theater is not to please itself, or even to please its audience. It is to serve talent.

Perhaps, it was then the path that Vince Tañada saw on himself even if he was pursuing Law in San Beda College back then. He was destined to be in the theater, heading a group called Philippine Stagers Foundation (PSF), which has now grown its members to more than 50 and 22 regulars (meaning they are already the prized talents).

“Starting out the group was really blood, sweat and tears altogether”, Tañada confessed. “Philippine Stagers Foundation was founded in 2002, but it was originally called Dulaang Bedista Alumni Production. To date, we have a total of 328 shows for Ako Si Ninoy, making our group a phenomenal success that broke all Philippine theater box-office records. EnzoSanto,  for example, got 100 performances.”

Recently a Dangal Ng Bansa award was also given to PSF by Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino. Instead of flying to the United States of America to pursue his preparatory law studies at St. Marys College in California, he opted to stay in the Philippines and enrolled at San Beda College on Mendiola Street in Manila where he took Philosophy. It was in this 109-year-old educational system that he found his passion for theater. Vince was a member of Dulaang Bedista, the resident theater organization of San Beda that started in 1992. He was writing plays back then. His theater group was ambitious and wanted to go beyond from adaptations to introducing Filipino original plays.

“We wanted to be radical in terms of treating theater”, Vince said. “As stage enthusiasts, we opted to do some experimental presentations. We were radical during those years”.

“We did all-original plays such as Cain at Abel, Out: The Musicale, Enzo (non-musicale version), Pahiyas sa Underpass, Si Mildred at si Brenda, and Anonymity Inn.”

In 1992, Vince also played Huse in Rene O. Villanueva’s Hiblang Abo which was directed by Lou Veloso in 1992 and was staged at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

Despite being successful with his study in Law and worked at Cruz-Cruz-Navarro law office, his love for theater didnt wane. He was also teaching labor laws in San Beda when he and his group from Dulaang Bedista decided to put up Dulaang Bedista Alumni Production, now Philipine Stagers Foundation (PSF) back in 2002. It was through national artist Cecile Guidote-Alvarez founder of Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) and the former executive director of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, who recognized PSF as a great contributor for theater arts and in nurturing Philippine culture.

Biggest Break!…

After going through all the labor pangs of starting out a group and when the rest of the original eight members opted to exit from the commitments, along with Hans Christian Lim and Jeffrey Ambrosio, Vince and the rest persisted to carry on what they had started.

It was then considered a divine intervention as God is faithful to complete the good work they all had started out; their moment came when Rafael C. Lopa, the executive director of Benigno S. Aquino Jr. Foundation came to see them and witness how their musicale, Ako si Ninoy befits the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of former Senator and Philippine hero-  Ninoy Aquino.

“I could vividly remember the night we did our performance of Ako si Ninoy at the Cojuangco mansion in Dasmariñas Village”,  Tañada reminisced that experience. “It was one sentimental performance. We were just garbed with our Ako si Ninoy shirts and jeans. Close friends and relatives of the Cojuangcos and the Aquinos were all there, and we brought the house down in tears!.”

That night signaled a new dawn for the  Philippine Stagers Foundation as it staged the seven-year-in-the-making, selfless heroism-themed musicale; inspiring Filipinos, the youth in particular to be heroes in their respective daily lives. The original weekend-gig theater concept has evolved into something that delves into a social advocacy.

vince, with ms. liper: in the play "joe, the rock'sical"
vince, with ms. liper: in the play “joe, the rock’sical”

When asked what makes PSF different from other theater groups, Tañada humbly shares:

” What made us a stand out is the fact that we are not just focused on the art of performing but also in the value of actually helping the needy. PSF has 30 scholars in high school and colleges, including some of its members. Golden Acres (a home for the aged), Asilo de San Vicente, and the Benigno S. Aquino Jr. Foundation are also their partner charitable institutions as beneficiaries”.

Theater: His Life…

Tañada admittted that portraying the character of the late Benigno Aquino, Jr. was a life-long dream and it did come to pass. Amidst the success PSF is enjoying, he felt the need to further intensify even more his advocacy to use theater arts as a medium of education.

“We know that theater has a two-fold purpose, to entertain and to educate”, Vince continued saying.

“Hence, I have moved heaven and earth just to convince school heads, principals and administrators to use our play as an instrument for instruction.

“This is also the main reason why I write stories of heroes or important parts of our Philippine history. The problem is, some DepEd superintendents and supervisors and even parents of students do not see this important component of theater. Maybe they are the ones who take arts for granted. They see this merely as a money-making venture or a business. I have never treated the arts as a means of livelihood. This is not my bread and butter. This is my passion.

“People, especially those in the education department should see this. Culture and the arts are both the heart and soul of the nation. If used properly, our youth will learn more. As an artist he, too, believe in the concept of profitable creativity as he says, Some of the new graduates would think that having a career in theater is not financially rewarding. I want to change that misconception. I guess it depends on the theater company. I know that the main investment of a theater company is the actors, their talents. Hence, I give everything back to my members. It has been the practice of other theater companies, mainstream or fly-by-night to suck all the energy, talent and expertise of their employees, pay them meager amounts and drop them like a hot potato when not needed anymore. Theater company owners, artistic directors or managers should be more sensitive toward the needs of their actors. Treat them well and come hell-or-high water they will work on their craft and your product will be really good.”

Only a few knew that he once ventured into the bar and restaurant business called Fox Square on Kalayaan Avenue in 2001. Having an innate flair for cooking, he was hands-on in managing the business and literally cooking some of its specialties, but grew tired.

“We would close between 3 to 4am because UP and Ateneo students use to hang out there. I had to go to the office at 8am. It was bad for my health. I closed it two years after when I became so busy with the legal profession and had few hours sleep”, he revealed.

But with theater, he never got exhausted. This is the path he chose to live and walk for the rest of his life. Whenever he teaches and facilitates in the acting workshops, he sees and loves all the aspiring young  people who don’t know anything but have the strong willingness to learn.

“I always refer to them as tabula raza, a blank tablet whom I can develop and pop-in instructions”, Vince said in the end. “When Kierwin or Patrick or Jordan (the PSF- prized talents) started, they didn’t sing. Jordan only knows Itaktak Mo dance moves whenever he was asked to dance. Now, they are regarded as good triple-threat actors with a back-to-back recognition from the Aliw Awards to boot. But I don’t want to take the credits solely. They also worked hard for it. These people practiced and persevered a lot and it wasn’t easy. Yes, I truly believe that everything in this world can be learned, with a right attitude, inspiration and a strong desire to learn”.

vince with media friends
vince with media friends

jude

by mr. jude cartalaba

“the others” of philippine stagers foundation…

(“The Others”, a Hollywood movie in 2001)

No, they’re not ghosts like in the movie “The Others” (which was made in 2001 and starred Nicole Kidman)….

They’re not monsters, too, that could eat your flesh and rip your muscles…

Most of all, they’re not those “smelly rats” out to eat your left-over foods at the kitchen….

“The Others”!

They’re the real… the good…and the fascinating but supporting theater actors of the Philippine Stagers Foundation!

Yes, they are “the others” of PSF!

joe1

These theater actors- “the others”- were all so impressive in their closing performance of “Joe, The Rock’sical” which was held at SM North Edsa Cinema 9 just recently.

This blogger personally picked five of them, which were “totally in character” in their performances and stole attention to the audience.

Let’s name them! “The Others” of Philippine Stagers Foundation- via the play “Joe, The Rock’sical”!

 

chin
chin

1.) CHIN ORTEGA (as AMBO in “Joe, The Rock’sical”)

Chin is one of the more senior members of PSF. He started to act in the foundation’s historical play “Mactan 1521”, then in “Desaparecidos”,  “Chi Noi”, Pinoy Samurai”, “Namaste”,  and “Troy Avenue”. He dawned the role of Nanding in the multi-awarded musical “Ako Si Ninoy”, then took the role of the antagonist Sakakibara in the critically-acclaimed “Enzo…Santo”.

In the last theater season of PSF, he played the role of Mindy in “Cory Ng Edsa”.

In his long career in the foundation. he had garnered numerous recognitions such as Best Supporting Actor in “Desaparecidos” and “Namaste”. He also won the Best Cameo Performance award by PSF in the play “Moro”, and  Best Actor in “Chi-noi” and “Pinoy Samurai”.

In his latest PSF play “Joe, The Rock’sical”, he played the character of Ambo- the hopelessly romantic but very hardworking parlor-owner.

sip & sip on Chin: “He could command an attention in his every scene in the play! He is MAGNIFYING onstage!”

 

jp
jp

2.) JP LOPEZ (as PADRE BALAGUER in “Joe, The Rock’sical”)

JP was last year’s sound spinner for the play “Cory Ng Edsa”. This time, he returned onstage as the ‘evil’ priest named Padre Balaguer responsible for the retraction controversy in the historical life of Dr. Jose Rizal. He participated in many major theater productions of PSF, namely: “Ako Si Ninoy”, “Enzo…Santo”, “San Vicente At Zarzuela”, “4C-II” , “Si Adan At Si Eba”, “Ang Papang Ni Kiko”, to name a few. He was also the assigned Stage Manager in various competing plays at the PSF Theater Festival.

JP is also a playwright and a workshop facilitator atPSF.

sip & sip on JP: “The way he laughed and positioned himself at the back of Patrick Libao (the actor who portrayed Dr. Jose Rizal in the play “Joe, The Rock’sical”) as the hero was signing the retraction papers, JP really looked sooooooo EVIL! How on earth did he do that? Gosh, he’s so amazing!”

 

jomar
jomar

3.) JOMAR BAUTISTA (as MR. TAUFFER in “Joe, The Rock’sical”)

Jomar believes that not all people could perform onstage. He believes that performing infront of a wide range of audience is a privelege. And looking back, Jomar got so many priveleges as a STAGER.

He was among the cast of many PSF plays, like “Desaparecidos”, “Namaste”, “Troy Avenue”, “Ako Si Ninoy”, “Enzo…Santo”, “Cory Ng Edsa”, and others. As a writer, he is a regular contender at the PSF Theater Festival. He has written a few plays with the guidance of PSF director Atty. Vince Tanada.

In “Joe, The Rock’sical” he portrayed a very old man who was Josephine Bracken’s (the last love of Rizal) “sex-maniac” stepdad? This role was very important in the play ‘coz it revealed the ‘other side’ of Rizal’s personal life.

sip & sip on JOMAR: “He is a very intense young man. Absolutely real!”

 

junelyn
junelyn

4.) JUNELYN VILLAREAL ( as DONA TEODORA in “Joe, The Rock’sical”)

Junelyn began her journey with PSF as part of the ensemble cast of “Troy Avenue”. Later on she was called back to be among the cast of “Ako Si Ninoy”. She’s also a part of the production staff of “Enzo…Santo” and “4C-II”.

At the last theater season of PSF,  she became one of the chorus girls for “Cory Ng Edsa” and “San Vicente And Jolina For The Stars”.

In “Joe, The Rock’sical” she portrayed the woman who molded the young mind of our national hero- the mother of Dr. Jose Rizal, no less- Dona Teodora.

sip & sip on Junelyn: “She could be the next Pokwang, Melai Cantiveros or even Eula Valdez of Philippine showbiz! A very good comedienne with contravida looks! That’s the way I saw her onstage. I laughed ’till I dropped in her very funny solo scene in the play, characterizing to the max the mother of our national hero! She’s a GEM!!”

 

daryl
daryl

5.) DARYL CAJUCOM (ensemble cast/chorus man in “Joe, The Rock’sical”)

This is Daryl’s second season with the Philippine Stagers Foundation, after graduating as among the Top 3 of their batch in the PSF Summer Workshop 2011. He became part of the chorus for the plays “San Vicente At Zarzuela”, “Ako Si Ninoy” and “Cory Ng Edsa”.

sip & sip on Daryl:  “I thought I was looking at a little younger ‘Atty. Vince Tanada’ onstage whenever he danced and sang as among the chorus men. Daryl and sir Vince have a great resemblance to each other… And gosh, Daryl’s  looks could kill! Oh, my!!!”

 

 

And there they are, folks! “The Others” of Philippine Stagers Foundation. But beware, they may steal the “attention”  away someday to the more senior and leading PSF’ers. It’s worth the wait, anyhow…. 

Need I say more, Attorney Vince?

 

 

 

(words by robert manuguid silverio)

from rappler.com: ABS-CBN to meet with MTRCB over Anne Curtis

 

ABS-CBN to meet with MTRCB over Anne Curtis

BY PATRICIA EVANGELISTAanne

http://www.rappler.com/entertainment/22695-abs-cbn-s-asap-to-meet-with-mtrcb-tuesday-over-anne-curtis-number

MANILA, Philippines – ABS-CBN has received the summons from the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) to explain what MTRCB has described as the “allegedly provocative number and outfit of one of its female stars.”

This is according to Bong Osorio, head of the ABS-CBN Head of Integrated Corporate Communication Division, who confirmed Wednesday afternoon, February 27, that ABS-CBN would be attending the meeting.

“The representatives of ASAP will be attending the meeting called by the MTRCB on Tuesday, March 5, to discuss the issue.”

The MTRCB investigation was first made public over social networking site Twitter. In a message on its official account, the classification body said it was “Citing its Memo of Understanding w/ABS-CBN, et al to ensure gender-sensitivity, MTRCB calls ASAP over provocative number.”

MTRCB chairman Toto Villareal confirmed the investigation in a statement Wednesday morning.

“We will see if the program was indeed gender-insensitive, which may be a violation of the Memorandum of Understanding on Portrayal of Women in Media and Film that the MTRCB signed with networks including ABS-CBN.” The message, originally in Filipino, continued to say that the MTRCB expects the cooperation of the network during the course of the investigation.

Provocative

The controversial ASAP episode had Curtis singing Rihanna’s “Diamonds”wearing what appeared to be a strapless black gown, with a slit that revealed the length of her leg almost to her waist, and suggested the actress wore little to nothing underneath.

Curtis has since explained the outfit, claiming there was no wardrobe malfunction.

“As you can see,” said the actress over Twitter and photo network Instagram, “We have a bodysuit with a hidden tangga to make way for the sky high slit skirt. It is made out of 2 pieces. In fact the ‘tangga’ is made out of swimsuit material which Boom Sason is also known for making. I was completely protected.”

 

AND ANNE HERSELF ALSO EXPLAINS VIA HER TWITTER ACCOUNT:anne333

annexxx

chris cayzer is back!

 

 

Yes, Chris Cayzer is back in the Philippines…

After two years of absence…

Let’s not talk about anymore of the mistakes he had done in the past…

He’s clean and sober now.

But more loving…

more deeper…

more artistic.

 

Chris Cayzer.

It’s his time… now.

chrischris2chris4chris6chris7chris8chris11chris10chris9

 

(by robert manuguid silverio)

Pls. LIKE the CAYZERIANS Fb Page, Twitter and Tumblr to be updated with Chris’ shows, events, gigs and more! Thank You. 🙂  from sip & sip.

follow our official Twitter account http://twitter.com/#!/CAYZERians and Tumblrhttp://cayzerians.tumblr.com/ Website: http://www.chriscayzermusic.com/

 

“HEY, JOE!” (impressions and a personal look at ‘joe, the rock’sical’ stageplay of philippine stagers foundation)…

another great performance from atty. vince tanada in the musical play "joe: the rock'sical".
another great performance from atty. vince tanada in the musical play “joe: the rock’sical”.

 

dr. jose rizal: the philippine national hero.
dr. jose rizal: the philippine national hero.

History versus Art.

Passion versus Love.

Change versus Heroism.

These are the ‘contradicting’ topics very clearly presented in the musical play “Joe, The Rock’sical” by the Philippine Stagers Foundation. Written and directed by no less than Atty. Vince Tanada (a Carlos Palanca and Aliw Awards awardee), the musical play was such a delight to see. 

Every scene of the play counted, and quenched our “overwhelming thirst for the Arts and its soul”. It struck this blogger “dumbfounded”. And made him feel that our Philippine national hero “is still very much alive” – conquering the deepest souls of every young person whom he called “the future of every nation”.

Without the great performances, this musical play could have suffered in vain. But the actors knew so well the writer of the play- the PSF (Phil. Stagers Foundation) man himself- Mr. Tanada. And they delivered what ‘the man’ wanted, what ‘the man’ challenged them to become and what ‘the man’ worked hard for and researched fully to be able to present something real and precise about the life of Dr. Jose Rizal.

Mr. Vince Tanada was not just a mentor to the actors who all performed – he’s their ONLY FRIEND. Someone who understood their passions and their dedications- their love and desire to do something good within their lives…

And again we say, the actors DELIVERED. Their body movements and the ‘blockings’ were something that this blogger haven’t seen yet in years of watching live stage performances. It was so accurate, so correct.

These group of new and fresh crop of stage performers were simply UNBELIEVABLE! I bow my head to ‘the man’…

But it was ‘the man’ himself also- yes, Mr. Vince T., who acted the most awesome! And the character he portrayed was the most powerful character of all- that of a writer-director-passionate man who wanted to show the other side of Rizal’s life, rather than compromise with the research and historical books.

MR. VINCE TANADA WAS SOOOOOOOOOO GOOD!!!!

In his eyes, you could see much pain when he accidentally saw his researcher-wife kissing another man as they were in the middle of a pre-production project about Dr. Jose Rizal.

In one great crying scene, together with the other cast of the rock’sical play, Vince was almost in a crying breakdown and you’d really cry alongside with him. It was an unforgettable scene, truly wonderful…

young & fresh PSF actor- JM ENCINAS- almost stole the show-away from atty. vince!
young & fresh PSF actor- JM ENCINAS- almost stole the show-away from atty. vince!

JM Encinas who portrayed the character of ‘Hunter’ (another PSF actor was alternating with him in this role) ranked the second best for this blogger. JM didn’t only looked so dashing onstage, but he got that kind of depth every stage actor must have.  And portraying a rebel character who was ‘handpicked’ to provide the musical score on the ‘Rizal project’ was somewhat hard to mix-in, but JM’s good performance overturned the confusion and his character on the play became the most-loved character in the end, almost overlapping Mr. Tanada’s ‘Joecaz’ role.

Mr. Jordan Ladra, our favorite PSF actor, provided the “kilig” factor in this play. He portrayed the sexy character of Bimbo and even appeared onstage clad in a bath towel only. Oh, myyyyy!!! It was tantalizing!

jordan
jordan
Patrick Libao as Dr. Jose Rizal
Patrick Libao as Dr. Jose Rizal
THIS CHILD THEATER ACTOR IS A WONDER!!!- and his name is: Gabby Bautista!
THIS CHILD THEATER ACTOR IS A WONDER!!!- and his name is: Gabby Bautista!

Patrick Libao as Dr. Jose Rizal was so unique in his performance. Absolutely funny sometimes, dignifying, though, in most of his scenes as Rizal-costumed small man. Mr. Libao had this kind of charm onstage … it was his body movements and great enigmatic appeal that “dumbfounded” this blogger.

Child theater actor Gabby Bautista was so lovable!!! His acting style was so cute! And he could easily cry, tears always gathered in his eyes in some moving scenes of the play.  We must say, this child actor is a GEM!

And the rest of the performers were all fine! One note, though, I always wonder why PSF female performers always suffer in vain with the male performers. Again, in this closing performance presentation of the play at the SM north Edsa Cinema 9, wherein a very distinguished keynote speaker delivered a speech, the female actors were less at par with the male actors, though we felt, they did their very best. This blogger wanted more out of the female actors, but somehow lacking…

 

“Hey, Joe”, this blogger said to an unseen ‘wind’.

Joe was the very soul of every Filipino, it’s nice to greet him once in a while on stage performances like this one.

It’s nice to remember him back, cherish his colorful life, and embrace his undying love for his native country.

Joe, or to name him fully, Dr. Jose Rizal, will stay on. Amidst the change, amidst the questions and the retractions, and amidst the renewal of every young person’s mind and spirit.

Yes, Dr. Jose Rizal lives.

FOREVER.

 

 

(words by robert manuguid silverio)

 

joe1

dr. jose rizal could have wanted an honest play like "joe, the rock'sical" that presented him more as a HUMAN BEING!
dr. jose rizal could have wanted an honest play like “joe, the rock’sical” that presented him more as a HUMAN BEING!

 

(Uploaded on You.Tube by):

xxsilent017xxxxsilent017xx

Uploaded on Nov 21, 2009

“this video is dedicated to the
Phillippine Stagers Foundation
hope u like it…
^_^
keep safe.”—xxsilent017xx

from Yahoo! News: “Emotional pope celebrates final Sunday prayers” -(AFP NewsBy Jean-Louis De La Vaissiere)

Pope Benedict XVI leads the Angelus prayer from the window of his appartments on February 24, 2013 at the Vatican. He delivered an emotional last Sunday prayer in St Peter's Square, saying God had told him to devote himself to quiet contemplation but assuring he would not "abandon" the ChurchAFP News - Pope Benedict XVI leads the Angelus prayer from the window of his appartments on February 24, 2013 at the Vatican. He delivered an emotional last Sunday prayer in St Peter's Square, saying God had told him to devote himself to quiet contemplation but assuring he would not "abandon" the Church

AFP News – Pope Benedict XVI leads the Angelus prayer from the window of his appartments on February 24, 2013 at the Vatican. He delivered an emotional last Sunday prayer in St Peter’s Square, saying God had told him to devote himself to quiet contemplation but assuring he would not “abandon” the Church

 

Yahoo! News : http://ph.news.yahoo.com/vatican-condemns-reports-intrigue-corruption-100043665.html

 

Pope Benedict XVI delivered an emotional final Sunday prayer in St Peter’s Square, saying God had told him to devote himself to quiet contemplation but pledging not to “abandon” the Church.

Tens of thousands of supporters turned out for Benedict’s weekly Angelus prayer, his last ahead of his formal resignation on Thursday, often interrupting him with clapping, cheering and chanting.

“The Lord is calling me to climb the mountain, to dedicate myself even more to prayer and meditation. But this does not mean abandoning the Church,” the pope said from the window of his residence in the Vatican, his voice breaking with emotion.

“If God is asking me to do this it is precisely so I can continue to serve with the same dedication and love as before but in a way that is more appropriate for my age and for my strength.”

The pope thanked the crowd with a final unscripted call, telling them: “We will always be close!”

The 85-year-old leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics said earlier this month he will be stepping down because he lacks the strength to carry on in an announcement that shocked the world.

He is the first pope since the Middle Ages to resign.

The final days of his pontificate however are being overshadowed by scandal over two cardinals — one accused of covering up paedophile abusers and the other accused of “inappropriate acts” — who are set to take part in the conclave to elect his successor.

That did not deter an estimated 100,000 people from coming out to bid the pope a final farewell on Sunday — many times more than usually attend the traditional event in St Peter’s Square.

“Holy Father, We Love You” read one banner, while others said: “Thank You, Your Holiness” and “Dear Father, We’ll Miss You”.

“I have come to support the pope and to ask for his blessing,” said Joao-Paulo, a 26-year-old seminarian from Brazil.

Birgit Marschall, 37, a teacher from Germany, said: “He is an intellectual who speaks in simple language, who writes what we have in our hearts.”

Claire Therese Heyne, a 34-year-old theology student from the United States, said the pope “must have had a very strong reason” to leave.

“It is an act of courage and humility,” she said.

Benedict will be only the second pope to resign of his own free will in the Church’s 2,000-year history.

But Gianpaolo, 33, said Benedict had been “less courageous” than his predecessors, and stressed the need for major reforms.

“The Church has to have a major reflection after this resignation. Something has changed inside the Church and this decision reflects this,” said Gianpaolo, who came with his two sons.

— ‘Completely false news stories’ —

Forty-five-year-old Linda from Wales said: “He was not so open as the last popes before him. A new pope should be more open to people, to new ideas.”

There was tight security in and around the Vatican, with more than 100 police officers and snipers on surrounding rooftops, as well as two field clinics and hundreds of volunteers to help pilgrims.

The event was being seen as preparation for the pope’s final general audience in St Peter’s on Wednesday where around 200,000 people are expected.

Following his resignation announcement, some Italian media have said that Benedict’s health may be worse than has been revealed, and others have said an explosive report on intrigue, corruption and blackmail in the Vatican was to blame.

The Vatican’s Secretariat of State — the government of the Catholic Church — took the unusual step on Saturday of issuing a statement condemning “completely false news stories” as an attempt to influence the vote of cardinals.

The upcoming conclave is also under a cloud over allegations that one of the 117 “cardinal electors” — US clergyman Roger Mahony — had covered up for paedophile priests for years in Los Angeles.

Another cardinal, Britain’s Keith O’Brien, has been reported to the Vatican over claims of inappropriate behaviour by four people, the Observer newspaper reported on Sunday.

The Vatican said the pope was considering the case.

John Allen, a Vatican expert at the National Catholic Reporter, said current discussions on sexual abuse by priests showed “how enormously damning this scandal has been for the Church.”

“Even at the most awesome moment in the life of the Church, even then, this scandal rears its ugly head,” he said, referring to the papal conclave.

The Vatican has said Benedict will retire to the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo near Rome for the next two or three months while a former monastery inside the Vatican is renovated for his use.

Vatican sources said he is likely to retain the title of “His Holiness” — an unprecedented move — and will also be known under the previously unheard-of title of “Bishop Emeritus of Rome”.

In Catholic theology the pope, as the successor of Saint Peter, is the bishop of Rome.

Pope Benedict XVI: will continue to guide us through.
Pope Benedict XVI: will continue to guide us through.