Pope Warmly Congratulates U.S. and Cuba on Re-establishing Diplomatic Relations

12/17/2014 Comments (13)

Pope Francis has warmly welcomed the news announced today that the United States and Cuba are to re-establish diplomatic relations.

In a statement issued this evening by the Secretariat of State, the Vatican said "the Holy Father wishes to express his warm congratulations for the historic decision", adding that the Pope took a leading role in achieving the breakthrough by writing to the Presidents of both countries and making humanitarian appeals. 

The Holy See also "provided its good offices to facilitate a constructive dialogue" between the two nations, the communique added. 

The full text of the statement can be read below.

The Holy See mediates in international disputes more often...READ MORE

Filed under cuba, diplomacy, pope francis, united states

C9 Cardinals Conclude Meeting, No Decision Yet on Reform

12/12/2014 Comments (5)
Edward Pentin

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi SJ.

– Edward Pentin

The seventh meeting of the Council of Cardinals - the so-called C9 - concluded yesterday evening with no formal decisions made.

The cardinals' three-day meeting, which began on the morning of 9 December, was mostly dedicated to three themes:

• the reform of the Curia;

• the composition of the Commission for the Protection of Minors;

• the reorganization of the economic organs of the Holy See.

On reforming the curia, the cardinals looked at the specific question of the reorganization of the pontifical councils that work in relation to the laity, the family, justice, peace and charity.

Although Pope Francis hinted in a recent interview that some could be merged and headed by laity, no...READ MORE

Filed under consistory, council of cardinals, pope francis

Pope Francis' World Day of Peace Message 2015

Sin of estrangement from God gives rise to a culture of enslavement with all its consequences extending from generation to generation.

12/11/2014 Comments (2)

Pope Francis addresses the scourge of modern slavery and human trafficking in his message for the 48th World Day of Peace which takes place on the Solemnity of the Mother of God, Jan. 1st, 2015. Here below is the full text: 

"No longer slaves, but brothers and sisters"

 

1. At the beginning of this New Year, which we welcome as God’s gracious gift to all humanity, I offer heartfelt wishes of peace to every man and woman, to all the world’s peoples and nations, to heads of state and government, and to religious leaders. In doing so, I pray for an end to wars, conflicts and the great suffering caused by human agency, by epidemics past and present, and by the devastation wrought by natural...READ MORE

Filed under human trafficking, slavery, world day of peace message

Lineamenta Raises More Concerns About Synodal Process

12/10/2014 Comments (3)
Edward Pentin

Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops.

– Edward Pentin

The lineamenta – or preparatory document – for next year’s ordinary synod of bishops on the family that the Vatican published Tuesday is raising further questions about the way the synodal process is being handled.

Usually the secretary general of the Synod of Bishops holds a press briefing on the day of a lineamenta’s publication, and the media is notified of its release sometime before the event. The lineamenta is usually then ready right away in various languages and sent to bishops conferences, religious superiors, laity and others.

But in this case, no briefing took place, the document appeared unexpectedly on the Vatican website, and then in Italian only. The press was given no...READ MORE

Filed under family, lineamenta, synod of bishops

Interreligious Leaders to Sign Historic Joint Declaration Against Human Trafficking

12/01/2014 Comments (29)

Catholic, Anglican, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, and Orthodox leaders will come together at the Vatican for the first time in history on Tuesday to sign a joint declaration against modern slavery and human trafficking.

The signatories, who will include Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and Rabbi David Rosen will declare their commitment towards the eradication of the worldwide scourge by 2020.

The initiative has been drawn up by the Global Freedom Network, a faith-based organization launched in March this year aimed at ending modern slavery and human trafficking.

The network defines modern slavery as the “systematic...READ MORE

Filed under global freedom network, human slavery, human trafficking, joint declaration, pope francis

Pope's Homily at Istanbul's Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Spirit

11/29/2014 Comments (8)
CTV

– CTV

Pope Francis this afternoon celebrated Mass at the Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Istanbul. Present at the Eucharistic celebration was the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, along with several Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs from the region. 

During his homily, Francis said: "Only the Holy Spirit is able to kindle diversity, multiplicity and, at the same time, bring about unity. When we try to create diversity, but are closed within our own particular and exclusive ways of seeing things, we create division.

He added: "When we try to create unity through our own human designs, we end up with uniformity and homogenization. If we let ourselves be led by the Spirit, however,...READ MORE

Filed under bartholomew i, ecumenism, pope francis, turkey, unity

Pope Francis' Address to President of the 'Diyanet'

11/29/2014 Comments (2)
CTV

– CTV

Yesterday evening, Pope Francis paid a visit to the President of the Diyanet (a Turkish word for the office or authority of Islamic religious affairs). After a meeting with the President of the Diyanet, Prof. Mehmet Gormez - the most senior Sunni Muslim cleric in Turkey - the Pope delivered an address to religious and civil authorities (full text below).  

"As religious leaders, we are obliged to denounce all violations against human dignity and human rights," the Pope said. "Human life, a gift of God the Creator, possesses a sacred character. As such, any violence which seeks religious justification warrants the strongest condemnation because the Omnipotent is the God of life and peace."...READ MORE

Filed under diyanet, islam, islamists, pope francis, turkey

Pope Arrives in Turkey - Full Text of First Address

11/28/2014 Comments (2)
CTV

– CTV

In his first discourse given shortly after his arrival in Ankara, Turkey, this afternoon, Pope Francis underlined the importance of dialogue and a "concerted commitment on the part of all, based on mutual trust" to pave the way to lasting peace.

He told civic leaders at the presidential palace that resources must also be directed "not to weaponry, but to the other noble battles worthy of man: the fight against hunger and sickness, the promotion of sustainable development and the protection of creation, and the relief of the many forms of poverty and marginalization of which there is no shortage in the world today."

The Holy Father arrived at Ankara international airport at shortly before...READ MORE

Filed under pope francis, turkey

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About Edward Pentin

Edward Pentin
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Edward Pentin began reporting on the Pope and the Vatican with Vatican Radio before moving on to become the Rome correspondent for the National Catholic Register. He has also reported on the Holy See and the Catholic Church for a number of other publications including Newsweek, Newsmax, Zenit, The Catholic Herald, and The Holy Land Review, a Franciscan publication specializing in the Church and the Middle East. Follow on Twitter @edwardpentin