Italy's Bishops Give Full Support to Far Left Radical Party March for Prisoners

Bishops' support follows two major pro-life demonstrations in which the episcopal conference chose not to participate.

10/22/2016 Comment

Marco Pannella pictured at a previous march for amnesty, justice and freedom.

After choosing not to back two recent pro-life demonstrations, the Italian bishops' conference has now agreed to participate in an upcoming "March for Amnesty, Justice, Freedom" organized by the far left Radical Party.

The Nov. 6 Rome march, dedicated to Pope Francis and Marco Pannella, the party’s long-serving and recently deceased leader, will end in a call for a prisoner amnesty and coincide with the Pope’s Jubilee of mercy for prisoners that day, according to Italian media reports.

A spokesman for the Italian bishops, Father Ivan Maffeis, said its general secretary, Bishop Nunzio Galantino, gives his "steadfast commitment" to the march because the bishops see it "as an opportunity to...READ MORE

Filed under italian bishops' conference, politics, pope francis, prisoners, radical party

Cardinal Müller Pens New Book on Benedict XVI and Pope Francis

The Vatican's doctrinal chief draws attention to the "dictatorship of relativism" and the "globalization of indifference".

10/21/2016 Comments (4)

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has written a new book about Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis.

Called Benedict and Francis, Successors of Peter in the Service of the Church, the Vatican’s doctrinal chief offers a “frank analysis and reflection” on the challenges that societies and contemporary culture pose to the Church in light of the two pontificates, according to publishers Edizioni Ares.

The book, a series of essays to be released in the coming days in Italian, covers the “role of the papacy today, the value of secularism for a Christian, the apparent dichotomy between the uniqueness of the Church founded by Jesus of...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, books, cardinal gerhard muller, pope francis

McDonald's Dispute Highlights Sensitivities Over Use of Vatican Real Estate

Cardinals complain to the Pope, a Hard Rock Cafe threatens to also open nearby, but a Church historian says they should be protesting about far more serious issues.

10/18/2016 Comments (8)
Armin Schwibach

The McDonald's fast food chain is reported to have obtained a license to turn this 600 square meter, disused Vatican-owned property just yards away from St. Peter's Square into one of its restaurants.

– Armin Schwibach

Every now and again problems arise relating to how real estate around the Vatican is used.

The latest such headache concerns a bid by the McDonald’s fast food chain to open a restaurant on Vatican-owned property, just a few steps from St. Peter’s Square.  

The office responsible for managing Vatican property, the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), has agreed to the idea. Some of the seven cardinals living in a block above the proposed new diner are not so keen and have protested by writing a letter to Pope Francis, asking him to intervene.

According to Il Fatto Quotidiano, Cardinals Gianfranco Ravasi, Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, Dario Castrillon Hoyos...READ MORE

Filed under amoris laetitia, mcdonald's, pope francis, real estate

SSPX's Bishop Fellay Meets Pope Francis, Cardinal Müller

Reconciliation between the SSPX and Rome still appears some way off, but those looking to the Society to come to the Church's aid is increasing, according to Bishop Fellay.

10/14/2016 Comments (26)

Palazzo Sant'Ufficio, the offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.


Pope Francis briefly greeted the superior general of the Society of St. Pius X, Bishop Bernard Fellay, at the Holy Father's Santa Marta residence on Thursday.

The cursory meeting, on the 99th anniversary of the “Miracle of the Sun” apparition at Fatima, took place during a visit Bishop Fellay was making to the Vatican to meet Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The SSPX head also met with Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer, S.J., Secretary of the CDF, and Archbishop Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, according to an SSPX statement.

The Society said the meeting with Cardinal Müller was “planned long ago, and...READ MORE

Filed under bishop bernard fellay, pope francis, society of st. pius x

First Latin American Elected Head of the Jesuits

Venezuelan Father Arturo Sosa Abascal SJ has a specialized knowledge of politics and social justice.

10/14/2016 Comments (18)
Society of Jesus

Venezuelan Father Arturo Sosa Abascal SJ has been chosen as the new head of the Jesuits.

– Society of Jesus

Venezuelan Father Arturo Sosa Abascal has been chosen as the new head of the Society of Jesus, becoming the first Latin American superior general in the history of the order.

The 68 year old Jesuit was elected at the order's 36th General Congregation and will succeed Spanish Father Adolfo Nicolas, 80, who stepped down last week after serving eight years as superior general.

Born in the Venezuelan capital Caracas, Father Sosa has a doctorate in political sciences and from 1996 until 2004 was the provincial general of the Jesuits in his native country.

In 2008, Father Nicolas chose him to be counselor general, and since 2014, he has worked in the Jesuit curia in Rome in charge of the...READ MORE

Filed under father arturo sosa abascal, jesuits, society of jesus

Declaration of Fidelity to Church Teaching on Marriage Reaches 5,000 Signatures

Priests, theology professors, men and women religious, catechists, seminary rectors and Catholic teachers from around the world are among those continuing to sign.

10/12/2016 Comments (8)

Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, archbishop emeritus of Bologna, is one of many who have signed the Declaration.


Five thousand people including cardinals, bishops, priests, religious and laypeople have so far signed a declaration aimed at clearing up ambiguities over the Church's teaching on marriage and the family following two recent synods on the family. 

The signatures of the Declaration of Fidelity
 to the Church’s Unchangeable Teaching on Marriage and to Her Uninterrupted Discipline are “coming in from all over the world”, the initiative organizers, the Filial Appeal Association, said in a statement today.

Cardinals Carlo Caffarra, Raymond Burke and Janis Pujats were among its 80 initial signatories when it was launched last month, to which have now been added “many priests, teachers of...READ MORE

Filed under amoris laetitia, chuch teaching, declaration, filial appeal, marriage and the family, pope francis, synod on the family

Pope Again Highlights 'Ecumenism of Blood' in Face of Persecution

Uses the term in off-the-cuff comments to international ecumenical group at the Vatican.

10/12/2016 Comments (4)
Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Pope Francis at a General Audience in St. Peter's Square on September 21, 2016.

– Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Ahead of attending a major Catholic-Lutheran commemoration of the Reformation in Sweden at the end of the month, Pope Francis reiterated today that Christians are already united when they are persecuted in an “ecumenism of blood.”

Speaking off-the-cuff to participants at the Conference for Secretaries of the Christian World Communions, an international ecumenical organization, the Pope said ecumenism is about journeying alongside others with Christ.

“Often we think that ecumenical work is only that of theologians,” the Pope said. “It is therefore important that theologians study, they agree, and they express their disagreement: this is very important. But in the meantime ecumenism...READ MORE

Filed under ecumenism of blood, persecution, pope francis

Pope Francis to Create 17 New Cardinals at November Consistory

Archbishops Cupich of Chicago, Tobin of Indianapolis and Bishop Kevin Farrell to be U.S. recipients of red hats and are among 13 new cardinal-electors.

10/09/2016 Comments (57)
Alan Holdren/CNA

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York is greeted by his brother cardinals after being elevated to the College of Cardinals inside St. Peter's Basilica, Feb. 18, 2012.

– Alan Holdren/CNA

At the end of today’s Angelus, Pope Francis announced he will hold a consistory on Nov. 19 to create 17 new cardinals.

Among those to be elevated to the College of Cardinals include three Americans: Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago, Bishop Kevin Joseph Farrell, prefect of the new dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life, and Archbishop Joseph William Tobin of Indianapolis.

Other recipients of the red hat will be the current apostolic nuncio to Syria, Italian Archbishop Mario Zenari, and nine archbishops and bishops from the southern hemisphere. Thirteen will be eligible to vote in the next conclave (under 80 years of age), taking the total number of cardinal electors to 121. 


Filed under consistory, pope francis

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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. Edward is the author of "The Rigging of a Vatican Synod? An Investigation into Alleged Manipulation at the Extraordinary Synod on the Family", published by Ignatius Press. Follow him on Twitter @edwardpentin