German Bishops to Vote on Controversial Changes to Labor Law

04/24/2015 Comments (7)

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, president of the German bishops' conference.


German bishops will vote Monday on changing the German Church’s labor law to allow Church institutions to employ divorced and civilly remarried Catholics or those living in homosexual relationships.

The bishops were expected to vote unanimously in favor of the change on Nov. 24 last year, but decided to postpone the decision after a federal court ruling supported the Church’s current laws that forbid employing staff whose lifestyles run contrary to Church teaching.  

Until now, those seeking employment in the German Church — the second-largest employer in the country — have been required to adhere to lifestyles consistent with Church teaching. Many believe that if enacted, the changes...READ MORE

Filed under bishops, divorce and remarriage, germany, homosexuality, labor

Pope to Visit Cuba Before U.S. Trip

04/22/2015 Comments (3)

Pope Francis is to visit Cuba before his arrival in the United States in September, the Vatican has announced.

In a short statement issued this morning, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said: 

“I am able to confirm that the Holy Father Francis, having received and accepted the invitation from the civil authorities and bishops of Cuba, has decided to pay a visit to the island before his arrival in the United States for the trip announced some time ago.”

The Vatican has yet to give a precise date for the trip, the first papal visit to Cuba since Benedict XVI visited there in March 2012. Pope St. John Paul II visited the communist island nation in 1998. 

The visit comes on the...READ MORE

Filed under apostolic trips, cuba, pope francis, united states

Pope Sends Message of Solidarity to Patriarch After ISIS Atrocity

04/20/2015 Comments (5)

Pope Francis this evening sent a message of solidarity to Patriarch Matthias of the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church following the release of a video showing the killing of 28 Ethiopian Christians by Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists in Libya. 

"With great distress and sadness I learn of the further shocking violence perpetrated against innocent Christians in Libya," the Pope wrote, adding that he was reaching out to Patriarch Matthias and his flock "in heartfelt spiritual solidarity to assure you of my closeness in prayer at the continuing martyrdom being so cruelly inflicted on Christians in Africa, the Middle East and some parts of Asia."

"It makes no difference whether the victims are...READ MORE

Filed under ecumenism of blood, ethiopia, isis, islamic state, libya, pope francis, terrorism

Pope Formally Announces Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy

04/11/2015 Comments (15)

Pope Francis formally announced the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy during Solemn Vespers this evening in St. Peter's basilica. 

The Bull of Indiction, through which the announcement was made, was presented before the Holy Door of the basilica to a representative group of heads of the dicasteries of the Holy See.

The Jubilee will open on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8th, and end on the Feast of Christ the King on November 20th, 2016. 

Excerpts of the Bull of Indiction “Misiceridocdiae Vultus” (below) were then read aloud by Msgr. Leonardo Sapienza of the prefecture of the papal household.

The Pope explains in the bull it is his "burning desire" that, during...READ MORE

Filed under holy see, jubilee, mercy, pope francis, vatican, year of mercy

Pope Francis' Easter 'Urbi et Orbi' Address

04/05/2015 Comments (10)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Happy Easter!

Jesus Christ is risen!

Love has triumphed over hatred, life has conquered death, light has dispelled the darkness!

Out of love for us, Jesus Christ stripped himself of his divine glory, emptied himself, took on the form of a slave and humbled himself even to death, death on a cross.  For this reason God exalted him and made him Lord of the universe.  Jesus is Lord!

By his death and resurrection, Jesus shows everyone the way to life and happiness: this way is humility, which involves humiliation.  This is the path which leads to glory.  Only those who humble themselves can go towards the “things that are above”, towards God (cf. Col 3:1-4).  The...READ MORE

Filed under easter, pope francis, urbi et orbi

Full Text of Pope Francis' Easter Vigil Homily

04/04/2015 Comments (2)

Here below is the official Vatican translation of Pope Francis’ Homily at the Easter Vigil in St. Peter’s Basilica on Saturday evening.

Tonight is a night of vigil.  The Lord is not sleeping; the Watchman is watching over his people (cf. Ps 121:4), to bring them out of slavery and to open before them the way to freedom.

The Lord is keeping watch and, by the power of his love, he is bringing his people through the Red Sea.  He is also bringing Jesus through the abyss of death and the netherworld. 

This was a night of vigil for the disciples of Jesus, a night of sadness and fear.  The men remained locked in the Upper Room.  Yet, the women went to the tomb at dawn on Sunday to anoint...READ MORE

Filed under easter vigil, pope francis

Via Crucis at the Colosseum With Pope Francis

04/03/2015 Comments (1)

On Good Friday, Pope Francis led the traditional Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) at the Colosseum in Rome. 

The meditations for the 14 Stations of the Cross were written this year by Mons. Renato Corti, Bishop Emeritus of Novara in Italy, and can be read here.

Here below is the meditation of Pope Francis at the conclusion of the Way of the Cross

O Christ crucified and victorious,

Your Way of the Cross is the summary of your life,

the icon of Your obedience to the will of the Father,

and the realization of your infinite love for us sinners.

It is the proof of Your mission.

It is the final fulfillment of the revelation and the history of salvation.

The weight of Your cross frees us...READ MORE

Filed under colosseum, good friday, passion of our lord, pope francis, vatican, via crucis

Full Text of Pope Francis' Chrism Mass Homily

04/02/2015 Comment
Here below is the Holy Father's homily for the Chrism Mass which took place in St. Peter's basilica this morning, followed by a video link to the Mass of the Lord's Supper that he celebrated this evening. The 'In Coena Domini Mass' took place in the chapel of Rome's Rebibbia Prison, during which the Holy Father washed the feet of 12 prison inmates.

Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis

Holy Thursday Chrism Mass

2 April 2015

“My hand shall ever abide with him, my arms also shall strengthen him” (Ps 89:21).

This is what the Lord means when he says: “I have found David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him” (v. 20). It is also what our Father thinks whenever he “encounters”...READ MORE

Filed under chrism mass, easter, holy week, mass of the lord's supper, pope francis, triduum

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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