The Pope's Annulment Reforms Will Have an Impact on the Synod

09/09/2015 Comments (4)

Pope Francis’ annulment reform is likely to have significant impact on the upcoming Synod on the Family, effectively taking the wind out of the sails of the highly controversial Cardinal Kasper proposal and allowing other issues to come to the fore.

It’s what many would have liked to have happened before the Extraordinary Synod, to prevent the proposal dominating the discussions, although the reform may well be the proposal in another guise.

As John Allen of the Boston Globe writes: the reform will “recalibrate” the synod, and ensure the debates won’t get bogged down in what a hypothetical reform of the annulment process might look like.

Canonical questions aside, the two motu proprios...READ MORE

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Pope Instructs Vatican to House Two Refugee Families

09/07/2015 Comments (7)

Several weeks after calls on the Vatican to lead by example and give shelter to refugees, Pope Francis said Sunday that two Vatican parishes would be welcoming two families fleeing hunger and war.

The Pope told pilgrims at yesterday’s Angelus that the Vatican would be welcoming the two families “in the coming days” and he called on “every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every shrine of Europe [to] welcome one family, beginning with my Diocese of Rome.”

The move would be a “concrete gesture” ahead of the Holy Year of Mercy beginning in December, the Holy Father said.

The Pope’s appeal comes as Europe’s refugee crisis steadily worsens and European leaders continue to...READ MORE

Filed under asylum seekers, immigration, migrants, refugees

Pope Calls on All Priests to Absolve Repentant Procurers of Abortion

In Jubilee Year letter, Holy Father also says those who approach SSPX priests for Sacrament of Reconciliation will receive absolution

09/01/2015 Comments (31)

In a letter released today, Pope Francis has called on all priests during the upcoming Jubilee Year of Mercy to absolve those who have procured abortions if they seek forgiveness with a contrite heart, without special permission from a bishop.

He has also stated that anyone receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation from priests of the Society of St. Pius X during the Jubilee Year will receive absolution for their sins.

In the letter on the Jubilee addressed to Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization which is tasked with overseeing the Holy Year, the Holy Father says he wished to focus on “several points” to help all...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, indulgence, jubilee year of mercy, mercy, sspx

German Section of Vatican Radio Receives 'Wild Verbal Slap'

07/08/2015 Comments (28)

An article published July 3 on the German edition of Vatican Radio’s website headlined “Moral Theologian: Church’s Sexual Morality is In Motion”, together with an accompanying picture featuring two lesbians kissing, has caused consternation on the blogosphere and in social media.

A number of readers took to Twitter to say they couldn’t believe such a headline and photo would appear on an official Vatican website. One called it a “disgrace”, another described it as a “shocking piece.” A third tweeted: “Dear God, please help us!”

One reader said the picture was yet another example of "desensitizing" people, especially children and adolescents, to such immoral behavior and the last place one...READ MORE

Filed under germany, homosexuality, same-sex unions, synod on the family, vatican radio

Full Text and Guidance Map for Pope Francis' Encyclical 'Laudato Si'

06/17/2015 Comments (6)

Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si was published today, the full text of which can be found here.

Here below are guidance notes on the document, issued by the Vatican.

Reflections on the document were also given at a launch at the Vatican today by Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) of Pergamo, Prof. John Schellnhuber of the Potstdam Institute, and Carolyn Woo, CEO and President of Catholic Relief Services.  

Laudato si’: A “Map”

This text is a useful guide for an initial reading of the Encyclical. It will help you to grasp the overall development and identify the basic themes. The first two pages are an...READ MORE

Filed under creation, encyclical, environment, laudato si, pope francis

Vatican Statement on Pope Francis' Meeting With President Putin

06/10/2015 Comments (14)

The conflict in Ukraine and the situation in the Middle East were central to the discussions between Pope Francis and Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting at the Vatican this evening.

In a statement, the Vatican said the Pope called for a "sincere and great effort to achieve peace" in Ukraine.

The statement went on to say that the two leaders spoke of the "urgency to pursue peace" in the Middle East, ensuring "necessary living conditions" for religious minorities, particularly Christians, in the region.

The Russian President arrived at the Vatican soon after 6pm and left at 7.30pm. As in 2013, he arrived late, this time by about an hour, but the meeting with the Holy...READ MORE

Filed under diplomacy, holy see, middle east, persecution, pope francis, ukraine, vatican, vladimir putin

Cardinal Müller Warns Against Adapting the Church to Today's Often Pagan Lifestyles

06/08/2015 Comments (69)

Cardinal Gerhard Müller

– EP

Cardinal Gerhard Müller has spoken out firmly against trying to adapt the Church’s teaching to today’s often pagan lifestyles, saying such an approach introduces subjectivism and arbitrariness.

In an interview with the Catholic newspaper Die Tagespost on June 6th, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith warned that placing “any so-called lived realities” on the same level as scripture and tradition is “nothing more than the introduction of subjectivism and arbitrariness, wrapped up in sentimental and smug religious terminology.” 

The cardinal’s comments have been widely seen as a criticism of a recent “shadow council” when bishops and experts from Germany, France and...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal muller, divorce reamrriage, germany, homosexuality, paganism, synod on the family

Vatican Announces Date of Pope's Environment Encyclical

06/04/2015 Comments (28)

St. Francis of Assisi by Cimabue

– Wikiart

The Vatican has announced that the publication date of Pope Francis' second encyclical will be Thursday, June 18th. 

In a statement today, the Vatican said that the rare, advance notice was "to avoid confusion over the date of publication of the long-awaited encyclical." It added that next week "further details" about the document, which will address environmental concerns, will be made public by the Holy See in its daily bulletin. 

There has been much speculation about the date of the publication. In comments to the Register last month, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi denied the encyclical had been delayed because of alleged opposition from the Congregation for the Doctrine of...READ MORE

Filed under climate change, encyclical, environment, laudato sii, pope francis, population control

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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