The iBasilica of St. John Lateran

Wednesday, June 22, 2011 10:18 AM Comments (1)

Pope Benedict XVI celebrates the Eucharist during Mass of the Lord's Supper at the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome April 21. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

The basilica of St. John Lateran, “the mother of all the churches of Rome and the world”, is leading the way in embracing new media by offering guided tours with an iPod.

With the help of sacred music, images (historical ones as well as photographs), and some vivid explanations, the tour uses the famous touch-screen device to bring a “mix” of history, culture and spirituality to a visiting pilgrim or tourist. Also included is a welcome from Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the Vicar of Rome, together with detailed maps. 

The pilgrimage office of the Vicariate of Rome, L’Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi, is responsible for introducing the new facility, and is offering it free to visitors for a trial...READ MORE

Filed under basilica, benedict xvi, digital, nasa, new media, pilgrimage, st. john lateran

Vatican to Host Conference on Combating Sexual Abuse

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 12:59 PM Comments (7)

Msgr. Charles J. Scicluna, the Vatican's "Attorney General" and Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi at a press conference last year on the issue of clerical sex abuse. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

A major Vatican conference on combating sexual abuse will be held next year at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome on the theme “Towards healing and renewal - a global response to the problem of sexual abuse, and the protection of the vulnerable”.

The Vatican says the symposium will be important in helping “bishops and religious superiors adequately respond to requests to bishops’ conferences made by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to prepare effective directives and pastoral plans on the theme of sexual abuse.”

The conference, which will be supported by various Vatican dicasteries, will bring together experts from some of the world’s great academic institutions....READ MORE

Filed under gregorian university, rome, sexual abuse, vatican

Pope to Meet Gypsy Communities

Thursday, June 09, 2011 7:00 AM Comments (3)

Italian Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi of Milan jumps over a puddle during a visit to a Gypsy, or Roma, camp in a Milan neighborhood Dec. 23. 2010. (CNS photo/Paolo Bona, Reuters)

Pope Benedict XVI will welcome groups of European gypsies to the Vatican this Saturday.

The delegation, which will include members the Roma, Sinti, Manouches, Kale, Yenish and Travellers communities from 20 European countries, is taking part in a pilgrimage to Rome to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of their patron, Blessed Ceferino Gimenez.

A gypsy martyr of Spanish origin, Bl. Gimenez lived from 1861 to 1936 and was beatified by Bl. Pope John Paul II in 1997. This year also marks the 75th anniversary of his martyrdom.

The Sant’Egidio lay community, which has helped organize the meeting, is describing Saturday’s pilgrimage and audience as a “significant event”, showing...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, gypsies, sant'egidio

Pope Arrives in Croatia, Challenges Secularism

Saturday, June 04, 2011 7:16 AM Comments (11)

Pope Benedict XVI has arrived in the Croatian capital Zagreb at the beginning of a two day visit to the country—the Holy Father’s 19th foreign visit.

In his arrival speech, the Pope denounced the individualism taking hold in Europe. “In the face of the challenges posed by today’s culture—marked as it is by social differentiation and instability, and by an individualism that gives rise to a vision of life without obligations and a constant search for “private space”—there is a need for convinced witness and active dynamism aimed at promoting the fundamental moral values that underpin social living and the identity of the old Continent,” the Pope said.

The Pope is expected to focus on the...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, croatia, europe, european union, secularism

Benedict XVI's Message of Condolence to Tornado Victims

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 8:44 AM Comments (1)

The Vatican released the following message this afternoon, addressed to the Bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau:

THE MOST REVEREND JAMES V. JOHNSTON
BISHOP OF SPRINGFIELD-CAPE GIRARDEAU

THE HOLY FATHER HAS FOLLOWED WITH DEEP CONCERN THE AFTERMATH OF THE CATASTROPHIC TORNADO WHICH STRUCK JOPLIN ON SUNDAY AND HE ASKS YOU TO CONVEY TO THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY THE ASSURANCE OF HIS CLOSENESS IN PRAYER. CONSCIOUS OF THE TRAGIC LOSS OF LIFE AND THE IMMENSITY OF THE WORK OF REBUILDING THAT LIES AHEAD, HE ASKS GOD THE FATHER OF MERCIES TO GRANT ETERNAL REST TO THE DEPARTED, CONSOLATION TO THE GRIEVING, AND STRENGTH AND HOPE TO THE HOMELESS AND THE INJURED. UPON THE LOCAL CIVIL AND RELIGIOUS LEADERS,...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, missouri, tornado

Pope's Exchange with Space Station Astronauts (Video)

Saturday, May 21, 2011 12:45 PM Comments (10)

Text of the exchange:

Introduction

Dear astronauts,
I am very happy to have this extraordinary opportunity to converse with you during your mission. I am especially grateful to be able to speak to so many of you, as both crews are present on the Space Station at this time.
Humanity is experiencing a period of extremely rapid progress in the fields of scientific knowledge and technical applications. In a sense, you are our representatives – spear-heading humanity’s exploration of new spaces and possibilities for our future, going beyond the limitations of our everyday existence.
We all admire your courage, as well as the discipline and commitment with which you prepared yourselves for this...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, nasa, space station

Pope to Link-Up with Space Station, Meet Arab League Head

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 11:26 AM Comments (2)

Pope Benedict XVI greets the crowd as he arrives in St. Mark's Square in Venice May 7. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

The Holy See has announced a some interesting Papal events due to take place over the coming weeks.

Fr. Federico Lombardi, the Holy See’s press spokesman, confirmed today that a live audio-video link between Pope Benedict XVI and the International Space Station will go ahead on Saturday 21 May at 13:56 local time. The link up will mark the last mission of the Shuttle Endeavour. Twelve astronauts will be present in the space station, including Italian Colonel Roberto Vittori, who has carried a silver medal gifted by Pope to the station, according to Vatican Radio.

Before then, on the sidelines of this week’s Wednesday general audience, the Holy Father is scheduled to meet in private with...READ MORE

Filed under arab league, benedict xvi, castel gandolfo, croatia, san marino

Vatican Letter on Dealing with Clerical Sex Abuse - Full Text

Monday, May 16, 2011 5:34 AM Comments (13)

The Vatican has today published the text of a letter circulated to bishops’ conferences around the world to help them develop guidelines for dealing clerical sex abuse cases.

The full text can be found here, together with an accompanying letter from Cardinal William J. Levada.

Although the actual text of the letter is already quite short and concise, the Vatican has produced this useful synthesis.

The Vatican says the letter “represents a very important new step in promoting awareness throughout the Church of the need and urgency to effectively respond to the scourge of sexual abuse by members of the clergy.”

“Only in this way,” it adds, “can we renew full credibility in the witness and...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal william levada, clerical sex abuse, congregation for the doctrine of the faith, vatican

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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