Five German Bishops Back Bishop's Public Criticism of Lay Statement

05/18/2015 Comments (35)
Bistum Passau

Bishop Stefan Oster of Passau

– Bistum Passau

Five German bishops have written a letter in support of Bishop Stefan Oster of Passau who last week openly criticized a document released by the German Church’s top lay organization, the ZdK.

In the letter published over the weekend, the bishops said they thanked Bishop Oster for his opinions on the ZdK statement and that they agreed “wholeheartedly” with his remarks on the importance of Church teaching, especially concerning Christian marriage “based on the teaching of Jesus in Scripture and on the tradition of Church.”

Last week, the ZdK — the Central Committee of the German Catholics — released a declaration that called for the admittance of civilly remarried divorcees to holy...READ MORE

Filed under bishops, doctrine, doctrine of development, germany, synod

The Pope, Mahmoud Abbas, and the 'Angel of Peace'

05/18/2015 Comments (38)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

– Wikipedia

According to Italian and Spanish media outlets, Pope Francis did not call Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas “an angel of peace”.

The BBC, the New York Times, NBC, the Huffington Post, the Washington Post and many others all carried the story that the Holy Father had praised Abbas as “an angel of peace” during the president’s visit to the Vatican on Saturday. Many drew on reports from the three largest news agencies: AP, AFP and Reuters.

The news caused consternation in Israel. An Israeli foreign ministry spokesman responded by alluding to the Palestinian leader’s unilateral moves against Israel and the way he uses international forums to attack the country. Others pointed out that Abbas...READ MORE

Filed under holy land, israel, mahmoud abbas, media, palestine, palestinians

Images from Rome's March for Life

05/11/2015 Comments (8)

Thousands of participants from all over the world took part in Italy's 5th March for Life on Sunday. Here below are some photographs of the march which began on the Via della Conciliazione close to the Vatican and ended near Circus Maximus in the center of Rome.  The organizers described the march as an "extraordinary success."

Below the images are comments from some prominent participants: Mary Rathke who was conceived through rape and is now a pro-life activist, Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, Church historian Professor Roberto de Mattei, and Maria Madise, director of Voice of the Family.

Photos: Edward Pentin

Some comments on the March for Life from some key...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, cardinal burke, euthanasia, life, march for life, prolife, rome

Will Rome Hold Germany's Bishops to Account?

05/08/2015 Comments (136)

Germany’s bishops have been increasingly criticized for leading the Church into heresy with impunity. 

The latest example of this came on Tuesday when over two-thirds of country's bishops voted to allow divorced and civilly remarried Catholics and those living in homosexual unions to continue employment in Church-run institutions, almost without exception.

The German bishops also recently released the results of a pre-synod survey which unsurprisingly showed the majority of German Catholics dissented from Church teaching.

The hierarchy has clearly shown that it wants the Church to accommodate these views, and had these results translated into five languages in a bid to influence the...READ MORE

Filed under bishops, germany, pope francis, synod on the family

Why the Long Lines to Enter the Vatican?

04/26/2015 Comments (5)

Visitors queueing to enter St. Peter's basilica at the far end of the colonnade, April 23, 2015.

If you’re visiting the Vatican anytime soon, be prepared for a long wait to get into St. Peter’s basilica.

As the summer season draws near, thousands of pilgrims and tourists are already forming lines that stretch not only right around Bernini’s colonnade but sometimes double back on themselves. Visitors can be waiting up to two hours to enter. 

Old Roman hands will tell you it never used to be like this. Just over a decade ago, there were no security barriers, just a cursory check you were carrying no weapons and a quickly moving line.

Now security is naturally tighter, Pope Francis is very popular, and so a longer wait is understandable. But does the line have to be this long?


Filed under pilgrims, security, st peter's square, st. peter's basilica, tourists, vatican, year of mercy

German Bishops to Vote on Controversial Changes to Labor Law

04/24/2015 Comments (46)

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 (9)

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

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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