Israel-Holy See Agreement "Possible Before December"

07/10/2012 Comments (2)
Israeli embassy to the Holy See

Israel's Ambassador to the Holy See, Mordechay Lewy (far left), speaking to reporters in Rome.

– Israeli embassy to the Holy See

Israel’s outgoing ambassador to the Holy See, Mordechay Lewy, has said his government and the Holy See are “very close” to signing an agreement that has taken nearly 20 years to reach.

"There has been great progress on the fiscal part, we are very close to the definitive signing,” Lewy told reporters yesterday. "The next meeting [of the bilateral commission] is in December but that doesn’t mean the signing cannot be done even before then."

Last month we reported that the long-running talks aimed at reaching an accord on outstanding issues related to the 1993 Fundamental Agreement had reached their “final stage.”

Vatican Insider’s report is the latest to confirm that an agreement...READ MORE

Filed under antonio franco, benedict xvi, fundamental agreement, holy see, israel, mordechay lewy

Bishop Müller Appointed New Prefect of CDF

07/02/2012 Comments (15)
Photo: Dr. Meierhofer

Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller.

– Photo: Dr. Meierhofer

Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller of Regensburg as the new prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican announced today. 

Bishop Müller replaces Long Beach, Ca.-born Cardinal William J. Levada, 76, who is stepping down on grounds of age. Bishop Müller also takes over Cardinal Levada's other responsibilities as president of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei", the Pontifical Biblical Commission, and the International Theological Commission.

The new CDF prefect has been elevated to archbishop and will probably be made a cardinal at the next consistory.

The appointment of the 64 year-old bishop has been speculated for some time,...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, bishop gerhard muller, cardinal william levada, congregation for the doctrine of the faith, germany, regensburg

Pope's Homily on Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul (Full Text)

06/29/2012 Comment

Benedict XVI receiving a member of a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople June 28th. The delegation have been making their traditional visit to Rome for the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul.


Pope Benedict XVI imposed the sacred pallium on 43 new metropolitan archbishops this morning at a Mass in St. Peter's basilica on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul.

For three other prelates, the Vatican said the sacred pallium will be delivered in their metropolitan locations.

The Holy Father concelebrated the Mass with the new metropolitan archbishops and delivered the homily below.

As usual on the occasion of the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, ecumenical leaders were also present at the Mass. Special for this year was a contribution from the Choir of Westminster Abbey, who sang alongside the Sistine Chapel Choir. Pope Benedict was reported to be particularly impressed with...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, ecumenism, pallium, sistine chapel choir, sts. peter and paul, westminster abbey

Archbishop Fulton Sheen Becomes "Venerable"

06/28/2012 Comments (22)

Servant of God Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen is now “Venerable” after the Vatican announced today that Benedict XVI had signed a decree recognising that the archbishop heroically lived Christian virtues.

The announcement  of the decree marks a significant step in the canonization cause of Peoria, Ill.-born Archbishop Sheen (1895-1979), the Emmy award-winning televangelist whose program, "Life is Worth Living," was broadcast from 1951 to 1957.

The Vatican now has to recognise a miracle has occurred through his intercession for him to be beatified, the penultimate step to canonization.  Alleged miracles have been reported, which are now being assessed by experts in Rome.

For little over...READ MORE

Filed under beatification, canonization, congregation for the causes of saints, fulton sheen, heroic virtue, venerable

Vatican Bank Prepares to Open its Doors to the Media

06/27/2012 Comments (2)

The supervisory board of the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), popularly known as the Vatican Bank, held its first meeting today since the board issued a vote of no confidence in former president Ettore Gotti Tedeschi last month.

The meeting, in which members discussed the selection of Gotti's successor, took place a day before the IOR receives a large group of journalists at its offices as part of efforts, initiated by Pope Benedict XVI, to increase transparency.

In a communique published this afternoon, the Vatican announced the board had “two very useful meetings for sharing information and proposals both regarding day to day management as well as the universal criteria of...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, institute for works of religion, vatican bank

Pope Announces Series of New Curial Appointments

06/26/2012 Comments (2)

Bishop Vincenzo Paglia has been appointed the new president of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

In the first of a number of senior Vatican appointments expected this summer, Pope Benedict XVI has nominated American Archbishop Augustine Di Noia as vice president of the commission charged with helping to bring the Society of St. Pius X back into full communion with Rome.

The Vatican announced today that the 68 year-old Dominican archbishop will become vice president of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, and that his current position, as Secretary to the Congregation for Divine Worship, will be filled by Bishop Arthur Roche of Leeds, England. Bishop Roche will be raised to the rank of archbishop.

The Holy Father has also appointed a new president for the Pontifical Council for...READ MORE

Filed under apostolic penitentiary, benedict xvi, congregation for divine worship and the sacraments, congregation for the doctrine of the faith, congregation for the evangelization of the peoples, ecclesia dei, society of st. pius x, vatican

Pope Meets Cardinals to "Restore Serenity and Trust" in Curia

06/23/2012 Comments (4)

Pope Benedict XVI addressing a gathering of the Italian social organisation "Coldiretti" yesterday.


Pope Benedict XVI held a meeting this morning with heads of the various dicasteries of the Roman Curia and will be meeting six other cardinals later this evening.

Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi said reason for the meetings is because the Holy Father wishes to “speed up” the conclusion of the “Vatileaks” scandal and to “restore serenity and trust” in the Curia.

“In regard to the situation created following the dissemination of confidential documents, the Holy Father deepens his reflections in continuous dialogue with the people who share with him the responsibility for the government of the Church," Fr. Lombardi said in a statement.

He said the meeting this morning with the...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, cardinals, fr. lombardi, roman curia, vatican, vatileaks

Prayer Vigil Held For Benedict XVI in St. Peter’s Square

06/22/2012 Comments (1)

Faithful gather to follow a program of prayer and readings at this evening's prayer vigil for Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Square, promoted by the Italian movement, Movimento dell'Amore Familiare.

This evening at the Vatican, the archpriest of St. Peter’s basilica, Cardinal Angelo Comastri, led a prayer vigil for Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter’s Square.

A group of about 500 faithful gathered around the central obelisk to pray for the Holy Father, recite the Rosary, read Gospel passages and reflect on excerpts taken from the Pope’s speeches.

Those present at the event this evening, promoted by the Italian Movement for the Family (Movimento dell'Amore Familiare), also lit torchlights as the sun set over the basilica, drawing to an end one of the longest days of the year.  

Although the vigil drew a fair amount of attention, given the particularly challenging circumstances...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, cardinal comastri, family, papacy, poor, st. peter's basilica, st. peter's square, suffering, women

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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