Pope's Letter to Ahmadinejad

Thursday, November 11, 2010 9:49 AM Comments (19)

The Vatican today released Pope Benedict XVI’s letter to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran. It was sent in response to the president’s letter to the Pope last month.

Full text below:

To His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Mr President,

I am writing to acknowledge the courteous words of greeting and the reflections that Your Excellency kindly sent me by the good offices of His Excellency Mr Hojjat ol Eslam Haj Sayyed Mohammed Reza Mir Tajjadini, Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

It is my profound conviction that respect for the transcendent dimension of the human person is an indispensable condition for the construction of a...READ MORE

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Pope Sends Message to Syriac Archbishop of Baghdad

Tuesday, November 02, 2010 1:55 PM Comments (8)

L’Osservatore Romano has this afternoon published a message from Pope Benedict XVI to Archbishop Athanase Matti Shaba Matoka, the Syriac-Catholic archbishop of Baghdad.

The message was sent to coincide with the funerals today of the victims of the terrorist atrocity on Sunday against the Syriac-Catholic community in the Iraqi capital.

According to the latest reports, the attack in the church of Our Lady of Deliverance resulted in 58 deaths, including women and children and two priests. Eighty were injured.

The Pope writes (my translation):

Deeply moved by the violent deaths of so many faithful and of the reverend priests Tha’ir Saad and Boutros Wasim, I wish, on the occasion of the...READ MORE

Filed under baghdad, benedict xvi, iraq, syriac-catholic, terrorism

Benedict XVI to Make State Visit to Germany in 2011?

Monday, November 01, 2010 8:14 AM Comments (2)

A German newspaper is reporting today that the Pope wants to make his first official visit to Germany in 2011.

Citing “reliable sources”, the Frankfurter Rundschau said the Pope discussed the visit with the president of the German Bishops Conference, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, who visited the Vatican last week. It would follow two previous trips by the Pope to his homeland – in 2005 for World Youth Day in Cologne, and in 2006 to Bavaria. Those visits were solely of a pastoral or private nature.

The exact date is not known. Neither the Vatican nor the bishops’ conference have confirmed the report, although Germany’s former President, Horst Köhler, had originally invited him to visit...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, berlin, germany

Voting to Protect the Weakest

Thursday, October 28, 2010 11:38 AM Comments (1)

Pope Benedict XVI talks with Seychelles' President James Michel during a meeting at the Vatican Oct. 25. (CNS photo/Tony Gentile, Reuters)

The Holy Father gave a timely reminder today of the importance of using one’s vote to protect the weakest and most vulnerable, and of the “binding duty” of pastors to issue moral judgements on political themes when required.

The democratic ideal, he said, “is betrayed at its very foundations” when it fails to recognize and protect the dignity of all human beings, and he called on pastors to “remind all citizens of the right, which is also a duty, freely to use their vote to promote the common good”.

He said that when defending life “we must not fear hostility or unpopularity, rejecting all compromise and ambiguity which would conform us to the mentality of this world”.

The Pope also...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, benedict xvi, elections, euthanasia, politics

A Conversation with an Iranian Ayatollah

Thursday, October 21, 2010 1:29 PM Comments (19)

Ayatollah Seyed Mostafa Mohaghegh Ahmadabadi. He sees secularism as more dangerous than Islamic extremism.

It’s not often that an Iranian Ayatollah addresses a Synod at the Vatican – in fact, until last week, it had never happened. But on Oct. 14, Ayatollah Seyed Mostafa Mohaghegh Ahmadabadi, popularly known as Mohaghegh Damad, gave an intervention at the Synod on the Middle East currently taking place in Rome, becoming the first Iranian Shi’ite Muslim ever to do so.

Speaking with him shortly after his speech, he discussed his relationship with the Iranian government and his controversial views on Israel but he also expressed concerns that secularism is leading to godless societies without values.  A genial and somewhat eccentric Islamic scholar, he has a doctorate in law from the Catholic...READ MORE

Filed under interreligious dialogue, iran, islam, israel, middle east synod, palestinians

Archbishops Burke, Wuerl to Become Cardinals

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 8:39 AM Comments (6)

At the end of his weekly General Audience this morning, Pope Benedict XVI announced the names of 24 new cardinals who will be raised to the cardinalate at a consistory next month.

The complete list, in the order announced by the Holy Father:

Archbishop Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints
Coptic Patriarch Antonios Naguib of Alexandria, Egypt (also General Relator of the current Synod on the Middle East)
Archbishop Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum
Archbishop Francesco Monterisi, Archpriest of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls
Archbishop Fortunato Baldelli, prefect of the Apostolic Penitentiary
Archbishop Raymond Burke, prefect of the...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, cardinals, consistory, donald wuerl, raymond burke

Pope Sends Personal Letter to Seminarians

Monday, October 18, 2010 9:36 AM Comments (3)

Pope Benedict XVI ordains 14 priests for the Diocese of Rome in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican June 20, 2010. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Benedict XVI has written a letter to seminarians to mark the conclusion of the Year for Priests.

In the letter published today, he tackles issues including priestly formation, the relevance of celibacy and the scandal of abuse. Drawing on his own experience, it also contains themes not only relevant to candidates for the priesthood but to the faithful in general.

The letter begins:

“When in December 1944 I was drafted for military service, the company commander asked each of us what we planned to do in the future. I answered that I wanted to become a Catholic priest. The lieutenant replied: “Then you ought to look for something else. In the new Germany priests are no longer...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, priesthood, seminarians

New Evangelization Council Launched

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 12:12 PM Comments (21)

Archbishop Rino Fisichella, head of the new Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, talks with a cleric before the start of an evening prayer service led by Pope Benedict XVI at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome June 28. At the service, the Pope announced he was establishing the new Pontifical Council. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Benedict XVI has formally established a new Vatican department dedicated to re-evangelizing the West.

At a press conference at the Vatican this morning to launch the new Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, its first president, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, explained the contents of “Ubicumque et semper”, the Apostolic Letter “Motu Proprio data” by which Benedict XVI has established the new dicastery.

The Italian archbishop said the theme of new evangelisation had been the subject of “deep reflection” by the Church Magisterium “over recent decades”. The challenge of the entire Church, he said, “was to find adequate ways to renew her announcement to many baptised people...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop rino fisichella, benedict xvi, new evangelization

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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