Pope Francis: World and Church Need Families More Than Ever

12/28/2015 Comment

The family is a kind of pilgrimage, playing a "great formative" role for all of its members by teaching prayer, understanding, obedience and forgiveness, Pope Francis has said.

In his homily on the feast of the Holy Family in St. Peter's basilica on Sunday, the Holy Father underscored the importance of the "domestic pilgrimage" of the family and how the world and the Church needs it more than ever. 

He spoke of "how comforting it is" to reflect that Mary and Joseph taught Jesus how to pray, and reflected on how the family can be "the pilgrimage of education in prayer". 

"What can be more beautiful than for a father and mother to bless their children at the beginning and end of each...READ MORE

Filed under family, feast of the holy family, pilgrimage, pope francis, year of mercy

Pope Francis' Christmas 2015 'Urbi et Orbi' Message

The theme of mercy, areas of conflict in the Middle East and Africa, and persecuted Christians figure highly in this year's message.

12/25/2015 Comments (18)

Dear brothers and sisters, Happy Christmas!

Christ is born for us, let us rejoice in the day of our salvation!

Let us open our hearts to receive the grace of this day, which is Christ himself. Jesus is the radiant “day” which has dawned on the horizon of humanity. A day of mercy, in which God our Father has revealed his great tenderness to the entire world. A day of light, which dispels the darkness of fear and anxiety. A day of peace, which makes for encounter, dialogue and reconciliation. A day of joy: a “great joy” for the poor, the lowly and for all the people (cf. Lk 2:10).

On this day, Jesus, the Saviour is born of the Virgin Mary. The Crib makes us see the “sign” which God has...READ MORE

Filed under christmas, pope francis, urbi et orbi

Cardinal Müller: Pope's Words on Intercommunion Misunderstood

Doctrinal chief rejects Lutheran pastor's interpretation of Pope's words as "opening door" to intercommunion.

12/23/2015 Comments (21)

Cardinal Gerhard Müller has said Pope Francis’ visit to a Lutheran church in Rome last month was a “sign of hope” for full visible unity, but that his comments were misunderstood as giving the green light to intercommunion because of a failure to take account of the differences between Catholics and Protestants.

In Dec. 22 comments to the Register, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said "misunderstandings come up again and again because of a failure to take account of the fact that, unfortunately, there is actually a different understanding of the Church between Catholics and Protestants." 

These differences, he said, "are not only theological-conceptual, but...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal gerhard muller, ecumenism, intercommunion, lutherans

Vatican Returns Sandro Magister's Press Credentials

12/23/2015 Comments (3)

In a letter stamped with the official Jubilee of Mercy theme “Misericordes sicut Pater” [Merciful Like the Father], the Holy See has returned veteran Vaticanist Sandro Magister’s press credentials after they were suspended in June.

In a short message dated Dec. 9, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi wrote: “I am pleased to inform you that from today the period of suspension of your accreditation at our Press Office is considered concluded, so it will be possible to resume benefiting from our services.”

Father Lombardi added that “together with my colleagues, I warmly wish you good work and all the best in this time of waiting for Christmas.” Magister published the letter on his...READ MORE

Filed under federico lombardi, holy see press office, sandro magister, vatican, year of mercy

Greg Burke's Appointment Signals Beginning of Communications Reform

12/21/2015 Comments (7)

Greg Burke.

– YouTube

After an eighteen-month study and seeking the advice of media experts on reforming the Vatican’s media operation, three Vatican appointments over the past couple of days have signaled the beginning of those reforms.

The Holy See announced today that St. Louis native and former Register and Fox News correspondent Greg Burke is to become the new vice director of the Holy See Press Office, replacing San Marino Passionist Father Ciro Benedettini who has served in the role for 20 years.

The position has until now involved assisting the press office director in staging press conferences, overseeing administration, and disseminating information, as well as sometimes representing the Holy See in...READ MORE

Filed under communications, federico lombardi, greg burke, holy see, paul tighe, public relations, vatican

Pope to Curia: Reform to Continue With 'Determination, Clarity, and Resolve'

12/21/2015 Comments (3)

Pope Francis delivering his Christmas greetings to the Roman Curia today.


In his annual Christmas greetings to the Roman Curia today, Pope Francis said that despite "scandals" and "resistance", his reforms will move forward “with determination, clarity and firm resolve”.

Recalling that last year he pinpointed 15 “diseases” that can damage the lives of Vatican personnel, this year he proposed 12 “curial antibiotics”, ones applicable not only to the curia but also all those wishing to make their service to the Church “fruitful”.

Francis listed these "antibiotics" through an acrostic analysis of the word “Misericordia”, something followed by the 17th century Jesuit missionary to China, Father Matteo Ricci. The 12 consisted of “missionary and pastoral spirit”,...READ MORE

Filed under christmas greetings, pope francis, reform, roman curia, vatican

Pope Emeritus Makes Rare Appearance to Thank Visiting Bavarians

12/21/2015 Comments (18)
Das Oberpfalznet/YouTube

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Bavarian dignitaries singing a German Christmas carol outside his residence on Friday.

– Das Oberpfalznet/YouTube

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has made a rare public appearance to thank civil and ecclesiastical authorities from Bavaria for donating this year’s Vatican Christmas tree.

Speaking to the dignitaries outside his Mater Ecclesiae residence in the Vatican on Friday (see video here), Benedict said the lighting of the 82 foot spruce represents the light of God’s friendship to mankind which, he stressed, was especially important at this time.

“The tree tells us that God is our friend and that we are therefore friends and siblings with each other,” he said, according to Vatican Radio's German edition. “So this is a message that we need right now when there is such a threat of hostility and terror.”...READ MORE

Filed under bavaria, christmas, pope emeritus benedict xvi

Bl. Mother Teresa to Be Canonized After Pope Approves Miracle, Say Reports

12/17/2015 Comments (1)


Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta looks set to be canonized in 2016 after Pope Francis reportedly signed a decree this evening recognizing a miracle attributed to her intercession.

The news was reported by Avvenire, the official newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference, on Thursday evening, the day of the Pope’s 79th birthday.

A columnist for the newspaper, Stefania Falasca, known to be close to Pope Francis’ inner circle, reported that the second miracle required for canonization involved the inexplicable healing of a Brazilian man in 2008 who was suffering from a deadly brain disease and had had a kidney transplant.

Family members prayed to Mother Teresa for the recovery of the...READ MORE

Filed under canonization, mother teresa, pope francis, saint

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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