Benedict XVI Makes Two Key Vatican Appointments

05/10/2011 Comments (1)

Archbishop Fernando Filoni pictured during a ceremony at the Vatican in 2009. (CNS photo/Danilo Schiavella, Reuters)

Pope Benedict XVI made two key Vatican appointments this morning.

The first was that of Archbishop Fernando Filoni who becomes the new prefect at the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. He replaces Cardinal Ivan Dias who has stepped down at the age of 75.

Like his predecessor, Archbishop Filoni is a trained Vatican diplomat. He was Apostolic Nuncio to Iraq during the war there and remained in the country during the allied invasion of 2003. He served briefly as nuncio to the Philippines in 2006 before coming to Rome in 2007 at the request of the Holy Father and, specifically, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State. 

Otherwise known as Propagande Fide, the...READ MORE

Filed under appointments, archbishop filoni, benedict xvi, cardinal dias, congregation for the evangelization of the peoples, diplomacy, holy see, vatican

Vatican Statement on Bin Laden's Death

05/02/2011 Comments (98)

The Vatican has released this statement this morning on the news that Osama bin Laden had been killed by American forces in Pakistan:

“This morning, following the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, P. Federico Lombardi, issued the following statement to reporters:

Osama Bin Laden - as everyone knows - has had the gravest responsibility for spreading hatred and division among people, causing the deaths of countless people, and exploiting religion for this purpose.

Faced with the death of a man, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibility of everyone before God and man, and hopes and pledges that every event is not an...READ MORE

Filed under fr. lombardi, osama bin laden, terrorism, vatican

Blessed Pope John Paul II

05/01/2011 Comments (4)

He is now Blessed Pope John Paul II. Shortly after half past ten, to the resounding cheers of hundreds of thousands of faithful and under sunny skies, the Pope read the formula of beatification, officially proclaiming John Paul Blessed with the words:

“We, acceding to the wish of our brother Agostino Cardinal Vallini, our Vicar General for the Diocese of Rome, of many other brothers in the Episcopate, and of many faithful, after having consulted with the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, by our apostolic authority we declare that the Venerable Servant of God John Paul II, Pope, shall henceforth be invoked as Blessed and that his feast shall be celebrated in the places and according...READ MORE

Filed under beatification, benedict xvi, john paul ii

"A Great Experience of Grace and Light"

04/30/2011 Comments (2)

French Sister Marie Simon-Pierre appears on a large monitor as she addresses a crowd gathered at Rome's Circus Maximus on the eve of the beatification of Pope John Paul II April 30. She recounted her cure from Parkinson's disease, the same illness that affected the Polish pontiff. Her cure was accepted as the miracle that paved the way for his beatification. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Circus Maximus, once the scene of Roman chariot races, was transformed into a venue of prayerful reverence, gratitude and love for John Paul II tonight, as tens of thousands of pilgrims from all over the world gathered for a prayer Vigil in his honor.

The pilgrims were of all ages, but many were young people joined by a large number of mostly young priests, seminarians and religious. The atmosphere was joyful, festive, reverent and uplifting; the darkness lit up by a sea of candlelight torches. As one Brazilian seminarian told me at the end: “It was the perfect preparation for the beatification tomorrow.”

The Vigil was divided into two parts: the first dedicated to remembering the words...READ MORE

Filed under beatification, cardinal agostino vallini, cardinal stanislaw dziwisz, joaquin navarro valls, john paul ii, pope benedict xvi, sr. simon marie-pierre, vigil

How to Follow the "Big Weekend"

04/30/2011 Comments (3)

Franciscan nuns from Bologna, Italy, walk past a giant image of Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 28. Pope John Paul will be beatified May 1 at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Thousands of pilgrims have been streaming into Rome over the past week for the start of the “Big Weekend” which opens tonight with the Vigil in honor of John Paul II at 8pm local time.

And although it’s currently raining in Rome and some storms are forecast on Monday, meteorologists predict the rain clouds will make way for a sunny day tomorrow, the date of the beatification in St. Peter’s Square. 

If, like most, you won’t be able to make it here to join the celebrations in person, you can still follow all the events of the three days on EWTN which will be offering extensive coverage.

The Vatican has also been pulling out the stops to ensure you don’t miss a thing. This page on the...READ MORE

Filed under beatification, john paul ii

Birthday Wishes from Around the World for Holy Father

04/16/2011 Comments (18)

Pope Benedict XVI kisses a baby as he leaves his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 13. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Birthday wishes have been coming in from around the world for Pope Benedict XVI who turns 84 today.

The latest edition of L’Osservatore Romano reports that “political and religious authorities, men of culture and many faithful are expressing respect and affection for the Pope, who has been spending it as a normal workday.”
One of the first to offer the Holy Father greetings was Queen Elizabeth II. “On the occasion of your eighty fourth birthday, I have much pleasure in sending my warmest felicitations and prayers to Your Holiness, recalling with great fondness the memorable visit of Your Holiness to the United Kingdom,” the queen wrote in a message made public yesterday. The English...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, birthday

Choosing a Feast Day for John Paul II

04/07/2011 Comments (45)

Pope John Paul II is pictured in an image released March 25 by the postulation of his sainthood cause. The Polish pope, who died April 2, 2005, will be beatified May 1. (CNS photo/Grzegorz Galazka, courtesy of Postulation of Pope John Paul II)

When will be John Paul II’s feast day?

So far there’s no agreement but it’s currently the subject of discussion among senior Vatican officials.

Papal spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told reporters this week the date will be announced on May 1, the day Benedict XVI celebrates the beatification Mass. 

According to some authoritative sources, October 16th - the date of John Paul II’s election - is the most likely choice. But this would be rather surprising given the fact that the Vatican is keen to stress John Paul II is being beatified on account of his personal holiness rather than his achievements as pope, or impact on history. Another date being floated is that of his inauguration,...READ MORE

Filed under beatification, feast day, john paul ii

Vatican Bank Head: Economy Needs Good Priests

03/26/2011 Comments (13)

Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, head of the Vatican bank. (CNS photo/Emanuela De Meo, Catholic Press Photo)

The president of the Vatican bank has said that more than a renewal of capitalism led by economic experts and industrialists, what the global economy needs most are good priests to renew man.

Reviewing a book called “The Disease of the West” by Italian economist Marco Panara in today’s L’Osservatore Romano, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi says that the “real disease” of the West is “the nihilism that has uprooted man from any absolute truth and led him to become a materialist, pursuing a satisfaction that is ever more materialistic.”

“The disease of Western man,” adds Gotti Tedeschi, “is his distance from God and the tendency to drown his anxieties in consumerism.”

Although he mostly praises the...READ MORE

Filed under caritas in veritate, economic crisis, employment, gotti tedeschi, vatican bank

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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