Scots Await Pope Benedict

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 8:12 PM Comments (1)

A former Presbyterian church turned into a club called 'Sin' on Edinburgh's Cowgate street.

I’ve arrived in a blustery and sunny Edinburgh at the start of this eagerly anticipated papal visit to Britain which begins here tomorrow (Thursday).

But as I write in Zenit, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Queen had changed her mind and withdrawn the invitation. No Vatican flags are on display here (though these will no doubt come out tomorrow) and the only thing reminding you of the visit are notices of travel disruption.

This is not so surprising given that Scotland is the home of Presbyterianism. Edinburgh is also the birthplace of the 18th century empiricist David Hume, and the country as a whole only has a Catholic population of 667,000 - about 13% of the total.

But the...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, great britain, scotland

Father Samir on Ground Zero Controversy

Saturday, September 11, 2010 1:14 PM Comments (108)

Earlier today I spoke about the controversies surrounding the 9/11 memorial this year with Father Samir Khalil Samir, the respected Jesuit and Egyptian scholar of Islam who teaches in Beirut and at the Pontifical Oriental Institute here in Rome. He gave this interesting analysis of the situation:

What are your views on the controversy over the Ground Zero mosque, or as it’s also been described, the Islamic cultural centre in New York?

I don’t have all the facts here, but the plan is to build a 15-storey centre and this is a Muslim project, even if it’s called a Cordoba centre and it’s for everyone and not only for Muslims. It is two blocks from Ground Zero with a mosque for 2,000 people...READ MORE

Filed under father samir, ground zero, islam, mosque

Pope Sends Message to Great Britain

Wednesday, September 08, 2010 8:12 AM Comments (0)

In a message to the people of Great Britain ahead of his visit to the country next week, the Holy Father has said he hopes “more and more people will benefit” from the “gentle wisdom” of Cardinal Newman whom he’ll beatify on Sunday 19th. He also thanked the “countless people” who have been praying for the success of the visit, and for a “great outpouring of grace” upon the Church in the country.

Delivering the message at his General Audience this morning in the Paul VI hall, he said he was looking forward to meeting representatives from various sections of the British population, as well as civil and political leaders. He expressed his gratitude to Queen Elizabeth II and the Archbishop of...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, general audience, great britain

A Closer Look at Britain and the Culture of Death

Saturday, September 04, 2010 7:31 AM Comments (9)

The Houses of Parliament in Westminster. More abortions currently take place in Britain than in any other country in Europe.

Ahead of the Pope’s upcoming visit to Great Britain, there’s been a vigorous debate in some sections of the British press over whether the UK is the centre of the ‘culture of death.’

The discussion was sparked by a timely interview in Zenit with the director of pastoral affairs for the Westminster archdiocese, Edmund Adamus, and in particular this comment he made near the beginning:

“Whether we like it or not as British citizens and residents of this country—and whether we are even prepared as Catholics to accept this reality and all it implies—the fact is that historically, and continuing right now, Britain, and in particular London, has been and is the geopolitical epicentre of the...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, benedict xvi, culture of death, culture of life, embryology, euthanasia, great britain, same-sex marriage

Benedict XVI Gives Rare Book Interview

Conversations with Peter Seewald to be published by end of the year

Tuesday, August 31, 2010 6:00 AM Comments (1)

Benedict XVI and the German author Peter Seewald

Pope Benedict XVI has given an interview to the German journalist and author Peter Seewald which will soon be published in book form, according to an article in today’s Die Tagespost and confirmed by the Vatican.

The date of publication is not yet known although according to the Italian Vaticanista Andrea Tornielli, it’s expected to hit bookstores within a year. In a statement released by the Vatican this afternoon, papal spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi said the interviews, which took place between 26th and 31st July at Castel Gandolfo, would be published by the end of the year in German and Italian, with other languages expected to follow.

Die Tagespost says the book has the working...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, books, jesus of nazareth, peter seewald

Benedict XVI's Full Schedule for the Fall

Friday, August 20, 2010 8:58 PM Comments (3)

Pope Benedict XVI waves from the balcony during his Angelus prayer Aug. 15, the feast of the Assumption of Mary, at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, Italy. (CNS photo/Alessia Giuliani, Catholic Press Photo)

Pope Benedict XVI and the Vatican have a busy schedule this fall, filled with papal visits, a synod of bishops and possibly even a consistory.

The Holy Father will be staying at his summer residence of Castel Gandolfo at least until the end of September but before he returns to Rome he has three important engagements: 

• First is his traditional ‘Schülerkreis’ Aug. 27-29. The meeting with the Pope’s former students, which dates back to when he was a theology professor in Regensburg, Germany, will be held as usual at Castel Gandolfo and this year will focus on the hermeneutic of the Second Vatican Council: whether the Council texts represent ‘discontinuity and rupture’ with tradition or...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, consistory, leo xiii, middle east, papal visit, vatican

Footage of Holy Father on Vacation

Friday, July 23, 2010 1:17 PM Comments (7)

Some rare footage of Benedict XVI during his current vacation in Castel Gandolfo, outside Rome, courtesy of Rome Reports.

During his summer holiday which ends next week, the Holy Father has been working on the third volume of his book, Jesus of Nazareth. The next volume will be dedicated to the ‘Gospel Infancy Narratives’. The manuscript for the second volume on the Passion and Resurrection has been completed and is currently with translators.

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The Church's Purification Continues?

Friday, July 23, 2010 12:03 PM Comments (4)

The cover of this week's issue of Panorama

Yet more scandalous revelations for the Church to deal with: the current issue of Italian magazine Panorama is making headlines after it conducted an undercover investigation of suspected practising homosexual priests in Rome.

In a sensationalist cover story which hit the newsstands today entitled “The Wild Nights of Gay Priests”, the article’s author, together with an accomplice who was homosexual, claims to have documented the double lives of a number of priests using a hidden camera.

The Berlusconi-owned weekly doesn’t give precise numbers of Rome priests involved, saying only that there are “numerous cases”, but it claims to have compromising evidence of three priests. In the...READ MORE

Filed under homosexuality, priests, rome, scandal

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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