Vatican Conference to Look at Cultural Impact of Adult Stem Cell Research

04/10/2013 Comment
Estefania Aguirre-EWTN News.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture.

– Estefania Aguirre-EWTN News.

What are the cultural implications of medical advances that are allowing many of us to live longer?

To help analyze this question in detail, the Vatican is co-hosting a Rome conference on regenerative medicine, with an emphasis on advances in adult stem cell research.  The meeting, titled “Regenerative Medicine: A Fundamental Shift in Science & Culture”, will take place in the new Synod Hall of the Paul VI building in the Vatican from 11–13 April.

Msgr. Tomasz Trafny, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture’s Science and Faith Foundation, told a Vatican press conference yesterday that as well as analysing the consequences of “regenerative medicine in general and adult stem cells in...READ MORE

Filed under adult stem cells, bioethics, cardinal gianfranco ravasi, embryonic stem cells, pontifical council for culture

Remembering Margaret Thatcher

04/08/2013 Comments (18)

Margaret Thatcher awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George H. W. Bush.

– Wikipedia

Former British Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher, who died today, was not a Catholic, and, according to those closest to her, never had any wish to cross the Tiber.

But she was well known for having friendly relations with Blessed John Paul II, whom she greatly admired. She laid flowers at his tomb on a visit to the Vatican in 2009 and was overheard remarking that if weren’t for the great Polish Pope, Soviet Communism wouldn’t have fallen.

Moreover, Baroness Thatcher's political principles were largely formed by her Christian faith, and in particular her Methodist upbringing.

In an interview with the Register a couple of years ago, John O’Sullivan, a close Catholic friend and former...READ MORE

Filed under christianity, faith, freedom, john paul ii, margaret thatcher, methodism, ronald reagan

Pope Francis Prays at Blessed John Paul II's Tomb

Holy Father also stopped to pray at the tombs of Blessed John XXIII and St. Pius X.

04/02/2013 Comments (3)

Friends of John Paul II Foundation

After St. Peter’s Basilica closed to the public this evening, Pope Francis prayed at the tomb of Blessed Pope John Paul II to commemorate the eighth anniversary of his death.

In a statement, the Vatican said the Holy Father “spent a long time kneeling in silent prayer” at the late Pontiff’s tomb in the St. Sebastian Chapel of the basilica. Afterwards, he also "paused briefly in prayer" at the tombs of Blessed John XXIII and St. Pius X.

The Pope was accompanied by Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of the Vatican basilica, and personal secretary Msgr. Alfred Xuereb.

The Vatican said that, as happened yesterday, when the Pope visited the tomb of St. Peter and the Vatican grottos,...READ MORE

Filed under blessed john paul ii, blessed john xxiii, pacem in terris, pope francis, st. pius x

Pope Francis' Easter Urbi et Orbi Message - Full Text

03/31/2013 Comments (8)

Pope Francis delivering his Easter Urbi et Orbi (to the city and to the world) message. March 31, 2013.


Dear brothers and sisters in Rome and throughout the world, Happy Easter!

What a joy it is for me to announce this message: Christ is risen! I would like it to go out to every house and every family, especially where the suffering is greatest, in hospitals, in prisons…

Most of all, I would like it to enter every heart, for it is there that God wants to sow this Good News: Jesus is risen, there is hope for you, you are no longer in the power of sin, of evil! Love has triumphed, mercy has been victorious!

We too, like the women who were Jesus’ disciples, who went to the tomb and found it empty, may wonder what this event means (cf. Lk 24:4). What does it mean that Jesus is risen? It...READ MORE

Filed under easter, pope francis, urbi et orbi

Pope Francis' Easter Vigil Homily - Full Text

03/30/2013 Comments (2)

Pope Francis and cardinals process out of St. Peter's basilica at the end of the Easter Vigil.


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

1. In the Gospel of this radiant night of the Easter Vigil, we first meet the women who go the tomb of Jesus with spices to anoint his body (cf. Lk 24:1-3). They go to perform an act of compassion, a traditional act of affection and love for a dear departed person, just as we would. They had followed Jesus, they had listened to his words, they had felt understood by him in their dignity and they had accompanied him to the very end, to Calvary and to the moment when he was taken down from the cross. We can imagine their feelings as they make their way to the tomb: a certain sadness, sorrow that Jesus had left them, he had died, his life had come to an end. Life...READ MORE

Filed under easter vigil, pope francis

Way of the Cross with Pope Francis at the Colosseum

03/29/2013 Comments (1)

Pope Francis listening to the meditations during the Via Crucis.


"Sometimes it may seem as though God does not react to evil, as if he is silent," said Pope Francis at the end of the Via Crucis at the Colosseum this evening.

"And yet, God has spoken, he has replied, and his answer is the Cross of Christ: a word which is love, mercy, forgiveness. It also reveals a judgment, namely that God, in judging us, loves us. If I embrace his love then I am saved, if I refuse it, then I am condemned, not by him, but my own self, because God never condemns, he only loves and saves."

He added: "Christians must respond to evil with good, taking the Cross upon themselves as Jesus did."

The Holy Father addressed the faithful after prayers and meditations on the...READ MORE

Filed under pope francis, via crucis

Pope Washes Feet at Juvenile Detention Center

03/28/2013 Comments (5)

Pope Francis this evening travelled to the Casa del Marmo juvenile detention center just outside Rome to celebrate Mass of Our Lord's Supper and wash the feet of 12 young prisoners.

The Vatican said the jailed teens were not all Catholic while reports say among the among those who had their feet washed were two teenage girls, one Italian and another from Serbia.

By washing their feet, the Pope evoked the time Jesus washed the feet of his twelve apostles during the Last Supper.


Below is a Vatican Radio translation of the Holy Father’s unscripted homily:

“This is moving, Jesus washes the feet of his disciples. Peter understands nothing. He refuses but Jesus explains to him....READ MORE

Filed under foot washing, holy thursday, pope francis

Pope Francis Celebrates His First Chrism Mass (Full Text)

03/28/2013 Comments (2)

Pope Francis delivering his Chrism Mass homily this morning in St. Peter's Basilica. March 28, 2013.


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This morning I have the joy of celebrating my first Chrism Mass as the Bishop of Rome. I greet all of you with affection, especially you, dear priests, who, like myself, today recall the day of your ordination.

The readings and the Psalm of our Mass speak of God’s "anointed ones": the suffering Servant of Isaiah, King David and Jesus our Lord. All three have this in common: the anointing that they receive is meant in turn to anoint God’s faithful people, whose servants they are; they are anointed for the poor, for prisoners, for the oppressed… A fine image of this "being for" others can be found in the Psalm 133: "It is like the precious oil upon the head,...READ MORE

Filed under chrism mass, pope francis, priest, priesthood

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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