Pope Francis' Christmas Address to the Roman Curia - Full Text

12/21/2013 Comments (29)

Pope Francis meeting Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, after delivering today's address.


Your Eminences,
Dear Brother Bishops and Priests,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Once again the Lord has enabled us to journey through Advent, and all too quickly we have come to these final days before Christmas. They are days marked by a unique spiritual climate made up of emotions, memories and signs, both liturgical and otherwise, such as the crèche. It is in this climate that this traditional meeting takes place with you, the superiors and officials of the Roman Curia, who cooperate daily in the service of the Church. I greet all of you with affection. Allow me to extend a special greeting to Archbishop Pietro Parolin, who recently began his service as Secretary of State, and who...READ MORE

Filed under christmas, pope francis, roman curia

Vatican Hires Large U.S. Consultancy Firm to Advise on Media

12/19/2013 Comments (7)

The Vatican has announced it will be hiring large American consultancy firm McKinsey & Co. to advise it on modernizing its communications operations.

It will also be bringing in Netherlands-based auditors KPMG to study the Vatican's internal accounting.

In a statement issued this morning, the Vatican said management consultants McKinsey & Co. was chosen to “provide advice contributing to the development - in close collaboration with the heads of the relevant departments - an integrated plan to make the organization of the means of communication of the Holy See more functional, efficient and modern.”

The decision was made on Wednesday by the commission of inquiry into the Vatican's...READ MORE

Filed under consultants, finances, media, roman curia, vatican

Happy Birthday Holy Father!

Pope Francis turns 77 today

12/17/2013 Comments (20)

Pope Francis invited four homeless people to celebrate his 77th birthday today at the Vatican.

Each of them joined the Holy Father for his morning Mass in the Casa Santa Martha. One of the men held his dog as he was presented to Francis after Mass, AP reported.

The Vatican said Francis invited the papal household to join him in a "family-like" atmosphere, and he spoke of them one by one during his homily.

After Mass, all joined Pope Francis for breakfast in the Casa Santa Martha refectory. On Saturday children presented him with a birthday cake at the Vatican.

Later today, he will have a special visit from players and managers from San Lorenzo de Almagro, Pope Francis' favorite...READ MORE

Filed under birthday, pope francis

Pope Makes Major Changes to Congregation for Bishops' Membership

12/16/2013 Comments (50)

Pope Francis meeting members of the Georgetown University’s Religious Freedom Project on Saturday.

– Edward Pentin

Pope Francis today made some sweeping changes to the membership of the Congregation for Bishops.

Although he re-confirmed Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet PSS as prefect of the Congregation (a position he has held since 2010), the Holy Father significantly altered the congregation’s membership, a body that shares advice on the appointments of bishops.

Most notably, Francis has chosen to replace 65 year-old Cardinal Raymond Burke as a member of the Congregation. Currently, the cardinal heads the Apostolic Signatura, the Church's equivalent of a 'supreme court.'  

But as well as the American-born cardinal, the Pope also replaced Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, 69, currently head of the...READ MORE

Filed under bishops, cardinal burke, pope francis

Pope Francis Named Time's Person of the Year 2013

12/11/2013 Comments (80)

Time magazine has named Pope Francis "Person of the Year 2013", beating other contenders such as Edward Snowden, Miley Cyrus, and Ted Cruz.

The international news magazine said it chose the Holy Father largely because of his humility and compassion.

"In a very short time, a vast, global, ecumenical audience has shown a hunger to follow him," Time's managing editor, Nancy Gibbs, wrote in an article explaining their decision. "For pulling the papacy out of the palace and into the streets, for committing the world’s largest faith to confronting its deepest needs and for balancing judgment with mercy, Pope Francis is TIME’s 2013 Person of the Year." 

The award was accompanied by a long...READ MORE

Filed under person of the year, pope francis, time magazine

Belgium Looks Set to Euthanize Children

12/05/2013 Comments (7)

Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard, president of Belgium’s bishops conference.

– YouTube

In the face of widespread public indifference and a largely silent media, Belgium looks set on passing a law allowing doctors to kill terminally ill children. 

Yesterday, the Senate justice and social affairs committee approved a draft bill allowing the practice. It will now pass to parliament where it will be voted upon in the coming months.

Three quarters of Belgians approve of the proposal, according to surveys, making it likely the bill will pass.

The proposed legislation would allow the euthanasia of terminally-ill minors so long as they are judged capable of deciding for themselves and are in pain that is "unbearable and cannot be alleviated", according to AFP.

A medical...READ MORE

Filed under belgium, children, euthanasia

Full Text of Benedict XVI's Letter to Atheist

11/26/2013 Comments (31)

Piergiorgio Odifreddi and Benedict XVI.

– Wikipedia/EP

Exclusive to the Register, we publish below the first English translation of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s letter to the militant Italian atheist, Piergiorgio Odifreddi.

In September, the Italian newspaper La Repubblica printed extracts of the letter whose full contents were published in Italian on Nov. 23 by the German-language agency Kath.net.

The Pope Emeritus sent the letter in response to a book Odifreddi wrote in 2011 entitled Dear Pope, I’m Writing to You. The work was a critique of certain arguments and lines of thought found in Benedict’s theological writings, beginning with his 1967 volume Introduction to Christianity, and including his book Jesus of Nazareth, which he wrote...READ MORE

Filed under atheism, atheist, benedict xvi, faith, piergiorgo odifreddi, science

Putin Meets Pope, Human Dignity and Syria Focus of Talks

11/25/2013 Comment
Presidential Press and Information Office

President Putin and Pope Francis.

– Presidential Press and Information Office

In one of the most eagerly anticipated meetings between a Russian head of state and a pope, Vladimir Putin arrived at the Apostolic Palace this evening for an audience with Pope Francis.   

During the meeting, which was said to have lasted roughly 35 minutes, the two men discussed several important areas of convergence between the Kremlin and the Holy See. These included peace in the Middle East and Syria as well as protection of life and the family.

Putin has been especially vocal on some of these issues recently, leading many to see him as a closer ally of the Church than many of his Western counterparts.

Following the meeting, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told...READ MORE

Filed under family, holy see, kremlin, life, pope francis, russia, syria, vatican, vladimir putin

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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