"Please Pray for Me" Says Pope on 1st Anniversary of Election

03/13/2014 Comments (8)

The Holy Father sent out this simple tweet this morning, the first anniversary since his election.

Asked by reporters today what Francis is doing to mark the occasion, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi simply said: "He is praying." 

The Pope, who is currently on retreat in Ariccia just outside Rome, "is not doing anything special or different in respect to other days: he is praying," Fr. Lombardi said, adding that the Holy Father will return to the Vatican tomorrow lunchtime by bus after a retreat that began on Sunday.

Filed under conclave, election, pontificate, pope francis

Pope Francis to Visit South Korea in August

Holy Father to make first visit to Asia on occasion of Asian Youth Day.

03/10/2014 Comment

Pope Francis is to visit South Korea from August 14th to 18th, the Vatican announced today.

In a statement, the Vatican said:

"Welcoming the invitation from the President of the Republic and the Korean bishops, His Holiness Francis will make an Apostolic Trip to the Republic of Korea from 14 to 18 August 2014, on the occasion of the Sixth Asian Youth Day, to be held in the diocese of Daejon."

The Holy Father first indicated he would travel to Asia last year, when he told reporters on the papal plane from Rio that Benedict XVI did not have time to visit the region. "I must go to Asia," he said. "It is important." As in much of Africa, Asia is seen as a region of growth for the Church.


Filed under apostolic voyage, pope francis, south korea

Benedict XVI Recalls Blessed John Paul II's Sanctity in New Interview

Says it became "ever clearer" to him that Karol Wojtyla was a saint.

03/07/2014 Comments (23)

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has shared some personal recollections of Blessed John Paul II in a new interview that appears in a book of tributes to the soon-to-be canonized Polish Pontiff.

In extracts of the interview, published today by ZENIT, Benedict XVI says it became “ever clearer” to him that John Paul II was a saint. He recalls his first meeting with Karol Wojtyla, their working relationship, and how – contrary to what some theologians thought at the time – John Paul II firmly backed the former prefect at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith during the blowback that followed publication of the 2000 declaration, Dominus Iesus.

The interview, which runs to 12 pages under the...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, canonization, john paul ii

Pope Gives New Interview to Secular Newspaper

03/05/2014 Comments (25)

In his latest interview with a secular newspaper, Pope Francis has praised Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI’s encyclical on contraception, saying his predecessor’s “genius proved prophetic.”

He also discusses civil unions, sexual abuse of minors, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and women in hierarchical positions in the Church. The interview was given to coincide with Francis' first year as pontiff. 

UPDATE: ZENIT has translated the full text of the interview into English here.

Published in Italian in Corriere della Sera and in Spanish in La Nacion, the Holy Father tells journalist Ferruccio de Bortoli that Paul VI had "the courage to go against the majority, to defend the moral discipline, to...READ MORE

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Benedict XVI: Questions About Validity of Resignation are "Absurd"

02/26/2014 Comments (11)

Benedict XVI greeting Pope Francis in St. Peter's basilica on Saturday.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has firmly refuted speculation that he was forced to resign the papacy which, if true, would have invalidated his resignation.

In a written response to questions submitted to him by veteran Vatican correspondent Andrea Tornielli, Benedict XVI said there is "absolutely no doubt regarding the validity of my resignation from the Petrine ministry” and that “speculations” surrounding it are “simply absurd”.

He denied he was forced to resign, was pressured into it, or fell victim to a conspiracy, according to an article in Vatican Insider published today. His resignation was genuine and valid and there is no “diarchy”, or dual government, in the Church today, the Pope...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, papacy, pope francis, resignation

Pope Calls on Families to Pray for Upcoming Synod

02/25/2014 Comments (1)

Pope Francis has written a letter to families asking them to pray for the next Synod of Bishops which will be celebrated in the Vatican in October on the theme: “The pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelisation”.

In the letter, dated 2 February, Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple and published by the Vatican today, the Holy Father stresses that their prayer is "crucial" and a "blessed treasure", and that the support of families is "more necessary than ever." 

"I ask you, therefore, to pray intensely to the Holy Spirit, so that the Spirit may illumine the Synodal Fathers and guide them in their important task," the Pope writes.

"May we all, then, pray...READ MORE

Filed under family, pope francis

Pope to New Cardinals: Reject Worldly Mentality

Holy Father appoints 19 new cardinals in St. Peter's basilica

02/22/2014 Comments (2)

Pope Francis warmly embraced Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on entering the basilica.

At his first ordinary public consistory this morning, Pope Francis advised 19 new cardinals not to conform themselves to a worldly mentality but instead to be courageous in proclaiming the Gospel and bearing witness to the truth at all times.

He also called on them to be peacemakers and examples of courage and compassion “especially at this time of pain and suffering for so many countries throughout the world.”

Surprisingly, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was also present at the consistory and Pope Francis warmly embraced his predecessor who was seated not far from the new cardinals.

There has been some speculation as to whether Benedict XVI will attend the canonization of John XXIII...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, cardinals, consistory, pope francis

Pope: 'Tyrannical Dominion' is Threatening Lives of Elderly

02/20/2014 Comments (3)
© Emmacharles / Stock Free Images

– © Emmacharles / Stock Free Images

Pope Francis sent the following message to the Pontifical Academy for Life today, on the occasion of their general assembly and the 20th anniversary of the academy. The theme for this year's meeting is 'Aging and Disability'.

The Holy Father speaks about a "tyrannical dominion" which leads to the exclusion and "at times evens kills" the elderly. 

"Many fall victim to this," he says. "We have created a ‘throw away’ culture which is now spreading." It's a culture, he says, that is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but exclusion.

The Pope ends by saying the "gravest deprivation" experienced by the aged is "not the weakening of one’s physical body, nor the disability...READ MORE

Filed under economics, elderly, euthanasia, pontifical academy for life, pope francis

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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