Pope to Link-Up with Space Station, Meet Arab League Head

05/17/2011 Comments (2)

Pope Benedict XVI greets the crowd as he arrives in St. Mark's Square in Venice May 7. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

The Holy See has announced a some interesting Papal events due to take place over the coming weeks.

Fr. Federico Lombardi, the Holy See’s press spokesman, confirmed today that a live audio-video link between Pope Benedict XVI and the International Space Station will go ahead on Saturday 21 May at 13:56 local time. The link up will mark the last mission of the Shuttle Endeavour. Twelve astronauts will be present in the space station, including Italian Colonel Roberto Vittori, who has carried a silver medal gifted by Pope to the station, according to Vatican Radio.

Before then, on the sidelines of this week’s Wednesday general audience, the Holy Father is scheduled to meet in private with...READ MORE

Filed under arab league, benedict xvi, castel gandolfo, croatia, san marino

Vatican Letter on Dealing with Clerical Sex Abuse - Full Text

05/16/2011 Comments (13)

The Vatican has today published the text of a letter circulated to bishops’ conferences around the world to help them develop guidelines for dealing clerical sex abuse cases.

The full text can be found here, together with an accompanying letter from Cardinal William J. Levada.

Although the actual text of the letter is already quite short and concise, the Vatican has produced this useful synthesis.

The Vatican says the letter “represents a very important new step in promoting awareness throughout the Church of the need and urgency to effectively respond to the scourge of sexual abuse by members of the clergy.”

“Only in this way,” it adds, “can we renew full credibility in the witness and...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal william levada, clerical sex abuse, congregation for the doctrine of the faith, vatican

Vatican Instruction on Summorum Pontificum Published

05/13/2011 Comments (16)

Bishop Edward J. Slattery of Tulsa, Okla., celebrates a solemn high Mass in the extraordinary form at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington April 24 2010, the first time in 50 years that a Mass was held at the shrine in the traditional Latin rite according to the 1962 missal. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec)

This morning, on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, the Vatican published a long awaited Instruction on the application of “Summorum Pontificum”, Pope Benedict XVI’s 2007 motu proprio which aimed to facilitate celebration of the Mass in the extraordinary form (the Roman Liturgy that was in effect in 1962).

Approved by Benedict XVI and signed by Cardinal William Levada and Msgr. Guido Pozzo, respectively president and secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, on April 30th, the memorial of Pope St. Pius V, the Instruction strongly affirms the motu proprio and aims to clarify and resolve notable difficulties that have arisen in its implementation over the years since it was...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, liturgy, motu proprio, summorum pontificum, vatican

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

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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