Birthday Wishes from Around the World for Holy Father

04/16/2011 Comments (18)

Pope Benedict XVI kisses a baby as he leaves his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 13. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Birthday wishes have been coming in from around the world for Pope Benedict XVI who turns 84 today.

The latest edition of L’Osservatore Romano reports that “political and religious authorities, men of culture and many faithful are expressing respect and affection for the Pope, who has been spending it as a normal workday.”
One of the first to offer the Holy Father greetings was Queen Elizabeth II. “On the occasion of your eighty fourth birthday, I have much pleasure in sending my warmest felicitations and prayers to Your Holiness, recalling with great fondness the memorable visit of Your Holiness to the United Kingdom,” the queen wrote in a message made public yesterday. The English...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, birthday

Choosing a Feast Day for John Paul II

04/07/2011 Comments (45)

Pope John Paul II is pictured in an image released March 25 by the postulation of his sainthood cause. The Polish pope, who died April 2, 2005, will be beatified May 1. (CNS photo/Grzegorz Galazka, courtesy of Postulation of Pope John Paul II)

When will be John Paul II’s feast day?

So far there’s no agreement but it’s currently the subject of discussion among senior Vatican officials.

Papal spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told reporters this week the date will be announced on May 1, the day Benedict XVI celebrates the beatification Mass. 

According to some authoritative sources, October 16th - the date of John Paul II’s election - is the most likely choice. But this would be rather surprising given the fact that the Vatican is keen to stress John Paul II is being beatified on account of his personal holiness rather than his achievements as pope, or impact on history. Another date being floated is that of his inauguration,...READ MORE

Filed under beatification, feast day, john paul ii

Vatican Bank Head: Economy Needs Good Priests

03/26/2011 Comments (13)

Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, head of the Vatican bank. (CNS photo/Emanuela De Meo, Catholic Press Photo)

The president of the Vatican bank has said that more than a renewal of capitalism led by economic experts and industrialists, what the global economy needs most are good priests to renew man.

Reviewing a book called “The Disease of the West” by Italian economist Marco Panara in today’s L’Osservatore Romano, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi says that the “real disease” of the West is “the nihilism that has uprooted man from any absolute truth and led him to become a materialist, pursuing a satisfaction that is ever more materialistic.”

“The disease of Western man,” adds Gotti Tedeschi, “is his distance from God and the tendency to drown his anxieties in consumerism.”

Although he mostly praises the...READ MORE

Filed under caritas in veritate, economic crisis, employment, gotti tedeschi, vatican bank

Pope's Message for Lent 2011 - Full Text

02/22/2011 Comments (1)

Pope Benedict XVI’s Message for Lent 2011

“You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him.” (cf. Col 2: 12)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Lenten period, which leads us to the celebration of Holy Easter, is for the Church a most valuable and important liturgical time, in view of which I am pleased to offer a specific word in order that it may be lived with due diligence. As she awaits the definitive encounter with her Spouse in the eternal Easter, the Church community, assiduous in prayer and charitable works, intensifies her journey in purifying the spirit, so as to draw more abundantly from the Mystery of Redemption the new life in Christ the Lord (cf....READ MORE

Filed under baptism, benedict xvi, message for lent, resurrection

Benedict XVI on Fostering Vocations

02/10/2011 Comments (3)

Seminarians Patrick La Pacz and Alvan Amadi listen as Father Tom Long addresses youths gathered at St. Joseph Retreat House in Bailey's Harbor, Wis., during a retreat focusing on Catholic vocations in 2009. (CNS photo/Sam Lucero, The Compass)

Pope Benedict XVI has appealed to every local Church to become “more sensitive and attentive” to the pastoral care of vocations, and for bishops to foster calls to the priesthood and religious life “as much as possible.”

The Holy Father made the appeal in his message for the 48th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, released by the Vatican today. The day takes place on 15th May 2011 on the theme “Proposing Vocations in the Local Church”.

The Pope stresses that vocations to the ministerial priesthood and to the consecrated life are “first and foremost the fruit of constant contact with the living God and insistent prayer” but notes how challenging this is, especially in today’s world.


Filed under benedict xvi, priesthood, religious life, vocations

Cardinal Tauran: Dialogue Must Continue

01/28/2011 Comments (3)

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, is seated with Sheik Ahmad Mohamed el-Tayeb, president of al-Azhar University in Cairo and Episcopal Bishop John Bryson Chane of Washington during a March 2010 dialogue between leaders of Christian and Muslim faiths in Washington (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec)

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, has said that Christian-Muslim dialogue must continue and is vital for peace in an interview today with L’Osservatore Romano.

The French cardinal said the Pontifical Council was concerned about Christians-Muslim dialogue after the freezing of ties by Al Azhar university in Cairo because, he said, “we want to understand what are the reasons” for their decision.

The Islamic Research Academy of Al Azhar voted January 20 to suspend dialogue with the Vatican because it claimed Benedict XVI was interfering in Egyptian affairs after he called for greater protection and religious freedom for all...READ MORE

Filed under al azhar, benedict xvi, cardinal tauran, interreligious dialogue, religious freedom, vatican

The Pope's Reflections on Facebook

01/24/2011 Comments (5)

Social networking sites such as Facebook are the principal focus of Pope Benedict XVI’s message for the 45th World Day of Social Communications published this morning, though of course none is mentioned explicitly by name.

The Pope’s message encourages all Christians to use this means of communication, and underlines its advantages for evangelization. But the message also highlights the risks that go with digital media.

The Holy Father reaffirms many of the benefits and dangers of the digital age, saying social networks are a wonderful way to build relationships and community. But he warns against replacing real friendships with virtual ones.

“In the final analysis,” the Pope writes,...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, digital media, facebook, internet, social networks

John Paul II to be Beatified May 1st

01/14/2011 Comments (18)

Pope Benedict XVI has today promulgated a decree recognising a miracle took place at the intercession of the Ven. John Paul II. The beatification ceremony will take place May 1st in Rome, presided by Benedict XVI.

The date, the Second Sunday of Easter, coincides with Divine Mercy Sunday - a Feast Day instituted by John Paul II. The late Pope died on the solemnity, on April 2, 2005.

The announcement of the beatification comes after five years of investigations into the life and works of the Polish Pontiff.

The full text of the decree can be found here.


The Vatican also announced today that Msgr. Nelson Baker (1842-1936), diocesan priest and businessman from Buffalo, N.Y., is to be...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