Benedict XVI's Invaluable Prophetic Witness

04/27/2010 Comments (5)

Pope Benedict XVI looks out on the crowd during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 14. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

As the Church celebrates Benedict XVI’s five year pontificate this month, I had a look again at Values in a Time of Upheaval, one of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s later books, published by Ignatius in 2005.

A selection of lectures he gave when he was prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the book offers his invaluable insights into the modern world, drawing on the role traditional Judeo-Christian values have played, and should play, in a pluralistic society.

He writes in the introduction that the talks pose more questions than answers in the hope that others might come up with innovative solutions. But answers are there, and profound ones at that.

Bearing in mind...READ MORE

Filed under ignatius press, pope benedict xvi, secularism

Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization?

04/26/2010 Comments (2)

Archbishop Rino Fisichella

Pope Benedict XVI is to publish an apostolic letter in the coming weeks announcing the creation of a Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, according to an Italian Vatican watcher.

Andrea Tornielli, the usually well-sourced Vatican correspondent for the Italian newspaper Il Giornale, reported that the new council’s aim will be to help rekindle the faith in the West, with the United States, Europe and South America being the main focus of the new structure.

The new dicastery, the idea of Cardinal Angelo Scola, the Patriarch of Venice, is expected to be headed by Archbishop Rino Fisichella.

Tornielli says that Archbishop Fisichella would resign his current positions – as...READ MORE

Filed under europe, evangelization, latin america, pope benedict xvi, united states

Pope Wraps Up Successful Visit

04/18/2010 Comments (5)

Pope Benedict delivers his farewell address at Malta's international airport.

The Pope has now arrived back in Rome after what many are seeing as a highly successful trip – even if the chances of it being a flop in this very Catholic nation were slim.

In his farewell address at Malta international airport, he called on the Maltese people to be “an example, at home and abroad, of dynamic Christian living,” and to never allow their “true identity to be compromised by indifferentism and relativism.”

He also made reference to the issue of immigration on the island, saying he was confident that with its strong Christian roots and with the support of the international community, Malta would come to the aid of immigrants fleeing violence and persecution and...READ MORE

Filed under malta, pope benedict xvi, sexual abuse crisis

'Make Manifest God's All-Inclusive Love'

04/18/2010 Comment

Benedict XVI arriving by boat for a gathering with Malta's youth.

Pope Benedict XVI has delivered his penultimate address in a speech to Malta’s young people.

Arriving by boat to Valletta’s Waterfront accompanied by a group of young people, the Holy Father was received by an enthusiastic crowd.

After hearing very thoughtful questions put by four young people (I’ve now added these at the end of this post), he set out to try and help them better understand St. Paul, to not be afraid to spread the Gospel, and to love all people with an “all-inclusive” love, seeking out those who are vulnerable or in distress (full text below).

“Maybe some of you will say to me, Saint Paul is often severe in his writings. How can I say that he was spreading a...READ MORE

Filed under malta, pope benedict xvi, st. paul, youth

Pope Meets Abuse Victims in Malta

04/18/2010 Comments (2)

The Pope arriving to celebrate Mass at the Granaries in Floriana square, Malta, April 18.

The Pope met eight victims of sexual abuse by clergy this morning in the Apostolic Nunciature in Valletta, Malta.

The Vatican’s statement reads:

“On Sunday 18th April, in the Apostolic Nunciature, the Holy Father met a small group of persons who were sexually abused by members of the clergy. He was deeply moved by the stories and expressed his shame and sorrow over what the victims and their families have suffered. He prayed with them and assured them that the Church is doing and will continue to do all in its power to investigate the allegations, to bring to justice those responsible for abuse and to implement effective measures designed to safeguard young people in the future. In the...READ MORE

Filed under malta, pope benedict xvi, sexual abuse crisis

Malta Puts on Party for the Pope

04/17/2010 Comment

Benedict XVI greeted by well-wishers in Rabat

The Maltese people have been ecstatic in their welcome for Pope Benedict XVI with most of the Mediterranean island, it seems, turning out to greet him on the first day of his visit.

Speaking to reporters this evening, Fr. Federico Lombardi, the Holy See press office director, estimated crowd numbers to be around 100,000. “There were crowds in every town, every village, that we passed,” he noted. He also was struck by how well behaved they were and how few police were present, especially compared to papal trips to other countries.

Naturally, one of the first questions Fr. Lombardi was asked was whether the Holy Father will meet with clerical abuse victims. Fr. Lombardi repeated what he...READ MORE

Filed under malta, pope benedict xvi, st. paul

Christian History of Malta

04/17/2010 Comments (3)

Pope Benedict XVI about to give his address at Malta's airport.

For readers who’d like to know more about Malta’s interesting Christian history, here’s a summary of the main events, courtesy of the Archdiocese of Malta.


At Paul’s Shipwreck on his way to Rome in AD 60 saw the beginning of Christianity in Malta. We read in the Acts of the Apostles (28, 1-11) that the people of the island showed no small courtesy to Paul and his companions and loaded them with such things as were necessary. According to St John Chrysostom, this shows that Paul converted a large number of Maltese to the Christian faith. Probably Paul on his departure from Malta left behind a small group of Christians, while, by the fourth century palaeo-Christian...READ MORE

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Malta's President Gets It

04/17/2010 Comments (1)

A street in Valletta decorated with Vatican flags.

It’s rare to have a European head of state so in tune with the Church, but the President of Malta, Dr. George Abela, gave a speech at the welcoming ceremony of the Pope this afternoon which will have no doubt resonated well with Benedict XVI.

He warned of the dangers of secularism and the “profane character” of privatized religion. “The moral foundations of a society as a whole, comprising believers, agnostics or atheists, are better served not with the falling away from religion but with the reinvigoration of the moral consciousness of the State,” he said.

He also referred directly to the abuse scandal, saying it “would be wrong” to try to use the “reprehensible indiscretions of the few...READ MORE

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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