Israeli Rabbi, Vatican Official and Saudi King Join Forces for Peace

11/29/2012 Comments (2)

Representatives including U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon pose for a photograph at the inaugural ceremony of the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, Nov. 26, 2012.


King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has invited an Israeli rabbi, a Vatican official and other religious leaders to help run his new inter-faith centre in Vienna - an initiative which could pave the way for freedom of worship in the Arab kingdom.

Rabbi David Rosen, an advisor on interreligious affairs to Israel's Chief Rabbinate, will be the only Jewish representative on a nine-member board of directors that will help run the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Centre for Inter-religious and Inter-cultural Dialogue. 

The other board members consist of three Christians (Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican), three Muslims (two Shia, one Sunni), a Buddhist and a Hindu. The Catholic representative, Spanish...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal jean-louis tauran, christianity, interfaith, interreligious dialogue, islam, judaism, king abdullah, miguel ayuso, rabbi david rosen, saudi arabia

Sparks Fly at Pius XII London Debate

11/22/2012 Comments (25)


Scholars speaking in favour of Venerable Pope Pius XII and his wartime record managed to convince a significant number of people that the Pontiff did the best he could to save Jewish lives from the Holocaust, even if they failed to win over the majority of the audience at a recent lively debate in London.

The Intelligence Squared debate, held last Wednesday in front of a large audience of participants, heard four scholars debate the motion:  “’Hitler’s Pope’: Pius XII did too little to save the Jews from the Holocaust”.

Speaking for the motion were the British historian Viscount John Julius Norwich and UN jurist Geoffrey Robertson. Speaking against were William Doino, a leading...READ MORE

Filed under debate, geoffrey robertson, holocaust, intelligence squared, john julius norwich, pius xii, ronald rychlak, william doino, world war two

Pope to Take to Twitter

11/09/2012 Comments (4)


Pope Benedict XVI is to start tweeting from his own personal account, probably by the end of this year, according to the Vatican.

It says the Holy Father’s tweets will be “fairly infrequent” and their content will probably “not veer too far from his texts, and on many occasions point to the things the Pope says.”

Someone else will be typing out the actual tweets, the Vatican says, though he will be signing off on each one.

“It’s going to be nice having the Pope up there [with other popular tweeters],” a Vatican official told me. “If you look at the top 10 tweeters in the world, those with the most followers, I think eight of them are entertainers - Lady Gaga, actors and...READ MORE

Filed under internet, new evangelization, pope benedict xvi, social communications, twitter, web

Pope Congratulates President Obama, Stresses Freedom and Justice

11/07/2012 Comments (10)

Pope Benedict XVI at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square, Nov. 7, 2012.


Pope Benedict XVI has sent his best wishes to Barack Obama on his re-election as president of the United States, while also highlighting the president's "serious responsibilities" and the nation's "ideals of freedom and justice." 

In a message, conveyed through the apostolic nunciature in Washington, the Pope "expresses his best wishes to the president on his new mandate and gives assurances of his prayers to God to help him carry out his serious responsibilities, both in his own country and within the international community," a Vatican statement reads.

"The Pope also speaks of his hope that the ideals of freedom and justice, which guided the Founding Fathers of the United States of...READ MORE

Filed under freedom, justice, pope benedict xvi, president obama

U.S. Ambassador to Holy See Steps Down

11/05/2012 Comments (80)
U.S. Embassy to the Holy See

Ambassador Miguel Diaz.

– U.S. Embassy to the Holy See

The United States Ambassador to the Holy See made a farewell visit to Pope Benedict XVI today.

Ambassador Miguel Diaz is leaving his position after just over three years’ service representing the Obama administration.

An embassy spokesman said he would probably be leaving Rome at the weekend to take up a teaching position at the University of Dayton, OH.   

The embassy said the move had been in the pipeline for a while, and that it had planned to announce the ambassador's departure after the Presidential Elections tomorrow, but as the farewell visit took place today, the Vatican pre-empted the disclosure by making an announcement in its daily bulletin. Ambassador Diaz, who was...READ MORE

Filed under holy see, miguel diaz, obama administration, us embassy to the holy see, vatican

Pope to Transfer Vatican Jurisdiction of Seminaries and Catechesis

10/27/2012 Comments (2)
Rome Reports

Swiss Guards salute Synod participants as they enter the Paul VI Hall.

– Rome Reports

Pope Benedict XVI is to issue an Apostolic Letter motu proprio in the near future that transfers jurisdiction of seminaries from the Congregation for Catholic Education to the Congregation for the Clergy, and the competence of catechesis from the Congregation for the Clergy to the new Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization.

The Holy Father announced the minor change in the Curia's administration today in remarks during the final session of the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization, which closes with a Mass at St. Peter’s tomorrow. He also shared his reasons for calling a small Consistory at the end of November. 

In his address in the Synod Hall, the Pope said he...READ MORE

Filed under catechesis, consistory, motu proprio, new evangelization, pope benedict xvi, seminarians

American Archbishop Named Cardinal in Surprise Consistory

10/24/2012 Comments (1)

A long-serving Curial archbishop from the United States is to be elevated to the College of Cardinals and will be made archpriest of the papal basilica of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls, Pope Benedict XVI announced today.

Milwaukee-native Archbishop James Harvey, prefect of the Papal Household, was one of six new members nominated in a surprise announcement by the Pope at the end of his weekly general audience.

The full list of the new cardinals, whom the Holy Father will appoint at a consistory on Nov. 24th, the eve of the Feast of Christ the King, are:

  • Archbishop James Harvey, Prefect of the Papal Household whom the Pope plans to appoint archpriest of the Papal Basilica of...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop james harvey, college of cardinals, consistory, pope benedict xvi, weekly general audience

Bishop Williamson Removed As Member of SSPX

10/23/2012 Comments (45)

Bishop Richard Williamson during his infamous interview on Swedish television in 2009.

– Kvalvika

The Superior General of the breakaway Society of St. Pius X has removed Bishop Richard Williamson as a member of the priestly fraternity, it is being claimed.

The reliable Rorate Caeli blog said it could confirm that Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the SSPX, had removed Williamson from the fraternity, and that the removal "comes at the end of an internal procedure that included repeated entreaties by the higher authorities of the Society regarding Williamson's decisions and actions that apparently went unheeded.”

Other sources say Fellay was not happy with Williamson’s blog and newsletters whose content sowed dissent within the ranks of the SSPX, and which counselled...READ MORE

Filed under angela merkel, bishop richard williamson, holy see, pope benedict xvi, sspx, sspx-vatican dialogue

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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