Pope Arrives in Malta

04/17/2010 Comments (2)

MOSAIC DEPICTING “SAINT PAUL'S SHIPWRECK IN MALTA” Pope Benedict XVI's gift to the President of Malta. The mosaic was inspired by a fresco, the work of Nicolò Circignani, also known as the “Pomarancio”, which is found in the “Sala della Meridiana” in the “Torre dei Venti” in the Vatican. The fresco depicts the shipwreck of Saint Paul in Malta as it is described in chapter 28 of the Acts of the Apostles.

Pope Benedict XVI has just begun his Apostolic Journey to Malta - his first overseas visit of 2010.

He landed here shortly before 5pm local time and is now on his way to a reception at the presidential palace.

Malta is one of the most Catholic countries in Europe, if not the world, and the Holy Father made a point of praising its Catholic culture and values in his discourse at the airport welcoming ceremony (see below). 

The Pope, who is here to celebrate the 1950th anniversary of St. Paul’s shipwreck off the island, pointed out that “some might consider Saint Paul’s arrival in Malta by means of a humanly unforeseen event to be a mere accident of history. The eyes of faith, however,...READ MORE

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Pope on Need for Penance over Clerical Abuse

04/15/2010 Comments (2)

A sign of support for Pope Benedict XVI is seen during the pontiff's general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 14. The sign thanks the Pope for "his immense love that nourishes hope and faith." (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Benedict XVI today spoke of the importance of the Church to do penance, particularly now when the she is “under the attacks of the world.” He also warned of subtle forms of dictatorship which can lead to subtle and not-so-subtle aggression towards the Church.

In a veiled reference to the clerical abuse scandal, the Pope told the Pontifical Biblical Commission meeting in Rome: “Now, under the attacks of the world, which speak to us of our sins, we see that to be able to do penance is a grace – and we see how necessary it is to do penance, that is, to recognize what is wrong in our lives: to recognize one’s sin, to open oneself to forgiveness, to prepare for pardon, to allow...READ MORE

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Vatican Now Blogging

04/12/2010 Comment

Vatican Informations Service blog

The Vatican has taken to the blogosphere - well, kind of.

The Holy See press office announced today that the Vatican Information Service (VIS) launched a blog on April 9th at www.visnews.org in English, French, Spanish and Italian.

The Vatican says the page will be updated daily at around 3pm CET. 

It won’t generally contain opinion or analysis but instead offer the daily VIS bulletin, already sent out to subscribers by email for free. This is also available on the Vatican website although it’s not easy to find. 

The new blog contains all VIS bulletins going back to 1999 and has some useful links, as well as ones to the Vatican’s Twitter and YouTube pages. Readers can also comments...READ MORE

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Fr. Lombardi Issues Reflection on Crisis

04/09/2010 Comments (4)

The Holy See press office director, Father Federico Lombardi, today issued this helpful and thoughtful reflection on the sexual abuse crisis, reproduced in full below.

Following Holy Week, Holding Our Course

The debate concerning sexual abuse, and not only that committed by the clergy, continues with news items and comments of various kinds. How can we sail through these stormy waters while maintaining a secure course and responding to the evangelical motto ‘Duc in altum - Put out into the deep’?

In the first place, by continuing to seek truth, and peace for the victims. One of the most striking things is that today so many inner wounds are coming to light, wounds that also date to...READ MORE

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Senator Pera Again Defends the Church

04/08/2010 Comments (6)

Senator Marcello Pera was President of the Italian Senate from 2001-2006. As well as writing 'Without Roots' in 2004, he has written 'Why We Must Call Ourselves Christians', a 2008 book with a preface by Pope Benedict.

Marcello Pera, the Italian philosopher and politician, has again spoken out in defense of the Church and the Holy Father in response to the excessive attacks over the sexual abuse crisis.

Last month, he wrote an open letter to the editor of Corriere della Sera, pointing out that these attacks are more to do with a “war” between secularism and Christianity than they are about pedophilia.

He did so again today, in an article for the Italian daily Il Tempo. He writes that “judicial ecclesiastical and civil reparation regarding pedophilia cases and priests is not the true interest” of those who are viciously attacking the Church. “If it really were,” he says, “then similar...READ MORE

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Looking at the U.N.'s Record

04/07/2010 Comments (4)

The strong condemnations of clerical sexual abuse, as well as those times when the Church has mishandled these terrible cases, is of course understandable and fair. As many have rightly pointed out, one case of clerical abuse is one too many.

But many have also noted that much criticism directed at the Church as a whole over this issue has been unjust and disproportionate, not least the spurious accusations directed against Pope Benedict XVI which have been very ably unpacked by my colleague Jimmy Akin.

Child sexual abuse is a scourge for society at large, not just for the Church. Currently making headlines in Germany, for example – where condemnations of the Church’s record have been...READ MORE

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Urbi et Orbi and Easter Vigil in Full

04/04/2010 Comment


Cantemus Domino: gloriose enim magnificatus est.
“Let us sing to the Lord, glorious his triumph!” (Liturgy of the Hours, Easter, Office of Readings, Antiphon 1).

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I bring you the Easter proclamation in these words of the Liturgy, which echo the ancient hymn of praise sung by the Israelites after crossing the Red Sea. It is recounted in the Book of Exodus (cf 15:19-21) that when they had crossed the sea on dry land, and saw the Egyptians submerged by the waters, Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron, and the other women sang and danced to this song of joy: “Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed...READ MORE

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What Fr. Cantalamessa Really Said

04/02/2010 Comments (29)

The comments of the Pope’s preacher, Father Raniero Cantalamessa, in which he quoted a Jewish friend at this evening’s Good Friday homily in St. Peter’s is causing yet further media controversy for the Church.

But as always, it helps to read such comments in context. Thanks to Robert Moynihan of Inside the Vatican for obtaining the whole homily. The relevant remarks are in bold at the end. 


Homily on Good Friday 2010 in Saint Peter’s Basilica
by Father Raniero Cantalamessa, ofmcap

“We have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God”: thus begins the passage from the Letter to the Hebrews that we heard in the second...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