The Pope's Tape Recorder

Wednesday, July 22, 2009 3:13 PM Comments (0)

Pope Benedict XVI, arm in sling, sits with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, left, in the Italian Alps today. CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters

Why did the Pope fall? The Pope’s spokesman told me today that “any illness has been ruled out, and the fall has rightly been described as ‘accidental.’ Whether he stumbled or slipped are particulars I cannot go into.”

In an earlier posting I mentioned that Benedict likes to dictate his thoughts into a recorder — I think it’s a holdover from his days as a university professor.

Father Federico Lombardi, the Pope’s spokesman, said today the Pope “has now been provided with a tape recorder to record his reflections,” but added that he did not yet know “how much he will use it in the coming days.”

As this CNS article explains, the Holy Father has been given a laptop to use but he is...READ MORE

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Benedict Rests

Tuesday, July 21, 2009 3:23 PM Comments (0)

The Pope takes a walk July 18. (CNS/L'Osservatore Romano)

In the wake of breaking his wrist last week shortly after beginning his summer vacation in northern Italy, Pope Benedict XVI has decided to cut back on his vacation itinerary.

According to Italy’s La Stampa newspaper, the Pope has graciously turned down all excursions for the rest of his vacation, but he will be celebrating vespers at Aosta cathedral on Friday. He’ll also recite the Angelus on Sunday as planned.

Last night, Benedict’s physician invited the Aosta doctors who treated the Holy Father to dinner to thank them for their work.

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Benedict Waits His Turn

Friday, July 17, 2009 1:21 PM Comments (0)

The Pope leaves the hospital with a cast on his right arm. (CNS/Reuters)

Pope Benedict XVI insisted on waiting his turn behind another patient when he was admitted to the hospital today for an X-ray and operation on his broken right wrist.

The Italian news agency ANSA quoted hospital sources as saying that he let a peritonitis patient awaiting surgery go ahead of him. He spent most of the day in the hospital, but has now been released.

The Pope’s operation under local anesthesia was “a complete success,” reports say, and the Holy Father will return to his summer vacation Alpine retreat. Papal spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the injury was “nothing serious.”

The Vatican stated earlier that Benedict had broken his wrist last night in a fall...READ MORE

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Vatican Personnel Changes

Thursday, July 16, 2009 11:12 AM Comments (0)

Pope Benedict XVI has today made a series of personnel changes within the Roman Curia.

Although the changes concern officials not often in the public eye, their positions are nevertheless influential.

One of those promoted is Msgr. Peter Brian Wells, a priest from Tulsa, Okla. He becomes assessor for general affairs of the Secretariat of State, a key position dealing with the Holy See’s relations with states.

Until now, Msgr. Wells has headed the English-language section at the Vatican Secretariat of State, with special responsibility for dealing with Holy See relations with the United States. He was one of just two others who were present at President Barack Obama’s private...READ MORE

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Italy’s Common Ground on Abortion

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 6:24 PM Comments (0)

Italy's Chamber of Deputies (Center for European Politics)

Is Italy showing how opposing sides can find common ground on abortion?

The Italian Parliament today agreed on a text to present the U.N. General Assembly asking for a resolution against the practice of abortion as a means of population control and asserting the right of every woman not to be forced to have abortions.

The motion, which was introduced by Rocco Buttiglione, the president of the center-right UDC Party and an old friend of Popes Benedict XVI and John Paul II, passed with just a few abstentions.

Buttiglione stated that the Italian Chamber of Deputies (Italy’s Lower House) “committed the government to promote, by seeking the necessary consensus, a United Nations resolution...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, italy, population control

Pope-Obama Meeting

Friday, July 10, 2009 2:51 PM Comments (0)

President Obama and the Pope exchange gifts as first lady Michelle Obama looks on today at the Vatican. (CNS/Reuters)

Pope Benedict XVI received President Barack Obama this afternoon at the Vatican in a private audience lasting just over 40 minutes.

After the meeting, the Vatican released the following statement:

“This afternoon, Friday 10 July 2009, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI received in audience the president of the United States of America, His Excellency Mr. Barack H. Obama. Prior to the audience, the president met His Eminence Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of state, and also His Excellency Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for relations with states.

In the course of their cordial exchanges, the conversation turned first of all to questions which are in the interests of all and...READ MORE

Filed under barack obama, benedict xvi

CDF Assumes SSPX File

Wednesday, July 08, 2009 1:04 PM Comments (0)

Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the Society of St. Pius X, ordains a priest during a ceremony in Econe, Switzerland, June 29. (CNS/Reuters)

As expected, Pope Benedict XVI has brought the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei under the auspices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

American Cardinal William Levada, the CDF’s prefect, will replace Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos as president of the commission, which is charged with trying to reconcile the Society of St. Pius X with the Church.

The Pope has named Msgr. Guido Pozzo as secretary of Ecclesia Dei.

The changes came in the form of a motu proprio, entitled Ecclesiae unitatem, which was signed by the Pope July 2 and which explained the details of the restructure. In a Vatican statement, the Holy Father “thanked the Emin. Cardinal Darío Castrillón...READ MORE

Filed under congregation for the doctrine of the faith, society of st. pius x

New Encyclical Links Economics and Ethics

Tuesday, July 07, 2009 12:07 PM Comments (0)

Pope Benedict XVI’s first social encyclical, Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth), is a strong plea for a closer connection between morality and the free economy.

In the document, which was released today at the Vatican, the Pope said ethical values are needed to overcome the current global economic crisis, combat poverty and foster authentic development.

The document reflects previous social encyclicals, but with Caritas in Veritate, the Holy Father refrains from entering too much into specifics. Instead he underlines established truths in which governments, institutions and individuals should find inspiration in order to help build a just and sustainable economic system. The...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, caritas in veritate, encyclical

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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