Vatican: No Plans Yet for Pope Francis to Visit Pakistan

Denial follows speculation that the Pope may travel to India to canonize Blessed Mother Teresa.

03/03/2016 Comments (1)

Contrary to media reports, Pope Francis has no plans to visit Pakistan — at least not yet.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told the Register March 3 there is “currently no travel program to Pakistan being studied” after it was reported that the Holy Father had accepted an invitation from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, extended to him by two ministers at yesterday’s weekly general audience.

Shipping minister Kamran Michael and religious affairs minister Sardar Muhammad Yousaf told reporters yesterday that they had come to Rome “to ask the Holy Father to come to Pakistan and he agreed.” The Pope was grateful for the invitation but neither accepted nor declined, according to Vatican...READ MORE

Filed under apostolic journeys, pakistan, persecution, pope francis, shahbaz bhatti

Cardinal Pell Offers to Meet Abuse Survivors

03/02/2016 Comments (2)

Cardinal George Pell has said he is willing to meet privately with abuse survivors on Thursday and will assist them in meeting Pope Francis.

In a statement released by his office Wednesday morning, the Australian cardinal said he would be “happy to meet privately with survivors” if it would “be of help to them.”

The statement said the prefect for the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy hoped the meetings “might be helpful and contribute to healing” and that he would be meet them “either individually or in smaller groups, as he has done many times in the past.”

The abuse survivors have been requesting to meet the cardinal since they arrived in Rome to observe him testify to a commission...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal george pell, sex abuse

Cardinal Müller Reasserts Church's Teaching on Divorce-Remarriage

03/01/2016 Comments (5)

In two new interviews, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the Vatican’s doctrinal chief, has put to bed any speculation that he might support admitting civilly remarried divorcees to Holy Communion.

In a Feb. 27 interview with Cologne diocesan radio, Cardinal Müller stressed that the indissolubility of the marital bond “is a dogma” and that “there cannot be a second marriage.”

“How could we make a compromise with the Word of God?”, he asked, adding one cannot work out a compromise on sociological terms. “I cannot go along with this,” he said.

He stated that the “teaching of the Church is not my property, it is given to us”, and that it is “our task also to speak clearly of the teaching of the...READ MORE

Filed under apostolic exhortation, cardinal gerhard muller, divorce remarriage, synod on the family

Is Cardinal Pell Facing a Prejudiced Inquisition?

Critics say the Australian cardinal is being presumed guilty until proven innocent.

03/01/2016 Comments (14)

During the second session of testimony to an Australian commission into child sex abuse, Cardinal George Pell again reiterated that he had no knowledge of the abuse of the pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale, nor of the role of Ridsdale’s bishop in covering up his crimes.

To a packed conference room in the Hotel Quirinale in central Rome late last night, the prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy repeatedly asserted, in response to a barrage of questions from the Royal Commission via video link inferring he must have known something about Ridsdale’s 130 abuses, that he had no such knowledge of them.

The cardinal served as a parish priest with Ridsdale in Ballarat diocese in the...READ MORE

Filed under australia, ballarat, cardinal george pell, royal commission, sexual abuse

Affirm Doctrine, Find Exceptions, Appeal to Conscience

Is this the pontificate's modus operandi for introducing controversial pastoral innovations?

02/26/2016 Comments (44)

Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago speaking to reporters during last October's Synod on the Family. The archbishop appeared to place the importance of conscience above the Church’s teaching. Photo: EP

The controversy over the exceptional case of administering contraceptives to religious sisters at grave risk of rape in the Congo civil war of the 1960s points to a pattern in this pontificate of introducing new or exceptional pastoral approaches that give primacy to conscience, while at the same time purporting to affirm Church doctrine.

It’s an approach that could be used to promote new pastoral practices in the Holy Father’s eagerly anticipated post-synodal apostolic exhortation, expected before Easter.

On the plane back from Mexico last week, Pope Francis underscored that abortion is “a crime, an absolute evil” but went on to explain that the “lesser evil” — avoiding pregnancy — “is...READ MORE

Filed under conscience, humanae vitae, pope francis, synod on the family

Pope Francis Recalls 'Deus Caritas Est' 10 Years On - Full Text

02/26/2016 Comment


Here below is the full text of Pope Francis' address today to participants of an international congress hosted by the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" on the theme: "'Love will never end' (1 Cor 13,8). Prospects 10 years on from the encyclical Deus Caritas Est.” 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I welcome you on the occasion of the International Conference on the theme: “Love will never end (1 Cor 13:8): Prospects ten years on from the Encyclical Deus Caritas Est”, organized by the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, and I thank Monsignor Dal Toso for the words of greetings addressed to me on behalf of all of you.

The first Encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI concerns a theme that allows us to retrace the...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, deus caritas est, pope francis

Italian Senate Passes Same-Sex Civil Unions Bill

02/25/2016 Comments (10)

The Italian Senate this evening passed a bill allowing same-sex civil unions, but the legislation does not include a planned measure to allow adoptions by same-sex couples.

The bill passed a vote of confidence motion with 173 in favor, 71 against and none abstaining.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who has long promised to pass a civil unions bill, described Thursday's vote as "historic".

But the bill’s sponsor, Senator Monica Cirinnà of the leftist PD party, said the watered-down version of the bill was a hollow victory. She said it was “a very important measure” but legislators now must take “a second step" as "we're halfway up the ladder", ANSA reported.

The bill now goes to Italy’s...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal gerhard muller, cardinal pietro parolin, civil unions, italy, same-sex unions

Head of Polish Bishops Reflects on Family Synod

In new EWTN Germany interview, Archbishop Stanisław Gadecki discusses meeting’s strengths and weaknesses, dismisses talk of a German-Polish “war”, and recalls that the greatest expression of the Church’s mercy is the Sacrament of Penance.

02/24/2016 Comments (3)

Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki of Posnan, Poland.

– YouTube

KÖLN / POSNAN — As many eagerly await Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation on the Synod on the Family after a long and tempestuous process, EWTN Germany’s Robert Rauhut sat down recently with Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, president of the Polish bishops’ conference, to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the synod, a “big change” in the return of St. John Paul II’s teaching at the most recent meeting, and the relationship between truth and mercy. The archbishop also speaks of synod fathers’ “astonishment” at the few mentions of the word sin in the synod’s final document, the hype surrounding holy Communion for remarried divorcees, and why bishops must “rectify” exaggerated...READ MORE

Filed under apostolic exhortation, conscience, divorce remarriage, john paul ii, pope francis, synod on the family

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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