Italian Parliament Backs Same-Sex Union Bill

05/11/2016 Comments (4)

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

– Wikipedia

Italian lawmakers all but passed legislation today to allow same-sex civil unions in the country.

Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi won a confidence vote this afternoon that he had called to push through legal recognition for same-sex couples.

The vote passed 369-193 in favor, allowing those in homosexual unions the same legal protections as heterosexual married couples.

To become law, the bill, which also gives some rights to unmarried heterosexual couples, must be formally approved by the lower house later today. However, this is considered to be a mere formality as the confidence vote was seen as the major hurdle to overcome.

Renzi called today “a day of celebration” on his Twitter...READ MORE

Filed under mattei renzi, same-sex unions

Heroic Wartime Irish Priest Honored at the Vatican

Commemorative plaque unveiled to honor Msgr. Hugh O'Flaherty whose heroism was portrayed by Gregory Peck in the movie ‘The Scarlet and the Black’.

05/10/2016 Comments (2)
Campo Santo Teutonico

Plaque honors Msgr. Hugh O'Flaherty as a "tireless defender of the weak and oppressed."

– Campo Santo Teutonico

An Irish priest who saved thousands of Allied soldiers and Jews in World War Two and whose heroism was turned into a Hollywood movie has finally been honored at the Vatican.

A plaque to honor Msgr. Hugh O’Flaherty, who was instrumental in helping to rescue and protect an estimated 6,000 vulnerable people in Rome during the war, was unveiled on Sunday at a ceremony in the Campo Santo Teutonico within the Vatican walls. Sunday also happened to be the 71st anniversary of Victory in Europe Day.

The event, which included a special Mass at the Campo Santo Teutonico — the burial place and college for mainly German-speaking members of the various religious institutions in Rome — was “extremely...READ MORE

Filed under heroism, hugh o'flaherty, pius xii, second world war, war

Images and Voices from Italy's March for Life 2016

05/08/2016 Comments (2)

Thousands of people took part in Italy's 6th annual March for Life on Sunday which began at the famous Rome landmark, the Bocca della Verita, and ended in St. Peter’s Square in time for Pope Francis’ Regina Coeli address.

At the end of his address, the Holy Father greeted the marchers who came from 26 different countries and probably numbered around 6,000. "I greet the participants in the March for Life," the Pope said in his round of greetings following the traditional prayer of Marian devotion at Eastertide. 


Drums, lively singing, bagpipes, and a theme park trolley for children were all part of this year’s event, as well as banners whose messages included: “Abortion: Already 1...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, euthanasia, italy, march for life, pro-life, pro-life movement

Cardinal Müller: Magisterium on Remarried Divorcees Unchanged by 'Amoris Laetitia'

05/04/2016 Comments (70)
Edward Pentin/

Cardinal Gerhard Müller

– Edward Pentin/

Cardinal Gerhard Müller has spoken publicly for the first time about Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, saying that the document does not open the door to Holy Communion for civilly remarried divorcees, contrary to the claims of Cardinal Walter Kasper and others.

In a lecture at a seminary in Oviedo, Spain, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith emphatically pointed out that the magisterium of the Church still applies to those passages in Amoris Laetitia on pastoral care for remarried divorcees.

According to a May 2 article in the German Catholic newspaper Die Tagespost, Cardinal Müller said what Pope St. John Paul II taught on this...READ MORE

Filed under amoris laetitia, cardinal gerhard muller, congregation for the doctrine of the faith, divorce-remarriage, familiaris consortio, john paul ii, synods on the family

Rome's Trevi Fountain Illuminated Red to Remember Persecuted Christians

Bishop Audo warns of the end of the Church's presence in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

04/30/2016 Comments (5)

Losing the Christian presence in Syria would be something "very, very dangerous for the universal Church, for the Muslim people, and for ourselves”, warned Bishop Antoine Audo of Syria's second largest city, Aleppo.

The Chaldean bishop was speaking to the Register after addressing crowds in Rome who had gathered at the city's Trevi Fountain in the evening of April 29. The famous landmark was colored red to honor and remember the blood of persecuted Christian martyrs. The number of Christians being persecuted for the faith is estimated to total 200 million around the world.



The event, which drew a large crowd, included a series of testimonies and ended with a prayer. Its...READ MORE

Filed under aid to the church in need, bishop antoine audo, christian persecution, middle east, persecution, rome, trevi fountain

Pope Francis at Extraordinary Jubilee Audience: Be Reconciled With God

God never accepts possibility that someone could remain estranged from His love, as long as He finds in that person some sign of contrition for the evil he has committed.

04/30/2016 Comments (1)

Pope Francis has underlined the invitation of the Apostle St. Paul to “be reconciled to God”, saying it applies to all Christians, especially during this Jubilee Year of Mercy.

The theme of reconciliation was central to his catechesis at his extraordinary Jubilee audience on Saturday morning in St. Peter’s Square. Throughout this Holy Year, the Pope is holding such audiences once a month. This Saturday's was also held in honor of members of the security services and their service to peace and reconciliation.

In his discourse, the Pope made a point of drawing on St. Paul’s words in the second letter to the Corinthians 5:20-21: “So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing...READ MORE

Filed under armed forces, forgiveness, jubilee of mercy, military, peace, pope francis, reconciliation

Californian Donors Fund Restoration of Vatican Museum's Gallery of Maps

04/29/2016 Comment

A four-year painstaking restoration of the Gallery of Maps in the Vatican Museums has been completed thanks to the generosity of Californian Catholic donors.

The $2.5m project, funded by the California Chapter of the Patrons of the Arts, has fully restored Pope Gregory XIII’s gallery that was painted from 1580 to 1583 by a team of top artists under the leadership of the famous cartographer and Dominican, Ignazio Danti.

The restoration was needed after the 40 meticulously painted maps of the entire Italian peninsular had suffered years of deterioration and previous botched restorations.

Pope Gregory commissioned the gallery so he could explore the Italian peninsula without leaving the...READ MORE

Filed under antonio paolucci, art history, father mark haydu, gallery of maps, patrons of the arts in the vatican museums, vatican museums

Bishop Schneider: 'Amoris Laetitia' Demands Clarification

04/27/2016 Comments (15)

Bishop Athanasius Schneider has given a lengthy reflection on Amoris Laetitia in which he makes a consistent case for the need for clarity and precision in the text, particularly with regard to admitting civilly remarried divorcees to Holy Communion.

The bishop’s reflection is a studied, detailed and forceful response that argues against those who see the papal summary of the Synods on the Family as “opening the door” to Holy Communion for remarried divorcees and other practices that would not be consistent with the Church’s constant magisterium.

The Kazakh prelate, who has led resistance to what many see as modernist and secularist strains within both the synods and Amoris Laetitia,...READ MORE

Filed under bishop athanasius schneider, 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