Interreligious Leaders to Sign Historic Joint Declaration Against Human Trafficking

12/01/2014 Comments (30)

Catholic, Anglican, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, and Orthodox leaders will come together at the Vatican for the first time in history on Tuesday to sign a joint declaration against modern slavery and human trafficking.

The signatories, who will include Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and Rabbi David Rosen will declare their commitment towards the eradication of the worldwide scourge by 2020.

The initiative has been drawn up by the Global Freedom Network, a faith-based organization launched in March this year aimed at ending modern slavery and human trafficking.

The network defines modern slavery as the “systematic...READ MORE

Filed under global freedom network, human slavery, human trafficking, joint declaration, pope francis

Pope's Homily at Istanbul's Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Spirit

11/29/2014 Comments (9)


Pope Francis this afternoon celebrated Mass at the Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Istanbul. Present at the Eucharistic celebration was the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, along with several Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs from the region. 

During his homily, Francis said: "Only the Holy Spirit is able to kindle diversity, multiplicity and, at the same time, bring about unity. When we try to create diversity, but are closed within our own particular and exclusive ways of seeing things, we create division.

He added: "When we try to create unity through our own human designs, we end up with uniformity and homogenization. If we let ourselves be led by the Spirit, however,...READ MORE

Filed under bartholomew i, ecumenism, pope francis, turkey, unity

Pope Francis' Address to President of the 'Diyanet'

11/29/2014 Comments (3)


Yesterday evening, Pope Francis paid a visit to the President of the Diyanet (a Turkish word for the office or authority of Islamic religious affairs). After a meeting with the President of the Diyanet, Prof. Mehmet Gormez - the most senior Sunni Muslim cleric in Turkey - the Pope delivered an address to religious and civil authorities (full text below).  

"As religious leaders, we are obliged to denounce all violations against human dignity and human rights," the Pope said. "Human life, a gift of God the Creator, possesses a sacred character. As such, any violence which seeks religious justification warrants the strongest condemnation because the Omnipotent is the God of life and peace."...READ MORE

Filed under diyanet, islam, islamists, pope francis, turkey

Pope Arrives in Turkey - Full Text of First Address

11/28/2014 Comments (2)


In his first discourse given shortly after his arrival in Ankara, Turkey, this afternoon, Pope Francis underlined the importance of dialogue and a "concerted commitment on the part of all, based on mutual trust" to pave the way to lasting peace.

He told civic leaders at the presidential palace that resources must also be directed "not to weaponry, but to the other noble battles worthy of man: the fight against hunger and sickness, the promotion of sustainable development and the protection of creation, and the relief of the many forms of poverty and marginalization of which there is no shortage in the world today."

The Holy Father arrived at Ankara international airport at shortly before...READ MORE

Filed under pope francis, turkey

Pope Francis' Addresses to EU Parliament, Council of Europe

11/25/2014 Comments (5)

On arrival at Strasbourg/Entzheim international airport at around 10.00 am today, Pope Francis travelled by car to the headquarters of the European Parliament where he was welcomed by the chamber's president, Martin Schulz. There he met 14 members of the Bureau of the Parliament and the eight presidents of political groups of the assembly. After signing the "Golden Book" and exchanging gifts, Francis met with political and ecclesiastical authorities.

At 11.15, after an introduction from President Schultz, Pope Francis delivered the following address in the hemicycle of the parliament. 


Mr President and Vice Presidents,
Members of the European Parliament,
All associated with the work...READ MORE

Filed under europe, european parliament, european union, human dignity, secularism

Pope Canonizes Six New Saints

11/23/2014 Comments (2)

Pope Francis canonized six new saints this morning in St. Peter's Square on Christ the King Sunday. Those raised to the altars were:

* Kuriakose Elias Chavara, a priest whose leadership saved the Church in Kerala from a schism and who founded the Congregation of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate;

* Mother Eufrasia Eluvathingal of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Mother of Carmel;

* Amato Ronconi, Third Order Franciscan and the founder of the hospital known as the “Blessed Amato Ronconi Nursing Home”;

* Giovanni Antonio Farina, the bishop of Vicenza and the founder of the Institute of the Sisters of Saint Dorothy,

* Daughters of the Sacred Heart. Nicola da Longobardi, a professed...READ MORE

Filed under canonization, christ the king, homilies, pope francis

German Bishops to Unveil 'Hidden Bombshell'

11/22/2014 Comments (162)

Father Hans Langendörfer SJ, secretary of Germany's bishops' conference, is said to be spearheading changes to the Church's labor laws.


In the latest in a series of attempts by German bishops to align Church teaching with secular values, a sub-committee of the German episcopal conference is planning to amend Church labor law to allow Church employees who are homosexual or divorced and civilly remarried to work in ecclesiastical institutions.

Until now, those employed in the German Church – the second largest employer in the country – are required to adhere to lifestyles consistent with Church teaching.

But on Nov. 24th, a majority of bishops are expected to vote to introduce changes to Church rules to allow such employees to continue working in administrative positions or as heads of departments, or to employ them in the...READ MORE

Filed under divorce and remarriage, doctrine, germany, homosexuality, labor law, pastoral practice, synod

The Humanum Series: 6 Films Promoting Beauty of Marriage

11/18/2014 Comments (10)

A three-day Vatican-hosted international and interreligious colloquium on the complementarity of man and woman in marriage is receiving a good deal of attention worldwide. 

Over 350 participants are taking part in the Nov. 17-19 gathering in the Vatican synod hall, bringing together representatives from 14 religious traditions and 23 countries to uphold the beauty and wisdom of marriage in the face of efforts to redefine it. 

One of the highlights of the meeting has been a series of six 15 minute videos underlining the importance and valuable contribution of marriage. Delegates have been significantly impressed by the films, and many have said how valuable they will be for instruction at...READ MORE

Filed under complementarity, family, man, marriage, woman

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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