Papal Video Messages: An Increasingly Common Means of Communication

Pope Francis releases two video messages this week: on his imminent visit to Armenia and on abolishing the death penalty.

06/23/2016 Comments (2)

Video messages by popes — that is the Pope delivering a message of importance directly to camera — were unheard of until Benedict XVI’s pontificate but now have become a staple means of communication for the Holy Father, especially ahead of papal trips

Yesterday, Pope Francis gave a video message to Armenia on the eve of his visit there this weekend. He said he was visiting as a “messenger of peace”, to strengthen communion, to advance reconciliation, and “to allow ourselves together to be animated by hope.”

He also urged the Armenian people not to “allow the painful memories to take possession of our hearts; even in the face of the repeated assaults of evil, let us not give ourselves...READ MORE

Filed under armenia, communciations, death penalty, pope francis, video messages

Pope Francis: Benedict XVI's Life of Prayer is 'Theology on One's Knees'

Holy Father pens preface to new book of Benedict XVI's collected writings on the priesthood to mark Pope Emeritus' 65th anniversary since his priestly ordination.

06/22/2016 Comments (1)
L'Osservatore Romano

Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI outside of the Holy Doors at St. Peter's Basilica to begin the Jubilee Year of Mercy on December 8, 2015, the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

– L'Osservatore Romano

Benedict XVI’s life of prayer since his resignation is the greatest testimony to doing "theology on one’s knees", Pope Francis has written in the preface to a new book on the Pope Emeritus.

In the preface of the book that comprises texts written by Benedict XVI on the priesthood to mark the 65th anniversary of Joseph Ratzinger’s ordination June 28th, the Pope begins by writing that “every time I have read the works of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, it becomes increasingly clear that he has done and is doing ‘theology on his knees’.

“On his knees because, even before being a great theologian and teacher of the faith, we see a man who truly believes, who truly prays, you see he is a man who...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, pope emeritus, pope francis, priesthood

Ecumenism and Peace to Be Focus of Pope Francis’ Visit to Armenia

Vatican spokesman warns against media "obsession" over whether the Holy Father will refer to the term “genocide” in relation to 20th century massacre of Armenians.

06/22/2016 Comment
Wikipedia

Khor Virap with Mount Ararat in background. Pope Francis will be visiting the monastery on the last day of his three-day visit to Armenia which begins this Friday.

– Wikipedia

Pope Francis visits the world’s first Christian nation on Friday when he lands in the Armenian capital Yerevan for a three day apostolic voyage aimed at showing his closeness to the Armenian people and sharing their wish for peace after a history of conflict and suffering.

At a press briefing Tuesday, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi also said ecumenism will be a key focus of the papal trip which returns a visit to the Vatican last year by Catholicos, Karekin II, Patriarch of All Armenia.

According to Vatican sources, the Pope is expected to emphasize the importance of baptism and that Christian unity is already realized through the act of “walking together”. He is also expected...READ MORE

Filed under apostolic voyage, armenia, caucasus, genocide, papal trips, pope francis, turkey

Are Persecuted Middle East Christians Martyrs Rather Than Victims of Genocide?

06/20/2016 Comments (13)

Pope Francis said on Saturday that he did not like to use the word genocide when referring to persecuted Christians in the Middle East, preferring instead to use the term “martyrdom”.

Some were perplexed by his comment as the Pope was the first to use the word in referrence to the atrocities in the Middle East last year, and believe it may have been an attempt to reclaim the word “martyr” from Islamists.

Speaking at Villa Nazareth, an apostolate in Rome that offers educational opportunities for young persons in need, the Pope made the point that every Christian is called to bear witness, also in difficult situations.

For this reason, he said “I do not like it — and I want to say this...READ MORE

Filed under genocide, iraq, martyrdom, middle east, pope francis

Pope Francis' 6th Surprise Mercy Visit: Elderly and Suffering Priests

06/20/2016 Comment
Rome Reports

Pope Francis greeting ill priests at a center in Rome.

– Rome Reports

Pope Francis made his sixth “Mercy Friday” visit last week when he greeted elderly and infirm priests in two communities in the diocese of Rome.

The Holy Father left the Vatican at 4 p.m. June 17 to visit first the Monte Tabor community, home to eight priests formerly from different dioceses, suffering from various forms of illness.

Accompanying the priests is a permanent deacon, Ermes Luparia, a former Italian Air Force colonel who is now a specialist in psychology and has dedicated himself to the service of companionship in the spirit of the Salvatorian Fathers. The Pope met with the priests in the chapel, listened to them and prayed with them, the Vatican said in a statement.

It also...READ MORE

Filed under jubilee year of mercy, mercy friday, pope francis

Vatican's Doctrinal Chief Plays Down Papal Commission on Women Deacons

06/14/2016 Comments (13)
Daniel Ibáñez/Catholic News Agency

Cardinal Gerhard Müller (center) at a Vatican press conference June 14, 2016, to present the new document "Iuvenescit Ecclesia".

– Daniel Ibáñez/Catholic News Agency

Cardinal Gerhard Müller has dampened speculation that a study, commissioned by Pope Francis on the possibility of women deacons into the Church, would result in anything new.

Speaking to reporters at the Vatican today, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said the Vatican is preparing a list of experts on the theme, but stressed that a thorough study was conducted over a decade ago.

“We’re preparing a list on this theme, this historical theme,” he said, but added that the International Theological Commission had already conducted a “major study” in 2002 “with many experts” in systematic and dogmatic theology.

That study, entitled From the Diakonia of Christ to...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal gerhard muller, pope francis, women deacons

Full Text and Synthesis of 'Iuvenescit Ecclesia' — The Church Rejuvenates

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith letter to bishops covers the relationship between hierarchical and charistmatic gifts in the life and mission of the Church

06/14/2016 Comments (4)

Here below is a Vatican summary of Iuvenescit Ecclesia, a letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to bishops on the relationship between the hierarchy and new movements and charismatic groups that was published today. The full text can be read here

SUMMARY (Unofficial text)

Letter of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith “Iuvenescit Ecclesia” to the Bishops of the Catholic Church

REGARDING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HIERARCHICAL AND CHARISMATIC GIFTS IN THE LIFE AND THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH

Hierarchical and charismatic gifts, co-essential in the life of the Church

The hierarchical and charismatic gifts are “co-essential” in the life of the Church: this...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal gerhard muller, congregation for the doctrine of the faith, iuvenescit ecclesia, new movements

Cardinal Müller: Pope Can Be Hard to Follow Because of Pace of Prophecy

Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith speaks to 'L'Osservatore Romano' on new letter to bishops on the new movements, published June 14.

06/13/2016 Comments (11)
Bohumil Petrik/Catholic News Agency

– Bohumil Petrik/Catholic News Agency

Cardinal Gerhard Müller has said some struggle to follow Pope Francis' 'in uscita' (venturing into the world) magisterium because it isn’t always easy to keep up with the pace of prophecy, something that requires effort and hard work.

“What is important is that all the people of God and all the elements of the Church, little by little, each at its own pace and with its own gifts, even with its weaknesses, go in the right direction,” the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said in a June 9 interview with L'Osservatore Romano.

He added that this is done by going beyond one’s own plans and safe environments which requires “some hard work and effort,” “dialogical...READ MORE

Filed under bishops, cardinal gerhard muller, congregation for the doctrine of the faith, ecclesial movements, hierarchy, pope francis, prophecy

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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