Criticism Mounts Over Cardinal Kasper's Speech on Divorce and Remarriage

03/25/2014 Comments (23)

The Holy Father welcomes an open debate on marriage and the family.

– EP

When Cardinal Walter Kasper gave a controversial keynote address on marriage and the family at the Feb. 21-22 extraordinary consistory on the family, several cardinals voiced their disagreement with his comments on divorce and remarriage in discussions that followed.

Cardinal Kasper insisted in an interview with Vatican Radio that the main purpose of his speech was to “deepen the theological understanding of challenges facing the family.” While the Church must remain faithful to its teaching on the indissolubility of the sacrament of marriage, he said, it is vital to “help, support, encourage” those experiencing difficulties in their family life.

The Pope "wanted an open discussion about...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal kasper, divorce, doctrine, pope francis, remarriage, theology

Pope Institutes New Commission on Protecting Minors from Abuse

03/22/2014 Comments (5)

Last December, Pope Francis announced that he wanted to set up a special commission for the protection of minors in the Church.

Today he instituted the new body, called the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, and appointed the following to be a part of it:

Dr. Catherine Bonnet (France)

Mrs. Marie Collins (Ireland)

Prof. the Baroness Sheila Hollins (United Kingdom)

Card. Sean Patrick O’Malley, OFM Cap (U.S.)

Prof. Claudio Papale (Italy)

Her Excellency Hanna Suchocka (Poland)

Rev. Humberto Miguel Yañez, SJ (Argentina)

Rev. Hans Zollner, SJ (Germany)

The Vatican says their principal role will be to prepare the Statutes of the Commission, which will define its tasks...READ MORE

Filed under pope francis, sexual abuse

Fr. Lombardi on Concerns Over Vatican Spending Cuts

03/21/2014 Comment

In recent weeks, Vatican staff have become increasingly fearful about possible redundancies as part of a spending review at the Holy See.

Concerns have been present for the past year, but worsened when Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, sent a letter Feb. 13 to heads of Vatican departments, notifying them of an immediate end to new hires, wage increases, and overtime in an urgent effort to cut costs and offset budget shortfalls.

The letter also said volunteers could be used to help provide for any labor shortages and that some temporary workers will not have their contracts renewed when their terms are up.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi has sought to allay...READ MORE

Filed under curia, employment, finance, spending, unemployment, vatican

Pope Named "World's Greatest Leader" by Fortune Magazine

03/20/2014 Comments (5)

Fortune magazine has become the latest publication to honor Pope Francis, naming him the world's greatest leader.

The Holy Father came top of 50 of the world's greatest leaders, chosen by the magazine in a world "starved for leadership". The magazine says the list consists of "men and women who will inspire you -- some famous, others little known, all of them energizing their followers and making the world better."

"In the brief time since [his election], Francis has electrified the Church and attracted legions of non-Catholic admirers by energetically setting a new direction," the magazine says. "He has refused to occupy the palatial papal apartments, has washed the feet of a female...READ MORE

Filed under pope francis

"Please Pray for Me" Says Pope on 1st Anniversary of Election

03/13/2014 Comments (8)

The Holy Father sent out this simple tweet this morning, the first anniversary since his election.

Asked by reporters today what Francis is doing to mark the occasion, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi simply said: "He is praying." 

The Pope, who is currently on retreat in Ariccia just outside Rome, "is not doing anything special or different in respect to other days: he is praying," Fr. Lombardi said, adding that the Holy Father will return to the Vatican tomorrow lunchtime by bus after a retreat that began on Sunday.

Filed under conclave, election, pontificate, pope francis

Pope Francis to Visit South Korea in August

Holy Father to make first visit to Asia on occasion of Asian Youth Day.

03/10/2014 Comment

Pope Francis is to visit South Korea from August 14th to 18th, the Vatican announced today.

In a statement, the Vatican said:

"Welcoming the invitation from the President of the Republic and the Korean bishops, His Holiness Francis will make an Apostolic Trip to the Republic of Korea from 14 to 18 August 2014, on the occasion of the Sixth Asian Youth Day, to be held in the diocese of Daejon."

The Holy Father first indicated he would travel to Asia last year, when he told reporters on the papal plane from Rio that Benedict XVI did not have time to visit the region. "I must go to Asia," he said. "It is important." As in much of Africa, Asia is seen as a region of growth for the Church.


Filed under apostolic voyage, pope francis, south korea

Benedict XVI Recalls Blessed John Paul II's Sanctity in New Interview

Says it became "ever clearer" to him that Karol Wojtyla was a saint.

03/07/2014 Comments (23)

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has shared some personal recollections of Blessed John Paul II in a new interview that appears in a book of tributes to the soon-to-be canonized Polish Pontiff.

In extracts of the interview, published today by ZENIT, Benedict XVI says it became “ever clearer” to him that John Paul II was a saint. He recalls his first meeting with Karol Wojtyla, their working relationship, and how – contrary to what some theologians thought at the time – John Paul II firmly backed the former prefect at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith during the blowback that followed publication of the 2000 declaration, Dominus Iesus.

The interview, which runs to 12 pages under the...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, canonization, john paul ii

Pope Gives New Interview to Secular Newspaper

03/05/2014 Comments (25)

In his latest interview with a secular newspaper, Pope Francis has praised Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI’s encyclical on contraception, saying his predecessor’s “genius proved prophetic.”

He also discusses civil unions, sexual abuse of minors, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and women in hierarchical positions in the Church. The interview was given to coincide with Francis' first year as pontiff. 

UPDATE: ZENIT has translated the full text of the interview into English here.

Published in Italian in Corriere della Sera and in Spanish in La Nacion, the Holy Father tells journalist Ferruccio de Bortoli that Paul VI had "the courage to go against the majority, to defend the moral discipline, to...READ MORE

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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