This Week in Rome

02/01/2010 Comment

Sometimes during the year, so many papal, Vatican and other Church events take place in Rome that it can be hard to keep up.

To help readers keep tabs with what’s going on, I’ve put together a list of the most significant engagements scheduled to take place over the next seven days.

Other unforeseen events may arise, of course, but these are the major ones planned for the moment.

Tuesday, 2nd February - Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the 14th Day of Consecrated Life.

Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to preside over the celebration of Vespers on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord at St. Peter’s basilica at 17.30 CET. At the celebration will be members of religious...READ MORE

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John Paul II Beatification October 10?

01/23/2010 Comments (2)

Sister Marie-Simon-Pierre of the Little Sisters of Catholic Motherhood in France believes she was healed from Parkinson's disease through the intercession of Pope John Paul II, who also had the disease. The healing could be the miracle needed for the late Pope's beatification. (CNS photo/Serge Pagano, Reuters)

At least two Italian newspapers have today claimed that John Paul II will be beatified in October this year, although the date remains highly speculative.

Without naming sources, Il Sole 24 Ore and La Stampa are confidently predicting the ceremony will take place on October 10th in St. Peter’s Square.

Il Sole 24 Ore
says the date cannot be formally announced as “four steps” still need to be taken, but the “organizational machinery for the event, which promises to be of enormous proportions, needs to be set in motion in time, albeit with much discretion.”

The paper says confirmation of a miracle is still needed, although one has already been identified: the healing of a French...READ MORE

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Pope to Priests: Make Use of Digital Media

01/23/2010 Comments (6)

Auxiliary Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Chicago works on his laptop computer during the U.S. bishops' general meeting in Baltimore Nov. 17, 2009. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

Pope Benedict XVI today encouraged priests to make good use of digital media to spread the Gospel, and stressed that competence in using it should be part of a seminarian’s formation.

The Holy Father made the statement in his message for the 44th World Communications Day whose theme this year is The Priest and Pastoral Ministry in a Digital World: New Media at the Service of the Word.

The message was released with tomorrow’s date, the feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of journalists.

The full text of his message can be found here.

An accompanying message from Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, is here.

The text...READ MORE

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Vatican Now on Twitter

01/22/2010 Comments (2)

The Vatican's Twitter Page

In case you hadn’t heard, or been tweeted, the Vatican is now on Twitter. To see its Twitter page, which has tweets in various languages, click here: @vatican_va (h/t Diane Korzeniewski of Te Deum laudamus blog).

The move is the latest effort on the part of the Vatican to evangelize using digital media. Tomorrow, the Vatican will host a press conference which will highlight this very theme.

Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, will present the Pope’s message for the 44th World Day of Social Communications (16th March 2010) on the subject: “The Priest and Pastoral Ministry in the Digital World: New Media at the Service of the...READ MORE

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Exaggerations for Dubious Ends

01/22/2010 Comment

Pope Benedict XVI talks with Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni, the chief rabbi of Rome, during his visit to Rome's main synagogue Jan. 17. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

After a week in which Pope Benedict XVI visited the Great Synagogue of Rome and the Vatican and the Rabbinate of Israel held their regular annual meeting, Catholic-Jewish relations are looking considerably healthy – much more so than it might appear in some of the mass media.

As mentioned in an earlier post, whatever the controversies affecting the dialogue, relations usually continue much as they did before, largely thanks – as the Holy Father noted in his synagogue address – to advances in dialogue emanating from the Second Vatican Council’s declaration Nostra Aetate.

Rabbi David Rosen, director of the American Jewish Committee’s Department for Interreligious Affairs, called...READ MORE

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Benedict XVI Warmly Received at Rome Synagogue

01/17/2010 Comments (16)

The Holy Father was very warmly received at Rome’s synagogue this afternoon, and those gathered gave him a standing ovation at the end of his address.

He made no explicit reference to the Pius XII controversy, except to underline the efforts the Apostolic See made to save Rome Jews during Nazi persecution. Historians say the “hidden and discreet” assistance given by the Vatican can be traced to the direct intructions of Pius XII.

Here is Benedict XVI’s complete speech, one filled with sensitivity and respect for the Jewish people.

“What marvels the Lord worked for them!
What marvels the Lord worked for us:
Indeed we were glad” (Ps 126)

“How good and how pleasant it is
when brothers...READ MORE

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Pius XII: Less Heroic for Surviving?

01/13/2010 Comments (5)

Portrait of Pius XII (CNS photo)

The eyes of the mass media will be on Pope Benedict XVI this Sunday when he visits Rome’s synagogue.

After the furore among some Jewish leaders following his decree last month declaring Pius XII venerable, many are wondering what the Holy Father will say to bring Catholic-Jewish relations back on track.

But as with previous recent disputes between the Vatican and Judaism, after some initial protests, tempers die down and relations return to normal.

Speaking with me a few weeks after the Williamson affair last year, Father Norbert Hoffman, the Vatican’s Secretary for the Commission for Religious Relations with Judaism, said this quick resumption of dialogue shows just how far...READ MORE

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Pope Speaks Against Mass-Media Sensationalism

12/09/2009 Comment

On the feast of the Immaculate Conception yesterday, the Holy Father had some stern words on the role of the mass media in our everyday lives in this information age:

“Every day, in the newspapers, television and radio, evil is told to us, said again, amplified, so that we get used to the most horrible things and become desensitized,” Pope Benedict XVI said at the Spanish Steps in Rome. “In a certain way, it poisons us, because the negative is never fully cleansed out of our system but accumulates day after day. The heart hardens, and thoughts become gloomy. For this reason, the city needs Mary, whose presence speaks of God, reminds us of grace’s victory over sin, and makes us hope...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. Follow on Twitter @edwardpentin