Strong Rebuttal to Metropolitan Hilarion's "Offensive Remarks"

04/16/2014 Comments (13)

Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, Russia.

– wikipedia

In a recent interview with this newspaper, a senior Russian Orthodox official had some harsh words for the Oriental Catholic Churches – particularly Greek Catholics – which many found offensive.

Among the most cutting remarks of Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Department of External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, was his charge that “’Uniatism’ was and is a special project of the Roman Catholic Church, aimed to convert the Orthodox to Catholicism”.

He also claimed that, with the help of the secular authorities, “the ‘Uniates’ have acted for many centuries to the detriment of the Orthodox Church, capturing Orthodox churches and monasteries,...READ MORE

Filed under christian unity, greek catholic, hilarion, orthodox, russian orthodox, ukraine

Pope to Give Away Pocket-Sized Book of the Gospels

04/04/2014 Comments (6)

Pope Francis has often repeated the need to read a passage of the Gospels every day, whether on the bus or waiting for a train. But this Sunday, he's going one step further by giving all the faithful in St. Peter's Square a free pocket-sized book containing the texts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and the Acts of the Apostles. 

Several thousand copies will be distributed at this Sunday's Angelus in a bid to help the faithful get into the habit of reading a short passage daily. 

“At the weekly Sunday Angelus and on various other occasions, Pope Francis has, many times, called the faithful to always have with themselves a small book of the Gospels," Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi...READ MORE

Filed under bible, gospels, pope francis, scripture

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

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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