Possible Threat to Pope Emerges During Interreligious Meeting

09/17/2010 Comment

News has come in this afternoon that London police have arrested five men in relation to a potential threat against the Holy Father.

Details are few, but some reports say they are not British citizens but of Arab origin.

In a verbal statement to the press, Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi said the Vatican have complete trust in the police, there was no need to change plans and the police were taking the necessaary measures. The situation isn’t particulaly dangerous he said, adding that he remembered the situation was more dangerous in Sarajevo. “The Pope is happy about this trip and calm,” Fr. Lombardi said, and recalled the words the Pope made on the plane in which he said that...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, great britain, london

Pope Offers Alternative to Celebrity Culture

09/17/2010 Comment

A nun waves a papal flag after Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow, Scotland, Sept. 16. The pope was on a four-day visit to Great Britain. (CNS photo/Dylan Martinez, Reuters)

On his first morning in London, the Pope travelled to St. Mary’s University College, where he addressed educational leaders and students.

He spoke of the need for educators to teach with wisdom, and offered young students an antidote to a celebrity culture in which money, fame and career appear the only goals in life.

The Holy Father arrived a little late owing to logistical problems, and had earlier celebrated a private Mass in the chapel of the apostolic nunciature in Wimbledon. But the delay meant a large and excited crowd that had gathered outside the nunciature were able to cheer a little more until he left for the Catholic College in south west London.

St. Mary’s has a good...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, great britain, london

Pope Arrives in Britain

09/16/2010 Comments (14)

The Holy Father has landed in Scotland and his state visit to Britain is well underway.

He was met at Edinburgh airport by the Duke of Edinburgh and was driven by motorcade to Holyroodhouse Palace. The streets near the palace were lined with well wishers.

During the national anthem of the United Kingdom, Benedict removed his zuchetto as a mark of respect.

In his speech to the Queen at Holyroodhouse Palace, the Pope stressed the deep Christian roots of the country from which so much good has been achieved. He recalled the great Christian figures of the past, the line of Christian monarchs, and figures such as William Wilberforce to Florence Nightingale, David Livingstone to Cardinal...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, great britain, queen

Scots Await Pope Benedict

09/15/2010 Comments (1)

A former Presbyterian church turned into a club called 'Sin' on Edinburgh's Cowgate street.

I’ve arrived in a blustery and sunny Edinburgh at the start of this eagerly anticipated papal visit to Britain which begins here tomorrow (Thursday).

But as I write in Zenit, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Queen had changed her mind and withdrawn the invitation. No Vatican flags are on display here (though these will no doubt come out tomorrow) and the only thing reminding you of the visit are notices of travel disruption.

This is not so surprising given that Scotland is the home of Presbyterianism. Edinburgh is also the birthplace of the 18th century empiricist David Hume, and the country as a whole only has a Catholic population of 667,000 - about 13% of the total.

But the...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, great britain, scotland

Father Samir on Ground Zero Controversy

09/11/2010 Comments (108)

Earlier today I spoke about the controversies surrounding the 9/11 memorial this year with Father Samir Khalil Samir, the respected Jesuit and Egyptian scholar of Islam who teaches in Beirut and at the Pontifical Oriental Institute here in Rome. He gave this interesting analysis of the situation:

What are your views on the controversy over the Ground Zero mosque, or as it’s also been described, the Islamic cultural centre in New York?

I don’t have all the facts here, but the plan is to build a 15-storey centre and this is a Muslim project, even if it’s called a Cordoba centre and it’s for everyone and not only for Muslims. It is two blocks from Ground Zero with a mosque for 2,000 people...READ MORE

Filed under father samir, ground zero, islam, mosque

Pope Sends Message to Great Britain

09/08/2010 Comment

In a message to the people of Great Britain ahead of his visit to the country next week, the Holy Father has said he hopes “more and more people will benefit” from the “gentle wisdom” of Cardinal Newman whom he’ll beatify on Sunday 19th. He also thanked the “countless people” who have been praying for the success of the visit, and for a “great outpouring of grace” upon the Church in the country.

Delivering the message at his General Audience this morning in the Paul VI hall, he said he was looking forward to meeting representatives from various sections of the British population, as well as civil and political leaders. He expressed his gratitude to Queen Elizabeth II and the Archbishop of...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, general audience, great britain

A Closer Look at Britain and the Culture of Death

09/04/2010 Comments (9)

The Houses of Parliament in Westminster. More abortions currently take place in Britain than in any other country in Europe.

Ahead of the Pope’s upcoming visit to Great Britain, there’s been a vigorous debate in some sections of the British press over whether the UK is the centre of the ‘culture of death.’

The discussion was sparked by a timely interview in Zenit with the director of pastoral affairs for the Westminster archdiocese, Edmund Adamus, and in particular this comment he made near the beginning:

“Whether we like it or not as British citizens and residents of this country—and whether we are even prepared as Catholics to accept this reality and all it implies—the fact is that historically, and continuing right now, Britain, and in particular London, has been and is the geopolitical epicentre of the...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, benedict xvi, culture of death, culture of life, embryology, euthanasia, great britain, same-sex marriage

Benedict XVI Gives Rare Book Interview

Conversations with Peter Seewald to be published by end of the year

08/31/2010 Comments (1)

Benedict XVI and the German author Peter Seewald

Pope Benedict XVI has given an interview to the German journalist and author Peter Seewald which will soon be published in book form, according to an article in today’s Die Tagespost and confirmed by the Vatican.

The date of publication is not yet known although according to the Italian Vaticanista Andrea Tornielli, it’s expected to hit bookstores within a year. In a statement released by the Vatican this afternoon, papal spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi said the interviews, which took place between 26th and 31st July at Castel Gandolfo, would be published by the end of the year in German and Italian, with other languages expected to follow.

Die Tagespost says the book has the working...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, books, jesus of nazareth, peter seewald

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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