Monopoly of Darwinism Must End

06/10/2010 Comments (9)

Pope Benedict XVI exchanges greetings with Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk prior to a concert at the Vatican May 20. The concert was a gift from Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) (May 21, 2010)

A leading Russian Orthodox prelate has called for an end to a “monopoly of Darwinism” in schools and the idea “that science generally contradicts religion.”

Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamsk, the Russian Orthodox Church’s ‘foreign minister’, said in a lecture to foreign office officials Wednesday that “the time has come to end the monopoly of Darwinism and the deceptive idea that science in general contradicts religion. These ideas should be left in the past.”

In his comments, reported by Reuters and carried in tomorrow’s L’Osservatore Romano, Hilarion stressed that religious teaching on creation should be taught alongside theories on the evolution of species.

“Darwin’s...READ MORE

Filed under darwinism, education, evolution, metropolitan hilarion, russian orthodox church

Italian Governor Paying to Save Babies

06/03/2010 Comments (3)

Roberto Formigoni, governor of Italy's Lombardy region.

“No woman in Lombardy will have to have an abortion because of economic difficulties.”

The pledge of Roberto Formigoni, the centre-Right governor of the Lombardy region in northern Italy, who is to offer women considering an abortion €4,500 ($5,500) to keep their baby.

Pregnant women in the region who can prove they are in economic difficulty will be given €250 ($300) a month for 18 months. Formigoni promised to introduce the incentive when he ran for office in regional elections in March.

The program will cost the local authority €5 million ($6.1 million) which will be placed in a special fund. It’s estimated that it will help more than a thousand mothers not to give up their child....READ MORE

Filed under abortion, italy, roberto formigoni

Cypriot Orthodox Rattled by Pope's Unity Push

06/01/2010 Comments (4)

A woman touches a crucifix at a church in Nicosia, Cyprus, May 9. Ecumenism and the challenges facing Christians in the Middle East will be the main focuses of Pope Benedict XVI's trip to Cyprus June 4-6. (CNS photo/Andreas Manolis, Reuters)

It seems sadly to be the fashionable thing to try to victimize the Holy Father and call for his arrest.

The latest to do so — and risk making a foolish spectacle of themselves — are two Orthodox groups in Cyprus.

Opposed to the Pope’s visit later this week to the country because they are against ecumenical dialogue with the Catholic Church, the two groups have called on the attorney general to arrest the Holy Father as soon as he sets foot in the country.

Like the ‘new atheists’ who are vowing to do the same when he visits Britain in September, they believe he should be arrested for covering up pedophile crime by priests, even though no evidence has come to light to indict the Pope of...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, cyprus, orthodox

Novak on Arkes's Conversion

05/31/2010 Comment

Professor Hadley Arkes and the Catholic philosopher, writer and diplomat, Michael Novak.

Hadley Arkes’s reception into the Catholic Church at the end of April was a “joyous and thrilling” occasion, according to Michael Novak who was his sponsor.

Speaking to the Register in Rome last week, Novak said it was a day of “great love, esteem and happiness.”

Arkes, a professor of Jurisprudence and American Institutions at Amherst College, and one of the country’s foremost pro-life legal scholars, was received into the Church at the chapel of the Catholic Information Center in Washington, D.C. on April 24.

Born and raised a Jew, he said in a recent interview with The Anchor, the Catholic newspaper of Fall River Diocese, that he realized more than a decade ago that there was...READ MORE

Filed under conversion, hadley arkes, judaism, michael novak

Leading Church Thinkers to Discuss Philosophy of Love

05/26/2010 Comments (2)

The 20th century philosopher, Dietrich von Hildebrand

What is love?

The age-old question will be put under the spotlight for three days here in Rome beginning tomorrow (Thursday), when some of the Church’s leading thinkers take part in a conference reflecting on Dietrich von Hildebrand’s philosophy of love.

Entitled ‘The Christian Personalism of Dietrich von Hildebrand: Exploring His Philosophy of Love,’ the conference coincides with the English translation of von Hildebrand’s work: The Nature of Love.

The impressive line-up of speakers include Michael Novak, Rocco Buttiglione, Robert Spaemann, Joseph Bottum, Fr. Charles Morerod O.P., Alice von Hildebrand and Metropolitan John Zizioulas of Pergamon.

For the many who won’t be able to make...READ MORE

Filed under dietrich von hildebrand, love, personalism, philosophy, theology, transcendence

Political Risks of Papal Visit to Cyprus

05/20/2010 Comments (3)

Pope Benedict XVI greets Ambassador George Poulides

Could Pope Benedict’s visit to Cyprus next month become heavily politicized?

In an interview with, the Cypriot ambassador to the Holy See, George Poulides, said that the Pope’s June 4-6 visit will act as “a vigorous protest” against the Turkish occupation of the north of the island.

“The moral influence of the Pope is massive,” Ambassador Poulides told me last week. “His mere presence on this wounded island constitutes a vigorous protest against the injustice and the violence that the Cypriot people have undergone, namely the Turkish occupation.”

Cyprus has been territorially divided since Turkish troops invaded the Mediterranean island’s northern region in 1974, which...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, cyprus, maronite, orthodox, turkey

Pope Uplifted by Huge Show of Support

05/17/2010 Comments (4)

An enormous crowd turned out in support of the Holy Father Sunday, filling St. Peter’s Square to overflowing.

The Vatican said around 150,000 people attended the Regina Coeli prayer yesterday. Other estimates put the crowd higher, at 200,000.

The pilgrims, many of whom were members of the new movements, had come from all over Italy to show their solidarity with Benedict XVI, and to call for a purification of the Church after the recent disclosures of sexual abuse by clergy over the past 50 years.

The Pope, visibly moved and rejuvenated by the outward expression of support, spoke of his “deep gratitude” for their presence, and repeated what he said on his trip last week to Fatima: that...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, sexual abuse crisis

Italians to Rally in Support of the Pope

05/13/2010 Comments (5)

Pope Benedict XVI greets people as he arrives for his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 28. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

In the wake of the sexual abuse crisis, the Church in Italy is expecting “tens of thousands” of faithful to gather in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday in a show of support and solidarity with the Holy Father, and for the purification of the Church.

Lay groups and families from dioceses up and down the country are expected to gather in the square from 11am, an hour before Pope Benedict XVI recites the Regina Coeli. They will be led in prayer by Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Italian bishops’ conference.

“We expect lay groups and individual families to come from all over Italy by bus, train or other means, each group organizing themselves to participate in the Regina...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, cardinal bagnasco, sexual abuse crisis

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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