Cardinal Ouellet Surprised but Grateful over Nomination

06/30/2010 Comments (7)

Cardinal Marc Ouellet, pictured in March (Archdiocese of Quebec)

Cardinal Marc Ouellet has given his first press conference after the Pope nominated him today to become the next prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

Speaking from his archdiocesan headquarters in Quebec City, the cardinal said he was “surprised” by the appointment but welcomed it with “gratitude but also with a sense of fear”. He said of the appointment of bishops: “There’s a long tradition I will follow, the tradition of the Church, and look for the best bishops possible.” The cardinal said he will probably take up his position at the end of August or beginning of September.

After a day of major Curial appointments, another one is expected tomorrow. Vatican spokesman Father...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal marc ouellet, congregation for bishops

Cardinal Ouellet to Bishops; Archbishop Migliore to Poland

06/30/2010 Comment

Cardinal Marc Ouellet speaks at a gathering to mark the end of the Year for Priests at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome June 10. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Benedict XVI has today made some significant and long awaited appointments to the Roman Curia:

• Cardinal Marc Ouellet, 66, until now Archbishop of Québec, becomes the new prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, replacing Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, 76.
• Msgr. Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy for Life, has been appointed president of the Academy, replacing Archbishop Rino Fisichella.
• Archbishop Fisichella moves to become president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, a new dicastery announced by the Holy Father on Monday.
• Fr. Enrico dal Covolo S.D.B.,...READ MORE

Filed under appointments, congregation for bishops, pontifical academy for life, pontifical council for the new evangelization, roman curia, united nations

German Catholics to Rally for Benedict

06/24/2010 Comments (1)

Pilgrims hold a sign of support for Pope Benedict XVI prior to the start of the pontiff's general audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican June 23. The sign in Spanish says: "Dear Pope: Don't fear the wolves! Our Mother is with you." (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Rallies and meetings to show solidarity with the Holy Father appear to be catching on, not least in Benedict XVI’s native Germany.

According to an article in today’s Die Tagespost, a group called “Germany for the Pope” has organized two rallies in Cologne and Munich on Sunday July 11 – the Feast of St. Benedict.

The idea came from Sabine Beschmann who watched on YouTube the large rally held in St. Peter’s Square last month in support of the Pope following the sexual abuse crisis. An estimated 200,000 faithful travelled from all over Italy to join him in the Angelus prayer.

Beschmann, who developed a stronger bond with the Church and the Successor of Peter following participation in...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, germany, rally, sexual abuse crisis

The Changing Faiths of the Persian Gulf

06/21/2010 Comments (3)

Pope Benedict XVI accepts the credentials of Hissa Abdulla Ahmed al-Otaiba, the United Arab Emirates' first ambassador to the Vatican, May 20 at the Vatican. The Vatican and the United Arab Emirates, a federal union made up of seven states, established full diplomatic relations in 2007. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via Catholic Press Photo)

Although Christian emigration from the Holy Land continues to be a serious concern, it’s perhaps less well known that other parts of the Middle East - namely the Arabian peninsular - have seen a phenomenal rate of Christian immigration, mostly from the Asian sub-continent.

It’s the subject of an interesting essay by my colleague Giuseppe Caffulli, the editor-in-chief of, and highlighted today by the veteran Vaticanista Sandro Magister.

Caffulli writes: “The land which gave birth to Islam and the Prophet is top on the chart of areas in the world where Christianity is increasing the most” and he goes on to list some remarkable population statistics:

• The United Arab...READ MORE

Filed under arabian peninsula, emigration, holy land, holy see, middle east, persian gulf, religious freedom

L'Osservatore Discusses…The Blues Brothers

06/15/2010 Comments (27)

Professor Gian Maria Vian, editor of L'Osservatore Romano, and The Blues Brothers

Is The Blues Brothers, which turns 30 tomorrow, a Catholic movie?

L’Osservatore Romano thinks so – and has devoted a whole page in tomorrow’s edition, plus an editorial from its editor, Professor Gian Maria Vian, to explain why.

It’s the newspaper’s latest foray into pop culture which, like its articles on the Beatles, Michael Jackson and others, will be welcomed by some as a refreshing innovation but leave others bemused and not a little irritated. “Vatican Gives Thumbs Up to The Blues Brothers” is the likely headline if some secular papers choose to run the story tomorrow.

So what does Vian say? He does actually seem to make some valid points, though I don’t know the film well so...READ MORE

Filed under gian maria vian, l'osservatore romano, media, movies, pop culture, vatican

Benedict XVI's Q&A with Priests

06/14/2010 Comments (2)

Pope Benedict XVI waves as he arrives for a prayer vigil with some 10,000 priests as part of the closing of the Year for Priests in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican June 10. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

As well has the Holy Father’s much lauded homily which closed the Year for Priests, another highlight of the events of last week was Benedict XVI’s question and answer session with priests at a prayer vigil in St. Peter’s Square on Thursday. Hardly reported was how moved the Pope was: after greeting the 10,000 clergy present in the popemobile, tears of joy could be seen rolling down his cheeks according to some observers.

The Vatican Information Service has today provided this helpful summary of the Pope’s responses, given to five priests, one from each of the five continents:

“Asked by a Brazilian priest how pastors must face the difficulties they encounter in their ministry, the Pope...READ MORE

Filed under pope benedict xvi, prayer vigil, q&a, year for priests

"Priests Should be Wellsprings of Life"

Holy Father Concludes Year for Priests

06/11/2010 Comments (2)

Priests pray during Mass celebrated by top Vatican officials at the Legionaries of Christ's Center for Higher Studies in Rome June 8. The Mass, concelebrated by Cardinal Claudio Hummes, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, and Cardinal Antonio Canizar es Llovera, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, was one of several events for priests gathered in Rome to conclude the Year for Priests. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

To conclude the Year for Priests, at 10am this morning on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Square.

Here is the full text of the Holy Father’s homily.

Dear Brothers in the Priestly Ministry,

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Year for Priests which we have celebrated on the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the death of the holy Curè of Ars, the model of priestly ministry in our world, is now coming to an end. We have let the Curé of Ars guide us to a renewed appreciation of the grandeur and beauty of the priestly ministry. The priest is not a mere office-holder, like those which every society needs in order to carry out...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, priests, vocations, year for priests

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

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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