Benedict XVI Begins Historic Visit to Germany

09/22/2011 Comments (1)

Pope Benedict XVI has begun an historic first official visit to his homeland. 

Shepherd One landed shortly before 10.15 this morning at Berlin’s Tegel airport under sunny autumnal skies. 

The Holy Father was welcomed with full military honors and greeted at the airport by Germany’s President Christian Wulff, Chancellor Angela Merkel, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, president of the German Bishops Conference and other dignitaries. 

In his address (full text below) - the first of 17 during the intense four day visit - the Pope, standing on the lawns of Bellevue Castle, the official residence of the German President, laid out his aims for this historic trip with characteristic clarity.


Filed under benedict xvi, germany, religious freedom, secularism

Vatican Publishes Confession and Spiritual Direction Manual for Priests

08/25/2011 Comments (12)

The Vatican has published an aid for confessors and spiritual directors, reflecting an urgent need for both priests and the faithful to rediscover the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Published by the Congregation for the Clergy, “The Priest, Minister of Divine Mercy — An Aid for Confessors and Spiritual Directors” is essentially a manual on how to be good confessors.

The 70 page document is a fruit of the Year for Priests during which the Holy Father urged priests to return to the confessional, both to celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation but also as a place where the priest should “dwell” more often.

In this way, the Pope told confessors in March 2010, “the faithful may find...READ MORE

Filed under confession, sacrament of reconciliation, spiritual direction, spiritual director, vatican

Pope Tweets Launch of Vatican News Website

06/28/2011 Comments (2)

The Holy Father has sent his first “tweet” to launch the new Vatican online news portal

Using an iPad, Benedict XVI sent out the following tweet this afternoon, using the Vatican’s Twitter account: “Dear Friends, I just launched Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI”.

At first glance, the new website looks impressive and promises to be a helpful resource, not only to journalists. The Pontifical Council for Social Communications, which devised it, is looking at ways to broaden its functionality in the future. Thaddeus Jones, an official at the PCCS, told the Register it’s possible that dicasteries of the Roman Curia will also post...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi,, pontifical council for social communications, twitter, vatican

Cardinal Scola Appointed Archbishop of Milan

06/28/2011 Comments (3)

Cardinal Angelo Scola, 69, has served as Patriarch of Venice since 2002. (CNS file photo from Catholic Press Photo)

Pope Benedict XVI has today appointed Cardinal Angelo Scola, the Patriarch of Venice, as the new Archbishop of Milan – an important appointment often seen as a stepping stone to the papacy.

Born in Malgrate near Milan in 1941 and the son of a truck driver, Cardinal Scola is a respected intellect and former theology professor who was once rector of the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome.

He is close to Benedict XVI in his thinking, having been heavily influenced by the theologians Hans Urs von Balthasar and Henri de Lubac. Together with Joseph Ratzinger, he helped found the international theological periodical “Communio”, and is also closely associated with the Communion and...READ MORE

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La Civiltà Cattolica on Bin Laden's Death

06/24/2011 Comments (34)

The Italian Jesuit periodical La Civiltà Cattolica has given its opinion on the death of Osama Bin Laden and mostly backs the U.S. operation carried out last month.

The influential fortnightly journal, whose drafts are passed by the Vatican Secretariat of State, focuses on the many risks that a trial of Bin Laden would have created, and the strong geopolitical implications.

According to Francesco Peloso, writing in Gesuiti News, La Civiltà Cattolica gives “a very careful and realpolitik assessment” of the death of al Qaeda’s leader, and doesn’t condemn the decisions made ​​by the Obama administration.

“The ocean could dilute the memory of Bin Laden,” La Civilta Cattolica says in an...READ MORE

Filed under jesuit, la civilta cattolica, osama bin laden, society of jesus

The iBasilica of St. John Lateran

06/22/2011 Comments (1)

Pope Benedict XVI celebrates the Eucharist during Mass of the Lord's Supper at the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome April 21. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

The basilica of St. John Lateran, “the mother of all the churches of Rome and the world”, is leading the way in embracing new media by offering guided tours with an iPod.

With the help of sacred music, images (historical ones as well as photographs), and some vivid explanations, the tour uses the famous touch-screen device to bring a “mix” of history, culture and spirituality to a visiting pilgrim or tourist. Also included is a welcome from Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the Vicar of Rome, together with detailed maps. 

The pilgrimage office of the Vicariate of Rome, L’Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi, is responsible for introducing the new facility, and is offering it free to visitors for a trial...READ MORE

Filed under basilica, benedict xvi, digital, nasa, new media, pilgrimage, st. john lateran

Vatican to Host Conference on Combating Sexual Abuse

06/14/2011 Comments (7)

Msgr. Charles J. Scicluna, the Vatican's "Attorney General" and Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi at a press conference last year on the issue of clerical sex abuse. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

A major Vatican conference on combating sexual abuse will be held next year at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome on the theme “Towards healing and renewal - a global response to the problem of sexual abuse, and the protection of the vulnerable”.

The Vatican says the symposium will be important in helping “bishops and religious superiors adequately respond to requests to bishops’ conferences made by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to prepare effective directives and pastoral plans on the theme of sexual abuse.”

The conference, which will be supported by various Vatican dicasteries, will bring together experts from some of the world’s great academic institutions....READ MORE

Filed under gregorian university, rome, sexual abuse, vatican

Pope to Meet Gypsy Communities

06/09/2011 Comments (3)

Italian Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi of Milan jumps over a puddle during a visit to a Gypsy, or Roma, camp in a Milan neighborhood Dec. 23. 2010. (CNS photo/Paolo Bona, Reuters)

Pope Benedict XVI will welcome groups of European gypsies to the Vatican this Saturday.

The delegation, which will include members the Roma, Sinti, Manouches, Kale, Yenish and Travellers communities from 20 European countries, is taking part in a pilgrimage to Rome to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of their patron, Blessed Ceferino Gimenez.

A gypsy martyr of Spanish origin, Bl. Gimenez lived from 1861 to 1936 and was beatified by Bl. Pope John Paul II in 1997. This year also marks the 75th anniversary of his martyrdom.

The Sant’Egidio lay community, which has helped organize the meeting, is describing Saturday’s pilgrimage and audience as a “significant event”, showing...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, gypsies, sant'egidio

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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