New Encyclical Links Economics and Ethics

Tuesday, July 07, 2009 12:07 PM Comments (0)

Pope Benedict XVI’s first social encyclical, Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth), is a strong plea for a closer connection between morality and the free economy.

In the document, which was released today at the Vatican, the Pope said ethical values are needed to overcome the current global economic crisis, combat poverty and foster authentic development.

The document reflects previous social encyclicals, but with Caritas in Veritate, the Holy Father refrains from entering too much into specifics. Instead he underlines established truths in which governments, institutions and individuals should find inspiration in order to help build a just and sustainable economic system. The...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, caritas in veritate, encyclical

Benedict to Visit Synagogue

Thursday, July 02, 2009 12:14 PM Comments (0)

John Paul greets Rabbi Elio Toaff at Rome's main synagogue in 1986. (CNS)

The date has yet to be fixed, but Pope Benedict XVI will visit Rome’s synagogue in the fall.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told the Register today the visit has been “openly discussed and can be confirmed.” The Pope is expected to make the trip across the Tiber in November.

The Jewish place of worship belongs to the oldest Judaic community in Europe and one of the oldest continuous Jewish settlements in the world, dating back to 161 B.C.

It was also the venue for John Paul II’s historic visit in 1986, when he became the first Pope ever to set foot inside a synagogue. His gesture helped confirm a path of friendship between Christians and Jews, in the conciliar spirit...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, catholic-jewish dialogue

JPII Cause Moves Forward

Wednesday, July 01, 2009 12:11 PM Comments (0)


The latest on John Paul II’s beatification process:

According to Andrea Tornielli, Vatican correspondent for Il Giornale, a meeting of theologian consultors was held yesterday morning at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. It was the second such meeting to examine the “positio ” — documents on the testimony of the cause.

The first meeting on May 13, which we reported on here, came across obstacles, not because the personal holiness of John Paul II was in doubt, but mainly because of a lack of documentation.

Tornielli says that the postulator of the cause, Msgr. Slawomir Oder, has since replied in writing to the objections. Yesterday, at the second and final meeting of the...READ MORE

Filed under beatification, john paul ii

Pope Signs New Encyclical

Monday, June 29, 2009 11:00 AM Comments (0)


Today, on the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, Pope Benedict XVI signed his new encyclical Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth).

The Pope confirmed the news today after reciting the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square.

“The publication of my third encyclical is rapidly approaching, which is titled Caritas in Veritate,” the Holy Father said. “Taking up the social issues contained in Populorum Progressio, written by the Servant of God Paul VI in 1967, this document — which bears today’s date, June 29, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul — will explore some aspects of development in our era, in the light of love in truth.”

The encyclical, which has been two years in the making, is...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, caritas in veritate, encyclical

The Little Flower's Astronaut

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 5:22 PM Comments (0)

Col. Ronald Garan (wikipedia)

In attendance at Pope Benedict XVI’s weekly general audience today in St. Peter’s Square was Ronald Garan, the American astronaut who brought a relic of St. Thérèse of Lisieux into space aboard the space shuttle Discovery.

Garan had the idea to bring the relic into space through his spiritual bond with the Carmelites in New Caney, Texas. Garan also helped found the Manna Association that, with the help of NASA technology and U.N. funding, has developed a system to make available drinking water in the villages of Rwanda and install solar panels in schools and hospitals.

Also present today was Radhika Coomaraswamy, the U.N.’s special representative for children and armed conflict,...READ MORE

Filed under relics, ronald garan, st. therese of lisieux

Father Gumpel on Pius XII

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 12:53 PM Comments (0)

Pius XII (CNS)

The following article will be published in a future issue of the Register:

Defending the Popes — Pius XII and Benedict XVI
Investigative Judge for Pope’s Cause Sheds Light on Recent Flap With Jewish Leaders


VATICAN CITY — The cause for canonization of Pope Pius XII ran into some controversy last week when Jesuit Father Peter Gumpel, the investigative judge for the cause, was reported as saying that Pope Benedict XVI was holding off from issuing a decree on Pius’ beatification because of pressure from some Jewish groups.

Speaking at a book launch in Rome June 19, Father Gumpel, 85, said the Pope did not wish to “compromise”...READ MORE

Filed under pius xii

The Confessions Crisis

Friday, June 19, 2009 12:04 PM Comments (1)

A priest hears a confession during a penitential celebration at St. Peter's Basilica. (Reuters)

In his letter to priests yesterday to mark the beginning of the Year for Priests, Pope Benedict XVI drew attention to the sacrament of confession, which has been declining in parts of the Western world, particularly Italy.

“Priests ought never to be resigned to empty confessionals or the apparent indifference of the faithful to this sacrament,” he wrote. “In France, at the time of the Curé of Ars, confession was no more easy or frequent than in our own day, since the upheaval caused by the revolution had long inhibited the practice of religion. Yet he sought in every way, by his preaching and his powers of persuasion, to help his parishioners to rediscover the meaning and beauty of...READ MORE

Filed under confession, sacraments, year for priests

Hitler’s Plot Against Pius

Tuesday, June 16, 2009 4:08 PM Comments (0)

Adolf Hitler (wikipedia)

There have long been rumors that Adolf Hitler wanted to kidnap or kill Pope Pius XII.  In 1972, former SS General Karl Wolf referred to such a plan in a meeting he said he had with the wartime Pope on May 10, 1944. However, Wolf’s story could never be verified.

But now the Italian bishops’ newspaper Avvenire — and later L’Osservatore Romano — have reported today about “more concrete rumors” of a plan hatched by the Reichssicherheitsamt (the Third Reich’s Security Headquarters) in Berlin after July 25, 1943.

The reports cite a viable source: the son of one of the key people involved, Niki Freytag von Loringhoven.

According to the account of the son, who is now 72, on July...READ MORE

Filed under adolf hitler, pius xii

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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