White House: Relations with Holy See 'Very Important’

Monday, June 15, 2009 5:38 PM Comments (0)

A spokesman for President Barack Obama affirmed today that the president attaches a high priority to the relationship between the Vatican and the United States.

In an e-mail comment to the Register, Denis McDonough, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications said: “The Holy See is very important to our foreign policy priorities.”

McDonough’s comment was made in the context of replying to concerns expressed by some analysts that Obama might not regard the relationship with the Vatican as an important policy priority.

Filed under barack obama, holy see

Benedict-Obama Meeting Plans

Monday, June 15, 2009 4:42 PM Comments (0)

Obama visits Cairo's Sultan Hassan Mosque June 4. (CNS/Reuters)

The Vatican and the White House are close to agreeing on a date for President Barack Obama to meet Pope Benedict XVI in early July. The president will be in Rome while he attends the G8 summit in the Italian town of L’Aquila July 8-10.

According to informed sources, there’s “work in progress” on a time and date but no official announcement has yet been made because of difficulty in finding a date that’s mutually convenient. It’s believed there is only a small window of opportunity for the president to meet with the Pope as Obama’s visit to Italy is short, and sandwiched between his trips to Russia and Ghana.

However, despite these difficulties, sources say an agreement is...READ MORE

Filed under barack obama, benedict xvi, g-8 summit

Archbishop Sheen Update

Friday, June 12, 2009 12:07 PM Comments (0)

Bishop Jenky ties a ribbon around a crate of documents for Archbishop Sheen's cause. (CNS)

The last two Daily Blog posts have been about the prospects of two famous British Catholic apologists being proclaimed as saints by the Church.

This one is an update about the cause of a famous American Church leader who was no slouch either when it came to apologetics: the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen.

The cause of Archbishop Fulton Sheen is proceeding “very nicely,” the Register has learned. According to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, two probable miracles have been reported during the past year.

In February 2008, Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria, Ill., celebrated a Mass concluding the preliminary diocesan investigation phase of Archbishop Sheen’s cause. At that...READ MORE

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Newman Beatification Expected

Friday, June 12, 2009 11:46 AM Comments (0)

Portrait of Cardinal Newman. (CNS)

A papal decree announcing the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman is imminent and will most likely be made before the Vatican closes for its summer break in August, the Register has learned.

Last month, the Vatican’s medical board concluded a miracle attributed to Cardinal Newman’s intercession was due to inexplicable causes. Deacon John Sullivan, 70, of Marshfield, Mass., was healed of severe back pain in 2001 after praying to the 19th-century English theologian. Deacon Sullivan was prompted to ask for Cardinal Newman’s intercession after watching an EWTN program on Cardinal Newman’s beatification process.

Now, according to Vatican officials, a team of cardinal theological...READ MORE

Filed under beatification, cardinal newman

Corpus Christi Procession

Thursday, June 11, 2009 6:26 PM Comments (0)

(Edward Pentin)

To celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi today, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass outside the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome this evening in front of several thousand faithful.

And following papal tradition, he then led the Eucharistic Procession from St. John Lateran to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, about a mile away.

In his homily, and with the Year for Priests beginning later this month, the Holy Father made a special appeal to priests: “Only in union with Jesus can you draw spiritual fruitfulness that generates hope in your pastoral ministry,” he said, and quoted St Leo the Great who said that ‘our participation in the Body and Blood of Christ does not tend to nothing...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, corpus christi

Senior Swiss Guard Retires

Thursday, June 11, 2009 10:47 AM Comments (1)

Swiss Guards parade at the Vatican. (CNS)

He has played a leading role in protecting Popes for over 43 years, but now the dean of the Swiss Guards, Major Peter Hasler, is to hang up his halberd and retire.

The commander of the Swiss Guard, Col. Daniel Anrig, paid tribute to Major Hasler, who is nicknamed in the Roman Curia as “The Pope’s Shadow” for having worked very close to four popes. Col. Anrig recalled Major Hasler’s “passionate service in guarding the Holy Father” and praised the “great sense of responsibility” he has shown in his years as Major.

La Stampa reported June 10 that Pope Benedict XVI had bestowed an honor on Major Hasler on the eve of his retirement. The dean of the Swiss Guards left office...READ MORE

Filed under swiss guards

JPI Miracle Goes to Rome

Monday, June 08, 2009 3:50 PM Comments (1)

Pope John Paul I (CNS/L'Osservatore Romano)

Pope John Paul I, born Albino Luciani, has moved closer to being beatified after the Diocese of Altamura-Gravina-Acquaviva delle Fonti in Puglia, southeastern Italy, concluded that a banker, Giuseppe Denora, was cured of stomach cancer in 1992 after praying for the late Pope’s intercession.

Giuseppe Denora, now 60, prayed in front of a newspaper clipping depicting Pope Luciani. He was at the time already receiving chemotherapy treatment, but he wasn’t expected to be cured.

Now, details of the miracle have been sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, where further examinations will be carried out. This signifies the start of the “Roman” phase of the process, when a...READ MORE

Filed under john paul i

Embassy: No Seizure of Funds

Monday, June 08, 2009 11:45 AM Comments (0)

Reports that Israel’s Chief Tax Collector had seized the funds of Catholic Church institutions in Israel in order to force them to submit to fiscal demands have been denied today by Israel’s embassy to the Holy See.

According to an earlier AsiaNews report, Yehezkel Abrahamoff of Israel’s Finance Ministry had ordered the seizure to force the Church to pay taxes without waiting the outcome of ongoing negotiations on the 1993 Fundamental Agreement between the Holy See and Israel. Central to those talks are fiscal statutes relating to the Church in Israel. AsiaNews said it had “both documentation and testimony” of Abrahamoff’s initiative.

However, Israel’s embassy to the Holy See...READ MORE

Filed under israel

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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