African Synod Begins

10/05/2009 Comment

Choir members from Africa sing after Pope Benedict XVI celebrated the opening Mass of the Synod of Bishops for Africa in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Oct. 4. (CNS)

Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson of Ghana has said there’s no reason why a future pope can’t be black, just as the United Nations has had a black secretary general and the United States now has a black president.

Responding to a question at a Vatican press conference today about whether the Church is ready for a black pope, Cardinal Turkson replied: “Why not?” He added the Church has historically been “very successful” in electing “everyone” as popes.

The archbishop of Cape Coast referred to modern-day precedents in high-profile international positions, such as his countryman Kofi Annan who served as U.N. secretary general from 1997 through 2006, and now Barack Obama as...READ MORE

Filed under synod

British Papal Visit Update

09/29/2009 Comment

Westminster Cathedral (wikipedia)

An official announcement of a historic papal state visit to Britain is now not expected until toward the end of this year, the Register has learned.

News that Pope Benedict XVI would travel to the British Isles, probably in September 2010, was leaked to the media last week, but contrary to speculation, there is no likelihood of a visit to Northern Ireland this time around. That is more likely to take place in 2012, according to an informed source.

Any such visit to Britain would come at a time when the country has fallen further into a culture of death. John Smeaton, the U.K.’s director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, writes on his blog:...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, britain, tradional anglican communion

Benedict’s Reality Czech

09/28/2009 Comment

A central and recurring theme of Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic visit to the Czech Republic, which wrapped up today, was one that has long been close to his heart: the importance of the truth and the search for it.

“The presidential flag flying over Prague Castle proclaims the motto ‘Pravda Vít?zí – the Truth wins,’” the Pope said on Saturday on arrival at Prague airport. “It is my earnest hope that the light of truth will continue to guide this nation, so blessed throughout its history by the witness of great saints and martyrs.”

The Holy Father expounded on the theme later in the day, delivering a striking address to diplomats that tackled the authentic nature of...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, czech republic, papal visit

Benedict’s Trip to Britain: What’s Likely to Happen

09/23/2009 Comment

Although neither the Holy See nor the British government have yet officially confirmed a visit by Pope Benedict XVI to Britain in 2010, a statement issued today by Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, head of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, is being interpreted by many as confirmation of the trip.

Archbishop Nichols said the prospect of the visit “fills us with joy” and that the Church of England and Wales was “glad” the Holy Father was considering invitations from both the British government and the Church.

Planning for the first-ever state visit to Britain by a Pope has been going on for some time, but news of the visit was leaked before exact details had...READ MORE

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Vatican: Pope Didn’t Know About Williamson’s Comments

09/23/2009 Comments (1)

SSPX Bishop Richard Williamson (CNS/Reuters)

The Vatican’s press office spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, has responded to allegations by a Swedish television channel that the Vatican knew of Bishop Richard Williamson’s Holocaust-denying comments to the channel before the excommunication of the Society of St. Pius X bishop was lifted in January.

Although he didn’t address how much knowledge Vatican officials had prior to the lifting of the excommunications of Bishop Williamson and the schismatic society’s three other bishops, Father Lombardi said it was “absolutely baseless to say or even insinuate that the Pope had been informed earlier of the positions of Williamson.”

Father Lombardi added, “This has been...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, bishop williamson, society of st. pius x

Archbishop Hilarion at Sant’Egidio

09/17/2009 Comment

Russian Orthodox Arhcbishop Hilarion (wikipedia)

Archbishop Paolo Pezzi of Moscow may have gotten a little ahead of himself in his comments on Catholic-Orthodox unity, given in a recent interview which we reported on here. However, his hopeful tone, and his conviction that progress is being made towards unity, are well founded.

The Vatican is taking a more measured line than the Catholic archbishop of Moscow, and is stressing that, as well as resolving outstanding theological problems, plenty of trust still needs to be built up between the two Churches before unity can be considered. However, it concedes that clear progress is being made.

If proof were needed of this improvement, one need look no further than a speech given by...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop hilarion, catholic-orthodox unity, sant'egidio

Pius XII at Yad Vashem?

09/16/2009 Comment

Benedict visits Yad Vashem last May. (CNS/Reuters)

From an article published in tomorrow’s edition of the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano:

The Pave the Way Foundation, a U.S. institution dedicated to promoting world peace through dialogue among religions, has formally requested to have Eugenio Pacelli (Pope Pius XII) recognized as a “Righteous Among the Nations” and then placed on a list in the famous Garden of the Righteous at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

Pave the Way’s founder president, Gary Krupp, communicated the initiative to Benedict XVI during today’s general audience in the Paul VI Hall. Krupp also gave the Holy Father a book on Pope Pius covering around three thousand documents on the wartime Pontiff, discovered after...READ MORE

Filed under holocaust, pius xii, yad vashem

Pope to Visit Malta

09/14/2009 Comments (1)

A lighted cross stands at the edge of the Grand Harbor in Valletta, Malta in March 2007. (CNS)

Pope Benedict XVI is planning to make an apostolic visit to Malta next April to commemorate 1,950 years since St. Paul’s shipwreck there, according to a press release issued by Malta’s bishops on Saturday.

The visit would be the third papal trip to the Mediterranean island nation, after Pope John Paul II’s visits in 1990 and 2001.

St. Paul was shipwrecked in the archipelago in the year 60, during his second voyage toward Rome, according to tradition. He remained on the island for three months before setting out for Sicily. Bitten by a viper, he was unaffected, and many islanders who were ill went to him and were healed.

Benedict’s visit there will also draw attention to the...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, malta, papal visit

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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