'Make Manifest God's All-Inclusive Love'

04/18/2010 Comment

Benedict XVI arriving by boat for a gathering with Malta's youth.

Pope Benedict XVI has delivered his penultimate address in a speech to Malta’s young people.

Arriving by boat to Valletta’s Waterfront accompanied by a group of young people, the Holy Father was received by an enthusiastic crowd.

After hearing very thoughtful questions put by four young people (I’ve now added these at the end of this post), he set out to try and help them better understand St. Paul, to not be afraid to spread the Gospel, and to love all people with an “all-inclusive” love, seeking out those who are vulnerable or in distress (full text below).

“Maybe some of you will say to me, Saint Paul is often severe in his writings. How can I say that he was spreading a...READ MORE

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Pope Meets Abuse Victims in Malta

04/18/2010 Comments (2)

The Pope arriving to celebrate Mass at the Granaries in Floriana square, Malta, April 18.

The Pope met eight victims of sexual abuse by clergy this morning in the Apostolic Nunciature in Valletta, Malta.

The Vatican’s statement reads:

“On Sunday 18th April, in the Apostolic Nunciature, the Holy Father met a small group of persons who were sexually abused by members of the clergy. He was deeply moved by the stories and expressed his shame and sorrow over what the victims and their families have suffered. He prayed with them and assured them that the Church is doing and will continue to do all in its power to investigate the allegations, to bring to justice those responsible for abuse and to implement effective measures designed to safeguard young people in the future. In the...READ MORE

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Malta Puts on Party for the Pope

04/17/2010 Comment

Benedict XVI greeted by well-wishers in Rabat

The Maltese people have been ecstatic in their welcome for Pope Benedict XVI with most of the Mediterranean island, it seems, turning out to greet him on the first day of his visit.

Speaking to reporters this evening, Fr. Federico Lombardi, the Holy See press office director, estimated crowd numbers to be around 100,000. “There were crowds in every town, every village, that we passed,” he noted. He also was struck by how well behaved they were and how few police were present, especially compared to papal trips to other countries.

Naturally, one of the first questions Fr. Lombardi was asked was whether the Holy Father will meet with clerical abuse victims. Fr. Lombardi repeated what he...READ MORE

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Christian History of Malta

04/17/2010 Comments (3)

Pope Benedict XVI about to give his address at Malta's airport.

For readers who’d like to know more about Malta’s interesting Christian history, here’s a summary of the main events, courtesy of the Archdiocese of Malta.


At Paul’s Shipwreck on his way to Rome in AD 60 saw the beginning of Christianity in Malta. We read in the Acts of the Apostles (28, 1-11) that the people of the island showed no small courtesy to Paul and his companions and loaded them with such things as were necessary. According to St John Chrysostom, this shows that Paul converted a large number of Maltese to the Christian faith. Probably Paul on his departure from Malta left behind a small group of Christians, while, by the fourth century palaeo-Christian...READ MORE

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Malta's President Gets It

04/17/2010 Comments (1)

A street in Valletta decorated with Vatican flags.

It’s rare to have a European head of state so in tune with the Church, but the President of Malta, Dr. George Abela, gave a speech at the welcoming ceremony of the Pope this afternoon which will have no doubt resonated well with Benedict XVI.

He warned of the dangers of secularism and the “profane character” of privatized religion. “The moral foundations of a society as a whole, comprising believers, agnostics or atheists, are better served not with the falling away from religion but with the reinvigoration of the moral consciousness of the State,” he said.

He also referred directly to the abuse scandal, saying it “would be wrong” to try to use the “reprehensible indiscretions of the few...READ MORE

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Pope Arrives in Malta

04/17/2010 Comments (2)

MOSAIC DEPICTING “SAINT PAUL'S SHIPWRECK IN MALTA” Pope Benedict XVI's gift to the President of Malta. The mosaic was inspired by a fresco, the work of Nicolò Circignani, also known as the “Pomarancio”, which is found in the “Sala della Meridiana” in the “Torre dei Venti” in the Vatican. The fresco depicts the shipwreck of Saint Paul in Malta as it is described in chapter 28 of the Acts of the Apostles.

Pope Benedict XVI has just begun his Apostolic Journey to Malta - his first overseas visit of 2010.

He landed here shortly before 5pm local time and is now on his way to a reception at the presidential palace.

Malta is one of the most Catholic countries in Europe, if not the world, and the Holy Father made a point of praising its Catholic culture and values in his discourse at the airport welcoming ceremony (see below). 

The Pope, who is here to celebrate the 1950th anniversary of St. Paul’s shipwreck off the island, pointed out that “some might consider Saint Paul’s arrival in Malta by means of a humanly unforeseen event to be a mere accident of history. The eyes of faith, however,...READ MORE

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Pope on Need for Penance over Clerical Abuse

04/15/2010 Comments (2)

A sign of support for Pope Benedict XVI is seen during the pontiff's general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 14. The sign thanks the Pope for "his immense love that nourishes hope and faith." (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Benedict XVI today spoke of the importance of the Church to do penance, particularly now when the she is “under the attacks of the world.” He also warned of subtle forms of dictatorship which can lead to subtle and not-so-subtle aggression towards the Church.

In a veiled reference to the clerical abuse scandal, the Pope told the Pontifical Biblical Commission meeting in Rome: “Now, under the attacks of the world, which speak to us of our sins, we see that to be able to do penance is a grace – and we see how necessary it is to do penance, that is, to recognize what is wrong in our lives: to recognize one’s sin, to open oneself to forgiveness, to prepare for pardon, to allow...READ MORE

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Vatican Now Blogging

04/12/2010 Comment

Vatican Informations Service blog

The Vatican has taken to the blogosphere - well, kind of.

The Holy See press office announced today that the Vatican Information Service (VIS) launched a blog on April 9th at www.visnews.org in English, French, Spanish and Italian.

The Vatican says the page will be updated daily at around 3pm CET. 

It won’t generally contain opinion or analysis but instead offer the daily VIS bulletin, already sent out to subscribers by email for free. This is also available on the Vatican website although it’s not easy to find. 

The new blog contains all VIS bulletins going back to 1999 and has some useful links, as well as ones to the Vatican’s Twitter and YouTube pages. Readers can also comments...READ MORE

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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