Israel Seizing Church Funds?

Monday, June 08, 2009 11:26 AM Comments (0)

Israel’s Chief Tax Collector has seized the funds of Catholic Church institutions in Israel in order to force them to submit to fiscal demands which he considers appropriate.

According to AsiaNews, Yehezkel Abrahamoff of Israel’s Finance Ministry has ordered the seizure to force the Church to pay taxes without waiting for 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 says it has received both documentation and testimony of Abrahamoff’s initiative. The institutions concerned have asked not to be named for fear of reprisals on the part of the...READ MORE

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Mideast Responds to Obama

Friday, June 05, 2009 3:13 PM Comments (0)

Obama speaks yesterday in Cairo. (CNS/Reuters)

Tomorrow’s edition of L’Osservatore Romano reports on reactions from some Middle East Church leaders to President Barack Obama’s speech yesterday to the Muslim world. 

Summing up their reaction as “an important speech, but these are words, not deeds,” the Vatican’s semi-official newspaper says the reaction has mainly been one of appreciation for the president’s openness to dialogue, but coupled with a wish to make the words concrete.

The paper begins by quoting Bishop Youssef Ibrahim Sarraf, the Chaldean bishop of Cairo: “It is the speech we have wanted for so long,” Bishop Sarraf said. “The president has had the courage to make it, choosing Egypt for its location and...READ MORE

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JPII Announcement in 2009?

Thursday, June 04, 2009 11:34 AM Comments (0)

John Paul II at Denver's World Youth Day in 1993. (CNS)

Joaquin Navarro-Valls has said Pope Benedict XVI could announce the beatification of Pope John Paul II as early as this year.

In an interview today with the Italian newspaper, Il Sole 24 Ore, John Paul II’s former press spokesman added to recent comments from Vatican officials who have said recent events won’t prevent the cause from going forward.

Navarro-Valls said two key “technical” steps — the decree on heroic virtues given by the cardinals and bishops of the congregation and the publication of the decree on a miracle (not attributed to natural causes) — are currently missing, but “may come this year.”

“At that point,” he added, “the Pope can decide the date of the...READ MORE

Filed under beatification, john paul ii

Thatcher Meets Benedict

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 1:54 PM Comments (0)

Margaret Thatcher in St. Peter's Square May 27. (Reuters/Alessia Pierdomenico)

Margaret Thatcher met Pope Benedict XVI at the end of his weekly general audience today.

The 83-year-old former British prime minister, who led the country from 1979 to 1990, had earlier in the day laid flowers at the tomb of John Paul II.

An Anglican, it was Baroness Thatcher’s second visit to the Vatican in less than two years, leading some to speculate whether she is thinking of joining the Church. During her previous trip, she also visited John Paul II’s tomb to pay her respects. According to those who were with her at that time, she made it clear in her characteristically loud voice that it was thanks to John Paul that Soviet communism was brought down. 

Baroness Thatcher also...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, margaret thatcher

Benedict and St. Benedict

Saturday, May 23, 2009 6:38 PM Comments (0)

Montecassino Abbey, founded by St. Benedict in 529.

Pope Benedict XVI will make a pastoral visit tomorrow to Montecassino, Italy. The monastery, 73 miles from Rome, was founded by St. Benedict around 529 and is where he developed the Rule of St. Benedict.

The Pope is due to arrive by helicopter in the town of Cassino at 10.15 a.m.. There, he will preside at a Eucharistic concelebration and give a homily in the city’s Piazza Miranda.

Then, having prayed the Regina Coeli, he will travel by car to the abbey of Montecassino, making a brief stop at the Casa della Carita (House of Charity) in Cassino.

The Holy Father will lunch at the abbey, greet the monastic community, and, at 5 p.m., celebrate Vespers with Benedictine abbots and communities...READ MORE

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John Paul II Cause Hits Snag

Saturday, May 23, 2009 9:32 AM Comments (0)

reuters photo

A meeting of theological consulters was held at the Vatican May 13 to decide on the process of the beatification of John Paul II.

According to my fellow Vatican journalist the reliable Andrea Tornielli, writing in today’s Il Giornale, the consulters have given a positive opinion on the process, but they were not unanimous. Several parties “raised objections and difficulties,” he says, and so the meeting has been postponed to a later date, probably before the Vatican summer holidays in August.

However, he reports that “none of the consulters doubts the personal sanctity of the great Pontiff” and that there are “no insurmountable obstacles.”

What is at issue are “other...READ MORE

Filed under beatification, pope john paul ii

Pope Invited to N. Ireland

Friday, May 22, 2009 4:22 PM Comments (0)

British cabinet minister Shaun Woodward

Pope Benedict XVI was invited Wednesday to visit Northern Ireland by the British government, and is considering the possibility.

The invitation came from Britain’s Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Shaun Woodward, who met the Holy Father after his weekly General Audience.

“It’s very clearly something in his mind,” Woodward said, “but there are some matters that the Pope should rightly be allowed to decide on because he makes very good judgments about when the time is right.” The invitation comes three months after British Prime Minister Gordon Brown invited the Pope to visit Britain.

Woodward had come to Rome to thank the Pope and the Vatican for their support in the...READ MORE

Filed under northern ireland

L'Osservatore Editor Defends

Friday, May 22, 2009 1:44 PM Comments (0)

(CNS photo)

Gian Maria Vian, editor of L’Osservatore Romano, commented to the Register about the controversy (detailed here) surrounding the paper’s coverage of President Obama.

Is L’Osservatore Romano in agreement with those bishops of the United States who were opposed to Obama being honored by the University of Notre Dame?

L’Osservatore Romano always stands by different episcopates, and on this point, naturally, in our reports on international religious news, we support the positions of United States’ bishops. This is much more the case when it concerns serious and sensitive issues such as abortion, which the Second Vatican Council in “Gaudium et Spes” (No. 51) has defined as an...READ MORE

Filed under l'osservatore romano, notre dame, obama

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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