Vatican Personnel Changes

07/16/2009 Comment

Pope Benedict XVI has today made a series of personnel changes within the Roman Curia.

Although the changes concern officials not often in the public eye, their positions are nevertheless influential.

One of those promoted is Msgr. Peter Brian Wells, a priest from Tulsa, Okla. He becomes assessor for general affairs of the Secretariat of State, a key position dealing with the Holy See’s relations with states.

Until now, Msgr. Wells has headed the English-language section at the Vatican Secretariat of State, with special responsibility for dealing with Holy See relations with the United States. He was one of just two others who were present at President Barack Obama’s private...READ MORE

Filed under vatican

Italy’s Common Ground on Abortion

07/15/2009 Comment

Italy's Chamber of Deputies (Center for European Politics)

Is Italy showing how opposing sides can find common ground on abortion?

The Italian Parliament today agreed on a text to present the U.N. General Assembly asking for a resolution against the practice of abortion as a means of population control and asserting the right of every woman not to be forced to have abortions.

The motion, which was introduced by Rocco Buttiglione, the president of the center-right UDC Party and an old friend of Popes Benedict XVI and John Paul II, passed with just a few abstentions.

Buttiglione stated that the Italian Chamber of Deputies (Italy’s Lower House) “committed the government to promote, by seeking the necessary consensus, a United Nations resolution...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, italy, population control

Pope-Obama Meeting

07/10/2009 Comment

President Obama and the Pope exchange gifts as first lady Michelle Obama looks on today at the Vatican. (CNS/Reuters)

Pope Benedict XVI received President Barack Obama this afternoon at the Vatican in a private audience lasting just over 40 minutes.

After the meeting, the Vatican released the following statement:

“This afternoon, Friday 10 July 2009, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI received in audience the president of the United States of America, His Excellency Mr. Barack H. Obama. Prior to the audience, the president met His Eminence Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of state, and also His Excellency Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for relations with states.

In the course of their cordial exchanges, the conversation turned first of all to questions which are in the interests of all and...READ MORE

Filed under barack obama, benedict xvi

CDF Assumes SSPX File

07/08/2009 Comment

Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the Society of St. Pius X, ordains a priest during a ceremony in Econe, Switzerland, June 29. (CNS/Reuters)

As expected, Pope Benedict XVI has brought the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei under the auspices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

American Cardinal William Levada, the CDF’s prefect, will replace Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos as president of the commission, which is charged with trying to reconcile the Society of St. Pius X with the Church.

The Pope has named Msgr. Guido Pozzo as secretary of Ecclesia Dei.

The changes came in the form of a motu proprio, entitled Ecclesiae unitatem, which was signed by the Pope July 2 and which explained the details of the restructure. In a Vatican statement, the Holy Father “thanked the Emin. Cardinal Darío Castrillón...READ MORE

Filed under congregation for the doctrine of the faith, society of st. pius x

New Encyclical Links Economics and Ethics

07/07/2009 Comment

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

07/02/2009 Comment

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

07/01/2009 Comment


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

06/29/2009 Comment


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

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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