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

Is Catholic-Orthodox Unity in Sight?

09/14/2009 Comments (27)

The Pope with then-Metropolitan Kirill in December 2007. (CNS/Reuters)

The Catholic Archbishop of Moscow has given a remarkably upbeat assessment of relations with the Orthodox Church, saying unity between Catholics and Orthodox could be achieved “within a few months.”

In an interview today in Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper, Archbishop Paolo Pezzi said the miracle of reunification “is possible, indeed it has never been so close.” The archbishop added that Catholic-Orthodox reunification, the end of the historic schism that has divided them for a millennium, and spiritual communion between the two churches “could happen soon, also within a few months.”

“Basically we were united for a thousand years,” Archbishop Pezzi said. “Then for...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop pezzi, catholic-orthodox unity

Cardinal Hummes to Priests: Stay Close to Christ

09/10/2009 Comment

Cardinal Claudio Hummes, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, has warned against priests who have an “insufficient and superficial” encounter with Jesus Christ, saying this can turn their ministry into a “kind of clerical profession” in which they carry out their duties “like officials.”

Speaking in Fatima, Portugal, to a four-day conference of more than 800 Portuguese priests, the cardinal asked them “to be missionaries and to nurture their spirituality every day.” For this, it’s necessary to “maintain a constant contact with the Word of God, living a life of prayer that includes the authentic liturgy of the hours, devotion to Mary, celebrating the Eucharist as...READ MORE

Filed under

‘Reform of the Reform’ Update

09/08/2009 Comments (1)

Cardinal Antonio Cañizares (CNS)

The Congregation for Divine Worship is declining to comment further on reports that the Vatican is considering a “reform of the reform” of the liturgy, but a formal statement on the matter is expected soon.

An official told the Register this morning that “everything is under study and is progressing” but added that he could say no more until Cardinal Antonio Llovera Cañizares, prefect of the congregation, or the Holy See Press Office, issues an official statement.

At the end of August, veteran Vatican watcher Andrea Tornielli reported that cardinals and bishops of the CDW voted almost unanimously at their plenary meeting in March “in favor” of 30 proposals aimed at increasing...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal canizares, congregation of divine worship, liturgy

Jeb Bush: W.’s Not Converting to Catholicism

08/31/2009 Comment

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks Aug. 28 with other participants at Communion and Liberation's Rimini Meeting. (

At Communion and Liberation’s annual Rimini Meeting last week, Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, spoke about why he decided to become a Catholic and of his opposition to those elected officials who think they should keep their faith “in a safety deposit box.”

Bush also indicated he doesn’t think it’s likely his older brother, former President George W. Bush, will convert to Catholicism.

Answering a question put to him after he had delivered a talk strongly critical of big government, Bush said what primarily attracted him to the faith were the “sacraments of the Catholic Church, the timeless nature of the message of the Catholic Church, and the fact that the Catholic...READ MORE

Filed under george w. bush, jeb bush, rimini meeting

Tony Blair at Rimini

08/28/2009 Comment


Tony Blair was given star treatment at Communion and Liberation’s 30th annual Rimini Meeting yesterday evening in Italy.

Billed by the organizers as “The Day of Blair,” the speech took place in a packed auditorium of mostly Communion and Liberation members who gave the former British prime minister and recent convert to the Church a rousing welcome.

Several thousand people filled the huge hall and stood up to greet Blair as he walked from the back of the hall to the front amid wild cheers. His press spokesman said it was the largest single gathering the former British politician had ever addressed.

Blair made many commendable points in his speech. He began by explaining how he...READ MORE

Filed under communion and liberation, rimini meeting, tony blair

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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