Californian Donors Fund Restoration of Vatican Museum's Gallery of Maps

04/29/2016 Comment

A four-year painstaking restoration of the Gallery of Maps in the Vatican Museums has been completed thanks to the generosity of Californian Catholic donors.

The $2.5m project, funded by the California Chapter of the Patrons of the Arts, has fully restored Pope Gregory XIII’s gallery that was painted from 1580 to 1583 by a team of top artists under the leadership of the famous cartographer and Dominican, Ignazio Danti.

The restoration was needed after the 40 meticulously painted maps of the entire Italian peninsular had suffered years of deterioration and previous botched restorations.

Pope Gregory commissioned the gallery so he could explore the Italian peninsula without leaving the...READ MORE

Filed under antonio paolucci, art history, father mark haydu, gallery of maps, patrons of the arts in the vatican museums, vatican museums

Bishop Schneider: 'Amoris Laetitia' Demands Clarification

04/27/2016 Comments (15)

Bishop Athanasius Schneider has given a lengthy reflection on Amoris Laetitia in which he makes a consistent case for the need for clarity and precision in the text, particularly with regard to admitting civilly remarried divorcees to Holy Communion.

The bishop’s reflection is a studied, detailed and forceful response that argues against those who see the papal summary of the Synods on the Family as “opening the door” to Holy Communion for remarried divorcees and other practices that would not be consistent with the Church’s constant magisterium.

The Kazakh prelate, who has led resistance to what many see as modernist and secularist strains within both the synods and Amoris Laetitia,...READ MORE

Filed under bishop athanasius schneider, pope francis, synod on the family

Joe Biden to Give Talk at Vatican Conference on Friday

04/27/2016 Comments (25)

Vice President Biden welcoming Pope Francis to the Senate, Sept. 2015.

– YouTube

Vice President Joe Biden arrives in Rome on Thursday to attend a conference on breakthroughs in regenerative medicine, part-hosted by the Pontifical Council for Culture.

Biden will deliver a talk the following day about the Obama administration's "Moonshot" initiative which aims to make therapies available to more patients and accelerate cancer research by improving cancer prevention and detecting it at an early stage.

The Vice President, whose son Beau died of brain cancer last year, is aiming to double the rate of progress toward a cancer cure, for which the Obama administration has asked Congress for $1 billion.

The April 28-30 conference, entitled “The Progress of Regenerative...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, cancer, joe biden, politics, pope francis, stem cell research

Vatican Details Humanitarian Crisis in Ukraine Ahead of Sunday Collection

04/22/2016 Comments (1)

A collection will be held in all European Catholic churches this coming Sunday to support the people of Ukraine. The initiative comes after Pope Francis called on European Catholics during the Regina Caeli on April 3 to perform a gesture of charity to alleviate the material suffering of Ukrainians.

On the eve of the collection, the Vatican shared today some of the extreme hardships and suffering taking place in a country that continues to be stricken by a conflict that many people think has ended.

The conflict began in the spring of 2014 when Russia made several incursions into Ukrainian territory, beginning with Crimea. After demonstrations by pro-Russian groups in the Donbass area of...READ MORE

Filed under bishp borys gudziak, collection, congregation for the oriental churches, humanitarian aid, pope francis, ukraine

Cardinal Pell a 'Bit Surprised' By Suspension of Auditors

04/21/2016 Comments (10)

Cardinal George Pell


Cardinal George Pell, the prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy, has said he was “a bit surprised” by the decision of the Secretariat of State to suspend an independent audit of the Vatican's finances.

In a short statement released this morning, he said he anticipates the audit will “resume shortly” after “discussions and clarification" of some issues, and added that the work of the “internal auditor which covers all areas has not been interrupted.”

Yesterday the Register reported that the Secretariat of State had sent a letter this week to all Vatican entities saying the first external audit aimed at raising the Vatican’s finances to international anti-money laundering...READ MORE

Filed under audit, cardinal george pell, council for the economy, finances, secretariat for the economy

EWTN’s ‘World Over’ Panel Highlights Concerns Over 'Amoris Laetitia'

04/18/2016 Comments (21)

A panel on Raymond Arroyo’s most recent The World Over program on EWTN had a very candid but respectful discussion of Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

In the half hour segment (see above) first aired last Thursday, Robert Royal, president of the Faith and Reason Institute and editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing, and canonist Father Gerald Murray, weighed in on various aspects of the document. 

Royal began by noting the positive points in the exhortation and that the Holy Father speaks “very clearly” about “at least five controversial issues”: contraception, the right to life, conscientious objection for medical workers, same-sex “marriage” not being in...READ MORE

Filed under amoris laetitia, divorce-remarriage, father gerald murray, raymond arroyo, robert royal, the world over

Pope Francis Meets Bernie Sanders, Vatican Confirms

04/16/2016 Comments (39)
Casina Pio IV

Senator Bernie Sanders addressing the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences on Friday.

– Casina Pio IV

Pope Francis briefly met Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders this morning at the Pope’s Santa Martha residence, the Vatican has confirmed.

The courtesy meeting took place at breakfast, around 6am, shortly before the Pope left for his one-day visit to the Greek island of Lesbos. Sanders was also staying at the residence after delivering a ten minute talk at a conference at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences yesterday.

"Today certainly was the highlight of the trip," Sanders told NBC News. He said he told the Pope he was “incredibly appreciative of the incredible role that he is playing in this planet in discussing issues about the need for an economy based on...READ MORE

Filed under bernie sanders, politics, pope francis

Pontifical Academy Prepares to Host Senator Sanders at the Vatican

Academy chancellor feels the burn after controversially issuing invitation in the middle of a presidential election campaign.

04/14/2016 Comments (12)

Senator Bernie Sanders

Senator Bernie Sanders will take a break from his campaign to become the Democratic Party’s Presidential nominee when he controversially delivers a 10 minute talk at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences in the Vatican on Friday.

A Jewish agnostic, Sanders has said he is a “big, big fan of the Pope” and will be speaking at a conference to mark the 25th anniversary of Pope St. John Paul II’s encyclical on the economy and social justice at the end of the Cold War, Centesimus Annus.

"I obviously would not be leaving in the middle of a very hard-fought primary here if this were not an opportunity that comes once in a lifetime," said Sanders in a phone interview with the Associated Press...READ MORE

Filed under bishops marcelo sanchez sorondo, politics, pontifical academy of social sciences

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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. Edward is the author of "The Rigging of a Vatican Synod? An Investigation into Alleged Manipulation at the Extraordinary Synod on the Family", published by Ignatius Press. Follow him on Twitter @edwardpentin