Pope Francis and His Unofficial Spokespeople

07/15/2016 Comments (12)
Edward Pentin

Pope Francis and Father Federico Lombardi speaking to reporters on the papal plane to Armenia, June 24, 2016

– Edward Pentin

Pope Francis raised eyebrows this week by choosing a Protestant theologian, Marcelo Figueroa, to edit a new Argentine edition of L’Osservatore Romano.

From September, Figueroa, who is a personal friend of the Holy Father and former head of Argentina’s Biblical Society, will begin editing the edition that will combine eight pages of exclusive local content with the weekly Spanish-language edition of L'Osservatore Romano.

His appointment follows reportedly increasing opposition to the Pope in his native country.

In an interview with the Argentine newspaper La Nacion last week, Francis denied he had any problems with the country’s new center-right president Mauricio Macri (the Pope recently...READ MORE

Filed under communications, holy see press office, media, pope francis

Pope Francis Condemns 'Blind Violence' of Nice Attack

French bishops call on the nation to pray for the victims and their families at Mass this Sunday.

07/15/2016 Comments (4)

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State, has sent the following message of condolence on behalf of Pope Francis to Archbishop André Marceau of Nice following last night's terrorist attack in the southern French city.

"While France was celebrating its national day, blind violence struck the country in Nice, causing many casualties, including children. Condemning such acts again, His Holiness Pope Francis expresses his deep sorrow and his spiritual closeness to the French people. He entrusts God's mercy on those who lost their lives, and shares deeply the pain of bereaved families. He expresses his sympathy to those injured and to all those who contributed to the rescue, asking the Lord...READ MORE

Filed under france, terrorism, vatican

Catholic Scholars Appeal to Pope Francis to Repudiate ‘Errors’ in Amoris Laetitia

07/11/2016 Comments (60)
Daniel Ibanez/CNA

– Daniel Ibanez/CNA

A group of Catholic scholars, prelates and clergy have sent an appeal to the College of Cardinals asking that they petition Pope Francis to “repudiate” what they see as “erroneous propositions” contained in Amoris Laetitia.

In a statement released today, the 45 signatories of the appeal say Amoris Laetitia — the Pope’s post-synodal apostolic exhortation (summary document) on the recent Synod on the Family that was published in April — contains “a number of statements that can be understood in a sense that is contrary to Catholic faith and morals.”

The 13 page document, translated into six languages and sent to Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals as well as 218...READ MORE

Filed under amoris laetitia, pope francis, synod on the family, theology

Father Lombardi: Cardinal Sarah's Ad Orientem Suggestion 'Misinterpreted'

07/11/2016 Comments (17)
Edward Pentin/NCRegister.com

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi.

– Edward Pentin/NCRegister.com

The Vatican has dismissed what many understood to be an unequivocal invitation by Cardinal Robert Sarah to all priests to celebrate Mass ad orientem (facing east, away from the congregation), saying the cardinal’s words were “misinterpreted”.

In a communiqué released this evening, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said Cardinal Sarah, who is prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, has “always been rightly concerned about the dignity of the celebration of the Mass”.

But he added that some of his expressions were “misinterpreted as if he were announcing new instructions different from the liturgical norms given until now, and the words...READ MORE

Filed under ad orientem, cardinal robert sarah, congregation for divine worship and the discipline of the sacraments, eucharist, father federico lombardi, liturgy, pope francis

'Vatileaks II' Verdict Expected Thursday July 7

07/06/2016 Comments (2)

UPDATE July 7: Vatican judges have ruled:

Msgr. Vallejo Balda: 18 months in jail;

Francesca Chaouqui: 10 months suspended sentence;

Nicola Maio: acquitted;

G.L. Nuzzi and E. Fittipaldi: acquitted for lack of competence (jurisdiction).

Vatican judges are expected to rule on ‘Vatileaks 2’ Thursday afternoon after three final days of hearings in which lawyers for the prosecution and the defense presented their closing statements.

Since last December, the Vatican has been trying five people accused of illegally obtaining and leaking confidential Vatican documents which were later published in two books.

The defendants comprise former Vatican officials Msgr. Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda...READ MORE

Filed under finance, pope francis, vatileaks, vatileaks ii

Cardinal Sarah Calls on All Priests to Celebrate Mass Facing East

07/06/2016 Comments (29)
Sacra Liturgia

Cardinal Robert Sarah at the Sacra Liturgia conference in London, July 5, 2016.

– Sacra Liturgia

Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, has asked all priests to return “as soon as possible” to celebrating Mass ad orientem, that is, facing east rather than towards the congregation.

The cardinal, making what many consider to be an historic announcement at this year’s Sacra Liturgia conference in London yesterday evening, said it is “very important" to reintroduce the practice universally, and suggested Advent this year would be a good time to do so.

He called on priests to “implement this practice wherever possible, with prudence and with the necessary catechesis”, but also with “confidence that this is something good...READ MORE

Filed under ad orientem, cardinal robert sarah, liturgy, pope francis

English Transcript of Archbishop Gänswein's EWTN Germany Interview

07/05/2016 Comments (3)

Archbishop Georg Gänswein, prefect of the Pontifical Household, speaking to Paul Badde of EWTN Germany.

– YouTube

In a recent wide-ranging interview on EWTN Germany, Archbishop Georg Gänswein discussed several key contemporary issues including his own controversial remark that, by resigning, Benedict XVI expanded the Petrine office.

During the candid conversation with German author Paul Badde (see full transcript below), the Pope Emeritus’ personal secretary stood by his comment, but also underlined that there are not two popes, and that Francis has full authority.

“There is no competition or rivalry,” Archbishop Gänswein argues. “When applying common sense, faith and a little theology, that should be clear.”

Archbishop Gänswein, who further serves under Pope Francis as prefect of the Pontifical...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop georg gaenswein, benedict xvi, ewtn, ewtn germany, petrine ministry, pope francis

Fr. Lombardi: Reports of Vatican Administrator for Medjugorje 'Premature'

07/04/2016 Comments (37)
Edward Pentin/NCRegister.com

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi SJ.

– Edward Pentin/NCRegister.com

The Vatican has said reports that Pope Francis is to soon name a special administrator for Medjugorje are “premature”, but it is a hypothesis among others currently under consideration.

In a note to journalists today, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said “in recent days rumors have been circulating about the possible appointment of an apostolic administrator for the Medjugorje shrine”, one which would “report directly to the Holy See.”

Such a possibility is a “hypothetical subject for study among others,” Father Lombardi said, but added “there has still been no decision” about it “and so it is premature to speak of it as a direction already taken, or as an imminent decision”.


Filed under apostolic administrator, holy see, medjugorje, medjugorje commission, vatican

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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