Are Persecuted Middle East Christians Martyrs Rather Than Victims of Genocide?

06/20/2016 Comments (13)

Pope Francis said on Saturday that he did not like to use the word genocide when referring to persecuted Christians in the Middle East, preferring instead to use the term “martyrdom”.

Some were perplexed by his comment as the Pope was the first to use the word in referrence to the atrocities in the Middle East last year, and believe it may have been an attempt to reclaim the word “martyr” from Islamists.

Speaking at Villa Nazareth, an apostolate in Rome that offers educational opportunities for young persons in need, the Pope made the point that every Christian is called to bear witness, also in difficult situations.

For this reason, he said “I do not like it — and I want to say this...READ MORE

Filed under genocide, iraq, martyrdom, middle east, pope francis

Pope Francis' 6th Surprise Mercy Visit: Elderly and Suffering Priests

06/20/2016 Comment
Rome Reports

Pope Francis greeting ill priests at a center in Rome.

– Rome Reports

Pope Francis made his sixth “Mercy Friday” visit last week when he greeted elderly and infirm priests in two communities in the diocese of Rome.

The Holy Father left the Vatican at 4 p.m. June 17 to visit first the Monte Tabor community, home to eight priests formerly from different dioceses, suffering from various forms of illness.

Accompanying the priests is a permanent deacon, Ermes Luparia, a former Italian Air Force colonel who is now a specialist in psychology and has dedicated himself to the service of companionship in the spirit of the Salvatorian Fathers. The Pope met with the priests in the chapel, listened to them and prayed with them, the Vatican said in a statement.

It also...READ MORE

Filed under jubilee year of mercy, mercy friday, pope francis

Vatican's Doctrinal Chief Plays Down Papal Commission on Women Deacons

06/14/2016 Comments (13)
Daniel Ibáñez/Catholic News Agency

Cardinal Gerhard Müller (center) at a Vatican press conference June 14, 2016, to present the new document "Iuvenescit Ecclesia".

– Daniel Ibáñez/Catholic News Agency

Cardinal Gerhard Müller has dampened speculation that a study, commissioned by Pope Francis on the possibility of women deacons into the Church, would result in anything new.

Speaking to reporters at the Vatican today, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said the Vatican is preparing a list of experts on the theme, but stressed that a thorough study was conducted over a decade ago.

“We’re preparing a list on this theme, this historical theme,” he said, but added that the International Theological Commission had already conducted a “major study” in 2002 “with many experts” in systematic and dogmatic theology.

That study, entitled From the Diakonia of Christ to...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal gerhard muller, pope francis, women deacons

Full Text and Synthesis of 'Iuvenescit Ecclesia' — The Church Rejuvenates

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith letter to bishops covers the relationship between hierarchical and charistmatic gifts in the life and mission of the Church

06/14/2016 Comments (4)

Here below is a Vatican summary of Iuvenescit Ecclesia, a letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to bishops on the relationship between the hierarchy and new movements and charismatic groups that was published today. The full text can be read here

SUMMARY (Unofficial text)

Letter of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith “Iuvenescit Ecclesia” to the Bishops of the Catholic Church


Hierarchical and charismatic gifts, co-essential in the life of the Church

The hierarchical and charismatic gifts are “co-essential” in the life of the Church: this...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal gerhard muller, congregation for the doctrine of the faith, iuvenescit ecclesia, new movements

Cardinal Müller: Pope Can Be Hard to Follow Because of Pace of Prophecy

Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith speaks to 'L'Osservatore Romano' on new letter to bishops on the new movements, published June 14.

06/13/2016 Comments (11)
Bohumil Petrik/Catholic News Agency

– Bohumil Petrik/Catholic News Agency

Cardinal Gerhard Müller has said some struggle to follow Pope Francis' 'in uscita' (venturing into the world) magisterium because it isn’t always easy to keep up with the pace of prophecy, something that requires effort and hard work.

“What is important is that all the people of God and all the elements of the Church, little by little, each at its own pace and with its own gifts, even with its weaknesses, go in the right direction,” the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said in a June 9 interview with L'Osservatore Romano.

He added that this is done by going beyond one’s own plans and safe environments which requires “some hard work and effort,” “dialogical...READ MORE

Filed under bishops, cardinal gerhard muller, congregation for the doctrine of the faith, ecclesial movements, hierarchy, pope francis, prophecy

Pope Francis to WFP: Hunger Is not Natural, Needs to Be Debureaucratized

06/13/2016 Comments (2)


“Information overload” is gradually leading us to become immune to other people’s tragedies such as extreme poverty, seeing them as something “natural”, the Pope warned today in an address to the World Food Program in Rome.

He said the world cannot be satisfied simply with being aware of problems or engaging in endless discussion, but realize that poverty has a “face.” Without this realization, human lives become “statistics” and we “run the risk of bureaucratizing the suffering of others,” he said.

“Bureaucracies shuffle papers, compassion deals with people,” the Pope told the UN agency which provides food assistance to an estimated 80 million people in 75 countries each year.

The Holy...READ MORE

Filed under hunger, pope francis, poverty, united nations, wfp, world food program

Holy See Statement on Orlando Massacre

Attack has caused Pope Francis and the Holy See "deepest feelings of horror and condemnation, of pain and turmoil".

06/12/2016 Comments (26)

Holy See Press Office Director Father Federico Lombardi has released the following statement on the Orlando massacre:

"The terrible massacre that has taken place in Orlando, with its dreadfully high number of innocent victims, has caused in Pope Francis, and in all of us, the deepest feelings of horror and condemnation, of pain and turmoil before this new manifestation of homicidal folly and senseless hatred. Pope Francis joins the families of the victims and all of the injured in prayer and in compassion. Sharing in their indescribable suffering he entrusts them to the Lord so they may find comfort. We all hope that ways may be found, as soon as possible, to effectively identify and...READ MORE

Filed under holy see, orlando massacre, pope francis, terrorism

Vatican Cancels Accountancy Giant's Full Involvement in External Audit

Commitment to transparency remains a priority, Vatican says.

06/10/2016 Comments (11)

After first suspending accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers' external audit of Vatican finances in April, the Holy See has now definitively cancelled PwC's full involvement in the financial inspection.

In a statement released today, the Vatican said the audit would now be executed by the Vatican’s own Auditor General. It added that PwC would henceforth “play an assisting role” and be “available to those dicasteries that wish to avail themselves of its support and consulting services.”

The Register revealed in April that the Secretariat of State had suspended the external audit just four months after it had begun its work. The news came as a surprise to Cardinal George Pell, the prefect...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal george pell, finances, holy see, 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