BBC Program Part of Predictable Lenten Attacks on the Church

02/17/2016 Comments (15)

Screenshot from Panorama program — YouTube

A program shown on British television Monday night about Pope St. John Paul II’s close relationship with a married Polish-born American woman has been swiftly dismissed as old news and criticized for showing little understanding of priestly celibacy.

The BBC Panorama program, The Secret Letters of Pope John Paul II, examined “letters and photographs” of the late Pope to American philosopher Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka to whom he showed deep affection. They were close friends for over 30 years.

The Vatican said it came as “no great revelation that Pope John Paul II had deep friendships with a number of people, men and women alike” and that it is known he had close friendships both with...READ MORE

Filed under john paul ii, lent, priestly celibacy

Pope Scolds Over-Exuberant Pilgrim After He Makes Him Fall Over Child

02/17/2016 Comments (7)

Pope Francis lost his temper with a member of the crowd during his visit to Morelia, Mexico, yesterday, after the enthusiastic pilgrim pulled the Holy Father towards him, causing the Pope to fall over a child in front of him.

The Pope, who was handing out rosaries to the crowd at the time, showed visible frustration and scolded the person who is out of shot, saying in Spanish, “Please! What is happening to you? Don’t be selfish! Don’t be selfish!”.

The Vatican’s Spanish language media attaché, Father Manuel Dorantes, tweeted that the Pope’s reaction was “completely understandable” given the circumstances, while one of the Pope’s closest advisors, Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, tweeted...READ MORE

Filed under mexico, pope francis

Cardinal O'Malley: All Have Moral Responsibility to Report Suspected Abuse

02/16/2016 Comments (2)

Cardinal Sean O'Malley, archbishop of Boston.

– YouTube

All have a "moral and ethical responsibility” to report all suspected cases of sexual abuse to the civil authorities, Cardinal Seán O’Malley, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, said in a statement issued yesterday.

He also stressed the Church's obligations "under civil law must certainly be followed."

The statement of the cardinal archbishop of Boston, who reiterated the Pope's words that the "crimes and sins of the sexual abuse of children must not be kept secret for any longer", was issued in response to "numerous requests from journalists" for clarification on the matter, the Vatican said. 

Last week, it was reported that the Church was telling newly...READ MORE

Filed under bishops, cardinal sean o'malley, pontifical commission for the protection of minors, sexual abuse, vatican

Fruits Emerge From Francis-Kirill Meeting But Ukrainian Catholics Disappointed

02/15/2016 Comments (10)

Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kiev-Halych, leader of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.


Pope Francis’ historic meeting with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow last Friday is already bearing some fruit, but Ukrainian Greek Catholics are largely disappointed with the joint declaration as it emerges their leader was not consulted in its preparation.

After the Pope and the Patriarch met for the first time in centuries in Havana last week, the Catholic archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow has said it is expecting more intense pilgrim exchanges between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Vatican.

"Pilgrim exchanges exist, but I think that they can reach a new level," the archdiocese's press secretary, Father Kirill Gorbunov, told reporters in Havana on Feb. 14. He did not rule out that...READ MORE

Filed under christian unity, crimea, ecumenism, major archbishop sviatoslav schevchuk, metropolitan hilarion, patriarch kirill, pope francis, russian orthodox church, ukraine

Kirill-Francis Meeting in Danger of Being Over-Hyped

Russian President Vladimir Putin understood to be meeting’s key protagonist.

02/11/2016 Comments (5)

Pope Francis’ momentous meeting with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow tomorrow has “serious ecumenical import and potential” but it should be neither “hyperbolized nor underestimated”, the head of the Department of External Church Relations for the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has said.

In a commentary written on the eve of the historic meeting, Bishop Borys Gudziak said he was pleased the meeting is taking place, adding that it is a “welcome sight” when “estranged brothers take a new first step towards each other.”

But he stressed that the meeting should not be over hyped nor played down but seen in context. That context, he pointed out, is a Russian Orthodox Church that has lost its civic...READ MORE

Filed under ecumenism, holy see, patriarch kirill, pope francis, russia, russian orthodox church, ukraine, vladimir putin

Full Text: Joint Declaration of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill

02/11/2016 Comments (2)


Joint Declaration of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God the Father and the fellowship of the holy Spirit be with all of you” (2 Cor 13:13).

1. By God the Father’s will, from which all gifts come, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the help of the Holy Spirit Consolator, we, Pope Francis and Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, have met today in Havana. We give thanks to God, glorified in the Trinity, for this meeting, the first in history. 

It is with joy that we have met like brothers in the Christian faith who encounter one another “to speak face to face” (2Jn12), from heart to heart, to...READ MORE

Filed under ecumenism, patriarch kirill, pope francis, russian orthodox church

Cardinal De Paolis Confident About Synod Outcome, Decentralization

02/05/2016 Comments (18)

Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, 80, prefect emeritus of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.

– YouTube

Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, one of the five cardinal contributors to the book “Remaining in the Truth of Christ” that reasserted the Church’s teaching on marriage ahead of the Synods on the Family, is confident about the outcome of the synod and Pope Francis’ plans for decentralization.

In this Jan. 30 interview with the Register, the Italian cardinal, a renowned canon law scholar, gives reasons for his optimism but also stresses the importance of knowing the destination of the Church's journey, acknowledges that many faithful are confused, and asserts that the sensus fidelium (sense of the faithful) can only refer to practicing Catholics who do not dissent from the Church’s Magisterium. ...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal velasio de paolis, collegiality, decentralization, divorce remarriage, sensus fidelium, synod on the family, synodality

Pope Francis to Meet Patriarch Kirill in Cuba

02/05/2016 Comments (30)

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow.

After years of speculation, for the first time in history the Successor of Peter and the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church will meet on February 12, the Vatican announced today. 

The meeting will take place in Cuba where Patriarch Kirill will be making an official visit. Pope Francis will make a brief stop in Havana on his way to Mexico. 

The Vatican said the historic meeting "will mark an important stage in relations between the two Churches." 

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the meeting, expected to last two hours in total, will consist of spontaneous speeches from the Pope and the Patriarch who will also issue a joint declaration.  He added that the meeting,...READ MORE

Filed under orthodoxy, patriarch kirill, pope francis

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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