Blessed John Paul II Relic Found

Friday, January 31, 2014 4:09 PM Comments (7)

The relic was stolen from the church of San Pietro della Ienca in Gran Sasso months before John Paul's canonization on April 27th.

– Tgcom24

Police have recovered the relic of Blessed Pope John Paul II after it had been stolen from a church in central Italy.

The piece of cloth, stained with the blood of the late Pontiff, was discovered on Friday in a garage belonging to two men who admitted to stealing the reliquary yesterday.   

Police revealed the news at a joint news conference with Church officials in L'Aquila, east of Rome, this afternoon. 

Bishop Giovanni D'Ercole, auxiliary bishop of L'Aquila, told reporters he had pieced together the reliquary and the cloth after police found them in pieces on successive days, according to Reuters.

He said the recovered piece of fabric was missing just a few filaments of cloth...READ MORE

Filed under john paul ii, relic

Pope to Notre Dame: Be Uncompromising Witnesses

Thursday, January 30, 2014 11:18 AM Comments (13)

– EP

Pope Francis has said it is essential that Catholic universities show an "uncompromising witness" to the Church’s moral teaching. 

In an address today to trustees of Notre Dame University, he urged those present to "uphold that teaching as authoritatively proclaimed by the magisterium of her pastors", not to "dilute that indispensable witness" in the face of opposition, and to defend, to preserve, and advance the university's Catholic identity.

The Cardinal Newman Society has chronicled concerns about Notre Dame’s Catholic identity, as have Notre Dame alumni at the Sycamore Trust. The university caused serious controversy and faced widespread opposition in 2009 when it decided to...READ MORE

Filed under notre dame, pope francis, university

Vatican Spokesman Censures 'Rolling Stone' Article on Pope

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 1:19 PM Comments (36)

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi has strongly criticised an article on Pope Francis that appears in the latest edition of Rolling Stone magazine.

Although he acknowledged that the Holy Father’s appearance on the publication’s front cover shows a diverse interest in the Pope, the Jesuit spokesman denounced the article's negative portrayal of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s pontificate, saying the piece disqualifies itself as serious journalism.

“Unfortunately, the article disqualifies itself, falling into the usual mistake of a superficial journalism, which in order to highlight the positive aspects of Pope Francis, thinks it should describe in a negative way the pontificate of...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, pope francis, publicity, rolling stone

Sociologist: 'Fringe Catholics' More Likely Behind JPII Relic Theft

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 12:52 PM Comments (16)

Satanism is being reported as a possible cause of the theft at the weekend of a relic containing the blood of Blessed John Paul II.

The relic was stolen along with a crucifix from a small mountain church of San Pietro della Ienca where the late Pope used to pray on his many trips to the mountainous region.

But not all agree with the Satanism theory, and one of those is Professor Massimo Introvigne, a respected Catholic sociologist, expert on the occult and founder of the Center for Studies on New Religions. He shared his thoughts on the theft with me earlier today, and discussed the current state of Satanism and demonic possession in Italy.

What is your take on this case?

Some people in...READ MORE

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Sinister Forces Possibly Behind JPII Relic Theft

Monday, January 27, 2014 6:06 PM Comments (12)

The thieves stole the vial and a crucifix, leaving the collection box alone.

“A sacrilegious theft” and a “despicable act” is the reaction in Italy to the stealing over the weekend of a vial of Blessed Pope John Paul II’s blood from a small church in the Abruzzo mountains east of Rome.

The late Pontiff used to go skiing in the area known as Gran Sasso, often secretly, and prayed at the church of San Pietro della Ienca that housed the relic.

Local police have launched a major investigation into the theft, ordering 50 carabinieri onto the case and employing sniffer dogs to track the thieves.  A prosecutor has already opened a file, Italian media reports.

"It was a commissioned robbery, that I am sure,” said Pasquale Corriere, a former city councilor in nearby...READ MORE

Filed under canonization, john paul ii, relic, satanism

Pope Francis' Message for 48th World Day of Social Communications

Thursday, January 23, 2014 1:33 PM Comments (2)

Here is the full text of the Holy Father's message for the 48th World Day of Social Communications, published today by the Vatican. The day will be celebrated on Sunday, June 1st, 2014.


Communication at the Service of an Authentic Culture of Encounter

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today we are living in a world which is growing ever "smaller" and where, as a result, it would seem to be easier for all of us to be neighbours. Developments in travel and communications technology are bringing us closer together and making us more connected, even as globalization makes us increasingly interdependent. Nonetheless, divisions, which are sometimes quite deep, continue to exist within our...READ MORE

Filed under pope francis, social communications

Pope Meets Head of Medjugorje Commission

Thursday, January 23, 2014 11:19 AM Comments (4)

Pope Francis today met Cardinal Camillo Ruini who chairs the Medjugorje Commission.

Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi wasn't able to disclose the reasons for the meeting, telling the Register that "naturally the contents of a private conversation are not subject to communication."

However, the vicar general emeritus of the Vicariate of Rome will most probably have discussed the commission's findings on Medjugorje which it submitted last week to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. After being examined by the CDF, a proposal will be made to the Holy Father who will have the final say.

The timeline for a decision is not known, although Cardinal Vinko Puljic of...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal ruini, medjugorje, pope francis

Pope's Message to World Economic Forum - Full Text

"I ask you to ensure that humanity is served by wealth and not ruled by it."

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 1:16 PM Comments (1)

Pope Francis has sent a message to the World Economic Forum in Davos, delivered by Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, on Jan. 21.

The message, which has many words of praise for the business community, is being seen as addressing some of the criticisms that followed his comments on the economy in his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. 

The annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, opened this evening and will end on Jan. 25. The event gathers world leaders, top business executives and public figures to set the key priorities and challenges for the world to tackle in the new year.


To Professor Klaus Schwab


Filed under economics, evangelii gaudium, 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. Follow on Twitter @edwardpentin