Pope Francis to Visit Greek Island of Lesbos April 16

04/07/2016 Comments (1)

Refugees arriving in Lesbos on an overloaded dingy last September.

– YouTube/Channel4

Pope Francis is to visit the Greek island of Lesbos next Saturday, the Vatican has announced.

In a communique released this morning, the Vatican said:

"Accepting the invitations from His Holiness Bartholomew, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, and the President of the Hellenic Republic, His Holiness Francis will visit Lesbos on Saturday 16 April, 2016. 

On the island, the Holy Father, His Holiness Bartholomew, and His Holiness Jerome II, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, will meet with the refugees accommodated there."

Details of the visit are still being worked out, but its principal aim is to show support and solidarity for refugees in the front line of Europe’s migrant...READ MORE

Filed under european union, lesbos, pope francis, refugees, syria

Polish Archbishop Warns of 'Pseudo-Merciful' Attitude and Political Correctness

Archbishop Henryk Hoser, a synod father at the two Synods on the Family, gives his assessment of the meetings ahead of the publication of 'Amoris laetitia'.

04/06/2016 Comments (5)

– www.mustardseed.org.au

On Friday, the Vatican will publish Pope Francis’ summary document on the Synod on the Family — ‘Amoris laetitia’ (the Joy of Love).

Ahead of the post-synodal apostolic exhortation's release, and to gain a sense of what some bishops are thinking about the synod outside the anglosphere, here below is the full text of an interview that Polish Archbishop Henryk Hoser of Warsaw-Praga gave last week to EWTN Germany’s Robert Rauhut.

During their discussion, Archbishop Hoser, a synod father at the two meetings, explains what the Church means by "sacramental marriage". He also discusses the debate over holy Communion for remarried divorcees, and speaks of a “pseudo-merciful” attitude in the...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop henryk hoser, divorce-remarriage, eucharist, pope francis, synod on the family

Pope Francis' Prayer Intention Video for April Released

04/05/2016 Comments (4)

Pope Francis has asked for prayers for small farmers in his latest monthly prayer intention video.

In the short clip released for April, the Holy Father calls for a “just compensation” for small farmers’ “invaluable work.” The prayer intention is also aimed at helping people recognize the contribution of farmers to all mankind.

It matches the Pope’s “universal” prayer intention for this month (“That small farmers may receive a just reward for their precious labor”). His “evangelization” prayer intention is that “Christians in Africa may give witness to love and faith in Jesus Christ amid political-religious conflicts.”

Since January of this year, the Pope has broadcast his monthly prayer...READ MORE

Filed under agriculture, economy, farmers, pope francis, prayer intentions

Pope Francis Receives SSPX's Bishop Fellay in Private Audience

04/04/2016 Comments (7)

Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the Society of St. Pius X.

– YouTube

Pope Francis held a private and informal meeting with the superior general of the Society of St. Pius X at the weekend, fueling expectations that an agreement on canonical status for the Society could be achieved soon.

In a statement, the SSPX said the Holy Father received Bishop Bernard Fellay and the Society’s second general assistant, Father Alain-Marc Nély, at the Pope’s Domus Sanctae Marthae’s residence on April 1.

It added that Pope Francis “had wanted a private and informal meeting, without the formality of an official audience”. The meeting lasted 40 minutes and “took place under a cordial atmosphere,” the statement said.

“After the meeting, it was decided that the current...READ MORE

Filed under bishop bernard fellay, pope francis, second vatican council, sspx

Cardinal Pell: Mother Angelica 'Truly Cast Fire Upon the Earth'

04/02/2016 Comments (4)
Daniel Ibanez/CNA

– Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Mother Angelica “truly cast fire upon the earth” and her enormous achievements offer encouragement to those who have had difficult upbringings and come from broken homes, Cardinal George Pell said at a memorial Mass for EWTN’s foundress.

Addressing a packed St. Anne’s church in the Vatican Friday evening — at exactly the same time as Mother Angelica’s funeral in Hanceville, Al. — Cardinal Pell recalled the life of the Poor Clare nun, praising her for her “courage and faith”.

Abandoned by her father when she was five, Mother Angelica was brought up in poverty by her mother who suffered from depression, Cardinal Pell recalled. She also did poorly at school. “Her life story brings a message...READ MORE

Filed under broken homes, cardinal george pell, divorce, ewtn, mother angelica

How Watching EWTN Led to Beatification of Cardinal Newman

04/01/2016 Comments (1)

Deacon Jack Sullivan

Watching Mother Angelica’s television channel has led to many miracles in people's lives, but perhaps none quite so clear as the one that happened to Deacon Jack Sullivan.

Having just completed two years formation to be ordained deacon in the archdiocese of Boston, in August 2001 Deacon Sullivan suddenly developed a very serious spinal condition. So crippling was the illness that a surgeon at Boston Hospital said he needed immediate surgery and that paralysis could be imminent.

“At that moment, things were very bleak”, Deacon Sullivan said, especially as he wanted to resume his studies that September. “I came home, I turned on the television and watched a program that was hosted by Father...READ MORE

Filed under blessed john henry newman, deacon jack sullivan, ewtn, father ian ker, father john mccloskey, mother angelica

Pope Francis' Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation to Be Released April 8

03/31/2016 Comments (9)

Pope Francis much anticipated post-synodal apostolic exhortation on the Synod on the Family will be published on April 8, the Vatican announced today.

In a statement, the Vatican said the document, which will be entitled “Amoris Laetitia” — the Joy of Love, will be presented at a Holy See press conference attended by Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the Synod of Bishops, and Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, archbishop of Vienna.

Also present will be married couple Professor Francesco Miano, lecturer in moral philosophy at the University of Rome at Tor Vergata, and Professor Giuseppina De Simone in Miano, lecturer in philosophy at the Theological Faculty of Southern Italy in...READ MORE

Filed under apostolic exhortation, pope francis, synod on the family

Pope Francis: Mother Angelica 'is in Heaven'

03/30/2016 Comments (9)

Pope Francis offers a special blessing for the repose of Mother Angelica's soul during his general audience March 30, 2016.


At the end of his weekly general audience today, Pope Francis pointed to the sky and said Mother Angelica “is in heaven”.

The Holy Father gave his blessing and made the remark to members of EWTN’s Rome bureau as he greeted the faithful in St. Peter’s Square. 

The staff had brought with them an image of EWTN’s founder as a sign of affection and remembrance for Mother Angelica after she passed away on Easter Sunday at the age of 92. Catholic News Agency’s Rome correspondent, Elise Harris, has more here.

The Holy Father’s tribute comes as thousands from all over the world pay their respects. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said the timing of Mother Angelica’s death on Easter Sunday was “a gift”...READ MORE

Filed under ewtn, mother angelica, 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