Pope Gives New Interview to Secular Newspaper

03/05/2014 Comments (25)

In his latest interview with a secular newspaper, Pope Francis has praised Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI’s encyclical on contraception, saying his predecessor’s “genius proved prophetic.”

He also discusses civil unions, sexual abuse of minors, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and women in hierarchical positions in the Church. The interview was given to coincide with Francis' first year as pontiff. 

UPDATE: ZENIT has translated the full text of the interview into English here.

Published in Italian in Corriere della Sera and in Spanish in La Nacion, the Holy Father tells journalist Ferruccio de Bortoli that Paul VI had "the courage to go against the majority, to defend the moral discipline, to...READ MORE

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Benedict XVI: Questions About Validity of Resignation are "Absurd"

02/26/2014 Comments (11)

Benedict XVI greeting Pope Francis in St. Peter's basilica on Saturday.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has firmly refuted speculation that he was forced to resign the papacy which, if true, would have invalidated his resignation.

In a written response to questions submitted to him by veteran Vatican correspondent Andrea Tornielli, Benedict XVI said there is "absolutely no doubt regarding the validity of my resignation from the Petrine ministry” and that “speculations” surrounding it are “simply absurd”.

He denied he was forced to resign, was pressured into it, or fell victim to a conspiracy, according to an article in Vatican Insider published today. His resignation was genuine and valid and there is no “diarchy”, or dual government, in the Church today, the Pope...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, papacy, pope francis, resignation

Pope Calls on Families to Pray for Upcoming Synod

02/25/2014 Comments (1)

Pope Francis has written a letter to families asking them to pray for the next Synod of Bishops which will be celebrated in the Vatican in October on the theme: “The pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelisation”.

In the letter, dated 2 February, Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple and published by the Vatican today, the Holy Father stresses that their prayer is "crucial" and a "blessed treasure", and that the support of families is "more necessary than ever." 

"I ask you, therefore, to pray intensely to the Holy Spirit, so that the Spirit may illumine the Synodal Fathers and guide them in their important task," the Pope writes.

"May we all, then, pray...READ MORE

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Pope to New Cardinals: Reject Worldly Mentality

Holy Father appoints 19 new cardinals in St. Peter's basilica

02/22/2014 Comments (2)

Pope Francis warmly embraced Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on entering the basilica.

At his first ordinary public consistory this morning, Pope Francis advised 19 new cardinals not to conform themselves to a worldly mentality but instead to be courageous in proclaiming the Gospel and bearing witness to the truth at all times.

He also called on them to be peacemakers and examples of courage and compassion “especially at this time of pain and suffering for so many countries throughout the world.”

Surprisingly, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was also present at the consistory and Pope Francis warmly embraced his predecessor who was seated not far from the new cardinals.

There has been some speculation as to whether Benedict XVI will attend the canonization of John XXIII...READ MORE

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Pope: 'Tyrannical Dominion' is Threatening Lives of Elderly

02/20/2014 Comments (3)
© Emmacharles / Stock Free Images

– © Emmacharles / Stock Free Images

Pope Francis sent the following message to the Pontifical Academy for Life today, on the occasion of their general assembly and the 20th anniversary of the academy. The theme for this year's meeting is 'Aging and Disability'.

The Holy Father speaks about a "tyrannical dominion" which leads to the exclusion and "at times evens kills" the elderly. 

"Many fall victim to this," he says. "We have created a ‘throw away’ culture which is now spreading." It's a culture, he says, that is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but exclusion.

The Pope ends by saying the "gravest deprivation" experienced by the aged is "not the weakening of one’s physical body, nor the disability...READ MORE

Filed under economics, elderly, euthanasia, pontifical academy for life, pope francis

Petition Urges Belgian King to Stop Child Euthanasia Law

02/14/2014 Comments (6)

A campaign to petition King Philippe of Belgium not to sign a new bill extending euthanasia to children into law is rapidly gaining signatures.

The petition can be found here, on the website Citizen Go. Organisers hope to obtain at least 50,000 signatures.

Belgium’s new law, passed yesterday by 86-44 votes in country's lower house, allows doctors to kill children under the age of 18 who are terminally ill and suffer from severe pain without any prospect of relief. The decision to kill a child must be approved by the parents and the physicians in care. It is further necessary that the young patient is aware of the situation and understands what euthanasia means.

The new legislation...READ MORE

Filed under belgium, children, euthanasia

Fr. Lombardi: UN Committee Report Shows Serious Lack of Understanding

02/07/2014 Comments (46)
EP

– EP

Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi issued the following note this morning concerning the UN Committee of the Convention on the Rights of the Child's strong criticism of the Holy See's handling of sexual abuse cases.

He dismisses talk of a "confrontation between the UN and the Vatican" but doesn't hold back from criticizing the committee whose report, he says, shows a "serious" lack of understanding of the Holy See and the steps it has taken to root out clerical sex abuse.

He asks: is there an "inability to understand, or an unwillingness to understand? In either case, one is entitled to amazement." And like Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See's permanent observer to the UN in...READ MORE

Filed under committee on the rights of the child, fr. lombardi, holy see, sexual abuse, united nations

Blessed John Paul II Relic Found

01/31/2014 Comments (7)
Tgcom24

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

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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