Vatican Official Outlines Communications Reform

Three new major departments, cuts without redundancies, and a communications model similar to Disney's are all part of the restructuring plans.

01/28/2016 Comment
Edward Pentin/

Msgr. Dario Edoardo Vigano, prefect of the Secretariat for Communications.

– Edward Pentin/

The new structure of Vatican communications is gradually taking shape, but it’s not possible yet to give a timeframe for when the restructuring will be implemented, the official in charge of overseeing the reforms has said.

Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò, prefect of the Secretariat for the Holy See’s Communications, told reporters last week that personnel considerations “require important attention” in the restructuring, but before any date can be given for announcing the changes, the Pope has to appoint the heads of the new communications departments.

The Italian priest explained that three new departments will be created: “technological”, “theological-pastoral”, and “editorial”. The first,...READ MORE

Filed under internet, msgr. dario vigano, pope francis, radio, television, vatican communications

Finnish Catholic Spokesman: Communion for Lutherans at the Vatican Was a Mistake

01/28/2016 Comments (31)

Pope Francis with Pastor Jens Kruse of the Lutheran Evangelical Church of Rome, Nov. 15, 2015


The distribution of Holy Communion to a group of Finnish Lutherans in St. Peter’s basilica last week was a mistake and not a sign that the Church is changing its practice on access to the Sacraments, a spokesman for the Finnish Catholic Church has asserted.

In a statement issued Jan. 20, Marko Tervaportti, director of the Catholic Information Centre in Helsinki, stressed that only members of the Catholic Church “in a state of grace” may receive the Eucharist, with some “special exceptions”.

Tervaportti was referring to reports last week that a Lutheran group from Finland, led by their bishop, Samuel Salmi of Oulu, had received Holy Communion in St  Peter’s basilica, despite indicating...READ MORE

Filed under ecumenism, holy communion, lutherans, pope francis, st peter's basilica

Archbishop Paglia: Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Published By End of March

Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez, one of Pope Francis closest advisers, believed to be the document's principal drafter.

01/27/2016 Comments (19)


The president of the Pontifical Council for the Family has confirmed that Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation devoted to the family will be published by the end of March.

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia reportedly disclosed the news today at a conference with priests in Portugal, according to Il Sismografo, a semi-official Vatican news aggregator supervised by the Secretariat of State.

The Italian archbishop said the much-anticipated document, which summarizes the Pope’s conclusions of the two synods dedicated to the family, will be “a hymn to love, a love that wants to take care of the welfare of the young, to be close to wounded families to give them strength, a love that wants...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop victor manuel fernandez, archbishop vincenzo paglia, pope francis, post-synodal apostolic exhortation, remarried divorcees, synod on the family

Full Text of Pope Francis' 2016 Message for Lent

01/26/2016 Comments (2)
Edward Pentin/

Representatives from the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" present the Pope's 2016 Message for Lent, Jan. 26, 2016

– Edward Pentin/

Here below is the Holy Father's 2016 Message for Lent and the Vatican's summary of this morning's presentation. 


“I desire mercy, and not sacrifice” (Mt 9:13).

"The works of mercy on the road of the Jubilee"

1. Mary, the image of a Church which evangelizes because she is evangelized

In the Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, I asked that “the season of Lent in this Jubilee Year be lived more intensely as a privileged moment to celebrate and experience God’s mercy” (Misericordiae Vultus, 17). By calling for an attentive listening to the word of God and encouraging the initiative “24 Hours for the Lord”, I sought to stress the...READ MORE

Filed under lenten message, mercy, pope francis, vatican

Pope Meets Iranian President Rouhani as Holy See Diplomacy Moves Up a Gear

01/25/2016 Comments (2)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

– Wikipedia


Catholic News Agency has a report on today's meeting between Pope Francis and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani here. The Vatican statement is here:

Today, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Pope Francis received in audience His Excellency Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The meeting between the Pope and President Rouhani is the first of its kind since 1999 when Pope St. John Paul II received in audience at the Vatican the then Iranian president Mohammad Khatami. 

President Rouhani subsequently met with His Eminence Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by His Excellency Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for...READ MORE

Filed under china, diplomacy, holy see, iran, iraq, middle east, pope francis, syria, xi jinping

Pope Francis: Communicate Truth With Love, Meekness and Mercy

In 50th Message for World Day of Social Communications, Holy Father urges special attentiveness to how one speaks of those who speak or act differently.

01/22/2016 Comments (4)
Edward Pentin/

Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò, prefect of the Secretariat for the Communications of the Holy See, presenting the 50th World Day of Social Communications Message at the Vatican, Jan. 22, 2016

– Edward Pentin/

Only truth spoken in love can touch sinful hearts, but harsh and moralistic words and actions risk alienating those we wish to lead to “conversion and freedom”, Pope Francis has said in his Message for the 50th World Day of Social Communications.

In the message, entitled “Communication and Mercy: A Fruitful Encounter” and published today ahead of the World Day of Social Communications on May 8th, the Pope stressed it is the faithful's “task to admonish those who err and to denounce evil and injustice” in order to set “victims free” and raise up “those who have fallen.”

But he said “our primary task is to uphold the truth with love,”  and that “only words spoken with love and accompanied...READ MORE

Filed under mercy, pope francis, truth, world day of social communications

Lutheran Group Reportedly Given Holy Communion in St. Peter's Basilica

Priests seem to have known the group were Lutherans but gave them Holy Communion anyway, contravening canon law.

01/21/2016 Comments (53)

St. Peter's basilica. Photo: Edward Pentin/

A Lutheran group from Finland, led by their bishop, Samuel Salmi of Oulu, reportedly received Holy Communion in St  Peter’s basilica this week, despite indicating to the priests present that they were ineligible to do so.

According to Finnish news agency Kotimaa, and reported here in Estonian, the priests celebrating the Mass were aware that they were Lutherans.

The report said that at the time of Communion, the Finnish Lutherans put their right hand on their left shoulder to show they could not receive the Eucharist and wanted to receive a blessing instead. 

The Finnish Lutheran bishop said the priests distributing Communion ignored the sign and offered the Lutherans Communion anyway....READ MORE

Filed under holy communion, lutherans, pope francis

Pope Changes Rules for Washing of the Feet on Holy Thursday

01/21/2016 Comments (65)
Edward Pentin/

– Edward Pentin/

This post has been updated with an explanatory note from Archbishop Arthur Roche, Secretary at the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

Pope Francis has decreed that from now on, the people chosen for the washing of the feet in the liturgy of Holy Thursday may be selected from all the People of God, and not only men and boys.

In a letter, dated 20 December 2014 and published today, to Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Holy Father informed the cardinal that he had, for some time, reflected on the "rite of the washing of the feet contained in the Liturgy of the Mass in Coena...READ MORE

Filed under holy thursday, pope francis, washing of the feet

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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