Pope Warns of Erosion of Faith in Germany, Worldliness in the Church

11/20/2015 Comments (92)
Wikimedia commons

Cologne Cathedral

– Wikimedia commons

Pope Francis' address today to German bishops on their ad limina visit was not the only message for the country's episcopate. It seems his morning homily was, too.  

In his address at the end of the German bishops' ad limina this week, the Holy Father said “one can truly speak of an erosion of the Catholic faith in Germany”.

“Whereas in the 1960’s the faithful almost everywhere attended Mass every Sunday," he noted, "today it is often less than 10 percent."

He called on the bishops to use the upcoming Holy Year of Mercy to revive the Church through rediscovering “the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist” in the face of a collapse in sacramental participation in the country.

But in...READ MORE

Filed under germany, pope francis, sacraments, secularism, worldliness

How Common Is Vatican Wiretapping?

11/17/2015 Comments (6)

– EP

Vatican police made two arrests in early November following “searches and wiretaps” of suspects, according to Vatican Insider, an online publication with close links to the Vatican authorities and Casa Santa Marta, the papal residence.

The website reported Nov. 13 that the arrests of Spanish Msgr. Luis Angel Vallejo Balda and laywoman Francesca Chaouqui, both accused of leaking confidential Vatican documents, were carried out after “searches and wiretaps that had been conducted for months, in complete confidentiality, by the Vatican Gendarmerie led by Domenico Giani.”

The investigations also included those of two journalists, Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi, who reported on the...READ MORE

Filed under crime, holy see, spying, vatican, vatican gendarmerie, wiretapping

Pope Tells Lutheran to 'Talk to the Lord' About Receiving the Eucharist

11/16/2015 Comments (161)

Pope Francis addressing Rome's Evangelical Lutheran Church


Pope Francis has caused controversy by appearing to suggest that a Lutheran wife of a Catholic husband could receive holy Communion based on the fact that she is baptized and in accordance with her conscience.

During a question and answer session at an evening prayer service on Sunday in Rome’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Pope urged the Lutheran woman, Anke de Bernardinis,  to "talk to the Lord" about receiving holy Communion "and then go forward", but added that he "wouldn’t ever dare to allow this, because it’s not my competence."

The Pope was responding to de Bernardinis who asked him how she could finally achieve Eucharistic communion with her Catholic husband.

The Holy Father...READ MORE

Filed under divorce-remarriage, ecumenism, eucharist, lutheran, pope francis

Iranian President Rouhani Postpones Vatican Visit After Paris Attacks

11/14/2015 Comments (5)

President Hassan Rouhani

– YouTube

This post has been updated: 

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has postponed his visit to the Vatican today following Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris that left at least 120 dead.

Rouhani was scheduled to meet Pope Francis in private audience at 5pm on Saturday.

Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said that due to the terrorist incidents in the French capital and in coordination with the hosts, “the Iranian president postponed his visit to Italy, Vatican and France to a more convenient time."

“It is better now to focus on fighting terrorism and President Rouhani's trip to Europe will happen in the near future,' he added, according to the Iranian news agency, IRNA. Rouhani...READ MORE

Filed under diplomacy, holy see, paris attacks, pope francis, president rouhani

Pope Warns Against Idolatry of Earthly Beauty, Habits

11/13/2015 Comments (15)


Pope Francis has warned against idolizing the "beauty of earthly things" as well as "habitual" ways of living, urging instead to gaze upon God “whose glory never fades.”

In his daily homily in his Casa Santa Marta residence today, the Holy Father spoke of the “error” many people make by being “incapable of looking beyond the beauty of earthly things” and failing to look “towards the transcendent.”

Such an attitude is the “idolatry of immanence,” he said, whereby people become captivated by “the power and energy” of these things.

“They haven’t thought about how much greater is their sovereign because He created them, He who is the origin and the author of this beauty,” the Pope said,...READ MORE

Filed under environment, homily, idolatry, nature, pope francis

Pope Francis on Keys to Authentic Christian Humanism

Also shares his vision for Church reform in meeting with Italian faithful in Florence.

11/10/2015 Comments (271)

Pope Francis addressing the Fifth National Ecclesial Convention in Florence Cathedral today.

Pope Francis has said it is “useless” to seek solutions to ills and problems in the Church through “conservatism and fundamentalism” and warned against a faith that is “locked in subjectivism” in a lengthy address to the Italian church in Florence today.

Addressing participants at the Fifth National Ecclesial Convention meeting to discuss the theme "In Jesus Christ the New Humanism",  Francis said both Pelagianism, a heresy that denies original sin, and Gnosticism, which denies Christ’s divinity, are temptations that “defeat” a true Christian humanism.

Pelagianism, the Pope told faithful gathered in Florence's Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower, “prompts the Church not to be humble,...READ MORE

Filed under pope francis, reform

La Civiltà Cattolica: Synod 'Opened Door' to Communion for Divorced-Remarried

Editorial in influential Jesuit journal says ordinary synod on the family 'laid foundations' for access to the sacraments

11/09/2015 Comments (7)

Fr. Antonio Spadaro SJ

– Europa

The editor of an influential Jesuit periodical whose content is allegedly vetted by Pope Francis has penned an important new article on last month’s Ordinary Synod on the Family in which he controversially claims the meeting “laid the foundations” for civilly remarried divorcees to be admitted to the sacraments.

Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, editor of La Civiltà Cattolica which is screened by the Secretariat of State, said paragraphs 84-86 of the synod’s final report relating to pastoral care for remarried-divorcees underline the importance of pastoral “discernment” on a case-by-case basis, “without putting any limits on integration, as appeared in the past.”

Noting that the report says...READ MORE

Filed under divorce and remarriage, father antonio spadaro, la civilta cattolica, pope francis, synod on the family 2015

Pope Francis: Stealing of Vatican Documents 'Deplorable'

11/08/2015 Comments (35)

Pope Francis at today's Angelus.


After reciting the Angelus prayer today, Pope Francis addressed the recent stealing and leaking of confidential Vatican documents, calling it a "deplorable act that does not help." 

He said the incident "does not deter me from the reform project we are carrying out."

Here below are his comments, followed by his address that preceded the Angelus:

"Dear brothers and Sisters,

I know that many of you have been upset by the news circulating in recent days concerning the Holy See’s confidential documents that were taken and published. For this reason I want to tell you, first of all, that stealing those documents was a crime. It’s a deplorable act that does not help. I personally had asked...READ MORE

Filed under financial transparency, pope francis, vatileaks ii

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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