Pope Again Highlights 'Ecumenism of Blood' in Face of Persecution

Uses the term in off-the-cuff comments to international ecumenical group at the Vatican.

10/12/2016 Comments (4)
Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Pope Francis at a General Audience in St. Peter's Square on September 21, 2016.

– Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Ahead of attending a major Catholic-Lutheran commemoration of the Reformation in Sweden at the end of the month, Pope Francis reiterated today that Christians are already united when they are persecuted in an “ecumenism of blood.”

Speaking off-the-cuff to participants at the Conference for Secretaries of the Christian World Communions, an international ecumenical organization, the Pope said ecumenism is about journeying alongside others with Christ.

“Often we think that ecumenical work is only that of theologians,” the Pope said. “It is therefore important that theologians study, they agree, and they express their disagreement: this is very important. But in the meantime ecumenism...READ MORE

Filed under ecumenism of blood, persecution, pope francis

Pope Francis to Create 17 New Cardinals at November Consistory

Archbishops Cupich of Chicago, Tobin of Indianapolis and Bishop Kevin Farrell to be U.S. recipients of red hats and are among 13 new cardinal-electors.

10/09/2016 Comments (57)
Alan Holdren/CNA

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York is greeted by his brother cardinals after being elevated to the College of Cardinals inside St. Peter's Basilica, Feb. 18, 2012.

– Alan Holdren/CNA

At the end of today’s Angelus, Pope Francis announced he will hold a consistory on Nov. 19 to create 17 new cardinals.

Among those to be elevated to the College of Cardinals include three Americans: Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago, Bishop Kevin Joseph Farrell, prefect of the new dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life, and Archbishop Joseph William Tobin of Indianapolis.

Other recipients of the red hat will be the current apostolic nuncio to Syria, Italian Archbishop Mario Zenari, and nine archbishops and bishops from the southern hemisphere. Thirteen will be eligible to vote in the next conclave (under 80 years of age), taking the total number of cardinal electors to 121. 


Filed under consistory, pope francis

Pope Francis Replaces Cardinal Sarah to Open JPII Institute's Academic Year

Change comes on the heels of controversial new appointments at the head of the institute for studies on marriage and the family.

10/06/2016 Comments (25)
Edward Pentin/NCRegister.com

– Edward Pentin/NCRegister.com

In a last minute change, Pope Francis will open the academic year at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family in Rome, replacing Cardinal Robert Sarah whom the Institute had originally scheduled for the task.

The news of the Holy Father’s attendance at the Oct. 27 inauguration comes just weeks after the Pope controversially hand-picked two prelates — Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia and Msgr. Pierangelo Sequeri — to head the institute.

The appointments caused some distress as Archbishop Paglia and Msgr. Sequeri, respectively the Institute’s new grand chancellor and president, have expressed views that critics say contradict the moral clarity of the Church’s...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal robert sarah, pope franics, pope john paul ii institute marriage family

Next Synod Will Be on 'Young People, the Faith and Discernment of Vocation'

Meeting of bishops from around the world to be held at the Vatican in October 2018.

10/06/2016 Comments (6)
Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Inside the Synod Hall during the last Synod of Bishops on the Family, October 14, 2015.

– Daniel Ibanez/CNA

The next Synod of Bishops will take place in October 2018 on the theme of “Young People, the Faith and the Discernment of Vocation,” the Vatican announced today.

In a statement, the Vatican said Pope Francis had decided on the theme after "customary consultation" with “bishops’ conferences, the sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches, and the Union of Superiors General, and having listened to the suggestions of the Fathers of the last synodal assembly and the opinion of the XIV Ordinary Council.”

The statement added that the theme chosen for the 15th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops is an “expression of pastoral concern of the Church for the young" and is "in continuity with the...READ MORE

Filed under pope francis, synod of bishops, vocation, youth

Anglican-Catholic Events in Rome This Week Raise False Hopes of Unity

Despite many worthy Anglican-Catholic initiatives this week, true unity remains a distant dream.

10/04/2016 Comments (14)
Edward Pentin/NCRegister.com

Most Rev. Justin Welby, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury.

– Edward Pentin/NCRegister.com

As part of a week of festivities marking half a century of Anglican-Catholic dialogue, nineteen pairs of Anglican and Catholic bishops from around the world will be commissioned tomorrow to embark on a joint mission to spread the Gospel.

The initiative will be launched at an ecumenical vespers service in Rome’s San Gregorio al Cielo church, attended by Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby.

The joint mission is the fruit of dialogue undertaken by the International Anglican Roman Catholic Commission on Unity and Mission. The commission’s Catholic bishops and their Anglican counterparts have been taking part in a summit that began in Canterbury on Sept....READ MORE

Filed under anglican, anglican communion, church of england, ecumenism, pope francis

Pope Francis Makes Surprise Visit to Earthquake-Hit Amatrice

Counsels the local faithful to have courage and move forward in private and unannounced visit on the feast of St. Francis of Assisi.

10/04/2016 Comments (1)
Vatican handout

Pope Francis praying in front of rubble in Amatrice, Oct. 4, 2016.

– Vatican handout

Pope Francis made a surprise visit this morning to the town of Amatrice, devastated by an earthquake that struck on August 24.

He arrived at 9.10 a.m. in the town before moving on to nearby Accumoli and Arquata del Tronto, also towns hard hit by the quake. The 6.2 magnitude earthquake quake took 297 lives, 234 of them in Amatrice, while 238 people were rescued from the rubble.

On arrival in a VW Golf, the Pope was welcomed by school children after which he visited a prefabricated school built after the natural disaster, and a so-called “red zone” — the most affected area of the town. He stopped in front of the rubble to pray.

The Pope was accompanied by Bishop Domenico Pompili of Rieti...READ MORE

Filed under earthquake, natural disaster, pope francis

Pope Francis Outlines Paths to Peace, Christian Unity on Arrival in Georgia

Full texts of the Pope's opening discourses.

09/30/2016 Comments (1)
Alan Holdren/CNA

Pope Francis with Vatican spokesman Greg Burke on the papal plane to Georgia.

– Alan Holdren/CNA

To achieve peaceful coexistence, priority must be given to “human beings in their actual circumstances”, Pope Francis said on his arrival in Georgia today, adding that ethnic, political, religious and linguistic differences should be seen as “a source of mutual enrichment” rather than grounds for exploitation and discord.

The Pope made the remarks to diplomats and civic leaders in his first discourse of his Sept. 30-Oct. 2 visit to Georgia and Azerbaijan.

The three day apostolic voyage, expected to largely focus on the topics of peace, ecumenism and interreligious dialogue, concludes Francis’ tour of the Caucasus region following his visit to Armenia in June.

Later this afternoon, at a...READ MORE

Filed under christian unity, georgia, peaceful coexistence, pope franics

Images of Christian Refugees Suffering Hardship in Northern Iraq

As ISIS invaded their towns and villages in the summer of 2014, tens of thousands of Christians fled to refugee camps, but the longer they remain displaced, the more they want to leave. On average, some 60,000 to 100,000 Christians have left Iraq every year since 2003.

09/29/2016 Comments (1)
Edward Pentin/NCRegister.com

A woman refugee at the Dawudiya Refugee Camp near Duhok, northern Iraq.

– Edward Pentin/NCRegister.com

Persecuted Christians in northern Iraq continue to suffer great uncertainty and live in poor living conditions after the Islamist group ISIS invaded their towns and villages in 2014.

Aware of their brutality, around 100,000 fled their homes in the middle of the night in the summer of that year, and many did so with little more than the clothes they were wearing. Most of them ended up in camps for internally displaced people in the region.  

Last week, I joined an Aid to the Church in Need delegation to a number of the camps around Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan, and others close to Duhok, about 50 miles north of ISIS-occupied Mosul. See my write up on what we saw here

Here below are...READ MORE

Filed under iraq, isis, kurdistan, persecution, refugees

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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