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Vatican Thanks Sisters and Calls Them to Unity and Self-Evaluation (5441)

NEWS ANALYSIS

12/16/2014 Comments (28)
CNA/Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk

– CNA/Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk

The final report on the Vatican’s apostolic visitation of U.S. women religious reads at first blush like a love letter to U.S. sisters, an effort to smooth all the feathers that were ruffled by the Vatican study.

However, a careful reading of the report reveals that, while some issues were ignored, there was an effort to point out that certain areas of religious life among U.S. sisters do need improvement. So the report will not satisfy those who hoped the visitation would be buried and forgotten; nor will it satisfy those who hoped for a mandate of sweeping reform.

The report acknowledges immediately that the visitation was initiated because religious life in this country “is...READ MORE

Filed under ann carey, apostolic visitation of women's religious communities, cardinal franc rode, cardinal joao braz de aviz, congregation for institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life, congregation for the doctrine of the faith, leadership conference of women religious, mother mary clare millea, sister sharon holland

Vatican Releases Final Report on Visitation of U.S. Women Religious (3952)

The Holy See’s report praised the consecrated women for their selfless contributions to the Church.

12/16/2014 Comments (11)
AP photo/Andrew Medichini

Mother Agnes Mary Donovan (r), head of the Sisters of Life, speaks during a press conference Dec. 16 discussing the release of the final report from the apostolic visitation of U.S. women's religious. At Mother Agnes' left is Sister Sharon Holland, president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

– AP photo/Andrew Medichini

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican has strongly praised U.S. institutes of women religious for their contribution to the Church’s evangelizing mission, while urging them to be careful not to lose the centrality of Christ in their apostolic life.

In its response to an eagerly anticipated final report on a three-year apostolic visitation of women religious in the country, the Vatican has also highlighted the challenges they are facing, including caring for aging sisters, financial constraints and the need to “revitalize institutes in fidelity to Christ.”

At a Dec. 16 Vatican press conference, Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, the prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and...READ MORE

Filed under apostolic visitation of women's religious communities, cardinal joao braz de aviz, congregation for institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life, council of major superiors of women religious, edward pentin, jesus christ, leadership conference of women religious, mother agnes mary donovan, mother mary clare millea, pope francis

Christmas 2014 at the Vatican (2553)

Preparations began with the Dec. 4 arrival of a 75-foot-tall Christmas tree, delivered by helicopter and truck to St. Peter's Square.

12/16/2014 Comments (1)
AP photo/Alessandra Tarantino

The dome of St. Peter's Basilica looms in the background as a man works near the top of an 84-foot, 70-year-old tree placed in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on Dec. 9.

– AP photo/Alessandra Tarantino

VATICAN CITY — Preparations for Christmas began at the Vatican on Dec. 4, when a 75-foot-tall Christmas tree, donated by people from the Italian province of Catanzaro in Calabria, was delivered by helicopter and truck to St. Peter’s Square.

The Nativity scene in the square was constructed by a foundation in Verona, Italy, with the help of the Diocese of Venice. Measuring 24 feet high, it has been inspired by the world of opera and consists of 20 terracotta figures.

Elsewhere, the work of the Vatican continued apace. The seventh meeting of the “Group of Nine” cardinals examining reform of the Roman Curia took place Dec. 9-11.

The “World Day of Peace Message 2015” was presented to the...READ MORE

Filed under advent, benedict xvi, christmas, christmas 2014, pope francis, vatican

Pope Francis to Italian Media: People Are More Valuable Than ‘Hits’ (2733)

Journalists, editors and technicians from TV2000, the Italian bishops’ conference broadcasting station, met with the Pope on Dec. 15.

12/16/2014 Comments (1)
CNA/Marta Jiménez Ibáñez

– CNA/Marta Jiménez Ibáñez

VATICAN CITY — Catholics working in media would do well to remember that communications is about informing people — not collecting “hits,” Pope Francis told representatives from the Italian station TV2000.

Journalists, editors and technicians from TV2000, the Italian bishops’ conference broadcasting station, met with the Pope in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall on Dec. 15.

Addressing those who work in Italian Church television, Pope Francis presented three points of consideration that lie “at the heart” of communications.

First, the Pope said, Catholic media has the “challenging mission” of trying to protect social communications from being “twisted and bent” for other purposes. Rooted in...READ MORE

Filed under ann schneible, catholic faith, catholic news agency, ewtn news, italian bishops' conference, media, national catholici register, pope francis, st. gabriel, television

Controversial Religious-Freedom Diplomat Takes Helm (3784)

Rabbi David Saperstein will be the first non-Christian to hold the position.

12/16/2014 Comments (15)
2013 CNA/World Economic Forum via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Rabbi David Saperstein

– 2013 CNA/World Economic Forum via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate voted 61-36 on Friday to confirm Rabbi David Saperstein as the next U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.

“Those of us who have followed religious-freedom issues at home and abroad over the years know how dire the situation is today for many religious communities around the world,” said Rev. C. Welton Gaddy, president of Interfaith Alliance, in response to the confirmation. “David’s leadership has never been more needed; may he go from strength to strength.”

The position, as an official part of the U.S. State Department, is charged with promoting and protecting religious freedom abroad.

The ambassador position has been vacant for much...READ MORE

Filed under catholic news agency, ewtn news, international religious freedom, matt hadro, national catholic register, rabbi david saperstein, religion, washington, d.c., washington, d.c.

Holy See Renews Call for Nuclear Disarmament (1309)

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See’s permanent observer at the United Nations office of Geneva, told participants at the Third Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons that institutions have not found the proper solution to address the nuclear-arms issue.

12/16/2014 Comments (3)
CNA file photo

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi

– CNA file photo

VIENNA — At a meeting on the impact of nuclear arms last week, the Holy See stated that institutions have not found the proper solution to address the nuclear-arms issue and praised the gathering as a new hope towards nuclear disarmament.

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See’s permanent observer at the United Nations office in Geneva, spoke Dec. 9 in Vienna at the Third Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons.

It was the first of these conferences to be attended by some of the five officially recognized nuclear powers, with both the United Kingdom and the United States taking part.

The meeting gathered 158 countries and concluded with the request of an immediate ban...READ MORE

Filed under andrea gagliarducci, archbishop silvano tomasi, catholic faith, catholic news agency, ewtn news, national catholic register, nuclear weapons, united nations

SDG Reviews ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ (6902)

The final installment of Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth journey improves in key ways on its immediate predecessors — but it’s not enough.

12/16/2014 Comments (12)

After something like eleventy-one hours in Middle-earth, Peter Jackson at last staggers over the finish line with a roar of triumph before collapsing, not without a touch of dignity and feeling in the end.

Or maybe that was me I’m thinking of. It’s hard to say at this point.

What I can say is that The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (a title strangely stuffed with too many the’s, at a time when movie titles often dispense with articles) includes — amid overinflated spectacle and cynical fan service — some of the best stuff of any of this prequel trilogy.

I’m reminded that The Lord of the Rings film trilogy offered occasional flashes of inspiration that, for me, actually improved on...READ MORE

Filed under hobbit, lord of the rings, sdg reviews, tolkien

Seven Things to Mention When Bringing a Friend to Mass, Linus and Saint Luke on Christmas and More! (5430)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

12/16/2014 Comment

Click on In New Interview, Pope Francis Defends Decision on Cardinal Burke by John Burger of Aleteia∝ link to read more.

In New Interview, Pope Francis Defends Decision on Cardinal Burke by John Burger of Aleteia∝ - BigPulpit.com

Pope Francis’ Warning to Europe Lost on Lesbian Politico – Wendy Wright, Catholic Lane

Seven Things to Mention When Bringing a Friend to Mass – Lucy East, Epic Pew

Books that Teach Children to Know and Love Their Faith - Francis Phillips, Catholic Herald

Linus and Saint Luke, Say It All About Christmas - Donald R. McClarey JD, The American Catholic

Parishioner Donates Her Kidney to Her Priest – Jack Sheedy, Catholic Herald

We Like Messages, Don’t We? – Howard Duncan, Catholic Stand

Giving Communion to Pro-Abortion Politicians and Archbishop Cupich – Bill Maguire, Crisis...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal burke, europe, faith, holy communion, love, mass, pope francis, president obama, st. hippolytus

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