Vatican to Investigate Scottish ‘Miracle’

THE UNIVERSE, July 12 — Cardinal Keith O’Brien of Glasgow has asked the Vatican to investigate claims that a dying baby was healed after coming into contact with a relic of the Venerable Margaret Sinclair, the British news service reported.

The unnamed child weighed just 1 pound when it was born and doctors warned its parents there was little chance of it surviving. However, the parents asked permission to open an incubator in which their baby was kept to place the relic of the former Edinburgh factory worker next to it. Within days, the child astounded doctors by making a miraculous recovery and is now four months and “doing well.”

Speaking as he left for his annual pilgrimage to Lourdes, Cardinal O’Brien said the news was wonderful.

“Pope John Paul II told me when we were discussing the cause of Margaret Sinclair to ask the people to pray for a miracle and this has been happening,” he said. “Although it is exciting news we must tread cautiously, there is a lot of research and investigation to take place by the Church authorities before any miracle claim can be declared genuine.”

Pope Benedict to Visit His Homeland in September

REUTERS, July 12 — Pope Benedict will return to Germany in September for a six-day pastoral visit, Reuters reported.

The 79-year-old pope will visit his home state of Bavaria Sept.  9-14 and make stops in Munich, where he was archbishop before going to work in the Vatican in 1981, and his birthplace Marktl am Inn. He will also visit Regensburg, where he once taught theology, Freising and the pilgrimage town of Altoetting.

The Holy Father visited Cologne in Germany last summer for World Youth Day but that trip had been planned by his predecessor, John Paul II. The September trip home will be the fourth foreign trip of his papacy.

Vatican Announces Positive Financial News

ASSOCIATED PRESS, July 12 — The head of the Vatican’s office for economic affairs said the Vatican posted a surplus of $12.4 million in 2005, its best financial showing in eight years, reported the Associated Press.

Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani hailed “the good news” as he presented the Holy See’s annual financial statement. For years the Vatican has been struggling to contain costs, with much of its spending going for labor costs and its expanding diplomatic missions around the world. In 2004, the Vatican netted $3.8 million after four years in the red.

Cardinal Sebastiani disclosed that the costs of the transition period following the death of Pope John Paul in April 2005 and the election of Pope Benedict XVI amounted to $8.9 million. But much of that was covered by the huge influx into the Vatican museums when millions of pilgrims came to Rome for the ceremonies, Vatican officials said.

The Vatican also confirmed that both Catholic dioceses and individuals in the United States remain the No. 1 donor to the Holy See, providing a third of Peter’s Pence, as donations to the Pope are known. Next come Italy and Germany.