National Catholic Register


Vatican Media Watch 05.20.2007

Keeping an eye on the news from the Vatican.

BY John Lilly

May 20-26, 2007 Issue | Posted 5/15/07 at 10:00 AM


Vatican Library to Close

The Guardian reported that the Vatican library will close July 14 for three years to upgrade its preservation and security measures.

The collection includes a fourth-century Bible, the world’s oldest, as well as copies of St. Peter’s letters and the Gospels of Luke and John dating from the third century and written in Greek on papyrus.

The building needed extra fireproofing, upgraded electrical wiring and new emergency exits, said Msgr. Raffaele Farina, prefect of the library. “We also need air-conditioning and humidity controls to preserve the manuscripts better, and we must reduce the dust.”

Benedict and Khatami

Pope Benedict met May 5 with Former Iranian President Seyyed Mohammad Khatami to discuss the importance of a “serene dialogue” between different cultures in the promotion of peace during talks, reported the news service AKI.

The Holy Father and Khatami also discussed “the conditions and the problems of Christian communities in the Middle East and in Iran,” according to a Vatican statement.

Vatican-Czech Agreement Closer

A team of diplomats in the Czech Cultural Ministry is completing its plan to formalize relations with the Vatican, reported the Prague Daily Monitor.

The team is to prepare the ratification of the Czech-Vatican agreement that has not yet been passed by the parliament. The situation was discussed by a group of cardinals and bishops from Central European countries in Prague for some days.

Almost 60% of the once heavily-Christian population is either agnostic or atheistic, possibly due to heavy taxation for citizens involved with an organized church. Now, only 27% are Catholic.