National Catholic Register


Vatican Media Watch

Keeping an eye on the news from the Vatican.

BY John Lilly

April 30-May 6, 2006 Issue | Posted 5/1/06 at 10:00 AM


Religious Freedom Key to Vatican-Bosnia Pact

FENA, April 19 — The Vatican and the Baltic country of Bosnia and Herzegovina formalized relations in signing a basic agreement that confirmed the right of religious freedom, the Baltic news service reported.

Ivo Miro Jovic, the Croatian member of the country’s three-member presidency, and Archbishop Alessandro D’Errico, apostolic nuncio to Bosnia and Herzegovina, signed the pact April 19 in Sarajevo. The agreement legally defines the relationship between the strife-torn country and the Church, Jovic said. He said the agreement confirms the right to religious freedom, which is vital for the country to overcome its history of religious intolerance.
Archbishop D’Errico expressed hope that the agreement would help represent Bosnia and Herzegovina on the international stage as a country in which, despite difficulties, religious communities will be treated with respect.

Jovic said, “By respecting others of different religions, Bosnia and Herzegovina has undeniably chosen the road to Europe and in doing so it wishes to ensure all rights to its citizens defined by international standards.”

Papal Preacher Blasts The Da Vinci Code

THE AGE, April 15 — Franciscan Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher to the papal household, said The Da Vinci Code and the upcoming film adaptation are just more examples of Jesus being sold out by a wave of what he called “pseudo-historic” art, the Australian website reported.

Father Cantalamessa made his comments in a homily during the Good Friday  celebration of the Passion of the Lord in St. Peter’s Basilica.

Without specifically mentioning the name of the novel, Father Cantalamessa said that people today were fascinated by “every new theory according to which he [Christ] was not crucified and did not die ... but ran off with Mary Magdalene.”

He added, “No one will be able to stop this wave of speculation, which will see a sharp increase with the imminent release of a certain film.”


Pope Benedict Has a Gift for Listening

CHIESA.COM, April 18 — Pope Benedict has used his gift for spontaneity well during the first year of his papacy, the Italian website reported.

The Holy Father has used the practice of public discussions in question-and-answer format several times. He arrives and greets those present, but doesn’t speak from a prepared text. He simply fields questions. And he responds to each of them, spontaneously.

He did so with the priests of the little Diocese of Aosta where he was vacationing, on July 25, 2005; with the children who had received their first Communion in St. Peter’s Square on Oct. 15; with the priests of the diocese of Rome, on March 3, 2006; with young people preparing for World Youth Day, April 6 in St. Peter’s Square, and the Pope did the same thing behind closed doors March 23, with the cardinals gathered for the consistory. In all these cases, his words had a strong effect on those present. Even the children listened to him attentively.

“Benedict XVI succeeds in facing difficult problems with immediacy, using simple words to reply to deep questions,” Cardinal Camillo Ruini said in the Italian magazine Famiglia Cristiana. “We cardinals experienced this during the consistory, during that day of reflection on the issues of the Church.”