Kirill-Francis Meeting in Danger of Being Over-Hyped

Russian President Vladimir Putin understood to be meeting’s key protagonist.

02/11/2016 Comments (5)

Pope Francis’ momentous meeting with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow tomorrow has “serious ecumenical import and potential” but it should be neither “hyperbolized nor underestimated”, the head of the Department of External Church Relations for the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has said.

In a commentary written on the eve of the historic meeting, Bishop Borys Gudziak said he was pleased the meeting is taking place, adding that it is a “welcome sight” when “estranged brothers take a new first step towards each other.”

But he stressed that the meeting should not be over hyped nor played down but seen in context. That context, he pointed out, is a Russian Orthodox Church that has lost its civic...READ MORE

Filed under ecumenism, holy see, patriarch kirill, pope francis, russia, russian orthodox church, ukraine, vladimir putin

Full Text: Joint Declaration of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill

02/11/2016 Comment


Joint Declaration of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God the Father and the fellowship of the holy Spirit be with all of you” (2 Cor 13:13).

1. By God the Father’s will, from which all gifts come, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the help of the Holy Spirit Consolator, we, Pope Francis and Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, have met today in Havana. We give thanks to God, glorified in the Trinity, for this meeting, the first in history. 

It is with joy that we have met like brothers in the Christian faith who encounter one another “to speak face to face” (2Jn12), from heart to heart, to...READ MORE

Filed under ecumenism, patriarch kirill, pope francis, russian orthodox church

Cardinal De Paolis Confident About Synod Outcome, Decentralization

02/05/2016 Comments (18)

Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, 80, prefect emeritus of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.

– YouTube

Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, one of the five cardinal contributors to the book “Remaining in the Truth of Christ” that reasserted the Church’s teaching on marriage ahead of the Synods on the Family, is confident about the outcome of the synod and Pope Francis’ plans for decentralization.

In this Jan. 30 interview with the Register, the Italian cardinal, a renowned canon law scholar, gives reasons for his optimism but also stresses the importance of knowing the destination of the Church's journey, acknowledges that many faithful are confused, and asserts that the sensus fidelium (sense of the faithful) can only refer to practicing Catholics who do not dissent from the Church’s Magisterium. ...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal velasio de paolis, collegiality, decentralization, divorce remarriage, sensus fidelium, synod on the family, synodality

Pope Francis to Meet Patriarch Kirill in Cuba

02/05/2016 Comments (30)

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow.

After years of speculation, for the first time in history the Successor of Peter and the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church will meet on February 12, the Vatican announced today. 

The meeting will take place in Cuba where Patriarch Kirill will be making an official visit. Pope Francis will make a brief stop in Havana on his way to Mexico. 

The Vatican said the historic meeting "will mark an important stage in relations between the two Churches." 

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the meeting, expected to last two hours in total, will consist of spontaneous speeches from the Pope and the Patriarch who will also issue a joint declaration.  He added that the meeting,...READ MORE

Filed under orthodoxy, patriarch kirill, pope francis

European Parliament Declares ISIS Atrocities 'Genocide'

02/04/2016 Comments (1)

For the first time, the European Parliament today passed a resolution strongly condemning ISIS for committing genocide against Christians and other religious minorities.

The text, passed by a show of hands, says that such violations amount to “war crimes,” “crimes against humanity” and “genocide” according to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). It also urges all countries in the international community to prevent war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide within their territory.

Lars Adaktusson, a member of the center-right European People’s Party Group, who tabled the resolution, called the vote an “historic decision”. The Commission of the Bishops'...READ MORE

Filed under genocide, isis, middle east, persecution, pope francis

Pope's Movie Involvement Helps Reach Periphery, Says Filmmaker

02/02/2016 Comments (1)

Pope Francis is set to be featured in an upcoming movie based on the Gospels called “Beyond the Sun” — the Holy Father’s latest foray into modern culture which one veteran Catholic moviemaker sees as a worthy attempt to reach out and evangelize the periphery.

Christian Peschken, who spent 19 years in Hollywood producing and directing movies starring, among others, Martin Sheen, Rod Steiger and Scott Glenn, welcomed the news, telling the Register he didn’t know of any pope in his lifetime "who has reached out, with such enormous mass appeal, into areas of society and culture that have almost always been a taboo within the Church — dark areas such as the entertainment industry and the...READ MORE

Filed under christian peschken, films, hollywood, movies, pax press agency, pope francis

Images of Family Day in Rome

01/30/2016 Comments (13)

"To scrap the family is not allowed"

Hundreds of thousands people from all over Italy descended on Rome's Circus Maximus to take part in ‘Family Day’ on Saturday.

The massive rally, against a proposed law called the Cirinnà bill which would allow same-sex unions and adoption by same-sex couples, was primarily about holding up true marriage as between a man and a woman. 

The event organizer, Massimo Gandolfini, said the numbers of those attending were "many, many more than we thought", and estimated the number to be "at least a million".

CNA has the story here. Some photos of the rally are below:

Massimo Gandolfini, chief organiser of the event, is a member of the Neocatechumenal Way and a married father of seven...READ MORE

Filed under civil unions, family day, italy, marriage, same-sex adoption, same-sex unions

7 Updates on the Jubilee of Mercy

01/29/2016 Comments (3)

Archbishop Rino Fisichella and Msgr. Graham Bell of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization share with reporters the latest on the Extraordinary Jubilee. Vatican, Jan. 29, 2016.


Archbishop Rino Fisichella, who is charged with running the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, today shared the latest on how the Holy Year is proceeding.

Here below is a summary of the developments the archbishop revealed to reporters this morning:

1) Archbishop Fisichella said an “incredible number” of people have registered for Jubilee events, showing how much the Year “has answered a true need of the people of God.” According to current data, 1,392,000 people have participated in Jubilee events in Rome, 40% of whom come from outside Italy, mostly Spain and France.

2) Pope Francis has carried out two particular concrete signs of witness to God's mercy in Rome: opening the “Door of...READ MORE

Filed under holy see, holy year of mercy, jubilee of mercy, missionaries of mercy, pope francis, vatican

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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