A look back at Vatican reporting, with the late ‘dean of vaticanisti’

Rome, Italy, Dec 20, 2013 / 04:54 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Benny Lai, known in Italy as “dean of the vaticanisti”, died Dec. 12 at the age of 88, following a lengthy illness. Before his death he shared with CNA in a series of interview a look back at the past 60 years of covering the Vatican. Lai was born in 1925 in Aprigliano in far-southern Italy, and he started his career as a journalist in 1946. He was accredited with the Vatican City State press servce in 1952, and he long … [Read more...]

Help purify Legion of Christ, cardinal tells new priests

Rome, Italy, Dec 20, 2013 / 12:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Cardinal Velasio de Paolis told 31 new priests of Legionaries of Christ that their perseverance shows “the love of Christ” that can overcome the past scandals of their congregation and purify and renew it. “You have suffered, and you have realized the suffering that other Legionaries – beginning with the founder – have caused in the lives of others. And the suffering of others has helped you to understand and … [Read more...]

Pope Francis sends Christmas presents to 2,000 poor immigrants

Rome, Italy, Dec 18, 2013 / 11:33 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Two thousand immigrants at a shelter near the Vatican received simple Christmas presents from Pope Francis on the evening of Dec. 14. “The guests were very happy,” said Sister Michelle, the superior of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in Rome. Each practical gift package consisted of a small envelope containing a Christmas card signed by Pope Francis, postal stamps, a pre-paid international calling card, and a … [Read more...]

Respond to divorced Catholics with love, theologians urge

Rome, Italy, Dec 18, 2013 / 02:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Catholic Church must reach out to Catholics who are divorced and remarried to let them know they are welcome even if they cannot receive the sacraments, several theologians have noted. Sean Innerst, theology department chair at Denver's St. John Vianney Seminary, said he hopes to see “interesting and creative responses” to help those who are divorced or divorced and remarried and believe themselves to be outside of the … [Read more...]

Experts warn of ‘ominous trends’ in Western secularism

Rome, Italy, Dec 16, 2013 / 03:15 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Experts on religious liberty cautioned participants at a weekend conference in Rome that discrimination and persecution against Christians is growing in many regions of the world.  Paul Marshall, a senior fellow at the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute, spoke about the causes underlying current global anti-Christian persecution. “Western secularism has been growing in the last few decades,” Marshall … [Read more...]

Patriarch: Work with Muslims to promote religious freedom

Rome, Italy, Dec 15, 2013 / 01:35 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church is calling on the faithful to reach out to Muslims in order to foster a common understanding of religious liberty and cooperation in supporting it. “The majority Muslim population is good and not violent,” said Archbishop Louis Raphael I Sako, the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon. “They do not agree with the extremists but they are also afraid to react publicly.” He … [Read more...]

Ecumenism with Orthodox is near to Pope’s heart, cardinal says

Rome, Italy, Dec 14, 2013 / 05:25 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The relationship between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches is very important to Pope Francis, said the president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity. “I think the ecumenical issue and the ecumenical challenge is very close to his heart,” Swiss Cardinal Kurt Koch told CNA on Dec. 13. From Dec.14-19, Cardinal Koch will travel to Russia to meet with leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church. He will … [Read more...]