Vatican calls on Muslim leaders to condemn Islamic State: “No cause, no religion, can justify such barbarity”

From CNS: The Vatican called on Muslim leaders to condemn the “barbarity” and “unspeakable criminal acts” of Islamic State militants in Iraq, saying a failure to do so would jeopardize the future of interreligious dialogue.“The plight of Christians, Yezidis and other religious and ethnic communities that are numeric minorities in Iraq demands a clear and [Read More...]

Vatican publishes working document for extraordinary Synod of Bishops

An overview from CNS:  The working document for the October 2014 extraordinary Synod of Bishops offers a picture of the Catholic Church today struggling to preach the Gospel and transmit moral teachings amid a “widespread cultural, social and spiritual crisis” of the family. The 75-page “instrumentum laboris,” published by the Vatican June 26, is supposed [Read More...]

Vatican rolls out a new app

Having now tweaked the design of the Vatican website (not very successfully, imho, but that’s another story…take a look and see what you think)…the Vatican has now launched a new app for iPads and iPhones. No word yet if they’ve developed one for Androids.  It reportedly has material from the Vatican site, along with a [Read More...]

Ahead of UN meeting, Holy See condemns “any form of torture, degrading treatment or punishment”

This statement was released by the Vatican Press Office today. How timely:   Director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr Federico Lombardi, has issued a statement in which he emphasized the Holy See’s “strong commitment against any form of torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment”. The statement comes ahead of a [Read More...]

Cardinal calls for “renewed” interpretation of Church teachings on marriage

From CNS:  In its approach to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, the Catholic Church needs to find a middle ground that does not destroy or abandon doctrine, but offers a “renewed” interpretation of church teaching in order to help those whose marriages have failed, Cardinal Walter Kasper said. “I propose a path that goes beyond [Read More...]

“The real challenge for Francis is to go beyond rhetoric…”

There’s been some discussion around the blogosphere about last night’s “Frontline” on “Secrets of the Vatican.”  Most comments have been harshly critical. Yesterday, for example, the USCCB mailed out an “advisory” review, which noted: The historic resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the headline-grabbing start of his successor’s ministry are certainly events worthy of close [Read More...]

Pope Francis appoints Cardinal Pell to head new Vatican financial office, “Secretariat for the Economy”

Details from National Catholic Reporter:  Pope Francis has approved a set of sweeping moves to reorganize the financial and administrative structures of the Catholic church’s central bureaucracy, creating a new central office with wide control particularly of economic issues, the Vatican announced Monday. Sydney Cardinal George Pell will head the new office, known as the [Read More...]

Pope Francis warns cardinals against becoming “a royal court,” calls them to conversion

From RNS:  In a forceful message to more than 100 scarlet-clad cardinals arrayed before him, Pope Francis on Sunday (Feb. 23) warned them that they are “not a royal court” and told them to avoid “habits and ways of acting typical of a court: intrigue, gossip, cliques, favoritism and preferences.” Francis has repeatedly called on [Read More...]

Decision time at the Vatican?

Though there are several important meetings unfolding this week, Vatican watchers may have to keep watch a while longer, says John Thavis:   Pope Francis has named several advisory bodies, in addition to existing ones, to help him in the reform process. Their tasks sometimes overlap, and that complicates things. This week and next week, for [Read More...]

United Nations denounces Vatican on sex abuse, abortion—UPDATED

From Associated Press:  A U.N. human rights committee denounced the Vatican on Wednesday for adopting policies that allowed priests to rape and molest tens of thousands of children over decades, and urged it to open its files on the pedophiles and the churchmen who concealed their crimes. In a devastating report, the U.N. committee also [Read More...]


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