“It is important to understand the Second Vatican Council as the Catholic Church’s response to World War II…”

Deacon Bill Ditewig, commemorating the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, has this take:  Pope John Paul II, in his 2004 Message for the World Day of Peace, referred to the Second World War as “an abyss of violence, destruction and death unlike anything previously known.”  How does a world recover from such [Read More...]

Pope establishes special commission on child sex abuse

From Catholic News Service:  Pope Francis accepted a proposal to set up a special commission on the sexual abuse of children, which will advise him on ways to prevent abuse and provide pastoral care for victims and their families. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston, a member of the pope’s advisory Council of Cardinals, announced [Read More...]

Meet the pope’s almoner: “The Holy Father told me, ‘You can sell your desk. You don’t need it.’”

Some weeks back, I posted an item on this position’s unique diaconal dimension. Now, here’s more about the job, and the man carrying it out: When he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis was known to sneak out at night and break bread with the homeless, sit with them literally on the street and [Read More...]

Vatican downplays State Department decision to move U.S. embassy

Details from CNN:  When the State Department announced it was moving its Vatican embassy to a compound shared with the U.S. Embassy in Italy, some former ambassadors and conservative American Catholics were outraged. Former ambassadors to the Holy See said moving that embassy would diminish the stature of the mission and conservative Catholic activists seized [Read More...]

Historic: Vatican to put St. Peter’s relics on display for first time

From CNS:  For the first time, the bones traditionally believed to be the relics of St. Peter the Apostle will be on public display for veneration. Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, said the veneration of the relics at the Vatican is a fitting way to conclude the Year [Read More...]

Vatican releases full text of document and survey questions for 2014 Synod of Bishops on the Family

From News.va:  The preparatory document for next year’s Synod of Bishops on the Family was formally released at a news conference in the Vatican on Tuesday. The synod’s theme is “The pastoral challenges to the Family in the context of Evangelization and it will run from the 5th to the 19th of October 2014. The document gives [Read More...]

Why you shouldn’t believe those reports about a woman cardinal—UPDATED WITH VATICAN REACTION

Photo: Fr. Yiu Sing Lucas Chan This report is gaining traction, from the Sunday Times of London: An Irish woman is being tipped internationally to be the Catholic church’s first female cardinal. If speculation in the Washington Post and Catholic media proves correct, Linda Hogan, 49, the vice-provost of Trinity College Dublin would be eligible [Read More...]

Vatican asks bishops to poll parishes about key church teachings

This is pretty astounding, via NCR:  The Vatican has asked national bishops’ conferences around the world to conduct a wide-ranging poll of Catholics asking for their opinions on church teachings on contraception, same-sex marriage and divorce. Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Vatican’s Synod of Bishops, asked the conferences to distribute the poll “immediately [Read More...]

Flashback: CNS reports on permanent diaconate discussions at Vatican II

From a report on their website, looking at what was happening 50 years ago at the council comes this nugget from October 29, 1963: Peru’s Cardinal declared that a permanent diaconate would answer a “general need” in the Church today, a need especially urgent in Latin America. Juan Cardinal Landazuri Ricketts, OFM, of Lima said [Read More...]

Cardinal Pell slams SSPX criticism of Pope Francis as “absolute rubbish”

Details from Gerard O’Connell at Vatican Insider:  The Australian cardinal George Pell, one of the eight cardinals that Pope Francis has chosen to advice  him, agreed to talk about his experience of their historic meeting (October 1-3) with the Holy Father on the understanding that “the only substantial information” available about that gathering is what Fr Federico [Read More...]


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