Cardinal: “The ‘Italianation’ of the church has always been tied to power”

  Photo: Kye R. Lee/Dallas Morning News A member of the “Super 8″ cardinals takes off his gloves. From the Dallas Morning News:  In the powerful words of Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, a member of Pope Francis’ circle of advisers, the work started in Vatican II 50 years ago will reach fruition in the [Read More...]

Germany’s “Bling Bishop” given a “period of leave”—UPDATED

From AFP:  The Vatican on Wednesday suspended a scandal-tainted German Catholic cleric dubbed the “bling bishop” for his luxury lifestyle, despite multiple calls for the prelate to be dismissed. “The Holy See deems it appropriate to authorise a period of leave from the diocese for Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst,” the Vatican said in a statement. “The [Read More...]

Vatican reaffirms teaching on communion for divorced and remarried Catholics

From CNS:  Amid rising expectations that the Catholic Church might make it easier for divorced and remarried members to receive Communion, the Vatican’s highest doctrinal official reaffirmed church teaching barring such persons from the sacrament without an annulment of their first, sacramental marriage. But Archbishop Gerhard L. Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine [Read More...]

Meet Ken Hackett: State Department releases short YouTube video introducing new ambassador to Holy See

Check out this profile of the diplomat, just posted on the State Department YouTube page (you can read a full biography of him here): [Read more...]

Vatican may create new role for women—on cricket squad

From Catholic News Service:  The Vatican is about to launch its own cricket club and will field a women’s squad if it finds enough players. “It may be that instead of watching players who go out to play with cricket caps on, we’re going to have a series who play with veils on as they [Read More...]

Church confronts the “silent schism” of divorced and remarried Catholics

From Vatican Insider:  Shock declarations, such as the ones contained in the document issued by the Diocese of Freiburg which offers recommendations on communion for remarried divorcees end up complicating rather than facilitating reflection on the issue. Pope Francis’ intention is for this issue to be discussed at an Extraordinary Synod in October 2014. The Synod [Read More...]

Who was the famous cardinal who strongly opposed restoring the permanent diaconate?

Catholic News Service offers the answer in this flashback from its coverage of Vatican II 50 years ago: Francis Cardinal Spellman, Archbishop of New York, strongly criticized a proposal to bring back a permanent diaconate to the Catholic Church as the ecumenical council entered discussion on the second chapter of the proposal “On the Nature [Read More...]

Just another quiet week at the Vatican

And veteran Vatican-watcher John Thavis helps put it in perspective: It’s been a busy week at the Vatican: a date set for the canonization of two popes, a stunning new papal interview, a meeting of the pope’s “Group of 8” cardinal advisors and an important visit by the pope to the birthplace of his namesake, [Read More...]

So, what did Pope Francis and the cardinals talk about on Day One?

CNS has the answer: Pope Francis and his eight cardinal advisers on church governance spent much of their first day together discussing reform of the Synod of Bishops, but the Vatican downplayed expectations that their discussions would lead to major changes in the near future. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, told reporters Oct. [Read More...]

Vatican’s new secretary of state: celibacy is open to discussion—UPDATED WITH VIDEO

From NBC News:  The Vatican’s new secretary of state has said that priestly celibacy is not church dogma and therefore open to discussion, marking a significant change in approach towards one of the thorniest issues facing the Roman Catholic Church. “Celibacy is not an institution but look, it is also true that you can discuss [Read More...]