Vatican publishes rules on Virgin Mary sightings

It’s unclear if this is connected to the ongoing investigation into Medjugorje, but it’s an interesting development at the end of the month devoted to Mary. Details: The “Norms Regarding the Manner of Proceeding in the Discernment of Presumed Apparitions or Revelations” have been in use since 1978, but until now had been available only [Read More...]

Meet the new nuncio: Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano

This just in: Pope Benedict XVI named Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, 70, to be the new nuncio to the United States. In his most recent position, the Italian archbishop had served for two years as secretary general of the commission governing Vatican City. He succeeds the late Archbishop Pietro Sambi in Washington. Just minutes after [Read More...]

So just what, exactly, is an Apostolic Nuncio?

The sudden death of Pietro Sambi may have a few people wondering.  Sambi had a critical role in planning Pope Benedict’s trip to the U.S. (below) in 2008.  But that’s just the beginning. A good explanation, from the USCCB: The nuncio is the Vatican’s ambassador to the United States.  (The United States and the Holy [Read More...]

Apostolic Nuncio Pietro Sambi dies — UPDATED

Rocco broke the news late yesterday, and notes that it’s the first time a papal legate to the U.S. has died in office: Pope Benedict’s representative to these shores since 2006 — and tipped to be in line for a Vatican post just a few weeks back — Sambi turned 73 in late June. As [Read More...]

Vatican to Africa: involve women in decisions

That comes from Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, seen below, from the Congregation for Evangelization. Details: The Catholic Church in Africa has been urged to support and promote women and encourage their participation in decision making. While addressing hundreds of delegates from Eastern Africa (AMECEA) during the 17th plenary assembly in Nairobi, Archbishop Savio Hon [Read More...]

Vatican: profits up, donations down

The Holy See reports that it is back in the black. Details: The Vatican returned to profit last year after three years in the red but donations from the faithful fell nearly $15 million, or 18 percent, amid tough economic times and the explosion of the priest sex abuse scandal. The Vatican issued its annual [Read More...]

The new Vatican website, explained

H/T to web wizard Deacon Eric Stoltz. Click to enlarge. [Read more...]

Amnesty International cites Vatican for human rights concerns

Not so very long ago, something like this would have been unimaginable. From NCR: Amnesty International named the Vatican in its annual report on human rights’ concerns for not sufficiently complying with international mandates on protecting children from abuse. It marked the first time the Vatican was named in the group’s Annual Report on the [Read More...]

And now, from the Ringling Brothers Desk …

Tomorrow is World Circus Day and, in lieu of a Clown Mass, the Vatican is offering something a little more serious. From CNS: The rights of circus and carnival workers must be protected and circus animals must be properly cared for and treated ethically, said a top Vatican official. Archbishop Antonio Veglio, president of the Pontifical [Read More...]

Coming soon: "The Church of Blessed John Paul II"?

It could happen — most notably in the late pontiff’s native Poland. The Vatican today released guidelines for observing the soon-to-be-Blessed’s feast day — to be marked on October 22 — along with the collect for that feast day’s mass, and other details: In the Diocese of Rome, where Pope John Paul served as bishop, [Read More...]