"Secret Access: The Vatican"

Thanks to my pal Dave Gibson, who alerted his readers to a History Channel special on the Vatican, airing tonight at 9 pm. As Dave notes: The show provides an overview of the history of the Vatican, and focuses on everyday life in the city-state today, and how it all works, or doesn’t, as the [Read More...]

Vatican population: 572

It’s the tiniest country in the world, and most of its citizens are overwhelmingly male. Details, from CNS: Millions of citizens of countries from all over the world enter Vatican territory every year to visit the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica or catch a glimpse of the pope on a Sunday in St. Peter’s [Read More...]

Number of priests worldwide continues to grow

That’s according to Church statistics released just this week. Details, from CNA: There are more than 5,000 more Catholic priests globally in 2009 than there were in 1999, according to official Church statistics. The Vatican’s L’Osservatore Romano newspaper anticipated the news from the soon-to-be released 2009 almanac prepared by the Vatican’s Central Office of Church [Read More...]

Historic first: Vatican appoints Protestant to head science academy

Details: Pope Benedict XVI named Saturday Nobel laureate Werner Arber, a Protestant, to head the Vatican’s scientific academy, the first time a non-Catholic is heading the centuries-old body. The 81-year old Swiss microbiologist will succeed Italian Nicola Cabibbo, who died in August, to lead the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Vatican announced in a press [Read More...]

UPDATE: Vatican involvement in exorcist series is "unofficial"

Remember this story?  It had a few people scratching their heads — including some at the Vatican. The Los Angeles Times offers an update: News broke last week that Discovery Channel plans to launch the 10-episode series sometime this spring through an unprecedented partnership with the church. An initial report, confirmed by Discovery executives, said [Read More...]