Monday, June 29: Opening Day for Vatican’s New Secretariat for Communications


We knew that Pope Francis was planning a reorganization of the Vatican's wide-reaching communications offices. The nine-member Council of Cardinals, which includes Boston's Cardinal Sean O'Malley, had recommended an overhaul. I expressed puzzlement about it here, and I questioned how the reorganization would affect bloggers here; but I have to admit:  the sprawl caused by new media, from television to radio to print media to the new media giants Facebook and Twitter (including the Pope's Twitter … [Read more...]

FAITH MEETS SCIENCE: Vatican Enlists Tattoo Removal Lasers to Clean Priceless Artwork

Transfiguration by Raphael (This work is in the public domain.)

An intriguing report out of England: The Vatican has hired Lynton Lasers, a tattoo removal company in Cheshire, to remove dirt from its priceless statues and paintings. The company's infrared laser beams use a gentle heat to remove pollution and dirt from statues, many of which date back to the Middle Ages. Andy Charlton, the company's chairman, said that the lasers can also be used on frescoes and artwork--but that it's a sensitive process. "With artwork or frescoes," Charlton explained to the … [Read more...]

An Unexpected Privilege: The Day I Attended Mass with Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger

Talk about being in the right place at the right time!It was September 2003, and I was leading a pilgrimage to Rome for a group of Catholic CEOs, members of Legatus.  We were so busy--Every day of our pilgrimage was filled with tours of historic basilicas, meetings with Vatican officials, lunches and dinners and gelato stands and, of course, daily Mass.  In the entire week we were in Rome, I slept little.  There was only one "free" night, when members of our group were encouraged to explore t … [Read more...]