Letter #12: President Obama on the Meeting with Francis

NOTE: I have just received a call to go on a national US television program for about 7 minutes this evening to discuss the Obama-Pope Francis meeting. The program is the O’Reilly Factor at 8 p.m. Eastern time, with Bill O’Reilly on the Fox network. So, unless there is some change, I should be on […]


Letter #11: Francis & President Obama

The two were scheduled to meet for just half an hour, but their private discussion lasted 52 minutes. At the end, they exchanged gifts, with the Pope offering Obama two medallions and a copy of his apostolic exhortation The Joy of the Gospel [Evangelii Gaudium]. ”You know, I actually will probably read this when I’m in the […]

Vassule Ryden with Pope Benedict XVI

Vassula Rydén’s messages reviewed by Cardinal

To purchase the January issue containing this article, click here. Vassilikì Claudia Pendakis, commonly called Vassula, married Rydén, is mainly known through her messages published in more than 50 language versions in the True Life in God (TLIG) books. She claims that these messages, written in a handwriting which is different from her own, are dictated […]

Cardinals Giovanni Battista Re and Angelo Sodano talk after Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation (CNS photos).

Benedict XVI’s Resignation and Francis’ Election

 Vatican journalists look back on an extraordinary year in the history of the Catholic Church, the year of the “two Popes”. Last year in Rome we were all discussing an extraordinary event: the resignation of Benedict XVI. We were trying to understand why this had happened and how it would affect the future of the […]

Le caremelle di pasta

Il Cantico – A welcoming oasis in Rome

Opened on October 4, 2012 “Il Cantico” ( is probably the newest hotel in the area on the via Gregorio VII-Trastevere side of St. Peter’s Basilica. Located on a quiet residential side street at Via del Cottolegno 50, it’s five city blocks from “La Vittoria” and St. Peter’s Square — a 10-minute walk or three […]

Visitor on the Popemobile.

Vatican Watch

Tuesday 7 Pope Francis Phones a Convent Pope Francis today made a personal telephone call to a small community of nuns in southern Italy. “My congratulations because you answered right away,” the Pope told Sister Maria Gonzalez, the 48-year-old Guatemalan mother superior of the St. James Major monastery of Palo del Colle in Bari. “When […]

June 26, 2013, St. Peter’s Square: Pope Francis meets newlyweds at his General Audience.

The Pope’s Radical Call to the New Evangelization

During a recent visit to the United States, I was repeatedly impressed by how deeply Pope Francis has penetrated the national conversation on a whole range of issues. His special gift of expressing direct care for each and all has resonated strongly with many in my homeland. At the same time, I noted a certain […]

Cardinal Raymond Burke.

Cardinal Burke reflects on Pope Francis

“In the face of a galloping de-Christianization in the West, the new evangelization, as Pope Francis underlines, must be clearly grounded in Christ crucified who alone can overcome the world for the sake of its salvation.” —Raymond Cardinal Burke, February 21 article in Rome “Pope Francis has clearly reaffirmed the Church’s moral teaching, in accord […]

January 25, Ecumenial Prayer Service, St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls: Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist and other Christian representatives present read some  of the prayers, while Pope Francis presided over the prayer service.

ECUMENICAL DIALOGUE and the Ministry of Peter

Pope Francis greatly desires to bring all believers in Christ closer together, to overcome the divisions of past centuries. He sees the role of the successor of Peter in that work as critical… “An essential dimension of the ministry of the Bishop of Rome” is fostering Christian unity, up to the point that “today the […]

St. Raymong Nonnatus Being Fed by Angels by Eugenio Caxés, 1630.

“One Must Care for Life from the Beginning to the End”

Homily of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, at the Mass in honor of the Patron Saint of Pregnant Women, San Ramon Nonato (St. Ramon, the Unborn) (August 31, 2005) When you listen to what Jesus says: “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves” (Matthew 10:16-20), we want to ask: “Lord, […]


End of Pope Francis first year

As the first year of Pope Francis ends, the pace of events in the Church and world seems to be accelerating: Ukraine, Russia, reform of the Curia, marriage, divorce, the liturgy… Behind them all, the question of man.  As we end the first year of the papacy of Pope Francis, time seems to be speeding […]


Francis Opens to Public the Gardens at Castel Gandolfo

‘Where Splendor of Art and Glory of Nature Coexist in Admirable Equilibrium’ Rome,   March 03, 2014 A statement from the director of the Vatican Museums says it was Pope Francis himself who decided to make accessible to everyone the gardens of the Pontifical Villas “where the splendor of art and the glory of nature co-exist […]

Pope Francis is pictured cooking in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in an undated file photo.

Pope Francis’s favorite dish

Surrounded on three sides by the Alps including Monviso where the Po River rises, Piemonte or Piedmont is a region of northwest Italy, bordered on the west by France, on the east by Lombardy, on the north by Val D’Aosta and Switzerland, and on the south by Liguria and a very small fragment of Emilia […]

Pope Francis blesses the sculpture "Jesus the homeless" sculpture by Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz.

People around the Vatican

HOMELESS JESUS SCULPTURE A year ago, TIMOTHY SCHMALZ’s bronze sculpture “Jesus the Homeless” had been rejected by St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York and St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto. But in late November, Pope Francis blessed the sculpture at one of his weekly general audiences in front of thousands of eager pilgrims. The pontiff touched […]

Natalia Tsarkova in her studio.

Interview with a papal portraitist, Natalia Tsarkova

“The Lord has given me the gift of painting to bring his message into the world through color” Immediately after the public audience on Wednesday, December 18, you presented Pope Francis with your latest artwork: a double papal portrait on paper, depicting Pope Francis and Emeritus Pope Benedict praying together. This was your first meeting. […]

Msgr. Alain de Raemy leads the new recruits’ parents into the Apostolic Palace to a meeting 
with the Holy Father.

The First Swiss Guard Chaplain to Be Appointed a Bishop

Msgr. Alain de Raemy is the first Pontifical Swiss Guard Chaplain to become a bishop. And although the Corps itself in recent years became a fertile source of priestly vocations for Switzerland, no former Swiss Guard has ever been consecrated a bishop until now… Msgr. Alain de Raemy is the first chaplain in the history […]

François - Xavier Nguyên Van Thuân
The Joy of living one’s Faith
Vatican Publishing House
2013, 120 pages, 9,00 euro

Words on the Joy of Faith

The Vatican Publishing House has issued a collection of conversations held by Servant of God Vietnamese Cardinal François-Xavier Van Thuân, who worked in the Vatican as vice-president and then-president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace from 1994 to 2002. The book, for the moment only in Italian, features words and dialogues from a […]

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Books, Art & People

José Alfonso Salazar
The True Believer
Faith, Reason and Truth in Light of 
the Analogy of Being: 
A Catholic Perspective on the World’s Great Religions, Philosophies 
and Ideologies; 
An Ecumenical Apologetics 
Holy Apostles Press
Washington, DC 362 pages. $24.95

The Analogy of Being According to Father José Alfonso Salazar

In his ground-breaking text The True Believer, Father José Alfonso Salazar, M.S.A. (the Society of the Missionaries of the Holy Apostles, a new congregation of the Franciscan family), argues that the analogy of being (Wisdom 13:5, Romans 1:20), is the overall transcendental concept which points unequivocally to the full truth of the Roman Catholic faith […]

SIgned and dated  by the painter, The Madonna Nursing the Baby Jesus (1464) is the earliest known work by Antoniazzo Romano.

The Leading Rome-Born Renaissance Painter

On display until February 2 on the ground floor of the majestic Palazzo Barberini, built by Maffei Barberini for his family beginning in 1623 when he was elected Pope Urban VIII, and today home to one of the Eternal City’s most important painting collections, is “Antoniazzo Romano: Pictor Urbis.” It’s the first monographic exhibition ever […]

A Restaurant and a Bed and Breakfast near the Basilica of St. John in Lateran

Stefano and Jenny, the managers of the Taverna Latina, say: “Very often the things that give us greatest satisfaction are those pleasantly unexpected. The pleasure of discovery we leave to our new customers, because our habitual clients know our place well; those who find us never leave us.” The Taverna Latina is situated beyond the […]

“Those who read this book should do so because its premises are fundamental to the beliefs of all Christians. Hence it is important for those who believe, and equally important for non-believers, to understand what Christianity is all about”.

The Resurrection: A Criminal Investigation…

I had been invited to create an audio version of Dr. Rocco Leonard Martino’s new novel, The Resurrection: A Criminal Investigation of the Mysterious Disappearance of the Body of the Crucified Criminal Jesus of Nazareth. Doing my usual research on a subject I don’t think about quite as much as I should, I found myself […]

Svetlana Kasyan, the young Russian soprano, meeting the Pope on November 13.

A “Concert for Peace” in Rome

The musical evening was sponsored by the Urbi et Orbi Foundation (a project of the non-profit corporation which publishes this magazine), together with the St. Gregory the Theologian Foundation of Moscow, under the patronage of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture. At 5 pm on the evening of Nov­ember 12, Svetlana Kasyan, the young Russian […]

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