Vatican Watch – March 2014

Visitor on the Popemobile.

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 […]

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People around the Vatican

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

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 […]

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January Recap

Pope Francis stands with Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano as he greets staff members and their families during his first state visit to Italy’s Quirinal presidential palace in Rome on November 14 (CNS photo).

Sunday 10 PRAYERS FOR THOSE HIT BY DEADLY TYPHOON During the Angelus with pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope expressed his concern and prayers for the estimated tens of thousands of people dead and others affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated parts of the central Philippines November 8. “I wish to express my […]

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Honors, Awards, Canonizations & Gifts

TIME; the cover of the December 2013 issue.

AWARDS POPE FRANCIS has been named Time magazine’s “PERSON OF THE YEAR” for 2013. He is the third Roman Pontiff to receive this honor after John XXIII in 1962 and John Paul II in 1994. The Head of the Holy See’s Press Office, Jesuit FATHER FEDERICO LOMBARDI, issued the following statement: “The decision didn’t come […]

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Vatican Activity recap

Children watch as Pope Francis blows out candles on a birthday cake presented to him during an audience in Paul VI Hall at the Vatican.

Wednesday 11: “AMERICAS, OPEN YOUR ARMS TO POOR, IMMIGRANTS, UNBORN” Anticipating the December 12 Feast of Our Lady of Guada­lupe, patroness of the Americas, Pope Francis said, “I ask all the people of the Americas to open wide their arms, like the Virgin, with love and tenderness.” Speaking in Spanish during his general audience, the first […]

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Vatican Watch – December 2013

Pope Francis visits Assisi.

OCTOBER Tuesday 1- Thursday 3 POPE ATTENDS A MEETING WITH eight CARDINALS Pope Francis and his eight cardinal advisers on Church governance spent much of their first day together discussing the reform of the Synod of Bishops. Possible changes to the organization of the world Synod of Bishops, which has been a periodic gathering of […]

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Anniverseries, Ordinations & Restorations

Pope John XXIII.

ANNIVERSARIES On October 3, Pope Francis attended a commemorative conference marking the 50th anniversary of Blessed John XXIII’s encyclical PACEM IN TERRIS (“Peace on Earth”). The Pacem in Terris conference was organized by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in Rome Oct. 2-4. Pacem in Terris, published in 1963, was Blessed John XXIII’s last […]

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Vatican Watch – November 2013

Pope Francis and priests.

Thursday 5 A LETTER TO PUTIN Pope Francis wrote to Vladimir Putin, Russian president, host of the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, September 5-6. The pontiff asked leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies to “lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution” to the Syrian civil war and promote instead a “peaceful solution […]

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The Lives Saved by Fr. Bergoglio

“What if the cardinals have elected the wrong man?” That was the doubt which blogs and websites began to spread a few hours after the election of the first Latin American Pope. Even important international newspapers, Argentinian and Italian, insinuated that Jorge Mario Bergoglio, elected superior of the Argentinian Jesuits three years before the military […]

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People – November 2013

Father Gustavo Gutierrez is pictured in 2007 on the campus of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. (CNS photo)

MEETING On September 11 Pope Francis met, in a private audience, Dominican Father GUSTAVO GUTIÉRREZ, one of the founders of liberation theology and author of a book entitled Liberation Theology (1971), regarded as the manifesto of that current of thought within the Catholic Church. Liberation theology developed in the 1960s and 1970s in response to […]

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People – October 2013

CARDINAL DARIO CASTRILLÓN HOYOS TO CELEBRATE PONTIFICAL MASS AT ST. PETER’S The CISP (International Coordination Summorum Pontificum) has announced that His Eminence Cardinal DARIO CASTRILLÓN HOYOS will be celebrating a Pontifical High Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica on Saturday, October 26, at 11 a.m. during the pilgrimage of Summorum Pontificum supporters to Rome. Holy Mass […]

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“Sport is a Gift of God”

Soccer has united, as it were, two countries on opposite sides of the ocean: Argentina and Italy. These two countries have always been closely connected, since many Italians have emigrated to Argentina and since later on a great many soccer pioneers arrived in Italy, leaving their mark. The Pope is a great sports enthusiast; as […]

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Vatican Watch – October 2013

      Friday 5 POPE FRANCIS’ FIRST ENCYCLICAL Lumen Fidei (“The Light of Faith”) is a celebration of Christian faith as the guiding light of a “successful and fruitful life,” inspiring social action as well as devotion to God, and illuminating “every aspect of human existence,” including philosophy and the natural sciences. The document […]

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People – August 2013

Bishop Dominique Rey of Fréjus-Toulon and
Cardinal Raymond Burke during the Sacra Liturgia Symposium.

LITURGY: TWO EVENTS IN ROME The last week of June was marked by two events focused on the liturgy: the “SACRA LITURGIA” international symposium at the Pontifical University of Santa Croce (Holy Cross) from June 25 to 28, 2013, formally ending with participation in the Mass celebrated by Pope Francis the following day for the […]

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Vatican Watch – August 2013

Pope Francis walks in the annual Corpus Christi procession in Rome on May 30 (Galazka photo).

MAY Thursday 16 A CALL FOR GLOBAL, ETHICAL FINANCE REFORM Pope Francis today called for global financial reform that respects human dignity, helps the poor, promotes the common good and allows states to regulate markets. “Money has to serve, not to rule,” he said in his strongest remarks yet as Pope concerning the world’s economic […]

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Pope Francis and His Devotion to Mary

Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, Brazil (CNS photo)

On Saturday, May 4th, Pope Francis visited St. Mary Major, the biggest church in Rome dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, for the second time. He was received by a friend of his, the Spanish Cardinal Santos Abril y Castelló, archpriest of the Papal Basilica of St. Mary Major. Indicated as one of the main supporters […]

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Vatican Watch – June/July 2013

Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the commission governing Vatican City State (Galazka photo).

April Sunday 7 FIRST MASS IN THE BASILICA OF ST. JOHN LATERAN “God always waits for us, even when we have left him behind! He is never far from us, and if we return to him, he is ready to embrace us,” the pontiff said in his homily today. The Mass was the occasion for […]

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People – June/July 2013

Fr. Nicolás

Pro-Life EVENT The Pope encouraged the participants in the two major events marking May 12 as Italy’s NATIONAL DAY OF PRO-LIFE MOBILIZATION: a collection of signatures in the Italian parishes in support of a Europe-wide campaign for the legal protection of the embryo and the PRO-LIFE MARCH in Rome from the Colosseum to Castel San’Angelo. […]

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People – May 2013


EVENTS HOLY SEE DEBUTS PAVILION AT VENICE BIENNALE For the first time in history, a major secular arts festival will include an exhibit from the Holy See. The president of the famous Venice Biennale, Paolo Baratta, spoke about the Vatican’s presence at this year’s May 2013 Biennale. There is no shortage of artistic inspiration within the Vatican’s […]

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Reporting History

The Eternal City usually begins to wake up from its winter torpor in mid-March; this year, however, Rome suddenly woke up as early as February, jolted out of sleep by an event which put it in the limelight. Pope Ratzinger’s unexpected decision to resign, announced in Latin during an ordinary consistory on February 11, opened […]

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