Vatican Watch – April 2013

February Monday 11 POPE BENEDICT ANNOUNCES HE WILL RESIGN “After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry,” the pontiff told the cardinals and announced that he would be resigning at […]

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An interview with the new Australian ambassador to the Holy See

John McCarthy presents his credentials to Benedict XVI
on November 5, 2012
(Photos courtesy of Australian Embassy to the Holy See).

“There is only one embassy to the Holy See in Rome with windows from which you are in line of sight with the papal apartments and could wave to the Pope,”says the new Australian ambassador to the Holy See with a humorous smile, as he receives me on a rainy day in his office just […]

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St. Peter’s Journey: The meaning of Faith

With his Apostolic Letter Porta Fidei, the Holy Father, now emeritus, had proclaimed a Year of Faith (October 11, 2012-November 24, 2013) to commemorate the Second Vatican Council’s opening 50 years ago and the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church 20 years ago. Only five days before Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, Cardinal Tarcisio […]

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People – April 2013

DURING THE SEDE VACANTE Cardinal TARCISIO BERTONE leaves his position as secretary of state; with the interregnum the real work begins in his position as CAMERLENGO or CHAMBERLAIN of the Holy Roman Church; during the period when there is no Pope, he is charged with administering the temporal goods of the Church. When the private […]

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Francis, a Name with Implications

A number of gestures and actions by the newly-elected Pope, former Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis (but without the ordinal I, as expressly pointed out by the Sala Stampa Vaticana’s Father Lombardi) in the initial days of his pontificate have been hailed with words like humility, simplicity, care for the poor and […]

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Excerpts From The Holy Father’s Lectio Divina

We have heard three verses from the First Letter of St. Peter (cf. 1:3-5). Before going into this text, it seems to me important to be aware of the fact that it is Peter who is speaking. The first two words of the Letter are “Petrus apostolus” (cf. v.1): he speaks and he speaks to […]

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Benedict’s Last Lesson on the Papacy

Peter’s Repentance by Guido Reni, in the Hermitage Museum.

On Friday, February 8, 2013, Pope Benedict gave a deeply Roman, Petrine lesson in his meeting with the seminarians of Rome in the chapel of the Pontifical Roman Seminary. Three days later, on Monday, February 11, in a morning meeting with his cardinals, he announced his decision to step down from the papacy. So these were his […]

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I Ask That You Would Pray to the Lord that He Bless Me

Pope Francis

The white smoke came at 7:06 p.m. on the evening of the second day of the Conclave, after the fifth vote. The College of Cardinals chose Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, S.J., 76, to become the 266th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, the first Pope ever from Latin America and the first Jesuit ever. He […]

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Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica

Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals, presides over the Pro Eligendo Pontifice Mass (Mass for the Election of the Roman Pontiff) in St. Peter’s Basilica on March 12.

In the presence of the entire College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, 85, the Dean of the College (he did not enter the Conclave to vote, because he is past the age of 80), delivered the homily “Pro Eligendo Romano Pontifice” (“For the Election of the Roman Pontiff”) in St. Peter’s Basilica — the last […]

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Our Lady of Africa

In our day, we tend to think of North Africa as being under the dominion of Islam, but in the second century AD the region was part of the Roman Empire, and by the third century, under Emperor Constantine, it began to become Christian. This was once the land of Saint Augustine, and it remained […]

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A Restaurant with Peruvian Cuisine and a Hotel Run by Missionary Sisters

Rome is host to many international styles of cuisine as well as to all the forms of Italian cooking. In recent years one of the types of food which has increased in popularity is Peruvian. So this time we are taking you to Inka’s Grill, founded in 2006, and located in the Boccea area of […]

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The New Pope’s Clothes Are Ready

Annibale Gammarelli.

On February 11, a drowsy winter day, Annibale Gammarelli was working in his tailor’s workshop located in the building of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, close to the Pantheon and the Basilica of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva. At about midday a friend of his called him and told him excitedly: “Benedict XVI has resigned!” Annibale could […]

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An interview with Cardinal Damasceno Assis

Cardinal Damasceno Assis.

We met Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis, one of the three Brazilian cardinals who entered the conclave. Archbishop of Aparecida and president of the Brazilian Episcopal Conference, he told Inside the Vatican about the Conclave and talks about the Latin American Church, which is living a phase of missionary revival after the fifth Conference of CELAM […]

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Short-Lived Stars

The Sistine Chapel prepared for the conclave (Galazka photos).

Incredible though it may sound, until the new Pope is elected, the main characters of the conclave are two stoves; it is up to them to announce to the world that the Pope has been elected or that he is yet to be elected, with a white or black puff of smoke respectively. In fact, […]

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An interview with Cardinal Claudio Hummes

Pope Francis leaves the Sistine Chapel after being elected Pope and shortly before appearing for the first time on the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica with Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Vicar of Rome, and Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Clergy (CNS photo)

“Francis has already given us a great deal of joy, and I’m sure he will give us more with words and above all with gestures inspired by evangelical simplicity which everybody has understood and which will usher in a new era in the life of the Church.” Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes of the Friars Minor […]

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Toward the Conclave: Reflections

Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo, 
Archbishop of Ranchi (India)

On Tuesday morning, March 12, at 10 a.m., a Mass pro eligendo Romano Pontifice is celebrated in St. Peter’s Basilica. This is the last act of the cardinals’ General Congregations (pre-conclave meetings) and the first act of the Conclave which opens this afternoon. The Dean of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, presides over this Mass. All […]

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When We Walk Without the Cross…

Here is the complete text, delivered without notes, of Pope Francis’ first homily given on March 14, in the Sistine Chapel where he had been elected Pope the day before. In these three readings, I see that there is something in common: it is movement. In the first reading, movement in walking; in the second […]

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Key Symbols of the Petrine Office

Some of the special guests, reigning royals, and heads of state.

“The correct term for the ceremony,” Fr. Lombardi clarified, “is not enthronement but inauguration. As successor of Peter, the Pope is Bishop of Rome, and the Church of Rome ‘presides in love’ over the others. Also, it is a celebration rich with symbols that recall the Pope’s tie to St. Peter, beginning with the place […]

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Pope Francis’ First Day

Pope Francis prays in front of Salus Populi Romani, (“Salvation of the Roman People”), 
a Marian icon in a chapel of the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome, March 14 (CNS photo)

Pope Francis, on the first day after his election, did four remarkable things — and did not do a fifth.     1. Mary At about 8 a.m., he slipped out of the Vatican in a single, unmarked black car — a Volkswagen, not a Mercedes — without an escort, and drove across Rome to […]

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A Meeting of Choices

Cardinal Odilio Pedro Scherer, Archbishop of São Paulo (Brazil).

With the beginning of the sede vacante, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals, summoned the cardinals to the first General Congregation, as provided for by the Apostolic Constitution (March 1). The members of the College of Cardinals — including both voters and non-voters — were ga thered in meetings called General Congregations […]

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