Letter #19, 2017: After Fatima…


May 15, 2017, Monday “I saw that American leaders wanted to cooperate with Russia.”—The influential Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, the Oxford-educated “Foreign Minister” of the increasingly powerful Russian Orthodox Church, in an interview published today on the website of the Russian Orthodox Moscow Patriarchate. The interview follows Hilarion’s four-day trip to Washington D.C. to […]

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Pope Francis in Fatima: arrival ceremony


Pope Francis’s plane touched down at Monte Real Air Base shortly before 4:30pm local time in Portugal. The sky was threatening for much of the afternoon – not in the way it is always threatening a little rain in the height of springtime a thousand feet up and twenty-odd miles off the Atlantic coast – […]

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Letter #12, 2017: A Communist Ecumenist?


March 27, 2017, Monday — A Communist Ecumenist? Zyuganov on the Split between Eastern and Western Christianity I have been trying to drive home one fundamental point for more than 20 years now, both in the pages of Inside the Vatican magazine, and in the work of the Urbi et Orbi Foundation which seeks to […]

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Catholic theologian urges closer ties with Russian Orthodox


15 Feb 2017 – By Jonathan Luxmoore OXFORD, England (CNS) — A prominent Catholic ecumenist has urged a better understanding of the Russian Orthodox Church. “Those suspicious of the Russian Orthodox stance should go and see what’s happening,” said Barbara Hallensleben, a consultor with the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. “Of course, nationalist […]

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Georgia’s ambassador on expectations for papal visit


Pope Francis takes off for the Georgian capital Tbilisi on Friday for a two-day visit to the majority Orthodox republic. As well as meeting with religious and civil authorities in Tbilisi, the Pope will travel to the nearby ancient city of Mtskheta, founded in the 5th century BC and famed as one of UNESCO’s World […]

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Urbi et Orbi: Spirituality, The Orthodox Saints Speak

gregory palamas

We are made up of a soul and body, and both soul and body consist of many members. For the soul too has members after a fashion: those parts of it concerned with growth, desiring, anger and reason. Therefore, true fasting must extend to every part, cleansing and healing them all. Fasting, brethren, gently and […]

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Urbi et Orbi Section: The Liturgical Year


Why is the Great Pascha on a Different Date than Easter? This year the Orthodox Church celebrated the Great Pascha, their Easter, on May 1, several weeks after the rest of the Christian world celebrated Easter. This feast is preceded by a Holy Week similar to the Catholic one, and has the same meaning and […]

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Inside the Vatican Brief Overview of Today’s American Catholic Print Publications

Inside the Vatican Brief Overview of Today’s American Catholic Print Publications By Inside the Vatican Staff Print magazines in the United States are generally in a steady decline that has lasted since the mid-1990s, with the arrival of the internet. As more Catholic publications choose to join the ever-growing number of online periodicals, the remaining […]

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Regina Caeli: On the Suffering in Ukraine


“My thoughts go out to all populations that thirst for reconciliation and peace” On this day that is, as it were, the heart of the Holy Year of Mercy, my thoughts go out to all populations that thirst for reconciliation and peace. I think in particular of the turmoil, here in Europe, of those who […]

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News from the East

Roma 14 Marzo 2013 - Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore Papa Francesco cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio in preghiera nella Cappella Paolina all' altare della Madonna Salus Populi Romani il giorno dopo la sua elezione

Moving Toward Unity The Catholic and Orthodox Churches may be entering a new era of reconciliation. Three prominent Catholic figures with years of experience working with the Eastern Churches comment on recent developments and the progress toward unity they may augur Pope Francis, “Bishop of Rome”: Creating New Space for Dialog By Fr. James McCann […]

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Christians Have to Walk the Walk


“How many parents say they are Catholics, but never have time to talk to their children, to play with their children, to listen to their children”   Christians cannot claim to be “very Catholic” and then not live in accordance with what Christ teaches, Pope Francis said today in his morning homily at Casa Santa […]

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Letter #12: The Common Declaration

February 12, 2016, Friday — Today’s Common Declaration of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill in Cuba The Middle East — “We call upon the international community to act urgently in order to prevent the further expulsion of Christians from the Middle East.”—Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill, Common statement, issued today in Cuba, just a few […]

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Letter #10, 2016: The Passion that Looms Over the Pope-Kirill Meeting

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February 6, 2016, Saturday — The Passion that Looms Over the Pope Francis-Patriarch Kirill Meeting in Cuba The “Diplomacy of Music” I just received an email bringing my attention to an article by Dr. Terry Mattingly, an Orthodox scholar and writer who edits the popular GetReligion.org website. Here is the link. The Mattingly article quotes […]

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Letter #9: More on the Pope Francis-Patriarch Kirill Meeting in Cuba

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February 5, 2016, Friday — More on the Pope Francis-Patriarch Kirill Meeting in Havana, Cuba, on February 12 “Thus, in full awareness and at the beginning of his ministry in the Church of Rome that Peter bathed with his blood, the current successor assumes as his primary commitment that of working tirelessly towards the reconstruction […]

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Angelus on the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul


Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning! Today the Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul is celebrated, as you know, by the universal Church, but particularly with joy by the Church of Rome, because in their witness, sealed in blood, she has her very foundations. Rome bears special appreciation and gratitude for these men of God, […]

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Letter #22, 2015: Putin and Pope Francis

June 10, 2015, Wednesday — Putin and Pope Francis President Putin came to Pope Francis this evening to speak about possible pathways to peace in Ukraine and the Middle East. Putin, who had been in Milan in northern Italy at a major international exposition on food worldwide, arrived a little after 6 p.m. — about […]

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A Special Christmas Message

A Special Christmas Appeal December 16, 2014 Dear friend, Greetings. At this Christmas time, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for reading my newsflashes and for your support over the years. I would also like to invite you to join with me as supporters and co-workers. We continue to publish Inside the […]

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Letter # 44, 2014: 1st Annual Urbi et Orbi Dinner

December 6, 2014, Saturday — Orthodox and Catholics to Gather at Papal Nunciature The text below is the Press Release for the 1st Annual Urbi et Orbi Foundation dinner on December 10, 2014, in Washington D.C., at the papal nunciature. PRESS RELEASE –For Immediate Release– December 6, Washington, DC — The Urbi et Orbi Foundation […]

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Orthodox and Catholics set Christ at center of Europe’s renewal


“As pastors we want to continue to bring the best of our moral teaching to our people, and as citizens to present it to our governments and to the European institutions,” two dozen Orthodox and Cath­olic bishops of Europe said in a joint statement issued after a 5-day meeting in Minsk, Belarus, in early June. […]

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