After 1,000 Years, the Pope and the Patriarch Meet

Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow sign a joint declaration during a meeting at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana Feb. 12. Standing in front of Cuba's flag is Cuban President Raul Castro. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-PATRIARCH-CUBA Feb. 12, 2016.

There is no doubt that the meeting between the Catholic Pope Francis and Kirill, Russian Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus’ was, in every estimation, historic: the first face-to-face encounter of its kind since the Great Schism separated Catholicism and Orthodoxy in 1054. The meeting — and the “Joint Declaration” document that resulted — […]

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The Words of Pope Francis: “Love’s Second Name”


“Mercy is God’s distinctive mark,” says Fr. John Saward, the formerly Anglican, now Catholic priest in England: it is His goodness “coming to the aid of our misery, especially the misery of sin.” But, as Pope Francis explains in this beautiful talk, his first catechesis on mercy, this attribute of God is not incidental to […]

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People February 2016

Greg Burke, senior communications advisor to the Vatican Secretariat of State, speaks at a press conference at the Vatican in this Dec. 3, 2012, file photo. Pope Francis has appointed Burke, a native of St. Louis, as the vice director of the Holy See press office. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-BURKE-TIGHE Dec. 21, 2015.

Vatican Communications Offices Continue Restructuring Proceeding according to a four-year plan for restructuring, the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, announced December 21 that the Holy See press office’s administrative and human resources branches are to be handed over to the new Secretariat for Communications. The same day, the Holy See press office announced […]

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Reflecting on the “Widow” Whose Sole Hope Is the Lord


Pope Francis gave an eloquent homily at his morning Mass in the chapel of the Domus Santa Marta on November 23, the Feast of Pope St. Clement I. Clement was a disciple of St. Peter and was Pope from 92 to 99 A.D. (the exact years are not fully certain). He was considered by many […]

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Three Cities, Three “Spheres”

Pope Francis Visits the US

The Pope will visit Washington, Philadelphia and New York. Can Americans renew the “all-encompassing Christian life”? Three cities in the United States will receive Pope Francis during his first visit here as Pope; for whatever reasons the Holy Father chose them, they are in some sense emblematic of three “spheres” of human society in which […]

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The Upcoming Synod on the Family: The Debate So Far

Here, an image from the beginning of the Synod on the Family in 2014, on October 6. This afternoon session was held in the presence of Pope Francis in the Synod Hall (Galazka photo)

Pope Francis convenes an Ordinary Synod on the Family in October 2015 to address the mounting crisis of marriage and family life; it will build on themes discussed in last October’s preparatory Extraordinary Synod Pope Francis looked to the West, and to the world, and saw families, mired in a media-fed culture of libertinism and […]

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The Secret Meeting

The main entrance of the Gregorian University in Rome where the 
May 25 secret meeting was held

On May 25, a group of about 50 cardinals, bishops and theologians invited by the German, Swiss and French bishops’ conferences met behind closed doors at the Gregorian University. One of a handful of reporters present said the discussion seemed “revolutionary, uttered by clergymen” The German, Swiss and French presidents of the Catholic Bishops’ Conferences […]

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Being and Becoming an Angel

Devotees present a relic of new St. Mary of Jesus Crucified during the Mass.

Pope Francis ignited a firestorm the day before the May 17 canonization of four new saints, two of them Palestinian women, when he exchanged gifts with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and uttered a now-famous remark expressing the hope that Mr. Abbas would be an instrument (an “angel”) of peace in the war-torn land of his […]

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“The ‘Soft Power’ of Vatican Diplomacy Is as Necessary as Ever”

al diplomatic role. Right, the visit of President George W. Bush and his wife Laura to Pope Benedict XVI. Accompanying them was then Archbishop, now Cardinal James Harvey, whom Rooney cites with appreciation in his book (Galazka photo)

An interview with Francis Rooney, U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See under President George W. Bush Ambassador Francis Rooney served at the Vatican from 2005 to 2008. He is the author of The Global Vatican, which weaves his personal experiences as ambassador into the historical and theoretical context of Vatican and US diplomacy in the […]

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Pope Francis Jubilee Year of Mercy

On December 8, Pope Francis will open the Holy Door in St. Peter’s Basilica to begin the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Here, the complete text of the document in which the Pope announced the year

Why This Jubilee of Mercy? Wishing to pour on the spiritual wounds of every human being the balm of God’s mercy in abundance, Pope Francis has issued a Bull of Indiction announcing to the world the beginning of an Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, to open on December 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, […]

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Cardinal Edward Egan Dedicated Priest in Troubled Times

The late Cardinal Edward Michael Egan in 2003 at the jubilee of John Paul II.

The sudden death of Cardinal Edward Egan, 82, the Archbishop of New York for nine years (2000-2009), prompted sadness for his passing and appreciation for his multifaceted career. He was appointed by Pope John Paul II to succeed the popular John Cardinal O’Connor as Archbishop of New York at the Pope’s express desire (Egan’s name […]

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Urbi et Orbi Section

Fresco of St. John Chrysostom.

Our special Urbi et Orbi section, in which we highlight the spirituality, prayer, customs and practices of our brothers and sisters in the churches of the East, continues… We begin the penitential season of Lent — the season in which we most profoundly enter into the mysteries of Christ’s redemption of the human race. And […]

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Cardinals: Defenders of the Faith

Pope John Paul II and Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio.

The new cardinals chosen by Pope Francis are pastors of rapidly growing flocks in many “peripheral” regions of the world. But they are not “progressives.” Rather, they are staunchly orthodox men of Christian faith who are leading the Church into her future — which may not include the traditional “heartland” of the Church. In much of the secular […]

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Urbi et Orbi Section: Our First Annual Dinner & Retreat

From left: Dr. Robert Moynihan, Fr. Josiah Trenham, Deacon Peter Kozdrin, Leonid Sevastianov, Fr. Ogulchanskyi Bohdan, Alex Sigov, Igor Novikov, Msgr. Duarte de Cunha at the National Press Club, December 11, 2014.

GATHERING CLERGY, SCHOLARS, MEMBERS OF the media and activists from 12 nations and more than 8 Christian churches of Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant communions, the Urbi et Orbi Foundation held its first annual Dinner and Retreat to celebrate two years of “building bridges” between the East and West, so that Christianity may “breathe,” as Pope […]

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Eugene and Jacqueline Rivers – Scholar and Protestant minister

Dr. Jacqueline Rivers

The son of divorced parents who belonged to the Nation of Islam when he was growing up in Chicago, Rev. Dr. Eugene Rivers has been speaking out for the revival of Christian family values in the black community for more than 30 years. Now located in Boston, he is a nationally-known inner-city pastor of a […]

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Vatican Watch January 2015

Tracey Rowland, dean of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family in Melbourne, Australia, is one of five women on the 30-member International Theological Commission.

Sunday 30 “Let them know the affection and warmth,” pope says During the Year of Consecrated Life, thank God for the gifts those in religious life give the Church and the world, join them in prayer and support them and their ministries, Pope Francis said. “Let them know the affection and the warmth which the […]

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