Vatican Watch Archives

An archive of Vatican events and affairs.

Pope Francis to Clergy Plenary: prayer key to mission


Pope Francis addressed the participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Congregation for Clergy on Thursday. The Plenary Assembly opened on May 30th, with a packed schedule that included the introduction, consideration, and discussion of several major documents, one of which was the draft text of an Instruction “On some questions regarding the parish, the […]

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Vatican Watch June-July 2016

6.03.2013 Basilica Vaticana. Congregazioni Generali dei Cardinali. I Cardinali si riuniscono per i Vespri e l'Adorazione Eucaristica. Il Card. Mauro Piacenza.

APRIL FRIDAY 29 Blood-red Trevi Fountain a Wake-up Call on Christian Persecution Illuminated by the red light that spilled across Rome’s Trevi Fountain this evening, voices from persecuted Christian communities across the world shared stories of friends and loved ones killed for the faith, and urged the world to take greater action in putting an […]

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Vatican Watch April 2016

Syrian refugees walk through the Za'atri refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq Aug. 30. The U.N. refugee agency said that 100,000 refugees fled Syria to neighboring countries in August, the highest monthly toll since the crisis began. (CNS photo/Majed Jaber, Reuters) (Sept. 4, 2012)movement.

APRIL FRIDAY 1 Pope Francis Sends Vestments, Financial Aid to Iraqi Christians As a sign of affection and closeness, Pope Francis has decided to send vestments used in the liturgy and a financial donation to Christian refugees in Erbil through the Catholic pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need. “Mercy invites us to bend […]

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Vatican Watch


NOVEMBER SUNDAY 1 The Path of the Beatitudes The beatitudes are the most direct path toward happiness and holiness, Pope Francis said during Mass on All Saints’ Day. He urged the congregation to imitate Jesus in walking the difficult, yet rewarding, road to heaven. The Pope said the beatitudes make up “the path of holiness, […]

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Vatican Watch

fr. fidel CaStro 20150921cnsnw0144

SEPTEMBER Friday 18 Vatican parish welcomes first refugee family following Pope’s appeal The Vatican announced that a family of four — mother, father and two children — was welcomed by the community of the Vatican’s St. Anne Parish in Rome after Pope Francis made an appeal earlier this month for every church in Europe to […]

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Vatican Watch February 2015

Pope Francis greets a baby while meeting newly married couples during his general audience in the Paul IV Hall at the Vatican.

SUNDAY 4 Pray for peace, look to Mary Peace is a gift. It comes through prayer and small daily efforts to sow harmony in one’s family, parish and community, Pope Francis said today. “At the beginning of this new year, we are all called to re­ignite in our hearts a spark of hope, which must […]

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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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Decision Near on Medjugorje and the alleged apparitions

The Medjuogroje Commission was initiated by Pope Benedict XVI almost four years ago, on March 17, 2010. He entrusted the work to Cardinal Camilio Ruini (in the foreground).

A commission set up by the Vatican to study the alleged apparitions at Medjugorje in Bosnia has completed its work and handed in its report. Next: a decision… Granting Medjugorje the status of an approved Catholic shrine is among the recommendations that the Vatican Commmission on Medjugorje handed over to the Congregation for the Doctrine […]

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The Pastoral Geopolitics of the Domus Sanctae Marthae

Pope Francis greets a Swiss Guard as he arrives at the Domus Sanctae Marthae at the Vatican Oct. 24 (CNS photo).

The first months of Pope Francis’ pontificate and the new view of the Vatican and the Church. The text was first published on the Il Sismografo website on December 20.  Geopolitics is synthetically, but appropriately, referred to as the discipline dealing with the relation between politics and geography. Also, a country’s foreign policy is deeply […]

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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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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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Lack of Transparency over Consultants’ Pay Prompts Questions

In July, Pope Francis set up an 8-member commission to study the Vatican’s economic and administrative structures as part of an effort to reform the Roman Curia. (The Maltese economist and businessman Joseph F.X. Zahra is head of the commission.)   Yesterday, the Vatican announced that two new contracts have been awarded to major outside […]

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Special Devotion, Proper Respect and Reverence for the Holy Eucharist

Athanasius Schneider:
Corpus Christi la Santa Comunione e il rinnovamento 
della Chiesa.

Many Catholics on opposing sides of the religious spectrum, namely those in favor of tradition and others upholding a progressive vision of the Church, perhaps still remember, albeit for different reasons, the celebration of the Feast of Corpus Christi in Rome on May 25, 2008, when Benedict XVI started for the first time to publicly […]

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A Musician-Diplomat among the Bishops

Msgr. Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, plays the piano.

Interview with Msgr. Lorenzo Baldisseri, the new secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, who has served as apostolic nuncio in many countries. “When it came to making the act of obedience to the new Pope, I got in line — as secretary of the conclave — behind the cardinals, in order to kneel before […]

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Christmas with the Band of the Pontifical Swiss Guard

A soldier of the Pontifical Swiss Guard during Pope Benedicts XVI's prayer.

The Swiss Guard Band usually performs a Christmas concert each december in St. Peters Square. Here a brief history of the band of the Pontifical Swiss Guard. One of the newest Christmas traditions in the Vatican is the Pope’s visit to a larger-than-life Nativity Scene in St. Peter’s Square on December 31 after Vespers in […]

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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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Turkish Catholics Caught Between Two Fires

A Franciscan Capuchin, the archbishop of Smyrna, Turkey (and, since the mur­der of Bishop Luigi Pado­vese on June 3, 2010, apostolic administrator of Anatolia), Ruggero Fran­ceschini, 73, is a witness to the life of the Catholic Church in Turkey. Here, he speaks of the difficulties facing Christians in a Muslim country and expresses hope that […]

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January and February: A Day-by-Day Chronicle of Vatican Events

Pope Benedict and two Italian schoolchildren watch after releasing a dove from the window of the Pope’s apartment overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican January 29. After praying the Angelus, the Pope and the children released doves as a symbol of peace.

January Tuesday 8 “BE LIKE GOOD SAMARITAN, HELP THOSE IN NEED” In a message for the 2013 World Day of the Sick, thanking those who care for the sick and elderly, the Pope underlined the Church’s fundamental role in “lovingly and generously accepting every human being, especially those who are weak and sick.” The World […]

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Homily by Benedict XVI for the Creation of Six New Cardinals

Dear Brothers and Sisters, These words, which the new Cardinals are soon to proclaim in the course of their solemn profession of faith, come from the Niceno-Constantinopolitan creed, the synthesis of the Church’s faith that each of us receives at baptism. Only by professing and preserving this rule of truth intact can we be authentic […]

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Celebrating Church’s Universality, Pope Creates New Cardinals

On November 24, Benedict XVI appointed six new cardinals from the US, Lebanon, Philippines, Nigeria, Colombia and India, in a ceremony in St. Peter’s Basilica. Recalling that Christ’s mission transcends “all ethnic, national and religious particularities,” Pope Ben­e­­dict XVI on November 24 created six new cardinals from four different continents, representing the Latin rite of […]

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