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 on October 26 will allow Rome’s diocesan and religious priests, seminarians, and the faithful among the people of Summorum Pontificum to show Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos their gratitude and affection for everything he has done in the service of the Church, especially at the time of the preparation of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum (July 7, 2007), which His Eminence supported and of which he is the living memory.

The CISP especially wishes also to express its gratitude to His Eminence for coming to celebrate Mass, because October 26 is the 61st anniversary of the cardinal’s ordination to the priesthood in the Basilica of the Holy Apostles in Rome on October 26, 1952.

This Pontifical High Mass of thanksgiving at St. Peter’s will be one of the central points of the pilgrimage. The Mass is intended to show publicly the eternal youth of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, by means of which the people of Summorum Pontificum will contribute to the missionary zeal of the New Evangelization.

This is the fifth pontifical Mass in the extraordinary rite to be celebrated at St. Peter’s Basilica since the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum in 2007, and the second one personally celebrated by His Eminence Dario Castrillón Hoyos, after his first celebration on November 5, 2011, for the general assembly of the international Una Voce Society in Rome.

—Alberto Carosa



Media-savvy Italian Cardinal ERSILIO TONINI, whose informal nickname was “God’s communicator,” died on July 28 at the age of 99. The retired archbishop of Ravenna-Cervia frequently commented on social issues in the Italian media and never treated any topic, even hot-button issues, as off-limits, both in his own writings and in broadcast interviews. Whether it was bioethics, proposals to legalize prostitution or economic policies, the cardinal was always ready with a quick quip or lengthy theological essay. After he retired in 1990 (23 years ago), he began a career as a self-proclaimed “nomad bishop,” who was “on a journey to understand our times,” take the pulse of the people, give witness to his faith and air his beliefs. He said it was important to be in contact with people, especially those who suffer because of social and political problems. “I believe that there must be someone who warns and who points out dangers,” he said. While he said he once “feared” the press, he later saw the mass media as “a blessing because it reaches people” and helps them to “become informed and judge.” —CNS



When he’s riding in the popemobile — at the Vatican or, for example, in Rio de Janeiro — POPE FRANCIS uses his hands not just to bless people and hold the babies he’s kissing. He uses them to catch things.

Tossing, lobbing and throwing things to the Pope or into the popemobile has been a growing phenomenon at the Vatican, but it took on epic portions during World Youth Day in Rio.

“We filled a jeep four times with objects of every kind,” said Alberto Gasbarri, the chief organizer of papal trips.

The haul was divided between the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro and the Vatican, Gasbarri told Catholic News Service August 6. Some of the things left behind will be souvenirs of the Pope’s visit, while much of the clothing will be distributed to the poor.

The same thing happens at the Vatican with papal gifts. Items handed to the Pope or simply tossed into the popemobile are sorted. Some end up catalogued and stored, including in the Vatican Museums, but the clothing and most of the edibles(!) go to the diocesan Caritas, the Vatican shelter run by the Missionaries of Charity, or the Vatican’s maternal and pediatric clinic, which serves mainly immigrants and is run by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul.

At least once, Pope Francis reached into the bottom of the popemobile and recycled a gift himself. During a weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square in mid-June — a hot, intensely sunny day — the Pope kissed two little boys and motioned for their parents to put hats on them. A little while later, one of the Vatican security officers held up another hatless boy. The Pope kissed the boy, patted him on the cheek, and then told the officer to wait while he reached down and found a hat. The green baseball cap was a little large, but he put it on the boy’s head anyway.

—Cindy Wooden



The new addition to the papal fleet — a silver-white four-door 1984 Renault with 186,000 miles on the odometer — happened on Saturday, September 7, just a few hours before the prayer vigil in St. Peter’s Square.

POPE FRANCIS didn’t get his “new wheels” on eBay. Italian Father Renzo Zocca wrote to the pontiff this summer, saying he wanted to meet him, donate his car, and tell him about his ministry: living and working for 25 years in a run-down, working-class neighborhood in Verona, a northern Italian city. Then, on August 10 at 10:19 a.m., Father Zocca received a call on his cell from the Pope. Pope Francis had received the priest’s letter, and they spent half an hour talking about the priest’s work “on the peripheries,” where the Pope has repeatedly urged today’s priests to go.

The Pope was unsure, the priest said, and suggested the priest give the car to the poor. “I answered that this car had already given much to the poor and now it had to go to the Pope,” Zocca said. He said that he wanted to give the Pope something that was a testimony to his experience and ministry of going into the outskirts “and what better gift than my Renault 4?”

They met in the Vatican. Before saying goodbye, the Holy Father told Father Zocca, “‘Write me again.’ Then I gave him the keys and he got behind the wheel,” the priest said. “I watched him drive off in that car as if it were the most normal thing in the world.”


For the first time in 15 years, POPE FRANCIS was not able on August 7 to walk along the line of people waiting to get into the Shrine of St. Cajetan to listen to them and bless them.

However, Pope Francis did not want to miss an opportunity to speak to the pilgrims lined up in Buenos Aires to celebrate the feast day of St. Cajetan, patron of Argentina and of jobseekers.

Beginning at midnight on the feast day, Pope Francis’ recorded video message was being played over and over on big screens at the entrance to the shrine and was being broadcast throughout the day on Channel 21, the television station of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires.

Pope Francis began by saying he still wanted to continue celebrating the feast with the pilgrims, just like he did every year after becoming archbishop in 1998.

—Cindy Wooden, CNS

A Legionary priest who led a major overhaul of the Vatican’s telecommunications infrastructure and set up public email addresses for two Popes has been named the new secretary-general of the office governing Vatican City.

Spanish-born Legionary of Christ Father FERNANDO VERGEZ, 68, fills a vacancy recently left by Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca, whom the Pope named August 24 to the Vatican’s supreme tribunal as adjunct secretary under US Cardinal Raymond Burke.

Father Vergez, who is director of the Vatican’s telecommunications department, will continue to hold his old post while serving in his new capacity at the governor’s office.

n On August 3, Pope Francis re-appointed Archbishop GUIDO POZZO as secretary to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. This was the position he occupied from July 8, 2009 until November 3, 2012 (about a year ago), when he was appointed Almoner to His Holiness. The Commission was established in 1988 and is responsible for all communities, groups and orders of tradition-minded Catholics in the Church.

Replacing Archbishop Pozzo as the Almoner to His Holiness is Msgr. Konrad Krajewski, one of the papal masters of ceremonies, who is also made titular archbishop of Benevento.

—Carol Glatz, CNS


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