September 29, Feast of St. Michael

    Left, a 600-year-old Russian icon of St. Michael the Archangel. It was done by St. Andrei Rublev and dates from the early 1400s.

    St. Michael’s Feast Day is September 29 in the West, November 18 in the East.

    St. Michael is not a saint in the traditional sense, but rather an archangel, the leader of all angels in the army of God.

September 29, 2020, Feast of St. Michael the Archangel

    Finding Viganò

    A year ago, I went in search of the “archbishop in hiding,” Carlo Maria Viganò, and found him.

    We spoke over many days. Our conversations were recorded. I then transcribed the tapes and started the work of preparing a book for publication. Our conversations then continued to the present.

    Events I did not anticipate delayed the project. Then the Coronavirus appeared, and in the early spring my father fell ill and passed away.

    The passage of a year meant that the archbishop continued to reflect. During the summer of 2020, I was able to reduce more than 2,000 pages of text to 400 pages, presenting what I felt was essential. I finished the book, sending it to press this morning, September 29, the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel.

    I wished in my research, interviewing and writing to contribute in some way to a clarification of issues. The goal of the book is to accurately present the heart and mind of the archbishop.

    The archbishop has seen the text, and has told me he appreciates the work I carried out “con tutto il tuo cuore e la tua mente” (“with all your heart and mind”).

    The composition of this work was my own, the choice of what to include and leave out was my own, and the limitations in the work — and I am well aware that there are many — are my own responsibility.    

    The book will be published by TAN Books, publishers of many wonderful, traditional Catholic books. I wish to thank my editor, John Moorehouse, for his great support, and his wife, Robin, for reading the book before publication.

    Printed copies should be available in about six weeks’ time. (Of course, all who pre-ordered the book several months ago will automatically receive it as soon as it is published.) The book is dedicated to my father. May his soul rest in peace, and may eternal light shine upon him. Continued below—RM

Text below appears on the book’s dust jacket:


    In Search of the Man Whose Testimony Shook the Church and the World

    In 2018, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò released an eleven-page testimony that rocked the world. In it, he called out the corruption of the Church, especially with regards to its handling of the sexual abuse crisis—addressing most specifically the case of disgraced now ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick—and stunningly called for the resignation of Pope Francis. And then he was gone . . . at least physically.

    In these pages, longtime Vatican journalist Robert Moynihan, publisher of Inside the Vatican magazine, brings to bear his vast experience in the corridors of power in Rome as well as his long-standing friendship with Viganò to produce a book that provides both an incisive look at the content of the “Testimony” itself and, through interviews conducted in-person with the archbishop at undisclosed locations, a personal look at the man whose conscience compelled him to speak out about the corruption in which the Church he loves, and to which he has given his life, has been mired for years.

P.S. Also, in honor of my late father and of my many “spiritual fathers” in the Church, I would like to announce today the launch of a new project of the Urbi et Orbi Foundation, founded in 2012 to try to “build bridges” between separated Christians through “common projects.”

    We will follow in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226), who at the age of 24 in 1205 heard the cross of San Damiano speak to him saying, “Francis, go and rebuild my Church, which as you can see is falling into ruins.”

    The new project, entitled, “Go and rebuild my Church,” will be a type of “School of Formation” centered in Assisi, Italy, but reaching out to the entire world through the internet and virtual conferences and pilgrimages. The project will be placed at the service of the bishop of Assisi, Domenico Sorrentino, under the patronage of the young Servant of God Carlo Acutis, who died at the age of 15 in the year 2006, and who will be beatified in Assisi on October 10, in 12 days.



    In light of the beatification of Servant of God Carlo Acutis (see below) and the recent confusing and divisive events in the world and Church, we are launching an ambitious campaign for unity in the Church and in the world. The time is now. It is urgent and we heed the call St. Francis received, “Come rebuild my Church.”

     The initiatives we are launching are:

  1. Creation of a Center for Unity in Assisi: A collaborative space where we will sponsor conferences, round-tables, concerts and retreats to build unity within the Catholic Church and with the Orthodox.
  2. Expansion of the Urbi et Orbi Foundation: Scholarships for Catholic and Orthodox Universities and Pilgrimage Exchange programs for priests between Catholics and Orthodox.
  3. Continued development of our Digital Outreach and Print Publications: Inside the Vatican magazine, new book publications, the Moynihan Letters, and Virtual Pilgrimages and Meetings
  4. Formation of the Urbi et Orbi Women’s Council: Catholic and Orthodox women work together for unity in conjunction with the Holy See and the leadership of the Orthodox Churches.

    Today is the feast day of St. Michael the Archangel. Our spiritual battle is not between one ideology and another (liberal, conservative, radical, communist). The true battle is the battle St. Francis fought. It is a battle for the Church, to rebuild the Church and to unify the Church. But where does this battle take place? In the heart. In the soul. In prayer. In common work.

    Our Catholic and Orthodox Churches have been fighting spiritual battles as separated Churches.

    In the Gospel of Mark 3:25, Jesus states, “And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” 

    Our battle is between what is worldly and what is earthly, between what is material and what is transcendent, heavenly, spiritual. Our goal: to help unify individual souls with God, to increase unity within our Catholic Church, and to move toward unity with the Orthodox Churches.

    We will be sharing more in the coming weeks. If you would like to be one of the first to receive any news on this new initiative, click here to send us an email.


Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Virtual Pilgrimage with the Bishop of Assisi, Domenico Sorrentino

Carlo was a normal young man who played soccer, learned to program his computer and hiked in the mountains. He was special because he was filled with love for the Eucharist and attended daily Mass even when his parents did not go with him. “His whole life was filled with the love of God,” his mother, Antonia, said after he died of leukemia in 2006 at the age of 15. He died just days after his diagnosis, devastating his parents. We think he will become a spiritual model for young people in our difficult times.

You will not want to miss this Virtual Pilgrimage! (Click here to sign up)

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We ask you to support Urbi et Orbi Communications with a small or large contribution, at this difficult time, in order…

    (1) to keep Inside the Vatican Magazine (which we have published since its founding in 1993, 27 years ago) independent and comprehensive… a unique lens into the Church and the World. Now available to you digitally as well as in print!

    (2) to ensure that Inside the Vatican Pilgrimages can keep creating encounters for you with the Heart of the Churches, the homes of the Saints, and the Living Stones — the people — of whom the Church is built. Now offering you virtual pilgrimages from your home computer! (see below for more information)

    (3) to helping to bring the Churches closer together by “Building Bridges” to heal the schisms of the Church — East and West — through our Urbi et Orbi Foundation.

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    Thank you.

    In Christ,

Dr. Robert Moynihan and the rest of the Urbi et Orbi Team

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