The Vatican Remembers the “Unconventionally Angelic” Mother Angelica
After the death of Mother Angelica, founder of EWTN, on March 27 (Easter Sunday), many in and around the Vatican praised the bold nun’s courageous witness at a time of crisis in the Church, and expressed their appreciation for the work EWTN continues to do.
Pope Francis offered a special blessing for Mother Angelica following her death, expressing his confidence that she is already in heaven. “She’s in heaven,” he said.
The Pope pointed to the sky as he spoke these words to members of EWTN’s Rome bureau, who brought an image of the late Poor Clare nun to his March 30 general audience as a sign of affection and remembrance.
In an April 1 Memorial Mass for Mother Angelica in Rome, Cardinal George Pell praised the nun’s effectiveness in spreading the Good News, and thanked God for “her message, her courage and her faith.”
Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, offered Mass April 1 at the parish of Sant’Anna in Vatican City for the repose of Mother Angelica’s soul.
The 6 p.m. celebration coincided with Mother’s 11 a.m. funeral in Hanceville, Alabama.
In his homily, Pell compared Mother Angelica’s life and work at EWTN to the day’s Gospel from John, saying that “the spread and effectiveness” of EWTN, founded with an investment of just $200, “was as unexpected as the apostles’ huge catch of fish.”
He also jested about Mother Angelica’s “boisterous” TV personality in spite of being a contemplative Franciscan nun, provoking laughter when he said that her religious name, Mary Angelica, was perhaps a bit “incongruous,” since “she was not angelic in any conventional sense.”
US Ambassador Pyatt Visits Rome
The U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, was in Rome on Monday, April 4, on an unusual one-day visit that included consultations with Vatican officials.
The visit was unusual because it was not announced publicly and because, diplomats say, it is “unusual” for an ambassador to one country (like Ukraine) to make a semi-diplomatic stop in another country (like the Holy See).
Sources say Pyatt held meetings with Vatican officials for about two hours. He also attended a lunch hosted by the American ambassador to the Vatican, Ken Hackett. Several officials of the Holy See were present.
These included the rector of the Russicum, the Vatican’s institute for the study of the Russian language and culture, and more than one official from different Holy See offices.
Pyatt’s visit suggests that the unfolding situation of tragic conflict in Ukraine, which remains very high on the agenda of the US government, may be prompting the US to seek closer contacts and collaboration with the Holy See and Pope Francis. However, Ambassador Pyatt’s discussions with Vatican officials were private.
—Inside the Vatican
Cardinal Schönborn Praises Amoris Laetitia
Pope Francis’ new document on love in the family is welcome particularly for its steadfast adherence to Church teaching on homosexual acts and relationships, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna said.
“There’s another point in which (Pope Francis) is very firm: speaking about gay couples or homosexual couples, he insists very clearly that only the union between a man and woman, open to new life, by principle, can be called a marriage,” the cardinal told CNA April 8 during an interview shortly after leading the press conference presenting Amoris Laetitia at the Vatican. “And I’m very happy that he did clarify this, because the other situations can be partnerships, relationships, but it’s certainly not a marriage.”
CUA Receives Largest Donation in University History, Renames Business School After Catholic Donors
The Catholic University of America’s business school has received several major financial gifts, including the largest donation in the university’s history.
The Washington university announced a total of six commitments totaling $47 million. The money will go to general university programs as well as operational costs for the business school, which will be renamed the Tim and Steph Busch School of Business and Economics after the lead donor in the project.
According to a statement by the university, “The lead gift of $15 million from the Busch Family Foundation is the largest financial commitment the university has received to date.”
Pope Francis Receives Prime Minister of Croatia
Pope Francis received the Republic of Croatia’s head of government, Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković, on Thursday morning, April 7, at the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.
The Prime Minister subsequently met with the Secretary of State of the Holy See, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who was accompanied by Msgr. Antoine Camilleri, Under-Secretary for Relations with States.
A communiqué from the Holy See Press Office informs that the Pope and the Prime Minister held cordial talks, in which they noted the good relations existing between the Holy See and the Republic of Croatia, of which the Thursday visit was “a significant expression.” They confirmed their shared desire to continue constructive dialogue on bilateral issues arising in relations between the ecclesial and civil communities, and focused on the prominent place the Croat faithful assigned to the figure of Blessed Aloysius Stepinac (the great Archbishop of Zagreb from 1937 until 1960, who was martyred under Communism in the country and beatified by Pope St. John Paul II in 1998), as well as the situation of the Croatian minority in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Pope Meets Central African Republic’s New President
On April 18 Pope Francis met with the Central African Republic’s newly-installed president, Faustin-Archange Touadéra, who was elected to office a few months after the pontiff’s visit to the country late last year. The “warm welcome” offered to the Pope during his visit to the CAR in November was among the topics discussed during the meeting, according to a statement released by the Holy See Press Office.
Over the course of the 15-minute meeting which took place with an interpreter, Touadéra discussed with the Pope the recent elections and other institutional renovations in the war-torn nation.
“With the contribution of dialogue between religious confessions,” the statement said, “hope was expressed that this may mark the beginning of a time of peace and prosperity for the entire nation.”
Communications Secretariat Creates New Internet Office
The Secretariat for Communications announced a new web initiative on Monday: a dedicated office — DotCatholic — to inform and engage the worldwide virtual community with Catholic doctrine and preaching.
At the invitation of the Secretariat of State of the Holy See, the Secretariat for Communications has established a bureau called “DotCatholic” with the purpose of utilizing a generic Internet domain name (.catholic) of the first level, in order to share the teachings, the message and the values of the Catholic Church with the broader global community in Cyberspace.
The former director of Vatican Radio’s Information Technology department, the engineer Mauro Milita, has been named head of the new working group, which counts seven IT technicians on its staff.
Eucharistic Miracle in Poland Approved by Bishop After Testing
In 2013, in Poland, a bleeding host proved to be a miracle, Bishop Zbigniew Kiernikowski, of the Diocese of Legnica, announced on Sunday, April 17 :
“On December 25, 2013, during the distribution of Holy Communion, a consecrated Host fell to the floor and then was picked up and placed in a water-filled container (vasculum).
“Soon after, stains of red color appeared. The former Bishop of Legnica, Stefan Cichy, set up a commission to observe the phenomenon. In February 2014, a tiny red fragment of the Host was separated and put on a corporal. The Commission ordered that samples be taken in order to conduct a thorough tests by the relevant research institutes.
“In the final announcement of the Department of Forensic Medicine we read as follows:
“‘In the histopathological image, the fragments of tissue have been found to contain the fragmented parts of cross-striated muscle. (…) The whole (…) is most similar to the heart muscle… The genetic researches indicate the human origin of the tissue.
“‘In January this year, I presented the whole matter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Vatican.
“‘Today, according to the recommendations of the Holy See, I ordered the parish vicar Andrzej Ziombro to prepare a suitable place for a display of the Relic so that the faithful could give it proper adoration.’”
A wonderful gift to Poland, and for the many pilgrims who will be heading to Poland this year, either for World Youth Day or for their personal intentions, in this Year of Mercy.