Food for thought – Hotel Michelangelo


Built in 1959 for the 1960 Summer Olympics held in Rome, 4-star Hotel Michelangelo (Via della Stazione di San Pietro 14), like “La Vittoria” and “Il Cantico” (reviewed in the previous two issues of Inside the Vatican) is on the Trastevere side of St. Peter’s Square, directly across the wide street, Via della Porta Cavalleggeri, […]

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Pope Francis to visit Fatima for the centennial of the apparitions in 2017?

Pope Francis received Portugal’s ambassador to the Holy See, António Carlos Carvalho de Almeida Ribeiro, on April 18, 2013, just a month after his election as Pope. The ambassador was presenting his letters of credence to take up his post.

The centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima falls in 2017. Reports of plans for a papal visit to Portugal that year have recently made the rounds… Pope Francis has dedicated his pontificate to Our Lady of Fatima, and some of his homilies show that Our Lady’s messages at Fatima are inspiring and […]

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A unique exhibition

The Archives of the Venerable Archconfraternity of Misericordia in Florence.

On until April 27 in the Neoclassical, chandeliered Sala Bianca (White Hall) of the Palatine Gallery in Florence’s Pitti Palace, where fashion shows are usually held, is a first-of-its kind exhibition, “Una volta nella vita: Tesori dagli archivi e dalle biblioteche di Firenze” (“Once in a Lifetime: Treasures from the Archives and Libraries in Florence”). […]

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An Incomparable Pope – John XXIII and the Jews (Print Version)

On April 27, Pope John XXIII (Pope from 1958 to 1963) will become St. John XXIII, alongside Pope John Paul II, who will become St. John Paul II. But who was John really, and what was his greatest triumph? This version appeared in the April 2014 issue of Inside the Vatican magazine. To read an […]

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Pope John XXIII – Reflections 50 years later

On April 9, 1959, accompanied by his private secretary, Loris Capovilla (recently made a cardinal), Pope John XXIII venerated the relics of the good and exemplary Pope St. Pius X, the most recent Pope to be canonized before John XXIII.

On September 3, 2000, Pope John Paul II declared Pope John XXIII, who reigned from 1958-1963, “Blessed” after the approval of a miracle which had cured an ill woman. He was the first Pope since Pius X (1903-14) to receive this honor. On the 50th anniversary of Pope John XXIII’s death, June 3, 2013, Pope […]

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John Paul II and his saints

Some of the many saints canonized by Pope John Paul II. He was convinced that the Church needed models of sanctity. Now he himself will be one of those models and intercessors.

In the days before the canonizations of Blesseds John XXIII and John Paul II, Rome hotels were reporting they are almost fully booked and the Vatican has confirmed that the Mass will take place in St. Peter’s Square, despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of people will have to watch the ceremony on large […]

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Saints of God, defenders of men

A photo from the evening of October 11, 1962, when St. Peter's Square was filled to thank Pope John XXII for convening the Second Vatican Council.

The two saints to be canonized on April 27, both Popes, had much in common. Both were committed to the Second Vatican Council, and both defended the dignity of the human person. The two holy pontiffs whom the Church canonizes this month, Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II, were very different men. They […]

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Cardinal Carlo Caffara offers strong critique to Cardinal Kasper’s proposal

Cardinal Carlo Caffara

“Compromise Would Be Unworthy of the Lord”  One of the first major critiques of Cardinal Kasper’s proposal came from Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, Archbishop of Bologna. Here are key excerpts from a March 15 talk with Caffarra.  Here are excerpts from a March 15 interview granted by the Cardinal Arch­bishop of Bologna, Carlo Caffarra, to Matteo […]

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A majority of the Cardinals opposes Kasper

Pope John Paul II during one of his many journeys to Africa.

In the February 20-21 consistory, which focused on Kasper’s proposal to seek a pastoral solution to allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion, a majority of the cardinals opposed the “Kasper Thesis,” Italian Vaticanist Marco Tosatti has reported.  Pope Francis on February 20 opened a major two-day meeting on the Church’s approach to the […]

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Cardinal Kasper’s Proposal


Here below, key excerpts from Cardinal Kasper’s controversial February 20 keynote address to the cardinals on admitting divorced and remarried people to Communion.  • It is not enough to consider the problem only from the point of view and from the perspective of the Church as a sacramental institution. We need a paradigm change and […]

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Cardinal Kasper’s proposal sparks controversy

A family attending mass.

Jesus said of divorce: “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.” For the Church, therefore, marriage, if real, is “forever,” indissoluble. Yet, divorce has become increasingly common. In this context, at the request of Pope Francis, Cardinal Kasper has made a proposal… Kasper’s Position: “The Doctrine of the Church Is a River that […]

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Pope’s trip to the Holy Land to focus on unity

Pope Francis embraces Ecumenical Patricarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians.

The Latin-rite Patriarch of Jerusalem, Faoud Twal, says Pope Francis’ trip to the Holy Land in May will center on the unity of Christians. The schedule for the trip has now been released… When Pope Francis visits the Holy Land in May, he will meet with the leaders of the three nations he will visit, […]

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Vatican Accepts Resignation of Germany’s “Bishop Bling”


Under this Pope, the push for coherence of life — to live according to Christ’s Gospel, not simply preach it — is causing many, including bishops, to rethink their lifestyles… The Vatican has accepted the resignation of a German bishop who was at the center of controversy over expenditures for his residence and a diocesan […]

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IOR: Gotti Tedeschi’s Counter-Attack


The former Vatican bank director, Paolo Cipriani, and his deputy, Massimo Tulli, receive a court summons. The acquitted former bank president, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, says he will take “legal action” against those who denigrated him personally and professionally. One of the most striking, and perplexing, scandals of the final year of Pope Benedict’s papacy was […]

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Pope to Mafia: “Turn Away from the Road to Hell”

Pope Francis bows his head as people read the names of Mafia victims during a prayer service at the Church on March 21.

The Pope of mercy and forgiveness used unusually tough words for Mafia members, urging them to change their lives to avoid going to Hell . Surrounded by survivors of innocent people killed by the Mafia, Pope Francis made an emotional appeal to Italian gangsters to give up their lives of crime and avoid eternal damnation. […]

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“Bless me, Father”: Pope Leads by Example, Goes to Confession

A priest hears Pope Francis’ confession during a penitential liturgy in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican March 28. Pope Francis surprised his liturgical adviser by going to confession during the service.

Pope Francis did it again. On March 28, unexpectedly, as a Lenten liturgy was taking place in St. Peter’s, he decided to go to confession himself, and knelt to confess his sins… Leading a penitential liturgy in St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis surprised his liturgical adviser by going to confession during the service. After an […]

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Pope Francis Gains Interest of American Publishers

Father Giuseppe Costa, head of the Vatican Publishing House.

In the year since the election of Pope Francis, his words and actions have attracted global attention. And there has been a flood of best-selling books… Pope Francis’ words are grabbing the attention of American publishing houses as well of the US bishops’ conference communications office, according to the Vatican Publishing House. “I would say […]

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Interview with Archbishop Georg Gaenswein

Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, Personal Secretary of Emeritus Pope Benedict and Prefect of the Pontifical Household, during the interview.

What is Pope Francis’ style like for you? Archbishop Georg Gaenswein: As you can see for yourself, he is a very direct, very uncomplicated, very authentic man…. He is the same now as bishop of Rome and Pope as he was as archbishop of Buenos Aires… Is the dual role of private secretary to Benedict […]

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Archbishop Georg Gaenswein: “My First Reaction was ‘Impossible’…”

Pope Francis meeting Pope Emeritus Benedict at Benedict's residence in the Vatican Gardens.

An extraordinary interview on German television with Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, personal secretary of Pope Emeritus Benedict, sheds light on the relations between the “two Popes”. “I can tell you a nice story. In August Pope Francis granted a lengthy interview to Jesuit Padre Spadaro, who is the director of the most important Jesuit magazine Civiltà […]

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Two views of the encounter – President Obama and Pope Francis

Pope Francis received the US President on March 27 for 52 minutes. What did the two men discuss? Stories differ..

Following the 52-minute meeting (it went almost twice as long as expected) between Pope Francis and US President Barack Obama on March 27, two conflicting versions about what was said emerged, the President’s and the Vatican’s. And even several days after the meeting, it is still not clear which version more closely corresponds to the […]

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