June July 2012

The Sistine Madonna: Raphael’s Iconic Painting Turns 500

Giorgio Vasari, the biographer of artists and an artist in his own right, called Raffaello Sanzio (or Santi), known to us as Raphael, “the prince of painters.” Raphael was born in Urbino, an important artistic center at that time, on Good Friday, April 6, 1483, and received his early training from his father, Giovanni Santi di [...]

Re-Examining the Teachings of the Vatican Council II

One of the main reference points for the October 2012 Synod of Bishops, which will focus on the issue of the new evangelization, will be the an­niversary of the opening of Vatican Council II in October 1962. This Synod will aim at an in-depth reflection on the meaning of evangelization itself. Bishops from all over the [...]

L’ Osservatore Romano Goes “Feminist”

On the last day of May, Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, L’Osservatore Romano published an insert entirely dedicated to women. Since Prof. Gian Maria Vian became editor of the Pope’s newspaper on October 27, 2007, the number of female journalists has increased considerably. (When I interviewed him in the autumn of 2007, [...]

The Church for German-speaking Catholics in Rome

Pope Benedict XVI has a special relationship with the campus of the German-speaking institution of Santa Maria dell’Anima, and with its sacristy. From the top of the sacristy, statues of six Popes from Deutschen Lande (German countries) look out over visitors with dignity and austerity. It’s a certainty of tradition that someday a statue of Pope [...]

The Ten Just Men Who Did Not Save Sodom and Gomorrah

The third chapter of the new book that the Pope is writing, week by week, on prayer. Here is Abraham’s prayer for the two sinful cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. This prayer is a prophecy of the one Just Man able to take away the sins of all...   Dear brothers and sisters,   In the [...]

“I Am with Paul, and Anyone who Censures Him is a Coward”

Regarding the problem of homosexuality that is emerging today, the Christian conception tells us that one must always distinguish the respect due to persons, which involves rejecting any marginalization of them in society and politics (except for the unalterable nature of marriage and the family), from the rejection of any exalted “ideology of homosexuality,” which is [...]

Everything Started with the Sexual Revolution

It is no coincidence that the spread and growing social acceptance of homosexuality should be accompanied by a serious crisis in the area of marriage and the family, by a widespread mentality hostile toward life as also by a frightening sexual freedom. Without wanting to contest the plurality of causes of this phenomenon, it can be [...]

That Sin of Sodom Which Cries Out to Heaven

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is more engaged than ever before in expanding the range of distribution of its own magisterial production. Not only has it inaugurated a new website full of documents; it has also given a mandate to Libreria Editrice Vaticana to reprint those volumes of its series “Documenti e studi” [...]

Opposing Strategies in Mainland China

The month of April 2012 saw the Vatican and Beijing sharpen their contrasting strategies towards the Catholic Church and its more than 12 million members in the People’s Republic of China. Three specific events took place around the same time in that month that clearly illustrated the opposing strategies: (1) two new bishops were ordained with [...]

The Pope of Christian Unity’s Most Recent Gesture

Awhile back, we knew that something was going on within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) for Anglicans who desired closer unity with Peter, but we didn’t know what. There was a sense that the Holy Father must really want something important to happen for them and the CDF was locked down as [...]

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