March 2013

January and February: A Day-by-Day Chronicle of Vatican Events

Pope Benedict and two Italian schoolchildren watch after releasing a dove from the window of the Pope’s apartment overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican January 29. After praying the Angelus, the Pope and the children released doves as a symbol of peace. January Tuesday 8 “BE LIKE GOOD SAMARITAN, HELP THOSE IN NEED” [...]

Benedict XVI and the Sacraments

    Pope Benedict baptizes Magdi Allam as he celebrates the Easter Vigil in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican March 22, 2008 (CNS photo)   Benedict XVI, celebrating a Mass in memory of the cardinals and bishops deceased in the past year, gives Communion to the faithful in St. Peter’s Basilica on [...]

The Edict of Milan’s 1700th Anniversary

The exhibition “Constantine A.D. 313: The Edict of Milan and the Age of Tolerance” commemorates the 1700th anniversary of this proclamation issued jointly by Emperors Constantine and Licinius in February 313 A.D. at Mediolanum (today’s Milan), then one of the Roman Empire’s four capital cities (the others being Nicomedia, Trier, and Sirmium). Milan was the seat [...]

A Tyrolean Restaurant and an Accommodation with a Heart

Way back in April 1995 we reviewed the Cantina Tirolese. Only about five minutes away from the obelisk in St. Peter’s Square, it is a cute restaurant run by the Macher family, in the form of a refined beer-cellar of the type usually seen in Germany and Austria. At the Cantina Tirolese, which has been around [...]

Easter Sunday 2013

For Easter Sunday, we offer a reflection on the Empty Tomb of Our Lord Jesus Christ, based on the Akathist Hymn on that theme. The Ak­athist Hymn is one of the most well-loved services of devotion in the Eastern Churches. Although there is some debate concerning the particulars of its authorship, many scholars agree with the [...]

Benedict Steps Down

On February 11, Pope Benedict XVI stunned the world by his announcement — in Latin — that he would step down from his papal office on February 28 at 8 p.m. in the evening. Thus began an historic period for the Church, which is still continuing.   The text below is drawn from my daily letters [...]

The Eyes of the World on the Vatican

Fumata nera in the Sistine Chapel, indicating that there was not a two-thirds majority in the papal election at the Conclave. Eight years after the election of Pope Benedict XVI, the eyes of the world will again be looking toward the roof of the Sistine Chapel to see the white smoke that will announce [...]

Motu Proprio – New Rules

Today the Vatican released revisions to the rules governing papal conclaves. The main point of these revisions was to allow the cardinals to start the Conclave earlier, if they wish to. According to the old rules, the Conclave needed to begin not earlier than 15 days and not later than 20 days after the death of [...]

“All Cardinals Must Vote in the Conclave”

Cardinals pray before the beginning of the conclave in which Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected as Pope Monsignor Juan Ignacio Arrieta, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, on the norms during the sede vacante and the election of a new Pope. The secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Msgr. Juan [...]

How Is a New Pope Chosen?

Ambrogio Piazzoni, vice prefect of the Vatican Library and author of the book Storia delle Elezioni Pontificie (“History of Papal Elections”), on the most important conclaves in Church history. The election of the Pope has not always been held as it is today. Conclaves and the norms regulating them have developed over many centuries. The document which now [...]

Load More Posts