Vatican News

Faith

Animal rights group asks pope to quit wearing fur
Apr 19 2007
VATICAN CITY – An Italian animal rights group called on Pope Benedict XVI to stop wearing fur out of “respect for the sacredness of the lives of all living creatures.” The Italian Anti-Vivisection League made the appeal ahead of the pope’s April 22 visit to the Italian city of Pavia, where he was to receive a fur cape made of white ermine pelts.

Bishop criticized for remarks about release of troops
Apr 10 2007
LONDON – The head of Great Britain’s military diocese has come under fire from politicians, military leaders and the media after he welcomed Iran’s release of 15 sailors and marines as religiously motivated “good deeds.” Bishop Thomas Burns of the Bishopric of the Forces was called naive, accused of wishful thinking and was the subject of several critical newspaper editorials.

Work must not just be about productivity, but charity
Apr 07 2007
VATICAN CITY – The working world must not just be about competition and productivity; today’s workers must also make room for charity and defending human dignity, said Pope Benedict XVI. “Today more than ever it’s urgent and necessary” to live as Christians in the workplace and to become “apostles among workers,” the pope said. “Becoming more competitive and productive is not the only thing that matters,” he said in a message to young people. “Paying charitable witness” in the workplace and elsewhere is necessary, he said.

Layman wields enormous influence within church
Apr 07 2007
BEIJING – He’s known as “the black pope of China” – a play on the “black pope” title given to the powerful head of the Jesuits – and whether or not people like his methods, they all agree that he is one of the most powerful laymen in China’s Catholic Church. Anthony Liu Bainian, 73, an ex-seminarian from Shangdong province, currently serves as vice president of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. To some he is a man trying to ingratiate himself to government authorities; to others he is the man with power to sway government decisions about the church.

Writer awed over responsibility
Apr 06 2007
VATICAN CITY – It’s not every day a person gets a call from the Vatican, and most people would be bowled over when it happens. The late Mario Luzi, who as a prolific Italian poet shouldn’t have been at a loss for words, was “flabbergasted” when the Vatican called him up saying Pope John Paul II wanted him to pen the meditations for the pope’s 1999 Good Friday Way of the Cross, an event watched each year by millions of people around the world.

Hundreds expected at Holy Rosary
Apr 02 2007
Busloads of Catholics seeking absolution are expected to flock to Holy Rosary, Fells Point, April 15 for its annual Divine Mercy Sunday Mass and chaplet. As the official Archdiocesan Shrine of Divine Mercy, Holy Rosary has been host to hundreds of Catholics from Maryland and throughout the Mid-Atlantic states for the service the Polish parish has been celebrating since 1993 – seven years before Pope Paul II proclaimed the Sunday following Easter Divine Mercy Sunday.

Israel postpones negotiating session with Vatican
Mar 29 2007
VATICAN CITY – Israel postponed a major negotiating session with Vatican officials on questions regarding the church’s legal and financial status in the Holy Land. The Vatican expressed disappointment at yet another delay in the on-again, off-again talks, which began 15 years ago. The meeting of the joint commission on church-state issues had been scheduled for March 29 at the Vatican and would have been the first plenary session of the commission since 2002.

Concern over drug-resistant tuberculosis
Mar 24 2007
VATICAN CITY – Church leaders, along with the World Health Organization, have expressed concern over the increased rates of drug-resistant tuberculosis worldwide. Pope Benedict XVI, speaking at his general audience March 21, said the latest reports show that more work is still needed to effectively treat those who suffer from the disease. World Tuberculosis Day, a WHO-sponsored initiative to focus attention on one of the world’s most deadly diseases, was being marked March 24. A WHO statement issued March 22 had good news and bad news: The rate of infection leveled off for the first time in 13 years, but new and potentially more lethal versions of the disease have emerged.

Bishop, victims have spirited talk about child sex abuse
Mar 23 2007
WASHINGTON – In a spirited exchange with victims of child sex abuse, the head of the U.S. bishops’ child protection committee said March 20 that bishops must work together to prevent cover-ups of clergy child sex abuse. Cover-ups cannot be condoned and several bishops and priests have resigned over cover-ups, some after being told to do so by the Vatican, said Bishop Gregory M. Aymond of Austin, Texas. “We can’t hold each other responsible. We are responsible to the pope,” he said of U.S. church leaders’ efforts to prevent cover-ups.

Behind the scenes
Mar 21 2007
VATICAN CITY – As head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since 2005, U.S. Cardinal William J. Levada has found that most of his work is behind the scenes. The recent action against Jesuit Father Jon Sobrino was an exception: He was the first theologian to be publicly censured during Cardinal Levada’s tenure, and the case immediately brought the doctrinal congregation into the media spotlight. Although some critics described the Vatican’s action against Father Sobrino as authoritarian, for Cardinal Levada it was an example of how carefully and cooperatively the doctrinal congregation operates.