Vatican News


Limbo reflects ‘restrictive view of salvation’
Apr 22 2007
VATICAN CITY – After several years of study, the Vatican’s International Theological Commission said there are good reasons to hope that babies who die without being baptized go to heaven. In a document published April 20, the commission said the traditional concept of limbo – as a place where unbaptized infants spend eternity but without communion with God – seemed to reflect an “unduly restrictive view of salvation.”

Church leaders to go ahead with dedication
Apr 21 2007
WARSAW, Poland – Church leaders have vowed to press ahead with the dedication of a Catholic church in Azerbaijan a week after it was damaged by attackers. “The opening will undoubtedly take place – there’ve been no changes in our program,” said Father Rolandas Makrickas, an official at the Vatican’s Tbilisi-based nunciature. The newly completed Immaculate Conception Church in Baku was damaged April 10 by fire after explosives were hurled through its windows.

Participants publish their side of brain death debate
Apr 20 2007
VATICAN CITY – Breaching normal protocol, several participants in a 2005 Vatican-sponsored conference over the ethics of declaring someone brain dead have published the papers they delivered at the debate. Many of the papers reproduced in “Finis Vitae: Is Brain Death Still Life?” argue that the concept of brain death was devised mainly to expand the availability of organs for transplant and claim that some patients who had been pronounced brain dead continued to live for months or even years.

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.