Thousands gather for Pope’s Christmas greeting

‘Thousands packed Saint Peter’s Basilica for Pope Benedict’s first midnight mass at the Vatican. Outside the church, in the square, many more braved the cold night air and watched the ceremony on giant screens.

Pope Benedict wore gold vestments and blessed the crowd as he walked up the central aisle of the church at the start of the mass. He was joined by around 30 cardinals to celebrate the mass, which marks the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.’

Read more at Thousands gather for Pope’s Christmas greeting

December 25th, 2005 by site admin | No Comments »

Benedict Leads 1st Christmas Mass as Pope

‘Pope Benedict XVI offered a Christmas prayer for peace in the Holy Land on Sunday and made a special mention of children, including the unborn, as he led his first midnight Mass in the splendor of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Benedict’s reference to the unborn in his homily was a clear reference to the Roman Catholic Church’s opposition to abortion.

Benedict Leads 1st Christmas Mass as Pope

December 25th, 2005 by site admin | No Comments »

Pope in Santa Hat Picture

Pope-Santa‘He was not riding on a one-horse open sleigh, but when Pope Benedict arrived on the popemobile for his weekly audience in St Peter’s Square, on-lookers could have been forgiven for thinking Santa Claus was in town.

To keep warm against the bitter cold, the Pontiff wore a red velvet cap, trimmed with white fur which, together with his scarlet cape, gave him the look of Father Christmas.’

Read more at Here comes Santa Claus - no, wait, it’s the Pope

December 21st, 2005 by site admin | No Comments »

Pope killed over ‘reform plans’

‘POPE John Paul I, who died from an apparent heart attack just 33 days after becoming pontiff in 1978, was assassinated over his plans to radically reform the Catholic Church, a novel to be published worldwide next year charges.

Portuguese author and television scriptwriter Luis Miguel Rocha, 29, said he based The Last Pope on documents he obtained through an undisclosed Vatican source, which he will make public once the novel is published in April.

The novel expounds the theory that John Paul I had become a threat because he was aware of money laundering involving the Vatican Bank as well as due to his plans to liberalise some aspects of centuries-old church doctrine.’

Read more at Pope killed over ‘reform plans’

December 18th, 2005 by site admin | No Comments »

Pope decries stalled disarmament efforts

‘Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday decried “bogged down” nuclear disarmament efforts and religious fanaticism as thwarting peace, while his top justice official denounced torture as an unacceptable, unnecessary way to fight terrorism.

In the Vatican’s annual review of conflicts in the world, Benedict warned that religious fundamentalism could “inspire and encourage terrorist thinking and activity.”‘

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December 15th, 2005 by site admin | No Comments »

Late Pope was under secret police surveillance whilst a cardinal

‘New information about communist surveillance of then-Cardinal Karol Wojtyla has revealed the future Pope John Paul II was watched more closely than previously believed. “How often he shaved, which radio he used, who cleaned his shoes – these were all of interest to the secret police,” said Marek Lasota, a researcher with Poland’s Institute for National Remembrance. “There were no types of information or spheres of life which weren’t considered important from an operational standpoint.” The researcher unveiled a 20-page secret police instruction manual given to agents assigned to watch the Krakow cardinal from 1967 until his election as pope in 1978. Speaking at the Catholic University of Lublin Mr Lasota said: “They were interested in the cardinal’s personality – his energy for work and tendency to depression, as well as his subtlety, sense of humour, vulnerability to addictions, loyalty to principles, strength of will and tenacity. ‘

Read more at Late Pope was under secret police surveillance whilst a cardinal

December 13th, 2005 by site admin | No Comments »

Pope names Sri Lankan prelate to key liturgical post

‘Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) has appointed a Sri Lankan prelate as secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

The appointment of Archbishop Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don continues the Pope’s slow transformation of the Roman Curia. The Sri Lankan prelate also gives the Vatican a ranking official familiar with the lively debate on “inculturation” of the liturgy in Asian countries.’

Read more at Pope names Sri Lankan prelate to key liturgical post

December 13th, 2005 by site admin | No Comments »

John Paul’s sainthood opposed

‘A group of prominent Roman Catholic theologians and writers has revealed it is trying to stop the late pope John Paul II being declared a saint. In a document being circulated in Rome, they say the Vatican should take account of decisions reached by the Polish pontiff “that ought to be an obstacle to [his] beatification”.

Following emotional scenes at the late pope’s funeral, his successor, Pope Benedict XVI, set him on a fast track to beatification - the first step towards sainthood - last June. Normally, the procedures cannot begin until five years after death.’

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December 8th, 2005 by site admin | Comments Off

Pope talks peace with Palestinian leader

‘Pope Benedict discussed the Middle East peace process Saturday with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who invited the pontiff to visit the Holy Land.

“You will be very welcome in Jerusalem and all the holy places,” Abbas, speaking English, told the Pope after their private 20-minute meeting in Benedict’s library.

“Thank you very much,” the Pope replied.

Abbas later told journalists that Benedict “responded positively” to his invitation but indicated no date for a visit. Last month, Israeli President Moshe Katsav invited Benedict to Israel and said he hoped the Pope would visit next year.’

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December 5th, 2005 by site admin | No Comments »

Two Pope John Paul II documentaries go head to head

‘Rival US TV networks are serving up dramatised biographies of Pope John Paul II this week and even if one has him kissing a schoolgirl sweetheart in his teens, some critics say both make the great man seem dull.

The ABC film aired on yesterday and a CBS two-part mini-series starts on Sunday.

Reviewers say both skirt the controversy of the pontiff’s 26-year reign on such issues as abortion, homosexuality and women in the priesthood to dwell on his saintliness.’

Read more at Two Pope John Paul II documentaries go head to head

December 5th, 2005 by site admin | No Comments »

Sex-Abuse Victims Want Apology From Pope

‘Victims of sexual abuse by a former California priest brought a letter to the Vatican on Monday asking Pope Benedict XVI to apologize to all victims of clergy abuse and dismiss any official involved in covering up the scandal.

The Rev. Thomas Doyle, a Dominican priest, lawyer and longtime advocate for sex abuse victims, briefly entered one of the Vatican’s gates to deliver the letter, which also asks the pope to instruct bishops to cooperate in the investigation of suspected abuse cases.

“I just put it in a blue box up there, I didn’t know what else to do,” Doyle told The Associated Press after delivering the letter. ‘

Read more at Sex-Abuse Victims Want Apology From Pope

November 29th, 2005 by site admin | Comments Off

Pope Recalls John Paul II’s Final Weeks

‘Pope Benedict XVI on Friday recalled his predecessor’s final weeks of life, telling workers at the hospital where

Pope John Paul II was treated that his suffering was a lesson for all the world.

Benedict returned to the grounds of the Gemelli Polyclinic to inaugurate the academic year of the Sacred Heart Catholic University, of which the hospital is a part.

During his 26-year pontificate, John Paul was treated at Gemelli several times, including twice in February after suffering breathing problems related to the flu. He died in his

Vatican apartment April 2.’

Read more at Pope Recalls John Paul II’s Final Weeks

November 26th, 2005 by site admin | No Comments »

Question of celibacy revisited

‘Celibacy has been on the minds of Vatican representatives visiting John Olson and other Catholic seminarians.

During the abuse scandals, the late pontiff Pope John Paul II called for a review of how celibacy is taught in the 229 U.S. seminaries. That review is now under way.

But one of the leading experts on the lives of American priests wonders how honest the Vatican is being in perpetuating a commitment to celibacy.

Celibacy is a wonderful way to channel one’s energies but terribly difficult to achieve, said Richard Sipe, a psychologist at Santa Clara University in California.’

Read more at Question of celibacy revisited

November 22nd, 2005 by site admin | No Comments »

Iraqi leader meets pope

‘Police stepped up security around the Vatican as Iraqi President Jalal Talabani paid a visit to Pope Benedict XVI, head of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church.

Thursday’s talks focused on church concerns over religious freedom and reconstruction in Iraq, a Vatican official said Thursday.

Police sealed garbage bins and towed away vehicles parked along the Via della Conciliazione, the broad avenue which leads to St Peter’s Square, to secure the area before the presidential motorcade swept into the Vatican.’

Read more at Iraqi leader meets pope

November 14th, 2005 by site admin | No Comments »

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