Habemus Papam: Francis (Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio)

Sede Vacante

Sedes Vacantes

Please pray for our Church and future Pope. Adjutorium Nostrum in Nomine Domini!

Vatican investigating miracle attributed to Venerable Pius XII

Vatican City, Jan 18, 2010 / 02:40 pm (CNA).- The Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, confirmed over the telephone to CNA today that a “presumed miracle” attributed to Pope Pius XII is under investigation.  The case involves a patient cured of cancer in southern Italy.

Cardinal Saraiva was quick to caution, however, that there is a big difference between a “presumed” miracle and a “confirmed” miracle.

The case comes to the Congregation for Saints’ Causes from the town of Castellammare di Stabia near Naples, Italy.  “Some months ago,” the local Sorrento & Dintorni online publication reported on Sunday, a person was discovered to be cured of a form of cancer previously declared incurable after praying for the intercession of Pope Pius XII.

The doctors of the person, of whom no details are public, were unable to give a scientific explanation for the occurrence, according to the article.

According to the same news source, the story was confirmed by Fr. Carmine Giudici, Vicar General of the Diocese of Sorrento, who said, “It’s all true.”  Fr. Carmine said that the Holy See was in contact with the diocese after having been contacted by a local church-goer who says that he or she received a miracle “by the intercession of Pius XII.”

“The archbishop then decided to institute within days the appropriate diocesan tribunal.”

The existence of the possible miracle was confirmed to CNA by Cardinal Saraiva Martins on Monday afternoon.

The prefect emeritus also said that it is impossible to estimate the amount of time it might take for the process of confirmation to be carried out.

Pius XII & John Paul II

 

His Holines Pope Pius XII

 

Laudetur Jesus Christus

This morning in Rome, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate the decrees recognizing the heroic virtues of the Servants of God Pius XII (Eugenio Pacelli) and John Paul II (Karol Wojtyła).

Pope considering limits on concelebration

Vatican, May. 22, 2008 (CWNews.com) – Pope Benedict XVI (bionews) plans to curtail the practice of organizing large-scale Eucharistic celebrations with hundreds of priests concelebrating the Mass, according to a report in Italy’s Panorama magazine.

Panorama reports that the Holy Father has directed the Congregation for Divine Worship to study the question and prepare appropriate instructions. His objective, the Italian journal says, is to eliminate the concelebration of Mass by hundreds of priests at a time, with many of them standing at a distance from the altar.

The Vatican has not commented on the Panorama report.

If the story is accurate, the new liturgical guidelines could bring significant changes in liturgical celebrations at which the Pope himself presides, such as Masses attended by tens of thousands of people at World Youth Day or during papal trips abroad.

Pope sees Pseudo-Dionysius as model for dialogue

Vatican, May. 14, 2008 (CWNews.com) – Pope Benedict XVI (bio – news) resumed his series of talks on the early Church Fathers at his weekly public audience on May 14, introducing the Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, explaining how that 6th-century scholar anticipated the demands of inter-faith dialogue today.

The actual author of the works written by the Pseudo-Dionysius (also sometimes known as Dionysius the Pseudo-Areopagite) is unknown. He took his pseudonym from the Athenian named Dionysius, a prominent figure at the Areopagus, whose conversion by St. Paul is described in the Acts of the Apostles. The goal of the Pseudo-Dionysius, Pope Benedict explained to his Wednesday audience, was “to place Greek wisdom at the service of the Gospel.”

The Pseudo-Dionysius firmly believed that truth “eradicates error and brings the good to shine forth,” the Holy Father said. Since the truth is found in God, the scholar’s work provided the Church with the first “great mystical theology,” in which he “expresses the soul’s journey toward God.” With that mystical theology, the Pseudo-Dionysius acted as a bridge between Christian thought and the mystical faiths of Asia, Pope Benedict said. Today that work “assumes fresh relevance,” the Pontiff continued, as the Church seeks broader dialogue with the Asian world.

At the same time, Pope Benedict observed, the Pseudo-Dionysius provides a model for effective dialogue because he “does not accept superficiality.” He insisted, in his work, on proclaiming the truth as he knew it, confident that light of truth will illuminate everyone. In that light, the Pope said, “disputes disappear and it becomes possible to understand one another– or at least to speak to and approach one another.”

Pope to visit Lourdes, Paris in September

.- The Bishops’ Conference of France has officially announced that Pope Benedict XVI will travel to France for the 150th anniversary of the Marian apparitions that took place in Lourdes.

The trip, which is scheduled for September 12-15, 2008, will begin with a greeting by French officials after which the Holy Father will head to the College des Bernardins where he will address the “world of culture.”  Then the Pope will pray vespers at the Cathedral of Notre Dame.  Following the prayer service, he will address young people gathered at the Cathedral. 

On Saturday, September 13, the Pope will celebrate Mass in Paris and afterwards travel to Lourdes.  “During his visit to Paris, Benedict XVI desires to meet with representatives of other Christian confessions and of the Jewish and Muslim communities,” the French bishops’ said in their statement.

“In Lourdes on Saturday afternoon, the Pope will carry out the first stages of the jubilee way.  That night, at the end of the candlelight procession, he will address the pilgrims,” the bishops said.

On Sunday, September 14, the Holy Father will “preside at Mass for the pilgrims. That afternoon, he will meet with the Bishops’ Conference of France and end the day with a Eucharistic procession.”

Finally, on Monday morning, the Pope will take part in the fourth stage of the jubilee way and will bless the infirm during a Eucharistic celebration. He will return to Rome on Monday afternoon.

“The bishops of France express to the Holy Father their gratitude and invite the faithful to mobilize themselves to warmly welcome the Pope and to give thanks to God for his message in Lourdes,” the bishops said in conclusion.

More information on the trip can be found at: www.pape-france.org and www.papeaparis.org

Pope Benedict XVI turns to global audience

Pope Benedict XVI is greeted by members of the Catholic clergy, including Cardinal Edward Egan, archbishop of New York, third from right, as he arrives at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Friday, April 18, 2008. The other clergy members are unidentified.

UNITED NATIONS – Pope Benedict XVI told diplomats at the United Nations on Friday that respect for human rights was the key to solving many of the world’s problems, while cautioning that international cooperation was threatened by “the decisions of a small number.”

The pontiff, addressing the U.N. General Assembly on his first papal trip to the U.S., said the organization’s work is vital. But he raised concerns that power is concentrated in just a handful of nations.

“Multilateral consensus,” he said, speaking in French, “continues to be in crisis because it is still subordinated to the decisions of a small number.”

The world’s problems call for collective interventions by the international community, he said.

Benedict, only the third pope to address the United Nations, made the remarks after three dramatic days in which he repeatedly discussed America’s clergy sexual abuse scandal.

 

Sermon of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI

Washington Nationals Stadium
Thursday, 17 April 2008

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

“Peace be with you!” (Jn 20:19). With these, the first words of the Risen Lord to his disciples, I greet all of you in the joy of this Easter season. Before all else, I thank God for the blessing of being in your midst. I am particularly grateful to Archbishop Wuerl for his kind words of welcome.

Our Mass today brings the Church in the United States back to its roots in nearby Maryland, and commemorates the bicentennial of the first chapter of its remarkable growth – the division by my predecessor, Pope Pius VII, of the original Diocese of Baltimore and the establishment of the Dioceses of Boston, Bardstown (now Louisville), New York and Philadelphia. Two hundred years later, the Church in America can rightfully praise the accomplishment of past generations in bringing together widely differing immigrant groups within the unity of the Catholic faith and in a common commitment to the spread of the Gospel. At the same time, conscious of its rich diversity, the Catholic community in this country has come to appreciate ever more fully the importance of each individual and group offering its own particular gifts to the whole. The Church in the United States is now called to look to the future, firmly grounded in the faith passed on by previous generations, and ready to meet new challenges – challenges no less demanding than those faced by your forebears – with the hope born of God’s love, poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit (cf. Rom 5:5).

In the exercise of my ministry as the Successor of Peter, I have come to America to confirm you, my brothers and sisters, in the faith of the Apostles (cf. Lk 22:32). I have come to proclaim anew, as Peter proclaimed on the day of Pentecost, that Jesus Christ is Lord and Messiah, risen from the dead, seated in glory at the right hand of the Father, and established as judge of the living and the dead (cf. Acts 2:14ff.). I have come to repeat the Apostle’s urgent call to conversion and the forgiveness of sins, and to implore from the Lord a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Church in this country. As we have heard throughout this Easter season, the Church was born of the Spirit’s gift of repentance and faith in the risen Lord. In every age she is impelled by the same Spirit to bring to men and women of every race, language and people (cf. Rev 5:9) the good news of our reconciliation with God in Christ.

The readings of today’s Mass invite us to consider the growth of the Church in America as one chapter in the greater story of the Church’s expansion following the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. In those readings we see the inseparable link between the risen Lord, the gift of the Spirit for the forgiveness of sins, and the mystery of the Church. Christ established his Church on the foundation of the Apostles (cf. Rev 21:14) as a visible, structured community which is at the same time a spiritual communion, a mystical body enlivened by the Spirit’s manifold gifts, and the sacrament of salvation for all humanity (cf. Lumen Gentium, 8). In every time and place, the Church is called to grow in unity through constant conversion to Christ, whose saving work is proclaimed by the Successors of the Apostles and celebrated in the sacraments. This unity, in turn, gives rise to an unceasing missionary outreach, as the Spirit spurs believers to proclaim “the great works of God” and to invite all people to enter the community of those saved by the blood of Christ and granted new life in his Spirit.

I pray, then, that this significant anniversary in the life of the Church in the United States, and the presence of the Successor of Peter in your midst, will be an occasion for all Catholics to reaffirm their unity in the apostolic faith, to offer their contemporaries a convincing account of the hope which inspires them (cf. 1 Pet 3:15), and to be renewed in missionary zeal for the extension of God’s Kingdom.

The world needs this witness! Who can deny that the present moment is a crossroads, not only for the Church in America but also for society as a whole? It is a time of great promise, as we see the human family in many ways drawing closer together and becoming ever more interdependent. Yet at the same time we see clear signs of a disturbing breakdown in the very foundations of society: signs of alienation, anger and polarization on the part of many of our contemporaries; increased violence; a weakening of the moral sense; a coarsening of social relations; and a growing forgetfulness of Christ and God. The Church, too, sees signs of immense promise in her many strong parishes and vital movements, in the enthusiasm for the faith shown by so many young people, in the number of those who each year embrace the Catholic faith, and in a greater interest in prayer and catechesis. At the same time she senses, often painfully, the presence of division and polarization in her midst, as well as the troubling realization that many of the baptized, rather than acting as a spiritual leaven in the world, are inclined to embrace attitudes contrary to the truth of the Gospel.

“Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth!” (cf. Ps 104:30). The words of today’s Responsorial Psalm are a prayer which rises up from the heart of the Church in every time and place. They remind us that the Holy Spirit has been poured out as the first fruits of a new creation, “new heavens and a new earth” (cf. 2 Pet 3:13; Rev 21:1), in which God’s peace will reign and the human family will be reconciled in justice and love. We have heard Saint Paul tell us that all creation is even now “groaning” in expectation of that true freedom which is God’s gift to his children (Rom 8:21-22), a freedom which enables us to live in conformity to his will. Today let us pray fervently that the Church in America will be renewed in that same Spirit, and sustained in her mission of proclaiming the Gospel to a world that longs for genuine freedom (cf. Jn 8:32), authentic happiness, and the fulfillment of its deepest aspirations!

Here I wish to offer a special word of gratitude and encouragement to all those who have taken up the challenge of the Second Vatican Council, so often reiterated by Pope John Paul II, and committed their lives to the new evangelization. I thank my brother Bishops, priests and deacons, men and women religious, parents, teachers and catechists. The fidelity and courage with which the Church in this country will respond to the challenges raised by an increasingly secular and materialistic culture will depend in large part upon your own fidelity in handing on the treasure of our Catholic faith. Young people need to be helped to discern the path that leads to true freedom: the path of a sincere and generous imitation of Christ, the path of commitment to justice and peace. Much progress has been made in developing solid programs of catechesis, yet so much more remains to be done in forming the hearts and minds of the young in knowledge and love of the Lord. The challenges confronting us require a comprehensive and sound instruction in the truths of the faith. But they also call for cultivating a mindset, an intellectual “culture”, which is genuinely Catholic, confident in the profound harmony of faith and reason, and prepared to bring the richness of faith’s vision to bear on the urgent issues which affect the future of American society.

Dear friends, my visit to the United States is meant to be a witness to “Christ our Hope”. Americans have always been a people of hope: your ancestors came to this country with the expectation of finding new freedom and opportunity, while the vastness of the unexplored wilderness inspired in them the hope of being able to start completely anew, building a new nation on new foundations. To be sure, this promise was not experienced by all the inhabitants of this land; one thinks of the injustices endured by the native American peoples and by those brought here forcibly from Africa as slaves. Yet hope, hope for the future, is very much a part of the American character. And the Christian virtue of hope – the hope poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, the hope which supernaturally purifies and corrects our aspirations by focusing them on the Lord and his saving plan – that hope has also marked, and continues to mark, the life of the Catholic community in this country.

It is in the context of this hope born of God’s love and fidelity that I acknowledge the pain which the Church in America has experienced as a result of the sexual abuse of minors. No words of mine could describe the pain and harm inflicted by such abuse. It is important that those who have suffered be given loving pastoral attention. Nor can I adequately describe the damage that has occurred within the community of the Church. Great efforts have already been made to deal honestly and fairly with this tragic situation, and to ensure that children – whom our Lord loves so deeply (cf. Mk 10:14), and who are our greatest treasure – can grow up in a safe environment. These efforts to protect children must continue. Yesterday I spoke with your Bishops about this. Today I encourage each of you to do what you can to foster healing and reconciliation, and to assist those who have been hurt. Also, I ask you to love your priests, and to affirm them in the excellent work that they do. And above all, pray that the Holy Spirit will pour out his gifts upon the Church, the gifts that lead to conversion, forgiveness and growth in holiness.

Saint Paul speaks, as we heard in the second reading, of a kind of prayer which arises from the depths of our hearts in sighs too deep for words, in “groanings” (Rom 8:26) inspired by the Spirit. This is a prayer which yearns, in the midst of chastisement, for the fulfillment of God’s promises. It is a prayer of unfailing hope, but also one of patient endurance and, often, accompanied by suffering for the truth. Through this prayer, we share in the mystery of Christ’s own weakness and suffering, while trusting firmly in the victory of his Cross. With this prayer, may the Church in America embrace ever more fully the way of conversion and fidelity to the demands of the Gospel. And may all Catholics experience the consolation of hope, and the Spirit’s gifts of joy and strength.

In today’s Gospel, the risen Lord bestows the gift of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and grants them the authority to forgive sins. Through the surpassing power of Christ’s grace, entrusted to frail human ministers, the Church is constantly reborn and each of us is given the hope of a new beginning. Let us trust in the Spirit’s power to inspire conversion, to heal every wound, to overcome every division, and to inspire new life and freedom. How much we need these gifts! And how close at hand they are, particularly in the sacrament of Penance! The liberating power of this sacrament, in which our honest confession of sin is met by God’s merciful word of pardon and peace, needs to be rediscovered and reappropriated by every Catholic. To a great extent, the renewal of the Church in America and throughout the world depends on the renewal of the practice of Penance and the growth in holiness which that sacrament both inspires and accomplishes.

“In hope we were saved!” (Rom 8:24).” As the Church in the United States gives thanks for the blessings of the past two hundred years, I invite you, your families, and every parish and religious community, to trust in the power of grace to create a future of promise for God’s people in this country. I ask you, in the Lord Jesus, to set aside all division and to work with joy to prepare a way for him, in fidelity to his word and in constant conversion to his will. Above all, I urge you to continue to be a leaven of evangelical hope in American society, striving to bring the light and truth of the Gospel to the task of building an ever more just and free world for generations yet to come.

Those who have hope must live different lives! (cf. Spe Salvi, 2). By your prayers, by the witness of your faith, by the fruitfulness of your charity, may you point the way towards that vast horizon of hope which God is even now opening up to his Church, and indeed to all humanity: the vision of a world reconciled and renewed in Christ Jesus, our Savior. To him be all honor and glory, now and forever. Amen!

Papal Itinerary: Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008 

  • 10:00 a.m. – The pope will offer Mass at the new Nationals Park in Washington.
  • 5 p.m. – Pope Benedict XVI will give an address on the importance of Catholic education on the campus of The Catholic University of America.
  • 6:30 p.m. – Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Jews and representatives of other religions will meet the Holy Father at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center, next door to Catholic University.