Latest news: Catholic Church Vatican News

‘Service, not servitude’

At meeting of women superiors general in Rome, pope departs from prepared remarks to discuss abuse of religious women, women’s diaconate and the role of women in the Church

Pope Francis on Friday received some 850 Superiors General of women religious who had just concluded their Plenary Assembly that takes place every three years. During the audience he conversed with them reflecting on a series of topics including the question of the abuse of religious women, women’s diaconate, the role of women in the Church and the possibility of an apostolic … [Read more...]

Pope Francis says no plans for female deacons, but study continues

Some in the Vatican commission have concluded that historically the female diaconate was different from the role of male deacons

Pope Francis said Tuesday that the Vatican commission exploring the possibility of female deacons continues its study, but does not have any consensus that would lead soon to a plan of action. “For the female diaconate, there is a way to imagine it with a different view from the male diaconate,” Pope Francis said May 7 during an in-flight press conference returning from North … [Read more...]

Pope Francis takes aim at capitalism

"A fallacious economic model that has been followed for too long"

Pope Francis Friday offered a critique of capitalism’s impact on the environment, calling for a response that hears “the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor.” “The precarious condition of our common home has been the result largely of a fallacious economic model that has been followed for too long,” Pope Francis said May 3. Francis called this economic model … [Read more...]

Vatican moves to place evangelization ahead of doctrine

Report says new Vatican constitution would create a super dicastery for evangelization potentially more important than the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

A new “super dicastery” on evangelization might be one of the most significant reforms of the governing structures of the Vatican, according to a new report. Spanish journalist Dario Menor Torres, writing for the weekly Vida Nueva, reveals several elements of the new Vatican constitution that has been in development for years. The biggest novelty in the document, … [Read more...]

Easter rolls away the stones of sin, despair, pope says at vigil

As individuals and as a church, it can be tempting to dwell on mistakes, failures and sins that block the fullness of life, but Easter is the proclamation that the Lord is victorious and his love will triumph, Pope Francis said. "Easter is the feast of tombstones taken away, rocks rolled aside," the pope said in his homily April 20 during the Easter Vigil. The gaze of the … [Read more...]

“Francis was elected on a mandate to do this”

Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay, India, and a member of council of advisers to Pope Francis, says main goal of reorganizing curia is to prevent centralizing power in Rome

It took 29 meetings, but the pope’s “C-9” council of cardinal advisers, which is now functionally more akin to a “C-6”, has a new constitution for the Vatican in the form of a draft presentable to all the bishops’ conferences around the world, the heads of the various departments of the Holy See, theologians and canonists. According to a principal drafter of that document, one … [Read more...]

US, Holy See observe 35th anniversary of diplomatic relations

President Ronald Reagan officially recognized the Vatican in 1984 during pontificate of Pope John Paul II

The following is by Callista L. Gingrich, U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See. Thirty-five years ago today, William A. Wilson presented his credentials to Pope John Paul II, becoming America’s first ambassador to the Holy See. This historic moment marked the start of formal diplomatic relations between the United States and the Vatican. As the Second World War gave way to the … [Read more...]

Religious superiors can now dismiss members for desertion

Pope Francis said he made change to canon law “to help the institutions observe the necessary discipline and be able to proceed to the dismissal of the illegitimately absent religious”

Pope Francis amended canon law Tuesday to create a new mechanism for dismissing a religious man or woman who has deserted their community. Under the new law, promulgated by the pope in an apostolic letter issued “motu proprio,” superiors can declare a member dismissed ipso facto if they have been illicitly absent from the community for more than a year and cannot be … [Read more...]

Will Pope Francis meet with Chinese leader?

President Xi Jinping will be in Italy March 21-23, but Chinese sources say they doubt he will meet with pontiff

As Chinese President Xi Jinping travels to Rome this week, there has been much speculation as to whether his trip will also include an unofficial visit with Pope Francis. Ahead of the Chinese president’s arrival in Italy March 21, the AP reported that Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said, “Our door is always open.” “The proclamation of the Gospel in … [Read more...]

More Catholics, fewer priests

Vatican reports number of Catholics has risen to its highest level in history, but number of priests has declined for first time since 2010

The Vatican releases an annual compendium of figures that offers insight into changes in the worldwide Church. Known as the Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiae, it is compiled by the Central Office of Church Statistics in Rome. The 2019 edition, published last week, presents the figures for 2017 – the most recent year available. The headline news is that the number of Catholics … [Read more...]