News & Blog

New rules for sede vacante and conclave

New rules for sede vacante and conclave  His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI issued an Apostolic letter motu proprio on Monday, in which he introduced a series of modifications to the laws governing the period sede vacante and the election of a new Bishop of Rome. The new Motu proprio replaces certain of the numbered paragraphs and/or sections of the text of the governing document, Universi Dominici gregis (UDG). Below are the principal highlights of the legislation. By a modification to paragraph n. 37 of UDG: Pope Benedict XVI allows for the College of Cardinals to begin the Conclave before fifteen days have passed from the beginning of the period sede vacante, provided that all voting Cardinals are present. The modification also provides that the Conclave must begin no more than twenty days after the beginning of the sede vacante,...

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Patriarch Bartholomew: Benedict XVI, friend of the Orthodox

Patriarch Bartholomew: Benedict XVI, friend of the Orthodox  Upon being informed on the way to his native island of Imvros of the imminent retirement of Pope Benedict from the Petrine ministry, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew issued a formal declaration and personal statement to the media, responding with sadness to the news: It is with regret that we have learned of the decision by His Holiness Pope Benedict to retire from his Throne, because with his wisdom and experience he could have provided much more to the Church and the world. Pope Benedict leaves an indelible mark on the life and history of the Roman Catholic Church, sealed not only by his brief papacy, but also by his broad and longstanding contribution as a theologian and hierarch of his Church, as well as his universally acknowledged prestige. His writings will long...

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Cardinal Bertone: Prayers of religious fundamental in Conclave

MESSAGE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE His Eminence Cardinal TARCISIO BERTONE TO THE MONASTERIES OF CONTEMPLATIVE LIFE  Below is the letter written by Secretary of  State, Tarcisio Cardinal  Bertone, to the convents and monasteries of contemplative life worldwide, in the lead up to Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation and conclave. From the Vatican, 21 February 2013 Reverend Mother, Reverend Father, I write to you as the whole Church anxiously follows the final days of the luminous pontificate of His Holiness Benedict XVI and awaits the arrival of the successor whom the Cardinals gathered in conclave and guided by the Holy Spirit will choose, after discerning together the signs of the times of the Church and the world. His Holiness Benedict XVI has asked all the faithful to accompany him with their prayers as he commends the Petrine ministry into the Lord’s...

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Statement on the Cardinals’ Commission of Inquiry report

Statement on the Cardinals’ Commission of Inquiry report  The following statement was issued Monday morning by the Holy See Press Office regarding the Cardinals’ Commission of Inquiry into the Vatileaks scandal: The Holy Father this morning received in audience Cardinals Julián Herranz, Jozef Tomko and Salvatore De Giorgi, from the Cardinals’ Commission of Inquiry into the leaking of confidential information. They were accompanied by the Commission Secretary, Fr. Luigi Martignani, O.F.M. Cap At the conclusion of their mission His Holiness wished to thank them for their fruitful work, expressing satisfaction for the results of the investigation. In fact, their work made it possible to detect, given the limitations and imperfections of the human component of each institution, the generosity, honesty and dedication of those who work in the Holy See at the service of the mission entrusted by Christ...

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Pope Benedict XVI’s farewell Angelus: I will never abandon the Church

Pope Benedict XVI’s farewell Angelus: I will never abandon the Church Dear brothers and sisters! On the second Sunday of Lent, the liturgy always presents us with the Gospel of the Transfiguration of the Lord. The evangelist Luke places particular emphasis on the fact that Jesus was transfigured as he prayed: his is a profound experience of relationship with the Father during a sort of spiritual retreat that Jesus lives on a high mountain in the company of Peter, James and John , the three disciples always present in moments of divine manifestation of the Master (Luke 5:10, 8.51, 9.28).The Lord, who shortly before had foretold his death and resurrection (9:22), offers his disciples a foretaste of his glory. And even in the Transfiguration, as in baptism, we hear the voice of the Heavenly Father, “This is my Son,...

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What happens to @pontifex ?

What happens to @pontifex after Papal resignation?  In response to numerous queries as to whether the Holy Father’s twitter account will be permanently shut down following his resignation, Msgr. Paul Tighe, under-secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications issued the following statement: The Twitter account @pontifex was created for the exclusive use of the Pope. @pontifex will be inactive during the interim period between the renouncement of Pope Benedict XVI and the election of his successor (sede vacante). @pontifex will be available for use by the next Pope as he may...

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We thank you with filial affection

We thank you with filial affection    The International Union of Superiors General   Most Holy Father,  Just a few days ago, in a homily addressed to all of us, Consecrated Persons, on the day of the liturgical Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the temple, you exhorted us to a faith that recognizes the wisdom of weakness. You reassured us, in fact, stating that “when the hardness and weight of the cross are felt, not to doubt that the kenosis of Christ is already a paschal victory.” A few days later, the authoritative force of these words of yours has become for us the icon in which to capture the gesture of love with which you, as you leave the Papacy, intends to devote yourself wholeheartedly to a life dedicated to prayer for the good of...

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Secretary of State communiqué on Conclave

Secretary of State communiqué on Conclave (Vatican Radio) Please find below a Vatican Radio translation of a Secretary of State communiqué on conclave, issued Saturday, 23 February 2013: “The freedom of the College of Cardinals, which alone, under the law, is responsible for the election of the Roman Pontiff, has always been strongly defended by the Holy See, as a guarantee of a choice based on evaluations solely for the good of the Church. Over the centuries, the Cardinals have faced multiple forms of pressure exerted on the individual voters and the same College, with the aim of conditioning decisions, to bend them to a political or worldly logic. If in the past it was the so-called superpowers, namely States, that sought to condition the election of the Pope in their favour, today there is an attempt to apply...

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Future title for Benedict XVI

  Future title for Benedict XVI There is finally an answer to one of the most popular questions. Once the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI goes into effect on February 28 at 8 p.m. local time in Rome, he will still be addressed as “Your Holiness Benedict XVI.”   According to Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, the President for the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, the same procedure will apply to the Pope as with other bishops and archbishops. After that date, Benedict XVI will be referred to as the Bishop Emeritus of Rome. A Professor of Canon Law at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University, Fr. James Conn SJ, explained to Vatican Radio that, from that moment, the governance of the Church through the organs of the Roman Curia goes into an administrative holding pattern, which lasts until the election of a new...

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