Friday, December 24, 2004

The Pope's Christmas Mass on Your Mobile

Catholics can now watch Pope John Paul II's Christmas Mass on their next generation cell phones! According to Reuters:
Italian state broadcaster RAI said on Thursday it has reached an agreement with cell phone operators TIM and Vodafone to broadcast the 84-year-old Pontiff's Midnight Mass from the Vatican on Dec. 24 as well as his Christmas Day message and blessing at 1100 GMT on Friday.

Read more: Pope John Paul Hits the Little Screen

Thursday, December 23, 2004

The Pope Delivers Address for 2005 World Peace Day

Pope John Paul II last week delivered his address for World Peace Day (Jan. 1). ChristianToday reports:
Particularly, the Pope expressed his deep love for the innocents who have suffered and sacrificed in the wars around the world. He lamented the millions of lives lost in his "beloved Africa"; the "torn fabric of mutual understanding" in Palestine; "terrorist violence that appears to be driving the whole world towards a future of fear and anguish"; and the situation in Iraq, "which has given rise to uncertainty and insecurity for all".

Read more: Pope Addresses World Peace Day: Africa Needs New Direction

Monday, December 20, 2004

Boney's Back!

Hey there all you JPII-lovers! Just wanted to let you know what Boney's back from Shanghai-and I plan to post a bit more frequently than did Jimbo. But I'd like to commend him for doing a good job in my stead; his posts upheld the high quality of content that we're all used to around here :) Anyway, cheers to being home for Christmas!

Friday, December 10, 2004

Pope Praises US Bishops for Handling Scandal

Pope John Paul II met with a group of American bishops today and praised them for how they handled the sex-abuse scandal. According to Catholic World News:
The Holy Father stressed that he "shares the deep pain which you and your people have experience in these last years," and urged the American bishops "to persevere joyfully in the ministry entrusted to you."

The scandal, John Paul II said, had given the Church in America "a providential call to conversion and deeper fidelity." The crisis, he added, gave the American bishops an opportunity for "to begin the new millennium by starting afresh from Christ."

Read more: Pope praises US bishops for handling of scandal

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Pope Expresses Gratefulness at Thanksgiving

The Pope reminds everyone to share what they have with the needy at Thanksgiving.

According to the Catholic Telegraph:
The pope said that for Christians the full expression of thanksgiving comes in the Eucharist.

"In every Mass, we bless the Lord, God of the universe, presenting to Him the bread and wine as fruits of the earth and human labor. To these simple foods Christ has linked His own sacrificial gift," he said.

Read more: Pope reminds people to share at Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Pope to Actor who Portrays Him: "You're Crazy"

Pope John Paul II met Polish actor Piotr Adamczyk, who portrays the Pontiff in Karol Wojtyla: The Story Of A Man Who Became Pope, the new two-part movie made for Italian television.

According to BBC News:
"You're crazy to make a film about me. What did I ever do?" he said.

The actor admitted to being lost for words when he met the pontiff. [...]

The film begins in Poland with the Pope as a 10-year-old boy, and culminates with his election in 1978.

Read more: 'You're crazy', Pope tells actor

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Pope Prays for Iraqi Victims

Pope John Paul II addressed his weekly audience earlier today by making a public appeal for the people of war-torn Iraq.

According to Catholic World News:
Pope John Paul went on to say that he prays for "those beloved Iraqi people who are working so hard to rebuild the institutions of their own land," and urged all Christians to cooperate in the process of reconstruction.

The Pope's remarks on Iraq came after a short catechetical address in which he commented once again on Psalm 48, continuing his remarks from the last week's audience. He spoke once again about "the illusion created by the idolatry of riches."

Read more: Pope prays for Iraqi victims of "barbaric" terror

Friday, October 15, 2004

Happy Anniversary

Saturday marks Pope John Paul II's 26th anniversary as the Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church.

According to Beliefnet:
In contrast to last year's gala celebrations of his quarter-century in office, which included a twilight Mass at the exact hour of John Paul's election, a consistory to create new cardinals and the beatification of Mother Teresa, the 26th anniversary is a low-key event.

The Red Army Chorus will give a concert in the pope's honor in the Paul VI Audience Hall on Friday night, but Saturday will be a regular working day.

John Paul has been promised at least one 26th anniversary present, however -- a 1:5 scale model of the fire-engine red Ferrari F2004 Formula 1 racer that is in line to win both the constructors' and drivers' championships again this year.

Read more: Ailing Pope to Quietly Celebrate 26th Anniversary

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Pope Releases Messages for World Day of the Sick

Vatican Information Service (VIS) reports that the Pope today made public his statement regarding the World Day of the Sick, coming up on February 11. The Pope's special message for the Day is "Christ: Hope for Africa." Celebrations for the day will take place at the Shrine of Our Lady, Queen of Apostles in Cameroon.

In the message, dated September 8, the Pope says that the conflicts in many countiries of Africa "make intervention to prevent and cure the diseases that devastate the continent very difficult."

He further wrote, "I encourage those who are able to dedicate themselves to stopping these tragedies. I remind those responsible for selling arms of what I have written: 'Those who perpetuate the wars in Africa through arms trafficking are accomplices to hateful crimes against humanity'... The celebration of the World Day of the Sick offers us all the possibility to understand better the importance of pastoral health care... It is precisely in the moment of illness that one urgently needs to find appropriate answers to the deepest questions regarding man's life: questions on the meaning of pain, suffering and death, considered not only as a mystery which must be confronted with strength but as a mystery in which Christ incorporates our life to Him."

25th Anniversary of Pope's Visit to Ireland

On this date in 1979, Pope John Paul II became the first reigning Pope to ever visit Ireland. He called for an end to all violence and pleaded that the people return to "the ways of peace."

BBC News recalls the event by republishing this story which first appeared on September 29, 1979:

He was loudly applauded at Drogheda when he said, in a direct address to the consciences of both terrorists and politicians: "I appeal to you in language of passionate pleading.

"On my knees I beg you to turn away from the paths of violence and return to the ways of peace."

He continued: "To Catholics, to Protestants, my message is peace and love. May no Irish Protestant think the Pope is an enemy, a danger or a threat."

Read more: 1979: Pope calls for peace in Ireland

Friday, September 24, 2004

Pope to Meet with Romanian, Pakistani Leaders

On September 30, Pope John Paul II will return to the Vatican after spending his summer at Castel Gandalfo. On this day, he will meet with Romanian president Ion Iliescu and Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf.

According to Catholic World News:

The Pope's talks with the Romanian leader will likely focus on the tense relations between Eastern-rite Romanian Catholics, who make up 5 percent of the population, and the Romanian Orthodox majority. The Roman Catholic Church, having suffered brutal persecution under the Communist regime, is still seeking to regain control of church properties that were confiscated and handed over to the Orthodox.

Read more: Romanian, Pakistani leaders to meet wtih Pope

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Pope Reminds New Zealand of Sunday's Sanctity

The Pope addressed eight Catholic leaders from New Zealand and told them that they were not keeping the sabbath sacred but were giving in to a tide of "unrestrained secularism."

According to the New Zealand Herald:

But this country's Catholic football players seem unlikely to hang up their boots on the sabbath on the basis of the papal scolding, as a spokesman for the Marist Rugby Federation indicated yesterday there was time for both prayer and sports.

Pope John Paul II told an eight-strong delegation of New Zealand Catholic leaders on a five-yearly visit to the Vatican that their supreme day of faith must not be unduly dominated by entertainment and sport.

When Sunday became subordinate to a popular concept of weekend, people remained trapped in a relentless and often meaningless pursuit of novelty, the 84-year-old pontiff and occasional rugby fan said in a partly-read address on Tuesday to Cardinal Tom Williams and his New Zealand bishops.

Read more: Pope: Too much fun and games in NZ

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Pope Condemns Russian School Violence

At least 326 people were murdered last week in the school hostage siege at Beslan in Russian province of Ossetia. The Pope spoke out against the violence, blamed on Chechen separatists.

According to Reuters:

Speaking on the day Roman Catholics commemorate the birth of the Madonna, the Pope said it was outrageous that children had found hate and death within the walls of a school.

"Looking at the infant Mary, how can we not think of all the little innocents at Beslan, in Ossetia, victims of a barbarous kidnapping who were tragically cut down," he said, having some difficulty pronouncing his words at his general audience.

"They were in a school, a place where one learns values that give meaning to history, to culture and the civilisation of peoples: mutual respect, solidarity, justice and peace," he said in halting Italian.

Read more: Reuters AlertNet - Pope says Russian children victims of cruel fanaticism

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Pope Recalls St. John the Baptist

Today, on the feast day of St. John the Baptist, the Pope said during the Angelus that martyrdom is "the high point of the witness to moral truth." reports:

The Baptist’s martyrdom, the Pope said, reminds us of the "martyrs of the faith" and the many Christians "who last century suffered religious hatred in various European countries."

Today, the Pope added, there are martyrs still, "believers subject to hardships in many parts of the world for following Christ and His Church."

To these Christians the Pope pledged "the solidarity of the entire Church community."

Thursday, August 26, 2004

The Pope's gift to Russia

The Australian reports on the Pope's gift to Russia and his wishes to visit the country.

THE Pope hinted yesterday that he hoped the return to Russia of a revered Orthodox icon would enable him to pay a visit to Moscow, fulfilling one of his last remaining travel ambitions.

At an elaborate ceremony in the Vatican, to the sound of Byzantine chants used in the Russian Church, the Pope gave the icon of the Madonna of Kazan to a delegation who will take it to Russia today after public veneration in Rome.

The Pope hopes the gesture will start a thaw in icy Catholic-Orthodox relations and help heal the thousand-year schism in the church between East and West.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Pope Condemns Human Cloning

Pope John Paul II said that scientific research should not "manipulate" human beings with human cloning projects. Reuters reports:

Pope John Paul on Sunday condemned human cloning as an arrogant attempt to improve on God's creation. "The sense of power that every technical progress inspires in man is well known," the pope said in a message sent from his summer residence in Castelgandolfo to a meeting of prominent Catholic cultural, political and business leaders in the Italian city of Rimini.

"The attempt by man to appropriate the source of life by experimenting with human cloning is example enough," he said in a message sent at the start of the week-long event.

Friday, August 20, 2004

The Pope's Next Trip

We try to stay humble, but it is hard when we are picked as one of "the coolest, most interesting faith-based weblogs" by Beliefnet. Aww, shucks! Meanwhile, we've uncovered the schedule of the Pope's next trip. reports:

The Vatican said John Paul would fly on Sept. 5 from his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, near Rome, to Loreto, an Italian town near the Adriatic which is home to a shrine to the Virgin Mary. There the 84-year-old pope will celebrate a stamina-testing two-hour outdoor Mass.

...Vatican officials have raised the possibility the pope might make a pilgrimage to Istanbul, Turkey, taking up the invitation of a Christian Orthodox leader, in the coming months.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Al-Sadr agrees to the Pope's mediation in Najaf

Aljazeera.Net reports on the Vatican's willingness to mediate between Muqtada al-Sadr and the occupation forces.

The Vatican confirmed that Pope John Paul II is ready to mediate between Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr and US-led occupation forces.

A spokesman for al-Sadr, whose forces are locked in an intense battle inside the city with US-led troops, has already welcomed the proposal.

But Vatican spokesman Ciro Benedettini told journalists on Tuesday the Pope was only willing to mediate if requested to do so by both sides in the conflict.

Lourdes Visit Was Pope's Farewell

Daily Record reports on the Pontiff's visit to Lourdes.

THE Pope may have been making his final farewell at Lourdes, a cardinal said yesterday.

Godfried Danneels said the pontiff was 'seriously weakened' during his weekend pilgrimage to the French shrine.

Danneels was with Pope John Paul II, who has Parkinson's disease.

...The 84-year-old pontiff, who also suffers crippling hip and knee problems, trembled as he celebrated Mass for an estimated 300,000 pilgrims at a shrine to the Virgin Mary.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Pope Speaks Against Human Cloning

Gulf Daily News reports on the Pope's opposition to human cloning:

The Vatican reiterated its firm opposition yesterday to human cloning after the British government gave a research team permission to use human cloning for medical research purposes.

"The Holy Father has always unequivocally condemned all forms of human cloning, even for therapeutic purposes," Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said.

..."Science itself points to other forms of therapeutic intervention which would not involve cloning or the use of embryonic cells, but rather would make use of stem cells taken from adults," the head of the Roman Catholic Church told an international congress of transplant specialists in 2000.

"This is the direction that research must follow if it wishes to respect the dignity of each and every human being, even at an embryonic stage," the Pope said.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Pope John Paul II to Visit Lourdes

Khaleej Times Online reports on the Pope's upcoming visit to Lourdes.

Pope John Paul II will once again thrust aside concerns over his failing health when he travels to the French Pyrenees town of Lourdes next weekend for the 104th foreign visit of his pontificate

...After his arrival on Saturday, the pope will say the Angelus at the grotto. Later in the day, he will recite the rosary there and preside over the recitation of the Stations of the Cross, ending at the basilica of Lourdes where he is to read a prayer to close the ceremony. In the evening he will preside over a torchlit procession from the grotto to the town’s huge basilica where the pontiff will read a prayer he himself has written.

The next day, the pope will go to the sacristy of the Church of Sainte Bernadette near the Sanctuary of Lourdes where he will celebrate mass and deliver a homily.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Pope Announces New Sports Department

Pope John Paul II announced yesterday, according to the Associated Press, the creation of a new sports department in the Vatican.

The Pope hopes the department will provide new means for evangelization, as he considers sports to be an integral aspect to cultures around the world, of recent tainted by fan violence and doping scandals.

The department will have officials in the upcoming Olympic Games in Greece, as well as in various national and international sports leagues. The Pope also hopes to generate more involvement with athletic activity at the parish level.

During his younger days, John Paul II himself was an avid sportsman, commonly taking summer vacations to hike through the Alps or go skiing in Italy; he was also his high school soccer team's goalkeeper.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Pope demands immediate release of Bishop Misael Vacca Ramirez

The Hindu reports:

Pope John Paul II today demanded Marxist Colombian rebels immediately release a Roman Catholic bishop they are holding, denouncing the kidnapping as an unjustifiable "criminal action."

Bishop Misael Vacca Ramirez of Yopal was seized yesterday by members of the National Liberation Army, or ELN, the smaller of Colombia's two main rebel groups...

The Vatican said the pope was deeply concerned by what he described as a "criminal action, in no way justifiable," and called for the bishop's immediate release.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Pope Calls for End to Violence in Africa

Yesterday, Pope John Paul II called for worldwide attention to ongoing violence in Africa, taking special note of crises in Sudan and Uganda.

"For over eighteen years, the North of Uganda has been scourged by an inhuman conflict, which affects millions of people, especially children," the Pope said.  He further discussed Sudan, noting that "The war, which has intensified in recent months, brings with it ever more poverty, despair, and death . . .  How can we remain indifferent?"

In Uganda, the Lord's Resistance Army is fuelled primarily by abducted child soldiers.  A vast majority of citizens of Northern Uganda live in government-run camps for internally-displaced, and face serious shortages of food as well as sub-standard water and sanitation.

In Sudan, a crisis is unfolding of proportions potentially matching Rwanda's 1994 genocide, if a stronger response from the international community is not heard.  Tens, or possible even hundreds, of thousands of civilians have already perished, and estimates through the end of the year for deaths are as high as half of a million.  Many non-governmental organizations are labeling the crisis as genocide, as Arab militias rape and pillage Black communities.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Vatican to Investigate Newest Sex Scandal

The New York Times reports today that the Pope has appointed an Austrian Bishop, Klaus K√ľng of the Austrian city of Feldkirch, to investigate claims of homosexual activity and viewing of child pornography in an Austrian seminary 40 miles west of Vienna.

Pornographic material of minors is illegal in most countries, including Austria, and police recently arrested one seminarian after finding pornographic representations of minors on his computer.  An Austrian magazine recently published photos of the rector and vice-rector of the seminary kissing.

Calls for the Bishop of the diocese to resign have thus far been rebuked, though that possibility will be explored by the Papal investigator.  The Bishop first reported the problem to the police.

The reports have rocked the Catholic Church in Austria, which is still recovering from the resignation of its cardinal following accusations of child molestation that may have occurred decades ago.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Pope Ends 12-Day Vacation in Italian Alps

From Yahoo! News:

ROME - Pope John Paul (news - web sites) II ended a 12-day vacation in the Italian Alps on Saturday, taking up residence in the papal retreat in the Alban Hills outside Rome for the rest of the summer.

John Paul will stay at the papal palace in Castel Gandolfo through mid-September, except for a brief pilgrimage to Lourdes, France, in mid-August.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Pope Will Visit Ireland

MSNBC reports:
Pope John Paul II has accepted “in principle” an invitation to visit both parts of Ireland, although a trip this year appears unlikely, Catholic leaders announced Friday.

Catholic bishops last month invited the pope to come to Ireland to mark the 25th anniversary of his first visit to the country in 1979. Unlike that trip, this visit would include the British territory of Northern Ireland.

Most likely, the visit will not take place in 2004.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Pope to Return Icon Revered by Orthodox in Russia

The New York Times reports:

Pope John Paul II will give a revered icon that often hangs in his private chapel back to Russia next month in an effort to sweeten the sometimes sour relations between the Vatican and the Russian Orthodox Church.

The Vatican said Saturday that on Aug. 28, a Roman Catholic delegation will give the Mother of God of Kazan icon to Patriarch Aleksy II, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The icon, which appeared in the Russian city of Kazan in 1579, disappeared to the West around the time of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.

Pope Pushes for Millennium Development Goals

The Pope is using the networking power of the Catholic Church to establish a "Coalition of Support and Promotion for the Financing of Development," and has organized a conference for this Friday to be attended by officials of the UN, World Bank, IMF, as well as representatives from the Catholic hierarchy, national governments, and nongovernmental organizations.

"Poverty and Globalization: Financing for Development, Including the Millennium Development Goals" is the theme of the conference.

The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace commented that "Special attention will be given to the present situation of the international debt and innovative financing proposals... The objective of the project is to collect funds that will make it possible to obtain the $50 billion needed annually to achieve the millennium's objectives before 2015."

Monday, July 12, 2004

Pope Calls for Silence

During his vacation in the Alps in Northern Italy, Zenit reports the Pope as having delivered an address regarding the merits of observing silence.

"In reality, only in silence does man succeed in hearing in the depth of his conscience the voice of God, which really makes him free."

Further, the Pope used this theme to level a subtle criticism on the modern world, which he sees as failing to make time for silence and communion with God, something which could be a powerful force for peace.

In avoiding silence, we run away from productive confrontation of our conscience, distracting ourselves from the change and growth God demands of us. Silence and patient self-examination are integral parts of the path to liberation from the constraints of this world.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Vatican reports deficit third year in a row reports:

The Vatican reported a deficit for the third consecutive year Wednesday but an increase in donations provided a bright spot at a time of some dismal financial news for the Catholic Church because of settlements from the sex abuse scandal.

In its annual financial report, the Vatican listed a 2003 deficit of about $11.8 million, 30 percent lower than than the 2002 figure. It reduced the shortfall despite the costs for the Holy See's expanding diplomatic missions.

At the same time, it reported an increase in contributions to the pope, known as Peter's Pence, which it said were used for various humanitarian relief efforts around the world and for the Catholic Church in the Holy Land.

Donate to Peter's Pence.

In other news, heavy rains have halted the Pope's drive into the Alps today, according to Zenit.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Pope prepares for vacation in Northern Italy reports:

Pope John Paul II leaves the Vatican today for a two-week stay in northern Italy's Aosta Valley.

No public activities are planned, and no stream of visitors will be coming through the door of his wood-and-stone chalet...

At the end of two weeks, the Holy Father returns to his summer villa at Castel Gandolfo outside Rome until the end of September.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Pope John Paul II on the war in Iraq

Polls have suggested that over two-thirds of American Catholics supported the war in Iraq.

"No to war! War is not always inevitable. It is always a defeat for humanity."

"When war, as in these days in Iraq, threatens the fate of humanity, it is ever more urgent to proclaim, with a strong and decisive voice, that only peace is the road to follow to construct a more just and united society... Violence and arms can never resolve the problems of men."

-Pope John Paul II, on the American attack on Iraq

Patriarch Bartholomew I Invites Pope to Turkey

From Yahoo! News:

The Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople has invited Pope John Paul II to visit him in November at his headquarters in the Turkish city of Istanbul.

"I have the impression that he will be able to come on November 30 for the feast of Saint Andrew," Patriarch Bartholomew I said Friday on the last day of his visit to the Vatican.

The patriarch's visit to Rome marks a "leap ahead in dialogue and the strengthening of fraternal relations" between the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Churches, the pope said Tuesday.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Non-Pontifical Fun!

Normally we only post about our beloved Pontiff on this esteemed weblog, but today I discovered two gems that I just couldn't pass up!

Firstly, I came across a great Web site that you should check out immediately- the Shrine of the Holy Whapping. It's maintained by five of my classmates at The University of Notre Dame. It's informative, it's Catholic and it's hilarious. Topics covered include Catholic identity at Notre Dame, politics, and, umm, the Holy Prepuce of Calcata. The Shrine of the Holy Whapping is on our blogroll, and it should be in your bookmarks!

Secondly, John Kerry has been charged with heresy on a complaint recently filed with the Archdiocese of Boston by canon lawyer Marc Balestrieri, J.C.L., an assistant judge with the tribunal of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Seriously. I read that there will be communication between the Vatican and the Archdiocese of Boston on this, and I am certainly very interested in seeing what happens. Read more about it here and read the complaint here.

Pope Prays for Iraqi People

ABC News reports:

Pope John Paul II sent to a message to Iraq's interim president Wednesday, saying he was praying that the hopes of the Iraqi people for "peace, freedom and prosperity" will soon be fulfilled.

The message to Ghazi al-Yawer said the worldwide Catholic Church is offering its support as a "new chapter begins in the life of the nation."

"The Holy Father is confident that all religious groups within the country will be able to make their voices heard," the message said.

Christians in Iraq amount to about 3 percent of the population. Most of them are in fact Chaldean Catholics. The Chaldean Catholic Church is an Eastern Rite Church that is in full communion with our Holy Father and maintains a distinct identity within the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. It does not follow the Latin Rite, and therefore it not "Roman Catholic", but it is in fact wholly Catholic.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Vatican Frowns Upon Madonna (No, not the Blessed Virgin)

Thanks to the best blog ever, The Best Week Ever Blog, for this gem:

According to Jeannette Wall's Scoop, "the Vatican is holding a special summit with Catholic leaders from around the world, hammering out a way to deal with so-called 'New Age' religions and fads that pose a 'threat' to Christianity.

"The council, which met last week, singled out 'Kabbalah as espoused by Madonna' — as well as a number of other faddish religions, according to a report."

Madonna a threat to Christianity?

Vatican sources no longer ruling out papal visit to Ireland

IOL reports:

Vatican sources are no longer ruling out a visit to Ireland by Pope John Paul II...

Last week, Vatican sources dismissed the invitation, but reports this morning said they were no longer ruling out the possibility of a visit and were suggesting that Pope John Paul may decide to accept travel to Ireland in the autumn or next spring.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Pope is the Unity of the Universal Church

Yesterday, the Pope reflected in his general audience in the Vatican on the meaning of the pallium, which was received during Mass by 44 new bishops.

The pallium, a liturgical insignia that is a wool stole worn around the neck, is meant to be a "testimony of communion with the Bishop of Rome", according to the Pope.

"It expresses the fundamental principle of communion, which gives form to ecclesial life in every one of its aspects," the Pope said.

It "reminds one that this communion is organic and hierarchical; it manifests that the Church, to be one, is in need of the peculiar service of the Church of Rome and of its Bishop, head of the College of Bishops," he explained.

Further, the pallium represents the "catholicity", or universality, of the Catholic Church.

Pope thanks Military Order of Malta

VIS reports:

VATICAN CITY, JUN 22, 2004 (VIS) - This morning John Paul II received in audience Fra' Andrew Bertie, prince and grand master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. The Pope told him that the Holy See "appreciates the numerous services that your institution offers to the service of evangelization and, in particular, the many positive initiatives that it constantly promotes for the needy."

"I assure you that I pray for you," he said, "so that God, through the intercession of Mary Most Holy, may bless every project of your institution, and I encourage you to continue generously along the path of fidelity to Christ and His Church."

Monday, June 28, 2004

Holy Father Calls for a Worldwide Ban on Torture

The Pope called for a worldwide ban on torture during his weekly comments to the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square. The remarks came on the heels of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture (Saturday). Thanks to for the report:

John Paul pressed for a "common commitment of institutions and citizens to completely ban" what he called an "intolerable violation of human rights." He said acts of torture are "radically contrary to the dignity of man."

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Pope Prays to the Blessed Mother for Unification of Catholics and Orthodox

The Pope urged Catholics everywhere to pray to the Blessed Mother for unification of Catholics and Orthodox. The remarks were made upon the visit of the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I on June 29. Thanks to for the report.

"As we prepare to welcome the Ecumenical Patriarch I invite all to pray for the complete unity of Christians. May the Virgin Mary intercede to this effect, and may the Holy Mother of God, to whom the Eastern Christians are so devoted, make the memory of the embrace between Paul VI and Atenagora I encourage a renewed commitment to communion of Catholics and Orthodox.”

Thursday, June 24, 2004

The Pope Blog in the Press

I'd like to make a short post to thank everyone for their support and readership. When I started this Web site less than two weeks ago, I had no idea that it would receive such a great response!

- We have received permission from VIS (Holy See Press Office) to reprint official articles.

- We have been named a Featured Catholic Resource by CathNews.

Again, thanks to everyone for their support. If you have any articles or tips you'd like to submit, or if you are interested in writing for the Pope Blog, please write to

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Church to invite Pope to Ireland reports:

The Catholic hierarchy in Ireland is reported to be considering inviting the Pope to the country later this year to mark the 25th anniversary of his 1979 visit.

Reports this morning said the decision to invite Pope John Paul II on an official visit was made in principle at a meeting of the Bishops’ Conference in Maynooth last week.

The reports said the Government would have to approve any such visit, which would also depend on the Pontiff’s health.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Gotta love the Pope Blog

Hello. Welcome to the Pope Blog, everybody! Founded by two University of Notre Dame alumni, the Pope Blog was established June 13, 2004 as a blog to cover the events of Pope John Paul II. It was a great resource during Pope John Paul II's last days, funeral, conclave, and election of our new pope, Benedict XVI.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Pope praises new data on Inquisition released by Vatican reports:

The research, presented at a news conference, grew out of a conference of historians and other scholars in 1998 at the Vatican as John Paul sought to objectively assess the Inquisition, which stretched from the 13th to the 19th centuries...

"Before seeking pardon, it is necessary to have a precise knowledge of the facts," John Paul wrote in a letter Tuesday in which he expressed his "strong appreciation" for the research, which is contained in a 783-page book. For the public, "the image of the Inquisition represents almost the symbol ... of scandal," the pope wrote.

Monday, June 14, 2004

The Swiss Guard - Admission Requirements

Check out the admission requirements to be a member of the Swiss Guard.

I *barely* meet the height requirement (174cm) - whew! Now I'll have to work on that Swiss citizenship :)

Titles of the Pope

Titles of the Pope, according to TU ES PETRUS:

- His Holiness The Pope;
- Bishop Of Rome And Vicar Of Jesus Christ;
- Successor Of St. Peter, Prince Of The Apostles;
- Supreme Pontiff Of The Universal Church;
- Patriarch Of The West;
- Servant Of The Servants Of God;
- Primate Of Italy;
- Archbishop And Metropolitan Of The Roman Province;
- Sovereign Of Vatican City State.

The Wikipedia states:

The title 'Pope' is an informal one; the formal title of the Pope is 'Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Patriarch of the West, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City, Servant of the Servants of God', although this is rarely seen or used in full...

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Pope John Paul II Pays Tribute To Reagan

Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports:

BERN, Switzerland -- Pope John Paul II paid tribute Sunday to former President Ronald Reagan, recalling his efforts to bring down communism that "changed the lives of millions of people," a Vatican spokesman said.

On the second-day of a 32-hour pilgrimage to Switzerland, John Paul learned of Reagan's death with "sadness" and immediately prayed for the "eternal rest of his soul," said papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls.

The pope and the Reagan White House worked closely in the 1980s in efforts to promote the Solidarity labor movement in the pope's native Poland and to end the Soviet grip on eastern Europe.

President Bush Asks for Pope's Help on Gay Marriage Issue

The Washington Times reports:

ROME, Vatican City, Jun. 13 (UPI) -- A Roman Catholic newspaper says President George W. Bush asked a Vatican official to help push American bishops on certain cultural issues.

Bush made the request during a June 4 meeting with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, after his meeting with the pope, the New York Times reported Sunday.

"Bush said, 'Not all the American bishops are with me' on the cultural issues, especially the battle against gay marriage,'" and asked for the Vatican's help in encouraging the U.S. bishops to be more outspoken," according to National Catholic Reporter."


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