A communiqué from the Holy See Press Office this afternoon, Feb 18:

“This morning, as part of a search ordered by the Promotor of Justice, Gian Piero Milano, and Deputy Alessandro Diddi, a seizure of documents and computer equipment was carried out at both the office and home of Msgr. Alberto Perlasca, former head of Administrative Office of the First Section of the Secretariat of State. The measure, taken as part of the investigation into financial investments and in the real estate sector of the Secretariat of State, and respecting the principle of the presumption of innocence, is to be connected to what emerged from the first interrogations of the officials (who were) investigated and suspended from service at the time. The Promoter’s Office and the Gendarmerie Corps continue administrative and accounting investigations and cooperative activities with foreign investigative authorities.”

(JFL: On July 26, 2019, Pope Francis appointed as substitute Promotor of Justice at the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura Msgr. Alberto Perlasca, previously employed in the General Affairs Section of the Secretariat of State.

Perlasca’s biography, made public that day, says: Born in Como on July 21, 1960, Msgr. Perlasca was ordained a priest for the diocese of Como on June 13, 1992. He graduated in law at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart and in canon law at the Pontifical Gregorian University. In 2006 he was made a monsignor (chaplain to His Holiness). In October 2003 he was hired at the Legal Office of the General Affairs Section of the Secretariat of State and incorporated into the Diplomatic Service of the Holy See.

From April 2006 until May 2008 he worked in the apostolic nunciature in Argentina. He then returned to the Secretariat of State at the Administrative Office, heading that since July 2009. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the (Vatican’s) Pension Fund and Health Care Fund (FAS) and of the Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital. He is also a member of the Board of Auditors of the Joseph Ratzinger – Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation.

He has held various positions, including consultor to the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. Msgr. Perlasca has remained active in the canonical sphere, participating, among other things, in various academic activities. In addition to Italian, he knows English, French and Spanish.)


Check your local listings for EWTN’s coverage tomorrow, Saturday, May 18, of Italy’s 9th March for Life

Here’s a lovely story: Before the terrorist attack, Sri Lankan Catholics were remembered for their beautiful religious art. Five hundred years ago, the Christian converts of Sri Lanka earned considerable respect from the Portuguese missionaries. This was partly due to their enthusiasm for the new faith, but mostly because of their creative skills.

PS. Did you know that Sri Lanka (Serendib as it used to be, then Ceylon) gave its name to the English word “serendipity”?


My guest this week in the interview segment is Archbishop Francisco Javier Lozano, apostolic nuncio or papal ambassador. Ordained a priest in Rome in 1968, he has Doctorates in Theology, Philosophy and Canon Law. He was called to Rome to study at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy of Rome and in his early years worked in the nunciatures of Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Yugoslavia and Guatemala.

In his Rome home with many of his famous Russian icons –

From 1984 to 1994 he was Head of the Latin America-Spain Department of the Vatican’s Secretary of State under Pope John Paul II. Abp. Lozano was eventually Apostolic Nuncio in Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Croatia, Romania and Moldova. He speaks Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese, English, Serbo-Croatian, German, Russian and Romanian.

This is a bike that Pope John Paul gave him after his apostolic voyage to Uruguay, Chile and Argentina March 31-April 12, 1987:

Biking, tennis and golf were his sports preferences!

Listen to Part I to learn more about the Vatican’s celebrated diplomatic corps.

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POPE FRANCIS MET WITH PARTICIPANTS IN THE SOCIETY OF AFRICAN MISSIONS ongoing General Assembly, and praised their “courageous missionary zeal.” The Society of African Missions is a missionary order of priests who serve Catholics in Africa, often in rural areas, as well as communities of African origin in other parts of the world. Francis urged them to persevere in serving victims of war and human trafficking, and he prayed with the priests for Fr. Pierluigi Maccalli, who was abducted last year in Niger. The Pope thanked the missionaries for their “great work of evangelization” in places where the Christian community is still fragile and for their special attention to migrants. “These new pastoral horizons are a sign of the vitality of the Holy Spirit at work in you.”

THE HOLY FATHER RECEIVED MEMBERS OF THE CATHOLIC ASSOCIATION OF HEALTH CARE WORKERS on the 40th anniversary of its founding. “I am pleased to meet you,” said Francis, “and to share with you the intent to defend and promote life, starting from those who are most defenseless or in need of assistance because they are sick, or elderly, or marginalized, or because they face existence and ask for be welcomed and looked after. To all of them, in different ways, you provide an irreplaceable service whenever, as health workers, you offer them the care they need or the closeness that sustains them in their fragility.”


“The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith communicated on January 29, 2019 the resignation of Rev. Fr. Hermann Geissler, FSO, to the office at the same Congregation and the request of the same (person) that the canonical process be continued, deeming the accusation against him not true. At the Apostolic Signatura, to which the Holy Father, at the request of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, had entrusted that cause, the administrative penal process was celebrated. A College was formed consisting of five Members of the Supreme Tribunal itself, who, meeting on May 15th, issued the decree of acquittal of the accused, not having been proven with due moral certainty, after a careful examination of the matter, the configuration of the alleged serious crime.”

(JFL: The Apostolic Signatura is one of the Church’s three tribunals and is similar to a supreme court as it is the highest judicial authority in the Church, although the Pope “is the supreme ecclesiastical judge and final point of appeal for any ecclesiastical judgment.” The responsibilities of this tribunal are laid out in Pope John Paul’s 1988 Apostolic Constitution “Pastor Bonus”:
Pope Francis and his cardinal advisors are currently writing a new constitution, and it will be interesting to see of the competencies of the Signatura remain or if they are in some way changed or added to)