Earlier this afternoon I watched a very moving ceremony in Washington, D.C. marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II – VE Day – Victory in Europe Day. So many people to thank for who we are and what we have today! Not just the U.S. but the countries in Europe freed from the threat of Nazism. I hope such anniversaries  – and what they commemorate, as well as the values espoused by the young men who gave their lives to defend and preserve freedoms – will long remain in our minds, especially as we live under new threats of an erosion of freedom of religion, attacks on Christianity, on traditional marriage and on the values that Americans have held dear for well nearly two and a half centuries.


My guest this weekend on Vatican Insider is Dominican Fr. Jim Sullivan, director of the Institute for Continuing Theological Education on the Rome campus of the Pontifical North American College.  He tell us why ICTE was founded in 1971, how its courses are organized, and how the priests who come to Rome for a monthlong course or a session lasting three months, study, live, and travel during their time in the Eternal City.


ICTE has a great story and a beautiful location, and Fr. Sullivan will bring it all to us. I visited the Casa O’Toole where the Institute is located and took a lot of photos which you can see here in the carousel. You see the Casa O’Toole (a former convent where Mother Pasqualina once lived – here’s some homework for you over the weekend!), the area grounds, the stupendous views from some of the rooms (all rooms at the Casa have a view!!), the very lovely chapel, etc.

As you know, in the United States, you can listen to Vatican Insider on a Catholic radio station near you (there is a list of U.S. stations at or on Sirius-XM satellite radio. If you live outside the U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” Vatican Insider airs Saturday mornings at 9:30 am (Eastern time) and re-airs Sundays at 4:30 pm (ET). Check for your time zone. Past shows are found in Vatican Insider archives:


The Statutes of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, set up last year by Pope Francis, were published today in the original Italian and in English translation. They had been approved on April 21 by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, upon mandate by the Holy Father, after a draft presented by Cardinal Sean O’Malley, president of the pontifical commission. The Statues consist of six articles – Nature and Competence, Composition and Members, Plenary Assembly, Personnel, Working Groups – and General Norms.

The first part explains that the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors is an autonomous institution linked to the Holy See with a public legal personality and has an advisory function in the service of the Holy Father. The protection of minors, the text continues, is of the first importance, and therefore it is the role of the Commission to propose initiatives to the Pontiff, following the modalities indicated in the Statutes, to promote the responsibility of the particular Churches in the protection of all minors and vulnerable adults. These proposals will have to receive prior approval by the majority of two thirds of the members of the Commission. For the elaboration of the proposals, when the matter falls within the competence of other ecclesial bodies, the president of the Commission, with the assistance of the secretary, will consult the competent entities for the protection of minors in the particular Churches, the episcopal conferences, the conferences of the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life, as well as the dicastery of the Roman Curia competent in the matter. This consultation will take place in a transparent manner with the members of the Commission, based in Vatican City State.

The Commission, according to the second part, is composed of a maximum of eighteen members appointed by the Holy Father for a three-year period, which may be reconfirmed, and are selected from persons of recognised competence in various areas linked to the activity entrusted to the Commission. Both the president and the secretary are appointed from among the members by the Holy Father for a period of three years, a mandate that may be reconfirmed.

The plenary assembly, as explained in the third part, will be convoked twice yearly. Upon request by two thirds of the Members and with the consent of the president, an extraordinary plenary assembly may be convoked. For the plenary assembly to be considered valid, at least two thirds of the members must be present; they may participate via video conference.

The members of the Commission, the personnel and the collaborators with the working groups, according to the final part, are required to observe the norms of professional secrecy regarding the news and information they become aware of in the exercise of their tasks and functions (source: VIS) CLICK HERE TO READ STATUTES:

To complete the publication of the Statutes, the Chirograph by which the Pope instituted the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors on March 22, 2014 was also published today. Click here to read the entire text:


(VIS) – The Holy See Press Office today published the Pope’s itinerary for his apostolic trip to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay from July 5 to the 13th.

In just eight days, Pope Francis will deliver some 22 speeches and homilies on his ninth international voyage. He has not included his native Argentina on this trip and has said in the past, he would go there in 2016.

ECUADOR: The Pope will leave Rome’s Fiumicino airport at 9 a.m. on Sunday, July 5 and will arrive at the Mariscal Sucre airport in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, at 3 p.m. local time, where the welcome ceremony will be held. On Monday the 6th, he will proceed to Guayaquil to celebrate Mass in the shrine of Divine Mercy, after which he will lunch at the Colegio Javier with the Jesuit community. Upon return to Quito, he will pay a courtesy visit to the Ecuadorian president in the presidential palace and will subsequently visit the Cathedral. In the morning of Tuesday 7 July he will meet with the bishops of Ecuador in the Congress Center of Bicentenary Park where he will celebrate Mass. In the afternoon he will encounter representatives of schools and universities in the Pontifical University of Ecuador and later, representatives of civil society in the Church of San Francisco, followe by a private visit to the “Iglesia de la Compania” On Wednesday July 8, he will visit the rest home of the Missionaries of Charity, will meet with clergy, men and women religious and seminarians at the national Marian shrine, El Quinche and later depart by air for Bolivia.

BOLIVIA: Upon arrival at the airport of El Alto in La Paz, he will give an address and, following the welcome ceremony, will transfer to the Government Palace to pay a courtesy visit to the president. From there, he will go to the Cathedral of La Paz to meet with civil authorities, after which he will travel by air to Santa Cruz de la Sierra where he will spend the night. On Thursday July 9 Francis will celebrate Mass in Cristo Redentor Square and meet with men and women religious in the Don Bosco school. Afterwards,  he will participate in the World Meeting of Popular Movements in the Expo trade fair center. Friday morning, July 10 he will visit the Santa Cruz-Palmasola re-education center and then go to the parish church of Santa Cruz to meet with the bishops of Bolivia. The Pope will depart for Paraguay from the Viru Viru airport in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, landing at around 3 p.m. local time in the Silvio Pettirossi airport of Asuncion.

PARAGUAY: After arriving in Paraguay, the Pope will pay a courtesy visit to the president in the Palacio de Lopez where he will also meet with civil authorities and the diplomatic corps. On Saturday July 11, he will visit the “Ninos de Acosta Nu” general pediatric hospital, followed by Mass in the square of the Marian sanctuary of Caacupe. That afternoon he will meet with representatives of civil society in the Leon Condou stadium of the San Jose school. The day will conclude with the celebration of vespers with the bishops, priests, deacons, men and women religious, seminarians and Catholic movements in the metropolitan cathedral of Our Lady of Asuncion. Sunday, July 12 will begin with a visit to the people of Banado Norte in the Chapel of San Juan Batista, and Mass in the Nu Guazu field. The Holy Father will meet and dine with the bishops of Paraguay in the Cultural Center of the apostolic nunciature. His last engagement will be a meeting with young people at the Costanera riverside area. At 7 p.m. local time Francis will depart by air for Rome, where he is expected to arrive on Monday, July 13 at around 1.45 p.m.