I was heartbroken last night, as Fr. Frank Pavone and Janet Morana and I were having dinner, to learn that Cardinal Egan, archbishop emeritus of New York had died suddenly of cardiac arrest. I have a lot of wonderful memories of this man whom I met a number of times over the years, a man with whom I shared a birth place, Oak Park, Illinois. I’ll post my own photos and memories in short order but for now, you might enjoy hearing from a classmate of CardinalEgan, Msgr. Roger Roensch. Many of you might have met him if you ever visited the Casa Santa Maria and the U.S. Bishops Office for Visitors to Rome where you got tickets for the Wednesday general audience.

Click here to listen to Msgr. Roensch’s story: http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2015/03/06/remembering_cardinal_egan_msgr_roensch/1127603


My guest in the interview segment this weekend is Fr. Scott Borgman, the coordinating secretary for the Pontifical Academy for Life. The Academy is meeting in plenary session on the theme, “Assisting the Elderly and Palliative Care.”  Fr. Borgman talks about the academy and its work, the plenary and the great audience that the members and guests had with Pope Francis on Thursday!  Some surprises there!

Father Scott and I had our conversation in the synod hall, part of the Paul VI Hall. Afterwards, as we walked down a hallway to the stairs that lead to the atrium, we passed an exquisite little chapel that I had never seen, notwithstanding all the times I’d been in the synod hall. We said a brief prayer and then Father took the following photos inside the chapel, including the amazing panorama shot!


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Pope Francis has sent a telegram of condolences to Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, upon learning of the death of his predecessor, Cardinal Edward Egan at the age of 82.  The former leader of the New York archdiocese died of cardiac arrest on Thursday. (photo from news.va)


“Having learned with sadness of the death of Cardinal Edward M. Egan, Archbishop Emeritus of New York, I offer heartfelt condolences to you and to the faithful of the Archdiocese. I join you in commending the late Cardinal’s noble soul to God, the Father of mercies, with gratitude for his years of episcopal ministry among Christ’s flock in Bridgeport and New York, his distinguished service to the Apostolic See, and his expert contribution to the revision of the Church’s law in the years following the Second Vatican Council. To all assembled in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral for the Mass of Christian Burial, and to all those who mourn Cardinal Egan in the sure hope of the Resurrection, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of consolation and peace in the Lord.”   FRANCIS PP.

The Vatican published a brief biography: Cardinal Egan was born on April 2, 1932, in Oak Park, Illinois and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago on December 15, 1957. He was consecrated a bishop in 1985. From 1985 to 1988, he served as auxiliary bishop and vicar for education of the Archdiocese of New York. In 1988 he was appointed the bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport by Pope John Paul II. In the year 2000, he was appointed archbishop of New York and made a cardinal in 2001. He retired in 2009. Cardinal Egan’s death brings the number of cardinals in the College of Cardinals down to 226.


Friday morning in the Paul Vi Hall, Pope Francis met with members of the Neocatechumenal Way, including families that are about leave on missionary diuty in various parts of the world.

Heartfelt laughter greeted part of the Pope’s opening remarks to the organizers and families who will leave on mission. He said, “Peter’s task is to confirm his brothers and sisters in the faith. So you too have wanted with this gesture to ask the Successor of Peter to confirm your call, to support your mission, to bless your charism. And I want to confirm your call, support your mission and bless your charism.  I’m doing that not because I’ve been paid to: No!  – and the audience laughed – I’m doing it because I want to.  You will go forth in the name of Christ into the world to bring His Gospel: Christ will precede, Christ will accompany and Christ will fulfill the salvation of which you are bearers!”

He said that the communities, “called by the Bishops, are formed by a priest and four or five families, with children including grown-up ones, and are a ‘missio ad gentes’, with a mandate to evangelize non-Christians. Non-Christians who’ve never heard about Jesus Christ and the many non-Christians who’ve forgotten who Jesus Christ was, who is Jesus Christ: baptized non-Christians but who have forgotten their faith because of secularization, worldliness and many other things. Re-awaken that faith!”

“Today’s world,” said Pope Francis, “badly needs this great message. How much solitude, how much suffering, how much distance from God in the many peripheries of Europe and America, and in many cities of Asia! Today, in every latitude, humanity greatly needs to hear that God loves us and that love is possible! These Christian communities, thanks to you missionary families, have the essential task of making this message visible. And what is this message? ‘’Christ is risen, Christ lives. Christ lives amongst us’.”

For more: http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-addresses-members-of-the-neocatechume


(Vatican Radio)  Vatican press spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi has confirmed that discussions on financial transparency are ongoing between the Holy See and Italy.  Fr. Lombardi released a brief statement late Thursday in which he said discussions are underway “to collaborate with Italy and go towards the goal of greater and more complete transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes.”

The statement follows comments made by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi who, in a lengthy interview with the Italian magazine L’Espresso, spoke of Italy’s efforts to combat tax evasion.  Renzi said he hoped to reach an accord similar to those struck with Switzerland, Montecarlo and Liechtenstein to “recover a little bit of money also from the Vatican.”


A press release from IOR, Institute for Works of Religion, commonly known as the Vatican bank, announced today that the Board of Superintendence of the Istituto per le Opere di Religione has appointed Gianfranco Mammi as Deputy-Director with immediate effect for an indefinite term. The appointment has been approved by the IOR Supervisory Commission of Cardinals and the regulator AIF.

Gianfranco Mammi, 59, says the press release, started his career at IOR in 1992 at the cashier desk. Over the past 23 years he has gained vast experience in various positions working with the Institute’s Italian and Latin American clients in subsequent roles as Client Relationship Manager or later as Deputy Head of the Succession Office. Most recently he served as Head of Purchasing Office.

In his new position as Vice Director, he reports to the Board of Superintendence and is jointly responsible with the Institute’s Director General Rolando Marranci for all operational activities. Rolando Marranci has been confirmed as Director General. The position of Vice Director had been vacant.

The press release added an explanatory note about IOR:  Istituto per le Opere di Religione (IOR) is an institute founded on 27 June 1942 by papal decree. Its origins date back to the “Commissione Cardinalizia ad Pias Causas” (The Cardinals’ Commission for Pious Causes) established in 1887 by Pope Leo XIII. The purpose of IOR is to serve the global mission of the Catholic Church by providing for the custody and administration of its customers’ assets, and rendering dedicated worldwide payment services to its customers. The Institute’s mission was confirmed by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, on 7 April 2014.

IOR operates from a single location – its headquarters in the Vatican City State – and is regulated by the “Autorità di Informazione Finanziaria” (AIF), the financial supervisory body for the Vatican City State. IOR serves approximately 15,500 customers. As of 31 December 2013, the Institute was entrusted with customers’ assets totalling EUR 5.9bn.