I need to update the column I posted on Saturday when the Vatican announced Pope Francis’ trip to L’Aquila on August 28 (POPE FRANCIS TO VISIT L’AQUILA IN AUGUST: IS THERE A MESSAGE IN HIS TRIP? | Joan’s Rome (

I wrote that the day of his trip to L’Aquila, August 28 was supposed to be the first of two days of meetings with the entire College of Cardinals, meetings announced by Pope Francis at the Regina Coeli on May 29, along with the names of the 21 men who will become cardinals on August 27.

In reality, the official two-day meeting of the entire College of Cardinals is set for August 29 and 30, with August 28 ostensibly serving as a day for many, if not most, cardinals to get to know each other, perhaps by sharing a meal or even a long walk or even an exchange of ideas in small gatherings.

I’ve had several cardinals tell me over the past year or two that they don’t know the majority of their brother cardinals, Not only do they not know each other, big numbers of cardinals have never even met their fellow members of the College of Cardinals in person, much less sat down for a coffee, aperitivo, meal or a walk.

Pope Francis wants the cardinals, in the official meetings, to discuss the new Apostolic Constitution Praedicate Evangelium on the reform of the Roman Curia that entered into force yesterday, June 5, Pentecost. Since that document is a fait accompli, one can wonder what there is to discuss. Are challenges or questions forthcoming? We can only conjecture.

Might the cardinals have other issues on their mind, a thousand questions they want to ask of each other and the Holy Father? I think it’s a safe bet to say ’yes’ they do!


Pope Francis addressed members of the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue on the occasion of their plenary assembly, noting that inter-religious dialogue is crucial in a world torn by conflict. (Vatican photo)

By Linda Bordoni (vaticannews)

Pope Francis’s speech to members of the Dicastery for Inter-religious Dialogue on Monday provided him with the occasion to reiterate his appeal for dialogue, based on the acceptance of diversity and respect for the other, as the only alternative to the fragmentation and conflict we experience in the world today.

His words came in the wake of his urgent plea on Pentecost Sunday to government leaders to step back and avoid leading humanity to ruin.

In his speech to the dicastery and to its president, Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, as it holds its plenary assembly, the Pope recalled that the institution was established by Pope St. Paul VI as the “Secretariat for Non-Christians” in his Pentecost homily in 1964, during the Second Vatican Council.

His intuition, the Pope said,  “was based on an awareness of the exponential development of relations between people and communities of different cultures, languages and religions – an aspect of what we now call globalization.”

For more: Pope: Dialogue is the alternative to fragmentation and conflict – Vatican News


Crisis Magazine on another crisis: Pillaging the Monasteries: The Vatican’s Hidden Financial Scandal ( As if there are not enough problems with other financial issues in the Vatican, especially the trail underway in the Vatican with 10 people indicted, including a cardinal, for bribery, corruption, extortion, fraud, and abuse of office, in connection with Vatican investment in a real estate deal in London.

I heard a few vague whispers several years ago when I went to the fairly new Il Cantico Hotel for a reception (mentioned prominently in this story), and they had something to do with the large piece of property owned by Franciscans, now housing an elegant hotel. I’ve returned a number of times over the years for meals with pilgrim groups or receptions for or by Vatican offices and officials but never heard anything more.

Il Cantico is perhaps a 7-minute walk from my house, just past the Franciscan parish of St. Gregory VII where I have occasionally attended Mass. I was told on my first visit that the land on which Il Cantico was built, adjacent to St. Gregory, was owned by Franciscans but I do not remember if it was the Franciscans of that parish, though that seemed like a logical conclusion.

This is such a sad, shameful story! Is this just the tip of an iceberg?

Might these scandals possibly be among items the College of Cardinals wants to discuss with the Holy Father when they meet almost three months from now?