VATICAN INSIDER: ABP. NAUMANN, POPE FRANCIS AND PROTECTING THE UNBORN – POPE’S MESSAGE FOR WORLD DAY OF SOCIAL COMMUNICATION

This is an important weekend in Rome. Pope Francis Friday welcomed U.S. Vice President Mike Pence to the Vatican. The vice president also met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, secretary of State. As I prepare this column, the Vatican has not yet issued a statement on that audience. Another event for Pope Francis: he will celebrate vespers tomorrow, Saturday, January 25, feast of St. Paul, in St. Paul’s Outside the Walls basilica as is traditional at the end of the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity that starts on January 18.

Below you will find Pope Francis’ Message for this year’s World Day of Social Communications. I know you will enjoy reading it and am sure that, on many points, you will be nodding your head in agreement or giving a thumbs up at certain observations he makes.

When asked what I do, I have often told people that I am a storyteller (he speaks of this throughout) and can relate to so many points he makes. I hope you enjoy the Message.

VATICAN INSIDER: ABP. NAUMANN, POPE FRANCIS AND PROTECTING THE UNBORN

I am excited to tell you about my guest in the interview segment of Vatican Insider, a conversation you absolutely will not want to miss! And here’s why: As you know today, Friday, January 24 is the 47th March for Life in Washington DC and for the first time ever a sitting U.S. president, Donald Trump, addresses participants! He is a president who, in many ways, has done much to protect life, especially the unborn, and to protect religious freedom.

And my guest this weekend has done a great deal for the protection of the unborn – Abp. Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas who heads the USCCB’s ProLife committee. He tells us about his 3-hour visit last week, with other US bishops, with Pope Francis and the discussion they had on prolife issues and, in particular, what the Pope called “the pre-eminent issue” for the faithful, that is, protecting the unborn!

Photos taken last week during Mass at St. Paul’s Outside the Walls.

This is especially important on this weekend when we mark the March for Life! So tune in for sure!

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at http://www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. 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.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on http://www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/multimedia/audio-library/index.asp (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes)

POPE’S MESSAGE FOR WORLD DAY OF SOCIAL COMMUNICATION

Pope Francis released his annual message for the World Day of Social Communication, a reflection on the Biblical text Exodus 10:2: “That you may tell your children and grandchildren.” This Message is traditionally published on the January 24 feast day of the patron saint of journalists, Francis de Sales.
“That you may tell your children and grandchildren” (Ex 10:2)

Life becomes history
I would like to devote this year’s Message to the theme of storytelling, because I believe that, so as not to lose our bearings, we need to make our own the truth contained in good stories. Stories that build up, not tear down; stories that help us rediscover our roots and the strength needed to move forward together. Amid the cacophony of voices and messages that surround us, we need a human story that can speak of ourselves and of the beauty all around us. A narrative that can regard our world and its happenings with a tender gaze. A narrative that can tell us that we are part of a living and interconnected tapestry. A narrative that can reveal the interweaving of the threads which connect us to one another.

1. Weaving stories
Human beings are storytellers. From childhood we hunger for stories just as we hunger for food. Stories influence our lives, whether in the form of fairy tales, novels, films, songs, news, even if we do not always realize it. Often we decide what is right or wrong based on characters and stories we have made our own. Stories leave their mark on us; they shape our convictions and our behaviour. They can help us understand and communicate who we are.

We are not just the only beings who need clothing to cover our vulnerability (cf. Gen 3: 21); we are also the only ones who need to be “clothed” with stories to protect our lives. We weave not only clothing, but also stories: indeed, the human capacity to “weave” (Latin texere) gives us not only the word textile but also text. The stories of different ages all have a common “loom”: the thread of their narrative involves “heroes”, including everyday heroes, who in following a dream confront difficult situations and combat evil, driven by a force that makes them courageous, the force of love. By immersing ourselves in stories, we can find reasons to heroically face the challenges of life.

Human beings are storytellers because we are engaged in a process of constant growth, discovering ourselves and becoming enriched in the tapestry of the days of our life. Yet since the very beginning, our story has been threatened: evil snakes its way through history.

2. Not all stories are good stories
“When you eat of it … you will be like God” (cf. Gen 3:4): the temptation of the serpent introduces into the fabric of history a knot difficult to undo. “If you possess, you will become, you will achieve…” This is the message whispered by those who even today use storytelling for purposes of exploitation. How many stories serve to lull us, convincing us that to be happy we continually need to gain, possess and consume. We may not even realize how greedy we have become for chatter and gossip, or how much violence and falsehood we are consuming. Often on communication platforms, instead of constructive stories which serve to strengthen social ties and the cultural fabric, we find destructive and provocative stories that wear down and break the fragile threads binding us together as a society. By patching together bits of unverified information, repeating banal and deceptively persuasive arguments, sending strident and hateful messages, we do not help to weave human history, but instead strip others of their dignity.

But whereas the stories employed for exploitation and power have a short lifespan, a good story can transcend the confines of space and time. Centuries later, it remains timely, for it nourishes life.

In an age when falsification is increasingly sophisticated, reaching exponential levels (as in deepfake), we need wisdom to be able to welcome and create beautiful, true and good stories. We need courage to reject false and evil stories. We need patience and discernment to rediscover stories that help us not to lose the thread amid today’s many troubles. We need stories that reveal who we truly are, also in the untold heroism of everyday life.

TO READ THE FULL MESSAGE IN ENGLISH: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-01/message-world-day-communication-life-history.html

VATICAN INSIDER: INSIDE AN AD LIMINA VISIT WITH ABP. NAUMANN – ECUMENICAL PILGRIMAGE AT START OF WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY

Monday is Martin Luther King Day in the United States and a holiday for EWTN staff. Except for an appearance on “At Home with Jim and Joy,” I will be taking the day off but, as always, if there is big breaking news, I’ll be here!

VATICAN INSIDER: INSIDE AN AD LIMINA VISIT WITH ABP. NAUMANN

My guest this week in Vatican Insider’s interview segment is Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas. He talks to us about the ad limina visit in Rome of bishops from Regions 8 and 9 in the United States – why there are such visits, what bishops do when they are in Rome, how and where they celebrate morning Mass and much, much more, including some insight into their lengthy visits with Pope Francis. Some good stories about his time with the Holy Father! Not to miss!

Here is a photo of Bishop Naumann as he spoke to EWTN News Nightly after Mass Wednesday in the basilica of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls:

By the way, you will also want to listen to the Q&A this week as I look at what materials can be used in chalices at Mass (some people may be surprised at the answer!)

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at http://www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. 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.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on http://www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/multimedia/audio-library/index.asp (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes)

ECUMENICAL PILGRIMAGE AT START OF WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY

(vaticannews) Friday morning, in addition to several private audiences, the Holy Father received a delegation from the Lutheran Church of Finland, in Rome for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. He highlighted the importance of journeying in communion of faith “so as to encourage one another and to strengthen one another in Christian discipleship.”

The group was in Rome as part of a customary ecumenical pilgrimage celebrating the feast of Saint Henrik, believed to have been an English-born Bishop of Uppsala who was martyred in the mid-12th century. He is venerated by Catholics and Lutherans, as well as several Protestant Churches and the Anglican Community.

In his remarks, the Pope looked ahead to the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity that begins on Saturday, January 18 on the theme “They showed us unusual kindness.” The words are those of the Apostle Paul, and refer “to the inhabitants of the island of Malta, who received him, together with hundreds of shipwrecked people, with hospitality,” said Francis.

The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity esch year prepares background information for the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. For 2020, the council notes that, “the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which usually takes place from 18–25 January, in some parts of the world is celebrated at Pentecost.”

The council made available the texts for the 2020 Week of Prayer with a link: texts for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2020

These texts were prepared by the Christian Churches of Malta and Gozo, says the website, together with an international committee comprising representatives of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches.

On the theme “They showed us unusual kindness” (Acts 28:2), the texts are based on the biblical passage describing the shipwreck of Saint Paul in Malta (Acts 27:18–28,10). This passage led the group to reflect on the trust of Saint Paul in divine providence and on the ecumenical virtue of hospitality. In the liturgy and reflections for the Week of Prayer, other themes are highlighted, including reconciliation, discernment, hope, trust, strength, hospitality, conversion and generosity.

Additional material is available on the website of the Archdiocese of Malta: http://thechurchinmalta.org/en/posts/325/ecumenical-commission.

For more on this pontifical council: http://www.christianunity.va

VATICAN INSIDER: INSIDE THE CATACOMBS – THE OTHER GOLDEN GLOBE

In a time of so much negative news, I think we need something refreshing, even surprising, so for the weekend I leave you with a fascinating article about the Vatican’s Golden Globe by my EWTN colleague Solène Tadié. This story, including drawings and inserts (not seen below), appeared in the Register on January 7: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/solenetadie/golden-sphere

I well remember when they were cleaning the dome in 2003 as I was working for the Vatican at the time and the technical services department of the Governorato gave us some very interesting fact sheets at the time.

If you don’t know Solène, European correspondent for the National Catholic Register, meet her here: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/solenetadie

Re: Friday’s Vatican News: Today’s press office bulletin in http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2020/01/10/200110a.html, listed audiences the Pope held this morning, adding at the end: Today the Pope will receive in audience: – Delegation of the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organisations (WUCWO); – Community of Jesuits of the Pontifical Latin American College of Rome. Interestingly enough, that information did not appear on vaticannews.va

VATICAN INSIDER: INSIDE THE CATACOMBS

Welcome to a new edition of Vatican Insider as we also welcome a New Year.
This week I have prepared a special for what is normally the interview segment. I explore the amazing, historical world of the Catacombs, one of Rome’s premiere tourist and pilgrim attractions. Sites steeped in faith, martyrdom and the lives of saints and popes. If you remember, Pope Francis said Mass on the feast of All Souls last November in the catacomb of St. Priscilla…very moving! So stay tuned for that after the news review and the Q&A!

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at http://www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. 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.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on http://www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/multimedia/audio-library/index.asp (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes)

THE OTHER GOLDEN GLOBE

The Unknown Story of St. Peter’s Golden Sphere

A prominent archaeologist of the Fabric of Saint Peter sheds light on the glorious history of the globe on the top of the Vatican Basilica’s dome.
– by Solène Tadié

The Romans affectionately call it Palla (“the Ball”). Enthroned on the top of the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, bearing the heavy white cross, it is meant to evoke the impact of Christ on the world, the mark of Christianity on earth.
This golden sphere is a precious element of the most famous church in the world, especially since deep cleaning work restored its former light and luster in 2003.

When seen from below, it seems so small that it is hardly conceivable that for centuries, the sphere has been a must-see stop for crowned heads from around the world. Indeed, very few people know it is possible to access the interior of the globe, which is big enough to welcome up to 16 people.

PHOTO: Marie-Claire/CC BY-SA/Wikimedia Commons

Completed July 20, 1593, the sphere was the final step, the crowning touch of the dome originally designed by Michelangelo and then slightly modified by architects Giacomo della Porta and Domenico Fontana. According to the Office of Conservation and Restoration of the Fabric of Saint Peter, the sphere — made of 54 trapezoidal-shape pieces of mercury-gilded bronze — rises to a height of about 410 feet from the floor of the basilica and measure more than 8 feet in diameter for a total weight of 4,104 pounds. It is accessible from the top of the dome thanks to a small ladder.

“Many 19th-century guides already highlighted the magnificence of this bronze globe, but its history is very little-known today” Pietro Zander, Director of the Office of Conservation and Restoration of the Fabric of Saint Peter, told the Register. “It was a highly coveted place in the 18th century, and the most prestigious travelers shared the desire to access the dome, especially the palla.”

The appeal of this sphere to the aristocracy of the past centuries is also immortalized by more than 70 marble tablets displayed along the wall of the famous spiral staircase that winds to the top of the dome. “Each tablet commemorates the visit of a sovereign or a royal family member to the sphere, whether it was king Ferdinand of Naples, Prince Gustaf of Sweden and Norway, or Tsar Nicholas I of Russia.”

The latter is reportedly the last sovereign to have entered the sphere, together with Pope Gregory XVI in the mid-19th century. Indeed, the access to the inside of the globe was definitively forbidden to the public a few years later for safety and conservation reasons. Since that time, only the staff in charge of maintaining the basilica has been allowed inside.

Such measures were taken after several incidents with visitors at the narrow entrance, which is less than 3 feet wide. In his illustrated book Saint-Pierre de Rome, 19th-century French writer Charles de Lorbac mentions a story about an overweight German visitor who got stuck in the entrance of the globe. A very plausible story, according to Zander, who reminds that this kind of stories is not isolated: “Many old ‘Sanpietrini’ [the workers who are responsible for the maintaining of the basilica] that used to work here remember several episodes of corpulent people who were not able to get inside because the passage was too narrow; clearly, an obese person cannot go through the door,” he said.

And the same problem arose with the various queens who climbed the stairs to the globe, as the clothes they wore in the past centuries restricted their movement. “There are several testimonies that mention royal banquets on the terrace of the dome, during which the queens changed to continue climbing the narrow stairs and enter the sphere,” Zander added.

The last pope to have visited it is said to be Pius IX in the mid-19th century. In fact, there is no mention in the Vatican archives of a papal visit to the sphere of St. Peter since then.

The mystery surrounding this place after it became forbidden to the public gave rise to various rumors about its origin, notably the fact that the sphere was designed to welcome a table for 12 people, as a tribute to the Apostles at the Last Supper. However, although inspiring, this theory seems unfounded.

“I’ve never heard about any table inside the sphere; there are only four small seats, and little windows to air the inside and let people admire the very unique and beautiful view,” Zander said, highlighting the preeminence of the symbolic dimension of the sphere. “Just like Brunelleschi’s dome on the top of the cathedral of Florence, the globe surmounted by a cross evokes the presence of the Cross among us above all; it symbolizes Christian Rome and the whole of Christendom.”

VATICAN INSIDER: TALITHA KUM, THE WAR ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING – MY GIFT TO YOU: “ONE SOLITARY LIFE”

I leave tomorrow to spend Christmas and New Year’s in California with family and friends but that does not mean I will not be thinking of and praying for you in this special season. In addition, I’ll be coming into your homes as I’ll be on “At Home with Jim and Joy,” and have prepared some special shows for my weekend radio program, “Vatican Insider.” So stay tuned for those!

My home is ready – my front door, my dining room table (always set for 4, year round, different settings) and my Lladro Nativity Scene:

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I wish all of you, my friends, family and faithful readers, TV viewers and radio listeners a blessed, holy, happy and healthy Christmas and a splendid New Year, a year that will be so wonderful you’ll find it hard to believe!
Before we part, however, I have a special gift for you as you will see below – One Solitary Life.

VATICAN INSIDER: TALITHA KUM, THE WAR ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING

My special guest this weekend on Vatican Insider is Sr. Gabriella Bottani, international coordinator for Talitha Kum, an international network of women against human trafficking, under the auspices of the UISG – International Union of Superiors General.

Sister explains the name, Talitha Kum, where the organization is working, how they coordinate activities and what happens when they save a person, almost always women and young females, from traffickers. A wonderful explanation of the amazing, and often thankless, work that Talitha Kum members do around the world!

Sr. Gabriella is on the right on this photo taken in September when members were received by Pope Francis:

Click here for more information: https://www.talithakum.info/
IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at http://www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. 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.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on http://www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/multimedia/audio-library/index.asp (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes)

MY GIFT TO YOU: “ONE SOLITARY LIFE”

This powerful Christmas column by late columnist Jimmy Bishop will surely leave you speechless for its beauty, simplicity and yet depth of understanding. I heard this for the first time a number of years ago when Andy Williams recited this in one of his Christmas albums:

“He was born in an obscure village, the Child of a peasant teen who knew not man. He grew up in another obscure village, where He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never married or owned a home. He never held a job, yet paid taxes. He never set foot inside a metropolis. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never wrote a book, or held an office. He did none of the things that usually accompany greatness. He received no awards, no medals, no prizes from His peers.

“While He was still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against Him. His friends deserted Him. He was turned over to His enemies, and went through the mockery of a trial. He had no lawyers, no friendly juries, no fair hearing. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While He was dying, His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had – His cloak. After He died, He was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave. Those who stood watch could not explain His disappearance.

“And yet two thousand years have come and gone, and today He is still the central figure for much of the human race. All the armies that ever marched and al the navies that ever sailed and all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as this ‘One Solitary Life’.”

VATICAN INSIDER: JANET MORANA AND CATHOLIC-INSPIRED NGOS – POPE URGES SCRUPULOSITY, ACCURACY IN INVESTIGATING SAINTHOOD

Happy Anniversary to Pope Francis who today marks the 50th anniversary of his priestly ordination!

It has been interesting to read the many articles about the appointment by Pope Francis of Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle to head the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the almost 400-year old dicastery originally known as Propaganda Fide (Spreading the Faith). A number of sites have suggested that Francis, in naming a charismatic personality, is also indicating one possible successor of his to the papacy.

That interested me and I looked at the history of this Congregation and found that of Tagle’s 40 predecessors as cardinal prefects of Propanganda Fide, only one, Cardinal Mauro Capellari had been elected as Pope, becoming Pope Gregory XVI. Born Bartolomeo Alberto Cappellari in September 1765, he had adopted the name Mauro upon entering the religious order of the Camaldolese. He was prefect of the Congregation from 1826 to 1831 when he was elected Pope. He was also ruler of the Papal States until his death in 1846.

Just sayin….it doesn’t mean it can’t happen a second time.

VATICAN INSIDER: JANET MORANA AND CATHOLIC-INSPIRED NGOS

My guest this week in the interview segment of Vatican Insider is well-known to many of you – Janet Morana – executive director of Priests for Life and also one of the main hosts of EWTN’s “The Catholic View.” Janet was in Rome for a forum of and by Catholic-inspired NGOs – Non-governmental organizations. Priests for Life is a member of that forum and Janet tells an exciting story about the meeting – so stay tuned for that!

I interviewed Janet on Saturday, December 7 in my office at 5 pm. After that conversation, we went to 6 pm Mass at St. Patrick’s and then to my parish’s annual gala dinner dance for charity. Of necessity, we were both dressed for the gala, not for a radio interview and I announce this at the end of our talk. Here is a photo to prove it!


IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at http://www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. 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.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on http://www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/multimedia/audio-library/index.asp (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes)

POPE URGES SCRUPULOSITY, ACCURACY IN INVESTIGATING SAINTHOOD

Vaticannews yesterday reported on the Pope’s address to members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Vatican Dicastery. It noted that, “the tasks of what are today called the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and the Congregation for Divine Worship, had been carried out earlier by the Sacred Congregation of Rites, instituted over 4 centuries ago in 1588. Pope Saint Paul VI in 1969, Pope Francis said, split the Congregation into two dicasteries that have “two large areas that are clearly distinct.”

Thus, a 50th anniversary for the Congregation for Causes of Saints, a congregation that inaugurated a new website – http://www.causesanti,va – that very same day.

Francis said that the many beatifications and canonizations that have been celebrated in recent decades mean that saints are models and guides of Christian life, but they are not unreachable human beings. In fact, he said, “they are people who have experienced the daily toil of existence with its successes and failures, finding in the Lord the strength to always get up and continue the journey.”

In what appeared to be remarks aimed at the recent postponement by Vatican orders of the scheduled December 21 beatification of Venerable Fulton Sheen in the Illinois diocese of Peoria, the Holy Father exhorted the Congregation in its task of carrying out with scrupulosity and accuracy its investigative research into the martyrdom, heroic virtues, the offering of life and miracles of men and women candidates, in order clear the field of any ambiguity or doubt and achieve full certainty in the proclamation of their holiness.

VATICAN INSIDER: BISHOP ADAM PARKER EXPLAINS AD LIMINA VISITS – ADVENT SERMON: MARY IN THE ANNUNCIATION: BLESSED IS SHE WHO BELIEVED

VATICAN INSIDER: BISHOP ADAM PARKER EXPLAINS AD LIMINA VISITS

Don’t miss Vatican Insider this weekend because Bishop Adam Parker, auxiliary of Baltimore, who is in Rome with U.S. bishops from Regions 4 and 5 of the USCCB for their long overdue ad limina visit, is mt guest this week. Normally these mandatory visits occur every five years but the last time U.S. bishops were here was late 2011 and 2012.

Bishop Parker will explain what the term “ad limina” means, how bishops prepare for their visit, what actually takes place when they are in Rome and what it is like to sit in the presence of the Pope for several hours for a no-holds-barred (Francis’ words) give and take of tough questions, comments, etc.

With Bishop Lori (in back) of Baltimore

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at http://www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. 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.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on http://www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: https://www.ewtn.com/radio/audio-archive (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes)

ADVENT SERMON: MARY IN THE ANNUNCIATION: BLESSED IS SHE WHO BELIEVED

The Preacher of the Papal Household, Fr Raniero Cantalamessa, gave his first Advent reflection this morning in the Redemptoris Mater Chapel in the Apostolic Palace. His sermon highlighted Mary in the Annunciation, “Blessed is She Who Believed.”

”Every year,” he began, “the liturgy leads us to Christmas with three guides: Isaiah, John the Baptist and Mary, the prophet, the precursor, the mother. The first announced the Messiah from afar, the second showed him present in the world, the third bore him in her womb. This Advent I have thought to entrust ourselves entirely to the Mother of Jesus. No one, better than she can prepare us to celebrate the birth of our Redeemer.

“She didn’t celebrate Advent, she lived it in her flesh. Like every mother bearing a child she knows what it means be waiting for somebody and can help us in approaching Christmas with an expectant faith. We shall contemplate the Mother of God in the three moments in which Scripture presents her at the center of the events: the Annunciation, the Visitation and Christmas.”

To read the rest of Father Cantalamessa’s beautiful reflection, click here: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/vatican-city/news/2019-12/raniero-cantalamessa-first-advent-sermon-2019-mary.html

VATICAN INSIDER VISITS VICE POSTULATOR FOR VENERABLE FULTON SHEEN – POPE FRANCIS SUMMARIZES ASIA JOURNEY AT GENERAL AUDIENCE – TRANSCIPT OF PAPAL PRESSER ON TOKYO-ROME FLIGHT

VATICAN INSIDER VISITS VICE POSTULATOR FOR VENERABLE FULTON SHEEN

As I mentioned last week in this same spot, you all know by now that the Vatican has approved a miracle through the intercession of Venerable Servant of God Archbishop Fulton Sheen, and the diocese of Peoria in Illinois where he is buried announced on Monday, November 18 that Sheen will be beatified in Peoria on December 21st.

Given that great news, last weekend I re-aired Part I of a conversation I had some time ago with Msgr. Richard Soseman, a pastor in the diocese of Peoria and also the vice postulator of the cause for sainthood of Archbishop Sheen. This weekend, I will re-air Part II of that conversation.

We talk about Msgr’s priestly life, his time studying in Rome and then working at Congregation for clergy, how his life and priesthood was impacted by Sheen, how he was assigned to the cause for sainthood, the role of a vice postulator and the miracle that led to Sheen’s beatification. A second miracle, by the way, is needed for canonization.

So stay tuned after the News and Q&A for Part II of that conversation.

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at http://www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. 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.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on http://www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: https://www.ewtn.com/radio/audio-archive (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes)

Here is Part I of my interview with Msgr. Soseman about Venerable Fulton Sheen – soon to be Blessed Fulton Sheen – that aired last weekend: https://soundcloud.com/ewtn-radio/vatican-insider-112319-archbishop-fulton-j-sheen

POPE FRANCIS SUMMARIZES ASIA JOURNEY AT GENERAL AUDIENCE

Though he had to be exhausted after his long and grueling trip to Asia, Pope Francis presided at the Wednesday general audience Wednesday in St. Peter’s Square. As is customary after an apostolic visit, Francis focused the general audience catechesis on his just-completed trip to Thailand and Japan. He began by thanking civil and religious authorities and all those responsible for preparing the visit.

“In Thailand,” said the Pope, “I met with the Supreme Buddhist Patriarch as a sign of esteem and of the importance of promoting respect and cooperation between the religions, and I encouraged the local Church’s support of the sick and poor at Saint Louis hospital. Among the highlights of my visit were the meetings with priests, consecrated men and women, the bishops and finally a group of young people. In the two celebrations of Mass we saw clearly how the Gospel is being inculturated among the Thai people.

“In Japan,” said the Pope, “the motto for my visit was ‘Protect All Life’: a vital theme for a county that experienced the devastation of the atom bomb and more recent disasters. I was able to spend time in prayer at Nagasaki and Hiroshima, where I met with survivors and their families, and I repeated my appeal for the abolition of nuclear weapons. In my meeting with young people, I encouraged them to face the future without fear by opening their hearts to God’s love in prayer and in service of others. I ask you to join me in entrusting the people of Thailand and Japan to God’s loving providence. May he bless them with prosperity and peace.”

During his audience, the Holy Father announced that on Sunday, December 1, he will go to Greccio in Italy’s Lazio region to pray at the site of the first living nativity scene set up here by St. Francis in 1223. It is said that Francis wished to attract pilgrims to the presepe or nativity scene in Greccio and to discourage them from going to the real first Nativity scene in Bethlehem because of the dangers to traveling pilgrims as the Holy Land was then under control of Muslims. Since 1223 there has been a living nativity scene here every Christmas season.

Francis previously visited Greccio on January 4, 2016.

Addressing Italian pilgrims, Pope Francis spoke of Albania and its people who have suffered greatly as a result of an earthquake that struck on Tuesday. The Pope said he was praying for the dead, the injured and their families and was close to all the Albanian people. He also noted that Albania was the first country in Europe that he wanted to visit.

TRANSCIPT OF PAPAL PRESSER ON TOKYO-ROME FLIGHT

Following is the transcript in English of the press conference held aboard the papal flight from Tokyo to Rome yesterday, November 26. As you will read at the end, “This unofficial transcript and translation is a collabortion of journalists at CNA, and its Italian and Spanish language news partners. Every effort is made for accuracy and clarity.”

I will go into detail in a separate post about the Pope’s remarks on Vatican finances, questionable transactions, possible corruption and the use of Peter’s Pence funds for investments such as buying real estate.

https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/full-text-of-pope-francis-in-flight-press-conference-from-japan-36598