Thursday, June 28, 2012


Vatican City,  Today, the Pope authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate  decrees relating to a number of persons including :

HEROIC VIRTUES -:Servant of God Fulton Sheen, American archbishop, and former bishop of Rochester (1895-1979), and  Servant of God Mary Angeline Teresa (nee Bridget Teresa McCrory), founder of the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm (1893-1984).                    (From 28 June 2012 VIS)

NOTE: The Congregation for the Causes of Saints (Official Latin Title: Congregatio de Causis Sanctorum) is the congregation of the Roman Curia which oversees the complex process that leads to the canonization of saints, passing through the initial step of a declaration of "heroic virtues".


Vatican City,  Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for July is:
 "That everyone may have work in safe and secure conditions".

His mission intention is:
 "That Christian volunteers in mission territories may witness to the love of Christ".
(From 28 June 2012 VIS)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fortnight for Freedom Readings

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has chosen reflections and readings from the Vatican II document "Declaration on Religious Liberty (Dignitatis Humanae)  on the Right of the Person and of Communities to Social and Civil Freedom in Matters Religious" for daily use during the Fortnight for Freedom, a national campaign to teach and witness in support of religious liberty.

An English language version of Dignitatis Humanae promulgated by His Holiness Pope Paul VI on December 7 1965 can be found here.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Vatican Information Service Will Migrate to News.VA

Vatican City, 12 June 2012  - "As of 31 July 2012 the Vatican Information Service (VIS) will cease to exist as a separate office providing information distinct from the Bulletin of the Holy See Press Office. However, subscribers to VIS will continue to receive a comprehensive information service", according to a communique released this morning by the Holy See Press Office.

"As part of the development and coordination of the Holy See's social communications activities, and following guidance received from the Secretariat of State, the personnel of VIS will be transferred. Some of them will go to reinforce the multilingual '' portal which was established a year ago in the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, others will be employed in the multilingual development of the Press Office Bulletin.

"As is now well known, the '' portal gathers the principal news items concerning the Holy See and the life of the Church, as published daily by the Press Office, the 'Osservatore Romano', Vatican Radio and Fides News Agency. It then presents them in an easily accessible format, accompanied by Vatican Television Centre videos and photographs from the photographic service of the 'Osservatore Romano'. One of the characteristics of the portal - which currently operates daily in Italian, English, Spanish and French - is that it is structured in such a way as to make it easy to share the material on social networks (such as Facebook and Twitter) and to make it accessible with new applications on mobile devices.

"The Press Office Bulletin has thus far been published principally in Italian, unless the original texts were in other languages, while VIS has worked regularly in four languages. Integrating the English-, French- and Spanish-language staff of VIS into the everyday activities of the Holy See Press Office will enable the online publication of the Bulletin to be renewed, with the inclusion of complete translations of various texts and language summaries of texts that cannot be fully translated. These measures will be gradually introduced beginning in September 2012.

"The translated parts of the Bulletin, together with the summaries in languages other than Italian, will continue to be sent to the 60,000 VIS subscribers who thus will not lose a service they have received and appreciated for so long. Moreover, the extensive archive of more than 85,000 articles in various languages, produced by VIS in more than twenty years of activity, will be conserved and integrated, with a simple and rapid search engine, into the site of the Press Office".

(From 12 June 2012 VIS)


Vatican City, 12 June 2012  -  Extracts from an interview given to Vatican Radio by Msgr. Ettore Balestrero, Under Secretary for Relations with States, concerning the conclusion of the plenary meeting of the Bilateral Permanent Working Commission between the Holy See and the State of Israel.

Q: Over recent days there have been persistent rumors  that the Agreement, which has been in preparation for thirteen years, would finally be signed. Yet it was not signed. What has happened?
A: Nothing in particular. It is true that in some circles there was talk of signing the Agreement, but that was not in fact scheduled. As I have said before, progress has been made, but questions still remain to be resolved.

Q: There has been concern among Palestinians that, by signing this Agreement, the Holy See would indirectly recognize Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem and other territory occupied in the war of 1967.
A: The Agreement in question concerns the life, activity and tax status of the Catholic Church in Israel. It does not enter into territorial disputes. There will be no mention of East Jerusalem or of anywhere in the West Bank.

Q: But there has been talk of a draft agreement in which certain places in East Jerusalem and the West Bank are mentioned.
A: Since the beginning of the negotiations we have worked on a plan for a Comprehensive Agreement which also included the so-called 'Schedule One'; that is, a list of individual properties belonging to the Holy See and to certain institutions of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land which, over the years, have been subjected to onerous provisions by Israel. And it is true that some of those properties are in East Jerusalem or in areas occupied in 1967. The aim was to resolve concrete problems. However, for some time now, it has been decided that the Agreement to be signed will only deal with certain properties which are not in East Jerusalem or the West Bank. Therefore it is incorrect to say that, by this Agreement, the Holy See would be violating the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the protection of civilian persons in time of war. The confusion and concern were due to the undue use of a working instrument, which has long since been superseded and which, in any case, is still being elaborated.

Q: Has the position of the Holy See on East Jerusalem changed?
A: The Holy See's position has not changed. It was affirmed in the 'Basic Agreement' between the Holy See and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), it has been reiterated on various occasions, and will be mentioned again in the 'Global Agreement' with the PLO, currently being prepared.

Q: A final question. It has been written that this Agreement which the Holy See is preparing with Israel will damage agreements that France, Italy and other countries have with Israel.
A: That is untrue, The Agreement concerns the Holy See and the State of Israel, and has no effect on agreements Israel has made with other States. The validity of those agreements depends first and foremost on the will of the parities involved and not on the existence of an agreement those parties have with a third party, in this case the Holy See. This is, moreover, a commonly accepted principle of international law.

(From 12 June 2012 VIS)

Monday, June 11, 2012


Vatican City  - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique yesterday afternoon:
"The Holy See was surprised and concerned to learn of recent developments involving Professor Gotti Tedeschi. It has the greatest confidence that the Italian judicial authorities will honour and respect the sovereign prerogatives which the Holy See is recognised as having under international law.
"Moreover the Holy See confirms its complete confidence in the people who, with great commitment and professionalism, dedicate their labours to the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), and it is carefully examining the possibility that any harm, to its own rights or to those of its institutions, may have arisen from the current circumstances.
"Finally, it must be reiterated that the motion of no confidence passed against Professor Gotti Tedeschi by the Administrative Board of the IOR was founded on objective reasons concerning the governance of the IOR. It was not determined by any purported opposition to the policy of transparency which, in fact, the Holy See authorities and the IOR itself have very much to heart".
(From 9 June 2012 VIS)

Monday, June 04, 2012

Altar Servers Recognized

At the conclusion of Sunday Mass on June 3, Father Krempa recognized Altar Servers Daniel Judge, Erich Engle, Conor Mettenburg and Alex Sefton for their many years at Saint Bridget’s.

The Saint Bridget’s NewsLetter of that date thanked them “for their reliability, their positive influence on our younger servers, their dedication to the church, their commitment to their faith and their care for families during Mass, whether it is a Sunday, Holy Day marriage or funeral.”

Later in the day, the publisher of the Winchester Star, presented a 2012 Star Leadership Award to Conor Mettenburg. Former U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd established the award in 1954 while he was publisher of The Star. The award is granted to a student “who best exemplifies a combination of character, qualities of leadership, and devotion to duty”. Conor will use the $10,000 award to help pay his tuition at the University of Virginia where he plans to major in aerospace engineering.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Eighth World Meeting of Families Set for Philadelphia in 2015

Saturday evening, June 2, almost half a million people attended the "Celebration of Witnesses" at Bresso Park in Milan, Italy, one of events of the seventh World Meeting of Families. The Holy Father  participated in the celebration during which he answered questions put to him by various families.
A Brazilian family raised the issue of divorced couples who have remarried and cannot avail themselves of the Sacraments. Benedict XVI said that "this is one of the the great causes of suffering for the Church today, and we do not have simple solutions....We must tell people in this situation that the Church loves them, but they must see and feel this love". Parishes and other Catholic communities "must do everything possible so that such people feel loved and accepted, that they are not 'outsiders' even if they cannot receive absolution and the Eucharist. They must see that they too live fully within the Church. ... The Eucharist is real and shared if people truly enter into communion with the Body of Christ. Even without the 'corporeal' assumption of the Sacrament, we can be spiritually united to Christ". It is important for divorced couples "to have the chance to live a life of faith, ... to see that their suffering is a gift for the Church, because they also help others to defend the stability of love, of Marriage; ... theirs is a suffering in the community of the Church for the great values of our faith".
The following  Sunday,  the Holy Father announced that the Eighth World Meeting of Families will be held in Philadelphia, U.S.A. in the year 2015. "I send my warm greetings to Archbishop Charles Chaput", he said, "and to the Catholics of that great city, and look forward to meeting them there along with numerous families from all around the world".
(From 3 June 2012  VIS)