National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Vatican

Traditionalist leader to talk with Vatican officials

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VATICAN CITY -- The head of a group of traditionalist Catholics will meet with the Vatican Sept. 14 to continue a series of doctrinal discussions.

The Vatican confirmed Aug. 23 that Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the Society of St. Pius X, will travel to Rome in mid-September to meet with U.S. Cardinal William J. Levada, the head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

On plane to Madrid, pope says WYD refreshes, strengthens the young

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ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT TO MADRID (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI described the World Youth Day celebrations as a "waterfall of light" that refreshes, nourishes and strengthens young Catholics and, therefore, can bring hope to the world.

Responding to four questions during the flight from Rome to Madrid Aug. 18, the pope told reporters that Blessed John Paul II was inspired when he instituted World Youth Day, and the celebration has brought much good to the church and the world, even if the results aren't always evident immediately.

Vatican aims to regain trust of US religious women, official says

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VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In the final stage of the apostolic visitation of U.S. women's religious communities, the Vatican congregation overseeing the study not only is facing mountains of paper, but must try to rebuild a relationship of trust with the women, said the congregation's secretary.

U.S.-born Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin, secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, said, "I believe a visitation has to have a dialogical aspect, but the way this was structured at the beginning didn't really favor that."

Paving stones tell time in St. Peter's Square

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VATICAN CITY

Hidden among the paving stones of St. Peter's Square there is a simple clock and calendar. All you need is a sunny day.

The 83-foot stone obelisk in the middle of the square acts as a sundial that can accurately indicate midday and the two solstices thanks to a granite meridian and marble markers embedded in the square.

Archbishop Sambi, US nuncio, dies at age 73

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BALTIMORE -- Italian Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Vatican nuncio to the United States, died late July 27 at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore after a hospitalization that began with lung surgery. He was 73.

On July 22, the apostolic nunciature in Washington announced that the archbishop had been "placed on assisted ventilation to attempt recovery of his lung function" two weeks after undergoing "a delicate lung surgery."

A veteran Vatican diplomat, Archbishop Sambi was appointed as U.S. nuncio, or ambassador, in December 2005 by Pope Benedict XVI. Prior to the U.S. appointment, he had been nuncio to Israel and Cyprus; he was the second Vatican ambassador to Israel, after the Vatican and Israel established diplomatic relations in 1994.

Latest ferment shows German instinct to rebel

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Analysis

Of late, a cycle of hand-wringing over Germany has sprouted in wonkish foreign affairs journals. Germany’s waffling on aid to embattled Euro-zone economies, its abstention from a Security Council vote on Libya, and a $2.5 billion deal to sell crowd-control tanks to Saudi Arabia despite widespread revulsion over images of Saudi tanks crushing protests in Bahrain have all set off alarms.

At bottom, the fear is that after a half-century of moving in concert with other Western powers, Germany may be reverting to historical form -- putting its own strategic and commercial interests first, however destabilizing for the rest of the world.

As it happens, it’s not just the foreign policy establishment fretting.

Media groups name change doesn't satisify Vatican

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VATICAN CITY -- Two Vatican officials said the newly formed International Catholics Organization of the Media is simply a new name for a group that lost its official recognition as a Catholic organization.

Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and Archbishop Claudio Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, issued a joint statement on the name change of the International Catholic Union of the Press.

Pope taps Chaput for Philadelphia

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DENVER -- Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, widely perceived both as a leader of the church's conservative wing and a tough administrator with a strong work ethic, has been named by Pope Benedict XVI as the new archbishop of Philadelphia.

Sources confirmed the appointment to NCR, which is scheduled to be announced by the Vatican tomorrow. Chaput replaces Cardinal Justin Rigali, 76, who has led the Philadelphia archdiocese since 2003.

Chaput, 66, steps into an archdiocese in turmoil as a result of the sexual abuse crisis.

Vatican: 2010 budget surplus, giving down

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VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican reported a budget surplus for the first time in four years in 2010, but said contributions from Catholics and dioceses around the world had gone down.

The budget of the Holy See, which includes offices of the Roman Curia and related agencies, ended 2010 with a surplus of about $13.1 million.

The separate budget of Vatican City State, which includes the Vatican Museums, ended 2010 with a surplus of about $28 million, according to a Vatican statement July 2.

The figures were released following a three-day meeting of a council of cardinals charged with reviewing Vatican finances. The statement said the Vatican's financial picture continued to improve, but it cautioned that the global financial picture still presented "elements of uncertainty and instability."

Worldwide giving to the pope decreased in 2010, the statement said. Peter's Pence collected $67.7 million, compared to $82.5 million in 2009. In addition, the contributions of dioceses amounted to about $27.4 million, compared to $31.5 million the previous year.

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