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100 Anglican parishes to join Catholic church


ORLANDO, Fla. -- About 100 traditionalist Anglican parishes in the United States have decided to join the Catholic Church as a group.

Meeting in Orlando, the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church in America voted to seek entry into the Catholic Church under the guidelines established in Pope Benedict XVI's apostolic constitution "Anglicanorum Coetibus" ("Groups of Anglicans"), said a March 3 statement.

Q & A with Msgr. Guido Marini, papal liturgist


Monsignor Guido Marini, Benedict XVI’s Master of Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations, is one of those Vatican figures who normally operate in the shadows. He’s the guy who organizes the Masses and other liturgical events over which the pope presides, so he generally attracts notice only when he happens to be standing near his boss when the TV cameras light up.

Marini took a big step into the spotlight back in January, however, when he gave a speech to a meeting of English-speaking priests in Rome, in which he advocated a liturgical “reform of the reform.” Those comments unleashed a wave of speculation in the blogosphere and in liturgical circles about a possible new overhaul of Catholic worship under Benedict XVI, which critics would read as “rolling back the clock” on reforms associated with the Second Vatican Council (1962-65).

Marini sat down for an exclusive interview with NCR in his Vatican office on Feb. 9, to explain what he had in mind by a “reform of the reform.”

Read John Allen's news story here: Liturgist: Pope aims to 'propose' practices

Move to oust head of Pontifical Academy for Life


VATICAN CITY -- Several members of the Pontifical Academy for Life have suggested that the academy's president, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, be replaced because he "does not understand what absolute respect for innocent human lives entails."

The controversy stems from Fisichella's criticizing a Brazilian archbishop's response to 9-year-old girl's abortion for lacking compassion.

UPDATED: Scholars ask pope to slow Pius XII's canonization

WASHINGTON -- Nineteen Catholic scholars of theology and history are asking Pope Benedict XVI to slow the process of the sainthood cause of Pope Pius XII.

Saying that much more research needs to be done on the papacy of the mid-20th century pope, the scholars said in a Feb. 16 letter to Pope Benedict that "history needs distance and perspective" before definitive conclusions can be reached on the role of Pope Pius during World War II and the Holocaust.

Leading the effort are Servite Father John Pawlikowski, professor of ethics at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, and Holy Cross Father Kevin Spicer, associate professor of history at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass.

"We're not on a bandwagon to stop his eventual canonization," Father Pawlikowski told Catholic News Service Feb. 18. "We're saying allow some time."

Father Pawlikowski said the scholars, known widely for their research and expertise on the Holocaust, wanted to express their concerns in a respectful manner to the pope.

Vatican's rock top-10: Beatles, U2, Pink Floyd


VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican newspaper has come up with a "semi-serious" list of 10 essential rock and pop albums, including works by the Beatles, U2, Michael Jackson and Pink Floyd.

The list was offered in a tongue-in-cheek article Feb. 14 as an alternative to the music of Italy's biggest pop music festival, which was to begin two days later. The "10 albums worth taking to a desert island" were listed in the chronological order of their release:

Self-mortification must be moderate, monitored


VATICAN CITY -- Reacting to a report that Pope John Paul II practiced self-mortification, including flagellation, experts in spirituality said ascetical practices are part of the Christian tradition, but should be used in moderation and under the guidance of a mature spiritual director.

"Union with the redeeming suffering of Christ comes through accepting the trials and suffering of life or, like in the case of Pope John Paul II, with the voluntary choice of physical suffering," said Cardinal Georges Cottier, theologian of the papal household under the late pope.

Vatican preparing documents on prayer, brothers


VATICAN CITY -- Cardinal Franc Rode, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, told Vatican Radio Feb. 2 that his office was working on two documents: a joint document with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments on the importance of prayer in the life of religious; and a document highlighting the importance of religious brothers in the church.

Church takes Gospel values to public debate


VATICAN CITY -- Catholic teaching and the truths of the Gospel have a right to be heard in public debate, especially in a country where so many people claim to be Christian, Pope Benedict XVI told the bishops of England and Wales.

However, the church must recognize dissent within its own ranks and not accept it as being part of a balanced discussion, he said Feb. 1 in an address to bishops who were making their "ad limina" visits.

The meeting with the bishops, who were at the Vatican to report on the status of their dioceses, took place as Pope Benedict prepares to visit Great Britain in September.

Pope John Paul practiced self-mortification


VATICAN CITY -- Pope John Paul II always took penitence seriously, spending entire nights lying with his arms outstretched on the bare floor, fasting before ordaining priests or bishops and flagellating himself, said the promoter of his sainthood cause.

Msgr. Slawomir Oder, postulator of the late pope's cause, said Pope John Paul used self-mortification "both to affirm the primacy of God and as an instrument for perfecting himself."



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July 18-31, 2014


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