Whenever the Synod of Bishops meets in Rome, it’s a bit like one of those old medieval trade fairs, as people with wares to peddle from all over the Catholic world haul them out for display. Books and videos, catechetical materials, academic programs and pastoral initiatives are featured in an endless series of screenings, receptions and roundtables, and one could probably fill every night just making the rounds.
Pope Benedict said the Second Vatican Council's call for "renewal" did not mark a break with tradition or a watering down of the faith.
In a gesture recalling how Vatican II sought to enhance the connection between the church and the world, Pope Benedict XVI handed out copies of the council's messages.
Cardinal Vinko Puljic of Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, said any evangelization he's done has always and only been a matter of building on the evangelization already begun within the family.
"My pastoral work is simply an addition to what the family has already built," he said Wednesday during a speech to the Synod of Bishops on the new evangelization.
Credit for the flowering of new vocations also lies with the family because it is "the first school of faith and truly encourages a personal encounter with Christ."
For NCR readers, the phrase "the people of God" probably describes best what Vatican II gave birth to and what still gives meaning to us today.
One cardinal told the synod the news media cover the church in a way that "is full of lies" and the church needs to use its media to spread the faith.
Year of Faith, intended to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, which was to bring our church into the modern world, resurrects some controversial traditional pieties
Pope Benedict XVI named the Vatican's top investigator of abusive priests to be the new auxiliary bishop of Malta.
Msgr. Charles Scicluna, who was born in Toronto to Maltese parents, served for the past decade as the Vatican's first promoter of justice in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, handling cases brought against clergy accused of the sexual abuse of minors.
The Vatican announced the new appointment Saturday without naming the monsignor's replacement as promoter, a post that would be filled by papal appointment.
Paolo Gabriele's sentence was originally three years but was reduced, partly because he was aware of "betraying the Holy Father's trust."
Catholics who participate in events connected with the 2012-2013 Year of Faith can receive a special indulgence, the Vatican said.