Category Archives: Holy See

Pope Benedict meets with Pope Pelosi

The Holy See’s Press Office released a statement this morning about the US Speaker of the House’s visit to the Holy See and to the Pope:


Following the General Audience the Holy Father briefly greeted Mrs. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, together with her entourage.


His Holiness took the opportunity to speak of the requirements of the natural moral law and the Church’s consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death which enjoin all Catholics, and especially legislators, jurists and those responsible for the common good of society, to work in cooperation with all men and women of good will in creating a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development.


Pope & Pelosi.jpgGood for the Pope. I wish I could’ve been there watching the Speaker’s face while the Pope teaches her (and her entourage) the orthodox faith including the various constituent components of Catholic moral teaching. I’m sure she knew that the Pope would say something about her heterodoxy but I bet she didn’t expect such a direct address. Or, did she? You know, she’s not very clear on these things so every little bit helps. Perhaps now she’ll actually become a believing Catholic and not one that merely picks and chooses what to believe so as to keep an influential job.


Now, can we get Joe Biden and the other Catholics in Congress to meet Pope Benedict?


Vatican City State at 80

Lateran 80.jpgToday marks 80th anniversary of the establishment of Vatican City State by the signing of the Lateran Pacts of 1929 by Benito Mussolini and Pietro Cardinal Gasparri.

This Pact establishes Vatican City as an independent state, restoring the civil sovereignty of the Pope, compensated the Holy See for loss of the papal states and outline the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church’s and Italy. On 25 March 1985, the Italian Parliament ratified a signed agreement (18 February 1984) which modifies the Lateran Pact.

The temporal government of the Church is technically under the pope as head of state but he appoints a president for the temporal affairs of state. Currently, the President of Vatican City State is Giovanni Cardinal Lajolo; the cardinal has legislative and executive authority regarding the temporalities (i.e., persons, policies & properties).

What’s happening in Gaza today? The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem gives a perspective

FTwal.jpgTrue to itself and its focus on what Eastern Christians have to say, Oasis asked His Beatitude, Archbishop Fouad Twal, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, for his opinion about what is happening in Gaza right now. Oasis met him at this home, in Jerusalem, a few days after the start of Israel’s ‘Cast Lead’ operation. Archbishop Twal’s words show a man clearly affected by the situation, concerned that things might be going backward with disastrous consequences for the whole region.

Your Beatitude, what are your thoughts about the latest developments?

In our Christmas message we had given voice to hope for peace in the Holy Land. Things seemed close at hand. More and more private meetings were taking place; pilgrims were coming in greater numbers; the economic situation in the Territories was getting better. Now, things are back where they were years ago. Military solutions are never good; violence begets violence. There is a clear imbalance between the parties. There have been too many innocent victims who have nothing to do with Hamas: women, children, families who had a right to lead a normal life, free. Gaza is under siege by land, sea and air. The city has been turned into an open air prison. Objectively such conditions cannot favour peace and reconciliation. In any case it certainly will not boost hope that violence will stop one day. On the contrary!

Doesn’t Israel have a right to defend itself?

Of course! Everyone has the right to self-defence. Israel has won every war in defending itself, but has achieved neither peace, nor security. Counting only on the military option without offering people real alternatives is not a solution. Gaza’s siege does not date from yesterday. This applies to Palestinians as well because even the most extreme situation does not cancel one’s moral responsibilities vis-à-vis one’s actions. But this is true not only for Palestinians.

What is a way out then?

I’ll leave that to the politicians and the specialists. It’s obvious that diplomatic negotiations have not led to good results as far as violence in Gaza is concerned. And yet we can also see that awareness about solving this problem has increased at the international level. There are three or four good initiatives underway. The world seems to be doing more to solve the problems of the Middle East. Hope never dies, even if it is already very late. The only way out is political. But if there is no good will by the parties involved, all we’ll ever get are empty words, promises and meetings without any results.

What should Christians in the Holy Land and around the world do about events in Gaza?

First of all everyone must assume his or her responsibilities. Violence calls for our conversion. Our heart must convert, what we say must change, our outlook must change. Widespread mistrust does not help; it is very destructive.

Foad Twal2.jpegIs the visit by the Holy Father a good idea?

In Jerusalem we are grateful to the Pope for his constant attention and words. We are certain that a visit would help us a lot; the same is true for pilgrims who come to the Holy Land. They can help us remind the international community that joint action is always more courageous; they can exert pressure in favour of greater justice and peace for all. Pious words are not enough; we need acts of courage.

Courtesy of the Oasis International Studies and Research Centre


The Vatican on the tube

Pope TV.jpgWatch the Pope (and the Church) at The Vatican –in 4 languages. A different angle in reporting…giving the Truth!

Vatican Communications HD

20 people killed in 2008 for faith in Jesus Christ

Every year the Propogation of the Faith, the office of Ivan Cardinal Dias, publishes a list of those who have been killed because of their faith in Jesus Christ and the Church. In 2008, 20 people gave a powerful witness to the Light of the World. These are our brothers and sisters in the faith, adopted sons and daughters of God. Pray for them; pray for their killers; imitate their faith. Read the dossier here.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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