Tag Archives: L’Osservatore Romano

The “man from the Veneto” who was John Paul I

luciani.jpgMany of us only know the name Albino Luciani. He was the one who became Pope John Paul I in 1978 and lived only 33 days as the Supreme Pontiff. That was 34 years ago; I was only 9 when the smiling pope appeared and then departed. I often think of what the face of the Church would’ve been like had he lived longer.

Celebrating the 100th birthday of Pope John Paul I (17 October 1912), L’Osservatore Romano and Il Messaggero di sant’Antonio organized a symposium on November 8 learn more about this enigmatic man. An editorial in L’Osservatore Romano gave but a peek of what was learned.
Indeed, it’s interesting to hear that JPI followed three assumptions: “detachment from the world, obedience to superiors, and absolute faithfulness to the institution” in his ministry and that he was a lover of books. Me too. Apparently, JPI liked authors as diverse as Aesop, LaFontaine, Mark Twain (his favorite) to Chesterton and Dickens, among many. He also liked rock music and the comics. For a priest of the mountains he was an educated, curious and humane person. His cause for canonization is being studied.
Luciani spoke of the Second Vatican Council using soccer terms. Good for him. He got the point across to those who likely wouldn’t know where to begin to understand the complexities of a Ecumenical Council.
Read the editorial for yourself.
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New evangelizers in the United States

The April 21, 2012 issue of L’Osservatore Romano ran this editorial on the work of the evangelization in the United States. We are getting noticed for our zeal for the Gospel. Perhaps we colonialists do have something to contribute to the life of the Church universal.

“Join us in a journey to re-discover the faith or answer questions about reconnecting with the Catholic Church”. This is the call of  the document by the Bishops of the United States which intends renew with great strength the mission of spreading and proclaiming the Gospel. The episcopate’s initiative, written for the modern man and for the benefit of the whole community, is centred on references to the Pontifical Magisterium and to other interventions of the episcopate.


Disciples Called to Witness: The New Evangelization is the title chosen for the document that “focuses on reaching out to Catholics, practicing or not, who have lost a sense of the faith in an effort to re-energize them”, as described in a note by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). 

It was chairman of the USCCB Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, Bishop David Laurin Ricken of Green Bay, Wisconsin, to point out this new duty, stating: “Every Catholic has a role in the Church, and every Catholic is called to spread the Gospel”. But he adds “in order to evangelize, a person must first be evangelized. This is really the heart of the New Evangelization”. The document especially highlights the call of Pope Benedict XVI to pursue the New Evangelization with renewed vigor and joy.

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Joseph Ratzinger’s “The pastoral approach to marriage should be founded on truth”

From a little known text by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger published in 1998

The pastoral approach to marriage should be founded on truth

Concerning some objections to the Church’s teaching on the reception of Holy Communion by divorced and remarried members of the faithful

In 1998 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, introduced the volume entitled “On the Pastoral Care of the Divorced and Remarried,” published by the Libreria in the CDF’s series (“Documenti e Studi”, 17). Because of its current interest and breadth of perspective, we reproduce below the third part along with the addition of three notes. The text was published today by L’Osservatore Romano.

The Letter of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of 14 September 1994 concerning the reception of Holy Communion by divorced and remarried members of the faithful was met with a very lively response across wide sections of the Church. Along with many positive reactions, more than a few critical voices were also heard. The fundamental objections against the teaching and practice of the Church are outlined below in simplified form.

Several of the more significant objections – principally, the reference to the supposedly more flexible practice of the Church Fathers which would be the inspiration for the practice of the Eastern Churches separated from Rome, as well as the allusion to the traditional principles of epicheia and of aequitas canonica – were studied in-depth by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Articles by Professors Pelland, Marcuzzi and Rodriguez Luño 2, among others, were developed in the course of this study. The main conclusions of the research, which suggest the direction of an answer to the objections, will be briefly summarized here.

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On adhesion to the Second Vatican Council

Fernando Ocáriz.jpg

Fernando Ocáriz, 67, is the Vicar General of Opus Dei. He’s a trained theologian in area of Dogmatics but he’s also trained in physics.  In 1986 he was appointed a consultor to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and later (1989) made a member of the Pontifical Theological Academy. Msgr. Ocáriz is the author of many books and refereed articles. He’s one of the primary authors of Dominus Iesus. Of late Msgr. Ocáriz has been a theological consultant in the dialogue with the Society of St Pius X.

The following article is published in several languages by L’Osservatore Romano (2 December 2011).

On adhesion to the Second Vatican Council

The forthcoming 50th anniversary of the convocation of the Second Vatican Council (25 December 1961) is a cause for celebration, but also for renewed reflection on the reception and application of the Conciliar Documents.

Over and above the more directly practical aspects of this reception and application, both positive and negative, it seems appropriate also to recall the nature of the intellectual assent that is owed to the teachings of the Council. Although we are dealing here with a well-known doctrine, about which there is an extensive bibliography, it is nevertheless useful to review it in its essential points, given the persistence – also in public opinion – of misunderstandings regarding the continuity of some Conciliar teachings with previous teachings of the Church’s Magisterium.

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Monasteries are true and proper oases for humanity, Benedict XVI reminds us

In Wednesday’s edition of L’Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict told the listeners of the Wednesday General Audience that the monastic life is an essential value for humanity and for the Church, today. The Pope’s emphasis on beauty and silence helps us to appreciate and to listen God’s promptings of the desires of the heart is important. Let’s pay attention to what the Pope has to say. You may also want to watch the Rome Reports news video.

The editor writes, “Monasteries are true and proper oases of the spirit in which God speaks to humanity. The Pope said this to faithful at the General Audience of Wednesday, 10 August, that was held in the courtyard of the Papal Residence at Castel Gandolfo.”

Dear Brothers and Sisters! In every age, men and women who have consecrated their lives to God in prayer – like monks and nuns – have established their communities in particularly beautiful places: in the countryside, on hilltops, in valleys, on the shores of lakes or the sea, or even on little islands. These places unite two elements which are very important for contemplative life: the beauty of creation, which recalls that of the Creator, and silence, which is guaranteed by living far from cities and the great means of communication. Silence is the environmental condition that most favors contemplation, listening to God and meditation. The very fact of experiencing silence and allowing ourselves to be “filled,” so to speak, with silence, disposes us to prayer. The great prophet, Elijah, on Mount Horeb – that is, Sinai – experienced strong winds, then an earthquake, and finally flashes of fire, but he did not recognize the voice of God in them; instead, he recognized it in a light breeze (cfr. 1 Rev 19:11-13). God speaks in silence, but we need to know how to listen. This is why monasteries are oases in which God speaks to humanity; and there we find the courtyard, a symbolic place because it is a closed space, but open toward the sky.

Tomorrow, dear friends, we will celebrate the memory of St. Clare of Assisi. So I would like to recall one of these “oases” of the spirit which is particularly dear to the Franciscan family and to all Christians: the little convent of San Damiano, situated just beneath the city of Assisi, among the olive groves that slope towards Santa Maria degli Angeli. In that little church, which Francis restored after his conversion, Chiara and her first companions established their community, living off prayer and little works. They were called the “Poor Sisters,” and their “form of life” was the same as the Frati Minori: “To observe the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rule of St. Clare, I, 2), conserving the union of reciprocal charity (cfr ivi, X, 7) and observing in particular the poverty and humility of Jesus and his Most Holy Mother (cfr, ivi, XII, 13).

Benedict XVI at the General Audience stresses the value of monastic spirituality God speaks in silence Benedict XVI at the General Audience stresses the value of monastic spirituality God speaks in silence and beauty of the place in which the monastic community lives – simple and austere beauty – are like a reflection of the spiritual harmony which the community itself attempts to create. The world is filled with these oases of the spirit, some very ancient, particularly in Europe; others are more recent, while still others have been restored by new communities. Looking at things from a spiritual perspective, these places of the spirit are a load-bearing structure of the world! It is no accident that many people, especially in times of rest, visit these places and stop there for some days: even the soul, thanks be to God, has its needs!  The Pope continues:

Let us remember, therefore, St. Clare. But let you also remember other Saints who remind us of the importance of turning our gaze to the “things of heaven,” like St. Edith Stein, Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Carmelite, co-patron of Europe, whom we celebrated yesterday. And today, August 10, we cannot forget St. Lawrence, deacon and martyr, with a special wish for Romans who have always venerated him as one of their patrons. Finally, let us turn our gaze to the Virgin Mary, that she may teach us to love silence and prayer.

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]yahoo.com.
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