Tag Archives: Vatican

From top: St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin 4; Minister for Health Stepehn  Donnelly this morning

This afternoon.

The cabinet has agreed to the relocation of the National Maternity Hospital.

Via RTÉ News:

The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, hailed Government approval for the hospital relocation plan as an “important milestone” for maternity services in Ireland.

Mr Donnelly said the new legal framework would ensure all legally permissible services will be available in the new NMH.

It will also “prevent any influence, religious or otherwise, on the operation of the new hospital” and “safeguard the State’s significant investment in the hospital”.

Speaking following the Cabinet meeting, the minister said that there will never be any religious influence on the services which will be provided at the new NMH.

There you go now.

Cabinet agrees to proceed with new maternity hospital (RTE)

Earlier: Expectant


Pope Francis

This morning.

The Pope will step down before the end of the year, according to a source close to the Vatican

Via Daily Express:

Austen Ivereigh  the former Director for Public Affairs of the previous Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor said:  “I don’t think there’s ever been any doubt that he will resign in 2020.

“He made clear from the beginning that he regarded Pope Benedict’s (XVI) act [of resigning] as a prophetic act of great modesty and he would have absolutely no problem in doing the same.

“What was interesting was he said to Mexican television in 2014 that he believed that he would have a short papacy of about five years.”

‘No doubt’ Pope will resign after Christmas as Francis vowed to ‘follow Benedict’ (Daily Express)


From top-: Former Minister for Children Katherine Zappone with Pope Francis during his visit in 2018; Saturday’s Irish Daily Mail exclusive; Ireland’s Papal Nuncio Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo ; historian Catherine Corless; Letter to Ms Corless from the Papal Nuncio last week.

Saturday/This morning.

Historian Catherine Corless hailed as ‘uplifting’ support from the Vatican for the exhumation of remains of babies at the former Tuam mother and baby home.

Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, the Pope’s ambassador to Ireland, has backed the call for re-burial.

A 2017 report, commissioned by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, confirmed a significant quantity of human remains, aged ‘from 35 foetal weeks to two to three years,’ were discovered in a vault that had served as a sewage tank.

After several delays, the final report by the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes was postponed again in June and will not be ready until October.

Via The Irish Times

Ms Corless said: “It is really degrading for all survivors. They are being treated like they always were, as if they’re not important, they are second class citizens.

I hope this might make the Government aware that we are very much here and we haven’t gone away.

“It is heartbreaking to think that it doesn’t seem to matter, that hundreds of babies were disposed of in this manner. It is beyond my understanding how anyone can leave them there. It is a disgrace that this hasn’t been sorted long ago.”

Ms Corless said it “is a boost, now the Vatican is behind us.

Ms Corless said the suggestion by Archbishop Neary that the Tuam site could be blessed if the Government objected to the exhumation of bodies was unacceptable.

You can’t bless a septic tank and leave the remains there. That is out of the question,” she said.

Vatican backs campaign for reburial of Tuam babies’ remains (Brian Hutton, Irish Times)

Previously: A Further Delay


Thanks Bebe


Voice by Majella Kelly.

Situated at the burial ground in Tuam.

Pics: Breeda Murphy

Cardinal George Pell with Pope Francis in 2017

This morning.

Via The Guardian:

Cardinal George Pell was aware of children being sexually abused within the Archdiocese of Ballarat by notorious paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale, Australia’s child abuse royal commission found, and it was “implausible” that other senior church figures did not tell Pell abuse was occurring.

More than 100 previously redacted pages of the child abuse royal commission report relating to Cardinal George Pell and what he knew about child sexual abuse within the Catholic church were tabled to parliament today.

While the commission delivered its final report to parliament in December 2017 following a comprehensive five year inquiry into abuse in institutions throughout Australia, survivors and advocates have been forced to wait for the findings relating to Pell because of legal action against him.

There was concern the findings would prejudice a jury, so they were withheld. Pell was acquitted in April of child sexual abuse charges and released from jail, clearing the way for the report to be made public.

George Pell: cardinal was aware of children being sexually abused, royal commission report finds (The Guardian)


Previously: George Pell on Broadsheet

This afternoon.

Vatican City.

St. Peter’s Basilica and Square will remain closed to tourists and guided tours until April 3.

Via Breakingnews:

Pope Francis has held his weekly general audience in the privacy of his library as the Vatican implemented Italy’s drastic coronavirus lockdown measures.

..under normal circumstances, the Wednesday appointment brings tens of thousands of people into St Peter’s Square or the Vatican auditorium for an hour-long catechism lesson delivered in a variety of languages.

But on Wednesday, the square was empty and police barred access to St Peter’s Basilica to anyone but individuals seeking to pray….

Coronavirus lockdown hits Vatican as pope livestreams weekly audience (Breakingnews)


St Peter’s Square, The Vatican

Last night.

Via Reuters:

Vatican police raided the offices of the Holy See’s Secretariat of State and its Financial Information Authority, or AIF, on Tuesday and took away documents and electronic devices as part of an investigation of suspected financial irregularities, a Vatican statement said.

…The Vatican statement gave no details except to say that the operation was a follow-up to complaints filed in the summer by the Vatican bank and the Office of the Auditor General and were related to “financial operations carried out over the course of time”.

A senior Vatican source said he believed the operation, which the statement said had been authorized by Vatican prosecutors, had to do with real estate transactions

Vatican police raid top offices in financial investigation (Reuters)


United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Rome, Italy

This morning.

Via The Daily Beast:

The Daily Beast has learned that [Attorney General] Bill Barr and [US attorney] John Durham were especially interested in what the Italian secret service knew about Joseph Mifsud, the erstwhile professor from Malta who had allegedly promised then candidate Donald Trump’s campaign aide George Papadopoulos he could deliver Russian “dirt” on Hillary Clinton

….The sources in Rome who confirmed that Barr and Durham came to learn more about Mifsud also told The Daily Beast that they expected Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet the same intelligence agencies on his state visit that began yesterday.

Pompeo is meeting the Italian president, the prime minister, and the Pope while in Rome. His official mandate is to discuss Libya, China trade, and sanctions on Russia, which Italy does not support. Pompeo will also be spending time with the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican….


Barr Went to Rome to Hear a Secret Tape from Joseph Mifsud, the Professor Who Helped Ignite the Russia Probe (Daily Beast)

Pics: Getty/AP

Pope Francis

The Vatican is refusing to co-operate with requests to provide witnesses and evidence about child abuse in the Roman Catholic Church to a British public inquiry, it emerged yesterday.

The independent inquiry into child sexual abuse was told that the Vatican considered the requests to be improper and claimed that its officials were protected by diplomatic immunity.

The response appears to be in stark contrast to Pope Francis’s declaration this year of an “all out battle” against child abuse, which he said was “utterly incompatible with [the church’s] moral authority and ethical credibility”

Vatican refuses requests for child abuse inquiry evidence (The Times)

Peter Fox writes:

Vatican refuses requests for child abuse inquiry evidence. Despite all the rhetoric the catholic church is changing, its action speak louder than words. It refused to release child abuse files to Irish, then Australian now UK inquiry.


Pope Francis leads the opening session of the meeting on the protection of minors in the church at the Vatican on February 21

Notes from the Vatican summit on clerical child abuse…

Priest and canon lawyer Tom Doyle writes:

The so-called “summit” on the clergy sex abuse crisis was not a total failure. The process and the outcome of the Feb. 21-24 meeting of bishops at the Vatican were clearly a serious disappointment to the victim-survivors, their families and countless others who hoped for something concrete to happen.

The accomplishments can only be understood in the context of the totality of the event: the speeches, especially those of the three women, the bishops’ deliberations, the media reaction, and the presence and participation of the victims-survivors from at least 20 countries.

I have been directly involved in this nightmare since 1984, when the reality of sexual violation of the innocent by clerics, and the systemic lying and cover-up by the hierarchy (from the papacy on down) emerged from layers of ecclesiastical secrecy into the open.

By 1985, Pope John Paul II and several high-ranking Vatican clerics possessed detailed information about what was quickly turning into the church’s worst crisis since the Dark Ages.

From that time onward, bishops on various levels of church bureaucracy have been engaged in almost nonstop rhetoric about the issue that has been a mixture of denial, blame-shifting, minimization, explanations (the most bizarre, that it’s the work of the devil), apologies, expressions of regret, promises of change.

The rhetoric has been accompanied by procedures, policies, protocols and a few changes in canon law. The gathering in February was no exception.

There were no revelations, statements, speeches or promises from anyone involved in the meetings that were new…Everything that was said has already been proclaimed publicly by someone from within the church’s system, from among the victims and survivors or from their supporters.

The other element that fits right in with the bishops’ pattern of response over the past 35 years is that they made promises but did nothing.

People have been begging the bishops for years to stop talking about it. Stop the endless flow of empty platitudes and empty promises and do something.

Unfortunately, the hierarchy’s long-held belief that their words are sufficient to change reality has been completely useless…(more at link below)

Abuse summit achieved something, but not what Pope or bishops expected (National Catholic Reporter)

Pic: CNS/Vatican Media


Australian Chief judge Peter Kidd sentences former Bishop of Sydney and Vatican insider Cardinal George Pell to six years in prison, for the sexual abuse of two boys in the 1990s.

Pell was convicted last month on five charges of child sexual assault, following a committal hearing, a mistrial and a trial. He has lodged an appeal, which will be heard in June.

Pell, who was until recently the third most powerful Catholic in the world, will serve a minimum of at least three years and eight months in prison.

George Pell’s jailing defies the might of Rome but his fall is too appalling for celebration (David Marr, The Guardian)

Yesterday: Did You Like It?


Cardinal George Pell (right), Archbishop of Sydney at a conference in Cork in 2011

“I am not going to talk about the Church in Ireland but I am going to talk about what I am trying to do in Australia, as an archbishop, and you can draw your own conclusions on what might, or what might not, be adaptable to here in Ireland.

Despite my English Protestant name (and I am proud of my English heritage) I have plenty of Irish blood, most of it Catholic, and so I think that entitles me to make the first point, and that is that we Irish Australians, and I suspect the Irish, enjoy bad news. It’s like the Englishman whose face will light up when he says, ‘Isn’t the weather terrible?’

This, then, is my question: has all the good Irish blood gone overseas into the colonies? The Irish that I grew up with were fighters: they were people who had convictions and went and battled for them.”

Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney on ‘Authentic Catholicism vs Cafeteria Catholicism’ at the Catholic Voice Annual Dinner in Cork in July, 2011.


Cardinal George Pell has been found guilty of sexual offences in Australia, making him the highest-ranking Catholic figure to receive such a conviction.

Pell abused two choir boys in the rooms of a Melbourne cathedral in 1996, a jury found. He had pleaded not guilty.

His trial was heard twice last year because a first jury failed to reach a verdict. The verdict was handed down in December, but it could not be reported until now for legal reasons.

A second jury unanimously convicted him of one charge of sexually penetrating a child under 16, and four counts of committing an indecent act on a child under 16.

Cardinal Pell on ‘Authentic Catholicism vs Cafeteria Catholicism’

Cardinal Pell guilty: Vatican treasurer convicted on child sexual abuse charges – live (The Guardian)

Previously: I Do Not Like Thee Dr Pell

Thanks Mark Geary