Author Archive for Dr. Robert Moynihan

Rome in Lent: Like a Mist
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Rome in Lent: Like a Mist

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A quiet time in Rome, the end of February. A time of silence. This evening in a completely empty and silent Vatican, I had the rare experience of running into a little child inside the city. He was walking with his father near the back of the basilica. The child’s mother, a member of the […]

A Tale of Three Magazines
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A Tale of Three Magazines

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The story of the launch of Catholic World Report in 1991, and its relationship with 30 Days and with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI  As we announced in our October issue, this December 2011 issue will be CWR’s last as a print magazine. Starting in January 2012, CWR will be published exclusively online, […]

Ireland Closes its Embassy to the Holy See: Details and Analysis
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Ireland Closes its Embassy to the Holy See: Details and Analysis

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Yesterday evening came a surprise announcement: Ireland will  close its Embassy to the Holy See in a move the Irish governement says is needed to cut government costs. The Irish embassy to the Holy See, located on the Janiculum Hill near to the residence of the American Ambassador to the Holy See and near the […]

The Fighting Nun in Rome and the Pope Pius XII Museum
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The Fighting Nun in Rome and the Pope Pius XII Museum

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I was privileged this afternoon [written October 26] to spend time with Sister Margherita Marchione, the so-called “fighting nun,” who has spent 50 years battling to defend the truth about the life and activity of Pope Pius XII, who reigned from 1939 to 1958, during the time of the Second World War. Sister Margherita, who […]

Benedict in Assisi: Paradox and Astonishment
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Benedict in Assisi: Paradox and Astonishment

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Pope Benedict’s talk in Assisi today, on the 25th anniversary of the Day of Prayer for Peace summoned in the same place in 1986 by Pope John Paul II, was paradoxical and in some ways astonishing. The paradox: Benedict was speaking to a group of religious leaders, men and women representing nearly all the major […]

The Vatican Said What?! Read the Text for Yourself
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The Vatican Said What?! Read the Text for Yourself

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The important piece of news out of Rome today is that the Vatican has allegedly called for a “central world bank” in reponse to the continuing speculation and instability in the world financial system. I say “allegedly” because the text in which this call appears is not by Pope Benedict, but by a Vatican office, […]

A Soul's Journey: Rosalind Moss becomes Mother Miriam
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A Soul’s Journey: Rosalind Moss becomes Mother Miriam

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We are all on a journey — the journey of this life. It begins in the mystery of “not being” before we are conceived, and seems to end, humanly speaking, in the “not being” of death. From dust to dust. But faith — not precisely scientific, repeatable, experimentally verifiable knowledge, but a type of knowledge […]

Independence Hall, Philadelphia
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A Franciscan to Philadelphia

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Rome has just accepted the resignation of the embattled cardinal archbishop of Philadelphia, Justin Rigali, 76, and has announced his replacement: Archbishop Charles Chaput, 66, currently the archbishop of Denver, Colorado.  Chaput is a Capuchin Franciscan whose ethnic origin is American Indian. (Here is a link to his official biography.) The Capuchins are a strictly […]

A Hero and an Era Passes Even as Hope is Renewed
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A Hero and an Era Passes Even as Hope is Renewed

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The news has an element of sadness, but also of hope. The element of sadness is that Otto von Hapsburg, a good and courageous man whom I had the privilege to meet more than once, died Monday at the age of 98. Otto’s father, the Blessed Karl (also sometimes called Charles), the last emperor of Austro-Hungary (he died 1922, […]

The Pope's Angelus Message Today: Announcement of the Kingdom
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The Pope’s Angelus Message Today: Announcement of the Kingdom

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 Sometimes words comfort, and heal. Not a drug to control anxiety, not any type of mind-numbing alcohol, but words. Words which speak “heart to heart” (to use the motto of Blessed John Henry Newman) — one might almost say “logos to logos.” Speaking words “heart to heart” transmits life. Words bear meaning, are meaning. They […]

Rays of Light: Pope Benedict XVI Awards "Ratzinger Prize"
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Rays of Light: Pope Benedict XVI Awards “Ratzinger Prize”

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The Pope gave a talk today that was a profound critique of the modern scientific method.  I was in the Vatican press office at noon today when Pope Benedict in the Clementine Hall inside the Apostolic Palace conferred “Ratzinger Prizes” on three European theologians for the excellence of their theological work. I was able to […]

What the Pope Fears
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What the Pope Fears

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Walking in Rome in recent days, I noticed on a newstand the cover of the Italian magazine Focus. It has a picture of a human face in two parts, half-normal and half-transformed into a futuristic being. The title says “Uomo 2.0” (Man Version 2.0) and the subtitle reads: “Siamo un’altra specie” (“We are a new […]

Can the Lefebvrian Split Be Healed? On What Terms?
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Can the Lefebvrian Split Be Healed? On What Terms?

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There has only been one official schism in the Roman Catholic Church since the Second Vatican Council. That occurred in 1988, when Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre consecrated four bishops against the express instructions of Pope John Paul II. That led to the excommunication of Lefebvre and those four bishops, and the schism of Lefebvre and his […]

New Document on the Ever New Traditional Mass
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New Document on the Ever New Traditional Mass

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“Introibo ad altare Dei“: Document on How to Implement Summorum Pontificum Published in Rome Today, May 13, 2011 A day of rejoicing for Catholics who love the rich, profound tradition of the old Latin liturgy. A day — May 13, 2011 — which, bracketed with July 7, 2007, when the Pope published Summorum Pontificum, will […]

St. Peter in Chains
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St. Peter in Chains

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There are only three churches in Rome, as far as I know, dedicated to St. Peter: (1) the great St. Peter’s Basilica, at the heart of the Vatican and of the universal Church, where Peter is buried; (2) the tiny St. Peter in Montorio, just above Trastevere, where one tradition has it that St. Peter […]

The Beatification of John Paul II: The Vatican Prepares
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The Beatification of John Paul II: The Vatican Prepares

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The greatest fear now is… the weather. Because the weather reports on Friday afternoon in Rome say that there will be light rain Saturday night, and light rain showers on Sunday morning. And if there is rain, everything about this historic beatification, which is shutting down all auto traffic in the entire area around St. […]

The Essence of This Pontificate
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The Essence of This Pontificate

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What has been the essence of Pope Benedict XVI’s first six years, since his election on April 19, 2005, six years ago? What has been the pontificate’s chief characteristic? If one thinks of the pontificate as a whole, it is clear that the center of Benedict’s papacy is teaching. This pontificate is the pontificate of […]

Pope Benedict Turns 84 While Belgian Crisis Unfolds
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Pope Benedict Turns 84 While Belgian Crisis Unfolds

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Pope Benedict XVI, looking very healthy for his years, turned 84 today. He was born in 1927 in Marktl-am-Inn in southern Germany. But also today, shocking revelations coming out of Belgium, where an archbishop has confessed in a television interview to sexual activity with two of his nephews, continue to reverberate. Reflections on Our Crisis […]

Hilarion Visits USA: Russia and Her Mission, Part Three
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Hilarion Visits USA: Russia and Her Mission, Part Three

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Just as all this was about to happen in Rome (see part one, part two), the head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department of External Relations, Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, was engaged in an unprecedented week-long trip to the USA in early February Unprecedented because it involved meeting not only with other Russian Orthodox living in America, […]

Benedict Receives Medvedev: Russia and Her Mission, Part Two
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Benedict Receives Medvedev: Russia and Her Mission, Part Two

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Pope Benedict XVI and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met for 35 minutes on Thursday, February 17, in the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican. This meeting was rather long — sometimes such meetings with national leaders only last 20 or 25 minutes. You can watch the public parts of the visit on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7z6kK3XfdU  The two […]

"A Fourth Rome There Will Not Be" -- Russia and Her Mission, Part One
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“A Fourth Rome There Will Not Be” — Russia and Her Mission, Part One

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“Two Romes have fallen, but the third stands, and a fourth there will not be.” —The Russian Monk Philotheus, c. 1520, referring to Rome, Constantinople (“New Rome”) and Moscow “In the afternoon Tatiana stayed indoors and read from the prophets Amos and Obadiah… “Commandant Yurovsky got up from his chair, went out on to the […]

Will a New Papal Document Curtail Use of the Old Mass?
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Will a New Papal Document Curtail Use of the Old Mass?

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Will the Vatican soon issue a document calling for some restrictions on the use of the old rite of the Mass? The internet, especially in traditional Catholic circles, is abuzz with reports that this may be about to happen. But for the moment, these reports are based only on rumors. Officially, no one yet knows […]

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