- John L. Allen Jr.
- September 19, 2017
As the latest major Vatican criminal trial resumed on Tuesday, judges seemed to challenge claims by the main defendant that spending $500,000 from funds belonging to a papally-sponsored children’s hospital to remodel the private apartment of a Vatican cardinal was entirely routine and above-board. As the trial plays out, the reputations of both that cardinal and Pope Francis’s broader financial reform appear at stake.READ MORE
Italian journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi, known for his role in the “Vatileaks 2.0” affair, published a purported bombshell document on Monday allegedly showing the Vatican spent a half-billion lira between 1983 and 1997 on a 15-year-old girl and daughter of a Vatican bank employee who vanished — but the catch is, right now there’s no way of knowing if the document is real or a fake.READ MORE
Sometimes on the Vatican beat in a given week, what you get isn’t one grand narrative but lots of little ones. This was one of those weeks, so here’s a potpourri of nuggets on contrasting antidotes for different diseases, counter-intuitive patron saints, and what to make of papal press conferences in terms of the pontiff’s own personal priorities.READ MORE
Although Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea arguably just had his wings clipped, as Pope Francis recently transferred a share of his Vatican department’s control over translating liturgical texts to local bishops, a major address he gave on Thursday suggests that if anyone expects Sarah to go quiet, they can forget it — and equally, if anyone expects him to go to war against the boss, they can forget that too.READ MORE
Although at a symbolic level, Pope Francis’s decision on Saturday to shift considerably more control to local bishops’ conferences and away from the Vatican over translation of liturgical texts into vernacular languages may have been an earthquake, most experts don’t seem to believe it will mean much in the short-term for the prayers American Catholics say at Sunday Mass.READ MORE
Pope Francis on Monday called out U.S. President Donald Trump for threatening the DACA program, but also told Italians he recognized the need for limits and “prudence” on immigration. One way to explain the apparently different emphasis is that when Francis addresses immigration, he usually makes a (sometimes silent) distinction between spiritual and moral dispositions, and concrete acts of governance.READ MORE