Vatican News

Congregation denies mismanaging property

The Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples has denied accusations of cronyism in renting out properties in Rome. Responding to news reports that Vatican-owned apartments were rented far below market value, with several owned by the congregation being rented at nominal rates to politicians, entertainers and Vatican employees’ relations, the congregation issued a statement that all its properties had been donated for the missions and “are rented out at the market price, although there are exceptions for people living in situations of poverty”.

The properties, the statement continued, are rented out “in compliance with Italian law”, with rental income being used  to support  “the congregation, the Pontifical Urbanian University, the Pontifical Urban College, missionary institutions and young churches in mission territories”.

Denying reports that it owned a spa and a prominent hotel in Rome, the congregation said it fully adhered to Pope Francis’ financial reform agenda, and would continue to submit financial and budgetary reports to the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy.

Last year the congregation paid more than €2.1 million in property taxes.


Laity are not ‘second-class’ Catholics – Pope

Laypeople are not second-class Church members at the hierarchy’s service, Pope Francis has said, but are true disciples called to “enliven every environment, every activity and every human relationship according to the Gospel”.

In a message to Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and to participants in a workshop marking the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council’s Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, the Pope said the Second Vatican Council did not merely highlight the importance of the laity, but defined their role as a vocation.

Insisting that the proclamation of the Gospel is not the exclusive preserve of “mission professionals”, the Pontiff said it should be “the profound aspiration of all lay faithful who are called to evangelise by virtue of their baptism”.

While the Council’s teachings have contributed to the growth of lay formation, he said, its application challenges every generation of pastors and laypeople, because “it is a priceless gift of the Holy Spirit that must be accepted with gratitude and a sense of responsibility”.


Investigative journalists under investigation

The authors of two books detailing financial mismanagement in the Vatican are being investigated for possible complicity in the crime of disseminating confidential news and documents, Fr Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, has revealed.

Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi drew upon leaked documents in researching Merchants in the Temple and Avarice respectively, despite the dissemination of confidential news and documents being a crime in the Vatican City State since July 2013. 


Only the Eucharist can satisfy spiritual hunger

The Eucharist is not just a reward for the good, but also strength for the weak and nourishment for those who hunger for love, forgiveness and mercy, Pope Francis has said in a message to participants at India’s National Eucharistic Congress in Mumbai.

The congress’s theme, “Nourished by the Eucharist to Nourish Others”, recalls how spiritual hunger that can be satisfied only by “the bread that comes from above”, the Pope said.