Vatican roundup

Vatican roundup
Pope’steachingsondevilfocusofnew book

A new book of Pope Francis’ teachings on the history of the devil, “his empty promises and works” and “how we can actively combat him” has been published by the US hierarchy.

Titled Rebuking the Devil, the book is meant for a wide audience and “shows us how to recognise the tricks of the enemy, avoid his traps and defeat his efforts through the power of God in Jesus Christ”, according to a statement from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“In this important book, Pope Francis tells us how to use powerful tools of spiritual combat against the devil,” said Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia, chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Communications.

Those tools, he said, include “the word of God, adoration of God in the Blessed Sacrament, participation in the Sacraments, fasting, prayer and the intercession of Mary, Mother of God, through the most holy Rosary”.

“We must recognise that there is a devil who is alive and active, but there is also a shield against him through the power of Jesus Christ!” he continued.

US professor receivespapalfoundation prize

Two top cardinals have praised an academic from Villanova University in Pennsylvania for her work fostering dialogue between the fields of economics and theology.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, and Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising thanked Mary Hirschfeld for her work during an award ceremony on May 29. The Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation awarded its Economy and Society international prize to Hirschfeld for her book Aquinas and the Market: Toward a Humane Economy.

The foundation said Hirschfeld’s innovative approach offered economists “a broader view” of what constitutes a good life, “giving a critical accent to the ethical deficiencies of modern capitalism”.

Cardinal Parolin thanked Hirschfeld for her choice of topic, “which is of great importance for the Church’s social doctrine and for building a more human economy”. While theology and social doctrine often draw upon St Thomas’s teachings, modern economics often does not, he added.

Cardinal Marx, chairman of the jury conferring the award, said in his speech that Hirschfeld’s book “constitutes a true dialogue between theology and economics”.


The Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development will oversee the activity of Caritas Internationalis, the Church’s confederation of Catholic aid agencies, the Vatican has said.

The confederation, which includes Trócaire, had been entrusted to the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, which ceased to exist when the council’s work became part of the new Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development in 2016.

The general decree – signed by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, and approved by Pope Francis – was dated May 22 and published by the Vatican on May 31.

“Caritas Internationalis very much welcomes the new decree from the Holy Father. It reflects a simplification of our legal standing” and was the result of working with the secretary of state, said Patrick Nicholson, director of communications for the confederation.

The decree reiterates the different roles Vatican offices and the Pope play in working with the charity confederation, including naming and approving new board members and approving its texts, contracts with foreign governments and financial transactions.