Vatican Roundup

Vatican Roundup Alvaro Calvante (centre)
Historic manuscripts get a modern Vatican treatment

A revamped website for the Vatican Apostolic Library brings modern technology to the study of historic manuscripts. “We are the Pope’s librarians because the library is his and has been open by his desire for many centuries,” Msgr Cesare Pasini, library prefect, told Vatican News. “So, we want to be truly at the service of our visitors with a modern and current tool that immediately provides what one is looking for.”

“Especially in the period of health emergency that we are experiencing, in which the mobility of people is limited and it is more difficult for many to come directly to the Library, this open and communicative site, rich and captivating, wants to be an important place for welcoming, collaboration and openness,” he stated.

The website of the papal library gives researchers and students free access to high-resolution digitized manuscripts, inventories, archival materials, coins, medals, and incunabula, which are books printed in Europe before the 16th Century.


Pontifical Academy for Life calls for solidarity in the midst of global pandemic

‘Humana communitas in the age of pandemic: untimely meditations on life’s rebirth’ is the title of the latest document released by the Pontifical Academy for Life.

The document opens with: “Covid-19 has brought desolation to the world. We have lived it for so long, now, and it is not over yet. It might not be for a very long time.”

The proposed solution to this is for the human community to step back and give thanks for the gift of life that we have been given, that the pandemic predicament might be transformed into a “passageway to life’s rebirth”.

The first part of the text examines the hard reality of the lessons learned from the pandemic. The second part details a new vision and path towards the rebirth of life through a call to conversion. It ends with a reflection upon the moral nature of solidarity

“Solidarity entails responsibility toward the other in need, itself grounded in the recognition that, as a human subject endowed with dignity, every person is an end in itself, not a means.”


Pope thanks pilgrim with disability who walked ‘Camino’

Pope Francis has sent a letter of gratitude to a Spanish teen with an intellectual disability after the 15-year-old travelled more than 60 miles along the famed Camino de Santiago de Compostela.

In a letter signed on July 21 and published on the website of the Diocese of Malaga, Spain, the Pope said he learned of Alvaro Calvante’s [pictured] journey after receiving a letter from the pilgrim’s father.

“Thank you, Alvaro, for being inspired to walk and inviting many others to walk with you,” the Pope wrote.

“Amid the pandemic we are experiencing, with your simplicity, joy and humility, you were able to put into motion the hope of many of the people you met on the road or through social networks.”

“You went on pilgrimage and made many people go on pilgrimage, encouraging them not to be afraid and to recover their joy because, on the road, we never go alone. The Lord always walks beside us. Thank you for your testimony and prayers,” he wrote.