Vatican Roundup

Mercy is common ground for renewal

Catholics and Lutherans are finding common ground in “the original, fundamental” emphasis of Martin Luther on “the Gospel of grace and mercy and a call to conversion and renewal”, the former president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity has said.

Arguing in a new book that next year’s ecumenical commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation could be a time to celebrate the fact that Christians are no longer “on the path of separation, but that of unity”, Cardinal Walter Kasper wrote, “the path toward full unity is open, even though it may be long and full of obstacles”.

Some of Luther’s genuine insights have in recent decades been recognised by the Church, the cardinal wrote, explaining that Luther had never originally intended to found a new church, and that Lutherans do not celebrate the division of the Western Church. 


Champs on and off the field

Footballers should excel even more off the field than on it, Pope Francis has said. 

“Always glorify that which is truly good and beautiful through a candid witness of the values that must characterise authentic sport,” the Pope said, addressing the owners, coaches, staff and players of the AC Milan and Juventus squads before the Italian Cup final, which Juventus would win 1-0.

“And do not be afraid to let the world of your fans know, with serenity and poise, the moral and religious principles you want to inspire your life,” he continued.

Reminding the gathered players how many young fans admired them, he said team success depends on “harmony, loyalty, the ability to make friends and to dialogue, solidarity”, describing these “human virtues as “spiritual values that become sport values”. 


Consultations mandatory before founding new orders

Diocesan bishops must consult with the Vatican before establishing diocesan religious orders, Pope Francis has confirmed. A rescript published on May 20 said that such a consultation is “necessary for the validity of the erection of a diocesan institute of consecrated life” in line with how the Code of Canon Law states that “Diocesan bishops, each in his own territory, can erect institutes of consecrated life by formal decree, provided that the Apostolic See has been consulted”.

Despite this apparent clarity, some bishops and canon lawyers have until now believed the consultation was advisable but not mandatory and that a lack of consultation would not invalidate an order’s establishment.


Fatima secrets have been disclosed

The Third Secret of Fatima has been fully disclosed, Pope emeritus Benedict XVI has confirmed.

Reacting to claims that the former Pope had previously intimated that St John Paul II had not released the third secret in its entirety, the Holy See Press Office published a statement beginning “Several articles have appeared recently, including declarations attributed to Prof. Ingo Dollinger according to which Cardinal Ratzinger, after the publication of the Third Secret of Fatima (which took place in June 2000), had confided to him that the publication was not complete.

“In this regard, Pope emeritus Benedict XVI declares ‘never to have spoken with Prof. Dollinger about Fatima’, clearly affirming that the remarks attributed to Prof. Dollinger on the matter ‘are pure inventions, absolutely untrue’, and he confirms decisively that ‘the publication of the Third Secret of Fatima is complete’.”