Vatican Roundup

Vatican Roundup
‘Profound evil’ of abuse must be eradicated, Pope Francis tells symposium

As religious leaders, scholars, experts and abuse survivors come together online to participate in an international symposium on faith, healing and prevention, Pope Francis sent a message as part of opening remarks for the event.

Pope Francis hopes that by bringing together people from “various fields in order to share research… the symposium will contribute to a greater awareness of the gravity and the extent of child sexual abuse and promote more effective cooperation at every level of society in eradicating this profound evil,” said the message, sent on behalf of the Pope by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state.

The international and interreligious virtual “Symposium on Faith and Flourishing: Strategies for Preventing and Healing Child Sexual Abuse” was held April 8-10. Hosted by Harvard University and its Human Flourishing Program, the symposium was also being sponsored by numerous organisations, including the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and The Catholic University of America.

The Pope’s message was read by Michael Hoffman, a child sexual abuse survivor from Chicago, who works to raise awareness about abuse and supporting best practices for child safety.


Pope appeals for global Covid-19 recovery plan

Pope Francis appealed for a global coronavirus recovery plan in a message to participants in the spring meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In a letter published by the Vatican April 8, the Pope called for a comprehensive approach to rebuilding the world economy in the wake of Covid-19.

He said: “There remains an urgent need for a global plan that can create new or regenerate existing institutions, particularly those of global governance, and help to build a new network of international relations for advancing the integral human development of all peoples.”

“This necessarily means giving poorer and less developed nations an effective share in decision-making and facilitating access to the international market.”

The Pope’s message was entrusted to Cardinal Peter Turkson to be presented during the April 5-11 meetings of the international financial institutions.

The Pope wrote: “It is my hope that your discussions will contribute to a model of ‘recovery’ capable of generating new, more inclusive, and sustainable solutions to support the real economy.”


Vatican Observatory launches a podcast and new website

Vatican Observatory fans and astronomy nerds will want to check out the observatory foundation’s new podcast, website and online store for the usual “merch” of hoodies, ball caps, tote bags and phone cases but also bright posters of the Horsehead Nebula, the Milky Way and other starry scenes.

People will find everything at and new content posted on social media:;;;; and

The podcasts are available on several platforms and they feature one of the Pope’s own Jesuit astronomers speaking with a notable figure in the world of space exploration or science.

For example, one episode features Jesuit Bro. Guy Consolmagno – director of the Vatican Observatory and president of the foundation – speaking with US astronaut Nicole Stott and her husband Christopher Stott of the International Institute of Space Commerce.

They talk about moon tourism, as well as a lot of personal anecdotes, including how their faith fits in with their love of science.

“The Vatican Observatory is one of the oldest active astronomical observatories in the world with its roots going back to 1582,” according to its website.