Vatican Roundup

Vatican Roundup St Anthony of Padua Roman-Catholic Church in Arad, Romania


The Vatican has confirmed that Pope Francis will travel to Romania to the cities of Bucharest, Iaşi and Blaj, and to a Marian shrine in eastern Transylvania, from May 31 to June 2 and will include a stop at a Marian shrine located in the Șumuleu Ciuc neighbourhood of the city of Miercurea Ciuc, which is in a Hungarian ethno-cultural region of Romania.

Francis’ visit to the country follows exactly 20 years after Pope St John Paul II’s visit – he was was the first Pope to go to Romania. The motto of the visit is ‘Let’s Walk Together’.

The trip’s logo, in blue and gold, depicts a group of Romanian people walking beneath an image of Our Lady, which according to a statement from the Holy See Press Office, evokes the Virgin Mary’s care and protection of the Romanian people. As of 2011, the Catholics in Romania numbered 870,774; making up 4.3% of the population.


The Catholic Church is the second largest denomination after the Romanian Orthodox Church. The Pope will be in Romania just one week before the Feast of Pentecost, which is for many Romanian and Hungarian people an important day of pilgrimage to the Șumuleu Ciuc neighborhood.


Vatican summit
 clamp down on cover ups

The aim of Pope Francis’ February meeting on abuse and safeguarding is to clarify and underline what must and must not be done with allegations and make sure no more cases are ever covered up, said Andrea Tornielli, editorial director for the Vatican Dicastery for Communication.

“The presence of bishops from all over the world, called together for the first time to address this painful plague which has been, and is, a source of enormous suffering for victims and of counter-witness to the Gospel, will help to increase everyone’s awareness of the seriousness of the crisis,” he said.

“The purpose of the meeting is very specific: to ensure that everyone taking part in it can return to their own country being absolutely clear about what must – and must not – be done with regard to addressing these cases,” he said.

The bishops will discuss what steps must be taken to protect the victims, with respect for the truth and the people involved, in order to ensure that no more cases are stonewalled or covered up.


 is defeated by loving

Pope Francis offered a checklist for Catholics to keep track of how they measure up to the biblical admonition: “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ but hates his brother, he is a liar.”

Preaching last week about the passage from the First Letter of John, the Pope said the devil is defeated by Christians loving their brothers and sisters.

To see how one is doing in the battle, the first question to ask is: “Do I pray for people? For everyone, concretely, those whom I like and those I don’t like, for those who are friends and those who are not?” the Pope said.

The second thing to check, he said, is how often “I feel inside me sentiments of jealousy, envy, and I start wanting to wish something bad would happen to him or her – that is a signal that you do not love. Stop there. Don’t let those feelings grow. They are dangerous”.

Last, he said, the most common sign “that I don’t love my neighbour and so cannot say I love God is gossip. Get this clearly into your heart and your head: If I gossip, I do not love God because gossip destroys people.”