Vatican Sets Nov. 5 Albania’s Beatification of 38 Martyrs

The Catholic Church in Albania says the Vatican has set Nov. 5 as the day of beatification of 38 Albanian religious martyrs killed by the former communist regime.

CHR Comment: A brief explanation of how these church leaders became martyrs and the recent religious history of Albania.

Source: Vatican sets Nov. 5 Albania’s beatification of 38 martyrs – The Washington Post


Vatican convicts 2 in leaks scandal; journalists cleared

A Vatican court declared Thursday it had no jurisdiction to prosecute or convict two journalists for having published confidential information, ending an eight-month trial that drew scorn from media rights groups around the world.

CHR Comment: The leaks scandal ends with not too much scandal, at least not from a legal perspective.

Source: Vatican convicts 2 in leaks scandal; journalists cleared

Apologies for Christian Persecutions

In an ‘astounding admission,’ global church leaders repent for past abuse of other denominations.

CHR Comment: In November 2015, the Global Christian Forum met in Albania, hosting 145 representatives from the World Evangelical Alliance, Pentecostal World Fellowship, the Vatican, and the World Council of Churches. The theme of the conference was “Following Christ Together,” which sought to foster greater ecumenical cooperation during these difficult times of persecution. A press release from the meeting acknowledged that Christians persecuted one another as well as other religious persons. Forgiveness is the doctrine and practice by which the church stands or fails.

The article linked below also summarizes a litany of stories about Christians apologizing to other Christians for persecution and other offenses. Most of the stories are from 2015, though the Pope’s apology to Pentecostals is from 2014.

Source: The Biggest Apology for Christian Persecution of Other Christ… | Gleanings |

Italy Seizes 3,500 Fake ‘Apostolic Blessings’ in Rome

Police said Monday they had seized 3,500 fake Vatican parchments that were being sold to unsuspecting pilgrims taking part in Pope Francis’ Holy Year celebrations.

CHR Comment: The counterfeit parchments commemorate pilgrimages to Rome and personal blessings. They would be worth $76,000 U.S. The Vatican sells its parchments as fund raising for charity. They have decided not to outsource the production of such parchments in the future.

Source: Italy seizes 3,500 fake ‘Apostolic Blessings’ in Rome – The Washington Post

Vatican Appoints PricewaterhouseCoopers to Audit Accounts

For the first time the Vatican submits its finances to an external auditor as part of Pope Francis’ bid to bring greater transparency to the Catholic Church.

CHR Comment: To learn more about the financial controversy, visit the second link below.

Source: Vatican appoints PricewaterhouseCoopers to audit accounts – BBC News

Vatican to Try Five, Including Reporters, over Leaks Scandal

The Vatican on Saturday ordered five people, including two Italian journalists, to stand trial for leaking and publishing secret documents, in the latest development in a leaks scandal which is rocking the papacy.

CHR Comment: The leaks involved financial information, which the reporters described as representing the values and interests of the Vatican, resulting in mismanagement, greed, and corruption. The leaked or stolen information was recently published in two books titled Avarice and Merchants in the Temple. The latter is available in English and is currently ranked as a best seller in Italian history.

Source: Vatican to try five, including reporters, over leaks scandal | Reuters#qgoX7TFPEl4pddRW.97

Hindu Leader Praises Vatican’s Nostra Aetate

CHR Comment: Swami Chidananda Saraswati travelled to Rome with other religious leaders to participate in an interreligious general audience with Pope Francis on the fiftieth anniversary of the papal document that invited dialogue with other religions. Issues of concern mentioned peace between religions and averting terrorism.

Defrocked Gay Vatican Priest Pins Hopes on Pope Francis

The Polish priest announced on Oct. 3 that he was gay, on the eve of the Vatican’s synod on the family.

CHR Comment: The interview expresses significant disappointment in the synod on the family, the Vatican, and the Catholic Church in general. Charamsa does not think the church will change its doctrine. Yet the disaffected priest still expresses hope that Pope Francis will foster greater openness to homosexual Roman Catholics. One wonders how Charamsa’s public and defiant actions affected future discussions of the issues.

Source: Defrocked gay Vatican priest says he has no regrets

Germany Spied on the Vatican

German magazine says targets included the U.S. Interior Department and U.N. offices.

CHR Comment: The article briefly mentions that Germany spied on the Vatican by monitoring communications. The Vatican is an independent state, though it is only 109 acres and has a population of about a thousand people, as the second link below describes.

Source: ‘Der Spiegel’: Germany spied on U.S. embassies, Vatican