Raphael’s tapestries briefly return to Sistine Chapel

Tapestries designed by Renaissance master Raphael are pictured after being hung on a lower wall in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican Feb. 16, 2020. Ten enormous tapestries by Raphael are on display for one week in celebration of the 500th anniversary of his death in 1520. (CNS photo/courtesy of Vatican Museums)

By Carol Glatz 
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — An artistic masterpiece conceived by the Renaissance master Raphael was on display for one week in the Sistine Chapel to help celebrate the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death.

“It’s an important moment” and a way to celebrate a truly great artist, Barbara Jatta, director of the Vatican Museums, told Vatican News Feb. 17. Raphael died in Rome on Good Friday, April 6, 1520, at the age of 37.

The 10 enormous tapestries designed by Raphael for the lower walls of the chapel were on display Feb. 17-23 in the Sistine Chapel, “putting them in the place they were commissioned for in 1515 and where (some) were hung in 1519,” Jatta said. The tapestries are normally displayed behind glass on a rotating basis elsewhere in the museums.

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Posted in Vatican

Pope adds year of missionary service to Vatican diplomats’ training

Pope Francis meets with nuncios from around the world at the Vatican in this June 13, 2019, file photo. The pope has asked the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, which trains Vatican diplomats, to add a year of missionary service to the priests’ training. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis, adopting a suggestion made at the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon, has decided that every priest preparing for service in the Vatican diplomatic corps must spend a year in ministry as a missionary.

In a letter to U.S. Archbishop Joseph S. Marino, president of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, which trains Vatican diplomats, Pope Francis said the year of missionary service should be added to the academy’s curriculum beginning with students entering in the 2020-2021 academic year.

“I am convinced that such an experience could be helpful to all young men who are preparing for or beginning their priestly service,” Pope Francis wrote in the letter released Feb. 17. In a special way, he continued, mission experience would be helpful “for those who in the future will be called to collaborate with the pontifical representatives and, later, could become envoys of the Holy See to nations and particular churches.”

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British Columbia couple on quarantined cruise ship relying on faith

Marichu and Ding Camales-Torrijos, of St. Matthew Parish in Vancouver, British Columbia, pose wearing protective masks during a brief walk outdoors on the Diamond Princess cruise ship. The ship, quarantined following discovery of the coronavirus on board, is docked off the coast of Japan. (CNS photo/courtesy Camales-Torrijos family)

By Agnieszka Ruck
Catholic News Service

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (CNS) — The morning routine hasn’t changed for Marichu and Ding Camales-Torrijos since they and all other passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship were quarantined following discovery of the coronavirus on board.

The couple has breakfast delivered by mask-wearing cruise staff, they listen to live updates from the captain about the spread of the virus, they send online messages to family and friends, and they pray.

“We start the day with prayer thanking God that we are symptom-free,” Marichu told The B.C. Catholic, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Vancouver, Feb. 13. The couple, parishioners at St. Matthew Parish in Surrey, boarded the ship for a Southeast Asia cruise 26 days earlier. It was a gift to Ding ahead of his 65th birthday.

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Posted in World

Pope on women in Amazon church: Don’t try to ‘clericalize’ them

Pope Francis walks in a procession at the start of the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon at the Vatican in this Oct. 7, 2019, file photo. The Vatican on Feb. 12 released the pope’s apostolic exhortation, “Querida Amazonia” (Beloved Amazonia), which offers his conclusions from the synod. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Backgrounder and analysis.

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis released his document on the Amazon region on the 15th anniversary of the assassination in Brazil of U.S. Notre Dame Sister Dorothy Stang, a missionary who defended the poor and the environment.

Her life and sacrifice are emblematic of what many participants at the October Synod of Bishops for the Amazon had said: Women in the region are leaders of both community and religious life; their defense of the poor and the natural environment is consistent and consistently results in threats to their lives.

In his postsynodal apostolic exhortation, “Querida Amazonia” (Beloved Amazonia), which was published Feb. 12, Pope Francis said consecrated men and women in the Amazon are “closest to those who are most impoverished and excluded.”

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Remains of aborted babies now in final resting place in Indiana cemetery

A memorial stone is seen at the burial site of 2,411 aborted babies, whose remains were interred Feb. 12, 2020, at Southlawn Cemetery in South Bend, Ind. The babies had been aborted between 2000 and 2003 by the late Dr. Ulrich “George” Klopfer, who operated abortion clinics in Indiana since the 1970s and committed an estimated 30,000 abortions before having his license revoked in 2016. (CNS photo/Indiana Office of the Attorney General)

By Ann Carey 
Catholic News Service

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (CNS) — A cold, gray, wintry day in South Bend seemed like an appropriate setting for the burial of 2,411 aborted babies, whose remains were interred in Southlawn Cemetery in the city Feb. 12.

The babies had been aborted between 2000 and 2003 by the late Dr. Ulrich “George” Klopfer, who operated abortion clinics in Indiana since the 1970s and performed an estimated 30,000 abortions before having his license revoked in 2016.

The medically preserved remains of those fetuses had been transported across state lines and stored for years on Klopfer’s Illinois property, in his garage and in the trunk of a car. The grisly discovery of the remains was made after his death Sept. 3 last year.

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Posted in U.S.

Sunday Scripture reading, Feb. 16, 2020: Aim for peace

The Catholic News Service column, “Speak to Me Lord,” offers reflections on the Sunday Scripture readings. (CNS/Nancy Wiechec)

Feb. 16,
Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cycle A
1) Sir 15:15-20
Psalm 119:1-2, 4-5, 17-18, 33-34
2) 1 Cor 2:6-10
Gospel: Mt 5:17-37 or 5:20-22, 27-28, 33-34, 37

By Kevin Perrotta 
Catholic News Service

Today’s Gospel features parallel statements by Jesus. He begins, each time, with “you have heard that it was said …” and follows this received wisdom with a correction: “But I say to you …” Continue reading

Posted in "Speak to Me Lord"

Pope shares with U.S. bishops his frustration with reaction to Amazon text

U.S. bishops wait to meet Pope Francis in the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican Feb. 13, 2020. Bishops from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina were making their “ad limina” visits to the Vatican to report on the status of their dioceses to the pope and Vatican officials. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

By Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis told a group of U.S. bishops that, like them, he is accused of not being courageous or not listening to the Holy Spirit when he says or does something someone disagrees with — like not mentioning married priests in his document on the Amazon.

“You could see his consternation when he said that for some people it was all about celibacy and not about the Amazon,” said Bishop William A. Wack of Pensacola-Tallahassee.

“He said some people say he is not courageous because he didn’t listen to the Spirit,” the bishop told Catholic News Service Feb. 13. “He said, ‘So they’re not mad at the Spirit. They’re mad at me down here,'” as if they assume the Holy Spirit agreed with them.

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Posted in U.S., Vatican, World