Vatican discovers empty tombs as it searches for missing woman

Posted July 19, 2019 at 12:00 am

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Opening the Vatican tombs of a princess and a duchess July 11 in a search for the remains of a young Italian woman missing for more than 30 years, the Vatican found no human remains at all.

“The search had a negative result,” said Alessandro Gisotti, interim director of the Vatican press office. “No human remains or funeral urns were found.”

Now, Gisotti said, Vatican officials will go into the archives to study documents dealing with “structural interventions carried out in the area” of the Teutonic Cemetery at the end of the 1800s and again in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The cemetery, existing since the Middle Ages, is now reserved mainly for German-speaking priests and members of religious orders.

The side-by-side tombs had been marked as the final resting places of Princess Sophie von Hohenlohe, who died in 1836,

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    Not ruling on apparitions, pope allows pilgrimages to Medjugorje

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Parishes and dioceses are now allowed to organize official pilgrimages to Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, but it must be clear that the Catholic Church has not recognized as authentic the alleged Marian apparitions there.

    Polish Archbishop Henryk Hoser, the pope’s apostolic visitor to Medjugorje, and Archbishop Luigi Pezzuto, the nuncio to Bosnia-Herzegovina, announced the pope’s decision to lift the ban on official pilgrimages May 12.

    Alessandro Gisotti, the interim director of the Vatican press office, confirmed the change, but said care must be taken to ensure the pilgrimages are not “interpreted as an authentication of well-known events,

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    Continuing Easter celebrations, pope again prays for Sri Lanka

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) – On Easter Monday, Pope Francis led thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square in praying for the hundreds of people who died or were injured in bomb blasts the previous day in Sri Lanka.

    Pope Francis had already condemned the bombings and offered prayers April 21 after celebrating Easter morning Mass.

    The next day, after Sri Lankan officials reported 290 confirmed deaths from the eight blasts at churches and hotels in three cities, the pope told the crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the “Regina Coeli” prayer, “I want to again express my

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    Hope from the ashes: President, archbishop vow to rebuild Notre Dame

    ROME (CNS) – The president of France and the archbishop of Paris have vowed to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral after a devastating fire, continuing what a professor of architecture described as the natural lifecycle of a historic building. 

    Steven W. Semes, a professor and director of graduate studies in the Historic Preservation Program at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, said he was as shocked and pained as everyone watching on television as the building burned April 15. 

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    Number of priests decline; percentage of Catholics remains steady

    VATICAN CITY (CNS)  – The percentage of Catholics in the world has remained steady, while the number of priests has decreased for the first time in almost a decade, according to Vatican statistics.

    Meanwhile, the numbers of bishops, permanent deacons, lay missionaries and catechists have all increased, it said.

    At the end of 2017, the worldwide Catholic population exceeded 1.3 billion, which continued to be about 17.7 percent of the world’s population, said a statement published March 6 by the Vatican press office.

    The statement reported a handful of the statistics in the Statistical

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    Pope: No more excuses

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) – The time has come for an “all-out battle” against the abuse of minors, erasing this abominable crime from the face of the earth, Pope Francis said, closing a global four-day summit on child protection in the Catholic Church.

    For quite some time, the world has been aware of the “serious scandal” the abuse of minors by clergy has brought to the church and public opinion, both because of the dramatic suffering it has caused victims and because of the “unjustifiable negligence” and “cover-up” by leaders in the church, he told people gathered in

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    Vatican: Investigation underway of bishop accused of abuse, misconduct

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) – A bishop from Argentina who had been working in the Vatican’s real estate administration office is the object of a preliminary diocesan investigation after accusations came to light of sexual abuse, abuse of power and mismanagement in his former Diocese of Oran.

    The interim director of the Vatican press office, Alessandro Gisotti, told reporters in a note Jan. 4 that accusations of sexual abuse against Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, 54, emerged in the “autumn” of 2018.

    “On the basis of these accusations and from news appearing recently in the media,” Bishop Luis Antonio

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    Cardinal: No one has right to demand a pope’s resignation

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) – People can disagree about problems and the best ways to resolve them, but no one should launch a formal accusation against a pope much less ask for his resignation, German Cardinal Gerhard Muller said.  

    Such public attacks put into question the church’s credibility, he said in an interview with the Italian website Vatican Insider Nov. 27. 

    “I am personally convinced that Pope Francis is doing everything possible to oppose the

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    Pope canonizes new saints

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Carrying Pope Paul VI’s pastoral staff and wearing the blood-stained belt of Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador, Pope Francis formally recognized them, and five others, as saints of the Catholic Church. 

    Thousands of pilgrims from the new saints’ home countries – Italy, El Salvador, Spain and Germany – were joined by tens of thousands of others Oct. 14 in St. Peter’s Square to celebrate the universal recognition of the holiness of men and women they already knew

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    Pope revises catechism to say death penalty is ‘inadmissible’

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Building on the development of Catholic Church teaching against capital punishment, Pope Francis has ordered a revision of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to assert “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person” and to commit the church to working toward its abolition worldwide.

    The catechism’s paragraph on capital punishment, 2267, already had been updated by St. John Paul II in 1997 to strengthen its skepticism about the need to use the death penalty in the modern world and, particularly, to affirm the importance

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    Chilean priests say they felt welcomed, listened to by pope

    VATICAN CITY (CNS)  – After meeting with Pope Francis for more than four hours, a Chilean priest who suffered abuse and a priest whom ministers to survivors said they felt comforted and hopeful for the church’s future in their country.

    The pope met June 2 with five priests who the Vatican described as being “victims of abuses of power, of conscience and of sexual abuse.”

    Two priests who have accompanied the survivors “in their juridical and spiritual journey” and “two laypeople involved in this suffering” also were invited by Pope Francis. They were all

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    Chile’s bishops offer resignations

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Every bishop in Chile offered his resignation to Pope Francis after a three-day meeting at the Vatican to discuss the clerical sexual abuse scandal.

    “We want to announce that all bishops present in Rome, in writing, have placed our positions in the Holy Father’s hands so that he may freely decide regarding each one of us,” Bishop Juan Ignacio Gonzalez Errazuriz of San Bernardo said May 18 in a statement on behalf of the country’s bishops.

    The unprecedented decision was made on the final day of their meeting May 15-17 with Pope Francis.

    Auxiliary Bishop Fernando Ramos Perez of

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    Pope, Christian leaders condemn use of violence against Syria

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) –Sharply criticizing a failure to find nonviolent means of bringing peace to Syria and other parts of the world, Pope Francis appealed to world leaders to work for justice and peace.

    “I am deeply disturbed by the current world situation, in which, despite the instruments available to international community, it struggles to agree on joint action in favor of peace in Syria and other regions of the world,” he said after praying the “Regina Coeli” with people gathered in St. Peter’s Square April 15.

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    Nativity scenes bring joy to hardened hearts

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) – The Nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square is not getting rave reviews: The backdrop does not look like a stable and the characters in need, hungry, naked, dead, imprisoned, don’t exactly evoke a silent night when all was cozy, calm and bright.

    Franciscan Father John Puodziunas said he didn’t like it at first.

    In addition to Mary and Joseph – baby Jesus will appear only on Christmas – the scene includes figures of people who illustrate

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    Liturgical reform ‘irreversible,’ pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) – The Catholic Church must continue to work to understand the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council and why they were made, rather than rethinking them, Pope Francis said.

    “After this magisterium, after this long journey, we can affirm with certainty and magisterial authority that the liturgical reform is irreversible,” Pope Francis told participants in Italy’s National Liturgical Week.

    The pope’s speech to the 800 participants Aug. 24 was the longest and most systematic talk he

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    Pope Francis greets U.S. President Donald Trump during a private audience at the Vatican May 24. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-TRUMP-MEET May 24, 2017.

    Pope, President Trump speak of hopes for peace

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) Pope Francis and U.S. President Donald Trump spent 30 minutes speaking privately in the library of the Apostolic Palace May 24, and as the president left, he told the pope, “I won’t forget what you said.”

    The atmosphere at the beginning was formal and a bit stiff. However, the mood lightened when Pope Francis met the first lady,

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    VIVA EL PAPA: USA 2015

    A student shows Pope Francis a lesson on the environment during his visit to Our Lady Queen of Angels School in the East Harlem area of New York Sept. 25.

     

    Pope Francis blesses a prisoner as he visits the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia Sept. 27. Photos by CNS

     

    Nuns lean out to see Pope Francis as he greets and blesses seminarians, novices and other guests inside the Basilica of

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    Pope Francis says good priests bring joy, comfort to those in need

    By Carol Glatz

    Catholic News Service

    VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis called on the world’s priests to bring the healing power of God’s grace to everyone in need, to stay close to the marginalized and to be “shepherds living with the smell of the sheep.”

    Pope Francis breathes over chrism oil, a gesture symbolizing the infusion of the Holy Spirit, during the Holy Thursday chrism Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican March 28. Photo by Paul Haring | CNS

     

    Those priests “who do not go out of themselves” by being mediators between God and men can “gradually

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