Pope Benedict XVI, who has dedicated much of his pontificate to shaping the Church’s understanding of the Second Vatican Council, devoted one of his last public addresses to the subject, recalling his experiences as an expert consultant at Vatican II, praising some of its major documents and lamenting widespread distortions of its teachings....

It’s said that everyone can remember where they were on September 11, 2001. That’s probably also true of committed Catholics and the election of a new Pope. After all the sadness, the ceremony, the solemnity, the excitement, the theatre and the suspense, all the threads of possibility weave together into one reality as the cry of “Habemus Papam!”...

Pope Benedict XVI’s historic decision to resign has astonished and perplexed the world in many ways, not least because of what might be called the mystery of the missing encyclical. Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, said last year that Pope Benedict’s fourth encyclical would be released in the first half of 2013. Treating the...

As the dust settles and we finally have some time to catch our breath in the wake of Pope Benedict’s shock resignation, we are slowly coming to terms with the fact that the Catholic Church will soon have a new leader. However, perhaps that news has somewhat overshadowed the shakeup of the Church here in Ireland under papal nuncio, Archbishop...

The timing and suddenness of Pope Benedict’s resignation was a great surprise, but not the fact of it. The Pope had hinted at it on a number of occasions and last year there was considerable speculation that he would retire then. Nonetheless, it is 600 years since a Pope resigned and so the announcement was very big news. How should we assess his...

Trish O’Brien, Tuam Diocesan Youth Director:“For me the greatest hope I would have is that the new Pope will embrace the journey young people find themselves on in the 21st Century. I hope the new Pope will be somebody that young people can see themselves in, someone who not only hears their voice but is able to respond to that voice. I hope that...

Priests are necessary to the Catholic Church. Without them, Catholics would not have access to many of the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, Confession, and the Anointing of the Sick. Following the Decree on the Nature of the Priesthood which we dealt with last week, the Vatican II Fathers, recognising the great significance of priests,...

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