Fr Raymond de Souza

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September 05, 2019
The creation of cardinals used to be fairly predictable, as red hats were given to “cardinalatial” sees and the more senior and historic offices of the Roman Curia. Pope Francis has changed all that. The only predictable thing is that each new consistory will be full of surprises. The sixth consistory of Pope Francis, to
August 29, 2019
The superior general of the Jesuits, Fr Arturo Sosa, holds positions that appear incompatible with the Catholic faith. He has denied the historicity of the Gospels – that they faithfully reflect what Jesus actually said – saying that “no one had a tape recorder to record his words”. He has also questioned the personal existence of
August 22, 2019
At the heart of the controversy over the dismantling of the John Paul II Institute in Rome is the effective sacking of two leading moral theologians, Mgr Livio Melina and Fr José Noriega, who held the chairs of fundamental and special moral theology respectively. Indeed, it’s worse than just sacking them, which is very hard
August 15, 2019
In a recent interview granted to La Stampa, Pope Francis spoke about the Synod for the Amazon, which will take place in October. The Synod’s Instrumentum Laboris (IL) was released in June and has been subject to withering criticism since, in particular from Cardinal Gerhard Müller, former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of
August 08, 2019
In a surprise for the feast of St Jean-Marie Vianney, Pope Francis released a lengthy and substantive letter to priests. August 4th this year marked the 160th anniversary of the death of the Curé of Ars, declared the patron saint of parish priests by Pope Pius XI. The letter draws heavily on Scripture and the
August 01, 2019
It’s the beginning of the end for Amoris Laetitia, the document of Pope Francis on the family which attempted to change the Church’s teaching on admitting people in invalid marriages to Holy Communion. When the end will come is not known, but that it will come is now clear. Recent structural changes at the pontifical institute for marriage and
July 25, 2019
The decision to send the relics of St Peter from the private chapel of the papal apartment to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is still in need of explanation. The manner in which it was done remains inexplicable. On June 29, the feast of Ss Peter and Paul, Pope Francis gave to the delegation representing Bartholomew,
July 18, 2019
The Church’s calendar includes the feast days of several of the great figures of the Old Testament (though observing them is not obligatory): King David on December 29, for example, or Melchisedek on August 26. Abraham’s falls on the same day as John Henry Newman’s, October 9. The Prophet Elijah’s feast day is July 20. I
July 11, 2019
One of the marvels of the current parade of curious and dubious figures on the world stage is that American President Donald Trump is accused of being too close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, when in fact Putin’s greatest international friend is actually Pope Francis. Last week, I wrote here about what Putin wanted from
July 04, 2019
Russian President Vladimir Putin must have been nervous. Pope Francis’s foreign policy has been agreeable to Moscow. But ominous clouds were on the horizon. In May, the Vatican announced a meeting for July 5-6 in Rome for the leadership of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), the largest of the Eastern Catholic Churches. The head
June 27, 2019
For significant diplomatic moments – such as the annual address of the Holy Father to the diplomatic corps – the grand Sala Regia in the Apostolic Palace is used; other rooms in the palace are used for lesser events. They are not held, for example, in a sacred space, like the Sistine Chapel or St
June 20, 2019
The Holy See’s diplomatic corps – gathered en masse for their triennial meeting last week – has had its prominence and power restored under Pope Francis. But a new openness about abuses of that power means that diplomatic culture must change in nunciatures the world over. Since the reforms of St Paul VI, the Roman