Vatican City. On February 11, a whole world was struck with astonishment when Pope Benedict XVI announced his intention to resign. Not since 1294, when pious Celestinus V retired to a monastic cell, had a pope voluntarily left his post. As an official reason, Benedict stated his failing health, something that had not previously prevented popes from fulfilling their duties. But Benedict probably realized that in his fragile state he could not cope with the convulsions and scandals that have shaken the Vatican.
On March 13, according to Countryaah, 76-year-old Argentine Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected new pope, the first overseas pope of 1,300 years, and the first pope with Jesuit background. He took his Pope Francis name after Saint Francis, who placed the poor and the peace at the center. The Pope’s unassuming personal way of life conveys a clear message: his intention is to lead a church that identifies with the poor.
As a first step towards renewal, Francis replaced the Vatican’s “second man”, the secretary of state, whose role is almost comparable to that of a prime minister. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who was allowed to go, was associated with the old age and had not made himself known as a reformer. In the context, the replacement became the young, 58-year-old career diplomat Archbishop Pietro Parolin.
During his first year, Francis also seriously dealt with the scandal-ridden Vatican Bank’s business following the representative of Benedict’s more half-hearted attempts at reform.
Great media attention was drawn to the times during the year that the pope expressed his views on sexual morality issues. In an interview, the pope wanted the church to show more mercy on moral issues. He said that the church has hung up too much on issues related to homosexuality, divorce and abortion. The Church’s doctrine on moral issues is firm, but according to the Pope, the individual’s own situation must be taken into account to a greater extent from a human perspective.
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The Vatican Printing House
The first idea of a Vatican Printing House, for the edition of the manuscripts of the Pontifical Library, dates back to the merit of cardinals Marcello Cervini (later pope with the name of Marcellus II) and Alessandro Farnese. The first printer was Antonio Blado. Later, in 1561, Pius IV called Paolo Manutius, son of Aldo the Elder, to Rome with the task of publishing the works of the ecclesiastical fathers and writers in aid of the Counter-Reformation. But the stable organization of a Vatican printing administration is thanks to Sixtus V, who with the bull of January 22, 1857 Immensa aeterni Dei established the Cardinal Congregation of the Vatican Printing House and with another bull Eam semper on 27 April the same year he erected the new printing house next to the Vatican Library, in the courtyard still known as the printing house, between the Belvedere and the Pigna courts.
Sixtus V, who had spent forty thousand gold scudi for the erection of the new Vatican Printing House, called upon the Venetian typographer Domenico Basa to direct it, with the task of curating the official edition of the Volgata, of which the three sumptuous appeared already in 1590 volumes. In the years 1592, 1593 and 1598 the Vatican Printing House published the three editions of the Clementine Vulgate.
But another famous printing house was born shortly after in Rome. From the first years of its foundation, the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda Fide had, in 1626, created a printing house for the needs of the missions, which soon became a “polyglot” typography, endowed with characters of the most important Asian languages. From the beginning it had been furnished with Glagolitic and Servian characters donated by the emperor Ferdinand II; from the Vatican Library, mothers and punches of Armenian and Arabic characters were also loaned, and for purchase she received Hebrew, Arab, Greek, Chaldean punches, etc.
Under Gregory XVI (1831-46) it was able to print in 55 languages: 27 European, 22 Asian, 3 American and 3 African. In 1870 the Pater noster was presented to the fathers of the Vatican Council in 250 languages and dialects, printed with the use of 180 alphabets.
Both printers were brought together by Pius X who transported them in 1910 to a new building equipped with every modern means. The Vatican Polyglot Printing House is divided into two sections, the “common” and the “secret”. It essentially serves the needs of the Curia. Official publications are well known: the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, the Catholic Hierarchy, the Catalogs of the Vatican Library, the liturgical and Gregorian editions, etc. Benedict XV and Pius XI praised the printing house by expanding the premises and equipping it with new machines.