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June 18, 2018

Pope Francis names 14 new Cardinals

  Pope Francis has elevated 14 churchmen from five continents to the rank of cardinal, picking candidates who work with the poor or where Catholics are in a minority and putting his stamp on the group that will elect his successor. Making the surprise announcement during his weekly Sunday address, the pope said the new cardinals came from Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Iraq, Pakistan, Japan, Madagascar, Peru, Mexico and Bolivia. They will be given their traditional red hats at a ceremony known as a consistory on June 29. Eleven of the group are under 80, the age limit for entering…

Pope’s Lamborghini Auctioned for nearly $1 Million

Pope donates N76m car gift to charity ... Africa benefits

  A custom Lamborghini Huracan that had been donated to Pope Francis last year was auctioned for nearly $1 million on Saturday, with proceeds going to charity.   The car was auctioned at Sotheby’s in London, and went to an unidentified buyer for $950,000, Fox News reports.   The sports car had been donated to Pope Francis by the Italian automaker last year. It was presented to Francis in front of his residence at the Vatican’s Saint Martha Guesthouse Nov. 15. He blessed and autographed it in the presence of top executives from the auto company.   All proceeds will…

Pope Francis decries ‘spiral of violence’ in Middle East

  Expressing his sorrow for those who have lost their lives, Pope Francis Wednesday called for peace and dialogue in the Middle East, which has faced increased violence during the transfer of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.   “I am very worried and distressed by the escalation of tensions in the Holy Land and in the Middle East, and by the spiral of violence that is increasingly moving away from the path of peace, dialogue and negotiations,” the pope said May 16.   Speaking at the end of the general audience, Francis expressed his sorrow for the…

The evils of fake news

  His Holiness, Pope Francis, in his message for this year’s World Communications Day, taking place today, has drawn attention to the evils of fake news and called for shared commitment to stemming its spread. Titled: “The truth will set you free (Jn 8: 32) Fake news and journalism for peace,” the Holy Father maintained that when we are faithful to God, communication becomes an effective expression of our responsible search for truth and our pursuit for goodness. Fake news has to do with false information based on nonexistent or distorted data, meant to deceive and manipulate the reader or…

Celebrating the 2018 World Communications Day – The Pope Speaks

  On this Sunday,(May 13), all roads will lead to the popular Maria Assumpta Cathedral where all the media workers from across the State and beyond with their friends and well-wishers will join their counter parts all over the world to celebrate their annual World Communications Day. This annual intellectual harvest which is open to all starts by 9: am with a concelebrated high Mass at the Cathedral, followed by a lecture on this year’s theme by an eminent scholar carefully chosen by His Grace Most Reverend Anthony J.V. Obinna. It is expected that he will do justice to this…

World Communications Day Holds Sunday May 13

  The annual World Communications Day comes up on Sunday, May 13, 2018. The theme for this year is, “The truth will set you free (John 8:32): Fake news and Journalism for peace”. His holiness Pope Francis sends this message to the entire Universal Church of Christ, beckoning on all Christians to stand on the truth always and everywhere. A press release signed by Rev. Fr. George Nwachukwu, Director of Communications/Media, Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri, said Christian media workers in associations with the Imo State government will celebrate the Day in a grand style. The ceremony begins with a concelebrated…

Nigerian bishops begin Ad Limina visit to Rome

The first group of Catholic bishops of Nigeria shortly after arriving Rome last week

  The first group of the Catholic bishops of Nigeria arrived Rome last week on Ad Limina Visit to the Holy Father, Pope Francis. The bishops who arrived Rome April 14 will meet with the pope on Thursday, April 26 when the second group of bishops must have arrived. According to Rev. Fr. Ralph Madu, Secretary General, Catholic Secretariate of Nigeria (CSN), the first group will round-off on April 28 while the second group will finish on May 5. Most Rev. Anthony Obinna, Catholic Archbishop of Owerri belongs to the second group. The bishops will meet with Cardinal Filoni, Prefect…

The Church cannot be silent about economic suffering – Pope Francis

  In the preface to a book on his economic thought, Pope Francis has written that the Gospel is not an unattainable ideal, but something that the whole Church should seek, especially where there is economic injustice. “The Church, in spreading the message of charity and justice of the Gospel, cannot remain silent in the face of injustice and suffering,” the pope wrote. “Many encounters have confirmed to me that the Gospel is not a utopia but a real hope, even for the economy: God does not abandon his creatures… he invites them to not grow tired of collaborating with…

Children should be baptized in the faith, Pope Francis says

  Pope Francis spoke about the Sacrament of Baptism on Wednesday, emphasizing the importance of the Catholic practice of baptizing infants, since the grace of the Holy Spirit helps them to grow in virtue. “Why baptize a child who does not understand?” the pope asked April 11. “When we baptize a child, the Holy Spirit enters that child, and the Holy Spirit makes… the Christian virtues grow in that child, who will then flourish.” Though we hope that when a child grows up he or she will understand and desire Baptism for themselves, to withhold the sacrament from a child…

Pope Francis issues New Exhortation

  Pope Francis released an apostolic exhortation in which he aims to “repropose” the universal call to holiness – which he says is the mission of life for every person. Published April 9, Gaudete et exsultate, or “Rejoice and be glad,” is Francis’ third apostolic exhortation. It is subtitled “On the call to holiness in the contemporary world.” The 44-page exhortation explains that holiness is the mission of every Christian, and gives practical advice for living out the call to holiness in ordinary, daily life, encouraging the practice of the Beatitudes and performing works of mercy. Francis mentioned the holiness…

Pope baptizes Nigerian migrant who foiled robbery in Italy

Pope baptizes Nigerian migrant who foiled robbery in Italy

  Six months ago Nigerian John Ogah was alone, without a home or job, begging for small change outside an Italian supermarket in Rome. He struggles for words to describe his situation, likening his survival to that of a dead person with nothing to lose. “It was difficult for me, really. When I [say] difficult, difficult,” the former undocumented migrant tells the BBC in a phone interview. But fast-forward half a year and John is a legal resident in Italy and hailed a “migrant hero” for confronting an armed robber. He feels like the luckiest man on earth now that…

Vatican encourages youth participation in pre-synod meeting via Facebook

Vatican encourages youth participation in pre-synod meeting via Facebook

  As the pre-synod gathering on youth approaches, Vatican organizers are inviting young people around the globe to join in the discussion through Facebook groups in six different languages. The 2018 Synod of Bishops on Youth, Faith, and Vocational Discernment will take place this October, but a pre-synod meeting with 315 young people from around the world will take place in Rome from March 19-24. “With this path the Church wishes to listen to the voices, feelings, faith and even the doubts and critiques of the youth,” Pope Francis said in announcing the pre-synod event. The goal is to hear…

Ahiara Diocese: Bishop Ugorji calls for healing, renewal

Bishop Lucius Ugorji calls for revival on Ahiara Diocese

  …As mammoth crowds welcome him Christ’s faithful in the Catholic Diocese of Ahiara, have been called upon to embrace healing and renewal, as the way to put behind them the ugly experience of the Diocese in the recent past. It is only through a new communion and friendship within the church, as a family of God, that past animosities and misunderstandings over the appointment of a successor to their pioneer bishop, Late Most Rev Victor Chikwe, which have rocked the diocese for several years now, can be overcome. His Lordship, Most Rev Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, the new Apostolic Administrator…

Reformist Pope Paul VI, murdered Archbishop to be made Saints�

Reformist Pope Paul VI and murdered Archbishop to be made Saints

  Pope Paul VI, who oversaw sweeping reforms of the Catholic Church in the l960s, will be made a saint along with a Salvadoran archbishop who was shot dead while celebrating Mass, the Vatican said on Wednesday. Pope Francis signed decrees giving the go-ahead for the honours on the basis of miracles attributed to each candidate, the Holy See said in a statement. The pope put Paul VI on the path to sainthood by beatifying him in October 2014, while Oscar Romero was likewise elevated to the status of “blessed” in May 2015. Paul VI completed the reforms of the…

Ahiara Diocese:  No Victor No Vanquished

Bishop Okpaleke

  To the glory of God, the protracted saga over the appointment of a bishop for the Catholic Diocese of Ahiara is over. No victor, no Vanquished! God won the battle, the church won the battle. This followed the resignation of Bishop Peter Okpaleke on Wednesday, Feb. 14. It would be recalled that he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012 as Bishop of Ahiara to succeed the pioneer Bishop of the Diocese, Most Rev Victor Chikwe who died 2010 but Okpaleke was rejected by a majority of the local clergy and the faithful of the diocese. While the…

Why I resigned – Bishop Okpaleke

Bishop Okpaleke

  Most Rev. Peter Ebere Okpaleke said he threw in the towel as the Bishop of Ahiara Diocese for his own good and that of the church. In his resignation letter to His Holiness Pope Francis dated February 14, 2018, which was Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day, Bishop Okpalaeke said the problem at Ahiara was eating him up, spiritually and he can’t hold any longer. “Unfortunately the situation in Ahiara Diocese to the best of my knowledge has not improved. Most importantly, this has been threatening my spiritual life. Taking the above into consideration, I am convinced, in conscience that…

2018 Lenten Message of His Holiness Pope Francis

  “Because of the increase of iniquity, the love of many will grow cold” (Mt 24: 12)   Dear Brothers and Sisters, Once again, the Pasch of the Lord draws near! In our preparation for Easter, God in his providence offers us each year the season of Lent as a “sacramental sign of our conversion”.[1] Lent summons us, and enables us, to come back to the Lord wholeheartedly and in every aspect of our life. With this message, I would like again this year to help the entire Church experience this time of grace anew, with joy and in truth….

Bishop Amatu calls for upholding  of church integrity

  Those who receive special recognitions from the church have been charged to conduct themselves well, so as to preserve the integrity of the church. Most Rev. S.A. Amatu, Catholic Bishop of Okigwe Diocese gave the admonition as he performed the investiture of Sir Jude Chibueze Ukanyirioha (KSJI), who was recently honoured as Papal Knight of St. Sylvester (KSS) by His Holiness Pope Francis at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception Okigwe, 23rd December 2017. The prelate elucidated on the modalities of selecting a papal awardee and said the few selected were mere samples of a lot more eligible candidates in…

Migrants and refugees: men and women in search of peace

2018 new year message by pope francis

MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS – JANUARY 1, 2018 1. Heartfelt good wishes for peace Peace to all people and to all nations on earth! Peace, which the angels proclaimed to the shepherds on Christmas night, is a profound aspiration for everyone, for each individual and all peoples, and especially for those who most keenly suffer its absence. Among these whom I constantly keep in my thoughts and prayers, I would once again mention the over 250 million migrants worldwide, of whom 22.5 million are refugees. Pope Benedict XVI, my beloved predecessor, spoke of them as “men and women, children,…

Defiant Trump confirms US will recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel …Pope calls for caution

Pope Francis warns Donald Trump

  US President Donald Trump has defied overwhelming global opposition by recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but insisted that the highly controversial move would not derail his own administration’s bid to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In a short speech delivered at the White House, Trump directed the state department to start making arrangements to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – a process that officials say will take at least three years. “I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Trump said. “While previous presidents have made…