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April 21, 2018

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 – The Pope receives in audience the Delegation of the Diocese of Ahiara

On June 8, the Holy Father received a Delegation of the Diocese of Ahiara in a private Audience, accompanied by the Archbishop of Abuja and Apostolic Administrator of Ahiara, His Emminence Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Metropolitan Archbishop of Owerri, His Exc. Mgr. Anthony Obinna, Archbishop of Jos and President of the Episcopal Conference of Nigeria, His Exc. Mgr. Ignatius Kaigama, and by the Bishop of Ahiara, His Exc. Mgr. Peter Okpaleke.   Priests: Clement O. Ebii, Jude N. Uwalaka, Uhuegbu Innocent Olekamma, Sister Bernadette O. Ezeyi and S.A. Stanley Pius Iwu, Traditional Chief, were also part of the Delegation.   The…

Don’t whitewash your sins – Pope Francis

As Christmas approaches, don’t downplay your sins, Pope Francis said. Instead, name them honestly in the Sacrament of Confession, open your heart, and ask the Lord to heal you from within. If we merely say: “yes, yes, I have some sins; I go, I confess…and then I go on as before,” we don’t allow ourselves to be recreated by the Lord, the Pope said Dec. 5. It’s as if we’ve applied “two coats of paint” on our heart, believing that is good enough. “No!” he said. What we should do instead is name our sins carefully, saying: “I’ve done this,…

Vatican congratulates Trump … Prays that his presidency will promote peace amid conflict

After Donald Trump pulled off what was for many a surprising victory in the United States election, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin offered his prayers that the new president-elect would promote peace in a world torn by conflict. “First of all, we take note with respect the will of the American people in this exercise of democracy which they tell me was characterized by a large turnout. Then we congratulate the new president, so that his government can be truly fruitful,” Cardinal Parolin told Vatican Radio Nov. 19. He also assured of his prayers, “so that the Lord…

Pope institutes commission to study Diaconate ordination of women

Pope Francis has instituted a new commission for the study of women deacons, the Vatican announced Tuesday. The decision comes several months after a papal audience with a group of religious sisters, during which Pope expressed his willingness to consider forming a commission to study women deacons, such as they existed in the early Church. According to the Aug. 2 press release, the pontiff came to the decision after a period of “intense prayer and mature reflection.” The new commission will be headed by Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, who…

Pray for me – Iranian president tells Pope Francis

As Iran’s president faces controversies ranging from his country’s secretive nuclear program to its support of terror and alleged human rights abuses, he had a simple request for Pope Francis on Tuesday: “Pray for me.” Hassan Rouhani’s visit to the Holy See saw the first meeting between a pope and an Iranian president since 1999. Iran, which agreed to limit its nuclear activities in exchange for an end to economic sanctions, is eager to carve out a bigger role in mediating Middle East conflicts. Francis’ papacy has been marked by mediation and conflict resolution. Rouhani brought a gift of a…

Women may now have their feet washed at Holy Thursday – Pope

Pope Francis has changed the rules for the Church’s traditional foot-washing ceremony on Holy Thursday, issuing a decree allowing women to participate in what has until now been a ritual officially open only to men. In a letter addressed to Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Pope said that from now on the 12 persons chosen to participate in the ritual of the washing of the feet will be selected “from among all members of the People of God.” “For some time I have been reflecting on the rite…

Paris terrorist attacks part of ‘piecemeal WWIII’ – Pope Francis …As Vatican calls for a global response

  The acts of terrorism which took place in Paris Friday night are the latest part in what Pope Francis has called a “piecemeal World War III,” describing the attacks as “inhuman.” “There is no justification for these things,” the pontiff said in a phone interview Saturday with TV 2000, the official broadcasting station for the Italian Bishops Conference. Speaking in response to the Nov. 13 attacks, which are the deadliest acts of violence the city has seen since the World War II, the Pope said he is “moved and pained” by what happened, and expressed his closeness to those…

Pope calls for end to economic exploitation, power-hunger in the Church

  Meeting workers and addressing a major gathering of the Church in Italy, Pope Francis demanded an end to economic exploitation, to clerics “obsessed” with power, to apathy among youth and to a cold, fearful church that forgets Christ is always by its side. “These times of ours demand that we experience problems as challenges and not like obstacles: The Lord is active and at work in the world,” he said Nov. 10 inside Florence’s Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore — the third-largest church in Europe. In a trip that covered a normal 8 a.m.-to-5 p.m. workday, the pope…

Vatican confirms Pope’s meeting with anti-gay activist

  The Vatican has confirmed that Pope Francis has met with Kentucky county clerk, Kim Davis, but did not elaborate. In a statement released by the Holy See Press Office Thursday, its director, Father Federico Lombardi, addressed the media reports about the Pope meeting Davis in Washington, stating: “I do not deny that the meeting took place, but I have no comments to add.” Davis was put in jail for six days for disobeying a federal court order to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples, stressing she couldn’t go against her conscience and citing biblical opposition to same-sex marriage. Davis’…

Archbishop Obinna Ordains 27 New Priests

  Most Rev. Anthony J.V. Obinna flanked by the newly ordained priests shortly after the ordination Mass – Admonishes them to preach truth, teach by example   A total of 27 deacons were on Saturday, August 8, 2015 Ordained priests at the Maria Assumpta Cathedral Owerri, by His Grace, Most Rev. Anthony J.V. Obinna, the Archbishop of Owerri. Eighteen of the new priests are for the Owerri Archdiocese.  Some also belong to the Servants of Charity and the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary Congregations. The new priests are: Rev. Frs. Ambrose Chukwuemeka Ike, Eburuche Ambrose Chijioke, Innocent Ifeanyichukwu Nwankwo,…

Ireland gay-union vote, ‘defeat for humanity’- Vatican

  The Vatican’s secretary of state has condemned the Irish vote to legalize gay marriage. The referendum that overwhelmingly backed marriage equality last weekend was a “defeat for humanity”, he says. “I was deeply saddened by the result,” Cardinal PietroParolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, said at a conference in Rome on Tuesday night. “The church must take account of this reality, but in the sense that it must strengthen its commitment to evangelization. I think that you cannot just talk of a defeat for Christian principles, but of a defeat for humanity.” Ireland became the first country to legalize…

Castro ready to go back to church after meeting with Pope Francis

  Cuban President Raúl Castro met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Sunday and thanked the pontiff for his role in rekindling relations between the United States and his island nation. The Communist leader also said he was so impressed with the pope that “I will go back to praying and go back to the church, and I’m not joking.” “Bienvenido!” the Argentine-born Pope said in his native Spanish in welcoming Castro, the Associated Press reported. The Cuban president, bowing his head, gripped Pope Francis’ hand with both of his, and the two men began private talks. The meeting…

Muslims, Catholics meet in Rome

Despite the murderous campaign by ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and in Nigeria Boko Haram, Muslims and Catholics have come together and acknowledged many examples across the world of active Catholic-Muslim collaboration in charitable, educational and relief efforts. This was a key outcome of the third seminar of the Catholic-Muslim Forum, which concluded Thursday  in Rome, on the theme “Working Together to Serve Others.” At the conference, three specific issues were considered: working together to serve young people, enhancing interreligious dialogue, and service to society. Since Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan, expected to lead the Muslim delegation, couldn’t attend…

YOU ARE THE TEMPLE

The Temple in Jerusalem was an awe-inspiring architectural masterpiece – the pride of the Jewish nation. It was one of the busiest, most lavish, immense, and remarkable buildings in the entire Ancient Middle East. This was a building like no other then, so the question of its destruction was simply inconceivable to the people but Jesus knew otherwise, and said so. Some thirty-seven years after the Lord’s departure, the Temple was destroyed by the Romans, leaving only the famous Western Wall (The Wailing Wall). By destroying the Temple, the Romans sought to permanently weaken the Jewish nation and their religion…

Death row Christian woman flies out of Sudan, meets Pope

A Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death for converting from Islam to Christianity, then detained after her conviction was quashed, flew into Rome on an Italian government plane on Thursday and hours later met the Pope. Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, whose sentence and detention triggered international outrage, walked off the aircraft cradling her baby and was greeted by Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi. Soon afterwards, Ibrahim, her husband and two children had a private meeting with Pope Francis in the Vatican. “The Pope thanked her for her witness to faith,” Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said. The meeting, which lasted…

Pope, Anglican archbishop urge joint action to share God’s love

Although they have not yet reached full unity, Roman Catholics and Anglicans continue their dialogue, come together in prayer and work side by side, including on a new project to combat human trafficking around the world. “I thank God that, as disciples sent to heal a wounded world, we stand together with perseverance and determination in opposing this grave evil,” Pope Francis told Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury June 16 during a meeting at the Vatican. Archbishop Welby, the spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion, was in Rome to hold his second meeting with Pope Francis, to visit…

MESSAGE OF POPE FRANCIS FOR THE 48TH WORLD COMMUNICATIONS DAY

Communication at the Service of an Authentic Culture of Encounter Dear Brothers and Sisters, Today we are living in a world which is growing ever “smaller” and where, as a result, it would seem to be easier for all of us to be neighbours.  Developments in travel and communications technology are bringing us closer together and making us more connected, even as globalization makes us increasingly interdependent.  Nonetheless, divisions, which are sometimes quite deep, continue to exist within our human family.  On the global level we see a scandalous gap between the opulence of the wealthy and the utter destitution…

CANONIZING TWO ROLE MODELS OF THE CHURCH

Today, two giants of the Roman Catholic faith will become saints and millions of people, including Nigerians have traveled to Rome for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Pope Francis’ decision to declare two of his predecessors, Pope John XXIII and John Paul II saints at the same time is unprecedented and taking the world by storm. The church offers the lives of outstanding women and men to us as models of holiness, declaring them “Blessed” or “Saint”. This is not a statement about perfection. It does not mean that the person was without imperfection or sin. Beatification and canonization mean that a…

Becoming Holy Humans In Christ, A 2014 Easter Message

On Sunday the 27th April 2014, Divine Mercy Sunday, Blessed Pope John XXIII and Blessed John Paul II, will be canonized, that is officially proclaimed saints by Pope Francis at the St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Rome. Over a million pilgrims catholic and non-catholic from all over the world are expected at the canonization. Nigerians, including a number from Imo State will be there to represent us.   Although Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II continue to have enormous influence in our contemporary world and Church it is the holiness of their personal human lives that is the…