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April 21, 2018

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: The Poor are Our ‘Passport’ to Paradise

Pope Francis on World Day for the Poor

  On the first World Day for the Poor, Pope Francis said caring for the needy has a saving power, because in them we see the face of Christ, and urged Christians to overcome indifference and seek ways to actively love the poor that they meet. “In the poor, we find the presence of Jesus, who, though rich, became poor,” the Pope said Nov. 19. Because of this, “in their weakness, a saving power is present. And if in the eyes of the world they have little value, they are the ones who open to us the way to heaven.”…

Pope denounces terrorism in Easter Mass amid tight Vatican security

VATICAN CITY — Amid the tightest security ever for an outdoor Mass at the Vatican, Pope Francis on Easter Sunday lashed out at the “blind and brutal” terrorism afflicting Europe, Africa, the Middle East and beyond. Five days after Islamic State attacks in Brussels killed 31 people, extraordinary security controls left some faithful waiting in line for hours and forced some to watch the Mass from up to three-quarters of a mile away from St. Peter’s Square. Even so, the ceremony drew as many as 200,000 on a sunny and crisp Easter morning, according to media reports. Speaking from the balcony of St….

Pope Francis to families: Forgive each other, journey together towards God

Pope Francis on the Feast of the Holy Family reflected on the power of forgiveness in families and compared everyday family life to an ongoing pilgrimage of prayer and love. “How important it is for our families to journey together towards a single goal! We know that we have a road to travel together; a road along which we encounter difficulties but also enjoy moments of joy and consolation,” the Pope said Dec. 27 in his morning homily at St. Peter’s Basilica. “A pilgrimage does not end when we arrive at our destination, but when we return home and resume…

Let Christ draw near to you: Pope tells altar servers

  Pope Francis met Tuesday with thousands of altar servers from around Europe. The encounter in Saint Peter’s Square was part of the ninth International Pilgrimage of Acolytes and Altar Servers. In his prepared remarks, Pope Francis told them that they should be open to Christ, who isn’t someone far off, but is close to us in the Eucharist and the other sacraments. “You do not encounter Jesus placed on an inaccessibly high throne, but in the bread and wine of the Eucharist. His word does not shake the doorposts, but rather caresses the strings of the heart,” the Pope…

Pope Appeals for Peace in Ukraine

Pope Francis appealed for peace in Ukraine following his Sunday Angelus address in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday. The appeal comes after a rocket attack in the city of Mariupol left 30 people dead. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has stated that the rockets were launched from rebel-occupied territories, though pro-Russian rebels have denied carrying out the attack. The Holy Father expressed his “deep concern” over the escalating violence which, he said, “continues to cause many casualties among the civilian population.” “As I assure you of my prayers for all who suffer, I renew a heartfelt…

Pope: division is the greatest sin of Christian communities

During his weekly general audience, Pope Francis spoke on the unity and holiness of the Church, stating that despite the fact we are sinners, we are called to live as a community centered on Christ. “In a Christian community division is one of the most serious sins, because it does not allow God to act,” the Pope said in his Aug. 27 general audience address. “What God wants is that we be welcoming, that we forgive and love each other so as to become more and more like Him, who is communion and love.” Addressing the thousands of pilgrims gathered…

Pope at Audience: Your First Name Is “I Am a Christian, ” Last Name “I Belong to the Church”

– Says Identity of All Christians Is One of Membership Pope Francis has said that no Christian should feel isolated because all faithful belong to the family of the Church, which sustains and supports its members. Continuing his series of catecheses on the theme of the Church, the Pope exclaimed to the thousands gathered in St. Peter’s Square at this morning’s General Audience that: “We are not isolated” and “We are not Christians as individuals, each to his own: our identity is membership!” The Holy Father reminded faithful that in the Old Testament, God gathered a people to himself. As…

Pope Francis calls for end to Boko Haram attacks

Pope Francis, in his Easter address before a huge crowd, on Sunday April 20 denounced the “immense wastefulness” in the world while many go hungry and called for an end to Boko Haram atrocities in Nigeria and conflicts in Syria, Ukraine and other parts of Africa. Speaking to a crowd of at least 150,000 in St. Peter’s Square and beyond, he said: “We ask you, Lord Jesus, to put an end to all war and every conflict, whether great or small, ancient or recent. “We pray in a particular way for Syria, that all those suffering the effects of the…