My Twitter Feed

July 18, 2018

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…

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 announces themes for upcoming World Youth Days

The Dicastery for Laity, the Family, and Life issued a communiqué on Tuesday listing the themes for the next three World Youth Days (WYD). The press release notes that the themes were chosen by Pope Francis “for the three-year World Youth Day journey that will culminate at the international celebration of the event to be held in Panama in 2019.”  World Youth Day is celebrated at the diocesan level each year on Palm Sunday, with an international gathering every two to three years. The most recent international Day was celebrated in August, 2016, in Krakow, Poland. The Blessed Virgin Mary…

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…

Mother Teresa to become Saint on Sept. 4 – Pope Francis

Pope Francis said Tuesday that  Mother Teresa will become a saint on Sept. 4. Affectionately known as the “saint of the gutter” for her unconditional love for the poor, abandoned and marginalized, Mother Teresa earned several international honors, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. She died Sept 5, 1997, 5in Kolkata, formerly Calcutta, the eastern Indian city where she spent decades doing her work. She was 87. Mother Teresa was beatified in 2003 by Pope John Paul II after a first miracle was attributed to her, answering an Indian woman’s prayers to cure her brain tumor, according to the…

Pope, Russian Orthodox Patriarch hold historic meeting …Sign call to end persecution of Christians

Pope Francis has met the head of the Russian Orthodox church, Patriarch Kirill, in Cuba Friday, Feb. 12. The meeting marked the first encounter in history between a Roman Catholic pope and a Russian Orthodox patriarch in the nearly 1,000 years since Eastern Orthodoxy split with Rome. “Finally!” the pope exclaimed as he embraced Patriarch Kirill in the small, wood-paneled VIP room of Havana’s airport, where the three-hour encounter was taking place. “We are brothers.” Pope Francis, dressed in white with a skullcap, and Patriarch Kirill, wearing a tall, domed hat that dangled a white stole over black robes, joined…

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…

Pope commissions Missionaries of Mercy

Pope Francis commissioned hundreds of “Missionaries of Mercy” during Mass on Ash Wednesday at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. In his Bull announcing the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the Holy Father said the Missionaries of Mercy “would be a sign of the Church’s maternal solicitude for the People of God, enabling them to enter the profound richness of this mystery so fundamental to the faith.” Priests chosen to be Missionaries of Mercy have also been given the authority to pardon “even those sins reserved to the Holy See.” Above all, the Pope said, they will be “living signs of the…

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…

Pope Francis speaks to the roots of terror in African visit

In his first full day in Africa, Pope Francis spoke to the many millions reeling from a string of terrorist attacks, condemning the way young people have been “radicalized in the name of religion to sow discord and fear.” That message — like the rest of his comments here on Thursday — spoke to both global and local concerns, shifting between lamentations for a perilous time, globally, in history and the threats facing Kenya as its economic and geopolitical strength grows. Francis has described the amalgam of conflicts pervading the globe as a “piecemeal” Third World War, and on this…

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…

Pope Francis Challenges US Congress….Share Wealth

  Pope Francis last Thursday gave a passionate speech to a rather divided joint United States congress. He urged the United States not to turn its back on undocumented immigrants, to reject the victimization of religious and ethnic minorities, to overcome income inequality and to save the planet from climate change, citing the Scripture and the nation’s founding ideals in a historic address to Congress. The Pope is on a six day official visit to the United States. Francis, who then swapped the corridors of power for a humble lunch with homeless people, also asked lawmakers to wage a constant…

Pope Francis Reforms Marriage Annulment Process – Shortens Process While Maintaining the Indissolubility of Marriage

  The Holy See released two Motu Proprio Apostolic Letters Tuesday, Sept 8,  written by Pope Francis that announce reforms to the canonical process of marriage annulment. The Motu Proprio (Latin for “on one’s own initiative”) are entitled “Mitisludex Dominus Iesus” (The Lord Jesus, Meek Judge) and “Mitis et misericorsIesus” (Meek and Merciful Jesus). The former details reforms on the canonical procedure for the annulment of marriage in the Code of Canon Law (CIC) while the latter explains the reforms in the Code of Canons of the Oriental Churches (CCEO). The Apostolic Letter MitisIudex Dominus Iesus states that in the…

Pope establishes new Secretariat for communications

  Pope Francis issued an apostolic letter published on Saturday, called a motu proprio (Latin for “on one’s own initiative”), that establishes a new Secretariat for Communications. The Motu Proprio placed all communications offices under the new Secretariat. Those offices include the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, the Holy See Press Office, Vatican Internet Service, Vatican Radio, the Vatican Television Center (CTV), the LO’servatore Romano, Vatican Typography, Photograph Service, and the Vatican Publishing House (Libreria Editrice Vaticana). “The current communication context, characterized by the presence and the development of digital media, by the factors of convergence and interactivity, requires a…

Pope confirms plans to visit Africa

  Pope Francis on June 12 said that he is planning to travel to Africa in November, specifically to the Central African Republic, Uganda, and possibly Kenya. During a meeting with hundreds of priests from around the world participating in the Third World Priests Retreat in the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the Pope responded to the question from an African priest asking when he planned to come to Africa. “God willing, I will be in Africa in November. In the Central African Republic first and then Uganda,” he responded. The pontiff added that it “is possible” that he may…

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…

Pope’s Message For The 49th World Communications Day

2015 WORLD COMMUNICATIONS DAY Theme: Communicating the Family: A Privileged Place of Encounter with the Gift of Love The family is a subject of profound reflection by the Church and of a process involving two Synods: the recent extraordinary assembly and the ordinary assembly scheduled for next October. So I thought it appropriate that the theme for the next World Communications Day should have the family as its point of reference. After all, it is in the context of the family that we first learn how to communicate. Focusing on this context can help to make our communication more authentic…

British Traditionalist Bishop Excommunicated for Illicit Ordination

  A traditionalist bishop who has denied the Holocaust has been automatically excommunicated along with the priest he illicitly ordained a bishop. Bishop Richard Williamson violated church law when he ordained Father Jean-Michel Faure, 73, a bishop without papal approval during a ceremony in Nova Friburgo, Brazil, March 19, the feast of St. Joseph. While the Vatican did not comment immediately, canon law provides automatic excommunication for the newly ordained bishop and for the bishop ordaining him in cases where the ordination goes against the will of the pope. Bishop Williamson had been excommunicated in 1988 when he and three…

Vatican Publishes Directory to Help Improve Homilies

The Vatican has published a handbook on how to give better homilies. During a press conference held Feb. 10 2015 in the Holy See Press Office, Father Ciro Benedettini, vice-director of the Holy See Press Office, Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, Monsignor Arthur Roche, the congregation’s secretary, and Father Corrado Maggioni, its undersecretary, presented the homiletic directory. “Often, for many of the faithful, it is the time of the homily, felt as good or bad, interesting or boring, that makes them decide whether or not the entire celebration was good,” the cardinal…