Tuesday 21st October 2014

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Pope Francis: Middle East Without Christians Unthinkable

October 20, 2014 breaking Comments Off

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis convened a Consistory of Cardinals on Monday morning in the Vatican. Originally scheduled in order to proceed with the causes of candidates for beatification, the Holy Father expanded the agenda of the meeting to include discussion of the ongoing crisis in the Middle East. In remarks to the gathered Cardinals at the morning session of the gathering, the Holy Father focused on the need for constant prayer and effective advocacy in favor of peace, and for specific attention to the plight of Christians there. Describing the notion of a Mideast region devoid of Christians as literally unthinkable, Pope Francis went on to mention Iraq and Syria as two countries in which Christians – who have made…Continue Reading

At Closing Mass For The Synod Pope Francis Beatifies Paul VI

October 19, 2014 breaking Comments Off

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday celebrated the Closing Mass for the Extraordinary Synod on the Family. During the Mass in Saint Peter’s Square, the Holy Father beatified his predecessor, Pope Paul VI, whom he described as a “great Pope,” a “courageous Christian” and a “tireless apostle.” Below, please find the complete English text of Pope Francis’s homily for the Mass: Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis Closing Mass of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family and Beatification of the Servant of God Paul VI Sunday, 19 October 2014 We have just heard one of the most famous phrases in the entire Gospel: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Mt…Continue Reading

Pope At Santa Marta: Heaven In Our Hands

October 18, 2014 breaking Comments Off

(Vatican Radio) The Holy Spirit is the “seal” of light with which God has placed Heaven in Christians’ hands. Often, however, Christians avoid this light in preference of a life spent in the shadows, or worse still, in a false light, that sparkles with hypocrisy. Pope Francis’ homily at Mass Friday morning, followed the First Reading from St. Paul who explains to the Christians of Ephesus that in believing in the Gospel they have received “the seal of the Holy Spirit.” With this gift, the Pope says, “God not only chose us” but gave us a style, “a way of life, which is not only a list of habits, it is more: it is an identity”: “Our identity is precisely…Continue Reading

Synod: Working Groups Call For More “Christ-centric” Focus On family

October 17, 2014 breaking Comments Off

(Vatican Radio) The vision of the world, and above all of the family,  must be one which “passes through the lens of the Gospel, to encourage men and women to the conversion of the heart”.  In short there must be a more “Christ-centric” focus on the family. This – in summary – is the conclusion reached by the ten Small Groups, at the end of the second phase of the ongoing Synod on the Family. Emer McCarthy reports Listen:  The groups – divided according to language: two in French, three in English, three in Italian and two in Spanish – presented their reports Thursday.  These contain their reflections the midway document that followed last week’s general debate, as well as proposals…Continue Reading

Pope At Santa Marta: In Praise Of God

October 16, 2014 breaking Comments Off

(Vatican Radio) It’s easy to pray for a grace, it’s far more difficult to pray in praise of the Lord, but this is the prayer of true joy, said Pope Francis at Mass Thursday morning in Santa Marta. Reflecting on St Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, which joyfully elevates a prayer of blessing to God, the Pope noted that this is something “we don’t normally do”: Instead giving “praise to God is pure gratuity” and in doing so we enter into “a great joy”. “We know very well how to pray when we want to ask for things, even when we want to thank the Lord, but a prayer of praise is a bit more difficult for us: we are…Continue Reading

Pope Francis At Mass: A Faith Industrious In Loving

October 15, 2014 breaking Comments Off

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said Mass on Tuesday morning in the chapel of the Santa Marta guesthouse in the Vatican. In remarks to the faithful following the readings of the day, the Holy Father focused on the need for authenticity in Christian living, saying that faith is not only a “cosmetic” matter, but one of active charity. Drawing from the Gospel reading of the day (Lk. 11:37-41), in which St. Luke recounts the story of Our Lord’s dinner visit to the house of a Pharisee and stuns his host when he omits the standard ritual ablutions, Pope Francis stressed Christ’s unsparing rejoinder: “Jesus condemns this cosmetic spirituality, [which attempts to] look good, beautiful – but the truth inside is something…Continue Reading

Pope At Santa Marta: Holy Law Is Not An End In Itself

October 14, 2014 breaking Comments Off

(Vatican Radio)  Be open to God’s surprises, not closed to the signs of the times and remember holy law is not an end in itself. This was Pope Francis’ message this morning at Mass at Casa Santa Marta. Commenting on the words of Jesus to the Doctors of the Law, the Pope urged the faithful not to cling to their own ideas, but to walk with the Lord, always finding new things. Jesus speaks of the Doctors of the Law who demand a sign and describes them as an “evil generation”.  Basing himself  on this Gospel passage Pope Francis spoke about the “God of surprises”.  He said these doctors repeatedly ask Jesus for a sign, and He replies that they…Continue Reading

Synod On Family: Midterm Report Presented, 2015 Synod Announced

October 13, 2014 breaking Comments Off

(Vatican Radio) As discussion at the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family got underway Monday morning, it was announced that the second phase of this process – next year’s Ordinary Synod – will be held October 4-25, 2015, and will have theme: The vocation and mission of the family in the church and the modern world. Following the announcement the General Rapporteur, Cardinal Peter Erdő, presented the mid-term report outlining the main questions highlighted over the past week of General Congregations which will now be examined in by the bishops, fraternal delegates, auditors and experts in the ‘minor circles’ or small working groups. Cardinal Erdő began by highlighting that the Synod Fathers spoke of how Jesus looked at men…Continue Reading

Synod Concludes First Phase Of Debate On Family Life

October 12, 2014 breaking Comments Off

(Vatican Radio) Bishops and lay experts attending the Synod on the Family are coming to the end of their first week’s work and moving into their different language discussion groups for the second phase of their meeting.  With Pope Francis present at almost every session, a vast variety of family issues have been under the spotlight over the past five days. At the briefing for journalists in the Vatican press office on Friday, Fr Lombardi and his assistants were joined for the first time by three lay experts, Jocelyne Khoueiry, from the Lebanese bishops’ commission for family and life, and Alice and Jeffrey Heinzen, advisors on natural family planning to the U.S. bishops’ conference, as Philippa Hitchen reports: Supporting children…Continue Reading