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

October 14, 2014 breaking Comments Off on Pope At Santa Marta: Holy Law Is Not An End In Itself
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(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 on Synod On Family: Midterm Report Presented, 2015 Synod Announced
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(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

His Eminence Cardinal Burke . . . “Clear and Concise”

October 12, 2014 breaking Comments Off on His Eminence Cardinal Burke . . . “Clear and Concise”

Synod Concludes First Phase Of Debate On Family Life

October 12, 2014 breaking Comments Off on Synod Concludes First Phase Of Debate On Family Life
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(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

Pope Francis: Make An Examination Of Conscience

October 11, 2014 breaking Comments Off on Pope Francis: Make An Examination Of Conscience
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(Vatican Radio) To prevent evil from entering into our hearts, there is an ancient, but very good, practice: the examination of conscience. That was Pope Francis’ message during the morning homily Friday at Santa Marta. The Gospel of the day reminds us that the devil always comes back to us; he never stops tempting man. “The devil has patience,” Pope Francis said. “He never leaves that which he wants for himself,” that is, our souls: “After the temptations, in the desert, when Jesus was tempted by the devil, in Luke’s version it says that the devil left Him for a time, but during the life of Jesus he returned again and again: when they put Him to the test, when…Continue Reading

Pope At Santa Marta: What We Dare Not Hope For

October 10, 2014 breaking Comments Off on Pope At Santa Marta: What We Dare Not Hope For

(Vatican Radio) We ask for a lot of things when we pray, but the greatest gift that God can give us is the Holy Spirit.  This was Pope Francis’ reflection Thursday morning at Mass in Santa Marta, commenting on the Gospel of the day, which presents the parable of the man who gets what he needs because of his persistence. Pope Francis began his homily by noting that “God has so much mercy” and observing that in the Collect we begin by asking God  for forgiveness and to “obtain what prayer does not dare to hope for”: “This got me thinking: it is precisely the mercy of God not only to forgive – we all know that – but to…Continue Reading

Synod: The Church, A Place For Families In Crisis

October 9, 2014 breaking Comments Off on Synod: The Church, A Place For Families In Crisis
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(Vatican Radio) What can the Church do to accompany families in difficult pastoral situations such as the separated, divorced or divorced and remarried, single parents, teen mothers, children from broken homes? What is the Churches pastoral outreach concerning unions of persons of the same sex? These were the topics of discussion in the 8thGeneral Congregation of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on ‘The pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization’. The Wednesday afternoon session was led by the President Delegate on duty, Card. Raymundo Damasceno Assis, Archbishop of Aparecida (Brazil). He warned against a shortsighted legalistic approach stating that the Church wants to fathom the depths of these difficult situations in order to welcome all of those…Continue Reading

Pope: Divisions Between Christians Are Wounds In The Church

October 8, 2014 breaking Comments Off on Pope: Divisions Between Christians Are Wounds In The Church

Pope Francis appealed for Christian unity on Wednesday pointing out that divisions between Christians of different denominations are hurtful for the Church and for Christ. Speaking to the crowds gathered  in St. Peter’s Square for the weekly General Audience, the Pope said that we must not forget that there are many who belong to different confessions who share our faith in Christ. Many of us, even within our Catholic Church – he said – have resigned ourselves to this division that has often been cause of conflict, suffering and even wars throughout the course of history. And the Pope invited those present to ask themselves what is their position regarding all this: “are we resigned, or even indifferent to this…Continue Reading

Bishops Share Impressions Of Synod’s Opening Session

October 7, 2014 breaking Comments Off on Bishops Share Impressions Of Synod’s Opening Session
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(Vatican Radio) The Church needs leaders that are listening to their people, speaking honestly, seeking consensus and discerning new ways of supporting family life. Those were the guidelines that emerged from a press conference held at the conclusion of the morning session by four of the key players in this Synod of Bishops. They were Hungarian Cardinal Peter Erdo, French Cardinal André Vingt-Troi, Italian Archbishop Bruno Forte and Mexican Archbishop Carlos Aguiar Retes. Cardinal Erdo, who gave the introductory presentation to the Synod’s opening session, stressed changes in the working method of the meeting to better reflect a Church that is listening to the needs of its people. In a departure from tradition, his presentation to the gathering of 253…Continue Reading

Pope Encourages All Families To Read The Bible

October 6, 2014 breaking Comments Off on Pope Encourages All Families To Read The Bible

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has asked for prayers for the bishops who are about to begin work in the two-week Synod of the Family and invited all families to keep a Bible handy in their homes, and read it often. Addressing the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Angelus prayer on Sunday, he mentioned the just-celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica to inaugurate the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family. The Pope explained that the bishops have been called to take care and promote the family according to God’s plan, and thus they will meet for two intense weeks of listening and dialogue on the theme “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family within…Continue Reading