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Author Topic: Pope Francis  (Read 1436513 times)
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grace-land
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« Reply #5040 on: February 23, 2017, 09:34:33 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-dont-put-off-conversion-give-up-a-double-life

Pope: Don't put off conversion, give up a double life
2017-02-23 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Don’t scandalize “the little ones” with a double life, because scandal destroys. That was the message of Pope Francis in his homily at the morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta. And so, the Pope said, we should not put off conversion.

“Cut off your hand,” “Pluck out your eye,” but “don’t scandalize the little ones,” that is, the just, those who confide in the Lord, who believe simply in the Lord. That was the Pope’s exhortation in the homily, based on the day’s Gospel. For the Lord, he said, scandal is destruction:

“But what is scandal? Scandal is saying one thing and doing another; it is a double life, a double life. A totally double life: ‘I am very Catholic, I always go to Mass, I belong to this association and that one; but my life is not Christian, I don’t pay my workers a just wage, I exploit people, I am dirty in my business, I launder money…’ A double life. And so many Christians are like this, and these people scandalize others. How many times have we heard – all of us, around the neighbourhood and elsewhere – ‘but to be a Catholic like that, it’s better to be an atheist.’ It is that, scandal. You destroy. You beat down. And this happens every day, it’s enough to see the news on TV, or to read the papers. In the papers there are so many scandals, and there is also the great publicity of the scandals. And with the scandals there is destruction.”
 
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« Reply #5041 on: February 23, 2017, 09:39:19 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-to-rabbis-torah-manifests-gods-patern

Pope Francis to Rabbis: Torah manifests God's paternal love
2017-02-23 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received his long-time friend from his native Argentina, Rabbi Abraham Skorka, on Thursday, along with a delegation of Jewish leaders involved in the preparation of a new edition of the Torah.

The annotated, illustrated edition is already being hailed as an achievement in both the literary and visual arts.

Pope Francis told his guests, “The extensive introduction to the text and the editor’s note emphasize this dialogical approach and communicate a cultural vision of openness, mutual respect and peace that accords with the spiritual message of the Torah.”
 
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« Reply #5042 on: February 24, 2017, 09:26:07 PM »

HMMMM...

Another source for the homily is within the tweet below.

https://twitter.com/roccopalmo
Rocco Palmo‏@roccopalmo  · 7h  7 hours ago 

From the "Hmm" Desk – no English of today's Amoris-related Domus homily (http://bit.ly/2lREznZ  ) from its "official" outlet, Vatican Radio
----

The Vatican Radio site:  http://en.radiovaticana.va/
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« Reply #5043 on: February 24, 2017, 10:02:30 PM »

Additional sources of today's homily--

https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2017/02/24/divorceremarriage-pope-says-keep-justice-mercy-together/
On divorce/remarriage, Pope says keep justice and mercy together
February 24, 2017

Reflecting on divorce and remarriage on Friday, perhaps the key issue in debates over his document on the family Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis said the key is to hold justice and mercy together, not becoming obsessed with the fine points of legal interpretation.

The pontiff’s remarks came during his morning homily in the chapel at the Domus Santa Marta, the Vatican residence where he lives, and were prompted by the day’s Gospel passage in which Jesus responds to legal scholars asking him about the rules for divorce.

The pope said Jesus “doesn’t respond as to whether it’s licit or not; he doesn’t enter into casuistic logic,” using a term from moral theology referring to the application of broad principles to concrete cases.
 
https://zenit.org/articles/popes-morning-homily-is-justice-or-mercy-more-important-in-god-they-are-one-thing/
Pope’s Morning Homily: “Is Justice or Mercy More Important to God? They Are One Thing …”
February 24, 2017•Federico Cenci

http://www.onepeterfive.com/pope-francis-jesus-did-not-tell-pharisees-divorce-forbidden/
Pope Francis: Jesus Did Not Tell the Pharisees that Divorce is Forbidden
Maike Hickson    February 24, 2017
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« Reply #5044 on: February 25, 2017, 09:10:36 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-parish-priests-called-to-support-married-coup

Pope: Parish priests called to support married couples
2017-02-25 Vatican Radio

On Saturday morning in the Vatican, Pope Francis met with parish priests participating in a training course dealing with annulment procedures and other legal issues surrounding marriage.

The course was organized by the Roman Rota, the highest appellate tribunal of the Church
.

Referring to the proposals of the Synod of Bishops on “Marriage and the Family”, and his subsequent Apostolic Exhortation, “Amoris Laetitia”, the Pope praised this study initiative saying it  is the parish priest who is in daily contact with families and is called to concretely apply the  appropriate juridical norms.

In most cases, said the Pope, the parish priest is the first to whom young people turn when they decide to marry and create a new family. And again, it is to the parish priest that couples come when their marriage is in crisis and they need to rediscover the Grace of the Sacrament of Matrimony.

No one knows better than you do, he told the priests, the complexity and variety of problems that exist in marriage: Christian unions, civil marriages, broken marriages, families and young people who are happy or unhappy.

“You are called to be a travel companion to every person in every situation, to support and to give witness”, said the Pope.

First and foremost you are called to witness to the Grace of the Sacrament of Matrimony and the good of the Family as the vital heart of the Church and society, by proclaiming that marriage between a man and a woman is a sign of the union between Christ and His Church. Pope Francis went on to say how God and His Love are reflected in the Sacrament of Marriage – which he described as “an icon of God”.

At the same time, the parish priest is called to support those who have come to realise that their union is not a true sacramental marriage and want to correct this situation. In this delicate and necessary moment make sure your faithful see you as a brother who listens and understands, rather than an expert in bureaucracy and juridical norms, he said.

Pope Francis invited parish priest to pay special attention to those young people who prefer to live together rather than get married. “Spiritually and morally-speaking,” he said, ”they are among the poor and little ones towards whom the Church wants to be a Mother who never abandons, but is close to them and takes care of them…So be tender and compassionate towards them”.
 
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« Reply #5045 on: February 25, 2017, 09:15:45 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/popes-visit-to-mark-200-years-of-anglican-worship

Pope's visit to mark 200 years of Anglican worship in Rome
2017-02-25 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) On Sunday Pope Francis is scheduled to visit All Saints Anglican Church, where he will answer questions from the congregation, bless a newly commissioned icon of Christ the Saviour and witness a twinning with Rome’s Catholic parish dedicated to All Saints.

The afternoon visit will take the form of a short Evensong service, presided over by the pope and by the bishop of the Anglican Diocese in Europe, Robert Innes. It’s the first time a pope has visited an Anglican church in Rome and it comes as part of All Saints’ 200th anniversary celebrations.

As chaplain of All Saints for the past 18 years, Father Jonathan Boardman will be welcoming the pope to the central Rome parish, which began with a group of English worshippers back in October 1816. He talked to Philippa Hitchen about the origins of the community and about the importance of this historic papal visit….
 
http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-to-bless-bethlehem-icon-at-all-saints-anglica
Pope to bless Bethlehem icon at All Saints Anglican Church
2017-02-25 Vatican Radio

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« Reply #5046 on: February 25, 2017, 09:18:40 PM »

https://cruxnow.com/global-church/2017/02/25/pope-quietly-trims-sanctions-sex-abusers-seeking-mercy/

Pope quietly trims sanctions for sex abusers seeking mercy
Nicole Winfield   February 25, 2017

ROME - Pope Francis has quietly reduced sanctions against a handful of pedophile priests, applying his vision of a merciful church even to its worst offenders in ways that survivors of abuse and the pope’s own advisers question.

One case has come back to haunt him: An Italian priest who received the pope’s clemency was later convicted by an Italian criminal court for his sex crimes against children as young as 12. Father Mauro Inzoli is now facing a second church trial after new evidence emerged against him, The Associated Press has learned.

The Inzoli case is one of several in which Francis overruled the advice of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and reduced a sentence that called for the priest to be defrocked, two canon lawyers and a church official told AP. Instead, the priests were sentenced to penalties including a lifetime of penance and prayer and removal from public ministry.

In some cases, the priests or their high-ranking friends appealed to Francis for clemency by citing the pope’s own words about mercy in their petitions, the church official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the proceedings are confidential.

“With all this emphasis on mercy … he is creating the environment for such initiatives,” the church official said, adding that clemency petitions were rarely granted by Pope Benedict XVI, who launched a tough crackdown during his 2005-2013 papacy and defrocked some 800 priests who raped and molested children.
 
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« Reply #5047 on: February 26, 2017, 05:09:45 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-angelus-let-god-take-care-of-tomorrow

Pope Angelus: Let God take care of tomorrow
2017-02-26 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) During his Angelus address on Sunday in St Peter’s Square, Pope Francis took his cue from the Gospel reading of the day in which Jesus calls us not to worry about tomorrow, recalling that above all there is a loving Father who never forgets his children.

Drawing from this passage the Pope reminded the pilgrims and tourists present to trust in God who takes care of the living beings of creation.

Trusting in him, explained the Holy Father, “will not magically solve our problems, but it lets us face them with the right frame of mind.”

Pope Francis went on to say that, “God is not distant or anonymous: he is our refuge, the source of our serenity and our peace.”
 
https://zenit.org/articles/angelus-address-on-trust-in-god/
ANGELUS ADDRESS: On Trust in God 
February 26, 2017

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdOHLCG9VF8
2017.02.26 Angelus Domini
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« Reply #5048 on: February 26, 2017, 05:20:02 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/02/26/pope_catholics_and_anglicans,_brothers_and_sisters_in_chris/1295193

Pope: Catholics and Anglicans, brothers and sisters in Christ
26/02/2017 15:55

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday visited the Anglican Parish of All Saints in Rome. Speaking at the Church the Pope said, "today, with gratitude to God, we recognize one another as we truly are: brothers and sisters in Christ, through our common baptism.  As friends and pilgrims we wish to walk the path together, to follow our Lord Jesus Christ together."

Find below the English translation of the Pope's words.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

            I wish to thank you for your gracious invitation to celebrate this parish anniversary with you.  More than two hundred years have passed since the first public Anglican liturgy was held in Rome for a group of English residents in this part of the city.  A great deal has changed in Rome and in the world since then.  In the course of these two centuries, much has also changed between Anglicans and Catholics, who in the past viewed each other with suspicion and hostility.  Today, with gratitude to God, we recognize one another as we truly are: brothers and sisters in Christ, through our common baptism.  As friends and pilgrims we wish to walk the path together, to follow our Lord Jesus Christ together.
 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkfAH1JvuXE
2017.02.26 Visit to the "All Saints" Anglican Church 

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« Reply #5049 on: February 26, 2017, 05:26:32 PM »

http://www.catholicnews.com/services/englishnews/2017/pope-top-curia-officials-launch-new-style-of-ad-limina-visit.cfm

Pope, top Curia officials launch new style of 'ad limina' visit
By Junno Arocho Esteves Catholic News Service
2.24.2017 1:15 PM ET

CNS/L'Osservatore Romano

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- For decades, the visits bishops are required to make to the Vatican were known for their formality and routine style, but Pope Francis launched "a whole new style of 'ad limina' visits," a Chilean bishop said.

The bishops were expecting "to have a long meeting with a speech and then individual meetings," as in the past, Auxiliary Bishop Fernando Ramos of Santiago, secretary of the Chilean bishops' conference, told Catholic News Service Feb. 24.

Instead, the Vatican informed the prelates before their departure from Chile that they were going to have a group meeting with the pope and the prefects of several Vatican congregations and offices.

"We were told that this was going to be a new way of doing things that was beginning with us, that looks for a more fruitful, more incisive dialogue between the representatives of the local churches and the pope with his main collaborators," Bishop Ramos said.
 

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« Reply #5050 on: February 26, 2017, 05:35:03 PM »

The Vatican and the Order of Malta...

“A reform of the Order of Malta’s statutes is needed to avoid other crises”
andrea tornielli
Pubblicato il  26/02/2017

“We need to revisit our system of checks and balances, to prevent what has happened from happening again.” Boeselager is sitting in a lounge area of the Order of Malta’s Magistral Palace in Via Condotti, Rome. He speaks calmly of the recent storm, the crisis that has counterposed the Holy See to the now resigned Grand Master Matthew Festing who was supported by Patron Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke. Boeselager had been forced to leave his office by what was intended as an order by the Pope. An order that the Pope had actually never given and that led to the appointment of a Vatican commission. It all ended with Festing’s resignation, the appointment of a Pope’s trusted official - the new Substitute Angelo Becciu - and the return to office of the ousted Chancellor.  

You were forced to resign for an issue related to the distribution of condoms in programs involving the Malteser International, the worldwide aid agency of the Order of Malta. Can you recapitulate what happened?

“In 2013, the Malteser International headquarters in Cologne were alerted by members of the Malteser in the United States that they had seen on a website of an NGO in Kenya that Malteser International partnered in a project where condoms were distributed. Malteser International immediately started an assessment and the result was that this was not true. The NGO had indeed projects where condoms were distributed, but not in the shared project with Malteser International. It was however decided that all projects were to be examined through an internal audit. It was decided by the director of Malteser international himself. And it was discovered that there were 3 problematic projects in Myanmar which were organized by the country coordinator of Malteser. These were carried out by the local coordinator against the policies established by Malteser International, which since 2004 has decided not to participate in projects that would distribute condoms. “
 

Added link to the article above:

http://www.lastampa.it/2017/02/26/vaticaninsider/eng/inquiries-and-interviews/a-reform-of-the-order-of-maltas-statutes-is-needed-to-avoid-other-crises-5DKIvUToLofQsBiRP4u3zO/pagina.html
« Last Edit: February 26, 2017, 09:05:40 PM by grace-land » Logged
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« Reply #5051 on: February 27, 2017, 09:40:16 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-studying-possibility-of-south-sudan-v

Pope Francis ‘studying possibility’ of South Sudan visit
2017-02-27 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has said his staff is “studying the possibility” of a visit to South Sudan.

He said the reason was that “the Anglican, Presbyterian, and Catholic” bishops of South Sudan had come to ask him: “Please, come to South Sudan, even for a day, but don’t come alone, come with Justin Welby”, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury
.

“We are looking at whether it is possible, or if the situation down there is too dangerous. But we have to do it, because they – the three [Christian communities] – together desire peace, and they are working together for peace.”

The Holy Father’s words came during his Sunday visit to Rome’s All Saints Anglican Church in a question-and-answer session.

He was responding to a question from an Anglican seminarian from Nigeria, who had asked the Pope about the vitality of churches in the Southern Hemisphere.
 
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« Reply #5052 on: February 27, 2017, 09:43:36 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/decrees-of-the-congregation-for-the-causes-of-s-24

Decrees of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints
2017-02-27 Vatican Radio

On Monday, Pope Francis received in audience Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and authorised the promulgation of decrees concerning the following causes:

MARTYRDOM

- Servant of God Tito Zeman, Slovakian professed priest of the Salesian Society of St. John Bosco (1915-1969).

HEROIC VIRTUES

- Servant of God Octavio Ortiz Arrieta, Peruvian bishop, of the Salesians of St. John Bosco (1878-1958);

- Servant of God Antonio Provolo, Italian diocesan priest, founder of the Society of Mary for the Education of the Deaf-Mutes, and the Sisters of the Society of Mary for the Education of the Deaf-Mute (1801-1842);
 
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« Reply #5053 on: February 28, 2017, 07:40:22 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-true-christians-have-cheerful-faces-and-eyes

Pope: 'true Christians have cheerful faces and eyes full of joy'
2017-02-28 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio)  As we head into the Lenten season, Pope Francis has invited us to reflect on our relationship to God and to money, as we can't serve both masters at the same time. His words came on Tuesday during morning Mass in the Casa Santa Marta.

Speaking about the message of the Gospel readings in these days leading up to the beginning of Lent, Pope Francis recalled the story of the rich young man who wanted to follow the Lord, but whose wealth led him to follow money instead.

Jesus’ words in this story worry the disciples, as he tells them it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. In today’s reading from St Mark’s Gospel, the Pope said, we see Peter asking the Lord what will happen to them, as they have given up everything to follow him. “It’s almost as if Peter is passing Jesus the bill,” Pope Francis exclaimed.

Peter didn’t know what to say: the young man has gone his way, but what about us? Pope Francis said Jesus’ reply is clear: I tell you there is no-one who has given up everything and has not received everything. You will receive everything, in that overflowing measure with which God gives his gifts.
 
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« Reply #5054 on: February 28, 2017, 07:44:26 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-gives-interview-to-homeless-magazine

Pope Francis gives interview to 'homeless' magazine
2017-02-28 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has given a wide-ranging interview to an Italian magazine run by homeless persons. The interview was published on 28 February in the magazine called “Scarp de’ tenis” (“Sneakers”).

The magazine also functions as a social project, as most of the staff is homeless, suffers difficult personal situations or forms of social exclusion. For most contributors, the magazine is an important source of income. “Scarp de’ tenis” entered into partnership with the Italian arm of the Vatican’s charity organization, Caritas, in 2008.

In the interview, Pope Francis was asked to explain his recent initiatives for refugees, such as providing accommodation in the Vatican. In his reply, the Pope explained how the initiative to welcome the homeless had inspired parishes throughout Rome to join the effort.

“Here in the Vatican there are two parishes, and both are housing Syrian families. Many parishes in Rome have also opened their doors and others, which don’t have a house for priests, have offered to pay rent for families in need, for a full year” he said.

Throughout the interview the Pope often referred to the idea of walking in each others shoes. According to the Pope, to walk in the other’s shoes is a way to escape our own egoism: “In the shoes of the other, we learn to have a great capacity for understanding, for getting to know difficult situations.”
 
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« Reply #5055 on: February 28, 2017, 10:14:37 PM »

http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/lent/documents/papa-francesco_20161018_messaggio-quaresima2017.html

MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
FOR LENT 2017

"The Word is a gift. Other persons are a gift"


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Lent is a new beginning, a path leading to the certain goal of Easter, Christ’s victory over death. This season urgently calls us to conversion. Christians are asked to return to God “with all their hearts” (Joel 2:12), to refuse to settle for mediocrity and to grow in friendship with the Lord. Jesus is the faithful friend who never abandons us. Even when we sin, he patiently awaits our return; by that patient expectation, he shows us his readiness to forgive (cf. Homily, 8 January 2016).

Lent is a favourable season for deepening our spiritual life through the means of sanctification offered us by the Church: fasting, prayer and almsgiving. At the basis of everything is the word of God, which during this season we are invited to hear and ponder more deeply. I would now like to consider the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (cf. Lk 16:19-31). Let us find inspiration in this meaningful story, for it provides a key to understanding what we need to do in order to attain true happiness and eternal life. It exhorts us to sincere conversion.
 
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« Reply #5056 on: March 01, 2017, 05:22:17 PM »

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-we-do-not-go-to-heaven-in-a-carriage

Pope Francis: ‘we do not go to heaven in a carriage’
2017-03-01 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis marked Ash Wednesday inviting the faithful to renew their hope in Christ’s promises and their commitment to follow Him ever more closely.

He was addressing the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the weekly General Audience
.

Pointing out that on Ash Wednesday we enter the liturgical time of Lent, Pope Francis said this time of penitence  and mortification is actually a journey of hope as it is directs us on the path towards Resurrection, and help us renew our Baptismal identity.

To better understand what this means, he said, we must refer to the fundamental experience of the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, in which the Chosen People journeyed towards the Promised Land and, through spiritual discipline and the gift of the Law, learned the love of God and neighbor. 

The Scriptures, the Pope said, tell of a tormented journey that symbolically lasted forty years, the time span of a generation, and that difficulties and obstacles represented continuous temptations to regret Egypt and to turn back. But, he said, the Lord stayed close to the people who finally arrived in the Promised Land guided by Moses.
 
https://zenit.org/articles/general-audience-on-lent-journey-of-hope/
GENERAL AUDIENCE: On Lent, Journey of Hope
March 1, 2017

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwsN7AflLWc
2017.03.01 General Audience
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« Reply #5057 on: March 01, 2017, 05:36:35 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/03/01/pope_lent_is_a_time_to_start_breathing_again/1295842

Pope: Lent is a time to start breathing again
01/03/2017 17:30

Pope Francis puts ashes on a Cardinal's head during the Ash Wednesday Mass at Santa Sabina Basilica in Rome
(Vatican Radio) Continuing a long-standing tradition, Pope Francis celebrated the Holy Mass for Ash Wednesday at the Basilica of Santa Sabina on the Aventine hill in Rome.

The Holy Father began his homily for the beginning of Lent with the words of the prophet Joel, from the first Reading: “Return to me with all your heart… Return to the Lord.” These words, the Pope said, apply to everyone, and exclude no one; “we all want to return to the merciful heart of the Father.”

Lent, the Pope said, is a path that “leads to the triumph of mercy over all that would crush us or reduce us to something unworthy of our dignity as God’s children.” The mark of ashes, received during the ceremony, reminds us of our origins, that we are dust – but, he said, it also reminds us that God breathed life into each of us. “The breath of God’s life,” he said, “saves us from this asphyxia that dampens our faith, cools our charity, and strangles every hope”
 
http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/03/01/pope_francis_celebrates_ash_wednesday_mass_full_text/1295847
Pope Francis celebrates Ash Wednesday Mass: Full Text
01/03/2017 17:30

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nH9LkrzWz4U
2017.03.01 Procession and Holy Mass on Ash Wednesday

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« Reply #5058 on: March 01, 2017, 05:51:08 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/03/01/marie_collins_resigns_commission_for_protection_of_minors/1295762

Marie Collins resigns from Commission for Protection of Minors
01/03/2017 12:23

Cardinal Sean O'Malley, the Archbishop of Boston, right, and Marie Collins attend a press conference at the Vatican, Saturday, May 3, 2014. - AP

(Vatican Radio) The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors [PCPM] has issued the following statement after the resignation of abuse survivor, Mrs. Marie Collins.

On Monday, February 13, 2017, Mrs. Marie Collins, a Member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors [PCPM] advised Cardinal Sean O’Malley, President of the PCPM, of her intent to resign from the Commission effective March 1, 2017.

Mrs. Collins, a Member of the Pontifical Commission since its inception in 2014 is a survivor of clerical abuse, and consistently and tirelessly championed for the voices of the victims/survivors to be heard, and for the healing of victims/survivors to be a priority of the Church.  In discussing with the Cardinal, and in her resignation letter to the Holy Father, Mrs. Collins cited her frustration at the lack of cooperation with the Commission by other offices in the Roman Curia.

Mrs. Collins accepted an invitation from Cardinal O’Malley to continue to work with the Commission in an educational role in recognition of her exceptional teaching skills and impact of her testimony as a survivor.

The Holy Father accepted Mrs. Collins resignation with deep appreciation for her work on behalf of the victims/survivors of clergy abuse.
 
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« Reply #5059 on: March 01, 2017, 05:58:41 PM »

http://www.catholicnews.com/services/englishnews/2017/local-bishop-says-again-mary-is-not-appearing-in-medjugorje.cfm

Local bishop says again Mary is not appearing in Medjugorje
By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service
2.28.2017 9:35 AM ET

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- "The Virgin Mary has not appeared in Medjugorje," said Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar-Duvno, the diocese in Bosnia-Herzegovina, which includes Medjugorje.

Two weeks after the Vatican announced Pope Francis was sending a Polish archbishop to study the pastoral needs of the townspeople and the thousands of pilgrims who flock to Medjugorje each year, Bishop Peric posted his statement Feb. 26 on his diocesan website
.

Three of the six young people who originally claimed to have seen Mary in Medjugorje in June 1981 say she continues to appear to them each day; the other three say Mary appears to them once a year now.

Bishop Peric noted that a diocesan commission studied the alleged apparitions in 1982-1984 and again in 1984-1986 with more members; and the then-Yugoslavian bishops' conference studied them from 1987 to 1990. All three commissions concluded that it could not be affirmed that a supernatural event was occurring in the town.

The six young people continued to claim to see Mary and receive messages from her, and tens of thousands of pilgrims visited the town -- and the alleged visionaries -- each year. Pope Benedict XVI established a commission that worked from 2010 to 2014; and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith began looking at that commission's report in 2014.

Many observers believe Pope Francis appointed his envoy in February to study the pastoral needs of the town and the pilgrims in preparation for releasing a judgment on the alleged apparitions.
 
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