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Author Topic: Pope Francis  (Read 1437552 times)
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« Reply #860 on: November 24, 2013, 12:39:06 PM »

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/24/vatican-st-peters-bones-display-pope-francis

Vatican displays Saint Peter's bones for the first time
Sunday 24 November 2013 07.46 EST


Pope Francis holds the relics of Saint Peter on the altar during a mass at St Peter's Square at the Vatican. Photograph: Stefano Rellandini/Reuters

The Vatican has publicly unveiled bone fragments purportedly belonging to Saint Peter, reviving the scientific debate and tantalising mystery over whether the relics found in a shoe box truly belong to the first pope.

The nine pieces of bone sat nestled like rings in a jewel box inside a bronze display case on the side of the altar during a mass commemorating the end of the Vatican's year-long celebration of the Christian faith. It was the first time they had ever been exhibited in public.

Pope Francis prayed before the fragments at the start of Sunday's service and clutched the case in his arms for several minutes after his homily.
 
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« Reply #861 on: November 24, 2013, 12:45:39 PM »

Video at the link

http://www.romereports.com/palio/pope-francis-holds-relics-of-st-peter-during-closing-year-of-faith-mass-english-11686.html#.UpIye7CA3IU

Pope Francis holds relics of St. Peter, during closing 'Year of Faith' Mass
2013-11-24 14:26:27

November 24, 2013. (Romereports.com) The Year of Faith came to a close with a Papal Mass in St. Peter's Square. Thousands came out to the Vatican to celebrate, as the Pope highlighted that Christians should always have Christ at the center of their lives.

POPE FRANCIS
“This way our thoughts will be Christian thoughts, thoughts of Christ. Our works will be Christian works based on Christ.”

The Pope thanked Benedict XVI, who launched the initiative, as well as the 250 patriarchs, bishops and priests who took part in the closing Mass. Reflecting on Sunday's Gospel, the Pope said Jesus speaks of forgiveness and not condemnation.

In fact, during the Mass, 50 priests were available to administer Confession along the Square. He explained that just like Jesus forgave the thief who was crucified next to Him, He forgives all sinners.  He also asked everyone to say a special prayer.

POPE FRANCIS
“Tell our Lord, 'Jesus remember me. I want to be good, but I don't have the strength. I can't because I'm a sinner, but Jesus please remember me. You can remember me because You are the center of it all.'”

The relics of St. Peter were placed right next to the altar, marking the first time they've been displayed publicly. They include eight bone fragments of about three centimeters each. At the end of his homily, Pope Francis held the relics as he prayed.

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« Reply #862 on: November 24, 2013, 01:01:54 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/11/24/pope_francis:_homily_at_year_of_faith_closing_mass/en1-749535

2013-11-24 11:14:00
Pope Francis: homily at Year of Faith closing Mass



(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis delivered the homily at Mass on Sunday to mark the Solemnity of Christ the King and close the Year of Faith proclaimed by his predecessor, emeritus Pope Benedict XVI. Below, please find the official English translation of Pope Francis' prepared remarks.
*******************
Today’s solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, the crowning of the liturgical year, also marks the conclusion of the Year of Faith opened by Pope Benedict XVI, to whom our thoughts now turn with affection and gratitude. By this providential initiative, he gave us an opportunity to rediscover the beauty of the journey of faith begun on the day of our Baptism, which made us children of God and brothers and sisters in the Church. A journey which has as its ultimate end our full encounter with God, and throughout which the Holy Spirit purifies us, lifts us up and sanctifies us, so that we may enter into the happiness for which our hearts long.

I offer a cordial greeting to the Patriarchs and Major Archbishops of the Eastern Catholic Churches present. The exchange of peace which I will share with them is above all a sign of the appreciation of the Bishop of Rome for these communities which have confessed the name of Christ with exemplary faithfulness, often at a high price.

With this gesture, through them, I would like to reach all those Christians living in the Holy Land, in Syria and in the entire East, and obtain for them the gift of peace and concord.

The Scripture readings proclaimed to us have as their common theme the centrality of Christ. Christ as the centre of creation, the centre of his people and the centre of history.
 
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« Reply #863 on: November 24, 2013, 01:11:40 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/11/24/pope_francis:_christ_the_king_angelus_for_persecuted_brethren/en1-749578

2013-11-24 13:12:17
Pope Francis: Christ the King Angelus for persecuted brethren

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated Mass and prayed the Angelus on Sunday, to mark the Solemnity of Christ the King and the close of the Year of Faith, proclaimed by Pope emeritus Benedict XVI in the last year of his reign. Thousands of pilgrims braved the late November chill in the morning air to gather for the Mass in St Peter’s Square under an overcast, threatening sky.

A highlight of the celebration was the presentation, at the end of the Mass, of the Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii gaudium – The Joy of the Gospel – to a select group of faithful representing each state of life in the Church, and a broad array of vocations, including a bishop, a priest, a deacon, religious men and women, novices, a family, catechists, artists, journalists, young people, the elderly and the sick. The Exhortation is the concluding document of last year’s Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which focused on ‘The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith’. The official presentation of the document is scheduled for this coming Tuesday, November 26th.
 
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« Reply #864 on: November 25, 2013, 11:28:22 AM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/11/25/pope_francis:_trust_the_lord_even_in_extreme_situations/en1-749715

2013-11-25 12:00:04
Pope Francis: trust the Lord even in extreme situations

(Vatican Radio) Christians are called to trust in the Lord, even in the most extreme situations. These were the words of Pope Francis at Mass on Monday morning in the Vatican’s Casa Santa Marta.

Pope Francis focused his homily on those characters from the daily readings who testify to the importance of trusting in God, even in extreme situations. In the Book of Daniel, the young Jewish men living as slaves of King Nebuchadnezzar remain faithful to the Lord, even at risk of their own lives. In the Gospel of Luke, the impoverished widow who puts two small coins into the offering box is praised by Jesus, who says: “Those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood”.

The Lord, Pope Francis says, is everything, and they trusted in the Lord. They didn’t do so because of some fanatical force, but because they knew that the Lord is faithful. They trusted in that faith which is always there, the Pope said, because the Lord cannot be unfaithful, cannot deny Himself.
 
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« Reply #865 on: November 25, 2013, 12:12:08 PM »

Video at the link

http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/

Sunday, November 24, 2013
"You Ask Him to Remember You, And He Brings You Into His Kingdom"

As an emotional closing Mass of the global church's Year of Faith was highlighted by the presence of the relics of St Peter in their first-ever public exposition (below), just before the bronze casket containing the eight small fragments of the first Pope's bones were brought to his the current successor to cradle during the Creed (above), the 266th Bishop of Rome – the first to call himself Francis... the first from outside Europe in over a millennium – delivered the following homily, below in its Vatican English translation:
 



And as this long, surreal liturgical year – one that's been historic, astonishing and emotional in ways we'll never see again – reaches its end, we'd be remiss to not go back to the Source of the shock, the prayers, the hope, its realization anew and all the reactions that, to a stunning degree, have marked the roller-coaster of these last nine months, the memories and effects of which will live with all of us so long as we remain on this Earth....

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.

And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.

I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

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« Reply #866 on: November 25, 2013, 12:18:25 PM »

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/11/24/u-s-pulls-embassy-out-of-the-vatican.html

U.S. Pulls Embassy Out of the Vatican
November 24th 2013  5:45 am

Citing security concerns without naming a specific threat, the U.S. State Department is planning to shutter its embassy to the Holy See inside the lush Villa Domiziana overlooking the Circus Maximus and Palatine Hill in central Rome.

The embassy, which has been in operation since 1984 when Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II signed an accord, will essentially be swallowed up by the larger, more influential U.S. embassy to Italy. Italy is unique in that many countries have two embassies in the capital city – one to the country of Italy and the other to the Holy See, a sovereign nation within the city of Rome. Some, like the United States, even have a third embassy to the United Nations Organizations headquartered in the city.  The embassies create a diplomatic subculture that has spawned a slew of international schools and services from health care facilities to commissary-style international food stores, all catering to the large foreign community.

After the move to the American embassy to Italy, scheduled for January 2015 when remodeling work is expected to be completed, the embassy to the Holy See will inhabit a small annex with a separate entrance, but it will be far less independent than it is in its current position across town. Not unlike having two popes in Vatican City with both Pope Francis and Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, having two ambassadors in one embassy compound will undoubtedly lessen the power prestige of one.
 
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« Reply #867 on: November 25, 2013, 06:54:30 PM »

Video at the link

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/11/25/21611511-could-putin-pope-francis-visit-mark-beginning-of-end-of-centuries-old-rift

3 hours ago
Could Putin-Pope Francis visit mark beginning of end of centuries-old rift?


Mikhail Klimentyev / Kremlin pool via EPA
Russian President Vladimir Putin is welcomed by Pope Francis as he arrives for a private audience at the Vatican on Monday.


ROME — Pope Francis and Russian President Vladimir Putin met Monday amid high expectations that their visit could mark the beginning of the end of the centuries-old rift between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches.

Since becoming pontiff in March, Francis has met with more than a dozen heads of state, and Putin met with both of his predecessors Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II.

But this meeting comes at a unique time.

“What's making (this visit) different this time is who he will meet: a pope, Francis, who for the first time is not from Europe,” said Andrea Tornielli, a Vatican expert who writes for the Italian daily “La Stampa.”

"And [Francis] therefore has a more independent approach on international issues such as the relations between Orthodox and Catholics. Being from Argentina, (Francis) is not tied to the old idea of Western Christianity, so this could play in [Putin’s] favor,” Tornielli added.

Francis has ushered in a period of reform at the Vatican, but the timing is right for a thawing of relations between the Eastern and Westerns Churches for other reasons, too: full diplomatic ties between Russia and the Holy See were only re-established in 2009.

But despite numerous visits by Russian leaders to the Vatican, the head of the Rome Catholic Church has never been allowed to repay the favor and travel to Moscow.
 
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« Reply #868 on: November 26, 2013, 12:38:55 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/11/26/pope_francis:_only_christ_is_the_master_of_time/en1-750149

2013-11-26 13:13:26
Pope Francis: only Christ is the master of time

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Tuesday reminded the faithful that man may think he is the master of the moment, but only Christ is the master of time.

Speaking to those present for the morning Mass in Casa Sanctae Marthae, the Pope said prayer and hope are the tools that come to our aid in every moment of our lives.
Listen to Linda Bordoni's report... RealAudioMP3

In prayer and with hope we are able to understand and accept the passing of time and to prepare for its end. Prayer – Pope Francis explained – along with discernment helps us to decipher single moments of our lives and guides us towards God. Hope – he said - is the long-range beacon that illuminates our path and that final moment.

Reflecting on the Reading of the Day in which Jesus explains what will happen before the end of humanity and tells those who believe in God not to despair, Pope Francis said God has two reccomendations for us.

He said a Christian is a person who knows how to live the moment and who knows how to live in his or her time. The moment – he added - is what we have in hand right now, but this is not time, the moment passes! Perhaps we feel we are the masters of the moment, but to believe that we are masters of time is a deception, because – Francis said – “time is not ours, time belongs to God!
 
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« Reply #869 on: November 26, 2013, 01:04:01 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/11/26/pope_issues_first_apostolic_exhortation:_evangelii_gaudium/en1-750083

2013-11-26 12:00:56
Pope issues first Apostolic Exhortation: Evangelii Gaudium



(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has issued his first Apostolic Exhortation on Tuesday, Evangelii Gaudium, translated into English as The Joy of the Gospel. The 224-page document outlines the Pope’s vision for a missionary Church, whose “doors should always be open”. The Pope speaks on numerous themes, including evangelization, peace, homiletics, social justice, the family, respect for creation, faith and politics, ecumenism, interreligious dialogue, and the role of women and of the laity in the Church.
 
The full text of the new Apostolic Exhortation can be found on the Vatican website, while the main points are outlined in the synopsis below:

-----------------------------
http://www.ewtn.com/holysee/pontiff/categories.asp

Categories of Documents

 
Encyclical
A circular or general letter expressing the mind of the Pope, generally on matters of faith and morals. It may be a letter to the entire Church or an epistle to a particular Church or people (e.g. Mit brennenden sorge, Pius XI's encyclical to the German people condemning racism). 

Apostolic Letter
Letters of less solemn authority than an encyclical, they may be written on a doctrinal matter (e.g. Pope John Paul II's Letter On the Beginning of the Third Millennium). They may also announce a papal act such as declaring a person Venerable (heroic virtue) or declaring a church a Basilica. 

Apostolic Exhortation
A category of document similar to an Apostolic Letter, which Pope John Paul II uses to communicate to the Church the conclusions he has reached after consideration of the recommendations of a Synod of Bishops. He has also used it in other circumstances, such as to exhort religious to a deeper evangelical life.
 
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« Reply #870 on: November 26, 2013, 01:21:41 PM »

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium_en.html

APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION
EVANGELII GAUDIUM
OF THE HOLY FATHER
FRANCIS
 TO THE BISHOPS, CLERGY,
 CONSECRATED PERSONS
 AND THE LAY FAITHFUL
ON THE PROCLAMATION OF THE GOSPEL
 IN TODAY’S WORLD

 
INDEX

I. A JOY EVER NEW, A JOY WHICH IS SHARED [2-8]
II. THE DELIGHTFUL AND COMFORTING JOY OF EVANGELIZING [9-13]

Eternal newness [11-13]

III. THE NEW EVANGELIZATION FOR THE TRANSMISSION OF THE FAITH [14-18]

The scope and limits of this Exhortation [16-18]

CHAPTER ONE
THE CHURCH’S MISSIONARY TRANSFORMATION [19]

I. A CHURCH WHICH GOES FORTH [20-24]

Taking the first step, being involved and supportive, bearing fruit and rejoicing [24]

II. PASTORAL ACTIVITY AND CONVERSION [25-33]

An ecclesial renewal which cannot be deferred [27-33]

III. FROM THE HEART OF THE GOSPEL [34-39]

IV. A MISSION EMBODIED WITHIN HUMAN LIMITS [40-45]

V. A MOTHER WITH AN OPEN HEART [46-49]


CHAPTER TWO
AMID THE CRISIS OF COMMUNAL COMMITMENT [50-51]

I. SOME CHALLENGES OF TODAY’S WORLD [52-75]

No to an economy of exclusion [53-54]
No to the new idolatry of money [55-56]
No to a financial system which rules rather than serves [57-58]
No to the inequality which spawns violence [59-60]
Some cultural challenges [61-67]
Challenges to inculturating the faith [68-70]
Challenges from urban cultures [71-75]

II. TEMPTATIONS FACED BY PASTORAL WORKERS [76-109]

Yes to the challenge of a missionary spirituality [78-80]
No to selfishness and spiritual sloth [81-83]
No to a sterile pessimism [84-86]
Yes to the new relationships brought by Christ [87-92]
No to spiritual worldliness [93-97]
No to warring among ourselves [98-101]
Other ecclesial challenges [102-109]


CHAPTER THREE
THE PROCLAMATION OF THE GOSPEL [110]

I. THE ENTIRE PEOPLE OF GOD PROCLAIMS THE GOSPEL [111-134]

A people for everyone [112-114]
A people of many faces [115-118]
We are all missionary disciples [119-121]
The evangelizing power of popular piety [122-126]
Person to person [127-129]
Charisms at the service of a communion which evangelizes [130-131]
Culture, thought and education [132-134]

II. THE HOMILY [135-144]

The liturgical context [137-138]
A mother’s conversation [139-141]
Words which set hearts on fire [142-144]

III. PREPARING TO PREACH [145-159]

Reverence for truth [146-148]
Personalizing the word [149-151]
Spiritual reading [152-153]
An ear to the people [154-155]
Homiletic resources [156-159]

IV. EVANGELIZATION AND THE DEEPER UNDERSTANDING OF THE KERYGMA [160- 175]

Kerygmatic and mystagogical catechesis [163-168]
Personal accompaniment in processes of growth [169-173]
Centred on the word of God [174-175]


CHAPTER FOUR
THE SOCIAL DIMENSION OF EVANGELIZATION [176]

I. COMMUNAL AND SOCIETAL REPERCUSSIONS OF THE KERYGMA [177-185]

Confession of faith and commitment to society [178-179]
The kingdom and its challenge [180-181]
The Church’s teaching on social questions [182-185]

II. THE INCLUSION OF THE POOR IN SOCIETY [186-216]

In union with God, we hear a plea [187-192]
Fidelity to the Gospel, lest we run in vain [193-196]
The special place of the poor in God’s people [197-201]
The economy and the distribution of income [202-208]
Concern for the vulnerable [209-216]

III. THE COMMON GOOD AND PEACE IN SOCIETY [217-237]

Time is greater than space [222-225]
Unity prevails over conflict [226-230]
Realities are more important than ideas [231-233]
The whole is greater than the part [234-237]

IV. SOCIAL DIALOGUE AS A CONTRIBUTION TO PEACE [238-258]

Dialogue between faith, reason and science [242-243]
Ecumenical dialogue [244-246]
Relations with Judaism [247-249]
Interreligious dialogue [250-254]
Social dialogue in a context of religious freedom [255-258]


CHAPTER FIVE
SPIRIT-FILLED EVANGELIZERS [259-261]

I. REASONS FOR A RENEWED MISSIONARY IMPULSE [262-283]

Personal encounter with the saving love of Jesus [264-267]
The spiritual savour of being a people [268-274]
The mysterious working of the risen Christ and his Spirit [275-280]
The missionary power of intercessory prayer [281-283]

II. MARY, MOTHER OF EVANGELIZATION [284-288]

Jesus’ gift to his people [285-286]
Star of the new evangelization [287-288]
 
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« Reply #871 on: November 27, 2013, 08:04:53 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/11/27/pope:_faith_sheds_light_on_mystery_of_death/en1-750374

2013-11-27 10:59:40
Pope: Faith sheds light on mystery of death



(Vatican Radio) During his general audience in a cold St Peter’s Square today, Pope Francis continued his series of reflections on the Creed, explaining how our Christian faith sheds light on the mystery of death and brings us the hope of Resurrection.
Philippa Hitchen reports: RealAudioMP3

Tens of thousands of pilgrims and visitors packed into St Peter’s Square on Wednesday morning, despite the near freezing temperature. Pope Francis, also wrapped up in a long white coat and scarf, reflected on the mystery of death, saying that without belief in God and a vision of life as something greater than earthly existence, death can seem like a tragedy that we misunderstand, fear and deny

Without faith, the Pope said, death can seem scandalous, especially when children suffer and die. But as we know when we lose a close friend or family member, our human hearts rebel against this false vision and we yearn for the infinite, the eternal, the knowledge that life does not end with death.
 
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« Reply #872 on: November 28, 2013, 07:33:34 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/11/28/pope:_faith_is_not_‘private,’_worship_god_firmly_despite_apostasy_and/en1-750791

2013-11-28 14:38:29
Pope: faith is not ‘private,’ worship God firmly despite apostasy and persecution

(Vatican Radio) There are worldly powers that want religion to be simply a private matter and today’s persecuted Christians are a sign of the trials that precede Jesus’ final coming – that’s the message Pope Francis imparted to the faithful gathered for early morning mass Thursday at the Santa Marta Guest house inside the Vatican. Tracey McClure has more:
Listen: RealAudioMP3

In the final battle between God and evil that we read in the liturgy in these days, there’s a trap which Pope Francis calls “universal temptation.” It’s the temptation to give in to the deceitful ways of those against God. But those with true faith can look to Jesus for the strength to withstand the insidiousness of evil. Jesus, who endured insults and lies in his public life and the trials of evil in the desert, bore them to his death on the Cross. But, as Prince of Peace, Jesus triumphed over the prince of the world through the Resurrection.

In his homily, Pope Francis pointed to these events in Christ’s life because, he said, as we hear the Gospel recount the tumultuous time of the end of the world, we become aware that the victory of the prince of the world over God would be more disasterous than a devastating natural disaster.

“When Jesus speaks of this calamity in another passage, he tells us that it will be a profanation of the temple, a profanation of the faith, of the people: it will be an abomination; it will be desolation and abomination. What does this mean? It will be like the victory of the prince of this world: the defeat of God.”

Today, the Pope observed, people are discouraged from speaking of religion in public. “It’s (considered) something private, no?” It’s something you don’t talk about in public, he said, pointing to the fact that religious objects have become tabu’. “One has to obey the orders that come from worldly powers. One can do many things, nice things, but not adore God. It’s forbidden to worship. This is at the heart of the “end of times.” It is when this pagan attitude reaches its height, that’s when the end times will come, the Pope stressed. This is when the Son of man will return in glory.
 
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« Reply #873 on: November 28, 2013, 07:38:08 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/11/28/pope_on_interreligious_dialogue:_foster_respect_and_friendship/en1-750744

2013-11-28 13:02:05
Pope on Interreligious dialogue: Foster respect and friendship

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday met with participants from the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, who are exploring the theme, “Members of different religious traditions in civil society”. Lydia O’Kane reports. RealAudioMP3

Speaking to the participants of the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Pope Francis underlined the importance of friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions.

He noted that due to increasing movement of peoples because of phenomena such as migration, Christians are being challenged to be more open to different cultures, religions and traditions.

Quoting from his recently published Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium, the Pope said "an attitude of openness in truth and love must prevail in dialogue with believers of non-Christian religions, despite the various obstacles and difficulties, particularly fundamentalism on both sides "

Recognizing the fact that there are situations in the world where coexistence is difficult due to fear, the Holy Father underlined that the one way to overcome this fear, was to foster dialogue.
 
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« Reply #874 on: November 28, 2013, 08:07:48 PM »

http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/pope-francis-revamps-centuries-old-charity-office-1.1565030

Pope Francis revamps centuries-old charity office
Published Thursday, November 28, 2013 2:30PM EST

VATICAN CITY -- When he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis was known to sneak out at night and break bread with the homeless, sit with them literally on the street and eat with them, as part of his aim to share the plight of the poor and let them know someone cared.

That's not so easy to do now that he's pope. But Francis is still providing one-on-one doses of emergency assistance to the poor, sick and aged through a trusted archbishop. Konrad Krajewski is the Vatican Almoner, a centuries-old job of handing out alms -- and Francis has ramped up the job to make it a hands-on extension of his own personal charity.

As Americans gathered for Thanksgiving on Thursday, Krajewski described how Francis has redefined the little known office of papal almoner and explained the true meaning of giving during a chat with journalists over coffee and pastries a few steps from the Vatican gates.

"The Holy Father told me at the beginning: 'You can sell your desk. You don't need it. You need to get out of the Vatican. Don't wait for people to come ringing. You need to go out and look for the poor,"' Krajewski said.

Krajewski gets his marching orders each morning: A Vatican gendarme goes from the Vatican hotel where Francis lives to Krajewski's office across the Vatican gardens, bringing a bundle of letters that the pope has received from the faithful asking for help. On the top of each letter, Francis might write "You know what to do" or "Go find them" or "Go talk to them."

And so Don Corrado, as he likes to be called, hits the streets of Rome and beyond
 
The existence of the Vatican Almoner dates back centuries: It is mentioned in a papal bull from the 13th-century Pope Innocent III, and Pope Gregory X, who ruled from 1271-1276, organized it into an official Holy See office for papal charity.

Until Krajewski came along, the almoner was typically an aging Vatican diplomat who was serving his final years before being allowed to retire at age 75. Francis changed all that, tapping the 50-year-old Pole who had been a close assistant to Pope John Paul II in his final years, to be a more vigorous, hands-on extension of himself.
 
The almoner's duties are two-fold: carrying out acts of charity and raising the money to fund them.

Krajewski's office funds its work by producing papal parchments, hand-made certificates with a photo of the pope that the faithful can buy for a particular occasion -- say a wedding, baptism or priestly ordination -- with the name of the recipient and an apostolic blessing written in calligraphy.

The parchments range from eight euros ($11) to 30 euros ($40) apiece, plus shipping and handling. All proceeds go directly to the works of charity. Last year, the office spent 1 million euros ($1.4 million) on 6,500 requests for help. Krajewski says the numbers will likely have doubled this year.

The amounts given out aren't high: Recently Krajewski sent a check for 200 euros ($270) to an elderly woman from Venice who wrote to Francis lamenting that a pickpocket had stolen 54 euros ($75) from her.

Larger and longer-term charity works are handled by the Vatican's international Caritas federation or Cor Unum, a Vatican office. The almoner, Krajewski explained, is more a "first aid" charity station: quick, small doses of help that don't require bureaucratic hurdles, but are nevertheless heartfelt and something of a sacrifice
 

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« Reply #875 on: November 29, 2013, 02:14:45 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/11/29/pope:_intelligence_is_a_gift/en1-751058

2013-11-29 13:21:22
Pope: Intelligence is a gift

(Vatican Radio)The Christian conforms his way of thinking to God’s, and for this reason rejects ways of thinking that are weak and restricted.
This was the central theme of Pope Francis’ homily during Mass on Friday morning in the Casa Sanctae Martha
.

The Lord taught his disciples to be attentive to the signs of the times, signs which the Pharisees failed to comprehend.
The Pope said that, in order to understand the signs of the times, a Christian must think not only with his head, but also with his heart and spirit. Otherwise, he cannot understand the “way of God in history”:

“In the Gospel, Jesus does not become angry, but pretends to when the disciples do not understand him. At Emmaus he says: ‘How foolish and slow of heart’. ‘How foolish and slow of heart’… He who does not understand the things of God is such a person. The Lord wants us to understand what happens, what happens in my heart, what happens in my life, what happens in the world, in history… What is the meaning of what is happening now? These are the signs of the times! On the other hand, the spirit of the world gives us other propositions, because the spirit of the world does not want a community: it wants a mob, thoughtless, without freedom.”

While the spirit of the world wants us to take a “restricted path,” Saint Paul warns that the “spirit of the world treats us as thought we lack the ability to think for ourselves; it treats us like people who are not free”:
 
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« Reply #876 on: November 29, 2013, 02:21:33 PM »

http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/francis-calls-religious-life-prophecy-refers-humiliations

Francis calls religious life 'prophecy,' refers to 'humiliations'
by John L. Allen Jr.     |  Nov. 29, 2013

Pope Francis today met with 120 leaders of men's religious orders taking part in an assembly of the Union of Superiors General, the main international umbrella group for men's communities. At the moment, the group’s president is Spanish Fr. Adolfo Nicolas, the leader of the Jesuit order to which Francis also belongs.
 
The meeting with the pope, which took place in the Vatican’s Synod Hall, spanned three hours and occasioned some of Francis’ most developed thoughts on religious life to date.

Among other points, Francis called religious life is “prophecy,” saying that consecrated women and men can “wake up the world,” and said that bishops must understand that religious aren’t just resources to be exploited but “charisms that enrich the diocese.”

Francis also said that formation in religious orders is “a work of art, not a police operation.” He said that while we’re all sinners, religious orders should not tolerate corruption: “We accept sinners, but not the corrupt,” he said.

Upon leaving the hall, Francis also thanked the religious for their "testimony" and for “the humiliations you have to endure." Though he didn't specify what he had in mind, Francis is clearly aware of the sometimes troubled relationship some religious communities, including his own Jesuit order, have had with the Vatican in recent decades.

The following is the text of statement on the meeting released today by the Vatican Press Office, in an NCR translation from the Italian.

 
Before greeting the 120 superiors general who were present, the pope announced that 2015 will be a year dedicated to consecrated life. Leaving the hall, he affirmed: “Thank you, for what you do and for your spirit of faith and your quest for service. Thanks for your testimony, and also for the humiliations you have to endure.”
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« Reply #877 on: November 29, 2013, 11:43:33 PM »

http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1305014.htm

Nov-27-2013
To go forth in evangelization, Pope Francis confronts the enemy within
By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- When the Synod of Bishops on the new evangelization met at the Vatican in October 2012, among the top items on the agenda was the threat of militant secularism in a post-Christian West.

"It is as if a tsunami of secular influence has swept across the cultural landscape, taking with it such societal markers as marriage, family, the concept of the common good and objective right and wrong," and posing new impediments to spreading the Gospel, Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, the synod's relator, told the gathering at its first working session.

The same topic arose repeatedly in addresses by synod fathers, especially those from Europe and North America, and in the final propositions they gave the pope as the basis for his post-synodal apostolic exhortation. But Pope Benedict XVI resigned before he could write such a document, leaving the task to his successor, who finally responded with "Evangelii Gaudium" ("The Joy of the Gospel"), published Nov. 26.

In writing the apostolic exhortation, Pope Francis departed from usual practice and declined to use the draft provided by synod officials. The result is a text in the pope's distinctive voice and focused on his particular concerns. Among the features that distinguish "Evangelii Gaudium" from the synod that gave rise to it, none is more striking than how little attention it pays to the problem of secularism.
 
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« Reply #878 on: November 30, 2013, 09:08:15 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/11/30/pope_francis_welcomes_greek_melkite_pilgrims/en1-751313

2013-11-30 12:19:27
Pope Francis welcomes Greek Melkite pilgrims

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday received a group of Greek Melkite Catholic pilgrims who are here in Rome.

The Pope told the pilgrims that his thoughts are with the suffering in Syria, and that his prayers are with those who have lost their lives and their loved ones.

“We firmly believe in the strength of prayer and reconciliation”, he said, “and we renew our heartfelt appeal to those responsible” to bring an end to the violence. “Through dialogue let them find just and lasting solutions to a conflict that has already wrought too much destruction.”
 
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« Reply #879 on: November 30, 2013, 09:14:19 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/11/30/pope_francis_to_patriarch_bartholomew:_world_needs_our_common_witness/en1-751301

2013-11-30 13:28:29
Pope Francis to Patriarch Bartholomew: world needs our common witness



(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a Message to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, in order to mark the Patronal feast of the Church the Patriarch leads – the Feast of St Andrew the Apostle. “With the heartfelt affection reserved for beloved brothers,” writes Pope Francis, “I offer my prayerful best wishes to Your Holiness, to the members of the Holy Synod, to the clergy, monks and all the faithful, and – together with my Catholic brothers and sisters – join your own prayer on this festive occasion.” Listen to our report: RealAudioMP3

Writing for the first time as Pope to mark this feast, Pope Francis assures the Patriarch of his intention to pursue fraternal relations between the Church of Rome and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, saying that it is for him a source of great reassurance to reflect on the depth and the authenticity of our existing bonds, the fruit of a grace-filled journey along which the Lord has guided the Churches at Rome and at Constantinople since the historic encounter in Jerusalem between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras, the fiftieth anniversary of which we will celebrate shortly.
 
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