At the Angelus, Pope Francis calls for a moment of silent prayer for those killed in the two mosques in Christchurch. The Christian vision of suffering is not "sadomasochistic". The Transfiguration shows that suffering "is a necessary but transitory passage". Prayer transforms people and makes them bright.
"It is a strong sign of hope when the social doctrine of the Church does not remain as a dead word or an abstract discourse, but rather becomes living thanks to men and women of good will, who give it flesh and concreteness, transforming it into personal and social gestures, concrete, visible and useful".
Beijing, along with other countries - such as: Indonesia, Singapore, South Korea, Mongolia, Ethiopia, South Africa, Cayman, Mexico, Brazil, India - have grounded the Boeing model aircraft, suspected of having construction defects. The USA awaits checks, along with other nations: Russia, Italy, Turkey, Iceland, Norway, Dubai, Oman, Fiji. The telegram of Pope Francis for the victims of the disaster.
Since the signing of the agreement, members of the non-official communities have been forced to join the PA and its "independent" Church project. It is said that the underground Church "must disappear". But Pope Francis’ message speaks only of "reconciliation". Card. Filoni demands that PA membership not be mandatory, as under Chinese law. But there are bishops and priests who acclaim unity through "erasing" the underground community. The time has come for clarity, perhaps in a meeting between Pope Francis and the Chinese president.
United States, Russia, France, Germany and China among the main exporters the. Washington remains the world leader in sales. 52% of US weapons go to the Middle East. Riyadh has increased the arms imports by 192%. Egypt ranked third with a 206% growth. Imports of weapons to Syria are decreasing by 87%.
During the Angelus, Pope Francis explained the Gospel of the first Sunday of Lent. The three temptations are: greed for possession, human glory, and the exploitation of God. Jesus does not talk with Satan, but answers only with the Word of God. The pontiff mentioned Angelo Cuartas and eight fellow martyred seminarians, killed "out of hatred for the faith” at “a time of religious persecution”. Today Francis and the Roman Curia begin spiritual exercises.
Pope Francis issued his Message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, which this year will be celebrated on 12 May. The Lord’s call comes from being "surprised by an encounter". For the pontiff, "It is not a 'cage' or a burden to be borne.” At the same time though, “Do not yield to fear”. Mary’s “yes” has no guarantee other than “she was the bearer of a promise.”
Talking about human development means including everyone - not just the few - and to the whole human person, not just its material dimension. "We should all commit ourselves to promoting and implementing the development goals that are supported by our deepest religious and ethical values,” the pontiff said.
In a meeting with a delegation from the American Jewish Committee, Francis expressed “great concern” over “a climate of wickedness and fury” that has brought about an “outbreak of anti-Semitic attacks in various countries.” In his view, “for a Christian any form of antisemitism is a rejection of one’s own origins, a complete contradiction.”
In this time of Lent, Francis invites everyone to rediscover the beauty of simplicity, of reality that "must be united to appearance". "Ask the Lord for strength and go humbly forward, with what you can. But do not disguise your soul, because if disguise your soul, the Lord will not recognize you ".
Memory puts us on the right path. We must "remember to go on; do not forget history: the history of salvation, the history of my life, the history of Jesus with me ". And do not stop, do not go back, do not let ourselves be carried away by idolatry that "is an attitude of the heart, when you prefer this because it is more comfortable for me and not the Lord because you have forgotten the Lord.
The greatest growth in Asia and Africa, respectively of + 1.5% and + 2.5%. America with its + 0.96% is below the world, while Europe is the only continent to have an almost zero trend (+ 0.1%).
On Ash Wednesday, Francis notes that “Outward appearance, money, a career or hobby [. . .] “become idols that enslave us, sirens that charm us and then cast us adrift.” By contrast, “Jesus on the wood of the cross burns with love, and calls us to a life that is passionate for him, which is not lost amid the ashes of the world,” one “that burns with charity and is not extinguished in mediocrity.”
Fr Peter, a member of the Chinese Church, highlights last year’s main moments and events, such as the Sino-Vatican agreement, Pope Francis's letter to Chinese Catholics, acts of persecution and arrests, as well as the first steps towards reconciliation between official and underground bishops.