12/19/2013VATICAN Pope: Only God can make fruitful our barren aridity Francis speaks of the gospel of Elizabeth, who from a state of bareness became the mother of John the Baptist. The desert and bareness are rendered fruitful by His power. In these days before Christmas, have the humility to recognize our own misery and pray for the grace to bear fruit. Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Only the intervention of God
overcomes the arid bareness of our life and makes it fruitful: This is what Pope
Francis spoke of at Mass this morning in Casa Santa Marta. Often in the Bible
we find women who are sterile, to whom the...
12/19/2013VATICAN - ISLAM Pope Francis and his invitation to dialogue with Islam by Samir Khalil Samir There are so many positive things in Evangelii gaudium, its urging Christians and Muslims towards a relationship in love and truth, to work for peace, to enrich each other, to welcome immigrants ... But there are also some points that provoke criticism: is the "compassionate and merciful" God of the Muslims really the same as the Trinity? And are the Jesus and Mary in the Koran the same as the Gospels? And is Christian fundamentalism the same as Muslim fundamentalism? What is really urgent - as suggested by Francis – is "a proper reading of the Koran," which Muslims resist.
12/18/2013INDONESIA For Indonesian Ulema, Christmas and New Year are "haram" and should not be celebrated by Mathias Hariyadi The leaders of the Islamic movement in Banda Aceh rail against the upcoming holidays, which are typical of "Western and Roman culture." Their nature "does not belong to the spirit of Islam." They also issue warnings to Christians, who must "respect" sharia, and hotels, which must not organise celebrations or balls.
12/17/2013INDONESIA 'The Walking Apostle': a documentary film to restart the mission among Indonesian Catholics by Mathias Hariyadi The Archdiocese of Semarang produced a documentary on the life of Austrian-born Jesuit Fr Y B Prenthaler, who played a leading role in the evangelisation of Java in the early 1900s. Some 133 Catholics and a 70-member crew took part "with joy and serenity" in the making of the docu-film. For an Indonesian priest, "it was an experience of faith." The film will be broadcast nation-wide.
12/17/2013VATICAN Pope: birthday wishes from employees and four homeless “Family" atmosphere at the Mass celebrated by Francis on his 77th birthday. God "has made history. God chose to become history. He is with us. Has made the journey with us". "But what is the name of God? We are, each of us . He takes His surname from each of us. ‘I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Pedro, of Marietta , Armony , Marisa , of Simon, of all! ' .
12/16/2013VATICAN Pope: When Church lacks prophecy the vacuum is filled by legalism and therefore clericalism In the Gospel the "priests went to Jesus to ask for his stamp of authority: ' By what authority are you doing these things?' We are the masters of the Temple'". "They did not understand the prophecies. They had forgotten the promise! They did not know how to read the signs of the time, they had neither piercing eyes, nor hearing for the Word of God: they only had authority ."
12/15/2013VATICAN Pope: The Church is not a haven for sad people, it is the house of joy! Ahead of reciting the Angelus on the third Sunday of Advent, Francis reminds the faithful that " like hope, Christian joy is rooted in the faithfulness of God , knowing that He always keeps His promises." Immediately after the Marian prayer, the Pope blesses the "Baby Jesus" statues for the nativity scenes in the homes of the faithful and says: "When you pray in front of the nativity scene , remember me like I remember you."
12/12/2013VATICAN Pope: Fraternity, foundation and path to peace against selfishness, exploitation and abuse Francis’ message for the World Day of Peace. The foundation of the fraternity is the common fatherhood of God. The "Globalisation of indifference". The increasing number of interconnections and communications, "make us neighbors but not brothers." "International agreements and national laws , despite being highly desirable and necessary , are not sufficient by themselves to bring humanity to avoid the risk of armed conflict. This requires a conversion of heart which allows everyone to recognize themselves in their brother". "The succession of economic crises should lead to appropriate rethinking of models of economic development and a change in lifestyle". A "change of heart".
12/12/2013INDONESIA - ISLAM Society against the government over religion on ID papers by Mathias Hariyadi Parliament's decision to include holder's religious affiliation in identity papers sparks widespread criticism. For many, the inclusion will lead to persecution and abuse, especially of those who do not belong to any of the recognised faiths. According to research by the Setara Institute, the Ahmadi sect has endured the most with 46 attacks out of 122 incidents recorded in the first six months of 2013.
12/11/2013VATICAN Pope Francis is Time's Person of the Year For Fr Lombardi, the pope seeks neither fame not success, but "he will certainly be glad" if Time's choice means that many people understood that "he carries out his service for the proclamation of the Gospel and the love of God for all."