09/21/2014ALBANIA - VATICAN Pope tells representatives of religions that religious freedom is bulwark against all forms of totalitarianism Pope Francis met with Muslims, Bektashi (Sufi), Catholic, Orthodox, Evangelical and Jewish representatives, advocating working together for the common good and dialogue. The latter should not be centre on relativism, but on retaining one's own identity, without hypocrisy. Tirana
- Religious freedom, which Albania regained after the period of Communist dictatorship, is good not only for believers, but for society as a whole,
a bulwark against all forms of totalitarianism,
09/21/2014ALBANIA - VATICAN "Today we touched martyrs," a moved Pope Francis said in front of two who witnessed persecution Pope Francis put aside his prepared speech and said the homily off the cuff after he heard the stories of a priest who was tortured and imprisoned during Albania's Maoist dictatorship and a nun who was subjected to forced labour, both of whom kept their faith and support that of others. Consecrated persons are consoled only by God and are thus able to console others.
09/20/2014VATICAN - CHINA Pope wishes Chinese bishops "were here", tells them they are not alone, that they have his solidarity and that of the Church In his meeting with newly appointed bishops from around the world, in Rome for a seminar organised by Propaganda Fide, Francis devoted part of his address to the pastors of the Chinese flock. "Deep down in my heart, I hope" they were here, "that that day will not be far off! Let me assure them not only of my and our solidarity, but also that of the world's Episcopate, so that, in the shared faith and despite sometimes the impression of being alone, they can feel the certainty that their suffering will bear fruit - and what fruit! - for the good of the faithful, their fellow citizens and the whole Church."
09/20/2014ASIA - ITALY Mission congress: nine missionaries to follow PIME founder Angelo Ramazzotti by Bernardo Cervellera PIME's superior general launches a year dedicated to the society's founder. Bishop of Pavia and then Patriarch of Venice, he corresponds to Pope Francis' role mode for a pastor. The missionary men and women leaving for Cameroon, Mexico, Brazil, Cambodia, Hong Kong, and Bangladesh, including two Colombian priests associated with the PIME, will receive a crucifix as a "companion" for their apostolic activity.
09/19/2014PHILIPPINES Over 50 thousand flee flooding in Manila, schools and offices closed The heavy rains caused by tropical storm Fung-Wong have paralyzed the capital. 268 mm of rain, 76% of the monthly average fell in a few hours. More rain predicted. 21 domestic flights canceled, some international routes diverted. So far, no deaths or injuries.
09/14/2014VATICAN Pope: Celebrate the Holy Cross, and think of our brothers and sisters, persecuted and killed At the Angelus Pope Francis recalls the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross: "We do not exalt just any cross, but the Cross of Jesus," where " God’s love for humanity was revealed most". The cross is not a sign of "magic": "Belief in the Cross of Jesus means following Jesus on his path”. An appeal for the Central African Republic. He returns to his prayer at Redipuglia: "War is a madness ... When will we learn this lesson?"
09/14/2014VATICAN Pope: Christ’s love sustains married couples' love and renews it when, humanly speaking, it becomes lost Pope Francis celebrates Mass during which 20 couples are united in marriage. Some of them have lived together for some time and have children. Families are the “bricks” for the building up of society". The merciful love that flows from the Cross heals "those who succumb to the dangerous temptation of discouragement, infidelity, weakness, abandonment”. An added piece of advice: Never let the sunset on an argument
09/13/2014VATICAN Pope in Redipuglia: War is madness. This is the time to weep At the cemetery that is the final resting place for the mortal remains of over 10 thousand victims of the First World War, Pope Francis condemns past and present wars, their destructive power, motivated by Cain’s attitude: "What does it matter to me?". The "the merchants of war perhaps have made a great deal of money, but their corrupted hearts have lost the capacity to cry". "... Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction ...". Present cardinals and bishops from Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia, ordinary soldiers and representatives of Orthodox and Muslims in Europe. Pope Francis’ grandfather fought in the Great War on the Piave. The gift of "Light of St. Francis" to the military ordinary military in commemorations of the First World War. The full text of the papal homily.