12/02/2016 - MEXICO - VATICAN
Fr Damiano Tina, a missionary with the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, has been in the country since 2008, in the state of Guerrero, where violence and drug trafficking are rampant. “Expectations are high for the pontiff’s arrival,” he told AsiaNews. People “expect Francis to point the finger at the many things that do not work in Mexico, like corruption, violence, kidnapping, and drug trafficking.” Although he will do so, there is a risk that things might not go behind speeches. Once the pontiff has left, the local Church will have to make “a qualitative change”.
12/02/2016 - VATICAN
Pope: the Missionaries of Mercy cannot absolve unlawful bishops
In a letter, Mgr Fisichella does not include this in the list of sins reserved for the Holy See that the Missionaries of Mercy can absolve. This involves bishops ordained "without papal mandate” in China and within the Lefebvrian community.
12/02/2016 - INDIA
Even non-Catholics pray at the Indian shrine of Our Lady of Gunadalaby Benigna Menezes*
Yesterday, the diocese celebrated the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes, marking the first apparition of Our Lady to Bernadette. PIME missionaries founded the diocese and brought a statue of the Virgin in 1928. Placed on a hill, the latter protects “the city and brings it closer to Jesus." The shrine drew 1.4 million faithful, including non-Christians.
12/02/2016 - CHINA - VATICAN
The Pope’s interview on China has not allayed the Catholics fearsby Wang Meixiu*
A researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences comments on Francis’ words about the Asian country: "pleasant" references to respect for the culture and for the people, "surprising" the absence of any reference to religious matters. The faithful have some doubts, but they hope that their fears will soon be allayed.
12/02/2016 - RUSSIA - VATICAN
Francis and Kirill, the "alliance against" and the desire for unity (II)by Ieromonaco Ioann
The meeting at the airport of Havana is a "fleeting encounter" for fear of negative reactions of the orthodox conservatives. Although political reasons seem to prevail ( "alliance against" terrorism, secularism, moral relativism, Islam, liberalism, Protestants, ...), the event is a step on the path towards full unity between Catholics and Orthodox. The second part of an article by a leading figure of the Moscow Patriarchate.
11/02/2016 - VATICAN - HOLY LAND
Raising funds for Holy Land on behalf of “Refugees, displaced persons, the elderly, children, and the sick” who “are all in need of our help”
Raised funds will finance the upkeep of holy sites in the Holy Land, as well as pay for educational activities, housing for young couples, and aid for Syrian and Iraqi refugees.
11/02/2016 - RUSSIA - VATICAN
Francis and Kirill, a meeting that has many political and faith based reasons (I)by Ieromonaco Ioann
After centuries of waiting, a week after the announcement, the dream of John Paul II and Benedict XVI will become a reality. Among the reasons for the meeting, the Patriarchate emphasizes the defense of persecuted Christians by Islamic fundamentalism and the widespread secularization even in the Protestant world. An alliance "against". There are also "political" reasons: preparations for the pan-Orthodox Synod and the indirect blessing of Putin. Conservative fringes of the Patriarchate are against "minimalist" meeting. First part of an analysis by a personality of the Moscow Patriarchate.
11/02/2016 - SRI LANKA
Tewatta, Catholics celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Lanka (video)by Melani Manel Perera
Today is the memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes. The Catholics of Sri Lanka share a deep reverence for the Virgin Mary, to whom they have entrusted the country, spared from the Second World War. The festival falls on February 4, but was celebrated on Sunday 7. Devotees tell AsiaNews stories of graces received from Mary.
10/02/2016 - VATICAN
For pope, “Lent should be a time of beneficial ‘pruning away’ of falsehood, worldliness, indifference”
During Ash Wednesday Mass, Francis stressed states that at this liturgical time God invites us to "be reconciled" to Him and to "return" to Him "with your whole heart." After the service, the pope commissioned the Missionaries of Mercy to “open the doors of the heart, to overcome shame,” and not to “flee from the light”.
10/02/2016 - HONG KONG – CHINA – VATICAN
Missionary of Mercy in Hong Kong, with an eye on Chinaby Bernardo Cervellera
The Holy Year of Mercy is an opportunity to rebuild relationships and ties with those who live faraway. Reconciliation with unlawful bishops will be difficult. Pope Francis would also like “to come to China." Protestants become Catholic to receive forgiveness in the sacrament of reconciliation. A divided Hong Kong needs mercy.
10/02/2016 - RUSSIA - VATICAN
Sergei Chapnin: The Russian Orthodox Church in 2016. The problem of understanding and credibility. Part Threeby Sergei Chapnin
The attentive Russian analyst points to some contradictions enveloping the Patriarchate, unable to understand the situation of the poor and of Russian society. Another problem: the traditional "collegiality" has given way to a top-down management.
10/02/2016 - VATICAN
Jubilee an occasion for solidarity, says Pope, "if the jubilee does not reach our pockets it is not a true jubilee"
"Let us pray, that during the Jubilee the Lord remove this desire to have more from all our hearts". "We should all ponder whether we have too much. But why not give something to those who have nothing? ".Condemnation of usury which leads so many “in desperation, to suicide."
09/02/2016 - VATICAN
For pope, the Missionaries of Mercy should bear witnesses of how God loves and forgives
“[W]e are called to be the living expression of the Church that, as a mother, welcomes anyone who approaches her,” said the pontiff. “Being a confessor in accordance with Christ’s heart is like covering a sinner’s heart with the blanket of mercy, so that he or she may not feel ashamed anymore and regain the joy of their filial dignity". Sadly, “One can do a lot of harm to a soul if it is not accepted as by a father, as by a mother Church."
09/02/2016 - VATICAN – CHINA
The Missionaries of Mercy and China’s unlawful bishopsby Bernardo Cervellera
The mandate of the Missionaries of Mercy also covers China, where excommunicated bishops could be readmitted. Yet, this would be difficult to do because it would require a public statement that Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association would slam as “Vatican meddling in China's internal affairs". Likewise, "sinicisation" would bring the risk of dividing the Church even more.
09/02/2016 - RUSSIA – VATICAN
Sergei Chapnin: The Russian Orthodox Church in 2016, and its economic failures (Part Two)by Sergei Chapnin
Like the rest of Russian society, the Church too is in recession, suffering from financial losses and bank closures. Problems afflict the monasteries of Trinity-St Sergius Lavra and St Daniel. Lack of financial transparency is an issue whilst parishes are reduced to poverty. A gap exists in the lifestyle of city and country priests.
09/02/2016 - VATICAN
Pope: The confessor who feels himself to be a sinner is man of forgiveness, reconciliation
"Forgiveness is a seed, God’s caress". When a person approaches the confessional: "it is because he or she feels something weighing them down and wants to be freed", they may not know how to say it, but "tell them with gesture to come closer." "There is no need to ask questions."
09/02/2016 - VATICAN
"Missionaries of Mercy" will have faculty to absolve "most grave" sins
08/02/2016 - INDIA
For Guwahati archbishop, Cebu was one of Asia’s most inspiring faith eventsby Nirmala Carvalho
Mgr Thomas Menamparampil, who addressed the International Eucharistic Congress with his catechesis titled ‘The Eucharist as mission, the mission as dialogue,’ saw joy in the faces of participants who paid attention even during the longest and most serious meetings. He stressed the importance of silent Eucharistic adoration to hear Jesus’ cry on the cross, and spoke about the meaning of work in India, “periphery of peripheries”.
08/02/2016 - RUSSIA – VATICAN
Notes on the Russian patriarch and Russian Church the pope will meetby Ieromonaco Ioann
Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, whom the pope will meet in Cuba on 12 February, is transforming his communities by offering them younger bishops and a functioning curia with the Catholic Church as his model and Nikodim’s legacy as a precedent. The bureaucratisation and self-centredness are real risks.
08/02/2016 - RUSSIA-VATICAN
Sergei Chapnin: The Russian Orthodox Church in 2016. The pan-Orthodox Synod (Part One)by Sergei Chapnin
June’s much anticipated gathering of all the Orthodox Churches is the first in 1300 years. The differences between Kirill and Bartholomew, between Moscow and Constantinople. On the eve of the meeting between Kirill and Francis, an outline of the open challenges facing the Russian Church. The first part of a study penned by Sergei Chapnin, former editor of the Moscow Patriarchate magazine.
08/02/2016 - TAIWAN
Tainan earthquake, two people pulled alive from rubble. Pope expresses sorrow
In a telegram, Francis expressed sorrow for the victims and their families and closeness to the survivors. Official death toll rises to 37 with 527 wounded. Rescuers race to free as many people as possible, the authorities will open an investigation to find out the reasons for the collapse of the building complex.
07/02/2016 - VATICAN
Pope: stop the war in Syria and "dare" an inner change to defend life
At the Angelus Francis launches appeals also to eradicate new forms of slavery and sends greetings of peace and serenity for the Chinese New Year. He asks for prayers for the meeting with "my brother Kirill." "The essentials" of Christianity is "the essence of Christianity: to spread the regenerating and gratuitous love of God, with attitude of welcome and mercy to everyone, so that everyone can meet the tenderness of God and have the fullness of life."
06/02/2016 - VATICAN
Pope: prayer works miracles, it is a key that opens God’s heart “which is never padlocked"
Greeting the Padre Pio Prayer Groups Francis says that prayer "is not a good practice for peace of heart, neither a pious way to obtain from God what we need. If it were so, it would be moved by a subtle selfishness: I pray to feel good, like taking an aspirin. No, it is not this. I pray to get this thing. That is just making a deal. Neither is it this. Prayer is something else. Prayer, is a work of spiritual mercy". " In a word, it means entrusting: entrust the Church, people, situations to the Father, so that He may care for them".
06/02/2016 - RUSSIA - VATICAN
Francis and Kirill, a Holy Alliance for the future of Christians and the worldby Vladimir Rozanskij
The meeting between the Pope and the Patriarch of Moscow Kirill has been eagerly desired for quite some time. Expected under John Paul II; hoped for with Benedict XVI, it has taken time to realize. Catholics and Orthodox face the same challenges of persecution and relativism. Orthodox nationalism, backed by Putin, causes some reticence. The Middle East crisis and risk of Russia’s isolation fosters collaboration.
06/02/2016 - RUSSIA - VATICAN
Moscow and Rome: A history of clashes and dialogueby Ieromonaco Ioann
Good relations until the fifteenth century. The Council of Florence, the Union of Brest and the birth of the Catholic Churches of the Eastern rite. The anti-Christian persecution of the Soviet Union and the conflict between Catholics and Orthodox in Ukraine. The Catholic mission in Russia.
05/02/2016 - RUSSIA – VATICAN
For Russian Patriarchate, the “genocide of the Christian population” made the Kirill-Francis meeting urgent
Metropolitan Hilarion told a press conference that despite unresolved issues such like the expansion of the Greek Catholic Patriarchate in Ukraine, the Moscow Patriarchate hopes that the meeting "will open a new page in the relations between the two Churches”.
05/02/2016 - VATICAN - RUSSIA
Francis to meet Kirill in first meeting in history between a pope and a patriarch of Moscow
Their meeting will take place in Cuba, where Francis will stop before he travels to Mexico. The two are expected to sign a joint statement after a two-hour private talk.
05/02/2016 - CHINA - VATICAN
Pope’s interview on China: enthusiasm and skepticism among Chinese Catholics. Some priests face police pressureby Maria Chen
State newspapers and radio report on Pope Francis’ interview with Asia Times. There are those who dream of an impending papal visit to China. Underground priests subjected to interrogation. Appreciation for "the olive branch" extended by the Pope and for his pointing out the value of Chinese culture. But skepticism surrounds Beijing leadership’s response. The dialogue between China and the Vatican cannot bring results, because there are different interests at play, both political and religious. Diplomatic relations cannot come at the cost of the freedom of the Church and the sacrifices of its martyrs. The Chinese Church is growing.
05/02/2016 - VATICAN
Pope: "God’s style is not man's", God wins with humility
Commenting on the death of John the Baptist, Francis invites us to "ask the Lord for the grace of humility that John had without bestowing us with the merits or glories of others. And above all, the grace that there is always space in our lives for Jesus to grow and that we abase ourselves, to the very end. "
04/02/2016 - CHINA – VATICAN
Global Times: the pope should accept the independence of the Chinese Church
After 24 hours of silence, China’s media today published excerpts, comments and editorials about Pope Francis’ interview with Asia Times. Although the pope did not address religious issues or Church problems, many saw the interview as an attempt to improve diplomatic relations between China and the Vatican, and advised Francis to accept Mao Zedong’s "three principles of independence" (theology, administration, jurisdiction), which would leave the power to appoint bishops in the hands of the Party. The People's Daily’s Global Times publishes an editorial on the issue.
04/02/2016 - VATICAN
Pope: the best inheritance we can leave is faith in God who "never disappoints"
Thinking of our "final passage" which is "a light which illuminates life", "is a reality that we must always have before us". We must ask God to not fear death.
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