03/26/2015VATICAN Pope: people can be "doctors of the law" without faith, without hope, without joy During Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, Francis Pope stressed that faith is joy and hope in Christ. Rules and casuistry are "an abstract world" without joy, faith, love, nor God. Vatican City (AsiaNews) – One can "be a believer without joy and there is no joy when there is no faith, when there is no hope, when there is no law, but only rules and cold doctrine." By contrast, "the joy of faith, the joy of the Gospel is the touchstone of a...
03/25/2015ITALY We all need God's mercy by Piero Gheddo Francis’ call for a Holy Year dedicated to mercy shows that this issue is at the core of his pontificate. What he says and does should be interpreted in socio-political terms but as part of an effort to "re-evangelise" Europe, a key part of a more fruitful mission.
03/25/2015VATICAN Pope: we must all pray for the Synod on the family, "the womb of human life." "The bond between the Church and the family is sacred and inviolable. The Church, as a mother, never abandons the family, even when it is disheartened, wounded, and mortified in so many ways. Not even when it falls into sin or grows distant". Twenty years since Evangelium Vitae. "When you do not earn a wage you lose your dignity! This is the drama of our time. "
03/25/2015LEBANON – FRANCE The feast of the Annunciation for Islamic-Christian friendship in Beirut and in France Today’s solemnity became a national holiday in 2010 to boost Christian-Muslim friendship through devotion to Mary. An interfaith ceremony is held at Notre Dame de Jamhour in the presence of the Card Philippe Barbarin and the rector of the Mosque of Lyon, Kamel Kabtane. The goal is to “go beyond the clash of civilisations and indifference towards the brotherhood of hearts."
03/24/2015VATICAN Pope: "May Holy Week will help us leave behind the temptation to be ‘Yes, but Christians...'" "Do not accept the gift of God on your own terms: That is a sin, that is a poison. It poisons the soul, takes away our joy, never lets go of you". "This lukewarm soul, this being halfway Christians, ‘Yes, but Christians...'. This enthusiasm at the outset on the journey with the Lord and then becoming disgruntled, only heals gazing at the Cross, gazing at God who takes on our sins: my sin is there".
03/23/2015VATICAN Pope: Where there is no mercy, there is no justice, not even in the Church "When the people of God come voluntarily to ask forgiveness, to be judged" they often find vicious people "capable of trying to exploit them," they find "dealmakers" who "do not give oxygen to that soul, do not give hope" or they find "the rigid who punish in the penitent they themselves hide in their own soul".
03/19/2015VATICAN After two years, the pope is appreciated even from a distance Francis began his pontificate on the feast day of Saint John in 2013. An inspiration for world leaders like Obama, he is also appreciated by the Church's critics who love more his ways than his words, treated as slogans more than ideas. He chose Francis so that the poor be the focus. As he enters the third year of his pontificate, he will face crucial moments, like the Synod on the family but especially the Jubilee of Mercy, whose impact will be felt both within and without the Church. The same is true for his reform of the Roman Curia.
03/18/2015VATICAN Pope: better a society with the "trouble" of children than "sad and gray" without children The "little ones" are in themselves "a treasure for humanity and for the Church", they understand God and "God has no difficulty in making Himself understood", they remind us that "we did make our own life, but we received it", so we are not the masters. "A society can be judged on how it treats its children, not only morally, but also if it is a free society or a slave to international interests".
03/15/2015VATICAN Pope: Christians are persecuted and the world tries to hide it During the Angelus, Francis prayed for the victims of today's church massacres in Pakistan. Before the Marian prayer, he said that God "loves us, really love us, and loves us very much! This is simplest expression that sums up the whole Gospel, faith, and theology. God loves us freely and boundlessly." The pontiff also spoke about typhoon victims in Vanuatu. "I pray for the dead, the wounded and the homeless. I thank all those who reacted immediately to bring relief and aid." The pope also made a plea on behalf of persecuted Christians. "May the persecution against Christians, which the world is trying to hide, come to an end, and may there be peace."
03/14/2015VATICAN For pope, school must be a positive reference, teachers are people first Francis met with members of the Italian Union of Teachers, Principals, Educators and Instructors. Calling them 'dear colleagues,' the pontiff underscored the importance of relations with students. Their task is to "enlighten and motivate a just idea of the school, [even though this is] sometimes overshadowed by discussions and reductive positions. The school is certainly composed of a valid and qualified education, but also of human relations, which for us are welcoming and benevolent relations, to be offered indiscriminately to all."
03/14/2015TAIWAN Chen Yinhui, a dynamic woman, goes from Buddhism to Christianity by Xin Yage Here is another profile in the series of "new Catholics" in Taiwan. Born into a Buddhist family, Chen opened her own advertising and marketing agency. Now she is at the top of her field. After meeting missionaries, and asking her first questions, she made the jump and converted. For her, the Church must "improve communication," especially "with the young generations."
03/13/2015VATICAN Pope: A Jubilee Year of Mercy, starting December 8 The special Jubilee will end November 20, 2016. " I am convinced that the whole Church will find in this Jubilee the joy needed to rediscover and make fruitful the mercy of God, with which all of us are called to give consolation to every man and woman of our time". The announcement made by Francis during a penitential liturgy celebrated in St Peter's Basilica as part of the 24 hours of prayer for the Lord.