Msgr. Pope's Parishioners Greet Pope Francis at Andrews

09/23/2015 Comment

Troy Hill, Shirley Austin and children from Holy Comforter - St. Cyprian Catholic Church in Washington ready to greet Pope Francis on his first steps onto United States soil. (Photos courtesy of Shirley Austin)

“There was a lot of jubilation!’ Troy Hill told me as we talked about the reactions of people welcoming Francis as he arrived at Andrews Air Force Base for his Washington visit.

Young adult Hill and chaperone Shirley Austin were with the children from Holy Comforter - Saint Cyprian Catholic Church in Washington where Msgr. Charles Pope is the pastor and Hill was baptized. They had a ringside seat right near where Pope Francis was greeted by President and First Lady Obama.

“It was a surreal feeling,” Hill said still jubilant the morning after. “Not a lot of people can say they were that close to the leader of the Catholic Church and someone who we look up to in the Catholic faith. I could...READ MORE

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Between Pope and President, a Disconnect on Religious Freedom

09/23/2015 Comments (4)

Pope Francis, in his first message on U.S. soil, introduced several subjects during his speech at the White House welcome ceremony:

  • Immigration reform,
  • "Support [for the] institutions of marriage and the family at a critical moment in the history of our civilization," 
  • "Fidelity to the nation's founding principles," including the defense of religious liberty "from everything that would threaten or compromise it."
  • "Climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation." 

We can depend on the media to keep immigration reform and climate change front and center. Indeed, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal both posted headlines that narrowed the...READ MORE

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Seen in Philly: The Lego Vatican

09/23/2015 Comment

"The Art of the Brick" is seen next to a cardboard cutout of Pope Francis (Photo by Tom McDonald)

The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia has two special exhibits running while the World Meeting of Families is taking place. One is the impressive “Vatican Splendors” collection of treasures, while the other is a wonderful display of Lego art by Nathan Sawaya, called “The Art of the Brick.” Put them together in you-got-your-chocolate-in-my-peanut-butter style, and you get … the Lego Vatican!

Father Bob Simon, pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Church in Moscow, Pa., in the Diocese of Scranton, started work on a scale model of St. Peter’s Square about 10 months ago, in anticipation of the Pope’s arrival. The specifications of the finished work are impressive. It weighs 100 pounds, measures...READ MORE

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Pope’s First Words in English: Defend Religious Liberty, Marriage and Family

09/23/2015 Comments (11)

In his first address on US soil, Pope Francis accepted the welcome of President Barack Obama and charted a bold course for the remaining days of his visit.

President and First Lady Obama welcomed Pope Francis during a ceremony on the south lawn of the White House that opened with great fanfare, featuring both the pontifical and the US anthems, a fife and drum parade, and a performance by a DC-based Gospel choir.

After President Obama’s words of welcome, which highlighted religious liberty and global warming issues, Pope Francis took to the podium, adorned with the presidential seal, and spoke his first words of this trip in English.

Within moments, it was clear: The pope’s summer of...READ MORE

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VIDEO: White House Welcome Ceremony for Pope Francis

09/23/2015 Comments (3)

** Watch the Pope's apostolic voyage to the United States LIVE with English commentary on EWTN **

Pope Francis’ Address at Welcome Ceremony

The White House South Lawn, Washington

Wednesday September 23, 2015


Mr. President,

I am deeply grateful for your welcome in the name of all Americans.  As the son of an immigrant family, I am happy to be a guest in this country, which was largely built by such families.  I look forward to these days of encounter and dialogue, in which I hope to listen to, and share, many of the hopes and dreams of the American people.

During my visit I will have the honor of addressing Congress, where I hope, as a brother of this country, to offer words of...READ MORE

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Pope Francis: Here to Preach the Gospel, Not Push Politics

09/22/2015 Comments (21)

Alan Holdren/Catholic News Agency

Earlier today, I wrote about how Pope Francis’ social teaching has routinely been mischaracterized by the media, and how we should prepare ourselves for more of the same during his six-day papal visit.

The Holy Father himself addressed this during his flight from Cuba to America. In response to a reporter’s question that referenced bizarre accusations originating in America that Francis is a Communist, the Pope said explanations of his social views that give the impression of him “being a little to the left” are in error.

“My doctrine…is the social doctrine of the Church,” Pope Francis said.  “Nothing more, nothing less.”

This message was emphasized at a press briefing that took place in...READ MORE

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Pelosi, Biden Say They're Pro-Abortion and Pro-Church

09/22/2015 Comments (22)

“I actually agree with the pope on more issues than many Catholics who agree with him on one issue,” Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-CA,  told The New York Times during an interview timed for Pope Francis's Sept. 24 address before Congress.

That "one issue" is legal abortion, which has eliminated the lives of an estimated 57 million unborn children since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Roe v. Wade.

Pelosi does not explain how she conducted her survey of Catholic opinion, nor did the Times' reporter request a spreadsheet or stats backing her peculiar assertion. But it is worth noting here that Pelosi departs from Catholic teaching on other matters. For example, she endorses ...READ MORE

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Bishop Robert Barron: Catholics Are Priests, Prophets and Kings

‘The image of God is a mission,’ the LA auxiliary bishop told World Meeting of Families audience.

09/22/2015 Comments (4)

Newly ordained Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron of Los Angeles gave the first keynote talk of the World Meeting of Families Congress today, before a capacity audience at the Philadelphia Convention Center, emphasizing the faithful’s role in proclaiming the truth of God in the world.

Below are some highlights of the address:

Our deepest task is to lead all of creation in the great chorus of praise. Through our human voices, the whole cosmos finds its voice, giving praise to God.

When we speak the moral law, when we speak the truths about the body, the truths about the family, the truths about complementarity, we’re not seeing it as imposing some alien limitation on freedom; rather, we’re...READ MORE

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