Pope Francis Mentions Genocide in Context of Armenia's Tragedy

06/24/2016 Comments (1)

Pope Francis has set aside diplomatic sensitivities with Turkey by unexpectedly referring to the word “genocide” in a speech in the Armenian capital Yerevan this afternoon.

Addressing Armenian President Serzh Sargsián, Catholicos Karekin II, and civic dignitaries, Pope Francis departed from his prepared text to say the word while referring to the visit Karekin made to the Vatican last year.

In April 2015, Armenian Church leaders and the Holy Father commemorated in St. Peter’s basilica the centenary since the massacre of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians.

Turkey has condemned the use of the word genocide as it believes the number killed to be an exaggerated figure, and it claims they...READ MORE

Filed under armenia, genocide, pope francis

Pope Francis Gives Thanks for 'Light of Faith' in Armenia

06/24/2016 Comment

CTV

In a world marked by division, poverty and conflict, ecumenism offers a “convincing witness” to Christ’s love, mercy and reconciliation, Pope Francis said in his first discourse on arrival in Armenia.

Speaking at a joint prayer service in the Apostolic Cathedral in Etchmiadzin together with Karekin II, the Orthodox supreme Patriarch-Catholicos of All the Armenians, and a select group of around 100 other dignitaries, the Holy Father said the world “expects from a Christians a witness of mutual esteem and fraternal cooperation capable of revealing to every conscience the power and truth of Christ’s resurrection.”

For this reason, he said, the “patient and enduring commitment to full unity”...READ MORE

Filed under apostolic voyage, armenia, ecumenism, pope francis

Pope Francis: Brexit Showed 'Will of the People'

06/24/2016 Comments (3)
Edward Pentin

Pope Francis speaking to reporters on the papal plane this afternoon on his way to Armenia for a three day visit.

– Edward Pentin

Pope Francis has said the result of the U.K.’s referendum to leave the European Union reflects the “will of the people” and that there is now a “great responsibility” to ensure the well being of people in the U.K. and peaceful coexistence on continental Europe.

Addressing reporters on the papal plane to Armenia in a sombre mood, the Holy Father said he had only read basic information in Il Messaggero newspaper about the result of the vote just before leaving Rome, but said he felt it was “the will of the people”.

“It demands great responsibility on our part,” he said, “to ensure the well being of the people in the United Kingdom, and the coexistence of the people on the European...READ MORE

Filed under apostolic voyage, armenia, brexit, colombia, politics, pope francis

Britain Chooses to Brexit

06/24/2016 Comments (4)
YouTube

– YouTube

Britain has voted to exit the European Union, leaving behind a project with Catholic origins but which many believe has lost its way and departed from its founders' original vision.

The EU was born out of the desire to bring peace and stability to the continent after two catastrophic world wars but became increasingly criticized, above all in Britain, for becoming a bureaucratic, undemocratic monolith. Among the many other criticisms, Catholics have resented the way it has increasingly promoted and imposed secular values on member states, although in the weeks leading up to the poll they appeared to be as divided as the rest of the country on how to vote. 

But what has happened in today’s...READ MORE

Filed under britain, eu referendum, politics

Papal Video Messages: An Increasingly Common Means of Communication

Pope Francis releases two video messages this week: on his imminent visit to Armenia and on abolishing the death penalty.

06/23/2016 Comments (2)

Video messages by popes — that is the Pope delivering a message of importance directly to camera — were unheard of until Benedict XVI’s pontificate but now have become a staple means of communication for the Holy Father, especially ahead of papal trips

Yesterday, Pope Francis gave a video message to Armenia on the eve of his visit there this weekend. He said he was visiting as a “messenger of peace”, to strengthen communion, to advance reconciliation, and “to allow ourselves together to be animated by hope.”

He also urged the Armenian people not to “allow the painful memories to take possession of our hearts; even in the face of the repeated assaults of evil, let us not give ourselves...READ MORE

Filed under armenia, communciations, death penalty, pope francis, video messages

Pope Francis: Benedict XVI's Life of Prayer is 'Theology on One's Knees'

Holy Father pens preface to new book of Benedict XVI's collected writings on the priesthood to mark Pope Emeritus' 65th anniversary since his priestly ordination.

06/22/2016 Comments (1)
L'Osservatore Romano

Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI outside of the Holy Doors at St. Peter's Basilica to begin the Jubilee Year of Mercy on December 8, 2015, the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

– L'Osservatore Romano

Benedict XVI’s life of prayer since his resignation is the greatest testimony to doing "theology on one’s knees", Pope Francis has written in the preface to a new book on the Pope Emeritus.

In the preface of the book that comprises texts written by Benedict XVI on the priesthood to mark the 65th anniversary of Joseph Ratzinger’s ordination June 28th, the Pope begins by writing that “every time I have read the works of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, it becomes increasingly clear that he has done and is doing ‘theology on his knees’.

“On his knees because, even before being a great theologian and teacher of the faith, we see a man who truly believes, who truly prays, you see he is a man who...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, pope emeritus, pope francis, priesthood

Ecumenism and Peace to Be Focus of Pope Francis’ Visit to Armenia

Vatican spokesman warns against media "obsession" over whether the Holy Father will refer to the term “genocide” in relation to 20th century massacre of Armenians.

06/22/2016 Comment
Wikipedia

Khor Virap with Mount Ararat in background. Pope Francis will be visiting the monastery on the last day of his three-day visit to Armenia which begins this Friday.

– Wikipedia

Pope Francis visits the world’s first Christian nation on Friday when he lands in the Armenian capital Yerevan for a three day apostolic voyage aimed at showing his closeness to the Armenian people and sharing their wish for peace after a history of conflict and suffering.

At a press briefing Tuesday, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi also said ecumenism will be a key focus of the papal trip which returns a visit to the Vatican last year by Catholicos, Karekin II, Patriarch of All Armenia.

According to Vatican sources, the Pope is expected to emphasize the importance of baptism and that Christian unity is already realized through the act of “walking together”. He is also expected...READ MORE

Filed under apostolic voyage, armenia, caucasus, genocide, papal trips, pope francis, turkey

Are Persecuted Middle East Christians Martyrs Rather Than Victims of Genocide?

06/20/2016 Comments (13)

Pope Francis said on Saturday that he did not like to use the word genocide when referring to persecuted Christians in the Middle East, preferring instead to use the term “martyrdom”.

Some were perplexed by his comment as the Pope was the first to use the word in referrence to the atrocities in the Middle East last year, and believe it may have been an attempt to reclaim the word “martyr” from Islamists.

Speaking at Villa Nazareth, an apostolate in Rome that offers educational opportunities for young persons in need, the Pope made the point that every Christian is called to bear witness, also in difficult situations.

For this reason, he said “I do not like it — and I want to say this...READ MORE

Filed under genocide, iraq, martyrdom, middle east, pope francis

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About Edward Pentin

Edward Pentin
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Edward Pentin began reporting on the Pope and the Vatican with Vatican Radio before moving on to become the Rome correspondent for the National Catholic Register. He has also reported on the Holy See and the Catholic Church for a number of other publications including Newsweek, Newsmax, Zenit, The Catholic Herald, and The Holy Land Review, a Franciscan publication specializing in the Church and the Middle East. Edward is the author of "The Rigging of a Vatican Synod? An Investigation into Alleged Manipulation at the Extraordinary Synod on the Family", published by Ignatius Press. Follow him on Twitter @edwardpentin