Confirmed: Pope Francis to Address Joint Session of Congress

02/05/2015 Comments (11)

The Vatican has confirmed Pope Francis will address a joint session of Congress in Washington D.C. during his apostolic visit to the United States in the Fall.

Confirmation of the address, which will take place Sept. 24, was also announced this morning by the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, John Boehner, R-Ohio.

Pope Francis will become the “first leader of the Holy See to address a joint meeting of Congress,” Boehner said in a statement, adding that he was “truly grateful that Pope Francis has accepted our invitation.”

"In a time of global upheaval, the Holy Father’s message of compassion and human dignity has moved people of all faiths and backgrounds," he said....READ MORE

Filed under congress, john boehner, papal visits, politics, pope francis, united states, washington

Archbishop Romero and Three Missionaries Declared Martyrs

02/03/2015 Comments (5)
Christopher Dickey

Archbishop Óscar Romero pictured just a few weeks before his death.

– Christopher Dickey

After years of speculation and delays over concerns his elevation to the altars may be politicized, the Vatican announced today that Archbishop Óscar Romero of San Salvador will be beatified.

Following a private audience this morning with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Vatican said Pope Francis authorized the Congregation to promulgate a decree declaring that Archbishop Romero was “killed in hatred of the faith” on March 24, 1980.

The Vatican also announced today that three European missionaries killed by a Peruvian armed militia while serving the poor will also be beatified.

Born August 15, 1917, Archbishop Óscar Arnulfo Romero y...READ MORE

Filed under beatification, el salvador, franciscans, martyrdom, oscar romero, peru, poor, pope francis

Overcome Globalization of Indifference, Pope Says in 2015 Lenten Message

01/27/2015 Comments (3)

In his Lenten Message for 2015, Pope Francis has issued an eloquent rallying cry to the faithful to overcome a globalization of indifference by having "firm and merciful" hearts.

Indifference to our neighbor and to God “represents a real temptation for us Christians,” the Holy Father writes in the message published today, and argues that Lent is a “favourable time for letting Christ serve us so that we in turn may become more like him.”

He stresses this happens “whenever we hear the word of God and receive the sacraments, especially the Eucharist.” In the body of Christ, he says, “there is no room for the indifference which so often seems to possess our hearts.”

The Holy Father then...READ MORE

Filed under 24 hours for the lord, globalization, indifference, lenten message, poor, pope francis, poverty

Pro-Life Groups Accuse Synod Organizer of Sowing Confusion

01/26/2015 Comments (15)
PCF

Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, second from left, at last week's Vatican conference on the synod.

– PCF

Pro-life groups attending an international conference at the Vatican last week have accused the chief organizer of the upcoming Synod on the Family of sowing confusion over the Church's teaching on the indissolubility of marriage.

Voice of the Family, an international coalition of pro-family groups, said in a Jan. 25th statement that Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, who addressed the conference hosted by the Pontifical Council for the Family, was "undermining" doctrine by defending the right of theologians to contradict the Church’s teaching in this area.   

The 74 year-old former Holy See diplomat reportedly told delegates the Church should not be “shocked” by theologians contradicting...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal baldisseri, cardinal kasper, synod on the family, voice of the family

Pope Francis: Family Mustn't Be Used for Ideological Battles

01/23/2015 Comments (3)

The family is not a subject of debate or a terrain for ideological skirmishes, but rather an environment in which we learn to communicate, Pope Francis has said in his message for World Day of Communications published Friday.

In the 49th message for the Day, which will be celebrated on March 17, the Pope stressed that it is in the context of the family that we first learn to communicate. It enables us to pray, to embrace and support one another, and reach beyond itself to help others to help build up the Church – the “family of families.”

The Pope, who chose the message's theme of the family in view of the continuing Synod on the Family process, said it is also a place where we “daily...READ MORE

Filed under communications, family, pope francis, synod on the family, tradition

Archbishop Gänswein: Francis and Benedict Don't Differ on Divorce-Remarriage Issue

01/22/2015 Comments (3)

Archbishop Georg Gänswein has given an interesting interview to the German newspaper Die Zeit, during which he fields some very direct and pertinent questions about serving under Pope Francis.

In particular, he says there is no difference between Francis and Benedict over allowing communion for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics.

The prefect of the Pontifical Household, who also continues to serve as Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s private secretary, is in a privileged position and so able to shed some light on the inner workings of Francis' pontificate – although he insists he is unaware who the Holy Father’s closest advisers are.

In the interview, which was translated from the...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, divorce and remarriage, georg gänswein, pope francis, synod

Pope Francis' Homily at Open-Air Mass in Manila

01/18/2015 Comments (6)

In his homily at Mass in Manila today, attended by an estimated six million faithful, Pope Francis called for the protection of the family and young people in the face of the devil's lies and "insidious attacks" on the family. 

"The devil is the father of lies," the Holy Father said. "Often he hides his snares behind the appearance of sophistication, the allure of being “modern”, “like everyone else”. He distracts us with the promise of ephemeral pleasures, superficial pastimes. And so we squander our God-given gifts by tinkering with gadgets; we squander our money on gambling and drink; we turn in on ourselves. We forget to remain focused on the things that really matter. We forget to...READ MORE

Filed under family, philippines, pope francis, young people

Pope Francis' Address to Young People in Manila

01/18/2015 Comments (2)

In an address at the University of St. Thomas in Manila today, Pope Francis urged young people to maintain their integrity, show concern for the environment, and to care for the poor.

"It is essential not to lose your integrity, not to compromise your ideals!," the Pope said. "Not to give in to temptations against goodness, holiness, courage and purity!  Rise to the challenge!  With Christ, you will be – indeed you already are! – the architects of a renewed and more just Filipino culture."

He then asked that they show concern for the environment "not only because this country, more than many others, is likely to be seriously affected by climate change" but because care for creation is...READ MORE

Filed under climate change, environment, integrity, philippines, poor, pope francis, youth

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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