Spokesman: WYD One of the 'Most Important' Events in Polish History

07/31/2016 Comments (4)
Edward Pentin/NCRegister.com

Father Paweł Rytel-Andrianik, spokesman for the Polish bishops' conference.

– Edward Pentin/NCRegister.com

The 31st World Youth Day in Krakow has been one of the “most important” events in Poland’s history, and for its future, the spokesman for the Polish bishops’ conference has said.

In an interview with Register shortly before yesterday evening’s Prayer Vigil, Father Paweł Rytel-Andrianik said the fact that it coincided with the 1050th of Poland’s baptism and the Jubilee of Mercy made it a very special occasion.

He also spoke about how the bishops have viewed the event, and responded to some criticisms that World Youth Days can lack sufficient reverence.

The Pope will close World Youth Day later today at the end of his five day visit to Poland. The event has attracted hundreds of thousands...READ MORE

Filed under poland, polish bishops, pope francis, world youth day

Pope Francis at Final WYD Mass: Aim High, Be Courageous, Take Risks to Encounter Jesus

07/31/2016 Comments (2)
© Mazur/episkopat.pl

Holy Communion during the final Mass for World Youth Day in the Campus Misericordiae field near Krakow, July 31, 2016. The archway on the Holy Door of Mercy reads in various languages: "Jesus, I Trust in You". Pope Francis and five young people representing different continents processed through the door of ‪mercy‬ during Saturday night's prayer vigil.

– © Mazur/episkopat.pl

In order to meet Jesus, aim high, overcome a paralysis of shame, and be courageous in ignoring the critics of the Gospel, Pope Francis has told young pilgrims said at the final Mass of World Youth Day in Krakow. 

In a reflection peppered with some social media references, the Holy Father reflected on the Gospel reading of Zacchaeus the tax collector whose life changed after his encounter with Jesus. But before that could happen, he had to overcome a number of obstacles.

The first of these was his smallness of stature: we, too, can risk not getting close to Jesus because we don’t feel big enough, Francis said. But this is a “great temptation” that not only has to do with “self-esteem, but...READ MORE

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Pope Francis to Youth: Leave the Sofa and Make Your Mark on History

Full text of Pope Francis' address at the World Youth Day Prayer Vigil in Krakow.

07/30/2016 Comment
© Mazur/episkopat.pl

Pope Francis addressing a large crowd of pilgrims at the prayer vigil in Campus Misericordiae, Krakow, July 30, 2016. The organizers said an estimated 1.6 million pilgrims attended the vigil.

– © Mazur/episkopat.pl

At last night's World Youth Day prayer vigil, at the purposefully named Campus Misericordiae field in Krakow, Pope Francis urged young people to leave the comforts of what he called "sofa happiness" and, with Jesus help, put on "walking shoes" to make a mark on history.

"You might say to me: Father, but I have my limits, I am a sinner, what can I do?," the Pope said. "When the Lord calls us, he doesn’t worry about what we are, what we have been, or what we have done or not done. Quite the opposite. When he calls us, he is thinking about everything we have to give, all the love we are capable of spreading. His bets are on the future, on tomorrow. Jesus is pointing you to the future, and...READ MORE

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Pope Francis: The Way of the Cross Opens Door to New and Fuller Life

Full texts of papal discourses on Friday afternoon.

07/29/2016 Comments (1)
© Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk

WYD pilgrims carry a large wooden cross during the Way of the Cross with young people at Jordan Park in Kraków's Błonia, July 29, 2016.

– © Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk

In Krakow this evening during a Via Crucis with young people, Pope Francis gave a catechesis on the Way of the Cross, stressing that it is not an exercise in sadomasochism. "The Way of the Cross alone defeats sin, evil and death, for it leads to the radiant light of Christ’s resurrection and opens the horizons of a new and fuller life," he said.

Earlier in the afternoon, the Pope visited the "Children's University Hospital" in Prokocim, Kraków. 

Here below are the full texts of both his discourses:



Jordan Park in Błonia, KrakówI was hungry and you gave me food, 

I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, 
I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 

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Pope Francis to Young People: Pursue an 'Adventure of Mercy'

Urges large crowd of youth in Krakow to oppose those who say things "can never change", warns against "young pensioners".

07/28/2016 Comment
Edward Pentin/NCRegister.com

Pilgrims gather for WYD's Welcome Ceremony for Pope Francis, July 28, 2016.

– Edward Pentin/NCRegister.com

In his address at tonight’s welcoming ceremony for World Youth Day, Pope Francis urged young people to oppose those who say things can never change, and encouraged them instead to pursue an "adventure of mercy."

Recalling his time as bishop during the ceremony in Krakow’s Blonia Park, the Pope said one thing he learned was that “nothing is more beautiful” than seeing young people’s enthusiasm.

“It is exciting to listen to you share your dreams, your questions and your desire to oppose all those who say that things cannot change,” the Pope said.

Speaking off the cuff, he said he describes such people who say nothing can be altered as “quietists” [generally a political term meaning those...READ MORE

Filed under krakow, poland, pope francis, welcome ceremony, world youth day

Full Text of Pope Francis' Homily at the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa

07/28/2016 Comment

Pope Francis celebrating Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Poland, July 28, 2016.


Those who embrace their own littleness become the “spokespersons” of God, Pope Francis said during Mass at the shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, celebrating the 1050th anniversary of Poland becoming a Christian nation. 

The Holy Father also spoke about how God saves us by making himself not only little, but also "near and real" — all attributes found in the life of Mary, the Mother of God. 

Here below is the full text of the Pope's homily at the shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa today:

From the readings of this Liturgy a divine thread emerges, one that passes through human history and weaves the history of salvation.

The apostle Paul tells us of God’s great plan: “When the fullness of...READ MORE

Filed under our lady of czestochowa, poland, pope francis, world youth day

Head of Polish Bishops: Pope Francis Listened to Us

07/27/2016 Comments (9)
Edward Pentin/NCRegister.com

Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki and Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi speak to reporters in Krakow, July 27, 2016.

– Edward Pentin/NCRegister.com

Despite some reports expecting Pope Francis to criticize Polish bishops on their approach to immigration and other issues at tonight’s meeting in Krakow, the atmosphere was “very warm” and the Pope listened to their concerns, the president of the Polish bishops’ conference has said.

One of those concerns relates to ambiguous passages in his post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia and the need for their clarification — a matter that the bishops raised with the Pope, according to sources.

Speaking to reporters at the end of the Pope’s first day in Poland, Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki said the issue of migrants and refugees was one of four raised in the closed-door question and...READ MORE

Filed under amoris laetitia, migrants, migration, poland, pope francis, refugees

In First Address in Poland, Pope Urges 'Spirit of Readiness' to Welcome Refugees

07/27/2016 Comments (2)
Paulina Krzyżak/WYD2016

Pope Francis waving to crowds on arrival in Krakow, July 27, 2016.

– Paulina Krzyżak/WYD2016

Pope Francis has called on Polish authorities to exercise "great wisdom and compassion" in dealing with migrants and refugees, and to have a "spirit of readiness" in welcoming those fleeing wars and hunger. 

He also called for international efforts to be made to resolve conflicts and wars that force many people to migrate. 

In the first speech of his five day visit to Poland, the Pope urged civic leaders and members of the diplomatic corps in Krakow this afternoon to “hope and trust” in God, adding that progress is achieved when there is “courage of truth and constant ethical commitment” so that decisions and relationships will always respect human dignity. 

He said this is true in all...READ MORE

Filed under immigration, migration, poland, politics, pope francis, terrorism, world youth day

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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