Pope Francis: Volunteers Represent Hand of Christ Reaching Out to All

09/03/2016 Comments (1)
Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Pope Francis arriving at the jubilee audience for volunteers, St. Peter's Square, Sept. 3, 2016.

– Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Voluntary workers are "among the most precious things the Church has" who express the "most noble desires of the human heart, making a suffering person feel loved," Pope Francis said today at an audience in St. Peter's Square to mark the Jubilee of Volunteer Workers.

"Your presence is the hand of Christ held out to all, and reaching all," the Pope said at Saturday's audience, the latest event in the Holy Year of Mercy. 

During his catechesis, the Pope stressed how the Church is called to be close to those in need and encouraged volunteers in their solidarity towards others, especially in a world tempted by indifference. 

The Holy Father concluded by citing the example of mercy shown by...READ MORE

Filed under jubilee of mercy, mother teresa of calcutta, pope francis, volunteers

Mother Teresa's Message: Calcutta Is Everywhere

Blessed Teresa's successor, the postulator for her cause, and a Brazilian man miraculously healed on account of Mother Teresa's intercession give briefing to journalists ahead of Sunday's canonization.

09/02/2016 Comments (1)
Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Sister Mary Prema Pierick, superior general of the Missionaries of Charity, Marcilio Haddad Andrino, a Brazilian miraculously healed of multiple brain abscesses due to Mother Teresa's intercession, and his wife Fernanda, at the Vatican, Sept. 2, 2016.

– Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Mother Teresa’s successor has said the overall vision of the soon-to-be-canonized founder of the Missionaries of Charity was that everyone is “infinitely loved by God and all are created to love and be loved”, but unless one finds that “deep energy and essential existence in our own heart, we will not be at peace.”

At a briefing with reporters at the Vatican this afternoon, Sister Mary Prema Pierick said so much of Blessed Teresa was simple: her poverty was just about “sharing what the sisters have” and “not wanting anything special or extra,” she said.

Likewise her work for the poorest of the poor was “very understandable”. The current superior general of the Missionaries of Charity said...READ MORE

Filed under canonization, father brian kolodiejchuk, mother teresa, sister mary prema pierick, vatican

Pope Francis Creates New Dicastery for 'Promoting Integral Human Development'

08/31/2016 Comments (13)
Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Pope Francis greeting pilgrims during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square, Aug. 31, 2016.

– Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Pope Francis has established a new “super-dicastery” for “Promoting Integral Human Development”, headed by Cardinal Peter Turkson, the Vatican announced today.

In a communiqué, the Holy See Press Office said Francis has issued a motu proprio (papal decree) establishing the new dicastery which will incorporate the Pontifical Councils of Justice and Peace, “Cor Unum”, Health Care Workers, and Migrants and Itinerant Peoples.

It will begin its work from 1 January 2017, after which the four dicasteries it replaces will cease their duties as separate bodies.

In today's announcement, the Vatican said a section of the new dicastery expresses in a “special way the Pope’s concerns for refugees and...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal peter turkson, justice and peace, migrants, migration, pope francis, refugees, roman curia

Pope Francis Receives Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg

08/29/2016 Comments (20)
L'Osservatore Romano/CNA

Zuckerberg and Chan presenting a gift to the Pope, accompanied by Vatican spokesman, Greg Burke.

– L'Osservatore Romano/CNA

In the latest in a series of meetings with tech industry heavyweights this year, Pope Francis today received in private audience Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook. 

In a statement, Holy See Press Office director Greg Burke said the Pope this morning met Zuckerberg along with his wife, Prescilla Chan.

Together they spoke about how to use communications technology to alleviate poverty, encourage a culture of encounter, and to communicate a message of hope, especially to the most disadvantaged,” the statement read.

Although praised for bringing many people together and reconnecting friends, over the years Facebook has come under criticism for allowing blasphemous anti-Catholic...READ MORE

Filed under facebook, mark zuckerberg, pope francis, social media

In New Interview Benedict XVI Shares Motives for Resignation

08/25/2016 Comments (36)

Benedict XVI speaking on the 65th anniversary of his priestly ordination, June 28, 2016.

– YouTube

In a new interview, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has said he was prompted to resign because there were many commitments he was “no longer able to accomplish” as Pope, and that he was unable to take any more long-haul flights.

Speaking to theologian Elio Guerriero in an interview published in the Italian daily La Repubblica Aug. 24, Benedict XVI said after travelling to Mexico and Cuba in 2012, he “did not feel able to make such an intense trip as the World Youth Day of 2013 in Rio de Janeiro”.

St. John Paul II, he added, had established the World Youth Day program such that “the physical presence of the Pope was essential.”

Guerriero did not hold back from asking some searching questions...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, papacy, resignation, world youth day

Norcia Close to Epicenter of Devastating Earthquake in Central Italy

08/24/2016 Comments (3)

Rescue efforts taking place in Amatrice. The town's mayor has said half the town "isn't there anymore."

– RT/YouTube

Like many in Rome, I was awoken at around 3.30 this morning as the top floor apartment I was staying in gently swayed from an earthquake tremor for about 30 seconds, setting off car alarms. A slightly gentler aftershock followed about half an hour later.

It was ominously similar to the earthquake that struck L’Aquila in 2009 which resulted in 309 people losing their lives and which we also felt in the Eternal City.

As then, I suspected that Rome would escape largely unscathed, but places close to the epicenter would not be so fortunate. Little did I know that the quake struck very close to Norcia, the birthplace of St. Benedict. I had only left the town the day before.

So far, the...READ MORE

Filed under benedictines, earthquake, italy, norcia, pope francis

Pope Francis: The Narrow Door to Salvation Limits Our Pride

08/23/2016 Comments (10)

In his Angelus address on Sunday, the Holy Father focused on a crucial issue surprisingly not given much attention in the Church today: salvation.  

Jesus' words on salvation — to "strive to enter through the narrow door" — were not "oppressive", the Pope said, but rather ask us to "restrict and limit our pride and our fear, to open ourselves with humble and trusting heart to Him, recognizing ourselves as sinners, in need of his forgiveness." 

He added that the Lord offers us "many opportunities to save ourselves and to enter through the door of salvation” and this door is an "opportunity that must not be wasted." 

The Pope ended by urging the faithful to call on the Virgin Mary so that...READ MORE

Filed under angelus, pope francis, salvation

Pope Francis in Assisi: The World Needs Forgiveness

Full text of Pope Francis' meditation at the basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Assisi.

08/04/2016 Comments (9)

"The path of forgiveness can truly renew the Church and the world," Pope Francis told the faithful during a visit to Assisi, Italy, today. 

"The world needs forgiveness," he said. "Too many people are caught up in resentment and harbour hatred, because they are incapable of forgiving. They ruin their own lives and the lives of those around them rather than finding the joy of serenity and peace."

The Pope then asked "Saint Francis to intercede for us, so that we may always be humble signs of forgiveness and channels of mercy."

The Pope was speaking this afternoon in the basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Assisi, on the occasion of the eighth centenary of the Pardon of Assisi. Soon...READ MORE

Filed under assisi, pope francis, st. francis of assisi, year of mercy

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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