Pope Francis on Weapons: 12 things to know and share

06/27/2015 Comments (51)

Did Pope Francis recently condemn all weapons and weapons manufacturing? Here are 12 things to know and share . . .

Recently Pope Francis made some impromptu remarks about weapons manufacturers at a meeting with young people in Turin.

These were poorly misreported in the press and have resulted in a number of questions being asked.

First we will take a look at what he said and then look at some of the questions that have been asked.

Here are 12 things to know and share . . .

 

1) Where can I read the pope’s remarks in their entirety?

The Italian original is here.

At present, there is no official English translation, but Fr. Stephanos Pedrano, O.S.B. of Prince of Peace Abbey kindly provided me with an unofficial one of the part of his remarks dealing with weapons manufacturers.

You can read it...READ MORE

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Waiting for a Medjugorje Decision: 12 things to know and share

06/25/2015 Comments (14)

We're getting near a Vatican decision on Medjugorje and there are new reports about what it will be. Here are 12 things to know and share . . .

We are now in the period of waiting before the Holy See announces a decision regarding the reported apparitions at Medjugorje.

In recent days, several developments have emerged which people have examined to see what they might reveal about that decision.

One set of stories claims to know the decision reached by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Here are 12 things to know and share . . .

 

1) What are the basic facts about Medjugorje?

Medjugorje is a town located in Bosnia and Herzegovina, part of the former Yugoslavia.

In 1981, several young people there began reported receiving apparitions of the Virgin Mary. This led to the development of a global movement around the...READ MORE

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The Logic of Baptism

06/21/2015 Comments (4)

According to Jesus, is baptism important for salvation?

There is a classic passage in the final chapter of Mark’s Gospel, where we read:

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” [Mark 16:15-16].

Christians through the ages have seen in this passage a powerful statement of the importance of baptism. Taken at face value, it indicates that baptism is instrumental in salvation.

Or does it?

Some (though by no means all) in the Protestant community argue that this passage doesn’t do that. Let’s look at a few such arguments.

 

Jesus’ Statements and Logic

The first argument is based on the logical structure...READ MORE

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Pope Francis’s Environmental Encyclical: 13 Things to Know and Share

06/18/2015 Comments (71)

Here are 13 things to know and share about Pope Francis's new encyclical on the environment

Pope Francis’s highly anticipated encyclical—Laudato Si’—is now out.

Here are 13 things to know and share . . .

 

1) What are the basic facts about this encyclical?

An encyclical is a teaching document issued by the pope. Encyclicals are among the more solemn and thus more authoritative papal documents.

This one is called Laudato Si’ (“Be praised” or “Praise be to you”)—a line from the Canticle of the Sun by St. Francis of Assisi.

It is Pope Francis’s second encyclical. His first was Lumen Fidei, which was largely drafted by his predecessor, Benedict XVI. Laudato Si’ is thus the first encyclical prepared entirely at Pope Francis’s initiative.

It is devoted to ecology and related...READ MORE

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Draft of Environmental Encyclical Leaked! 12 Things to Know and Share

06/15/2015 Comments (42)

There has been a dramatic leak of a draft of Pope Francis's new encyclical on the environment. Here are 12 things to know and share . . .

With just days to go before the release of Pope Francis’s highly anticipated encyclical on the environment, a draft copy has suddenly appeared on the Internet.

Here are 12 things to know and share . . .

 

1) What are the basic facts about this encyclical?

An encyclical is a teaching document issued by the pope. Encyclicals are among the more solemn and thus more authoritative papal documents.

This one is called Laudato Si (“Be praised”)—a line from the Canticle of the Sun by St. Francis of Assisi.

It is Pope Francis’s second encyclical. His first was Lumen Fidei, which was largely drafted by his predecessor, Benedict XVI. Laudato Si is thus the first encyclical prepared entirely at...READ MORE

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Did Pope Francis say it doesn’t matter what kind of Christian you are? 9 things to know

05/26/2015 Comments (130)

Did Pope Francis say that it doesn't matter what kind of Christian you are? Here are 9 things to know and share . . .

Recently I’ve received several queries about a video message that Pope Francis sent to an ecumenical gathering in Arizona.

A Zenit news story implied that the pope stated that Jesus doesn’t care what kind of Christian you are.

But that’s not what he said at all.

Here are 9 things to know and share . . .

 

1) What were the circumstances of the video?

An ecumenical gathering was held in Phoenix, Arizona last Saturday (May 23), and the organizers—the John 17 Movement—had invited Pope Francis to attend.

He didn’t, but he did send a video message—mostly in Spanish.

You can read the full text of the message (in English) here.

 

2) What did Zenit say about the message?

The Catholic news...READ MORE

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Shock Treatment or Selfishness?

04/26/2015 Comments (27)

Sometimes when we're going to "teach someone a lesson," we're really being selfish.

Recently I heard a priest describe something that happened to him in the early days of his priesthood.

From his age, I’m guessing this would have been the mid-1970s.

He said that, for the first twenty-five years of his priesthood, he had really long hair (down to his waist, if he stretched it out) and a full beard.

At one point, he was assigned to a parish and came to know a local gentleman by phone but not by sight.

In one phone conversation the gentleman said that he really respected the priest and wanted his help with his son, who he felt was “going over to the other side.”

By this, he meant that his son was getting rebellious and not wanting to have his hair cut.

The gentleman...READ MORE

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8 things you need to know about Easter Sunday

04/04/2015 Comments (15)

Easter is the most important day of the Christian calendar, even more important than Christmas. Here are 8 things you need to know.

The great day is finally here: Easter, the most important day of the Christian calendar. More important even than Christmas.

What happened on this day?

Was Jesus' resurrection a real, historical event?

How does the Church celebrate this day?

Is Easter a pagan holiday?

Here are 8 things you need to know.

 

1. What happened on Easter?

Among other things:

  • The women went to the tomb to anoint Jesus' body.
  • They saw angels, who told them he wasn't there.
  • They went to tell the apostles, who initially didn't believe them.
  • Peter and the beloved disciple rushed to see the tomb and found it empty.
  • Mary Magdalen, in particular, had an encounter with the risen Christ.
  • So did the...READ MORE

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About Jimmy Akin

Jimmy Akin
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Jimmy was born in Texas, grew up nominally Protestant, but at age 20 experienced a profound conversion to Christ. Planning on becoming a Protestant pastor or seminary professor, he started an intensive study of the Bible. But the more he immersed himself in Scripture the more he found to support the Catholic faith. Eventually, he entered the Catholic Church. His conversion story, "A Triumph and a Tragedy," is published in Surprised by Truth. Besides being an author, Jimmy is a Senior Apologist at Catholic Answers, a contributing editor to This Rock magazine, and a weekly guest on "Catholic Answers Live."