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Pope Francis Arrives in Kenya: Praise for a ‘Young and Vibrant Nation’ (1007)

At the start of his African trip, the Holy Father encouraged Kenyans to continue to work for peace and reconciliation in a nation that has suffered from terrorist acts in recent years.

11/25/2015 Comment

Pope Francis speaks Nov. 25 at the papal welcoming ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya.

– YouTube/vatican

NAIROBI, Kenya — Pope Francis began his trip to Africa in Kenya, where he praised the “young and vibrant nation” and encouraged Kenyans to continue working for peace in their country.

“Experience shows that violence, conflict and terrorism feed on fear, mistrust and the despair born of poverty and frustration,” Pope Francis said Nov. 25 during his first public address in Kenya.

His arrival in the capital of Nairobi marks the first part of his Nov. 25-30 visit to Kenya, Uganda and Central African Republic.

The Pope greeted President Uhuru Kenyatta, government leaders and members of the diplomatic corps who received him at Nairobi’s State House.

Pope Francis said that Kenya’s public...READ MORE

Filed under africa, kenya, papal visits, pope francis

En Route to Kenya, Pope Francis Confirms Mexico Trip (963)

The Holy Father told a Mexican journalist that the visit will include a stop in the town of Ciudad Juarez on the Mexican-U.S. border.

11/25/2015 Comment
Daniel Ibáñez/CNA

Pope Francis touches the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe during Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on Dec. 12, 2014.

– Daniel Ibáñez/CNA

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE — Before his plane landed in Kenya on Wednesday, Pope Francis confirmed to reporters that he would indeed visit Mexico early next year.

Valentina Alazraki of Mexico’s Noticieros Televisa confirmed to CNA that Pope Francis told her his trip to Mexico would include four cities, not three.

He said his trip will include a visit to the town of Ciudad Juarez on the Mexican-U.S. border.

The Holy See Press Office has not officially announced the trip, but rumors, reports and announcements have been building.

The vice director of the Holy See Press Office, Passionist Father Ciro Benedettini, told CNA on Oct. 6 that the Pope was seriously considering a trip to Mexico next...READ MORE

Filed under mexico, papal visits, pope francis

Compassion vs. Security: What to Do With Syrian Refugees? (1620)

While the U.S. debates the integrity of the refugee program vs. the risks, the situation of Syrian refugees grows more desperate in countries such as Lebanon and Jordan, which can no longer sustain them.

11/25/2015 Comments (4)
Sean Callahan/Catholic Relief Services

Migrants in Europe

– Sean Callahan/Catholic Relief Services

WASHINGTON — As the U.S. plans to increase its intake of Syrian refugees to 10,000 next year, Americans — including Catholics — are trying to balance national security concerns with compassion for the refugees. 

“Americans need to understand that responding to a core tenant of our faith to provide compassion and care to suffering people like Syrian refugees and maintaining national security are not mutually exclusive — it is not an either-or proposition,” said Susan Weishar, a migration fellow at the Jesuit Social Research Institute, who directed immigration and refugee services for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New Orleans for 14 years.

“A rigorous, multilayered and lengthy...READ MORE

Filed under daesh, iraqi christians, isil, isis, islamic state, jordan, lebanon, middle east christians, migration, national security

Africa’s Bishops Offer Pope Francis Prayers and a Warm Welcome (847)

The greeting comes just ahead of Pope Francis’ Nov. 25-30 visit to Kenya, Uganda and Central African Republic.

11/25/2015 Comments (1)
Daniel Ibanez/CNA

African bishops exiting the Vatican's Paul VI Hall during the Synod of Bishops Oct. 5.

– Daniel Ibanez/CNA

ACCRA, Ghana — Ahead of the papal visit to Africa, the continent’s bishops have sent Francis a message of welcome. They emphasized the importance of the family in African society and the need for peace in regions suffering terrorism and violent conflict.

“As representatives of the Church in Africa, we warmly welcome the Holy Father, Pope Francis, as he makes his first apostolic visit to our continent,” said the standing committee of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM).

They prayed for the success of the Pope’s visit and for God’s “abundant blessings.”

The statement was issued at the close of the bishops’ conferences symposium held in Accra, Ghana, Nov....READ MORE

Filed under africa, car, central african republic, kenya, pope francis, secam, uganda

Historic Day for Catholics of Anglican Heritage as Pope Francis Names First Ordinariate Bishop (6020)

The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter will be the first of the ordinariates established for former Anglicans to have a bishop.

11/25/2015 Comments (12)
Courtesy of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter

Bishop-elect Steven Joseph Lopes was appointed Nov. 24 by Pope Francis as bishop for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.

– Courtesy of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter

HOUSTON — Catholics of Anglican heritage are getting an early Christmas present from Pope Francis: The Holy Father has appointed the first Catholic bishop ever to lead one of three non-territorial dioceses (known as ordinariates) established to preserve the Anglican patrimony in the Catholic Church.

The Vatican announced in a Nov. 24 statement that Msgr. Steven Joseph Lopes, an official in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, would be consecrated as bishop for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, which encompasses Anglican-tradition Catholic communities in the U.S. and Canada.

“It is a great joy and privilege to be joined to this particular church under the...READ MORE

Filed under anglican ordinariate, anglicanorum coetibus, msgr. steven lopes, ordinariate of the chair of st. peter, peter jesserer smith, pope francis

Vatileaks Scandal Threatening to Overwhelm the Papacy, The Case for Catholic Education, and More! (2360)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

11/25/2015 Comments (1)

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Christians Relieved by Hindu Nationalists’ Drubbing in Key Indian State (1634)

Voters in Bihar sharply rebuked the Bharatiya Janata Party, accused of fostering a climate of religious intolerance and violence since winning India’s national elections last year.

11/24/2015 Comments (2)
Facebook/Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi, leader of India’s Bharatiya Janata Party, addresses an event in the state of Bihar in March 2014.

– Facebook/Narendra Modi

PATNA, India — Christians have joined the broad spectrum of secular opposition groups in hailing the electoral drubbing of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party in the key Bihar state in eastern India.

“This victory is for the development and secularism of the country,” Archbishop William D’Souza of Patna, capital of Bihar state, told the Register Nov. 17, reacting to the reverse suffered by the BJP, who control India’s federal government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The BJP won only 53 of 243 seats in Bihar’s legislature when the votes of staggered polls were counted on Nov. 8. Contrary to many exit polls that predicted a BJP victory, the state’s secular...READ MORE

Filed under anto akkara, bjp, christian persecution, hindu nationalism, india, narendra modi

Pope Names First Catholic Bishop to Oversee Anglican Ordinariate (1616)

Msgr. Steven Lopes, a Catholic priest from California, will oversee the ordinariate in the United States and Canada.

11/24/2015 Comments (5)
Courtesy of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter

Bishop-elect Steven Lopes greets Pope Francis at a general audience in Rome.

– Courtesy of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter

HOUSTON — Pope Francis has appointed Msgr. Steven Lopes, a Catholic priest from California, as the new bishop to head the Anglican ordinariate in the United States and Canada, making him the first Catholic prelate to hold the position.

Bishop-elect Lopes, 40, is originally from the Archdiocese of San Francisco in the United States and currently serves as an official for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

He will be taking over for Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, a former Episcopal bishop, who was appointed by Benedict XVI in 2012 to shepherd the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.

The ordinariate, the equivalent to a diocese, is for those who were nurtured in the...READ MORE

Filed under anglican ordinariate, personal ordinariate of the chair of st. peter

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