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Christ’s Resurrection Unites Us, Pope Proclaims at Ecumenical Celebration (1705)

At the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, the Holy Father joined with Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in affirming a common commitment to Christian unity.

05/25/2014 Comment
Vatican Radio/CTV

Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew kneel together in prayer at the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on May 25.

– Vatican Radio/CTV

JERUSALEM — At an ecumenical celebration in Jerusalem during his visit to the region, Pope Francis told interdenominational Christians that the risen Christ unites them all in a message of hope for the world.

“Each of us, everyone baptized in Christ, has spiritually risen from this tomb, for in baptism, all of us truly became members of the body of the One who is the firstborn of all creation,” Pope Francis said.  

The Pope encouraged those gathered to “pause in reverent silence before this empty tomb in order to rediscover the grandeur of our Christian vocation,” since “we are men and women of [the] Resurrection and not of death.”  

“Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of the basis...READ MORE

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Pope Francis Urges Two-State Solution in First Remarks to Israel (1468)

Renewing the appeal made by Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis also called for ‘universal recognition’ of ‘the right of the state of Israel to exist and flourish in peace and security.’

05/25/2014 Comments (2)
Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

Pope Francis speaks to children waving papal and Israeli flags at the beginning of his visit to Jerusalem on May 25.

– Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

TEL AVIV, Israel — Late Sunday afternoon, Pope Francis arrived in Tel Aviv, where he urged Israeli President Shimon Peres and other authorities to adopt a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Renewing the appeal made by Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis called for “universal recognition” of “the right of the state of Israel to exist and flourish in peace and security within internationally recognized borders.”

“At the same time, there must also be a recognition of the right of the Palestinian people to a sovereign homeland and their right to live with dignity and with freedom of movement. The ‘Two-State Solution’ must become reality and not remain merely a dream,” he...READ MORE

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Pope Francis Shows Solidarity With Palestinians (3400)

The Holy Father stopped to pray at Israel’s security wall in route to Bethlehem’s Manger Square, while an estimated 10,000 Palestinian Christians joined him for Sunday’s Mass.

05/25/2014 Comments (14)
Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images

Pope Francis arrives in Manger Square to take part in a Mass held at the Church of Nativity as crowds watch and wave flags in the foreground on May 25 in Bethlehem.

– Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images

BETHLEHEM, West Bank — The hot Middle Eastern sun shone down on Manger Square Sunday morning, even at 9am, but Marilou Quinoneza, who works as a caregiver in central Israel, didn’t seem to mind.

Seated on stone steps leading down from the many Christian souvenir shops lining the square, Quinoneza, a Filipina caregiver who works in central Israel, said nothing could dampen the experience of attending a Holy Land Mass led by Pope Francis.

Quinoneza said she made her way to her local church — Our Lady Woman of Valor Church in the northern city of Haifa — at 2:30am, and three buses full of congregants, the vast majority of them foreign workers, left for Bethlehem two hours later.

“I’m a...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, holy land, israel, middle east, palestine, pope francis

Israeli, Palestinian Presidents Accept Pope’s Invitation to Vatican Meeting (2004)

Pope Francis issued his invitation after a papal Mass in Bethlehem’s Manger Square on May 25, asking both men ‘to join me in heartfelt prayer to God for the gift of peace.'

05/25/2014 Comment
Lauren Cater / CNA

Pope Francis kisses the altar during Mass in Bethlehem’s Manger Square on May 25.

– Lauren Cater / CNA

BETHLEHEM — Today Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced that they have accepted Pope Francis’ invitation to join him at the Vatican for an encounter of prayer.

Pope Francis issued his invitation at the close of a papal Mass in Bethlehem’s Manger Square on May 25, asking both men “to join me in heartfelt prayer to God for the gift of peace. I offer my home in the Vatican as a place for this encounter of prayer.”

According to a report by The Associated Press, President Peres’ office issued a confirmation statement soon after: “We welcome Pope Francis’ invitation to the Vatican. President Peres has supported and will continue to support all avenues...READ MORE

Filed under #popeholyland, israel, palestine, pope francis

‘Who Are We Before the Child Jesus?’ Pope Reflects in Bethlehem (2086)

In his homily delivered in Bethlehem this morning, Pope Francis meditated on the role of the Christ Child in the life of every person.

05/25/2014 Comments (2)
Credit: Lauren Cater / CNA.

Pope Francis celebrates Mass in Manger Square in Bethlehem on May 25.

– Credit: Lauren Cater / CNA.

BETHLEHEM, West Bank — In his homily delivered in Bethlehem this morning, Pope Francis meditated on the role of the Christ Child in the life of every person.

“The child Jesus, born in Bethlehem, every child who is born and grows up in every part of our world, is a diagnostic sign indicating the state of health of our families, our communities, our nation,” the Pope preached on May 25 in Manger Square in Bethlehem.

“And we have to ask ourselves: Who are we, as we stand before the Child Jesus? Who are we, standing as we stand before today’s children?”

Celebrating Mass at the site of Jesus’ birth, Pope Francis delivered strong words in condemnation of every kind of violence and exploitation...READ MORE

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East Meets West in Jerusalem: Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew (6074)

COMMENTARY: A short history of Catholic-Orthodox relations since the Great Schism.

05/25/2014 Comments (6)

Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras meet Jan. 5, 1964, in Jerusalem.

– ANSA/oldpix

When Pope Francis meets with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople in Jerusalem May 25, the meeting will mark the 50th anniversary of the 1964 meeting in the same place between Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople, the spiritual leader of the Greek Orthodox Church.

This meeting offers the opportunity to set the stage for future relations, as the Eastern and Western Churches have not been united since Leo IX occupied the Chair of Peter in 1054.

Although Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism have been completely separate for centuries, there has never been a formal break between them. From the fourth to the 11th century, the Eastern and...READ MORE

Filed under #popeholyland, athenagoras, holy land, paul vi, pope francis, pope holy land

Habits of Mercy, Creating a New Culture of Beauty: A Little Georgia Parish Shows the Way and More! (2812)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

05/25/2014 Comment

Follow Habits of Mercy by Jim Graves of The Catholic World Report link to read more.

Habits of Mercy by Jim Graves of The Catholic World Report - BigPulpit.com

Creating a New Culture of Beauty: A Little Georgia Parish Shows Way - David Clayton, New Liturgical Movement

Friendships: Reason, Season, or a Lifetime - Autumn Jones, Catholic Stand

What Makes A Perfect Priest? – William Van Ornum, Aleteia

The Absence of Shame - Vicki Burbach, RomanCatholic Spiritual Direction

America’s First Mass - John B. Buescher PhD, The Catholic World Report

Why Its OK to Be Against Heresy, For Imposing Ones Will on Others – Fr. Robert Barron, Strange Notions

Did St. Augustine Find Dinosaur Bones? – Taylor Marshall PhD

Black Dog Days: How to Deal with Depression – Michael J. Lichens,...READ MORE

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'May God Change the Hearts of the Violent,' Pope Prays (2562)

During a May 24 meeting with refugees in Jordan, Pope Francis denounced arms trade and ongoing violence in the region.

05/24/2014 Comments (1)

Pope Francis delivers address May 24 to refugees in Jordan.

– ctv.va

AMMAN, Jordan — On the first day of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Pope Francis met with a group of nearly 600 refugees and disabled youth, urging them to offer their prayers and sufferings for an end to violence.

During the May 24 meeting at Bethany beyond the Jordan, the Pope encouraged those gathered to build a peaceful society through prayer and “offering your daily efforts and struggles to God. In this way, your prayer will become particularly precious and effective.”

“We are profoundly affected by the tragedies and suffering of our times, particularly those caused by ongoing conflicts in the Middle East,” said Pope Francis.

“I pray once more that reason and restraint will...READ MORE

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