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Pope Francis, the Church and the Big Picture (3055)


03/12/2014 Comment
Jeffrey Bruno/Catholic News Agency

– Jeffrey Bruno/Catholic News Agency

As we approach the first anniversary of the election of Pope Francis on March 13, it’s a fitting time to step back from the whirlwind of papal activity to look at the big picture of what Pope Francis has been trying to do and what it heralds for the future.

He was elected to lead the reform of the Church. Three days after the white smoke rose, he joked with media representatives that some had suggested he take the name Hadrian, after Hadrian VI, the pope who tried to reform the Church’s central administration after the scandals that led to the Protestant Reformation.

Instead, he took the name of the greatest reformer in Church history, Francis of Assisi, who was the Lord’s instrument to...READ MORE

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Legislators Urge Secretary of Defense to Buttress Military Religious Freedom (1562)

‘We share deep concerns about an evolving military environment increasingly hostile to religious practices,’ Utah Sen. Mike Lee and Louisiana Rep. John Fleming said in a March 4 letter.

03/12/2014 Comments (3)
Wikimedia Commons

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel

– Wikimedia Commons

WASHINGTON — A U.S. senator and a congressman have urged Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to reissue military rules to strengthen religious-freedom protections for military service members who fear reprisals for their beliefs.

“We share deep concerns about an evolving military environment increasingly hostile to religious practices, one in which service members fear that expressing their religious beliefs would be grounds for disciplinary action or hinder career advancement,” said U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and U.S. Rep. John Fleming, R-La., in a March 4 letter to  Hagel.

“This proclivity to marginalize religious liberties in the military can have a pronounced negative effect on morale...READ MORE

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Cardinal Kasper’s Speech on Marriage to Be Released as Book (2127)

The cardinal’s controversial proposal to provide Communion to some divorced-remarried Catholics after a period of penance is now making its way into Italian and German bookshelves.

03/12/2014 Comments (9)

Cardinal Walter Kasper, prefect emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity

– InterMirifica.net

VATICAN CITY — Cardinal Walter Kasper’s Feb. 20 address on marriage to a group of cardinals, controversial for its comments on remarriage and the reception of Communion, is to be published as a book this week, he says.

The booklet, Gospel of the Family, will be released in Italian and German and will feature the text of his speech. Its 78 pages will include two additional texts from Cardinal Kasper.

In a March 10 interview with Vatican Radio, Cardinal Kasper, the president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said, “My main intention was not to speak about divorced and remarried people but to speak about the gospel of the family.”

Of the five sections of his...READ MORE

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Casting a Wide Net: Pope Francis’ Inaugural Year (4706)


03/12/2014 Comments (4)


“Everyone needs to be touched by the comfort and attraction of God’s saving love, which is mysteriously at work in each person, above and beyond their faults and failings” (Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 44).

A year ago, I was blessed to serve as a commentator for EWTN’s coverage of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and also the election of Pope Francis. I have subsequently followed the words and actions of our new Pope closely. When I reflect on Francis’ first year, the Parable of the Lost Sheep and Jesus’ encounter with the woman caught in adultery come to mind.

In the Parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15:1-7), Jesus teaches us that a good shepherd will leave 99 of his sheep to...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, evangelii gaudium, jesus christ, papacy, pope francis

Vatican Celebrates Pope’s Anniversary With Virtual Book (3616)

The online publication is a compilation of various phrases that the Holy Father has spoken throughout the first year of his papacy.

03/12/2014 Comment

VATICAN CITY — In honor of the one-year anniversary of Pope Francis’ election as Bishop of Rome, the Vatican website has published a special online book, compiled of various phrases he has spoken throughout the year.

Entitled “Do we want to be holy? Yes or no?” the online publication can be found on the Vatican’s official website by clicking on one’s language of choice, after which a pop-up window appears with the book’s cover and title.

Beginning with the Pope’s familiar plea for the faithful not to be “men and women of sadness” because “a Christian can never be sad,” the virtual memoir offers short quotes by Pope Francis taken from his homilies, speeches and addresses given throughout...READ MORE

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Priest Gives Insight Into Pope Francis’ Interview Style (7254)

Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, who interviewed the Pope in August 2013, says the Holy Father makes ‘decisions by discernment,’ relying on inspiration and emotion as well as logic and reason.

03/12/2014 Comments (41)

Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro

– antoniospadaro.net

ROME — Why has Pope Francis given so many interviews after having initially said he preferred not to give them? In this March 7 interview with the Register, Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro helps to shed light on what events in August 2013 led to the Holy Father giving his first major interview to La Civilta Cattolica, which Father Spadaro edits, and the Pope’s decision to give subsequent interviews.

Father Spadaro also explains how his new book, My Door Is Always Open, should help readers to understand better the Pope’s words and his Jesuitical approach.  The volume is the complete set of interviews between Pope Francis and Father Spadaro and is being billed as the “most convincing and...READ MORE

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What Is the Point of Suffering and Offering It Up? The Biblical Basis of Fasting and Much More! (4599)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

03/12/2014 Comment

Follow What Is the Point of Suffering? link by Bernard Toutounji of Ignitum Today to read more.

What Is the Point of Suffering? – Bernard Toutounji, Ignitum Today

What’s the Point of Mortification & “Offering It Up?” – Joe Heschmeyer, Shameless Popery

Dcn. Sandy Insults & Mocks Pope Benedict During Mass by Patrick Archbold of Creative Minority Report - BigPulpit.com

The Biblical Basis for Catholic Practice of Fast & Abstinence – Dcn. Mike Bickerstaff, Integrated Catholic Life™

Growing In Love – Rachel Zamarron, Ignitum Today

A Roman Pilgrim at the Station Churches – Gregory DiPippo, New Liturgical Movement

Timothy Cardinal Dolan: Company Man – Donald R. McClarey JD, The American Catholic

The Voice of Fallen (& Redeemed) Humanity - Bernadette O’Brien, Crisis Magazine

Interview...READ MORE

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Venezuela Cardinal Calls for Peace Amid Escalating Violence (2067)

At least 20 people have been killed in student protests over the last several weeks.

03/11/2014 Comment
andresAzp via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Protesters clash with riot police on Feb. 15 in Altamira, Caracas, Venezuela.

– andresAzp via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

CARACAS, Venezuela — Cardinal Jorge Urosa Sabino of Caracas again urged peace amid increasing conflict in Venezuela, where at least 20 people have been killed in student protests over the last several weeks.

“We wish to reiterate our call to all the inhabitants of Caracas, regardless of their political sympathies, to live together in peace,” he said in a March 7 statement.

Student protests began to spark across the nation’s cities early last month but escalated when three people were killed. The National Guard has been criticized for an unnecessarily strong response to demonstrators, who are urging greater protection of freedom of speech, better security and an end to goods shortages.


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