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Pope Urges Egyptian Christians to ‘Be Strong; Do Not Fear!’ (2981)

The Holy Father and the Coptic Catholic Patriarch celebrated Mass together, advocating peace and reconciliation in Egypt.

12/10/2013 Comments (1)


VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis concelebrated his daily Mass Monday morning with the Coptic Catholic Patriarch of Alexandria, offering prayers for peace and renewing his call for religious freedom throughout the Middle East.

“‘Be strong; do not fear!’ Here are the consoling words that find their confirmation in fraternal solidarity,” the Pope said during his homily, adding that “I am thankful to God for this encounter that gives me a way to reinforce your hope and our hope, because they are the same.”

With these words, Pope Francis began the reflections of his morning Mass, which he celebrated in the Santa Marta guesthouse of the Vatican alongside Egypt’s Coptic Catholic Patriarch,...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, coptic catholic church, jesus christ, perseverence amid persecution, pope francis

Pope Francis Lauds European Pro-Life Group (3785)

Members of the Institute for Human Dignity met with the Holy Father Dec. 7 on the eve of the organization’s fifth anniversary.

12/10/2013 Comments (3)

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has encouraged an international movement that serves as a political counterweight to the growing number of politicians supporting anti-life policies around the world.

In a private audience with members of the Institute for Human Dignity Dec. 7, the Holy Father warned there is “no lack of powers and forces” that produce a “throwaway culture,” whose victims are “precisely the weakest and most fragile human beings.”

“The unborn, the poorest people, sick, elderly people, gravely disabled people [are] in danger of being ‘thrown out,’” he said. “This false model of man and society embodies a practical atheism, de facto negating the word of God that says: 'Let us...READ MORE

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Vatican Launches Global Campaign to Fight ‘Scandal of Hunger’ (3020)

Pope Francis threw his ‘full support’ behind the initiative at a Dec. 10 conference.

12/10/2013 Comments (3)
Caritas Internationalis

Caritas' campaign supports subsistence farmers in Tonga.

– Caritas Internationalis

VATICAN CITY — Caritas International has initiated its first global campaign to eradicate hunger, promoting the basic human right to food and encouraging fraternal solidarity in ensuring that everyone has enough.

In a video message for the Dec. 10 press conference announcing the launching of the campaign, Pope Francis stated that “I am happy to announce to you the launch of a campaign against global hunger by our very own ‘Caritas Internationalis’ and to tell you that I intend to give my full support.”

The Pope highlighted that the work of Caritas, a relief agency of the Church, “is at the heart of the mission of the Church and of her attention towards all those who suffer because of...READ MORE

Filed under caritas internationalis, catholic faith, charity, corporal works of mercy, hunger, jesus christ, pope francis, poverty

Touching Death: Mourning Physically Through Burial; Our Lady of the Seven Veils and Much More! (3719)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

12/10/2013 Comment

Touching Death: Mourning Physically through Burial. Click on the link by John Cuddeback of Aleteia to read more.

Touching Death: Mourning Physically through Burial – John Cuddeback, Aleteia

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception - BigPulpit.com

Our Lady of the Seven Veils (Saint Alphonsus and Saint Pio) – Dr. Taylor Marshall

My Life as a Catholic So Far, Pt. 3: A Brief Foray Into Anglicanism – Jason Liske, Ascending Mount Carmel

Solemn Benediction at the London Oratory on the Feast of Christ the King – Charles Cole, New Liturgical Movement

Canon Lawyer Dr. Edward Peters on Divorce, Remarriage, Communion – Fr. Z’s Blog

The Holy Bones of the First Holy Father – Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Aleteia

50 Years Since Sacrosanctum Concilium – BigPulpit.com

Shrewsbury Bishop: Catholics to be...READ MORE

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Nelson Mandela’s Checkered Legacy (7813)

COMMENTARY: The late South African politician sadly leaves behind a mixed record that includes support for abortion rights and violence. In this personal reflection, Stratford Caldecott remembers the controversial figure.

12/10/2013 Comments (52)
1995 Getty Sport Images

– 1995 Getty Sport Images

A man can achieve great things in prison. One thinks of Boethius, in classical times, writing The Consolation of Philosophy after a visit from the lady Philosophy herself while he awaits trial. Or St. Thomas More, scratching his last works with pieces of coal in the Tower of London. Or St. Maximilian Kolbe, giving witness to the greatest love by offering his life for a fellow prisoner.

Nelson Mandela, in our own time, became a symbol of resistance and hope that brought a government to its knees. Unlike many other political prisoners, he was released, and in freedom lived on as a potent symbol after becoming president of the nation he changed forever.

He was no saint, and no Boethius,...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, apartheid, communism, nelson mandela, political leaders, racism, south africa

The Economic Message of Pope Francis’ ‘Evangelii Gaudium’ (16095)


12/09/2013 Comments (30)

Too narrow a focus by some commentators on  the economic aspects of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) risks hiding the unity of the Holy Father’s challenge to Catholics.

Francis wants the joy that “fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus” (1) to spread through evangelization, with a renewed effort to serve the poor (48). He gives us both principled and pragmatic reasons for prioritizing this concern for the poor. First, because God wills it (187). Second, because this would be the “‘the greatest and most effective presentation of the good news of the Kingdom’” (199; quoting Blessed John Paul II). Imagine the powerful impact and...READ MORE

Filed under apostolic exhortation, catholic faith, economics, evangelii gaudium, pope francis

On Marian Feast, Pope Francis Prays for Desire for Holiness (3283)

The Holy Father marked the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception with visits to the Piazza de Sapgna and the Basilica of St. Mary Major.

12/09/2013 Comments (3)

The Immaculate Conception, by Murillo

ROME — On a day dedicated to celebrating the Mother of God, Pope Francis made a special trip in Rome to pray before a traditional statue of Mary.

“Enkindle in all of us a renewed desire for holiness; may our words glow with the splendor of truth; may our works resound with the song of charity; may purity and chastity live in our bodies and in our hearts; may our lives express the presence of all the beauty of the Gospel,” he prayed on Dec. 8.

Pope Francis had crossed the city to Piazza di Spagna, where, on the top of a tall ancient Roman column, stands a statue of the Virgin Mary under the title of “Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.”

On Dec. 8, the Church celebrates the solemn...READ MORE

Filed under catholic dogma, catholic faith, immaculate conception, pope francis, virgin mary

Pope Says Early Christians a Model for ‘Digital Age’ Church (3126)

Pope Francis said that while ‘the Internet is not enough,’ the Church’s presence there is ‘indispensible.’

12/09/2013 Comment
Kyle Burkhart/CNA

Pope Francis greets pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square.

– Kyle Burkhart/CNA

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis met with members of the Pontifical Council for the Laity on Saturday, who had gathered to discuss the theme “Announcing Christ in the Digital Age.”

“The Internet is a widespread reality, complex and in continual evolution, and its development reproposes the ever-present question of the relationship between faith and culture,” the Pope told participants of the council’s 26th plenary assembly.

“Already during the first centuries of Christianity, the Church wanted to face the extraordinary heritage of the Greek culture. Facing a very profound philosophy and an educational method of exceptional value, but soaked in pagan elements, the [early Christian] Fathers...READ MORE

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