Pope Francis: Many ‘mummified’ or ‘vagabond’ Christians. – Vatican Radio

Stressing that Jesus is the only true way, Pope Francis said there are many following Christianity in a confused way such as the motionless and mummified Christian, the vagabond Christian, the stubborn Christian or the half way Christian.

Source: Pope Francis: Many ‘mummified’ or ‘vagabond’ Christians. – Vatican Radio

The seven major changes made by Pope Francis

Throughout these three years of his Pontificate, Francis has shown that he does not address problems through laws, but by “initiating processes” involving many people.Instead of cutting straight to the chase, he faces the long-term crisis with symbolic gestures. As a result, he has launched an irreversible cultural change.Of the hundreds of gestures and words with which he is changing the world and the Church, we are left with these seven:1- PAYING HIS HOTEL BILLOn his first day as pope, he personally collected his luggage and paid for his own hotel room. That demonstrated that everyone should take responsibility for themselves, and that the age of privileges was over.2- LIVING IN SANTA MARTAHe settled in “Casa Santa Marta.” The Pope does not want to live in an ivory tower. He wants to know the problems first-hand and not with intermediaries; he wants the people to have easy access to him.3- HUGS AND GLOBALIZATION OF INDIFFERENCEIn a world that puts economic benefit first, and classifies people based on how much they earn or how much they are able to produce, the Pope appeals to the infinite value of every human being, and he shows it by hugging and smiling with those displaced in society.4- THE OUTSKIRTSHe says reality is understood from the outskirts. He has not visited the parishes in the center of Rome, but instead has gone to the marginalized churches. Out of all of Europe, he has only traveled to Albania and Bosnia Herzegovina.During his trip to Mexico, he went where a pope has never been before: places like Chiapas, Chihuahua and Michoacan.At Easter, he celebrates Holy Thursday Mass at places experiencing pain, such as a juvenile prisons or hospices.This has opened the eyes of many people to situations they did not even know existed.5- HE RESPONDS TO PEOPLEWhen large meetings include testimonies, the Pope does not read his prepared speech, but changes it based on what he has heard.Just as he did in Sarajevo, when he heard how they had beaten a priest.”I forgive with all of my heart those that do evil.”When he was in Kenya, Emmanuel spoke to him about the plight of young people who join radical militias.POPE FRANCIS”Speak to the youth with tenderness, with sympathy, with love. And with patience invite them to a game or to hang out or to be together. Don’t leave them alone.” Or in the Philippines, when this homeless girl told him they were abandoned and no one seemed to care.”Why does God allow this to happen? Children are not to blame.”6- COURAGE AND TRANSPARENCYOn each trip, he faces press conferences on the plane without fear or censorship. He answers questions freely, without fear of being wrong, and is unafraid to confront sensitive issues, such as the corruption in the Church, sexuality or what he holds in his heart.7- DECISIONHe has made concrete and difficult decisions to simplify the Vatican’s structure.He has created a council of 9 Cardinals that help him govern and ensure that any bishop has direct access to the Pope. He has instituted a commission to prevent sexual abuse cases; and he has refined the Vatican bank.PRAYERAlthough it is not a change, what Pope Francis is doing cannot be understood, without mentioning he is a mystic who has complete trust in God. When faced with an imminent bombing in Syria, he called for a 4 hour prayer vigil in St. Peter’s Square.The word most often repeated during these years is what he uses to define God: “Mercy.” A word that contains the slogan and the strength of his Pontificate.

<p>Source: <a href=”http://www.romereports.com/2016/03/12/the-seven-major-changes-made-by-pope-francis”>The seven major changes made by Pope Francis</a></p>

Midnight Mass of Christmas – 2014.12.24

The Pope’s Painful Liturgies – Ethika Politika.

 

I like the way the author of this piece looked beneath the surface of appearance for both the reason and the end, when making his observations and examining his own conceptions.

The Pope’s Painful Liturgies – Ethika Politika.

“The pain I experience with seeing the new pope’s liturgies is probably more the result of his intense joy at all other times. I sense acutely that my desire to serve is much thinner than my affection for a beautiful Mass. And I’m aware that the joy I know is possible through a sacramental encounter with the Lord is not often enough reflected in my life with family and with others.”read more via The Pope’s Painful Liturgies – Ethika Politika.

BBC News – Pope Francis: Muslim leaders should condemn terrorism

BBC News – Pope Francis: Muslim leaders should condemn terrorism.

Pope Francis has urged Muslim leaders around the world to condemn terrorism carried out in the name of Islam

"Pope Francis was returning to Rome after his three-day visit to Turkey when he made his latest commentsChristians have been targeted by Muslim hardliners in Iraq and Syria in recent years, with a violent campaign of persecution by Islamic State militants this summer when they captured the Iraqi city of Mosul.

In their joint declaration, the two Church leaders said: "We express our common concern for the current situation in Iraq, Syria and the whole Middle East.

"Many of our brothers and sisters are being persecuted and have been forced violently from their homes. It even seems that the value of human life has been lost, that the human person no longer matters and may be sacrificed to other interests. And, tragically, all this is met by the indifference of many."

The pontiff and the patriarch also called for peace in Ukraine.

The violent conflict in Ukraine this year has accentuated differences between its large Orthodox and Catholic communities.

The Pope and the patriarch said: "We pray for peace in Ukraine, a country of ancient Christian tradition, while we call upon all parties involved to pursue the path of dialogue and of respect for international law in order to bring an end to the conflict and allow all Ukrainians to live in harmony."

As his visit drew to a close, Pope Francis met Turkey’s chief rabbi, whose flock has diminished to just 17,000 people.

At the Blue Mosque on Saturday, one of the greatest masterpieces of Ottoman architecture, the Pope turned east towards Mecca, clasped his hands and paused for two minutes as the Grand Mufti of Istanbul, Rahmi Yaran, delivered a Muslim prayer."

Continue reading the main story

Pope Francis is Coming to the United States – Confirmed for 2015!

Pope Francis is Coming to the United States – Confirmed for 2015!

November 17, 2014 by Dan Burke

It is with great joy that I announce the confirmation that our Holy Father Pope Francis will be coming to the United States in 2015….you all know the power of prayer. Please join with me in prayer for the protection of the Pope during his visit and that the Holy Spirit will pour out blessings upon the Church in the United States that will lead us to a deep renewal of faith.

Please don’t forget to share this post and the good news with all of your family and friends!

Here are the details posted over at the National Catholic Register:

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Monday officially announced that he will visit the U.S. in September 2015, including a visit to the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia and New York City.

“I wish to confirm, if God wills it, that in September of 2015 I will go to Philadelphia for the Eighth World Meeting of Families.” he announced at Vatican City’s Synod Hall Nov. 17 during his remarks at an international colloquium on the complementarity of man and woman.

The Philadelphia World Meeting of Families will take place from Sept. 22-27. Even before the Pope’s announcement, the meeting was expected to draw tens of thousands of people. Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia had told a gathering of Catholic bishops last week that a papal visit would likely result in crowds of about 1 million.

A global Catholic event, the world meeting seeks to support and strengthen families. St. John Paul II founded the event in 1994, and it takes place every three years.

Archbishop Chaput had previously hinted that Pope Francis would attend the 2015 meeting, although he cautioned that the visit had not been officially confirmed. In March 2014, a Pennsylvania delegation including Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett and Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter visited the Vatican to help encourage the Pope to visit the U.S.

via Spiritualdirection.com | Catholic Spiritual Direction | Pope Francis is Coming to the United States – Confirmed for 2015!

Pope removes Cardinal Burke from Vatican post | CNS Blog

Exile or no, there was another thought to be far from influence, His name was Roncalli, and his anonymity and sentence to Bulgaria didn’t last. Time will tell what Heaven has in store for Cardinal Burke:

Pope removes Cardinal Burke from Vatican post

Posted on November 8, 2014 by Francis X. Rocca

Cardinal Burke leaves concluding session of extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family at Vatican

Cardinal Burke leaves concluding session of extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family at Vatican. (CNS/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has removed U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, 66, as head of the Vatican’s highest court and named him to a largely ceremonial post with a chivalric religious order.

Cardinal Burke, formerly prefect of the Apostolic Signature, will now serve as cardinal patron of the Knights and Dames of Malta, the Vatican announced Nov. 8.

The move had been widely expected since an Italian journalist reported it in September, and Cardinal Burke himself confirmed it to reporters last month.

It is highly unusual for a pope to remove an official of the cardinal’s stature and age without assigning him comparable responsibilities elsewhere. By church law, cardinals in the Vatican must offer to resign at 75, but often continue in office for several more years. As usual when announcing personnel changes other than retirements for reasons of age, the Vatican did not give a reason for Cardinal Burke’s reassignment.

A prominent devotee of the traditional liturgy and outspoken defender of traditional doctrine on controversial moral issues, the cardinal has appeared increasingly out of step with the current pontificate.

In December 2013, Pope Francis did not reappoint him to his position on the Congregation for Bishops, which advises the pope on episcopal appointments.

Cardinal Burke expressed frustration, in a February 2014 article in the Vatican newspaper, that many Americans thought Pope Francis intended to change Catholic teaching on certain “critical moral issues of our time,” including abortion and same-sex marriage, because of the pope’s stated belief that “it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”

Insisting that the pope had “clearly affirmed the church’s moral teaching, in accord with her unbroken tradition,” Cardinal Burke blamed perceptions to the contrary on “false praise” of Pope Francis by “persons whose hearts are hardened against the truth.”

After Pope Francis invited German Cardinal Walter Kasper to address a meeting of the world’s cardinals in February, Cardinal Burke emerged as a leading opponent of Cardinal Kasper’s proposal to make it easier for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion.

Cardinal Burke also warned that any efforts to streamline the marriage annulment process — the mandate of a commission the pope established in August — should not undermine the process’ rigor.

During the Oct. 5-19 Synod of Bishops on the family, Cardinal Burke was one of the strongest critics of a midterm report that used remarkably conciliatory language toward people with ways of life contrary to Catholic teaching, including those in same-sex unions and other non-marital relationships. The day the report was released, the cardinal told an American reporter that a statement from Pope Francis reaffirming traditional doctrine on those matters was “long overdue.”

Cardinal Burke made the news again late last month when he told a Spanish journalist that many Catholics “feel a bit of seasickness, because it seems to them that the ship of the church has lost its compass. The cause of this disorientation must be put aside. We have the constant tradition of the church, the teachings, the liturgy, morals. The catechism does not change.”

A former archbishop of St. Louis, Cardinal Burke has led the Apostolic Signature since June 2008. At the time of his dismissal he was the highest-ranking U.S. bishop at the Vatican. That distinction now belongs to Archbishop J. Augustine Di Noia, adjunct secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The new head of the Apostolic Signature is French Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, till now the secretary for relations with states, the Vatican’s equivalent of a foreign minister.

via Pope removes Cardinal Burke from Vatican post | CNS Blog.

John Thavis | A signal on removal of bishops?

John Thavis | A signal on removal of bishops?.

"The power of a pope to sack a bishop has always been presumed, but here
it is spelled out. It comes after Pope Francis has already removed a
Paraguayan bishop from office over pastoral controversies, and accepted
the resignation of a German bishop in the wake of a spending scandal.
The Vatican is actively investigating the pastoral leadership of at
least two other prelates, including Bishop Robert W. Finn of Kansas
City, Mo., who was convicted two years ago by a civil court on
misdemeanor charges of failing to report suspected child abuse by a
diocesan priest."READ MORE:

via John Thavis | A signal on removal of bishops?.

That None of God’s Children May Be Lost

Pope  at Angelus: Pray for the world’s forgotten souls

Emer McCarthy reports, Listen:

Below a Vatican Radio translation of the Holy Father’s Angelus address:

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good day!
Yesterday we celebrated the Solemnity of All Saints, and today the liturgy invites us to commemorate the faithful departed. These two occurrences are intimately linked to each other, just as joy and tears find a synthesis in Jesus Christ, that is the foundation of our faith and our hope. On the one hand, in fact, the Church, a pilgrim in history, rejoices through the intercession of the saints and blessed who support her in the mission of proclaiming the Gospel; on the other, she, like Jesus, shares the tears of those who suffer the separation from loved ones, and like Him and through Him echoes thanks to the Father who has delivered us from the dominion of sin and death.

Yesterday and today many people visit the cemetery, which, as the word itself implies, is the “place of rest”, as we wait for the final awakening. It is lovely to think that it will be Jesus who will awaken us. Jesus himself revealed that the death of the body is like a sleep from which he awakens us. With this faith we stop – even spiritually – at the graves of our loved ones, those who have loved us and have done good deeds for us. But today we are called to remember everyone, to remember everyone, even those who no one remembers. We remember the victims of war and violence; the many “little ones” of the world crushed by hunger and poverty. We remember the anonymous who rest in common graves. We remember our brothers and sisters killed because they are Christians; and those who sacrificed their lives to serve others. We especially entrust to the Lord, those who have left over the last year.

Church tradition has always urged prayer for the dead, in particular by offering the celebration of the Eucharist for them: it is the best spiritual help that we can give to their souls, particularly to the most abandoned ones. The foundation of prayers in suffrage of souls is in the communion of the Mystical Body. As the Second Vatican Council reiterates, “fully conscious of this communion of the whole Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, the pilgrim Church from the very first ages of the Christian religion has cultivated with great piety the memory of the dead” (Lumen Gentium, 50 ).

Remembering the dead, caring for their graves and prayers of suffrage, are witness of confident hope, rooted in the certainty that death is not the last word on human fate, death is not the last word, because man is destined to a life without limits, which has its roots and its fulfillment in God. Let us raise this prayer to God:

God of infinite mercy,

we entrust to Your immense goodness all those who have left this world for eternity, where you await all humanity, redeemed by the precious blood of Christ Your Son, who died to save us from our sins.

Look not Lord, at our poverty, misery and human weaknesses when we present ourselves before You to be judged in happiness or condemned.

Gaze upon us with pity, born of Your tender heart and help us to walk the path of purification.

May none of your children be lost to the eternal fires of hell, where repentance is no more.

We entrust to You Lord, the souls of our beloved departed, of those who died without the comfort of the Sacraments or who did not have the opportunity to repent, not even at the end of their life.

May no one fear the encounter with You at the end of their earthly pilgrimage, in the hope of being welcomed within the embrace of your infinite mercy.  May sister death find us in prayerful vigilance, and full of all the good we have done during our existence, be it long or short.

Lord, may nothing distance us from you on this earth, may everything and everyone support us in our ardent hope to serenely and eternally rest in You.

Amen

With this faith in man’s supreme destiny, we now turn to the Virgin Mary, who suffered the drama of Christ’s death under the Cross and participated in the joy of His resurrection. May she, Gate of Heaven, help us to understand more and more the value of prayers for the dead. They are close to us. May she support us in our daily pilgrimage on earth and help us not to lose sight of the ultimate goal of life which is Heaven. And we with this hope that never disappoints we move forward!

Pope Francis speech at the conclusion of the Synod

Here is the part of Pope Francis’ speech I thought most powerful:

I can happily say that – with a spirit of collegiality and of synodality – we have truly lived the experience of “Synod,” a path of solidarity, a “journey together.”

And it has been “a journey” – and like every journey there were moments of running fast, as if wanting to conquer time and reach the goal as soon as possible; other moments of fatigue, as if wanting to say “enough”; other moments of enthusiasm and ardour. There were moments of profound consolation listening to the testimony of true pastors, who wisely carry in their hearts the joys and the tears of their faithful people. Moments of consolation and grace and comfort hearing the testimonies of the families who have participated in the Synod and have shared with us the beauty and the joy of their married life. A journey where the stronger feel compelled to help the less strong, where the more experienced are led to serve others, even through confrontations. And since it is a journey of human beings, with the consolations there were also moments of desolation, of tensions and temptations, of which a few possibilities could be mentioned:

– One, a temptation to hostile inflexibility, that is, wanting to close oneself within the written word, (the letter) and not allowing oneself to be surprised by God, by the God of surprises, (the spirit); within the law, within the certitude of what we know and not of what we still need to learn and to achieve. From the time of Christ, it is the temptation of the zealous, of the scrupulous, of the solicitous and of the so-called – today – “traditionalists” and also of the intellectuals.

– The temptation to a destructive tendency to goodness [it. buonismo], that in the name of a deceptive mercy binds the wounds without first curing them and treating them; that treats the symptoms and not the causes and the roots. It is the temptation of the “do-gooders,” of the fearful, and also of the so-called “progressives and liberals.”

– The temptation to transform stones into bread to break the long, heavy, and painful fast (cf. Lk 4:1-4); and also to transform the bread into a stone and cast it against the sinners, the weak, and the sick (cf Jn 8:7), that is, to transform it into unbearable burdens (Lk 11:46).

– The temptation to come down off the Cross, to please the people, and not stay there, in order to fulfil the will of the Father; to bow down to a worldly spirit instead of purifying it and bending it to the Spirit of God.

– The temptation to neglect the “depositum fidei” [the deposit of faith], not thinking of themselves as guardians but as owners or masters [of it]; or, on the other hand, the temptation to neglect reality, making use of meticulous language and a language of smoothing to say so many things and to say nothing! They call them “byzantinisms,” I think, these things…

Here is the full speech:

Vatican Radio’s provisional translation of Pope Francis’ address to the Synod Fathers:

Dear Eminences, Beatitudes, Excellencies, Brothers and Sisters,

With a heart full of appreciation and gratitude I want to thank, along with you, the Lord who has accompanied and guided us in the past days, with the light of the Holy Spirit.

From the heart I thank Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod, Bishop Fabio Fabene, under-secretary, and with them I thank the Relators, Cardinal Peter Erdo, who has worked so much in these days of family mourning, and the Special Secretary Bishop Bruno Forte, the three President delegates, the transcribers, the consultors, the translators and the unknown workers, all those who have worked with true fidelity and total dedication behind the scenes and without rest. Thank you so much from the heart.

I thank all of you as well, dear Synod fathers, Fraternal Delegates, Auditors, and Assessors, for your active and fruitful participation. I will keep you in prayer asking the Lord to reward you with the abundance of His gifts of grace!

I can happily say that – with a spirit of collegiality and of synodality – we have truly lived the experience of “Synod,” a path of solidarity, a “journey together.”

And it has been “a journey” – and like every journey there were moments of running fast, as if wanting to conquer time and reach the goal as soon as possible; other moments of fatigue, as if wanting to say “enough”; other moments of enthusiasm and ardour. There were moments of profound consolation listening to the testimony of true pastors, who wisely carry in their hearts the joys and the tears of their faithful people. Moments of consolation and grace and comfort hearing the testimonies of the families who have participated in the Synod and have shared with us the beauty and the joy of their married life. A journey where the stronger feel compelled to help the less strong, where the more experienced are led to serve others, even through confrontations. And since it is a journey of human beings, with the consolations there were also moments of desolation, of tensions and temptations, of which a few possibilities could be mentioned:

– One, a temptation to hostile inflexibility, that is, wanting to close oneself within the written word, (the letter) and not allowing oneself to be surprised by God, by the God of surprises, (the spirit); within the law, within the certitude of what we know and not of what we still need to learn and to achieve. From the time of Christ, it is the temptation of the zealous, of the scrupulous, of the solicitous and of the so-called – today – “traditionalists” and also of the intellectuals.

– The temptation to a destructive tendency to goodness [it. buonismo], that in the name of a deceptive mercy binds the wounds without first curing them and treating them; that treats the symptoms and not the causes and the roots. It is the temptation of the “do-gooders,” of the fearful, and also of the so-called “progressives and liberals.”

– The temptation to transform stones into bread to break the long, heavy, and painful fast (cf. Lk 4:1-4); and also to transform the bread into a stone and cast it against the sinners, the weak, and the sick (cf Jn 8:7), that is, to transform it into unbearable burdens (Lk 11:46).

– The temptation to come down off the Cross, to please the people, and not stay there, in order to fulfil the will of the Father; to bow down to a worldly spirit instead of purifying it and bending it to the Spirit of God.

– The temptation to neglect the “depositum fidei” [the deposit of faith], not thinking of themselves as guardians but as owners or masters [of it]; or, on the other hand, the temptation to neglect reality, making use of meticulous language and a language of smoothing to say so many things and to say nothing! They call them “byzantinisms,” I think, these things…

Dear brothers and sisters, the temptations must not frighten or disconcert us, or even discourage us, because no disciple is greater than his master; so if Jesus Himself was tempted – and even called Beelzebul (cf. Mt 12:24) – His disciples should not expect better treatment.

Personally I would be very worried and saddened if it were not for these temptations and these animated discussions; this movement of the spirits, as St Ignatius called it (Spiritual Exercises, 6), if all were in a state of agreement, or silent in a false and quietist peace. Instead, I have seen and I have heard – with joy and appreciation – speeches and interventions full of faith, of pastoral and doctrinal zeal, of wisdom, of frankness and of courage: and of parresia. And I have felt that what was set before our eyes was the good of the Church, of families, and the “supreme law,” the “good of souls” (cf. Can. 1752). And this always – we have said it here, in the Hall – without ever putting into question the fundamental truths of the Sacrament of marriage: the indissolubility, the unity, the faithfulness, the fruitfulness, that openness to life (cf. Cann. 1055, 1056; and Gaudium et spes, 48).

And this is the Church, the vineyard of the Lord, the fertile Mother and the caring Teacher, who is not afraid to roll up her sleeves to pour oil and wine on people’s wound; who doesn’t see humanity as a house of glass to judge or categorize people. This is the Church, One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and composed of sinners, needful of God’s mercy. This is the Church, the true bride of Christ, who seeks to be faithful to her spouse and to her doctrine. It is the Church that is not afraid to eat and drink with prostitutes and publicans. The Church that has the doors wide open to receive the needy, the penitent, and not only the just or those who believe they are perfect! The Church that is not ashamed of the fallen brother and pretends not to see him, but on the contrary feels involved and almost obliged to lift him up and to encourage him to take up the journey again and accompany him toward a definitive encounter with her Spouse, in the heavenly Jerusalem.

The is the Church, our Mother! And when the Church, in the variety of her charisms, expresses herself in communion, she cannot err: it is the beauty and the strength of the sensus fidei, of that supernatural sense of the faith which is bestowed by the Holy Spirit so that, together, we can all enter into the heart of the Gospel and learn to follow Jesus in our life. And this should never be seen as a source of confusion and discord.

Many commentators, or people who talk, have imagined that they see a disputatious Church where one part is against the other, doubting even the Holy Spirit, the true promoter and guarantor of the unity and harmony of the Church – the Holy Spirit who throughout history has always guided the barque, through her Ministers, even when the sea was rough and choppy, and the ministers unfaithful and sinners.

And, as I have dared to tell you , [as] I told you from the beginning of the Synod, it was necessary to live through all this with tranquillity, and with interior peace, so that the Synod would take place cum Petro and sub Petro (with Peter and under Peter), and the presence of the Pope is the guarantee of it all.

We will speak a little bit about the Pope, now, in relation to the Bishops [laughing]. So, the duty of the Pope is that of guaranteeing the unity of the Church; it is that of reminding the faithful of  their duty to faithfully follow the Gospel of Christ; it is that of reminding the pastors that their first duty is to nourish the flock – to nourish the flock – that the Lord has entrusted to them, and to seek to welcome – with fatherly care and mercy, and without false fears – the lost sheep. I made a mistake here. I said welcome: [rather] to go out and find them.

His duty is to remind everyone that authority in the Church is a service, as Pope Benedict XVI clearly explained, with words I cite verbatim: “The Church is called and commits herself to exercise this kind of authority which is service and exercises it not in her own name, but in the name of Jesus Christ… through the Pastors of the Church, in fact: it is he who guides, protects and corrects them, because he loves them deeply. But the Lord Jesus, the supreme Shepherd of our souls, has willed that the Apostolic College, today the Bishops, in communion with the Successor of Peter… to participate in his mission of taking care of God’s People, of educating them in the faith and of guiding, inspiring and sustaining the Christian community, or, as the Council puts it, ‘to see to it… that each member of the faithful shall be led in the Holy Spirit to the full development of his own vocation in accordance with Gospel preaching, and to sincere and active charity’ and to exercise that liberty with which Christ has set us free (cf. Presbyterorum Ordinis, 6)… and it is through us,” Pope Benedict continues, “that the Lord reaches souls, instructs, guards and guides them. St Augustine, in his Commentary on the Gospel of St John, says: ‘let it therefore be a commitment of love to feed the flock of the Lord’ (cf. 123, 5); this is the supreme rule of conduct for the ministers of God, an unconditional love, like that of the Good Shepherd, full of joy, given to all, attentive to those close to us and solicitous for those who are distant (cf. St Augustine, Discourse 340, 1; Discourse 46, 15), gentle towards the weakest, the little ones, the simple, the sinners, to manifest the infinite mercy of God with the reassuring words of hope (cf. ibid., Epistle, 95, 1).”

So, the Church is Christ’s – she is His bride – and all the bishops, in communion with the Successor of Peter, have the task and the duty of guarding her and serving her, not as masters but as servants. The Pope, in this context, is not the supreme lord but rather the supreme servant – the “servant of the servants of God”; the guarantor of the obedience and the conformity of the Church to the will of God, to the Gospel of Christ, and to the Tradition of the Church, putting aside every personal whim, despite being – by the will of Christ Himself – the “supreme Pastor and Teacher of all the faithful” (Can. 749) and despite enjoying “supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church” (cf. Cann. 331-334).

Dear brothers and sisters, now we still have one year to mature, with true spiritual discernment, the proposed ideas and to find concrete solutions to so many difficulties and innumerable challenges that families must confront; to give answers to the many discouragements that surround and suffocate families.

One year to work on the “Synodal Relatio” which is the faithful and clear summary of everything that has been said and discussed in this hall and in the small groups. It is presented to the Episcopal Conferences as “lineamenta” [guidelines].

May the Lord accompany us, and guide us in this journey for the glory of His Name, with the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of Saint Joseph. And please, do not forget to pray for me! Thank you!

[The hymn Te Deum was sung, and Benediction given.]

Thank you, and rest well, eh?

Big Bang Theories Are Not Inconsistent with the Biblical Creation Story

via Media Distort Catholic View on Evolution

After Pope Francis referenced the Big Bang and biological evolution this past Monday, a flurry of media reports appeared, contrasting Francis’ views with those of his predecessors and the Catholic tradition.

“Pope Francis made a significant rhetorical break with Catholic tradition Monday by declaring that the theories of evolution and the Big Bang are real,” gushed MSNBC. And elsewhere, MSNBC reported that “conservatives in the United States” who have been unhappy with Pope Francis “today have one more reason to be upset.”

Yet the real story here is that Francis was just reiterating the Catholic understanding of evolution first articulated by Pope Pius XII in 1950.

Had the journalists dug a little deeper, they would have discovered that the “father of the Big Bang theory,” Georges Lemaître, was a Belgian cosmologist and a Catholic priest. He was also a former president of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the very group Francis was addressing Monday.

The Catholic Catechism itself states that the “question about the origins of the world and of man has been the object of many scientific studies which have splendidly enriched our knowledge of the age and dimensions of the cosmos, the development of life-forms and the appearance of man.” It also notes that these discoveries “invite us to even greater admiration for the greatness of the Creator, prompting us to give him thanks for all his works and for the understanding and wisdom he gives to scholars and researchers.”

But it seems that these journalists really just wanted to drive a wedge between Francis and his immediate predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, holding the former up as a free-wheeling liberal and tarring the second as a stodgy conservative.

via Media Distort Catholic View on Evolution,

 

via Independent.co.uk

The theories of evolution and the big bang are not inconsistent with the biblical creation story, according to the head of the Roman Catholic Church.

God is not “a magician with a magic wand” says Pope Francis while speaking at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences Tuesday.

“When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so,” Francis said. “He created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfillment.

The Pontiff continued:

“The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it.  Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.” continued here

Big Bang Theories Are Not Inconsistent with the Biblical Creation Story

via Media Distort Catholic View on Evolution

After Pope Francis referenced the Big Bang and biological evolution this past Monday, a flurry of media reports appeared, contrasting Francis’ views with those of his predecessors and the Catholic tradition.

“Pope Francis made a significant rhetorical break with Catholic tradition Monday by declaring that the theories of evolution and the Big Bang are real,” gushed MSNBC. And elsewhere, MSNBC reported that “conservatives in the United States” who have been unhappy with Pope Francis “today have one more reason to be upset.”

Yet the real story here is that Francis was just reiterating the Catholic understanding of evolution first articulated by Pope Pius XII in 1950.

Had the journalists dug a little deeper, they would have discovered that the “father of the Big Bang theory,” Georges Lemaître, was a Belgian cosmologist and a Catholic priest. He was also a former president of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the very group Francis was addressing Monday.

The Catholic Catechism itself states that the “question about the origins of the world and of man has been the object of many scientific studies which have splendidly enriched our knowledge of the age and dimensions of the cosmos, the development of life-forms and the appearance of man.” It also notes that these discoveries “invite us to even greater admiration for the greatness of the Creator, prompting us to give him thanks for all his works and for the understanding and wisdom he gives to scholars and researchers.”

But it seems that these journalists really just wanted to drive a wedge between Francis and his immediate predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, holding the former up as a free-wheeling liberal and tarring the second as a stodgy conservative.

via Media Distort Catholic View on Evolution,

via Independent.co.uk

The theories of evolution and the big bang are not inconsistent with the biblical creation story, according to the head of the Roman Catholic Church.

God is not "a magician with a magic wand" says Pope Francis while speaking at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences Tuesday.

“When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so,” Francis said. “He created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfillment.

The Pontiff continued:

“The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it.  Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.” continued here

Burke’s “Exile” to Malta**: What if Everyone is Wrong? UPDATED–the Anchoress

Elizabeth Scalia / the Anchoress – First things:

"And I started thinking about the refugees who make the dangerous trip from Africa to Italy, and for whom Pope Francis has great compassion and concern. Malta is part of the migrant route.

And then I started thinking about how Malta has said it feels overwhelmed by immigrants. Just yesterday, there were reports that as many as 500 people had perished off the coast of Malta.

And then I thought: Burke is only 66 years old — he has a lot of energy left in him, and is very organized — and by all accounts he is a stickler of an obedientiary.

It would not at all surprise me to discover that Pope Francis, seeking to find a way to give assistance to people risking their lives to escape a troubled continent, has deliberately put along their route a youngish churchman with a humanitarian “military order” under his patronage, and a gift for putting things together.

In fact, this seems like exactly the thing Francis would do: align an obedient, faithful Cardinal who enjoys a bit of ceremony from time to time with a well-organized Knighthood able to offer medical and emergency help, and who also rather like getting spiffed up from time to time, and put them to work, together, for the good of the countless numbers of people, and ultimately for the good of the church.

I suppose if one buys into the worldly take on what constitutes a prestigious office, one might say “yes, this is a demotion! From the Curia, the seats of Power, and making episcopal recommendations to the little island of Malta**, and the Knights?”

But the whole world is in the midst of great crisis, and the church — this great centering pole which keeps everything from collapsing and lets in the light — must respond, wherever she can, and do it quickly and authoritatively, because nations are failing, as they do, and people are suffering, and darkness is encroaching, all about.

I think Francis has given Cardinal Burke a great challenge, a great privilege, and a mighty task: to sustain and further build up an organization that serves people-in-need around the world, regardless of race, creed, nationality; to shore up good-and-welfare networks that have become stagnant; to assist immigrants and nations as the world continues its transition into something different from what it has been. And to — why not, if he wants? — wrap all of these efforts in occasional pageants of great beauty and solemn worship, because beauty feeds the heart and soul, and it doesn’t belong to only some, but to all."

via Burke’s “Exile” to Malta**: What if Everyone is Wrong? UPDATED.

Pope Francis in the Holy Land – a poem

As Pope Francis visits the Holy Land, I offer a prayer as we accompany him in spirit:

Water of Peace

Jesus, enter the waters of our lives.
As at the Jordan,
You made holy
The water of Baptism,
Renew, in all men of good will,
Life, that flows from the God of Heaven,
Your Father, our Father, my Father.

May Your Holiness
Infuse the elements,
That compose all created things.
By the Water,
Cascading from the Temple,
Your pierced, open, and hallowed Side,
Prepare here a place for all men to abide.
Amen

Copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

Joann Nelander
lionessblog.com

Let us Wash Each Others Feet in Love

General Audience with Pope FrancisPope Francis said: “There is much that we can do to benefit the poor, the needy and those who suffer, and to favor justice, promote reconciliation and build peace. But before all else we need to keep alive in our world the thirst for the absolute, and to counter the dominance of a one-dimensional vision of the human person, a vision which reduces human beings to what they produce and to what they consume: this is one of the most insidious temptations of our time.”


Vatican Spokesman Censures ‘Rolling Stone’ Article on Pope |Blogs | NCRegister.com

by Edward Pentin Wednesday

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi has strongly criticised an article on Pope Francis that appears in the latest edition of Rolling Stone magazine.

Although he acknowledged that the Holy Father’s appearance on the publication’s front cover shows a diverse interest in the Pope, the Jesuit spokesman denounced the article’s negative portrayal of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s pontificate, saying the piece disqualifies itself as serious journalism.

“Unfortunately, the article disqualifies itself, falling into the usual mistake of a superficial journalism, which in order to highlight the positive aspects of Pope Francis, thinks it should describe in a negative way the pontificate of Pope Benedict, and does so with a surprising crudeness,” Fr. Lombardi said in a statement.

In the piece titled "Pope Francis: The Times They Are A-Changin’", author Mark Binelli calls Benedict’s papacy “disastrous” and goes so far as to attack the former pontiff’s appearance and character. He also describes Benedict’s acclaimed apostolic exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis as “wonky” but without explaining further. 

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/fr.-lombardi-censures-rolling-stone-article-on-pope#ixzz2rvK29qU7

Dec. 8th- Homage to the Statue of the Immaculate Conception–Pope Francis

the Vatistream, set to go live just before Francis shows up

The Little #Boy and the #Pope –

While representatives from more than 80 countries addressed the pope, a little boy walked onto the stage to say hello.

Via BuzzFeedBoy Wanders Onto Stage To Hang Out With Pope Francis

Ellie Hall / BuzVzFeed / Via youtube.com

Boy Wanders Onto Stage To Hang Out With Pope Francis

Ellie Hall / BuzzFeed / Via youtube.com

Pope Francis was visibly amused when the child stayed on the stage instead of returning to his seat on the steps.

Boy Wanders Onto Stage To Hang Out With Pope Francis

Ellie Hall / BuzzFeed / Via youtube.com

He refused to leave the pope’s side, even at the encouragement of several cardinals.

Boy Wanders Onto Stage To Hang Out With Pope Francis

Ellie Hall / BuzzFeed / Via youtube.com

When the representatives came forward to greet the pope, the little boy was initially not amused.

Boy Wanders Onto Stage To Hang Out With Pope Francis

Ellie Hall / BuzzFeed / Via youtube.com

But then he realized what was going on and decided to help out.

Boy Wanders Onto Stage To Hang Out With Pope Francis

Ellie Hall / BuzzFeed / Via youtube.com

Boy Wanders Onto Stage To Hang Out With Pope Francis

Ellie Hall / BuzzFeed / Via youtube.com

When Pope Francis began his speech, an aide attempted once again to make the child return to his seat.

When Pope Francis began his speech, an aide attempted once again to make the child return to his seat.

AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino

The little boy refused, wrapping his arms around the pope in a tight hug.

The little boy refused, wrapping his arms around the pope in a tight hug.

Osservatore Romano / Reuters

Pope Francis didn’t seem to mind.

Boy Wanders Onto Stage To Hang Out With Pope Francis

Ellie Hall / BuzzFeed / Via youtube.com

In fact, he seated the boy on his chair before resuming his speech.

PEG@pegobryFollow

Love. Kid runs on stage during @Pontifex speech, hugs him, Pope sits him on his chair to continue the speech.

12:01 PM – 29 Oct 13

Osservatore Romano / Reuters

Luke 18:16: “Let the children come to me and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

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Sinners Are Close to the Heart of God, Pope Reflects | Daily News | NCRegister.com

VATICAN CITY — In his daily Mass homily today, Pope Francis stressed that Jesus came to save sinners, emphasizing also the importance of knowing God on more than an intellectual level.

“I have come to heal, to save,” said the Pope, quoting the words of Jesus from the Gospel.

The Holy Father directed his Oct. 22 homily to those gathered at the Vatican’s St. Martha guesthouse, where he resides.

Pope Francis began his reflections by echoing the words of St. Paul to the Romans in the day’s first reading, stating that we can only enter into the mystery of God by talking to him on our knees, stressing that intelligence alone is not enough.

“You need contemplation, intelligence, heart, knees praying … all together: This is how we enter into the mystery.”

Another important aspect needed in our relationship with God is closeness, or proximity, the Pope reflected, noting that “one man created sin, and one man saved us.”

The Holy Father then recalled how close God has been to

via Sinners Are Close to the Heart of God, Pope Reflects | Daily News | NCRegister.com.

PODCAzT 135: Encyclical Letter “Lumen fidei” – AUDIO files of entire encyclical | Fr. Z’s Blog

via PODCAzT 135: Encyclical Letter “Lumen fidei” – AUDIO files of entire encyclical | Fr. Z’s Blog.

Posted on 7 July 2013 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Writes Fr. Z:

In my desire to get my ears and mind around the new encyclical, Lumen fidei, of Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, to sort the “voices” and get to know the trajectory of its arguments, I decided to read it aloud.

Wanna hear?PODCAzT 135: Encyclical Letter “Lumen fidei” – AUDIO files of entire encyclical | Fr. Z’s Blog

John Thavis | Pope Francis on the risk of a ‘babysitter’ church

Essentially, the pope argued that unless lay Catholics are willing to courageously live and proclaim their faith, the church risks turning into a “babysitter” for sleeping children.

Pope Francis was speaking to the mostly lay employees of the Vatican bank in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where his morning Masses have become daily teaching moments.

He referred to the day’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles on the evangelizing efforts of the earliest Christians, who traveled from place to place proclaiming the Gospel.

“They were a simple faithful, baptized just a year or so before – but they had the courage to go and proclaim,” he said.

“I think of us, the baptized: do we really have this strength – and I wonder – do we really believe in this? Is baptism enough? Is it sufficient for evangelization? Or do we rather ‘hope’ that the priest should speak, that the bishop might speak … and what of us? Then, the grace of baptism is somewhat closed, and we are locked in our thoughts, in our concerns. Or sometimes think: ‘No, we are Christians, I was baptized, I made Confirmation, First Communion … I have my identity card all right. And now, go to sleep quietly, you are a Christian.’ But where is this power of the Spirit that carries us forward?”

The pope said Christians today need to “be faithful to the Spirit, to proclaim Jesus with our lives, through our witness and our words.”

“When we do this, the church becomes a mother church that produces children…. But when we do not, the church is not the mother, but the babysitter, that takes care of the baby – to put the baby to sleep. It is a church dormant. Let us reflect on our baptism, on the responsibility of our baptism.”

via John Thavis | Pope Francis on the risk of a ‘babysitter’ church.

Jesus Saves – Jesus is the Only One

H/T John Travis :Today’s theme was the name of Jesus. The pope related a story from his days as archbishop in Buenos Aires:

“A humble man works in the curia of Buenos Aires. He has worked there for 30 years, he is the father of eight children. Before he goes out, before going out to do the things that he must do, he always says, ‘Jesus!’ And I once asked him, ‘Why do you always say’ Jesus ‘?’ ‘When I say’ Jesus ‘- this humble man told me – I feel strong, I feel I can work, and I know that He is with me, that He keeps me safe.’”

The pope continued: “This man never studied theology, he only has the grace of baptism and the power of the Spirit. And this testimony did me a lot of good too, because it reminds us that in this world that offers us so many saviors, it is only the name of Jesus that saves.”

Pope Francis went on to say that “in order to solve their problems many people resort to fortune tellers and tarot cards. But only Jesus saves and we must bear witness to this! He is the only one.”

Successors: A papal transition

Wednesday of Holy Week / DivineOffice.org

<a href="http://divineoffice.org">Wednesday of Holy Week</a>

“And I have not rebelled, have not turned back. I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheek to those who plucked my beard; My face I did not shield from buffets and spitting. The Lord God is my help, therefore I am not disgraced (Isaiah 50:5-7).”
Today we continue our focus on Holy Week and our meditations on the four Servant songs in Isaiah. Monday we heard Yahweh announce a chosen Servant, to bring sight and justice to the nations. Tuesday we read about the Savior’s mission to bring salvation to the very ends of the earth. Today’s Servant song shows the agony present in the task. Foreshadowing the Passion, we see a Servant who is suffering and insulted. Despite adversaries and darkness, the Servant remains steadfast. These three texts prepare us for death and the Cross. In the midst of these foreboding premonitions, we are reminded, though, that the Servant is not disgraced and God is ever-present, one with the mission.

In a recent homily Pope Francis echoed this divine mystery: “Jesus on the Cross feels the whole weight of the evil, and with the force of God’s love he conquers it, he defeats it with hisWednesday of Holy Week
“And I have not rebelled, have not turned back. I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheek to those who plucked my beard; My face I did not shield from buffets and spitting. The Lord God is my help, therefore I am not disgraced (Isaiah 50:5-7).”

Today we continue our focus on Holy Week and our meditations on the four Servant songs in Isaiah. Monday we heard Yahweh announce a chosen Servant, to bring sight and justice to the nations. Tuesday we read about the Savior’s mission to bring salvation to the very ends of the earth. Today’s Servant song shows the agony present in the task. Foreshadowing the Passion, we see a Servant who is suffering and insulted. Despite adversaries and darkness, the Servant remains steadfast. These three texts prepare us for death and the Cross. In the midst of these foreboding premonitions, we are reminded, though, that the Servant is not disgraced and God is ever-present, one with the mission.

In a recent homily Pope Francis echoed this divine mystery: “Jesus on the Cross feels the whole weight of the evil, and with the force of God’s love he conquers it, he defeats it with his resurrection. This is the good that Jesus does for us on the throne of the Cross. Christ’s Cross embraced with love never leads to sadness, but to joy, to the joy of having been saved…” 

Pope Francis descended the popemobile to bless a disabled man

Francis Leaves Popemobile to Bless Disabled Man
Before his inaugural Mass this morning, Pope Francis descended the popemobile to bless a disabled man in St. Peter’s Square.

He’s preaching the Gospel of Life without saying a word. I love this man.

He also has to be giving his security team some mild heart attacks. I like what Elizabeth Scalia had to say this morning on Twitter in response to concerns over his safety: “#PopeFrancis seems determined to teach that you go forward in faith, not fear, on God’s timetable. Good lesson.”

An excellent lesson, but still, “Let us pray for our Sovereign Pontiff Francis. The Lord preserve him and give him life, and make him blessed upon earth, and deliver him not to the will of his enemies.” (Prayer for the Pope, Handbook of Prayers)

The Holy Father Revives an Ancient Tradition

God bless our Pope! The Holy Father revives an ancient tradition soon after his election to the See of Peter.

It seems that Pope Francis revived an ancient tradition at the end of the Conclave that elected him to the Papacy.

After accepting the Petrine Ministry, the Holy Father placed his old cardinal’s zucchetto on Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri’s head. Archbishop Baldisseri is the Secretary to the College of Cardinals, and therefore, by virtue of his office, served as Secretary to the Conclave. This act means that Archbishop Baldisseri will be formally created a cardinal at the next consistory.

Until recent times, it was common for a newly elected Pope to elevate the (non-cardinal) Secretary of the Conclave to the ranks of the cardinalate upon his own election to the Papacy. He would do this by giving the Secretary his own cardinal’s zucchetto, as he himself was given the white one reserved for the Pope.

The last Pope to do this was Blessed John XXIII, who, immediately after being elected to the See of Peter in 1958, gave his old red skullcap to the then Secretary of the Conclave, Alberto di Jorio. The tradition, until last week, seemed to have come to an end with the election of Paul VI in 1963.

According to a friend, some commentators had noticed that Archbishop Baldisseri was wearing a cardinal’s zucchetto when he appeared in public during Pope Francis’s greeting from the Loggia of St Peter’s on the night of his election. The story has since been confirmed by Vatican Radio’s Portuguese language news section.

Many congratulations to Archbishop Baldisseri! It is also good to note that Pope Francis decided to revive this beautiful and ancient custom.

God bless our Pope!

via A Reluctant Sinner: God bless our Pope! The Holy Father revives an ancient tradition soon after his election to the See of Peter.

Pope to Journalists I Love You So Much

<p><a href=’http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-to-journalists-i-love-you-so-much-and-i-thank-you-for-everything/’>Pope to journalists: 'I love you so much and I thank you for everything' :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)</a>.</p>Vatican City, Mar 16, 2013 / 08:11 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis told thousands of journalists today he loved them and thanked them for their recent work.

“I love you so much and I thank you for all that you have done,” Pope Francis told over 5,000 journalists today at Paul VI Hall in the Vatican.

“We aren’t called to communicate about ourselves, but on this trinity of truth, goodness and beauty,” he told the journalists at 11:00 a.m. local time.

The newly elected Pope from Argentina spoke to them and their families on the third day of his pontificate.

“Your work needs study, sensibility, experience like all other professions, but needs to also give special attention to truth, goodness and beauty,” said the Pope.

“That is why we are so close because the Church exists to communicate precisely this,” he stated.

He thanked the journalists for their “hard work” covering the days since Benedict XVI announced his resignation adding that it is not easy to communicate to “a vast and varied public.”

“Be sure that the Church reserves a big attention to your precious work,” said the 76-year-old Argentinian.

The pontiff told the professionals that Jesus is the center of the Church and not himself.

Pope Francis visits Cardinal Jorge Mejía in the hospital

Who is Pope Francis I?

Who is Pope Francis I?.March 13, 2013. (Romereports.com) Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio becomes the first Latin American Pope. He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on December 17, 1936. Before entering the seminary, he studied chemistry and graduated as a chemical engineer.    


The new Pope is a Jeusit. He has taught literature and psychology in Buenos Aires. He was ordained a priest on December 13, 1969, at the age of 33.    

In 1992, John Paul II appointed him titular bishop of Auca. Then in 1997, he was appointed archbishop of Buenos Aires and was made a cardinal in 2001. He is a member of the Pontifical Council for the Family and also of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.

He has written several books including “Meditations for religious” and “Reflections of Hope.”

Although he was not among ‘papabili’ at the start of this first conclave, back in 2005  he was among the main candidates. Nearly 8 years later, he emerged as Pope.

via Who is Pope Francis I?.