Category Archives: Pope’s messages

Pope Francis to new cardinals: This is not just an honorary title

Pope Francis to new cardinals: This is not just an honorary title

Published on Feb 14, 2015

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The induction ceremony started off with the arrival of Benedict XVI.

This year’s induction ceremony for new cardinals had some familiar moments. Itbegan with the arrival of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

The Emeritus Pope sat with the rest of Cardinals, and just like last year, Pope Francis stopped the procession to greet him. Afterward, soon-to-be Cardinal Dominique Mamberti greeted Pope Francis on behalf of all the new cardinals present. Only one was missing,  95-year-old José de Jesús Pimiento Rodríguez , retired archbishop of Manizales, Colombia. DOMINIQUE MAMBERTI Prefect, Apostolic Signatura “He has asked to receive the biretta in Colombia, because his old age prevented him from traveling.” For his part, Pope Francis told the entire College of Cardinals to remember that their position is not an honor but a responsibility. POPE FRANCIS “It is not a kind of accessory, a decoration, like an honorary title. Rather, it is a pivot, a point of support and movement essential for the life of the community.” He noted that as they gain more responsibility in the church, they should also become kinder and have bigger hearts. POPE FRANCIS “Be kind always and to everyone, especially those who do not love us. FLASH. Respect is the ability to understand others and their dignity.” He said there will be plenty of reasons to become angry, but a churchman should, above all, be magnanimous, just and merciful. POPE FRANCIS “Any form of injustice should be unacceptable, including those which might benefit the man or the Church.” Then came the highlight of the ceremony: the imposition of birretas, which was especially moving for the new cardinals. New cardinals came from throughout the world, including: John Atcherley Dew, Archbishop of Wellington, New Zealand; Alberto Suárez Inda, Archbishop of Morelia, Mexico; Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon, Archbishop of Hanoi, Vietnam; and Soane Patita Paini Mafi, Bishop of Tonga. Representatives from every country with new cardinals attended.

New Cardinals receive Papal blessing and traditional red biretta

Published on Feb 14, 2015

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One by one, the new Cardinals walked over to Pope Francis to receive his blessing. As marked by tradition, they also received their red biretta, ring and a document with the name of the Cardinal’s titular church in Rome. read more

How Pope Francis is Ending Religion?

How Pope Francis is Ending Religion? Photo Credit: Flickr/Aleteia Image Department BY JEFFREY BATTISTON FEBRUARY 8,2015  It seems to me that most religions today are scorned because they are viewed as self-righteous, exclusive clubs filled with hypocrites. If we are honest with ourselves, the Catholic Church can look that way at times too. Some scholars, interestingly enough, have said that Jesus came to end religion. If you consider how He continuously provoked and criticized the Pharisees and Scribes, this begins to makes sense. Jesus tried to tell us that we need a “poverty of spirit” to experience transformation and enter His Kingdom. Jesus Himself is never upset with sinners. He is only upset with people who don’t think they’re sinners. In fact, the one time in scripture that Jesus appears angry and perhaps even violent was when he turned over the tables in the temple. His anger was not at people but at self-serving religion and its frequent alliance with power and money. As Jesus puts it, “clean first the inside of the cup, so that the outside will also be clean.” (Matthew 23:26) In many ways, Pope Francis is doing a great job of following in Jesus’ footsteps.

Soon after being elected Pope, Francis said in an interview, “As you know, there are various reasons why I choose the name of Francis of Assisi, a familiar figure far beyond the borders of Italy and Europe, even among those who do not profess the Catholic faith. One of the first reasons was Francis’ love for the poor.”

St Francis profoundly understood that we are called to go, without fear, to the furthest boundaries and outskirts of human existence to meet the poor, the marginalized and the least. Those who are materially, spiritually and humanly poor are not the focus of special attention because they are an economic, social or pastoral problem, but because an ever merciful and loving God reserved for them a privileged place in Jesus’ life and ministry. The “poor Church for the poor” of Pope Francis is a principle that defines his “Church of mercy” thus continuing the wonderful story of a loving Church that throughout the centuries has always tried to care for and look after those who suffer from want. read more

Pope Francis to formally induct 20 new cardinals

Pope Francis to formally induct 20 new cardinals

Published on Feb 13, 2015

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Pope Francis is continuing to shape the direction of the Catholic Church in major ways. His latest move: further internationalizing the College of Cardinals. The new cardinals come from 14 countries spread over six continents. Of the 20 cardinals, 15 of them are under-80 years old and eligible to vote in future conclaves. Pope Francis has made a bold statement with his decision, choosing cardinals from some of the furthest peripheries of the Universal Church. Three voting-age cardinals come from Asia, three from Latin America, two from Africa, and two from Oceania. Just five are European. Cape Verde, Myanmar, and Tonga will have their first ever cardinals. The youngest in the group is 53-year-old Soane Patita Paini Mafi, who was the Bishop of Tonga. The small nation has just 15,000 Catholics and is 11,000 miles from Rome. The other new cardinals come from France, Portugal, Ethiopia, New Zealand, Italy, Vietnam, Mexico, Thailand, Uruguay, Spain, Panama, Colombia, Germany, Argentina, and Mozambique. The appointments represent a major shift in the Church. Europeans no longer have a majority in the College of Cardinals. Less than two years into his papacy, about 25 percent of the voting-age cardinals have been chosen by Pope Francis.

Pope Francis: We are simplifying the Curia so that we can collaborate with transparency

Pope Francis: We are simplifying the Curia so that we can collaborate with transparency

Published on Feb 12, 2015

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February 12, 2015. The Pope called the meeting to hear the cardinals’ views on Roman Curia reform. He has made simplyfying the Vatican one of his top objectives.

This was the environment at the Vatican this morning, just before Pope Francis met with 160 cardinals.

The Pope called the meeting to hear the cardinals’ views on Roman Curia reform. He has made simplyfying the Vatican one of his top objectives. He mentioned that reforming the Curia was a top concern as the last Conclave began. Pope Francis then explained what changes he had planned. POPE FRANCIS “We want to achieve greater harmony between departments, so that we collaborate effectively with full transparency. That builds real synodality and collegiality.” The Pope recalled that reform is not an end in itself. Rather, the changes are meant to “strengthen Christian testimony and encourage more effective evangelization.” The goal is improving the bureaucracy so that Vatican departments better help the papacy and also the Church as a whole. The cardinals have been asked to express their opinion freely. POPE FRANCIS “Our meeting begins with a spirital of collaboration. It will be fruitful because each contribution comes with courage, freedom and fidelity to the Magisterium.” The meetings will conclude Friday afternoon. Cardinals who will be created the next day are also participating.
Pope’s Address to Consistory of the College of Cardinals
“The reform is not an end in itself, but a means to give strong Christian witness”

VATICAN CITY, February 12, 2015 (Zenit.org) – The Consistory, which gathers the College of Cardinals with Pope Francis, began at 9 o’clock this morning in the Synod Hall in the Vatican. The works of the Consistory — in which the Cardinals that will be created in the ordinary Public Consistory this Saturday are also taking part –, are taking place today and tomorrow, with sessions from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. read more

Pope Francis: Having lots of children is not an irresponsible decision

Pope Francis: Having lots of children is not an irresponsible decision

Published on Feb 11, 2015

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This week’s general audience was held outdoors in St. Peter’s Square, where the Pope made his way through the crowds, in a popemobile.

Lately, his catechesis have focused on the family. After dedicating his last two to fatherhood, he talked about children. He said kids are not born to be property of their parents. POPE FRANCIS “Children are a gift. Do you understand?  Each is unique and each is unrepeatable.” To explain, he recalled what his mother said when asked which of her five children she loved most. POPE FRANCIS “Allow me to share a childhood memory, my mother would always say – there were five of usin our family – when asked which one was her favorite, she would say ‘I have five children like I have five fingers…if they beat one of my fingers all five hurt…all of my children are mine, but each one is different, just like my fingers…this is the way it is in the family, all children are different but all children…” The Pope added that children provide joy and hope to the family and society.They are the future and when they feel loved, they are able to face the difficulties of life. Feeling support and love from their parents facilitates understanding of how God loves man. POPE FRANCIS “And if we fail, He continues to follow us patiently without diminishing His love for us.  Our Heavenly Father never takes a backward step in His love for us never, he always moves forward and waits for us.” He also explained that children should honor their parents and requested a moment of silence for everyone to think about their parents and children. The Pope stressed that a society with children  has hope for the future. He said that, Europe, the old continent, has a challenge in this respect. POPE FRANCIS “Just think of the many societies we know here in Europe.  They are depressed societies because they don’t want children, they don’t have children.  The birth rate doesn’t even reach 1%, why? Everyone should think about that and answer it personally.” At the same time, he pointed out that  parents should not be irresponsible when thinking about how many children to have. He said they cannot be selfish. POPE FRANCIS “A society that is not surrounded by children because it considers them a problem has no future. Parents should plan responsibily, but simply having many children cannot be seen as an irresponsible decision. Life is rejuvenated when we multiply.” The Pope asked for the attendees to pray for the impending meeting of cardinals in Rome and for the more than 200 migrants who recently perished in a shipwreck off Italy’s coast.
General Audience: On the Gift of Children
“A society of children who do not honor their parents is a society without honor”

VATICAN CITY, February 11, 2015 (Zenit.org) – Here is the translation of the Holy Father’s address during his weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square.

— — —

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

After having reflected on the figure of the mother and the father, in this catechesis on the family I would like to talk about the child or, better, the children. I take my cue from a beautiful image of Isaiah. The Prophet writes: “your sons shall come from far, and your daughters shall be carried in the arms. Then you shall see and be radiant, your heart shall thrill and rejoice” (60:4-5a).  It is a splendid image of the happiness that is realized in the reunion of parents and children, who walk together towards a future of freedom and peace, after a long time of privations and separation, when the Hebrews found themselves far from their homeland. read more

Pope Francis: Big cities can be great…but they can also seed unhappiness

Pope Francis: Big cities can be great…but they can also seed unhappiness

Published on Feb 10, 2015

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The importance of the laity in the Church: This was the focus on weekend audience between leaders of different lay groups and Pope Francis. Among those in attendance was the co-initiator of the Neocatechumenal Way, Kiko Arguello. The founder of the Community of Sant’ Egidio, Andrea Riccardi was also there, as well as Maria Voce, president of the Focolare Movement. read more

Pope Francis: Feminity is central to the Church’s identity

Pope Francis: Feminity is central to the Church’s identity

Published on Feb 9, 2015

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Pope Francis met with members of the Pontifical Council for Culture. The previous week, the council discussed the world’s different feminine cultures.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi told the Pope that a group of women has worked with bishops and cardinals of the Council to explain the different roles that women play in society. Pope Francis explained that female involvement is one of their main concerns. POPE FRANCIS “We must show that women are not just invited, but are actually part of the various fields of social and ecclesial life. Feminity is central to the church’s identity. It’s our Mother Church, not our Father Church.” He also said that subordination of women to men still occurs and that it has a negative impact in modern society. He suggested another way to consider the relationship between genders. POPE FRANCIS “Women are equal to men, but there are differences between men and women. It is better to think of women working with men instead of against them.” He also stressed the irreplaceable role of women in the family. He said that women embody “the tender face of God.” He denounced violence agaisnt women, especially against the poorest. Finally, he explained that it was an urgent matter for women to gain more influence within the Church.
Pope Stresses Importance of Widespread Presence of Women in the Church
Addresses the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Culture

By Junno Arocho Esteves

VATICAN CITY, February 09, 2015 (Zenit.org) – Pope Francis called for a “more widespread and incisive female presence” in the Church. The Holy Father made his comments during an audience with participants of the Pontifical Council for Culture’s Plenary Assembly. read more

Pope Francis in Santa Marta: Caring for the Earth is not just for environmentalists

Pope Francis in Santa Marta: Caring for the Earth is not just for environmentalists

Published on Feb 9, 2015

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The Pope spoke about Creation during his homily. He asked Christians to not dominate the planet but instead work to preserve it.

POPE FRANCIS “When we hear that people organize to take care of the planet, we sometimes say: We aren’t enviromentalists. We are Christians! It isn’t our concern. That was our response to the ‘first Creation’ of God. But it is our responsibility! A Christian that does not care for Creation, that does not make it grow, is a Christian who doesn’t care about the work of God; that work born from the love of God for us. And this is the first answer to the first Creation: to care for Creation, to make it grow.” He further explained that Jesus, in becoming man, held a second Creationbecause the first was ruined by sin. COMPLETE POPE HOMILY (Source: Vatican Radio) “God works, continues to work, and we can ask ourselves how we should respond to this creation of God, which is born of love, because he works through love. In the ‘first creation’ we must respond with the responsibility that the Lord gives us: ‘The earth is yours, take it forward; let it grow ‘. Even for us there is a responsibility to nurture the Earth, to nurture Creation, to keep it and make it grow according to its laws. We are the lords of creation, not its masters. “ “When we hear that people have meetings about how to preserve creation, we can say: ‘No, they are the greens!’ No, they are not the greens! This is the Christian! This is ‘our response to the’ first creation ‘of God. And’ our responsibility. A Christian who does not protect Creation, who does not let it grow, is a Christian who does not care about the work of God, that work that was born from the love of God for us. And this is the first response to the first creation: protect creation, make it grow. “ “And all three are involved in this creation, in this re-creation, in this perseverance in re-creation. And to all three of them our response is: to preserve and nurture Creation, let ourselves be reconciled with Jesus, with God in Jesus Christ, every day, and do not be grieved by the Holy Spirit, not drive it away: he is the host of our hearts, he who accompanies us, he who makes us grow. “
Pope’s Morning Homily: Christians Have a Duty to Care for Creation
Highlights the Responsibility of Preserving the Earth during Morning Mass

By Junno Arocho Esteves

VATICAN CITY, February 09, 2015 (Zenit.org) – Christians have a duty and a responsibility to care for the Earth. This was the theme of the Holy Father’s homily today at Casa Santa Marta.

The Holy Father reflected on today’s first reading, which recalled the story of Creation from the Book of Genesis, and the Gospel which recounted Jesus’ ministry of preaching and healing. Jesus, he said, is a ‘second creation’ who comes “to re-create that which was ruined by sin.” read more

Pope Francis at local parish: Let Christ heal your wounds

Pope Francis at local parish: Let Christ heal your wounds

Published on Feb 9, 2015

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The Pope visited the parish of St. Michael the Archangel.

The choir sang a special song for him in his native tongue, Spanish. In his homily, Pope Francis urged Christians to listen to Jesus. He said the key was to read the Gospel. POPE FRANCIS “‘How I can do this, father? What TV channel is Jesus on?’ He speaks in the Gospel. Searching for Jesus’ word in the Gospel is a habit many still don’t have. We must always keep a small copy of it handy.” Francis then made another recommendation. He said Christians need to let Jesus heal their wounds. POPE FRANCIS “Everyone knows where they feel pain. Each of us has many wounds. Everyone knows it! Jesus heals these wounds. But for him to do so, we must open our hearts. ‘How do I open my heart?’ By praying.” Before finishing his homily, the Pope asked something that made the parishoners in the audience smile. POPE FRANCIS “And one more request. Pray for God to heal my wounds too. OK? Do you agree?  Please do it, because it will be good for all of us.” The parish of St. Michael the Archangel is located on the outskirts of Rome. Before arriving for the surprise visit, the Pope took a detour and visited a shanty town inhabited mainly by Latin American immigrants.
Pope to Roman Parishioners: ‘Let Yourselves Be Healed By Jesus’
Makes Pastoral Visit to St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Pietralata

By Deborah Castellano Lubov

VATICAN CITY, February 09, 2015 (Zenit.org) – Pope Francis made a pastoral visit to the Roman parish of St. Michael the Archangel in Pietralata on Sunday afternoon.

According to the Vatican news blog, Il Sismografo, the Holy Father made a brief stop to visit an immigrant community near the parish and spent several minutes speaking to residents. read more

Pope Francis calls on governments to take action against human trafficking

Pope Francis calls on governments to take action against human trafficking

Published on Feb 9, 2015

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Following his weekly Angelus prayer on Sunday, Pope Francis discussed human trafficking, as it was the first International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking. POPE FRANCIS “I support those who help the many men, women, and children who are enslaved, exploited, abused as instruments of labour or of pleasure, who are often tortured and mutilated.” The Pope also specifically called on governments around the world to take quick action “to remove the causes of this shameful wound, a wound unworthy of civil society.” POPE FRANCIS “Everyone should feel committed to being the voice of our brothers and sisters who have had their dignity taken from them.” Before his remarks about human trafficking, Pope Francis also reminded the crowd that this Wednesday, February 11th , is World Day of the Sick.