Catholic News Agency: Vatican

Pope meets families of victims from deadly Bangladesh attack

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: February 22, 2017
Vatican City, Feb 22, 2017 / 11:24 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis met Wednesday morning with the families of nine of the victims of a terrorist attack which took place in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, last summer. The attack was carried out July 1, 2016 during a hostage scenario in the Hotel Artisan Bakery café in Dhaka. Twenty-eight people died in the attack – including six gunmen and two police officers.  Most of the 20 hostages killed in the attack were foreigners from Italy and Japan, with one from India and one from the U.S. Although the attack was staged by radical Islamist militants, authorities said the gunmen had no ties to the Islamic State, the BBC reports.   Pope Francis met Feb. 22 with 36 family members of the nine Italian victims of the attack. During the visit he embraced and comforted the families, Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano reports. “It's easy to take the road from love that leads to hatred, while it i

Vatican to crack down on illegal sale of papal symbols, coat of arms

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: February 22, 2017
Vatican City, Feb 22, 2017 / 07:19 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Wednesday the Vatican announced plans to monitor with a more careful eye those who print official images of the Pope or the Holy See and sell them for profit, intervening with “appropriate action” when necessary. A Feb. 22 communique issued by the Secretariat of State said pointed out that among its various tasks, it also has “that of protecting the image of the Holy Father, so that his message can reach the faithful intact and that his person not be exploited.” Because of this, part of the department is dedicated to protecting “the symbols and coats of arms of the Holy See” through appropriate channels on an international level. In order to make this “protective action” more effective and to “halt situations of illegality that arise,” the department said they will begin carrying out “systematic surveillance activities apt to monitor the ways in which the imag

Pope Francis: creation is a sign of hope – we have to take care of it

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: February 22, 2017
Vatican City, Feb 22, 2017 / 04:32 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Wednesday Pope Francis said creation has often suffered because of humanity’s sins and failings, stressing that we must take care of it because as Christians, we see signs of hope in Christ’s Resurrection in nature every day. “We are still struggling with the consequences of our sin and everything around us still bears the mark of our efforts, of our shortcomings, our closures,” he said Feb. 22. “At the same time, however, we know that they are saved by the Lord and already we are given to contemplate and anticipate in ourselves and in the world around us signs of the Resurrection, Easter, which operates a new creation.” Pope Francis spoke to pilgrims during his general audience, held in St. Peter’s Square for the first time since winter, continuing his catechesis on the theme of hope. He reminded pilgrims that God has entrusted creation to us as a gift that can draw us closer to hi

Vatican, Jewish museum launch first joint-exhibit on the Menorah

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: February 21, 2017
Vatican City, Feb 21, 2017 / 03:24 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican and the Jewish community in Rome are marking a new step in relations between the two religions by rolling out the first-ever joint exhibition focused entirely on the Menorah – an ancient symbol representing their shared roots. “The relation between the Catholic Church and the Jewish community is not extrinsic, but is intrinsic,” Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, told CNA at the Feb. 20 presentation of the exhibit, quoting St. John Paul II. “That means we must know the Jewish roots of Christianity and we cannot be Christian without knowledge of the religion of the Jews because the Jews are the mother of Christianity,” he said, adding that in this sense, “it’s very important to know the roots, the family roots, of Christianity.” Since the Menorah such an important symbol for the Jewish people, to have a joint-exhibit o

Pope Francis: protecting migrants is a 'moral imperative'

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: February 21, 2017
Vatican City, Feb 21, 2017 / 08:30 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Tuesday Pope Francis said that it is our duty to defend the dignity of migrants, particularly by enacting just laws that offer protection to those forced to flee from dangerous or inhumane situations. “Defending (migrants’) inalienable rights, ensuring their fundamental freedoms and respecting their dignity are duties from which no one can be exempted,” the Pope said Feb. 21. “Protecting these brothers and sisters,” he said, “is a moral imperative which translates into adopting juridical instruments, both international and national, that must be clear and relevant; implementing just and far reaching political choices.” Although sometimes it takes longer, we must also implement timely and humane programs that fight against human trafficking, since migrants are an especially vulnerable population, the Pope observed.     Pope Francis’ speech was addressed to participants

Vatican, Al-Azhar team up to counter religious justification for violence

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: February 21, 2017
Vatican City, Feb 21, 2017 / 05:58 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican and one of Islam’s most renowned schools of Sunni thought are joining forces to discuss how they can work together in combating religious extremism that uses God’s name to justify violence. On Feb. 21 the Vatican announced that Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, will travel to Cairo to participate in a special seminar at the Al-Azhar University. He will be joined by the council’s secretary, Bishop Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, and the head of their Office for Islam, Msgr. Khaled Akasheh, to discuss the theme “The role of al-Azhar al-Sharif and of the Vatican in countering the phenomena of fanaticism, extremism and violence in the name of religion.” The meeting will take place “on the vigil” of Feb. 24 in honor of Pope Saint John Paul II’s visit to the university on that day in 2000. It will also be attended

Pope Francis: to love your enemies, prayer is a game-changer

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: February 19, 2017
Vatican City, Feb 19, 2017 / 01:21 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The path to holiness and sainthood, Pope Francis said, requires imitating Christ by loving our enemies and praying for those who wrong us even when it is difficult. “It’s true, God the Father is merciful,” he said Feb. 19. “And you? Are you merciful, are you merciful with the people who have hurt you? Or who do not love you?” “If He is merciful, if He is holy, if He is perfect, we must be merciful, holy and perfect like Him,” he continued. “This is holiness. A man and a woman who do this deserve to be canonized: they become saints. So simple is the Christian life.” Pope Francis gave his homily during Mass at the parish of Santa Maria Josefa of the Heart of Jesus, where he visited Sunday. Before Mass he visited with young people, the sick, families and those in charge of the parish’s Caritas organization. He also heard the confessions of four parishioners. This was the

Pope prays for victims of terrorist attacks in Iraq and Pakistan

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: February 19, 2017
Vatican City, Feb 19, 2017 / 05:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- After leading the Angelus Sunday, Pope Francis prayed for all those affected by violence and war around the world, particularly the victims of recent terrorist attacks in Pakistan and Iraq, asking pilgrims to offer a moment of silence before leading them in praying the ‘Hail Mary.’ “I think, in particular, of the dear people of Pakistan and Iraq, hit by cruel terrorist acts in recent days,” the Pope said Feb. 19. “We pray for the victims, the wounded and the families. Let us pray fervently that every heart hardened by hatred is converted to peace, according to the will of God.” A suicide bomber reportedly loyal to the Islamic State attacked devotees at a Sufi shrine in Sehwan, Pakistan, more than 90 miles northwest of Hyderabad, Feb. 16. In addition to the more than 80 killed in the attack, some 250 were wounded. The same day, a car bomb exploded in Baghdad's southwestern al-Bayaa neighbo

Want to reach humanity? Be open to God's grace, Pope says

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: February 18, 2017
Vatican City, Feb 18, 2017 / 11:52 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Christian mission today means facing new challenges with simplicity, holiness, and openness to God, Pope Francis told an audience with the Marian Fathers on Saturday. “Many still await knowledge of Jesus, the sole Redeemer of man, and many situations of injustice and moral and material hardship challenge believers,” the Pope said Feb. 18. “Such an urgent mission requires conversion at personal and community levels. Only hearts that are fully open to the action of grace are able to interpret the signs of the times and to hear the calls of humanity in need of hope and peace.” The Pope told the Marian Fathers that their apostolate is a “vast field” constituted by “the urgent need” to bear witness to the gospel before everyone without distinctions.  The Pope received members of the Congregation of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception on Saturday morning in the Vati

Muslim refugee hails Pope Francis as the example of religion

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: February 17, 2017
Vatican City, Feb 17, 2017 / 04:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Nur Essa, a Muslim Syrian woman whose family was brought to Rome from Lesbos by Pope Francis last April, said that the openness he has shown to those of different faiths has deeply impressed her. “For me, I was surprised,” she told CNA. “(He is) very open to all of the cultures, all of the religions, and he sets an example for all the religious people in the world, because he uses religion to serve the human being.” Essa, 31, has met the Pope on several occasions, most recently during the Pope's visit Feb. 17th to Roma Tre University, a public research university in Rome where she currently studies. She was one of four students of the university to ask the Pope a question, which he answered during his visit. Essa's question was about the integration of immigrants in Italy: what they must do to integrate into their host country, but also what the rights of the immigrant are. Before this, Essa an