Catholic News Agency: Vatican

What does the world need? Mercy and love, Pope tells Christians

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: May 29, 2015
Vatican City, May 29, 2015 / 12:22 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Catholic Church shouldn’t be afraid of the great changes of the modern world, Pope Francis has said. Rather, the Church should embrace this “happy challenge” with a renewed language of love and mercy. For Pope Francis, what people expect from the Church today is that “she knows how to walk with them, offering the company of the witness of faith, which shows solidarity to all, in particular those who are most alone and marginalized.” The Pope on May 29 recognized the many men, women and children living “on the existential peripheries generated by a consumer society” who are waiting for the closeness and solidarity of the Church. The Gospel, which every Christian is called to proclaim, is “the announcement of God's love which, in Jesus Christ, calls us to participate in his life,” Pope Francis said. In this light, the New Evangelization means “to be awar

Vatican rolls out first-ever guidebook for Arab pilgrims

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: May 28, 2015
Vatican City, May 28, 2015 / 09:55 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a move intended to reach out to Arab pilgrims who make their way to the Eternal City, the Vatican has for the first time published a guidebook entirely in the Arabic language. At the May 20 presentation of the book, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri said that “We cannot forget the sufferings and the challenges which Christians and more generally the populations of the Middle East are facing.” He expressed his confidence that the new book will “help to keep hope alive” for Arab pilgrims who come to Rome, particularly during the upcoming Jubilee for Mercy declared by Pope Francis in March. The cardinal, prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches, was present alongside the book’s author Edmond Farhat, who is the current archbishop of Byblos, Lebanon. Held at the Patristic Augustinian Institute in Rome, the event also gathered Lebanon’s Ambassador to the Holy See, Georges El-Khoury; Egyp

For the Vatican bank, a new direction means profitability

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: May 28, 2015
Vatican City, May 28, 2015 / 12:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican Bank’s net profits in 2014 jumped to $75.5 million from only $3.2 million the previous year, reflecting a change in its financial management and investments.   The Institute for Religious Works (IOR), known informally as the 'Vatican bank', released its third annual report on May 25. The report registered a massive increase in net profits. This increase may be attributed both to a sharp rise in the bank’s net trading income and to a decline of its extraordinary operating expenses, like the costs of hiring external consultants to monitor and screen the IOR accounts.   The increase in net profit is also a result of the financial policy now underway that is aimed at generating more profits. According to the IOR, there will be “a shift by the IOR’s clients away from term deposits and toward asset management solutions, confirming a long-term trend.”   Jean-Baptis

'Mother of Mercy' beatification in Kenya draws tens of thousands

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: May 27, 2015
Vatican City, May 27, 2015 / 04:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Massive crowds attended Saturday's beatification of early twentieth-century Italian missionary, Sister Irene Stefani, who was known as “mother of mercy” to the Kenyan people she cared for. Pope Francis remembered the new blessed during his Regina Caeli address on Sunday in Rome, recalling how the member of the Consolata Missionaries had served the Kenyan people “with joy, mercy, and tender compassion.” Speaking also about Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was also beatified Saturday in San Salvador, the Pope said: “The heroic example of these Blesseds sustain in each one of us the lively desire to give witness to the Gospel with courage and self-sacrifice.” Sr. Irene Stefani (1891-1930) was beatified May 23 at the Dedan Kimathi University in Nyeri, Kenya in a ceremony attended by as many as 100,000 people, according to the country’s Daily Nation newspaper. It was the first time

Love requires work – not just attraction or feelings, Pope tells couples

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: May 27, 2015
Vatican City, May 27, 2015 / 12:04 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In his weekly general audience, Pope Francis said the process of engagement is essential for any couple on their way to marriage since it not only allows love to mature, but helps future spouses deepen in knowledge of one another. “Marriage, as a vocation from God, is not just a relationship based on attraction and feelings, of a moment, of something short. It requires a journey,” the Pope told pilgrims present in St. Peter’s Square for his May 27 general audience. The journey of marriage “establishes a very strong and lasting partnership, which makes two lives one, a true miracle of human freedom and the grace of God,” he said, adding that such a partnership “is not improvised overnight.” An “express marriage” doesn’t exist, he said, explaining that “we have to work for love. We have to journey in the relationship of love between a man and a woman until it

Think you're important because you have money? Think again, Pope says

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: May 26, 2015
Vatican City, May 26, 2015 / 08:21 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his homily Tuesday Pope Francis cautioned against the “counter-witness” of those who seek to follow both Jesus and worldly temptations, saying that to follow Christ means denying oneself and serving others. “There are three things, three steps that take us away from Jesus: wealth, vanity and pride,” the Pope told attendees of his May 26 Mass in the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse. Riches, he said, are dangerous “because they immediately make you vain and you think you are important. And when you think you are important, you build your head up and then you lose it.” Francis took his cue from the day’s Mark Chapter 10 Gospel reading in which Peter asks Jesus what the disciples will get in return for following him. The scene takes place right after Jesus had told the rich young man to sell all of his possessions and give them to the poor. Instead of talking about wealth

What does Pope Francis miss most? Walking in the streets, eating pizza at restaurants

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: May 25, 2015
Vatican City, May 25, 2015 / 02:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In a recent interview with an Argentine newspaper, Pope Francis said he misses the “tranquillity of walking in the streets” and that he's always been “callejero” – a man of the city. The interview was published May 24, and is the result of a 45 minute meeting between the pontiff and a journalist and photographer from “La voz del Pueblo.” They spoke in the Vatican's Saint Martha residence where the Pope lives and celebrates daily Mass. Pope Francis said that since being elected Pope, he misses being able to “go out in the streets,” or even “going to a pizzeria to eat a good pizza.” When the journalist told him that he can always order a delivery pizza, he responded: “it is not the same thing.” “I have always been a 'callejero.' When I was cardinal, I loved walking the streets, and taking buses and the underground,” he

Thousands of people are trapped in the ocean right now – here is Pope Francis' response

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: May 25, 2015
Vatican City, May 25, 2015 / 04:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis has strongly called on the international community to help the scores of migrants who are currently trapped after attempting to cross the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. While around three thousand migrants have managed to make their way to Indonesia, Malaysia, or Thailand, thousands more are believed to be stranded in the middle of the ocean. “I continue to follow with great concern and suffering in my heart the stories of numerous refugees in the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea,” the Pope said during his May 24 Regina Caeli address. The migrants who remain stranded at sea were being transported by human traffickers. They were then abandoned on the boats by their smugglers amid crackdowns by Thailand’s government. According to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), some 2,000 people are stranded in boats in the Bay of Bengal, and another 1,500 in the Andaman Sea. In a M

Respect creation – this is a must for every single Christian, Pope Francis says

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: May 24, 2015
Vatican City, May 24, 2015 / 10:14 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis used Sunday's feast of Pentecost – the descent of the Holy Spirit – as an occasion to remind Christians of their duty to care for and respect the earth. “The Holy Spirit whom Christ sent from the Father, and the Creator Spirit who gives life to all things, are one and the same,” the Pope said. “Respect for creation, then, is a requirement of our faith: the 'garden' in which we live is not entrusted to us to be exploited, but rather to be cultivated and tended with respect.” Pope Francis, dressed in red vestments traditional for the solemnity of Pentecost, made these remarks during Mass in Saint Peter’s Basilica. Reflecting on Adam, who himself was “formed from the earth,” the pontiff explained, this respect for the earth is only possible when man is renewed by the Holy Spirit, and “reformed by the Father on the model of Christ, the new

Pope: Oscar Romero was a martyr who fought violence with love

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: May 23, 2015
Vatican City, May 23, 2015 / 07:48 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On the day of Oscar Romero’s beatification in San Salvador, Pope Francis sent a letter to the current archbishop, praising the martyr for his courageous service to the poor amid widespread national violence. “On this day of celebration for the Salvadoran nation, and also for the beautiful Latin American countries, we give thanks to God because he granted a martyr bishop the ability to see and hear the suffering of his people,” the Pope said in his May 23 letter. Romero, he said, “built peace with the power of love, (and) bore witness to the faith with his life given to the extreme.” Addressed to Archbishop José Luis Escobar Alas, the letter was sent by the Pope to the diocese of San Salvador in honor of the May 23 beatification of its former archbishop, Óscar Arnulfo Romero Galdámez. Archbishop Romero oversaw the diocese of San Salvador from 1977 until March 24, 1980,