Catholic News Agency: Vatican

Don't overcomplicate the Christian life, Pope Francis warns

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: September 23, 2014
Vatican City, Sep 23, 2014 / 04:26 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis resumed daily Mass Tuesday after his papal visit to Albania, telling those present that living the Christian life is simple: listen to God's word and put it into practice. “These are the two conditions in order to follow Jesus, hear the word of God and put it into practice. This is the Christian life, nothing more,” the Pope said Sept. 23 at the Saint Martha residence.   “Simple, easy. Maybe we've made it a little difficult with explanations that no one understands, but the Christian life is this: listen to the word of God and practice it.” This morning's Mass is the Pope's first this week after his one-day visit to Albania on Sunday. The Sept. 21 trip was packed with a full slate of meetings with local state and Church leaders as well as members of religious and lay groups. The day also included a quick visit to a center for abandoned children. A reoccurring th

Cardinal Burke: Media hijacking Synod on the Family

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: September 23, 2014
Vatican City, Sep 23, 2014 / 04:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Next month's Synod on the Family has undergone an attempted hijacking by some media sources, which are fueling expectations that impossible changes will be made to Church doctrine, said the head of the Church's highest court. “I don’t think you have to be brilliant to see that the media has, for months, been trying to hijack this Synod,” said Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect for the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura – the office which, among other things, handles annulment cases in the Church. In particular, he told CNA in a recent interview, the media has been presenting Pope Francis as being in favor of allowing Holy Communion to be distributed to those who are divorced and remarried, and other such propositions, even though this is not the case. The danger, Cardinal Burke continued, is that “the media has created a situation in which people expect that there are going to b

Pope gives flowers received in Albania to Blessed Mother

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: September 22, 2014
Vatican City, Sep 22, 2014 / 07:30 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In thanksgiving to the Blessed Mother for the success of his short but eventful trip to Albania, Pope Francis paid a visit on Monday morning to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major. Vatican spokesman Father  Federico Lombardi said the Pope spent time before the icon of Our Lady salus populi Romani – Protectress of the Roman people – and left the bouquet of flowers he had received Sunday during his meeting at the Betania Home for the disabled in Tirana, Albania. Those in the Basilica at the time joined the Holy Father as he recited the Salve Regina. The Sept. 21 apostolic journey was Pope Francis' first to a European country since his election to the papacy. Early in the day the Holy Father delivered an address to Albania's leaders and the diplomatic corps, in which he praised the “coexistence” between members of different faiths in the country, while condemning those who “consider

Vatican announces commission to streamline marriage process

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: September 21, 2014
Vatican City, Sep 21, 2014 / 12:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis will establish a commission to review the matrimonial process in canon law with the goal of simplifying the procedure while maintaining the indissolubility of marriage, the Holy See Press Office announced Saturday. According to Vatican Radio, the decision was made on Aug. 2 of this year and the commission will be chaired by Monsignor Pio Vito Pinto, dean of the Roman Rota. “The work of the commission will start as soon as possible and will have as its goal to prepare a proposal of reform of the matrimonial process, with the objective of simplifying its procedure, making it more streamlined, and safeguarding the principle of the indissolubility of matrimony,” read a Sept. 20 statement from the Vatican. Members of the commission will include: Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts; Archbishop Luis rancisco Ladaria Ferrer, secretary of the Congregatio

Pope Francis taps Blase Cupich to lead Chicago archdiocese

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: September 20, 2014
Vatican City, Sep 20, 2014 / 05:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis has appointed Spokane, Wash. Bishop Blase Cupich as the new shepherd of the Archdiocese of Chicago, replacing retiring Cardinal Francis George. The 65-year-old prelate was named Chicago's new archbishop on Sept. 20. He sits on numerous committees at the U.S. bishop's conference including the Subcommittee on the Church in Central and Eastern Europe. Born in Omaha, Neb. In 1949, he was ordained a priest in 1975 and studied at the College of St. Thomas in Minnesota as well as the Pontifical College of North America in Rome. In 1998, he was named bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota, and in 2010, he was named bishop of Spokane. He will replace Cardinal George, who submitted his resignation two years ago, when he turned 75, as is required by Canon Law. The 77-year-old cardinal has struggled with his health, facing cancer three times. After being diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2006, he underwent a fiv

Vatican sources deny that Pope is upset over cardinals' marriage book

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: September 19, 2014
Vatican City, Sep 19, 2014 / 05:01 pm (CNA).- Catholic Church sources have dismissed rumors that Pope Francis is annoyed by an Ignatius Press book critical of Cardinal Walter Kasper’s position on Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried. The French Catholic newspaper La Croix said Sept. 17 that “a senior source close to the Argentine Pope” claimed that Pope Francis would be “annoyed by the publication of this collective work.” However, sources close to the Pope denied this claim, telling CNA that the Pope is not even aware of the book. The book, from Ignatius Press, is titled “Remaining in the Truth of Christ: Marriage and Communion in the Catholic Church.” It is a collection of essays on the pastoral approach to Catholics who have divorced and civilly remarried. Authors of the essays include five cardinals as well as other scholars. Contributors include Cardinal Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of t

Bodily resurrection is key to Christian identity, Pope reminds

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: September 19, 2014
Vatican City, Sep 19, 2014 / 03:37 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Bodily resurrection is a reality which is the seal of our identity as Christians, Pope Francis said in his Friday morning homily at Santa Marta. Pointing to the people of Corinth, whom St. Paul spoke to in the readings during Mass, the Pope noted the Corinthians have similar problems as Christians today have when it comes to grasping the resurrection of human bodies. “[They] had other ideas: ‘sure, the dead are justified, they shall not got to hell – good thing, too! – but they’ll go into the cosmos, into the air – just the soul before God’,” the Pope said. People today, too, tend to believe in some sort of “cosmic pantheism” rather than the resurrection and transformation of our physical human bodies, the pontiff explained, because it is easier to accept. “There is resistance to the transformation, resistance to the work of the Spirit we received at Bap

Being honest about our sin 'opens us to the Lord's caress'

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: September 18, 2014
Vatican City, Sep 18, 2014 / 06:10 am (CNA/EWTN News).- At daily Mass, Pope Francis drew from the Gospel reading of the woman who washed Christ's feet with her tears – noting God's tender response to those who have the humility to acknowledge their sin. “...the ability to acknowledge our own sins, to acknowledge our misery, to acknowledge what we are and what we are capable of doing or have done is the very door that opens us to the Lord’s caress, His forgiveness,” the Pope said during his homily the morning of Sept. 18. He reflected on the Gospel passage from the seventh chapter of Luke, recalling how Jesus was visiting the house of a prominent Pharisee – “a person of a certain level of culture.” Although the Pharisee “wanted to listen to Jesus” on an intellectual level, he is baffled by the contrite woman who approaches Christ and washes his feet with her tears. “He cannot understand the simple gesture: the s

Curia reform advances as cardinals, minors protection group meet

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: September 18, 2014
Vatican City, Sep 18, 2014 / 04:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- As Pope Francis' council of cardinals for curia reform gather this week in Rome, the newly-created Pontifical Commission for Protection for minors will soon meet to finish creating its statutes. Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican's press office, announced in a briefing with journalists Sep. 17 that the commission will hold its next meeting Oct. 4-5. Monsignor Robert W. Oliver was appointed secretary of the commission Sep. 10, and that same day Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston was confirmed president of the commission. As the commission takes shape, Fr. Lombardi underscored that “in the next few weeks other very important aspects will be specified regarding the statutes and further members of the commission.” Msgr. Oliver immediately stressed that his first effort will be that of identifying new members for the commission, in order to include Asia, Africa and South America and thus

Pope Francis uses fast-track move to canonize first Sri Lankan

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: September 17, 2014
Vatican City, Sep 17, 2014 / 09:54 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Blessed Joseph Vaz will soon become Sri Lanka's first saint after Pope Francis Sept. 17 advanced his cause for canonization by waiving the requirement for a second miracle. The canonization of the 16th century cleric is expected to take place during the Holy Father's visit to Sri Lanka in January, 2015. An Indian-born priest of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, Blessed Joseph Vaz (1651-1711) he became an “apostle” for Sri Lanka at a time when Catholics were suffering persecution at the hands of Calvinist Dutch rulers. The soon-to-be declared saint was also also the  founder of the Oratory of the Holy Cross of Miracles in Goa. Typically, two miracles attributed to a Blessed are required before he or she can be declared a saint. Donald Prudlo, an associate professor of ancient and medieval history for Jacksonville State University, told CNA that it's within the realm of the Pope's author