Catholic News Agency: Vatican

On WWII anniversary, Pope says 'never again' to war, condemns arms trafficking

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: September 2, 2015
Vatican City, Sep 2, 2015 / 05:09 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis remembered the official end of the Second World War on Wednesday with the plea: “never again,” and he decried similar horrors from today’s bloody conflicts, denouncing weapons trafficking. The Pope recounted Sept. 2 today’s victims of war: “The persecuted minorities, the persecuted Christians, the insanity of destruction and the manufacturing and trafficking of weapons, bloodstained weapons, weapons soaked in the blood of many innocent (people).” He cited the words of his predecessor, Blessed Paul VI: “War never again!” These words, he said, are “the anguished cry which, from our hearts and from the hearts of men and women of good will, rise up to the Prince of Peace.” The Pope's remarks addressed pilgrims in St. Peter's Square at the conclusion of his weekly General Audience. “I renew my fervent prayer to the Lord of All that, thr

Vatican says 'no' to transsexual godparents amid Spain controversy

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: September 2, 2015
Vatican City, Sep 2, 2015 / 12:22 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A media firestorm arose in Spain after a transsexual woman, who considers herself a man, asked to be the godfather of her nephew – leading a diocese's bishop to turn to the Vatican for an answer. After writing to the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about the issue earlier this month, Bishop Rafael Zornoza Boy of Cádiz and Ceuta was told that since transsexual persons are not consistently living Church teaching, its “impossible” for them to fulfill their duties as a godparent. The bishop wrote the letter after Alex Salinas, 21 years-old and born a woman, had requested to be the godfather of her nephew.   In their response, the congregation – charged with safeguarding Catholic teaching – said that it is “impossible to allow” a person with transsexual behavior to be a baptismal godmother or godfather. In a Sept. 1 statement, the bishop said

Alliance between families and God can change the world, Pope Francis says

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: September 2, 2015
Vatican City, Sep 2, 2015 / 11:31 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Encouraging families to hear God's word and to put it into practice, Pope Francis said Wednesday that the family, by being allied with God, is called to counteract the “desertification” found in today's cities. “Our cities are becoming desertified for lack of love, for lack of smiles,” the Roman Pontiff said, addressing the crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square Sept. 2 for the General Audience. Cities have “many diversions, many ways of wasting time, of laughing, but love is missing,” the Pope said. However, the family has the ability to overcome this. “The smile of a family is able to defeat this desertification of our cities. This is the victory of the love of the family.” Since last autumn, Pope Francis has centered his Wednesday catecheses on the family, as part of the lead-up to the World Day of Families in September, as well as October’s Synod on th

Pope listens to what Francis of Assisi can teach us about creation

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: September 1, 2015
Vatican City, Sep 1, 2015 / 02:46 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- On the first World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, the preacher to the papal household said that St. Francis of Assisi is a key model in showing the link between faith in God and care for our common home. Saint Francis “is living proof of the contribution that faith in God can give to the common effort for the protection of creation,” Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap., said Sept. 1 during his homily for a Liturgy of the Word presided over by Pope Francis, which was celebrated at St. Peter's Basilica. “His love for creatures is a direct consequence of his faith in the universal paternity of God.” The World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation was instituted by Pope Francis last month to coincide with the Eastern Orthodox Church’s day of celebration for creation, which has taken place this day since since 1989. Although Pope Francis presided over the celebration, Fr. Cantala

All priests will be able forgive sin of abortion during Jubilee for Mercy

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: September 1, 2015
Vatican City, Sep 1, 2015 / 06:33 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a new set of pastoral guidelines for the upcoming Holy Year of Mercy Pope Francis has made some significant moves, allowing all priests to forgive the sin of abortion and granting SSPX priests the faculty to forgive sins. “One of the serious problems of our time is clearly the changed relationship with respect to life,” the Pope said in a Sept. 1 letter addressed to Archbishop Rino Fisichela, President of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, charged with organizing the Jubilee. In today’s society “a widespread and insensitive mentality” has become an obstacle to welcoming new life, with many who don’t fully understand the deep harm done by the “tragedy of abortion,” he said. However, Francis also noted that there are many women who, despite thinking abortion is wrong, feel that they have no other choice. “I am well aware of the pressure that has led

Benedict XVI: God's truth, love, and goodness are what make us pure

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: September 1, 2015
Vatican City, Sep 1, 2015 / 03:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- When Benedict XVI said Mass on Sunday for the annual meeting of his former students, his homily focused on how God's Word frees us from the forgetfulness of a world that no longer even thinks about God. “The truth, love, and goodness which come from God render man pure; and truth, love, and goodness are encountered in the Word, which frees us from 'forgetfulness' in a world which no longer thinks of God,” the emeritus Pope said Aug. 30 while saying Mass for the Ratzinger Schuelerkreis at the chapel of the Teutonic Cemetery in the Vatican. The Ratzinger Schuelerkreis has gathered annually to discuss topics in theology and the life of the Church since 1978, shortly after their mentor was pulled from academia to become a bishop. Ratzinger participated in the Schuelerkreis until his abdication as Bishop of Rome; since then, he has come only for the concluding day of the meeting to say Mass for the group

Pope Francis holds virtual audience with Americans in Chicago, Texas, LA

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: September 1, 2015
Vatican City, Aug 31, 2015 / 07:37 pm (CNA).- Pope Francis on Monday took part in a virtual audience with a group of Americans, less than a month before his historic trip to the United States. The event was hosted by ABC News, which made the announcement of the audience Aug. 31. It will air on ABC News’ "20/20" at 10:00 p.m. ET Sept. 4 and will be posted online in English and Spanish. Next month, the Pope will travel to Washington, D.C., New York, and Philadelphia. He will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama, address the United States Congress and the United Nations, and attend the World Meeting of Families, among other events. The virtual audience allowed the Pope to talk via satellite with people from parts of the country that he will not physically visit on his trip – students at a Chicago inner city school, parishioners from a border town in Texas, and homeless men and women in Los Angeles, according to ABC. The network released a preview clip of

Pope to Catholic lawmakers: Be strong. Protect life.

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: August 31, 2015
Vatican City, Aug 31, 2015 / 05:00 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- On Monday, Pope Francis urged Catholic legislators to be protectors of human life, calling them to “be strong” against a throw-away culture marked by Christian persecution, and the rejection of the unborn and migrants. The pontiff made these remarks during an audience with the International Catholic Legislators Network. During the meeting, members of the Network presented the Holy Father with a document outlining their commitment to promoting life in their respective nations, especially in areas of abortion, Christian persecution, and migration. U.S. Representative Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.), a member of the Network present at the August 31 audience, told EWTN News Nightly how the Pope concluded the audience with off-the-cuff remarks about the “throw-away culture where the unborn child, the migrant is not wanted.” “He also told us to be strong,” Fortenberry said. The working document

What to learn at the World Meeting of Families: The family is a gift from God.

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: August 30, 2015
Vatican City, Aug 30, 2015 / 10:37 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The World Meeting of Families event next month in Philadelphia aims to lead families to know their importance as a gift from God and to help them open their hearts to Jesus Christ, a priest involved in the event has said. The family “is the place where we feel most loved, most protected, most safe, valued,” Father William Donovan, one of the meeting’s main organizers, told CNA. “In the natural economy of things, one could say after the gift of life itself, the second greatest gift God has given us is family.” “The reason is because, once God gives us life, he also wants us to have a full life. He wants us to be loved, to be protected, to be safe, to be secure, to be valued,” said the Archdiocese of Philadelphia priest who also serves as Archbishop Charles Chaput’s liaison to the Pontifical Council for the Family.   This year's World Meeting of Families will take plac

Pope Francis: conversion isn't just an appearance – it's a matter of the heart

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: August 30, 2015
Vatican City, Aug 30, 2015 / 07:07 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his Sunday Angelus address Pope Francis said that merely obeying the rules isn’t enough to make us holy, but that if we truly want to serve God our conversion has to be deeper, changing the heart. “It's not exterior things which make us holy or not holy, but it's the heart that expresses our intentions, our choices and the desire to do everything out of love for God,” the Pope told pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square Aug. 30. “External attitudes are the consequence of what we have decided in the heart, not the contrary: with external attitudes, if the heart doesn't change, we aren't true Christians.” Pope Francis based his reflections on the day’s Gospel reading from Mark, in which the scribes and Pharisees criticized Jesus and his disciples for not following the tradition of “purifying” themselves by washing their hands before meals or when comi