Catholic News Agency: Vatican

Have you been performing works of mercy? If so, the Vatican wants to know

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: August 30, 2016
Vatican City, Aug 30, 2016 / 10:14 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In honor of all “workers and volunteers of mercy,” the Vatican is asking those who volunteer in different service opportunities to share their testimony on social media with the hashtag #BeMercy. Launched by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, the #BeMercy initiative is meant to coincide with the special Sept. 2-4 Jubilee for Workers and Volunteers of Mercy, and is part of Pope Francis’ wider Holy Year of Mercy. “Charity, love and mercy are different words to express the same reality: God’s love,” Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Council for the New Evangelization, told CNA in an interview. “God is close to you and God is always helping you,” he said, noting that love, charity and mercy aren’t limited to just helping people, but “become a great witness for us in the moment we are able to forgive people.” “That wi

Pope Francis meets Mark Zuckerberg and his wife at the Vatican

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: August 29, 2016
Vatican City, Aug 29, 2016 / 06:10 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Monday Pope Francis met with Mark Zuckerber, co-founder and CEO of social networking giant Facebook, at the Vatican, marking the latest in a string of visits from other major tech-heads this year. According to an Aug. 29 communique from the Vatican, Francis and Zuckerberg, who was accompanied by his wife Priscilla Chan, “spoke of how to use communication technologies to alleviate poverty, encourage the culture of encounter and bring a message of hope, especially to the most disadvantaged.” The theme of poverty and bringing a message of hope to the poor and marginalized is something Francis has spoken about ceaselessly since his election, barely stopping to take a breath in the past three years. Though he has publicly admitted in interviews to not owning a cell phone or using the computer, it seems that Pope Francis sees the value of the digital age, specifically in terms of the benefits new technologies can bring

Open your hearts to those 'defeated by life,' Pope Francis says

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: August 28, 2016
Vatican City, Aug 28, 2016 / 08:58 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In the wake of the Norcia earthquake, Pope Francis again offered prayers and said he hopes to visit the victims. He also reflected on the gospel call to help the poor.   “Today, Jesus gives a voice to those without a voice and asks each of us an urgent appeal to open our hearts and make our own the sufferings and anxieties of the poor, the hungry, the marginalized, refugees, those defeated by life, those who are rejected by society and the arrogance of the strongest,” the Pope said during his Angelus message on Sunday.   He discussed the gospel parable of a wedding feast where a guest who takes the highest seat of honor must move to the lowest seat when someone of a higher rank arrives.   “Jesus makes us understand the necessity of choosing the last place, to search the smallness and obscurity,” Pope Francis said Aug. 28.   Pride and vanity are the cause of many evils in the worl

Did you know Mother Teresa experienced visions of Jesus?

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: August 27, 2016
Vatican City, Aug 27, 2016 / 04:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Even her friend of more than 30 years, Father Sebastian Vazhakala, did not know Mother Teresa had conversations with and visions of Jesus before forming the Missionaries of Charity. It wasn't until after her death, for the vast majority of people, that this part of Mother Teresa's spiritual life was uncovered. “It was a big discovery,” Missionary of Charity priest, Fr. Vazhakala told CNA.   When Mother Teresa's cause for canonization was opened, just two years after her death in 1997, documents were found in the archives of the Jesuits in Calcutta, with the spiritual director and another of Mother Teresa's close priest friends, and in the office of the bishop, containing her accounts of the communications. Fr. Vazhakala, who co-founded the contemplative branch of the Missionaries of Charity alongside Mother Teresa, said he has a document handwritten by Mother Teresa where she discusses what Jesu

Pope Francis tells a fractured world: God's mercy gives hope for change

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: August 27, 2016
Bogotá, Colombia, Aug 27, 2016 / 12:23 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Just as God trusts us and expects us to change, we must treat others “never based on fear but on the hope God has in our ability to change,” Pope Francis said in Saturday remarks that rejected the despair of a fractured culture.   “Which will it be: hope for change, or fear?” the Pope asked a gathering of Catholic leaders Aug. 27. “The only thing acting out of fear accomplishes is to separate, to divide, to attempt to distinguish with surgical precision one side from the other, to create false security and thus to build walls.”   By contrast, acting on the basis of hope for change and conversion is something that “encourages and incites.”   He said hope “looks to the future, it makes room for opportunity, and it keeps us moving forward.” Fear-based action bespeaks guilt and punishment, while action based on the hope of transformation “bespea

The happiest day of Mother Teresa's life

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: August 26, 2016
Vatican City, Aug 26, 2016 / 06:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- It’s been said that saints often come in pairs. Sts. Peter and Paul, Mary and Joseph, Francis and Clare, and Louis and Zelie Martin are just a handful of such saints, coupled together through marriage or friendship. Perhaps the best-known modern saintly pair of friends would be Mother Teresa and John Paul II, whose lives intersected many times during her time as Mother Superior of the Missionaries of Charity, and his pontificate. When John Paul II came to visit Mother Teresa’s home in the heart of the slums in Kolkata in 1986, Mother Teresa called it “the happiest day of my life.” When he arrived, Mother Teresa climbed up into the white popemobile and kissed the ring of the Bishop of Rome, who then kissed the top of Mother’s head, a greeting they would exchange almost every time they met. After their warm hello, Mother took John Paul II to her Nirmal Hriday (Sacred Heart) home, a home for the sic

Nonviolent politics to be the focus of next World Day of Peace

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: August 26, 2016
Vatican City, Aug 26, 2016 / 05:27 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Announced Friday, the theme Pope Francis selected for the 2017 World Day of Peace focuses on nonviolence as a political solution to what he has frequently termed a “piecemeal World War III” being waged throughout the globe. “Violence and Peace are at the origin of two opposite ways to building society,” an Aug. 26 communique from the Vatican’s Council for Justice and Peace announcing the theme read. “The proliferation of hotbeds of violence produces most serious negative social consequences…Peace, by contrast, promotes social positive consequences and it allows the achievement of real progress.” Therefore, “we should act within what is possible, and negotiate ways of peace even where they seem tortuous and impractical,” the message attached to the theme said. By doing so, non-violence can take on “a more comprehensive and new meaning” composed not only of

In rare interview, Benedict XVI names his favorite saints

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: August 26, 2016
Vatican City, Aug 26, 2016 / 03:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Since he resigned from the papacy over three years ago, Benedict XVI rarely gives interviews. In a recent exception, however, the former pontiff took the time to chat not only about his successor, but the saints who've accompanied him throughout his life. In the interview, published Aug. 24 in Italian newspaper La Reppublica, Benedict said he has been serene and happy since his resignation, and that while there were “smaller and larger difficulties” in his pontificate, there were also “many graces” that came from the fact that he wasn’t alone. “From the beginning I was conscious of my limits and I accepted, as I have always sought to do in my life, in a spirit of obedience,” he said. “I realized that all I had to do I couldn’t do alone and so I was almost forced to put myself in the hands of God, to entrust myself to Jesus, to whom, as I gradually wrote my volu

Pope names Mexican-born priest as new auxiliary bishop of Denver

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: August 25, 2016
Vatican City, Aug 25, 2016 / 07:45 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Thursday Pope Francis appointed Mexico native Fr. Jorge Rodriguez, former professor and Vice-Rector of St. John Vianney seminary, as a new auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Denver. “Father Rodriguez is a passionate pastor and teacher of the faith, and he will serve this archdiocese well in the role of auxiliary bishop,” Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila said in an Aug. 25 press release announcing the priest’s appointment. Fr. Rodriguez, 61, has been pastor at Holy Cross Parish in Thornton, Colo. since 2014, as well as an adjunct professor at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver. The announcement of his appointment as auxiliary bishop came in an Aug. 25 communique from the Vatican. Asked about his first-hand experience with the growing Hispanic Catholic community in Denver, Fr. Rodriguez told “Denver Catholic,” the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Denver, that it is not about number

Life isn't black and white – teach priests to discern the gray, Pope says

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: August 25, 2016
Vatican City, Aug 25, 2016 / 04:18 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a conversation with members of the Jesuit order in Poland, Pope Francis said the real life situations of everyday Catholics aren’t black and white, but rather vary on a spectrum of gray. Because of this, he stressed the need for the Church to step up formation when it comes to teaching seminarians about spiritual discernment, cautioning that many priests can’t relate to or accompany the people they counsel, since they haven’t been properly formed. “Future priests need to be formed not with general and abstract ideas, which are (overly) clear and distinct, but this fine discernment of spirits, so that they can help people in their concrete lives,” the Pope said in a speech to Polish Jesuits, published Aug. 25. Seminarians and future priests, he said, “need to truly understand this: in life not everything is black and white, white and black. No! In life shades of gray predominate. We must th