Catholic News Agency: Vatican

Pope Francis' visit will stir up people's faith, Bolivian priest at Vatican expects

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: July 6, 2015
Vatican City, Jul 6, 2015 / 10:20 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Wednesday Pope Francis will set foot on Bolivian soil, beginning a three-day visit to the country which one of its priests, who works in the Vatican, expects will strengthen the faith of its Catholics. Father Ariel Beramendi, the sole Bolivian priest working at the Vatican, told CNA he expects that Pope Francis' trip to his homeland will “revive and stir up the faith of Catholics” there. Pope Francis is currently in Ecuador, whence he will go to Bolivia July 8-10, after which he will visit Paraguay. Fr. Beramendi, a priest of the Archdiocese of Cochabamba who prepares documents in Spanish and Portuguese at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, said the Pope “has chosen three countries out of those experiencing unresolved social, economic and religious problems” for his South American visit. “Although these countries are on the same continent and speak the same language, w

Receiving awards, Benedict XVI credits witness of John Paul II

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: July 4, 2015
Vatican City, Jul 4, 2015 / 11:57 am (CNA/EWTN News).- After receiving an honorary doctorate from both the Pontifical John Paul II University of Krakow and the Krakow Academy of Music, retired pontiff Benedict XVI credited the saintly example of his predecessor for his spiritual and theological achievements. Benedict said he received a “special joy” in receiving the doctorates, because “in this way my bond with Poland, with Krakow, with the home of our great St. John Paul II, has become even deeper.” “Without him my spiritual and theological journey would not be imaginable.” The retired pontiff – who now goes by “Father Benedict” – made his comments at the July 4 conferral of his two honorary doctorates in Sacred Music, one from the Pontifical John Paul II University of Krakow and one from the Krakow Academy of Music. Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow and former secretary of St. John Paul II, conferr

Evangelizing evangelicals – why Pope Francis loves to meet with charismatic movements

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: July 3, 2015
Vatican City, Jul 3, 2015 / 11:38 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis’ attendance for the second consecutive year at the Catholic charismatic movement’s Renewal with the Spirit convocation shows his attention to charismatic movements as means to foster ecumenical path. Not by chance, Renewal with the Spirit styled the convocation to be heavily ecumenical. During the meeting with Pope Francis’ in St. Peter’s Square, prayers were raised by Cardinals Kurt Koch and Leonardo Sandri, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity and Prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches; the Anglican Archbishop David Moxon, who represents the Archbishop of Canterbury toward the Holy See; and Msgr. Barnaba El Soryani, Coptic-Orthodox Bishop, as a delegate of Theodore II, Patriarch of Alexandria. Also present were Msgr. Athanasisu Matti Shaba Matoka, Syriac-Catholic archbishop emeritus of Baghdad; His Eminence Polycarpus Eugenio Aydin, vi

A fourth saint for the Little Flower family?

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: July 3, 2015
Vatican City, Jul 3, 2015 / 06:26 am (CNA/EWTN News).- With a sister who is a Doctor of the Church and parents set to be canonized in October, Leonia Martin could be the fourth member of her family declared a saint as her own cause for canonization officially opens. Leonia is the sister of St. Therese of Lisieux and the third daughter of Blessed Louis and Zelia Martin, who are set to be the first couple ever to be canonized at the same ceremony, which will be held Oct. 18 in the Vatican. The event will take place fewer than three weeks after the Oct. 1 feast of their daughter, and doctor of the Church, St. Therese of the Child Jesus. Yesterday at 9:30a.m. Leonia’s cause was officially opened by Bishop Jean-Claude Boulanger of Bayeux-Lisieux in the chapel of the Visitation Monastery at Caen, where Leonia spent the majority of her life and where she died. Mass was celebrated after. The intention to open her cause was originally announced January 24, according to French

Vatican official says 'it's time to act' on protecting the environment

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: July 3, 2015
Vatican City, Jul 3, 2015 / 06:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has expressed his hope that Pope Francis’ recent environmental encyclical will have a strong impact on the United Nations' three major gatherings this year, and will inspire global powers not only to talk, but to act. The cardinal spoke to CNA July 2, saying he hopes the effect of the encyclical on the U.N. meetings “will be especially concrete in climate change impact.” “We have discussed a lot about the problem of climate change; now it is time to act. I think this is exactly what the Pope is requesting from us, to act and to start to change our lifestyle to preserve our common house which is the earth.” The cardinal answered reporters’ questions before addressing a Vatican conference titled: “People and Planet First: the Imperative to Change Course.”   Taking place in Rome July 2-3, the summit was

Human dignity must be center of political debate – Pope on Greek debt crisis

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: July 1, 2015
Vatican City, Jul 1, 2015 / 11:38 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis on Wednesday called for prayer for the people of Greece, shortly after the nation defaulted on a significant loan payment on its more than $300 billion debt. “The news from Greece regarding the economic and social situation of the country is worrying,” Fr. Federico Lombardi, Holy See press officer, said in a July 1 statement. “Pope Francis invites all the faithful to unite in prayer for the good of the beloved Greek people.” Greece faces a debate over the role of austerity measures, such as pension cuts and tax hikes, as it negotiates new financial bailouts with its creditors. The country's unemployment rate is above 25 percent, and individuals are unable to remove more than $70 a day from ATMs. The Vatican's statement adds that “the dignity of the human person must remain at the centre of any political and technical debate, as well as in the taking of responsible decision

Chewed or brewed: A brief history of Popes and coca leaves

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: June 30, 2015
Vatican City, Jun 30, 2015 / 04:21 pm (CNA).- Pope Francis might chew coca leaves – or maybe sip coca tea – during his visit to Bolivia next week, the Vatican has said. Bolivian Culture Minister Marko Machicao told local media that Francis had asked to chew coca leaves in the country, one of several stops during his visit to South America July 5-13. The coca leaf, whose daily use and cultural importance in the Andes region rivals that of coffee in the United States, is embroiled in controversy in the international community because of its use as the main ingredient in the addictive drug, cocaine. In 1961, the U.N. convention on narcotic drugs declared coca an illegal substance, and tried to phase out its cultural use by 1989 – but the local coca culture refused to die. Many indigenous Bolivians believe the coca leaf to be sacred, and people of all social classes can be found either drinking the plant's tea or chewing its leaves throughout the country.

Francis wishes Benedict XVI a good summer in Castel Gandolfo

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: June 30, 2015
Vatican City, Jun 30, 2015 / 11:13 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Before heading out for his two-week stay at the papal residence in Castel Gandolfo this summer, retired pontiff Benedict XVI received a 30 minute visit from Pope Francis, who wished him a pleasant stay. Francis popped by Benedict’s residence at the Mater Ecclesiae ex-convent around 10 a.m. this morning to greet the retired pope before he leaves today. The meeting lasted half an hour. Benedict will remain at the papal residence in the small Italian city for two-weeks, and is expected to return July 14, according to a June 30 communique from the Vatican. The communique also noted that Pope Francis’ public audiences, including the weekly General Audience, will be suspended for the month of July with the exception of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal meeting in St. Peter's Square July 3. General audiences will resume in August and will be held in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall. Francis’ morning Masse

Cuba, US set to be a busy trip for Pope Francis

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: June 30, 2015
Vatican City, Jun 30, 2015 / 09:00 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis’ itinerary while in Cuba and the United States confirms several highly anticipated events including a special U.N. Summit and the canonization of Bl. Junipero Serra. He is also set to meet with groups he frequently prioritizes: homeless, prisoners and migrants. On June 30, the Vatican issued a final schedule for Pope Francis’ upcoming 10-day trip to both Cuba and the United States of America. The schedule confirms that he will visit the small Caribbean Island Sept. 19-22, and will then travel to the U.S. Sept. 22-27, before landing in Rome the morning of the 28th. Pope Francis recently played a key role in helping thaw icy relations between the two countries, which after more than 50 years of broken ties agreed in December to restore diplomatic relations. Although news of the Pope’s plan to visit the U.S. in 2015 had been public for some time, his stop in Cuba beforehand was just announce

Will the Vatican's new communications department prioritize new media?

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: June 30, 2015
Vatican City, Jun 30, 2015 / 12:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Internet content and and video production will assume a greater role in Vatican communications in the years to come, suggests the establishment and – particularly – the leadership of the newly established Secretariat for Communications. At the same time, traditional media, such as the Vatican's newspaper and radio, are likely to diminish in prominence. On June 27, Pope Francis established the new secretariat via a motu proprio. From June 29, it will oversee the all of the Vatican’s communications offices, including Vatican Radio, L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican Television Center, the Holy See Press Office, the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Vatican Internet Service, the Vatican Typography, the Photograph Service, and the Vatican publishing house. Each of these offices “must continue their own activities, in accordance, however, with the indications given by the Secretariat