Catholic News Agency: Vatican

Local priest named fifth bishop of Allentown, Penn.

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: June 27, 2017
Vatican City, Jun 27, 2017 / 07:16 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Tuesday the Vatican announced Pope Francis' pick of Mons. Alfred A. Schlert to be the next bishop of the Diocese of Allentown in Pennsylvania, himself born and raised in the diocese. Bishop-elect Schlert, 55, fills the vacancy left when his predecessor, Bishop John Oliver Barres was appointed to the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York at the end of January. In a statement on the appointment June 27, Bishop Barres said that Mons. Schlert “has a blend of holiness, intelligence and pastoral experience that will serve the mission of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Allentown in an extraordinary way.” “He is primarily a loving pastor with an insightful and compassionate pastoral charity and a non-stop New Evangelization missionary spirit,” the statement continued. “He is humble and down to earth and has this incredibly creative sense of humor that is charitable and puts everyone around hi

The old still have a lot to give young people, Pope Francis says

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: June 27, 2017
Vatican City, Jun 27, 2017 / 04:43 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Tuesday Pope Francis said that the older generation should not stop striving in their spiritual lives, but that God calls them to be spiritual ‘grandparents’ to young people, who can learn from their experiences. “And this is what the Lord today asks us: to be grandparents. To have the vitality to give to young people, because young people expect it from us; to not close ourselves, to give our best: they look for our experience, for our positive dreams to carry on the prophecy and the work.” “I ask the Lord for all of us that he give us this grace,” the Pope said June 27. Pope Francis said a special Mass June 27 in the Pauline Chapel of the Apostolic Palace to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his ordination as an auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires in 1992. The Mass was attended by the cardinals in Rome. This was the Pope's final morning Mass before the start of the usual summer break f

Cardinal Turkson: Marijuana debate ignores ethical questions

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: June 26, 2017
Vatican City, Jun 26, 2017 / 04:34 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican's top personality on social justice issues has voiced his concern for the increased demand for drugs, including recreational marijuana, saying debate on the plant's usage doesn't take ethical concerns into account. In a June 26 letter on the occasion of the U.N. International Day against Abuse and Illicit Trafficking of Drugs, Cardinal Peter Turkson lamented the fact that narcotics “continue to rage in impressive forms and dimensions” throughout the world. “It is a phenomenon that is fueled – not without concessions and compromises on the part of institutions – by a shameful market that crosses national and continental borders, intertwined with mafias and drug trafficking,” he said. Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, Cardinal Turkson noted that compared to the recent past, drugs have now become “a consumer product made compatible w

Chinese bishop forcibly removed from diocese still missing

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: June 26, 2017
Vatican City, Jun 26, 2017 / 07:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Monday the Vatican issued a statement on the situation of the Chinese Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou, who has not been returned since being forcibly removed from his diocese by the Chinese state May 18. “The Holy See is observing with grave concern the personal situation of Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou, forcibly removed from his episcopal see some time ago,” read the June 26 statement by the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke. The Catholic community of the diocese and his family and friends remain with no news of the bishop’s whereabouts or of the reason for his removal, the statement continued. The Vatican-approved Bishop Shao, who is not recognized by the Chinese government, was summoned by their religious bureau on May 18 and has since not been heard from or returned, La Croix International reports. Following canon law, the Vatican confirmed Bishop Shao as the successor of the

Christ doesn’t promise freedom from difficulties, Pope says

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: June 25, 2017
Vatican City, Jun 25, 2017 / 11:38 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his Angelus address on Sunday, Pope Francis reminded the faithful that following Christ does not mean our lives will be free from all earthly troubles. “There is no Christian mission in the name of tranquility,” the Pope said, speaking to those gathered in St. Peter’s Square on June 25. “Difficulties and tribulations are part and parcel of evangelization.” Pope Francis reflected on the day’s Gospel, in which Jesus instructs his followers not to be afraid. “Jesus’ mission did not guarantee the disciples success, nor did it shield them from failure or suffering,” the Holy Father said. But Christ did promise them that he would always be with them as they faced the trials that were ahead. The same is true for us today, the Pope said. We should expect suffering and even persecution if we follow in the path of the crucified Christ, but at the same time, we can take comfort in

Francis urges Serrans to 'keep moving forward' promoting vocations

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: June 23, 2017
Vatican City, Jun 23, 2017 / 02:42 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis offered encouragement Friday to members of Serra International, which promotes religious vocations, urging them to persevere in their “beautiful vocation of being laity who are friends to priests” and to “(k)eep moving forward!” Pope Francis said June 23 that friendship “is central to the experience of faith.” Serra International is a lay apostolate dedicated to promoting vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and does this by both prayer and assistance to discerners. Serra’s conference is taking place from June 22-25 in Rome under the theme Siempre Adelante, “keep moving forward.” Friday’s papal audience was open to all attendees after a Mass in St. Peter’s. Reflecting on friendship, Francis said that “the word ‘friend’ has become a bit overused.” “But, when Jesus speaks of ‘friends,’ he points to

Pope Francis meets King and Queen of the Netherlands, returns long-lost stick

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: June 22, 2017
Vatican City, Jun 22, 2017 / 07:32 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Thursday Pope Francis met with King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, as part of the visit returning to them a long-lost royal stick of a 16th century Dutch king. An important diplomatic portion of the audience June 22, was the Vatican's return of the stick of William I, Prince of Orange, which until recently had remained lost in the Jesuit Catalan archives. The stick, which resembles a sort of scepter or baton, and depicts the coat of arms of William of Orange, was given by the 16th century Dutch royal to a Dutch commander in the Battle of Mookerheyde in 1574. The stick was waved by William's brother, Luigi of Nassau, during the battle. After it was lost, it came into the hands of a Spanish general and eventually a Jesuit general, until being returned Thursday, through the Vatican, to Willem-Alexander, current King of the Netherlands and Prince of Orange. According to a press release fro

Meeting with NFL hall-of-famers, Pope Francis promotes teamwork

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: June 21, 2017
Vatican City, Jun 21, 2017 / 01:08 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis addressed members of the National Football League Hall of Fame on Wednesday, encouraging them to promote the values of sportsmen not only on the field but also within their communities. “Teamwork, fair play and the pursuit of personal excellence are the values – in the religious sense, we can say virtues – that have guided your own commitment on the field,” said the Pope, meeting with the hall-of-famers on June 21. “Yet these same values are urgently needed off the field, on all levels of our life as a community.” He addressed the need for role models in the world, especially for youth, teaching them to live out their “God-given gifts and talents,” showing how to bring out the best in each person and leading the way to a better future. “They are the values that help build a culture of encounter, in which we anticipate and meet the needs of our brothers and sist

Pope Francis sends aid to a troubled South Sudan

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: June 21, 2017
Vatican City, Jun 21, 2017 / 11:34 am (CNA/EWTN News).- After the Vatican stated last month the postponement of Pope Francis’ proposed trip to South Sudan, they announced Wednesday that the Pope will instead send aid to the people suffering from worsening conditions. The Vatican announced June 21 that Pope Francis will be aiding projects in the areas of education, healthcare, and agriculture, called the “Pope for South Sudan” Initiative. The program will be coordinated through the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, headed by Cardinal Peter Turkson, and by Caritas International. Because he is unable to travel to South Sudan in person, Pope Francis “wanted to express the tangible presence and closeness of the Church with the afflicted people,” Cardinal Turkson told journalists. “It is an initiative that is to foster, support and encourage the work of the various religious congregations and international aid organizations tha

Can relics unite Catholics and Orthodox? Pope Francis thinks so.

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: June 21, 2017
Vatican City, Jun 21, 2017 / 06:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Common veneration of relics is one of the tools Pope Francis is using to foster ecumenical relations with the Eastern Orthodox Churches. In May, relics of St. Philip and St. Nicholas were transported to Turkey and Russia, respectively. They have been exposed for the veneration of the Orthodox faithful from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Patriarchate of Moscow.   The transportation of the relics of St. Nicholas from the Italian city of Bari to Moscow is particularly noteworthy. It is the first time in 930 years that a part of the body of St. Nicholas has left Bari for veneration abroad.   The novel action comes after a specific request Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow made to Pope Francis when they met in Havana, Cuba in February 2016.   Pope Francis consented to Patriarch Kirill’s request and forwarded the request to Bari’s Archbishop Francesco Cacucci. The archbishop t