Catholic News Agency: Vatican

As abuse survivor leaves, Vatican group aims to listen better to victims

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: March 27, 2017
Vatican City, Mar 27, 2017 / 10:26 am (CNA/EWTN News).- After a victim who suffered past clerical abuse resigned from the Vatican's anti-abuse commission, the group is aiming for more effective ways to communicate with survivors and include them in its work. According to a March 26 press release from the commission, members “unanimously agreed to find new ways to ensure its work is shaped and informed with and by victims/survivors.” The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (PCPM) met March 24-26 at the Vatican for their eighth Plenary Assembly since being formed by Pope Francis in Dec. 2013. The session came less than one month after clerical abuse survivor Marie Collins resigned from her position on the commission, citing pushback from certain Vatican dicasteries, specifically from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as one of the main reasons for stepping down. In a March 1 communique announcing her decision, the commission praised Collin

Let go of 'false lights' that lead down the wrong path, Pope says

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: March 26, 2017
Vatican City, Mar 26, 2017 / 04:52 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Sunday Pope Francis said Lent is a key time to open ourselves to the light of Christ and let go of all the “false lights” that lead us away from him, taking us instead down a path of darkness marked by our own selfishness. “If now I were to ask you, do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God? Do you believe that he can change your heart? Do you think you can see reality as he sees it, not as we do? Do you believe that he is light, that he gives us the true light?” the Pope asked March 26, telling pilgrims to respond in silence. The walk in the light of Christ means to convert, he said, explaining that this transformation means above all “abandoning false lights.” One of these false lights, he said, is the “cold and fatuous light of prejudice against others, because prejudice distorts reality and builds hate against those who we judge without mercy and condemn without an appeal.&rdqu

In Milan, Pope makes youth promise to never be a bully

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: March 25, 2017
Milan, Italy, Mar 25, 2017 / 01:27 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In last meeting during his day trip to Milan, Pope Francis issued a harsh criticism of bullying in schools, asking youth to promise him and Jesus to never bully others, and telling teachers to be aware of the problem. “There is an ugly phenomenon in education today: bullying. Please, be aware,” the Pope said during a March 25 encounter with youth in Milan. He responded to a question posed by a catechist asking how to foster an open dialogue between educators, students and their parents. Among other points, he told teachers to watch out for bullying before addressing the youth about it themselves. “I ask you, in silence: in your schools, in your neighborhoods, is there someone that you mock? That you make fun of because they look a little funny, because they are a little fat? That you like to embarrass and hit because of this?” the Pope asked. “Think about this. This is called bullying," he sa

On Annunciation, Pope says God still seeks hearts like Mary

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: March 25, 2017
Milan, Italy, Mar 25, 2017 / 10:19 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis celebrated the Feast of the Annunciation in Milan, telling mass-goers that even today God is still searching for hearts like Mary’s that are open to welcoming his invitation and providing hope, even when it’s hard.   As in the past, “God continues to look for allies, he continues to seek men and women capable of believing,” remembering and recognizing that they are part of his people and cooperating with the Holy Spirit, the Pope said March 25. “God continues to walk our neighborhoods and our streets, he pushes in each place in search of hearts capable of listening to his invitation and making it become flesh here and now,” he said. In the end, the Lord “continues to seek hearts like that of Mary, disposed to believe even in very extraordinary conditions.” Pope Francis offered his reflection during Mass on the Feast of the Annunciation, celebrated in Milan&rsquo

Don't fret about numbers, but your mission, Pope tells Milan religious

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: March 25, 2017
Milan, Italy, Mar 25, 2017 / 06:31 am (CNA/EWTN News).- During his daytrip to Milan Saturday, Pope Francis told the diocese’s priests and religious not to fear the challenges that come with their ministry nor the increasing number of empty convents, urging them instead to focus on the core of their mission: bringing Christ to his people. “Our congregations were not born to be the mass, but a bit of salt and yeast which would have given their own contribution so that the mass grows; so that the People of God have that ‘condiment’ they were missing,” the Pope said March 25. He noted that for many years in the past, congregations moved forward with the idea that they needed to “occupy spaces” more than launching new processes and projects. The perception then, he said, was that “ideas (or our impossibility to change) were more important than reality; or that the part (our small part or vision of the world) was superior to the whole Church

Protection of minors event draws swath of top Vatican leaders

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: March 24, 2017
Vatican City, Mar 24, 2017 / 03:32 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In a significant show of unity, officials from every Vatican department – including at least half a dozen cardinals who head various dicasteries – attended a recent Rome seminar on safeguarding minors. “I actually come from a dicastery that takes up the issue of human rights and justice,” said Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.  As head of an office that deals with human rights, awareness of what’s going on in the realm of abuse prevention is “very crucial,” he told CNA, stressing that “it’s so very important that we try to be on the same page with this commission and what they do.” Every department of the Roman Curia was represented in some way at the March 23 seminar, an indication of its importance in the eyes of Vatican officials. It is rare for the cardinals who head dicasteries to attend events outside of those

How do we solve crises? Put the person first, Pope Francis tells EU

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: March 24, 2017
Vatican City, Mar 24, 2017 / 01:04 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Being disconnected from the values of the past – which upheld the human person and the family – has placed us in a new era of crises, Pope Francis told European leaders. However, he noted, there is hope. “Europe finds new hope when man is the center and the heart of her institutions,” he said March 24. “I am convinced that this entails an attentive and trust-filled readiness to hear the expectations voiced by individuals, society and the peoples who make up the Union.”   “Affirming the centrality of man also means recovering the spirit of family,” he continued, “whereby each contributes freely to the common home in accordance with his or her own abilities and gifts.” Europe finds this new hope, he emphasized, “When she invests in the family, which is the first and fundamental cell of society. When she respects the consciences and the ideals of her citizens. W

Vatican abuse prevention event 'extremely important' for Church

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: March 23, 2017
Vatican City, Mar 23, 2017 / 02:22 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- On Thursday a Vatican event on the prevention of child abuse narrowed in on the importance of education in schools and parishes in the safeguarding of children – not only for teachers, but for parents and children – and on the Church's role. Led by Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, head of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, he told CNA at the March 23 event that Catholic schools are, of course, a very important part of the Church’s and Commission's ministry. There are “60 million children in our care in Catholic schools and so this kind of a conference is extremely important for the ministry of the Church,” O'Malley said. “And we were very gratified that so many cardinals made time to be a part of this.” The seminar was attended by five different cardinals in addition to O'Malley, including Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, head of the Congre

Pope approves second miracle for Blessed Francisco, Jacinta Marto

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: March 23, 2017
Vatican City, Mar 23, 2017 / 06:44 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Thursday Pope Francis approved the second and final miracle needed to canonize Blessed Francisco and Jacinta Marto, two of the shepherd children who witnessed the Fatima Marian apparitions. The Pope approved the miracle in a March 23 audience with Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, during which he advanced six other causes, approving one other miracle, two causes for martyrdom and three of heroic virtue. In addition, the Pope also approved a positive vote from members of the canonization for six martyrs who are already Blessed, but do not yet have a second miracle for their cause. However, the most significant of the causes approved is that of Francisco and Jacinta Marto. With the approval of the second miracle, the two may now be canonized Saints. It is likely Pope Francis will preside over their canonization himself while in Fatima May 12-13 for the centenary of the apparitions. F

Pope Francis prays for victims of deadly London attack

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: March 23, 2017
Vatican City, Mar 23, 2017 / 06:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- After four people died in an apparent terrorist attack in London yesterday, Pope Francis has voiced his sorry and solidarity for the victims and their families, entrusting them and the nation to God’s mercy. “Deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and of the injuries caused by the attack central London, His Holiness Pope Francis expresses his prayerful solidarity with all those affected by this tragedy,” a March 23 letter signed by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin read. The Pope commended the souls of those who died “to the loving mercy of Almighty God,” and prayed for “divine strength and peace upon their grieving families,” while assuring of his prayer for the entire nation. Francis’ letter comes the day after a deadly March 22 attack on London’s Parliament took the lives of four people. During the attack, a car apparently plowed into pedestrians o