Catholic News Agency: Vatican

San Antonio's new auxiliary has a specialty in spiritual direction

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: January 23, 2017
Vatican City, Jan 23, 2017 / 08:24 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Monday the Vatican announced that Msgr. Michael J. Boulette, founder of an organization dedicated entirely to giving spiritual direction and training spiritual directors, will now be an Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of San Antonio. Headed by Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, the Archdiocese of San Antonio hasn’t had an auxiliary bishop since 2013 when their previous auxiliary, Oscar Cantu, was named as the Bishop of Las Cruces. Bishop-elect Boulette, 66, and a member of the clergy of San Antonio, is the founder and director of the “Saint Peter upon the Water” center for spiritual direction and formation. He launched the center in 2004 as place offering formation programs for priests who give spiritual direction, as well as opportunities for individuals to receive spiritual direction themselves. The center also publishes texts on spiritual topics and hosts speakers for parish retreats and missions. B

Mafia crime is 'radically opposed' to the Gospel, Pope says

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: January 23, 2017
Vatican City, Jan 23, 2017 / 07:41 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Frequently an outspoken critic against organized crime, Pope Francis again came out with harsh words for those involved in the mafia and other criminal activities, which he said are “stained with blood” and go directly against the faith. “The phenomena of the mafia, which is an expression of a culture of death, is (something) to oppose and to fight,” the Pope said Jan. 23. Mafia activity “is radically opposed to the faith and to the Gospel, which are important for life,” he said, adding that true followers of Christ “have thoughts of peace, fraternity, justice, welcome and forgiveness.” Pope Francis spoke to members of the National Anti-Mafia and Anti-terrorism Bureau during an audience with the organization in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace. He initially made headlines regarding the mafia in June 2014 during his visit to the southern Diocese of Cassano all'Jonio, durin

On Trump presidency, Pope says we must 'wait and see'

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: January 22, 2017
Vatican City, Jan 22, 2017 / 08:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a new interview published Saturday, Pope Francis said he will wait to see what U.S. President Donald J. Trump does before making any judgments, emphasizing God’s own patience with him and his faults. In an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais Jan. 20, the same day as the U.S. presidential inauguration, Pope Francis said he doesn’t like to get ahead of himself “or judge people prematurely.” “We will see how he acts, what he does, and then I will have an opinion. But being afraid or rejoicing beforehand because of something that might happen is, in my view, quite unwise. It would be like prophets predicting calamities or windfalls that will not be either,” he said. “We will see. We will see what he does and will judge.” The world is so upside down, that it needs a fixed point, grounded firmly in reality: “what did you do, what did you decide, how do you move. That is wh

Pope leads 'Hail Mary' for those affected by latest disasters in Italy

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: January 22, 2017
Vatican City, Jan 22, 2017 / 04:56 am (CNA/EWTN News).- After his Angelus address Sunday Pope Francis prayed for those who have lost family and friends after the latest set of earthquakes in central Italy this past week, as well as for all those who provide assistance, including rescue workers. “In recent days, the earthquake and heavy snow have once again put a strain on many of our brothers and sisters in Central Italy, especially in Abruzzo, Marche and Lazio,” he said Jan. 22. “I am close with prayer and affection to families who have had victims among their loved ones.” “I encourage all those engaged generously in the relief efforts and assistance; as well as the local Churches, who are working to alleviate the suffering and difficulties.” “Thank you so much for this closeness, for your work and concrete help it carries. Thank you!” he said, inviting those present in St. Peter’s Square to join him in praying the ‘Hail M

Pope Francis makes a strong call for better marriage prep

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: January 21, 2017
Vatican City, Jan 21, 2017 / 09:45 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his annual speech to the Holy See's main court on Saturday, Pope Francis stressed the pressing need for effective education and preparation for the sacrament of marriage – not only to guard against invalid marriages, but also to strengthen the faith of the couple as they prepare for the unique blessings and challenges of married life. “The goal of this preparation consists, namely, in helping engaged couples to know and to live the reality of marriage as it is intended to be celebrated, so that it is possible to do so not only validly and lawfully, but also fruitfully, so that they are able to make this celebration a stage of their journey of faith,” Pope Francis said. “In this spirit, I would reiterate the need for a 'new catechumenate' in preparation for marriage,” he said in his Jan. 21 address to the judges of the Roman Rota at the Vatican's Clementine Hall. “Welcoming

Pope Francis prays for Trump on his inauguration as US president

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: January 20, 2017
Vatican City, Jan 20, 2017 / 10:58 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis congratulated Donald Trump on his inauguration as the 45th president of the United States on Friday, praying that God will grant him wisdom and strength. “At a time when our human family is beset by grave humanitarian crises demanding farsighted and united political responses, I pray that your decisions will be guided by the rich spiritual and ethical values that have shaped the history of the American people and your nation’s commitment to the advancement of human dignity and freedom worldwide,” the Pope wrote in his Jan. 20 message sent to Trump. “Under your leadership, may America’s stature continue to be measured above all by its concern for the poor, the outcast and those in need who, like Lazarus, stand before our door. With these sentiments, I ask the Lord to grant you and your family, and all the beloved American people, his blessings of peace, concord and every material and spi

World Youth Day Panama will take place January 22-27

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: January 20, 2017
Vatican City, Jan 20, 2017 / 08:28 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Friday Archbishop José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta of Panama officially announced the dates of the next World Youth Day, which is set to take place in January, rather than July as is usual, due to the weather. He made the announcement during a Jan. 20 news conference in the country's capital, Panama City, during which he also reiterated the gratitude of the Panamanian Church to Pope Francis for choosing Panama to host WYD in 2019. According to a communique from the archdiocese, the bishop explained that the decision to choose Jan. 22-27 for the dates of the gathering, rather than holding it in July as is traditionally done, was done for reasons primarily linked to the climate and weather. Speaking directly to youth, Ulloa said “you are the true protagonists of this World Youth Day. Panama awaits you with an open heart and with open arms to share the faith, to feel that you are the Church!” Pope Francis ann

Pope Francis: The Christian life requires fighting against Satan

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: January 19, 2017
Vatican City, Jan 19, 2017 / 12:28 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis spoke Thursday about the struggles inherent to the Christian life, and how temptation, while a normal part of trying to live virtuously, must be fought adamantly. “That’s why St. Paul speaks of Christian life as a struggle: a daily struggle. A fight!” he said Jan. 19. “That’s why Jesus came: ‘to destroy Satan's empire, the empire of evil.’” In his homily at Santa Marta, Pope Francis reflected on how the day's Gospel from St. Mark talks about crowds of people following Jesus. “Why were the crowds attracted?” the Pope asked. In the Gospels it tells us that some are sick and want to be healed, he said. There were also some who liked to listen to Jesus’ preaching. But another answer is that they followed the Lord because the Father always leads us to his Son. Jesus was moved by these people he saw as sheep without a shepherd, Francis said, thes

Conversion is a prerequisite to ecumenism, Pope Francis says

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: January 19, 2017
Vatican City, Jan 19, 2017 / 03:42 am (CNA/EWTN News).- For Pope Francis, personal conversion is pretty much the key to the Church’s success in all of her activities, from Church governance to pastoral work, from Curial reform to evangelization and dialogue. He reiterated this point in a Jan. 19 speech to an ecumenical delegation from Finland, telling them that “true ecumenism is based on a shared conversion to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Redeemer.” “If we draw close to him, we draw close also to one another,” he said, and pointed to his trip to Sweden last fall for a joint-commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Francis noted that at one of the ecumenical events held during his visit both Catholics and Lutherans recognized that Martin Luther’s original intention “was to renew the Church, not divide her.” “The gathering there gave us the courage and strength, in our Lord Jesus Christ, to look ahead to the ecu

Pope Francis: prayer is an act of hope that leads us to God

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: January 18, 2017
Vatican City, Jan 18, 2017 / 04:10 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Wednesday Pope Francis said hope in salvation is what leads us to turn to the Lord in prayer, trusting in faith particularly in moments when we are faced with the fear generated by death or injury. “Prayer brings you forward in hope and when things get dark, there needs to be more prayer! Then, there will be more hope,” the Pope said Jan. 18. Continuing his catechesis on the topic of Christian hope, the Pope reflected on the story of the Prophet Jonah and how his obedience, even if it came after he initially tried to run away from God’s request, helped to bring others to God through prayer. The passage from the Book of the Prophet Jonah, read during the general audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI hall, centered on when Jonah is in the boat trying to flee Nineveh. A dangerous storm develops, and the “pagan” sailors begin to fear for their lives. In the passage, it says they began to pray, ea