Catholic News Agency: Vatican

A Middle East without Christians - cardinals consider sad prospect

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: October 20, 2014
Vatican City, Oct 20, 2014 / 10:41 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Monday's consistory of cardinals focused on the plight of Christians in the Middle East, especially in light of the rise of the Islamic State, and it also decided on two causes for canonization. Cardinals and patriarchs from the Middle East together with top officials of the Vatican Secretariat of State and interested dicasteries attended the Oct. 20 summit with the Pope, which was called a ‘public ordinary consistory’. A consistory is a meeting of cardinals which can be public, semi-public or secret. During a consistory, new cardinals may be created, or it is possible to vote for cause of canonization, or to discuss of topics of general concern. Initially set in order to proceed with the causes of canonization of Blessed Joseph Vaz and Maria Cristina of the Immaculate Conception, the consistory schedule was enlarged by Pope Francis, who wanted it to be dedicated to the discussion of the plight of Christia

Blessed Paul VI, the Pope who led the Church's barque in troubled waters

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: October 20, 2014
Vatican City, Oct 19, 2014 / 07:27 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Bl. Paul VI was the first 'modern man' to be elected Bishop of Rome, and he put the Church in conversation with the world in order to build a dialogue of salvation, a cardinal who was one of Montini's collaborators said. Cardinal Paul Poupard, 84, had served for 12 years in the Secretariat of State during Bl. Paul VI’s pontificate. He later served, from 1979, as pro-president of the Secretariat for Non-Believers, renamed in 1988 the Pontifical Council for Culture. “Paul VI was the first modern man to be elected Pope,” Cardinal Poupard told CNA Oct. 17. Cardinal Poupard remembered that “during the homily of the Mass of the beginning of his Petrine ministery, he addressed the voices of the modern world, and asked if the Church would be able to listen to them.” This question led to the publication of his first encyclical, Ecclesiam Suam, on the Church. “Paul VI was a very

Interreligious marriage: a look at the synod from India's perspective

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: October 19, 2014
Vatican City, Oct 19, 2014 / 05:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- While some countries face family issues such as divorce and polygamy, the synod’s Indian participants have voiced concern for interreligious marriages, which pose pastoral concerns across Asia. “We have got this whole thing of mixed marriages, there are many marriages in India which are between (a) Catholic and somebody who is not baptized, a Hindu, a Muslim, or a Buddhist, and that is what specifically came out of India,” Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay told CNA Oct. 10. While marriage between a Catholic and an unbaptized person would normally be invalid, the local ordinary can dispense from this impediment, and thus allow such a marriage to be validly contracted (canon 1086). Cardinal Gracias, who is part of Pope Francis' 'council of cardinals', explained that when faced with the difficult situations interreligious marriages can present, it’s always necessary to have a “positi

Pope beatifies Paul VI, 'great helmsman' of Vatican II

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: October 19, 2014
Vatican City, Oct 19, 2014 / 11:57 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Addressing those gathered in Saint Peter’s Square on Sunday for the beatification of Paul VI, Pope Francis reminded Christians who live out the Gospel message that they are “God’s newness” both “in the Church and in the world.” In his Oct. 19 homily, the Pope said God is “continually surprising us, opening our hearts and guiding us in unexpected ways.”   In so doing, “he renews us: he constantly makes us ‘new’.    “A Christian who lives the Gospel is 'God’s newness' in the Church and in the world. How much God loves this ‘newness’!” An estimated 70,000 people, including Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, were present at the Mass to celebrate not only the closing of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, but also the life of Bl. Paul VI, who first established the Synod of Bishops as an institution of the Chu

Church teaching on sexuality is simple, but not easy, priest says

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: October 19, 2014
Vatican City, Oct 19, 2014 / 05:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- When it comes to human sexuality, one of the predominant themes being discussed by participants at the Extraordinary Synod on the Family pertains to the certainty that truth and mercy cannot be separated.   This is according to Fr. Stephen Fawcett of the Archdiocese of Birmingham, who is one of 27 volunteers serving at the Synod on the Family.   Fr. Fawcett, whose role throughout the Synod has been in part to act as one of two secretaries to one of the small groups over this past week, told CNA that “one big strand that’s coming out of the groups echoes Benedict XVI’s reminder of the link between love and truth.” “God shows his mercy to all of us… to grow into the people we should be,” he said. “It’s not (that) some people need mercy, and some people don’t. All of us need the truth… and all of us need the grace to journey in that truth.”

Pope Francis' closing synod speech received with standing ovation

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: October 18, 2014
Vatican City, Oct 18, 2014 / 04:15 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis' address at the conclusion of the Synod on the Family, delivered Saturday, was responded to with a four-minute standing ovation on the part of the bishops attending the Vatican meeting. In the Oct. 18 speech, the Pope thanked the bishops for their efforts, and noted the various temptations that can arise in such a synod setting. He encouraged the bishops to live in the tension, saying that “personally I would be very worried and saddened if it were not for these temptations and these animated discussions; this movement of the spirits, as St Ignatius called it (Spiritual Exercises, 6), if all were in a state of agreement, or silent in a false and quietist peace.” “Instead, I have seen and I have heard – with joy and appreciation – speeches and interventions full of faith, of pastoral and doctrinal zeal, of wisdom, of frankness and of courage: and of parrhesia. And I have felt tha

A missionary Pope: Cardinal Etchegaray's memory of Paul VI

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: October 18, 2014
Vatican City, Oct 18, 2014 / 03:57 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Paul VI was a missionary Pope who wished to bring the light of the Gospel all over the world, a cardinal who worked with the late Roman Pontiff, who will be beatified on Sunday, has recalled. Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, 92, vice-dean of the College of Cardinals, had a long term relation with Paul VI, whom he first met during the 1960s. “I was serving as general secretary of the French bishops' conference, and I met the-then Cardinal Montini, who showed great interest in European matters,” Cardinal Etchegaray told CNA in an Oct. 17 interview. Giovani Battista Montini had served for several years in the Secretariat of State before being appointed Archbishop of Milan in 1954. In his years in the Secretariat of State, Cardinal Montini had been (from 1925 to 1933) the spiritual assistant to the Italian Federation of Catholic University Students, while as a young priest Fr. Roger Etchegaray had served as respo

Synod's final report shows nuance on homosexuality, remarriage

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: October 18, 2014
Vatican City, Oct 18, 2014 / 03:38 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The synod’s final report, released Saturday, presents substantial changes with respect to the much discussed midterm report, especially regarding homosexual persons and the divorced and remarried. The final report was voted on, paragraph by paragraph, by the synod fathers; and, by Pope Francis' choice, the result of each poll has been publicized, thus showing a glimpse into the synod fathers' thought. Though all the paragraphs gained a majority of votes, not all of them reached the super-majority of two-thirds, which is required for official approval. With 181 voting synod fathers (out of 193), a simple majority is 93, while the super-majority is reached at 123 votes. Speaking with journalists during a press briefing Oct. 18, Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See press office, commented that in light of preparations for the 2015 synod, the paragraphs that failed to gain official approval  &

Meeting of Pope Francis, Vietnamese minister a key step in restoring ties

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: October 18, 2014
Vatican City, Oct 18, 2014 / 02:49 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis met with Vietnamese prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung Saturday morning, which is a move seen as a important step in strengthening ties between the Vatican and Vietnam. A statement released by the Vatican regarding the Oct. 18 encounter explained that during their “cordial conversations,” the Pope and the prime minister both expressed satisfaction in the meeting’s discussion. Described as “an important step in the process of strengthening bilateral relations between the Holy See and Vietnam,” the meeting marks the second visit of Nguyen to the Vatican, the first being to meet with Benedict XVI in 2007. In their discussion, Pope Francis and Nguyen spoke of the Church’s committed contributions to the development of Vietnam, thanks in large to the Church’s presence in various fields that are beneficial society as a whole.   According to the Vatican statement, there wa

Synod fathers laud 'miracle' of conjugal love in final message

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: October 18, 2014
Vatican City, Oct 18, 2014 / 08:54 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In their message to the faithful, the synod fathers praised the life-giving love between a man and a woman, which despite many challenges,endures through the grace given by God in the sacrament of marriage. “Such love, of its nature, strives to be forever to the point of laying down one’s life for the beloved. In this light conjugal love, which is unique and indissoluble, endures despite many difficulties,” the Oct. 18 message read. This love, it continued, “is one of the most beautiful of all miracles and the most common.” Synod fathers for the Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family released their message to the people of God following almost two weeks of intense discussion on marriage and family life. Meetings began on Oct. 5 and will conclude tomorrow, Oct. 19, with the beatification of Paul VI, institutor of the synod, which will be presided over by