Catholic News Agency: Vatican

Pope Francis: Never for get to smile, even when life is hard

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: December 7, 2016
Vatican City, Dec 7, 2016 / 04:13 am (CNA/EWTN News).- For Pope Francis, one of most needed virtues of modern time is hope, which is something he said must never be abandoned no matter how hard life gets, and which is often expressed in the simple act of a smile. Referring to the “dramatic moment” of Israel’s exile in the desert, Pope Francis said Dec. 7 that this time was especially hard for the people because they had lost everything, and felt “abandoned and without hope.” The desert is a difficult place to live, he said, but noted that it is precisely inside the desert that the people of Israel are able to walk in order to return “not only to their homeland, but to return to God, and to hope and smile again.” “When we are in darkness and difficulty the smile doesn’t come, but there is the hope that teaches us to smile on that path to find God,” Francis said, noting that one of the trademarks of those who break away from

Guantanamo bishop tapped to head Camaguey archdiocese

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: December 6, 2016
Vatican City, Dec 6, 2016 / 07:47 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Tuesday the Vatican announced that Bishop Wilfredo Pino Estévez, who has led the Cuban diocese of Guantánamo-Baracoa for the past 10 years, will now be taking over as the new Archbishop of Camagüey. Announced Dec. 6, the appointment of Pino as the new Archbishop of Camaguey comes after the prelate’s lengthy time in the diocese of Guantanamo-Baracoa diocese. Born in Camaguey Oct. 12, 1950, the bishop studied philosophy and theology at the Major Seminary of San Carlos y San Ambrosio in San Cristóbal de La Habana. He was ordained a priest Aug. 1, 1975, for the Archdiocese of Camaguey, where he then served in various capacities, including as Parochial Vicar of Nuevitas; Treasurer of the parish in Florida, Cuba; National Director of the Pontifical Missionary Works and as pastor of Sant Cruz del Sur. Pino was also on the diocesan committee that organized St. John Paul II’s visit to Cuba in 199

Vatican's anti-abuse commission launches new website

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: December 6, 2016
Vatican City, Dec 6, 2016 / 06:16 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors launched a new website Tuesday, which is designed to help inform the public about their work, and includes resources for Church leaders on safeguarding children and caring for survivors. Announced by the Vatican Dec. 6, and coinciding with the feast of St. Nicholas, the patron saint of children, the website is considered to be in the “beta” stage and is still undergoing development. However, the website already includes information on the history, mission and members of the Commission, practical resources and Church documents on the topic of abuse, as well as past and upcoming programs of the commission, and news about their current work. The commission serves as an advisory body to the Pope, providing recommendations on how the Church can best protect minors and vulnerable adults. It consists of 17 men and women from around the world who work in the field of abu

Vatican displays Rembrandt's art for the first time

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: December 6, 2016
Vatican City, Dec 6, 2016 / 06:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- For the first time, the works of Dutch artist Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn will be displayed at the Vatican. Organized by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Swedish Embassy, the art show falls about a month after Pope Francis’ visit to Sweden marking the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The display, entitled “Rembrandt at the Vatican: Images from Heaven and Earth,” is an extension of that same ecumenism and desire for Christian unity, Arnold Nesselrath, curator of the Vatican Museums, told Rome Reports. "Sweden is a particularly Protestant country. Holland is a particularly Protestant country. So if you want to set an ecumenical sign through creating events as we've seen on the 31st of October, this is what we wanted to contribute to with this exhibition,” he said. Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands and Queen Silvia of Sweden were both present at the

Pope Francis lauds Middle East effort to save local art and culture

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: December 5, 2016
Vatican City, Dec 5, 2016 / 12:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis endorsed a recent conference dedicated to the conservation and restoration of art and heritage within the Middle East, as a means to defend the rights of the human person.  The Pope gave his support for the Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage Conference, which occurred at Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, on Dec. 2-3. Supported by UNESCO, France and the UAE set up the conference in hopes of protecting the heritage of the countries torn by war within the Middle East.  Identifying the theme as, “unfortunately starkly current,” the Pope said that, “the protection of cultural treasures constitutes an essential dimension in the defense of what it is to be human.” In countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Mali, and Syria – each exposed to centuries of war – looting, destruction to cultural monuments, and illicit trading are common place. Within these cultures, all of which extend o

Pope Francis: Don't whitewash your sins – let God heal you

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: December 5, 2016
Vatican City, Dec 5, 2016 / 10:22 am (CNA/EWTN News).- As Christmas approaches, don't downplay your sins, Pope Francis said. Instead, name them honestly in the Sacrament of Confession, open your heart, and ask the Lord to heal you from within. If we merely say: “yes, yes, I have some sins; I go, I confess…and then I go on as before,” we don't allow ourselves to be recreated by the Lord, the Pope said Dec. 5. It's as if we've applied “two coats of paint” on our heart, believing that is good enough. “No!” he said. What we should do instead is name our sins carefully, saying: “I've done this, and this, and this, and I am ashamed at heart. And I open my heart,” asking the Lord to “recreate me!” Doing this is what will give us the courage to go towards Christmas with “true faith,” Francis said. It often happens that we want “to hide the gravity of our sins,” he said, but when

Two parish priests chosen as next auxiliary bishops of Baltimore

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: December 5, 2016
Vatican City, Dec 5, 2016 / 07:00 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Upon accepting the resignation of Bishop Denis Madden, Pope Francis has appointed two priests to be the next auxiliary bishops of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Vatican announced Monday. “With gratitude to our Holy Father, Pope Francis, I warmly welcome the appointment of Monsignors Mark Brennan and Adam Parker as auxiliary bishops for the Archdiocese of Baltimore,” Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore expressed in a statement published Dec. 5. “This is a joyous and blessed day for our Archdiocese.” In addition to the position of auxiliary bishop, Msgr. Adam J. Parker will also be given the titular see of Tasaccora, and Msgr. Mark E. Brennan the titular see of Rusubisir, the Dec. 5 communique said. Msgr. Parker, a priest of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, currently serves as Vicar general and Moderator of the Curia for the archdiocese and Msgr. Brennan is a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington (DC).

Prepare for Christmas by conversion, Pope tells Advent Angelus crowd

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: December 4, 2016
Vatican City, Dec 4, 2016 / 07:56 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The proclamation of John the Baptist to “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand” is a joyful one that calls us to conversion, Pope Francis said today in his Angelus address on the second Sunday of Advent. Referring to the Gospel reading for the day from Matthew 3:1-12, the Pope noted that the proclamation of John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Jesus, is also repeated several times by Jesus himself throughout the Gospel of Matthew. “With these same words Jesus will start his mission in Galilee (Mt 4:17); and this will also be an announcement that will bring the disciples on their first missionary experience (Mt 10:7),” he said. This “joyful proclamation” is  central to all Christian mission, the Holy Father said. “When a missionary goes, a Christian goes to proclaim Jesus, he does not go to proselytize, as if it was a fan who seeks for his team more closely. No, (they go)

Vatican weighs in on power, limits of artificial intelligence

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: December 4, 2016
Vatican City, Dec 4, 2016 / 03:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- This week the Vatican hosted a high-level discussion in the world of science, gathering experts to discuss the progress, benefits and limits of advances in artificial intelligence. A new conference at the Vatican drew experts in various fields of science and technology for a two-day dialogue on the “Power and Limits of Artificial Intelligence,” hosted by the Pontifical Academy for Sciences. Among the scheduled speakers were several prestigious scientists, including Stephen Hawkins, a prominent British professor at the University of Cambridge and a self-proclaimed atheist, as well as a number of major tech heads such as Demis Hassabis, CEO of Google DeepMind, and Yann LeCun of Facebook. The event, which ran from Nov. 30-Dec. 1, was hosted at the Vatican's Casina Pio IV, the headquarters of the Pontifical Academy for Sciences, which is headed by their chancellor, Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo. Werner Arber, a Pro

Pope to global economic leaders: Remember the dignity of the human person

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: December 3, 2016
Vatican City, Dec 3, 2016 / 07:45 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In an unprecedented event, Fortune 500 CEOs, members of the Time 100 and non-profit, academic, religious and labor leaders from throughout the world met in Rome to address the need for a global economic system that both encourages growth and aids the poor. The two-day forum focused on the theme “The 21st Century Challenge: Forging a New Social Compact.” Inspired by Pope Francis’ continual call to help the poor and marginalized, the thought and business leaders discussed practical solutions to creating an inclusive and more humane economy and how to help eliminate poverty and the refugee problem around the world. On the last day, Pope Francis addressed the leaders, thanking them for their work and encouraging them to keep the human person at the center of their solutions. “I would like to offer a particular word of thanks for all that you are doing to promote the centrality and dignity of the human person