Catholic News Agency: Vatican

Vatican releases official English translation of synod's final report

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: October 31, 2014
Vatican City, Oct 31, 2014 / 03:54 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Now released in English, the Synod of Bishop's final relatio reveals a more positive tone regarding the family called for by the synod’s small groups, as well as greater clarity on phrases that generated confusion in the midterm relatio. The Oct. 5-19 extraordinary synod of bishops on the family reflected on “the pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization.” At the close of the 10-day meeting, which gathered together 253 bishops from around the world, a final document was issued which summed up key points of the discussion that took place, and which serves as the official “working document” for next year’s ordinary synod on the family. With substantial changes made in comparison to the much discussed midterm synod report, particularly surrounding the topics of both homosexual, and divorced and remarried persons, the final document, the English translation of w

A (literal) breath of fresh air for the Sistine Chapel's frescos

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: October 31, 2014
Vatican City, Oct 31, 2014 / 02:11 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The first major makeover the Sistine Chapel has had since 1994 brings with it a completely new LED lighting system and high-tech sensors that automatically measure and adjust the chapel's oxygen levels. “If you look at this art in the Sistine Chapel it is breathtaking,” said John Mandyck, chief sustainability officer for UTC Building & Industrial Systems which has overseen the project. “But ironically it is the act of breathing or exhaling carbon-dioxide that was destroying the frescoes.” He told CNA that the new technology will preserve the treasured frescoes – painted by Michelangelo 500 years ago – with the guarantee of future protection through adaptable technology. “We have the ability to keep with the technology as technology advances and evolves over time,” Mandyck said. “We expect it to last a long time.” The highly anticipated new ventilati

It's not the law that saves you – it's Christ, Pope reflects

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: October 31, 2014
Vatican City, Oct 31, 2014 / 01:34 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Christians who cling to the law and not to love are like the hypocrite Pharisees in the Gospel, Pope Francis said in today’s homily. After Jesus meets a sick person in a Pharisee’s home on the Sabbath day in Luke 14:1-6, he asks the Pharisees and scholars of the Jewish law present: “Is it lawful to cure on the Sabbath or not?” Receiving only silent stares, Jesus heals the man and then tells the Pharisees: “Who among you, if your son or ox falls into a cistern, would not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?” Jesus’ actions show that love and justice, not an excessive attachment to the laws, are the path to holiness, Pope Francis said. “This way of life of being attached to the laws, distanced (the Pharisees) from love and from justice.  They followed the laws and they neglected justice,” he said. “They followed the laws and they neglected love.&rdq

The devil is no myth – he's real and we must fight him, Pope says

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: October 30, 2014
Vatican City, Oct 30, 2014 / 08:53 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his homily on Thursday Pope Francis said that the devil is more than and an idea, and in order to fight him we must follow St. Paul’s instructions and put on the armor of God which protects us. “In this generation, like so many others, people have been led to believe that the devil is a myth, a figure, an idea, the idea of evil. But the devil exists and we must fight against him,” the Pope told those present in the Vatican’s Saint Martha house for his Oct. 30 daily Mass. He again turned to St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, which the day’s first reading was taken from and in which the apostle warns against the temptations of the devil, telling Christians to clothe themselves with the armor of God so they can resist. Pope Francis said that a Christian life requires both strength and courage, and needs to be defended because it is a constant battle with the devil, who tempts with worl

Are an atheist journalist's papal interviews reliable?

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: October 30, 2014
Vatican City, Oct 29, 2014 / 07:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Following the publication of a new text by Italian journalist Eugenio Scalfari in 'La Repubblica' suggesting that Pope Francis believes in relativism, the Holy See spokesman has questioned whether Scalfari is advancing his own views. In a recent op-ed in the leftist Italian newspaper, Scalfari mentioned one of his recent conversations with Pope Francis, saying the Pope had acknowledged that truth is relative; and he used this comment to support the idea that the Gospels do not tell the whole truth. According to Scalfari, “the Pope refuses the word 'relativism,' i.e. a real movement with aspects of religious politics; but he does not refuse the word ‘relative’. No to relativism, but that truth is relative is a matter of fact that Pope Francis acknowledges.” Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See press office, told CNA Oct. 28 that “Scalfari pursues his own discourse&rd

Pope: Fighting for the poor doesn't make me Communist – it makes me Catholic

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: October 29, 2014
Vatican City, Oct 29, 2014 / 12:21 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis spoke out against oppression of the poor due to greed and warned again of the growing presence of a “globalization of indifference” – a warning, he said, which has wrongly type-casted him.   “It is not possible to tackle poverty by promoting containment strategies to merely reassure, rendering the poor 'domesticated,' harmless and passive,” the Pope told those gathered for his Oct. 28 encounter with leaders of various Church movements. He called the basic needs for land, housing and work an “aspiration that should be within the reach of all but which we sadly see is increasingly unavailable to the majority.”   “It's strange, but if I talk about this, there are those who think that the Pope is Communist,” he said. “The fact that the love for the poor is in the center of the gospel is misunderstood,” the Pope added. &ldqu

The Church's mystery: it's both visible and spiritual, Pope says

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: October 29, 2014
Vatican City, Oct 29, 2014 / 09:12 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his weekly general audience Pope Francis spoke of the visible actions carried out by the Church, explaining that they are an expression of her deeper spiritual reality rooted in the two natures of Christ. “The visible and the invisible of the Church are not opposed, but are rather integrated in the one Church,” the Pope told those present in St. Peter’s Square for his Oct. 29 general audience. This, he said, “is a reflection of the mystery of the person of Christ, who in his divine nature is inseparable from his human nature, which is placed entirely at the service of the divine plan to bring redemption and salvation to all.” In his address Pope Francis continued his weekly catechesis on the Church, saying that although so far discussion has surrounded the Church’s invisible, spiritual reality, she also has a visible reality that is crucial to her identity. “We know that the

Are you Catholic? Then stay in the Church, Pope says

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: October 28, 2014
Vatican City, Oct 28, 2014 / 10:58 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis said that those waiting at the threshold of the Church without going inside are not true members of the Church which Jesus established and on whom it is built. “We are citizens, fellow citizens of this Church. If we do not enter into this temple to be part of this building so that the Holy Spirit may live in us, we are not in the Church,” the Pope told those present in the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse for his Oct. 28 daily Mass. Rather, “we are on the threshold and look inside…Those Christians who do not go beyond the Church’s reception: they are there, at the door: 'Yes, I am Catholic, but not too Catholic.'” The Pope centered his reflections on both the day's first reading from St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians and the Gospel, taken from Luke, Chapter 6. In the first reading St. Paul explains to the Christians of Ephesus that they are no

Asia Bibi to Pope Francis: Pray for me, your daughter

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: October 28, 2014
Vatican City, Oct 28, 2014 / 10:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A Catholic woman condemned to death in Pakistan for allegedly violating the country's blasphemy law has asked Pope Francis for his prayers, saying that she trusts in God’s plan for her life. “Pope Francis, I am your daughter, Asia Bibi. I implore you: pray for me, for my salvation and for my freedom. At this point I can only entrust (myself) to God Almighty who can do anything for me.” In a letter to the Holy Father, which was obtained and made public by Vatican Insider, Bibi offered a heartfelt plea for prayer, while voicing her trust in God. On Oct. 16, the Lahore High Court rejected Bibi's appeal against her death sentence. Bibi had been convicted under Pakistan's strict blasphemy laws in 2010. She allegedly made derogatory comments against Muhammad while arguing with a Muslim woman. She has denied the allegations, and says the case stems from an argument she had with a Muslim woman ove

Francis inaugurates bust of Benedict, emphasizes unity of faith, science

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: October 27, 2014
Vatican City, Oct 27, 2014 / 12:46 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Addressing the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on Monday, Pope Francis unveiled a bust of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, lauding his predecessor, and stressed the uniqueness of humanity among the created world. Benedict's spirit, Pope Francis said, “far from crumbling over the course of time, will emerge from generation to generation always greater and more powerful. Benedict XVI: a great Pope. Great for the power and penetration of his intellect, great for his significant contribution to theology, great for his love for the Church and of human beings, great for his virtue and piety.” The Pope's Oct. 27 address at Casina Pio IV came in the midst of the plenary session of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which commissioned Fernando Delia to produce a bust of the Pope Emeritus for its halls. “As you know, (Benedict's) love of truth is not limited to theology and philosophy, but is open to scienc