Catholic News Agency: Vatican

Vatican announces desire for more restrained sign of peace at Mass

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: July 31, 2014
Vatican City, Jul 31, 2014 / 05:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Congregation for Divine Worship, in a recent circular letter, announced that the placement of the sign of peace within Mass will not change, though it suggested several ways the rite could be performed with greater dignity. “The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments … pronounced in favor of maintaining the 'rite' and 'sign' of peace in the place it has now in the Ordinary of the Mass,” Fr. Jose Maria Gil Tamayo, secretary general of the Spanish bishops' conference, related in a July 28 memo. He noted that this was done out of consideration of the placement of the rite of peace as “a characteristic of the Roman rite,” and “not believing it to be suitable for the faithful to introduce structural changes in the Eucharistic Celebration, at this time.” The sign of peace is made after the consecration and just prior to the receptio

Vatican releases schedule for Pope's trip to Albania

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: July 31, 2014
Vatican City, Jul 31, 2014 / 07:46 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis will make a one-day trip to Albania in September, during which he is slated to meet with local authorities, priests and religious as well as children from charitable institutions. Taking place Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014, the Pope’s visit was announced earlier this summer, and marks the second time a Roman Pontiff will visit the country, the first being Pope Saint John Paul II in 1993. Upon his arrival to the Albanian capital of Tirana’s international “Mother Teresa” airport, Pope Francis will be greeted by the country’s Prime Minister Edi Rama. After the initial welcome ceremony and greeting, the pontiff will travel to the presidential palace where he will pay a courtesy visit to Albania’s president, Bujar Nishani. He will then met with and give an address to representatives of the local civil authorities. The Bishop of Rome will then offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in

Christians a fundamental part of Iraq, ambassador observes

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: July 31, 2014
Vatican City, Jul 31, 2014 / 05:16 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Iraqi ambassador to the Holy See has lamented the ongoing persecution of Christians by ISIS forces in Iraq, stating that they are an important and historic part of the country’s origins. “Right now with the entrance of these jihadists, ISIS, they have imposed the sword and want to kill the Christians,” Habbib M.H. Al-Sadr told CNA July 24, 2014. “This is outside of our culture, of our history, because the Christians are a fundamental, historic component of Iraq…they have origins here,” he continued, noting that “When the ISIS jihadists entered Mosul they forced the Christians to convert to Islam, pay the jizya tax, or to leave or escape, because they told them that ‘this is not your country.’” Al-Sadr, a Shiite Muslim, has been Iraq’s ambassador to the Holy See since 2010, and spoke in wake of the July 17 departure of the last Christian families in Ira

Diplomat: fight human trafficking by giving prominence to persons

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: July 30, 2014
Vatican City, Jul 30, 2014 / 02:56 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- At a Vatican conference held Tuesday to mark the World Day against Trafficking, a U.S. diplomat emphasized that the scourge will not be ended until the economic attitudes that lead to human trafficking are changed. “One cannot simply protect the victims, and bring the victims into a place of safety, if one doesn’t do anything to change the underlying cultural assumptions that help create and foster this slavery, this exploitation, if one does not change the underlying economic assumptions that treat people as commodities,” Luis CdeBaca, the U.S. ambassador at large for trafficking in persons, said July 29 via videolink. CdeBaca lamented that “governments will always try to reclassify things so they are not defined as human trafficking to protect their fishing industry, to protect their palm oil industry, to protect their charcoal industry, to protect their ability to bring in nannies or people to come

Pope Francis issues peace plea to all Holy See embassies

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: July 30, 2014
Vatican City, Jul 30, 2014 / 08:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Signed by Vatican secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, a “nota verbale” was sent to all embassies accredited to the Holy See on behalf of Pope Francis, who urged ambassadors to work for peace. According to Vatican Radio, the note, which has not been made public, was issued by Cardinal Parolin in an effort to promote peace, and included texts from recent speeches Pope Francis has given calling for peace, particularly in the Middle East. In comments made to the agency, Msgr. Dominique Mamberti, secretary for relations with states in the Roman Curia, explained the significance of sending the nota verbale, emphasizing that the current situation in the Middle East is a strong violation of human rights. In making this gesture, the priest went on, the Holy See is inviting the entire international community to take the question of peace to heart. Pope Francis has made several appeals for peace in recent week

Dates for Pope's trip to Sri Lanka and Philippines confirmed

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: July 30, 2014
Vatican City, Jul 29, 2014 / 06:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Holy See Press Office confirmed today that Pope Francis will be traveling to Sri Lanka Jan. 12-15 and to Philippines Jan. 15-19. The papal trip – which will be the second to Asia in six months – had been informally announced by the Pope Francis in May, during the press conference he held aboard a plane returning from the Holy Land. “As far as Asia is concerned, two trips are planned: this one to South Korea for the meeting with Asian young people, and then, next January, a two-day visit to Sri Lanka and the Philippines, in the areas struck by the typhoon,” said the Pope. The itinerary of the voyage will be disclosed in the coming months, but Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila and Msgr. Nevin Pereira, coordinator of Sri Lankan immigrants in Italy, have speculated on possible papal stops. The pontiff is expected to visit Manila and the areas devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda, also known as Hayan.

Jesus is the great treasure, Pope teaches

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: July 27, 2014
Vatican City, Jul 27, 2014 / 11:07 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis on Sunday stressed the priceless value of encountering Jesus, noting that Jesus’ parables speak of those who are willing to trade everything for the Kingdom of God. “He who knows Jesus, who encounters him personally, remains fascinated and attracted by so much kindness, so much truth, so much beauty, and everything in great humility and simplicity,” the Pope said July 27. “Look for Jesus, meet Jesus: this is the great treasure!” the Pope exhorted. Speaking before the noontime Angelus prayers, he addressed thousands gathered in St. Peter’s Square from his window in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace. The Pope reflected on the two parables in the Sunday Mass reading from the Gospel of Matthew: the parable of the treasure discovered buried in a field and the parable of the pearl of great price. He said these parables show that the discovery of the Kingdom of God can co

Give primacy to God, Pope says

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: July 26, 2014
Rome, Italy, Jul 26, 2014 / 01:08 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis on Saturday visited the Italian city of Caserta, encouraging the people of the region to place God at the center of their lives. “Giving primacy to God means having the courage to say no to evil, violence, oppression; to live a life of service to others and in favor of lawfulness and the common good,” Pope Francis said July 26. The Pope spoke during his homily at evening Mass in front of the Royal Palace of Caserta, a former residence of the King of Naples, Vatican Radio reports. The city is in the southern Italian region of Campania. Pope Francis visited the city for the Feast of St. Anne, its patron saint. The Pope stressed the importance of the presence of Jesus, saying his presence “transforms our lives and makes us sensitive to the needs of our brothers.” Jesus’ presence “invites us to accept every other presence, including that of foreigners and immigrants.”

Pope Francis to meet with evangelical pastor

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: July 26, 2014
Vatican City, Jul 26, 2014 / 06:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis’ upcoming encounter with the evangelical Christian pastor Giovanni Traettino continues the path of dialogue he has walked with evangelical denominations since his time in Buenos Aires. Pope Francis met Traettino in 2006, while he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires, at the third fraternal meeting of the Renewed Communion of Evangelicals and Catholics in the Spirit. On that occasion, Cardinal Bergoglio gave a speech on themes such as God’s embrace and the wounds of Christ. Kneeling down, he received the blessing of pastors, priests, and lay people who attended the meeting.   In his intervention, Bergoglio prayed that “the Father close our mouth with an embrace and unite us more and more.”   Other participants at the meeting included Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the Pontifical Household and a member of Renewal in the Spirit, the most widespread Catholic charismatic movemen

Pope Francis lunches with Vatican employees by surprise

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: July 25, 2014
Vatican City, Jul 25, 2014 / 11:19 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican's blue-collar employees were surprised by a lunch guest on Friday, when their 'boss' and bishop, Pope Francis, turned up at at their cafeteria. “Pope Francis acted as the humblest of the workers,” Franco Paini, chef of the Vatican cafeteria, told Vatican Radio July 25. “He got here, he took his tray, his utensils, he got in the line and waited his turn, and then we served him.” Taking cafeteria by surprise, #Pope Francis eats with Vatican's blue collar workers http://t.co/0qRR37xGLp pic.twitter.com/n2ptR6RC5f — L'Osservatore Romano (@LOsservatoreUSA) July 25, 2014 The Vatican's cafeteria is located behind it's central post office, on the Via Sant'Anna; this is on the north side of St. Peter's Square, while the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where Pope Francis resides, is on its south. Today was the first time that Pope Francis has lunched with Va