Catholic News Agency: Vatican

In route to Krakow, Pope says world is at war, but it's not a war of religions

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: July 27, 2016
Vatican City, Jul 27, 2016 / 09:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On the flight to Poland for World Youth Day, Pope Francis on Wednesday responded to recent violence across the globe by saying that the world is at war. “When I speak of war, I talk about it seriously, but it’s not a war of religion. It’s a war for money, for resources, for nature, for dominion. This is the war,” Pope Francis told journalists on his July 27 flight from Rome to Krakow. “Could one think of a religious war? No. All religions want peace. Others want war,” he said. “Is that clear?” Francis addressed the 70 journalists on board the papal plane when, as usual, he came to the back to greet them each individually and thank them for their work. However, before going down the rows of eager writers and photographers on board, Fr. Federico Lombardi SJ, who will retire as Vatican spokesman after the trip, asked the Pope to offer some words on the “emotional days” a

Pope Francis to pray at John Paul II's tomb with kids who have cancer

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: July 26, 2016
Vatican City, Jul 26, 2016 / 02:59 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Before taking off for WYD in Krakow, Pope Francis will pray at the tomb of St. John Paul II alongside children who have cancer, and will bring their prayers to Poland in order to ask the nation's saint for healing. According to a July 26 statement from Italian nonprofit Peter Pan, which works with children who have cancer and their families, members of the association will “share a moment of prayer” with Pope Francis July 27 before he flies to Krakow for World Youth Day. Scheduled to depart from Rome’s Fiumicino airport at 2 p.m., Francis will come to St. Peter’s Basilica at 8:45 a.m., where he will meet members of the Peter Pan association at the tomb of St. John Paul II (in the basilica's St. Sebastian Chapel) to join them in a moment of prayer. The group will have a prayer celebration including Mass and the rosary at the saint's tomb, led by Fr. Jarek Cielecki. While Francis won’t st

Pope condemns 'absurd violence' after priest is killed in French church

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: July 26, 2016
Vatican City, Jul 26, 2016 / 07:27 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis has decried the “absurd violence” which has left an elderly priest dead after his church in northern France was taken hostage during Mass. In a statement released Tuesday by the Vatican, the Pope, having been informed of the situation, “participates in the pain and horror of this absurd violence,” while radically condemning “every form of hatred.” The statement said the pontiff is praying for those affected by the tragedy, which took place in the Normandy region, adding that the Vatican is following the situation. Fr. Jacques Hamel, 84, was killed Tuesday after two armed gunmen stormed a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray during Mass, the BBC reports. The assailants entered the church and took the celebrating priest and four others hostage. The BBC further cites police sources which say the priest’s throat was slit in the attack. Reuters reports that both of the hostage t

Pope prays for pilgrims en route to Krakow for WYD

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: July 24, 2016
Vatican City, Jul 24, 2016 / 10:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis has asked for prayers as he, and all the pilgrims attending this year's World Youth Day, prepare to make their way to Krakow, Poland for the international event. The Pope, who leaves Wednesday, said Sunday that he is traveling to Krakow in order “to encounter these boys and girls,” as well as “to celebrate with them and for them the Jubilee of Mercy, through the intercession of St. John Paul II.” “I ask you to accompany us with prayer,” the pontiff said to the crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square during his weekly Angelus address. Francis also expressed his gratitude towards all those working to welcome the pilgrims coming to Poland for the international event, along with the many bishops, priests, religious, and laity. He then turned his thoughts to the many people who cannot attend WYD in person, but who will follow the event through means of communication. “We

Pope responds to violence in Munich and Kabul with call for more prayer

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: July 24, 2016
Vatican City, Jul 24, 2016 / 06:23 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Sunday, Pope Francis responded to recent acts of violence in Germany and Afghanistan, expressing his closeness to the families of the victims, and stressing the importance of prayer in the face of threats against “safety and peace.” “At this time, our spirit is once more shaken by the sad news relating to the deplorable acts of terrorism and violence which have caused suffering and death,” the Pope said in an appeal after the weekly Angelus at the Vatican. In his July 24 address, the Pontiff spoke in reference to “the dramatic events in Munich, Germany, and Kabul, Afghanistan, where the lives of numerous innocent people have been lost.” “I am near to the families of the victims and the wounded,” he said. “I invite you to join in my prayer, in order that the Lord may inspire all good and fraternal resolutions.” In the face of seemingly “insurmountable” d

Pope shakes up cloisters with new norms focused on prayer, centralization

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: July 22, 2016
Vatican City, Jul 22, 2016 / 06:53 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Amid modern challenges emerging from a culture which provides increasingly easier access to outside distractions, Pope Francis has issued new norms for women’s cloistered communities, which place a special emphasis on prayer and the centralization of communities.   “Dear contemplative sisters, without you what would the Church be like, or those living on the fringes of humanity and ministering in the outposts of evangelization?” the Pope said in a new Apostolic Constitution, published July 22.   The Church, he said, “greatly esteems your life of complete self-giving. The Church counts on your prayers and on your self-sacrifice to bring today’s men and women to the good news of the Gospel. The Church needs you!”   However, he also cautioned that the “silent and recollected peace of mind and heart” lived in contemplative live “can meet with subtle temptations.&rdqu

Pope Francis to meet Holocaust survivors during Auschwitz visit

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: July 20, 2016
Vatican City, Jul 20, 2016 / 01:49 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Though rumors have been floating for some time, the Vatican confirmed that the Pope will meet with 10 Holocaust survivors during his upcoming visit to Auschwitz while in Poland for World Youth Day. After arriving to Auschwitz and passing under the arch of the main entrance on foot, Francis will be taken by car to Block 11, where he will be welcomed by Poland’s Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, as well as the 10 survivors. The Pope “will individually meet” with each of the survivors, “the last of whom will be given a candle,” Fr. Federico Lombardi told journalists July 20. One of the survivors, he noted, is 101 years old and is hosting a group of pilgrims who are traveling to Krakow to participate in WYD. In addition to the survivors, Francis will also meet with 25 “Righteous among the Nations” from all over the world. The phrase is an honorific title bestowed by the State of Israel on

Pope Francis is ready for World Youth Day – are you?

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: July 20, 2016
Vatican City, Jul 20, 2016 / 09:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Even though World Youth Day doesn't start until next week, thousands of pilgrims from throughout the world are already descending on Krakow ahead of the official event. In a July 19 video message Pope Francis sent his greetings to the youth of Poland and the world who will attend the largest recurring gathering of youth in the Catholic Church. “I look forward to meeting the young people from throughout the world gathered in Kraków and having the opportunity to meet the beloved Polish nation,” he said. “My entire visit will be inspired by Mercy during this Jubilee Year, and by the grateful and blessed memory of Saint John Paul II, who instituted the World Youth Days and was the guide of the Polish people in its recent historic journey towards freedom.” St. John Paul II, who was from Poland, established World Youth Day in 1985; the first event was held in Rome in 1986. Since then it has occurre

Doubts arise after alleged photo of Fr. Tom surfaces

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: July 20, 2016
Vatican City, Jul 20, 2016 / 06:49 am (CNA/EWTN News).- After a photo supposedly showing Fr Tom Uzhunnalil, who was kidnapped in Yemen in March, emerged on social media, sources close to the priest say there are strong reasons to doubt the image's authenticity. “I have checked with a confrere with (the) Yemen experience and very close to Fr. Tom who shares my doubts about the authenticity of the photo,” a credible source close to the situation but who preferred to remain anonymous told CNA July 20. “We simply do not have any verified news about (it), although I am convinced that Fr. Tom is alive.” The comments come after a photo portraying an unshaven, tired-looking Indian man was published to Facebook, claiming that it was Fr. Tom and that an “entreaty,” or “plea” would be uploaded soon, according to Indian news agency The News Minute. The agency reports that while this is the first such photo has been published and while it isn&

Pope Francis marries young deaf couple at Casa Santa Marta

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: July 20, 2016
Vatican City, Jul 20, 2016 / 06:21 am (CNA).- Pope Francis does not ordinarily celebrate the Sacrament of Matrimony. But on July 9, he made an exception for a young Italian deaf couple, who were married in the chapel at his residence, Casa Santa Marta. Teodoro Pisciottani and Paulina Szczepanska received the rare blessing of being united in marriage by the Holy Father, an unforgettable story that they will one day be able to tell to their children. Teodoro and Paulina are the president and vice-president, respectively, of the Padua chapter of the Deaf Youth Committee of Italy. Additionally, Paulina is the daughter of a Vatican employee. <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PopeFrancis?src=hash">#PopeFrancis</a> presides over the sacrament of Matrimony at Casa Santa Marta (9 Jul) <a href="https://t.co/fiq1BCCTnv">pic.twitte