Catholic News Agency: Vatican

Pope: Easter invites return to our first encounter with Jesus

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: April 19, 2014
Vatican City, Apr 19, 2014 / 02:11 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In his homily for the Easter Vigil Pope Francis encouraged those present to remember the moment they first felt the love of God, saying that Jesus' resurrection is a time to relive this experience anew. “Returning to Galilee means treasuring in my heart the living memory of that call, when Jesus passed my way, gazed at me with mercy and asked me to follow him,” the pontiff said during the April 19 evening vigil, held every year the night before Easter as as a commemoration of Jesus' resurrection. “It means reviving the memory of that moment when his eyes met mine, the moment when he made me realize that he loved me.” Beginning his reflections, Pope Francis recounted the events of the Gospel, recalling how when the women come to the tomb and found it empty an angel told them to go to Galilee and tell the disciples what they saw. He added that on their way they met Jesus, who told them to

Papal preacher slams curse of money-driven corruption

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: April 18, 2014
Vatican City, Apr 18, 2014 / 11:17 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his homily for Good Friday’s Passion liturgy, papal preacher Raniero Cantalamessa decried the poisonous actions of those who exploit others for financial gain, urging all to repent of their sin. “'The love of money,' Scripture says, 'is the root of all evil,' Cantalamessa said in his April 18 homily for Good Friday, stressing that “Behind every evil in our society is money, or at least money is also included there.” “What lies behind the drug enterprise that destroys so many human lives, behind the phenomenon of the mafia, behind political corruption, behind the manufacturing and sale of weapons, and even behind – what a horrible thing to mention – the sale of human organs removed from children?” Continuing, the preacher highlighted that “the financial crisis that the world has gone through and that this country is still going through, is it not in l

Pope urges faithful to serve with radical love of Jesus

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: April 17, 2014
Vatican City, Apr 17, 2014 / 12:49 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- During his homily for Holy Thursday’s Mass at a center for disabled persons, Pope Francis reflected on how Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, calling it an act of loving service that we ought to imitate. “He did it this way out of love. You too should love each other. Be servants in love,” the Pope said in his April 17 homily during the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. Celebrated by the Church each year in commemoration of the institution of the Eucharist and Jesus’ call for his disciples to imitate him in serving others, this particular Mass was held in Don Gnocchi facility. Located in Rome’s Casal del Marmo area it serves as a rehabilitation center for the elderly and disabled. Beginning his reflections, the pontiff immediately turned to the Gospel reading in which Jesus washes his disciples’ feet on his knees, explaining that this is an invitation, and telling those present that

Priests must anoint others with oil of gladness, Pope reflects

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: April 17, 2014
Vatican City, Apr 17, 2014 / 04:54 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his homily given during the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday, Pope Francis spoke on the joy of the priestly vocation, saying a cleric “is useless” unless his happiness is found in the grace of God. “Anointed with the oil of gladness so as to anoint others with the oil of gladness,” the pontiff said April 17, noting that priestly joy “is a priceless treasure, not only for the priest himself but for the entire faithful people of God.” Pope Francis made his remarks on the priesthood during the morning's Chrism Mass, which takes place in the Catholic Church each year on Holy Thursday and involves the blessing of oils used for the sacraments of Confirmation, Holy Orders and the Anointing of the Sick. Highlighting how priestly joy has its source in the Father's love, Pope Francis said that “I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that (the) priest is very little indeed: the i

John XXIII, John Paul II linked by love of dialogue with world

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: April 17, 2014
Vatican City, Apr 17, 2014 / 12:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- John XXIII and John Paul II, who will be canonized April 27, are “bound together” by their love for addressing the world in conversation, a cardinal who worked with them both has said. “Before John XXIII, the Pope was perceived as one who made pronouncements from on high; John XXIII was the first Pope speaking off the cuff, and he paved the way for a new style,” said Cardinal Paul Poupard, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Culture, in an April 15 interview with CNA. “And of course we all remember the spontaneous meetings John Paul II had, especially with young people.” Cardinal Poupard worked at the Secretariat of State beginning in 1959, the second year of Angelo Roncalli’s papacy. John Paul II appointed him head of the Secretariat for Non-Believers in 1980, and he was president of the Pontifical Council for Culture from 1988 to 2007. Cardinal Poupard had th

Pope is bringing human trafficking into public eye, ambassador says

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: April 16, 2014
Vatican City, Apr 16, 2014 / 12:35 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis is contributing to the fight against human trafficking by making the matter a frequent point of public discourse, says a U.S. ambassador who specializes in the subject.   Luis CdeBaca, U.S. Ambassador in the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, shared with CNA April 12 his impressions about the Pope Francis’ commitment against modern day slavery.   “I do see Pope Francis working to insert the issue of human trafficking in informal comments. The idea is to institutionalize the issue as part of the normal public discourse,” the ambassador said. He underscored that when Pope Francis “talks about freedom and mentions modern slavery, the latter becomes the normal part of the conversation– it is very exciting.” He emphasized that “Popes in the past have issued writings and statements, but writings and statements don’t necessarily have the sa

Vatican to launch webpage detailing work of Popes on women

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: April 16, 2014
Vatican City, Apr 16, 2014 / 10:25 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Leading up to the canonizations of Bl. John Paul II and John XXIII, the Pontifical Council for the Laity will publish a new webpage highlighting the emphasis both pontiffs placed on the role of women. Referring to the upcoming canonizations, Ana Christiana Villa, a consecrated laywoman of the Marian Community of Reconciliation and head of the Womens' Department of the Council for the Laity, explained to CNA April 16 that the new webpage is designed to bring attention to the effect of the Popes' work through the voices of women themselves. Containing testimonies from 11 women around the world, as well as writings on women from the Magisterium of both Roman Pontiffs, Villa explained that her office thought of the webpage because they wanted to create something “to commemorate the two Pope saints.” “We thought to ask different women from around the world what they thought this canonization meant in

Pope Francis: kiss the crucifix, kiss the wounds of Jesus

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: April 16, 2014
Vatican City, Apr 16, 2014 / 05:00 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his general audience address Pope Francis spoke on the meaning of suffering and evil, explaining that it is a mystery which finds its answer in the passion and death of Jesus, who endured it for each of us. “This week, it will do good for us all to look to the Crucifix, kissing the wounds of Jesus, kissing the Crucifix. He has taken upon himself the whole of human suffering,” the Pope expressed in his April 16 Wednesday general audience. Speaking to the thousands gathered for his weekly address, the pontiff began by drawing attention to the day’s Gospel reading which recounts the betrayal of Judas, noting that this event marks the beginning of Christ’s Passion. With his death on the Cross “Jesus reaches complete humiliation,” the Pope observed, highlighting how “It involved the worst death; that which was reserved for slaves and criminals,” and that although “Jesus

John Paul II: a man indispensable to the fall of the Soviet Union

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: April 16, 2014
Vatican City, Apr 16, 2014 / 04:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Bl. John Paul II’s key role in the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact can be attributed to his vision of the human being, informed by personalism and the Catholic faith. The foundations for his role as Vicar of Christ in the fall of Soviet communism were laid by his predecessors, particularly Bl. John XXIII; the two will both be canonized April 27. The first exchanges between the Vatican and Moscow since 1917 were made on the occasion of Good Pope John’s 80th birthday, and a now opened line of communication allowed Paul VI to pursue a policy of Ostpolitik, dialoguing with officials behind the Iron Curtain to improve the conditions for Christians there. Crucial in John Paul II’s policy toward the Warsaw Pact was Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, his secretary of state from 1979 until 1990. Cardinal Casaroli had represented the Holy See in negotiations with the communist governments of Hungary, Yug

Holy See testimony on torture a UN treaty obligation, spokesman notes

By: CNA Daily News - Vatican
Source: Catholic News Agency: Vatican
Date: April 16, 2014
Vatican City, Apr 16, 2014 / 12:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Holy See's press officer said Tuesday that its report on an anti-torture agreement which will be made to the U.N. next month is routine, and a part of its obligations as a signatory to the treaty. “It is a standard procedure adhered to by all States party to the Convention” against Torture, Fr. Federico Lombardi said April 15. “Considering the types of obligations included in the Convention, the Holy See signed the Convention in 2002 exclusively in the name of and on the part of Vatican City State.” “For this reason, the Holy See continues to fulfil its obligations on the part of Vatican City State and to present periodical reports, in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Convention.” The Holy See will submit its report this May, along with the states of Cyprus, Lithuania, Guinea, Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Thailand, and Uruguay. Each of the 155 states which are par