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Vatican City, Jan 27, 2016 / 03:06 am (CNA/EWTN News).- As Pope Francis’ weeklong visit to Mexico draws near, anticipation is building not just for the presence of the Successor of Peter, but also for how he will respond to hot-button topics such as immigration.“There is a great joy and expectation for the trip of Pope Francis to Mexico. He is the first Latin American Pope, and the Mexican people feel very close to him,” Mariano Palacios Alcocer, Mexico’s ambassador to the Holy See, told CNA in an interview.One of the most significant moments in the Pope’s trip, he said, will be on the last day when Francis celebrates a U.S.-Mexico border Mass in Ciudad Juárez. Set at Benito Juarez Stadium, near the border, the Mass is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from both countries.“We consider that the theme of migration is an issue that is in the Pope’s agenda,” Alcocer said, explaining that for the Mexican people, the ...
(Vatican Radio) The National Delegate to the 51st International Eucharistic Congress from Uganda – Monsignor Richard Kayondo – has praised the preparations made by the organizers of the event in Cebu, Philippines.Monsignor Kayondo, the Vicar General of the Diocese of Lugazi, said organizers have arranged it so more people can see the most popular events.Listen to the interview by Seàn-Patrick Lovett with Msgr. Richard Kayondo: “This Pavilion [in Cebu], the house they put up to accommodate all of us so that the major speakers all of us can listen to them,” Msgr. Kayondo told Vatican Radio. “In Ireland, they prepared very well, but the rooms were small, so there were many big speakers in different rooms at the same time, so we missed out on a good number of them.”He also praised the people of the Philippines for the practical help they have given those coming from poorer parts of the world.“For example, countries like us, Uganda in Af...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis offered prayers for young people, and especially young Catholic scholars, on Wednesday, the day before the liturgical feast day of St. Thomas Aquinas.A Dominican priest and Doctor of the Church, whose influence on Catholic theology and on intellectual history in the West is rivalled only by that of St. Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas is the patron saint of Catholic schools.Addressing young people, the sick, and newlyweds at the end of his weekly General Audience on Wednesday in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis said, “Let [St. Thomas’] example push you, dear young people, to see in Jesus the one merciful life teacher.” He went on to say, “May his intercession obtain for you, dear sick people, serenity and peace in the mystery of the Cross.” Pope Francis also prayed, “May his doctrine be an encouragement for you, dear newlyweds, to entrust yourselves to the wisdom of the heart, that you might fulfil your missi...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis had words of encouragement for the work of Austria’s Independent Commission for the Protection of Victims on Wednesday. The Independent Commission is a free and autonomous civil society institution that acts on behalf of all victims of abuse and violence in the church and society in Austria.The Holy Father welcomed the members of the Commission, who were present together with the Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schonborn following the main catechesis in St. Peter’s Square.The Pope said, “The Lord never abandons us,” and added, “let us allow ourselves to be transformed by His merciful love for us, that we might become true children of God.”
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday spoke about God’s mercy throughout history, and in our own day.Listen to Christopher Wells' report:  In his weekly General Audience, Pope Francis noted that the Lord always accompanied the people of Israel, and showed how God continues to work in our own time as well.He pointed to the story of Joseph and his brothers as an example of grace and reconciliation, and said the Jubilee Year of Mercy was a good opportunity to reconcile with family members.The example of Moses, who led the Israelites from slavery to freedom, shows that “mercy cannot remain indifferent in the face of the suffering of the oppressed, the cry of those subject to violence, reduced to slavery, condemned to death.” Suffering is a reality in every age, a reality that can make us feel impotent, and tempt us to indifference. But, Pope Francis said, “God is not indifferent, He never looks away from human suffering.” The God of mercy hea...
(Vatican Radio) The President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Cardinal Peter Turkson,  sent a catechesis to the 51st International Eucharistic Congress taking place in Cebu, Philippines.The address was delivered by the Archbishop of Cagayan de Oro, Antonio Ledesma, SJ.The full text of the address follows: “The Eucharist and the Care for Creation” CatechesisCebu, 27 January 2016Cardinal Peter K.A. TurksonPresidentDelivered by Archbishop Antonio Ledesma S.J.Archbishop of Cagayan de Oro IntroductionI have been assigned a topic that invites us to delve into the depths of what it means to be truly Catholic. I say this because, as you well know, in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church the Fathers at the Second Vatican Council called the Eucharist the “summit and source” of the Christian life.[i] The Eucharist is a multifaceted jewel set in the very crown of Catholicism. A jewel can be viewed from many angles, seen with the ...
(Vatican Radio) The people of Africa have a special affinity for the Eucharist, which is easily adaptable to African culture.That was the message of Bishop Anthony Adaji, MSP, of Idah, Nigeria, who is participating in the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) taking place in Cebu, Philippines.“In Africa, the Eucharistic is a meal of communion … that brings people together, that we share together,” – Bishop Adaji told Vatican Radio –  “So in Africa, culturally, we are a people that live together, that share together.”Listen to the interview by Seàn-Patrick Lovett with Bishop Anthony Adaji: Bishop Adaji is one of several African participants at the IEC, and said the participation of bishops at the event is important.“The Eucharistic is the source of our life and, as the bishop, our life revolves around the Eucharist, and we teach about Eucharist…and we try to live the life of the Eucharist,” he sa...
(Vatican Radio) The Papal legate to the 51st International Eucharist Congress (IEC), Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, said the divide between rich and poor does not exist because of a lack of resources, but because of “poor distribution.”Cardinal Bo, the Archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar, spoke to Vatican Radio in Cebu, Philippines, during the IEC, where he has called for a “World War III against poverty.”“The whole world and the whole global people should participate in solving this poverty,” he said.Listen to the interview by Seàn-Patrick Lovett with Cardinal Charles Maung Bo: “The Poor and the Rich are there, not because we do not have the natural resources, not because there is not enough food…but because of the poor distribution,” he said.“There should be a system in all the religions, and all the Churches, and in all the countries with the governments … they should set up a system that we have sharing with all ...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis made a special appeal for suffering Christians in the Middle Ease on Wednesday, during the course of his weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square. “God does not remain silent before the suffering and cries of His children,” he said, “nor does He remain silent before injustice and persecution: He rather intervenes and gives, by His mercy, rescue and salvation.”“God uses patience with the sinner,” the Holy Father continued, “to induce him to conversion, and he searches for the lost sheep, for, “[God] will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim 2:4)”Pope Francis has been a vocal advocate for the rights of religious minorities around the world, and particularly of Christians in the Middle East, where ancient Christian communities are suffering often brutal and deadly persecution, particularly at the hands of militants fighting for the so-called Islamic Sta...
 WASHINGTON-Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York called on everyone "concerned about the tragedy of abortion" to recommit to a "vision of life and love, a vision that excludes no one" on January 14. His statement marks the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. Cardinal Dolan chairs the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops."Most Americans oppose a policy allowing legal abortion for virtually any reason - though many still do not realize that this is what the Supreme Court gave us," wrote Cardinal Dolan. "Most want to protect unborn children at later stages of pregnancy, to regulate or limit the practice of abortion, and to stop the use of taxpayer dollars for the destruction of unborn children. Yet many who support important goals of the pro-life movement do not identify as 'pro-life,' a fact which should lead us to examine how we present our pro-life vision to others.""Even as Americans rema...
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