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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Jupiter takes center stage with the arrival next week of a NASA spacecraft built to peek through its thick, swirling clouds and map the planet from the inside out....
IMAGE: CNS/EPABy Cindy WoodenVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Tears and not words. Prayers and notgreetings.During his trip to Poland for World Youth Day, Pope Francis willgo to the Auschwitz-BirkenauNazi death camp. He said he wants to go alone and say nothing.When Pope Francis speaks, he can delight fans and frustratecritics. He can wax poetic or be bluntly funny about human quirks.But in the face of great suffering and horror, his first andstrongest inclinations are silence, a profoundly bowed head and hands claspedtightly in prayer.Pope Francis had asked that there be no speeches during hisvisit to Armenia's genocide memorialJune 25. At times, even the prayer service there with the ArmenianApostolic patriarch seemed too wordy. An aide gently cupped his elbow when itwas time to end the silent reflection and begin the service.The Vatican's schedule for the pope's visit toAuschwitz-Birkenau July 29had him giving a speech at the international monument at Birkenau, just as St.John Paul II and ...
IMAGE: CNS/Paul HaringBy Junno Arocho EstevesVATICANCITY (CNS) -- Mercy is not an abstract concept but a lifestyle that invitesChristians to make an examination of conscience and ask themselves if theyplace the spiritual and material needs of others before their own, Pope Francissaid. AChristian who chooses to be merciful experiences true life and has "eyesto see, ears to listen, and hands to comfort," the pope said June 30during a Year of Mercyaudience in St. Peter's Square. "Thatwhich makes mercy alive is its constant dynamism to go out searching for theneedy and the needs of those who are in spiritual or material hardship,"he said. By beingindifferent to the plight of the poor and suffering, the pope said, Christians turn into "hypocrites" and move toward a"spiritual lethargy that numbs the mind and makes life barren.""Peoplewho go through life, who walk in life without being aware of the needs ofothers, without seeing the many spiritual and material needs are people who donot l...
Vatican City, Jun 30, 2016 / 09:35 am (CNA).- As Pope Francis on Sunday backed the idea of apologizing to gay individuals who may feel marginalized by the Church, discussion has once again broken out over how to interpret the pontiff’s words.Debate flared up overnight after the Pope responded to a question about recent comments made by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, who said the Church must apologize to homosexual persons for having “marginalized” them.While Pope Francis did not actually make an apology to the gay community, his endorsement of the idea has exploded, in part because it has been taken by many as an open endorsement for the gay lifestyle, deviating from Church teaching.On the other hand, Francis’ acknowledgement that an apology might be in order on the part of some represents something that many in the gay community have been longing to hear, many of them rightfully so.The Pope’s comments also drew attention from those who claimed that they were ...
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Jun 30, 2016 / 06:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Rio de Janeiro's Cardinal Orani Tempesta celebrated his 66th birthday with a special visit: he spent his time with a group of homeless people.On June 22, after a previous birthday celebration, the cardinal went out at night around 11:00 p.m. to the downtown area to meet some homeless people and to celebrate his birthday with them, the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro reported.“The cardinal offered gifts, blankets, milk and coffee, and listened to their stories,” the archdiocese news brief said. The cardinal was able “to learn up close about the reality of those who live and sleep on the streets.”The archdiocese said the effort was a witness for the Catholic Church's Year of Mercy and a reflection of the fourth corporal work of mercy: to clothe the naked.The Brazilian cardinal was born June 23, 1950 in the town of São José de Río Pardo in the state of São Paulo.H...
Boris Johnson, the former mayor of London, on Thursday ruled himself out of the running to be Britain’s next prime minister and leader of the Conservative Party.During a speech which many had tipped to be his campaign launch, Johnson, who was a key leader in the ‘Brexit’ campaign, said that he didn’t believe that he could provide the leadership or unity needed in Britain.Listen to the report by Georgia Gogarty: Following current Prime Minister David Cameron’s decision to step down after Britain sensationally voted to leave the European Union in a referendum last week, the competition for the next Conservative Party Leader is now under way after nominations closed at noon today.Former mayor of London Boris Johnson, today took himself out of the race to be the next prime minister saying that  after much thought and consultation, he was not the right man for the job.Johnson did express however that his role would be to give every possible support to...
(Vatican Radio) South Africa’s bishops have issued a warning about rising levels of political violence ahead of municipal elections to be held on August 3rd.In a statement sent to the Catholic Information Service for Africa, Bishop Abel Gabuza, chair of the bishops’ Justice and Peace Commission, invited members of all political parties to take part in a day of prayer for peace next Wednesday, July 6th.Listen to Philippa Hitchen's report:  In the statement, Bishop Gabuza says peace in South Africa should never be taken for granted. To maintain peace, he insists, requires the responsibility of all citizens and political maturity on the part of the country’s leaders, especially during the election period. “The current levels of political violence do not reflect this sense of responsibility,” he warns.In particular Bishop Gabuza says political leaders have not been “visible and loud enough in their condemnation of the recent factional viole...
The Faithful at Zimbabwe’s Holy Name Parish in Mabelreign last week organised a workshop on the Liturgy. The idea was to provide accurate and current liturgical knowledge to the laity. The workshop was facilitated by Fr Joseph Mahlahla, a lecturer at Chishawasha Major Seminary in Harare. Fr Mahlahla said the chief purpose of liturgy is to glorify God.He emphasised that the term Liturgy means public worship. It entails active participation of everyone in the work of God, and the most important thing to happen during a liturgical celebration should be our encounter with God.On sacred hymns during the Liturgy, Fr Mahlahla said people in the choir must not limit other people’s participation in the Liturgy. This sometimes means taking care not to introduce new songs into the celebration before they are taught to the congregation.About Prayers of the Faithful, Fr. Mahlahla noted that giving petitions that are of a personal nature is inappropriate. Everyone is supposed t...
Nigeria is Africa's most densely populated country. About 20 million of a total of approximately 170 million Nigerians are Catholic. Some of the challenges currently facing the country are the terrorist organisation, Boko Haram and corruption. In an interview during a visit to the International Catholic pastoral charity, “Aid To The Church In Need,” Nigeria’s Archbishop of Jos and President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria, (CBCN) Ignatius Kaigama, explained that the Church is dealing with the challenges.Describing the political climate in his country, Archbishop Kaigama said that before the general elections, pessimists were predicting the disintegration of Nigeria. However, the elections went off peacefully and for the first time in the history of the country an incumbent President lost and accepted his defeat.“We needed change, and this change came in the person of President Muhammadu Buhari. He has now been in office for about a ye...
IMAGE: CNS/Paul HaringBy Cindy WoodenROME (CNS) -- New archbishops naturally wonder if they arethe right person for the job, but reassurance comes from concelebrating Masswith Pope Francis, the pope who appointed them, said Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda of St. Paul andMinneapolis.Celebrating the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul with PopeFrancis June 29 was a celebration of unity, the archbishop told Catholic NewsService after Mass.Joining 24 other archbishops from 14 other countries for theMass "really helps a new archbishop to recognize that what he's doing ispart of something much larger," Archbishop Hebda said. The archbishops, who had been named over the past year, hada few minutes in private with Pope Francis and, Archbishop Hebda said, heexpressed his closeness to the people of St. Paul and Minneapolis "in somechallenging times."The archbishop, 56, was named head of the archdiocese in March, nine months after taking over as archdiocesan administrator in the midst of turmoilover how...
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