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New York City, N.Y., Mar 23, 2016 / 03:06 am (CNA/EWTN News).- If diplomacy and policy-making are to be successful, all women – including those who are often left out of the conversation – must have a voice in the process, a Holy See representative told the United Nations.“Empowering women means creating the conditions necessary for them to flourish, in full acceptance of and in accordance with their natural genius as women, and in harmonious complementarity with the gifts of men,” Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, said March 18.“Empowering women and girls will greatly help the world community not to leave anyone behind, and their empowerment will empower us all,” he said.He gave his remarks during the deliberations of the 60th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women of the United Nations. This session's focus was “Women's Empowerment and the Link to Sustainable Development...
Salt Lake City, Utah, Mar 23, 2016 / 12:34 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Despite the challenges facing the United States, Catholics and Mormons can work together – with St. Augustine as a model, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said Tuesday at Brigham Young University.“We need to wake each other up to see the world and our nation as they really are – the good along with the evil,” he said March 22. “We need to support each other in the work for religious freedom we share. We need to treat each other as friends, not enemies or strangers. We need to learn from each other’s successes and mistakes.”“It’s important for our own integrity and the integrity of our country to fight for our convictions in the public square,” he said. “Anything less is a kind of cowardice.”The Archbishop of Philadelphia spoke at the most prominent university of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who are commonly known as the Mormons.Archb...
(Vatican Radio) On Wednesday 23rd of March Pope Francis mentioned Julian of Norwich during his weekly catechesis. But who exactly was this  great fourteenth century English mystic and theologian who lived as a recluse or anchoress? Born towards the end  of 1342, just a few years before Catherine of Siena when she was around thirty years of age she had a series of visions or revelations of which she wrote an account. Known as 'Revelations of Divine Love' they've been described as "the tenderest and most beautiful exposition in the English  language of God's loving dealings with humankind.A programme presented by Jill Bevilacqua and produced by Sean Patrick Lovett: 
(Vatican Radio) As migration and internal displacement have steadily grown to become the defining issues of our time, projects to keep people in refugee camps informed and included such as the one propelled by the SAT-7 Christian satellite TV station are increasingly vital.SAT-7 does just that – and more – as it broadcasts and features programmes that inform, entertain and build bridges reaching out to millions of viewers in the Middle East and North Africa. Targeting Christian minorities in countries like Iraq, Turkey and Egypt SAT-7 broadcasts to the Middle East and North Africa.The Executive Director of SAT-7 Europe, Asia and Pacific, Kurt Johansen, told Linda Bordoni that SAT-7 is also building bridges and bringing hope to hundreds of thousands of refugees.He points out  that SAT-7 is celebrating an important anniversary: “SAT-7 started 20 years ago, on a very small scale. No one had ever done this before: it was just a vision” says Johansen.J...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has called on people to “not forget the tragedy of persecution” in a letter sent Iraq Christians in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan.The letter – along with a gift of liturgical vestments and monetary support – was brought to the city by a delegation of the Italian branch of Aid to the Church in Need, led by the Bishop of Carpi, Francesco Cavina.Erbil has been hosting thousands of Christian refugees from Mosul and the Nineveh Plains, which was overrun by the so-called Islamic State in 2014.“As soon as the Holy Father learned about  my journey with Aid to the Church in Need,  he called me and expressed a desire to send a gift to our Iraqi brothers in faith,” Bishop Cavina said.The letter sent by the Holy Father expressed his “friendship, Ecclesial communion, and spiritual closeness” to Iraqi Christians, adding their suffering “grieves me deeply, and invites us to defend the inalienable...
(Vatican Radio) March 24th marks the Church’s day of prayer for missionary martyrs, in memory of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero who was murdered while celebrating Mass on that day in 1980.During Romero’s beatification in San Salvador last May,  March 24th was also recognized as his feast day, yet this year the date marks Holy Thursday and will therefore not be celebrated as an official saints day.The popular archbishop was gunned down by hired assassins because he had become an increasingly outspoken opponent of the El Salvador’s military leadership, making public each week a list of victims of the civil war. His murder came one day after a sermon in which he had called on Salvadoran soldiers to stop killing and carrying out human rights violations.In many countries across the world Romero has long been revered as ‘the voice of voiceless’, an inspirational figure for all who give their lives for the Gospel values of human dignity, justice and...
(Vatican Radio) Portions of the Vatican archives pertaining to the military dictatorship in Argentina are expected to be opened to scholars in the coming months.The materials from that period (1976-1983) are in the process of being catalogued. The director of the Holy See Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, confirmed that work is proceeding, according to the express intention of Pope Francis. When the cataloguing is completed, the conditions for consulting the archives will be determined in consultation with the Bishops’ Conference of Argentina.While the work of cataloguing is being done, Father Lombardi said, “we try to answer specific questions about particular issues of a legal nature or humanitarian character.”
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis had special greetings for Arabic-speaking pilgrims at Wednesday's General Audience. The Holy Father said, “The Mercy of God and His love is fully embodied, for each of us, in the face of Jesus who loved us to the end and offered Himself, so that whoever believes in the power of His Cross should not perish.”The Holy Father's remarks to Arabic-speaking pilgrims were in keeping with the theme of the main catechetical reflection he offered in Italian, which focused on the liturgical significance of the Paschal Triduum, though offered particular expressions of prayerful solidarity for all those who face suffering for thier faith in Christ. “We pray for all who suffer for the Lord,” said Pope Francis, "that He might turn their sorrows into joys, their suffering into salvation and their crosses into Resurrection.” He concluded, saying, “May the Lord bless you all and prot...
(Vatican Radio) A well-known sculpture by Canadian artist Timothy Schmalz has found a new home in the entry to the Office of the Papal Almoner in the Vatican. A press release from the Almoner’s Office explains that Homeless Jesus – a 2013 piece in the hyper-realist style that depicts Jesus as a homeless person, sleeping on a park bench, with his face and hands are obscured, hidden under a blanket, though his exposed feet bear the wounds they received in the Passion, revealing the figure’s identity.The work has been described as a “visual translation” of the passage in the Gospel according to St. Matthew (25:40), in which the Lord looks forward to the Last Judgment and explains to the disciples that they shall be judged according to the way they treated the weakest and most vulnerable in society.In November 2013, during a General Audience in St. Peter's Square, the artist had the opportunityi to present a reduced size copy of the Homeless Jesus to ...
Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, Archbishop of Seoul in his Easter message  prays for peace in the Korean Peninsula and the world at large. "May the light of the Risen Lord shine upon you all. Let us pray for our brothers and sisters in North Korea: may the blessings on them be abundant. Let us pray for peace on the Korean Peninsula and peace in the world.  Let us pray that God gives wisdom to solve the issue of nuclear weapons in North Korea. May God guide us in the paths of peace": this is the wish expressed by Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung in his Easter message sent to Fides.The theme of the message is taken from the Gospel of John: "Through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race" (Jn 1: 4). "Jesus became the world's light that illuminates our sins and darkness.The announcement of the Church is that Christ is the light of the world that no darkness can overcome" the text emphasizes. "After Resurrection, Je...
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