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IMAGE: CNS photo/Sergei Chirikov, EPABy Cindy WoodenVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- After almost three decades of tenseCatholic-Russian Orthodox relations, Pope Francis will meet Patriarch Kirill ofMoscow Feb. 12 in Cuba on the pope's way to Mexico.It will be the first-ever meeting of a pope and Moscowpatriarch, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, told reportersFeb. 5.As Pope Francis travels to Mexico and as Patriarch Kirill makes an official visit to Cuba, the twowill meet at Havana's Jose Marti International Airport and plan to sign a jointdeclaration, Father Lombardi said. The pope will leave Rome earlier than planned to allow time for themeeting without forcing any changes to his schedule in Mexico, he added.The meeting "will mark an important stage in relationsbetween the two churches," said a joint declaration on the meeting.TheCuba meeting was not an "improvisation," Father Lombardi said; it tooktwo years of intense planning and negotiations to schedule. Even when the ...
Vatican City, Feb 5, 2016 / 06:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Sitting alongside soccer stars such as Ronaldinho and Bryan Ruiz on Wednesday, Pope Francis announced that a second edition of his 2014 interreligious match for peace will take place in May.“I invite you all to the Match for Peace. It will be here in Rome May 29,” the Pope said Feb. 3 at an event organized by the Pontifical Foundation Scholas Occurrentes.The soccer match is aimed at demonstrating “that we are capable of making peace with a game, with art,” he said, adding that he’s doing it “as a service.”“One of the definitions of the Pope is to be the servant of the servants of God. That is why I am here, that is why I agreed to come,” Francis said, explaining that the intent of the game isn’t proselytization, but the good of the human person.“I want to be very clear: what matters here is the human person. Man and woman have to be the center,” he declared....
Vatican City, Feb 5, 2016 / 04:59 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Friday the Vatican announced that while on his way to Mexico, Pope Francis will stop in Cuba to meet with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in the first meeting between the two leaders since their churches split over 1,000 years ago.“The Holy See and the Patriarchate of Moscow are pleased to announce that, by the grace of God, His Holiness Pope Francis and His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will meet on February 12 next,” a joint Feb. 5 press release from the Vatican and the Russian Orthodox Church read.Kirill, patriarch of Moscow and all Rus' and Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, will arrive to Havana Feb. 11 for an official visit to South America.His Feb. 11-22 visit includes stops in Cuba, Brasil, Chile and Paraguay.Pope Francis himself will arrive to Havana’s José Martí International Airport the next day while on his way to Mexico, where he will be on an offici...
Washington D.C., Feb 5, 2016 / 03:06 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Pius XII's secret support for the attempted overthrow of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler is the subject of a new book that draws on wartime documents and interviews with the American intelligence agent who wrote them.“This book is the truth – as best I could establish it in a number of years of research – about the Pope’s secret operations in World War II,” historian Mark Riebling told CNA Feb. 2.“Its main premise is that Pius opted to resist Hitler with covert action instead of overt protest. As a result, he became involved in three separate plots by German dissidents to remove Hitler.”  “I thought this idea – that the Church engaged in secret operations during the bloodiest years in history, in the most controversial part of its recent history – was not just a footnote; it was something worth pursuing,” he said.Riebling tells this story in his book &...
(Vatican Radio)  It was announced on Friday that Pope Francis will hold a meeting with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia in Cuba on February 12th. It marks the first ever such meeting between a Roman Pontiff and the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.Please find below the Joint Press Release of the Holy See and of the Patriarchate of Moscow:The Holy See and the patriarchate of Moscow are pleased to announce that, by the grace of God, His Holiness Pope Francis and His Holiness Patriarch Kirilll of Moscow and All Russia will meet on February 12th next. Their meeting will take place in Cuba, where the Pope will make a stop on his way to Mexico, and where the Patriarch will be on an official visit. It will include a personal conversation at Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport, and will conclude with the signing of a joint declaration. This meeting of the Primates of the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church, after a long preparation, will be th...
(Vatican Radio) God’s ‘style’ is not man’s ‘style,’ because God triumphs through humility. That was Pope Francis’ message in his homily during daily Mass at the Casa Santa Marta.God’s style can be seen in the death of the greatest of the prophets, St John the Baptist. This “just and holy man,” the “greatest man,” the man who had prepared the people for the coming of the Messiah, was beheaded in the darkness of his cell, alone, condemned by the vindictive hatred of a queen and the cowardice of a submissive king. Listen:  The ultimate prophetAnd yet that is how “God triumphs,” the Pope said, commenting on the day’s Gospel which relates the circumstances of John’s death:“John the Baptist, ‘the greatest man born of a woman’ – so says the formula for the canonization of John. But this formula was used not of a Pope, or even of Jesus. That man is the greatest...
(Vatican Radio) A 7-year-old Syrian girl suffering from a rare form of eye cancer is Friday being treated at the world renowned Bambino Gesu children’s hospital in Rome a day after arriving in Italy with her family.Falak al Hourani, her parents and her younger brother Hussein have come to Rome thanks to a “humanitarian corridor" project initiated by the Rome-based Catholic Sant'Egidio Community and the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy.Listen:  The al Hourani family fled their home in Homs, nearly three years ago due to the conflict engulfing Syria and went to Tripoli, in northern Lebanon.The family’s arrival in Italy is the first of an estimated 1,000 refugees who are being brought to the country in an ecumenical project aimed at deterring people from making the perilous journey by sea.Speaking to Vatican Radio about the family and the project, Sant'Egidio’s Cesare Zucconi explained that, “the Churches together wi...
WASHINGTON-The Office of General Counsel of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, February 1, on behalf of USCCB, the Texas Catholic Conference and several Christian partners in support of a Texas law mandating health and safety standards protecting women who undergo abortions. Other groups joining the brief include the National Association of Evangelicals, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. The case is Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, currently before the U.S. Supreme Court."There is ample evidence in this case that hospital admitting privileges and ambulatory surgical center requirements protect women's lives and health," said the brief. "When such requirements are not enforced, abuses detrimental to women's lives and health arise."The brief noted that some abortion clinics have decla...
 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...
LONDON (AP) -- Brazil says it's sending a set of Zika samples to U.S. health authorities following complaints over the South American nation's hoarding of data and biological material related to the disease....
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