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(Vatican Radio) After Pope Francis was officially welcomed to World Youth Day during a ceremony on Thursday evening, the Vice-Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke, said “it is really clear [Pope Francis] is enjoying” his visit to Krakow, Poland.“You can tell he is at ease, very much at ease,” Burke told Vatican Radio.Listen to the interview by Lydia O’Kane with Greg Burke: “He did throw out a big challenge: Are you willing to change the world?” – Burke continued – “He talked about mercy having a young face – it always has a young face.  He believes that, and he knows the young people believe that.”Burke said Friday would be a day of reflection, both with Pope Francis’ visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial in the morning, and the Via Crucis scheduled for the evening.“World Youth Day is all about fun, and it is about joy – and he talked about that today, he says that often you ...
(Vatican Radio) The Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, on Thursday addressed the UN Security Council about the role that grassroots movements, faith-based organizations and local communities play in conflict prevention and peacebuilding on the continent of Africa.He was speaking during an open debate on Peacebuilding in Africa.“The Catholic Church in Africa contributes directly to conflict prevention and  peacebuilding  through  the  capillary  presence  of  its  tens  of  thousands  of  institutions, like hospitals and dispensaries, schools and other centers of formation. Catholic humanitarian and charitable agencies work in all countries of Africa in various arenas, such as fostering village dialogues, providing emergency assistance and building small business capacities,” the Archbishop said.He also called on the United Nations to help stop the arms trade o...
(Vatican Radio) During his Apostolic Voyage to Poland, Pope Francis, following in the footsteps of his predecessors Pope St John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, will pay a visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial and museum, the site of a former Nazi concentration and extermination camp.Lydia O’Kane is in Poland with Pope Francis. She visited Auschwitz earlier this week, and filed this reflection: A steady stream of young people passes through metal detectors, making their way to Auschwitz I and through the infamous entrance that reads “Arbeit macht frei” — “work sets you free”. Many will have studied at school the horrors that took place here at this former Nazi concentration camp, but it is only by coming to this place of terror that you can truly comprehend the full extent of the brutality that took place.From 1940 until the camp was liberated 1,100,000 people were murdered at Auschwitz, the majority were Jews but also Poles, Roma, as wel...
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis on Friday sent a video message for young Cubans who organized their own youth gathering to coincide with the official World Youth Day events in Krakow, Poland. In his message the Pope praised the young people for taking this initiative and urged them to unite together in “a social friendship,” regardless of their differences and be “carriers of hope” and “builders of bridges.”Around 1,400 young Cubans are taking part in their own youth gathering in the capital Havana that’s being attended by young people who for economic reasons cannot afford to travel to the WYD in Poland. They have adopted the same themes as the WYD in Krakow and the event includes catechesis sessions, a Way of the Cross procession and passing through the Holy Door. Pope Francis told the young Cubans that he trusted this event will be an opportunity to promote a culture of encounter, respect, understanding and mutual forgiveness. H...
OSWIECIM, Poland (AP) -- Pope Francis paid a somber visit in silence to the Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau on Friday, becoming the third consecutive pontiff to make the pilgrimage to the place where Adolf Hitler's forces killed more than 1 million people, most of them Jews....
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- One police officer died and another was wounded after being shot in a San Diego neighborhood, authorities said early Friday....
DALLAS (AP) -- A police officer in the small Texas town where Sandra Bland was pulled over and jailed says the county's top prosecutors threatened to end his career if he came forward with what he says is evidence of wrongdoing, an accusation the prosecutors deny....
PARIS (AP) -- Experts at a zoo in the Moroccan capital of Rabat are trying to understand why an elephant hurled a stone in the direction of visitors, killing a 7-year-old girl....
New York City, N.Y., Jul 29, 2016 / 03:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Mike Piazza, the newest inductee of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, has given a shout-out to Pope Benedict XVI and his mother Veronica.“She gave me the gift of my Catholic faith, which has had a profound impact on my career and has given me patience, compassion and hope,” Piazza said in his induction speech Sunday.“Pope Benedict XVI said, ‘One who has hope, lives differently.’ Mom, you raised five boys, and you were always there for me.”Piazza, 47, played catcher for the New York Mets and other teams. He hit 427 home runs in his professional career. He began his professional baseball career with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1992 and played with the Mets from 1998-2005. He was a 12-time All Star player and a 10-time Silver Slugger Award winner. He retired in 2007.He is only the second Hall of Fame player to be inducted as a Met.Piazza had attended 7:30 Mass at Cooperstown’s Our ...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis welcomed young people gathered in Krakow for World Youth Day, in an official ceremony on Thursday evening.Vatican Radio’s Lydia O’Kane, who is in Poland with Pope Francis, spoke with Bishop John Keenan-Paisley, who has travelled from Scotland with a group of young pilgrims, immediately after the ceremony to gauge the reaction to the Pope’s words.Listen: Bishop Keenan referred to Pope Francis’ “beautiful words”, which encouraged young people to celebrate their faith, particularly in this jubilee year of mercy. He inspired them to believe that they can change the world for the better, instilling in them a “great joy and trust” and giving them the confidence and courage to make a difference.Pope Francis is the leader that young people can follow, says Bishop Keenan. His words were “a genuine dialogue” with the young pilgrims who gathered in Krakow, who responded to the Pope’s call to be str...
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