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(Vatican Radio)  The Papal preacher, Father Raniero Cantalamessa, delivered his second Advent Sermon on Friday to Pope Francis and members of the Roman Curia.As preacher to the Papal Household, Capucin Father Cantalamessa gives a meditation to the Pope, Cardinals and members of the Roman Curia every Friday morning in Lent and Advent in the Apostolic Palace’s “Redemptoris Mater” Chapel. In the second Advent sermon, Fr. Cantalamessa continued his theme of the Holy Spirit’s action in the Church, focusing on the charism of discernment.Please find below the full text English translation of the Sermon:Second Advent SermonThe Holy Spirit and the Charism of DiscernmentLet us continue our reflections on the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Christian. Saint Paul mentions a specific charism called “discernment of spirits” (see 1 Cor 12:10). This phrase originally had a very specific meaning: it indicated the gift that made it possible to ...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta on Friday morning, focusing his remarks following the readings of the day on the need for priests to serve as authentic mediators of God’s love, rather than as intermediaries – “go-betweens” or “middle-men” – concerned  only with advancing their own interests.No to “go-between” priests, yest to priests who are mediators of God’s loveThe role of the mediator is not that of the intermediary – and priests are called to be the former for their flock:“The mediator gives himself (lit. perde se stesso) to unite the parties, he gives his life. That is the price: his life – he pays with his life, his fatigue, his work, so many things, but – in this case the pastor - to unite the flock, to unite people, to bring them to Jesus. The logic of Jesus as mediator is the logic of annihilating oneself. St. Paul in his Letter to t...
Austin, Texas, Dec 9, 2016 / 11:54 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A regulation in Texas going into effect this month gives mothers and families the right to know about their child’s burial, and gives unborn babies who die the opportunity for a respectful burial – regardless of the circumstances of their death.Kristi Hamrick, spokesperson for Americans United for Life, who helped create the model legislation for the new Texas regulations, told CNA the legislation both prevents unborn infants who died through abortion as being treated as waste, as well as helping families who lost a child through miscarriage or stillbirth to retrieve their infant's body for burial.“This effort empowers women and informs them of their options,” she told CNA. “It does not require anything of the mothers, but it does require that the facility handle the bodies of unborn infants with the same respect we show the remains of other people who die in a medical setting.”The new re...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday gave a special greeting to the members of Catholic Action, who on the feast of the Immaculate Conception renew their membership in the organization.Catholic Action was founded in Italy in 1905, and is one of the main lay apostolates in the country.“I give a special thought to all the [Catholic Action] diocesan and parish associations,” – Pope Francis said during his Angelus – “May the Virgin bless Catholic Action and make it more and more a school of holiness and generous service to the Church and to the world.”Catholic Action has over 400,000 members in Italy, and every year over 1 million people participate in their activities.
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday offered his prayers for the victims and families of the earthquake which hit Indonesia on Wednesday.The 6.5 magnitude quake mostly affected the Aceh Province on the island of Sumatra, and over 100 people were killed in the disaster.“I wish to assure you of my prayers for the victims and their families, for the injured and for those who have lost their homes,” – Pope Francis said during his Angelus address – “May the Lord give strength to the population and support the rescue efforts.”The same region of Indonesia was hit by the December 2004 earthquake and tsunami , which killed over 100,000 people in the province.
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday encouraged Christians to give their “Yes” to God, which allows the Lord to create for us a “new story,” as opposed to sin, which makes us “old inside.”The Holy Father was speaking to a crowd of pilgrims in St. Peter's Square before the Angelus on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.Pope Francis reflected on two of the readings from the feast’s liturgy: The Fall of Adam and Eve [Gn 3:9-15, 20], and the Annunciation [Lk 1:26-38].“The readings of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary are two crucial passages in the history of the relationship between man and God:  We might say they lead us to the origins of good and evil,” Pope Francis said.The Holy Father said the Book of Genesis shows us the origins of sin, the first 'no' to God, when “man preferred to look at himself, not his Creator…and in doing so comes out of communi...
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- For protesters fighting the Dakota Access pipeline, the messages from the Standing Rock Sioux reservation are confusing: The tribal chairman tells demonstrators that it's time to leave their camp and go home. Another leader implores them to stay through the bitter North Dakota winter....
Vatican City, Dec 7, 2016 / 12:37 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The updated version of the Vatican's document on priestly formation, released Wednesday, deals with issues of clericalism, homosexuality, and the protection of minors, among other things.“To be a good priest, in addition to having passed all the exams, a demonstrated human, spiritual and pastoral maturation is necessary,” Cardinal Beniamino Stella, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, told L'Osservatore Romano Dec. 7. He was commenting on The Gift of the Priestly Vocation, his department's new edition of its “fundamentals of priestly formation.”“I think it is superfluous to add that other minor innovations could be gathered from the text, from the standpoint of approaches to the question, vocabulary used, the formative methodology proposed, and the impulse given by the current Pontifical Magisterium,” Cardinal Stella added.Media coverage of the document has emphasized that i...
Columbus, Ohio, Dec 7, 2016 / 04:15 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Citing the prospect of a more favorable Supreme Court, Ohio legislators have passed a ban on abortions once an unborn child’s heartbeat can be detected.The bill was previously defeated twice in the Republican-controlled legislature. However, State Senate President Keith Faber said the bill was revived given the prospect that President-elect Donald Trump will appoint justices more likely to uphold restrictions on abortion.“I think it has a better chance than it did before,” he said of the bill’s Supreme Court prospects, the Associated Press reports.The ban on abortions after the baby’s heart begins to beat would apply as early as six weeks into pregnancy. The bill allows exceptions if the mother’s life is deemed to be in danger.Janet Porter, president of bill supporter Faith2Action, praised the passage of the bill.“We live in a State whose motto is with God all things are possible. That...
New Dehli, India, Dec 7, 2016 / 06:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A cloistered nun in India came out of her convent for an extraordinary reason: to attend a graduation ceremony for her doctorate in Aerospace Engineering.“I had joined the religious order after my final oral exam last year, and this was the first time I came out after that. The rules of our order forbid us from going out of the convent, but I was given special permission to attend the convocation,” Sister Benedicta of the Holy Face told Matters India over the summer.The 32-year-old nun lives in a cloistered convent of the Benedictine Sisters of the Reparation of the Holy Face.Born in Kuwait before the Gulf War, Sister Benedicta studied at St Xavier’s College in Mumbai and then earned a Master’s degree in space science from Pune University, located 90 miles from Mumbai.She earned her PhD from the Defense Institute of Advanced Technology in Pune. According to Matters India, her doctoral work in the fiel...
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