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For Jesus, forgiveness is a big deal. Just think about His plea from the cross. He actually interceded on behalf of His murderers...
Vatican City, Feb 9, 2016 / 12:19 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Priests who are good confessors must recognize their own sins in order to forgive and comfort penitents, Pope Francis said one day before the start of the Lenten season.“I speak to you as a brother, and through you I would like to speak to all confessors, especially in this Year of Mercy: the confessional is for forgiveness,” the Pope said in his homily Feb. 9 in St. Peter’s Basilica. He celebrated the Mass with Capuchin Franciscan friars from around the world.Even if priests cannot give absolution in some cases, the Pope told them, “please, do not beat up on the penitent.”Someone who comes to the confessional is seeking “comfort, pardon, peace in his soul.”“Let him find a father who embraces him and says, ‘God loves you,’ and makes the penitent feel that God really does,” the Pope said.Reflecting on the Capuchin Franciscan tradition as one of giving forgiveness, ...
Phoenix, Ariz., Feb 9, 2016 / 04:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Even though the Satanists lost, they won.That's the opinion of Phoenix city councilman Sal Diciccio, a practicing Catholic who was embroiled in a heated debate over whether or not a Satanic group would be allowed to give the opening prayer at an upcoming council meeting.Last week, the sharply divided city council voted 5-4 to adopt a moment of silence instead of prayer at the opening of council meetings, effectively blocking an upcoming invocation by a Satanic temple member from Tucson, but also banning all prayer in the future.Diciccio, who voted against the moment of silence, said that banning all prayer was the real end game for the Satanists.“It wasn't about one prayer, they wanted to ban all prayer,” Diciccio said. “That’s their win...they accomplished their goal.”There could have been other ways to effectively block the Satanist group without banning prayer, a tradition of the city c...
Vatican City, Feb 9, 2016 / 03:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis met with 650 of the 1,000 priests who've been chosen as Missionaries of Mercy, telling them to show the tenderness of God’s love to those who confess to them during the Jubliee.“Let us not forget: before us there is not sin, but the repentant sinner. A person who feels the desire of being welcomed and forgiven,” and who no longer desires to be far from God, the Pope said Feb. 9.He called to mind the biblical passage in which Noah, after the flood, got drunk from the wine he made in his vineyard, and was found lying naked inside his tent. While his son Ham laughed at him, Noah’s other sons, Shem and Japheth, covered him with a blanket.When speaking with those who come to the confessional, as priests and as missionaries “we are not called to judge with a sense of superiority, as if we were immune to sin,” Francis said, but are instead asked to take on the attitude of Shem and Ja...
Vatican City, Feb 9, 2016 / 02:33 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- As Pope Francis' ongoing process of reform continues to move forward, his council of advisers have finished their proposals for two new Vatican departments, which would merge several others together.Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi told journalists Feb. 9 that in their most recent meeting, the Pope’s Council of Cardinals gave a “final reading” of the proposals for two new Vatican departments, which are also referred to as “dicasteries.”While proposals for the new dicasteries, which would be dedicated to “Laity, family and life,” and “Justice, peace and migration,” has been on the table for some time, in this round of meetings “the proposals were finalized and given to the Pope for his decision,” Fr. Lombardi said.The cardinals met in Rome for just a day and half Feb. 8-9 – a shorter period than their usual, three-day round of meetings. A...
By Junno Arocho EstevesVATICANCITY (CNS) -- Confessors have two choices: to be like Jesus who readily forgavesins or like thedevil who always condemns,Pope Francis said. "Youcan either do the work of Jesus, who forgives, by giving your lives in prayer (and) through many hoursseated there or you do the work of the devil who condemns and accuses,"the pope said during Mass Feb. 9 with Capuchin friars from around the world. The Mass at the Altar of the Chair inSt. Peter's Basilica was held in conjunction with the veneration of the relicsof two Capuchins, Sts. Padre Pioand Leopold Mandic; Pope Francis requested their relics be brought to theVatican for the Year of Mercy.Both saints, the pope told the friars, spent long hours in theconfessional as ministers of God's mercy and forgiveness.Recalling the day's Gospel passage, in which thePharisees and scribes condemn Jesus and his disciples for not observingtraditions, the pope reminded the Capuchins that confessors are called to be"great f...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Tuesday evening met with the Missionaries of Mercy, who are priests given special faculties to absolve even sins reserved to the Holy See.The Missionaries of Mercy are being commissioned by the Holy Father during the Ash Wednesday Mass to be “a living sign of the Father’s welcome to all those in search of his forgiveness,” and will be preaching mercy and hearing confessions in dioceses around the world during the Jubilee of Mercy.Pope Francis, meeting with the Missionaries the day before their commissioning, told them they are a “sign of special importance” which characterizes the Jubilee of Mercy, and offered some brief reflections to give practical help in their task.Listen: “First of all, I would like to remind you that in this ministry you are called to express the maternal nature of the Church,” Pope Francis said.“The Church is a Mother because she always creates new children in faith; the Church ...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis was the principal celebrant at a Mass offered for the worldwide Capuchin community on Tuesday morning in St. Peter’s Basilica.The Mass was offered in connection with the presence in Rome and at St. Peter’s of the relics of two great Capuchin saints, who were renowned in their earthly lives as priest-confessors: St. Pius of Pietralcina (or St. Padre Pio as he is popularly known) and St. Leopold of Mandic.“I speak to you as a brother,” said Pope Francis to the Capuchins present, “and through you I would like to speak to all confessors, especially in the Year of Mercy: the confessional is for pardon – and [even] if you cannot give absolution – let me say hypothetically – please, do not beat up on the penitent; one who comes [to the confessional], comes seeking comfort, pardon, peace in his soul; let him find a father who embraces him and says, ‘God loves you,’ and makes the penitent feel that God...
(Vatican Radio) Today, February 8, we mark the International Day of Prayer and Awarenesss Against Human Trafficking.Amongst the faith-based organizations whose mandate is to raise awareness about this global phenomenon, fight it and work with its victims is Caritas, the helping hand of the Catholic Church.Caritas offers humanitarian action and support in many fields, it also coordinates the work of COATNET  - Christian Organisations Against Trafficking in Human Beings - a network of 42 Christian groups around the world who fight human trafficking. This International Day of Prayer has been chosen to coincide with the feat of St. Josephine Bakhita, a Sudanese woman who was sold into slavery, abused and finally freed becoming an icon of Christian hope and forgiveness.As Pope Francis himself has said again and again “human trafficking is a crime against humanity”, “an open wound of the body of contemporary society”, and COATNET believes that “th...
Zimbabwe’s Archdiocese of Harare Exorcist, Fr Robert Igo OSB has this week urged the faithful attending the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Day of prayer at Holy Name Parish in Marlborough to use Sacraments for protection.Fr Robert Igo OSB, a clinical therapist based at the Benedictine Monastery in Macheke, which is one of the four commissioned pilgrimage centres with Doors of Mercy in the Archdiocese of Harare, was the main speaker teaching the congregants on exorcism and the Catholic teaching.In his explanation of the practice of exorcism, Fr. Igo said the practice takes from Jesus’ ministry when he commanded demons, with authority, to come out of possessed persons.“Exorcism is when a priest who is mandated, who is given the authority, says in the name of Jesus Christ I command you to go out,” said Fr Igo.“I command, not because I am a special power, not because I am good, not because I am clever… but I absolve with Sacramental power just like w...
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