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Vatican City, Apr 20, 2016 / 05:44 am (Aid to the Church in Need).- On Wednesday Pope Francis stressed the importance of knowing how to distinguish between sin and sinner, adding that God’s mercy is not afraid to reach out and touch our sins in order to forgive them.“The Word of God teaches us to distinguish between the sin and the sinner,” the Pope said April 20, noting that when it comes to sin, there are no “compromises.”When it comes to sinners, “which are all of us,” it’s important to reach out to them, he said, adding that sinners “are like the sick who are healed, and in order to be cured the doctor must be close to them, visit them, touch them.”However, Francis also clarified that in order to truly be healed, a sick person must first “recognize their need for the doctor!”Pope Francis spoke to the thousands gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his Wednesday general audience. He continued his catechesi...
Rome, Italy, Apr 20, 2016 / 03:19 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On April 29, the Trevi Fountain, one of the most popular and emblematic tourist spots in Rome, will be dyed red in recognition of all Christians who even today give their life for the faith.  The event is being organized by Aid to the Church in Need and seeks to “call attention to the drama of anti-Christian persecution.”In a statement posted on their website, the aid group said they hope this initiative will be “the start of a long lasting, concrete reaction everywhere so that the persecuted people of the 21st century can as soon as possible return to fully enjoying their natural right to religious freedom.”The organizers added that “the systematic violation of the right to religious freedom, especially that of Christians, must become the central issue of the public debate.”Speaking at the event will be the Chaldean Catholic Bishop of Aleppo, Syria, Antoine Audo, and Cardinal Mauro Piace...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis this week presided over the first meeting of the XIV Ordinary Council of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.A statement released on Wednesday said the meeting, which took place from 18-19 April, began with a speech by  the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri. In his remarks, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri thanked Pope Francis for his presence, as well as for the recent publication of the , Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia.The Ordinary Council then considered the results of the consultation taken to identify the theme of the next Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. The consultation included offices of the Roman Curia, Episcopal Conferences, the Eastern Churches, and the Union of Superiors General. After much discussion, a list of proposed topics was submitted to the Holy Father for his consideration.Finally, the members of the Council discussed the revision of the Ordo o...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis invoked Saint Anselm of Canterbury during his final blessing at his General Audience on Wednesday, when he traditionally mentions young people, the sick and infirm, and newlyweds.Saint Anselm served as Archbishop Canterbury from 1093 to 1109, and his feast day is 21 April. He was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1720. He is also venerated in Italy, where he is known as Saint Anselm of Aosta, the place of his birth.“Tomorrow we commemorate Saint Anselm of Aosta, Bishop and Doctor of the Church,” Pope Francis said.“May the example of his life move you, dear young people…to see in the merciful Jesus the true Master of life; May his intercession obtain for you, dear sick and infirm, serenity and peace in the mystery of the Cross; and may his doctrine be an encouragement for you, dear newlyweds, to educate your children with the wisdom of the heart,” prayed the Holy Father.Saint Anselm is also venerated in the Anglican Com...
South Sudan's government and rebels on Wednesday accused each other of hindering rebel leader Riek Machar's return to the capital to form a unity government, with monitors of a peace deal warning the delay was putting the agreement at risk.A government official said Machar was held up because he had wanted to bring equipment and troops into Juba in excess of what was agreed with Kiir's camp. Machar told Al Jazeera television that the government was creating "obstacles" to his return.The United States and the United Nations Security Council have both voiced concern over this latest setback. The body monitoring the peace deal, the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) also said it was worried."The agreement is at risk," said former Botswana President Festus Mogae who is the JMEC chairman. "Having come so close to the formation of the transitional government of national unity, all parties must ensure that the spirit of reconciliation, ...
(Vatican Radio) On Monday 18 April, 2016, Christians from different denominations, and indeed various countries, gathered in the historic Cotswold parish church of St John Baptist in Cirencester, England. They’d gathered to pay their respects to a great musician and Anglican priest who, for the past fifty years, had put his immeasurable talent, and profound faith, at the service of ecumenism and evangelization.Listen here as Phil Andrews talks to Canon Leonard Doolan about Fr John Beck’s commitment to ecumenism and evangelization through art and music. An organ scholar whilst at Oxford, he studied under two greats of the twentieth century musical scene: Harold Darke, and Edmund Rubbra. With such a fine musical foundation, he combined this passion and talent with his faith, taking Holy Orders in the Church of England. Wherever sent to serve, his position always included music, whether as a cathedral precentor, or as “Priest Organist” in Cheltenham and Cirenc...
(Vatican Radio) In his continuing catechesis for this Holy Year of Mercy during his weekly General Audience, Pope Francis drew inspiration from the Gospel episode of Jesus’ dinner at the home of Simon the Pharisee. He said, "All of us are sinners, so many times we fall into the temptation of hypocrisy, believing that we are better than the other ”, but he continued, look at your sin, all of us need to look at our sins, our mistakes and look to the Lord,” because, he added, "this is the lifeline, the relationship between the sinner and the Lord."The Pope was referring to the story from St Luke in which a woman known as a sinner comes up to Jesus, and bathes his feet in her tears and anoints them with precious perfume, but the Pharisee judges the woman by appearances. However, Jesus, underlined the Holy Father, distinguishes between the "sin and the sinner." The Lord, continued Pope Francis teaches Simon that “the woman...
The Anglican Consultative Council’s 16th meeting (ACC-16) which began on 8 April came to an end Tuesday 19 April in the Zambian capital of Lusaka. The meeting was held at Lusaka’s Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Cross.The leader of the Anglican Communion, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, delivered his address on 15 April. In his speech, he briefed members of the Anglican Consultative Council on the outcome of the Primates’ gathering and meeting that took place in Canterbury Cathedral in January 2016.The outgoing chair of the Anglican Consultative Council described the just ended ACC-16 as a meeting that brought the body of Christ together.“We’ve been able to see that our diverseness and that some of our differences in culture, language and ways of being are actually an enrichment of the body of Christ,” retired Malawi Bishop James Tengatenga said during a closing news conference on the evening of 18 April held at the Cathedral of the Ho...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis during his weekly General Audience on Wednesday again appealed for Ukraine, reminding those gathered in St Peter’s Square that for a long time the country’s population has been suffering the consequences of armed conflict, forgotten, he said, by many.Listen to Lydia O'Kane's full report on Pope Francis' General Audience On April 3rd during his Regina Coeli address the Pope announced a special charity collection to support the people of Ukraine telling the faithful it would be possible to contribute to the collection in all Catholic Churches in Europe on Sunday April 24th and saying that, “this gesture of charity, beyond alleviating material suffering, expresses my personal closeness and the solidarity of the entire Church”.On Wednesday, the Holy Father thanked in advance those who will contribute generously to this initiative this weekend.The Pope also greeted pilgrims from Ukraine and Belarus on the occasion of...
(Vatican Radio) Before his General Audience on Wednesday Pope Francis greeted athletes from the Austrian Skiing Federation in the Paul VI complex, telling them they were models especially for young people. But he also reminded them that sport was not just about performance, it was also about the virtues and values that sport represents such as, commitment, perseverance, determination, honesty, solidarity, and team spirit.“By your example”, the Pope continued, “you contribute to the shaping of society”, adding, “always be messengers of the uniting power of sport and hospitality”.And alluding to the natural wealth of the country, Pope Francis invited the Federation to be messengers of safeguarding the environment and the beauty of God's creation.
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