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Vatican City, Jan 26, 2016 / 04:37 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his 2016 Lenten message, Pope Francis called the faithful to place special emphasis on the spiritual and corporal works of mercy this Lent, taking into account the current Jubilee Year of Mercy.“God’s mercy transforms human hearts; it enables us, through the experience of a faithful love, to become merciful in turn,” the Pope wrote in the short document, released Tuesday by the Vatican.The spiritual and corporal works of mercy, the pontiff said, “remind us that faith finds expression in concrete everyday actions meant to help our neighbours in body and spirit: by feeding, visiting, comforting and instructing them.”“On such things will we be judged,” he said.The title of this year's message was drawn from the Gospel of Matthew: “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,” and has the subtitle: “The works of mercy on the road of the Jubilee.”In the message, signed t...
Washington D.C., Jan 26, 2016 / 03:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- “Women’s liberation.” “Women’s rights movement.” “War on women.”For many, the buzzwords surrounding the intersection of feminism and the pro-life movement call to mind a conflict between the two campaigns. However, for many of those involved in the pro-life movement, pro-life and feminist goals are aligned, not opposed.In popular society many people are “hearing a lot of messaging that that’s false in the order of ‘in order to be pro-woman, you have to be pro- choice',” said Jeannie Mancini, president of the March for Life, to CNA.“That’s not true, and it’s even damaging.”To help break down that message, March for Life organizers chose the theme of “Pro-Life and Pro-Woman Go Hand-in-Hand” for the 2016 March for Life. Mancini explained: “We wanted to educate that being pro-life and pro-woman really do fit toge...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis is asking us to live this Lenten period as a favourable time for conversion during the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.In his message for Lent entitled “I desire mercy and not sacrifice. The works of mercy on the road of the Jubilee” the Pope reiterates the importance of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy and condemns the proud, the powerful and the wealthy who refuse to open the doors of their hearts to God and to the poor.  Please find below the full text of Pope Francis’ message for Lent: “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice” (Mt 9:13).The works of mercy on the road of the Jubilee1. Mary, the image of a Church which evangelizes because she is evangelizedIn the Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, I asked that “the season of Lent in this Jubilee Year be lived more intensely as a privileged moment to celebrate and experience God’s mercy” (Misericordiae Vultus, 17). ...
(Vatican Radio) The Vatican representative to the United Nations agencies in Geneva said on Tuesday the “needs of Christians” and other religious minorities must be “taken into serious consideration” at UN-sponsored talks aimed at ending the Syrian civil war.The United Nations has issued invitations for talks aimed at finding a political solution to the ongoing Syria crisis. The talks are scheduled to begin on Friday in Geneva, and last for 6 months. The UN said the first priority is a broad ceasefire, providing humanitarian aid, and halting the threat posed by the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.“We hope the specific needs of the Christians, the Yazidis, and other communities that are not part of the Muslim majority be taken into serious consideration,” said Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva.Listen to the Vatican Viewpoint featuring the interview with Archbishop Toma...
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Tuesday received in audience at the Vatican, Iranian President Hassan Rohani.The meeting between the Pope and President Rouhani is the first of its kind since 1999 when Pope St. John Paul II received in audience at the Vatican the then Iranian president Mohammad Khatami. More details to follow shortly.
(Vatican Radio) The 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) is taking place this week in Cebu, Philippines. The event – which takes place every four years – brings together people from around the world to worship and learn more about the Eucharist.Bishop Robert Barron – an Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, California – told Vatican Radio the event is an “indispensable”  tool of evangelization.“You’ve got so many speakers who are suggesting avenues that they’ve used – intellectual approaches, practical approaches – and we all come together and listen to each other, and that is very enlivening,” he said.Listen to our report:  “I think these are indispensable if we are trying to find new ways,” Bishop Barron said. “We listen, watch…see what’s working and what isn’t working, both in terms of instruction, and in terms of practicality.”Pope Francis sent a mes...
The Tamil translation of  'Early Christians of 21st Century -  stories of incredible Christian witness from Kandhamal jungles' was released on January 23rd at Madurai at the Tamil Nadu Bishops Council (TNBC) assembly.Bishop Peter Remigius of Kotar diocese, TNBC outgoing president, released and handed over the first copy of the Tamil translation of the internationally acclaimed investigative book authored by journalist Anto Akkara, to Archbishop Antony Pappusamy of Madurai, who was elected president of TNBC at the Jan 21-23 assembly."I am happy to introduce this book as Anto has been keenly involved in documenting the sufferings and the witness of the Kandhamal Christians. He has persistently drawn attention to Kandhamal with his books," pointed out Bishop Remigius while introducing the Tamil translation to the bishops of the TNBC comprising 22 Catholic dioceses of Tamil Nadu.The English book - chronicling the incredible witness of the Kandhamal Chr...
 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...
Vatican City, Jan 26, 2016 / 09:28 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Tuesday Pope Francis met with Iranian president Hassan Rouhani for the first time, an encounter that focused heavily on human rights, religious freedom, and an end to the spread of terrorism.Originally scheduled to take place in November, Rouhani’s visit was canceled at the last minute due to the Nov. 13, 2015, attacks in Paris. It also follows the lifting of international sanctions against the country after a long-anticipated nuclear agreement was reached in July. The Jan. 26 meeting between Francis the Iranian president took place in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace, and lasted 40 minutes.Rouhani was accompanied by a delegation of 12 persons, all of whom were men save an Iranian woman who served as one of two interpreters assisting during the encounter. Rouhani spoke in Farsi, while Pope Francis spoke in Italian.A Vatican communique described the meeting between Francis and Rouhani as cordial, and centered l...
(Vatican Radio) In this Year of Mercy the local Church is continuing to promote initiatives to highlight this Extraordinary event in the life of the Church. Nowhere is that more evident than in the diocese of Salford in the UK.It has decided to have four Holy Doors and is placing much importance on the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.The Bishop of Salford, John Arnold  said that one of the ideas that they have had is a “Mercy bus”, which he explained, “is a bus which will go to the centre of some of the towns in the diocese and take the Church to the people.”Listen to Lydia O’Kane’s interview with the Bishop of Salford, John Arnold  Traditionally the Holy Year has been based in Rome, but Bishop Arnold  said, that the Pope’s call for the year to be celebrated also by the local Church throughout the world, is a wonderful idea.“Although it’s a wonderful idea to have a pilgrimage to Rome, quite frankly a ...
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