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IMAGE: CNS/Paul HaringBy Carol GlatzVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis marked the beginningof the church's Lenten journey by sending off several hundred religious anddiocesan priests on their own special path as "missionaries of mercy"in local parishes. "Look upon your servants, Lord, that we are sendingas messengers of mercy, salvation and peace. Guide their steps" andsustain them with "the power of your grace," the pope said during aspecial Ash Wednesday liturgy in St. Peter's Basilica Feb. 10."May Christ's voice resound in their words and Christ'sheart in their gestures," he said.More than 700 of the 1,142 missionaries speciallyappointed by the pope attended the Mass. Dressed in white vestments and purplestoles, the men received the pope's mandate to preach about God's mercy and specialauthority to pardon even those sins reserved to the Holy See.Their mission was echoed in the day's second reading fromSt. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians, in which he proclaims, "Weare amb...
Vatican City, Feb 10, 2016 / 10:24 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his Ash Wednesday homily, Pope Francis said that Lent is the perfect time to let go of selfish and indifferent attitudes, returning to God with the help of prayer, penance and acts of charity.“Lent is a beneficial time of pruning from falsity, from worldliness, from indifference: to not think that everything is ok if I am ok; to understand that what counts is not approval, the pursuit of success or consensus, but purity of heart and life,” the Pope said Feb. 10.It’s a time to rediscover one’s Christian identity, “which is love that serves, not selfishness that uses,” he said.Pope Francis celebrated Ash Wednesday Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica alongside the Missionaries of Mercy, who concelebrated with the Pope and received their official mandate from him during the ceremony.A novelty of the Pope's Jubilee of Mercy, the priests will be sent out to dioceses around the world as specia...
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 Jubilee.“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 Radio) Fr. John Paul Mary of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word is just one of the many hundreds of priests commissioned on Ash Wednesday evening as a Missionary of Mercy. He spoke with Ann Schneible for Vatican Radio about the significance of his new mission for himself and in the life of the Church and the world.“Every priest, per se, is a missionary of mercy,” said Fr. Mary, “but I think [Pope Francis] wanted to call a specific group of priests – I think – really to emphasize to other priests that we are all missionaries of mercy.” Fr. Mary went on to say, “I think [Pope Francis] is using this as an opportunity to evangelize priests.”  Click below to hear Fr. John Paul Mary’s extended conversation with Ann Schneible
WASHINGTON-The Office of General Counsel of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, February 1, on behalf of USCCB, the Texas Catholic Conference and several Christian partners in support of a Texas law mandating health and safety standards protecting women who undergo abortions. Other groups joining the brief include the National Association of Evangelicals, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. The case is Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, currently before the U.S. Supreme Court."There is ample evidence in this case that hospital admitting privileges and ambulatory surgical center requirements protect women's lives and health," said the brief. "When such requirements are not enforced, abuses detrimental to women's lives and health arise."The brief noted that some abortion clinics have decla...
 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...
MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) -- The Latest developments from the 2016 presidential campaign, with the focus Tuesday on the New Hampshire primary (all times local):...
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Voters in New Hampshire's primary are deeply unhappy with the federal government, and many Republican voters are down on politicians from their own party, according to early results of the exit poll conducted by Edison Research for the Associated Press and television networks....
MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) -- Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders swept to victory in Tuesday's New Hampshire primaries, adding crucial credibility to their upstart candidacies and underscoring the insistence of voters in both parties on shaking up American politics....
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A divided Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to halt enforcement of President Barack Obama's sweeping plan to address climate change until after legal challenges are resolved....
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