Vatican
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Pope revises Catechism to say death penalty is ‘inadmissible’

Building on the development of Catholic Church teaching against capital punishment, Pope Francis has ordered a revision of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to assert “the death penalty … more

The path to holiness isn’t for the lazy, Pope tells altar servers

Christ’s commandment to love God and neighbor is a path trodden by those who have the desire to become saints, Pope Francis told thousands of altar servers from around the … more

Pope prays Blessed Paul VI will intercede for ‘Church he loved so much’

On the 40th anniversary of the death of Blessed Paul VI, Pope Francis went into the grotto under St. Peter’s Basilica to pray at his predecessor’s simple tomb. The Pope who oversaw … more

Help those in need, never waste food, Pope says

Pope Francis asked people to generously serve those most in need and to never waste food. “Never throw away leftovers,” he said July 29 before reciting the Angelus prayer with … more

Pope calls for respect for migrants amid rising number of deaths at sea

With the rising death toll of migrants and refugees attempting the treacherous voyage across the Mediterranean Sea, Pope Francis urged world leaders to act to prevent further tragedy. “I … more

Pope makes surprise visit to elderly friend in Rome

People in a quiet residential neighborhood of Rome were surprised when a blue Ford Focus came to a stop, and Pope Francis stepped out. The Pope arrived July 28 at an apartment building in the … more

Riverdance to perform for Pope Francis during World Meeting of Families

The internationally acclaimed Irish dance troupe Riverdance will be among those performing for Pope Francis at the August World Meeting of Families in Dublin, organizers said July 19. The group – which has been seen by some 25 million people worldwide – will be one of the main acts at a Festival of Families Aug. 25 before an expected 80,000 people at Croke Park stadium in Dublin. Brenda Drumm, spokeswoman for the World Meeting of Families, said she expects people from 116 countries to participate in the event, at which the Pope will preside. Pope Francis also will hear testimony from families from India, Iraq, Ireland and Burkina Faso on topics as diverse as the effects of technology on family life and the value of families forgiving one another. The Festival of Families will be a two-hour spectacle of music, dance and worship and is choreographed as a celebration of family life. It is billed as one of the highlights of the meeting. As well as prominent performers such as Daniel O’Donnell and Nathan Carter, the cast for the Festival of Families will include an orchestra of more than 50 musicians; more than 700 Irish Sean Nos and contemporary dancers, including 500 from Irish dance schools across the country; a 1,000-member choir; 100 community groups; and 300 flag bearers. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, president of World Meeting of Families, told reporters at a news conference at the stadium that expectations about Pope Francis’ visit vary. “There is enthusiasm: Within days of opening registration, the bookings for all the major events of Pope Francis’ visit were sold out. Very large numbers will come from abroad, and this event will be a way to highlight modern Ireland to the world. “This is a great opportunity,” he said. “One of the great attractions of Pope Francis is how he shows us that he can live in a world where faith seems marginal and yet manage to touch hearts,” the archbishop said. “He finds ways in which he can win hearts for what the teaching of Jesus involves, not through imposing and judging, but through winning and attracting.” However, Archbishop Martin cautioned against thinking that the papal visit would set a definitive plan for the renewal of the Church in Ireland after decades of scandal and decline. “Pope Francis will not work miracles,” he said. “In a visit of little more than 36 hours, it will not be possible for him to design a new road map for the Irish Church. “At most he can offer the Irish Church the instruments on which that new road map can be drawn. We all have to understand, however, that while you can still draw maps on paper, maps today are different. They are interactive and constantly being updated. “Pope Francis will challenge the Irish Church to be authentically the Church in a changed culture,” he said. Organizers said the selection of themes and artists featured in the event reflect many of the priorities in the ministry of Pope Francis, including homelessness and those on the margins; migrants and refugees; care for the earth and the importance of the family. The Pope’s visit will be preceded by a three-day pastoral congress, which will reflect on the theme “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World.” The Pope also will also visit a Capuchin-run day center for homeless families and the national Marian shrine of Knock. As well as presiding at the closing Mass of World Meeting of Families, with an expected crowd of some 600,000, Pope Francis will meet with President Michael D. Higgins and other state officials during the short trip. more

World needs leaders who are just, compassionate, merciful, Pope says

  The world needs leaders who can “put into practice a more just way for all of us to live in this world as sharers in a common destiny,” Pope Francis … more

Pope attends funeral of cardinal who announced to world his election

Pope Francis attended the funeral Mass and presided over the final commendation of Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the French cardinal who led the Vatican’s outreach to other religions and who … more

Pope names lay Italian journalist to head Vatican communications

Pope Francis has named a lay Italian journalist with decades of experience in print, radio and television broadcasting to head the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communication. Paolo Ruffini, … more

Vatican calls for prayers, support for seafarers, who face many risks

The Vatican invited Catholics to pray for the 1.2 million seafarers around the world who work under difficult conditions and make huge sacrifices in their profession. Seafarers “play a … more

After World War I, Church changed mission approach, cardinal says

World War I and its aftermath changed the map of Europe, but also dismantled the notion of the “state church” in a way that forced the Catholic Church to discover again the authentic … more

Birth of an encyclical: Priest documents preparation of ‘Humanae Vitae’

Documents in the Vatican Secret Archives and the archives of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith prove it was a “myth” that Blessed Paul VI largely set out on his own in … more

Pope at pallium Mass: Jesus wants disciples unafraid to aid others

God wants His disciples to bring His mercy and love to everyone, everywhere on earth, which means it may cost them their “good name,” comfort and their life, Pope Francis said on the … more

Credible leadership serves others, Pope tells cardinals at consistory

Defending the weak or hopeless and becoming a servant to those most in need is the best promotion one can ever receive, Pope Francis told new and old cardinals. “None of us must feel … more

New papal appointments reflect Pope’s wish for transparency

Pope Francis appointed Bishop Nunzio Galantino, 69, as president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See, which handles the Vatican’s investment portfolio and real estate … more

Pope: Individual bishops must decide about Communion in mixed marriages

The question of allowing Protestants married to Catholics to receive Communion at Mass in special cases has to be decided by each individual bishop and cannot be decided by a bishops’ … more

Broken world needs Christian unity, Pope tells Christian leaders at World Council of Churches

Not only God, but today’s broken, divided world is begging for unity among Christians, Pope Francis said on an ecumenical pilgrimage to Geneva. “Our differences must not be … more

Pope supports U.S. bishops’ criticism of ‘immoral’ immigration policy

Pope Francis said he stands with the U.S. bishops who recently condemned the Trump administration’s policy on immigration that has led to children being held in government shelters while … more

Pilgrim’s progress: Papal trip to Geneva marks ‘new spring’ in ecumenism

Pope Francis’ one-day pilgrimage to Geneva will mark another major ecumenical moment in his papacy. While he will celebrate Mass for the nation’s Catholics and meet with Vatican … more
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