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Pope calls German cardinal to Rome to discuss eucharistic sharing

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VATICAN CITY  — Pope Francis has asked the president of the German bishops’ conference to come to Rome to discuss pastoral guidelines for possibly allowing some non-Catholics married to Catholics to receive the Eucharist, the conference spokesman said.

Reports that “the document was rejected in the Vatican by the Holy Father or by the dicasteries are false,” said Matthias Kopp, the conference spokesman. Read more »

Be fruitful and multiply: Threatened fruit trees planted in orchard in Vatican Gardens

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VATICAN CITY  — The Vatican Gardens has branched out and added a small orchard to its hillsides, becoming a safe haven for a number of endangered native Italian fruit and nut tree species. 

If all goes well with weather and pollination, the eight new saplings planted behind St. Peter’s Basilica should be bearing fruit in just a few years. Hopes are for a harvest including pomegranates that can weigh as much as three pounds each and a natural hybrid fruit called the “susincocco,” which could be translated as a “plumpricot” — a dark red fruit that has the juiciness of a plum with the tastiness and velvety feel of an apricot. Read more »

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Name given at baptism gives sense of identity, belonging, pope says

April 20th, 2018 Posted in Featured, Vatican News Tags: , ,

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VATICAN CITY — Naming a child is an important task for parents, because it gives children a sense of identity and belonging to their family and to God, Pope Francis said.

“Without a name, we remain unknown, without rights and duties. God calls each one of us by name, loving us individually in the concreteness of our history,” the pope said April 18 during his weekly general audience. Read more »

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‘Seamless garment’ revisited: Pope insists all life deserves defense

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VATICAN CITY — When Pope Francis insisted that the lives of the unborn and of the poor are “equally sacred,” he was not trying to shift the focus of Catholics from fighting abortion to fighting poverty, he was trying to show they are part of the same battle, said Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

The life of the unborn must be “promoted and defended with great determination and given an effective priority,” the archbishop told Catholic News Service April 17. Read more »

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Church’s social teaching always a ‘work in progress,’ archbishop says

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VATICAN CITY — While some fundamental principles of the Catholic Church’s social teaching are permanent, there are ever-changing social and political conditions that can change how it is applied, said Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin.

“The social teaching of the church is part of the discipline of moral theology, but moral theology cannot produce a handbook with all the answers to the social challenges of the times,” Archbishop Martin told journalists April 18 during a news conference on an upcoming conference sponsored by the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation.

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Father of Alfie Evans meets pope, begs for help to save his son

April 18th, 2018 Posted in Vatican News

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VATICAN CITY — Begging Pope Francis to help his son, Alfie, Tom Evans met with the pontiff, pleading for “asylum” in Italy so his seriously ill son may receive care and not be euthanized in England.

“If Your Holiness helps our child, Your Holiness will be potentially saving the future for our children in the U.K., especially the disabled. We pray the problem we are facing is solved peacefully and respectfully as no child deserves this,” Evans said in a statement he personally delivered to the pope April 18.

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Retired Pope Benedict celebrates 91st birthday

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VATICAN CITY  — Retired Pope Benedict XVI had a “peaceful and familial” 91st birthday April

Retired Pope Benedict XVI attends the opening of the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in this Dec. 8, 2015, file photo. (CNS photo/Stefano Spaziani, pool)

16, celebrating with his 94-year-old brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, who was visiting from Germany, the Vatican said.

Pope Francis offered his early morning Mass for his predecessor and then sent his personal best wishes to the retired pope, who lives on the other side of St. Peter’s Basilica in a refurbished monastery.
The birthday evening plans, the Vatican press office said, included a visit and performance by the Swiss Guard band.
Pope Benedict was elected in April 2005 to succeed St. John Paul II. He stepped down Feb. 28, 2013.
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‘Is my dad in heaven,’ little boy asks Pope Francis

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ROME — After circling a massive, crumbling public housing complex on the outskirts of Rome, Pope Francis had an emotional encounter with the neighborhood’s children.

Question-and-answer sessions with youngsters are a standard part of Pope Francis’ parish visits. And, at St. Paul of the Cross parish April 15, there were the usual questions like, “How did you feel when you were elected pope?” Read more »

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Gospel calls Christians to reject economy that exploits, pope says

April 15th, 2018 Posted in Vatican News Tags:

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Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY — The Gospel requires Christians to “denounce personal and social sins committed against God and neighbor in the name of the god money and of power for its own sake,” Pope Francis wrote.

Finance and the economy effect every person and every society, playing a large part in “determining the quality of life and even death” and the degree to which a person’s life is worthy of his or her God-given dignity, the pope said in the introduction to the book “Potere e Denaro” (“Power and Money”). The book was released April 12.

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Pope Francis apologizes, says he underestimated crisis in Chile

April 11th, 2018 Posted in Vatican News Tags: ,

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Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY — In a letter to the bishops of Chile, Pope Francis apologized for underestimating the seriousness of the sexual abuse crisis in the country following a recent investigation into allegations concerning Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno.

The pope said he made “serious mistakes in the assessment and perception of the situation, especially due to a lack of truthful and balanced information.”

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