Home » Archive by category 'Vatican News' (Page 4)

God will ask an account for blood spilled in today’s wars, pope says

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Humankind will have to answer to God for the bloodshed of the innocent victims of war, and the blood spilled by greed and arms trafficking, Pope Francis said.

Pope Francis watches as children release doves from the window of his studio at the Vatican in this Jan. 26, 2014, file photo. In his Feb. 16 morning Mass homily, the pope recalled the dove release and how a seagull and crow swooped down to attack the doves. (CNS/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis watches as children release doves from the window of his studio at the Vatican in this Jan. 26, 2014, file photo. In his Feb. 16 morning Mass homily, the pope recalled the dove release and how a seagull and crow swooped down to attack the doves. (CNS/Paul Haring)

While God has given peace to the world, inside all human beings “there is still that seed, that original sin, the spirit of Cain who out of envy, jealousy, greed and the desire for domination, makes war,” the pope said Feb. 16 during his early morning Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

“Today in the world, blood is being spilled. Today the world is at war. So many brothers and sisters die, even innocents, because the great, the powerful want a bigger piece of the earth; they want a little bit more power or want to gain a bit more through arms trafficking,” he said.

The pope centered his homily on the day’s first reading in which God makes a covenant with Noah and all of humanity after the flood and warns that he “will demand an account for human life.”

This covenant, along with the rainbow and the dove holding an olive branch, are signs of “what God wanted after the flood: peace; that all men and women would be in peace,” the pope explained.

The rainbow and the dove are symbolic of peace not only because of their beauty, but also because of their fragility, he said. “The rainbow is beautiful after a storm, but when a cloud comes, it disappears,” and doves are easy prey for predators.

The pope recalled the unfortunate incident when, after delivering his Sunday Angelus address Jan. 26, 2014, he and two children released two doves as a gesture of peace. A seagull and a crow swooped down and attacked the two doves.

“The covenant God makes is strong, but how we receive it, how we accept it is with weakness,” the pope said. “God makes peace with us, but it isn’t easy to keep the peace.”

The seed of war that creates jealousy, envy and greed in people’s hearts, the pope continued, “has grown into a tree,” causing “bombs that fall on hospitals, on a school and kills children.”

“The blood of Christ is what makes peace, not my brothers’ blood that is spilled by me, or arms traffickers or the powers of the earth in the great wars,” he said.

Pope Francis said that all men and women are called not only to protect peace, but to “handcraft” it every day, beginning in their hearts and in their homes.

He recalled a childhood memory when, after hearing the sounds of sirens and alarm bells ringing throughout his neighborhood, a neighbor tearfully exclaimed to his mother: “The war is over.”

“May the Lord give us the grace of being able to say: ‘The war is over’ and weep. ‘The war is over in my heart, the war is over in my family, the war is over in my neighborhood, the war is over in my workplace, the war is over in the world’ so that the dove, the rainbow and the covenant will be stronger,” the pope said.

 

Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.

Comments Off on God will ask an account for blood spilled in today’s wars, pope says

Special Olympians demonstrate that ‘every person is a gift,’ pope says

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — The athletes of the Special Olympics witness to the world the beauty and value of every human life and the joy that comes from reaching a goal with the encouragement and support of others, Pope Francis said.

Pope receives a stuffed animal from a participant in the Special Olympics during a meeting Feb. 16 at the Vatican. The athletes and organizers were at the Vatican to promote the Special Olympics World Winter Games, which will be held in Austria March 14-25. (CNS/L'Osservatore Romano)

Pope receives a stuffed animal from a participant in the Special Olympics during a meeting Feb. 16 at the Vatican. The athletes and organizers were at the Vatican to promote the Special Olympics World Winter Games, which will be held in Austria March 14-25. (CNS/L’Osservatore Romano)

“Together, athletes and helpers show us that there are no obstacles or barriers which cannot be overcome,” the pope told representatives of the Special Olympics World Winter Games, which will take place in Austria March 14-25.

“You are a sign of hope for all who commit themselves to a more inclusive society,” the pope told the group Feb. 16. “Every life is precious, every person is a gift, and inclusion enriches every community and society. This is your message for the world, for a world without borders, which excludes no one.”

Pope Francis praised the passion and dedication of the Special Olympians as they train for their events, and said sports are good for everyone, physically and mentally.

“The constant training, which also requires effort and sacrifice, helps you to grow in patience and perseverance, gives you strength and courage and lets you acquire and develop talents which would otherwise remain hidden,” the pope told the athletes.

“In a way,” he said, “at the heart of all sporting activity is joy: the joy of exercising, of being together, of being alive and rejoicing in the gifts the Creator gives us each day. Seeing the smile on your faces and the great happiness in your eyes when you have done well in an event, for the sweetest victory is when we surpass ourselves. We realize what true and well-deserved joy feels like!”

Watching the Special Olympians, he said, everyone should learn “to enjoy small and simple pleasures, and to enjoy them together.”

Sporting events, especially international events like the Special Olympics World Winter Games, help “spread a culture of encounter and solidarity,” the pope said, wishing the athletes “joyful days together and time with friends from around the world.”

Comments Off on Special Olympians demonstrate that ‘every person is a gift,’ pope says

Never lose hope in God’s love, pope says at audience

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Christians must never lose hope and should remind themselves that God loves them even at their worst, Pope Francis said.

God’s love provides “security” both in difficult moments and even when “I have done something terrible and evil,” the pope said Feb. 15 during his weekly general audience.

Pope Francis waves during his general audience in Paul VI hall  at the Vatican Feb. 15. (CNS photo/Claudio Peri, EPA)

Pope Francis waves during his general audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Feb. 15. (CNS photo/Claudio Peri, EPA)

“No one can take this security from us. We must repeat it like a prayer: God loves me. I am sure that God loves me!” he said.

Among the thousands of pilgrims present at the Paul VI audience hall were numerous student groups from Europe, including several children’s choirs from Italy and Spain.

When greeting the Italian-speaking pilgrims, the pope was interrupted by each choir that broke out in song to greet him.

Despite several ovations, one choir continued singing to the amusement of Pope Francis. He laughed heartily while praising them for their persistence in finishing the entire song.

“When you want something, that’s how you do it. That’s what we should do with prayer; when asking something from the Lord: insist, insist, insist. That is a beautiful example, a beautiful example of prayer,” the pope said off-the-cuff, following his praise of the determined choir group.

Continuing a series of talks on Christian hope, the pope reflected on a passage from St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans in which the apostle says Christians “should boast in hope of the glory of God.”

“Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope,” St. Paul writes.

The pope said boasting is “surprising” since from a young age, people are taught that boasting reflects “a certain pride” and reveals “a lack of respect for others, especially toward those less fortunate than us.”

“How is it possible to do this without offending, without excluding anyone?” the pope asked.

He explained that Christians are called first to “boast of the abundance of grace we have received in Jesus Christ” by “learning to read everything with the light of the Holy Spirit.”

“If we pay attention, acting, in our history, in our lives, we are not alone, but above all with God. It is he who is the absolute protagonist, who creates everything as a gift of love, who weaves the storyline of his plan of salvation and who fulfills it in us through his son,” the pope said.

By seeing one’s life illuminated by the Holy Spirit, he added, “we are at peace with God and experience freedom.”

However, the pope continued, St. Paul’s second invitation to boast in times of tribulation “is not easy to understand.”

While it may seem to be unrelated with the peace that comes from “boasting of the abundance of grace,” Pope Francis said that peace does not mean the absence of difficulties, but that “God loves us and he is always close to us.”

“It’s easy to say: ‘God loves us,’” the pope said, departing from his prepared remarks. “But think a little; is each one of us capable of saying: ‘I am sure that God loves me?’ It is not so easy to say, but it is true. This is a good exercise, to tell yourselves, ‘God loves me.’ This is the root of our security, the root of our hope.”

God’s love, he said, nourishes Christian hope that “doesn’t separate us from others, nor does it lead us to discredit or marginalize others.”

“Our greatest boast is having, as a father, a God who does not make preferences, who excludes no one, but rather opens his home to all human beings, beginning from the last ones to the far away so that as his children, we learn to console and support one another,” Pope Francis said.

 

Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.

Comments Off on Never lose hope in God’s love, pope says at audience

Council of Cardinals publicly expresses support of pope ‘in relation to recent events’

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — After a handful of public challenges to Pope Francis’ teaching and authority, the members of the pope’s international Council of Cardinals began their February meeting expressing their “full support” for his work.

Pope Francis leads the 18th meeting of his Council of Cardinals at the Vatican Feb. 13. Seated to the left of the pope are: Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano, Italy, secretary of the council; Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, coordinator of the council; Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, India; Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, retired archbishop of Santiago, Chile; Cardinal George Pell, head of the Secretariat for the Economy. Seated at right are: Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state; Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, Germany; Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston; Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, Congo; Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the commission governing Vatican City State. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano)

Pope Francis leads the 18th meeting of his Council of Cardinals at the Vatican Feb. 13. Seated to the left of the pope are: Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano, Italy, secretary of the council; Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, coordinator of the council; Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, India; Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, retired archbishop of Santiago, Chile; Cardinal George Pell, head of the Secretariat for the Economy. Seated at right are: Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state; Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, Germany; Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston; Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, Congo; Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the commission governing Vatican City State. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano)

Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, coordinator of the council, began the meeting Feb. 13 assuring the pope of the cardinals’ “full support for his person and his magisterium,” according to a statement published by the Vatican press office.

The statement said the cardinals’ support was offered “in relation to recent events.”

No specific events were mentioned, but the statement came just a few days after a fake version of the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, was emailed to Vatican officials and a week after posters were put up around Rome questioning the pope’s mercy in dealing with the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and other groups over which the pope had placed special delegates. It also came several months after U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke and three retired cardinals publicly questioned Pope Francis on the teaching in his document on the family, “Amoris Laetitia.”

Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga, speaking on behalf of the Council of Cardinals, also thanked Pope Francis for the way he explained the council’s work on the reform of the Roman Curia to Vatican officials.

Meeting with members of the Curia just before Christmas, Pope Francis said the reform was motivated by a desire to ensure the central offices of the church are focused on sharing the Gospel, better meet people’s needs and assist the pope in his ministry of service to the church and the world.

“We cannot be content simply with changing personnel; we need to encourage spiritual, human and professional renewal among the members of the Curia,” the pope had said. “The reform of the Curia is in no way implemented with a change of personnel, something that certainly is happening and will continue to happen, but with a conversion in persons. Continuing formation is not enough; what we need also and above all is continuing conversion and purification. Without a change of mentality, efforts at practical improvement will be in vain.”

In addition to Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga, the council members are: Cardinals Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state; Sean P. O’Malley of Boston; Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, retired archbishop of Santiago, Chile; Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, India; Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, Germany; Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, Congo; George Pell, head of the Secretariat of the Economy; and Giuseppe Bertello, president of the commission governing Vatican City State.

Comments Off on Council of Cardinals publicly expresses support of pope ‘in relation to recent events’

Pope sends envoy to study pastoral care of faithful in Medjugorje

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Without commenting on the authenticity of alleged Marian apparitions in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Pope Francis has appointed a Polish archbishop to study the pastoral needs of the townspeople and the thousands of pilgrims who flock to the town each year.

A statue of Mary is seen outside St. James Church in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in this file photo. Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Henryk Hoser of Warsaw-Praga, Poland, as his special envoy to Medjugorje, the site of alleged Marian apparitions. A Vatican statement said his role would be to study the pastoral situation in Medjugorje. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

A statue of Mary is seen outside St. James Church in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in this file photo. Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Henryk Hoser of Warsaw-Praga, Poland, as his special envoy to Medjugorje, the site of alleged Marian apparitions. A Vatican statement said his role would be to study the pastoral situation in Medjugorje. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

The pope chose Archbishop Henryk Hoser of Warsaw-Praga as his special envoy to Medjugorje, the Vatican announced Feb. 11.

“The mission has the aim of acquiring a deeper knowledge of the pastoral situation there and, above all, of the needs of the faithful who go there in pilgrimage, and on the basis of this, to suggest possible pastoral initiatives for the future,” the Vatican announcement said.

Archbishop Hoser’s assignment has “an exclusively pastoral character,” the Vatican said, making it clear his task is separate from the work of a commission set up in 2010 by now-retired Pope Benedict XVI to investigate the claims of six young people who said Mary had appeared to them daily beginning in 1981. Some of the six say Mary still appears to them and gives them messages each day, while others say they see her only once a year now.

Pope Benedict had named retired Italian Cardinal Camillo Ruini to chair the group studying the apparitions. In June 2015, Pope Francis told reporters that Cardinal Ruini had given him the group’s report and that it would be studied by the cardinals and bishops who are members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. At the time, Pope Francis said, “We’re close to making decisions,” although nothing was announced until the appointment of Archbishop Hoser about 20 months later.

Thousands of pilgrims travel to the small town each month to meet the alleged seers and to pray. Because the apparitions have not been approved, the Vatican has said dioceses should not organize official pilgrimages to Medjugorje. However, it also has said Catholics are free to visit the town and pray there, and that the Diocese of Mostar-Duvno and the Franciscans who minister in the town should organize pastoral care for them.

The Vatican’s February announcement said that Archbishop Hoser “is expected to finish his mandate as special envoy by summer of this year.”

Comments Off on Pope sends envoy to study pastoral care of faithful in Medjugorje

Church needs the courage and witness of religious orders, pope tells superiors

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Catholic religious orders must have the courage to start new forms of outreach, knowing that the only people who “never make mistakes are those who never do anything,” Pope Francis said.

Marianist Brother Stephen Balletta, left, prays during a Mass marking World Day for Consecrated Life Feb. 5 at St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre, N.Y. Catholic religious orders must have the courage to start new forms of outreach, knowing that the only people who "never make mistakes are those who never do anything," Pope Francis said during a Feb. 9 meeting with 140 superiors general of men's religious orders. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz, Long Island Catholic)

Marianist Brother Stephen Balletta, left, prays during a Mass marking World Day for Consecrated Life Feb. 5 at St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre, N.Y. Catholic religious orders must have the courage to start new forms of outreach, knowing that the only people who “never make mistakes are those who never do anything,” Pope Francis said during a Feb. 9 meeting with 140 superiors general of men’s religious orders. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz, Long Island Catholic)

“We will get things wrong sometimes, yes, but there is always the mercy of God on our side,” Pope Francis told 140 superiors general of men’s religious orders.

A transcript of questions and answers from the pope’s three-hour meeting with members of the Union of Superiors General last November was published Feb. 9 by the Jesuit-run journal, La Civilta Cattolica.

Running through Pope Francis’ responses to the questions on youth ministry, religious life, his personal approach to the papacy and evangelization was an emphasis on prayer, courage and, especially, discernment.

A lack of expertise in discernment, he said, “is one of the greatest problems that we have in priestly formation,” which focuses too much on “black and white” answers rather than on “the gray areas of life.”

“You look for the will of God following the true doctrine of the Gospel and not in the fixations of an abstract doctrine,” the pope told the superiors.

Vocational discernment

By choosing “Young people, faith and vocational discernment” as the theme for the Synod of Bishops in 2018, the pope said he hopes to draw universal attention to the importance of helping young people discover God’s call.

The decreasing number of priests and religious in the West, he said, is worrying, but some of the newer religious communities that are attracting many youths are also a concern.

Some small, new religious orders “are really good and do things seriously,” usually with close support and guidance from a bishop, he said. “But there are others that are born not from a charism of the Holy Spirt, but human charisma, from charismatic people who attract others by their alluring human skills.

“Some are, I could say, ‘restorationists’: they seem to provide safety and instead they offer only rigidity,” the pope continued. “When I am told that there is a congregation that attracts many vocations, I confess, I am worried. The Spirit does not work with the logic of human success.”

In the end, the life of the community members will prove whether or not it is the Lord at work, he said. Unfortunately, some already have ended with scandal, he said, although he did not name particular orders.

Prophetic impulse

One of the tasks of religious orders in the church, he said, is to provide the charismatic and prophetic impulse that can keep the church, a diocese or parish from being totally absorbed with worldly concerns and keep its ministers from thinking they are “little princes.”

“You don’t need to become a cardinal to think of yourself as a prince,” Pope Francis said.

Clericalism is a danger to the church, as is the gulf sometimes existing between religious orders in a diocese and the local bishop and clergy, he said. “From a position of isolation, you cannot help one another.”

The task of the church is not to shore up its institutions, but to set out to help those who are materially or spiritually poor, the pope said.

One of the superiors present asked Pope Francis why he chose a series of Marian themes for the local celebrations of World Youth Day in 2017 and 2018, as well as for the international gathering in Panama in 2019.

“I did not choose them,” he said; the bishops of Latin America did, “and it seemed a very good thing.”

‘The true Mary’

The focus, the pope said, will be on the Mary of Catholic faith, “not the postmistress who sends out a letter every day saying, ‘My child, do this and then the next day do that.’”

The true Mary “is the one who generates Jesus in our hearts,” he said. “The trend of the Madonna superstar, who puts herself at the center as a protagonist, is not Catholic.”

When he opened the session to questions, Pope Francis told the superiors they even could offer criticisms because “misunderstandings and tensions are part of life. And when they are criticisms that make us grow, I accept them, I respond.”

Asked later about how he maintains his serenity, the pope assured the superiors, “I do not take tranquilizers.” He said the Italians may be on the right track when they suggest that to be at peace, “you need a healthy dose” of “couldn’t care less.”

But, Pope Francis said, he was “more anxious,” tense and worried as archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina. From the moment he was elected pope in March 2013, he said, he has had an experience of peace “and it has not left me.”

When a problem arises, he said, he writes it on a piece of paper and slips it under a statue of a sleeping St. Joseph and lets the saint sleep on it. At this point, he said, the saint is sleeping on “a mattress of notes!”

Six hours of sleep every night and prayer are the daily routine, the pope said. “The breviary is very dear to me and I never leave it. Mass every day. The rosary. When I pray, I always take the Bible. And peace grows. I do not know if this is the secret. My peace is a gift from the Lord. Let it not be taken away!”

Comments Off on Church needs the courage and witness of religious orders, pope tells superiors

Culture of life the only answer to throwaway logic, pope says

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — A culture that protects life from conception to natural death is the only answer to the idea that some lives are expendable due to inconvenience or population control, Pope Francis said.

People look at a poster expressing criticism of Pope Francis in Rome Feb. 5. Several copies of the poster were placed in the center of Rome but were quickly covered by city authorities. Several copies of the poster were placed in the center of Rome; some were quickly covered by city authorities. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

People look at a poster expressing criticism of Pope Francis in Rome Feb. 5. Several copies of the poster were placed in the center of Rome but were quickly covered by city authorities. Several copies of the poster were placed in the center of Rome; some were quickly covered by city authorities. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Following in the path of St. Teresa of Kolkata, Christians are called to stand up and defend the lives of the unborn and the vulnerable, the pope said Feb. 5 in his remarks after the recitation of the Angelus prayer.

“We are close to and pray together for the children who are in danger with the termination of pregnancy, as well as for people who are at the end of their lives; every life is sacred,” he said.

The pope commemorated the Day for Life celebration promoted by the Italian bishops’ conference. The theme of the 2017 commemoration was “Women and men for life in the footsteps of St. Teresa of Kolkata.”

Citing Mother Teresa’s call to fight for life, the pope joined the Italian bishops’ appeal for “courageous educational action in favor of human life.”

“Let us remember the words of Mother Teresa: ‘Life is beauty, admire it; life is life, fight for it!’ both for the baby about to be born and the person who is close to death,” he said, repeating again, “Every life is sacred.”

Before reciting the Angelus prayer with pilgrims, the pope reflected on the Sunday Gospel reading in which Jesus tells his disciples they are “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world.”

While Christians are called to be reflection of Christ’s life “not in words, but by our deeds,” they must also take on the characteristics of salt, which gives “flavor to life with the faith and love that Christ has given us.”

Another fundamental quality of salt that Christians should adopt, he continued, is its ability to preserve from corruption, keeping away “the polluting germs of selfishness, envy and malicious gossip.”

‘Malicious gossip’

Pope Francis’ call for an authentic witness free from gossip and maliciousness came one day after copies of a poster were plastered around the Rome city center criticizing Pope Francis.

Written in Roman dialect and featuring a stern-faced picture of the pope, the poster said: “Ah Francis, you’ve taken over congregations, removed priests, decapitated the Order of Malta and the Franciscans of the Immaculate, ignored cardinals … but where is your mercy?”

The posters, which were placed anonymously, were taken down or covered with a sign that read “illegal posting” by the city of Rome. The Vatican issued no response to them.

The germs of selfishness and gossip, the pope said in his address, “ruin the fabric of communities, which instead should shine as places of hospitality, solidarity and reconciliation.”

 

Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.

Comments Off on Culture of life the only answer to throwaway logic, pope says

Christian business approach offers second chances, promotes sharing, pope says

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — A truly Christian approach to running a business would be modeled after the father in the Gospel story of the prodigal son by giving jobs and a second chance to those who have made mistakes, Pope Francis said.

People walk in Tokyo, Japan, in this 2013 file photo. An economic and business model in line with the Gospel requires business leaders and workers to share their time and their talent, Pope Francis said during a Feb. 4 meeting with the Focolare Movement. (CNS /Kiyoshi Ota, EPA)

People walk in Tokyo, Japan, in this 2013 file photo. An economic and business model in line with the Gospel requires business leaders and workers to share their time and their talent, Pope Francis said during a Feb. 4 meeting with the Focolare Movement. (CNS /Kiyoshi Ota, EPA)

A business plan inspired by “communion,” he said, “is not blocked by the meritocracy invoked by the older son and by many who, in the name of merit, reject mercy.”

Meeting Feb. 4 with hundreds of people involved in the “economy of communion” project of the Focolare Movement, Pope Francis said their business model of promoting co-responsibility, sharing profits and creating jobs can be the leaven needed to promote an economic model where “the rich know how to share their riches and the poor are called blessed.”

Like the father in the Gospel story, he said, “an entrepreneur of communion is called to do everything possible so that even those who make a mistake and leave his house can hope for a job and a dignified income and not find themselves eating with the pigs,” like the younger son.

Even before requiring a sharing of money, an economic and business model more in line with the Gospel requires business leaders and workers to share their time and their talent, the pope said. “Capitalism knows philanthropy, not communion. It simply means giving a part of your profits, but without embracing and touching the people who are receiving those ‘crumbs.’”

“In the logic of the Gospel,” he said, “if one does not give everything, one does not give enough.”

One cannot be a Christian if one worships idols, Pope Francis said, and “one of the most powerful idols is money.”

“Money is important, especially when there is none and it is needed for food, schooling and the future of one’s children,” he said. “But it becomes an idol when it is the aim.”

“When capitalism makes the search for profits its only goal, it risks becoming an idolatrous structure, a form of worship,” he said.

Pope Francis told the business leaders and workers that “the best and most concrete way to ensure money does not become an idol is to share it with others, especially with the poor” and use it to help young people study and find jobs.

Capitalism clearly promotes an “economy that kills” when anything or anyone that does not increase profits is not just tossed aside, but actively hidden from sight, the pope said.

“Airplanes pollute the atmosphere, but with a little bit of the money from the ticket, they will plant trees to compensate for part of the damage created,” he said. “Gambling companies finance campaigns to rehabilitate the pathological gamblers they create.

“And the day that weapons manufacturers finance hospitals to care for the children mutilated by their bombs, the system with have reached its culmination,” he said. “This is hypocrisy!”

Comments Off on Christian business approach offers second chances, promotes sharing, pope says

Pope’s marriage document not up for personal interpretation, cardinal says

By

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican’s doctrinal chief said some bishops are interpreting Pope Francis’ document on marriage and family in a way that is not in accordance with Catholic doctrine. Read more »

Comments Off on Pope’s marriage document not up for personal interpretation, cardinal says

Pope: Like expectant moms, live in joyful expectation of embracing God

By

 

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Christian hope isn’t about believing in something that may or may not come true, like hoping tomorrow’s weather will be pleasant, Pope Francis said.

“Christian hope is the expectation of something that already has been fulfilled and that certainly will be attained for each one of us,” that is, knowing Christ died and is truly risen so that all of humanity may gain salvation and live together with God, the pope said Feb. 1 during his weekly general audience.

Pope Francis puts his hand to his ear after asking for a response from the crowd during his general audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Feb. 1. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis puts his hand to his ear after asking for a response from the crowd during his general audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Feb. 1. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Continuing a series of talks on Christian hope, the pope looked at St. Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians (5:4-11) and what it teaches about the Christian belief in life after death.

The early Christian community at Thessaloniki was firm in its belief in Christ’s resurrection, but trusting in one’s own resurrection and the resurrection of loved ones was a bit harder to grasp, the pope said.

Such doubts and uncertainty still exist today as “we all are a little afraid of dying,” he told those gathered in the Paul VI audience hall.

St. Paul, he said, writes words of encouragement, telling Christians to arm themselves against the onslaught of doubt and difficulties by “putting on the breastplate of faith and love and the helmet that is hope for salvation.”

This kind of hope, the pope said, has nothing to do with wishing for “something nice,” something “that may or may not happen.”

“For example, people say, ‘I hope it will be nice weather tomorrow,’ but we know that it might be terrible weather instead.”

Christian hope isn’t like that, he said. It is belief in “a sure reality” because it is rooted in the real event of Christ’s resurrection and his promise of eternal life with him.

It’s knowing and seeing that “there is a door over there,” he said, pointing to the entryway into the Paul VI audience hall.

“There is a door. I hope to get to the door. What do I have to do? Walk toward the door. I am sure I will make it to the door. That is what Christian hope is like. Being certain that I am walking” with that destination, he said.

Christian hope is living like an expectant mother, the pope said.

“When a woman realizes she is pregnant, she learns to live each day in expectation of seeing her child’s gaze,” he said.

Everyone needs to learn to live each day with this same joyful anticipation – “to live in expectation of gazing at the Lord, of finding the Lord,” he said.

Learning to live in “sure expectation” isn’t easy, but it can be learned, he said.

“A humble, poor heart” knows how to wait, but it is difficult for someone who is “full of himself and his possessions.”

The pope asked everyone to repeat aloud with him St. Paul’s words (1 Thes 4:17) as a way to find peace and consolation, knowing that one day the faithful will be united with God and their loved ones: “Thus we shall always be with the Lord.”

At the end of his main audience talk, the pope greeted members of the Global Catholic Climate Movement, which seeks to act upon the pope’s encyclical “Laudato Si’” and address climate change.

He thanked them for their dedication to “taking care of our common home during this time of serious social-environmental crisis.”

He encouraged them to continue to expand and strengthen their networks “so that local churches may respond with determination to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”

 

Follow Glatz on Twitter: @CarolGlatz.

Comments Off on Pope: Like expectant moms, live in joyful expectation of embracing God
Marquee Powered By Know How Media.