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Pope Francis nears five years and still blazes own course

February 13th, 2018 Posted in Vatican News Tags:

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected pope just a few days after telling the College of Cardinals that the Catholic Church faced a clear choice between being a church that “goes out” or a church focused on its internal affairs.

After the cardinal from Buenos Aires, Argentina, was elected March 13, 2013, and chose the name Francis, he made “go out,” “periphery” and “throwaway culture” standard phrases in the papal vocabulary.

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‘Politics for peace’ prompts question of what it would look like

February 10th, 2018 Posted in National News Tags: ,

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — When Pope Francis said, in the title of his 2017 World Day of Peace message, that he wanted to see nonviolence as “a style of politics for peace,” it made peace teachers happy, but it also prompted them to consider what such a world would look like in practical terms.

“There’s no one country that has put it all together and become a model for these others,” acknowledged William Barbieri, who is director of the peace and justice studies program in the School of Theology and Religious Studies at The Catholic University of America, Washington. He noted, though, there are many encouraging signs of international cooperation that dovetail with peacebuilding.

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Stop loan sharks with fair lending options, frugal lifestyles, pope says

February 5th, 2018 Posted in Vatican News Tags: ,

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Usury is a grave sin that must be fought by building more just and humane economic and financial systems as well as by teaching people to live within their means, Pope Francis said.

The practice of usury — lending money at exorbitantly high interest rates — “humiliates and kills” just like a snake by “strangling its victims,” the pope told members of an Italian association dedicated to fighting usury and loan sharking.

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All religious leaders should turn away hatred, violence, exploitation

February 3rd, 2018 Posted in Vatican News Tags:

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Every religious leader must unmask and condemn any attempt to use God’s name to perpetuate evil and to justify hatred, violence and exploitation, Pope Francis said.

“Violence promoted and carried out in the name of religion can only discredit religion itself,” the pope said.

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Pope answers questions about couple’s in-flight convalidation

January 23rd, 2018 Posted in Vatican News Tags: ,

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis’ decision to convalidate the marriage of two flight attendants in the air sent waves of turbulence through the Catholic blogosphere, where respected canon lawyers and pastors raised serious questions about the pope sending a message that marriage wasn’t so serious.

But three days later, the pope gave reporters more of the background, demonstrating that he did not make the decision on the fly and neither did the couple.

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Pope apologizes to sex abuse victims, defends accused Chilean bishop

January 22nd, 2018 Posted in Vatican News Tags: ,

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Catholic News Service

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM PERU — Pope Francis apologized to victims of clergy sex abuse, saying he unknowingly wounded them by the way he defended a Chilean bishop accused of covering up abuse by his mentor.

Speaking with journalists on his flight to Rome from Lima, Peru, Jan. 21, the pope said he only realized later that his words erroneously implied that victims’ accusations are credible only with concrete proof.

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Pope Francis leaves Chile, Peru with consistent message of unity, dialogue

January 22nd, 2018 Posted in International News Tags: , ,

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Catholic News Service

LIMA, Peru — Pope Francis tackled politically charged issues during his weeklong visit to Chile and Peru, decrying human trafficking, environmental destruction, corruption and organized crime in speeches before audiences that included political leaders.

At the same time, he called for unity, dialogue and coexistence in each of the two countries, which have been marked by political tension and sometimes-violent conflicts. Invoking Mary, he called for compassion, which he also demonstrated as he blessed a Chilean prisoner’s unborn baby and consoled people who lost their homes in devastating floods a year ago on Peru’s northern coast.

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Pope meets with survivors of clergy sex abuse in Chile

January 22nd, 2018 Posted in International News Tags: ,

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SANTIAGO, Chile — Pope Francis met in private Jan. 16 with survivors of sexual abuse by Chilean clergy, a Vatican spokesman said, but his actions threatened to be overshadowed by controversy over a Chilean bishop.

Greg Burke, the spokesman, said the pope met with “a small group of victims of sexual abuse by priests” at the apostolic nunciature in Santiago, Chile.

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Jerusalem’s ‘universal value’ must be protected, Pope Francis writes to grand imam

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Christians, Muslims and Jews who are sincere about their faith must be committed to protecting the special character of Jerusalem and to praying and working for peace in the Holy Land, Pope Francis wrote in a letter to the grand imam of Egypt’s al-Azhar University.

Only a special, internationally guaranteed statute on the status of Jerusalem “can preserve its identity and unique vocation as a place of peace,” the pope wrote. And only when the city’s “universal value” is recognized and protected can there be “a future of reconciliation and hope for the entire region.”

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Pope Francis says violence against women cannot be treated as normal

January 19th, 2018 Posted in International News Tags: ,

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PUERTO MALDONADO, Peru (CNS) — Society cannot look the other way and allow a culture that demeans the dignity of women to persist, Pope Francis said.

Speaking to the people of Puerto Maldonado, located in the region known as Madre de Dios (“Mother of God”), Pope Francis said it was sad to see how “in this land, which is under the protection of the Mother of God, so many women are devalued, denigrated and exposed to endless violence.”

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