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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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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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Pope Francis: Catholic universities must prepare students for dialogue

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VATICAN CITY — Catholic universities are “called to be workshops of dialogue and encounter in the service of truth, justice and the defense of human dignity at every level,” Pope Francis told a delegation from Pennsylvania’s Villanova University.

“It is my hope that in every aspect of its life and mission, Villanova University will persevere in its efforts to communicate the intellectual, spiritual and moral values that will enable young people to participate wisely and responsibly in the great debates shaping the future of society,” the pope said. Read more »

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Pope, Christian leaders condemn use of violence against Syria

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VATICAN CITY  — Sharply criticizing a failure to find nonviolent means of bringing peace to Syria and other parts of the world, Pope Francis appealed to world leaders to work for justice and peace.

“I am deeply disturbed by the current world situation, in which, despite the instruments available to international community, it struggles to agree on joint action in favor of peace in Syria and other regions of the world,” he said after praying the “Regina Coeli” with people gathered in St. Peter’s Square April 15. Read more »

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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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Door to door: Pope reaffirms missionaries’ mandate to knock on hearts

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — As a sign that God’s mercy cannot be limited, Pope Francis has recommissioned his special army of priests charged with bringing that divine mercy to everyone.

Originally instituted in 2016 for the Year of Mercy, the “missionaries of mercy” were invited to return to Rome April 8-11 to share their experiences and to be reaffirmed in the ministry of mercy. Read more »

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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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