Francis (2023)

É uma continuação do tópico Francis (2022 - part 2).

DiscussãoCatholic Tradition

Entre no LibraryThing para poder publicar.

Francis (2023)

Editado: Jan 1, 12:16 am

A thread for posting news and conversation about Pope Francis.

And may I wish you all a peaceful and blessed new year.

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord let his face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his face and bring you peace (Numbers 6:24-26).

Jan 7, 4:42 am

Pope Francis on Epiphany: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone to Seek God Like the Magi (ACI Africa)

On the Solemnity of the Epiphany, Pope Francis said that if the Magi had remained comfortable, they never would have encountered the Lord in Bethlehem. In his homily for the Church’s celebration of the Three Kings on Jan. 6, the pope warned that today’s world is full of “tranquilizers of the soul” and “empty promises of pleasure.” Francis said that from endless consumerism to “nonstop media controversies” and the “idolatry of fitness,” everything today “seems to tell us: ‘Don’t overthink things. Let go and enjoy life.” “Often we try to soothe our hearts with creature comforts. ... If the Magi had done that, they would never have encountered the Lord,” he commented. Pope Francis underlined that God, however, is found in “restless questioning” and seeking the answers to life’s bigger questions, such as: “Where do I find a love that does not fade away, a love that endures even in the face of frailty, failure, and betrayal? What hidden opportunities are present in the midst of my crises and my sufferings?”...

Jan 10, 4:15 am

To Counter "third world war," Pope Francis Proposes "truth, solidarity, and freedom" (ACI Africa)

The global community is engaged in a “third world war” marked by heightened fear, conflict, and risk of nuclear violence, but a recommitment to “truth, justice, solidarity, and freedom” can provide a pathway to peace, Pope Francis told international diplomats Monday. Citing the ongoing war in Ukraine but also drawing on conflicts in places such as Syria, West Africa, Ethiopia, Israel, Myanmar, and the Korean Peninsula, the Holy Father said this global struggle is being “fought piecemeal” but is nonetheless interconnected. “Today the third world war is taking place in a globalized world where conflicts involve only certain areas of the planet direct, but in fact involve them all,” said Pope Francis, speaking in the Vatican's apostolic palace...

Jan 16, 11:20 pm

Pope Francis: 'Health is not a luxury' (Vatican News)

Addressing a delegation of Italian radiographers, Pope Francis praises the work of healthcare professionals and calls on governments to ensure universal access to decent healthcare... “A world that discards the sick, which does not assist those who cannot afford treatment, is cynical and has no future”...

Editado: Jan 18, 7:51 am

Pope Francis’ visit to Africa comes at a defining moment for the Catholic church (The Conversation)

Written by Nigerian theologian Fr Stan Chu Ilo

During his planned visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan in February 2023, Pope Francis intends to be in dialogue with African Catholics – but also to listen to political leaders and young Africans. This visit comes at a defining moment in what is regarded as a fairly progressive papacy. Pope Francis has convened a worldwide consultation on the future of the Catholic church. This consultation, called a synodal process, began in 2021 and will conclude in 2024. It is the most ambitious dialogue ever undertaken on bringing changes in Catholic beliefs and practices since the Second Vatican Council’s reforms in 1965. It is exciting for reform-minded Catholics, but distressing for conservative Catholics...

The Catholic church is witnessing its fastest growth in Africa (recent statistics show 2.1% growth between 2019 and 2020). Out of a global population of 1.36 billion Catholics, 236 million are African (20% of the total). African Catholics are not simply growing in number. They are reinventing and reinterpreting Christianity. They are infusing it with new language and spiritual vibrancy through unique ways of worshipping God. Given its expansion, the Catholic church in Africa is well placed to be a central driver of social, political and spiritual life. In many settings, the church provides a community of hope where the fabric of society is weak because of war, humanitarian disasters and disease... Another major feature of Catholicism on the continent is that it is witnessing a “youth bulge”...

Pope Francis comes to Africa as part of the synodal consultation. He takes the message of a humble and merciful church to some of the most challenging parts of Africa: the DRC and South Sudan. These two countries illustrate the impact of neo-liberal capitalism and the effects of slavery, colonialism and imperialism. Together, they have unleashed the most destructive economic, social and political upheaval in modern African history. Pope Francis is coming to listen especially to the poor, to young people and to women who have been violated in conflicts. He also hopes to address the hidden wounds of clerical sexual abuse in the church. Pope Francis will see how war, dictatorship and ecological disasters have denied ordinary people access to land, labour and lodging. These are the “three Ls” he proposes as vital in giving agency to the poor...

Edited to add comments from the Nuncio:

Ecumenical Visit to South Sudan Set to Open “new chapter of hope, inspiration”: Nuncio (ACI Africa)

The representative of the Holy Father in South Sudan has said the planned ecumenical visit to the East-Central African nation is expected to open a “new chapter of hope and inspiration” for the people of God in the country. In his speech during the Episcopal Ordination of Bishop Emmanuel Bernardino Lowi Napeta of Torit Diocese on Sunday, January 15, Archbishop Hubertus van Megen said the realization of the previously postponed trip to two African countries that, in the case of South Sudan, is to be undertaken by Pope Francis, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, Iain Greenshields early next month, could bring about lasting peace to the world’s youngest nation...

Editado: Jan 19, 3:40 am

Pope at Audience: Church called to seek out those who have gone astray (Vatican News)

Pope Francis continues his cycle of catechesis on apostolic zeal, and invites everyone to imitate the Good Shepherd and see the lost member of the flock not as an enemy but as an opportunity to bear witness to the joy of the Lord...

Pope Francis: Jesus is "the unsurpassed model of evangelization" (ACI Africa)

Pope Francis invited Christians on Wednesday to pray for the grace to have a “pastoral heart” like Jesus that “suffers and takes risks” out of love for others. At his weekly public audience on Jan. 18, the pope said that Jesus provides “the unsurpassed model of evangelization.” “Christ not only has the words of life, but he makes his life a Word, a message: that is, he lives always turned toward the Father and toward us,” Pope Francis said...

Editado: Jan 20, 11:23 pm

Pope: ‘A liturgical celebration that does not evangelise is not authentic’ (Vatican News)

Speaking to participants in a course for Diocesan liturgy officials, Pope Francis encourages liturgists to fight against “sloppy, neglected, poorly prepared” Masses, and warns against putting ritual ahead of the encounter with Christ...

Ahead of Africa trip, pope dismisses security fears and condemns exploitation (Crux)

Ahead of a trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan later this month, Pope Francis has condemned exploitation of the African continent and said he’s not afraid of the security situation despite the fact that his travels will take him near active war zones...

Jan 22, 10:50 pm

Installing women as lectors, Pope says Word of God is for all (Crux)

Pope Francis Sunday celebrated a special Mass marking the Day of the Word of God, during which he conferred the ministry of lector on seven lay people, five of them women, and said the Gospel is intended primarily for the sick and far away. Francis formally opened the ministry of lector, along with that of acolyte, to women in a 2021 decree... In his homily for the Jan. 22 Mass, the pope noted that Jesus in the scriptures is “always on the move, on his way to others.” “On no occasion in his public life does he give us the idea that he is a stationary teacher, a professor seated on a chair; on the contrary, we see him as an itinerant and a pilgrim, travelling through towns and villages, encountering faces and their stories,” he said... the Word of God is not only destined “for the righteous of Israel, but for all.” Jesus, he said, wants to reach “those far away, he wants to heal the sick, he wants to save sinners, he wants to gather the lost sheep and lift up those whose hearts are weary and oppressed. Jesus ‘reaches out’ to tell us that God’s mercy is for everyone.” Since the Word of God is intended for everyone, especially the far away and lost, it must be a priority for the ecclesial community, the pope said, praying that as a church, “may it not happen that we profess a God with an expansive heart, yet become a Church with a closed heart; that we preach salvation for all, yet make the way to receive it impractical”...

Editado: Jan 23, 11:47 pm

Long homilies are 'a disaster,' keep it under 10 minutes, pope says (NCR)

Lengthy, abstract homilies are "a disaster," so preaching should be limited to 10 minutes, Pope Francis said. Speaking off the cuff to diocesan liturgical directors Jan. 20, the pope said homilies are not academic conferences. "I sometimes hear people say, 'I went to this parish, and yes it was a good philosophy lesson, 40, 45 minutes,'" he said. Francis encouraged priests to keep their homilies to "no more than eight to 10 minutes" and always include in them "a thought, a feeling and an image," so that "the people may bring something home with them." Homilies are "sacramentals" to be "prepared in prayer" and "with an apostolic spirit," he said. But, in the Catholic Church, he said, "in general, the homilies are a disaster"...

Thirty odd years ago I used to teach homiletics and public speaking in a major seminary. I would tell the seminarians to preach for only ten to twelve minutes and to make one good point that people would remember and take home with them. Seems like the pope and I were on the same wavelength on that one! However, having listened to the homilies of many of my former students who have become priests and even bishops, I can't really say that my teaching was very successful! Mind you, in what is still very much an oral culture in rural Africa, people seems to expect and appreciate long orations.

Editado: Jan 25, 3:23 am

Pope Francis: Amid Polarization in Church, We are Called to Speak Truth with Charity (ACI Africa)

Pope Francis has urged Christians to “speak the truth and to do so with charity” amid polarization and divisions within the Church. In his message for the World Day of Social Communications on Jan. 24, the pope said that everyone has the responsibility to “communicate truth with charity” in a time “marked by polarizations and contrasts — to which unfortunately not even the ecclesial community is immune.” “We should not be afraid of proclaiming the truth, even if it is at times uncomfortable, but of doing so without charity, without heart,” Pope Francis said...

And that is also one of the fundamental posting guidelines of this LT Catholic Tradition group - we may disagree, we may criticise, but always with charity.

Editado: Jan 26, 1:53 am

Pope Francis calls for end to anti-gay laws and LGBTQ+ welcome from church (Guardian)

Pope Francis has criticised laws that criminalise homosexuality as “unjust”, saying God loves all his children just as they are, and calling on Catholic bishops who support the laws to welcome LGBTQ+ people into the church. “Being homosexual isn’t a crime,” Francis said on Tuesday in an interview. Francis acknowledged that Catholic bishops in some parts of the world support laws that criminalise homosexuality or discriminate against LGBTQ+ people, and he himself referred to the issue in terms of “sin”. But he attributed such attitudes to cultural backgrounds and said bishops in particular need to undergo a process of change to recognise the dignity of everyone. “These bishops have to have a process of conversion,” he said, adding that they should apply “tenderness, please, as God has, for each one of us”...

‘We are all children of God’: Pope says homosexuality not a crime (Al Jazeera)

Pope Francis has criticised laws that criminalise homosexuality as “unjust”, saying God loves all his children just as they are and called on Catholic bishops who support the laws to welcome LGBTQ people into the church. “Being homosexual isn’t a crime,” Francis said during an interview on Tuesday with The Associated Press...

An important reminder that even if the Church continues to teach that homosexual acts are "disordered", that does not remove our obligation to respect the dignity of every human being, whoever they are and whatever they do. God's unconditional love extends to everybody, and so should ours.

Jan 26, 10:53 pm

Pope discusses his health, his critics and future of papacy (AP)

Pope Francis says he hasn’t considered issuing norms to regulate future papal resignations and plans to continue for as long as he can as bishop of Rome, despite a wave of criticism from some top-ranking conservative cardinals and bishops about his papal priorities. In his first interview since the Dec. 31 death of retired Pope Benedict XVI, Francis addressed his critics, his health and the next phase of his pontificate, which marks its 10th anniversary in March without Benedict’s shadow in the background. Francis’ comments, delivered Tuesday at the Vatican hotel where he lives, came at a particularly difficult time, as the pontiff navigates conservative opposition to his insistence on making the Catholic Church a more welcoming, inclusive place — criticism that he attributed to the equivalent of a 10-year itch of his papacy. “You prefer that they don’t criticize, for the sake of tranquility,” Francis told The Associated Press. “But I prefer that they do it because that means there’s freedom to speak”. Francis emphasized his role as “bishop of Rome” as opposed to pontiff and said of his plans: “Continue being bishop, bishop of Rome in communion with all the bishops of the world.” He said he wanted to put to rest the concept of the papacy as a power player or papal “court”...

Editado: Jan 27, 11:18 pm

After 10 years of being patient, Pope Francis is entitled to be less so (NCR)

Is the ground underneath the Vatican shifting? The death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the nastiness coming from highly placed critics of Pope Francis like Benedict's secretary Archbishop Georg Gänswein and the late Cardinal George Pell, the announcement that the Synod of Bishops in October would start with an ecumenical prayer service, followed by a three-day retreat led by Dominican Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, the coming 10th anniversary of Francis' election, all invite speculation that this papacy is moving into a new phase... The pope is certainly magnanimous in his assessment of Pell, whose cowardly, anonymous attack on Francis lowered the late cardinal in most people's estimation. Two things are clear. First, Francis is not afraid of being haunted by either the ghost of his predecessor or the ghost of the Aussie cardinal. Second, the nasty criticisms from Gänswein and Pell have left those conservatives in the Curia with far less influence than previously... conservatives who might have been able to influence the pope in a more centrist direction might find he is less willing to listen to their concerns. After all, he has been patient for 10 long years. What has it gotten him? Certainly not loyalty. As I noted the day Traditiones Custodes was issued, "Pope Francis is a patient pastor. Until he isn't"... Conservative criticisms of the pope increasingly ring hollow... The oft-repeated complaint that the pope sows "confusion"... masks the fact that the critics have no doctrinal change to which they can point as the source of such confusion except one footnote in one post-synodal exhortation, Amoris Laetitia. There, at footnote 351, the pope said that those who are divorced and remarried without an annulment might be readmitted to the sacraments. Shortly after the publication of Amoris Laetitia, Cardinal Donald Wuerl offered a thorough and deft analysis of the text. If anyone was still confused after listening to Wuerl's talk, that confusion is willful. It seems that after 10 years of patience, the pope is entitled to be less so. Patience did not bring Pell to rally around the pope. It did not bring Gänswein over. The two prelates' complaints about Francis were representative of a well-funded, vocal, organized conservative group within the church. They may become louder as their influence wanes and their champions die off. They are not likely to be able to stem, still less stop, the reforms the Holy Father is inviting by means of the synodal process going on around the world... Nothing in his first 10 years suggests he is going to radically attempt to change any doctrinal teaching of the church, but he might be more aggressive in changing the place of doctrinal teaching in the church.

As he said in the AP interview after discussing sinfulness in the context of homosexuality, "It's also a sin to lack charity with one another." That is the Francis Revolution in nine words, a reminder that the beating heart of the Catholic faith is about charity. Why that is confusing to so many says more about them than it does about Pope Francis...

Those last two sentences say it all, really: "the beating heart of the Catholic faith is about charity. Why that is confusing to so many says more about them than it does about Pope Francis".

Jan 28, 12:12 pm

Pope Francis: Marriage is a Lifelong Union Between a Man and Woman (ACI Africa)

Pope Francis on Friday reiterated the Church’s perennial teaching on marriage as a lifelong union between a man and a woman...Quoting from his 2013 apostolic exhortation Evangelii gaudium, Pope Francis underlined that marriage “is a reality with its own precise essence, not ‘a mere form of affective gratification that can be constituted in any way and modified according to each person's sensitivity’”... The gift received in the sacrament of matrimony, he said, is “an irrevocable gift, a source of grace which we can always count on”...

Editado: Jan 29, 2:46 am

Pope Francis Clarifies Comments on Sin and Homosexuality (National Catholic Register)

Pope Francis has written a letter to clarify his comments on sin and homosexuality from a recent interview with the Associated Press. “When I said it is a sin, I was simply referring to Catholic moral teaching, which says that every sexual act outside of marriage is a sin,” the Pope wrote... Francis said he was trying to say in the interview that criminalization of homosexuality “is neither good nor just”... The Catholic Church does not teach that homosexuality, that is having same-sex attraction, is a sin... According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, people with homosexual tendencies should be treated with respect, and unjust discrimination against them should be avoided, while “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered” and “under no circumstances can they be approved”...

Edited to add: Might be worth quoting another little part of this article:

When speaking about the sin of sexual activity outside of marriage, he added that, “of course, one must also consider the circumstances, which may decrease or eliminate fault”... The Catechism also teaches that for a sin to be mortal, three conditions must be met: it must be grave matter, which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.

Jan 29, 11:02 pm

Pope asks Spanish priests to reject careerism and seek fraternity (Vatican News)

Pope Francis greets a group of 70 Spanish priests involved in youth ministry in the Diocese Barcelona, and urges them not to pursue worldly satisfaction but fraternity in their ministry... The communal and individual dimension of the Church always walk together, Pope Francis told a group of Spanish priests from the Diocese of Barcelona involved in youth ministry on Saturday. In prepared remarks he gave the group in the Clementine Hall, the Pope reminded them that the “experience of the Apostles always has a double aspect”, personal and communal. “We are, of course, called individually, but always to be part of a larger group, walking together listening before speaking, knowing where to place ourselves”, he said. Reminding the priests of Jesus’ call to perennial conversion, the Pope urged them to “reject careerism” and worldly satisfactions, embracing instead the Cross, the Sacraments and a life of prayer. Accordingly - the Pope added - they should also be “capable of mercy, precisely because we are touched by the Lord's mercy, not giving lessons, but witnessing an experience of intimacy with God”...

Editado: Jan 30, 10:12 am

I'll try not to spam you with dozens of messages about the upcoming visit to DRC by the Holy Father, and to South Sudan by himself with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland. I think this is probably the first time ever that a pope has made such a pilgrimage together with protestant Church leaders, a historic event indeed. There is great media interest in it, although the Catholic media have a tendency lazily to describe the South Sudan leg simply as a "papal visit" rather than an "ecumenical pilgrimage". I wrote an article in the Tablet last week, and I've been interviewed and quoted by several journalists. There will be plenty of articles going into far greater detail than the general reader would need, but the one below is surely of relevance to all of us as Pope Francis humbly asks for our prayers.

Pope urges prayers for ‘pilgrimage of peace’ to South Sudan & DRC (Vatican News)

Pope Francis invites Christians to pray for his upcoming Apostolic Journey to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, saying the African nations have suffered greatly from lengthy conflicts... in his message, the Pope recalled that he will arrive in South Sudan accompanied by Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby and Rev Dr Iain Greenshields. “In South Sudan, I will arrive together with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. Together, as brothers, we will make an ecumenical pilgrimage of peace.” Pope Francis wrapped up his message with an appeal for everyone to accompany his Apostolic Journey with their prayers...

Edited to add: Here's an article from the Tablet.

Francis embarks on one of his boldest trips to date

Pope Francis is set to embark on one of the boldest trips of his pontificate when he travels to sub-Saharan Africa this week for a peace mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. Both countries have suffered from long-running internal conflicts that have claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, and both are places where the Church plays a crucial role in working for peace and providing education and health care. The Pope’s ecumenical pilgrimage to South Sudan is unprecedented as it will be undertaken jointly with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland...

Jan 30, 11:01 pm

Pope at Angelus: ‘Poor in spirit’ requires us to overcome throwaway culture (Vatican News)

Pope Francis reflects on the first Beatitude and says that being “poor in spirit” requires us to welcome everything as God’s gift and strive against society’s throwaway mentality...

Jan 31, 1:12 am

Pope Francis' plea for trip to Congo and South Sudan: No more bloodshed (NCR)

The above is a good article, I would say, which is worth reading to get a sense of the atmosphere in the build up to the visits.

Below I quote in full an article from a missionary working in South Sudan, which also perhaps gives some idea of what it's like on the ground there. The original was published in Italian here. The English version is by the author but is not online.

by Fr. Gregor Schmidt mccj

The Catholic Church in South Sudan awaits the visit of Pope Francis with great joy. In his speeches and with many gestures, the Pope repeatedly made clear that he suffers with the poor, the weak, the marginalized and the oppressed of this world. He wants a Church that serves the poor actively and, through her evangelizing work, becomes a sign of God’s coming kingdom where justice and peace will reign. It has meaning that the Pope goes to the periphery of the globalized world to encourage believers who survive in extremely difficult circumstances. Most Catholics today live in the global south of the world, in developing and underdeveloped nations. Almost half of the population in South Sudan is Catholic, about one third are Protestant. The country is one of the poorest in Africa. It is a failed state from a political point of view. Three out of four citizens (75%) are illiterate because the education system is dysfunctional. Counting the wars since 1955 (1955-1972; 1983-2005; 2013-2023), four generations of South Sudanese know nothing but conflict and displacement. It is estimated that up to three million people have been killed in conflict since 1955. Currently, about four million people, one third of the entire population, are displaced from their home regions, either within South Sudan or to the neighboring countries.

The former wars from 1955 to 2005 were against the Islamic-fundamentalist regime of Sudan which, eventually, led to independence of South Sudan in 2011. During this half a century long period, and in emancipation from Islam, the Christian faith spread to all 64 ethnic groups. The Catholic Church has a history of almost 150 years in this country, but the first 100 years were a slow beginning in only specific regions of South Sudan. In the last 50 years, Christianity became the predominant religion, and the Catholics are in the majority. All the more tragic is the latest civil war which began in 2013. It shows that clan identity and ethnic affiliation still are the two basic building blocks of society, not the Christian faith. In former times, clans and tribes survived by being loyal within one’s group and hostile towards others. This mindset of being obliged to provide exclusively for one’s clan and tribe leads to corruption and nepotism on all levels of administration. It is the death of a modern state. Additionally, most South Sudanese are pastoralists. Their moral codex of distributive justice obliges them to engage in revenge killings – a tit for a tat. This led to the recent civil war, which is smoldering under the surface, notwithstanding the peace agreement signed in 2018.

The Pope is not a miracle worker. We know that his visit will not solve any of the causes of conflict, of killing and of corruption in South Sudan. For the protocol, the politicians will commit themselves in friendly speeches to peace and reconciliation, only to continue their strategic power games after the Pope’s departure. The elites of this country are not ready for reconciliation and for building up a prosperous country. They got used to siphoning off Dollars from international donor money which is supposed to help the population.

Although I do not expect a short-term effect, I believe that the pontificate of Pope Francis has a positive impact on the universal Church and also inspires Catholics in South Sudan to follow Jesus Christ whole-heartedly and to be witnesses of God’s mercy. If we think in the long term, I see an important role for the Church – or rather for the churches of the ecumenical South Sudan Council of Churches together. The churches are the only indigenous organizations that unite people of all ethnic groups and enjoy trust in society. It is about making the Gospel bear fruit in the hearts of people. There are individual Christians who swim against the tide, who actually practice reconciliation in their daily lives. Although this has little effect on society as a whole at the moment, the churches, through the message of Jesus, carry within themselves the power to prepare the ground for a fraternal society where ethnic identity will have become folklore. South Sudan needs the promise of the prophet Jeremiah (verse 29:11): “I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”

Jan 31, 12:55 pm

Pope Francis accepts Ouellet’s resignation, appoints American to lead Dicastery for Bishops (CNA)

Pope Francis on Monday named an American as the next prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Bishops to succeed Cardinal Marc Ouellet. Bishop Robert Francis Prevost will lead the Vatican office responsible for evaluating new members of the Catholic Church’s hierarchy, the Vatican announced Jan. 30. Prevost, 67, has served as a bishop of the Diocese of Chiclayo in Peru since 2015. He is a member of the Order of St. Augustine and led the Augustinian order as prior general from Rome for more than a decade after serving as a missionary priest for the order in Peru in the 1990s...

Fev 2, 3:18 am

Biggest Papal Masses Ever: How Does February 1 Mass in the DR Congo Compare? (ACI Africa)

More than 1 million people attended Pope Francis’ Mass celebrated on an airfield in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday morning, according to local authorities. The papal Mass, celebrated in French, was filled with joy and dancing. Papal Masses, especially in the last 50 years or so, have attracted crowds of millions — many of them at World Youth Days, the massive gatherings of young people that began in 1987 and take place every few years. Here’s an inexhaustive ranking of some of the biggest papal Masses:

Pope Francis, Manila, 2015: 6-7 million...
Pope John Paul II, Manila, 1995: 5 million...
Pope Francis, Rio de Janeiro, 2013: 3 million...
Pope Francis, Krakow, 2013: 1.5-3 million...
Pope Francis, Kinshasa, 2023: 1 million...

Pope Francis celebrated Mass in French, the official language of DRC, and Lingala, the Bantu-based creole spoken in parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo and by millions of speakers across Central Africa. The pope delivered his homily in Italian with French translations for the Mass, which was celebrated according to the Zaire Use of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite

Fev 2, 11:04 pm

Bishops of nations split by conflict unite around the Pope (Vatican News)

"Together, we believe that Jesus always gives us the possibility of being forgiven and starting over, but also the strength to forgive ourselves, others and history!" Christ "wants to anoint us with His forgiveness" to "give us the peace and courage to forgive in turn, the courage to grant others a great amnesty of the heart." When Pope Francis spoke these words in his homily at Mass at the Ndolo Airport in Kinshasa, celebrating the Eucharist with him were the Bishops of countries, with warring militias and rebel groups, that have been, and are, the scene of unspeakable violence and wars, fuelled not only by external forces, but also from forces within. Together with their brethren from the Democratic Republic of Congo, at the altar and then at a shared meal, were the Bishops of Rwanda, Burundi and Congo Brazzaville. Before departing for their respective countries, some of them gathered around a table in a hotel and recounted this experience to Vatican Media, explaining how their presence in the DRC, and episcopal communion, can help the peace processes. "We are living a special moment, a kairos. We must not let politics divide us, but see what we can do together," Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo Besungu, the Archbishop of Kinshasa, told us. “The Pope's message was very powerful. While politicians sow hatred between peoples, instrumentalize xenophobia, and feed mistrust among the people, the Bishops and the Church are called to walk a different path. They must not enter into this logic”...

Fev 8, 11:33 pm

Pope at Audience: Journey to DRC and South Sudan fulfilled 'dreams' (Vatican News)

Pope Francis dedicates his weekly General Audience to his 40th Apostolic Journey abroad to the African nations of the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, thanking God for being able to fulfill 'the dream' of visiting each...

Fev 11, 11:15 pm

World must work with Indigenous people to fight climate change, pope says (NCR)

Indigenous people have a "fundamental role" in protecting the planet from "unprecedented" social and environmental threats, Pope Francis said... All people should listen to the wisdom of Indigenous people to understand the human roots of the environmental crisis and take steps toward developing sustainable practices, the pope said. "If we really want to care for our common home and better the planet we live in, profound changes in lifestyle, production and consumption are essential". "Aboriginal cultures are not to be converted to a modern culture," he said. "They are to be respected." Francis also called on governments to recognize Indigenous people's rights, as well as their "cultures, languages, traditions and spiritualities." Ignoring Indigenous communities, the pope said, "is a grave error, not to say a great injustice"...

Fev 12, 10:39 pm

Pope Francis asks Virgin Mary to intercede for Nicaragua after bishop sentenced to 26 years in prison (CNA)

Pope Francis entrusted Nicaragua to the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary on Sunday after Bishop Rolando Álvarez was sentenced to 26 years in prison by Daniel Ortega’s dictatorship. “The news from Nicaragua has grieved me a great deal, and I cannot but remember with concern Bishop Rolando Álvarez of Matagalpa, whom I care about deeply,” the pope said on Feb. 12. Speaking at the end of his Angelus address, Pope Francis said that he was also praying for the 222 Nicaraguan political prisoners who were deported to the United States and “for all those who are suffering in that dear nation.” “We also ask the Lord, through the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, to open the hearts of political leaders and all citizens to the sincere search for peace, which is born of truth, justice, freedom, and love and is achieved through the patient exercise of dialogue,” Francis said...

Editado: Fev 13, 11:27 pm

Pope Francis is the world's pastor (NCR)

One month from today will mark the 10th anniversary of the election of Pope Francis... The first thing that distinguishes Pope Francis' approach to the Petrine ministry is his pastoral sensibility... It is a remarkable quality of this pope that he only has harsh words for people who are hypocrites and stuffed shirts, better to say, stuffed cassocks. With the people of God, he is generous and sympathetic. With the intrigue of the Roman Curia, not so much. Injustice, too, earns the pope's ire and that stems not from some lofty commitment to a different social order, but from his experience with extreme poverty, first in slums of Buenos Aires and now in the various worldwide favelas of the world, most recently in Africa. He denounces neoliberal economics not from an economic standpoint but from a human one, from what it does, not its theories. He knows and loves the people who have been kicked to the side of the road after falling in with the robber barons on the road to the neoliberal Jericho... Francis, a son of Latin America, has been the beneficiary of that continent's reception of Vatican II with its continuing determination to pose the question: What does it mean to exercise a preferential option for the poor? The struggle to answer that question has shaped his pastoral style immensely. Pastor. It is the first word that comes to mind when we try to understand this papacy. Francis is theologically astute, to be sure, but he is as schooled in pastoral theology as he is in doctrinal or ethical studies. He is not afraid to engage the politicians of the world, but he lacks the discretion of a diplomat. He walks into the world with open arms and the world loves him for it. Pope Francis is the world's parish priest, and that quality grounds and shapes every other aspect of his papacy.

Fev 14, 11:06 pm

A special prayer initiative for the 10th anniversary of Pope Francis' pontificate (Vatican News)

In exactly a month from now, on March 13, Pope Francis will be celebrating ten years of his pontificate. To highlight this milestone anniversary in a “viral” manner, the Digital Synod has launched a special online map featuring virtual lighted candles representing the prayers of the faithful worldwide for him. According to a press release, “The Petrine ministry is a great grace that Jesus granted to His Church and we must always be grateful for it. Therefore, prayer must be our best gift, so that God may support the service of the one He has chosen for this ministry because on this rock He builds His Church in time and history"...

Editado: Fev 17, 11:06 pm

Pope prays for imprisoned Nicaraguan bishop (Tablet)

Pope Francis has appealed for prayers for Nicaragua’s imprisoned Bishop of Matagalpa, Rolando Álvarez and urged political leaders to open their hearts to the search for peace...

World Immersed in Pagan Culture with “own idols, gods”: Pope Francis to Jesuits in S.Sudan (ACI Africa)

During the fraternal conversation that Pope Francis had with members of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in Juba, South Sudan, the Holy Father cautioned against “pagan culture”, which he said “has its own idols and gods” and that it has pervaded the world... “Pagan values today matter more and more: money, reputation, power. We must be aware that the world is immersed in a pagan culture that has its own idols and gods.” “Money, power and fame are things that St. Ignatius in his Spiritual Exercises points to as the fundamental sins,” Pope Francis told members of the Jesuits in Eastern Africa Province... “Today ours is also a pagan culture of war, where what counts is how many weapons you have,” he lamented, adding, “These are all forms of paganism”...

Pope tells Jesuits in Africa he twice refused to become a bishop (NCR)

Pope Francis told Jesuits working in Congo that he had taken seriously the promise he and all Jesuits make to not seek offices of authority and power in the church and, in fact, he twice declined becoming a bishop. But, he said, in May 1992 he accepted his appointment as auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, because the nuncio presented him with a letter from the Jesuit superior general saying he could accept. "When I made that vow, I meant it," the pope said... When he accepted the appointment to Buenos Aires, he said, he did so "in a spirit of obedience." Now that he is pope and makes those appointments, Francis said his preference is to choose someone who is not a Jesuit, but the greater good of the church always prevails...

Fev 19, 3:20 am

Pope Francis: Laypeople are not Guests in the Church (ACI Africa)

The Church is a home that priests and laypeople need to care for together, Pope Francis said on Saturday. “It is time for pastors and laypeople to walk together, in every area of the Church’s life, in every part of the world,” he said in the Vatican’s New Synod Hall on Feb. 18. “The lay faithful are not ‘guests’ in the Church, they are at home, so they are called to take care of their own home,” he said. “The laity, and especially women, need to be more valued in their human and spiritual skills and gifts for the life of parishes and dioceses”... “Together with pastors, they must bear Christian witness in secular environments: the world of work, culture, politics, art, social communication,” the pope said. “We could say: laypeople and pastors together in the Church, laypeople and pastors together in the world.” Francis went on to list some of the many ways laypeople can participate in the life of the Church: performing some forms of preaching; collaborating with priests in the formation of children, young adults, seminarians, and religious novices; spiritual directing, preparing engaged couples for marriage, and accompanying married couples. “They should always be consulted when preparing new pastoral initiatives at every level: local, national, and universal,” he said. “This is why,” Pope Francis said, “pastors need to be trained from seminary days onward in daily and ordinary collaboration with the laity, so that living communion becomes a natural way of acting for them, and not an extraordinary and occasional occurrence.” “One of the worst things that happens in a pastor is to forget the people from whom he came, the lack of memory,” he continued. “To him can be addressed that much-repeated word of the Bible, ‘Remember;’ ‘remember from whence you were taken, of the flock from which you were taken to return to serve it, remember your roots’ (cf. 2 Tim. 1).”

Fev 21, 6:29 am

Pope Francis Asks Pontifical Academy for Life to Study Ethics of Emerging Technologies (ACI Africa)

Pope Francis told the Pontifical Academy for Life on Monday that it faces an enormous task in evaluating the ethics of emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and human enhancement. The pope asked the academy on Feb. 20 to “ensure that scientific and technological growth is reconciled more and more with a parallel development … in responsibility, values, and conscience.” The rapid acceleration of new technologies can produce significant consequences for human life and the environment “that are not always clear and predictable,” Francis said...

Fev 24, 11:48 pm

Pope: The goods of the Holy See have a universal destination (Vatican News)

Pope Francis has published a new Apostolic Letter motu proprio, “Il diritto nativo” (“The native right”), clarifying the public ecclesiastical nature of assets acquired by curial institutions and entities linked to the Holy See. They make use of those assets, the Pope writes, “not for their own sakes, as private owners, but, in the name and authority of the Pontiff, for the pursuit of their institutional purposes, the common good, and at the service of the universal Church”...

Mar 1, 11:07 am

New Book gives Pope Francis’ Responses to Issues He’s Most often Asked About (ACI Africa)

A new Spanish-language book whose English title is “The Shepherd: Francis’ Challenges, Reasons, and Reflections on His Pontificate,” written by Argentine journalist Sergio Rubín and his Italian colleague Francesca Ambrogetti contains Pope Francis’ answers to questions he is frequently asked... The new book includes answers the Holy Father has given on the situation in Argentina as well as comments that tie him to Peronism... Pope Francis also addresses corruption at the Vatican, abuses committed by members of the Church, the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, accusations of promoting “poorism,” his position on capitalism, and a possible visit to his homeland...

Mar 2, 3:23 am

Pope Francis Cuts Free and Discounted Rent for Cardinals, Vatican Managers (ACI Africa)

Pope Francis has cut housing perks for Vatican managers and cardinals in order to save the Church money. Reuters and Vatican News reported March 1 that cardinals and other high-level positions at the Vatican will no longer be able to live in Vatican-connected apartments for free or at special prices. The Vatican owns an extensive amount of real estate both in and outside Vatican walls. Apartments are principally managed by APSA (the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See). The pope’s decision to drop housing benefits for upper management was communicated in a note from the Vatican’s new prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, Maximino Caballero Ledo. The note, called a “rescriptum ex audientia,” was posted in the San Damaso Courtyard inside Vatican City, according to Reuters. The rescript, which was posted in the Vatican following a Feb. 13 meeting with Pope Francis, says housing perks for high-level Vatican officials are being cut to meet the growing needs of the Church in an economic context “of particular gravity”...

Editado: Mar 3, 1:04 am

While other leaders turn away, Pope Francis responds to the cries of the world (Tablet)

His consistent call on world leaders to act to stop the climate emergency has inspired millions, people of all faiths and none... The climate crisis is the defining challenge of our generation. We are reminded of its devastating impact around the world almost every day. In East Africa, there is a drought so severe that millions of livestock have died and crops have been completely wiped out, leaving millions of people on the brink of starvation. Tragically, it looks as though the rainy season is failing for the fifth time in a row... Pope Francis has not only heard the anguish of the earth and its inhabitants, but is speaking out for them when others stay silent. His consistent call on world leaders to act to stop the climate emergency has inspired millions, not just Catholics, but people of all faiths and none....

Mar 3, 11:06 pm

7 Things to abstain from, according to Pope Francis (Aleteia)

Abstain from avoiding God... Abstain from spiritual arrogance... Abstain from digital media platforms... Abstain from polarizations and divisions... Abstain from being indifferent to others... Abstain from unnecessary noise... Abstain from narcissism, victimhood, and pessimism...

Mar 14, 12:32 am

Africa “deeply grateful”: Catholic Bishops on 10 Years of Pope Francis’ Pontificate (ACI Africa)

The people of God in Africa are “deeply grateful” to Pope Francis for his service to Global Catholicism in the last 10 years, the leadership of the Symposium of Episcopal Conference of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) has said... “The Continent is deeply grateful to you for coming to us as a pilgrim of hope, and praying with us for peace, justice and reconciliation and helping us to raise our voices for our economic independence”... In his “Congratulatory Message”, the President of SECAM says that the 10 years of Pope Francis’ Pontificate have been marked by his “special attention to the Lord Jesus' preferred ones: the poor, migrants, refugees and all those who live in geographical and existential peripheries.” “And here you have touched with hand and heart the 1,340,598,147 inhabitants of Africa who live in these challenging situations”... “We have seen the development of a missionary option which, by transforming everything, makes customs, language and the whole ecclesial structure become a channel for evangelisation of the present world rather than a means of self-preservation... These are ten years of prophetic and servant leadership that goes beyond the boundaries of the Catholic Church and dialogues with the whole world"... "If we want a more fraternal world, we must educate the new generations to recognize, value and love all people regardless of their physical proximity, regardless of the point on earth where each one was born or lives.” He adds, “Human ecology is inseparable from the notion of the common good, a principle that plays a central and unifying role in social ethics”...

There are several articles from various parts of Africa reinforcing the same basic message here.

Editado: Mar 14, 3:13 am

The Francis decade – a Pope for a new epoch (Tablet)

We are at a turning point in history, and Francis believes the Church must both remain faithful to the Gospel and embrace radical reform if it is to fulfil its mission of evangelising the world...

The critics, it would appear, are dwarfed numerically by Team Francis (as some call the pope’s supporters). However, although members of the “opposition” are much fewer, they have an outsized influence because many of them are bishops and younger priests: the Church’s decision-makers in parishes and dioceses (especially in the United States and some other parts of the English-speaking world). The neither charitable nor logical way some of the fiercest critics have attacked the Pope has galvanised Francis’ supporters... The critics, on the other hand, have cast Francis as some sort of ecclesiastical dictator, pointing out that he rules by issuing decrees motu proprio (“of his own power”) without consulting others. The truth, however, is that they are just furious because he’s making decisions they do not like. Francis actually does extensive informal consultation with a wide range of people. And, in any case, he is no different to previous popes who have also used their authority to issue unilateral decrees. Where do they think Summorum Pontificum, the no longer valid motu proprio that liberalised the use of the pre-Vatican II Mass, came from?

Pope Francis has made a lot of decisions in the last 10 years that have earned him both praise and opprobrium. Each of them could be rigorously analysed, but that would be a futile exercise unless the entire pontificate is seen in a larger and more important context. That context is the present historical moment. “One could say that today we are not living an epoch of change so much as a change of epoch,” Francis noted in November 2015... There is much to suggest that we are currently in the middle of the biggest transformation in human history... It is impossible to make proper sense of Francis’ decade-long pontificate and what it has tried to achieve unless we view it within this larger frame. This is what the Pope himself has indicated when he wrote in Evangelii Gaudium, his 2013 apostolic exhortation: “In our time, humanity is experiencing a turning-point in its history, as we can see from the advances being made in so many fields. We can only praise the steps being taken to improve people’s welfare in areas such as health care, education and communications. At the same time we have to remember that the majority of our contemporaries are barely living from day to day, with dire consequences … This epochal change has been set in motion by the enormous qualitative, quantitative, rapid and cumulative advances occuring in the sciences and in technology, and by their instant application in different areas of nature and of life. We are in an age of knowledge and information, which has led to new and often anonymous kinds of power.” In order to navigate this turning point in history, as Francis calls it, the Church has no choice but to change. It stands within history, not outside of it. Otherwise, it cannot fulfil the demand of the Gospel of Christ – reiterated at Vatican II and by every pope since – to serve the “progressive development of peoples”, as Paul VI put it...

Editado: Mar 14, 8:00 am

Pope Francis Rootedness in Church Peripheries “a Mother Teresa moment”: Kenyan Priest (ACI Africa)

The Church is experiencing “a Mother Teresa moment” with the leadership of Pope Francis who has expressed a deep connectedness with people on the fringes of society in his 10 years at the helm of the Catholic Church... Pope Francis, just like St. Mother Teresa of Calcuta (1910-1997), is “a heart person”, and is passionately moved by the needs of the wounded Church...

Editado: Mar 15, 5:05 am

Why is Pope Francis Sometimes Misunderstood? Nigerian Catholic Theologian Explains (ACI Africa)

Not everyone, including some Theologians, understands the theology of Pope Francis, a Nigerian-born Catholic Theologian has said. According to Fr. Stan Chu Ilo, a Research Professor in the Department of Catholic Studies at DePaul University, people who want “a Church with pre-packaged answers” and those who find it difficult to grasp what he describes as the “aesthetics” of Pope Francis’ theology are most likely to misunderstand the Holy Father. “Whoever doesn't understand the theological aesthetics of Pope Francis is likely to misunderstand him,” Fr. Stan told ACI Africa on March 5, when he shared about how the Holy Father has shaped his own work. “Some people want a pure Church; a Church with pre-packaged answers. Catholics who are used to the idea of ‘what is the Church saying’ find it difficult to understand most messages of Pope Francis," Fr. Stan said. He added, “Pope Francis is saying that we don't have answers to a lot of things that are happening in the world today and that we have to enter into mysteries guided by the Holy Spirit. When we do this, based on what we encounter, God will allow us to see the face of the poor man of Galilee. We need to accept that there are people who do not accept the same conclusion, and my work has been to give a theological explanation of this.” Those who find it difficult to understand Pope Francis, Fr. Stan says, “hold onto a theology without aesthetics.” What such people have, the Catholic Priest says, is “a theology that does not have life in it” and a mere “collection of statements, sanctions, and condemnations.” Pope Francis, U.S.-based member of the Clergy of Nigeria’s Awgu Diocese says, “brings theology to life”... “Pope Francis has changed the tone of messaging and leadership at the Vatican. He hasn't altered any teachings of the church regarding some of the topics that have been seen as controversial, including family, sexuality, gender theories, and celibacy; but rather, he has introduced a new ecclesial climate that is more open, inclusive, and one that orients itself as a humble, poor and merciful Church that listens,” Fr. Stan says. He adds, “We now have a Church that is listening more and more to the voices from the peripheries of people who feel abandoned and regarded as sinners. We have a Church where those who are divorced and separated are welcome to find healing under a tent of comfort”...

Editado: Mar 16, 7:30 am

A Christian Life Based on Achieving Higher Positions is "pure paganism": Pope Francis (ACI Africa)

Pope Francis said Wednesday that everyone in the Church is equal in dignity, thus a focus on hierarchical advancement is “pure paganism.” “Within the framework of the unity of the mission, the diversity of charisms and ministries must not give rise, within the ecclesial body, to privileged categories,” the pope said at his March 15 general audience in St. Peter’s Square. “There is no promotion here, and when you conceive of the Christian life as an advancement, that the one above commands others, because he has succeeded in climbing, that is not Christianity,” he said. “That is pure paganism”...

Mar 17, 12:53 am

Ten years in five words – the Francis decade (Tablet)

Pope Francis set out his vision for the Church within the first few days and weeks after his election, and the same vision still inspires him a decade later. It can be summed up in a few key words... missionary, synodal, disruptor, fraternity and pastoral...

Mar 18, 1:55 am

Pope Francis wants a church that gets its hands dirty (Irish Times)

The keywords of his papacy have been solidarity and synodality. Francis has decisively pivoted the attention of the Catholic Church away from Europe and towards Africa in particular. His visit to Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan earlier this year illustrates this... The church is growing faster in Africa than anywhere else. Some 19 per cent of all Catholics are in Africa. Africans have extraordinarily high rates of Mass attendance and vocations. They are firm supporters of climate justice and environmentalism. While the church in Europe is stagnant or declining, the church in Africa is young and vibrant... Francis’s trip to South Sudan also focused on women, saying the future rests on respect for them... South Sudan is in the midst of a massive refugee crisis, another cause dear to Francis’s heart. Francis wants a church of the poor, for people on the peripheries. On the trip to South Sudan, he said: “Our first duty is not to be a church that is perfectly organised – any company can do this – but a church that, in the name of Christ, stands in the midst of people’s troubled lives, a church that is willing to dirty its hands for people.” The literal translation of synod is to journey together. Francis wants a church where laypeople and those who are ordained, or in religious life, work humbly together to journey towards God... Francis says: “What is under discussion at synodal gatherings are not traditional truths of Christian doctrine. The synod is concerned mainly with how teaching can be lived and applied in the changing contexts of our time.” I have never experienced anything except a post-Vatican II church and never wanted a reversion to a time before I was born... A church that is indistinguishable from contemporary mores in any meaningful way will do nothing to bring comfort, meaning and challenge to those teenagers as they grapple with chronic anxiety and frightening levels of meaninglessness... His desire for a renewed, invigorated church that gets its hands dirty and serves the poor, leaves me awed, inspired, and grateful. Ad multos annos, Pope Francis.

Mar 22, 11:49 pm

Francis is asking the church to dream again. Why do so many oppose him? (NCR) (by Nigerian theologian Fr Stan Chu Ilu)

most Catholics not only know and love Pope Francis, but they also see a deep connection between his message and priorities and their dreams and hopes for a better church and a world. One constant word that Francis uses, especially since COVID-19, is "dream"... Why is this dream of a new church in a new world being opposed by many within the church?...

This challenge is even harder for those Catholics who still hold on to the defunct idea that the Catholic Church is an ahistorical and homogeneous sacrament of salvation, without any internal cultural differentiation. This worldview makes it hard for some in the church to accept any changes or to embrace diversity in the church. Many in this camp do not yet see or joyfully embrace the changing faces of Catholicism with this shift of the center of gravity from the West to Africa and the rest of the Global South. This is why in many churches in North America and Europe, seeing a black priest, or an Indian nun or a Filipino cardinal holding some important positions in the church is still a novelty that surprises many, excites a few, and distresses some others. When Francis champions issues around climate change, decolonization, exploitation of Africa and the poor, clericalism, immigration and inclusion of women, many high-ranking officials within the church respond with severe criticism and rebuke because it unsettles their culture of entitlement. Striking a balance in Francis' papal priorities and strategies continues to be an unfinished task, just like it is a challenge finding the best way to handle the criticism directed at him, knowing as he does that the church like the net of the Lord will always have different kinds of fish... The challenge facing Catholics today is the humble embrace of a new Catholic imagination and creative appropriation of the treasures of the church to meet the challenges of the times... Francis is such a prophet needed for our times...

Mar 24, 12:14 am

Pope Francis: Beware of 'cold, desktop morality' (Vatican News)

Pope Francis on Thursday warned against a cold, desktop morality, and called for giving reasons for our hope...

Mar 27, 4:27 am

Inside Paulines’ Book Bearing Imprint of Pope Francis' Third Visit to Sub-Saharan Africa (ACI Africa)

Members of the Pious Society of the Daughters of St. Paul (FSP) in Nairobi, Kenya, have published a book, “Apostolic Journey of His Holiness Pope Francis to Africa”, that engraves the Holy Father's third pastoral visit to Sub-Saharan Africa in readers’ minds. The 136-page book provides a summary of Pope Francis’ pastoral visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan between January 31 and February 5. The Directress of Paulines Publications Africa, an apostolic ministry of FSP members, told ACI Africa that the Daughters of St. Paul were driven by the desire to amplify Pope Francis’ messages to the entire continent...

The book is divided into two parts. The first part summarizes Pope Francis's trip to DRC, providing highlights of his meeting with authorities, the civil societies, and his address to them. It further highlights the Holy Mass the Holy Father celebrated in Kinshasa, and testimonies of the victims of violence who held a meeting with Pope Francis during his visit... The second part provides a highlight of the ecumenical peace pilgrimage to South Sudan where Pope Francis met with the members of the diplomatic corps, Catholic Bishops, Priests, Consecrated persons, and Seminarians. The highlight of the second part is Pope Francis’s meeting with the internally displaced people in South Sudan...

Mar 31, 7:03 am

Attention to the Poor among Underpinnings of Pope Francis’ Pontificate: Ugandan Theologian (ACI Africa)

Attentiveness to the poor and marginalized in society and the mercy of God are among the seven aspects that underpin the 10-year Pontificate of Pope Francis, a Ugandan-born Catholic Theologian has said. Speaking during the Wednesday, March 29 event that Uganda’s Catholic Archdiocese of Kampala organized to celebrate Pope Francis’ decade of service at the helm of the Catholic Church, Fr. Emmanuel Katongole highlighted the joy of the gospel as another element that defines the Pontificate of the 86-year-old native of Argentina. “I have identified at least seven interrelated aspects to understand Pope Francis’ 10 years of the Pontificate. I will briefly paint his picture using these aspects,” Fr. Katongole said...

Abr 2, 11:54 pm

Pope: Modern neocolonialism is a crime and a threat to peace (Vatican News)

In a message addressed to a workshop in the Vatican on neocolonialism, Pope Francis warns against modern economic and ideological colonialism and again, apologizes for those Christians who contributed to the colonization of Africa and the Americas... “No power - political, economic, ideological - is entitled to unilaterally determine the identity of a nation or social group,” Pope Francis told a forum of judges for social rights gathered this week in the Vatican for an African and American intercontinental workshop on modern neocolonialism. “The subjugation and plunder of peoples through the use of force or cultural and political penetration is a crime (…) because there are no chances for peace in a world that discards populations and oppresses to loot,” the Pope wrote in a message to the participants...

Editado: Abr 7, 1:17 am

Pope says using Tinder is 'normal,' talks inclusivity in Disney documentary (NCR)

Wanting to meet potential partners through dating apps like Tinder is "normal," and the church's teaching on sex is "still in diapers," Pope Francis said in a conversation with a group of young people gathered in Rome. Speaking with 10 young adults, Spanish-speakers between 20 and 25 years old from around the globe, the pope responded to questions on topics ranging from the church's abuse crisis to abortion and from LGBTQ inclusion to immigration. The conversation was filmed in June 2022 for a documentary titled "The Pope: Answers," released on the streaming service Disney+ April 5. The documentary begins by following each young person at home -- in Spain, Senegal, Argentina, Peru, Colombia and the United States -- as well as Francis eating breakfast in the dining room of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Vatican guesthouse where he lives...

There's also a link to a Vatican News report in post #53 of this thread in the LT Christianity group.

Edited to add the Tablet's take on this:

Francis: 'infiltrators' use Church to peddle hate

Those using the Bible to promote hate speech and exclude gay or transgender Catholics are “infiltrators” taking advantage of the Church to promote their ideologies, Pope Francis has told a group of young adults... “They are infiltrators who use the Church for their personal passions, for their personal narrowness. It’s one of the corruptions within the Church. Those narrow-minded ideologies.” The Pope has faced deep hostility in some quarters for his refusal to take a “culture warrior” stance on sexual teaching. Throughout his pontificate, Francis has adopted a pastorally sensitive approach to LGBTQ Catholics, supported civil protections of same-sex couples and called for the de-criminalisation of homosexuality... The Jesuit Pope told the young people that “deep within” those who promote hate are “severe inconsistencies” and that they judge other people due to their sinfulness. “They judge others because they can’t atone for their own faults,” Francis said. “In general, people who judge are inconsistent. There’s something within them. They feel liberated by judging others, when they should look inside at their own guilt.” The Pope insisted that every person is a “child of God” and that when the Church stops welcoming everybody – “the blind, the deaf, the good, the bad” – it will “stop being the Church”...

Abr 11, 3:24 am

Like Pope Francis, Let’s Be True to Our Names: Catholic Bishop in South Africa (ACI Africa)

Pope Francis chose a name and followed it, assuming a life of simplicity like his prototype, the Bishop of Mthatha Diocese in South Africa has observed, and urged the people of God to be true to the meaning of their respective names in the example of the Holy Father. In an accolade he penned to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Pope Francis’ Pontificate, Bishop Sithembele Anton Sipuka observed that like St. Francis, the Holy Father has remained true to his name by choosing poverty and making the poor and marginalized the focus of his Papacy. “Cardinal Bergoglio is the first to use Francis as a name that identifies him in his role as a Pope. St. Francis is known for his practice of simple life as a condition for openness to God and service to the Church. He is also known for his love of nature,” Bishop Sipuka said in his reflection. “Given how Pope Francis has made simplicity a mark of his life, Bergoglio is teaching us a lot about what our names, given or assumed, invite us to be,” the Bishop of Mthatha said in the Monday, April 3 newsletter, and added, “As we contemplate Bergoglio made Francis, let us think about our names and strive to be true to their meaning.” He noted the examples of Pope Francis being true to his name including his abandoning of residence in the traditional Papal palace, choosing a tiny Fiat car for his local transportation, making the most marginalized a focus of his attention, and his concern for environmental justice...

Abr 11, 8:29 am

Pope Francis’ Pastoral Leadership Upsets “extreme leftist group”: South African Bishop (ACI Africa)

Pope Francis stands out for adopting a pastoral style of leadership, which has left the Church polarized, the Bishop of Mthatha in South Africa has said... Bishop Sithembele Anton Sipuka speaks broadly about the Holy Father who he describes as “a Pope of communion and Synodality”, “a Pope of simplicity and accessibility” as well as “a Pope presiding over a polarized Church”. In his description of “a polarized Church”, Bishop Sipuka identifies various groups of people, including those he says appreciate the leadership of Pope Francis. The South African Catholic Bishop also identifies what he describes as “the extreme group on the left” who he says are “annoyed with the Pope” for not moving fast and making radical changes in the Church. “Pope Francis’ call about prioritizing the identity of the Church and being pastoral has been met with varying reactions. These reactions range from a balanced sense of appreciation of what the Pope is doing to a sense of disappointment for not doing enough and to a sense of anger and disgust for allegedly changing the nature of the Church,” Bishop Sipuka says... He explains, “In other words, some realize that the Pope is doing nothing new but implementing the Vatican II vision of the Church in which everybody feels part of the Church and in which all formations are given space to exercise roles proper to them in a harmonized manner that advances the mission of the Church. This group understands the Pope as not seeking to change any moral or dogmatic teaching of the Church but to apply them in a pastoral, contextual, and caring manner”...On the “far-right group”, he says, are people who think that the call for a communal and Synodal Church by Pope Francis is a trick to change the true nature of the Church by substituting her teachings and traditions for liberal views and secular ideologies. According to the President of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC), the leftist reaction is more prevalent in Europe, while the far-right view “vociferously” prevails in America and “silently” exists in Africa.

Bishop Sipuka’s sentiments echo the observation of Fr. Stan Chu Ilo, a Research Professor in the Department of Catholic Studies at DePaul University, who noted that while Pope Francis has introduced a paradigm shift in the Church, he does not seek to alter the Church teachings, especially pertaining to issues considered controversial. “Pope Francis has changed the tone of messaging and leadership at the Vatican. He hasn't altered any teachings of the church regarding some of the topics that have been seen as controversial, including family, sexuality, gender theories, and celibacy; but rather, he has introduced a new ecclesial climate that is more open, inclusive, and one that orients itself as a humble, poor and merciful Church that listens,” Fr. Stan told ACI Africa on March 5, when he shared about how the Holy Father has shaped his work. He added, “We now have a Church that is listening more and more to the voices from the peripheries of people who feel abandoned and regarded as sinners. We have a Church where those who are divorced and separated are welcome to find healing under a tent of comfort”... not everyone, including some Theologians, understands the theology of Pope Francis... Fr. Stan explained why Pope Francis is sometimes misunderstood, noting that people who want “a Church with pre-packaged answers” and those who find it difficult to grasp what he described as the “aesthetics” of Pope Francis’ theology are most likely to misunderstand the Holy Father. “Whoever doesn't understand the theological aesthetics of Pope Francis is likely to misunderstand him,” Fr. Stan said, and added, “Some people want a pure Church; a Church with pre-packaged answers. Catholics who are used to the idea of ‘what is the Church saying’ find it difficult to understand most messages of Pope Francis.” He added, “Pope Francis is saying that we don't have answers to a lot of things that are happening in the world today and that we have to enter into mysteries guided by the Holy Spirit. When we do this, based on what we encounter, God will allow us to see the face of the poor man of Galilee. We need to accept that there are people who do not accept the same conclusion, and my work has been to give a theological explanation of this.”

Meanwhile, Bishop Sipuka has proposed “as the way forward in this polarization”, to remember that the people of God are people of faith, “not just a club gathered by similar ideas and coinciding personality temperaments.” “We must remember that we are gathered not by our agreement but by common baptism, which invites us to look further than ourselves when differences occur,” Bishop Sipuka says in the reflection published April 3, and adds, “We must therefore seek together what the will of God is by looking at the tradition of the Church in a Spirit-guided (not political or ideological) way with the openness to modifying our ideas as we listen to each other.” The SACBC President observes that journeying together in the Synodality that Pope Francis proposes calls for charity, humility, and patience.

Abr 14, 12:20 am

Pope Francis tells ‘keyboard warriors’ to put aside online polemics to proclaim the Gospel (Tablet)

Pope Francis has told “keyboard warriors” to put aside online polemics and get out from behind their desks to proclaim the Gospel... “One does not proclaim the Gospel standing still, locked in an office, at one’s desk or at one’s computer, engaging in polemics like ‘keyboard warriors’ and replacing the creativity of proclamation with copy-and-paste ideas taken from here and there,” Pope Francis said. “The Gospel is proclaimed by moving, by walking, by going”... the pope warned that it is possible to have “misdirected zeal” that is “doggedly persistent in the observance of purely human and obsolete norms for the Christian community.” “We cannot ignore the solicitude with which some devote themselves to the wrong pursuits even within the Christian community itself; one can boast of a false evangelical zeal while actually pursuing vainglory or one’s own convictions,” he said...

Abr 17, 5:28 am

Pope Francis: Jesus is Found in the Community of the Catholic Church (ACI Africa)

Despite its failures and imperfection, within the community of the Church is where one finds Jesus, Pope Francis said on Divine Mercy Sunday. Reflecting on St. Thomas the Apostle’s initial doubt in Christ’s resurrection, Francis asked: “Where do we seek the Risen One? In some special event, in some spectacular or amazing religious manifestation, solely at the emotional or sensational level? Or rather in the community, in the Church, accepting the challenge of staying there, even though it is not perfect?” “Without the community,” he emphasized, “it is difficult to find Jesus”... “In reality, Thomas is not the only one who struggled to believe. In fact, he represents all of us a little bit,” he said...

Maio 1, 2:36 am

Pope: Holy See will work to return Ukrainian children taken to Russia (Vatican News)

In his traditional press conference aboard the return flight to Rome from Budapest, Pope Francis spoke to reporters about a range of issues. These included the Holy See's efforts to facilitate the return to Ukraine of Ukrainian children taken to Russia during the war, hopes for peace, and contacts with the Kremlin, along with ecumenical dialogue. He also mentioned his health following his hospitalization at Rome’s Gemelli Hospital the week before Palm Sunday. The Pope also spoke about the return of the Parthenon artifacts to Greece, calling it an example for similar gestures in the future...

Maio 3, 7:15 am

Pope Francis Praises NFP Method as "valuable tool" for Married Couples (ACI Africa)

Pope Francis has praised the Billings method of natural family planning as “a valuable tool” for married couples that also provides needed education about the meaning of the conjugal act...

Maio 8, 2:16 am

A pope on the move moves the church (

Unlike Pope John Paul II, who traveled more widely than any pope in history during his 27-year-reign, Francis has selected his trips over the last 10 years based on how he can advance what he calls “a missionary church.” He’s not heralding a triumphal side of the church, but one that goes outward to help people, especially the poor, heal. He’s reorienting a “poor church for the poor,” in the words of Pope John XXIII, the modern pope most like Francis...

Editado: Maio 13, 12:37 am

Pope Francis Urges Freedom in Message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees (ACI Africa)

In his message for the 109th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, released May 11, Pope Francis recognized the migratory flows of our times as “the expression of a complex and varied phenomenon” that requires analysis of the different stages, including the departure, arrival, and the possibility of returning to one’s homeland. The Church observes the World Day of Migrants and Refugees on the last Sunday of September, which this year falls on Sept. 24. This year’s theme is “Free to choose whether to migrate or to stay.” Pope Francis pointed out that the Holy Family’s flight into Egypt was not a free decision. This is the case with many migrants. He added that persecutions, wars, atmospheric phenomena, and extreme poverty are some of the main causes of forced migrations today. “Conflicts, natural disasters, or more simply the impossibility of living a dignified and prosperous life in one’s native land is forcing millions of persons to leave,” he said. “Eliminating these causes and thus putting an end to forced migration calls for shared commitment on the part of all, in accordance with the responsibilities of each,” he expressed. “This commitment begins with asking what we can do, but also what we need to stop doing. We need to make every effort to halt the arms race, economic colonialism, the plundering of other people’s resources, and the devastation of our common home”...

I think we often conveniently forget that Jesus, Mary and Joseph were refugees who had to flee their homeland in fear of their lives.

In a very real and pressing current case, the Catholic Archbishop of Juba, South Sudan, has asked all dioceses and religious houses to open their doors to Church personnel fleeing the violence in neighbouring Sudan (link), while the government of South Sudan has waived visa fees for anyone entering the country from Sudan.

Edited to add: The Archbishop of Canterbury has also weighed in on immigration: Archbishop of Canterbury: UK migration bill is morally wrong (NCR)

The head of the Church of England on May 10 condemned a British government bill that would dramatically curb migrants' ability to seek asylum in the U.K., calling the policy "isolationist, morally unacceptable and politically impractical"...

Maio 13, 11:57 am

Ukraine's Zelensky meets Pope Francis in Rome (BBC)

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky is visiting Rome, where he is meeting political leaders and having an audience with Pope Francis... Pope Francis has often said that the Vatican stands ready to act as a mediator in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Earlier this month, he stated that the Vatican was working on a peace plan to end the war, saying that the mission was "not yet public. When it is public, I will talk about it." But the relationship between Ukraine and the Vatican has sometimes been uneasy...

Maio 16, 2:59 am

Francis' visits with local Jesuits provide key to understanding his papacy (NCR)

These talks with local Jesuits are always fascinating because the pope is so clearly at ease. In addition, because of the nature of his audience, the conversation starts at 50 miles per hour. It is a bit specialized compared, say, with a sermon or with his remarks upon arriving at the airport. Given the questions he is asked, he often reflects on his life before he became pope... Francis' sense of Jesuit identity is so wrapped up with his understanding of ecclesial renewal, these documents are priceless windows into his thinking. Would "discernment" play such a key role in our understanding of synodality but for the fact the pope is a Jesuit? Would his easy, albeit patient, exercise of authority, such as refusing the request of the Amazonian synod that older married men be ordained, be comprehensible but for his Jesuit understanding of obedience? It is impossible to understand Francis without paying close attention to the fact he is a Jesuit, and these transcripts provide a hermeneutical key to his Jesuit sensibilities.

Editado: Maio 23, 8:38 am

“Spare no effort”: Pope Francis to International Community on Pushing for Talks in Sudan (ACI Africa)

Pope Francis has urged the international community to “spare no effort” in pushing for dialogue between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to bring an end to war in Sudan where he says “situation continues to be grave”... “I renew a heartfelt call for the laying down of arms and call on the international community to spare no effort to make dialogue prevail and alleviate the suffering of the people”...

Maio 25, 12:22 am

Pope Francis expresses closeness to Chinese Catholics 'who suffer' (Vatican News)

"I wish to assure my thoughts and closeness to our brothers and sisters in China, and share in their joys and hopes. I offer a special thought to all those who suffer - pastors and the faithful - so that in the communion and solidarity of the universal Church they may experience consolation and encouragement." Pope Francis made this appeal for the Church in China on Wednesday as he held his General Audience in St. Peter's Square. The Pope recalled that 24 May marks the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. In his appeal, the Holy Father invited all Christians to "raise their prayers to God, so that the Good News of Christ crucified and risen may be proclaimed in its fullness, beauty and freedom, bearing fruit for the good of the Catholic Church and all of Chinese society"...

Maio 26, 4:32 am

Pope Francis on Care for Creation: "God wants justice to reign" (ACI Africa)

Pope Francis has emphasized the importance of the virtue of justice in a message for the upcoming World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. “God wants justice to reign; it is as essential to our life as God’s children, made in his likeness, as water is essential for our physical survival,” he said in the message, released May 25. “God wants everyone to strive to be just in every situation, to live according to his laws and thus to enable life to flourish,” the pope continued. “When we ‘Seek first the kingdom of God’ (Matthew 6:33), maintaining a right relationship with God, humanity, and nature, then justice and peace can flow like a never-failing stream of pure water, nourishing humanity and all creatures”...

Maio 29, 4:30 am

On Pentecost, Pope Francis Says Holy Spirit Can Bring Harmony to "a polarized Church" (ACI Africa)

On the solemnity of Pentecost, Pope Francis urged Catholics to invoke the Holy Spirit daily to bring harmony to a divided world, a polarized Church, and to broken hearts. Speaking in St. Peter’s Basilica, the pope explained that the role of the Holy Spirit, both at the beginning of the creation of the world and at all times, is to make “created realities pass from disorder to order” and “from confusion to harmony.” “In our world today, there is so much discord, such great division. We are all ‘connected,’ yet find ourselves disconnected from one another, anesthetized by indifference and overwhelmed by solitude... “If the world is divided, if the Church is polarized, if hearts are broken, let us not waste time in criticizing others and growing angry with one another; instead, let us invoke the Holy Spirit. He is capable of resolving these things,” he said. The pope added that without the Holy Spirit, “the Church is lifeless, faith is mere doctrine, morality mere duty, pastoral work mere toil. … With him, on the other hand, faith is life, the love of the Lord conquers us, and hope is reborn.” “Let us put the Holy Spirit back at the center of the Church; otherwise, our hearts will not be consumed by love for Jesus but by love for ourselves,” he said. Pope Francis added that he sees the Holy Spirit as not only as the “soul of the Church” but also as “the heart of synodality”...

On Pentecost, Catholic Bishops in Africa Emphasize Need to Work for “a better world” (ACI Africa)

Catholic Bishops in Africa have emphasized the need for the people of God to invest in peace and fraternity in view of realizing “a better world”. In their 2023 Message on the Solemnity of Pentecost, members of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) say, “For those of us, Christians and non-Christians alike, who believe in the advent of a better world, the answer is clear: we must work to establish a new world where peace, justice and brotherhood between peoples reign.” “The renewal that the Church and Christians must bring to humanity consists in building the civilisation of love, and it is thanks to social love that it is possible to progress towards a civilisation of love to which we can all feel called”...

Maio 30, 2:17 am

Pope Francis encourages Marian shrines around the world to pray for Synod on Synodality (CNA)

From the Philippines to Portugal, Marian shrines around the world will participate in a special day of prayer this Wednesday for the work of the Synod on Synodality. In his Regina Caeli address, Pope Francis announced that the day of prayer for the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will take place on May 31, the last day of the month dedicated to Mary. “Let us ask the Virgin Mary to accompany this important stage of the synod with her maternal protection,” the pope said. The shrines of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal, the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Poland, the Knock Shrine in Ireland, the Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels in Costa Rica, Our Lady of Fourvière in France, and many other Marian shrines have confirmed their participation...

Jun 1, 12:41 am

Pope Francis tells Martin Scorsese and Catholic artists: Don’t ‘domesticate’ Jesus (America Magazine)

Catholic artists, poets, writers and filmmakers serve the church not by trying to “domesticate” Christ but by helping people challenge and expand their knowledge of the Lord, Pope Francis said... the pope called on Catholic artists to help “open wide our imagination so that it can transcend our narrow perspectives and be open to the holy mystery of God”...

Jun 3, 12:58 am

It is Time Act Justly and Stop War Against Creation: Pope’s Plea Ahead of World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation (AMECEA)

In anticipation of world day of prayer for care of creation to be commemorated in the month of September, the head of the Catholic Church has appealed to all people irrespective of faith and denomination to strive towards ending war against creation and act justly by being kind to the environment. In his message dated Thursday, May 25, Pope Francis pointed out that humanity has been doing harm to creation and not leaving as per God’s law “to enable life to flourish.” Rather destruction of environment has led human beings to lose connectedness with creation... “Just as the hearts of babies in the womb beat in harmony with those of their mothers, so in order to grow as people, we need to harmonize our own rhythms of life with those of creation, which gives us life,” reads part of the Pope’s message. The Holy Father emphasized that in the contemporary world, there is lack of harmony because of the injustices which creation is experiencing...

The full text of the Holy Father's message is here: Message of the Holy Father Francis for the celebration of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation (1 September 2023), 25.05.2023

Jun 6, 12:40 pm

Pope Francis explains why Catholics make the sign of the cross (CNA)

Each time that a Catholic makes the sign of the cross, it is a reminder that God is a communion of love, Pope Francis said Sunday. Speaking on the solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, the pope highlighted how the simple gesture that Catholics are taught as children is a sign of the central mystery of Christian faith...

Pope Francis to Sign Human Fraternity Document with Nobel Laureates in St. Peter’s Square (ACI Africa)

Nobel laureates, Grammy-winner Andrea Bocelli, and several former heads of state will join Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square on Saturday night for the World Meeting on Human Fraternity. The June 10 event, called “#Not Alone,” will culminate with Pope Francis signing a document calling for a commitment to human fraternity drafted by a dozen Nobel Peace Prize winners together with representatives of former Nobel Prize-winning organizations. Young people representing different countries will also form “a symbolic embrace” by joining hands in a ring around St. Peter’s Square, according to the Fratelli Tutti Foundation, the sponsor of the event. Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, the archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica, described the upcoming meeting as “a great day of celebration and unity inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical Fratelli Tutti, transcending a vision that restricts social friendship to ethnic or blood ties”...

Jun 19, 4:17 am

New Co-published Book on Pope Francis “suitable for all categories of people”: Pauline Nun (ACI Africa)

Readers of the newly co-published book, “Walking with Pope Francis - The Official Documents in Everyday Language”, do not require a background in theology or Church teachings to understand its content, a Catholic Nun serving with the Paulines Publications Africa (PPA), the co-publisher of the book, has said. In an interview with ACI Africa about the 216-page book that was first published by Orbis Books, the U.S.-based publishing arm of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers (MM), Sr. Mary Wangui Mutahi made reference to the writing style of Fr. James Kroeger, the MM member who authored the book that synthesizes Pope Francis’ three Encyclical Letters, five Apostolic Exhortations, and two Apostolic Letters. “The author uses the simple and common language of the people to explain the content of each and every article of these 10 documents,” Sr. Wangui said... “The book is suitable for all categories of people even those without basic foundation in theology and teachings of the Church,” she added about the book published to mark the 10th anniversary of the Pontificate of Pope Francis as “a helpful and reader-friendly digest of ten of his most important documents”... in synthesizing the 10 Papal documents, the book focuses on the themes that dominate the teachings of Pope Francis in the last 10 years, and include faith, joy, mercy, care for the environment, love, fraternity, the liturgy, and refugees and migrants, among other themes...

Editado: Jul 5, 1:19 am

Pope Francis decries the burning of the Quran in Sweden (Vatican News)

"Any book considered sacred by its people must be respected out of respect for its believers, and freedom of expression must never be used as an excuse to despise others, and to allow this, must be rejected and condemned"...

Jul 10, 10:47 am

Pope Francis has just announced 21 new cardinals. I'll post links later in the week when I'm home. Three of them are from Africa, which is great news. Two I know personally, as Archbishop Stephen Ameyu of Juba is my own archbishop whom I have worked with in South Sudan, while Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town was my classmate studying theology more than forty years ago.

Editado: Jul 14, 12:19 pm

Here's a selection of articles on the new cardinals.

Pope Francis announces Consistory for creation of new Cardinals (Vatican News)

Brief biographies of 21 future Cardinals (Vatican News)

The Three Newly Named Cardinals from Africa (ACI Africa)

Archbishop Stephen Ameyu Martin of Juba, South Sudan, 59... Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town, South Africa, 66... Archbishop Protase Rugambwa, Coadjutor Archbishop for Tabora, Tanzania, 63...

“Quite confused, bewildered”: South African Archbishop on Being Named Cardinal (ACI Africa)

Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town in South Africa, one of the three Africans named Cardinals on Sunday, July 9 says he is “surprised” by his naming. “I have been taken by surprise and to be honest I feel quite confused and bewildered at the moment”... “I could only hope and pray that I will follow the good example that has been set by the Cardinals of South Africa.” Owen Cardinal McCann and Wilfrid Cardinal Napier, he further says, “always gave extreme service not only to the Church in Southern Africa but also to society itself and for the good of the country”...

President of South Africa Lauds Naming of Cardinal as “cause for pride" (ACI Africa)

The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, has lauded the July 9 naming of Archbishop Stephen Brislin of the country’s Cape Town Archdiocese Cardinal as a “cause for pride”. In a Tuesday, July 11 statement, President Ramaphosa says that Pope Francis’ naming of a South African Archbishop among the 21 new Cardinal “is cause for pride among South Africans of all backgrounds and should inspire all of us to exercise our beliefs, in our diversity, with deep devotion.” The choice of the 66-year-old Archbishop "is an exceptional personal honour and recognition of his spiritual leadership and stewardship of the Catholic Church in South Africa," the South African head of state further says...

Edited to add: 6 Prelates from the Americas to join the Sacred College (Aleteia)

The future cardinals represent widely different backgrounds and geographical origins...

“We are happy”: Catholic Bishops in Southern Africa on Naming of New Cardinal (ACI Africa)

The naming of Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town in South Africa among 21 new Cardinals has been met with joy and happiness by members of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC). In a statement that the President of SACBC, Bishop Sithembele Sipuka, issued Monday, July 10, Catholic Bishops in the three countries of Botswana, Eswatini, and South Africa say, “As a Conference, we are happy that the Pope has recognized the gifts of Cardinal-elect Brislin and availed them for the larger Church by appointing him a Cardinal.” “With the appointment of Archbishop Brislin, it is a joy for the Conference to assist the Holy Father through two Cardinals,” they further says, and add, “Although Cardinal Napier has reached the age of 80, which makes him unable to be part of the Cardinals that elect the new Pope, he remains active as the advisor of the Pope”...

Catholics Jubilate Appointment of First Cardinal in South Sudan (AMECEA)

Christians in South Sudan are in a joyful moment appreciating His Holiness Pope Francis for the elevation of Archbishop of Juba Archdiocese as the first Cardinal in South Sudan. The new cardinal is receiving Christians, daily, coming to congratulate him and praise God for the new task given by the Holy Father. Some Christians have described the elevation as the next step for peace coming for the people of South Sudan... The Cardinal elect says the elevation is not for the single person, but for the whole Church of Sudan and South Sudan. He states that being made the first Cardinal in South Sudan is because of the faith of people in South Sudan. “Being a first cardinal is an appreciation from the Holy Father who came to South Sudan and saw the hope in your faces, and this is the result of that hope that he saw.” The new Cardinal Stephen Ameyu calls on the people of South Sudan to continue praying for total peace in the Republic of South Sudan.

Jul 14, 12:25 am

Pope recalls great spiritual and human wisdom of Thomas Aquinas (Vatican News)

In a letter written in Latin, Pope Francis has recalled the legacy of Saint Thomas Aquinas, describing him as "a man of the Church," priest and doctor who shared his "great spiritual and human wisdom" through prayers and writings. Released on 11 July, the letter announces the appointment of Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, as the Pope's special envoy to the celebration of the 700th anniversary of the canonization of Thomas Aquinas to be marked on 18 July at the Abbey of Fossanova, in the town of Priverno, in central Italy. "Never having an air of superiority from his knowledge, but always edified by charity," the Dominican friar whom contemporaries already called the "Angelic Doctor" was "full of astonishing culture," the Pope points out in the letter, which bears the date 30 June and signature at Saint John Lateran. "He wrote many works and taught countless subjects, and was well qualified in the philosophical and theological disciplines. He manifested righteous intelligence and lucidity, and while reverently investigating the divine mysteries with reason, he contemplated them with fervent faith."

Jul 15, 12:23 am

More on the new cardinals:

New Cardinal Pierre, Vatican's US ambassador, says Pope Francis 'filled with spirit of Vatican II' (NCR)

First and foremost, I think the synod is synodality. The synod is really something which is from the deep intuitions of the Holy Father. Pope Francis is really the pope for today. ... He has the gifts of the Holy Spirit to guide the church. And he has analyzed very well the situation of the world today. It's a world which is globalized, but also a world which is separated. The separation works at every level: in the families, in the communities. Consider the political life of this country: Instead of trying to build the country together, we separate ourselves. We fight constantly. There is a polarization which is very unhealthy. This kind of polarization is not just here; it's all over the world. It's a sign of the times. The pope has a kind of vision of what the time needs...

Pope Francis to new Salesian cardinal: You can stay in charge of order for one more year (America Magazine)

Pope Francis has told Ángel Fernández Artime, S.D.B., 62, the Spanish-born rector major of the Salesians of Don Bosco, that he can remain head of that religious congregation until July 31, 2024, even though he will be created a cardinal on Sept. 30 of this year... He described his nomination as cardinal as “a gift that Pope Francis has given us as a Salesian congregation and a Salesian family”... Dedicated to apostolic and missionary activity and to the many works of Christian charity, the congregation of brothers and priests finds the heart of their charism in the service of young people, especially the poorest and most abandoned...

Jul 16, 12:51 am

Pope approves Shanghai bishop as Vatican chides China for lack of consultation (Reuters)

Pope Francis has approved a new bishop of Shanghai as the Vatican chided China for transferring him there without consultation, in violation of bi-lateral accords...

Not the first time the Church has faced this sort of dilemma! "'Master, we saw someone who is not one of us driving out devils in your name, and because he was not one of us we tried to stop him.' But Jesus said, 'You must not stop him; no one who works a miracle in my name could soon afterwards speak evil of me. Anyone who is not against us is for us.'" (Mark 9:38-40).

Jul 25, 5:48 am

Pope Francis Calls for “urgent aid, assistance” to Migrants in Northern Africa (ACI Africa)

Pope Francis is calling upon governments in Africa and Europe to urgently help migrants in North Africa, who he said are undergoing “unspeakable suffering”... drama “continues to unfold for migrants in the northern part of Africa.” “I address my appeal, in particular to the European and African heads of state and government, to give urgent aid and assistance to these brothers and sisters"... “Thousands of them (migrants), amidst unspeakable suffering, have been trapped and abandoned in desert areas for weeks”... According to the Migration data portal, six Northern African countries, including Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, and Tunisia “have historically been and remain significant countries of migrant destination, transit, and departure. Economic, environmental and political instability contribute to the mixed migration patterns observed in the sub-region”... “May the Mediterranean never again be a theater of death and inhumanity. May the Lord enlighten the minds and hearts of all, arousing feelings of fraternity, solidarity, and acceptance,” Pope Francis said...

Editado: Jul 29, 10:56 am

>75 John5918: Pope Francis Lauds Uganda’s Generosity in Welcoming Migrants, Refugees (ACI Africa)

Pope Francis has, during an audience with Uganda’s Prime Minister (PM), Robinah Nabbanja, lauded the East African nation for demonstrating generosity in welcoming migrants and refugees... “Among the topics covered during the conversation, the Pope was touched by the welcome generously extended by Ugandan institutions to migrants and refugees, not only from the African region but as far as Central Asian countries,” Mr. Bruni says... The 2021 report by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) indicates that Uganda hosts most refugees in sub-Saharan Africa. In the report, UNHCR says the East African nation hosts about 1.5 million refugees and asylum seekers mostly from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and South Sudan. The UN Refugee agency further indicates that country’s “approach, combined with progressive refugee laws and freedoms, provides refugees in Uganda with significant prospects for dignity and self-reliance”...

It's ironic that while some of the richest countries in the world constantly whinge about refugees, some of the poorest countries like Uganda, South Sudan, Chad, CAR, Ethiopia, Jordan and Lebanon are taking in millions of refugees without complaint, and are often treating them with more dignity and respect.

Edited to add another example: South Sudanese Catholic Diocese Appeals for Help to Support Returnees from War-Torn Sudan (ACI Africa)

The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Malakal in South Sudan’s Upper Nile State has described the situation of returnees from war-torn Sudan as “very bad” and appealed to the international community to support the diocese that is reaching out to those affected by the violence... “The situation of the returnees as they wait for their flights and boats to relocate them to different parts of the country is very bad,” Bishop Majwok said, and added, “Thousands of returnees now in Upper Nile State are living in very deplorable conditions without food and shelter.” He appealed for assistance for those fleeing the violence, saying, “We are asking our partners and donors to continue helping our Diocese to extend help to these vulnerable people.” The returnees also need shelter, Bishop Majwok said... The Diocese of Malakal has distinguished itself for providing first response to the South Sudanese and Sudanese people fleeing the violence that has reportedly left 234 people in Sudan’s capital Khartoum dead... “Our Diocese, through our humanitarian coordinator, was the first to respond in the transportation of the people when the conflict erupted in Sudan on 15 April by sending a boat to bring the returnees from Renk (a county in Upper Nile State) to Malakal,” Bishop Majwok said. “Caritas office is also providing food and non-food items to the new arrivals in response to their needs,” the South Sudanese Catholic Bishop said...

I can affirm from personal experience of this diocese over many decades that it really is one of the poorest in the world in every way, and yet it "distinguished itself for providing first response" and "was the first to respond", despite its very limited resources.

Jul 29, 10:58 am

Pope: St. Francis’ Rule is a compass that guides the way (Vatican News)

celebrating the 800th anniversary of the institution of St. Francis’ Rule, the Pope stresses its current relevance in opening up “to a shared path”... Francis, "everyone's brother," 800 years ago wanted to give his children a Rule to walk together toward the same goal: to embrace and kiss Christ present in the suffering flesh of the discarded...

Editado: Jul 31, 12:54 am

Has Pope Francis betrayed his predecessors’ legacies? (Where Peter Is)

I naïvely thought that we’d learned enough from history to understand that popes come and go, fat popes follow thin popes, tall ones follow short ones, and extroverted pontiffs follow popes who are shy and bookish. In the previous century and a half, we’d seen the pendulum swing back and forth several times, and despite numerous scandals, upheavals, and cultural shifts, the Church was somehow still standing... We must understand that each pope is unique, and no pope can bind his successors to continue his personal projects. To judge a papacy on the extent to which a pontiff upholds the “legacy” of one of his predecessors is not only unfair to the man but betrays a gross mistrust of Christ’s promise to the Church regarding Peter and his successors. The French philosopher Jean Guitton — who served in a similar role with Paul VI as Seewald with Benedict and Weigel with John Paul — recognized this. In the preface to The Pope Speaks, his book of conversations with Pope Paul, Guitton wrote, “Every pontiff remains himself. He keeps his moods, his human way of being. Without wishing to, perhaps without being aware of it, he stamps his office with his humanity as a seal. I would even say that in that high office where one is no longer judged except by God, the personality can sometimes blossom into ease and joviality, as was seen in the case of John XXIII, who resolved to be plainly and simply himself. Yet Pope Paul’s way cannot be that of Pope John”...

The answer to the question posed in the title is, of course, a resounding "No!" I've quoted only a very small part, and it's well worth reading the whole article.

Jul 31, 12:54 am

Pope urges Russian 'brothers' to restore Black Sea grain deal (Reuters)

Pope Francis on Sunday called on Russia to reverse its decision to abandon the Black Sea grain deal, under which it had allowed Ukraine to export grain from its seaports despite the ongoing war... "I appeal to my brothers, the authorities of the Russian Federation, so that the Black Sea initiative may be resumed and grain may be transported safely," Francis said during his weekly Angelus message... the pope urged the faithful to continue praying "for martyred Ukraine, where war is destroying everything, even grain," calling this "a grave insult to God." The leader of the world's nearly 1.4 billion Catholics said "the cry of millions of brothers and sisters who are suffering from hunger is rising up to the sky"... Since the conflict in Ukraine broke out last year, Francis has repeatedly condemned Russia's war of aggression, but has also sought to keep an open channel of communication with Moscow, with apparently limited results...

Canadian Bishop highlights reconciliation process one year after Pope's visit (Vatican News)

One year on from Pope Francis's Apostolic Journey to Canada, Bishop Raymond Poisson, President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, reflects on the progress that has been made in the process of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples...

Ago 1, 12:36 am

Pope to Portugal for bittersweet 'Catholic Woodstock' of the young (Reuters)

Hundreds of thousands of young people from around the world have descended on Portugal to welcome Pope Francis when he arrives on Wednesday to close a jamboree dubbed "the Catholic Woodstock". However, the shadow of the Church's sexual abuse scandal will haunt the background as a reminder of how much work it still has to do to put the scandal behind it. World Youth Day, an event devised by the late Pope John Paul to form young Catholics in their teens or early 20s, is held every two or three years in a different city. This will be the first since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic... The trip and the youth event take place less than six months after report by a Portuguese commission that said at least 4,815 minors were sexually abused by clergy - mostly priests - over 70 years. "Nothing can repair the experience and lives of these more than 4,800 victims," an abuse awareness group called This Is Our Memorial said on its website. "What we can and should do is remember them. Give them a voice. So that what happened never happens again"... Francis is expected to meet privately with abuse victims but the Vatican has not confirmed it and if it does take place, it will be announced after the event to ensure privacy. "This is to facilitate the process of healing, which is always personal, intimate and requires time to listen," Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said...

Ago 2, 12:19 am

World Youth Days test the limits of aging popes (NCR)

When Francis lands in Lisbon on Aug. 2 for the 42nd international trip of his decadelong papacy and for his fourth World Youth Day, he will be demonstrating that, despite serious health setbacks over the last year, he intends to press ahead with his agenda. But similar to his two most recent predecessors, he will also inevitably have to confront the reality that World Youth Days — major gatherings of Catholic young people from around the globe every few years — test the limits of aging pontiffs... At 86, Francis will now be the oldest pope to ever preside over a World Youth Day celebration. Despite his recent surgery and struggles with mobility, his schedule for Lisbon is jam-packed with more events than his past trips over the last year — including a total of 11 speeches over five days and a trip to the country's popular Marian shrine of Fátima. Francis has repeatedly said that getting out of the Vatican is what gives him life, and with plans to travel to Mongolia at the end of August and to Marseilles, France, at the end of September, it's clear the pope doesn't want to stop traveling... While the charismatic Francis will undoubtedly be in his element in Lisbon this week as he feeds off the energy of the young people there, it's not hard to imagine that in the back of his mind he might also be wondering whether he will be present at the next World Youth Day — and what all he might want to accomplish before then.

Ago 3, 6:34 am

Pope Francis makes Urgent Call to Recover Eucharistic Adoration in the Church (ACI Africa)

From Lisbon, Portugal, Pope Francis on Wednesday reflected on the urgency of taking up again “the prayer of adoration” before the tabernacle to recover “the taste and passion for evangelization” in a message addressed to bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated women religious, and seminarians...

Ago 4, 12:12 am

Make room for everyone in the church, Pope Francis tells young people in Portugal (NCR)

As Pope Francis officially launched a gathering of hundreds of thousands of Catholic young people here in the Portuguese capital, one direct message was repeated throughout multiple speeches — lest anyone forget it: Everyone is welcome in the church. "There is room for everyone in the church and, whenever there is not, then, please, we must make room, including for those who make mistakes, who fall or struggle," the pope told a crowd of nearly 500,000 young people gathered here in Lisbon's Edward VII Park on Aug. 3 for the official welcome ceremony of World Youth Day. "The Lord does not point a finger, but opens wide his arms: Jesus showed us this on the cross," Francis continued. "He does not close the door, but invites us to enter; he does not keep us at a distance, but welcomes us." The pope's emphasis on openness is simple and has come to define much of his 10-year papacy as he has continually tried to preach a message of welcome to historically marginalized groups in the church, including women, the divorced and remarried, and LGBTQ Catholics. But it has been met with fierce resistance, including inside the church... Here in Lisbon, over the course of the last two days — and by explicitly pointing to the life of Christ — the 86-year-old pontiff's message seems intent on making sure a younger generation knows they have a home in the Catholic Church, regardless of their life's circumstances. "Let these be days when we fully realize in our hearts that we are loved just as we are," the pope told a sea of young people draped in their country's respective flags... "Christianity cannot be lived as a fortress surrounded by high walls, one that raises the ramparts against the world," he said... one young person in the crowd... waved at Francis with a banner that read in Portuguese: "Pope Jorge, you made me believe again."

Ago 5, 10:20 am

Priests must play soccer, not preach dogma, says Pope in broadside against traditionalists (Catholic Herald)

Pope Francis has attacked the “corruption” of restorationist movements within the Church and said the Second Vatican Council has not yet been fully implemented... hit out at the “prophets of confusion” undermining the mission of the Church. He said people with “right-wing” ideologies were the most dangerous faction in the Church and he called for a generation of priests who played soccer instead of going into communities to preach. “We need normal seminarians, with their problems, who play soccer, and who don’t go to the neighbourhoods to dogmatise,” Pope Francis said... he did not feel the time is ripe for a Third Vatican Council, in part because “Vatican II still has not been implemented”. The Holy Father also condemned ideological movements in the Church which, he said, “dress up in a restorationist air, with a lot of apparent mystique, but also a lot of corruption”. Francis also expressed frustration that he was unable to reform the Church as much as he would have preferred. His reform efforts to date in the Church have revealed “a certain impotence” in that there’s only so far “over the limit” it’s possible to go, he told the magazine, admitting that “I have not yet dared to put an end to the culture of a {royal} court* in the Curia”... Referring to criticism he’s received for gestures such as regularly meeting transgender persons at his Wednesday audience, Francis cited the example of Jesus in the Gospels, who spent a large amount of time in dialogue with people who weren’t necessarily his followers. “The first time they came and saw me, they left crying, saying I had given them a hand, a kiss, as if I had done something exceptional for them,” he said. “But they are children of God! He still loves you just the way you are. Jesus teaches us not to set limits.” On international affairs, Francis said he is a determined opponent of imperialism in all forms, especially in Latin America... He said that the answer is to focus on the people as “protagonists of their own destiny,” though not on populism... any pastoral approach driven by ideology, “of the left, the right or the centre … is sick from the beginning, and hurts the young.” “Right now, groups linked in some way to right-wing ideologies are perhaps the most dangerous,” Francis said...

The full text of the papal interview in Spanish can be found here.

* Perhaps this is the "elite" which brone so often refers to?

Editado: Ago 8, 12:59 am

Pope Francis: Church is not ready for a Third Vatican Council (Vatican News)

Pope Francis... says the Church needs to implement Vatican II before planning a Third Vatican Council...

Young man after confession with the pope: ‘I told him the sins that pain me the most’ (CNA)

“I told him the sins that cause me the most pain,” Velarde explained, saying it was the confession of his life “because I don’t think there is much probability that something like this will happen again”...

Pope Francis Prays the Rosary in Fátima with Young People with Disabilities (ACI Africa)

Pope Francis visited Fátima, Portugal, on Saturday morning, where he prayed the rosary with young people with disabilities. Under the canopy of Fátima’s Chapel of Apparitions, which marks the exact location where three shepherd children received apparitions from the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1917, the pope laid a golden rosary at the feet of the statue of Our Lady of Fátima. “Dear brothers and sisters, today let us feel the presence of Mother Mary, the mother who will always tell us, ‘Do whatever Jesus tells you.’ She points us to Jesus,” the pope said. Young people with disabilities led the mysteries of the rosary in different languages as the pope sat facing the large statue of Our Lady of Fátima. At the end of the rosary, the crowd sang the “Salve Regina” together in Latin...

Editado: Ago 9, 12:34 am

Pope Francis: "Spiritual worldliness" One of Greatest Dangers Facing Priests, the Church (ACI Africa)

Spiritual worldliness is one of the most dangerous temptations facing priests and the Church because it “reduces spirituality to appearance” while disconnecting it from the Gospel, Pope Francis warned in a recently released letter to the priests of Rome. “{Spiritual worldliness} leads us to be ‘workers of the spirit,’ men clad of sacred forms that actually continue to think and act according to the fashions of the world,” the pope wrote... Pope Francis wrote that spiritual worldliness begins to take hold in the lives of priests not only through temptations to mediocrity, power and influence, and vainglory but also “from doctrinal intransigence and liturgical aestheticism,” which have the appearance of religiosity and even loving the Church but instead seek human glory and personal well-being...

Editado: Ago 10, 2:36 pm

Pope Francis: Mary "never keeps us waiting" (ACI Africa)

Pope Francis said Wednesday he likes to invoke the Virgin Mary under the title of “Our Lady ‘in haste’” because she is always ready to swiftly intercede for her children’s requests. “At World Youth Day, the Gospel proposed to young people the model of the Virgin Mary. At her most critical moment, {Mary} goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth. The Gospel says ‘she arose and went in haste,’” the pope said at his weekly audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall Aug. 9. “I really like to invoke Our Lady in this aspect,” Francis added. “Our Lady ‘in haste,’ who always gets things done quickly, never keeps us waiting, because she is the mother of all”...

Ago 17, 10:51 am

Pope Francis is one of the oldest popes in history—but he’s showing no sign of slowing down (America Magazine)

Pope Francis, who will celebrate his 87th birthday on Dec. 17, is now one of the oldest popes in history. He is in good health for a man of his age. The surgeon who operated on him a couple of months ago to treat an abdominal hernia said his heart, lungs, kidneys and other vital organs are in good shape, and he has the mental abilities of a 60-year-old. His main problem is mobility issues caused by his right knee, but thanks to therapy and weight loss, this has improved in recent months. Francis appears determined to continue working at high speed in this final stretch of his ministry. He hopes to close the two-session synod on synodality at the end of October 2024 and to open the Jubilee Year of 2025. In the meantime, he has many important events on his agenda... Last but not least, Francis will continue to devote time and attention to exploring ways to help end the war in Ukraine and ensure a just peace for that martyred nation.

Ago 22, 12:39 am

Christians should be open to change, not rigid, Pope Francis says (NCR)

Christians must stand firm in their faith but that is not the same as being rigid and unwilling to bend out of compassion for another, Pope Francis said. God is love and "the one who loves does not remain rigid. Yes, they stand firm, but not rigid; they do not remain rigid in their own positions, but allow themselves to be moved and touched," the pope said...

Pope Francis writing a second part of Laudato si' (Vatican News)

The Director of the Holy See Press Office says the second part of the Laudato si' encyclical letter which Pope Francis mentioned on Monday will focus on the recent climate crises...

Ago 23, 12:28 am

What the pope’s visit to Mongolia says about his priorities and how he is changing the Catholic Church (The Conversation)

Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to Mongolia, which is home to fewer than 1,500 Catholics, has elicited curiosity among Catholics and non-Catholics alike... What do these visits tell us about this pope’s mission and focus?... the pontiff’s official travels since 2013 are part of his decadelong effort to rebrand the Roman Catholic Church as a religious institution that centers the poor. While previous popes have included the poor in their speeches, what has distinguished this pope is that he has focused on the Global South and prioritized immigrants, refugees and the less privileged, from Bolivia to Myanmar to Mongolia... Since his election as pope, however, Francis has undertaken what I call “people-focused” liberationism. In one of his first official announcements in 2013, “Evangelii Gaudium,” or “The Joy of the Gospel,” the pope wrote about the essential inclusion of the poor in society, arguing that “without the preferential option for the poor, the proclamation of the Gospel, which is itself the prime form of charity, risks being misunderstood or submerged by the ocean of words which daily engulfs us in today’s society of mass communications.” In other words, the Gospel’s message that all Christians proclaim doesn’t mean a whole lot if the poor are not central to the goal of personal as well as collective salvation...

Ago 23, 12:29 pm

Pope: Dorothy Day's life shows evangelizing power of charity, witness, love (NCR)

Dorothy Day was "a great witness to faith, hope and charity in the 20th century," a woman who loved the Catholic Church despite the flaws of its members and who knew that serving God meant serving the poor and working for justice, Pope Francis wrote. "The way in which Dorothy Day tells us how she became a Christian believer shows that people are not brought to God by human efforts or strategies, but by grace that springs from charity, witness that is beautiful and active love," the pope wrote in the foreword to a new edition of Day's 1938 memoir on her conversion, "From Union Square to Rome"... Day, who lived 1897-1980 and was co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, became a Catholic in 1927. Her cause for sainthood officially opened in 2000, and Pope Francis included her as one of the four "great Americans" he spoke about when he addressed the U.S. Congress in 2015...

Editado: Ago 24, 12:12 am

Pope, top U.S. military officer discuss war in Ukraine (NCR)

The top-ranking U.S. military officer told reporters he and Pope Francis discussed the war in Ukraine, especially the war's impact on the people there. Gen. Mark A. Milley, a Catholic, who as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the principal military adviser to the president, traveled to the Vatican Aug. 21 for a private meeting with the pope. On his plane later, Milley told reporters traveling with him that the pope is "obviously very concerned about the hundreds of thousands of people who have been killed and wounded and the innocent civilian lives that have been lost." "He's very interested in hearing my views on the state of the war and the status of the war, and the human tragedy that's unfolded in Ukraine," the general said... Milley also said he and the pope discussed other issues, including talking "a lot about Africa," AFP reported. The pope's "depth of knowledge of world events is quite impressive," the general said, adding that it was "a real privilege" to meet and speak with the pope... Francis gave the general a bronze sculpture inscribed with the words, "Peace is a fragile flower"...

Editado: Ago 27, 12:23 am

Pope Francis: The Eucharist can fill ‘the wounds and voids produced by sin’ (CNA)

Jesus’ healing presence in the Eucharist can “fill with tenderness” the voids and wounds produced by sin in individual lives and in society, Pope Francis said Friday... in the eyes of the world, it might appear “absurd” to begin confronting societal problems by prayers on one’s knees in “adoration and reparation” but that it is always effective...

Relevant, I think, to the conversation on whether particular types of sinner should be refused access to the Eucharist, which to mind is a pretty odd question anyway as we are all sinners. But the Eucharist is a source of grace and healing, not a reward for being good.

Ago 29, 12:19 am

Pope Francis blasts reactionary American Catholics who oppose church reform (NCR)

Pope Francis blasted what he described as groups of "very strong, reactionary" American Catholics, warning against becoming "backwardists" who oppose change in the Catholic Church. "The situation in the United States is not easy: There is a very strong, reactionary attitude. It is organized and shapes the way people belong, even emotionally," said the pope. "I want to remind these people that backwardism is useless, and it is necessary to understand that there is a correct evolution in the understanding of questions of faith and morals"... "If you don't change upward, you go backward, and then you take on criteria for change different from those that the faith itself gives you to grow and change. And the effects on morality are devastating," said Francis. "Those American groups of which you speak, so closed, are isolating themselves. And instead of living by doctrine, by the true doctrine that always develops and bears fruit, they live by ideologies," he added. "But when you abandon doctrine in life to replace it with an ideology, you have lost, you have lost as in war"... "The door is open to everyone, everyone has their own space in the church," said Francis. "How will each person live it? We help people live so that they can occupy that place with maturity, and this applies to all kinds of people." "What I don't like at all, in general, is that we look at the so-called 'sin of the flesh' with a magnifying glass," said Francis. "If you exploited workers, if you lied or cheated, it didn't matter, and instead relevant were the sins below the waist"... "To accompany people spiritually and pastorally takes a lot of sensitivity and creativity"... "Everyone, everyone, everyone, are called to live in the church," he told the Jesuits. "Never forget that."

Editado: Ago 30, 12:26 am

Pope tells Jesuits inclusivity, doctrinal evolution, synodality are crucial to Church (Vatican News)

Central to the discussion was the theme of inclusivity. Throughout World Youth Day in Lisbon, the rallying cry for an all-embracing Church resonated powerfully with the words "Todos, todos" (Everyone, everyone), pronounced by Pope Francis as he stressed that the Church "has space for everyone". He emphasized the pivotal importance of creating a space for all individuals, irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender identity, within the Church. This message continued to echo through his exchange with the Jesuits of Portugal. The Pope reiterated his call to embrace homosexual people within the Church. He critiqued the disproportionate fixation on sexual transgressions, noting that other 'offenses' often remain overlooked. He emphasized the need for a pastorally sensitive and imaginative approach to accompany individuals on their spiritual journeys...

Pope Francis conveyed deep apprehension over the persistent prevalence of wars since the conclusion of World War II... and underscored the imperative of seeking peaceful resolutions.

The dialogue delved into tensions existing within the Church, including reactionary attitudes and resistance to the tenets of the Second Vatican Council... He underscored the dynamic nature of doctrinal evolution and expounded on the notion that Church doctrine is not an unchanging monolith, but rather an evolving entity. He invoked historical instances such as the changing perspectives on the death penalty, nuclear weapons, and slavery to illustrate the fluidity of doctrine over time. Pope Francis expressed apprehensions about the encroachment of excessive worldliness into religious life. He cautioned against compromising core values with the allure of worldly ideologies...

Finally, Pope Francis conveyed his anticipation regarding the impending Synod... He clarified that the Synod wasn't his brainchild; instead, it aimed to restore synodality within the Church—a concept first championed by Pope Paul VI. He emphasized that the driving force behind the Synod was the Holy Spirit, guiding its deliberations devoid of political bias or a focus on garnering votes.

Ago 31, 5:45 am

Why does Bishop Barron keep attacking Pope Francis' allies? (NCR)

Recently, I criticized comments made by Bishop Robert Barron, known for his "Word on Fire" ministry and the bishop of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota, in which he complained about the Catholic faith being "dumbed down." I found his comments ahistorical and thought they suggested that only very smart, well-informed and well-read Catholics could qualify as good Catholics. Now Barron has launched a criticism of British author and papal biographer Austen Ivereigh. Specifically, Barron charged that Ivereigh had made conversion a "dirty word," shunned evangelization properly understood and that the disagreement was essentially terminological... It is hard not to conclude that Barron's real target is not the biographer, Ivereigh, but the biographee, Pope Francis... there is something semi-Pelagian in Barron's approach. In fact, the principal agent of evangelization is the Holy Spirit, not the intelligent bishop...

Set 1, 12:11 am

China forbids Catholic bishops and faithful from joining Pope Francis in Mongolia (America Magazine)

No bishop from mainland China has been allowed to travel to Mongolia as Pope Francis makes the first-ever visit by the leader of the Catholic Church to this vast landlocked country sandwiched between China and Russia... although authorities in Beijing have allowed the ITA Airways plane on which the pope is traveling to fly over China’s airspace on the flight from Rome to Ulaanbaatar and on his return flight, they have not allowed any bishops or Catholics from mainland China to travel to the Mongolian capital for the pope’s visit... China and the Holy See signed a provisional agreement on the nomination of bishops in mainland China on Sept. 22, 2018, and a dialogue has been ongoing between the two sides, even though the relationship is not without difficulties. The prohibition will be a source of disappointment to Pope Francis and the Holy See, particularly given that since the signing of the provisional agreement, which has been renewed twice—in October 2020 and October 2022—all the Catholic bishops in mainland China are now in communion with the pope, including those that had originally been appointed by the government without Vatican approval. The order makes clear that the mainland Chinese bishops do not enjoy the same freedom that bishops in other countries have today to meet the pope or take part in universal church events... three Chinese bishops from Hong Kong and Macau have arrived in the Mongolian capital... the order appears to reflect not only the uneasy current state of Sino-Vatican relations but also the Chinese Communist Party’s fear of religion, in general, and Christianity, in particular... Bishops from several Asian countries will also join Pope Francis in Ulaanbaatar...

Set 5, 12:12 am

Several news items about Pope Francis in the last couple of days:

Pope in Mongolia: May religions cultivate dialogue, harmony, hope
(Vatican News)

Presiding over an ecumenical and interreligious event in Mongolia, Pope Francis insists that religions have a great responsibility, and encourages religious leaders to pursue dialogue and harmony while avoiding scandal...

Pope Francis urges Chinese Catholics to be ‘good citizens’ (Vatican News)

Pope Francis greets the people of China as he concludes Mass in Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar, and invites Chinese Catholics to be “good Christians and good citizens”...

Echoes of Jesus' "Give unto Caesar that which is Caesar's..." or St Thomas More's "I die the king's good servant, but God's first"?

Pope Francis warns against ideologies in Church and world (Vatican News)

In his conversation with journalists on the flight back from Mongolia, Pope Francis addresses various topics, including the upcoming Synod General Assembly, and reiterates that his recent remarks to young Russian Catholics was an invitation for them not to forget their cultural heritage...

Pope Francis Concludes Mongolia Trip, Says Church Not Bent On Conversion (Newslexpoint)

Pope Francis on Monday wrapped up a historic trip to Mongolia which took on international connotations. This is because of his overtures to its neighbour China over freedom of religion. At the end of a Mass on Sunday, the pope sent greetings to China, calling its citizens a “noble” people. He also asked Catholics in China to be “good Christians and good citizens”... He also said he wanted to dispel “the myth” that the aim of Catholic institutions was to convert people to the religion “as if caring for others were a way of enticing people to ‘join up'”. Mostly Buddhist Mongolia has only 1,450 Catholics in a population of 3.3 million. On Sunday just about the entire Catholic community was under the same roof with the pope...

Set 7, 7:24 am

Pope Francis: Don’t Overlook Goodness Because of Scandal (ACI Africa)

Pope Francis on Wednesday encouraged people to look for the quiet goodness in the world, even when the tendency is to pay more attention to failure and scandal. “Just think how many hidden seeds of goodness make the garden of the world flourish, while we usually only hear about the sound of falling trees,” he said during his weekly public audience on Sept. 6. “People, we too like scandal. ‘Look at what barbarity, a tree fell, the noise it made!’ But you don’t see the forest that is growing every day. Because the growth is in silence,” the pope added. He urged people to look “toward the light of the good” in the world and to fight the tendency to only appreciate others to the extent that they share our ideas.

Set 11, 12:02 am

Pope at Angelus: Fraternal correction an expression of great love (Vatican News)

Pope Francis reflects on the importance of offering fraternal correction when someone has wronged us, and recalls Jesus’ invitation to speak privately rather than spreading gossip...

Pope Francis: Addressing others’ wrongs ‘without rancor’ requires kindness, courage (CNA)

To dialogue with someone who has wronged us is a process that requires “real courage,” Pope Francis said Sunday, reflecting on the theme of “fraternal correction”... The pope went on to condemn gossip, or “chattering,” which is “not right” and is “not pleasing to God.” He called gossip “a plague on the lives of people and communities because it brings division, it brings suffering, it brings scandal, and it never helps to improve, it never helps to grow”...

Set 14, 12:16 am

Pope calls out corporate 'carewashing,' covering up violations with charity (NCR)

Workers are human beings, not machines or "spare parts" to be used to drive production and profit at all costs, Pope Francis told members of an organization that advocates for and protects the rights of those seriously injured or disabled on the job. "Safety at work is like the air we breathe: we realize its importance only when it is tragically lacking, and it is always too late," he said. "We cannot get used to accidents at work nor resign ourselves to indifference toward injuries. We cannot accept throwing away human life," he said during an audience at the Vatican Sept. 11 with members of ANMIL, an Italian association of workers who have been seriously injured or disabled at work. Francis also harshly criticized the "ugly" and widespread branding strategy of "carewashing," in which "entrepreneurs or legislators, instead of investing in safety, prefer to wash their consciences with some charitable work." "Thus, they put their public image before everything else, acting as benefactors in culture or sports, in good works, restoring works of art or buildings of worship," he said, and yet, they neglect the fact that God's glory is the living person they employ. "This is the first job: taking care of brothers and sisters, the body of brothers and sisters. The duty toward workers is paramount: life is not disposed of for any reason, especially if it is poor, precarious and fragile," he said...

Set 24, 9:16 am

Pope Francis: Migrant Crisis Requires Wisdom, not "alarmist propaganda" (ACI Africa)

Pope Francis on Saturday told an interreligious youth conference in Marseille, France, that the deepening migrant crisis unfolding in the Mediterranean is “a reality of our times” that calls for wisdom and a collaborative response from European nations, not “alarmist propaganda." Speaking at an event called the Mediterranean Encounter, the pope said the “stifled cry of migrant brothers and sisters” is turning the Mediterranean Sea from “the cradle of civilization” to the “graveyard of dignity”... The large port of Marseille can’t be closed, the pope said, but other ports have closed to migrants. “And,” he lamented, “there were two words that resounded, fueling people’s fears: ‘invasion’ and ‘emergency.’” “Yet those who risk their lives at sea do not invade, they look for welcome,” the Holy Father insisted. “As for the emergency, the phenomenon of migration is not so much a short-term urgency, always good for fueling alarmist propaganda, but a reality of our times, a process that involves three continents around the Mediterranean and that must be governed with wise foresight, including a European response capable of coping with the objective difficulties”...

Pope Francis: 'Marseille’s welcome is a message to Europe' (Vatican News)

Pope Francis returned to Rome on Saturday evening at the conclusion of his two-day Apostolic Journey to Marseille. He held his customary press conference with journalists aboard the papal plane, taking three questions. Here follows a working English transcription and translation of the press conference...

Pope Francis says migration is a reality in call for action during France visit (BBC)

Pope Francis has called on European nations to show greater tolerance towards migrants during a visit to the southern French city of Marseille. Speaking at a meeting of bishops and young people from Mediterranean countries, the pontiff said "those who risk their lives at sea do not invade"...

Pope Francis in Marseille: It’s "a duty of humanity" to Save Migrants Abandoned at Sea (ACI Africa)

In Marseille on Friday, before a memorial to people lost at sea, Pope Francis said humanity is at a crossroads between fraternity and indifference regarding the migrant crisis. “We can no longer watch the drama of shipwrecks, caused by the cruel trafficking and the fanaticism of indifference,” he said Sept. 22. “People who are at risk of drowning when abandoned on the waves must be rescued. It is a duty of humanity; it is a duty of civilization.” “On the one hand, there is fraternity, which makes the human community flourish with goodness; on the other, indifference, which bloodies the Mediterranean. We find ourselves at a crossroads of civilization”...

Set 30, 12:41 am

Conference on Pope Francis’ 10th Anniversary Reveals a Merciful and Firm Pontiff (AMECEA)

The International Annual Writers Conference that analyzed Pope Francis’ ten years of Pontificate disclosed that the Holy Father is compassionate and kind but at the same time firm in his decisions and ways of leading the Church. “When I reflect on the apostolate of Pope Francis for the past ten years, he is both a kind and stern person. These two terms may seem contradictory but to me, they form who Pope Francis is,” Fr. Fredrick Wanjala the keynote speaker said during the opening of the conference held at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) Gaba Campus in Eldoret, Kenya. Describing the Holy Father as one who was “brewed in a Latin American pot,” the cleric who teaches dogmatic theology at CUEA’s main campus in Nairobi revealed that to understand the apostolate of the theology of the Holy Father, there is a need to understand his background, and what nurtured him since “The environment shapes who we are”... the firmness of the Pope might have developed tracing back to the time when Latin American revelation theology came up to restore the socioeconomic environment of oppression. Looking at the merciful nature of the Holy Father, Fr. Wanjala highlighted various instances including his request for the people to pray for him when he was just elected Head of the Catholic Church saying, “It was a rare gesture of a Pope to request prayers from the people since we are used to the Pope blessing us. that was a sign of humility, he broke the tradition.” He added, “We saw him choose the name Francis who in the 13th century was known to be a poor man to the extreme. Again, we see him as a risk-taker in the apostolate. He has elevated so many people who are not ordained”... Fr. Nicholaus Segeja shared that the Holy Father apostolate has been unique in the history of the papacy. “The Holy Father has endeared himself not just as a Catholic leader, but as a leader of the world. Chief among these reasons has been his approach to issues affecting all of God’s creatures,” the director said and stressed that “Pope Francis speaks candidly and is never afraid to confront agents of oppressive social and political systems”... Fr. Dr. Jordan Nyenyembe... underscored the need to reflect on the many blessings the Church has realized in the person of Pope Francis since his election as the chair of St. Peter... One of the presenters who focused on Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ highlighted that Pope Francis emphasized the interconnectedness of all aspects of life, including the environment, society, and the economy calling for an “integral ecology” that recognizes the interdependence between human beings and the natural world. “The encyclical highlights the grave consequences of human-induced climate change and global warming, and at the same time stresses the need for collective efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate their impact on vulnerable communities”...

Editado: Out 1, 2:14 am

Pope: 'Remember your brothers and sisters of Ukraine, forced to leave' (Vatican News)

"Remember your brothers and sisters of Ukraine, forced to leave their war-torn homeland, who seek help, refuge and goodwill..." This was the latest appeal made by Pope Francis at his weekly Wednesday General Audience in St. Peter's Square, as he encouraged Polish-speaking faithful to continue welcoming their Ukrainian neighbours forced to flee due to the war. "As they seek help, refuge, and goodness in your country," the Pope invited Polish speakers to show them a Christ-like welcome, before imparting on all Polish pilgrims present and following the audience remotely, his Apostolic Blessing. Since the start of the war in Ukraine, when Russia invaded in February 2022, the Holy Father has made countless appeals for helping the suffering Ukrainian people, for an end to the war, and for all efforts to restore peace. Poland has been at the forefront of nations welcoming and helping Ukrainian refugees since the beginning of the war...

Pope Calls for an End to Global Food Waste (ACI Africa)

Pope Francis on Friday commended a U.N. agency’s efforts to end what the Holy Father called “the scourge of food loss and waste” across the planet, with the pope calling for a “radical paradigm shift” in how the world deals with wasted food. Francis in his letter to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization told FAO Director Qu Dongyu that the “prevailing culture” has “led to the denaturalization of the value of food, reducing it to a mere commodity to be exchanged”... Pope Francis said the world must “be clear about the urgency of a radical paradigm shift,” because “we can no longer limit ourselves to interpreting reality in terms of economics or insatiable profit.” “Food has a spiritual basis and its proper management implies the need to adopt ethical behavior,” he wrote. “When we talk about food, we must consider the good that more than any other ensures the satisfaction of the fundamental right to life and the basis of the dignified sustenance of each person”. Food waste, Francis said, “shows an arrogant disregard for everything that, in social and human terms, lies behind food production.” “Throwing food away means failing to value the sacrifice, labor, transport, and energy costs involved in bringing quality food to the table,” he wrote. “It means disregarding all those who work hard every day in the agricultural, industrial, and service sectors to provide food that was lost or wasted and did not achieve its laudable purpose.” The pope said activists “cannot continue to cite world population growth as the cause of the earth's inability to feed everyone sufficiently.” The problems of global hunger, he claimed, lie with “the lack of concrete political will to redistribute the earth’s goods”...

Out 1, 8:04 am

Pope Francis Creates 21 New Cardinals, Expanding Body's Geographic Diversity

Pope Francis created 21 new cardinals from across the world at a Saturday morning consistory in St. Peter’s Square, reflecting on how the geographic expansion of the Church’s leadership represents a fulfillment of the promise of Pentecost. “You new Cardinals have come from different parts of the world, and the same Spirit that made the evangelization of your peoples fruitful now renews in you your vocation and mission in and for the Church,” the pope told the new cardinals in his homily for the event, 18 of whom are under the age 80, and therefore eligible to vote in a conclave. The Sept. 30 consistory, which saw cardinals created from 15 different countries, was in continuity with Francis’s steady geographic diversification of the College of Cardinals, carried out over the nine consistories he has held during his 10-year pontificate. The new red hats include Cardinal Stephen Ameyu Martin Mulla of Juba, the first-ever cardinal from South Sudan. Two other African prelates — Cardinal Stephen Brislin from Cape Town, South Africa and Cardinal Protase Rugambwa of Tabora, Tanzania — were also elevated. The total percentage of cardinal electors from Africa is now 14%, a rise of 5% since 2013. The Pope also created cardinals representing Catholic communities in non-majority Christian countries: Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Cardinal Stephen Chow of Hong Kong, and Cardinal Sebastian Francis of Penang, Malaysia. In total, 16% of all cardinal-electors are now from Asia, compared to 9% before Francis’s pontificate...

I'm pleased to say I know two of the new cardinals from Africa, the two Stephens, personally, and I can affirm that they will be a good addition to the College of Cardinals.

A Drum, Other Elements on South Sudanese Cardinal-Designate’s Coat of Arms Explained

The Vicar General of South Sudan’s Catholic Archdiocese of Juba has explained the symbols and motto represented in the coat of arms of Cardinal-designate, Stephen Ameyu Martin Mulla... “The drums on it symbolize our local elements that reflect the joy,” he said. “The spears stand for our traditional way of living,” the Catholic Priest said, and explained, “In the past people carried them as a sign of protection and for hunting. Other than our traditional way of living, the spears also refer to Christ who has been pierced and through his sacrifice we are made clean, we are sanctified and saved”...

And of course I also know the Vicar General, Fr Nicholas Kiri, a priest who has suffered arrest and physical torture for his faith.

Both articles are from ACI Africa.

Out 10, 1:26 pm

This is Pope Francis’ prayer intention for the month of October (CNA)

Pope Francis’ prayer intention for the month of October is for the Synod. “Mission is at the heart of the Church,” Pope Francis said in a video released Oct. 2. “And even more when a Church is in Synod, this synodal dynamic alone carries its missionary vocation forward — that is, her response to Jesus’ mandate to proclaim the Gospel”... The Holy Father recalled that “nothing ends here,” but instead “we are continuing an ecclesial journey here.” He paralleled the synodal journey to the journey the disciples took on the road to Emmaus where they were “listening to the Lord who always comes to meet us.” “Through prayer and discernment, the Holy Spirit helps us carry out the ‘apostolate of the ear,’ that is, listening with God’s ears in order to speak with the word of God. And thus, we draw near to the heart of Christ,” he said. The pope added: “Our mission and the voice that draws us to him spring from him. This voice reveals to us that the heart of mission is to reach out to everyone, to seek everyone, to welcome everyone, to involve everyone, without excluding anyone.” He concluded with a prayer: “Let us pray for the Church, that she may adopt listening and dialogue as a style of life at every level, allowing herself to be guided by the Holy Spirit towards the world’s peripheries”...

Out 21, 12:47 am

Pope Francis Calls for a Co-responsibility Approach in Addressing Problems of Migrants and Refugees (AMECEA)

Pope Francis has called on all people of God to be neighbors to all the wayfarers of our time by taking care of them and combating the criminal networks that exploit the hopes and dreams of the migrants and conversing about government migration policies...

Out 23, 5:20 am

Pope Francis at Sunday Angelus: "We must not be slaves to any earthly power" (ACI Africa)

Pope Francis spoke to the faithful on the importance of the correct relationship between the Church and the state. The pope opened with a reflection on the words in the Gospel of Matthew where Jesus says: “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s (Mt 22:21).” The pope inveighed against an improper understanding of these words. “These words of Jesus have become commonplace, but at times they have been used incorrectly — or at least reductively — to talk about the relations between Church and state, Christians and politics,” the pontiff said. “Often they are interpreted as though Jesus wanted to separate ‘Caesar’ from ‘God,’ that is, earthly from spiritual reality. At times we too think in this way: Faith with its practices is one thing, and daily life is another.” The Holy Father warned against the tendency to think of the two as belonging to separate and mutually exclusive spheres. “This is a form of ‘schizophrenia,’” he said, “as though faith had nothing to do with real life, with the challenges of society, with social justice, with politics and so forth.” Instead, “Jesus wants to help us place ‘Caesar’ and ‘God’ each in their proper place,” the Holy Father explained. “We are the Lord’s, and we must not be slaves to any earthly power,” he continued. “The things of this world belong to Caesar, but man and the world itself belong to God: Do not forget this,” the pope implored...

the Holy Father appealed once again for peace in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, which is entering its third week. “Once again my thoughts turn to what is happening in Israel and Palestine. I am very worried, saddened; I pray and I am close to all those who suffer, the hostages, the injured, the victims and their families,” the pope said... “It pains me that the Anglican hospital and the Greek Orthodox parish were also hit in recent days,” he said. The Holy Father also continued his appeal for humanitarian efforts to not be obstructed and for the release of hostages. “I renew my appeal for spaces to be opened up, humanitarian aid to continue to arrive, and the hostages to be freed,” the pope said... The pope took a moment to also remember those who continue to suffer in Ukraine. “War, every war in the world — I am also thinking of the tormented Ukraine — is a defeat,” Francis said. “War is always a defeat, it is a destruction of human brotherhood. Brothers, stop! Stop!”...

Out 28, 5:09 pm

Happier times:

Clare Considine @macrotargeting | 11:18 AM · Oct 28, 2023:
Polls @EchelonInsights

every Halloween I think about Obama absolutely losing it when he met Baby Pope

Nov 2, 12:13 am

Pope Francis Calls for ‘Paradigm Shift’ in Theology for World of Today (National Catholic Register)

Pope Francis has called for a “paradigm shift” in Catholic theology that takes widespread engagement with contemporary science, culture, and people’s lived experience as an essential starting point. Citing the need to deal with “profound cultural transformations,” Pope Francis presented his dramatic vision for the future of Catholic theology in a new Motu Proprio issued earlier today. Titled Ad Theologiam Promovendam, or “to promote theology,” the document revises the statutes of the Pontifical Academy of Theology (PATH) “to make them more suitable for the mission that our time imposes on theology.” “Theology can only develop in a culture of dialogue and encounter between different traditions and different knowledge, between different Christian confessions and different religions, openly engaging with everyone, believers and nonbelievers,” the pope wrote in the apostolic letter. Pope Francis wrote that Catholic theology must experience a “courageous cultural revolution” in order to become a “fundamentally contextual theology.” Guided by Christ’s incarnation into time and space, this approach to theology must be capable of reading and interpreting “the Gospel in the conditions in which men and women live daily, in different geographical, social, and cultural environments,” the pope wrote. The pope contrasted this approach with a theology that is limited to “abstractly re-proposing formulas and schemes from the past” and repeated his long-standing criticism of “desk bound theology.” Instead, he emphasized that theological studies must be open to the world, not as a “‘tactical’ attitude” but as a profound “turning point” in their method, which he said must be “inductive.” Pope Francis emphasized that this bottom-up reenvisioning of theology is necessary to better aid the Church’s evangelizing mission. “A synodal, missionary, and ‘outgoing’ Church can only correspond to an ‘outgoing’ theology,” the pope wrote. Relatedly, Pope Francis said, this dialogical approach can allow theology to “broaden the boundaries” of scientific reasoning, allowing it to overcome dehumanizing tendencies...

Editado: Nov 7, 12:55 pm

Synod, soccer, sexuality: Pope gives another wide-ranging interview (NCR)

In an hourlong interview with Italy's main news program, Pope Francis announced he would travel to Dubai in early December for the U.N. Climate Change Conference, COP28. He also revealed that he speaks every day with the priest and women religious at Holy Family Church in Gaza, that he was pleased with the assembly of the Synod of Bishops on synodality and that when he insists the church is open to "all, all, all," that includes LGBTQ+ Catholics... On more serious issues, Francis repeated his conviction that "every war is a defeat," and said he is afraid of the possible expansion of the fighting between Israel and Hamas, although he believes human reason will prevail to prevent that. Asked about antisemitic acts of vandalism in response to the conflict, Francis said that while antisemitism sometimes is "hidden," or goes underground, it seems to never go away. "I can't explain it, but it's a fact that I see and I don't like." On the Oct. 4-29 assembly of the Synod of Bishops, the pope said, "The result is positive. Everything was discussed with full freedom, and this is a beautiful thing." Chiocci noted that members of the assembly spoke about gay Catholics, and he asked if the pope was satisfied with the discussion. "When I say 'everyone, everyone, everyone,' it's the people. The church receives people, everyone, and does not ask what you are. Then, within the church, everyone grows and matures in their Christian belonging. It's true that today it's a bit fashionable to talk about this. The church receives everyone"...

Nov 9, 1:20 pm

Pope Francis' approach to theology continues reception of Vatican II (NCR)

Pope Francis recently issued a short apostolic letter motu proprio titled "Ad Theologiam Promovendam." The text introduces new statutes for the Pontifical Academy of Theology and, in so doing, captures some of the essential reforms Francis has initiated. In a sense, this document achieves at the theoretical level what the Holy Father said in a more specific form in his recent responses to some dubia submitted by five intransigent cardinals. It was not simply that the pope suggested the questions posed by the cardinals were too small, but that they were poorly focused, abstract and removed from any concern with whether their singular focus on doctrinal clarity would help bring people closer to the Lord. Standing behind both the papal response to the dubia and this latest motu proprio is the attitude shown by Jesus toward the Pharisees in Chapter 23 of St. Matthew's Gospel, which we heard this past Sunday: "For they preach but they do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry and lay them on people's shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them. All their works are performed to be seen"... the pope's intention is clear: Theology, like doctrine, must serve the church's primary goal, the salvation of souls. To achieve this, it must be engaged in the world it seeks to evangelize, and not just engaged intellectually...

Nov 10, 4:23 am

Pope Francis: It’s Our Duty to Give a Voice to Women Who are Victims of Abuse (ACI Africa)

Pope Francis has underlined that it is “everyone’s responsibility” to aid women who are victims of abuse and domestic violence by giving a “voice to our voiceless sisters.” In a message to an Italian campaign to end violence against women published on Nov. 8, the pope urged the importance of educational action that “places the dignity of the person at the center.” “It is our duty, everyone’s responsibility, to give voice to our voiceless sisters: women who are victims of abuse, exploitation, marginalization, and inappropriate pressure,” Pope Francis said. “Let us not remain indifferent! It is necessary to act now, at all levels, with determination, urgency, and courage”...

Nov 11, 12:39 pm

Pope Francis fires Texan bishop after criticism of reforms (BBC)

Pope Francis has fired the Texan bishop Joseph Strickland, a fierce critic who has questioned the Pope's leadership of the Catholic church. The Vatican said the bishop would be "relieved" of his duties as a result of investigations at his Diocese of Tyler. Bishop Strickland is a leading voice in a branch of US Catholicism that is opposed to the Pope's reforms. His removal comes after Francis spoke of the "backwardness" of some US Catholic church leaders... The Vatican said that the decision to fire him "came after an apostolic visitation ordered by the Pope last June in the Diocese of Tyler". According to Catholic media, the investigation also looked at the handling of financial affairs at the diocese...

Nov 21, 3:42 am

My years as a Catholic priest were a long winter of discontent - until Pope Francis arrived (Irish Times)

There is now a new springtime of hope and promise... after ordination in 1973, I discovered no sign of a commitment to a people’s church and my subsequent 50 years of priesthood (1973-2023) fell naturally into two sections: the first 40 years coinciding with the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI; and the last ten years with the pontificate of Pope Francis. What emerged was not a respectful conversation with the modern world but a restoration of the old church, principally by John Paul and Benedict, and a clear campaign to shuffle out of sight and out of mind the vision of the Second Vatican Council. It was, in effect, a stunning and shameful rejection of the highest teaching authority of the church. For me and for those of my generation, those 40 years were a long winter of our discontent as the vision of the Second Vatican Council and the hope it represented for the future progressively faded into the mists of history. I (and so many others) waited for the tide to turn, waited for a hero who might lift our hearts and minds again to possibility and promise... Instead of wagging his finger at those who didn’t respond to John Paul’s standards, Francis recommended mercy and compassion. Instead of Benedict describing homosexuals as “intrinsically flawed”, Francis simply asked: “Who am I to judge?” Instead of a restoration of the old church, there is now a rediscovery of the vision of Vatican II. Instead of control by the ordained, there will be governance by the baptised. Instead of an endless winter of discontent, there is now a new springtime of hope and promise. Who would have believed it? Deo gratias.

The article also includes an interesting reflection on the authority of Vatican II and on Rev Professor Kevin McNamara, Archbishop of Dublin, "traditional and conservative but loyal to a fault", "by repute not the most liberal of theologians", who "simply accepted the logic that God had spoken though the vision and documents of Vatican II", saying, "The Pope and the bishops of the world gathered in a general council of the church for Catholics, the highest teaching authority there is, and when a series of documents are voted through by 90-plus per cent majorities, that’s it. Period."

Nov 24, 3:57 am

Pope Francis Expresses "concerns" about German Synodal Way, Says It Threatens Church Unity (ACI Africa)

Pope Francis has expressed deep reservations about the direction of the Catholic Church in Germany, warning that concrete steps currently being taken “threaten” to undermine unity with the universal Church... “There are indeed numerous steps being taken by significant segments of this local Church that threaten to steer it increasingly away from the universal Church’s common path,” the pope wrote... Chief among the pope’s concerns is a push to set up a permanent “Synodal Council,” a mixed body of laity and bishops that would govern the Catholic Church in Germany. Establishing this council is a top priority for the German Synodal Way, a controversial initiative that has demanded significant changes in Church structure and teaching... In his letter, the pope underscored that this kind of “consultative and decision-making body” as currently proposed “is not in alignment with the sacramental structure of the Catholic Church”... Instead of seeking “salvation” in “constantly evolving committees” or “self-absorbed dialogues rehashing the same themes,” the pope underscored the need for the Catholic Church in Germany to be rooted in “prayer, penance, and adoration.” He also called upon German Catholics to “engage with our brothers and sisters” on the margins, especially the sick, imprisoned, and those “at the thresholds of our church doors.” “I firmly believe that in these places, the Lord will guide us,” Pope Francis wrote...

Nov 25, 3:28 am

Pope on Evangelii Gaudium: ‘Redemption marked by the poor’ (Vatican News)

On the 10th anniversary of his apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium”, Pope Francis emphasizes the centrality of the poor in the Church’s joyful proclamation of salvation in Christ...

Nov 29, 3:29 am

Pope revokes privileges of conservative US cardinal critical of church’s reform (Guardian)

Pope Francis has decided to punish one of his highest-ranking critics, Cardinal Raymond Burke, by revoking his right to a subsidized Vatican apartment and salary in the second such radical action against a conservative American prelate this month, according to two people briefed on the measures. Francis told a meeting of the heads of Vatican offices last week that he was moving against Burke because he was a source of “disunity” in the church... Francis said he was removing Burke’s privileges of having a subsidized Vatican apartment and a salary as a retired cardinal because he was using the privileges against the church, said another person who was subsequently briefed on the pope’s measures...

Dez 2, 12:47 am

Pope asks theologians to help 'de-masculinize' the church (NCR)

Asking pardon for speaking plainly, Pope Francis told members of the International Theological Commission that "one of the great sins we have had is 'masculinizing' the church," which also can be seen by the fact that only five of the commission members are women. The pope, who appoints the 28 members of the commission, said the church needs to make more progress in balancing such bodies because "women have a capacity for theological reflection that is different from what we men have"... Francis said having more women on the commission would help, but the theologians also need to dedicate more energy to studying the issue and to "de-masculinizing" the church... Francis encouraged commission members to continue work on "an evangelizing theology that promotes dialogue with the world of culture," and decides what questions and challenges to focus on by listening to concerns that come from the grassroots. The pope also focused on the commission's work helping the Catholic Church prepare to celebrate the 1,700th anniversary of the Council of Nicaea. A rediscovery of the council and its teachings, he said, can help the church in evangelization, in growing in synodality and in the search for Christian unity... Theologians, the pope said, need to help "spread new and surprising glimmers of the eternal light of Christ" in the church and "in the darkness of the world."

Dez 3, 4:22 am

Pope Francis to COP28: Environmental Destruction is "an offense against God" (ACI Africa)

Pope Francis called the destruction of the environment “an offense against God” in a message given to the participants in the U.N. climate summit on Saturday... "a sin that is not only personal but also structural, one that greatly endangers all human beings, especially the most vulnerable in our midst, and threatens to unleash a conflict between generations”... the pope underlined the need for “multilateralism” to establish “global and effective rules” to fight climate change. “Climate change signals the need for political change. Let us emerge from the narrowness of self-interest and nationalism; these are approaches belonging to the past,” he said. The pope called it “disturbing” that “global warming has been accompanied by a general cooling of multilateralism, a growing lack of trust within the international community.” “How much energy is humanity wasting on numerous wars … conflicts that will not solve problems but only increase them!” he added. Pope Francis described environmental protections as part of “a culture of life” and underlined that attempts to shift blame for climate change onto the poor or high birth rates “must be firmly dispelled.” “Births are not a problem, but a resource: They are not opposed to life, but for life, whereas certain ideological and utilitarian models now being imposed with a velvet glove on families and peoples constitute real forms of colonization,” he said. “Let us join in embracing an alternative vision: this will help to bring about an ecological conversion, for ‘there are no lasting changes without cultural changes’ (Laudate Deum, 70),” the pope added. “In this regard, I would assure you of the commitment and support of the Catholic Church, which is deeply engaged in the work of education and of encouraging participation by all, as well as in promoting sound lifestyles, since all are responsible and the contribution of each is fundamental”...

Dez 3, 9:07 am

>120 John5918: Beg to differ on the birthrate--I don't think birthrate is blamed right now as much as western-style consumption--but we ARE reaching limits of world resources to support all of us and more. We need to revisit "multiply". Being defensive about high birthrate in this context unnecessarily weakens Francis's larger influence, I think.

World Consumes 100 Billion Tons of Materials Every Year, Report Finds
Yale Environment 360 | January 24, 2020
This article was originally published by The Guardian.

Dez 5, 11:51 pm

>119 John5918: Pope meets Council of Cardinals to discuss Church’s feminine dimension (Vatican News)

the Council of Cardinals is focusing its reflections on the “feminine dimension of the Church." “The Church is woman,” said Pope Francis on that occasion. “If we do not understand what woman is or what the theology of womanhood is, we will never understand what the Church is.” He also described the "masculinizing" of the Church as a “great sin,” which has yet to be resolved. The Pope appealed to a distinction proposed by Jesuit theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar, who described a “Petrine” or ministerial principle, and a “Marian” or mystical principle. “The Marian is more important than the Petrine,” Pope Francis said, “because there is the bride Church, the woman Church, without being masculine”...

Editado: Dez 5, 11:59 pm

>121 margd:

I would say it doesn't have to be a zero sum either/or. I think the pope and many outside of the rich industrialised nations object to pressurising people to have less children (which generally means people in the Global South) while the Global North makes no real effort to reduce its consumption and pollution, which are the root casues of the climate crisis. Poverty is one of the reasons for large families in the Global South, and where the standard of living has improved, generally the number of children decreases, so the dual approach of removing the obstacles to development in poorer countries and reducing the consumption and pollution in richer countries should go hand in hand.

Dez 6, 4:42 am

> 123 A sociological study in Thailand found there, at least, that people desired fewer children when
1. basic health/med services made it more likely that children would survive +
2. education promised a more prosperous future (and education costs, even if just uniforms initially).

Cultural values play a role as well, intrinsic as well as religious "multiply" / no contraceptives. For example, in Thailand, in contrast to some other Asian countries, families desire one of each gender among their two-three children. Thai practice is for the youngest daughter (with husband) to move in to care for aged parents--and that youngest daughter inherits the home.

It may look different in the Global South, but there was much more emphasis 50 years ago on zero population growth? I seem to recall much alarm as we approached six billion people, but "green revolution" promised to feed us all, and this year (2023) we're projected to number eight billion. Extreme weather events and trade issues (Russia...) seem to indicate limits of our current food system.

Especially problematic as newly prosperous people aspire to wicked ways of west, e.g., beef consumption in China. Ironically, most beef-eaters in west are now older, white men, so this climate factor may soon ease here? (Fingers crossed.)

>120 John5918: "the Global North makes no real effort to reduce its consumption and pollution"

Not enough I agree, but "no real effort"?

I think someone in Vatican was worried about blowback on Church's historical preference for number of souls, and thus added defensive verbiage. This would have been good opportunity to "mea culpa" a bit. Pope's voice on climate would have been stronger IMO.

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