Posts Tagged ‘vatican’

Vatican announces commission to streamline marriage process

Vatican City, Sep 21, 2014 / 12:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis will establish a commission to review the matrimonial process in canon law with the goal of simplifying the procedure while maintaining the indissolubility of marriage, the Holy See P…

Pope Francis taps Blase Cupich to lead Chicago archdiocese

Vatican City, Sep 20, 2014 / 05:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis has appointed Spokane, Wash. Bishop Blase Cupich as the new shepherd of the Archdiocese of Chicago, replacing retiring Cardinal Francis George.

The 65-year-old prelate was named Chicago’s new archbishop on Sept. 20.

He sits on numerous committees at the U.S. bishop’s conference including the Subcommittee on the Church in Central and Eastern Europe.

Born in Omaha, Neb. In 1949, he was ordained a priest in 1975 and studied at the College of St. Thomas in Minnesota as well as the Pontifical College of North America in Rome. In 1998, he was named bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota, and in 2010, he was named bishop of Spokane.

He will replace Cardinal George, who submitted his resignation two years ago, when he turned 75, as is required by Canon Law.

The 77-year-old cardinal has struggled with his health, facing cancer three times. After being diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2006, he underwent a five-hour operation to remove his bladder, prostate gland and sections of his ureters, the tubes which connect the kidneys to the bladder. In August 2012, cancerous cells were discovered in his kidney and in a nodule that was removed from his liver. He underwent chemotherapy, and the cancer cells in his kidney became dormant.

Cardinal George was born in Chicago on Jan. 16, 1937 and is the first native of Chicago to become archbishop of the city. Pope John Paul II named him Bishop of Yakima in Washington State in 1990. After serving for five years, he was appointed archbishop of Portland, Oregon, on April 30, 1996.

Less than a year later, on April 8, 1997, Pope John Paul II named him the eighth Archbishop of Chicago after the See had fallen vacant with the death of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin on Nov. 14, 1996.

Vatican sources deny that Pope is upset over cardinals’ marriage book

Vatican City, Sep 19, 2014 / 05:01 pm (CNA).- Catholic Church sources have dismissed rumors that Pope Francis is annoyed by an Ignatius Press book critical of Cardinal Walter Kasper’s position on Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried.

Bodily resurrection is key to Christian identity, Pope reminds

Vatican City, Sep 19, 2014 / 03:37 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Bodily resurrection is a reality which is the seal of our identity as Christians, Pope Francis said in his Friday morning homily at Santa Marta.

Pointing to the people of Corinth, whom St. Paul…

Being honest about our sin ‘opens us to the Lord’s caress’

Vatican City, Sep 18, 2014 / 06:10 am (CNA/EWTN News).- At daily Mass, Pope Francis drew from the Gospel reading of the woman who washed Christ’s feet with her tears – noting God’s tender response to those who have the humility to acknowledge their sin.

“…the ability to acknowledge our own sins, to acknowledge our misery, to acknowledge what we are and what we are capable of doing or have done is the very door that opens us to the Lord’s caress, His forgiveness,” the Pope said during his homily the morning of Sept. 18.

He reflected on the Gospel passage from the seventh chapter of Luke, recalling how Jesus was visiting the house of a prominent Pharisee – “a person of a certain level of culture.”

Although the Pharisee “wanted to listen to Jesus” on an intellectual level, he is baffled by the contrite woman who approaches Christ and washes his feet with her tears.

“He cannot understand the simple gesture: the simple gestures of the people. Perhaps this man had forgotten how to caress a baby, how to console a grandmother.”

“In his theories, his thoughts, his life of government – because perhaps he was a councilor of the Pharisees – he had forgotten the simple gestures of life, the very first things that we all, as newborns, received from our parents.”

The Pharisee “is not a bad man,” Pope Francis emphasized, but he simply “cannot understand the woman’s actions.”

Far from shaming the Pharisee, however, Jesus responds to him “with humility and tenderness,” as  “his patience, his love, the desire to save everyone” compels him to explain the woman’s action.

Amid the surprise of the surrounding guests, Christ says to the woman: “Your sins are forgiven. Go in peace, your faith has saved you!”

“He only says the word salvation – ‘Your faith has saved you’ – to the woman, who is a sinner. And he says it because she was able to weep for her sins, to confess her sins, to say ‘I am a sinner,’ and admit it to herself.”

“He doesn’t say the same to those people, who were not bad people: they simply did not believe themselves to be sinners. Other people were sinners: the tax collectors, prostitutes … These were the sinners,” Pope Francis said.

“Jesus says this word – ‘You are saved, you are safe – only to those who open their hearts and acknowledge that they are sinners,” he emphasized.

“Salvation only enters our hearts when we open them to the truth of our sins.”

Curia reform advances as cardinals, minors protection group meet

Vatican City, Sep 18, 2014 / 04:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- As Pope Francis’ council of cardinals for curia reform gather this week in Rome, the newly-created Pontifical Commission for Protection for minors will soon meet to finish creating its statutes.

Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican’s press office, announced in a briefing with journalists Sep. 17 that the commission will hold its next meeting Oct. 4-5.

Monsignor Robert W. Oliver was appointed secretary of the commission Sep. 10, and that same day Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston was confirmed president of the commission.

As the commission takes shape, Fr. Lombardi underscored that “in the next few weeks other very important aspects will be specified regarding the statutes and further members of the commission.”

Msgr. Oliver immediately stressed that his first effort will be that of identifying new members for the commission, in order to include Asia, Africa and South America and thus represent all the world geographical areas.

The new secretary will also work on the statutes, harmonizing with the work of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Speaking on the sixth overall gathering of the cardinals’ council which took place this time around from Sep. 15-17, Fr. Lombardi said that a draft introduction of the new constitution for general curia reform “was also drawn up and distributed.”

The council was chosen by Pope Francis shortly after his election in 2013 to advise him on matters of Church governance and curia reform. As part of this effort, the minors’ protection committee was launched within the year. It aims to provide a model for practices which provide an adequate and pastoral response to situations of abuse.

Fr. Lombardi said that Cardinal Oscar Andrés Maradiaga, coordinator of the council, “has prepared an overall plan to facilitate the organization of the contributions and reflections already offered during the previous meetings and the integration of new ones.”

Each cardinal of the council has been entrusted with a specific area he has to deal with, and each of them has presented several proposals.

During the last meeting, the council focused on two principal topics, Fr. Lombardi said.

The first “includes the themes of the laity and the family,” a “very broad area, encompassing many issues, including for instance the role of women in society and in the Church, youth, childhood or matters related to lay associations.”

The second dealt with “themes linked to justice and peace, charity, migrants and refugees, health and the protection of life and ecology, especially human ecology,” he recounted.

Both of this discussion dealt about how “these topics may be included in the Curia reform,” Fr. Lombardi said.

It has been widely speculated that the curia reform will streamline its offices by creating two super-congregations: one for Justice and Peace, which would include the Pontifical Councils for Justice and Peace, Migrants and Cor Unum; and another Congregation for Laity, including competences and offices of the Pontifical Councils for Laity, Family and Pastoral Health Care.

The next meetings of cardinals are scheduled for Dec. 9-11 of this year and Feb. 9-11, 2015.

Pope Francis uses fast-track move to canonize first Sri Lankan

Vatican City, Sep 17, 2014 / 09:54 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Blessed Joseph Vaz will soon become Sri Lanka’s first saint after Pope Francis Sept. 17 advanced his cause for canonization by waiving the requirement for a second miracle.

The canonization of the 16th century cleric is expected to take place during the Holy Father’s visit to Sri Lanka in January, 2015.

An Indian-born priest of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, Blessed Joseph Vaz (1651-1711) he became an “apostle” for Sri Lanka at a time when Catholics were suffering persecution at the hands of Calvinist Dutch rulers.

The soon-to-be declared saint was also also the  founder of the Oratory of the Holy Cross of Miracles in Goa.

Typically, two miracles attributed to a Blessed are required before he or she can be declared a saint.

Donald Prudlo, an associate professor of ancient and medieval history for Jacksonville State University, told CNA that it’s within the realm of the Pope’s authority to dispense with this second miracle.

He stressed, however, that the presence of at least one miracle is essential. Without this, “it would be difficult to call it a canonization in the strict sense…since at the very heart of public sanctity in the Church is holiness of life, confirmed by the testimony of God in miracles.”

An example of such a decision by a pontiff was evidenced earlier this year when Pope Francis canonized John XXIII without the presence of a second miracle.

“The Pope clearly wants to provide an example of holiness that is relatable to the people of Sri Lanka,” Prudlo said.

True Christians aren’t elitist – they generate life, Pope says

Vatican City, Sep 17, 2014 / 06:19 am (CNA/EWTN News).- At his weekly general audience Pope Francis spoke on what it means to evangelize, calling it apostolic work born of an encounter with Christ rather than lifeless efforts from the self-appointed “elect.”

He also asked for prayers for his upcoming trip to Albania on Sept. 21, saying that his choice to visit the country was because of the suffering endured on account of “a terrible atheist regime and is now realizing peaceful coexistence among its various religious components.”

Earlier in the morning, Pope Francis offered catechesis to those gathered in the square, reflecting on the words “catholicity” and “apostolic.”

The Church, the Pope said, shows her “catholicity” – or “universality” – by speaking all languages which is the effect of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit gave to the apostles and the whole Church the gift of proclaiming the good news of God’s salvation and love to all, even to the ends of the earth.”

The Church is also by its nature missionary, “given to evangelization and encounter” – in other words, apostolic.

In off-the-cuff remarks, Pope Francis noted how today the Gospel is available in every language. For this reason, he said, it is a good habit to carry a copy of the Gospel with us in our pocket or purse to read throughout the day.

“The Gospel is available in every language,” he said, “because the Church, the message of Jesus Christ redeemer, is in all the world.” This is why one can say that the Church is Catholic, and universal.

To say that the Church is born Catholic, the Pope said, is to say that it is “born to go out” – “born missionary.”

Had the apostles remained in the Upper Room without going out to proclaim the Gospel, he continued, the Church would have consisted solely of the people in that city, in the Upper Room.

“But they all went out to the world,” he said, “from the moment of the Church’s birth, from the moment in which the Holy Spirit came, and for this reason, the Church was born “in going out” – that is, missionary.

Pope Francis added that those of us living today are in “continuity” with the Apostles who went out after having received the Holy Spirit.

The Church’s call to proclaim the Gospel, showing the “tenderness and power of God,” the Pope continued, “flows from Pentecost.”

He also warned against sentiments of those Christians who see themselves as being among the “elect,” saying that they die, first in spirit then in body.
“Such people do not have life,” he said, nor do they “have the capacity to generate life… they are not apostles.”

Rather, he said, “the Spirit compels us to encounter our brothers and sisters, even those most distant from us in every way, to share with them the love, peace, and joy of the Risen Lord.”

Pope’s Albania visit will draw from past, look to future

Vatican City, Sep 16, 2014 / 08:31 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis’ upcoming Albanian visit will highlight Mother Teresa, honor the martyrs of Albania’s atheistic past, and suggest the country’s potential as a model for religious co…

God’s path is closeness and compassion, Pope preaches

Vatican City, Sep 16, 2014 / 12:06 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis on Tuesday focused on the importance of giving hope to the world by imitating Jesus Christ’s closeness to God’s people.

“When God visits his people he restores ho…

Hide me
Sign up below to have the hottest Catholic news delivered to your email daily!
Enter your email address:
Show me