Pope Francis: Christians worldwide are ‘united in blood’

Vatican City, Dec 16, 2013 / 04:04 pm (CNA).- In an interview with Italian newspaper La Stampa Dec. 15, Pope Francis called ecumenical dialogue a priority of his pontificate, noting that Christians of all traditions face the same persecution today. “For me ecumenism is a priority. Today there is an ecumenism of blood. In some countries they kill Christians for wearing a cross or having a Bible and before they kill them they do not ask them whether they are Anglican, Lutheran, Catholic … [Read more...]

New Pope interview touches on Church political reform

Vatican City, Dec 16, 2013 / 12:03 pm (CNA).- Pope Francis' recent interview with Italian newspaper La Stampa Dec. 15 addressed some of the more political issues in the Church, including reform of the curia and changes to the Vatican banking system. When questioned about the council of eight cardinals Pope Francis appointed one month after his election to help and advise him in sketching out curia reform, the pontiff explained, “I am always present at the meetings, except for … [Read more...]

Pope prays for Church to be ‘free of clericalism’

Vatican City, Dec 16, 2013 / 04:45 am (CNA).- In his daily homily preached in the Santa Marta chapel, Pope Francis emphasized the need for prophets in the Church in order to prevent a negative spirit of legalism from taking over. “May our prayer in these days, in these during which we prepare for the Birth of the Lord, be: ‘Lord, let there not be a lack of prophets among your people!’” he said on Dec. 16. “Lord, free your people from a spirit of clericalism … [Read more...]

Experts warn of ‘ominous trends’ in Western secularism

Rome, Italy, Dec 16, 2013 / 03:15 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Experts on religious liberty cautioned participants at a weekend conference in Rome that discrimination and persecution against Christians is growing in many regions of the world.  Paul Marshall, a senior fellow at the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute, spoke about the causes underlying current global anti-Christian persecution. “Western secularism has been growing in the last few decades,” Marshall … [Read more...]