Pope receives, blesses lambs ahead of pallium ceremony

Vatican City, Jan 21, 2014 / 04:43 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis marked the Feast of St. Agnes Jan. 21 by receiving and blessing the lambs whose wool is used to weave pallia for new archbishops. The lambs had been raised by the nuns of the Roman convent of San Lorenzo in Panisperna, and the Canons Regular of the Basilica of St. John Lateran presented the lambs to the Pope at his residence Casa Santa Martha. The pallium is a liturgical vestment the Pope and metropolitan archbishops wear … [Read more...]

Vatican to appeal for reconciliation at Syrian peace conference

Geneva, Switzerland, Jan 21, 2014 / 04:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis' continual focus on the Syrian civil war will contribute to the Holy See playing a key role at the “Geneva II” international peace conference, due to start tomorrow, Jan. 22. The Geneva II meeting aims at a political settlement to the Syrian conflict, providing for a transitional government in the country which has been mired in conflict since March, 2011. The conference will include representatives of … [Read more...]

God always chooses the ‘little ones,’ Pope Francis reflects

Vatican City, Jan 21, 2014 / 01:05 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In his daily Mass, Pope Francis noted how God seeks to have a personal relationship with each of us, emphasizing that he favors those who are humble and small because he is able to dialogue with them. “There is a relationship between God and us little ones: God, when he must choose people, even his own people, he always chooses the little ones,” the Pope said during his Jan. 21 homily. Addressing those who were present in … [Read more...]

Vatican seeks to cut cost of canonizations

Vatican City, Jan 21, 2014 / 12:09 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In an effort to relieve inequalities among the causes of potential saints, steps are being taken to reduce the costs associated with the canonization process, according to a Vatican official. According to the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, has said the cost-reduction is in response to a Holy See request to standardize and provide more public … [Read more...]

President Obama’s March visit confirmed by Vatican

Vatican City, Jan 21, 2014 / 09:30 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi has confirmed that in March of this year President Barack Obama during a European trip will stop in Rome where he is scheduled to meet with Pope Francis. As the final part of President Obama's visit to Europe – during which he will travel to the Netherlands, Belgium, and Italy – the Pope and the president will meet on March 27, Fr. Lombardi told CNA Jan. 21. In a statement … [Read more...]

Ukrainian archbishop calls for peace amid violent protests

Vatican City, Jan 21, 2014 / 05:56 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In wake of increasing violence due to ongoing political protests, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk is petitioning his countrymen to pray for peace and unity as political unrest continues. “With great dismay and sadness we witness the events taking place at the moment in Kyiv,” the archbishop lamented in a Jan. 21 statement released on Vatican Radio. “In view of these exceptional circumstances,” he … [Read more...]

Thousands defend Holy See’s UN status against attacks

New York City, N.Y., Jan 21, 2014 / 04:35 am (CNA).- Catholics have joined with members of other faiths to support the Holy See's permanent observer status at the United Nations, defending against a group of abortion proponents seeking to oust the body from the international organization. “The Holy See’s special status enables it to encourage genuine dialogue, promote peaceful resolution of conflicts, and appeal beyond the mere territorial interests of states to the … [Read more...]