‘Little’ friars credit vocation boom to Pope’s name

Rome, Italy, May 26, 2015 / 03:33 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Gathered in Rome for their general chapter meeting, members of the Order of Friars Minor – better known as Franciscans – said that while vocations in general have been down in recent years, numbers have begun to rise again after Pope Francis’ election. Polish Friar Fr. Filemon Janka spoke with CNA after the order’s May 26 audience with Pope Francis, saying that his papal name selection “is significant for all … [Read more...]

As synod council meets, ‘shadow council’ pushes acceptance of gay unions

Rome, Italy, May 26, 2015 / 03:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- While the Synod of Bishops' ordinary council gathered to discuss the upcoming Synod on the Family this week, a private group of bishops and experts convened separately behind closed doors in Rome to consider the most controversial issues at the synod, particularly support of gay unions and Communion for the divorced and remarried. Pope Francis chaired the May 25-26 meeting of the Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops, which is … [Read more...]

Think you’re important because you have money? Think again, Pope says

Vatican City, May 26, 2015 / 08:21 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his homily Tuesday Pope Francis cautioned against the “counter-witness” of those who seek to follow both Jesus and worldly temptations, saying that to follow Christ means denying oneself and serving others. “There are three things, three steps that take us away from Jesus: wealth, vanity and pride,” the Pope told attendees of his May 26 Mass in the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse. Riches, he said, … [Read more...]

What does Pope Francis miss most? Walking in the streets, eating pizza at restaurants

Vatican City, May 25, 2015 / 02:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In a recent interview with an Argentine newspaper, Pope Francis said he misses the “tranquillity of walking in the streets” and that he's always been “callejero” – a man of the city. The interview was published May 24, and is the result of a 45 minute meeting between the pontiff and a journalist and photographer from “La voz del Pueblo.” They spoke in the Vatican's Saint Martha residence … [Read more...]

A ‘reality check’ for Ireland’s Church – gay marriage vote both challenge and invitation

Rome, Italy, May 25, 2015 / 10:03 am (Aid to the Church in Need).- The Christian message can't be shaken by a national vote, but Ireland’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage is forcing Catholic leaders to rethink how they have been keeping the faith alive among the nation's young people. “This vote has certainly changed the landscape in which the Church ministers in Ireland and the outcome offers it new and brave challenges,” said Dublin native Monsignor John … [Read more...]

Thousands of people are trapped in the ocean right now – here is Pope Francis’ response

Vatican City, May 25, 2015 / 04:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis has strongly called on the international community to help the scores of migrants who are currently trapped after attempting to cross the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. While around three thousand migrants have managed to make their way to Indonesia, Malaysia, or Thailand, thousands more are believed to be stranded in the middle of the ocean. “I continue to follow with great concern and suffering in my heart the … [Read more...]

Why no one wants to talk about China’s female suicide problem

Rome, Italy, May 24, 2015 / 04:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Zhang Xihuan doesn't know what was going through her mind when she swallowed a mouthful of the pesticide stored behind the staircase in her home in rural Shandong province.    Maybe she was thinking of her neighbors who had ostracized her when she was diagnosed with hepatitis B. Or perhaps she was thinking of the hours spent scraping a living by collecting coal that had fallen on the road en route to nearby … [Read more...]