On Marian feast, Pope Francis prays for holiness

Rome, Italy, Dec 8, 2013 / 11:29 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On a day dedicated to celebrating the Mother of God, Pope Francis made a special trip in Rome to pray before a traditional statue of Mary.“Enkindle in all of us a renewed desire for holiness: may our words glow with the splendor of truth, may our works resound with the song of charity, may purity and chastity live in our bodies and in our hearts, may our lives express the presence of all the beauty of the gospel,” he prayed on … [Read more...]

Pope says Mary’s whole existence is ‘yes’ to God

Vatican City, Dec 8, 2013 / 09:52 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Francis focused his Sunday Angelus message on the importance of Mary as a model for the Christian life.“The Virgin Mary is not far from this love (of God): all of her life, all of her being is a ‘yes’ to God,” he said to the crowds filling St. Peter’s Square Dec. 8.“Let us look at her, and let us look to her,” encouraged Pope Francis, … [Read more...]

Children at ‘Pope’s Hospital’ counting down to Pontiff’s Christmas visit

Rome, Italy, Dec 8, 2013 / 08:02 am (CNA).- The children at the Bambino Gesu Pediatric Hospital in Rome – known locally as the “Pope's Hospital” – are enthusiastic about Pope Francis' Christmas visit, scheduled for December 21. In statements to CNA, the president of the hospital, Giuseppe Profiti, said news of the visit has been “joyfully welcomed by the personnel and has spread quickly among the young patients and their families as well.” The … [Read more...]

Pope says caring for sick brings ‘the smile of God’

Vatican City, Dec 7, 2013 / 05:39 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis released his message for the World Day of the Sick Dec. 7, emphasizing the important role of hope both for those who suffer and for their caregivers.“When we come together, with tenderness, with those who have need of care, we carry the hope and the smile of God in contradiction to the world,” said the Pope’s message.Because of Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection, Pope Francis explained, … [Read more...]

Reforms aim to show ‘true face of the Church,’ says Vatican official

Rome, Italy, Dec 7, 2013 / 04:19 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis’ style and ongoing reforms are intended to encourage Catholics to be more missionary, in order to bring the Gospel to all people, said Archbishop Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State. “It’s very easy to work with Pope Bergoglio. There is a lot of agreement, and this is great hope for the future,” Archbishop Parolin said. He emphasized the Holy Father's desire for reforms that “show … [Read more...]

Pope: Neglect of human dignity causes ‘practical atheism’

Vatican City, Dec 7, 2013 / 02:09 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- On Saturday afternoon Pope Francis met with members of an international organization that promotes human dignity, warning them against a “false model” of humanity.“Unfortunately, in our time, so full of so many hopes and achievements, there are powers and forces that end up producing a ‘throw-away culture’; and this tends to become a common mentality,”  said the pontiff on Dec. 7. “The … [Read more...]

Catholic leaders recall Mandela’s complicated legacy

Washington D.C., Dec 7, 2013 / 01:14 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Church leaders in the United States offered prayers for the late Nelson Mandela, remembering both his courageous anti-apartheid leadership and his promotion of one of the world’s most liberal abortion laws. Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York, called Mandela “a hero to the world.” “His bravery in defending human rights against the great evil of apartheid made him a symbol of courage and dignity, … [Read more...]