Pope Francis strengthens commission for the protection of minors

Vatican City, Dec 17, 2014 / 02:04 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis appointed eight new members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors on Wednesday, completing the ranks of the commission with a balanced geographical representation in doing so. “The commission was enlarged with the purpose of having an interdisciplinary view, with different perspectives coming from several part of the world,” Msgr. Robert W. Oliver, secretary of the Pontifical Commission, … [Read more...]

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Tea and cake for Pope Francis as he celebrates 78th birthday

Vatican City, Dec 17, 2014 / 09:45 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Shouts of “Tanti auguri” – or, “Happy Birthday!” – filled St. Peter's Square Wednesday morning as Pope Francis circled around throngs of pilgrims on his popemobile during the weekly general audience. The Holy Father, who turned 78 on Dec. 17, stopped to blow out the candles on a cake given to him by group of Legionaries of Christ seminarians. He also took a sip of mate tea – a traditional … [Read more...]

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An Advent gift: God’s mercy in the confessional, cardinal says

Vatican City, Dec 17, 2014 / 06:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- As Christmas approaches, priests and penitents should remind themselves of the “miracle” of confession and how we should approach the sacrament with “full freedom,” a Vatican cardinal says. Cardinal Mauro Piacenza called the season of Advent is a time of “particularly attentive waiting,” a time both of men awaiting God and of God awaiting men, “whom he loves.” “The Lord sets … [Read more...]

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Pope: Mary and Joseph exemplify mission, vocation of family life

Vatican City, Dec 17, 2014 / 05:06 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis spoke today about Jesus’ choice to be born into a family, saying that it shows the importance of the vocation, which Mary and Joseph epitomized through their everyday holiness. “We can learn so much from Mary and Joseph, and especially from their love for Jesus. They help us to rediscover the vocation and mission of the family, of every family,” the Roman Pontiff told pilgrims present in St. Peter’s … [Read more...]

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An early Christmas present: Pope Francis to meet man serving life sentence

Vatican City, Dec 17, 2014 / 12:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- As inmates are moved by a letter Pope Francis has sent to the prison of a small town in central Italy, the news broke that a man serving a life sentence will be among those at an audience with Pope Francis Dec. 20. The Saturday meeting will be between the Roman Pontiff and members of the Community Pope John XXIII, which was founded by Fr. Oreste Benzi, who died in 2007. Members of the community will be received by Pope Francis on the … [Read more...]

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Only a repentant heart will receive salvation, Pope Francis says

Vatican City, Dec 16, 2014 / 01:14 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis touched on the importance of being humble and open to the Lord's correction, encouraging the faithful to offer him their sins to God in order to be saved. “The humble, poor people that trust in the Lord: these are the ones who are saved and this is the way of the Church, isn’t it?” the Pope asked during his Dec. 16 daily mass in the Vatican's Saint Martha Guesthouse. “This is the path I … [Read more...]

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Final report: Vatican thanks women religious, stresses focus on Christ

Vatican City, Dec 16, 2014 / 09:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican has published the results of its apostolic visitation examining the quality of religious communities across the U.S. in a report described as realistic yet encouraging. Voicing thanks to women religious for their service to the Church, the Vatican congregation in charge of religious life also encouraged them to remember to keep Christ at the center of their communities. The congregation asked the women religious to … [Read more...]

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