Papal blessing proceeds will soon go to poor – not shopkeepers

Vatican City, Sep 9, 2014 / 12:27 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Papal blessing certificates, often bought to mark weddings and first Communions, will soon only be available for purchase directly from the Vatican where the funds will be allocated to charity. Come January 2015, local shops surrounding the Vatican will be prohibited from selling scrolls which have been blessed by the Pope. Until now, shops have sold the scrolls to tourists and pilgrims for anywhere between 10 and 50 euros, with only … [Read more...]

Despite violence, rumors of Nigeria split called a false alarm

Vatican City, Sep 8, 2014 / 12:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama spoke out in the wake of more violent attacks in Nigeria, saying that although fears are high, rumors that the country is following a similar pattern as Iraq are exaggerated. “It is too alarmist to talk of a break up of Nigeria because of Boko Haram activities,” Archbishop Kaigama of Jos and spokesman for the Bishops Conference of Nigeria told CNA Sept. 5. He drew attention to how more than 490 … [Read more...]

God is a creator – not a magician, Pope Francis says

Vatican City, Sep 8, 2014 / 09:17 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Meditating on the feast of Mary's Nativity during his morning Mass, Pope Francis said that God is a creator who has endowed men and women with a free will and has accompanied us throughout history. The Pope told the congregation Sept. 8 that God “is the God of time, the God of history. He is the God who walks with his children,” until the “fullness of time” when his Son is made Man. The Lord accompanies … [Read more...]

War is never inevitable: Pope Francis rues ‘senseless slaughter’

Vatican City, Sep 8, 2014 / 05:30 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a message to inter-religious faith leaders attending a conference on peace, Pope Francis said there are always alternatives to war and urged participants to seek avenues of dialogue. “War is never a necessity, nor is it inevitable. Another way can always be found: the way of dialogue, encounter and the sincere search for truth,” Pope Francis said in his Sept. 7 message to conference attendees. Organized by the Italian … [Read more...]

Pope prays for peace in Ukraine, Lesotho

Vatican City, Sep 7, 2014 / 08:23 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Addressing thousands of pilgrims in Saint Peter's Square during his weekly Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis called for peace in Ukraine and Lesotho. After the recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father expressed his hope that, despite recent acts of violence in the region, the people of Ukraine might find relief amid the ongoing conflict. He prayed for the continuation of dialogue as efforts are made to bring about lasting … [Read more...]

Pope Francis pursues a thaw in relations with mainland China

Vatican City, Sep 6, 2014 / 04:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Facing mixed signals coming from the government on the Chinese mainland regarding dealings with the Vatican, Pope Francis hopes to warm their relationship and someday establish a diplomatic representative in Beijing. A thaw has seemingly flourished between the People's Republic of China and the Holy See, following the nearly simultaneous accessions of Pope Francis and Xi Jinping, president of China – March 13 and March 14, 2013, … [Read more...]

Jesus brings us the ‘new wine’ of joy, Pope Francis says

Vatican City, Sep 5, 2014 / 07:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his daily homily on Friday Pope Francis discussed how the Pharisees condemned Jesus' apostles for not fasting, saying that Jesus renews the old law and brings a new Gospel of joy. “One cannot understand the mentality of these Doctors of the Law – for example – these Pharisaical 'teachers,'” the Pope told mass attendees gathered in the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse Sept. 5. “The … [Read more...]