Pope Francis calls Spanish convent for the second time

Vatican City, Aug 4, 2014 / 08:16 am (CNA).- Calling a Carmelite convent in Lucena, Spain, for the second time since December, Pope Francis contacted the nuns asking them to give his affection and blessing to all the people in their town. According to COPE, a Spanish radio network that is partially owned by Spain’s Episcopal Conference, Pope Francis sent his “affection, health and blessing” to the city of Lucena during a Saturday, Aug. 2, phone call. It was roughly 4:30 … [Read more...]

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Provide for the needs of the poor, Pope exhorts

Vatican City, Aug 3, 2014 / 02:29 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- At Sunday's Angelus address at the Vatican, Pope Francis called on those receiving his message to care first for the poor, before concerning themselves with their own wants and needs. “Jesus teaches us to put the needs of the poor ahead of our own,” he said Aug. 3 at St. Peter's Square. “Our needs, even if legitimate, will never be so urgent as those of the poor, who lack the necessities of life.” He … [Read more...]

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Pope surprises Jesuits for dinner on feast of Saint Ignatius

Vatican City, Aug 1, 2014 / 08:35 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In honor of the feast commemorating the founder of their order, Pope Francis made a last minute phone call to the head of the Jesuit General Curia expressing his desire to eat dinner with them. According to an Aug. 1 statement issued by the Jesuits, “It was only at the last moment that he told Father General that this was his wish.” The Roman Pontiff arrived to the community in his small Ford Focus, and made a point to … [Read more...]

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Vatican announces desire for more restrained sign of peace at Mass

Vatican City, Jul 31, 2014 / 05:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Congregation for Divine Worship, in a recent circular letter, announced that the placement of the sign of peace within Mass will not change, though it suggested several ways the rite could be performed with greater dignity. “The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments … pronounced in favor of maintaining the 'rite' and 'sign' of peace in the place it has now in the Ordinary of … [Read more...]

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Vatican releases schedule for Pope’s trip to Albania

Vatican City, Jul 31, 2014 / 07:46 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis will make a one-day trip to Albania in September, during which he is slated to meet with local authorities, priests and religious as well as children from charitable institutions. The Pope’s visit was announced earlier this summer for Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. It marks the second time a Roman Pontiff will visit the country, the first being Pope Saint John Paul II in 1993. Upon his arrival to the Albanian capital … [Read more...]

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Christians a fundamental part of Iraq, ambassador observes

Vatican City, Jul 31, 2014 / 05:16 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Iraqi ambassador to the Holy See has lamented the ongoing persecution of Christians by ISIS forces in Iraq, stating that they are an important and historic part of the country’s origins. “Right now with the entrance of these jihadists, ISIS, they have imposed the sword and want to kill the Christians,” Habbib M.H. Al-Sadr told CNA July 24, 2014. “This is outside of our culture, of our history, because the … [Read more...]

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Change of heart toward money called crucial in trafficking fight

Vatican City, Jul 30, 2014 / 02:56 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- At a Vatican conference held Tuesday to mark the World Day against Trafficking, a U.S. diplomat emphasized that the scourge will not be ended until the economic attitudes that lead to human trafficking are changed. “One cannot simply protect the victims, and bring the victims into a place of safety, if one doesn’t do anything to change the underlying cultural assumptions that help create and foster this slavery, this … [Read more...]

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