Syrian patriarch asks Vatican to increase peace efforts

Rome, Italy, Apr 18, 2013 / 05:00 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The most powerful Catholic leader in Syria met Pope Francis today to ask the Vatican to get more involved in bringing peace to his tortured homeland. “I think it’s time the Vatican plays a bigger role, when we hear about weapons here and there,” said Patriarch Gregory III Laham. “We want to hear the voice of the Holy Father saying, ‘This is a sin, it is against humanity,’” he told reporters … [Read more...]

Rejecting Holy Spirit’s work in Vatican II is ‘foolish,’ Pope says

Vatican City, Apr 17, 2013 / 12:09 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The work of the Holy Spirit at the Second Vatican Council is not yet finished, Pope Francis said, because many in the Church are unwilling to fully embrace what God inspired in the council fathers.In his homily at an April 16 Mass at St. Martha’s Residence, the Pope observed that the Holy Spirit always “moves us, makes us walk and pushes the Church forward.”However, he said, we often respond by saying, … [Read more...]

Financial decisions key factor in Pope’s reform drive

Vatican City, Apr 17, 2013 / 09:26 am (CNA/EWTN News).- One month into his papacy, Pope Francis has made his first episcopal and administrative appointments and has met with heads of state and the faithful, but one decision that is likely to play a key role in his reform project will be how he deals with the Vatican’s financial operations. As the Church’s cardinals were preparing to elect the next Pope one month ago, two of them suggested closing down the Institute for Works of … [Read more...]

Jesus’ Ascension means we are never alone, Pope says

Vatican City, Apr 17, 2013 / 05:56 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis proclaimed “we are never alone” and that Jesus is our defender, as he reflected on the Ascension during his Wednesday general audience. “We are never alone in our lives, we have this advocate who waits for us,” the Pope told tens of thousands of pilgrims gathered at Saint Peter’s Square to participate in the April 17 audience. The Pope centered his teaching on the line from the Creed that … [Read more...]

Advisory group will not weaken Pope’s power, analyst explains

Vatican City, Apr 16, 2013 / 01:28 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Although some have worried Pope Francis’ creation of a group of cardinals to advise him means he is giving up some of his papal authority, an expert in Church law says a better description of the move is choosing the members of a cabinet. Paolo Gherri, who teaches the Theology of Canon Law at the Pontifical Lateran University, told CNA in an April 16 interview that he believes Pope Francis “has in some ways chosen the … [Read more...]

Benedict XVI receives birthday greetings from Pope Francis

Vatican City, Apr 16, 2013 / 12:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).-  Pope Francis made a phone call on the morning of April 16 to wish a happy 86th birthday to his predecessor, Benedict XVI.The Holy Father also sent greetings to Benedict’s brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, who has been at Castel Gandolfo with the retired Pope for several days.Both Pope Francis – formerly Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio – and Msgr. Ratzinger will celebrate the feast day of their namesake, St. George, on … [Read more...]

Vatican unveils plans for International Family Center in Nazareth

Vatican City, Apr 16, 2013 / 10:54 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican is moving ahead with plans to build the International Family Center in Nazareth, a complex that will include a church, meeting spaces, a hotel for visitors and play areas for children, all as part of an effort to build up the family in the Holy Land. The project was presented April 16 at a Vatican press conference by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Salvatore Martinez from the Renewal in … [Read more...]