Pope greets 19 prisoners at St. Martha’s Residence

Vatican City, Feb 20, 2014 / 03:12 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis set aside his schedule Wednesday to meet briefly with 19 inmates from prisons in Pisa and the island of Pianosa, greeting each one individually and blessing them. According to ANSA, the secretary for the Synod of Bishops, Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, had organized the inmates’ visit to the Vatican and was celebrating Mass for them at the Vatican Grottos when the Pope learned of their arrival and decided to invited … [Read more...]

Pope Francis urges cardinals to reflect deeply on family life

Vatican City, Feb 20, 2014 / 11:24 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis met briefly this morning with cardinals who had gathered for a meeting to reflect on the theme of the family, urging them to consider carefully both the Church’s theology and pastoral practice. “Our reflections must keep before us the beauty of the family and marriage, the greatness of this human reality which is so simple and yet so rich, consisting of joys and hopes, of struggles and sufferings, as is the whole … [Read more...]

To know Jesus we must follow him, says Pope Francis

Vatican City, Feb 20, 2014 / 05:39 am (CNA).- In his daily homily, Pope Francis spoke about the importance of Christian discipleship, emphasizing the need for Christians to follow Jesus with their entire lives, not just intellectually. “Jesus didn’t say to Peter and to his Apostles, ‘Know me!’ he said, ‘Follow me!’ And this following of Jesus makes us know Jesus,” explained Pope Francis on Feb. 20 to those gathered in the chapel of the Casa Santa … [Read more...]

Cardinal Sandri confirmed as head of Eastern Churches congregation

Vatican City, Feb 19, 2014 / 08:41 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis appointed members of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches Feb. 19, confirming both Cardinal Leonardo Sandri as prefect, and Archbishop Cyril Vasil as secretary. Both had been initially appointed to their roles by Benedict XVI: Cardinal Sandri in 2007; and Archbishop Vasil, who is a Jesuit and was ordained a priest of the Slovakian Catholic Church, in 2009. The Congregation for the Oriental Churches “considers … [Read more...]

Pontifical academy to address science, ethics of aging

Vatican City, Feb 19, 2014 / 02:48 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- As the global number of elderly increases, one Vatican advisory group is meeting this week to discuss the many challenges associated with aging and its often accompanying disabilities. The Pontifical Academy for Life's general assembly will consider issues surrounding “the scientific, the medical...and ethical issues concerning these specific problems coming from the situation of many elderly people to become disabled,” … [Read more...]

Pope Francis: Be courageous, go to confession

Vatican City, Feb 19, 2014 / 04:57 am (CNA).- During his Wednesday audience, Pope Francis encouraged the pilgrims filling St. Peter's Square to receive the sacrament of reconciliation. "Everyone say to himself: ‘When was the last time I went to confession?’ And if it has been a long time, don’t lose another day! Go, the priest will be good. And Jesus, (will be) there, and Jesus is better than the priests - Jesus receives you. He will receive you with so much love! … [Read more...]

Cardinal-elect Mueller, a bridge between two Popes

Vatican City, Feb 19, 2014 / 12:06 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Archbishop Gerhard Mueller, who will be made a cardinal Feb. 22, is a personal friend to Benedict XVI and has forged a good relationship with Pope Francis. The prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was appointed to his position by Benedict in 2012, and was confirmed in the role by Pope Francis shortly after his election as Bishop of Rome. The native German was born in 1947, and studied philosophy and theology in … [Read more...]