Lent is a ‘strong’ time of conversion, Pope Francis reflects

Vatican City, Mar 5, 2014 / 12:46 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- During his general audience on Ash Wednesday, Pope Francis called Lent a moment of renewal which allows us to look at the needs of others with “new eyes,” and to grow in love. “Brothers and sisters: today, Ash Wednesday, begins the Lenten itinerary that leads us to the celebration of the Easter Triduum, a memorial of our salvation,” the Pope said in March 5. “Lent,” he affirmed during his weekly … [Read more...]

Transcript: Pope Francis’ March 5 interview with Corriere della Sera

Vatican City, Mar 5, 2014 / 11:35 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Find below an English translation, by CNA's Estefania Aguirre and Alan Holdren, of the March 5 interview of Pope Francis with Italian daily "Corriere della Sera". Holy Father, every once in a while you call those who ask you for help. Sometimes they don’t believe you. Yes, it has happened. When one calls, it is because he wants to speak, to pose a question, to ask for counsel. As a priest in Buenos Aires it … [Read more...]

Pope names secretary general for new economy dicastery

Vatican City, Mar 5, 2014 / 02:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis appointed Monsignor Alfred Xuereb March 3 as prelate secretary general for the Vatican’s new Secretariat for the Economy, which will oversee economic and administrative affairs in the city state. Msgr. Xuereb, 55, is from Malta’s Diocese of Gozo, and has served as Pope Francis’ personal secretary. He served on Benedict XVI’s staff as a personal secretary beginning in September 2007, a post he held … [Read more...]

Pope: More martyrs exist today than in the early Church

Vatican City, Mar 4, 2014 / 02:56 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In his daily homily Pope Francis called persecution a “reality” of Christian life, challenging faithful to take up the cross and noting that we are never given more than we can handle. “But (people say) 'today we are better educated and these things no longer exist.' Yes they do!” the Pope said March 4. “And I tell you that today there are more martyrs than during the early times of the … [Read more...]

Portland, Ore. diocese receives new auxiliary bishop

Vatican City, Mar 4, 2014 / 10:10 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican announced earlier this morning that Pope Francis has appointed Monsignor Peter Leslie Smith to assist in leading the archdiocese of Portland, Ore. as their new auxiliary bishop. Following the retirement of the diocese's previous auxiliary bishop Kenneth D. Steiner in 2011, Msgr. Smith will serve as the archdiocese's third auxiliary bishop. The bishop-designate was born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa in 1958 and … [Read more...]

Cardinal Kasper’s speech on divorce, remarriage, and Communion

Vatican City, Mar 4, 2014 / 02:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a two-hour address to a consistory on the family last month, Cardinal Walter Kasper discussed marriage and family life, devoting the last section to “the problem of the divorced and remarried.” The final of the five sections has garnered much attention in the press. In that portion he asked, “is it not perhaps an exploitation of the person” when a person who has been divorced and remarried is excluded from … [Read more...]

Holy See ratifies agreement with Republic of Burundi

Vatican City, Mar 3, 2014 / 03:34 pm (CNA).- Last week Vatican officials met with representatives of the Republic of Burundi to discuss an agreement made between the countries in 2012, officially implementing the agreement's stipulations. Held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Burundi on Feb. 28, the country's minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Laurent Kavakure, was present along with their apostolic nuncio … [Read more...]