A Christmas with tears – Pope Francis’ words to Middle East

Vatican City, Dec 23, 2014 / 10:20 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a Christmas message to Christians of the Middle East, Pope Francis grieved the violence that has ravaged and displaced many of the region's faithful. But the birth of Jesus, he insisted, gives us the ultimate consolation – God has come in the flesh to save us. “I write to you just before Christmas, knowing that for many of you the music of your Christmas hymns will also be accompanied by tears and sighs,” Pope … [Read more...]

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A sign of hope; Christmas tree illuminates St. Peter’s Square

Vatican City, Dec 19, 2014 / 05:05 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The 83-foot Italian tree in St. Peter's Square was lit for the first time this season at the unveiling of the Vatican's nativity scene, which Pope Francis called a sign of “light, hope and love” for the world. The nativity scene and the Christmas tree “are an invitation to unity, harmony and peace; an invitation to make room, in our personal and social life, for God,” the Pope said in a Dec. 19 audience … [Read more...]

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Pope warns against sterile egoism rooted in a desire for power

Vatican City, Dec 19, 2014 / 09:38 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis cautioned Christians against an egoism that excludes the need for God in his homily at Mass on Friday, saying this attitude renders our lives sterile and prevents the Church from bearing fruit. “This too makes me think of our mother Church and of so much sterility within our Mother Church,” the Pope told those present in the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse chapel Dec. 19. He noted that when too much … [Read more...]

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Vatican communications committee advances path of reforms

Vatican City, Dec 19, 2014 / 12:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican's committee on communications has finished its third round of visits to Vatican media branches, and will likely discuss the outcomes of the visits in their next meeting, due to take place in January. The committee has completed its rounds of visits to Vatican media branches, and also started collecting opinions and suggestions from journalists and Catholic agencies who deal often with Vatican news. With the wish to … [Read more...]

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Cuba, US: how the Holy See was behind the scene for 50 years

Vatican City, Dec 18, 2014 / 05:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The announcement that the US and Cuba will enjoy warmer relations follows more than 50 years of Vatican diplomacy, which was ramped up by St. John Paul II during his 1984 visit to nearby Puerto Rico. The Church’s commitment for Cuba has a twofold path: on one side, the relations that bishops, especially from the US, had with Cuba, thus ‘de facto’ creating a bridge between two worlds divided by the embargo; and on the … [Read more...]

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Pope Francis strengthens commission for the protection of minors

Vatican City, Dec 17, 2014 / 02:04 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis appointed eight new members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors on Wednesday, completing the ranks of the commission with a balanced geographical representation in doing so. “The commission was enlarged with the purpose of having an interdisciplinary view, with different perspectives coming from several part of the world,” Msgr. Robert W. Oliver, secretary of the Pontifical Commission, … [Read more...]

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Tea and cake for Pope Francis as he celebrates 78th birthday

Vatican City, Dec 17, 2014 / 09:45 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Shouts of “Tanti auguri” – or, “Happy Birthday!” – filled St. Peter's Square Wednesday morning as Pope Francis circled around throngs of pilgrims on his popemobile during the weekly general audience. The Holy Father, who turned 78 on Dec. 17, stopped to blow out the candles on a cake given to him by group of Legionaries of Christ seminarians. He also took a sip of mate tea – a traditional … [Read more...]

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