Lebanese president discusses Syria refugees with Pope

Vatican City, May 3, 2013 / 10:25 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis and Lebanese president Michel Sleiman met to discuss the Syrian fighting and the influx of refugees it has sent into his country. According to Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican press office director, the meeting focused on “the regional situation, with special reference to the Syrian conflict.” “The Pope is concerned with the large number of Syrian refugees who have sought refuge in Lebanon and … [Read more...]

Pope warns against lukewarm faith with personal story

Vatican City, May 3, 2013 / 08:29 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In keeping with his style, Pope Francis cautioned about the dangers of a lukewarm faith by telling a childhood story on the importance of believing in the physical resurrection of Jesus. “I remember, excuse me, a personal story,” he said during his daily morning Mass on May 3. “As a child, every Good Friday my grandmother took us to the Procession of Candles and at the end of the procession the recumbent Christ came … [Read more...]

Pope names Jesuit to lead Oakland diocese

Vatican City, May 3, 2013 / 04:25 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis has appointed Jesuit Father Michael C. Barber the next bishop of the Oakland, California diocese. Bishop-designate Barber is currently the Director of Spiritual Formation at Saint John’s Seminary in Brighton, Mass. and has been serving in that capacity since 2010. The announcement of his appointment was made on May 3 by the Holy See’s press office. He will succeed Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone who now leads … [Read more...]

Pope: ‘yes’ to Holy Spirit prevents division

Vatican City, May 2, 2013 / 12:33 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis said that Church divisions begin when it does not say ‘yes’ to the Holy Spirit and allow it to work. “The divisions in the Church begin, the sects, all of these things, when we do not let him work because we are closed to the truth of the Spirit,” he said in the homily for his May 2 morning Mass. “He always does a nice job, the Holy Spirit, throughout history,” he quipped, as he … [Read more...]

Pope Francis welcomes Benedict back to Vatican

Vatican City, May 2, 2013 / 10:26 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Benedict XVI has returned to the Vatican after moving to the papal summer household outside of Rome to not interfere with the papal election. “He is now pleased to return to the Vatican, where he intends to devote himself, as he announced on Feb. 11, to the service of the Church in prayer,” said a Vatican statement released on May 2. The former Pope was picked up by helicopter at 4:30 p.m. from the grounds of Castel … [Read more...]

Flood of reform rumors premature, Vatican official states

Vatican City, May 2, 2013 / 08:45 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The number two official from the Vatican’s Secretariat of State has dismissed wide-ranging speculation about the reforms Pope Francis will make as “absolutely premature.” “The Pope has not yet met with the group of advisers who have been chosen and already advice is raining down,” Archbishop Angelo Becciu said in a May 1 interview with the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano. “After … [Read more...]

Vatican invites Buddhists to help build culture of life

Vatican City, May 2, 2013 / 07:22 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican’s top official for interreligious dialogue, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, sent a message to all Buddhists urging a joint commitment to “unmask the threats to human life.” In his annual letter for the feast of Vesakh, Cardinal Tauran highlighted the two faiths’ “noble teachings on the sanctity of human life” but lamented that “evil in different forms contributes to the dehumanization of … [Read more...]