Papal preacher focusing on Church’s three big events

Vatican City, Dec 17, 2012 / 05:08 pm (CNA).- Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher to the Papal Household, is basing his reflections for the Pope and his staff on the Church’s three main events in 2012."I try to adjust myself to the graces or the problems that the Church is living, and there are three main events this year," he explained to CNA.His previous talks for December covered the "Year of Faith," an initiative launched by Pope Benedict to help Catholics … [Read more...]

Palestinian president thanks Pope for his support

Vatican City, Dec 17, 2012 / 12:25 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met Dec. 17 with the Pope and expressed his thanks for the Holy See’s support after Palestine was recognized as a state by the United Nations.Abbas met with Pope Benedict XVI at the Apostolic Palace after the Vatican welcomed the U.N. General Assembly's Nov. 29 vote to recognize Palestine as a "non-member observer state."According to a Dec. 17 Vatican statement, discussions … [Read more...]

Pope ‘deeply saddened’ by Connecticut shooting

Vatican City, Dec 16, 2012 / 09:36 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Pope expressed sorrow over the Sandy Hook school shooting that massacred 20 children and offered prayers for the victims' families.“I was deeply saddened by Friday's senseless violence in Newtown, Connnecticut,” said Pope Benedict XVI Dec. 16.“I assure the families of the victims, especially those who lost a child, of my closeness in prayer,” he told thousands gathered at St. Peter's Square for … [Read more...]

Achieving peace requires respect for all human life, Pope states

Vatican City, Dec 14, 2012 / 05:05 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- More than anything else, the path to peace involves “respect for human life in all its many aspects,” Pope Benedict XVI said in his message for the annual World Day of Peace.“At the birth of Jesus, the angels proclaim the message ‘glory to God on high, and on earth peace to men of good will.’ With the birth of the savior, peace was wished for the earth, for humanity,” Cardinal Peter K. Turkson, … [Read more...]

Small town’s Christmas tree brings splendor to Vatican

Vatican City, Dec 14, 2012 / 04:20 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A young boy named Mario had the honor of lighting a majestic Christmas tree in St. Peter's Square on the evening of Dec. 14.At 5:00 p.m., the lights of the 70-foot silver fir donated by the small town of Pescopennataro, Italy bathed the iconic square in a soft white light."Christmas trees are a sign of God's light, which continues to shine despite attempts to put it out," Pope Benedict XVI told a delegation from … [Read more...]

Vatican Nativity scene will reflect southern Italy cave setting

Vatican City, Dec 14, 2012 / 11:00 am (CNA/EWTN News).- This Christmas season visitors to St. Peter’s Square will get a chance to see a Nativity scene that is set amid a famous city of ancient cave dwellings from southern Italy.“The Nativity Scene reminds us of what is important about the mystery of Christmas,” Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca, Secretary General of the Governorate of Vatican City State, told CNA on Dec. 13.“It’s not about a fact that took place in the … [Read more...]

Pope emphasizes education of youth in response to social fractures

Vatican City, Dec 13, 2012 / 12:26 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- As young people become more concerned with quick professional success and rely on social networks as a replacement for community, Pope Benedict said that families and governments must work for the authentic education of students.In a Dec. 13 address in the Vatican’s Clementine Hall to new ambassadors from Guinea, Niger, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Zambia, the Pope turned the diplomats’ attention to … [Read more...]