Vatican grieves deaths of three kidnapped Israeli teenagers

Vatican City, Jun 30, 2014 / 04:58 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi released a statement voicing Pope Francis' condolences over three kidnapped Israeli teenagers found dead on Monday outside a Palestinian town.    “The news of the death of three young Israelis that had disappeared is terrible and tragic,” the June 30 statement read. “The murder of innocent people is always and abominable and unacceptable crime, and an important … [Read more...]

Pope says communists stole Christianity’s concern for poor

Vatican City, Jun 30, 2014 / 03:52 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In a new interview about moral and material poverty, Pope Francis has stressed that care for the poor is ultimately Christian, suggesting that communists have “stolen” this from Christianity. “I must say that communists have stolen our flag. The flag of the poor is Christian,” he said. “Poverty is the center of the Gospel. The poor are at the center of the Gospel. Let’s take a look at Matthew 25, … [Read more...]

Hartford archbishop: receiving pallium a ‘moving’ experience

Vatican City, Jun 30, 2014 / 10:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- After receiving the pallium from Pope Francis on Sunday’s feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, Archbishop Leonard Blair expressed that the “beautiful” moment serves as a reminder of the basics of his ministry. Referring to the “ancient tradition of the pallium which the Pope confers on metropolitan archbishops,” Archbishop Blair explained to CNA June 29 that “in recent years it’s been done on this feast … [Read more...]

Pope Francis: Church grows from the blood of the martyrs

Vatican City, Jun 30, 2014 / 07:16 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis focused his homily for the feast of the First Roman Martyrs on the witness of martyrdom, and prayed for all who continue to be persecuted for their faith, particularly in the Middle East. “The Church grows thanks to the blood of the martyrs. This is the beauty of martyrdom,” the Pope observed in his June 30 daily Mass. “It begins with witness, day after day, and it can end like Jesus, the first martyr, … [Read more...]

Feast of Peter and Paul celebrates God’s mercy, Pope says

Vatican City, Jun 29, 2014 / 09:39 am (CNA/EWTN News).- During his Sunday Angelus on the Feast of Peter and Paul, Pope Francis called the faithful to open themselves to the transforming power of God’s grace and mercy in their own lives. “Since ancient times the Roman Church celebrates the Apostles Peter and Paul in one unique feast on the same day, June 29,” the Pope observed. He explained that “this feast inspires in us a great joy, because it confronts us with … [Read more...]

Trust in God overcomes worldly fears, Pope tells archbishops

Vatican City, Jun 29, 2014 / 04:25 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, Pope Francis installed 24 new archbishops with the pallium, urging them, like Peter, to place their security in the Lord when faced by the fear of their own weakness. “I wonder, dear brother bishops, are we afraid? What are we afraid of? And if we are afraid, what forms of refuge do we seek, in our pastoral life, to find security?” the Pope asked in his June 29 homily. “Peter … [Read more...]

Vatican laicizes former nuncio to Dominican Republic

Vatican City, Jun 27, 2014 / 10:18 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Following abuse accusations last fall involving the former apostolic nuncio to the Dominican Republic, the Vatican has concluded the first part of his canonical trial with a guilty verdict and laicization. Accusations of sexual misconduct were reported last year regarding the former nuncio Josef Wesolowski, which led to his Aug. 21 resignation. Following the publication of the initial accusations, a 13-year-old boy from the country … [Read more...]