Protection of minors a priority for Pope, commission member says

Vatican City, Mar 31, 2014 / 06:28 am (CNA/Europa Press).- A German priest and psychologist recently appointed to the new Vatican commission for the protection of minors has stated that the initiative demonstrates Pope Francis’ concern regarding the immediacy of the issue. “I believe that people realize that this is an issue that Pope Francis has put on his agenda and with a priority” Fr. Hans Zollner, S.J., told CNA in a March 25 interview. Fr. Zollner is psychologist … [Read more...]

Program offers African students ‘second home’ in Rome

Rome, Italy, Mar 30, 2014 / 10:21 am (CNA/EWTN News).- African students studying in Rome are finding a home away from home in an outreach program dedicated to accompanying them spiritually, culturally, and socially. “We think of home a lot--our parents, our families that we left behind… therefore this is our second home,” Leodmila Amona of Mozambique, told CNA on March 30. Amona is a participant in the Servizio Universitario Africano outreach program, based in temporary … [Read more...]

Be open to the light of Christ, encourages Pope

Vatican City, Mar 30, 2014 / 05:27 am (CNA/EWTN News).- During his Sunday Angelus message, Pope Francis urged the faithful to open themselves to the light of Christ and not be hindered by pride or interior blindness. “Sometimes unfortunately ... from the height of our pride we judge others, and even the Lord! Today, we are invited to open ourselves to the light of Christ to bear fruit in our lives, to get rid of the behaviors that are not Christian,” Pope Francis encouraged those … [Read more...]

Vatican hosts day of study on family and creation

Vatican City, Mar 29, 2014 / 02:14 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- On Saturday the Pontifical Council for the Family sponsored a day of reflection on the family as the custodian of the created world. “We wanted to promote a day of reflection with the organization Greenaccord, on the theme ‘Family, Safeguard the Creation!’,” Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, told CNA March 29. “In this time in the Church there is much … [Read more...]

Witness to Christ, Pope urges blind and deaf

Vatican City, Mar 29, 2014 / 10:44 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis held an audience with the blind and deaf on Saturday, encouraging them to become witnesses of Christ and to build a culture of encounter rather than exclusion. “We think of the many whom Jesus wanted to meet, above all people marked by illness and disability, to heal them and to restore their full dignity to them. It is very important that such persons become witnesses of a new approach, that we could call a … [Read more...]

Churches answer Pope’s call for 24 hours of Confession

Vatican City, Mar 28, 2014 / 04:59 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- As many dioceses the world over begin to offer special round-the clock periods of Confession, Pope Francis stressed that conversion is “a commitment that lasts a lifetime.” “Who among us can be assumed not to be a sinner? No one,” the Pope said at a March 28 penitential service at St. Peter’s Basilica which stressed the power of forgiveness through Christ. “The love of Jesus Christ lasts forever, … [Read more...]

God never tires of forgiving us, Pope reflects

Vatican City, Mar 28, 2014 / 12:13 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis dedicated his homily at Friday’s Mass to the mercy of God, emphasizing that while God is firm in his call for conversion, he is always waiting to receive the sinner with open arms. “The God of mercy; he does not tire of forgiving. We are the ones who tire in asking for forgiveness, but he does not tire,” the Pope observed in his March 28 Mass. Speaking to those gathered in the Vatican’s Saint … [Read more...]