Pope Francis: Christians worldwide are ‘united in blood’

Vatican City, Dec 16, 2013 / 04:04 pm (CNA).- In an interview with Italian newspaper La Stampa Dec. 15, Pope Francis called ecumenical dialogue a priority of his pontificate, noting that Christians of all traditions face the same persecution today. “For me ecumenism is a priority. Today there is an ecumenism of blood. In some countries they kill Christians for wearing a cross or having a Bible and before they kill them they do not ask them whether they are Anglican, Lutheran, Catholic … [Read more...]

New Pope interview touches on Church political reform

Vatican City, Dec 16, 2013 / 12:03 pm (CNA).- Pope Francis' recent interview with Italian newspaper La Stampa Dec. 15 addressed some of the more political issues in the Church, including reform of the curia and changes to the Vatican banking system. When questioned about the council of eight cardinals Pope Francis appointed one month after his election to help and advise him in sketching out curia reform, the pontiff explained, “I am always present at the meetings, except for … [Read more...]

Pope prays for Church to be ‘free of clericalism’

Vatican City, Dec 16, 2013 / 04:45 am (CNA).- In his daily homily preached in the Santa Marta chapel, Pope Francis emphasized the need for prophets in the Church in order to prevent a negative spirit of legalism from taking over. “May our prayer in these days, in these during which we prepare for the Birth of the Lord, be: ‘Lord, let there not be a lack of prophets among your people!’” he said on Dec. 16. “Lord, free your people from a spirit of clericalism … [Read more...]

Combat human trafficking, Pope urges new ambassadors to Vatican

Vatican City, Dec 15, 2013 / 04:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Meeting with 17 newly appointed ambassadors to the Holy See, Pope Francis encouraged them to work together, regardless of creed, against the “slavery” of human trafficking. “This is a true form of slavery , unfortunately increasingly common, which affects every land, even the most developed, and which affects the most vulnerable people in society: women, children, the disabled, the poorest and those who come from … [Read more...]

Church is a ‘house of joy,’ Pope stresses on Gaudete Sunday

Vatican City, Dec 15, 2013 / 10:24 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his Angelus address on the third Sunday of Advent, Pope Francis emphasized the joy of the Christian message and community. “The Christian message is called the ‘gospel,’ that is, ‘good news,’ an announcement of joy for all people; the Church is not a shelter for sad people, the Church is the house of joy!” he exclaimed to the crowds filling St. Peter’s Square on Dec. 15. “Christian … [Read more...]

Pope addresses Marxism accusations, women cardinals

Vatican City, Dec 15, 2013 / 09:07 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In an interview published Dec. 14 in the Italian newspaper La Stampa, Pope Francis has responded to several questions touching controversial topics that have arisen in his papacy. When asked by Italian Vatican analyst Andrea Tornielli about the accusations of Marxism from “ultra-conservative Americans,” who took issue with certain passages of the Pope’s recent apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, the Pontiff was … [Read more...]

Don’t be ‘allergic’ to preaching the truth, Pope warns

Vatican City, Dec 13, 2013 / 10:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his daily Mass, Pope Francis cautioned Christians not to be overly-critical of those who preach the Gospel, emphasizing that focusing too much on personal precepts keeps us from being happy. Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading in which Jesus compares the generation to children who are always unhappy or dissatisfied, the Pope stated that “The people of God have a certain allergy to the preachers of the Word: they … [Read more...]


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