John Kerry, Vatican Secretary of State hold ‘positive’ meeting

Vatican City, Jan 14, 2014 / 12:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal-designate Pietro Parolin met Jan. 14, focusing their discussions on the Middle East, the Syrian conflict, the Sudan situation and religious freedom issues in the U.S. “The encounter was extremely fruitful and rich in content,” said Father Federico Lombardi, S.J., of the Vatican Press Office. He characterized the one hour, forty minute meeting as … [Read more...]

Be true witnesses rather than ‘pure legalists,’ Pope exhorts

Vatican City, Jan 14, 2014 / 10:50 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his daily homily, Pope reflected on different models of Christian witness, cautioning the faithful against hypocrisy when they evangelize, and encouraging them to imitate Jesus. “Let us ask the Lord that these two readings help us in our lives as Christians,” said the Pope in reference to the day’s scripture passages, and let us learn “not to be pure legalists, hypocrites like the scribes and … [Read more...]

Fraternity, dialogue aid in fostering peace, Pope tells diplomats

Vatican City, Jan 14, 2014 / 06:56 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his annual meeting with the diplomatic corps, Pope Francis spoke to ambassadors about the importance of fostering peace through the use of dialogue, diplomacy and respect for human dignity. “Everywhere, the way to resolve open questions must be that of diplomacy and dialogue,” the Pope told those gathered for the Jan. 12 encounter. Extending his greetings to the 180 ambassadors accredited to the Holy See, the Pope began … [Read more...]

It was a ‘thrill’ to perform for Pope, circus members say

Vatican City, Jan 14, 2014 / 03:52 am (CNA/EWTN News).- During last week’s general audience, members of the circus gave a special performance for Pope Francis, saying the exciting encounter was an opportunity to show how the circus can bring “harmony.” “This has been my first time to perform in front of the Pope and it was truly a great thrill,” ringmaster Andrea Andreuzzi expressed in a Jan. 10 interview with CNA. “For me it was a joy to both take my … [Read more...]

Jesuit rector in Rome grateful for Pope’s ‘Ignatian heritage’

Vatican City, Jan 14, 2014 / 12:02 am (CNA).- Pope Francis' Jesuit formation is a blessing for the whole Church, says one Society of Jesus priest who recently concelebrated mass with the pontiff. “I'd like to thank him for his closeness that he expresses not just by visiting us, by celebrating with us, but also by showing that (the) Ignatian heritage that he has can enrich the entire Church. We are grateful for this,” Fr. Janez Poljanek, S.J., told CNA on Jan. 13. Fr. … [Read more...]

Pope Francis to cardinals: new roles are not a ‘promotion’

Vatican City, Jan 13, 2014 / 03:44 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In a letter addressed to the 19 men who will be made cardinals during a February consistory, Pope Francis said that the role of a cardinal is not a “decoration,” but rather a “service” to the Church. In his Jan. 13 letter to the cardinal-elects, the Pope extended his greetings to his brother bishops, guaranteeing them of his “closeness and prayer.” “It is my hope,” he stated, “that … [Read more...]

At 98, previous secretary of John XXIII among new cardinals

Vatican City, Jan 13, 2014 / 12:55 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Loris Francesco Capovilla, among the 19 new cardinals appointed by Pope Francis, is not only one of the longest-serving archbishops in the world but was John XXIII's secretary for the entirety of his pontificate. Pope Francis made a surprise announcement during his Sunday Angelus on Jan. 12, giving the names of those who will be created cardinals next month. He emphasized that those chosen hail “from 12 countries from every … [Read more...]


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