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...]

Scholar recounts black Catholics’ rich history

Baltimore, Md., Mar 29, 2014 / 06:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Black Catholics across the globe have dedicated their talents and their lives to their faith since earliest days of the Church, a Catholic author and scholar has said. “Black Catholicism is not something new. From the very first century, people of color have been involved in the universal Church,” Dr. Camille Brown, author of the 2008 book “African Saints, African Stories,” told CNA. “They have embraced … [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...]

Napa Institute seeks to prepare Catholics for hostile culture

Napa Valley, Calif., Mar 28, 2014 / 01:56 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- As the California-based Napa Institute enters its fourth year, its upcoming conference aims to continue engaging Catholics in response to a U.S. culture that is increasingly antagonistic to their faith. “We need to prepare Catholics to defend themselves and to be prepared for this more hostile environment which we live in,” Tim Busch, the institute’s chairman of the board, told CNA March 27. “We have to … [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...]

Pope Francis: confession is not condemnation, but mercy

Vatican City, Mar 28, 2014 / 07:14 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a speech given to priests and seminarians attending a course on the Sacrament of Confession, Pope Francis spoke about the mercy of God, stating that it is the most important aspect of their ministry. “Confession is not a court of condemnation, but an experience of forgiveness and mercy!” the Pope expressed in his March 28 speech to those attending the annual Course on the Internal Forum. The Internal Forum part of the … [Read more...]

New website encourages return to Confession during Lent

Atlanta, Ga., Mar 28, 2014 / 04:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The website GoodConfession.com aims to encourage Catholics to go to Confession more often, and to return to the “life-changing” sacrament if they have been away for some time. “We, as practicing Catholics, need to help our brothers and sisters back to the sacramental graces that come through Confession,” Tom Peterson, president of Catholics Come Home, told CNA March 26. “When we do, the results are … [Read more...]