Full text of Pope Francis’ in-flight interview from Paraguay to Rome

Aboard the papal plane, Jul 13, 2015 / 11:43 am (CNA).- In the course of his 64 minute in-flight press conference while en route to Rome, Pope Francis answered questions ranging from politics, his upcoming trip to the Unites States, and his feelings about taking selfies. The Pope responded in Italian to 14 questions posed by journalists during his July 12 overnight flight from Asuncion to Rome. Paraguay was the last of the three stops on the Pope's trip to South America. He visited … [Read more...]

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Pope calls ‘communist crucifix’ protest art, but says he wasn’t offended

Vatican City, Jul 13, 2015 / 09:18 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Responding to waves of controversy after receiving a “communist crucifix” – a carving of Christ crucified on a hammer and sickle – from Bolivian president Evo Morales, Pope Francis said he took no offense, but understands the work as “protest art.” “I would qualify it as protest art, which in some cases can be offensive,” the Pope said during an inflight news conference on his July 12 … [Read more...]

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Vatican applauds nuclear deal, calls for commitment to make it ‘bear fruit’

Vatican City, Jul 13, 2015 / 09:14 am (CNA/EWTN News).- After global powers reached an agreement with Iran Tuesday limiting the country’s nuclear activity, the Vatican said the deal was an important step and expressed their hope the fruits would spread to more than just the nuclear field. “The agreement on the Iranian nuclear program is viewed in a positive light by the Holy See,” Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi SJ said in a July 14 statement, shortly after the … [Read more...]

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No controversy here – Pope sets record straight on family synod remarks

Vatican City, Jul 13, 2015 / 09:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- During a press briefing on the return flight from South America, Pope Francis clarified that his call for prayer ahead of the upcoming Synod on the Family referred to today's family crisis generally – not, as some media have sources speculated, to “any point in particular.” “The family is in crisis, you know,” the pontiff told journalists in reference to remarks made near the beginning of his week-long … [Read more...]

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With freedom for Catholic education uncertain, English diocese charts a path

Portsmouth, England, Jul 13, 2015 / 06:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholic schools in England could face problems under both a new “British values” government mandate and demands to approve same-sex relationships. But in the Diocese of Portsmouth, new education guidelines focus on Catholic fidelity, love of neighbor, and the love of Jesus Christ. Bishop Philip Egan has written a letter introducing the diocese’s guidance on sex and relationship education. He said the document … [Read more...]

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Pope Francis off-the-cuff to young people: Don’t waste your lives

Asunción, Paraguay, Jul 12, 2015 / 04:13 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis tossed aside his prepared remarks in a talk to thousands of Paraguay's young people – urging the crowd to go against the cultural current and to live for Jesus with a “free heart.” “I wrote a speech for you, but prepared speeches are boring,” the Pope said as cheers erupted from the scores of young people who packed the “costanera” or beach front of the Paraguay river in … [Read more...]

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Spectacular Paraguay altar destined to be broken down, recycled

Asunción, Paraguay, Jul 12, 2015 / 03:07 pm (CNA).- The more than 60,000 corncobs, 20,000 squashes and 150,000 coconuts that adorn the altarpiece in Asuncion’s Ñu Guazú park where Pope Francis celebrated Mass on the last day of his visit to Paraguay won’t be going to waste. Now that the Mass and the Pope have come and gone, the products will be recycled. “The coconuts will be used to make soap and the corncobs are destined to feed animals. The squash will be … [Read more...]

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