Only a joyful witness will attract, Pope tells religious

Kkottongnae, South Korea, Aug 16, 2014 / 03:22 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Addressing the religious communities of Korea, Pope Francis urged a deep reliance on the mercy of God and a focus on community life in transmitting the joy of the Gospel to the world. “Only if our witness is joyful will we attract men and women to Christ,” the Holy Father told a gathering of religious brothers and sisters in South Korea. “And this joy is a gift which is nourished by a life of prayer, … [Read more...]

Chinese youth moved to tears by Pope’s informal remarks

Seoul, South Korea, Aug 16, 2014 / 12:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A young man from Hong Kong was moved by Pope Francis’ off-the-cuff remarks during the opening celebration of the 6th Asian Youth Day, stating that the pontiff spoke to them “heart-to-heart.” “For the things that the Pope said (in Italian) I couldn’t hear clearly,” but understood that he “would like to talk heart to heart without following the speech. I was so touched by this because I felt … [Read more...]

Pope beatifies 124 Korean martyrs, praising their witness to Christ

Seoul, South Korea, Aug 15, 2014 / 08:08 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis on Saturday beatified Korean martyrs Paul Yun Ji-chung and 123 companions, praising their “great sacrifices” and their call “to put Christ first.” “All of them lived and died for Christ, and now they reign with him in joy and in glory,” the Pope said during Mass at Seoul’s Gwanghwamun Gate. “The victory of the martyrs, their witness to the power of God’s love, … [Read more...]

Interreligious leaders call for two-state solution in Holy Land

Washington D.C., Aug 15, 2014 / 04:08 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- More than 30 Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders in the United States called for a two-state solution to the Israel-Gaza conflict in a strongly-worded statement issued on Thursday. “This tragic escalation of violence demonstrates once again that there is no such thing as a stable status-quo in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the leaders insisted in the Aug. 14 message. “It is more urgent than ever that the … [Read more...]

North Korea could soon have its first saint: Hong Yong-ho

Pyongyang, North Korea, Aug 15, 2014 / 12:31 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- North Korea could in time have its first canonized saint, since last year the death of the Bishop of Pyongyang, who was disappeared by the government in 1949, was formally acknowledged by the Vatican. Shortly after the aknowledgement of his death, the Korean bishops' conference asked the Congregation for the Causes of Saints for a 'nihil obstat' to the opening of the cause of beatification for Bishop Francis Hong … [Read more...]

Youth who lunched with Pope impressed by his humility

Seoul, South Korea, Aug 15, 2014 / 08:26 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Following their lunch with Pope Francis, a Chinese and a Pakistani youth said the pontiff was like a humble father who wanted to be near them. “He told us what the message of the Pope is for us, for the youth, for the whole world,” that it is “to evangelize with the Bible, evangelize with the words of Jesus. In my eyes, the Pope is living the life of Jesus. He's a living Jesus,” Alexander John told … [Read more...]

Chinese leaders intensify push for ‘national’ Christianity

Beijing, China, Aug 15, 2014 / 08:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Chinese government recently announced that it will increase its efforts to promote and develop a national brand of Christian theology. People Daily news reported Aug. 7 that Wang Zuoan – the director of China's State Administration for Religious Affairs – said local authorities will work harder to promote Chinese Christian theology that is in line with “China's national condition.” “That is … [Read more...]