Pope Francis: “Jesus has chosen sinners…he calls everyone!”

Some timely thoughts from Pope Francis in this morning’s homily:   Jesus is not a professor who speaks from the professor’s chair; rather, He goes among the people and lets them touch Him so that they can be healed. That was Pope Francis’ message at Mass this morning at Santa Marta. Commenting on the day’s [Read More…]

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Behold, the pop art pope: “He is one of us”

From The Wall Street Journal:  Mauro Pallotta, a Rome-based street artist, was reading a Superman comic strip while watching a TV documentary on the pontiff when he had an idea. Why not create a mural of Pope Francis as a superhero? So on a cold night last January, the 42-year-old who goes by the pseudonym MauPal, [Read More…]

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“The birth of Jesus from the womb of Mary is the prelude to the rebirth of every Christian in the womb of the church”

During his audience today, Pope Francis had some consoling words for persecuted Christians in Iraq, and also spoke beautifully about the Church’s role as a mother to us all: “We are not orphans! We have a mom, a mother” in the church and in Mary, he said. “The birth of Jesus from the womb of [Read More…]

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Francis, fraternity, friendship—and football

From AP:  Diego Maradona and Roberto Baggio were among a host of former soccer stars who played in an interreligious charity match backed by Pope Francis on Monday night. The Argentine pope, an avid soccer fan, did not attend the match but had an audience with both teams earlier in the day and also broadcast [Read More…]

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Pope phones priest working in Iraqi refugee camp

From Vatican Radio:  Pope Francis called a priest at a refugee camp in Iraq to express his closeness to the persecuted Christians who have taken refuge there and to promise his continued support. Pope Francis reportedly called Fr Behnam Benoka on August 19, a day after returning from his apostolic journey to South Korea. Fr [Read More…]

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The pope’s new bishops: “These are not papal acts in name only, but personal decisions by Francis”

John Allen looks at some recent high-profile bishop appointments and draws some intriguing conclusions in The Boston Globe: The profile of the kind of man Francis seems to look for in key posts is this: Orthodox in doctrine but committed to dialogue and outreach, someone who doesn’t take himself too seriously, who emphasizes concern for [Read More…]

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Pope Francis to preside over wedding ceremony next month

Did you get an invitation? From CNS:  Pope Francis will preside over his first wedding ceremony as pontiff during a nuptial Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica Sept. 14. The Vatican confirmed Aug. 29 that 20 couples from the Diocese of Rome will be married by the pope, the bishop of Rome. The papal Mass celebrating [Read More…]

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“This woman has never never gossiped. Such a woman can be canonized tomorrow.”

The Holy Father returned to one of his favorite themes—the sin of gossip—during his weekly audience this morning: Francis, during the general audience, emphasised that “experience shows that there are many sins against the unity of the Church: let us not think only of schisms but also of very common faults within our communities, the [Read More…]

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Pope Francis calls family of James Foley

Details:  The death of American journalist James Foley at the hands of the Islamic State has been mourned internationally since the tragic news broke. On Thursday, Pope Francis personally called Foley’s grieving family in Rochester, New Hampshire, to “console them for their loss and assure them of his prayers,”according to Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi. Foley’s relatives were “deeply [Read More…]

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Pope Francis on Iraq: “To stop the unjust aggressor is licit”

From Catholic News Service:  Pope Francis said the use of force can be justified to stop “unjust aggressors” such as Islamic State militants in northeastern Iraq, but he declined to endorse U.S. military airstrikes against the militants and said such humanitarian interventions should not be decided on by any single country.The pope also said he [Read More…]

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