Pope improvises prayer at Mass for typhoon survivors

From Vatican Radio: Pope Francis improvised a special prayer at the end of the Holy Mass celebrated for the survivors of the typhoon Haiyan at Tacloban, Philippines on Saturday. Praying spontaneously in Spanish with an aide translating it simultaneous in English, he filled the hearts of the survivors with gratitude and hope.   The text:  [Read More...]

BREAKING: The pope is still Catholic

The AP confirms it:  Pope Francis issued his strongest defense yet of church teaching opposing artificial contraception, using a Friday rally in Asia’s largest Catholic nation to urge families to be “sanctuaries of respect for life.” Francis also denounced the corruption that has plagued the Philippines for decades and urged officials to instead work to [Read More...]

Francis makes unscheduled stop to visit Manila street children—UPDATED WITH VIDEO

From Vatican Radio:  Pope Francis made an unscheduled stop at a center for street children in Manila Friday shortly after celebrating mass in the Filipino capital.  Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi confirmed that the Pope visited a home for street children run by the ANAK-Tnk charitable foundation.  Fr. Lombardi said the Pope spent almost a half an [Read More...]

Pope to canonize Junipero Serra

Image from Serra Club of Bethlehem, PA From Catholic News Agency:  In a surprise addition to his fall 2015 trip to the U.S., Pope Francis is planning to canonize the founder of California’s first missions, Bl. Junipero Serra.“In September, God willing, I will canonize Junipero Serra in the United States,” declared Pope Francis aboard Sri [Read More...]

Pope Francis: Respect for religion should limit freedom of expression

From the CNS blog:  Commenting on recent killings by Islamist terrorists at a Paris newspaper, Pope Francis condemned killing in the name of God, but said freedom of expression should be limited by respect for religion and that mockery of faith can be expected to provoke violence. Asked by a French reporter to compare freedom [Read More...]

Pope Francis makes unscheduled visit to Buddhist temple

From AP:  Pope Francis has become the second pontiff to visit a Buddhist temple, changing his schedule at the last minute to pay his respects at an important place of worship in Sri Lanka’s capital and to witness a key ritual for Buddhists: the opening of a casket containing relics of two important disciples of [Read More...]

Pope in Sri Lanka: “Mary forgave her son’s killers at the foot of his cross…”

Photo: from Vatican Radio / Facebook From Catholic News Agency: At a Marian shine during his three-day trip to Sri Lanka, Pope Francis touched on the country’s brutal decades-long civil war and pointed to the Mother of God as the ultimate witness of forgiveness. “In this difficult effort to forgive and find peace, Mary is [Read More...]

Lights, camera, Francis: two papal film biographies start production

Actor Dario Grandinetti (photo: Prensa TV Pública via Wikipedia) From Variety:  A battle between rival Pope Francis biopics has just kicked off, with shooting starting this week in Buenos Aires on two feature films about Jorge Mario Bergoglio, both toplining Argentine A-list actors as the Jesuit priest and tracing the path to his groundbreaking papacy. Thesp Rodrigo de la [Read More...]

In Manila, helping the homeless get ready for the pope

From the CNS blog, this is remarkable:   Everyone — rich or poor — wants to look his or her best when greeting the pope. Today volunteers at a three-year-old program to assist the homeless at Manila’s Ermita Church made sure their clients will be ready for the pope’s arrival Thursday. The program, run by the Knights [Read More...]

Pope to diplomatic corps: “Every war is emblematic of the throwaway culture”

From Vatican Radio:  Pope Francis has called on the international community to take concrete steps to bring about peace and to protect all those who are victims of war and persecution. In  a wide-ranging discourse to members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See, the Pope focused on a series of urgent issues which [Read More...]