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Joint Declaration of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia

Joint Declaration of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia

Joint Declaration of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia   “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God the Father and the fellowship of the holy Spirit be with all of you” (2 Cor 13:13). 1. By God the Father’s will, from which all gifts come, in the name of [...]

Vatican: No, bishops are not being told to cover up abuse

VATICAN, Feb. 11, 2016– Media reports are wrong to claim that the Vatican is telling new bishops that they don’t have to report sexual abuse, Holy See spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said. A reported comment from a Vatican consultant is “not in any way – as someone has mistakenly interpreted – a new Vatican document [...]

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Pope pushes ‘door of mercy’ wider, sends missionaries to local parishes

VATICAN, Feb. 11, 2016– After opening holy doors in Rome to begin the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis has now pushed those passageways even wider by sending forth hundreds of “missionaries of mercy” to every corner of the earth. Their special mission, he has said, is to be a living witness of God’s closeness and [...]

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The silent reform of Benedict XVI’s papacy

VATICAN, Feb. 11, 2016– In his new book on Benedict XVI, Vatican journalist Marco Mancini argues that while the retired pontiff became known for his shocking resignation three years ago, his real legacy began far earlier. “Unfortunately, we remember Benedict for the great gesture of the renunciation, but if we go on remembering Benedict only [...]

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Pope sends off missionaries of mercy to help people open hearts to God

VATICAN, Feb. 10, 2016– Pope Francis marked the beginning of the church’s Lenten journey by sending off several hundred religious and diocesan priests on their own special path as “missionaries of mercy” in local parishes. “Look upon your servants, Lord, that we are sending as messengers of mercy, salvation and peace. Guide their steps” and [...]

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Pope, meeting Iraqi leader, urges work for reconciliation

VATICAN, Feb. 10, 2016– Meeting Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Pope Francis expressed his hopes that Iraq and other war-torn countries would have leaders strong enough to bring once-divided peoples together. “I wish for Iraqis and for all of us — for the whole world — leaders like this,” the pope said Feb. 10 as [...]

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Lent is a time of pruning and reconciliation, Pope Francis says

VATICAN, Feb. 10, 2016– In his Ash Wednesday homily, Pope Francis said that Lent is the perfect time to let go of selfish and indifferent attitudes, returning to God with the help of prayer, penance and acts of charity. “Lent is a beneficial time of pruning from falsity, from worldliness, from indifference: to not think [...]

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Don’t judge sinners who want to repent, help them come home, pope says

VATICAN, Feb. 9, 2016– On the eve of sending off “missionaries of mercy” to all corners of the globe, Pope Francis told his specially appointed men that the reassuring strength of God’s love — not the “bludgeon of judgment” — will bring the “lost sheep” back to the fold. “Being a missionary of mercy is [...]

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Cardinal council wraps up prep work on new Vatican departments

VATICAN, Feb. 9, 2016– As Pope Francis’ ongoing process of reform continues to move forward, his council of advisers have finished their proposals for two new Vatican departments, which would merge several others together. Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi told journalists Feb. 9 that in their most recent meeting, the Pope’s Council of Cardinals gave [...]

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VATICAN, Feb. 9, 2016– The director of the new theological-pastoral department of the Vatican Secretariat for Communications is Natasa Govekar, a theologian who specializes in the communication of faith through images. The Vatican announced Pope Francis’ nomination of Govekar, a Slovenian, Feb. 9. At the same time, the pope named Francesco Masci, a 37-year-old official [...]

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Pope Francis grieves over victims of Taiwan earthquake

VATICAN, Feb. 8, 2016– Pope Francis sent his condolences to those affected by a deadly earthquake which struck the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan on Saturday, causing a building collapse that has killed dozens of people. “The Holy Father was saddened to learn of the suffering caused by the deadly earthquake which struck in Tainan, [...]

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Ukrainian Catholics don’t expect much from pope-patriarch meeting

VATICAN, Feb. 8, 2016– Ukrainian Catholic leaders gave a very cautious welcome to news that Pope Francis would meet in Cuba with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow. “I do not expect that the meeting of Pope Francis with Patriarch Kirill, planned for Feb. 12, will bring any particular changes. Although it is good that [...]

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Vatican updates papal itinerary for Cuba, Mexico visit

VATICAN, Feb. 8, 2016– Pope Francis is scheduled to have more than two hours alone with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow in Cuba in addition to signing a declaration with the patriarch before flying on to Mexico for a Feb. 12-17 visit. The Vatican announced the pope-patriarch meeting Feb. 5 and, on Feb. 8, [...]

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Pope appeals for ‘martyred country’ of Syria

VATICAN, Feb 7, 2016– The plight of Syrian civilians involved in the nation’s ongoing conflict was at the heart of Pope Francis’ appeal to the international community on Sunday, in an address where he also called for a renewed commitment to the protection of life at all stages. “I follow with deep concern the dramatic [...]

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Open God’s heart with prayer, pope tells Padre Pio Prayer Groups

VATICAN, Feb. 6, 2016– Praying is not like taking an aspirin, something one does just to feel a little better, Pope Francis told thousands of members of Padre Pio Prayer Groups from around the world. Prayer is not a business negotiation with God, either, the pope told more than 60,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s [...]

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Padre Pio was a true ‘servant of mercy,’ Pope Francis says

VATICAN, Feb. 6, 2016– On Saturday Pope Francis said St. Padre Pio is a key example of someone who has given their entire life in the service of God’s mercy, but cautioned that there is only one reason he was able to do so: prayer. “We can say that Padre Pio was a servant of [...]

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