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If you’re tempted to gossip, ‘bite your tongue,’ Pope Francis says

If you’re tempted to gossip, ‘bite your tongue,’ Pope Francis says

VATICAN, Jan. 15, 2017– Pope Francis Sunday traveled to a parish on the outskirts of Rome where he visited a priest suffering from a severe form of ALS and celebrated Mass, warning parishioners, as he often does, of the harm gossiping does to a community. When we read the Gospels, we see that “we have [...]

Bishops of Malta issue norms for ministry to divorced, civilly remarried

VATICAN, Jan. 15, 2017 — Under certain circumstances and after long prayer and a profound examination of conscience, some divorced and civilly remarried Catholics may return to the sacraments, said the bishops of Malta. With “an informed and enlightened conscience,” a separated or divorced person living in a new relationship who is able “to acknowledge [...]

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Compassion should be heart of financial, political decisions, Pope says

VATICAN, Jan. 14, 2017– Pope Francis Saturday warned of growing harmful trends throughout political and financial realms, pinning them on the negative effects of globalization and insisting that authentic compassion is the only thing that can really overcome indifference. Francis opened his speech with a bang, saying “a world economic system that discards men, women [...]

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Siblings arrested in cyberattack that compromised Vatican computers

VATICAN, Jan. 13, 2017– Two arrests have been made in a widespread cyber-attack that compromised communications of prominent Italian institutions and individuals, including the Vatican. Italian police have arrested Giulio Occhionero, 45, and his sister Francesca Maria Occhionero, 49. The siblings, who also work as engineers and have dual residencies in London and Rome, are [...]

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Upcoming synod needs young people’s voices, pope says

VATICAN, Jan. 13, 2017— Pope Francis has asked young people to tell him, their bishops and pastors about their hopes and struggles and even their criticisms. As the Catholic Church prepares for a meeting of the Synod of Bishops focused on youth, the pope wrote a letter to young people saying the church wants “to [...]

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Global papal prayer network continues to evolve

VATICAN, Jan. 12, 2017– Last year, more than 13 million people around the world watched Pope Francis explain one of his specific prayer intentions each month. The 90-second, personal explanations in “The Pope Video,” first launched in January 2016, encouraged people to join an estimated 50 million Catholics who already had a more formal relationship [...]

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Order of Malta questions legitimacy of commission established by pope

VATICAN, Jan. 11, 2017– The leadership of the Order of Malta denied the legality of a Vatican investigation into the forced resignation of the group’s former grand chancellor, but the commission established by Pope Francis said it “is completely legitimate and authorized” to investigate the matter and inform the pope. According to one of the [...]

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Vatican ambassador predicts Trump will drop campaign rhetoric

VATICAN, Jan. 11, 2017– Ken Hackett is preparing to wrap up his term as U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See as Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration looms next week. And while he says no one can predict what Trump will do in office, he expects the fiery campaign talk to simmer down once the “reality of [...]

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Pope Francis: Having an abortion to keep your figure is a big problem

VATICAN, Jan. 11, 2017– On Wednesday Pope Francis issued strong words against worshipping idols, cautioning against the false hope that beauty, wealth and power can give, but which lead a person to trust in empty promises rather than in the Lord. “It’s terrible, it hurts the soul what I heard one time years ago in [...]

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Pope: Jesus amazed because he was humble, helpful, not a hypocrite

VATICAN, Jan. 10, 2016– Jesus astonished people with the way he taught and interacted with others because he wasn’t aloof, domineering or hypocritical, Pope Francis said in a homily. “Jesus wasn’t allergic to people. Touching lepers, the sick did not disgust him,” whereas the Pharisees — who strolled around in fine clothes — looked down [...]

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Pope’s ‘urgent’ prayer for January is the homeless

VATICAN, Jan. 8, 2017– Pope Francis announced Sunday after the Angelus that his “urgent” prayer for the month of January is for all those without shelter, who are especially affected by the cold weather during the winter. “During these very cold days, I think of and I invite you to think of all the people [...]

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Pope Francis to parents: teach your children the faith by example

VATICAN, Jan. 8, 2017– Pope Francis Sunday baptized 28 babies during Mass in the Sistine Chapel, reminding parents that by asking for the Sacrament of Baptism, the gift of faith, for their child, they have a responsibility to guard it and to help it deepen. “The faith is to believe what is the truth. God [...]

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Magi’s journey reflects people’s longing for God, pope says on Epiphany

VATICAN, Jan. 6, 2017– The Magi had the courage to set out on a journey in the hope of finding something new, unlike Herod who was full of himself and unwilling to change his ways, Pope Francis said. The Wise Men who set out from the East in search of Jesus personify all those who [...]

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A new ‘vocational culture’ is needed in the Church, Pope Francis says

VATICAN, Jan. 5, 2017– A fresh and courageous perspective is needed when it comes to helping youth discern and discover their vocation, Pope Francis said Thursday, emphasizing the importance of personal holiness and the commitment to serving others. “(Today) there is the urgency to bring into the Christian community a new ‘vocational culture,’” the Pope [...]

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Pope shakes up monthly prayers, adds new ‘urgent’ intention

VATICAN, Jan. 4, 2017– After launching the first video series on his monthly prayer intentions last year, Pope Francis has decided to make some changes for 2017 by going back to an older system focusing on just one intention rather than two. However, true to form, he has also added a novelty: in addition to [...]

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Terminally ill Army sergeant, who used military grit to meet pope, dies

VATICAN, Jan. 3, 2016– Cheryl Tobin, a former master sergeant with the Army who used her military might to flag down the pope for a blessing, died in her sleep New Year’s Eve. She was 48. Terminally ill with a rare form of cancer, Tobin went on a pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi in May [...]

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