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Pope Francis encourages successful dialogue at Nobel Peace summit

VATICAN, Feb. 3, 2017– On behalf of Pope Francis, the Vatican’s Secretary of State sent a message encouraging the participants of XVI World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates to peaceful and effective communication. “As the participants reflect on the many challenges to peace in the modern world, His Holiness encourages them in their efforts to […]

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You are called to be leaven, Pope tells consecrated men, women

VATICAN, Feb. 2, 2017– Everyone, but especially consecrated men and women, Pope Francis said Thursday, are called to be leaven in the world, bringing Christ to the people – even when it seems like the work goes unnoticed, or there is another who would do a better job. “The Lord has called us to be […]

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Facts first: Vatican seeks scientific data before making judgments

VATICAN, Feb. 2, 2017– The Vatican believes scientific facts exist and it wants to hear about them from world-renowned scientists before it offers guidance on or criticism of related political, social or economic policies. The facts and the practical responses to them are separate issues, but some Catholics do not understand that or object to […]

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Pope Francis: Jesus was concerned with people, not popularity

VATICAN, Jan. 31, 2017– Jesus wasn’t worried about his polling results, Pope Francis said Tuesday – instead, he was concerned with each and every person, seeing everything about them, even those things which were seemingly small or inconsequential. “Statisticians might have been inclined to publish: ‘Rabbi Jesus’ popularity is falling.’ But he sought something else: […]

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VATICAN, Jan. 31, 2017– In the first days of U.S. president Donald Trump’s administration, Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark said he has seen encouragement on pro-life matters, but cause for concern when it comes to refugees. “I think the fact that the vice president and other White House officials addressed the March for Life last […]

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For Pope Francis, martyrs are the strength of the Church

VATICAN, Jan. 30, 2017– Pope Francis said Monday the strength of the Church does not reside primarily in grand gestures, but in the quiet faith of Christians in minority areas, who continue to practice even in the face of persecution and martyrdom. “We are pleased when we see a great ecclesial act, which has been […]

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Why the Vatican thinks priests should learn about art, beauty

VATICAN, Jan. 29, 2017– Ugly churches with bad acoustics don’t do justice to the richness and beauty of the liturgy – and it’s this connection between art and faith that’s vital for priests to understand today, a Vatican official insists. A project to study the training of priests and other cultural workers in the Church […]

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Pope Francis: Spiritual poverty is a cure for polemics

VATICAN, Jan. 29, 2017– On Sunday Pope Francis said being poor in spirit doesn’t necessarily mean giving things up, but instead is rooted in humility and openness to others – an attitude capable of overcoming polemics and division, and leading to greater fraternity. “The poor in spirit is the Christian who doesn’t rely on oneself, […]

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Pope: Everyone needs help living the faith – no one can do it alone

VATICAN, Jan. 28, 2017– On Saturday, Pope Francis stressed the importance of having a solid guide in the spiritual life since no one – neither laity nor consecrated persons themselves – can stay faithful for long without help. “All of us consecrated, the young and those not so young, need adequate help for the human, […]

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Respond to violence with Christ’s love, strength, pope tells churches

VATICAN, Jan. 27, 2017– Pope Francis prayed for an end to the daily violence and brutality waged by fundamentalist extremists in the Middle East. “Your sufferings are our sufferings. I join you in praying for an end to the conflict and for God’s closeness to those who have endured so much, especially children, the sick […]

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Holocaust calls us to have ‘respect for the dignity of every person’

VATICAN, Jan. 27, 2017 — In a message marking Friday’s observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day, a Vatican official has said it is reminder that we need to maintain vigilance against violations of human dignity. “First and foremost, remembrance of the Holocaust, the Shoah – the planned annihilation of the Jewish people, and the planned extermination […]

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Never underestimate the courage and wisdom of women, pope says

VATICAN, Jan. 26, 2017– The humble counsel of courageous women should never be disregarded but rather embraced as advice full of God’s divine wisdom, Pope Francis said. Women like the biblical heroine Judith are an example of trusting God amid sufferings and difficulties when it is easy to give up hope and fall into despair, […]

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Christian unity requires learning from each other, pope says

VATICAN, Jan. 25, 2017– Divided Christians need to recognize the gifts God has given to other communities and learn from them “without waiting for the others to learn first,” Pope Francis said. Leading an ecumenical evening prayer service Jan. 25 for the close of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Pope Francis said Christians […]

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Order of Malta’s grand master resigns at pope’s request

VATICAN, Jan. 25, 2017– After weeks of very public tensions with the Vatican, the head of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta accepted Pope Francis’ request that he submit his resignation. The order’s communications office confirmed Jan. 25 that Fra Matthew Festing, the 67-year-old grand master, met with Pope Francis the day before and agreed […]

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There’s a new leader of Opus Dei. Here’s what he wants to do.

VATICAN, Jan. 24, 2017– The new head of Opus Dei has been confirmed by Pope Francis, and his plan for the prelature is simple. “I have the desire that the prelature of Opus Dei continues to do the good it has done and is increasingly doing in service of the world, which is really the […]

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Vatican sends team to Aleppo in support of those suffering from the war

VATICAN, Jan. 24, 2017– On behalf of Pope Francis, the secretary of the new Vatican department for Promoting Integral Human Development made a six-day visit to the Syrian city of Aleppo, ravaged by years of conflict between rebels and pro-government forces. Lead by the secretary of the new department, Mons. Giampietro Dal Toso, the delegation […]

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