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(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday called on all men and women of good will to fight for the abolishment of the death penalty in “all of its forms” and for the improvement of prison conditions. The Pope was addressing a group of members of the International Association of Criminal Law whom he received in the Vatican. In his discourse the Pope also addressed the need to combat the phenomena of human trafficking and of corruption. And he stressed that the fact that the enforcement of legal penalties must always respect human dignity. In a dense and impassioned discourse to the Jurists assembled in the Vatican for a private audience, Pope Francis said that the “life sentence” is really a “concealed death sentence”, and that is why – he explained – he had it annulled in the Vatican Penal Code. Many of the off-the-cuff comments  during the Pope’s speech shone the light on how politics and media all too often act as triggers enflaming “violence and private and public acts of vengeance” that are always in search of a scape-goat. Recalling the words of Saint John Paul II who condemned the death penalty as does the Catechism, Francis decried the practice and denounced  “so-called extrajudicial or extralegal executions” calling them “deliberate homicides” committed by public officials behind the screen of the Law: “All Christians and people of goodwill are called today to fight not only for the abolition of the death penalty be it legal or illegal, in all of its forms, but also for the improvement of prison conditions in the respect of the human dignity of those who have been deprived of freedom. I link this to the death sentence. In the Penal Code of the Vatican, the sanction of life sentence is no more. A life sentence is a death sentence which is concealed”. And Pope Francis had words of harsh criticism for all forms of criminality which undermine human dignity, there are forms of his – he said - even within the criminal law system which too often does not respect that dignity when criminal law is applied. “In the last decades” – the Pope said – “there has been a growing conviction that through public punishment it is possible to solve different and disparate social problems, as if for different diseases one could prescribe the same medicine.”   He said this conviction has pushed the criminal law system beyond its sanctioning boundaries, and into the “realm of freedom and the rights of persons” without real effectiveness. “There is the risk of losing sight of the proportionality of penalties that historically reflect the scale of values upheld by the State. The very conception of criminal law and the enforcement of sanctions as an ‘ultima ratio’ in the cases of serious offenses against individual and collective interests have weakened. As has the debate regarding the use of alternative penal sanctions to be used instead of imprisonment”. Pope Francis speaks of remand or detention of a suspect as a “contemporary form of illicit hidden punishment” concealed by a “patina of legality”, as it enforces “an anticipation of punishment” upon a suspect who has not been convicted. From this – the Pope points out – derives the risk of multiplying the number of detainees still awaiting trial, who are thus convicted without benefiting from the protective rules of a trial. In some countries – he says – this happens in some 50% of all cases with the trickledown effect of terribly overcrowded detention centers: “The deplorable conditions of detention that take place in different parts of the world are an authentic inhuman and degrading trait, often caused by deficiencies of criminal law, or by a lack of infrastructures and good planning. In many cases they are the result of an arbitrary and merciless exercise of power over persons who have been deprived of freedom.” Pope Francis also speaks of what he calls “cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments and sanctions,” and compares detention in maximum-security prisons to a “form of torture”. The isolation imposed in these places – he says – causes “mental and physical” suffering that result in an “increased tendency towards suicide”. Torture – the Pope points out – is used not only as a means to obtain “confession or information”: “It is an authentic ‘surplus’ of pain that is added to the woes of detention. In this way torture is used not only in illegal centers of detention or in modern concentration camps, but also in prisons, in rehabilitation centers for minors, in psychiatric hospitals, in police stations and in other institutions for detention or punishment”. And Pope Francis said children must be spared the harshness of imprisonment – as must, at least in a limited way – older people, sick people, pregnant women, disabled people as well as parents if they are the sole guardians of minors or persons with disabilities. The Pope also highlighted one of the criminal phenomena he has always spoken out against vehemently: human trafficking which - he says – is the result of that “cycle of dire poverty” that traps “a billion people” and forces at least 45 million to flee from conflict:            “Based on the fact that it is impossible to commit such a complex crime as is the trafficking of persons without the complicity, be it active or of omission of action of the State, it is evident that, when the efforts to prevent and combat this phenomenon are not sufficient, we find ourselves before a crime against humanity. This is even truer if those who are responsible for the protection of persons and the safeguard of their freedom become an accomplice of those who trade in human beings; in those cases the State is responsible before its citizens and before the international community”. Pope Francis dedicates an ample part of his discourse to corruption. The corrupt person – according to the Pope – is a person who takes the “short-cuts of opportunism” that lead him to think of himself as a “winner” who insults and persecutes whoever contradicts him. “Corruption” – the Pope says “is a greater evil than sin”, and more than “be forgiven, must be cured”. “The criminal sanction is selective. It is like a net that captures only the small fish leaving the big fish to swim free in the ocean. The forms of corruption that must be persecuted with greatest severity are those that cause grave social damage, both in economic and social questions – for example grave fraud against public administration or the dishonest use of administration”. Concluding, Pope Francis exhorted the jurists to use the criteria of “cautiousness” in the enforcement of criminal sanctions. This – he affirmed – must be the principle that upholds criminal law: “The respect for human dignity must operate not only to  limit the arbitrariness and the excesses of State officials, but as a criteria of orientation for the persecution and the repression of those behaviors that represent grave attacks against the dignity and the integrity of the human person”.   (from Vatican Radio)... 14 hours 49 min
(Vatican Radio) "We cannot be Christians without the grace of the Holy Spirit" who gives us the strength to love, said Pope Francis at Mass Thursday morning at Santa Marta. Emer McCarthy reports:  Pope Francis centered his homily on St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians in which the Apostle describes his experience of Jesus, an experience "that led him to leave everything behind" because "he was in love with Christ." His is an "act of adoration": firstly, he bends his knees before the Father, who "has the power to do much more than we can ever think or ask ". He uses a “limitless language”: He adores this God, "who is like a sea without beaches, without limitations, an immense ocean". Paul asks the Father for all of us, "to be powerfully strengthened in our inner selves, through his Spirit".   "He asks the Father to send the Spirit to strengthen us, to give us strength. We cannot go forward without the power of the Spirit. Our own forces are weak. We cannot be Christians without the grace of the Spirit. It’s the Spirit that changes hearts, that keeps us moving forward in virtue, to fulfill the commandments ". "He then, asks another grace from the Father", "the presence of Christ, to help us grow in charity”.  Christ’s love “which surpasses all knowledge”, can only be understood through “an act of adoration of such great immenseness”. "This is a mystical experience of Paul and it teaches us the prayer of praise and the prayer of adoration. Before our pettiness, our many, selfish interests, Paul bursts out in praise, in this act of worship and asks the Father to send us the Holy Spirit to give us strength and to be able to move forward; he helps us understand the love of Christ and that Christ consolidates us in love. And he says to the Father: 'Thank you, because You are able to do what we do not dare to think'. It is a beautiful prayer ... It is a beautiful prayer". Pope Francis concluded his homily: "And with this inner life we can understand how Paul gave up everything and considered it all rubbish, in order to gain Christ and be found in Christ. It does us good to think of this, it does us good to worship God. It does us good to praise God, to enter this world of amplitude, of grandeur, generosity and love. It does us good, because then we can move forward in the great commandment - the only commandment, which is the basis of all others - love; love God and love your neighbor ". (from Vatican Radio)... 14 hours 49 min
(Vatican Radio) Divisions, jealousies, misunderstandings and marginalization do not help the Church to grow as the Body of Christ, they shatter it into many pieces, they dismember it. Instead we should remember that we – as the Body of Christ – are called to appreciate the gifts and the quality of others in our communities. Emer McCarthy reports: The Church as the Body of Christ was the focus of Pope Francis general audience this Wednesday morning, attended by tens of thousands of pilgrims and tourists in an autumnal St. Peter’s Square. Referring to the Apostle Paul’s advice to the quarreling community in Corinth the Pope noted  that many of our Christian communities, our parishes are divided by envy, gossip, misunderstanding and marginalization. He said this “dismembers us” and moreover is the beginning of war. “War does not begin on the battlefield: war, wars begin in the heart, with this misunderstanding, division, envy, with this fighting among each other”. No one is superior in the community of the Church, and when we feel tempted to think of ourselves as superior “especially to those who perform the most humble and hidden services” the Pope said we should “remember our sins” in shame before God. The only way to counter such division is to appreciate the individual qualities and gifts of others and give thanks to God for them. The Church understood as the Body of Christ – he concluded - is a profound communion of love, its deepest and most beautiful distinguishing feature. Below please find a Vatican Radio translation of the general audience Dear brothers and sisters, good morning. When you want to highlight how the elements that form a reality are closely united with one another and together form one single body, the image of the body is often used. Starting with the Apostle Paul, this expression has been applied to the Church and was recognized as its deepest and most beautiful distinguishing feature. Thus today, we want to ask ourselves: in what sense does the Church form a body? And why is called the "body of Christ"? The Book of Ezekiel describes a vision that is somewhat particular and shocking, but one which instills confidence and hope in our hearts. God shows the prophet a field of bones, broken and parched. A bleak scenario ... Imagine: an entire plain full of bones. God asks him, then, to invoke the Spirit upon them. At that point, the bones move, they begin to draw closer to each other and join together, nerves begin to grow and then flesh and thus the body is formed, whole and full of life (cf. Ez 37.1 to 14). Well, this is the Church! When you go home toady pick up a Bible, Ezekiel  Chapter 37, do not forget, and read this passage, it's beautiful. This is the Church, it is a masterpiece, the masterpiece of the Spirit, which instills in each of us new life of the Risen Christ and places us next to each other, to help and support each other, thus making all us one body, built in the communion and love.   The Church, however, is not only a body built in the Spirit: The Church is the Body of Christ! It may seem a little strange, but this is how it is. It is not just a saying, we really are! It is the great gift that we receive on the day of our Baptism! In the sacrament of Baptism, in fact, Christ makes us His, welcoming us into the heart of the mystery of the Cross, the supreme mystery of His love for us, to make us rise again with Him as new creatures. Behold, thus the Church was born, and so the Church recognizes herself as the body of Christ! Baptism is truly a rebirth, which regenerates us in Christ, making us a part of Him, and unites us intimately among each other, as members of the same body, of which He is the head (cf. Rom 12.5, 1 Cor 12, 12-13). What emerges from this, then, is a profound communion of love. In this sense, it is illuminating how Paul, in exhorting husbands to "love their wives as their own bodies," states: "Even as Christ does the Church, because we are members of His body" (Eph 5.28 to 30). How nice it would be if we remembered what we are more often, what the Lord Jesus has made us, we are His body, that body that nothing and no one can snatch from Him and which he covers with all His passion and all His love, just like a bridegroom with his bride. This thought, however, must give rise in us to the desire to respond to the Lord Jesus and share His love among ourselves, as living members of His own body. In Paul's time, the community of Corinth experienced a lot of difficulties in this sense, experiencing, as we too often do, divisions, jealousies, misunderstandings and marginalization. All of these things are not good, because rather than building and helping the Church to grow as the Body of Christ, they shatter it into many pieces, they dismember it. And this also happens in our day. Just think of our Christian communities, our parishes, think of how many divisions there are in our neighborhoods, how much envy, gossip, how much misunderstanding and marginalization. And what does it do? It dismembers us. It is the beginning of war. War does not begin on the battlefield: war, wars begin in the heart, with this misunderstanding, division, envy, with this fighting among each other. And the community of Corinth was just like this, they were champions in this! And the Apostle, then, gave some practical advice to the Corinthians that can apply to us: Do not be jealous, but appreciate the gifts and the quality of our brothers and sisters in our communities. Jealousy: "But ... he bought a car," and I am jealous; "This one won the lotto", and I am jealous; "And he’s good at this," and another jealousy. And that dismembers, it hurts, it should not be done! Because jealousy grows, grows and fills the heart. And a jealous heart is a bitter heart, a heart that instead of blood seems to have vinegar, eh! It is a heart that is never happy, it is a heart that disrupts the community. But what should I do? Appreciate the gifts and the quality of others in our communities, of our brothers. But, when I am jealous - because it happens to us all no? All of us, we are all sinners eh! - When I am jealous, I must say to the Lord: "Thank you, Lord, for you have given this to that person". Appreciating the qualities and countering division; drawing close and participating in the suffering of the poorest and the most needy; expressing gratitude for everything -  saying thank you, the heart that knows how to say thank you, is a good heart, a noble heart, a heart that is happy because it knows how to say thank you. I ask you: do we all know to say thank you? No? Not always? Because envy, jealousy holds us back a bit? Everyone, and especially those who perform the most humble and hidden services; and, finally, this is the advice that the apostle Paul gives the Corinthians and we to should give one another: never consider yourself superior to others - how many people feel superior to others! We too, often sound like the Pharisee in the parable: "Thank you Lord that I am not like that person, that I am superior". But this is bad, do not do that! When you are tempted to this, remember your sins, those no one knows, shame yourself before God and say, "You, Lord, you know who is superior, I close my mouth". And this is good. And always, in charity consider yourself as members who belong to one another and who live and give yourselves for the benefit of all (cf. 1 Cor 12-14). Dear brothers and sisters, like the prophet Ezekiel, and like the Apostle Paul, we also implore the Holy Spirit, so that His grace and the abundance of His gifts help us to really live as the Body of Christ, united as a family, but a family that is the body of Christ, and as a beautiful and visible sign of the love of Christ. Thank you. (from Vatican Radio)... 14 hours 49 min
"A crise da família vem dos efeitos de uma concepção relativista da vida que tem afetado negativamente o conceito do matrimônio e do casal homem e mulher”. “A cultura atual fala de família, referindo-se a todas as suas formas, como se as diferentes situações pudessem se tornar modelos”. Estas são apenas algumas das... 1 day 49 min
Falando na 69ª Sessão da Assembleia Geral das Nações Unidas, mons. Bernard Auza, Observador Permanente da Santa Sé nas Nações Unidas, acolheu as instâncias do Congresso Mundial sobre o tema da proteção dos direitos dos povos indígenas. No entanto, há "ainda há muito a ser feito", disse o prelado, sobre a custódia... 1 day 1 hour
Uma média de Mil participantes no Congresso internacional "O respeito pela vida, caminho para a paz", que acontece hoje e amanhã na Universidade Pontifícia Bolivariana de Medellín, na Colômbia, fundada em 1936 e que conta atualmente com 25 mil alunos. É o quarto congresso promovido pela Fundação Vaticana Joseph Rat... 1 day 2 hours
Pe. Donato Ogliari (1) é o novo abade ordinário da Abadia Territorial de Montecassino. Nomeado hoje pelo Papa, o beneditino - até agora abade do Mosteiro de Santa Maria della Scala em Noci, na província de Bari, Itália, - toma o lugar de Don Pietro Vittorelli, que renunciou em junho de 2013. A nomeação veio com u... 1 day 2 hours
A Presidência da Conferência Nacional dos Bispos do Brasil (CNBB) divulgou hoje, dia 23, nota manifestando a preocupação da entidade em relação aos direitos dos povos indígenas, após decisões da 2ª Turma do Supremo Tribunal Federal (STF) de anular os efeitos de portarias do Ministério da Justiça que reconheciam ter... 1 day 3 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis expressed his hope on Wednesday that administrators of an Italian airline company that risks bankruptcy may find  a fair solution that safeguards its workers with jobs at risk. The Pope was speaking in St. Peter’s Square at the General Audience where, amongst the crowd, was a large group of “Meridiana” airline workers carrying banners denouncing their predicament. Pope Francis turned his attention to them expressing  “deep closeness  and solidarity in these hours of  apprehension regarding the future of their work”. Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni :  “I hope” – the Pope said – “that a fair solution may be worked out, that considers above all the dignity of the human person and the essential needs of the families concerned”. And his reiterated and heartfelt plea: “Please, I appeal to all those with responsibility: no family without work!” rang out across the Square. Pope Francis has repeatedly called for the promotion of the dignity of the human person and the nobility of labour. In June 2014, on the occasion of a Conference of the International Labour Organization he released a message that said: “It is (…)  time to reinforce existing forms of cooperation and to establish new avenues for expanding solidarity. This calls for: a renewed insistence on the dignity of every person; a more determined implementation of international labour standards; planning for a focused development on the human person as its central actor and primary beneficiary; a re-evaluation of the responsibilities of international corporations in the countries where they operate, including the areas of profit and investment management”. And in the message he also called – as he has done in many occasions -  for substantial efforts to protect the environment, ensure decent work for all, and provide appropriate protection for the family, which – he says - is an essential element in sustainable human and social development.               (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 5 hours
Um filho é sempre um dom, um presente, e não um direito da mulher (ou do homem) que o deseja, o que sem dúvida precisa ser levado em consideração ao se avaliarem eticamente os riscos e benefícios desse tipo de intervenção médica. No último dia 5 de outubro, a revista “The Lancet” publicou o caso do nascimento do ... 1 day 5 hours
O papa Francisco recebeu hoje em audiência o primeiro-ministro de Granada, Keith Mitchell, que foi ao Vaticano acompanhado pela esposa, pelo filho e pela mãe. A pequena ilha do Caribe, com pouco mais de cem mil habitantes e uma superfície de 344 km2, foi descoberta por Cristóvão Colombo e se tornou colônia france... 1 day 5 hours
"Um gesto de gratidão pelo que ele fez em prol da Igreja como perito conciliar, como professor, como prefeito da Congregação para a Doutrina da Fé e, finalmente, com o seu precioso magistério": esta é a motivação com que a Pontifícia Universidade Urbaniana dedicou a sua “aula magna”, ou auditório principal, a Bento... 1 day 5 hours
Nesta quinta-feira, às 19 horas (hora local), será realizada em frente à embaixada do Paquistão em Madrid uma vigília de oração por Asia Bibi, a mulher católica paquistanesa condenada à forca. À convocação, organizada pelo, participarão pessoas de diferentes denominações cristãs. Esta humilde campon... 1 day 8 hours
A figura de São Paulo orientou a reflexão do Papa Francisco na missa de hoje na Domus Santa Marta. O Santo Padre utilizou o Apóstolo para interpelar a consciência de todos os membros do povo de Deus e para reiterar a mensagem talvez não nova, mas ainda assim importante: "Não se pode ser cristão sem a graça do Espír... 1 day 9 hours
Já está disponível nas livrarias católicas de todo o país o CD com o Hino da Campanha da Fraternidade (CF) 2015 e os cantos apropriados para a Quaresma. O hino foi escolhido por meio de concurso e aprovado pelos bispos do Conselho Episcopal Pastoral. A CF 2015 traz como tema “Fraternidade: Igreja e sociedade e le... 1 day 9 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received the Prime Minister of Grenada, Keith Mitchell, Thursday morning in the Vatican.   Mr. Mitchell subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States. A communiqué issued by the Holy See Press Office stated that “In the course of the cordial conversations, the parties focused on the good relations existing between the Holy See and Grenada, as well as the important contribution made by the Catholic Church in the educational, social, and charitable spheres, to meet the challenges of the country, especially with regard to youth. In this regard, the need for cooperation between all of the social services, in order to promote the common good and the development of the country, was affirmed”.   (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 10 hours
Vatican City, 23 October 2014 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received delegates from the International Association of Penal Law (AIDP), addressing them with a speech focusing on the issues in their subject area that have recourse to the Church in her mission of evangelization and the promotion of the human person. The Pope began by recalling the need for legal and political methods that are not characterized by the mythological “scapegoat” logic, that is, of an individual unjustly accused of the misfortunes that befall a community and then chosen to be sacrificed. It is also necessary to refute the belief that legal sanctions carry benefit, which requires the implementation of inclusive economic and social policies. He reiterated the primacy of the life and dignity of the human person, reaffirming the absolute condemnation of the death penalty, the use of which is rejected by Christians. In this context he also talked about the so-called extrajudicial executions, that is, the deliberated killing of individuals by some states or their agents that are presented as the unintended consequence of the reasonable, necessary, and proportionate use of force to implement the law. He emphasized that the death penalty is used in totalitarian regimes as “an instrument of suppression of political dissent or of persecution of religious or cultural minorities”. He then spoke of the conditions of prisoners, including prisoners who have not been convicted and those convicted without a trial, stating that pretrial detention, when used improperly, is another modern form of unlawful punishment that is hidden behind legality. He also referred to the deplorable prison condition in much of the world, sometimes due to lack of infrastructure while other instances are the result of “the arbitrary exercise of ruthless power over detainees”. Pope Francis also spoke about torture and other inhuman and degrading treatment, stating that, in the world today, torture is used not only as a means to achieve a particular purpose, such as a confession or an accusation—practices that are characteristic of a doctrine of national security—but also adds to the evil of detention. Criminal code itself bears responsibility for having allowed, in certain cases, the legitimacy of torture under certain conditions, opening the way for further abuse. The Pope did not forget the application of criminal sanctions against children and the elderly, condemning its use in both cases. He also recalled some forms of crime that seriously damage the dignity of the human person as well as the common good, including human trafficking, slavery—recognized as a crime against humanity as well as a war crime in both international law and under many nations’ laws—the abject poverty in which more than a billion people live, and corruption. “The scandalous accumulation of global wealth is possible because of the connivance of those with strong powers who are responsible for public affairs. Corruption is a process of death … more evil than sin. An evil that, instead of being forgiven, must be cured.” “Caution in the application of penal codes,” he concluded, “must be the overarching principle of legal systems … and respect for human dignity must not only act to limit the arbitrariness and excesses of government agents but as the guiding criterion for prosecuting and punishing behaviors that represent the most serious attacks on the dignity and integrity of the human person.”... 1 day 10 hours
“Seja avançando, seja retrocedendo, seja golpeando ou sendo golpeados, invocai o nome de Jesus. Só nele há salvação”, bradava João que nasceu em Capistrano na pequena cidade de Abruzos em Napóles no dia 24 de junho de 1386. Filho de nobres, sua infância é pouco conhecida e a Tradição já nos remete a sua esmerada ed... 1 day 11 hours
A primeira fase do Sínodo terminou e agora é o momento das reflexões pós-sinodal, cuja tarefa é traduzir no tecido vivo da comunidade dos fiéis as instancias que emergiram durante a assembleia religiosa. Testemunho da fecundidade das idéias que emergiram do Sínodo foi a mesa redonda "A esperança da família - O Sí... 1 day 23 hours
Desde que o vírus Ebola começou a se espalhar em algumas regiões da África Ocidental a organização humanitária Médicos Sem Fronteiras tem trabalhado sem parar: Aproximadamente 4.500 pacientes internados, 2.700 resultados positivos do vírus, muitos desses curados e sobreviventes da epidemia. Os médicos começaram a... 2 days 2 hours
Uma "frente comum" de todo o povo do Iraque, cristãos ou muçulmanos, para vencer a violência brutal do Estado Islâmico. É o que pde o patriarca caldeu Mar Louis Raphael I Sako. O prelado, depois de ter participado nas últimas semanas dos trabalhos do Sínodo sobre a família e do Consistório dedicado aos cristãos do ... 2 days 2 hours
"O mundo tem as suas catequeses, que são mais poderosas que as da Igreja” e passam por vários canais que nos falam de um amor romântico, de uma simbiose de casais perfeitos... "Mas é possível amar para sempre um príncipe de pantuflas e uma princesa maquiada?", disse Constanza Miriano durante o encontro de ontem à n... 2 days 2 hours
Para vencer a violência cega do Estado Islâmico, é necessária uma "frente comum" de todos os iraquianos, cristãos e muçulmanos, mesmo que, por enquanto, "esteja prevalecendo o medo". Em várias ocasiões, "eu saí às ruas e testemunhei o que é o verdadeiro islã"; o Estado Islâmico não é a religião de Maomé; “a Nusra e... 2 days 2 hours
O papa Francisco recebeu na semana passada o presidente do Departamento para as Relações Eclesiásticas Exteriores do Patriarcado de Moscou, o metropolita Hilarion, que transmitiu ao Santo Padre a saudação do patriarca de Moscou e de todas as Rússias, Kirill. Por sua vez, o papa enviou as suas saudações ao patriarca... 2 days 2 hours
O papa Francisco recebeu nesta quarta-feira os dirigentes, jogadores e técnicos do Bayern de Munique no Vaticano. O clube entregou ao papa uma camisa com seu nome e uma bola autografada e anunciou a doação de um milhão de euros a ser arrecadada em um jogo amistoso do próximo ano. A representação do clube bávaro f... 2 days 2 hours
Milhares de peregrinos são esperados em Roma amanhã para comemorar os primeiros cem anos da fundação do Movimento de Schoenstatt. "Como membros da Igreja, queremos nos encontrar com o Santo Padre, com os apóstolos Pedro e Paulo, com muitos lugares sagrados, com os diferentes carismas. Dessa forma queremos colocar o... 2 days 3 hours
(Vatican Radio) In a long interview with Vatican Radio, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, S.J., spoke about the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, which took place at the Vatican from 1-19 October. “I thought it was a truly special experience, and very different from that of preceding Synods,” Fr Lombardi said. “This time it was a step along a journey that does not constitute a Synod closed in on itself, a closed chapter, but one moment of a long and profound discernment of the Church as a community on a journey.” The Pope, he said, chose this method precisely because the Synod is dealing with very complex issues at the heart of the experience of the whole Church, the People of God. This Synod was also special because it dealt not just with doctrinal issues, but with the relationship between doctrine and pastoral practice. In this, he said, there are certainly some parallels to Vatican II, as others have pointed out. During the Council, Fr Lombardi explained, John XXIII set the universal Church on a journey with regard to life in all its dimensions. At the Synod, Pope Francis invited the universal Church to journey together with regard to a more particular theme, that of the family. It is a very complicated journey that involves everyone in the Church, and that requires a profound, systematic reflection on the pastoral and dogmatic issues. Fr Lombardi also reflected on the role of the Pope at the Synod. The Holy Father, he said, took a very precise approach, speaking to the assembled Bishops at the opening of the Synod, and then listening to the Synod Fathers. This, said Fr Lombardi, was to allow the Synod Fathers to speak with complete freedom, without being concerned with what the Pope might think. The Pope “wanted to ensure full freedom, and this was very much appreciated, and was effectively reflected in the dynamic of the Synod.” It was only at the end of the gathering that the Holy Father again intervened, with his speech closing the Synod, in which he “pulled together the strings of the spiritual experience of the Synod as an ecclesial and spiritual event.” Without the Pope’s final speech – and to a lesser extent, his homily at the closing Mass – “the Synod would have remained incomplete, and not been read with the key of faith that truly inspired and motivated it, according to the mind of the Pope,” Fr Lombardi said. Asked about how the Synod was communicated to the world, Fr Lombardi began by emphasizing the unique character of this Synod. For this reason, he said, it cannot be compared to earlier Synod, nor must we expect it to follow the same patterns. For example, he said, the sheer number of interventions, and the freedom and frankness that characterized them, made it impossible to publish everything that was said in the Synod Hall. Nonetheless, the Press Office was able to offer a balanced synthesis that highlighted the various topics treated each day during the Synod. Speaking to one of the most discussed issues during the Synod, the publication of the mid-term Relatio post disceptationem, Fr Lombardi noted that although this had always been done at previous Synod, there was some confusion when it was released. Nonetheless, he said, the publication of the Relatio itself contributed to the “very intense dynamic of reflection and communication. The subsequent release of the reports of the small working groups then became “logically necessary and natural” that reflected the transparency of communications in the Synod. Fr Lombardi said that, although press coverage of Synod was occasionally unbalanced, focusing on controversial issues such as Communion for the divorced and remarried or on homosexuality, nonetheless the communications effort on the part of the Church allowed those who so desired to understand what was happening in the Synod and to participate in the Synod “with notable intensity. Asked further about how the outside world followed the Synod, Fr Lombardi said the problem is always a question of conveying the depth of what is happening in an ecclesial event. That understanding, he said, is often lacking or insufficient, sometimes on the level of an understanding of the faith, which for the Church is essential. “The final speech of the Pope,” he said, “has helped and should help everyone to enter into this level of profundity.” The Synod, Fr Lombardi explained, should not be evaluated in terms of different sides, or as a question of human strategies in governing the Church. Rather, it should be understood that the Pope wanted the Church to begin a journey, to effectively set out on a journey “to seek the will of God in the light of the Gospel and the light of faith, in order to find answers to the most vital questions of the family and, in a certain sense, of anthropology, of the condition of men and women in the world of today.” The full text of Father Lombardi’s remarks, in Italian, can be found here . (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 5 hours
(Vatican Radio) A moment of deep discernment for the Church. That was how Fr Federico Lombardi, head of the Holy See press office, described the atmosphere during the Synod of Bishops on the Family which ended here in the Vatican on Sunday. Noting how the two week meeting was part of a longer process that will conclude in October 2015, Fr Lombardi said the atmosphere of honesty and transparency was a key element which distinguished it from any other previous Synod of the Universal Church. Among the 253 participants were also representatives of other Christian Churches, invited to share their experience of family ministry in the context of evangelisation. They included Valérie Duval Poujol, the ‘fraternal delegate’ from the Baptist World Alliance.  As the daughter of a mixed Baptist-Catholic family who now works as a theologian and professor at the Catholic Institute in Paris, she has a long experience of ecumenism in action. She sat down with Philippa Hitchen to share her thoughts on a common sense of mission and the need for a new language to touch the hearts of young people today…. Listen :  “I was very impressed by the good quality of exchange between the Synodal Fathers – sometimes people have a vision of the Church which is distant or cold, but I really felt the compassion of the heart of the shepherds…. A Synod is about (knowing) we have some difficulties and we try to think together about what would be the best way to speak the Gospel to our generation… What we share most in common between Baptists and Catholics is our common concern for mission, we Baptists are really a mission Church and we felt strongly it was also the desire of the Synodal Fathers, so we encourage each other in our common mission…. Our common basis is Scripture and I was very touched by all Synodal Fathers who quoted the Scriptures in their discourses and it’s our common heritage. The more we dig together into Scripture and the more we try to connect to Jesus Christ, the more we look like him and the more we can get closer and be missionaries or witnesses to this world….” (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 6 hours
(Vatican Radio)  “We are seeing an increase in the use of religion to advance political ambitions and often as a legitimizer: an excuse for violence:”  that’s according to the new Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See who arrived in Rome this past August.  And Victoria Alvarado is no lightweight in the field of faith and strategic studies. As former director of the Office for International Religious Freedom and strategic planning advisor for the Bureau of Conflict Stabilization Operations, Alvarado brings to her new post years of research into the effectiveness of partnerships between governments and faith leaders in countering violent extremism. Alvarado is also a former director for Central America and Caribbean Affairs at the National Security Council and has served in Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iraq, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Indonesia. Alvarado sat down for this exclusive interview with Tracey McClure: Interfaith childhood and career She says her gradual orientation towards strategic security studies and religion stemmed from her interfaith family and its openness towards others.  One year, she remembers, her Jewish father and Catholic-Protestant mother shared their home with an Iranian Muslim student, his wife and three children.  “I was exposed to the concept of not only interreligious dialogue, but actually coexistence at a very early age,” she affirms. Alvarado recalls some of the period when she was stationed in Indonesia where “there was a horrible conflict between the Muslim and Christian populations and a lot of what was driving the conflict  was not religious at all.”  Rather, she says, the violence was fueled by “struggles for land, for businesses – there were a number of political dynamics that were encouraging the conflict.” She says she increasingly saw the importance of religion and cites a recent study carried out by the Pew Institute which found that 80% of the world is religious to some degree. “I saw up front that religion is an important aspect of foreign policy and national security.” Having served in a number of Muslim majority nations, she says she is especially interested in Islam which she sees as a very important world religion.  Religion in conflict prevention, mitigation Alvarado underlines her increasing interest in the role religion can play in preventing and mitigating conflict.  Unfortunately, some people associate it with conflict, especially in recent days.”  Governments and religious leaders and communities “can work together to counter violent extremism and the narratives – especially when religion is used as a tool to foment the violence,” she affirms. In an address not long after the 2001 terror attacks by Muslim extremists on the U.S., Pope John Paul II said   “A clash ensues only if Islam or Christianity is misconstrued or manipulated for political or ideological ends.”   When asked if this is exactly what is happening with Islamic extremist militants like ISIS and Al Qaeda-linked groups in Syria and Iraq, Alvarado responds: “It is unfortunate; we are seeing an increase in the use of religion to advance political ambitions and often as a legitimizer, an excuse for violence.  This is not really a new phenomenon.  We’ve seen this hundreds of years ago among different religions.  It’s not unique to one particular religion but often, we see this dynamic when you have a dominant religion in a country and a fairly sizeable but much smaller, minority or minorities – religious minorities.” Clash of civilizations? Asked if this has led to a clash of civilizations today, Alvarado responds, “I think that there are some people that are probably seeking that clash.  They’re looking for ‘religious conflict,’  but I also see that most world leaders these days are not falling into that trap.”   They realize, she says, that “most of this is a distortion of religion for political and other ambitions.” Involving religious leaders in the prevention of radicalization or de-radicalization, Alvarado states, can be helpful - but by itself is not a solution.  “Religious leaders can play a constructive role if part of the narrative is based on religion, even if it’s a distortion of religion.” Governments and religious leaders – a need for mutual respect, cooperation “One of the challenges is finding ways to bring together governments and religious leaders without questioning the legitimacy of each part.  The government has its role and the religious leaders have their own role.  There needs to be mutual respect...for each other’s strengths and integrity.” Alvarado admits that when religious leaders cooperate with governments, their credibility among their faithful can be jeopardized.  “That’s one reason why it’s important these lines of communication are respected.” Definitions count One of the biggest challenges Alvarado stresses, is how we define “violent extremist.”  “If somebody is a fundamentalist, does that mean he’s an extremist?  Not necessarily at all.  And if you’re an extremist, does that mean that you’re going to become violent?  Not necessarily at all.  Some theories say there’s a conveyor belt: if you’re fundamentalist, you’re going to be radicalized; you’re going to be an extremist and therefore you must become violent.  Many people are fundamentalist who condemn all sorts of violence.  Just the terminology is a challenge.  What terms are we using when discussing these sensitive issues?  And, can we agree on common uses of these terms?” Educating for peace Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI and most recently, Francis have all upheld the need to educate today’s children to peace and to respect of the other.  There are many places today where children are taught at an early age to distrust or even hate those who are different.  Asked where is there room for improvement in the area of education for peace, Alvarado answers: “Everywhere.  I don’t think it’s ever enough and it starts from birth on.  It’s the core of the family as the starting point.  Public education as well is important. I think, finding ways where communities actually build together instead of …fighting, or there are tensions over land or water or whatever issue.  There are ways to find, to encourage mixed communities to build together.  That’s a way that can potentially help these mixed communities mitigate or prevent violence.  If they can see the value in building community and that’s more important than destroying one another - because by destroying one another they’re destroying themselves.  I think what would be a very helpful move in addition to the education, is providing some kind of development assistance to these communities.  To encourage them to actually operationalize their commitment to live together.” U.S. relations with Holy See Speaking of her country’s relations with the Holy See, Alvarado  says “We have common concerns.  We might take different approaches and that’s fine.  When I see two allied states or friendly states, they’re always going to have different views on certain issues,” but on religion and security, “we do have common ground.”  I think the integrity and legitimacy of the Holy See is very helpful in putting forth these messages: of the importance of not only tolerating one another, but actually coexisting and embracing diversity as something that builds societies.  Not something just to accept, but something that makes the world a better place.”   (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 7 hours
(Vatican Radio) The Universal Church is marking the first liturgical feast day of Saint John Paul II, Tuesday October 22. Poland’s greatest son led the Church from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005. He was canonized along with Pope John 23rd earlier this year by Pope Francis. Prayer was the pillar that supported him throughout his life and pontificate. Veronica Scarisbrick takes a look back at the prayer life of this new Saint. Listen: (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 7 hours
Bastante apreensão têm causado as interpretações da imprensa sobre o sínodo da família, realizado em Roma entre os dias 5 e 19 de outubro de 2014. Uma das frases da comissão preliminar, que não foi incluída na relatio synodi (relatório sinodal), particularmente suscitou reflexão: “A Igreja deve reconhecer os dons e... 2 days 8 hours
No final da audiência geral, durante as saudações aos peregrinos em vários idiomas, o Papa Francisco se dirigiu aos fiéis poloneses e disse: "Hoje celebramos a memória litúrgica de São João Paulo II, que convidou a todos a abrir as portas a Cristo; em sua primeira visita à sua pátria invocou o Espírito Santo para r... 2 days 10 hours
Donato nasceu na Irlanda por volta do ano 800. São poucos os relatos referentes ao inicio de sua vida, mas conforme a Tradição veio de uma família nobre e recebeu sólida e esmerada formação católica. Permaneceu em sua cidade natal até completar seus estudos didáticos e religiosos. Aspirando aos dons espirituais, re... 2 days 10 hours
“Igreja, Corpo de Cristo” foi o tema da catequese do Papa Francisco, nesta quarta-feira, 22 de outubro. Eis o texto na íntegra: Queridos irmãos e irmãs, bom dia Quando se quer evidenciar como os elementos que compõem uma realidade estão estreitamente unidos uns aos outros e formam juntos uma só coisa, usa-se mu... 2 days 11 hours

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN,

From: The site of the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
By Joseph McAleer Catholic News Service  NEW YORK — Who knew the Day of the Dead could be so much fun? The Mexican method of observing All Souls’ Day, Nov. 2, is the backdrop for “The Book of Life” (Fox), … Continue reading → 16 hours 5 min
Staff Report  Another story you’ll see at today is about the installation of Bishop Daniel Thomas of the Diocese of Toledo. While bishops of one diocese have no particular authority of the faithful of other dioceses, their installations and appointments … Continue reading → 16 hours 5 min
Staff Report There’s never shortage of inspiring or exciting events taking place at Catholic schools, parishes and other institutions throughout the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. With that in mind we’re initiating “Around the Archdiocese,” an intermittently published online feature highlighting some … Continue reading → 16 hours 5 min
Press Release Staff and faculty at Resurrection School, a CISE school serving some of Price Hill’s poorest children, have initiated an effort to support the small parish church. Learning of Detroit and Buffalo’s “Flash Mass” phenomena, a few individuals determined … Continue reading → 16 hours 5 min
By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service  VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis called for abolition of the death penalty as well as life imprisonment, and denounced what he called a “penal populism” that promises to solve society’s problems by punishing … Continue reading → 16 hours 5 min
Staff Report The Most Reverend Daniel E. Thomas was officially installed as the eighth bishop of the Diocese of Toledo Wednesday at Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral in Toledo. As the Metropolitan Archbishop the Ecclesial Province … Continue reading → 16 hours 5 min
By Mark Pattison Catholic News Service  WASHINGTON — Liturgical matters will take center stage on the agenda of action items at the fall general meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, to be held Nov. 10-13 in Baltimore. There … Continue reading → 16 hours 5 min
CNA/EWTN News Although religious freedom conditions around the globe are worsening, Americans should see this fact as a cause for motivation rather than despair, said a leading scholar on the issue. “I wish that I could say there has been … Continue reading → 16 hours 5 min
By John Stegeman The Catholic Telegraph  By now, most people have heard the story of Lauren Hill. Thanks to collaboration of two of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s Catholic universities, more people will be able to witness a key moment in … Continue reading → 16 hours 5 min
By John Stegeman The Catholic Telegraph A laity-led initiative that grew out of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s Proclaim 2014 convocation will be honoring Pope St. John Paul II on his feast day Wednesday. Greg Hartman, circulation manager of The Catholic … Continue reading → 16 hours 5 min
CNA/EWTN News VATICAN — Innacurate media reports about Church teaching on homosexuality published after the synod’s midterm relatio are an attempt to pressure the Church to change its perennial teaching, a cardinal who is also a synod father has affirmed. … Continue reading → 1 day 16 hours
By John Stegeman The Catholic Telegraph  Though more than three years have passed since his episcopal ordination, Auxiliary Bishop Joseph R. Binzer recently traveled to the Vatican for a Pilgrimage to the Tomb of St. Peter and Conference for new … Continue reading → 1 day 16 hours
Staff Report The Catholic Telegraph is seeking to better understand the needs of its readers, both in print and in the digital realm. A reader survey was sent to print readers earlier this year, and now its time for readers … Continue reading → 1 day 16 hours
By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY —Beatifying Blessed Paul VI at the concluding Mass of the Synod of Bishops on the family, Pope Francis praised the late pope as the “great helmsman” of the Second Vatican Council … Continue reading → 1 day 16 hours
By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service  VATICAN CITY — After several days of animated debate over its official midterm report, the Synod of Bishops on the family agreed on a final document more clearly grounded in traditional Catholic teaching. … Continue reading → 1 day 16 hours
By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service  VATICAN CITY — The extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family must put greater focus on the beauty of the Christian vision of marriage and not let an approach of “welcoming” and mercy override … Continue reading → 1 day 16 hours
Staff Report Harkening back to older times where The Catholic Telegraph published high school football information in the print edition, for the remainder of the season we’ll be posting the collected standings and weekly opponents of all of our Catholic high school football teams here each … Continue reading → 2 days 16 hours
By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service  VATICAN CITY — Upholding the Christian ideal of marriage and family life while also reaching out to those whose lives do not reflect that ideal is a pastoral challenge faced by all Christian communities, … Continue reading → 2 days 16 hours

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN,

From: Live Catholic Headlines
Montecassino, Italy, Oct 24, 2014 / 01:36 am (EWTN News/CNA).- Pope Francis on Thursday appointed a new Abbot of Montecassino – the first monastery built by St. Benedict – and at the same time reduced the territory for which the new abbot is responsible.

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Vatican City, Oct 23, 2014 / 12:05 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- As founders of an institute studying reproductive healthcare, Thomas and Susan Hilgers have seen the benefits that natural family planning can offer in the realms of health, sexuality and human relationships.

1 day 6 hours
Ottawa, Canada, Oct 23, 2014 / 10:57 am (EWTN News/CNA).- The Archdiocese of Ottawa, Canada, released a statement canceling its annual charity dinner in the wake of yesterday's shooting, and urged Catholics to pray for all those affected by the violent act. 1 day 7 hours
Cairo, Egypt, Oct 23, 2014 / 09:26 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- While problems still exist, Christians in Egypt feel "much safer" under the presidency of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, a former military officer who played a key role in the coup that ousted Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in July 2013, a Catholic official said.

1 day 8 hours
Vatican City, Oct 23, 2014 / 06:57 am (EWTN News/CNA).- In his homily on Thursday, Pope Francis said no one has the strength to be a Christian without the Holy Spirit, and encouraged attendees to imitate St. Paul in praying with praise and adoration. 1 day 11 hours
Washington D.C., Oct 23, 2014 / 06:02 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- St. John Paul II's life and teachings offer a witness to love that is so profound it is only beginning to be be mined for its riches, said the chaplain of the late pope's national shrine in Washington, D.C. 1 day 12 hours
Mosul, Iraq, Oct 23, 2014 / 05:21 am (EWTN News/CNA).- Reflecting on his recent trip to the Holy Land and to Iraqi Kurdistan, Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City said that for all practical purposes, the bishops of Mosul no longer have Churches to shepherd.

1 day 12 hours
Rome, Italy, Oct 23, 2014 / 04:01 pm (EWTN News).- The president of the Bishops' Conference of Guatemala warned that dangerous illegal migration and its root causes are profoundly affecting many families throughout Latin America.

1 day 14 hours
Edinburgh, Scotland, Oct 23, 2014 / 03:04 am (EWTN News/CNA).- A new marriage preparation program in the Archdiocese of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh aims to help engaged Catholics on their path to marriage by rediscovering beauty, value of the sacrament. 1 day 15 hours
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Oct 23, 2014 / 01:03 am (EWTN News).- Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines has written to the US state department urging that it support efforts of the Congolese bishops to oppose the suggested end to presidential term limits in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 1 day 17 hours
Vatican City, Oct 22, 2014 / 11:37 am (EWTN News/CNA).- In his weekly address for the Wednesday general audience, Pope Francis offered advice on fighting those tendencies which "dismember" the Body of Christ, such as jealousy and feelings of superiority.

2 days 6 hours
New York City, N.Y., Oct 22, 2014 / 07:01 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- The exploration of outer space can deepen our faith in God and our understanding of the world, and its benefits should be shared with all.
2 days 11 hours
Washington D.C., Oct 22, 2014 / 05:49 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Hundreds of pilgrims and faithful from all states of life flocked to Washington, D.C.'s St. John Paul II Shrine on Wednesday to celebrate the late Pope and recently canonized saint's first universal feast day. 2 days 12 hours
Denver, Colo., Oct 22, 2014 / 05:02 am (EWTN News/CNA).- Catholic victims of the Soviet Union's cruel anti-Christian persecutions faced execution, exile and arbitrary imprisonment for their faith, said a translator who has worked to bring their stories to a wider audience.
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Washington D.C., Oct 22, 2014 / 01:57 am (EWTN News/CNA).- Although religious freedom conditions around the globe are worsening, Americans should see this fact as a cause for motivation rather than despair, said a leading scholar on the issue.

2 days 16 hours
Vatican City, Oct 22, 2014 / 01:04 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- At Monday's consistory on the Middle East, patriarchs gathered to discuss the threats facing local Christians, and focused on the key task of returning displaced families to their homes.
2 days 17 hours

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN,

From: Tristate Catholic news and features, daily
The Choir of Westminster Abbey (shown here at home) will open the 2014-2015 Great Music in a Great Space concert season Oct. 30th at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral.

The Choir of Westminster Abbey (shown here at home) will open the 2014-2015 Great Music in a Great Space concert season Oct. 30th at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral.

Some Catholic events this week:

Sept. 24 – Nov. 2 40 Days for Life National Prayer Vigil Fall Campaign

Through Nov. 9: “Imprints and Impressions: Milestones in Human Progress” exhibit of rare books from the collection of Stuart Rose at the University of Dayton’s Roesch Library. No fee. Includes works by Galileo, Copernicus, Kepler, Shakespeare Montessori, Twain, more. For hours, a schedule of lectures and related events, and an online exhibit of a selection of the books, click here.

Oct. 24-26, 40 Hours Devotion at Old St. Mary’s Church (Over-the-Rhine/Cincinnati). Begins 7 am Friday and ends with Solomn Sung Vespers, procession, and Benediction 1:30 – 3 pm Sunday. For the traditional dates of the Feast of Christ the King. All welcome at any time; to volunteer to pray a specific hour email or call the parish office at (513) 721-2988.

Oct. 25, Moeller High School Antique Show and Sale at the Moeller gym, 9 am – 4 pm. Eighty vendors will participate in this annual Band Booster fundraiser that also features Moeller’s famous potato soup. For information call (513) 791-1680.

Oct. 25, All Saints Day Children’s Fair at the Spiritual Center of Maria Stein (Maria Stein, OH) 9:30 – 11 am. Booths, crafts, games, and more, all centered on the saints. Tickets $2.50 each child, call (419) 925-4532 for information or for reservations.

Oct. 25th, Annie Moses Band in Concert at McAuley Performing Arts Center, 7:30 pm. Bluegrass masters the Annie Band will present a concert of great American music. A Greater Cincinnati Performing Arts Society 2014-2015 concert; part of your ticket sale goes to the Catholic elementary school of your choice. Tickets $35 in advance, $40 day of the show (general seating), $40 in advance assigned seats. Purchase tickets online here.

Oct. 24, Friday Night 40 Days for Life Cincinnati Prayer Vigil at Planned Parenthood, 7-8 pm. Fr. George Kunkel, pastor, St. Vincent Ferrer Parish, Kenwood, will lead  prayer for the intentions of the campaign.

Oct. 25, Sacred Scripture: The Bible’s Origin, Inspiration and History Conference at Receptions (Erlanger, KY) sponsored by the Diocese of Covington, 9 am – 3 pm. Bishop Roger Foys  welcomes featured presenters Msgr. Christopher Schreck, STD, PhD, rector and president of the Pontifical College Josephinum (Columbus); and Fr.Timothy Schehr, SSL, PhD, professor of Biblical Studies at The Athenaeum of Ohio/Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West (Cincinnati). For priests, deacons, religious and lay faithful. Continental breakfast is served from 8-9 am; admission $25. Registration and more information at For more information email,, or call (859) 392-1500.

Oct. 25, Defending the Faith Seminar with Gary Michuta at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center (Norwood, OH) 9 am – 4 pm. Monthly seminar with a leading apologist and EWTN favorite. Topic: “Why Mass is Essential to Christian Life.” No fee (lunch not provided — noon break for meal). No registration required. For information click here.

Oct. 25, Greater Cincinnati Catholic Women’s Conference at St. Gertrude Church (Madiera, OH), 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. “Spa day for the soul” will focus on topics that help in the search for meaning, belonging, freedom, courage and peace; includes lunch, wine tasting, shopping. Speakers: Theresa Tomeo, Fr. James Brooksm Danielle Bean, Kelly Whalquist. Mass with Archbishop Dennis Schnurr. For information see

Oct. 26, “Flash Mass” at Resurrection Church (Price Hill), 11 am. Visit this urban parish, one of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s most challenged, just to do it. Support Catholic brothers and sisters by your presence and pass it on at #ResurrectionRes.

Oct. 26, Musica Sacra Fall Concert at St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption (Covington), 3 pm. Brett Scott conducts this local ensemble dedicated to performing great liturgical music in great church buildings. Program: Schubert’s Mass No. 4 in C; Mozart’s Regina Coeli (K. 276); JS Bach’s Cantata 33. No fee; donations gratefully accepted.

Oct. 26, Virtual Tour of Lourdes at St. Julie Billiart Church (Hamilton, OH), 6:30 pm. Presented by the North American Lourdes Volunteers; plenary indulgence granted by Pope Francis to the faithful who make the “pilgrimage” (under the usual conditions). Images and artefacts help participants experience a pilgrimage to the famous French shrine; each participant will receive the gift of a bottle of Lourdes Water. All welcome.

Oct. 27 Discipleship Training with Jim Beckman at Ruah Woods (Bridgetown, OH), 9:30 am – 4:30 pm. Beckman, Professor of Leadership and Evangelization for the Augustine Institute in Denver, has been involved with lay ministry and evangelization for more than 25 years and is a dynamic and passionate speaker with a great love for young people. This all-day workshop for youth and campus ministers introduces participants to a new model for youth ministry, one based on “intentional discipleship.” Tickets $20 (includes lunch and a Steubenville + Encounter Team Presentation). To register click here.

Oct. 27, Virtual Tour of Lourdes at St. Clement Church (St. Bernard, OH), 7 pm. Presented by the North American Lourdes Volunteers; plenary indulgence granted by Pope Francis to the faithful who make the “pilgrimage” (under the usual conditions). Images and artefacts help participants experience a pilgrimage to the famous French shrine; each participant will receive the gift of a bottle of Lourdes Water. All welcome.

Oct. 28, Virtual Tour of Lourdes at St. Veronica Church (Columbia-Tusculum, OH), 6:30 pm. Presented by the North American Lourdes Volunteers; plenary indulgence granted by Pope Francis to the faithful who make the “pilgrimage” (under the usual conditions). Images and artefacts help participants experience a pilgrimage to the famous French shrine; each participant will receive the gift of a bottle of Lourdes Water. All welcome.

Oct. 28, Martha Dinner at Immaculate Heart of Mary (Anderson Twp, OH), 6 pm. All young women in junior high and older who may be interested in religious life are invited. To RSVP, call 513.388.4466.

Oct. 30, Discover Your Destiny Day for Youth at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center (Norwood, OH), 7 pm. For youth ages 16-25. For more information click here.

Oct. 30, Choir of Westminster Abbey in Concert at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral (Cincinnati), 7:30 pm. Opens the Great Music in a Great Space 20th anniversary season. Renowned worldwide as one of the finest choirs of its type, it features some 30 boys and 12 professional adult singers. The Choir plays a central role in daily choral services at the Anglican cathedral as well as many royal, state and national occasions there. Recent highlights of nclude the Service of Evening Prayer held in the presence of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI in September 2010, and the Wedding of Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in April 2011, which was seen by a worldwide television audience of 2 billion people. They will sing a program of English choral masterworks. Tickets $38 in advance, $40 at the door. For information click here.

Oct. 30, Living Catholic: In Professional Baseball and Youth Ministry. “Mr. Redlegs” Bradley Barnes. A Theology on Tap Clifton event at Martino’s on Vine in Clifton/Cincinnati. 7 – 9 pm; no fee.

Oct. 31- Nov. 2, Young Adult Retreat with Fr. Nathan Cromley of Eagle Eye Ministires at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center (Norwood, OH) Popular retreat with this priest of the Community of St. John returns with a retreat participants say is life-changing. “If you’ve ever experienced suffering, ever asked ‘Why God?’ ever wondered your purpose in life, ever wanted to see 150 young adults on their knees in Adoration of the Lord, then this is the retreat for you! “ Includes Sunday Mass. Tickets $50 before Oct. 17th, sign up online here.

Oct. 31, Friday Night 40 Days for Life Cincinnati Prayer Vigil at Planned Parenthood, 7-8 pm.Bishop Joseph Binzer will lead prayer for the intentions of the campaign.

Nov. 1, Thomas More College Bank of Kentucky Observatory Open House.  Dr. Wes Ryle will present “Taking a Ride on a Comet,” a discussion of the Rosetta spacecraft currently in orbit around the comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, at 8 pm at Steigerwald Hall (inside the Saints Center); night sky viewing 9 pm. For information see

Nov. 1, Contagiously Catholic Evangelization Workshop at Savannah Center (West Chester, OH), 9 am – 4:30 pm (including vigil Mass). Sponsored by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, the first of a series of five workshops. Fee: $25 (lunch included). For information click here.

Nov. 2, Sung Vespers at The Athenaeum of Ohio/Mount St. Mary’s Seminar of the West, featuring the Athenaeum Chorale, 7 pm. The evening prayer liturgy features psalms, readings, and canticles. Not a performance but a service (participants also sing); much of the music is chant-based. For information see

Nov. 2, 40 Days for Life Dayton Closing Rally with Bryan Kemper of Stand True Prolife Outreach and Priests for Life, at Martin Haskell’s late-term abortion clinic in Kettering (OH), 2 pm. For more information see

Nov. 2, “Fanning Faith’s Eternal Flame,” annual Girl Scouts prayer service and  awards ceremony for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and Girl Scouts of Western Ohio. New award to be announced: Archdiocesan Respect All Life Award. Bishop Joe Binzer will lead prayer and give a special blessing to all in attendance. All registered Girl Scouts will receive a special patch for attending. No fee; registration is required. To register or for information call Karen Rolfe in the Dayton Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry (OYYAM) at 937-223-1001.

For more Catholic events, see our Events page.

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17 hours 55 min
Jump start your faith at a variety of area conferences, talks, and events this month.

Jump start your faith at a conferences this weekend.

Two major conferences open to the public take place this weekend:


Sacred Scripture: The Bible’s Origin, Inspiration and History Conference will be held Saturday from 9 am – 3 pm at Receptions in Erlanger (KY). It features major presentations by Msgr. Christopher Schreck, STD, PhD; rector and president of the Pontifical College Josephinum (Columbus); and by Fr.Timothy Schehr, SSL, PhD, professor of Biblical Studies at The Athenaeum of Ohio/Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West (Cincinnati). Well-known speakers as well as liturgy experts, they will share their seminary expertise with the lay public as well as priests, deacons and religious in this low-cost conference.

“A fundamentalist, literal interpretation of the Bible may present challenges to Catholic study and interpretation of Sacred Scripture,” say the organizers. “Please join the Most Reverend Roger J. Foys D.D., Bishop of Covington, for a conference on the origin, inspiration, and history of the Bible.” 

For more information click here or call 859-392-1500, ext. 1533.

The Greater Cincinnati Catholic Women’s Conference will be held at St. Gertrude Church (Madiera, OH), from  8:30 am – 4:30 pm. A “Spa day for the soul,” the event will focus on topics that help women  in the search for meaning, belonging, freedom, courage and peace. The low fee includes lunch, wine tasting, live music, and shopping.

EWTN and Sacred Heart Radio favorites Theresa Tomeo and Danielle Bean will speak; as will Fr. James Brooks (in residence at St. Margaret of York parish) and author/speaker Kelly Whalquist. Archbishop Dennis Schnurr will celebrate Mass and local singer Andrea Thomas (who starred in the with country legend Colin Raye EWTN Christmas Special filmed at the Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center in Norwood, OH) will perform.

For information see

Image source: Unknown. No ownership implied.

Click here for more events this weekend and in the coming week; for a constantly updated list of Catholic events see our Events page.

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17 hours 55 min
A peek through a basement window at Sacred Heart Church's secret ravioli lair, where twice a year volunteers spend many hours making ravioli -- as they  have for 103 years.

A peek through a basement window at Sacred Heart Church’s secret ravioli lair, where twice a year volunteers spend many hours making ravioli — as they have for 103 years.

Volunteers in a basement room at Sacred Heart Church (Camp Washington/Cincinnati) making hundreds of thousands of ravioli for the parish’s 103rd Original Italian Dinner last Sunday.

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Photo by The Catholic Beat.

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17 hours 59 min
The Art Deco mural in the nave of Resurrection Church (shown here on All Saints Day several years ago). Photo by Sharon Civitello, Catholic Inner-City Schools Education Fund.

The Art Deco mural in the nave of Resurrection Church (shown here on All Saints Day several years ago). Photo by Sharon Civitello, Catholic Inner-City Schools Education Fund.

It’s the first attempt north of the river here at a “Mass Mob” — a relatively impromptu gathering at a historic urban church for Mass — and it’s this Sunday at Resurrection of Our Lord parish in Price Hill/Cincinnati. You’re invited.

The two organizers call it a “Flash Mass” and they hope that people from all around the region will flood the 11 am Mass.

“We’d really like to fill every pew,” says Dr. Becky Lilley, the counselor at Resurrection School, who heard an NPR story about a Mass Mob event in Detroit last week.

“It was a small Polish parish called St. Florian’s,” Lilley says. “They were having about 200 people at Mass in a church built for 1500, and after the invitation went out on social media, 2000 people came.”

Lilley talked to the school’s computer teacher about how to try the same at the old West Side church. “We invite our students and their families, but a lot of them aren’t Catholic,” she says. Computer teacher Kelly LeBourveau set up a Facebook page and Twitter account for the event, sent out emails to the few alumni whose email addresses they knew, and asked the Archdiocese to announce it.

Now they’re waiting to see if it takes off. Lilley, who admits she is a novice at social media, says she doesn’t know how many people to expect but hopes for a lot, and especially that alumni will hear about it and return.

“We’ll have special music, as well as coffee and donuts and juice,” she promises.

The project is a big one for a CISE school that doesn’t have its own website. Full pews Sunday would be a powerful lesson for students, says LeBourveau, who often has to caution them on internet dangers.

“This project is perfect as an exercise in helping children learn the positive applications of computers and social media,” she says. “We’re working hard to serve families and students who don’t have the benefits of easy access to computers.”

According to the New York Times, the Mass Mob movement began in Buffalo, NY, where organizers emulated the “cash mob” movement that encourages shoppers from around a region to visit a local business on the same day. Mass Mobs in Michigan, New York, and other states have brought attention to once-thriving parishes with beautiful churches that lost membership over time, as people moved out of cities and into suburbs.

Spread largely by social media, like a flash mob, they bring people (and one-time contributions) to parishes that many suburban dwellers don’t know exist.

“Res” Principal Lori Heffner says, “We can’t predict that we’ll get a huge response like St. Florian’s did in Detroit. This idea just came up last week and we have a busy school to operate! But we hope to fill the pews by inviting alums of Resurrection, former staff, our current Res ‘family’ and interested others to join us for Mass and then coffee and donuts in the school cafeteria afterwards.”

Sean Ater, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s Director of New Evangelization, says he’s excited that the Mass Mob has come to Cincinnati. “I’ve had many people ask me, ‘When are we going to do this?!’” he says. “I think it’s great that Resurrection is doing hosting a Flash Mass in our diocese.

“The concept is a great example of how parishes can use the New Media for the New Evangelization. For me, the ‘Flash Mass’ or ‘Mass Mob’ idea is also great for evangelization, because it gives people an experience of Mass outside of their typical experience. One, they get to experience Mass in another parish community. This helps people get a sense of the diversity and the unity we have in the Body of Christ. And two, worshipping in a full church can be very evangelizing! Think about how you feel when you are at a Mass where everyone is singing, responding, and praying with enthusiasm. It is contagious!

“A Flash Mass or Mass Mob also has the possibility of creating that experience for someone who may not be a regular Mass attender. If you are looking to invite a friend or family member back to Mass, or you know they need a new, fresh experience of the Mass, this would be a great way to do it.”

Want to invite others to the Flash Mass at Resurrection? Share this story on social media or make a post of your own (Twitter: #ResurrectRes). The church is Resurrection, on First Avenue in Price Hill, at 11 am.

Are you a Resurrection School alum? The school’s alumni list is in dire need of being updated — send an email with your contact information to so they can let you know about future events.

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1 day 17 hours
Cincinnati participants in 40 Days for Life earlier this fall, photo courtesy 40 Days for Life Cincinnati.

Cincinnati participants in 40 Days for Life earlier this fall. Photo courtesy 40 Days for Life Cincinnati; click to enlarge.

Steve Karlen, the North American outreach director of the international 40 Days for Life project, will tell the story of this groundbreaking effort Friday at the Sharonville and Cincinnati 40 Days for Life vigil sites.

Karlen will visit the Sharonville site, late-term abortionist Martin Haskell’s building, at 9 am. Students from Royalmont Academy will also pray the rosary at that time. From 12:30-1:30 pm, Karlen will speak at the Cincinnati site, the Mount Auburn Planned Parenthood. The visits are part of his tour of regional 40 Days for Life locations. 

“People in Cincinnati have made extraordinary sacrifices to expose the abortion industry and to protect pre-born children and their mothers from abortion,” Karlen said. “I’m honored to be able to join these folks in prayer. Their efforts illustrate why we’re seeing historic changes – more mothers choosing life, more abortion workers experiencing conversions and leaving the abortion industry, and more abortion centers closing their doors for good.”

“We are tremendously pleased that Steve will be here to support our 40 Days for Life effort,” said Mary Clark, spokesperson for the local 40 Days for Life campaign in Cincinnati. “He’s an energetic, enthusiastic speaker and we know he will be an inspiration. He will also be bringing with him copies of the 40 Days for Life book for purchase. This book contains many moving stories of conversions motivated by this wonderful prayer campaign.”

Karlen, who previously previously led local 40 Days for Life campaigns in Madison, WI, currently serves as 40 Days for Life’s North American outreach director. In Wisconsin, he helped lead a volunteer effort aimed at preventing the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics from opening a late-term abortion center near campus. After a grueling 16-month campaign, the university health system cancelled its abortion plans, later citing the work of Karlen and his team as the reason for making that decision.

Cincinnati, Sharonville, and Dayton/Kettering (where Haskell also runs a late-term abortion business) are all participants in 40 Days for Life’s fall campaign. For more information, click here.

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1 day 17 hours
Apples from Rita's garden -- caramel apples are a delicious fall treat.

Apples from Rita’s garden — caramel apples are a delicious fall treat.

We know the story about Eve tempting Adam in the Garden of Eden with a juicy, red apple. It’s fun to relate that passage in Genesis when making this recipe for Caramel Apples with the little ones.

Note:  Werther’s is a “gourmet” caramel, more expensive than the regular caramels. When the budget allows, I like using Werther’s.

  • 4 medium apples
  • 4 caramel apple sticks
  •  9 oz. package Werther’s  caramels, unwrapped OR 11 oz bag favorite caramels, unwrapped
  •  Milk (1 tablespoon for 9 oz;  2 tablespoons for 11 oz. bag  (You may have to add a bit more – you want a caramel mixture that is easy to dip the apples in but not too thin. You can also simply use 2 tablespoons water for the regular 11 oz. bag of caramels instead of milk.)
  • Finely chopped salted peanuts (opt)

Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

Microwave caramels and milk in a tall deep microwave-safe bowl or 2 cup glass measure on high for 2 to 2-1/2 minutes or until melted, stirring after 1 1/2 minutes.

Dip and swirl apples in melted caramel mixture, using a spoon to spread evenly if necessary.

Roll immediately in nuts if using.

Place on prepared pan and refrigerate at least 15 minutes or until caramel sets

Rita Heikenfeld.

Rita Heikenfeld.

Rita Nader Heikenfeld writes a weekly syndicated column and blog for the Community Press, appears every Thursday on the Son Rise Morning Show, and is the author of several cookbooks. An adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati, she is Certified Culinary Professional and Certified Modern Herbalist,  the Culinary Professional for Jungle Jim’s Eastgate, and a media personality with a cable show and YouTube videos. She lives “in the sticks” outside Batavia, Ohio with her family, where they heat with wood, raise chickens for eggs, and grow their own produce and herbs. You’ll find all her previous recipes featured on The Catholic Beat here.

Rita’s Bible Foods segment airs on the Son Rise Morning Show every Thursday morning at 7:22 am (rebroadcast Friday at 6:02 am). Tune in to hear her discuss the history behind each recipe and the scripture verses that inspired it. And of course, for cooking tips!

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1 day 18 hours
Lauren Hill (center) and her Mount St. Joseph University teammates. Photo courtesy Mount St. Joseph University.

Lauren Hill (center) and her Mount St. Joseph University basketball teammates. The Sisters of Charity are asking people to pray to Servant of God Sr. Blandina Segale, SC, on her behalf.  Photo courtesy Mount St. Joseph University.

The Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati are asking people to pray to Sr. Blandina Segale, a Sister of Charity whose Cause for Sainthood was opened this year, on behalf of Mount St. Joseph University freshman Lauren Hill.

Lauren (see story here) suffers from an inoperable brain tumor that has begun growing again after treatment. Doctors predict that she will not live much longer.

sr blandina segale

Servant of God Sr. Blandina Segale, SC

Sr. Blandina (see story here) is a storied figure from America’s Wild West. Raised in Cincinnati, where she joined the Sisters of Charity, she founded schools and hospitals for children in several states, including Ohio and New Mexico.

Once a person’s Cause has been opened, he or she can be called a “Servant of God” and it’s permitted for any Catholic to offer a Servant of God intercessory prayers. The sisters are asking people to pray a novena (a prayer or series of prayers prayed on nine consecutive days, to one saint or possible saint for the same intention) for Lauren’s health and wellbeing.

The Sisters announced the prayer yesterday and ask all to spread it widely. Here is the text:

Sister Blandina, Servant of God, protector of children, we come to you today to ask for continued health and wellbeing for Lauren Hill. While struggling herself with a serious pediatric brain tumor, Lauren is focused on others, seeking a cure for this disease that has claimed so many young lives.

And so we pray…. Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory be [sic] the Father….

Sr. Blandina, we pray to you, confident that you will take our cause to our God to bring her healing. We also ask for blessings on her family and her friends who love her so much.

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2 days 17 hours
Students from Saints for Life at Thomas More College. with students and teachers from Covington Catholic and Covington Latin High Schools. after a prayer vigil in front of Planned Parenthood in Cincinnati. Photo provided.

Students from Saints for Life at Thomas More College. with students and teachers from Covington Catholic and Covington Latin High Schools. after a prayer vigil in front of Planned Parenthood in Cincinnati. Photo provided.

When Saints for Life, a dormant pro-life club at Thomas More College in Park Hills (KY) was revived this fall, the students spearheading its rebirth were thrilled by the response.

“A pro-life club existed at TMC in the past, but died out a few years ago,” sophomore Katie Bischoff, one of the two re-founders, says. “My friend Maria Syfert and I felt called to restart the club. At our first club fair we attracted over 50 members, which is pretty large for such a small school.”

This month the revived Saints for Life joined students from Covington Catholic and Covington Latin High Schools to pray at the First Saturday prayer vigil at the Cincinnati Planned Parenthood. Sponsored by Holy Name Church down the block, the vigil consists of Mass at the Church and a Rosary Procession to the Planned Parenthood and back, followed by adoration and benediction.

“Praying at Planned Parenthood is really the ‘front lines’ of the Pro Life movement,” Bischoff says. “You can hear and read about abortion, but until you actually go to Planned Parenthood and watch people pull into their parking lot, it can seem intangible. I think that for all of us students that attended, it really helped to rekindle our passion for the cause.”

In addition to praying at Planned Parenthood every month, Saints for Life will be hosting a baby shower for a student later this semester, going on the March for Life in Washington in January, and hosting a “Car Wash for Life” fundraiser next semester.

The group is also “adopting” people at a local nursing home, sending them letters and visiting them throughout the year, and attending Kenosis, the biweekly Theology of the Body discussion group for young adults at Ruah Woods.

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2 days 17 hours
Second graders Gianna Parnell, Molly Fisher and Stacey Underwood at the Good Shepherd Catholic Montessori’s annual carnival. Photo by Susan Fisher, courtesy GSCMS; click to enlarge.

Second graders Gianna Parnell, Molly Fisher and Stacey Underwood at the Good Shepherd Catholic Montessori’s annual carnival. Photo by Susan Fisher, courtesy GSCMS; click to enlarge.

Students at the Good Shepherd Catholic Montessori School outside of Hyde Park/Cincinnati seem to have enjoyed their annual carnival! Formerly Queen of Angels Montessori, the private Catholic elementary school takes its name from the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, a catechetical program developed in Rome and based on Maria Montessori’s original work, which is integrated in all grades.

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Photo courtesy the Good Shepherd Catholic Montessori School.

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2 days 18 hours

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